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A Lost Decade?

Is the U.S. economy heading for a Japan-style lost decade? And if it is, what would that look like? What would it mean?

People wait in line at the 2011 Maximum Connections Job and Career Fair Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in Portland, Ore.  (AP)

People wait in line at the 2011 Maximum Connections Job and Career Fair Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in Portland, Ore. (AP)

American wages have been in a slump for years. Then came the crash of ’08. The Great Recession. We bailed out and stimulated and waited for the bounce-back — that hasn’t come.

Now, we’ve got storm clouds again. And fear that it may be years before a real upturn comes. Who else has done that? Japan has. It’s Lost Decade was really two. And it’s still struggling.

What’s it mean for a country, for its people, when -– if — a downturn lasts that long?

This hour On Point: Is the US economy headed for a Japan-style “lost decade”? What would that look like? What would it mean?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Betsey Stevenson, Assistant Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Richard Koo, Chief economist with the Nomura Research Institute.

Richard Katz, Editor-in-Chief of the newsletter The Oriental Economist Report.

C Segment — Occupy Wall Street

Patrick Bruner, representative of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters “As the U.S. economy slouches toward another recession and confidence in policymakers erodes, investors are coming to grips with the notion that the country may already be several years into a Japan-style lost decade.”

The New York Times “Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.”

CNN “The economy is still struggling. And Americans are in for a long and painful adjustment period.”

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  • Roy Mac

    Heading for?  HEADING FOR???  Where have you BEEN for the past 11 years?  Where were the stock market indices and interest rate yields in 2000?  There has been NO growth, except in the national debt and the national household debt in the past eleven years.

  • Andy B

    Remember it is not one lost decade in Japan, but two.

    • Hidan

      While many point to Japan as a example of a “Lost Decade” put even still the standard of living there, health care still stayed above par, as oppose to the U.S. Many Americans standard of living have been on the decline and if many republicans have there way more Americans will not be able to afford even the basic’s of a healthcare plan.

    • Jasoturner

      Well, no way the Japanese beat us.  We’re going for three!

  • Ellen Dibble

    There are suggestions from the right (Tea Party) and left (tearful party) that we should take to the streets and “put our foot down.”  Everybody blames the other side that:  Clearly this is not a decade lost to everyone, just 80 percent of us, or so.  
    There is a song you can hear advancing this idea, words by Garrison Keillor, that you can hear at this link.  Click on segment 2, or audio for whole show for 9/24.  However you click through to the audio, move the cursor on the time line to 56:16 minutes in, after Hard-Headed Woman.  It’s titled Class Warfare, and goes to the same tune as:  I wear my pink pajamas in the summer when it’s hot; I wear my pink pajamas in the winter when it’s not.  Glory, glory, hallelujah, glory, glory, what’s it to ya.  ; > )  Rise up and enjoy.  http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2011/09/24/

    • Hidan

      We see how that worked,

      The left took to protest wall street and NPR’s only coverage of was AP feeds until the last day or so, while the right (tea party) was covered, allowed to spin, given multiple venues to express there often ill-informed and often racist/bigoted views while decrying any media who pointed such out as liberal.

      Credit to Foxes which has in fact made liberal such a dirty word other Media outlets nearly always tend to bend over to the extreme right to show there not. Just look at CNN Tea party republican debate for a example.

    • Anonymous

      BOOOOOTH SIIIIIIDES! LET’S BE MODERAAAATE!!!

  • Hidan

    Notice how the republicans won the congressional house and the most extreme(tea party) members coming in. Not to work together to prevent a lost decade but to do anything possible to make Obama fail by engaging in a Scorched Earth policy that has made things worst, even today just giving aid to people that are hit by natural disasters has become political.

    • Zing

      No crisis should go to waste.

  • LostGeneration

    Once again…

    “On Point” is off point.  Like others below have pointed out…

    Japan’s economy has been in a growth paralysis for at least two decades.

    I remember reading stories of elderly grandparents in Japan committing
    suicide so they wouldn’t be a financial burden to the rest of their families.

    (NPR remember Fukushima?  Or did that problem just disappear like the Gulf of Mexico disaster?) 

    This won’t be America’s lost decade – more like our lost generation.

    Imagine being a young person today just out of college, overwhelmed with what your parents would consider a house mortgage worth of debt and working at a coffee shop or big box store for $10/hr, or if your lucky, getting an entry level position in a company for $25,000 to $30,000 per year.  After taxes and expenses, try living on that take-home pay in any metropolitan area.

    Where’s their hope?  Where’s their change?  Where’s their future?

    Way to report about those people protesting on Wall Street NPR.

    Continuing your record of shameful elitism in non-reporting.

    I know, let’s get ourselves a couple of business school academicians to tell the folks at home what kind of pain they are in for.

    ———————————————————————–

    As an aside: Take a look at the photo below the story line above… does something seem out of place or faked to you?  Noticed Mr. Crisp Khaki is not carrying anything, like the other poor folks standing in line – he don’t need no stinkin’ resume or application.  Notice how he’s staring forlorn into the camera… is that a Burberry or Pendelton pattern shirt he’s wearing?  What a joke AP.

    • JustSayin

      …”let’s get ourselves a couple of business school academicians to tell the folks at home what kind of pain they are in for….”

      Absolutely correct! Once again, some tenured snobs are going to describe their lofty vision of a theoretical economy. Completely absent is the truth of malfeasance, greed, moral bankruptcy, etc.

      Give us another hour of the lecturers dream of the economy, without acknowledgement of the brutal truths necessary for a conversation on real reform. 

      Can’t bite the hand that feeds… Everything is just great, Its always a Bull market, and there is nothing to see here…. take your Soma move along, and be happy in your work, or lack of it.

      “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because
      they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I
      don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and
      Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear
      khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are
      still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides
      they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    • steve

      FDR only saw the light when there was a greater threat – the likes of Huey Long demagoguery at home and socialism abroad. Even then it took a war.

      Anarchy is the handmaiden of desperation and alienation; I hope those steering the ship recognize the seas ahead.

  • twenty-niner

    Start taxing Chinese imports NOW! Bill Gross has been saying this for a while, and it would be great if other prominent voices would grow brains and spines. Hasn’t a decade of IP theft, product dumping, strong-arm tactics, currency manipulation, disgraceful working conditions, and environmental terrorism, taught us anything? You want our economy back, get our productive capacity back before it’s too late.

    • Dave in CT

      Until they are a country in which prices reflect the costs of liberty, its not a fair fight, or “free trade”, and yes indeed we should institute a freedom tariff!

  • WhatsTheDeal

    In reply to twenty-niner’s comment about tariffs on Chinese imports:

    Maybe that’s the deal…

    “Hey, let them do whatever they want as long as they purchase our worthless government securities and debt.”

    Here’s a for instance:

    The Treasury had concluded that China was buying
    much more in U.S. government debt than was being disclosed, potentially
    in violation of auction rules, and it wanted to bring those purchases
    into the open – all without ruffling feathers in Beijing.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-usa-china-treasuries-idUSTRE75T2MI20110630

    It’s a win-win compromise for the military/ruling/fascist elite.

    Despite what Bill Gross might say publicly about tariff policy, I’m sure Pimco wouldn’t want anyone to aggravate one of its biggest customers.

    US businessmen can barely see beyond the next quarter, let alone fiscal year.  The Chinese are thinking decades or even a hundred years out into the future.

  • Anonymous

    At least in Japan they have decent affordable health care.
    Lost decade? As stated by others this has been going on for decades. About 30 years or so of flat wages for the majority of working folks in this nation and when the bottom fell out people hit the ground real hard.
    Add to that the most dysfunctional Congress in modern history and the fact, and I say fact, that the GOP wants the economy to fail. They want to use the pain and suffering of Americans for political gain. Shame on them and shame on the Democrats for allowing them play this nasty game.

    http://robertreich.org/post/10462900042

    http://robertreich.org/post/10677190938

    • Anonymous

      But for the Very Important People, it’s only been the last few years that have been rough. Tom’s guests might have to sell one of their summer houses. THE AGONY.

  • SmokeAndMirrors

    The Democrats are doing as much damage by their inaction.  They are complicit and culpable.  Neither party has your interest in mind.  That’s how the system is set up… it’s all smoke and mirrors.  Everyone needs to see it for what it is – a one party system, disguised as two – for the benefit of the powerful elite.  And I’m not talking about the bozos in the beltway.

    • Dave in CT

      But heaven forbid anyone vote for Paul or Nader!

      oooooo, spoiler! no! More of the same, please!

    • Four Elements

      Everything is turned on its head … trickle up economics, wealth destruction, downward mobility, negative growth(!), too big to succeed, distribution of scarcity…all labeled as their opposites.

  • Anonymous

    A related article from today’s NY Times.

    This paragraph was kind of scary:

    What is most striking about the high unemployment rates, several
    economists said in interviews, is how they continue to afflict wide
    parts of the country. “It just seems to be so pervasive across the country — except for the
    breadbasket area — that it’s hard to pick out anybody who is bouncing
    back,” said Randall W. Eberts, the president of the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/us/unrelenting-downturn-is-redrawing-americas-economic-map.html?hp

  • Brian

    It’s going to be much worse. Japan has one of the most equal societies in the world and a first rate safety net. Their lost decade was barely felt at the ground level (a few unemployed youths, maybe) and their quality of life barely budged.

    The same can’t be said for the US.

    • Dave in CT

      Good thing they have that magic money tree to keep it going!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Japan is a homogenous and orderly society built upon mutual respect.  Compare the people’s conduct during Fukushima with
      the Haitian Earthquake or Katrina.

    • Anonymous

      It’s only an “equal” society if you’re male.

  • rghoyt1

    It’s pretty simple really! It’s people wanting more than a fair share – greed – like the former CEO of Tyco – had 300 million but stole 600 million from the company – a Wall St. type guy – crook!

    They don’t seem to get it – that if they hold ALL THE MONEY the ECONOMY shuts down. They need to leave some to circulate. Henry Ford knew this and paid his workers a living wage so the could by his products (Model T’s).

    Globalization is really exploitation – searching the globe for people to work for 25 cents/hour.

    Management/Leadership is using your brains to compete on a level playing field where labor is paid the same. Then you see the real leaders (the ones worth their salt) move to the front!

    • Cory

      Great post!

  • Wm.James from Missouri

    I hope this show won’t be another, “ Somebody done somebody wrong song”. Complaining releases our anger but does nothing to solve our problems. You know the saying, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”. We keep pointing fingers at each other instead of offering solutions to ongoing problems ! John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” , good advice, even today. I am asking you to please offer an actual solution to a particular problem our nation faces today. Now I know that many of you are turned off by such a simpleton viewpoint. You are more apt to say things like. “THEY need to impose tariffs on imported goods” or stop outsourcing or tax the rich or … “ , but honestly, if THEY are the ones benefiting from their policies, why would THEY ever change anything !On one of our local highway off ramps there was this young women who claimed to be pregnant and homeless. After passing her by for about a week I decided to play the sap and help her out. So I went shopping for some items I thought might help her get back on her feet. A knapsack, street guide, a roll of quarters, a months bus pass, a $20 dollar bill, some trail mix, a hair brush, a calculator, some pens, a notebook, a poncho, a lead to a job interview ( with location, phone number and date of interviews…) … . I no longer see her on that off ramp and assume that some good fortune came her way. There may very well be hundreds of coulda ,woulda, shouldas to talk about , for now I am asking for just one.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      Wm. James that was a great deed.   I pray that someone will read your message and listen.   Though solitude has jaded my perspective.

      It’s not the programs fault, it’s ours.    Sure, the media is unwilling to listen to your and my thoughts.    Though your not interest in talking with me and I’m not interested in listening to you.    That was a generalization of the state of our country, because I’m very interested in listening and talking with you.

      Last week I wrote down a dream motivated by On Point’s program by Stephen Breyer.    The next day, when listening to a program on Crowd Sourcing my dream turned into a nightmare which I wrote as an essay.   There is little opportunity to get visibility in these essays.    Even those I cherry pick and send the via email are deleted lacking a reply or forward to discuss or share the thought with anyone else.

      How is that the governments fault, how is that this programs fault.   Here is new the Preamble of our country.   We the people inorder order to maintain a perfect seclusion establish our opinions, ensure our children’s point of view, provide that noone trespasses our beliefs, promote nothing, and secure the blessings of a liberty, to only ourselves, and noone else and establishes nothing for society such as a constitution which would infringe upon a personal freedom to do nothing.

      Wm. James you have a vision.    I have a similar vision.   We can both set on the sidelines screaming into the air for someone to fix it or we can start discussing how to fix it, grab the wrench, the garden hoe, and/or the car jack and start fixing it together.

      Given your blog name, I would like to share I’m from Missouri as well.

      I had a Dream

      And then a Nightmare

    • nj

      The solutions are the same as they’ve always been: organize, agitate, protest, work for long-term change.

      Compared to helping an individual, changing large, complex, FUBAR systems is difficult, slow, frustrating. And one can’t do it alone, it has to be collective action.

      No easy solutions, but there are dozens of ways to get involved.

      Go join the Wall Street “occupation.”

      Work to end the death penalty.

      Join or start an initiative to put truly progressive Democrats in office, the way the Teabaggers took over parts of the Republican party.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnHvrmjGnaU

      Join or start local Transition initiatives.  http://transitionus.org/

      Join efforts to end corporate personhood: 

      http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/

      http://movetoamend.org/

      Like the old bumper sticker says, “Don’t mourn, organize!”.

    • Anonymous

      Individuals doing good deeds here and there won’t do anything. Like NJ said, if you want to change things, organize and agitate. We don’t need “inspirational” dreck; I can buy that at the corporate bookstores in bulk.

  • Cime

    Get money out of politics!!!!!

    • Jasoturner

      After that, free ponies!!!!

      • Cime

        That’s for sure! It will never happen! And the downward spiral will most likely continue!

  • ArnoldWalker

    Credit bubbles blow, that’s the price we pay.  First consumers took on too much debt and now the government.  It takes a decade, at least, to get back to equilibrium. 

    • Dave in CT

      “Credit bubbles blow, that’s the price we pay.”

      Price we pay for what?  

      Where do credit bubbles come from?

      So we admit we have a musical chairs economy in which the Federal Reserve drives credit bubbles that produce highly leveraged mis-investment and the creation of unsustainable economic sectors (Fannie-housing/Nasdaq bubble etc), and the idea is to hope that you can “get yours” before the music stops, and against all the colluding Wall Streeters and Crony Frat buddy CEOs who have  all the information before you, and thus fleece you accordingly?

      That’s the price we pay.

    • ulTRAX

      You’re neglecting the REAL credit hogs in our economy… the big investment banks who under Bush were freed from leverage limits that were about 12:1 and went to 40:1. When things went sour in 08, THIS is what brought them down creating the systemic risk to the economy resulting in TARP. Such irresponsible easy credit must be seen as more of a threat to an economy than an asset. It’s time to get the economy back to fundamentals where we move Wall Street from trying to make money from the ether, to investing in productive activities.  

    • Anonymous

      Yep, it was all consumers’ fault. Never mind that most consumers had to take on debt to survive…and that regulation has become a dirty word. 

  • Gregg

    The “lost decade” began in Jan. 2007 when Democrats took control of Congress. 

    • Mpatterson

      Gregg, can you count?

      • Gregg

        Not sure I get your point but yea, I can count. 

      • Jasoturner

        I think he can.  That would map as 2007 – 2017.  Six more years to go…

    • Anonymous

      The fact of 1% of our populace reaping virtually all the gain created by “our” economy started long before 2007.  But thanks for helping the rest of us realize the abject ignorance in which an apparently significant number of seemingly outwardly intelligent people operate.   

  • Dave in CT

    And check this out!While generic Republicans eek a victory over Obama, when it comes to specific candidate names, all lose, but Ron Paul is second behind Romney, back 3.5 points!  When have we heard that in the news!? http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html
    C’mon On Point, lets cover what’s On Point!To repeat, of all the named Republican Candidates, Ron Paul is #2 when matched against Obama in polls of PEOPLE not pundits.

  • Yar

    It isn’t about the debt, the budget, the politics, it isn’t even economics directly.  It is demographics, blame WWII, the bubble was created in the years 1947 to 1964 and it is now starting to deflate.  If you understand that the value of money, is to trade work over time, then you will understand why demographics is at the root of our current malaise.  When Rick Perry calls Social Security a ponzi scheme, he is really referring to our changing demographics. Any economy that is predicated on growth will eventually collapse.  But you don’t hear either side saying we must change to a no-growth or sustainable economy.  

    I offer a few solutions:
    One, promote growth through an intelligent immigration policy, we need the workers that can do manual labor, bring them above board and pay them a living wage, it sounds counter intuitive but it will raise wages by destroying the sweatshop and slave trade.  

    Second, invest in youth, require two years of public service from 18 to 24 year old’s.  They will get work experience, and grow up a bit, and learn that the country belongs to them.  

    Third, invest in infrastructure that lowers energy use, solar water heaters, public transportation, energy efficient housing,weigh the energy costs of all projects against their intended use.

    We can grow our way out of this crisis, but we must use that growth to shift to a sustainable economy, that means we will use much less resources per person, and our economy won’t be growth dependent. It is our choice, or we fail.
    People don’t really choose to fail, they simply fail to choose.  What’s your preference?   
    Is it going to take a another decade to figure this out? 
    I hope not.

  • GretchenMo

    We risk a lost decade if tax policy is driven by lies from some mega billionaire and the president he supports.  As data from the Internal Revenue Service make clear, the vast majority of those earning more than $1 million per year typically pay tax rates two to three times higher than people making less than $100,000. In 2008, the average tax rate for millionaires and above was 23.3% and for those earning between $30,000 and $50,000 it was 7.2%. 

    Class warfare isn’t pretty especially if you’re using lies as the weaponry.

    • Cory

      Mark Twain said there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

      What percentage of the wealth and assets in this country are controlled by the 5% at the top?  I can throw all kinds of stats at you like that.  I just choose to side w/the poor folks, you with the rich. 

      • Gregg

        One would think by your comment that there is one pot of money and when someone gets more someone else has to do with less.

        • Cory

          One would think by YOUR comment that you still buy into the fallacy of limitless growth.

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg buys the bedtime story of the rising pie that raises all yachts.

            Yes G, we know the pie expands. But income distribution number show the bulk of the gains are not being spread arounnd. They’re going to the top. They choose THEIR incomes by investing in GOP politicians.  

      • GretchenMo

        Since we tax only income, and wealth only upon transfer, I’m not sure what your point is. 

        I’d love to see some data on wealth, net of debt and current liabilities, that differentiates liquid assets from illiquid.  The property tax appraisers say some guys house is worth $3 million, but he couldn’t sell it for $2 million if he wanted to and he’s got a $2.5 million mortgage he can’t refinance.  What’s his wealth?

        • Cory

          More than the family of 4 living on 40k with 5k of health insurance deductibles, $4/gallon gas, and conservatives destroying unions and decent public sector jobs.

          You DO miss my point.  I don’t give a DAMN about the guy with the 2-3 million dollar house.  He has all he needs, if he is even a little bit reasonable. 

          BTW, I’m fully aware of all the ways and places the well to do can hide their money in this country.

          • Gregg

            If you don’t like your income level, make more.

          • Cory

            Ahhhh.  Now we have the fallacy propagated by the 5% that everyone has the ability to be well-off.  Only your moral failings and laziness can hold you back.  Someone is always the loser in free market competition.

          • Gregg

            Who chooses your income?

          • JMc

            the free market mogules chose my income when they decided to mismanage our assetts and as a result my job was taken away while the perpertrators caused a problem I had nothing to do with. I grow tired of the confidence you and others put into the top 10% to hold no responsibility of a persons low wage outcome when they in fact are directly in control of the outcomes in the market.

          • nj

            It’s always the individual’s fault. Just have to work harder. Like the colonial settlers. Rugged individualism. No nanny state for us!

            Typical right-wing subtext.

          • Gregg

            Or choose to have less. That’s cool too.

          • Anonymous

            What a load of BS. If you don’t like his comment and do not have anything to say except a snide nasty comment, why not keep it to yourself. For once.

          • Gregg

            There’s nothing snide about it. You choose your income. Once that reality is realized it changes everything.

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg’s obviously been attending some of those Rah! Rah! Get Rich Quick seminars at a local Holiday Inn. ;-)

          • ulTRAX

            Gee Gregg, I thought, being a right winger and all, you’d know that wages are a function of the market. And if the demand for workers here can be met by cheap overseas production… just how easy is it to “make more”? Unless you’re resorting to the tired old argument that if people aren’t doing well, it’s a result of a moral failure on their part. Yup, in some cases it’s true. But the Right likes to apply it to everyone.

          • Anonymous

            Spoken like a privileged twit who has never dealt with any serious obstacles in life. Spare me the speech about how you “bootstrapped” yourself into prosperity. I am guessing you are a white guy with no serious medical issues. Probably middle-class. 

      • GretchenMo

        I do appreciate your conceding the stats.  It’s a better foundation for a logical discussion of the issues. If only the president could get past the lies.

        • Anonymous

          You like stats?  Here’s some that prove without any doubt whatsoever that the policies of the past 3 decades have been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans:

          http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4#

          That is, unless gross disparity between the richest few percent  and the rest is precisely your goal.  Is it?

          • Unmotivatedbyanything

            I don’t see cause and effect, I see coincidence.

        • Anonymous

          He could “get past the lies” if the tea crackers and their Rethuglican patrons would stop spewing them every time they opened their gobs.

    • MITMaTh

      You provided a failed stat, you missed $50,000-$373,650 is 25%-35% respectively… but I guess someone that makes a million dollars deserves to have more in his check then the small business owner. (btw $15,000 – $68,000 is at 15%, only 1/3 less, not 2 or 3 times)

      • GretchenMo

        I don’t think so.

      • GretchenMo

        I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      I’m in the $30,000 and $50,000 category and I’m not paying 7.2% in taxes. This is complete BS and I have more choice words for you and how you seem to be trying make it into this right wing propaganda thing. While you act as if you are trying be civil the reality is you are not. You are not interested in a debate only that you are right and what you hear from the GOP is correct. It is not. It is skewed data to create the illusion of being correct.
      I’m paying about 33% between state and federal taxes. The fed takes the largest amount and it’s not anything near 7.2%. Where did you get this stat?

      Millionaires pay more in taxes because they make more, and I don’t mean the phony stats you are posting here. It’s because they have more income. However if all of their income is in capital gains or dividends they pay about 15 to 17%. You are not only wrong you also have the nerve to use that absurd right wing crap about “class warfare”.

    • ulTRAX

      The back story you seem determined to sweep under the rug is when the Bush tax cuts were passed We The People were already $6 TRILLION in debt. These tax cuts were FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE then and more so now because the national debt has more than doubled. Yet your approach is to IGNORE this simple reality and claim anyone who suggests we go back to the Clinton levels of taxation is guilty of class warfare while, of course, sweeping under the rug that the GOP has been engaged in open class warfare for the past 30 years. After all, the top marginal tax rate in 1980 was about 70%. It’s now half that.

      Time to deal with reality Bucko. With $14.5 TRILLION in debt all this class warfare crap gets stale. As Obama said, as if it’s wasn’t obvious before that, IT’S MATH. WE spent $13.5 trillion on ourselves the past 30 years and WE refused to tax ourselves for it. $13.5 trillion in freebies and the Orwellian Right has convinced many that we’re “overtaxed”. It’s too late to wonder whether that money was wisely spent or not. $2.9 TRILLION was pissed away just on interest during the 8 years of the Bush Junta. It bought the People NOTHING. And despite Paul Ryan’s attempt to make the debt vanish without tax increases, it’s not going to happen. And even if his scheme worked, it’s immoral because it locks in our generation’s theft of our children’s and grandchildren’s money. What the Right’s been doing is creating debt now in ways that benefit the rich and once tax rates are lowered, leaving a bigger burden of debt paydown to the non-rich. Yup, THAT’S not class warfare?  

      So play your childish class warfare game. For me it’s a matter of morality. It’s time WE paid for what WE spent and that means recouping money lost to those irresponsible Reagan, Bush… and now Obama tax cuts. Forget going back to the Clinton era tax levels, I’m all for going back to the 1981 Reagan ERTA top tax rate of 50% for 10-15 years… longer if need be. If the Right liked them in 1981, fine bring them back.

      • Four Elements

        My analysis is that this country is now divided between the Selfish and the Stupid. The Selfish are clever enough to know that the pie is shrinking (they made money because they are realists), but they are saying, “Not my slice, thank you! Let yours get smaller!” Meanwhile, the Stupid want us to “grow” our way out of this, when in reality growth is no longer even an option. Why else does no policy work? How can there be growth when the human race needs 1 1/2 planet earths to sustain itself and only has one? Living standards are coming down, irreversibly, even if you are neither selfish nor stupid. My advice is to learn to be happy with less, because otherwise you will merely be unhappy with less.

    • Anonymous

      Add in the 15.2% the lower income earner must pay on their gross income, which for the one making a million is only an additional 1.6%, and they are virtually even.  The fact is that when you include all taxes and don’t just cherry pick federal income tax, the rate of taxation across all levels is pretty much the same.  Except for those getting all income from dividends, long term capital gains, and carried interest, who pay the lowest rate of all.

    • Anonymous

      What right-wing think tank is paying you to spread astroturf here, Gretchy?

  • Adks12020

    There are certainly many people around my age (29) that feel the stagnation.  It definitely hasn’t helped my career.  I have an ok job but with no opportunities to move up, at my current organization or in the job market, I definitely feel like I’m spinning my wheels sometimes.

    On the plus side the economy made me scared to go back to school right away after my undergrad years and pile on more debt so I managed to take the time out of school to pay off a very large chunk of my debt.  Now I’m going back to school for my masters and it should be a little less traumatic and daunting financially assuming I get the job I’m hoping for when I get done.  Hopefully in two years the economy will be a little better and the masters will boost my marketability. Fingers crossed.

  • Cory

    The comparison to the Japanese isn’t really a good one.  They are a very civil society and have created a good safety net.  We are an impatient, firearm saturated, instant gratification society.  It could get pretty ugly on this side of the Pacific…

    • steve

      Their society is also nearly homogeneous.
      It is more difficult to generate hate when everyone looks like you do, acts like you do and believes like you do.

      The Japanese are able to reserve and focus their hostility on outsders.

  • Cory

    The only chance for the average American to hold on to a standard of living higher than a serf in the coming years is isolationism and the careful placement of protectionist tariffs.  This solution is not the prefered one for the folks at the top who currently are seeing exploding profits from downsizing and outsourcing.

    We need to make our own goods from our own natural resources and the rest of the world be damned.  Use natural gas and transition to solar, wind, tidal, etc.  We need to make ourselves an island in the tempestuous sea of globalization.

    • Four Elements

      I like what you say but the US economy is to big to succeed and too big too be fixed. Becoming an island is more feasible for a smaller unit like a state. (Read “Human Scale” by Kirkpatrick Sale) We are moving to Vermont because it is just the right size and is already developing a culture of sustainability and steady-state economy. We hope to help make that happen. My biggest worry is that as we succeed, there may be vicious pushback from the dying system that surrounds us. 

  • Jasoturner

    One really unfortunate effect of a lost decade is not even economic.  It is social and intellectual.  As we transition from being primarily citizens to being primarily workers, there will probably be a concomitant devaluing of study and appreciation of the fine arts, the liberal arts and the social contract.

    When I was young, pursuing, say, an English degree was not a road map to unemployment or service industry drudgery.  And it produced people you could have fascinating conversations with over coffee.  Today, kids are already being conditioned to pursue a field because it can deliver a job.  The idea of studying a subject because you love it is passe.

    I suppose only rich countries can afford that luxury, and we are no longer rich.

    I read a really applicable thing in the New Yorker just the other day:

    “The special virtue of freedom is not that it makes you richer and more powerful but that it gives you more time to understand what it means to be alive”

    (From a typically spectacular piece by Adam Gopnik, one of the great critics/essayists alive today.  “Decline, Fall, Rinse, Repeat” Sept 12)

    Wow.  Not exactly on point, but that resonates.  Can we no longer afford to understand what it means to be alive?  Because we are too busy chasing our jobs?

    • Gregg

      Good comment. Nice fish.

    • Anonymous

      You make some great points and ones that resonate with me.
      I was having a conversation the other day about this with my girlfriend. I’m not sure I agree with studying something because you it will get you job is always the case however. My daughter graduated college with a History major and an English minor and while she is in a job that relates to her degree she is glad she did what she did.
      Her debt is low for a college grad which is good. I think her generation are also into community at the ground level. Something
      the politicians in power at this point do nit understand. Obama used them to get elected and he’s now lost them. But that bottom up energy is how her generation is thinking. I’m hopeful that they will make some needed changes to how our country works.

      Life without culture and depth is very shallow and without meaning or reason. What you are also commenting on is how the education system does not teach people how to be critical thinkers and that’s kind of lacking at this moment in time. How else does one explain someone like Rick Perry gaining so much traction as Presidential candidate.

      • Jasoturner

        Agree that I was making a pretty gross generalization.  There is a lot of stuff going on under the radar where young people are making good and interesting decisions based on things other than how to make a buck.  But I also see a troubling emphasis on “employ-ability” by parents in my daughter’s school.

        Yeah, concur the education point is big.  In my state, so many parents freak over the scores their kids get on a standardized test called the MCAS, but ask them what topics their kids are actually studying in history or math or literature class and you get a blank stare.  It’s like the content of the education is secondary to the ability to fill in little circles with a number two pencil.  Which really shows nothing about critical thinking and ability to draw proper inferences from evidence.

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          I’ve enjoyed your thread and admire your priorities in life.   Afforded the time in taking a few university courses would be a stimulation, but costly in terms of dollars and time.   Key to a degree is acquiring an ability for self education.

          An education can be found with others.   I for one am interested in absorbing a better understanding of the writing of David Hume.   I realize there are many answers to today’s problems in his writing.   Alone it is difficult drudging through his archaic writing style.   Given 6.8 billion people on earth, there must be a dozen with a similar interest.   Internet media needs to be perfected to connect individuals with a similar quest of understanding.

          A university course is often too general for an individual with a specific query.   Let’s go back to David Hume.    Around the world, I would guess maybe one or two university have study groups concentrating on his work.   I doubt many.   Most university would touch on his work in a days lecture.    Social media can address this by linking up experts willing to share their knowledge with citizens with a desire to learn a specific subject.   Really who is the teacher on this subject.   I would suggest it is David Hume.   Given a dozen intelligent individuals, I would suggest the collaborative process of reading and sharing thoughts would provide a better education than a lecture from a professor.

