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  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I guess my question is what they would spend the money on. I don't see any particular reason they would, except for a few particular industries, spend it on labor in general, or domestic labor specifically. Even if it were reinvested into the company, I'd see it as far more likely to be spent on labor-reducing technology, than necessarily on new jobs.
    What we need to happen is for the banks to unclench their buttholes and start lending money, money to buy a home, money to start a business, money to do just about anything. Clearly they need to be more judicious in choosing who they lend to than they did in '06, but they are being to cautious by a mile.

    The interest rates are so low now that they don't make hardly any money lending their cash out, so they are being much more tight with their money than they would if the interest rates were higher. Spending this kind of money would raise those interest rates, and give the banks an incentive to start lending money again, which would in turn mean the corps would be most interested in borrowing, which would then get everything else going again.

  2. #242
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    What we need to happen is for the banks to unclench their buttholes and start lending money, money to buy a home, money to start a business, money to do just about anything. Clearly they need to be more judicious in choosing who they lend to than they did in '06, but they are being to cautious by a mile.

    The interest rates are so low now that they don't make hardly any money lending their cash out, so they are being much more tight with their money than they would if the interest rates were higher. Spending this kind of money would raise those interest rates, and give the banks an incentive to start lending money again, which would in turn mean the corps would be most interested in borrowing, which would then get everything else going again.
    I'm still concerned that even with greater cash reserves, the banks would still be inclined to financialize those reserves, given the potential rate of return. I'm not sure how high interest rates would go before that evened out, and whether it would be too high for borrowers to bite at that point.

    I don't see most people taking on much more consumer debt these days, except out of absolute necessity. Banks will still be far more judicious than during the housing bubble, simply because the systemic risk is now known and understood. Meanwhile, that new consumer debt does nothing to produce wealth, instead funneling back to the bank. At most half the money lent goes to the production of material wealth, while the bank gets to hold on to the other half, charging interest on both halves. At some point, the interest will exceed the consumer's ability to pay, and you have a Fisher-style debt saturation crisis once more.

    To me, it seems like the main reason banks do not want to lend is the added risk of default with increased debt load. They don't want to be left holding the bag on money that never really existed in the first place.

  3. #243
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    From The Economist:

    Four more years?

    A president who has had a patchy first term now needs to make a convincing case for a second one



    IN DENVER four years ago, an inspiring presidential candidate announced that he would change America. Barack Obama promised to put aside partisan differences, restore hope to those without jobs, begin the process of saving the planet from global warming, and make America proud again.

    Next week Mr Obama will address his fellow Democrats at their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, with little of this hopeful agenda completed. Three million more Americans are out of work than four years ago, and the national debt is $5 trillion bigger. Partisan gridlock is worse than ever: health-care reform, a genuinely impressive achievement, has become a prime source of rancour. Businessfolk are split over whether he dislikes capitalism or is merely indifferent to it. His global-warming efforts have evaporated. America’s standing in the Muslim world is no higher than it was under George W. Bush, Iran remains dangerous, Russia and China are still prickly despite the promised resets, and the prison in Guantánamo remains open.
    So far, so underwhelming

    The defence of Mr Obama’s record comes down to one phrase: it could all have been a lot worse. He inherited an economy in free fall thanks to the banking crash and the fiscal profligacy that occurred under his predecessor; his stimulus measures and his saving of Detroit carmakers helped avert a second Depression; overall, he deserves decent if patchy grades on the economy (see article). Confronted by obstructionist Republicans in Congress, he did well to get anything through at all. Abroad he has sensibly recalibrated American foreign policy. And there have been individual triumphs, such as the killing of Osama bin Laden.

    But this does not amount to a compelling case for re-election, in the view of either this paper or the American people. More than 60% of voters believe their country to be on the wrong track. Mr Obama’s approval ratings are well under 50%; almost two-thirds of voters are unimpressed (however harshly) by how he has handled the economy. Worn down by the difficulties of office, the great reformer has become a cautious man, surrounded by an insular group of advisers. The candidate who promised bold solutions to the country’s gravest problems turned into the president who failed even to back his own commission’s plans for cutting the deficit.

