You are not signed in (Login or Join Free)   |   Help
Sploofus Trivia
Trivia GamesCommunityLeaderboardsTournaments
MySploofus
You are here:  Home  >>  Chat Forums  >>  The Salty Dog  >>  View Chat Message

View Chat Message



Pages:  1    


tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 9:18 AM

ECONOMIC STIMULUS AS GOVERNMENT POLICY

Although I initially supported the bailout -- even when it was suggested by Bush -- what has so far occurred seems to be a last chance by corporate elites to aggrandize themselves at the cost of the taxpayers. Particularly given Geithner's role in the bailout, and the economic policies that led to the meltdown, I have serious reservations in continuing this financial giveaway unless and until there are rules in place with respect to who is eligible for bailout and how bailout money is used to ensure that it does more than line the pockets of the rich.

As to the Obama stimulus plan, I hope it works, but for average citizens, the plan seems timid, while continuing economic dominance by the captains of industry who led us to this point. As Robert Reich writes in his February 1, 2009 column (available from Washinton post.com):

"According to researchers Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, since the late 1970s, a greater and greater share of national income has gone to people at the top of the earnings ladder. As late as 1976, the richest 1 percent of the country took home about 9 percent of the total national income. By 2006, they were pocketing more than 20 percent. But the rich don't spend as much of their income as the middle class and the poor do -- after all, being rich means that you already have most of what you need. That's why the concentration of income at the top can lead to a big shortfall in overall demand and send the economy into a tailspin. (It's not coincidental that 1928 was the last time that the top 1 percent took home more than 20 percent of the nation's income.)"

Henry Ford recognized that people needed money to buy his products, cars, any decided to pay with the advent of the assembly line what were than generous wages to his workers so that they could afford to buy the products they were creating. Now, it all seems to be about cutting working people's income -- when they still have jobs -- to line the pockets of international capital and the corporatists who are its handmaidens.

Here is Paul Krugman in his Op-Ed column in yesterday's "New York Times" on the stimulus package:

"Question: what happens if you lose vast amounts of other people’s money? Answer: you get a big gift from the federal government — but the president says some very harsh things about you before forking over the cash.

Am I being unfair? I hope so. But right now that's what seems to be happenening.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the Obama administration’s plan to support jobs and output with a large, temporary rise in federal spending, which is very much the right thing to do. I’m talking, instead, about the administration’s plans for a banking system rescue — plans that are shaping up as a classic exercise in “lemon socialism”: taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right."

Anybody have any thoughts on the economic stimulus plan that they care to share?



collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 9:35 AM

No banking system, no lending, no economy.

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Re: Are you being unfair?

No, naive is a better description.

And Paul Krugman, again ????

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 9:50 AM

1. There can be a banking system and lending without a giveaway to the rich. Minimally, the government could take controlling equity positions in the banks, instead of just lending money. With a controlling interest, the government could make corporate decisions that now remain in the hands of the greedy corporatists, and whom have apparently decided to pay themselves more money -- for the "good job" they have done -- at the expense of taxpayers.

2. In my view, there has to be more done to put the economy on a sound footing than increasing the credit supply. Too many Americans are already "borrowed" out, and can't meet their credit obligations. Simply making more money available to be borrowed, without more, strikes me as likely to do little more than delay the stuctural changes in the economy that need to happen to be made so that it functions appropriately moving forward.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 9:57 AM

Where is the giveaway to the rich? They've lost bigtime, and this mess is the government's fault - Greenspan, Barney Frank, Bush admin and a cast of 1000's.

And Obama's plan is to give more money directly to the less fortunate - like the working poor.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:02 AM

Reminds me of an unsolicited and unverified email I recieved last week. It said that the reason AIG received biggest and fastest bailout with fewer strings was because they are the ones that insure the government pensions. Would this be true or an "urban legend"? I can't find anything on it but haven't looked real hard either. Since Andy & Ted are much more informed on these issues than I am maybe they know or can find out.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:04 AM

As I understand it, AIG is essential to the functioning of our economy. The government bought 80% of it, I think, and should turn a profit when it sells it off at a later date.

1mks
1mks  (Level: 210.8 - Posts: 5883)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:39 AM

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Business/story?id=6757733&page=1
$335 million for education related to sexually transmitted diseases
$650 million for coupons to help people make the switch to digital TV
$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
$150 million for the Smithsonian Institution
$50 million for the National Cemetery Administration's monument and memorial repairs
$800 million for Amtrak, the country's railroad system
$2 billion for child-care subsidies
$400 million for global warming research
$100 million for reducing the danger of lead paint in homes
$2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects
$50 million for NASA facilities that may have been harmed by natural disaster
$200 million for the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor earthquakes and volcanoes
$650 million for the U.S. Forest Service to remove fish passage barriers, forest improvement and watershed enhancement projects
$1.5 million for a National Institute of Health/Institute of Medicine report to Congress
$650 million for the U.S. Forest Service to remove fish passage barriers, forest improvement and watershed enhancement projects
$1.5 million for a National Institute of Health/Institute of Medicine report to Congress
$50.6 million for services for older blind individuals
$400 million for the Social Security Administration's new National Computer Center
$325 million for Academic Achievement Awards
In the Senate version, there are additional servings of what conservatives term pork that won't generate new jobs, including:
$70 million for programs to help people quit smoking
$75 million for a super-computer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

I find some of these to be absolutely ludicrous!

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:41 AM

BTW I don't agree with this constant attack upon "the rich."

There is no doubt in my mind that the well off can afford to pay higher taxes than they do today, even more than they did when Clinton rolled back some of the Reagan tax cuts. However, one must be careful to not discourage investment and new enterprises. That means perennial low tax rates on capital gains.

It is important to recognize who these rich people are and what they do in our economy. For example, BIll Gates is one of the richest people in the world, but Microsoft has effectively spwaned so many other companies and JOBS!!! in hi tech, to to mention the productivity gains in nearly every sector of our economy from personal computers and software.

In the US chief executives are unfortunately disparaged by the media; in many other countries they are revered.



collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:49 AM

As noted on another blog yesterday, Marsha

Sen. Nelson: "There's no pork in the bill, but there are some sacred cows."

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:50 AM

I most likely should have read and researched what you said before jumping in here. TSK and Andy but.... My concern is that I do not see anything in the stimulus plan that is in any way helpful to me-selfish I know but don't believe I am alone in my position. I have never been rich nor received huge bonus or any bonus for that matter like the Auto execs and other execs did. I also have never had a large amount of money to invest anywhere. I worked all of my life and raised three basically good kids that also basically by myself. I and am now living on a pension plus SS. Both myself and my mortgage company own my small but comfortable home. I pay my mortgage payment on time as I do all my bills. Also now have to file estimated taxes which I also do faithfully. I have excellent health care insurance because of a union I belonged to that despite what many say is as filled with corruption as the school system for which I worked. In this package I see people getting refunds who did not pay income taxes along with illegal folks. So it is not only the super rich that I see getting something out of the but folks who have lived off the government-that is the taxpayers like me-benefiting and for the life of me cannot figure out how I made the huge mistake of working in a difficult job for many years and paying for what I have on time with money that I have. Yes, I do realize that I have been fortunate not to ever have been dirt poor but my ancestors not too far back certainly were...Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:54 AM

1. AIG would certainly like the taxpayers to believe it is indispensible to the economy, and I admit that this was my initial reaction, but I think I was being "naive".

