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Old 02-16-2016, 04:39 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
People could spend the money they receive and generate economic activity.

I think if robots become more prevalent, it may even help the economy. Assuming the extra productivity was distributed properly.
I'm pretty sure your post was facetious (where's that irony font we've asked for?). But for anyone interested in what it looks like when individual income is decoupled from individual effort and people get a check from the government based on the general health of the government coffers, spend some time in Saudi Arabia.

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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
Governments don't take money --out-- of the economy with regulations. Regulations require that money be spent improving safety, properly disposing of hazmat, keeping better track of things, and hiring people to do these things etc etc. That's money spent and therefore dumped, trickled down, as it were, back into the economy.
Sounds like you are going down the classic "parable of the broken window" road here. Not all spending is equal in its impact, and every dime spent complying with a regulation is a dime not put to use somewhere else.
Economics in One Lesson--Henry Hazzlit.

That doesn't mean all regulations are bad, but it is definitely possible to write a law that decreases total prosperity and welfare. We have thousands of them as proof.

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Regulation, like taxes, should be as low as possible, while simultaneously being as high as necessary.
+1
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:38 AM   #42
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spend some time in Saudi Arabia.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:45 AM   #43
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We are the only world power. We have it pretty good, but you make it seem like we are shoved and locked in a high school locker.

I think you underestimate that all US companies compete globally, and often primarily.

By the way, see sugar and corn for unfair trade practices in the US.
You are 100% correct, we can compete globally, as we can manufacture stuff overseas. We can use the same disposable workforce that other countries use. And we do. We then use the other countries labor laws. We make batteries in India, we make Sheetrock, foods and kids toys in China, etc.

We can compete here too, but we have to manufacture stuff in third world countries. Corn and sugar prices are a statistical blip in the USA global trade imbalance.

One thing we cannot do, is create good jobs here for the masses. If the USA wants good jobs, we need manufacturing here. Of course, higher wages are only needed to stem deflation and to continue to have a better lifestyle. Countries can have massive political upheavals when there is a large income imbalance. Castro or Chavez would not ever have been heard of, if those countries did not have the income disparity that they did.

It could be that manufacturing in the USA has reached structural obsolescence. Our service industries have become the new manufacturing segment. They are no longer a stepping stone to higher wages, but a career in and of themselves. Being a fast food worker may very well become a new lifetime career here in the USA. Or janitorial services. Our upcoming demographics suggest that could indeed be the case.

The low paid (today) workers may well need to make as much as an engineer. Both work 40 hours, the worker in the fast food restaurant may even view their job as more difficult than an engineer. With outbreaks of eColi and salmonella, fast food workers hold the nations health in their hands. Engineering is becoming more of a commodity with the ability to import engineers and export engineering work.

In order to get the economy going, we need workers to have higher wages, and the only way is to have more higher paying jobs here. If you think the budget deficit is bad now, wait until the average wage drops even more.

Baby boomers are retiring, they are the nations highest paid workers. Three people making $33.3K a year (with 4 kids), pay a LOT less in taxes than one person making $100K.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:55 AM   #44
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Ah, yes, the all powerful prescription to "cut regulations." As obviously agreeable to all who hear it as it is vague. Quite like "cut waste, fraud and abuse" in this way.

But when pressed, few can name any specific examples of regulation reforms that clearly generate more in savings than they cost. That's why every new administration promises to reform regulations and "make government smarter." And after every administration the regulatory apparatus is largely unchanged.

There's just not as much meat there as people hope / pretend. And focusing on these things that nobody seems to be able to do distracts attention and effort from the things we can.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:05 AM   #45
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Ah, yes, the all powerful prescription to "cut regulations." As obviously agreeable to all who hear it as it is vague. Quite like "cut waste, fraud and abuse" in this way.

But when pressed, few can name any specific examples of regulation reforms that clearly generate more in savings than they cost. That's why every new administration promises to reform regulations and "make government smarter." And after every administration the regulatory apparatus is largely unchanged.

There's just not as much meat there as people hope / pretend. And focusing on these things that nobody seems to be able to do distracts attention and effort from the things we can.
If one really needs help finding examples, do a simple google search and choose from among the hundreds that may be of specific interest to you.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:39 AM   #46
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Some wishful thinking:

> terrorists bomb part of Saudi oil fields

> lower corporate tax rate/reduce regulations

> build infrastructure

> pay down debt

> lets have a little inflation so wages and interest rates rise

> create a few next big things

> incite companies to bring higher tech non-textile manufacturing jobs back to US

> stabilize some of the global hotspots
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:53 AM   #47
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My spouse got a very nice raise this year. Lots of job growth around us as well. Unemployment is quite low. Two income families have figured out how to spend less and thus can go back to one-income families. My college graduate went immediately into a very nice engineering job.

