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The Economy
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #1
The Economy
Well, I thought it might be a good time to start a new thread in off-topic.
One can only talk about doormats and band saws for so long. I decided on a non-controversial topic: The state of the economy.

Who thinks the economy is:
1) Improving
2) Improving; but a jobless recovery.
3) Stagnant.
4) Worsening with prices rising, high unemployment.
5) Really going down the toilet with money being devalued.
6) Headed for a global economic collapse.

All opinions welcome. I suspect there is no correct answer. Play nice.
My personal opinion is 5 - Really going down the toilet with money being devalued.

Now, we could really get into it if we try to affix blame -- so, perhaps we shouldn't go there.

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(This post was last modified: 05-29-2015 10:00 AM by justMongo.)
05-29-2015 09:59 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #2
RE: The Economy
It depends on what you mean by economy, recovery and going down the toilet.

When I was young, inflation was a bad thing. Now everyone says it is a good thing. So who is right? Recovery depends on from who's viewpoint - from the rich viewpoint, it has recovered and then some, from the poor viewpoint it has not, and it never will, because it weighted in favour of the rich getting steadily richer off the backs of the poor. the only difference between now and thirty or forty years ago is that the poor who backs are being gotten rich off of have been moved to Asia or wherever, and the local poor are no longer being exploited, which for them is terrible, because being exploited was the only way to earn a crust. So, from who's point of view are you looking at this from?

One thing that a very major captain of industry once told me in all confidence (I can't say who, patient confidentiality, but he was married to a movie star for a while) - trickle down economics is a lie rich people tell poor people to keep them hoping and quiet. The only thing that trickles down is s**t. Direct quote.
05-29-2015 10:06 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #3
RE: The Economy
Doc: I meant from the perspective of the individual answering the question. That, by its intrinsic nature, calls for an opinion that may be applicable to a limited group.

In the US the blue collar jobs are gone. Depending on how one defines the "middle class," those jobs were the revenue stream for America's middle class. We no longer make steel. It is made in Asia. What remains of automobile manufacturing has largely been taken over by robotics. The great aircraft factories have consolidated such that Boeing is the only US player for Airliners. Boeing and Lockheed are the rivals for military aircraft -- with Northrop-Grumman trying to live off its reputation for the B2. If called upon to fight WWII today, we could not do it.

I personally know 4 young people whom might be called "Millennials" who have degrees; but cannot find work.

From a personal perspective, I have a retirement savings that earns nearly zero. Interest rates are being held artificially low by the US Federal Reserve. That hurts me as I would like to make some interest on my money. At the same time, the price of many things goes up. My telephone and internet service seem to rise about 10% per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes, the CPI (Consumer Price Index) upon which the central government bases whether the US is experiencing inflation -- but the CPI excludes the cost of food, housing and energy. My savings becomes more like a German Mark in 1920s.

The same conditions that led to the crash of 2008 are in place. Stocks are hyper-inflated in a bubble, no fix to bad loans was put in place; and derivatives are still a cabal of economic garbage upon which investors and big banks seek to hedge their possible losses. The money to bail out the banks again is not in the FDIC pot of money. This time, depositors will lose; just as things are going in Greece.

And what about the EU? Seems like the Germans are the economic engine of the EU. Can the EU bailout failing economies like Greece?

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05-29-2015 11:13 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #4
RE: The Economy
Mongo,

From a rich American's perspective, the economy is booming. As you say, from the blue collar worker's perspective, it isn't, but then, you keep electing a party (rhymes with De-uglycan) that is in favour of rich people and can't give a tinker's cusp about the everyday worker, no matter what rhetorical nonsense they spout - big business is what they believe in, and big business doesn't care about anyone but themselves. Your congress is so keen to deregulate everything and allow General Bullmoose to walk over everything he pleases, and then makes noise how they are shocked, shocked that there are dishonest businessmen out there and how if they were in charge (oh, right, they ARE, they just like to fool the public that they are victims of a black man who was hired to clean up after white frat boy's mess and just isn't getting the job done fast enough) they would repatriate jobs, etc., and still do nothing but blather on and pass legislation to continue the status quo while scoring points with the public by going after foreign states like Switzerland for infractions that pale in comparison to what their own businesses and citizens are doing within the confines of their own border. If you want to change that, you need to utterly change your political and economic beliefs.

