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Old 01-11-2006, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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The State of Our Economy

I have been seeing references to the Stiglitz and Bilmes economic report for the last few weeks. Couple their report with China's intention to reevaluate their investment in the dollar, and I believe our continued deficit spending will bring us to an economic meltdown.

I don't care for the hyperbolic expression in this article, but I believe there are valid concerns to be found.


Link

Quote:
Bush's Con Jobs: Will the US Need an IMF Bail Out?
By Paul Craig Roberts
Counterpunch.org

Tuesday 10 January 2006

President George W. Bush has destroyed America's economy along with America's reputation as a truthful, compassionate, peace-loving nation that values civil liberties and human rights.

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University budget expert Linda Bilmes have calculated the cost to Americans of Bush's Iraq war to be between one and two trillion dollars. This figure is 5 to 10 times higher than the $200 billion that Bush's economic adviser, Larry Lindsey, estimated. Lindsey was fired by Bush, because Lindsey's estimate was three times higher than the $70 billion figure that the Bush administration used to mislead Congress and the American voters about the burden of the war. You can't work in the Bush administration unless you are willing to lie for dub-ya.

Americans need to ask themselves if the White House is in competent hands when a $70 billion war becomes a $2 trillion war. Bush sold his war by understating its cost by a factor of 28.57. Any financial officer any where in the world whose project was 2,857 percent over budget would instantly be fired for utter incompetence.

Bush's war cost almost 30 times more than he said it would because the moronic neoconservatives that he stupidly appointed to policy positions told him the invasion would be a cakewalk. Neocons promised minimal US casualties. Iraq already has cost 2,200 dead Americans and 16,000 seriously wounded-and Bush's war is not over yet. The cost of lifetime care and disability payments for the thousands of US troops who have suffered brain and spinal damage was not part of the unrealistic rosy picture that Bush painted.

Dr. Stiglitz's $2 trillion estimate is OK as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. My own estimate is a multiple of Stiglitz's.

Stiglitz correctly includes the cost of lifetime care of the wounded, the economic value of destroyed and lost lives, and the opportunity cost of the resources diverted to war destruction. What he leaves out is the war's diversion of the nation's attention away from the ongoing erosion of the US economy. War and the accompanying domestic police state have filled the attention span of Americans and their government. Meanwhile, the US economy has been rapidly deteriorating into third world status.

In 2005 for the first time on record consumer, business, and government spending exceeded the total income of the country. Net national savings actually fell.

America can consume more than it produces only if foreigners supply the difference. China recently announced that it intends to diversify its foreign exchange holdings away from the US dollar. If this is not merely a threat in order to extort even more concessions from Bush, Americans' ability to consume will be brought up short by a fall in the dollar's value as China ceases to be a sponge that is absorbing an excessive outpouring of dollars. Oil producing countries might follow China's lead.

Now that Americans are dependent on imports for their clothing, manufactured goods, and even high technology products, a decline in the dollar's value will make all these products much more expensive. American living standards, which have been treading water, will sink.

A decline in living standards is an enormous cost and will make existing debt burdens unbearable. Stiglitz did not include this cost in his estimate.

Even more serious is the war's diversion of attention from the disappearance of middle class jobs for university graduates. The ladders of upward mobility are being rapidly dismantled by offshore production for US markets, job outsourcing and importation of foreign professionals on work visas. In almost every US corporation, US employees are being dismissed and replaced by foreigners who work for lower pay. Even American public school teachers and hospital nurses are being replaced by foreigners imported on work visas.

The American Dream has become a nightmare for college graduates who cannot find meaningful work.

This fact is made abundantly clear from the payroll jobs data over the past five years. December's numbers, released on January 6, show the same pattern that I have reported each month for years. Under pressure from offshore outsourcing, the US economy only creates low productivity jobs in low-pay domestic services.

Only a paltry number of private sector jobs were created-94,000. Of these 94,000 jobs, 35,800 or 38% are for waitresses and bartenders. Health care and social assistance account for 28% of the new jobs and temporary workers account for 10%. These three categories of low tech, nontradable domestic services account for 76% of the new jobs. This is the jobs pattern of a poor third world economy that consumes more than it produces.

America's so-called first world superpower economy was only able to create in December a measly 12,000 jobs in goods producing industries, of which 77% are accounted for by wood products and fabricated metal products-the furniture and roofing metal of the housing boom that has now come to an end. US employment declined in machinery, electronic instruments, and motor vehicles and parts.

2,600 jobs were created in computer systems design and related services, depressing news for the several hundred thousand unemployed American computer and software engineers.

When manufacturing leaves a country, engineering, R&D, and innovation rapidly follow. Now that outsourcing has killed employment opportunities for US citizens and even General Motors and Ford are failing, US economic growth depends on how much longer the rest of the world will absorb our debt and finance our consumption.

How much longer will it be before "the world's only remaining superpower" is universally acknowledged as a debt-ridden, hollowed-out economy desperately in need of IMF bailout?

--------

Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com.
I have little understanding about national and global economics, so it is my sincere wish that anyone with an economics background here at TFP will join in this discussion. As a fiscal conservative, I am greatly alarmed at the national debt that is accumulating and being bought up by foreign governments. The Stiglitz and Bilmes estimate of overall costs associated with the Iraq war will only bring us further into debt.
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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while I don't have a HUGE economic education, common sense tells me that the neo-conservative branch of the political machine is driving this deficit spending for military activities abroad. It just happens to coincide with the deficit hawks approach to starving the beast and forcing the people to accept entitlement spending cuts.

Personally, I think cutting entitlement spending could work provided the gov does two things......put a HUGE halt to all illegal immigration labor practices by going after the employers and removing all unemployment benefits. This would solve major problems in the US economy.
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The problem is the neocon approach has always been: cut taxes and a balanced budget. These two concepts are not always in opposition but in reality they often are.

Interestingly if they have to choose between the two they will always choose the tax cut in the short term on the belief that the cut will lead to a balanced budget due to starving the government of money and reducing its size.

Clearly this is impossible to maintain when the other policies of the neocons is to have an agressive foreign policy that includes invading other countries.
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've never seen the 'neo-conservative' philosophy of a balanced budget. Thats the standard conservative approach.
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The neocons up here spout it all the time (Mike Harris for example).
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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are you defining neocons as all right wingers? There is a huge difference between neoconservatives and conservatives.

well, that would be off topic so probably best not take the thread that direction.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not at all. I am speaking about neocons. I think the difficulty we are having here is that "traditional conservative" has a different meaning here than in the US.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The economy is doing well, unemployment is around 5%, but truthout can find a way to bitch about it and tie it into the Iraq war. Its really an amazing skill.

Thanks for the link Elphaba.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh and while I am at it...

Quote:
Job Creation across All Sectors, Says Huether, Show's Economy's Underpinnings Are Strong

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2005 - For the second consecutive month U.S. manufacturing created jobs in November, according to today's employment report from the Labor Department, and National Association of Manufacturers chief economist David Huether said, "That's the first time that's happened in more than a year."

With 215,000 new non-farm jobs created across all economic sectors last month, Huether observed, "The overall economy's strong underpinnings have helped it weather the Gulf storms that battered employment in September and October. That manufacturing followed up a gain of 15,000 jobs in October with 11,000 more in November suggests that solid growth in orders and production reported earlier this week will keep U.S. industry in its steady recovery mode into next year."

Huether said that as the overall unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, U.S. manufacturing boosted employment to 14,270,000 workers. "Of course," he added, "we've barely made a dent in recovering the 3 million jobs we lost in the last recession."

Moving back to the present and future, Huether said, "Unlike manufacturing's job gains in October, which largely reflected a return to work by striking aerospace workers. November's gains were spread throughout most durable goods sectors. And considering last month's 3.4 percent rise in durable goods orders, it looks like business investment is accelerating, and that bodes well for additional manufacturing job creation in coming months."

Finally, noting that he hates "to rain on anyone's parade," Huether offered a word of caution about the "continuing threat high energy prices pose to U.S. manufacturing and our economy as a whole. Increasingly tight supplies of natural gas, in particular, will be an ongoing problem for the U.S. economy until Congress acts to allow more domestic energy exploration and production."
http://www.nam.org/s_nam/doc1.asp?CID=67&DID=235797

I doubt that report made it to anyone at truthout.
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The neocons up here spout it all the time (Mike Harris for example).
Why is Mike Harris a "neocon"? If the usual definition of neocon are the group driving the bus in the US right now, Harris is about as far away from neocon as you can get.
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Oh and while I am at it...



http://www.nam.org/s_nam/doc1.asp?CID=67&DID=235797

I doubt that report made it to anyone at truthout.
That article doesn't mention how much of that growth
was a direct result of defence spending.
Gulf war 1 was a bonanza for the factory I worked in
the current war is responsible for their current growth as well.
My brother in law was recently hired to work on the line
that makes fuel lines exclusivly for defence dept. aerospace.
Sure that growth is great for the company and the worker,
But....back to square one...where is that money coming from?
more national debt.....better for today.....worse for tomorrow
That's OK!...spend all you want, We'll print more.

Growth is great...except when it is at the cost
of an anchor tied around the neck of the next generation.
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha phi
That article doesn't mention how much of that growth
was a direct result of defence spending.
Gulf war 1 was a bonanza for the factory I worked in
the current war is responsible for their current growth as well.
My brother in law was recently hired to work on the line
that makes fuel lines exclusivly for defence dept. aerospace.
Sure that growth is great for the company and the worker,
But....back to square one...where is that money coming from?
more national debt.....better for today.....worse for tomorrow
That's OK!...spend all you want, We'll print more.

Growth is great...except when it is at the cost
of an anchor tied around the neck of the next generation.
Well you do the google and find out if you like.

As for the debt ANY government spending you can say increases the debt. You could use the same argument for why we shouldn't do welfare spending. I note that you don't, and god knows truthout won't, its just an excuse to lament the Iraq war yet again.

Finally it refutes the truthout article (go figure) which calls into question the whole article.

I really can't wait for the next pointless truthout article to be posted on the politics forum.

