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Author Topic: Obama's Economic plan  (Read 14151 times)

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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2009, 09:27:49 PM »

Just one article supporting my claim that Obama and the dems are at least a major factor causing the current economic problems.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

I am still working on my overall reply to this, because it requires a bit more research, but seriously? A political attack ad as source material? What school did you go to?
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 09:04:26 AM »

An article in a highly respected periodical is an attack ad?
What school did you go to?

Now if you had said 'a commentary' or 'an opinion' that I agree with, you would be correct. But I do think they support the opinion well enough.
Definitely not an attack ad tho.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 09:09:34 AM by Horace »
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I'm not really as scary as some people think I am. (re something Julie said to me at reg one night)

Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.

LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2009, 09:28:31 AM »

An article in a highly respected periodical is an attack ad?
What school did you go to?

Now if you had said 'a commentary' or 'an opinion' that I agree with, you would be correct. But I do think they support the opinion well enough.
Definitely not an attack ad tho.

Paid attack commentary, then? It's an opinion piece written by a campaign advisor to John McCain, DURING the campaign.
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Frigemall

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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2009, 11:01:29 AM »

But it was not the work projects themselves that fixed the depression. They kept people off the soup lines while they lasted, but when they were done, those people were no better off than they were before.

They "lasted" up until defense production created a significant enough demand for labor to make them unnecessary. I'm not sure how staying active in the workforce, receiving some additional training, and, oh… not starving to death? Not sure how that makes people "no better off". Being out of work and living in even more extreme poverty for 3-5 years would've been better?

No one can say definitely whether or not the depression would have ended without the war, or how long it would have taken to end.

Except, Mr. Burgundy, that I did just that say that. If the economic trending from '33 to '38 continued, about 3-5 more years to fully exceed '29 levels, most likely. Data is not as good from the period, unfortunately, but things were clearly on their way up. The bottom hit in '33, and it was uphill from there. Just look at the numbers.

But government work programs are not the answer. Everywhere and every time government has tried to employ people, whether by busy work programs or by owning the business, it has gone badly.

I would like to see some data to back this up. Also, I hardly call the TVA or the many roads and bridges laid down, or the miles of electrical wiring, "busy work". Busy work is paying people to move boxes from one side of the warehouse, then back, all day. It does nothing, makes nothing, benefits no one. The WPA was not in the busy work business, and it is wrong to say so.

The way for the gov't to help business is to get out of its way and let them keep their money.

This is a widely believed ideological talking point, I grant. But a fact? I'm not convinced by your argument, and wish you would provide actual reasons why you believe this to be the case.

Does this mean absolutely no regulation? Depends on the industry. Go ahead, tell the mortgage industry that it cant use predatory practices. Dont tell them they have to lend to people who cant afford and would otherwise not qualify for a mortgage. Thats just asking for problems.

This is not a fair characterization of financial industry regulations relevant to mortgages in the US - when was any non-GSE told they *must* lend to unqualified borrowers?

Want to tell the auto industry they have to meet certain safety standards? Fine. But if you tell them to make small plastic four wheeled death traps that no one wants in order to save gas, you're putting them out of business.

Yeah… good thing GM doesn't make the Camry or some shit like that...

And most of all, no bailouts. Tell the auto industry and everyone else, "if you screw up, you suffer the consequences." This does not automatically result in the US auto industry disappearing, it results in the companies being a bit more carefull, and accepting the consequences.

While at some level  I agree, and think Wagoner's head ought to adorn a spike in some prominent public location, it's a question of the least expensive way to handle things. Do you float a loan to a company like GM so it can keep running, and kick it so that it gets it shit together, or do you let it close down and deal with a few hundred thousand newly unemployed individuals? I believe the overall economic cost in terms of negative wage growth, direct costs in terms of unemployment insurance payouts, etc., would be higher in that case than the cost of the bridge loans.

There's some similar calculations to figure for the banks.

Thank you. I may not have had every minute detail perfectly correct, but you pretty much back up what I was saying.

