Paul Ryan: Class Warrior!

Class warrior Paul Ryan, fighting for "Team Wealthy"

If you had any doubt that class war was being waged in America, doubt no more!   Paul Ryan’s proposed GOP budget was a direct assault on the poor by the rich, cutting programs that benefit the poor by $5.3 over ten years, while giving tax cuts to the wealthy worth $4.3 trillion.    He promises that he can get the GOP House to pass his budget — something that could give Democrats real fodder in the House campaigns this summer!

What’s perverse and audacious in this effort is that he is trying to make it sound like he’s actually helping the poor.   Dana Milbank points out the “Orwellian euphemisms” in Ryan’s rhetoric.   From Milbank’s column:

Ryan’s budget outline omits specifics about how much he would take from programs. Instead, it provided a string of Orwellian euphemisms. The budget “repairs the safety net” by allowing the states to award public assistance to fewer people — “those who need it most.” Financial aid for college would be slashed — er, “put on a sustainable funding path.” And the Ryan plan would give workers “the tools to thrive in the 21st century” — by killing off various job-training programs.

Ryan would cut Medicaid by a third and ship the remnants to state governments to handle. Or, as the congressman described it: “We also propose to strengthen Medicaid by empowering our states.

What makes this class war instead of a bold initiative to cut spending is that so much of the money “saved” doesn’t go to deficit reduction but instead to tax cuts.   The claim is that this will grow the economy more and wealth will “trickle down,” much like the right claims happened when Reagan cut taxes.   Rather than go over all the lists of what is cut, how is hurt and all that — articles delineating that are ubiquitous — there are four clear reasons to reject Ryan’s approach.

The blue box shows the huge spike in total debt during the Reagan years, hyperstimulating an economy already benefiting from a recovery and lower oil prices.

1.  The Reagan years were driven by debt, not tax cuts.   The 1980s saw economic growth, but that growth was due to declining oil prices and a massive increase of both governmental and private debt.   Government debt soared from 30% of GDP to 60% by 1990.  Private debt grew as well, meaning that the country was partying on borrowed time.   It was like the early stages of someone who borrows their credit card to the max and then takes out new credit cards to make payments.  For awhile you’re living on top of the world, but then reality bites.  Reagan economics were voodoo economics because it was deficit spending in a boom.

2.  Tax cuts harmed the economy and worked against investment.   Those who argue for tax cuts rest their case on a myth — a belief that has been shown false, but still lives on in the ideological heart of some on the so-called right.  The myth is that these new tax cuts provide money that will be invested and create jobs here in the US.    However, that doesn’t happen on a scale that helps the economy; perhaps it could have back in the 60s when economic affairs were state-centric, but in an era of globalization the rules have changed.

Money from tax cuts goes to four different places:  a) some money is used to consume goods and services — that can help the economy, but much of that spending is for foreign produced goods and oil; b) some money gets invested overseas, c) a lot of this money helps create bubbles and ‘unreal’ investments out of a desire for ‘something for nothing,’ and d) a small fraction gets invested at home in businesses that create jobs.    During the dot com bubble and the real estate bubble low taxes fed two consecutive bubble manias as people were less concerned about long term “real” investment and more interested in playing the casino.   It seemed it was a casino where everyone won!   Easy money!

When the bubbles burst, that money was gone.   It would have been far better to tax and use much of that money for infrastructure or business loans/aid.   Instead, the misguided belief that tax payers know best how to spend their money (the two bubbles show that proposition to be decidedly untrue) brought us to a crisis that just about took down the world economy — and still could!

Ryan's cuts will harm states already hurting

3.  States will be devastated.  States right now are seeing their deficits grow due to increased medicaid and medicare costs.  State budgets are being pushed to the brink across the country.  If the feds simply cut that spending and claim they are “empowering the states” (but not enriching them!), then state governments will be forced into massive layoffs.   This will hurt the poor the most (such cuts always do), but could severely damage state economies.   Ryan’s plan is an attack on every state budget, and should get the opposition of every Governor, Republican or Democrat.

