NK has nukes. So what?

So what if North Korea has nukes? (We’re safe, we have Obama.) Even so, folks at the UN are acting as if this were an unwelcome surprise. A commie-cult controlled nation has nuclear weapons— What’s the worst that could happen? And what, if anything, is anyone going to do about it?

May 25 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations Security Council agreed in an emergency session to condemn the nuclear test North Korea said it conducted and the communist nation’s launch of three short-range missiles. ~bloomberg.com
Oh yeah, remember those long-range missile tests just a little while ago? Long-range missiles, nuclear weapons... I don't see any connections here, do you?

North Korea is on the warpath. I'm not sure why though, since GWBush is no longer President...

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea threatened military action Wednesday against U.S. and South Korean warships plying the waters near the Koreas' disputed maritime border, raising the specter of a naval clash just days after the regime's underground nuclear test. ~news.yahoo.com

The salient point to remember here is that here is yet another example of the implementation of the leftist dream. Yet another attempt to make utopian marxism a reality. So I ask the question, why, if communisim is such a great idea in theory, does every state which adopts it as a governing ideology always become a totalitarian dictatorship? Why does the idea of complete equality and social justice result in mass starvation and zero civil liberties?

Why do the advocates of this failed theory insist that it is the only way to peace?

Posted by Eric Simonson at May 27, 2009 2:08 PM
Comments
Comment #282119

Eric - that’s a pretty tired argument by now. Communism in its purest form doesn’t work, and whether Republican or Democrat we can all agree on that. Indeed, communism tends to allow megalomaniacs and corrupted politicians to run things. Bad. Very bad.

Equally, unfettered capitalism messes things up. Virtually total deregulation for certain industries under the Bush administration led to the collapse of our economy (yes, echoes of what goes wrong under communism - funny, huh?)

The reason moderate thinking is finally taking hold is because of what your mom taught you: everything in moderation.

Some aspects of socialism - such as a nationalized healthcare system - are absolutely key to any civilized society. Some aspects of capitalism - such as opportunity to innovate - are equally key. It would just be smart for us to take the things that work from each philosophy and put them to work for us as well.

Since you know I’m a liberal Democrat, does this surprise you? Or do you think I’m hiding some stinking Commie agenda and that any words from my mouth must be apologist lies for Kil Il-Jong?

Posted by: Jon Rice at May 27, 2009 2:22 PM
Comment #282120

Eric,

“Why does the idea of complete equality and social justice result in mass starvation and zero civil liberties?”

So what you’re saying is that you are against equality and social justice?

I can’t decide if you are for Feudalism, or Fascism.

Perhaps if you could make up your mind.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 27, 2009 2:41 PM
Comment #282121

Reminders need to be made under whose administration the first rocket and nuclear tests occurred under.

The truth of the matter is, we may end up in a war with North Korea regardless of what we do. Your solution is to start the war first. Yes, start the war first with two other wars ongoing. Start the war first with Seoul, South Korea in striking distance of the North’s artillery.

Starting the war first will really not change any of the facts, except it will likely lead us to field the blame for any lousy results, rather than the North Koreans.

If we manage to pull some legitimate diplomatic coup out of this, like the opening of North Korea, it might be for the best if we don’t shoot first and ask questions later. If it does come to a shooting war with North Korea, we want them to be the fools who shoot first.(It’s unlikely their missiles are capable of handling nuclear warhead payloads.)

It might be strategically for the best for North Korea to be the morons who attack first, if for no other reason than it would likely force China to sit this one out, whereas an American first strike might end up causing China, whether covertly or overtly, to help the North Koreans.

We want them isolated, not us. Once North Korea is isolated, who do you think wins a Second Korean War?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 27, 2009 3:40 PM
Comment #282122
Reminders need to be made under whose administration the first rocket and nuclear tests occurred under.

Right, this issue started in 2006. LOL

On March 12, 1993, North Korea said that it planned to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and refused to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites. By 1994, the United States believed that North Korea had enough reprocessed plutonium to produce about 10 bombs with the amount of plutonium increasing. Faced with diplomatic pressure and the threat of American military air strikes against the reactor, North Korea agreed to dismantle its plutonium program as part of the Agreed Framework in which South Korea and the United States would provide North Korea with light water reactors and fuel oil until those reactors could be completed. Because the light water reactors would require enriched uranium to be imported from outside North Korea, the amount of reactor fuel and waste could be more easily tracked, making it more difficult to divert nuclear waste to be reprocessed into plutonium. However, with bureaucratic red tape and political obstacles from the North Korea, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), established to advance the implementation of the Agreed Framework, had failed to build the promised light water reactors because the United States failed to uphold their end of the agreement by providing energy aid, and in late 2002, North Korea returned to using its old reactors.

With the abandonment of its plutonium program, U.S. officials claimed North Korea began an enriched uranium program. Pakistan, through Abdul Qadeer Khan, supplied key technology and information to North Korea in exchange for missile technology around 1997, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf acknowledged in 2005 that Khan had provided centrifuges and their designs to North Korea.

Of course, the answer is, as usual, we need to sit down and talk this one out. Ignoring the fact that NK has no interest in actually talking other than getting money to feed it’s citizens until it can militarily obtain more resources.

What is the solution? I don’t know. Let’s hope Obama has something other than ‘opening a dialog’ though, because we know the result of that from the previous 2 administrations.

Posted by: rhinehold at May 27, 2009 3:53 PM
Comment #282123

Too bad that we can’t alter the next rocket test’s guidance system and re-direct the missile test over China. Then I think we would see some changes.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at May 27, 2009 4:39 PM
Comment #282126

Jon

We agree on some things.

No theory works in the real world. We use the models only as a means of understanding reality. The strength of the free market is that its theories seek mostly to describe, not prescribe.
For example, I generally believe it is a good idea to let people figure out how to solve their own problems. I want people and firms to be free to innovate. It is very unlikely that one size will fit all and that is why dispersed decision making works better in most cases than centralized decision making. Of course, you need to set general rules and protect the rule of law.
The free market never reaches a utopia. It is always screwed up, even in theory, because it is always in a state of becoming. It just works better than the alternatives.

Remember, to err is human, but to really screw up royally you need government support.

Since no theory completely works in the practical world, we have to look to how it corrupts in the real world. Communism corrupts into horrible and murderous totalitarian inefficiency. Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Cambodia even little Albania show the way it works. I used to think that Communism was almost forever, but fortunately, even Communism can evolve into a more free market friendly regimes.

North Korea is simply a terrible country, like a massive concentration camp. Communism alone is not to blame, but communism is the tool by which the horrible leaders maintain their power.
Socialism sometimes works okay in small countries. It worked in Scandinavia because they had homogenous populations of very honest people. Most other places, it corrupts into a type of cronyism or fascism. Socialism doesn’t tend to be as bad as communism, but the central problem with socialism is still that government authorities make decisions about spending other people’s money on other people. All government tends to be status quo. Socialism allows the government to more easily protect those already established.

France, which we both like, doesn’t have a true socialist economy, but it does run a lot from the center. It does well in downturns, but doesn’t grow much when times are good. It also has chronically high unemployment. Workers already employed and established firms are secure, but it doesn’t handle changes well.

So we are left with the free market. The U.S. is NOT the most free market country in the world. Surprisingly, places like Denmark & New Zealand have freer markets than we have in many ways, but those are small countries, less complicated to manage. And the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Posted by: Christine at May 27, 2009 7:53 PM
Comment #282130

Christine-
Good regulation in a market comprises two things, in my opinion: a general regime of transparency in terms of finance and products, so that people within the market have more knowledge to act wisely with, and a set of regulations set at preventing and/or containing economic collapses before they happen.

Additionally, I believe something else as well: The market shouldn’t be used to make all decisions, nor should the government’s goal be to do things on the market’s behalf. There are some fairly profitable practices over the last few years which have done real harm to Americans, not only financially, but in the quality of our lives. We should recall that we run this economy the way we do for the sake of our happiness, not merely prosperity ground out for its own sake with few enjoying the benefits of what they’ve done.

We show the average American nowadays a life where they are unlikely to enjoy happiness, a family life, or much of anything else, for all the struggle and sacrifice they do. Eventually, you get to a place where most people just stop trying to do anything productive, or raise traditional families, because the demands of jobs just overwhelm what’s humanly possible for people.

And people aren’t machines. Unless you want people to gradually become less productive, you have to let them enjoy some rewards. Otherwise, they don’t have incentives to succeed or advance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 27, 2009 8:50 PM
Comment #282132

“And the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. ” Not sure how this relates to both the OP or to your post.

“I generally believe it is a good idea to let people figure out how to solve their own problems. I want people and firms to be free to innovate.”
I totally agree that we should do away with patent laws. I know this most likely not what you meant, but that is what it means. It’s one thing to steal some one’s idea, but a completely other to invent something similar or the same separately. Besides that idea is closer to a free market.

Posted by: kudossupreme@gmail.com at May 27, 2009 8:53 PM
Comment #282133

Christine - reading your interesting points made me think of another one. I’m not truly familiar with the economies of NZ or Denmark, so I’ll trust that you’re making a fair point about them being strongly pro-free market.

