The fishing was pretty good this week. lots of spot and croaker, filled a cooler monday for the wife and mother-in-law to fry and eat. i had a nice steak. Wednesday i caught the largest shark of my life, went about 15 pounds and had a mouth you could put a fist into. a biter to say the least. length was about three feet and took around 15 minutes to land him, but i got all my tackle back. thursday i was cut off twice, i am assuming sharks again. the first was quick and clean, never set the clicker off. the second took about 40-50 yds. of line then cut through. laura caught a mess of whiting all over two pounds, the largest i have ever seen consistantly. she had a great time until they shut down, right at the tide change. all in all, a good week of fishing and i hear the point is now open. decided not to go, ramp 27 at rodanthe was too good to pass on. see you all in a few months.
Archive for July, 2005
Once upon a time, I had a Baptist girlfriend. Just the one. As with Chicken Pox, one case is usually sufficient for a lifetime, though the unrequited itch is confined to a more restricted area. We broke up because she felt that Baptist dollars were better spent attempting to convert starving Ethiopians to Christianity than in feeding them. I informed her that she had a moral blind spot big enough to hide Hell itself, and that was that.
In late June, city officials designated the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, a nonprofit organization that runs mentoring programs for children and day care for Alzheimer’s patients, a “non-responsible city contractor.” Investigators found “significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various City agencies.” The city subsequently suspended the club’s contracts, which run well into the millions.
It turns out, according to sources quoted anonymously by the Bronx News, that the mishandled money went to Air America. One source claims that $480,000 was wrongly transferred.
Since it is part of his job, after all, to raise money from embittered Tar Heel textile factory owners, he therefore opposes CAFTA as well, hitting on the supposed loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs whenever we get around to discussing the world trade situation.
Oddly enough, such discussions only seem to arise after we’ve indulged in a greater
or lesser amount of his homebrew, so they are typically characterized by digressions into the relative historical importance of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the exact species classification of the bugs eating his yucca plant, and what to name the homebrew once we start to market it–(Skeeter Brew)–but mostly it falls along these lines.
Call: Manufacturing jobs!
And Response: Invisible hand!
R: Percentage of GNP!
C: Manufacturing jobs!
R: Rising tide!
And so on, until the beer runs out or someone plays the bladder card. It’s quite fun, if almost as ritualized as a Kabuki dance, and not nearly as literate as, say…these two guys. We haven’t gotten to the point where we question sources, given that Google searches on one’s laptop and session beers do not, frankly, mix, but it doesn’t stop us from stocking up beforehand.
So, in anticipation of our next……fraternal discussion, some arrows for my quiver.
…Did NAFTA cause the U.S. to lose so many jobs, especially high-paying manufacturing jobs? Probably not. I say probably, since causality, in any social science (economics included), is difficult to prove since so many factors change so quickly in the real world. But if many high-paying manufacturing jobs were lost, it took many years until after NAFTA went into effect before they were.
Let?s start with jobs in general. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.9% in 1993, the year NAFTA was agreed to. It was 6.1% in 1994. The rate fell steadily until reaching 4.0% in the year 2000. Even in 2002, the year after we had a recession, the rate was 5.8%, lower than the year NAFTA went into effect.
But what about manufacturing jobs? We had just about 17 million in 1994. It actually rose to 17.56 million in 1998 and was at 17.26 in 2000 (still higher than in 1994 the year NAFTA went into effect). Then we had a recession in 2001 and since then the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen quite a bit, down to 14.3 million. So that is a loss of nearly 3 million since 2000, which might be due to the recession. If it were due to NAFTA, then why did it take so long for the loss to happen?
But what about wages? Ms. Collins mentioned that we had lost many high-paying jobs. But real hourly wages have risen since 1994 for all workers. For all workers, hourly wages rose 38.4% while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) just rose 27.1%, hence the real gain. For manufacturing jobs, hourly wages also rose more than prices, with a 34.1% gain. But a pre-NAFTA comparison is in order. From 1984-1994, hourly wages for all workers rose 33.5%, while the CPI rose 42.2%, indicating a fall in real wages. The same happened for manufacturing jobs with hourly wages rising only 33%, well under the rise in prices. So it looks like workers did better in the years after NAFTA went into effect than before.
Economists generally like trade since it allows each nation to specialize in the goods it can produce most efficiently. The increased output can be traded to other nations for their increased output. In that case, jobs move from one industry to another. For example, although we lost manufacturing jobs, we gained about 2 million construction jobs from 1994-2004, which paid well. In 2004, the average hourly wage for construction workers was $19.23. Construction wages also showed real gains from 1994-2004 while showing losses in the 1984-94 pre-NAFTA period.
And the relative GDP of agriculture-based, manufacturing-based, and services-based national economies.
Africa: Tanzania-agriculture-$523. Niger-industry-$746. Kenya-services-$1022.
Central Am.: Nicaragua-industry-$2366. El Salvador-services-$4497.
East. Europe: Ukraine-agriculture-$3816. Macedonia-industry-$5086. Poland-services-$9051.
?You ever notice how often liberals seem to think that, because they hold these lofty social views, it excuses them from having to be civil to bellboys and cabdrivers? I really think that by and large conservatives are just much nicer.? He pauses, thinking it over. ?One of these days, I?ve gotta do a cartoon about that.?
Obviously, this all springs from a basic misunderstanding of the language–it’s that damn educational system again. Some liberal bellwether looked at “politesse oblige,” thought it entirely too close for comfort to “noblesse oblige,” and resolved to hereafter abandon all forms of oblige.* As with many flocks led by an incompetent bellwether, it’s been downhill ever since.
Scotty M has learned the fine art of playing to the camera
Mr. Hart, however, said he and his stores couldn’t tolerate a newspaper that would print the opinions of someone who was as mean and negative as Mark O’Brien. But, you know, Mark’s not nearly as ornery as that left-wing rabble-rouser Molly Ivins, whose column the newspaper also publishes. At any rate, Mr. Hart said he wanted the newspaper to get its racks off his lots. But he also said that if I fired Mark, we could talk about continuing to sell the newspaper at his stores.
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This one surprised me.
The Cook County Republican party is offering 10K to anyone who can pony up information leading to the indictment and convinction of Mayor Richard M. Daley. I wasn’t surprised by their offer, though it is moderately novel, and sets a truly unsettling precedent.
Nor was I surprised that someone would make allegations of wrongdoing against Richard Daley. The Daley family has turned Chicago into one of the vilest, most corrupt places this side of Calcutta, and the folks there seem to think that’s just great (see Washington D.C., see Marion Barry).
I’m surprised that there’s a Republican party in any corner of The Windy Cesspool, and that they’re still trying.