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Old 11-25-2008, 05:12 PM   #41
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I think this loss of empire is already a wrap. The Bush wars have likely advanced the timeline 10 or 20 years.

Ha
I hope I'm long gone before Russian or Chinese tanks come rolling down the street.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:36 PM   #42
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I am trying to figure out what 'back to work' program Obama's folks will come up with that both targets the skills of the unemployed and invests in infrastructure.

While repair of roads and bridges is badly needed I don't see that addressing un or under employment because a lot of the unemployed are white collar or hammer & nail gun construction workers. However, odds are asphalt is cheaper right now than it has been for a couple years.

Manufacturing solar and windmill electrical generation would create/maintain manufacturing jobs... something like the BPA or TVA for green energy would be a model.

Some white collar workers could be useful to help in schools, our children are our human infastructure.

Now, what to do with all those unemployed Wall Street financiers...

Thoughts folks
Many of those financial bankers are graduates of places like MIT with engineering and math degrees. Hopefully they will now do something more usefull with their lives then creating innovative ways to create risky financial products. I read an interesting article the other night about who is hiring grads from business schools. Currently it is companies that actually do or make things and they can now pick from the cream of the crop rather then the dregs as in years past as the high $ jobs in banking and finance are no longer there. There just may be a silver lining in all this.

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Old 11-25-2008, 05:37 PM   #43
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I hope I'm long gone before Russian or Chinese tanks come rolling down the street.
Dawg, if you don't quit banging your head you will be gone before you planned.

Now stoppit, ya hear?

ha
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:32 PM   #44
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To tell you the truth I haven't priced asphalt, at a gut level I assumed that it would track the price of oil.

I have noticed that the removed surface material is being reclaimed in our area.. we use asphalt almost exclusively (those studded tires chew up concrete). Other than concrete what other road surfacing options are there?

I agree with you on drug treatment.. unfortunately few of the unemployed have the skills to deliver those services. If meth use was tackled with the same effort as that given tobacco we would be a healthier and safer nation. Putting users and small dealers in prison is expensive. Decreasing demand is one sure way to reduce drug wars in Mexico.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #45
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Dawg, if you don't quit banging your head you will be gone before you planned.

Now stoppit, ya hear?

ha
Yeah but I always chase it with one of my meds.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #46
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To tell you the truth I haven't priced asphalt, at a gut level I assumed that it would track the price of oil.

I have noticed that the removed surface material is being reclaimed in our area.. we use asphalt almost exclusively (those studded tires chew up concrete). Other than concrete what other road surfacing options are there?

I agree with you on drug treatment.. unfortunately few of the unemployed have the skills to deliver those services. If meth use was tackled with the same effort as that given tobacco we would be a healthier and safer nation. Putting users and small dealers in prison is expensive. Decreasing demand is one sure way to reduce drug wars in Mexico.
I recently read a news story about asphalt. Pretty much what Brewer said. The refineries have shifted production toward gas and diesel and as a result, asphalt is predicted to be in short supply for awhile.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:04 PM   #47
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U.S. moves to thaw credit for consumers - Economy in Turmoil- msnbc.com

So after all the hemming and hawing about $700 billion, I wake up to find another $600 billion in the mix like it's no big deal? I'm very confused.
Basically, our elected officials are scum and have no regard for the Constitution or the taxpayers. That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:07 PM   #48
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Mortgage rates fell through the floor today!

Mortgage security rates fall after Fed action - washingtonpost.com

I guess this might be what it takes to free up the credit markets, let's see if it holds.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:59 PM   #49
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Interesting you should mention asphalt. I actually have bought a piece of a company that produces asphalt because the supply picture has been tightening for the past several years as refiners install equipment that allows them to squeeze every last drop of the "good stuff" from crude, leaving less behind to make asphalt with. It looks to me like the supply side is in no way prepared to cheaply supply a lot more asphalt if we embark on a big program of road building.
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Originally Posted by Brat View Post
To tell you the truth I haven't priced asphalt, at a gut level I assumed that it would track the price of oil.
I have noticed that the removed surface material is being reclaimed in our area.. we use asphalt almost exclusively (those studded tires chew up concrete). Other than concrete what other road surfacing options are there?
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I recently read a news story about asphalt. Pretty much what Brewer said. The refineries have shifted production toward gas and diesel and as a result, asphalt is predicted to be in short supply for awhile.
Asphalt is in painfully short supply around here. Only one plant produces it and it doesn't get anywhere near the feedstock that it could use. Road projects are strung out for months depending on its availability, and chewed-up road surface is shipped back to the plant for reprocessing and return later that week.