Here’s the reason that can work: because the countries you mention have different spending priorities.

Here’s how I see the human condition in America. We need certain things. Housing. Food. Defense. Medical Care. Education. Opportunity.

Of those five things, getting housing and food are your responsibility. I dislike welfare as much as the next (working) man and I think each one of us has a duty to our tribe to feed, clothe and house ourselves. When the weakest fall, we should pick them up - but only when the reason for their fall is genuine and not spurious. (I can get into this later if you’re interested.)

I consider medical aid and education to be primarily socially based. It makes no sense for us to be self-reliant for these two things, because the economies of scale achieved by the whole tribe pitching in together are so considerable. All members of the tribe should bear the cost and derive the benefit - and yes, this means nationalized healthcare and proper education funding. Defense is also a social responsibility, which we have to weigh against other priorities (more on that in a moment).

Opportunity is the real zinger here. It is the promise of the capitalist society: once we’ve done what we have to - shelter, food, defense, medical, education - now we can do what we want to. We can innovate, invent, expand our horizons, and run around filming hobbits all day long if we so please.

So - we pluck different needs from different philosophies. I would *like* to see a libertarian approach to housing and food (personal responsibility), I would *like* to see a socialist approach to education, healthcare and defense, and I would *like* to see a capitalist approach to pretty much the rest.

But as I said… weighing those priorities…

I don’t see Denmark on the top ten list of defense spenders, for example. It’s well documented that the USA spends as much on defense as the next 15 biggest defense spenders in the world (an average for a family of four of $7,196 per year, 2007 figures). Denmark spent just 1.3% of its GDP on defense in 2006, compared to 4.1% for the US. New Zealand found $1.5 billion, just 1% of its GDP.

Those percentage points represent an entire social program. As the USA we spend $7,196 per family on defense, as NZ we spend the equivalent of $1,799. That extra money can go to education, healthcare, building sets for Lord of the Rings, I don’t really care where it goes so long as it provides genuine benefit for its citizens.

In America, we can’t fund education and healthcare properly because we prioritize defense (and aggression). Remember - and I don’t remember ever seeing anyone, even Jon Stewart, pointing this out - defense is a nationalized responsibility in this country! We’re all paying a LOT of money for it!

Denmark, your example, has a better free market because it covers the basics better. Denmark spends 8.5% of its GDP on education; the USA spends 5.7%, which we know is not enough. More here.

The Commonwealth Fund, from which I’ve drawn research before and which is a really, really good read if you’re interested in the healthcare issue at all, clearly shows that although the USA spends more on healthcare per person, it achieves significantly inferior results to the other countries that are studied - and which have universal healthcare programs. It turns out that when the capitalist free market runs something that should be socialized, it screws the pooch. (I strongly recommend this website - very interesting indeed.)

In a nutshell: give us freedom and we shall house and clothe ourselves. Give us a supportive tribe and we shall protect, educate, and care for each other. And give us capitalist principles and we shall evolve.

Christine, I get the feeling you are seeing some merit to my points. I wonder if anyone else - left, right, or center - feels the way I do?

Posted by: Jon Rice at May 27, 2009 9:09 PM
Comment #282137

Jon

I suspect you have the right temperment. The precise points matter less if all involved are pragmatic and looking for what will provide the best results. The great thing is that we do not have to reach a common conclusion to come to good pluralistic decisions.

The free markets does not make better decisions than government, but it is much easier to change mistakes. If a private firm makes bad decision, it goes out of business unless the government gets involved. Then we get oppressive rules or zombie firms that should die, but are kept alive with taxpayer money.

Of course nothing works all the time. That is why we have to be ready to change. Government, ironically, creates conservative change, i.e. change along the lines of existing interest groups. That is why the original term liberal meant someone who wanted smaller government.

I think a lot of things that work in small, homogeneous places might not work in big diverse ones. That is why we cannot be like Denmark or NZ and they cannot be like us.

I like to have choices. The U.S. provides lots of choices. That is a “problem” in our society, since different choices produce different and unequal outcomes. Even small initial differences, given time and compounding, can produce great disparities. In a small pond like Denmark, this cannot go on as long as it can in a big pond like the U.S.

Kudos

We need patents. They should not go on too long. The founding fathers were very wise in how they set up that system. Yes, it is that old and one of the reason America is great.

I don’t like the idea now of extending rights for longer time and giving special rights to artists. We need to allow people to innnovate on other ideas.

Re the highest corporate tax - we used to have among the lowest. In the past generation, many countries in the world have become more liberal (using the original term i.e. less government) and we have lost some of our edge.

Stephen

The market provides a means of decentralized, autonomous decision making. It almost always works better than a couple experts. The problem you hit upon is that it can produce various outcomes that a majority find unacceptable. That is why we need some regulation. But we have to be careful, since interest groups use regulation to limit competition and new entrants and established groups will use government as an offensive weapon.

Consider the ethanol debackle. It sounded like a good idea to make ethanol from corn. It wasn’t, but by the time we figured it out established interests had subsidized it, forced us to use it and put a high tarif on more efficiently produced ethanol from Brazil. Now we are stuck with a bad feedstock and a substandard technology.

Posted by: Christine at May 27, 2009 9:44 PM
Comment #282138

Jon,

Equally, unfettered capitalism messes things up. Virtually total deregulation for certain industries under the Bush administration led to the collapse of our economy (yes, echoes of what goes wrong under communism - funny, huh?)

There was literally no deregulation under Bush, jon. And in fact you can trace the downturn to Freddie and Fannie Mae, two quasi-government institutions.

Posted by: eric at May 27, 2009 9:47 PM
Comment #282143

I think if you want to truly understand why North Korea set off those Nucs, you have to look at North Korea’s economy. North Korea can’t feed their people but what they can do is protect them. Also, they can sell those Nucs to anyone who wants them & get alot of money for them. The thing have to understand, when you live in poverty, its not about who you hurt, it’s about feeding & taking care of you & yours. That’s North Korea’s struggle. They’re aren’t purposely trying to piss off the U.S. or the United Nations, they’re trying to do what they gotta do to survive.

On the flip side, I believe the U.S. should stay grounded & aware, be ready for the unthinkable, but at the sametime increase food aid, medical aid, & other types of aid that North Koreans are having a hard time coming across.

Posted by: Jamal Chevis at May 28, 2009 12:15 AM
Comment #282144

Christine
I wish they would go back to the original case law time period of copyrights and patents, I do agree they are important. Although for people that use the argument that if fuels development it’s a half lie. Although I think patenting living things is completely wrong.

About taxes though. I think the one thing you are forgetting is that although most of our businesses pay high tax rates, when it comes to personal income tax rates most people pay a lot lower then in many of those countries that have low corporate tax rates. You may agree or disagree but by keeping individual income tax and corporate tax roughly the same it make it harder for people to escape paying the taxes they are supposed to pay for.
Just like how the founding fathers made the idea so that originally only people who had a vested interest in government could vote. That idea applies to capitalism as well. Only people who have a vested interest will make good decisions. It silly to say that a 1000’s of morons will make a better choice more often then a few experts. But it’s bound to happen that the morons will get it right every once in a while. Then again even experts make mistakes. Capitalism also assumes that everyone has full knowledge of what they are doing, I would argue very few people in the US know what they are doing. That is one reason why there is few wealthy.

Jon, I feel the same way you do about government’s responsibility. I will not say that government will run health care better, and when i say health care I only talk about the insurance. The rest I think should remain private/public/whatever. That isn’t to say that people still couldn’t get private insurance on top of government insurance or a replacement of government insurance if they like that better, and be refunded through tax credit what they paid into the government one. Again, not to say the government will be perfect, but I do believe we can do better with it then without it, either that or have the government collect the money, and then have a private non-profit run health insurance.

Jamal, I would like to be good hearted in nature to and believe that is why they are doing it, but I really doubt they are making nukes to benefit the people’s general welfare. Although I have to say I am a bit ignorant to their culture/government, but from what I have read it seems doubtful. Although it still doesn’t mean that they can’t make the nukes and sell them to have a even bigger B-day Bash for their leader next year. ;0) You are right though we should watch out for the unthinkable. Although I’m usually against death for lots of people, I think that if N.K. even threaten to attack another country we need to make it clear that we will bomb them, and I don’t mean conventionals.

Posted by: kudossupreme at May 28, 2009 2:59 AM
Comment #282150

Rhinehold,

Excellent point, but weren’t there a few issues with North Korea back in the 40’s and fifties? Some guys named McArthur and Truman seem to come to mind. I guess some old soldiers don’t fade away, they just keep stirring up crap.

Posted by: gergle at May 28, 2009 4:43 AM
Comment #282151

Rocky,

Eric isn’t a facist, he just hates us for our freedoms.:)

Posted by: gergle at May 28, 2009 4:45 AM
Comment #282154

“If a private firm makes bad decision, it goes out of business unless the government gets involved. Then we get oppressive rules or zombie firms that should die, but are kept alive with taxpayer money.”

