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  1. #1

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    Default Economics Thread

    This probably could be put in the budget thread, but I have some general questions about economics. If anyone has a better understanding than I do and can share, that would be great.

    First, I keep hearing that in order to keep the economic recovery going, the govt needs to spend more, to keep jobs creation alive. But we are broke. How bad is it going to be if we slash the budget to get things back under control, at the expense of creating no new jobs?

    Second, I always hear that tax breaks for the rich are necessary, because of job creation. But then I hear that small businesses are really the job creators. It seems to me that if giving the rich tax cuts was really the answer to our job creation problems, we wouldn't have any job worries right now, as the rich are enjoying historic levels of prosperity without being taxed. I think I read last week that the tax level for the rich is at the lowest point it has EVER been at. Ever. Yet there are no new jobs (or very few) being created. Why is this?

    Not looking for partisan responses, though I'm sure I will get some of that. looking for information, trying to reconcile differing points of view. Thanks in advance.
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    There aren't enough spending cuts out there to right the ship without borrowing more money, from what I've heard. We have to keep borrowing to stay afloat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    First, I keep hearing that in order to keep the economic recovery going, the govt needs to spend more, to keep jobs creation alive.
    The problem I have with hearing this on tv all the time, is where is the proof these jobs are being created? In reality, we are all taking their word for it. Everyone I know that was jobless last year is still jobless, and they work in an array of fields all over the country, with different levels of education. Not only that, but they still say most of these companies that received stimulus money are still sitting on over 65% of what they were given. There should have been a time limit where they had to either create jobs with those funds or give it back.

    I'm personally skeptical about the numbers of newly created jobs being reported for a few reasons. My sister is a big wig at Cox Communications. Last Summer, they laid off thousands within the company due to revenue loss when Fios first got booming big. Now that things have started to balance out with that, they are hiring a lot of those people back. They count those as newly created jobs, when in reality they are just bringing people back that they already had 6 months ago. To me, that's a bull**** statistic.

    I also have a family friend that used to be EOD diver in the Navy for 26 years. He got out, then he missed what he did, so now he works in the private sector doing teaching and training for EOD. Within his company, they "created" a bunch of new job titles, then shifted employees within the company into those new titles. That is also not job creation, but it is also counted like it is. I am sure these are not the only companies doing this. In fact, I recall a major company, I believe it may have been Microsoft or Apple, that was doing this exact thing.

    So as far as the government spending to create jobs, it's BS. They give the money to these companies, and they shift people around or sit on the money. That's not job creation. You want job creation? Put some drills in the ground offshore. That'll be a start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    But we are broke. How bad is it going to be if we slash the budget to get things back under control, at the expense of creating no new jobs?
    I assure you nothing will be different than it is right now. Job creation right now is a fairytale. Unless you consider McDonald's and their recent announcement that they are hiring back 50,000 former employees.....oh, which by the way, the government has already included in their "new job creation." They're all con artists, duping the American public. As a whole, we are a gullible and stupid people, and the government knows this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    Second, I always hear that tax breaks for the rich are necessary, because of job creation. But then I hear that small businesses are really the job creators.
    I don't honestly know what to believe with this. In theory, tax breaks for big business should create jobs or lower prices for the consumer. In reality, it usually doesn't work that way and the companies spend more on marketing and executive bonuses.