Edit: and now that I think of it- And considering last month's 3.4 percent rise in durable goods orders Wouldn't that rule out the 'war' spending?
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Last edited by Ustwo; 01-12-2006 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Well you do the google and find out if you like.

As for the debt ANY government spending you can say increases the debt. You could use the same argument for why we shouldn't do welfare spending. I note that you don't, and god knows truthout won't, its just an excuse to lament the Iraq war yet again.
I don't think we should increase welfare spending.
welfare is a financial trap
the last 2 times I got laid off from my manufacturing job
I refused to collect unemployment
If you go to school you lose your benifit
If you get a job you lose half of what you make from said benifit
and even though you pay for it through through taxes,
you still have to pay income tax on benifit.
long term welfare is even worse, enslaving generations.
the only social spending I agree with is emergency relief
and investment spending... ie:
infrastructure, education, housing..(FHA home ownership...not projects)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Finally it refutes the truthout article (go figure) which calls into question the whole article.

I really can't wait for the next pointless truthout article to be posted on the politics forum.
Blah...blah...I've heard the same about FOX news from the other side.
Disagree with the organization, and even the truth is false.
If we could take the partisan blinders off and look around
we would see that the truth is some where in the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Edit: and now that I think of it- And considering last month's 3.4 percent rise in durable goods orders Wouldn't that rule out the 'war' spending?
durable goods
Definition
Products that aren't consumed or quickly disposed of, and can be used for
Three years or more. also called hard goods.
This can be millitary or civilian.
Aparently the jump was due to Boeing sales (commercial not defence)
while all others were down.
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha phi

Blah...blah...I've heard the same about FOX news from the other side.
Disagree with the organization, and even the truth is false.
If we could take the partisan blinders off and look around
we would see that the truth is some where in the middle.
Comparing truthout to fox news? The UCLA study cited in this forum had fox news as 'balanced' I wonder if the same can be said for truthout? (Ok thats a lie, I don't wonder ) Reguardless I've already shown where one part of the article is false, I don't have time to check every part, but as you found out with durable goods, a little research goes a long way to change ones assumptions.


Quote:
durable goods
Definition
Products that aren't consumed or quickly disposed of, and can be used for
Three years or more. also called hard goods.
This can be millitary or civilian.
Aparently the jump was due to Boeing sales (commercial not defence)
while all others were down.
Quote:
Durable goods orders surge
Aircraft jump a catalyst for 4.4% November gain, the largest since May; results top expectations.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New orders for U.S.-made durable goods surged a much larger-than-expected 4.4 percent in November on a jump in civilian aircraft but non-transportation orders slid as defense outlays tumbled, a government report showed Friday.

It was the largest rise in overall durable goods orders since May. Economists had forecast orders for these expensive items built to last three years or more to rise 1 percent and had looked for orders outside transportation to climb 1 percent.

October orders were revised upward to an increase of 3 percent from a previously reported 2.2 percent gain.

The overall number was boosted by a 133.8 rise in non-defense aircraft and parts. Meanwhile, motor vehicles and parts orders slipped 5.7 percent while defense aircraft and parts orders tumbled 44.3 percent. Defense capital goods orders fell 26.6 percent.

Machinery orders dropped 1.6 percent and communications equipment orders fell 4.4 percent.

Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, seen as a proxy for business spending, dropped by 2.0 percent.

In a potential harbinger of stronger factory production to come, unfilled orders jumped 3.1 percent, the biggest increase since June 2000 and the seventh straight monthly gain, to a record high $621.8 billion.
Sort of ironic that defense orders are DOWN don't you think?

Quote:
For the year, durable goods orders climbed 10.9 percent on an unadjusted basis after rising 3 percent in 2003 and dropping 1.9 percent in 2002..
10.9 percent? Not bad growth for the year.
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Last edited by Ustwo; 01-12-2006 at 05:32 PM..
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo

Sort of ironic that defense orders are DOWN don't you think?

10.9 percent? Not bad growth for the year.
Not ironic....all orders were down except Boeing
Not to mention they are orders not backlog
defence orders fluctuate wildly
I worked in the aerospace dept for over a year,
we would get hit with a dozen major orders and have to work
overtime for weeks straight to get everything out the door.
Then several weeks being moved around to other areas
just to stay busy.
I was so happy to get back to heavy duty truck
where the customers planned ahead.

found the backlog numbers
http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/m3/
Unfilled orders, up seven consecutive months, increased $18.1 billion or 3.0 percent to $621.4 billion

"10.9 percent?"
is that 2004 numbers? or 2005? or did they just skip 2004?
http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breakin...4830-2454r.htm
Percentages are the accountants evil tool

Found some "real numbers not percentages of percentages
defense aircraft and parts orders tumbled 44.3% Oct. to Nov.
$3.9 Billion November... $7.1B October... $2.9 B September
Up $4.2 B Sept to Oct.....Down $3.2 B Oct. to Nov.
Up $1 billion for the quarter.....nice percentage fudge

Defense new orders for capital goods in November
decreased $2.6 billion or 26.6 percent to $7.2 billion.
Same thing here
7.2 in Nov. 9.7 in Oct. 6.7 in Sept.
overall rise for the quarter half a billion
http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/m3/
Click the full tab under advance highlights
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nationís largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 10 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAMís award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
Um, Ustwo? Could you by chance come up with something other than an obviously biased trade association website?
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Here is a new twist. China and India have just reached an agreement concerning oil competition. This agreement may shed some light on Bush's recent overtures to India.

Yes, Truthout Again

Quote:
China and India Forge Alliance on Oil
By Richard McGregor, Jo Johnson and Carola Hoyos
The Financial Times

Thursday 12 January 2006

China and India, the world's two fastest growing energy consumers, on Thursday set aside long-standing rivalries and agreed to co-operate in securing crude oil resources overseas.

The agreement, aimed at preventing the two nations' competition for oil assets pushing up prices, symbolises their increasingly assertive role in global energy politics.

In an age of growing energy insecurity "it makes sense for India and China to co-operate [rather] than compete . . . the time of access to easy oil is in the past", said Jim Steenhagen, managing director at PFC Energy, the US consulting firm.

The agreement came as fears over a serious threat to oil supplies from Iran began to rattle the market yesterday. Prices rose above $65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as Tehran's nuclear ambitions threatened instability at the centre of the world's main oil-producing region.

The Sino-Indian agreement was signed in Beijing by Mani Shankar Aiyar, India's petroleum minister, and Ma Kai, the head of the National Reform and Development Commission, China's chief economic planning and energy ministry.

The agreement comes after India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp lost out to Chinese rivals in the race to acquire fields in Angola, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Ecuador.

But a recent joint purchase of a stake in a Syrian oilfield by ONGC and the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp could set a pattern for future deals. Mr Aiyar hailed this as a model.

Oil executives said co-operation between China and India could benefit international energy companies by reducing the ferocity of the bidding.

Under their agreement, Chinese and Indian oil companies will establish a formal procedure to exchange information about a possible bid target, before agreeing to co-operate formally.

Their memorandum of understanding also covers possible co-operation across the energy industry, from exploration to marketing. But India and China's national oil companies could still compete in third countries.

Sceptics say Chinese companies are unlikely to share their real business plans with Indian rivals, especially as they have mostly been able to outbid them. "Governments like to sign pieces of paper, but it often doesn't amount to much," one analyst said.

India is more dependent on oil imports than China. Mr Aiyar believes India's import dependency will increase from 70 per cent of consumption this year to about 85 per cent in 15 years. China imports about half its oil.

Li Zhaoxing, China's foreign minister, this week started a trip to Africa that will underpin Beijing's search for energy security.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Illegal immigration, shipping jobs overseas, less spending on education and making college unaffordable, low to no import taxes while other countries tax the hell out of our goods and China not owning up to our patents are destroying us.

The Bush administration taps our phones, opens our mail but does shit against illegals. I truly wait for an illegal to commit a terrorist action and Bush to blame the Dems. because we argued about tapping phone lines and opening mail illegally. We may have terrorists crossing our border as illegal aliens and I guess the "war on terror" doesn't apply to them because big business needs the illegals to work for pennies and take jobs away from our people.

China continues to rape our patents so bad Gorman Rupp (a company that never laid people off, never showed losses and was a strong growth company) is showing losses again as their patents get ripped off by the Chinese and Bush turns blind eyes. Again, China even uses GR's own flyers by photoshopping the the trucks and changing GR's name and symbols only slightly. It is obvious, the Chinese don't even hide the fact and Bush and the Neocons DO NOTHING to save this company!!!!!!!! FUCK BUSH!!!!!!! (And yes, I grew up with members of the Rupp family (who were very Republican until the GOP turned their backs on them), and I see what Bush's policy has done to them.) It's not just Gorman Rupp though, where's Bush's protection for these companies?????

Oh, I guess the Neo cons don't care about US Patents and protecting US businesses if profit is to be made. But the profit is going to China, not to other US companies.....
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Um, Ustwo? Could you by chance come up with something other than an obviously biased trade association website?
Try using goggle again, the information is quite public and from many sources, something that would help you in your quest for knowlage.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Try using goggle again, the information is quite public and from many sources, something that would help you in your quest for knowlage.
I did an extensive search via goggle in my quest for "knowlage" but I was unable to find a source for predicting/forecasting our 2006 economy. I would appreciate your assistance in finding an unbiased source.
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:13 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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so we have yet another effect of contemporary politics---no agreement over what criteria one would use to evaluate the economy. it is hard not to link this to the right's media efforts to blur out the possibilities of informed judgement about matters like the economy, the environment, etc., as a form of defense of corporate interests.

it seems to me that no-one who gets analyses of the american economy published in popular form has taken the processes of globalizing capitalism into account at all. to what extent is the idea of a coherent geographical unit called "the american economy" even coherent? for example, most larger-scale production processes that are trmed "american" involves fabrication/assembly points not located in the states....stock, currency speculation, financial instruments--all have been trading internationally for year, and for the past decade or so more or less in real time. seems to me that the notion of a national economy is mostly obsolete, and that it is invoked primarily for ideological reasons--a kind of nostalgia on the one hand, and in order to maintain the illusion that the various factions that jockey for power within the horrifying political uniformity of the american scene are presenting coherent arguments about a definite object---mostly, though, it seems yet another example of the lag that seperates the mutation of capitalism from its ideological correlates.

i do not know what the significance would be in this context of the types of buying up of debt noted with some consternation in the op. what i do know is that the right press, in all its forms, would be the absolute last place i would look for anything interesting on the matter simply because the whole of right ideology is predicated on denying that the nation-state as a whole is even a problem, much less in trouble, much less increasingly obsolete.

think about the information presented in this thread as a problem rather than as a pretext for dueling sources. try it, ustwo: maybe you'll get a chance to take a timeout from your usual modus operandi and think a little bit.
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Last edited by roachboy; 01-14-2006 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Isn't there a strong possibility that the November durable goods surge was aided by the Katrina storm surge? In wich case, a large portion of those durable goods were paid for with state and federal money to re-instate areas to their previous, or less than previous standards. Not a real, lasting positive effect.
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Old 01-14-2006, 01:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
The economy is doing well, unemployment is around 5%, but truthout can find a way to bitch about it and tie it into the Iraq war. Its really an amazing skill.

