More Good News. Even Liberals May See

Real GDP grew by 5.3% during the last quarter. This makes the U.S. the fastest growing industrial economy in the world, before most Europeans and Japanese, but after little Greece, which had a particularly good year.

Of course, the bad news is that we probably cannot sustain this torrid growth, so the naysayers will be able to say nay in a couple of months. So bad news lovers take heart. Eventually you will be right. Just not today (again). We taunt you (what is it?) a third or a forth time.

We can add this high growth to the low unemployment and fast productivity growth and make it harder to be depressed about things, although I expect liberals to find a way.

Posted by Jack at May 25, 2006 10:51 PM
Comments
Comment #151436

Jack, get your facts straight. China is growing at between 7 and 9%.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 25, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #151437

And Jack the naysayers continue to be right where you continue to be celebratory. Inflation means higher interest rates, higher interest rates mean higher service costs on our 8.5 Trillion Dollar national Debt which threatens future earnings taxes of every middle class worker in America for at least 2 generations to come.

Weigh 2 years of positive economic growth against decades of opportunity cost at the rate of 2 billion dollars per day in service interest costs on our debt. There just isn’t any comparison. It is like Iraq. Sure, each day there is a little progress, but each day our nation goes deeper into debt. We can’t afford this if you include our children and theirs in the definition of “we”. Something Republicans refuse to do except in paying lip service.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 25, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #151446

Not to worry; we are going to give it to the people who do jobs we won’t do. that will teach the mojados what for.

I plan on retiring where not one single mexican cherry picker lives. I plan on moving to mexico.

now in 2008 when chavez has his buddies running the country you can really sing blame it on mexico.

what a hoot. only in America but not for long as it will no longer be around to kick.

Posted by: lm at May 25, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #151449

OH Jack I’ll bet you are just jumpin’ for joy! Weeha things aren’t bad ‘right’ now.

Jack the real reason for this upsurge is that lending rates are low but all in all it puts companies in more debt. So yes there is an upsurge, sure, but it is one built on fiat. No not the French automobile (sigh). Oh nevermind. Jack you’re adorable, that’s a nice way of saying “naive”.

This puts companies in overwhelming debt and at the same time the inflation in cost/prices that was a result of the deficit (not only has led to outsourcing, which is another issue) but UNDERCUTS CONSUMERISM. See now there is all this money in the corporate hands via loans at these rates (great by the way) BUT they have to be able to turn a profit, if consumerism takes a nosedive (higher gas prices creating higher costs for goods/services, generating lower sales with equal dividends eventually dwindling as prices inflate more, all built on massive corporate debt that companies have to pay off, actually making those companies earnings less in the long run etcetera etcetera)—where was I? Oh yes, consumerism is the key and we are buying less and it is costing us more, creating outsourcing as labor is the first casualty of such market conditions, BUT what will happen is that corporations that are now in an upsurge due to lending still have to pay back that money. THE QUESTION IS, WILL THERE BE THE CONSUMER SPENDING TO MAKE THE MONEY FOR THEM TO PAY OFF THEIR DEBTS WITH aaaaand STILL STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME? Well how does someone secure that, lower quality in merchandise and/or services and higher prices on goods and/or services plus cut costs on labor—outsource or something comparable. Does all that erode consumer spending more? YES in some ways and it also costs us jobs here at home which undercuts money from a percentage of the population which in turn means less spending from that percentage.

BUT things are going well for now and fiat is the reason for the upsurge.

Actually david inflation is the result of lower interest rates.

Posted by: Hereford at May 25, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #151450

Here we go again with the wonderful economy nonsense. At least this time I knew where to look for an article casting doubt on your assertions, instead of muttering, “Where the hell did I see that article on the economy….”

You keep slinging how wonderful things are for the people that are already well-off, and I’ll keep finding the truth.

As the article states none of this GDP wonderfulness has been realized by the people who work for a living. And the low unemployment doesn’t take into account the people that settled for underemployment, or gave up and went back to school—on their credit cards. Or just gave up, and aren’t counted at all.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 26, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #151453

Must be all those welfare sucking illegal immigrants.

Posted by: gergle at May 26, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #151455

Also another thing to take into account is wartime government contracting. It costs us double right for the same amount of procurement (Government purchasing). And thus it is actually a loss of our dollars, when due to market cnditions in the midst of wartime, we as taxpayers have to pay near double for the same amount of goods or relative.

So inflation hurts at wartime massively so why not shore up the budget? Roll back some of those taxcuts that were given to the wealthy (I’m all for the ones given to companies) and let’s pay off what we owe so we aren’t paying double for goods when we are a nation at war.

But my original point was a basic Keynesian one, that what we may be seeing in analysis of the market can be accounted for in part to outgoing government contracting and manufacturing thereof. As a consideration of our wartime governmental budgets. Everything from Boeing to Nabisco to Turkey Hill Ice Cream is a government contract. Something to think about.

Posted by: Hereford at May 26, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #151458

Wow! Hearing the liberals has been an education. I never knew that good news was actually incredibly awful news until now. I will cry at every wedding (for I know that this is incredibly awful for this couple) and laugh at every funeral (for I now know that this can’t be all that bad for the deceased). Thanks, libs, for your insight!

Posted by: Don at May 26, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #151461

Consumers up to their eyeballs in debt, non-existant savings rates, a slowing housing market…its all good. A lot of “wealth” has been created in the residential market to which people decided they can leverage and spend on some junk they don’t need. Spend, spend, spend…government, the consumer, everybody is spending money that isn’t theirs. Wage growth has stagnated…but its ok…revised GDP is up.

These 2 links provide some differing perspective on the economy:
www.econstrat.org
www.epi.org

Outlook still rosy?

Posted by: greg at May 26, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #151468

Hereford:


And thus it is actually a loss of our dollars, when due to market conditions in the midst of wartime, we as taxpayers have to pay near double for the same amount of goods or relative.

Better get used to it—if the Neocons have their way, this war gonna last a looooong time. They and their good buddy war profiteers are making a killing.

Don:

“I never knew that good news was actually incredibly awful news until now.

As Mark Twain once said:

“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. “

You can get Jack to give you statistics that prove the economy is the greatest since the days of the Robber Barons at least until tommorrow morning—it’s just getting America’s working class to believe it means anything good for them that seems to be the rub.

