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View Full Version : The Real Issue This Election - A Broken System


Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 08:47 AM
Ben Stein nails the key issue this election:

Get this, friends: from 1947 to about 1973 — from the days from the great Harry S. Truman to the great Richard M. Nixon [comment here - Stein was a speechwriter for "the great' Nixon]— real hourly pay for nongovernment workers rose by about 40 percent. The peak year was the one before R.N. left for San Clemente in 1974. Since then, real wages both hourly and weekly for all nongovernment workers, on average, have fallen by about 5 percent, very roughly.

There are all kinds of reasons for this, ranging from the larger size and different composition of the labor force to the devastating foreign competition in manufacturing, which tends to set a limit on other wages as well.

But the trend is dismal. The average private worker now earns very roughly $600 a week, not counting fringe benefits. For this worker, gasoline might well account for close to one-tenth of his or her earnings. If the price of gas goes up 25 percent, the effect is serious. To put it mildly, people making $600 a week do not have a lot of leeway on spending.

As I see it, the problem is not the price of oil generally. (I think that the price will decline somewhat before long, but the long-term trend is very much up.) The problem is the stagnation of wages. ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/business/29every.html?ref=business


The usually insightful Tom Friedman has similar thoughts:

My fellow Americans: We are a country in debt and in decline — not terminal, not irreversible, but in decline. Our political system seems incapable of producing long-range answers to big problems or big opportunities. We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy — more than the Iraqis and Afghans. We are the ones in need of nation-building. It is our political system that is not working. ...

If the old saying — that “as General Motors goes, so goes America” — is true, then folks, we’re in a lot of trouble. General Motors’s stock-market value now stands at just $6.47 billion, compared with Toyota’s $162.6 billion. On top of it, G.M. shares sank to a 34-year low last week.

That’s us. We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be about and is going to be about — even if it is interrupted by a terrorist attack or an outbreak of war or peace in Iraq. We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started. Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. Nothing else matters. :thumbsup:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/opinion/29friedman.html?ref=opinion

With Hillary Clinton out of the race I had thought McCain & Obama might actually campaign on the tough choices that need to be made in the coming years as the nation can no longer continue to borrow its way out of problems - so far not so good.

GBMelBlount
06-29-2008, 09:03 AM
Our political system seems incapable of producing long-range answers to big problems or big opportunities. We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy

This is the problem. Everyone thinks the government should be providing the solutions. If they would lower the strangling corporate and individual taxes, remove legislation that is hampering capitalism, and get the hell out of the way, capitalism and free enterprise would find the solutions and our country would be much better off right now. Government is the problem. Until people realize who John Gault is, things will only get worse.

So I guess everyone knows how I'm voting......

stillers4me
06-29-2008, 09:21 AM
This is the problem. Everyone thinks the government should be providing the solutions. If they would lower the strangling corporate and individual taxes, remove legislation that is hampering capitalism, and get the hell out of the way, capitalism and free enterprise would find the solutions and our country would be much better off right now. Government is the problem. Until people realize who John Gault is, things will only get worse.

So I guess everyone knows how I'm voting......

:hatsoff:

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 09:33 AM
This is the problem. Everyone thinks the government should be providing the solutions. If they would lower the strangling corporate and individual taxes, remove legislation that is hampering capitalism, and get the hell out of the way, capitalism and free enterprise would find the solutions and our country would be much better off right now. Government is the problem. Until people realize who John Gault is, things will only get worse.

So I guess everyone knows how I'm voting......

Bingo!!!....why is it that so many people cannot take the next logical step when Governmental representatives start talking about taxing their EMPLOYERS...Hmmmmmm....one less employed person?

I have seen numbers that lead me to believe that the bottom income that could be negatively affected (depending on who is elected) is about $130,000...when you take into consideration that the government sees the combined income of homes as ONE number...you begin to see that "middle class" is in the eye of the beholder.

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 09:37 AM
Nobody enjoys having their taxes raised, so if there is a philosophical aversion to raising taxes (which not only Dems do - taxes under Reagan were raised repeatedly in the 1980s after the early 80s tax cuts http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200310290853.asp ) what do you cut to balance a budget that is projected to be $450 billion in the red this year?

stillers4me
06-29-2008, 09:42 AM
Nobody enjoys having their taxes raised, so if there is a philosophical aversion to raising taxes (which not only Dems do - Reagan did it repeatedly in the 1980s after the early 80s tax cuts http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200310290853.asp ) what do you cut to balance a budget that is projected to be $450 billion in the red this year?

MCCain vows to cut the pork. Can he do it? It sure sounds better than taking more of my measly little paycheck.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 09:52 AM
Nobody enjoys having their taxes raised, so if there is a philosophical aversion to raising taxes (which not only Dems do - taxes under Reagan were raised repeatedly in the 1980s after the early 80s tax cuts http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200310290853.asp ) what do you cut to balance a budget that is projected to be $450 billion in the red this year?

In 1994, lawmakers slipped over 4,000 earmarks into bills that went on to become law..... By 2005 the number had ballooned to nearly 16,000

The Congressional Research Service says the collective cost in 2005 for such special spending perks was $47.4 billion....These cost taxpayers an extra $17.2 billion so far this year...(This is the first year legislators have had to attach their names to these measures)

The nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its newest Pig Book.... that shows 11,610 pork barrel projects inserted into this year's appropriations bills by members of Congress.

(By the way....the biggest "Pig"?...Thats right...Hillary Clinton)

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 10:01 AM
MCCain vows to cut the pork. Can he do it? It sure sounds better than taking more of my measly little paycheck.

Rhetorically that sounds nice but how does "cutting pork" (whatever that means - one man's pork is another man's vitally needed development of infrastructure) balance the budget? Earmarks are estimated to comprise $16.8 billion of the FY 2008 budget http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/earmarks/public-site-preview/

Also keep in mind that McCain was opposed to the Bush tax cuts until he decided to run for President again. For those who think his latest position is etched in stone, perish the thought he changes his mind again.

http://www.clubforgrowth.org/2007/03/arizona_senator_john_mccains_t.php

Maybe he should add the line "read my lips, no new taxes" to his acceptance speech at the Convention

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 10:03 AM
The Congressional Research Service says the collective cost in 2005 for such special spending perks was $47.4 billion....These cost taxpayers an extra $17.2 billion so far this year...(This is the first year legislators have had to attach their names to these measures)


OK - let's attribute $20 billion to earmarks for FY 2008 - what else do you cut to eliminate the remaining deficit of $430 billion without raising taxes?

rbryan
06-29-2008, 10:28 AM
A good start would be to get the hell out of Iraq.

And then cancel the welfare checks for every illegal alien that entered the country and had a kid 10 minutes later....Wait a minute... I forgot.... thats Un-American. Talk about a rookie salary cap. How about legislation that prevents new citizens from getting on the free money train for at least 5 years.

We can talk about booting the remaining 95% of the career welfare recipients off the train at a later date.....Baby steps

GBMelBlount
06-29-2008, 10:37 AM
Bring in experts from the private sector (like Romney). That's what my dad use to do. He would go in and analyze companies and show them where they could improve efficency, productivity and profit.....and cut waste. The government itself, and the programs, need an overhaul imo. The government simply needs to be run like a business. As far as what to reduce, I dunno. Make a balanced budget mandatory over time and bring in the experts from the private sector, who don't have a vested interest in big government, sort it out.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 10:39 AM
OK - let's attribute $20 billion to earmarks for FY 2008 - what else do you cut to eliminate the remaining deficit of $430 billion without raising taxes?