It's hard to blame children for their poverty - and they can't "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" without education, health and a stable environment

4.   The human cost is immense.   Ryan’s budget is a fantasy of ideology.  It’s not built on practical observations or the use of real world wisdom.   He has a theory and extrapolates the theory into a budget that would intensify the problems of the poor while adding to the wealth of the rich.   It’s a grand experiment on the basis of an ideology.

Ideologies appear persausive.  They simplify reality and then set up internally consistent propositions based on the definitions and assumptions of that theory.   Ideologies can never lead to truth, they simply provide one interpretation of real world evidence.  Ideologies are always simplifications — the world is too complex to be captured by any human theory.

Ideologues always put humans second to their “ism.”  The “ism” promises to solve all problems, if only people would embrace it. While Ryan’s ideology isn’t as dangerous as the utopian fantasies of Mao or Pol Pot, it is similar to the kind of thinking Marxists engaged in, just with different base assumptions.   Any time you put theory above people you’re putting fantasy above reality.

In this case, the ideology must already be doubted for the three reasons above.  Taking from the have nots and enriching the haves is not only immoral, but could lead to social breakdown.   It would push us towards a third world kind of economy and ultimately Ryan’s fellow class warriors on the right might find that they’ve awoken a sleeping giant — the potential class warriors amongst the poor and middle class.   In an ironic twist, adopting Ryan’s plan might put us on a path to a socialist revolt!

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  1. #1 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 03:26

    1. The Reagan years were driven by debt, not tax cuts.

    True.

    2. Tax cuts harmed the economy and worked against investment.

    False.

    Tax cuts without equal cuts in spending harms the economy.

    To make up the short fall, an increasing in borrowing is required.
    This borrowing occurs in the capital markets.
    Capital flows away from business into the coffers of government – bloating government and starving business.

    Tax cuts with equal spending cuts improves economy.

    3. States will be devastated.

    Either they suffer now, or they suffer an order of magnitude worse in the future.

    But suffer they will as will all Americans.

    The Socialist destruction of the economy guarantees the suffering, there is no other way to correct the horrfic economic mess.

  2. #2 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 03:26

    🙂

  3. #3 by Sherry on March 22, 2012 - 16:25

    You have laid this out beautifully. Ryan’s plan is just a rehash of the last one which disgusts America for it’s utter lack of caring for anyone but the rich. We have lived with tax cuts for the wealthy for more than a decade now, and so far no trickle down. Debt is not the problem, its the failure to invest in infrastructure thus employing people which gives them money to spend. The level of wealth accumulated by the 1% is unconscionable, unhealthy and exactly the opposite position of Adam Smith. I laugh at this utter nonsense about “socialism” as if this is some horrific cause of demise. It is not, never has been. It is corporatocracy which is the enemy which has utterly destroyed the concepts that are the basis of a free market.

    Repeal of Dodd Frank (which is largely unenforced because the GOP blocks funding) and Glass Stengal would be disasterous in allowing the corporate world to continue to engage in unregulated free speculation which drove us to the brink of disaster in the first place.

    • #4 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 17:18

      Sherry,

      Your expose utterly demonstrates the total intellectual disaster of the common electorate and their dismal state of economic knowledge.

      You do not understand the implication difference between a “tax cut/no government budget cut” and “tax cut/government budget cut” – so you single out that the problem is the tax cut – ignoring the real problem of the government budget.

      You do not understand that the debt is the entire problem. To fund government by debt means it has to get the money from somewhere. That somewhere is the general economy. You cannot spend that money twice – it either goes into the waste hole of government or it stays with business growing the economy. Thus, if government is consuming capital by increasing debt, it starves the economy.

      You do not understand that creating jobs that digs a hole in the ocean provides zero economic benefit. It is welfare and provides exactly the same economic benefit to people as they would provide by staying home and doing nothing – because that is what they are equally doing digging a hole in the ocean – doing nothing.

