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December 19, 2011

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Excellent Post Emil.
This should be sent to other outlets.
I like the sound of Zero Growth.

Good for you Emil! What was your previous profession? God knows it involved infinite patience and precision . . . qualities which I sadly lack. What I DO retain is images from a petulant and choleric Elliott Pollack (on Horizon last week) crediting Barney Frank for the real estate debacle! Hopefully there are enough smart folks around who know that he and Robb are little more than cheerleaders for a losing team. My gut tells me that Humpty Dumpty may become our mascot!

An exquisite fillet of Robb!

With the second wave of this depression set to commence next year (all that Euro, China, ... trouble) and AZ fanatically pursuing the 'strategy' of retrenchment, might there be a day of reckoning when the denial in AZ gives over to... what exactly? Anger, bargaining, depression? Reflection and self awareness are the last items on the menu but that holds for any place.

Great work, Emil.

One of William Bill's favorite ways to dissemble is to use percentage growth. He would do this with income numbers, which appeared to show strong growth. Yet at the end of every year, metro Phoenix and Arizona would be well behind comparable metros and states.

He is not a journalist, but has a background as a political consultant, lobbyist and propagandist for the "Goldwater" Institute, one of the astroturf "think tanks" seeded across the country by the right. The newspaper can pick any columnist it likes. But a journalism background and years in the trenches teaches skills, such as skepticism, curiosity and fairness. What you have is a polemicist for a failed status quo.

I would add that the numbers themselves distort the reality. Boosters typically use population growth as a major point over which to crow -- this was where Phoenix was No. 1 or No. 2 for years. Yet raw population growth is, at best, ambiguous. It creates large costs in the form of infrastructure needs, environmental destruction, etc. These are the externalities that the boosters never choose to examine. Also, what kind of population growth? Young, skilled college graduates? Old people checked out? Lower-skilled service workers? Metros with a diverse, quality economy and relatively slow population growth are better off.

Then there's the issue of job quality and wages. Phoenix and Arizona for years have been hotspots for low-wage jobs. In most cases the cost of living doesn't make up the difference. This is especially bad for Phoenix, which lags its peers, with wide-ranging consequences. It was not always so. In the '60s and '70s, Phoenix had a high proportion of higher-wage jobs. So even raw job-growth numbers are only part of the story.

Great post! Take a look at the planned Hassayampa Freeway (aka I-11) as an example of how real estate is trying to take back control once again. There's still a lot of land in play on the far west side of town, and they've been anxiously waiting to play.... Oh, also a net recipient of federal aid, by the way.

Great analysis of the current situation. I would also like to know how Phoenix's (and Arizona's) traditional lagging of doctors and other healthcare workers compared to total population also contributes to this ever-growing industry. Still, Phoenix lags other major cities in number of doctors/healthcare workers. How much does this "catch-up" factor into the healthcare industry's continual growth?

Furthermore, how has the state incurred two periods of surplus in the budget? Most recently, accumulating over $400 million which the Legislature has yet to decide how to spend, or save. What course would be most prudent for Arizona: spending the money to help those in need that rely on AHCCCS AND in public education (something the Governor is leaning toward), or saving it for a "rainy day" which has been promoted by the far right?

Phoenix must begin playing hardball with the outlying suburbs when it comes to recruiting companies to the Central City and industrial core. I like the Tempe-Phoenix "Discovery Triangle" plan, but it is clear that the outer ring of the metro area does not understand the importance of a strong principle city. Allowing the solar industry to set up shop in Mesa, Surprise, and Peoria is doing no one any favors and can ultimately contribute to further development of sprawl. Same goes for the high-tech industry's settlement of Chandler.

Case in point, a Seattle company relocating its headquarters to Phoenix but looking at sites in Scottsdale (with no mention of the Downtown Bio-Meds Campus)...

