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Question: What do you say ?
Yeah, let Germany manage the Greek budget   -6 (17.6%)
Yeah, let the EU manage the Greek budget   -8 (23.5%)
No   -20 (58.8%)
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Total Voters: 33

Author Topic: Germany wants to take control of the Greek budget ?!  (Read 3075 times)
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« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2012, 06:37:46 pm »
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We observe those pesky Geneva conventions.  No wonder we're losing wars.  

The US observes the Geneva conventions? Since when?

Yes, the only part of an otherwise strongly sophisticated post that struck out as surprising, if only because it was coming from a die hard Paulite. Then again, he is a Paulite who was a diehard neocon in 2003.
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« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2012, 08:05:34 pm »
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diehard neocon in 2003.

/rolls eyes/

I was never a power projectionist.  I find it difficult to take any such accusation seriously, and I will assume for the moment that you're joking.  Or trolling.

As for the US armed forces observing rules of conduct, or prosecuting those who don't, then I'd say that, generally speaking, yes they do.  I realize that there have been some exceptions.  The Dachau massacre comes to mind.  The fifth army's commanders giving pistols to the liberated and letting them have a go at their captors.  And, to add insult to injury, they were acquitted upon court-martial.  I forget the details, but it was an egregious incident.

Of course, we also terrorized Dresden with our aerial assault.  And you can talk about other incidents.  Frankly, I think the way the Union and Confederate armies treated each other was appalling, although all that came before Geneva.  Come to think of it, our very nation was born of a violent, illegal insurrection.  And uncouth, at that.  Cornwallis was right to think the Yankee savage.

My point wasn't to defend the United States.  My point was very specific:  I was responding to the unambiguous, universally-quantified statement that we have the most "potent system of organized system of violence ever known to man."

I disagree.  

I do think that our most awe-inspiring act of organized violence was the total annihilation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  I recognize that there have been better body counts, both by the US and by others, but in terms of sheer organized violence that was probably the most impressive assault in our entire national history.  

I simply think that we have been bested.  In fact, in that same war both of our major enemies inflicted streamlined, unprovoked, no-looking-back assaults on their enemies, generally in Nanjing and in Poland, respectively, but elsewhere as well.  I think we never really exhibited that level of efficient, effective, sadistic violence.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It's just my opinion, of course, but it's not spur-of-the-moment.  Certainly you are free to disagree.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 09:36:52 pm by angus »Logged
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« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2012, 10:13:27 pm »
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diehard neocon in 2003.

/rolls eyes/

I was never a power projectionist.  I find it difficult to take any such accusation seriously, and I will assume for the moment that you're joking.  Or trolling.

My apologies, upon some searching through the archives, you did in fact declare your opposition to the war. I was thinking of this post, and making inferences based on a combination of your conversion to the GOP because it was the nationalist party, being a fan of Bush II, and what were the most salient issues at that time [December 29, 2003 being in particular a couple weeks after Saddam Hussein was captured, arguably the high point of neoconservative feeling in America, after April 2003]. In any case, I suspect that we largely agree in this discussion... as I was saying earlier. While the United States certainly possess the capability to destroy the world with our thousands of nuclear weapons, we may be a better country in that we would not actually do so in response to a threat by foreign investors to stop buying our bonds, which (a case can be made) makes us better than the organizers of the Holocaust and people who gang-rape women with bayonets. So I maintain in the end that our possession of our own currency is the main reason why we will not find ourselves in the same place as Greece.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 10:20:18 pm by Beet »Logged

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« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2012, 11:07:31 am »
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you did in fact declare your opposition to the war.

Only twice in my life have I felt so strongly motivated by an issue that I wrote to my US senators to instruct them in voting.  Once was in 1991, when I wrote Lloyd Bentsen and Phil Gramm, and asked them not to authorize force against Iraq, and again in 2002, when I wrote to Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and asked them not to authorize force against Iraq.  In each case I had one senator on my side and one against.  In each case the president's name was Bush.  In each case I was in the minority.  In each case I was opposed to elective wars.  I've been pretty consistently non-interventionist.

As for the German/Greek situation, I think that they're just wanting a return on their investment.  Obviously, it's an unreasonable demand, but you can't blame them for trying.  I'd like to see the whole currency unravel.  It would be painful at first, for markets worldwide, but in the end Germany and Greece would both benefit.  I was sad to see the Deutschmark disappear.  It has always been a stable currency and I'm something of a collector.  I have a number of commemorative and regular-issue BRD coins that I pulled from circulation the year that I lived in West Germany, and some DDR coins as well.  I also have some beautiful silver coins from the 1933-45 era, replete with hackenkreutz and eagle on the reverse and some politician's head on the obverse.  Additionally, I have a small number of pre-1918 coins as well, with the eagle wearing a crown on the obverse.  

