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Old 01-31-2008, 04:09 PM   #21
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I saw an interview with I believe was Paulson... can't remember his title...

He was saying about the number... and how we talk about how manufacturing has all be sent to China... but he said that we actually produce MORE today then we have ever produced in the US... and the we are still the largest production country in the world.... more than Germany, more than China.. etc...

Not sure if true, but if it is people are just not looking at some things correctly...
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:43 PM   #22
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You are completely correct Texas Proud. There are very many.... especially in the media that have a vested interest in failure or misery. Some say it is political for the media. It is usually easier to get a democrat into office when times are bad than a republican, and most people say that the media is heavily left leaning these days. Others say that fear is the life's blood of the media. It is far easier to sell newspapers when people are afraid. Especially if they want to know more about how to save themselves, so they buy newspapers. I would tend to believe the latter reasoning the most. At any rate I think this is why things like recession, are so overhyped, and more positive events are not. Sensationalism sells.... where other things do not. I live here in AZ where the superbowl is being held. If people are paying $2700 a ticket, and renting homes to out of town visitors for $7000 a week, is america really doing so poorly?
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:47 PM   #23
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You are completely correct Texas Proud. There are very many.... especially in the media that have a vested interest in failure or misery. Some say it is political for the media. It is usually easier to get a democrat into office when times are bad than a republican, and most people say that the media is heavily left leaning these days. Others say that fear is the life's blood of the media. It is far easier to sell newspapers when people are afraid. Especially if they want to know more about how to save themselves, so they buy newspapers. I would tend to believe the latter reasoning the most. At any rate I think this is why things like recession, are so overhyped, and more positive events are not. Sensationalism sells.... where other things do not. I live here in AZ where the superbowl is being held. If people are paying $2700 a ticket, and renting homes to out of town visitors for $7000 a week, is america really doing so poorly?
How many people are attending the Superbowl; and what percent of the 300,000,000 does that represent?
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:34 PM   #24
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You are completely correct Texas Proud. There are very many.... especially in the media that have a vested interest in failure or misery. Some say it is political for the media. It is usually easier to get a democrat into office when times are bad than a republican, and most people say that the media is heavily left leaning these days. Others say that fear is the life's blood of the media. It is far easier to sell newspapers when people are afraid. Especially if they want to know more about how to save themselves, so they buy newspapers. I would tend to believe the latter reasoning the most. At any rate I think this is why things like recession, are so overhyped, and more positive events are not. Sensationalism sells.... where other things do not. I live here in AZ where the superbowl is being held. If people are paying $2700 a ticket, and renting homes to out of town visitors for $7000 a week, is america really doing so poorly?
But we are doing it on borrowed money.

The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?

I am not a doom and gloomer but I believe sooner than later the piper will show up and want his money.

The american consumer has no home equity anymore, it was stupid in the first place to borrow against your home anyway. But then again how will joe 6pack afford that 58 inch plasma TV to watch a stupid football game. Or american idol.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:44 PM   #25
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For now, however, the Fed has obviously concluded (and we hope itís right) that itís more important to try to mitigate current conditions than to worry about hypothetical concerns.
I dunno newguy, inflation seems more than hypothetical to me.
The falling buck seems like the real thing too.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:59 PM   #26
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But we are doing it on borrowed money.

The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?

I am not a doom and gloomer but I believe sooner than later the piper will show up and want his money.

The american consumer has no home equity anymore, it was stupid in the first place to borrow against your home anyway. But then again how will joe 6pack afford that 58 inch plasma TV to watch a stupid football game. Or american idol.
Newguy,

You assessment of the situation is right on and this borrowed money may become much more expensive. Things are so bad in Washington that the U.S. government may lose its AAA credit rating in coming years. This has never happened since Moodys Investor Service began rating U.S. securities in 1917.

Free Preview - WSJ.com
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:04 PM   #27
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Incomes have risen quite well.
I suppose different people look at different statistics. It seems to me that "median earnings for full-time year-round workers", separated by education and gender eliminates most of the noise and reflects how ordinary people feel.

