Weekly discussion 24 (1/13/13-1/20/13): $1 trillion coin

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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Valhallen » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:48 am

Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Standard & Poor's (but not the other two major agencies) has downgraded the US credit rating.

Discuss.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:23 am

We're doing very poorly as a country. We're degrading our governmental services because we're rather greedy. Of course we deserve this rating. Eisenhower and Roosevelt are rolling in their graves as to the affairs of our government right now.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:04 am

@DaCrum: I disagree. I think we are degrading our government services because we're finally realizing that we can't afford all the things we want.

Also, do you mean Theodore Roosevelt or Franklin Roosevelt? FDR is probably not one of the best examples. New Deal, anyone?

And, well, Theodore Roosevelt... I have mixed feelings about him. Arguably one of the best presidents we've had in terms of domestic policy. On the other, he also said things like
Theodore Roosevelt wrote:We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community.
While the intention might be honorable, he's basically saying "You can have money as long as you obtain it and spend it the way I think you should if I'm the guy in charge." If he said the same words in this day and age, Roosevelt might have been considered more Socialist than Obama is.


As for our current "credit rating," you can go ahead and thank Keynesian economics for that.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:28 am

We need to make a decision, right here, right now. Do we want to be Sweden, or do we want to be Somalia? If we've fallen so in love with "small government", then we should probably look at real world examples before we go balls deep into it. Can you give me one real world example of a "small government" that works? That's people are still moderately wealthy(and I mean the majority)? That have effective education, low crime, and good health care?

It may seem that capitalism 100% is the way to go, because as a system, capitalism works. It's driven off of human selfishness and self-interest rather than the magic hoo-haa communism is supposed to run off of. But it is still a flawed system. If we let it run rampant, the rich grow richer, the poor grow poorer, and we end up back in Victorian England. In the words of Henry Ford,

”The factories are not stopped for the lack of money, but the lack of orders. Money loaned at the top means nothing. Money spent at the bottom starts everything.”


Henry Ford, despite being one of the richest men in the world at the time, pushed Roosevelt to pass that New Deal. Trickle-down economics doesn't work because supply does not drive the market, demand does. If you pay the rich, and they make more things, then the price of things will just go down; people do not buy things because they exist, they buy things because they want to. Money doesn't run like water. If we want the economy to move, the more people with money, the better. Money doesn't trickle down, it goes up.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:38 am

Not to mention the fact poor/middle class do all the hard work and labor....
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby BeeAre » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:23 pm

ruffdraft, it may be that government corruption was once undoubtedly worse than corporate corruption, but the gap between which is worse has gotten smaller. would you disagree?

potentially, i offer that government corruption could be worse, because only a state could scantion "officially" state-sponsered horrors upon its society from slavery to genocide; i understand that this is the historic thing that indicates the worst of the worst in power.

the problem here is that governments these days are incompetent. surely, ruffdraft, you wouldn't disagree that our congress has neutered itself by being stupid and divisive and never even attempting to seriously compromise. if a government is incompetent, the evils that happen in it are symptoms of the bigger problem, yes?

i assert for you an argument: corporations are big enough these days that they can leverage power that was once only available to a government.

unlike a government (even an incompetent one), corporations do not need to respond as obviously to public outcry, nor fear revolution and reprisal.

i understand that the classical economic response to a corporation is the public allowing that corporation to fail by not participating in their products, but I disagree.

before I assert the point, I don't remember what your response was to a previous argument of mine (or if you did and it was in another thread), so I will assert it again, I apologize if you picked it up and I didn't respond back. :(

my next point of argument is: how can the majority of people avoid using a corporation if that corporation leverages its power to make it difficult (for the people in proximity to that power) to NOT use that corporation?

Under this idea, the corporation has so much power that it uses that power to force itself to remain at least marginally successful, enough to keep it in business indefinitely.

An example is a town's local grocery stores being unable to offer better prices than Wal-Mart or Target or Kroger, even if their goods are marginally better.

The prices are lower, so the people use the big chain grocery store. Unfortunately, since local grocery stores have no way to compete, they are forced out of business. Only the chains are left, and local businesses are smothered, even if the local people would RATHER support their local business, it becomes necessary to survive on the cheaper food offered by the bigger business if the locals want to try and improve their own personal finances.

I am not hostile here, I really legitimately want to know what you think about this phenomenon. :)
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:28 pm

Monsanto has a monopoly on corn. Luxxottica makes all your sunglasses. Menu Foods feeds your pets. Quanta manufactures all the computers.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:45 pm

Well, they aren't immune to reprisal, it's simply that people don't yet weigh their options right. No need too yet.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:44 pm

DaCrum wrote:We need to make a decision, right here, right now. Do we want to be Sweden, or do we want to be Somalia?
Are those the only options? Why do we have to be either?

