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A Voice In the Wilderness


The economic news has been bad.  Given that the economy has been limping along, paralyzed by uncertainty, this should be expected, though the LSM are perpetually informing us that these bad results of failed policies are "Unexpected."

0bama, meanwhile, has decided to return to the democrat's shibboleth of taxing our way to prosperity.  They must believe our current (record) Misery Index of 25.5 is entirely too low.

Fortunately, someone out there gets it:

While this administration promised job creation and an unemployment rate under 8 percent with the passage of the stimulus spending packages, based upon today's unemployment report, the unemployment rate still hovers around 9 percent. We have yet to see the positive results from the billions of taxpayer dollars spent in that process.

Wednesday's jobs figure shows only 38,000 new private sector jobs were created, a number significantly less than the projected 177,000 in previous forecasts. Experience has taught me that government cannot create jobs. Instead, government is responsible for creating a favorable environment for businesses to thrive and succeed.

If we are to fix this problem,we must focus our efforts on increasing access to capital and availability of new markets, adjusting unfavorable regulations for corporations and, in many instances, retooling and retraining our workforce.

It's time we have a discussion about real job creation and what must be done to raise consumer confidence and create stability in the marketplace. Real results are needed now.

0bama and his administration are demonstrably making things worse.

Time for new leadership.

Hat Tip: The Other McCain
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Comments (56)

Dear Mr. Graves,Yo... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Dear Mr. Graves,

Your lack of appreciation for the gloriousness of the recovery that Lord Obama has blessed us with has resulted in you being flagged for re-education.

Please pack a small bag with only bare essentials and wait by the curb outside your domicile for transportation.

Sincerely,
The Ministry of Truth!

And, for the umpteen bajill... (Below threshold)

And, for the umpteen bajillionth time, a vast majority of mainstream non-bipartisan economist agree that:

a) "trickle-down" economics don't work
b) government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward.

For point 'b', see specifically the Clinton administration - where the 90's boom started taking place immediately after Clinton *raised* taxes on the wealthy and invested in programs benefiting the poor and middle class, BEFORE the Internet starting having any appreciable affect on GDP,

AND FDR's actions tax-raising and government-stimulus-spending actions, which pulled us out of the Great Depression. Which is ALSO something a vast majority of mainstream non-partisan academics agree on.

I hope that this time this point will be made. I don't expect it, but I am somehow again still hopeful - because the facts on the other side of the issue are so generally agreed upon by non-partisan experts.

Flame on...

jim x: "government spending... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

jim x: "government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward."

LOL...that was comedy...right?

Great quote. But let's not... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Great quote. But let's not be naive. Unfortunately Cain vs. Obama would wind up somewhat similarily to Keyes vs. Obama, albeit not by such a gross margin. It's sad but true.

As far as Obama goes the only way in which he could destroy the middle classes more thoroughly is if he literally ordered air strikes against American suburbs and exurbs.

jim x asserts (@2):<b... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

jim x asserts (@2):

And, for the umpteen bajillionth time, a vast majority of mainstream non-bipartisan economist agree that:

And even more do not agree, both partisan and non-partisan.

a) "trickle-down" economics don't work

Wow! So the marketing firms are all out to lunch in that they are now focusing almost exclusively on the top 10% of earners...

b) government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward.

Short term stimulus at best, and in the case of The Great Depression had the effect of deepening and prolonging it, rather as 0bama's efforts at stimulation have done.

Tsar Nicholas II opines @ 4... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Tsar Nicholas II opines @ 4:

...Unfortunately Cain vs. Obama would wind up somewhat similarily to Keyes vs. Obama, albeit not by such a gross margin. It's sad but true.

Actually, since it's speculative, it is neither true nor untrue until tried. At the current rate and given continuation of current economic trends, Dan Quayle could defeat 0baman in November of 2012.

Addendum:Half of t... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Addendum:

Half of the Private Sector jobs added were at MacDonald's franchises. Burger Flipping jobs, while marginally more economically productive than Local, State, or Federal Government Jobs, are not the kind of jobs which will spur economic growth.