Unless by "pretty much" you mean "not at all", I think you may have misunderstood the information I provided. Neither of you had the timelines or details correct.

Drives me nuts. He wasnt trying to "privatise social security" which makes it sound like completely separating it from gov't. He was trying to give people the OPTION of taking a small amount of the SS taxes and investing it privately. But agree, he could have used his "political capital" for other causes.

You're going to call the New Deal a makework project, and nitpick this? He was trying to give (on the whole) wealthier, more educated, better connected individuals the option to get out of paying some more of their taxes, in a way that will benefit them individually at a cost to society generally. Call that whatever the fuck you want, it's still a dick move.

I've heard a few 'arguements' to the surplus claim. One says it was a projected surplus.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf. Page 22 of the report (26th page of the PDF file). Years in rows, surplus/deficit is the third sub-column of each group. You can look it up yourself. There has been an off-budget operational surplus for over 20 years. The on-budget spending has been at a deficit for all of the same period, save for '99 and '00. What claim? There WAS a surplus. When you treat hard facts as speculation, I have a little trouble believing that you argue in good faith.

No, the regulations pushed by Obama, Pelosi and the rest are not the only factor in the mortgage crisis. But if not for this, would it have been as major and serious as it is? Before this regulation that they passed under the guise of "affordable housing" the problems the mortgage industry faced, such as people borrowing more than they could really afford and people not stopping to think "hey, when the lock in period on my ARM expires, the bank is going to raise my rate as high as they can get away with, will I still be able to afford the payments then?" Yes, this would have caused problems, and some companies would probably have gone under, but no where near as severe as it is with that regulation. How many billions did fannie and freddie over-lend? How much less severe would the current problem be without those billions? Money that we now have to pay back. What do I get for those tax dollars? Nothing.

Which CFR part are you referencing, here? If not the CFR, I'm sure thomas can help you find the legislation you're thinking of.

I've always been one to expect people to face the consequences of the choices they make and the actions they take. Sometimes this principle requires me to be damn cold hearted. But I think this country was far better off when more people agreed with me.

Which golden era of rugged American individualism was this, oh most principled one?

Ronald Reagan was absolutely right. "Government is not the answer, government is the problem."

Anyone who firmly believes that government is ineffective at best, damaging at worst, is guaranteed to govern in a way that is ineffective at best, damaging at worst. I still don't understand why people would vote for someone like that.

Neither Reagan or anyone else sought a complete elimination of all gov't regulation. Just the regulations that the gov't shouldnt be involved in.

Is there a guiding philosophy for which regulations are okay, and which aren't?

History has proven again and again, before and after Reagan, in and outside of the US, that when you get the gov't out of the way of the people, the people prosper.

If this is the case, surely you can provide better examples?
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 09:38:20 AM »

    OK, as far as work programs go, I did not have a problem with programs such as the CCC, and the WPA. Many of the jobs they did were necessary jobs that the government would have had to hire people to do anyway. If as a condition of welfare people were required to do some of the jobs currently held by city workers who are being paid some very high wages as a part of Union contracts, and recieve a modest wage as well as the dorm style housing they had during these times until they got back on their feet, I would not have any problem with this. The halfway house type work programs for unskilled labor would be good. I believe it should be offered as an alternative to welfare. I think it should however be coupled with greater restictions on welfare, where if someone is capable of working this option should be stressed or after a short period welfare benefits should be cut off. Welfare was originally intended only for those who were not capable of working and these work projects were for those who could and simply were out of work.
    As far as my mistrust of government is concerned, it simply stems from watching people who want to place all sorts of restrictions on buisiness while having little accountability for themselves. The way they curry favor with their voting populous is by bringing more money to their constituents. This causes them to want to spend more not less. There is no incentive for them to stay within budget, so they spend like drunken sailors. Every program that is set up this way will be filled with appointees that will use the program to benefit one Congressman/Senator or another. Rarely do the well intentioned ideas pan out into an efficient program. When something is placed under independant supervised privatized companies, it usually runs more efficiently because there is incentive for the companies to run within budget and show a profit. If the companies have to show that they are running it properly, before their contract will be renewed to an independant council of actual economists and accountants, it has a chance to run well, if not remove their contract and get a company that will do it better.
    Congress is who needs more oversite. Any company that ran the way the government runs currently would be shut down. So in answer to your question of why I distrust the government. These are the main reasons. It is not one specific party, however one party seems to prefer more government programs and committees over the other. Until Congress gets it's house in order, it should not be trying to run every other buisiness.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 02:19:54 PM »