I am out of a job myself, but I don't need to work because the stock and bond markets are doing what they are expected to do. And taxes are incredibly low, too. That goes along with low interest rates.

Anyways, I think the economy is great. It doesn't matter what gloom and doomsters propagate. One just has to get out and see that things are not nearly as pessimistic as some folks want you to believe.

America is Great!
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:03 PM   #48
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Anyways, I think the economy is great. It doesn't matter what gloom and doomsters propagate. One just has to get out and see that things are not nearly as pessimistic as some folks want you to believe.
It's always very interesting to me the different perspectives we all have on our economy. During the 2008 downturn, things felt fine around where I lived in Texas - people had jobs, restaurants were full, people still going on nice vacations etc... Just didn't see a lot of signs of the downturn other than our portfolio value. But where my relatives live in the Northeast, they observed the opposite. Many jobs lost, restaurants and stores struggling, people really having to work hard to make ends meet.

I suppose the widely varying views are not only a sign of differing viewpoints on what makes a strong economy but also just where we live in the country and how the economy is impacting us personally.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:14 PM   #49
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Accelerate projects to repair and replace our aging and deteriorating roads and bridges. This work will need to be done eventually one way or another and it will create lots of jobs and those will have a multiplier effect.
Also deteriorating infrastructure, like the issues in Flint. Lots of jobs could do something good. Of course there is the argument about whether its worth the investment.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:46 PM   #50
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If one really needs help finding examples, do a simple google search and choose from among the hundreds that may be of specific interest to you.
Thanks for proving my point about the nature of these kinds of claims.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:49 PM   #51
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Whisper66: It's always very interesting to me the different perspectives we all have on our economy.
I wish the positive thinkers are correct yet what worries many others that our trade deficit is huge and it is like this for a very long time, as we need to pay off the dis-balance we borrow and print money ($US is still main reserve currency in the world but other countries understand how it works), our largest ever in the world history Debt continue to grow with budget deficit as well and middle class (the back bone of every great society) is shrinking. Is not it is something to worry about?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:21 PM   #52
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IMHO they should change the taxes so that it benefits companies to invest in the US instead of holding cash offshore.
I think this is something that most people could be sold on that could have a noticeable impact. It's insane to me that Apple, Cisco, and Microsoft (stocks I own, but there are dozens like them) have 10s of billions that they have sitting offshore in treasuries because they don't want to pay the taxes necessary to bring the money back.

We've build a system that has given them a perverse incentive to just sit on cash. Apple has a $100+ offshore but is borrowing money to fund their stock buybacks and dividends. That is a goofy situation created by an illogical tax system.

There would be a lot of fighting over the exact form changes would take, depending on peoples' politics, but at the end of the day, I don't really care too much about the details. I'd take a low-tax holiday that let them repatriate the money like we did in the past when the R's controlled things. I'd also accept a system that forced them to pay taxes on the offshore money ( As a shareholder, I'm obviously less excited about that option ). What I don't want is to continue a system that encourages companies to irrationally sit on cash forever to avoid a tax.

There are lots of options to improve this specific situation. I'd like my representatives in Congress to pick one.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:41 PM   #53
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I think this is something that most people could be sold on that could have a noticeable impact. It's insane to me that Apple, Cisco, and Microsoft (stocks I own, but there are dozens like them) have 10s of billions that they have sitting offshore in treasuries because they don't want to pay the taxes necessary to bring the money back.

We've build a system that has given them a perverse incentive to just sit on cash. Apple has a $100+ offshore but is borrowing money to fund their stock buybacks and dividends.
+1
What's even more insane is the argument that to allow a lower repatriation tax is "helping big businesses" (somehow considered a bad thing) so nothing is done, and in doing nothing they're "helping big businesses"!

As long as it remains legal, I'm all for putting money offshore. Management is just doing the responsible thing for their shareholders. (Oh, I forgot, shareholders are the soon-to-be new boogeymen)
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:48 PM   #54
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Ah, yes, the all powerful prescription to "cut regulations." As obviously agreeable to all who hear it as it is vague. Quite like "cut waste, fraud and abuse" in this way.

