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  1. #41
    Senior Member fecaleagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I also dont see any way what-so-ever that an economy which serves the richest elites will ever approximate socialism or could ever approximate socialism, its a total and utter misnomer at the very best and betrays a gross ideological stigmatism at the very worst. You may aswell label the economic and social trends monarchism or byzantism or fecal eaglism for all its worth.
    Which is why I added the bold:

    Our administration chose to bail these banks out (or really, the banks bailed themselves out but that's another story), which spread the pain throughout the population; this is textbook financial socialism. Or worse, because instead of aiming to help the poor it aimed to do the opposite, so maybe fascism is a better word.

    I dont believe there's a point in talking about pure capitalism, I'm not sure that the oft quoted and seriously idealised "frontier age of capitalism" ever really existed and it certainly beggars an economy which is much less developed, has less productive powers, provides a much lower standard of living to all involved, rich and poor alike, and people need to be satisfied with something more closely resembling subsistance or survival living standards.
    I disagree. When it comes down to it, all capitalism really means is the existence of a free market. Capitalism builds itself using the free market as its building blocks. So before the banking system came around in the late 1800's, how could there not have been capitalism? Standards of living were fine. People had food, shelter, and their versions of comfort and entertainment. Sure, "normal" people didn't have luxury items in excess like today, but these things are a byproduct of capitalism gone bad. Perhaps your view on standard of living is skewed.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    Our administration chose to bail these banks out (or really, the banks bailed themselves out but that's another story), which spread the pain throughout the population; this is textbook financial socialism. Or worse, because instead of aiming to help the poor it aimed to do the opposite, so maybe fascism is a better word.
    Fecaleagle: no offense, but you have no idea what you're talking about on this. I read your first post a few days ago and realized this, but I decided not to respond. I haven't read your second, but the above quote demonstrates exactly what I already knew. If you think everything would have been better had the banks not been bailed out, then you're living in a fantasy world. Every single person who actually knows what they're talking about knows that, had the banks not been bailed out, liquidity/credit would have stopped flowing to business all over the country/globe, causing payroll not to be met, bills not to be paid, inventory not to be purchased, consumer and b2b commerce to decline drastically more than it did, bankruptcies to have gotten far worse than they did, the stock market to crash even harder than it did, the housing market to collapse that much further, and unemployment to rise that much higher.

    And before you try it, save me the "you're just a big government liberal" blah blah blah, because, if I fall under any umbrella (which, quite frankly, I don't), it would be that of a libertarian (albeit a moderate one). I also was amongst the crowd saying that this crisis was coming since the spring of 2004, and have published research reports with my name on them dating from 2006/2007 predicting as much, and calling for shorts on the largest subprime mortgage lenders and most of the homebuilders.

    Austrian economics is the right frame of mind to have before we get ourselves into a mess through excessive fiscal and monetary stimulus for 25+ years; however, it's not the right frame of mind once the economy is crashing after this has already been done.

    Fiscal conservatives (amongst whom I most certainly count myself) need to get over this false illusion that everything would have been better had the bailouts not occurred.

    It is patently false, and makes them look stupid and lacking in pragmatism.

  3. #43
    Senior Member fecaleagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Fecaleagle: no offense, but you have no idea what you're talking about on this. I read your first post a few days ago and realized this, but I decided not to respond. I haven't read your second, but the above quote demonstrates exactly what I already knew. If you think everything would have been better had the banks not been bailed out, then you're living in a fantasy world. Every single person who actually knows what they're talking about knows that, had the banks not been bailed out, liquidity/credit would have stopped flowing to business all over the country/globe, causing payroll not to be met, bills not to be paid, inventory not to be purchased, consumer and b2b commerce to decline drastically more than it did, bankruptcies to have gotten far worse than they did, the stock market to crash even harder than it did, the housing market to collapse that much further, and unemployment to rise that much higher.

    And before you try it, save me the "you're just a big government liberal" blah blah blah, because, if I fall under any umbrella (which, quite frankly, I don't), it would be that of a libertarian (albeit a moderate one). I also was amongst the crowd saying that this crisis was coming since the spring of 2004, and have published research reports with my name on them dating from 2006/2007 predicting as much, and calling for shorts on the largest subprime mortgage lenders and most of the homebuilders.

    Austrian economics is the right frame of mind to have before we get ourselves into a mess through excessive fiscal and monetary stimulus for 25+ years; however, it's not the right frame of mind once the economy is crashing after this has already been done.

    Fiscal conservatives (amongst whom I most certainly count myself) need to get over this false illusion that everything would have been better had the bailouts not occurred.

    It is patently false, and makes them look stupid and lacking in pragmatism.
    You have obviously misunderstood me. No where did I state that letting the banks fail would be a better option, economically speaking. Of course it would have been disastrous, but this is not a problem that we can keep pushing away. Sooner or later, we will have to face reality; the sooner it is, the less severe it will be. You can't keep putting band aids on a fatal wound, it only prolongs the person's suffering. So I think letting the banks fail would have been the best move, and consistent with capitalism which is what we need to reshift towards throughout the upcoming tough times. All the bailouts did was delay the inevitable collapse, and magnified it's future severity. Would you rather have a collapse or a worse collapse? Letting the banks fail would have been a perfect example of choosing a lesser evil
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    You have obviously misunderstood me.
    Perhaps...