Barry's kind of jobs are in... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Barry's kind of jobs are in the inner city fast food sector.

He's so funny when he flounders around the country lying. He has no shame!

Jim X -"government... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jim X -

"government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward."

Okay - so... when is it supposed to happen?

Alternatively, it does until it doesn't. Which it isn't. And hasn't.

Tell you what - you ever use starter spray? Spray it directly into the air intake of a balky motor and it'll help the thing start. It's great stuff - but you can't use too much of it or you'll blow the engine.

Alternatively, you can START the engine using it (if there's a spark, and you can turn the engine over) - but if there's no gas, you won't run the engine for long. Or if you turn OFF the engine after it catches.

Obama's dumped trillions, then turned off the gas and power. No wonder the engine of the economy's not running!

Quick - better blame the rich! Evil bastards, one and all...

Experience has taught me... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Experience has taught me that government cannot create jobs.

The government created millions of jobs during WW II by spending future generations' money. Right thing to do then, right thing to do now.

...adjusting unfavorable regulations for corporations...

It wasn't for too much regulation that the financial services sector took a beating and dragged the rest of your country (and most other countries) down with it.

This person doesn't have a fucking clue what they're talking about. If I were an unemployed American I'd be pretty upset every time some supply side ass-clown got themselves on my teevee to preach their failed ideology and in so doing contribute to the zeitgeist that is allowing Geithner and his lizard buddies on Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce to bury the poor in the carbonite of long-term structural unemployment.

Since you brought up the c... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Since you brought up the comparison of "shibboleth" and taxation, remember that those who could not say the word were slaughtered by those who could.

Rance,Ah, but the ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Rance,

Ah, but the word is not taxation. The word is a phrase, "spending cuts." I fully expect to see those who cannot say "spending cuts" without a negation to be electorally slaughtered.

jim_x perfectly illustrates... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

jim_x perfectly illustrates what Mary McCarthy said of another Marxist, Lillian Hellman: "Every word [he] writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'."

So, Hyper, to get the gover... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So, Hyper, to get the government to spend trillions on building and upgrading the US infrastructure and manufacturing base, we should get into a wopping great war? Sounds like something an Austrian fella suggested in the late 1930s...
Whom should we focus our war economy on? Lots of timber and shale oil up to the north, or so I hear.

"AND FDR's actions tax-rais... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"AND FDR's actions tax-raising and government-stimulus-spending actions, which pulled us out of the Great Depression. Which is ALSO something a vast majority of mainstream non-partisan academics agree on."

Put your dunce cap on jim. Or as FDR's Treasury Sec said in 1939 - "All that money, wasted!"

WWII brought the US out of the depression.

jim x:a)... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

a) "trickle-down" economics don't work

Except for the Reagan administration, of course. In 1982, still suffering from Carter's incompetence, the unemployment rate was 9.7%. That year, Reagan reduced the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%. From that point, the level subject to that level of taxation increased (IOW, tax rate decreased). In 1987, the top rate was reduced to 38% and in 1988 to 28%. Unemployment steadily reduced through this time to 5.3% in 1988.

the Clinton administration - where the 90's boom started taking place immediately after Clinton *raised* taxes on the wealthy

True enough, but the tax rate *raised* by Clinton was miniscule. The rate in 1993 was raised to 39% for income of $ 250,000. Compare that to the 70% rate for income of $ 215,000 when Reagan took office. IOW, Clinton was merely continuing to ride the economic boom brought on by the reduction of tax rates started by Reagan, and, in fact, Clinton merely continued the lower tax rate policy initiated by Reagan. In fact, by 2001, the 39% rate started with incomes of $ 297,000, showing that, in reality, Clinton was reducing the tax rate during his presidency.

Clinton . . . invested in programs benefiting the poor and middle class

You should be more specific. Welfare spending was essentially flat during the Clinton years, thanks to a Republican Congress.

AND FDR's actions tax-raising and government-stimulus-spending actions, which pulled us out of the Great Depression.

