Pointing out the Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate is another way of saying you don't know how it works. Budget matters come from the house. Until the house passes a bill, nothing happens. This is how our government works (or fails to work, if you prefer).
Seriously, Eisenhower? Most Democrats have a favorable view of him.
Reagan didn't go around blaming his predecessor for all of the problems, he led. He cut taxes, cut government regulations and had the fed institute a tight money policy, and by this time in his first term, economic prosperity returned. Obama has been led around by Pelosi and Reed. He's increased government regulations (Dodd-Frank and Obamacare), He's instituted a loose money policy (printing money to hide federal debt), and has been asking for tax increases. (Even Bill Clinton said taxes shouldn't be raised in a recession and admitted his initial tax increases were too much). Many Democrats have talked about top tax levels in the 70%-91% as if thery are a good idea. He also wants to double the Capital gain tax from 15% to 30%. Most capital gains come from business investments, and the business tax rate in the US is 35%, the highest in the world. Why is this important, because this "under taxed" income is being taxed at the 35% corperate rate, then its hit with another 15% capital gains rate. This all happens before it even gets to state and local taxes, excise taxes, tarlffs or governmental fees (like liscence plate fees and the such). Obama says that this increase in capital gains will pay off the budget deficits, it won't even make a dent. The estimated yearly revenue for the increase, 4-5 Billion dollors, the average debt put on by Obama in his three years $2,374 Billion. Lets do the math, if a 15% capital gain tax rate increse will creat $5 billion in new revenue (They high estimate) it would take a 7122% increase to cover the debt, that would leave those greedy rich bastards paying a "fair" capital gains tax of 7137%. That means every dollar they make in capital gains the would only have to pay $71.37 in taxes, and why shouldn't they, its only thier "fair share" after all and the can "afford it". The budget estimate also assumes capital gains won't go down at a higher rate, history shows a different story. The graph in the link shows that higher rates encourage less capital investement and thus less taxes collected.
Direct quote from the Article:
The historical evidence suggests that when the capital gains tax is reduced, locked-in capital is liberated and, at least temporarily, the revenues from the tax rise. For example, after the 1981 capital gains tax was cut from 28 to 20 percent, real (all figures in this section are 2004 dollars) federal capital gains tax revenues leapt from $29.4 billion in 1981 to $36.6 billion by 1983—a 24 percent increase. After the capital gains tax was cut in 1997, the receipts from capital gains taxes rose from $66.9 billion in 1996 to $114.7 billion by 1999, an increase of more than 71 percent.
Back to my point, a major trigger point for the recession was too much spending we couldn't afford, both public and private. I may not be a genius, but if too much debt caused the crisis, how is more debt going to fix it? The reason these "investments" don't work is that government money doesn't come out of thin air. It has to come out of one of three places.
taxes It can take the money from one person and hand it to another. In other words, money can be taken out of the economy, and then put right back into it. If this is done efficiently the net gain is zero. It's like taking money out of your right pocket and putting it in your left pocket and expecting it to cause an increase. If you figure out how to do these please let me know! The problem with this is that every dollar in government spending doesn't add a dollor to GDP, it only adds about $0.80. The following article explains how government spending is unefficient: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123258618204604599.html
Loans yes the government can borrow money, but for every dollar it borrows it adds a dollar plus interest to it's liabilities. That's a net decrease to future growth.
Printing Money The only way the government actual makes money is to actually make money like a counterfitter. The problem is that when the government prints more money, it devalues every dollar in existence. Printing money is just a way of taxing people without thier permission. No net economic growth.
I would add, and I think you would agree, that emotional and social intelligence requires a certain level of IQ to be best utilized. Feelings and intuitions by themselves, when not properly understood or contextualized, are often times misleading.
I said the president isn't the one who is mainly responsible for economic conditions and developments. You responded by saying that presidents are indeed quite influential, that they "can do alot [sic]." It's clear that your version of my argument is not the same one that I myself put forth.
