Keystone Politics: IRL

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I’m on a panel with my friend Brittany Foster of Politics PA this Saturday at the Progressive Summit at 3:30. It’s called Meet the Press and one of my PA political journalism heroes, John Micek, is moderating. Come say hi.

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33 Responses to Keystone Politics: IRL

  1. How much does it cost for the day?

  2. Jon Geeting says:

    No idea check the site

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Jon.

  4. Pingback: Off to the Progressive Summit! - Keystone Politics

  5. Ed H. says:

    Why would you be on a panel for the press, when you’ve admitted on this site that you don’t conduct yourself with journalistic standards?

      • Ed H. says:

        Can’t answer that, too? Accountability isn’t your thing. Neither is politics.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          You disagree with my politics on certain issues, but obviously our historically high traffic says people value this blog’s perspective on politics.

          • Ed H. says:

            I disagree with your making up false stories, and not at least acknowledging when you are making conjectures. I don’t think make believe, when you engage in it, should ever be passed off as facts. I like it when Jake and a couple of others have contributed in the past. And high traffic or not, I expect liberals to not engage in WorldNewsDaily style misdirection. I expect far higher integrity and standards from liberals/progressives. I can agree to disagree with anyone, but can’t bring forth respect to those who don’t bring a high degree of integrity to their discourse. Leave the lying and make believe to conservatives in their epistemically closure, and bring forth facts, and acknowledge conjecture, and keep it simple and truthful.

  6. Jon Geeting says:

    I always do. The truth is that Bob Brady and John Dougherty coordinate on candidates to endorse.

    • Ed H. says:

      That’s not the truth. What about the times they endorse differently? And what about your admission that you did not rely on any facts at all to make your made up story on endorsements between the Building Trades and Brady? What about when the Building Trades and Dougherty are supporting different candidates? There’s not only a lot of holes in your stories, but you reject using even a modicum of known journalistic standards. I realize you run a blog and aren’t a news outlet, but you’re peddling lies in some cases. Leave the lies to the Commonwealth Foundation tools and keep it honest instead. You don’t even know why. You made comments about me that weren’t true, because you were ignorant of the facts, and so made up a narrative that had no basis in reality. Maybe you’re the kid of some upper middle class, limousine liberals and look down on people who work for a living, and that’s why your comments come across as against working people. But that’s conjecture on my part, and I truly don’t know why your anti-working people comments are such. The difference between you and I is that I admit when it’s conjecture on my part, and you attempt to pass off your conjecture as fact. Even when someone is hinting to you that the facts are far different from your wild guesses. My guess is that you’re not intellectually curious enough to do even cursory fact checking, because you think you know the story without having been there, or having some facts presented. The problem with people like you is that you fall into the sort of bubble thinking that the right falls into. As Senator Daniel Moynihan pointed out, (paraphrasing) everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. I wish you would make your own standards higher. Whether or not it’s for your own intellectual growth, or to try to not mislead your readers as you’ve done on some subjects, isn’t really material to why I wish you’d end the conspiracy theory thinking you engage in. But again, I’d rather see liberals/progressives uphold higher standards. You don’t, apparently.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        Read the original post – it’s perfectly clear that this was simply my analysis, not straight reporting.

        I care very much about working people. I want their housing and transportation costs to be very low, so that they can keep much more of their paychecks. This is especially critical when the job sectors that are actually growing have low nominal wages barely better than minimum wage. I’m all for minimum wage hikes, but we also need to work on the cost of living side of the equation, hence my focus on bringing down the costs of building new buildings, the cost of rent, and the cost of getting around. That’s where I’m coming from, and I refuse to let you or your rent-seeking price-hiking organization confuse people about who has working people’s best interests in their heart.

        My parents are solidly middle class, hard-working people from Bethlehem, PA. Or were, until my mom died of breast cancer this past September, you dick. She was a physical therapist assistant who worked with elderly people on Medicaid, not a limousine liberal.

        • Ed H. says:

