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Author Topic: What America Needs to Return to Normalcy  (Read 2495 times)
and then a skeleton popped out
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« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2011, 01:56:09 am »
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The one thing that is unaffordable right now is the federal budget. How consumers and companies spend/invest their earnings is their business, not yours or mine or anybody else's, so I would suggest avoiding value judgments about people "overspending" on "overpriced crap." Such negative sentiments among the population at large is not going to produce economic growth moving forward.

Consumers and companies have the means to spend far more than they are, but they are not doing so because they are afraid of the future. We need to eliminate this fear if we want the economy to recover, grow, and create new jobs.

It's not negative, it's realistic. I'm also sick of that garbage. As soon as criticisms come out, it's negative and unproductive. What's negative and unproductive is false positivity. Trying to pretend the problems we face aren't real is far more detrimental than acknowledging that we have problems. A negative rate of savings in the country is an unbelievably shocking and disturbing figure. That's overspending no matter how you cut it. An average of Americans spending more money than they have. I don't know how anyone can say it's inappropriate to call ourselves out there. Same goes for the housing market. I don't see how anyone could argue that wasn't overpriced. And most of the stuff we buy is marked up by astronomical proportions. It's getting cheaper to make things and more expensive to buy them. A lot of crap we buy is also designed to be low quality so we're forced to buy new crap sooner rather than later. Not negative. Realistic.

Please see the edits I made while you were responding (sorry, I did not know you would respond today, or I would not have done the edits).

The only points I would add is that a high savings rate among most of the population does not necessarily lead to desirable results (See: Japan).

Secondly, most things are cheaper or of better quality today versus thirty years ago when you adjust for inflation (my personal recommendation is to do your research if most of your stuff is failing before a year is up. I definitely know where you are coming from because I have fallen victim to that myself. The best you can do is not re-buy the same product by the same company. Try another company's product until you get the value you deserve. That is how this sort of thing gets corrected. Research, and learn from mistakes/bad purchases/investments). Also, let's not forget how many goods/services are available today that were not around 10, 20, 30 years ago. We are progressing.

Finally, what you call positivity I call optimism. And America definitely needs to rejuvenate itself with a good dose of it soon. This malaise is not how things need to be.

Your points didn't add anything. Our consumption is our biggest fault. I'm not saying the singular cure to our problems and all problems is saving, it's a huge first step in solving the US' problems. We spend and waste our money with our voracious appetite for essentially useless novelty goods (as evidenced by the massive use of social networking). If we didn't overspend so much on things that lose value so rapidly (and are designed to do so) we'd have more money to spend on actual growth. The only growth we experience now is in growing the same companies making the same things the same terrible way. Planned obsolescence is something I'm assuming you've never heard of. It's very real and a definite problem we're facing as it grows out of control. Many of our largest industries are built entirely on planned obsolescence. It's lazy business and we eat it up. We buy, buy, buy to replace all the things we throw out after way too little time. It has nothing to do with the things I personally buy, but I appreciate the unnecessary and irrelevant concern.

And whatever you choose to call not solving the problems we face, I'll just keep calling it what it is. It's ignorance at its core.
I agree. Does it stand to reason then that you oppose government policies targeted at artificially increasing demand through tax credits, loans, and other stimulus?
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That has got to be one of the most retarded proposals I have read on this forum.

Don't worry, I'm sure more will crop up shortly.
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« Reply #51 on: October 28, 2011, 10:28:57 am »
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The issues that effect the need for a return to normalicy are far deeper than many here understand. It will require this nation to take a really long look at herself. The United States has been in an identity crises for a generation or better. To quote President Reagan, " Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." This goes far beyond the dichotomy of our left-right paradigm. Many of our cherished bulwarks of liberty are in such danger that no one man can lead the way back.

Can you translate that in English please?

We need a Great Awakening the likes that haven't been seen since the 1850's
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« Reply #52 on: October 28, 2011, 10:42:01 am »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 03:50:35 pm by Link »Logged

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« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2011, 10:43:21 am »
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The issues that effect the need for a return to normalicy are far deeper than many here understand. It will require this nation to take a really long look at herself. The United States has been in an identity crises for a generation or better. To quote President Reagan, " Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." This goes far beyond the dichotomy of our left-right paradigm. Many of our cherished bulwarks of liberty are in such danger that no one man can lead the way back.

Can you translate that in English please?

Reagan was full of chit.
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« Reply #54 on: October 28, 2011, 03:42:22 pm »
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The one thing that is unaffordable right now is the federal budget. How consumers and companies spend/invest their earnings is their business, not yours or mine or anybody else's, so I would suggest avoiding value judgments about people "overspending" on "overpriced crap." Such negative sentiments among the population at large is not going to produce economic growth moving forward.