2. The U.S. government does not "own" 80% of AIG. The government did get "equity participation" notes, representing approximately an 80% stake in the company. By failing to take common stock, however, AIG management continues more or less in tact. (The CEO was required to depart as part of the deal.) By failing to take common stock, the government does not have direct control over AIG decisions or management -- so AIG can continue to pay bonuses and enjoy fancy retreats and other perks at taxpayer expense -- with the occasional "outrage" being expressed by elected officials as taxpayer money goes into the pockets of AIG management.

3. Don't know to what degree there was a connection between AIG's financial guarantee business -- which does extend to at least some pension funds -- and the decision to bail out AIG. I have read a number of articles expressing the view that the next big economic crisis will occur as underfunded pensions start defaulting on their obligations. There is no question that many, many pensions promised by corporate America will not be paid as promised. Too many corporations never adequately reserved their pensions; instead, electing to pay ever higher compensation to their managers rather than seeing to it that money would be available to ensure payment of promised pensions.

4. I have to say that I don't see a big difference betwen Bernie Madow, and the "honest" corporatists who are now being bailed out.



tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:57 AM

In no other country are corporatists paid so many times the income received by ordinary workers as in the United States. And did I miss something? Did Bill Gates run Microsoft into the ground and come begging for a government handout?

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 11:14 AM

I'm not sure but Canada might be a close second for management wages. We're also working on some bailouts for the auto industry, which I don't mind, as long as it's not going to management. Both countries need to work on stimulating sales of domestic products, as we all do personally. I realize its difficult to find these products but the economy can never be stable if we keep shipping our jobs & money abroad. I don't mean a policy of protectionism which can make things worse, as other countries tend to get snarky & raise their tariffs too, but a grassroots campaign to maybe pay a little more & keep your neighbour working. Good for the environment & ultimately, good for all our pocketbooks

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 11:15 AM

1. TSK, I am not an expert on AIG. I only know what I read - that AIG was essential and Lehman Bros was not. Maybe Paulson and my source were both incorrect.

2. The supposed AIG junket that was publicly criticized was rather normal for their business and quite essential.

“AIG held the gathering for about 150 independent financial advisers who steer lots of business to AIG,” Ross said of the Phoenix meeting. He said executives had characterized it as “absolutely essential” to the company’s business. He also noted that “A company spokesman says most of the total $350,000 cost would ultimately be covered by other corporate sponsors.”

http://www.freemarketproject.org/articles/2008/20081111142512.aspx

3. If you do not see any difference between Bernie Madoff and other corporate executives, I do.

4. Finally, I regret the continual attack on top executive salaries in the US. Those at the top general receive them for very few years. Perhaps if you understood their responsibilities, their work schedules and what they contribute to our well-being, you might pipe down.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 11:17 AM

Plus, homegrown products don't normally contain poisonous substances (some do but they're not on the banned list yet)

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 11:19 AM

Randy, I love when people write as you did, and then add, "I don't mean protectionism."

BUT YOU DO MEAN PROTECTIONSIM

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 12:07 PM

Randy, believe the "salmonella" outbreak has been traced to a plant in Georgia-last time I checked Georgia was still in the US. The terrible part of it is this plant has known there was contamination there for years. The last time the FDA-a government entity, believe speaks to the effectiveness of government run ANYTHING- inspected there was in 2001- Linda

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 12:21 PM

No protectionism is a total ban, I'm advocating more dependence on locally made products. Nothing wrong with importing goods that can't be made here but we're exporting jobs & raw materials to foreign climes & then purchasing back the finished product. The way the multinationals make money doing this is paying ridiculously low wages, little to no quality control & destroying the environment. The only reason the US & by extension Canada are not in a full scale depression is because China is propping up the US dollar (they'll go under too, if their foreign markets collapse). We're living on a very slippery slope and I shutter at the thought of many people trying to survive when their only skills are white collar.

By the way, over 70% of wood products exported from China are made of illegally obtained wood, no wonder the domestic market can't compete.

Also, could someone please explain why CEO's & upper-management are paid higher wages & bigger bonuses when the company is in the red? I just don't understand advanced math, I guess



collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 12:30 PM

Randy, what is rarely mentioned is that when jobs are exported, other ones, often better, are imported.

The days when many could have one career are over; now one has to reinvent oneself several times over a lifetime and have some five careers.

Be a free trader, not a protectionist.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:09 PM

Huge bonuses aside, how can any business be run without the people at the top getting a salary that makes it something they want to do? I am citing the auto companies in Detroit that because of their overhead costs including legacy costs negotiated years ago by unions that cannot compete with foreign companies. No perhaps about it if they don't succeed they should not be given a hand-out or a bridge loan or whatever., the execs should resign, and they should go into bankruptcy court other businesses and individuals have done. Some have slimmed down and came out able to turn a profit-others have not. Have noticed various Governors jumping ship and supporting the "House" deal because that provides for state hand-outs. I asked the question a long time ago just who is expected to pay for this and how far down the line do we quit saying something or someone is NOT too big to fail? Government running anything has been proven a disaster but seems the government is beginning to own bigger pieces of everything that once was private province. I sincerely doubt there are enough "fat cats" to pay this bill even if you think they should. While I'm at it, someone please define working poor. I would think that would mean folks who work at minimum wage jobs and try to support themselves and family. Thinktthose people already are eligible for Medicaid and Food Stamps again something that someone else has to pay for. Pardon me but still confused-Linda

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 5315)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:24 PM

The working poor are those who work at low wages, have the inability to get ahead or are under-employed, and slip through the cracks as far as food stamps, Medicaid, etc., are concerned.

I was there myself for many years.

I know of families who fall into that category and it's darned hard to ever break out of that rut. In my case, I had to move away from my hometown - but because of kids graduating from high school, an elderly mother, etc., I had to wait until I was 48 years old to do it. Best move I ever made.



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:25 PM

Also do not understand how the "green' people can impose further restrictions on emission standards forcing the cost of cars way out of range for even folks like myself not under the category of "Working Poor", to afford to buy one. That is,of course, depending on whether I could get a loan. This is just a MESS that keeps getting messier the more the politicians get their hands on it-Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:44 PM

Excuse me, Linda, but there were not enough "green people" around when Bill Clinton allowed SUV's to be classified as light trucks instead of passenger cars and they multiplied like rabbits.

The price of oil will rebound, and vehicles that consume less of it will be in greater demand.