Unfortunately Christine because we have allowed so many firms to expand in size beyond their original charter they also take the rest of us down with them when they make bad decisions. That is capitalism run amok mixed with supply side economics and it is the system we have had the past 30 years. It is a problem that the free market has not, cannot and will not self regulate. The free market has become the free malarkey.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/malarkey

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2009 9:34 AM
Comment #282161

I’m sorry j2t2, but GM, for example, is not ‘too big to fail’. It should have been allowed to fail in the late 70s/early 80s when it was clearly dying, but ‘we’ decided to prop them up and protect them against their competitors.

If they fail and disappear, the demand for cars does not. Which means another company would start selling cars and would need to create or increase production to do so, meaning people would have to be hired, most likely the ones who were just let go from GM as they are the ones with the most experience.

The result would be a new company, with new leadership and direction and vision, employing most of the people that they were employing before and probably using many of the closed factories that crank those cars out.

We have seen it over and over again in every other industry, the only reason we don’t see it in the ‘big 3’ is because the unions and corporate boards both have a similar goal, keep them operating as they are now, sucking up our tax dollars to funnel to their constituents, either the investors or the unions reps/employees. Everyone wins, except the taxpayer. Or more precisely, our children and grandchildren…

Oh well, a little adversity will be good for them and besides, WE don’t want to suffer any bad times now, right?

Posted by: rhinehold at May 28, 2009 4:10 PM
Comment #282162

Rhinehold said: “I’m sorry j2t2, but GM, for example, is not ‘too big to fail’.”

First, I think it was Chrysler that bankrupted back in the 1980’s and if memory serves, it was Reagan who bailed it out and put Lee Iococa in charge.

Second, GM was too big to allow to fail last FALL, when the unemployment rate was beginning to soar. This recession has been a whole lot milder keeping as many as a million more workers employed at GM, and all the companies that depend on GM’s existence and business.

Now, when the unemployment numbers begin to drop precipitously, then I would agree with you that GM will then NOT be too big to fail. Context is everything in making determinations as to whether a corporation is too big to fail or not, and depends upon the effects and consequences on the general population should it fail.

Americans have a gift for empathy. And Americans can and do empathize with the millions already out of work and whose lives have been thrown into doubt and whose savings have been diminished.

57 banks have been allowed to fail since Jan. 2008, and their impact on the economy and jobs have been negligible. Compared to those dozen or mega-banks which have been saved precisely because their failure would have caused systemic banking failure the world round, the policies followed to date, have been successful in mitigating the negative effects on consumers and workers of this recession and threatened financial industry implosion.

I recognize it is hard for some folks to imagine life in America had the financial and mortgage industries been allowed to self-correct without government intervention. But, a little education in economics and economic history demonstrates that millions and millions of Americans, and perhaps a billion people world wide, would be far, far worse off today if the government had not interceded.

If government is not about the people and their general well-being, then that government is not worth having at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #282164

Kudos

You probably know more re patents than I do and I agree that patents should not go on too long or be too restrictive. We have to reward innovation w/o harming innovation. It is a balance.

Re the free market – the beauty of the market is that it does NOT require any individual to know everything or even very much. We all take our knowledge and preferences to the marketplace and it produces a decent outcome, usually not the very best in theory, but often the best in practice.

The reason I use the term free market instead of capitalism is that I don’t believe in restrictive theories. When we say capitalism, people make lots of assumptions. Unlike Marxism, however, there is no authoritative prescriptive text on capitalism. We have markets. If we don’t like to talk re greed etc, look at other markets. A good example of a market is Wikipedia or even Google. Compare Wikipedia to most other encyclopedias. It has lots of mistakes (as they do) but it is mostly useful and very comprehensive.

J2t2
The market can correct, even with big firms. I don’t know what you are talking about referring to the last 30 years. There were plenty of big, monopolistic firms in the past. If you talk about the auto industry, it has been “too big to fail” and too sick to succeed my entire adult life. The situation they faced in the middle of the 1970s was a lot like what they have now. We bailed out Chrysler once before, you will recall.

J2t2 & Rhinehold
I see that you beat me to the GM example. Remember John K Galbrith’s industrial state. He thought GM was not only too big to fail but that it was so big that it could control its market. Wrong.

Posted by: Christine at May 28, 2009 6:29 PM
Comment #282165

anyone for a hudson, or a packard. i own three GM vehicles, but if they must fail then so be it. there will be other more efficient automakers who will fill the void. ford seems to be holding its own, and honda, and toyota are doing far better. IMO this is about the UAW and saving them at all costs. cost to the taxpayers that is. what a ripoff.

Posted by: dbs at May 28, 2009 7:20 PM
Comment #282166

“I’m sorry j2t2, but GM, for example, is not ‘too big to fail’.

Rhinehold I was thinking of the banks/investment houses/insurance companies that we have bailed out recently when I was saying “to big to fail”. A lesson learned during the great depression was lost and legislation driven by those to “big to fail” that would have helped prevent the meltdown was passed that allowed them to grow to such a size. Because of this many people have lost jobs and those that were to big to fail have further consolidated and cost the country more jobs.
To allow GM to fail will further impact the economy negatively and cause additional job loss. While some may say this is the free market and so be it I disagree as there is more important issues at stake for the people of this country and the free market with its trinkets from China mentality is to blame,IMHO. I mean what good is it if I can buy cheap imported electronics at a better price yet cannot afford the basics because of a lack of good paying jobs that are lost due to free market policies that benefit only large corporations. Hence the term free malarkey.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2009 8:10 PM
Comment #282167

“If they fail and disappear, the demand for cars does not. Which means another company would start selling cars and would need to create or increase production to do so, meaning people would have to be hired, most likely the ones who were just let go from GM as they are the ones with the most experience.

The result would be a new company, with new leadership and direction and vision, employing most of the people that they were employing before and probably using many of the closed factories that crank those cars out.”

So the free market theory goes Rhinehold. Yet GM is failing partially because of the “to big to fail banks” not extending credit and people not able to buy the vehicles. Do you really think a new company will start producing vehicles in the current environment, when Honda Toyota and Ford as well as GM and Chrysler are not selling enough vehicles and suffering because demand is down. We can criticize GM for producing the wrong vehicles based upon last years speculation caused run up in gas prices but without jobs and credit who will be buying the new companies cars? Hence the term free malarkey.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2009 8:20 PM
Comment #282168

“The market can correct, even with big firms.”

Eventually yes Christine the market probably will correct itself as far as it benefits big business to the detriment of small business and individuals in this country, however, as they continue to consolidate less jobs will be had for the consumers of this country and while the big corporations can go overseas for business now eventually this growth will subside. My point is the free market is lopsided to such a degree that the correction is in reality a partial correction and needs to be corrected to include all people nit just large corporations.

“I don’t know what you are talking about referring to the last 30 years. There were plenty of big, monopolistic firms in the past.”

Since the days of Reagan we have endured supply side economics/Reaganomics/trinkle on economics/voodoo economics to the detriment of the country and our system of representative democracy. Prior to this period the last time we had supply side economics ended in the great depression. I don’t believe that it was a coincidence that we have come close to having another great depression, in fact I considered it to be inevitable, with this system of Reaganomics in place. In the past after many panics, recessions and depressions the monopolistic tendencies of capitalism were dealt with as a result of the gilded age and the great depression. Unfortunately we have regressed and here we are today, deep in debt, out of work, and with an income disparity that would do the gilded age proud. Capitalism needs a firm hand to guide it or left to it’s own devices runs amok. Capitalism and the free market works for some things and should be put in its place. Most of all we should remember capitalism is not a system of governance it is an economic system. When capitalism runs our representative democracy as it does today and has in the past, specifically when monopolistic industries ruled the roost, then it is the problem not the solution. When capitalism becomes the problem then people look to other systems for the solution and fascism and communism seem to be the answer. To resolve this we need more, many more corporations, smaller in size and competing for business. Hence the term “free malarkey”, as that IMHO is what we have today.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2009 8:48 PM
Comment #282170

“anyone for a hudson, or a packard” Yes! they were some of the best built cars ever made dbs, Packard was known for it’s powerplants. Like the Packard V-1650 in the P-51H Mustang as one of the fastest production piston engine fighters to see service.

The P-51H used the new V-1650-9 engine, a version of the Merlin that included Simmons automatic supercharger boost control with water injection, allowing War Emergency Power as high as 2,218 hp (1,500 kW). Differences between the P-51D included lengthening the fuselage and increasing the height of the tailfin, which greatly reduced the tendency to yaw. The canopy resembled the P-51D style, over a somewhat raised pilot’s position. Service access to the guns and ammunition was also improved. With the new airframe several hundred pounds lighter, the extra power and a more streamlined radiator, the P-51H was among the fastest propeller fighters ever, able to reach 487 mph (784 km/h or Mach 0.74) at 25,000 ft (7,600 m).
Don’t get much faster than 530 MPH with a prop IE Piston Engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vehicle_speed_records

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 28, 2009 10:25 PM
Comment #282172

j2t2

Nothing last forever. The economy and society goes up and down. The post war economy had run its course by the early 1970s. It lasted around twenty-five years. By the time Reagan took over, it was dying. There really was not much of a choice. A different sort of economy took its place and gave us prosperity for around twenty-five years.