That was just earmarks...How anout Government waste?...The Medicare program is probably the most obvious...Medicare pays as much as eight times what other federal agencies pay for the same drugs and medical supplies.... The Department of Health and Human Services com­pared the prices paid by Medicare versus the Veterans Administration health care program for 16 types of medical equipment and supplies.... The evidence showed that Medicare paid an average of more than double what the VA paid for the same items.... The largest difference was for saline solution, with Medicare paying $8.26 per liter compared to the $1.02 paid by the VA.

Medicare reform could save taxpayers and program beneficiaries $20 bil­lion to $30 billion annually without reducing ben­efits...but strong public support leaves lawmakers hesitant to address the program.

But the biggest waste is probably duplicate programs...consolidating duplicative programs will save money and improve government efficiency...and some programs could be eliminated completely

Example:
We have...
342 economic development programs;
130 programs serving the disabled;
130 programs serving at-risk youth;
90 early childhood development programs;
75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities;
72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water;
50 homeless assistance programs;
45 federal agencies conducting federal crimi­nal investigations;
40 separate employment and training pro­grams;
28 rural development programs;
27 teen pregnancy programs;
26 small, extraneous K–12 school grant pro­grams;
23 agencies providing aid to the former Soviet republics;
19 programs fighting substance abuse;
17 rural water and waste-water programs in eight agencies;
17 trade agencies monitoring 400 interna­tional trade agreements;
12 food safety agencies;
11 principal statistics agencies; and
Four overlapping land management agencies

Now dont get me wrong...I am for safe water...but I dont think we need 72 Federal programs all duplicating each others efforts!!!!

This becomes a priority when you see that in 2003 the government could not account for $25 Billion in government spending...Buried in the Department of the Treasury’s 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government is a short section titled “Unreconciled Transactions Affecting the Change in Net Position,” which totaled over $24.7 billion

The government knows that $25 billion was spent by someone.... somewhere.... on something.... but auditors do not know who spent it.... where it was spent....or on what it was spent....the $25 billion could have funded the entire Department of Justice for an entire year.

rbryan
06-29-2008, 10:42 AM
It's little wonder so many people are in a bind for living above thier means and over extended on credit. Our Govt has run on that principle my whole life. Just borrow some more and spend like a drunken sailor.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 10:51 AM
It's little wonder so many people are in a bind for living above thier means and over extended on credit. Our Govt has run on that principle my whole life. Just borrow some more and spend like a drunken sailor.

:hunch: Not sure how you made the leap from people living above their means....and government pork spending.

rbryan
06-29-2008, 10:56 AM
Simple..People see our govt living above its means spending $ they don't have everyday. Just write another IOU and worry about paying for it....Never?

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 11:05 AM
Simple..People see our govt living above its means spending $ they don't have everyday. Just write another IOU and worry about paying for it....Never?

Okay...we will just have to agree to disagree on that point. I cant imagine anyone looking at the incompetence of government spending and applying that to their own budget plans.

GBMelBlount
06-29-2008, 11:13 AM
LLT
How about Government waste?...The Medicare program is probably the most obvious.....The evidence showed that Medicare paid an average of more than double what the VA paid for the same items

Why should they care? They're spending our money. Hey, I've got an idea, let's put them in charge of our health care too!!!!! *wink*

LLT
But the biggest waste is probably suplicate programs...consolidating duplicative programs will save money and improve government efficiency...and some programs could be eliminated completely

I agree LLT. I can't tell Dan exactly what things to cut and by how much, I just think the governments several trillion received in taxes per year is more than enough.

Preacher
06-29-2008, 11:16 AM
Ben Stein nails the key issue this election:


With Hillary Clinton out of the race I had thought McCain & Obama might actually campaign on the tough choices that need to be made in the coming years as the nation can no longer continue to borrow its way out of problems - so far not so good.


AD...

Did you really think that?

Remember a couple months ago when I called them the 3 stooges, and you took umbrage to that?

Mark my words. you will get NONE of the discussions you want, just more of the same.

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 01:07 PM
AD...

Did you really think that?

.

yep

But while we are discussing the subject Preacher, do you contend the deficit gets eliminated without raising taxes and, if so, how?

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 01:16 PM
yep

But while we are discussing the subject Preacher, do you contend the deficit gets eliminated without raising taxes and, if so, how?

I am taking it for granted that this was an open question ...and not just for preacher...if not I apologize.

The deficit can be eliminated by cutting government spending ( see the above post on earmarks and government waste) and by creating "New" taxpayers....For every employee a business can hire...you have money coming into the system in federal taxes...state taxes...snd the taxes on the cars...gas...food...clothes...and goods that they purchase.

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 01:16 PM
Bring in experts from the private sector (like Romney). That's what my dad use to do. He would go in and analyze companies and show them where they could improve efficency, productivity and profit.....and cut waste. The government itself, and the programs, need an overhaul imo. The government simply needs to be run like a business. As far as what to reduce, I dunno. Make a balanced budget mandatory over time and bring in the experts from the private sector, who don't have a vested interest in big government, sort it out.

Ummm - exactly which businesses do you have in mind? - the domestic automobile manufacturers?; the airlines?; Countrywide?; Bear Stearns?

Believe it or not there is a lot of inefficiency in the private sector as well

If bringing in McKinsey could solve all the problems of the world then Toyota would be eating GM's dust

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 01:18 PM
I am taking it for granted that this was an open question ...and not just for preacher...if not I apologize.

The deficit can be eliminated by cutting government spending ( see the above post on earmarks and government waste) and by creating "New" taxpayers....For every employee a business can hire...you have money coming into the system in federal taxes...state taxes...snd the taxes on the cars...gas...food...clothes...and goods that they purchase.

LLT - certainly not intending to exclude anyone

I just was asking Preacher to add his thoughts to the mix; as usual, your observations are thought provoking:drink:

GBMelBlount
06-29-2008, 02:28 PM
Ummm - exactly which businesses do you have in mind? - the domestic automobile manufacturers?; the airlines?; Countrywide?; Bear Stearns?

Believe it or not there is a lot of inefficiency in the private sector as well

If bringing in McKinsey could solve all the problems of the world then Toyota would be eating GM's dust

The likes of Mitt Romney. Experts who have experience successfully turning around medium and large size businesses that were in the red.

Sure there are alot of inefficiencies in the private sector. When my wife and I grew our old company up to 30 employees we weren't much more profitable than when we had five people, just more headaches. If we had problems and major inefficiencies with just 30 employees, I can only imagine how bad it could be at corporations like GM, or the biggest company of all...the government.

We can also argue the causes of big business problems like GM in the global market. High corporate & private taxes, unions, jobs banks, etc. Those have all affected the cost of their product and have make it harder to compete.

Preacher
06-30-2008, 04:31 AM
yep

But while we are discussing the subject Preacher, do you contend the deficit gets eliminated without raising taxes and, if so, how?

Somewhat.... within the limits of smart spending by govt.

1. Govt. spending is way out of control. Stop it, and you have a much smaller deficit.

2. If you decrease taxes, you give incentive to make more money. By increasing taxes, you create disincentive. There is a point which you cannot decrease taxes any further though... So you decrease until you find the balance. We are probably close to that balance now. When the economic cycle turns back up, the taxes money will come in WITHOUT raising taxes, provided we keep the Govt. Spending under control.