          Maybe young people would find the motivation to learn by seeing adults with passion to learn themselves and maybe the adults could learn a little from the younger students.

          Jasoturner, I apologize if I digress from your thread.   I  picked your thread out with the feeling you or someone with a similar mindset would be a great asset to a social media study group.

          • Jasoturner

            Thank you for the kind words.  The idea you mention is exciting.  As education becomes too costly or time consuming for some, the internet would be the perfect place to establish islands of learning where sincere groups of people could “gather” to discuss, debate and, most importantly, move the chains on understanding various issues.

            One challenge with sites even as good as this is that eventually flame wars can begin breaking out and the topic sort of exhausts itself.  The idea of exploring a topic, rather than simply opining on a topic, is a really  good one.  Not sure how such a thing would be policed, but given the state of the economy and education, maybe these islands of learning will become inevitable.

    • steve

      What consumer goods would you trade for being alive and which would you consider non-negotiable?

      We have been conditioned to trade our freedom, relationships and intellects for gadgetry.

      Dreamer awake…which pill would you prefer, the red or the blue?

      “I know this steak isn’t real, but it still tastes good.”

      • Jasoturner

        It’s funny you should write this.  A while back, I seriously asked myself what I would think about my life if I suddenly learned I had a terminal illness.  And I realized that the thing I valued most about my time on earth was that I have remained curious and have learned a lot every year of my life. 

        So to answer your question, I guess the only non-negotiable item for me would be access to information.  Everything else holds little value.  And how I get that information – books, computers, observation, conversation – is kind of secondary.

  • JP

    It will be a lost decade, if not two, and it will be known as “The Great Last Gasp” of the Repugnican Party.

    • ulTRAX

      Where’s the evidence of this? The Right shows NO second thoughts or remorse over the mess they created and in fact seems to believe that if the economy crashed, and we’re deep in debt, it must mean that they weren’t extreme enough. Their insanity would be dangerous enough if there were a Democratic Party stood for something and was willing to expose what the Right’s been up to these past 30 years and reverse it. But Obama and the Dems suffer from both a lack of principles and general cowardice in the face of the often rabid Right. With methods of social control becoming more sophisticated and vast segments of the population seemingly disgusted in politics, there’s every reason to believe the Right won’t just be back. Election 2010 has proven they’ll be loonier than ever.  
       

      • JP

        Look no further than popularity polls in politics over the last FIVE years for your EVIDENCE… you’ll find Repugnicans continuously poll lower than the Dems, and since Shrub left, lower than the President.

        • JP

          … “but Repugnicans won gains in 20101 to take over the House,” you say?

          …. what do you think “A GREAT LAST GASP” is?

        • ulTRAX

          After the Bush disaster you might think that the Right would be regulated to the ash heap of history.

          But as long as there is a large percentage of the population that has sabotaged their own intellects and even after the disastrous Bush years STILL can’t face the facts that conservative economic of free trade, deregulation, and trusting markets brought us brought our nation to its knees… then they remain open to being manipulated by the big money on the Orwellian Right… and we saw that with the birth of the Tea Party. True Believers are locked in a self-justifying ideology. Like those who predict the Second Coming which never comes… they always redefine or excuse away their own failures and go back for more.
            

      • TFRX

        Yeah, let’s look closely at those approval ratings for all of 2010′s n00bs.

        They’re discovering that 1) governing is hard 2) it’s harder when one doesn’t want to actually govern and 3) what works to roil up Fox propagandists doesn’t solve problems.

  • Patrick

    All of this hand-wringing about a lost decade amounts to this: we’re afraid and stressed out because the relatively short period of US dominance of the global economy and international politics is ending.

    The fact is, no combination of policies, and no manifestation of rugged individualism will come close to re-creating the circumstances that gave us such great advantages in the first place (a virgin continent, and then the luck of being the last industrial power standing after WWII).

    I only hope that our leaders recognize this fact, and don’t bankrupt our future by trying vainly to re-capture past glories.

    • BabyWithBathWater

      We’re only being washed out so other economies can grow at cheaper rates to make higher margins for the owners.

  • ulTRAX

    Capitalism may be dynamic economic system with fantastically sophisticated accounting and investment methods, but at its core it’s a primitive and inefficient economic system. Aside from all the production inefficiencies, a topic for another time, at its core is a belief that the collective always benefits from individuals following their self-interests. This myth, like the myth capitalism is efficient, live on because of the blinders we wear in measuring each. For instance with free trade companies may find it benefits THEIR bottom line to move offshore, and to traditional measurement tools which look at profit, it’s an economic plus. What those tools are NOT measuring are those hidden social costs of what happens to a community when it loses its major employer or when all those workers now need job retraining. Those costs are forced onto the community, the individuals, or the public sector.

    Wall Street always wanted to throw off the shackles of the New Deal reforms designed to prevent another Great Depression. It was in THEIR interest to buy off politicians, manipulate government and starting in the late 90′s they got the government to foolishly deregulate the banking and commodity sectors. Bush further compounded the madness by raising leverage constraints on these large banks from around 12% to about 40%. Wall Street was free to run amok before, like in 1929, again imploding in a bloodbath of greed and debt. This time the giant banks were bailed out because they posed a systemic risk to the entire economy.

    But the economic imbalances, the lack of credit and demand plunged the US and world economy in into a deep recession where now entire nations might default. While those Wall Street banks and investment houses are again riding high… like with those communities whose only large employer moves overseas, the social costs of Wall Street’s criminality are ultimately born by the people and the public sector. Who will measure the TOTAL economic costs of this crazed Right wing experiment in deregulation if like Japan we have a lost decade? Probably no one…  

    • Dave in CT

      Your communist tendencies are showing.

      Having three guys competing on price and quality, by a process of experience, innovation, etc, for building my deck, is more efficient that having the deck czar decide the best way and proclaim it.

      Everything you talk about is corruption and collusion of the markets, centralized mis-management of monetary policy mixed with social policy, and capture of the regulators who need to maintain a transparent, rational rule of law that allows markets to remain free.

      There is nothing mythical about it.

      • nj

        Still with the free market silliness.

        • ulTRAX

          Libertarians are truly one trick ponies.

          • Dave in CT

            Better 4 million one trick ponies around the country than 1 in the Bank of Washington.

          • ulTRAX

            You really seem determined to evade the argument I was making. That’s OK… I’ve heard all the Randian claptrap before and I dismissed it 30 years ago. But if it’s any consolation I was a fan of Nat Brandon… until he spoke about economics.  

      • ulTRAX

        Thanks for again showing your ideological blinders are indeed so thick you can’t even think outside your Libertarian box.

        Capitalism can be “efficient” in the small instances you mentioned. I was specific in mentioning PRODUCTION inefficiencies. We suffer a collective blind spot in that we see individual companies enforcing internal efficiencies within their organization. We NEVER look at how efficient entire economic sectors are in delivering the best goods at the best price and no one calculates the social costs of pointless competition which actually drive UP costs.

        Just because I appreciate the innovation of capitalism doesn’t mean I have to be blind to its gross inefficiencies. But feel free to continue doing so yourself.  
         

      • ulTRAX

        Dave wrote: “Everything you talk about is corruption and collusion of the markets, centralized mis-management of monetary policy mixed with social policy, and capture of the regulators who need to maintain a transparent, rational rule of law that allows markets to remain free.”LOL… hardly. And that you utterly blind to what I wrote about proves, again, how thick your blinders are. Take the Beta vs VHS format war… something that happens repeatedly in market systems. NONE of what you write about applies here. We saw what we’d expect in such a battle… more innovation and seemingly lower prices. But ultimately there were immense costs to all, especially to those who invested in the “losing” format… and then again if they had to invest again in VHS. And ultimately the winner was NOT the most technically superior design.If we (or technically the Japanese) structured corporations differently they could have encouraged cooperation between both the Sony and JVC teams to incorporate their best ideas into ONE format. This would have eliminated the duplicate design and production overhead. Overall costs would have been reduced, content would have been more plentiful and less expensive producing for one format instead of 2. Consumers investments would have been secured. Companies would then be free to compete with added features and internal production efficiencies. This is what happened with the development of the DVC digital cassette, and DVD… only both were voluntarily consortiums. I fail to see where there’s anything Communistic about this. It merely balances innovation, private profit, with the greater social need to get the best bang for the buck.It was much more efficient for the government to bring industry together to design the NTSC TV format and incorporate the best ideas into ONE standard that had the best ideas of industry and where both broadcasters and consumers had the security of knowing their investments were safe than to do what Reagan did with AM Stereo. He wanted the market to decide the winning standard. Predictably the effort fell apart because few wanted to make an investment not knowing if they were buying into a market loser. But that’s the lunacy YOU seem to favor.

        • Four Elements

          This may put me on the Homeland Security radar, but I think that a blend of communism, socialism and capitalism should be used. Each sector ought to be examined to determine the optimum balance of public and private ownership that would provide the greatest good for the greatest number. (I would begin with energy and finance.) Unfortunately, the odds for such a reasonable, pragmatic approach are slim to none. Right now we have a system that provides the greatest good for the least number, and that least number is desperately defending that system.

  • Bill

    We’ve (US and European middle class) been trying to carry on like it’s post WWII, when in reality that all lost steam back in the 80′s. And like a person whose wages were drastically cut we’ve been living on the credit cards since then – but we’ve maxed them out and we’re hitting the end of extending our lavish (in global terms) lifestyles.

    In summary, the party is over.

  • Dave in CT

    Letting the deflation that wants to occur naturally here, as a correction to the Fed-inflated bubbles of the last decades, is the fastest and most transparent and incorruptible way to reset the economy for renewed, organic growth.

    Playing more Keynes-ponzi games with debt trying to falsely “stimulate” our way back to unsustainable levels is a sick and moronic joke on ourselves.

    We’ve been had. Face it. Identify and punish the malefactors, and then let’s get back to real work.

  • Dave in CT

    Swallow your pride, watch this, and then come back and explain what you disagree with.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/freedom-watch/index.html#/v/1178817730001/karl-marxs-warning/?playlist_id=158146

    • nj

      20 seconds in, “free from government intervention or regulation.”

      No such thing.

      Please stop with the “free market” nonsense.

      Any economic system is a purely human construct. Governments are the agency which is charged with creating the construct. It prints money, sets interest rates, set other rules by which businesses operate, etc., etc.

      The question is how the system should be structured, not whether it is “free” or not.

      • Dave in CT

        “It prints money, sets interest rates, ”

        This has by far not always been so.  Why so quick to defend the historically recent status quo?

        The question is how do you set up a nation of laws, that protect the liberties of individuals as best as possible (not guarantee their material outcomes, but leave them free to think and decide value questions), and NOT a nation of corruptible MEN that we have now.

        I know what you are saying and I think you know what I am saying.

        The more you put MEN in government (big social plans, elite management of the economy) the more chance you have of corruption of our system.  The more you have fair, dispassionate, blind LAW, and DISTRIBUTED power among the PEOPLE, to make decisions that move us forward by organic consensus, the LESS chance of any one power base holding the cards and capturing the system.

        LAWS that constrain the worst aspects of MAN are a necessary part of that vision. It is not anarchy.

        But if you can get past “20 seconds in”, you can see the point and it is difficult to argue with.

        And you need to explain the alternative, that still preserves liberty and prevents crony capitalism and favoritism and regulatory capture from ruining the market.

        The old straw man that since we need laws, and thus there is no such thing as a “free market”, and thus centralized control is the only rational answer, is just an intellectually lazy red herring IMO.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the overall problem as I see it: a growth economy is a fantasy. We live on a finite earth, and no matter how many people there are, resources that we depend on will run out if the economy has to constantly grow.

    The economy is a subset of the environment. Think about that for a while. We need to change our thinking — and we need to move to a steady state economy.

    http://steadystate.org/

    Neil

    • nj

      Most of what often comprises “growth” in the current system is the ill-gotten gains of people gaming the system (credit default swaps) or profiting from avoiding externalized costs (global warming, pollution).

      The fundamental rules and mechanisms of the system need to be changed.

      • Anonymous

        Right — predatory lending, literal gambling, etc. all sap the real economy.  Real production must be steady state.

        We need to use a “white list” for financial institutions — they can do real lending and investment is productive things; and nothing else that they dream up…

        Neil

  • Dave in CT

    If those protesters took some time to investigate our financial history, they would be far better armed than with zero-sum game socialist utopia hopes.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450&hl=en
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5352106773770802849#

  • TFRX

    If we’re talking “lost decade”, let’s remember when it started before the inevitable clamor for more of the same:

    Bush Tax Cuts Unspurred Growth

    http://www.slate.com/id/2296578/

    “The Bush tax cuts were followed by low GDP growth, negative median wage growth, and little job growth. Even before the Great Recession, growth in the Bush business cycle was the weakest since World War II. And the cuts cost about $2.6 trillion between 2001 and 2010, adding to a debt future generations of taxpayers will pay for, plus interest.

    By Bush’s own metrics, then, the tax cuts were a failure. But perhaps that is because Bush chose such absurd metrics and made such silly promises about tax cuts’ economic omnipotence in the first place.”

    The rich recovered from that recession, and the current recession, very nicely. The rest of us? Not so much.

    • GretchenMo

      The economic consensus is that without the growth spurred by the tax cuts it would have been considerably worse. 

      • Anonymous

        This is not true at all. Also how do you account to the higher growth in the 90′s when the tax rate was higher. Or better yet in the 50′s when the tax rate was at about 90% at the higher end, and we had huge growth rates. This right wing talking point is so full of skewed rhetoric based on false statistics. I have yet to hear one Conservative have an answer and they just repeat the same stats. As you do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

          Hey Jeffe68,  Im actually with you on this one bud.  Gave you a like vote too.

      • TFRX

        We won’t know how it will be until me and my tax dollars pay off the “loaves for the rich, crumbs to the left” tax cut.

        And why do right-wingers only “sober up” about debts and deficits once they have a hangover?

      • ulTRAX

        In reality Bush proposed those tax cuts in 2000 NOT to stave off a recession but to sabotage debt paydown. Of course he didn’t admit that. He pledged to pay down debt. http://romcache.tripod.com/bush2000.pdf But say tax policy was used to nudge an economy. The question here you’re ignoring is once the economy is back on its feet whether tax rates go back up to RECOUP that lost revenue. After all, in 2001 when those tax cuts were passed We The People were already $6 TRILLION in debt. ALL tax cuts made while we’re in debt with NO plan to recoup lost revenue are FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.

        • Ellen Dibble

          ulTRAX, do you think Bush II was “giving back to you your money” with those tax cuts for the rich — if not because there was no more debt (money We the People had already spent), but for some other reason?
              What reason?  You say “to sabotage debt paydown.”
              So you’re thinking of the “internet” collapse of about 1999?  People were deleveraging from an age of too-easy money then, so Bush II looked at only the rich who were paying down debt?  Hoping to redirect those private monies to the economy rather than to national fiscal sanity?
              Or did the Republicans then have some other reason?  Like pandering to campaign donors maybe.

          • ulTRAX

            Back in 2000, both the Dems and GOP were proposing tax cuts because of the small annual budget surplus. Bush’s proposal was about 3x larger than the Dems. Both proposals were fiscally irresponsible since we hadn’t made a dent in the national debt yet and projections for a continued surplus were suspect after an already long economic boom. While Bush promised to strengthen Social Security by paying down debt, his real intent was to weaken SS with MORE debt. But he could never admit that during the campaign. What Bush also did was push the lie that this small annual surplus proved we were “overtaxed” despite the debt. As I wrote in a post a week or two ago it’s scandalous that BOTH political parties seem to have a vested interest in the fiscal ignorance of the People. Bush could NEVER have pulled off sabotaging debt paydown if there was an informed populace.
             

          • Ellen Dibble

            Both parties seem vested in the fiscal ignorance of the People.
            I fear you are right.  Otherwise we would be demanding to know what our elected representatives are doing as often as we are drinking tea or coffee, or beer, with a “need to know” how plans are going for the fiscal steering of our ship of state.  

            But what makes you think Bush II wanted to weaken Social Security with “MORE debt”?  

            I get it that Bush II’s words were not on the level.  Compassionate conservatism, my foot.  And the idea of putting Social Security into the stock market would be a boon to Wall Street types who would then have millions more voters with a vested/invested interest in keeping Wall Street afloat and thriving regardless of its misdeeds.  Cynical, but there is a valid point that people will vote their pocketbooks, and if their pocketbooks are Wall Street’s, not the national Treasury’s, we’ll vote for Wall Street.
                But that’s different than saying Bush II wanted to weaken Social Security; did he have any idea what a babyboom generation without its financial crutches would look like, politically?  It would look like the Tea Party, demanding that the government get REALLY REALLY small, and let us keep anything that hasn’t yet been taken.

          • ulTRAX

            Ellen asked “But what makes you think Bush II wanted to weaken Social Security with “MORE debt”?” 

            Just the read Bush’s press release I posted above. He KNEW that by 2020 or so the SS surplus would disappear and we’d have to start paying back those SS IOUs. It would be easier if there wasn’t a deficit or massive debt. This was the issue Clinton raised in 98 and 99 in vetoing some irresponsible GOP tax cuts. Protecting SS became an issue in the 2000 campaign but has largely been forgotten.

            If Bush knew the above was true, he also knew that NOT paying down debt but increasing it would THREATEN Social Security. If there’s a huge deficit and debt in 2020 and SS becomes another drain on the general fund, the options then will be to cut benefits, tax more, borrow more, or inflate the dollar.

            BTW, Bush admitted a few year ago his greatest regret as president was NOT privatizing Social Security. It’s not that he didn’t try… and that required scaring the public about the program’s health… something he was clearly working to undermine.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/22/george-w-bush-reveals-his_n_772209.html 

          • ulTRAX

            What we also have to remember Wall Street has a secret agenda about SS privatization.

            As the Boomers start to retire and draw down their IRAs and sell stocks, there will less people in the subsequent generations to take up the slack and bid up those stock prices. Without seeing those high returns it can become a self-sustaining bear market. But with those SS monies, with more money chasing the same stocks, it can keep those prices high and keep alive the illusion that Wall Street is the magic money machine. Of course Wall Street can skim sizable commissions off the top as well.  

    • Dave in CT

      So you haven’t read NY Times writer Gretchen Morgenson’s, Reckless Endangerment, which spends the whole first chapter talking about how the new CEO of Fannie Mae during Clinton’s term gamed the whole government-backed system for personal profit, and set  the housing fiasco in motion….  Throw in Rubin, the dismantlement of Glass Steagal by all the Cronies, and Bush’s tax cuts are a paper cut.

      Bush continuing all that of course with Paulson and further crony bailouts show he is nothing but a banking pawn as well, but lets keep our eyes on the big, as in big money, big banking, scamming going on, and not the tax cuts around the edges that keep us bickering instead of following the real money.

      • ulTRAX

        So Dave, what you’re saying is even though Bush and the GOP controlled the Whitehouse, the Senate, and House they were POWERLESS to reform Fannie?
        And of course you’re IGNORING all Bush did to throw gas on the housing market. Do I have to post all those sources again?

        Yup… it’s all Clinton’s fault. In reality since Clinton bought into RIGHT WING ideas of deregulation… so IT’S THE RIGHT WING’S FAULT.

        • Dave in CT

          Good Grief!

          Every day, I argue that is both parties fault, as they both serve the same master, either consciously, or by neglect.

          Crony right-wingers a huge part of the problem.

          My point as always is don’t paint the people like Ron Paul or others with honest, principled liberty arguments, and some Austrian economic perspective, with the same brush a neoconservative and establishment Republicans.

          • ulTRAX

            I haven’t been painting them with the same brush. Cultish Libertarians deserve their own brush.

  • Robin in MA

    Lost decade, where have I heard that before?  Oh, Paul Krugman, in 2008, arguing for a bigger stimulus.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/08/us-nobel-economy-idUSTRE4B75KJ20081208

  • Ruth

    The US is in bad shape, but Europe is far worse. Our Economy of course  will react to their on going (and not yet peaked) economic crisis. At least the US has a common structure in place to deal with this. Europe is in uncharted territory historically and therefore economically. This can actually lead to destabilization in the Euro and the Euro zone and Euro Zone Countries. People will keep investing in our economy because right now, as bad as we are,  we are better off than many others. But we have to make smart decisions from here forward and I don’t see that happening much. 

  • Erik

    If growth is the only answer to our current problems then there is no resolution possible, not in a decade, not ever.  Our growth-based system is at odds with the finite nature of our world.  Our material expectations need to be drastically and permanently revised downward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Hedgefunds continue to make money, and the armament industries and defense contractors are flourishing.   But that it folks.   War and contrived profits for a select few.

    Everything else is falling apart, with NO solution.  Fed is out of bullets, and the blanks they are using (creating fiat money) is leading to hyper-inflation.  

  • Tina

    QUESTION:  Are those Republicans who are federal, elected officials doing Very Well, Thank You Very Much?  If so, HOW are they thriving in their personal finances?  

    Is there a Profit To Be Made in investing in those companies that take their jobs overseas?

    THANK YOU!

  • Michiganjf

    The fact that we no longer can count on a traditional recovery pattern… EVER… is due to a completely altered paradigm in the world.

    Unlike any previous recession, this EXTREMELY SEVERE recession has occured under totally new circumstances in the world, which are especially difficult circumstances for America…

    … simply put, we have bumped up against too many tipping points occurring in sync with this recession:

    -Nations everywhere finally able to compete SIGNIFICANTLY with the U.S. for manufacturing and resources, raising materials costs while simultaneously putting downward pressure on prices and earnings

    -severe changes in climate causing highly unusual and costly weather phenomena (expensive for government at all levels)

    -sky-rocketing healthcare costs finally reaching a far too burdensome level.

    -Population levels which have finally reached a level that is testing limits everywhere, INCLUDING employment, healthcare, food, water, fuel, etc.

    - years of neglect to vital infrastructure, which besides aging, has not kept pace with growth

    -years of neglect to education… a situation which recent Republican dogma is worsening geometrically

    -worldwide destabilization is creating uncertainty for business everywhere

    ETC…., ETC….

    The bottom line is WE ARE FACING A NEW PARADIGM in which we can expect continual hardship on a level we have never experienced before.

    The real crime against America is that the two decades before 2007, when our country was FAT WITH CASH and the inadequacies of our infrastructure and corporate subsidy structure were already becoming apparent, our politicians couldn’t muster the foresight to improve the situation, and instead opted for more tax cuts for the wealthy and for more corporate giveaways so they could fund their overseas expansion.

    I said this long before Obama was ever even heard of by anyone:

    This recession is here to stay, and we can expect 10% or higher unemployment from here on out!!!

    I’m amazed President Obama has done as well as he has, considering continued Republican stupidities and the circumstances which were left to him. 

  • Chateaurus

    Bring jobs back to America! Manufacturing from China, service and engineering from India!

  • steve

    Richard Koo-

    What of those that never had a seat at the table, eating the rich food to harden our arteries.

    Many have never shared in the wealth,  but are being required to foot the bill.

    • steve

      Sorry, meant for Richard Katz.

      Also, your seat as a mediator is no longer assured.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Its not just a lost decade,  the US is heading for a severe crisis.

    Signs are obvious, and the state is preparing for this crisis.  Look at the intricate and comprehensive security state that has deliberately been created as a result of 9-11.   

    Another ominous sign that Tom Ashbrook should host a show about is the perpetuation of the Freemasons, which have been running ads like crazy as of late.  I am surprised that PBS and NPR have been running these ads since the economic collapse  -  a supposedly intellectual media ostensibly endorsing secret societies.   Sure with all the CIA and Mossad shenanigans that have gone down, the last thing we need are more sneaks behind closed doors acting like elitist social engineers. 

    But alas, is the facade of democracy.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Please, the Masons are a social club with neo-Platonic pretentions, but they’re harmless.  Did they refuse you membership, or did they just not let you into the inner sanctum where they secretly run the world?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Secret societies are NOT harmless in a repressive society during crisis.   Who says they are not harmless?   You Mr. Democracy??

  • Janna

    Thank you for talking about the protests in NYC. This is the first that I’ve heard it discussed on NPR aside from a one-line update yesterday. It’s a shame that it wasn’t covered from the start. There’s so much more coverage of street protests in other countries on the other side of the world.

    • steve

      Unrest or heads on pikes?

  • Tom

    Japan had to compete against a giant economy (the USA) that was illegally printing money out of thin air, and going into 10+ trillion dollars in debt. and hiding some more debt from the balance sheet (the Bush wars). That is why Japan could not compete against such a protectionist  economy.

    Tom – Vermont

    • Steve

      You don’t know much about Japan’s underhanded tactics, do you?

  • JMc

    WAR
    has always created a smoke screen to civil unrest in the history of the U.S.,
    just read and you will find it to be true. I am curious to see how the country
    will react in a situation where we no longer have an interest in involving
    ourselves in conflict and now focus our lens onto the reality of what is really
    taking place in our own backyard. I suspect barring a major natural disaster or
    a meteor hitting the earth the captains of the ship are heading towards an
    iceberg and heads will roll-Tale of Two Cities.

    • steve

      War or heads on pikes?

      • steve

        Is there another, as yet undefined way?

        • Dave in CT

          Vote Paul/Nader 2012 and let off some steam.

          • steve

            I have a long standing conversation with a gentleman in the NE who has moved beyond libertarianism to anarchy.  I believe he finds both Paul and Nader too restrictive on liberty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Lost Decade is an understatement.  It will be WORSE than Japan.

    Japan is a homogenous and orderly society built upon mutual respect.  Compare Fukushima with the Haitian Earthquake or Katrina.

    When food stamp shopping carts go empty, and the public employees cant fill their bellies with sugar, salt and fat and their SUVs and oversized pickup trucks with gas,  the US citizenry are going to be killing each other.

    The USA is not Japan.

    • steve

      War or heads on pikes?

      • steve

        Is this what we are left with?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Pitch forks and flaming torches.   The recent protests will look like a nursery school picnic, compared to what Wall Street will experience.

        • Steve

          This is the US, not South America.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

            Not South America ??  You sure?

          • TFRX

            Not until our rich can’t go outside their armed compounds in armored limosines, it isn’t. Not until they need to worry about whether the electricity will be on in their plant or office building it isn’t.

            That’ just one more thing the rich in this country should taste. It might quit their bitchin.

  • Michiganjf

    Mr. Koo is exactly right… since interest rates were already at ZERO when Obama entered office, THE ONLY tool left to his administration right off the bat was stimulus, and we were draining 750,000 jobs a month the very moment Bush left office!!!!!

  • Dave in CT

    People love to ignore Debt.

    We need to grow up and discuss what will we do after default.

    There will be global default, certainly here.

    How will we respond?

    Will we walk sheep-like into a one-world currency and one-world governance (Fed/IMF writ large) and give up our sovereignty forever (are you really going to have another revolution against todays military)?

    There will be default, and the orderly response, after all the easy picking up of the pieces by the elite, will be to argue we need to restructure the “complex global economy”, part of which will be more centralized control, less sovereignty.

    Road to Serfdom.

  • Dave in CT
  • Emjones

    Betsy, You’re MUCH too good for Stephen, however, here is the real problem to be avoided. What’s the solution?

    periheliondesign.com/downloads/Wealth%20Distribution%202007%20update.pdf

  • Dave in CT

    Why doesn’t Greece just stimulate their economy with more debt? It will make their economy grow!

    • ulTRAX

      Just a guess… because no one will lend to them???

  • Michiganjf

    YES!!! It is dangerous… but that’s exactly the ONLY thing Republicans are parroting!!!

  • Mel

    What we need to vote out of office those politicians who are obsticles to job creation – conservative Republicans.  They are more loyal to a cause or ideology than the knowledge of how to create jobs and how the economy works.  Until we get rid of the uninformed conservatives, or reduce their numbers so they can be “drown in a bathtub,” we will continue to stay where we are.

  • Dave in CT

    Here is the Debt clock, do the math, and defend the notion that we will just “grow our way out of this”.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    The only mathematical way out is money printing, destruction of the dollar.  And where do you think that leads?

    • TFRX

      Let’s make the next Republican administration handle it.

      If they’re so hot and bothered about it, they’ll actually balance a fooking federal budget for once in their lives.

      As a lefty, I just want enough government spending to keep this from becoming 1937 again.

      • Dave in CT

        There is no money to spend!  And the establishment Republicans will never change course- they are part of the corrupt elite that maintains a flow of interest payments to the debt-issuers, which like for Democrats who encourage the debt, is their bread and butter.

        It’s time for reform and courage, or bust.

        • TFRX

          According to my media and economic uberlords, there is always money to spend when the “birthrighteous” fiscally conservative GOP is in charge.

          Hell, even the Ben Nelsons and Mary Landriuexs, the Blue Dogs, never really make any headway on balancing. And this is just the wrong time in the business cycle to do it.

          Why is there always a chorus ready to tell the Dems “there is no more money to spend”? If that’s the case, we are doomed. We would then be no less doomed if Obama governs as a slightly-left-of-center Democrat rather than coddling the WATB GOP.

  • TFRX

    Betsey says “I would rather add 1/2 point to GDP than address the debt right now.”

    Refreshing bit of common sense.

  • JMc

    to add to GDP consumers must have confidence in the fact that the private sector will reinvest their purchases back into the economy, consumers are growing aware of the situation.

  • Dave in CT

    These guys are describing the folly of Central banking mis-management of the economy, and accepting a bubble-blowing, misallocation of capital and over-speculation, economic model, to a T.

  • Dave

    Like your present guests, I have repeatedly heard experts agree on the correct path out of this recession, evidenced based explanations. So what is the real conservative agenda, assuming they are rational beings?

    • Bruce

      Re: “what is the conservative agenda, assuming they are rational beings?”  That’s the problem, they (i.e. the conservative wing of the G.O.P.) have been hijacked by a coalition of Ayn Rand, laissez-faire, libertarian, flat earth, evolution and climate change denying, paranoid, anti-government conspiracy-theory zealots(aka Tea Party?).  Any appeal to empirical evidence falls on deaf ears.  Welcome to the latest revision of the Republican brand:  faith-based economoics.

  • Aaron

    Via globalization Corporate America continues to rake in massive profits and the political class that serves Corporate America’s interests is insulated from the pain that the average middle class American is experiencing.  With this kind of disconnect between the ruling class and the ruled their is little incentive for the kind of changes to the economic and political system that need to take place in order to avoid a lost decade which we’ve been in for about 5-10 years already.

    • Four Elements

      Try this one: “The Lost Century”!

  • Dave in CT

    No more easy energy sources, no more easy colonial or continental pillaging and enslaving (China has nukes)…..

    Whats left?

