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Author Topic: Duh Debates
TomDavidson
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Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)

Okay. I understand that step 1 is taking more money from the rich, taxing them more. Step 2 is giving that money to the poor. What new programs are being proposed to increase the amount of money that the poor are recieving from the Federal Government, and who is proposing them?
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djquag1
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Nixon wanted to institute some sort of tax scheme so that there was effectively a minimum income for everyone. Can you imagine the screaming that would occur if someone were to suggest this today?

In a lot of ways, Nixon wasn't half bad.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
Nixon wanted to institute some sort of tax scheme so that there was effectively a minimum income for everyone. Can you imagine the screaming that would occur if someone were to suggest this today?

I imagine the Democrats would be pretty pissed if a Republican proposed this. I guess they could propose that the Republican plan minimum income is not enough.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
What new programs are being proposed to increase the amount of money that the poor are recieving from the Federal Government, and who is proposing them?
Sadly, no one is proposing them, because the influence of the Tea Party is pernicious and unchallenged.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
the influence of the Tea Party is pernicious and unchallenged.

Ohhhhhhhh....

I likey. [Smile]

Sounds like Hydra, or the Illuminati.

Or a combination of the two! Allowing for a team-up for Captain America and Laura Croft! Awesome.

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Pete at Home
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Republicans sometimes do such things, but they just don't talk about them.

Check the history for when past bumps to reverse tax bumps for low income citizens have happened.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)

I spend most of my money every month. That bartender cash burns a deep hole in a man's pocket.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)

I wouldn't even put it that way- the best policy is to use taxes to shift the wealthy toward more efficient uses to evade the taxes while distributing new money to the poor to drive economic growth. Avoid the false notion of transfer.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)

I wouldn't even put it that way- the best policy is to use taxes to shift the wealthy toward more efficient uses to evade the taxes while distributing new money to the poor to drive economic growth. Avoid the false notion of transfer.
You know, considering the amount of "new money" that has been generated over the last few years, I think I agree that it probably would have been better spent by giving it directly to the poor. What exactly has been the total spent by QE 1,2, and now 3? What $ amount is that divided by everyone over 17 making less then $30K a year?

I'm not sure if housing would improve greatly, but some industries and companies would surely benefit. Any guesses?

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noel c.
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Grant,

If the "stimulus" had been given to the "poor", then business growth would have been concentrated in those sectors that low-income buyers normally patronize, and the injected cash would have circulated at prevailing value only during the first few transfers... diluting in value as the market absorbed the fix.

More important than cash flow, per-se, is *how* the cash flows during its highest value while in circulation. The poor are notoriously bad at spending in ways that generate growth for the industries which Obama, or anyone else in their right mind, want to see benefit. Pepsico, Fritolay, and service industries are examples of businesses that would thrive under such an arrangement... not really the way to build a foundation for economic recovery.

As to the debate, we are judging leadership/personality more than anything else, and by that measure Obama has been exposed for the inexperienced lightweight that he always was. The next debates will simply solidify public realization of that fact. My concern is which Romney will ultimately emerge. Whatever he does will be done with efficiency, and competence. I doubt that conservatives will relish the outcome of that combination.

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djquag1
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So redistribution is doomed to faiilure because poor people would just spend it all on potato chips and soda. Thank you for the nuanced and well thought out argument. Perhaps as a follow-up you can tell us how the malt liquor companies would also recieve a bump.
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AI Wessex
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That's why poor people should be ignored. Their lives are worthless and they add no value to society. Better to give the money to people who know how to invest it in companies that will create snacks and beer because there will always be poor people dumb enough to give them their money.

"As to the debate, we are judging leadership/personality more than anything else, and by that measure Obama has been exposed for the inexperienced lightweight that he always was."

Deep, deep thoughts! Romney strutted like a peacock in whiteface lying through his smile, but that is a demonstration of -- wait for it -- leadership!

