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Does and should the government prop up the economy?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I wonder how much tax money is actually propping up these so called entrepeneurs?

It seems to me that quite a lot of corporations and individuals are directly or indirectly suckling at the government teat. It seems to me that quite a few of the people who identify as right wing also hold government jobs or service government contracts, for example:

Military members
Law enforcement
Public school teachers
Regular general schedule employees
Military contractors
Intelligence and security contractors
Aerospace contractors
Nuclear contractors
Scientists doing government funded research
Civil engineers
All forms of civil construction
Waste management
Oil companies
Corn farmers
Medical industry

That's far from exhaustive but I think it's pretty representative of what I'm getting at.

To me it seems that a lot of the economy is in fact propped up by the federal government.

Which is worse, cutting the governments funds by reducing taxes, the government can no longer afford to pay all these entrepeneurs without printing more money and making us all poorer. Or, recognizing that the government and government services play an important role in both our economy and our lives and paying for it appropriately.
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I wonder how much tax money is actually propping up these so called entrepeneurs? It seems to me that quite a lot of corporations and individuals are directly or indirectly suckling at the government teat.

This does indeed happen. There's one author (cannot recall who at the moment) who coined the phrases "market entrepreneur" and "political entrepreneur" to draw a distinction between two groups of people: those who are genuinely trying to compete in the marketplace and provide better products and services for consumers and those who seek government favors, protection, subsidies and other government help beyond the basic and general services that it seems reasonable for a government to provide (e.g., basic law and order, and basic rights protection)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

To me it seems that a lot of the economy is in fact propped up by the federal government.

On the surface it might appear that way, but it ignores the question (analysis around the question) about whether or not some of the things the government is doing would be done without government doing them (i.e., privately in the market) and whether some of those things even need to be done and if not, whether those activities are wasteful and diverting valuable resources away from other things that people would want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Or, recognizing that the government and government services play an important role in both our economy and our lives and paying for it appropriately.

I don't think that most reasonable people would deny this. But here's the rub: You have ventured into creating a false choice without explicitly saying it. It is a common counter argument to suggest that when someone is critical of how utterly massive the government has become and how high the taxes (now and in the future) are, and how much it is spending and borrowing, and how many things it is doing that are questionable as to its right and responsibility to do them...that one implies that such a person wants no government whatsoever!

If you say the government is doing too much, taxes are too high, spending and borrowing is too high it is involved with a lot of things it shouldn't be...you are automatically shuttled off to Nigeria for a comparison of what it is you supposedly really want to have. I must admit it is rather tiresome to continually refute this fallacious and simple-minded line of "reasoning" but it is so unbelievably common. It's astonishing really.

So, to your root question: Does and should the government prop up the economy?

I think the answer is more than a simple yes/no answer. The answer is that a properly structured government can provide the framework for an economy to thrive, grow and survive for all of its citizens while providing and protecting their basic rights and giving them the greatest amount of freedom (short of the freedom to infringe upon others' rights). But, improperly structured, doing too much and being too intrusive, a government can substantially stifle freedom and devour wealth and bring an economy to its knees.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

...Does and should the government prop up the economy?

What most forget is that "the government" has no money of its own. Governments can either raise revenue via direct taxation paid by citizens or borrow money directly yielding a deficit, which also has to be paid back by citizens. And the trouble is, when governments attempt to "prop up economy" with funds, those funds come from the citizens anyway, negating any "prop -up" value intended. That is precisely why our recession is lingering, not from the recession itself, but from the government's attempt to relive it, which make the recession worse!
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

So, to your root question: Does and should the government prop up the economy?

I think the answer is more than a simple yes/no answer. The answer is that a properly structured government can provide the framework for an economy to thrive, grow and survive or all of its citizens while providing and protecting their basic rights and giving them the greatest amount of freedom (short of the freedom to infringe upon others' rights). But, improperly structured, doing too much and being too intrusive, a government can substantially stifle freedom and devour wealth and bring an economy to its knees.

I agree with this statement completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

On the surface it might appear that way, but it ignores the question (analysis around the question) about whether or not some of the things the government is doing would be done without government doing them (i.e., privately in the market) and whether some of those things even need to be done and if not, whether those activities are wasteful and diverting valuable resources away from other things that people would want.

I thought I was asking the question head on! The people who stereotypically call for lower taxes and cuts to government spending seem to be the same people who directly benefit from it the most!

