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Author Topic: Washington Could Learn A Lot  (Read 1050 times)

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Offline Type70itemTopic starter

Washington Could Learn A Lot
« on: December 16, 2011, 10:38:29 AM »
Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

This is a advertisment that played prior to a music video I wanted to watch, and I felt that it makes some damn good points and should be shared

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Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 11:22:55 AM »
Except that the debt ceiling is a distraction.  Right now, we have a jobs and growth crisis that is what the politicians should be addressing.  If we get more people working, then the ratio of the debt to the GNP will fall - because the GNP will be going up. The same thing happened after WWII, when we had a similarly large ratio of debt to GNP.  People got back to work in the 50's, and the ratio went down, and the 'debt crisis' went away.

The one thing that everyone seems to miss is that a national budget cannot be compared to a household budget.  In a household, the wage-earning will stop at some point.  In a nation, the wage-earning continues as long as there are people entering the workforce.  There's no 'retirement' to save for.  There's no 'funeral expenses', no 'inheritance' - none of the 'end of life' things that a household will inevitably have to deal with when no more money is coming in.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 12:14:12 PM »
Okay spend less, where are you going to cut?

Military, social programs, education, roads, disaster relief, homeland security, social security, medicare, medicaid or discretionary funds for things like the CDC.

Its easy to say but if they cut Federal programs states would need to pick up and do many of these services and that still means taxes paid in more on that end.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 12:34:50 PM »
Okay spend less, where are you going to cut?

Military, social programs, education, roads, disaster relief, homeland security, social security, medicare, medicaid or discretionary funds for things like the CDC.

Its easy to say but if they cut Federal programs states would need to pick up and do many of these services and that still means taxes paid in more on that end.

And lets not forget things like the Oakland Quake, Katrina (and the mess it did to New Orleans) and so on. Unexpected events aren't things you can budget for.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 12:51:12 PM »
I would say the simple question what are citizens ,in the majority, willing to give up.

Since any cuts will end up done by states or local governments, or not done at all.

For example we could cut out funding for ,lets pick something popular, food stamps. Okay the government says no more of that and cuts it out. States would then need to or local government or charity step in to provide these or people will have to do without the food stampls and try to get by.

The military we could just eliminate the army save for a core to organize it and then have states fund and set-up citizens militias, but that means we would need to have in Florida citizens arming themselves and likely forced into service training a few weekends a year. And if there is a war and the nation invaded the militias could be ordered into service by the governor. That would save lots of money at the Federal level and be constitutional to boot but then the burden falls to a citizen to get suitable arms and be willing to submit to trainng OR the state fund a militia with benefits and all getting volunteers.

We could also gut the FBI and limit Federal crimes to those in the constititution treason, counterfeiting and piracy but then states would have to work with others for all other crimes and hold prisoners and the Federal prisons would at some point be closed save for one or two for the few crimes left.

I mean it comes down to the people any cuts fall on the people and so its up to the people to say we will give this up or that up for the common good or not.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 01:20:59 PM »
What about interstate crimes? And domestic intelligence?

The FBI isn't always the big bad boogie man in suits that the media presents it. There are crimes that a national group handles better than local/state levels. And it makes for a good coordination agency (I personally think several agencies should combined into the FBI, or the FBI expanded while said agencies are shut down)

FYI Ruby, FBI doesn't handle counterfeiting that's the Secret Service/Treasury Department.

I think a revision of the Tax code, particularly corporate taxes, to something more simple/refined be better downsizing. I mean, how many of the top end corps out there actually pay the 35% corporate tax rate that they are in? GE actually got a 3.2 BILLION tax credit instead of the 4 BILLION in taxes they were to give over. If we encourage corps to pay taxes, and offer tax incentives to bring money into the country instead of rewarding hiding money overseas would do better for us. Used to be we offered tax credit for R&D, which brought innovations like micro-circuity, textile manufacturing techniques, and optics. If you want a tax cut, why not invest in the future?

Schools, R&D, upgrading your infrastructure. Using 'Lean management' to bring some jobs back to the US. Some industries are gone for good.. true. But you can't tell me that some can't work here in the US using things like tight management, computer enhanced stock management and transportation systems.

Corporate America has gotten LAZY. It's easier to outsource, pay lobbyists, and make excuses than look for ways to get the innovation back in American Business.
 

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 02:49:51 PM »
I'm just saying you have to give up things for less government spending, just noted some interesting options not that I would prefer them.

Corporate taxes alone cannot fix this and many Americans that work in the underground economy don't pay any taxes at all unless we have to that for us is sales tax and maybe property taxes if they own property. I would guess from the sources that 20% of the GDP in most nations is underreported and unreported income if one includes from illegal sources and those that make cash and don't report it in the US. Its worse in several other nations but there is no hard way to verify this but from my guesstimation its somewhere between 15-40% if one dug deeply. That is also alot of taxable income not collected and frankly would be hard to go after. Normal means to track money banking for example is not done by Undergrounders and none tend to live above a very modest level if they are smart. If you use cash only and avoid tracers to ones income its damned hard for them to find out and even harder to verify income since they rarely keep records over some envelops in a safe deposit box.

