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Has/Is The Economy Getting Better?


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#41

lolpierandom
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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:23 AM

View PostAramilTheElf, on 21 November 2012 - 01:11 AM, said:

Let me give you a hint - there are no stats on US jobs except for those collected and published by the BLS. No other entity collects such data, as they do not have the resources/authority to collect such data. Any stats you see are offshoots of stats from the BLS. Try it. Go to Wolfram Alpha, or Google Public Data - notice that they all say Source: BLS statistics.

The BLS does not "re-adjust" anything, other than standard statistical significant figure calculations and such. Even if they did, it would be literally impossible to tell without anything to compare it to, unless they somehow contradicted themselves, which they have not.

More importantly, the BLS has never been corrupted- or at least, it's never been revealed.

Even Nixon couldn't touchy touchy.

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#42

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:03 AM

View Postlolpierandom, on 21 November 2012 - 01:23 AM, said:

More importantly, the BLS has never been corrupted- or at least, it's never been revealed.

Even Nixon couldn't touchy touchy.

And we all know Nixon was the greatest president evar. If he can't do anything, nobody can. Aroo!

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#43

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

Hayek would say no. Keynes would say yes.

Most people would agree with Keynes. I agree with Hayek.

This video sums it up with edutainment:


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#44

Tybalt
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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:17 AM

I'm confident Keynes would be appalled at the things governments have done in his name. No Keynesian policy has ever had anything to do with the idea Keynes developed and advocated. At least no American policy.

Oddix said:

Tybalt, I want your writing on a T-shirt.

#45

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:24 AM

View PostTybalt, on 21 November 2012 - 03:17 AM, said:

I'm confident Keynes would be appalled at the things governments have done in his name. No Keynesian policy has ever had anything to do with the idea Keynes developed and advocated. At least no American policy.

please elaborate.
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#46

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:25 AM

Economies naturally go through boom and bust cycles, to use his terms. Recession and growth are part of a natural rhythm. Keynes' plan was to nudge it so that the oscillations wouldn't be so large. Take steps to contract the economy, such as elevated taxes and reduced subsidies, in prosperous times to prevent the formation of bubbles and so forth. Then, when the economy takes a dip, you lower taxes and start spending to push it back up. His archetypal example is public works, even if you've gotta pay one guy to dig a hole and another to fill it back in, just spend. In this way, you make the economy more like a line, less like a wave and the people are supposed to be better off because it's more stable.

People who cite Keynes actually just want to spend lots of money. Sometimes the economy is even in the tank when they bring it up. However, the only way that it makes any sense is because during good times, you build up enough of a treasury to spend significantly more when times are bad. No program has ever done this, they only implement the bad times part because the good times part is politically disfavored. People don't want the government deliberately sabotaging success, after all.

Oddix said:

Tybalt, I want your writing on a T-shirt.

#47

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

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That's what is happening to most countries in the world as of now.
I'm mainly talking USA,Greece,etc.

#48

danthonywalker

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

View Postcreepo103, on 21 November 2012 - 03:57 PM, said:

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That's what is happening to most countries in the world as of now.
I'm mainly talking USA,Greece,etc.

Nice, accurate, and fairly cited graph you got there. No bias whatsoever and thoroughly shows how true things are happening right now!

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#49

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

View Postcreepo103, on 21 November 2012 - 03:57 PM, said:

That's what is happening to most countries in the world as of now.
I'm mainly talking USA,Greece,etc.

I don't know about Greece, but the economy of the US is definitely improving by all measures. Foreclosure rates, stock market, unemployment rate, poverty rates, income - all improving.

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#50

highwindcid

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

The next 20 years will be far diffent (and more than likely worse) than the past 20 years.

This is an excellent course though a little old. The peak oil stuff is a but off since we found large deposits since then but still applies in a therotical and eventual realistic manner.

The only reason everything seems 'iffy' at best is because we haven't quite hit the tip of the hockey stick formation in our debt. We have it a good run though. 40+ years on a totally detached free fall currency system and it's about to hit rock bottom with some nasty results.

#51

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

It would be sweet if you could highlight the relevant parts, since 3 hours worth of stuff is sort of a lot to expect people to just go look at. Doomsday predictions are a dime-a-dozen after all, sort of unrealistic to take them all seriously.