As far as my mistrust of government is concerned, it simply stems from watching people who want to place all sorts of restrictions on buisiness while having little accountability for themselves.

On this, it seems we agree. I think the difference between our views on this point is the degree to which we think this is a necessary, inevitable result of government involvement/expansion.

The way they curry favor with their voting populous is by bringing more money to their constituents. This causes them to want to spend more not less. There is no incentive for them to stay within budget, so they spend like drunken sailors. Every program that is set up this way will be filled with appointees that will use the program to benefit one Congressman/Senator or another. Rarely do the well intentioned ideas pan out into an efficient program. When something is placed under independant supervised privatized companies, it usually runs more efficiently because there is incentive for the companies to run within budget and show a profit. If the companies have to show that they are running it properly, before their contract will be renewed to an independant council of actual economists and accountants, it has a chance to run well, if not remove their contract and get a company that will do it better.

Except that the contracts do not get pulled, and the poorly managed, over budget, heavily politically connected private companies get the same contracts, over and over. So, in practice, this privatization can accomplish the same negative end that poorly run government programs do. The problem is not public/private, but corruption in general.
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2009, 02:03:50 AM »

They "lasted" up until defense production created a significant enough demand for labor to make them unnecessary. I'm not sure how staying active in the workforce, receiving some additional training, and, oh… not starving to death? Not sure how that makes people "no better off". Being out of work and living in even more extreme poverty for 3-5 years would've been better?

By "no better off" I mean that when the work projects were done, those workers were again without jobs. The income those jobs provided was gone, and they were back on the soup line. Keeping those people working and earning an income, and providing some lasting infrastructure was of course a good thing, but the jobs and the income they provided, were temporary.
They served to keep those people busy while the jobs lasted, hence my labelling of them as busy work.

    OK, as far as work programs go, I did not have a problem with programs such as the CCC, and the WPA. Many of the jobs they did were necessary jobs that the government would have had to hire people to do anyway.

I dont have a problem with these programs either. I just dont believe they are, as some have suggested, what ended the depression. They served a purpose, and perhaps did contribute in some way to ending the depression sooner rather than later, but they were not then and are not now, the magic answer to our countries economic problems.

Except, Mr. Burgundy, that I did just that say that. If the economic trending from '33 to '38 continued, about 3-5 more years to fully exceed '29 levels, most likely. Data is not as good from the period, unfortunately, but things were clearly on their way up. The bottom hit in '33, and it was uphill from there. Just look at the numbers.

"If the economic trending...continued".
Key word, "if". And most likely it would have.
But as we have seen, it doesnt take really that much to put a new wrench in the works and turn things around.
As I said, we dont know for certain one way or the other. All we know is what wound up happening.

This is a widely believed ideological talking point, I grant. But a fact? I'm not convinced by your argument, and wish you would provide actual reasons why you believe this to be the case.

Look at education.
Ever since Jimmy Carters thank you gift to the teachers union, aka the Fed. Dept of Ed., look how the education beaurocrocy has multiplied and the test scores have dropped.

This is not a fair characterization of financial industry regulations relevant to mortgages in the US - when was any non-GSE told they *must* lend to unqualified borrowers?

Right now, I can only classify this as something I've heard, and perhaps could be just some talking heads interperetation of what happened. I'll try to find the relevant legislation or whatever.

Yeah… good thing GM doesn't make the Camry or some shit like that...

Sarcasm? Or am I just missing your meaning here?
Or both?

