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Here is the present "Motor City" in pics!

Printed From: WorldHistoria Forum
Category: GENERAL HISTORY
Forum Name: Business History
Forum Description: The history of capitalist corporations and their predecessors, specific ones or in general
URL: http://www.worldhistoria.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=126430
Printed Date: 14 Dec 2019 at 01:26
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Topic: Here is the present "Motor City" in pics!
Posted By: opuslola
Subject: Here is the present "Motor City" in pics!
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/23/detroit-decline_n_813696.html#218521

Just watch!

Regards,
Ron

By the way, it is possible that you will not be bothered by any posts by me, over the next 7 or so days! I have to get my 34 year old "spinster" step daughter married! Please note that she is also a Librarian! Can you think of the famous movie where events leave an middle aged woman (who was also a Librarian) unmaried?

Please wish me luck?

Answer;

"It's a Wonderful Life!"

The only thing about her (she is beautiful and smart) is the fact that she is also a natural "empath!"

But, things could be worse!

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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



Replies:
Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:17
This is like a farcical 1950s slapstick comedy. Good luck trying to find a husband for your 34 year old stepdaughter in the next 7 days.

Incidentally, I thought the pictures were interesting.


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http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:21
Thanks, her natural father is an old hippie, and rarely makes any money so guess who/whom is paying?

Thanks for your response, it is a refreshing change.

Ron

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: SPQR
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 16:13
Wow those pics are sobering to see; It is mind blowing to see how bad some of our cities have gotten. It's weird to witness America's industries the way they are today when you compare them to the glory days of the 40's and 50's. America has evolved maybe devolved from a Industrial/manufacturing based economy to a service economy. Now you see China becoming Industrialized. China reminds me of the U.S. in the roaring 20's as the British Empire was declining a new power was rising with major U.S. based manufacturing companies (Ford, General Electric, GM) booming. China like the U.S. is finally coming out of her shell of isolation similar to the U.S. and becoming a major world power, and soon if not now Super Power. As of now The U.S. is still the most powerful and wealthiest nation on earth, but how long it holds that status remains to be answered.

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Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

- Albert Einstein


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 01:27
Unfortunately that is how some parts of a once great City looks these days. During the last decade over 200,000 people have left Detroit. Now what that means is vacant lots, loss of funding due to loss in tax base and, closure of schools, etc. Still business is thriving across the typical tourist haunts which mostly center around Casinos, Greek Town, Joe Louis Arena, Cobo Hall, and Comerica Park.




Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 02:11
Detriot has such a bad reputation though. I can't picture walking down any street without getting mugged. Consider that I am saying this 3,000 miles away who only knows Detroit through depressing internet postings like these. Its reputation is terrible.

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http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 23:39
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Detriot has such a bad reputation though. I can't picture walking down any street without getting mugged. Consider that I am saying this 3,000 miles away who only knows Detroit through depressing internet postings like these. Its reputation is terrible.


Detroit has been basically a one industry town - autos and their servicing suppliers.  Other "rust belt" cities have done better, Pittsburgh for example. 

Pittsburgh has lost population and its steel business is not as extensive as before, but the survivors are doing well:

Pittsburgh is the head office city of Alcoa Aluminum, Gulf Oil, Westinghouse Electric, USX Corp. (US Steel), Allegheny International, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, US Airways, Glaxo-Smith Kline (pharmaceuticals), FedEx,  DelMonte Foods, H.J. Heinz Company, PPG Industries (glass and chemicals), Eaton Corp. (electrical/industrial hydraulics components) and all the big independent banks left in Pennsylvania, including Mellon, Dreyfus and PNC Corp.

Need a job?? Smile

(The Steelers are there too.)




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 01:17

No city suffered in the US as St. Louis did. Once upon a time this was the 4 largest city with more millionaires than anywhere else in the world.

Al-Jassas


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 02:45
Sic transit gloria mundi but honestly, the decay into urban blight is hardly a novelty. Might as well blame suburbia and "urban flight" as assign such to the notion of "company town". When a city commits "suicide" by disrupting its tax base little else other than blight is the result.
 
Contrast what "urban redevelopment" means in Pittsburgh with that in Detroit: the former is about people and community in economic terms, the latter is talking about buildings and their use!
 
http://www.ura.org/ - http://www.ura.org/
 
http://michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-rrd-BRA-DetroitBrownfieldRedevelopmentAuthority_297365_7.pdf - http://michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-rrd-BRA-DetroitBrownfieldRedevelopmentAuthority_297365_7.pdf
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 07:40
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

No city suffered in the US as St. Louis did. Once upon a time this was the 4 largest city with more millionaires than anywhere else in the world.

Al-Jassas


What time period was that?  I was not aware of that.

I would assume it had something to do with the movement westward.  Also St Louis is an important transit point on the Mississippi River - much produce and product moved through there on its way to somewhere else.

 


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 08:12
In 1900 (4 years before the Olympics were held there which is why I read about St. Louis in the first place). Back then as you said it was the main hub on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers (they merged just north of the city). The city itself had 600k while its greater area had an additional 100k. 
 
In fact all the region on either side of the Mississippi river and to a lesser extent the Illinois and Missouri rivers was probably the most prosperous in the entire world. Victorian mansions litter the countryside even in small villages like Cairo in Illinois:
http://www.angelfire.com/il3/SouthernIllinois/AlexanderCounty/Historical/MagnoliaManor.html - http://www.angelfire.com/il3/SouthernIllinois/AlexanderCounty/Historical/MagnoliaManor.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiobaker/4868928682/ - http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiobaker/4868928682/
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 10:28
Al-Jassas,

Thanks for the information.  As you may know, the US Constitution prohibited tax on incomes before the 16th Amendment (1913).  Fortunes made previously were pretty much insulated from the ravages of the income tax because the tax on income was restricted to "interest" and not on principal.

That pretty much exempted fortunes made on coal, and steel, and railroads, and oil, and manufacturing, and shipping, and even certain agricultural interests (not as specialized as now).  Much of that wealth is still around, in trust; inaccessible, and the basis of political interests and power that people can hardly understand.  Most people don't even know it exists.

It is the kind of wealth, and its influence, that rents out Congressional seats and the White House.






Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 19:19
I don't understand why those buildings are just left in ruins.
Why doesn't the local government put the bulldozer through and turn it back into farmland? Scrap and melt down anything saleable.
 
No-one is going to use those buildings again, they are too far gone.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 21:05
Still costs money to knock them down, and Michigan has a balanced budget law. It requires that the revenue from any project exceed the cost.

-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 23:45
New Detroit: Shanhai





Impact of the "society of services" model impossed into the U.S. by the economical theorical "thinkers".






Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 01:47
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I don't understand why those buildings are just left in ruins.
Why doesn't the local government put the bulldozer through and turn it back into farmland? Scrap and melt down anything saleable.
 
No-one is going to use those buildings again, they are too far gone.
 
This idea is still being considered and in fact some abandoned residential neighbourhoods have already been transformed into farmlands:
 
 
http://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/plowing-detroit-into-farmland/ - http://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/plowing-detroit-into-farmland/
http://www.eurweb.com/?p=11782 - http://www.eurweb.com/?p=11782
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/detroit-going-back-farmland - http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/detroit-going-back-farmland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1wk0U5CzHg - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1wk0U5CzHg
 
 
 
The problem is farming in the US is extremely unefficient and costly and you need huge tracts of lands in order to make a profit and this is after generous government subsidies and this is going to be quite hard in Detroit.
 
A better report about the fortunes of Detroit:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aUUuTBVypk&feature=channel_video_title - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aUUuTBVypk&feature=channel_video_title
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:01
I think the farmland idea will be found to be impractical.  Urban farming is not only inefficient but the costs as Al-Jassas says will cripple it.  What produce of consequence could be farmed on such areas?

The reason the supermarkets are full is not because of small farms.  It is because of corporate agriculture.  The small farmer has become an anachronism.




Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:07
Legacy costs are not as much of a factor any more with GM, Chrysler and Ford. The corporations and the union accepted VEBA  (Voluntary Employee's Beneficiary Association) as a trust fund. The Union will pay for health care now (for retirees) and has been this past year. Plus, with bankruptcy for Chrysler and Gm other costs were taken on by us (the people/Government). Now that the slate is clean there should be nothing but profits, hence, the nice hefty profit sharing doled out to workers. Plus, it doesn't hurt that foreign markets are keeping sales alive. Problem is, American jobs haven't increased in comparison. 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:16
Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.





Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:21
I really wonder why people are muttering about the decline of the domestic auto industry as the catalyst to the decay of Detroit! The Motor Moguls themselves began the exodus from the city in the 1930s, and unless one is blissfully ignorant of "outsourcing" as an internal process--as distinct from Henry Ford's locating the River Rouge Complex outside the city of Detroit itself (1917-1928)--between 1933-1960 the association of urban decay in Detroit with the automobile industry just does not work. If one understands that the Packard Motor Company was the sole manufacturing complex within Detroit itself by 1936 and that that company met its demise in the early 50s, one has to scratch one's head over those that associate the decay of Detroit with automobile industrial production! Besides central city redevelopment is hardly a novelty, the mausoleum known as the Renaissance Center (1977-1981) and its transformation from a Ford "white elephant" to that of GM in 1996 is telling.

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:27
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.



 
Industry created wealth when the US was the only industrial power of any significance during the 50s and early 60s. This was also helped by massive government spending on defense and space technologies which eventually found their way to civilian use.
 