But in the end you need to cut and raise revenues most likely and neither are politically popular. 

Offline Vekseid

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 03:48:28 PM »
Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

It makes a bunch of outright lies.

Lie #1: "41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed from places like China"
- A pretty bad one. This implies that
1) We are borrowing some six trillion dollars a year. Total consumer and government debt is about ~$33 trillion, and consumer debt is falling, as would be expected in a liquidity crisis.
2) "From places like China" - The vast majority of both consumer and government debt is US-owned.
3) China still owns a mere fraction of foreign owned debt. Most of which aren't 'places like China'.

Lie #2: "To borrow less, you need to spend less."
1) There are other ways to borrow less. One of them is to raise taxes.
2) Another is to print money.

Lie #3: The implication that debt is bad.
1) The greatest economic boom in world history, World War II, was debt driven, and war debt driven at that.
2) Which the US recovered nicely from, due to taxes.

These are the only statements the video makes. There is not one word of truth in the video, every claim is a bald-faced lie, so

Quote
This is a advertisment that played prior to a music video I wanted to watch, and I felt that it makes some damn good points and should be shared

No, it does not make points at all, much less good ones. It makes lies.

Offline consortium11

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 07:46:17 AM »
I'm generally a smaller government/spend less political type... but anyone who thinks they can explain the current debt/spending/general economic issues in a 30 second video is going to fail quite badly.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 03:28:54 PM »
The problem isn't so much the level of debt per se.  It's that we have little if anything to show for it.

If we had racked up that $14 trillion finding cures for cancer and AIDS, harnessing thermonuclear fusion for energy, establishing a lunar colony, inventing cheap ways to desalinate water, and so forth, there'd be no worries.  The debt would have been an investment, with dozens of technological and resource spin-offs that would be boosting our GDP growth by 2 to 3% per annum for the next thirty years or more.  We'd have GDP growing by 4 to 5% a year.  With modest belt-tightening and small tax increases, we'd grow our way right out of it. 

Simply ending the wars abroad (no need to fight for the Middle East if we're not addicted to imported oil), repealing the Bush tax cuts and freezing federal spending for five years would get us back in the black by 2016 or so.  About the only other major challenge would then be controlling health care costs for retirees.  That's another major impediment to long-term fiscal health.  This is where a single-payer system would help.  The government would simply refuse to grant health-care companies these ridiculous 8 to 15% annual cost increases, and cut it off at the source.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 04:39:39 PM »
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/11-3

This sums up a lot of things.

Here is what I got to say on it.

There is no 'small government'. Hasn't been since the turn of the LAST century. There is 'right sized' government. That means we need to work on it. Somethings need regulation. God above I can't imagine after seeing the poison pill of mortgages that all but kill our economy and the lack of any accountability by anyone involved in it.

Look at the things 'deregulation' and small government got us. MASSIVE Bail outs and payola to corporations who leverage profits into making things profitable for them and to hell with everyone else. The american businessman has largely lost interest in innovation or long term profitablity.

Instead of growing a market or diversifying they look for ways to manipulate the law to maximize what they have while doing all they can to kill any sense of competition, creativity and growth.

We went through eight years of a president whose cronies did everything they could to incorporate the county. Money is now the 'voice' of the people, corporations have fleeced their way into all manners of tax write offs and such, 'No Child Left Behind' and 'HMOs' are new ways to make cash for private groups that have bought their way into a prime position.

We, as a country, have gotten lazy, myopic and terminally short-sighted.

Small Government doesnt' work. I hate to say it, taxes need to work. That means tax cuts arent' going to happen. Most of all we need to fix the system to encourage corporate america  to reinvest in the US rather than hiding their cash overseas.

If we are going to give tax breaks, do ones that empower and build the country rather than hemorrhage money like we do now. Every dollar we encourage corporate america to put into our communities will pay a dividend in jobs, income and better pay for people HERE.

This crap about 'uncompetitive markets' is just that. Crap. Traditional methods might not work and some old industry might not come back, but there are ways to make competive business here.

Instead we'll just lay back and let the lobbyists and businesses rape the system and take what they want.

I've spent more time online emailing my elected representatives and on the phone with their people in the last year than I have since I got the right to vote back in the Regan era.

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Re: Washington Could Learn A Lot
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 03:13:01 AM »
The video itself is one big appeal to emotion. I've transcribed it so that I can make sure that I'm addressing the points it actually makes, rather than relying on my memory of my interpretation of the points they are trying to make.