It seems you have not studied the "Recession of 1937–1938." And, the U.S. economy after 1941 benefitted far more from forced rationing and the wartime destruction of the European economies than from FDR's "government stimulus."

government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward.

Doesn't seem to be working so well this time, does it?


FDR's actions tax-raisin... (Below threshold)
jim m:

FDR's actions tax-raising and government-stimulus-spending actions, which pulled us out of the Great Depression. Which is ALSO something a vast majority of mainstream non-partisan academics agree on. - Jim X

hold on... I'm trying to stop laughing.

Seriously? FDR's socialist policies and taxation are widely credited today, not for ending the Great Depression but rather for extending it. It wasn't the WPA or the CCC that put people back to work, it was WWII.

If taxing the rich and increased government spending were the way to economic growth then we would have the greatest bull economy since the beginning of time. The fact is that taxation decreases consumer spending and the increased regulation that the obama admin is putting out has all but completely halted business hiring.

If taxation were the way to growth then Illinois would be leading the nation in employment, but instead they are struggling to keep businesses from fleeing the state since they enacted the 4th highest corporate tax rate in the entire world.

Whatever you're smoking, Jim X, you need to stop before you hurt yourself or someone else.

Wednesday's jobs figure ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Wednesday's jobs figure shows only 38,000 new private sector jobs were created, a number significantly less than the projected 177,000 in previous forecasts.

Yet private sector job creation is still far better under Obama than under Bush. There were fewer private sector jobs at the end of Bush's term than when he started.

Tina, 1) There are f... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Tina,
1) There are fewer private sector jobs now than when Bush left office...
2) During Bush's 8 years in office, we hit a point of record employment.
3) There is a noticeable (hard to miss) decline in private sector employment in 2008.

I wonder what happened in early 2008, late 2007...

Tina, you need to find bett... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Tina, you need to find better sources of information than Debbie Wasserman-Schulz and Nancy Pelosi. Those two people are immensely stupid.

http://larrymwalkerjr.blogspot.com/2010/10/mythbuster-has-obama-created-more-jobs.html

SCSIwuzzy,Like, oh... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

SCSIwuzzy,

Like, oh, the democrats taking control of both chambers of Congress?

Good God. I know liberals a... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Good God. I know liberals are economically illiterate, but Jim and Hyper here show just how much I overestimated their kind.

First, we have everyone's favorite Obama Cultist ("Ia! Ia! Obama fhtagn!") Jimmy, who has never studied the Great Depression in his life and has never heard of the 1937 recession WITHIN the Great Depression. Personally, I'd love for Jimmy to explain specifically how FDR's policies pulled us out of the Great Depression. Which policies did so? How did taxation and massive spending help the economy? If they worked so well, why did the Depression last so long?

And then we have this nugget of joy from Hyper, who is always entertaining if not always sane:

The government created millions of jobs during WW II by spending future generations' money. Right thing to do then, right thing to do now.

This mouth-breather thinks that the government spending during WW2, which was roughly ONE THIRD OF THE WHOLE DAMNED GDP is a great idea for ending this endless recession, and has no problem spending future generations' into bankruptcy.

This is a level of stupid that warps the fabric of space-time. It is stupid so dense that light can not escape it. It is a black hole of sheer stupid.

Again, like Jimmy, Hyper's a little short on specifics. No matter. He doesn't worry about the future, because it's the future. Let someone else deal with it. Those future generations? Screw 'em. It'd probably be inconvenient to remind him that one of the reasons we're in the current mess is because previous generations borrowed and spent without regard to future generations. And it would be rude to ask him what happens when the spending stops... or, perhaps in Hyper's world it can go on forever. Maybe those future generations can spend the money of even more distant generations, creating eternal economic utopia.

It's as if the sad little cultists can't be bothered to think about the subject any deeper than "RRRRGGGHHH MORE SPENDING GOOD!!!" Obama said it, they believe it, that settles it.

Doesn't seem to be worki... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Doesn't seem to be working so well this time, does it?