    On the other hand, Obama has stated on numerous occasions that the average small business employs between 20-30 people. I guess it depends on your definition, because I know of no small business with even that many people. Even so, putting money into small business would have the same effect. People are greedy, they aren't going to say hey I have more money, time to hire more people. Instead, they will use the money more wisely on marketing, production, sales, etc. in the hopes that it will grow them enough to where they will be having so much demand that they have to hire new workers. It's a tough call for me either way with who should get the cuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    It seems to me that if giving the rich tax cuts was really the answer to our job creation problems, we wouldn't have any job worries right now, as the rich are enjoying historic levels of prosperity without being taxed. I think I read last week that the tax level for the rich is at the lowest point it has EVER been at. Ever. Yet there are no new jobs (or very few) being created. Why is this?
    Supply and demand my friend. It drives everything. The people that can afford to shop are still shopping, and shopping more because of how much they have benefited from tax breaks. The middle and lower class are spending less, because we don't have the money to throw around. These businesses have just enough demand to turn a great profit and pad their wallets, but not quite enough to require more employees. There are just still way too many people with no extra income.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    Not looking for partisan responses, though I'm sure I will get some of that. looking for information, trying to reconcile differing points of view. Thanks in advance.
    I know what you mean. I share viewpoints from both sides, so I have the advantage/disadvantage of arguing with my own mind sometimes on the pros and cons of certain issues. I guess that's why I come across as crazy sometimes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    There aren't enough spending cuts out there to right the ship without borrowing more money, from what I've heard. We have to keep borrowing to stay afloat.
    This is what bothers me the most about the government. Robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't ever work. Why would the cluster**** that is the government think it will work for them? I think we need to fire them all and start over. Term limits, no career politicians.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme View Post
    This is what bothers me the most about the government. Robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't ever work. Why would the cluster**** that is the government think it will work for them? I think we need to fire them all and start over. Term limits, no career politicians.
    I agree, and I'm not saying I am for the current structure, however there's not much we can do about it at this point without major government overhaul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    I agree, and I'm not saying I am for the current structure, however there's not much we can do about it at this point without major government overhaul.
    Maybe we should do like the guys on ES did to Snyder, and just start mass mailing pink slips to all the government officials lol.
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    I'll post this link that was just posted in the gas thread.

    http://clicks.dailywealth.com//t/AQ/...AQ/AuuCdw/ka0C

    We're living in a time when a huge paradigm shift could be painful. Very painful. Ignore the sales pitch, but this video is honest and straight-forward. Don't think it can't happen. The vid is about 45 minutes long - you can pause it by clicking in the middle of the page and do the same to resume it. This guy has been scary accurate for a number of years.
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    this is a way difficult question to answer - it traces back to considerations on the effectiveness of micro-economic pricing mechanisms in disequiblrium states of large under-consumption. back "in the day" (grossly simplifying) JM Keynes advanced a model that posited that in extreme under-Consumption states...the government can "actively" influence aggregate growth by direct investment (i.e., make up for declining consumption). the political wonks, of course, loved this because it means the "blessed", "better educated" policy bureaucrats can determine where those government dollars are invested.

    - the spending, however, has to be paid for: one taxes or borrows. hence, there is one thread of arguments over which is the best path to pursue and how those mechanisms influence growth.

    - there is heated argument over how much growth government investment generates...the so called multiplier. if each dollar of government generates less than one dollar of growth...so the argument goes....and each dollar of private investment generates more than one dollar of growth.....then this is a fools bargain in the long-run.

    - monetarists have a very differnt pov on what influences aggregate growth.

    - tax policy plays in cuz that is how the government "generates" its revenues. there are people who honestly believe that increasing tax rates actually incentivizes Investment (i.e., promotes growth). what you are tapping into is complicated because it plays into the whole Liberal/Democrat "what is fair" lietmotif/rhetoric. This class warfare based policy essentially posits that the wealthy hold a disproportionate share of society's wealth, that it is immoral to earn/own beyond a certain threshold they get to set, that our true responsibility in life is to work over-time for others and not our families, blah, blah, blah. While they appear to be correct that this country suffers from an UN-Godly unbalanced distribution of wealth - they play this theme into the income tax structure...which...if one looks at the statistics (and despite the loophole advantages the rich are adept at exploiting because they can hire the better accountants and planners)...is preponderantly covered by the rich.

    as a sidebar on your small biz owner question...current Obama policy is that "the rich" are single taxpayers making over $200K a year or married couples clearing $250K a year. if you know anything about business...does this strike you as covering only the rich?
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    The highly unpopular opinion: if Congress does exactly nothing over the next few years, the deficit will decrease significantly, as many tax cuts are scheduled to expire.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/bu...ardt.html?_r=1

    As fs62 mentioned above - only drastic cuts in spending will have any effect if we continue to keep tax rates at all time lows. We need to fund our spending, and raising taxes is the only way this will happen, without cutting a leg and arm off our government. Yes, I know this is appealing to conservatives and libertarians, however its not that realistic.
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    Raising taxes would be easier to accept if we could trust our politicians to use the moneys wisely, with optimal effectiveness.