Thanks for the link Elphaba.
And you think that a one trillion war that skyrocketed the national debt has no impact on the economy whatsoever?
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardknock
And you think that a one trillion war that skyrocketed the national debt has no impact on the economy whatsoever?
It is misleading to talk about national debt in total dollars, it is much more meaningfull look at it as a percentage of GNP. When you look at it that way our national debt is in-line with our historical averages.

Also it is misleading to talk about debt without talking about networth. Our national wealth is higher than it has ever been.

If a young man has a $45,000 debt in student loans earning $15,000/yr, with $0 assets, that debt may be in reality a bigger burden than - a man with $500,000 debt, with a $250,000/yr income, and $1,000,000 in assets.

Regarding your other poin in most cases government spending is not going to be harmful to the economy, theoretically - assuming government spending is effecient, because $1 spent is $1 dollar spent.

I can spend my dollar or the government takes my dollar through taxation and spends it. Either way, in theory, that dollar gets spent.

The government can spend a "one trillion" on a war, or we the American people, can spend "one trillion" on pizza and beer. It would be more fun to spend a trillion on pizza and beer, but in either case we would end up with either a trillion dollar war economy or a trillion dollar pizza and beer economy. Goes back to the Econ 101 lesson - trade off between guns and butter.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:11 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There have been doomsday people left and right for the past hundreds of years. I heard a guy like this on Bloomberg radio and it sounded like he was about to die. Most of that article can be summed up with this saying: "Statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics."

Quote:
America's so-called first world superpower economy was only able to create in December a measly 12,000 jobs in goods producing industries
The author can't seem to come to fruition that America is becoming a service based country. No longer do the people want to work in factories with dim lighting where they have to stand on their feet all day and do manual labor. Is that a bad thing. I'm sure 60 years ago there were people complaining about the massive decline of farmers in america. We literally went from 60% of the population being farmers to 2%. (Those aren't accurrate numbers -- but based on my memory).

Regardless, our economy is doing fine but at the same time you can always improve it. Less government spending and lower taxes would be one of the solutions.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:47 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
I don't care for the hyperbolic expression in this article, but I believe there are valid concerns to be found.
There are a few contridictions and misleading points:

"Neocons promised minimal US casualties. Iraq already has cost 2,200 dead Americans and 16,000 seriously wounded-and Bush's war is not over yet.
The cost of lifetime care and disability payments for the thousands of US troops who have suffered brain and spinal damage was not part of the unrealistic rosy picture that Bush painted. Dr. Stiglitz's $2 trillion estimate is OK as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. My own estimate is a multiple of Stiglitz's."


If we take a population of young men and woman the size and make up of our military in Iraq over the same period, how many would have died even if they had not been sent? The question should be what was the real incremental cost? How many would have died as a result of taking no military action? Or how many non-military people would have died by taking no military action? People, like me, who support our military action honestly believe that if we had taken no action potentially hundreds of thousands if not millions would have died. The cost of delayed action agaist Hilter cost millions of lives.

"In 2005 for the first time on record consumer, business, and government spending exceeded the total income of the country. Net national savings actually fell."

Does not take into consideration the underground economy, or wealth generated through investment and realestate.

'America can consume more than it produces only if foreigners supply the difference. China recently announced that it intends to diversify its foreign exchange holdings away from the US dollar. If this is not merely a threat in order to extort even more concessions from Bush, Americans' ability to consume will be brought up short by a fall in the dollar's value as China ceases to be a sponge that is absorbing an excessive outpouring of dollars. Oil producing countries might follow China's lead."

The value of currency fluctuates around an equalibrium point. When the dollar gets cheap we sell more goods overseas. When the dollar is expensive and other currencies cheap we buy more overseas goods.

"A decline in living standards is an enormous cost and will make existing debt burdens unbearable. Stiglitz did not include this cost in his estimate."

National debt as a percentage of GNP is in our economy's normal range.

"Even more serious is the war's diversion of attention from the disappearance of middle class jobs for university graduates. The ladders of upward mobility are being rapidly dismantled by offshore production for US markets, job outsourcing and importation of foreign professionals on work visas. In almost every US corporation, US employees are being dismissed and replaced by foreigners who work for lower pay. Even American public school teachers and hospital nurses are being replaced by foreigners imported on work visas."

We have shifted from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy, to a service economy, and are now in a shift to the information age. At one point people who made horse shoes lost their jobs. They had to adapt. Today, Americans are showing an unwillingness to change, that is the real problem. We still have some people stuck in the industrial age and longing for the good old days of smoke stack industries and life long employment.

"The American Dream has become a nightmare for college graduates who cannot find meaningful work."

What is meaningful? Do you know a college grad not able to find work?

I am getting bored, but I sure you can see some of the problems with his position.
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:01 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Just a side note.......... I always find it amazing how these "loyal" supporters of the war and Bush are so eager for tax cuts.

How exactly are we going to pay for this war?

I also love how the Bushies demand you make sacrifices such as your civil liberties and rights..... but take away their tax cuts and then see where THEIR sacrificing is?

They want the war, they don't care about illegal wiretaps, opening of mail, etc...... that's just us poor people who need to worry....... but you threaten their tax cuts and tell them that we need the money to fund the war so our kids won't have to pay for our greed and they get pissy and start crying about how it's THEIR money.

So we'll just keep plunging deeper into debt and when all of a sudden their tax rates and their children's tax rates are 75-90% because the government has to pay the loans off for this war and the middle class evaporated because there were no decent paying jobs...... let's see how badly they cry then..... or perhaps they'll take their balls and move out of the country, because they won't want to have to pay for their mistakes and greed.

In short..... a severe tax increase (I believe once FED. State and local are taken it'll be 75-90%) will happen to pay for this war and to pay for the middle class that evaporated because the CEO's wanted to make millions and millions and pay their workers pennies.

IF you cannot understand that then you are either stupid or so freaking greedy that you are blind.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:10 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Just a side note.......... I always find it amazing how these "loyal" supporters of the war and Bush are so eager for tax cuts.
It is about freedom. Freedom from terrorist. Freedom from big government. The primary role of our government is national defense. We want a strong military and economic and personal freedom.

Quote:
How exactly are we going to pay for this war?
A better question is what is the cost of taking no military action against terrorist?

Quote:
I also love how the Bushies demand you make sacrifices such as your civil liberties and rights..... but take away their tax cuts and then see where THEIR sacrificing is?
"Bushies", assuming you mean rich people, are paying more in taxes today, than at anyother time in history. There is a difference between tax rates and what people actually pay in taxes.


Quote:
They want the war, they don't care about illegal wiretaps, opening of mail, etc...... that's just us poor people who need to worry....... but you threaten their tax cuts and tell them that we need the money to fund the war so our kids won't have to pay for our greed and they get pissy and start crying about how it's THEIR money.
If I work hard, make good decisions, make a lot of money, its NOT MINE? Are you a socialist?

I don't want war. I just want our enemies to leave us alone. But if they do want a fight, I aint gonna sit around holding hands singing 'give peace a chance'!

Big brother is probably reading this right now, we had better be careful, because Bush and Rumsfeld love to sit around a fire reading info they get from illegal wiretaps.

I am a risk taker. I going to do a google search on making bombs, I will let you know how long it takes for the FBI to come calling. Perhaps we can start a pool.

Quote:
So we'll just keep plunging deeper into debt and when all of a sudden their tax rates and their children's tax rates are 75-90% because the government has to pay the loans off for this war and the middle class evaporated because there were no decent paying jobs...... let's see how badly they cry then..... or perhaps they'll take their balls and move out of the country, because they won't want to have to pay for their mistakes and greed.
I wonder why that did not happen after WWII? Any thoughts? Wait we actually had an economic boom after WWII. Oh, and some would argue that government spending during WWII helped grow the economy out of depression.

I wonder why that did not happen after the Vietnam War? Korean War? WWI? Civil War?

Quote:
In short..... a severe tax increase (I believe once FED. State and local are taken it'll be 75-90%) will happen to pay for this war and to pay for the middle class that evaporated because the CEO's wanted to make millions and millions and pay their workers pennies.
CEO's don't want to pay workers anything. However, they HAVE to pay their workers a fair competetive wage, or they loose those employees to the competition. CEO's are "workers" too. Unless they own the company they run, they are accountable to the "man" just like everyone else. He who owns the gold makes the rules. It is truly a mean, mean world.