"The next debates will simply solidify public realization of that fact."

No doubt about it. Romney is giving a speech today saying that we should arm the Syrian rebels, no matter that some of them are Al Qaeda. He's also on record saying we should get out of Israel's way so they can bomb Iran and that the Palestinians lack the cultural sophistication to run their own lives. There's no question that he has a different take on international affairs than Obama, or for that matter, all but the most diehard neocon militarists. But at least he will force another $2T into the Pentagon's hands, even though they haven't said what they could or would do with the money if they had it. Hey, no worries, it's all good! Romney is a stormin' mormon, a Con con, a businessman republican, a divestor investor, a mirage in dressage...everything anyone could ask for from a soundbite with a phony bark.

[ October 08, 2012, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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noel c.
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Al,

Who says that snack foods are "worthless"? I would never buy them, but my wife does... and I find a way to adjust my preferences just enough to eat as much of that junk as anyone else in my family. [Wink]

Romney did strut like a peacock, and it worked. He made an accurate assessment of his audience. He also failed to be specific, and don't expect that to change. You will recall that candidate Hillary tried to pin Obama down on universal health care, and never did hear how he was going to implement a plan without a mandate, or tax increase. Now we do know... he lied. Welcome to American politics.

Foreign policy is not something that Romney will fail in.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
That's why poor people should be ignored. Their lives are worthless and they add no value to society.
You know, if what the opponent says is so bloody terrible, then their *own* words will condemn them. That you need to pretend that they said something else in order to attack them, is actually evidence that what they said by itself mustn't be that terrible.

Noel said that poor people are "notoriously bad at spending in ways that generate growth for the industries which Obama, or anyone else in their right mind, want to see benefit"

Well, are the poor notoriously bad at this or aren't they? Yes or no? If noel is wrong at this, then that's the worst thing you can say about it, you don't need to pretend it means "poor people should be ignored" or "Their lives are worthless and they add no value to society."

Consider for a moment the possibility that your opponent might not be Satan in disguise. And consider for a moment that you're yourself alienating those of us who don't confuse politics and exorcisms.

[ October 08, 2012, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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AI Wessex
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Aris, you're an atheist like me, so you're not susceptible to the pitch like Republicans are. Romney has in fact said that 47% of the population can be characterized as leeches and moochers, didn't he? He has retracted that, but you know as well as I do that he has retracted almost everything he has said when the audience would welcome a different message. You can't get on a stage in front of all Americans and sound like Newt or Santorum and win any hearts and minds. Instead he changed his pitch one more time, no big deal, to sound more centrist.

Make no mistake, Mitt hasn't thrown poor people under the bus. He can't get their votes, so he has thrown them off the bus, instead. If they need health care, they can always find an emergency room somewhere that will take them. Cut back on food stamps and public assistance across the board.

Are the poor notoriously bad at spending their money? Well, are the middle class particularly good at it? How many poor people found themselves owing $100,000's on houses they couldn't afford? How many have decent jobs and spend more every month than they take in?

The rich are the only wise people, because they tuck their money away where it will make more money. If that means investing in companies that provide valuable services to people who need it, they can do that, too, as long as profit is higher than shifting it overseas or playing the stock market.

"Consider for a moment the possibility that your opponent might not be Satan in disguise. And consider for a moment that you're yourself alienating those of us who don't confuse politics and exorcisms."

Romney is not Satan in disguise. He's a politician with terrible ideas that would benefit a small and already advantaged segment of the society and cause generations of harm to everyone else.

If you think I'm coming on too strong, they argue against my arguments. Doesn't seem like too many people here are doing that. I'll give you a head start:

. Romney cannot balance the budget, which he claims is the most important item on his agenda.

. Romney's tax plan is a fraud. He can't lower income tax rates by 20% and remain revenue neutral without taxing those same people in other ways, and he'll still fall short.

