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FRED
08-28-06, 10:53 AM
Numbers show a second-rate US (http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0828/p17s02-cogn.html)
August 28, 2006 (Christian Science Monitor)

The United States is the world's only military superpower and has the globe's largest economy. Yet, by some measures, the US is a second-rate industrial nation - at best.

"Compared to other advanced economies, our market-driven model yields highly varied results regarding the living standards of our citizens," notes a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington.

It's an open question as to whether most Americans are better off than most Western Europeans.

"We leave a lot of people behind," says Sylvia Allegretto, an economist at EPI.

"We are a dynamic economy," says Timothy Smeeding, an economist at Syracuse (N.Y.) University. "A lot of people are doing well," he adds. But for those with median incomes ($40,000 a year) or less, it is a "second-rate" economy. They "are not getting much help."

The US has about the same or worse income mobility between generations. The poor have a slim chance of escaping their parents' poverty, says Professor Smeeding.

Our smartest kids do as well as smartest kids anywhere," he says. But that's not the case for low-income families. The odds of their children entering or graduating from college are not good.

The usual comeback to such comparisons is that the US has a marvelous job-creation economy. But the EPI study find this claim "exaggerated." US job growth since 2000 has been "lackluster" and "far worse" than several other well-to-do nations belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

AntiSpin: Even while the US economy is still doing relatively well, evidence of discontent among "those with median incomes ($40,000 a year) or less" is growing in the form of a rapidly increasing violent crime rate. A recent Washington Post article Violent crime returns with a vengeance explains (http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/editorial/15375078.htm):

After a welcome decline, cities such as Philadelphia, above, are seeing a resurgence of violent crime.

The United States is losing the war in Iraq; more specifically, Philadelphia is. This war is at home, in the city’s 12th Police District, where shootings have almost doubled over the past year, and residents have spray-painted “IRAQ” in huge letters on abandoned buildings to mark the devastation.

It is a story being repeated up and down the East Coast and across the nation. In Boston, where the homicide rate is soaring, Analicia Perry, a 20-year-old mother, was shot and killed several weeks ago – while visiting the street shrine marking the site of her brother’s death on the same date four years earlier. Recently, Orlando’s homicide count for this year reached 37, surpassing the city’s previous annual high of 36 in 1982. And in Washington, D.C., where 14 people were killed in the first 12 days of July, Police Chief Charles Ramsey declared a state of emergency.

Many factors drive crime – poverty, inequality, racism. But to those we should add the spread of a subculture once found only in the toughest urban areas: the culture of respect.
Rather than show a US government pursuing a deregulated economy, the report shows the US government as no less interventionist than other governments reviewed in the study, but shows that government intervention in markets in the US "tends to favor business more than the poor."

As reported by the Christian Sience Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0614/p01s03-usec.html), Alan Greenspan, in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee June 2005:

Greenspan's comments at a Joint Economic Committee hearing last week were typical, for him. Asked a leading question by Sen. Jack Reed (D) of Rhode Island, he agreed that over the past two quarters hourly wages have shown few signs of accelerating. Overall employee compensation has gone up - but mostly due to a surge in bonuses and stock-option exercises.

The Fed chief than added that the 80 percent of the workforce represented by nonsupervisory workers has recently seen little, if any, income growth at all. The top 20 percent of supervisory, salaried, and other workers has.

The result of this, said Greenspan, is that the US now has a significant divergence in the fortunes of different groups in its labor market. "As I've often said, this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing," Greenspan told the congressional hearing.
No question, few European nations offer a panacea for problems of racial, ethnic and economic equality of opportunity. The riots in France last year offer a clear indicator of deep rooted problems in European society. However, more than a decade of failing to address the problems of income immobility between generations and between rich and poor, compounded by a regulatory blind eye turned toward predatory lending within these communities, will come back to haunt the US during the next major economic recession that is now in its early stages.

