Attention Members of the Faculty: You are NOT Part of the Middle Class

In case you harbor any delusions of grandeur that you or your children will someday rise to fame and fortune in academia, let me gently harsh on your mellow.  The truth is, most of our higher education faculty members are now adjuncts, or under a more fancy title, contingent faculty.  As this article details, many adjuncts earn about $10,000 a year.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, this applies to other people but not to my little Johnny because he is going to be a scientist.”  Good luck with that.  Science jobs are also getting harder to come by in academia, or anywhere.

Finally, before the reality party is over, I invite you to take a trip to 100 Reasons Not to Go to Graduate School.  It is extremely well-written and well cited (the links all work and bring you to current and relevant articles).

And, on a note of full disclosure, yes, I did apply to graduate school this past year.  And yes, I am not going.

An Argument for Health Care as an Economic Driver

By 2014, if all goes well, we should have something that resembles national health care.  This may mean that millions of people who have suffered in the pool of 17.7% of Americans in the United States without health insurance, may suddenly be seeking care for everything from anxiety to obesity and beyond.

In Rhode Island, this would be a welcome relief from the recent trends in health care in terms of numbers of people with insurance.  The recent trends, according to the Rhode Island Health Commissioner’s office, are that between 2005 and 2010, the number of insured people in Rhode Island dropped by 65,000.  In 2005, there were about 620,000 people insured by the three big insurers, BCBSRI, United, and Tufts, and in 2010 this number had dropped to about 555,000.  During that same time, there was a modest increase in the number of people receiving either Rite Care and Rite Share.  If you look at the study cited below issued in January of 2011 from the Rhode Island Senate Fiscal Office, you will see that in 2009 and 2010, there was a significant amount of stimulus money that was used to cover the costs of the growing Rite Care and Rite Share programs — $35.2 million in 2009, $56.8 million in 2010, and $56.5 million in 2011.

Now, let’s give it some thought.  Let’s just say Obamacare goes through.  Could it be possible that part of the growing economy can be the growing health care provisions that are made for those nearly 50 million people who are newly insured?  Could neighborhoods in South Providence, downtown Woonsocket, and Eden Park Cranston all begin to flourish with new health care providers serving the throngs of people flocking in for health care?  Statistically, the uninsured are more likely to be obese, smokers, and drinkers, so there are plenty of preventative care issues that could be addressed with could treatment plans.

So instead of giving $75 million to Curt Schilling and betting on the idea that we need another MMOG video game on the internet where people will waste time being sedentary and eating junk food while they try to climb inane hierarchies, perhaps we should think about ways that government can promote health care businesses that will likely be in great demand in the very near future.

Link to the report on Privately Insured Rhode Islanders

Link to report on RITE Care and RITE Share Insured Rhode Islanders

The Rajan Theory: Rising Inequality the Root Cause of the Great Recession

Kiersten Marek:

Rising inequality = root cause of Great Recession.

Originally posted on Job Market Monitor:

As noted by The Economist, “[s]everal prominent economists now reckon that inequality was a root cause of the financial crisis.” Indeed, in recent years there has been a proliferation of analyses supporting this view writes Till van Treeck in Did inequality cause the U.S. financial crisis? published on boeckler.de.

The explanation is straightforward: As the benefits of rising aggregate income over the past decades were confined to a rather small group of households at the top of the income distribution, the consumption of the lower and middle income groups was largely financed through rising credit rather than rising incomes.

This process was facilitated by government action, both directly through credit promotion policies and indirectly through the deregulation of the financial sector. But with the downturn in the housing market and the sub-prime mortgage crisis starting in 2007, the overindebtedness of the U.S. personal sector became apparent and the debt-financed private…

View original 399 more words

Kiersten Marek:

Take a look at the graphs on this post to counteract the ridiculous spin that Romney is trying to put on our recent economic history.

Originally posted on Desert Dogmeh:

Bet that got your attention :)

That is the line that Mitt Romney is pushing,

“I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression,” Romney said in front of around 200 people at an American Legion post. “No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and Hank Paulson.”

Reeeeeally? lessee here …

courtesy of Reflections of a Rational Republican

 

Sorry Mitt … Gotta call BIG bullshit on that one …

View original