Damn it, they’re still not buying it according to the polls. And it’s driving the Repubs mad with despair. Rove is just gonna hafta scare ‘em some more.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 26, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #151469

For some reason the link to the article I mentioned didn’t show up in my post. Here it is.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_todd_huf_060525_countering_the_prosp.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 26, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #151475

The problem with the current US economy is the huge reliance on credit spending. GDP may be growing, the stock market is doing fairly well (last week excluded), but the personal savings rate actually reached zero late last year. This means that Americans spent every dollar they earned. Now, obviously, some people are saving money, so the offset must be people who are spending more than they earn. Not to sound too doomsday-ish, but a day of reckoning is coming for those people. At some point the debt becomes unserviceable. Unlike the federal government, most Americans can’t simply decide to make more money, and the amount of bankruptcies and foreclosures will rise. In some parts of the country that has already begun, with foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006 surpassing the total for all of 2003. That is hugely alarming for a couple reasons: one, these people are essentially removed from the credit-necessary economy for about 5 years. Two, there will be a shift in the real estate market, which has played a huge role in funding the last 5 or 6 years. Home values will at least flatten out, and many markets will see a drop in values. When that happens, people will become trapped in homes they can no longer afford. More foreclosures. I’m not convinced yet that the next depression is upon us, but the makings of it are definitely there.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #151476

It may seem OK at the moment, but how easy will it be to recover from the next recession ?

The current GDP growth rate, low inflation, and low unemployment are not important if you are destroying the foundation upon which it all rests.

That’s the real problem, and there will be consequences. On our current path, future recessions will be worse and last longer, because we are:

  • swimming in debt ($54 trillion nationwide),

  • government is fiscally irresponsible, printing too much money, spending too much, borrowing too much,

  • Social Security is $12.8 trillion in the hole, the so-called surpluses in Social Security are government bonds,

  • our funny-money system is a ponzi-scheme, as is Social Security and Medicare,

  • our energy vulnerabilities are largely a result of government shortsightedness and incompetence,

  • trade deficits have never been worse,

  • the wealth owned by a mere 1% of the U.S. population, with 40% of all wealth, has never been larger since the Great Depression of 1929,

  • %National Debt to GDP is 68% and has never been worse since WWII,

  • and there are looming problems stemming from the predicted shortfalls in Social Security and all entitlements.

But, other than that, everything is “very good” ! : )
________________________

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.

  • Don’t Re-Elect Them !

Posted by: d.a.n at May 26, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #151477

Foreclosers, nationwide, have been rising for the past consective 14 months.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 26, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #151483

Another aspect of the US economy that doesn’t get enought scrutiny—the weakening dollar, and the possible flight from the dollar.


http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_835.shtml

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 26, 2006 2:16 AM
Comment #151485

Any bankruptcies that occur will clearly be caused by lazy leeches trying to escape debt. They aren’t really broke. They are just after a free ride like most liberals. They just want to avoid to pay their fair share but must instead be a burden to society. You see them everyday collecting their benefits… the lazy bums!!!

I say we should strip the budget for these useless liberal programs and let the market decide. A little hard work will teach these lepers how to be a man again.

Posted by: Aldous at May 26, 2006 3:07 AM
Comment #151505

Aldous:

You seem particularly bitter tonight. Is it the full moon already?

Posted by: goodkingned at May 26, 2006 6:04 AM
Comment #151506

“You know, if you let me write $200 billion worth of hot checks every year, I could give you the illusion of prosperity too.” — Lloyd Bentsen, God bless ‘im.

Except it’s $500 billion in bad checks every year now. Republicans never change, do they.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 26, 2006 6:06 AM
Comment #151507

“Wow! Hearing the liberals has been an education. I never knew that good news was actually incredibly awful news until now. I will cry at every wedding (for I know that this is incredibly awful for this couple) and laugh at every funeral (for I now know that this can’t be all that bad for the deceased). Thanks, libs, for your insight!”
- Posted by: Don at May 26, 2006 12:22 AM

They are a dour contrary bunch. Once you realize that nothing compares to the halcyon days of Clinton, you will not be surprised by the liberal reaction to what is conventionally regarded as positive economic indicators.

I am continually amazed that our economy struggles along with record growth and employment rates. Surely the bread lines will be forming soon.

Posted by: goodkingned at May 26, 2006 6:11 AM
Comment #151514

As for the “glass is half-empty” crowd; what must it be like to go through life like that? Here we live in the most prosperous, most free country in the history of the planet, yet all they see is doom and gloom. What a misrable existance. How again are the economies of Cuba, Venezuela or China doing?

Posted by: nikkolai at May 26, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #151517

I guess Hugo Chavez must be a really good president, comparatively speaking. I wonder if the Reps will draft him in 2008.

Posted by: gergle at May 26, 2006 7:30 AM
Comment #151523

If we went by growth measures alone on the quality of the economy, the pre-Enron economy would be unimpeachable.

High growth can come of any number of factors, not all of them good. You can be having a bubble in the market, companies could be posting record profits at the expense of keeping up employment, people could be spending a whole bunch of money they don’t have (here or in Washington), etc. Point isn’t that we’re necessarily in bad shape now.

The point my fellow liberals and I are trying to make is that one number isn’t everything.

We have some problems in this country that might be creating that number at the expense of a good economy in the future.

First, we have an enormous amount of debt, which means we’re buying much, including our government on tomorrows earnings, personal and tax revenue wise. That could dampen future growth, send us into recession, or make an already existing recession worse and longer in its term.

Second, we may very well have bubbles in a number of sectors. As 2000 and 2001 demonstrated, the price of disillusionment here is an almost overnight evaporation of invested wealth.

Third, we still haven’t got comprehensive, workable corporate reform going, which means we are not much less vulnerable to both the bubble-making tendencies of the 90s market, and the corporate chicanery that led us to think our business were doing better than they actually were. A market works best when people have accurate information to access. When they don’t, only the most expert investors can see the troubles coming.

What you folks want to claim is that deregulation and tax cuts improve the economy. Neither has been demonstrated true in the long term. At best they are of minimal help, at worst they are disasters waiting to happen.

It is not the growth rate that matters, it’s what’s behind it. Liberals aren’t denying the growth rate to deny that we are doing better. They are denying it because we’re not sure that the improvement in the economy has been solidly founded.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 26, 2006 8:19 AM
Comment #151525

David:
This AP report seems to conflict with your alarm over interest rates:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196953,00.html
Apparently, the folks who make their money by making money for other people are encouraged by the GDP report.
Additionally, with the fed rate currently at 5%, it’s still less than it was during most of Clinton’s wonder years. It was between 5 and 6.5% for most of the time from late 1994 thru the end of 2000 - it dipped to 4.75% briefly in late 1998, but jumped to 6.5% about 14 months later.

Tim:
The first, your article you posted is on “opednews.com”…sorry, “OpEd” is not news..it’s opinion.
I was also amused by the link about “pre-positioned explosives” and the 9/11 attacks. I know it’s an advertisement, but come on!! The whole website is aimed at promoting conspiracy theories. The site quite clearly indicates that it’s a clearinghouse for propaganda, unsubstantiated rumor and distortion.
It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone could go to that site, sift thru it’s offerings and conclude that ANY of it is remotely credible.
Sorry, dude!!

