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Old 11-16-2009, 11:13 PM   #21
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It was more, for me, the term 'typical'. If basic spending habits haven't changed, is it really that bad?
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:34 AM   #22
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I disagree with this statement in so many ways I can hardly think of how to start. First, as ERD50 says, companies will go out of business if they spend significantly more than they make. And they can't just raise prices (taxes) and threaten their customers with jail if they don't pay up. There is a slight similarity with government in that a really bad private executive can destroy a company and then leave the job before it becomes apparent. But you don't usually get a series of them making things worse and worse without there being some form of consequence.
Well, if it that was simple, Arizona would have a balanced budget. While theoretically government could raise taxes, there are non market constraints that prohibit this from happening, namely the power of the vote. And while governments may not change much, administrations go out of business. The latest was that of NJ Governor Jim Corzine who was voted out for reasons that included not lowering taxes.

In Arizona, the legislature understands that if they raise taxes, they will be voted out so they don't have the freedom to raise taxes (prices) since they know the consequences of an angry electorate. It is probably easier to vote out a politician that an CEO since a politician doesn't get million of shares to vote the way that a CEO does. And politicians do not get $210 million golden parachutes the way that Robert Nardelli did from Home Depot (Of course, since rental cars aren't rented by voters, the tax rate is up to 20% now).

But as the politicians start cutting public benefits to reduce the expense side of the ledger, they start angering one sector after another. They cut education and teachers started complaining. They shut down interstate rest stops and truckers started complaining. It is not an easy situation and I do not envy them. Obviously, one way is to increase fees at state parks where people get a immediate benefit from their expense but unfortunately most government activities are not that easy to correlate.

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I'm not really defending private industry. And I'm not putting down government workers. However, most government policy makers (ie. elected officials) have little concept of fiscal responsibility or social reality, and make decisions based on short term personal gain without much regard to the long term needs of the people(company). Hmmm..I think I just accidently proved your point.
I don't think that this is something that can be proved or not. I think that the issue is whose social reality should the government reflect, which is a moving target. Most government projects are there because someone lobbied hard enough to get the bills passed. My big issue with the government is that our representatives of the people and, as we have discussed on the board, the American people enjoy short term pleasures and are not into saving. My biggest gripe is that said voters tend to vote for tax increases for things like the local ball park. I owe a share of BOB, now Chase Field. All I can say is that you can't worry about either the corporations or the government too much.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:08 PM   #23
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Just my 2 cents. Live in California. San Francisco Bay Area.

In our local paper. Thousands of students are being turned away from our Colleges. Reason, shortage of teachers and classes.

Reason we are short classes and teachers? California's budget is out of wack. California does not have the money to hire more teachers.

In private practice, ie. If T.V. manufactures had high demand for their products, what would they do? Of course, They would hire more people and make more T,V.'s Result, more profits. and more jobs.

The gov't works differently. Reason, Incompetent Management.

What's the answer? Wish I knew.
Not a good analogy to compare private enterprise to GOVT enterprise. CA has a HUGE budget deficit to deal with. CA would have to raise taxes a LOT to pay off their current problems, much less fund new ones.

In the end, the taxpayer does NOT have unlimited resources, despite what the govt would believe or have you think........
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:08 PM   #24
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Just my 2 cents. Live in California. San Francisco Bay Area.

In our local paper. Thousands of students are being turned away from our Colleges. Reason, shortage of teachers and classes.

Reason we are short classes and teachers? California's budget is out of wack. California does not have the money to hire more teachers.

In private practice, ie. If T.V. manufactures had high demand for their products, what would they do? Of course, They would hire more people and make more T,V.'s Result, more profits. and more jobs.

The gov't works differently. Reason, Incompetent Management.

What's the answer? Wish I knew.
You are forgetting something. The TV manufacturer expects to create positive cash flow with each new hire, because he will have positive cash flow from making the TVs. Not so with education. The California universtity and college systems lose money on every student, so they expect to lose more money with a new hire.

Long term we clearly have to do a better job of educating our workforce, but the system from kindergarten on up is hopelessly corrupt and inefficient. So, many voters are to the point of saying "To hell with it!"

Do I like my tax money being spent on medieval history or women's studies departments?

Guess.

