Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Among The High And Mighty

I got linked to on a righty blog in such awe-inspiring company that I knew something must be off:

President Obama's call not to give federal employees a cost-of-living raise for the next two years (they will continue to receive longevity — step — increases and bonuses) has set off the Lefty Bloggers like nothing since the 2000 Florida election.

From TPMDC: "The early reviews of President Obama's plan to freeze federal worker pay are in — and it gets a resounding "F" from just about everybody outside of GOP leadership. Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside."

From Echidne of the Snakes: "So why pick one particular group only? Or is this a beginning of some larger cutbacks of freezes in, say, Social Security payments? Is Obama courting the tea-party section of the Republicans?"

Apparently Echidne is unaware that Social Security has been frozen for two years.

From Steve Benen: "For all I know, this might poll well. The public in general may like the idea of freezing these workers' pay, and the move will likely generate at least tepid praise from congressional Republicans. But it's exceedingly annoying anyway, and I wish the White House wouldn't do stuff like this."
You know how it goes in this blogging business? You write post after post after post of extremely careful and decisive analysis and nobody links to it? Then you spit something out after a night of two hours of sleep, with a typo as well, and THEN you get linked? Even distantly linked by Glenn Reynolds?

It's enough to make a goddess start hurricanes. -- Anyway, that "cutbacks of freezes" was supposed to be "cutbacks." "Cutbacks of freezes" doesn't make any sense in the first place. Mmm.

Mea culpa, naturally. But what is not my fault is the way that quote was cut. To understand it properly you need to read the previous paragraph in my post, because the first sentence refers to that one:

What about the pay freeze in itself? Perhaps not a bad idea if it is extended to the Congress and if it is extended to Wall Street and if it is extended to the health care sector and so on, and if the money saved will then be spent to employ more of the unemployed. I don't see any of that happening.

So why pick one particular group only?
And so on. The point was about pay freezes and their impact on the economy in general and on the labor markets in particular.

Besides, the reason why us high-and-mighty (heh) don't like this move is because it is a form of anti-stimulus, even if intended as a symbolic gesture. When more stimulus is needed and we get signs of the so-called "belt tightening", we start worrying about a deepening depression where nobody is willing to spend money and thus nobody gets hired to make things.