Hereford:
As far as tax cuts for the “rich”…The “rich” folks are the ones who invest their wealth in businesses. The more money they have to invest, the more opportunities I have to prosper. Who are you to decide how much is “enough” for them to possess? How would you react to someone telling you “No, we will not allow you to make more than $xxx”?? What incentive do those people have to invest if the IRS takes all of the returns from that investment? NONE!! As it stands now, the “richest” 15% pay over 80% of all income tax revenues? The “poorest” 50% pay nothing at all - in fact, if they have children, many get refunds that exceed the amount of federal witholdiing for the year!

I know I do…and I think it’s wrong. I typically have about $2000 witheld by the end of the year. I have 4 kids. My tax “refund” for the last 3 years has been $3500-4000 each year. That disgusts me. I believe that the child tax credits should not exceed my “tax owed” based on my AGI. Anything more is a handout. My only consolation is that I paid dues before I had kids, and will continue to do so when I can no longer claim them as dependents.

Posted by: Rich at May 26, 2006 8:24 AM
Comment #151531

Jack,

I am not going to argue with you about whether the economy is good. It is such a complex animal that you could make an argument for optimism or pessimism at any moment. It partly depends on who you are. A weak dollar, for example, always makes some people happy and others unhappy.

What really strikes me about this is that it is the year 2000 all over again, only the tables have turned. The GOP had to grapple with the fact that the economy was going like gangbusters. So they either downplayed how good it was or argued, in effect, that it was negated by a Clinton-inspired national moral breakdown. This argument was pretty successful, so maybe it is karma coming back to bite them.

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 26, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #151538

I know good news depresses liberals. They are all like Woody Alan, pretending to be sad about the plight of others while making piles of money themselves. The ostensible sadness makes them fell less guilty.

David

China is still a developing country starting from a very low base. And you know it takes nearly a billion and a half Chinese to produce about half as much as fewer than 300 million Americans.

Hereford

Things are not only NOT bad. They are good. This is not the best economy in our history, but it is one of the best and it has been growing very well since 2003. In economics, like everything else, nothing lasts forever. You will eventually be right about the bad times, but not today. (and BTW during those bad times those who predict better ones will also be right).

Gergle

You inadvertently hit a good point. The strong economy is sucking in immigrants and the unemployment rate is STILL near historic lows.

Greg

Household net worth (Assets minus debt) is at an all time high. If you remember Accounting 101 you know that the total debt loan is only meaningful in relation to the total assets. I bet Bill Gates carries more debt on his monthly credit card bill than I have in my total mortgage and loans. Who is better off?

Aldous

Accounting 101 review for you too.

Woody

The economy turned down by MARCH of 2000. Things take time in the economy. We were dealing with a bubble in 1999-2000 and it was bursting.

As you know, I think presidents get too much credit or blame for the economy. I am not crediting Bush with all the good news. But I cannot accept that he should be BLAMED when times are basically very good.

This is one of the best economies in our lifetimes. If people are unhappy now, they better get used to misery since this is about as good as it gets.

And you know the old saying, “Many people have too much money, but nobody ever has enough.”

Posted by: jack at May 26, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #151539

Jack,

The constant shots on Liberals are getting a little tiresome, don’t you think? We have rehashed economic outlooks over and over on past blogs. It’s not about labels or even politics for me, heck I used to call myself republican. It’s about long term outlook. It took us over 200 years and 41 presidents to achieve the first trillion dollars of debt. It took this lunatic twit just five years to more than double it. Growth is great and I hope it continues. It alone might pull us out of this mess. But it’s the long term that counts. There is another reason for my own switch of party affiliations. The GOP sees only the shortest of short term solutions, ignores the big picture in all things, costs us dearly for it and takes credit at the drop of a hat. The same pattern has played out in practically every issue the republicans have done anything on for several years. We are watching it in Immigration, Tax relief, Health Care, Education you name it. The GOP solution multiplies the problems, but gives the GOP something to crow about as long they do it quickly and nobody looks too deeply. Symptoms come and go, but if we don’t cure the disease they come back stronger. The growth numbers are good, Jack. But they are not the whole picture. They are not good enough to overcome an economy that is being continually poisoned. Take your shot and call me negative. I can endure that kind of sophistry. But can we, as a nation, endure any more of this?

RGF

Posted by: RGF at May 26, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #151543

Jack,

You say the good economy of 1999-2000 was an illusion; skeptics now are saying that the apparently good economy of 2006 is an illusion. But even if the economy is legitimately good right now, who’s to say that the isn’t just an extension of the great late 90’s economy? Then that would mean that he pessimists of 2000 were wrong, right? The economy Clinton left behind was actually so great that it bounced back from a terrorist attack!

We can play this game all day and come up with different storylines to favor different sides.

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 26, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #151546

Jack

As always, the devils in the details. Economic numbers can be sliced and diced to show a strong economy or a weak one. From my reading of the economy (I am by no means an expert, just a citizen trying to understand it), Aggregate numbers look good, detail numbers do not.

Unemployemnt is down and holding, but it does not capture the number of people that stop looking for work and/or the types of jobs people get when they get off unemployemnt. They are accepting jobs at lower wages and less benefits. Plus people remain unemployed for longer periods if time.

Companies are cutting back on health care benefits because of the high costs.

We have more people in poverty and without health insurance than ever before

Personal bankruptcies are up

Our huge deficit and economic growth is being bankrolled by China and Arab rich countries (not a comforting thought)

Our addicition to oil threatens inflation and national security.

But the economy shows growth, inflation is in check and corporate profits are up. So it is not an equitable economic gowth. It comes at the expense of the working and middle class.

It is sort of like the glass is half full or half empty.

Posted by: Jerseyguy at May 26, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #151549

Woody

I didn’t say it was an illusion. It was a bubble. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens. It is fun while it lasts. I enjoyed it. I even bought a new car with some to the excess exuberance. You just cannot use that time as a benchmark for others. The 1999-2000 time WAS good. It just was not as good as it looked.

RGF

I try to keep my anti liberal crack to about 10% of the anti conservative cracks I see. If you notice, my folks are insulted a lot more and with a lot more gusto and vitriol. A while back there was a whole debate on the other side about whether I was evil or just stupid. It is fun to give some back.

Re economy – nobody understands how it works. For the amount of certainty we exhibit, I expect we must all be very rich. Those of us who are not should probably stay out of the prediction business. However, it is not a prediction to say that the economy is good now. It is not a prediction to say it has been good since 2003. It is simple history to point out that many of the same sort of people who predict collapse today were doing it during Ronald Reagan and before.

