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November 14th, 2003


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05:34 pm - Politics
So why doesn't my religion get me onto the Green bandwagon? Why am I unconcerned with loads of liberal or conservative causes?

Because I think that tying politics to religion defines you in a very narrow worldview.

Why don't I fight sweatshops? Why do I support free trade? What gives with voting Republican most of the time?

I admit it. I'm a conservative. Sorry. But I should note that I vote for what I think is important. I place a much higher value on the economy than on social issues. Good economies lead to social justice. Bad economies lead to tyranny.

So I tend to vote conservatively. That's usually the group that gets an economy on track. Bush's tax cut is working wonders.

But I don't forget the social issues. I'm socially liberal, believing that everyone gets a shot, and that money for education is a good thing. I think everyone's sexuality has a place in society, and rights are important. But I think the economy is more important.

Increases in military spending help the economy. Increases in education hurt it. Cut spending, not jobs, assholes. Eliminate minimum wage (minimum wage increases create inflation and increase the cost of living by about 5%, whereas the average minimum wage increase is about 1-2%).

Good economies are hotbeds of social liberalism. Poor economies are hotbeds of religious conservativism. Disposable income creates leisure to protest, to get an education.

My rant for the day. Time to go home and see how this turns out on Monday. :) Have fun.
Current Music: "Christmas in the Caribbean", -JB
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(9 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:perlgirlju
Date:November 14th, 2003 11:27 pm (UTC)

Huh?

(Link)
Bush's tax cut is working wonders.

You're joking, right?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 17th, 2003 11:45 pm (UTC)

tax cut is a disaster and Bush is anti-free trade

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Democrats tend to suck with economics for different reasons. But do not delude yourself into thinking this current crop of Republicans are any better. They are nowadays a faint shadow of what they used to be.

Bush is not free trade. He is not even conservative though he pretends to be one. Do you have any evidence to show his free trade roots? Show me some (I haven't been able to find any).

A true conservative president that listens to his economists is what you want and the country needs.

Did you know Reagan raised taxes, reversing part of his initial tax cut when deficits started to loom.

From an economics perspective Bush is probably one of the worst presidents in quite some time. Here is some food for thought.

Administration officials said they'll cut the deficit in half by 2008. About 18 months ago they said they'd more or less balance the budget by 2004. All of this has turned out to be extremely wrong.

Bush kicked the council of economic advisors out of the white house for a reason: he doesn't want to listen to economists.

Have you looked at the _cost_ of the tax cut relative to the benefit.

Have you looked at what the 7% GDP growth we got last quarter really meant (beyond the sound bite in the press)? Why we had the growth.

Have you looked at the dishonest ways they have been revising their
unemployment numbers (underestimate and then later quietly revise it).

Have you looked at how the Presidents Council of economic advisors grossly underestimate time and time again about the effect of the tax cuts on jobs (they even recently came up with new numbers that yet _again_ do not make any sense).

Have you looked at how consumer spending is outpacing the growth in consumer income (which means debt). And the income tax rebates which mainly go to the rich, are simply delayed taxes (being also all debt they have to eventually be paid)

I have talked to a republican economist recently and he said the rich tend to buy property, foreign cars, and hire manual labor. None of which is good for getting the economy going. Why is 40% of the tax cut going to the top 1% of the population -- if your goal is stimulus and not income redistribution.

Also if the tax cut is for short term stimulus, why does it put in structural changes that are long lasting?

Take a look at what professors of economics who put their ideas up for _peer_ review say. Brad Delong is one (professor of econ at Univ. of Chicago).

With economics it is really easy to say things that do not make sense
but sound good. One studied in economics (conservative or liberal)
will not fall into the typical traps the public does.

I will be interested if you read this.


P.S. This administration is all about pretense (pretending to be a warrrior when he was in fact an air guard __deserter__ for a year). Pretending to want democracy and look at Afganistain (18 times more opium production than pre-war), and on and on.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:November 18th, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
First, when did I say I support Bush, or that I voted for him?