That's one of the problems at Ford, Chrysler and GM - they tooled up to produce gas guzzlers.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 2:06 PM

Thanks for the clear definition, Pat. I can certainly sympathize with those folks. Politicians have become such masters of double-speak that I believe next to nothing of what they say. GM, Ford, and Chrysler built those vehicles because that is what people wanted, Andy. Have heard some folks who seem to know saying that those three companies cannot make a profit on the smaller "green"cars because their overhead is much higher than companies like Toyota for example because they have union workers and operate under union rules-job descriptions to name a few. Said before it is a mess. Probably no one was alive here before or during the Depression.-even I wasn't. Folks then took whatever work they could find, were taken care of by extended family and generosity of neighbors. Even after FDR started his programs, folks did not consider digging a ditch "beneath" them-my dad did it. They stood in line for soup as there was no such programs as Welfare, Food Stamps, Medicaid, or the like. My grandfather arrived in American to signs saying "Irish DON'T apply". Improvements are a good thing until "improvements" whatever you chose to call them are a HUGE part of the problem- Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 2:41 PM

In what sense has the government "bought" AIG, when it is not allowed to select its Board's directors and directly operate the company?

Andy, I am unclear whether you are just relying on Paulson's claim that AIG is "essential" or whether you believe you have information from sources other than Paulson that AIG is "essential". If the latter, I would be interested in your additional sources if you can recall them. Excuse me if I'm not terribly impressed by what Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs says is "essential" to the economy. I would expect nothing less from this modern day robber baron.

In any event, assuming AIG is "essential" -- the government could have bought 100% of the stock of the company for considerably less than the loan it has floated to AIG. I acknowledge that real ownership would have likely been the first step in a process requiring additional cash infusions to keep AIG afloat (although I believe it would likely have cost taxpayers less in the long run), but why leave the failures in charge of that sinking ship -- which is basically what the bailout has done.

It is not necessary as a normal course of business to spend lavishly on retreats and other corporate perks. In fact, the "necessity" of such spending seems to be only in the minds of rich American corporatists -- as such spending among the U.S. corporate class dwarfs comparable spending among business leaders in the rest of the world. I don't see that the the world will fall apart if we cut off the failed corporatists from nursing at the teat of the public fisc. Manufacturing workers, particularly auto workers -- who don't establish corporate policies -- are the whipping boys, while we let the failed corporatists take down millions in compensation -- even after their economic misdeeds/crimes have come to light. Afterall, these "wise" people might not be willing to provide their wonderful services any longer unless they are rewarded for their economic failures with taxpayer money.

Unfettered "free" trade works only for the corporatists -- not working men and women who see their jobs go to nations where workers have little if any rights and where environmental protections are non-existent. At present, it certainly appears to me that the democratic governments of the world are no match for international capital when it comes to how things are run. I suspect that this is because so many politicians in the countries that are structurally classified as "democracies" are bought and paid for by international capital, and at least in the U.S.A., most elections are between a Democrat and a Republican both of whom either are tools of rich corporatists or who aspire to play this role.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 2:46 PM

Wall Street bonuses on the surface outrage people including myself. Analysis is showing that other than a few who were picked out by the media most of the top people did not take bonuses. The "bonuses' a misnomer were give mostly to the workers like in sales as a reward for what they produced. The comparison is being made to a waitress who makes a paltry wage but can gety good tips for good service. Most of these workers were unaware that their company was about to fail It is also pointed out that many of these firms did not accept money from TARP-just something to think about-was for me- Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 3:34 PM

1. TSK, I'm sure I saw this debated on Larry King, and I don't think anyone was against the AIG bailout. If you have a reference that says it wasn't essential I'd like to read it.

2. As for the conference I leave to them to know what's best. The invitees were independent agents who steer lots of business their way and probably were accustomed to such annually. Maybe you do, but I don't, want government to be making decisions for the key businesses it rescues on an interim business.

You seem to have some tangential issues on this one.

3. Free trade raises the standard of living world wide. You folks on the left have some funny notions about this probably as a result of labor union propaganda, but I know plenty enough economics to know that the my first sentence here is correct. For example, you want to force our standards on foreign nations, but that isn't what they want. Whether you like it or not, they want those sweat shop jobs - as they are.

And Tom Friedman of the New York Times continues to write that when we export jobs, others come back or are created.


smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 4:01 PM

"they want those sweat shop jobs - as they are."

And the slaves were happy on the plantations - that's why they sang all the time.

When people spend their lives working long hours in dreadful conditions for subsistence wages, to create goods they'll never be able to buy, you can hardly speak of what they "want." They "want" low-paying dangerous jobs as opposed to no jobs at all. That's hardly a justification for sweatshops and offshoring of jobs.




collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 4:07 PM

Smoke, they want them, their countries want them. It's a start to something better. The jobs are followed by schools, health care . . . That's how underdeveloped countries develop.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 4:18 PM

Sorry, Andy, you are not clear on things. Everyone everywhere should start out in high-paying jobs before they have any training to do them. If they fail it is okay as the rest of the folks who worked all their lives in often not the most pleasant circumstances will simply support them in the style to which they have become accustomed. Forgot how you drew the line between the two negative approaches, Foogs, but trust me I am both. If you know the right people you don't have to follow the same rules as average people do- Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 4:20 PM

Ever been to India, Smoke? I have. There is a lot of abject poverty - everywhere! India can't feed or educate all its people.

If you haven't been to India, check out the great film I saw last night, "Slumdog Millionaire." The opening scenes will give you an insight into why they want those jobs. Many people literally have nothing more than the shirt on their back.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 4:30 PM

Actually, Linda, I did begin in some rather low-paying jobs.

I do understand that these bailouts are not understood on Main St. Surely everyone is saying, "Where's mine?" I can't actually tell you that I was in favor of them at the time, but I do understand that without a banking system everything goes downhill.

You want to be angry at someone? Start with the auto execs. But understand that they are also fronting for UAW workers.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 5:42 PM

Yesterday's Meet the Press was quite informative on subject of the bailouts, the bonuses . . .in particular, Erin Burnett of CNBC.

The bailout monies went into separate accounts. They were not used to pay bonuses. They bonuses in many cases were part of the compensation packages, probably of employees who made money for their investment house (these investment houses operate many lines of business). Neither Paulson nor the Obama admin have explained this well to the general public.

Obama and Biden have engaged in some populism on this subject while at the same time they know they must bailout the banking system.

You will recall that I sought more info before commenting on this situation. I have some, but I want more.

I wish you all were also eager for the facts.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 5:53 PM

I understand that these sweatshop offshored manufacturing jobs raise the standard of living in undeveloped countries from starvation to subsistence. I know that if these children weren't hunched over sewing machines in dark factories for all the daylight hours they might be doing backbreaking manual farm labor or prostituting themselves to death on the streets of some toilet of a city. I learned that stuff from Paul Krugman. I was merely commenting on the "want." I "want" to be a paraplegic in a hospital bed if the only alternative is a horrible death.

I'm also thinking of the Americans who used to do those jobs. Protectionism or not, people in this country need jobs, too, don't they? And shouldn't the tax structure encourage a middle ground between the corporate and union greed that leads to offshoring to foreign sweatshops?

