June 26 Sources: U.S. Wins A World Cup

Nothing is meaningful except compared to other things. “In ‘economic World Cup’ America has big lead” compares the U.S. economy to similar advanced economies in Europe. For example, if you compare the French economy to American states, it would lead only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi in per capita GDP. Of course, food is better in France and the French do well in many things (nuclear power, for example), but when you hear about how bad we have it here, be skeptical. We Americans are a little spoiled. Other sources are below.

Charitable Chicanery
Coming to Terms With the Forces of Anti-Globalization
Congress Is Important, Americans Say, but Just 29 Percent Approve
Countering North Korea's Missiles: The Missile Defense System the U.S.
Should Have

Eastern Europe and the Transatlantic Link
Ideas, Policy, and Politics: The Role of Independent Research in Partisan
Times

In 'economic World Cup,' America has big lead on Europe
Iraq Index
Iraq Views Improve, Small Bounce for Bush
NATO's Growing Role in the Greater Middle East
Outsourcing of Indian Education
States Probe Limits of Abortion Policy
The Great Divide: Westerners and Muslim Views of Each Other
The State of Space: Strategic Reconnaissance to Tactical Warfighting to
Possible Weaponization

The U.S. Military's Manpower Crisis
The U.S./EU Summit: Tensions in the Transatlantic Relationship
Transforming Aid in the 21st Century
Review of European Security Issues

Posted by Jack at June 26, 2006 8:15 AM
Comments
Comment #161825

Why are you guys so obsessed with France? There seems to be this assumption that disgruntled liberals should go live in France. But why France?

There are, in fact, several countries in Europe with a higher per capita GDP than the US (2005), according to the IMF: Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, and Denmark.

I guess if I don’t “love America”, I should try living in Norway.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 26, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #161827

—— “We Americans are a little spoiled.”

I have to disagree. We Americans are EXTREMELY spoiled.

Posted by: nick at June 26, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #161828

Jack,

If you compare the French economy to American states, it would lead only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi in per capita GDP. Of course, food is better in France and the French do well in many things (nuclear power, for example)

French tends to just do what it take to have a good balance between economic and quality of life.
That means between money and free time, a french will often take first in smaller amount to be able to buy a little more of the second. That’s a choice we like to have, indeed.
Call it Socialist Luxe. Call it “Money Won’t Buy You Happiness” attitude. Both are true.

It shows in Per Capita GDP, sure.

Woody,

Why are you guys so obsessed with France? There seems to be this assumption that disgruntled liberals should go live in France. But why France?

Dunno myself but, at least, such “obsession” is flatoring.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 26, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #161833

Woody:

The economic article Jack cited talked about “old Europe”, and specifically mentioned France, Italy and Germany. All three have economies that are doing worse than that of the United States.

The article also discussed a “freedom index” of sorts. I don’t have the details on how they did it, but they rank the US 9th, while France, Italy and Germany are well behind.

I think Jack’s point is that Americans need to temper their expectations. Someone who has been living on caviar and filet mignon shouldn’t consider a New York strip steak to be a tragedy. But Americans sometimes look at an economy that grows at 3% (which is 5 times better than the 0.6% for France) as being bad, simply because it has come down from 5.3%.

It is akin to suggesting that Ronaldo is a terrible soccer player simply because his skills have diminished. The reality is that he may not be as good as he once was, but in comparison with all the soccer players in the world, he is still an elite player.

So too with the American economy, when presented in scale. True, Iceland may have a higher per capita GDP, but that’s akin to a soccer player doing well in a “B” league. Put a different way, Landon Donovan is one of the best American soccer players; when compared with soccer players worldwide, he is rather ordinary. The American economy, when compared with those of other world leaders, performs very well.

Woody, so many Americans have become accustomed to good things that they now take them for granted. In that way, we have become spoiled.

*** I award myself two bonus points for using such a culturally appropriate worldwide analogy, and for keeping with Jack’s economic World Cup article.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 26, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #161836

JBOD,

Spoiled? Why are you and Jack hatin’ on Americans so much? If you don’t like Americans, go live in Russia. :)

I guess the next question would be: What’s so special about those three countries you call “Old Europe”?* People tend to associate those particular countries with political liberalism/leftism (I think that is the unstated implication), but Scandinavian countries are even more left-wing.

Iceland has to compete in the same global economy that we do.

*Incidentally, what actually makes these countries old?

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 26, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #161839

Woody, compared to US pretty much all countries are “old”. But, hey, we have the youngest one here, in Europe: Montenegro!
I also guess the Rummy’s “Old Europe” is pejorative. Kinda Youthism insult.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 26, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #161840
“Someone who has been living on caviar and filet mignon shouldn’t consider a New York strip steak to be a tragedy.”

That’s great advice as the middle class shrinks while the upper class expands. Here’s another tip, Tabasco sauce makes dog chow go down easier.

Posted by: europheus at June 26, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #161841

Jack, JBOD,

Americans sometimes look at an economy that grows at 3% (which is 5 times better than the 0.6% for France) as being bad, simply because it has come down from 5.3%.