Ha
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:14 PM   #25
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Do I like my tax money being spent on medieval history or women's studies departments?
I've been studying women for ~40 years. I keep flunking the tests and having to repeat the course.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:35 PM   #26
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I've been studying women for ~40 years. I keep flunking the tests and having to repeat the course.
I could give you the Cliff's Notes, but I would get into trouble.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #27
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I could give you the Cliff's Notes, but I would get into trouble.

Ha
I tossed in the towel years ago - I just let the ones catch me that do a good job of fooling me into chasing them.

I think it stems from passive investing in index funds - sort of a lefthanded Bogle in in romance - hurry up just stand there.

heh heh heh - that way you don't have to do any deep thinking or engage in study. .


Amazingly - it seems to help in recessions also!
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #28
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Interestingly enough, the university system decided to raise fees 32 percent. More here.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:38 PM   #29
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Interestingly enough, the university system decided to raise fees 32 percent. More here.
I was following this last night. California also cut wages for elected officials by 18%. Overall the Golden State has 15% unemployment. I am taking a box of food to a food drive tonight for the farmers where the water is shut off to protect the Delta Smelt minnows. There they have over 40% unemployment. Cali now has the highest suicide rate in the nation. The Golden State in not so Golden now.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:11 PM   #30
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I, of course, could be wrong, but I am of the view that the accumulated damage to the balance sheets of America (both public and private) run the risk of causing long term problems that will manifest themselves in subpar growth and a declination in living standards (principly driven by decreasing value of the dollar and the concommitant rise in energy costs).

Things are not pretty in the economy. Any positive results of late have been driven solely by massive government intervention (think ZIRP and TARP and other alphabet creations of the FED). None of this is creating sustainable growth, just lots of debt that will have to be serviced: hence decrease in standard of living.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:23 PM   #31
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B-I-N-G-O Lars

As I see it you are spot on. No matter how much they take from us we can not raise the standard of living of the whole world. Since they can not attain our level the stated goal is to reduce ours. I just hope we do not have to try and live with 3rd world standards and dictatorships for the next century. As the old country song says, "Sometimes you don't know what you've got till it's gone".
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:39 PM   #32
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What Lars said.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:43 AM   #33
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So, how do we protect ourselves if what Lars said comes to pass. Save more? Wouldn't we just get taxed out the wazoo?
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:20 AM   #34
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Just don't stop working.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:20 PM   #35
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Just don't stop working.
Blasphemy!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #36
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Complain to your Representatives that you are tired have them wasting money (not that it will do any good, but you never know).
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:16 PM   #37
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Complain to your Representatives that you are tired have them wasting money (not that it will do any good, but you never know).
Passing the buck doesn't cut it. Like POGO - looking in the mirror we have met the enemy and we is them.



My late Father left Brooklyn in the 1930's outa high school and snagged a job teaching English to Finnish ship building executives. A good friend 's daughter has taken her Phd out of Louisiana to China and makes the big bucks teaching English (Cajun accent costs extra ).

Of Course if you are stuck here - maybe pssst Wellesley with an added dash of perhaps some Vanguard Total World Stock Index fund in case someone is doing ok somewhere - you know what Jimmy Buffett says about 5 o clock.

heh heh heh - agile, mobile, and hostile - keep yer passport up to date and don't be on the last train leaving Berlin.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #38
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You got it, Unk.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:02 AM   #39
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Realize that technically, the end of a recession is when the economy stops contracting and starts growing. So it can still be lousy even after the end of a recession. For example, if the economy is at level 100 and shrinks to level 90, then as soon as it begins to grow again (say, to 92), the recession is over. But you are still at level 92 and you used to be at 100.

"Recession is over" does not mean the economy is back to where it once was.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:08 PM   #40
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The AAII Investor Sentiment Survey measures the percentage of individual investors who are bullish, bearish, and neutral on the stock market for the next six months; individuals are polled from the ranks of the AAII membership on a weekly basis. Only one vote per member is accepted in each weekly voting period.


Sentiment Survey


Bullish 31.7%
AAII’s members were asked to
finish this sentence:

I feel that the direction of the stock market over the next 6 months will be:
Bearish, Neutral, or Bullish.

Neutral 16.7%

Bearish 51.7%



Long-Term Average:
Bullish: 39%
Neutral: 31%
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