Quote:
IF you cannot understand that then you are either stupid or so freaking greedy that you are blind.
From your stupid but freindly neighborhood, greedy "Bushie"
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:34 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
IF you cannot understand that then you are either stupid or so freaking greedy that you are blind.
Or don't agree with pan's assesment. I understand the mods are trying to back off a bit on the politics forum in terms of moderation, but come on
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:05 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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so it appears that here there is no analytic dimension, no questions about the categories that would underpin such analyses of a nation-state economic formation in a globalizing capitalist context--which variables continue to be meanignful, which do not, etc....instead, there is only a recycling of ideological memes, particularly from the economic conservatives above...

i tried to raise these questions above, but typically they got no response..i actually am interested in how folk are trying to square these factors (globalizing capitalism vs. nation-state modes of assessing economic activity and the relation between the two)---and i do not think the links obvious.

the reason i see the non-responses typical is that there is, to my knowledge, no american political organization that is seriously addressing these matters--mass politics still tried to function within a national framework as if it was coherent---folk seem to only demand what they know to be available--they choose from amongst existing modes of thinking/staging questions and rarely are inclined to try to work their way outside of them--demand follows supply for the most part, particularly in politics.

but consider the following factoids:
1. stock has traded internationally since 1970. that means that corporate ownership has long since been transnational.
2. capital flows are transnational.
3. vertically integration production systems routinely operate without particular regard for nation-state boundaries.
4. the collapse of the southeast asian "paper tigers" across the 1990s showed pretty clearly that there is no coherent integration of transnationally organized production and the local economies they enter/transform/exploit.

so to sum up these 4 factoids (many more could be added):
the ownership of publically traded corporations: not nationally based
the circulation of capital: not nationally based
the organization of production: not nationally based
the relation of globalizing capitalist production to the national economies they impact upon: arbitrary.

yet it still makes sense to talk about economic activity as if the nation-state was a basic organizing unit? how?

the political consequences of these transformations in the organization of economic activity are not yet obvious--they are being worked out--and it is impossible (for me at least) not to see in the various types of responses anything more than ideological conflict aimed at managing without addressing these consequences. so for the right, you have a wholesale flight from thinking in social terms. from the critique of taxation through the attacks on state regulation to the focus on petit bourgeois entrepreneur-types--everything about conservative economic ideology is little more than an attempt on the part of the political class to cut their collective losses by dismantling the interaction of the state (the political) with social spaces that are going to be or already are being fundamentally undermined by the changes happening in economic organization. these include education (reproduction of the labor pool) to social control (the exercize of the state's monopoly on "legitimate violence") to an ideological campaign directed against any and all forms of active public protest (the "war on terror" operating here as one of a series of wedge issues the effect of which is an expansion of the notion of dangerous political action) to the core assumptions of conservative ideology itself (that there is a nation, that the category makes sense, that the operative units within a nation are isolated individuals, that the distribution of wealth is a moral rather than a political matter, that poverty (the effects of an uneven distribution of wealth) can be understood by blaming the poor----since the clinton period, the democrats have offered nothing in the way of viable alternatives--their position accepts the basic premises of conservative economic ideology and offers a sequence of tactical quibbles instead of an alternative vision. someone once wrote that faced with the choice between republicans and republicans, the republicans win--such is the clinton legacy. typically, the right has responded to this by moving even further to the right so as to be able to differentiate itself...the results are incoherence. this incoherence is simply being repeated through this thread.

maybe this incoherence explains the attractiveness of fundamentalist protestant discourse as a political model--you find the categories that organize your politics have become obsolete? then talk alot about god and act as though all those categories are linked, in the final analysis, to god. that way nothing meaingful changes, everything continues as before, and no-one has to think too much about the world into which we are all drifting, whether we like it or not, whether we face it or not.

we could ask basic questions, but we dont.
why is that?
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:00 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3
It is about freedom. Freedom from terrorist. Freedom from big government. The primary role of our government is national defense. We want a strong military and economic and personal freedom.
Is not educating the population defense? If not then why did our forefathers develop public education?

How can you have economic freedom for people if you keep sending jobs overseas, paying people less, while merging companies into conglomerates where the executives make more than all their workers combined?

Or you allow industries to go bankrupt because you refuse to work our an economically feasible healthcare system?

There's economic freedom for the top 1-5% but for the rest of America they are in trouble and with education cuts we are falling behind in the world market for employment.


Quote:
A better question is what is the cost of taking no military action against terrorist?
Iraq again and again has been proven to have had nothing to do with 9/11 nor have WMDs. So tell me again why we are there? Or why our military has been ill equipped, while Halliburton continuously overcharged for items some of which they never delivered?


Quote:
"Bushies", assuming you mean rich people, are paying more in taxes today, than at anyother time in history. There is a difference between tax rates and what people actually pay in taxes.
Really? You're right about tax rates, right now the shrinking middle class and lower class pay more of their wages in hidden taxes, in sales taxes and in local taxes, while the rich get tax cuts on the federal levels, the states and locals have to increase sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. All of which the rich can absorb and not worry about while the poor and middle class get hit harder and harder every time the sales taxes go up.



Quote:
If I work hard, make good decisions, make a lot of money, its NOT MINE? Are you a socialist?

I never said the money wasn't yours but there is community responsibility to maintain the schools and infrastructure and try to make them better than they were when you had use of them.

Unless, you want to say the past 175 years of doing so was wrong and the last 20 years or so have been what this nation was truly founded on. Destroy the educational system, ravage the infrastructure and destroy true free enterprise so the very rich can continue to get richer while everyone else, including the nation itself falls deeper and deeper into debt.



Quote:
I don't want war. I just want our enemies to leave us alone. But if they do want a fight, I aint gonna sit around holding hands singing 'give peace a chance'!
And who is attacking us right now? Iraq? Afghanistan? Who's invading our shores and laying landmines and shooting at us and making it unsafe to leave our houses?



Quote:
Big brother is probably reading this right now, we had better be careful, because Bush and Rumsfeld love to sit around a fire reading info they get from illegal wiretaps.

I am a risk taker. I going to do a google search on making bombs, I will let you know how long it takes for the FBI to come calling. Perhaps we can start a pool.
I've said it in many posts, even IF Bush is correct in doing this, the government at the very least takes years to give rights back. On average if we give them unwarranted wiretaps and mail searches (which is very different than going on a public access and finding how to build a bomb), they will push that envelope farther.

Not to mention, if Bush is so concerned about these "terrorists" he spies on with wiretaps and mail openings then why does he allow so many illegal aliens to cross over every day? Why is that?

I have stated over and over and I don't think the people who plan terroristic events are going to be so dumb as not to realize this themselves...... If I wanted to plan something I would set up communication along the illegal alien lines and not need a phone, internet or anything, more than transportation. 1000's cross every day unchecked, illegal and all they have to do is carry the plans on them and transport to the meeting place. In fact they could feasibly bring bombs, anthrax and whatever across with them.

Yet, Bush does nothing........ wonder why that is?



Quote:
I wonder why that did not happen after WWII? Any thoughts? Wait we actually had an economic boom after WWII. Oh, and some would argue that government spending during WWII helped grow the economy out of depression.

I wonder why that did not happen after the Vietnam War? Korean War? WWI? Civil War?
Actually after the Civil War we went into a depression. It was FDR, the New Deal and WW2 that helped the economy, plus manufacturing took over and there was the huge boom of all this technology, GI loans for housing, GI loans and grants for schooling that boomed.

Vietnam and Korea were products of the above described economic boom after WW2. But Vietnam did not produce much, in fact we paid for it in the late 70's and early 80's with high interest rates and inflation to pay for the deficit our government had because of that war.

WW1, was the true beginning of manufacturing and the stock market. The problem was as it is now and has been for the last 20 years, people were extended more credit than they were worth. In 1929 and 1930 it caught up to us, and it will bite us on our ass again. The difference is, right now banks continue to extend more and more credit and the money isn't there, the bubble will burst.


Quote:
CEO's don't want to pay workers anything. However, they HAVE to pay their workers a fair competetive wage, or they loose those employees to the competition. CEO's are "workers" too. Unless they own the company they run, they are accountable to the "man" just like everyone else. He who owns the gold makes the rules. It is truly a mean, mean world.
Really? These esecs who drive their companies into the ground usually have less than 1% ownership in the company. In fact if the company wants them out, in quite a few cases they have huge buyout clauses. Who was it that was paid something like $100 million to step down because he ran the company into the ground?

There is no accountability or "fair" wages. The companies make demands get what they want or leave the area, if not the country. Meanwhile the CEO's make more for doing so.

Never in the history of this country have we seen this big of a gap between rich and poor continue to increase.

But for some reason that is ok with you?

What happens when the debts come due? Who's going to pay? Especially if the middle class is gone and the poor can't pay?



Quote:
From your stupid but freindly neighborhood, greedy "Bushie"
Continue with the greed, unless you are in the top 1% when it comes time to pay the debt you will being paying and if not you your children.

Because the true problem we face won't hit until the Boomers start dieing off and retiring. We set this great standard of living that has mortgaged our futures and the government knows this. The money isn't there and when the Boomers retire and die and banks go to collect their debts, the banks will take whatever the children/heirs have, and then the true crash will hit.

So if you're in your 40's and 50's you may make it out semi decently until you retire. But your kids and grandkids will be paying for your greed and their kids and grandkids will be paying for it.

Is debt whether personal, national or trade what you truly want to leave your progeny? I sure as Hell don't.

Is unsurmountable debt what our forefathers left us? No, they left a nation where we could dream and continue to move forward..... unfortunately today's greed has destroyed that for the future generations.