Heh, it never does work. What happens is that recessions generally end after a few years on their own as the economy routes around damage and capital moves away from the offending causes. The lefties then proclaim that their policies ended the recession.

But they can never tell you how.

Oh, and by the way, the dol... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Oh, and by the way, the dollar lost nearly 4% of its value in the last couple of weeks. It has lost nearly 10% of its value this year.

The market is smarter than anyone on this board, and certainly smarter than Obama. Here's what the market is saying--the dollar is toast. Ongoing borrowing and deficit spending is dangerous.

Thanks, Obama.

jim x: "government spending... (Below threshold)
Stan:

jim x: "government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward."


Jim x should take the place of Bill Mahar. He has a keen sense of humor. Anyone with that kind of wit can be making the big bucks anytime he opens his mouth.

Tina,Are you reall... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Tina,

Are you really that stupid? obama is a better jobs president? Unemployment has averaged 9.37% under obama. That is even with ever increasing numbers of employable adults being jettisoned from the labor pool to make the numbers look better.

Unemployment averaged 5.27% under Bush and he had record levels of participation in the labor pool.

You aren't just wrong you are hopelessly, unbelievably wrong. To make that statement you either have to be incredibly ignorant or utterly, completely divorced from reality.

Iwog,Just wait. T... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Iwog,

Just wait. They are looking at QE3 coming soon. Rather than cut spending they are just going to print more money. So don't worry about the debt, obama's plan is to inflate us out of it.

Seriously. What damage could another couple trillion dollars in the money supply do? I expect we will be finding out soon. We will be lucky if inflation stays in the triple digits.

Yep. I knew it.Ok,... (Below threshold)

Yep. I knew it.

Ok, re: # 5, and 13 - 17, and 22 - Jim m, Rodney, iwogisdead, Evil Otto, here's the link re: the New Deal and the Great Depression:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_deal#Prolonged.2Fworsened_the_Depression

This is probably the tenth time I've posted it onto this site, btw.

Anyway, if you're interested, you can read about how 74% of economists and 51% of historians agree that FDR's policies did NOT lengthen the Great Depression.

In the same article, you can also see the debunking of several right-wing theories to the contrary.

Re: # 22 specifically - Evi... (Below threshold)

Re: # 22 specifically - Evil Otto, it's quite a funny presumption that I've never studied the Great Depression in my life.

Especially as (a) I have, and (b) when I've specifically referenced the 1937 slip in comments ON THIS SITE, multiple times.

And a funny thing with the 1937 slip is that it was caused by FDR **listening** to some of his more conservative advisors including Treasury Secretary Morgenthau, and - wait for it -

**lessening government spending in an attempt to ease the deficit**.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession_of_1937

Unemployment remained high, but it was considerably lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. In June 1937, some of Roosevelt's advisors urged spending cuts to balance the budget. WPA rolls were drastically cut and PWA projects were slowed to a standstill.[3] The American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production declined almost 30 per cent and production of durable goods fell even faster.

So, that's how government spending helped the economy. After the stock market bubble burst, it helped the American economy get over the shock until it was able to stand on its own two feet again.

Simple, historically backed, it works. If facts and history matter.

Which direction will the re... (Below threshold)

Which direction will the response take this time? Will it be:

(a) childish abuse?
(b) change of subject?
(c) actual acknowledgement that, at least, trickle-down economic theory doesn't work in all cases?
(d) a response that at least deals critically with the facts posted, by showing how they're incorrect with counter-facts and counter-citations?

I can hope for (c) or (d), but honestly I'm expecting a combination of (a) and (b). Love to proven wrong, though.

This is what I don't unders... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

This is what I don't understand about the conventional wisdom of leftist non-economists about the neo-Keynesianism nostrum that "government spending on jobs is historically proven to help an economy recover and spur forward." (So many grammatical errors in so small a space, sigh.) Of course, I have no clue as to what "government spending on jobs" actually means. I suppose it's "infrastructure improvement, make-work schemes such as the CCC and WPA during FDR's Great Depression. If so, then by that logic, the government should be able to create new jobs 24/7, come rain or come shine by just printing/borrowing more money? Hallelujah!

