Are Republicans trying to sabotage the economy?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mcrain, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #1
    Warning: This is from an opinion piece by a liberal, so there is bias. That being said, is this guy right?

     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Their goal is power, not the good of the country. That has been obvious ever since Obama got in office.
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    As short a time as that ;).

    I would say the Clinton blow job scandal fits the same pattern.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    That was just pathetic. And don't even get me started with the birthers.
     
  5. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #5
    I'll take a shot at providing some contrarian commentary...

    Really? No one? Well then, why even have the conversation? ;)

    A lot of stupid things are popular with voters. This is why we live in a representative republic instead of a direct democracy. People can be stupid sometimes... especially in their desire for 'the government' to give them things, without feeling any desire to actually pay for those things.

    So, then, who's trying to sabotage the country then... the Democrats because they won't approve of large construction project, because of a irrational fear of fossil fuels?

    There's a HUGE fundamental difference between private jobs and public jobs. One produces money, the other spends money. All jobs aren't created equal. 1.3 million fewer public sector jobs means 1.3 fewer salaries that have to be redistributed from the productive private sector and spent on the non-productive public sector. This doesn't mean public jobs are bad, or unnecessary... but let's not equate them to actual private sector growth and resulting economic boom that would come with. These jobs cost money, not make money.

    No comment from the author on what this 'stimulus' actually consists of. The way the FED 'stimulates' the economy, is by buying government debt from digital money they manufacture at a whim. And each dollar they 'print' reduces the value of corresponding dollars in every citizen's pocket. So, your 'stimulus' is nothing more than a hidden TAX. It's the citizens that pay for it in the form of inflation. Nothing in this world is free, although big-government salesmen attempt to gloss over that fact on a regular basis.

    You either believe in free and open markets, or you believe in protectionism. We can go ahead and apply tariffs on foreign goods and otherwise manipulate the system to prop-up domestic production, but other countries will do the same, and exports will fall accordingly. Again, nothing comes without a cost. Not many economists think that protectionism is a viable way to manage the flow of labor.

    Both Obama and Bush have been utter failures. In my opinion, it's because they both fail to see the real problems... and solving a problem is next to impossible when you don't even know the cause. Romney is no better, and our problems are likely to worsen in the coming years.
     
  6. Huntn, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    I don't even have to read the article to know that a sabotaged economy plays right into the GOP's Presidential aspirations. Everything with them is calculated. If Obama fails we win. They have all ready backed out of ventures they promoted until Obama said he'd go along with it too.

    So how exactly do you feel about public jobs that take of tasks like road maintenance, teaching our children, putting out our fires, and maintaining law and order? ;) Would it be better to have for-profit contractors taking care of these items?
     
  7. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #7
    Do you have any solutions to offer? What are the "real problems"?
     
  8. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #8
    I think the "real problems" are pretty much the same as the list I made here a few days ago regarding the debt:


     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    I can agree with some of those. OK, what are your solutions?
     
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Republicans are definitely trying to sabotage Obama's presidency.

    If they have to take the economy down with him, that's just collateral damage.
     
  11. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #11
    Thank you.

    I think the point is that politicians on both sides agree, but one side is holding up the required legislation. Thus, a conversation is necessary.

    Ok, put down the kool-aid. The Keystone pipeline already exists to Vandalia, Illinios. We process oil sand from canada here, and it is then sold within the US. The proposed Keystone pipeline can't be approved until the application has been submitted. As you might know, there is a Republican in North Dakota who opposed the first proposal, and Keystone withdrew the application and worked to reapply with a route that didn't threaten an aquifer or something out there. So, in other words, the GOP in Congress has a fetish for Keystone even though there is nothing to approve yet. In addition, all signs are that once the application is submitted, it's going to get approved.

    Now, that being said, independent experts expect the Keystone pipeline to only create a small number of temporary jobs and then result in an increase in oil prices in the US. Why? Because instead of shipping the oil sands to Vandalia, they are going to be piped to Texas where they can refine and pump onto ships for sale in China.

    So, Keystone isn't about US oil security or even jobs, but money for the oil companies. I wish I was wrong.

