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The team spilled forth from the White House on Sunday, headed for the political talk shows that shape the putty-like minds of all Americans who, with no NASCAR until Daytona and the Super Bowl not yet here, needed something to watch.

The team's marching orders? LOWER THEIR EXPECTATIONS!!!!!

Quote:
AP. The White House warned Sunday that the country could face a long and painful financial recovery, even with major government intervention to stimulate the economy and save financial institutions.


No way man! How in the hell could spending a couple trillion bucks NOT save the economy in a timely fashion?

Ask, and ye shall receive. The answer lay buried deep in one article. By deep I mean, laying right out there on the surface masquerading as a good thing:

Quote:
Congress is working on an $825 billion economic recovery package that dedicates about two-thirds to new government spending


Now if you're one of those really slooooow people who has yet to have been mugged and left bleeding in an alley by reality, you might miss what's happening here. So how about putting it this way:

Wasn't one of the major points of tossing the Republicans out of the White House and gaining a majority in both houses based on the fact that they ran the economy into the ground by spending too much money? And... growing the government even bigger than it's already massive size?

Rather than rethink this insanity, the new administration has adapted a strategy of creating a public perception that this will take longer than we thought... plus, it might not even work! But we're gonna do it anyway. Here:

Quote:
Its success or failure could define the first years of Obama’s term. On Sunday, Democrats sought to temper expectations, at least in the short term.


Till they reign in those pesky Republicans and the isolated Democrat who are questioning the common sense of this boondoggle. Then it's full steam ahead! It's the revivification of the WPA and CCC, bring back the 30's cause Obama is gonna leave a legacy of having rebuilt the nation through what I now dub Sneaky Socialism!

Quote:
It would be largest economic recovery package ever enacted


Is that a good thing? Is this the place where we're supposed to cheer?

Quote:
The government he said, can afford to spend more than $1 trillion to boost the economy and save financial institutions. But he warned that fiscal discipline will be necessary once the economy recovers.


Hey! What's wrong with that paragraph? Are they saying that spending ONE TRILLION DOLLARS that we don't actually have is the same as fiscal discipline? Or does the Obama administration mean that spending ONE TRILLION DOLLARS that we don't have is fiscal discipline? What's the message here?

Oh, here's the message:

Quote:
Summers said Obama has inherited the worst economy since World War II, coupled with a federal budget deficit of more than a $1 trillion


Meaning... uhh... that we already owe a trillion, which wasn't Obama's fault... forgetting for a moment that he was a serving senator of the USA while this inheritance was being created... the smart thing to do is blow another trillion. And it's even smarter because.... uhh... $600 Billion will go to increasing the size of government! Yay! I got it.

Well, at least we had the VP out there Sunday... talkin' it up. According to Smiling Joe:

Quote:
“We’re off and running, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Vice President Joe Biden, taking the lead on a theme echoed by other Democratic officials on the Sunday talk shows.


Thank you Joe. It's certainly good to know that you and your audacious boss understand economics. And I only say that because everybody knows that if your finances are a mess because you ran up too many credit card bills, over-extended yourself in dozens of ways and have no choice but to slash and burn your life and adapt a program of austerity and personal responsibility... that the smart people will just apply for a new credit card, get some extra copies of The Essential Obama blue book for your errant conservative friends and go buy a new 50" TV.

Gosh. I feel better. How about you?
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Isaac Citrom
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Tripp;

I do believe that Obama has repeatedly said that this is not a good thing seen in a vacuum. Rather, he claims it is a necessary fiscal step backwards in order to hopefully spur the US economy. He said, and I paraphrase, that afterward when the US is in a better financial position she will have to financially pick up the pieces.

Of course, as you point out that's the theory. If it doesn't work then the hole has been dug all that much deeper.

Now, Bush tried the same thing to a lesser extent. Furthermore, indeed the idea of lowering taxes apart from the philosophical merits of it is that the greater amount of money in the hands of people will in a like manner spur the economy.

In my mind this raises the question of whether "stimulus packages", either by refund or by lowering taxes, actually works to spur the economy. I don't know. It seems that just about everybody on both sides of the aisle thinks so if they're in power and doesn't think so if they're not in power. Someone's not telling the truth.
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"Stimulus package" to me means injecting cash into the economy, not creating new government programs that never go away. Otherwise you shouldn't be calling it a stimulus package. Just call it new programs.
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Andrew Rowse
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If the people being paid to action the government programs are American, doesn't spending money on those programs translate directly to injecting cash into the economy?
 
