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Old 02-16-2016, 03:23 PM   #61
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Well, in the case of my company it did nothing for us but increase cost.
That's not surprising as sarbox was primarily designed "To protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws, and for other purposes."

Of course, nobody thinks their company is going to be involved with fraud so it seems like a waste of money.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:25 PM   #62
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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: . . .

Anybody that sets out to defend existing government regulations as lean and unwasteful will be assured of a lifetime hobby.
Fair enough. And my bad for not adding a disclaimer regarding things that are de minimis in nature.

Cost estimates for the ethanol mandate is something like $10B, sugar price supports another $2B or $3B, Davis-Beacon repeal saves less than $2B in an $18 trillion dollar economy. We're talking about initiatives that save about 5 basis points of annual GDP on the high end and quickly drop to around 0.01% of GDP as we move down the list.

That's not to say these things aren't worth doing. They're just not the big ticket items supporters claim. And certainly not a meaningful answer to the title question - which I assumed was the whole point.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:33 PM   #63
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... and middle class (the back bone of every great society) is shrinking. Is not it is something to worry about?
The middle class is only shrinking because people are moving up out of it to higher income. So it is not really something to worry about. Instead it is something to celebrate.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:00 PM   #64
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The middle class is only shrinking because people are moving up out of it to higher income. So it is not really something to worry about. Instead it is something to celebrate.
That's mostly true. According to Pew:

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The share of American adults living in middle-income households has fallen from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2015. The share living in the upper-income tier rose from 14% to 21% over the same period. Meanwhile, the share in the lower-income tier increased from 25% to 29%. Notably, the 7 percentage point increase in the share at the top is nearly double the 4 percentage point increase at the bottom.
Of course incomes in the middle have stagnated while they've soared at the top.

So the "envy factor" has gone through the roof.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:02 PM   #65
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The middle class is only shrinking because people are moving up out of it to higher income. So it is not really something to worry about. Instead it is something to celebrate.
I really like political satire
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:42 PM   #66
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Nothing needs to be done.
We still have a healthy economic growth, and unemployment is less than 5%.

The problem is the 'wall of fear' surrounding Wall St .. irrational fear pegged on low oil price. Once everyone is tired of that fear, the market will goes back up. The big boys & hedge funds programmed their stock trades pegged to the price of oil. When oil goes down, equities go down. This programmed trading is causing the problem and keeping markets out of wacked. China won't have much effect on us.

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I understand that most of us are not economists by training yet what do you think should be done to return to healthy economy grows?
I could be wrong but think that our problems come from big negative trade dis balance for many years. The largest is with China. Therefor the ideas of some unorthodox politicians who calls for fair trade rules, up to trade control might work and return at least some manufacturing back to US. Like if we sell to China $116 billions then same amount of imports from China is not taxed. Chinese $365.5 billions trade surplus should be heavily (equally spread between manufacturers)taxed so some manufacturers would be forced to move factories back to US soil. The alternative is to continue our Debt grows indefinitely what eventually will destroy the dollar.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:26 AM   #67
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I understand, that most of us have no idea what should be done for the economy to return to healthy grow.
That was in the past. Things have changed - probably the biggest being demographics as the boomers retire and fewer folks remain in the workforce.

Thinking that the 80s and 90s bull market and economic expansion was somehow "normal" and that it's possible to somehow adjust global conditions to get back to that, will just frustrate you.

Isn't this a glass half empty problem - discounting the progress made today because it pales in comparison to the rah-rah days of yesteryear?

U.S. is better off economically than most of the rest of the world right now. I don't understand all the griping.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:31 AM   #68
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That was in the past. Things have changed - probably the biggest being demographics as the boomers retire and fewer folks remain in the workforce.
My milllennial children have informed me that there are already more millennials than baby boomers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ne-millennial/

Given the ages of Millennials, many of them are just starting out in their first jobs. This means they do not have the incomes of folks who have worked for 10, 20, 30 years or more. It also means many of them start at the bottom: retail and food service. Or they are still in school.

So millennials have increased the rolls of the lower income tier, but so what?
I've done the same thing by losing my job.

See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ange-just-yet/
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The Census reports that there were more 22-year-old Americans in 2013 than any other single age — making it the first time a non-Baby Boomer age has been the most populous since the Baby Boom began.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:35 PM   #69
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Nothing needs to be done.
We still have a healthy economic growth, and unemployment is less than 5%. .