    That's just BS. A job is a job, period. If the job is paid for using tax dollars, but generates benefits for the public (like teachers, firemen, policemen, construction workers, etc.), then not only is it a job, but the public gets a benefit. An argument could be made that public jobs are actually a lot more efficient than private jobs because there is no profit component.

    Let's just agree to disagree. (Although, I do want to point out that if those 1.3 million people are employed, they are paying taxes, buying things, and not receiving public aid).

    Interesting logic, but do you have any proof that the inflationary costs outweigh or are even close to the benifits to the overall economy by the stimulus? History says you're wrong.

    Ok, so are you saying that our historically low tariffs make sense in light of the fact that other countries don't have free or open markets and protect their economies? I'm sorry, but our free/open markets aren't really free or open, and are doing nothing but stacking the deck in favor of multinational corporations which use the different rules to make as much money as possible.

    China has the right idea. They have a long term plan to build itself into a superpower. They are watching us and laughing. Every day we don't invest in infrastructure, new technology, new energy, and education, is a day we come closer to being irrelevant.

    Obama has been prevented from succeeding, while Bush was an utter failure.
     
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #12
    Exactly. But how will they fix what they did in the long run? I think we're passing the point where this can't be fixed anytime soon.
     
  13. classicaliberal, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #13

    • Replace the Federal Reserve System with a currency that is backed by a commodity (historically Gold). This should prevent government from spending on a whim - their actions would be limited by the GDP of the country.
    • Drastically simplify the tax code, remove unnecessarily burdensome regulations from the entrepreneurial world, reduce government debt, Reversed and slowed economic growth.
    • Reformat welfare programs with an emphasis on empowering capable individuals to accomplish self-sufficiency we we can spend fewer dollars over all and provide better care to those who actually need it. Eventually, this should be removed from the Federal Government's responsibilities and returned to local control so more high quality and customized care can be provided with minimal bureaucracy.
    • Stop Fighting between 2-6 wars across the world
    • Stop further "Economic Stimulus", balance our budgets, and promote free-market Austrian economics (Hayek, Mises) over Keynes' interventionist policies.
    • Bring Troops stationed in thousands of bases around the world... home
    • Stop lying to people by telling them that Social Security is safe and trustworthy. Increase retirement age, give young people the opportunity to opt-out. Educate people on the value of private savings accounts and provide incentives for savings over spending.
    • Empower local governments over federal government, as constitution requires to reduce government bureaucracy/inefficiency. It's easier for individual citizens to hold their politicians accountable when they can walk across town or visit the next city hall meeting to give them a piece of their mind. The larger/broader the govenrment, the less accountable to the people.
    • Simplify tax system. Eliminate bailouts all together. Eliminate subsidies in all but the most EXTREME conditions. Let good technologies/companies make it on their own. No corporate welfare.
    • Destroy Bush's Prescription Drug Program
    • Destroy Bush's No Child Left Behind
    • Destroy Obama's Health Care Plan, reinstate competition into the market place. Let insurance companies sell across state lines, let them offer a wide variety of coverage options so customers can choose to pay for visits with their own money, providing incentive for doctors/clinics to offer generic drugs and many other cost-saving efforts. Lasik eye surgery cost over $5,000 less than a decade ago... now you can get it done for $500. This is competition and free market in action.

    There's a lot more to be done, but it's a start! ;)
     
  14. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #14
    Austrian economics is a joke. See reality or here's one site.

    (edit) Oh, and pegging your currency to a commodity is crazy. Just look at gold price fluctuations, and compare those to anything that happened to the demand for real gold.
     
  15. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #15
    I've read a lot on the topic, both for and against, and have come to starkly different conclusions than you. I'm sorry you think it's a joke, I disagree strongly. It's the only ideology which adequately takes into consideration the complexity of people's desires, and accurately points out the fatal flaw with a small group of people thinking they know best about where capital should be allocated.

    For the record, it was Austrian economists that predicted the dot com bubble, the housing bubble, and the derivatives bubble, long before anyone else did.

