Author Topic: Debt Limit Standoff  (Read 1075 times)

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2023, 01:53:25 PM »
That is what I am saying. The extreme right wing of the Republican Party held the rest hostage to get things.

I do not remember the extreme left wing (what is called The Squad) holding the Dems hostage like this for Pelosi to get elected Speaker.

Lloyd Perna

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2023, 02:19:57 PM »
How do you think Squad Members got their Juicy committee appointments?
For example Ayana Pressley on the Financial Services and Oversight and Reform as a freshman in 2019?

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2023, 02:23:48 PM »
The same way MTG and Matt Gaetz got theirs in their first year.  I think for the most part every congress person gets some type of committe assignment, right?

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2023, 02:27:38 PM »
They do it more quietly, or if you're in the conspiracy lane then the media keeps it quiet. They threatened Nancy's Speakership too, remember?

Quote
The backdrop: After the 2018 midterms, newly elected progressives — led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — wanted generational change and were openly skeptical of Pelosi's leadership.

If they had enough, they would definitely have extracted the same kind of concessions. As it was:

Quote
It wasn’t a coincidence that moments after Nancy Pelosi promised progressive House leaders more power in the next Congress, a host of liberal groups announced they were supporting her for speaker.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who is expected to co-chair the House Progressive Caucus next year, left a Thursday night meeting with Pelosi in the Capitol and proclaimed that her members would have more seats on powerful committees and more influence over legislation.

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2023, 02:33:01 PM »
The difference is/was that even when McCarthy gave them what they wanted, a small core still voted against him. They were Never Kevins.

Were there Never Nancy's on the left at the time?

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2023, 02:34:29 PM »
I'm not pretending to be unaware.  I am trying to highlight the fact that with a slim majority, Compromise is required to move your agenda forward.  It's time for the Dems to play ball.

But that means the Republicans have to play ball, too.  ;)

After all, you're talking about Republicans compromising with the Democrats.  ;D  If the Republicans had a solid majority, they wouldn't have to do that, would they?

And the first play is not to try to blackmail the Democrats by threatening to ruin the U.S. credit rating and create an international depression just to win points, don't you think?  >:(  That's dirty pool, and pool is played with balls, too.

Lloyd Perna

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2023, 02:40:01 PM »
Yes they do,  Just like they did in 2021.

Lloyd Perna

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2023, 02:44:47 PM »
Wayward, Do you think the Dems wouldn't do the same exact thing if the roles were reversed?

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2023, 02:46:17 PM »
The difference is/was that even when McCarthy gave them what they wanted, a small core still voted against him. They were Never Kevins.

Were there Never Nancy's on the left at the time?

Yup. I believe about 15 voted "present". Similar to gaetz

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2023, 02:48:47 PM »
But they did it on the first vote. Not 4 days later.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2023, 02:49:05 PM »
Wayward, Do you think the Dems wouldn't do the same exact thing if the roles were reversed?

They wouldn't because they can still get their priorities done through reasonably normal processes. The GOP is reduced to trying to coerce cooperation from the Democrats because even when they have control of Congress, they can't get their members to cooperate long enough to pass their key programs like repealing the ACA or building the wall.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2023, 02:49:34 PM »
Wayward, Do you think the Dems wouldn't do the same exact thing if the roles were reversed?

I don't believe I've ever seen the Democrats in bulk or solo threaten the debt limit increase over the contents of the budget.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2023, 02:53:42 PM »
But they did it on the first vote. Not 4 days later.

Is this distinction useful? Pelosi had a greater margin to play with. In some future case, one person might be able to threaten the house with paralysis in order to get whatever they want. Honestly I think some Dems should have voted McCarthy just to block the FC from extracting all their demands.

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #63 on: January 19, 2023, 04:14:34 PM »
Yes they do,  Just like they did in 2021.

Can you be more specific?  I'm not sure if you're referring to compromising with the Republicans or holding the debt limit hostage.  ???