    Unfortunately, we can't, and likely, never will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ax View Post
    Raising taxes would be easier to accept if we could trust our politicians to use the moneys wisely, with optimal effectiveness.

    Unfortunately, we can't, and likely, never will.
    speak for yourself! I pay enough in taxes. think about it: Federal, State, local, sales, passthru in retail prices.....it all adds up to a huge percentage of your income....and of course the indirect tax of inflation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    speak for yourself! I pay enough in taxes. think about it: Federal, State, local, sales, passthru in retail prices.....it all adds up to a huge percentage of your income....and of course the indirect tax of inflation.
    Ah yes, my friend. But my statement suggests, at least to me, that if taxes were already used wisely, and effectively, there would not be a need for more. In fact, less would be required, IMO.

    Only temporary, targeted increases might become necessary from time to time, and, if our government had a good tract record for doing what it said it was, those temporary, targeted taxes, would be more easily acceptable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ax View Post
    Ah yes, my friend. But my statement suggests, at least to me, that if taxes were already used wisely, and effectively, there would not be a need for more. In fact, less would be required, IMO.

    Only temporary, targeted increases might become necessary from time to time, and, if our government had a good tract record for doing what it said it was, those temporary, targeted taxes, would be more easily acceptable.

    what you're really saying is that the parties need to agree on what is essential and then limit spending to those items. that would indeed be a nice start. of course...essential to you/me is a drop in the bucket to the pelosi's of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    what you're really saying is that the parties need to agree on what is essential and then limit spending to those items. that would indeed be a nice start. of course...essential to you/me is a drop in the bucket to the pelosi's of the world.
    Nailed it.
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    There seems to be a group of people who belive that the "wealthy" don't pay their fair share (whatever that is suppose to mean) of taxes. Of course, when you ask those folks what is a fair share, they don't know. Also, they don't know how much the "wealthy" really pay. The answer lies with the IRS who does provide this information. First the top 1% of the taxpayers are those who have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $364,657 or more. So you ask yourself,what percentage of taxes do they pay? it is 39.36% of the taxes. Are you surprise? Lets look at the top 5%. Their AGI is $145,283 and they pay 59.67% of the taxes. The top 10%: AGI is $103,912 and they pay 70.30% of the taxes. Do you know that the bottom 50% of the taxpayers pay only 3.07%? So the question is: how much more in taxes should the "wealthy" be paying? As far as I am concern, they should not being paying anymore.

    Here is another fact. In California, where I live. Those who have AGI of $300,000 or more pay 50% of the personal state income tax. Those taxpayers number 280,654. I believe our state has 30 million people. Are the "wealthy" here not paying their fair share? Of course they are. In fact they are paying too much. No wonder they are leaving the state.

    Just something to think about when the next time you hear that the "wealthy" are not paying their fair share.

    Also, when you give a tax break, it stands to reason that only those who pay taxes get the tax reduction. Those who pay more stand to get the larger tax break because they are the ones paying the taxes. How do you give a person a tax break if they don't pay any taxes? It is not any different then going to Nordtroms and getting 10% off the merchandise. The bigger the ticket item, the more of a discount. You buy something for $100 and you save $10. Buy something at $1,000 and you save $100. Yet there are folks out there who would think this is unfair. Go figure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedskinfaninOC View Post
    There seems to be a group of people who belive that the "wealthy" don't pay their fair share (whatever that is suppose to mean) of taxes. Of course, when you ask those folks what is a fair share, they don't know. Also, they don't know how much the "wealthy" really pay. The answer lies with the IRS who does provide this information. First the top 1% of the taxpayers are those who have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $364,657 or more. So you ask yourself,what percentage of taxes do they pay? it is 39.36% of the taxes. Are you surprise? Lets look at the top 5%. Their AGI is $145,283 and they pay 59.67% of the taxes. The top 10%: AGI is $103,912 and they pay 70.30% of the taxes. Do you know that the bottom 50% of the taxpayers pay only 3.07%? So the question is: how much more in taxes should the "wealthy" be paying? As far as I am concern, they should not being paying anymore.