          You’re analysis is not only wrong. It’s completely stupid. Particularly when you’re so dumb and hard headed that you can’t take a hint.
          So, in spite of the economics showing that wages are depressed too much in today’s economy, your answer to that is to lower construction workers’ wages. This is where you’re acting like a dope. In NYC, where wages and building costs are far higher than I’m Philadelphia, and their Building Trades have as much or more of a lock on new construction in their city, you praise them. But then want to excoriate working guys for trying to keep their wages keeping pace with inflation and productivity gains here. Learn a little economics from DeLong, Stiglitz or Krugman, among others, and you see that lowering wages has the result of helping to dampen economic growth. You want to apply a Greek style deflation to make things more affordable for the poor, when sticky wages and prices say it will fail every single time. The smart thing to do is to raise wages of the poor, subsidize things like healthcare, housing, education, and allowing working people to freely join unions and to bargain for better wages, benefits and conditions. In the meantime, some more tax brackets for higher income and capital gains earners, taking top marginal rates up to 50% for billionaires could help to pay for infrastructure, education and other help for the economy. Lowering wages of working people is the same sort of sociopathy that the TeabBaggers and Republicans have towards the filthy masses that we make up in the middle class and poor.
          I’m sorry about your mom. I’m sorry about your lack of honesty an integrity. But, as an adult, you’ll occasionally have to answer to others when you make up stories, or try to look down your nose at those of us who work for a living. I hope you do better in the future and not try to pass off stupidity as analysis again. This blog has the potential to be better. Don’t drag it down.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            The problem with your analysis is that most people aren’t construction workers, but the overwhelming majority of people have a monthly housing bill, whether that’s rent or a mortgage payment. As a representative of the Boilermakers, you won’t be able to see my point about housing, so let’s try a different example of how lowering wages for one specific group can help many many more people.

            Doctors in this country make about double what doctors in other countries make, and specialists make many times more. This, along with pharmaceutical patents and some other things, results in very high prices for medical care. And the high price of medical care results in highest in the world insurance premiums for Americans. Because we have to spend an unreasonably high amount of money on insurance premiums, our real wages are lower than they otherwise would be.

            If we adopted a single payer health care system like what other countries use, started paying American doctors a salary around the average for other rich countries, started paying on average what other rich countries pay for pharmaceuticals, and lowered the pay of private insurance industry workers to zero since we’d no longer need a private insurance industry, we would give every American a raise.

            Why? Because their insurance premiums and medical costs would be radically lower, and they would have more money left in their bank accounts to spend at the grocery store, at restaurants, at retail shops, and so on. Soaking this one special interest group would make everyone better off.

            That’s not a general Greek-style deflation. It’s a targeted deflation of special interest rents. And we’d achieve it in the Philly real estate market by making more groups better off, like minority contractors and women of color, who have traditionally been actively excluded by the Building Trades Council.

          • Ed H. says:

            The DERP is strong in you. Going to a single payer system has no relation to the construction industry. The construction industry is market based, and doesn’t have the government setting rates on services, medications, and other costs associated. Your example would be to set all labor rates, set the costs of real estate, set the costs of materials, set the costs for architects/engineers, setting the profit margins, etc. What you’re proposing is to lower wages for all construction workers in the region. That’s incredibly dumb and would only serve to harm construction workers, and the businesses that rely in part on construction workers for revenues in the larger economy, with no correlating lowering of costs of construction. Again, studies I’ve provided on this blog show that construction costs don’t go down, and sometimes rise, when prevailing wages are forced down through the sort of anti-union ideas you’re promoting. Besides, in the residential markets, the nonunion contractors hold a sizable market share. Your analysis just isn’t reality based. Your wage deflation may look good on paper to you, but every labor economist out there will laugh in your face, because you’re lowering the purchasing power of more working people with no corresponding reduction in costs. As far as the Building Trades reaching out to be inclusive of minorities, they’ve made huge strides, and no one is turned away because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc.
            the answer to affordability, and Philadelphia is one of the more affordable cities to buy a home in compared to others argue cities, is to see a rise in wages for everyone in the region. A couple of ideas I’ve had floating around is to assess a Southeastern PA income tax, for anyone who lives or works in the suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia. I’d like to see it dedicated to Philadelphia infrastructure projects, to create jobs in the city, as the whole state benefits from job creation and revenue streams in Philadelphia. Labor costs aren’t prohibitive in Philly. It’s often more about NIMBY thinking regarding new projects, how the city issues permits, and assorted issues of Councilmanic powers to end certain projects before the get off the ground.
            So, in the end your hatred for working people in the construction industry is misplaced anger brought on by your ignorance. Ron Paul’s economic beliefs don’t work in real life, dude.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            Check your reading comprehension bro. I certainly am not proposing a “single payer” system for the real estate market. I’m proposing that more developers of large projects should hire non-union shops, and that politicians shouldn’t stand in the way of that. That would raise wages for all the minority contractors and people of color that the Building Trades guild doesn’t want to give any work to.