      You do not understand that “infrastructure” investment is exactly that – an investment. But you have no tools which to measure if such an investment provided a net gain. Since it was not economically provided – that is, government did it by decree – you have no economic tool to know if the money spent actually did a net benefit.

      You do not understand that Socialism requires taking money from the productive part of the economy and gives it to the unproductive part. You punish productivity and reward non-productivity. You do not see this reward/punishment impacts society, and degrades its production and increases its lack of production, which as time goes by causes the economic demise of society.

      You do not see the corporatocracy is Socialism.

      You see the destruction of the free market system as the problem, then complain and argue that we should continue to destroy the free market system of banking because you are afraid of the non-regulated banking industry because the regulated banking industry drove the economy to the brink of disaster.

      All democracies fail because they provide the folly and the wise with exactly the same voice – 1 vote each.

    • #5 by Scott Erb on March 22, 2012 - 19:58

      Thanks Sherry. Not only has there been no trickle down but the tax cuts (along with debt) lead to bubbles and crisis. If the middle class had more money they’d be buying things that would have added to the real economy. You are absolutely right about Adam Smith too — the way people cast his theory often demonstrates that they clearly have not read his book! I’m not sure how big money managed to convince people that they represent “real” capitalism and that any effort to regulate and tax to prevent such a concentration of wealth should be considered socialism.

  4. #6 by Sherry on March 22, 2012 - 19:45

    Dude your arrogance is unreal.

    • #7 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 20:19

      Dudess,

      Economic ignorance is how the US got into trouble, and it can only be corrected by correcting the ignorance and reguritating the same mistakes over and over again.

      Scott,
      No, people with more money does not add to the economy – under your theory, merely printing the stuff should have created wealth.

      No, people need to improve their productivity – that is what adds the economy. Say’s Law: products buy products – producers buy the products of other producers.

      Big money easily can convince the lay of economics because the lay are utterly ignorant of it.

      “Slap a degree on a fool, and suddenly he is a genius” – people defer to those they see as an “authority” and abdicate their own critical thinking to such fools.

      Taxation (hence government) is how big money gets to be big money. Your answer to correct the problem by supplying more of the disease is rather humorous.

      • #8 by Scott Erb on March 22, 2012 - 20:30

        Black Flag, I have friends who are devout Christians and Muslims. I could argue with them about theology and religion for hours, but I know their beliefs are deeply held and cannot be swayed by reason or evidence. I see you in that same light, with your beliefs about economics.

        I’ve studied economics, I’ve taught courses on political economy, I’ve compared numerous theories, and can safely say that Sherry did not seem at all ignorant, and your claims are vague and almost meaningless. You have a faith, BF. I can even respect that – it would be a sorry world if everyone believed the same thing. I just find your claims and approach unpersuasive.

  5. #9 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 20:20

    …and NOT regurgitating the same mistakes..

    • #10 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 23:05

      Scott,

      Sir, it is you who holds the religious zealot beliefs, not I.

      Yes, I do understand that the dogmatic approach that has been taught to you is what you repeat, however, none of your incomprehensible theories stand up to the events that surrond you.

  6. #11 by Sherry on March 22, 2012 - 20:35

    Scott, I tend to be Keynesian in my approach and am certainly influenced a lot by Paul Krugman. I am not as you can see a Randian. She was a lousy writer and an even lousier theorist in my opinion. In any case, I am persuaded that the debt situation is fairly unimportant as long as the economy is growing. I see growth at this point through big projects that jump start the building trades, and employ people. I think it essential to return taxes to something more normal like that which existed under Clinton and the rich can surely afford the small excess, and hundreds of them attest to. I’d get rid of the oil and gas subsidies and continue them on the green industries (they are new and frankly it’s why we first started subsidizing the oil industry–to help them in the early days). I’m not an expert, don’t pretend to be, but I do spend a lot of time reading this stuff now since I agree with only one thing from the presumptuous Mr. Black Flag–ignorance of reality is a dangerous thing.