I'm not an economist or a foreign policy wonk of any stripe, I don't know, I'm asking. I speak from the level of the millions of people without jobs right now, here in this country, and those who live in week-to-week fear of losing their jobs, as my husband does as an employee of the automotive industry, as my daughters and grandsons do as the distressed economy tightens up on their various professions.

Why should a rich celebrity "designer" rake in millions in profits selling hundred-dollar shirts that a Guatamalan (or whatever, no offense to Guatamala) was paid twenty cents to make, when a worker in Detroit or Trenton, or the last small town some big factory closed in, might have gladly made it for $5 and an affordable health plan. $95 isn't enough? it's got to be $99.80? I know that's overly simplistic, and many other factors are involved, but allow me the example I cheerfully and freely admit has no basis in fact, for the sake of making this point and asking this question: let us lose and go without jobs here long enough and we'll fare little better than the third world; shouldn't the people at the top in this (or any) country have an investment in full employment for Americans?

There's more than one kind of homeland security.


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 6:07 PM

Why should a rich celebrity "designer" rake in millions in profits selling hundred-dollar shirts?

Because he delivers to the market shirts for which people will pay $100. Same reason why pro football players make more than teachers.

FYI the fashion business is hardly a sure thing, and pro football players often have very short careers.

Once more with feeling, lesser jobs go abroad and better ones come back. Retrain, reinvent yourself . . . that's survival and often betterment in the global marketplace. My electrician/plumber gave up his desk job near Paris a few years ago, moved to a nicer climate, now has a nice house, family with three children.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:23 PM

That sounds great. When do the better ones come back? Why haven't they come back and everything's not swell? What should they be retraining for? Where's the investment and funding for that retraining? I'm hoping P-BO's master plan envisions training and research in alternative fuels and their applications. Most of the folks I know who used to work in factories now work at fast food restaurants or drugstore chains, if they work at all. Some nice new clean technology jobs would be just the ticket.

My in-laws raised their kids working for GM and now they work for Walmart. They were unaware of any opportunities for retraining until they found themselves unemployed in their 40s. Mom did retrain, took accounting courses and got state certifications and has a job of much greater responsibilty in a corporate bookkeeping system, pays half what she made on the line at GM. Dad was a genius at keeping high-volume production machinery running and now he puts bicycles and gas grills together for less than half his former salary and thinks poorly of himself because he's in his 60s and feels too old to retrain but is not able to retire. I'm of an age to have worked with many people who are now retired, or at least at the end of their work lives, and a lot of them struggle on pensions that shriveled or disappeared with jobs they lost in their 50s. Maybe it's a generational problem and those on the cusp of the baby boom are more likely to be lost through the cracks ot a crumbling economy.

So where IS the problem? Why did they lose those jobs? Were they too good to last? Did the greedy workers and the UAW squeeze the blood from the rock of the auto industry? Or did the auto industry mislead everyone down the expressway to ruin with conspicuous consumption, planned obsolescence, stupid marketing and inferior product? Or is there enough blame to share? And then what? How to get beyond apportioning blame and start putting people back to work? I speak to these issues not from any great fund of information, but from my own curiosity, fears and concerns for my family and my country, and I'm glad to be informed by those more knowledgable.

Anyone know why Ford has thus far not gone to Washington with hat in hand? Is it because they're more heavily diversified overseas?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:33 PM

I can't answer all those questions. I'll take two before I turn in.

It seems to me that Detroit headed down the wrong path when it continued to try to produce what it wanted to sell (big cars), and not what people wanted to buy. So that was management's error and has little if anything to do with the workers. Toyota did not exactly pass GM overnight; it had been gaining for a long time - offering smaller, high quality vehicles.

New jobs are being created every day. Read Tom Friedman at the New York Times for details. We lose some; we gain others. It's a continuing process, certainly a scary one for those who are losing their jobs.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 8:48 PM

Just 2 points from me:

1. U.S. Corporations are taxed at higher rates than any country in the world. If the U.S. would lower that tax rate, maybe more of those jobs would come back to the US or stay here in the first place. I believe I saw Obama campaign ads that said he would do that.

2. Back at the top of this thread, Tsk quoted, "...But the rich don't spend as much of their income as the middle class and the poor do..."

That is in no wise by the greatest stretch of the imagination true if those richest people own companies/corporations.

Most of the middle class and all of the poor do not employ anyone or create jobs for anyone. Only the rich do create hundreds/thousands/millions of jobs.

I consider the millions of jobs created and incomes paid out by the rich in their companies as SPENDING. Plus, the rich who own companies have invested untold $$$ into their companies and taken on high risk. They're the ones coming up with the commodities out there. They took on the risk, they put in the hours, they carried the ulcers and headaches. And they've taken the economic shots. Some are going bankrupt at this moment.

I'm not talking about banks and mortgage companies or even insurance companies. I'm talking about everyday type rich people who created companies, who worked out the nuts and bolts to create and manufacture the products we need/want, who are being punished for their success with that highest tax rate on earth.

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 5315)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 12:32 AM

Smoke, I can give you a general idea of why some very qualified people lose their jobs: The companies can hire someone new half the employee's age to work for a lot less money.

As my former boss kept telling me when he was demoting me and cutting my pay (telling me I should see it as a new adventure, not a demotion!), "it's business, it's not personal and you're taking it personally."

Well, yes, I did take it personally when I had given 20 years of my life breathing, sleeping and eating with nothing else on my mind but that company. At nearly 70 I could still outwork the younger employees, time-wise and in output.

The morning came when I woke up and said, "This is it, I'm not taking it any more." and I walked in and handed in my resignation and took my remaining two weeks of vacation.

Sure they replaced me. My replacement had been hired weeks before, she just hadn't started working there yet. I suspect they are paying her more than I made, so to make up the difference they fired one other employee right after I left. Has the quality declined? You'd better believe it. But they think they are smart businessmen because in the long run it's costing them less money. As long as the customers don't complain, management will get away with it.

Just remember, it's business, not personal.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:09 AM

I just hope to God, the pro big companies posters are right & my buddy, Smoke, Tsk, & I are wrong. I've never wanted to be so wrong in my life, peace

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:01 AM

That's a false dichotomy, Randy.

These bailouts are not pro-big companies per se. They are an effort to restart our economy.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:03 AM

'Twas not referring to bailouts, peace, over & out

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:04 AM

What were you referring to, then?

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:08 AM

Distribution of wealth, or the lack thereof

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 6:00 AM

Sorry, I don't buy into class envy and class warfare, and I doubt the very rich emanate from huge corporations.

The people who engage in such comparisons (aside from their own inadequacies!) look at the economy as a pie of fixed size and do not recognize how the folks who make it, expand the pie so all benefit.

We do have a winner-take-all-economy these days. Being #1 pays huge dividends in many industries, but it isn't easy to stay there. You can go from prince to pauper in a matter of months.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 7:16 AM

I don't have class envy, but in this land of plenty I don't see why everyone shouldn't have enough to see them into the grave without starving, shivering, suffering, or leaving debts, and that's the BEST I can hope for, not being a buyer of lottery tickets, and my substance being consumed for the present faster than it can be produced.

