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Author Topic: [Economic Stuff] Back to the United Poors of America
Samprimary
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quote:
(AP) WASHINGTON - Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too `rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."

Congressional Republicans and Democrats are sparring over legislation that would renew a Social Security payroll tax cut, part of a year-end political showdown over economic priorities that could also trim unemployment benefits, freeze federal pay and reduce entitlement spending.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, questioned whether some people classified as poor or low-income actually suffer material hardship. He said that while safety-net programs have helped many Americans, they have gone too far, citing poor people who live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs.

"There's no doubt the recession has thrown a lot of people out of work and incomes have fallen," Rector said. "As we come out of recession, it will be important that these programs promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence and encourage people to look for work."

CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts told the story in November of the Struble family. They are college educated, career-holding members of America's vast middle class. They had a combined annual income of $85,000. But in November of 2009, Todd lost his job, and hasn't had a steady paycheck since.

They now have only an estimated $25 in their savings account, perhaps another $100 in their checking.

Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it. Many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold — roughly $45,000 for a family of four — because of pay cuts, a forced reduction of work hours or a spouse losing a job. Housing and child-care costs are consuming up to half of a family's income.

States in the South and West had the highest shares of low-income families, including Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina, which have scaled back or eliminated aid programs for the needy. By raw numbers, such families were most numerous in California and Texas, each with more than 1 million.

The struggling Americans include Zenobia Bechtol, 18, in Austin, Texas, who earns minimum wage as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Bechtol and her 7-month-old baby were recently evicted from their bedbug-infested apartment after her boyfriend, an electrician, lost his job in the sluggish economy.

After an 18-month job search, Bechtol's boyfriend now works as a waiter and the family of three is temporarily living with her mother.

"We're paying my mom $200 a month for rent, and after diapers and formula and gas for work, we barely have enough money to spend," said Bechtol, a high school graduate who wants to go to college. "If it weren't for food stamps and other government money for families who need help, we wouldn't have been able to survive."

Since the housing bubble burst, nearly 4 million American homes have been lost to foreclosure. An estimated 1.6 million children will be homeless at some time during the year - 38 percent more than at the start of the recession. As CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy explains, unemployment has driven some families to the southern California desert, where a barren old WWII training ground in the desert has become a place for many to park their troubled lives.

About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That's up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure.

The new measure of poverty takes into account medical, commuting and other living costs. Doing that helped push the number of people below 200 percent of the poverty level up from 104 million, or 1 in 3 Americans, that was officially reported in September.

Broken down by age, children were most likely to be poor or low-income — about 57 percent — followed by seniors over 65. By race and ethnicity, Hispanics topped the list at 73 percent, followed by blacks, Asians and non-Hispanic whites.

Even by traditional measures, many working families are hurting.

Following the recession that began in late 2007, the share of working families who are low income has risen for three straight years to 31.2 percent, or 10.2 million. That proportion is the highest in at least a decade, up from 27 percent in 2002, according to a new analysis by the Working Poor Families Project and the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research group based in Washington.

Among low-income families, about one-third were considered poor while the remainder — 6.9 million — earned income just above the poverty line. Many states phase out eligibility for food stamps, Medicaid, tax credit and other government aid programs for low-income Americans as they approach 200 percent of the poverty level.

The majority of low-income families — 62 percent — spent more than one-third of their earnings on housing, surpassing a common guideline for what is considered affordable. By some census surveys, child-care costs consume close to another one-fifth.

Paychecks for low-income families are shrinking. The inflation-adjusted average earnings for the bottom 20 percent of families have fallen from $16,788 in 1979 to just under $15,000, and earnings for the next 20 percent have remained flat at $37,000. In contrast, higher-income brackets had significant wage growth since 1979, with earnings for the top 5 percent of families climbing 64 percent to more than $313,000.

A survey of 29 cities conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors being released Thursday points to a gloomy outlook for those on the lower end of the income scale.

