It could have been worse

Much, much worse.  Follow the link to the charts.  Without the stimulus things would have gotten even nastier, and the data justifies the notion that the stimulus should have been larger.

The electorate, of course, rewards actual conditions, not conditions relative to a hypothetical scenario in which ameliorative policies weren’t adopted. But it’s evidence that there’s no actionable coherence clause in American politics that critics of the stimulus can argue against the effort on the grounds that joblessness is too high. If you think joblessness is too high and something should be done to lower it, then you think we should have more stimulus, not less.

Yep.

Why the selectivity?

Nate Silver asks why we tolerate the inefficiency in health care that would be banished in any other industry.

We wouldn’t tolerate $7 trillion sort of inefficiency and loss if resulted from a tax increase or proposed business regulation. Wouldn’t Grover Norquist and his gang be screaming tirelessly, perhaps with cause? Yet as a nation we sit back passively and allow our capitalist economy to be hobbled by solvable problems with the most important infrastructural input of all: the labors of the American workforce. What’s amazing is that American workers today work longer hours and are more productive than earlier generations of workers–despite our health problems.

When the government does or doesn’t do something that is bad for American capitalism, relevant business interests step to the fore to correct the problem. “The business of America is business,” is the famous misquote from Ronald Reagan’s favorite president, Cal Coolidge. So why hasn’t corporate America stepped forward–long before Barack Obama even arrived on the national scene–to complain about the business inefficiencies of an unhealthy citizenry?

Pigs fly at the Utah legislature

Of all the craven turn abouts.

Utah cities and counties, pondering whether they should follow Salt Lake City’s lead on protecting gay and transgender residents from discrimination, could get a green light from an unexpected source: Sen. Chris Buttars.

Buttars, a West Jordan Republican and fiery opponent of gay rights, said Wednesday he “very well might” sponsor legislation in 2010 that would allow local governments to adopt such anti-discrimination measures for housing and employment — but forbid them from going any further on gay rights.

Buttars is an asshat, but you have to admit making the Eagle lay an egg is amusing. Just this is a trojan horse intended to limit civil rights advances, not further them.  He’s trying to bail water from the canoe, not get to shore.