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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I am of the opinion that a person learns something by fielding various perspectives.
    As am I.

    Which is why I took a class on Marxian economics (oustide of the econ department), to go along with my econ degree.

    But while you seem to think Joseph Stiglitz represents the end-all, be-all of economics, I know better.

  2. #122
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    As am I.

    Which is why I took a class on Marxian economics (oustide of the econ department), to go along with my econ degree.

    But while you seem to think Joseph Stiglitz represents the end-all, be-all of economics, I know better.
    I do not think Stiglitz is the end-all, be-all of economics, or close to that, and have given you no reason to believe that other than saying he is one of my favorite economists.

    If you took a class on Marxist economics, how did you mistake me for a communist? And why you do so incessantly talk about your own supposed merits? You have a degree. You're an expert on the topic. You could demolish so-and-so in the argument. Blah blah blah blah. Who is impressed with this grandstanding?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I do not think Stiglitz is the end-all, be-all of economics, or close to that, and have given you no reason to believe that other than saying he is one of my favorite economists.
    You've also given me no reason to believe you know much about economics outside of reading a book or two by Stiglitz.

    I give credit where credit is due; there are a few people on here who know their economics, and I tip my hat to them.

    You, though, are not one of those people, and you've never demonstrated a single reason why you should be.

    (and to preempt the retort: no, I don't just put people into that group if they're on my side of the issue.)

    (i take people to task whichever side they're on, if/when they show a weak grasp of the issues.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    If you took a class on Marxist economics, how did you mistake me for a communist?
    That was just some friendly needling.

    And, apparently, it worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    And why you do so incessantly talk about your own supposed merits?
    1. They're not supposed.

    2. Why does it bother you so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    You have a degree. You're an expert on the topic. You could demolish so-and-so in the argument.
    Yes, all three being true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Blah blah blah blah. Who is impressed with this grandstanding?
    Obviously not you, but, as I already said, your opinion does not matter.

    Also, you have yet to offer that (cogent) analysis of the Ryan Plan I asked for.

  4. #124
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Also, you have yet to offer that (cogent) analysis of the Ryan Plan I asked for.
    Seymour kind of said what I would have said and I quoted it and made a small addition. Was it not specific enough for you?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Seymour kind of said what I would have said and I quoted it and made a small addition. Was it not specific enough for you?
    I think I've read the whole thread, but perhaps I missed it.

    Would you mind repeating it or directing me to the post?

    I certainly don't remember seeing a cogent analysis.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I think I've read the whole thread, but perhaps I missed it.

    Could you repeat/summarize it or direct me to the post?

    I certainly don't remember seeing a cogent analysis.
    Consider it a summary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    You do know that wasn't intended as a fair analysis of Ryan (hence clearly labeled "spin"), right? That was just the result of a quick glance through his wikipedia page. Some things on the list I'm fine with (voting for the bailout was just sanity, for example, and I'm not opposed to consumption taxes as long as tax structures remain fairly progressive).

    As to whether his budget was serious... I agree that it was tough and made deep cuts, but in ways that would farther exacerbate our already high income inequality (lowering rate of top tax bracket combined with shift toward consumption taxes). I agree that we, as a country, need to find a way to control health care costs. That means making tough decisions. However, any plan that starts from an assumption that taxes are too high (especially for "job creators"), defense spending is too low and benefits of current seniors have to be preserved (basic fairness... plus seniors vote!) is likely to be regressive. Because given that combination of constraints, where else can you cut that actually amounts to much?
    Magic Poriferan
    Don't forget his incredibly tight limit on discretionary spending. His plan all but declares that we should just forget about drivable roads and public education. Then there was his original (though eventually removed) plan to privatize social security. And regarding dealing with the budget deficit, making a huge cut to taxes is not a particularly promising move.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Consider it a summary.
    And not a particularly cogent one.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And not a particularly cogent one.
    Define cogent.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #129
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    I see you like to stick with the party line, and go the Clinton route.