Oddix said:

Tybalt, I want your writing on a T-shirt.

#52

allshamnowow911

Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

The economy HAS been improving, and people who say this country is going to hell are just butthurt that the wrong guy won the election.

#53

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:29 AM

View Postallshamnowow911, on 22 November 2012 - 03:10 PM, said:

The economy HAS been improving, and people who say this country is going to hell are just butthurt that the wrong guy won the election.
Or they just don't understand economics (i.e. "OMG THE DEBT IS GONNA KILL US ALL")
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#54

danthonywalker

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

View PostTravis, on 24 November 2012 - 12:29 AM, said:

Or they just don't understand economics (i.e. "OMG THE DEBT IS GONNA KILL US ALL")

As one who lives in Idaho, USA, probably one of the most Republican states out there, I can testify that, NO...ONE...UNDERSTANDS...ANYTHING! That's the Number 1 argument out here is the debt. "OMG DEBT WILL DESTROY ECONOMY" or "OMG CHINA OWNS US!"

To combat the 2nd one, which is the most popular argument out here I made a report like, 2-3 days ago. I think I did quite well. http://pastebin.com/f5RZ9tht

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#55

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:13 AM

View PostTravis, on 24 November 2012 - 12:29 AM, said:

Or they just don't understand economics (i.e. "OMG THE DEBT IS GONNA KILL US ALL")

So how many college level economics classes have you taken?
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#56

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:50 AM

Debt may not kill the US, but running a consistent, large deficit on foreign investment is strategic weakness. It's also reliant on someone else doing better than you. Public debt is fine and dandy, but there's something unsettling about a legislature that doesn't bother to pass a budget for 3 years because they don't like how the numbers add up.

Oddix said:

Tybalt, I want your writing on a T-shirt.

#57

danthonywalker

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

View PostTybalt, on 24 November 2012 - 05:50 AM, said:

Debt may not kill the US, but running a consistent, large deficit on foreign investment is strategic weakness. It's also reliant on someone else doing better than you. Public debt is fine and dandy, but there's something unsettling about a legislature that doesn't bother to pass a budget for 3 years because they don't like how the numbers add up.

The problem is this will and possibly won't happen. In the U.S. there is only 3 ways to balance the budget. I ordered them from what I can assume most Americans don't want to do.

1. Heavily cut/reform/remove Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. It's impossible to fix the deficit without seriously removing cost associated with those 3 welfare programs. It...just...can't...happen!

2. Slightly cut/reform/remove Social Security, Medicare, Mediciad and slightly increasing taxes across the board. If you don't want to remove/cut a big chunk of the welfare programs you can slightly cut them and to replace what you don't want to cut raise taxes. Problem is taxing the rich on this plan is not enough to fix the missing chunk. Taxes would still need to be raised throughout the board. Depends how much you want to cut.

3. Heavily raise taxes throughout the board. Taxing the rich, again, solves nothing. Taxes would need to be risen to a dramatic level if we want to level the budget. And not only would those taxes have to be permanent, in the near future, they would still need to be risen again, to associate with the rising cost of Social Security (while healthcare may go down to Obamacare, it's a tiny part on how much Social Security would go up).

As you can tell by the list, no American would probably want to do either of them. Which is sad, considering Americans think they can get more with less. It's political suicide if you want to do either 3, however, they are the only ones that can work. Which one would work the best? In my opinion Number 1, unless you can reform the freak out of those social programs then 2 won't be a bad option (however I am always against social programs).

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#58

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:44 AM

Oh, precisely my point. I want a balanced budget. It would demolish the national government. However I'm not opposed to a deficit. This year, we're apparently running a trillion dollars over. That's something like 7% of the GDP, innit? That's just silly. We go from balanced for a moment under Clinton to consistently running a trillion over (for the last 4 years at least) in such a short span of time, it's obnoxious. Some deficit is fine, American levels are outrageous.