I’m kind confused by these numbers. France’s 2006 economic growth is projected to be between 2% and 2.5%, coming from 1.9% last year. Hence the +0.6 points growth *increase*. But the current french growth is NOT 0.6%, thanks god!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 26, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #161842

(I added the one to distinguish between the other liberal dave, with a small ‘d’)
Jack,
If the economy is in such great shape, please explain why the market is tanking?

jbod,
Out of the 3% growth you refer to, what fraction is from the new deficit spending by your President Bush?

Also, to both of you, the top 0.1% share of income has increased from 3% of all income to 9% of all income. Do you think the growth helps any class but the top?

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #161848

French economy would lead only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi in per capita GDP.

It does not matter even if every country in Europe had a better economy than Arkansas, I would bet that the opinion of the quality of life in Arkansas is 3 times has high as in French or Europe. It is not how much money you have or your standard of living it is how you feel about the world around you.

Over the past five years, Republicans and Democrats have looked at the same economic landscape, yet they come to different conclusions. Most Republicans see a rosy picture; Democrats a darker view of the economy generally and, particularly, of the economy’s most salient signal – jobs. Employment is at 4.7% yet Democrats think it is terrible that 95.3% of the working class is employed.

Partisanship is a potent processor of the lessons that the average person draws from the available facts. Political conservatives tend to be happier than liberals, and that Republicans are significantly happier than Democrats.

Do happy people tend to be Republican, or does being Republican make people happy? It seems clear that it’s the former: happy people, on average, tend to affiliate with the Republican Party.

This has been a consistent finding of the Pew Center survey of happiness since it began in 1972. The current gap of 16 percentage points (45 percent of Republicans are very happy, compared with only 30 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Independents) is the second-largest on record, however. So, it seems to be unrelated to current political success. It also seems to be unrelated to income: poor Republicans are significantly happier than poor Democrats. In fact, Republicans earning between $30,000 and $50,000 are happier than Democrats who earn over $75,000.

Liberal Democrats are just a miserable unhappy sorry lot that has no reason to live. Even if the would win the Senate the House and the Presidency they would still be unhappy and miserable. This is not my opinion it is the result of every survey group the studies this topic.

The French and most of Europe share the same socialist political philosophy as Democrats that is the root of the miserable existence.

Posted by: Mr. Right at June 26, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #161853

Mr. Right,

This is not my opinion it is the result of every survey group the studies this topic.

Could you provide some links to these studies that backup the many numbered claims you’ve expressed so everyone could look at what sounds very interested?

Your miserably ;-) french poster,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 26, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #161858

Arkansas is a better to place to live than France? It must be true that “ignorance is bliss” when $75k makes ya’ rich and being liberal makes me like Randy’s short people!

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #161860

Mr Right-

You make a very common mistake in your post. While unemployment is at 4.7%, that does not translate to 95.3% of the working class being employed. Unemployment benfits in most states only last six months, and we have no reliable data on how many people are staying unemployed after the six months are up. Estimates I’ve seen place “real” unemployment at anywhere from 7-15%, though there is no way of knowing how accurate this is. I would say that the 95.3% is more like 90-92%.

Regardless, the issue isn’t comparing us to other countries. If we were to do that economically, we would have to do it on social issues as well, and you don’t want to start down that path. The issue is a basic outrage at the struggle the middle and lower classes are fighting on a daily basis while the rich get richer. We can’t pass a minimum wage increase, solve health care or make ducation affordable, but at least we can get rid of the silver spoon tax. CEOs earn in a day what the average worker does in a year, BushCo’s trickle-down economics at work. Meanwhile, after-school programs across the country are being shut-down due to an unfunded NCLB act that was the greatest snow job ever pulled on this country, until, of course, Iraq. 2801 Americans KIA, a massive debt-burden, most of which is held by our new buddies, China, and no way out in the foreseeable future. Things have gotten as bad as we can let them get. Vote For Change!

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #161862

Philippe:

The 0.6% came from Jack’s article. Its a projection of what they expect. ” France’s central bank had predicted 0.6 percent growth in the second quarter, so anything above that is reason for Paris to pop champagne corks.” So its neither a real number nor a false number—just a projected one.

Dave1:

First, the Dow is tanking? In the last 6 months, the Dow has ranged between the 10700’s and the 11200’s. It’s currently 23 points under 11,000. While I’d love to see it going up, its been relatively stable, unless you look at the daily changes. Over time, its been stable.

Out of the 3% growth you refer to, what fraction is from the new deficit spending by your President Bush?

I have no idea, but I’ve been on record as saying the spending needs to be curtailed. The debt is too large for my taste, and tells me that we as a society need to be more diligent in getting our politicians to be more frugal. Problem is…we all like it when OUR guy brings home the money to our area. When we all think that way, we end up with excessive spending.

Woody:

Iceland does compete in the same global economy, but its still not the same thing. You can also try to compare Joe’s Computer Shop to Microsoft (they both sell computers and software), but there really is little comparison.

