109
   

Where is the US economy headed?

 
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 11:37 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

I see. If that's the best reason The New Republic can give us for optimism, I'm afraid there's not much reason for optimism. Extrapolation of current output trends is not a good argument when you know that input trends are going to reverse.


Input trends are going to reverse? That's a little dramatic, don't you think?

And, I gave the wrong attribution - it was not the New Republic, but the National Review.

Cycloptichorn
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 11:39 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

I see. If that's the best reason The New Republic can give us for optimism, I'm afraid there's not much reason for optimism. Extrapolation of current output trends is not a good argument when you know that input trends are going to reverse.

But I thought the argument against the stimulus package was much of it didn't go into effect for months or even over a year.
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 11:58 am
Okie, et.al.,
Have you seen this latest Gallup Poll

Kind of frightening to me that more than a third (36%) of Americans have a positive image of socialism to include 53% of Democrats. What's even more shocking is that it appears that almost half (47%) of Democrats have a negative image of capitalism. Also interesting is that the number of Democrats who have a favorable image of socialism is exactly the same as those that have a favorable image of capitalism (53% each). The pollsters should have asked the respondents to compare the two i.e., Which economic system do you favor, capitalism or socialism? Would seem that a good number of Dems would have difficulty answering that question.

What gives me some level of comfort is that fully 86% of respondents had a positive image of "Free Enterprise". I don't see much difference between Capitalism and Free Enterprise, nor does the author of this article, but clearly a good number of Democrats and liberals see these concepts as separate and distinct.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 12:06 pm
@slkshock7,
Laughing You don't seem to realize that the system we live in has quite a few Socialist elements to begin with. They seem to work pretty well. Why are you expecting people to have a negative opinion of stuff like Firefighters - a socialized defense system for our citizens? Or Medicare, a single-payer, socialized medical system that pretty much ALL our seniors use?

Cycloptichorn
ican711nm
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 01:17 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
You don't seem to realize that the system we live in has quite a few Socialist elements to begin with. They seem to work pretty well. Why are you expecting people to have a negative opinion of stuff like Firefighters - a socialized defense system for our citizens? Or Medicare, a single-payer, socialized medical system that pretty much ALL our seniors use?

Almost all firefighters have not been established as such by the federal government. Almost all have been established by state and local governments.

There are indeed "quite a few Socialist elements to begin with" prior to Obama. Actually, the federal socialist elements seem to work pretty badly--that is, are corrupt.. Most of the current federal socialist elements are also illegal according to "the supreme law of [our] land." The only federal powers that are legal are those granted by the Constitution of the USA as Amended to our federal government.
Quote:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html
Amendment X
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.

I realize you probably couldn't care less what powers the Constitution of the USA grants the federal government. If the Congress and the President and the Supreme Court decide to illegally amend the Constitution, it's probably ok with you as long as the feds continue to permit themselves to transfer wealth from those who lawfully earned it to those who do not lawfully earn it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 01:19 pm
@ican711nm,
Quote:

Almost all firefighters have not been established as such by the federal government. Almost all have been established by state and local governments.


So what? It doesn't change their basic nature, and they do work well.

Nobody cares much for your version of Constitutional analysis, Ican. The fact that you didn't seem to even understand how Inflation works is a sign that you aren't an expert on anything having to do with our government, frankly. If you can screw up such a basic point of knowledge, why should anyone trust you on anything else?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 01:57 pm
@parados,
Parados wrote:
But I thought the argument against the stimulus package was much of it didn't go into effect for months or even over a year.

That certainly wasn't my argument about the stimulus package. The only thing I ever said about the stimulus package was that it's too small.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Input trends are going to reverse? That's a little dramatic, don't you think?

No, I don't think so. Right now, the stimulus package is the only thing that keeps the economy from falling off a cliff. We know it's going to peter out over the course of 2010. We know that the Democrats don't have 60 votes in the Senate to pass another stimulus package. On the other hand, we have no evidence that anything good will happen to consumer spending, business investment, or net exports -- the other sources of spending on US goods. And we certainly have no evidence that Senate Democrats will muster the guts to abolish the filibuster, although they do have enough votes to do that.

It's not me who's being dramatic. It's the year 2010 that will be -- at least towards the end.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:26 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Input trends are going to reverse? That's a little dramatic, don't you think?

No, I don't think so. Right now, the stimulus package is the only thing that keeps the economy from falling off a cliff. We know it's going to peter out over the course of 2010. We know that the Democrats don't have 60 votes in the Senate to pass another stimulus package. On the other hand, we have no evidence that anything good will happen to consumer spending, business investment, or net exports -- the other sources of spending on US goods. And we certainly have no evidence that Senate Democrats will muster the guts to abolish the filibuster, although they do have enough votes to do that.

It's not me who's being dramatic. It's the year 2010 that will be -- at least towards the end.


I dunno - there's still a hell of a lot of Stim spending in 2010. It may fall off but to say 'reverse' is a little much. I agree that the stim package should have been bigger tho.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:40 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I think part of our disagreement arises because we need to distinguish between three different things:

1) The total amount of stimulus money spent: That's the thing of which we may still have the greater part ahead of us.

