This will flag comments for moderators to take action.

WEbook Forums > The Water Cooler > Politics and Current Events > The Economist = A Fund+amental Discussion
Discuss, examine, and rant and rave about the news of the day.
Posted: 9/7/2010 12:13 AM PDT
Children, simmer down. Play nice now.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/6/2010 9:53 AM PDT
No it wasn't. You're being hypersensitive, You're overreacting. Now stop breathing into the paper bag, and carry on. Honestly, some people surprise me by making it this far.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/5/2010 7:11 PM PDT
Dorchadas, Unless "Duh!" was a very obvious joke, I think that was rude. Crook, as per one of Google's definitions: " A person who steals, lies, cheats or does other dishonest or illegal things; a criminal" whether in the public or private realm and I would add: intentionally and having other chances to do better things.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/5/2010 2:54 PM PDT
It's not belligerance. You misunderstand my tone. Don't assume that I am being rude. In fact, don't assume unless you can't do anything else. You say crooks, however a well informed crook is probably better than a misinformed burocrat, I think. Define crook, do you mean corrupt officials, or genuine criminals?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/5/2010 11:56 AM PDT
Dorchadas, "Nothing! I don't even understand what you mean by asking me what I understand after I told you I don't understand!" --> This is not what you said in your previous post. To quote you "Please, elaborate, I'm not sure I understand." --> This suggested to me that you understood or misunderstood something, not nothing. And that is why I made the question. "Of course outsourcing labour and importing goods isn't a bad thing, it's been happening since the beginning". --> This is not what I said. What I said in the previous post included "per se", "in itself". In other words, importing goods or services can be a bad thing when the inside-the-country crook associates with the abroad crook, and a lot of bad things happen and can happen. "I've heard and read some people blaming "international" investments in general without making appropriate differences." as I said before. Emphasizin on "making appropriate differences". So, international trade is not a bad thing per se; it depends of the people who are doing it and their motives. Your "of course" is not necessarily the "of course" of others. --> The explanations above are a specific example of this. If that were the case, we shouldn't be writing anything in the first place. --> Yes because if all the time you understand and already know what I say or I understand and already know what you say. Why do we write for? Why do we participate in a forum? Our participation goes directly related to what we would like to learn, share, and to clarify our mutual misunderstandings. On a side note, I don't understand your lately belligerance towards my posts although I've speculated about it.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/5/2010 5:37 AM PDT
mstrongair wrote the following post at 9/3/2010 5:53 PM PDT: "D, What did you understand?" Nothing! I don't even understand what you mean by asking me what I understand after I told you I don't understand!
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/3/2010 5:53 PM PDT
D, What did you understand?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/3/2010 2:58 PM PDT
mstrongair wrote the following post at 9/2/2010 6:30 PM PDT: "D, Your "of course" is not necessarily the "of course" of others. If that were the case, we shouldn't be writing anything in the first place." Please, elaborate, I'm not sure I understand.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/2/2010 6:30 PM PDT
D, Your "of course" is not necessarily the "of course" of others. If that were the case, we shouldn't be writing anything in the first place. I've heard and read some people blaming "international" investments in general without making appropriate differences. Yes, equilibrium I agree.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/2/2010 3:27 PM PDT
Of course outsourcing labour and importing goods isn't a bad thing, it's been happening since the beginning. But anything can become a problem if you take it to an extreme, in this case when you end up effectively paying a country to keep it's labour cheap by devaluing it's currency artificially, or something like that. I'm of the opinion that "bubbles" or what we call "boom and bust" are as natural as the fluctuations in mood that all humans experiance. The economy is an organism made up of billions of cells (people). Naturally, the economy will be subject to the same factors that affect all the cells. I don't think boom and bust will ever come to an end, but I do believe that managing effectively the destructive effects of of bust (and indeed boom) can, and must be done. The main problem I see is that the economy is always expected to stay in a permanent state of growth. But no organism (well, almost no organism) grows forever. The objective shouldn't be growth across the board, but growth to match decline, thus providing a sustainable system.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/2/2010 3:02 PM PDT