    Oh,  Free Money from the Fed! No strings attached, really!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SherrieAnn.Noble Sherrie Noble

    First honesty is important: all the statements to buyers prior to the recession that “housing prices will always ‘go up’ so they are ‘great investments” never made sense.
    Ditto for profits.
    So–steady state is normal for life and it is the only thing that truly works. Change working schedules, education and prices with realistic mechanisms.

  • Stephen E.

    I was working in Tokyo for 9 of the last 20 years and arrived just before the Bubble burst.  I had previously read and met all your panelists except Betsy Stevenson in connection with my involvement with Japan, and find this conversation about the similarities and differences with the US enormously stimulating and helpful.  

    Maybe what at times seems like my own “lost decade” in Japan was really just deep research for understanding what faces the US.

  • Simon

    The system is broken. The politicians are all bought by the rich and powerful. The policies are therefore only benefiting the rich and powerful. Compaign financing is the key. We need to ban all corporation donations. Please goto https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/make-bribing-politicians-illegal/jkWvjLnr to sign the petition.

  • JMc

    clearly the pain has been felt by 90% of the country already, it all goes back to meaningful legislation to prevent casiono capital models to be eliminated.

  • Michiganjf

    That’s right!!!!

    No fututre generation will benefit from us having decades of belt tightening now… not if it’s to the point of ZERO investment in infrastructure, ignoring the degree to which business AND the public are dependent on government regulation for a healthy economy, etc., etc…

    • Michiganjf

      … education, renewable energy investment, etc…

      • TFRX

        We emerged from the Great Depression with a passel of public goods bearing brass plaques or cornerstones with the date “193x” on them.

        Thanks, Grover Norquist, for raising a passel of morons whose kids apparently don’t need anything like that in the future. Ever.

  • Webb Nichols

    Until there is parity in the cost of production in goods and service throughout the world the United States does not have a fighting chance. We will have 7-9 percent permanent employment and Deflation is already at work.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’m wondering if Betsey Stevenson has a prescription for Greece’s budget?  Austerity in bad times is bad?  But Europe is doubling down on them.  Oh, but Greece has corruption in government?  And we don’t?
        Second question: Bernanke last week did “the twist,” or whatever the phrase was.  I’m wondering if that shouldn’t shift the pace of the deleveraging, so that people are paying down debt more slowly, and being less austere with themselves.  
        I think that the Fed buying longer-term bonds seems suggestive that the credit card banks, instead of offering loans for one year, ending in November 2012 (maybe coinciding with a presidential election), loans that will bounce up from zero to say 18.99% right about election day — maybe the banks will point their borrowers towards a longer horizon, and Americans will take another approach.

    • Anonymous

      We are not Greece. And you should listen to what is being said here.
      They are making a lot of sense to me. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        True.  They are making a lot of sense.  I am waiting to see if OnPoint and this program can have some real punch.

    • steve

      Bernanke is looking for a soft landing that does not exist.
      He will soon be doig the “limbo”.

      • Ellen Dibble

        If what I see as the possible outcome of his “steps” does take place, then a softer landing would indeed happen.  A longer, slower, less-deep recession.  
            The problem in evaluating that step, if I’m right about it, would be that you can never see how much worse we would have been had he not taken that step.

  • TrudyS

    Paul Krugman wrote “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of2008″  that describes the parallels between the US and Japan. Worth a read.

  • Tina

    Our economy isn’t working for MOST of us, but it IS working for the hyper-wealthy — they are wealthier than ever.  Is this Bad Economy  being DRIVEN BY THE HYPER-RICH for their own advantage, or is their wealth just due to the Scale at which they can invest?  Thanks!

  • Sharon

    How does the wave of boomers entering retirement age affect the recession?  Generally, dynamic movement belongs to the young but the weight of the elderly and soon to be elderly can’t but hold down progress.  Sadly, I see little to be optimistic about……………

  • Unclejs

    Betsey commented re public not recognizing risk in shrinking govt stimulus (=replacing some of the private money being deleveraged out of the economy), and instead focusing on deficit (=reducing government replacement of money, repeating errors made by Japanese govt in 1997, and US govt in 1937).
    Unfortunately media megaphone has conflated STIMULUS with BANK BAIL-OUT in public’s mind, and public is understandably outraged about having bailed out investment banks/corporations–which are again having record profits, while majority of Americans are suffering and scared.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Richard Koo,

    I don’t know about you, but where are those private savings that the rest of us are sitting on?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Koo is saying everybody is saving, not spending.  I would say that might be because There Is Nothing Worth Investing In.
        Oh, saving IS investing…
        But just as one person, I’m still investing in health care that is costly (to me) but which should make me much more productive.  And I am still investing in my business.
         Some would count buying a “house” as an investment.
         It’s really about being able to imagine a productive future, and borrowing to do that.  (I don’t know how “they” figure these things, since one borrows at close to zero percent rather than drawing down funds set aside for, say, retirement, in many cases.  But no, I don’t think retirement funds are under a mattress; they’re probably being used for building solar factories in China.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vlpoirier Vernon Poirier

    “Three things you don’t do;
    1) Loan without a substantial down payment.
    2) Loan without the documented ability to repay.
    3) Loan to dead people.

    BINGO!

    Someone has that money, where is the money?

    I WANT THE MONEY BACK!

    • steve

      The money never existed.
      It was quickly flipped to purchase real assets…
      but you can have the empty bag.

  • Markus

    I assume there are credible economists who think that the debt that we’re building up is more damaging than the value we’re getting through increased government spending. Unless there are no economists thinking this, wouldn’t it be better to have the other side represented?  

  • depressed

    We have been experiencing a class war for over 30 years – the rich waging a class war against the rest of us.  Tax cut after tax cut, benefitting high income and high wealth individuals and corporate interests while everybody else became downwardly mobile.  Our government has made the choice to fund operations by borrowing money from the rich rather than taxing them, reflective of who directs our political class.  The last ten years should prove that to any honest observer that giving money (tax breaks) to the rich doesn’t create jobs.  Until our voters get real, which is very unlikely, we will bump along for decades with economic growth happening only for the very rich.

  • Hillarion of Sudbury

    I’m so disgusted with such events as the hijacking of the Tea Party that I now refer to our political Right as Dark Age Advocates, as socio-political saboteurs. Many Americans were not born stupid, but they surely act stupid. By analogy with anaphylactic shock, we have anaphylactic politics. Richard Koo is right on. Paul Krugman seems to “get it”, as well.

  • Anonymous

    Those who don’t learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it. The Republicans haven’t figured that out. With 2 trillion dollars in capital sitting on the sidelines, supply of capital is not an issue, lack of demand is. Tax cuts did not created demand under Bush, we fell behind 4 million jobs while growing our debt… all before the economic collapse. We need to create demand.  Supply Side Economics is lunacy and Republican ideologs don’t want to face facts. They are blind with rage so much so that they don’t want to learn from the lessons of Japan.

    • Dave in CT

      “We need to create demand.”

      Real demand happens. It comes from needs and wants of the individual, which combined with those of other individuals, creates a diverse market of demand to be met by those who want to meet it.

      I don’t understand why people say we need to “create” demand.

      Sounds like alchemy.

      • Philip

        You are confusing economic demand with a general sense of want and need.  I want a mansion and a yacht but that’s not demand unless I am an active bidder in that market.  With scarce resources, consumers must choose between products which means not being active bidders in markets in which they would like to be.  Economic demand is created by increases the resources that consumers have to purchase items that they need and want.

        • Dave in CT

          “Economic demand is created by increases the resources that consumers have to purchase items that they need and want.”

          And where does that magical increase of resources come from?  Don’t we have to work for it?  

          Where is my free lunch!?

          The Fed is hard at work increasing resources (printing money for debt).

          Real demand IS want and need, constrained by ability to pay/work for it.

          You or I wanting a yacht, is not demand, unless you have the resources to back it up.

          I don’t favor the Fed printing money for me to have a yacht.

          • Philip

            My comment was meant to explain the “Alchemy” of creating demand, not to make a political point.  The Fed printing money does not create real resources since, in theory, the inflation it creates will cause prices to rise in proportion to the increase in the money supply.
            Now to make a political point, it is the working class that is being forced to make the tough decisions on which goods an services they can and cannot purchase while the upper class is able to put their surplus resources into savings.  Demand will be created when the people with the lowest marginal propensity to save are given a larger share of the resources (i.e. lower tax rates for lower and middle class).  The increased demand that this produces has the best chance of all to create real and sustainable demand and to lift all ships.
            I’m not advocating government handouts and free lunches, but I will firmly stand behind a more progressive tax code.

          • Dave in CT

            Appreciate the thoughtful reply.

        • Dave in CT

          “With scarce resources, consumers must choose between products which means not being active bidders in markets in which they would like to be.”

          That’s the whole point!  Scarcity makes you choose. It makes you decide for yourself what is most important to spend your dollar on, and thus, which suppliers are important, and survive in our economy.

          We should NOT be active bidders in markets we cannot afford!

          That is the financial crisis explained!  The Fed pumped out the money, it falsely support unsustainable industries that we could not organically support (malinvestment), letting us bid up markets of our “wants”, then the music stops, when the debt becomes to scary for even the most moronic to ignore, and CRASH.

          • JMc

            it only applies to those that have the power and money to influence the fed, you and i must make sacrafices in the same situation, that is the issue.

      • Fredlinskip

        People can need and want all day long, if they have no $, their “demand” will not influence the economy.

    • Fredlinskip

      Corporate tax rates just before Great Depression were 25%, lowes tin American history.
          Guess what in recent GOP debates are the rates they are suggesting- 25%.
           Nothing like another good old -fashioned depression to focus the mind.

  • TFRX

    Any guess as to when the media will start covering Occupy Wall Street at the rate of the Tea Party, i.e. one fawning reporter for every four attendees?

  • Anonymous

    I agree 100% with Richard Katz about the regulations on Wall Street and the banks. It’s time to stop this crap. They have to much power and influence and are everything that is bad about our economy. When over 50% of our economic growth is being controlled by these institutions it is a sign that something is wrong. It’s Wall Street, they are sucking the life out of this nation all in the name of a short term capital gain.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Ah, we have a typical activist–all mouth and no organization.

    • nj

      At least they’re doing something. What are you doing?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I teach community college students who are trying to make something of their lives.  You?

        • nj

          And that changes the overall structural societal problems how?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I do my part.  I don’t participate in play acting revolution.  I’ve seen too many activists who can’t get anything done because they value all views equally and can’t agree on a program that they all will support.

          • Anonymous

            Well I guess Ralph Nadar was not listening to your logic when he kept on about seat-belts and unsafe cars.

            You know for a professor of Critical Thinking you have a very narrow view point. It was activist who gave us the 5 day work week, workers rights, child labor laws, work place safety laws, and laws to protect the environment. It was activist who gave us our National Parks.

            You are very condescending and that also does not play well into your position if being one who teaches Critical Thinking. Interesting comment: “ I do my part”. How so?

        • Anonymous

          So you think people who are activist are not doing anything and that your students, who from the sounds of your comments, are nothing more than people who will do without asking why. Then there is your egocentric attitude which assumes you’re making a difference just because you teach at a Community College. I also take away from your comments a complete lack of any critical thinking skills.
          At least this is the impression I’m getting. Which in turn leads me to think you don’t teach your students to “think” or question.

           

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Actually, I do teach critical thinking.  One thing you need to recognize is that critical thinking doesn’t mean that anyone who disagrees with you is a slovenly thinker.

          • Anonymous

            Well your comments do not bare well in light of this information.

            “One thing you need to recognize is that critical thinking doesn’t mean that anyone who disagrees with you is a slovenly thinker.”

            I agree, practice what you preach.

  • JMc

    Where is the Tea Party? Why arent they occupying Wall Street?

    • Dave in CT

      Fair question.

      I wonder if some grass roots ones are actually there, and not getting news.

      Hopefully there is discussion and coalition building.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Maybe there are too many senior citizens, with invested money, basically stockholders, whose shared are being traded on their behalf.  And aren’t they funded by investors, people with enough shares of stock to care many millions of dollars-worth about possible tax consequences if Wall Street’s gravy train is any way impacted by an administrations regulations or tax policy.  The idea there is to guard and protect Wall Street, to guard and protect it from the government, I believe.   

    • TFRX

      (I take your question as rhetorical, right?)

      Because Americans For Prosperity doesn’t want the riffraff so close to their clutch of eggs.

      Stir up the hoi polloi, shut down government, provide pron for Fox News and Rick Santelli and John Stossel. But actually take their opinions or well-being to influence the rich Astroturfing groups? Now that’s jes crazee.

  • Bill

    There always been talk about the masses voting themselves bread and circuses in a democracy. We currently have a system where the rich and influential have hijacked the system and get government to provide them very expensive bread and circuses at the expense of the masses.

    • Four Elements

      It’s called “the greatest good for the least number”.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    To the fellow from Occupy Wall Street–isn’t occupying a part of a city a violent act?

    • steve

      Being awake is the first act of protest.

      • Anonymous

        …then thinking critically and asking questions is the second. Knowing the Constitution helps as well.   

    • nj

      People standing around on sidewalks is violence? Really?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Occupying a city street illegally, yes.

        • nj

          Illegality equates to violence? Really?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’m using the word in its classical sense.

          • nj

            Maybe you can include some kind of signal with each of your posts indicating what “sense” applies to the words you use, because without that, most of us are just going to kind of default to the everyday, current “sense” of the words we see.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I never said that violence is wrong.

    • Anonymous

      No, it’s called the First Amendment. The right to assemble.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        The right to assemble doesn’t mean blocking a street.  It means getting together in a house or a church or a hall–or it means getting a permit to march, if the group wants to take over a street.

        • JMc

          thank goodness the kids in the 60′s didnt follow your advice

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Yup, they achieved so much. . .

          • nj

            Damn straight, pal. Women’s movement, civil rights, environmental stewardship, popularization of natural/organic foods, nude beaches, contributed to ending the Vietnam War, The Grateful Dead…

        • Anonymous

          The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

          Sorry but the First Amendment does not say “getting together in a house or a church or a hall–or it means getting a permit to march”

          You are not only wrong but doing what a lot of people do, you are putting your own spin based on an ideological belief instead of dealing with the facts of the document.

           

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Peaceably assemble–that is exactly the point.  Occupying a street isn’t peaceful assembly.

          • Anonymous

            Your playing with words. Any protest can be look as if one is occupying a portion of a street. Workers on strike could be considered an “occupation” by your definition.

            I disagree with you premise in that the Constitution clearly states that we have the right to Peaceably assemble and I think that the Founders were thinking about street protest. In light of that how does one protest without occupying space?

            Mind you mob rule was also an issue and one that John Adams was very concerned about. Adam’ had a lot of experience in this incident he defended the British solders accused of murder after the Boston Massacre and there, although he was not a witness to the incident. He won the case for the British Crown.

            However, I do think the Founders were thinking about the public’s right to assemble was and still is, the right to air grievances on the street is it is peaceful. I also think this was based on the Boston Massacre incident and the Crowns insistence that any assembly was an act of treason against the British crown.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Remembering back to the protests of the late 1960s, and some more recent ones locally, people can get arrested for trespassing or various other kinds of interference, which is supposedly not the same as curtailing their freedom to get in the position to be thus arrested.  It’s like those who protest like that need to understand that the price you pay is the getting hauled into court.  It’s a badge of honor to be hauled into court like that.  Even better to be given a jail term for it.  There are lawyers organizations who defend people who take principled actions like this, pointing out to juries that it’s somewhere in the Constitution that juries may disregard what the judge tells them about their application of the law.  And the jury does what it does.  Usually, they pay more attention to the judge, who points out that in being sworn in as jurors, they are sworn to uphold the law as the judge charges them withal.  But if the jury thinks “the system” needs a kick in the teeth, they ignore the judge and exonerate the defendants.  Of course there are appeals.  But the law enforcement people think that their job, like plowing snow in winter, is basically about maintaining the peace, which includes no unnecessary traffic jams.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vlpoirier Vernon Poirier

    Remember Seattle WTO!

    • Unmotivatedbyanything

      No, oh thought it was a question

  • JMc

    City of NY should be forced to explain peaceful protests cannot be set up at the foot of the stoch exchange.

  • Anonymous

    “This is not an IPO of our civilization. We are not having it.”
    I think that’s the one of the most intelligent comments I’ve heard in ages.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I missed it; “This is not an IPO of our civilization” — what was the “this”?

      • Anonymous

        Wall Street’s mentality that everything in our civilization is for sale and that short term capital gains are all that counts.

        “This is not an IPO of our civilization.” That our lives count, our communities count. That the world is not here for a small cadre of financial institutions, corporations and hedge funds.

        Somehow I found myself thinking of Gil Scott Heron’ the Revolution Will Not be Televised.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGaoXAwl9kw

        • Ellen Dibble

          Thanks.  There are a few good angles in that.  The one about the quarterly window of perspective, which in politics would be the stretch to the next election; how can we cook the books so it will look promising to investors (voters).  
              And then the angle one about profit, GDP, being a goal unto itself.  Although at least the panelist Stevenson seemed to think that growth, GDP, is a goal unto itself.  That is where the idea of steady state, sustainable economics needs addressing.  The Big Economists say we have to be growing at X percent in order not to crash.   They liken it to an airplane, with minimum viable speed.
               Yet there are persuasive posts in this thread saying that an economy that depends on growth is doomed to collapse.  I guess it’s like a Ponzi scheme in some way; you keep betting on the next generation until some generation cried “uncle.”       If you project out as if the bigger the pie the happier everyone is, then you eventually have an overburdened planet — unless there is that pie in the sky that feeds us when we reach the end of our own inventiveness.

          • Dave in CT

            All hail the Pie in the Sky! We’ll be fine when we harness Jupiter’s superstorm energy.

            Speaking of the Free Lunch, is that a proverbial pizza pie or more like an apple pie?

  • Dave in CT

    For all who are big enough, and observant enough, to admit that the Tea Party has a grassroots element, AND that it was quickly co-opted by the traditional, authoritarian, corrupt, crony, neo-con right, could you please explain your view of what the grassroots Tea Party view is?

    To know that there is a real core, but then throw out their message and their movement, because of your justified disgust with their co-optors, seems short sighted, and politically stupid, instead of finding common ground and increasing numbers toward real reform and accountability to the financial and government cronies who sabotaged our economy.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      My view on the real Tea Party is that its members were idealists with some good principles and a lot of unrealistic goals.

      • Dave in CT

        If their goals are based on their good principles, why should they be unrealistic, or not supported and rallied behind?

        What is the alternative?

        We can’t keep the same old, same old much longer.

        A principled reform is our best hope. The chaos of self-destructing without a common vision will always be a losing proposition which the powerful will gain and consolidate from, IMO.

        • Dave in CT

          With socialism, the ends justify the means. With liberty, the means justify the ends.

          It may be scarier to not know where our freedom is taking us, but I think giving in to a predetermined future laid out by technocratic central planners, HOPING they have our interests at heart, is more frightening.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Do you notice, Dave, about how socialist/communist USSR, now Russia, seems to perpetuate its de facto one party system, with Putin holding the reins whether in power or standing behind and above the incumbent, getting ready to continue his “central planning.”   Socialism in its extreme is the same as dictatorship, but the dictatorship has one person lording it over his toadies, and with socialism, you have the toadies again designing the central planning, but according to their Dear Leader, that is, dictator by another name.
                Central Planning sounds like exactly what we think Wall Street has been executing for the last, oh, say 30 years.  Since about the beginning of Reagan’s Morning in America.  It is still possible to be greedy and get away with  it; the whole world is our oyster. Go for it.  No regs.  And those toadies?  They would be the plutocrats who tell the government what it is they need in order to keep the Good Times high and dry.  Flowing.  Whatever.
                The powers behind the throne, as usual, seem to be doing our planning for us.  And if they were doing it in our interests, transparently, that would be one thing.
                 But this is not exactly about a form of government.  It’s about a form of economic organization.  Profit as the goal seems to have an interior design that creates ever more gaping, gapping inequality.  There is a point where one asks it to stop.

          • Dave in CT

            Indeed!

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I said some good principles.  Libertarianism is a good starting point, but in a modern society, we do have to act as a society in some areas.

          I’m liking the idea of a Ron Paul/Ralph Nader alliance.  I’m a Libertarian, excpet when I’m a Green.

          • Ellen Dibble

            The first thing we did “as a society” was the Tea Party, then the Revolutionary War.  And there were PLENTY of Tories, not that we make a big deal of it.  Then we had to find a way to pay for our profligate sense of selfhood.  We hang together or we hang apart.  First in splitting off from the mother country.  Then in holding ourselves together with some integrity, rather than reverting to the kind of vulnerability that disconnectedness creates.  Wherever we are stronger by standing together, we have learned to do that.  Although to begin with, we stood together IN ORDER TO stand apart (from Great Britain).  

    • Ellen Dibble

      Bingo.  I think we the people have to get to the root of that question before we risk our futures in a next election.  We have casserole politics, where you can’t pick out the good from the bad.

    • nj

      “Your view of what the grassroots Tea Party view…”

      You tell us what their view is. Good luck finding it anywhere. It would seem like the Tea Party would have enumerated it somewhere.

      It seems to be “Government is too big, taxes are too high.”

      But they seem to oppose all Government programs with indiscriminately equal vigor, unable to discriminate between what genuinely benefits the general welfare and what is done in service to corporate, special interests.

      Your hero Ron Paul is a good example. Cut, no, eliminate FEMA, Dept. of Education, etc. Really? There’s no role for federal disaster relief? This is on one the places where the Tea Partiers lose me.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I’d gladly shed the Department of Education.

      • Dave in CT

        You must be kidding, you seem like a smart person.

        Do you really believe that when Ron Paul talks about eliminating the Dept. of Education, he believes we should all be uneducated and we should have no schools?

        Do you think he thinks Natural Disaster victims should suffer without help from anybody?

        His whole point is that the government does these things POORLY and simply creates massive bureaucracies that serve the system and not the “consumer”.

        The whole liberty position is about a different mechanism to achieve the common goals of prosperity and security, in a world where scarcity is real, and cannot be chased off by printing money and making promises that can’t be kept, that we all share.

        To think so shallowly as to throw out a set of ideas, because we can’t get past the red herring of “No Dept of Education = No Education”, is precisely why we have been spinning our wheels, and debt spending our way to destruction, for so long.

        The ideas are out there, but one has to think, and look.

        • ulTRAX

          Dave wrote: “His whole point is that the government does these things POORLY and simply creates massive bureaucracies that serve the system and not the “consumer”.”Sure, perhaps sometimes it does. But it’s unfair to make such a blanket generalization. All we have to do is look at how payments to private Medicare Advantage programs had to be about 14% more than traditional Medicare to compensate for some of that private sector overhead… profit, high CEO pay, advertising etc. Generally the US health care system is such a mess BECAUSE of the inefficiencies private sector… something you don’t see because you’re blinded by the seeming competition between companies. We have too many health pools of cash to administer each with their own rules and private sector overhead. But for some reason free market types are blind to PRIVATE SECTOR bureaucracies. Making a SINGLE pool with the entire population in it, and streamlining the rules would go a long way to reduce our costs… as Single Payer nations have discovered.  

           

          • Dave in CT

            I’m not going to argue for high CEO pay. Sounds like not enough competition, if not some kind of collusion.

          • Modavations

            Dude,it’s the ability to become as rich as a Warren Buffet that has people the world over,looking for a visa.We create a level paying field,not a level outcome 

          • TFRX

            “Level playing field” har dee har.

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for evading my entire argument.

          • nj

            See, when presented with the realities of the limits of “free enterprise,” there are no answers from the Tea Tottlers, just some incoherent mumbling.

        • nj

          Okay, so eliminate FEMA. Daughter of Katrina slams into the Gulf Coast, or New York, or Florida.

          Now what? Please tell us. People are washed into rivers. Houses are destroyed. Utilities are down. Roads are impassible. State and local resources are overwhelmed.

          President Paul says, tough shit, work it out yourselves, you sturdy Libertarians.
           
          If government doesn’t do some essential functions well, improve it. At least there’s some accountability with public agencies. They can be reformed, improved.

          Government does a number of things better and less expensively than when those functions are privatized. 

        • nj

          Sorry, Dave, nothing there, buddy.

          Asked for some kind of concise summary of Tea Party principles, you offer: “A different mechanism to achieve the common goals of prosperity and security…”

          Wow! Sign me up!

    • Michiganjf

      The problem is that 95% of the “Tea Party” was never anything more than Republicans who were too embarassed to call themselves Republicasn after Bush ran the country into the ground.

      The “Tea Party” movement was their first opportunity to dig their heads out of the ground and reasert themselves on American politics… it didn’t take them long to start pushing their ultra-conservative social agenda on everyone again either.

      • Dave in CT

        You’re talking about the co-opters.

        Many people who have a more liberty type view, and fiscal responsibility view, and skeptical of concentrated power/government, let free markets of free individuals decide views, of course, sadly, have only had the Republican party to nominally participate in.

        We all know the establishment Republican party is a neocon, paternalistic, pandering to religious social conservatives, military industrial complex party.

        Whether some Tea Partiers themselves are religious or socially conservative, is really irrelevant, and it is silly to throw out the reform energy of a movement of People, because we are too afraid to live and let live.

      • Gregg

        The reason the Tea Party is so powerful is because it isn’t a “Party”. It has no leader or even a figure head. It’s a movement. Liberals have successfully demonized the name but they cannot change what people are thinking.

        • ulTRAX

          The Tea Crackpots are only a force for two reasons… 1: They believe and are infuriated by the lies told them by the Orwellian Right… and 2: The Democrats weren’t paying enough attention to the mid-terms and lost big by default.  

      • Modavations

        I’m a Dem.,no I’m liberal,no I’m socialist,no I’m Progressive…….

      • TFRX

        I wish I could “like” that more than once.

        Eight years of GWB ruined the brand. And our “liberal media” is playing along, as if that were a surprise, about the “new blood”.

    • Modavations

      Poppycock.You guys never realized you’re Lennins useful idiots

  • Dave in CT
    • Modavations

      Two different species ,lad.One believes in Govt and one in the individual

      • Dave in CT

        All the Chomskyites have to do is drop the socialism part, and everyone’s on the same liberty page.

        http://mises.org/daily/1132

  • SwampCreatures

    Please quit using a president’s name or their administration’s party affinity like it matters – as if they had any more control then the party in charge before it.

    In the beltway bog they are just toads sitting on lily pads floating on top of a swamp.

    Both parties are corrupt and compliant.

    Banksters and gangsters run the corporations and they in turn run the government.

    Please quit blaming democrats or republicans or each other, you’ll never see your way out of this quagmire.

  • guest

    OCCUPY BOSTON – STARTS TODAY
    1st Boston General Assembly
    Location: Boston Common gazebo
    Time: 7:30PM Tuesday, September 27th 

    • steve

      Will be in Boston this winter…can you keep it going till then?

    • Modavations

      End this Tortoise Holocaust Now

  • Hillarion of Sudbury

    If somebody says that we don’t have the money, it’s worth Googling on [quadrillion derivatives]. As I understand things, if that bubble bursts, it would make our recent crisis look trivial; hope I’m wrong. As well, when sums in the $quadrillions are being dealt with, it’s beyond absurd to think the money isn’t available.

  • Dave in CT

    Really, what the Tea Party, or liberty person is saying to progressives is, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. It is not a Socialism vs Free Market problem. It is a corruption of Washington and the Market problem.

    But getting past the knee-jerk, ego-driven, tribal vitriol, is so tough.

    That is what will likely occur at the Wall St. protests (and what the media would LOVE), unless decent leadership/perspective appears.

    We should try for Nader and Paul to do one of their Progressive-Libertarian alliance events, like they have before.

    Having that conversation on Wall St.’s doorstep would be awesome.

    info@nader.org

    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/contact-us/

    • Anonymous

      You know it’s interesting how I’ve heard people put these two together and yet they Nadar and Paul are so opposed to some basic polices that I doubt they could even get a viable platform together.

      For one Nadar is into a single payer National Health government program which I doubt Paul would even consider. Nadar is into having strong government regulations on financial, environment and safety.

      Nadar is also wants strong unions and decent wages.

      Ron Paul is against all of the above and more.

      • TFRX

        Where does Ron Paul stand on the whole “Federal government integrating the lunch counter” thing? Nobody can get a straight answer out of him.

        • Dave in CT

          He does answer that asinine red herring question, and notes that any place that tried to do that today would be out of business because of the conscience of the individuals who are free to choose where to eat lunch.  

          Are you seriously taking the Chris Mathews gotcha side on this?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekzLXtNYBWA

          • Dave in CT

            Tempting as it is, I hope we can all agree, we can’t legislate against being an A-hole.  

          • TFRX

            “The conscience of the individual” backed by law is a much better guarantee of rights.

            Something to remember after all those anti-woman and anti-gay laws proposed and passed by the “jobs are job N+1″ Teabaggers elected last year.

      • Dave in CT

        Just watch and listen.  Then take the points and topics of  common interest and agreement, and go research them further.  Caution: you may become further disillusioned with the establishment left (and right!) position.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwIZ4syCFLc

    • Gregg

      I remember the same dynamic with Nader and Pat Buchanan. They were so far apart they agreed… for very different reasons.

      I like Ron Paul and would love to see him as Secretary of the Treasury.

      • Modavations

        If you have a Gold Standard you can’t act wrecklessly

        • Gregg

          The paper standard doesn’t seem to be working all that well.

          • Anonymous

            Grow vegetables and raise chickens.

          • Modavations

            the small farmer died about 6 months ago with the new Ag.Laws.They’re raiding Amish farms because of unpasteurized milk

          • Dave in CT

            Now your talking!

          • Gregg

            Actually, I already do.

        • Dave in CT

          Oh c’mon that’s no fun! I want to solve other peoples problems with other people’s money, and pay interest!

    • ulTRAX

       
      It’s a laughable claim that the Tea Party cares about spending or corruption in Washington. They only care about Democratic spending and just consider GOP spending fine. They may pretend otherwise but the Tea Party is primarily political… the riled up base of the extreme Right that can’t face the failures of the Bush Junta and responded to all the lies told about Obama during the campaign that he was a Socialist etc and all the lies told about health care reform.

  • IdeaOne

    Shed the Fed(eral) Reserve System

    • Anonymous

      Yeah good idea, lets throw more gasoline onto the fire.

      • Dave in CT

        Please enlighten us and expand that thought…..

        Explain how the Fed has created this wonderful economy and shared wealth and opportunity.

        • Anonymous

          That question speaks volumes. It’s not the Fed’s job to create wealth and opportunity.

          Getting rid of the Fed would create as lot of panic in the market which would then most likely cause our entire financial system to collapse. You don’t want to do that now, do you. I feel as if I’m interacting with a flat earth society member.