I have never seen or even heard of a system that produces uniform prosperity all the time. Market based systems do better than the others because they tap better into the intelligence, innovation and imagination of a greater number of people.

A free market requires rule of law and some regulation. Capitalism is a theory that doesn’t apply.

The simple rule is that if someone will do something, the government should probalby not. Regulations should tweak market incentives, not try to overcome them. No government has been able to repeal the laws of supply and demand and it is better not to try. Some inequality is good and just. Freedom which allows different choices must lead to inequality, but too much leads to social unrest. Governments can help create conditions for prosperity, but they cannot create it directly over any significant period of time or for very many people.

I support whatever system that has these general characteristics. It is mostly what we have in America and even in these “horrible” times, most people own tvs, cars, nice clothes etc.

Posted by: Christine at May 28, 2009 10:29 PM
Comment #282175
Prior to this period the last time we had supply side economics ended in the great depression

Um, no, this is an unfactual statement. Please reeread some history. Hoover was NOT a free-market president.

Posted by: rhinehold at May 29, 2009 12:56 AM
Comment #282176

“By the time Reagan took over, it was dying. There really was not much of a choice. A different sort of economy took its place and gave us prosperity for around twenty-five years.”

Sure there was a choice Christine. Indeed there was more competition from rebuilt nations and emerging economies but that wasn’t the only reason for the problems of the ‘70’s. In 1971 we pulled out of the Bretton Wood accord causing the dollar to depreciate in value. In 1972 there was the oil embargo. In 1973-74 the stock market crashed. Oil was at $3/barrel before the embargo and $12/barrel after. Another oil crisis in 1979. By 1980 oil was $35/barrel. By 1986 oil was back to $10/barrel. So it wasn’t the demand side economics that failed us it was events outside of the system that caused the problems of the ‘70’s. Reagan and Reagan lead the conservatives to power in 1980 and changes to supply side economics which has lead to a drastic income disparity and converted the US from the leading lender nation to the leading debtor nation among others. Despite your belief of 25 years of prosperity, we also went through recessions in 1982, 1990, 2001 and 2007 to present. Prosperity was for the wealthy as most Americans saw incomes stagnate.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 29, 2009 12:57 AM
Comment #282178

Hoover was NOT a free-market president.

No, he was a Laissez Faire Republican, to be precise, but I’m interested. You believe he was against free markets?

Please note there is a difference between a Laissez Faire Republican and the application of realities of being in office in 1929, before you launch into your usual rant about his completely ineffective meddling.

Posted by: gergle at May 29, 2009 2:17 AM
Comment #282188

Rhinehold, Hoover was in office a very short time prior to the bottom falling out of the stock market. His Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, was a holdover from the Coolidge days however. To think Mellon was not a supply sider is a stretch isn’t it?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 29, 2009 10:05 AM
Comment #282192

Nominal oil prices and adjusted for inflation oil prices . http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Inflation_Adj_Oil_Prices_Chart.htm

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 29, 2009 10:53 AM
Comment #282193

Todays price of Oil And Natural gas Gerg. http://www.bloomberg.com/energy/

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 29, 2009 11:02 AM
Comment #282194

Iacocca losing pension, car in Chrysler bankruptcy, He was a Maverick . http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090529/bs_nm/us_chrysler_iacocca

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 29, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #282195

Rodney

thats cool. you seem to be a information junkie when it comes to anything mechanical. i can’t enough of that stuff either. i’ll watch tech shows at home until everyone in the house wants to beat me to death with the remote. hasn’t happened yet though. i thought that engine was refered to as the rolls royce merlin. i didn’t know packard had anything to do with that powerplant. i guess you learn something new everyday. planes, trains, trucks, heavy equiptment, just bring it on.

Posted by: dbs at May 29, 2009 11:23 AM
Comment #282196

Rodney

you know one of my other favorites was the P-38 lightning. i understand they had problems pulling out of steep dives with them until they added airbrakes to slow it down. i think the germans used to refer to it as the forked tailed devil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38_Lightning

Posted by: dbs at May 29, 2009 11:31 AM
Comment #282198

Thanks dbs, she was a beauty and fast! yep Der Gabelschwanz Teufel the Fork-Tailed Devil! Some high altitude problems Lean air mixture were addressed .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 29, 2009 11:53 AM
Comment #282214

103 Years ago Just water vapor and a tiny gas burner the size of a quarter running on kerosene i’d love to hook one up to natural gas . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Marriott Fred Marriott was an American race car driver. In 1906, he set the world land speed record at 127.659 mph (205.5 km/h) at the Daytona Beach Road Course, while driving the Stanley Steamer. [1] [2] This garnered him the Dewar Trophy in the process. The steam car is the longest-standing officially recognized land speed record. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Steamer There has never been a documented case of a Stanley boiler exploding in use.[1][2]

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 29, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #282220

“I have never seen or even heard of a system that produces uniform prosperity all the time.”

Is that because we believe it is inevitable that recessions and depressions are needed to correct the marketplace? Or perhaps because we have come to believe speculation is innovation and labor is just a commodity? The problem with capitalism is we need to continue to grow, without growth capitalism falls apart, yet part of the cycle of capitalism is a lack of growth.

“Market based systems do better than the others because they tap better into the intelligence, innovation and imagination of a greater number of people.”

A market based system appear to be the best choice available but to think the market has all the answers and looks out for the good of all is rather naive IMHO. Market based systems supporters like to say it is because of the ability to tap into innovation, imagination and intelligence but sometimes it appears it is more do to megalomaniac greed that anyhting else.

“The simple rule is that if someone will do something, the government should probalby not.”

That is a very simple rule alright Christine but I question the wisdom behind the rule. There are many things, and Jon in a previous comment in this thread has detailed it, that the private sector doesn’t do well despite rhetoric to the contrary. It seems since big business started telling us government was the problem many of us has accepted it at face value. Sometimes I wonder how we can be so trusting of a PR department that we accept this, start a political movement based upon it and fall on our faces when it doesn’t prove to be true.


“Regulations should tweak market incentives, not try to overcome them. No government has been able to repeal the laws of supply and demand and it is better not to try.”

Regulations should level the playing field for competition not prohibit competition as was the case with the deregulation frenzy of thepast 30 years. Why does the market in all its wisdom need incentives to produce gadgets and such. I really don’t know of a government trying to repeal the laws of supply and demand, I know of corporations manipulating the laws of supply and demand for their own gain. Rising gas prices with an oil glut is just 1 example.


“Some inequality is good and just. Freedom which allows different choices must lead to inequality, but too much leads to social unrest.”

I don’t know about good and just but it seems to be inevitable. I don’t think most of us want or expect complete and total equality of outcomes, equal opportunity is more of an issue to me.

“Governments can help create conditions for prosperity, but they cannot create it directly over any significant period of time or for very many people.”

It seems capitalism can only create prosperity for any stretch of time for very few people. It also seems, if history is an indication, those that gain the most financially in this country do so with much more government help that most free market types would be willing to admit.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 29, 2009 5:32 PM
Comment #282228

Rhinehold-
I didn’t say nuclear enrichment. I said nuclear test. Remember that nuclear fizzle not so long ago?

I don’t trust the North Koreans any further than I can throw them. But Eric here is trying to put over this notion that somehow its Obama’s fault things happened this way, when clearly the North Koreans were pretty far along on this project under the Bush Administration’s much more belligerent rhetoric.

And if it’s action you want? Here’s the key, what you and Eric neglect: we are still bound by the Armistice agreed to at the end of the Korean War. If we go in, guns blazing, it’s we who start the second Korean War. The North Koreans, in that case, claim to be the victims. I really don’t want to give those idiots in charge of that country any excuse or way to weasel out of their responsiblity for the escalation of the war and the breaking of the peace. The dumbasses in charge there have already repudiated the Armistice. If they start some kind of attack, then we can can enlist much more cooperation, especially from South Korea, Japan and other countries, in putting the North back in their place. Additionally, it gives the Chinese no good excuse to come to North Korea’s aid, at least not as a military power.

Think about this strategically, as in, in such way that you make things more likely to work out for you, less likely to work out for your opponent. Too many people treat war as a video game, rather than as a complex exercise in the directed use of force.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2009 8:27 PM
Comment #282231

j2t2

I am flattered that you took the time to resond point by point. Thank you.

I do not really disagree with much of what you say in the broad sense. I think it is human nature to screw up. Maybe that is the wrong term. Since it seems just to be the way things are, maybe that is normal. We can usually imagine more than is possible to achieve. I can imagine being in perfect health and superb phyical condition, but I notice that even the the best athletes achieve this only episodically. I think the economy is like that too. I really don’t expect anything more.

You criticize the market system, but you really don’t offer an alternative. I cannot think of any large scale system that has produced more opporunity and prosperity than the U.S. Sometimes smaller jurisdictions can do better, since they don’t face as much complexity. It is also a cherry picking problem. Particular American states lead in different things too. But they do better when they rely on markets.

If you look at the Heritage Foundations list of economically free countries, you find that generally the more free the better lifestyles.

It is true that the free market can create prosperity only for some time, but no other system does better. It is a human condition, not a failing of the market.

