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Author Topic: 2009 Atlasian Economic Relief and Recovery Bill (Law'd)  (Read 19285 times)
MasterJedi
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« on: July 11, 2009, 04:24:44 pm »

2009 Atlasian Economic Relief and Recovery Bill

Recognizing the strain that the economic downturn has put on Atlasian families and businesses, seeking to offer struggling Atlasians relief while investing in an economic recovery, the Senate of Atlasia authorizes the following:

Section 1: Direct Aid to Struggling Atlasians ($254 billion)

   a. $100 billion for Medicaid
   b. $70 billion to extend unemployment benefits for eighteen months, individual unemployment compensation checks will be increased by $50
   c. $30 billion for a 25% increase in individual food stamp benefits
   d. $20 billion to fund additional Pell Grants, which shall be increased to $6,000 per individual
   e. $12 billion to increase the availability of Section 8 Housing Vouchers
   f. $10 billion to increase and extend welfare payments
   g. $10 billion to job training and disabled worker rehabilitation programs
   h. $2 billion for food program funding, including free school lunch programs, food banks, and meals programs for seniors (General food banks shall recieve priority funding)

Section 2: Infrastructure Investment ($162.5 billion)

   a. $60 billion to be distributed to highway, road, bridge construction/repair projects
   b. $20 billion for urban public transportation construction and repair projects
   c. $10 billion to immediately fund the 2009 High Speed Rail Act (FL 30-8)
   d. $10 billion to increase rural broadband coverage
   e. $10 billion for infrastructure repair and construction projects in the Social and Economic Development Zones enacted in FL 31-19
   f. $10 billion to repair and modernize government facilities and buildings
   g. $10 billion to repair sewage lines and drinking water infrastructure
   h. State governments will be required to pave or re-gravel all township roads and re-pave all township roads that have not been paved since January 1, 1999 by December 31, 2014. $6.5 billion is allocated to each region for this effort
   i. Two-thirds of the manufacturing material related to highway, road, and bridge construction or repair projects are required to have been produced and manufactured by Atlasian businesses

Section 3: Aid to the Atlasian Auto Industry ($45+ billion)

   a. The federal government will purchase majority shareholder status in the Big 3 auto companies: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler
   b. An Automobile Industry Reform Board (AIRB) will be selected, tasked with the running of the Big 3
   c. The AIRB will be tasked with refocusing and streamlining production, with a focus on the development and production of fuel efficient and hybrid cars
   d. The Big 3 will also be paid to produce buses and trains, to expand the Atlasian public transportation system
   e. The AIRB will be required to make reports to the Senate every six months
   f. A flexible goal of returning to the Big 3 to private ownership within five years will be set

Section 4: Regional & Local Fiscal Relief ($150 billion)

   a. $100 billion in financial aid to the regions, to decrease and prevent budget cuts of essential services and layoffs or cutbacks of government workers (This financial relief will be prioritized to state governments on the basis of budget severity)
   b. $50 billion to aid school districts facing budget shortfalls, to prevent cutbacks or layoffs

Section 5: Responsible Individual & Business Tax Relief ($42+ billion)

   a. $25 billion to exempt the first $5000 collected through unemployment compensation from taxation until December 31, 2010
   b. $8 billion to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit
   c. $6 billion to provide a voluntary annual $700 tax credit to home-owners who make use of solar, wind, or hydroelectric sources of energy (To qualify for the tax credit, home-owners must have at least 25% of their electricity generated from the aforementioned sources.)
   d. $3 billion to provide an expanded sales tax deducation from automobile purchases from Atlasian automobile companies
   e. The business tax rate shall be reduced by 2%
   f. Individual businesses making $300,000 or less in total annual income shall be exempt from all business taxes for exactly one year after The 2009 Atlasian Economic Relief and Recovery Act is made law

Spon: Sen. Marokai Blue, Sen. MaxQue
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 01:09:16 pm by Senator MasterJedi, PPT »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 04:26:57 pm »
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For the sake of debate on this topic, and debate we really really should have, I'm going to past a few of my previous posts on this topic.

There you go again Senator ignoring the negative consequences of your own actions. Those provisions risk a trade war at a time when our exports are falling and contributing to the growing unemployement, it would be the height of irresponsibility to pursue such a course. The Global economy is slumping and so there needs to be stimulus worldwide. The idea that you can isolate our economy would lead to a permenent Depression. Indeed the Smoot Hawley passed in 1930 jacked up tariff rates, a trade war ensued after which our exports plunged and Depression grew deeper. You want to help Manufacturing then invest in Technology, make our tax rates competative with foriegn manufacturers, and stop letting Unions drive them into the ground.