There is a whole literature on the subject. It evidently does not hurts the status of the authors never to be right, or to be in the position of someone who predicts rain every day and boasts of a 20% successful prediction rate. Such people do relatively better in Seattle than in Phoenix. Those who predict the demise of the U.S. have even a lower success rate the the Barstow rain man, but even that guys is right sometimes.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #151560

Many bought houses with an A.R.M. that they could BARELY afford to begin with and now they are crying because they are losing them …and it’s the republican governments fault…
People go to the stores… like wallie world… leave with a cart full of junk bought with a credit card… that they don’t need but think they have to have and find themselves in debt with no savings… and it’s the republican governments fault…
Our economy continues to grow because people continue to buy.
Big business continues to profit while consumers go deeper in debt.
Blame it on Bush.

Posted by: bug at May 26, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #151561

All is NOT rosy:

Federal Reserve facts on family income

Also, in 2004 1.1 million additional people in the U.S. joined the ranks of the “officially” poor.

12.7% of all Americans live below the federal poverty line…that line is so low that many others qualify if the poverty line were realistic.

The biggest jump in the poverty rate came among non-Hispanic whites.

46 million Americans have no health insurance…an increase of 4 million since Bush took office in 2001.

Plus, there’s this:

*The estimated number of people without health insurance has increased by 6 million since 2000, rising to 45.8 million, or more than one in seven people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

*The percentage of companies that offer health benefits - the primary source of insurance for people under 65 - fell to 60% last year from 69% in 2000, according to an annual survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which does health policy research.

*The number of people who get health insurance through their employer dropped by 3.7 million from 2000 to 2004 while the population increased by 11.6 million.

*The number of people insured through Medicaid and affiliated programs rose to 37.5 million, or 12.9% of the population.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online 2006-01-22

Posted by: Lynne at May 26, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #151565


The American economy is doing fantastically well. We have utopia within our grasp. What is left for us to do to achieve to capitalist utopia that our barrons of industry wanted for us? For many years we have dreamed of eliminating the obstacles that have kept our economy from flourishing. That time is now upon us and we must strike while the iron is still red hot.

There must be a great purging of the government and it’s programs which have prevented capitalism from flowering. Our workers have become lazy and fat off of the socialistic welfare programs and labor laws. These impediments to success can be totally eliminated if our resolve is strong. Another socialist impediment to a dynamic market economy is the anti-progressive tax code. Our tax code should consist of one requirement, everyone pays the same rate. I suggest 10% for all. The worker who makes 10,000 pays 1000 and the capitalist, who makes all things possible, who earns 10,000,000 pays 1,000,000.

The changes to the tax code and the elimination of hurtful government spending programs that redistribute wealth and promote lazy behavior will fill the government coffers with more than adequate sums and will even provide the funding for a needed national police force that can quell rioting and other anti-social behavior.

Posted by: jlw at May 26, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #151590

Great posts here — from the left, as well as from David Remer and d.a.n.
jlw — perfect pitch on the sarcasm there, and in the process, you nailed the Truth smack on the head.

No, Jack. Liberals don’t see the good news. Maybe that’s because we represent the working classes, unlike you and your wealthy comrades.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 26, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #151596

Liberals represent the working class only in their own minds.

Given your recent house sale, my guess is that your net worth exceeds mine. And the hard working guys I know from my forestry operations tend to share few “liberal” values. In fact, my two sons and I plan to spend the next couple of days moving rock to shore up our road and stream banks. We do a lot of it by hand, since the machines cannot get into the gullies. That will be harder physical work than 95% of the population will be doing (or may have ever done).

I think the working people represent the “working class”. That includes most of us and as many vote Republican as Dem. Actually, the Dems do seem to represent the non-working class on both ends: the welfare cases who don’t work at all, and the idle rich gulfstream liberals who don’t work at anything they don’t like. Both those groups can jump in the lake, as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #151597

It very simple don’t you see,
just give the gov.every penny,
we’ll all be broke,but the real joke,
is that they will have to then feed me

Posted by: jblym at May 26, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #151599

Hey y’all leave Jack alone. After all I’m doing OK so everything must be just hunky dory.
I’ve bought 2 new cars and a new tractor so far this year. I’ve started a new business. I’ve paid off my mortgage after 21 years. So I have that extra money to spend.
What else can anyone ask for? Everything is just peaches and creme.
If others haven’t done all this then there has to be something wrong with them. Don’t y’all think?
In the mean time back at the ranch. Our national debt is growing at the rate of $1 billion a day. It’s up to something like $8.5 trillion and growing. That’s the last figures I saw. And there old ones.
When and who is going to pay that off? I’ll give ya 3 guesses as to who. The when is anyone’s guess.
While unemployment in this area is low at 3.9%, I haven’t seen that many new jobs come around here. I know folks that haven’t had a pay raise in 4-6 years. But that hasn’t stopped the cost of living from going up. And it ain’t stopped our local politicians from raising taxes either.
The cost of doing business is also getting higher. Mostly because of the high fuel prices.
But the GDP is up. Everything is just rosy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 26, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #151620

Jack May 26, 2006 12:05 PM ,

What a load of empty rhetorical nonsense. Is that copied from Ann Cunters site?

As you even admitted, we (liberals) make up a significant portion of the populace. I’m liberal, yet I’m neither rich (i.e. I work for my money) and I’m not poor (I.e. I own my house, stocks, etc…). I’m in the “working” class. Why don’t you research education and net value vs party affiliation and political leanings. It’s not easy but you’ll be very surprised by the results. The boundries are still on $$$$$ but there is a major impact by education and religion. (guess which side gets the religous and which side gets the educated).

BTW: physical labor doesn’t make you “working class” Even your Bush likes to chop wood on his ranch.

Posted by: Dave at May 26, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #151637

Dave

Do you think that your article showing that elite professors favor Democrats by wide margins bolsters your argument? In fact, that is the constant lament of conservatives, that elite universities are the provinces of the left and they make it uncomfortable for conservatives to stay there.

CNN did a better breakdown of the voting. The no high school and the post graduate educated gave majorities to Kerry. Bush got the college and HS grads, but it is not much of a number. Bush got 56% of those making more than $50K; Kerry got 55% of those making less. That still leaves a lot of poorer folks voting for Bush and a lot of richer ones voting for Kerry. Among those making less than $15k (8% of the voters) only 36% voted for Bush. That is nothing to be proud of either way.

What does working class mean anyway? Both my parents were HS dropouts and did menial jobs all their lives. I did menial work for the first ten years of my working life. I still have to go to work every day & work about ten hours a day AND I do extra work on the land I own. People who work more than I do can be more working class. Those that work less can be less. Nobody represents the working class.