You can tell quite a bit from a country's domestic situation by its coins.  The imperial period coins are of good quality.  Higher denominations in silver and lower demoninations in heavy transition metal alloys.  Nickel and zinc and such.  At some point, circa 1917, they start to get made of aluminum.  This is a tell-tale sign of stress.  (I don't have any of those 100 thousand Deutschmark notes with Martin Luther in 3/4 profile, from the Weimar Republic, but I've seen them in denominations as high as a million marks from the early- to mid-20s.)

Then, in the 1930s they go back to being good quality.  Paul von Hindenburg commemorative 2- and 5-Reichsmark pieces are silver, with lettered edges.  (Germans seem to prefer lettering and symbols rather than milling for edgework.)  Lower denomination pieces in grey transition metals.  1-, 2-, and 5-pfenning in copper or copper alloys.  Wheat encircling the reverse on them.  Not unlike the Lincoln cents 1909-59.  But then the coins go back to being ultracheap metals by around 1943.  (To be fair, the US used steel for cents that year as well, rather than copper, but we never went in for aluminum.)

By 1949 they're back on their feet.  From 1949-2001, lower denomination coins are alloys of zinc, a respectably heavy transition metal, and higher ones are alloys of nickel.  The obverse of the 1- and 2-mark coins feature the hungry German eagle.  The five-mark, especially, features a scrappy, ferocious eagle, prominently displaying razor-sharp talons.  His head is turned to the east and his mouth is wide open (as if to say, "Danzig ist Deutsch, bitches!")  Lots of commemorative pieces during that period as well.  I have a Max Planck 2 mark, an Albert Einstein 2 mark, and a 50th anniversary Institute of Archaeology 5-mark piece.  All nickel alloy, of course.  Gone is the silver and platinum, but to be fair the US also stopped minting our higher-denomination coins in silver by then.  My father was given a proof set of Bundeskanzlers 1949-79, in high silver content alloy.  I think they're five-mark pieces, but they were special issue, and I don't think you'd find them in circulation.

Meanwhile, during that period, DDR was minting prototypical socialist coins.  Aluminum and ultralightweight alloys, a sure sign of hard times.  Pick up a ten-pfenning piece from BRD and a ten-pfenning piece from DDR and weigh them in your hand, and even if you've never studied history or economics, you can immediately conclude that capitalism beats socialism.  Still, the hammer and compass symbols of workers united are very kitsch, so I like the DDR coins.

I also have a few bills.  20-, 10-, and 5-marks from the 70s.  I was never rich enough to pull much currency from circulation.  Same as my US collection:  It's mostly coins.  When I was a child and a stray silver certificate or United States Note would come my way, I'd pull it out if it's a 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, or 20-dollar bill, but anything higher and, well, you know how it is.

Then, they disappear.  Abruptly.  Last time I was in Europe was the semester that I worked in Amsterdam, fall 2003.  (Netherlands had even more festive currency.  It's a damn shame that these were lost to history.)  I had a colleague from "die bijbel belt," that southern part of Netherlands near Limburgh where folks are brimstone Calvinist and dry.  He had a nice collection of pre-2001 Guilder notes and coins stashed away, but one day his wife found it and traded it for Euros.  She said, "...but they're worthless, useless.  I traded them for useful currency."  He was furious, and rightfully so!

I've collected the lower denominations of all the euro pieces from the various member states.  The obverses are all the same, but the reverse features a tribute to miguel cervantes, for spain, or a harp, for Ireland, etc., so there is some collectibility, but to be honest, they're not very pretty, and they don't tell much history, and there's not a plethora of collectibles.  Moreover, you no longer have the wonderful travelers experience of getting to exchange Deutschmarks for Guilders when you cross the border.  How sad is that?

