Stimulus for Who?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    It's been entertaining, but more importantly... scary to watch this stimulus bill getting pushed through congress this past week. I'm reminded of George Bush's push towards war with Iraq when I hear President Obama speak of "catastrophe" which I would characterize simply as a scare tactic.

    The only thing that perhaps bothers me more than that... is that he also seems determined to manipulate the public opinion through obvious falicies... like this little number: "There is no disagreement that we need action by our government,a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy." Well Mr. President... that sir, is not true.

    It's been a struggle to hear the President label and belittle those who are trying to slam the brakes on these pork-barrel projects by labeling them as the "same worn-out ideas" that have failed in the past.

    The majority of this bill is 'spending' and not 'stimulus'. Unless of course you're talking about the stimulus of the government... but I'll let Dr. Paul talk to that issue:

    Stimulus for Who?
    Dr. Ron Paul
    http://www.house.gov/apps/blog/tx14_paul/090126_2631.shtml
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dKAjBdRYR0

     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    Dr. Paul may call me when he understands the difference between "who" and "whom." ;)

    Maureen Dowd made a less partisan but no less impassioned claim herself, though... I do wonder about the new stimulus bill. I don't believe fascist-style "let's do nothing and it will fix itself" will work. But I'm also not particularly fond of using it for a governmental spending spree, particularly without taking the time to think about the programs that are being funded.

    For now, I can be patient... but I think this is going to need a lot of tweaking, just as the previous bailout bill did.
     
  3. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #3
    For an opposing point of view:

    On the Edge
    Paul Krugman
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/opinion/06krugman.html?_r=2&ref=opinion


    What it all boils down to I guess... Is whether or not you believe in Keysnian economics or Austrian economics. It depends on whether you think that the market is essentially better off with significant government intervention, or without it. Do you believe in Nationalization or in the Free Market? It depends on whether or not you think the free market auto-corrections that the government can/should control market swings, or that market corrections are inherently healthy for the long-term viability of the marketplace. It depends on whether you think that a few bankers at the Fed should be allowed to print money and decimate the dollar's value at will, or whether you think the market should determine the value of products and the interest rate used at any given time.

    I know where I stand. How about you? Let's hear it, guys.
     
  4. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #4
    I've never read anything by Dowd that wasn't heavily partisan. Having just read her article that you reference in your post, I have to say that Paul's article wins hands down between the two in terms of being factual, informative, insightful, critical, and non-partisan.
     
  5. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #5
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Nothing is black and white- stop trying to make it so. It's not a "either you believe in nationalization or the free market" question. If you continue to frame the debate this way, we'll never get anywhere. If you really want to solve the problem, keep your mind open. Otherwise, there's no point in having a discussion. You're only interested in proving yourself "right" and not interested in solving the problem, which is the attitude that got us here in the first place.
     
  7. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #7
    It seems to me that if regulation was "bad" and deregulation "good", then this particular crisis would have begun in and been felt hardest by the more regulated economies, and trickled to and felt least by the less regulated economies. As it stands, we are seeing the exact opposite. We also see nations with more regulated economies providing a better standard of living and being more capable of dealing with climate change.
     
  8. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #8
    Which nations are you referring to? And what does dealing with alleged climate change have to do with this discussion?
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    What I meant, sorry, was that Dowd was a liberal attacking a liberal's stimulus plan, rather than being Ron Paul attacking a liberal's stimulus plan.

    As for Ron Paul's analysis... it's strong on invective and relatively poor on detail. He makes a lot of claims that he doesn't make any effort to justify. I'm not saying they're incorrect, just that it's hard for me to imagine it into any form of insightful analysis.
     
  10. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #10
    Reading Paul's article really fast, the stuff he seems to talk about are the tiny parts of it.


    He calls into question maybe 10 billion of the total spending? And while 10 billion is big money, that extra 800B+ seems key


    And this big government vs small government while very interesting, it worthless to those with out jobs, put people back to work, with good wages. FDR solution with big government worked in the past....I'm fine with that again, if it works. Obama's plan looks much more worked out then Paul's "Market fix itself" junk
     
  11. Queso macrumors G4

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    #11
    Pick anywhere in Scandinavia and throw in Switzerland and Luxembourg for good measure.
     
  12. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #12
    Figured I should post this:

    From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2193853.stm
     
  13. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #13
    Fair enough. I said I thought that Paul's analysis was superior to Doud's, not that it was spectacular per se. However, my guess is that most if not all of what he said is probably factually correct.
     
  14. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #14
    Those nations are doing alright mostly because they stayed out of the housing boom.
     
  15. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #15
    This really has nothing to do with the stimulus plan in the United States. Construction in Japan is a racket. What goes on there is not a moral lesson for anyone else in this instance.
     
  16. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #16
    Partisan to whom? I started reading her column during the Clinton administration and was taken aback by how relentlessly she slammed him. I was ready to conclude she was just another Ann Coulter knockoff until Bush came in and she started bashing him.

    I think she just enjoys using politicians as punching bags. :D

    In re the arguments, Krugman seems to get it right from the overall perspective. Ron Paul seems to be nit-picking the "small" (note the quotation marks) stuff, and in some cases (faith-based initiatives) he's even correct.

    I think one of the problems here is that no one on the Democratic side has adequately defined the parameters of a "stimulus" bill. The Republicans have succeeded in trying to define it as a jobs-creation-only bill, and has been laughing off the relief aspects, such as Medicaid funding, as "pork". Herein I think is the Dems', and Obama's, lesson: they let the other side dictate the situation.