    As far as commodity driven currency, it's the only way I know of to prevent the endless printing and inflation of the currency (which is a direct tax on the populous)

    As an Austrian, I don't see bubbles bursting as the problem, but rather the solution... it's the market correcting over-valuations. It's the bubbles we should fear - bubbles caused by malinvestments in the market place, some natural, but the worst ones which are the result of governmental manipulation of the market place through things like bailouts, subsidies, etc.
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #16
    How is that any worse than what we are doing now? We need more money, ok just print it and drive down the value of the dollar. If it was so easy to just print money why are we in debt.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    Some of the things in that post I can agree with though, like getting rid of NCLB, making welfare more empowerment-focused and stopping the wars. Letting people opt out of SS though? Nope. That would kill it for sure, and I've paid too much into it. We need to make sure it is around. We don't need to get rid of it, we need to make it better.
     
  18. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #18
    Austrian economics has a lot of very interesting theories, and adds to the discussion of economics, but it comes to conclusions and relies on assumptions that are just incorrect in every imaginable way. While there may have been some who:
    they weren't the only ones. Certainly not the only ones.

    There should be some amount of endless printing of money to counteract the deflationary effects of time, otherwise, more and more people end up sharing the same amount of money, driving inflation. In other words, its a balancing act.

    Bubbles aren't natural, but a symptom of failed economic efforts of an unregulated business model. The housing bubble and market bubbles weren't the result of something natural, but people gaming a system for profit to the damage of the system as a whole.
     
  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #19
    The problem we have with SS and the reason I won't see it when I get older is that people are not treating it as a safety net but as their retirement fund. That is what is stressing the system.

    ----------

    Isn't that the stock market as a whole?
     
  20. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    What? What is the practical difference? Those who see it as a safety net get exactly the same check as someone else similarly situated who uses SS as their retirement fund.
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #21
    What was the original intent of SS, was is a fall back when you needed it or was it meant for everyone to use when they retired and would support you the rest of your life? How can we now support all the baby boomers who are all taking out the money at once?
     
  22. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #22
    The original intent was that everyone who qualified had it. Period. The difference between what is happening today vs. then is that people are living longer. When SS was created, it was rare for people to live beyond 65. To have the same mortality levels as when SS was created, the retirement age would have to be raised into the upper 70s or low 80s.

    I'm pretty sure you're going to have a hard time making that happen.
     
  23. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #23
    We clearly approach the issues from different perspectives, but that's what makes conversation interesting!

    In regards to bubbles, they happen every day at every level of the economic ladder, both macro and micro. They're both natural and manufactured. Bubbles can be the result of irrational excitement or pessimism around a specific product/technology, but you're exactly right that in modern times they are dramatically amplified by failed economic efforts and market manipulations.

    I think we probably disagree as to the cause of the housing bubble, as I would place more of the blame on government's promotion of a 'owner's society', consequences be damned... along with financial institutions who - in the face of government promises and back room deals - knew that their exposure to risk was extremely low or non-existent resulting in internal policies which incentivized short-term growth over long-term prosperity. But the honest truth is that it was a complex issue, and no one's hands were left completely clean in that debacle. I'd argue also that the homeowners themselves bear some of the responsibility.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #24
    Doesn't that limit the size of the economy to the amount of gold?

    Agreed.

    FWIW I believe in the US a lot of them are at state level - e.g. this.

    I would have thought that that is its current aim, if it isn't doing so that is because it would cost more and/or it is hard.

    Why? What are the examples of this working?

    Increasing the retirement age is clearly a good idea, but how exactly would allowing an opt-out be a good idea?

    Agreed on education, but there is a massive incentive to save for retirement already - pensions have a massive tax break.

    Do you really think competition across state lines is going to halve the costs? That's what it would have to do to draw level with even efficient government run healthcare, as in the UK.

    And are people realistically going to save enough to pay for healthcare? Or are the poor going to be consigned to the scrapheep?

    We are going to have to do that though.

    ----------

    I hate to discuss votes, but seriously. My comment is at +1 and Lee's is at -1 (including my +1 vote)

    Why is Lee's comment, where he is agreeing with mine, scored so much more negatively? It seems pretty lame.
     
  25. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    Ok, so can anyone explain why the GOP is blocking things they agree on?
     

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