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If giving americans 600 dollars a piece keeps us out of a recession...
Old 02-06-2008, 07:46 AM   #1
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If giving americans 600 dollars a piece keeps us out of a recession...

Am I missing something here? Wouldn't a jobs program to say rebuild the infrastructure like say passenger rail service be a better choice? I mean put people to work, pay a good wage, have them then pay taxes on the wages, get new passenger rail service going here in the country??

How does giving you me and the butler 500 dollars keep the country out of a recession?? Odd, To borrow more money to give it back to us??

I saw a piece yesterday showing how many people would spend the 500 or 600 dollar check. Something like 48% would pay off credit card debt. Well that is a good idea but most americans have close to 15K in credit card debt!!! 600 dollars might pay a month or two of P&I at a 2% principal payment of a 15K balance. Woof! What is it like to have credit card balances of upwards of 15 or 20K making 40K a year??
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:08 AM   #2
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most americans have close to 15K in credit card debt!!!
That's false. Most Americans have no credit card debt at all. A quarter of Americans don't even have a credit card.

Of the households that do owe money on credit cards, the median balance was $2,200 -- meaning half owe more, half less.

Only 8.3% of households owe $9,000 or more on their cards.

Source: The Big Lie About Credit Card Debt (MSN Money)
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:13 AM   #3
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Don't be trying to confuse us with facts...
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:37 AM   #4
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The size of the 'stimulus' will be very small potatoes compared to other changes in the economy. For example, the amount of mortgage equity withdrawal is dropping rapidly. This money was presumably being spent (unwisely IMHO, but that's a different matter). The rebate program won't even make up for this drop in household financial spending, so it's effect on the economy will be marginal.

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Old 02-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by newguy888 View Post
Am I missing something here? Wouldn't a jobs program to say rebuild the infrastructure like say passenger rail service be a better choice? I mean put people to work, pay a good wage, have them then pay taxes on the wages, get new passenger rail service going here in the country??

How does giving you me and the butler 500 dollars keep the country out of a recession?? Odd, To borrow more money to give it back to us??
Those things (while nice) aren't going to head off a recession. They take much too long. It would be at least a year before any of that money got moving.

I forgot who said it, but the next time they want to do this they should just dump money out of the back of a plane over major cities.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:54 AM   #6
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Everything is done to fix the perceived problem that allegedly exists today. Its peoples perception that we've got a problem because people arent spending enough money to keep the economy going, so lets throw money at them to spend and solve that!

Long term considerations and planning appear to be unnecessary. Just keep spackling and patching. React and act!

We'll just pay it all back in increased inflation or with interest later on...
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Don't be trying to confuse us with facts...
One can find whatever facts they are looking for on the internet. I would guess the real truth is somewhere in between.

http://demos.org/pubs/Fast%20Facts%2...s%201.2.06.pdf
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:30 AM   #8
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New Guy when I took econ 101 several years ago ALL the the economists felt that full employment in the US was 6 - 6 1/2 % unemployment. For the last several years the unemployment rate has hung around 4.5 - 5.25 %. So unless ALL the economists are wrong we are at full employment. Do you propose to put everyone who files for unemployment to work at "infrastructure renewal" as a condition of getting unemployment?
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:08 AM   #9
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Am I missing something here? Wouldn't a jobs program to say rebuild the infrastructure like say passenger rail service be a better choice? I mean put people to work, pay a good wage, have them then pay taxes on the wages, get new passenger rail service going here in the country??
Despite the people saying this would take too long to help and so on, it's still a better idea than a $600 check that has casinos and lottery programs salivating.

Plus, it would be useful for decades. I guess any kind of long-term thinking is out the window though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
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Everything is done to fix the perceived problem that allegedly exists today. Its peoples perception that we've got a problem because people arent spending enough money to keep the economy going, so lets throw money at them to spend and solve that!

Long term considerations and planning appear to be unnecessary. Just keep spackling and patching. React and act!

We'll just pay it all back in increased inflation or with interest later on...
Agree with that one!

Throwing a few bucks at people and hoping it will spur a huge jump in spending is moronic. Most of the folks I know are tapped out. They are maxed out with credit cards and HELOCs. They have cut back on spending and the $600 from Uncle Sam will go to pay off CC debt.