From what I've seen, in this country class warfare is conducted from the top down. Access to everything from health care to legal counsel to education is severely curtailed by one's ability to pay, and the power of encumbency prevails. Them that gots, gets.

But thanks so much for mentioning our "inadequacies." I so aspire to being adequate like you.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 8:25 AM

Smoke, the "inadequacies" are those of jealous class warriors who couldn't come close to filling the shoes of those they envy.

"Them that gots, gets" is often correct, but "them that gots" is changing all the time. People make fortunes and people lose fortunes every day. In education there already are numerous good options for those of lesser means. And there'd be even more if we could break up the public school monopoly of primary and secondary education.

I believe in equal opportunity, but I do not believe in equal outcomes.

smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 8:43 AM

"I believe in equal opportunity, but I do not believe in equal outcomes."

But don't EVEN talk to me about gutting the public schools. We're halfway there already and it's insanely shortsighted. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing "education" somehow wedged in there with "life, liberty..." etc. If a country doesn't educate its people, it has no claim to being civilized. If there is no equality of opportunity in education, there is none, will be none, at all.

There's no greater stimulus to any society than quality education. I will be interested to see if any meaningful fraction of the stimulus package is funneled to our desperate schools.



smoke
Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 8:44 AM

Meant to say that I agree with the quoted statement.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 9:06 AM

The answer to our primary and secondary schools is not more money. It's more competition. The public schools are a sluggish monopoly which serve the teachers first, the students and parents second.

NB: our higher education system, where there is plenty of competition for students, are the best in the world.

On the other hand, our primary and secondary schools, where there is very little competition for students, are mediocre.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 9:07 AM

My inadequacies are based on the words of Jesus from Luke 6:31, I think, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Sadly, I was taught that at a very young age and have been one of those dreaded socialists ever since. If I hadn't shared so much through the years or been willing to stomp over others, I might of been wealthy but instead I'm only middle class and no doubt, just as happy. If we do have another depression, as many minds more brilliant than I are predicting, I've got 6 acres of land, know how to farm & do. We'll get by, how about all of you?

Smoke will back me up on the quality of our jam

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 9:11 AM

Don't know too much about it, but in Holland. the students while in middle (sorta) school take tests and apply for the kind of high school they want to attend. Some are definitely college bound, others are for more technical jobs and some are for arts. Seems rational, as not everyone's cut from the same mold.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 10:36 AM

I like that idea, Sandy. My only fear is then it will become an issue that the test was "biased" or that preparation leading up to the test was not "equal" . I am well aware that a high school diploma is indicates far less knowledge than it once did-my theory is that standards were lowered to meet the level of the students not that students and teachers were accountable to living up to the standards. Now one needs a BA to do what the 8th grade used to teach one . Said before whole thing is a mess....Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 3:39 PM

I am going through several posts on this thread and will start with Andy's claim that those other countries want "sweat shops". Actually, I have no inormation that any exploited worker wants to work in a "sweat shop" -- in the U.S.A. or any third-world country. Probably the most you would get from any such employee is "being exploited and working in a sweat shop is better than starving." That elites in certain countries benefit from international capital's exploitation of workers in those countries is a given. That these elites want the "sweat shops" is not a compelling argument in favor of American trade policy.

I don't want American workers -- or workers in Canada or other first-world countries -- to become unemployed or to work in conditions and for wages that are exploitive because in some underdeveloped country, the elites who control things think that is fine and dandy for their citizens. Of course, this has now been established to be the result of "free trade" policies that enable international capital to freely move over national boundaries to the worst hell holes on earth. This global movement of capital does not improve the overall economies of the developed countries. It only benefits the wealthy international corporatists (and the local ruling elites who keep their populations impoverished to benefit capital) who can squeeze out even more profit. The U.S. doesn't manufacture much anymore except weapons, and its trade policies are largely responsible for this fact.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 3:52 PM

Andy:

You suggest I am not familiar with the working life of corporate elites. I wish this were true. The law firm with which I maintain a relationship is one of a handful of large michigan firms whose clientele are mostly corporations and wealthy individuals. In fact, I am all too aware of how these people, overall, think and act. My views are not based on guessing how these people behave -- its based on observance of the class. I would have gladly changed places with one of these people if it meant i made millions of dollars a year.

You seem to buy into the notion that there are only a few people with the skill set to do these corporate management jobs. I happen to believe that this is untrue, and there is no rationale economic basis for paying absurd compensation because you need to to get a good person to take the job. While it is likely that a large majority of people could not do these jobs, they are not so numerous that there aren't perfectly competent people several times over for each position who can do as good a job for less. Hell, based on whats happened in financial services, people who would do a better job for less.

There are few "indespensible" people on this earth -- probably none. I never saw a debate as to in what sense AIG could be deemed "essential". If you saw such a debate on Larry King, it means somebody took the position that AIG was "not essential". At most, the downfall of AIG would be another blow to the economy, but that certainly does not mean there can be no recovery without AIG whose insurance entities, incidentally, are among the worst in the business when it comes to paying claims.



tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 3:54 PM

Friedman is a fool if he thinks the evidence shows any sort of equivalency between jobs created in the U.S. by U.S. trade policies and the loss of U.S. jobs to exploited third-worlders.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:07 PM

Jank:

I'd love the evidence for the claim that U.S. corporations are the highest taxed in the world. I'd also add that individual income tax rates in the U.S. are the lowest in the developed world. Are you willing to pay more in taxes to take this alleged tremendous tax burden from American corporations.

In any event, for the member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. had a lower overall tax on corporate profits than the average of the other nations when the complete tax structure is analyzed. See, www.cbpp.org/10-27-08tax.htm. An excerpt:

"The U.S. corporate tax burden is smaller than average for developed countries.[1] Corporations in 19 of the member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development paid 16.1 percent of their profits in taxes between 2000 and 2005, on average, while corporations in the United States paid 13.4 percent.

Nevertheless, some have argued that U.S. corporate tax rates unduly burden U.S. companies by pointing to the country’s top statutory tax rate, which is 35 percent. For example, a recent Wall Street Journal editorial calling for corporate tax cuts noted that this is the second highest top statutory tax rate among developed countries.[2] While true, this gives the false impression that the corporate tax burden is greater here than in other developed countries. Because the U.S. tax code offers so many deductions, credits, and other mechanisms by which corporations can reduce their taxes, the actual percentage of profits that U.S. corporations pay in taxes — or what analysts refer to as their effective tax rate — is not high, compared to other developed countries."

And I'm not even getting into the U.S. policies that are correctly called corporate welfare.


tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:16 PM

Class Envy. Again, Andy, you are sooooooooooo wrong in the assumptions you make about me. By the standards of most Americans, I am part of the "rich", having had annual income in excess of $250,000 to just north of $300,000 for a dozen years or so. I always lived modestly, because philosophically, I believe this is the right way to be. As a result, at age 55, I have been able to stop working full time, even though taking into account all taxes, I typically paid close to $100,000 a year in taxes. Paying the taxes per se, I have never objected to -- seeing how the money has been used by the government makes me want to vomit.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:30 PM

TSK, I don't know where it says in my posts that you are the example to which I am referring. You aren't.