          • Ed H. says:

            And your DERP get followed up by another DERP from you. I’ll point out your logical fallacy again on doing a comparison to single payer, then backing away from the comparison. Again, single payer means government gets involved with almost every cost associated with a bill for medical/health care. If you want to make comparisons, dont be surprised if those of us who know the wide differences between the two different industries/markets point out your logical fallacies. The construction industry won’t see costs cut by cutting Building Trades wages, or seeing more nonunion shops getting contracts on large projects. Again, the studies I supplied support my argument. You’re repeating your failed arguments, with no supporting evidence. And to boot, you wrote up a comparison of single payer health care payments, then weren’t sure what you wrote. If you have no confidence in what you post then have the integrity to accept that your premise is flawed, instead of barring the door to make your epistemic closure tougher to allow facts into your closed circuit thinking. Now, if the nonunion driving down wages only serves to drive down wages, with no corresponding ability to drive down construction costs (now pay attention here, because your inability to read and understand is already on display), then why call for the policies you’re asking for? It serves to hurt the larger economy and tax revenues doing it your way. And any and every minority contractor has the ability to get into larger, union projects. They only have to call up the local unions to see what the agreements would be to be a signatory to a union agreement/PLA/etc. It’s not like any union would turn down a chance to sign up minority contractors who want to pay a fair wage, and provide a safe work site for their employees. Minority contractors need only to check their exploitation of employees at the door, if they want to be a signatory. Same thing for every other nonunion contractor out there. The construction unions will welcome them all, to bargain with us, because we’ll stand up against begging for fair wages, benefits and conditions. Begging usually leads to getting mistreated.
            You’re showing your ass by having absolutely no knowledge of the construction industry or its economics. No knowledge of the differences between NYC construction wages versus the much lower Philadelphia construction wages. No knowledge of the relationship between union construction wages keeping nonunion construction wages from falling into poverty wages, or how lowering the wages of construction wages will not see lower construction costs, because you’re not inclined to read the evidence.

  7. Jon Geeting says:

    The comparison with single payer health care was that reducing doctor wages makes everyone else richer. Because most people are health care consumers, and not doctors.

    In the same way, reducing Building Trades guild wages makes everyone else richer, because most people aren’t construction workers, but do have monthly housing bills that would go down if it were cheaper to build more large buildings.

    • Ed H. says:

      Ahh… Bad thing for you to bring up reading comprehension, when it tars you as having no abilities in that arena.
      First, you misunderstand how single payer works. It goes far beyond doctors fees for services, and addresses other costs, like fees for hospital stays and other services, like the cost of an IV bag, or EKG, X-Rays, cotton swabs, needles for medication, etc. Plus, the major part of the savings is just the fact that the government isn’t a for-profit endeavor, and also can bargain for all of those other costs more effectively than any insurance company can.
      Second, is the fact that lowering the wages of construction workers will not reduce building costs. This is at least the third time I’ve pointed this out to you. Why do the Building Trades cost no more, and often times less, than nonunion construction companies? Because of better training, fewer cost and time overruns and far fewer reworks from mistakes made, like when the lower skilled nonunion companies do the work. It’s not that we’re from a different breed of construction worker than the nonunion guys. Some of them have the same skills we take for granted. But those who have our skills in the nonunion sector stand apart from the others in their companies, because they have a higher skill set than their coworkers do. Union workers have the higher skill sets from the training we provide in apprenticeships, continuing journeyman upgrades, and a labor force that does the same work all the time, where nonunion guys often go from one trade to another, and not being taught the proper way to do things. There’s also issues of safety, as nonunion companies have far higher injury rates than union contractors, thereby, making themselves ineligible to bid many larger projects, because developers don’t want to have their insurance rates going sky high. Again, I point to the studies on this, and you can try to talk around it, but you’re showing your complete ignorance on the economics of construction costs. So again, your view is based in fallacy and not the hard numbers of dollars and cents. Driving down construction workers wages will not reduce costs. So, you don’t really have any ideas on lowering building costs, but offer up more of your Ron Paul pipe dreams. The Commonwealth Foundation is not your friend, and is no friend of consumers or taxpayers.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        There’s a great Upton Sinclair quote that goes “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Ed, I know the Boilermakers are paying you the big bucks to fake not understanding this stuff in our comments section, but the point stands that every single part of the provider network in American health care is overpaid, and soaking them would make us all richer.

        In some areas price controls are the tool. But in other areas, like scope of practice, the tool is letting nurse practitioners do more common procedures that states now require a doctor in the room for. Doctors are the most skilled employees the hospital has, so they are the most expensive. But we’d save money by letting less skilled nurse practitioners do more.

        That’s a good analogy for what we’re debating here. There’s no doubt that the building trades guild requires much more intensive training than other shops, much like the MDs have the most intensive training. But the point is that you just don’t always need the very best trained person on the job, when merely well-trained people can be hired for cheaper. What makes the Building Trades such a great guild is that people don’t always have the “choice” to hire merely well-trained people because not hiring Trades-approved white suburban male workers comes with threats of violence and political retribution.