In the case of taxes though, I don't think paying arbitrarily more taxes is the right answer but I do believe that we should pay the right amount of taxes to finance what is being spent by the government.

Because we are currently in deficit that means raising taxes to cover what was spent. There's no rule to say we can't lower taxes again later after everything's paid for. When everything is paid for then we can get back to deciding what we really need and want to pay for.

However, in the current debate about the Bush tax cuts expiring it seems that the right wing argument is like this:

Cut government spending enough to be in line with our current taxes and have enough left over to repay the deficit.

By keeping taxes low, entrepreneurs will have incentive to reinvest in the economy and everyone will make more money, including the government who will make more taxes.

This seems sensible at first but I think we have to consider how many of these entrepreneurs are in fact making their money from the federal government, if we cut programs to match taxes how many will lose everything and won't be able to reinvest in the economy.

Does the amount of money reinvested by entrepreneurs who see a net gain from lower taxes equal the amount of money lost by those who go under after their government contracts go away.

Which areas do we choose to cut first?

Farm subsidies, defense contracts, research, oil subsidies, education?

I'm pretty sure that significantly cutting funding in any one of these areas will have far more impact on our economy than whatever gets reinvested by people paying lower taxes. Assuming that's true, our current economy can't support the cutting of services so we have to either raise taxes or print more money. I'm steadfastly against printing more money, so I think it's only sensible to raise taxes.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

What most forget is that "the government" has no money of its own. Governments can either raise revenue via direct taxation paid by citizens or borrow money directly yielding a deficit, which also has to be paid back by citizens. And the trouble is, when governments attempt to "prop up economy" with funds, those funds come from the citizens anyway, negating any "prop -up" value intended. That is precisely why our recession is lingering, not from the recession itself, but from the government's attempt to relive it, which make the recession worse!

This is not exactly true. A governments money is the guarantee of the labor of its citizens, the product of its industry, or ownership of natural resources.

We can only ever have a net gain in our countries money when people from another country are willing to give us some of their money (labor, etc) in a trade we profit from.

Propping up is different from stimulating the economy which can have a significant effect on the value of our citizens labor and the product of our industry. For example, if we pay for the education of all of our citizens, they can now be more productive in a way that other countries are willing to pay for and spending on defense allows our government to negotiate more favorable trade deals, which in turn ensures that we profit when trading.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I thought I was asking the question head on! The people who stereotypically call for lower taxes and cuts to government spending seem to be the same people who directly benefit from it the most!

I think you are missing the point (or maybe I am). While I agree that there is a great deal of both irony and hypocrisy in the positions many people hold (taxes for thee, but not for me; welfare for me, but not for thee), that's not what I was talking about.

What I was addressing is the general point about the economy being "propped up." There's no doubt that it appears this way, but what you're missing is that if the government was doing this so-called propping and was taxing less and spending less and doing less, the private sector is likely to backfill this "propping up" (though possibly with other activities than what the government might be doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

In the case of taxes though, I don't think paying arbitrarily more taxes is the right answer but I do believe that we should pay the right amount of taxes to finance what is being spent by the government.

There's the rub though isn't it. What is the "right" amount? I think this requires getting back to some more basic questions of what the fundamental and primary role of government is...then how much does that cost? We have abandoned such questions and jumped right to the assumption that "The government oughtta do something!"


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Because we are currently in deficit that means raising taxes to cover what was spent. There's no rule to say we can't lower taxes again later after everything's paid for. When everything is paid for then we can get back to deciding what we really need and want to pay for.

The problem here is a bit counterintuitive. If you try to go about raising taxes to close this gap, things will actually get worse not better. Where we need to go is into massive spending cuts. Start first with those things which the federal government is exceeding its constitutional responsibilities and authority. This will require disassembling the welfare and warfare* state. That's where all of the money is being spent. An almost insignificantly small portion is being spent on the basic, nearly universally agreed upon duties of the government (maintaining law and order and protecting people's basic rights, some basic and common sense levels of regulation and oversight, perhaps even some basic infrastructure things, etc.) This amount of the budget is really quite small compared to the welfare/warfare* portion.


*For those who are unclear in what I'm referring to by the "warfare" state, I mean that portion of the "defense" budget that is not really going to defense, but rather offense. I realize it's unpopular among my conservative compatriots to point this out, but a substantial portion of what the government does in the name of "defense" is not defense at all. Most people doing an honest and objective analysis of this is likely to arrive at the same conclusion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

However, in the current debate about the Bush tax cuts expiring it seems that the right wing argument is like this:

Cut government spending enough to be in line with our current taxes and have enough left over to repay the deficit.