But history has yet to be written....... it may prove me wrong, but I wouldn't count on it. I think if anything I am too optimistic that we still have a chance.
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:08 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
so it appears that here there is no analytic dimension, no questions about the categories that would underpin such analyses of a nation-state economic formation in a globalizing capitalist context--which variables continue to be meanignful, which do not, etc....instead, there is only a recycling of ideological memes, particularly from the economic conservatives above...

i tried to raise these questions above, but typically they got no response..i actually am interested in how folk are trying to square these factors (globalizing capitalism vs. nation-state modes of assessing economic activity and the relation between the two)---and i do not think the links obvious.

the reason i see the non-responses typical is that there is, to my knowledge, no american political organization that is seriously addressing these matters--mass politics still tried to function within a national framework as if it was coherent---folk seem to only demand what they know to be available--they choose from amongst existing modes of thinking/staging questions and rarely are inclined to try to work their way outside of them--demand follows supply for the most part, particularly in politics.

but consider the following factoids:
1. stock has traded internationally since 1970. that means that corporate ownership has long since been transnational.
2. capital flows are transnational.
3. vertically integration production systems routinely operate without particular regard for nation-state boundaries.
4. the collapse of the southeast asian "paper tigers" across the 1990s showed pretty clearly that there is no coherent integration of transnationally organized production and the local economies they enter/transform/exploit.

so to sum up these 4 factoids (many more could be added):
the ownership of publically traded corporations: not nationally based
the circulation of capital: not nationally based
the organization of production: not nationally based
the relation of globalizing capitalist production to the national economies they impact upon: arbitrary.

yet it still makes sense to talk about economic activity as if the nation-state was a basic organizing unit? how?

the political consequences of these transformations in the organization of economic activity are not yet obvious--they are being worked out--and it is impossible (for me at least) not to see in the various types of responses anything more than ideological conflict aimed at managing without addressing these consequences. so for the right, you have a wholesale flight from thinking in social terms. from the critique of taxation through the attacks on state regulation to the focus on petit bourgeois entrepreneur-types--everything about conservative economic ideology is little more than an attempt on the part of the political class to cut their collective losses by dismantling the interaction of the state (the political) with social spaces that are going to be or already are being fundamentally undermined by the changes happening in economic organization. these include education (reproduction of the labor pool) to social control (the exercize of the state's monopoly on "legitimate violence") to an ideological campaign directed against any and all forms of active public protest (the "war on terror" operating here as one of a series of wedge issues the effect of which is an expansion of the notion of dangerous political action) to the core assumptions of conservative ideology itself (that there is a nation, that the category makes sense, that the operative units within a nation are isolated individuals, that the distribution of wealth is a moral rather than a political matter, that poverty (the effects of an uneven distribution of wealth) can be understood by blaming the poor----since the clinton period, the democrats have offered nothing in the way of viable alternatives--their position accepts the basic premises of conservative economic ideology and offers a sequence of tactical quibbles instead of an alternative vision. someone once wrote that faced with the choice between republicans and republicans, the republicans win--such is the clinton legacy. typically, the right has responded to this by moving even further to the right so as to be able to differentiate itself...the results are incoherence. this incoherence is simply being repeated through this thread.

maybe this incoherence explains the attractiveness of fundamentalist protestant discourse as a political model--you find the categories that organize your politics have become obsolete? then talk alot about god and act as though all those categories are linked, in the final analysis, to god. that way nothing meaingful changes, everything continues as before, and no-one has to think too much about the world into which we are all drifting, whether we like it or not, whether we face it or not.

we could ask basic questions, but we dont.
why is that?

I think what we'll see eventually are company/nation states, where from the day you reach an age to be able to work to the day you die you will work, for one company and you will be given enough freedom and money to keep you from questioning anything. But if you do speak out or try to want, to move up, you will be dealt with.

In other words, I see a feudal society, with a totalitarian world government. More or less what the Chinese have right now.

If things continue what we have right now will end and the start of a new Dark Ages will begin.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:35 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Just a side note.......... I always find it amazing how these "loyal" supporters of the war and Bush are so eager for tax cuts.

How exactly are we going to pay for this war?
From what little I have read and heard on the financial news shows, the belief is that reducing taxes increases government revenue and visa versa.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:49 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
From what little I have read and heard on the financial news shows, the belief is that reducing taxes increases government revenue and visa versa.
If you cut taxes and spend responsibly, then yes, i can see that. But if you cut but continue to spend wildly on the war..... I would believe it to be far more destructive.

If we are at war, would it not make sense to wait till it is over before you gave tax cuts? All these tax cuts are doing is bribing support.

Obviously the tax cuts aren't working if we continue to deficit spend in record amounts.

And you still have to make sure that our infrastructure and education stays at standards so that high tech industries will hire our future workers and not continue to go overseas where they are educating their kids better and to be more competitive in the market than we are.

You cannot continue to cut taxes and destroy education and the roads. (27.5% of our bridges on interstates are technically overaged and need repaired or replaced..... yet we have no money to do it.)




Here's a speech given by Atlanta's Mayor Franklin in 2003 at the US Conference of Mayors and things have only gotten worse:

LINK:http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/us_mayo...3/franklin.asp

Quote:
Atlanta Mayor Franklin Wants National Focus on Massive USA Infrastructure Needs

By
November 3, 2003

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Atlanta Mayor Franklin Wants National Focus on Massive USA Infrastructure Needs

America cities are falling apart. Water lines are leaking, sewage systems are over loaded, and roads and bridges are crumbling. Alarm bells are ringing. But our Presidential candidates and the Bush administration don-t seem to be noticing. It is past time for a National Urban Policy.

Our great nation sacrificed to rebuild Europe's cities after World War II and now we are rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq. Those were and are important tasks, I-m sure, but if we must tackle the rebuilding of America's cities with the same determination and boldness, we must invest now or watch our drinking water become contaminated and our sewers collapse. We cannot wait for more regional blackouts and living conditions and costs in our major cities to spiral out of control.

In our city of Atlanta, we face a federal court-ordered consent decree to repair our water and sewer systems at a cost of $3 billion. Without state and federal assistance, our families will be forced to pay up to $1,8000 more in annual water bills. This is impossible for hard working people.

I am not exaggerating the crisis facing out cities (according to the US Conference of Mayors).

One-third of the nation's roads are in poor or mediocre condition, costing American drivers an estimated $5.8 billion a year. Road conditions contribute to as many as 13,800 highway fatalities annually. Nearly one-third of America's urban freeways are congested.

29 percent of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. It is estimated that it will cost $10.6 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies.

Due to either aging or outdated facilities, or severe overcrowding, 75 percent of our nation's school buildings are inadequate to meet the needs of school children.

The nation's 54,000 drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of $11 billion needed to replace facilities that are nearing the end of their useful life and to comply with federal water regulations.

The nation's 16,000 wastewater systems face enormous needs. Some sewer systems are 100 years old. Currently, there is a $12 billion annual shortfall in funding for infrastructure needs for wastewater; however, federal funding has remained flat for a decade. More than one-third of US surface waters do not meet water quality standards.

The Department of Energy estimates that consumers will pay up to $50 billion in higher electric bills to modernize the U. S. power grid.

Finally, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimated that a $1.6 trillion investment is needed to improve America's infrastructure conditions to an acceptable level.



This is a national crisis, which requires a federal solution. A healthy national economy is directly tied to economies of our cities. Our public works are our public assets. We all have an interest in their upkeep and security. America's vast infrastructure affects all of our lives, from the water we drink to the electricity in our homes. Congress and the next President must lead on this issue. A national debate on urban policy must take place. Literally, our future is at stake.

OR THIS from the American Society Of Civil Engineers (of which my GOP Conservative father is a respected member, and this is a relatively conservative group).

LINK:http://www.asce.org/reportcard/index...on=full&page=6

Quote:

2003 Progress Report
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Roads D+
Bridges C
Transit C-
Aviation D
Schools D-
Drinking Water D
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Wastewater D
Dams D
Solid Waste C+
Hazardous Waste D+
Navigable Waterways D+
Energy D+

Bottom Line - All Categories 2001 GPA
Total Investment Needs:$1.6 Trillion D+

(estimated 5-year need)


Each category was evaluated on the basis of condition and performance, capacity vs. need, and funding vs. need. Assessments do not include security enhancements as no authoritative data is available.

Download the entire report in PDF format (512kb)

In March 2001, ASCE released a Report Card for America's Infrastructure, grading 12 infrastructure categories at a discouraging D+ overall and estimating the need for a $1.3 trillion investment to bring conditions to acceptable levels. In September 2003, ASCE released a Progress Report that examines the current trends for addressing the nation's deteriorating infrastructure and discusses actions the federal government should take to bring conditions up to acceptable levels. ASCE did not issue new grades because the condition and performance have not changed significantly in two years.

2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Roads & Bridges D+/C

The nation is failing to even maintain the substandard conditions we currently have, a dangerous trend that is affecting highway safety, as well as the health of the economy. According to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA) "2003 Conditions and Performance Report," traffic congestion costs the economy $67.5 billion annually in lost productivity and wasted fuel. Passenger and commercial travel on our highways continues to increase dramatically. The average rush hour grew more than 18 minutes between 1997 and 2000. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) "Bottom Line Report" estimates that capital outlay s by all levels of government would have to increase by 42% to reach the projected $92 billion Cost to Maintain level, and by 94% to reach the $125.6 billion Cost to Improve level. This is in contrast to the FHwA which estimates that outlays by all levels of government would have to increase by 17.5% to reach their projected $75.9 billion Cost to Maintain level, and 65.3% to re ach their $106.9 billion Cost to Improve level.

As of 2000, 27.5% of the nation's bridges (162,000) were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, an improvement from 29% in 1998. A structurally deficient bridge is closed or restricted to light vehicles because of its deteriorated structural components, which require speed and weight restrictions. A functionally obsolete bridge has older design features and while it is not unsafe for all vehicles, it cannot safely accommodate current traffic volumes, vehicle sizes and weights. These restrictions not only contribute to traffic congestion, they also pose major inconveniences such as in Warren, Pa., where the local hospital has stationed an ambulance crew on the other side of town to avoid a time-consuming three-mile detour around the Hickory Street Bridge while the town awaits construction of a new $10-million span. It is estimated that it will cost $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies. Present funding trends of state DOTs call into question future progress on addressing bridge deficiencies.

While the enactment of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21), which authorized $218 billion for the nation's highway and transit programs in 2001, has helped, America continues to shortchange funding for much needed road and bridge repairs.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: On September 30, 2003, TEA-21 expires, along with funding to state highway and transit programs. Congress and the Administration must act to reauthorize this important legislation with sufficient funding to address the significant needs identified for America's surface transportation systems. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's draft TEA-21 proposal provides $375 billion over 6 years for the nation's surface transportation program - the amount identified as the Cost to Maintain by the FHwA in the 2002 Conditions and Performance Report.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Transit C-

Despite increased spending resulting from TEA-21, our transit systems show signs of decline. Efforts to maintain the systems are outpaced by growth in ridership, which has increased faster than airline or highway transportation. According to the American Public Transit Association, public transportation ridership has increased 22% since 1998 - the highest level in 40 years.