There is nothing wrong with having money. I am well off (not rich). I worked for my money my whole life. I invested wisely and put off things I wanted. I give around 10% of my money to what I consider good causes. I am proud that I made money. Back 20 years ago when I was investing, some of my friends were buying big cars and going on vacations. Now they have less and that is what they chose. Since I have some resources, I can do more good things than if I had not been so hard working, smart or lucky. There is no virtue just in staying poor. It probably indicates that you are either very unlucky or making bad choices. People making less than $15K a year are probably receiving a lot of public assistance. It is natural that they would vote for those who promise to give them more. They are voting their own self interest. That is their business, but it is nothing to brag about.

There is no shame in being rich and no virtue in being poor. It depends how you got each.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #151639

Jack, you crack me up.
Honestly, who do you think you’re fooling?
By the looks of the responses in this thread, not many of us.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 26, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #151644

Adrienne

I am not fooling anyone. I am what I am and I am proud of what I achieved. I expect you are too. All people who are doing what they think is right should be proud. Others have no right.

I don’t (and never have) believe in this working class crap. It implies others don’t work. Besides many of the “poor” are really not part of the working class at all, since they don’t work.

The whole concept of a working class is out dated. Not many people really work anymore in the things we used to call working class positions. And the amount of hours people work RISES with income. I work more hours than my sister who has what some people would call a working class job. And the other work I do is hard. Those rocks we will throw are the size of basketballs and some will weigh more than 100lbs. I doubt most people even COULD do such work these days.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #151654

Hereford, no you are wrong. Inflation is a result of rising price pressures. Interest on our national debt and the debt itself has an inflationary effect on interest rates which in our society, raises the cost of purchasing any and everything purchased on credit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #151659

Jack,

Think weighted averages (I’ll explain if needed) and look closer at the religion numbers.

Like I said:

78% of evangelicals (who make up 23% of the voting population) went for Bush. That is the only reason he won.
Also,
The more you make, the more you voted for Bush.
and
Those w/o degrees voted for Bush. Those with post graduate voted for Kerry.

Posted by: Dave at May 26, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #151661

David,

With inflation the present value of our debt decreases. This fundamentally reduces the debt load. (Of course it also screws over the paycheck-to-paycheck population, big time)

Posted by: Dave at May 26, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #151662

Jack is not fooling anyone. Consumer confidence continues its decline in the face of all this “great” economic news. No, the majority of Americans don’t look at last week’s paycheck and this weeks bills, and from that alone determine their lot. They look to their past purchasing power, their current purchasing power, and the cost of raising their children and the cost their children will have to bear in order to live. Consumers understand the economy cannot be depicted by one quarter’s stats, anymore than their families financial situation can be determined by how much they spent this week.

40 years ago a blue collar single wage earner could achieve the American dream. Today it takes two wage earners to achieve the same standard. Consumers aren’t dumb. They know where they are at, and they are increasingly anxious over what the national debt and service on that debt will do to their children’s paychecks, not to mention the downward pressure on wages and exporting of higher paying jobs overseas. Consumers can and do look at the bigger picture, which is why Jack’s view of the very narrow time frame and set of variables doesn’t fool anyone except those who want to be fooled.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #151664

Dave, so does the opportunity cost of rising service costs on the debt.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #151669

Dave, I should elaborate. The capital infrastructure investments America foregoes today due to the rising service on our national debt, will only cost Americans more in the future in real dollar terms. Foregoing needed infrastructure investments today does not delay the need for them, it only compounds the need for them by making the need more dire. Education, bridges and dams, alternative energy, and workforce retraining, securing borders, and fighting black market identity thefts are all growing infrastructure needs today which only become more dire with the passage of time, and inflation will increase their costs in time. These are the opportunity costs of rising service on our national debt. And they are huge and growing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #151680

Where would any of you rather be to try to “get ahead” for your family? Here in the USA? Europe? Latin America? Where is the greatest opportunity?

The poorest citizens here live “wealthier” i.e. cell phones, multi-TV’s, cars, etc. than most middle class people elsewhere.

Posted by: nikkolai at May 26, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #151685

Canada keeps looking more attractive.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #151690

Jack:

You really have it correct. A person’s income is determined in partial measures of skill, luck brains and effort. Some people are born unlucky—-meaning into bad circumstances—but history shows that people can and do rise above their circumstances. Typically it takes some kind of skill and effort.

Often people simply buy into the idea that they cannot escape poverty. It sometimes takes a long time, but it can be done.

A long time ago, I lived in an apartment across the street from a rather poor family. The father had a min wage job, the mother took in babysitting and they had 6 kids. Most of their household belongings came from a Rent-to-Own place. I once suggested they could do better if they just went without something (like a tv or stereo) for 4-6 months and then bought one at an estate sale. The quality would be superior, since by the time you actually own the rentacenter stuff, its no longer worth owning.

They either didn’t want to listen or didnt understand, and I didn’t press the issue for fear of being rude. The point is they kept themselves poor by making unwise choices with the money they had. They’d probably never be wealthy, but they could have been much better off.

Conversely, my in-laws once garbage picked furniture from the Philadelphia dump because they were too poor to buy new furniture. They still have some of the furniture, despite that they have a 7 figure net worth.

Jack, many people won’t understand you. Its an inability that some have. You’ve not bragged nor cried about your lot in life—-you’ve simply talked about how you got where you’ve gotten. But there are those who will hold your position against you now that you have it. They won’t care HOW you got your level of wealth—they’ll only care that you got it at all.

Don’t listen to them.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 26, 2006 3:24 PM
Comment #151694

Jack, today why do the true conservatives drop the ball on the debt.that was the battle cry of the Gingrich congress, a balanced budget, reduce the waste,( not eliminate ) and unnessicary costs of doing business. cut the pork. make a clean and responsive and efficent and compassionate government and term limits. I understand some things happened along the way, but i think the current administration needs a course of true conservatism. edmund Burke, Russell kirk, and many more ,what happened?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 26, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #151698

The belief that tax cuts for the wealthy encourages them to invest in business, thereby sparking growth is trickle-down Reagonmics at its worst. Furthermore, when you couple these enormously top-heavy tax cuts with huge increases in spending you set the table for disaster. What happens when the feds have no choice but to raise the capital gains tax back to previous levels? What happens when companies sales numbers are way down because the people who actually buy their products are on a shoe-string budget? The Bush tax cuts are vote pandering disguised as economic policy. The primary beneficiaries were those how earned more than $288,000/year. These people do not struggle to pay bills. They do not worry about college expense. They do not feel the pain when gas prices break $3/gallon. They do not ever choose between retirement savings and health insurance. If you want to spark economic recovery, give more disposable income to the people who will actually spend it: the middle class. The American economy is no longer investor driven. It is consumer driven. CPI is a more important gauge than GDP. Take a look at what that’s done since General El Busho took over.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #151703

True most Evangelicals voted Bush
True most Welfare recepiants voted Kerry
True most folk with Master level education or better voted for Kerry
True that many millionaires voted for Bush
True that many millionaires voted for Kerry
True that many with BA’s voted for Bush
True that many with BA’s voted for Kerry
False that this makes one side pro workers and one side not.

both side seem to be pro worker just one side thinks one thing is needed for the workers while the other side thinks something else is needed.

