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The more things change...
Old 05-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
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The more things change...

Interesting political cartoon from 1934...
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Yep - hindsight says if they had only used a bigger wagon - we could have avoided the 1937 downturn.

Let's hope this time they do not shut off the spigot too soon.

Now how about humming a few bars of Beer and Wine are here again - Happy Days are near again.



heh heh heh -
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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I'd prefer the US government respond the same way it responded to the Great Depression of 1946, the largest ever one-year drop in US output.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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I'm about 1/2 way through The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of those who survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. Fascinating read and the hardships encountered are difficult to grasp. Some discussion on Hoover's approach versus Roosevelt's approach within the book.

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Old 05-06-2009, 04:25 PM   #5
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I'd prefer the US government respond the same way it responded to the Great Depression of 1946, the largest ever one-year drop in US output.
Once the Bush Admin started us down this road I figured we may as well go all in. So I have supported the Obama Admins continuation of the spend our way out approach. But at the outset last year, I kind of hoped the government would let the banks go belly up and avoid federal spending. We will never know what would have happened. A somewhat deeper recession/depression would have been a reasonable price to pay to avoid the massive deficits our kids will live with. But since we went all in I guess we can only hope the economic gurus were correct that the alternative would have been a truly apocalyptic collapse.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:36 PM   #6
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Once the Bush Admin started us down this road I figured we may as well go all in. So I have supported the Obama Admins continuation of the spend our way out approach. But at the outset last year, I kind of hoped the government would let the banks go belly up and avoid federal spending. We will never know what would have happened. A somewhat deeper recession/depression would have been a reasonable price to pay to avoid the massive deficits our kids will live with. But since we went all in I guess we can only hope the economic gurus were correct that the alternative would have been a truly apocalyptic collapse.
Actually Im all for passing it on down the line.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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To be honest... the more I look into this one, the more it seems to be a "smoke and mirrors" type of play. Unfortunately, popular culture today in the US is completely adverse to any pain or discomfort that the reality of a situation might cause.

People continue to spend themselves into oblivion. The litany of "Low credit, no credit, no problem" commercials that I see, has never been higher. To be responsible is seen as archaic and as a parental type figure that wants to say "No" and ruin their fun as it were. You are free in this country to delude yourself about the reality of your situation, but you are not free from the consequenses that your actions will cause you. There are far too many children in adult bodies that roam the US today... and those numbers are growing.

Politicians are easy to figure out. They want to be popular, they need your votes to survive. So more or less they will cater to whatever their constituency seems to want. Far too many people still want to "party", and let the govt figure out how to make it all work out. This is impossible of course, but as long as the politicians are getting those votes, they are very unlikely to say "no" and loose the next election cycle.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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Politicians are easy to figure out. They want to be popular, they need your votes to survive. So more or less they will cater to whatever their constituency seems to want. Far too many people still want to "party", and let the govt figure out how to make it all work out. This is impossible of course, but as long as the politicians are getting those votes, they are very unlikely to say "no" and loose the next election cycle.
True and a hopeless situation. The media besotted, infantalized population of today could not possibly make good political choices. I quote from the wiki on George Santayana:

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Though families provide the basic unit of organization among men, it is necessary to develop beyond them. For this, he advocates a sort of natural aristocracy, for though the state is "a monster," he accepts its necessity in maintaining stability and safety for its constituents. This 'natural aristocracy' (a term never used by Santayana; taken instead from John Rawls) is built upon Santayana's dislike of equality--he argues, with Plato, that "the equality of unequals is inequality"--though he still champions equality of opportunity. Moreover, Santayana distrusts democracy, and sees it as "a vulgar, anonymous tyranny," much like Plato [did]. His society would be, roughly, a meritocracy in which the most competent and capable would govern, with all men and women possessing an open road to government: "The only equality subsisting would be equality of opportunity." In a phrase anticipating John Rawls, Santayana says: "but for the excellence of the typical single life no nation deserves to be remembered more than the sands of the sea;"
Ha
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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True and a hopeless situation. The media besotted, infantalized population of today could not possibly make good political choices. I quote from the wiki on George Santayana:
Ha
Well said. I have often wondered... if it were up to me, what are some of the things I might like to attempt to do to make the situation better. After all complaining gets you nothing, actions might.

I think you would need to change some things around to make it more advantageous for people TO become more responsible. And if the govt MUST get involved (which I am almost never a fan of) then let it be to reward responisible rather than irresponsible behavior. Perhaps even punishing irresponsible behavior.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head. I know I will probably catch some flack for some of them.

How about if you are on welfare for more than 2 years, you loose your right to vote? A powerfull incentave to get to work.

Maybe a tax credit for a first time business owner?

A tax credit if you return to college for a degree?

Removing the 20yr (not really sure how long it is) royalty for patents, and make them become lifetime of the patent holder? Open those floodgates of creativity.