I will briefly address the so-called sweatshops. You consider this to be exploitation based on the standards you have - American standards so to speak. I consider it free trade based on the standards of the country where the work takes place, and I well understand how such factories help underdeveloped nations to develop.

If your command of basic economics were more substantial, you might understand that everyone wins when such free trade takes place. I remember spending a whole afternoon arguing your side of this in an economics seminar, but when I left, I finally got it.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:31 PM

Andy:

When I'm tired of this thread, I'll start a new one to debate education policy with you.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:52 PM

I don't get involved many discussions of taxes. However, TSK, I think you made some statements that just aren't factual.

Is Singapore in the developed world? Residents pay a graduated income tax that maxes out at 20%. Non-residents pay a flat 15%.

Ireland - most firms pay a rate between 10% and 12.5%. They attracted a lot of business and jobs with their policy of low corporate taxes.

Corporate taxes accomplish very little as they are passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices. Such, however, made it harder for companies to export, the reason consumption taxes (VAT) are preferred in many sectors of the world.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 4:55 PM

Rather than calling Tom Friedman a fool, perhaps you ought to read his columns. He appears in the New York Times alongside the lefty economics shill Paul Krugman.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:03 PM

TSK, I think I need to tell you that while I personally did not like corporate life very much myself, I dismiss out of hand those on the outside who think they know better how to run corporations than those who actually do it hands on and succeed.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:21 PM

Andy:

1. I think I did overstate the respective tax rates of countries that could be deemed "developed". I should have said that individual tax rates in the U.S. were among the lowest.

2. Wow! You spent took a seminar so now you are an economics expert. I don't think anything I have said would not be supported by many people trained as economists. I'll have to take your word that my understanding of basic economics is substandard since you don't actually point to anything I've said which is somehow violative of basic economic theory. Given your economic expertise, it probably is foolish of me to credit the opinion of a Nobel Laureate in Economics like Paul Krugman over you, but I'm going to do it nonetheless.

3. You espouse the neocon view of world economics and globalization is all. I could refer you to any number of books about the damage done to local people by the kind of development you advocate, but I won't bother because I'm sure they were all covered and dismissed in that seminar. The type of development that you actually support has been shown time and again to benefit local ruling elites and international capital at the expense of local populations.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:23 PM

And I have, of course, read Friedman from time to time -- particularly when I needed a good laugh.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:26 PM

TSK, like many who espouse these contrived arguments against moving manufacturing to low wage countries, you neither understand nor favor free trade.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:30 PM

TSK, there is no neocon view of world trade and globalization.

Clinton was a free trader. Was he a neocon?

Bush I was a free trader. Was he a neocon?

Silly, silly, silly, TSK

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 5:48 PM

From the latest Gallup poll

Americans oppose the closing of Guantanamo 50-44.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 10:41 PM

TSK:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/23470.html

August 13, 2008 U.S. Corporate Taxes Now 50 Percent Higher than OECD Average

Fiscal Fact No. 136

"Amid rising concerns about the state of the U.S. economy, new data compiled by economists at the OECD shows that for the 17th consecutive year the average rate of corporate taxes in non-U.S. countries fell while the U.S. corporate tax rate stayed the same. As a result, the overall U.S. corporate tax rate is now 50 percent higher than the OECD average. Combined with another new OECD study that calls the corporate income tax the most harmful type of tax for economic growth, the implications for U.S. policy are clear. The long-term prospects of the U.S. economy are at risk as long as our corporate tax rate remains out of step with the rest of the world."

There's a table at the bottom comparing 30 countries' tax rates. You can't argue with the facts, no matter where they come from.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 10:51 PM

I also remember that in August, 2007, the unemployment rate was so low liberal economists complained they were TOO low and not good for the country.

"“But questions remain about how long the West can weather the problems that come with low unemployment.” — Matt Gouras of the Associated Press.

Talk about "d" if you do and "d" if you don't. President Bush couldn't get a good word at either extreme, nor anything in between.

But at least we weren't complaining that we were being laid off.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 1:49 AM

Starbucks quit hiring Jank.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 1:52 AM

Mark Twain "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable".

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 2:07 AM

No one's playing games with the statistics, Randy.

TSK just doesn't know the facts, but he does have a few axes to grind.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 2:34 AM

Yes, there are may part-time, crappy jobs to choose from, even now. Most don't offer benefits. When's the last time you were here Coll?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 2:44 AM

First of all, TSK, that seminar took place about 45 years ago when I was taking an advanced economics course, a subject you apparently have never studied.

I have no doubt that communities that lose manufacturing are devastated. I also have no doubt that those same communities would soon or later suffer an even greater devastation when another manufacturer of the same product moved overseas and put the local manufacturer out of business.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 2:50 AM

TSK, apparenlty not everyone is awe of Paul Krugman

You Cannot Be Serious! Paul Krugman's Nobel Prize

"I will be writing a lot more about this, but the Swedes just made perhaps the worst decision in the history of the prize today in naming Paul Krugman the 2008 award winner. It is not that Krugman's work is entirely without merit, but it always had major problems with it. Right now I have to get over my shock and horror and write a commissioned piece on this. But today I would say is a sad day for economics, not a day to be celebrated. Mises supposedly said during his dying days that he hoped for another Hayek, as I am picking up my jaw from the floor I am hoping for another Samuelson or Arrow to get the award rather the hackonomics that was just honored."

http://austrianeconomists.typepad.com/weblog/2008/10/you-cannot-be-s.html



caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 3:19 AM

Does my heart good when the really Intelligent people argue. After rereading several times the above discover there is a polite way to say to each other you, your sources, and your ideas "SUCK" LOL Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 3:46 AM

Linda, intelligent people regularly integrate new information into their views.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 3:47 AM

Suck is so harsh

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 3:51 AM



That's a little strong. I would just say that my adversary here is often mistaken.