It was this dominance coupled with the end of the cold war and thus the government spending part that destroyed the corporate culture and made CEOs more interested getting bonuses rather than making profits. Back in the 60s a CEO would never have dreamt of getting a bonus if under his watch the company made a loss because of a recession he had no control over it and now CEOs destroy the company deliberately and still get billions in bonuses. Also corporations began to focus on the manegerial aspects of business like creative accounting (i.e. outright theft) or marketing instead of R&D.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:53
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

I really wonder why people are muttering about the decline of the domestic auto industry as the catalyst to the decay of Detroit! The Motor Moguls themselves began the exodus from the city in the 1930s, and unless one is blissfully ignorant of "outsourcing" as an internal process--as distinct from Henry Ford's locating the River Rouge Complex outside the city of Detroit itself (1917-1928)--between 1933-1960 the association of urban decay in Detroit with the automobile industry just does not work. If one understands that the Packard Motor Company was the sole manufacturing complex within Detroit itself by 1936 and that that company met its demise in the early 50s, one has to scratch one's head over those that associate the decay of Detroit with automobile industrial production! Besides central city redevelopment is hardly a novelty, the mausoleum known as the Renaissance Center (1977-1981) and its transformation from a Ford "white elephant" to that of GM in 1996 is telling.


The City has been the Headquarters of GM for decades. Now when you take into consideration all of Wayne County, with Detroit at the hub then the Big Three, as they were once called, have a home (manufacturing plants) or did have one in surrounding cities like - Hamtramck, Livonia, Dearborn (Ford Headquarters), Highland Park, River Rouge, Allen Park. Throw in Oakland County and you run into Chrysler Headquarters at Auburn Hills/Rochester.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 04:22
Detroit since the 1990s is not experiencing anything that old centers such as New Orleans did not undergo in the 1960s--suburban flight. Here is an example:
 
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-23/detroit-population-plunges-to-century-low-with-suburban-flight.html - http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-23/detroit-population-plunges-to-century-low-with-suburban-flight.html
 
The largest reality of this phenomenon is the loss of the urban core's tax base, which in itself is the catalysts for further decay and multiplied decline. In certain areas a counterattack was undertaken--yuppification/gentrification--but that also created its own roil of resistance and protest. What I wish to underscore is that the actual problem is not as simple as just blaming the automobile industry...call it the direct product of poor urban planning and disastrous city politics.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 04:28
No objection here. Sure didn't help that Detroit had mayors like Coleman Young and Kwami Kilpatrick either. 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:25
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.



 
Industry created wealth when the US was the only industrial power of any significance during the 50s and early 60s. This was also helped by massive government spending on defense and space technologies which eventually found their way to civilian use.
 
It was this dominance coupled with the end of the cold war and thus the government spending part that destroyed the corporate culture and made CEOs more interested getting bonuses rather than making profits. Back in the 60s a CEO would never have dreamt of getting a bonus if under his watch the company made a loss because of a recession he had no control over it and now CEOs destroy the company deliberately and still get billions in bonuses. Also corporations began to focus on the manegerial aspects of business like creative accounting (i.e. outright theft) or marketing instead of R&D.
 
Al-Jassas


No real argument with your points above.  In the last three decades, and perhaps mostly in the last two thereof, the Federal government has gone from stoking the US economy through spending to transferring many costs from the most wealthy to the not-so-wealthy.  Tax cuts and "trickle-down" has mostly "trickled on" the great majority of citizens. 

Most of the wealthiest people tend to be able to avoid much tax liability.  Rather than pumping wealth back into the economy, they just have another cocktail at the country club after spending the day looking at their financial statements.  They have mostly become hoarders as opposed to investors, and there is no way to make them spend their excess wealth that is less available to the economy.

Political leadership (if that is what it really is) does not want to recognize that Federal spending was responsible for a great deal of economic activity from about 1940 to well into the 1980s.  Now Federal spending is seen as inimical to the "market."  Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

Corporate robber barons have found it advisable to pad their personal economy by raping the company since the Federal spending engine is leaking oil.  It is easier to manipulate balance sheets and tax returns than it is to work hard at something.  (For that matter, committing rape is easier than making love - that is a lot of work.)  Decades of tax cuts and tax credits and tax avoidance - legal and otherwise - has shown them a new way forward to wealth without much work.

Oh, well, what has this to do with Detroit?  It is a poster boy.  Corporations diverting billions to bonuses and sitting on hundreds of billions in cash that they are not using is part (just a part, mind you) of the situation we now have where wealth is being hoarded rather than created.  That was what I wanted to say in the first post replied to above.

Labor unions became used to a bottomless pit (what they saw anyway).  Public employee unions have also become used to that.  Now, the lack of wealth creation in private business is reducing the resources that are available to finance those public entitlements through taxation.

*Sigh*  It makes my head hurt.  Thanks for paying some attention to my rant.  Smile




Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:30
A more interesting way than most of tracking the changes in Detroit over the last forty years is reading the novels of Elmore Leonard and watching the background change.

-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:38
I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:43
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Well, Graham, there is no Puritan work ethic in corporate board rooms.  Smile

Assembly line work, or toiling next to a blast furnace is not fun, but it provided decent employment for a lot of people who are now cutting grass for a living.






Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:58
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:



Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

 
This is one of the biggest lies in US political history. The US is not bankrupt nor its even close to being so. By one stroke of a pen it could easily solve both its spending problems (especially that on welfare) and its budget deficit. The problem is are the politicians ready for it?
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 06:05
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:



Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

 
This is one of the biggest lies in US political history. The US is not bankrupt nor its even close to being so. By one stroke of a pen it could easily solve both its spending problems (especially that on welfare) and its budget deficit. The problem is are the politicians ready for it?
 
Al-Jassas


At the risk of derailing the thread  Big smile  tell us how one stroke of a pen could solve the problems.




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 06:54
Easy, raise taxes on everyone especially the rich to draconian levels for a while (and I really mean draconian, 1950s levels) while at the same time reforming the absurd laws that handicap the government and are at the root cause of some of the deficit. I was shocked that Medicare/Medicaid are not allowed by law to either negotiate prices with drug companies or buy generic ones. More shocking the fact that the Federal government pays subsidies to oil companies rather than receiving royalties for exploration (36 billion in subsidies as opposed to nearly 80 billion in royalties, here is 116 billion of the top of my head). Not to mention the loop wholes and the tax cheats who are considered heroes by some politicians (tax "avoiders", you are a tax cheat if you are poor).
 
By the way the super "conservative" Ron Paul didn't mind voting for those subsidies and he is the good guy.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 08:20
In a perverse way, Al Jassas is correct. Placing aside the manipulations against the Social Security Trust Fund (once an off-budget item from which the feds themselves "borrowed") the defense posture of the United States was premised upon rather steep "rates" on personal income above $500,000 [heck in 1917 the I. R. Law of that year set that rate at 77% so such would hardly be a novelty]. Keeping in mind that defense expenditures remain high a cut in current tax rates became an absurdity absent demilitarization. What ever happened to the old premise "the more you have to loose the higher your tax rate"!?!
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 04:05
For three decades the thought that taxes are bad has reshaped American politics.  For the last two decades no one has had the balls to advocate or vote for tax increases at the Federal level except Geo H.W. Bush, and that was the end of his public career in 1992.

Taxation facilitates public expenditure and that drives economic activity, and that results in jobs and income that can be spent on other things and so on.  However, tax is a dirty word and politicians won't say it.  The wealthy interests that have benefited from three decades of tax cuts have managed to gain control of Congress through the use of all the excess wealth they have to manipulate and bankroll enough of 535 people to block anything that is not in their interests.  It has become easy. 

The decline of the Federal government as a driver of the economy has done damage to both the economy and to employment.  The profitability of corporations quarter-on-quarter has not translated into employment.  There are a number of reasons for that, but one big one is that wealth is not being directed as much into economic activity - it is being directed into the accounts of people who are not spending it because they don't have to.

Damage to economic activity and employment doesn't mean much to anyone who has net worth of $100,000,000 or $1,000,000,000 or $5,000,000,000.  What the hell do they care if Detroit goes down? 




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 04:53
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

For three decades the thought that taxes are bad has reshaped American politics.  For the last two decades no one has had the balls to advocate or vote for tax increases at the Federal level except Geo H.W. Bush, and that was the end of his public career in 1992.

Taxation facilitates public expenditure and that drives economic activity, and that results in jobs and income that can be spent on other things and so on.  However, tax is a dirty word and politicians won't say it.  The wealthy interests that have benefited from three decades of tax cuts have managed to gain control of Congress through the use of all the excess wealth they have to manipulate and bankroll enough of 535 people to block anything that is not in their interests.  It has become easy. 

The decline of the Federal government as a driver of the economy has done damage to both the economy and to employment.  The profitability of corporations quarter-on-quarter has not translated into employment.  There are a number of reasons for that, but one big one is that wealth is not being directed as much into economic activity - it is being directed into the accounts of people who are not spending it because they don't have to.

Damage to economic activity and employment doesn't mean much to anyone who has net worth of $100,000,000 or $1,000,000,000 or $5,000,000,000.  What the hell do they care if Detroit goes down? 


 
Pike, the problem is far worse than that. People, and here I mean poor people, have been brain washed into thinking that taxation has a negative impact on corporate investment and that because of "high taxes" rich people don't invest and thus no job creation. That is complete BS. No matter how much your income is you can never ever start a small business with it let alone build a 2 billion dollar factory. Loans is the main driver of economies all over the world since time immemorial. One interest point reduction injects more money into the economy as loans than all the tax cuts given since Bush sr. was in power. Yet people don't know that and still believe that taxes cause all the problems:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KxrINvv2Ow&feature=channel_video_title - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KxrINvv2Ow&feature=channel_video_title
 
Here in Saudi Arabia we live in a tax free system and yet we have soaring inflation, had a three year stagnation in the early 2000s and probably will have another bout of inflation soon.
 
