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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » It's the economy stupid. Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
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miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 14, 2015 - 5:04am

 Red_Dragon wrote:
no
 
yo

a really good primer on economics

and it is a simple and easy read

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

The fastest and best way to discover economic basics

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 by HENRY HAZLITT

Filed Under : Broken Window Policy, Austrian Economics, Capitalism, Central Planning, Competition, Collectivism, Communism, Comparative Advantage, Coercion, Division of Labor, Economic Nationalism, Depression, Free Market, Government, Free Trade, Inflation, Interventionism, Government Intervention, Scarcity, Essential

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

This primer on economic principles brilliantly analyzes the seen and unseen consequences of political and economic actions. In the words of F.A. Hayek, there is "no other modern book from which the intelligent layman can learn so much about the basic truths of economics in so short a time."

Downloads: Free PDF | Abridged Audio Book read by Henry Hazlitt himself. 

Also check out our full text version of  The Law.

 

 


Red_Dragon

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Posted: Jan 14, 2015 - 4:40am

 aflanigan wrote:

Do you mean "why" in an etymological sense (i.e. why "economy", not "dildo")?

 
no
kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 14, 2015 - 4:20am

 aflanigan wrote:

Never in need of being made to feel better, but thanks for asking.

{#Wink}

 We could actually have a reasonable discussion about some of the issues you're trying to raise, like the wealth gap. There have definitely been reports pointing out that the recovery we've seen has benefited primarily people in upper income ranges; probably one of the reasons dissatisfaction with the status quo led to the gains Republicans made last fall. Many of the voters who pulled the R lever probably fall into the category of people whose economic welfare has stagnated, or worse in the aftermath of the great recession. Hard to blame them for being impatient; it's what US voters are famous for. And our safety net to help people weather tough times/slow recoveries is notoriously stingy (see here)

I think the issue of the shrinkage of the middle class, and whether it can be halted or even reversed in the long term (say, the next couple of decades) is a really interesting one for which nobody seems to have a clear answer. I am particularly interested because my kids are on the cusp of entry into the workforce. Our generation (yours and mine) is increasingly looking like it may be the last one for which the American Dream (homeownership, freedom from income and wealth volatility, nonworking retirement, college education for the kids) was an accessible goal, even for nonprofessionals/non-white collar workers. There are an awful lot of factors at play, including technological shrinkage, substantial loads of unforgivable education debt, credential inflation, etc.

What do you think of the economic situation of the middle class? Do you think it's something that has been sneakily foisted on us by the current occupant? is it something beyond the control of either party? Would providing free college education at four year state institutions (or community colleges or technical/skills schools offering associates degrees or training programs) help any? 

What about Hanauer's proposal to unilaterally raise the overtime threshold, and/or cut overtime exemptions?

 
You put a lot on the table there, bud.

I'll start with the free tuition thingy.  I think its a bad idea out of the box, at least for 4 year institutions.  The widely accepted stat for grads is that half cannot find a job upon graduation.  Why compound that and make it worse ?  We already have Pell Grants which can cover nearly all costs for a community college.  Its how I did mine and got an Associates degree basically fully paid for.  

I believe that a 2 year degree is more practical and leads to quicker and surer employment than a 4 year degree.  Too much worth is placed on a 4 year and the return for the cost of tuition is dismal presently.  Not everyone is college material.  A renewed emphasis on Vo-Ed training might be a better approach, providing training for jobs that do exist and have openings.

I've long been an advocate for community colleges over a 4 year institution for several reasons.  First the cost, much lower per hour, the fact that a two year transferable degree sure looks better on a job ap than 'some college' and lastly, if a 4 year is the ultimate goal, no one will hold an associates / bachelor combination against you.  Its what I have.  Its the name of the school on the 4 year that matters most, more than whether or not you did all 4 years there.  

That's my opener ... 
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 13, 2015 - 2:48pm

 Red_Dragon wrote:
Why do we have the word "economy"?

 
Do you mean "why" in an etymological sense (i.e. why "economy", not "dildo")?
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Jan 13, 2015 - 2:42pm

Why do we have the word "economy"?
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 13, 2015 - 2:40pm

 kurtster wrote:
Better now ?

 

 
Never in need of being made to feel better, but thanks for asking.