Roads and transit systems are in peril. Funding at the federal, state and local levels is in danger of drying up and citizens are failing to invest in their communities' futures. In Virginia, where vehicle travel has increased by 21% from 1991 to 2001 and its population grew by 16% between 1990 and 2001, voters in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, Va., failed to pass a sales tax proposal last fall that would have raised billions for its overburdened road and transit system. On the positive side, in Las Vegas, where freeway congestion has grown from 5% to 55% in the past 20 years, voters approved a tax plan to fund local transportation projects.

The federal government invests $7.66 billion annually in mass transit capital improvements. According to AASHTO, capital outlays by all governments would have to double to reach the projected $18.9 billion Cost to Maintain level, and increase by 362% to reach the $43.9 billion Cost to Improve level. The Federal Transit Administration estimates the Cost to Maintain at $14.8 billion and the Cost to Improve at $20.6 billion.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: On September 30, 2003, TEA-21 expires, along with funding to the nation's surface transportation programs. Congress and the Administration must act to reauthorize this important legislation with sufficient funding to address the significant needs identified for America's surface transportation systems.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Aviation D

Despite economic and post 9/11 related decline in passenger travel, the FAA expects dramatic growth in aviation demand over the next decade. Total U.S. enplanements in 2001 were 683 million and are expected to reach 1 billion by 2014. Air cargo is expected to grow by 5.3% a year for the next 12 years. The FAA states that a minimum of an additional $2 billion a year is necessary to meet needs.

When aviation infrastructure was graded a D in 2001, airport capacity had increased only 1% from 1991 to 2001, yet air traffic had increased 35% during that same period. Despite the current lows in passenger travel, the continued resurgence in passenger and cargo air travel to previous levels, combined with current airport spending trends, translates into a "No Progress" arrow for our nation's aviation infrastructure. Little is being done to capitalize on the low growth period after 9/11 to address the nation's aviation infrastructure needs.

Officials are choosing to invest funds in strengthening airline security measures instead of infrastructure. Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn's recently proposed a $9 billion plan for Los Angeles International Airport would enhances security, in part by decreasing the number of gates from 163 to 153, but allows for no significant airfield capacity increases.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: On September 30, 2003, AIR-21 expires, along with funding for programs such as the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the Second Century of Flight Act (H.R. 2271 & S. 788); however, Congress and the Administration must work out their differences to allow President Bush to sign into law an airport bill.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Schools D-

Due to either aging, outdated facilities, severe overcrowding, or new mandated class sizes, 75% of our nation's school buildings remain inadequate to meet the needs of school children. The average cost of capital investment needed is $3,800 per student, more than half the average cost to educate a student for one year. Population growth is outpacing investment in our schools. While school construction spending has increased, the cost to remedy the situation remains more than $127 billion.

Many school districts are mandating a lower student to teacher ratio in an effort to improve test scores. In Florida, there is now a statewide constitutional amendment limiting class sizes causing the Hillsborough County school district to put a freeze on moving dilapidated portable classrooms from school property.

There has been no new comprehensive needs assessment since the last report card. The increased attention on K-12, along with increased funding, has highlighted the issue, but the underlying problems remain.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: Funding for schools is a state and local function. However, federal educational standards and mandates on classroom size do have costs. The federal government should do more to assist local school districts in maintaining their facilities. One way would be to enact the America's Better Classroom Act of 2003 (H.R. 930 & S. 856), which would help states and localities by using tax credits to pay the interest on school modernization bonds. It is a sensible, cost-effective and efficient measure that creates no new bureaucracy



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Drinking Water D

While drinking water quality remains good, the infrastructure of the nation's 54,000 drinking water systems is aging rapidly. Federal funding remains flat, while the infrastructure needs continue to increase. There is an annual shortfall of $11 billion needed to replace or rehabilitate facilities that are nearing the end of their useful life and to comply with federal water regulations.

The forecast for our nation's drinking water systems indicates a downward slope. Drinking water received a D on the 2001 Report Card, yet the situation continues to worsen as aging systems - some developed more than a century ago - continue to service our ever-growing population.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: Reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act at $25 billion over a five-year period would go a long way toward improving our nation's water infrastructure.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Wastewater D

The nation's 16,000 wastewater systems face enormous needs. Some sewer systems are 100 years old and many treatment facilities are past their recommended life expectancy. Currently, there is a $12 billion annual shortfall in funding for infrastructure needs; however, federal funding has remained flat for a decade. Because of this continuing shortfall, more than one third of U.S. surface waters do not meet water quality standards.

America's farmers, fishermen, manufacturers and tourism industries rely on clean water to carry out activities that contribute over $300 billion to our economy each year. However, the challenge to continue providing clean water remains, as our existing national wastewater infrastructure is aging, deteriorating and in need of repair, replacement and upgrading. In fact, EPA has reported that without improvements to the nation's wastewater treatment infrastructure, we face the very real risk of losing the environmental gains we have achieved over the last three decades since the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: Reauthorization of the Clean Water Act at $25 billion over a five-year period would begin to improve our nation's wastewater infrastructure. Congress should pass H.R. 1560, the Water Quality Financing Act of 2003, or S. 170, the Clean Water Infrastructure Financing Act of 2003, at the recommended funding level.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Dams D

The number of unsafe dams has risen by 23% to nearly 2,600. Because of downstream development, the number of "high-hazard potential dams" - those whose failure would cause loss of life - has increased from 9,921 in 2001 to 10,049 in 2003. There have been 21 dam failures in the past two years.

Some progress is being made through the repair of small watershed dams constructed with assistance from the USDA since 1948. This is only a small portion of the total number of non-federal dams. On the federal side, the federally-owned dams are in good condition; however, continuing budget restrictions are placing pressure on and limiting many agency dam safety programs.

Despite the recent passage of the National Dam Safety and Security Act of 2002 (HR 4727), which provides funding through grants to improve state dam safety programs, it is estimated that $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address all critical non-federal dams - dams that pose a direct risk to human life should they fail. In the meantime, the 78,000 dams in the U.S. National Inventory of Dams continue to age and deteriorate.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: Introduction and passage of legislation to create a loan fund for the repair, rehabilitation and removal of non-federal dams would provide seed money to advance the process of rehabilitating the most critical dams.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Solid Waste C+

Solid waste disposal received a C+, the highest grade on the 2001 Report Card for America's Infrastructure. In the two years since, solid waste is holding steady with average performance. Sanitary land filling in the United States has made monumental strides in the last 20 years, moving from open dumps with little or no control to "state of the art" facilities with sophisticated containment systems, environmental monitoring, improved operational practices and increased regulation. The amount of solid waste sent to landfills has declined 13% since 1990, while the amount of waste recovered through recycling has nearly doubled and waste-to-energy plants manage now 17% of the nation's trash. Most states have 10 years' worth of landfill capacity.

However, despite the progress with traditional solid waste concerns, the rapid development of new technology has created an electronic waste stream (computer hardware and other electronic components) that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), currently accounts for 1% of the nation's 210 million tons of solid waste each year and is growing rapidly. Because of a lack of an efficient, U.S.-based management system for this new waste category, much of our nation's electronic waste is being stockpiled or sent overseas for disposal.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: An efficient management system based in the United States is needed to handle the growing volume of electronic waste (e-waste). Congress should authorize regional e-waste management compacts to assist states in managing this emerging solid waste concern.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Hazardous Waste D+

Since 2001, brownfields redevelopment has increased, with the restoration of 922 sites resulting in increased tax revenue and jobs. The rate of Superfund site clean-up has quickened. Unfortunately, in both arenas, the clean-up rate is not able to keep up with the rate at which new sites are identified and the backlog of potential sites is assessed.

According to a June 2003 report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 205 cities have 24,987 brownfield sites awaiting redevelopment. Of those, 148 cities reported that 576,373 new jobs and as much as $1.9 billion annually could be generated if their brownfield sites were redeveloped. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimates that there are 400,000 to 600,000 brownfield sites nationwide.

Nearly 10,000 contaminated sites could end up in the Superfund program. Nearly 800 high-priority hazardous-waste sites were fully cleaned up between 1980 and 2000. However, more than 1,200 sites remain to be addressed and another 3,000 sites still need to be assessed for possible action under Superfund. The Superfund program could encompass as many as 10,000 contaminated sites. The U.S. GAO estimates that, after nearly 20 years and outlays of more than $14 billion, the Superfund program has yet to complete clean-ups for 42% of the nation's most severely contaminated hazardous waste sites. Cleanups at 85% of these sites will be completed by the end of calendar year 2008. The remainder will not be completed until well after 2008.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: The Bush administration has asked Congress to add $150 million to next year's Superfund program budget, which averages $3 billion a year. Yet with so many brownfields waiting to be decontaminated and rehabilitated, prime economic opportunities continue to languish. Congress should enact H.R. 239, the Brownfields Redevelopment Enhancement Act; H.R. 402, the Brownfield Cleanup Enhancement Act of 2003; H.R. 2535, the Economic Development Administration Reauthorization Act of 2003; and S. 645, the Brownfields Redevelopment Assistance Act of 2003.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Navigable Waterways D+

As the world's leading maritime and trading nation, the United States relies on an efficient and effective marine transport system to maintain its role as a global economic superpower. The waterway system is also vital to U.S. national security interests. The nation's 25,000 miles of waterways, 238 lock chambers and 1,000 harbor channels serve 300 U.S. ports and over 3,700 terminals by moving 2.4 billion tons of commerce annually, and by providing critical intermodal links to 152,000 miles of rail; 460,000 miles of pipelines; and 45,000 miles of interstate highways. Despite the significance of the waterway link to the global economy, national investment in water resources projects has not kept pace with U.S. economic and social expansion, resulting in the nation's waterway infrastructure being in urgent need of modernization to accommodate present and future levels of waterborne traffic.

