112
   

Where is the US economy headed?

 
 
parados
 
  3  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 08:41 am
@Builder,
Why are we drifting away? Because you can't admit that your statement was factually incorrect? China does not enjoy a higher standard of living than the US. That is a fact.

Of course there is affluence and poverty in both countries. There is also affluence and poverty in just about every country on the earth. You have to measure the average or the mean standard of living if you want to compare countries. You can't compare the total GDP of countries and claim that is the comparison of standard of living. That is ridiculous.

If you want to discuss countries, you should start from an honest standard. Otherwise all your conclusions are suspect.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 08:42 am
@Builder,
Quote:
Wow, all seven of those "problems" are mirrored (or worse) in the US, though at least China punishes corruption in their politicians. In the US, they get promoted.

ROFLMAO.
You don't seem to know the first thing about China.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_China
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 02:43 pm
Not drifting away. Back to work now. Busy time of the year.

Here's a simple explanation of why the USA is the most corrupted gov't on the planet. Knock yourself out. Smile

http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/corrupt-country-world.html
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 03:38 pm
@Builder,
You don't seem to know the definition of the word corruption. While one can disagree with policy that doesn't make enacting the policy corruption.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 05:46 pm
Quote:
Shares of JC Penney are exploding in after-hours trade after the retailer reported holiday same-store sales that jumped 3.7% from the same period last year.
In after-hours trade, shares were up as much as 15%, to $7.24. On Tuesday, the stock closed at $6.24.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jc-penney-holiday-sales-2015-1#ixzz3O5UyDm4w


If this years sales were up anything close to the previously reported 5.5% JCP same store sales of 3.7% is not good at all, especially considering that they have never recovered much from the 2012 -32% disaster and that going into Nov of this year they were up 4.3%. Also multiple observers speculate that JCP drove traffic with overly aggressive discounting, so there may not be any profits to be had, and JCP had promised profits by the end of 2014.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 06:02 pm
@hawkeye10,
Proves you know very little about the ups and downs of business. What is important is how they perform now and in the future. Not what you 'think' is important.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 06:07 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Proves you know very little about the ups and downs of business. What is important is how they perform now and in the future. Not what you 'think' is important.


If you have a comment related to the thread subject then make it....."you suck" is trolling.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 07:20 pm
Quote:
There is nothing more photogenic and metaphorical than a dead mall — all those hushed escalators, abandoned mannequins and empty parking lots veined with weeds. The New York Times had a lovely slideshow of just such scenes over the weekend, accompanying another story (of which there are now many) on the demise of the suburban shopping mecca.

The lesson in these images invariably has to do with decay: Look at all that wasted land and the dried-up commerce. As the Times writes, mall trends reflect American income inequality: high-end retail hubs are thriving, while places that once catered to the middle class are closing down. Demographics and technology are implicated in the decline, too. Baby boomers in the suburbs no longer have teens who want to hang out in shopping malls. And physical stores have, supposedly, lost their allure to the Internet.

.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/06/why-no-one-likes-indoor-malls-any-more/?hpid=z5

Agreed
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2015 09:19 pm
@hawkeye10,
Retail sales is up. Your hunt and pick of any bad news you seem to find doesn't correlate to the increasing retail sales.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 02:16 am
@parados,
Quote:
You don't seem to know the definition of the word corruption.


What's troubling you here? Calling it "Citizens United" when it has nothing to do with the Citizens? Bribes are bribes are bribes. You can tell a lie a million times, but it doesn't become truth. The president himself has sold out. Keep waving that flag, though. It's a great sales point.


Quote:

While one can disagree with policy that doesn't make enacting the policy corruption.


Meaning what exactly? Which policy? All of them? Did you bother to read the link? It would appear not.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 02:42 am
@Builder,
It should be Called Citizens United Network of Truth.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 02:57 am
@izzythepush,
It's a mind-bender, apparently, as well as a play on words.

Surprising how easily people are duped.

Oh, and put a "Serum" after "Truth" and we're on the money. Smile
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 03:46 am
@parados,
Quote:
You don't seem to know the definition of the word corruption.


I'll post the article for you, and even highlight (bold) the sectors you need to focus upon, Parados. I'm thoughtful and caring like that. Smile

Quote:
While it is true that you don’t typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America’s political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $16 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands.

1. Instead of having short, publicly-funded political campaigns with limited and/or free advertising (as a number of Western European countries do), the US has long political campaigns in which candidates are dunned big bucks for advertising. They are therefore forced to spend much of their time fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes. All American politicians are basically on the take, though many are honorable people. They are forced into it by the system. House Majority leader John Boehner has actually just handed out cash on the floor of the House from the tobacco industry to other representatives.

When French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated in 2012, soon thereafter French police actually went into his private residence searching for an alleged $50,000 in illicit campaign contributions from the L’Oreale heiress. I thought to myself, seriously? $50,000 in a presidential campaign? Our presidential campaigns cost a billion dollars each! $50,000 is a rounding error, not a basis for police action. Why, George W. Bush took millions from arms manufacturers and then ginned up a war for them, and the police haven’t been anywhere near his house.