Al-Jassas
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 06:39
Al,

Of course credit and insurance are two things that encourage risk taking.  Anyone who ventures out on his own is a risk taker - no matter how small.  Now, having said that, what has happened since the 1980s to risk in the larger picture?

Since the bailout of the always poorly managed savings & loan industry, "too big to fail" has become both etched in granite and used as a weapon by business to blackmail government.  Financial institutions of all sorts and industrial corporations have been bailed out after putting in place bad business models, and for mismanagement and malfeasance.  You screw up; you get bailed out if you are big enough.  Take all the BS risks you want and Joe Six Pack and Tammy Teacher will wind up paying for them.

Risk doesn't mean much if you can pass it off on someone else and that someone else is paying proportionately more in tax than you are.  A lot of corporations don't pay taxes.  A lot of the people running them don't pay taxes either.

Now, for all the tax breaks, might not the Federal government encourage business activity so that there is more employment and economic activity?  That is not the way it works.  Some big business has become used to not taking any risk that can not be passed off on the tax payer in large measure - whether by preferred tax treatment or by the government taking on debt (ultimately funded by the taxpayer) to bail them out when their risky behavior blows up in their faces.

I just read an article on General Electric's tax department - described as the biggest and most sophisticated tax law practice on Earth.  Smile   All kinds of former Treasury officials and ex-IRS tax attorneys employed there. 

GE made somewhere around 3 billion profit last year and paid no Federal taxes; yet still has around 2 billion in unused tax credits.  AFAIK GE isn't expanding employment any more than other corporations that are raking it in, including juicy tax advantages, and not adding much to payroll even though their foreign business is robust.  They like having it both ways.

So, with 30 years of tax cuts what has been done with those?  Bad business practice with risk "insured" by other peoples' money.  A legislative branch (from where appropriations come and tax law is written) dependent for campaign money on the biggest donors - many of whom are industry groups that have had their bad business practices bailed out.

These practices and the money realities are so established and entrenched now that I don't see your solution above having a snowball's chance in Saudi Arabia.  It most certainly is not as easy as expressed.




Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 11:42

A few excellent posts here especially from Pike. I'd quote to congratulate but they're a bit big.

Originally posted by Pike Pike wrote:


I think the farmland idea will be found to be impractical.  Urban farming is not only inefficient but the costs as Al-Jassas says will cripple it.  What produce of consequence could be farmed on such areas?

The reason the supermarkets are full is not because of small farms.  It is because of corporate agriculture.  The small farmer has become an anachronism.


Small farming plots are more efficient in terms of food per acre, but less efficient in terms of $/acre. As far as I know the area around detroit is good fertile land*, and should be able to produce good yields - that is, enough to support a family with only 20 or so acres of land. Your not going to get rich off it but it should be sufficent for subsistance. Of course, you can also group all reclaimed land into one big company. Land is just land.

Most importantly though Farmland or open space has the advantage of 'looking good', which may not have direct economic gain but certainly has indirect ones. Reduced crime, increased housing value, improved health and living conditions are all improvements that would encourage investment by knocking down falling down buildings.

*Although being under concrete for 60 years reduces fertility quite a bit.



Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 18:55
20 acres? Are you serious? A good farm in Kansas has an average yield of 50 bushels and this is in a good year. The average wheat price right now is about $5 per bushel which means that a 20 acre farm would have an income of just $5000! And we haven't even factored costs yet.
 
http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/wheatpage/wheat_facts.htm - http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/wheatpage/wheat_facts.htm
http://www.kaycircle.com/mt/What-is-the-Average-Price-of-Wheat-per-Bushel/Ton-Average-Wheat-Cost - http://www.kaycircle.com/mt/What-is-the-Average-Price-of-Wheat-per-Bushel/Ton-Average-Wheat-Cost
 
And who said small farms are more efficient? We are in the 21st century not the 19th. Mechanisation closed that gap if it ever existed especially in grains which is not labour intensive like other types of farming.
 
My grandfather was a farmer and he planted cash crops and he rarely made any handsome profit despite having extremely cheap labour and government subsidies.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 22:29
Cash crops? Well only if we are discussing the 18th century and determined to be "top dog" in the world of the latifundio. Wealth from agrarian enterprise has always been a function of dominating vast acreages where specialized crops co-existed with more "mundane" pursuits that essentially insulated the enterprise and provided a degree of autonomy from the vagaries of the larger world. We might say that the myth of the yeoman farmer [a.k.a. the family farm] within the context of American History is as much a sacred cow as the notion that the Boston Tea Party ignited the Revolution, but in terms of economics these icons are false gods. But then such a point is worthy of a thread all of its own and here it would be but a diversion.
 
Now with respect to "urban gardens" as a solution to the malaise of the Motor City the most charitable statement that can be made here is that such represents little more than the fusion of 60s nostalgia with do-goodism social action. Subsistence farming in an urban environment is as much in touch with reality as the notion that a return to "Main Street" will signal the demise of Wal-Mart!


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 00:44
The "family farm" is a vestigial remain of a subsistence economy that was not too much different in 1800 than it was centuries before that.  Mr. Jefferson's concept of agrarian republicanism had political appeal but the farmer rarely produced more than could be consumed by his family or sold - if there was a surplus - to his neighbors the store keeper and the parson.

The thought that deserted property in Detroit, Michigan can be utilized as farm land is not to be taken seriously.  Efficient farming now is found where 50,000 acres is being managed by agronomists and MBAs who have access to capital.  (Even if the capital is Federal subsidies paid for by the underemployed Detroit ex-auto worker.  Shocked  Sorry, couldn't resist.)




Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 00:45
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


By the way, it is possible that you will not be bothered by any posts by me, over the next 7 or so days! I have to get my 34 year old "spinster" step daughter married! Please note that she is also a Librarian! Can you think of the famous movie where events leave an middle aged woman (who was also a Librarian) unmaried?

Please wish me luck?

Answer;

"It's a Wonderful Life!"

The only thing about her (she is beautiful and smart) is the fact that she is also a natural "empath!"

But, things could be worse!
 
There is actually a nice Swedish film where the librarian gets a man: Grabben i graven bredvid (the Guy in the next grave). Its about a farmer who meets the librarian Desiree on the churchyard when he visits his dead parents. In the next grave lies Desirees dead husband Oerjan. When Desiree forgets her cap Benny follows her but dare not go into the library. This starts a chain of events that brings the two together.
 
http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0298351/ - http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0298351/


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 01:08
What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 06:51
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.
 
 
Amen.
 
Of course we see the ugly spectre of self-interest arise in maintaining the myth of full employment, and the separation of the marketplace from societal values. And, I believe there are others outside this greedy core who simply dift along on a paradigm that has already become outdated. This is probably human nature to an extent- it takes a while for new realities to be absorbed on a wide scale.


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 09:01
Quote 20 acres? Are you serious? A good farm in Kansas has an average yield of 50 bushels and this is in a good year. The average wheat price right now is about $5 per bushel which means that a 20 acre farm would have an income of just $5000! And we haven't even factored costs yet.

So don't grow wheat. Besides, I never claimed you'd get rich.
Quote The thought that deserted property in Detroit, Michigan can be utilized as farm land is not to be taken seriously.  Efficient farming now is found where 50,000 acres is being managed by agronomists and MBAs who have access to capital.

And where does that 50,000 acres come from? There is no reason why urban land can't be incorporated into a farm that size.
Either you have wasted land in the form of destroyed buildings, or you have idle land that produces indirect benefits, or you utilise that land as well getting the indirect benefits and a few $.
Quote What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.

I don't think either have run out of steam. They are the basis of our way of life. What else does a country do to earn money?


Posted By: Dolphin
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 10:33
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.

I really enjoyed that thought provoking post, thank you.




Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 11:51
I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

Regards,
Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 12:07
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

Regards,
Ron
 
Ron- you are skating rather close to the "R" word here. Would you like to clarify ?
 
As for promises from democrats, it seems to me that these have, historically, made closer approaches to reality than those of the uber-right (republicans).


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 12:15
Dear Captain Vancouver, are you referring to the word "Robot?" If so, then you are mostly correct.

Certainly you did not mean "rabies", or "revoluting", or "rubber", or "radical", etc..

So just what are you trying not to say?

You are also treading in very deep water.

Yes, I place the blame for the conditions of these previously great cities upon the relationship of the Democrat Party and some if not all minority groups.

After all when the Democrats receive over 90% of the vote in election after election, in places where the standard of living has decreased for the last 50 or so years, and these cities were run by Democrat partisans for the entire period, then there is an old saying "If the shoe fits", etc.

But, my regards, anyway.

Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 14:09
Throughout history cities have lived and died as a function of whether its elites accept the responsibilities of community. So let us not hear any nonsense about parties and minorities specially if it concerns taxes!

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 17:53
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

Regards,
Ron
 
While politicians do have a role in the rise or demise of cities in the case of Detroit the blame is on the auto industry and satellite industries and not politicians. Politicians are not the guys running those companies and certainly not the guys on the assembly lines.
 
One way you can blame politicians (particularly at the state level) is through their role in the white flight. This flight as well as city policies that ghettoised minorities deprived cities from tax revinue creating a spiral in those cities leading to more and more poverty. This is what happened in Detroit and many other cities.
 
Oh and by the way Democrats are almost the exlusive dominant force in most large cities in the US. Denver, the most successful city in the US have been ruled by democrats since 1983 if not before.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 21:52
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Quote What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.