DaCrum wrote:Can you give me one real world example of a "small government" that works? That's people are still moderately wealthy(and I mean the majority)? That have effective education, low crime, and good health care?
First of all, that description perfectly matches conditions in America today (except for the small government part). Education, in and of itself, is very effective now, although there are problems keeping kids in school in a lot of places (which is largely due to bad living conditions [primarily in failing Blue states]); we hear about crime a lot in this country, but the average crime rate is something like 6-7% and goes up and down with the unemployment rate (you're notice that Red states tend to have a lower crime rate); we have good healthcare--arguably some of the best quality in the world--and the problem lies in people affording it; the majority of people (that is to say >50%) are "moderately wealthy," but I guess that depends on your definition of wealth.

But that doesn't answer your question--A real-world example of small government that works and meets the conditions? America, circa 1910. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Perfect? No; still arguably very good.

You want real, workable solutions to the current problems? Here ya go:


    Education:
  • Invest in redevelopment of failed areas like Detroit, build governmental (State-run) lower-income housing and apartment complexes and homeless shelters/halfway houses. Encourage those living in homeless shelters/halfway houses to fucking shower, you rancid fucking hogs and give them clothes from Good Will so they can at least get jobs. Once they get jobs, they can move to low-income housing. In low-income housing, they can opt-in to low-cost skill training.
  • Eliminate teacher's unions. I don't know how you would go about doing that just yet, but I'll try to work on a plan. However, eliminating teacher's unions would allow school districts to fire teachers that aren't doing their jobs; teachers that aren't doing their jobs are nothing but a drain on the economy; just look at New York and Washington DC.

    Unemployment:
  • Lower corporate taxes from ~15% to ~12.5%; further lower taxes to 10% for companies that are able to hire an additional 20% of their current reported employee workforce.
  • Lower the upper tax bracket to 30% and eliminate some tax loopholes and exemptions; this might seem like a lower tax bracket, but the elimination of loopholes would arguably increase revenues at the same time.
  • Lower the minimum wage by about $1.25; In some states, the minimum wage is as high as $8.25--at a certain point, businesses can be hurt by the minimum wage (for example, if you pay your employees $7/hour but you only do business at an average of $4/hour per worker). Additionally, in conjunction with low-income housing, people society could still function.

    Health care:
  • Paul Ryan. Seriously, if you actually look at the merits of his plan, he has some good ideas.

    Crime
  • Work to improve living conditions in cities that need it. The aforementioned examples are good starts. Then you build more parks and recreation areas.
  • Figure out how to eliminate Gang warfare and/or Gangs themselves.
  • Discourage single motherhood. Single-mother children (that is, children born out of wedlock and without a father figure growing up) account for the vast majority of all crimes committed, which includes violent crimes such as rape, murder, and armed robbery.

DaCrum wrote:It may seem that capitalism 100% is the way to go, because as a system, capitalism works. It's driven off of human selfishness and self-interest rather than the magic hoo-haa communism is supposed to run off of. But it is still a flawed system.
And yet I don't see you offering viable solutions to the current problems. Why don't you try to think of good solutions to the problems evident in the current system before telling people we need to adopt another country's system?

DaCrum wrote:If we let it run rampant, the rich grow richer, the poor grow poorer, and we end up back in Victorian England.
You're implying that 100% of corporations are corrupt and that none of them do anything positive for the community, such as giving money to charity or funding their own community projects (Pizza Hut's "BOOK IT!" program, for example, and so on).

DaCrum wrote: In the words of Henry Ford,
”The factories are not stopped for the lack of money, but the lack of orders. Money loaned at the top means nothing. Money spent at the bottom starts everything.”
Henry Ford, despite being one of the richest men in the world at the time, pushed Roosevelt to pass that New Deal.
Which ended up screwing us over, I might add.
DaCrum wrote: Trickle-down economics doesn't work because supply does not drive the market, demand does. If you pay the rich, and they make more things, then the price of things will just go down; people do not buy things because they exist, they buy things because they want to. Money doesn't run like water. If we want the economy to move, the more people with money, the better. Money doesn't trickle down, it goes up.
Well, if that's true, answer me this: how does the money get to the bottom if it only goes one way?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Not to mention the fact poor/middle class do all the hard work and labor....
Would you have chartered accountants (i.e., people with intellectual skills) digging ditches, and ditch-diggers (i.e., people with manual skills) doing your taxes? Would you have an economist serving fries at McDonald's, and a kid who served food in McDonald's running a major corporation? What roles are you trying to say the "poor" should fill?

BeeAre wrote:ruffdraft, it may be that government corruption was once undoubtedly worse than corporate corruption, but the gap between which is worse has gotten smaller. would you disagree?
I'm not sure if you're asking me if the government is AS corrupt as corporations or if one or the other has significantly decreased.

BeeAre wrote:potentially, i offer that government corruption could be worse, because only a state could scantion [RD Note: "sanction?"] "officially" state-sponsered horrors upon its society from slavery to genocide; i understand that this is the historic thing that indicates the worst of the worst in power.
So corruption is bad, but the shining, positive light is that it could be worse? How am I supposed to be happy about that?