And that's what we should be doing. It won't happen, but it's the best course of action.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

By keeping taxes low, entrepreneurs will have incentive to reinvest in the economy and everyone will make more money, including the government who will make more taxes.

That's correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

This seems sensible at first but I think we have to consider how many of these entrepreneurs are in fact making their money from the federal government, if we cut programs to match taxes how many will lose everything and won't be able to reinvest in the economy.

To be sure, such a radical reduction in the welfare state (including corporate welfare/corporate socialism) will be disruptive. Those people will have to go out and actually compete, work, innovate and provide more valuable products and services. In the short term there will be some turmoil and upheaval, but it has to stop sometime. We can do it gracefully and in a reasonably orderly fashion. Or not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Does the amount of money reinvested by entrepreneurs who see a net gain from lower taxes equal the amount of money lost by those who go under after their government contracts go away.

Almost certainly. Those political "entrepreneurs" have been holding the country back. They have limited competition, productivity, innovation and quality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Which areas do we choose to cut first?

Farm subsidies, defense contracts, research, oil subsidies, education?

Why not all? Some things could be cut 100%...other things might need to have a more careful draw down. Perhaps 20% a year for 5 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I'm pretty sure that significantly cutting funding in any one of these areas will have far more impact on our economy than whatever gets reinvested by people paying lower taxes.

Short-term: yes. Long-term: no. In fact, long term the benefits are likely to vastly outweigh the costs and detriments incurred in the short-run.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Assuming that's true, our current economy can't support the cutting of services so we have to either raise taxes or print more money. I'm steadfastly against printing more money, so I think it's only sensible to raise taxes.

Both courses of action would be extremely destructive. Printing money is far more insidious and destructive, but both are bad options. First cut spending. Cut big. Cut deep.

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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

This is not exactly true. A governments money is the guarantee of the labor of its citizens, the product of its industry, or ownership of natural resources.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Will you please clarify?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

We can only ever have a net gain in our countries money when people from another country are willing to give us some of their money (labor, etc) in a trade we profit from.

Same here please.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #8 of 28
Basically the conservative view is the most selfish, unchristian, uncaring view there is these days in America. I don't understand how they can run around claiming to have values and yet have this "fuck the poor, fuck other people, fuck everyone but me" attitude. What is more value-oriented than working together as a society to advance as one? What is more value-oriented than measuring one's society not by the richest and most influential individuals but by the quality of living of the poorest and least fortunate?

I used to be a Libertarian until I realized I gave a shit about people. I wish more conservatives would learn to give a shit, too.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Basically the conservative view is the most selfish, unchristian, uncaring view there is these days in America. I don't understand how they can run around claiming to have values and yet have this "fuck the poor, fuck other people, fuck everyone but me" attitude.

It's easy to be righteously indignant about the caricatures you've created in your mind, isn't it?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #10 of 28
You and the other conservatives on this board (and the vocal ones in this country) are worse than any caricature I have ever devised. Sorry.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

You and the other conservatives on this board (and the vocal ones in this country) are worse than any caricature I have ever devised. Sorry.

Really? When, other than in your imagination, have I shown the "fuck the poor, fuck other people, fuck everyone but me" attitude you claim is the hallmark of conservatives (or at least people that simply disagree with you)? Is it just that my views differ from yours and therefore you simply assume that I don't care about anyone but myself, least of all the poor?

Where the fuck do you get off accusing me (or anyone else for that matter) of such things without real evidence beyond your own opinions of what my (or others') view mean?

You've constructed a caricature of what you imagine I (and others) are, do, think and care about. I actually care quite deeply about the poor, which is one of the reasons I am opposed to many of the things this government (and other governments) are doing, because I find that many of these policies actually do the exact opposite of what their advocates and supporters claim, intend or hope they will in particular to/for the poor.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Where we need to go is into massive spending cuts. Start first with those things which the federal government is exceeding its constitutional responsibilities and authority. This will require disassembling the welfare and warfare* state. That's where all of the money is being spent. An almost insignificantly small portion is being spent on the basic, nearly universally agreed upon duties of the government (maintaining law and order and protecting people's basic rights, some basic and common sense levels of regulation and oversight, perhaps even some basic infrastructure things, etc.) This amount of the budget is really quite small compared to the welfare/warfare* portion.

