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Old 11-05-2004, 03:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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America in Debt

I made a thread yesterday, admittedly I was a bit hard on Bush but I felt I needed to express my views on him. I was disappointed with the election result, if not for America, for the world. I am European, and of course you will tell me that I am just another outsider pressuring America. I still don't see why my thread got erased. I hope this one won't.

I'd just like to put out some interesting info on American National Debt, that has risen in the past years to being the country with the greatest debt in the world:

The day after he won, Bush decided it's necessary to raise the American Debt Ceiling:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...h/debt_ceiling

Some facts on the amount that is already owed (USA is the last entry):

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/.../2187rank.html

How much is being spent daily:

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/


Hope that helps.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This thread is a much better start than your original thread. Thank you. It is always possible to express one's opinion without implying those who disagree are ignorant.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you really have to remember that deficate spending is not neccisarily a bad thing. what you also have to look at is the american view, i want everything and i will risk everything to get it. this is very well reflected in our governmentwe spend a lot in order to have a lot. i do have to say that the levels we are at right now are very dangerous and i really want to see most of the centeral government destroyed in order to pay off this debt. we need to take back the role of washington to the times of Teddy Roosevelt and stick closer to the constitution. a very close union of states is where i am aiming not a giant country that we have right now
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Old 11-05-2004, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There are 2 aspects to a GOVERNMENT's deficit spending:

1) Who is buying the bonds, treasury bills and so on. If it is the citizenry then you have faith in the government and deficit spending won't be much of a problem. However, if you have what we are experiencing you have a major problem. What we are seeing is our debt being bought up very fast by foreign countries. In and of itself this can create problems because the interest earned on the bonds and so on is exiting our economy and going into foreign coffers. The greatest worry is that when a foreign government buys these commodities and if our treasury cannot repay the debt then the foreign countries can come in and collect collateral.

2) If the debt becomes a true burden then you have a serious problem because the first thing most people will want to do is increase the money being printed. That is what happens to countries like Argentina. Your treasury prints up money to pay the bills BUT the value of your money freefalls, inflation skyrockets and you're in worse shape then ever. That was a problem Carter faced, and why his economy was so desolate.

Now, you add trade deficit (private debt) onto the government deficit and you are walking a fine edge. What we are seeing is China among other countries building up a HUGE ownership of the private debt also. Now you have a 2 headed monster to fight with. The only saving grace is that a country like China has so much invested in us they lose their economy if we default. However, they can always start cashing in and taking what they can get.

As I said in a previous posting, the economy and problems with it are in such a mess and we owe other countries so much that we are going to have to either reform the government (which means some states may secede) or we go into default, wipe off all debt and start over. Neither is very palatable and neither is very likely but with countries becoming more and more independant of our economy there are some serious issues we better be looking at.
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is very long, but deserves to be seen

THE INESCAPABLE POLITICAL TRUTH

From the title of this newsletter you can sense I've got something
important on my mind this month, and it has to do with subjects not being
discussed by ANYONE running for President or Congress. While the subject
is critical to this country's future, politicians have been trained by
voters to not mention these things or they will be quickly voted out of
office. The United States is barreling toward a financial crisis that has
every chance of rivaling the 1930's Great Depression and every American in
their hearts knows the story I will lay out for you is true. What is
becoming more and more sad to me is this could have been addressed many
years ago and the severity of the upcoming train wreck could have been
drastically reduced. Now the situation has reached a critical mass and is
unavoidable, yet the politicians aren't even suggesting you should be
fastening your seat belts before the impact of this runaway train against
the immovable future. Do I have your attention now? Good. So please
remember who reminded you to fasten your own personal seatbelt and might
have potentially saved your economic life.

Also, please be aware that although I am obviously outlining the situation
and circumstances for the United States, there is the substantially similar
situation in place for most of Europe, Japan and even China. I referenced
in a newsletter earlier this year how grossly under funded the Chinese
Social Security program was and how Japan is aging even faster than most
western countries, so there are many governments out there facing
difficult choices in the future. Not just the U.S. Many of the European
governments have already begun addressing the aging of their populations
through higher taxes and managed healthcare. The size of the U.S. problem
and looming retirement of the largest segment of people in the country has
set up the following series of unavoidable events.

Beginning sometime around 2008, and worsening further and further for the
next decade, Americans will see the following:

--Massive increases in Federal, State and local taxes.

--Substantial cuts made to their Social Security and Medicare.

--Substantial cuts made to their government pensions and retirement health
benefits.

--A bitter and volatile generational war pitting the "Greatest Generation"
of World War II paired with the "Baby Boomers" against "Generations X and
Y".

For a change, these are not any sort of predications being made by me.
These are absolute facts of life and backed up by an army of people who
know the details of the situation far better than I do. Consider this
quote by David Walker, who is Comptroller General of the United States and
is employed by the government as its chief accountant:

"I am desperately trying to get people to understand the significance of
this for our country, our children and our grandchildren. How this is
resolved could affect not only our economic security but also our national
security. We're heading to a future where we'll have to double federal
taxes or cut federal spending by 50%."

Every single year the Social Security and Medicare trustees tell the
Congress the awful truth, which is that they have absolutely no way to pay
for their programs even if the economy were to reach levels of prosperity
never seen before.

The Congressional Budget Office updates the Congress constantly about the
level of the liabilities being bourn by the government, and the
politicians listen to the reports and mention nothing of them on the
campaign trail.

So here are some of the numbers that the trustees and the CBO share with
Congress that you might have never heard before. In trillions of dollars,
here is the list of liabilities carried by the United States Government and
local governments:

--$4.2 trillion of Federal borrowing

--$3.9 trillion of Federal and military pensions

--$30.0 trillion in Medicare benefits

--$12.7 trillion in Social Security benefits

--$0.2 trillion in misc. Federal obligations

--$2.0 trillion in State and local debt

The total of all these liabilities is 53 trillion dollars. I apologize in
advance for pointing out what may be obvious to some, but perhaps not
crystal clear to others. I want people to remember that the fact that
these are being referred to as "liabilities" is because they are in effect
debts owed by the government. These liabilities have not been funded in
any way, shape or form and will need to be repaid by taxpayers in the
future and that future is now only a few short years away.