+1. And, as for all the concern above that America no longer manufactures anything, well, actually, we're second only to China, and wouldn't we all rather have our problems than China's? See:

https://www.mapi.net/blog/2015/09/ch...t-manufacturer


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Old 02-17-2016, 02:52 PM   #70
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Nothing needs to be done.
We still have a healthy economic growth, and unemployment is less than 5%.
+1 A little temporary deflation is A Good Thing as it helps weed out marginal endeavors.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:55 PM   #71
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I really like political satire
+1
Many economists are pointing out an opposite that despite some of middle class people moved up, the bigger part had moved down.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:17 PM   #72
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That was in the past. Things have changed - probably the biggest being demographics as the boomers retire and fewer folks remain in the workforce.
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My milllennial children have informed me that there are already more millennials than baby boomers.
I think the fact that reconciles both of these statements is that while the Millennials are slight larger in absolute terms than the Boomers (both generations are about 75MM people) they have a far smaller impact relative to today's much larger population.

In the past, the generation that was retiring was much smaller than the one just entering the workforce. Not so with the Boomers and Millennials.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #73
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During a past presidential election cycle debate, one of the moderators asked the candidates something like what were their examples of the difference between strategy and tactics. I don't remember their answers but in my opinion both just presented different examples of tactics.

They both missed one of the best examples of strategy in the postwar period which in my opinion is this:

When president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the previous Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, was presented with an existential military threat from the Soviet Union what did he do? He built the U.S. Freeway system. Not only did this allow for the rapid movement of military units and supplies during wartime, but it also immensely added to American productivity, helping to create an economy that later simply overwhelmed the Soviets.

While I think there are many good (and some bad) ideas floating around here and elsewhere they are really just immediate tactics and do not give us any strategy to deal with the inevitable future changes being caused by automation and globalization. We cannot ignore these changes if we want to continue to be a world leader, have a powerful economy, a sufficient military, and good life for our people. We have to have a strategy to deal with them, and to come out on top of these changes. We have to be the world leader.

Long term there is only one way for a nation to come out on top of the others with all the changes caused by automation and globalization. And that is to have the best educated and most creative population. In the long run, there is simply no other solution. Whatever tactics we choose to employ, long therm we have to end up with the worlds most educated and most innovative workforce.

If we don't do it, this century will belong to the ones that do. I hope and believe it can be us. But the strategy is to build the best schools at all levels, get the most people educated, and make it a priority that is as vital as defense. Because it is.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:57 PM   #74
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Long term there is only one way for a nation to come out on top of the others with all the changes caused by automation and globalization. And that is to have the best educated and most creative population. In the long run, there is simply no other solution.
. . . .

If we don't do it, this century will belong to the ones that do. I hope and believe it can be us. But the strategy is to build the best schools at all levels, get the most people educated, and make it a priority that is as vital as defense. Because it is.
I'd say education is necessary but not sufficient. The world has many countries with education systems that are really good (better than ours), but with economies that never quite match the clear talents of their workforces (India is a clear example that comes to mind). So, yes, we need a great education system that does significantly better than the one we have now, but we also need a vibrant, flexible economy that allows those talents to be put to productive use. There are many well-known means of doing this, primarily centered around re-orienting our economy (and our workforce, and our capital) to respond to "true" market forces (as opposed to centrally-directed priorities), and to reduce government incentives that run counter to that goal. We'll know that we're headed in the right direction when there's a vast increase in the demand for engineers and a reduction in the demand for lawyers. The necessary discussion of specifics here would bring out the pig, so I don't think we'll be having a meaty discussion like that.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:15 PM   #75
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I understand that most of us are not economists by training yet what do you think should be done to return to healthy economy grows?
I could be wrong but think that our problems come from big negative trade dis balance for many years. The largest is with China. Therefor the ideas of some unorthodox politicians who calls for fair trade rules, up to trade control might work and return at least some manufacturing back to US. Like if we sell to China $116 billions then same amount of imports from China is not taxed. Chinese $365.5 billions trade surplus should be heavily (equally spread between manufacturers)taxed so some manufacturers would be forced to move factories back to US soil. The alternative is to continue our Debt grows indefinitely what eventually will destroy the dollar.
The issue is 30 years of zero meaningful wage growth for American workers and a shrinking American middle-class.

The giganomics Millennial generation has no cash. No money there.

With these extremely low fuel prices consumer spending should be through the roof. But the average American has no cash to blow at Walmart. No growth there.

