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  #1  
Old 09-17-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default Economy- sound or not?

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpoi...the_fundam.php

McCain seems to think so.

Can we put it to a vote?
  #2  
Old 09-17-2008, 08:47 PM
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No. And the federal government is doing all these bailouts that are just band aids. Like the proverbial "lipstick on a pig" analogy, these are just cosmetics. We're throwing money down the hole but not addressing the fundamental issues regarding the management of these companies and others in the industry. Today's news (the WSJ - the only newspaper, okay), mentioned that the banks had put a freeze on interbank loans or were charging exhorbitant rates for them. This is a very bad thing, kids. Very bad.

The wood is rotting and the Bushies keep putting on additional coats of paint. We must fix the fundamentals or we're fucked. I'd link the article, but it's apparently too new.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaww
No. And the federal government is doing all these bailouts that are just band aids. Like the proverbial "lipstick on a pig" analogy, these are just cosmetics. We're throwing money down the hole but not addressing the fundamental issues regarding the management of these companies and others in the industry. Today's news (the WSJ - the only newspaper, okay), mentioned that the banks had put a freeze on interbank loans or were charging exhorbitant rates for them. This is a very bad thing, kids. Very bad.

The wood is rotting and the Bushies keep putting on additional coats of paint. We must fix the fundamentals or we're fucked. I'd link the article, but it's apparently too new.

But.....but...the fundamentals are strong...
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ivhon
But.....but...the fundamentals are strong...
Yeah. Except for the real estate, finance, insurance, energy, and manufacturing industries, and the way we're flagging behind Asia and Europe in the high tech sector, our fundamentals are like super solid.

Stay the course.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangePackage
Yeah. Except for the real estate, finance, insurance, energy, and manufacturing industries, and the way we're flagging behind Asia and Europe in the high tech sector, our fundamentals are like super solid.

Stay the course.
How dare you question our current administration.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:23 PM
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How dare you question our current administration.
He's a Tana/Hopper voter. He questions everything.
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:23 PM
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someone is questioning Bush.... TERRORIST SYMPATHIZER!!! GET HIM!!!

Seriously, though. Technically the economy is sound, as GDP is still growing, but I'm pretty sure thats totally due to the dollar being weak and exports being way up.

The market will recover on its own. Its the job of the federal government to keep the pits from being to deep, so band aids are all they should be doing. The problem was in deregulating everything initially, which was a Bush policy.

I think its hilarious, though, that McCain's proposed solution to the problem is to create a committee to examine the origins of the crisis. Talk about a do-nothing response to a problem. He doesn't care... he'll be dead before long anyways.
  #8  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:26 PM
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Ok, let me ask a question. What exactly are we talking about when we say fundamentals of the economy? Are we speaking in specifics on things like the housing market or investment banking? Because the answer is clearly no and someone would have to be a fool to disagree with that. Or are we speaking in more general/philosophical terms and really discussing the capitalist system as a whole? If by fundamentals we mean the capitalistic principles we base our economic system on, then I would say yes, they are still sound. I'm not sure if this is a practical or philosophical debate which is why I'm asking.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
Ok, let me ask a question. What exactly are we talking about when we say fundamentals of the economy? Are we speaking in specifics on things like the housing market or investment banking? Because the answer is clearly no and someone would have to be a fool to disagree with that. Or are we speaking in more general/philosophical terms and really discussing the capitalist system as a whole? If by fundamentals we mean the capitalistic principles we base our economic system on, then I would say yes, they are still sound. I'm not sure if this is a practical or philosophical debate which is why I'm asking.
Im pretty sure we're talking the situation on the ground, Sini, not the basic economic principles. This country has weathered worse storms than this; its a natural feature of a deregulated market economy. We just haven't had a swing this deep in a long time. A really long time.

I'd like to see military spending slashed and a little of that going to paying off some of the national debt. National debt = good. Too much = bad.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:36 PM
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Im pretty sure we're talking the situation on the ground, Sini, not the basic economic principles.
In that case, no the fundamentals of our economy are not sound at this point.