USA Today ran a terrific headline that I thought captured the heart of the
matter in a very succinct way. In a very large, red font it showed these
two numbers:

--$85,454 is the average household's personal debt

--$473,456 is the average household's share of this $53 trillion of
liabilities

One other elementary thing I want to also remind you of is that the $53
trillion is how much the liability is right NOW!! Not how much these
liabilities are going to cost over their lifetime. If the government were
required to fund these liabilities the way a corporation would be required
to, the government would need to put away RIGHT NOW the $53 trillion so
that there will be the money available to pay for these programs in the
future.

If you don't keep track of these numbers on a regular basis, the U.S.
government collected a grand total of $3 trillion in taxes in 2003. This
fact causes you to wonder where in the heck the government is ever going
to put together the money to back up these programs. Well, clearly, they
are not going to be able to do that. So what are they going to do
instead?

Here is where things become somewhat imprecise since all the choices that
will be open to politicians are horrible. If the new crew of elected
official who will take office for the year 2005 wanted to step up and
actually fix the situation immediately, here are two solutions that would
render the problem fixed:

--They would have to immediately double all federal taxes beginning
immediately in the 2005 tax year and make these increases permanent. All
state and local taxes would also need to be increased by 20% immediately
in the 2005 tax year and made permanent also.

--Or they could simply reduce all Social Security, Medicare and government
pension payments immediately and permanently by 50%. The average Social
Security check would drop from the current $1,500 monthly to $750
immediately. A government military pension monthly payment would be
instantly cut from the current $1,782 to about $891. And Medicare
spending would be reduced from an average of $7,500 per person to $3,750
for senior citizens. Also, the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan
that passed last year will need to be cancelled.

Obviously the politicians could also blend the two solutions in whichever
way resolves the pending implosion of the situation.

If your gut reaction to reading what I have written so far is that you
cannot imagine politicians doing ANYTHING to fix this crisis, then the day
of reckoning only becomes darker and more gloomy.

And before you go blaming this situation on George Bush or any of the
current crop of politicians, don't bother. This problem has been in
making for the past 60 years and no one has stepped up in any earnest way
during that timeframe to offer solutions. Of course, the current office
holders haven't done anything to make progress toward answers, but I
resist making any John Kerry type of blaming which would likely lay this
whole mess at the feet of Bush. Given that Kerry has spent almost 20
years in the U.S. Senate compared to Bush's three and half years, and has
voted for nothing but benefit increases for all these programs he would be
well advised to keep his mouth shut regarding this issue.

So how did we end up in this horrible jam? Well, simply, the World War II
generation and Baby Boomers have granted themselves all sorts of wonderful
retirement benefits and have contributed very little toward financing
them; basically leaving the bill for their children and grandchildren. I
liken it to someone inviting you out for a wonderful meal, stuffing
themselves like gluttonous pigs and then sticking you with the check. One
can only figure there might end up being some lingering resentment and
anger as the government pins this tab on Generations X and Y who I would
suspect might be reluctant to pay for all this nonsense, and who could
blame them? This is where the generational warfare might begin sometime
no later than 2015 I figure.

I wish there was some "silver lining" to this whole fiasco, but I cannot
imagine one and neither can you. All outcomes are gut wrenching and ugly
and all we can be certain of is that it will take a crisis mentality for
the politicians to get off their rump and do something about, and that
crisis is not probable but guaranteed.

It was not my wish to bum anyone out, or set a negative tone for your day.
Anyone reading this already knew that the system was broken, and the
younger the person, the more likely they weren't counting on ever getting
their Social Security. If Americans want to ensure a comfortable old age,
they will need to abandon their consumerism and embrace dedicated savings
for their future as well as watching their own levels of debt. Readers of
this hideous newsletter count on me being honest with them and that is what
I am attempting to do when I don't hear a single politician sounding an
alarm. I won't be the government who pees on your leg and then tries to
convince you it's raining. Nope. This time the government is just plain
peeing on your leg.

By Mike Gasior



We all need to stop looking for people to blame (there are plenty to go around), and face some harsh decisions.

If you want to blame Bush fine, but it will take more than one Prsident to fix this problem. It will take a strong stomach and a lot of time.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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ah, its only money.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
you really have to remember that deficate spending is not neccisarily a bad thing.
Can you please explain this argument to my bank manager, he tends not to agree with me on this !
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc101
Can you please explain this argument to my bank manager, he tends not to agree with me on this !

Bingo. It's amazing. If I engage in deficit spending, I go bankrupt. If you engage in deficit spending, you go bankrupt. If a corporation engages in deficit spending, it goes bankrupt. When the USSR engaged in deficit spending, it went bankrupt.

But somehow, with republicans stirring the american financial witches cauldron, dashing in a good sprinkle of voodoo economics, deficit spending is a good thing.

Like I said. Amazing.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warf Rat
THE INESCAPABLE POLITICAL TRUTH

Beginning sometime around 2008, and worsening further and further for the
next decade, Americans will see the following:

--Massive increases in Federal, State and local taxes.

--Substantial cuts made to their Social Security and Medicare.

--Substantial cuts made to their government pensions and retirement health
benefits.

--A bitter and volatile generational war pitting the "Greatest Generation"
of World War II paired with the "Baby Boomers" against "Generations X and
Y".
While I disagree with your projected timetable, I certainly agree with a great deal of the above. (Thanks for posting it.)

1. I'm a boomer, and I don't see us being aligned with the "Greatest Generation." I see everyone else telling me that I'm not entitled to SS benefits, because I've been saving for my retirement. Two arguments will be that "I'm greedy," and "I don't need it," because there will be so many people who haven't saved jack shit for retirement, and they are entitled to my contributions. Of course, their lack of planning won't be THEIR fault.