In any case, no matter how much influence the president has, it should be clear to anyone that his role is merely one important factor among many. To what extent, e.g., can the president influence what's going on in Europe right now? He's sent Geithner to offer up some advice on how to aid places like Greece and Spain, but it's out of our hands and the Europeans haven't been in much of a mood to listen to us. And what happens in Europe may very well have a negative impact on Obama's reelection chances. Nor do we control how the Chinese grow their own economy. Their actions have a clear impact on the global economy. Thus it's clear that there are several competing factors across the world which influence our domestic economic conditions perhaps as much as any decision made by the president. And congress famously controls the purse. So even within our own borders the president must work with others in shaping our economic environment. Moreover, that's only considering the political realm. Millions of decisions are made every day by consumers, manufacturers, business owners, investors, farmers, and so forth---and these decisions certainly have a cumulative effect. Overall it's difficult to say to what exent the president influences our economic climate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were lower than 1-3% when all variables are added up together.
Last edited by Zefelius; 04-29-2012 at 08:55 AM.
Funny thing about Austerity, it worked in the 1920s. Harding inherited a terrible economy when he took office in 1921. What did he do? He cut taxes and cut spending. He also didn't "invest" in a "stimulus" plan. What happened, the economy turned around and was great until Hoover took office.
Statistics and a large article you can read through or just skim for the stats:http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/smiley.1920s.final
Hoover also did the following
1) Created the Federal Farm Board-Created to keep surplus crops off of the market, it inevitably led to more surplus crops the next year.
2) Smoot-Hawley Tariff-Raised tariffs an average of 59%, other countries retaliated against the US with high tariffs of their own. You have to remember the US was an exporter nation in the 20s
3)Vastly increase spending on public works projects Transulation, he invested in economic stimulus packages.
4) Created the Reconstruction Finance Corperation
5) Encouraged Business leaders to not cut wages in a time when prices were dropping, they cut workers instead.
Sure sounds like a do nothing, pro austerity president to me.
Historic Tax Rates: http://ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of...ividual-1.html
Historic Government spending: http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj16n2-2.html
Lets take a close look at your answers
1) FDR raised taxes and the economy got better
I actually already answered this above, but to reiterate, after 8 years of FDR, which followed 4 years of Hoover, unemployment was still 15% in 1940. FDRs economic program of higher taxes, higher spending and increased government involvement in the economy failed. In fact it most likely legthend the depression.
2) Reagan cut taxes and we got a small recession. Then he raised taxes and things improved.
I answered the whole tax issue with ShowtekGER alkready, but I'll do it again. Reagan greatly cut taxes in 1981. The tax increase in 1982 wasn't Reagan "admitting" he lowered them too much, as you have suggested, it was part of a budget deal with Democrats. He was supossed to get $3 in budget cuts, for every $1 increase in taxes. (Sounds familiar to what the Democrats are offering today, doesn't it). Reagan signed the compromise bill, but he never got the promised cuts. (could be why people are skeptical of making a similar deal) But even after the increase, it still left 2/3 of the cuts in place. That means between the two bills there was a net tax cut. Plus Reagan cut again for 1987. Plus the recession started under Carter, before the original tax cuts. Your statement makes it sould like the recession started after the cuts.
Clinton raised taxes. We had a decade of growth and prosperity.
The statement is true, but Clinton cut taxes in a good economy, not a recession. He also later cut taxes, and the economy grew at a greater rate. So it didn't answer my question.
Bush cut taxes. We got a recession.
Technically true, but misleading. Bush inherited a recession in 2001, He cut taxes in 2002, and the economy recovered. In 2008 the economy went into a recession, but it had nothing to do with the tax cuts. It was because of government interference in the housing market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
My guess is that you can't find a president who raised taxes in a recession and it fixed the economy, because one don't exist.
"I think [the war in Iraq] is the first time we've ever been taken to war and had a president who wouldn't pay for it."
--Hillary Clinton, Democratic debate in Pennsylvania, April 17, 2008.
...and assumed this meant the war wasn't on the books. What this was refering to was that Bush didn't raise taxes to pay for the war. It could also just be that the current costs of the war are being counted against Obama rather than Bush.
Good article to read for further info: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fac..._iraq_war.html
A good site that shows historical debt: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/r...t/histdebt.htm
The CBO states that the Obama budget would add debt over the next ten years, not eliminate it.