          • Dave in CT

            ” lot of panic in the market which would then most likely cause our entire financial system to collapse.”

            Thanks for explaining precisely what the Fed just presided over. I’m being generous with “presided”, when we know its, “delivered”.

  • JMc

     
    I
    would like to see the question asked at the next Republican debate how the
    candidates feel about the protests on Wall Street with a follow up of how they
    feel the private sector has contributed to the current economic situation. Such
    questions are taboo and that is why I find the debates to lack credibility,
    they refuse to include issues that most of us would like to hear a response on
    from the conservatives, I guess they worry about fundraising.

    • Dave in CT

      That would be great, but of course they won’t give Ron Paul a chance to answer.

      • JMc

        Ron Paul should ask the others the question when given the opportunity to speak, get them on record of no comment.

      • out

        Of course not!

        You wouldn’t want him to give the peasants any ideas, would you?

      • Modavations

        Ron Paul is corrupt.Hr rails against big govt.,but has suckled at the teet,for 26 years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    My post that the current Wall Street protest is more like a little girls tea party, rather than the Tea Party that precluded the Am. Revolution keeps getting removed.    Why??

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Nor is it really that similar to the current Tea Party, a movement  which has been hijacked by right wing extremists. Some with good intentions but with blinders on.

  • Michiganjf

    The problem is that 95% of the “Tea Party” was never anything more than Republicans who were too embarassed to call themselves Republicasn after Bush ran the country into the ground.

    The “Tea Party” movement was their first opportunity to dig their heads out of the ground and reasert themselves on American politics… it didn’t take them long to start pushing their ultra-conservative social agenda on everyone again either.

    • Modavations

      The Tea Party are old,middle to upper middle classes ,who realize that Medicare and S.Security face insolvency.

      • NiceTry

        Sure they are… I think I read that in their manifesto somewhere.

      • TFRX

        …except when those programs don’t, as has been proved elsewhere. Not sure if that realization is more of an insult to Teabaggers or you. Not sure I care.

  • out

    I’m definitely posting this to Reddit when the audio goes up. Great show.

  • Bruce

    In response to Dave “what is the conservative agenda, assuming they are rational beings?”  That’s the problem.  They (the conservative wing of the G.O.P.) has been hijacked by a coalition of Ayn Rand, laissez-faire, libertarian, flat earth, evolution and climate change denying, anti-government, conspiracy-theory zealots.  Any appeal to empirical evidence falls on deaf ears.  Welcome to the new Republican brand with its faith-based economics.

    • Dave in CT

      “They (the conservative wing of the G.O.P.) has been hijacked by a coalition of Ayn Rand, laissez-faire, libertarian, flat earth, evolution and climate change denying, anti-government, conspiracy-theory zealots.”

      180 degree wrong.

      The establishment GOP is an authoritarian, paternalistic, un-sound money, debt loving, corporate crony loving, religion-pandering, military industrial complex fronting party.

      A far, far cry from the imagined bogeyman of liberty.

      It’s a shame the status quo finds it so easy to dupe people into loathing the real reformists.

      It does create a nice and easy, two party, black and white distraction though.

    • Modavations

      It’s so simple.We want everyone to be rich,so you’ll buy our products.You get confused by Crony Capitalism.Obama-GE,John Kerry-Raytheon.

      • TFRX

        Fancy bit of needle-threading to only talk about the Dems, and lying at that.

        You’re suppposed to be a worldly bidnessman, but never heard of K-Street.

    • Modavations

      All poppycock.We’re traders who want everyone to be rich,so you’ll buy our products.By the way,”rom whenst the first particle”.One man’s erudition is another’s fairytale.

  • ItchandMoan

    Hundreds of thousands of people protested, millions peacefully marched all over this country to end the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that didn’t stop congressional funding for them.

    We’re still spending Billions over seas, adding up to Trillions, and I haven’t heard one word about it today. 

    All to protect corporate interests and the elite hegemony.

    Look behind the curtain:

    Through various economies, different political cultures, and from one administration to the next, the same elite have maintained the reigns of power over our government and our people for over a hundred years.

    Keep blaming each other and the mythical ideologies.

    Meanwhile, most of the American economy is collapsing as ordained.

    Make sure you thank the right people before turning out the lights.
     

    • Trond

      Ralph Nader had a great quote, “The USA is a two party corporate dictatorship.”  Very true.  

    • ulTRAX

      Mythical ideologies? You mean the Right really DOESN’T have an ideology that the rich are the most worthy in society and government should work in their behalf?

      • ItchandMoan

        Oh, you kid – maybe, you are only joking.
        But, to clarify:
        Many have their ideologies, alright.
        My point is that they ARE mythical.

         

        • ulTRAX

          OK, got it!

    • Modavations

      I called Code Pink and Medea said this.Dem.wars good,Rep.wars bad

  • Trond

    I have been predicting this since 2002 – I firmly believe its going to be 2022-2025 until the US starts building again.  Beyond the economy and business sectors, too few people are getting the higher skills (college or vocational training) needed, and those who are, are often ill prepared for the real world.  Many State colleges are nothing more than paper mills, graduating students with expectations outside of reality of the education they received. 

    Although, the reality is still that only 3/4 of small- and medium size businesses (SMBs) that could export, do export.  In addition, some 70% of SMBs that currently export, are selling in the “wrong” markets.  Choosing to compete in the French market with 5 strong competitors, where they could be in Brazil with 2 strong competitors.  Or utilizing inefficient methodologies, such as importing low tech components from China, completing finally assembly with value-added components made here in the US, and then exporting.  Where final assembly should be done in the destination market to be more competitive and sell more units.

    My point is, the US government and States have failed for 30 years, and continues to do so, in export promotion.  99% of the time run by inexperienced staffers lead by senior business or civic leaders that have been put out to pasture as a figure head of a trade association. 

    We could bring employment back in the US if SMBs were provided the assistance they truly need.  SMBs cannot afford to hire multiple experts and most US college graduates are “specialists” without the broad-based skills needed to assist SMBs in succeeding.  

  • Dave in CT

    Did you guys watch this?

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/freedom-watch/index.html#/v/1151889001001/central-banking-the-god-that-failed/?playlist_id=163772

    Until someone rationally rebuts the points against Central Banking Management of the Economy, all these arguments about Dems and Repubs continue to be nothing but partisan fiddling while Rome burns.

    Learning about our fiscal history, discussing it rationally, and potentially reforming it, seems at the heart of emerging from our current dilemma.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard240.html

    • Anonymous

      This is a load of bunk. Going back to the gold standard is absurd.
      The
      idea is also based on the false idea that gold does not lose value when
      history begs to differ. It’s been rising but fell recently which
      debunks that guys rhetoric. By the way you have to be kidding about the
      Fox editorial BS, it’s nothing more than mouthpiece for the right.
      It’s
      so full of ideological misinformation and false claims it’s not even
      worth watching. I forced myself to see where you are coming from and I
      guess you are a member of the Flat Earth Society. 

      • BackToBasics

        Gold or silver backed currency are both poor choices. 

        Guess who controls the supplies above and below ground? It’s not what the money is, but who prints and controls it. 

        We need to get rid of the private bankers who are issuing our currency and we’ll return to a prosperous economy.

        By the way, Fox and other news outlets occasionally let some real, non-agenda oriented news out once in a while – even NPR does.

        It’s good to listen to all sources of information.  It helps hone your critical thinking skills and prepares you for discourse.
         

      • Modavations

        The absurdity is the 457 billion we will pay on interest ,on this years debt.It was only during the last 50 years that we created Fiat Monies.All countries collateralized their debts.If I were Europe,I’d ask for the Parthenon as collateral.

        • Anonymous

          The absurdity is that you leave out growth from people going back to work and unemployment going down. You know a normal healthy economy which would bring the debt down. Why do I bother even responding to you? You are so misinformed of even basic economics.

          • Modavations

            Quit the spending,balance the budgets(5% per annum),ban the EPA,NLRB,give out school vouchers,end welfare(slowly) and your employment #’s pop right up.Plainly said,get the jackboot of big govt.off our backs.

          • TFRX

            You gotta stop being BFFs with Bachmann.

      • Dave in CT

        Didn’t expect you to come back with economic arguments and mechanistic explanations.

        Party slogans and distracting promises have worn our their welcome.

        • Anonymous

          Why should I bother when you are not interested in reason.
          You post BS from Fox and you think it means something.
          It does not. The gold standard is gone and with good reason.
          Why do I have to look it up for you? Do some research.

          • Dave in CT

            There were great historical debates regarding the Federal Reserve and the Gold Standard.  The bankers won. Surprise.  Why you find it so distasteful to re-examine the issues after the greatest financial collapse since the Depression, when the fingerprints of the disaster have been identified and described as everybody’s old Democratic and Republican pal, in housing schemes, and Wall St. orgies, all fueled by Alan Greenspan’s Keynesian approach of free money for the speculators and all the political cronies of both parties.

            As a libertarian view of free markets influenced by Austrian economics firmly rooted in the Rule of Law, and notions of sound money, stand squarely opposed to the above, just what are you talking about?

          • Dave in CT

            I do not pretend to have the final answer on how to acheive sound money, but the notion of it keeping us from going hog wild, as opposed to recent monetary history seems incredibly important.

            This is a long, interesting watch, which sees the same problems, but does NOT think a gold standard is the answer.

            http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

        • Dave in CT

          jeffe I just saw your post rebuttal about the gold standard, and while I don’t think that settles it, I do apologize for my above statement.

          • Anonymous

            Dave, apology excepted. But what part of the idea of there not being enough gold in the world to support a gold standard is hard to understand? If the rest of the world did not also go back to a gold standard it would not help the US one bit and your argument is moot in my view. 

            As I have said, we have come to far to go back to a gold standard.

             

          • Gregg

            “Dave, apology excepted.”

            Spell checkers will bite. As you know I hate playing grammar cop but I’m not sure you didn’t do it on purpose. As the perfessor said: “It’s Freudian lad.To each his own”.

          • Modavations

            accepted,from here in the “peanut gallery”

      • Modavations

        Eve’s first words were,”bring me diamonds”(interchange with gold).It’s always been about gold and always will be.Freud says the gold is amassed to attract hot chicks.And So It Goes!!!

    • Modavations

      All the newspapers in Europe think Greece will default.How ’bout this novel idea:Term Limits and the Gold Standard,in the USA

  • EconomyDrain

    U.S. military bases overseas:
     
    The U.S. has over 700 military bases in over 120 countries around the world.
     
    Chalmers Johnson, author of The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic and NEMESIS: The Last Days of the American Republic,
    says that, “As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not
    recognize — or do not want to recognize — that the United States dominates the world through its military power.

    Due to government
    secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons
    encircle the planet.”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=U.S._military_bases_overseas

    • Modavations

      I remember Old Ike ,admonishing against the Social Services Industrial Complex.Keep your shirts on,it’s an attempt at levity

      • IkeAndSecurity

        Even in humor, wrong as usual:

        I wonder how many seniors who worked and saved their whole lives would be destitute now if it wasn’t for Social Security.

        On August 28, 1954 Eisenhower signed the Agricultural Act which brought
        3.6 million farm operators and 2.1 million farm workers Social Security
        coverage. Four days later he signed the Social Security Amendments Act
        which brought almost another 5 million people (doctors, lawyers,
        dentists, architects, accountants and other professionals as well as
        clergymen, and state and local retirement systems) into Social Security
        coverage.

        http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/social-security.htm

         

        • Modavations

          S.Security returns about 1%,on your money.I think bonds could handily outpace this rate.This is not govt. money,by the way,you paid in.Unfortunetly your share is used up in 5ish years,but you collect for twenty.

        • Modavations

          Where were you 6 months ago,when the govt.,for all intents and purposes,outlawed the small farm.Even friggin hay is now a pollutant according to EPA.

      • Anonymous

        You are not correct. Stop lying like nasty little child.

        • Modavations

          Stop hand wringing,it’s unbecoming.Try learning something for a change.

      • TFRX

        You are wrong. Again.

        And “levity” isn’t levity from a racist and sexist.

        (I’m doing this from Autotext. I’m tempted to write a little script.)

  • Anonymous

    This was a very good show, and I think it clearly presented a rational argument for more spending. We need growth, not austerity.

    • Dave in CT

      If after this whole debacle, people are walking away with debt=growth (healthy growth I suppose you mean?), we are really in trouble.

      • Gregg

        I agree. The inverse is also true: Not spending 100% of GDP does not equal austerity.

        • Anonymous

           We are not spending 100% of GDP. So get real buddy.
          OK lets do nothing and see what happens. Lets ignore every bit of common sense and history in regards to our economic situation.
          The funny thing is after WW2 we had more than 100% of debt to GDP and you know how we got out of it? By producing a lot of jobs and growth. Eisenhower built the interstate highway system and it put a lot of people to work as well as improving our infrastructure.
          The history of this does not back up your claims one bit.
          It does however prove doing nothing can be a disaster.

          • Gregg

            Really Jeffe, I don’t understand your animosity. Cool.

            We are spending 100% of GDP, look it up. It’ll mean more if you do it yourself. You make my point perfectly when you suggest we “do nothing”. No one has come close to saying anything of the sort. 

          • Anonymous

            I pointed out we did this before and survived. In fact it was a lot higher after WW2, look it up yourself. Doing nothing is what austerity is about, in fact it’s doing more harm then good.
            Nothing of the sort indeed.

            People have very short memories. The way out of this mess is jobs and decent growth. Not cutting everything down to a stump.
            If you keep pruning the apple tree to the point that it’s a stump it wont bare fruit.

          • Gregg

            By the time Eisenhower became President, spending (infrastructure and all) was well below 100% of GDP.

            No one is talking about cutting down the apple tree.

          • Gregg

            What happened to your “So what”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you saw the light but how did you do it? I can’t edit and mistakes are much easier to spot after I hit the post button.

          • Modavations

            How come during Eisenhower,the women could stay home and raise the kids.How come I could play outside all day and never worry about perverts.Pretty good times if you ask me.

          • Modavations

            It’s Freudian lad.To each his own

        • Fredlinskip

          Get rid of government and allow mob rule. Let the best man win, I say

          • NowNow

            After the mob rules, that’s when the vacuum is filled with what they called, the ‘reign of terror’.

            That’s exactly when the fascists take over – after you did their dirty work for them.

            We need an orderly evolution, not a revolution.

            Don’t fall victim to any other psychosis. 

            Or, you’ll just wind up with a boot or a bullet upside your head.

          • Fredlinskip

            NoNow,
            My mob rule was a satiric response to “Fox news” (Gregg), who believes that if we just have enough “austerity” and provide more breaks for the wealthy the ecomomy will magically rebound & deficits disappear.
            (this same course of action was taken just before Great Depression)

          • Gregg

            You have know idea what I think. If you have a response to something I actually wrote then have at it but please don’t put words in my mouth.

          • NowNow

            After the mob rules, that’s when the vacuum is filled with what they called, the ‘reign of terror’.

            That’s exactly when the fascists take over – after you did their dirty work for them.

            We need an orderly evolution, not a revolution.

            Don’t fall victim to any other psychosis. 

            Or, you’ll just wind up with a boot or a bullet upside your head.

          • Gregg

            Not a good idea.

      • Fredlinskip

        Debt = growth.
        Wasn’t that “deficits don’t matter” W’s philosophy?
        It seemed to work for Reagan too!

    • Modavations

      No one ever heard of Herr Krugman.You’d make him proud.

      • TFRX

        Wow. You’re not calling him a female.

        That’s a step up for you, pantywaist.

  • Modavations

    Just back from meetings with Berlesconi,Angela and Cameron.There were tourists everywhere.The locals are all employed,with money in the bank,but are making 30% less.Same gripes as here:govt.squandering of taxes.

    • DidNotThinkSo

      Anything about America’s Military Industrial Complex over there our how the gambling Central Bankers’ greed and corruption destroyed other countries’ economies.

      • Modavations

        Very little talk about U.S..They have there own problems

  • Modavations

    Thes best part about Berlin were the bullet holes,everywhere.I,unfortuneatly,couldn’t find any NAZI artifacts.

    • Modavations

      Where does a young man go for a good SS, Death Mask?I could only find one lonely Swatiska in all of Berlin.For all you geeks,you should see the architecture.They were obviously raised on “erector sets”.

  • Modavations

    Bad news kids,every German I spoke to said Hitler was a Socialist.The Reichstag was a set up by Danish Communists.I asked the difference  between a Communist and Socialist.They just shrugged their shoulders.

    • Anonymous

      Not this rubbish again.

      • Modavations

        I bring you proof and you say “poo poo”.What I love about the left is they get in a knot about Hitler,but have no problem with the fact that the other Leftists I mentioned killed 60mill.ish.

        • Anonymous

          What are you trying to say. That Stalin is fine with people on the left even though he murdered over 50 million people. First off this statement repugnant and you seem to get off on making these kind of nasty little childish statements with no baring whatsoever on facts.

          I wont even try to respond to the Hitler and nazi absurdity.
          If you were in a 20th century European class and you wrote a paper with this thesis you would get an F. You would get one here and in GB and Germany. For the last time, you are wrong. If you don’t get it, well keep on making those absurd claims. Next you’ll be denying the Holocaust happened.

          • Modavations

            My German pals say this is the way it went down.You guys like rewriting History,so have at it!!!!!!!Sort of when I said Medicare loses 120 Bill.ish to fraud and waste.Three weeks ago ,the lawyer in charge of prosecuting fraud said they cut checks for 54bill in outright scams and the rest brings it up to perhaps 90 bill.Newt was on a few weeks ago and said it is up to 120bill.The kid I had the beef with, was chal;lenging my totals.He had no problem with the 50-90bill in waste.His concern was my #’s were wrong.Son,I paint with the “broad stroke”.

          • Dave in CT

            From the nobel prize winning economist:

            http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

          • Anonymous

            Your German pals are winding you up. Rewriting history… what a joke.

  • HeIsBack

    Modavations, ‘the side-tracking master’ was just deployed again. We must be getting close to the root of the problem and our discussions are hitting to close to home.

    We hardly missed you – others picked up your slack while you were gone.

    • Modavations

      My troops are everywhere

  • Modavations

    Bologna is a gem and the Bpsi was off the charts.Babes per square inch,but all Europe is overpriced.They pay Euro’s and Pounds where we pa dollars:a two dollar coffee,costs them 2 Euros.Dry Cleaning was 6 Euro a shirt.I just buy new shirts.

  • Modavations

    I didn’t meet one German who thought Angela would not win an arm wrestle contest ,with Obama.He is a bit of a laughing stock,but you should see how the Brits write about Millbrand!!!

  • Modavations

    The Brits are up in arms about Welfare state,nannyism.They take offense with Muslim Women wearing the Headgear.The meanies have proposed ending checks to those with 4 kids, already on the dole.Personally I think Muslim women are covered, because they’re DOGS.

  • Modavations

    If you make $100000.00 in London, you pay 65% in taxes.College is no longer free.

  • Modavations

    Japan is a mess because the socialists have run the show for 50 years.They’re a strange crew in Tokyo.They have sex once a month,the young women dress like Betty Boob and they have Anime porn.

    • Anonymous

      My ex is from Tokyo and she would be pretty offended by this racist remark. You are like a child who needs to be told to shut up.

      • Modavations

        You’d love this one.Over 3000 kids are on a London ,govt.watch list.Some are 4 years old.The offense was calling each other racial epithets and “poofs”.Shut up,in my book is that Intellectual Fascism ,you guys like to call Political Correctness.By the way,I’ll fight for your right to speak and think as you will.

        • Anonymous

          It’s not political correctness to call someone out on being offensive.
          You were being offensive. It’s not about your right to speak rubbish.
          There is a difference between free speech and talking trash.

      • nj

        Ignore the Modatroll. Trolls love attention, any kind of attention. Any response = attention.

        Some forums have a mechanism which allows one to make posts from handles of one’s choice not show up on the forum.

        Disqus should provide such an option.

  • Modavations

    In London,they have BBC1,2,3,4..After listening to NPR London for three days,my wrists have gone limp!!!!

  • NotWorthIt

    Ignore Modavations… he can’t help himself.

    Guess he had no one to talk to or no one would talk to him.

    A limp mind is a terrible thing to waste.
     
    Good one, “parthenon as collateral”, so original.

    A dozen posts in row, now that’s some ego boosting.

    • Modavations

      I take it you’ve never heard of the Elgin Marbles.By the way,don’t say I’ve never turned you guys on to anything.If in London,make the first stop, the Courtauld Gallery

  • Modavations

    I asked an Englishman how long you could stay on unemployement?He said forever!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      There are some who are on the dole for a long time in GB but it’s not the norm. You can’t survive on the dole by the way.
      I’m not sure what your point is, as it seems pointless.

      • Modavations

        Poppycock.Ever hear of working under the table

    • TFRX

      But he wasn’t a cabdriver, like all the anecdata David Brooks gets, so he’s immediately suspect.

  • Modavations

    The guys that rioted in London are the same guys participating inthe Wall Street theatrics.At night ,they march with Mr.Maddow to end the Tortoise Holocaust ,visted upon them ,by BIG SOLAR

    • TFRX

      Ah, “Mr. Maddow” again.

      What, are you eight years old? This makes you look like a frightened schoolchild.

  • Modavations

    One of the BBC’s did a skit about Belgium’s lack of govt.for 15months.They too, said no one cared,or missed the solons.While they lifted my material,I’m a magnanimous(?) type.

  • Modavations

    America dwrafs all markets.We’ve never exported more then 8-10%.That’s gravy

  • Unmotivatedbyanything

    What we really need is government to confiscate more hard-earned income, take a cut for unproductive, administrative bureaucracy overhead, and then have some button-pushing nitwit decide which government program that long-ago stopped serving any reasonable purpose is not only extended but expanded.  Really this is the best we can do?

    • ulTRAX

      Gee, We The People are now $14.5 TRILLION in debt… $13.5 trillion  run up in the past 30 years that we REFUSED TO TAX OURSELVES FOR. It’s been party on the credit card for decades and yet you can come here pretending that taxes are too low? Just WHOM do you expect for pay for our irresponsibility? Our kids? Our grandkids?

      Thanks for a perfect example of the spoiled rotten Free Lunch Right.

      • ulTRAX

        EDIT… the above should read “yet you can come here pretending that taxes are too HIGH?

        • Gregg

          Dude, taxes were not once mentioned. Talk amongst yourself.

          • ulTRAX

            Get a life Gregg… “confiscate more hard-earned income” IS right wing talk for taxes. How come I knew what he was talking about and you didn’t?

          • Gregg

            Golly gosh ulTRAX, make your own code as you will but realize, “confiscate more hard-earned income” means don’t raise taxes in this economy and you read “taxes are too HIGH”. They are not the same… but that never stopped you. The argument of today is Obama’s tax hike bill.

            BTW, I’ve got me a fine life.

          • ulTRAX

            We all know your game Gregg. You seem to think you can start reposting your Orwellian Right lies and distortions in a new forum even though they’ve been discredited in the past debates. And so it is with your other game where you CLAIM you’re not against tax increases in principle… only not in this bad economy. Yet you ALSO wrote that you were against raising taxes in 2007 when you claim the Bush economy was roaring, because those tax cuts created a revenue boom.

            So your despite your contradictory claims, your ONLY bottom line is you’re for the irresponsible Bush tax cuts period.

            So for ONCE why don’t you just be honest AND JUST SAY SO!!!!

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            I like to say I’m more conservative than Goldwater.  He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax.  — Pete Seeger

            So your saying Gregg is an reincarnation of Barry Goldwater.     The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          • Gregg

            That’s way too dramatic. Just don’t raise taxes in this economy, that’s all.

      • Modavations

        Wait till all our creditors find out we’re going to stiff them.Just like Greece

  • ulTRAX

    SO WHERE’S THAT CONSERVATIVE NIRVANA????

    These past 30 years the rich, corporations, and Wall St. got just about EVERYTHING they wanted… tax cuts for the filthy rich, big reductions on capital gains taxes, free trade deal to exploit cheap and slave labor overseas, corporate welfare, two wars they refused to pay for, deregulation of banks, mass media, and commodities. They sabotaged government revenue with irresponsible tax cuts and sabotaged the industrial base of America with free trade. Their privatization efforts in Iraq milked taxpayers for $100k+ a year contractor jobs that our military should have been doing for a fifth that. They encouraged us to place our life savings in the hands of sociopathic predators on Wall Street whose greed and hubris was so great they didn’t just bring down their own banks, they brought down our entire economy… almost the world’s.

    ALL THE EVIDENCE IS NOW IN, and it’s these conservative/neo-liberal policies were a DISASTER. At least some neo-libs like Clinton got us to a balanced budget which Bush sabotaged to prevent debt paydown and now have some regrets about free trade and deregulation. Do you ever hear any regrets from the far Right or the crazed Tea Baggers?

    Above was just the beginning of their proposed insanity. The Tea Party sociopaths in Congress are demanding policies even MORE insane than the above.

    The Right have become fiscal terrorists threatening to blow up the system if they are not allowed to do even MORE damage. They are blind to the fact that they have gotten most of what they wanted these past 30 years and there’s still no Conservative Nirvana. They blame their failures on not being extreme enough. And these lunatics are say they can be trusted to fix our system??

    If anyone should be reforming our system, it’s those whose instincts were sound in OPPOSING all of the above insanity… people on the LEFT.

    • Modavations

      Hong Kong,Mexico,Singapore,

    • Modavations

      It’s not Detroit,Philadelphia,Trenton,Oakland,or any town run by the rascist left.And all for a frigging vote

    • LinP

      That is outstanding. Thank you.

    • Modavations

      I heard this quote from Prez.Bill…..We will run 200bill.deficits for as far as the eye can see.Newt and the boys took over, dropped the cap.gains taxes and away we went.But you guys love to rewrite history.

      • ulTRAX

        Only one rewriting history is, as usual, you M. The Tax Relief Act of 1997 was a tax CUT designed to REDUCE revenue. It was expected to LOSE in its first four years in Billions -9.4  -3.8  -18.6  -20.9 or about $42.7 BILLION. It SET BACK getting to a balanced budget. And if tax cuts were the magic revenue machine as in your delusion, then we’d have been rolling in revenue during the Reagan and Bush years. Not that you care about sources since you never cite any yourself, but intelligent people might want to know

        http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/tax-analysis/Documents/ota81.pdf

        BTW the internet boom/bubble would have happened WITHOUT any changes to capital gains. If those rates hadn’t been passed, Clinton might have gotten to a surplus sooner. The GOP did try again in 98 and 99 to sabotage the surplus but those tax cuts, fortunately, were vetoed.

        • Modavations

          Why did the Dems. vote to keep the Bush Tax cuts in play?

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Gee… because the Democrats are fools? Oh I’m sorry, I’m being too kind.

            With the economy as it is, it might not be a good idea for letting Bush’s TEMPORARY tax cut expire, the GOP was so desperate to keep those tax cuts for the rich (and keep sabotaging the finances of government) that they would have made all sorts of concessions if the Dems let those tax cuts expire.
             

    • WhatYouWishFor

      That’s why were going to get exactly what we deserve – four more years of the haphazard Obama administration, or if you would prefer to call his administration, Bush lll and lV

      No change, no hope, just the full-on mirage this time.

      Now, do you understand why we are not given an authentic choice?

      I’m sure the banksters and Wall St. will be very satisfied.

      • fredlinskip

        If you listened to the program, it would seem that whoever is in office for either party is going to be flailing away at an answer- What was brought on by 30 years of generally absurd economic policy will not be changed overnight. Of course Americans want “quick fixes”- Well in this case there ain’t one. What is clear from this show is that one of the 2 political parties is much likely to bring about positive albeit slow change, while the other party is likely to steer us towards a possible 2nd Great Depression. And if we continue with half measures because there is no cooperation between parties, economy is likely to stagnate like Japan for long long time.     But I agree, the banksters and corporatocracy are the only ones ‘laughing out loud” at the rest of us these days.

    • Gregg

      What? Do you keep this comment on file and post it every 2 weeks or so to puff up your ego with sycophant “likes”?

      • Fredlinskip

        Better that, than a sycophant of Fox “news”.

        • Gregg

          Er… ugh… never mind.

      • ulTRAX

        Ya Gregg, I’m just aglow over a whopping 16 “likes”. Man I’m getting SO SO SO close to breaking the old record… that apology for banning people. Did it get… 24 likes? Bet even you voted for that one… right?  

        Like I said when last week when you got all dramatic… or was it paranoid, and claimed you were outnumbered 100:1… you were just, again, being delusional. But I guess to those that get 3 votes, 16 likes seems like a landslide. To the non-delusional non-paranoids, it’s ONLY 16.

        But let me give you some advice. A self-proclaimed wise person once said “You choose your “likes”. Once that reality is realized it changes everything.”

        Wow! Heavy man!!!!

        Let me know how’s that philosophy works out for ya, ok Pickles?

         

        • Vote4Self

          Pickles… now you’re getting personal.

          • ulTRAX

            Not at all, Gregg once admitted he was heavily invested in the pickle equities. ;-)

          • Gregg

            Not sure I remember that but it was a good year for cukes from the garden and I have several quarts of pickles canned.

        • Gregg

          Wow, you’re worse off than I thought.

          • Modavations

            He’s a kid who’s accomplished nothing in his life.It’s a defense mechanism.

      • ulTRAX

        So Gregg… why are you EVADING the question?

        WHERE’S YOUR CONSERVATIVE NIRVANA????

    • OneStepCloser

      I’m in Conservative Nirvana – all those loonies seem one step too close to the edge. (No Paul intended)

      Where’s Pat Buchanan when you need him?

      Looks like there’s only one choice… OBAMA.

      Just what I was afraid of.

  • ElfmanNW

    Lost decade? Maybe a lost century if
    the Tea Party type Republicans can repeat their performance in 2010,
    and at the Presidential level as well, and fulfill their goal to take
    the country back to the late 19th century. Here’s a clue
    though if all but the upper class had it tough then consider what it
    would be like to repeat now. Given the shift in population from
    small farms into cities and their suburbs. Given the competition
    from China, India, and third world countries for manufacturing and
    hi-tech jobs that would have been unthinkable then. Given that the
    amount of money spent on the military and military adventurism abroad
    would have been unthinkable to those of every class back then. Given
    that the 19th century ‘robber barons’ for all their faults
    very much considered themselves Americans and were interested in
    building financial empires constructed on American factories and
    enterprises. The same financial class today would sell American and
    Americans down the river for an extra cent per share of profit or
    extra $100,000 in bonuses.