    And one could argue that there should've been a more laser-like approach to this bill. Concentrate solely on jobs creation/infrastructure, and leave the relief portions to a separate bill.

    As far as the link to the Cato Institute, well...they're the Cato Institute. On a par, from a credibility standpoint, with the Heritage Foundation. ;)
     
  17. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #17
    The ridiculous fallacy that I think the keysnian economics that Obama and the Democratic party are currently undertaking (also unfortunately utilized by former president GW) is the working assumption that the government 'creates jobs' with our money... where we... apparently would do almost anything other than creating jobs with it, if we had it. They work under the assumption that the government can create jobs better/faster than the private sector, which is laughable at best. The government is a slow-moving inefficient behemoth of a bureaucracy which banks on printing fiat money and destroying the REAL value of the dollar in an attempt to prop up an economy that NEEDS to self-correct itself and relieve itself of poorly run companies through bankruptcy. What a concept!!!


    Excellent description of the 'backwards' keysnian economics which basically states that you can SPEND your way to PROSPERITY:
     
  18. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #18
    What caused them to stay out of the housing boom?
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #19
    That's fair enough. But first I'd like to see a better argument for the correctness of his points than, "Because Ron Paul said so." I don't understand why people consider this too high a standard against which to measure him, as it is the standard against which everyone else is measured against. If Ron Paul deserves any credibility at all with respect to this issue, how about... *gasp* actually providing his estimate of the number of jobs created, the cost per job, the number of these jobs that are essentially tied to his claimed big government and cannot be sustained out in industry when the stimulus wears out, and a counterplan that would create more jobs. I'll listen to any and all of that from him, but I'm not aware that he has bothered to provide anything substantive.

    Otherwise, he's just a physician, with a poor grasp of English grammar, who is practicing far afield from his realm of expertise.

    Anyway, Paul critiques some $10-20B of the stimulus plan as poorly thought out without bothering to mention that this is about 2% of the whole stimulus plan. Dowd admits this wholeheartedly but attacks the Obama administration for not being principled enough to avoid the urge to tack on this 2% of poorly thought out expenditures. I agree with her -- I think it's important on principle but admittedly minor in actual ramification, unless it portends a trend in Obama administration behavior.
     
  20. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #20
    France has low home ownership rates caused in part by fiscally conservative banks. Sarkozy's election platform included plans to increase home ownership. They were obviously derailed by the US financial meltdown.

    Germany's tax laws favor renters over homeowners. After WWII, 40% of all residential buildings were uninhabitable. Capital was needed and it was decided the best way to do so was by creating rental property. The laws really haven't changed.

    Scandinavia also has a long history of social housing schemes.

    It's not really apt to say that the countries "stayed out" rather that they didn't have the mechanisms in place to encourage irresponsible behaviour.

    Spain, Ireland, England are all paying a huge price for their lack of fiscal responsibility.
     
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #21
    So some form of regulation curtailed irresponsible behaviour?
     
  22. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #22
    Would you care to compare Ron Paul's knowledge of economic theory to any other congressmen? I'd wager a bit that he is easily one of the most knowledgeable in this field, hands down, vs his colleagues... although he's *gasp* actually humble about it. They'd probably be the first to say so. Anyway, this small bit of text from Ron's "Texas Straight Talk" is but one extremely small bit of Ron Paul's complaints regarding the bailouts and the so called governmental stimulus. If you would do a small bit of research or heck, just visit YouTube, you'd understand this well.

    Here's one or two to get you started...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k92fTDReHg&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF7pzRsaIng
     
  23. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #23
    No, the government thinks they can make jobs because they are spending (ideally) on things that put people back to work!
    The market might do this, but I don't want to sit around and wait. Clearly if the market could do it as is, we'd wouldn't be losing all these jobs!

    You say that, but you're not packing it up with anything. The goverment has show(during the great depression for one) that it can put people back to work faster then the market


    :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Thats a wonderful idea, but we are clearly at a point where its not just company that are run poorly aren't doing well. When a big company(regardless of why) does poorly, people lose jobs, then have less money, so other companies lose money(less people are getting paid, so they have less money to spend elsewhere)

    It becomes a cycle, the government stepping in can end that cycle, and get people back to work


    Clear that is a example with biased towards a non-keysnian approach, but I'll work with it

    The shop keeper may have spent that money, he may not have, this way that money IS spent, the windowmaker then highers 2 workers to create this glass for the shopkeeper. These workers use their pay check to buy stuff from the shopkeeper, who gains more and more money, and can higher a worker. Who then spends more money at the windowshop, because with the new job he got, he is buying windows for his house. And it goes on in a cycle.

    Clearly both your example and mine are idealistic in the way they work, but thats why only following one can be a problem.
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    Tax cuts are the absolute worst way to stimulate anything. Government spending is much more efficient mechanism to pump money into the economy.

    So what has the GOP done with this bill? Loaded it up with tax cuts for the wealthy. Which will do even less than contraceptive spending to stimulate the economy.

    We've been giving tax cuts to the richest among us for 8 years now, and it has only brought us this current economy. It's time to stop listening to the Austrian school folks. They've had their chance, and their theories have failed miserably. If we let them dictate policy here, we're in for a very long, very deep recession.
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    So how to we stimulate the economy with more debt? That doesn't make sense either.
     

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