JD, I think that both stances should be consulted. Many economical and business theories didn't come out of nothing, but were made after people's experiences. The scholar will always give a historic sense --and probably an analysis of why things worked or not in a specific period of time. e.g. A scholar might bring bach the Ford's Paradox and the person with the business can try it again in reality. It worked once. Is it going to work now or in the future? We don't know but it is something that could be tried. But I agree with you to some extent. Too much analysis leads to paralysis. In business you need both: research and intuition (which is perception and a certain level of imagination, the "gut feeling"). Also we should have to pay a lot of attention to the information and data we collect. e.g. Ratings. I don't know how it technically works but I have a very vague idea. Now, please correct me if I am wrong (or if anyone else reads this). The financial market was created to support the economical activity of producing goods, products and services; what in Spanish is called "la Economia Real" (sorry I don't know how to say it English). More as a back-up market to provide the necessary instruments to keep the economy running. Going abroad and having manufacturing firms in other countries is not a problem per se, and mostly if that represents a competitive advantage not only for the companies but the final users of products and services. However, "displacing" the industry and manufacturing while leaving "empty spaces" inside the country creates all sorts of problems and the financial market gets "bubbles", a lot of speculation and gambling. When the stock market goes up and down, up and down and shows a lot of volatility; that suggests a lot of speculation. An advantage for the short-term-minded investor but which affects the credibility of the market and its healthiness in the long term. When the financial market is transparent; it reflects the increase in stock and shares as the result of good economic and business decisions whether they are acquisitons, joint ventures, development of new technologies, a better quality of life, more efficiency, a decrease in production costs, etc, etc, etc. Tangible and/or perceivable goods and services for the consumer market. What do you think?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 9/2/2010 1:33 AM PDT
MS, theory and reality often conflict. That's the problem with economists who have spent all their time studying books and theories and have never run a business. There are several senators and congressmen who operated businesses. But when a president wants advice on the economy, he turns to scholars. Shouldn't a president turn to the people who have practical experience on how things work rather than those people who spend all their time trying to figure out why their theories and estimates fail to predict why things go wrong?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/28/2010 5:02 PM PDT
Not a single economist in the whole Congress? Are you sure? "So, wouldn't it help if all the facts that the people needed to know about the economy of the United States, and the effect which policies implemented by the Obama administration had on that economy were presented clearly, jargon free, without political bias, by a non-aligned agency, to better educate and influence voters? I propose that." I totally agree with you and it would be very helpful to know who is in Congress and their background or when they make their political campaigns before getting elected. Unluckily most of those campaigns are used to attach their opponents. I watched some Congressmen and they sound honest, intellectually balanced, and that they really care for the people. I think the non-partisan entity should be the Press and it could talk about the guys and gals who are doing the right thing. Also, how many Economists are in America? They could help proposing solutions too. I like Obama's administration (not that I naively assume it is mistake-free) and really dislike when some politicians go into childish fights (why wearing a tie and a suit with that behavior anyways?) disrupting the ones who are coming up with the solutions. Yes, clearly, jargon free, without political bias. They could also include the kids TV programming, sort of "The three little pigs"; showing how an economy made of straws and sticks isn't sustainable.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/28/2010 4:32 AM PDT
I'll begin with the beginning of the post, and read the rest later. Well, you have to take into account that the people in the Senate and Congress are not economists. And neither are the people who vote them in. If that guy had stood up and presented a graph of short term unemployment increases versus long term UE decreases, most of the people watching, and probably most of the house, would have been snoring away happily. The way politicians work is not by doing what economists do (interpreting the facts) but changing the ordinary man's interpretation of the facts to suit his (or her) own agenda. In fact, the only way the people will vote on the facts is if they are either presented them by a non-partisan entity (and how many of those exist?) or they go looking themselves. Which they aren't going to do, because if they aren't paying the mortgage they are working to pay the mortgage, or sleeping so that they can get up to work to pay the mortgage. So, wouldn't it help if all the facts that the people needed to know about the economy of the United States, and the effect which policies implemented by the Obama adminstration had on that economy were presented clearly, jargon free, without political bias, by a non-aligned agency, to better educate and influence voters? I propose that.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 7:19 PM PDT
You loss me there, mstrongair. Too many ideas, too little time.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 6:30 PM PDT