Consumers and companies have the means to spend far more than they are, but they are not doing so because they are afraid of the future. We need to eliminate this fear if we want the economy to recover, grow, and create new jobs.

It's not negative, it's realistic. I'm also sick of that garbage. As soon as criticisms come out, it's negative and unproductive. What's negative and unproductive is false positivity. Trying to pretend the problems we face aren't real is far more detrimental than acknowledging that we have problems. A negative rate of savings in the country is an unbelievably shocking and disturbing figure. That's overspending no matter how you cut it. An average of Americans spending more money than they have. I don't know how anyone can say it's inappropriate to call ourselves out there. Same goes for the housing market. I don't see how anyone could argue that wasn't overpriced. And most of the stuff we buy is marked up by astronomical proportions. It's getting cheaper to make things and more expensive to buy them. A lot of crap we buy is also designed to be low quality so we're forced to buy new crap sooner rather than later. Not negative. Realistic.

Please see the edits I made while you were responding (sorry, I did not know you would respond today, or I would not have done the edits).

The only points I would add is that a high savings rate among most of the population does not necessarily lead to desirable results (See: Japan).

Secondly, most things are cheaper or of better quality today versus thirty years ago when you adjust for inflation (my personal recommendation is to do your research if most of your stuff is failing before a year is up. I definitely know where you are coming from because I have fallen victim to that myself. The best you can do is not re-buy the same product by the same company. Try another company's product until you get the value you deserve. That is how this sort of thing gets corrected. Research, and learn from mistakes/bad purchases/investments). Also, let's not forget how many goods/services are available today that were not around 10, 20, 30 years ago. We are progressing.

Finally, what you call positivity I call optimism. And America definitely needs to rejuvenate itself with a good dose of it soon. This malaise is not how things need to be.

Your points didn't add anything. Our consumption is our biggest fault. I'm not saying the singular cure to our problems and all problems is saving, it's a huge first step in solving the US' problems.

What do you think is going to happen to demand for goods/services within the entire economy if EVERYBODY starts saving at a dramatic rate? Again, the purpose of production is consumption. To keep things as simple as possible: If everybody is consuming less, firms are going to produce less in response. Generally, firms need fewer inputs when output is lowered. What is usually the largest input and the easiest variable cost to lower? Labor. In other words, and not to sound like a broken record but you really need to realize the linkages, if everybody is consuming less, firms are going to produce less in response and they will lay off workers in the process. More unemployment in the short-run, which is not what we need right now. Exporting will not pick up the slack either, so do not waste my time trying to bring that up.

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We spend and waste our money with our voracious appetite for essentially useless novelty goods

You seem to have a fundamental problem with people being free to choose how to spend their income. Why is that? One man's "useless novelty good" is another man's sole source of happiness, to put it one way (Trust me, the vast, vast majority of people on the planet would find this website useless and completely unnecessary, but we derive pleasure from it. Who should have the right to say, "No, we're not going to allow you to enjoy this website anymore"?). Do you not realize that you really have no idea what is best for anybody other than yourself and perhaps your family? What is wrong with allowing people to buy and sell whatever it is they wish? Why should we restrict individual freedom?

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The only growth we experience now is in growing the same companies making the same things the same terrible way.

There are plenty of great goods/services out there from my vantage point. It is unfortunate that you think the entire global economy is a piece of crap. Perhaps you should write a letter to Ted Kaczynski about it?

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Planned obsolescence is something I'm assuming you've never heard of. It's very real and a definite problem we're facing as it grows out of control.

Of course I am aware of planned obsolescence, but you are forgetting something: Nobody in America is forced to buy any product by any company. Just go visit an Amish community sometime if you do not believe me. In fact, you might feel happier among them since you are apparently so distraught with our current society. You are more than free to join them if that is what you desire.

Quote
Many of our largest industries are built entirely on planned obsolescence. It's lazy business and we eat it up.

I do not fall into that trap, and it's really not a problem for our economy either. If anything, it keeps the economy growing as more and more products are produced and consumed. It also presumably makes those who consume these products happier otherwise it does not make sense for them to engage in the activity of buying a new iPod, iPhone, Mac, or whatever every year or two.

Again, you seem to have a fundamental problem with people being free to choose how to live their life. Why is that?

 
Quote
And whatever you choose to call not solving the problems we face, I'll just keep calling it what it is. It's ignorance at its core.

The only ignorance is believing that trillion dollar deficits are sustainable, and believing that putting government agencies in greater control of our economy is going to produce real growth. It does not work because the government is not very good at doing much of anything, let alone everything, outside of the areas it is best suited to specialize (i.e., law/order, basic infrastructure). I mean, if the government cannot even get something like Afghanistan under control in the matter of a decade, what in the hell makes you think they should have an extremely firm grip over something as complicated as a national economy consisting of 300+ million people, and literally billions of transactions/variables?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 03:59:15 pm by Politico »Logged

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« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2011, 03:51:52 pm »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?