I also make it a point to correct people who claim that Clinton "balanced the budget." I ask them why the national debt increased anyway. The answer, as I'm sure you know, is that the SS surplus was raided. You know, the one that Jimmy Carter promised us would keep SS solvent.

Not that the Republicans are any better about raiding it.


Quote:
So here are some of the numbers that the trustees and the CBO share with Congress that you might have never heard before. In trillions of dollars, here is the list of liabilities carried by the United States Government and local governments:

--$4.2 trillion of Federal borrowing

--$3.9 trillion of Federal and military pensions

--$30.0 trillion in Medicare benefits

--$12.7 trillion in Social Security benefits

--$0.2 trillion in misc. Federal obligations

--$2.0 trillion in State and local debt

The total of all these liabilities is 53 trillion dollars. I apologize in
advance for pointing out what may be obvious to some, but perhaps not
crystal clear to others. I want people to remember that the fact that
these are being referred to as "liabilities" is because they are in effect
debts owed by the government. These liabilities have not been funded in
any way, shape or form and will need to be repaid by taxpayers in the
future and that future is now only a few short years away.
Scary, but true.

Quote:
here are two solutions that would render the problem fixed:

--They would have to immediately double all federal taxes beginning
immediately in the 2005 tax year and make these increases permanent. All
state and local taxes would also need to be increased by 20% immediately
in the 2005 tax year and made permanent also.

--Or they could simply reduce all Social Security, Medicare and government
pension payments immediately and permanently by 50%. The average Social
Security check would drop from the current $1,500 monthly to $750
immediately. A government military pension monthly payment would be
instantly cut from the current $1,782 to about $891. And Medicare
spending would be reduced from an average of $7,500 per person to $3,750
for senior citizens. Also, the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan
that passed last year will need to be cancelled.

Obviously the politicians could also blend the two solutions in whichever
way resolves the pending implosion of the situation.
I think a precursor to these moves will be to print a shitload of money. If you can lock in a low-interest loan, you'd sure better do it soon.

Owning tangibles instead of cash or cash equivalents would be a good thing, too. The current real estate boom may be the first harbinger of what you describe.

Quote:
And before you go blaming this situation on George Bush or any of the
current crop of politicians, don't bother. This problem has been in
making for the past 60 years and no one has stepped up in any earnest way
during that timeframe to offer solutions. Of course, the current office
holders haven't done anything to make progress toward answers, but I
resist making any John Kerry type of blaming which would likely lay this
whole mess at the feet of Bush. Given that Kerry has spent almost 20
years in the U.S. Senate compared to Bush's three and half years, and has
voted for nothing but benefit increases for all these programs he would be
well advised to keep his mouth shut regarding this issue.
Thank you. A saying I frequently use is that both parties are sending us to hell, but the Democrats would get us there much faster.

Quote:
So how did we end up in this horrible jam? Well, simply, the World War II
generation and Baby Boomers have granted themselves all sorts of wonderful
retirement benefits and have contributed very little toward financing
them; basically leaving the bill for their children and grandchildren. I
liken it to someone inviting you out for a wonderful meal, stuffing
themselves like gluttonous pigs and then sticking you with the check. One
can only figure there might end up being some lingering resentment and
anger as the government pins this tab on Generations X and Y who I would
suspect might be reluctant to pay for all this nonsense, and who could
blame them? This is where the generational warfare might begin sometime
no later than 2015 I figure.
I differ with the above, because boomers are just beginning to collect SS. I won't get it for another 17 years, at which time I'll be told either I don't need it, or it isn't there.

I assume you've seen the figures that when SS was begun, there were 15 workers for every recipient; now it's 5 to one, and in a few years, it will be 3 to 2.

That's why I consider FDR to be the worst thief in history. He instituted a system that robbed four or five generations (maybe a lot more) to coddle ONE generation.

It's also why I favor the Founding Fathers' idea of government, instead of the concept (which has never worked anywhere) of government handling everything.

Last edited by sob; 11-07-2004 at 01:33 PM.. Reason: Accuracy
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Bingo. It's amazing. If I engage in deficit spending, I go bankrupt. If you engage in deficit spending, you go bankrupt. If a corporation engages in deficit spending, it goes bankrupt. When the USSR engaged in deficit spending, it went bankrupt.

But somehow, with republicans stirring the american financial witches cauldron, dashing in a good sprinkle of voodoo economics, deficit spending is a good thing.

Like I said. Amazing.
What's amazing is that you blame only Republicans. According to CBO figures, 7 out of the 8 Reagan budgets would have been balanced if the Democrat-controlled Congress had been able to limit spending increases to 5%.

By the way, I dislike deficit spending in general. However, without it, we'd either speak German or Japanese, and we would have no interstate highway system.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
What's amazing is that you blame only Republicans. According to CBO figures, 7 out of the 8 Reagan budgets would have been balanced if the Democrat-controlled Congress had been able to limit spending increases to 5%.

By the way, I dislike deficit spending in general. However, without it, we'd either speak German or Japanese, and we would have no interstate highway system.
I blame the republicans because they're the ones pushing lower taxes with increased spending. They're the ones pushing trickledown economics which, aside from being appallingly elitist, is an ill-conceived economic theory which is doomed to failure before it's even put into practice.
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
I blame the republicans because they're the ones pushing lower taxes with increased spending. They're the ones pushing trickledown economics which, aside from being appallingly elitist, is an ill-conceived economic theory which is doomed to failure before it's even put into practice.
Your opinion is contradictory to the economic boom triggered by the Reagan tax cuts.

As was glaringly obvious both countrywide and in California recently, increasing taxes doesn't increase tax receipts. A healthy business climate does, and I challenge you to find one that was created by a tax hike.

Furthermore, a "soak the rich" policy introduces huge swings in tax receipts. If 10% of the people pay 50% of taxes, it only takes a relatively small business downturn to throw a state, or a country, into massive red ink.