    co·gent   [koh-juhnt]
    adjective
    1. convincing or believable by virtue of forcible, clear, or incisive presentation; telling.
    2. to the point; relevant; pertinent.
    The first definition does just fine, but, since I don't really care about the word, but more what I was pointing to by using it, I'll delineate for you a number of things I would need to see in order to properly qualify your analysis as cogent:

    1. You demonstrate an understanding of our federal spending, revenues, deficit, debt, and projections for these going forward.
    2. You demonstrate an understanding of what would happen if these items remained on their current trajectory.
    3. You demonstrate an understanding of why Ryan has included each element of his plan that he has.
    4. You demonstrate an understanding of what would happen to the items in (1) under Ryan's plan.
    5. You demonstrate an understanding of why we must go from (2) to something akin to (4).

    And, if you accomplish these tasks, but you do not think Ryan's Plan is the way to get to (4), then offer a counterproposal.

  10. #130
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    [I began writing the post before your outline of cogency was posted]

    You didn't define cogent.

    Anyhow, here's a cursory elaboration of the problem with the Ryan plan.

    First and foremost are the taxes. The taxes are sharply cut on the highest earners and actually slightly raised on the lowest. This would seriously exacerbate the USA's economic inequality. I hope I do not have to explain how that works. I stress that this is not a small detail to me, this is possibly the biggest detail about Ryan's budget. Inequality is one the USA's biggest problems right now. It is far beyond that of any other developed country's, and the impact of economic inequality is sweeping, it worms into every part of the economy. That in and of itself takes so much explanation that if necessary, I will just copy a different thing I wrote about inequality in the past.

    Aside from all the effects of inequality, what else does the tax rate do? Well, it puts more money in the hands of fewer, richer people, who save more of their many than any other group, so we have some financial stagnation as a result of that. It's a matter of quality as well as quantity, because the richest people do not spend in the most stimulating way either, that's better left to the middle class and also the poor. In the meant time, of course, funding to public goods and social programs is reduced (more on that later), so the middle class and the poor (some of whom pay higher taxes than they did before) essentially have to take care of more issues with more of their own money, meaning they will be less likely to engage in stimulating spending. If this tax rate has any effect on the economy at all, it would probably a slightly depressive one. We already have a ton of money bottled up and going no where, and a big majority of poor and middle class people unwilling to spend, and these taxes make that worse. And what about the deficit? Taxes are perhaps the most powerful tool for fighting a deficit, and he makes these huge cuts to taxes on those who would pay the most. He makes it considerably harder to reduce the deficit this way. As it happens, the plan is projected to do a pretty lame job of cutting the deficit.

    He does intend to make spending cuts though. He wants to make a very tight restriction on discretionary spending, and he wants to cut medicaid funding by a third or so (if I recall) and leave much of it to the states (who can further dull it of their own accord). More of the cost of medicare is put in citizens' pockets, too, and it essentially just prods people to find the cheapest rate on their own. So basically, healthcare, education, infrastructure, various welfare programs, and all sorts of other things that make a robust, healthy society are going to be sacrificed for this plan. That, in part, leads to the spending issue I mentioned above, but it of course also results in an increase in poverty and a long-term loss of economic potential. This, again, is not enough to actually make up for those tax cuts very well, so the deficit reduction is meager.

    One reason for that in particular is that Ryan's plan raises defense spending. If you were serious about fighting the deficit, you would definitely cut the defense budget, which is has among the largest shares of our budget. It is also not particularly useful at this point. It does not help our economy anywhere near optimally to put that much money in the defense budget, and our actually ability to make use of our military preponderance in non-economic ways has been poetically demonstrated in the past decade. All the money he chooses to spend here is being flushed down the drain.

    So, what I see this doing is making the USA even less economically equal, facilitating economic stagnation if not recession, growing poverty, and doing only a mediocre job of deficit reduction all the while.

    I'll see if I can give you a counter-proposal some time in the future.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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