Many mayors cited the challenges of meeting increased demands for food assistance, expressing particular concern about possible cuts to federal programs such as food stamps and WIC, which assists low-income pregnant women and mothers. Unemployment led the list of causes of hunger in cities, followed by poverty, low wages and high housing costs.

Across the 29 cities, about 27 percent of people needing emergency food aid did not receive it. Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., Sacramento, Calif., and Trenton, N.J., were among the cities that pointed to increases in the cost of food and declining food donations, while Mayor Michael McGinn in Seattle cited an unexpected spike in food requests from immigrants and refugees, particularly from Somalia, Burma and Bhutan.

Among those requesting emergency food assistance, 51 percent were in families, 26 percent were employed, 19 percent were elderly and 11 percent were homeless.

"People who never thought they would need food are in need of help," said Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Mo., who co-chairs a mayors' task force on hunger and homelessness.

Not gonna bold parts of it, just read all of it. We'd better argue for another year or so about whether we need to be punishing the 'job creators' more while the middle class vanishes or w/e

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57343397/census-data-half-of-u.s-poor-or-low-income/

[ January 15, 2012, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: Samprimary ]

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twinky
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Yep. A 0.7% surtax is a "job-killing tax hike."

There are some things I don't understand about this country and that have not become any clearer to me since I moved here. This is one of them.

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The Rabbit
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I don't think many people realize how much of our current economic woes are the result of 30 years of middle class income stagnation. Over those 30 years, the middle class dealt with stagnation by decreasing savings and increasing consumer debt. Way too many people had no buffer to fall back on. They were living on a knife edge at the very limit of their means so any small set back was going to push them into crisis. To make things even more precarious, the government was doing the same thing, going into deeper and deeper debt and spending the trust funds in order to keep taxes artificially low. And underlying all of this was a business sector that had become more and more focused on short term gains in their stock prices rather than long term productivity.

It's like every sector of the economy was on a 3 decade manic spending spree. Is it any surprise that we are now three years into a recession with no hope for recovery insight?

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Aros
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So, poverty levels have risen to 2002 levels . . . and this indicates a vanishing middle class? 2002 was shortly after the last recession. The article only cites one family who's even been to college, and they are admittedly jobless.

Hmm. . . . The data seems weak, and there's an awfully large amount of anecdotal "evidence" to support their premise.

IMO education should almost be a pre-requisite for middle class status. We're outsourcing jobs overseas to people who are often better educated than people here. And if you'd seen the poor in India or Malaysia, you'd have a different idea about poverty. They certainly don't "live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs".

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:

It's like every sector of the economy was on a 3 decade manic spending spree. Is it any surprise that we are now three years into a recession with no hope for recovery insight?

Really? Really?

"The job market is healthier than at any time since the end of the Great Recession. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest since May 2008."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/weekly-unemployment-benefit-applications-fall-to-lowest-level-in-more-than-3-years/2011/12/15/gIQA2a0AwO_story.html

"Americans spent more on autos, furniture and clothing during the start of the holiday shopping season, boosting retail sales for the sixth straight month."

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RJL9M00.htm

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kmbboots
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In contrast:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/14/executive-pay-increase-america-ceos

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:

It's like every sector of the economy was on a 3 decade manic spending spree. Is it any surprise that we are now three years into a recession with no hope for recovery insight?

Really? Really?

"The job market is healthier than at any time since the end of the Great Recession. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest since May 2008."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/weekly-unemployment-benefit-applications-fall-to-lowest-level-in-more-than-3-years/2011/12/15/gIQA2a0AwO_story.html

"Americans spent more on autos, furniture and clothing during the start of the holiday shopping season, boosting retail sales for the sixth straight month."

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RJL9M00.htm

I'm not sure what you are getting from these, Aros. They don't look like particularly good news to me. Could you explain why they are to you?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
IMO education should almost be a pre-requisite for middle class status.
Piffle.
This is pure piffle.