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/print-edition/2011/11/25/building-a-bigger-bioscience-hub-idm.html

Why is there no mention of the company, and others like it, moving near the growing Bio-Med Campus downtown? Why is the City and downtown interests groups so weak at attracting these companies?

First, thank you all for the supportive comments and interesting feedback.

Thanks especially to Mr. Talton for providing the opportunity to write a guest column for Rogue. There are many (actual and potential) platforms for publishing a blog -- everyone and their uncle has a blog nowadays -- but few with the intellectual cachet and informed, engaged readership of Rogue Columnist.

I'll address pSp's questions separately.

pSp wrote:

"...How has the state incurred two periods of surplus in the budget? Most recently, accumulating over $400 million which the Legislature has yet to decide how to spend, or save."

Everyone seems to forget that these are merely projected surpluses: the $416 million is for fiscal year 2013, which begins on July 1, 2012. That's more than six months away. A lot can happen to revenues in that time. What if growth projections are overly optimistic, particularly in light of AHCCCS cuts and freezes?

Even required spending could increase.

First, as the result of lawsuits involving education spending and healthcare spending; not to mention more on corrections spending if the governor succeeds in getting the legislature to repeal the new law transferring inmate housing costs to counties (don't hold your breath, though).

Second, an economic slowdown or downturn (whether through local spending cuts or through influences external to the state) could add to required spending.

I've been annoyed at the latest propaganda line taken by Arizona conservatives, which superficially sounds plausible, which is that they will fund "new growth in education, Medicaid, and corrections" while using the rest to pay down debt.

Well, with zero to low population growth, public education spending won't increase much because of new pupils (except to the extent that small children reach school age). The prison population is fairly stable over such a short period; plus a new law makes the counties responsible for many new inmate housing costs starting next fiscal year (July 1). And cuts/freezes to the state's Medicaid program have made large funding increases less likely even if the economy takes a turn for the worse.

So, what sounds like a mildly meritorious concern to maintain education and healthcare, is really empty political rhetoric based on the belief that such spending will not materialize. And after all, the legislature itself cut those programs in favor of a $538 million tax cut for the wealthy, which is expected to cost $58 million in the coming fiscal year alone.

Still, additional outlays for unemployment insurance and for Medicaid (for families below the poverty line) could occur if the economy takes a turn for the worse.

The second, $143 projected surplus is for FY 2014, more than a year and a half away.

As for how these putative budget surpluses came about:

(1) Big cuts to education, healthcare, transportation, and other public priorities.

(2) Big borrowing, in the sale and leaseback of capital buildings and other property, and against future lottery proceeds.

(3) Accounting gimmicks: for example, $1.3 billion in rollovers (where the state delays payment by rolling it over into the next fiscal year); the largest involve K-12 education and universities.

(4) New laws making local governments pay for what traditionally had been state costs, of which the county cost to house some new inmates starting July 1 is an example; others involve municipalities.

(5) Raids on the funds of local governments.

(6) Luck in certain tax collections: for example, as more homeowners lost their homes they also lost their home mortgage deductions, resulting in higher tax bills. Households trying to hang on in bad times have also cut back on charitable giving, which means less of those deductions and again, more to the state tax department.

Also, retail sales taxes have been driven in part by increased auto sales. Buried in an Arizona Republic story about Arizonans who shop and dine out helping to boost the state, was a remark by the sales manager at Bill Luke Chrysler Jeep Dodge, who noted that "the real turnaround for his dealership" came after the October 2010 hailstorm, when customers started showing up in droves. "Since then we've just been lighting the world on fire."

Any increase in annual retail sales tax collections caused by freak weather conditions and paid for by insurance companies, can't be counted on either to continue in itself or to stimulate the broader economy through this increased spending. There was a similar situation with heating and AC units. (I also suspect a great deal of insurance fraud by the insured, especially in the persistence of such claims, but that's another question.)