Okay, well, let's start off with something simple: You haven't a clue what you're talking about. For the sake of economic debate, I'll be referring to Atlasia as the US, using real-life statistics.

The global economy is indeed slumping and other countries have alot of work to do when it comes to stimulating our own economies. But the idea that I'm "ignoring the consequences of my own actions" is ludicrous. The U.S. (aka Atlasia) should not be stimulating the world on our own, other countries should stimulate their economies on their own. We can maintain trade, and make things easier for people to get into the market, but we need to be realistic about the real effect certain policies have on the economy, and, for one, "Buy Atlasian" ain't got nuthin' on Smoot-Hawley.

Smoot-Hawley jacked up tariffs to record levels (more than quadrupling them) on over 20,000 types of imported products and effectively choked off trade to Europe and other areas of the world very quickly. This provision does nothing of the sort and pretending it does is the height of ignorance. This clause of the bill simply mandates that a great deal of the manufacturing material involved in projects funded by the stimulus package will be created/manufactured from Atlasian businesses and workers, it doesn't stop other projects from being funded by foreign sources, it doesn't block foreign sources from doing trade with us in any other way, and it still allows a full 33% of stimulus project materials to be obtained from other countries.

Protectionism is never a great policy when it's the only solution, and raising tariffs is seldom a bright idea when it comes to fixing the economy or raising revenue, but this is neither serious protectionism nor tariff raising, nor any other sort of trade restriction. I'm baffled that you would even pretend that they're on the same level.

Manufacturing employment has been dropping for years now and during that time, our exports slow and our reliance on Chinese imports skyrockets. There's an interesting article from 2002 that talks about the history of our trade and manufacturing relations with China since the end of the 80s, "Between 1989 and 2001, though U.S. exports to China more than tripled, imports from China increased eightfold, causing a whopping twelvefold surge in the U.S-China trade deficit."


You might be thinking "Well, a drop in employment is understandable as long as output continues to increase." Not so in most cases. Manufacturing output as either stalled, or, as government statistics have shown of industrial output overall, has consistently, with blips throughout the rapid economic expansion after the fall of the Soviet Union, fallen lower and lower, and the overall peaks of industrial output have been less strong with each peaking. (These are less broad and somewhat unrelated, but California and Nebraska manufacturing employment numbers are somewhat startling.)

My point is this, our reliance on Chinese imports is hurting our industry and our ability to manufacture and to export. Free trade generally does increase jobs in certain sectors, but this is often at the expense of our manufacturing output, and we can't keep ignoring our ability to manufacture in favor of pencil pushing and service management jobs. The "Buy Atlasian" Provision makes it so we mandate a small portion of our overall manufacturing work be produced and done in Atlasia by Atlasians, and gives our manufacturing sector a much needed boost. Protectionism, in small doses as to not choke off trade or offend other nations, is not always a bad thing. Nations need an element of self-sufficiency.

And this ties into the argument for temporary nationalization of the 3 Auto-Makers. The success of the "Big 3" is not only an economic concern, but a concern of national security. These auto-makers often provide quick support for the military when materials and army trucks, jeeps, and even tanks and artillery are needed. These security demands increase our industrial production and manufacturing employment (which is, consequently, another contributor to the unusual freeze of manufacturing employment throughout the 90's, because of every other decade experiencing falls since WWII) and made sure that we could always rely on ourselves rather than other nations in fighting our wars.

There are, of course, obvious concerns economically as well. We could lose millions of jobs in the auto-making industry alone if we do nothing, not to mention the additional millions of jobs that are indirectly dependent on that sector.

Moving on to your other (asinine) points, taxes are often overblown, and there's only so long we can whine about them. The taxpayer is now dealing with one of the lowest tax burdens in decades and other tax hikes, such as FDR's during the Great Depression, Reagan's during the period of economic expansion under his two terms, and Clinton's in the first year of his term (which were surprisingly broad, by the way) all had no noticeable negative effects on the economy. Especially Clinton's, which Republicans said would kill jobs, did nothing to stop the 23 million jobs created under Clinton's tenure.

Business taxes can be lowered, sure, we do have one of the highest (and some things put it at the highest) business tax rate in the world, but we should caution ourselves from just taking a hatchet to the business tax rate. Something like that is neither responsible, more effective than modest cuts, nor just economically sound at all. Permanent tax cuts are often bad, bad economic stimulus, and slashing the business tax rate has almost no sensible economic efficiency on the dollar in comparison to other measures we could be taking. These tax cuts are modest and A) More psychological than seriously impacting, which does matter. And B) Designed to focus on very small businesses where tax cuts have a more sensitive effect.