3. I like NAFTA... not as much because I like free trade, but because it creates Mirrored trading policies with Mexico and Canada. I think a flex-mirror trading policy is the absolute best concept. If our biggest import to @O$ land is item x... and their biggest import here is item z... and they charge a 20 percent tax for whatever reason... then we should slap the same tax on their item x. By doing so, we even out the trade imbalance, bringing more money into the states and thus, creating a larger tax revenue.

4. Poll tax. Every voter should have to pay 1000 dollars.

5. I hope I got your dander up with number 4... I was just poking at ya!

revefsreleets
06-30-2008, 09:18 AM
A) Greatly reduce foreign aid for two years. The savings will pile up, and it will remind all those shitty little countries that hate us so much why they liked us in the first place. Reassess at the end of a couple years who is "worthy" of receiving aid going forward.
B) Greatly reduce corporate welfare and entitlements, with the caveat that big businesses that can find ways to add good jobs IN THE US and still be profitable will be eligible for future tax abatements and the like.
C) Completely revamp Social Security. Set a cutoff, reimburse people of my generation and younger what they've paid in (I'm never going to see a penny of it otherwise), rework the existing program to provide for people currently fully vested, and scrap the program going forward. The government doesn't need to provide pensions for people.
D) Sweeping reform in both Medicare and Medicade. This has already been discussed.

Get these balls rolling and you are well on your way to completely turning this country around.

GBMelBlount
06-30-2008, 09:29 AM
I like a lot of that. The government just seems to have problems getting much done, especially on time or on budget. Social Security is also scary because of the dramatic increase in recipients vs. those paying into it.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-30-2008, 10:28 AM
I like a lot of that. The government just seems to have problems getting much done, especially on time or on budget. Social Security is also scary because of the dramatic increase in recipients vs. those paying into it.


Two hypothetical situations:


Welfare system may take some hard love.

Each person is allowed to come in once....they are tested for aptitude....trained in a field that meets their strength/and where there are openings..given an apartment while training that they KEEP...and given a job upon completion. Then they are NEVER allowed to come back for benefits...EVER. They can come back for job placement...but that is it.

Social security is another story

Social security is going to have to be at least partially taken out of the governments hands....Have government approved investment firms (In the private sector that meet certain requirements)...each payday you have a mandatory percentage that is taken out and put into investments...the percentage of high risk stock would be directly related to age...the older you get the less percentage that can be put into high risk. Each year the government releases which firms are doing well and each citizen is able to move investements to the firm of their choice, thereby making the firms competitive in making you money. The end result is Americans investing in America...and Americans being more responsible about their retirement..and more in control of the outcome by becoming educated about investing .

Dino 6 Rings
06-30-2008, 10:35 AM
All I can think of is with all that money in taxes and used on wasteful programs, what could our government do with all that cash.

If I was in charge, we'd have an entire fleet of super star destroyers for sure.

Here's a real issue. Term Limits. Until we get the career politicians out of office, there is no "change" coming.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-30-2008, 10:57 AM
All I can think of is with all that money in taxes and used on wasteful programs, what could our government do with all that cash.


Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man

revefsreleets
06-30-2008, 11:08 AM
Social security is another story

Social security is going to have to be at least partially taken out of the governments hands....Have government approved investment firms (In the private sector that meet certain requirements)...each payday you have a mandatory percentage that is taken out and put into investments...the percentage of high risk stock would be directly related to age...the older you get the less percentage that can be put into high risk. Each year the government releases which firms are doing well and each citizen is able to move investements to the firm of their choice, thereby making the firms competitive in making you money. The end result is Americans investing in America...and Americans being more responsible about their retirement..and more in control of the outcome by becoming educated about investing .

I want my money now...I mean NOW. And I want it with company match. I want that cash back, so I can invest it myself. I would rather flush it down the toilet than let our government control it for another second. It's my money, I earned it, and I want it BACK!

My generation and back is getting absoultely effed...we put in and we will never, ever see a penny of that money. If you stop and think about it, it's appalling.

Atlanta Dan
06-30-2008, 11:16 AM
Somewhat.... within the limits of smart spending by govt.

1. Govt. spending is way out of control. Stop it, and you have a much smaller deficit.

2. If you decrease taxes, you give incentive to make more money. By increasing taxes, you create disincentive. There is a point which you cannot decrease taxes any further though... So you decrease until you find the balance. We are probably close to that balance now. When the economic cycle turns back up, the taxes money will come in WITHOUT raising taxes, provided we keep the Govt. Spending under control.

3. I like NAFTA... not as much because I like free trade, but because it creates Mirrored trading policies with Mexico and Canada. I think a flex-mirror trading policy is the absolute best concept. If our biggest import to @O$ land is item x... and their biggest import here is item z... and they charge a 20 percent tax for whatever reason... then we should slap the same tax on their item x. By doing so, we even out the trade imbalance, bringing more money into the states and thus, creating a larger tax revenue.

4. Poll tax. Every voter should have to pay 1000 dollars.

5. I hope I got your dander up with number 4... I was just poking at ya!

Cannot get to me with #4. While you are joking, Hillary supporters have seriously been telling me decreasing the voting age from 21 to 18 is a horrible mistake due to "naive" college kids that supported Obama being yet another reason Hillary was deprived of "her" nomination.

I agree a combination of speding restraints and tax increases get the budget back to some semblance of balance. It is the arguments that all we need to do is tax "the wealthy" or eliminate "waste" to balance the books that get to me - whomever wins in November has some tough choices to sell since IMO the days of just having foreign lenders pay the bills are over.

Dino 6 Rings
06-30-2008, 11:18 AM
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man

Isn't that part of the reason NY had to get a new governor?

Godfather
06-30-2008, 02:23 PM
I like the cuts that have been mentioned so far. A couple others I didn't see when I scrolled through the thread:

1) End the insane war on drugs. In fact, reduce the federal criminal justice system to its proper constitutional role.

2) Slash the Commerce Department. We don't need the government to "promote US businesses overseas"--if that's worth doing the private companies will do it. We also don't need the Census to be anything more than a head count.


As far as running government like a business, I don't care for that term. The government's job is collective self-defense, and that's not something the private sector can do efficiently. There's not only the free rider problem, but also the fact that a business exists to maximize profit, which is a completely different purpose from government.

MasterOfPuppets
06-30-2008, 02:41 PM
A good start would be to get the hell out of Iraq.

And then cancel the welfare checks for every illegal alien that entered the country and had a kid 10 minutes later....Wait a minute... I forgot.... thats Un-American. Talk about a rookie salary cap. How about legislation that prevents new citizens from getting on the free money train for at least 5 years.

We can talk about booting the remaining 95% of the career welfare recipients off the train at a later date.....Baby steps
:applaudit:.....rbryan for president !!!!

revefsreleets
06-30-2008, 02:55 PM
I like the cuts that have been mentioned so far. A couple others I didn't see when I scrolled through the thread:

1) End the insane war on drugs. In fact, reduce the federal criminal justice system to its proper constitutional role.

2) Slash the Commerce Department. We don't need the government to "promote US businesses overseas"--if that's worth doing the private companies will do it. We also don't need the Census to be anything more than a head count.


1. Yup. Totally agree
2. Cities and states are doing it as well. Just how many different angles does this need approached from?