        And by the way, if you’re going to claim things like that Philly’s non-union shops have a worse safety record, you’re going to need to link to some data on that if you want to get taken seriously. And no, big national hack reports don’t count. Show me the data for Philadelphia.

        • Ed H. says:

          Jon… You’re lying again. I don’t get paid a single dollar from the Boilermakers union to make my wages. I make my money as a rank and file union member. I go out and make my money as a mechanic, and this is more than once you’ve tried to make me out as a salaried officer of the Boilermakers union. I’m not. And, I don’t really stand to gain from large office or apartment buildings going up in Philadelphia, either. I’m sticking to facts and merely pointing out your logical fallacies. You dislike this because you’re being shown as ignorant with more than your share of arrogance.
          So, it stands to ask why you are being so willfully deceptive? I’m a proponent of single payer health care for the US. The differences between you and I is that I understand that it isn’t doctors fees that make up a majority of the costs for health care, overall. I’ve pointed to other factors that make up as much, or more, than just the doctors’ fees for services.
          And again, the studies showing how lowering construction wages do not translate into lower costs for building gets passed by you again. If you have evidence to refute the studies I’ve provided, have at it. But we both know you’ll sidestep it again.

        • Ed H. says:

          Afraid to analyze the separate reasons for Boyle’s two endorsements? Why Jon? Shouldn’t that be a part of your analysis?

          • Jon Geeting says:

            I’m sure all the different interest groups who make up the Philadelphia political machine have slightly different reasons for liking Boyle. I’m not especially interested in what they are. The thing that matters is that everyone rallying around Boyle was entirely predictable once Brady made up his mind, in concert with Doc and Gillespie and other union leaders.

        • Ed H. says:

          And, btw, what you call well known isn’t to anyone who follows Philadelphia politics. Because, all too often, the two men have been publicly opposed to the others’ views. So, if they don’t agree all the time, and that’s publicly known, can you point to even one shred of evidence for your made up story about them colluding on the Boyle endorsement, even though it was for two very different reasons? Any evidence at all, except your wild guess. A news report, or an eyewitness account from a credible source, or something a newspaper would print. Not this conspiracy theorizing crap from you.

    • Ed H. says:

      What date and location did John Dougherty and Bob Brady coordinate their endorsement of Boyle for Congress? And who else was there? And how did they get other unions to endorse that way, too? Put up, or shut up Jon. You have a habit of running from issues when challenged, and yet can’t support your words.

      • Colleen Kennedy says:

        Ed, I just want to thank you for commenting on everything all the time. Every time you do, the site earns money in ad revenue. You must really love Jon a lot to be so committed to the cause.

        • Ed H. says:

          As you we’ll know, Colleen, I’ve been after Jon to fess up and come clean, because I’d rather guys like him leave the lying to the conservatives. Jon obviously disagrees. It takes integrity to admit a mistake, and this far, Jon’s response is to try to cover it with more misdirection. Jake Sternberger is the polar opposite of Jon. Jake sticks to facts and doesn’t make dumb mistakes of getting caught making up stories from whole cloth. So if any ad money is generated from me, I hope Jake benefits, as well as you.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        Again, just my analysis. I don’t have the goods on meeting times and locations obviously. But Brady and Doc are joined at the hip and make these decisions together most of the time. That’s well-known.

  8. Ed H. says:

    Does it bother you when your own words keep discrediting you, Jon? LOL! You don’t knew where or when Doc and Bfrady talked it out. You just admitted you don’t care why there were two very different reasons for the endorsement, then you throw in the BCTD’s Gillespie into the mix. What day and time was he in on the meetings, Jon? And what’s your source? And you do know that individual unions do not have to follow the same endorsements as given out by any of those three people you’ve named?
    Then, to top it off, you’ve been totally pwned on construction industry economics.
    Is there anything you can provide analysis on that can be verified, or shown to not be made up by you?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Again, show me where I claimed to be reporting any new information. What KP readers need to know, in a broad sense, if they don’t follow Philly politics, is that the Brady/Building Trades nexus is all basically one borg. That is Bob Brady’s political base. That’s not to say they agree 100% of the time, but that is who calls the shots in the city political machine, and you can be damn sure that if Brady-affiliated unions are all endorsing the same candidates as Brady then this was coordinated beforehand. I know enough about political parties to know that decisions are made between office-holders and interest groups and activists, and that the office-holder model that says decisions come from the politician on down is wrong. It is the team effort. There’s not always perfect agreement on everything, but the building trades and Bob Brady are constantly acting to reinforce one another’s interests because that relationship preserves the current power dynamics in the city. It’s not a “conspiracy theory” and there’s nothing wrong with it. Unless you want some different groups to have more political power and the building trades to have less, in which case you have to vote against Brady-backed candidates in primaries.