As for the national debt, I agree with you on paying down the debt but not the source. I'd like to see that money come from somewhere else aside from the military. From my point of view every other type of government spending except for the military budget and federal law enforcement is expendable.
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2008, 12:00 AM
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My suggestions for gov't fixin's:

1) Get out of public education. Turn schools private. Create vouchers of up to $5000 for each student to go to whichever they want. The gov't should set standards for accredited diplomas and that's it. Let market competition take care of the rest. Save a shit ton of money that way.

2) Split the US forces into two groups: the strike force (a la Special Forces/Marines/whatever), and the peacekeeping force (more like police, bureaucrats and administrators). Strike force kicks ass in other countries as necessary, but is primarily stationed and trained at home. Peacekeeping force makes up 95% of Pentagon resources. They go in after the strike force Kicks Ass(tm) and maintains order. Away from home 95% of time.

Note: I understand we have the Marines (strike force) and Army (occupational force) already, but the Army is trained for military procedures rather than for administration. The Peacekeeping Force should focus more training on RUNNING an occupied country than is currently focused in the US Army. That's one of the major problems we've run into in Iraq and Afghanistan -- winning over the locals.

3) Limit campaigning terms. The presidential campaign does not need to last 2+ years. Think of all the millions and millions of dollars Obama, Hillary, McCain, Romney and Huckabee have raised, and think about how many institutions, programs, departments, schools and space programs have had their budgets slashed in the last year.

4) Legalize pot. Tax the shit out of it, get the FDA involved in terms of standards and quality control. Don't smoke it myself, but don't really see the harm.

5) Get involved in local politics. This year you might be the Secretary of Sewage Treatment under Mayor Frenzy. Next year, Vice President. It could happen to you.
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2008, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
In that case, no the fundamentals of our economy are not sound at this point.

As for the national debt, I agree with you on paying down the debt but not the source. I'd like to see that money come from somewhere else aside from the military. From my point of view every other type of government spending except for the military budget and federal law enforcement is expendable.
The military budget is far too high. This country, its borders, are inviolable. Maintenance of our current nuclear stockpile is more than enough to ensure territorial soveriegnty. We spend like... maybe 7-8% of GDP on military expenditures. This is totally unnecessary. We're embroiled in high-cost conflict abroad which we don't need to be; we're not the paternal figure of the whole world and there is no need to pretend to be. Sure, intervene where our interests are threatened, but the massive military spending at the moment is beyond justification. We spend a trillion dollars a year on it.

Slash 10% of that. Decommission a couple of divisions. To what extent can you argue we need them? With a slightly more conservative foreign policy, we wouldn't. Take half that money, a third, and put it into repaying the national debt. Lender nations would be reassured. If your paying back 30 billion a year, and cutting into the base sum and not just the interest, then you've got a good thing going. And with the extra 70 billion; well, imagine what you could do with that 70 billion. Increase pay for teachers, leading to higher educational standards. Increase pay for civil servants, leading to more efficient and better beauracracy. 100 billion could go a long way, and yet, the only place its going is paying for us to meddle in Iraqi affairs.

Even better, sink it into alternative energy. With 20 billion in capital investment, you could easily slash fossil fuel reliance, or develop more efficient solar energy techniques, subsidize geothermal plants, clean up rivers... 20 billion is a drop in the ocean for our armed forces, but is an ocean in and of itself for most sectors of the country that could use funding.
  #13  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum
Or are we speaking in more general/philosophical terms and really discussing the capitalist system as a whole? If by fundamentals we mean the capitalistic principles we base our economic system on, then I would say yes, they are still sound.
What do you mean by capitalistic principles?
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  #14  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:27 AM
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For one, we do not spend hardly anything on the military in real terms. Compare our spending now to during Vietnam or during the Cold War. Percentage wise its not that bad. Its the war thats hurting us as its just money down the drain to a country that is pocketing it. At least when we buy more tanks it helps the U.S. economy in that its a product where every piece is U.S. built. When we give it away to a "friendly" regime its a waste.