    PS Mr. Black Flag: there is no such thing as a dudess. Dude is not a gender, it’s generic. It’s lovely that you think have all the correct knowledge. Symptomatic of the authoritarian personality. Don’t look that up, it would only depress you further and frankly, one of the characteristics of the authoritarian personality is that they never see themselves in psychological profiles. Best to ya.

    Great blog Scott, I came via Woodsgate.

    • #12 by Black Flag® on March 22, 2012 - 23:17

      Sherry,

      There is no doubt you are Keynesian – and repeat as solutions the very poison that has created the circumstances of which you complain.

      The theories to which you preach fail by simple example – ie: digging holes in the ocean – but no matter, you plow ahead with the crackpottery anyway. To you, them throwing all that water over their shoulders must be doing something of value!

      You apply taxation as if it was merely a “cost” – but which, of course it is not. A cost of doing business is something that normally returns a value. Labor is a cost, but is paid because the returns are greater.

      A tax has no such benefit. It is a drain of capital away from production and into the hands of the unproductive.

      But as your crackpot Keynesian theory cannot discern such a thing, you apply the concept of “cost” haphazardly, assign it to the rich, expecting that it will offer a return.

      Of course you would subsidize that which cannot economically be produced – believing insanely that will make it economical to produce, because your crackpot theory can’t explain why it was uneconomical in the first place.

      And no, “we” did not subsidize the oil industry to “get it going”. It got going all by itself. This is not to say that there are subsidies – but that is due to the corporatism that you rage against and not much more.

      And there is of course such a thing as “dudess” as a simple Wiki search reveals.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dude

      The female equivalent, which is used less often, is “dudette” or “dudess”.

      Hope you learned something at least – if it is only to how to use Wikipedia.

      Best back at ya!

    • #13 by Scott Erb on March 25, 2012 - 19:06

      Keynes was a genius, but governments unfortunately only got him half right. He correctly realized that you might need to stimulate the economy out of a recession, and then correctly argued that you should run surpluses during a boom to pay that back, or prepare for the next recession. Rand was simply a cultist, her “philosophy” is simply a bunch of tautologies designed to give her the result she subjectively wants.

      Look at Germany — higher tax rates, a strong economy, a strong social welfare system. The thing about Americans who speak ideologically is that they haven’t compared the US to other countries. Germany and the Scandinavian states show a stronger state and prosperity can co-exist, they show that social welfare programs do not stymie growth and initiative. That’s real world proof, rather than ideological mind games.

      • #14 by Sherry on March 25, 2012 - 21:14

        Thanks Scott, that helps my understanding. I have not looked at the success of Germany vis a vis the rest of Europe, and clearly I should.

        Rand is mostly understandable from his history. To understand her background is to understand her rather bizarre worldview.

      • #15 by Sherry on March 25, 2012 - 21:15

        her I meant. mistype.

      • #16 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 05:20

        Keynes was a mathematician who held a dead end job in the government of India.

        His father convinced his colleague to hire him and he ended up in the economics dept.

        He had no economic education of merit.

        [quote]He correctly realized that you might need to stimulate the economy out of a recession, and then correctly argued that you should run surpluses during a boom to pay that back, or prepare for the next recession.[/quote]

        He knew exactly what would happen – that government would never return surplus, but use any (if they occurred) to further their economic manipulation.

        In fact, in his German edition foreword, stated that his theories would be best served in a totalitarian state.

        “The theory of aggregated production, which is the point of the following book, nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire.”

        [quote]
        Rand was simply a cultist, her “philosophy” is simply a bunch of tautologies designed to give her the result she subjectively wants.[/quote]

        “Red herring” Scott is never far.

        Who is talking about Rand, other than you?

  7. #17 by Diane on March 22, 2012 - 21:14

    Scott, this is a great piece, and will help all us, eh hem, ‘ignorants’ out here better understand this complicated issue. I also want to share my appreciation of your defense to “Sherry” from the condescending and pompous tone of “Black Flag”. Her points were spot on. And you’re right, it is very much unpersuasive to insult and belittle a fellow commenter. It is generally best to desist from a debate when one side is obviously not open or able to listen, that is not a debate, or even a conversation.