It is intellectually dishonest to suggest that a 15% unemployment rate in 1940 meant Roosevelt's policies weren't working when unemployment had been over 20%.
You need to check your information about Hoover. Taxes were increased during his last year in the presidency, but it was not by his initiative. By then of course it was too late to have any positive growth during his administration.
Obama wanted to keep the tax cuts for lower earners and allow the cut to expire for top earners on the theory that you shouldn't raise taxes on people who are struggling in a recession. However there are those who can afford to pay.
But this response really shows a lack of understanding of economies. How else would we have recovered? The right-wing expectation is that some entrepreneur comes up with a business idea and starts hiring people because he has some kind of tax incentive to do so. The reality is you don't hire someone until you've got a job to do. If you made a fat salary and lived in a high-rise would you hire a lawn service on the theory that one day you might live in a house with a lawn? No, you wait until you have that house, then consider a lawn service.
When things get really bad, the only employer that will step in and hire people is the government. We had people out there building roads and public buildings that are still in use today. They became contributors to society and this in turn fueled growth in other areas.
You absolutely cannot deny that Reagan raised taxes and the economy improved. QED.
But I don't need to argue about Ryan's budget with you. It's DOA. The Republicans can ride that jalopy to historic defeats in November if they want. My guess is they won't be so stupid.
I agree a big part of the problem is that the program trusts have been raided to pay for other things. Legislation has been introduced to make doing that illegal, but unfortunately it hasn't gained traction. This is the kind of problem we will continue to have going forward regardless of which party is in control. They will try to make the books look better than they really are by moving money around. Ryan in particular makes optimistic predictions about a future Congress making difficult cuts when in fact even if his budget is adopted, a future Congress would have no requirement to stick to the plan. This is why in terms of deficit control, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has the best plan. They tackle all of these issues now.
To attempt to answer your question, personally, I expect more than what I see currently. I think the data is clear that there is a unique issue on this topic (terrorism) within Islam that does not exist within other major religions/cultures world-wide in similar proportions. This data dissonance has never been addressed satisfactorily & I've already distributed the academic paper that showed that poverty doesn't cause terrorism.
With regards to Anders, he was apprehended immediately & is now on trial & will likely go to jail for the rest of his life. He has been portrayed as the monster he is in every western media outlet I'm aware of. I believe Anders was responsible for the deaths of 77-79 people. Osama Bin Laden was responsible for close to 3000 (actually measurably more since 9/11 was not his only terrorist action + we are ignoring the Middle-Eastern people he killed). Do you think Osama Bin Laden could have been dealt with similarly if the leaders and/or Islamic culture in which he resided universally viewed him as a criminal/monster & acted accordingly instead of harboring & hiding him all these years since September 11, 2001? Of course it could have but the reality is he is viewed as a folk-hero on the order of Hitler, who also thought he was doing good, by a meaningful & measurable percentage of the Middle-East population. As a result, we had to search for 10 years, violate Pakistan airspace & sovereignty, & kill him by force. It doesn't make sense if the principles of sacredness of life involved are equally implemented & pursued in Western & Middle-Eastern cultures. The rational conclusion is they aren't, although we can argue why all day long, that part seems obvious & beyond debate.
Anyhow, those are the answers I choose to provide although they were not necessary for you to provide your own.
Keep in mind that absence of answers to questions does not invalidate the questions & the majority of your post has no relevance whatsoever to my original questions. I'm certain if I had responded as such, I would have had to endure a lecture in logic 101. My conclusion is you don't agree in the principle you were espousing as applied to the topic I inquired about, at least not enough to say so publicly. So be it. I think the principle is reasonable & can be applied in a great many instances of which this specific matter of data dissonance as applied to global terrorism is one such reasonable instance.
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 04-30-2012 at 12:58 PM.
In my view, you haven't proved your underlying assumption, so that means I can't necessarily agree with your conclusion that it would be largely superior, which even if you could prove your underlying assumption, I'm not sure I would agree with. So the argument seems especially weak, regardless of how egalitarian you might have stated the non-essential aspects.