I don't think either have run out of steam. They are the basis of our way of life. What else does a country do to earn money?
 
You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.    


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 21:56
The decay of Detroit is part of human progress, not something to be reversed or even be nostalgic over.
Precisely the same is true of the decline of the coal-mining areas in Britain and around this part of the world.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 01:48
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Captain Vancouver, are you referring to the word "Robot?" If so, then you are mostly correct.

Certainly you did not mean "rabies", or "revoluting", or "rubber", or "radical", etc..

So just what are you trying not to say?

You are also treading in very deep water.

Yes, I place the blame for the conditions of these previously great cities upon the relationship of the Democrat Party and some if not all minority groups.

After all when the Democrats receive over 90% of the vote in election after election, in places where the standard of living has decreased for the last 50 or so years, and these cities were run by Democrat partisans for the entire period, then there is an old saying "If the shoe fits", etc.

But, my regards, anyway.

Ron
 
Blacks migrated in large numbers from the south to work in the auto factories and meat packing plants in Detroit and other cities in that region, in the mid-twentieth century. They were once a minority, and then became the majority (in inner city areas anyway). Is this what you mean? And if so, how did black auto workers contribute to the demise of that industry, and hence the economic decline of Detroit? It seems to me that the decline in the auto industry in the US is a product of decisions made by white lads in Washington, which got under way when it was decided it would be cheaper for industry to "globalize", that is, take advantage of cheap labour elsewhere in the world. The effect this sort of thing would have on cities like Detroit didn't seem to be on the list of things to be remediated in response to these policies.
 
As for democratic decisions, you have got  me there. What decisions and promises?


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 02:21
Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 04:52
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Graham I know you could do better than this. Puritan work ethic? Assembly line drudgery? Granted robots have taken over a few human jobs at the assembly line but its the people that work the tools and still utilize manual labor for most anything else that needs to be done. Cars are assembled in factories. Those factories get their parts from other factories. Every factory places a person on a line, bench or area where they manufacture product. Welders weld, painters paint, electrical fasteners fasten etc. They use machinery to aid them in their assembly line work. Tour a plant and see for yourself. Visit a vendor and notice the gluttony of jobs they have to do from receiving a design, implementing it into a cad system, testing a first generation product, inspecting the product, revising the product, storing the product, packing the product, shipping the product and doing it all over again with another order. This takes people power, along with cranes, welding tools, furnaces, rivets, hammers, drills, scopes, measuring tools, dollies, fork trucks, and skilled tradesman to keep tools in working condition. Throw in a slew of managers, foremans and supervisors that monitor the workers and you have a factory. This has nothing to do with a puritan work ethic. It has everything to do with what we appreciate about jobs - money.

Job loss is due to many variables. The primary motive is to stay in business. With that you need contracts, ability to cover overhead and pay employees, buy machinery, and manage your accounts in a timely fashion. Yet too many vendors had to close shop because they ran out of contracts or just weren't paid. Too many auto plants closed because that was a decision from top brass. Afterall, emerging markets can do the same thing in China, India or Mexico for a lot less than Detroit. Again, this has nothing to do with a phony puritan work ethic - but everything to do with money.






Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 05:02
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron


Maybe, and then again, maybe not - regarding placing blame on Democrats. Whatever the reasons, business has been leaving the country. Don't let the door hit you on the rear.

Isn't this cheap political blame game old by now, especially when whole families could care less when all they want is a decent living?

Politicians are bought. They do not reform themselves. That alone should tell you a bunch. The UAW has been the biggest supporter of worker rights. Surely, that means decent pay. Even they feel the pinch with no small help from all this lambasting going on and jobs leaving town. In today's Detroit Free Press:  UAW VP - 2-tier Pay OK Trade For Jobs. You read that right. Even the dreaded unions are willing to accept 2nd tier wages for their members IF the AUTO giants open idle factories and give work to their members. So get off this blame game and notice the real crime here. Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 05:56
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Graham I know you could do better than this. Puritan work ethic? Assembly line drudgery? Granted robots have taken over a few human jobs at the assembly line but its the people that work the tools and still utilize manual labor for most anything else that needs to be done.
That was happening 40 years ago when I edited the H.B.Maynard text book on production engineering, which involived visting virtually all their work sites in Europe. I also remember talking it out with Herzberg on a visit to London in the late 'sixties, when asking him for what to do about jobs that inherently could never provide job satisfaction he said 'automate it out!'.
In a vacation once I helped (insignificantly) to build the big Esso oil refinery on Southampton Water. We dug ditches manually. How often do you see people digging ditches manually now? Not often at least around here.
 
Sure the trend is still going on, andis a long way from completion. Those that take account of it and go with the tide will be a lot better off than those who try to resist it.
Quote
Cars are assembled in factories. Those factories get their parts from other factories. Every factory places a person on a line, bench or area where they manufacture product. Welders weld, painters paint, electrical fasteners fasten etc.
I rather think that kind of thinking underlies the decline of Detroit.
Quote
They use machinery to aid them in their assembly line work. Tour a plant and see for yourself. Visit a vendor and notice the gluttony of jobs they have to do from receiving a design, implementing it into a cad system, testing a first generation product, inspecting the product, revising the product, storing the product, packing the product, shipping the product and doing it all over again with another order. This takes people power, along with cranes, welding tools, furnaces, rivets, hammers, drills, scopes, measuring tools, dollies, fork trucks, and skilled tradesman to keep tools in working condition. Throw in a slew of managers, foremans and supervisors that monitor the workers and you have a factory. This has nothing to do with a puritan work ethic. It has everything to do with what we appreciate about jobs - money.
Then why is anyone worried about unemployment? Of course jobs won't disappear completely (I wouldn'texpect them too, anyway.) But there is going to be  a growing mass of people either not working or working less than before, just as there has been for the last century or more, since agriculture employment virtually vanished, to be quickly followed by domestic service. And since people stopped working 72-hour weeks and more.
Quote
Job loss is due to many variables.
Yes, at any given time. However the permanent one is the lessening need for people to work to satisfy traditional demand.
Quote
 The primary motive is to stay in business. With that you need contracts, ability to cover overhead and pay employees, buy machinery, and manage your accounts in a timely fashion. Yet too many vendors had to close shop because they ran out of contracts or just weren't paid. Too many auto plants closed because that was a decision from top brass. Afterall, emerging markets can do the same thing in China, India or Mexico for a lot less than Detroit. Again, this has nothing to do with a phony puritan work ethic - but everything to do with money.
Can you explain to me how the British motor car industy in the 1970s died at the hands of especially German cars when British labour costs, both per unit and per hour, were lower than in the rest of western Europe (north of the Pyrenees anyway)? The answer's fairly easy and it's not that the German cars were always better.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 06:02
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

 Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.
Don't disagree with you regarding the unions and the rest, but if product is being imported from overseas and sold in he US instead of being manufactured in the US and sold there, is it the fault of
(a) the manufacturers
(b) the importers
(c) the shops selling it
(d) the people buying it?
 
Actually I could add in the people financing the transaction but I think nowadays they aren't often American sources.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 06:50
Gcle2003, manual labor is not just picking up a shovel. It includes anything to do with an hourly wage where an employee has to exert some form of physical effort. Even modern Ferrari plants do that.

Regarding faults, no need to search much when the answer is not far behind. GM has been selling tooling and die molds and machinery to plants in China for some time now. What happens is when a plant gets shuttered in Michigan those big parts go somewhere, when not mothballed, and that is to its plants of interest. That happens by either opening shop in China or by selling plants outright to Chinese partners in ownership .

Here are a few examples: 

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20090321/FREE/903219992/tooling-and-mold-manufacturers-ask-to-meet-with-gm-chairman-over-outsourcing-rumor#

http://autonews.gasgoo.com/china-news/gm-sells-u-s-based-factory-to-china-101112.shtml

http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x233324766/GM-sells-more-cars-in-China-than-in-US-for-1st-time

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110110/RETAIL03/301109954


General Motors presently purchases 49 percent of its vendor tooling from L.L.C.s, low cost countries like India and China, and if the Chairman had it his way, it would be 100 percent, the group quoted in a statement the GM official as saying.

Beijing-based Pacific Century Motors has successfully purchased a General Motors plant in Saginaw, Michigan.

General Motors Co. sold more vehicles in China than it did in the U.S. last year, marking the first time a foreign market has outpaced the automaker's domestic sales in its 102-year history...
GM took the big risk moving into China with Buick some years ago, but now its global footprint is actually better than even Toyota's, he said. Ford has made some good moves, but they are still trying to catch up in emerging markets....
GM does not accrue the same benefit from a sale in China as it does from a sale in the United States because its business there is split with three joint-venture partners.



Now for some fairly better news:

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110124/OEM01/301249958/1131


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 08:42
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

 Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.
Don't disagree with you regarding the unions and the rest, but if product is being imported from overseas and sold in he US instead of being manufactured in the US and sold there, is it the fault of
(a) the manufacturers
(b) the importers
(c) the shops selling it
(d) the people buying it?
 
Actually I could add in the people financing the transaction but I think nowadays they aren't often American sources.
 
In most cases its a, the manufacturers with marketing a close second. American products in general suck. They are badly designed, faulty and on top of that expensive. American manufacturers that produce quality products and are well runned are immensly successful like 3M or Caterpiller and continue manufacturing in the US.
 