So if you dislike deficit spending, you'd better start supporting a more business-friendly climate.

Otherwise, you can count on a lot more outsourcing. Like, for example, the Heinz company, which outsources at a rate of 60% or so.
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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60% is pretty good for an international company.....I would think.
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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America is in a massive financial crisis. If China and Japan ever decide to reduce the rate at which they are buying up bonds, or even decide to cash out, God forbid...

Of course, this is a problem that requires more than 3 sentences of explanation, so the American public would never understand it (left and right, by the way: we're all dumbasses). Its like the saying goes, nobody ever went bankrupt underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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America can slay its deficit monster, but it takes courage.

Real political courage and that seems to be sadly lacking.

I point to Canada's current Prime Minister - Mr. Paul Martin as a guy who knew how to slay the deficit dragon.

For years the federal government of Canada had been borrowing more and more money every year. It started small and grew and grew until finally under the Conservative Brian Mulroney, it became an art form.

Then along comes Paul Martin, then finance minister under Chretien.

He made some tough choices, he raised taxes, and cut services. In a few years of rather large cuts, he had balanced the budget.

Now, Canada is the only G-7 nation that has had a balanced budget for 7 years in a row. In fact, we have been running surpluses which Martin has wisely used to pay down the debt from 68% of GDP to now around 40%.

Americans might not like it, but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

As much as you might hate it, you should look at implementing a national sales tax to apply towards the deficit.

You aren't going to have much choice really.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Your opinion is contradictory to the economic boom triggered by the Reagan tax cuts.

And yours is right in line with the republican "economists" who put their hands over their eyes and claim that since they can't see the economy crumbling, it must not be.

Sure, there was an economic boom after the Reagan tax cuts. There's an economic boom after just about ANY tax cut. The problem is that people buying TV's does not increase the money the GOVERNMENT is getting.

If the GOVERNMENT reduces the amount of money the GOVERNMENT is getting while at the same time increases the amount of money the GOVERNMENT is spending, then the GOVERNMENT will go broke.



The economic boom created by Reaganomics was not sustainable, and that's why it was collapsing when Bush left office.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james t kirk

As much as you might hate it, you should look at implementing a national sales tax to apply towards the deficit.

You aren't going to have much choice really.
The main problem I see with your proposal is that I don't believe there has ever been an instance of our government doing anything other than increasing spending, when they had more money to spend.

Congratulations--I was unaware that Canada had set such an example. I wish we'd follow it.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Sure, there was an economic boom after the Reagan tax cuts. There's an economic boom after just about ANY tax cut.
What does that tell you?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
The problem is that people buying TV's does not increase the money the GOVERNMENT is getting.
First, I wouldn't consider that a problem. Second, why don't you consider increased payroll tax receipts (in stores, since I don't think there's an American-made TV anymore) and increased sales tax as money that goes to the government?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
If the GOVERNMENT reduces the amount of money the GOVERNMENT is getting while at the same time increases the amount of money the GOVERNMENT is spending, then the GOVERNMENT will go broke.
Solution: Government spends less. Great place to start: Get rid of Robert Byrd, the undisputed king of pork.

However, your premise is flawed, because Reagan's tax cuts increased government income. It's not a zero-sum game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
The economic boom created by Reaganomics was not sustainable, and that's why it was collapsing when Bush left office.
Sorry, CBO figures confirm that Clinton inherited an improving economy. That's one of the few times I've seen Democrats act consistently--they give Clinton credit for a recovery that started before he was president, and give Bush the blame for a recession that started before HE was president.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
60% is pretty good for an international company.....I would think.
That's not what Kerry said during the campaign. Outsourcing was EVIL.

BTW, one of my favorite parts of the debates was John Edwards decrying Bush's "outsourcing," and in the same debate, he advocated buying drugs from Canada, "where they're cheaper."
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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OK sob, let's make this real simple:

1) the "fiscal conservatives" have yet to show that they're fiscally conservative. Reagan and both Bush's were more than happy to cut funding for social programs, safety programs, and infrastructure programs, and shift all that funding, and then some, to the military. That's not fiscally conservative.

2) In less than 4 years Bush has spent more than Clinton spent in 8.

3) Clinton left office with no deficit and a surplus. Bush reversed that almost before we knew what was happening.

4) Seeing that we were running a deficit again, and therefore out of money, Bush immediately reacted by cutting taxes. He did not, however, cut spending. Care to explain how that's smart?


As to your echoing the republican call for smaller government, that's really old and tired, especially since it's a load of total horseshit. They don't want smaller government. They want big government in different areas - namely the military - and they're willing to sacrifice public wellfare programs (meat inspection, highway repair, etc) in order to do it.


Reagan and Bush tried this dumbassed economic plan for 12 years and it tanked. Now Bush is trying it again. Republicans seem to like to beat their head against the same wall over and over again, and the hell of it is, people go for it every freakin' time!
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Shakran, let me head off the Republican onslaught by saying Clinton's war was much smaller than Bush's war, which might explain why Bush has spent so much more. Note I said explain, not justify. Otherwise, you are on target. Keep it up.

sob: "Government spends less" is a great idea. Let's start with not hurling great wads of cash down the hole of an unwinnable war. Then let's augment that plan with "Government earns more" by raising taxes, particularly on those who can most afford to help the country.

I'd honestly be pleasantly surprised to see the Republican economic plan to actually work, but I really can't see how it will.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
Shakran, let me head off the Republican onslaught by saying Clinton's war was much smaller than Bush's war, which might explain why Bush has spent so much more. Note I said explain, not justify. Otherwise, you are on target. Keep it up.
Correct on both counts - it does explain it, and it does not justify it. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. The economic impact is about number 5 on my list of why we shouldn't have gone there - that list being topped by the number of soldiers who have died and been maimed for nothing.