Medicare and the Social Security are part of the problem. I don't think the "government" is the problem. But the corruption in public and private efforts. This crisis is multifactorial and what we are seeing is just a snow-ball effect that began long long ago. I apologize if it sounds too obvious. It really pissed me off this person attacking Obama and blaming his mandate for the unemployment when that person didn't seem to understand the difference between short and long terms or how to interpret a graph that is tested in the GED. I didn't see anyone saying "that's not true" (probably I missed it if it happened). But there are also honest, intelligent, knowledgeable and hard working individuals in the government. In regards to the ones that are in Congress that do not understand basic economic principles, it is hard to imagine how they will come up with solutions. Lack of Ethics do a terrible harm to get a sustainable economy. And it is as terrible as the public official who gets bribes as the one who makes Medicare and Social Security fraud. The National Debt is gigantic and one of the problems, but probably more a symptom than a cause. But, if as a macroeconomic measure more money is printed or put in circulation, that will raise inflation. Too terrible in a recession. 1. Getting more taxes is a way of reducing the debt (that, of course, will not happen over night) but not by increasing the rate of taxes of the ones who have always paid taxes but to the ones who have never paid (and should) or don't even live nor have business in the country (but have an address, a suite, for seven companies selling from new age services to other questionable things online --> I don't know if they pay taxes here or somewhere else) and who couldn't care less about the U.S., its people and its Economy. 2. Creating capital, goods and services for the betterment of the society. Not junk products and services. 3. Innovation, innovation, research and innovation and research. 4. Keep thinking and implementing solutions from the public and private sectors. "What you can do for your country..." I think that if the Government invests and lends money to the Small Businesses (with a clear plan, and some risks measurements) at reasonable rates, that could help to "abonar" to the Debt. A balance between Big Corporations and Small Businesses is healthy for the economy. Before 9-11, when the prices in the stock market dropped, many Americans traditionally bought more stock not to let it fall; and kept their shares on the long term. When the prices in the stock market go up and down, up and down, too volatile; that suggests speculation and gambling; too quick for the gains of the short term. Thanks for your (plural) answers. Sorry to repeat the question, but this is something I haven't found yet... If the government invests let's say in roads, construction and small business; how is that considered in the equation? As part of the I or part of the G?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 6:19 PM PDT
We can make soylent green out of people? What a thought! But why green? Oh, I get it. All the Irish and jealous people, that's why
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 2:39 PM PDT

NavarCrow
Soilent Green anyone?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 12:14 PM PDT
That's precisely what happened with Japan's wefare state. But I don't see how it can be addressed without euthanising all the old folk, or making a lot more babies to pay for the old folk.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/27/2010 12:05 PM PDT
MS, I agree with you on most of what you said, but I was talking about our growing federal deficit and our National Debt. Both of those are major concerns for our economy and nation. One the reasons Greece had a financial collapse was because their national debt exceeded the level they could pay interest on. Right now our national debt, increased every year by our yearly national deficits, is nearing ten trillion dollars. That's the money we owe other countries who have taken out bonds from the United States. The interest on the payments to those countries represents about fifteen percent of our gross domestic product. In thirty years, every American will owe two hundred percent of his/her yearly earnings just to pay the interest on the National Debt. And another thing that you'll find interesting and frigthening, Social Security and Medicare will run out of money in the next twenty years. When those programs were created, there were twenty American workers who paid Social Security and Medicare taxes for every American worker who retired and sought Social Security and Medicare benefits. Now there's two workers paying Social Secutiry taxes for every American claiming benefits. And six workers paying Medicare taxes for every retiree seeking Medicare benefits. Our National Debt, our yearly deficits, and the need to fix and fund Social Security and Medicare, are being ignored by Congress and every elected president, all of whom are more interested in getting elected and staying elected than fixing our government spending, over even tackling global warming. Oh, and they're also more interested in their own personal agendas. There's no courage in government anymore.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/26/2010 9:23 PM PDT