But, of course, they couldn't compromise with the Republicans, and the debt limit was raised in Dec. 2021 without a single Republican vote.  Of course, they didn't need it at the time. :)

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #64 on: January 19, 2023, 04:16:56 PM »
Wayward, Do you think the Dems wouldn't do the same exact thing if the roles were reversed?

Hold the debt limit hostage and threaten to kill the world economy?

I don't recall them ever doing that in the past.  Do you?

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #65 on: January 19, 2023, 07:37:39 PM »
It's just negotiation theatrics tactics.

If Republicans didn't get dramatic about it every now and then our national debt would be twice as high as it is right now and inflation too.


TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #66 on: January 19, 2023, 07:45:27 PM »
If Republicans didn't keep cutting taxes it would be much lower.

Tom

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #67 on: January 19, 2023, 07:48:38 PM »
Quote
If Republicans didn't get dramatic about it every now and then our national debt would be twice as high as it is right now...
Citation needed.

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #68 on: January 19, 2023, 08:48:26 PM »
It's just negotiation theatrics tactics.

If Republicans didn't get dramatic about it every now and then our national debt would be twice as high as it is right now and inflation too.

Maybe if we never elected Republicans our national debt would be half of what it is now. Deficit ballooned under Reagan/Bush I, dropped under Clinton, ballooned under Bush II, halved under Obama, exploded under Trump, see the pattern?

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #69 on: January 19, 2023, 09:25:17 PM »
Citation... heh, got your citation right here, friend. In other words, that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

We've been around this mulberry bush several times already.

If raising taxes actually brought in more revenue the Democrats would just spend it and then some exactly the same way a trophy wife does whenever her husband gets a raise. There is no universe in which taking in more money doesn't result in spending all of it and a lot more besides. And that's even assuming it would bring in more money which depending on where we are on the Laffer curve is hardly a given.

In a way, it would actually be better to take in less money because that limits the amount of money we can borrow.  We're like day traders on margin who always trade at the maximum amount of margin available. It's a sickness is what it is. And there's always something worth buying that will give us great returns on our investment, much more than the interest we'll be paying. Some new social program or a great new invasion and nation building opportunity. Always something. And that's why we're over 31 trillion dollars in debt. Just like in a marriage, someone needs to act hysterical about it to slow the debt snowball down even if it can't be stopped. And that someone right now is the Republicans. When Obama was running for office he was the one playing the part. He talked a good game.

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/13/remarks-president-fiscal-policy

And yet when it came down to it, the national debt went up 8.6 trillion dollars under Obama even while he supposedly cut the deficit in half which is some math I'd love to understand. Granted Trump wasn't any better and there always seems to be some excuse. We should make Dave Ramsey the national debt czar. What we need is a few years of beans and rice living.

Tom

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #70 on: January 19, 2023, 09:46:50 PM »
Quote
There is no universe in which taking in more money doesn't result in spending all of it and a lot more besides...
Curiously, the federal budget would seem to disagree with you, as within our lifetimes it's precisely when we've taken in more money that we've managed to have budget surpluses.

Quote
In a way, it would actually be better to take in less money because that limits the amount of money we can borrow.
Not only does this not logically follow, it's refuted by the data. Historically, borrowing does not in fact shrink alongside tax revenue.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #71 on: January 19, 2023, 11:07:17 PM »
It's worth another quick mention that this idea of the government 'borrowing' isn't quite what people think it is. First of all it's not like taking a loan where you're constantly paying out interest. They take in cash and have to pay out cash at some later interval, sometimes 10 or 30 years away. And that's inflated money. So consider a 30 year treasury at 3% interest, in a 3% inflationary environment. And no, I don't agree that inflation for the past 15 years has been 2%, regardless of what the official reports say. Well in this scenario in real dollar terms the 'borrowing' costs you nothing, and meanwhile you inject cash into the system now that creates real results and helps the actual local (and international) economy. Furthermore, even if the real cost of borrowing was in fact positive, money today is still worth more than money + 1-2%/annual years from now. That should be obvious to anyone who noticed that everyone levered up during the pandemic when rates were very low. If the government could borrow at 1% real value (in a low interest environment) then they should! They should just do it on principle. Most people who are into finance would do the same, and it wouldn't be unsound. It's a fixed rate value, the interest on it can't go up once the bond is sold. Now it becomes a separate matter if the interest environment is expensive; then you need to do a bunch of math to see whether it's good to have more valuable dollars now at X face value and a 1.05X debt to pay in 10 years. And you have to factor in things like fixing some infrastructure now will cost Y, but will cost 1.5Y if left another 10 years and has worse problems, along with the inflation that goes along with it.