In fact Caterpiller is a success story that tells you that US manufacturers can rebound if they got the right management. In the 80s it nearly went bankrupt after the market was flooded with Japanese and especially good and cheap Korean heavy machinary (very popular here).
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 09:29
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron
 
 
Hmm, so it was the unions that brought Detroit to ruin is it? I'm not up on the cost of living in Michigan, but I can say that $30/hr + benefits is about what those in the skilled construction trades make here in BC. It's pretty good, but not extravagant. And I understand even this is now being rolled back to an extent.
 
More to the point, how would taking less money have keep industry in Detroit, and in the country generally? Globalization means a race to the bottom: if wages are less somewhere in the world, then corporations will head there in order to maximize the bottom line. To compete with labour in China, wages would have to drop to a point that makes the country more resemble the society of Charles Dickens than the modern vision of an egalitarian country. But maybe that's the point.
 
It is in fact a healthly middle class- people  being paid like those autoworkers- that is a cornerstone of a modern developed society. The rise of the middle class after WW2 was instrumental in producing the good economic times enjoyed in the '50s and '60s.
 
The current system benefits the corporate world as it can simply dump what it considers to be unprofitable elements, like workers being paid a good wage, and move somewhere where they are not. Likewise, if safety or environmental regulations don't suit the bottom line, bail out and go somewhere that is lax in these measures. To heck with responsibility to one's community- there's no profit in that.


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 09:46
Indeed Al Jassas. Japanese and European cars do better not because of cheaper price but because of better quality. They are both more expensive than American manufactured cars. I'm fairly certain that labour costs in Japan and Germany are not cheaper than in the US. Nor are Chinese car companies anywhere to be seen in the market place - who buys a Great Wall over a Honda?
Quote
You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.   
You're right that you need proportionally less people to do the same job, however that job still needs to be done, and is still a major money earner for a country. What you need (and what I think you really mean) is a better way of distributing that wealth to all the people who don't need to do that job. ie, I benefit from mining in outback WA but I am not involved in it. Unemployment is not so much a problem as lack of income and boredom.
 
America isn't lacking in wealth producing industry. That wealth is just not being invested in the country. In modern nations the primary way of distributing that wealth is by taxing the rich & spending by government, which the US is failing to do and failing replace with an alternative.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 12:56
Good God, what a wealth of premises.

It almost makes one want to puke.

The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this;

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates?

And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"

"Retirement, auxiliary, survivors, and disability benefitsThe largest component of OASDI is the payment of retirement benefits. Throughout a worker's career, the Social Security Administration keeps track of his or her earnings. The amount of the monthly benefit to which the worker is entitled depends upon that earnings record and upon the age at which the retiree chooses to begin receiving benefits. For the entire history of Social Security, benefits have been paid almost entirely by using revenue from payroll taxes. This is why Social Security is referred to as a pay-as-you-go system. Around 2017, payroll tax revenue is projected to be insufficient to cover Social Security benefits[citation needed] and the system will begin to withdraw money from the Social Security Trust Fund. The existence and economic significance of the Social Security Trust Fund is a subject of considerable dispute because its assets are special Treasury bonds; i.e., the money in the trust fund have been loaned back to the federal government to pay for other expenses.

[edit] Beneficiaries and CostsYear - Beneficiaries - Dollars
1937 - 53,236 - $1,278,000
1938 - 213,670 - $10,478,000
1939 - 174,839 - $13,896,000
1940 - 222,488 - $35,000,000
1950 - 3,477,243 - $961,000,000
1960 - 14,844,589 - $11,245,000,000
1970 - 26,228,629 - $31,863,000,000
1980 - 35,584,955 - $120,511,000,000
1990 - 39,832,125 - $247,796,000,000
1995 - 43,387,259 - $332,553,000,000
1996 - 43,736,836 - $347,088,000,000
1997 - 43,971,086 - $361,970,000,000
1998 - 44,245,731 - $374,990,000,000
1999 - 44,595,624 - $385,768,000,000
2000 - 45,414,794 - $407,644,000,000
2001 - 45,877,506 - $431,949,000,000
2002 - 46,444,317 - $453,746,000,000
2003 - 47,038,486 - $470,778,000,000
2004 - 47,687,693 - $493,263,000,000
2005 - 48,434,436 - $520,748,000,000
2006 - 49,122,624 - $546,238,000,000
2007 - 49,864,838 - $584,939,000,000
2008 - 50,898,244 - $615,344,000,000"

But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians?

NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters.

The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

Regards,
Ron


-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 13:56
OH, I have about has it from the few of you overly confident and over educated people who continually complain about my usage of signs like "question marks" and "exclamation marks"!!!!!

Yes, I am now YELLING!

Whilst I may not be the best user of our previous Kings English, which just happens not to be any language he ever spoke, I do feel that I do not do a bad job with my "third rate Southern usage?"

If my writing style does not conform to the later day English style taught in colleges, and High Schools, in either the USA or your nation, then you might well stick it in your eye!

Perhaps you would like to make fun of me, because one of my legs is a bit shorter than the other, or if my ear-lobes do not look like yours, of if my nose is a bit larger than yours, or if my feet are a bit larger than yours, or if my eyes are a little bit dimmer than yours, etc.!

I will state now, and from hereon, that I will no longer try to be "One of you!"

Do you get it? I will stick to the way I was taught to write the German's English, and even if most of it is beyond the "heads of state" here, I shall do my best to vex you with it for ever!

Love and Kisses! As well as my best regards,

Ronald

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:19
Bad form and if you wish to play Peck's Bad Boy you are welcome do so but within the required contextual setting.
 
The above snit coming right out of the blue certanly does not show you at your best. perhaps a sedative is called for... 


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:37
That tax foundation record is pretty cool information. Don't know what point you were making with it though.
 
Also, I am compeltely at a loss about what you're trying to say with the social security trust fund or why you're complaining about your English.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:50
Thanks Doktor! Can you prescribe me a certified prescription? If so, then I respectfully suggest that you also take one!

And, my dear Omar al Hashim, the English lesson is one that Herr Doktor, and gcle-2003, and possibly one other of you "golden oldies" have griped about concerning my use of the English language since I have been posting here!

It seems that the good Doktor has no regrets, nor does gcle-2003 for condeming my usage of exclamation points and question marks, in my other correspondence with them, but posit a problem when I answer them out of the blue!

Thus, it was only here that my response came gushing out!


For you, dear sir, I apologize!

Regards,
Ronald

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:25
Since when have I complained about your punctuation...now as to your usage with reference to certain terms be it with respect to the canons of Fowler or the parameters of historical methodology you have been dosed with remedial elixirs no different than that administered anyone else. As for all the rest, go ahead and board the Showboat but know that the role of Gaylord Ravenal is already cast!

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:30
Agreed, by your command!

But only if I can play "Cap'n Andy?"

Prosit!

Ronald

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:30
Originally posted by opus opus wrote:

And, my dear Omar al Hashim, the English lesson is one that Herr Doktor, and gcle-2003, and possibly one other of you "golden oldies" have griped about concerning my use of the English language since I have been posting here!
That's ok. Some of our members can't even understand DrG 


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:05
My dear Omar, it seems that certain of your moderating class have the same problem with me!

But, that is to be expected since my formal education and my elucidation of the mother tounge of my class, which is basically 18th/19th century English, seems to bother some of your brothers.

But as Martin Luther King, once said "We shall overcome!"


My best Regards,
Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:17
Either that or grow accepting of the role of Bonehead in Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown...

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 23:57
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Indeed Al Jassas. Japanese and European cars do better not because of cheaper price but because of better quality. They are both more expensive than American manufactured cars.
I pick this instead of several other possible posts just for simplicity. Actually your post was closer to my position than anyone else. But no-one seem to have picked up the essential point to my question: German and Japanes cars killed off the British indigenous car industry despite higher labour costs, because of their much greater and more efficient capital investment, mostly in new technology. 'Vorsprung durch technik' indeed.  (Better quality/cost ratio is one of the results of that, and so is increased productivity. But they lead to less need for human labour (not just on assembly lines, but also in, for instance, design studios. Or even producing user manuals.)
Quote
I'm fairly certain that labour costs in Japan and Germany are not cheaper than in the US. Nor are Chinese car companies anywhere to be seen in the market place - who buys a Great Wall over a Honda?
Quote
You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.   
You're right that you need proportionally less people to do the same job, however that job still needs to be done, and is still a major money earner for a country. What you need (and what I think you really mean) is a better way of distributing that wealth to all the people who don't need to do that job. ie, I benefit from mining in outback WA but I am not involved in it. Unemployment is not so much a problem as lack of income and boredom.
That's not far off from what I did mean, you're correct. However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.
Quote
America isn't lacking in wealth producing industry. That wealth is just not being invested in the country. In modern nations the primary way of distributing that wealth is by taxing the rich & spending by government, which the US is failing to do and failing replace with an alternative.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 00:08
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises.

It almost makes one want to puke.

The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this;

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html
Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.
Quote
And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates?

And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"
Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 
Quote

But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians?

NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters.

The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.
It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.
 
PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 02:32
Graham and I have disagreed on many things, but in this I agree with him.  People tend to think of things they "save" as being in a piggy bank.  So putting savings in the piggy bank = good; paying tax = bad.  It does not compute to individuals that tax payments can come back in benefits.  That may be because there has been the best part of a generation when people now are not seeing any benefit from what they DO pay in taxes.

Education quality overall has declined; infrastructure has deteriorated; jobs have disappeared - at least for many; Congress has handed health care over to insurance companies, and doctors now are more marginally involved in practicing medicine.  Much medicine is paid for by tax dollars - public employees; Medicare; medicaid.

Maybe the most egregious (and blatant; and cynical) example of no benefit for public expense is the TARP of 2008.  Robber baron corporations were bailed out with more debt, part of the "deal" being the banks would lend to prop up housing.  That hasn't happened. 