    • #18 by Black Flag® on March 23, 2012 - 00:23

      Diane,

      Of course I’m open to listen to what ever theory you wish to present – just know that it must be supported somehow by reality.

      Keynesian theories have failed to provide any causative reasoning for the economic turmoil – and as a response to such, simply advocate for more of the very same things that have caused the economic turmoil.

      As presented in contrast to Sherry, such platitudes of “tax cuts” without any understanding of government budget displays a systemic and gross misunderstanding of government consumption of capital. With this misunderstanding, she advocates of eliminating tax cuts – cuts which would actually return capital back to business for growth – and advocates even more debt – which drains capital from the economy for business growth.

      As such she advocates a double barreled whammy of exactly the wrong thing to do – take more money out of the productive economy with taxes and absorb more capital out of the productive economy by increasing the debt.

      • #19 by Scott Erb on March 23, 2012 - 00:47

        I’ve shown many times how your theories are completely out of touch with reality, BF. You just keep preaching and repeating your beliefs and assumptions, even though they’ve been shown utterly false. I’ve also explained to you the danger of ideology-based thought, it’s theoretical and simplified, and you simply interpret reality to fit that theory. It is like the discredited pseudo-philosopher Ayn Rand — intellectual self-gratification. I’ve tried, you’ve shown you’ve closed your mind, so I’ll let you post your opinions but I think you’ve latched on to a belief system and your faith is stronger than your critical thinking skills. You believe you’ve seen the light and found the answer and that everyone else is ignorant and deluded. OK – whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright.

      • #20 by Black Flag® on March 23, 2012 - 00:52

        Scott,

        You repeat your assertino of “how you’ve shown”… anything.

        You have not shown a darn thing.

        Theories exist to explain cause for effect. One tests theory against reality.

        Theory that taxation reduces capital for business is testable in reality, and lo! … taxes does reduce capital for business.

        Theory that government debt reduces access to capital for business is testable in realty, and lo! … government consumption of loans does reduce such funds for business.

        It is self-evident that a reduction of capital for business reduces the abiliyt of business to use capital.

        Now, you deny this by mere assertion – you cannot of course provide any alternative then your appeal to fantasy.

      • #21 by Titfortat on March 23, 2012 - 00:54

        Scott

        You must admit though, Black flag is highly likely to be bang on in regards to being able to pay back all your debt. The truth is empire’s fall, some quicker than others. 😦

      • #22 by Black Flag® on March 24, 2012 - 16:27

        Here is a dandy little video explaining the debt, Sherry.

        Note: as the presenter explains, the government borrows from the same capital market as you do – and if it gets the money, you don’t…you being the business and enterprise that you believe is necessary to grow the economy. Perhaps now you can put the 2+2 together ….

  8. #23 by Titfortat on March 23, 2012 - 00:41

    As much as I may disagree with the tone of Black Flag, sometimes its true what they say, “The truth hurts”

    • #24 by Black Flag® on March 23, 2012 - 00:48

      Dude:
      1. a man excessively concerned with his clothes, grooming, and manners.

      A man, yes, but “excessively” concerned about my manners? 😉

  9. #25 by Titfortat on March 23, 2012 - 00:45

    Black flag are you a dude or dudess or dudette? My money is on some kind of hybrid. 😉

  10. #26 by Black Flag® on March 24, 2012 - 15:24

    This is an example of the mind mush the economic interventionists support.

    The Commerce Department has decided to impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that the Chinese government provided illegal export subsidies to manufacturers there” (“U.S. to Place Tariffs on Solar Panels From China,” March 20).

    Let me try to get this straight.

    If Uncle Sam raises our taxes to subsidize our access to solar energy, that’s noble government intervention that will produce in America radiant benefits – but if Beijing raises the Chinese people’s taxes to subsidize our access to solar energy, that’s noxious government intervention that will produce in America ruinous harm.

  11. #27 by Black Flag® on March 24, 2012 - 15:27

    and, oh, because it wasn’t clear – I am no Ryan fan.

