Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Interesting Statistic

Ol' BC just read where the U.S. has borrowed more money in the last six months than in the last 30 (thirty) years. If this is in fact the case, this guy is worse than we imagined. Worse than Ol' BC imagined would be pretty bad. Stay tuned for verification or sources. One would think we will be seeing more on this.

Just an observation.

27 Comments:

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Mark said...

We are truly headed into Socialism:

http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/what_socialism_looks_like.php

I'm scared!

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Those who approve of the robbing of the productive to enable the lazy wouldn't be worried about this--until the supply of loot runs out!

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I'm sorry. I fail to see how taking ownership of GM is robbing the productive to enable the lazy. I also fail to see how .21% of our overall production being in the hands of the government is cause for concern.

You ask to be taken seriously, yet your every post is filled with dripping loads of rhetoric without substance. If you wish to be taken seriously by me, if you wish not to be made fun of, back up your statements with facts, not rhetoric and right wing slogans. I will attempt to do the same. Only in this way will we be able to have meaningful debate.

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Mark,

You don't?

You seemed a wee bit smarter than that.

Oh, my!

Don't you know where the money that the recent and current Chief Thieves are giving to the banks, auto companies and sundry others comes from?

Productive Americans. My generation, and the next, and the next, and the next.....

I'm beginning to think that all the chortling and empty rhetoric is the best you can do.

And I write this with the most benevolence--and pity--that I can muster!

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Gosh. Thanks for your pity. Once more I will remind you not to be insulting. It was your request, remember? Yet, you have essentially called me dumb and pitiable here.

To rebutt:

.21% of the general production economy is in the hands of the government. This is anything but socialism. Does the money come from us? Yes. I understand that. That does not mean we are becoming socialists.

As for the actual numbers, let's look at it this way (though this is far too simplistic, it is nevertheless one way of looking at it).

If the government has bailed out companies to the tune of 100 billion dollars (I am rounding for the sake of argument) and borrowed the money evenly from every single American (population of America is 300 million) each American would pay $335.

Now, this is arguable simplistic, but the point is: We aren't really paying that much in this current gamble to foster the economy. I am willing to do my share.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Mark,

The essential factor that you refuse to recognize is that $335 or $3350 or $33500, (closer to the truth, I think) It's being taken from each of us by force to waste on the non-productive--whether that segment is sitting at home watching Dopra or sitting in a boardroom trying to figure out to which offshore bank will go his ill-gotten gains.

Either way, those of us who work for a living are financially hobbled.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Once again, you are resorting to tired quips and generalizations with absolutely no foundation or facts to back them up.

I work for a living. I am not not hobbled. I am happy to do my share. I am not hobbled because I live sensibly and within my means. I don't know what your reasons are, but don't spew your venom as if it were the truth for every American, because it is not.

For the sake of argument, stick to facts. Yes, the government is taking it. Not all of it is wasted on bums, so stop this generalizing jabber.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger RightWingRocker said...

Not all of it is wasted on bums, so stop this generalizing jabber.

The US has been plummeting into socialism for nearly a hundred years, and you deny it as if it's not true and then defend it as if it is.

Mark, you really should check your own words before casting aspersions upon those wiser than you like The Colonel.

RWR
www.rightwingrocker.com

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Mark said...

RWR. I do not see one item within your post that is not pure and utter presumption. You claim that we are plummeting into socialism, but of course give no evidence. You say I deny it. Yes. I do deny it, and I backed up my denial with evidence, such as the graph showing that only .21% of the production economy is in the government's hands, a clear indication that we are not "plummeting into socialism".

What words should I check? How is the Colonel wiser than me? Do you always just throw out your unfounded claims as if they were fact? At least back it up. Put forth an actual debatable point. So far, your presumptions are hardly worth replying to.

Colonel asked for honest debate. This is what I have tried to do. I do not wish to take part in an unfounded opinion festival.

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Mark,

Whomever told you that the government only controls 0.21% of production is lying. For only one example (among many), government controls the production of all of the weapons, airplanes, construction and other military materials it buys. That alone makes far more than 0.21%.

Safety and fuel consumption requirements imposed 'pon auto makers by themselves equal far more than 0.21% if America's production--and are a big factor in the reasons they're in financial trouble right now.

I can think of many more, but you'd get the point if you were open to the facts.

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Mark,

Anyone can send a check to the government anytime he wants, so don't tell me you're happy to do your share. You cut as many corners on your taxes as you can, just like everyone else.