MasterOfPuppets
06-30-2008, 03:09 PM
i've got one !!!, i've got one !!!:tt02:

instead of paying income tax, put the tax on purchased goods, and eliminate ithe IRS !!!

Godfather
06-30-2008, 09:08 PM
i've got one !!!, i've got one !!!:tt02:

instead of paying income tax, put the tax on purchased goods, and eliminate ithe IRS !!!

You'd still need an IRS or a functional equivalent to collect the sales taxes. But that would be a better system, as long as you don't tax necessities (groceries and medicine).

Atlanta Dan
06-30-2008, 09:11 PM
But that would be a better system, as long as you don't tax necessities (groceries and medicine).

... and NFL Sunday Ticket

stlrtruck
07-01-2008, 09:09 AM
My campaign slogan....NFL Sunday Ticket for every Man, Woman, and Child who is in the country legally!!!!

One other thing to add - punish companies that sale American jobs to overseas companies and send more Americans to the unemployment line!!!

Preacher
07-01-2008, 06:38 PM
My campaign slogan....NFL Sunday Ticket for every Man, Woman, and Child who is in the country legally!!!!

One other thing to add - punish companies that sale American jobs to overseas companies and send more Americans to the unemployment line!!!


Horrible idea.

because that item you buy for a buck will now be a buck 80, which will send more people to the "underemployed" category and further decimate this economy.

The problem isn't "Jobs going overseas"

Have any of you looked at the unemployment rate lately? A point..point and a half below full employment?

the problem ISNT jobs or job creation. It is our inability to make sound financial decisions at all levels, from the first time homeowner to congress.

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 06:46 PM
Horrible idea.

because that item you buy for a buck will now be a buck 80, which will send more people to the "underemployed" category and further decimate this economy.

The problem isn't "Jobs going overseas"

Have any of you looked at the unemployment rate lately? A point..point and a half below full employment?

the problem ISNT jobs or job creation. It is our inability to make sound financial decisions at all levels, from the first time homeowner to congress.

Employed at what wage rate Preacher? A job at Wal-Mart does not equate to a job at at the departed Pittsburgh Works of J&L Steel
(USW Local 1843:thumbsup:)

I go back to my original post and this quote from Ben Stein, who is no bleeding heart liberal:

Get this, friends: from 1947 to about 1973 — from the days from the great Harry S. Truman to the great Richard M. Nixon — real hourly pay for nongovernment workers rose by about 40 percent. The peak year was the one before R.N. left for San Clemente in 1974. Since then, real wages both hourly and weekly for all nongovernment workers, on average, have fallen by about 5 percent, very roughly.

There are all kinds of reasons for this, ranging from the larger size and different composition of the labor force to the devastating foreign competition in manufacturing, which tends to set a limit on other wages as well.

An economy where real wages are lower than they were over three decades ago has issues - globalization is great if you have not been outsourced, but the current system is not working for many Americans

Preacher
07-01-2008, 07:05 PM
Employed at what wage rate Preacher? A job at Wal-Mart does not equate to a job at at the departed Pittsburgh Works of J&L Steel
(USW Local 1843:thumbsup:)

I go back to my original post and this quote from Ben Stein, who is no bleeding heart liberal:

Get this, friends: from 1947 to about 1973 — from the days from the great Harry S. Truman to the great Richard M. Nixon — real hourly pay for nongovernment workers rose by about 40 percent. The peak year was the one before R.N. left for San Clemente in 1974. Since then, real wages both hourly and weekly for all nongovernment workers, on average, have fallen by about 5 percent, very roughly.

There are all kinds of reasons for this, ranging from the larger size and different composition of the labor force to the devastating foreign competition in manufacturing, which tends to set a limit on other wages as well.

An economy where real wages are lower than they were over three decades ago has issues - globalization is great if you have not been outsourced, but the current system is not working for many Americans

However outsourcing has only really been around for a few years... heck, I'll give you 10 to 12 years, but since 1974? That isn't an outsourcing problem.

In fact, to stop outsourcing now, will make real wages drop further as it will drive up prices.

We have to stop blaming the obvious scapegoats and take good HARD looks at ourselves.

And you know what... this housing crash may very well be the first step of the NECESSARY major economic correction that has been coming for a number of years.

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 07:20 PM
However outsourcing has only really been around for a few years... heck, I'll give you 10 to 12 years, but since 1974? That isn't an outsourcing problem.

In fact, to stop outsourcing now, will make real wages drop further as it will drive up prices.

We have to stop blaming the obvious scapegoats and take good HARD looks at ourselves.

And you know what... this housing crash may very well be the first step of the NECESSARY major economic correction that has been coming for a number of years.

Preacher - when I was working summers at the Pittsburgh Works in the 70s the steel industry was losing the battle and jobs to Europe and Japan back then. The country has been bleeding those sorts of jobs since the Steel Curtain reigned.

Now the domestic auto auto industry is falling off the same cliff. How you replace those well paying jobs for individuals without college degrees ( a big % of the U.S. population) is a problem that needs to be addressed.

If you want to sneak a peek at where this country is heading if it does not get a grip on its problems of losing those sorts of jobs, take a look at the decline of western PA over the last 30 years.

Not everyone can go to work at Goldman Sachs and simply telling workers to suck it up as jobs go overseas is not an answer. I do not claim to know what the answer is, but IMO saying all we need to do is cut taxes and "reduce regulation" (fat lot of good that did with subprime mortgages) is not an answer - it is a bumper sticker.

Preacher
07-01-2008, 07:47 PM
Preacher - when I was working summers at the Pittsburgh Works in the 70s the steel industry was losing the battle and jobs to Europe and Japan back then. The country has been bleeding those sorts of jobs since the Steel Curtain reigned.

Now the domestic auto auto industry is falling off the same cliff. How you replace those well paying jobs for individuals without college degrees ( a big % of the U.S. population) is a problem that needs to be addressed.

If you want to sneak a peek at where this country is heading if it does not get a grip on its problems of losing those sorts of jobs, take a look at the decline of western PA over the last 30 years.

Not everyone can go to work at Goldman Sachs and simply telling workers to suck it up as jobs go overseas is not an answer. I do not claim to know what the answer is, but IMO saying all we need to do is cut taxes and "reduce regulation" (fat lot of good that did with subprime mortgages) is not an answer - it is a bumper sticker.

AD..

Those Steel mill jobs were replaced in the early and mid eighties with computer tech jobs at just as high or higher money per hour... without any college training. You still need no college... just certification.

As those jobs started to leave, they were replaced with web developlement.

As those leave... etc. etc.
_______________________

The questions that have to be asked is what ELSE is affecting those jobs?

the shutdown of whole industries has a lot to do with it. Steel had to make way for plastics and other things on cars, military equipment, bottles, etc etc.

American Auto companies were hamstrung by their own management and unions... something all that foreign comp. didn't really have to deal with. They also put out a much better product then the American companies... at a better price. The market place says so. Just look at the sales difference.

And what happened? Foreign manufactures started building plants in america, bringing some of those jobs back here.

______________________

There is also a much larger reality that we cannot ignore, and that is the modern super-state.