The OP is a partisan hack.

If you think it's morning in America again, you have not spoken to any of the millions of Americans who are looking for work. And you certainly have not had private conversations with foreigners abroad as I have, who are laughing at America's troubles and who think Obama is great because America is on the decline and he has been ineffective in helping to turn the tide.

Things have not been this bad in a long, long time. Obama had his chance, and now it's Romney's chance. That does not make me a partisan hack. I am still a registered Democrat, in fact, and have never been a registered Republican.

Romney has been a successful executive everywhere he has been his entire life. I have no reason to believe he will not be a successful executive in the White House. I do know that Obama is not a successful executive, so he needs to be replaced. That is how progress is made in the real world. Giving incompetents a second chance is how you end up with nasty things like the second term of George W. Bush. I would rather not see the sequel to that mess.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 03:57:57 pm by Politico »Logged

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« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2011, 04:01:12 pm »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?


And you certainly have not had private conversations with foreigners abroad as I have, who are laughing at America's troubles and who think Obama is great because America is on the decline and he has been ineffective in helping to turn the tide.

My girlfriend is European.  We have a lot of very private conversations.
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« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2011, 05:18:23 pm »
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I don't know what I've done to insult you, Politico. But this conversation is veering in all sorts of directions I don't really want to go in. I will say that I would fully expect a massive economic contraction to occur should we start saving. Companies specializing in luxury goods, the most up-marked of them all, would start failing or be forced to come back down to reality. Also coming down to reality would be our bloated production of poor quality goods as people would start being concerned with any bit of quality. I don't blame people for their actions at all, so again I don't see why you're so perturbed by what I'm saying. It doesn't seem to be that you're understanding my point at all. Companies that collude or dominate markets (of which there are many, just google it quickly and you'll get the gist of it) force our hands. If the government did its job, they wouldn't be able to do that. So again, a lot of our poor purchasing habits aren't our faults at all. And the things that bring people "happiness" to me are embarrassingly wrong. Perhaps I am overstepping my bounds, but to me if someone's happiness is solely invested in objects being sold to them...well, that's sad and a sign of a very broken society. And it's not as though I'm passing judgement. From right where I'm sitting my BlackBerry, Dell laptop, Samsung TV remote, GameCube, Sony stereo remote, Sony sound dock remote, and many more incredibly expensive and essentially meaningless things are all within reach. It's bothersome to say the least and I'm not at all suggesting I'm above the consumerism that plagues our society. As many on here would likely relish in pointing out, I may be the poster boy here for consumerism and just about everything wrong with this country. My concern with the way we all behave is absolutely a a matter of concern with freedom. Only in the exact opposite direction you seem to think. The things we buy do enhance certain aspects of our lives. But the amount we spend on them and how well they function and enhance our lives are wildly disproportionate. For an easy example of how this is out of our control and how we largely have no choice in what we spend on, I point to viral YouTube videos. Regardless of quality, they rapidly become wildly popular. Why? Because other people are watching them. We are slaves to consumerism. Too much freedom tricks us into a state of less freedom. Unrelated, yet in the same vein is our lack of interest in zoning restrictions. A perfect example of too much freedom restricting our freedom is the strip mall. Rampant development is forcing us into our cars more often by spreading out our towns and making walkable cities impossible. That's not freedom. We're forced into the situation by artificially low prices at the gas pump, mega stores, and chain stores. They're afforded an advantage by "freedom" that restricts our freedoms. Giving business freedom is not the same as giving people freedom. We don't have a choice in many cases to choose what we'd actually prefer because of market manipulations. Our government needs to step up and give control and freedom back to consumers. Supply side economics is oppressive and unsustainable for, with a lack of a better term, the 99%.
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« Reply #58 on: October 28, 2011, 05:58:54 pm »
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See, this sort of idealism is exactly why local government needs to be strengthened, not weakened.  Insane liberals who want "walking cities" with no cars can create the cities of their dreams and not infect the rest of us who enjoy the convenience and warmth (in the winter) of our cars with it.  Every time I see those unclean, voluntarily jobless hipsters walking the streets parasitically absorbing the fruits of everyone else's labor, I want to vomit.  These ideas are the sort that get spawned in the bowels of a coffee shop while people suckle down their food group of $7.00 non-fat organic chai lattes with light cream.   

The problem is that they want to force all of us into their utopia.  In reality, they have no respect for the lifestyles of others and show particular hostility to individuals who are Christian or Jewish.  In pursuit of their utopia, they force everyone else to live as they do - to heal their false god, mother nature, as their role models live entirely different lives than they do - elevated lives, lives of conscience and consideration, worthy of special treatment.  The rest of us simply become identical bricks - our individuality only determined by our willingness to continually cover (in their view) our flaws.