    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    No where did I state that letting the banks fail would be a better option...
    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    ...I think letting the banks fail would have been the best move...
    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    Letting the banks fail would have been a perfect example of choosing a lesser evil
    ...but I hope you can at least see that you're blatantly contradicting yourself.

  5. #45
    Senior Member fecaleagle's Avatar
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    Well when you purposely leave out "economically speaking" after the first quote, yes. But that is your error, not mine. So I'm looking at both an economic and an overall viewpoint
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  6. #46
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    The issue is not between collapse now and collapse in the future; the issue is, now that we've done what we needed to do to prevent collapse, what do we do now to make things as best as possible?

    There need not be a worse collapse in the future; the economy has been put on triage, and seems to possibly be stabilizing into its new normal.

    I expect low growth and higher-than-desirable unemployment for a protracted amount of time (a la Japan's "Lost (Two) Decade(s)"), although I'm hoping we can do better than that.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    Well when you purposely leave out "economically speaking" after the first quote, yes. But that is your error, not mine. So I'm looking at both an economic and an overall viewpoint
    I'm sorry, I saw that "economically speaking" as little more than a cop out...

    In what ways would it have been better to let the economy collapse?

  8. #48
    Senior Member fecaleagle's Avatar
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    That is your opinion, and I respect that and I hope you are right. But to say that I have no idea what I'm talking about simply because I think a collapse is inevitable (which is a view held by many Austrian supporters) is very arrogant. Honestly the fundamentals and real world facts more closely align to my prediction than yours, but you don't see me belittling your more than likely incorrect view

    As I said, letting economy collapse now would cause less damage than delaying it. That's all I'm saying

    When the collapse occurs, I'm hoping for an apology in this thread. :P

    edit: Basically I feel like our economy is running solely based on a massive boom (as the Austrians call it in their theory of the business cycle) which is driven by huge amount of fiat money being printed, and perhaps more importantly artificially low interest rates that have discouraged savings and begged for consumption (which has been instigated in other ways as well). I feel that saving is critical for an economy and unbridled consumption worsens an economy, much like a household. Eventually this bubble will bust. The longer we let it go, the more asset misallocation and malinvestments will be made, along with consuming even more beyond our means...not to mention the federal debt and inflation (which is grossly understated) which will further weaken the dollar, eventually cause countries to abandon our currency (which is starting to happen now, with more nations not accepting dollar payments, and increasing their stores of gold (mid east) and silver (china)). And I'm talking about the actual metals, not the worthless pieces of paper which represent them lol. Oh yeah we don't manufacture/export anything really, which is key for economic growth.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    That is your opinion, and I respect that and I hope you are right.
    As do I. And please don't mistake me for some permabull. I by no means think we are out of the woods.

    There are many different issues that concern me (generational demographics, entitlements [Social Security, Medicare, public pensions, et al], rising sovereign debt levels, state and local deficits and debt levels, a resumption of the Chinese trade imbalance, the future costs of commodities in light of a depreciating dollar, the possibility that we have reached or will reach peak oil sometime in the next 10-20 years, and the effect of globalization as a whole on the developed economies vs. the emerging ones).

    But, while these are real problems that we must face, they do not entail the inevitability of total economic collapse.

    We have faced severe disruptions in the global economy before, and we have gotten through them.

    Hopefully we will get through them again...

    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    But to say that I have no idea what I'm talking about simply because I think a collapse is inevitable (which is a view held by many Austrian supporters) is very arrogant.
    Well, I'd be lying if I said that I've never been accused of arrogance before, but is it not equally arrogant to assume that you know that collapse is inevitable?

    My "belittling" of your opinion, or, as I would call it, my telling of the truth, had to do with what I thought was your opinion that it would have been better to not bail out the banks.

    You have since clarified that it would have been "economically better", but, as of yet, have not offered up what it would mean to be "economically better off" but "worse off altogether".

    I called your use of the term a "cheap cop out", and I will hold to that opinion unless you provide a better explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    Honestly the fundamentals and real world facts more closely align to my prediction than yours, but you don't see me belittling your more than likely incorrect view...
    Well, no, not until you just "belittled" it right now.

    And please, point me to the fundamentals and facts that more closely align with your prediction (total collapse) than mine (a "New Normal" of low growth and high unemployment, with many risks ahead).

    And then prove to me how these show that your prediction is more likely than mine (especially considering I have various scenarios built into my prediction, of which your prediction is a "worst case scenario").

    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    As I said, letting economy collapse now would cause less damage than delaying it. That's all I'm saying
    Once again, show me the facts.