{#Wink}

 We could actually have a reasonable discussion about some of the issues you're trying to raise, like the wealth gap. There have definitely been reports pointing out that the recovery we've seen has benefited primarily people in upper income ranges; probably one of the reasons dissatisfaction with the status quo led to the gains Republicans made last fall. Many of the voters who pulled the R lever probably fall into the category of people whose economic welfare has stagnated, or worse in the aftermath of the great recession. Hard to blame them for being impatient; it's what US voters are famous for. And our safety net to help people weather tough times/slow recoveries is notoriously stingy (see here)

I think the issue of the shrinkage of the middle class, and whether it can be halted or even reversed in the long term (say, the next couple of decades) is a really interesting one for which nobody seems to have a clear answer. I am particularly interested because my kids are on the cusp of entry into the workforce. Our generation (yours and mine) is increasingly looking like it may be the last one for which the American Dream (homeownership, freedom from income and wealth volatility, nonworking retirement, college education for the kids) was an accessible goal, even for nonprofessionals/non-white collar workers. There are an awful lot of factors at play, including technological shrinkage, substantial loads of unforgivable education debt, credential inflation, etc.

What do you think of the economic situation of the middle class? Do you think it's something that has been sneakily foisted on us by the current occupant? is it something beyond the control of either party? Would providing free college education at four year state institutions (or community colleges or technical/skills schools offering associates degrees or training programs) help any? 

What about Hanauer's proposal to unilaterally raise the overtime threshold, and/or cut overtime exemptions?
kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 13, 2015 - 8:55am

 aflanigan wrote:

I don't feel in any way obligated to respond to the red herrings you threw up when I noted that your prediction that our economy would crumble (in your words) by 2012 was wrong. You can try and move the goalposts all you like, and split all the hairs/attempt to wiggle out of all the predictions you want, but you'd look a lot less absurd IMO if you'd just own up to being in the wrong when the facts are not on your side.

 
ok, so I wrong about 2012.  Better now ?

 
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 13, 2015 - 8:43am

 kurtster wrote:

Fine,

Why don't you pick apart my rebuttal to your claims.  Did I get something wrong ?

I musta got something wrong. 

 
I don't feel in any way obligated to respond to the red herrings you threw up when I noted that your prediction that our economy would crumble (in your words) by 2012 was wrong. You can try and move the goalposts all you like, and split all the hairs/attempt to wiggle out of all the predictions you want, but you'd look a lot less absurd IMO if you'd just own up to being in the wrong when the facts are not on your side.


 
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 2:30pm

 kurtster wrote:
There is a word not spoken much recently, unsustainable 


yeah maybe, but the end of the world only comes once. 
kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 2:25pm

 aflanigan wrote:

Right. OK Chicken Little. You must be right. The economy will tank/hyperinflation will hit any day   week   month   year  decade now. 
Meanwhile I'd avoid the more specific dire predictions that have obviously not panned out that you made previously below, and stick with more vague ramblings like "long haul" and "false sense of security". Much easier to retroactively defend these sorts of pronouncements.

 
Fine,

Why don't you pick apart my rebuttal to your claims.  Did I get something wrong ?

I musta got something wrong. 
aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 1:58pm

 kurtster wrote:

There is a word not spoken much recently, unsustainable.  While you and many others think that the good times are back, it ain't looking good for the long haul.  QE has so distorted our economy and reality and created a false sense of security.  Once again, where are the jobs, enough jobs to keep up with population growth ?  It just ain't happening.  

 
Right. OK Chicken Little. You must be right. The economy will tank/hyperinflation will hit any day   week   month   year  decade now. 
Meanwhile I'd avoid the more specific dire predictions that have obviously not panned out that you made previously below, and stick with more vague ramblings like "long haul" and "false sense of security". Much easier to retroactively defend these sorts of pronouncements.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 1:37pm

 aflanigan wrote:
kurt, there are very few people I know who would consider investor gains of over 200 percent over five years, sixty three straight months of economic expansion, and 25 straight months of manufacturing sector expansion as evidence of a national economy that is, as you suggested, "crumbling". Who on earth is your optometrist?

Middle class shrinkage and the wealth gap are both phenomena that have been going on for the last two or three decades. They should definitely be addressed now that we've gotten the economy back on track. But they are not the primary yardstick used to gauge the overall health of the US economy.
 

 
jeez, you just keep throwing softballs ...

the second bolded first ...  the growing manufacturing sector ?  really ?  It is so small a part of our economy as to be almost meaningless.

12 million jobs overall, down from 17 million at year 2000.  Any growth is better than nothing, which essentially is what our manufacturing sector has been reduced to.



On to the point about expansion, investment and the booming stock market.

We have not had 63 consecutive months of economic expansion.  Remember last winter ?  2014 Q 1 ?  The weather was so, so bad that it actually knocked our "strong" recovery into a contraction.  There have been other quarters as well.