     

  • Bruce

    In response to Dave: “Alan Greenspan’s Keynesian approach…”  Wasn’t Alan Greenspan a devotee of Ayn Rand?  He must of really twisted his neo-classical, libertarian roots with the monetary policy you correctly criticize him for.  I would have called his approach misguided, not Keynesian…and he admitted as much in his testimony before Congress on 10/23/08. 

    • Modavations

      Remember the three monkeys(hear no evil)………Alan Greenspan,Bush Jnr,Barack Obama.

    • Dave in CT

      Was is true.  If stuck to his roots, he wouldn’t have been a bubble pumper. But we all get corrupted I guess.

      • Fredlinskip

        Glad you got that off your chest there Dave.

    • TFRX

      He was shocked. Not like Captain Renault’s “Shocked, shocked!” But genuinely shocked!

      He couldn’t get over the idea that the Fighter Pilots of Capitalism acted dishonorably for personal gain, unlike the heroes in his fantasies.

  • Vader.

     The Federal Reserve, a private, for profit corporation. I urge anyone who wants to really understand the history of this country to watch this compelling documentary. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXt1cayx0hs

    It will open your eyes. It did mine. 

    • Dave in CT

      Would the 5 people who liked this please indicate what political figure or philosophy is most in line with fighting against what you find disturbing about that film, and what it means to our status quo?

      Thanks

  • BizarroWorld

    I’m still waiting for the ‘invisible hand’ to smack Greenspan around.

    Rand’s disciples are a kick in the head – like there is such a thing as a ‘free market’ economy – like bubbles actually correct themselves – like greed and corruption automatically bring themselves into self-righteous alignment.

    Maybe in ‘bizarro world’.
       

    • Dave in CT

      Start over. What starts the bubbles?

      Greenspan, in case you missed the conversation, was far from a Randite by the time he was in power at the Fed.  

      The monetary manipulation of Central Banking, that fuel and exaggerate all speculative bubbles, are exactly what Austrian economists argue against today.

      • Fredlinskip

        Greenspan following collapse in testimony to congress admitted he had been wrong in his continuous mantra of allowing “markets to regulate themselves”.A little late weren’t you there Al?

        • ShockedDisbelief

          Here’s Greenspan’s lines:

          “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of
          organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they
          were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity
          in the firms [...]

          “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending
          institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a
          state of shocked disbelief.”
           
          Oh, by the way, Dave in CT:

          “…Alan Greenspan never broke with Ayn Rand. In his 2008 memoir, The Age of Turbulence,
          he writes, “[o]f all my teachers, Arthur Burns and Ayn Rand had the
          greatest impact on my life… Ayn Rand expanded my intellectual
          horizons, challenging me to look beyond economics to understand the
          behavior of individuals and societies.” He speaks warmly of her
          throughout the book, even knowing all that he did about her
          skeleton-packed closet; his loyalty elicits both sympathy and
          exasperation.”

          http://www.theawl.com/2011/04/when-alan-met-ayn-atlas-shrugged-and-our-tanked-economy

          Once an ‘objectivist’ always and ‘objectivist’.

          Oh, just a little another aside…

          I’ve been reading on the mises.org (austrian school of economics and its academy) web site for almost fifteen years and have been familiar with the economic philosophy of Rand’s ‘objectivism’ and its fallacies for thirty.

          • Dave in CT

            The Fed throwing free money into the system is the core driver of speculative “investment” bubbles and unsustainable economic sectors.

            The Free Market can’t handle Free Money.  Scarcity, and the Supply and Demand that act with it, are perturbed by the free money, as choices are no longer constrained.

            Not that hard to understand is it?

            But then, this is the “we create demand by debt-based government spending, not individual wants/needs within their means” crowd.

          • Dave in CT

            Alan Greenspan, Fed Head, was F.O.S. What’s  shocking about that? He played his role, and the right people benefited. Not you and I, but then we aren’t bankers and Wall St colluders.

          • Dave in CT

            “…Alan Greenspan never broke with Ayn Rand. In his 2008 memoir, The Age of Turbulence,he writes, “[o]f all my teachers, Arthur Burns and Ayn Rand had thegreatest impact on my life… Ayn Rand expanded my intellectualhorizons, challenging me to look beyond economics to understand thebehavior of individuals and societies.” 
            Actions speak louder than words. Do you disagree with that?

            Greenspan’s actions were anathema to anything you would read at Mises.org

            Regardless, relying on the evil caricature of Rand, who was at the most extreme end of libertarianism, for better or worse, does not support an argument.  Maybe on MSNBC where presumptuous characterizations given in winks and nods substitutes for factual discussion of empirical information.

          • Dave in CT

            and perhaps you need to read a little more carefully at mises.org

            http://blog.mises.org/11695/greenspan-the-libertarian/

          • ulTRAX

            Ah gee… MISES!!!! OF COURSE… from where all truth flows!!!

            So how do unregulated markets protect themselves from the 1% amongst us who are sociopaths… and gravitate to Wall Street?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/26/stockbroker-psychopath_n_981950.html

             

          • Dave in CT

            Why would a rule of law that lays the transparent, even-handed ground rules within which a free market operates allow sociopathic behavior?

          • Dave in CT

            Truth? That’s a tough term for social and economic sciences.

            But I guess an economic view that admits humility in NOT being able to predict accurately what people will do with their $, and thus does NOT claim an ability to centrally manage the economy effectively, and instead lets people’s own judgement and choices drive the market is pretty close!

            Not to mention being historically accurate in terms of predicting financial messes, like our current, caused by centrally directed and leveraged mis-investment and bubble creation.

            Meanwhile the mainstream economists…. “oh, nobody could have seen this coming…”

            Then again, we have already determined that the status quo DOES like the bubble economic model that maintains them in power, haven’t we?

      • ulTRAX

        Sure the government can make it easy for bubbles to start, such as keeping interest rates so low that those seeking higher returns move their money into riskier “investments”. But that’s not CAUSATION.

        Bubbles start because people believe they can buy low and sell high. Eventually, if it seems a sure thing, they might believe they’re fools for buying high but believe some Greater Fool will come along and pay even more. Eventually the money flowing into the scheme slows or stops, the prices are no longer being bid up, people get scared and try to get out before the prices plummet.

        Bubbles are the MARKET at work.

        • ulTRAX

          None of the above is to say government might not like such bubbles. After all, given the how bizarre economic thinking is in the US… everyone looks at their portfolio and thinks they’re rich. But it’s not real wealth… it’s only on paper. None the less, people act richer and tend to spend more and this helps stimulate the economy. Government might love to have such a dynamic in motion. Bubbles can buy cheap growth… and bring in revenue, but when they collapse there’s a steep economic price. What made the housing bubble worst was that banking and commodity deregulation left the market free to become seriously irresponsible if not deranged. Bush made it worst by freeing the major investment banks of leverage limits. Instead of 12:1… they went to 40:1.
          What Dave is trying to do is claim the market itself is blameless, it’s all government’s fault. But no one was holding a gun to the heads of these investment banks or lenders to concoct these toxic derivatives or forced anyone to invest in anything. But it seems in Dave’s mind freeing the markets to be irresponsible is government’s fault. Yet he doesn’t like government regulation that kept these greedy sociopaths in check.

          • Modavations

            All the anti-monopoly laws were rescinded,Cox and the regulATORS were marrying their kids off to Maddoff’s lads,Barney and Dodd were saying’No Problem Here”.,Maxine was saying “just move along please”.Not only do we need termlimits,but the average, run of the mill Hack, should also change jobs every ten years.Keep them fresh and on the ball

          • Dave in CT

            M what is your reply to the standard critique that liberty principles just breed monopoly and cannot handle malfeasance in the markets?

          • Modavations

            We had anti-monoploy laws up the yin yang.We also had Fritz-Hollings to help meet budget targets.I just want minimum govt.I believe in individuals.

          • Dave in CT

            And explain how minimum government can achieve prevention of individuals or groups of individuals who scheme to game the system, financially or politically. This is where people lose faith with liberty positions. So trying to spell it out, so there is a vision that others can see, and they must address or rebut, when they defend big gov as necessary.

          • ulTRAX

            I don’t know who Cox is. But as usual, you seem to want to hold all GOPers blameless. Which only AGAIN proves your opinions have no connection to reality. The simple fact is that we’ll NEVER solve our problems if we let those we tend to agree with off the hook for their own scurrilous behavior. Dowd especially and Chuck Schumer are pro-Wall Street hacks that I might agree with on some social issues, but I KNOW they can’t be trusted. Schumer is the one who worked to preserve the 15% tax rate for hedge fund managers. I’m also on record that Dowd-Frank is farce that really did little to put the choke chain back on these Wall St sociopaths. Sadly you’re too much of a right wing partisan to ever hold the GOP responsible for its misdeeds… proving you’re really NOT concerned about wrongdoing in Washington in principle… only Democratic wrongdoing. How goddamn noble of you.     

          • Dave in CT

            Cox- GOP SEC head

            He is holding GOP BlameFULL

            Corruption and Collusion, and Crony Stooges

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Cox

          • Modavations

            Cox, a republican,was the head Govt.watch dog.His daughter married Maddoffs’ son(?)who he was supposedly,overseeing.By the way,being a righty does not mean I’m Republican.

          • Gregg

            How do you not know who Chris Cox is?

          • ulTRAX

            Our Village Idiot didn’t mention a first name and since I don’t watch Entertainment Tonight or Inside Edition, I don’t know whose kids are marrying whom. Sue me.

          • Dave in CT

            How many times have I called for Rule of Law, to keep schemers and colluders in check.

            You could never inflate the bubbles to the extraordinary levels they get to, without the cheap money the Fed lends to specu.. er, investors.  The investment banks that offer up 40:1 leverage to their traders, could never act so boldly without the Fed spigot turned on.  

            Bubbles and Fear and Greed, that lead investors and speculators on chases all the time, are a case of human nature and greed, as you rightly point out.

            But the point is that the Federal Reserve and Lack of a Sound Money monetary situation, are what make the size and destructiveness of the bubbles so terrible.  We can’t avoid the bubbles anymore- they are core to our economy.

            You nailed it when you described how governments love bubbles. Because they can pander their asses off with all the false growth they shower around.

            So why you trust the government, who has clearly been corrupted, or the FED, which is completely unaccountable to do the right thing is odd to say the least.

            Would returning to sound money and reigning in the Feds Bubble Economic model remove human nature from us all? No. But it wouldn’t be able to magnify its to monstrous levels that serves no-one but the debt collectors and investment bankers who collect free money in interest and trading fees for the whole charade!

            Throw in all the cheap hard assets and property they can buy up after they bust, and yeah- a swell model indeed!

            Keep supporting the banksters.

            Rule of Law to punish financial schemers and true purveyors of ponzi schemes or corruption and collusion of markets? Yes!

            Supporting the ultimate Ponzi scheme that is the Central Banking concept that brings War and Financial Armageddon to the globe every so often, while ensuring perpetual interest payments to the bankers? No thanks.

            Will we still suffer from the follies of human nature? But lets not give it any leverage.

            To think one can omnipotently remove all human folly or greed from the earth with the enactment of a big enough, smart enough government (supported by enough debt), is frightening.

            AND NO, AS IVE SAID OVER AND OVER I AM NOT CLAIMING ANARCHY OR NO PROSECUTION OF PEOPLE WHO ACT MALICIOUSLY IN THE MARKET

    • Modavations

      He’s married to Andrea Mitchell.Hell on Earth I’d say

  • BackItUp

    In reply to Modavations comment on the Medicare fraud of a $120 Billion-ish:

    It would be nice if you gave some sources for the numbers you throw around so readily.

    Since you have been away, you might have miss this one:

    $12 Million PER DAY for the last TEN years:

    “A nonpartisan panel reporting to Congress says the United States is
    wasting $12 million a day among contracts issued in support of American
    efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-31/politics/wartime.contracting_1_contract-reform-misdirected-money-iraq-and-afghanistan?_s=PM:POLITICS
     
    How’s that for wasting your tax dollars?

    • ulTRAX

      M was constantly using that wrong number and I CORRECTED HIM a month ago. The correct number is about $75 billion… still outrageous, but a far cry from $120. But he’s back posting the wrong number? Of COURSE he is. He’s never one to care whether his opinions are based in reality.

      • Modavations

        I loved it when I told you the S.o.Def.Green Book request was 533billion.I gave you two websites.Govt.Org.(?) and Sec.of the Defense.You wrung your hands and said Govt.org isn’t a legitimate voice.Well lad,what about the Sec.Of Frigging Defense???

        • ulTRAX

          GET A CLUE EINSTEIN… govt.org is NOT a real US government website. It’s registered to someone in LUXEMBOURG!!!! 

          http://whois.domaintools.com/govt.org

          As for your claim about defense spending, here’s my response from the

          More evasion? I asked you a DIRECT question where you get your numbers and you refuse to answer saying you’re going to stick to your first number.  According to THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLES Table 3.1—OUTLAYS BY SUPERFUNCTION AND FUNCTION: 1940–2016  estimated defense outlays for 2011 are $768 billion not $550… but then when did you ever seem to care about the facts.

          Are there ANY intelligent right wingers out there?

  • polistra

    There’s nothing wrong with a decade of stagnation.

    Economists and politicians have grown accustomed to a bizarre form of backwards thinking, in which infinite increase of numbers counts as health, and stability counts as disease. 

    In fact stability is health and infinite increase is cancer.

    The industrial side of Japan is doing just fine, but their investors are not doing fine.  THAT’S JUST HOW IT SHOULD BE!!!  THAT’S HEALTHY!!!!

  • Hopeful

    Maybe it’s time to get back to fundamentals.  What is it to live in the 21st century?  Dollars, yen, euros, or something more intangible? Call me naive, but we have conquered so much that has scared us in the past.  Many illnesses are routine cures now.  A farmer can produce 100x what he could 100 years ago, the computer in my pocket is amazing.  Let’s make sure every human can enjoy the fruits of our accomplishments.

    • henry

      Into what rabbit hole did you fall ? There are no farmers..there are corporations producing food that has no taste…but it does have “shelf life”…Kids are fatter….Cancer is increasing soon to surpass heart/stroke maladies….diabetes growing leaps and bounds … In general Cancer patients aren’t living longer, we are just detecting it earlier…There were two significant problems solved early 20th century less women dying at childbirth and less diarrhea in children ( number one and two killers at that time )…that jumped the average death age from approx 50 to approx 70…We are keeping people alive that have zero quality of life because they are worth something (money to the medical communities)…This is one very scary age…greed is rampant !!!

      • Gregg

        “We are keeping people alive that have zero quality of life because they are worth something (money to the medical communities)”

        That’s why, when and if government is footing the bill, we need death panels. Right?

        • henry

          Certainly it’s not the rich footing the bill !!! 
          Right ?Raise FICA …make it a flat tax ….on the cap. gains and other “hidden venues !!!They got it by fixing the game…Take the magnets off the tables

        • Modavations

          General G,didn’t you mention being a liberterian-green.I like death panels,I’m a Soylent Greenie

          • Gregg

            Goodun! I think I’m a crunchycon.

  • Anonymous

    What I heard, on this broadcast this evening, was that Japan had people getting married later, having fewer children, etc. Do these panelists fail to read U.S. news reports that Americans are ALSO waiting to get married, having fewer children, etc. due to the economy here? Maybe Tom Ashbrook hasn’t experienced the adversity of the present recession,  depression, or whatever it is we’re going through, but a bunch of the rest of us are. In my opinion (not original; I read it somewhere) the economy began its downturn in late 2001 and hasn’t really recovered since then.  I believe it partly because I lost my job (one I’d held for over five years) in late ’01 and it took me until November 2003 to get another permanent, full-time job. I was able to support myself by living with roommates and working temp jobs, but it wasn’t easy. 

    • Gregg

      In 2001 the effects of the bursting of the dot com bubble were being realized. Then 9/11.

      In 2003 tax rates were lowered across the board, revenue went up and the unemployment rate went down for 53 months. Your story fits but the economy did rebound and was kicking butt until 2007. 

      • Sfwmson

        it was ‘kicking butt’ because wall street was running and soon ruining the show.

        • ulTRAX

           Aside from the Housing Bubble, what about all of Bush’s deficit SPENDING? In FY03 the true Bush deficit was -538 BILLION. in FY04 it was -568 BILLION. $1.206 TRILLION of Bush’s deficit spending in two years can buy a LOT of Keynesian stimulus.  Source: US Historical Budget Tables Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS… on-budget deficit column.

      • Fredlinskip

        Fox “news”,Revenue went up for a while under W, because there was a huge financial/ mortgage/housing/financial bubble going on. Everybody was borrowing and spending. Consumer spending drives the economy. “Deficits don’t matter” W administration meanwhile borrowed more $ and supported war profiteering and generally encouraged every rapacious corporate practice possible. Of course all that $ went somewhere, No? It didn’t explode in a bomb over Iraq. It temporarily stimulated the economy, but in general trickled up to those who need it least. So now “supply-side” economics has reached it’s fruition. Congratulations Reagan fans. The $ is all concentrated in a few hands- BUT DON”T WORRY BECAUSE IT”S ALL SOON GOING TO COME TRICKLING DOWN.I know so, because Gregg saw it on Fox news.

        • Gregg

          Your Fox obsession is hilarious! Check the numbers. They are what they are.

          • Fredlinskip

            Fox “news”,  (You’re the one who said Fox “news” was absolutely “fair and balanced”).    The nation’s job base grew at a slower rate during Bush’s presidency than for any president in postwar era- that despite an economy when Credit-induced spending (therefore inspiring growth of economy) was at a record high . Check the facts.     W policies and record borrowing practices benefited those the supreme court has now deemed “individuals”- corporations that is. Those “individuals “ have reaped huge profits. The rest of the population not so much. Check the facts.    (Hint- you won’t find them on Fox “news”.)

          • Gregg

            Revenue went up and the already low unemployment rate went down after the tax cuts. Fox has nothing to do with it.

          • Fredlinskip

            The nation’s job base grew at a slower rate during Bush’s presidency than for any president in postwar era- that despite an economy when Credit-induced spending (therefore inspiring growth of economy) was at a record high .
             Check the facts.
            (Hint- you won’t find them on Fox “news”.)

          • Gregg

            The unemployment rate slowly fell from 6.1% to 4.4% after the tax rare reductions. Tough times indeed.

            Revenue went up and the already low unemployment rate went down after the tax cuts. Fox has nothing to do with it. What do you dispute?

          • ulTRAX

            And in 2009 unemployment reached 10.1% under those same Bush tax rates!

            More proof tax cuts perform miracles, right G?

          • Gregg

            Did anything happen in 2006 or 2008? Who said tax cuts perform miracles? Didn’t unemployment rise in 2000 under the Clinton tax cuts? I try to avoid the personal stuff but you really are quite a joke.

          • ulTRAX

            My point has ALWAYS been that your claims of a direct or implied causal link between irresponsible tax cuts and economic growth, decreased unemployment, and increased revenues are intellectually dishonest. My examples only show two can play that game and it’s easy to make the OPPOSITE case. I admit my examples are true but, unlike you, I don’t claim causation.

            History shows the ONLY predictable outcome of tax cuts designed to reduce revenue is the obvious one: THEY REDUCE REVENUE. All the rest of your claims are just Orwellian Right justifications used to sell or justify these fiscally irresponsible tax cuts which are designed primarily to help the rich. Politics demands these tax cuts be across the board but it’s not that the GOP cares about anyone else. It’s the price the GOP is willing to pay to buy votes… and if their goal is really to sabotage revenues to undermine New Deal and Great Society programs, then the more taxpayers they kick off the rolls the faster they can accomplish that goal. It has the added benefit that it allows them to make the case that after tax cuts, the rich are being “gouged” because they pay a bigger percentage of the now smaller tax pie.

          • Gregg

            Never claimed causation. QUOTE ME!!!!

            I have repeatedly shown the corelation that outs the lie. I’m tempted to say you “claim” tax cuts “cause” less revenue but I don’t want to get into your gutter. And you can’t even offer a correlation to support it regarding the Bush tax cuts. That is unless you use the word “if”. The numbers out the lie.

          • ulTRAX

            Gee Gregg… I’m not saying tax cuts reduce revenue… CBO SCORING says so.  What you’ve been claiming for at least 6 months is tax cuts INCREASE revenue… because at some point in the future they might exceed revenues under previous law. It’s an intellectually dishonest argument because it IGNORES all the decreased revenue for 4-5 years… then pretends that despite the expanded population/economy that matching previous revenue proves tax cut DON’T cut revenue.

          • ulTRAX

            The lie isn’t high tax rates guarantee economic growth. The lie Right’s claim LOW tax rates do… something you’ve repeated endlessly these past 6 months even if you’re now pretending you’ve never claimed causation.

            That there can be robust growth with higher top tax rates.. even as high as 90%, only disproves what the Orwellian Right’s been claiming for 30 years.

            My own view is there can be growth under low or high tax rates… that there’s NO single variable in economic growth. But what is certain, tax cuts  REDUCE REVENUE COMPARED TO PREVIOUS LAW.
             

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg wrote about his endlessly repeated claim tax cuts bring in more revenue: “Never claimed causation. QUOTE ME!!!! “Gee Gregg… given that pretty much ALL you’ve said for the past 6 months… maybe longer… how about this quote from the 4-14 forumOne of the main reasons, besides the tech bubble, that revenue grew under Clinton was a result of him cutting the capital gains tax. Tax cuts work. I await a retraction but I won’t hold my breath. If Gregg can’t be intellectually honest about simple budget matters, there’s no reason to expect him to do so with the content of HIS OWN POSTS.

          • ulTRAX

            Not sure where you get your numbers G… I get mine from the BLS. I hope this displays correctly…

            Series Id:  LNS14000000
            Seasonally AdjustedSeries title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate

            2000
            4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9

            .

          • Gregg

            My bad, I should not have singled out 2000.  It rose a half a point by the June 2001 cuts and another point and a half by the May 2003 cuts. The unemployment rate went up under the Clinton rates. You said (notice, I quote you), “And in 2009 unemployment reached 10.1% under those same Bush tax rates!” It’s a stupid argument and that was my point but if you want to be consistent then be consistent. 

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg loves to claim that tax cuts can’t negatively affect revenue because at some distant point in the future they rebound. I’ve repeatedly pointed out to Gregg over the past 6 months the error in his “logic” but he’s not interested in logic, only his Orwellian Right view of economics. Revenue tends to grow automatically as a function of inflation and a growing population/economy. What these irresponsible tax cuts do is depress that growth curve for 4-5 years but eventually the growth in the economy will generate revenue equal or surpassing revenue under previous tax law. Gregg IGNORES all the lost revenue and presents this eventual rise as PROOF tax cuts don’t reduce revenue. Gregg’s “logic” is akin to an 18 year old who’s repeatedly stayed back and is still in 8th grade. This time he eventually graduates to high school. Gregg ignores the fact the kid’s 4 years BEHIND and  SHOULD be already graduating high school and just looks at the fact he’s finally doing 8th grade work. SUCCESS!!!     

          • Gregg

            “Gregg loves to claim that tax cuts can’t negatively affect revenue because at some distant point in the future they rebound.”

            Never said it. QUOTE ME!!!! The Bush tax cuts for the poor in 2001 dropped 6 million off the tax rolls. Of course it negatively affected revenue!!! Is this where you change the subject again?

          • ulTRAX

            FINALLY!!!!!! Gregg admits what everyone else knows… tax cuts REDUCE revenue.  

          • Gregg

            Wait a dern minute! I have been totally consistent, you are the one who keeps insisting what I think. Why are you so obsessed with these crazy absolutes? “Tax cuts” can reduce revenue, increase revenue or do nothing but give back some freedom. Tax cuts for the rich affect the economy differently than cuts for the poor. Tax credits (often dastardly conflated with tax cuts) redistribute wealth and always reduce revenue. There’s rate reductions, capital gains reductions, Alternative taxes, Death taxes, regulations, loopholes and the state of the economy to consider. Dude, take off the blinders. The big world requires a broad perspective.

          • ulTRAX

            FINALLY you’re catching on that there are more variables in the economy than tax cuts? Progress is being made.

          • Gregg

            I’ve never ignored the effects of the dot com bubble, the “Contract with America”, the Republican takeover, 9/11. You have, it’s all Clinton.

          • WheresTheRetraction

            Ultrax destroys your argument that the GOP had much to do with the Clinton busget surplus in the Sept 30 forum.

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg is again claiming a causal link he can’t prove that tax cuts = high employment… as if the economy would not have rebounded anyway? And what about all of Bush’s deficit SPENDING. In FY03 the true Bush deficit was -538 BILLION. in FY04 it was -568 BILLION.$1.206 TRILLION of Bush’s deficit spending in two years can buy a LOT of Keynesian stimulus.  Source: US Historical Budget Tables Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS… on-budget deficit column.

          • Gregg

            That’s so funny how you are completely unable to refute my claim: Revenue went up and the unemployment rate went down after the tax cuts.

            The funny part is how you ALWAYS tell me what I am trying to prove when I claimed no such thing. I’ll say it again, tax cuts do not neccessarily equal high employment but they did corelate during the Bush years outing the lie that the tax cuts were all that bad. Tell you what, you wrote: “Gregg is again claiming a causal link he can’t prove that tax cuts = high employment”. By “Again” you must mean more than once. SHOW ME ONCE!!!! QUOTE ME!!!

          • ulTRAX

            Interesting… you’ve spent at least SIX MONTHS here making the connection between low taxes and “unleashing the economy” under Clinton and how the Bush tax cuts cut unemployment and revenues finally climbed above Clinton’s last year… yet you’re also claiming now you’ve NEVER made such connections.  Sorry Gregg… I don’t have time for your latest nonsense, evasion, or psychotic episode. But then, HEY… this is what we should expect from the Orwellian Right.

          • Modavations

            Go ask JFK his thought behind cutting taxes

          • ulTRAX

            Gee… JFK… actually LBJ, stopped at about a 70% top marginal tax rate. There’s NO evidence he intended to cut it down to today’s 35%. If the JFK tax cuts are what you think performed economic miracles… fine… let’s double today’s 35% rate and BRING BACK THE TOP JFK TAX RATE!!!!!The problem with tax cuts is they might nudge the economic equation for a short time but then a new equilibrium is found where those tax cuts have no effect. And the Right never wants to recoup lost revenue when times are good. Yet the Right’s argument is that there must be permanent or even CONSTANT tax cuts. They pay no attention to… or WELCOME, the growing debt their fiscal irresponsibility creates. With no evidence to back up these claims… the constant cries from the right to preserve tax policy that failed… or delusions more tax cuts are needed to solve every problem… has to be seem as a self-induced psychosis.   

          • Fredlinskip

            Fox “news”What I am obviously disputing is that W tax cuts are the reason revenues increased for a short period. There were many reasons revenue temporarily increased. The most major being a huge housing/credit/financial bubble environment where everybody was buying (woo-hoo!) thus a strong (but short-lived) economy resulted. It was o foundation on sand Thus the word bubble- It was a mirage! When it Popped, economy came to Earth and a lot of people got hurt- or did you notice? The only folks that made out were profiterring and financial manipulating corporations..      Fox News (the TV station this time) wants to manipulate this issue both ways- if revenue goes up they want to claim tax rates as the cause. If revenue goes down they want to say “starve the dang beast” (which of course means there is no way to pay down debt) In a recession or an economic boom answer is always same- tax breaks for the folks that least need them.    We just went through a 30+ year experiment of lowering tax rates for wealthy and deregulating- Look what happened!! Yeah, media outlets dedicated to the ideals of corporatocray are going to spend billions trying to convince the public that what GOP has been preaching for 30 years, and so obviously hasn’t worked, is what we should continue to do. It’s up to those left still able to actually diseminate the truth from fiction to do so.     Less revenue does not equal more revenue. That’s ridiculous.   Fox “News”,- you seem to be reasonably intelligent – I would think sooner or later you’d get it.   You say you’re a news junkee. Are you the sound byte king or something. Ever read a book? Read. Learn.

          • Gregg

            “We just went through a 30+ year experiment of lowering tax rates for wealthy and deregulating”

            There your problem. You should not rely on ulTRAX. He got something like 250 “likes” by saying it but just think a little. Bush 41 raised taxes. Clinton raised taxes.  That’s within the 30 year window. In 1994 (a mere 17 years ago) Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, don’t forget that.

            So, let me see if I get your drift. The commodity bubble (and not tax cuts) caused more revenue for Bush but it was tax hikes and not the dot com bubble (or cap gains cuts) that caused the Clinton revenues. 1994 had nothing to do with it either. Anything good that happened under Bush was a result of Clinton and anything bad under Obama was due to Bush.

            The fact remains, revenue went up and the unemployment rate went down after the Bush tax cuts.

          • Fredlinskip

               You ever feel as if you’re talking to a brick wall and then wonder why am I doing this? I bet you have. You’re the one that said “Fox news” was “absolutely fair and balanced”. So there’s an indication right off the bat that you really don’t care about truth.    Tax rates for wealthy have declined since Reagan, and deregulation has increased which has coincided with out of control debt and deficit. How can you say otherwise?    That’s looking at “big picture”.    You call the Credit /mortgage/ financial bubble years under W’s term a “commodity” bubble- don’t you think you MAY be underrating it just a bit? Just a chance. Maybe?    (Don’t give an inch -Ultrax is watching- give an inch you’ll give a mile).    I ‘ve gotta go. Keep pluggin’ there Gregg- you’re an inspiration to us all. (And continue to read nothing but sound bytes- you might get confused).

          • Gregg

            What about Clinton raising the top rate to 39.6% don’t you understand? I still don’t know why you are injecting Fox into this, You’ve never watched. I do listen to NPR and the BBC. 

          • Modavations

            You can only remain a lefty if you hide from the real world.If you want to learn politics like us big boys,watch Washinton Journal(c-span &;00-10:00am).I force myself to watch Chris on MSNBC.I grin and bear it,but draw the line at the others.Just hate speech

          • Gregg

            I do the same thing with Matthews. Couldn’t live without C-Span.

          • Modavations

            That’s why your General Gregg

          • ulTRAX

            Congrats Gregg… the local Village Idiot is singing your praise!  

          • Fredlinskip

            Fox “news”,    1) You stated that Fox news was “absolutely fair and balanced”, which is an obviously ridiculous statement if one is able to slightly disseminate fact from fiction. This indicates in bold letters that you yourself are not “fair and balanced”. Get it now? I don’t know how to spell it any clearer. That is as clear as language permits.     2)You avoided and changed the subject with your reply. So I’ll state again: Tax rates for wealthy have declined since Reagan, IN GENERAL, and deregulation has increased which has coincided with out of control debt and deficit and wages stagnated for wage earners (inducing borrowing). This has been the general trend for 30 + years. How can you say otherwise? Unless you just don’t care about facts. We’ve endured a 30 year experiment. The results are in.     3) And Fox “news”, I recently stated “many economists seem to believe that Obama stimulus package may have staved off what could have been much worse- perhaps a depression” and you asked indignantly to “name one”.Did you listen to program? all economists on this broadcast seem to agree with that statement. They are not hard to find. 