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rivka
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I think it depends on what is meant by education. If it means college degree(s), then I agree with Tom. But if it includes such things as apprenticeships and trade schools, I might agree with it.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
There are some things I don't understand about this country and that have not become any clearer to me since I moved here. This is one of them.
Speaking as a long-time resident (and of course this is biased), while the result is baffling, stupid, and dangerous to our national welfare as a whole, it's actually not hard to understand at all once you take into account the profoundly dishonest political system we're happy to permit-as a country, that is-to exist and govern us. I don't mean dishonest as in 'consistently intending to lie', but more in the sense of 'not committed to avoiding inaccuracy and dishonesty'. If that makes sense.

Perhaps after this election, or during this election, there'll be a sea change in the way we view politics, but I'm skeptical. Still way too much of this false equivalency nonsense floating around.

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kmbboots
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I think that one needs to understand religion in this country and the role that various forms of Protestantism have had in shaping our national assumptions about prosperity and poverty.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
IMO education should almost be a pre-requisite for middle class status.
Piffle.
This is pure piffle.

I agree 100% with Tom. And love his use of the word "Piffle."
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I think it depends on what is meant by education. If it means college degree(s), then I agree with Tom. But if it includes such things as apprenticeships and trade schools, I might agree with it.

Certainly, I'll bite. I obviously oversimplified, and for that I was in err.

For Americans to believe that they're entitled to middle class jobs is absurd. The free market will give jobs to the most qualified candidate feasible, at the lowest price. The old mentality of "I'll just finish high school and go work at Ford for $35 an hour" is dying. And the belief that by sheer virtue of being an American citizen, one is entitled to a middle class job (or the belief that the government should "make" jobs) is simply absurd.

A high school education doesn't entitle you to anything. Especially when people throughout the world will work harder for less pay.

Whether it's a trade school, apprenticeship, or college; the economic reality is that globalization is becoming the great equalizer. Unskilled labor is just that.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I'm not sure what you are getting from these, Aros. They don't look like particularly good news to me. Could you explain why they are to you?

The fact that unemployment is at its lowest since the "Great Recession" began is an indicator of job creation . . . or at least job loss is diminishing. The fact that spending has been increasing for six months is an indicator that people are more confident in the economy and have more money to spend.

To state that there's "no end in sight" is ridiculous. Most economists have stated that the recession ended some time ago. Though, certainly, laymen will argue the point ceaselessly.

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BlackBlade
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Unemployment and new jobs by itself is only part of the story. It doesn't say what jobs are being created, and what kind of quality those jobs are.

It also doesn't speak to our growing population of "underemployed" where people desperate to just have a job accept part time employment and less pay, even though they are overqualified for those positions.

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Aros
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True, but most primary economic indicators (jobs, consumer spending, stock market) have all been trending upward for some time now. Better yet, gas is below $3!
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kmbboots
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Thanks to the actions of the government that are now so scorned by Republicans, we are not seeing the breadlines we were dreading four years ago. It is still not enough and, with the wealth gap continuing to grow, is not going to be sustainable.
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Samprimary
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quote:
The free market will give jobs to the most qualified candidate feasible, at the lowest price.
or it will give it to me, cause daddy owns the company!
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Dan_Frank
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And either you'll learn to do the job well, or the company will suffer for it.

Aros: After your clarification I think your statement is less piffle.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
The free market will give jobs to the most qualified candidate feasible, at the lowest price.
or it will give it to me, cause daddy owns the company!
Or give it to me because I'm white, and have a white sounding name!
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
And either you'll learn to do the job well, or the company will suffer for it.


But I will have a lovely golden parachute so still make out like bandits while the company pensions vanish.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
And either you'll learn to do the job well, or the company will suffer for it.

So basically: if I don't validate nepotism being primary arbiter of "merit" for job placement denied to others, economy suffers more
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Dan_Frank
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A poorly run company being defeated by its competitors does not equate to the economy suffering. It's interesting that you seem to think it does, though!

Edited to fix the omission that fundamentally changed what I said!