Now obviously I'm simplifying a little to demonstrate something, which is that borrowing is unsound if it creates unsustainable debts that end up bankrupting you. And that's for people who have to service the debt monthly, which is not how treasury bonds work (3-month bills are a different story). But the more I learn about these things the more I realize how foolish it is to sit on a basic idea like 'borrowing bad', which is the mentality of my grandparents' generation. If borrowing is bad then I guess you should give away your house with a mortgage on it, right? Obviously it's not bad...unless it's bad. It's on a case by case basis. Borrowing can be the key to wealth and success, it can bury you if you do it wrong, like most things in life. Government borrowing, as it turns out, has been a boon to all that has mostly gone unrecognized as far as I can tell.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2023, 11:11:21 PM by Fenring »

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2023, 12:06:15 AM »
...

If raising taxes actually brought in more revenue the Democrats would just spend it and then some exactly the same way a trophy wife does whenever her husband gets a raise. There is no universe in which taking in more money doesn't result in spending all of it and a lot more besides. And that's even assuming it would bring in more money which depending on where we are on the Laffer curve is hardly a given.
...

Have the last 2 Republican tax cuts not shown that we are on the part of the Laffer curve where reduced rates reduce revenue? How much evidence do you need to know we'll well below the tax rates where people chose not to produce more because the marginal tax on high income is high?

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2023, 12:16:01 PM »
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics reports that estimates of revenue-maximizing income tax rates have varied widely, with a mid-range of around 70%.[4]

In other words, no where near it.

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2023, 12:32:57 PM »
Of course another way to balance the budget is to increase income. What was one of the first acts of the Republicans? Try and reduce the size of the IRS to just collect what is owed.

No need to raise taxes. Just collect what is legaly owed. The IRS has less employees now than 30 years ago. Their budget is 20% less.

For a party that wants to balance the budget they sure seem to think it can only be done one way.

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2023, 03:53:38 PM »
Trump knows that what the RINO MAGA Trumpist want to do will kill the party in 2024.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-gop-don-t-touch-140234797.html

Even Trump knows you can not touch SS and Medicare.

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2023, 03:55:04 PM »
'Not only does this not logically follow, it's refuted by the data. Historically, borrowing does not in fact shrink alongside tax revenue.'

I'll grant you that. Our politicians are even worse than the worst trophy wives. She'll see her husband get a raise and then spend that money plus figure she can afford to make the payments on even more credit card debt. Our politicians do the same thing, spend more and borrow even more than that, but do so even when we don't take in more money first.

A lot of what y'all say seems to make sense and I'm not smart enough to see the flaws in it but for some reason when the dust clears and the smoke settles even though it sounded good at the time it seems like getting hoodwinked by a smooth talking sales pitch. When you see where we stand right now at over 30 trillion in debt and all the money spent on servicing it that could be used productively instead, it feels like people are left scratching their heads wondering how we got here. Then we're told no don't worry all of this debt is actually a good thing and we're just even more confused wondering, huh? No really, it's great because it's greasing the engine of the world economy. So I'm supposed to be paying my hard earned tax dollars to pay the interest on the money we lent to people? Yeah, exciting, isn't it? So what if we paid off all of the debt and then our country loaned money to others around the world and our taxpayers got paid the interest on our loans instead of paying the interest on our debt, or we invested it and made profits on it like the state of Alaska or the Mormon Church? What if we earned money instead of paying it, could pay the taxpayers a dividend instead of garnishing their wages? What if the U.S. Treasury had 31.5 trillion dollars in assets instead of debt and we could look at our national profits ticking over on the internet's national asset clock instead of seeing our money flushed away at the national debt clock?