US policy makers need to develop a culture of respect toward the portion of American society that the EPI study reveals as losing from a set of policies of government intervention in markets over the past decade that favor wealth concentration. Instead, there appears to be a culture of contempt which, as the economy heads into recession, is likely to produce a level of civil unrest that may put American democratic society to its greatest test in 70 years.

tree
08-28-06, 12:54 PM
Rapidly rising rates of violent crime associated with job loss and wage disparities may stimulate the U.S. economy.

Sentenced violent criminals join the prison population, creating jobs for prison guards, contracts for prison vendors (food, etc.) and increased shareholder value for those investing in private prison corporations. And those injured wind up in hospitals creating jobs for health care workers, contracts for suppliers, value for shareholders, etc.

metalman
08-28-06, 01:17 PM
Rapidly rising rates of violent crime associated with job loss and wage disparities may stimulate the U.S. economy.

Sentenced violent criminals join the prison population, creating jobs for prison guards, contracts for prison vendors (food, etc.) and increased shareholder value for those investing in private prison corporations. And those injured wind up in hospitals creating jobs for health care workers, contracts for suppliers, value for shareholders, etc.

hi, tree. clicked on your profile. looks like you joined yesterday and i'm guessing you're from the solari group, right? you think rising and soon to be exploding violent crime rate may help the economy? maybe help the prison business Fitts talks about but it won't help real estate business and that is much more of the economy. gentrification was part of the tapeworm idea, is it not? seems like those recently gentrified parts of nothern cities are turning into high crime zones. that isn't good for business. contradictions?

tree
08-28-06, 01:41 PM
Sorry, I was being facetious (and no I'm not a member of the Solari group nor a new iTulip member).

I was making fun of the free marketeers, the libertarians and "what me worry" types who jeer at concerns about perceived social disparities and their consequences. I'm with Eric on this.

Alas, rising private prison populations and health care usage do benefit certain classes of workers, vendors and investors, who in turn can control amounts of money funneled to those running for office.

A poetry teacher of mine once announced that the color of vested interests is white. I never did figure out what he meant. As Fitts says, look for the cui bono (who benefits).

ChessMan
08-28-06, 02:23 PM
I'm a libertarian type, and I am genuinely concerned about immobility between generations.

I support education vouchers for all individuals. For those who are poor, their education would improve because they would have a choice about what school to attend rather than be forced to attend an ineffective public school.

For those that are poor, I would support a more generous voucher. If by providing a $15,000 voucher, one can significantly decrease the probability that individual ends up in prison, it is worth it.

Libertarians are also in favour of sending less poor folks to prison for possessing marijuana. Rather than put them in jail, it would be better to let them alone and provide them with a $15,000 school voucher.

Libertarians are very upset that millions of Americans are imprisoned needlessly. It doesn't help poor little Johnny's prospects of lifting himself out of poverty when his father is in jail!

metalman
08-28-06, 02:55 PM
I'm a libertarian type, and I am genuinely concerned about immobility between generations.

I support education vouchers for all individuals. For those who are poor, their education would improve because they would have a choice about what school to attend rather than be forced to attend an ineffective public school.

For those that are poor, I would support a more generous voucher. If by providing a $15,000 voucher, one can significantly decrease the probability that individual ends up in prison, it is worth it.

Libertarians are also in favour of sending less poor folks to prison for possessing marijuana. Rather than put them in jail, it would be better to let them alone and provide them with a $15,000 school voucher.

Libertarians are very upset that millions of Americans are imprisoned needlessly. It doesn't help poor little Johnny's prospects of lifting himself out of poverty when his father is in jail!

i saved the link to the last poll on our politics and 66% of us are "libertarian".

http://www.itulip.com/cgi-bin/vote.cgi?view=1155956672

27% voted "centrist libertarian" and i put myself in that camp. to me means that you keep government from working with corporations in a way that results in putting johnny's dad in jail for smoking pot, keeping corp's from wrecking the environment, preventing education advantages from getting concentrated into the hands of a small group of people, creating incentives so that health care pros can do preventative medicine (now they are punished for it)... these are a few areas of the economy where if left to unfettered capitalism you get market failures. so libertarians like me are not about "no government" we're about getting rid of a big government that benefits a small part of society.