BeeAre wrote:the problem here is that governments these days are incompetent. surely, ruffdraft, you wouldn't disagree that our congress has neutered itself by being stupid and divisive and never even attempting to seriously compromise. if a government is incompetent, the evils that happen in it are symptoms of the bigger problem, yes?
I think, causes, rather than symptoms. The more powerful a government becomes, the more incentive there is for a corporation to take advantage of it. If a government is simply incompetent, the people that support the government eventually take matters into their own hands to fix the problems. I don't believe that congress is incompetent; they just can't effectively work together due to the levels of corruption on either side. Democrats do things like calling any attempt to cut spending by the GOP "extreme;" Republicans seem to earnestly want to help--at least, they seem to, which could be exactly what they want us to think while reaping the benefits of so-called "good will"...

BeeAre wrote:i assert for you an argument: corporations are big enough these days that they can leverage power that was once only available to a government.
I likewise argue an assertion: Government size and government corruption are the leading causes of that.

BeeAre wrote:unlike a government (even an incompetent one), corporations do not need to respond as obviously to public outcry, nor fear revolution and reprisal.
Sure they do. If they produce a product that ends up injuring or killing people, they need to take it off the market and recall the ones that have been sold; if they don't, they're liable for all future damages from that product.

BeeAre wrote:i understand that the classical economic response to a corporation is the public allowing that corporation to fail by not participating in their products, but I disagree.
You're right; threats, even empty, of boycott are sufficient.

BeeAre wrote:my next point of argument is: how can the majority of people avoid using a corporation if that corporation leverages its power to make it difficult (for the people in proximity to that power) to NOT use that corporation?
Where do you see that happening? Is it currently a problem anywhere?

BeeAre wrote:Under this idea, the corporation has so much power that it uses that power to force itself to remain at least marginally successful, enough to keep it in business indefinitely.
How does a corporation force itself to remain at least marginally successful, and why is marginal success a problem for you?

BeeAre wrote:An example is a town's local grocery stores being unable to offer better prices than Wal-Mart or Target or Kroger, even if their goods are marginally better.
Do you see this as a problem anywhere?

BeeAre wrote:The prices are lower, so the people use the big chain grocery store.
Are you implying that everyone will only use "big-chain" grocery stores, even if they have to drive across town to get there, when the local grocery might be right down the street? People often shop at local stores for convenience rather than price. Price is not the sole, deciding factor when people buy.

BeeAre wrote:Unfortunately, since local grocery stores have no way to compete, they are forced out of business. Only the chains are left, and local businesses are smothered, even if the local people would RATHER support their local business, it becomes necessary to survive on the cheaper food offered by the bigger business if the locals want to try and improve their own personal finances.
Do you see this as a problem anywhere?

BeeAre wrote:I am not hostile here, I really legitimately want to know what you think about this phenomenon. :)
The imaginary phenomenon, or the real one that hasn't happened anywhere, really?
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:45 pm

You're still bloody full of it.
Same old Republicans/Red states are great, Democrats/Blue states of bad. Republicans honestly want to help. Where do you get these ideas?

As usual, you assume poor people just magically get jobs. I presume there's also a state-run job search aid as well? Other than that, sounds nice. Iffy on the unions.

1910 was just barely coming off Laissez-faire, but it also had some good old progressivism. It's a toss up for me. Can't see that whole first link, gotta join their site, but I'm assuming it gets better, as the education for 1910 doesn't sound very great.

Haven't heard that one before. How, exactly, did the New Deal screw us over?

Uh, Ruffdraft, Wal-mart putting small stores out of business has been a thing for a while now. It was in pop culture and everything.

I doubt the ability of boycott threats to significantly change their operation. It evokes more of a PR response than anything that'd hurt the bottom line.

In regard to what I said, they should fill whatever role they're good at. The problem is an unfair distribution of wealth in regards to work and tribulation. A CEO can make 500 times his employees, and yet I seriously doubt his being worth a whole 500 times as much.

Beyond all that, many of your responses seem to suggest you take BR's arguments in completely different ways than he meant them. I think you two are far too incompatible in your thinking to argue well. You see the same sentence and read it completely different.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Valhallen » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:46 am

Tell me, RuffDraft, what do you think the average rate of change of real GDP was during the New Deal? What about the average change in the unemployment rate? We've gone over this before, after all.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby BeeAre » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:24 am

RuffDraft wrote:Are those the only options? Why do we have to be either?


DaCrum is employing a rhetorical dicotomy. It is obviously false in the literal, but serves as an instrument of scale, with one at each end. So, no, you don't have those as the only options, but you can make comparisons to the relevant areas of the scale.

I didn't read what this implication of scale was, so if you get that, maybe you can base your arguments around what the scale implies.