While at some level  I agree, and think Wagoner's head ought to adorn a spike in some prominent public location, it's a question of the least expensive way to handle things. Do you float a loan to a company like GM so it can keep running, and kick it so that it gets it shit together, or do you let it close down and deal with a few hundred thousand newly unemployed individuals? I believe the overall economic cost in terms of negative wage growth, direct costs in terms of unemployment insurance payouts, etc., would be higher in that case than the cost of the bridge loans.

It is unlikely that there would have been such large number of unemployed individuals.
The corps would have been able to use chapter 13 (I believe thats the one that lets you reorganize your debts and renegotiate certain contracts) to, among other things, renegotiate with the UAW and say 'hey, the choice is simple. Its in the best long term interest of your members to renegotiate. A smaller paycheck is better than no paycheck..." This could have resulted in returning the corps to profitability while keeping the largest possible number of workers on the job.
Now, the other side.
Lets go with the bailout.
What strings are attatched? Do we do as we did with Chrysler and say "here you go, use it wisely" (I'm sure it was more complicated than that, but there werent many strings attatched) Or does the gov't start micromanaging the business and dictating what gets made and how much etc?
Who gets to decide how the money is spent? And what happens when that money is used up? Give them more? How much more? How many times do we bail them out?

Unless by "pretty much" you mean "not at all", I think you may have misunderstood the information I provided. Neither of you had the timelines or details correct.


Actually you did say pretty much what I meant.
Obviously you have studied this to a much more detailed point than I have, hence you have the numbers and percentages, where I tend to look at it in a bit more general way.
I am not always as clear in what I am trying to say as is needed. I did know that the deficit had grown as a result of the 9/11 attacks, the wars and other factors. I also knew that the subsequent growth in the economy worked to reduce those deficits.
I am also used to responding to people who havent got a clue repeating "record deficits" over and over and saying 'look the deficit is x billion dollars' but not having the slightest clue what percent of the overall budget was deficit.

He was trying to give (on the whole) wealthier, more educated, better connected individuals the option to get out of paying some more of their taxes, in a way that will benefit them individually at a cost to society generally. Call that whatever the fuck you want, it's still a dick move.

It was not limited in any way as to who could participate. Granted more educated would likely have invested better, but there was no requirement as to your income or who you knew.
What would it have cost society? One of the requirements was, that you live with the result. If you invest well, you have a larger retirement income. If you invest poorly, you lose that minute fraction of your retirement income.

Which CFR part are you referencing, here? If not the CFR, I'm sure thomas can help you find the legislation you're thinking of.

Council on Foreign Relations?  I've heard of a couple different "CFR"s. Please clarify which one you are referring to.
As well as maybe telling me who "thomas" is.

Which golden era of rugged American individualism was this, oh most principled one?

Perhaps one that is only opinion.
But looking at society before Pres. Johnsons "great society" and the failed "war on poverty" would be a start.
Back when the average person didnt look to the gov't to answer all of their problems and fix all their mistakes.

Anyone who firmly believes that government is ineffective at best, damaging at worst, is guaranteed to govern in a way that is ineffective at best, damaging at worst. I still don't understand why people would vote for someone like that.

My understanding of what Pres. Reagan was saying was that government had a role to play in life and business and etc, but that it should be more limited a role than it played when he was running and serving. That gov't shouldnt be the first answer to every problem, and that its involvement in how things were done should be limited. As I said, requiring safety standards or efficiency standards to a point, for cars is fine, but having gov't involved in design and building of cars much past that is not.

Is there a guiding philosophy for which regulations are okay, and which aren't?

How much do you want the gov't regulating your business?
Should they get to tell you how many and what size product you should make? How much you can charge for it? Place requirements on you that your international competitors dont have to meet?
Or should they only get to say 'meet these minimum safety (or other) standards, but other than that, do what you want.'
Should they get to tell you how big of a house you need? Or just that it be built to some set of safety or efficiency standards?
As someone who's personal philosophy is more toward the Libertarian side, I want the gov't having as little to do with the average persons life as possible, while still fulfilling its obligation to "promote the general welfare".

If this is the case, surely you can provide better examples?