Now that's just crazy talk son. Keep on like that and some white coats will have you in a straight jacket. If debt is good then obviously that would be a total disaster and would collapse the entire world faster than global warming.

Tom

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2023, 04:09:13 PM »
Quote
even though it sounded good at the time it seems like getting hoodwinked by a smooth talking sales pitch
In complete honesty, cherry, I don't know how you can voice a concern like this and still vote for Republicans.

Quote
What if the U.S. Treasury had 31.5 trillion dollars in assets instead of debt and we could look at our national profits ticking over on the internet's national asset clock...
This is another case of thinking of national debt like household debt. What would it mean for us to have a POSITIVE balance of $31.5T? That means that the federal government would have to own significant shares of either U.S. consumer or state debt and a huge quantity of foreign debt (either public or private). Inarguably the best thing the U.S. could do with ownership of that amount of private citizens' debt would be to simply forgive it (perhaps weighted in favor of debt held by first-time homeowners, small businesses, and low-income families); holding that much foreign debt, on the other hand, would basically turn us into China -- which is to say that we'd appear hugely influential on paper, but actually very vulnerable to economic downturns in countries whose economies we can't directly control. (This worked out well for China -- and, before them, Japan -- for decades, but like Japan they're seeing the downside now.)   

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2023, 04:53:52 PM »
Quote
Keep on like that and some white coats will have you in a straight jacket

Best not to think to much about economic theories and such - in the end things works because people believe it works.
As long as you don't shake that believe things will be fine.

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2023, 04:56:32 PM »
It's interesting comparing the national debt to household debt and I confess to doing exactly that, trying to give myself a frame of reference that's more easily understood. I can appreciate the idea though that there are significant differences and it may well be that treating one as the other could be a huge mistake.

Having said that, I wonder if comparing states' financial situations like California and Alaska stacks up with the national debt. It seems like having a surplus and a permanent dividend fund like Alaska does would be preferable to the debt that California has. Perhaps a better state to pick though would be one in more dire straights like Illinois. In any case, am I understanding right that Alaska is making a mistake having a surplus and permanent dividend fund and should immediately spend all that money and take on massive amounts of debt instead? That would better serve their residents' interests?

That gets us back to the conservative verses liberal mindset on taxes, the idea that the people could spend their own money better than the government.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #80 on: January 20, 2023, 05:10:47 PM »
So I'm supposed to be paying my hard earned tax dollars to pay the interest on the money we lent to people? Yeah, exciting, isn't it?

That's the thing, they're not hard-earned. Not in the sense you mean it. Right-wing people - not just Republicans, but conservatives of all stripes - seem to have a real blind spot when it comes to recognizing the factors that gave them the ability to do what they do. Your hard-earned tax dollars come as a result of people who quite possibly work even harder in other countries, creating global infrastructure to do the things we need. Now we could debate how anti-globalism would have worked out from the start (and I have at times been an enemy of offshoring jobs), but as things stand 'you' did not earn those dollars, they were to a large extent poured into the system from around the world since the U.S. is the economic place to be.

Quote
So what if we paid off all of the debt

The U.S. economy is thereby wiped out;

Quote
and then our country loaned money to others around the world

They want to earn USD and buy bonds with them, not be loaned USD. Anyhow, what kind of collateral are you going to take for these loans? Chinese bonds?

Quote
and our taxpayers got paid the interest on our loans instead of paying the interest on our debt

Your idea of the moral solution is to become the world's landlord, collecting rent from everyone? Plus what makes you think you'll have any extra $ to lend out once you contract the money supply to zero?

Quote
or we invested it and made profits on it like the state of Alaska or the Mormon Church?

Nationalize private companies? At present it's illegal, but hey.

Quote
What if we earned money instead of paying it, could pay the taxpayers a dividend instead of garnishing their wages?

You are honestly proposing that the purpose of government is to turn a profit? That is a conservative perspective?

Quote
Now that's just crazy talk son.