And lets factor inflation into the GDP and see what kind of numbers we get. The Fed has dumped an awful lot of money into the pool in the past couple years.
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  #15  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUCamel
My suggestions for gov't fixin's:

1) Get out of public education. Turn schools private. Create vouchers of up to $5000 for each student to go to whichever they want. The gov't should set standards for accredited diplomas and that's it. Let market competition take care of the rest. Save a shit ton of money that way.

Not sure about this. This could serve to increase the education gap between the haves and have-nots. Could price the poorest out of an education altogether. If tuition in private primary/secondary schools reacts the way college tuition does, it will take about one year for those $5k vouchers to be essentially meaningless.

2) Split the US forces into two groups: the strike force (a la Special Forces/Marines/whatever), and the peacekeeping force (more like police, bureaucrats and administrators). Strike force kicks ass in other countries as necessary, but is primarily stationed and trained at home. Peacekeeping force makes up 95% of Pentagon resources. They go in after the strike force Kicks Ass(tm) and maintains order. Away from home 95% of time.

Agree. Better yet, we could stop going into places where we are neither wanted or needed. I would prefer we let the rest of the world hang since we are so underappreciated abroad, but I realize that is unpractical (Yes, Gonzo, I am fully aware WHY we are despised. But that started way before Bush)

Note: I understand we have the Marines (strike force) and Army (occupational force) already, but the Army is trained for military procedures rather than for administration. The Peacekeeping Force should focus more training on RUNNING an occupied country than is currently focused in the US Army. That's one of the major problems we've run into in Iraq and Afghanistan -- winning over the locals.

3) Limit campaigning terms. The presidential campaign does not need to last 2+ years. Think of all the millions and millions of dollars Obama, Hillary, McCain, Romney and Huckabee have raised, and think about how many institutions, programs, departments, schools and space programs have had their budgets slashed in the last year.

Totally agree. Take it one step further and institute term limits in congress and SCOTUS. 8 years in congress (either house) and 16 on the court would be my take

4) Legalize pot. Tax the shit out of it, get the FDA involved in terms of standards and quality control. Don't smoke it myself, but don't really see the harm.

Agree. Take it one step further. Legalize everything and tax the hell out of it. As long as there is a black market, we are wasting tax dollars fighting something we cant even make a dent in. Take the lucre out of the drug trade. Let the people who use and abuse pay for their own rehabilitation.

5) Get involved in local politics. This year you might be the Secretary of Sewage Treatment under Mayor Frenzy. Next year, Vice President. It could happen to you.

A few too many skeletons for me to want to be propery vetted (of course, a McCain vetting I could easily get trough. But then, Im not cute and don't have a special needs kid, so I wouldnt last too long in the media).
hmmph...characters inserted into someone else's quote dont count.
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  #16  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:53 AM
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Default Bad Bad economic sign

Yeah, I remember this being a bad thing from Economics. I do appreciate the good face they are putting on it. This is kinda like using your credit card to pay the mortgage. Sure it helps you keep your house in the short run but how long can you keep it going?


Quote:
U.S. taps piggy bank, borrows to aid market
Credit crisis is starting to tax even the Federal Reserve’s deep pockets

The Associated Press
updated 8:48 p.m. ET, Wed., Sept. 17, 2008

WASHINGTON - Where does Uncle Sam come up with huge sums of money during a financial emergency? Like the rest of us, the government taps its reserves and borrows if it needs more.

The federal government has pledged eye-popping amounts — more than $600 billion in the past year — to bail out, or help bail out, some of the biggest names in American finance. The latest was American International Group Inc.

Now the credit crisis is starting to tax even the Federal Reserve's deep resources.

On Wednesday, the central bank took the unprecedented step of asking the Treasury Department to sell debt on behalf of the Fed. The first of those auctions raised $40 billion, and two more to raise an additional $60 billion are scheduled for Thursday.

Analysts said these auctions don't mean that the Fed, the bank that backs up the U.S. banking system, is strapped for money. Instead, they said it represented an effort to better manage its own holdings of Treasury securities.

It uses those securities to control interest rates by buying or selling the securities to banks, thus raising and lowering the amount of money banks have to loan out and influencing the price of that money.

