Psycho-Babble Politics Thread 1052214

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Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:11

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :( sigismund, posted by Dinah on October 13, 2013, at 8:42:53

>Ah, so it's not just me who sees this as the result of the end of yellow dog democrats (i.e. Southern Conservative). It led to polarization in both parties. :(

That Ambrose Evans Pritchard thing?

>Shame on me for answering on "Social".

Well yes but no one is getting awful or anything.

In thinking about electorates and therefore safe seats, here we have an independent authority to define the boundaries, but perhaps it is different in the US? I don't know how it is done though.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( sigismund

Posted by Dinah on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:12

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by sigismund on October 13, 2013, at 14:20:37

Yes, I was responding to that article.

It isn't really a question of boundaries. Prior to Reagan, a good number of Southerners were so opposed to Republicans that they'd "vote for a yellow dog" if it ran as a democrat. Yet they were conservative. So they elected fairly conservative democrats. When they went to the Republican party, after Reagan, they skewed that party more conservative, while removing the conservative pull in the Democratic Party. Thus both parties moved away from the middle.

For those of us in the middle, this is not a good thing.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( Dinah

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:12

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :( sigismund, posted by Dinah on October 13, 2013, at 14:36:24

I've been reading his articles, especially about Europe, for a few years.

He argues against the austerity measures there from a monetarist position. I think. And do not understand. Fiscal multiplier and stuff like that.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by linkadge on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:12

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :( Dinah, posted by sigismund on October 13, 2013, at 16:11:23

When you are as bankrupt as the US, you can only avoid austerity, you can't prevent it. The US government is great at Keynesian freeloading 'borrow from China give to the poor' economic strategies. However, they've done diddely to actually get the economy going again.

Once China starts to realize that they're not getting their money back, austerity will be imposed. It won't be an option. Interest rates will skyrocket and the government's plan to push debt driven to consumption will begin backfire.

The US economy is a disaster. All the US government does is artificially supress interest rates by printing money. The incentivise stupidity rather than sound fiscal prudence.


 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( linkadge

Posted by SLS on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:12

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by linkadge on October 13, 2013, at 19:44:35

Agreed.


- Scott

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:13

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by linkadge on October 13, 2013, at 19:44:35

My bitch is that I have seen this pattern several times....raise military spending, cut taxes, then complain about the deficit.

What did you think of the article? Austerity has not been good for southern Europe. 50% jobless rate for the young. Lots of young Spanish people here.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:13

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by linkadge on October 13, 2013, at 19:44:35

>Once China starts to realize that they're not getting their money back, austerity will be imposed.

Good point

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by baseball55 on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:13

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by sigismund on October 13, 2013, at 20:27:58

> >Once China starts to realize that they're not getting their money back, austerity will be imposed.
>
What do you think that means? What money back? China holds reserves of short-term US government debt (T-bills they're called). To get it's money back, the US government can simply print more dollars to repay the debt. China knows this. So does everyone else. They continue to hold US T-bills because they are considered as good as the dollar and the dollar is considered, on international financial markets, as good as gold. It is the safe-haven currency, a place to stash your money without worrying about default, hyperinflation, political instability, etc. Unless of course, Congress forces a default, in which case all bets are off.

Further, China has little recourse but to hold T-bills. How long do you think the US government will put up with China's undervaluing its currency to promote export growth in China at the expense of US jobs, if China didn't support the US trade deficit by holding T-bills. Do you think the PRC doesn't understand this?

As for austerity -- look what it's done to Greece and Spain. One in four workers unable to find work. GDP plummeting each year.

You don't understand the fiscal multiplier? Too complicated. Let me make it simple. The government cuts $800b in spending (which it would have to do if the debt ceiling isn't raised). GDP falls by $800b. Then all the businesses that make money from people spending their social security checks or doctors spending their Medicare and Medicaid payments, or government workers spending their paychecks -- all those businesses lose their revenues, lay off workers and now those workers cut their own spending, putting ever more businesses out of business and more workers out of work -- so GDP falls by much, much more than $800b. Full-fledged recession.

You want austerity, why? You want to live in a world where nobody can find work, wages fall uncontrollably, there's no social safety net, so the unemployed starve. We've been there, done that. It was called the Great Depression. Oh. we balanced our budget alright (until FDR came in), but at the cost of murdering veterans who marched on Washington demanding benefits, forcing millions of people out of their homes or off their farms. Is this what you want? Does government debt bother you so much (and why? How exactly does it hurt you?) that you are willing to plunge the world into depression to reduce it?

I can understand why the super-rich who finance the Tea Party feel this way. They would like to see wages fall and will do anything to prevent Americans from looking to government for help, which will then look to them to pay higher taxes. But why do babblers feel this way? Are you all anti-tax billionaires like the Koch brothers who finance Americans for Prosperity, which finances the Tea Party?