But wait... where does the money come from to finance the of creation and maintenance of all these new jobs? Do we borrow it from the Chinese or do we just ask Helicopter Ben to "monetize" Turbo Timmy's government overdrafts? Do we or later generations ever have to pay interest charges for the funds being borrowed or printed? If so, does that have any impact on the performance of the economy in the future? And how does draining over 50% of the annual federal budget into ever growing "entitlements" create "more new jobs?"

This stuff is really confusing. I mean, honestly, it seems to imply that Marx was right that communism, with some improved input/output models, can do a better job of allocating scarce resources in the economy than the free market. Those USSR guys just weren't adequately computerized. You see the Anthropogenic Global Warming Alarmists do have the 100% correct climate models that can predict down to a small fraction of a degree the temperature of the entire earth in 100 years! And if they can model something like the climate, we can certainly "model" the world economy and churn out unicorns and rainbows... for everybody! Hurray... Hurray!

Oh, Lord. Obama's policies ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Oh, Lord. Obama's policies are steering us to another Great Depression, and jim x cites to wiki to try to explain Roosevelt's Recession.

jim, your goose is cooked. You've lost this one.

But wait... where ... (Below threshold)
But wait... where does the money come from to finance the of creation and maintenance of all these new jobs? Do we borrow it from the Chinese or do we just ask Helicopter Ben to "monetize" Turbo Timmy's government overdrafts?

So glad you asked, boqueronman! Neither. The money comes from increased productivity - because this money spent is an **investment**.

Think of it like a loan. You can get a loan for something stupid, like a weekend at Vegas, or something smart, like tuition to learn a useful trade. If the latter, the debt you took on pays off once you start working in your new field.

Its the same thing with a properly jobs-focused government spending plan. When the econonmy gets back to work and recovers, it takes off. And the increased taxes on the rich don't hurt them. Instead the rich are making far more money than they would have, with lower taxes in a depressed economy - because the poor and the middle class have muc money to spend and aren't afraid to spend it.

This is how money spent on infrastructure *and* on programs that help the poor and middle class aren't just money spent that disappears. They are an **investment** that, with good management, pays off.

This is how the US became an industrial superpower after WWII. This is how the Clinton boom gave us the first budget surplus in decades - a boom that, once again, had already started before the Internet was at all significant economically.

Pretty clear, right?

jim m:Jus... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim m:

Just wait. They are looking at QE3 coming soon.

Weimar. Mothers took their money to the store in shopping carts and brought their groceries home in their purses.

Thanks to Obama, we will soon get first hand experience of life in hyperinflation. It's coming folks. It's coming.

YEs we know that the old vi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

YEs we know that the old view was that FDR was a miracle worker, but then no one could really say anything against him or seriously examine his record until the last couple of decades.

Check out UCLA, where they say his policies prolonged the depression by at least 7 years:
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

the only down cycle that resembles today's is the great depression and the commonalities are that the recovery is very slow and that both saw dramatic socialist intervention by the government.

The more common trend is that government lowers taxes and regulation and the economy recovers quickly. Say what you want about FDR, but the common wisdom today is that he screwed up and made things worse.

And since you like Wikipedia, you should check out the entry on FDR:

"Schweikart and Allen maintain that the two New Deals concept serves well to explain away the ineffectiveness of FDR's programs to improve the nation's economy and contradictory decisions by FDR in his first six years in office"

And your citing a poll of academics does not impress. You honestly think that a poll of a population that skews 99% liberal is going to give you a fair result? I consider the fact that 27% of leftists believe he screwed up to be an endorsement of the idea that he really did.

Iwogisdead, looks like I've... (Below threshold)

Iwogisdead, looks like I've left out option (e) - deny Wikipedia can be accurate, without actually proving how the particular article is wrong in any way.