Quote:
sob: "Government spends less" is a great idea. Let's start with not hurling great wads of cash down the hole of an unwinnable war. Then let's augment that plan with "Government earns more" by raising taxes, particularly on those who can most afford to help the country.
And let's not forget the tax breaks for corporations who export jobs overseas. That's a double impact because not only is the government losing tax revenue, but it's also removing jobs. Of course, this administration cares not a whit for that because the jobs that are being lost belong to the poor and middle class, and killing their jobs is OK because it will further enrich their already filthy rich base.

Add that to the fact that this "boom" is simply not sustainable over the long term and you have a recipe for disaster that Bush is greedily baking in his kitchen of delusion. (how's that for a cheesy metaphor? )

Quote:
I'd honestly be pleasantly surprised to see the Republican economic plan to actually work, but I really can't see how it will.
Likewise, but you're right. As I said before, they had 12 years to try it, and it not only didn't work, but it failed spectacularly. You would think they would learn from the past, but then you look at this war and realize that if Vietnam is already forgotten, what's a little deficit?
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:45 AM   #23 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
OK sob, let's make this real simple:

1) the "fiscal conservatives" have yet to show that they're fiscally conservative. Reagan and both Bush's were more than happy to cut funding for social programs, safety programs, and infrastructure programs, and shift all that funding, and then some, to the military. That's not fiscally conservative.
Simple, all right. Simply wrong.

It was pretty easy for Clinton to cut the military after Reagan ended the cold war. Especially when Clinton did NOTHING about the threat of terrorism. You're very fond of ignoring the enormous expenses generated by 9/11.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
3) Clinton left office with no deficit and a surplus.
Besides being essentially redundant, that's untrue. Have you taken a look at what the national debt did under Clinton? He raided SS just like everyone else.

And if you're giving him credit for all that, why haven't you given him the blame for the stock market crash, which occurred on his watch, and was the REAL reason the deficit returned?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
4) Seeing that we were running a deficit again, and therefore out of money, Bush immediately reacted by cutting taxes. He did not, however, cut spending. Care to explain how that's smart?
Yes. Cutting taxes raises government income. You said it yourself, in post #16 of this thread. Right before your incorrect statement that people buying more TVs doesn't increase government income.

But I like the part about cutting spending. You're very fond of saying we should cut military spending. How about cutting money to people who don't work? I've been putting up with that for years but that's okay with people such as you. Can you explain to me the justification for taking money from one citizen to give it to another? How about if we do it with your money, not mine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
As to your echoing the republican call for smaller government, that's really old and tired, especially since it's a load of total horseshit. They don't want smaller government. They want big government in different areas - namely the military - and they're willing to sacrifice public wellfare programs (meat inspection, highway repair, etc) in order to do it.
The problems you mention have been dogging us for a lot longer than four years, and they weren't fixed when Democrats were in power. The Democrats seem to operate on the principle that if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul's vote.

And they're willing to import voters to do it, even if it means letting criminals and terrorists into the country. How economically sound is that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Reagan and Bush tried this dumbassed economic plan for 12 years and it tanked. Now Bush is trying it again. Republicans seem to like to beat their head against the same wall over and over again, and the hell of it is, people go for it every freakin' time!
Yes, they seem to be fooled by those economic booms every time.
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Simple, all right. Simply wrong.

It was pretty easy for Clinton to cut the military after Reagan ended the cold war. Especially when Clinton did NOTHING about the threat of terrorism. You're very fond of ignoring the enormous expenses generated by 9/11.
I'm not an idiot. I know there were expenses generated by 9/11. I also know that a great many more dollars were spent elsewhere than on 9/11 cleanup.

BTW, Reagan did not win the cold war. The USSR went bankrupt - Reagan got lucky. If anyone won the cold war it was bin Laden because he drove them to bankruptcy because they were stupid enough to dick around in the middle east. . . oh wait, that's what we're doing now, isn't it.




Quote:
Besides being essentially redundant, that's untrue. Have you taken a look at what the national debt did under Clinton? He raided SS just like everyone else.
There is a difference between deficit and debt. If you don't know that basic fact, then you need to study more before you are qualified to discuss the economy.

Quote:
And if you're giving him credit for all that, why haven't you given him the blame for the stock market crash, which occurred on his watch, and was the REAL reason the deficit returned?
because it wasn't the real reason the deficit returned. Bush's out of control spending was the reason the deficit returned.



Quote:
Yes. Cutting taxes raises government income. You said it yourself, in post #16 of this thread.
Uh, no I didn't. Let's work on reading posts correctly right after we work on economics 101. Cutting taxes reduces government income. Trickledown theory says it will increase it in the long run, but trickledown theory is wrong. It makes assumptions about human nature that are simply untrue.


Quote:
But I like the part about cutting spending. You're very fond of saying we should cut military spending. How about cutting money to people who don't work? I've been putting up with that for years but that's okay with people such as you. Can you explain to me the justification for taking money from one citizen to give it to another? How about if we do it with your money, not mine?
We are doing it with my money. And once again you're taking the tactic of assuming that because I agree with the democrats on one point, I must agree with them on every point. I don't like the way wellfare works now either.



Quote:
The problems you mention have been dogging us for a lot longer than four years, and they weren't fixed when Democrats were in power. The Democrats seem to operate on the principle that if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul's vote.
How is cutting taxes on the rich while expecting the poor and middle class to shoulder the tax burden NOT robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Quote:
And they're willing to import voters to do it, even if it means letting criminals and terrorists into the country. How economically sound is that?
What the hell are you talking about? I have never heard a democrat advocate inviting terrorists into the country. Would you care to cite a source? Hint: Marvel Comics does not count.
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:43 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
What the hell are you talking about? I have never heard a democrat advocate inviting terrorists into the country. Would you care to cite a source? Hint: Marvel Comics does not count.
All I can say is the president most lack about Mexican illegal immigration in the last 30 years, I believe has been W. He has also offered immunity and asylum and all kinds of goodies to them. While the big companies hire them and pay them peanuts (Smucker's, Wal*Mart, etc.).
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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We keep voting the professional polititians into office both Democrat and Republican because they are generally giving us what we want. Both parties get our votes by promising and delivering bigger government to solve our problems. It does not help that we blame one party or the other when the problem is us.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
We keep voting the professional polititians into office both Democrat and Republican because they are generally giving us what we want. Both parties get our votes by promising and delivering bigger government to solve our problems. It does not help that we blame one party or the other when the problem is us.
DING DING DING!!
This hits the problem right on the nose. Ultimately the blame rests on our shoulders.
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:13 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I fail to see this as a partisan issue at all. I cannot remember either party ever showing anything resembling fiscal restraint. ANY political party would bend over backward to buy your votes, they do this by giving you federal cash, wellfare, medicaid, SS etc. If you find a candidate willing to stand up and honestly say that they want to repeal/reform/cut back any of these money-pits, I can gaurantee you he's not republican or democrat. I can also promise his third-party ass ain't getting elected in this country. On a national level at least.