However, we need to remember the spirit of things like Social Security. It was established to give people retirement at 65, when the life expectancy was 63. They didn't honestly expect to give it out to everyone. Perhaps quite a few, but not everyone. I'd be in favor of bumping the age up 10-15 years (politically impossible, I know). Medicaid and Medicare are problematic, first off, because of some inefficiencies in the American healthcare system and the current method of just demanding doctors not charge so much is not a solution. It's a shame Obama had his heart so set on nationalizing the whole thing, it crippled any attempt to have any discussions about really fixing anything. Not that there is a quick and easy fix to that sector, it just was stifled entirely by posturing and overzealous partisanship.

However, the thing no one wants to do is a holistic examination of spending. At least in the defense sector, which is a large one, political engineering causes a lot of what I'd call fraud which no one can touch without 'threatening our security' and I can't imagine other sectors are much better.

Overall, though, I'd tell you that the US government tries to do far too much. We're not a people that like to be taxed heavily, but we've got a government acting like it has that kind of money. Severe cuts to services are necessary. After all, regardless of whether or not debt will actually kill us, lots of people believe it does and markets are driven at least to some degree by the whims of the populace. No attempts to get that under control scares people and thus hurts the economy. Transparency might help, so that government policies to help the economy don't just come off as poorly organized, half-Keynesian nonsense.

Oddix said:

Tybalt, I want your writing on a T-shirt.

#59

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

View Postdanthonywalker, on 24 November 2012 - 06:28 AM, said:


Nowhere in here did you mention cutting our obnoxiously large defense (against nothing) budget.

It needs to go.

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Democracy is indispensable to socialism.
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#60

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

View Postdanthonywalker, on 24 November 2012 - 06:28 AM, said:

The problem is this will and possibly won't happen. In the U.S. there is only 3 ways to balance the budget. I ordered them from what I can assume most Americans don't want to do.

1. Heavily cut/reform/remove Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. It's impossible to fix the deficit without seriously removing cost associated with those 3 welfare programs. It...just...can't...happen!

It's true that these programs are expensive. But they are helpful, unfortunately or fortunately. Millions benefit enormously from them.

View Postdanthonywalker, on 24 November 2012 - 06:28 AM, said:

2. Slightly cut/reform/remove Social Security, Medicare, Mediciad and slightly increasing taxes across the board. If you don't want to remove/cut a big chunk of the welfare programs you can slightly cut them and to replace what you don't want to cut raise taxes. Problem is taxing the rich on this plan is not enough to fix the missing chunk. Taxes would still need to be raised throughout the board. Depends how much you want to cut.

This one would be better, in my opinion. Slight cuts across the board while raising taxes, especially on the rich.

View Postdanthonywalker, on 24 November 2012 - 06:28 AM, said:

3. Heavily raise taxes throughout the board. Taxing the rich, again, solves nothing. Taxes would need to be risen to a dramatic level if we want to level the budget. And not only would those taxes have to be permanent, in the near future, they would still need to be risen again, to associate with the rising cost of Social Security (while healthcare may go down to Obamacare, it's a tiny part on how much Social Security would go up).

The rich (Top 20%) own 89% of the wealth of the US. If taxing them would do nothing, then taxing everyone, in all likelihood, would do nothing. Also, according the Laeffer curve, there is a point where when you increase taxes, the government starts getting less revenue rather than more. I don't know where that point is for the US, but we're bound to reach it sometime if we double the tax rate on all Americans as we would need to to kill the deficit.


But let's look at a different plan, hopefully a more realistic one. Check out the USDebtClock. Let's do the math here. Let's cut our military spending, divide it by 2.35 - that will put us on par with China's military spending a percentage of GDP. We don't need that much military spending even. That'll put the deficit at 7.3246675 * 10^11. Then let's make some cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security - nothing that would kill the programs, but while I'm no expert, I'm sure that there are areas, possibly some overlap with the ACA, loopholes, other things, that will make the program cheaper. Failing that, make the program slightly less effective. Yeah, it hurts, but if we really need to cut the deficit. After that, we can assume that once we're out of the recession government revenue will increase, and then cut the rest with tax increases, mainly on the rich.



But let's note here that some debt is manageable. We don't need a perfectly balanced budget - the debt we have now, while not desirable, is perfectly manageable. It can spiral out of control, sure, and we definitely need to keep that from happening - but right now it's not out of control and it is manageable.

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