Ah, well, you can still exchange Quetzales for Pesos when you drive north from Guatemala into Mexico, and you can still exchanges Colones for Lempiras when you drive from El Salvador into Honduras.  I have a fairly complete collection of coins and currency from those states as well.  Hopefully, we won't ever make the horrible decision to prop up Central America the way the Germans decided to prop up Southern Europe.  
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 12:59:41 pm by angus »Logged
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« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2012, 02:29:38 pm »
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By 1949 they're back on their feet.  From 1949-2001, lower denomination coins are alloys of zinc, a respectably heavy transition metal, and higher ones are alloys of nickel.  The obverse of the 1- and 2-mark coins feature the hungry German eagle.  The five-mark, especially, features a scrappy, ferocious eagle, prominently displaying razor-sharp talons.  His head is turned to the east and his mouth is wide open (as if to say, "Danzig ist Deutsch, bitches!")  Lots of commemorative pieces during that period as well.  I have a Max Planck 2 mark, an Albert Einstein 2 mark, and a 50th anniversary Institute of Archaeology 5-mark piece.  All nickel alloy, of course.  Gone is the silver and platinum, but to be fair the US also stopped minting our higher-denomination coins in silver by then.  My father was given a proof set of Bundeskanzlers 1949-79, in high silver content alloy.  I think they're five-mark pieces, but they were special issue, and I don't think you'd find them in circulation.


Until 1974 the 5 DM coin for general circulation was .625 silver.


The 1975 and later 5 DM coins were not.


(edited to fix image of silver 5 DM
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« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2012, 03:33:20 pm »
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Different sets of heads is definitely 2 Marks.

And since Ernest messed up on his image codes, here and here is the pre 75 silver five.
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« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2012, 05:22:30 am »
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Angus, it should be noted that Germany never wanted the euro. It was pushed on them against their will. They realized they would probably end up paying for it.
Who exactly are you calling "Germany" here? Not our governing classes - the people who're using it right now to plunder everything of value in Greece in an unholy alliance with eurosceptic popular sentiment.
It's true that such sentiment about the currency ever existed, and polls never showed majority support for it. Though what would have happened with a referendum and a referendum campaign, no one can say for certain. Mostly because such things do not exist here.

From what I understand there was considerable skepticism among the German elites as well (although not as much) but they went along with it in exchange for German unification.
Lol no. Unification and the Euro have nothing whatsoever to do with each other except being invented (in part) by the same people. First the one, then the other. Theo Waigel conquers the world.

Well, this is what Wikipedia says: "France and the UK were opposed to German reunification, and attempted to influence the Soviet Union to stop it.[7] However, in late 1989 France extracted German commitment to the Monetary Union in return for support for German reunification.[8]"

That's also the version of history I've heard generally. West Germany was similar in population to France, the UK and Italy so there was worry about a unified Germany being too powerful in the EU. It was thought that removing the D-mark would reduce that power.

What basis do you have for thinking this to be obviously untrue?
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« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2012, 05:42:23 am »
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The one where not any of the relevant decisions were in any way made or even much negotiated on between spring of 89 (adoption of the Delors Report, the earliest arguable point of no return) and sometime in 91 (Maastricht negotiations), obviously. Also, the one where Theo Waigel was one of the Euro's prime architects and cheerleaders.
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« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2012, 07:07:18 pm »
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Well, this is what Wikipedia says: "France and the UK were opposed to German reunification, and attempted to influence the Soviet Union to stop it.[7] However, in late 1989 France extracted German commitment to the Monetary Union in return for support for German reunification.[8]"


Wikipedia?!  Really?

Well, anyway, that's the standard wisdom here.  It's what I've always heard as well.  Although, now that I know that this is what Wikipedia says I can't help but suspect its accuracy.

Gustaf, mere words cannot express my severe disappointment in you just now.  Please, don't ever begin a debate rebuttle by saying, "well, Wikipedia says..."

It's like saying, "Well, my grandmother, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade says.."

Actually, it's worse than that, because at least you know your grandmother.  At least you love her and can be excused for believing her.  But to quote some article in a non-scholarly, non-edited source, probably written by a seventh grader, is in bad form.

Trondheim wins this portion of the debate, no matter what you say now.
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« Reply #59 on: March 13, 2012, 08:17:49 am »
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Especially when those two sentences look editted in by some agenda-pusher, given the way they break the paragraph's flow.

Thatcher, especially, wanted assurances that the new united Germany wouldn't be too independent. The Common Market is kinda sorta tied up with that in vague ways... but it's not nearly as clearcut as with German soldiers actually being involved in NATO operations as they never were before 1990. As to the currency... well you only need to remember British stances past present & future on the currency, and on French and German dominance in the EU, to realize the notion is a little far fetched.
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« Reply #60 on: March 13, 2012, 12:05:41 pm »
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...Wikipedia says...

Wikipedia?!  Really?

Well, anyway, that's the standard wisdom here.  It's what I've always heard as well.  Although, now that I know that this is what Wikipedia says I can't help but suspect its accuracy.

Gustaf, mere words cannot express my severe disappointment in you just now.  Please, don't ever begin a debate rebuttle by saying, "well, Wikipedia says..."