Items like big screen TVs are being sold on three-year, no interest loans -- in other words a resurgence of EZ consumer credit, not on the basis of increased income. The piper will eventually have to be paid one way or another; then where will these consumers be? Better hope things get a lot better real fast if the old ways of financing consumption are going to resume.

I'll tackle the "medical shortage" question separately.

Interestingly, Betsy Bayless (President-CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System) wrote about funding the healthcare system in Maricopa County. "Creative" funding solutions is touted in her piece.

Included would be a public/private investment of $113 million to bring in an additional $229 million in federal dollars. This new "cash flow" should not replace state funded AHCCCS; yet it is the kind of thinking we need in lieu of threats of state cutbacks funding Medicaid.

pSp wrote:

"I would also like to know how Phoenix's (and Arizona's) traditional lagging of doctors and other healthcare workers compared to total population also contributes to this ever-growing industry. Still, Phoenix lags other major cities in number of doctors/healthcare workers. How much does this "catch-up" factor into the healthcare industry's continual growth?"

First, note that the jobs growth data by sector which I provided deal with the Phoenix metropolitan area, not the state of Arizona.

Arizona is medically underserved but Arizona has a lot of rural areas. The rate of registered nurses (RNs) per 100,000 population is 825 nationally but only 621 in Arizona. By contrast the rate in largely urban Maricopa County which contains the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA (along with other major cities) is 822 which is nearly identical to the national average.

http://www.azhcwf.org/map_the_workforce/counties/documents/Maricopa_Nursing.pdf

As for other medical profession positions I'm not sure, but RNs are a bellwether.

Emil !!!!!!!!!!!!

Settle down. I don't think your follow up comments are supposed to be longer than your original blog.

Outstanding guest blog. A job very well done.

**********************************

Want to know what surprises me? All you very, very, very smart Progressives on this blog and all over this country were outsmarted, over the long haul, by the likes of Karl Rove. He and other uneducated, single-minded right wing lunatics wore you out, steam-rollered over you and crushed you. It was no contest. Do you know why? You refuse to get dirty. You stay clean. You stay in the house looking out the window while the dirty work gets done out in the mud in front of the house. You stay in the house and you cry for your mama. "mama, they aren't playing nice." Meanwhile, Mama doesn't care. She's just upset that her child is a sissy and won't leave the house.

Right wing fanatics-they do, do, do.

Progressives-they talk, talk, talk.

Independents-we arm ourselves and we wait, impatiently.

Move an aging population to the middle of the desert, make them ill with bad air and toxic waters, call in a bunch of nurses, and call it an economic boom!

Warren Peace, I think it has to do with the increasing stupidity of voters in the U.S. and not that progressives cry to their mamas. We talk because it is what smart people do. "Independents" don't to much (as measured by percentage of registered voters) as they are the most likely of the electorate to stay at home.

Emil, thank you for the information. Very informative and I wonder how this will play out; Legislators have to know, or must have been informed, that funding social services props up the economy. Will they listen? Will voters? 2012 isn't that far away.

Great Stuff Emil! I still wonder why anyone would think making a profit on healthcare or education is moral or why is not a redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to "entrepreneurs". And now their grubby hands are in our pockets for jails and prisons. This is not economic growth. It is theft.

Could it be the meds are preparing for the baby boomers to start spending their medicare money?I move here in 1966 and am sure around 2 million people followed me,with many in my age group.I get medicare next April and have already schedule an eye operation I don't want to pay for out of my own pocket.

eclecticdog, I don't think anyone disagrees with you about for profit healthcare or educational institutions. However, that isn't the topic at hand. First, we've discussed funding PUBLIC education. Second, we are discussing social services (Medicaid); especially for that care which helps children, the elderly, and those who've been hurt worst by the recession (the unemployed, underemployed). I would agree with you if taxpayer money were going to HMO's. Jails and prisons...completely agree however.