Education, in and of itself, is very effective now, although there are problems keeping kids in school in a lot of places (which is largely due to bad living conditions [primarily in failing Blue states]);


Could you please cite some statistics for these claims?

we hear about crime a lot in this country, but the average crime rate is something like 6-7% and goes up and down with the unemployment rate (you're notice that Red states tend to have a lower crime rate)


i do not understand this link's chart. could you please explain it for me, with the relevant statistics?

we have good healthcare--arguably some of the best quality in the world--and the problem lies in people affording it; the majority of people (that is to say >50%) are "moderately wealthy," but I guess that depends on your definition of wealth.


i won't talk about the relative wealth of people, because you're right, the standard is highly variable.

i would like to dispute some of your claims to us in the USA having good healthcare, though.

If we are compared to the whole world, regardless of wealth levels, I suppose it is true that we have good healthcare.

If you are comparing the system to a country of similar levels of wealth, we are actually not very highly rated.

http://www.photius.com/rankings/world_h ... stems.html

this chart is a collection of statistics from the World Health Organization. the numbers represent the position of the country's rank in the list of any given category.

the last number on the right side of the chart is an aggregate number relating to the efficiency of the healthcare system of the country as a whole

If you go to the United States, you can see that we spend more than anyone else, with rank 1 for the amount of money spent per person.

yet,

and i will make this easier with a second link which simply is the numerical listing of the rank of countries under the World Health Organization's standards,

http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html

the united states is ranked 37 overall in healthcare for countries in the world.

not quite the best.

But that doesn't answer your question--A real-world example of small government that works and meets the conditions? America, circa 1910. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Perfect? No; still arguably very good.


that is not a current world example, ruffdraft. that is america in 1910. i'm not going to validate nor invalidate your argument that it is good or bad: it is not a real world example at the present time.

You want real, workable solutions to the current problems? Here ya go:


Education:
nvest in redevelopment of failed areas like Detroit, build governmental (State-run) lower-income housing and apartment complexes and homeless shelters/halfway houses. Encourage those living in homeless shelters/halfway houses to fucking shower, you rancid fucking hogs and give them clothes from Good Will so they can at least get jobs. Once they get jobs, they can move to low-income housing. In low-income housing, they can opt-in to low-cost skill training.


where are the jobs?

do you think that the number of want-ads exceeds the number of people looking for jobs in any average city?

Eliminate teacher's unions. I don't know how you would go about doing that just yet, but I'll try to work on a plan. However, eliminating teacher's unions would allow school districts to fire teachers that aren't doing their jobs; teachers that aren't doing their jobs are nothing but a drain on the economy; just look at New York and Washington DC.


why do unions exist in the first place for any job, then? would you be in favor in eliminating all unions?

Unemployment:
Lower corporate taxes from ~15% to ~12.5%; further lower taxes to 10% for companies that are able to hire an additional 20% of their current reported employee workforce.


and if a workforce is not the most profitable way to reinvest the revenue from the lower taxes for even one company with a substantial amount of the nation's GDP, what do we do to provide as an additional incentive to hire that workforce?

Lower the upper tax bracket to 30% and eliminate some tax loopholes and exemptions; this might seem like a lower tax bracket, but the elimination of loopholes would arguably increase revenues at the same time.


i wouldn't immediately object to lowering the taxes if there were substantial bipartisan support for reforming our financial system to close corporate loopholes, but i would want to see the loopholes closed before legislation the tax cuts, and i would gladly allow for a stipulation of refund after the loopholes were closed in a special "one-fiscal-year" exemption to pay back the lost revenue in what were temporarily higher taxes.

could you help me find examples of legislation introduced by republicans or democrats that are financial reform that only (primarily) closes loopholes and (secondarily) promises future/immediate tax cuts? i'm having trouble in this regard... :(

what makes it especially difficult is that, while i can find legislation approaching the secondary condition, the primary condition is much harder to distinguish. :(

Lower the minimum wage by about $1.25; In some states, the minimum wage is as high as $8.25--at a certain point, businesses can be hurt by the minimum wage (for example, if you pay your employees $7/hour but you only do business at an average of $4/hour per worker). Additionally, in conjunction with low-income housing, people society could still function.


could you prove this with some sort of hypothetical "bill" that a person would have to pay to keep his housing with relationship to his job?

Health care:
Paul Ryan. Seriously, if you actually look at the merits of his plan, he has some good ideas.


my grandmother and I disagree with his voucher system. Could you explain that in more detail to me? maybe i have misunderstood it. :)

Crime
Work to improve living conditions in cities that need it. The aforementioned examples are good starts. Then you build more parks and recreation areas.
Figure out how to eliminate Gang warfare and/or Gangs themselves.
Discourage single motherhood. Single-mother children (that is, children born out of wedlock and without a father figure growing up) account for the vast majority of all crimes committed, which includes violent crimes such as rape, murder, and armed robbery.


Do you have any suggestions for gang problems/single mothers? Saying "figure it out" is not very concise as a plan. :(

also, i don't really trust the website you source. where is it getting its sources?

And yet I don't see you offering viable solutions to the current problems. Why don't you try to think of good solutions to the problems evident in the current system before telling people we need to adopt another country's system?


you do realize that offering another country's system, when there are suitable statistics available, IS offering a solution, don't you?