Screw the 3000 pound gorilla, the debt in this country since good old Adams started that first sinking fund is the 30 million pound, spirit crushin', gorilla eating dinosaur with lasers attached to its friggin head.

-fibber
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
I'm not an idiot. I know there were expenses generated by 9/11. I also know that a great many more dollars were spent elsewhere than on 9/11 cleanup.

BTW, Reagan did not win the cold war. The USSR went bankrupt - Reagan got lucky.

If anyone won the cold war it was bin Laden because he drove them to bankruptcy because they were stupid enough to dick around in the middle east. . . oh wait, that's what we're doing now, isn't it.
You were so close. Of course they went bankrupt, and Reagan was the president who drove them into bankruptcy.

Oh, and their socialist form of government helped greatly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
There is a difference between deficit and debt. If you don't know that basic fact, then you need to study more before you are qualified to discuss the economy.
In the context in which I mentioned it, you're making a distinction without a
difference. If you still don't comprehend, here's a quote from Washington Post business columnist John Crudele, written at the time of the "balanced budget" claims. (He doesn't agree with you.)
================================================================================
All right, here I go again trying to explain how our elected officials in
Washington are perpetrating a fraud by proclaiming that there is a budget
surplus.
Over the past year, the federal deficit - which is money owed by our government -
rose from $5.486 trillion to $5.618 trillion. Those are government numbers right out of Barron's.
That means the federal debt climbed by $132 billion. Which means the federal
budget DEFICIT last year was $132 billion. There was no surplus of $70 billion,
or any other amount, as Washington is claiming.
When the economy weakens - as it always does - the true deficit numbers will increase.

=================================================================================


[QUOTE=sob]
Yes. Cutting taxes raises government income. You said it yourself, in post #16 of

this thread.[ QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
Uh, no I ddn't. Let's work on reading posts correctly right after we work on
economics 101.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakran, post #16
There's an economic boom after just about ANY tax cut.
So your position is that an economic boom DOESN'T increase government income?

Talk about Economics 101!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
How is cutting taxes on the rich while expecting the poor and middle class to shoulder the tax burden NOT robbing Peter to pay Paul?
I'll make it easy for you (and no, I'm not claiming I wrote this):

Suppose that every day, ten men go to dinner. The bill for all 10 comes to
$100. If we paid it the way we pay our taxes, the first four men would pay
nothing, the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7,
the eighth $12, and the ninth $18. The tenth man, the richest, would pay $59.

The ten men ate dinner every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement until the owner threw them a curve. Because you are all such good customers, he said, I am going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.

Now, dinner for the ten men cost only $80.
The first four were unaffected. They still eat for free. Can you figure
out how to divvy up the $20 savings among the remaining six so that everyone gets his fair share? The men realize that $20 divided by 6 is $3.33, but if they subtract that from everybody's share, then the fifth and sixth man would end up being paid to eat their meal.

The restaurant owner suggested it would be fair to reduce each man's bill
by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $52. Outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man, pointing to the
tenth, "and he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.
It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"

"That's true," shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I
got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks."

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at
all. The system exploits the poor."

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he
didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short.

And that is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table next time.

Also called "offshoring."

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
What the hell are you talking about? I have never heard a
democrat advocate inviting terrorists into the country. Would you care to cite a source? Hint: Marvel Comics does not count.
Well, then you'll have to struggle through this without any pictures to help you.

The 684-page INS inspector general report was released with little fanfare during a congressional hearing in September 2001. Its most stunning allegation -- that the Clinton-Gore White House had hijacked the INS for partisan political purposes in what amounted to massive voter fraud -- never emerged as a campaign issue until after election day, when it became evident that Al Gore owed his near-victory in Florida to hundreds of thousands of newly-minted citizens in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

According to the IG report, many of those new voters should never have been
granted citizenship.

Some were convicted felons. Others had overstayed tourist visas and were working illegally. Close to 200,000 never underwent any background check, so INS does not know to this day whether they were eligible for citizenship. Few passed an English language and citizenship test worthy of the name. Some could not understand their own swearing-in, because the ceremony was conducted in English.

The investigation into INS shenanigans began with a May 1996 report in the
Washington Times about an INS whistleblower who criticized the acceleration of the naturalization process under Clinton-Gore. It quoted other INS employees who revealed the existence of a program known as Citizenship USA, and questioned the motives behind it.

Citizenship USA was an initiative of Vice President Al Gore that was ostensibly
part of his National Performance Review to "reinvent" government. Internal White House memos, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee in 1997, showed that the vice president was well aware that the effort could be perceived as a "pro-Democrat voter mill."

On March 28, 1996, White House aide Doug Farbrother e-mailed Gore detailing his efforts to get INS to waive fingerprinting and background checks "to make me confident they could produce a million new citizens before Election Day."

Gore then wrote Clinton: "You asked us to expedite the naturalization of nearly a million legal aliens who have applied to become citizens." The risk, Gore warned, was that "we might be publicly criticized for running a pro-Democrat voter mill and even risk having Congress stop us."