American politicians don’t represent “the people.” With a few honorable exceptions, they represent the the 1%. American democracy is being corrupted out of existence.

2. That politicians can be bribed to reduce regulation of industries like banking (what is called “regulatory capture”) means that they will be so bribed. Billions were spent and 3,000 lobbyists employed by bankers to remove cumbersome rules in the zeroes. Thus, political corruption enabled financial corruption (in some cases legalizing it!) Without regulations and government auditing, the finance sector went wild and engaged in corrupt practices that caused the 2008 crash. Too bad the poor Afghans can’t just legislate their corruption out of existence by regularizing it, the way Wall street did.

3. That the chief villains of the 2008 meltdown (from which 90% of Americans have not recovered) have not been prosecuted is itself a form of corruption.

4. The US military budget is bloated and enormous, bigger than the military budgets of the next twelve major states. What isn’t usually realized is that perhaps half of it is spent on outsourced services, not on the military. It is corporate welfare on a cosmic scale. I’ve seen with my own eyes how officers in the military get out and then form companies to sell things to their former colleagues still on the inside.

5. The US has a vast gulag of 2.2 million prisoners in jail and penitentiary. There is an increasing tendency for prisons to be privatized, and this tendency is corrupting the system. It is wrong for people to profit from putting and keeping human beings behind bars. This troubling trend is made all the more troubling by the move to give extra-long sentences for minor crimes, to deny parole and to imprison people for life for e,g, three small thefts.

6. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. This and other government policies has produced a situation where 400 American billionaires are worth $2 trillion, as much as the bottom 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn’t been seen in the US since the age of the robber barons in the nineteenth century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

7. The National Security Agency’s domestic spying is a form of corruption in itself, and lends itself to corruption. With some 4 million government employees and private contractors engaged in this surveillance, it is highly unlikely that various forms of insider trading and other corrupt practices are not being committed. If you knew who Warren Buffett and George Soros were calling every day, that alone could make you a killing. The American political class wouldn’t be defending this indefensible invasion of citizens’ privacy so vigorously if someone somewhere weren’t making money on it.

8. As for insider trading, it turns out Congress undid much of the law it hastily passed forbidding members, rather belatedly, to engage in insider trading (buying and selling stock based on their privileged knowledge of future government policy). That this practice only became an issue recently is another sign of how corrupt the system is.

9. Asset forfeiture in the ‘drug war’ is corrupting police departments and the judiciary.

10. Money and corruption have seeped so far into our media system that people can with a straight face assert that scientists aren’t sure human carbon emissions are causing global warming. Fox Cable News is among the more corrupt institutions in American society, purveying outright lies for the benefit of the billionaire class. The US is so corrupt that it is resisting the obvious urgency to slash carbon production. Even our relatively progressive president talks about exploiting all sources of energy, as though hydrocarbons were just as valuable as green energy and as though hydrocarbons weren’t poisoning the earth.

Even Qatar, its economy based on natural gas, freely admits the challenge of human-induced climate change. American politicians like Jim Inhofe are openly ridiculed when they travel to Europe for their know-nothingism on climate.

So don’t tell the Philippines or the other victims of American corruption how corrupt they are for taking a few petty bribes. Americans are not seen as corrupt because we only deal in the big denominations. Steal $2 trillion and you aren’t corrupt, you’re respectable.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 08:06 am
@Builder,
Let's start with your first statement. You purposely leave off part of the phrase. I'll make it large so you can't miss it.
Quote:
fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes.

Fund raising is not a bribe. Fund raising is raising money for campaigns. Politicians can't use the funds they raise for personal purposes. While it might seem kinda cool to refer to campaign funds as bribes that is not legally or technically accurate.

Quote:
House Majority leader John Boehner has actually just handed out cash on the floor of the House from the tobacco industry to other representatives.
Your evidence of this is?
The only stories I can find refer to Boehner handing out campaign contribution checks on the floor. While it is a violation of the House rules, it isn't bribery to accept campaign contributions.

Your arguments are nothing but opinion calling campaign contributions bribes. That is nonsense. While the campaign laws may be bad in some respects it doesn't automatically make following the laws bribery.
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 09:59 am
@parados,
I think what builder might be getting at, if a candidate receives huge amounts of money from gun manufactures, then when having reached office commences wars, there might be a correlation there. In other words, the candidates are beholden to the ones who get them there so that they can stay there. I am not sure I buy that, I think the Iraq war had more to do with the members of the "Project for the New American Century" and their ideologies rather than making money, or could be both.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 10:08 am
@revelette2,
Correlation? Sure. But he was specifically stating campaign contributions were corruption.
Rickoshay75
 
  0  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 11:40 am
@Builder,
Builder wrote:

Quote:
You don't seem to know the definition of the word corruption.


What's troubling you here? Calling it "Citizens United" when it has nothing to do with the Citizens? Bribes are bribes are bribes. You can tell a lie a million times, but it doesn't become truth. The president himself has sold out. Keep waving that flag, though. It's a great sales point.