Your union bashing is similarly dumb. Sticking to the topic of manufacturing work in auto-plants, non-unionized foreign auto-plants are very competitive with US-unionized plants in terms of pay. There is no union-bashing to be done here, just business mismanagement. If you take a closer look at the numbers provided as comparisons, the major difference between the two are legacy costs which, dumbed down for you if you're too lazy to check the link, are things like pensions, healthcare benefits for retired workers, etc.

Quote
WAGES: Base hourly wages and cost of living adjustments
    * UAW: $29
    * Transplants: $26

WAGE RELATED: Paid vacation, overtime, holidays, night and weekend pay, break time
    * UAW: $14
    * Transplants: $9

BENEFITS: Healthcare, training, etc
    * UAW: $12
    * Transplants: $11

LEGACY COSTS (Without VEBA): Pension and healthcare benefits for retirees
    * UAW: $16
    * Transplants: $3

LEGACY COSTS (With VEBA): Pension and healthcare benefits for retirees
    * UAW: $3
    * Transplants: $3

TOTAL LABOR COST:
    * UAW (without VEBA): $71
   * UAW (with VEBA): $58
    * Transplants: $49

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2008/12/13/299179.html

This is, further, an argument that government management can bring forward the necessary changes that throwing money at the auto-makers, as we've done for many years now, could be the best bet we have towards properly restructuring their businesses and bringing forward a new American/Atlasian auto industry which is essential in more than a few ways. Simply, this has nothing to do with unions, just bad business decisions from the past and incompetent management. Stop with the knee-jerk union-bashing.
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 04:28:31 pm »
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The stimulus "isn't stimulating" because it was too small and compromised too much of tax cuts (or rebates, or breaks, or whatever semantic game you want to play) and didn't focus enough on the critical projects and safety-net programs that are incredibly effective in this area. I've explained this before, and I'll quote myself from another thread here just to repeat myself.

(By the way, some of the assumptions in this article are just flat wrong, unemployment insurance is incredibly effective and stimulates the economy efficiently, as food stamps do, and not all projects take years to plan. If you're building a dam, obviously it's going to take awhile, but there are alot of projects out there that can be done right now, or have stalled out due to lack of funds. There's also no shame in planning & building alot of projects for the future economic benefit.

Quote from: WPA Accomplishments
The work done by the organization stands as a tribute to the WPA. Almost every community in America has a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. As of 1940, the WPA had erected 4,383 new school buildings and made repairs and additions to over 30,000 others. More than 130 hospitals were built and improvements made to another 1670 (MacMahon, Millet and Ogden 1941, pp. 4-5). Nearly 9000 miles of new storm drains and sanitary sewer lines were laid. The agency engaged in conservation work planting 24 million trees (Office of Government Reports 1939, p. 80). The WPA built or refurbished over 2500 sports stadiums around the country with a combined seating capacity of 6,000,000 (MacMahon, Millet and Ogden 1941. pp. 6-7).

Addressing the nation’s transportation needs accounted for much of the WPA’s work. By the summer of 1938, 280,000 miles of roads and streets had been paved or repaired and 29,000 bridges had been constructed. Over 150 new airfields and 280 miles of runway were built (Office of Government Reports 1939, p. 79).

We've accomplished a great deal in a short time with past infrastructure projects such as the WPA, and it's all possible again, if we actually created large programs such as this to do it, and poured alot money into a very sensible and direct Administration. Remember, we're not designing a thousand freedom towers. We could be digging ditches, repaving roads, repairing and rebuilding schools, finishing already-existing projects, and so on. These are stimulative not only now but forever.)

The stimulus will take time to come into full effect (construction projects are getting started in many areas of the country right now, and I've personally seek the increase in some safety net benefits like unemployment compensation and food stamp increases) however it's important to keep in mind that it was probably woefully inadequate.

Government spending is the most efficient way in these times (in one way or another, usually target spending or goods and services directly, accompanied by public works projects) and if the spending is kept under a certain limit pretty much "just because" and hampered further by tax cuts (or rebates, whatever you prefer, they are in effect, tax cuts) which, according to the Wikipedia article, amount to a whopping 37% of the bill, essentially leaving us with about 45% for direct spending, and 18% for aid to the states, which as I've explained why in the past, is critical.