Congress did complain -- but only after the election.

In response to those complaints, the Joint Management Division of the Department of Justice hired KPMG Peat Marwick to review the Citizenship USA program, which ran from Aug. 31, 1995 through Sept. 30, 1996. They found that of the 1,049,867 aliens naturalized under the program, INS never did fingerprint checks on 180,000 persons.

"Applicants who were ineligible because of criminal records, or because they
fraudulently obtained green cards, were granted citizenship because the INS was moving too fast to check their records," says Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who chaired the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the IG report last September.

In addition to those 180,000, Smith said, "more than 80,000 aliens had
fingerprint checks that generated criminal records, but they were naturalized
anyway."

The initial review by KPMG Peat Marwick led to a temporary slowdown in the
numbers of new citizens. But not for long.

By 1999, the numbers shot up once again, with 872,485 aliens granted citizenship, according to INS statistics made available to the Western Journalism Center. And during its final year in office, the Clinton-Gore administration used streamlined naturalization procedures to mine yet another 898,315 new citizens, just in time for voter registration deadlines last October.

INS officials said in interviews that they received 1.3 million applications
during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Some 400,000 of those applying for citizenship were rejected.

By contrast, fewer than 250,000 aliens were naturalized during FY 1992, the final year of the first Bush administration. "Naturalizations were averaging between 200,000 to 300,000 per year before then," said INS spokesperson Elaine Komis.

In other words, despite hearings in 1997 that roundly condemned the
administration's naturalization program, and promises from the INS to reform its own procedures, it was back to the Democratic voter mill -- just in time for the 2000 election.

According to the newly released inspector general's report, the latest rush of
naturalizations took place without any significant changes to the flawed
procedures that led to the abuses found during the Citizenship USA program in
1995-1996. Hundreds of thousands more persons were granted U.S. citizenship without any background checks just prior to November 2000.

In presenting his report before Lamar Smith's subcommittee on Sept. 7, Deputy Inspector General Robert L. Ashbaugh noted that repeated requests for interviews to the vice president's office had been denied. Similarly, top presidential advisers Harold Ickes and Rahm Emanuel -- identified as having played key roles in hijacking the INS for political purposes -- refused to answer questions.
========================================================
Do I need to remind you of any terrorist attacks, or the length of time OBL spent planning the WTC attacks?
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:42 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I think that the national debt is mostly to organizations/people within the US. It won't ever be like the Simpsons, where all a bunch countries will demand we pay them back. Although I could imagine banks claiming a bunch of property one day...
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:19 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob

Talk about Economics 101!



I'll make it easy for you (and no, I'm not claiming I wrote this):

Suppose that every day, ten men go to dinner. The bill for all 10 comes to
$100. If we paid it the way we pay our taxes, the first four men would pay
nothing, the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7,
the eighth $12, and the ninth $18. The tenth man, the richest, would pay $59.

The ten men ate dinner every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement until the owner threw them a curve. Because you are all such good customers, he said, I am going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.

Now, dinner for the ten men cost only $80.
The first four were unaffected. They still eat for free. Can you figure
out how to divvy up the $20 savings among the remaining six so that everyone gets his fair share? The men realize that $20 divided by 6 is $3.33, but if they subtract that from everybody's share, then the fifth and sixth man would end up being paid to eat their meal.

The restaurant owner suggested it would be fair to reduce each man's bill
by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $52. Outside the restaurant the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man, pointing to the
tenth, "and he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.
It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"

"That's true," shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I
got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks."

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at
all. The system exploits the poor."

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he
didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short.

And that is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table next time.

Also called "offshoring."
hmm, let's bring this analogy into parity with the economic situation in the US, shall we?

First, let's figure out how much eat person eats. If the tenth diner is representing the top decile of our economy, that would mean he would eat more than 9/10 of the food. But we'll make the math managable, and call it 90% even.

So he pays 52% of the bill. Strange, doesn't seem so fair anymore...

So we kick the vagabond out.

Story claims the diners are now $52 dollars short. Wait a minute, must be new math, because now his plate isn't being delivered...so the bill should be $52 dollars less.


None of this is offshoring, however. Offshoring would be more like he has all his food prepared somewhere else, but has it delivered to the table. He eats and drinks at the table with all the other guests, expects carte blanche service, and if he feels like it, he leaves a dollar for a tip.

I wonder how long any intelligent host would let such a parasite keep doing that to him...
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Old 11-13-2004, 05:00 PM   #32 (permalink)
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smooth, I think you are missing the point. As much as this analogy makes me chuckle, it's not a great one because it is really only talking about the different perceptions of the diners to the price cut. It does not make a good analogy for value of goods paid for.

In fact, the restaurant is a soup kitchen and they are only feeding the lowest income three diners because the rest can afford to buy their own food. BUT, if you live on that block, payment is mandatory whether you get to eat there or not. Oh, unless you can't afford to pay.

Unlike dinner in a restaurant, taxes aren't voluntary and neither (save thru the process of democracy) are what they pay for. As for the math, the guy who pays $52 gets nothing for his money and if he leave the country, the soup kitchen will still have the cost of three meals.

Last edited by JJRousseau; 11-13-2004 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 11-13-2004, 05:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
Loser
 
But really, the analogy is nothing more than an illusion of scale.

Even with the most exorbitant lifestyle, housing costs, food costs and other basic necessities are readily afforded by the top percentile of this country, even if their taxes were raised.

The lowest percentile, even with second or third jobs, cannot afford basic housing, food and necessity costs without social assistance.
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:13 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth
hmm, let's bring this analogy into parity with the economic situation in the US, shall we?

First, let's figure out how much eat person eats. If the tenth diner is representing the top decile of our economy, that would mean he would eat more than 9/10 of the food. But we'll make the math managable, and call it 90% even.

So he pays 52% of the bill. Strange, doesn't seem so fair anymore...
You appear to have it backwards, unless you are claiming that the top decile of our economy is the recipient of over 90% of tax receipts.