You're hiding this assumption & I'm simply trying to shed some light on it. What evidence can you provide that leaders who rank in the top-10% do a signficantly poorer job than those in the top-1% or vice-versa? Can we even define accurately such percentages? etc....
I understand it's merely an opinion but in my view, if we take a simple mathematical approach, anyone who makes POTUS is conservatively 1 out of 100 million which puts him in the top 0.000001%. Even if I say only the top 1 out of 1000000, it's the top 0.0001%. Even if one says that's too kind, even 1 out of 1000 is top 0.1%. Surely we can all agree that anyone who makes the POTUS is in the top 0.1% of the general population?
Anyhow, it's your opinion so it's probably pointless to even discuss since obviously that's not measurable in any objective manner but any simply objective measurement seems to indicate that to become the POTUS requires a great deal more than the average individual & will easily be in the top 1%, however you define it.
So it seems to me that some of what you are saying is more an indication of your own personal disappointment, not really an objective analysis of the odds, percentages, probabilities, etc.... I could be wrong but that's how I interpreted your statements due to all the gaping holes in the assessment & underlying assumptions.
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 04-30-2012 at 01:01 PM.
And actually, you may be wrong. He might just do a couple of decades. The Norwegian penal system seems a little soft, even to me.
I think if Afghanistan and Pakistan were stable democracies, bin Laden would not have been tolerated. I'm against theocracy, be it Islamic, Christian or FSM.
Here's what I think: We should welcome people of all faiths who want to live peacefully. The middle-east is a mess and it will be a mess until people there sort things out. We keep meddling. We should stop because we aren't making it any better. Almost all of the leaders that we have come to hate so were at one time backed by either some western or some Soviet power. Some of them got backing on both sides.
of course, when your primary activity is to protect against imminent threats to survival you won't get busy with information seeking, intellectual debates, reflection, and great action towards grievances in your society. you really have to have other stuff on your mind.
being the mightiest person in the world demands not only perfect intellect but also perfect morality as has been covered before in this thread. our system of hierarchies clearly overstates differences between individuals and therefore does not work, giving rise to corruption and social tragedies on national and global scales. i don't get how we could go through decades of monarchies and other absolutist systems but still established a system which put one guy at the top of all others, those others similarly engaging in a system of a rigorous hierarchy that makes impossible truly serving the people.
at least in regard to food there is one more variable however. in denmark, for example, nicotine, alcohol, and junk food is very expensive because it's unhealthy and vegetables and ecological foods are subsidized. it wouldn't surprise me if it was actually less expensive to eat healthily in denmark than in the US where much of the meat industry, e.g., is subsidized instead, contributing to social health and environmental problems. i don't have a problem with taxing those lifestyles that are unhealthy, especially if this is indirectly used to promote healthy lifestyles even though i, too, enjoy alcohol and fatty foods. i find it morally justifiable as well as unhealthy people are costly for society. therefore, it's okay if they pay more in the first place as they will more often have to make use of their universal health care paid by society.
what are you talking about?As far as "free college" goes, the US helps those who need help, rather than helping poor and rich alike.
i know quite a few people who would disagree with that. zefelius, who is a university professor, and elthrasher have oftentimes lamented the american education system.Plus the product in the US is far better than the rest of the world. The US routinely dominates the World University Rankings. Link to the rankings here:
i can't tell you how often i've been confronted with that ranking by americans who think with it they prove the superiority of american education. i think what it probably proves is that a profit oriented education system can create gigantic centers of knowledge, attracting the most notable lecturers and most advanced technology. this method, though, may absorb all of this, leaving less rich facilities with less quality and creating a system of crude elitism where only the richest get access to that kind of education. just an idea. you may have a point if you can demonstrate that the average american scores highest on most measures of educational achievement.
i don't know why you would find it problematic that less unequal countries do so much better socially.EWe all know how wonderful the socialistic / communist paradises of Cuba, North Korea and the former Soviet Union are. Of course socialist states are less unequal, the whole idea of socialism is to divide things up equally. That doesn't mean they're better off.
cuba, north korea, and china, e.g., are terribly unequal countries. they are also tyrannies. i don't favor those. the united states, by the way, are about as unequal as cuba, china, and possibly north korea which is something that sets it apart from other industrialized nations.
truly frightening, especially since i think we haven't yet seen the end of this.