It's like saying, "Well, my grandmother, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade says.."

Actually, it's worse than that, because at least you know your grandmother.  At least you love her and can be excused for believing her.  But to quote some article in a non-scholarly, non-edited source, probably written by a seventh grader, is in bad form.

You're being a snob, angus.  You are now playing a game called 'internet', and on this game, the wikipedia is the source of information.  Its like playing Scrapple using the Scrapple dictionary.  You really can't critique it for not being a 'real dictionary' when you already decided to play the game.
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« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2012, 02:28:20 pm »
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You're being a snob, angus.  You are now playing a game called 'internet', and on this game, the wikipedia is the source of information.  Its like playing Scrapple using the Scrapple dictionary.  You really can't critique it for not being a 'real dictionary' when you already decided to play the game.

Very well, then I'm critiquing the players.  In any case I don't remember agreeing only to use the Scrapple dictionary.  I can't imagine I'd ever make such a concession in order to be allowed to play.

Also, the British stance is a little confusing.  Historically, they have voted not to adopt the Euro currency.  What they did last fall, though, was veto a bill which would allow the eurozone countries to use the institutions of the 27-member union to secure the 17 members who use the euro currency.  This made pretty big news here in the US, and affected the stock prices somewhat, but I never quite understood it all because there was an immediate press conference by France and Germany claiming that they'd circumvent the Brits.  How does all that work, anyway?  It seems that the British made a wise decision not to adopt the European currency unit, but it also seems that if they don't use the currency then they should forego any decision-making authority when it comes to the currency.
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« Reply #62 on: March 13, 2012, 06:30:55 pm »
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Well, this is what Wikipedia says: "France and the UK were opposed to German reunification, and attempted to influence the Soviet Union to stop it.[7] However, in late 1989 France extracted German commitment to the Monetary Union in return for support for German reunification.[8]"


Wikipedia?!  Really?

Well, anyway, that's the standard wisdom here.  It's what I've always heard as well.  Although, now that I know that this is what Wikipedia says I can't help but suspect its accuracy.

Gustaf, mere words cannot express my severe disappointment in you just now.  Please, don't ever begin a debate rebuttle by saying, "well, Wikipedia says..."

It's like saying, "Well, my grandmother, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade says.."

Actually, it's worse than that, because at least you know your grandmother.  At least you love her and can be excused for believing her.  But to quote some article in a non-scholarly, non-edited source, probably written by a seventh grader, is in bad form.

Trondheim wins this portion of the debate, no matter what you say now.


Haha, very funny. Tongue

Wikipedia is usually a decent indicator of what is considered mainstream views, unless it's an article that has just been hacked or is about something completely obscure. I don't think either is true in this case.

I'd also like to point out that I didn't say "I am right, because Wikipedia says..." or anything like that. I merely pointed to this piece of information.

Also, I don't get your confusion on the UK's actions. They're not part of the euro so they don't want to pay for it. What's wrong with that?
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« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2012, 06:34:25 pm »
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Anyway,

http://en.mercopress.com/2010/09/28/german-unification-conditioned-to-acceptance-of-euro-reveal-documents

"Deceased French president Francois Mitterrand in 1989 gave his approval to German unification on condition that then Chancellor Helmut Kohl opened the way for the creation of an only currency in the European Union."

"The magazine supports the facts with statements from then Mitterrand advisor and later Foreign Affairs minister Hubert Védrine, who said that the French president would not accept German unification, divided since the end of WW2, unless it was coupled to European integration which necessarily implied monetary union and a single currency."

"The former President of the Bundesbank Karl Otto Pöhl was even clearer, stating: 'The European monetary union would not have come about without German reunification and vice versa.'"

Here's an English link to the Spiegel article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,719940,00.html
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« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2012, 08:22:04 pm »
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Wikipedia is usually a decent indicator of what is considered mainstream views, unless it's an article that has just been hacked

If you walk up to a great work of art and start cutting at it unskillfully, it's hacking (and you may be charged with destruction of public property.)  If you walk up to a pile of rubble that has little value and start hammering on it unskillfully, it's not hacking (and you may be commended by the park officials by helping to eliminate unsightly garbage.)

Also, I don't get your confusion on the UK's actions. They're not part of the euro so they don't want to pay for it. What's wrong with that?

I guess that's my entire understanding of it as well, in a nutshell.  They like the good trade deals but don't want any of the mess.  Maybe there's really nothing more to it.

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« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2012, 12:00:31 am »
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Whose going to take over our budget after more wreckless spending?