Do you really think that the losers who outsourced the crap out of America really care about bringing back manufacturing to the United States?

Lets just play along with "The responsibility to shareholders excuse".

So the "race to the bottom economy" continues and wage(wealth) inequality is just going to get worse.

Wages are the issue.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:40 PM   #76
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I'm surprised there was very little mention of "the next big thing". When the Internet got rolling, the US has budget surpluses.

What if there were a breakthrough in energy storage? Say we had something that had an energy density of 100 times our current batteries. It goes way beyond having enough juice in your phone or other electronic gizmos that they no longer even come with a charging cord (battery for the life of the product). Personal quadcopters anyone? The proverbial yet evasive "flying car"! So many things would change because so many things wouldn't make sense anymore. And even more things that we can't imagine would suddenly become possible. I'm not saying that an energy density breakthrough is what's most likely to happen, but I think something will come along...innovation is lumpy.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:40 PM   #77
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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.

Anybody that sets out to defend existing government regulations as lean and unwasteful will be assured of a lifetime hobby.
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Fair enough. And my bad for not adding a disclaimer regarding things that are de minimis in nature.

Cost estimates for the ethanol mandate is something like $10B, sugar price supports another $2B or $3B, Davis-Beacon repeal saves less than $2B in an $18 trillion dollar economy. We're talking about initiatives that save about 5 basis points of annual GDP on the high end and quickly drop to around 0.01% of GDP as we move down the list.

That's not to say these things aren't worth doing. They're just not the big ticket items supporters claim. And certainly not a meaningful answer to the title question - which I assumed was the whole point.
+1.

I've wasted my time trying to have a meaningful government deficit/debt discussion online (not allowed here - as it inevitably leads to partisan politics) too many times.

You hear one indignant citizen/candidate after another go on and on about cutting government waste but they offer no specifics. When pressed for specific programs to cut, 99% give relatively trivial examples. When you ask them about the 86% of spending from Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Defense, Interest on the debt, and VA benefits - few want to discuss any reductions there.

While I don't disagree with the 4 examples above, they're trivial even together. The deficit is too large to fix by addressing all the small programs that are only parts of the small slices below...

If you want to get indignant about government spending and deficits/debt, how about giving meaningful examples in the range of magnitude of the $ problem. Otherwise, a little humility might be in order...

Same with tax revenues. Look at the details before spouting off, 'tax the 1% more' - fine, but you might be surprised at how far short of closing the deficit that'll get you even if you tax them 100%. And 'tax corporations more' - though some find ways to defer taxes, most US corporations already pay higher net rates than in other countries. And if you do increase corporate taxes, you ultimately pay higher prices for goods & services, so you're effectively raising your own taxes. And reduce their ability to compete globally.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:51 PM   #78
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Before this thread closes, I'd just like to say, "please stay away from my pieces of the pie." Thank you for your support.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:54 PM   #79
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You hear one indignant citizen/candidate after another go on and on about cutting government waste but they offer no specifics. When pressed for specific programs to cut, they give relatively trivial examples. When you ask them about Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Defense, Interest on the debt, VA benefits - few want to discuss any reductions there.
I've got plenty of ideas, and they would all blow up this thread. A bit disingenuous (not of you, but in general) to call for suggestions, then say the suggestions aren't meaningful (though admitting they meet the original criteria in every respect) while the true beefy items are universally recognized to be outside the allowable scope of our discussions here.

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The deficit is too large to fix by addressing all the small programs that are only parts of the small slices below.
Anyway, I thought the overall stated task was to provide ideas to improve the US economy, with a later stated subtask to identify laws that have a higher cost than their benefit (realizing that both "cost" and "benefit" will be slippery to quantify). I guess we can discuss the deficit, too, but I didn't see we were headed in that direction.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:01 PM   #80
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I've got plenty of ideas, and they would all blow up this thread. A bit disingenuous (not of you, but in general) to call for suggestions, then say the suggestions aren't meaningful (though admitting they meet the original criteria in every respect) while the true beefy items are universally recognized to be outside the allowable scope of our discussions here.

Anyway, I thought the overall stated task was to provide ideas to improve the US economy, with a later stated subtask to identify laws that have a higher cost than their benefit (realizing that both "cost" and "benefit" will be slippery to quantify). I guess we can discuss the deficit, too, but I didn't see we were headed in that direction.
The OP and others brought debt/deficits into it within the first few posts.
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