Talton is a valued mentor to me. I had lived here as a totally befuddled and frustrated transplant for at least 15 years before his columns helped me understand the context of the "crazy" Phx/Az political landscape I found myself in. This blog renews, continues, and expands the mentorship. Emil, thank you for this contribution. Thank you cal lash, phxSUNfan, eclecticdog, morecleanair, AWinter, Mike, Dr. Oddlove, and more, many more, for stretching my mind. I'm no longer befuddled; just angry and frustrated--and a politically active pragmatist.

Lurking behind the state's funding priorities is Dr. John Kavanagh, chair of House Appropriations Committee. John was a NY Port Authority cop who got out about 10 years ago and has become a prime mover among state politicians. He is a far, far right idealog and usually on the wrong side of any issues that put the state in a better strategic position to compete in the knowledge economy. With his friend Pearce gone and his friend Joe "diminished", his influence may also be lessened. We can only hope.

Not sure i would be willing to give Kavanagh the distinction of "cop" More likely Port Authority security official.

I did wander a bit off topic, but only because I know the Kook answer is to continue to privatize these things so they can celebrate private-sector employment increases (at the expense of public-sector decreases).

Mike Doughty wrote:

"Could it be the meds are preparing for the baby boomers to start spending their medicare money?I move here in 1966 and am sure around 2 million people followed me,with many in my age group."

Mike, according to Census Bureau data for 2010, in the United States 13 percent of the population is 65 and older. In Maricopa County the percentage is 12.1 percent. (For the state of Arizona it's 13.8 percent.)

Since metro Phoenix is the largest population center in Maricopa County, I would expect it to track the latter fairly closely in demographics. It looks like Phoenix is actually a little younger than the national average.

So, I don't think that explains it. Good question, though.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html (USA)

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04/04013.html (Maricopa County & AZ)

"Warren Peace" wrote:

"All you very, very, very smart Progressives on this blog and all over this country were outsmarted, over the long haul, by the likes of Karl Rove. He and other uneducated, single-minded right wing lunatics wore you out, steam-rollered over you and crushed you. It was no contest. . . Right wing fanatics-they do, do, do. Progressives-they talk, talk, talk."

Rove attended the University of Utah and George Mason University, and though he didn't earn a degree (too busy doing political work) he can't be called uneducated.

I don't think it's primarily a question of nice vs. ruthless, or smart vs. stupid: I think it's a question of money. Somebody had to bankroll all of those right-wing talk-radio stations, many of whose blowhard stars ended up on television to reach even wider audiences.

Radio stations cost money. Television stations cost money. Newspapers and magazines cost money. Media chains incorporating multiple outlets cost money. The right-wing think-tanks and paper mills which churn out material for conservative columnists all over the country on a continuous basis, cost money.

Who wants to bankroll somebody like Ralph Nader? Automakers? Drug companies? Insurance companies? Polluters? Corporations in general? Rich individuals? No.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party Leadership has moved further to the right over the decades as private union membership declined and they had to look elsewhere for campaign funding. Right now they're in the pockets of big finance, among others.

Conservatives are supported by the Republican Party. Progressives are marginalized by the DNC.

(7) The temporary sales-tax increase.

Even tax-hating right-wingers like Byron Schlomach admit that without this Arizona would be facing a deficit of "$480 million to $670 million" instead of the $415 million surplus predicted by legislators to end the fiscal year with (last day of June, 2012).

The conservative Arizona Tax Research Association estimates the annual contribution of the tax in the budget starting July 1, 2012 to be $950 million.

The tax increase expires May 31, 2013.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Kavanagh voted against the Prop. 100 legislative referral. Speaking of the House Tobin and Senate President Pierce voted for it.

(to be continued. -- out of online time)

Emil, During this century, the score is:

Right wing - 1,576,897 wins

Progressives - zero

You can type until your fingers bleed, it doesn't change the score.

Personally I don't want the right wingers to win in the end, but you progressives, you got nothing.

Nobody backs losers. Nobody.