While the Fed has access to its fat piggy bank to support its effort to prop up financial companies, the Treasury Department will have to whip out the credit card for the support it is pledging to mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Treasury will have to borrow the money because it doesn't have the deep reserves that the Fed does. The country is running a huge budget deficit this year and is projected to run an even bigger one next year.

Those deficits will present a major challenge for the next president. Both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama have a list of their own spending priorities that they want to enact, not to mention their promises to provide tax cuts.

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates those will cost $4.2 trillion over the next decade in the case of McCain and $2.9 trillion in the case of Obama.

Those campaign promises, on top of all that the current administration has done to contain the current fiscal crisis, could really put a strain on the government's balance sheet.

Ten days ago, the government took control of Fannie and Freddie, pledging to provide up to $200 billion to cover losses at the two companies.


On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve employed powers granted during the Great Depression to extend an emergency loan worth up to $85 billion to AIG, the nation's biggest insurance company.

That assistance is on top of billions of dollars in help the government had already put on the table as it battles the worst housing slump in decades.

The Fed extended a $29 billion loan to facilitate the forced-sale last March of Bear Stearns, at the time the nation's fifth-largest investment bank, and in the housing bill that Congress passed last summer the Federal Housing Administration was given the power to insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages.

And that doesn't count the billions of dollars the Fed has pumped into commercial banks and investment banks over the past year as it has struggled to make sure they have the resources needed to keep loans, the lifeblood of the economy, flowing.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues met on Tuesday and voted to hold the target for the federal funds rate, the interest that it influences through its buying and selling of Treasury securities, at 2 percent.

Analysts said if the Fed had not gotten help from the Treasury to auction off more debt that it could use, it ran the risk of pushing the funds rate lower than it wants it to go and thus increasing the threat of inflation down the road.

For the Treasury's $200 billion pledge for Fannie and Freddie plus its support for FHA-backed mortgage loans, the borrowing needed will send the deficit soaring even higher.

Stimulus checks totaling $168 billion, sent to Americans earlier this year to bolster the economy, will have an impact on the budget deficit. For the budget year ending Sept. 30, it's expected to hit $400 billion, the second highest on record and more than double last year's deficit of $161.5 billion.

The Bush administration is projecting that the deficit for the new budget year, which begins Oct. 1, will surge to an all-time high of $482 billion. And that estimate doesn't include any costs for bailing out Fannie and Freddie.

So far investors, including those overseas, have shown no reluctance to buy Treasury debt. In fact, all the financial turmoil of recent days has driven Treasury's borrowing costs lower as investors have flocked to the safety of Treasury securities.

But the combination of Bush's efforts to contain the current financial crisis plus the campaign promises of the next president offer the daunting prospect of serious deficit problems over the next four years.
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"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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  #17  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:28 AM
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To answer the original question, sadly, no. I knew that when my great-grandma called me the other day to ask what each Presidental hopeful's view on the economy was, when she has never gotten involved in the political process before. Not good...
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:02 AM
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I have never understood why the campaign process lasts so long in your country, I have to say. Ours is 6 weeks. Total. With a major cap on spending. How can anything else be justified?
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishara
I have never understood why the campaign process lasts so long in your country, I have to say. Ours is 6 weeks. Total. With a major cap on spending. How can anything else be justified?
Well, the long Democratic Primary is making this election cycle seem longer then normal, but you are right. This is a really long, drawn out process.

But I love it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irerancincpkc
Well, the long Democratic Primary is making this election cycle seem longer then normal, but you are right. This is a really long, drawn out process.

But I love it.
Think of all the better uses for the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on stupid campaigning and get back to me on that.
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Bonded to Brita

"We caught them in an alley on skid row in downtown Philly and brought them down with Uzi's and dogs. I beat the shit out of one of the guys for resisting arrest. After that, I went home, fried up some tofu with strawberry preserves and melon sticky rice, laid down on the couch with my snuggie and ate rose petals in sweet daisy wine sauce and watched Mamma Mia on DVD and then cried myself to sleep."

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