WARNING WARNING HUGE GENERALIZATIONS COMING YOUR WAY

Conservatives think that saving workers money by lowering their taxes is a better way of helping workers.

Liberals think starting programs that guarantees a minimum wage for the work they are doing.

Conservatives think that it is important for workers to have the freedom to advance according the their own work ethic. How hard you work is how far you go.

Liberals think that senority should have more weight on the subject.

These are just a few of the ways each side tends to lean towards. In their own way there seems to be some good in each.

I for one am a white collar worker. the working class at one time referred to the blue collar workers but now that is changing. Jack I have worked on farm work and moved rock off land that was old river bed. that is rough labor I have to say. I have also worked at the ship yards that is tough work as well. I am thankful i am white collar now :)

The economy always has good things happening and bad things at the same time. Those who say the economy is bad need to lighten up. I personally cant think of a conservative who is so exuberant about the economy that they do not see areas where there needs to be change. I see more liberals continuously saying that it is all bad. I think that is sad. Otherwise intelligent people seem to gloss right over facts.

Inflation is not rising much at all. I pay the same amount today for bread that I did 16 years ago when I got married same with milk and other grocery items. yes gas is up but that is not everything. I notice that rents are up but you can still pay what I was paying 15 years ago and get a good place to live. Housing prices are crazy but that is finally stopping and most likely will come back down a bit. It was a bit to much.

Oh here I am rambling on again i have said enough

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at May 26, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #151704

Rich:

“The first, your article you posted is on “opednews.com”…sorry, “OpEd” is not news..it’s opinion.”

Actually, I’ve tried facts over on this side of the blog, as have many others. They have a surprising lack of impact on the natives here. Besides, haven’t you heard? All facts are only opinions until you agree with them, then they become facts. You get your opinions from your sources, and I’ll get my facts from mine.

Sorry, dude!

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 26, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #151707

“Conservatives think that saving workers money by lowering their taxes is a better way of helping workers.”

If this is the case, why not make “workers” the recipients of the bulk of the tax cuts?

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #151710

Rodney

I agree about debt. I wrote a post about that. Revenue is at an all time high, but we need to cut spending. That said, debt matters as a % of assets and income. From that perspective it is not so bad.

Joe

Thanks. I would think of the Emerson quote about being misunderstood, but that would be vain.

Dave

Those with not HS and post grad went for Kerry. Those with HS and College went for Bush. We don’t need to weight anything, since we are comparing within groups.

Yes, generally the vote for Bush increased as incomes increased. Is that a problem? He still got more votes than Kerry and a majority of the votes cast. I also don’t have a problem with religion. They are also Americans who have a right to vote and did.

I am glad a majority of the voters voted for Bush. While I don’t care very much whether it was the richer of the poorer half who voted the most for him.

I am not sure exactly what point you are trying to make. It is better not to be poor, IMO. Do you disagree.

David

I understand your point, but the world has changed. Our household make up is different. Maybe not better or worse, but different. Back in 1970 women did not work full time outside the home as often. One reason was there was more work IN the home. Children were more common and there were fewer labor saving devices. If you don’t have kids today, there is not that much housework to do. Total work, including housework and paid word has declined. Life is all right for most people. Of course always and everywhere most people complain.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #151712

Randall-

Are you sure about some of those stats? According to the USDA, the average cost of a gallon of milk is up about 37% since 1991, which is as far back as I could find data for here. Give me a few and I’ll find some data on rent for ya.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #151715

David S:

Out of those who actually pay taxes the ones who are in the lower bracket received a bigger cut percentage wise then the ones who are in the top bracket. It is true dollar wise that those who make more saved more and that will always be because when you pay 90K in taxes and save 8% which is 7200 and when you pay 2000 in taxes but save 30% in taxes which is 600 the dollars favor those who make more but the percentage of savings favor those who pay less.

I am half way between those two now. Just a few short years ago I made only 12k and had a family of 4 (now I have a family of 5). I call that poverty. I paid 600 month in rent and lived on the rest. I did not go after government handouts I did get some small food assistance from the church twice a month. That is all. I share my experience to say that I have been on both sides of the spectrum here and yes the tax savings helps me now. It did not help me then because I did not make enough to actually pay any taxes.

You can make your opinion from either way of calculation.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at May 26, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #151717

Rent article here.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #151718

David S
on the stats those are simply from my experience. In 1990 when I got married I paid 500 month rent for a one bedroom apartment. In 2002 I paid 503 month for a two bedroom apartment about the same quality in a comparable neighborhood. Though my first apartment was in Seattle and the other one was in Portland OR. I realize that bread has a huge range but we always used the bread that was cheap like .69 cents and you can still get it that way. the main local dairy seems to have the same prices I have seen for years around here.

If the stats nation wide are different they may be I have not personally checked. You may be correct on that.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at May 26, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #151722

The point I was trying to make is that people who make $288k a year do not need tax cuts. It will not change their position in the economy. A family of 4 earning only $12k a year is an extreme example. What about a family of four earning $70k a year? Why not let the people who make a quarter-million dollars a year keep paying what they were and let the middle class family, who will actually inject the money saved back into the economy, reap all the benefits?

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #151729

David S

The main problem there is the way our current tax system is set up. those who make 288K a year are usually those who own business and the money they make is reinvested which creates jobs. Most people who make 40k a year or more pay no taxes or very very minimal and get money back, more then they paid in, if they have kids.

At 70k they are paying taxes but he tax breaks helped them a lot as well by lowering the tax bracket they were able to help everyone who pays taxes to save money. Now the statistics most use about the taxes counts the folks who do not pay anything and that makes it a dishonest number. Those who do not pay taxes should not be a part of this discussion because they have no real stake in it. It is not their money though most who do not pay any taxes at all get the benefits of those who do. They have the government supplementing there lack of income. The government uses the money from those who actually pay taxes.