Posted by: Christine at May 29, 2009 10:09 PM
Comment #282234

Eric
I agree it is getting to be a tiresome arguement. Their is nobody in the current administration leaning toward Marxism. A national health care delivery policy does not immediatly turn the US into North Korea.
I also should mention at least two communist states that do not suffer from mass starvation, Cuba and China. China is actually on track to become the worlds biggest economy this century. Cuba has a better infant mortality rate than the US. I am not pushing their forms of government, but facts are facts. They are dictatorships. So is Singapore. Dictatorships are not limited to Marxist countries by any means.

Robert Gates does not seem particularly alarmed by NK actions. Of great importance is the cooperation of China in reigning in one of their buffer states. Do you think calling them names and telling them how they should run their country will help?

Posted by: bills at May 30, 2009 4:48 AM
Comment #282246

“I think it is human nature to screw up. Maybe that is the wrong term. Since it seems just to be the way things are, maybe that is normal. We can usually imagine more than is possible to achieve.”

Christine I am not asking that we achieve perfection myself. I would like to think that we could learn from past mistakes and not regress to the point of systematic failure. I find it interesting that you hold the bar lower for the system we use than for the companies that claim to use the free market system as the best means of innovative which comes from the imagination.

“You criticize the market system, but you really don’t offer an alternative.”

I am not against the free market system in theory Christine I am against manipulation of the free market system to the point we are today. I am against the supply side theory of economics as practiced as it has lead to failure and to the deification of business to big to fail. The alternative I offer is to …well I like Jons earlier response for one. Secondly I would like to see the free market system abide by a sustainable system that benefits many more people than it currently does. Further in the middle column David offers a solution to correct the current system that makes sense to me.

“If you look at the Heritage Foundations list of economically free countries, you find that generally the more free the better lifestyles.”

What I find interesting about this list is the Countries that combine an economic system with a system of governance offer the least freedoms. Fortunately we have a separate system for economics and of course our representative democracy. When we allow corporations control of both I wonder if we are not heading towards less freedom like some of the countries on the list you refer to. IMHO the past 30 years of free malarkey is overwhelming proof that we are.

“It is true that the free market can create prosperity only for some time, but no other system does better. It is a human condition, not a failing of the market.”

To a certain degree it is human condition but when those that make the laws are bought and paid for by the wealthy it creates a playing field that is skewered to the wealthy and that is what we see today. What is best for a few mega corporations is not what is best for the Country as we compete in the global marketplace.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 30, 2009 9:16 PM
Comment #282249

j2t2

I have nothing against attempts to reform. They should be done in the market context. As long as we are flexible enough to change course when we require course corrections, as we always do. Government has a duty to enforce the rule of law and to keep concentrations from becomming dangerous. But it cannot always get it right.

Re your comment on keeping the economic and political systems separate - yes. You have become a free market conservative and we are on the same side. As for letting the big firms fail, yes on that one too.

You keep on talking about the last 30 years. The worst time in my life was around 30 years ago - the late 1970s and early 1980s, when interest rates were 20% unemployment sometimes reached 12%, inflation was high and growth low. Many pundits predicted the end of life as we knew it too. Even with all the problems we have today, unemployment is still lower and life is still better.

There were lots of recessions from 1950-1980. 1982 until last year we had a remarkable prosperity. This is about as good as it gets. Sorry if it is not up to what you can imagine.

Seriously, what thirty year period do you like better in American history and is there any area as large as the U.S. that you think has achieved significantly better results over a thirty year period.

In the recent crisis, the financial system failed. Much of that was indeed already government controlled, such as Fannie and freddie. The Fed and others can fix it and should. But experience shows that a general expansion of government will lead to grief.

Posted by: Christine at May 30, 2009 10:52 PM
Comment #282251

“”when interest rates were 20%”” If you had some money back then some cds and wow, I seen a lot of folks back then reap from those rates the rest hurt from the stagflation and inflation i could not buy a house or new car back then i refused some Economist were saying that was a fact of life .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 31, 2009 12:01 AM
Comment #282256

“I have nothing against attempts to reform. They should be done in the market context.”

can you point to corrections the “free market” has done to achieve this result you speak of? The corporations will destroy themselves and us left to their own devices. Remember, by charter the sole purpose of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders. The good of the nation as a whole is not the concern of a corporation or an industry.

“You have become a free market conservative and we are on the same side.”

Christine that is insulting to me. The last thing I am is blind to the history of this country and the reality of our circumstances today and the past 30 years. Because I believe the facts show that combining a system of governance and economics into one system is detrimental to the freedom of a country does not make me by any stretch a free market conservative. Perhaps you need to judge “free market conservatism” by its deeds not its propaganda. IMHO it has been the cons that lead the charge of a corporate run nation, it wasn’t until Clinton that the dems found out it would get them elected to office by kowtowing to corporate money.

“The worst time in my life was around 30 years ago - the late 1970s and early 1980s, when interest rates were 20% unemployment sometimes reached 12%, inflation was high and growth low. Many pundits predicted the end of life as we knew it too.”
Christine really! at least read some of my previous post. I have oh heck…. here it is again..”In 1971 we pulled out of the Bretton Wood accord causing the dollar to depreciate in value. In 1972 there was the oil embargo. In 1973-74 the stock market crashed. Oil was at $3/barrel before the embargo and $12/barrel after. Another oil crisis in 1979. By 1980 oil was $35/barrel. By 1986 oil was back to $10/barrel. So it wasn’t the demand side economics that failed us it was events outside of the system that caused the problems of the ‘70’s. Reagan and Reagan lead the conservatives to power in 1980 and changes to supply side economics which has lead to a drastic income disparity and converted the US from the leading lender nation to the leading debtor nation among others.” Either refute it or turn a blind eye to it but realize that it was the start of the latest go around of free market conservatism. If you look back at history you will find that when this country decided to convert the monetary system it was a disruption to the economy for a relatively long period. BTW if you actually check your statistics you will find the highest unemployment rate in the ‘80’s was 9.6% not 12 as you claim. Interest rates for mortgages were not 20% as you say but in the 13% range. Credit card rates were not that high yet either.

” Even with all the problems we have today, unemployment is still lower and life is still better.”

Yes until next month when GM lays off its workers the unemployment rare is better, just barely, but yes better. As to being better off ask those just starting out and you might find your opinion is not shared by others. As far as life being better I guess we could go on some time debating this but better in what way Christine? Better in a “we have TV, VCRs and computer” way or better in a quality of life and “being able to spend it with the family” kind of way? I would argue that unless you are talking in a strictly financial “for those of us 50 or older way” you may lose this point. Most of us need a two family income today to support the family unlike the ‘60’s. Ask the principal of your local school how much easier it is today to deal with the cell phones, texting, and facebook generation as compared to the ‘60’s. I will rest my case with that for now.

“There were lots of recessions from 1950-1980. 1982 until last year we had a remarkable prosperity. This is about as good as it gets. Sorry if it is not up to what you can imagine.”

There were 4 recessions between 1950 and 1980, Christine including the oil crisis of 1973. In the times between 1950 and 1980 the middle class and the poor shared in the prosperity to a much greater degree than since that time. Since 1980 and the return of supply side economics their has been a greater income inequality than in the period from 1950 to 1980. That is just the facts, all excuses and sidestepping aside. What I imagine has nothing to do with it, it is because conservatives control of the country this past 30 years has lead to this inequality just as it did prior to the great depression. The “free market” has problems when it is left to the “market” to handle it own problems.

“In the recent crisis, the financial system failed. Much of that was indeed already government controlled, such as Fannie and freddie.”

Only in the minds of the talk radio conservatives, Christine. To blame Freddie and Fannie is ridiculous. The cost to bail them out was minimal compared to the others. Yet we bailed out AIG and the to big to fail banks on top of Freddie and Fannie. You should really take the time to dig into this a little instead of spouting the Limbaugh line. If to many Americans continue to swallow this line the result will be such that this debacle will be repeated again and again. We deserve better. The financial system was deregulated and allowed to grow outside the reach of government. The artificial run up of oil prices last year is but one example. The banks allowed to grow to be to big to fail is another.

“But experience shows that a general expansion of government will lead to grief.”

Experience also shows that bigger government is needed to counter the negative effects of big business and a growing country. Do you see a correlation between the expansion of business and government? Do you really believe that corporate America should be bigger than the government of we the people? It seems conservatism as you see it is a government of capitalism and free market rule in lieu of a representative democracy. Which seems to bring us full circle to the economic system and system of governance being one and the same. What am I missing here?


http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm

http://www.homefinders.com/historical-interest-rates/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/credit/more/rise.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States

Posted by: j2t2 at May 31, 2009 1:02 AM
Comment #282259

After the recession of 1982 was over the Rates started to drop like a rock we bought our first house in end of 1985-first part of 1986 we got a 8.3/4 % loan BTW we thought that was fantastic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Federal_Funds_Rate_(effective).svg

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 31, 2009 9:59 AM
Comment #282260

http://www.miseryindex.us/customindexbyyear.asp Misery Index = Unemployment rate + Inflation rate

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 31, 2009 10:16 AM
Comment #282264

“During the Presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter made frequent references to the Misery Index, which by the summer of 1976 was at 13.57%. Carter stated that no man responsible for giving a country a misery index that high had a right to even ask to be President. Carter won the 1976 election. However, by 1980, when President Carter was running for re-election against Ronald Reagan, the Misery Index had reached an all-time high of 21.98%. Carter lost the election to Reagan.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misery_Index_(economic)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 31, 2009 11:58 AM
Comment #282272

J2t2

The same “outside the system” stuff caused our problems today.