17% voted "liberal libertarian". that cracks me up. what's that? a libertarian who's for handing out condoms in schools? i take it the "right libertarian" is very not for that.

Jeff
08-28-06, 06:08 PM
I didn't list myself as libertarian, though I have those leanings. I am in fact a Shiite Democrat. But I think I understand the Liberal Libertarian label. Primarily it hold that drugs should be legal as well as prostitution, and both regulated and taxed by the state. Some "safety net" of social care is also a component.

bart
08-28-06, 06:59 PM
Libertarians are also in favour of sending less poor folks to prison for possessing marijuana.

I have as of yet to meet a Libertarian who feels that way, and is not a shill (I'm not accusing you of being a shill, just in case).

Finster
08-28-06, 07:24 PM
Libertarians are also in favour of sending less poor folks to prison for possessing marijuana.I have as of yet to meet a Libertarian who feels that way, and is not a shill (I'm not accusing you of being a shill, just in case).

Some people (whose initials are both V ... :D ) might disagree with my labeling, but I am a self-described libertarian who thinks nobody should ever go to jail merely for possessing marijuana.

BK
08-28-06, 07:38 PM
The idea that a think tank based in Washington DC - is non-partisan - is that like the Alcoholic who doesn't have a drinking problem.

Christoph von Gamm
08-29-06, 02:53 AM
i saved the link to the last poll on our politics and 66% of

17% voted "liberal libertarian". that cracks me up. what's that? a libertarian who's for handing out condoms in schools? i take it the "right libertarian" is very not for that.

... why do wise people hand out condoms in schools? Kids have sex usually starting the age of 13-15 and if you do not protect them they either get pregnant or catch up sexually transmitted diseases. Since we have educated kids on using condoms such as in France, Germany or Switzerland the number of abortions has dropped, same as new infections. See also: http://www.stopaids.ch/stopaids.php - Who earns the most with not educating kids right from the start are companies like Serono, Pfizer, Glaxo, Novartis etc. who make people life-time dependent on $400 plus drugs, and those help groups that "take care of the poor". (See also http://www.etuxx.com/diskussionen/foo282.php3 - In German - use Babelfish to translate)

Another liberal thing: Since in Zürich Heroin drugs are being given out to drug addicts free of charge (now being practiced since roughly seven years) the crime rate has dropped dramatically. Zürich is one of the safest places in the world to go out with a Rolex at night... (or with a Ferrari, as long as you don't drive above speed limit..:D ) I might need to add that the prisons are still government owned and there is limited capacity so there is not that much interest to generate a lot of criminals in society as the cost imacts are felt immediately... And if you think that was just a crazy idea of some governing class, no this was supported by a broad majority of voters in a public ballot...

But if you of course criminalise drug addicts you strike a richer margin on:
* Private security firms
* Private prisons
* People who smuggle drugs and import it of support the import.

on the detriment of those who are already weak in society.

You might call me a ultra-liberal libertarian...

tree
08-29-06, 06:49 AM
Eric concluded: "US policy makers need to develop a culture of respect toward the portion of American society that the EPI study reveals as losing from a set of policies of government intervention in markets over the past decade that favor wealth concentration. Instead, there appears to be a culture of contempt which, as the economy heads into recession, is likely to produce a level of civil unrest that may put American democratic society to its greatest test in 70 years." [Emphasis mine.]

If you agree with Eric's conclusion, what is to be done to end this "culture of contempt" perpetuated through government policy concentrating wealth by intervening in markets?

Should the way the feds intervene in markets be altered? Should there be no federal intervention at all in markets?