Iwogisead, re: # 34 - yep, ... (Below threshold)

Iwogisead, re: # 34 - yep, check out that same Wikipedia article where the study you mention is debunked:

However, Cole and Ohanian's argument relies on hypotheticals, including an unprecedented growth rate necessary to end the Depression by 1936,[82][83] and by not counting workers employed through New Deal programs.

Since a government program is *intended* to put people to work, a study of the program's effectiveness that specifically ignores government workers is simply ignoring inconvenient facts.

So, that's how governmen... (Below threshold)
jim m:

So, that's how government spending helped the economy. After the stock market bubble burst, it helped the American economy get over the shock until it was able to stand on its own two feet again.

Actually, the counter argument is that government spending prevented the economy from reaching its bottom sooner and delayed the reallocation of resources and capital. Every recovery has happened on a faster timeline that today and the great depression. If you ignore that fact you can make the claim hat you do. Once you try to account for that fact you are left with the understanding that government intervention postponed the necessary market adjustments and only prolonged the economic downturn.

Ahem - posting too quickly ... (Below threshold)

Ahem - posting too quickly and my apologies. # 37 is in response to Jim m in # 35.

JImX workers emplo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

JImX

workers employed in most New Deal programs were not contributing to the economy but they were employed in make work programs using tax payer money. Government jobs are not productive, they typically are parasitic on the economy so it is appropriate to exclude those workers in those programs.

By that reasoning we can conclude that Nancy Pelosi was right that unemployment compensation is the single most effective way of growing the economy. Paying people for doing nothing or paying them for a make work job is no different.

Actually, the coun... (Below threshold)
Actually, the counter argument is that government spending prevented the economy from reaching its bottom sooner and delayed the reallocation of resources and capital.

Sure, that's the counter-argument.

It's just one that appears to be disagreed with by the largest number of experts in their fields, as given the specific historical example of FDR and the New Deal.

And it makes sense to me why it's disagreed with. An economy isn't just a machine. When the economy hits bottom, people are thrown out of jobs and their lives are ruined - all of which makes it much harder for the economy to get back on it's feet again. And for a number of reasons, including people just not feeling like spending - which is the engine that drives our modern economy.

And every economic recovery has *not* happened on a quicker timeline. I don't even understand how you can make this statement, when one of the examples we're talking about the Great Depression. How many years did it take to climb out from under the Great Depression?

jim x:The... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

The money comes from increased productivity - because this money spent is an **investment**.

Absolute bullshit. The money comes from the federal reserve. The US Treasury issues its T-bills, and, when even the Chinese won't buy them, the fed simply buys them by creating new money out thin air. Obama then spends the money on his friends.

The banks then create even more money based on fractional reserve banking principles.

What happens when new money is created out of thin air? Hyperinflation happens. Thanks Obama.

It can be confusing. Read "The Creature from Jekyll Island" for a basic understanding of how it works. Liberals haven't read it, clearly. Or can't understand it.

Jim M, workers employed by ... (Below threshold)

Jim M, workers employed by the New Deal **were** contributing to the economy. How could they not be??

They were buying food, buying clothes, buying furniture, paying rent; buying books, magazines, bullets, whatever they needed that they could now spend money on.

And the "government jobs" themselves **were** very productive. They were building freaking dams, roads, bridges. Which also means third-party construction companies, mines, factories, shipping, receiving, accountants, and on and on.

Absolute bullshit.... (Below threshold)
Absolute bullshit. The money comes from the federal reserve.

I'm not really clear on how this deals with my argument.

Are you saying that because borrowed money is spent on stimulating the US economy - corporations DON'T make money when they sell products?

And corporations DON'T make more money, when more people buy their products?

And infrastructure investments that put people to work DON'T produce real things that last? And people AREN'T making money when they're paid, and then spending that money further into the economy?

jim x:Jim... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

Jim M, workers employed by the New Deal **were** contributing to the economy. How could they not be??

Let me try this: the government could hire every unemployed person to dig ditches this week. Next week, it could hire everyone to fill the ditches back up. Third week, more ditches. Fourth week, fill them up. And so on.

Everyone with a shovel would be getting paid and would have to spend money to eat. But this wouldn't help the economy would it?