    Were he facing a more charismatic candidate than Mitt Romney or a less extremist bunch than the Republicans, Mr Obama would already be staring at defeat. The fact that the president has had to “go negative” so early and so relentlessly shows how badly he needs the election to be about Mr Romney’s weaknesses rather than his own achievements. A man who four years ago epitomised hope will arrive in Charlotte with a campaign that thus far has been about invoking fear.

    Mr Obama must offer more than this, for three reasons. First, a negative campaign may well fail. The Republicans are a rum bunch with a wooden leader; but Mr Romney’s record as an executive and governor is impressive, and his running-mate, Paul Ryan, is a fount of bold ideas. Mr Obama’s strategy of blaming everything on Republican obstructionism will strike many voters as demeaning.

    Second, even if negative campaigning works, a re-elected Mr Obama will need the strength that comes from a convincing agenda. Otherwise the Republicans, who will control the House and possibly the Senate too, will make mincemeat of him. And, third, it is not just Mr Obama who needs a plan. America does too. Its finances and its government require a drastic overhaul. Surely this charismatic, thoughtful man has more ideas about what must be done than he has so far let on?

    A tempting option will be to galvanise his party base, with talk of more health reform and threats of higher taxes on business and the rich. Rather than redesigning government, he could suck up to the public-sector unions by promising that jobs will not be cut. Rather than cutting entitlement programmes, he could reassure the elderly that America can actually afford them.

    Such an approach would fit the pattern of too much of his presidency, and his campaign so far; but it would do America a disservice, and it might not help Mr Obama either. His victory in 2008 relied on reaching beyond the groups that traditionally vote Democratic and bringing in young voters and wealthier whites. Many of them are centrists who are suspicious of Mr Romney, but since they have to foot the bill for government profligacy, they will not vote for a president who promises more of the same.
    Reach for the radical centre

    Appealing to the centre is not easy for Mr Obama. His allies on the left are powerful and, in a country so polarised, the middle ground can be a dangerous place. But there are plenty of things that many on both sides of the political aisle could agree on, including tax and immigration reform, investment in schools and aid to businesses that are creating jobs. Crucially, Mr Obama could explain how he intends to cut the still-soaring debt without pretending that taxing only the rich will help in any meaningful way.

    Mr Obama has a strong belief in social justice. It drove his health-care reform. But he needs to distinguish between a creditable desire to help the weak and a dangerous preference for the public over the private sector. The jobs that poor Americans need will be created by companies. Smothering firms in red tape is not the way to help them; Mr Obama should vow to stop adding to it, and to start cutting some of it away. The party faithful in Charlotte might not like centrist ideas much. But they would appeal to the voters Mr Obama needs to win over and, should he be re-elected, they will strengthen him in his dealings with the Republicans in Congress.

    Incumbents tend to win presidential elections, but second-term presidents tend to be disappointing. Mr Obama’s first-term record suggests that, if re-elected, he could be the lamest of ducks. That’s why he needs a good answer to the big question: just what would you do with another four years?

  4. #244
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    /lurking
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
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  5. #245
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    From The Economist:

    Democracies and debt

    Voters are now facing a harsh truth



    ALMOST half the world’s population now lives in a democracy, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation of this newspaper. And the number of democracies has increased pretty steadily since the second world war. But it is easy to forget that most nations have not been democratic for much of their history and that, for a long time, democracy was a dirty word among political philosophers.

    One reason was the fear that democratic rule would lead to ruin. Plato warned that democratic leaders would “rob the rich, keep as much of the proceeds as they can for themselves and distribute the rest to the people”. James Madison, one of America’s founding fathers, feared that democracy would lead to “a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property and for any other improper or wicked projects”. Similarly John Adams, the country’s second president, worried that rule by the masses would lead to heavy taxes on the rich in the name of equality. As a consequence, “the idle, the vicious, the intemperate would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them.”