And, see, I don't even disagree with all of what you say Fezzy.  There is a rampant consumerism that dumbs and dulls the masses.  People have become dependent on electronic trinkets to guide their every move (In fact, I rarely encounter a person like me who shuns GPS devices in favor of discovering things for myself).  It's supported by government and encouraged and doesn't truly represent a free market.  It represents pure laziness, unsocial behavior and a willingness to believe anything a dark chap down the road will tell them.
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« Reply #59 on: October 28, 2011, 06:31:08 pm »
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You see, the problem with what you bring up is the personal basis of the argument, az/nh. Who cares what those other people think? If the result is positive and you agree with certain aspects, who cares about your differences? It's such a negative look on it. It's another aspect of our culture that bothers me. Highlight the differences and bash the positives you yourself agree with for the sake of not associating yourself with the filth that also supports it. It's part of our mass conformity. Hating a belief for who believes in it is absolutely absurd. While I was living in Austria, it was actually inspiring to see the way the town I lived in functioned. It was an actual community, not a haphazard conglomeration of similar people who have no interest in the people surrounding them. After school, kids would go downtown to meet up with one another. After work, adults would do the same. They wanted to be together, even in the bitter cold. People weren't holding judgments or looking down on any other people. The focus was what they had in common, not their differences. In our society, it's the exact opposite dynamic. That's what bothers me. That and the fact that viewing the opposite as better means someone is a dirty, ignorant, hippy with no grasp of reality. Really? Why? Just because some over-privileged brats think it's trendy to do those things? Who cares? That doesn't change the fact that it's a good direction to be going in. I've never suggested outlawing cars or mandating an urban life. All I suggest is ending the unsustainable subsidy of an undesirable suburban culture built on division and waste.
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« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2011, 07:18:31 pm »
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You see, the problem with what you bring up is the personal basis of the argument, az/nh. Who cares what those other people think? If the result is positive and you agree with certain aspects, who cares about your differences? It's such a negative look on it. It's another aspect of our culture that bothers me. Highlight the differences and bash the positives you yourself agree with for the sake of not associating yourself with the filth that also supports it. It's part of our mass conformity. Hating a belief for who believes in it is absolutely absurd. While I was living in Austria, it was actually inspiring to see the way the town I lived in functioned. It was an actual community, not a haphazard conglomeration of similar people who have no interest in the people surrounding them. After school, kids would go downtown to meet up with one another. After work, adults would do the same. They wanted to be together, even in the bitter cold. People weren't holding judgments or looking down on any other people. The focus was what they had in common, not their differences. In our society, it's the exact opposite dynamic. That's what bothers me. That and the fact that viewing the opposite as better means someone is a dirty, ignorant, hippy with no grasp of reality. Really? Why? Just because some over-privileged brats think it's trendy to do those things? Who cares? That doesn't change the fact that it's a good direction to be going in. I've never suggested outlawing cars or mandating an urban life. All I suggest is ending the unsustainable subsidy of an undesirable suburban culture built on division and waste.

But see, our differences are what makes this country special.  Our differences allow us to do more as a nation than other nations.  We each have the ability to do something or be something special.  I just said that the result of what they want is not positive unless it is done within their own spheres (why local govt again needs to be strengthened against giant state/federal govt).  I do have an interest in the people surrounding me - I critique those particular individuals because I don't like lazy people.  And they are lazy, as is this generation and I'm not even that old and can see it.  They sit around and dream up ideas to force upon the rest of society.  Instead of creating a special place set aside for themselves - which we can do in this country, they demand federal regulations that force us to live and exist the way they do. 
I don't see totalitarianism as a "good direction to be going in".  I don't see rule by the uncontributing few to be a "good direction to be going in".  And a pampered suburban culture is what produced those individuals I just described.  These same people told us that the polar bears were dying 10 years ago and that all of us had to change our lifestyles when lo and behold the polar bear population has increased by 400%.
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« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2011, 07:54:19 pm »
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The differences I'm talking about are in the sense of disagreement, not personality or beliefs. You're not critiquing the people around you, you're critiquing a hypothetical person you've never even met. A thoroughly lazy and insincere task. It's easy to hurl insults at people you don't know. The people that surround you are the people you see every day. The people that live where you live and do things you do.

And as this conversation also spirals towards irrelevance, I'd ask above all else; What totalitarianism? That of the corporate world we now live under? Or the one I'm suggesting where the people hold the power? And who is lazy? The protesters? Every single one of them? How so? And who cares even if they are? How does that change anything? Pinning ideas to the messenger is laziness, since we're focusing on that aspect. It's avoiding the issue at hand and targeting a much more easy concept to oppose.