A solution to a problem is not--strictly speaking--dealing with only the variables of the outcomes of the problem. Doing only that is isolating the situation. An isolated situation is often loosely referred to as a "closed system". Another approach to problem-solving is the "open system", the adjustment of the parameters of the circumstances that create the problem in the first place.

By looking at another system, we can do statistical comparison in order to see the workings of each piece of any given problem. :)

You're implying that 100% of corporations are corrupt and that none of them do anything positive for the community, such as giving money to charity or funding their own community projects (Pizza Hut's "BOOK IT!" program, for example, and so on).


no, ruffdraft, he isn't implying that. :(

the issue is not that "all corporations are evil" along his line of thinking, it is that "one bad corporation can do a lot of bad very quickly in spite of many other good corporations".

How should we control a powerful corporation if it goes bad? I ask this under the idea that it is not even a common occurrence, but as an emergency.

Which ended up screwing us over, I might add.


do you believe that the government subsidizing of major industry leaders like U.S. Steel did not at all contribute to the United States' ability to manufacture weapons of war used in World War II?

Well, if that's true, answer me this: how does the money get to the bottom if it only goes one way?
Under demand-side economics, the answer would be simply: You pay disproportionate amounts of money to the poor, not the rich.

Would you have chartered accountants (i.e., people with intellectual skills) digging ditches, and ditch-diggers (i.e., people with manual skills) doing your taxes? Would you have an economist serving fries at McDonald's, and a kid who served food in McDonald's running a major corporation? What roles are you trying to say the "poor" should fill?


no one is questioning that people with skills should not be paid appropriately, but would you really suggest that the CEOs of every corporation that exists are all paid with money that is proportionate to the effort they put in, including exorbitant bonuses?

reminder: the fear is not that all CEOs are paid unfairly, but that just one can do significant damage.

BeeAre wrote:ruffdraft, it may be that government corruption was once undoubtedly worse than corporate corruption, but the gap between which is worse has gotten smaller. would you disagree?
I'm not sure if you're asking me if the government is AS corrupt as corporations or if one or the other has significantly decreased.

[RD Note: "sanction?"]

ya

So corruption is bad, but the shining, positive light is that it could be worse? How am I supposed to be happy about that?


i am not understanding what you mean by this statement. could you quote that part of my post and explain to me what you see it meaning?

The more powerful a government becomes, the more incentive there is for a corporation to take advantage of it. If a government is simply incompetent, the people that support the government eventually take matters into their own hands to fix the problems.


why would people eventually take matters into their own hands out of necessity? an incompetent government can still be strong enough to hamfist its way through social issues; would you disagree?

and i really don't understand this idea. what makes a corporation seek to corrupt the government? why should we worry about the government at all if the natural inclination for a corporation is to "take advantage" of a powerful government. are corporations naturally more powerful than the government? I don't get it :(



I likewise argue an assertion: Government size and government corruption are the leading causes of that.


but you said that corporations are the ones who have the incentive and ability to corrupt the government? i am getting confused, must be the pills.

what happened first? :( did a government become corrupt because it got bigger all on its own? but corruption stems from bribery, and only corporate or otherwise private wealth can cause corruption?

??? to me it seems like government corruption begins with a rich person offering a poltician money to do something illegal or to make something illegal legal.

i'm not sure how the strength of the government changes that condition. ??? :( i'm sorry that i'm not arguing well here.

Sure they do. If they produce a product that ends up injuring or killing people, they need to take it off the market and recall the ones that have been sold; if they don't, they're liable for all future damages from that product.


what about "planned obsolescence"? that is the idea of making a product that isn't very good so that people will have to buy replacements for it. in some industries, this can be legitimate, with necessarily temporarily goods or services, but would you really claim no corporation has ever unscrupulously made an effort towards planned obsolescence or never gotten caught until long after the fact?

BeeAre wrote:You're right; threats, even empty, of boycott are sufficient.


i've regularly heard of people trying to boycott large corporations like wal-mart or mcdonalds. why is the threat of boycott not sufficient in these circumstances?

Where do you see that happening? Is it currently a problem anywhere?


well, local video stores were forced out by Blockbuster in the 90s, and more and more there is no market for local butchers or groceries beyond the local farmer's market for actual produce.

Do you have any evidence to support the idea that large chains of businesses are not in the majority of places Americans go to spend money? Do you really need evidence from me to validate my assertion that Americans DO go to corporate franchises?

How does a corporation force itself to remain at least marginally successful, and why is marginal success a problem for you?
Marginal success that drives on despite the concerns of the customers is a circumvention of the standard economic consumer cycle: They make enough money to stay in the black despite the protests of the people who don't want to use the products but must because of the necessity to use it.

King of the Hill had a good episode on it, lol. Hank worked for a local propane business, then the Mega-Lo Mart offered propane, and his business was shut down because they could not offer competing prices. He then could only find a job at the very Mega-Lo Mart that put him out of business, and even angrily working for them, he is regularly surprised by how cheap the products are. But he's not happy that he's become a servant of the people who took away his place of business.