Quote
America could learn a lot from a drug addict. Even though this countryís fourteen trillion in debt, Washington raised the debt ceiling ten times in the last ten years. Each time, itís like another hit, another spending hit. But youíre the junkies. 41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed from places like China, so China is like your dealer. And your addiction and your dealer control your life. To borrow less, you need to spend less. Yeah, Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict.

First sentence: The attention grabber, and essentially a thesis. All right, let's see the support.

Second sentence: "Even though this countryís fourteen trillion in debt, Washington raised the debt ceiling ten times in the last ten years." The first problem I have with it is that it doesn't have anything to do with the first sentence, and therefore does nothing for the thesis statement. The second problem I have with it is that the average person doesn't know what that means. Most people that I know hadn't even heard the term previous to this last tussle over it. Third problem, it's not necessarily a bad thing. If you raise your own personal debt ceiling - say by having your credit card company up your credit limit - that in itself is neutral. It could be because you're drowning in debt already and you need that increase to pay for food, or it could be because you're getting ready to invest in something like a business or a new piece of equipment, and your income will rise enough that you can pay off that debt in relatively short time. In short, this sentence is useless, and a red herring.

Third, fourth sentences: "Each time, itís like another hit, another spending hit. But youíre the junkies." Assumes we're all shopaholics, and doesn't even talk about what the spending is related to.

Fifth sentence: "41 cents out of every dollar you spend is borrowed from places like China, so China is like your dealer." Actually, 41c out of every dollar I spend comes from the same place as the other 59c - from my paycheck. And this sentence is also a blatant appeal to emotion: they could have easily said China is like your boss. In fact, it would probably have been more accurate to compare China to your employer, in this context, since apparently my pay is coming from them. Which it's not. In short, this sentence is bullshit.

Sixth sentence: "And your addiction and your dealer control your life." Again, could just as easily have said that your income and your employer control your life. If money is the be-all, end-all of what controls your life, that is. Which... it's not. More bullshit.

Seventh sentence: "To borrow less, you need to spend less." Actually, to borrow less, you need to earn more. In national terms, that means spending that money to put people back to work, so they can stop collecting unemployment and start paying taxes. It actually means putting people to work at a decent enough wage that their taxable income is high enough to qualify them for taxes, so it means not only putting people back to work but also putting people back to good work. Which means, for the moment, spending more.

Eighth sentence: "Yeah, Washington could learn a lot from a drug addict." The complete non sequitur aside, here, since when is it a good idea to take financial advice from a junkie? I'm of the opinion that they're not even trying to make sense at this point.

Speaking of 'they', I looked up the Public Notice Research and Education Fund, just for giggles. They have a fun mission statement on their website!

Quote
Public Notice Research & Education Fund (PNREF) provides the American public with research and information about state and federal economic policy and how it affects every American. Our mission is to increase the publicís awareness and understanding of the economic issues that affect their daily lives, their communities, and their children and grandchildren.

PNREF believes an empowered American public will cause lawmakers to be better stewards of the nationís economy, and of Americansí economic freedom.

Gee, for a foundation that puts so much emphasis on research and information, they've used an awful lot of scare tactics and logical fallacies. It's almost like they're looking to scare people into a reaction.

So maybe the video is just there to generate interest in their website and foundation, right? They're hoping it'll go viral and get them more exposure. Fortunately, they have a tab on their website labeled "facts". So I checked it out. I'm not going to address all of the points on the fact sheet, but I'll address two "facts" that I thought were relevant to this video: Increased government spending does not appear to increase economic activity (source cited by website), and Large amounts of debt hurt economic development (source cited by website).

The first one is a powerpoint presentation with shoddy graphwork. Difficult to tell without the actual numbers from which they generated the graph, but their downward trendline in slide 11 appears to be the results of taking slide 8 and cutting out all the higher points and all outliers except, of course, the lower ones. Anyone who has attended a class with a grading curve knows that if you have an average and you drop the lowest number in the series, the average will rise. Take a wild guess at what happens when you have an average and you drop the highest numbers? Doesn't take a genius to figure it out. The reason the two graphs look to be similar is because the author of the powerpoint manipulated the interval on the second graph; it's in intervals of 0.2 rather than in intervals of 2.0 like the graph in slide 8 is.

Way to manipulate the data, jackasses.

The second one is a reuters article (which is already suspect, then, because it's a secondary source and therefore subject to bias) doesn't actually support the thesis. What the article actually says is that we are approaching a point at which the GDP needs to rise or the economy will drag under the weight of debt accrued. Again, debt is only a problem if you don't make enough money to keep it under control. Upping your income controls debt. Debt by itself isn't necessarily a terrible thing.

I'm going to stop right there, because I'm actually really disgusted at this point. What a shoddy piece of scaremongering, and what shitty treatment of data they have there. I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and just call bullshit on the entire site.