    Here is another fact. In California, where I live. Those who have AGI of $300,000 or more pay 50% of the personal state income tax. Those taxpayers number 280,654. I believe our state has 30 million people. Are the "wealthy" here not paying their fair share? Of course they are. In fact they are paying too much. No wonder they are leaving the state.

    Just something to think about when the next time you hear that the "wealthy" are not paying their fair share.

    Also, when you give a tax break, it stands to reason that only those who pay taxes get the tax reduction. Those who pay more stand to get the larger tax break because they are the ones paying the taxes. How do you give a person a tax break if they don't pay any taxes? It is not any different then going to Nordtroms and getting 10% off the merchandise. The bigger the ticket item, the more of a discount. You buy something for $100 and you save $10. Buy something at $1,000 and you save $100. Yet there are folks out there who would think this is unfair. Go figure.

    I'm no fan of the rich...afterall...that category covers most Liberal Congressional Democrats and the President!!! but your argument is solid.......it all boils down to who controls the definition of "fair"
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    OC, not trying to pick om you, but I hate that argument. First, of course the rich pay a higher percentage of overall taxes. They're rich. They make more money, therefore, they will be putting more into the kitty. A lot more.

    Secondly, as Henry said in another thread, this reminds me why I am growing to hate conservatives. They seem to assume that poor people shouldn't receive any assistance from the government. Some people are trying, you know? My wife's aide in her classroom makes something stupid like 14k a year, but that is all he is qualified for (yes, I said HE), so he works hard and does a reasonably good job. Would you rather he do that, or sell drugs like a lot of the people in his neighborhood? If you would rather he work, YOU try living on 14k a year.

    I know, I know. There are a few people who don't work the system but most of them screw us over, collecting welfare checks whilst sitting on their asses. First, does that mean the people who aren't screwing us over should suffer? Ir think it means we have a lousy system, and instead of scrapping it all together, as apparently conservatives would have us do, we should work to redesign it, make changes that would save money while still getting aid to people like my wife's aid who could really use the help.

    There seems to be this feeling among the Repubs in general that welfare, food stamps, WIC, etc are broken because the system is being taken advantage of in some cases, and therefore we should cut all spending to these entitlements immediately. Why not try to fix them? It's the same problem I had with the Obamacare debate. I didn't think his proposal was great ia lot of ways, but i also didn't hear any terrifically viable alternate solutions from the Repubs. They seemed more than happy to criticize without providing any alternatives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    OC, not trying to pick om you, but I hate that argument. First, of course the rich pay a higher percentage of overall taxes. They're rich. They make more money, therefore, they will be putting more into the kitty. A lot more.

    Secondly, as Henry said in another thread, this reminds me why I am growing to hate conservatives. They seem to assume that poor people shouldn't receive any assistance from the government. Some people are trying, you know? My wife's aide in her classroom makes something stupid like 14k a year, but that is all he is qualified for (yes, I said HE), so he works hard and does a reasonably good job. Would you rather he do that, or sell drugs like a lot of the people in his neighborhood? If you would rather he work, YOU try living on 14k a year.

    I know, I know. There are a few people who don't work the system but most of them screw us over, collecting welfare checks whilst sitting on their asses. First, does that mean the people who aren't screwing us over should suffer? Ir think it means we have a lousy system, and instead of scrapping it all together, as apparently conservatives would have us do, we should work to redesign it, make changes that would save money while still getting aid to people like my wife's aid who could really use the help.