Well, I dont know if they are better examples, but how about the differences in test scores from public schools compared to private schools or home schooled?
Private schools have to deal with considerably less gov't beaurocrocy than public schools, but have consistently higher test scores.
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I'm not really as scary as some people think I am. (re something Julie said to me at reg one night)

Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.

Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2009, 02:15:03 AM »

Another site http://www.fool.com/investing/dividends-income/2008/09/10/the-people-responsible-for-fannie-mae-and-freddie-.aspx

Reading this increases my belief that my thought that there was some gov't regulation forcing mortgages to be made to people who would not normally qualify, may indeed have been just some talking heads interperetation.
I will keep looking for Obamas involvement tho, considering that the talking head did lay this at least partly on him.
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I'm not really as scary as some people think I am. (re something Julie said to me at reg one night)

Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.

Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2009, 07:42:29 AM »

Except that the contracts do not get pulled, and the poorly managed, over budget, heavily politically connected private companies get the same contracts, over and over. So, in practice, this privatization can accomplish the same negative end that poorly run government programs do. The problem is not public/private, but corruption in general.
This is very true, this is the reason I specifically mentioned independant oversight of these programs. Take the politics out of it and you have a shot. The findings of the oversight commitee should be public and accessable by the press, and others who wish to look at them. When abuses are found hopefully enough people will notice and make a stink. It is only when the public rises up that stuff gets done. It kinda seems that for the most part we agree. We just simply draw different conclusions usually from the same data.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 08:11:43 AM by Frigemall »
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2009, 01:30:04 PM »

By "no better off" I mean that when the work projects were done, those workers were again without jobs. The income those jobs provided was gone, and they were back on the soup line. Keeping those people working and earning an income, and providing some lasting infrastructure was of course a good thing, but the jobs and the income they provided, were temporary. They served to keep those people busy while the jobs lasted, hence my labelling of them as busy work.

So, how long does a company need to be in business, or how long does a job need to last, or how many promotions or what-have-you must one achieve before a job stops being busy work? By your definition, every job is temporary, and so any good done, however lasting, is not particularly meaningful. While I can't dispute that from a certain perspective you are correct, I think that perspective is pretty screwy.

I dont have a problem with these programs either. I just dont believe they are, as some have suggested, what ended the depression. They served a purpose, and perhaps did contribute in some way to ending the depression sooner rather than later, but they were not then and are not now, the magic answer to our countries economic problems.

Never said they were magic, or the sole solution. But since destroying the entire rest of the world's industrial base so thoroughly that we become the world's single supplier for all manufactured goods for the next decade is not really on the table for us at this point, what IS the answer?

"If the economic trending...continued". Key word, "if". And most likely it would have.

And people say *I* pick at nits. ;p

Look at education. Ever since Jimmy Carters thank you gift to the teachers union, aka the Fed. Dept of Ed., look how the education beaurocrocy has multiplied and the test scores have dropped.

A cursory examination of average SAT scores by college bound seniors showed a generally slow improving trend for years in which data was available, but that's hardly the best indicator. Do you know of a good online resource for the numbers on the various standardized tests used? I mean, there are so many, and states keep changing what they use and even what they test, though since NCLB it has been more... standardized, I suppose. I've had a little trouble coming up with the raw numbers for the 30 year period in question.

Or is this more talking head stuff?

Sarcasm? Or am I just missing your meaning here? Or both?

Sarcasm. Actually, IIRC, by unit sales Ford has the top selling models for 2008 in the US with the F1 series, though GM and Toyota still both beat it in terms of overall global sales volume on a unit basis. To really see who's doing best you'd have to put that in dollars terms or even margin % per vehicle sold and I just don't have either the numbers or the interest to figure that out.

But the idea that more fuel efficient compacts must be unsafe little plastic things that have minimal environmental impact at a significant cost to occupant safety seems quite off the mark when compared to reality, which prompted my sarcasm.