Here are total percentage gains from 1991 through 2006, adjusted for CPI. The first column is males, the second females.

-7 +5 Less than HS diploma
-1 +2 HS diploma
-1 +3 Some College
+1 +2 Associate Degree
+6 +14 Exactly 4 years
+9 +14 More than 4 years
+4 +13 Total

These are total gains for 15 years, not average annual gains. It seems that people with less than 4 years of college basically stood still. Women with 4 or more years gained almost 1% per year. Men with 4 or more years gained about a half a percent per year.

Of course "mean" earnings went up more, because it's the higher income people that saw the gains.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/p24.html
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:06 PM   #28
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But we are doing it on borrowed money.

The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?
Well, far be it from me to not help derail a thread further.

We actually do really good when it comes to exports:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2078rank.html We're 5th and only a few hundred billion behind China (4th) (ps, I don't know why Germany is called out separate from the EU). So, all is not lost, we're still making and exporting goods.

However, we do import a heck of a lot:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2087rank.html (as if anyone is surprised by this)

Now, where things start to get dicey is when you look at external debt: https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2079rank.html

And current account balance: https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2187rank.html

Chalmers Johnson states that current account balance "measures the net trade surplus or deficit of a country plus cross-border payments of interest, royalties, dividends, capital gains, foreign aid, and other income. For example, in order for Japan to manufacture anything, it must import all required raw materials. Even after this incredible expense is met, it still has an $88 billion per year trade surplus with the United States and enjoys the world's second highest current account balance. " [1].

Actually, I think Chalmers has some great insights and numbers in the above article. It's the article titled 'Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic' after the forward in [1].

Without editorializing the article too much, I'll just say that I find the numbers to be simply fascinating once you stop and contemplate them.

Oh, and as far as I remember, China has over 1.3 trillion dollars in reserve. At least, they did in late 2007 [3]. (they were at 1 trillion in 2006 [2]). Again, that's just a number that I find fascinating. It makes me wonder if flooding the currency market in an attempt to cause a dollar collapse would be a viable first strike in war [3] (not that I think that will happen anytime soon).

Anyway, right now, I personally believe that things are not as dire as the pundits predict. However, I think we're going to see some discomfort as housing prices revert to the mean and maybe we will see a recession to cool things off for a while. I'd love it if people took this next year as a time to realize they don't need to live like they are and should start saving more.

[1] Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson, How to Sink America
[2] BBC NEWS | Business | China's trillion dollar surplus
[3] China threatens 'nuclear option' of dollar sales - Telegraph
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:14 PM   #29
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The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?

I am not a doom and gloomer but I believe sooner than later the piper will show up and want his money.
That was the point of the guy... everybody thinks we do not 'build' anything any more... but that is just false (per him)... we build MORE now than we have ever built in the history of America... it is just that we use machines a lot more than human capital so the employment of the manufacturing sector is a lot lower than before...

So I will say you ARE a gloomer....
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:41 PM   #30
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That was the point of the guy... everybody thinks we do not 'build' anything any more... but that is just false (per him)... we build MORE now than we have ever built in the history of America... it is just that we use machines a lot more than human capital so the employment of the manufacturing sector is a lot lower than before...

So I will say you ARE a gloomer....
Exactly manufacturing jobs have disappeared world wide. The country that lost the most manufacturering job over the last decade, isn't the US or the EU it is is China. That's right China had more people working in manufacturing jobs in 1997 than they do now.

We have less people employed making things now than ever, yet more things are being produced. (If you don't believe walk into any mall in America or Grocery and notice the shelves filled with stuff, or track the amazing rise of self storage units rental). It is the same story as what happened at the end of the 19th century as people were replaced by tractors, pickers and combines (I have now exhausted my knowledge of farm machinery). We have millions less farmers now than we did 100+ years ago but we grow many times more crops, because Capital has replaced labor.