There are many in the US who have focused on how much “better” Europe is than the US. They talk about the culture, the intelligence, the social structure, and the economies. The grass may appear greener, but it very often isn’t. If you take Europe as a whole and compare it with the US, the US wins from an economic standpoint. The gist of my comments is to show that the US is doing well. Perhaps we can do better, but we are not doing badly as some would want us to believe.

You’ve seen the comments about how bad our economy is, how bad our job situation is, how we are headed for recession, depression etc. So have I. And those comments have not proven true.

First it was that Bush was “talking” the economy down. Then it was no jobs. Then it was a jobless recovery, followed by an admission that jobs were being created but not the right ones. Then the Dow went up from the mid 7000’s into the high 10,000’s and people claim that only the rich are getting richer. There will always be a new complaint for every burgeoning situation. Some people just aren’t willing to look at the reality of how the US compares to the rest of the world. By those standards, we are still a superstar nation. The spoiled among us cant, or won’t see that.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 26, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #161863

JOBD
Someone who has been living on caviar and filet mignon shouldn’t consider a New York strip steak to be a tragedy.

Caviar is the tragedy. I’m glad I’m poor enough to not to have to eat that stuff. And yes, I’ve had it. YUCK!


Have ya ever been to Arkansas Dave1? I have a sister in North West Arkansas. Believe me $75,000 there only makes you middle class. But the pace is slower there than a lot of other places. Even at that it’s a rat race. Especially in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville. Get outside of these towns and the quality of life ain’t so bad.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 26, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #161867

Ron,

I’ve been through Arkansas, never stopped. As a reference, in my town (Boston burbs) $75k makes you move somewhere cheaper, like NH…

jbod,

I was keeping it simple. As much as I would love to think that the 11670 on May 10 was fantastic, why are we back to 11000 today and why are interest rates still increasing while indicators are that growth is slowing?
The reality remains that more than all the growth we are having is going to the top 0.1%. Even people making $250k a year are generally paying more taxes and have less spending ability than they had when Bush43 came along.
When the pie was getting bigger and everyone was sharing, then the complaint from the fiscal conservatives had some validity, i.e. that a balance between a person being able to enjoy and keep their success vs. what society could/should provide to the unsuccesful should be debated. The pie is no longer being shared and the fiscal conservatives (and the liberals too) are being ignored to pander to the religious right and the ultra wealthy contributors.

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #161868

French poster

My point was to show how miserable the American Liberal Democrats are not the French. American Southerners have lots more in common with the average French person than we have with the average New Yorker, or Californian, at least in attitudes towards life, family, food, etc. A great book for understanding the French mind is “French or Foe,” which was written to help Americans who have to work in France understand how to deal with them. The URL I used for research:

http://pewresearch.org/obdeck/?ObDeckID=13


Posted by: Mr. Right at June 26, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #161874
Then the Dow went up from the mid 7000s into the high 10,000s and people claim that only the rich are getting richer.

If you look at the whole Bush presidency, and not the time-point you cherry-picked, the Dow started at around 11,000 and it is around 11,000 today. Not a tragedy, but nothing to brag about either. Under Clinton, the Dow more than tripled.

You brought this up, not me…

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 26, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #161875

Dave1:

You asked this question: “If the economy is in such great shape, please explain why the market is tanking?”

I’ve shown that the market is NOT tanking. The market certainly has lots of fluctuation on a daily basis—more than it ever seemed to before—but I showed that it has been relatively stable. I believe the pie is being shared. I recognize that the rich get richer—that’s been going on for a long time. They also pay more taxes than anyone else—and that’s okay with me.

America is a land of opportunity. The brass ring is there for everyone. I recently posted about Chris Gardner, who was the homeless father of one child and became the multi-millionaire owner of a stock brokerage firm. While anecdotal, his story shows the opportunity available if you put in the sweat equity. Michael Dell shows the same thing, as do Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to differing degrees. There are plenty more people who have not become millionaires necessarily, but who have moved up the socio-economic ladder to prosperity.

I don’t buy the line that only the rich are getting richer. Look around and you can see the myriads of people who are doing pretty darn well. I’ll tell you of one comment I heard a while back that illustrates the mindset of many Americans, though:

I was riding a bus through a very poor area of Mexico. Mud huts, tin roofs, no plumbing, little electricity etc…..very very poor. Guy behind me says to his companion, “So what if they don’t have nice houses. They don’t have my mortgage either.”

I’m sure those Mexican villagers would have gladly switched places in a heartbeat. The passenger simply couldn’t get past his own “problems” in order to see things clearly.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 26, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #161877

Woody:

You obviously like the term “cherry-picked”…perhaps its in some kind of manual of terms you are supposed to use. But you should use it properly if you are going to use it at all.

Reread what I wrote. You won’t find me claiming that the Dow over the past 6 years has been great. I simply stated that 11,000 is a lot better than 7000, and that growth was not only for the “rich”…it was for anyone who was in the market and experience the 4000 point growth in the market.