Is the situation hopeless on a large scale and can we only save ourselves on a community-by-community basis?

What do the Libertarians propose? And the Shiite Democrats?

bart
08-29-06, 09:46 AM
If you agree with Eric's conclusion, what is to be done to end this "culture of contempt" perpetuated through government policy concentrating wealth by intervening in markets?

Should the way the feds intervene in markets be altered? Should there be no federal intervention at all in markets?

Is the situation hopeless on a large scale and can we only save ourselves on a community-by-community basis?

What do the Libertarians propose? And the Shiite Democrats?


I can't speak for Libertarians or Shiite Democrats, only for myself, and to me it boils down to personal action and responsibility... as it always does.

I'm loathe to go much into political (or religious for that matter) areas due to their high emotional and "spin" content, but in my opinion cultures and societies are based on and built from individuals. The sum total "quality" of individuals is directly related to the "quality" of the culture/society and its groups, not the other way around.

As far as the situation being "hopeless on a large scale", that's something you have to decide for yourself - same with whatever approach you choose to take. In my opinion, the chances that any large government will ride in on a white horse and truly be effective in resolving all the large scale issues is quite low by actual history. Just look at New Orleans if you want a current picture of how effective "they" truly are.

On federal intervention, I believe its wrong and has very negative consequences on all time frames.

jk
08-29-06, 10:43 AM
In my opinion, the chances that any large government will ride in on a white horse and truly be effective in resolving all the large scale issues is quite low by actual history. Just look at New Orleans if you want a current picture of how effective "they" truly are.

On federal intervention, I believe its wrong and has very negative consequences on all time frames.

the current administration is populated by people who think government doesn't work, so when they are incompetent they can say their own failures prove their point. during the clinton admin [to which i am NOT giving a blanket endorsement] one of the things they did right was appoint someone to fema who knew something about emergency management. when bush puts someone in charge of fema whose experience is administering the arabian horse association, and fema screws up, it hardly constitutes proof of the general inefficacy of government.

bart
08-29-06, 11:03 AM
the current administration is populated by people who think government doesn't work, so when they are incompetent they can say their own failures prove their point. during the clinton admin [to which i am NOT giving a blanket endorsement] one of the things they did right was appoint someone to fema who knew something about emergency management. when bush puts someone in charge of fema whose experience is administering the arabian horse association, and fema screws up, it hardly constitutes proof of the general inefficacy of government.

Of course its about individual people and of course they can make a difference, regardless of the administration.

But taking my individual example of New Orleans and FEMA and using it to imply that government is efficient is downright silly... assuming that's what you're trying to say.
If you want proof of declining and disgusting efficiency and extreme spending profligacy, its not tough to find.

All recent administrations since roughly the '60s have shown declining stats and efficiency. This is not about political parties.

Jim Nickerson
08-29-06, 12:57 PM
All recent administrations since roughly the '60s have shown declining stats and efficiency. This is not about political parties.

Since only Democrats or Republicans have been in charge since '60 and "forever" based on lifespans, perhaps what is needed is another party(ies).

For everyone in the country to have only two choices is exceedingly narrow. Probably we should have 20-25 pertinent parties that might govern by coalitions.

bart
08-29-06, 01:26 PM
Since only Democrats or Republicans have been in charge since '60 and "forever" based on lifespans, perhaps what is needed is another party(ies).

For everyone in the country to have only two choices is exceedingly narrow. Probably we should have 20-25 pertinent parties that might govern by coalitions.

Agreed... and getting over the spin about "wasting" a vote by voting for an alternate party is one of the steps.

An interesting sidelight is the Pirate Party in Sweden ( Wiki entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party) ), as an example of a sign of the times and dissatisfaction with existing parties and laws, and also for how they caused changes in more major parties just due to their platform. Its very reminiscent to me of some of the "sass" and out-of-the-box thinking of the '60s.