Obama has sold out, you say. Where is your proof? What is the other side of the story, intelligent people need both sides before they make up their minds.

0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 11:52 am
@Builder,
You're really an idiot! Bribes and corruption are illegal. Most countries have problems with bribes and corruption, and when caught are charged with the crimes.

You're complaining about an issue that is common world wide. What is your problem? Do you have solutions, or are you just bitching about the facts of political life in this world?
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 01:21 pm
@parados,
Fair enough.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 01:56 am
Okay, catchup time here.

On the prez screwing everyone over; (this is just one example)
Quote:

It’s simply ludicrous for Obama to rationalize his actions on the grounds that he obtained permission from the U.N., NATO or the Arab League. The U.S. Constitution neither requires nor allows any of that; though it does require that Obama get permission – an explicit war declaration – from the U.S. Congress. He hasn’t done this, which is an impeachable offense, regardless of whether his predecessors committed the same wrong.


The article is from Forbes website.

Parados stated;
Quote:
Fund raising is not a bribe. Fund raising is raising money for campaigns. Politicians can't use the funds they raise for personal purposes. While it might seem kinda cool to refer to campaign funds as bribes that is not legally or technically accurate.


Everything the Nazi party did in their day was also legal. Legislating criminal actions to become legal didn't make the Nazi's crimes any less culpable in the eyes of the rest of the world, did it?

When it costs a billion dollars to elect a president, not to mention the fact that only two players get a run for the home plate, while the Greens candidate gets locked up for attempting to attend the presidential debate, alarm bells should be ringing all over the nation.

To think that the billion dollars comes from fewer and fewer people, as the corporates continue their globalist takeover tactics, simply means that the president owes lots of favours, to very few players.

You like this system, Parados? There's senators that admit to the corruption endemic within their ballpark, but that's the system they work within, and when you can make your first million in three years, what kind of person is attracted to the job? Noble-minded selfless people-servers? Or small-time crooks hoping to crack the bigtime?

Parados queried;
Quote:
The only stories I can find refer to Boehner handing out campaign contribution checks on the floor. While it is a violation of the House rules, it isn't bribery to accept campaign contributions.



Quote:
Boehner hands out 'tobacco checks' on floor of House

In late June of 1995 then-GOP Conference Chairman John Boehner handed out "about a half-dozen" checks from the political action committee of tobacco company Brown & Williamson Corp. to fellow Republicans on the floor of the House.

Boehner's chief of staff Barry Jackson stated, "We were trying to help guys who needed to get their June 30th numbers up, their cash-on-hand numbers up. All leadership does this. We have to raise money for people and help them raise money."

Boehner was forced to stop handing out the checks when two freshmen Republicans, "appalled by it," confronted him and voiced their displeasure. Boehner's reaction was one of tempered apology, "I thought, 'Yeah, I can imagine why somebody would be upset. It sure doesn't look good.' It's not an excuse, but the floor is the only place you get to see your colleagues. It was a matter of convenience. You make a mistake, admit it and go on. I just feel bad about it." (Associated Press, 5/10/96)


Article is from SourceWatch.org.

Parados again;
Quote:
Your arguments are nothing but opinion calling campaign contributions bribes. That is nonsense. While the campaign laws may be bad in some respects it doesn't automatically make following the laws bribery.


Your arguments are also opinion. A Princeton study into the workings of the political process proves that America isn't a democratic republic, and hasn't been (by definition) for a couple of decades now.

Quote:
Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

That’s a big claim. In their conclusion, Gilens and Page go even further, asserting that “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover … even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it"


Delve a little deeper, and you'll find that the electoral process itself is not only deeply indebted to the oligarchy, but not even interested in the will of the average American.

Mr Imposter wrote;
Quote:
Most countries have problems with bribes and corruption, and when caught are charged with the crimes.


Not so. Not one single banker from the 2007-8 financial crisis has served so much as a day in prison for their crimes, and yes, they did commit crimes, and congressional hearings proved that they did. Sure, there were some fines handed out, but in dollar terms, the fines added up to a tiny fraction of the profits, and with bankster bailouts, and bonuses paid, it was a big win for the gamblers on Wall street.

Quote:
...the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in its final report, uses variants of the word “fraud” no fewer than 157 times in describing what led to the crisis, concluding that there was a “systemic breakdown,” not just in accountability, but also in ethical behavior.

As the commission found, the signs of fraud were everywhere to be seen, with the number of reports of suspected mortgage fraud rising twenty-fold between 1996 and 2005 and then doubling again in the next four years. As early as 2004, FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker was publicly warning of the “pervasive problem” of mortgage fraud, driven by the voracious demand for mortgage-backed securities. Similar warnings, many from within the financial community, were disregarded, not because they were viewed as inaccurate, but because, as one high-level banker put it, “A decision was made that ‘We’re going to have to hold our nose and start buying the stated product if we want to stay in business.’”


Article here.
 

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