. His business acumen does not translate to governance, because government makes money the old fashioned way, by printing it. Government doesn't change its "product" to ensure a profit. The goal should be the betterment of society, which is not what business strives for.

. He was not the success he claims to be at bi-partisan governorship in Massachusetts. He vetoed more line items than any governor in history, failed to even present most of his major proposals to the state legislature, and "rammed through" a health care plan that the Democrats had been trying to put in place for over a decade.

I can give you more, but argue substance against these as a starter to see if you're serious about it or not. Noel I don't take seriously, because he has historically taken opaque positions and never yielded to any contrary evidence.

The floor is yours, sir.

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djquag1
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I for one am quite comfortable in continuing to call a spade a spade and wasting no more energy then that.
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AI Wessex
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"Romney did strut like a peacock, and it worked. He made an accurate assessment of his audience. He also failed to be specific, and don't expect that to change."

In other words, you know the magician is a fake, but you still think he can perform miracles, anyway.

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AI Wessex
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"In a lot of ways, Nixon wasn't half bad."

djquag1, I voted for Humphrey and McGovern and grudgingly admit that Nixon would have been slightly to the left of Clinton in today's world of politics. I hated the war in Vietnam with a passion but he did put things in place that mainstream Republicans today decry as liberal socialist ideas. He would turn over in his grave if he knew that.

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noel c.
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"You still think he can perform miracles."...

...Spoken in the words of a true believer.

Al, don't you find it interesting that your atheism defaults to a religious fervor echoing the great socialist theorists of the 20th century?

I have heard it said that a Jew can be for God, or against him, but not without him. You have some striking similarities to Marx.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Pepsico, Fritolay, and service industries are examples of businesses that would thrive under such an arrangement...
It occurs to me that Pepsico, Frito Lay, and service industries provide more jobs at all levels of the economy than, say, the banking industry. Or Green industries. Or natural gas companies. Or computer companies.

If our goal is to create jobs to get money into the economy, refusing to create jobs that aren't hoity-toity enough for us seems like a surprising way for the government to interfere in the economy.

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Grant
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And
Hereeeee
Weeeee
Gooooooooooooo

I can understand pointing out the flaws in an individual's argumentation style. Or even ignoring the critique and deflecting. But I don't see how we've stumbled upon this rabbit hole.

I don't think atheism has a dang thing to do with economic plans, or argumentation styles/tools.

I certainly don't know Al's atheism became a comment point in the discussion, though I have to admit that he was the one to bring it up.

I was kind of enjoying the economic/social points of view being put forth, and Tom's theory about the political influence of Hy.. I mean the Tea Party. Now we're here. WTHeck??

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noel c.
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Tom,

I do prefer an economy weighted in the direction of "Hoity Toity", because that is where elevated standards of living derive from.

I am fully open to the argument that materialistic standards are a faulty measure of human achievement, and fulfillment, but that is not part of most political debate.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Pepsico, Fritolay, and service industries are examples of businesses that would thrive under such an arrangement...
It occurs to me that Pepsico, Frito Lay, and service industries provide more jobs at all levels of the economy than, say, the banking industry. Or Green industries. Or natural gas companies. Or computer companies.

If our goal is to create jobs to get money into the economy, refusing to create jobs that aren't hoity-toity enough for us seems like a surprising way for the government to interfere in the economy.

The down side being that Frito Lay and Pepsico are not exactly "positive health" industries. Of course, Phillip Morris isn't either and according to Dave Chappelle, they're going to benefit from poverty subsidies as well.

Hey, double your benefit. Helps the poor, and eventually helps the health industry down the line when everybody is obese and has lung cancer. Of course, the poor are probably going to be covered under a government health assistance program, soooooooo......

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, the single best way to allow more money to circulate is to take it from the rich -- who are very bad at circulating money -- and give it to the poor (who are good at it.)