    He is fantasizing about cuts, etc. without stating exactly who is going to get cut – because he doesn’t want the political heat.

    If he can’t take the heat now, he won’t take the heat for the cuts, so there will be no cuts.

    He is a politician, and like Scott he is a pragmatist, and Ryan will pragmatically lie when it suits him.

  12. #28 by Sherry on March 25, 2012 - 17:27

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I couldn’t resist this. I ran across it today from a link from 3quarksdaily. Mr. BF strikes me as a perhaps a person who would also call a woman priest “priestess” instead of the proper word priest.

    I am sorry I was unable to negociate the fine workings of Wikipedia that bastion of excellent encyclopediatic offering, but hopefully this link might enlighten on the generic use of the word dude:

    http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/robert-lane-greene/hey-dude

    Of course it does require “intelligence” to read the article, per the site name.
    My Best Scott, I remain a reader!

    • #29 by Black Flag® on March 25, 2012 - 17:33

      Sherry,

      Of course your piece disputes nothing of what I said, nor Wiki.

      Typical mindless ego-centric liberal.

      Through dust in the air as if that provides some sort of substance to your position by obscuring it.

      • #30 by Sherry on March 25, 2012 - 21:17

        Nor was it meant to. Are you so incapable of humor that you miss every point? And frankly, I’m rather tired of your utter rude talk. Can you be civil?

      • #31 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 04:45

        Sherry,

        I do not search for “humor” while discussing economic or political policy.

        I am not rude.

        I am direct and I do not pander to foolish arguments.

  13. #32 by pino on March 25, 2012 - 17:46

    Paul Ryan’s proposed GOP budget was a direct assault on the poor by the rich, cutting programs that benefit the poor by $5.3 over ten years, while giving tax cuts to the wealthy worth $4.3 trillion.

    Scott, as a nation we have allowed federal assistance programs to grow too large. Reducing them to more reasonable levels is not an attack on the poor.

    As far as the size of the reductions and the tax cuts, if your numbers are true it would suggest a $1 trillion savings?

    Taking from the have nots and enriching the haves is not only immoral, but could lead to social breakdown.

    No one is “taking from the have nots.” The fact that we call it “taking away” is more of an ideologue than the budget. First, the person who is having property “taken away” is the woman who earned it. SHE is the one having the fruits of her labor taken away. What you really should say is that we’re “taking away” less. There is no possible a priori case you can make that one person is legally obligated to give another person his property.

    • #33 by Scott Erb on March 25, 2012 - 19:10

      No, we’ve allowed the gap between rich and poor to grow so large as to create an underclass that needs assistance. The have nots give in terms of labor and work that does not get compensated fairly, does not earn them health insurance, and does not give their children the same access to quality education. For the rich to claim the poor are just “taking” is an Orwellian lie. The rich are taking from the poor on multiple levels, especially from the middle class (and the working middle class now often need a lot of assistance just to get their families by). People aren’t going to keep watching the rich get richer and the opportunities for the poor and middle class dry up. Politically, I guarantee you that such conditions are untenable.

      Also, again, look at Scandinavia and Germany — those economies work, they have strong social welfare systems, excellent health care systems, a propserous well educated society, lots of really rich people, but minimum standards and real opportunity even for the poor. Are we inferior to them? Are we incapable of achieving the same kind of result?

      • #34 by Sherry on March 25, 2012 - 21:23

        I’m not quite sure if I recall the numbers but there was a comparison done about comparable CEO’s in Japan and the US. US CEO’s were compensated like 400 to 1 with workers while in Japan the figure was 12 to 1. What we are discussing is the unwarranted bounty that the rich arrange to rake in for themselves as ” their earnings” versus the piddly amounts they begrudge to workers. I find it odd, because Henry Ford realized that if you don’t pay workers enough, they can’t buy your product. (I realize that Ford paid it out in an end of the year bonus but the logic still counts I think). I fail to understand the accummulation of wealth for it’s own sake, but these people seem to glory in it.