The banks are now quite profitable on the citizen taxpayers' backs and they sit on the profits and buy back their stock to pump up their managements' options - and pay out huge bonuses.  Profits come in, rather than lend in the short term you pump up the P&L and get big bonuses.

Housing has basically collapsed, but the banks don't lend and just blame it on the regulators...."Oooh, too few people can qualify any longer."  There hasn't been any slack for people in foreclosure.

"Stimulus" money was to pump economic activity.  It has resulted in profit but not in jobs - no benefit to average taxpayers.  It also plugged holes in state and local public budgets, but now that "money" is spent and there is no more - huge cuts in state and local public spending are coming (and as Wyatt Earp said, "Hell is comin' with 'em.")  NO benefit for taxes.

So, in the last few years, trillions more in debt has been created which can only be serviced by taxes.  When it comes time to bite the bullet and spend on crumbling infrastructure, debt service will start to eat up too much of the tax revenue that must go elsewhere rather than to jobs here.

Politicians do what politicians do.  They lie about reality and put off the worst problems until they are retired on pensions - paid for by taxpayers.  That is in addition to book deals and speaking engagements and business contacts that came from being visible in public life while they were being paid by....taxpayers.

No wonder no one thinks they are getting anything out of their taxes.  That is much of why they can't understand the necessity of higher taxation.

 


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 03:49
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:


Politicians do what politicians do.  They lie about reality and put off the worst problems until they are retired on pensions - paid for by taxpayers.  

 
 
Politicians do what the people with money tell them to do. These same politicians who advocate less taxes and repeal of "Obamacare" voted to increase taxes and proposed an HC bill back in the 90s that was much more "socialist" than "Obamacare". What changed was that people with money and influence have gained much more money and more influence than ever before.
 
They now control the media and when I say media I don't just mean Fake news or other so called "liberal" news networks, they also control talk radio (listened too by nearly 50-60 million people every week), newspapers, the majority of "respectable" think tanks (which are the main source for political staff in Congress and elsewhere) and even "liberal" Academia (watch the "Inside Job" on this last point). Their alliance with the church is of course well known too.
 
These are used to feed delusions to a politically naive population who go to elect Obama without knowing what the hell Obama stands for or rally against "Obamacare" while at the same time agreeing with individual items within the bill when detached from it.
 
Politicians are by nature survivalists and since this was where the wind was going they went with it.
 
 
Al-Jassas
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 03:59
Al-Jassas,

If by the "HC bill back in the 90s" you mean the Clinton fiasco, that was seen as health care for poor people paid for by the middle class.  The only voice left at the time praising that was Hilary Clinton.  That initiative went down in flames.

"Can you explain "people with money" and "Their alliance with the church?"

The "church" is hardly monolithic.




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 04:36
I mean the republican couterproposal not Clinton's plan. It was essentially the same as Obama's plan according to people involved in the debate two years ago.
 
As for the alliance with the church, come on, the evangelicals have been at the forefront in support of the corporate agenda, Pat Robertson and his CBN network as well as other televangelists (who are mostly corporate stooges) are demonising unions and "big government" and preaching that God loves the rich and that poor people are evil and what not.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 06:05
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I mean the republican couterproposal not Clinton's plan. It was essentially the same as Obama's plan according to people involved in the debate two years ago.
 
As for the alliance with the church, come on, the evangelicals have been at the forefront in support of the corporate agenda, Pat Robertson and his CBN network as well as other televangelists (who are mostly corporate stooges) are demonising unions and "big government" and preaching that God loves the rich and that poor people are evil and what not.
 
Al-Jassas


So we can agree to restrict "the church" here to the fundamentalist tax-avoiders who have movie star life styles?  Smile

I am pretty cynical about the evangelical fundamentalists and the pentacostals, but most others do not worship the people who are screwing them.






Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 06:42
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises. It almost makes one want to puke. The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this; http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.


But Graham, if I may call you by your given name, Do you really assert that it was Federal Spending that financed a "Rich America?" I would consider that view as overly simplistic.

Quote And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates? And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"

Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 


In reality, the origin of the SS system, was to provide a small pension as a supplement to one's own savings, etc., and not an end of all personal responsibility. Second, it was based upon fake or false mortality rates, that is it was thought that most benefits would not ever have to be paid, since most of them were expected to have died by the time they turned age 65. Which is, unfortunately, the case with Male African Americans today. But with the rise of longer lived people the scheme was never adjusted, thus the plan to move the age upwards today, is mostly too little and too late. Perhaps age 75 would be a good start?

Quote But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians? NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters. The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.

 


Well, that is exactly correct if you are suggesting that in the early years of the system (up until the 1980's, I believe), the amount withheld from one's pay, was so miniscule, that those reaching age 65 recovered all of their investment within a year or two.

PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


And, again population growth was also considered to be exponential when the scheme was developed, that is they planned for the population to grow as such a rate, that with the early deaths of most of the participants, and the fast growing population, there would always be 30 or 40 or 50 persons paying into the fund, for every one drawing upon it. This is much like paying a premium for "Fools Gold", as it turned out, and it is today just stupid.

Regards,
Ronald

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 09:19

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.

I think the work ethic culture only applies in English-speaking and Northern European countries. I generally think it is a good thing, and I agree with that ethic that work has personal benefits regardless of economic benefits (however, convincing women that they don't all need to have a career is perhaps an improvement*). The trick - and only workable solution really - is to employ people to do tasks that don't strictly need to be done but are accepted as good expenditure by the community at large - ie, sending a man to the moon.

 

*So is convincing tradesmen (at least here) that doing a good job first time is important



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 11:47
Why do you think that? It is a bit eurocentric, don't you think?


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 12:17
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Why do you think that? It is a bit eurocentric, don't you think?
Because the protestant work ethic comes from protestant cultures and their colonies.
It's much easier to convince an Argentinian to have a siester than an Australian.
 
That's not to say that you can't also occupy Argentinians by going to the moon, but you don't have as much idealisation of the virtues of "hard yakka" (hard work) in Argentina.
 
(Curiously, how would Argentina compare to Chilie? Because as there are more Germans in Argentina you might see some of the protestant work ethic? I'm not sure just guessing.)


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:21
Opuslola I really wish you would learn how to distinguish who said what. The was this read you couldn't tell who said what. I'll try and fix it, ut i> shouldn't have to.
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises. It almost makes one want to puke. The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this; http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.

But Graham, if I may call you by your given name, Do you really assert that it was Federal Spending that financed a "Rich America?" I would consider that view as overly simplistic.
It may be simple but it is accurate. 'Rich America' was based on federal (and State) spending in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s, especially of course in ww2. Of course it was also based on the highly protectionist policies and the safety of the US from foreign attack that it's then-abundant natural resources and geographical position made possible. 
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


Quote And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates? And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"
Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 


In reality, the origin of the SS system, was to provide a small pension as a supplement to one's own savings, etc., and not an end of all personal responsibility.
Beside the point. The point is that personal saving CANNOT be guaranteed to be worrth anyhing by the time peoplle retire. It will only work sometimes by happenstance, and not because of any merit on the part of the saver. It's even dumber to think it will work because excessive saving can kill an economy stone dead. 
Quote
Second, it was based upon fake or false mortality rates, that is it was thought that most benefits would not ever have to be paid, since most of them were expected to have died by the time they turned age 65. Which is, unfortunately, the case with Male African Americans today. But with the rise of longer lived people the scheme was never adjusted, thus the plan to move the age upwards today, is mostly too little and too late. Perhaps age 75 would be a good start?
Follow your idea and you really would be producing a Ponzi scheme - promise people that they'll get something, and then tell them they can't have it. Barring some preternatural massive accident or plague, mortality rates ALWAYS underestimate length of life. Life assurance companies rely on that effect to make mones. But it is another reason why you can't rely on savings for help in old age.
Quote
Quote
Quote But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians? NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters. The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.

Well, that is exactly correct if you are suggesting that in the early years of the system (up until the 1980's, I believe), the amount withheld from one's pay, was so miniscule, that those reaching age 65 recovered all of their investment within a year or two.
That still happens. Everywhere. I currently have already recouped everything I've paid into the UK and Luxembourg systems. I could never have saved anything like the amount I'd need to buy an annuity for my total pensions. Two months' pension would have paid for outright the five bedrooom house I bought on mortage in 1963. One month's pension is more than 25 times what I earned in total in a month to start on my first job in 1956 (as a feature writer on a million-and-a-half readership Fleet Street magazine. 
 
There 's no way any scheme based on savings and reinvestment could have given that kind of return.
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Quote
PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


And, again population growth was also considered to be exponential when the scheme was developed, that is they planned for the population to grow as such a rate, that with the early deaths of most of the participants, and the fast growing population, there would always be 30 or 40 or 50 persons paying into the fund, for every one drawing upon it. This is much like paying a premium for "Fools Gold", as it turned out, and it is today just stupid.
I just don't believe that's true. It may be partof the smokescreen put up by the government because it had to sell the idea to the stupid who think you can save your way to a guaranteed old age, but it's the fault of the US electorate that such a smokescreen was necessary.
 
Guaranteed welfare and old age benefits can only be paid out of current taxes. Nothing else works.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:29
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.

I think the work ethic culture only applies in English-speaking and Northern European countries. I generally think it is a good thing, and I agree with that ethic that work has personal benefits regardless of economic benefits (however, convincing women that they don't all need to have a career is perhaps an improvement*). The trick - and only workable solution really - is to employ people to do tasks that don't strictly need to be done but are accepted as good expenditure by the community at large - ie, sending a man to the moon.