I'm not offering it as an example in the real world, just a more cohesive narrative for the situation, lol. :)

Do you see this as a problem anywhere?


Well, would you say that in the United States, it is more likely for a person at any given time to go to a gas station that is franchised to a major petroleum company, or is it more likely to go to an independent gas station with no affiliation to any major companies whatsoever, with the ability to regulate their prices more flexibly?

I know of a few in Texas that are locally owned that make their living by operating cheaper than most corporately-owned gas stations, and the owners of these gas stations hate Kroger for its ability to take ten cents off a gallon of gas by spending money on groceries at Kroger, because it diminishes the lead the local business owners have managed to create.

Do you not think that the concerns of these gas station owners and their customers are representative of the problem in my argument?

Are you implying that everyone will only use "big-chain" grocery stores, even if they have to drive across town to get there, when the local grocery might be right down the street? People often shop at local stores for convenience rather than price. Price is not the sole, deciding factor when people buy.


i am actually glad that you bring this up, because more often, it is harder to drive to the farmer's market in Denton, out of the city's limits and into the country, than it is to go to the Wal-Mart a few blocks from the government loan-funded college housing that college students tend to have.

What I'm trying to say here is: are YOU really implying that big chain grocery stores, with their many many many many locations, are somehow less convenient in the majority of cases in the united states?

Do you really need me to go get you some evidence? Because to me, it seems pretty self-evident that big chain stores like wal-mart and kroger are able to force the ease and convenience of their brand way more efficiently than a local store.

You're right, it's not always about price: but large businesses tend to have the money to be able to make consideration for many of the other factors that the majority of potential customers might be interested in when making a purchase.

Do you see this as a problem anywhere?


to answer all instances of this question very simply: All over the United States.

The imaginary phenomenon, or the real one that hasn't happened anywhere, really?


no, the real phenomenon that has happened everywhere and all over the world for the last thirty years since the advent of companies like McDonald's or Wal-Mart that with nigh unlimited spending can force their way into markets they previously had no stake in.

Some economists even go so far as to say any advertisement whatsoever is an example of "monopoly power", that the very concept of "brand recognition" is an extension of the amount of influence a corporate entity has over its customers. But that's more an fyi of an opinion, not something that I will directly say I support. I just find the idea interesting. :O

edit: I fixed the weird quote issue i had earlier lol?
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:35 am

I'm just going to address one issue here, that's it.

Eliminate teacher's unions. I don't know how you would go about doing that just yet, but I'll try to work on a plan. However, eliminating teacher's unions would allow school districts to fire teachers that aren't doing their jobs; teachers that aren't doing their jobs are nothing but a drain on the economy; just look at New York and Washington DC.


The problem with teachers is not misrepresentation, or over-representation. The problem with teachers right now is the same with students. We, in lieu of raising taxes on the rich to even levels that they were 10 years ago, have decided to instead place the burden of our debt on our education. Look at any district since the Bush tax cuts, and they haven't had a problem of getting rid of shit teachers because the unions refuse to let go of them; just the opposite. The unions have picked and chosen teachers to get rid of. They've gone and said "This teacher isn't as good as this one, and the district wants us to give them a list of teachers worthy of pink slips by May, so this teacher goes." They've cut many teachers; presumably some bad, but many good, hard workers.

Now imagine this: Suddenly, my profession, my career, the one I chose because I want to make a difference in young people's lives, is being blamed as the reason for the economy, and as this bizarre liberal-agenda conspiracy theory. I've watched friends lose their jobs, friends stressing because, for the 3rd year in a row, the school threatened to lay them off, friends that have lost everything because we refuse to raise taxes. "Not one inch," they say, as I watch our education be cut to the marrow.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Rough Giraffe » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:55 am

NeoWarrior7 wrote:You're still bloody full of it.
Bloody full of blood. I replenish myself with it regularly to stay alive. Also I am a vampire. I sparkle in the sunlight.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Same old Republicans/Red states are great, Democrats/Blue states of bad. Republicans honestly want to help. Where do you get these ideas?
Are you aware that people have been moving in droves from failed Democratic cities and states to more successful Republican cities and states? Democrats are responsible for the failure of Detroit, Michigan--everybody knows it, but call them on it and they play the race card and point to whichever Republican had it last.

Many Blue states are having the same problems that seem to be absent from Red states. Look it up for yourself. New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, and take a look how bad they've become, and then you tell me I'm wrong.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:As usual, you assume poor people just magically get jobs. I presume there's also a state-run job search aid as well? Other than that, sounds nice. Iffy on the unions.
Actually there are, in almost every state; I don't know if there is one in every city. Try searching the internet at your local library or the Want-Ads in your local newspaper.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:1910 was just barely coming off Laissez-faire, but it also had some good old progressivism. It's a toss up for me. Can't see that whole first link, gotta join their site, but I'm assuming it gets better, as the education for 1910 doesn't sound very great.
How much more pleasant does it sound nowadays?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Haven't heard that one before. How, exactly, did the New Deal screw us over?
In the long run. Many tenants of the Deal, particularly about Labor Unions, have caused the out-of-control unions of today that jack up the cost of labor in the country, and those costs are passed on to the consumer.