I most certainly agree with disassembling the warfare state, but the welfare state is paltry compared to that and consists of services that citizens of most developed countries take for granted.

This is the disconnect where people begin to point at examples like Somalia and Nigeria. Social services are necessary to ensuring a minimum standard of living and promote returns when disadvantaged citizens become productive in the future.

If you rely on private organizations to fill the gap left by government run social services then we almost certainly will run into dire situations like in most developing nations where there is great wealth disparity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

To be sure, such a radical reduction in the welfare state (including corporate welfare/corporate socialism) will be disruptive. Those people will have to go out and actually compete, work, innovate and provide more valuable products and services. In the short term there will be some turmoil and upheaval, but it has to stop sometime. We can do it gracefully and in a reasonably orderly fashion. Or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Both courses of action would be extremely destructive. Printing money is far more insidious and destructive, but both are bad options. First cut spending. Cut big. Cut deep.

I'm not sure what you're arguing here, I would think that it's better to do it gracefully and in an orderly fashion but deep spending cuts will have the exact opposite effect. The turmoil created by such an upheaval will have lasting effects on our economy and it's possible that we wouldn't recover for years, this is the logic behind the stimulus.

Obviously spending needs to go down and productivity needs to go up, but first we need to pay for the things we've already bought. The only way to do this is by increasing taxes. If we simply reduce spending then we end up in the tumultuous situation that I believe we want to avoid.

Reducing taxes or keeping them as is (in their currently reduced state) and not cutting spending means we don't pay back our debt and no longer have the liquidity to explore raising our collective standard of living without devaluing our currency further.

*Note: raising our collective standard of living might sound like some communist ideal but there are plenty of "basic" services that are well within the responsibility of government that would raise our standard of living if explored and financed, the national highway system is a great example of that, I'm sure there are others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Will you please clarify?

Same here please.

Regarding the nature of money.

Fiat currency is of completely arbitrary value except when comparing two fiat currencies against each other.

When trading for goods from another country and receiving their currency in return, you have to consider what you can buy with the money you receive. Basically (for most countries) that money guarantees you the right to purchase goods, labor, or natural resources from the citizens of that country (land is tricky, many countries have prohibitions on foreigners owning land).

When we print our own money and introduce it into our money supply, it devalues the money already in circulation until other countries choose to value our goods and services at a rate that is profitable to us.

So, the only way to have a net gain in the value of our money supply is by trading profitably with other countries (they consider our labor and resources more valuable than their labor and resources).

Now, to say that the government itself has no money ignores the fact that the government is the organization that legitimizes our currency and gives it any value to begin with. In actuality, the government owns all of the money. Luckily, in the USA our government is collectively owned by the people.

Now when it comes to propping up the economy. The government isn't attempting to engage in some game where we simply shuffle money around between taxpayers and government projects. The government is betting that the money it injects (to prop up the economy) will allow our citizens to be more productive and by time the market effects of the increased monetary supply take effect, the value of our labor will be greater than that of our trading partners, in that case we will see a net gain. Of course, it is a bet and the opposite can happen like we have seen in any country that has experienced hyper inflation.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Really? When, other than in your imagination, have I shown the "fuck the poor, fuck other people, fuck everyone but me" attitude you claim is the hallmark of conservatives (or at least people that simply disagree with you)? Is it just that my views differ from yours and therefore you simply assume that I don't care about anyone but myself, least of all the poor?

Where the fuck do you get off accusing me (or anyone else for that matter) of such things without real evidence beyond your own opinions of what my (or others') view mean?

You've constructed a caricature of what you imagine I (and others) are, do, think and care about. I actually care quite deeply about the poor, which is one of the reasons I am opposed to many of the things this government (and other governments) are doing, because I find that many of these policies actually do the exact opposite of what their advocates and supporters claim, intend or hope they will in particular to/for the poor.

The evidence comes from the experience of seeing your opinions (since you started posting) and those of other conservatives here for years. Pretty heartless in general.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

The evidence comes from the experience of seeing your opinions (since you started posting) and those of other conservatives here for years. Pretty heartless in general.

I would have to agree with this, based on observation. There is a very clear attitude, as pointed out in the Christian thread, among conservatives, that "what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours".