I wouldn't even put it that way- the best policy is to use taxes to shift the wealthy toward more efficient uses to evade the taxes while distributing new money to the poor to drive economic growth. Avoid the false notion of transfer.
You know, considering the amount of "new money" that has been generated over the last few years, I think I agree that it probably would have been better spent by giving it directly to the poor.

That far, I pretty much agree with you. Iceland set a much better example, by bailing out the people who had their money deposited in banks and letting the banks themselves fail (because ones you insultae the people from the failures,, then there is no longer any such real thing as "too big to fail") But, really much of the spending of the past few years has gone to the poor- a huge driver of the $1 trillion+ deficit that Obama inherited was the automatic stabilization systems (unemployment, food stamps, etc...) that expand automatically during a downturn. And one of the elements that contributed to the freefall being worse than expected was that this was the first time the damage that Clinton and the Republicans did to the welfare system was really exposed, so the additional safety net that would otherwise have mitigated the damage fell through completely, rather than automatically preserving income and consumer power like we needed it to.


quote:
What exactly has been the total spent by QE 1,2, and now 3?

$0, as far as the consumer market is concerned. You may as well ask how much is spent by your bank when you move money from checking to savings, because QE is no different- it just exchanges one dollar denominated asset for another, slightly more liquid one. (Actaully net consumer spending declines a bit because of it, because fixed income retirees that depend on bonds as their baseline for security see a significant drop in income.)


quote:
I'm not sure if housing would improve greatly, but some industries and companies would surely benefit. Any guesses?
Just about every industry across the board would see a strong uptick in demand, leading directly to the need to ramp up produictino and hire or automate to fill out the need to keep up with orders. The risk to reward ration for investments in production to meet anticipated demand would also improve and pull money away from financials.

At the moment the US private credit market stands at $50 trillion- that is the total sum of all net private debt outstanding, money "created" by the private sector in the form of loans an the like. At the current rate of deficit, it will take more than 50 years to produce enough money to make it possible for the private sector to cancel that current level of debt out (while, on the other hand, inflation has already accommodated all of the output of those loans, since the money they produced is already circulating) If we try to cut the deficit further, that will force more debt to the private sector, digging the hole deeper and more quickly, putting even more net drag on private growth.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by noel c.:
Grant,

If the "stimulus" had been given to the "poor", then business growth would have been concentrated in those sectors that low-income buyers normally patronize, and the injected cash would have circulated at prevailing value only during the first few transfers... diluting in value as the market absorbed the fix.

Each set of monetary velocity increases the value of the original spending rather than decreasing it. The additional demand would also force more existing money out of financials and into real capital, while the end point for most of it would be cancelling private debt, which is the biggest current drag on the economy. So the absolute worse case scenario is that you give the money to someone who uses it to pay off their debts, effectively transferring a real private debt to a nominal public debt and freeing the private sector to shift more to productive growth. The best case scenario is that it contributes income to several people and businesses on its way to it's ultimate death by cancelling a debt.

Your assertion that the poor are bad at spending their money is faulty on a couple of levels- first and foremost being that, in the economic context "good" means that they spend the money at all, rather than sitting on it. The wealthy are the ones, in that case, who are bad at spending money, because it takes a significantly higher promise of potential return or treat of taxation to move their money, while the poor, by definition have trouble finding enough money to capture the returns that are in easy reach of them.

your moral use of the term "good" there is in direct opposition to basic market principles as well- unless real external harm exists that needs to be mitigated, they are far more cognizant of what they need to be spending their money on that you are; even if their perception might be ill informed in the long run. There may be some justification for adjusting the market itself to make certain choices more attractive (improving the perceived price point of healthful foods vs those that have clear negative effect, but that's a somewhat tangential issue)

The most important shortcoming, though, is that it ascribes "poor" to them as if it were a caste, rather than an economic state. Done properly, such income supplements would promote them from being impoverished to middle class standing. They would no longer, in a more absolute sense, be poor. And with the improvement in standing would come a shift to the habits that greater security allows, rather than the ones that being poor requires of them to stay afloat.