Half of the navigation locks on inland waterways exceed their 50-year design life. System capacity has been impacted by deferred maintenance, which has led to a doubling of out-of-service times at navigation locks over the last 10 years. Funding shortfalls have delayed completion of many ongoing capital improvement projects by 5 to 10 years, resulting in construction cost increases of $300 million and lost benefits of over $2 billion. The unexpended balance in the Inland Waterway Trust Fund has grown to $360 million.

Additionally, key deep-draft channels at the nation's gateway ports are inadequate for the mega-container ships, which are the world standard for international trade, and intermodal connectors to ports are in poor condition. Transportation demand through navigation channels, especially for vessels carrying containerized cargoes, is expected to more than double by the year 2020. Maintaining authorized levels of service at harbor channels is challenged by a growing maintenance funding backlog, with the unexpended balance in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund now at $1.73 billion.

Over the last 30 years the U.S. population has increased more than 40% while the GDP has grown from $2.5 to $10.8 trillion. Meanwhile, capital investment in public water resources infrastructure has decreased by 70%. For example, in the 1970s the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' civil works construction appropriations were in the $4 billion range. However, in the 1990s the funding dropped to an average of $1.6 billion a year. The combination of declining investment, coupled with an expanding population and economy, has created an "investment gap."

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: A bi-annual water resources authorization act was not enacted in 2002, postponing needed environmental and business process improvements for waterway programs. It is imperative that Congress and the Administration pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2003 (H.R. 2557) to address these future needs. In addition, the investment gap needs to be addressed through aggressive modernization and maintenance programs, including spending down the trust fund balances for the purposes the monies were intended.



[ Back to the Top ]
2001 Grade 2003 Trends
Energy D+

Over the last two decades, transmission investment has decreased by $115 million a year, dropping from $5 billion annually in 1975 to $2 billion in 2000. The electric transmission line grid capacity has not been upgraded to meet growth demands.

In August 2003, millions of Americans and Canadians were left without electricity. Two years after the nation's energy infrastructure received a D+, the nation experienced an electrical system failure that not only left tens of millions in the dark, but also brought other infrastructure areas to a halt. Transit in New York City was stopped in its tracks leaving millions stranded and access to drinking water in Cleveland was interrupted.

Since 1990, actual capacity has increased by only about 7,000 megawatts (MW) per year, an annual shortfall of 30%. More than 10,000 MW of capacity will have to be added each year until 2008 to keep up with the 1.8% annual growth in demand. The U.S. energy transmission infrastructure relies on older technology, raising questions of long-term reliability.

Proposals to build more generators and adding transmission lines are often met with serious obstacles, including voter opposition. The Department of Energy estimates that consumers will pay up to $50 billion in higher electric bills to modernize the U.S. power grid. Still, government has been slow to adopt regulations to improve transmission capacity.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED: Investments in the transmission grid have diminished significantly in recent years. Investment barriers include lack of regional integrated planning, difficulty in siting new transmission lines, and uncertainty regarding investment risks and returns. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has called for the development of five Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs). These RTOs, when implemented, will be used to better determine weaknesses in the transmission grid and allow better regional planning. The RTOs will ultimately be responsible for the efficient managed growth of the regional transmission system.

A = Exceptional
B = Good
C = Mediocre
D = Poor
F = Inadequate Trends


In 2001, the estimated cost for infrastructure renewal was $1.3 trillion over a five-year period. Today, that cost has risen to $1.6 trillion over a five-year period. While solutions to repair our crumbling infrastructure can be addressed through a renewed partnership between citizens, the private sector, and local, state and federal governments, reauthorization of TEA-21, and passage of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act can provide critical funding to repair our transportation and water infrastructure.

The trends for renewal of the 12 infrastructure areas were assessed by the America Society of Civil Engineers and supported by a panel comprised of 20 eminent civil engineers representing the broad spectrum of civil engineering. The forecasted trends were based on the condition and performance of each infrastructure area as reported by federal sources; capacity of infrastructure versus need; and current and pending investment of state, local and federal funding for infrastructure versus need.

Here's the link to the report card for 2005 I can't CCP the card onto here but it shows we are going down even further......

http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/index.cfm
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 01-16-2006 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:33 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Here's the reports for 2005....... Is this what we truly want to leave as our legacy to our children a nation falling apart and heavily in debted while the top 5% keep getting richer???????

I can almost say that I am 99% sure those arguing against me will not present any ways to pay for these needed improvements.... but they will attack me, they will IGNORE and they will continue to maintain that there is nothing wrong with the infrastructure.... because in doing so they will effectively admit that the tax cuts and Bush's spending is destroying us.

I beg those truly interested in our country's future and those that want to leave a better country for their children to read this, to use the link, to research this yourself and see what Bush is doing to this infrastructure and what we are in fact leaving our children and their progeny.........


Again using this link: http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/index.cfm



Quote:
2005 Grades
Subject 2001
Grade 2005
Grade Comments
Aviation D D+ Gridlock on America's runways eased from crisis levels earlier in the decade due to reduced demand and recent modest funding increases. However, air travel and traffic have reportedly surpassed pre-Sept. 11 levels and are projected to grow 4.3% annually through 2015. Airports will face the challenge of accommodating increasing numbers of regional jets and new super-jumbo jets.


Bridges C C Between 2000 and 2003, the percentage of the nation's 590,750 bridges rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete decreased slightly from 28.5% to 27.1%. However, it will cost $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies. Long-term underinvestment is compounded by the lack of a Federal transportation program.

Dams D D Since 1998, the number of unsafe dams has risen by 33% to more than 3,500. While federally owned dams are in good condition, and there have been modest gains in repair, the number of dams identified as unsafe is increasing at a faster rate than those being repaired. $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address all critical non-federal dams--dams which pose a direct risk to human life should they fail.

Drinking Water D D- America faces a shortfall of $11 billion annually to replace aging facilities and comply with safe drinking water regulations. Federal funding for drinking water in 2005 remained level at $850 million, less than 10% of the total national requirement. The Bush administration has proposed the same level of funding for FY06.

Energy (National Power Grid) D+ D The U.S. power transmission system is in urgent need of modernization. Growth in electricity demand and investment in new power plants has not been matched by investment in new transmission facilities. Maintenance expenditures have decreased 1% per year since 1992. Existing transmission facilities were not designed for the current level of demand, resulting in an increased number of `bottlenecks' which increase costs to consumers and elevate the risk of blackouts.

Hazardous Waste D+ D Federal funding for `Superfund' cleanup of the nation's worst toxic waste sites has steadily declined since 1998, reaching its lowest level since 1986 in FY05. There are 1,237 contaminated sites on the National Priorities List, with possible listing of an additional 10,154. In 2003, there were 205 U.S. cities with `brownfields' sites awaiting cleanup and redevelopment. It is estimated that redevelopment of those sites would generate 576,373 new jobs and $1.9 billion annually for the economy.

Navigable Waterways D+ D- A single barge traveling the nation's waterways can move the same amount of cargo as 58 semi-trucks at one-tenth the cost--reducing highway congestion and saving money. Of the 257 locks on the more than 12,000 miles of inland waterways operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, nearly 50% are functionally obsolete. By 2020, that number will increase to 80%. The cost to replace the present system of locks is more than $125 billion.

Public Parks & Recreation -- C- Many of our nation's public parks, beaches and recreational harbors are falling into a state of disrepair. Much of the initial construction of roads, bridges, utility systems, shore protection structures and beaches was done more than 50 years ago. These facilities are anchors for tourism and economic development and often provide the public's only access to the country's cultural, historic and natural resources. The National Park Service estimates a maintenance backlog of $6.1 billion for their facilities. Additionally, there is great need for maintenance, replacement and construction of new infrastructure in our nation's state and municipal park systems.


Rail -- C- For the first time since World War II, limited rail capacity has created significant chokepoints and delays. This problem will increase as freight rail tonnage is expected to increase at least 50% by 2020. In addition, the use of rail trackage for intercity passenger and commuter rail service is increasingly being recognized as a worthwhile transportation investment. Congestion relief, improved safety, environmental and economic development benefits result from both freight and passenger market shifts to rail creating a rationale for public sector investment. The freight railroad industry needs to spend $175-$195 billion over the next 20 years to maintain existing infrastructure and expand for freight growth. Expansion of the railroad network to develop intercity corridor passenger rail service is estimated to cost approximately $60 billion over 20 years. All told, investment needs are $12-13 billion per year.

Roads D+ D Poor road conditions cost U.S. motorists $54 billion a year in repairs and operating costs--$275 per motorist. Americans spend 3.5 billion hours a year stuck in traffic, at a cost of $63.2 billion a year to the economy. Total spending of $59.4 billion annually is well below the $94 billion needed annually to improve transportation infrastructure conditions nationally. While long-term Federal transportation programs remain unauthorized since expiring on Sept. 30, 2003, the nation continues to shortchange funding for needed transportation improvements.

Schools D- D The Federal government has not assessed the condition of America's schools since 1999, when it estimated that $127 billion was needed to bring facilities to good condition. Other sources have since reported a need as high as $268 billion. Despite public support of bond initiatives to provide funding for school facilities, without a clear understanding of the need, it is uncertain whether schools can meet increasing enrollment demands and the smaller class sizes mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Security -- I While the security of our nation's critical infrastructure has improved since Sept. 11, the information needed to accurately assess its status is not readily available to engineering professionals. This information is needed to better design, build and operate the nation's critical infrastructure in more secure ways. Security performance standards, measures and indices need to be developed, and funding must be focused on all critical infrastructure sectors, beyond aviation.

Solid Waste C+ C+ The nation's operating municipal landfills are declining in total numbers, but capacity has remained steady due to the construction of numerous regional landfills. In 2002, the United States produced 369 million tons of solid waste of all types. Only about a quarter of that total was recycled or recovered.


Transit C- D+ Transit use increased faster than any other mode of transportation--up 21%--between 1993 and 2002. Federal investment during this period stemmed the decline in the condition of existing transit infrastructure. The reduction in federal investment in real dollars since 2001 threatens this turnaround. In 2002, total capital outlays for transit were $12.3 billion. The Federal Transit Administration estimates $14.8 billion is needed annually to maintain conditions, and $20.6 billion is needed to improve to "good" conditions. Meanwhile, many major transit properties are borrowing funds to maintain operations, even as they are significantly raising fares and cutting back service.