I merely agree with his tax cut.

I'm curious as to where the economic growth is coming from, if not from cuts? I don't see another reason, and even democrats have occasionally begrdgingly admitted that the cuts are working, and that that will be what Bush can point to when the next election rolls around.

I firmly believe that cutting taxes will help. I think he's overspending, and that's what's hurting.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 18th, 2003 09:10 pm (UTC)

depends on what you mean by working

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To know whether or not it is working you need to ask:
1)Is this structural or temporary
2)what the the cost/benefit
3)why did the growth happen

1)18 months ago, preliminary estimates put first-quarter 2002 growth at 5.8 percent. It was later revised downward. The next quarter growth dropped to 1.3%. The high growth from that quarter was a blip not representative of a structural change. Despite the impressive growth last quarter, the number of jobs actually fell

2)cost/benefit
As William Gale of the Brookings Institution puts it, "Almost any tax cut or spending increase would succeed in boosting a sluggish economy if the Federal Reserve Board follows an accommodative monetary policy. . . . The key question is, therefore, not whether the proposals provide any short-term stimulus, but whether they are the most effective way to provide stimulus."

They are now building an enormous deficit (5 trillion before baby boomers start costing) Which is not based on temporary stimulus but long term. This is exactly the wrong type of deficit to have. And the the tax cut is putting money into the hands of the rich (who aren't very effective at providing stimulus).

Do you think the path chosen for stimulus is a good path, if so why?

3)You are curious as to why the growth happened. And, there is some good news. But, the good news happened despite not because of their policies. The good news is that final demand — demand excluding changes in inventories — grew faster than G.D.P. There is bad news too. I won't go into it unless you want to hear it.

Voting conservative isn't a problem. But, voting for the Republicans is. They are not conservative. Their current batch of conservative policy appears to be independant of the economy and the restrictions of the federal budget. And, voting for reckless fake conservatives is worse than voting for a liberal who listens to economists. The economists will keep the liberal from making stupid mistakes.

Look at what Bush did in Texas. Compare to what Dean did in New Hampshire. Which state had a better budget?

[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:November 18th, 2003 09:55 pm (UTC)
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1) the number of jobs is not always the best indication of a healthy economy.

2) I now own a house. I bought a car three days ago for 0% financing. Both those purchases indicate that those of us with jobs are spending, which is a Good Thing (TM). There is a problem with customer confidence, though, and that causes us to think about saving more, too.

3) Never lived in Texas. Never lived in NH. I've been in each state, um, once. How the hell should I know which has the better economy?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 19th, 2003 12:38 am (UTC)

fiscal policy like tax cuts is only short term

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I think I am getting where the misunderstanding is at.

Yes, the tax cut can cause people to buy cars, etc. But the effect is only short term. Tax cuts, creating fake jobs, etc. are temporary fiscal effects.

Fiscal and monetary policies do _not_ work. These policies temporarily change things and then things return back to an equilbrium.

From the president's very own economists regarding the tax cut
February 4, 2003:

"Stronger GDP growth would lead to an estimated 510,000
new jobs expected to be created as a result of the proposal over the course of 2003. Another 891,000 new jobs would be created in 2004."

"On average over end-2002 to end-2007, job creation as a
result of the package would be 140000 higher than otherwise."

They agree with me. They estimated that 1.4 million jobs would have been created from their tax plan and then about 1.2 million jobs would bleed away and by 2007 you end up with a modest gain of 140,000.

It turns out they predicted very very wrong. The temporary fiscal stimulus was _much_ weaker (which makes sense since the rich help only a little). And the bleeding hasn't even happened yet.

The fundamental problem is that the short term relief is going to causes serious long term economic growth problems. They did not address the 4 paths to growth. The manta was always tax cut, tax cut, tax cut.

Find an intro macro econ book and look at the chapter on economic growth. A policy that sacrifices long term growth for short term stimulus is the worst policy you can have.