Greece is not a problem that everyone thinks it is - to be honest, the problem in Greece is the Greeks - they want a lot of something for nothing, and that has to change - when Britain had a hint that they might have economic woes ahead they tightened their belts and buckled down, and even though they now have an economy that is probably stronger than any they have had since colonial times, rather than letting in a bit of slack, they re-elected an austerity party to continue the action. The Greeks did the opposite - they said they are tired of tightening their belts, and don't want to do it any more. Well, they have a choice - fix their problems or leave the EU. Spain more or less fixed their problems and are showing a strong regeneration, Italy has more or less side-stepped the problem, so why can't Greece? It is technically a rich country with a rich set of industries and export trade, but yet they can't get their economic s**t together. I love and adore the Greeks, I have lived with them, laughed and loved with them, but they are their own worst enemies right now. Germany should and need do nothing to help them. But they will, I suppose - Merkel is a softie in the end, no matter how much she tries to put on a Maggie Thatcher face.
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2015 12:10 PM by DocWils.)
05-29-2015 12:09 PM
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AlanE Offline

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Post: #5
RE: The Economy
(05-29-2015 12:09 PM)DocWils Wrote:  you keep electing a party (rhymes with De-uglycan) that is in favour of rich people and can't give a tinker's cusp about the everyday worker, no matter what rhetorical nonsense they spout - big business is what they believe in, and big business doesn't care about anyone but themselves.

You've been listening to propaganda. Because if you think the democrats are all for the working class you have been hiding your head in the sand.

What is the purpose of being in business? It is to make money. That's it, nothing else. It's not to boost the economy. It's not to provide you with a job. It's not anything but making money. Why go through all the trouble of having a business if you don't make money? Do you think everyone should just sit on their butt and get free handouts or do you think they should work for a living? If you believe in the former, as most democrats do, good luck in poverty. If working for a living is the answer, who will provide those jobs? democrats had the house, the senate and WH and did nothing to boost the economy. They accomplished just the opposite. For that they lost the House. Their continuing down the path of destruction cost them the Senate. In 2016, it will cost them the WH. I have to laugh at the current US administration's attempt to 'boost the economy' with 'shovel-ready' jobs. The problem is they failed to say just what exactly they would be shoveling. It was all smoke and mirrors. Sorry, but you have this one wrong. I'm not a huge fan of republicans either but given a choice between the two, the lessor evil wins.



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05-29-2015 03:26 PM
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Post: #6
RE: The Economy
My .02. From my point of view things are going mostly well. I am able to work in an industry that pays better than average and my income is reasonably comfortable, without being wealthy. When I hear people in the US talking, it strikes me that the ones who cry the most about the state of the poor middle-class blue collar worker, are the very same ones who consistently vote against the kinds of changes that could make a difference for the blue collar workers. Things like fair trade with a goal of preventing US businesses from enslaving the people in poorer countries; hikes in minimum wages to keep up with the hikes in prices of goods (that minimum wage raise is supposed to trickle up, folks... and trickle up has a better track record than trickle down); Health-care for all (more than Obamacare was allowed to do - that was insufficient) etc

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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05-29-2015 05:11 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #7
RE: The Economy
(05-29-2015 03:26 PM)AlanE Wrote:  
(05-29-2015 12:09 PM)DocWils Wrote:  you keep electing a party (rhymes with De-uglycan) that is in favour of rich people and can't give a tinker's cusp about the everyday worker, no matter what rhetorical nonsense they spout - big business is what they believe in, and big business doesn't care about anyone but themselves.

You've been listening to propaganda. Because if you think the democrats are all for the working class you have been hiding your head in the sand.

What is the purpose of being in business? It is to make money. That's it, nothing else. It's not to boost the economy. It's not to provide you with a job. It's not anything but making money. Why go through all the trouble of having a business if you don't make money? Do you think everyone should just sit on their butt and get free handouts or do you think they should work for a living? If you believe in the former, as most democrats do, good luck in poverty. If working for a living is the answer, who will provide those jobs? democrats had the house, the senate and WH and did nothing to boost the economy. They accomplished just the opposite. For that they lost the House. Their continuing down the path of destruction cost them the Senate. In 2016, it will cost them the WH. I have to laugh at the current US administration's attempt to 'boost the economy' with 'shovel-ready' jobs. The problem is they failed to say just what exactly they would be shoveling. It was all smoke and mirrors. Sorry, but you have this one wrong. I'm not a huge fan of republicans either but given a choice between the two, the lessor evil wins.

Nope, not swallowing propaganda of any sort, just observing your politics and economy for many years. And anyway, what propaganda? Do you think Swiss, French or German news has any desire to support one or the other side? We think your whole system is nuts. To be fair, we think our systems are nuts, too, but we get a lot of entertainment watching it, especially the Italians do their politics (you really should watch their parliamentary channel - it is a hoot). I don't watch American news, which is unavailable here anyway, except CNN and even then it is an international version that bears almost no resemblance to the US version. So how could I be buying any propaganda at all?