(note to jk: I'm not promoting or condoning the stealing of intellectual property, just in case)

Finster
08-29-06, 01:32 PM
Since only Democrats or Republicans have been in charge since '60 and "forever" based on lifespans, perhaps what is needed is another party(ies).

For everyone in the country to have only two choices is exceedingly narrow. Probably we should have 20-25 pertinent parties that might govern by coalitions.

Here here! Those of us who are fed up with Democans and Republicrats badly need a broader menu. There are some other parties, of course, such as Libertarian, Constitution, and whatnot, but they actually have procedural disadvantages getting on ballots, not to mention being treated by the "mainstream" media as little more than sideshow curiosities.

BK
08-29-06, 03:20 PM
I'm a baffled by the response of Itulip Readers...
The Reason Itulip exists is a result of a organization created at the very beginnings of Big Government - THE FEDERAL RESERVE.
How does anyone who is a contributor/reader of Itulip even entertain that more Government Interventional (in anything) will have a positive outcome for the Citizens.
Think Fannie Me, Freddie Mac, Social Security, the No-Child -Left -Behind Act, and the Department of Education.....
These overly powerful Government Agencies, GSEs, and well intentioned legislation leads to the impoverishment of the Citizens.

Is anyone else with me on this....the very article that started this thread is a very Democrat sponsored Think Tank.

bart
08-29-06, 03:44 PM
I'm a baffled by the response of Itulip Readers...
The Reason Itulip exists is a result of a organization created at the very beginnings of Big Government - THE FEDERAL RESERVE.
How does anyone who is a contributor/reader of Itulip even entertain that more Government Interventional (in anything) will have a positive outcome for the Citizens.
Think Fannie Me, Freddie Mac, Social Security, the No-Child -Left -Behind Act, and the Department of Education.....
These overly powerful Government Agencies, GSEs, and well intentioned legislation leads to the impoverishment of the Citizens.

Is anyone else with me on this....the very article that started this thread is a very Democrat sponsored Think Tank.


Maybe I'm missing something huge but I'm confused by your response - I just don't see anything substantive in this thread that disagrees with your points.

Jim Nickerson
08-29-06, 03:46 PM
I'm a baffled by the response of Itulip Readers...
The Reason Itulip exists is a result of a organization created at the very beginnings of Big Government - THE FEDERAL RESERVE.
How does anyone who is a contributor/reader of Itulip even entertain that more Government Interventional (in anything) will have a positive outcome for the Citizens.
Think Fannie Me, Freddie Mac, Social Security, the No-Child -Left -Behind Act, and the Department of Education.....
These overly powerful Government Agencies, GSEs, and well intentioned legislation leads to the impoverishment of the Citizens.

Is anyone else with me on this....the very article that started this thread is a very Democrat sponsored Think Tank.

BK,

From what I can recall, perhaps incorrectly, I don't remember you ever writing anything that supports a government--which is fine with me, but I am not with you in that I do not believe the masses can live without some form of order, and it takes something called "government" to attempt having such order.

It would be an interesting experiment to see how our 290 million people would interact without some form of government. Government as we have had for some while is rotten in my opinion. The problem as I see it is to arrive at a government that is not rotten. I personally do not believe having no government would be better than what we have.

jk
08-29-06, 03:47 PM
i find myself wanting to get into nitpicking theoretical debates. a bad sign. perhaps instead of arguing over the best theoretical view of government, we can try to come up with steps to take here and now. i know that last night, after reading some here, i was inspired to give some money to 4 political candidates in this fall's election. i don't expect my contributions to make a lot of difference, but what can i do? any suggestions? [restrain yourselves]

Finster
08-29-06, 04:06 PM
I'm a baffled by the response of Itulip Readers...
The Reason Itulip exists is a result of a organization created at the very beginnings of Big Government - THE FEDERAL RESERVE.
How does anyone who is a contributor/reader of Itulip even entertain that more Government Interventional (in anything) will have a positive outcome for the Citizens.
Think Fannie Me, Freddie Mac, Social Security, the No-Child -Left -Behind Act, and the Department of Education.....
These overly powerful Government Agencies, GSEs, and well intentioned legislation leads to the impoverishment of the Citizens.