Europe, through the EU has become a super-state. As a result, the economies of all those nations are interdependent and mutually supported. Asia is doing a lot of the same thing. OPEC can be viewed somewhat the same way, though in a twisted sense. NAFTA is our equivalent, as is other trade agreements. To try to bury ourselves financially behind our own borders is planting our own seeds of financial ruin. You think it is bad now? How much worse will it be when all the rest of the world is paying a third of the prices we pay because we won't allow cheaper products and work to be put on the market in our country? Suddenly, we will have even less and less money to purchase the same goods. Thus, we will top purchasing them. Furthermore, whatever we ship overseas will be VASTLY overpriced... destroying what is already a bad trade imbalance.... and you think our economy is bad now?

No, we take the shackles off our economy. Keep taxes low. Stop some of the idiotic city and state regulations (you won't BELIEVE what people have to go through to get a license for building around here). I believe the markets and the economy will regulate itself. The LAST thing we need to do is keep messing with it. It WILL regulate itself. Only when it gets VASTLY out of balance should the feds step in (monopolies... or illegal activity).

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 07:59 PM
AD..

Those Steel mill jobs were replaced in the early and mid eighties with computer tech jobs at just as high or higher money per hour... without any college training. You still need no college... just certification.

As those jobs started to leave, they were replaced with web developlement.

As those leave... etc. etc.
_______________________

The questions that have to be asked is what ELSE is affecting those jobs?

the shutdown of whole industries has a lot to do with it. Steel had to make way for plastics and other things on cars, military equipment, bottles, etc etc.

American Auto companies were hamstrung by their own management and unions... something all that foreign comp. didn't really have to deal with. They also put out a much better product then the American companies... at a better price. The market place says so. Just look at the sales difference.

And what happened? Foreign manufactures started building plants in america, bringing some of those jobs back here.

______________________

There is also a much larger reality that we cannot ignore, and that is the modern super-state.

Europe, through the EU has become a super-state. As a result, the economies of all those nations are interdependent and mutually supported. Asia is doing a lot of the same thing. OPEC can be viewed somewhat the same way, though in a twisted sense. NAFTA is our equivalent, as is other trade agreements. To try to bury ourselves financially behind our own borders is planting our own seeds of financial ruin. You think it is bad now? How much worse will it be when all the rest of the world is paying a third of the prices we pay because we won't allow cheaper products and work to be put on the market in our country? Suddenly, we will have even less and less money to purchase the same goods. Thus, we will top purchasing them. Furthermore, whatever we ship overseas will be VASTLY overpriced... destroying what is already a bad trade imbalance.... and you think our economy is bad now?

No, we take the shackles off our economy. Keep taxes low. Stop some of the idiotic city and state regulations (you won't BELIEVE what people have to go through to get a license for building around here). I believe the markets and the economy will regulate itself. The LAST thing we need to do is keep messing with it. It WILL regulate itself. Only when it gets VASTLY out of balance should the feds step in (monopolies... or illegal activity).

Tying your economic star to Mexico is an interesting strategy. Opening the borders to our south has kept the cost of painting and landscaping down for those of us who can afford either service but has depressed wages for a lot of individuals of lesser economic means. Economic communities are great if it is a community of shared values; what exactly does this country's heritage share with that of Mexico?

We are not talking here about the immigration laws keeping out talented professionals; we are talking about a conscious decision to trash the immigration laws that results in depressed wages for many jobs.

GNP has grown exponentially since 1973 but real wages are static; IMO that is not a healthy situation and given that marginal tax rates have decreased significantly during that period I question whether cutting it some more is the answer to that problem.

Preacher
07-01-2008, 08:45 PM
Tying your economic star to Mexico is an interesting strategy. Opening the borders to our south has kept the cost of painting and landscaping down for those of us who can afford either service but has depressed wages for a lot of individuals of lesser economic means. Economic communities are great if it is a community of shared values; what exactly does this country's heritage share with that of Mexico?

We are not talking here about the immigration laws keeping out talented professionals; we are talking about a conscious decision to trash the immigration laws that results in depressed wages for many jobs.

GNP has grown exponentially since 1973 but real wages are static; IMO that is not a healthy situation and given that marginal tax rates have decreased significantly during that period I question whether cutting it some more is the answer to that problem.

Interesting that you go straight to mexico.

Isn't Canada part of N. America as well? And just maybe our biggest trading partner?

And sending some jobs down to Mexico at a lower wage to get a finished product at a much lesser cost... doesn't that help the person making poverty wages by just a little more?

It seems that you and I are at a stalemate again... You see a pie which get divided and handed out... I see a bakery which more pies can be made when the bakers are unshackled.

revefsreleets
07-01-2008, 08:54 PM
Hey guys, you're on it but off it. Wal-Mart effed everything up by opting for Pacific Rim slave labor instead of Mexican. We were supposed to form a bloc of North America vs. Europe vs. Pacific Rim but, just like any other thing politicians try to do right, it got all screwed up. China was cooperative and cheaper than dirt, so there goes NAFTA.

There's really not much to argue about. If you look at the label of all the cheap crap littering your house that you paid next to nothing for (keeping prices low relative to inflation and so on), it all shares three common traits: It's shittily constructed and will break soon, it's made in China, and you probably bought it at Wal-Mart or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

Preacher
07-01-2008, 08:57 PM
Hey guys, you're on it but off it. Wal-Mart effed everything up by opting for Pacific Rim slave labor instead of Mexican. We were supposed to form a bloc of North America vs. Europe vs. Pacific Rim but, just like any other thing politicians try to do right, it got all screwed up. China was cooperative and cheaper than dirt, so there goes NAFTA.

There's really not much to argue about. If you look at the label of all the cheap crap littering your house that you paid next to nothing for (keeping prices low relative to inflation and so on), it all shares three common traits: It's shittily constructed and will break soon, it's made in China, and you probably bought it at Wal-Mart or some reasonable facsimile thereof.


I can guarentee you I did NOT buy my wife at walmart! Nor is she made in china!

:rofl:


Well... Now that I am getting prepped for a butt-whoopin... I will go back to what I was doing!

revefsreleets
07-01-2008, 09:01 PM
I can guarentee you I did NOT buy my wife at walmart! Nor is she made in china!

:rofl:


Well... Now that I am getting prepped for a butt-whoopin... I will go back to what I was doing!

I hope your wife isn't "cheap shit":toofunny::sofunny:

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 09:06 PM
Interesting that you go straight to mexico.

Isn't Canada part of N. America as well? And just maybe our biggest trading partner?

And sending some jobs down to Mexico at a lower wage to get a finished product at a much lesser cost... doesn't that help the person making poverty wages by just a little more?

It seems that you and I are at a stalemate again... You see a pie which get divided and handed out... I see a bakery which more pies can be made when the bakers are unshackled.

The big selling point of NAFTA was not economic union with our Neighbor to the North; it was supposedly tapping into that burgeoning market of consumers south of the border. Nobody said that giant sucking sound if NAFTA passed was going to be jobs to Toronto.

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 09:12 PM
Hey guys, you're on it but off it. Wal-Mart effed everything up by opting for Pacific Rim slave labor instead of Mexican. We were supposed to form a bloc of North America vs. Europe vs. Pacific Rim but, just like any other thing politicians try to do right, it got all screwed up. China was cooperative and cheaper than dirt, so there goes NAFTA.

There's really not much to argue about. If you look at the label of all the cheap crap littering your house that you paid next to nothing for (keeping prices low relative to inflation and so on), it all shares three common traits: It's shittily constructed and will break soon, it's made in China, and you probably bought it at Wal-Mart or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

Mexico made the same mistake Southern textile towns did that marketed themselves as the lowest wage provider; if you play that game somewhere else can usually undercut you.