Hey Azrebel
i mean peaceful warren
i got u a one way ticket to Occupy Wall Street.

cal !

Don't blow my cover.

FBI is monitoring this blog.

I'll soon have to switch to another alter ego, Helen Highwater.

An important correction: I added the November jobs data (last few paragraphs) as an afterthought.

I erroneously stated that Arizona saw flat year-over-year growth in the Educational and Health Services sector. In fact, it was the month to month (Oct. to Nov.) growth that was flat in this sector. The year-over-year (Nov. 2010 to Nov. 2011) growth was 13,700 jobs, which was 30 percent of the 45,800 nonfarm payroll jobs added year-over-year. (p. 9/34)

http://www.workforce.az.gov/pubs/labor/PrDec11.pdf

For the Phoenix metropolitan area the year-over-year growth in the Educational and Health Services sector was 13,100 jobs, or 39 percent of the 33,400 nonfarm payroll jobs added year-over-year. However, growth in this sector was also flat from month to month (Oct. to Nov. 2011).

Nearly all (96 percent) of the jobs added in this sector year-over year were added in the metro Phoenix area.

Mea culpa.

I read all the info above. Lots of stuff!Can I get a breakdown into maybe a 10 Bullet Point synopsis of what all this means in the short and long run.

Regarding "cops" there are a lot of good law enforcement folks in the US. But in my opine there are few "cops". There are some cops that are very good at being Bad cops. Richard Gere in the movie Internal Affairs comes to mind. In my tours of Internal Affairs (now called professional standards) I investigated cops for just about any wrong doing you can imagine. There are a few good cops that are really good dedicated cops. In my 62 years of knowing cops in arizona, two always stand out in my mind, Jack Ballentine (Murder for Hire) and Lonzo McCracken. Detective, extraordinaire .
http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg26891.html.

Liberals/progressives are often accused of drifting even further (farther?) left and thus becoming even less effective. Whether true or not, I encounter visceral revulsion every time I see the plastic, preening Nancy Pelosi. Can't we keep her in the basement as they tried to do with the "Toxic Texan"?

I don't see Progressives as liberals or even Democrats. Progressives are mostly embodied by Teddy Roosevelt. Letting private enterprise do what they do best, and letting government do what's best for the people - like owning and operating schools, water systems, power systems, electricification infrasture, phone lines, etc. I worked in enough large (and small) corporations to know they are no more efficient at doing things than public enterprises.

It's worth noting that not only can percentages be misleading, so can absolute numbers.

Take the example of hypothetical Whoville, Arizona: in October 2010 it had 1,000 payroll jobs. In October 2011 it had 1,000 payroll jobs: growth = 0% with zero jobs added. Due to massive layoffs late in 2010, Whoville had only 800 payroll jobs in November 2010. In November 2011 it had 1,000 payroll jobs. So, even though there was no job increase from October 2011 to November 2011 (or even, necessarily, during 2011 at all), there was a year-over year increase of 200 jobs in November 2011 compared with the same month of the previous year, or a seemingly impressive 25 percent growth in payroll jobs.

Which statistic do you think the Whoville chamber of commerce would cite: the one that shows massive jobs growth year over year, or the ones that show static employment both month to month and over 13 months?

Of course, the year over year jobs increase, recovering the 200 lost jobs, would have had to be added sometime, but could have been added in December 2010 or at any time earlier in 2011, or some combination over time.

Complicating the issue is the fact that employment data is routinely revised over time, as initial estimates are refined. The payroll employment figure for metro Phoenix for October 2010 as shown in the monthly report released December, is quite different from the same figure for October 2010 as shown in the report issued 11 months later.

P.S. Cal, try the paragraph beginning "to sum up" near the end.

"I worked in enough large (and small) corporations to know they are no more efficient at doing things than public enterprises." -eclecticdog

Perhaps, but private corporations aren't knocking down the doors to take over large public institutions. And if that was true, most of the developed (and rich) world would have private companies taking over their social systems; not happening. When private companies take over, efficiency and low cost-pricing may occur, but quality often suffers: online schools, prisons where people can easily break out of, for profit health care, the University of Phoenix (nuff said)!