It is unlikely that there would have been such large number of unemployed individuals. The corps would have been able to use chapter 13 (I believe thats the one that lets you reorganize your debts and renegotiate certain contracts) to, among other things, renegotiate with the UAW and say 'hey, the choice is simple. Its in the best long term interest of your members to renegotiate. A smaller paycheck is better than no paycheck..." This could have resulted in returning the corps to profitability while keeping the largest possible number of workers on the job.

GM execs (I use them as the reference point because they are the biggest, they are publicly traded, and because they are apparently in the worst trouble) pretty much said that if they were forced into bankruptcy proceedings they would not re-emerge. May've been posturing, maybe not.

It would be very odd to see a corporate entity file under Chapter 13... not sure they can. Chapter 11 typically covers businesses seeking protection for reorganization (Chapter 7 covers the liquidation of assets to try to repay creditors of a failed business, and is the other one that gets used sometimes).

I think if you look at the publicly available information regarding the current (multi-tier, IIRC, which I think is such stupid, cowardly bullshit... but that's a separate discussion entirely) agreements in place with the UAW for GM, Ford, and Chrysler, that the wages for new hires are not out of line with those for employees at other manufacturers in the US. The non-wage benefits are what gets most of the press, and there have been some concessions there, but even new UAW members do seem to get a better deal there than non union employees. In a nation with a large (and currently rising) un- or underinsured population, where is the benefit to forcing more people out of the insurance pools?

What strings are attatched? Do we do as we did with Chrysler and say "here you go, use it wisely" (I'm sure it was more complicated than that, but there werent many strings attatched) Or does the gov't start micromanaging the business and dictating what gets made and how much etc? Who gets to decide how the money is spent? And what happens when that money is used up? Give them more? How much more? How many times do we bail them out?

All good questions. The current administration is not great about giving out details on how it spends money, unfortunately, so it's hard to say. As for how involved the government should get, I'd say it depends on what outcomes you want to see, and what is being asked for. If the business can show (reasonably, I mean - that don't rely on unlikely assumptions) that hey, it just needs a few billion to get by until pay day, then it needs less than one that obviously has no clue how to get out of the hole it's in.

Again, the issue is one of overall costs v. benefits - how do you get the best (or least bad) outcome? So far, it appears the least bad outcome is achieved by keeping the companies in question running. I guess we'll see how that plays out in March-ish when the next round of begging is scheduled to happen.
 
Actually you did say pretty much what I meant. Obviously you have studied this to a much more detailed point than I have, hence you have the numbers and percentages, where I tend to look at it in a bit more general way. I am not always as clear in what I am trying to say as is needed.

If my 20 minutes with Google and Excel are more study than you have put into this issue, you might want to reconsider opening your mouth until you've spent a little more time invstigating the subject.

I did know that the deficit had grown as a result of the 9/11 attacks, the wars and other factors. I also knew that the subsequent growth in the economy worked to reduce those deficits.

Except that the "growth" in question was mostly bullshit - there was no growth, only a massive housing and derivatives bubble.

It was not limited in any way as to who could participate. Granted more educated would likely have invested better, but there was no requirement as to your income or who you knew.

One of the greatest injustices one can perpetrate is to treat unequal things equally. Anyone can join? Sure. Anyone can prosper? Not really - the only people who stand to benefit are those who can make better financial bets than the government can over the period for which they are making them. Who will that most likely be? Those with greater financial savvy or enough wealth to get others with said savvy to handle the money for them (or, as well, enough wealth to leverage better deals).

What would it have cost society?

What these individual accounts do is divert funds from the general pool that covers everyone else who is not setting up the individual accounts, and set them aside. So, those who are contributing the greatest share of funds to the pool (the wealthier folks who stand to benefit from even having the private funds), are suddenly taking their balls and going home. That leaves less overall to cover anyone else. A few benefit, the majority do not.

Unless, of course, the majority both participate AND manage to beat the averages for investment, which I believe may be impossible by definition, but if not is certainly unlikely.

One of the requirements was, that you live with the result. If you invest well, you have a larger retirement income. If you invest poorly, you lose that minute fraction of your retirement income.