Certainly there are people at every level that are less wise by your standards that you might want them to be, but they are, overall of little consequence, aside from the fact that they provide a steady stream of income to others that profit from their missteps.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The down side being that Frito Lay and Pepsico are not exactly "positive health" industries.
Oh, absolutely. And if we want to have a conversation, as a country, about whether we want to encourage the growth of companies that produce fewer, less-efficient jobs but promote a greater level of general welfare in other categories, that's fine with me. This illusion that you see our leaders promoting, though, that says that pouring money into investment banks (and investors) will magically produce jobs, is blatantly false. As long as we recognize that, I have no problem whatsoever with discussing whether we want to accept a slower rate of job creation in exchange for higher-quality jobs (for whatever definition of "quality" you choose).
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AI Wessex
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So far nobody has responded to any of my requests to back up Romney's proposals with firm plans. I may rant sometimes but I will make clear why I think as I do about things. I'd like to see that from the other side. You can find my questions in this and other recent threads. I'd really like to know how Romney plans to do what he says he will do. Aris, Ed, Ron or others.

"Al, don't you find it interesting that your atheism defaults to a religious fervor echoing the great socialist theorists of the 20th century?

I have heard it said that a Jew can be for God, or against him, but not without him. You have some striking similarities to Marx."

I've said this before, Noel, you know nothing about me. You have an obsession with Marx that comes up in at least two threads so far where it has nothing to do with the topic.

Instead of attacking me, give some evidence for *why* Romney's policies will be effective. Or, you can continue to demean Obama without offering any real evidence. It's up to you.

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AI Wessex
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"I certainly don't know Al's atheism became a comment point in the discussion, though I have to admit that he was the one to bring it up."

I brought it up because anyone who supports Romney's positions is doing it strictly on faith. He hasn't put forth any hard proposals for how he would achieve any of his objectives. That applies to positions he took before he reversed himself as well as those he took after. You have to be willing to accept his assertions on faith, which I am not inclined to do. I referenced being an atheist just for emphasis, but now that Noel is in the conversation I'm sure it will become a key element moving forward.

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Pete at Home
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"I brought it up because anyone who supports Romney's positions is doing it strictly on faith."

Gah. With that statement, you deserve anything that these guys dish out to you. [Pete turns away]

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AI Wessex
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Trying to provoke a response, and I half expected that one. You're already going to vote for him on a single issue for which there is no pragmatic rationale and ignore all other issues for which he could provide a basis, but won't or can't.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

I brought it up because anyone who supports Romney's positions is doing it strictly on faith.

From what I've heard, Romney would not be the first candidate who gets up in the middle of the campaign and says "trust me, I gotta plan" then grins and winks.

Al, have you ever voted for a candidate for President who did not exactly lay out their "plans" in exquisite detail before you decided to vote for them?

I honestly don't think that your dislike of Romney does not stem from the fact that he hasn't laid out his economic plans in detail. But I'm just guessing.

PS: Pyr, Tom, Noel. I'm sorry I havn't responded to your more detailed, serious, non-sarcastic posts concerning economic policy. This is for two reasons.

First, I havn't had to make a clear, succinct, thoughtful, non-sarcastic post in about a year. I think I've forgotten how. It's so much easier to snipe at the hystronics involved in political discourse. I understand this makes me part of a problem rather then a solution.

Second, my grasp of economics pales in relation to Pyr's anyways. I find myself in no position to really make an argument against him. I can only say that of all the economic theories I've heard, Pyr's is the one that always impresses me as "magical" or "voodoo". But since I can't say I actually understand economics at the depth that he does, I can't say that he's wrong about it.

[ October 09, 2012, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: Grant ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Trying to provoke a response, and I half expected that one.