    Democracy may have its faults but alternative systems have proved no more fiscally prudent. Dictatorships may still feel the need to bribe their citizens (eg, via subsidised fuel prices) to ensure their acquiescence while simultaneously spending large amounts on the police and the military to shore up their power. The absolute monarchies of Spain and France suffered fiscal crises in the 17th and 18th centuries, and were challenged by Britain and the Netherlands which, though not yet democracies, had dispersed power more widely. Financial problems contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Nevertheless, with much of the democratic world now in the throes of a debt crisis, it is tempting to ask whether the fears of Madison and Adams have come to pass. Given the rise in inequality in America and Britain over the past 30 years, it is hard to argue that democracies have led to the confiscation of private wealth. Quite the reverse: modern American politicians either need to be wealthy, or need the financial backing of the rich.

    But there is a broader problem. Modern governments play a much larger role in the economy than the ancient Greeks or the founding fathers could have imagined. This makes political leaders a huge source of patronage, in the form of business contracts, social benefits, jobs and tax breaks. As the late political scientist, Mancur Olson, pointed out, these goodies are highly valuable to the recipients but the cost to the average voter of any single perk will be small. So beneficiaries will have every incentive to lobby for the retention of their perks and taxpayers will have little reason to campaign against them. Over time the economy will be weighed down by all these costs, like a barnacle-encrusted ship. The Greek economy could be seen as a textbook example of these problems.

    One answer could be to take fiscal policy out of the hands of elected leaders, just as responsibility for monetary policy has been handed to independent central bankers. To some extent, that has been happening. Greece was briefly run by Lucas Papademos, an unelected former central banker, and Italy is still ruled by Mario Monti, a former EU commissioner. These technocrats are, it is assumed, more willing to take unpopular decisions.

    Another approach, with which America has occasionally flirted, is to pass decisions to a bipartisan commission. (This may be the best answer to the “fiscal cliff” that looms in 2013.) Since the decisions of such a commission, and indeed of technocrats in Greece and Italy, are still subject to a parliamentary vote, democracy is not completely abandoned.

    For a long time, there did not seem to be any limit to the amount democracies could borrow. Creditors have been more patient with democratic governments than with other regimes, probably because the risk of abrupt changes of policy (like the repudiation of Tsarist debts by Russia in 1917) are reduced. But this has postponed the crunch point, rather than eliminated it—and allowed stable democracies to accumulate higher debt, relative to their GDP, than many, more volatile countries ever achieved. Governments can, as Madison suggested, confiscate the wealth of domestic creditors via inflation, taxes or default. But however often they vote, democracies cannot make foreign lenders extend credit. That harsh truth is now being discovered.

  6. #246
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I'm conservative in an entirely different way from the rest of the world.. But I do know that children reflect their parents.

    The youth of America are uneducated, apathetic, careless, and don't know.. well.. anything. I'm learning things in my adult life I should have known years earlier. Only in my actively seeking a solution outside of the current system for my problems have I discovered the wonderful marriage of the philosophies, foundations, and daily living styles of my grandparents and great-grandparents with the accessibility, capability, and quicker response time of modern technology. I'm about to create something on my own that is great, only because I was forced to actively seek it. I romanticize it with a steampunk analogy... The ways and dress and customs of old, with technology far advanced assisting and surrounding it.. but it is something we truly need in America. The little problems are things we need to police up ourselves, as petty dealings are slowing down the system.

    I think the bigger flaws of the system are overlooked.. The things that are not big enough, but too small to be fixed on our own. Education, a working budget, healthcare concerns, feeding our hungry, clothing and caring for our wayward children, creating affordable housing.. We cannot break the rules and regulations the housing industry created that cause these mcmansion necessities, nor can we fix the public education system's corrupt policies and powerful teacher unions that refuse to accept new ideas. We are strong (or rather, capable of strength), but government is there to be the lever that allows us to lift.