II don't get American politics, though I'm an American. I sometimes feel that people should be required to take a basic macroeconomics course before they can vote.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( baseball55

Posted by Willful on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:14

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 13, 2013, at 23:19:02

Thanks. I really appreciate hearing a few relevant facts- because uninformed, and seriously misguided posts trouble me-- when they're left unanswered.

There are so many reasons why a US government default would have terrible repercussions for the world and US economy--and therefore for ordinary Americans among others-- and it's so dispiriting to see the way this issue is being handled at the nation level-- that it's hard even to think about any more.

.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( baseball55

Posted by Dinah on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:14

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 13, 2013, at 23:19:02

> I can understand why the super-rich who finance the Tea Party feel this way. They would like to see wages fall and will do anything to prevent Americans from looking to government for help, which will then look to them to pay higher taxes. But why do babblers feel this way? Are you all anti-tax billionaires like the Koch brothers who finance Americans for Prosperity, which finances the Tea Party?

It may or may not finance the Tea Party. Rich people finance most parties. But my experience with Tea Partiers is large, based on where I live. In my area of the country, it isn't the rich at all who support the Tea Party.

There are a lot of things other than economics wrapped up in the Tea Party, and the people who support it support it for myriad reasons. Largely a belief that our country is not headed in the right direction, and a wish to return to better times (by their understanding). Once party affiliation is made, many people of many beliefs tend to support their party. Probably tribalism remnants. I think people with less affiliative tendencies find fault in whatever party they happen to be in.

I personally think their rise to power has hurt the Republican Party, and I fervently wish the end to the party system entirely. I think it would be nice if people ran on their own positions and beliefs.

But failing that, I'd like to see the formation of a Moderate Party that eschewed extremes on both ends.

What do we want? A sensible economic plan of judicious budget cuts and incremental tax increases, with plenty of checks on fiscal responsibility and against abuse.

When do we want it? As soon as realistically feasible for smooth implementation, with plenty of checks to make sure we're on the right path.

How will we get it? By courteous tripartisan engagement.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:14

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 13, 2013, at 23:19:02

Well #now# I understand the fiscal multiplier.

My basic feeling is 'why is it always poor people who end up having to pay?'

They have arrested some of the Golden Dawn party in Greece. It's not a pretty picture there. The thing with the Euro is complicated because of the rates at which each different currency joined it initially.

Actually, I read if the US defaulted, the dollar would rise (at least temporarily) because of money seeking a safe haven, like with the yen after the tsunami perhaps.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( baseball55

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:14

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 13, 2013, at 23:19:02

You don't feel like explaining QE, both the short term effects and the long term ones?

Only if you'd like.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 17:00:06

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 14, 2013, at 14:44:13

> We've been there, done that. It was called the Great Depression.

What is now happening in Greece and Spain is said to be much worse than that was. The Euro is kind of like the gold standard was. ?

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by baseball55 on October 14, 2013, at 21:25:20

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by sigismund on October 14, 2013, at 17:00:06

> > We've been there, done that. It was called the Great Depression.
>
> What is now happening in Greece and Spain is said to be much worse than that was. The Euro is kind of like the gold standard was. ?

I have been working on an article with a colleague comparing the euro with the gold standard. QE (quantitative easing by the Fed) simply means that the Fed buys long term assets rather than short term assets. Basically, whenever the Fed buys assets, it creates new money for the banks to hold -- hopefully the banks will then lower interest rates and lend the money out to businesses, which will invest in new equipment and hire more workers. Traditionally, the Fed has worked on the short side of the market -- buying securities that will mature in less than a year. So short term interest rates fall, but businesses looking to borrow for new plant and equipment need to borrow longer term - often for several years. So the Fed has been working on the long side of the market (buying assets that don't mature for 10 or more years) to try and force long-term interest rates down.

With QE, 30-year mortgage rates fell for a while to 3.5%. The lowest rate since the 1930s.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 15, 2013, at 14:08:22

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 14, 2013, at 21:25:20

One of my complaints about the reporting of economics is that I never learn anything by paying attention. I remember well the Reagan years, Milton Friedman and trickle down.....Ummm, anyways it is possible to argue against austerity from a monetarist position (I think that is what Ambrose Evans Pritchard says he does). So interest rates are kept low. The ecomomy keeps choofing along and bubbles are potentiated. The long term effects bother some.

Every time I waste time listening to the news I wish they would have a half hour on the economy and finance and another half hour on the weather and skip the rest,especially the sport.