At some point it's going to be cost-effective for idle tankers or bulkers to bring asphalt over here. We're not far away on price.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #50
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The private sector (which includes the consumer) is de-leveraging, which is a very painful process. To ease this pain, the Fed and Treasury are leveraging up big time. It's sort of like a "Conservation of Leverage" principle, where the total leverage of the economy is held "constant" to ease the overall pain, while transferring it from the private to the public sector, not unlike the conservation of energy or momentum in a closed system. What possibly awaits us at the other end of this process a few years down the road is frightening to me.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be done. I'm just afraid we may be building a ticking time bomb which could result in serious inflation a few years out. At some point we will have to face the music and de-lever the entire economy. I guess the government believes it can do this slowly over a period of many years, and this will be preferable to having the private sector do it over a shorter time period. Time will tell.
I just have not been able to absorb all the posts and info out there on this topic, but on general principles, this post seems to summarize what I see as the basic issue.

So, what concerns me about much of what I'm hearing, is that we just need to get the credit markets going again. But that was partly the problem. I guess I'd feel OK if that was viewed as the "band-aid", and there was some serious talk about how we (citizens, businesses and govts) de-leverage going forward. Even if it is baby steps, it seems like we (well, anyone who is over-leveraged) need to start doing this.

In many ways, it seems like it is this leverage that turns a bad situation from "sorry, I'm going out of business", to " hey, I'm going out of business and I'm dragging a bunch of other people with me".

And when it affects those who were not over-leveraged, well.... arghhhh.

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:15 PM   #51
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Merriam-Webster has picked "bailout" as the word of the year.

"The rest of the list is not exactly cheerful. It also includes “trepidation,” “precipice” and “turmoil.”"

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Old 11-25-2008, 09:54 PM   #52
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I wonder if the government really did their homework this time around. The banks can make all the money available they want but if there are few takers then it won't work. Did they ever consider the average consumer may not be willing to assume more debt right now? Just a small problem maybe.

IMO, the consumer has been poisoned in the last year and the desire to take on more debt is fading fast. Right now a lot of people are starting to worry about losing their jobs or falling behind in current debt obligations. Do the FEDs really think there is a pent up desire for more problems?

What if the big spenders got just a little "religion" the past few months? Maybe that three year old SUV isn't that bad after all since gas prices have come down and besides you can't tell the difference between it and a new one.

My guess is the rate of decay will speed up in the next six months as more jobs are lost and more belts get tightened. Right now the non spending consumer is in control. It's all a function of the "pucker factor" and it's running at an all time high.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #53
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I wonder if the government really did their homework this time around. The banks can make all the money available they want but if there are few takers then it won't work. Did they ever consider the average consumer may not be willing to assume more debt right now? Just a small problem maybe.

IMO, the consumer has been poisoned in the last year and the desire to take on more debt is fading fast. Right now a lot of people are starting to worry about losing their jobs or falling behind in current debt obligations. Do the FEDs really think there is a pent up desire for more problems?

What if the big spenders got just a little "religion" the past few months? Maybe that three year old SUV isn't that bad after all since gas prices have come down and besides you can't tell the difference between it and a new one.

My guess is the rate of decay will speed up in the next six months as more jobs are lost and more belts get tightened. Right now the non spending consumer is in control.
This is probably what is really behind President Elect Obama's "make work" idea. We don't truly need a jobs program now--unemployment is not outside historical norms. Rather, since the consumers are a bit hesitant to take on more debt and to spend a lot (based on the reasons you list), it's time for the government to do the borrowing and spending. I guess it is better than just giving more piles of money to the banks or shoveling it down some other black hole. But only a little. The plan changes by the week--start, stop, reconsider, take a new approach. Anyone who has seen an individual in total panic mode has witnessed the same pattern. It doesn't inspire confidence.