      • #35 by pino on March 25, 2012 - 21:33

        No, we’ve allowed the gap between rich and poor to grow so large as to create an underclass that needs assistance.

        I don’t think this is true. I think the method used to measure this is wrong.

        The have nots give in terms of labor and work that does not get compensated fairly, does not earn them health insurance, and does not give their children the same access to quality education.

        The have nots aren’t working. They CAN have health insurance, they instead choose to buy a cell phone or play the lottery.

        They have the same access to education as any other kid.

        Also, again, look at Scandinavia and Germany

        No.

        There’s a reason we waged war all those years ago. It was to create a more perfect union. Not to continue to copy the old world ways.

      • #36 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 04:46

        Scott,

        The gap grows because you demand government interference to assit the underclass.

        You reward it, therefore it gets larger.

        You see this as a problem, so you reward more.

        And I agree, it is completely untenable – it will collapse and take the underclass with it.

      • #37 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 04:49

        Sherry,

        You do not understand Henry Ford at all.

        You believe his methodology is reflective of some sort of economic insight.

        It was not.

        In fact, when he paid his people more, they stayed [i]and became more skilled at their job[/i] which increased productivity – of which Ford’s company benefited.

        Do not assign to Ford some bizarre economic theory – he did not know what he was doing economically, but intutively knew it would work better for his company.

  14. #38 by pino on March 25, 2012 - 21:36

    I fail to understand the accummulation of wealth for it’s own sake, but these people seem to glory in it.

    Sherry, if you don’t value wealth and would rather spend your time knitting, walking your dog, writing poetry, acting in the community theater or volunteering at the local hospital then why do you begrudge people who have wealth?

    Either you value monetary wealth and you go sacrifice time and energy to obtain it or you DON’T value wealth and gladly trade that time spent earning it for the time spent doing the things you do value.

    It would seem that you want the liberty to pursue your dreams of studying romantic era italian philosophy while I labor in the salt mines only to share with you the fruit of my labor. For give me if I object.

  15. #39 by Scott Erb on March 25, 2012 - 22:14

    Pino: Most of the people who get government are working — hard. Many others want to work and can’t find work. That’s why unemployment rose from about 3.5% to 9.0%, with the total work force declining. It’s not just people choosing not to work, that would be a completely untenable claim! US CEO’s do get obscene amounts of money, even when they fail.

    You did not reply to Scandinavia and Germany. War years ago is irrelevant. You’re making excuses for not learning about how other countries are doing far better than we are — we’re sinking as a country due in large part to the hollowing of the middle class and the lack of opportunity given to the poor. Don’t look at the world through ideology, and certainly don’t follow the slogans of partisan pundits. Compare for yourself. Look at Germany, Scandinavia, and other states — look at their health care systems, their problems and their gains. A few things become obvious: no system is perfect, there are problems everywhere. It is undeniable that a strong social welfare system and high tax rates can coexist with wealth, prosperity and economic growth. The ideological claim that high taxes and social welfare programs destroy growth and vitality has already been disproven in the real world.

    All that doesn’t mean our system works well. There’s a lot we need to fix. We do that best not by looking at theory and ideology, but making comparisons and seeing what works in the real world.

    • #40 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 04:51

      God help us from a hard working government – it will surely kill us all.

      You lie on behalf of the people – they do not want to work, and there is lots of work to be found.

      The truth: they want to work at their old jobs getting paid a lot of money, and because that does not exist any more, they are willing to wait (because government pays them to wait) until their old job’s come back.

  16. #41 by Black Flag® on March 26, 2012 - 04:54

    Scott

    The ideological claim that high taxes and social welfare programs destroy growth and vitality has already been disproven in the real world.

    No such “disproof” exists.

    You most certainly can defy gravity for a short period of time – but one cannot claim you’ve disproven gravity. You come back down to earth – and if you leap off a cliff claiming “see I can fly”, eventually the truth will be quite shocking.

    As exampled by Greece et al, your ideology is collapsing. Economics is the mother of politics and it will overrule whatever bizarre political theory you hold in trying to resist it.