Unfortunately we skimped on some of the most important aspects of government stimuli. Education (paying more people to stay involved and prevent cutbacks), infrastructure (roads, bridges, schools), welfare (food stamps are one of the most, if not THE most, effective safety net program we have running, unemployment compensation is similarly effective) and so on. If you get down to the specific provisions, only 82 billion is spent on the safety net (leaving out medicare) and only 51 billion are spent on "core" infrastructure projects, things like bridges, roads, etc.

Some of THE most important and critical government stimulus amounts here to only 133 billion! If you look where the individual payments are going, less than 20 billion is going to food stamps! That's right, the most effective program for stimulus is receiving a paltry 19 billion dollar increase. That should have been, and could have been, easily doubled. Similarly, unemployment benefits, the second most effective on our list, could have been doubled, being originally placed in around 40 billion dollars and 25 dollar increases in benefits.

Infrastructure projects in the stimulus don't amount to much in the fine print either. Quite frankly, the entire plan for infrastructure spending should have been quadrupled. Less than 30 billion for highway and bridge construction, a pitiful 8 billion for railway construction and development, and more disappointing investments in infrastructure. Infrastructure projects are another important component on our list here, and have the potential, as was done during the New Deal under the Works Progress Administration (a model we should replicate) build an infrastructure for future prosperity, and improve public transportation to lessen the burden on individuals paying ever rising gas prices.

Other minor investments could have made a big difference in people's lives, such as greatly increasing the amount of money for free lunch programs at schools, which I also know from personal experience is a substantial drain on a family's resources when lacking it. Tax relief, while certain tax relief measures are stimulative, are not that effective because the general strength of a tax cut or a rebate isn't a long term benefit or isn't strong enough to make a big difference in an individuals like, but could, collectively, cause a great deal of harm to revenue coming into the federal government. I think Verily explained quite well in this thread why tax cuts aren't effective stimulus, so there's no need for me to explain that here. Even if, for the sake of argument, we were to conclude that tax relief is somewhat effective if you do it right, other measures are still far more effective on the dollar. The main problem with tax cuts though, is that it's not a targeted relief measure, so it usually just goes to paying off a minuscule portion of an individual's debt or to some sort of useless entertainment source.

In any case, I'm ending up rambling now. There are a great deal of solutions that could help and past models to look to for advice on what to replicate today, but sufficed to say, the stimulus could very well fall flat on it's face and do little to nothing because alot of the money was either A ) Insufficient for the targeted projects to make an impact, or B ) Not targeted at all, often in the form of some sort of tax relief that goes to a useless source. Tax relief measures should have been stripped from the stimulus almost entirely and direct spending on the safety net and infrastructure projects beefed up to include the vast majority of a nearly 1.5 trillion stimulus bill. It's a shame. I remain cautiously optimistic that it will have some sort of impact, but I'm not seeing it so far, and I fear we may has wasted a ton of money because we didn't go nearly as far as, say, the New Deal projects went.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 04:29:34 pm »
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I really hope people are sensible enough to participate in the debate around these issues and don't just have knee-jerk reactions or post one-liner nothings. This is serious, and a subject I feel most passionate about, so I really will be disappointed if my colleagues ignore critical issues in favor of talking points or blathering nonsense.

So let's debate these issues on their points, individually, and work to create a real stimulus bill that doesn't waste money and will actually get the job done. I'm pretty sure most of you are smart enough to handle that.
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 04:56:04 pm »
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Well I support the principle of a stimulus package.

I'm willing to accept Sections 1, 4 and 5 without any alterations, as I think all the items mentioned are sensible points that will help Atlasia.

My two main problems are:

a.) the nationalization of the automobile industry. First of all, I don't think any automaker should be taken over by the government, but if such a step is taken, then it certainly shouldn't include companies like Ford that appear to be capable of surviving on their own.

However nationalizing only GM would create several problems concerning competition. I don't think companies that are able to survive on their own should be punished by being forced to compete against a government own automobile manufacturer. And I really don't think it's good precedent to simply take over a company that actually deserves to go bankrupt. I don't see any good reason to "bailout" GM. I think the supply on the market is in general too high, and that financially sound carmakers could profit from GM folding. It seems foolish to me to be investing in a business that the market has no reason to support. I don't believe in being "too big to fail".