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Yes it does. But why is there such a term as "stimulus package"? It means extra money to "stimulate" the economy in time of crisis. If you create new programs that aren't going to go away, that is NOT the point of it. Otherwise, every single dollar the government has and ever will spend is part of an economic stimulus, and the term then means nothing.
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Isaac Citrom
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KAndrw wrote:
If the people being paid to action the government programs are American, doesn't spending money on those programs translate directly to injecting cash into the economy?


Andrew, it is a philosophical point. Conservatives feel that money is better left in the hands of the people who earn it. They best know what they need and how to allocate it. Furthermore, more money in the hands of the people means a better capacity to increase the economy. Also, conservatives, and rightly so, feel that money in the government's hands is grossly mismanged and a lot of it is just wasted.

On the other hand, Liberals have a more socialist outlook. This is why the term keeps coming up in a US context. They feel that more money ought to go to the government so that it can finance various social initiatives such as universal healthcare, for example. Even Liberals admit that the government wastes a lot of money but argue that it is an acceptable price to pay for the benefits they expect.

So, no, money spent by the government does not stimulate the economy always. Much is lost in overhead, waste, corruption, and technical incompetance.
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KAndrw wrote:
If the people being paid to action the government programs are American, doesn't spending money on those programs translate directly to injecting cash into the economy?


This is pretty simple Andrew, but easily forgotten because the sheeples... I mean, the voters... are so used to the "idea" that government has a product that earns money. It doesn't.

The money, which we don't actually have, must come from somewhere. So there are two choices:

* Take it from citizens and then redistribute it
* Print more

If one believes that any government is better equipped to know what to do with their money then I am at a total loss as to how to change that perception. Some believe that though. Mainly people like the woman in the video last week who was euphoric that Obama being President meant she wouldn't have to worry about her mortgage or gasoline costs. In her universe money is owned by the government and the only reason she worries about it is bad government isn't giving her enough.

Printing more money erodes value. Even socialists understand that. In fact, they understand it well enough to do it on purpose to control populations and create dependency on their regimes.

The only way for any economy, macro or micro, to recover from irresponsibility is to become responsible. I see no difference between my personal economy and the US economy except one of scale. As you ramp up the scale things get complex, for sure, but the basics are still the basics:

* produce
* save
* spend wisely
* don't exceed your ability to service debt

When in affluence one should:

* economize
* determine the source of affluence and continue that activity
* save

When in danger one should:

* bypass people and/or activity that caused the situation
* determine what caused it and fix it
* in the case of government: investigate and prosecute any unethical activity
* establish a policy that safeguards against a repeat

Anyone who argues that the US government wasn't the primary source of the current economic woes is probably not going to ever be convinced that taking people's money or just printing more is a recipe for further disaster. Nowhere do I see the new administration attempting to cut back on what created this mess to begin with... which is unrestrained spending.
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Isaac,
You're describing the "big picture" difference between fiscal conservatives and liberals and I agree with your assessment.

But I am specifically talking about ecnomic stimulus packages. By definition they shouldn't be built out of permanant government programs. Just put those in the annual budget like everything else. Whether or not those programs are necessary or good, they don't fit the criteria for inclusion in an economic stimulus package.
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Totally off topic, but this is RSP so what the hell. The title of your thread immediately grabbed my attention. Reminds me of the first, and only, all midget musical western Terror of Tiny Town. If you haven't watched it, you probably should -- here is a clip


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Quote:
Anyone who argues that the US government wasn't the primary source of the current economic woes is probably not going to ever be convinced that taking people's money or just printing more is a recipe for further disaster. Nowhere do I see the new administration attempting to cut back on what created this mess to begin with... which is unrestrained spending.


Now I agree government is to blame; however, I place the majority of my blame squarely on the mindset of the American people. Our culture has become one of everyone tryig to live like kings and get their every want and desire fulfilled instantaneously. In any event, it would have been nice to see some leading by example, which doesn't appear to be happening anytime in the near future.
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Andrew Rowse
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isaacc wrote:
On the other hand, Liberals have a more socialist outlook. This is why the term keeps coming up in a US context. They feel that more money ought to go to the government so that it can finance various social initiatives such as universal healthcare, for example. Even Liberals admit that the government wastes a lot of money but argue that it is an acceptable price to pay for the benefits they expect.