Breton Woods collapsed – why? Was that just random chance or something like the collapse of the financial system last year? The oil price rises, a lot like a couple years ago.

You talk about the unemployment rate reaching only 9.6%. I was wrong about the 12%, but it did reach 10.8% in Nov-Dec 1982. I would repeat, however, that we still have not reached even that lower rate. I also have mortgage interest rates reaching 18.45% in October 1981. If you compare interest rates today you can get a 30 years mortgage at 4.81%. Good luck trying to get that. I think we can safely say that mortgage rates in 1982 for most people were around 20%, just as they are around 6% today for most people. In any case, those were not good times.

So to specially address what you are missing
Your unemployment statistics are year to year. That is great. But if you want to compare apples to apples, the unemployment rates during the last ten years were in the 4% range for much of the time, which is very good.

The same goes for your mortgage data. If you believe you can get a mortgage today at 4.81%, go for it. But please use the comparable data.

Your last note shows that every income group has gained but the richer groups have done better. That is a neutral finding unless you ask why. I don’t think inequality itself is a problem. I have been in all five income quintiles during my working life, although my lifetime median income is slightly below the U.S. median, I do very well today. The income statistics do not measure the dynamism of the American economy. People’s positions change. I don’t see much point in redistributing income from my older to my younger self.

Beyond that, immigration has increased a lot. Immigrants often come in at the bottom. Persistent immigration will skew the stats, as will general prosperity. Income inequality DROPPED during the first Bush years and it is dropping this year. Why? Economic slowdowns reduce inequality. Is that what you want?

You mention the living standards. I personally think we don’t need all those cellular phones, electronics etc. Most people like them. If you want to live with the things we had in 1960, you can do that very cheaply. In today’s market, I could buy the house I grew up in for around $100K. It only has one bathroom and is not very big, but that is what we had in those days. I probably cannot get a TV as primitive as the one I had back then, but the cheapest of the new TVs would be a step up. We want more things so we work hard to get them, but people overall work less, when you take into account all the labor saving devices.

You correctly say that hard times come. So what? The prescription of bigger government makes no sense. Countries with bigger governments usually suffer higher unemployment and slower growth. The ones with really aggressive governments don’t grow much at all. The ones with moderate governments, like France, may do better during down times, but they don’t grow as much. Our “bad times” unemployment rate is similar to France’s usual rate. And Germany is being very hard hit by this recession, worse than us.

You can indeed imagine a better world. I can too. The trouble is that neither of us can achieve it and it might not really be a better world if it was taken out of our forgiving imaginations. I can imagine a better world, but I have not actually seen one.

Neither have you, evidently. Can you name a bigger government place comparable to ours that has consistently done better? You can cherry pick and so can I. But compare Europe, China, India, Brazil, Russia or Indonesia over a thirty year period. Where would you rather be.

Posted by: Christine at May 31, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #282288

“Breton Woods collapsed – why?”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system\

“If you believe you can get a mortgage today at 4.81%, go for it. But please use the comparable data.”

http://www.freerateupdate.com/mortgage-rates/?gclid=CJrThrP955oCFQRkswodPQXKBQ

“The prescription of bigger government makes no sense. Countries with bigger governments usually suffer higher unemployment and slower growth.”

When conservatives mention bigger government it usually can be narrowed down to either not wanting to pay taxes to support various programs or gods guns and gays. It seems the biggest offenders to the “lower taxes, free market” crowd is OASDI, OSHA, The Civil rights act, The NLRB, The Interstate Commerce Act, The SEC, The FDA, The FTC and The CPSC, oh and of course the EPA. These “big government” bad guys were established to correct, for the most part, serious problems of our economic system over the years. Many have been under attack for the past 30 years or so, or have been co-opted by “fox guarding the chicken” appointments and such. When you say small government is best which of these programs are you specifically targeting?

“Economic slowdowns reduce inequality. Is that what you want?”

No that is not what I want Christine but if that is the best capitalism has to offer perhaps we should imagine a better system without reverting to communism nor fascism name calling.

“In today’s market, I could buy the house I grew up in for around $100K.”

I wonder what it sold for when your parents bought it? Did both parents work to make the payment? My first house cost me less than a car does today. I believe people starting out today have a much longer row to hoe than we did.
As far as the TV set comparison, I can remember my dad taking tubes to the drugstore to test when the TV set went bad. Without just this tester at the drug store he was able to repair the TV set. I wonder if the same could be said today. I don’t think so.

“Can you name a bigger government place comparable to ours that has consistently done better? You can cherry pick and so can I.”

I notice Canada and Australia are not on the list. That aside I an an American and would rather stay and fight the fight for this country. Now lets cherry pick a small government conservative utopia. Mexico comes to mind.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 31, 2009 10:41 PM
Comment #282290

j2t2 said “” As far as the TV set comparison, I can remember my dad taking tubes to the drugstore to test when the TV set went bad “” I remember doing that myself and they had the replacements in the drawer below the tester Thrifty drug stores in california and you could get a double scoop of ice cream for 10 cents,Our first house was $68,000 in the end of 1985 a little higher in california even then and it was a small 3 bed 1.5 bath 1200 sg ft house with a huge lot and was built in 1949 it had a lot of character we were cautious we could have had more like many of our friends but we decided that if someone got sick or hurt we could stay there with no sweat my wife took four years off work we did fine and the payment was $680 a month and it included the property taxes and whole ball of wax. I was abel to use my VA Loan it helped lower the rate by over 1 point.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 31, 2009 11:37 PM
Comment #282299

j2t2 those rates are a little low at 4.81% I just checked the national average for a 30 year fixed and it went up it’s at 5.23% and with the APR 5.60% and that is for folks with excellent credit and credit is still tight.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 1, 2009 1:06 AM
Comment #282309

Rodney this is what they were advertising. I find it hard to believe it is true but I also find it hard to believe those in the mortgage business would mislead us. ;)

The whole point is actually just a side issue anyway Rodney. It was during that late 70’s/early 80’s time frame that Volcker intentionally raised these mortgage rates to combat the stagflation caused by the events of the ’70s. I believe the point was to raised these rates to the point it choked off the money supply to fight inflation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Volcker

It seems that those running for and elected to president have learned the misery index lesson by revising inflation data to not include housing costs and employment data to exclude those that cannot find work. Perhaps we should add interest rates on savings and amount of credit card debt per household to the misery list. For those of us just starting out perhaps college loan debt or the number of years it takes to pay off the college loan should be included as well.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 1, 2009 9:23 AM
Comment #282319

mortgage rates are almost Zilch compaired to 1978-1983 Yes they did make some corrections ;) to the inflation data once in the 1980s and again in the 1990s it’s higher than what it says big surprise there ;) But it’s still a lot lower than the 1970s and early 1980s it was a runaway train heading for a bad wreck that was pure stagflation and misery and Malaise and Volker did the right thing IMHO .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 1, 2009 12:19 PM
Comment #282321

Back to the nukes.

Pandora’s box is open and can never again be shut. Short of taking positive control of all fissionable material mines, we will NOT be able to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We can only slow it down through the velvet-lined mailed fist of diplomacy…and promise terrible retribution against anyone who uses such against us or our allies.

That said, I am not at all afraid of NK launching an ICBM - they’re not that stupid. They’re far more likely to sell a nuke to a terrorist…and since they almost certainly don’t have suitcase nukes (yet), they might put one in a shipping container.

But even then, I think it is unlikely that they (or their terrorist proxies) will target a nuclear-armed country - for they would know how terrible the retaliation would be. I would instead expect such an attack to take place in a major port on a non-nuclear-armed country. I would expect a nuke - if it were under the control of an Islamic terrorist - to be used instead against, say, Bangkok, since there is currently an Islamic rebellion in their southern province…or (if the rebels were Sunni) against Iran - because (FYI) the Sunni and the Shi’a hate each other worse than they hate the West.

Again, Pandora’s box is open and can never again be shut…and our only defenses are taking positive control of ALL mining sources of fissionable material, using the velvet-lined mailed fist of diplomacy to slow the spread of nukes…and follow through with terrible retribution against any who dare use such against us or our allies.

To paraphrase Kubrick, this post could be titled, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Not Stress Too Much About the Bomb”.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 1, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #282348

“But it’s still a lot lower than the 1970s and early 1980s it was a runaway train heading for a bad wreck that was pure stagflation and misery and Malaise and Volker did the right thing IMHO .”

Rodney yes Volcker did what he had to and mortgage rates and interest rates in general are lower than in thew late 70’s. Stagflation was bad for all of us. However bear in mind that Volcker intentionally choked off the money supply to keep inflation at bay. The purpose of his actions was to raise these rates in the short term, which he accomplished. It further had the effect of increasing the unemployment rate. The actions he took were needed because of the dramatic rise in oil prices, which were due in part to the collapse of the Bretton Wood accord. The problem from what I understand was not because of a demand side issue.