A financial literacy test before you can purchase a home? So help me if I hear the term "predatory lender" again....

Just a few ideas floating around....
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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How about if you are on welfare for more than 2 years, you loose your right to vote? A powerfull incentave to get to work.

Maybe a tax credit for a first time business owner?

A tax credit if you return to college for a degree?

Removing the 20yr (not really sure how long it is) royalty for patents, and make them become lifetime of the patent holder? Open those floodgates of creativity.
As for welfare and voting, I'm not sure the voter turnout of welfare recipients is all that high, so I'm not sure that would be a strong incentive for many. I'd sooner find a way to tie public assistance to ongoing job seeking -- if that requires also providing placement assistance and some sponsored re-training, so be it.

As far as tax credits for starting a business, I think the main fear is lack of stable income and a need to get individual health insurance. In that sense, if we get some form of "universal health insurance," we'd see more people willing to take a chance on starting a business. (I also think we'd see many folks in their 50s and early 60s who are only working for health insurance start FIREing in large numbers.)

I don't think we need to provide more incentives for getting a college degrees -- we have more college degrees floating out there than ever, and I'm not sure we need more. We have plenty of reasonably well-qualified people with degrees AND unemployment checks. I would not be averse to finding ways for making it easier for academically qualified individuals on public assistance to receive some aid for college, though.

And finally as far as patents go, in some forms of intellectual property that would work, but if applied to prescription medications that would be a health care cost disaster as it would take a ridiculous amount of time for medications to go generic.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:14 PM   #11
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I think you would need to change some things around to make it more advantageous for people TO become more responsible. And if the govt MUST get involved (which I am almost never a fan of) then let it be to reward responisible rather than irresponsible behavior. Perhaps even punishing irresponsible behavior.
Govt has never been good at all at regulating irresponsible behavior, mostly because they practice too much of it themselves......

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How about if you are on welfare for more than 2 years, you loose your right to vote? A powerfull incentave to get to work.
What about the folks that can't work due to disability and/or family tragedy?

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Maybe a tax credit for a first time business owner?
Problem is, almost 90% of all small businesses fail in their first 5 years........

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A tax credit if you return to college for a degree?
A no-brainer.

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Removing the 20yr (not really sure how long it is) royalty for patents, and make them become lifetime of the patent holder? Open those floodgates of creativity.
No way. I like my $4 generics from WalMart, instead of paying $60 for the "namebrand" drug.........

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A financial literacy test before you can purchase a home? So help me if I hear the term "predatory lender" again....
As long as you extend that to cars and big box electronics retailers, ok!
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:28 PM   #12
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I think you would need to change some things around to make it more advantageous for people TO become more responsible. And if the govt MUST get involved (which I am almost never a fan of) then let it be to reward responisible rather than irresponsible behavior. Perhaps even punishing irresponsible behavior.
No! I know you are proposing this for all the right reasons, and you did say "If it MUST)--but the government can't and shouldn't be in the business of handing out rewards for what it deems good behavior. That's for the marketplace (not just the economic marketplace, but the "marketplace" of human interaction) to decide. For example, if you make bad choices (not to bathe, to behave like a beast, to not keep your word, etc) then you'll naturally be "rewarded" with a certain type of fellow travelers.

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How about if you are on welfare for more than 2 years, you loose your right to vote? A powerfull incentave to get to work.
I doubt it would be a powerful incentive to work. If all the privations that come with poverty aren't sufficient motivation, then this is likely to have very little impact. "I'm going to get a job so I can perform my duty as a citizen to help select our leaders and policies." Fortunately, those who make poor life decisions tend not to vote anyway.

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Maybe a tax credit for a first time business owner?
And a second-time business owner doesn't deserve a credit? This would also invite a bunch of abuse (what constitutes a "business"?)

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A tax credit if you return to college for a degree?
Thereby increasing the cost of college for everyone. Look at the history of what tax credits do to distort pricing--a Prius cost almost exactly the same out of pocket before and after the government incentives that came and went. Anyway, do we really need more people going to college if they are going to get degrees that aren't in demand? Do we really need more people in hock for 30 years paying off their student loans (or not paying them) so that they can have a poli sci degree?

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Removing the 20yr (not really sure how long it is) royalty for patents, and make them become lifetime of the patent holder? Open those floodgates of creativity.
Open the floodgates to murder for hire.

Nope--less government sticks and carrots please. When they try to pick winners and losers we all end up as losers. The marketplace (in the largest sense) is the best judge.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #13
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Very good comments. Actually shows the concept of the law of "unintended consequences" very well. Like I said I did not really think these through all the way... just things I was pondering. And whenever I am talking about "people" in my postings, I am ALWAYS only referring to people that are of able mind and body. I am certainly not for condemning those that cannot provide for themselves. But the last time that I checked, laziness is still not considered a medical illness. Although I am sure there are some will try to make that claim.
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