The point you missed was how some people, even while the Dow was seeing that 4000 point growth, were complaining about how poorly the market was doing. When they recognized the fallacy of their comments, they altered their comments to saying that only the rich were benefiting. Even Dave above was talking about the market tanking…it may not have done great, but it certainly has not been tanking.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 26, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #161878

You can go to any Liberal blogosphere and it’s one of the most maudlin, discouraging, and just plain old joyless threads that you’ve ever seen.

Of course, conservatives might be more downbeat, too, if we believed the President was a Hitler clone who might start tossing us in camps at any time, but geeze, it’s like cheer up; life’s not so bad—especially here in America. We’re in the world’s only super power, with the worlds biggest economy, a rich and free country, where opportunities wait around every corner and these lefties come across like they’re ready to start pitching themselves out of windows. The misery these people create for themselves, in their own lives, just because of their own unrealistic, pessimistic and warped view of the world is almost astonishing.

President Bush is not making your life miserable. The Republicans House and Senate are not making your life miserable. The right-wingers are not making your life miserable. You are making your life miserable.

Posted by: Mr. Right at June 26, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #161880

jbod,

How about “the market is struggling”?

Anyway, don’t take this the wrong way but you’re living in the past. The rich do not pay more taxes as a percentage of their earnings than you or I do (unless you’re really rich that is). You keep ignoring some very key data that really blows your position out of the water. Have you ever considered that the reason why the percentage of taxes paid by the wealthy has increased is because their income has increased as a percentage of total income? In other words, they paid more of the whole because they made more of the whole. The top 0.1% of people have increased their fraction from 3% of all the money to 9% of all the money in the last 5 years. To put that in perspective: If there were 1000 people sharing $1000 in income, the richest 1 person gets $90 dollars (90 times their equal share), the next 199 share $410 or $2.06 each (twice their equal share) while the other 800 people share $500, or $0.625 each (with the last 200 actually getting $0.034 each (1/30 their equal share, or 1/2700 what #1 gets).
Also;
From 1979 to 1998 the income of
the top 5% increased 64%, after tax increase was 115%
the top 20% increased 38%, after tax increase 43%
the next increased 15%, after tax increase 14%
the next increased 8%, after tax increase 8%
the next increased 3%, after tax increase 1%
the bottom lost -5%, after tax lost -9%.
That after tax incomes are even more exagerated means that taxation disproportionatly effects those in the lower 4 of 5 quintiles and that the top 20% pay a lower fraction in terms of gross income than the bottom 80%. This is IRS data, by the way, and is before Bushies tax cuts for the rich.

As for righty, my life is fine thanks. Why are you so pissed off?


Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #161892

Actually the intent of comparisons to the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys is to deride the comparitor. For example, if I mention Jacques Francois Kerrie, the intent is to insult, not the street pissing, frog eating rude and crude gauls, but Monsieur Kerrie.

It is the height of hubris for a nation of filthy, foul smelling (they invented parfume to avoid bathing, and sauces to disguise rancid meat) to claim any cultural or moral superiority over anyone. After all the French haven’t won a war since a trumped up Corsican led them to glory.

To paraphrase General Patton “I’d rather have a battalion of Germens in front of me than a battalion of French behind me.”

The French are lazy, socilist failures living off the crumbs of capitalism.

Posted by: Quasimodo at June 26, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #161893

Who says you can’t cut taxes, increase spending, and reduce the federal budget deficit all at the same time? That’s what the Bush administration has managed to do.

Well, it turns out that 2009 might be coming early this year. The 2004 deficit had been projected to hit $521 billion, or 4.5 percent of gross domestic product. Bush’s goal was to cut it to 2.25 percent of GDP by 2009 — not exactly as stirring a national goal as putting a man on the moon, but one that was nonetheless pronounced unattainable. This year, the deficit could go as low as $300 billion, right around the 2009 goal of 2.5 percent of GDP.

Deficit reduction should be happy news for Democrats and Republicans alike, but is it? I’m sure the dark side of liberalism we turn this good news into a bad and evil tragedy.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200606220008


David S – the unemployment rate is not there to indicate how many people are actually unemployed. The real use for that static is to compare to previous employment rates of the past as a measure how well the current job picture. 4.7% unemployment represents a really good job picture by any standard. It is said that 4% and below unemployment is looked at as full employment and it does not matter who is president. 4.7% is 4.7% period, anything else is spin.

The US economy isn’t just producing jobs these days; it’s also producing good jobs.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0411/p01s02-usec.html

Posted by: Mr. Right at June 26, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #161894

awesome flame quasi!

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #161897

righty,

There are so many things wrong with that post I don’t even know where to begin.