Is anyone else with me on this...

Yes... me.

Finster
08-29-06, 04:07 PM
i find myself wanting to get into nitpicking theoretical debates. a bad sign. perhaps instead of arguing over the best theoretical view of government, we can try to come up with steps to take here and now. i know that last night, after reading some here, i was inspired to give some money to 4 political candidates in this fall's election. i don't expect my contributions to make a lot of difference, but what can i do? any suggestions? [restrain yourselves]

I'm up for nitpicking theoretical debates ... :D

bart
08-29-06, 04:30 PM
i find myself wanting to get into nitpicking theoretical debates. a bad sign. perhaps instead of arguing over the best theoretical view of government, we can try to come up with steps to take here and now. i know that last night, after reading some here, i was inspired to give some money to 4 political candidates in this fall's election. i don't expect my contributions to make a lot of difference, but what can i do? any suggestions? [restrain yourselves]


Open up the various issues with friends?
Write an article?
Write your US Congress and state critters?
Keep educating yourself?
Find a local organization with whose aims you agree and volunteer?
Take a walk or drive when needed to help keep perspective, it helps me... and I should do it more often too...



Watch out for that Finster critter... or better yet, amuse yourself with a nit picking senseless debate with him. He's really good at it. ;)
Maybe he'll even start a thread for senseless debates so a break can be taken from excess seriousness... I've had my clock cleaned more times than I can count and had fun too... :)

Jim Nickerson
08-29-06, 04:48 PM
we can try to come up with steps to take here and now.
I am sorry jk, but there is nothing anyone can do now, except to capitulate and continue to play the game as it has been played.


i know that last night, after reading some here, i was inspired to give some money to 4 political candidates in this fall's election.

"A fool and his money are soon parted." :) Realistically you should consult one of your associates and get a prescription for some anti-manic medication.:)


i don't expect my contributions to make a lot of difference

You don't expect your contributions to make a lot of difference, but yet you gave anyway. Is that some sort of a mental disorder?:)


what can i do? any suggestions?

You cannot do anything, but seriously, there are several things that could be done collectively. Outlaw religion in the United States [and world] except, of course, maintain the right to worship alone in your closet, and enact something like secular Sharia laws--stoning, beheading, cutting off hands, etc., stop electing lawyers to make laws in the same sense you would not hire bank robbers to guard banks, legalize illicit drugs and prostitution, do away with cash, enact a national health scheme, do away with the jury system, stop lobbying when it comes to passing laws, pass laws that require licensure in order to produce offspring, go back to a gold standard. Those are some that pop into my cynical mind.

Finster
08-29-06, 05:52 PM
...
Watch out for that Finster critter... or better yet, amuse yourself with a nit picking senseless debate with him. He's really good at it. ;)
Maybe he'll even start a thread for senseless debates so a break can be taken from excess seriousness... I've had my clock cleaned more times than I can count and had fun too... :)

... tell ya what ... I'll wear him down with some nit picking senseless debate, and then you can sneak up behind and bag him with a chart ...:D

bart
08-29-06, 06:17 PM
... tell ya what ... I'll wear him down with some nit picking senseless debate, and then you can sneak up behind and bag him with a chart ...:D

:D :D :D

Deal!

I have the perfect chart in mind:

http://www.nowandfutures.com/grins/silly_chart.jpg

Finster
08-29-06, 07:40 PM
Maybe I'm missing something huge but I'm confused by your response - I just don't see anything substantive in this thread that disagrees with your points.

It's a little subtle. Take the remark that appears near the beginning that implies it is our "market driven model" that is at fault for "highly varied results":


"Compared to other advanced economies, our market-driven model yields highly varied results regarding the living standards of our citizens," notes a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington.