This is how any vocal & bold minority (~10-15%) is able to dominate the vast majority (85-90%). There are examples all over from every angle: Nazis, religions, politics, crime, etc.... It's the basic mechanism of how 1 guy with 6 bullets can control many more than 6 people & eventually kill them all one-by-one.
What this implies for the normative population is that we must be vocal & we must be willing to truly sacrifice to achieve normalcy because the extremists always are. In other words, we must be extremely committed to balance vs. being fooled into thinking that being "normal" requires accepting values implicitly by our silence which are clearly at odds with our own. When the normative population remains "silent" & is unwilling to sacrifice to proclaim their values, the natural result is that extremism wins. This is demonstrable in everything from everyday office politics to real-world politics, etc... all throughout human history. Extremism may win anyhow but doing nothing virtually guarantees it.
Here's a anecdotal example: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/wo...n-burning.html
They recommend that the government shouldn't allow such acts & that the perpetrator should be killed. As you can clearly see the value of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc... are vastly different between the culture of Iran & America. That we should be silent about such distinctions lest we be labeled as bigots, etc... furthers this dystopian view even further in a synergistic manner. So now you have a synergistic effect between the extremists who do not share our values & those within our own midst who say we must remain silent in order as to not offend the extremists or be mis-perceived as extremist ourselves. It's a interesting phenomenon that leads to good men remaining silent which is how evil propagates more quickly. It has worked this way for all of human history & will continue to do so, despite any notions of "progress" we might want to believe in to the contrary.
In short, the idea that I need to take a back seat to someone else's values simply because they are more vocal naturally & more willing to sacrifice to achieve them (or any other criteria you can imagine), is absolute nonsense. However, that's the gist of what the PC crowd would have us to believe that somehow being silent in the face of a value conflict is more "noble" & "enlightened". It's not, it's an insidious mechanism that extremists count on to achieve their ends: normal people like to appear "normal". Just like aggressive salesmen for condominium timeshares who know most people don't like to give a strong "No" & they exploit that natural character attribute in the average person to sell them a condo they don't really need and won't want much longer once the first year has passed. It's a subtle but very common tactic used by those much smarter than the average bear. Few people who essentially peddle evil want to do battle on a level intellectual battlefield. They would prefer to have the battlefield slant slightly in their favor & preferably based on the precepts of their enemy so as to be able to attack from 2 fronts: outside & within. You use an opponent's strength against him as a weakness from within while continuing to pound away from without. It's actually quite clever so I have to respect the genius of it.
thanks & best regards,
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 04-30-2012 at 05:49 PM.
Given the data, I can't imagine any rational conclusion other than any POTUS has been in the top 0.0...% statistically in all cases.
So again, I think you're expressing some personal disappointment in the process, the results, the POTUS, etc... rather than some objective measure that can be rationally/statistically defended. I can empathize as I have my own political fantasies but I do recognize them as fantasy, not reality.
I think it's safe to say that anyone who has achieved POTUS is measurably & significantly more successful than anyone discussing the topic on these forums.
thanks & best regards,
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 04-30-2012 at 05:51 PM.
i don't see that danger yet. for now it has only been this new populist anti-immigrant right which has been broadly successful, not actual nazi parties which promote violence, deny the holocaust and directly argue for white genetic superiority, and the like. this right-wing is very careful not to be associated with that kind of politics because they know that they wouldn't be voted. any kind of political violence is still frowned upon. as soon as that changes, i will be more afraid.If Europe succumbs to chaos again, it will be much, much worse than any threat that could arise in the mid-east.
perhaps we're lucky and this is just some normal extremist reaction to economic downturn. but i'm not so sure. if we're less lucky the shift to the right in the "free world" might be part of the decline of the west.
if 27 years of maximum sentence are soft then you should not take a look at actual norwegian prisons which must seem like a holiday camp to an american. of course, i don't think neither is soft as the only purpose of criminal procedures ought to be rehabilitation. not to mention that anyone doing what breivik has done is insane in my opinion. but we'll see.