2) The impact of the stimulus on the level of GDP: This part is proportional to the rate of stimulus spending, and is currently reaching its peak.

3) The impact of the stimulus on the growth of GDP: This part is proportional to the growth of stimulus spending, and has already receded to about zero.

You're basing your argument on #1. But the unemployment rate, which chiefly determines if voters will be happy in November, depends on some combination of #2 and #3. Both of those are going to recede over the course of 2010.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:53 pm
@Thomas,
Much of the stim money yet to be spent is directly supporting jobs - that is, construction projects. So there's at least some pressure still being applied by the Stim bill in 2010 in ways that directly affect job creation.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:04 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Much of the stim money yet to be spent is directly supporting jobs - that is, construction projects.

Yes, but so was the stimulus money that's already been spent. The change in unemployment between now and November will reflect the change of support between now and then. That support is declining, so the rational expectation right now is unemployment will be higher in November 2010 than in January 2010.

Add it to our list of bets if you want. There's a lovely Thai restaurant I'd like to revisit. I think it's on Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way. It's quite affordable too, so I'm not going to ruin you with all those bets I'm going to win.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:06 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Much of the stim money yet to be spent is directly supporting jobs - that is, construction projects.

Yes, but so was the stimulus money that's already been spent. The change in unemployment between now and November will reflect the change of support between now and then. That support is declining, so the rational expectation right now is unemployment will be higher in November 2010 than in January 2010.

Add it to our list of bets if you want. There's a lovely Thai restaurant I'd like to revisit. I think it's on Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way. It's quite affordable too, so I'm not going to ruin you with all those bets I'm going to win.


You honestly want to bet that unemployment will be higher in Nov. then it was in January? I'd take that in a cold second!

What about extenuating factors such as new legislation?

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:21 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Since the Republicans are not going to vote for new rounds of stimulus as long as Obama is in office, that's basically a bet about whether the Democrats will nuke the 60-votes limit in the Senate. I'm pretty sure they won't, but not quite sure enough to bet on it. So let's say that the bet is off if Obama gets another round of stimulus, and if that round is at least half as big as the package he got last year.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:41 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Since the Republicans are not going to vote for new rounds of stimulus as long as Obama is in office, that's basically a bet about whether the Democrats will nuke the 60-votes limit in the Senate. I'm pretty sure they won't, but not quite sure enough to bet on it. So let's say that the bet is off if Obama gets another round of stimulus, and if that round is at least half as big as the package he got last year.


The Jobs bill currently being discussed is somewhere around 80 billion, so it doesn't fall into your criteria; and yet, it definitely could have a positive impact on the economy AND it could get passed in this congress as it focuses mostly on tax-breaks to small businesses. Republicans will have a hard time opposing it in an election year where unemployment is the top concern.

So, yeah - I'll take the bet. No problem.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:43 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Suits me. The $80 billion job bill is cosmetics. Last year's $800 billion bill was surgery. And in 2010, the job market will still need surgery.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:46 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Suits me. The $80 billion job bill is cosmetics. Last year's $800 billion bill was surgery. And in 2010, the job market will still need surgery.


Yes, but the question is: will it be better or worse then it is now? I am totally willing to bet that it will be better, for a variety of reasons. After all, the odds are pretty good that I will win.

Cycloptichorn
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 03:54 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Republicans will have a hard time opposing it in an election year where unemployment is the top concern.


Or they might just point to the Democrats that think it's not all that great, either.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 04:03 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
The $80 stimulus bill of 2010 is better than nothing. But it's worse than the $800 stimulus bill of 2009, which got us where we are now. That's why I'm expecting job losses for 2010.

I think the only way you can win this is through discouraged workers -- people getting so frustrated with the labor market that they give up looking for a job. But as I understand you, you'd be just as happy to bet on increasing employment rather than decreasing unemployment. If so, would you mind plugging this hole by making the bet about employment rather than unemployment? I suggest we use the employment-to-population, as our yardstick. I say it will be lower in November 2010 than in January 2010, unless there's a stimulus package comparable to that of 2009 -- at least $400 billion, say.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 04:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

The $80 stimulus bill of 2010 is better than nothing. But it's worse than the $800 stimulus bill of 2009, which got us where we are now. That's why I'm expecting job losses for 2010.

I think the only way you can win this is through discouraged workers -- people getting so frustrated with the labor market that they give up looking for a job. But as I understand you, you'd be just as happy to bet on increasing employment rather than decreasing unemployment. If so, would you mind plugging this hole by making the bet about employment rather than unemployment? I suggest we use the employment-to-population, as our yardstick. I say it will be lower in November 2010 than in January 2010, unless there's a stimulus package comparable to that of 2009 -- at least $400 billion, say.


I would say that the market which lead to the recession is somewhat different now then it was then, so there's reason to believe that it may improve. But, I will have to study your proposed change to the bet, because - as you state - it isn't as favorable to my position Laughing

Cycloptichorn
 

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