Wastewater D D- Aging wastewater management systems discharge billions of gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. surface waters each year. The EPA estimates that the nation must invest $390 billion over the next 20 years to replace existing systems and build new ones to meet increasing demands. Yet, in 2005, Congress cut funding for wastewater management for the first time in eight years. The Bush administration has proposed a further 33% reduction, to $730 million, for FY06.


America's Infrastructure G.P.A. = D

Total Investment Needs = $1.6 Trillion



(estimated 5-year need--does not include security investment needs) A = Exceptional
B = Good
C = Mediocre
D = Poor
F = Failing
I = Incomplete Each category was evaluated on the basis of condition and performance, capacity vs. need, and funding vs. need.


Copyright © 1996 - 2005 ASCE. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 01-16-2006 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:47 PM   #36 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Pan, thank you for finding that source.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
 
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Pan, thank you for finding that source.

No problem. I'll find it interesting to see how the Bushies respond to who will pay for these problems we are leaving for our children because they want tax cuts. Like I said my gut feeling is they won't even argue they'll attack me, the ASCE, and everyone else who isn't as greedy or blind as they are.

The scariest part is these things will only continue to worsen and cost more, unless we spend now and fix them...... but we have a war and Iran and Afgghanistan to rebuild...... and of course TAX CUTS.

And yes, I said greedy because what else would you call people who want everything now but are willing to leave their children and their progeny shit?
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 01-16-2006 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:03 PM   #38 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Ventura County
I visit this website as a diversion to an already busy day. Not responding to every point is not a concession.
I am sure you realize it is easier if we took things one point at a time rather than adding more points before reaching any kind of resolution on any point in paticular.
No matter what these discussion give great insight into how the other half thinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Is not educating the population defense? If not then why did our forefathers develop public education?
I agree. We need a literate population. However the government should not subsidize colleges and universities. People who get college degrees are the primary benefactors not the nation as a whole, therfore the people who get thos degrees should pay the cost, not the guy who did not have an opportunity to go. You should agree with that, since you care about the poor. Why should rich people get to go to government subsidized colleges, then get jobs as; i.e. plastic surgens, and then get richer?

Quote:
How can you have economic freedom for people if you keep sending jobs overseas, paying people less, while merging companies into conglomerates where the executives make more than all their workers combined?
The free market determines wages. Shaq makes $100 mil, because people want to see him play, Tom Cruise makes $20 mil/film, because people go to see his movies. Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the country because he has skills as an investor no one in the world can match. The guy mopping the floor at McDonald's make $7/hr. because 90% of the world's population can mop a floor. The CEO of McDonald's makes millions because the shareholders beleive he is worth the money, if they didn't they would fire him. Personally, I think capitalism is wonderful. No matter who you are in a free market you get paid for what your skills are worth. I don't hate Shaq because I can't play basketball, nor do I hate CEO's because I can't run a fortune 500 company. Why do you?

Quote:
Iraq again and again has been proven to have had nothing to do with 9/11 nor have WMDs. So tell me again why we are there?
Iraq invaded another country.
The UN impossed sanctions.
Iraq ignored those sanctions.
Iraq paid $ to suicide bomber families.
Iraq shot at US plains, regullarly.
Iraq let the world believe they had weapons of mass destruction and would use them.
We needed a good location to wage the war against terror. Iraq was a better spot than Iowa and most other places.

The first three reasons were good enough for me.

I get the feeling that if Sadaam personally had a weapon pointed at you and said he was going to annihilate you, and the George Bush, personally blew Sadaam's head off before Sadaam pulled the trigger, you would say Bush had no reason to take preemptive action. Am I right? Come on you know I am.

Quote:
...the states and locals have to increase sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. All of which the rich can absorb and not worry about while the poor and middle class get hit harder and harder every time the sales taxes go up.
Imagine a world were local governments took care of the needs of local citizens on a local level. What a concept. A world were local government officials were directly accountable to the folks next door, you and me. We might actually get some stuff done.
__________________
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch."
"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions on vegetarianism while the wolf is of a different opinion."
"If you live among wolves you have to act like one."
"A lady screams at the mouse but smiles at the wolf. A gentleman is a wolf who sends flowers."

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Old 01-16-2006, 02:19 PM   #39 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Ventura County
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
No problem. I'll find it interesting to see how the Bushies respond to who will pay for these problems we are leaving for our children because they want tax cuts. Like I said my gut feeling is they won't even argue they'll attack me, the ASCE, and everyone else who isn't as greedy or blind as they are.

The scariest part is these things will only continue to worsen and cost more, unless we spend now and fix them...... but we have a war and Iran and Afgghanistan to rebuild...... and of course TAX CUTS.

And yes, I said greedy because what else would you call people who want everything now but are willing to leave their children and their progeny shit?
O.k. I'll bite.

What would you do to tax rates if you could make the final decision?

Income rannge / Tax rate

$0 - $20,000 / ??
$20,001 - $40,000 / ??
$40,001 - $60,000 / ??
60,001 - $80,000 / ??
$80,001 - $100,000 / ??
$100,000- $200,000 / ??
>$200,000 / ??
__________________
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch."
"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions on vegetarianism while the wolf is of a different opinion."
"If you live among wolves you have to act like one."
"A lady screams at the mouse but smiles at the wolf. A gentleman is a wolf who sends flowers."

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Old 01-16-2006, 02:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
 
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3
I visit this website as a diversion to an already busy day. Not responding to every point is not a concession.
I am sure you realize it is easier if we took things one point at a time rather than adding more points before reaching any kind of resolution on any point in paticular.
No matter what these discussion give great insight into how the other half thinks.
I agree, especially if they are done with respect.

I admit I become very emotionally charged over the fiscal suicide I believe our country is facing because I truly want better to leave a better world for my children and with Bush I don't see it happening. As pointed out by the ASCE links and grade reports I posted above.


Quote:
I agree. We need a literate population. However the government should not subsidize colleges and universities. People who get college degrees are the primary benefactors not the nation as a whole, therfore the people who get thos degrees should pay the cost, not the guy who did not have an opportunity to go. You should agree with that, since you care about the poor. Why should rich people get to go to government subsidized colleges, then get jobs as; i.e. plastic surgens, and then get richer?
So if you do not subsidize these colleges, and you cut loans and scholarships...... then only the rich can go. I'd rather have subsidized colleges and loans so that ALL can go.

But it is a moot point when the public schools K-12 are in horrible shape financially and the kids are not able to be taught what they need to get into college..... so again the rich kids who go to private schools become the only beneficiaries of college.



Quote:
The free market determines wages. Shaq makes $100 mil, because people want to see him play, Tom Cruise makes $20 mil/film, because people go to see his movies. Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the country because he has skills as an investor no one in the world can match. The guy mopping the floor at McDonald's make $7/hr. because 90% of the world's population can mop a floor. The CEO of McDonald's makes millions because the shareholders beleive he is worth the money, if they didn't they would fire him. Personally, I think capitalism is wonderful. No matter who you are in a free market you get paid for what your skills are worth. I don't hate Shaq because I can't play basketball, nor do I hate CEO's because I can't run a fortune 500 company. Why do you?
Capitalism with civic responsibility and leaving or at least trying to leave the world in better shape for your children is one thing, what is going on today is an unchecked greed that is not beneficial nor healthy for the future.

I hate the CEO's that would rather cut 1000's of jobs, ruin a city's economy and move jobs overseas so that they can keep their multi-million dollar salaries. Salaries that if they cut a percentage of could save those jobs, and cities economies. It's bullshit to say they are saving money for their investors. The money those investors are saving is lost because of the cost to the infrastructure, the loss of tax revenue to that city, the loss of jobs, the loss of school funding, the total disregard of the future generations.



Quote:
Iraq invaded another country.
The UN impossed sanctions.
Iraq ignored those sanctions.
Iraq paid $ to suicide bomber families.
Iraq shot at US plains, regullarly.
Iraq let the world believe they had weapons of mass destruction and would use them.
We needed a good location to wage the war against terror. Iraq was a better spot than Iowa and most other places.

The first three reasons were good enough for me.

I get the feeling that if Sadaam personally had a weapon pointed at you and said he was going to annihilate you, and the George Bush, personally blew Sadaam's head off before Sadaam pulled the trigger, you would say Bush had no reason to take preemptive action. Am I right? Come on you know I am.

I personally, do not see the logic. I think it was solely for oil and has been proven over and over again. We did nothing to N. Korea did we? In fact one of Bush's biggest supporters Rev. Moon has donated them millions, bought them old Soviet Nuke subs and is a great supporter of their leadership.

And what about the fact that almost all of the terrorists were saudis, yet we haven't done anything to them have we?

Or what about the illegals that come over? As I have stated over and over they scare me far more than Iraq, Iran, N. Korea ever will. Yet, Bush does nothing to defned us against the illegals, in fact he works to give them free healthcare (the $1billion pledged) he works to get them driver's liscenses and so on. Yet, does nothing to prevent them from entering.



Quote:
Imagine a world were local governments took care of the needs of local citizens on a local level. What a concept. A world were local government officials were directly accountable to the folks next door, you and me. We might actually get some stuff done.
Perhaps, but, in reality, the Federal government is the only entity that has the money or can get the money to straighten out the infrastructure.

Look at the above grades and needed repairs, we need to fix our future.

When you are sending factories and good paying jobs overseas, the states and cities are losing tax bases left and right. There is no way they can survive when you destroy their tax bases and then cut any funding to them.

If our government started fixing our infrastructure the construction jobs would be there, local economies would be helped, good paying jobs would become available, tax revenue from those jobs would go up, area economies would improve, factories may actually start coming back, and the economy would boom.

You cannot grow an economy if all you do is consume and produce shit for shit wages...... which is what we are doing.

Put the money into the infrastructure that is falling apart and let the economy boom that way...... It is truly the only chance we may have.
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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