Does that help?


Here's a "thought experiment." The government gives everyone $ 1,000,000. Everyone lives like a millionaire, right? Until they get their sewer bill, which has suddenly risen to $ 100,000 per month. Why? Just imagine how much you'd have to pay a millionaire to go work in the sewer.

Does this help?

Jim X,You are clai... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jim X,

You are claiming that we are seeing a recovery today when housing has lost more of its value than any time since the great depression. Unemployment is the highest it's been since the early '80's and would be higher if we still calculated it the way we did back then. Otherwise it's the highest it's been since the depression.

The Fed is printing money to float our bonds and that is causing inflation to take off. The only way his ends is either in draconian spending cuts, which obama will never agree to, or hyperinflation.

FDR's spending did not shorten the depression it extended it. Roads do not improve the economy. Infrastructure spending does not grow GDP. Yes, infrastructure is necessary to grow an economy but it is not economic growth. You need to be able to distinguish between the two.

jim x:Are... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

Are you saying that because borrowed money is spent on stimulating the US economy - corporations DON'T make money when they sell products?

Sure they make money. But, the money has been rendered worthless because it has been created out of thin air.

Go buy the book and read it. Hell, if you send me your address, I'll send you my copy, as long as you promise that you'll read it.

Jim xWhat you are ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jim x

What you are missing about todays events is that obama is debasing the value of the Treasury Bond. By printing money to buy them and by trying to float so much debt so fast (yes increasing the annual deficit by over a trillion dollars a year does that), obama has debased the value.

Our biggest purchasers of bonds (China and Japan) are stopping their purchases. obama has printed dollars twice to float his spending and is beginning the process to do it a third time. Inflation is already in the double digits even if the media won't report it.

Get ready for hyperinflation because it is most likely right around the corner unless someone can get obama to stop destroying the country.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-hyperinflation-part-ii-what-it-will-look

Everyone with a sh... (Below threshold)
Everyone with a shovel would be getting paid and would have to spend money to eat. But this wouldn't help the economy would it?

Does that help?

No, because:
a) holes aren't nearly as useful as dams, bridges, roads, buildings, airports, schools etc.

b) digging holes isn't nearly as useful a skill as construction or skilled factory work, all their related trades, and all the related trades that serve them

c) holes don't take nearly as many as resources as dams, bridges, etc. which means other companies are kept afloat as well.

Do you see what I mean?

You're avoiding the entire investment in the future aspect of it, again.


Just imagine how much you'd have to pay a millionaire to go work in the sewer.

Does this help?

No, because that thought experiment isn't anything like what I'm talking about, where people build new infrastructure that's an investment.

Do you see what I mean there too?

Sure they make mon... (Below threshold)
Sure they make money. But, the money has been rendered worthless because it has been created out of thin air.

No, that not money has not been rendered worthless - and more importantly, the economy has not been flattened.

This is because real, actual work has been done, resulting in real, actual and lasting value that was created, *as well as* humans receiving training and experience in trades and building relationships that ease the creation of further value.

You do see that, right? You don't deny that happens, do you?

You are claiming t... (Below threshold)
You are claiming that we are seeing a recovery today when housing has lost more of its value than any time since the great depression. Unemployment is the highest it's been since the early '80's

Nope, that's not what I'm claiming at all.

What I'm talking about is the way to get out of it.

And what I'm pointing out is the historically-proven economic theories show that government stimulus spending helps economies last, when the economy has had a severe shock and might otherwise fold in on itself.

Theories which nearly all conservatives resist for what appear to be purely ideological reasons.

The nonpartisan CBO is clear that the stimulus stopped our rush towards a second great depression, by stimulating growth.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/05/25/cbo-says-stimulus-boosted-growth-will-add-more-to-deficit/

If unbiased facts matter.

What you are missi... (Below threshold)
What you are missing about todays events is that obama is debasing the value of the Treasury Bond. By printing money to buy them and by trying to float so much debt so fast (yes increasing the annual deficit by over a trillion dollars a year does that), obama has debased the value.