[ December 16, 2011, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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kmbboots
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A poorly run company will likely equate to people losing their jobs and pensions thus having less money to spend which in turn harms the economy. Especially if that competitor is not a US company or outsources to outside the US.
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fugu13
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One of the big problems we have right now is how we structure our assistance programs. They effectively create a very high marginal tax rate on the poor. A single parent can go from a $25,000 job to a $35,000 job and be, not just not much better off, but worse off (maintaining levels of child care and health insurance and housing but having less cash left).

That's a huge problem. Even if we improve programs for the poor insofar as they make life easier for the poor, if we don't change how programs are structured to make it so when people make more money, they're nearly as much better off as the amount of increase, people will continue to have huge problems climbing out of poverty. There just won't be a good path out -- earning more money, even substantially more money, will not be of much benefit.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The fact that unemployment is at its lowest since the "Great Recession" began is an indicator of job creation . . . or at least job loss is diminishing.
I think you'll find that the way unemployment statistics are calculated has something to do with this, and consequently the conclusion that job loss is diminishing is the most optimistic point of view possible here.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
A poorly run company being defeated by its competitors does equate to the economy suffering. It's interesting that you seem to think it does, though!

If we leave anything of a 'void,' it is not filled by legals, it pretty much goes one way in that department.
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Dan_Frank
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Hahaha wow I didn't notice my typo till I saw it quoted by you. I wish the *blush* emoticon didn't look so flirty. Oh well... [Blushing]

I'm glad you mentally added the "not," though, thanks. Need to go edit that now.

Re: Failed companies being replaced by outsourced or illegal labor... yeah, that's pretty lame. If only there was some way to make it more appealing for businesses to keep some of their business here...

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I wish the *blush* emoticon didn't look so flirty. Oh well... [Blushing]

I always preferred this one: [Embarrassed]
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Re: Failed companies being replaced by outsourced or illegal labor... yeah, that's pretty lame. If only there was some way to make it more appealing for businesses to keep some of their business here...
Some way that wouldn't dramatically drive the price up of many goods and services, and might lead to serious trade conflicts?
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Dan_Frank
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Rivka: Not a bad suggestion. Fortunately it was Sam, and it's already been established that I don't mind flirting with Sam.


Rakeesh: Yeah, that would be bad too! If only there was some way...

(I'm actually baffled that you filled in my blank in that way, Rakeesh. I expected someone to say something more like: "Some way that wouldn't lead to exploiting the poor and trapping them in permanent serfdom, not to mention destroying the planet?" and then I expected I'd just have to acknowledge that I'm not eloquent enough to persuade anyone and drop it.)

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Destineer
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quote:
I expected someone to say something more like: "Some way that wouldn't lead to exploiting the poor and trapping them in permanent serfdom, not to mention destroying the planet?" and then I expected I'd just have to acknowledge that I'm not eloquent enough to persuade anyone and drop it.)
Consider it done!
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Rakeesh
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Well, that kind of rhetoric doesn't seem likely to resonate when appeals, direct or indirect, are made towards protectionism for the American economy. I'm not sure if that's what you were doing, I just read it and thought that was one interpretation.

Anyway, when talk about losing American jobs overseas comes up, I'm always reminded that in most cases if that particular good or service was provided here, it would likely be at least a bit more expensive, and if it's more expensive, I'm sorry, a 'Made in America!' tag just ain't gonna cut it. And the tools for addressing this disparity, for making things made in America competitively even or less expensive, are tough to apply, dubiously effective, and have unpredictable consequences.

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Destineer
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I think he's just talking about cutting taxes.
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Dan_Frank
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And regulations! But yeah, that was what I expected people to assume. I'm very much against protectionism. Some jobs should leave! That's okay! As our wealth, skill, and technology increases, some jobs are less efficiently done here. Freezing progress in an effort to preserve jobs is not even remotely interesting to me. However, plenty of other jobs move not because actual wages are substantially lower (I mean, they often are, but not enough for the expenditure of relocation to be worth it) but because the tax and regulatory burdens are so much lower. Those would be the jobs that I don't think we should drive away. [Smile]
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Destineer
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Thing is, I don't think any sane amount of de-regulation and tax reduction will allow us to compete favorably with countries where one can get away with selling poison milk and such, or with dodging taxes entirely.