My other problem is the "Buy Atlasian" provision. Do we really want to start with these protectionist measures? Do you think countries with which we have free trade would like the idea of the Atlasian government requiring that Atlasian companies be used for infrastructure projects? What happens when they enact similar requirements in their own stimulus bills and Atlasian companies lose money because they can't offer their products and services abroad? Protectionism just seems to me to be a bad idea...the work should be done by the company that offers the best work at the best price, regardless of where that company is located. Now, I know that's not necessarily the purpose of a "stimulus bill", if you believe that it should only help Atlasian companies...but that's my position on trade, and I don't believe that protectionism is ultimately beneficial to anybody, even if it does provide relief in the short run to a couple of companies.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 05:04:19 pm »
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I'm willing to compromise on the nationalization of the auto-industry, but I'm not willing to compromise on "Buy atlasian." The only thing I'm willing to do is include an exception for Canada, because of our proximity and the fact that we share many businesses and workers.

As for the "OMG PROTECTIONIZM" tirade. I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Quote
There are no massive wave of protectionist policies here and I haven't a clue why you keep pedaling that nonsense. It simply mandates 66% of stimulus projects have materials obtained and manufactured in Atlasia and by Atlasian businesses. There's still a significant portion of projects that can be funded by foreign sources, and it doesn't affect anything outside of the stimulus projects.

It would take a huge leap of faith to assume the world will suddenly engage in protectionism because of a small requirement for a narrow set of projects. Of course, given that our game moderator is Brandon, anything is possible I suppose.. But in the real world..
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 05:06:48 pm »
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Well but why? Our own companies will be put at just as big of a disadvantage when/if other countries enact their own stimulus packages?

Shouldn't the work be done by the company that offers the best quality and price? Why can't we force Atlasian companies to actually compete instead of just relying on friendly government policy?
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 05:09:33 pm »
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Well but why? Our own companies will be put at just as big of a disadvantage when/if other countries enact their own stimulus packages?

Shouldn't the work be done by the company that offers the best quality and price? Why can't we force Atlasian companies to actually compete instead of just relying on friendly government policy?

This is a stimulus bill to stimulate/jump-start our industries and give relief to our unemployed workers. (And our weakening manufacturing sector) We rely too heavily on imports from other countries, such as China, and increasing that reliance, especially in these times, is not a bright idea. This is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 05:14:16 pm »
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I still don't understand why Atlasian companies wouldn't able to compete for contracts, especially if they offer a better product. If they're unable to compete for these stimulus projects...my question is: What hope do they have of surviving in the future?

Is the government supposed to provide support indefinitely?


edit: I understand you're not arguing that we should provide indefinite support....but I'm just wondering why a company that needs to be competitive in order to survive in the future shouldn't be able to gain contracts on their own?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 05:18:51 pm by Senator Franzl »Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2009, 05:19:07 pm »
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I two am perfectly in support of sections 1, 4, and 5. Though I think some additions could be made in the form of loans to existing small business to help them make payroll, especially considering that credit card companies and banks are dropping small business lines of credit. This is increasing the unemployement numbers, in some cases, unnecessarily due to the inability to make payroll. I also would like to see some money maybe 200 Billion in general loans to prospective home buyers, college students, small business owners, and car buyers. The purpose of this would be to alleviate the credit crisis.

Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

When it comes to the Auto companies, I agree with Franzl in not taking them over, howeve I disagree that we should let them be liquidated just like that. I think that General Motors can survive this, however the Gov't is going to have to do the things necessary to help them compete and if necessary insure they survive inevitable bankruptcy. However that does not mean a takeover, and it does not mean a bailout. It would have to be a bankruptcy where the hard decisions are finally made, and the company gets its long overdue reorganization. The Gov't should only step in to prevent a liquidation from occuring. Other then that they should focus on helping them compete with the other manufacturers. That includes investing more into Energy and Tranporation R&D, that includes cutting the overall corporate tax rate paid for by removing many exemptions and deductions currently in place. This also has the effect of simplfying the tax the code. They can also help by, ironically, getting some kind of health care reform done the lowers costs in general. 

I do however agree with Franzl that no company should be to big to fail. If that happens it will encourage a wave of corporate incompetance the likes of which we have never seen and make recent examples of corporate incompetance look like the height of responsible management. The threat of failure is what makes companies strive too succeed, they are a businesses first and should not be institutionalised to the point where any mistake our failure on the part of management will be made right by the gov't on the taxpayers dime.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2009, 05:30:21 pm »
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Quote
Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2009, 05:48:04 pm »
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Quote
Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.

You shouldn't insult my intelligence, Marokai. It will get you know where. Yes it is no where near Smoot-Hawley, but that doesn't matter. What matters is peception, and if foreign countries believe we have taking a protectionist route, no matter how small, the effects could be devastating. You still refuse to admit the possibility that this is counterproductive. Just because "on paper" your Buy Atlasian provisons are small and should have little to no effect in theory, doesn't mean that they won't in practicality.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2009, 06:13:51 pm »
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Quote
Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.