This kind of attack on economic freedom - based on egalitarian principle - is a hallmark of the big-government mindset.

Yet later on in the article - under "Antispin", the accusatory finger is pointed at big-government policies that actively interfere with free markets and foster inequity:


"Rather than show a US government pursuing a deregulated economy, the report shows the US government as no less interventionist than other governments reviewed in the study, but shows that government intervention in markets in the US "tends to favor business more than the poor."

...

US policy makers need to develop a culture of respect toward the portion of American society that the EPI study reveals as losing from a set of policies of government intervention in markets over the past decade that favor wealth concentration. Instead, there appears to be a culture of contempt which, as the economy heads into recession, is likely to produce a level of civil unrest that may put American democratic society to its greatest test in 70 years."

The thrust here is not that free market economics itself results in the cited economic problems, but government interference. Depite numerous programs specifically targeted to narrow wealth inequality, the net result of the governments activities actually foster more concentration of wealth. It may not be so apparent how this happens, but my view is that inflation disproportionately disadvantages the poor and lower middle class. One way in which it does this I've discussed elsewhere, by making saving a losing proposition and making it easier for corporate elites to enrich themselves, for example:


This might seem a bit paranoid, but I am convinced one of the reasons we have inflation is that Wall Street likes it. If interest rates were too high in relation to inflation, ordinary saving would be worthwhile. Corporations would have to provide good justification to shareholders for entrusting their capital to them. Managements would have to be good stewards of capital and have a discerning shareholder base looking over their shoulders. But with interest rates low compared to inflation, savers at the margin have little choice but to own stocks.

http://www.itulip.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2065&postcount=5

bart
08-29-06, 10:42 PM
It's a little subtle. Take the remark that appears near the beginning that implies it is our "market driven model" that is at fault for "highly varied results":

...


The thrust here is not that free market economics itself results in the cited economic problems, but government interference. Depite numerous programs specifically targeted to narrow wealth inequality, the net result of the governments activities actually foster more concentration of wealth. It may not be so apparent how this happens, but my view is that inflation disproportionately disadvantages the poor and lower middle class. One way in which it does this I've discussed elsewhere, by making saving a losing proposition and making it easier for corporate elites to enrich themselves, for example:



http://www.itulip.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2065&postcount=5



You're right, and thanks bunches Fin - it was a bit too subtle for me to notice.

I now give those portions a :mad:

JD_
08-29-06, 11:35 PM
i don't expect my contributions to make a lot of difference, but what can i do? any suggestions? [restrain yourselves]

jk,

This is probably not what you had in mind when you asked what you could do to make a difference. How about running for a political position yourself? That would have a big impact and at least you'd have faith in the person elected trying to enact laws and policies that you agreed with!

JD

Finster
08-30-06, 01:32 PM
:D :D :D

Deal!

I have the perfect chart in mind:

http://www.nowandfutures.com/grins/silly_chart.jpg

Now let's not scare him away ... ;)

Chris Coles
08-30-06, 05:36 PM
Having been distracted by a week or two away, (crewing at a gliding competition), I find myself enthralled by the idea that our tiny group has no idea of what is going on. Of what it is that has held back the US to create a nation that a minor sub-institution describes as "second rate".

Two things hold back any country; lack of free markets and a feudal culture in administration. Politics has little to do with the problems, as all politicians have to adhere to the advice of the executive. So what is a free market?

Here in Europe, we have many free markets for food. Market towns are called that precisely because they enjoy, usually twice a week, an open marketplace where citizens may purchase anything normally only available from a large store group, from small traders selling face to face with the customer at a stall. Usually a large table.

No one can be denied access and many traders all together mean that no individual trader can dominate the trade. Also, often forgotten, no one in trade can make any sort of a bargain with another such trader to limit the trade to those terms that satisfy their own need to hold control over the marketplace. The bulk trader must sell by auction, price decided at the fall of a hammer. Once sold, there is no further lien on the purchaser of the bulk. The bulk trader cannot get the goods back. Thus the market price is always that which any purchaser can afford at the time of the sale.