You can get that way when you start with the result you desire and then look for the facts to support it, or if your daily sources of information are unbalanced.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 1:52 PM

Not sure of the correct thread to post this but I have a question. The President along with his Treasury guy-will never be able to look at him without crook popping into my mind-just announced that there will now be a cap on salaries for execs of banks receiving TARP money. Some believe it discourages Capitalism but others who see the salary as obscene in light of what they earn think it sounds pretty good. I am still trying to figure it out. The Senators and Congressman all receive a built in raise yearly as it is in a law supposedly addressing COLA. In order not to receive it they have to change the law. Their salaries in light of what they do and how they do it seems obscene to me so why don't they change the law? As it is it is just one more thing that "sneaks" past people - Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 3:58 PM

Seems now this cap does not apply to receivers of the first TARP which would include AIG, Citigroup, and the auto execs to name just a few. Also seems there are loopholes here too-reminds me of the tax codes. It also does not cover jets. retreats and spas and the like. It also seems like it will face Constitutional challenges. Beginning to sound a bit like silence the "OUTCRY" to abuse by saying something that doesn't apply to the real obscenities and probably has no teeth in it anyway-DON'T not look at things happening- Linda Believe there is a website that gives the House stimulus or recovery or whatever you want to call it and who thought what would be "STIMULATING". - looks like PORK to me. Not all of the things proposed are unworthy but they don"t stimulate. I believe it is unfortunate that any package will have the President's name on it when it was written by the clueless idiots in the US Congress. Think he really would like to make a change and a difference. Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 9:54 AM

Jank:

With all due respect, you do not understand the difference between a tax rate and effective tax rate. The stated tax rate may be higher in the U.S., but the various credits, deductions, exclusions from income, etc., permitted under the Internal Revenue Code that are not allowed in other countries leave American corporations paying a lower effective tax rate than their foreign counterparts. This is discussed in the previous citation I provided on this topic. Again, www.cbpp.org/10-27-08tex.htm.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 10:02 AM

Hey Randy:

Andy doesn't actually know the facts, he just has a few axes to grind.

As to Clinton, I was never a supporter. Do not think he was a good president. He laid the groundwork for the current economic problems, that were then exacerbated by the neocons in the Bush administration. Clinton definitely was pro-globalization, and I think any fair evaluation of the evidence shows that allowing international capital to set up sweatshops in low wage countries, where labor leaders are routinely murdered, and where there are not environmental laws, and then to allow the goods manufactured under these conditions to be sold in first-world countries has not benefitted the majority of people in the first-world countries. Instead, it has benefitted a relatively small group of modern day robber barons.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 11:19 AM

Don't always understand everything people say or write in fields which I am on such shaky ground in my background-trying to learn though. Just an observation though-President Obama is beginning to resemble the "Chatty Cathy" doll I once had. When I pulled the string she said the same thing over and over. Know he is intelligent and would like to hear him say how some things in the current package like neon signs in Vegas would put people back to work in the short-term basis. We all know he WON, but he needs to explain to people like me how his programs will get us out of this mess by giving specifics. I also find it offensive that his last speech was given at a lavish Democratic Retreat which at least transportation costs were footed by taxpayers. . The Republicans are certainly not a bit better as they had a similar lavish week-end retreat the only difference being theirs was largely funded by lobbyists not tax payers. What seems to be "chump change" to so many exceeds my annual income so pardon me if I am disappointed- Linda

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 11:32 AM

It is no wonder that the voice mail boxes of the elected officials are full with objection to the double-standards set by important people and the fact that even though everyone thinks something needs to be done, they are not sure this package will do it. Politics including the President needs to understand that he is talking to folks like me-not stupid-but neither politicians nor economists. Linda

factacular
Factacular  (Level: 164.0 - Posts: 15)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 12:28 PM

Hi, just have to make a naive point...if all this trickledown stuff...(which I first heard of in the early eighties, I guess)...is correct...why do we need bailouts, economic stimuli, etc. at all?

I guess corporations just haven't made any money at all, these past thirty years? Or it would have trickled down....

Oh, wait... a trickle, not a gusher, right. Right.

I notice that the debts are gushing right down onto the average taxpayers, so is that what they meant?

Debt gushes down, while the corporate managers "sponge up" the profits at the top...and we should all be happy to depend on pyramid schemes like the stock market, real estate bubbles to fund our retirement.

I don't think these stimulus plans are going to help. We're just creating an even bigger deficit to lay on our children. On the other hand, huge trade deficits could lead to the country going under, anyway...how long before we are maxed out, and China, etc. won't lend us any more money?






collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 2:20 PM

Well, Factacular (that's quite a handle - my compliments), the profits are not gushing these days. The govt, in particular, screwed up bigtime.

I can't tell you if these rescue plans are going to work. I do understand that Japan didn't do much about a similar situation for about 10 years before doing such and Japan suffered. They are not dissimilar from what FDR did.

Your question about our credit is a good one. However, China needs us as a place to sell their goods. So I doubt they will balk any time soon. Our debt still sells quite well.

[FYI please do not buy into this smokescreen about controlling top salaries. It's a diversion from the big problems. Bailout money did not pay bonuses (cf. Meet the Press last Sunday).]


caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 4:37 PM

Not quite sure where to post this but this thread seems to be about money in general so... find it interesting that folks are all excited about the Children's Health Care package is signed and yes, that is a good thing. The irony comes in when one learns that the funding for this will come from Federal taxes on cigarettes-get the damn smokers-but... the economic recovery and reinvestment program includes a program for smoking cessation. My point: Where is the Logic??? Linda

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 4:47 PM

Logic?

Lots of governments are addicted to cigarette taes.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 4:49 PM

Andy keeps saying that bailout monies weren't used to pay bonuses. Dollars are fungible. It may be that the bailout dollars are not the identical dollars that paid the bonuses; so what? A number of corporations used funds from their own corporate treasuries to pay billions in bonuses. These funds are not available to those corporations to meet their obligations. Instead, taxpayer money -- bailout dollars -- are used to meet obligations that could otherwise have been met with the corporate money paid in bonuses. In short, its a distinction without a difference. Severely troubled corporations used billions to pay bonuses, and then recieved taxpayer money for operations.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 4:59 PM

The bailout monies went into separate accounts.

I note the following example from Meet the Press on Sunday

Joe's division lost $10 billion. Joe does not get a bonus.

Bob's division did quite well and earned $1 billion. Does Bob get the bonus he earned? If not, Bob could be hitting the road (and bank where Joe and Bob work will be even worse off).

You folks trying to micro manage corporations from your bedrooms are laughable, TSK.

I'm sure Senators grandstanding on this issue make you feel good.

However, the mess were in has nothing to do with corporate salaries and everything to do with poor federal oversight, Congress almost mandating subprime mortgages to unworthy creditors and banks forgetting their very own principles of lending.




caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 5:02 PM

Not to worry, TSK. None of the bonus rules apply to the first TARP so we will just have to watch the next one or two or....Pundits are already saying that by the Gov. baking the Wall Street guys it inflates their value and thus the value of the stock by which they are getting paid instead of bonuses. Don't pretend to understand how that works but people who seem to know think that these guys know the system and will find a way to get around any rule and thus get their money-again making no judgment on how deserving they might be... Linda

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 5:26 PM

Sure Andy, you can pay corporate execs whatever you want to and that has no impact on profitability. Is that what they taught in that economics seminar you took 45 years ago?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 5:37 PM

TSK, you have issues with corporate salaries.

Perhaps when you have a quiet moment tomorrow, you will consider the following problem.

XYZ Bank is the largest bank in the country. XYZ Bank has just received bailout money as collateral for toxic loans. The President of XYZ has just resigned.

Now who are you going to hire for $500,0000 max to take the helm of XYZ Bank and lead it out of its troubles?

The going rate for such talent is many times that.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 6:01 PM

Hey, the Senate moderates just agreed on a stimulus bill of $780 billion.

Good news.