Even in the many situation where portion or entire products are manufactured in places like China, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I imagine that virtually every iPOD is made in China or India. Yet the vast amount of revenue flows right into Apple coffers because the big money is still made in designing iPODs, marketing them, and getting software for them, almost all of those activities are primarily done here in the US.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:44 AM   #31
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Yes. Or problem is not on the production side. We produce an amazing amount of goods and services.

Our problem is on the consumption side. Contrary to what our politicians seem to think, we can't spend our way to prosperity. Americans need to be more like the people of this board.

Middle America needs to start accumulating Capital, because I'm starting to think that we may have reached the limit on the standard of living that can be provided by staying completely on the Labor side of the free market.


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That was the point of the guy... everybody thinks we do not 'build' anything any more... but that is just false (per him)... we build MORE now than we have ever built in the history of America... it is just that we use machines a lot more than human capital so the employment of the manufacturing sector is a lot lower than before...

So I will say you ARE a gloomer....
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:39 AM   #32
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I'm at 85% in equities, does that mean I'm screwed
I don't know, of course. But I am wondering why anyone considers bonds to be much, if any, safer. Even cash, if not exposed to higher risk, may soon trail inflation.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:07 AM   #33
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But we are doing it on borrowed money.

The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?

I am not a doom and gloomer but I believe sooner than later the piper will show up and want his money.

The american consumer has no home equity anymore, it was stupid in the first place to borrow against your home anyway. But then again how will joe 6pack afford that 58 inch plasma TV to watch a stupid football game. Or american idol.
I love it when people make broad sweeping statements without actually bothering to find out if it's true.

The dollar value of our manufacturing exports has NEVER been higher than it is now.

The China scare is also overblown. Trade with the US is keeping much of their economy going, they have no reason to want it to stop.

Also, it's unpatriotic to call the super bowl "Stupid"
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:09 AM   #34
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I don't know, of course. But I am wondering why anyone considers bonds to be much, if any, safer. Even cash, if not exposed to higher risk, may soon trail inflation.

Because inflation risk is not the only risk you have to contend with when constructing a portfolio.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:55 AM   #35
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But we are doing it on borrowed money.

The country does not build anything anymore. China owns how much of our money?

I am not a doom and gloomer but I believe sooner than later the piper will show up and want his money.

The american consumer has no home equity anymore, it was stupid in the first place to borrow against your home anyway. But then again how will joe 6pack afford that 58 inch plasma TV to watch a stupid football game. Or american idol.

how is it borowed money?

the trade deficit figures were made up in a time when a company based only in country a made stuff in country a and sold them to countries b and c

today we have US companies make stuff in China but design and market them in the US and sell them in the US and all over the world. it's not like the chineese own anything they make there. it's all owned by by US companies.

wal mart owns a lot of stores in china and sells chineese made stuff there, but it's a US company and that's not in the trade deficit figures

i haven't seen a trade calculation that takes these changes into account
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:02 PM   #36
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Here are total percentage gains from 1991 through 2006, adjusted for CPI. The first column is males, the second females.

-7 +5 Less than HS diploma
-1 +2 HS diploma
-1 +3 Some College
+1 +2 Associate Degree
+6 +14 Exactly 4 years
+9 +14 More than 4 years
+4 +13 Total
Let me add to the doom & gloom with informal data I have gathered.
I know a heap a' them +6+14 and +9+14 critters and most of them would take exception to these reported increases.
Don't want to run my own numbers. Might get TOO gloomy.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:29 PM   #37
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Uneducated women, that are high school drop outs are doing quite well
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:11 PM   #38
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Uneducated women, that are high school drop outs are doing quite well
yeah, why is that??
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:29 PM   #39
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yeah, why is that??
I should probably say something about Jessica Simpson, but I'll be boring...

It's probably statistical fluctuation. Real earnings can go up or down a point or two in a year.

But it could be that women can get into occupations that used to be exclusively male - for example, more factory workers are women.

I'd guess that some of the male/female shift at the top is about female accounting and engineering grads competing with the guys.
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