What I say here is really simple if someone makes money they should not have to give half of it away to any government. I do not care how much they make. there should be a cap. I say go flat tax and have no deductions. then everyone pays a fair percentage of there income and that is all. The government would actually end up with more money and more people would be contributing to the pot.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at May 26, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #151755

Randall-

There a few holes in your theory. First, people who are self-employed have so many more opportunities for write-offs that they rarely pay taxes on their actual income. Any decent CPA can reduce your taxable income by a nice chunk. Additionally, any money they reinvest in their company is basically money they are putting back in their pocket, because if they run a decent company they are getting a return on their investment, while at the same time increasing the value of that business.

Second, it is the middle class that carries most of the burden for the lower class. An excellent example is the stagnant growth in wages in this country while CEO pay has skyrocketed. Guess we found out where all that additional investment capital went.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of welfare. It creates a class of dependants forced to live below the poverty line, with little hope of ever becoming self-sufficient. Thats a generalization, obviously, but largely true.

The root of the problem is that there is no incentive for companies to employ more people or to pay those people better. Perhaps companies should receive a tax credit for every job they create in a year, and pay a penalty for every layoff. That credit should be weighted based on the earnings level of the position created/eliminated. It makes it easier for companies to pay new hires more money, makes it a little more difficult to slash thousands of jobs at a time, but moreover it provides an incentive to expand. I haven’t put much deep thought into this, really just thought of it now, but it seems to make sense. It would also help offset some of the outsourcing to foreign countries.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #151759

David R Remer. Get your facts straight. China is not considered an industrial nation. That list as per UNICEF’s website

http://www.unicef.org/progressforchildren/2004v1/industrialized.php

includes the following

Those are
Japan
United States
Iceland
Canada
Switzerland
Finland
United Kingdom
Belgium
Estonia
France
Ireland
Spain
Netherlands
Australia
Italy
San Marino
Slovakia
Hungary
Austria
Germany
Luxembourg
Slovenia
New Zealand
Israel
Sweden
Poland
Greece
Czech Republic
Norway
Denmark
Portugal
Malta
Monaco
Liechtenstein
Holy See
Andorra

Posted by: Adam Condo at May 26, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #151760

I have to say your statements about small business owners are not accurate. If we take out the small businesses that dont make it then the rest pay taxes and pay a lot of taxes. I will give you an example. My family has a small business last year it made some very good money. We ended up paying over 97k in taxes. That money hurt us because though we made lots of profit most of the profit went actually back into the company so now we have this huge bill. this has taken away capital we were going to use to expand our business. This has set us back around two years in our expansion. we would have added about 10 new jobs in the first year and then probably about 2 more each year there after for about 5 years.

I agree with the average wage not going up in fact in many areas for lower end jobs it has gone down. I would agree that a tax credit for each job created above what you had at the beginning of the year. I am not sure I would penalize for jobs being lost. That penalty could put small business out of business then many jobs would be lost.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at May 26, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #151782

Jack Ummm on the streambed THINGEE okay, She (Adrienne I tink it was) means working for money Jack. That’s just chores ‘n such we are talking about earning a living via labor. The representation of those at the lower end of the totem pole. It was such a silly thing you posted in response I had to say something.

RICH,

(sniff) there isn’t a day that goes by (noseblow) that I don’t think about all those poor poor multi-millionaires in their large sprawling homes having to pay actual taxes that befit their annual salaries and dividends. (boo hoo) and they have to make ends meet by hiring accountants who find them the loopholes and write offs by which they can get by paying next to nothing (waaaaaaaaaaaah). Ohhhhh and the humanity of the trust fund kids and the children of the bluebloods will they ever be represented in American politics????

Posted by: Hereford at May 26, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #151786

And Jack,

I didn’t say things were bad I said there are foreseeable shortcomings and then I went into the reasons and some of the byproducts. You read into it what you wanted I suspect.

You and your sons have fun shoring up the streambed, while doing it imagine having to do that for a living everyday and supporting a family on it.

Posted by: Hereford at May 26, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #151788

Randall-

Obviously a small business owner could expand faster if they paid lower taxes, but how many would, versus how many would just enjoy the higher profits?

The penalty would make it harder for small businesses, but with most businesses, large or small, when there is a slowdown and cuts need to be made, it is the workers that pay the price, rarely the owners/executives. I’m not sure what business your family is in, and I obviously haven’t seen your books, so I can’t really comment on your situation, but if you paid $97k in taxes I’m guessing you’re in pretty good shape financially.

Posted by: David S at May 26, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #151789

Adam, get your facts straight. I can’t avoid buying hardly anthing industrially made today that doesn’t have made in China on it. You want believe UNICEF? Go ahead. I will believe my own eyes everytime I buy anything made with steel in it.

China not an industrialized nation. I have heard a lot of preposterous statements at WB, but, this one takes the cake. My parents taught me about Santa Claus. I stayed up one night and watched my parents put the stuff under the tree. I highly recommend this technique whenever feasible if the truth about things matters at all.

I know Bush supporters who still think WMD will be found in Iraq. You may or may not believe as they do, but, your method to ascertain truth appears by your comments to be the same as theirs. If it is in print and it supports my antagonistic position against those I disfavor, then, it must be true. Ha!

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #151790

ADAM CONDO, (coffee spit-take-cough sputter)

UH (DUMBSTRUCK) THE “HOLY SEE” IS AN INDUSTRIAL NATION and China isn’t?!!! What do they industrially manufacture at the Vatican? Dogma pills?! guilt for masterbation powerbars?! Nun shoes?! Whaaaat do they manufacture???!!!!

Let it be known henceforth your post blew my mind.

Posted by: Hereford at May 26, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #151795

Jack, indeed, the world has changed. Our nation changed from agricultural to industrial, and families increased their quality of life. The world changed from isolated and independent city-states, to nation-states, to interdependent international ecomonmies, and save for population increases, quality of life increased.

It changed radically from 1929 to 1950 in the U.S. and families increased their quality of life. It changed again from 1950 to 1975 and families increased their quality of life. It changed again from industrial to tecnological from 1975 to 1999 and quality of life in America increased for American families.

The problem with all these facts, is, from 1975 to the present, fewer and fewer families benefitted from the increases in quality of life. Suddenly, from 2000 to 2006, only the wealthiest few percent are enjoying increases in quality of life as measured by savings and real dollar purchasing power per hour worked. And the American public is feeling the veracity of this fact.

That is why in November, voters will be voting as if the economy were not growing at 5.3% GDP. They will be voting as if the recession has never ended for them. In fact, for about 200 million, it hasn’t ended for them. Energy, health, transportation, education, dwelling, and government costs have increased faster than their compensation packages have. To them, that feels like recession, and the worn rhetoric about a rising tide lifting all boats is no longer believable.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #151807

Hereford

I work for a living. Few people do not. Your definition of the working class has little to do with actually working.