However I disagree that we, people of all ages not just the boomers, are better off today than we were then for several reasons. I have stated most of them already in this thread so I’ll leave it at that for now. I also think the supply side economics system is wrong for us then and now. It seems you and Christine support the supply side theory, which is your choice but when you consider that we have become the debtor nation we have in order to accomplish this “prosperity” Christine speaks of I ask if it is worth it.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2009 12:25 PM
Comment #282351

j2t2,

I suppose I should ask, what should we change to other than ‘supply side’ economics, recognizing of course that it was ‘supply side’ economics that empowered people to the levels of freedom that the US citizens have enjoyed.

Posted by: rhinehold at June 2, 2009 1:41 PM
Comment #282353

Rhinehold wasn’t it our representative democracy that empowered people to the level of freedom we have enjoyed? Certainly capitalism as an economic system has helped to fuel the machine and deserves a certain amount of credit, however once one goes back and looks at the collapses, recessions, depressions caused by capitalism as we have practiced, it one has to wonder what if we could have had a more moderate form of capitalism from post civil war until WWII. Perhaps a war or two would have been prevented, perhaps not. Perhaps income equality would have been better perhaps not.

The mentality we have suffered through the past 30 years, as a country, is due IMHO to supply side economics and the all or nothing conservatism that has held sway. We have allowed some business to get to big to the detriment of the country, we have failed so far, IMHO, as we have globalized to maintain our standard of living for many. Could it be worse, much worse yes but had it been would we have switched to a communistic approach? Excess capitalism breeds communism doesn’t it?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #282355
Rhinehold wasn’t it our representative democracy that empowered people to the level of freedom we have enjoyed?

It was part of it, but having a representative democracy that just voted over an individual’s work would not have done it. The idea of private property rights being ensured is the second part of that, the final part being freedom from government (other people’s) interference into your business and personal life.

The past 30 years have been more of a social economy than a supply side one than previous. The notion of ‘suffering through’ 30 years of decreased freedom because of increased freedom is a hilarious take on it I suppose.

The real issue what we want our economy to do.

Do we want to set up a free and open market where people can freely trade services and goods with each other without fear of fraud or other illegal activiites taking place in those transactions?

Or Do we want to set up mechanisms whereby people are able to obtain all of the things that they need with a little bit left over to get the things they want and the government be the arbiter of those things, ensuring equality of outcome, not risk/reward?

So, again, to answer my question, what do you want to see the economy be and why, and are you willing to give up individual economic freedom to ensure ‘income equality’?

Posted by: rhinehold at June 2, 2009 3:30 PM
Comment #282360

Rhinehold-
Freedom from government interference is fine. Just guarantee me that somehow the market will just spontaneously reduce pollution, raise wages, protect consumer safety, charge appropriate prices, etc.

The truth is, some people (not all, but enough), are willing to do terrible things, dishonest things, even evil things to make money. I would like to believe that the market would discourage things like this, but that has not been my experience.

My experience is that people will cut corners. My experience is that people hide when things are going wrong. My experience is that insider will often flee the companies they had a hand in ruining with their investors money. My experience is that companies don’t like investors to know how their finances really stack up. My experience is that folks will play both sides of a game, if given the chance, and won’t care about the position their conflict of interest puts people in.

Some at least. Enough to cause problems. Enough to cause meltdowns that put shame upon their industry.

We are more than just an economy, we are a society. The economy, though, is not something that can be allowed to fail catastrophically, if we want society to function, as best it can.

Society must regulate business. A market economy is not a problem, the trick is whether society punishes dishonesty, fraud, conflicts of interest, and failure on obligations sufficiently to where the market isn’t always playing catchup, trying to shake the effects of the last set of crooks who brought shame on their sector. We can let things escalate to a crisis again or again, or we can enact sanctions against those whose economic activities put all our livelihoods at risk.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 2, 2009 5:06 PM
Comment #282361

Stephen,

I never said that government shouldn’t regulate business. In fact, I stated specifically that it should prevent fraud, etc. A market can’t be ‘free’ if both parties aren’t protected from the other, can it?

However, there are many instances where we could use non-governmental agencies (force) to get the same result. Underwriters Labratories and Angies List are two good examples. Why not makes the USDA be an NGO? Same for the FDA? Why do they have to be governmentally ran agencies that end up retarding the very thing they are supposed to be policing?

Posted by: rhinehold at June 2, 2009 5:24 PM
Comment #282370

“The real issue what we want our economy to do.”

Exactly right Rhinehold what should our economic system do and what do we not want it to do. What some of the robber barons of the gilded age called the laissez faire system worked for only a few. Some of course achieved a great deal of individual economic freedom at the expense of many others and their economic freedom. Maybe at one time when the choice was a feudal type system or a free market system it was easier to favor the laissex faire approach to the market system. In our modern economy it hasn’t worked.

“The idea of private property rights being ensured is the second part of that, the final part being freedom from government (other people’s) interference into your business and personal life.”

I agree that private property rights should be ensured, however woth so many innovations which allow one to abuse the rights of another it is getting more difficult to allow a corporation and/or a person to do whatever they want on their property unfortunately. The PG&E case where they stored toxic chemicals on their property and allowed these chemicals to contaminate the groundwater used by the rest of the people in the town to the point it caused major illness and deaths is a good example of that. There are responsibilities that come with property rights just as there are responsibilities that come with other rights.

“The past 30 years have been more of a social economy than a supply side one than previous. The notion of ‘suffering through’ 30 years of decreased freedom because of increased freedom is a hilarious take on it I suppose.”

What? Are you saying that we have not been using the Reaganomics put into place nearly 30 years ago? Perhaps you are right though and I have misstated my point as some of the time was considered the best of times, just like the time leading up to the depression. We are suffering now and our grandkids will be suffering for years to come for our forward financing of the good times.

“Do we want to set up a free and open market where people can freely trade services and goods with each other without fear of fraud or other illegal activiites taking place in those transactions?”

That would be nice but unfortunately that has not happened in the history of capitalism has it. I notice you use people in lieu of corporations which currently dominate the market system in you statement. I guess I find that as hilaroius as you found my previous comment.

“Or Do we want to set up mechanisms whereby people are able to obtain all of the things that they need with a little bit left over to get the things they want and the government be the arbiter of those things, ensuring equality of outcome, not risk/reward?”

I am not in favor of a communistic system or a true socialistic system Rhinehold. I favor a sustainable economic system that has checks and balances much like our representative democracy. I find your comment regarding the equality of risk/reward to be hilarious also. Corporate America has passed risk and liability along to others, workers, consumers and shareholders to such a degree that it is a systematic failure IMHO. It is like saying because because I have a 401k I am part of the investor class. Which to me is the same as saying because I speed on the interstate I am a race car driver.

“what do you want to see the economy be and why, and are you willing to give up individual economic freedom to ensure ‘income equality’?”

I want a much more sustainable economy that decommoditizes labor. I want corporations to be business entities chartered to do certain things and not holding companies to big to fail. When the economy is ran right the degree of economic inequality is lessened as has been proven during the 1950’s to 1970’s. Current income inequality of this country puts us in the same league as Mexico and many African nations not in the same league as most other 1st world countries. So if you think that allows for economic freedom then I guess I would be willing to give some of that up for a truer economic freedom for more people.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #282373

“Why not makes the USDA be an NGO? Same for the FDA? Why do they have to be governmentally ran agencies that end up retarding the very thing they are supposed to be policing?”

Rhinehold that would be the same as allowing HOA’s to run cities. Remember only government has to abide by the constitution. Without having any constitutionally protected rights would make these regulatory companies well… dictators. What good does Angie’s List do against multinational corporations?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 2, 2009 9:31 PM
Comment #282379
“The real issue what we want our economy to do.”

Exactly right Rhinehold what should our economic system do and what do we not want it to do.

Then perhaps you could answer the question instead of diatribing about something you don’t seem to understand…

“The idea of private property rights being ensured is the second part of that, the final part being freedom from government (other people’s) interference into your business and personal life.”

I agree that private property rights should be ensured, however woth so many innovations which allow one to abuse the rights of another it is getting more difficult to allow a corporation and/or a person to do whatever they want on their property unfortunately.

That doesn’t mean we should take them away, we just need to ejudicate when one person harms another. As for the case you describe, that could be handled in court quite easily. I don’t think you understand what I am saying though… If someone violates your private property rights by leaking chemicals onto your property, they should be held accountable.

Try again with another example of why we should violate private property rights? Further strengthening them is more effective in the case you mention.

“The past 30 years have been more of a social economy than a supply side one than previous. The notion of ‘suffering through’ 30 years of decreased freedom because of increased freedom is a hilarious take on it I suppose.”

What? Are you saying that we have not been using the Reaganomics put into place nearly 30 years ago?

I think you are arguing with the wrong guy, I’m not a republican, sorry. And no, even reaganomics took away from individual liberties, the debt increased, etc.

“Do we want to set up a free and open market where people can freely trade services and goods with each other without fear of fraud or other illegal activiites taking place in those transactions?”