Maybe the govt could just get out of the bailout/stimulus biz.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:28 PM   #54
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This is probably what is really behind President Elect Obama's "make work" idea. We don't truly need a jobs program now--unemployment is not outside historical norms. Rather, since the consumers are a bit hesitant to take on more debt and to spend a lot (based on the reasons you list), it's time for the government to do the borrowing and spending. I guess it is better than just giving more piles of money to the banks or shoveling it down some other black hole. But only a little. The plan changes by the week--start, stop, reconsider, take a new approach. Anyone who has seen an individual in total panic mode has witnessed the same pattern. It doesn't inspire confidence.

Maybe the govt could just get out of the bailout/stimulus biz.
Jobs might not be a problem at this very instant but that's one of the huge problems with government. Everything is reactionary and more expensive and too late. The unemployment rate at the beginning of 1930 was 3.2%.

Hey a couple more stimulus packages, a nice four-year plan, and we'll be living in a communist paradise. I'd give old Joe Stalin a job well done thumbs up if I hadn't cut off my thumbs for being subversive fingers performing actions that they claim not all fingers are capable of. Solidarity comrade!
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:11 AM   #55
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It is all "busy work" up to this point, IMO. The Government does not want to look like it is doing nothing - so it tries to look busy. I just hope they do not destroy the future for all the survivors.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:28 AM   #56
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Generally, I think they are trying to contain the financial problem but they are not sure how to do it. And I believe it is being done with integrity and honesty.

But I always wonder if some of the guys making the decisions and handing out the free money are helping their buddies out with a few billion... There seems to be few checks and balances... well what are friends for... Who would know if all handouts are justified?
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:01 AM   #57
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Generally, I think they are trying to contain the financial problem but they are not sure how to do it. And I believe it is being done with integrity and honesty.

But I always wonder if some of the guys making the decisions and handing out the free money are helping their buddies out with a few billion... There seems to be few checks and balances... well what are friends for... Who would know if all handouts are justified?
The ties between Wall Street, the big banks, and the Federal Govt runs strong, fast, and deep. How do you thing those Senators can spend millions to get re-elected when their salary is less than $200,000 a year?
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:13 PM   #58
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ROTFLMAO!!

I think I'll take our military over China or Russia's..........
Read Paul Kennedy's book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

I think that it provides a convincing argument that:

- Great Powers rise as Great Powers because they grow their economy.

- Great Powers fall because they over extend themselves militarily.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:35 PM   #59
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Jobs might not be a problem at this very instant but that's one of the huge problems with government. Everything is reactionary and more expensive and too late. The unemployment rate at the beginning of 1930 was 3.2%.

Hey a couple more stimulus packages, a nice four-year plan, and we'll be living in a communist paradise. I'd give old Joe Stalin a job well done thumbs up if I hadn't cut off my thumbs for being subversive fingers performing actions that they claim not all fingers are capable of. Solidarity comrade!
Stalin would approve heartily of the way the government has been running our finances. Be it Comrade Bush or the upcoming Comrade Obama, there is not much more in the the way of Bolshevist economic intent than what we are seeing right now in Twenty First Century America.

I'll yet again draw your attention to my avatar.
He's Hank Paulson's main man dudes.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:12 PM   #60
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I am trying to figure out what 'back to work' program Obama's folks will come up with that both targets the skills of the unemployed and invests in infrastructure.

While repair of roads and bridges is badly needed I don't see that addressing un or under employment because a lot of the unemployed are white collar or hammer & nail gun construction workers. However, odds are asphalt is cheaper right now than it has been for a couple years.

Manufacturing solar and windmill electrical generation would create/maintain manufacturing jobs... something like the BPA or TVA for green energy would be a model.

Some white collar workers could be useful to help in schools, our children are our human infastructure.

Now, what to do with all those unemployed Wall Street financiers...

Thoughts folks
Is there any reason the underemployed 'white collar' types can't dye the collar blue? I spent 30 years wearing a white collar, but I helped family with blue collar projects. I still hold a 'big rig' drivers license that I haven't needed used since I was 20.

If you're unemployed,any employment should be better than none.
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