Rather than explain every problem with it, there's are a couple Wikipedia that I can link to. Excuse me for being lazy.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Uh, Ruffdraft, Wal-mart putting small stores out of business has been a thing for a while now. It was in pop culture and everything.
What I'm asking is, is it a problem? And if so, why?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:I doubt the ability of boycott threats to significantly change their operation. It evokes more of a PR response than anything that'd hurt the bottom line.
A boycott of their product means that their sales drop in favor of the other guy. There's an incentive to keep that from happening. Companies, even "powerful" ones, don't WANT boycotts.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:In regard to what I said, they should fill whatever role they're good at. The problem is an unfair distribution of wealth in regards to work and tribulation. A CEO can make 500 times his employees, and yet I seriously doubt his being worth a whole 500 times as much. But it's his own company. If he makes a lot of money, he's entitled to it, as the one who took all the risks involved in setting up and managing the country. Even if he's entrusted the actually management to someone else, he's taking a huge risk in trusting someone like that. You wouldn't begrudge a small business owner making 500 times what his employees make just because he's successful, so why would you do it to a CEO or anyone else?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Beyond all that, many of your responses seem to suggest you take BR's arguments in completely different ways than he meant them. I think you two are far too incompatible in your thinking to argue well. You see the same sentence and read it completely different.
What do you think I misinterpreted?

Valhallen wrote:Tell me, RuffDraft, what do you think the average rate of change of real GDP was during the New Deal? What about the average change in the unemployment rate? We've gone over this before, after all.
We have? You asked me about the rate of GDP change during the New Deal before? Must have missed that...

I'm not sure if these values are adjusted, but I'm going off of Treasurydirect.gov, measuringworth.com, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
National Debt circa 1932: $19,487,002,444.13
GDP circa 1932: ~$725,800,000
Unemployment rate circa 1932: 23.6%

National Debt circa 1937: $36,424,613,732.29
GDP circa 1937: ~$1,028,000,000
Unemployment rate circa 19378: 19%

Your thoughts?
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Q.U. » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:44 am

Education, in and of itself, is very effective now,

One of the most failed and miserable systems on this earth.
Face it, some people have neither the drive nor the will to study and be successful. Those people, however, are still needed in society, to do all the bad jobs. Lower education keeps these people in schools, often for a couple of years longer than they should be, and takes away their valuable productive time in work, just so they can pick their nose listening to a teacher bragging on about their problems.
Then those who do have the drive and motivation to be successful and want to study for it, get sucked into colleges, where they get screwed up big-time. Not only do they waste 4 to 6 years getting a worthless piece of paper that EVERYBODY else has and that won't even help them get a job, as well as waste those years while they could be working and gaining experience. They also end up with massive amounts of debt due to student loans, because the tuition fees are ridiculous. You'd think that as the prices of technology go down, education would become cheaper as well. Despite that the tuition fees in colleges in the US keep on rising every year, even during recession.
This "effective system" is begging to collapse.

For your pleasure, have fun watching this. Just don't get pulled into it, the NIA is pretty much a fraud itself, urging people to get silver and gold, but the facts they give are mostly true, and the point they make early on is fair. (Yes it's a long vid).

Are you implying that everyone will only use "big-chain" grocery stores, even if they have to drive across town to get there, when the local grocery might be right down the street? People often shop at local stores for convenience rather than price. Price is not the sole, deciding factor when people buy.

Do we understand the basics of capitalism? Where even a 20% shift in customer spending from one store to another is significant. Problem is, even if a given branch of WalMart does not make profit, it can be sustained there until it gets enough clients to run, because it's backed up by a powerful entity. Small grocery stores do not have that kind of a safety net.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby BeeAre » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:47 pm

a large corporation is akin to a nation/state in several ways in this regard, and not a small one, Q.U.

do you understand how I make this connection, ruffdraft?

if a corporation is akin to a government, is there not similar incentive to attempt to corrupt the corporation as it grows in size/power in the same way you ascribe to a government?

who would do the corrupting of a corporation if it were possible?

also, the statistics you quote show an increase in both the debt and GDP, but a decrease in unemployment. Why is that?
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:58 am

BeeAre wrote:if a corporation is akin to a government, is there not similar incentive to attempt to corrupt the corporation as it grows in size/power in the same way you ascribe to a government?
Exactly how do you get that idea? Are you implying that there's some central entity that corrupts both corporations and governments? Or are you saying that one corrupts the other? In which case, who's who?

BeeAre wrote:who would do the corrupting of a corporation if it were possible?
I'm afraid I don't understand the question.