I for one do not believe that the top decile of taxpayers uses 90% of the roads, water, electricity, government-funded medical care, public schools, public transportation, clean air, military and fire protection, police, food stamps, or housing assistance, to name a few.


Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth
Story claims the diners are now $52 dollars short. Wait a minute, must be new math, because now his plate isn't being delivered...so the bill should be $52 dollars less.
Nope. $8 less. The other nine are still eating, and as I demonstrated, if anything, they "eat" more than the "greedy rich guy."


Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth
None of this is offshoring, however. Offshoring would be more like he has all his food prepared somewhere else, but has it delivered to the table. He eats and drinks at the table with all the other guests, expects carte blanche service, and if he feels like it, he leaves a dollar for a tip.

I wonder how long any intelligent host would let such a parasite keep doing that to him...
Sounds like he's behaving like the first four men, except that they provided nothing.
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:23 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Location: Gor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
But really, the analogy is nothing more than an illusion of scale.

Even with the most exorbitant lifestyle, housing costs, food costs and other basic necessities are readily afforded by the top percentile of this country, even if their taxes were raised.

The lowest percentile, even with second or third jobs, cannot afford basic housing, food and necessity costs without social assistance.
Or so they, and what Walter Williams calls the "poverty pimps" would have you believe.

I'm trying not to be insulting here, and you're certainly not the only person whose thinking aligns with your last sentence, but I consider that sentence to be racist or xenophobic, or both.

It conveys the message that minorities/immigrants/whatever can't possibly be successful on their own, and it implies that anyone who rose from such circumstances couldn't have done it on their own merit.
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Old 11-13-2004, 07:40 PM   #36 (permalink)
Loser
 
Where did I use the words "minorities/immigrants/whatever"?

If there are racist undertones to "lowest percentile", a mathematical axiom, you are putting them there.

As for your opinion that social support for the lowest percentile implies they cannot rise on their own merit, that's just pure nonsense based on the myth of equality.

Last edited by Manx; 11-13-2004 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: god made me do it
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:04 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Location: Gor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Where did I use the words "minorities/immigrants/whatever"?
Where did I say you did? Are there quotes around that statement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
If there are racist undertones to "lowest percentile", a mathematical axiom, you are putting them there.
I didn't write the studies that consistently show recent immigrants and minorities bringing up the rear in terms of income. If a right-winger had written your sentence, he'd be accused of using "code words."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
As for your opinion that social support for the lowest percentile implies they cannot rise on their own merit, that's just pure nonsense based on the myth of equality.
With fourth-generation welfare recipients, and $5 TRILLION spent with no reduction in the level of poverty, I'd say the Great Society is the granddaddy of all myths.

But if I understand you correctly, you agree that people from all socioeconomic strata can improve their lives on their own merit.

I'd therefore like to know why others are then forced to provide them with money or money equivalents. For that matter, who is entitled to decide which ones should be given the fruits of the labor of others?

You?
Tarl Cabot is offline  
Old 11-14-2004, 11:49 AM   #38 (permalink)
Loser
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarl Cabot
But if I understand you correctly,
I'm quite certain you don't, considering every response you have made to my posts has been a complete distortion.

Quote:
you agree that people from all socioeconomic strata can improve their lives on their own merit.
All else being equal, which it is not, yes.

Quote:
I'd therefore like to know why others are then forced to provide them with money or money equivalents.
Because all things are not equal.

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For that matter, who is entitled to decide which ones should be given the fruits of the labor of others?
Who is entitled to decide which ones should not be given the fruits of the "labor" of others?

You?

I wouldn't ever deny that there are people who abuse the social provisions of our society. I most certainly deny that no one should receive those social provisions. And I most certainly deny that no one should receive those social provisions because some people abuse them. Maybe if you can invent a device which can accurately determine who is an abuser and who is not, we can cut down costs. Until then, the simple fact remains that rich does not mean worthy and poor does not mean unworthy, and the poor who are worthy are not being altruistic by remaining poor, they just do not have access to the opportunities afforded to others.
Manx is offline  
Old 11-14-2004, 12:38 PM   #39 (permalink)
Insane
 
I don't understand the "me first" (second, third, fourth, and last) attitude that is so prevalent everywhere these days. Whatever happened to the idea that we are part of the brotherhood of man?
adam is offline  
Old 11-14-2004, 01:06 PM   #40 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
 
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam
I don't understand the "me first" (second, third, fourth, and last) attitude that is so prevalent everywhere these days. Whatever happened to the idea that we are part of the brotherhood of man?
People succumbed to the idea that society was fair and the distribution of wealth was optimum under the current system.

If you believe this, then you believe that everybody who was diligent and true should be able to buy all their own stuff -- no need to share. And so those who weren't well-off enough to obtain their old healthcare, old age insurance, education, etc., just weren't doing it right and so their problems were all their own and not society's.

Distribution of wealth _was_ better from '45 through '75 or so, but since then more and more has shifted back into the pockets of the rich, in no small part through preferential legistlation. And yet the mythology has remained in place.

The United States was in a similar situation in the '20s. Economic boom times benefiting a relatively small part of the population (Family farms, then still a huge part of the economy and of the population demographic, were in bad shape), more and more wealth going to a few, rampant speculation, and so on. But the going belief was that anyone who was poor brought it on himself, and was a bum.

Then the depression hit and a lot of formerly solid citizens were out of their homes and jobs, and thus in the "bum" class. But they didn't feel like bums, and they knew themselves not to be bums. So they bought into the New Deal society safety net that Roosevelt began to build, and which has stayed with us, though increasingly tattered, for near 70 years.

I think we may see history repeat itself in the next five to seven years, and a renewed interest in the idea of helping one's fellow man, individually and collectively as a nation.

So, what happened to the idea that we are part of the brotherhood of man? In good times, we forgot, and were encouraged to forget. But we're going to be reminded one of these days, believe you me, and in no uncertain terms.
Rodney is offline  
 

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