There seems to be all this money sloshing around looking for a safe home where it can aggrandise itself.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by baseball55 on October 15, 2013, at 19:56:57

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by sigismund on October 15, 2013, at 14:08:22

Economics is extremely ideological. Hotly contested. Because,really, what is more important? Who gets what. The role of government in the economy. Social responsibilty vs individual responsibility. The level of wages in the world economy. Poverty and what that means and what goverments should do to counter it. On and on. Ethical, political controversy.
This is why economics is not taught in American high schools - too controversial, like teaching religion.

Even at the college level, there are economists who don't talk to one another, who have sided with one political ideology or another.

So, for example, the debt ceiling. There are some who think the congress should not raise the debt ceiling, since this would force the government to run a balanced budget. There are others who oppose balanced budgets, since they require that governments cut spending in recessions, when tax revenues fall.

There is as much dispute in economics as there is in politics. It's the same issues, really.

can recommend a book -- old and out-of-print, but still available cheaply on amazon -- called Economics Explained. It's a bit out of date (the primary author died several year ago), but still a worthwhile read.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by alexandra_k on October 16, 2013, at 1:19:28

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 15, 2013, at 19:56:57

i don't understand any of this. i think i'm going to pick economics as my elective next year.

i think there should be a basic competency standard for voting, too. one should at least be able to say something about what policies each candidate stands for or something like that. but then one should also be able to say something sensible about why one prefers those policies, as you say.

the division of wealth upsets me. how some people have millions... while others have nothing. that doesn't seem fair. but then the more i learn about some of those people who appear to have nothing... well... get me far away from them and i might have more empathy for their plight...

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 16, 2013, at 18:17:03

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 15, 2013, at 19:56:57

>can recommend a book -- old and out-of-print, but still available cheaply on amazon -- called Economics Explained.

Great! Thanks.

I have read that the efficient markets hypothesis is a species of utopianism derived, at some distance, from a type of Christianity. I may be simplifying a little :)

I would really like to read "The Economic Consequences of the Peace", simply because it is referenced so often in the history books and would be well written. Cheap from amazon too.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by baseball55 on October 16, 2013, at 18:45:36

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by sigismund on October 16, 2013, at 18:17:03

> I have read that the efficient markets hypothesis is a species of utopianism derived, at some distance, from a type of Christianity. I may be simplifying a little :)

It is a kind of utopianism -- free markets always work. I don't know about the relation to christianity.
>
> I would really like to read "The Economic Consequences of the Peace", simply because it is referenced so often in the history books and would be well written. Cheap from amazon too.


It's a short book. Argued that the Versailles Treaty would ruin Germany. Very prescient.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 17, 2013, at 1:37:51

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 16, 2013, at 18:45:36

> > I have read that the efficient markets hypothesis is a species of utopianism derived, at some distance, from a type of Christianity. I may be simplifying a little :)
>
> It is a kind of utopianism -- free markets always work. I don't know about the relation to christianity.

It seems to me that in Christianity, God has a monopoly. How does a monopoly affect a market?

Bob

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by sigismund on October 17, 2013, at 1:43:30

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by baseball55 on October 16, 2013, at 18:45:36

There is the assumption of linear time, but that includes Zoroastrians and Muslims as well.....or maybe it is monotheism? Or the idea of Heaven?

I was thinking of this bloke, though there is not much about his form of government (so to speak) here

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

So much hope.

Ya well, I read about him in Klemperer's diaries. One day she says of Hitler 'It's John of Leidon'.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :( Dr. Bob

Posted by sigismund on October 17, 2013, at 1:49:47

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by Dr. Bob on October 17, 2013, at 1:37:51

The God of the Christians and the Jews and the Muslims is the same God?

Before we get on to the others, including the animists, sadly depleted these days.

The way I deal with the idea of dying is this: There is this idea that time is something we pass through (while prowling about on matter).
And another idea is that time is a property of matter (time space whatnot) and the whole caboodle.
In which case I have nothing useful to say or think, and therefore stop.

 

Re: gov't shutdown.... :(

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 19, 2013, at 23:07:38

In reply to Re: gov't shutdown.... :( Dr. Bob, posted by sigismund on October 17, 2013, at 1:49:47

> > It seems to me that in Christianity, God has a monopoly. How does a monopoly affect a market?
>
> The God of the Christians and the Jews and the Muslims is the same God?

Good question. It seems to me that God has a monopoly in each "market". Whether or not they're the same.

Bob

 

Re: gov't reopening no rose garden

Posted by jane d on October 19, 2013, at 23:36:29

In reply to gov't shutdown.... :(, posted by no rose garden on October 3, 2013, at 18:31:10

> anybody else affected? I think they're going to start trying to keep us out of work :(

Is life back to normal for you yet?

 

Keep us out of work? (nm)

Posted by Phil on October 19, 2013, at 23:36:29

In reply to Re: gov't reopening no rose garden, posted by jane d on October 18, 2013, at 19:45:49


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