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Old 08-07-2011, 09:02 AM   #101
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Our system certainly has its dysfunctions, but it can move quickly when there is strong consensus. What we lack isn't a system with adequate speed and adaptability, but an electorate with a clear idea of what it wants done and how it wants it accomplished (i.e. 'reduce the deficit but don't raise taxes and don't cut any Federal programs but foreign aid').
One real advantage to a Representative Republic (ie, Democracy) is that everyone tends to buy into the system without needing a revolt to fix a bad situation. The trouble with Democracy is you have a lot of uninformed, don't care, kind of people who vote based on what they hear on political advertisements presented during a commercial break on TV. These people go to the polls because it is their "civic duty".

I grew up in Chicago in a time when the Precinct captain made sure you voted for Mayor Daley and his friends or you didn't get police protection. The point is Democracy never can have a majority of educated and informed voters. This problem is really magnified in third world countries who have so-called democracy, but many voters will sell their vote for a new tee shirt.

We have long recognized the problems with central planning and other faults of Communism and autocracies. They often make stupid decisions. But when your electorate is even more stupid, then at least someone is steering the ship.

This is a long preface to what I think will be the next evolution of democracy. That would be to have some program which would screen out the lethargic citizen who has no desire to follow politics from the interested, informed voter. I am not talking about excluding opposing opinions like the Communist Party does in China. Rather, the voters should be like the members of this forum. That is, well informed with very different opinions. People who would vote on issues, rather than how much pork their Congressman can bring home. How this can fairly be accomplished is a deeper conversation.

However, as China develops a sizable middle and upper class, the pressure is going to strong to change the very exclusionary Communist Party. It is hard to see China going through the equivalent of the Arab Spring - where populist revolutions, assisted by foreign governments, spring to life to overthrow an authoritarian regime. The Chinese seem to have a strong national spirit and will not tear their country apart. Instead, they may choose to evolve their system into some, new form of government where the Party consists of informed, intellectual voters - and the peasant is left to live the simple life.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:11 AM   #102
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GOing along with what Gumby said, this is the SAME rating agency that told us those toxic CDOs were AAA rated, which means they are about as accurate as 10 day weather forecasts........
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:21 AM   #103
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I see the downgrade as a positive event. It's like grownups giving a warning to the misbehaving brats.

Also, it will give lawmakers an excuse for making some hard choices.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #104
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Also, it will give lawmakers an excuse for making some hard choices blaming the other party.
Fixed it for ya...
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:57 AM   #105
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I see the downgrade as a positive event. It's like grownups giving a warning to the misbehaving brats.

Also, it will give lawmakers an excuse for making some hard choices.
The eternal optimist in me hopes that you are correct.

Overall, I expect REWahoo's version is what we will experience. (as if either of them need an excuse!)

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Old 08-07-2011, 10:47 AM   #106
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Does anyone else appreciate the irony and dark humor of China criticizing the USA for overspending on military and "socialist" safety net programs? See what coddling our dissident congress led to?
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #107
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Actually, I see the dark humor, but I also see think they are right! Our military is hugely inefficient and way too large for the threat that we face in the 21st century. We have have 11 active duty aircraft carriers in service, and they must be replaced every 35 years. That story is repeated in the Air Force too.

Our social programs are spread out over a half dozen different departments, with food stamps totally separate from welfare benefits, etc. We don't need deep cuts in our social programs, we need to make them a lot more efficient.

But at least we do not have rampant corruption like China - that is a really is fortunate.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:37 AM   #108
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I think the solution to make our gov't work more effectively is simple, its called term limits.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:42 AM   #109
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I think the solution to make our gov't work more effectively is simple, its called term limits.
Perhaps. But I suspect that is just a symptom of the problem. With term limits, what's to stop the major parties from putting up a puppet to do their bidding?

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #110
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Perhaps. But I suspect that is just a symptom of the problem. With term limits, what's to stop the major parties from putting up a puppet to do their bidding?

-ERD50
There needs to be more leverage for the voters to have their say (the majority aka middleclass) by voting out the polarizing puppets and special interests.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:02 PM   #111
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GOing along with what Gumby said, this is the SAME rating agency that told us those toxic CDOs were AAA rated, which means they are about as accurate as 10 day weather forecasts........

I agree 100%. The other 2 rating agencies have not moved and hopefully they won't. But we should keep this in perspective, the rating dropped from AAA to AA+ and that's not much of a drop. It is more of an embarrassing slap on the wrist than a serious problem though it may well effect interest rates and only time will tell.

Stocks to Drop 6% on Monday - Fact Check - CBS MoneyWatch.com
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:11 PM   #112
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I see the downgrade as a positive event. It's like grownups giving a warning to the misbehaving brats.

Also, it will give lawmakers an excuse for making some hard choices.
I hope you're right, but who knows.

I am more interested in seeing how the markets react, but nothing I can (or would) do about it today. S&P warned they planned to do this a month ago so I hope it's already baked in (and it should be), but who knows.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:43 PM   #113
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I think it is the big kick in the B*tt that we all wish we could give to Congress and the President. Financial markets will start to calm as the politicians are finally being held accountable for their actions.

Back in high school when we got a "C" in math we were forced to work harder to pull up our grade. I think that the politicians will realize that this AA- is their report card.

They will quickly realize that the next move is that they will get kicked out of the "private school".
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:32 AM   #114
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Different view

Somewhat different (positive?) view...... Edit to add: Money gives a different (positive?) view on the downgrade's effects on investments and financing.



(Foreign markets seem to be holding at down aro. 2%)
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File Type: pdf Money and AA+ rating change.pdf (95.4 KB, 3 views)
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Strategists Sticking With 17% S&P 500 Gain on Higher Profit
Old 08-08-2011, 09:34 AM   #115
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Strategists Sticking With 17% S&P 500 Gain on Higher Profit

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Somewhat different (positive?) view......

Foreign markets seem to be holding at down aro. 2%

Another (positive) view. Edit to add: Strategists Sticking With 17% S&P 500 Gain on Higher Profit. Thought some might find it interesting to read something positive, published after the downgrade.
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File Type: pdf S&P @ 1400 years end 2011.pdf (108.8 KB, 8 views)
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #116
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Fritz, it would be useful to other members if you would include a summary of the analysis you are linking.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #117
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Fritz, it would be useful to other members if you would include a summary of the analysis you are linking.
The titles in green (and both PDF's description) describe the articles attached (and I thought they were positive).
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #118
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The titles in green (and both PDF's description) describe the articles attached (and I thought they were positive).
Fritz, everyone can't see the "titles in green". It is common courtesy (and in the forum CR's) to avoid posting 'naked links' by providing at least a brief description of what your linked material contains. A convenient way to do that is to paste a short quote from the linked material.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:10 AM   #119
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Fritz, everyone can't see the "titles in green". It is common courtesy (and in the forum CR's) to avoid posting 'naked links' by providing at least a brief description of what your linked material contains. A convenient way to do that is to paste a short quote from the linked material.
Didn't know - changed both to show in text body.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:16 AM   #120
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Didn't know - changed both to show in text body.
REW explained it better than I did. Thanks for making the changes.
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