          • ulTRAX

            Gee Gregg… using your intellectually dishonest false causation logic, I can also claim unemployment went down and revenues went up after Bush illegally invaded Iraq! My problem is I can’t figure out whether it’s illegal invasions or needless wars that gets the credit. Please advise.

            BTW… Gregg’s use of the phrase “revenues went up” really means from the huge black hole Bush’s own tax cuts created. The Orwellian Right used this same trick in the 80′s to also “prove” the Reagan tax cuts resulted in a revenue boom.  

          • ulTRAX

            And so eventually unemployment went down… SO WHAT. The unemployment rate under Clinton was LOWER down to 3.9% with HIGHER taxes, than Bush’s best at 4.4%… AND Clinton got us a $90 Billion surplus in 2000 and Bush’s best year after the tax cuts were fully implemented was $-342 billion. Only in the mind of the Orwellian Right is this proof tax cuts perform miracles.

             The only REAL predictible consequence of tax cuts is the obvious one… LOWER REVENUES. Just because the economy eventually grows enough to provide higher revenues to exceed some previous peak is NOT proof tax cuts produce more revenue but proof of LOWER revenue. The reality here is that in constant dollars revenues have been virtually FLAT for 11 years. Only in the mind of the Orwellian Right is this proof there’s no revenue problem.

            Sources…

            REVENUE: Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS: 1789–2016 of the Historical Budget Tables… on-budget column.

            UNEMPLOYMENT: Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population SurveyBLS Series Id:           LNS14000000Seasonally Adjusted

          • Gregg

            Okay, let’s play you’re game. Graph revenue on a straight line from the end of the Clinton years (BEFORE Bush), following the path they were on (free fall), and see where we would have been now. Ignore the impact of 9/11 while you’re at it if it will help. Do the same with the unemployment rate. Then get back.

            BTW I have no idea what your point is. It certainly has nothing to do with my reply to “Olderworker”. Is there something specific I wrote that you can dispute? Do tell, please.

          • ulTRAX

            Clinton revenues were in “free fall” in 2000? My God Gregg… where are you getting your numbers. You were wrong about the 2000 unemployment numbers and now you’re claiming Clinton’s BEST YEAR, where there was a true on-budget surplus of 86 Billion was some sort of disaster?  Revenues begin to drop in FY01 where Bush turned that 86 Billion surplus into a -32 billion deficit… a 118 billion turnaround. 

            BTW, I use the on-budget numbers because unified budget numbers show internal borrowing from the off-budget trust funds.

          • Gregg

            Yes, Clinton’s revenues were in free fall after March 10, 2000. The unemployment rate was heading north. Project those trends forward and get back. Hell, it’s your logic.

             

          • ulTRAX

            You seem to be confusing 2001 with 2000. Clinton left office with the unemployment rate for the last three months of 2000 at 3.9%. See chart above. Unemployment started to go up in 2001.

            Time to deal with reality Gregg. Up for it? Didn’t think so. So I won’t hold my breath waiting for a retraction.   

          • Gregg

            No, you are wrong. If you go here and enter 2000 t0 2001 the results will be broken down in months. Unemployment was rising sharply in Dec. 2000. Please issue a retraction then project that line.

            This whole thing is stupid as hell. I’m not making your argument, I’m showing you it’s foolish and even if you give it credence it doesn’t work for you. Bush inherited a mess. It was NOT Clinton’s fault. Revenue was plummeting and unemployment was rising because of the dot com bust. The tax cuts were not evil and did not “cost money” as claimed.

            The occupant of the White House is but one factor and you seem to think it’s the ONLY factor. That’s myopic ideology. Congress matters. Bubbles matter. The mood of the electorate matters. Conditions on the ground (9/11) matter. Baselines matter.

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg… you’re just being dishonest AGAIN.
             

            I DID BREAK IT DOWN BY MONTH…. AND THE LAST 4 MONTHS OF 2000 SHOW  A 3.9% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. Deal with it!

            But I’m sure you want to dishonestly claim that if it dropped to 3.8% for a month, that should be the new baseline. Gee… 3.8%. And you’re bragging that 4.4% under Bush is proof his tax cuts created an economic miracle? 
             The clear upward trend in unemployment began with BUSH. Now is that entirely his fault? I never said that. What I HAVE said is it was irresponsible for both the Dems and the GOP to propose ANY tax cut in 2000 based on projections the surplus would go on forever… because it was the product of a lot of work… and a record long economic expansion. We had a chance to start paying down debt and BOTH parties were being irresponsible… but clearly the GOP more so… especially since Bush ran on PRESERVING the surplus as a top priority… AND HE LIED. Once in office he did EVERYTHING he could to create more debt. But then that’s been the GOP plan for the past 30 YEARS. 

          • Gregg

            So you ignore the Bureau of Labor and Statistics who say different?

          • ulTRAX

            No Gregg… YOU are ignoring the BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment stats which CLEARLY show the last 4 months of 2000 had a 3.9% unemployment rate. I posted the BLS data set I used. Seasonally adjusted unemployment started to go up in Jan 01. Now a blip is not a trend even if you pretended it was with the March 2000 3.8% number. But clearly it was an upward trend in unemployment starting in January 01… and you can’t blame 911 for it. But sure, economic slowdowns happen especially after a record long economic boom.  I’d accuse you of deliberate dishonesty, but given you have no understanding of basic budget concepts, why should I assume you can read a simple BLS chart?    

          • WheresTheRetraction

            Looks like Gregg runs away from another retraction. Ultrack’s numbers are correct.

          • ulTRAX

            As for Clinton’s revenues… here are the revenue numbers… current dollars from Table 1.1 of the Historical Budget Tables.

            FY97 1.578 trillion

            FY98 1.722

            FY99 1.827

            FY00 2.025 

            If I were to chart them, I’m not sure what method to use… percentage increase or average dollar increase. Of course either would be skewed by how many years I went back.

            But if we take that roughly 450 billion increase over Clinton’s last 4 years and project that into the Bush years we’d get 2.475 trillion by 2004. Actual Bush revenues for 2004 were a paltry 1.880 trillion.

            Feel free to use these numbers to prove your claim the Bush tax cuts created a revenue boom… ROTF

          • ulTRAX

            I should add that if I used constant dollars… corrected for inflation, the Bush revenue numbers would be even more pathetic. But then what the hell do you expect when Bush and the GOP pushed through SIX tax cuts… each one passed while the national debt grew and grew.

            http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/tax-analysis/Documents/ota81.pdf 

          • Modavations

            I see 200Billion dollar deficits “as far as the eye can see”……………
            Ask the first of the great taxpayers, JFK,why he did it.Any fool would know ,the more bucks in your pocket,the more you’re apt to spend.Clintons future economic projections were wildly optimistic.I won’t talk about the tech bubble.I think NASDAQ fell from around 4500.

          • ulTRAX

            While I’m STILL waiting for you to provide a source for your “far as the eye can see” claim, it’s clear if there were such a prediction in the early Clinton years it wasn’t wildly optimistic… it was overly PESSIMESTIC. You DO know the differnece, right Einstein?

          • Eliminations

            ulTRAX – You and The Do Good Gauge are taking the bait.  Ever heard of the phrase ‘don’t try arguing with a sick mind’.  Don’t let this condescending pander get to you. Let the child play in his own sandbox by himself. 

          • ulTRAX

            Don’t worry… I realize debating with those who have sabotaged their intellects, rewrite their own history, and don’t respect facts, is a waste of time. One can’t argue facts with those who have no respect for them. I do plan to leave… in fact I was going to post a goodbye today. But I’ll see this debate through. 

          • Gregg

            “Feel free to use these numbers to prove your claim the Bush tax cuts created a revenue boom… ROTF

            Er… Bush wasn’t President yet and the rubber didn’t meet the road until 2003. I don’t know where you get the idea I think the tax cuts created a boom anyway. It was not a boom. It did however get us through 9/11 and the Clinton recession. It’s amazing really. Who’s ROTF?

          • Modavations

            Lefty hieroglyphics

          • Gregg

            The dude’s a waste of time.

          • ulTRAX

            Gregg wrote… and like any Orwellian Rightist hoping no one will dig up his old posts: “I don’t know where you get the idea I think the tax cuts created a boom anyway.”

            Gee Gregg… because you’ve been posting the same claim for SIX MONTHS?

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for proving that when I meet YOUR challange, you have the integrity to admit you’re wrong… no wait.. you’ve been EVADING my response and trying to change the subject.

          • ulTRAX

            How do you want these numbers Gregg? I need more than one data point. Will the last 3 years of the Clinton era suffice? Here’s a BLS chart for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate

            http://data.bls.gov/generated_files/graphics/LNS14000000_57145_1317244265788.gif

            They generate them on the fly so I hope it will remain up. The Clinton curve whould have eliminated all unemployment by 2004. Of course that’s not possible but you asked.  

          • Gregg

            Your link doesn’t work. Try this one: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

            Unemployment bottomed in March of 2000 then was steeply rising by the end of the year. 

            You’re hopeless.

      • ThoseWereTheDaysMyFriends

        Not to mention the commodity bubble and energy bubble in the interim.

        While the real estate/credit bubble was inflating, every industry was living off of fast and loose money provided to us by … wait for it…

        The banksters.

        Remember people using there homes as ATMs.

        They count on us forgetting easily.

      • Anonymous

        The WHOLE thing, and that is not an understatement, was financed by fraud-based lending, almost all of it secured by collateral that is now worth $8 trillion less than when the money was lent.  If you don’t understand this, you can not put your “statistics” in the useless  category in which they belong.

      • ulTRAX

        Gregg is AGAIN misstating the facts. The EGTRRA Bush tax cuts of 2001 were to be phased in starting in 2001 thru 2006. The 2003 law just sped up phase-in. Gregg has been corrected on this before but probably thinks he can blame lower revenues in 01 and 02 on Clinton’s tax rates. 

        This acceleration was predicted to cost -136 BILLION in revenue that first year. 

         

        http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/tax-analysis/Documents/ota81.pdf

        • NiceFollowThru

          Thanks for the ‘factup’ ulTRAX.

          • Gregg

            See above.

        • Gregg

          Here’s the difference between you and me, I remember the debate. I don’t need to google knowledge. I was outraged at Bill Archer’s phase in as were many people. It was a big deal at the time. The new 10% rate was made and the top rate lowered a half point. Other than that, zip as far as rates go. There were tax credits which is redistribution. You are the one misstating. Another correction the 2003 bill did not just speed thing up, it dropped ALL the rates RETROACTIVELY to Jan 1. Boom. No one is saying the 2001 bill stimulated anything before 2003. The purpose of the 2001 bill was to give certainty to the markets with a 10 year plan and to redistribute wealth to the poor by returning the surplus to the people.

          • ulTRAX

            Utterly clueless this was too embarrassing to write, Gregg nonetheless wrote: “The purpose of the 2001 bill was to give certainty to the markets with a 10 year plan and to redistribute wealth to the poor by returning the surplus to the people.”
             Are you THAT ignorant of the most basic budget concepts that you don’t understand the difference between a REAL surplus… ie. no debt and excess revenue… from an annual budget surplus?
             THERE WAS NO REAL SURPLUS TO RETURN TO THE PEOPLE. When Bush pushed though his irresponsible tax cuts We The People were $6 TRILLION in debt!!! All Bush did was redistribute the cost of HIS irresponsible fiscal policies TO OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS. How goddamn noble! The GOP’s strategy of fiscal irresponsibility, hoping to bankrupt the Democratic safety net with increasing debt, is nothing but INTERGENERATIONAL THEFT.   
            My God… Gregg… that has to me the final nail in the coffin… either you’ve totally sabotaged your own intellect and actually believe such nonsense… or you’re, as I suspect. PAID to post Orwellian Right propaganda here.

          • Gregg

            So Clinton didn’t leave a surplus?

          • ulTRAX

            Clinton left an ANNUAL BUDGET SURPLUS which COULD have been used to pay down DEBT. Please stop playing stupid Gregg.. unless your posts here reflect your intellectual best.

          • Gregg

            Gee wiz, make up your mind.

            Do you realize how crazy the idea of an “ANNUAL BUDGET SURPLUS” is? This is not a static world. Bubbles burst. Terrorist attack. The economy was in free fall.

          • ulTRAX

            LOL… the economy took a hit in 2001 but it was NOT in free fall. Again, despite your claims of having a good memory… you’ve not just confused 2000 and 2001…. you’re now confusing 2001 with 2008 and 2009 where the economy was TRULY in free fall.

          • Gregg

            The difference between 2001 and now is President Bush made a bad situation better and Obama made a bad situation much worse. things are not getting better and his only answer is huge tax hikes in a desperate economy. Suicide.

          • Gregg

            See the spike and fall. http://www.nyse.tv/nasdaq-history-chart.gif  It had no affect on anything, right? 150,000 jobs lost in one day. No biggie, right? http://comptroller.nyc.gov/bureaus/bud/reports/impact-9-11-year-later.pdf

            Is that accounted for in your beloved annual surpluses?

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Nice try Gregg… but your claim was that by the end of 2000 revenues AND unemployment were in freefall. I’ve posted BOTH numbers from credible government sources and your claim is NOT TRUE. FY2000 was Clinton’s best revenue year and 2000 ended out with a LOW LOW LOW unemployment rate of 3.9% for its last 4 months.

            CAN YOU DEAL WITH REALITY??? Didn’t think so.

            Moving the goal post and IMPLYING your claims are true in the face of all the evidence to the contrary is exactly what your intellectually dishonest Cato article does trying to “prove” Newt was responsible for the Clinton Surplus without showing they actually did much or cut enough spending to make up for those projected $200 billion deficits. This is a typical MO of the Orwellian Right… they concoct a story with smoke and mirrors then blast the mainstream media for covering up “the truth”. I suspect that if that’s where you get your “facts” from, then eventually that Orwellian mode of thought will contaminate even your own thinking.

          • ulTRAX

            Please Gregg… I know, or at least HOPE, you know the difference between a true surplus where there is no debt, and a mere annual budget which is just an accounting tool. But an annual “on-budget” budget surplus is the ONLY way to pay down debt. So PLEASE don’t insult our intelligence.

            So as long as we know the difference why is an annual budget surplus so crazy? Many people budget by the month and have something left over. That does NOT negate their mortgage or car payment… or perhaps it does with Free Lunch right wing families. After all, Bush and the GOP had to IGNORE that $6 trillion national debt before they could claim the annual budget surplus “proved” the people were overtaxed.

            Of course there’s always the possibility you’re totally ignorant of the most basic budget concepts which would explain your idiotic statement that Bush was returning the “surplus” to the people.

    • LoveAmerica-HateTheDammGov

      It’s going to get worst before it gets better. I have never heard of married couple that hate each other but are willing to wait out until the economy improve before filing for a divorce paper. I didn’t know if I should crack up or cry. How freaking pathetic have us American become? People can’t afford to get marry, can’t afford to get a divorce, can’t afford to have kid, can’t afford to buy a dam condom so that they can have sex without worry about having kid. All of these because a bunch of losers got greedy and bought houses and other luxury items that they can’t afford. Now they’re walking away from literally legal binding contracts to pay back what they borrowed and leaving these huge amount of bills for the US tax payers. Bush decided to go crazy and started 2 wars that just to tell the world how bada$$ we are. Well, we’re definitely a bada$$ and also a broke a$$ nation. It’s sad that we became a nation of incompetent leaders and greedy citizens.       

  • http://whilewestillhavetime.blogspot.com/ John Hamilton

    We don’t have an infrastructure of leadership that is competent to avoid recession or stimulate an economic boom. It would take a certain level of wisdom, integrity and humility.

    A good analogy woudl be to raise the question of why we are wasting trillions on our “wars” in “Afghanistan” and “Iraq.” It was never for the people of those countries, protestations notwithstanding. It was always about egos, and is to this day. We are there for the “legacies” and “reputations” of our “leaders.” The structure of peace is the structure of their “careers.”

    In this context it is easy to see why Obama chose Wall Street as his arbiter of economic truth when he assumed office. It is why he is obedient to Wall Street interests to this day. He has no comprehnsion of the need to drastically redistribute income and wealth in this country. His masters on Wall Street wouldn’t allow it.

    All our leadership structure is capable of doing is marginal change within severe structural limits, and those limits are determined by a narrow political and economic elite – the rich.

    • Dave in CT

      “We don’t have an infrastructure of leadership that is competent to avoid recession or stimulate an economic boom. It would take a certain level of wisdom, integrity and humility.” 

      Not to mention a crystal ball.

      Wisdom, integrity and humility are all great, and if truly followed, would lead one to drop the utopian notion of being able to centrally manage an economy, and the  collective “wisdom” of all it’s participants take the lead instead.

      The Road to Hell is Paved with….

      • ulTRAX
        • Dave in CT

          True Believer in what? People?!

          “Wisdom, integrity and humility are all great, and if truly followed, would lead one to drop the utopian notion of being able to centrally manage an economy, and allow the  collective “wisdom” of all it’s participants to take the lead instead.”

          I would hope people would think it necessary to refute the above point to a high, empirical fact-based standard, realizing that removing distributed power of the people is far easier than ever getting it back.

          And I don’t mean throwing out the well-deserved criticism of the neoconservative mainstream Republican party reality we have lived with, and hoping it sticks against more libertarian means that we haven’t even tried.

          • ulTRAX

            Hey, I’m a social libertarian at heart… and generally believe that laws that exceed legitimate intent are an abuse of government power. But I temper that with another belief.

            Like the Declaration of Independence succinctly states that morally legitimate government derives it’s just powers from the consent of the governed, I think the Rights of Man (1798) has some sections which succinctly state what I believe is proper balance between individual and social/collective rights:

             
            4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.
            5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.

            Where you and I might part company is on just what that harm to others consists of. It might be accumulating such great wealth that one can hijack a government or destroy democracy itself.

            http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp

            Either way, we’re way off topic.

          • Modavations

            Now you’re acting delusionally

          • Dave in CT

            Thanks for clarifying your views.

            I don’t have a problem with laws legilated by the people’s representatives, within the bounds of the Constitution. The Rule of Law needs, laws.

            I have a problem with corruptible centralized power, corruptible centralized decision making, and unaccountable institutions of power. All of which are an affront to liberty.

            I believe in maximum freedom and maximum transparency, to identify and punish, by law, or by collective different choices, collusive relationships.

            We have a large problem with Banking/Finance in our country, and I feel strongly that their has been a failure of rule of law, due to corrupted central planning (Gov Fannie and Wall St.) and possibly collusion among the banking class (Central Banking and Wall St.)

          • ulTRAX

            Leaving aside it’s antidemocratic defects and its reform proof nature, Constitution did try to impose a checks and balances system on the itself, the states, and the People. But that system has utterly failed to protect the integrity of “democracy” itself against the influence of big money.

            I blame mostly the Right which has always believed wealth was threatened by democracy and seeing an active populace as a threat, always wanted that money to be a counterweight… better yet to prevail. So it comes as no surprise that it was the Right wingers on the Supreme Court that struck down campaign finance reforms and hold corporations are people and money is speech.
             
             

          • Dave in CT

            Unlimited contributions, Total Transparency. People smart enough to decide.

          • ulTRAX

            Nice sentiment. I believe in the human POTENTIAL to be rational. I just don’t see much evidence of it. So where in your scheme are the checks and balances against an irrational public that is easily misled by the manipulations of big money?

          • Dave in CT

            This is where we part.  I have more faith in the people to see for themselves, or to have others around them make cases for what they see, and  then decide.

            You don’t need a Ph.D. to know when something stinks.

            I trust the people overall, acting with information and backed by a rule of law, more than a centralized group of perhaps well intentioned, but demonstrably corruptible/cronyistic, planners.

          • ulTRAX

            I’d have a lot more faith in the People if we had a society where so many rich and powerful interests, and even the political parties themselves, didn’t have a vested interest in the irrationally of the public.

          • Dave in CT

            So argue for rationality, empirical fact-based decision making, and total transparency in Government affairs. After that, it’s in the hands of the people, like it or not.

            Wishing you could impose something for people’s own good because you see more clearly, or know better, or haven’t been hoodwinked like everyone else, will just never fly. People value their liberty, independent thought, and freedom of choice in this country, thank goodness.

            If we could concentrate on the former, and actually get it done, perhaps we would need less hand-wringing about the latter.

  • Geoff

    What has made federal policies so impotent during the recession is the Republican’s insistence that things need to get worse in order to get rid of Obama, ignoring the pain that will cause.

    Congressional politics have devolved to the point where members make almost every big decision and many little ones on the basis of how much it will increase their stature and access to funds. That, our congress-critters are acting just like publicly traded corporations: they focus almost exclusively on maximizing quarterly earnings.

    Corporations report earnings to the SEC, politicians to the FEC, every quarter. In Congress, one generally advances nowadays by coming in over quota with their campaign finance dues to their party committee. In return, the committee dispenses money into their war chests when it is needed. So, the more a congress-critter raises every three months, the higher becomes their visibility in the party organization and particularly its leadership.

    This short-term thinking, like that among public corporations, is extremely destructive of long-term viability. It’s a myopia that is making America much less than it could be, yet rebuffs all attempts by citizens and outside groups to end this cynical, corrupt cycle of selfishness.

  • Phil

    We are reaping the harvest of at least two decades of wilful shortsightedness, building a society on the fallacy that unlimited growth
    is not only possible but inevitable, so that we can endlessly borrow against our future prosperity, whereas in fact our ‘economy’ is nothing more than reckless spending on consumer goods manufactured abroad. Those jobs that have not been exported have been automated. When this huge bubble finally bursts, the search for blame will tear the country apart.

    • Dave in CT

      “When this huge bubble finally bursts, the search for blame will tear the country apart.”

      It’s here!

  • ulTRAX

    Anyone else think the Twitter feed below is a pointless waste of space? The comments are all basically the same… “hey man, check out the show!” But since we’re already here we already KNOW about the show. If those Twits have anything to say they, it’s not going to be in 144 characters. They can say it here in the forum with the rest of us.

    • nj

      I’ve thought that since i first started visiting the forum.

      Just for giggles, put “Twitter is” into the Google search field in your browser, and note the suggestions that come up.

      Might be good for organizing the revolution, though.

    • SawAPutyCat

      Can you believe the Library of Congress are archiving all ‘tweets’.
      (I can’t believe I’m saying that word without saying, ‘I saw a puty cat’.)

  • LoveAmerica-HateTheDammGov

    Our government (both federal and state) kept hiring idiots at all level from management down to the worker bees. So what do you expect? We have tons of incompetent government employees that rape the tax payers of their hard earn money. Then come along Obama Administration asking us to sacrifice by allowing the government to raise our taxes to support these morons. Why should I pay more!??? 

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      The problem is not our governance, it is the vast majority of the citizens don’t know how to play the game. Ideologies serving a minuscule point of view have figured out how to pool their resources to gain favor in the system. There is no single ideology representative of the populace. Until the whole starts intelligently collaborating towards a common good expect to continue interpreting the system as unfair. Internet technology can alter this irrational exuberance of power.

      • nj

        Sorry, but even allowing for forum-posting expediency, for someone who writes a blog, the writing craft here is horrible. 

        The first paragraph is a total mess. “Ideologies…have figured out how to pool…”??” Until the whole starts intelligently collaborating towards a common good expect to continue interpreting the system as unfair.” ??

        The (sometimes murky) content, is also debatable. Most positive change is never initiated, supported, or enabled by the majority of a citizenry. It’s always a brave, visionary, dedicated, motivated few people. The trick is getting just enough people involved to get the job done.

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Totally agree with your last sentence.    I’ve always believed Benjamin Franklin’s Junto focus group was the key to his success; politically, scientifically, and with his success in entrepreneurship.

          NJ, I appreciate the feedback.    Clarity comes from refinement and feedback.   Blogs do not provide this.  I don’t consider myself a blogger.  The mission of my post is to market a new forum for civil discourse.

          The The Do Good Gauge is an initiative to describe and design a bi-directional support
          structure to motivate John Q. Public to express an articulate,
          respectful, and civil opinion. The goal is to do for the editorial page,
          what Craig’s List did for the classified ads. The infrastructure will attempt to steer individuals in the direction of solution instead of mayhem. The Do Good Gauge is a zero to low budget independent project relying on public thought and public time to design an internet media to promote civil discourse for social solutions.

          • Modavations

            You guys need to learn brevity.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            Have a huge collection of ideological favourites I’m attempting to learn from.

            Brevity

            Give it time.

      • Modavations

        Tea Party-Taxed enough already.The constitutional convention is to introduce term limits

        • Modavations

          and a balanced budget amendment

      • Modavations

        Tea Party-Taxed enough already.The constitutional convention is to introduce term limits

      • Modavations

        I was going to stick up for you,but your critic is right.You need help with “commas”.And good god man,keep it brief.Why do you think I bust my quips up.

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          I never claimed to be an English major.   My degree is in Computer Science.   In a new social media I was hoping others would help point out errors in grammar and punctuation.     Who or what is eLLEN tIBBLE?   Dare, I ask!

          • Modavations

            She posts here all the time.Her politics are suspect,but she’s not an idealogue.I find her eloquent

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            I’ll pay attention to her writing style the next time around.

            Times are tough and it is hard to afford an editor.  Resorting to blogs is a cost effective opportunity for critique.  Any advice on agitating people to provide a higher level of editorialization?  

          • Modavations

            If you use “agitate”,you’ll lose the right.If your audience is the left………then agitate,agitate,agitate.

          • Gregg

            Agitate? Did you here Obama’s speech to the CBC?

            Obama’s claim to fame is as a “community organizer”. That means agitator.

        • nj

          Ha ha! The Moda-troll lecturing about commas!

          Pot meet kettle.

      • Modavations

        If you want to write,read  eLLEN tIBBLE

      • LoveAmericaCantStandTheGov

        If your college roommate threw a baseball through your apartment window, do you split the bill with him to have the window repair or do you ask him to pay for the entire expenses?

    • FormerDedicatedGovtWorker

      Are you out of your mind?  Maybe you are incompetent.   There are highly educated and dedicated government employees that make you look like a lazy bastard. Who do you think organizes your social security check, or maybe your food stamps?  Who makes sure your food and drugs are safe?  Go live in a wasteland with your nutcase bretheren.  I prefer some structure in my life.

      • Modavations

        Chimps could do that work,for bananas

        • ulTRAX

          I don’t know how you can prove that but I’ve heard of a chimp working in Boston as a gem trader. And why not!! He claims he went to one of Boston’s best college, but being a chimp his writing and congitive skills are clearly limited. Want the address so you can check it out for yourself?

      • devildog_0311

        I’m sure it took over 100 government employees to do that work and each of these people probably make about $60K-$70K/year with sweet pension waiting for them. The same amount of work probably can be done by 50 hard working men and women in Alabama, Tennessee, or Kentucky for $40K-$50K without any promise of pension.

        I have been privilege of not needing the food stamp or other services provided to the the low income family. And I have no issue with helping out these unfortunate folks through my tax contribution and church donation. However, I do not feel that I should have to pay more of my taxes for less services. Why should I pay 1 penny more than what I already paid? Open your eyes and look around. The government services are slowly reducing while the fees are increasing (shorter public library hours, increase fee for DMV services, higher parking meter rate, larger class size for university students, limited number of classes, increase in public services fees (national park fees, camping, fishing license, hunting license, etc.)). This is not inflation, but plain old highway robbery. 

        So Mr. FormerDedicatedGovWorker, all I’m doing is paying into your retirement program and increasing your buddies’ salary. It seems unfair to ask that from hard working American such as myself especially during this difficult time. How about we share the pain? Ronald Reagan freeze all federal government hiring, when he got into the office. Government is too big, and we all know it. Get rid of the union and see where you’ll be a few months from now… 

    • Anonymous

      When I read comments such as this I think people like yourself are the problem as much as the incompetent government employees you complain about. Why should you pay more? Well unless you’re a millionaire I doubt you will for the moment. 

      Instead of asking why should you pay more, how about demanding our government work better. I don’t like a lot of what I see. I despise the GOP for being the party of no. For using the economic crisis we are for political gain. Witness the recent debacle over disaster aid and how Cantor used this for political gain. Disgusting.

      I despise the GOP for wanting to do away with every regulation even the ones that have proven to make society better. Such as the Clean Air Act. I dislike the Democrats for being a party that does nothing and can’t fight back. What we have is a dysfunctional government that is incapable of doing the peoples busniess and have become a tool of corporate interest.

      I’m not sure what the answer is anymore. I’m pretty sick of the whole damn thing. However I see a lot of Americans starting to show their true natures: which is intolerance and ignorance. 

      • Modavations

        Jeffee,there’s a book burning project at BPL at 5:00.I know the first book into your pyre(?) will be, “Road to Serfdom”!!!!What does Hayack know about National Workers Socialist Parties,anyways.

        • Dave in CT
          • Modavations

            Only Jeffe and the rest of the “thought police” crew ,thought National Workers Socialist Party was a ploy ,to hide the true right wing agenda

          • Anonymous

            You make no sense whatsoever. But then again a clown is not supposed to.

          • Dave in CT

            Did you read the piece by the Nobel laureate?  Everything said makes fine sense, if you know the background.

      • LoveAmericaCantStandTheGov

        Per your comment, “I’m not sure what the answer is anymore. I’m pretty sick of the whole damn thing. However I see a lot of Americans starting to show their true natures: which is intolerance and ignorance.”

        Good point and I feel the same. I definitely have zero tolerance for stupidity in the current administration 

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          I see the improvement from the previous intolerance in your name LoveAmericaHateTheGov to LoveAmericanCantStandTheGov.   Keep pushing to LoveAmericaSupportTheGov  Deep down in your point of view is a civil answer.

          I would suggest accepting some blame for your team.  I don’t foresee government improvement when party loyalist place all the blame on the other side.

    • Anonymous

      How would you know?

    • ulTRAX

      OK Einstein… say ALL of the government spending dropped to ZERO… and all those government workers you despise were fired… from the tax collector to every GI. We The People would STILL be $14.5 TRILLION in debt. Are you willing to pay the same taxes you do now and get NOTHING in return for perhaps 5-10 years? BTW, the  problem isn’t with government workers making out like bandits. It’s that the right wing philosophy you probably love has pulled the carpet out from under the rest of us… especially free trade and irresponsible tax cuts made where we were $6 trillion in debt.  Instead of railing against civil servants, you should be fighting for ALL of us to get back to where we were before this conservative insanity took hold in the nation. Up to it? Didn’t think so.    