  17. #42 by Alan Scott on March 29, 2012 - 01:01

    Scott,

    You have posted so much stuff that I don’t know where to start . A quick read of it and I can’t for the life of me find anything to agree with. Well one small thing you got right that partially the Reagan years were driven by declining oil prices. Okay , why did that happen ? President Obama and the rest of the left, never ever stop saying that we cannot drill our way out of high gasoline prices. Well we did . World wide there was so much production that oil workers were laid off because the world could not use it all. What a nice problem to have. Production, not green energy caused the oil glut of 1985-1996. Which took in a good portion of the Clinton years . Funny how Democrats never admit to that when waxing poetic about the Clinton economic boom .

    The other reason you gave was debt. Interesting how the Reagan debt caused great economic growth , the much greater Obama debt has produced what ? Reagan had the opposition party pushing big spending. Obama has the opposition trying to slow him down. Big difference .

    And you have really cherry picked your ‘ bubbles ‘. The dotcom bubble was the one you correctly stated . And guess what, the market handled it. It was one of the things that Bush inherited from Clinton. Bush handled it . Unlike President Obama who even though he was a Senator in DC , had no idea how bad everything was that Bush handed off to him . To quote Super Chicken ” you knew the job was dangerous when you took it. ”

    The other great ‘ bubble ‘ was real estate. That was a government engineered bubble. The GSEs pushed that. Getting poor people into houses . More like getting flippers into houses . That had nothing, I repeat nothing to do with tax cuts for the rich . The speculators flipping houses were not Billionaires. Even the worthless paper that came out of Wall St, CDOs, was a late phenomenon in the bubble cycle.

    • #43 by Scott Erb on March 29, 2012 - 01:42

      Alan, of course debt causes growth — if you go and get some credit cards and start charging, your standard of living will rise too. Reagan started the debt cycle, so he’s like the guy who just starts charging and getting into debt, living high on the hog. But if you do that too long, it catches up with you. The country continued that ‘borrow and spend’ mentality and in 2008 it caught up to us. Bush did not “handle” the dotcom bubble. He did not inherit it, the bubble was gone when Bush came into office. But after 9-11 Bush did everything to avoid the recession that we needed to rebalance from all that debt and ignited another bubble — the real estate bubble, which was far worse than the dot com bubble. The market did not handle it. It was not a government engineered bubble. That is an absurd statement, objectively false on its face. There is no way to defend that claim.

      It was NOT about getting poor people into houses, it was about big banks trying to get mortgages they could turn into bonds and believe they were passing off risk. It was a private bank free market driven bubble. Countries like Germany that did not deregulate such trades handled the situation much better (in fact, high tax, high social welfare spending, heavily regulated, strong union Germany is handling this all MUCH better than we are).

      But hey, if Ryan wants to wage that kind of class war, I think the Democrats will say “bring it on.” Ryan’s budget will be the source of considerable fodder in this election season.

  18. #44 by Alan Scott on March 29, 2012 - 03:00

    Scott,

    Saying that the Reagan debt boom was responsible for the meltdown in 2008. Come on. Bush did what he had to do to keep the economy from collapsing in 2002 . Yes that was the time of the dotcom bust. It was also the post 911 freeze up . Do you remember all of the white powder scares, the constant terror scares ? The country was in an economic crisis because one never knew when the next terror attack would come .

    And yes ,yes, and yes the real estate bubble was engineered, not by Wall Street, but from DC .Money goes where it can make the most profit. Trust me on this. Washington made the housing market overly attractive to investment . Ask yourself why it happened then . The lessening of lending standards, the almost complete takeover of the US mortgage market by Fannie and Freddie. Ask your self this, why didn’t Canada have a similar housing boom and bust? Canadians not as greedy as Americans? Wait you will say that Canada taxes it’s people more so they can’t be greedy ! No Canada did not have Fannie and Freddie, or Dodd and Frank. Why did Spain and Ireland boom and bust like America ? Government policy to goose housing .

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