You shouldn't insult my intelligence, Marokai. It will get you know where. Yes it is no where near Smoot-Hawley, but that doesn't matter. What matters is peception, and if foreign countries believe we have taking a protectionist route, no matter how small, the effects could be devastating. You still refuse to admit the possibility that this is counterproductive. Just because "on paper" your Buy Atlasian provisons are small and should have little to no effect in theory, doesn't mean that they won't in practicality.

Roll Eyes How do I respond to someone with their head in the clouds? Any policy we take could be take could be interpreted in 500 different ways and any country could respond with 500 more actions. This can't be helped. What matters is that we stick to the real world and recognize that this is small and drop the retarded "IT'S SMOOT-HAWLEY 2.0!!!!!1" rhetoric.

We had a similar, much more strict provision in the actual stimulus bill. All it did was piss off Canada a little, didn't do much else. (Include an exception for Canada, bam, problems solved.)
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2009, 06:24:13 pm »
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Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.

You shouldn't insult my intelligence, Marokai. It will get you know where. Yes it is no where near Smoot-Hawley, but that doesn't matter. What matters is peception, and if foreign countries believe we have taking a protectionist route, no matter how small, the effects could be devastating. You still refuse to admit the possibility that this is counterproductive. Just because "on paper" your Buy Atlasian provisons are small and should have little to no effect in theory, doesn't mean that they won't in practicality.

Roll Eyes How do I respond to someone with their head in the clouds? Any policy we take could be take could be interpreted in 500 different ways and any country could respond with 500 more actions. This can't be helped. What matters is that we stick to the real world and recognize that this is small and drop the retarded "IT'S SMOOT-HAWLEY 2.0!!!!!1" rhetoric.

We had a similar, much more strict provision in the actual stimulus bill. All it did was piss off Canada a little, didn't do much else. (Include an exception for Canada, bam, problems solved.)

Yes lets come down to the real world and not take the risk. May you please cease with those insults I have yet insult you, just criticized your policy making abilities. Please top taking to the next level up.

You have at least admitted that this could be interpreted differently by foreign countries, thats a start.

Don't forget that our disagreement here is over 3 lines in the whole bill, and one section. I am in support of 75% of this bill.  Would you be willing to say include Britain and the EU along with Canada in the exemption? I might be open to compromising a little provided you give a little two.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2009, 06:26:13 pm »
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Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.

You shouldn't insult my intelligence, Marokai. It will get you know where. Yes it is no where near Smoot-Hawley, but that doesn't matter. What matters is peception, and if foreign countries believe we have taking a protectionist route, no matter how small, the effects could be devastating. You still refuse to admit the possibility that this is counterproductive. Just because "on paper" your Buy Atlasian provisons are small and should have little to no effect in theory, doesn't mean that they won't in practicality.

Roll Eyes How do I respond to someone with their head in the clouds? Any policy we take could be take could be interpreted in 500 different ways and any country could respond with 500 more actions. This can't be helped. What matters is that we stick to the real world and recognize that this is small and drop the retarded "IT'S SMOOT-HAWLEY 2.0!!!!!1" rhetoric.

We had a similar, much more strict provision in the actual stimulus bill. All it did was piss off Canada a little, didn't do much else. (Include an exception for Canada, bam, problems solved.)

Yes lets come down to the real world and not take the risk. May you please cease with those insults I have yet insult you, just criticized your policy making abilities. Please top taking to the next level up.

You have at least admitted that this could be interpreted differently by foreign countries, thats a start.

The problem is you're dreaming up fantasy scenarios with no basis in reality. You argument is "It could be a problem to others, I dunno how, but it could be. It could be like Smoot-Hawley, but I'm not comparing them or anything!"

We did this already in the stimulus bill, and it was a much stricter provision, and it didn't result in the crashing of global trade or a wave of protectionist policies. Your fantasy scenario has yet to realize under harsher conditions in the real world.
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2009, 06:34:08 pm »
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Like Franzl, I think that the Buy Atlasian provisions are essentially playing Russian roulette with certain Atlasian workers. I also don't think that the honerable Senator Marokai takes into account the serious impact of the message that would send. Atlasia should take the lead in kicking populist demands for protectionism in the face and send a message to the world that this is not going to be like the 1930's. However this puts shacky and politically unstable Gov't in a position that would make them far more susceptible to the illogical demands of populist anger that allways spreads in these environments.