Never mind eclecticdog, had too much coffee and only skimmed your post. We are arguing the same thing.

Given all of the above one can consider MANS best and worst efforts to be inconsequential in the face of universal fury.

Keep your still suit in order as we await the coming of Paul of Dune to deliver us from Arrakis to the House of Dune in a far far away galaxy.

Call, I have so much trouble understanding your parables...

;-)

Thats cause their insane!
Welcome to the planet Earth!

Phxsunfan, Better yet do not read Dune by Frank Herbert. Just drop off into the world of Albert Camus for a better understanding of this Absurdity we call life. Or skip that and just live life to it's fullest in which case blogging takes up a lot of time one can spend sliding down the great ski jumps of life.

Phxsunfan if u r seeking the reward of helping your fellows, Sandy Bahr at the Sierra Club at 202 E Mcdowell is looking for volunteers to go to the state capitol. Maybe U can take Warrenpeace with you.

LMAO! Nice Cal...I like to double-up on tasks and blog while skiing...

Phoenix Public Market is where it is tonite

That would be Mr. Peace to you cal.

pSP, private corporations ARE knocking down doors to take over large public institutions. The private prison system is but one example.

In addition to all of the other administrative overhead, they have a profit to make and overpaid private executives to attract/keep. Shareholders aren't easy to please vis a vis profits and sooner rather than later cost-cutting produces poor results. The latter are very difficult to document in places like Arizona, however, where proper audits are few and far between -- or nonexistent (despite legal requirements) -- and oversight is largely limited to information provided by the company instead of information collected by permanent on-site inspectors with full powers of subpoena regarding company documents, executive testimony, and inspection privileges (full and unannounced).

There are plenty of private companies lobbying to take over public functions. They want the cream (easy profit generating parts) and leave the rest (unprofitable but necessary) of the functions in public hands.

What is Arizona's ratio of unemployed to job openings, where the latter refer to nonfarm payroll jobs?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationally, when the recession began the ratio was 1.8 to 1. When the recession ended, it was 6.1 to 1. As of October 2011 it was 4.3 to 1. (These are seasonally adjusted figures.)

http://www.bls.gov/web/jolts/jlt_labstatgraphs.pdf

The number of job openings depends on the period considered. Obviously, this is quite volatile if considered monthly, and even more so if considered statewide or locally instead of nationally. The BLS graph in the link seems to imply a quarterly measure, though that may simply be an artifact of the graph labeling.

Even quarterly measures may be too volatile for a statewide measure. I also suspect that ANY measure will depend on the particular time-frame chosen. In Arizona, we might consider unemployment and jobs added over a year, to arrive at a tentative answer to this question.

According to the Arizona Department of Administration's Office of Employment and Population Statistics, in the most recent monthly report (issued December 2011), in Arizona, there were about 266,000 officially unemployed individuals in November 2011; in November 2010 there were about 304,000 unemployed. If we take the mathematical average of these, to apply over the year in constructing our ratio, we get 285,000 unemployed.

According to the same source, in November 2011 there were about 2,448,000 payroll jobs; and in November 2010 there were about 2,402,000 payroll jobs. That's an addition of 46,000 jobs over that period.

http://www.workforce.az.gov/pubs/labor/PrDec11.pdf (p. 7 of 34 for unemployment numbers and p. 9 for payroll jobs numbers)

If we take our averaged number of unemployed over the year, 285,000 and divide into it 46,000 jobs, we get a ratio of job-seekers to jobs of 6.2 to 1 which is well above the average.

That's my construction.

What started me thinking about this was the December 9, 2011 Arizona Republic article, "Arizona Jobless Aid At Risk As Deadline Nears".

