Okay, this week I couldn't make a choice, so you're getting two Quotes of the Week. They're not related in any way, I just thought they both deserved recognition, so here goes.
First of all, in advance of this Friday's highly-anticipated monthly jobs report, former Reagan economic adviser David Stockman decided to put things in perspective for those of us who are getting (maybe a little too) excited about our apparently improving economy. In a wide-ranging interview that is highly critical of Fed policy (attaboy, Stockman), we're reminded that while things may be getting somewhat better in the job market, they're still pretty ugly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK #1
"Look at the data that really counts. The 131.7 million (jobs in November) was first achieved in February 2000. That number has gone nowhere for 12 years."
- David Stockman
This is a gentle reminder that without a SIGNIFICANT number of new jobs and a MUCH higher labor force participation rate among the younger generation, there is NO WAY that we can possibly afford to subsidize the Baby Boomers' retirement years via Social Security and Medicare without going completely bankrupt as a nation. While the debt and deficit numbers are already staggering, our biggest liabilities have barely even begun to show up, and our tax base is showing no signs of expanding. This is a big problem.
And hey, on that note, it's Super Tuesday!! The day on which we will (maybe) choose who will try to lead this country out of the problems that Stockman has so kindly pointed out for us in his interview. So we'll turn things over to Joe Nocera, who has some... interesting words about Rick Santorum (a candidate I've briefly discussed here). In a piece that is highly critical of what the modern Republican party has become, Nocera gives his best endorsement of Santorum:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK #2
"An alcoholic doesn’t stop drinking until he hits bottom. The Republican Party won’t change until it hits bottom. Only Santorum offers that possibility."
- Joe Nocera, New York Times
Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel about him. I support neither party, but I've voted Democrat in three straight Presidential elections because the Republican alternative was so distasteful to me (I have few kind words for George W. Bush, and John McCain ruined any good feelings I had about him the day he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate). And yet, if I had to choose between Bush, McCain/Palin, and Santorum... Santorum would be the absolute last choice on my list. But enough of that.
Nocera makes some solid points (it's not all snark), and I think his take on the matter is worth a read. I will now go vote for Ron Paul. Go America.
[New York Times]