That would be nice but unfortunately that has not happened in the history of capitalism has it. I notice you use people in lieu of corporations which currently dominate the market system in you statement. I guess I find that as hilaroius as you found my previous comment.

I use people because I believe in individual freedoms, I have no love lost for corporations and again, I think you are arguing against the wrong guy.

“Or Do we want to set up mechanisms whereby people are able to obtain all of the things that they need with a little bit left over to get the things they want and the government be the arbiter of those things, ensuring equality of outcome, not risk/reward?”

I am not in favor of a communistic system or a true socialistic system Rhinehold. I favor a sustainable economic system that has checks and balances much like our representative democracy.

Doesn’t really address it, isn’t that what we have now? If not, how so exactly?

I find your comment regarding the equality of risk/reward to be hilarious also. Corporate America has passed risk and liability along to others, workers, consumers and shareholders to such a degree that it is a systematic failure IMHO. It is like saying because because I have a 401k I am part of the investor class. Which to me is the same as saying because I speed on the interstate I am a race car driver.

Again, you are arguing with the wrong person…

“what do you want to see the economy be and why, and are you willing to give up individual economic freedom to ensure ‘income equality’?”

I want a much more sustainable economy that decommoditizes labor.

What do you mean by sustainable? Always growing?

I want corporations to be business entities chartered to do certain things and not holding companies to big to fail.

I agree, I only wish Obama felt the same way and allowed GM to be broken up, for example.

When the economy is ran right the degree of economic inequality is lessened as has been proven during the 1950’s to 1970’s.

I agree, the 50s to 70s was much closer to what I am talking about than what we have now and what our current administration is taking us toward. I think our spending and debt were much much lower than now.

Current income inequality of this country puts us in the same league as Mexico and many African nations not in the same league as most other 1st world countries. So if you think that allows for economic freedom then I guess I would be willing to give some of that up for a truer economic freedom for more people.

Wow, again you seem to just read from a playbook and argue against straw men rather than what I have stated or suggested… interesting.

“Why not makes the USDA be an NGO? Same for the FDA? Why do they have to be governmentally ran agencies that end up retarding the very thing they are supposed to be policing?”

Rhinehold that would be the same as allowing HOA’s to run cities.

HOW exactly? This doesn’t make sense. Do we have unsafe electrical appliances running rampant through the country? Yet those are not monitored by any government agency, rather an NGO. Why would it be any different with the USDA?

It is NOT like a local government. If you think it is, please explain so instead of making a statement that is absurd and acting as if it were fact.

Posted by: rhinehold at June 2, 2009 10:54 PM
Comment #282414

“That doesn’t mean we should take them away, we just need to ejudicate when one person harms another.I don’t think you understand what I am saying though… If someone violates your private property rights by leaking chemicals onto your property, they should be held accountable.”

The only problem with that is by the time you ajudicate a corporation your dead from the illness as we can see from the Erin Brockovich case mentioned above.

“Then perhaps you could answer the question instead of diatribing about something you don’t seem to understand…”

Cute but your comment was a statement not a question. I will admit I am not an economist by any stretch and don’t pretend to have all the answers but I do have an opinion as to what hasn’t served us well.

“I think you are arguing with the wrong guy, I’m not a republican, sorry. And no, even reaganomics took away from individual liberties, the debt increased, etc.
I use people because I believe in individual freedoms, I have no love lost for corporations and again, I think you are arguing against the wrong guy.
Again, you are arguing with the wrong person…”

Rhinehold I was simply addressing your statements that were in reply to my comments, what do you want?

I will need to finish this later.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 3, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #282417

Bernanke: Groundwork must be laid now to curb record-high US budget deficits
http://www.ktla.com/business/sns-ap-us-bernanke,0,5978757.story?page=1 “The danger of prolonged and persistently high budget deficits is that they can cause investors to lose their appetite for U.S. debt, which would drive up interest rates. Higher interest rates could discourage spending and investment, hurting the economy.”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 3, 2009 3:02 PM
Comment #282420

Rodney isn’t it funny how things change over time.

“O’Neill said he tried to warn Vice President
Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.”

http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/Dick_Cheney_Budget_+_Economy.htm

Posted by: j2t2 at June 3, 2009 4:25 PM
Comment #282422

http://www.geldpress.com/2008/07/us-budget-reporting-deception/ Cheney & “JR” are Flakes , They all have overspent some more some less. the United States has not had a balanced budget since 1957, the year that Dwight Eisenhower was in office. he had Two!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 3, 2009 5:22 PM
Comment #282429

“What do you mean by sustainable? Always growing?”

No never ending growth seems to be impossible doesn’t it. Isn’t that why so many corporations get into trouble? I would like to see a return to demand side economics once again. We still have recessions from time to time but because supply side economics cause so much Federal debt to be added to the deficit, as opposed to demand side economics the recessions are milder and jobs are actually added to the economy in a much greater degree once we start recovering from the recession.

“Wow, again you seem to just read from a playbook and argue against straw men rather than what I have stated or suggested… interesting.”

Wow , but it is true what I have said Rhinehold. I don’t know what playbook you think I read from but if you think economic freedom is just for the few and the incorporated I can see why you think this is a strawman argument. The facts remain that we have a rising income inequality since the inception of the latest supply economics go around. I have already posted a bit from wikipedia on this but here is the list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

Ya know Rhinehold while I was reading up on this I noticed the libertarian viewpoint about income inequality and it seems there is a playbook being read from but…

“HOW exactly? This doesn’t make sense. Do we have unsafe electrical appliances running rampant through the country? Yet those are not monitored by any government agency, rather an NGO. Why would it be any different with the USDA?”

Isn’t an HOA an NGO Rhinehold? Speaking of strawman I see you substituted UL for Angies List but whatever. To my understanding UL doesn’t regulate electrical appliances Rhinehold they set standards and list devices and portions of devices as meeting those standards. It seems they are also a monopoly and an exception to most for profit corporations. The problem is the “use of force” issue isn’t it? So if these new NGO’s can only make a corporation compliant with the law by civil action or by fines what happens when the corporation decides to pay the fine and continue on with whatever they are doing? Or the corporation postpones paying the fine and then declared bankruptcy? I realize you can put them on Angie’s List but that really doesn’t do much good does it? Or on the other side of the fence what happens when the NGO, which is a dictatorship in essence runs amok and ruins a company financially because they received an incentive from a competing business to do so? Why is it libertarians are so against a representative democracy and the constitutional protections that are part of this system of government? A corporate entity has but one goal, by definition, to make money for it’s shareholders, they are not democratic yet you want to give them control over others, why?

“It is NOT like a local government. If you think it is, please explain so instead of making a statement that is absurd and acting as if it were fact.”
In one respect you are correct Rhinehold, HOA’s are not subject to the Constitution that a local government would be subject to.
“Like a city, associations provide services, regulate activities, levy assessments, and may impose fines. Unlike a municipal government, homeowner association governance is not subject to the Constitutional constraints that public government must abide by.[6] Some of the tasks which HOAs carry out would otherwise be performed by local governments. A homeowners’ association can enforce its actions through the threat and levying of fines, and private legal action under civil law.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeowners%27_association

Posted by: j2t2 at June 3, 2009 10:46 PM
Comment #282430

Rodney interesting article you linked to. It seems Clinton came close to balancing the budget. I wonder if it is a coincidence that he was a demand side, not a supply side president. It seems deficits matter to demand siders but not to supply siders.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 3, 2009 10:52 PM
Comment #282436

Bill was a good President but he had some horrible legacy issues and really gave up the ghost on the military and security and top secrets and NAFTA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act things that have haunted us later.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 4, 2009 12:30 AM
Comment #282442

j2t2

he presided over a republican controlled congress. you can’t leave that out of the equation. after all it is congress that ultimately writes the budget. the president either signs, or vetos it.

Posted by: dbs at June 4, 2009 11:27 AM
Comment #282443

Rodney

interesting link. unfortunately when we’re fat and happy, we forget that good times don’t last forever. what is it they say ” those who don’t learn from thier mistakes are doomed to repeat them”.

Posted by: dbs at June 4, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #282444

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
Goes back to George Santayana a philosopher as far i know, I like this one to, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” Was attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and made popular by Mark Twain ,”There are three kinds of lies, lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 4, 2009 12:31 PM
Comment #282474

j2t2 sorry i missed your question about Supply side or Demand side at heart i am a Demand sider i lived through the 1950s and 1960s it was good, I think Reagan had to lower taxes back then though to rev up the economy he should have raised taxes when the economy was burning hot i never agreed with the Bush tax cuts.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 5, 2009 10:49 AM
Comment #282482

dbs yes during 6 years of the Clinton administration the Congress was controlled by the repubs. They did a decent job on welfare reform and hitting the right combination of taxes and spending with a good administration in place. Wonder what caused repubs/conservatives to fall so far so quick once they had full control of the Congress and the Administration?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 5, 2009 2:03 PM
Comment #282489

j2t2

“Wonder what caused repubs/conservatives to fall so far so quick once they had full control of the Congress and the Administration?”

probably what will cause the dems to do the same thing. what is it they say,” power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Posted by: dbs at June 5, 2009 7:38 PM
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