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2011/12/08/20111208arizona-jobless-aid-at-risk-deadline-nears.html

In one part of the article, we find this assessment by the reporters: "And Arizona's economy is expected to create 15,500 jobs in 2011, according to state projections, after shedding more than 300,000 in the past four years."

In another part of the same article, we find this: "Arizona lost jobs for all of 2010 and had one of the weakest labor markets in the whole nation last year, [ASU economist Lee] McPheeters said. . . 'There are about 280,000 unemployed in Arizona right now, and the state will likely add at most 25,000 new jobs by the end of 2011. So, the ratio of unemployed to jobs is more than 10 to 1 right now,' McPheeters said, referring to his own jobs forecast figures."

I don't quite follow these statements. The 15,500 and the 25,000 figures seem to come from legislative and McPheeters projections respectively; why they should be so different, or how (or when) exactly they were derived, I don't know. Also, note that the timeframe is different: this is from January through December 2011, not from November 2010 through November 2011. And finally, Arizona did not lose jobs "all through 2010" and the trough was in September 2010 if I'm not mistaken. Also, however, one must distinguish between seasonally adjusted and unadjusted figures.

That said, McPheeters is no slouch and I am just an amateur new to the subject (read: slouch) and there is plenty I don't understand.

It's an interesting issue and I'd welcome comments and analysis.

How about a 26 words or less misson statement for Phoenix Rising?

Compared to jobs lost, job growth is very weak. But I restate your excellent analysis, Emil.

"electicdog" wrote:
"I still wonder why anyone would think making a profit on healthcare or education is moral or why is not a redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to "entrepreneurs". And now their grubby hands are in our pockets for jails and prisons. This is not economic growth. It is theft."

I totally agree. And as you imply above, taxpayer funding for "public education" increasingly goes to subsidize privately owned charter schools, whether brick and mortar or online. Some of these are run out-and-out as for-profit enterprises. Others use a non-profit front for tax purposes and to evade certain funding restrictions, then pass-through most or all of the funding to a for-profit company hired on a contract basis to run the school's day to day operations; it just so happens that the non-profit charter school and the for-profit contractor hired by it have the SAME OWNERS (though sometimes the owners are different but immediate family -- sharing is caring). Nice racket.
"eclecticdog" wrote:
"Progressives are mostly embodied by Teddy Roosevelt. Letting private enterprise do what they do best, and letting government do what's best for the people - like owning and operating schools, water systems, power systems, electricification infrasture, phone lines, etc. I worked in enough large (and small) corporations to know they are no more efficient at doing things than public enterprises."
Here are some excerpts from Teddy Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" speech with a link to the full text at the end:
* * *
Of that generation of men to whom we owe so much, the man to whom we owe most is, of course, Lincoln. Part of our debt to him is because he forecast our present struggle and saw the way out. He said: "I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."
And again:
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

If that remark was original with me, I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln’s. I am only quoting it; and that is one side; that is the side the capitalist should hear.
. . .
In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next. One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now.
At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. That is nothing new.
. . .
For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.

The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man’s making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being.