No, I'm not missing that. What I'm saying is that this is a necessary risk to take. When the economy taken a hit this big, government spending is needed to put people to work making things of value and keeping the economy going until people feel comfortable enough to invest again.

Some deficit spending is beneficial, other spending is detrimental. You can borrow money to gamble poorly, say on roulette. Or you can borrow money to invest wisely in the future, such as a loan to go to a good college. Its the same thing with government spending. Like ANY spending, if spent wisely it can result in a good and worthy return.

jim x:ho... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

holes aren't nearly as useful as dams, bridges, roads, buildings, airports, schools etc.

jim, holes aren't useful at all. That's my point. At least we're getting somewhere. Now, where is the Stimulus money going? Give me some links to show that the destructive debt Obama has created is going into this sort of national "wealth." You can't include crapiola like "green energy" products or "cash for clunkers." All of that is bullshit and creates no real "wealth" except for the juiced-in Obama supporters who get the payoffs.

In any event, it's not working. I don't have to speculate--Obama's huge spending has resulted in higher unemployment and the destruction of the dollar.

You're not suggesting that we continue down this path, are you?

Obama is a loser.

jim x:I'm... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

jim x:

I'm not really clear on how this deals with my argument.

How about this: the fed can continue to put dollars into the economy which it has created out of thin air. That's what's going on right now, if you haven't noticed.

The dollar is on its way to destruction, thanks to Obama.

jim, holes aren't ... (Below threshold)
jim, holes aren't useful at all. That's my point. At least we're getting somewhere.

Right. They also aren't roads, bridges, highways etc. Which *have* been built with stimulus funds. Google it yourself, it works the same for you as it does for me.

And sorry, "Obama's spending" (as approved by the Senate and Congress) is not tied to the unemployment. According to CBO, link above if you ever want to read it, the stimulus program has created and saved jobs that otherwise would not exist.

If facts matter. DO they?

jim x opines:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

jim x opines:

roads, bridges, highways etc. Which *have* been built with stimulus funds.

264 Billion allocated.

152 Billion actually spent to date.

58% of funds destined, we were told, for shovel ready jobs have been spent, while 42% sit idle (part of our debt but doing nothing for the economy). Yeah, that sounds like government efficiency.

Looks like the preponderance of road and bridge funds went to the I-95 Corridor, essentially on maintenance and upgrades. The residents of the states along the I-95 corridor have been paying gas taxes and turnpike tolls for the improvement and maintenance of those roads and bridges for decades. Where did that money go?

Thence to brass tacks:

Millions in Stimulus Spending Being Doled Out for Questionable Jobs

By William La Jeunesse

Published February 04, 2010 | FOXNews.com

...

-- $233,000 to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote. Jobs created: 12, but seven of those are Africans in Africa.

-- In Nevada, $2 million in stimulus money built a new fire station, but because of budget cuts, the county can't afford to hire firefighters to work there.

-- Penn State University got $1.5 million to study plant fossils in Argentina. Of 5 jobs created, 2 belong to Argentines.

-- Researchers the State University of New York at Buffalo got $389,000 to pay 100 Buffalonians $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink -- and how much pot smoke each day. Consumption is then reported via an automated phone hotline. Cost per job: almost $200,000.

-- The Obama administration is spending $5 billion to weatherize homes. But one Texas county spent $4 million to weatherize just 47 homes. That's $78,000 per house. Each retrofit is supposed to save homeowners $500 a year in energy costs. That means taxpayers will recoup their investment in 156 years, long after the home is probably torn down.

-- Two Arizona universities got almost $1 million dollars so 3 grad students can study how ants work. That's more than $300,000 per job.

-- Companies that raise tropical fish, shellfish, catfish, alligators and even turtles qualify for $50 million in tax money to buy fish food.

-- North Carolina public schools received $4.4 million to hire math and literacy coaches, not for students, but teachers. That's 64 people paid $70,000 each to teach teachers how to teach reading and math.

How about that government efficiency with OUR money.




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