From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 18th, 2003 01:45 am (UTC)

capitalism needs science

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Captialism has been shown to be effective hence your conservatism.
However, science has also shown to be very effective. In fact, both
are needed together.

This administration is very secretive and sound bite compilant but not science compliant. The government needs to be open about what it does so understanding exists.

They only want good news and are getting away with it. Examine what they mean by "1st admendment zones". Examine how Bush cut a lot of SEC funding despite Enron. SEC provides science about accounting of corporations. It is essential for a stock market. Examine how the tax code was written to supply a sweet spot for a misleading sound bite to be consumed by the news. Examine how they flip between median and average. Examine how the press is prevented from photographing wounded Americans and coffins. Examine how our mercernaries are not counted in deaths for Iraq.

Here is an example of scientific thinking.

In 2004, the govt. will run up about $1500 of debt per family. How much of that tax cut did you see? That $1500 is an average, how is it distributed among the income groups.

How many jobs could have been created if this debt was used to directly create jobs (things like homeland security would be a good candidate).

For example:
2,000,000 jobs *$30,000=$60 billion

So, they could have wiped out temporarily the unemployment problem by creating jobs directly. People with these jobs would be buying things, helping the economy. How many jobs did the $500 billion debt?

Do you even know how the government spends it's money? That if you make bugetary decisions you need to account for future expenses
as well as current cash flow. And despite ideology, certain hard desisions will have to be made based off the fact that only about 15% of the budget is discretionary and future expenses are pretty much guaranteed to increase.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:November 18th, 2003 05:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I didn't get anything from the first tax cut. I won't get much from the next.

And Government jobs aren't the answer. Never have been, never will be. Creating an environment that includes extra disposable income that can be invested into new services or goods is what's important.

It looks like you're calling me an idiot. I'm curious if that's the case. . .
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 18th, 2003 09:43 pm (UTC)

4 paths to growth

(Link)
I am sorry if I am kinda calling you an idiot. I am more frustrated with these guys passing themselves off and free-trade and conservative. That frustration may bleed into my writing.

Here is some basic macro-econ. You do not hear talk like this from the current Republicans. I will vote for any repub or democrat who talks about the difference between temporary fiscal policy and understood paths to economic growth.

Here is a little of accepted economic theory. There are 4 basic ways to provide economic growth:
(from a textbook I have here)
1)growth in labor force
2)investment in human capital: education and on the job experience
3)investment in physical capital: factories, machines, transportation
4)technological change

Some of this change can involve jobs: hiring teachers, fixing roads, investing in research. Saying creating jobs are never the answer is too strong a statement. Unless you are prepared to counter intro macro-economics.

Anything that is not among the above 4 is most likely temporary.

There's a tenant of macroeconomics that goes something like
Government monetary/fiscal policies have very little permanent effect on employment. Any fiscal attempt to create jobs is met by
contractionary monetary policy that DESTROYS an equal number of jobs
to keep unemployment at its natural rate. Things like interest rates
or increase in inflation eat away at those gains. Only true
productivity increases can long term affect employment.

For further reading:

The Evidence on Marginal Tax Rate Reductions

http://www.cbpp.org/3-15-01tax.htm

Marginal tax rate reductions could affect a variety of activities
important to the economy, including work behavior, saving and
investment, and risk-taking. The available evidence, however,
generally suggests that any positive effects would be quite modest.

The historical evidence, for example, is not consistent with the
belief that taxes have a large effect on economic growth. There is no
clear link between periods of low taxes and high growth. The
strongest period of growth in U.S. history was the 1960s — when the
top marginal rate was 70 percent or higher. More recently, as
discussed below, economic growth in the 1990s was quite strong,
despite the 1993 increase of the top marginal tax rate from 31
percent to 39.6 percent.(6)

More detailed economic research also finds no evidence that countries
with lower tax rates or higher levels of government spending
experience stronger economic growth.



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