(Well, not for Mme Facelift)

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 6:53 PM

Are you sure? Fox is still saying that a few are still behind closed doors looking fo something that Dems can agree on and draw i a couple of Repubs?

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21600)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 6:57 PM

Fox guys are saying that crass as it sounds if agreement is reached it will be because Senators hate to spend weekends in DC....

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 7:04 PM

I just get CNN and CNBC, Linda.

If moderates like Ben Nelson and Susan Collins are happy with it, then so am I. Wish we had more Senators like those two.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 7:34 PM

Bedtime.

TSK, when can I expect an answer on your search for a new President for XYZ Bank?

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 6th Feb '09 8:12 PM

Andy, I took your question as rhetorical, but I'm sure I could find plenty of qualified and willing contenders at $500,000 a year.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 3:04 AM

Sure, the right guy for the job is going to take an 80% pay cut to take a more impossible job.

Dream on.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:35 AM

I worked in a financial operation for 20 years, I'm sure the people directly under the CEO including some of the secretaries are quite competent enough to run the whole shebang. Hell, they may have been anyway

In BC, the current Government brought in some very high priced foreigners to run our Ferry corp, Hydro & our Insurance Company, two of which were in the black when they started (Ferry wasn't but then it's part of the highways system, which is wholly subsidized on land). All three are now in the red due to ill conceived penny pinching schemes & partial privatization. The same scenario has been duplicated in many of the private corporations here, as well. The notion the managers with an university education but no knowledge of the product being produced can outperform people that worked their way up through the system is costing both the companies & the consumers. Common sense has a lot going for it

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:55 AM

Of course, anyone can run a huge bank with numerous business.

Like the janitors who rose to the top under Lenin and Stalin. They did a marvelous job of bankrupting the country as did Walter Heller in East Germany, Nikolai Ceaucescu in Romania . . .

There certainly are many people who rise through the ranks (from salesman, for example) and become very competent chief executives. Not too many secretaries though.


oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:34 AM

Was that male or female secretaries?




collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:44 AM

Funny question.

Neither is trained to run a large bank.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 7:16 AM

You see Randy, you have to be highly trained to run a bank into the ground, and only if you pay a gazillion dollars will you be able to attract that exceptional talent who will do it for you.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 8:06 AM

Actually to rescue a bank you need a more talented chief executive than the one who just resigned, but under TSK's plan you can easily find that more talented executive at a bargain basement chief executive salary.

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 256.8 - Posts: 3936)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 2:49 PM

This is the problem. These clowns think that they're entitled to $20M a year to be incompetent, do nothing of value, run their companies into the ground, and take the economy down with them. $500K is overcharitable for people with those qualifications.

Once again, these people live under the illusion that they are *entitled* to their bloated numbers. Sound familiar?

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:32 PM

I just think it's nauseatingly laughable (? ) that the politicians - corrupt, greedy, and most of whom never ran any business in their life other than making sure the little guy pays his taxes (you know - the taxpayers who actually work and EARN the money and pay the taxes that the politicians so cavalierly toss around using "b" and "t" words) - those politicians hold hearings and make accusations and grandstand their demands of accountability from greedy, corrupt corporate/banking/whoever owners/CEOs. Talk about having the fox in charge of the hen house.

And a then Vice-President-Elect Biden dared tell us we needed to sacrifice, that it was our patriotic duty to pay more taxes - then keep nominating officials who don't even pay their own taxes to be in charge of ours.

(Politicians vote themselves pay raises in the middle of the night. They NEVER take a cut in their pay. They NEVER make sacrifices. They have an untouchable pension plan for life that shames social security - which they don't have any part in).

When will enough of us get fed up enough to call our congresspeople/representatives in numbers large enough to put a stop to the madness? Who do they think they are?????

They are what we, the voters, allow them to be.

bobolicios
Bobolicios  (Level: 118.4 - Posts: 1745)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 4:44 PM

I dont pretend to be an expert on economics. I only know i am unemployed right now. I am an intelligent 50 year old college educated female. I am divorced with grown children both doing quite well. I have worked hard all my life in the food and beverage industry which was not what i intended to do with my degree in social work. I see nothing in this stimulus package for me. I would have appreciated some work stimulus package. Give a tax deduction to employers to hire workers who have been unemployed or displaced for some time. I certainly dont want to live off my children babysitting my grandchildren for long. I dont want handouts i want employment and a chance to be a contributing member of society. Once again only expressing my feelings on a very real crisis i am having. Quite frankly i have not been this economically challenged in my whole life. I am a life long democrat and i voted for Mr. Obama. I hope that vote along with everyone who voted for him will prove wise. Bobo

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:21 PM

I heard someone on the radio yesterday saying how hard they worked, what a great job they had, and how they kept their bills and mortgage payments up to date - and then said "Where is my stimulus payment? Where is my bailout?"

Which I thought absurd - that person doesn't NEED a bailout or stimulus. Somehow there are many who think this bill should be a welfare bill to help everybody - not just those in need. Greed isn't just in corporations.

Shouldn't it leave people alone who are doing ok and help with jobs programs where they're really needed (like for you Bobo)?

I'm for real help where needed - not pay back for votes.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:49 PM

Jank:

For a change, I actually somewhat agree with you, specifically, your observation that voters enable these scumbag politicians. At the same time, to change things requires a lot more than just voting. As I've said in the past -- and sincerely believe -- the majority of Democratic Party politicians and virtually all Republican Party politicians at the federal level are beholden to corporate interests -- whose goal is the aggrandizement of the rich at the expense of the remaining 99% of the population. Mostly, you get to select a corporate shill from Party A or Party B. Thus, we have a structural democracy which keeps the populace passive, while most voters don't have a real opportunity to vote for somebody other than corporatist A or corporatist B. I think one way to reduce this problem is public financing of federal elections so that politicians who aren't bought and paid for would have a prospect of success in more districts than the current system allows.

I still think you don't appreciate the overall corrupting influence of wealthy corporatists. It isn't only corporatists who are greedy, but most politicians are nothing more than tools of greedy corporatists.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:58 PM

I agree

I posted this yesterday

"Extensive corporate (and labor union) influence in government as we have it is hardly my preference. And until we get at the federal level the kind of campaign finance reform that they have in Vermont, for example, it's going to increase.

And it'll be a while until you see the constitutional amendment required to put such in place because people who have power don't give it up easily. Heck, you won't even find that kind of reforms introduced in larger states. The corporations and labor unions want to protect their cozy relationships with political power brokers."

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 6:56 PM

Well, I read that the Vermont system was ripped up by the Supreme Court in 2006. I am sorry to hear that.

Arizona, Maine and Connecticut have adopted similar measures to publicly finance campaigns. Even without the Supreme Court intervening to insist that private campaign financing is a protected form of public speech, it's going to be decades until such sweeps across the land.

To effect the same in elections for President a constitutional amendment is required.




Pages:  1    



Copyright © 2003-2016 Sploofus Holdings LLC.  All rights reserved.
Legal Notice & Privacy Statement  |  Link to Sploofus