I'm personally finding it more and more difficult to live among a people so closed-off and hostile. Comments like "creating a special place set aside for themselves" are bizarre. I don't want to withdraw from society, I want to be a part of a society that has interest in itself. Telling people to go away and do their own thing is ridiculous. Why would I want to separate myself from the people I've grown up with and live with now? And why would people want to suggest I do so? All I've suggested is that we come together and let our similarities highlight the greatness of our differences. It is possible, I've lived it in a very real place. Yet I'm talked down to like some societal parasite for thinking I should be able to connect with my peers and neighbors. This country in general has some deep, deep problems that I'm losing faith we can fix. The hostility towards positivity makes it impossible.
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« Reply #62 on: October 28, 2011, 09:54:20 pm »
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What is the alternative? Re-elect Obama and hope things change for the better? I say, "no we can't" to that.


So your solution is to return to the policies that put us right where we are in this mess? Ok.

Of course not. Romney's proposal is like a Clinton/Reagan-style proposal for the 2010s. It is like taking the best of Reaganomics along with the best of Clintonomics, and fusing them together for the 2010s while shedding the parts that do not make sense for this decade.

Now that makes sense.
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« Reply #63 on: October 28, 2011, 10:38:47 pm »
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What is the alternative? Re-elect Obama and hope things change for the better? I say, "no we can't" to that.


YES, WE CAN!

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Personally, I like a growing, confident America, not an America that is mired in malaise and decline.

Most of the fear seems to have been generated by bureaucratic elites who serve as enforcers of tycoons. The Hard Right idea of 'good' competition is that in which working people compete to determine who will be most productive while being squeezed most. Such, if successful on its own terms, ensures 'decline' through degradation of the work force... and something nastier than any 'malaise' that we have known at any time.

Nonsense that is not even worthy of a response. Then again, you are from Michigan, so I am not surprised you are fine with Michigan-style malaise contaminating the rest of America.

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Promises? Obama has kept more promises.

Once again:



Barack Obama has scrupulously avoided scaring markets, which is a good idea. What do you think he is -- a Marxist-Leninist?  His official prediction of the economy underestimated the severity of the economic meltdown of the year and a half that began in the autumn of 2007 (under Dubya and the result of economic policies that Bush and GOP majorities promoted before 2007) He also over-estimated the speed of the recovery, especially with respect to unemployment.

The economic meltdown was more severe than most people predicted.  I am one of those who predicted a 1929-style crash followed by a steep and protracted contraction. I couldn't predict how long it would be; I predicted that what would keep it from being as protracted as that of 1929-1932 was that we had stronger institutions (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, FDIC insurance, and welfare) that would create a higher floor for economic ruin.

http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/charts/markets/TotalReturn/4-bad-bears.html?4-bad-bears.gif

That graph is not made for political purposes. A claim that the stimulus made things worse is specious. It violates the mainstream in economic theory and analysis. Could it have been the wrong sort of stimulus? Absolutely! It was directed more at rescuing bad actors in the American economy instead of WPA-like and CCC-like job-creating and skill-developing programs. But if the financial sector had failed, then just imagine how much else could have failed. Many companies would have found no way in which to meet payrolls.

The Romney graph is a prime example of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. 

As for malaise -- we could easily have gotten far worse.
   

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« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2011, 06:12:05 pm »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?


And you certainly have not had private conversations with foreigners abroad as I have, who are laughing at America's troubles and who think Obama is great because America is on the decline and he has been ineffective in helping to turn the tide.

My girlfriend is European.  We have a lot of very private conversations.

I suggest increasing your sample size, and conducting your conversations off American soil.
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« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2011, 06:38:59 pm »
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I don't know what I've done to insult you, Politico.

I have never felt insulted on here. I just feel like you have a fundamental problem with people being free to choose how to live their life. That is not something that insults me, but it is certainly a position that I will always oppose wherever I see it. I also believe nobody knows what is best for anybody other than them self and perhaps their family. I may be wrong, but I feel like you believe you know what is best for other people. There are certainly plenty of people out there who think that. It does not insult me, but again: I will oppose it.

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I will say that I would fully expect a massive economic contraction to occur should we start saving.

Yes, and guess what that would also mean: The savings would leave us worse off than we were before. Who cares if some people have savings if unemployment is over 20%? And what do you think is going to happen to all of the savings of those who are not fortunate enough to maintain employment? Yep, it is going to vanish during the course of their unemployment. Do you really think this sort of scenario leaves anybody better off? It's very destructive what you are proposing, although you no doubt have good intentions...

Quote
Companies specializing in luxury goods, the most up-marked of them all, would start failing or be forced to come back down to reality. Also coming down to reality would be our bloated production of poor quality goods as people would start being concerned with any bit of quality. I don't blame people for their actions at all, so again I don't see why you're so perturbed by what I'm saying. It doesn't seem to be that you're understanding my point at all. Companies that collude or dominate markets (of which there are many, just google it quickly and you'll get the gist of it) force our hands.