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #161900

there Was a man in Blaa- Blaa, Arkansas. not Rich, but doing Ok. he took a trip to england and scotland in 1980, and noticed that there Antique furniture was in perfect shape and DIRT cheap. by 1990 he had three warehouses full of it. my dad was retired down there, and said a perfect condition victorian curio cabnets and china closets and Dressers were blaa blaa money, I flew down in 1993 and rented a Truck and filled it up, and went back to California, and tripiled my profit.i did a trip a year until 1996. then it was over.now the man in arkansas was selling to dealers all over the country, well it was good while it lasted.btw this high school drop out in arkansas who had the furniture, is a millionare many many times over!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #161909

Rodney
The guy from Arkansas just shows what a little ingenuity and perseverance can do. Along with wanting to make your life better.
I wasn’t what anyone would call rich when I retired form the Air Force. We’d bought some land here while I was in and that’s about the only thing other then a couple of old cars that we owned. I bought the store and started investing my retirement. Later I bought the factory. I’ve started a feed and supply store with my brother-in-law that opened in January. It’s taken a lot of work and the 22 years sense I retired from service. But I’m in pretty fair shape financially. Not super rich, but comfortable.
If someone with just a high school education that barely graduated can do it. And of course your high school drop out. Why can’t anyone else?

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 26, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #161911

So, Ron and Rod, What’s your point? That you’re taxed fairly while the megamillionaires pay too much? Or is it that there is still opportunity in America? Despite the fact that the middle class is getting sodomized by the Bush administration, so quit yur whinning and take it? Or that you’re not worried about your kids future since “they know how good a good day work pays”?

Posted by: Dave1 at June 26, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #161912

Right,

Thanks for the link on pessimistic dems…I have always thought this was the case out there. All my dem family and friends are definitely gloom and doomers, and they cannot understand an optimistic viewpoint, AND they never will…

Posted by: Cliff at June 26, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #161915

Mr. Right-

The point of unemployment is to gauge how many people are losing their jobs or unable to find work. Any look deeper into economic numbers and especially employment numbers reveals a grim picture: wage growth trailing inflation, job growth trailing population growth by increasing numbers. More and more people are living on credit as is evidenced by the huge increase in our National Personal Debt, and more and more people are living paycheck to paycheck, as our national savings rate of zero indicates. The United States is in it’s worst economic predicament since right before the depression. And did you really post a link from the Christian Science Monitor? That’s like posting a link from George Lucas’ website to back up the Star Wars missile defense program.

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #161927

david s

The United States is in it’s worst economic predicament since right before the depression.

Worst?
So…if you really believe this…what are you doing to prepare? I’m sure you are doing many things to prepare for the worst economic storm ever to hit the US.

Posted by: Cliff at June 26, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #161942

Converted all of my adjustable loans to fixed rates, am starting to move my investments from stocks/bonds to cash with guaranteed returns. Will be moving back to nicely priced SC from CA next summer, hopefully be able to pay cash for a house (if not, have a very small, fixed rate mortgage).

More important than big changes are little changes. Forcing myself to save money every month. Sacrificing luxuries, like eating out and buying frivolous items in favor of putting money away.

The issue is that America’s economic “recovery” has been paid for with credit that we can’t afford to pay back, both nationally and personally. We have so encouraged people to participate as good little consumers that we have totally lost sight of any kind of economic responsibility. “Buy now, pay later” is our national mantra.

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #161944

Phillipe:

At least in Arkansas there is no chance of sharia applying to non-Muslims.

The same can’t be said of France.

Vive la Francistan!

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 26, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #161946

David S:

Did you pay for your college education with cash?

Did you buy your Prius with cash?

Did you buy your house with cash?

Do you pay your annual MoveOn.org membership with a credit card?

Where is YOUR “economic responsibility”?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 26, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #161949

Did David S really out the Christian Science Monitor as a right-wing media outlet?

Is it because the CSM is owned by a church that you assume its a right-wing rag? Ya know, some folks… not many, I’m guessing… but the law of averages suggest some folks at the NYT may believe in God too.

GASP! The horror!

You can diss my Prez, even my country, but leave the CSM alone. :-)

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 26, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #161951

David S:

Just like a lib, trying to make money by short-selling your country.

Bad news for the US is good news for Libs.

What a legacy for the next generation.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 26, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #161953

David S…

Pay no attention to “way”…

What you are doing is common sense regardless of the economy…I’m “conservative” in the overall market as well right now…been on a fixed rate mortgage (4.25% - 6 years to go).

The national mantra is made up of personal mantras throughout the US. The problem with society today is that if the individual fails, they actually believe the government should bail them out. It is not the governments job to make sure that everyone has it made…we have failed the american people by providing this “myopic hope”.

Posted by: Cliff at June 26, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #161973

Wrong-of-Way-

The Christian Science Monitor is not a reliable news source. I stand by that as a fact, which I know you neo-con types just hate it when all those facts get in the way of your self-righteousness.

Did you pay for your college education with cash?
No, I had a scholarship and took out Federal Loans, loans that are no longer as readily available to the next generation of students.

Did you buy your Prius with cash?
I don’t drive. City living allows me to not have a car. However, when I did drive, I had a Ford Taurus. How extravagant.

Did you buy your house with cash?
No, I bought my house with some cash (20%) and a loan for the rest. However, I was smart about the house I bought and the way I structured the financing.

Do you pay your annual MoveOn.org membership with a credit card?
Not a MoveOn member.