You don’t know it, but you are talking about something that no longer really exists, maybe never really did. The idea is that there are working and leisured classes. Today the poor tend to work less than the not poor. Almost everybody I know puts in more than 40 hours a week doing something to earn money.

If you are on the lower end of the totem pole, too bad. I was there once too. You might want to change whatever behaviors are keeping you poor. Maybe you choose not to. Ten years ago, I decided NOT to take a higher paying job that would have led to more financial success. I didn’t want to do the kind of work it required and I wanted to spend more time with my family. One of my colleagues took the job. He makes more money than I do today. He also has family troubles and his health is suffering from stress. Do I have a right to some of his money? If so, maybe he can claim some of my free time.

I learned a lesson years ago from two of my aunts. When I was a little kid one had bought a house and was saving money. The other rented. I remember the renter living well and calling the home owner stupid for not enjoying life. Twenty years later, after they both lost their husbands, the home owner was still financially secure. She used to get so mad when the other would tell her how LUCKY she was to have bought a home.

David

Voters can elect whomever they please. Legislatures have never been able to repeal the law of supply and demand.

So you really think most people are not better off today than in 1970? In 1970 air conditioning was a luxury. Now most people have it. In 1970 few people had VCRs. Cars were unreliable. The working class people Hereford thinks about didn’t travel far for vacations or sometimes didn’t go anywhere. American homes are 1/3 larger on average and they tend to have more than one bathroom. The list goes on.

What the common analysis does is overlooks all the advances and compares relative incomes in the abstract. In the abstract lots of things look different.

It is true that most people have lost the security of a steady lifetime job. (Of course, some of these jobs were hard and dangerous.) This is just something we can no longer have unless we want to tolerate low growth and high unemployment. Look to France if you want to see how this sort of policy works. If you think our future looks dim, see if you want to trade for theirs.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #151826

jack, i agree with some of your analogies of france, but i think france gives more credit and trust and resecpt. to there technological and engineering and sciences sector. they actually resecpt and trust there nuclear physicists.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 27, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #151827

David S
Do you own a small business?
I own 2 and am a partner in a third. So according to your theory I shouldn’t be paying any taxes at all.
I reckon i need to hire you top do my taxes for me, because my CPA has me writing check to the IRS every year. This year I had to send $3594.62 to them. This is on top of what is withheld from my salary every week. And I don’t claim any dependants during the year.
So get me in touch with your CPA. I need a break.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 27, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #151834

Rodney

The French do some things better than we do. Nuclear energy is one of them. Labor markets are not.

Posted by: Jack at May 27, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #151835

Ron, i need a 400- 500 amp, dual rectifer alternator any ideas? sorry off topic!.i done calcs on my electric hybrid.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 27, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #151904

Jack, the mistake in your reply above is to substitute technology for middle class quality of life. In the 1970’s folks had other methods of dealing with heat. Houses were not built air tight, swamp coolers prevailed in dryer climes, housing was built oriented to present the smallest walls toward the Sun (long orientation of the building on East-West axis.)

The Middle Class in 1945 owned radios. In 1985, it was TV’s. The middle class in 1945 was not living a lesser standard of quality of life because technology had not yet advanced to make TV’s affordable to the middle class.

That would be arguing that we have no middle class quality of life today because they don’t have the technology of the 23rd century yet. Your argument is illogical.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #151905

David,

I think that Jack has mistaken modern convieniances for “quality of life”.

If you can’t “live” without a TV, or a radio or a VCR, life is shallow indeed.

Posted by: Rocky at May 27, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #151932

Computers?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 27, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #151935

Those too.

Posted by: Rocky at May 27, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #151938

Rocky, you are the fastest Gun in the west!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 27, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #151941

Don’t tell my wife.

Posted by: Rocky at May 27, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #151957

Ron-

I can’t comment on your individual situation, but I have been self-employed and I’ve seen enough tax returns to know that the loopholes that exist in the tax code favor the wealthy and those with higher incomes. I’d love to know what your AGI was so i could put that $3600 into some sort of perspective, but keep in mind that that’s about 3 months earnings at minimum wage.

Posted by: David S at May 27, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #151978

“Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 10.5 percent
in the first quarter”

The federal govt share of GDP is growing at a record clip. That’s why GDP is as strong as it is. GDP growth doesn’t necc. mean anything in regards to how Americans are doing…or how much we’re saving.

Posted by: jd at May 27, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #152034

Rodney
Sorry Buddy, can’t help you. These things a relatively new and haven’t really made their way into the rebuild market as far as I know. I haven’t seen any. And I think that I’m going to have to buy new equipment to work on them. Something I’m going to have to checkout when I get a spare minute.
If a parts store doesn’t have one your only choice is to go to the dealer for the brand car you have.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 27, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #152039

David S
The businesses are incorporated. I’m an employee at the factory and get a salary from it. I don’t receive a salary form the other two businesses. Although I’ve been spending more time at them lately than the factory. But I do get dividend checks from the two I own. Taxes are withheld on my salary but not the dividend checks. I get these checks twice a year.
The one I’m in partnership with is new and opened this year. So far it hasn’t paid dividends. In fact it’s not really making a profit right now.
I also have other investments that the profits from aren’t taxed. The $3594.62 was less than most years.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 28, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #152276

Ron-

You still never mentioned how much you make. The $3600 is not a relevant measure unless we know how much you made. Was it $70k? $150k? $300k? And how many jobs have your companies “created” (not counting the three for yourself) since ‘01?

Posted by: David S at May 28, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #152410

David S
Sense 01 the I have hired 20 people to fill new positions at the factory and currently have 56 employees. The convenient store only needs 5 people to run smoothly and it hasn’t created new jobs. So far at the supply store (the new business) we’ve hired 10 and are looking for 4 more. By this time next year we are hoping to have between 25 and 30 working there.
I most likely won’t be hiring at the factory for a while. I’ve run out of room and need to either add on to the building or move to a larger one. I’ll most likely add on as I own the land and have room to expand.
I’m thinking of selling the store. And just might let a young couple from the church have it. They’re interested in something like that.
Staring 1 June of this year my son-in-law will take over operations at the factory so I’ll be losing the salary from there as I won’t be working there any more.
This will leave me only the supply store to handle. I won’t be drawing a salary from it until it starts showing a profit. Even at that it won’t be much. We don’t expect any real profits from it for 3 to 5 years.
I don’t disclose my income. It’s just one of those things with me. I reckon that considering my income $3600 ain’t all that much. But you were saying that folks that are self employed don’t pay taxes. And that just ain’t true.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 29, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #152412

BTW, I really need about 4 or 5 more at the factory. Just don’t have room for them. They’re almost falling all over each other now. Adding more wouldn’t be safe.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 29, 2006 12:02 PM
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