Isn't the argument that the public would get far better value for money from universal health care than it does from private health insurance? I remember hearing the statistic once that $1 in a universal health care program pays for the same amount of care that $10 in the private system, meaning that it is the private system that 'wastes' the most money by directing it towards profiteering rather than care. I'm not sure where that statistic came from, but I know I've seen at least one of those dreary Michael Moore documentaries in my life, so treat it with care!

Quote:
So, no, money spent by the government does not stimulate the economy always. Much is lost in overhead, waste, corruption, and technical incompetance.

But even when money is wasted, it does eventually go to Americans, right? Unless the corruption is a fatcat who ust takes the money and hides it in the bank, there are people who are being kept employed by the 'waste'.

If the system were run better, there would certainly be more useful work created for the same amount of money, but even in an inefficient system, the money would seem to be going to Americans. Money moves around, but is seldom destroyed, so unless it's going overseas (which of course it does when Americans purchase foreign goods), I would see it as still going into the American economy.

Of course, I'm not a moneyologist, so I wouldn't be surprised if I've got something horribly wrong here.
 
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KAndrw wrote:

But even when money is wasted, it does eventually go to Americans, right? Unless the corruption is a fatcat who ust takes the money and hides it in the bank, there are people who are being kept employed by the 'waste'.


Yes, when the government spends, the money often times finds its way back into the economy. The idea of economic stimulus is to purposely go further into debt in order to kick-start the economy. That should involve dumping cash into the places that will most quickly and efficiently create new jobs and revenue sources that will become sustainable long term without requiring the government funding to continue.
 
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KAndrw wrote:
Isn't the argument that the public would get far better value for money from universal health care than it does from private health insurance? I remember hearing the statistic once that $1 in a universal health care program pays for the same amount of care that $10 in the private system, meaning that it is the private system that 'wastes' the most money by directing it towards profiteering rather than care. I'm not sure where that statistic came from, but I know I've seen at least one of those dreary Michael Moore documentaries in my life, so treat it with care!

I don't know where those stats come from, but I believe in almost every case anything that becomes federalized becomes more expensive and less efficient. Can you think of any federal government program that run efficiently? Then consider the complexities of a federal health care system. I can't imagine that going well.
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Isaac Citrom
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With respect to healthcare as mentioned, indeed Canada spends less on healthcare than the US. Then again I waited 6 months for an MRI, and I'm into my second month of waiting for a subsequent MRI. Then I'll be on the waiting list for the surgery. In the meanwhile I take the pain.

The bottom line is that there is a fixed amount of money for healthcare and a fixed amount of resources available. When healthcare is socialized--when anything is socilaized, really--the resources are spread out across all participants. The quality of the thing is necessarily averaged. That's what socialized means. Everyone partakes equally or with equal opportunity.

So, for example, when the 45 million uninsured Americans become suddenly insured, will the American healthcare system be increased in size by 15% to accomodate them? Instantly? I doubt it.

Also, don't take Canada as the prime example of socialized healthcare. Among the world's socialized healthcare systems, Canada's is one of the worst. There are versions of socialized healthcare that work pretty well.

At the end of the day, if a system is truly socialized everyone can expect the same but median level of service. To expect the best of service, there has to be a notion of better and not so great. So, yes Americans spend more on healthcare but they also have available the best in the world--if you can afford the best.

[Edit] Also, to be fair, Americans spend more on healthcare. That is, for example, a specialist will get $300,000 in the US and only $150,000 in Canada. Naturally, that attracts many doctors to the US. Your hospitals pick and choose from the cream of the crop. It is everyday economics, if you want the best or a lot of the best you gotta put up the dough.

This is a problem we have in Canada. Our medical schools and best doctors are every bit the hot shots they are in the US. But, there are a lot more in the US (per capita) because our best people are attracted down to the States by the much higher salaries. It's called "brain drain".
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DWTripp wrote:
...a bunch of crazy shit


Stuff like this makes me wish McCain would have won. That way Republicans could OWN their failure.
 
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John So-And-So
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Yeah, like how they totally took responsibility for the past eight years. If there's one thing you can count on Republicans for, it's accepting blame for their mistakes.

HEAD A-SPLODE
 
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