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SuperMouse's avatar

Who should we trust on the economy?

Asked by SuperMouse (30772points) October 10th, 2008

I just saw this commercial. Conservatives blame liberals, liberals blame conservatives, I tend to want to blame Bush and Cheney, but I know this goes make much further than the last eight years. Who is to blame? Who can we trust?

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13 Answers

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

This movie. Please watch it. It is so important. It has nothing to do with Ron Paul, I promise.

This whole thing is BS. The only thing it is going to cause is a civil war. The problem is not the politicians, it is the banking system. The politicians are there to make us feel like we have a choice. They do not change things. We change things. We need to take advantage of technology and take it out of the hands of the corporations. We run the machines. We build the houses. We do the work. We need to get rid of the bankers and corporations. There are trying to induce panic and fear and hatred. Please watch the video.

dalepetrie's avatar

Consider that in the last 28 years, only 8 have been under a Democrat…and those 8 were the longest economic expansion in US History. Consider that trickle down economic theory, a complete reversal of the sort of bottom up economics brought to this country by FDR (which essentially ended the depression and led to a period of great prosperity in the US…remember the image of the late 50s where everyone was keeping up with the Jonses, everyone had shiny new appliance and cars and all this great new technology, and this was all done on one income for the most part). Reagan espoused the theory that if we give tax breaks to the wealthy, prosperity will trickle down.

Well, Wall Street did very well under Reagan. But the gap between the haves and the have nots grew larger than any time in history. The disparity between the average pay of the CEO and the average pay of the worker grew larger than ever. More and more people lived in poverty. Economic crimes went up. Boom, we had a banking crisis, Savings and Loans went bust, Wall Street crashed on “Black Friday”.

Under Clinton, some of that poverty lessened, some of that economic crime tapered off. The stock market performed even better under Clinton than under Bush. More people had more money than at any time in history. Things weren’t perfect, but neither were Clinton’s economic policies. He still deregulated where he should have regulated. But he did raise taxes on higher wage earners and cut them on the middle class. He did invest in new technologies. And our economy exploded.

Enter Bush II. Wage disparity is SEVERAL times higher than it was under Reagan. Now not only are millions more in poverty than before, but nearly 50 million don’t have any health insurance and countless more are underinsured. There is a banking crisis. The stock market is crashing, and they are calling TODAY “Black Friday”.

Many of these problems can be explained by greed that is unregulated (Bush I, Bush II and Reagan were all fans of deregulation) and over leveraged borrowing (banks were able to borrow $30 for every dollar they had in assets). Excessive credit has been heralded for the growth in our economy. Before Reagan, people didn’t rely on credit cards anywhere near the level they do today.

John McCain has not differentiated himself on economic issues from Bush, and actively kisses ass to anyone who liked Reagan (constantly invoking his name). John McCain is a big fan of borrowing…even though he and his wife are worth millions (and don’t even know how many houses they own), they carry $250,000 in credit card debt. Up until a few weeks ago, John McCain thought the fundamentals of our economy were basically sound.

Barack Obama wants to bring us back to FDR style economics. First off, he wants pay as you go government…don’t do it if you can’t pay for it. Second, he wants to give tax breaks at the bottom, so people who spend their money (and don’t horde it and invest it and shelter it from taxes) have the money to spend on the things they need to survive, which will mean a lot more money is spent, demand will increase, supply will need to increase to meet that demand, that means more jobs, more employment, which means more people have money to spend, the cycle continues until there are more jobs than people, wages go up, prosperity reigns. Barack Obama wants to patch up the social safety net that Reagan started to unravel 28 years ago, and Bush and his father have chipped away at ever since. In 1980, people didn’t worry so much that they wouldn’t be able to see a doctor if they got sick, that they wouldn’t be able to retire at a decent age, that they would have nowhere to turn to if they fell on hard times. For 20 of 28 years the mantra has been personal responsibility, ownership society, fend for yourself and screw you if you can’t get by. Barack Obama wants to invest money in a green technology energy sector which will create 5 million jobs, AND wean us from our dependence on foreign energy, which will keep us out of countless future wars, and will mean that Americans who can’t afford food AND rent, don’t have to pay $5 a gallon for gas to get to work.

If the choice isn’t clear, I say you haven’t been paying attention. Of course, chris is going to tell you that Ron Paul is the best choice, just watch…but Ron Paul a) has no chance to win, and b) will shift all taxes back to the state level, where they are collected not based on income, but on a flat basis…which means you end up paying $5 grand a year on taxes that are built into the things you buy, or in property taxes or in licenses and such, and that’s whether you make 10 grand a year or 10 million, whereas income taxes collected at the federal level in a manner which balances out your total tax burden by being progressive (the more you make, the higher your marginal tax rate).

Go ahead and watch the video chris6137 posted about Ron Paul (told ya so). Also go to Obama’s website and look at his Blueprint for Change. Now is the time for realistic changes…not more of the same and not pie in the sky idealism which will actually make the problem worse.