What you are not comprehending is that companies do not force anybody's hands. Once again: No company in America forces anybody to purchase their product. Americans are free to choose how to spend their income or invest their savings, and that is the way things ought to remain.

Quote
If the government did its job, they wouldn't be able to do that.

Once again: The government is not very good at much of anything, let alone everything, outside of areas it must operate and should specialize in (i.e., law/order, basic infrastructure, defense). If you really think otherwise, I would suggest explaining why you think the government should have a firmer grip over our national economy when the government cannot even get Afghanistan under control in the course of a decade.

The government is very adept at ensuring antitrust laws are enforced, and economic competition is promoted to a large extent. You are not right in believing that the government is anti-competitive and engages in corporate cronyism. Take a trip abroad anywhere else in the world, including our closest allies (UK, Canada, Australia), if you really think the US government is less committed to a competitive economic environment than other nations. It is just not so.


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And the things that bring people "happiness" to me are embarrassingly wrong.

Again, people are free, and they're free to choose what they purchase to bring them happiness. It's not really right of me or you or anybody else to tell them, "No, you are wrong in deriving happiness from your purchasing patterns," or what have you.

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From right where I'm sitting my BlackBerry, Dell laptop, Samsung TV remote, GameCube, Sony stereo remote, Sony sound dock remote, and many more incredibly expensive and essentially meaningless things are all within reach.

If they were meaningless, why did you purchase them? Surely you thought these would enhance your standard of living, or else you would not have purchased the products, right? Or perhaps you made a mistake and have discovered these items do not bring you utility. In that case, why don't you sell the products, and spend your money on other things that will perhaps bring you better utility? There are literally billions of ways to spend your earnings/savings, and nobody is forcing you how to spend it (other than the government when it levies a tax on you with threat of punishment for noncompliance).

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My concern with the way we all behave is absolutely a a matter of concern with freedom. Only in the exact opposite direction you seem to think. The things we buy do enhance certain aspects of our lives. But the amount we spend on them and how well they function and enhance our lives are wildly disproportionate.

This is a value statement that one should only make about them self and perhaps their family, not anybody else. You really cannot make the argument that "people are getting precisely what they want right now, without anybody forcing them to behave as they do, but I disagree with them getting what they want, so I think they should be told what to do," and be in support of freedom. This is what you are engaging in whether or not you realize it.

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Regardless of quality, they rapidly become wildly popular. Why? Because other people are watching them. We are slaves to consumerism.

Nobody is forced to view anything nor purchase anything. People are free, not slaves. Again, people are free to join Amish communities if that is what they really want at an extreme level. People are free to choose, and I do not believe that is a problem.

Quote
Too much freedom tricks us into a state of less freedom. Unrelated, yet in the same vein is our lack of interest in zoning restrictions. A perfect example of too much freedom restricting our freedom is the strip mall. Rampant development is forcing us into our cars more often by spreading out our towns and making walkable cities impossible.

Again, people are free to work at the local level to prevent this sort of thing from happening. If people really want nothing to do with modern technology, I present the Amish alternative. There are plenty of other communes to satisfy this desire.

Quote
We're forced into the situation by artificially low prices at the gas pump, mega stores, and chain stores.

Prices are the determined by the laws of supply and demand, and many markets are largely free of government manipulation in the form of subsidization, so these low prices you speak of are the result of individuals pursuing their own, separate self-interest. It's emergence, or emergent order if you like. Nobody is really controlling it, nobody is forcing it upon anybody, and it is the best state possible (or, if you prefer, the worst state until you consider the alternatives).

Quote
They're afforded an advantage by "freedom" that restricts our freedoms. Giving business freedom is not the same as giving people freedom. We don't have a choice in many cases to choose what we'd actually prefer because of market manipulations. Our government needs to step up and give control and freedom back to consumers. Supply side economics is oppressive and unsustainable for, with a lack of a better term, the 99%.

If you want to get into that nonsense, AMERICA IS PART OF THE 1% OF THE WORLD! Are we really going to whine about whether one is less than 0.01% of the world or 0.99% of the world? The reason why we have what we have, why things are so good compared to the rest of the world, why the vast, vast, vast majority of America lives better today than King George III did in 1776, is because we do not have excessive government interference, or at least in comparison to most other nations. It is the miracle of free enterprise!
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« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2011, 06:48:41 pm »
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The differences I'm talking about are in the sense of disagreement, not personality or beliefs. You're not critiquing the people around you, you're critiquing a hypothetical person you've never even met. A thoroughly lazy and insincere task. It's easy to hurl insults at people you don't know. The people that surround you are the people you see every day. The people that live where you live and do things you do.