Walmart was going to Mexico only as long as it was not cheaper to go somewhere else.

A front page story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal indicates the same thing may be happening to China

Manufacturers say their profits have dwindled as they pay out more for raw materials and energy. China's strengthening currency has made Honghe's products more expensive for important markets such as the U.S., where the price of Chinese goods surged a record 4.6% in May from the previous year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Foreign buyers, used to inexpensive Chinese products and nervous about economic weakness at home, are often refusing to pay more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121479507619315069.html

revefsreleets
07-01-2008, 09:15 PM
The big selling point of NAFTA was not economic union with our Neighbor to the North; it was supposedly tapping into that burgeoning market of consumers south of the border. Nobody said that giant sucking sound if NAFTA passed was going to be jobs to Toronto.

But it was all tied into us providing manufacturing jobs to our compadres down south, thereby allowing them to have a little discretionary income with which to buy the same goods that they were manufacturing.

The REAL problem is that you cannot manufacture economic conditions. No matter how adept the economist, things are too complex to just try to emulate patterns from post WWII booms or whatever.

GBMelBlount
07-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Preacher
No, we take the shackles off our economy. Keep taxes low. Stop some of the idiotic city and state regulations (you won't BELIEVE what people have to go through to get a license for building around here). I believe the markets and the economy will regulate itself. The LAST thing we need to do is keep messing with it. It WILL regulate itself. Only when it gets VASTLY out of balance should the feds step in (monopolies... or illegal activity).

I agree Preach. Taxes are a huge problem and must be accounted for in the cost of goods sold. That makes us less competitive.

Preacher - when I was working summers at the Pittsburgh Works in the 70s the steel industry was losing the battle and jobs to Europe and Japan back then. The country has been bleeding those sorts of jobs since the Steel Curtain reigned.

Now the domestic auto auto industry is falling off the same cliff. How you replace those well paying jobs for individuals without college degrees ( a big % of the U.S. population) is a problem that needs to be addressed.

If you want to sneak a peek at where this country is heading if it does not get a grip on its problems of losing those sorts of jobs, take a look at the decline of western PA over the last 30 years.

Not everyone can go to work at Goldman Sachs and simply telling workers to suck it up as jobs go overseas is not an answer. I do not claim to know what the answer is, but IMO saying all we need to do is cut taxes and "reduce regulation" (fat lot of good that did with subprime mortgages) is not an answer - it is a bumper sticker.

Dan, your points are well taken. I worked for J&L Steel for several years in the 80's and I agree with much of what you are saying but still think taxes and regulations were a huge problem.

I also worked in the mortgage industry for many years. Again, I don't agree with the analogy you are making. The reduced regulations in the mortgage industry created a problem which is now being absorbed in the marketplace and corrections are being made. The markets will do that naturally. But, for example, when you need 800 licenses to drill for new oil, build a new refinery, or a nuclear power plant, THAT is fubar. Add in strangling taxes, it's a recipe for economic disaster. Might as well tie one hand behind our back and ask why we can't win a fist fight imo?

Atlanta Dan
07-01-2008, 10:51 PM
I also worked in the mortgage industry for many years. Again, I don't agree with the analogy you are making. The reduced regulations in the mortgage industry created a problem which is now being absorbed in the marketplace and corrections are being made.

GBMelBlount - "The marketplace" has not fixed the subprime crisis. Securitized mortgages were misrated by Moodys + S&P (it was the Lake Woebegon of financial markets where "all the children are above average") and Bears Stearns got into deep water that required the Fed to step in so we did not get a cascade of failures that could have crashed the system

The Federal Reserve said it was scrambling to prevent a "contagion" from infecting the nation's financial system when it took unprecedented actions this spring to back a Bear Stearns rescue package and provide emergency loans to big Wall Street firms.

Bear Stearns began to unravel last year when two hedge funds it managed collapsed because of heavy bets on subprime mortgage securities, which soured when the housing market fell into a deep slump. It was forced to take multibillion-dollar write-downs on the bad investments. Rumors about the company's cash position triggered a run on the investment bank that left it close to bankruptcy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/27/AR2008062703103.html

Not exactly a self-correcting free market at work here

GBMelBlount
07-04-2008, 09:28 AM
Not exactly a self-correcting free market at work here

It will over the long term Dan and a lesson will be learned. Every time the government gets it's nose under the tent, we pay in the end (the rear end that is). Capitalism and free markets are not perfect, but government solutions are usually worse.

Atlanta Dan
07-04-2008, 10:52 AM
It will over the long term Dan and a lesson will be learned. Every time the government gets it's nose under the tent, we pay in the end (the rear end that is). Capitalism and free markets are not perfect, but government solutions are usually worse.

Cannot unring the bell - the Fed and Treasury already had to step in to strong arm a sale of Bear Steanrs to JP Morgan Chase after Bernanke and Hank Paulson (former head of Goldman Sachs and no closet socialist) concluded govt. intervention was required to avoid a potential meltdown; we will never know how this situation would have played out without govt. intervention.

IMO those two had a better grasp than either of us on the hazard of waiting to see how the market would establish a new equilibrium after Bear Stearns simply went belly up without unwinding its financial obligations.

I am no fan of unfettered govt regulation but sometimes just letting the market take its course can lead to catastrophe.

Of course everything corrects in the long run but:

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again. - John Maynard Keynes

revefsreleets
07-05-2008, 09:51 AM
The problem was everyone knew this was coming, and literally an once of prevention would have been worth ten pounds of cure. But it's too easy to play Ostrich...same thing with the S&L bailout. These problems need fixed while they still can be, not after the damage is done, but it's not politically viable or expedient to do so...

Atlanta Dan
07-13-2008, 09:06 PM
It will over the long term Dan and a lesson will be learned. Every time the government gets it's nose under the tent, we pay in the end (the rear end that is). Capitalism and free markets are not perfect, but government solutions are usually worse.

Apparently lessons are still being learned

The desperate worry over the health of huge financial institutions with country cousin names — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — reflects a reality that has reshaped major spheres of American life: the government is taking on an increasingly dominant role in assuring that Americans can buy a home or attend college....

In short, in a nation that holds itself up as a citadel of free enterprise, the government has morphed from lender of last resort into effectively the only lender for millions of Americans engaged in the largest transactions of their lives.

Before, its more modest mission was to make more loans available at lower rates. Now it is to make sure loans are made at all. The government is setting the terms and the standards of Americans’ biggest loans.

The new reality is scorned by libertarians and conservatives, who fear intrusions by the state on the market, and by populists and progressives, who rue a society in which education and housing increasingly rest upon the government’s willingness to finance it.

“If you’re a socialist, you should be happy,” said Michael Lind, a fellow at the New America Foundation, a research institute in Washington. “But you should really wonder whether you want people’s ability to pay for housing and college dependent on the motives of people in Washington.”

How the government came to dominate these two crucial areas of American life is — depending on one’s ideological bent — a narrative of regulatory and market failure, or a cautionary tale about bureaucratic meddling in commerce. Perhaps it is both.

To those prone to blame lax regulation, the mortgage fiasco was the inevitable result of a quarter-century in which American policy makers prayed at the altar of market fundamentalism. The officials who could have stepped in and restored order stayed out in the belief that prosperity is maximized when entrepreneurs are allowed to succeed and fail on their own....

