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#39764 - 09/15/08 08:25 PM Re: The Candidates [Re: Smike]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: Smike
Those being ‘projections’ I find it hard to put them in the category of ‘facts’ ;\)


Fair point. I suppose that it's a "fact" that the Center's analysis "projects" McCain's numbers to be fiscally worse than Obama's, for whatever that's worth.

 Originally Posted By: Smike
For the economy the chickens are coming home to roost no matter who get into office.


Yup. As long as enough people continue to believe we can have something for nothing, personal and national budgets will be a mess until the big crash, and that won't be fun for any of us.

Unfortunately, few politicians have figured out how to say "look folks, this course is unsustainable and we should really be making different choices" and still get elected. And that's a failure on the part of both the public and our leaders to take the problem seriously.

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#39765 - 09/15/08 08:42 PM Re: The Candidates [Re: Daniel]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
 Originally Posted By: Daniel


Yup. As long as enough people continue to believe we can have something for nothing, personal and national budgets will be a mess until the big crash, and that won't be fun for any of us.


I agree, and believe that premise is the ultimate driver, but unfortunately has been covered over with the following events in the last 8 years:

9/11
War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
Lose oversight of the mortgage and investment industry
Katrina

All were the results of bad choices (even Katrina with NOL a city built below sea level) All of them have been major threats to our financial well being and long term future. But no one particular event is easy to trace back to the route cause. (9/11 being the exception)

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#39766 - 09/15/08 09:08 PM Re: The Candidates [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5970
Loc: 212 land
Unfortunately, few politicians have figured out how to say "look folks, this course is unsustainable and we should really be making different choices" and still get elected.

It is, politically speaking, a sort of wet daydream of mine that a president would say as much in his inaugural speech.
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#39767 - 09/15/08 09:13 PM Re: The Candidates [Re: Daniel]
mummert Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/16/99
Posts: 96
Loc: Danbury, CT, USA

Small towns never forget.....

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/15/bess/

For me the most worrisome issues are on page 2 of the article. In part...

 Quote:

"She wanted to get people who believed in creationism on the board," said Munger, a music composer and teacher. "I bumped into her once after my band played at a graduation ceremony at the Assembly of God. I said, 'Sarah, how can you believe in creationism -- your father's a science teacher.' And she said, 'We don't have to agree on everything.'

"I pushed her on the earth's creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she'd seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them."

Munger also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return. "She looked in my eyes and said, 'Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'"

Bess is unnerved by the prospect of Palin -- a woman whose mind is given to dogmatic certitude -- standing one step away from the Oval Office. "It's truly frightening that someone like Sarah has risen to the national level," Bess said. "Like all religious fundamentalists -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim -- she is a dualist. They view life as an ongoing struggle to the finish between good and evil. Their mind-set is that you do not do business with evil -- you destroy it. Talking with the enemy is not part of their plan. That puts someone like Obama on the side of evil.

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#39768 - 09/15/08 09:18 PM Re: The Candidates [Re: Smike]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
Aye aye the economic chickens are coming home on sooooo many fronts. Americans have been robbing Peter to pay Paul on many levels.

Personal
-NINJA loans
-no personal savings
-credit card debt

Government
-putting SS into the general fund and spending it as fast as it comes in
-Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac where the govt has no business being in the mortgage industry and this was never a private entity, it was stupid to make everyone think they could afford a home especially given the state of personal finances.

The people pulling the cart need a revolution. The people in the cart freeloading need to get out and work. Pay attention, this is historic.


And Sorry Charlie Rangel should get OUT of the cart.


Edited by alicex4 (09/15/08 10:10 PM)

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#39771 - 09/16/08 12:02 AM Re: The Candidates [Re: oenophore]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: oenophore
Unfortunately, few politicians have figured out how to say "look folks, this course is unsustainable and we should really be making different choices" and still get elected.

It is, politically speaking, a sort of wet daydream of mine that a president would say as much in his inaugural speech.


NY's new governor just said basically that a couple weeks ago. Let's see how it plays out.