Conservatives like to respond that the rich can be more charitable with their money if the Government would stop taking it away from them, but at least one recent study has shown that the poor are actually more generous with what they have than the rich, and another recent study has shown that businesses that have been given tax cuts and are making higher profits are not turning those profits into more jobs or higher salaries, a conclusion which flies in the face of certain popular conservative conjecture.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Basically the conservative view is the most....

Before you advance you need to know what you are standing on... The liberal view here, as espoused by Obama and Company, is to indebt and indenture our youth to financial slavery, as he has done with stimulus after stimulus, accumulated the worst deficit in the history of our nation! And for what? 10% unemployment that has been a hallmark of his administration! Bank closures that has been a hallmark of his administration! Hostility toward small businesses and Wall Street that has been a hallmark of his administration! That is what the liberals have done and none of it has helped our economy! Matter of fact, what liberals have done to date has made our economy far worse. So deal with that before you dare say one word about conservatives, who are not in power in the White House, Senate, or House! Liberals are. Liberals have ruined the nation. Deal with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Conservatives like to respond that the rich can be more charitable with their money if the Government would stop taking it away from them, but at least one recent study has shown that the poor are actually more generous with what they have than the rich...

I know a "recent study" that proves otherwise... not a single poor person is in the top 10% of heavily-taxed Americans!
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

The evidence comes from the experience of seeing your opinions (since you started posting) and those of other conservatives here for years. Pretty heartless in general.

The "evidence" you speak of are your interpretations and opinions of certain people's views which you are trying to pass off as objective fact.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I most certainly agree with disassembling the warfare state, but the welfare state is paltry compared to that and consists of services that citizens of most developed countries take for granted.

Paltry it is not. Got take a look at the budget. It is, by far, the largest piece (when you add all of the pieces of it up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

This is the disconnect where people begin to point at examples like Somalia and Nigeria.

I don't believe so based on the comments and comparisons I've seen people make.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Social services are necessary to ensuring a minimum standard of living and promote returns when disadvantaged citizens become productive in the future.

Which social services are you speaking of. Let's get specific because we may be talking about different things given the vague, broad and ambiguous term "social services."


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

If you rely on private organizations to fill the gap left by government run social services then we almost certainly will run into dire situations like in most developing nations where there is great wealth disparity.

Really? Why?



Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

deep spending cuts will have the exact opposite effect. The turmoil created by such an upheaval will have lasting effects on our economy and it's possible that we wouldn't recover for years, this is the logic behind the stimulus.

I believe this logic is quite flawed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Obviously spending needs to go down and productivity needs to go up, but first we need to pay for the things we've already bought. The only way to do this is by increasing taxes. If we simply reduce spending then we end up in the tumultuous situation that I believe we want to avoid.

I disagree.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

*Note: raising our collective standard of living might sound like some communist ideal

Not at all! Its the means we choose to try to achieve that goal that are in debate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

but there are plenty of "basic" services that are well within the responsibility of government that would raise our standard of living if explored and financed, the national highway system is a great example of that, I'm sure there are others.

Like what?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Fiat currency is of completely arbitrary value except when comparing two fiat currencies against each other.

Actually a fiat currency has a completely arbitrary value no matter what other good or commodity you compare it to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

When trading for goods from another country and receiving their currency in return, you have to consider what you can buy with the money you receive. Basically (for most countries) that money guarantees you the right to purchase goods, labor, or natural resources from the citizens of that country (land is tricky, many countries have prohibitions on foreigners owning land).

Yep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

When we print our own money and introduce it into our money supply, it devalues the money already in circulation

Yep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

until other countries choose to value our goods and services at a rate that is profitable to us.

Huh?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

So, the only way to have a net gain in the value of our money supply is by trading profitably with other countries (they consider our labor and resources more valuable than their labor and resources).

The first clarification that needs to be made here is the countries don't trade with other countries. People trade with other people. That they happen to be in other geographical areas with arbitrarily drawn lines on a map around them is immaterial.

Second, (voluntary) trade happens simply when one both parties believe they will gain by the trade. One or both could both be wrong of course, but no one trades unless they believe they will have a net gain from the trade.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Now, to say that the government itself has no money ignores the fact that the government is the organization that legitimizes our currency and gives it any value to begin with.

This is simply wrong. Government only legitimizes fiat currency. That's all. We all go along with this until we can no longer because they have stripped the currency of any meaning. This has, of course, happened repeatedly throughout history. Fiat currencies do not last.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

In actuality, the government owns all of the money.