But there is a parallel narrative that critics and competitors of Fannie and Freddie have told for years: how the two companies exploited their pedigree as entities backed by the government to secure an unfair advantage over the private sector.

They swelled into highly leveraged behemoths, it was said, on the implicit guarantee that the government would rescue them if they ever got into trouble. This allowed them to borrow money more cheaply than their competitors could, enabling them to make loans more cheaply.

That secured more business and rewarded their shareholders, along with their handsomely compensated executives. It emboldened them to trade in highly risky investments.

“They were using their privileged position as favored children of the government to dominate the market, and taxpayers were on the hook for substantial risk,” said Martin N. Baily, a chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/washington/14guarantee.html?pagewanted=1&hp&adxnnlx=1215997306-%20aN5pRzRizWi2I9LNJMRig

Privitization of reward and socialization of risk - what a deal!:mad:

Lots of rancid problems left for whomever wins in November to deal with

GBMelBlount
07-13-2008, 10:00 PM
Nice Read Dan. I guess with any hot topic there are usually compelling arguments for "both sides." Perhaps that is why gray is such a popular color......

Atlanta Dan
07-15-2008, 06:35 PM
But something will turn up to avoid dealing with economic reality

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

A panel of top business leaders testified before Congress about the worsening recession Monday, demanding the government provide Americans with a new irresponsible and largely illusory economic bubble in which to invest.

"What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future,...

"Perhaps the new bubble could have something to do with watching movies on cell phones," said investment banker Greg Carlisle of the New York firm Carlisle, Shaloe & Graves. "Or, say, medicine, or shipping. Or clouds. The manner of bubble isn't important—just as long as it creates a hugely overvalued market based on nothing more than whimsical fantasy and saddled with the potential for a long-term accrual of debts that will never be paid back, thereby unleashing a ripple effect that will take nearly a decade to correct.

"The U.S. economy cannot survive on sound investments alone,"...

Every American family deserves a false sense of security," said Chris Reppto, a risk analyst for Citigroup in New York. "Once we have a bubble to provide a fragile foundation, we can begin building pyramid scheme on top of pyramid scheme, and before we know it, the financial situation will return to normal."

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/recession_plagued_nation_demands

revefsreleets
07-15-2008, 08:30 PM
I wish I could laugh, but didn't we literally just do that? We shifted the shit from the dot.com bubble into the housing market. If I knew it when it happened, you gonna tell me that Greenspan didn't?

It's one of those "sad but true" things.

Atlanta Dan
07-15-2008, 09:15 PM
I wish I could laugh, but didn't we literally just do that? We shifted the shit from the dot.com bubble into the housing market. If I knew it when it happened, you gonna tell me that Greenspan didn't?

It's one of those "sad but true" things.

After failing to head off the irrational exuberance of the dot.com bust Greenspan was kicking the economic can down the road as long as it took to avoid everything turning to s**t on his watch

I will credit Bush for having appointed Paulson, who has real world experience from running Goldman Sachs and is doing what he can to keep events from spinning totally out of control

Preacher
07-16-2008, 02:03 AM
After failing to head off the irrational exuberance of the dot.com bust Greenspan was kicking the economic can down the road as long as it took to avoid everything turning to s**t on his watch

I will credit Bush for having appointed Paulson, who has real world experience from running Goldman Sachs and is doing what he can to keep events from spinning totally out of control

You know...

except for a couple years in Clinton's first term (end of Bush's term), and a couple of years of so-so growth at the beginning of Bush's term (end of Clinton's term), we have not really dealt with what HISTORICALLY can be called a BAD economy. In truth, we have had about 25 years of economic happiness with a few rainy days and a couple scary tornado warnings that didn't cause that much damage.

I keep coming back to the fact that just like the weather patterns, the economy is cyclical. We are due for "the big one." Heck... skip over the issue of the 70's, and you have the same thing going all the way back to.... the Great Depression, which was in the.... 30's.

Dang.. High view, 1930-40 (ok, late 20's).. 10+ years of BAD news. 40 to 70 is 30 years of pretty decent growth. 70-80 (3 or 4) 10+ years of bad news. 80-2010-- 30 years of Good news...

Sure, Big HIGH view.. but at the level, the cycle looks to by going down again...

revefsreleets
07-16-2008, 09:30 AM
It doesn't fill me with optimism when I open the paper and see warnings about "What to do if there is a run on your bank".

Atlanta Dan
07-16-2008, 11:05 AM
It doesn't fill me with optimism when I open the paper and see warnings about "What to do if there is a run on your bank".

Or instructions in the Wall Street Journal on how to structure your deposits to avoid having over the $100,000 cap on FDIC insured deposits in a single account.

TroysBadDawg
07-19-2008, 05:08 PM
I just have to jump in here. You bring in the small business people who struggle day to day to make ends meet. The ones who actually make this Great Country move. They know how to get a dollars worth of product out of a dollar with out giving the CEO a 25 million dollar parachute for not doing his job and being fired.
Get the mom and pop grocer if you can find one any more in, how about the some of the small families trying to make it on 13,000 to 20,000 a year with two ro three kids. They know how to get their monies worth. Not these politicians who are worth millions and could care less about the people that elect them, they only care about those that will give them more money to be re-elected.

Live item veto was passed then ruled unconstitutional years ago when certain pork was eliminated.

I feel every bill that has pork in it should be vetoed, and the President should go on public television and radio and say why and what pork was in it and who put it in it. And that if the pork would be removed he would sign the bill.

But I feel they are afraid to step n toes, old boys club.

revefsreleets
07-20-2008, 05:31 PM
"His name was Robert Paulson"

Seriously, You're right about Paulson, Dan...nice piece on him to follow.

Troy, you're right about small business. They are incredibly important but without the big PAC/Lobby bucks they get screwed a lot. A LOT. It's sad...

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/25659929.html

An interview with the treasury secretary
Henry Paulson in the financial storm

By David Ignatius

Published on Sunday, Jul 20, 2008

WASHINGTON: Henry Paulson was in shirt sleeves Thursday afternoon in his office at the Treasury Department, tie loose at the collar, feet propped up on the coffee table. Behind his desk, Bloomberg screens were blinking out instant price quotations from the turbulent financial markets, but Paulson wasn't focused on the short term for a change. He was discussing the long-term structural reforms he hopes will bring greater stability.

What's agonizing for Paulson is that he says he saw the storm clouds gathering two years ago when he became treasury secretary. He recalls that in one of his first meetings with President Bush, he advised that ''it was highly unlikely that we could go two and a half more years without another period of stress.'' He also warned about the growing use of derivatives — financial instruments so complicated they confuse even the people who buy and sell them — and how they posed a fundamental risk to the markets. He cautioned the president that ''there was more leverage embedded in the system than regulators realized,'' creating potentially dangerous levels of debt.

And he says he was troubled about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants that had grown fat on an implicit (but never tested) government guarantee to back up their debt. ''It didn't take a genius to know that there was a problem,'' he says. ''The elephant was too big for the tent, frankly. They were too big, and they posed a systemic risk.''

But it's one thing to sense a crisis is looming and quite another to mobilize the federal government to do something about it. And these chronic financial problems were in Washington's ''too hard'' file.