How many times have I explained this to you? Are you getting dumber? I don't even know if I should bother anymore.

You shouldn't insult my intelligence, Marokai. It will get you know where. Yes it is no where near Smoot-Hawley, but that doesn't matter. What matters is peception, and if foreign countries believe we have taking a protectionist route, no matter how small, the effects could be devastating. You still refuse to admit the possibility that this is counterproductive. Just because "on paper" your Buy Atlasian provisons are small and should have little to no effect in theory, doesn't mean that they won't in practicality.

Roll Eyes How do I respond to someone with their head in the clouds? Any policy we take could be take could be interpreted in 500 different ways and any country could respond with 500 more actions. This can't be helped. What matters is that we stick to the real world and recognize that this is small and drop the retarded "IT'S SMOOT-HAWLEY 2.0!!!!!1" rhetoric.

We had a similar, much more strict provision in the actual stimulus bill. All it did was piss off Canada a little, didn't do much else. (Include an exception for Canada, bam, problems solved.)

Yes lets come down to the real world and not take the risk. May you please cease with those insults I have yet insult you, just criticized your policy making abilities. Please top taking to the next level up.

You have at least admitted that this could be interpreted differently by foreign countries, thats a start.

The problem is you're dreaming up fantasy scenarios with no basis in reality. You argument is "It could be a problem to others, I dunno how, but it could be. It could be like Smoot-Hawley, but I'm not comparing them or anything!"

We did this already in the stimulus bill, and it was a much stricter provision, and it didn't result in the crashing of global trade or a wave of protectionist policies. Your fantasy scenario has yet to realize under harsher conditions in the real world.

Thats because Obama still wants to promote free trade in general. Whereas here in Atlasia our current officials are not as open to free trade, in fact they are the epitome of protectionists. Its easy to get the global community to except one or two provisions when you are the same time still willing to expand free trade, and restore trade talks that collapsed.

Your interpretation of my positions is also very insulting. They are in fact the worst case scenario that could happen in fact if forces in the world push it enough, to reject or ignore this entirely is a very naive and irresponsible act.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2009, 06:37:18 pm »
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Don't forget that our disagreement here is over 3 lines in the whole bill, and one section. I am in support of 75% of this bill.  Would you be willing to say include Britain, Australia and the EU along with Canada in the exemption? I might be open to compromising a little provided you give a little two.
 
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2009, 06:40:05 pm »
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You still have you're head in sand and you're not listening to what I'm saying at all. Your fantasy scenario has not come to pass under more severe real-world circumstances. Your little line about free trade is completely incoherent. I'm open to trade, I believe trade is absolutely essential. And, as I've said, I'm open to an exception with Canada, one of our largest trading partner and a country that shares many businesses with us and treats it's workers fairly.

I'm proposing something open to compromise with Canada, less strict than something that was actually proposed in the United States, and yet you're still claiming economic armageddon or a great trade war. It's nonsensical.

Don't forget that our disagreement here is over 3 lines in the whole bill, and one section. I am in support of 75% of this bill.  Would you be willing to say include Britain, Australia and the EU along with Canada in the exemption? I might be open to compromising a little provided you give a little two.

Canada, Canada only. I'll vote against the final bill if it goes any further than that, another Senator likely will as well.
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2009, 07:05:19 pm »
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You still have you're head in sand and you're not listening to what I'm saying at all. Your fantasy scenario has not come to pass under more severe real-world circumstances. Your little line about free trade is completely incoherent. I'm open to trade, I believe trade is absolutely essential. And, as I've said, I'm open to an exception with Canada, one of our largest trading partner and a country that shares many businesses with us and treats it's workers fairly.

I'm proposing something open to compromise with Canada, less strict than something that was actually proposed in the United States, and yet you're still claiming economic armageddon or a great trade war. It's nonsensical.

Don't forget that our disagreement here is over 3 lines in the whole bill, and one section. I am in support of 75% of this bill.  Would you be willing to say include Britain, Australia and the EU along with Canada in the exemption? I might be open to compromising a little provided you give a little two.

Canada, Canada only. I'll vote against the final bill if it goes any further than that, another Senator likely will as well.

What is so incoherent about what I said. Its true that Obama was general less protectionist as evidence by his recent actions he still wants to advance free trade in world in general. Under those circumstances countries would be more willing to accept Buy American provisions then if Obama was a raving protectionist opposed to all free trade. Thats the reason this did not come to pass in the real world, and thank god for that. However here in Atlasia from my interpretation our President, the honerable Mr. Lief, is much more protectionist then Obama is. Also our Secretary of External Affairs, the honerable Mr. HappyWarrior, is as well. I think that arguement makes perfect sense. There are differences between Atlasia and RL that you are now ignoring.