It is the responsibility of government to ensure there are free markets for everything we need for our day to day needs. There is one small problem, everyone forgot about capital, sorry savings.

Today, all over the world, not just in the US, we have a common problem directly related to the capital base of what may be described as the lower levels of society. By pure chance, this afternoon, I had a long conversation with a young policeman from the Metropolitan Police in London. He described in some detail the fact that crime pays. That the inner city child has only one direct route from poverty.... crime.

It is my humble opinion that all this crime directly relates to the need to re-capitalise the poor. You all talk about this and that in relation to the work of government. None of you seem to see any relationship between the lack of a clear free, (and I stress "FREE"), marketplace for access to capital to create jobs at the grass root level in society.

You all seem to see that as someone else's problem....Nothing to do with me gov... its someone else's fault, problem, failure to deliver..

You place your capital, sorry, savings into this or that fund and beggar the idea that the savings, sorry, capital should be used to create jobs in that grass roots society. You are all happy to see those savings passed on to this or that hedge fund, (for example), so that YOU can have a continuing higher income, but see no relationship with the fact that, once the funds are in any form of savings vehicle; by far the majority of the savings, sorry, capital, (of the nation???), never sees investment in any form of job again.

All the while the savings institutions grow wealthier and their managers grow wealthier and the banks serving these now hugely wealthy now grow even wealthier.... at grass root level, the nation INEVITABLY gets poorer. The only way to-wards access to capital is through crime. Reminds me of that old song; "Theres a hole in my bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa"...

What you have is a feudal economy. Nothing to do with the party in power, politician, social security is only there to paper over the facts so that you do not have to look at them every day; nothing to do with even dare I say it, crime..... everything to do with a lack of a free marketplace for capital for the creation of wealth at the grass root level.

Feudalism is a failed concept that the founding fathers thought they had left behind them. They forgot that all the internal executive servants of any nation naturally LOVE feudalism; it brings so much power to them.

The biggest problem is that a free market is fiercely competitive and free enterprise allows anyone, from any level in society to climb to the top without having to tug their forelock to anyone. Holders of capital, sorry savings; absolutely hate free enterprise; it limits their power and makes their own working environment one where they might fail too.

That is your problem.

lobodelmar
09-05-06, 02:25 PM
Chris, I think the members of this forum participating in the Prosper Lending group might disagree with a lot of your assumptions...

Chris Coles
09-05-06, 06:27 PM
lobodelmar,

And that answer makes my point for me. Take a train ride from your Capital City, Washington DC to New York; the railway is semi-derelect. Either side of the railway there are mile upon mile of poor mean living. Bad housing, no new industry, no primary investment for decades.

Try walking through the poor quarter of any inner city almost anywhere in the US and open your eyes. What you will see is not any sort of assumption; it is the reality. A successful nation has to be a success for the majority. And, dare I say it, that is exactly what the original post was saying too; Numbers Show a Second Rate US. Period.

Chris Coles
09-05-06, 06:39 PM
The problem has been that the local investment of capital from the successful in that local society has been replaced with government spending of tax to support local, quasi-government agencies, who in turn have no interest in anything that will reduce their local power base. Ergo, poverty feeds on more poverty.

Untill there is a recognition that there is a need to create a free enterprise based, free market society where adaquate local, grass roots capital investment ensures that the majority have access to a successful route to that American dream, a home, family and to be able to hold your head up as a part of the whole thing... Nothing will change.

Everyone wants to succeed. It is the primary responsibility of the holders of the capital of the nation to see that that capital is invested to the proper benefit of the majority.

Hedge Funds do not invest in the local community; nor do any of the primary institutional investment community.

You want less government? Then give the poor a proper chance by investing in them. Until you recognise that responsibility, your nation is going nowhere..... fast.