    There seems to be this feeling among the Repubs in general that welfare, food stamps, WIC, etc are broken because the system is being taken advantage of in some cases, and therefore we should cut all spending to these entitlements immediately. Why not try to fix them? It's the same problem I had with the Obamacare debate. I didn't think his proposal was great ia lot of ways, but i also didn't hear any terrifically viable alternate solutions from the Repubs. They seemed more than happy to criticize without providing any alternatives.
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    you present a blindered argument. Conservatives/Republicans are not against societal assisatnce to those in need....however

    - they observe that this should not be an exclusive government role

    - they observe that there has been an inexorable expansion in this generosity; every well intentioned piece of legisaltion purposed to assist people through tough times has exploded into a permanent, ever expanding, curruption prone, unaffordable set of entitlements

    - there have been controversial but not unreasonable studies on the destructive consequences for individual and community welfare of many of these programs

    They all ultimately rely on the coercive power of the government: "be good or we'll bankrupt you/throw you in jail".
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    you present a blindered argument. Conservatives/Republicans are not against societal assisatnce to those in need....however

    - they observe that this should not be an exclusive government role

    - they observe that there has been an inexorable expansion in this generosity; every well intentioned piece of legisaltion purposed to assist people through tough times has exploded into a permanent, ever expanding, curruption prone, unaffordable set of entitlements

    - there have been controversial but not unreasonable studies on the destructive consequences for individual and community welfare of many of these programs

    They all ultimately rely on the coercive power of the government: "be good or we'll bankrupt you/throw you in jail".

    FS, I know we would get along well together in person, but on the interwebz, you drive me insane. I just got done acknowledging that the entitlements programs we have are delivered in a far-from-perfect way. But the answer far too often from the conservatives appears to be to drop the help all together and let the poor fend for themselves. Horatio Alger and professional athletes aside, not exactly an encouraging, (bi-?) winning proposition.

    So you then proceed to... tell me that there is corruption in the entitlement programs.

    Yes. Acknowledged. I understand. Comprendo.

    Take a moment and address some of your alternatives. Instead of scrapping them, how could we do them better? The overwhelming (two underlines in one post? Watch out Larry!) feeling I get listening to the Repubs is that they want to cut all or most entitlement programs because there are people abusing the system, instead of acknowledging there are people benefiting from the system who aren't abusing it, and trying to fix things as a result of that acknowledgment.

    But whatever. Tell me again about corruption. No really. I enjoy it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    FS, I know we would get along well together in person, but on the interwebz, you drive me insane. I just got done acknowledging that the entitlements programs we have are delivered in a far-from-perfect way. But the answer far too often from the conservatives appears to be to drop the help all together and let the poor fend for themselves. Horatio Alger and professional athletes aside, not exactly an encouraging, (bi-?) winning proposition.

    So you then proceed to... tell me that there is corruption in the entitlement programs.

    Yes. Acknowledged. I understand. Comprendo.

    Take a moment and address some of your alternatives. Instead of scrapping them, how could we do them better? The overwhelming (two underlines in one post? Watch out Larry!) feeling I get listening to the Repubs is that they want to cut all or most entitlement programs because there are people abusing the system, instead of acknowledging there are people benefiting from the system who aren't abusing it, and trying to fix things as a result of that acknowledgment.

    But whatever. Tell me again about corruption. No really. I enjoy it.

    Pls show me where Conservatives argue that this is a zero sum solution space?

    You're ignoring the fundamental purposes these programs are really being shaped for. I repeat...I at least...understand the need to assist those who misfortune has visited to help them recover. this is not what these programs have become - they have become permament agents for wealth/income redistribution objectives of the more Liberal/Progressive elements in our society. Obama dropped the ball when he said as much during his famous slip with Joe the Plumber. This is the real struggle that lies behind the whole budget fiasco going on right now: whether the social product is going to be cornered (i.e., taxed) by government for subsequent redistribution according to the social justice principles of the moment....or whether individuals are self-determining and accountable.
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