  • AllTogetherNow

    Shed the Fed(eral Reserve System)

  • Pingback: The US Crisis and Japan’s Lost Decade « Joseph Nathan Cohen

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an interesting article on how the Obama administration has manufactured the Post Office crisis and it seems that the Republicans were in lock step in this offense. They want to lay off 120 thousand people in the midst of the worst financial down turn since the Great Depression. One of the reason that was not mentioned on the show about the Post Office, is that the Federal Government has been siphoning off billions for other federal pension funds for years. If the Post Office was allowed to run as it was meant to it would be in the black.

    How is this relevant? Well laying off 120 thousand people and closing Post offices that are used by poor and working class communities is what I call the real class warfare. 30% of Americans do not use the internet and in some neighborhoods there are lines out the doors at Post Offices on some days. This is a made up crisis to screw the American people. 

    Ralph Nadar has written about this and I see this as one of the largest government scandals not to be reported by the media.
    Shame on On Point for not doing a good job in it’s research.
    If you dig into this story it’s everything that is wrong with our government. We have two extremely dysfunctional political parties that are doing the bidding of the corporations.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/09/28/2011-09-28_you_dont_have_mail_bogus_postal_service_crisis_deserves_to_get_a_return_to_sende.html#ixzz1ZG47reQS

    • Modavations

      Fear not peeps.Jeffeee and the rest of the poltiburo types ,will rescue us.

  • Modavations

    What was Tina Brown going on about.She said Obama wasn’t ready!!!!What she’s really bummed about, is that the Prez.and the rest of the commizars have shown just how bankrupct socialism-communism really is.Hay is a pollutant according to the Brown Shirts at the EPA.

  • Modavations

    The Wall St.Protest is coming to Boston.From there they go to Kansas to fight the Pipeline,then off to Death Valley for the “End the Tortoise Holocaust” now campaign,then to BP headquaters to damn the pollutors,then to Anwar to protect Mosquito Migratory Lanes,then to London to burn down Brixton ,cause the place is run by capitalist Pigs,then to Greece to show Solidarity with the Govt.Unions.BUSY,Busy……..

  • Modavations

    Just got back from the therapist.He said the limpification of my wrists will clear in two days if I swear off NPR and MSNBC and 1 week if I remain a “stoic”.

    • henry

      Yeh, You do sound rather limpy…
      Check your twigs and berries
      Rather doubt you ever had them
      Blame that on the Democrats too, Dittohead

      • Modavations

        At 21 I was captured by hippy chicks in Sant Cruz.All they fed me with Brown Rice.

    • ulTRAX

      PLEASE stop flooding the board with nonsensical OFF TOPIC POSTS.

      This board is for DISCUSSION on the topic of the show, not for your verbal masturbation.

      • Modavations

        Stop calling everyone you disagree with, a name and I’ll attempt to stay on topic.I won’t hold my breath.

      • Modavations

        Dude,your posts amounted to two books,on this topic alone!!!!!!Here’s a tip.Break up your thoughts into small paragraphs.No one reads a long winded tome.

    • Gregg

      It’s really cool how you can make heads explode at will. Maybe I should refer to you as the “puppeteer”. Nice work.

  • The man from UNKLE

    The vast majority of the comments below have nothing to do with the show, right?

    It is known and accepted what caused the economic crisis. I find the perspective of someone like Richard Koo whose nation/people have been living through 20 years of stagnation quite interesting. He appears to have no vested ideological stance and gives the facts. No one appeared to be in disagreement with what he was saying. 

    The message, listen and learn, I guess!!

    Good show. Thanks

    • Modavations

      Japan’s Socialism-crony capitalism is where we’re headed and I can’t afford a lost decade.Romney care has saddled me with a Blue Cross Bill of $1002.00 per month.Insttead of 20 insurers competing,we have 4 crony-capitalist agents,colluding

      • The man from UNKLE

        I’m not sure what you mean. You have “Japan’s Socialism-crony capitalism” and “4 crony-capitalist agents,colluding”…. seems like an oxymoron.

        Again, I thought the point being made was that if the US looks at the evidence from Japans 20 year trouble, then decisions can be made to circumvent a similar future here in the US. That’s all. Seems rational, right??

        good luck, mate!

        • Modavations

          Japan is both socialist and crony capitalist.Notice how many govt.guys go to jail,resign their posts,etc,.They used to commit Hara Kare(?),in disgrace.This is the model we a re pursuing.Ge-Obama(the left even gets T.V. stations),Kerry-Raytheon.You want to avoid 10 years of malaise,then cut the govt.spending,balance the budget,get rid of half the Depts(energy,education,EPA,NLRB,QRS) and give the kids an education in private schools.

          • The man from UNKLE

            You did not listen to the show. That is exactly what NOT to do…. hare kare my posterior!

          • Modavations

            That was back when men were men.One of the great problems in the current world,is a lack of shame:ie Frankie Raines and Ms.Gorelik walking away from Fannie with 80million in commissions.In the old days the head of Fukiyama Nukes and the head of Toyota would have grabbed their swords

      • Anonymous

        Stop whining. If you don’t like it earn more money as you ideologues on the right are so found of spewing.

        It’s clear that you know nothing about Japan. I have been there a few times and was married to a Japanese woman. Japan was(is) one of the most capitalist consumer crazy places on the planet. Well it was until China took the drivers seat in the East.

        • LetTheChildrenPlay

          You’ve got too much to contribute by taking the high road.
          Don’t take his bait. Let him play in his own sandbox.
          People playing with toys have no use for logical reasoning.
          They are only good with constructing their own delusional realities.
          And, without conscience, trying to bully others into believing them.

        • Modavations

          Try swimming with 50 lbs.of ballast around your waist

    • Fredlinskip

      “It is known and accepted what caused the economic crisis” is kind of like saying “it’s known and accepted that man-influenced climate change is reality”. Great deal of America does not seem to know or accept anything they haven’t heard on Limbaugh or Fox “news.”    Without informed public there is no democracy.     If there’s any lesson to be taken away from this show, it’s if GOP regains more complete control of our government (with their consistent abuse of filibuster they have control of over half of it now), we are headed for at least a “double-dip” recession, if not a depression.    But I agree- VERY good show.   Thanks TON

      • Gregg

        I hate to keep picking on you but the Fox/Rush thing is sooo ridiculous. Your position seems to be that anything outside liberal orthodoxy is a lie propagated by Fox/Rush. That’s very shallow.

        You and “The man from UNKLE” say: “It is known and accepted what caused the economic crisis”. But you don’t say what it is. I can guess. Tax cuts and wars. Right? If so, that is a completely bogus unsubstantiated claim. It’s a fed talking point swallowed whole. And you complain about Fox/Rush.

        You go on to say: “it’s known and accepted that man-influenced climate change is reality”. Pulease!

        Did Fox get to this guy?

        http://www.climatedepot.com/a/12797/Exclusive-Nobel-PrizeWinning-Physicist-Who-Endorsed-Obama-Dissents-Resigns-from-American-Physical-Society-Over-Groups-Promotion-of-ManMade-Global-Warming

        • Fredlinskip

          Don’t mean to speak for Unkle, but believe, “The known and accepted..” line is in reference to the views espoused in the program we listened to. He (and I) have accepted the lion’s share of the views espoused on that program. You apparrently do not.

  • GrowUpManChild

    Modavations can’t resist having a captive audience and is continually filling these pages with unsupportable nonsense and drive-by drivel. 

    His need for attention is compulsively pathological and he should consult a different type of therapist. 

    People who conduct reasonable discourse on this site would be better off to ignore his infantile diatribes completely and to not encourage his ‘writing his own name in the snow’ style.

    • Anonymous

      My guess is he’s off his meds.
      Ignore the rube.

      • devildog_0311

        I assume the “68″ is your age and not your birth year. For that simple fact, you’re an old fart that with brain that’s barely capable of thinking logically. May be you should get back on your med before you blog.

      • LoveAmericanCantStandTheGov

        @Jeff68. I’m recalling me last reply statement. That was uncalled for – sorry I can’t delete. After reading most of these comments, it got to me. 

    • Modavations

      Let me clear them up then.Give me an example.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      He has figured out the game of existing blog technology.    Reason does not drive response.   Not everyone has the same desire or mindset.   Existing blog technology mixes everyone into the same pot which produces a foul tasting muck unworthy of pigs. 

      Existing blog technology is not solution centric.   Internet tools as they exist today promote a competition of one one-upmanship. 

      The few solution seekers quickly sink into obscurity.    This encourages even the more reasonable individuals to interact as Modavations.  

      New social media tools must provide the means to connect individuals with similar desires and similar motivations in thought for solution.   A system of publication and collaboration would provide the time for opposing points of view to develop more respectful responses.    A new system would not allow public feedback to derail the path to a reasonable thought.

      • ulTRAX

        There are such forums… Move On used to have one. It was marketed as a place Move On members could have a voice in decision making. Members could vote on posts/proposals they liked and the most popular were in a separate section. But being a member I soon realized it was a farce. It might work if there was ONE topic and forum would close once the vote was in. They did have some such forums but they were about rather trivial topics… slogans etc. The main forum just ran on and on… and there and NO way I could see where this in any way could inform MoveOn of anything… leaving them free to do what they wanted while pretending to value member input. Even their email polls asked us to provide feedback on options that could not have come from any member process. I protested at the forum and did a number of blog articles exposing the forum and it closed about 5 years ago. That it never reopened along the lines where it might actually provide real input confirms in my mind they never really wanted such input.

        http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html

         

  • Modavations

    I just googled Clinton says “200billion dollar deficits,for as far as the eye can see” and got at least 5 stories.You’re using a ‘lefty” computer.

    • Gregg

      I remember the quote well. Clinton had to submit 5 budgets before one balanced. He vetoed welfare reform umpteen times before signing. He did the right thing but he was kicking and screaming the whole way. Thank you Newt.

      • ulTRAX

        Do you suffer Alzheimer’s or are you deliberately posting lies again? We already went round and round about your Orwellian historical hack job back in the August 5 forum. Then you made the outrageous claim: “There was no way on God’s green earth he would have… reformed welfare… without the Republican takeover in 1994. No way.” Of course where ever you get your Orwellian rewrites of history left out that CLINTON RAN ON WELFARE REFORM. From his first State Of The Union… 2 YEARS before the Newt Congress… “Later this year, we will offer a plan to end welfare as we know it. I have worked on this issue for the better part of a decade.” http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=47232I’d expect a retraction but if you had any integrity you’d not have reposted your nonsense after Aug 5.
         

          

        • Gregg

          And Obama “ran on” no lobbyist, no tax hikes, no indefinite detention, no new wars, no extension of Bush’s tax cuts, closing Gitmo and on and on. What’s your point. Mine stands.

          • ulTRAX

            Let me see if I understand your “logic”. Clinton in 1992 runs on welfare reform and announced in his first state of the union that he’s going to submit a plan for it. YOU claimed it was Newt’s idea in 1994 and Clinton was dragged into it. I have the historical evidence of my contention… all you have is ANOTHER of your baseless claims.

            Yup Gregg… you’re right as usual.
             

          • Gregg

            “YOU claimed it was Newt’s idea in 1994…”

            QUOTE ME!!! I never said it. I did say Clinton vetoed it, he did (more than once). I do claim he would not have done anything nearly as dramatic if not for “The Contract with America”. So you tell me, what action did Clinton take before 1994, besides words?

          • ulTRAX

            Gee Gregg… I guess because you claim to have a perfect memory of the time, you didn’t bother doing any research beyond that Cato op-ed. If you wanted to know the history of welfare reform you would have EASILY found this timeline…

            http://www.apwa.org/reform/timeline.htm#1994

          • ulTRAX

            The timeline PROVES Clinton and the Dems were working on Welfare Reform in 93 and 94 BEFORE Newt took over in the House. You’re AGAIN being intellectually dishonest claiming if Clinton vetoed the GOP bills, he must have been AGAINST Welfare Reform. I know, I know, you keep changing your story. In reality Clinton thought the GOP bills too punitive. That did NOT make Clinton against Welfare Reform… and your comments: “There was no way on God’s green earth he would have… reformed welfare… without the Republican takeover in 1994. No way.”“He vetoed welfare reform umpteen times before signing. He did the right thing but he was kicking and screaming the whole way. Thank you Newt.” is just ANOTHER Orwellian Right rewrite of history designed to credit the GOP with anything you consider good, and blame the Dems for all that isn’t. Time for a retraction Gregg… but I won’t hold my breath. If you had even a smidgen of intellectual integrity you’d have dropped this discussion when you realized you were first proven wrong. Instead you just modify your story and double down.
             

          • Modavations

            Obama as Senator…..It is a friggin abomination to raise the debt ceiling

          • ulTRAX

            We’re talking about CLINTON… or are you confusing presidents as you confused Bush’s dismal unemployment and revenue stats for 2001 and claimed they were for Clinton’s last year of 2000?

            Your claim has been Clinton never wanted welfare reform and was dragged kicking and screaming into it by Newt. The fact is YOU’RE WRONG AGAIN. Grow up and deal with it! Clinton was working on it when he first got into office.  

      • ulTRAX

        Of COURSE you remember it quite well. ROTF But your Orwellian Right blinders blind you to the budgets the GOP submitted that CLINTON vetoed. You can’t admit that because as a right wing partisan you need to rewrite history to make Newt the driving force who must get all the credit for the surplus.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/08/us/with-first-veto-clinton-rejects-budget-cut-bill.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

        http://www.cnn.com/US/9512/budget/12-06/index.html

        • Gregg
          • ulTRAX

            You posted that farcical op-ed last month and I responded then. A month hasn’t made it more true.
            .

          • Gregg

            No, it was a different one. It’s a common conclusion. Stephen Moore is an occasional On Point guest. Nice dodge.

          • ulTRAX

            We KNOW you constantly rewrite history… U.S. and your own. You posted that SAME LINK in the August 5th forum. The only one dodging anything is you. Fess up Brainiac…

            Gregg 08/09/2011 09:40 AM in reply to ulTRAX What’s not true? Focus.

            It was Bill Clinton who, during the big budget fight in 1995, had to submit not one, not two, but five budgets until he begrudgingly matched the GOP’s balanced-budget plan. In fact, during the height of the budget wars in the summer of 1995, the Clinton administration admitted that “balancing the budget is not one of our top priorities.”

            http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5656Now, please ignore the numbers and points made, attack the messenger as biased, change the subject,  project some thing I didn’t say and love on Clinton.  

        • Modavations

          Orwell would slam you as the “thought police”.He’s on my side

    • ulTRAX

      It’s not OUR job to prove YOUR claims. Do us all a favor Einstein… if you want to play with the big boys, at least learn what a URL is and how to cut and paste…

      • ulTRAX

        It’s really amusing the depths the Right will sink to find a way to deprive Clinton of any credit for the Surplus, and hand it all to Newt.

        Reviewing the Cato garbage Gregg posted last August and whatever new stuff I can find… it’s all the same crap. It assumes a projection is reality. Yup, those projections that there’d be surpluses as far as the eye can see were really accurate too… or maybe they’d be closer if Bush and the GOP didn’t do everything possible to sabotage revenues.  

        So if that 1995 projection wasn’t accurate, the Right retroactively uses this as a place they can jump in and take credit without actually proving anything they did much… like show $200 billion a year in spending cuts that could offset this projection. But we don’t see ANY such cuts in the historical spending numbers. The Right also pretends a small 1997 tax cut designed to REDUCED revenue “unleashed” the economy leading to the surplus. They leave out the GOP tried to again cut taxes in 98 and 99 and were vetoed. If the GOP got its way there’d never be a surplus. And if that’s not enough evidence… the GOP got EVERYTHING it wanted in tax policy with Bush… and there was neither an “unleashed economy” nor a budget surplus. Yup… color me impressed!!!!

        • ulTRAX

          As I suspected, in retrospect the 1995 OMB and CBO projections were too pessimistic… predicting about 2.5% growth through 2005 when it actually averaged about 3.5%. http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/83559/cbo-numbers-or-fight

          Newt may have forced some spending cuts, but they also offset them with a 1997 tax cut that passed… and they tried even harder to undermine the growing surplus with proposed tax cuts in 98 and 99… which Clinton vetoed. Bush and the GOP drove the last nails into the Clinton Surplus… proving as Cato claimed the… “GOP’s single-minded crusade to end 30 years of red ink.” Seriously, Cato actually claimed this in 1998 even after Reagan sabotaged revenues and nearly the tripled the debt.

          http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5656

          And THAT’S why I call this right wing propaganda industry the Orwellian Right.  

          • Modavations

            Dude.Orwell is my side,He was talking about you politboro types in Animal Farm

      • Gregg

        A river in Egypt.

      • Gregg

         It’s you job to be informed before shooting off your mouth.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe you should try taking your own advice sparky.

        • ulTRAX

          I always try to be informed and present credible sources. Thanks for noticing.

          • Gregg

            Credible sources? Like Media Matters or the NYT?

          • ulTRAX

            You mean like the CBO, Historical Budget Tables, presidential speeches, etc? As for the rest, if they post relevant facts, then their editorial slant doesn’t matter. Unlike you I try to separate fact from opinion.  

    • Gregg

      Do you find it interesting that the informed NPR listeners know so little regarding anything outside the Liberal narrative? I sure do. How could a politically informed and engaged person not know about Clinton’s budgets? 1994/5 were pivotal years. The debate raged. Newt’s House along with the Senate changed the landscape completely. Clinton, to his credit, listened (begrudgingly) to the people. Obama’s giving them the finger.

      • ulTRAX

         
        I’m STILL after nearly TWO MONTHS waiting for you to actually PROVE that Newt was crucial in cutting $200 BILLION a year in spending to offset these alleged projections. I say alleged because all the sources you present are just right wing sources TALKING about these projections… never linking to them. Of course as I suspect, the more likely story is the projections were off, and the Right has used that wiggle room to insert itself as the crucial party in bringing about the Clinton Surplus. Otherwise they’d have to give some credit to Clinton’s own spending cuts/tax hikes…. and that’s the LAST thing the Orwellian Right would do. ALL credit MUST go to the GOP… even though under Bush they got ALL the tax cuts they wanted and it did NOT have the effect they’re claiming for the Clinton era. But then that’s why I call them the Orwellian Right… and that’s where Gregg and Mod get their narrative while decrying some liberal one. Sorry guy… you’ve again FAILED to make your point. Present some credible evidence and we’ll try to untangle this one… but I won’t hold my breath.

        • Modavations

          I guess the cirriculum at Patrice Lambumba University,is limited.I know a Hottentott in the Karib,who’s heard the 200billion dollar deficits, as far as the eye can see

        • Modavations

          This is similar to the Global warming debate.I told this kid to google Prof.Lindzer ,MIT atmospheric honcho(sloan award).He types back,you can’t believe him,he’s a skeptic!!!!No sh-t,Sherlock

          • Gregg

            Off topic:

            You mentioned you were a gem trader. I’m here in Taylorsville, NC. There is a little town very close called Hiddenite. I believe the largest quartz crystal was found there. There’s a fellow that reopened an old emerald mine and has had some dramatic success in recent years. Here’s the latest:
            http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Massive-emerald-found-at-Hiddenite-farm-101872333.html

            I’m just wondering if you’ve heard of my neck of the woods. Come on down, we’ll do lunch. I’ll pop.

          • Modavations

            Absolutely.They get Emeralds too.

      • Modavations

        And that General,is why Clinton ,after Ronaldos Magnus, is my favorite Prez

        • Gregg

          I give Clinton a lot of credit too. The buck stopped with him. It’s funny how the left regards the role of “The Contact with America” as completely inconsequential. It can only be blind ideology.

        • Fredlinskip

          Give me a hug there, little buddy.

      • Fredlinskip

        “Fair and Balanced”‘
        Do you find it interesting, that to Fox “news” listeners, anything to the progressive side of the viewpoints espoused by right-wing idealogues is considered liberal. I sure do.
        Without an informed public and media sources wtih courage enough to “speak truth to power”, there is no democracy.

        • Gregg

          It’s fair to say those commenting here are NPR listeners. It’s bogus and shallow to assume any disagreements come from Fox listeners.   Partisan does not conflict with fair. Rush is far far more fair than NPR.

      • Modavations

        They are 25% of the citizenry and are panicked as they watch their “world view”crumble.Wait till the blacks figure out what the Left has done to them.

        • Gregg

          Good point. Herman Cain is saying 2/3 rd’s of blacks have been brainwashed by Democrats.

      • ulTRAX

        Just how was 1994 a “pivotal” year when your precious GOP didn’t take over the House until 1995? Or is this just more of the bizarre confusion you’ve exhibited the past few days… like not knowing Clinton ran on welfare was working on it in 1993, or that you claimed the Clinton economy was in “free fall” in March 2000 then revenues plunged and unemployment went way up… when none of that happened until 2001 when the Bush Junta was installed. Despite your claim for remembering details perfectly from that time, it seems you’re confusing them with the Orwellian Right fantasies the GOP needs to deprive Clinton of any credit and hand it to Newt and Bush2.

  • Modavations

    This is unbelievable,but Tom A.mentions the $200 billion as far as the eye can see, in a show dated June 27,2011.

  • Modavations

    I’d give my right arm to see Cain get the Rep.nomination and have a Cain-Obama debate.Can you imagine Welfare blacks, debating laissez faire blacks.

  • Dave in CT

    Careful, this crowd doesn’t like the gold standard.

    couldn’t resist.

  • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

    I’m tired of media Gods such as John Stossels, Geraldo Rivera
    and to some extent On Point describing societal problems lacking any insight to solution.   
    Social Media needs to address problems not complain about them.    I
    need some help in what I’m thinking of doing. If not physically, at a
    minimum some moral support or advice.

    Maybe a bit of social mobility would help us out of the darkness.   There is so much to do and so many to do it.    I do not want to debate any more on these blogs.   I’m ready to roll up the sleeves and get to work.   First on the agenda is public transportation.   

    Conservatives would complain that public transportation is a drain on our federal tax dollar.   I’m guessing public transportation is subsidized much higher at the state level  than federal,  though will concede an under used transportation system is a waste of tax dollars.

    Tax cuts to public transportation system is not the answer.   Conversely, the burden of recruiting customers is not responsibility of tax subsidies.    This is where social media comes in to play.    Instead of doing a Stossel/Rivera program, how about a social media program to educate the public on the use of the local bus terminals.

    Call me a sloth or dult for being too stupid and lazy to figure out how to ride a bus, but I suggest the majority have my level of understanding.     Here in Chesterfield, MO there is a bus terminal exchange near the intersection of Interstate 270 and Highway 40 (it’s pronounced farty by those living in South St. Louis).     The nearest metro-link is about 10 miles further.     A while back I decided to explore using a bus to connect to a metrolink train station to catch a ride to a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game.     I drove to station, walked into the building and looked for information.   Finding none, I asked the single patron for advice.  He had none.   After twenty minutes, I hopped back into the car and drove 20 miles to Busch Staduim, paid $10 parking, gas, where and tear on the car, and had to deal with traffic getting there and leaving.

    Now I could have chosen another day to explore how to use the bus exchange terminal, but like most individuals in Chesterfield or St. Charles I have not exerted the half a day effort to do so. 

    So instead of spending a few hours to find a solution, I’m willing to take the additional time to do it right.    The plan is to take a video camera and audio recorder to document the journey to understanding.   The plan is to either develop or acquire documentation and charts in creating a social media article to help people find themselves in this lost world of public transportation.

    To be honest, I’m not optimistic this will happen.   I can compile the audio, video, charts, and other documentation into a coherent web page.    I have the audio recording devices and an HD camera.    I’m familiar with audio editing, though have no experience with video editing.   I also am very poor at public speaking and am very uncomfortable with a microphone or in front of a camera.   Some external support would really help.   Again, I need moral support and advice. 

    It’s not the governments responsibility for such an exercise and even if it was, it would cost them many more dollars than you and I would spend… 

    • Dave in CT

      Stossel’s solution is liberty and a transparent, equal, non-crony, rule of law.

      No need to overcomplicate, or deny that Rule of Law, means laws to punish malefactors.

      • Gregg

        I love Stossel, he makes O’Reilly’s head explode.

      • ulTRAX

        Ya, but under the Libertarian scheme of LESS laws and regulations, there will be FEWER ways to define let alone punish these malefactors.

        But if your point is that government should have gone after the crooks on Wall Street and elsewhere… I agree. It’s one of the big reasons I believe Obama is a failure as president. He had a chance to put a choke chain on Wall Street, break up these giant banks, and redirect all this financial energy away from speculation to productive activities. We need to stop these parasites from sucking the life out of our economy. Arguably the last straw which destroyed our economy was $147 a barrel oil… caused by speculators.  

        • Dave in CT

          I don’t want to argue quantity of laws, we should be concerned with their quality at maintaining fair level, unbiased any way, playing field.

          In face the more laws, the more chance for all the loopholes and crony favors we have so much of.

          Clear, simple, not too abundant laws that can be enforced and that we can SEE and UNDERSTAND their enforcement.

          Sports are good examples where everyone knows the rule and everyone expects the rules to be followed, people raise eyebrows when rules are not followed, and people really start raising eyebrows when the ref stops enforcing rules or acting arbitrarily.

  • Dave in CT

    Romney/Paul tied 18-29 yr olds.

    http://reason.com/poll#article_152564

  • Dave in CT
  • Fredlinskip

    Fox “news”, I see you avoided answering my post yesterday, when discussing the truth got too uncomfortable for you, so you changed the subject & I wouldn’t “play along. But maybe you missed the post:     1) You stated that Fox news was “absolutely fair and balanced”, which is an obviously ridiculous statement if one is able to slightly disseminate fact from fiction. This indicates in bold letters that you yourself are not “fair and balanced”. Get it now? I don’t know how to spell it any clearer. That is as clear as language permits.     2)You avoided and changed the subject with your reply. So I’ll state again: Tax rates for wealthy have declined since Reagan, IN GENERAL, and deregulation has increased which has coincided with out of control debt and deficit and wages stagnated for wage earners (inducing borrowing). This has been the general trend for 30 + years. How can you say otherwise? Unless you just don’t care about facts. We’ve endured a 30 year experiment. The results are in.      3) And Fox “news”, I recently stated “many, if not most economists seem to believe that Obama stimulus package may have staved off what could have been much worse- perhaps a depression” and you asked indignantly to “name one”. Did you listen to program? all economists on this broadcast seem to agree with that statement. They are not hard to find.

    • Modavations

      Stop wringing your hands.This is a “golden age”

    • Gregg

      I assume you’re talking to me.

      I don’t recall avoiding any of your comments other than to say I’m not willing to discus Fox with someone who has never watched. Why would I? I get  a very wide variety of news both liberal and conservative. I read bill, watch House and Senate debates, study history and have been engaged long before Fox came on the air. I consider it all and reflect deeply. None of my recent comments come from Fox. They are my own conclusions. I don’t give others the power to offend me but your accusation is extremely insulting. That’s cool, I expect as much. 

      Republicans took over Congress for the first time in 40 years in 1994. That was 17 years ago. Republicans have hardly gotten their way for the last 30 years. GWB spent like a drunken sailor. Clinton and Bush 41 raised taxes. The 30 year claim is an empty one.

      I have yet to here an economist say the stimulus worked. There was only one on the show, Koo. He is calling for more stimulus so he must not think the first one worked well. He is a well known liberal outside of the mainstream, you said most. Give me one quote or link. Just one. I’ll give you 3 for every one you give (if you can). We’ll see about most.

      • Fredlinskip

        Fair and balanced,   I would be happy to engage in conversation about why you’d have to be on some heavy meds (like Rush) to believe Fox “news” is “fair & balanced”, but I don’t want to stray too far from topic of the show these comments are supposed to be about.   You make some half decent points in your reply, but what I am trying to draw your attention to is to look at “big picture”. We can argue policies of various presidencies individually all day or we can look at overall trends. I am trying to encourage to step back from the trees for a second and look at the forest. What has been the major trend of last 30 years? I am trying to simplify things. It’s like where do you start from? Maybe we should start from do you think Sun goes around earth or visa versa, so we can reach some point of agreement and start from there. The trend over last 30 years has been in general to lower taxes, especially for the wealthiest among us and to deregulate and let “free market rule“. Can’t we agree that that has been a general trend?     No- I guess you can’t, because then I guess the foundation of all your arguments fall apart.

        • Gregg

          Now you’re just getting snarky. You used to be so nice. Rush isn’t on drugs, he kicked it forthrightly. Cheap shot. Please don’t lecture me on the big picture with your myopic perspective.

          • Fredlinskip

            All right Rush is born again and ” fair and balanced”- you win.
            I’m not a genius as to vocabulary, or anything else for that matter, but isn’t the word myopic and term “big picture” opposites. I’m trying to look at “big picture” you’re trying to be myopic.
            “Lecture you”? Isn’t that what you do to others all day long on these theeads? As soon as you are uncomfortable with the conversation, it is then “lecturing”?  

          • Gregg

            Okay, I’ll give you the straight , unvarnished poop. I don’t mean to be personal but it’s my belief.

            I chose my words carefully. It is my view your perspective is myopic. I don’t think you look at the “big picture” at all. That would be me. It’s not that I don’t see where your coming from. It’s not that I don’t understand. It’s not because I have been brainwashed. IMHO that would be you. Maybe, just maybe I get it and have come to a different conclusion. Maybe that’s a result of thinking bigger seeking out and considering a much wider array of viewpoints. I understand you can’t imagine it’s true. Fine.

            And BTW this,

            …what I am trying to draw your attention to is to look at “big picture”.
            We can argue policies of various presidencies individually all day or we
            can look at overall trends. I am trying to encourage to step back from
            the trees for a second and look at the forest.

            is a lecture. But it’s cool… it just that it means nothing coming from you.

          • Fredlinskip

                All’s your response means is you like to steer the argument in a certain direction. You like to frame the argument in a way your comfortable. And when facts don’t fit your worldview, you just choose not  discuss them. You want facts, graphs, & numbers? Would that make your day?   Ronnie lowered taxes. Ronnie deregulated. Ever since Ronnie the grand GOP argument has been Dems are tax and spendaholics and GOP is their savior. What GOP somehow has not noticed is that whenever GOP has been in power they have been borrow and spendaholics. And then they wondered where debt has come from?   Since Reagan, average wages have stagnated, while management and executive pay has soared. Even while Americans worked more and more hours, they have earned less and less. That’s why Americans went on borrowing binge that the real estate market bolstered considerably. These are undeniable facts, but can be shown on graphs if you like.     But if I provided the graphs for you, I doubt your eyes could see them.     I’m sorry I really don’t mean to go around offending people, but if as a result of “thinking bigger, seeking out and considering a much wider array of viewpoints” you have honestly concluded that Rush Limbaugh and Fox “News” are “fair and balanced”, I think Rupert has got his claws into you much deeper than you can possibly realize.