Correct :)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for creative ideas and thinking of alternative solutions. But these ideas seem to serve no purpose other than to idealize playing around with a bunch of money.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 05:18:28 PM by Fenring »

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #81 on: January 20, 2023, 05:33:43 PM »
That sounds a lot like Obama's 'you didn't build that'. I get what you mean, that we are all standing on the backs of those who've gone before and plenty more around us now, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way when it's your own nose to the grindstone and it seems more like it's your own back and shoulders plenty of others are standing on instead.

I'm old enough to remember when the national debt was only 8 trillion dollars instead of 31.5 trillion. And that wouldn't necessarily make me ancient since that was only 18 years ago in 2005. Did increasing our debt by over 20 trillion dollars improve the national and world economic situation? Are we better off now than we were back then? I'm not seeing it. It feels like we're making things more complicated than they have to be. The man said that Greed is good. Not Debt. Seems like we're getting them mixed up.


But let's say that 31.5 trillion dollars in debt is better than 8 trillion dollars in debt. Does that mean that 50 trillion will be even better still? And one hundred trillion better than that? If debt is good then what if any is the limit at which point good debt turns into bad, into too much of a good thing?

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #82 on: January 20, 2023, 05:33:53 PM »
But let's say that 31.5 trillion dollars in debt is better than 8 trillion dollars in debt. Does that mean that 50 trillion will be even better still? And one hundred trillion better than that? If debt is good then what if any is the limit at which point good debt turns into bad, into too much of a good thing?

I think this question is on the right track. And I don't think anyone has a clear answer to it, as at present there isn't even consensus about reality, which prevents deciding how to govern that reality. Debt = bad is the idea I was contesting, but I don't have an opinion on what the 'correct' debt level is. Somehow it's an engineering problem and it must be based on the effects on increasing or decreasing liquidity in the markets, and increasing and decreasing spending/debt issuance. I suspect that it would be much better of the Federal government was flowing with movements in the markets like a tai chi practitioner, than for the Fed to be doing what it does instead. It's kind of like since there's no one steering the ship, the guy with the cannons is trying to compensate by moving the ship around with explosive kickback.

Tom

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #83 on: January 20, 2023, 06:03:11 PM »
Three useful measures to judge the quality of a nation's economy:
 
1) The total real (inflation-adjusted) wealth available to the total number of private individuals
2) The percentage of people controlling a given percentage of the wealth (say, in quintiles)
3) The total percentage of an economy's wealth available to the participants in that economy

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #84 on: January 20, 2023, 06:08:46 PM »
Three useful measures to judge the quality of a nation's economy:
 
1) The total real (inflation-adjusted) wealth available to the total number of private individuals
2) The percentage of people controlling a given percentage of the wealth (say, in quintiles)
3) The total percentage of an economy's wealth available to the participants in that economy

I haven't given a lot of thought to making a list of how to measure an arbitrary economy; I suspect I could construct many hypothetical types of economy that had different priorities and therefore different virtue-metrics. But in the context of your list I would offer another forward-looking metric: would the economy be able to function if the people who were dissatisfied with it could act in an organized manner? This could be seen as an exploitation metric, but on the basis of the exploitation being something no one can do anything about. If they could, would they play ball? But this is forward-looking because an economy below a certain level of sophistication requires slavery to work, in one form or another. Prior to that point I suspect that exploitation is perhaps unavoidable. But it's still an anti-metric of how good things are.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 06:14:55 PM by Fenring »

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #85 on: January 20, 2023, 06:16:51 PM »
I'll note, cherry, that my previous post was inspired by our talk of whether 'you' earn your money. For instance, does a CEO really 'earn' 400x what his employees do? What if they simply declined to participate, then he'd make nothing, right? So who 'earned' that money? Not who got it, but who earned it. I'm not making a socialist argument, but just pointing out that the system is far more involved than the ultra-wealthy would care to admit.

TheDrake

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #86 on: January 21, 2023, 08:29:00 AM »
Nearly every private company borrows, especially ones trying to grow. Are they all screwing it up? Should their priority be eliminating their debt at the expense of building new products?

What matters for those companies, at least one metric is their debt to equity ratio.