Where is YOUR “economic responsibility”?
My economic responsibility is that I live within my means.

Care to answer the same questions yourself?


Cliff-

I agree that it is not the governments job to make sure evryone “has it made”, but I also don’t believe the government does that. It may keep people from being homeless and starving through welfare, but I certainly wouldn’t say that anyone who is dependent upon the government “has it made”.

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #161981

David s,very good common sense Ideas,good luck on the move! I thought about Hickory NC. I have a cousin there .but yikes ,I think I waited to long. so i will most likely will go to upstate new york.are you selling in cal? then you must be somewhat optimistic on housing market here.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #161984

Sure David…

I didn’t get any student loans. My retired living on Social Security trying to put three kids through college at once father owned 40 acres of farmland he inherited when my mother died without a will.

The government said we we’re “too rich” to qualify for student loans.

So, I went to college (Big Ten engineering school) the old fashioned way. I worked.

Regardless, you missed the entire point of my post…

You said America should live within its means. I believe you said we have a “Buy Now, Pay Later” attitude.

Well of course we do. And, thank God we do.

None of the things most libs consider a “right” could be purchased without credit.

How would employers expand their businesses to hire more workers without credit?

How would the Federal government pay for all the social programs libs love without credit?

You decry the most basic component of our (and the world’s) economy.

Anyway, you should buy a Ford Focus and help some UAW members keep their jobs.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 26, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #161985

Dave1
The point is that anyone who’s willing to work at it can be successful.
And no I don’t think that I’m being taxed fairly. And I don’t think anyone else is either. We’re all paying to much. Specially with all the waste in Government.

David S
The only kind of mortgage to have is a fixed rate. Your smart to convert.
I’m with you on the pay as you go. Buy now pay later has folks in this country so in debt that when a depression does come they’ll loose everything they have.
Credit can be a useful tool if used right. The problem is most folks listen to the finance companies and their easy payment plans.
If you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and max it out, like most folks do. Then don’t charge anything else on it, like most folks don’t. Make the ‘easy’ monthly payment. It’ll take you 20 years and around $25,000 to pay the card off.
I don’t know about y’all but that $20,000 fits my pocket a lot better than the credit card company’s.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 26, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #161997

Right-of-way-

You miss the point. The problem is that it is too easy now for people to borrow and borrow and borrow without ever paying. That is not an economic recovery, it is digging a depper hole to try to fill-in the one you’re standing in.

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #161998

Rodney-

I was lucky, bought at the beginning of the boom. Tons of equity, even if the market drops 10%.

Posted by: David S at June 26, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #162026

Jack

Important points all. You’ll turn blue before you convince the lefties of the greatness of our citizenry. How many Gates’ have been produced in other countries? Soros spends his money on overturning elections and leftist policy. Back in the 1930’s & 40’s Communist strongman Lavrenti Pavlovitch Beria had this ideology to share with the American Communists:

“If we could effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation we will have won the country. Therefore there must be continual propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of the citizens in general and the teenager in particular

Sound familiar?

Posted by: JR at June 26, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #162051

Ron and DavidS. yes ,being in southern cal almost 36 years. minus four years in the army and two years in redding cal. ive seen a lot of ups and downs in the housing market. i could have bought in 1980 but the darn interest rates were over 20% i bought my first house a fixer in 1985 at 9.4% interest va loan, and thought that was great.i watched the values grow by 70% by 1991 then kaboom, by 1994, my house was worth less than in 1986.then the orange county arrgh! investors bought everything up and rented them. then around 1996 they started to climb a little by the end of 2000 i used the equity in my first house and keeped it and rented it. and bought this one by pure luck, a sign for sale by owner in the front yard so small you could hardly see it. a sad case, a young couple going through a bitter divorce. and I bought them out of it.the house was trashed. but lots of POTENTIAL and a good sized 2600 sqft and pool and 1 acre. and on a hill in a good area.4 years of SWEAT equity by me and my wife, and it is the best one on the street. by the seat of your pants! i did not do like David R Remer, and hand pour my own foundation like he and his wife did!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #162054

Woody

Just making comparison.

International comparisons are often unfair to the U.S. You can take the various countries of Europe individually and find one better in any particular category. It is a type of cherry picking (I kinda like the term too). All the countries you mention are very small population places. I lived in Norway for four years. It is a great place to live. But it only has the population about as big as Wisconsin (where many Norwegians immigrated). Luxembourg and Iceland together have a population a little less than Fairfax County, VA. I bet if we compared our best counties or states with similar populated countries, it would tell a different story.

BTW Scandinavian countries are really not more left in the U.S. sense. The American left/right doesn’t really apply there. A Norwegian socialist can be pretty tough on the poor if he thinks they are not pulling their weight and PETA would not do well in most of the country. Scandinavians also behave well and politely most of the time, more like Midwesterners.

Philippe

Not to take anything away from France. It is a very pleasant place. In my opinion, any of the countries of W. Europe can be the “best” place to live depending on your tastes. I was mostly targeting my big baby fellow Americans who cry about how poor they are.