Did you expect this one: that was a G3 provocation, dressed up in lefty clothes.

quote:
You're already going to vote for him on a single issue for which there is no pragmatic rationale
I've explained my rationale, and it's certainly more "pragmatic" than the dressed-up mysticism of your objection to proxy baptisms.

quote:
and ignore all other issues for which he could provide a basis, but won't or can't.
If you claim that I "ignore them", then you're ignoring the many posts where I sharply criticize his position. I'm not ignoring the down side. I'm weighing it in the balance, and protecting marriage is more important to me. But if he doesn't make a better stance of it, I will simply abstain at the presidential level.
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AI Wessex
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*pfft!*
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
*pfft!*

That's a more accurate answer than your previous one. [Smile] Fair enough.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
Second, my grasp of economics pales in relation to Pyr's anyways. I find myself in no position to really make an argument against him. I can only say that of all the economic theories I've heard, Pyr's is the one that always impresses me as "magical" or "voodoo". But since I can't say I actually understand economics at the depth that he does, I can't say that he's wrong about it.

I'd be interested to discuss, kind of at the meta level, where you think you see voodoo, since I try to take care, at the risk of being overly verbose, to explain the cause and effect relationships to try to show where the voodoo is in more popular constructions that don't really stand up to scrutiny (or are just outright wrong, such as how the popular conception of the "invisible hand" not only has nothing to do with Adam Smith, but actually contradicts what he did say).
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TCB
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I was also a bit mystified by Pyrtolin's point of view on economics until I spent a couple hours browsing around a Modern Monetary Theory website. You can find a few good ones with a simple google search. It's a fascinating perspective, and, for me at least, it changed how I think about money.

You might also want to read Paul Krugman's criticism, in which he argues that, in healthy economies, debt financed by money issue is inherently more inflationary than debt financed by bond issue.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
in which he argues that, in healthy economies, debt financed by money issue is inherently more inflationary than debt financed by bond issue.
I'd say, rather than he asserts that and hangs an argument on it, even though it is an active point of contention.

Bill Mitchell and Reandal Wary wrote some pretty good responses to that argument that both serve to point out how the example itself doesn't quite work (On the most basic level- It would be insanely impossible to fix gov't spending as a percent of GDP in the face of a growing economy because, if nothing else, the very nature of private sector growth would mean that ther respective percentages of the former, as well as the difference between them, would automatically shrink.) He also falls back on some bad assumptions about how commercial lending works (The real way it works does seem like voodoo if you try to think of money as a fixed resource, so I can get why this portion of it seems like magic. But it's the assumptions that money is a fixed resource and the banks lend from reserves that are wrong, not the actual way the system works.)

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=15722

http://www.economonitor.com/lrwray/2011/08/16/paul-krugman-still-gets-it-wrong-modern-money-theory/

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noel c.
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TCB,

Krugman's point that issuing credit (introducing cash into the economy) is inflationary, whereas bond issues (removal of cash from the economy through taxation) is less inflationary over the term of the bond, is really pretty basic stuff.

I do not see that he is particularly sympathetic to MMT, except for the fact that it does accommodate expansion of liberal programs. He does note, with surprising candor, that people have to be willing to purchase government bonds under all conditions for MMP to be even theoretically viable.

Anyone in the market for bonds issued by Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, or Ireland?

I have a statistician friend that once told me "... the theory I employ is entirety valid, but if it gives me answers that run counter to your experience, ignore me... because I have used the wrong model."

If someone rattles on with six paragraphs of gibberish, and concludes with nonsense, ignore it.

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Grant
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One day I plan to put economics and monetary theory into my curriculum. At this point I am swamped with job related training and career enhancing subjects to the point that I can't focus alot on the things I just WANT to learn.

Honestly, I've been focused more on philosophy this year, and if things continue at the present pace, I'll be deep into it for another 2 years of study, maybe even more. Then I look forward to be being able to study economics with the same dedication.

[ October 09, 2012, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: Grant ]

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