This isn't meant to be a direct analogy, but the insistence that getting out of debt is some iron clad positive is not even remotely sustainable.

There's good debt and bad debt of course. Credit card debt is bad. Because it carries a high interest penalty. And if you default, that interest is going to go up, or you may be unable to borrow any more.

And that is what the Republicans are playing with. They are withholding payment to the bank. Right now they are in a grace period. But if they don't knock it off, they are dooming all future Americans to having to go to the IMF for ridiculous predatory loans. Ask Zimbabwe how that goes. Okay that's hyperbolic. But definitely getting less favorable terms.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #87 on: January 23, 2023, 12:38:54 PM »
“Money is the same order of reality as inches, grams, or lines of longitude and latitude. It is an abstraction. It is a method of bookkeeping to obviate the cumbersome procedures of barter. But our culture, our civilization, is entirely hung up on the notion that money has an independent reality of its own" Watts

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #88 on: January 23, 2023, 01:01:29 PM »
“Money is the same order of reality as inches, grams, or lines of longitude and latitude. It is an abstraction. It is a method of bookkeeping to obviate the cumbersome procedures of barter. But our culture, our civilization, is entirely hung up on the notion that money has an independent reality of its own" Watts

Fwiw I don't believe this is correct. It can't just be a more efficient manner of barter because barter doesn't have built-in to it the concept of the public owing you a debt, which currency does. Because currency is both liquid as well as government-backed, it means you are assured that someone must accept it, which means it's a de facto public debt owed to you which you can retain, invest, etc. If you have corn or a cow, perhaps assets with a regular high demand, nevertheless you could never insist someone must buy them or trade them from you when you decide; nor is it the case that if you own them anyone owes you anything. So yes, money is an abstraction in the same sense that government is an abstraction, or that a promise is an abstraction. Or faith, for that matter. But when seen in this way abstractions can be worth a lot more than a hard good in hand.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #89 on: January 23, 2023, 02:53:34 PM »
I think the key word in Watt's statement is independent.  "entirely hung up on the notion that money has an independent reality of its own.
I thought you made that point in your previous statement about 'hard-earned'

Watts goes on to argue: “We’ve run into a cultural situation where we’ve confused the symbol with the physical reality; the money with the wealth; and the menu with the dinner. And we’re starving on eating menus.”

We mistake the map for the territory, the finger for the moon, the metaphor for the realty. In other words we really really suck as measuring and quantifying and we (in general) never seem to notice.... Perhaps our greatest failure at the are to measuring.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 03:02:59 PM by rightleft22 »

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #90 on: January 23, 2023, 03:28:53 PM »
I think the key word in Watt's statement is independent.  "entirely hung up on the notion that money has an independent reality of its own.
I thought you made that point in your previous statement about 'hard-earned'

He uses that clause after a "but" meaning it's meant to be in opposition to the idea of money merely being a placeholder for real things, i.e. all economic activity is really just barter and people forget that. But this is not true. The point I made about 'hard-earned' is that a person does not own all the work going into an income; that work is communal. It is the remuneration which is owned by the 'earner'. This issue doesn't really pertain to whether money is a real thing or an abstract thing. What he is saying is that money is just a made-up or fake thing meant to designate amounts of real things. But that's not a good definition of currency. In any case, I would not even agree with the proposition that abstract things are 'not real'. Otherwise you would have to accept that your friendships are 'not real', your religious faith is 'not real', and that even your sense of self is 'not real' because they aren't hard objects that can be kept in a safe.

Quote
Watts goes on to argue: “We’ve run into a cultural situation where we’ve confused the symbol with the physical reality; the money with the wealth; and the menu with the dinner. And we’re starving on eating menus.”

We could go down rabbit hole about symbols and how they aren't really fake either. But let's just say a philosophy that suggests the only real things are physical objects is going to have trouble explaining anything. Even materialists would agree that real things can exist in the world which are intangible. His statement is strange given that - assuming this is Alan Watts we're talking about - he appears to have been a mystic into Buddhism and Zen. This isn't really meant as an insult, but he wasn't exactly an economic theorist, was he?