People live in a village somewhere in Afghanistan. The extremists come to town with guns and the people have a simple choice - support them or be shot, so they support them. Americans come and chase away the extremists and the people are grateful for a little peace and whatever assistance the Americans offer. The Americans leave and the extremists come back and now the villagers have no choice but to be pro-extremist once again.
This is the central struggle that American forces face, as I understand it. They can't be personal bodyguards for every citizen over there and as soon as they leave a village, what good they've done is quickly erased.
What is supposed to happen is we are supposed to train local security forces to continue to do this job once we leave, but that's another uphill battle as the top ranks and elite bureaucracy are riddled with corruption. Did you know that $12 billion has simply gone unaccounted for in Iraq? Probably stolen by corrupt officials.
I think you would find that this cycle continues even as groups that are at odds with one another exchange territory. In addition to foreign troops, you've got the Taliban, al-Qaeda and local warlords that may have tenuous ties to one or both groups. It's not like people are sitting in their cozy living rooms watching the news when they exclaim, "You know, I was thinking, my dear, why don't we become terrorists and cry 'Death to America!' Wouldn't that be a laugh?"
In my earlier comment I didn't define success. The reason I didn't do it is because it's such a nebulous category, inviting its own kind of debates. So I didn't want to digress too much in making my earlier claims. But at this point you've forced my hand and I have no choice. Although the lines are full of ambiguity, I think that most of us draw rough distinctions between objective and subjective forms of success. Subjective forms need not fulfill the actual requirements of one's duty---whether in academia, politics, science, manufacturing, and so forth---but instead rely upon mass appeal, social connections, corruption, attractiveness, bias, discrimination, etc.
At this point I must add an important caveat: objective criteria will sometimes include subjective criteria, as in beauty contests or positions of leaderships necessitating people skills. That's why earlier I stipulated that the POTUS should also be culturally aware and have a high EQ. But even in these cases the subjective criteria (which are included in the objective domain) can be tainted by other subjective forms of success. For example, social skills in leadership shouldn't be confused with either corruption or being popular. Indeed, being successful in the latter two will often times conflict with being successful in the former.
If that caveat is granted, then we can see how someone who is nominally succesful in terms of winning the presidency may still not be the best choice for that position. Corruption is an indisputable example. The more controversial one--and perhaps this is where we'll disagree--has to do with the popular vote. Winning it implies success of a subjective nature, but I would disagree that it guarantees success in a more objective fashion. In other words, the question for me boils down to the more reliable indicator of success as the POTUS: is it everything I listed above having to do with IQ, EQ, cultural awareness, and knowledge of world events, or is it more closely aligned with being able to convince the masses to vote one way rather than another? Since the latter has little to do with the objective requirements of the job (indeed, most voters are ignorant of those requirements), I think we should cross that off our list and opt for the traits which, generally speaking, are better indicators of objective success in life.
I highly recommend reading the recent Economist on how manufacturing is entering a 3rd revolution. The first was when work became centralized in factories, and the second when people like Ford utilized moving assembly lines. Now manufacturing is going digital. At first that sounds obvious and familiar, but what's being developed in fact is radical. One thing that stood out to me, for example, were 3D "printers" which create objects via additive layering. Not all objects can be created this way yet, but that's the direction this is taking. Here's one small quote:
"And at the most recent EuroMold fair, last November, another group of machines was on display: three-dimensional (3D) printers. Instead of bashing, bending and cutting material the way it always has been, 3D printers build things by depositing material, layer by layer. That is why the process is more properly described as additive manufacturing. An American firm, 3D Systems, used one of its 3D printers to print a hammer for your correspondent, complete with a natty wood-effect handle and a metallised head."
Reading the entire special section reveals a lot more. For instance, not only have we entered into an age of social media, but also social manufacturing, whereby any of us can potentially become manufacturers of these products. Probably the most interesting article I've read in the last year, although there was another good one in Discovery magazine last month about the development of telepathic helmets for soldiers in battle.