And as this conversation also spirals towards irrelevance, I'd ask above all else; What totalitarianism? That of the corporate world we now live under? Or the one I'm suggesting where the people hold the power? And who is lazy? The protesters? Every single one of them? How so? And who cares even if they are? How does that change anything? Pinning ideas to the messenger is laziness, since we're focusing on that aspect. It's avoiding the issue at hand and targeting a much more easy concept to oppose.

I'm personally finding it more and more difficult to live among a people so closed-off and hostile. Comments like "creating a special place set aside for themselves" are bizarre. I don't want to withdraw from society, I want to be a part of a society that has interest in itself. Telling people to go away and do their own thing is ridiculous. Why would I want to separate myself from the people I've grown up with and live with now? And why would people want to suggest I do so? All I've suggested is that we come together and let our similarities highlight the greatness of our differences. It is possible, I've lived it in a very real place. Yet I'm talked down to like some societal parasite for thinking I should be able to connect with my peers and neighbors. This country in general has some deep, deep problems that I'm losing faith we can fix. The hostility towards positivity makes it impossible.

I am sure there are plenty of neighbors/peers who would connect with you, but you cannot force anybody to connect with you. And it is antithetical to American freedom and individuality to try to force a certain way of life upon everybody. You are free to pursue happiness however you see fit within the confines of the law, but nobody is free to deny the pursuit of happiness to others.

Perhaps you need to come to the realization that we are NOT in this together, and you cannot change the way things are. You certainly cannot suggest restricting freedom without consequences, including opposition from neighbors/peers. The world does not care about you or me or anybody else, but it's no big deal, buddy. You need to take care of yourself and your family, and find ways to connect with others who wish to connect with you in the same way you wish to connect with them. Trust me, you will be a lot happier.
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« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2011, 06:49:09 pm »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?


And you certainly have not had private conversations with foreigners abroad as I have, who are laughing at America's troubles and who think Obama is great because America is on the decline and he has been ineffective in helping to turn the tide.

My girlfriend is European.  We have a lot of very private conversations.

I suggest increasing your sample size, and conducting your conversations off American soil.

Here is a partial picture of the degree I earned while living and working in Europe...



In case you didn't realise it you just got owned.  Please disengage from this futile line of attack and recant your obviously false statements.

By the way my current girlfriend is European, but so too was the Danish girl... and the Norwegian girl... and...  Get the picture young buck?  Frankly I wish my sample size was smaller.  I'm not old but it is time to get out of the game.  Leave some for the rest... know what I mean?
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« Reply #68 on: October 29, 2011, 06:50:41 pm »
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So Politico, I take it you support volunteerism?
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« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2011, 06:54:08 pm »
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Perhaps you need to come to the realization that we are NOT in this together

Well with that attitude...
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« Reply #70 on: October 29, 2011, 06:55:33 pm »
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I have been a lurker for sometime, but even I had to sign up and say something on this massive delusional post by the OP.

Seriously, Mitt Romney is going to restore the "America" brand around the world, the same man who waffles on simple domestic issues like the Ohio union bill, and he some how is going to be a strong leader?

Give me a break! Romney is a rich, pandering fraud who will say anything to get elected. He isn't strong or a decisive leader, he is a good-looking rich guy who believes who only core belief is "I should be president".

Barack Obama may not the strongest leader, but Christ I would take my chances with him then Willard.

Agreed.

First Obama has a 200,000 campaign rally in Berlin as a senator!  Next he collects a Nobel Peace Prize then went on to take out Bin Laden and a slew of other baddies.  After that he toppled Gaddafi without losing a single US soldier.  He sealed the deal on the South Korea trade pact.  He sealed the deal on the Columbia trade pact.  Iraq war ended.  I could go on.

I wonder what "restoration" needs to go on with the American brand?   The world is handing our president a Nobel Prize and having huge rallies in his honor.  What more do Republicans want?


And you certainly have not had private conversations with foreigners abroad as I have, who are laughing at America's troubles and who think Obama is great because America is on the decline and he has been ineffective in helping to turn the tide.

My girlfriend is European.  We have a lot of very private conversations.

I suggest increasing your sample size, and conducting your conversations off American soil.

Here is a partial picture of the degree I earned while living and working in Europe...



In case you didn't realise it you just got owned.  Please disengage from this futile line of attack and recant your obviously false statements.

I am willing to cede that it is possible your conversations abroad have been more amicable than mine. However, I am not making false statements. My experience leads me to belief that Europe loves Obama because America is failing under him. I certainly do not see the level of respect among Europeans that was there for Kennedy, Reagan or Clinton. The difference between those three and Obama: Again, America is failing under Obama.

Quote
By the way my current girlfriend is Europe, but so too was the Danish girl... and the Norwegian girl... and the Swedish girl... and the Irish girl... and the Austrian girl... and...  Get the picture young buck?  Frankly I wish my sample size was smaller.  I'm not old but it is time to get out of the game.  Leave some for the rest... know what I mean?