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #91 on: January 23, 2023, 04:42:38 PM »
The problem with quotes is that the context is often missed... and this is Alan Watts so he might agree that all the things the individual think are real usually isn't, especially the individual self the thinks itself as separate from everything. :)

I'm know a few who would eat the menu believing it was food and then get upset that it didn't teste good, though they may not notice that either.   

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #92 on: February 01, 2023, 09:44:25 PM »
McCarthy met with Biden and is still insisting on budget cuts for a debt ceiling increase. If you want to cut the budget, they will get to pass one in about 6 months. Why screw with the global economy over the budget passed in December? Deep down its hard to believe Republicans care about what is best for the country at all. They are playing some game, to get Democrats to try to give up ground in exchange for not cratering the global economy and ending America's economic dominance. Government shut downs are stupid, unproductive, but don't cause the kind of lasting harm a default would. But McCarthy won the speakership by promising something around this. The only question is what happens first: he resigns, gets booted out by the conservatives for compromising, or gets booted out by the other 300 members for threatening the world economy with no specific policy agenda.

msquared

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #93 on: February 02, 2023, 07:31:01 AM »
It is his bow to the Freedom Caucus, which has member from The Grover Norquist school of all Taxation is Theft school of Libertatianism.  These are the people who are basically everyone for themselves (as long as they are on top) and hate the idea of the Public Good. They say screw the public good.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2023, 09:32:30 AM »
It is his bow to the Freedom Caucus, which has member from The Grover Norquist school of all Taxation is Theft school of Libertatianism.  These are the people who are basically everyone for themselves (as long as they are on top) and hate the idea of the Public Good. They say screw the public good.

Isn't that the expected result of Libertarianism will to power?  Read a interesting take on Libertarianism in that it inevitably leads to the strong man.   The weak are expected to bow without resentment to the strong man and call it freedom. Happy that at least those below them don' get any kind of 'free ride', stay out of their pockets, even if it means cutting off their own nose.

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #95 on: February 02, 2023, 02:09:23 PM »
Couldn't find the article but if I remember correctly Ayn Rand totally rejected how here ideas were applied to Political Libertarianism.
That Political Libertarianism was first attempted by the Left 'Hippy' culture where it tended towards cultism and was abandoned though it still shows up in DNC politics 
Next came cooperate conservatives took what the liked about Libertarianism and added it to Republican politics where it tends toward the strong man.

In both cases the Libertarians seems to lead to a undemocratic governance or no governance which may be the same thing.
The argument put forth was that Libertarianism followed to its end can but end in a 'Hitler' rising type situation which was the main reason Rand totally rejected how here ideas were being applied.

Funny, scary was how approached from the right or left Libertarianism seems to lead to the end of democracy. 

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #96 on: February 02, 2023, 02:57:03 PM »
I wonder if what the right fears most about the life is its Libertarianism, while what the left fears most about the right is its Libertarianism?

Or maybe its just me as I've never been able to get my head around the whole Libertarian philosophy let alone as applied to politics and governance.
From my point of view there is just no space in it for cooperation or compromises, not to mention the odd or notions on 'freedom'.

jc44

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2023, 05:21:00 AM »
Funny, scary was how approached from the right or left Libertarianism seems to lead to the end of democracy.
But surely that is pretty much the point? If "do what you will within the letter of the contract" is the whole of the law then what requirement is there for government, let alone a democracy to support it?

rightleft22

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Debt Limit Standoff
« Reply #98 on: February 03, 2023, 09:40:01 AM »
Funny, scary was how approached from the right or left Libertarianism seems to lead to the end of democracy.
But surely that is pretty much the point? If "do what you will within the letter of the contract" is the whole of the law then what requirement is there for government, let alone a democracy to support it?

I believe that is the point of Libertarianism which is why I don't understand how its possible that  both the right and the left are leaning into it, if then their own ways.  We ought not to be surprised with how things are playing out. Funny sad but it seem Libertarians are the ones who end up the most surprised? I'm pretty sure no one knows what their doing.