No one. We have our own currency, so we will never be in the position of Greece.

more relevantly, we have the most potent system of organized violence ever known to man, which means universal annihilation would occur prior to the realization of T_W's fantasy.

Well that too, but I would like to believe the US would not use violence, event to prevent something like a financial crisis.

I hope not too. We are pretty reckless though.
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« Reply #66 on: March 14, 2012, 11:22:44 am »
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I hope not too. We are pretty reckless though.

There's a school of thought that argues that it isn't reckless to stimulate the economy by big government projects.  There's some evidence for, and some against, the argument that government spending mitigates a recession.  Really well-informed guys like Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman argue for and against, respectively, this case.  I'm not sure I buy into all the arguments on either side, but if you genuinely conclude that free market capitalism has failed, and that priming the pump, so to speak, can stimulate the economy, then the spending isn't all reckless.

I'm convinced that the following were bad expenditures:  The invasion and occupation of Iraq, Cash for Clunkers, and the continued occupation of Afghanistan.

I'm leaning toward judging the following expenditures to be wasteful, but I might be convinced otherwise:  the October 2008 bank bailouts, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Bush tax cuts, the extension of the Bush tax cuts, government loans to Solyndra and other troubled companies, and various disaster aid bills.

I was against these expenditures but have begun lately to think that they might have been the right thing overall:  the General motors bailout, unemployment benefits extension, and various natural disaster aid bills.

Of course, much of this comes under grand omnibus bills and you could pick it apart in more detail, but those are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.

I'd also judge the Greenspan/Bernanke weak dollar policy to reduce the trade deficit to be reckless.  In this regard I suppose that I'm an ideological Paultard, but that's monetary policy, not spending, so it may not be related to your point.
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« Reply #67 on: March 14, 2012, 12:16:23 pm »
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Out of curiosity mostly, do you consider the trade deficit to be a problem? And if it is, how could it be remedied, unless other currencies rise in value relative to the dollar?
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« Reply #68 on: March 14, 2012, 12:23:19 pm »
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Maybe they just need a loan from fannie and freddie. We saw how well that worked here.
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« Reply #69 on: March 14, 2012, 01:16:04 pm »
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Out of curiosity mostly, do you consider the trade deficit to be a problem? And if it is, how could it be remedied, unless other currencies rise in value relative to the dollar?

Obviously, that's one of the arguments in favor of currency manipulation.  However, a weak dollar policy as a response to a trade deficit is rather like taking a cough drop to cure an infection.  Know what I mean?  The trade deficit is a natural consequence of the fact that investment in the United States exceeds domestic savings.  If you really want to affect the trade deficit then you must change the rate at which Americans save and invest.

Ron Paul also urges free trade.  This should include abandoning embargo policies which simply give foreign companies an unfair competitive edge over American companies.  You can't sell your wares in Cuba.  China can.  This has nothing to do with the value of the dollar.

Ben Bernanke has stated that the Fed doesn't control the value of the dollar.  This is, at best, a gross underestimate.  Sure, the value of the dollar depends on several factors, such as fiscal policy and Wall Street trading decisions, but monetary policy is the biggest factor.  Weaker dollars mean rising prices, and that affects you and me adversely. 
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« Reply #70 on: March 14, 2012, 01:59:18 pm »
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Ben Bernanke has stated that the Fed doesn't control the value of the dollar.  This is, at best, a gross underestimate.  Sure, the value of the dollar depends on several factors, such as fiscal policy and Wall Street trading decisions, but monetary policy is the biggest factor.  Weaker dollars mean rising prices, and that affects you and me adversely. 

Agreed fully.

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The trade deficit is a natural consequence of the fact that investment in the United States exceeds domestic savings.  If you really want to affect the trade deficit then you must change the rate at which Americans save and invest.

How would we change the rate at which Americans save and invest?
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« Reply #71 on: March 14, 2012, 02:00:31 pm »
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How would we change the rate at which Americans save and invest?

Perhaps step one would be to stop massively promoting consumption.
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« Reply #72 on: March 14, 2012, 02:05:37 pm »
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How would we change the rate at which Americans save and invest?

Perhaps step one would be to stop massively promoting consumption.

And stop giving such "easy" credit.
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« Reply #73 on: March 14, 2012, 02:12:42 pm »
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How would we change the rate at which Americans save and invest?
Perhaps step one would be to stop massively promoting consumption.

You like repealing the mortgage interest tax deduction?

And stop giving such "easy" credit.

Such as? By raising mortgage rates?
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Franzl
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« Reply #74 on: March 14, 2012, 02:16:33 pm »
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I was thinking more along the lines of how easily and recklessly a lot of people are given credit cards.
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