I could make similar arguements for exempting Britain and Australia as you can make about Canada in that we have strong economic bonds and also have a long friendly relationship with them stretching back decades.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2009, 07:20:06 pm »
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Obama and Clinton also talked about renegotiating NAFTA during the campaign. Both are now President and Secretary of State. It doesn't matter what people say, it matters what people do. There are protectionists and free-traders in Government, it only matters what we do. No one here is advocating tariff increasing, cutting off all trade agreements, or anything else. Your rationalization is really mind-boggling.

Republicans during the 19th and early 20th century were very protectionist when it came to tariffs and American manufacturing, the economy got worse once they implemented uber-protectionist policies. The connection you make between international reaction and protectionist PEOPLE requires complete suspension of critical thinking and an ignorance of all empirical evidence.

As for Canada, I'm open, and in fact favoring, an exception with them because of our proximity to them and the fact that due to that proximity we often share the same businesses and workers often come and go through each country. Also, Canada has a long history of fair and developed work standards, so I don't fear sharing something like this with a close and developed trading partner on the same continent.
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2009, 07:30:08 pm »
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Obama and Clinton also talked about renegotiating NAFTA during the campaign. Both are now President and Secretary of State. It doesn't matter what people say, it matters what people do. There are protectionists and free-traders in Government, it only matters what we do. No one here is advocating tariff increasing, cutting off all trade agreements, or anything else. Your rationalization is really mind-boggling.

Republicans during the 19th and early 20th century were very protectionist when it came to tariffs and American manufacturing, the economy got worse once they implemented uber-protectionist policies. The connection you make between international reaction and protectionist PEOPLE requires complete suspension of critical thinking and an ignorance of all empirical evidence.

As for Canada, I'm open, and in fact favoring, an exception with them because of our proximity to them and the fact that due to that proximity we often share the same businesses and workers often come and go through each country. Also, Canada has a long history of fair and developed work standards, so I don't fear sharing something like this with a close and developed trading partner on the same continent.

Oh I didn't realise that the British and Australians work and slave in sweatshops without any protections at all.

Your second paragraph actually helps make my point on the dangers of protectionism, and with that kind of history and indeed the difference in the actions of our current leaders(Opposing FTA's) versus the actions of our RL leaders(calling for the resumation of trade talks, working to restart negotiations with certain countries for trade deals), the course you are taking I find to be extremely risky and even dangerous to an already very sick and struggling economy.

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No one here is advocating tariff increasing, cutting off all trade agreements, or anything else. Your rationalization is really mind-boggling.


Okay does that mean that you will vote for and the President will sign any trade deals we consider?

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Obama and Clinton also talked about renegotiating NAFTA during the campaign. Both are now President and Secretary of State.

True they did, but both promised a lot of stuff they will never actually come through on and that was one of the first things Obama has backpeddled on since the election.
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2009, 08:50:52 pm »
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Since it appears further debate on the Buy ATlasia provisions is pointless I offer the following amendment to the underlying bill, and I request a vote on it regardless as to how it is received by the sponsors.

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Amendment to the Atlasian Economic Relief and Recovery Bill
Section 2 Clause i is struck from the bill.
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2009, 08:52:36 pm »
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Well, no, I see no point in debating someone who is too thick-headed to realize what they're saying makes no sense and flies in the face of empirical evidence.

This amendment has my complete opposition, if it passes I will vote against this bill and I hope the President vetoes it. It completely undermines the point of stimulus.
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2009, 09:24:56 pm »
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Christ almighty. Can we do these things on days when I can use a freaking computer? That way I don't have to come back to a ton of reading after a long day.

I will review as much as possible tonight and try to post something competent later or tomorrow morning.
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2009, 10:47:06 pm »
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Internal investment is best, but we need to make sure we are getting the most for our money with this package. Spending far too much just so we can pay an inefficient American contractor doesn't allow the bad companies to die. So, rather than simply repealing the "Buy America" clause, how is this?

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Section 2, Clause a. shall include the words "shovel ready" before the word "highway".

Section 2, Clause i. is replaced with the following: "All projects and purchased materials related to highway, road, and bridge construction or repair projects funded through this legislation are required to go through a competitive bidding process. Preference in bidding shall be given to companies that hire American workers for projects and are closest to the start of construction."
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