The fact remains, if you weren't forced to give the feds 15 or 20% of your earnings (or more), you'd have more money to do with as you wish. Argue that.....

And if you simply paid for only the services you use, at a rate commensurate with that of private businesses, you'd still have a lot more money to spend on trips on your Harley.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Mark said...

"The fact remains, if you weren't forced to give the feds 15 or 20% of your earnings (or more), you'd have more money to do with as you wish. Argue that....."

There is nothing to argue. This is true. Is this your argument?

"For only one example (among many), government controls the production of all of the weapons, airplanes, construction and other military materials it buys. That alone makes far more than 0.21%."

Please tell me how government controls production by buying equipment. That is like saying I control Wal-Mart because I shop there.

"Safety and fuel consumption requirements imposed 'pon auto makers by themselves equal far more than 0.21% if America's production--and are a big factor in the reasons they're in financial trouble right now."


Regulating fuel consumption does not equate to the government controlling production. It regulates, yes, but it hardly owns the companies it is regulating.

"I can think of many more, but you'd get the point if you were open to the facts."

I am open to facts. However, you confuse regulation with ownership. You have no understanding of what Socialism actually is, and you callously dismiss my facts as "lies" without any of your own sources to back it up. Once more, you are debating without any "facts". The only fact you stated, I conceded. However, one fact is not an argument. Saying I would have more money if the government didn't take it is so obvious that it hardly bears mentioning.

And then to say that I wouldn't pay my fair share only contradicts your own point that people could donate like they do to church. By your own admission, they wouldn't:

"You cut as many corners on your taxes as you can, just like everyone else."

When I say I am happy to do my share, I mean I am happy to let the government take the money. If I kept the money myself, it would likely get spent on things that were not supportive of the overall infrastructure, mostly because I would be ignorant of what was actually needed. This is why I prefer to hire people who have made it their job to take care of such things. Is it the best most efficient way of doing things? Maybe. Maybe not.

I would love to hear the alternative! You imply that you have one, so let's hear it! Something tells me though, that as innovative as men are, if there had been a better alternative to government by now, we would have discovered it.

Thanks for playing. Next time, try to say something meaningful.

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Vincent said...

The problem with the removal of taxation is inflation.

Sure, you won't be taxed, but your dollar will buy less. Your purchasing power decreases - which gives the same effect as being taxed.

Econ 101. Tax cuts help unemployment issues because labor is a derived demand - but it creates inflationary pressures. Cut taxes too much, and inflation rockets upward. Eliminate taxation and you are looking at some seriously bad inflationary numbers.

Sure, you have more take-home pay - but you can buy less with it. Is that what you are arguing?

As for regulation - the definition of socialism is government ownership, not government regulated. Although there were a lot of contributary causes of the Great Depression, one of them was the unregulated accounting profession...

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Vincent said...

"The fact remains, if you weren't forced to give the feds 15 or 20% of your earnings (or more), you'd have more money to do with as you wish. Argue that....."

I'll argue that. As I said before, you may have more money, but less purchasing power because of unrelenting inflation.

Do you really have more money to do with as you wish if the things you have to buy cost 20% more?

You cannot discuss economics without looking at its impact on the three primary measures of the economy - Unemployment; Inflation; and GDP Growth.

For a healthy economy, unemployment needs to be in the 4-6% range, inflation needs to be under 3%, and GDP growth must be positive.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Well said, Vince. I was unaware of such outcomes. I am glad to understand it better. Actually, it makes perfect sense.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Vincent said...

There are other arguments in favor of government regulation as well.

Laissez-faire capitalism gives rise to some serious abuses. Anyone remember Enron or Worldcom? Heck, watch "Erin Brockovich."

On thing to remember is that there are basically three participants in the free market: Individuals; Businesses; Governments. Each of these have different goals. Individuals try to increase their overall happiness, businesses try to increase their profits, and governments are interested in the welfare of those being governed.

These goals are often at odds with each other. Part of the study of economy is to perform a balancing act to allow the best mix of all three goals. Unregulated business makes achieving individual and government goals difficult.

Now balance all of that with the economic goals of full employment (4-6% unemployment), price stability (inflation less than 3%) and economic growth (positive real GDP growth).

Many of the arguments seen here on this board have counterproductive economic impacts. Cutting taxes creates inflationary pressures and cutting government spending increases unemployment. Do one or the other, but doing both is counterproductive.