Joe

Yes

Dave1

The market was tanking last week. It was doing well before and it did okay today. Besides, the market is only one part of the economy. Whenever I point out it is doing well, dozens of posters point that out to me.

New Hampshire is not that cheap when you count in all the fees etc

Ron

I agree re caviar. I don’t eat it when it is free. People tell me I should acquire a taste for it. How stupid is that? You should acquire tastes for beans, peanut butter or spaghetti, not something that cost $100 a can.

Posted by: Jack at June 26, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #162078

David S
Your right, it’s to easy to barrow. And folks barrow and barrow and…….
Then they’re up to over their heads in debt and have a hard time paying. And some times they can’t pay at all.
I know folks that just transfer credit card balances from one card to another. They ain’t paying their debts. And then when they can’t do that anymore they file for bankruptcy. Or one of these days their kids are going to have to pay their debts.


Jack
I don’t eat nothing I have to acquire a taste for. I didn’t have to acquire a taste for beans, peanut butter, spaghetti, or bacon and eggs.
And at $100 a can I’m not about to eat it even if I don’t have to acquire a taste for it.
BTW, In Texas rattlesnake meat is sold in stores. I understand it very expensive. Hell I go out and shoot them for about $.08 a head. And I didn’t have to acquire a taste for it either.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 26, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #162150
The French are lazy, socilist failures living off the crumbs of capitalism.

Now I wonder what “socilism” could happen to be.
A failure, it seems…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 27, 2006 5:13 AM
Comment #162151

Right-of-Way,

At least in Arkansas there is no chance of sharia applying to non-Muslims.

The same can’t be said of France.

I guess Google Earth have yet again confuse you. Somalia is not France. It’s not even in the same continent.
But I’m glad about your effort to learn more about France.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 27, 2006 5:19 AM
Comment #162152

Mr Right,

Thanks for pointing me at Polly Platt’s “French or Foe”. I happened to read some exerts of her book a few years ago, and was glad that was not as oversimplified as one could fear.

It turn out that Polly Platt is now fighting on the french-bashing front. Against it. ;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 27, 2006 5:27 AM
Comment #162153

Jack,

In my opinion, any of the countries of W. Europe can be the “best” place to live depending on your tastes. I was mostly targeting my big baby fellow Americans who cry about how poor they are.

But, again, since when money buy you happiness?

In a globally capitalist world, it could help greatly. If you happen to know how to turn money into something that really make you happy.
Not often the case. Or ads will have disappear long ago…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 27, 2006 5:33 AM
Comment #162191

Jack,

Yes, there are many indicators besides the Dow Industrials (which is an antiquated bellwether if you were to ever ask my opinion :-) And, those indicators are very mixed right now. The debt, war, energy prices all provide inflationary pressures while the economy is being bled dry by exports and the marrow is disappearing along with the middle class as the deficit feeds the debt. Not auspicious signals. As for New Hampshire, compared to Boston it is cheaper by far, no matter how you parse it.

Ron,
Fixed rates are preferable only if you plan to live there for a long time. Otherwise, ARMs can give a better cost picture.

Posted by: Dave1 at June 27, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #162235

Philippe

I have my own theory of money and happiness. I think LACK of money makes you unhappy, but once you have enough it doesn’t add much too your happiness. Most people in Europe and the U.S. have enough. If they are unhappy, the fault probably lies with them, not their circumstances.

There is more to life than SIMPLE happiness. This is the sphere of philosophers. But I think that fulfillment requires that you face and overcome challenges. My complaint against socialism (and I know it is all a matter of degrees) is that it takes away people’s autonomy and replaces it with material security. By not allowing them to fail, we don’t allow them to succeed. I would rather play hard and lose the game than be given a forfeit.

This is probably more than we can take up in this post. My complaint against socialism is that it is TOO materialistic. It cleans the cage, but doesn’t feed the bird.

Dave 1

The economy is good now and has been since 2003. Indicators are mostly good (not always great) and compared to other years, this one is good.

NH is cheaper than Boston (I used to live in Londonderry, NH) but it is not cheap anymore.

Posted by: Jack at June 27, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #162240

Jack,

The economy is Good for who?
You do know that median income is dropping and that median is a far better statistical indicator than averages in a non-normal distribution, right?
You also do know that the entire growth reported for the economy is due to deficit spending, right?
You also know that the tax cuts only help the top 1%+/- of people who already pay less than their fair portion of taxes, right?

The pie is getting smaller and those on the top are getting bigger slices. Soon there won’t be any pie left. Believe or not, my concern is more for people like you than it is for people like me. I have degrees in a desirable technical area in a resilient market with a stable decent income and well distributed investments. Most people can’t say that and those people will be, as Madam Bush said “happy to live in the Superdome”.

Posted by: Dave1 at June 27, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #162265

I read in the paper this morning the complaint the the median imcome grew only by 1% since 2000. In any case, it has not gone up (or down depending on who you ask) by very much. That should be no surprise since we are still recovering from the dot.com burst and 9/11. It does not make the econonmy bad, however.