There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.
We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs.
It has become entirely clear that we must have government supervision of the capitalization, not only of public-service corporations, including, particularly, railways, but of all corporations doing an interstate business.
. . .
We have come to recognize that franchises should never be granted except for a limited time, and never without proper provision for compensation to the public. It is my personal belief that the same kind and degree of control and supervision which should be exercised over public-service corporations should be extended also to combinations which control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, or coal, or which deal in them on an important scale.
. . .
I believe that the officers, and, especially, the directors, of corporations should be held personally responsible when any corporation breaks the law.
Combinations in industry are the result of an imperative economic law which cannot be repealed by political legislation. The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed. The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare.
. . .
The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise.
. . .
Moreover, I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few, and here again is another case in which I am accused of taking a revolutionary attitude. People forget now that one hundred years ago there were public men of good character who advocated the nation selling its public lands in great quantities, so that the nation could get the most money out of it, and giving it to the men who could cultivate it for their own uses. We took the proper democratic ground that the land should be granted in small sections to the men who were actually to till it and live on it. Now, with the water-power, with the forests, with the mines, we are brought face to face with the fact that there are many people who will go with us in conserving the resources only if they are to be allowed to exploit them for their benefit. That is one of the fundamental reasons why the special interests should be driven out of politics.
. . .
No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so after his day’s work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life by which we surround them.
. . .
In the last analysis, the most important elements in any man’s career must be the sum of those qualities which, in the aggregate, we speak of as character. If he has not got it, then no law that the wit of man can devise, no administration of the law by the boldest and strongest executive, will avail to help him. We must have the right kind of character-character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, and a good husband-that makes a man a good neighbor. You must have that, and, then, in addition, you must have the kind of law and the kind of administration of the law which will give to those qualities in the private citizen the best possible chance for development. The prime problem of our nation is to get the right type of good citizenship, and, to get it, we must have progress, and our public men must be genuinely progressive.

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=501

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/12/21/20111221arizona-growth-slow-still-no-7.html

If you read the article carefully, of the 70,000 "new residents" in 2011, in-migration accounted for less than half of the total: only 7,000 came from other states, and 25,000 came from outside the country: that's 32,000. The other 38,000 "new residents" resulting from births won't be contributing to the state's economy for many years to come.

Furthermore, if the state's demographer is correct, actual total population increase is slightly more than half the Census estimate, or about 38,000. Since the state's demographer attributes the difference in estimates to Census' "overestimating migration into Arizona and underestimating people who have left" rather than Census' estimates of birth rates, this suggests that actual population growth from migration rather than birth is negative or flat or nearly so.

The emphasis of the article is therefore terribly misleading and seems to be part of the general campaign to assuage pessimism with boosterish fluff. I can't help wonder if this isn't due to editorial direction rather than journalistic intent.

Here are seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment stats which show Arizona has gained 45,400 payroll jobs since November 2010. Since employment in December 2010 was almost identical to November 2010, the state can expect to keep or better that in 2011 as a whole (i.e., from January through December 2011).

http://www.azstats.gov/pubs/labor/az-sa2001-2010.pdf

http://www.azstats.gov/pubs/labor/az-sa2011.pdf

So, I still don't understand remarks in the December 9 Arizona Republic story quoted above capping 2011 job growth at 25,000.

"Take the Mayo Hospital out of the equation, and 2011 turned out to be a year of little growth in northeast Phoenix, which at one time was the new frontier for expansion in the city."

http://www.azcentral.com/community/nephoenix/articles/2011/12/20/20111220mayo-hospital-led-2011-expansion-northeast-phoenix.html

"The state is expected to add about 48,000 jobs in 2011, but that still won’t bring the state to the pre-recession levels of 2007, McPheters said."

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/business/article_218b40e0-fd85-11df-bc8d-001cc4c002e0.html

This was published days before the Arizona Republic article quoting McPheters above. So, I don't know if he was misquoted or misunderstood in the article referencing "25,000 jobs at most in 2011", but this is in line with what I said above.

This was an excellent discussion.

I can summarize it succinctly.

There are no jobs. The United States does not have enough jobs to support its population. The United States has more workers begging for jobs than there are job openings.

Even worse, the number of good-paying jobs is constantly declining. Most of the jobs that are being created are low-wage, dead-end, crap jobs with no benefits. Therefore, the standard of living of Americn workers is going down, and American workers are increasingly relying on Food Stamps and Medicaid.

All of these things are true for the residents of Phoenix, just like everywhere else.

Republicans don't want to admit reality, so they hire people like Robb to publish lies and disinformation. Robb's columns are worthless right-wing propaganda.

There are no jobs. That summarizes everything.

The United States has one principal problem: NO JOBS. Nothing else really matters. The destiny of the US is completely dependent on that one key fact.

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