The fiat currency.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Luckily, in the USA our government is collectively owned by the people.




Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

Now when it comes to propping up the economy. The government isn't attempting to engage in some game where we simply shuffle money around between taxpayers and government projects.

I totally disagree. This is exactly what it's doing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

The government is betting that the money it injects (to prop up the economy) will allow our citizens to be more productive and by time the market effects of the increased monetary supply take effect, the value of our labor will be greater than that of our trading partners, in that case we will see a net gain. Of course, it is a bet and the opposite can happen like we have seen in any country that has experienced hyper inflation.

Betting is the right word, with corollary words of wishing and hoping. And the results are often the same as in gambling: not good.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post

I wonder how much tax money is actually propping up these so called entrepeneurs?

It seems to me that quite a lot of corporations and individuals are directly or indirectly suckling at the government teat. It seems to me that quite a few of the people who identify as right wing also hold government jobs or service government contracts, for example:

Military members
Law enforcement
Public school teachers
Regular general schedule employees
Military contractors
Intelligence and security contractors
Aerospace contractors
Nuclear contractors
Scientists doing government funded research
Civil engineers
All forms of civil construction
Waste management
Oil companies
Corn farmers
Medical industry

That's far from exhaustive but I think it's pretty representative of what I'm getting at.

To me it seems that a lot of the economy is in fact propped up by the federal government.

Which is worse, cutting the governments funds by reducing taxes, the government can no longer afford to pay all these entrepeneurs without printing more money and making us all poorer. Or, recognizing that the government and government services play an important role in both our economy and our lives and paying for it appropriately.

The rather poorly framed logically fallacy you are putting forward here is what is called a Ad hominem tu quoque fallacy.

Ad hominem tu quoque (lit: "You too!") refers to a claim that the source making the argument has spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with the argument. In particular, if Source A criticizes the actions of Source B, a tu quoque response is that Source A has acted in the same way. This argument is fallacious because it does not disprove the argument; if the premise is true then Source A may be a hypocrite, but this does not make the statement less credible from a logical perspective. Indeed, Source A may be in a position to provide personal testimony on the negative consequences of the stated action.

A person who believes the government is misallocating money within the economy does not forgo a need for income or living in the meantime and must work. If the government has taken all/most of the available dollars within certain fields, then the party has no choice working in that field but to either work for the government or receive government money. This is true in medicine where 55% of all dollars are government, and going up. It is true in education. It is hard to ignore in fields like farming. The government distorts the market and you cannot simply remove yourself from the market. It is better to argue to remove the distortion.

Likewise if they are working in a job within the actual defined confines of limited government, then they are very consistent because they are engaged in showing how government can work in the limited fashion in which it should be applied. Military is a prime example of this at the federal level.

Well this thread is done. Try not to start threads with logical fallacies.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Betting is the right word, with corollary words of wishing and hoping. And the results are often the same as in gambling: not good.

Yet you don't hesitate to gamble, with no real world results as precedent, and in fact with real world precedent that says otherwise, that cutting taxes can improve the economy.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Yet you don't hesitate to gamble, with no real world results as precedent, and in fact with real world precedent that says otherwise, that cutting taxes can improve the economy.

Your repeated claims of failure do not change the evidence of history.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Your repeated claims of failure do not change the evidence of history.

So after the Bush tax cuts, the economy boomed! Nice revision there. I suppose you're going to credit Reagan with Clinton's success, too (actually, to be honest, it wasn't really Clinton's success, either... the 90's boom was the result of a new market, and had nothing to do with taxes). I'd love to see your evidence supported by a majority of economists and not just one or two right-wing shills... waiting...
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

So after the Bush tax cuts, the economy boomed! Nice revision there. I suppose you're going to credit Reagan with Clinton's success, too. I'd love to see your evidence supported by a majority of economists and not just one or two right-wing schills... waiting...

I can't help it if you have an extraordinarily narrow and simplistic view of this.

There is plenty of material to read and study the supports the claim that lower tax and regulatory burdens lead to greater economic growth and material prosperity. It's not my job to do your homework. If wish to continue living in ignorance and denial on this subject in order to continue believing what you want to believe, I cannot help that.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I can't help it if you have an extraordinarily narrow and simplistic view of this.