    I'm unsure of what America needs to spur it into actively seeking a solution within themselves instead of always looking in a hundred other directions. We *can* feed our hungry, we can provide jobs, we can get out of debt and all without stopping our efforts to assist countries with greater problems than we have.. I am absolutely sure of that, without a doubt in my mind. But I do feel America is currently unwilling to see that *they* are the solution to their own problems, and that everyone has to take responsibility, make sacrifice, and live intentionally. I am also unsure that politicians will ever be held accountable for corruption, companies held accountable for their part in that, and I am positive that the system will continue to be blatantly abused and lied about.

    I know that America sets an example for its people, whether people think it does or not. Whatever that example is what people are going to subconsciously think. Right now, we set the example of buy, borrow, procrastinate, desire more, and demand. It doesn't even matter what is right or wrong anymore, it is just accepted that things are the way they are. As long as something benefits someone, it is okay, regardless of the implications and the whole group. Companies take advantage of consumers freely, and assume that it is a privilege to offer things that Americans are taught to rely on throughout their lives.. and relying on those things means Americans can say little to stop it. To get things set right, there is stress, fighting, and gnashing of teeth just to fix one aspect for one person in a broken system. Either party has yet to try and set the example for reversing some of this mentality. The efforts of the private sector are too few, too small.

    As far as Romney is concerned.. It seems to make sense that if you put a businessman in charge of finances and charge him personally responsible with them, he will attempt to fix it so as to preserve his reputation. I don't know if that'll actually work though.. He's probably just as sleazy as other politicians (I feel apathy leeching off of me even as I make these statements.. the youth of America truly doesn't care anymore..) and will probably just bump things around a bit to get by a term or two if he wins.

    I DO feel like people who run for president have to love their country.. The amount of work, all the slander, all the pressure, and the lack of pay that goes into all of that.. having an entire country on one's shoulders.. To decide to try and take on that responsibility.. I feel you have to love your country at least more than most to even attempt it. I'm sure there are plenty of presidents in the past who didn't.. but I still find it difficult to believe people didn't at least really truly have love and good intentions in their heart when seeking it out in the first place.
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  7. #247
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    @kyuuei thank you.

  8. #248
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    Liberals and Conservatives are both fucked. Socialism is the way to go.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  9. #249
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    I feel to complain about an inflating deficit during such economic times is like wondering why your bills are stacked up after you get laid off. Then bitching about having to pay for gas trying to find a new job.



    Isn't it... kind of... obvious why we're in the position we're in?






    Perhaps my constant analogizing of situations is leads to my ignorance.

  10. #250
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    I feel to complain about an inflating deficit during such economic times is like wondering why your bills are stacked up after you get laid off. Then bitching about having to pay for gas trying to find a new job.



    Isn't it... kind of... obvious why we're in the position we're in?






    Perhaps my constant analogizing of situations is leads to my ignorance.
    I feel regardless of how we got into a situation, we cannot go back in time and 'fix' it. No one can fix what has already happened--but they can fix what is here, and now, and prevent the future from falling back into the traps.

    I fell into a lot of traps for a majority of my life because I was raised to fall into them. Consumerism, apathetic politicians and governments towards true education of students disguising money schemes as education solutions, technology dependency, and the laws and regulations of our socials lives like how big our houses are supposed to be set me off on the wrong foot and I'm only now starting to recover. Consumerism is probably the biggest and worst of all of those beasts.. The multitude of mentalities that come with that one concept can eat away at so many aspects of one's life. We've become incapable of making solutions.. We must buy them. If a washer breaks, we don't start to wash clothes in the sink and hang them to dry. God no. We go to a place that does have washers and dryers until we get approved for a credit card to replace the washer. What we feel is necessity now-a-days is convenience. We feel entitled to convenience because we know no other way. We were raised to be dependent, and ignorant of other ways. We don't actively seek another way.. The answer is in front of us, and the means to get to it all around us, so there must only be one right answer.
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