    And don't assume I don't already know all the issues that you would most likely bring up to "prove" your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by fecaleagle View Post
    When the collapse occurs, I'm hoping for an apology in this thread. :P
    I said the same thing to a prominent financial/political columnist named John Tamny in 2005, when I was just a lowly college student telling him that he was an imbecile, and that the biggest recession since the Great Depression was going to occur within the next five years.

    I still have not gotten that apology from him.

  10. #50
    Senior Member fecaleagle's Avatar
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    You have since clarified that it would have been "economically better", but, as of yet, have not offered up what it would mean to be "economically better off" but "worse off altogether".

    I called your use of the term a "cheap cop out", and I will hold to that opinion unless you provide a better explanation.
    You're complicating a simple and unimportant issue just for the sake of trying to be right about semantics. Letting the banks fail would be the economically best decision because of my belief that the sooner the illusion ends, the less bad the consequences. After all, the issue of bailing/not bailing banks out is an economic decision, no? So letting them fail would be the smarter choice, but our standard of living would be "worse off altogether".


    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    As do I. And please don't mistake me for some permabull. I by no means think we are out of the woods.

    There are many different issues that concern me (generational demographics, entitlements [Social Security, Medicare, public pensions, et al], rising sovereign debt levels, state and local deficits and debt levels, a resumption of the Chinese trade imbalance, the future costs of commodities in light of a depreciating dollar, the possibility that we have reached or will reach peak oil sometime in the next 10-20 years, and the effect of globalization as a whole on the developed economies vs. the emerging ones).

    But, while these are real problems that we must face, they do not entail the inevitability of total economic collapse.

    We have faced severe disruptions in the global economy before, and we have gotten through them.

    Hopefully we will get through them again...
    First off, in no way is a collapse a worse case scenario; there's always the possibility that people left and right would start dropping like flies from famine/disease, we could have a mass genocide on a larger scale than the Holocaust, cannibalism running rampant...etc etc. That's worse case scenario in my book, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen. I'm just saying that the modern interpretation of what an economy is and how it functions will collapse, for reasons I stated in my post, and that we will have to start building again. A Great Depression #2, if you will. It seems like you want evidence of a future collapse that hasn't happened yet. I cannot time travel, so I can't provide that. But we can look at the facts, which I think favor a more pessimistic outlook than optimistic.

    You listed some facts that point toward economic worsening. Now add those to the facts that I listed in my previous post (remove my interpretation of them of course). These are fundamentals and facts. Interpret them as you will, but they point towards a collapse in my opinion. So I've provided facts and my brief analysis of them. Now, you haven't presented any facts to back up your more optimistic outlook. I'm curious, could you briefly list them (nothing elaborate, I'm hardly in the mood for another economic discussion and don't really wanna derail the thread) or perhaps point out where my interpretation of the ones that we have listed s incorrect.

    For example, you mention a new lower level of growth? How exactly do you envision that happening? How are you measuring growth? I think it's an impossible thing to quantify and GDP is a joke of a figure, so we have to look at the well-being of average citizens. So you really think that people will either increase or maintain their standard of living? Do you have any idea what is happening to cities throughout America? Like Detroit and Cleveland. They're becoming hell-holes, and the times are still good according to common measures! What about the food inflation we have encountered this year? People are finding it tougher to feed their families. Sounds like the onset of the Great Depression to me! 1 out of 7 people are on food stamps. Not good.

    You mentioned the Chinese trade imbalance. How can that be fixed? We're not allocating any attention, money, or desire towards increasing our productive capacity to be able to rely less on imports and to grow the economy via exports. A radical, magical shift in the way we look at life and the sudden appearance of comparative advantage would be required. At the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time this occurred was in 1941.

    What about the fact that we don't have any savings and investments are falling big time. That's what artificially low interest rates tell us (facts). Do you think that an economy grows simply by consuming? With pieces of paper and credit cards that we haven't really earned? Hey, my credit was just increased! I go out and buy a sweet ass TV...does the economy grow? Or am I financially worse off, with less money to spend on food/necessities and more importantly, these things in the future. What happens to those pieces of paper when the Chinese and Indian economy not only grow big time, but when they lose confidence in our country's economic fundamentals as well as our monetary and fiscal policy? And what about the possibility of countries like China backing their money by silver? They're talking about it already. If that were to happen, the dollar would become pretty much worthless. How would a collapse not occur then?

    Also, please explain what will happen when Social Security and Medicare come to an end?

    To me, the facts point to a collapse. I mean the Great Depression happened, didn't it? And the fundamentals back then were iron strong compared to now. It's one thing to be hopeful, but to claim that these facts that you and I mentioned can definitely be overcome is a bit of stretch. Normalcy bias is certainly strong these days.

    My interpretation: things are obviously going to get ugly....getting pretty close to a collapse. Can we agree on that? Now, I will take it a step further and opine that we will tip towards that collapse, and as far as I see it, it is inevitable. Hopefully I'm wrong, which is a funny thing for an INTJ so say, huh?
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