BeeAre wrote:also, the statistics you quote show an increase in both the debt and GDP, but a decrease in unemployment. Why is that?
I'm not too sure. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that

(Infoplease.com and huppi.com):

1929 - just before the great depression, unemployment was: 3.2%
1930 - The first bank panic occurs late this year; a public run on banks results in a wave of bankruptcies - 8.7%
1931 - A second banking panic occurs in the spring; 13 million lost their jobs since 1929; money supply has contracted 31 percent since 1929 - 15.9%
1932 - FDR runs for President and wins, begins implementing the New Deal and begins creating government entities and legislation, attempting to reverse the downward trend - 23.6%
1933 - Congress passes the Emergency Banking Bill, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the Farm Credit Act, the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Truth-in-Securities Act; Congress authorizes creation of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the National Recovery Administration, the Public Works Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority US goes off the Gold Standard - 24.9%
1934 - Congress authorizes creation of the Federal Communications Commission, the National Mediation Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission - 21.7%
1935 - Economic recovery continues; Supreme Court declares the National Recovery Administration to be unconstitutional; - 20.1%
1936 - Top tax rate raised to 79 percent; Supreme Court declares part of the Agricultural Adjustment Act to be unconstitutional - 16.9%
1937 - The Supreme Court declares the National Labor Relations Board to be unconstitutional; Roosevelt seeks to enlarge and therefore liberalize the Supreme Court. This attempt not only fails, but outrages the public; Economists attribute economic growth so far to heavy government spending that is somewhat deficit. Roosevelt, however, fears an unbalanced budget and cuts spending for 1937; Summer, the nation plunges into another recession - 14.3%
1938 - The year-long recession makes itself felt - 19.0%
1939 - United States will begin emerging from the Depression as it borrows and spends $1 billion to build its armed forces. From 1939 to 1941, when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, U.S. manufacturing will have shot up a phenomenal 50 percent - 17.2
1940 - 1945 - Although the war is the largest tragedy in human history, the United States emerges as the world's only economic superpower - Unemployment in 1945: ~4%

(Infoplease.com and huppi.com)

A lot of stuff happened, some of it good, some of it bad. It wasn't just one thing or another that ended the recession. Keynes recommended heavy deficit spending; Roosevelt wanted to balance the budget. If we had spent heavily, as Keynes recommended, we might have gotten out of the recession faster; however, we also might not have become the economic superpower that we did. Your thoughts?
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Hana » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:12 am

DaCrum wrote: "small government"


Want to muscle in one teeny, tiny point here. "Small government" does not mean small government. It means small Federal government.

Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States wrote:The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:29 pm

Excellent point, Hana.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:59 pm

Hana wrote:
DaCrum wrote: "small government"


Want to muscle in one teeny, tiny point here. "Small government" does not mean small government. It means small Federal government.

Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States wrote:The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

But that's the thing. The people I see pushing the idea of "small government" aren't saying at all reducing the Federal government; they're saying reducing the government. Overwatch, service, anything that they think can be cut they'll try.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:04 pm

Eh. Never noticed much about State governments, really. They're basically just the same thing, only specific to the state.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby EagleMan » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:08 pm

People love the idea of cutting the government in the abstract.

Once you get to specifics though, people tend to favor keeping whatever program/benefit you're talking about.

So really, it's like you say you hate being fat, but you love cupcakes, cookies and candy, so you don't want to swear off of them.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Hana » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:11 pm

DaCrum wrote:But that's the thing. The people I see pushing the idea of "small government" aren't saying at all reducing the Federal government; they're saying reducing the government. Overwatch, service, anything that they think can be cut they'll try.


And this boils down to the simple reply of: people are idiots. A frightening number of citizens of the US have NO EFFING CLUE how the government works in the first place. Supidity rages, even on network news channels (which is why I only watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report for my news anymore).

The Fed could reduce much of the debt by phasing out the social programs such as medicaid and SSI and letting the STATES handle those. Privatize the space programs and other "extraneous" programs and let the Federal budget be only military and government costs (speaking of which, those could be cut down by reducing some of the government salaries, such as Senatorial salaries. Why the hell do they need $174,000 a year when my family of 3 can subsist on $17,000 gross a year? Bullshit.). Let the states handle their shit, man. That's what this country was supposed to be.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:52 pm

Eh, I'm iffy on that. Frankly, the states will just do whatever they want with it. All the time they manipulate their programs in favor of the states ruling party. Helll, some states would probably be lucky to get social services if the Tea Party had their way.

We can only privatize the space industry so much. Pretty much everyone agrees deep space exploration will continue to rely on the Government to, well, happen.

We all know politicians get too much money. Everyone does, but it's a tad hard to change. Besides, how could they possibly need so much from us with how much they get from bribes lobbying campaign donations.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby Whatis6times9 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:58 pm

I think the low orbit operations especially developing the shuttle replacement could be done by private industry, I think deep space exploration needs to be run by the federal government and in particular needs to be multinational and stop the individual national competition.
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