I do not. Unlike you, I look at both sides. And a far greater number of non-connected economists who have nothing to gain from a tax cut or who might gain from the opposite view to their own, support the idea that tax cuts have not led to any increase in hiring, salaries and especially National revenue.
Quote:
There is plenty of material to read and study the supports the claim that lower tax and regulatory burdens lead to greater economic growth and material prosperity.

And there is plenty of material that says the exact opposite. Do you agree?

Yes, there are theories. I am aware of the theories. I also have yet to see any success come from them whatsoever. However, what these theories do have, is interested parties who stand to benefit individually from these theories, whether there is macroeconomic success in them or not. Do you agree with that?
Quote:
It's not my job to do your homework. If wish to continue living in ignorance and denial on this subject in order to continue believing what you want to believe, I cannot help that.

I look at the history of events as they happened. Reagan cuts taxes... the economy tanks. Reagan and HW Bush raise taxes again, it recovers. Bush cuts taxes, the economy tanks. Yes, I know it's more complex than that, but it's also more simple than you lay it out to be. I've said this before, but you do fail to see the wood for the trees.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I would have to agree with this, based on observation. There is a very clear attitude, as pointed out in the Christian thread, among conservatives, that "what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours".

Conservatives like to respond that the rich can be more charitable with their money if the Government would stop taking it away from them, but at least one recent study has shown that the poor are actually more generous with what they have than the rich, and another recent study has shown that businesses that have been given tax cuts and are making higher profits are not turning those profits into more jobs or higher salaries, a conclusion which flies in the face of certain popular conservative conjecture.

I could have told you that without the study. It's a mindset. The rich didn't get there by giving their money away ( only when it's tax deductable ).

And about Clinton and the boom part of the 90's yes that was a part of what happened however we've had many booms that didn't result in a balanced budget or a surplus. You really do have to give the guy some credit ( even if he can't keep his pants zipped ).
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

I could have told you that without the study. It's a mindset. The rich didn't get there by giving their money away ( only when it's tax deductable ).

And about Clinton and the boom part of the 90's yes that was a part of what happened however we've had many booms that didn't result in a balanced budget or a surplus. You really do have to give the guy some credit ( even if he can't keep his pants zipped ).

I'm a bit lazy to do it myself, but would you be willing to look into the effect of the following new markets on the economy (and the federal budget) at the time?:

The home telephone;
The affordable private automobile;
The living room radio;
The family television;
The color television;
The transistor radio;
The personal computer;
The Walkman;
The internet;
The mobile phone.

Of all those, I would argue that the internet (internet marketing and e-business) had by far the greatest and fastest impact as a new market in the United States. Yes, Clinton managed the boom correctly, but I don't see that the potential for the effect of the others wasn't wasted, either, except for the effect foreign imports (and market creation) had in the transistor radio and Walkman booms.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I'm a bit lazy to do it myself, but would you be willing to look into the effect of the following new markets on the economy (and the federal budget) at the time?:

The home telephone;
The affordable private automobile;
The living room radio;
The family television;
The color television;
The transistor radio;
The personal computer;
The Walkman;
The internet;
The mobile phone.

Of all those, I would argue that the internet (internet marketing and e-business) had by far the greatest and fastest impact as a new market in the United States. Yes, Clinton managed the boom correctly, but I don't see that the potential for the effect of the others wasn't wasted, either, except for the effect foreign imports (and market creation) had in the transistor radio and Walkman booms.

Well what can I say here?
Quote:
Yes, Clinton managed the boom correctly,

I might add that it was the first balanced budget in 30 years. Something that doesn't happen every day. Like I've said you have to give him some credit. We've had booms before and not ended up in the same shape. If only we could go back there. It was kind of nice waking up every morning and hearing on the news that the longest running Bull market in history was still going. And the big news story was presidential infidelity. Aaaaaahhhhh! The good old days.
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #27 of 28
Speaking of caring about poor people...and black ones in particular. What do we all think about how the government is treating them in this case?

I'm sure this is just the bad government vs. the good government.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Speaking of caring about poor people...and black ones in particular. What do we all think about how the government is treating them in this case?

I'm sure this is just the bad government vs. the good government.

I wonder when minorities will realize that their opportunities for private advancement were far more numerous under President Bush than President Obama? Said another way, Democrats have reduced not increased private sector opportunities that minorities have available for advancement. That is why Democrats want minorities to vote for them, because they say they create government jobs for them but in reality Democrats keep minorities locked in the welfare/public service sector and actually deny them private sector success...
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