To eliminate taxes makes government spending the only fiscal lever available to the government - unless one wants to give unprecedented control of the economy to the Federal Reserve.

Government regulation is not socialism.

As for fascism, I agree with George Orwell: "The word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else... almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’." – George Orwell, What is Fascism?. 1944.

While government regulation is part of a fascist doctrine, it is also a doctrine of many non-fascist politics and economies. Under Obama, I am not seeing evidence of authoritatrian nationalism, imperialist foreign policies, an autocratic single-party system, and so on.

Anyway, calling something fascist nowadays is not really useful. It is just a perjorative. If you want to eliminate name-calling from your arguments, fascist is a label which needs to be eliminated from your discourse.

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Vincent said...

Hmmm... no one has much to say now.

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger Mark said...

This is because you presented them with actual support for your argument. They never reply when this is done. I would venture to say that 90% of the time we present them with substantive argument, they become mute.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

Gentlemen,

The textbook definition of fascism is private ownership of the means of production, with government in control.

It's pretty well established that most Americans prefer large, substantial vehicles with plenty of power and comfort. Government is forcing automakers to build light, small, underpowered, spartan little cars that won't hold a family, let alone the stuff they want to take along.

This is fascism. Government requires airlines to operate in particular ways--ways that are, in many cases, less safe that airlines would have chosen for themselves. Government is trying in every way possible to make travel difficult and expensive.

Pharmaceutical companies have to spend millions and years proving new drugs can do no harm. We count the fact that nobody is injured by unproven drugs, but nobody counts those who die of illnesses waiting for these drugs to be approved. Drug companies are fully controlled by government, as are (gradually) doctors and hospitals.

Anyone who tries to deny that the US is sliding ever more quickly into national socialism is lying to himself.

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Vincent said...

Which textbook defines fascism in such a way?

Fascism: 1often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism

I'd be interested to see the "textbook" your definition comes from.

The pharmaceutical argument is a different issue than the one at hand.

Any comment on the taxation issue?

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Clearly in all of his arguments Hogan is using the "Hogan Dictionary". As I have said before, he is all to willing to apply labels to things even though he has no actual understanding of the terms he has chosen to use.

As for the argument that government is forcing automakers to produce smaller cars--- if I remember rightly, we still do live in a Democracy. It is the will of the people that drives policy. Therefore, it is American people demanding smaller more efficient cars.

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Vincent said...

Yes. The tastes of the people (one of the determinants of demand) began shifting with the introduction of Japanese cars in the '70s and '80s into the car market. Suddenly, the US car makers started producing smaller cars.

It is clear the demand for smaller cars is independent of government. People stopped buying smaller cars until the SUV craze came along.

Ultimately, Mark, you are correct. It is the American people demanding smaller, more efficient cars. Other than those preferring status symbols (Hummers, other oversized SUVs), American tastes have swung in that direction.

If people wanted larger cars, and government insists of more efficient cars, then the auto makers would make large, efficient cars. They would find a way. But that is not what is happening. People, in general, want smaller cars. That demand is what is the driving force here, not the government.

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Vincent said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31199889/

Obama's spending only a sliver of the problem Bush left us - but he really isn't helping.

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Depressing. I can't help but think that these problems have ideological bases. That is to say, I blame the belief in the American dream mythology. I believe that Americans have gradually come to believe that they are owed the American dream and that this justifies borrowing more money than they can pay back to achieve it.

As we are all aware, our beliefs are often used to justify actions that empower and validate the belief itself. Such is the power of mythology. And the American dream is a myth, pure and simple.

It's too bad...

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Col. Hogan said...

I don't want to answer this because I kind of did in the next thread. I'll only say that the desirability (as seen on the streets and freeways) of SUV's and full-size pickups, and repop muscle cars belies your assertion that people really want tinfoil and plastic pedal cars. Or to ride buses to work. Only the increasing gas taxes cause some to consider it.

 
At 1:28 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Colonel, you cannot prove present mindsets and desires by referring to past mindsets and desires.

Just because Americans desired large cars at one time is no indication that they desire large cars now.

By your own reasoning I could have claimed in 1990 that everyone wanted parachute pants, evidenced by the large number of people who were still wearing them. However, as evidenced by the relative lack of parachute pants a year later, we can see that this sort of reasoning is flawed at best.

 
At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Vincent said...

Mr. Hogan,

You did not comment on the taxation issue in the other thread. You commented on the fascist label in the other thread.

 

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