I agree with Dorchadas. The forums are drafts, brainstorms, conversations that we put to the test and enlighten as we exchange ideas and opinions. The economy crisis has appeared in the face of experts. I'm no expert in the field by no means, but I like thinking about it and coming up with theoretical solutions (as an exercise, a creative exercise) even if it doesn't work. JD, You wrote that “As far as the growing American deficit is concerned, it has little to do with the recession. The deficit has been growing since the Johnson administration. It will continue to grow and outstrip the GDP until congress has the courage to fix entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, and our trade deficit with China and lesser economies. And excessive and redundant programs too numerous to mention but which only serve to get votes for a congressman here or there.” A recession has always been characterized by a slowing down in the economy's growth. Unluckily I don't have the books where I studied a little about it but, using Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession " Recessions are generally believed to be caused by a widespread drop in spending. Governments usually respond to recessions by adopting expansionary macroeconomic policies, such as increasing money supply, increasing government spending and decreasing taxation." --> "Recessions are generally believed to be caused by a widespread drop in spending", here it should probably be added: Drop in consumer spending. Across history, Government spending has taken all the blame as per the equation (in equilibrium): D.A. (Demanda Agregada=Added Demand?) = GNP = GDP = C + S + I + G + Xn C = Consumption S = Savings I = Investment G = Government 1. In America, when the Government invests capital in financing small business, is that considered as part of I or G? Some weeks ago, someone in Congress had a nice display (sort of billboard, graph) showing the many jobs that Bush's administration had created and trying to blame Obama for the lack of job creation and unemployment rate. This person seemed to overlook at a very basic economy principle where short-term decisions sometimes are opposite to long-term decisions and viceversa. In other words, the graph was intended to blame Obama for the unemployment by keeping static in time. But the economic decisions in the short term can only be fairly measured on the long term. A government, as JDLee says can create "temporary jobs" to increase the markings in the employment rate but a sustainable economy needs to build sustainable jobs. It's great to create jobs but it's better to create jobs that are sustainable. What happened to all the jobs that Bush created? All the jobs created that disappeared in less than 8 years. Anyways, Bush and Obama are just two guys to blame them for everything that does or doesn't happen in the economy. There has been a lot of corruption and bad business practices among private and public companies. Some companies took advantage of the crisis and fired employess without a real need (some probably just out of fear but others to maximize utilities), favoring greed and dismissing the social impact such measures would take for many families not being able to provide for their basic needs (basic needs as per Abraham Maslow's pyramid). I've written more things on this matter, but I'll keep it short. What do you think?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/26/2010 3:15 PM PDT
I have always been argumentitive. And one can't learn how to fix one's faults without them first being pointed out. I learn through discussions like this. Even if I come across as trying to teach.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/25/2010 11:56 PM PDT
I notice you're dropping prepositions again. Careful, you might slip on one. :)
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/25/2010 11:55 PM PDT
You always have a strong opinion, Dorchadas. Not necessarily an enlightened opinion, but always strong. As far as the growing American deficit is concerned, it has little to do with the recession. The deficit has been growing since the Johnson administration. It will continue to grow and outstrip the GDP until congress has the courage to fix entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, and our trade deficit with China and lesser economies. And excessive and redundant programs too numerous to mention but which only serve to get votes for a congressman here or there.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/25/2010 3:14 PM PDT
I think all American presidents have been better celebrities than leaders. From Eisenhower (Who was a war hero general with no political experiance) to Reagan who was a actor (that's pretty self explanatory) and from the Kennedy dynasty (even if only one of them ever made it into the Oval Office) to Bush Jr. (who had Sr. to lend him the reknown that made him popular). In fact, it's those who rose from obscurity to become presidents (like Jimmy Carter, the peanut farmer) who made the best leaders, even if no-one realised it at the time. I think people on Wall Street are more concerned about the devestating effect a double dip recession would have (provided they don't get lucky and do a Japan), more than the relatively minor effects of the healthcare changes. "And everyone is unsure about the growing national debt, especially since in twenty years it will be four times the size of our gross domestic product." I doubt that this recession will continue for twenty years. I'd wager that the deficit of all countries badly affected will gradually begin to subside within the next ten years. It could well be lower than it is now in twenty years. In fact, making any assumptions about twenty years time is foolishness. If we couldn't see a recession coming six months before it happens, well, I think we should just take it easy on the predictions until our psychic powers improve. "Now the Democrats want spend to money like crazy without worrying about the consequences" Well we are currently going in the opposite direction, employing strict austerity measures, and we are getting the same kind of complaints. "The Tories are slashing government spending without worrying about the consequences". Sure there will be consequences. Boo hoo. There will be consequences regardless of the measures taken, and it would be far more useful if someone had worried about them three years ago. Right now, worries are about as useful as a watering can in the Punjab.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/25/2010 12:36 PM PDT