The administration backed Paulson's decision in June 2007 to launch an elaborate program to create a new ''Blueprint for Regulatory Reform.'' It proposed streamlining regulations, and a new role for the Federal Reserve as overall ''market stability regulator,'' with an assignment Paulson likens to that of a roving free safety in football.

But by the time Paulson's blueprint was completed in March 2008, the Bear Stearns crisis had erupted. The problems he had contemplated in theory were now exploding in fact. Three factors made this crisis different from ones in the past, he says: the complexity of the derivatives and other financial products in the system; the amount of leverage that was embedded on lenders' and borrowers' books; and the ''unsustainable house-price appreciation that led to a housing correction that's still going on.''

Paulson's job over the past several months has been crisis management. He says he has tried to follow the same rule he had at Goldman Sachs when he was chief executive: ''If there's a problem, you don't run away from it, you run toward it.'' Certainly, he has been doing a lot of running.

Paulson and his fellow crisis manager, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, have been criticized for being too ad hoc in their policies, too quick to provide funds to rescue ailing financial giants, too little focused on the broader financial architecture. Conservatives, who regard Fannie and Freddie as bastions of liberal power and privilege, have argued that the two should be nationalized outright, rather than given new lines of credit and perhaps infusions of equity from the taxpayers.

Paulson counters that the critics aren't in the eye of the storm, and don't understand the potential consequences of putting the $5 trillion of Fannie and Freddie mortgage debt on the federal books. Many in Washington and around the world have wondered whether Treasury bills would even keep their triple-A rating if Fannie's and Freddie's obligations doubled the national debt.

The other practical worry for Paulson is finding a mechanism for unwinding the skein of debt for financial institutions that aren't covered by banking regulations. If Bear Stearns had been allowed to collapse, for example, what would a bankruptcy judge have done with the billions of dollars in derivatives contracts — and what would the counterparties have done in assessing their potential losses?

If Congress wants to avoid future bailouts similar to the one given Bear Stearns, ''you need a resolution or wind-down facility,'' Paulson says, so that the liabilities of failing investment banks or hedge funds can be sorted out carefully, the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation would untangle the books of a failing bank.

The country needs to address the big systemic issues of regulation, Paulson says, but not in the middle of an emergency. ''Right now, we need to emphasize stability. That's our top priority.''
Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist. He can be e-mailed

xfl2001fan
07-20-2008, 06:22 PM
I just have to jump in here. You bring in the small business people who struggle day to day to make ends meet. The ones who actually make this Great Country move. They know how to get a dollars worth of product out of a dollar with out giving the CEO a 25 million dollar parachute for not doing his job and being fired.
Get the mom and pop grocer if you can find one any more in, how about the some of the small families trying to make it on 13,000 to 20,000 a year with two ro three kids. They know how to get their monies worth. Not these politicians who are worth millions and could care less about the people that elect them, they only care about those that will give them more money to be re-elected.

Live item veto was passed then ruled unconstitutional years ago when certain pork was eliminated.

I feel every bill that has pork in it should be vetoed, and the President should go on public television and radio and say why and what pork was in it and who put it in it. And that if the pork would be removed he would sign the bill.

But I feel they are afraid to step n toes, old boys club.

That's something I've thought about for the last few elections. Either that, or have the President set up an online poll where we could actually vote on each bill (and all it's Pork.) I'm not sure what's unconstitutional about the whole live item veto process, but I'm just some country bumpkin.

TroysBadDawg
07-21-2008, 08:22 AM
AS I read this thread most are stating that Social Security is a problem. IT is not if Congress were to pay back all it borrowed from the fund then forgave itself from paying it back. Now they want to give it to illegals? Put all of Congress on Social Security and off the gravy train they are now on that THEY voted themselves on, not their employers the taxpayers. Then see how fast it would be fixed. Until then we can all whistle Dixie and stare at the clouds because it will not be fixed.

Godfather
07-21-2008, 11:31 AM
Congress is part of the Social Security system already:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/pensions.asp

The problem is their fat salaries and their unofficial retirement plan (get a $1M-a-year lobbying job from a special interest they gave tons of our money to).

Counselor
07-23-2008, 04:29 PM
That's something I've thought about for the last few elections. Either that, or have the President set up an online poll where we could actually vote on each bill (and all it's Pork.) I'm not sure what's unconstitutional about the whole live item veto process, but I'm just some country bumpkin.

FYI The Line Item Veto is unconstitutional because it places the role of "lawmaker" in the president's hands. The power to make law is solely in the hands of Congress. Bills are to be presented to the president so he can either sign or veto them in total.

If you allow the president to strike out parts of a bill he doesn't like (ie pork, or anything else) then he is infact making the law because he can unilaterally change what Congress wrote. It's against the doctrine of seperation of powers.

TroysBadDawg
07-24-2008, 07:44 AM
Preacher how can you say make sound financial decisions and congress in the same sentence?

TroysBadDawg
07-24-2008, 07:48 AM
FYI The Line Item Veto is unconstitutional because it places the role of "lawmaker" in the president's hands. The power to make law is solely in the hands of Congress. Bills are to be presented to the president so he can either sign or veto them in total.

If you allow the president to strike out parts of a bill he doesn't like (ie pork, or anything else) then he is infact making the law because he can unilaterally change what Congress wrote. It's against the doctrine of seperation of powers.

And what about the judges that are legislating from the bench? Isn't that a separation of powers or is that the right of lawyers and judges to twist the laws as they see fit?

I think the President should be vetoing all bills that have pork in them and going on national television and telling the people why he did, what pork was in it, who sponsored the pork, and if it were removed he would sign it. Then throw it back to congress, and let the outrage of the people be heard.

Counselor
07-24-2008, 09:59 AM
And what about the judges that are legislating from the bench? Isn't that a separation of powers or is that the right of lawyers and judges to twist the laws as they see fit?

I think the President should be vetoing all bills that have pork in them and going on national television and telling the people why he did, what pork was in it, who sponsored the pork, and if it were removed he would sign it. Then throw it back to congress, and let the outrage of the people be heard.

A judge's job is to interpret the law. They are not allowed to "legislate" from the bench, and the appeals process is in theory supposed to "check" that if they try to do so. (ie their decisions are overturned if wrong) Sometimes it doesn't work, and interpretation can sometimes "change" the law, but there are a lot of judges who take their job of reading the letter of the law very seriously.

Your idea about vetoing every bill with "pork" in it is a good idea. That would be the way it would have to be done, constitutionally. I will be surprised if there is ever a president with the fortitude to do it.

The fact is--- (and I seem to be everyone's worst nightmare on this board---a lawyer who worked in government a while ago;) --- in order to get bills passed and a consensus on a piece of legislation, legislators trade their votes. "I'll vote for this, if you vote for that." Its not always a monetary/pork trade---sometimes its a vote trade on policy issues---- but sometimes it is "pork". Without the ability to do this, Congress would get less done that it already does ! LOL. :doh:

Those Congress people especially adept at getting "pork"---Byrd (WV) and Murtha (Johnstown) come to mind----are beloved in their districts because of what they bring home. Its kinda of a "not in my back yard" thing. I don't want other people's legislators getting their projects through---but its OK if my guy does.

Perhaps the US Congress should consider what the PA legislature does---if you want a project passed which raises spending, you have to show a way to cut spending equally somewhere else----it cuts way down on "pork" projects, because everyone is willing to spend, but doesn't want to have to cut something else. The vote trading then tends to be more on the "policy" side rather that $$$.