But when pressed, few can name any specific examples of regulation reforms that clearly generate more in savings than they cost. That's why every new administration promises to reform regulations and "make government smarter." And after every administration the regulatory apparatus is largely unchanged.

There's just not as much meat there as people hope / pretend. And focusing on these things that nobody seems to be able to do distracts attention and effort from the things we can.
I think folks are talking about OVER regulation.

Sarbox is a good example of being little more than a big job creator for the accounting departments. In our company, the only thing it changed was the need to hire about 15 new accounting staff to keep track of the compliance regulations.

Ok, it created jobs, but WE didn't pay for it, our higher prices to the public did.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:38 PM   #55
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I don't think sarbox is universally considered "over-regulation". Certainly the view that it was nothing more than job creation for the accounting firms may have been widely held, especially by those who had to pay for it, but I don't think that was born out in retrospective studies.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:48 PM   #56
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So the standard was . . .

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Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
When pressed, few can name any specific examples of regulation reforms that clearly generate more in savings than they cost.
And we have a contender . . .

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Sarbox is a good example of being little more than a big job creator for the accounting departments.

Let's go to the video tape . . .

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A significant body of academic research and opinion exists regarding the costs and benefits of SOX, with significant differences in conclusions.
Sorry, repealing Sarbox fails the "clearly generates more savings than costs" standard.

----------

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In our company, the only thing it changed was the need to hire about 15 new accounting staff to keep track of the compliance regulations.
Among the quantifiable benefits found is "that borrowing costs are much lower for companies that improved their internal control, by between 50 and 150 basis points."
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:56 PM   #57
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Among the quantifiable benefits found is "that borrowing costs are much lower for companies that improved their internal control, by between 50 and 150 basis points."
Well, in the case of my company it did nothing for us but increase cost.

We were a small company (Public, $400MM) but with $80M in cash and no debt, never borrowed.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:02 PM   #58
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Ah, yes, the all powerful prescription to "cut regulations." As obviously agreeable to all who hear it as it is vague. Quite like "cut waste, fraud and abuse" in this way.

But when pressed, few can name any specific examples of regulation reforms that clearly generate more in savings than they cost.
Like shooting fish in a barrel. For starters:
1) Eliminate the ethanol mandate
2) Eliminate sugar price supports
3) Reform the Davis-Beacon act ("prevailing wage legislation")
4) Reform licensing: A huge amount of the existing licensing and certification requirements serve as nothing more than guild protection rackets. Example: In my state it takes 1500 hours of classroom instruction and (mostly) "supervised practice" to be a beautician or cosmetologist. It's about 1000 hours to get a barber's license. Now, I'd be fine with mandatory health and safety training (hygiene, proper use and disposal of dangerous chemicals, etc), but nobody ever died from a bad haircut. I don't need the State's protection from a bad haircut (not that the present rules eliminate them). Why is the government involved in this? 1500 hours for these and similar trades is ridiculous, and serves only as an artificial bar to entry for new people wanting to get into the trades, and a way for schools to charge students a lot (and these schools assure the right candidates get paid off). For comparison, it takes a minimum of just 45 hours for a person to get a private pilot's license. Is there really 33 times more material to learn in order to color and cut hair than to fly an airplane? Are the public consequences of ineptitude 33 times as great for the beautician as for a pilot?

Anybody that sets out to defend existing government regulations as lean and unwasteful will be assured of a lifetime hobby.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:06 PM   #59
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Engine of growth will come from innovation or discovery of new energy sources. To do that for our future generations,
1) send ur kids to college and make sure they finish it with good grades;
2) send them to engineering school instead of law school;
3) don't blame others for your incompetence in failing to compete in anything in life.
From an economist


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Old 02-16-2016, 03:18 PM   #60
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Anybody that sets out to defend existing government regulations as lean and unwasteful
Nobody's doing that

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Engine of growth will come from innovation or discovery of new energy sources. To do that for our future generations, '

1) send ur kids to college and make sure they finish it with good grades;
Money? Where's it come from?

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2) send them to engineering school instead of law school;
yeah so we do have enough lawyers but there's other sht that needs to be done. Teh engineer's lobby won't permit anyway

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3) don't blame others for your incompetence in failing to compete in anything in life. From an economist
Yes. Some people actually think mf'in' government regulations keep them from being competitive. Why would "failing" to compete be caused solely by incompetence?

Send that fake economist back to school. No wonder people see economists as useless
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