I fail to see the benefit for most people. The majority will not "invest well", if by "invest well" you mean yield a high enough rate of return on these investments to offset the additional effort of managing those investments and still come out ahead on what they otherwise would have received. That being the case, why bother at all?

Council on Foreign Relations?  I've heard of a couple different "CFR"s. Please clarify which one you are referring to. As well as maybe telling me who "thomas" is.

Sorry, that would be the Code of Federal Regulations. thomas.loc.gov is the web portal for searching available online information about past or current legislation... a really great resource, actually.

Perhaps one that is only opinion. But looking at society before Pres. Johnsons "great society" and the failed "war on poverty" would be a start. Back when the average person didnt look to the gov't to answer all of their problems and fix all their mistakes.

I'm sorry, but... what?

If I understand your argument, it is:

1) That at some point in the past, the United States reached a peak in prosperity, and has been in a decline relative to that point ever since.
2) That preceding this peak, societal values in the United States were much more in line with your personal biases.
3) That at about the time of this peak a shift away from these values occurred.
4) That as a result of this shift prosperity has since been in relative decline.
5) That a shift back to these values will cause a reversal of this decline.

I hope you realize how crazy that sounds.

My understanding of what Pres. Reagan was saying was that government had a role to play in life and business and etc, but that it should be more limited a role than it played when he was running and serving. That gov't shouldnt be the first answer to every problem, and that its involvement in how things were done should be limited. As I said, requiring safety standards or efficiency standards to a point, for cars is fine, but having gov't involved in design and building of cars much past that is not.

I'd like to note that I don't see people being relatively self-sufficient, and being able to solve most of their problems without outside intervention, as a problem. I think that's a fine goal. Certainly, central authority dictating how people must do things is problematic at best.

However, simply reducing the degree to which such involvement occurs does not make the problems which caused people to seek that involvement go away, and reducing assistance without providing an alternative is... problematic, at best.

I'd also like to know what you consider, in the case of automobiles or any other of your choice, an exmaple of a necessary regulation and an example of one that is overstepping. This'd give me a baseline to understand what you mean, if nothing else.

Well, I dont know if they are better examples, but how about the differences in test scores from public schools compared to private schools or home schooled? Private schools have to deal with considerably less gov't beaurocrocy than public schools, but have consistently higher test scores.

Again, I was having a little trouble finding the numbers about this... where do you draw this conclusion from?
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Alf Cunha

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2009, 07:36:18 PM »

** - I'm really just observing the debate, but had to comment at this point ...

Quote
Well, I dont know if they are better examples, but how about the differences in test scores from public schools compared to private schools or home schooled? Private schools have to deal with considerably less gov't beaurocrocy than public schools, but have consistently higher test scores.

** - A more realistic reason as to why private schools may have better test scores is not because of a decrease in governmental involvement, but rather the fact that children who go to public schools do so because their parent have the means to pay for said public school (economic level is one of the main predictors of success in school)
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2009, 09:04:36 PM »

I imagine that if one looks at it, economic level predicts a lot of things. ;) But because I'm being all by the numbers - how do kids who get into private schools on needs-based (rather than strictly merit based... if such things do happen, that is) scholarships perform?
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Alf Cunha

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2009, 06:54:09 AM »

Quote
I imagine that if one looks at it, economic level predicts a lot of things. Wink But because I'm being all by the numbers - how do kids who get into private schools on needs-based (rather than strictly merit based... if such things do happen, that is) scholarships perform?

**  One would have to look up the numbers, but another predictor of academic success is parental involvement - and those parents who make the effort to get their children into private schools are more likely to be involved in that child's academic success (though this is not ALWAYS the case, as I have personally experienced both ends of the spectrum)
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2009, 10:04:50 AM »

Heh, well, you can't make 'em drink. I barely graduated high school, despite relative advantages in both areas.

My understanding and thinking on these points is similar to yours, I was just trying to avoid totally blatant hypocrisy. :)

Plus I really am curious about the numbers, and can't a single consolidated source for everything I want. I do enough research for school, damnit! ;p
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