The recent reduction in the Fed Rate and the next one that seems to be around the corner will do little to spur spending and much to fanning the flames of inflation. The "R" word is already spreading everywhere and like Pygmalion, it will happen because we believe it will.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 AM   #11
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New Guy when I took econ 101 several years ago ALL the the economists felt that full employment in the US was 6 - 6 1/2 % unemployment. For the last several years the unemployment rate has hung around 4.5 - 5.25 %. So unless ALL the economists are wrong we are at full employment. Do you propose to put everyone who files for unemployment to work at "infrastructure renewal" as a condition of getting unemployment?
You're missing the point, we're not trying to solve unemployment. The point is simply that when the government is constantly slashing domestic spending and social programs, it might make sense for the government to simply spend the money on things it might normally spend money on if it had enough. Can anyone really say we are getting more benefit as a nation by giving this money to people to fritter away than say spending it on establishing universal healthcare or bringing our educational system up to snuff?
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #12
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Better yet lets remove an earned wage. Then we could spread the wealth from the rich down to the poor. We could then assign everyone a job based on a test score! Once you couldn't do your job anymore we could have a horse trailer come take you to the glue factory. OINK!
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:53 AM   #13
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New Guy when I took econ 101 several years ago ALL the the economists felt that full employment in the US was 6 - 6 1/2 % unemployment. For the last several years the unemployment rate has hung around 4.5 - 5.25 %. So unless ALL the economists are wrong we are at full employment. Do you propose to put everyone who files for unemployment to work at "infrastructure renewal" as a condition of getting unemployment?
I'm not sure how long "several" is. There is an ongoing debate about the "natural" rate of unemployment, and even what the term means.

Here's a CBO paper on recent changes in their estimate. It appears that their estimate was 6 or slightly higher in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Their estimate is lower now. During the 1990's, we had low rates of unemployment and low rates of inflation. That changed some minds about what is "natuaral" in our current economy. (see Figure 2 at The Effect of Changes in Labor Markets on the Natural Rate of Unemployment )

You are correct that the current rate is pretty much "average" for the last 10 years. I'm sure the concern is that it is trending upward. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data

I'm one of those people that think that an occaisional recession (and drop in stock prices) isn't such a bad thing, especially when it seems connected to a bubble popping. It bothers me that the public seems to think that the gov't is supposed to provide painless prosperity in all cases. That may be your point, too.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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"I'm one of those people that think that an occaisional recession (and drop in stock prices) isn't such a bad thing, especially when it seems connected to a bubble popping. It bothers me that the public seems to think that the gov't is supposed to provide painless prosperity in all cases. That may be your point, too."

I agree! Without any pain people will not learn their lessons. Recessions are a natural part of the cycle Im not really getting the whole chicken with the head cut off reaction by people.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:29 PM   #15
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Am I missing something here? Wouldn't a jobs program to say rebuild the infrastructure like say passenger rail service be a better choice? I mean put people to work, pay a good wage, have them then pay taxes on the wages, get new passenger rail service going here in the country??

How does giving you me and the butler 500 dollars keep the country out of a recession?? Odd, To borrow more money to give it back to us??

I saw a piece yesterday showing how many people would spend the 500 or 600 dollar check. Something like 48% would pay off credit card debt. Well that is a good idea but most americans have close to 15K in credit card debt!!! 600 dollars might pay a month or two of P&I at a 2% principal payment of a 15K balance. Woof! What is it like to have credit card balances of upwards of 15 or 20K making 40K a year??
are you one of the 1/2% of the people that actually takes a train instead of flying?
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Question about who gets the checks
Old 02-06-2008, 03:43 PM   #16
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Question about who gets the checks

My co-worker is 24, and lives with her mother. She paid into federal taxes this year, but her mother mistakenly claimed her on her mother's taxes. She's wondering if she's going to be getting any of the tax relief since she did pay into taxes.
Also, even though her mother claimed her, is there any way that she can still claim herself when she files taxes?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:47 PM   #17
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Its all about timing. Building infrastructure wouldn't help the economy soon enough since you would have to do environmental studies, draw up plans, put projects out for bid, etc.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:53 PM   #18
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If folks much smarter than I think $600 will jump start, then why not $6000 to hit turbo drive?
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:20 PM   #19
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Or, maybe the government shouldn't take the money from the public in the first place.

The plan as I understand it: give money back to the taxpayers next year (this is intended to help the economy). Then, raise tax rates in 2010 THAT will be GREAT for the economy.

Milton Friedman, come back!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:33 PM   #20
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Shhh...thats two whole years from now. It'll be all different by then.

Plus we can just refinance into a fixed at a better rate some time, and the country will be worth more. It always goes up.
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