Most people got tax cuts. I got one and I am not in the top bracket. People who paid more got a bigger dollar cut, people who paid less got a bigger % cut. The lower 1/2 of the income bracket pays almost no Federal taxes at all. It is hard to cut below zero. I don’t know what a fair share of the rich paying taxes would be, but since they pay almost all the taxes already, I don’t think it is unfair.

Unemployment is 4.6%. That is a very good number compared to our own experience over our lifetimes or world numbers. Growth is good. Most things are good.

I stopped at a Sheetz gas station yesterday. On the bathroom door they had signs looking for workers and they were starting at $8.50. My experience is that is common. A bad economy to me means no jobs etc. We have a good economy.

And I am glad you are concerned about people like me, but I am not as bad off as you might assume. Or maybe I am just to dumb to know it.

Posted by: Jack at June 27, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #162270

I rarely post on Watchblog, not because I don’t have anything to say, but I tend to be fairly content with what other conservatives have already said about the issue. I must be honest here, I have not read the entire “debate,” as it is rather lengthy and I’m a fairly busy man. However, I felt it was necessary for me to post today because I had yet to find an appropriate response to several arguement by people who obviously (mostly from their own admition)fall fairly left of center. First, while it is true that the top 5% of people own abour 1/3 (32.0%) of the income in the USA, they also pay more than 1/2 (53.3%) of taxes in this country. Also, “The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 33.9 percent of all individual income taxes in 2001. This group of taxpayers has paid more than 30 percent of individual income taxes since 1995. Moreover, since 1990 this group’s tax share has grown faster than their income share.” sorce here

Furthermore, “The President’s tax cuts have shifted a larger share of the individual income taxes paid to higher income taxpayers. In 2004, when most of the tax cut provisions are fully in effect (e.g., lower tax rates, the $1,000 child credit, marriage penalty relief), the projected tax share for lower-income taxpayers will fall, while the tax share for higher-income taxpayers will rise.
The share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers will fall from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent.
The share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers will rise from 30.5 percent to 32.3 percent.
The average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers falls by 16 percent as compared to a 12 percent decline for taxpayers in the top 1 percent.”

While this has little to do with the original post by Jack, it does disprove many of the things I’ve read in this thread written by Democrats as proof that only the upper classes are being helped during Bush’s presidency.

In a side note, if the link doesn’t show up properly i appologize as I rarely post on this website and was unsure if I did it correctly. If it doesnt appear right, I’ll post again with just the source.

Posted by: Cwagmire at June 27, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #162625

Jack,

There is more to life than SIMPLE happiness.

Sure. But a huge majority of humans had never reach that lux in the past and, sadly, I don’t see it changing in the future.

This is the sphere of philosophers. But I think that fulfillment requires that you face and overcome challenges. My complaint against socialism (and I know it is all a matter of degrees) is that it takes away people’s autonomy and replaces it with material security. By not allowing them to fail, we don’t allow them to succeed. I would rather play hard and lose the game than be given a forfeit.

Except that the *game* is not fair: all players are not equal at start.
I too value the leasons one could learn when he fail, as we learn more from mistake than success. But you and me are lucky to not being a 3 years old north korean for example. While we can’t do much for him, we could do much for the less lucky kids in our respective country to give them a fair deckcards set so they could try as hard as the others to win, not should try harder than them.

I’m for a more fair game.
Call me socialist ;-)

This is probably more than we can take up in this post. My complaint against socialism is that it is TOO materialistic. It cleans the cage, but doesn’t feed the bird.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 28, 2006 4:07 AM
Comment #162626

Jack,

I think LACK of money makes you unhappy, but once you have enough it doesn’t add much too your happiness. Most people in Europe and the U.S. have enough. If they are unhappy, the fault probably lies with them, not their circumstances.

Agreed. That also mean that it’s not linked to economic issues as they don’t have a lot, being wealthy. For these guys, good economy doesn’t make them more happier…
I’m not sure it’s being spoiled, it’s more the feeling spoil people when they discover that as lucky as they could be they can’t do much for the others.
See the huge increase of charity in the wealthier nations in last decades. We feel guilty, even the ones saying “they’ve to want to win, that’s all their fault if they’re loosers”…
Something is wrong, and we feel it in our heart.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 28, 2006 4:23 AM
Comment #162641

Something is wrong too about my english. :-(
Sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 28, 2006 7:25 AM
Comment #163097

Philippe

I am lucky to be American; you are lucky to be French and both of us are lucky to be living today and not in the miserable past or in North Korea.

Life is not fair and cannot be made fair. I would get rid of the North Korean despotism if I could, but we cannot get rid of all of it.

I give money and time to charities because I think it is a good thing and it helps society if everyone is better off. I am a wealth creator (as are most working people). I take it unfairly from nobody. I create it. I think it is good to share it, as others have shared with me. I would call it a sense of gratitude, not guilt. The poor and those who cannot create very much wealth are lucky that others can and do.



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