 *So is convincing tradesmen (at least here) that doing a good job first time is important

I don't disagree with that. Do you know Herzberg's work on the 'hygiene' factors and the 'motivational' factors that affect attitudes to work? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Herzberg - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Herzberg
 
I think there is a case for suggesting that the 'Puritan work ethic' stresses the hygiene factors at work and largely ignores the motivational factors. So I'd advocate a 'work ethic' that concentrates on the motivational factors - self-expression, work satisfaction and so on.
 
In other words I'm not against work ethics in general, merely against the Puritan one that if you don't work you don't get paid.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:49
Graham, perhaps you do not know or failed to realize that I am the beginning of the WWII "baby boon." Siince SS allows one a partial payment at age 62 (rather than age 65), then some of us, now my age (64),have already applied for and have received SS benefits. This drain will only continue for the next few years.

Please see this site;

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html As well as this one for some ideas;

http://www.sabrient.com/blog/?p=3554&cpage=1

It just seems that taxation is or will if one accepts your theory, become really "repressive" (regressive) at one time or another.

The only way the current scheme can work is via the printing press!

Regards,
Ron

Oh,by the way, I don't understand the copy and past function that you and others use. Perhaps this site, and others, need a primer for those illiterate like me?



-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 23:57
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Graham, perhaps you do not know or failed to realize that I am the beginning of the WWII "baby boon." Siince SS allows one a partial payment at age 62 (rather than age 65), then some of us, now my age (64),have already applied for and have received SS benefits. This drain will only continue for the next few years.
So?
Quote
Please see this site;

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html As well as this one for some ideas;

http://www.sabrient.com/blog/?p=3554&cpage=1
There's a reason Krugman has a Nobel prize and your quotee doesn't.
 
I assume most people will note that on those figures the ratio of contributors to beneficiaries is today virtually identical to what it was forty years ago, even though you appear to have missed the point.
Quote

It just seems that taxation is or will if one accepts your theory, become really "repressive" (regressive) at one time or another.
('Regressive' means something else entirely.) If society doesn't want to pay people retirement benefits nothing forces it too: there's nothing in 'my' theory[1] to make it. IF it wants to pay them the only way to do it is from current taxation (or of course on a temporary basis through borrowing). That taxation can be regressive or progressive, and it can be imposed on anything - doesn't have to be payroll taxes. But the only source for the money has ultimately to be taxation. 
[1] Actually the theory is pretty universally accepted by governmental actuaries.
Quote
The only way the current scheme can work is via the printing press!
The prinnting press is inescapable at least in a democratic society, because pretty well everyone always wants more money, whether in dividends, wages, bonuses, prices, profits - whatever. It's perhaps the most important reason of all those that say long-term future payments in nominal or real terms cannot be guaranteed.
Quote
Oh,by the way, I don't understand the copy and past function that you and others use. Perhaps this site, and others, need a primer for those illiterate like me?

The easy way is to look at the text you get when yout hit the 'quote' button, and study the way the QUOTE and  /QUOTE tags in square brackets work. You can experiment and use the 'preview post' button to see what you are getting.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2011 at 01:02
The political reality in the United States may be said to project a confederacy of dunces [pace "Ignatius"] when it comes to issues such as Social Security. Little has changed since the program was identified as the "the third rail in American politics" and if rabid Tea Partiers begin to release gas against the pension system within the yakkity-yak about 'taxes" they will be consumed by the gray panthers in the electorate. If one is careful in reading with respect to the agiprop over taxes and social programs the rhetoric is directed against phantom menaces such as "illegals" receiving assitance through programs under the SSA umbrella or the claims of massive fraud within the disability classification--the persistent utterances dating back to the 1980s and reiterated in the 1990s. I doubt anyone wants to go back to replay the 1933-1934 debate over SS--which produced such euphemisms as "contributions" to the fund rather than the utterance of the word TAX!--but if there does exist one irrevocable "Contract with America" produced by political yammer it is the Social Security Program with all of its warts. The present crisis however has nothing to do with "transfer payments" to the individual through taxes, but transfer payments to the states made possible through federal tax rates that are much lower today than they were 40, 30 and even 20 years ago when most of these programs were enacted. That was the reality back in 1992 and little has changed since then. The bottom line within the American jurisdictional division is a simple one: if federal tax rates are dropped then state tax rates must increase so as to acommodate what has become customary among the people. Let's look for the politicians who refuse to wake up and smell the coffee on that reality's morning!

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 02 Apr 2011 at 05:00
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The political reality in the United States may be said to project a confederacy of dunces [pace "Ignatius"] when it comes to issues such as Social Security. Little has changed since the program was identified as the "the third rail in American politics" and if rabid Tea Partiers begin to release gas against the pension system within the yakkity-yak about 'taxes" they will be consumed by the gray panthers in the electorate. If one is careful in reading with respect to the agiprop over taxes and social programs the rhetoric is directed against phantom menaces such as "illegals" receiving assitance through programs under the SSA umbrella or the claims of massive fraud within the disability classification--the persistent utterances dating back to the 1980s and reiterated in the 1990s. I doubt anyone wants to go back to replay the 1933-1934 debate over SS--which produced such euphemisms as "contributions" to the fund rather than the utterance of the word TAX!--but if there does exist one irrevocable "Contract with America" produced by political yammer it is the Social Security Program with all of its warts. The present crisis however has nothing to do with "transfer payments" to the individual through taxes, but transfer payments to the states made possible through federal tax rates that are much lower today than they were 40, 30 and even 20 years ago when most of these programs were enacted. That was the reality back in 1992 and little has changed since then. The bottom line within the American jurisdictional division is a simple one: if federal tax rates are dropped then state tax rates must increase so as to acommodate what has become customary among the people. Let's look for the politicians who refuse to wake up and smell the coffee on that reality's morning!


Federal politicians will do nothing to endanger their chances for re-election.  Voting for tax increases is a death sentence. 

The personal economy of that political aristocracy is not affected by financing the entitlements of the proletarians who are becoming increasingly ignored.  The entitlements of the political aristocracy are off limits - voted so by themselves.

EDIT:  Good God!  I am starting to sound like a revolutionary.  Unfortunately, in the past couple of decades, the Republic has been ceded to corporate (or at least corporative) special interests who have become expert at purchasing influence; manipulating media through its revenue streams, and especially successful at demonstrating to legislators that their real constituency is those corporative special interests rather than the electorate.

I don't know any longer if this can be fixed.

I believe Franklin said something like "When the people realize they can vote themselves money, there will be an end of the Republic." 

If the purpose of the Republic is solely to get at the treasury by special interests, it may already be too late.




Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 10:22
Yeesh... how depressing.

In more motor city news, Detroit suffers another major disaster

http:///insidetv.ew.com/2011/04/02/charlie-sheen-tour-review/ - http:///insidetv.ew.com/2011/04/02/charlie-sheen-tour-review/


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 13:30
Just what else could I have presented?

Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 06:11
While depressing to look at the photos, i do appreciate your sharing them.

Was just trying to throw a tiny amount of weak levity, at the expense of Charlie Sheen (Sorry Joe), into an otherwise very bleak subject.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 07:45
Thanks Panther, it is good to sometimes have a favorable post directed towwards me, rather than the double team of the detractors.

If Graham is really being truthful to us, concerning his pension, that he stated that "Two months" of his present day pension would have paid for his "five bedroom home in his present place of residence in 1963, but wait a moment, here are his exact words;

"That still happens. Everywhere. I currently have already recouped everything I've paid into the UK and Luxembourg systems. I could never have saved anything like the amount I'd need to buy an annuity for my total pensions. Two months' pension would have paid for outright the five bedrooom house I bought on mortage in 1963. One month's pension is more than 25 times what I earned in total in a month to start on my first job in 1956 (as a feature writer on a million-and-a-half readership Fleet Street magazine.

There 's no way any scheme based on savings and reinvestment could have given that kind of return."

And then he does not call the current SS System in the USA,as a "Ponzi" scheme, totally drived me crazy. For a matter of fact, my parents bought a new home in about 1959, consisting of only three small bedrooms, and maybe 1,200 sq. feet, for $13,500 and Graham wants us to believe that his "Two month pension" today would have paid totally for the same home, he is either rather lucky, or he fell fullly down the rabbit hole. What I mean is that my parents paid $13,500 for a home in 1959, and taking Graham's post as truth, then we must consider that a five bedroom home, even in a poor nation like Luxembourg, must have cost at least as much in 1963, and thus, Graham must now receive as a "gift from the currently taxed" a check for at least $6,500 per month for his words to be creditible. That is $6,500 X 2, equals $13,000!

Now perhaps Graham purchased a five bedroom hovel, deep into an almost impentreable valley, full of theives, and other "n'er do wells", or Gypsies, etc., that was not really worth too much?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=n'er%20do%20wells

But, I really doubt, that in the case of any property within the boundaries of his nation, that such properties actually existed, even in 1963. (A stupid sentence but I will leave it alone.)

But, even if Graham's five bedroom home only cost him $10,000 in 1963, he would now be making from his version of SS, $5,000 per month!

But, perhaps Graham will explain it?

And when I mentioned the use of the "Printing Press" to manufacture "coin of the realm", he said "So?"

"So" means invariably to rampant inflation, at least that is my impression. But perhaps Graham or the "Good Doctor" will explain that little thing away also?

I expect a quick and evasive reply.