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#39772 - 09/16/08 01:29 AM Re: The Candidates [Re: alicex4]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
 Quote:
The people pulling the cart need a revolution. The people in the cart freeloading need to get out and work. Pay attention, this is historic

This sounds like a quote from Dollar City Chamber of Commerce, but is Atlas Shrugging or being Shrugged? With so many high rollers losing as much as 95% of their net worth, in the matter of a few days, it's hard to tell.

And there is a biological corollary for much of what we see in the news today. Mimicry, cuckoldry, phoresis, and parasitism are all effective evolutionary strategies. So too, deception and freeloading in the form of Ponzi like derivatives, excessive executive compensation, and yes, zoning to take something that's not yours, are all a means for some to get ahead at someone else's expense. It's not new, just more, much more, of the same.

Systems sometimes tend to crescendo, destabilize, contract, reorganize, and then grow stronger. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Shadows
Now curtain the moon
But faith swears
It will shine again soon

K.d. Lang/Greg Penny

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#39773 - 09/16/08 02:20 AM Re: The Candidates [Re: Kent]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2955
Loc: LI, NY
you guys wouldn't believe how long ago i stopped caring about what was in the thread i started!
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tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#39776 - 09/16/08 02:41 AM Re: The Candidates [Re: alicex4]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Our overall personal savings rate is a serious problem. So is our federal budget where we keep demanding more from government (whether it's a war, medical benefits, or tax cuts) without any input from the public. I hear over and over "so and so is going to raise your taxes." As I've noted before, I think that's a fundamentally flawed way of looking at government. "The government" doesn't tax us; we're supposed to decide through our government how to tax ourselves for the programs we say we want. But there now seems to be a substantial portion of the public who want the programs, but not the taxes.

I've already criticized the position of those who support an extended stay in Iraq but refuse to raise taxes by a dime to pay for it. I'm equally critical of those who say that if we ended our military venture, then we could spend that money at home. But there is no money to transfer; it's all borrowed. Now, there's good debt and there's bad debt (I think that tax cuts for the wealthy is bad debt), but let's not pretend that it isn't debt.

I'd love to hear some politician say: "Look folks, we're not close to paying our bills as a nation. It's not 'the government's' debt; it's your debt. And if you want the problem solved, you have to be willing to do something about it. The choices are relatively simple. We can have higher taxes, or fewer programs, or some combination of the two. Or we can continue on our present course and allow the countries that are financing our debt to control our future. In the end, it's the public that is accountable under our system of government, whether we like it or not, and you have some decisions to make."

But I fear the response would be: "Hey, look at that bright shiny tax cut!" It seems to win elections. But it's not a sustainable form of governance.

I'm reading The Limits of Power by Andrew Bacevich. I don't agree with a lot of what he writes, but I do agree with this observation: "If one were to choose a single word to describe that identity [of what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century], it would have to be more. For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors."

He then offers several examples of how the ethic of "more" has caused us, through our government, to make decisions that avoid short term pain at long term cost. The most obvious is when Bush told us to go shopping after 9/11 instead of using it as a clarion call to get us out of our oil addiction. But it goes back to 1980 when Carter declared that the US would use "any means necessary" to prevent hostile powers from dominating the Middle East. Reagan got involved in the Iran-Iraq conflict by having the US Navy protect the Kuwaiti tanker fleet. In 2006, Bush said "America is addicted to oil" but called for no action.

No president since Carter has called for action on the part of the public. Even today, substantial numbers of people seem to believe that drilling here and drilling now will have some kind of substantial benefit, even when there is no evidence to show that we have enough oil reserves to do anything but slightly delay the day of reckoning. But since it requires nothing from us, it gets waves of public support.

Bacevich argues that if we are to preserve our liberty, we need to make do with less (at least I think that's what he argues, though I haven't finished the book yet) and reorder our priorities. But can anyone run on that message and still win elections?

We can't expect our elected officials to have the political will to make tough decisions unless their constituents are willing to do so. And maybe that's a message that our representatives could take home to their states and districts, and see if it generates any results.

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#39779 - 09/16/08 03:28 AM Re: The Candidates [Re: Daniel]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
"No president since Carter has called for action on the part of the public"

Yep, and he was thrown out of the White House. His biggest mistake was, asking the American people to do anything to help themselves or their children's future. What a dumb @ss.
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