But I'm also perfectly happy to see jobs leave, as long as the resultant unemployment is compensated for by a healthy safety net.

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Blayne Bradley
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Some shouldn't, like anything defense related. You want some stuff kept going so you always have people skilled to do that job in case its needed again.

Like rare earth metal mining infrastructure in the states, even if it was cheaper to get it from china, letting your WHOLE infrastructure erode and collapse from disuse was irresponsible.

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kmbboots
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Bankers are not feeling it.

http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-orlando/as-average-americans-struggle-big-banks-set-aside-over-150-billion-bonuses

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Danlo the Wild
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AROS "...most primary economic indicators (jobs, consumer spending, stock market) have all been trending upward for some time now. Better yet, gas is below $3!"

You're either joking, playing devil's advocate or you took a big drink of Bernanke's 'wealth effect' Kool-aid.

Jobs aren't up.

Sorry. If you believe government statistics, then, well I don't know what to say this late in the game. The actual jobless rate or underemployed rate ranges from 15% to 25%.

Lower and middle class wages have flatlined since the 1990's while the currency $$$ has rapidly depreciated. The people work harder, more often for less purchasing power.

Globalization! Gotta love it!

The STOCK MARKETS are up? LOL.

ZOMG. This is hilarious.

A) Did you know the Federal Reserve is allowed to buy any and as much stock as it wants? Yeah. Wouldn't it be interesting to see how much Netflix and Starbucks the Fed has on its balance sheet? Too bad we can't audit them.

B) Since 2008, The Central Banks have printed over 30 trillion dollars and given that money to banks, HOPING and PRAYING they'd loan that money to businesses and buy government bonds with it. BUT! A ton of that money ended up in stocks and commodities.

C) A large portion of the money that backs the stocks is leveraged 25-46 to 1. Do the math.

D) Credit default swaps are dead.

E) MFglobal just proved that Wall Street can now steal your gold, silver and deposits and get away with it scott free. That's awesome.

F) SLV and GLD are paper gold and silver funds, helping form the biggest bubble out there and suppressing the PHYSICAL gold and silver price. More phony paper in the markets backed by nothing.

G) Insider Information and the BIG PLAYERS make and move the markets. It's all a SHAM.

H) All of Europe is collapsing. So that money will be rushing into America. Duh. Which will last until the derivative exposure of AIG, Bank of America and the likes is KNOWN.

I) The markets move on what Ben Bernanke does. That's gross, bro.

Consumer Debt spending is up? Throw a party!

On that note, The government is 17 trillion on the books in debt, the Fed holds 9.5 of our tbills on top of a 2.6 trillion dollar MBS balance sheet, and the treasury is -2.4 in the hole, and the FDIC is also -500 billion in the hole.

This economy is FUBAR.

Gas was $1.00 in 2000.

Then 9/11....

now, the average American family spends 8.4 percent of their income on gasoline.

This economy is FUBAR.

This economy is FUBAR.

This economy is FUBAR.

THOR

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Rakeesh
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Hey, is this economy FUBAR, THOR?
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Kwea
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[Roll Eyes]
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Samprimary
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Hey danlo! Just to keep us up to date, what's the newest specific danlo prediction about the utter and total collapse of the economy, I want to stay on my toes of course
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Rakeesh
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The thing is, if you make a dozen specific predictions and then only one or two-if that many-turn out to be true, you are totally worth taking seriously. Even if your other ten or eleven predictions are retroactively made less specific so they haven't been disproven at all.

Man, I just feel bad for the people in THOR'S hometown. Who will be driving around in a lettered beat up old van with a bunch of crazy slogans on it if THOR is here and not spreading the word? How will viewers of public access television in his broadcast area get the truth?