Mstrongair, what I have observed about Wall Street, the Economy, et cetera is that people are nervous about what's going on in this country and other countries. They're upset and concerned over the current administration's desire to do everything quickly without paying attention to citizens. Businesses are unsure about how much the new health care laws will affect them. The law don't even go into effect for three years and no one will really know how these laws will affect individuals and businesses for several years to come. And everyone is unsure about the growing national debt, especially since in twenty years it will be four times the size of our gross domestic product. In other words, our debt will equal four times the income of everyone in the United States in twenty years. The Democrats remind the Republicans that they boosted the national debt fifty percent during the Bush junior years. But they don't remind the people that most of the debt increase was making our country stronger against terrorism and fighting two wars, one of which we shouldn't have gotten involved in even though the majority of Democrats supported it. Now the Democrats want spend to money like crazy without worrying about the consequences. They claim it's their turn to do what they want--even if it destroys the country. Most Democrats feel they know better than anyone else what's right. They feel government should be the parent, providing for us and disciplining us when we refuse to bend to their will, and that we the people are spoiled little children who need a firm hand. And we have a president who's better at getting elected than at leading. All of that is what I think is wrong with people's confidence and the economy/
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/24/2010 4:03 PM PDT
JD lives in the north of the American state of California. Talk about Wall Street? Okay, well it is paved.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/23/2010 9:00 PM PDT
JD, Where are you located right now? (country) What do you think is the problem with the Economy, Wall Street and the Stock Market? What have you observed?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/23/2010 6:07 PM PDT
Okay.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/22/2010 10:00 AM PDT
Sorry. If I had written that in a draft piece of paper it wouldn't have looked that "crazy" as it looks when posted in the online wall. Is anyone interested in talking about the economy and Wall Street over here in these forums? (Where is Dorchadas?) I promise I'll explain the online "doodles".
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/21/2010 1:26 AM PDT
It confuses all of us.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/20/2010 4:33 PM PDT
Read: disrupting Your second question confuses me.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/20/2010 1:08 PM PDT
What does it mean "addling"? And yes, what brain?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/12/2010 11:08 AM PDT
What brain?
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/12/2010 5:50 AM PDT
Dude, you need to go back to Haifa. It's too cold out here. It's addling your brain.
Sign-Up or Login to Reply

Posted: 8/9/2010 9:30 AM PDT
The Economist = A Fund+amental Discussion There are two ways to measure an Economy... ECO - NOMY ("Hace ECO" como los dibujitos de las antenitas de Radio - Contact, Jody FOSTER (It was after all in the FOREST and FOR-REST --Keep being "DUMB" I mean, if you would like to have a certain level of "Sanity" among the Forces, Power and Energy of "Creation". By measuring: 1. Its PIB = Producto Interno Bruto (Internal Dumb Product) DUMB-O --> And it belongs to an ELEPHANT "A small elephant with BIG EARS in the Circus". He LISTENS at the BIG feet of his Mom. 2. Its PNB = Producto Na-tio-nal Bruto --> Producto Na-UNCLE-Nal PRO-DUCT-O So-dio-UNCLE-(Still Finding) Spanish Inquisition: D = C + S + I + X 1. If you save a "Penny", how much do you gain and earn? 2. If you spend 1 "Frank", how much the economy moves? And at which "Speed" does the "Recovery" happen? 3. The Government (See: Point G, again: 0 = O = ORDER) cannot spend anything. The Government are the ANTS in the ELEPH-ANTS ( J U S T CHECKING). ANTS = AUNTS = UNCLES = UNCLE SAM Its purpose is to collect "The Pennies in the Cans of the Beggars") and Invest them in: 1. Education (Wisdom) 2. Housing (Protection of the Individual Rights to Pro-Techo (Roof)T the FA-MI-LY'S Personal Relation (Realtion) to G'd.) 3. Agriculture (Food, A-bun-dance of the Land, Farms and Barns) 4. Protection of the AIR (Environment, Oxygen, Air) and the LAND (Earth) 5, Safety and Security in Products and Services Guarranteed Then, regulate, and control at the bottom of the Line that what we Promise (JE-WISH/ U-WISH) is what we DO in REAL-ITY so, we can SEE the CREATIVE (JEW-CIES) FLOW.... X  The Usual Suspects XX The Real Ones More on Aliens and “Try to communicate” later… It’s all about the WHOLE not the HOLE or the B-LAC K HOLE AL KO HE LE (?)  Alcohol? Wine? Grape Juice? Double Check: I-Ching (King) Man-da-la .... Mandalai Lama Which I “intuit” represents the Pareto’s LAW, but hasn’t measured YET. LAW = WAL It’s all about the Symmetry in the Equations…
Sign-Up or Login to Reply