I hear you.
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« Reply #71 on: October 29, 2011, 06:57:08 pm »
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So Politico, I take it you support volunteerism?

I volunteer and I donate to charities. But I am not in favor of forcing that sort of thing upon anybody, and I am not going to judge others who do not engage in such activities. It is not my place.
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« Reply #72 on: October 29, 2011, 07:05:37 pm »
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Perhaps you need to come to the realization that we are NOT in this together

Well with that attitude...

I'm a realist, not an idealist.
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« Reply #73 on: October 29, 2011, 07:11:10 pm »
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I am willing to cede that it is possible your conversations abroad have been more amicable than mine. However, I am not making false statements. My experience leads me to belief that Europe loves Obama because America is failing under him. I certainly do not see the level of respect among Europeans that was there for Kennedy, Reagan or Clinton. The difference between those three and Obama: Again, America is failing under Obama.

A couple of things...

First of all you experience is purely anecdotal and so was mine.

Second point Europe is not monolithic.  I spent most of my time in a relatively small part of Europe.

Having said that my experience with Europeans is they are more cynical than Americans (Europeans please feel free to jump all over me about this broad generalization and stereotype).  Although they gladly allow more government involvement in their lives they don't see politicians as gods.  For example they have much less of a desire to have a "family values" politician telling them how to raise their children.  I routinely heard Europeans say cynical things about their own politicians and sometimes our president (although that was 95% of the time comments about Bush).

I frankly find people have a lot of admiration for Obama in Europe.  I find they have sort of a love hate relationship with America.  I think Americans take things way to personally.  My European friends do not wish ill upon America and they certainly never cheer if America is not doing well.  They do think we are fat war mongers but they admire our academic and business achievements.

To be perfectly honest you are the first person I have ever heard put forth this theory that Europeans are happy that America is having problems and that they think the source of the problems is Obama.

The first person to really have an indepth conversation with me about Obama was one of my bosses in Europe he was absolutely gushing.  I found it strange that he knew so much about a state senator.  I really don't think he was happy because he was hoping in a few years Obama would be president and ruin America.  I think that is a bit far fetched.
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« Reply #74 on: October 29, 2011, 07:15:04 pm »
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What is the alternative? Re-elect Obama and hope things change for the better? I say, "no we can't" to that.


YES, WE CAN!

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Personally, I like a growing, confident America, not an America that is mired in malaise and decline.

Most of the fear seems to have been generated by bureaucratic elites who serve as enforcers of tycoons. The Hard Right idea of 'good' competition is that in which working people compete to determine who will be most productive while being squeezed most. Such, if successful on its own terms, ensures 'decline' through degradation of the work force... and something nastier than any 'malaise' that we have known at any time.

Nonsense that is not even worthy of a response. Then again, you are from Michigan, so I am not surprised you are fine with Michigan-style malaise contaminating the rest of America.

Quote
Promises? Obama has kept more promises.

Once again:



Barack Obama has scrupulously avoided scaring markets, which is a good idea. What do you think he is -- a Marxist-Leninist?  His official prediction of the economy underestimated the severity of the economic meltdown of the year and a half that began in the autumn of 2007 (under Dubya and the result of economic policies that Bush and GOP majorities promoted before 2007) He also over-estimated the speed of the recovery, especially with respect to unemployment.

The economic meltdown was more severe than most people predicted.  I am one of those who predicted a 1929-style crash followed by a steep and protracted contraction. I couldn't predict how long it would be; I predicted that what would keep it from being as protracted as that of 1929-1932 was that we had stronger institutions (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, FDIC insurance, and welfare) that would create a higher floor for economic ruin.

http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/charts/markets/TotalReturn/4-bad-bears.html?4-bad-bears.gif

That graph is not made for political purposes. A claim that the stimulus made things worse is specious. It violates the mainstream in economic theory and analysis. Could it have been the wrong sort of stimulus? Absolutely! It was directed more at rescuing bad actors in the American economy instead of WPA-like and CCC-like job-creating and skill-developing programs. But if the financial sector had failed, then just imagine how much else could have failed. Many companies would have found no way in which to meet payrolls.

The Romney graph is a prime example of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.  

As for malaise -- we could easily have gotten far worse.
  



I had confidence that the stimulus would have been the right sort of stimulus that would produce the type of projections that were made in early 2009, but now I am beginning to think it was a boondoggle for special interests in return for support in 2008. Solyndra does not inspire a lot of confidence, and may merely be the tip of the iceberg. Over $800 billion in fiscal stimulus with these sort of results is unfathomable.

As for "we could have easily gotten far worse," failure is failure, and failure should not be rewarded unless you want more failure.

Obama had his chance, failed and now it's Romney's turn.
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