          • Gregg

            You lost me at “All’s”.

          • ulTRAX

            Evasion by any other name.

            This is Gregg pretending NOT to be dodging whatever you wrote.

          • Fredlinskip

               It’s clear Gregg evades subjects he’s not comfortable with and  discussing the actual systemic reasons for our country’s currrent economic and employment problems is beyond him, unless he can frame it in a very narrow scope.  Looking at the problem broadly for root causes is beyond “Rush’s” mentality.
                Either that or he has an overall agenda of distorting the truth for some untold reason. 
            But it’s all good -
            (I wil concede All’s is not a word choice or word period, except when I use it for your all’s benefit). 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            I think I pretty much demolished his and Mod’s claim that somehow Newt is responsible for the Clinton Surplus… There are a series of posts in the Friday forum  http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/09/30/week-in-the-news-166#comments 

            The Orwellian Right, where Gregg steals all his arguments from, is making a despicably dishonest argument that if there were 1995 projections of $200 Billion deficits “as far as the eye can see” and if there’s a balanced budget by 1998, then it had to be NEWT who is the hero.

            But there are just no where enough GOP spending cuts to come even close to overcoming a $200 billion deficit. Spending cuts in the Newt’s Balanced Budget Act total over their first THREE years only about $100 billion… 500 or 700 billion short depending if you count all of 1995 or just the time after the bill was passed. While every bit of added revenue and every spending cut gets one closer to a balanced budget, any claim the surplus would never have happened without Newt is fatuous.

            The deeper flaw in this argument is in holding those deficits projections as if handed down on a slab. In reality the base assumptions were overly pessimistic. In one of these 1995 CBO projections the CBO projected unemployment for 2000 to be 6%. When Clinton left office it was 3.9% for his last 4 months. The economy grew out of the deficit… but without the foundation of the Clinton tax hike and his own 1993 spending cuts, even with good growth, Newt’s spending cuts would never have gotten us anywhere close to a balanced budget. But we know the Right can NEVER recognize that tax hikes do any good.

        • Dave in CT

          Why is it so hard for people to distinguish crony-capitalism and the institutions that make that possible, from free markets acting within a transparent, predictable rule of law that provides a playing field, but does NOT proscribe end results.

          If all the establishment NYTimes lefties would integrate this into their minds, we might actually make progress in this country.

          • Fredlinskip

            Dave,
                 I’m not sure If I “resemble that remark” or not.
                Can you dumb down your comment just a little so “simple folks” like myself might comprehend better?

          • Dave in CT

            When you look at what happened with Freddie/Fannie under Clinton, using the backstop of government and the do-good mantra of “affordable housing” to deflect criticism, while turning the public/private company into a CEO personal cash generator, and kindling the housing bubble……

            When you look at the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve under Greenspan- pumping vast excesses of cheap money into the system under the idea good Central Bank Management of our economy….

            When you look at the repeal of Glass-Steagal at the behest of Investment Bank Cronies who went on to serve in the Clinton and Bush administrations…..

            When you look at the SEC under the blind-eye enforcement policies of a Bush crony like COX….

            And when you have Republican and Democratic legislators with their hands so deep in this pie they couldn’t pull them out if they needed to pick their nose….

            It seems crazy to blame what happened on the “free market”

            It shows that the knee-jerk lefties cannot appreciate the difference between:
            A. A free-market, within a level, transparent, even handed legal framework. Individual wants and needs providing demand organically.

            B. A market riddled with layers of central managment, picking of winners and losers, based often on cronyism, an unsound, print at will, we’ll worry about the debt later monetary policy, that wants growth for growths sake, to support the corporate/banking class, regardless of our real means.

            So instead of us creating a choice between A., B. (crumbling before our eyes and C. (European Democratic Socialism crumbling before our eyes), we are left with the false choice, and terrible consequences of B. and C.

            Ask who really benefits from B. and C. (Hint- interest payments and political leeches).

            The challenge is how to achieve A, with all of the special interests in government and corporate land, who much prefer a pay to play environment to competition and prosecutions against collusion.

            http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/diversity-ends-rules/

          • Fredlinskip

            Thanks,      Think I get it. You have taken offense of my flippant use of “free market” as if I was insinuating it as a source of evil, in my original comment.     I believe my use of the term was in context that allowing a “free market” has been often the excuse politicians and GOP have used to justify deregulation and “don’t tax those that can most afford it” arguments that I believe have played no small part as the cause of the problems this country faces today.    I have no problem with a “free market” (A. that is) as you describe above, as it is still humanity’s last best hope as a viable economic system. Any economic system will eventually be abused by nefarious interests unless there is some oversight by those that actually believe protecting average consumer’s best interests is a good idea.

          • Dave in CT

            Glad to hear it, but isn’t it insane that I would never have known that you support A.?

            If people who rightly IMO want to argue against establishment, non-libertarian GOP authoritarians and crony capitalists, would once and a while say what their core principles actually are, we get alot further, faster.

            Also, when one embraces A. and rejects crony capitalism or a big role of government in making markets or choosing winners and losers, because you know in the long run it is self-destructive, I think one needs to be critical of the Democrats and establishment Left who seem to be just fine with it.

            My biggest beef around here, although not as bad as NY Times Comments, oh boy, is just how dogmatic and defensive the establishment Dems or leftists or whatever they are, are.

            The inability, the unwillingness to deconstruct the status quo because it goes against party unity, is maddening.

            Remember I’ve considered myself a progressive at heart, but am coming to more of a “think globally, act locally” version of that, where I still hope for alot of good things to be and to happen, but I will do my best in my own life, and not think we can impose and enact the good life, through the government.

            Hence, Progressive Values, Libertarian Principles.

            We’ll see.

          • Fredlinskip

            I believe government does have a role to play in markets. Providing regulation for consumer protection is one. And doing what it can to turn around a ship run aground (economy) is another. What it does to try and help turn things around is subject for argument. Not letting American auto industry go under seemed good idea. Bailing big banksters not so much. There may be a role for further “stimulus“ as Koo suggests. But at this point there is no magic bullet. I think we are all in for an extended period of pain (except for those “crony capitalists” who have so successfully pillaged our society).   I hope we learn from our mistakes. I hope we learn from Japan’s mistakes.    The problem in part seems to be is that for us to learn from our mistakes, would require a lot of folks -politicians, “leaders”, “economists” to admit they had been dead wrong in their opinions they have held steadfast to for a LONG time. Of course the “winners” of all these games (the “crony capitalists” lets say for argument) are not going to admit they were wrong and their $ influences issues (media, politicians, etc) in ways most can’t even imagine.     I’m interested in hearing from those “economists”, leaders etc. who have been right in their predictions.Koo would be one. Or Stiglitz. Or Reich.    Not hearing from all the folks that told us all about “links between Iraq and 9/11”, “weapons of mass destruction” “gotta give $800 billion, no strings attached, to banksters tomorrow”- “let’s promote offshore tax havens” Can’t we run some of these folks out of town, throw ‘em in jail or something. “War against Terror?”- let’s have a forever ending war against a tactic- that’ll fix things.   Bur I digress.   The overall sentiment in many Washington circles seems to be- let’s try all the same things that caused our problem in the first place. Lets set up all the same conditions that we had before Depression and see what happens. Let’s get up and run full speed into the same brick wall again- maybe it’ll work this time.

          • Dave in CT

            lets not forget the other’s who predicted, based on the unsoundness of our monetary policies and non-libertarian markets.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/14/this-guy-predicted-the-fi_n_143965.html

            and:

            ““The people who do the predicting are usually not central within the discussion of economics,” said David Colander, an economic historian at Middlebury College, and an expert in the discipline’s crank theorists. But economies do “have this tendency to exceed” that Kondratieff and others have grasped, he added, and that is largely lost in modern economic theory.
            He offers the Austrian School as a possible rival to Kondratieff’s line of thought. Austrian economists tend to emphasize a laissez-faire approach and entrepreneurship (not the most popular policies at this moment) and strict limits on money supply growth, usually by hitching the currency to the gold standard.While considered outside the mainstream, the Austrian School is far more respectable, counting in its ranks two Nobel Prize winners, Friedrich Hayek and James Buchanan. Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital — an adviser to the libertarian presidential candidateRon Paul and one of the most prominent doomsayers in the current collapse — also subscribes to its theories.Hayek is said to have successfully predicted the Great Depression and some Austrian School devotees are taking credit for calling this one. “The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived,” Mr. Paul wrote in September, 11 days after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.In the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes displaced Hayek and the Austrian School in intellectual popularity, establishing his “general theory” as the economic bible of the postwar decades. The Austrian line of thought made something of a comeback in the Reagan years, but never quite gained acceptance in the economic fraternity, Mr. Colander says.”from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/weekinreview/15crichton.html?_r=2

          • Fredlinskip

            Appreciate your thoughts and the links.

          • Dave in CT

            Important to note, that having an economic approach with an Austrian influence, as alluded to in Reagan era above, but ladling it with all the mainstream Republican (or Dem) crony capitalistic crap and central monetary policies, essentially Keynesism with Austrian around the edges, cannot honestly be held out as a failure of Austrian economics, although so many around here love to trot that out.

          • Dave in CT

            So yes, the flippant use of “free market” I think is terribly destructive to rational conversation about our current problems.

          • Dave in CT

            “Any economic system will eventually be abused by nefarious interests unless there is some oversight by those that actually believe protecting average consumer’s best interests is a good idea.”

            This is what the Rule of Law addresses.  Relying on well meaning individuals who believe the right things, while obviously appealing, is so often our downfall. Look at the failures in the financial meltdown!  That’s what people mean by nation of law, not men.

            “Friedrich Hayek in his classic work The Road to Serfdom con- trasted “a country under arbitrary government” from a free country that observes “the great principle known as the Rule of Law.” “Stripped of all technicalities,” he continued, “this means that gov- ernment in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand—rules which make it possible to foresee with fair cer- tainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circum- stances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge” (Hayek [1944] 2007: 112).”

            http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Hoping to be taken seriously as he rewrites history AGAIN, Gregg wrote: “The 30 year claim is an empty one.”Perhaps the Right hasn’t gotten its way in the social realm, but they clearly have in the economic realm and I listed their “victories” in the WHERE’S THE CONSERVATIVE NIRVANA post. Just because the Right was often helped by corporate DLC Dems like Clinton doesn’t make free trade and reckless deregulation left wing ideas. I’m STILL waiting for you to answer the question that simple question but all you did was make some personal comments and EVADED the issue. And while you routinely go back to answer old posts, you continue to EVADE that question.

  • Bruce

    In response to Dave in CT “I trust the people overall, acting with information…more than a centralized group of planners”  Check out some of the following, if you haven’t already:  Daniel Ariely (behavior economics) Joseph Stiglitz (information asymmetry), Herman Daly (environmental economics) and last but not least Keynes notion of the “paradox of thrift” and let us know what you think…After the 2008 financial collapse, I don’t think your neo-classical rationale for the free-market libertarian position is very credible.  As you might gather, I don’t normally engage in this medium, but have to admit your postings and others, many of which I disagree with, have been provocative. 

    • Dave in CT

      “After the 2008 financial collapse, I don’t think your neo-classical rationale for the free-market libertarian position is very credible.”

      How was the Government Crony Fannie debacle, the Crony Cox SEC lack of enforcement of existing Rule of Law, and a distinctly NON-austrian or libertarian monetary policy of Alan Greenspan fueling the whole thing, anything like a libertarian free market?

      The exact opposite of austrian/libertarian principles, with all the attendant corruption of, and mismanagement by, government and central policy makers, created this mess.

      How is that even debatable with a straight face anymore? 

      I see no way to argue that the collective action of individual economic decision-makers, i.e. every day citizens, created this swindle. They/we were duped, pure and simple by both corrupt schemers and well-intentioned planners.

      With respect, and I do enjoy your thoughtful posts Bruce.

      • Dave in CT

        As you note with  Ariely, Daly and Keynes, the free market is not Perfection. It is human.  But the question becomes by what means do we address those concerns.

        What the latest Government/Banking/Wall St debacle tells me, is that trying to engineer ends, or solutions, via that centralized power group, hoping a Private-Public enterprise can solve our problem, creates even bigger more catastrophic problems.

        Let the market be a market.  Punish law breakers firmly.

        In addition to those authors, have you read Mises, Human Action?

        • Bruce

          Does the “Rule of Law” entail creating an atmosphere of no, lax, or de-regulation?  In the real estate and financial markets, don’t you think the culture of deregulation (that began with Reagan and under Clinton who was co-opted by Phil Gramm, another buddy of Ron Paul, to dismantle portions of Glass-Steigel) was a critical factor in the financial collapse?  Hasn’t the Tea Party and its liberarian component been influential in frustrating serious reform efforts (i.e. addressing the revolving door between Wall St. and Washington, too big to fail, rating agency conflicts of interest, etc.)?  And without “private-public enterprise,” what might the country look like now (i.e. without a transcontinental RR, an interstate highway system, the spin-off technologies and materials from space exploration, the basic research in world-class universities and the breakthroughs in medicine, information technology, engineering made possible by this social investment, etc.)?  The list could stretch on…Is it your view that private investment alone can meet meet all the challenges the country faces?  Even though it’s been demonstrated that the production of certain goods and services that we need is too expensive, unprofitable or unproven (i.e. the return on investment cannot be captured in the short-term) for private investors alone to finance?

          • Bruce

            correction:  “Glass-Steigel” should read “Glass-Steagall”

          • Dave in CT

            “Is it your view that private investment alone can meet meet all the challenges the country faces?  Even though it’s been demonstrated that the production of certain goods and services that we need is too expensive, unprofitable or unproven (i.e. the return on investment cannot be captured in the short-term) for private investors alone to finance?”

            But what does a statement like this mean?  It means we need to do things we cannot afford?

            Do we not believe in the word “afford” any more?

            I’ve benefitted from the NIH as a scientist, but self-serving as it would be, I don’t consider my opportunity to do well-intended research, a guarantee or god-given right (atheist).  Research used to be a Gentleman’s activity, a luxury that wealthy people spent their money on. Not to say we shouldn’t fund research of course, but the point is that we can only spend as much on it as we can afford, not how much we want.

            The idea that we can just do anything or create any situation because we wish it was so, seems the very delusional thinking that made our whole society divert its eyes as our looming disaster built up.

            I don’t argue that I wouldn’t like some things to be. Its easy to have wish lists.

            A free market that operates within the bounds of scarcity where prices reflect what is possible, is a way of living within reality.

            Only through decades of debt spending and money printing do we create the illusion of having it all.  

            Thats why the 2 party politicians love the status quo- it gives them the chance to shower the electorate with stuff- be it benefits, super colliders , trips to the moon, or even “tax cuts”.

            In reality, the banking class that funds the Federal Reserve and drives our sick economic policies, just laughs all the way to the bank with the interest payments, and the hard assets the pick up each time one of their bubbles burst.  Not to mention their funding of all the war that sociopathic politicians use to look for more plunder to pay for the profligacy, or even just to garner votes appealing to our dark side.

          • Dave in CT

            The Rule of Law

            References to the rule of law are rare in discussions of Federal Reserve policy. The concept of the rule of law in jurisprudence and political philosophy has several dimensions. At its core is the classical liberal principle of nondiscretionary governance that stands in contrast to the arbitrary or discretionary rule of those people currently in authority. In shorthand, either we have the rule of law or we have the rule of authorities. Under the rule of law, government agencies do nothing but faithfully enforce statutes already on the books. Under the rule of authorities, those in positions of executive authority have the discretion to make up substantive new decrees as they go along, and to forego enforcing the statutes on the books.

            http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

      • ulTRAX

        I responded some of Dave’s claims somewhere in the old posts but since these Discus forums keep burying those older posts… and it’s such a pain to look for them I’ll respond again.

        First, sure the government can make it easy for bubbles to start, such as keeping interest rates so low that those seeking higher returns feel they have no alternative but to move their money into riskier “investments”. But that’s not CAUSATION.

        Bubbles start because people believe they can buy low and sell high. Eventually, if it seems a sure thing, they might believe they’re fools for buying high but believe some Greater Fool will come along and pay even more. Eventually the money flowing into the scheme slows or stops, the prices are no longer being bid up, people get scared and try to get out before the prices plummet.

        Bubbles are the MARKET at work.

        • ulTRAX

          None of the above is to say government might not like such bubbles. After all, given the how bizarre economic thinking is in the US… everyone looks at their portfolio and thinks they’re rich. But it’s not real wealth… it’s only on paper. None the less, people act richer and tend to spend more and this helps stimulate the economy.

          Government might love to have such a dynamic in motion. Bubbles can buy cheap growth… and bring in revenue. But when they collapse there’s a steep economic price.

          What made the housing bubble worst was that banking and commodity deregulation left the market free to become seriously irresponsible if not deranged. Bush made it worst by freeing the major investment banks of leverage limits. Instead of 12:1… they went to 40:1.

          What Dave, as all Libertarians do, is claiming this perfect market mechanism itself is blameless, it’s all government’s fault. But no one was holding a gun to the heads of these lenders to make bad loans, investment banks to concoct these toxic derivatives, or force anyone to invest in anything. But it seems in Dave’s mind freeing the markets to be irresponsible is government’s fault. Yet he doesn’t seem to like government regulations that kept these greedy sociopaths in check. He papers over what I see as his key contradiction by some vague reference to the rule of law.  

  • Fredlinskip

    Hear that folks, Gregg believes he has “fair and balanced” perspective but believes Rush Limbaugh’s views are “far far more fair than NPR”.Rush Limbaugh = “fair and balanced”. You’re no idealogue- You’re mainstream. We get it .If you’re mainstream, this country is in FAR worse shape than I had imagined.

    • ulTRAX

      All I hear from Rush is rather juvenile partisan spin where the Dems are somewhere between worthless and evil, while conservatives are God’s Chosen and everything they say came down on a slab. Given this is Gregg’s warped Orwellian worldview… I can see why he, and other braindead Dittoheads might consider Rush “fair and balanced”.
       

      • Fredlinskip

             I try not to crticize people outright when it can be avoided, because I’ve got flaws too BUT for me to learn that Gregg, for all his pretense of being a “news junkee” (thus insinuating fairly well-informed), truly believes that Rush Limbaugh has a “fair and balanced” world view, offers clarity as to why he is so unwilling to ever concede even the smallest and obvious of points.
            Then again if I was you, who has so obviously bent over backward to “reason” with him, using fact, logic, precedent, and example; I might by now have reached the same point of frustration you have. 
           
           Appreciate your comments Ultrax- don’t always totally agree, but there have been some you’ve made that have so “hit home”, that at the risk of plagiarism, I have stored them away for use in other venues.
        Thanks 

        • Gregg

          Heh.

  • Fredlinskip

    I just wanted to be the 700th comment- Woo- hoo!

    • ulTRAX

      Nope, you were 697.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Tom Ashbrook:

    The ‘Lost Decade’ segment is the beginning of a Critical dialogue, here in America, land of the amnesia engine.   Curiously, economic history is absent in the land of money worship.   It is not money, but work and good organization that creates prosperity.   So Please!   Repeat.

    ‘Life is vibration,   Rhythm is its law’,  a sage once said.   Please repeat this theme.  Have a scholar or simply someone who has read Galbraith’s ‘The Great Crash’ to point out our current mammoth folly.

    Bankers have pulled the strings for a long time.   Everyone looks there.
    One cannot push a string.

    Thank You.   Good One!  Please repeat the discussion with new folks!

  • Oxymoron

    Now, there’s an oxymoron:

    ‘The Rule of Law’ and ‘Transparency’ in the same sentence.

    The ‘rule of law’ has turned ordinary citizens into criminals.  The rule of law has allowed pharmaceutical manufacturers market dangerous and debilitating drugs that have no more efficacy than sugar pills.  The rule of law has made our country have the highest incarceration rate on the planet.  The rule of law tricks individuals to give up there sovereign rights and play the confessor game with the state.

    And don’t get me started on ‘transparency’…

    Okay, one example remember the accountant, Harry Markopolos, who on several occasions notified and used a magnifying glass to show the SEC  irregularities and tried to blow the whistle when he grew suspicious of the Madoff numbers.

    Go ahead, quote Hayek, quote Keynes, quote any economic Einstein you want.  Go ahead, quote your deficit numbers, your tax statistics, your employment numbers, your favorite party’s public relations propoganda proofs…

    I say it all doesn’t matter.

    It is a game designed, controlled, rigged, and brought to you by and for the elites of this globe and the politicians are just their henchmen and the media is their tool (Are you reading this NPR?). 

    They are above the law.  They create the law.  They play the law.  They use the law.  They are the law.

    Go ahead, try and be a whistle-blower and provoke transperancy by exposing corruption, collusion, price-fixing, contract rigging, wasteful spending, misappropriation and incompetence…

    Just see what happens to you, your family and your career under the “rule of law”.

    Remember, “It’s Justice Under Law”.

    And there is nothing transparent about it.

     

       

    • Dave in CT

      So you are complaining about a lack of Rule of Law and a lack of Transparency.

      Then people complain when folks talk of following the Constitution instead of allowing people to make sh-t up as they go for themselves and their pals.

      As I quoted below:
      “Under the rule of law, government agencies do nothing but faithfully enforce statutes already on the books. Under the rule of authorities, those in positions of executive authority have the discretion to make up substantive new decrees as they go along, and to forego enforcing the statutes on the books.””

      But we can fail to make distinctions, lower our expectations, and throw our hands up.

    • Bruce

      Wow…I think the elites you so eloquently rail against will be delighted that folks like yourself have evidently packed it in. The notion that we are helpless to remedy these injustices through our legal and political institutions must be music to the ears of the oligarchies.

      I know we’re talking about economic injustice here, but I don’t think it’s such a leap to suggest that it greatly mattered who occupied our legislatures and White House during the Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights movements of the last century.  I am grateful that there were brave individuals who organized and stood non-violently against the social injustice of their day (although I’m sure there are some, particularly conservatives, who prefer to have seen a laissez-faire, states’ rights philosophy prevail). 

      My point is that not all politicians are “henchmen;” nor is the media always their “tool.”  And to those who really care about economic justice and opportunity, it should definitely matter who gets elected in 2012.

  • Pjbourque

    Tom, 

     This was an excellent story with excellent guests.  I have 2 sons (26 and 22 ) and a daughter (18 – freshman in college).  My oldest son who has completed 3 years in college in visual arts is now a part time security guard at an art museum is barely making ends meet.  My 2nd son who has an ivy league degree in music performance is a management trainee in a building supply company (2 weeks) making $12/hr and thankful to be working so that he and his girlfriend can live independently. 

    My daughter is watching her brothers’ employment disaster and is starting off college pursuing a degree in environmental sciences. 

    I am at retirement age 63 and working full time as an independent consultant in real estate.  I have 3 degrees in engineering and business.  My wife returned to college 6 years ago to complete an undergraduate degree in business and is working full time with very intense hours.

    We are paying more in education expenses for my daughter than I am spending on housing.  Our collective cash flow as a family is breakeven.  Our retirement accounts are inadequate.  One major illness and the economic wheels come off the family cart.  One layoff and the same disaster awaits us.  So far our luck on both fronts has been holding out.

    We know that in spite of the tenseness in this time that we are some of the lucky ones in our economy.  We haven’t lost our home.  Our kids are still moving forward with their lives and education.  We have been healthy.

    But……The apparent fraility of our economy is obvious all around us.  Your guests have helped to put some perspective on the remedies.  More federal spending on the things that need doing and the things that only government is willing to do.  Paying for the education of all children,  not just the wealthy; building and maintaining our roads and bridges and public water supply and wastewater treatment plants; enforcing environmental regulations;  setting standards for fuel efficient cars.

    Your guests argue that this is the time for government investment since with the slack economy government can get a good deal on the things it needs to do.  Instead of paying people to wait at home receiving unemployment checks if there is more public spending then these individual can go to work, do constructive things, and pay taxes and thereby create a virtuous cycle. 

    Your guests describe the fundamental principals of macroeconomics 101.  If aggregate demand declines then a downward spiral begins which cannot be remedied by cutting spending (whether public or private) but which spending cuts in fact further reduce aggregate demand and thereby further reduce employment and investment. 

    I continue to shocked by our political leadership who either do not know this principal or choose to ignore it for political advantage by playing to the fears of the uninformed. 

    We have a lot at stake as a nation if we do not turn this economic situation around.  I am more concerned about the strength of the future economy for my children and for my retirement years than I am concerned about the tax rates for the wealthiest or the current budget deficit. 

    The time for political games needs to be over.  The adults need to take control of this economy and provide some leadership and some frank talk to the American people.  Otherwise my 91 year old mother will not be the only one who will be able to tell stories about the depression.
     

  • REM-MD-R

    Tom,

    Thank
    you so much for finally bringing on a few economists who are not enmeshed in
    the full orthodox mainstream. I would even welcome the thoughts of a few
    Austrians (and I think the Gold Standard idea is nuts, but agree with them on
    the need to let businesses fail]

    My
    comments below will reflect my usual frustrations – I am sure you feel them too
    - about the time limitations in interviews. You need to keep the discussion on
    point, but you will never know what you might have heard had you let it run. (I
    am a psychiatrist and very critical of my colleagues for their rapid-fire
    questions but I do it at times too, need to, but it distresses me!) The problem
    becomes especially acute when the ideas are complex or heterodox, so foreign to
    your audience or to you. The discussion today began to touch upon Modern
    Monetary Theory (MMT- which Koo knows, though he is basically Keynesian)

    2 paragraphs for my MMT contribution, then some critique (in dark red if it survives the posting) of
    the transcript (and I admit not having time to get it all accurately)

    The debate about the long term
    risk of high government debt – which is NOT like household debt, someone please
    tell Mr. Obama – depends upon whether, in the long run, the Federal Reserve is
    able to control the rates at which the government borrows (in this longterm
    future).

     

    So far, the orthodox economists
    (and the Austrian School) have all been wrongly predicting inflation. They just do
    not understand basic monetary operations. The people who keep talking about “bond
    vigilantes”, and even the current and former employees of the Congressional
    Budget Office think that the bond market controls these rates. In ordinary operations
    they simply do not. The government  (Fed viewed
    here as part of government) sets a target rate and arranges bond purchases with
    the Primary Bond dealers. Fed sets the rates and if there is more lending, they
    MUST replenish bank reserves to keep their target rates. And in the long run,
    the whole bond funding mechanism is not needed – but that may get too radically
    into MMT, even though even the late Milton Friedman would agree.

     

    That future interest rate hugely
    determines the “costs to our grandchildren” of current borrowing, and the
    orthodox economists are basically giving you their assumptions. Do not trust
    them! When have they been right in the past 30 years? But truth is lots of
    people “saw it coming.” They just could not get any press.  

     

    At 29 mins, Tom says We are talking this hour about the risk
    of a Japanese style lost decade with

    Richard Katz editor of the Oriental Report

    Betsy Stevenson

    Richard Koo of Nomura ….

     

    At about 29:55, I think it was caller Dave ~ re “the S&P
    500 in inflation adjusted terms

    … non farm payroll is lower”  “yeah we get it (Tom)”

    Dave: ” … I don’t think so …

    We went the fiscal policy route and monetary policy route to
    their conclusion. I don’t think that doubling down on the stimulus is the way
    to go”

    Betsy Stevenson – “I just disagree with that” – She put too nicely; it is just wrong but in economics, opinion
    colors everything, and Dave is one of the more thoughtful callers (and poster
    here?)

     

    At 33mins, Rick Katz – “the whole idea that economics should
    just be passive, that is so wrong”

    On fiscal stimulus, “it’s like you’ve got a 5 alarm
    fire  bring one little fire truck to a 5
    alarm fire and you say water doesn’t work. Well If you don’t do enough, your
    not going to have the results.”

    Tom (INTERRUPTING): But our caller Simon says put all the
    water you want there’s a structural problem here  …

     

    Rick … “Imports from China
    amount to 2 ½ percent of our GDP. China
    did not cause our recession. Wall Street caused it (and details the fraud and
    that Greenspan refused to enforce rules those rules to restrain non bank
    lending) “

     

    Tom at 35:17 thinking that he needs to prevent repetition?

    “Rick, we know that story so painfully. Look forward if
    you’d be good enough because you said … we like to know how, we’d like to
    know how” [the last ellipsis I could not make out, as Katz tried to
    continue]

     

     - Tom interrupts a more complex explanation
    and Katz at first tries to talk over the host

     

    Rick tries to continue at 35:21 with “well not by me …
    … OK, OK” saying OK as he realizes that Tom
    does after all control the conversation. 

    And Rick advises to undo the distortions of the financial
    system and that the Dodd Frank bill has some merit to help “what is otherwise a
    fairly sound economy”

     

    Rick Katz: “We do face years of [pain] but if we apply the
    proper fiscal and monetary stimulus we can

    make that recovery occur faster than the market can do by
    itself 35:48

    36:17 Tom, INTERRUPTING Katz and repeating
    the meme that we got ourselves in big trouble with all our debt:
    “Richard Koo”

    Rick Katz: now talking over Tom  “ … we need an activist policy on a number
    of these fronts”

    Tom, INTERRUPTING Katz: “yeah, Richard Koo, one
    difference is [that] the Japanese are big savers in good times. Japanese kept
    spending but Americans are having trouble doing that” Here, Tom does not
    question why America
    has trouble spending – Koo explains that the private sector IS saving  “massive amounts” Everybody is saving money

    And the reason the gov bond yield comes down to such low
    level

     

    so Tom gets back to the theme of how we are in debt because
    we just spend so irresponsibly – that is what he implies

     

    Koo: “We were brainwashed into thinking that the United
    States is a low savings country.

    The government bond yield is so low because Private Sector
    as a whole [is saving – (corporations are saving)]”

     

    This means there is so much money for the government to
    borrow and spend.

    the market is telling the government that this is the time
    that you can borrow and spend now, PLEASE! Because if you do it now, the cost
    to future tax payers is much lower than 
    if you do it later [say to repair a bridge]

     

    Do you see what gets interrupted?
    It’s the heterodox explanation of what went wrong.

    Please, Tom, no more Larry
    Summers!

  • Paul

    This was a compelling with much to digest.  I am disappointed that your show, unlike the vast majority of NPR programs, chooses not to provide transcripts.  There is a great deal of content here that I would greatly enjoy the opportunity to consider at leisure.

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