I doubt these days the Dems are any better at this than the Republicans, if they ever were, but the basic Republican credo has always been pro-big business and anti regulation, while the Dems were traditionally pro regulation. Funnily enough, the Republicans stood for almost diametrically opposite views to today's 150 years back. I wonder why they changed?

If it makes you feel any better, most countries have the same quandary - economics is a voodoo science at best, and if you put 15 economists into a room together, you get 15 theories, all vehemently disagreeing with one another. Fun, eh? I live in probably the banking capital of the world, unless you include Toronto (you can't spit without hitting a bank there (Mark Twain)) and most people have no idea what sort of money passes through them, and the one thing I can tell you is, if you have a choice between economic freedom or stability, choose stability every time. Regulations and keeping the industry at home is always your best bet, and the government is there to keep the greedy capitalists from acting in their own best interests instead of the interests of the people as best they can. That is how we do it here and so far, industry has not suffered and businesses make enough to feed their employees and still have a nice hefty sum left over to buy a house for the owner (and considering that houses here start at 1M for what would be a hovel in the US, that means something - the local equivalent of a McMansion, and yes we have some ugly things like that here too, would put you back a few M). So voting for parties that only want to deregulate (ah, right, Enron) do you no favours. Free markets still need fences, lest they spill over and cause chaos. Let me put it another way - would you prefer that medicine was deregulated so that any cowboy could do it? no, you want it to be strictly controlled, as you do all healthcare, because otherwise there are sharks that will take your money and kill you without a thought. So why should financial institutions and large companies not be regulated? The damage they can do to you with their greed is just as great. Sorry, rambling - winding down from a hard case and my mind is a bit, well, fuzzy and in need of a few Zzzzzzsss. And my dogs are barking like mad - 6 hours standing over a table ain't fun, nor is the three hours of paperwork after.

What I was saying in my previous posting is that you repeatedly re-elect the same viewpoints, ones that are not in your favour at all, and then expect things to be different each time. We know what that is a definition of, don't we? Wink
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2015 05:55 PM by DocWils.)
05-29-2015 05:54 PM
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AlanE Offline

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Post: #8
RE: The Economy
Huhsign

Okay, here is trickle-up explained - You are a business owner selling something that people use every day. It costs you $5 to make your product and this includes material and labor costs. You sell your product for $10 and make a handsome $5 profit on each sale. That is money in your pocket. Money you need to pay your business expenses, pay yourself so you can pay your mortgage on your home, car loans, food on your table, schooling for your children. Now along comes the US of A government forcing you to raise the wages of your workers from $5 to $10. Where will this extra money come from? Lay off workers, cut back their hours, take away their benefits, or raise the price of your good or service? Maybe all of that? Just so you can keep making the same amount of money. The money certainly will not come out of your pocket. You don't want to lose your house or have to file bankruptcy. Remember you are in business for the sole reason to make money. This simple, basic concept of business is so foreign to most people. Now, spread that over all businesses who see their profit margin cut. Now the trickle up part. Suddenly, everyone that got a "raise" now finds they have to pay more to buy the same things they did before. Where is the logic in that? If after expenses I have $20 at the end of the month, I get a wage increase and have to pay more for the same things I always buy due to businesses raising their prices, yet at the end of the month I still make $20. Oh wait... lets not forget the real reason for a wage increase: the government gets their increased share of the income taxes. What is the point of raising the wage when you have to pay that raise to buy the same things you bought before.

Just walk down the grocery isle and you will see a perfect example of this. Never in my life have I ever had to pay so much for less. I'm not buying junk either. Although one could argue most of what is for sale at the grocery store is junk. Years ago, if I spent $200 for groceries I was walking out of there with a couple of carts of food. Now I spend that much and can't even fill one. But that's okay, people will feel good seeing the bigger number on their paycheck. If only for a short time.



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05-29-2015 06:06 PM
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AlanE Offline

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Post: #9
RE: The Economy
(05-29-2015 05:54 PM)DocWils Wrote:  What I was saying in my previous posting is that you repeatedly re-elect the same viewpoints, ones that are not in your favour at all, and then expect things to be different each time. We know what that is a definition of, don't we? Wink

The candidates I vote for often do not win unfortunately. Maybe I am insane? Smile



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05-29-2015 06:10 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #10
RE: The Economy
(05-29-2015 06:10 PM)AlanE Wrote:  
(05-29-2015 05:54 PM)DocWils Wrote:  What I was saying in my previous posting is that you repeatedly re-elect the same viewpoints, ones that are not in your favour at all, and then expect things to be different each time. We know what that is a definition of, don't we? Wink

The candidates I vote for often do not win unfortunately. Maybe I am insane? Smile

Nope, everything I vote for loses too. I could be hired to tank political careers....
05-29-2015 06:47 PM
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