Regards,
Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 08:58
You are wearing your welcome "thin", Opuslola, with your insistence on aspersions against others as an integral part of your postings. You can not argue with the historical fact that the first "recipient" of a Social Security check did receive more in payments than any amount she paid as "contribution". Ida May Fuller of Vermont is no secret and for a total contribution of $24.75 paid between 1934 and 1939, she received $22,888.92 from 1940 to 1975. Further, the constant blather against the SSA as a "Ponzi Scheme" is little other than ridiculous hyperbole. Likewise, inflation as an economic descriptive is not the product of a government simply printing excess notes [besides such has nothing to do with how the Federal Reserve actually operates]. I certainly can assert that in the past five years I have received in total payments from the SSA far more than I contributed and certainly more than the cost of my first "home", which was $42,000 US1965$.
 
If there is a myth rolling around, it is that personal savings will produce anyone an income against the future. Now that one is balderdash since I am still the recipient on an ancestral mortemain trust (call it an annuity) that while glowing as late as the 1960s, its present annual return of $6,000 while comfortable in 1960 places one significantly below the poverty-level today. Your claims are little more than the fodder for the selling of penny stocks as a hedge for future prosperity. There are no "Magic Numbers" and my great grandmother always blessed the day her husband believed none of it and kept his coin in the strongbox and not in the local bank, which went South rather quickly in 1927!


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 09:04
It seems Doctor, that you and I have lived in totally differing nations. And, that we saw totally differing outcomes, or since you seem so fond of saying, you seem to be my total "obverse" side.

How you could live so long and be so wrong, is totally beyond me.

But, I deferr to your age and wisdom.

Regards,

Ron

Actually Dr., after reading literally hundreds of your postitings, it really seems that we have much more in common than I let on above.

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 12:55
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

And then he does not call the current SS System in the USA,as a "Ponzi" scheme, totally drived me crazy. For a matter of fact, my parents bought a new home in about 1959, consisting of only three small bedrooms, and maybe 1,200 sq. feet, for $13,500 and Graham wants us to believe that his "Two month pension" today would have paid totally for the same home, he is either rather lucky, or he fell fullly down the rabbit hole. What I mean is that my parents paid $13,500 for a home in 1959, and taking Graham's post as truth, then we must consider that a five bedroom home, even in a poor nation like Luxembourg, must have cost at least as much in 1963, and thus, Graham must now receive as a "gift from the currently taxed" a check for at least $6,500 per month for his words to be creditible. That is $6,500 X 2, equals $13,000!

Now perhaps Graham purchased a five bedroom hovel, deep into an almost impentreable valley, full of theives, and other "n'er do wells", or Gypsies, etc., that was not really worth too much?
I think you might find that housing prices, pension payments, and inflation rates vary significantly between countries. I also wonder what you mean by "poor nation of Luxemburg", but I assume you're being sarcastic.
My grandmother bought her house for 3000 pounds (AU$6000) in 1963. $6000 is two months of the average salary in Aus, and I am sure that some people get that amount in pension/superannuation so by niether your nor my calcs do Grahams look unreasonable.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 22:32
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Thanks Panther, it is good to sometimes have a favorable post directed towwards me, rather than the double team of the detractors.

If Graham is really being truthful to us, concerning his pension, that he stated that "Two months" of his present day pension would have paid for his "five bedroom home in his present place of residence in 1963, but wait a moment, here are his exact words;
(a) I did not say 'in my present place of residence' at all. In 1963 I was living in Southampton and the price was in sterling: today I live in Luxembourg and my pensions are mostly in euros and the rest sterling. I would accept that part of the gain results from my moving to Luxembourg, and I would not have been doing so well had I stayed in Britain. And I have no idea what the situation was in the US in 1963, which is totally irrelevant to my point.
(b) My house was 60 years old at the time, and needed a little modernisation. However it was in a street where residents were doctors and lawyers and the like. It cost me £3,000 and my present State pensions come to £1,500 a month approximately (depending somewhat on the euro/sterling exchange rate.
 
If you can find something you now something about then stick to it. Otherwise you are spouting nonsense, because you are taking no account at all of currency differences, and for some reason yattering on about dollar prices. 
Quote
"That still happens. Everywhere. I currently have already recouped everything I've paid into the UK and Luxembourg systems. I could never have saved anything like the amount I'd need to buy an annuity for my total pensions. Two months' pension would have paid for outright the five bedrooom house I bought on mortage in 1963. One month's pension is more than 25 times what I earned in total in a month to start on my first job in 1956 (as a feature writer on a million-and-a-half readership Fleet Street magazine.

There 's no way any scheme based on savings and reinvestment could have given that kind of return."

And then he does not call the current SS System in the USA,as a "Ponzi" scheme, totally drived me crazy. For a matter of fact, my parents bought a new home in about 1959, consisting of only three small bedrooms, and maybe 1,200 sq. feet, for $13,500 and Graham wants us to believe that his "Two month pension" today would have paid totally for the same home, he is either rather lucky, or he fell fullly down the rabbit hole. What I mean is that my parents paid $13,500 for a home in 1959, and taking Graham's post as truth, then we must consider that a five bedroom home, even in a poor nation like Luxembourg,
I don't know where you get 'poor' from. Luxembourg is one of the richest countries per capita in the world.
 
Moreover your parents $13,500 in 1959 would have been about £4,800 compared with the £3,000 I paid in Southampton four years later (and long before the big property booms started). So that means my present State pensions would pay for your parents house in about three months rather than two. Which doesn't alter my point much, because no private institution would guarantee that rate of return either.
Quote
 
 must have cost at least as much in 1963, and thus, Graham must now receive as a "gift from the currently taxed" a check for at least $6,500 per month for his words to be creditible. That is $6,500 X 2, equals $13,000!

Now perhaps Graham purchased a five bedroom hovel, deep into an almost impentreable valley, full of theives, and other "n'er do wells", or Gypsies, etc., that was not really worth too much?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=n'er%20do%20wells

But, I really doubt, that in the case of any property within the boundaries of his nation, that such properties actually existed, even in 1963. (A stupid sentence but I will leave it alone.)

But, even if Graham's five bedroom home only cost him $10,000 in 1963, he would now be making from his version of SS, $5,000 per month!

But, perhaps Graham will explain it?
I just did. It cost me £3,000 and I get £1,500 a month. If I had sent my whole working life in Luxembourg I would be getting at least double that.
 
Now due to the vagaries of currenciy exchanges, £3,000 in 1963 was worth $8,400 and £1,500 now is only worth about $2,400 so in terms of current dollars the ratio would only be about 3.5 instead of 2.0 but I was working in sterling, not in dollars - why would you think I was using dollars?
Quote
And when I mentioned the use of the "Printing Press" to manufacture "coin of the realm", he said "So?"

"So" means invariably to rampant inflation, at least that is my impression. But perhaps Graham or the "Good Doctor" will explain that little thing away also?
Doesn't need explaining (at least the answer doesn't, the question itself shows something of a confused mind).
Of course increasing the money supply is in some instances - probably most - inflationary: every country that I know of that has inflation control targets, sets them as greater than zero - usually 2.3%. But that is not bnecessarily rampant, and anyway in some situations, as for instance where people are oversaving, or the banks are callingin loans, government action in increasing the money supply only counteracts the deflationary effect.
 
And deflation is a far worse danger than inflation. 
Quote

I expect a quick and evasive reply.
 
You get a quick one but not an evasive one. Do try and get in touch with the real world one day.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2011 at 09:05
And, my dear Graham, I surely hope you will someday rejoin the "real world" also?

Perhaps some other oldtimers, unlike you and the "Good Doctor", will have something to say.

But, perhaps they will be "doubleteamed", as you both have alternatively done me, be scared to post!

It seems, that by your status upon this list, you two also seem to tend to support one another.

So, it seems the only alternative to your view of the world, or your views of the world of the past, (Even if it is only 50 or so years) will be allowed to be presented with some type of respect.

Lowering regards for both of you ensue.

Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2011 at 09:33
Well, as matters steadily decline from the boring to the boorish, the Detroit skyline with its Renaissance Center has faded in the distance. How the nature of the Social Security program or the decline of the purchasing power of the dollar can be associated with the toil and trouble of the Motor City is more than a bit bizarre...could one say it is but the current phase of Voodoo Economics?
 
Anyway, apparently some do not wish to discuss Detroit but find both my persona and that of Gcle far more interesting; hence, what can one say over these repeated childish proclamations of persecution? Now there is a level of slapstick humour here; to be portrayed as braces to another's trousers does bring a chortle to this throat with but one conclusion possible, someone is definitely sore down the bum!
 
Perhaps a riposte in the style of "Patrick Dennis" is in order...but somehow I believe that even East Coast jollity as grasped by a Chicagoan would hardly be appreciated much less understood.
 
By the way Edward Everett Tanner III did have two egos--Patrick Dennis and Virginia Rowans.


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2011 at 13:02
The "Good Doctor" wrote above:

"Anyway, apparently some do not wish to discuss Detroit but find both my persona and that of Gcle far more interesting; hence, what can one say over these repeated childish proclamations of persecution? Now there is a level of slapstick humour here; to be portrayed as braces to another's trousers does bring a chortle to this throat with but one conclusion possible, someone is definitely sore down the bum!"

And, the above is amongst the best words of the "Good Doctor" that could be translated from his post. The last words of the above are far beyond the understanding of moder men or women!

So, I shall not change one bit of my previous posts!

Ron (no regards to you doctor, but perhaps I will reserve some for Graham?)



-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2011 at 14:08
Save the gas, opuslola, you might need it to get to Pascagoula. Now why don't you be a good boy and go back to Cyrus and play your games there. You have definitely worn out any welcome here...you have obviously forgotten that nothing ever disappears from the ethers of the WWW.

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense



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