In my humble opinion anyway.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Debt is seen as one of the causes of both Great Depressions[citation needed], particularly in the United States[citation needed]. Macroeconomists including Ben Bernanke, the current chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, have revived the debt-deflation view[citation needed] of the Great Depression originated by Arthur Cecil Pigou and Irving Fisher:[citation needed] in the 1920s, American consumers and businesses relied on cheap credit[citation needed], the former to purchase consumer goods such as automobiles and furniture, and the latter for capital investment to increase production[citation needed]. This fueled strong short-term growth but created consumer and commercial debt[citation needed]. The subprime mortgage crisis is seen as one of the triggers of the seond Great depression. People and businesses who were deeply in debt when price deflation occurred or demand for their product decreased often risked default[citation needed]. Many drastically cut current spending to keep up time payments, thus lowering demand for new products. In both great depressions, businesses began to fail as construction work and factory orders plunged.

It is time to relocalize and stop relying on these corporations. We need to rely on each other for necessities.

Ron Paul is not running anymore Dale. It has nothing to do with him or any other person. It is the system. I liked Ron Paul because the most important issue he talked about was the Federal Reserve. Everything else is irrelevant. As long as we give someone the power to inflate the money supply, we give someone the power to control what the economy does. Please watch at least the first 20 minutes of the video.

You can not solve problems without identifying the problem first. The problem isnt government, its the bankers and corporations that control the government.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Dale, there has never been any doubt that I will vote for Obama. I do find it fascinating the way special interest groups can spin these things and believe we will all nod our heads and go along. I find it very frustrating as well.

Your explanation of the failed policies of Bush I and II are excellent and give a great background for explaining how we got where we are now.

@Chris, I am heading out to my office and I plan to take a look at the video when I arrive.

dalepetrie's avatar

I know Ron Paul isn’t running and I agree with your idealism, but I like to point out that whereas he has some great ideas with which I agree, the question is about whom we should trust more in this election, as there are only 2 viable choices (yes, that sucks, but we’re living in the world we have, not the world we want), one choice is much better than the other. I also believe that if Obama lives up to his full potential, he could change the way we vote…if he takes the influence of money out of the voting system, we might some day actually be able to vote for a guy like Ron Paul. But even if we could, I’d post that his ideals could never be achieved in our society (not in a globalized economy), and if one tried to implement them, we’d end up with income disparity FAR greater than the Republicans have handed us over the past 3 decades. Just my opinion again. But I encourage people to look at Ron Paul’s videos, because I think in part, they do have practical applications…they just go too far in the reality we have today.

syz's avatar

I must preface this by saying that economic theory is completely indecipherable to me, but I can’t help but notice that economists, those folks who study, teach and make their living in the field, can’t seem to agree on anything at all. I find it hard to have faith or hope in any program, based on that perception.

dalepetrie's avatar

But yes, I’m not addressing your point. It’s not about Ron Paul, I get that.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Like I said, all of Ron Paul’s views about the “issues” aside, it is all about the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking. This money is made out of debt. And we are expected to pay back debt, with interest. It is a scam. “Democracy” is a scam. Politicians are a scam.

Just think about it for a second. JFK and Abe Lincoln tried getting rid of central banks via the silver certificates and greenbacks, respectively. Look what happened.

robmandu's avatar

@syz, Scott Adams commissioned a survey of 500 economists—on his own dime—in an attempt to determine which candidate is proposing the most sound economic policies.

The majority of those surveyed are registered democrats, and not surprisingly, the majority also picked Obama’s plan as most economically sound (there were a few notable cases of “switching sides”) on 11 out of 13 different issues.

Like any survey or statistical analysis, you can read bias into things. And that may be the case here, too. But just wanted to point out that someone has tried to get straight answers without going through a political filter (assuming you trust Scott Adams’ motives).

dalepetrie's avatar

chris6137 – I agree it’s about he Fed, and about debt. We’ve been encouraged to inflate our bottom lines. No one lives within their means, and that ethic comes from the top down. Bush encouraged us to go shopping after 9/11, and when they sent tax “stimulus” checks, we were encouraged to spend it. Even 30 years ago, people were encouraged to save, to squirrel away money for a rainy day…who does that anymore? Hey, if you have good credit, you’re constantly getting opportunities to buy now, pay later, low interest financing, 90 days same as cash, 0% for 6 months…borrow and spend. Your government does it, why shouldn’t you? After all, you know your cousin Frank doesn’t make 1/2 what you do, why does he have a 50” plasma TV when you are still looking at your 25” tube? Hey, I NEED that SUV because I feel so small and unsafe in my little Toyota with all these Hummers and Escalades passing me. Everyone lives outside their means…just do it.

dalepetrie's avatar

robmandu – thanks for posting that…it’s interesting (if not all that surprising).

Judi's avatar

@chris;
I’m still watching the video. How long is it anyway?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

The whole thing is about 2 hours long. There is not a part that isn’t amazing. It only gets better. It has an interview with John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, about 30–40 minutes in.

The first part is about 30–40 minutes. I would recommend watching the whole thing if or when your schedule allows.

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