Why is the stock market booming ?  QE and no other reason.  We were printing so much money that it had nowhere else to go.  It was a race to devalue the dollar and make our exports affordable.  Howze that working now ?  US QE is over and the dollar is at a 5 year high against the Euro as well as most other currencies.  Its still climbing because the EU has embraced QE and Euro's are being converted into dollars as cash is leaving the Eurozone.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the estimated 2 to 3 trillion dollars in cash that US companies have parked outside of the US because of the US corporate tax structure.

The only bright spot right now is oil.  Its not falling purely from oversupply, its falling because of the strengthening dollar and lack of global demand due to economic slowdowns.

There is a word not spoken much recently, unsustainable.  While you and many others think that the good times are back, it ain't looking good for the long haul.  QE has so distorted our economy and reality and created a false sense of security.  Once again, where are the jobs, enough jobs to keep up with population growth ?  It just ain't happening.  


aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 12:35pm

kurt, there are very few people I know who would consider investor gains of over 200 percent over five years, sixty three straight months of economic expansion, and 25 straight months of manufacturing sector expansion as evidence of a national economy that is, as you suggested, "crumbling". Who on earth is your optometrist?

Middle class shrinkage and the wealth gap are both phenomena that have been going on for the last two or three decades. They should definitely be addressed now that we've gotten the economy back on track. But they are not the primary yardstick used to gauge the overall health of the US economy.
 


kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 9:16am

 aflanigan wrote:

OK, then, where's your graph showing the failure of the economy by 2012 that you predicted back in 2011? Doesn't seem to have failed to those of us living in the real world. We're in, what, the 57th straight month of economic recovery?

Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing 
The article addresses the LPR rate which you seem to be carping about as a sign that the economy is tanking. 

“Labor participation is affected much less by short-term job creation, and much more by long-term demographic trends. As this chart from the BLS shows, as the Baby Boomers entered the workforce and societal acceptance of women working changed, labor participation grew.

Now that ‘Boomers’ are retiring we are seeing the percentage of those seeking employment decline.  This has nothing to do with job availability, and everything to do with a highly predictable aging demographic."

 

 

 
The second bolded first.  The LPR has nothing to do with retiring babyboomers.  It only surveys those 64 years old and under.  So as one turns 65, they are removed from that group and do not constitute a variable in determining the number.  It is widely accepted that in order to keep up with only population growth, 250,000 jobs must be created every month, which is 3 million jobs per year, again to keep things flat.

On the first bolded, just who is the economy getting better for ?  Again, where are the new jobs that grow beyond population growth and affect the LPR ?

And as for who is doing better ...

 American Wealth Gap Reaches All-Time High – Pew Research Center


aflanigan

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Location: At Sea
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 12, 2015 - 8:36am

 kurtster wrote:

Awe, you shouldna.  You just to thoughtful for words !  

I can have fun with graphs, too !

 
OK, then, where's your graph showing the failure of the economy by 2012 that you predicted back in 2011? Doesn't seem to have failed to those of us living in the real world. We're in, what, the 57th straight month of economic recovery?

Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing 
The article addresses the LPR rate which you seem to be carping about as a sign that the economy is tanking. 

“Labor participation is affected much less by short-term job creation, and much more by long-term demographic trends. As this chart from the BLS shows, as the Baby Boomers entered the workforce and societal acceptance of women working changed, labor participation grew.

“Now that ‘Boomers’ are retiring we are seeing the percentage of those seeking employment decline.  This has nothing to do with job availability, and everything to do with a highly predictable aging demographic."

 

 
kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
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Posted: Jan 11, 2015 - 8:08pm

 aflanigan wrote:
An interesting graph.



Interesting to see the dire predictions below from a few years ago.

kurtster, remind me never to consult you for financial advice or economic predictions.


 

 
Awe, you shouldna.  You just to thoughtful for words !  

I can have fun with graphs, too !

This one puts yours into perspective pretty well ...


  

Bonus points.  Can you tell me what happened in the 70's to drive up the participation rate ?

Super bonus points / hint ... its what caused the beginning of the decline in real wages in the US.


aflanigan

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Posted: Jan 11, 2015 - 8:26am

 Steely_D wrote:

It's good to remember that vehemence doesn't equal accuracy when watching our politicians speak.

 
The other thing is that increasingly, being president/being the "party in control" is kind of like attempting to steer a caterpillar along with 20 or 30 other people sitting on top of the caterpillar. Economic trends such as jobs, wages, inflation, etc. are a function of various factors, and only some are subject to political control.
 
aflanigan

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Posted: Jan 10, 2015 - 2:39pm

An interesting graph.



Interesting to see the dire predictions below from a few years ago.

kurtster, remind me never to consult you for financial advice or economic predictions.


 


Steve

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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 - 8:08am




DaveInVA

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Posted: Feb 23, 2014 - 8:11am


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