(In unrelated news, we are all still breathlessly awaiting your screenplay, THOR, in anticipation of its brilliance.)

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Samprimary
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In case that the point of this is lost on you, thor, in the heat of all this amazingly prompt mockery: you have not been worth taking seriously or engaging on the subject at all, but you engage anyway and cannot be dissuaded in the least and it's really annoying and you're completely ridiculous and sound totally crazy. For the love of god and all that is holy, stop talking at us about your frankly delusional economic theories, people have already asked you to get help and there's nothing else productive to contribute and you're always going to get more of this every time you come back and sandwich-board ramble because we hate it and it sucks and it's not good for you or us, thanks
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Danlo the Wild
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CAPS LOCK MAKES SAMPRIMARY CRY

You guys defend your little corner of hatrack
with such vigor and bile.

Anywho.

You guys don't like math.
I get it. I get it. I get it.

DOOM PREDICTION?

Ah, hell. You're right, if the Euro and the Dollar haven't collapsed by now, that means they're going to last forever! right?

Countries have to roll over 7.6 trillion in old
debt this year. March looks like it's going to be a BIG, BIG meltdown month.

...but who knows?

Maybe governments can buy their own debt to infinity.

and you guys are really cool.

THOR

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Ah, hell. You're right, if the Euro and the Dollar haven't collapsed by now, that means they're going to last forever! right?
Well, no, nobody has said that. It's statements like this which peg you, for me, more on the 'ridiculous liar' side of things than 'crazy', but I could be wrong. What people have pointed out is that you have made many, many specific predictions about catastrophe, offering as credibility for them your past accuracy, and then when your specific predictions don't come true...well. It's gonna happen someday. And suddenly you're back to being right-on.

Seriously, THOR, there could be a Jesus-hating capitalist RIGHT NOW in your hometown on public access convincing people in your very own community to support capitalism. Go! Get'm!

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Danlo the Wild
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For 3 years now,
I've been telling friends and family,
who all have lots more money than I do,
to buy Gold and Silver.

I've given investment advice to several people
on good stocks to buy & how, when, what to short. NONE of them have lost money on my picks.

Having a decade plus of paid professional video production under my belt, I'm a little beyond the sandwich board phase. And Youtube killed public access fools, which had its peak in 1999 in Austin texas.

It's silly that you're still making snide comments about my screenwriting. I can't imagine ever insulting anyones artistic ambitions, wether they sing, paint, write, dance or make movies.

I wrote my first 2 movies. I made money off of both.

I wrote 11 1st drafts of original screenplays and put them all on a shelf.

For the last 3 months, I've been working on a paid adaption of a book. It's good money and the author is VERY happy with the 1st draft I turned in 3 weeks ago. Working on the re-write now, hate and send curses all you want, bonzoz.

my heart has ALWAYS been in the right place

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Orincoro
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[Roll Eyes]

There are maybe a dozen "professional writers" on this board, including me. The only thing that means is that somewhere, for some reason, there is someone willing to give us money for writing.

If you're impressed by that, your opinion is likely not very important to me. If you are impressed with yourself merely for getting paid to write, then I pity you.

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fugu13
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I'm just sad I can't get him to sell me any of his awesome art.
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Rakeesh
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I like how THOR is so precisely vague. I 'made money' off them. No mention how much, or how long it took to make how much, etc.

No mention of what stocks under what circumstances. No hint of a mention. I mean, [I] could very easily advise someone on stock purchases if the only requirement was to break even or better. No mention or hint of mention as to what sort of production experience or with whom. Porn? High school football games? Weddings? Serious documentaries? Who knows?

All of this would be fine, by the way, if not for the part where we are to respect THOR'S professionalism and qualifications, to deem him an expert and treat his word with deference, to regard his predictions as carrying some sort of weight. Nobody anywhere gets those things, THOR, on just the unsupported word of the prognosticator.

But we do get some laughs!

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