America Is Eff'd!

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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Per » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:14 pm

UWSaint wrote:
Per wrote:
(On Sweden)

We're the ones who do the Keynes thingy according to the book... even if Sweden happens to have a conservative PM leading a centre-right coalition government at the moment.

(On the US)

The problem is that some countries, like Greece and the USA, entered the recession already having deficits. Thus they end up choosing between plague and cholera.


Yes, Per, I am sure the numbers will back up your analysis....
The link you presented only refers to external debt, ie money borrowed from abroad.

I've never really understood why some think external debt is more interesting than total public debt.
If I'm in debt I still owe the same amount of money whether I borrowed it from my Nephew or from the bank.

I guess the reasoning goes a bit like if the US government mainly owes money to US citizens, it's OK, because technically they could default on that money with impunity by making laws that render the people that lent them the money without means to ever claim it.....
To me that just sounds insane, immoral and plain crazy. Debts should be honoured and paid back whether it is domestic or foreign, and therefor the total public debt is more interesting than external debt imho. And then it looks like this:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... 6rank.html

In this chart you can see that the public debt in Greece was 144% of GDP, in the USA it was 59.8 and for Sweden 40.8.

The Economist has a presentation with fresher data which can be seen here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailycha ... debt-guide

If you scroll to the table at the bottom you see that the countries with the worst debt problems according to their ranking would be

1 Japan
2 Ireland
3 Great Britain
4 Greece
5 Portugal
6 Spain
7 USA

And of the countries that they compared, the one with the least debt problems are Sweden, Finland and Switzerland.

But really, the US debt problems aren't impossible to handle. It's just that congress for short sighted political purposes refuses to take a serious grip on it. The left wing democrats oppose all cuts and the tea-baggers among the republicans refuse to accept any raised taxes. Thus the stalemate and loss of trust in the US's ability to live up to its obligations, leading to a lower market rating. The lower rating is really not based on solid economic data but on political risk. The market does not have full faith in congress doing what is necessary to keep the US solvent.

And the Bush tax cuts were absurd. Thanks to them the richest group in the US have a lower tax rate than the middle class.
Now, I understand the reasoning behind a flat tax and I understand the reasoning behind a progressive tax system (the more you earn, the higher the tax rate) but I simply fail to understand how anyone can defend a regressive tax system, ie the richer you are, the less you pay... It just doesn't seem reasonable. Just take away all the lope holes and deductions catering to special interests and replace it with a flat tax rate across the board. Let the rich pay the same rate as the average Joe. Sounds fair to me. And it would help alleviate the debt problem.
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby rats19 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:29 pm

how hard is it to figure out annual personal income to govt. at the current tax system and what it would be with a flat tax.. say 25% ..? anyone know how that is figured out with info available to god damned hockey talk board members..hmmm do ya??
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Strangelove » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:58 pm

Strangelove wrote:
Per wrote:Read up on history! :roll:

We took the exact same stance as the USA in WWII - neutral until attacked.

Fortunately for us, we were never attacked. 8-)


So you "got lucky" and Germany didn't attack you! :lol:

C'mon Per for a few years during the war (while they were winning) you guys were basically allies with the Nazis!

Scandinavia since 1500... by Byron J. Nordstrom

"Sweden's government attempted to maintain at least a semblance of neutrality while it bent to the demands of the prevailing side in the struggle.... from April 1940 to summer 1943, neutrality was a sham. In fact, Swden was virtually an allie of Nazi Germany."


Stop trying to deny it Sweden, you were Germany's bitch during WWII and you know it!


more.....

Repeatedly the Swedes conceded on German demands. On 6 July 1940 they accepted a transit agreement that for the next three years provided daily trains between Trelleborg and Kornsjo and weekly trains between Storlien and Norvik (the Horseshoe Line) for German military personnel and equipment. In the same period, access routes through Swedish territorial waters for German shipping and courier flights between Norway and Finland over Swedish territory was permitted. In late June 1941 the Swedish government allowed the passage of the German “Engelbrecht Division” from Norway through northern Sweden to Finland....

In 1941 all but 6.2% of Sweden’s international trade was with Axis-controlled Europe. Deliveries of iron ore, ball bearings, and other commodities useful to the German war effort were maintained at or above prewar levels.

It was also during this period that information and opinion were most energetically suppressed. The government’s information agency attempted to shape public views. At the same time the anti-Nazi/German views were controlled through the confiscation of editions of publications and court actions. Torgny Segerstedt the outspoken anti-Nazi editor of Goteborgs Handels-och Sjofartstidning believed neutrality was impossible in a war that pitted force against right. Several issues of the paper were confiscated under the security provisions of the 1812 Press Freedom Ordinance. Ture Nerman editor of the weekly Trota Allt! Spent months in prison for his criticisms of the Nazis and government policies. In March 1943 seventeen newspapers were subjected to confiscation in order to avoid irritating the Germans while papers expressing pro-German sentiments were untouched.

- Byron J. Nordstrom


Regarding their fondness for "bending" for whichever side was winning in WWII, Churchill had this to say about Sweden:

"That small, coward country." :mex:
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby UWSaint » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:06 pm

Per wrote:I've never really understood why some think external debt is more interesting than total public debt.
If I'm in debt I still owe the same amount of money whether I borrowed it from my Nephew or from the bank.


I read that wiki site, too. But I was telling a joke.

If you want to be serious, the if you are going to look at total debt as a percentage of GDP, why would you smudge it with total debt data. The CIA chart simply makes more sense ... as you seem to get when you notice when you say the US' debt situation is not uncontrollable.

As it is, the US was much closer to the 40% of GDP number until this past 6 years, where Bush never said no and Obama merely doubled down. It isn't sustainable, and that's why the tea party exists. While you may belittle them, their basic beliefs are not radical: government will not hold steady on spending if revenues increase (even where there is debt to be paid); soft capitalism USA style is better for the human condition than the soft socialism of Europe. I agree with both of those sentiments.

But, you know I'm not an idiot, Per. So what if I were a tea partier? Would you have to revisit the tired meme you parrot, or is your faith not subject to change based on new information?
Last edited by UWSaint on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Arachnid » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Strangelove wrote:
Strangelove wrote:
Per wrote:Read up on history! :roll:

We took the exact same stance as the USA in WWII - neutral until attacked.

Fortunately for us, we were never attacked. 8-)


So you "got lucky" and Germany didn't attack you! :lol:

C'mon Per for a few years during the war (while they were winning) you guys were basically allies with the Nazis!

Scandinavia since 1500... by Byron J. Nordstrom

"Sweden's government attempted to maintain at least a semblance of neutrality while it bent to the demands of the prevailing side in the struggle.... from April 1940 to summer 1943, neutrality was a sham. In fact, Swden was virtually an allie of Nazi Germany."


Stop trying to deny it Sweden, you were Germany's bitch during WWII and you know it!


more.....

Repeatedly the Swedes conceded on German demands. On 6 July 1940 they accepted a transit agreement that for the next three years provided daily trains between Trelleborg and Kornsjo and weekly trains between Storlien and Norvik (the Horseshoe Line) for German military personnel and equipment. In the same period, access routes through Swedish territorial waters for German shipping and courier flights between Norway and Finland over Swedish territory was permitted. In late June 1941 the Swedish government allowed the passage of the German “Engelbrecht Division” from Norway through northern Sweden to Finland....

In 1941 all but 6.2% of Sweden’s international trade was with Axis-controlled Europe. Deliveries of iron ore, ball bearings, and other commodities useful to the German war effort were maintained at or above prewar levels.

It was also during this period that information and opinion were most energetically suppressed. The government’s information agency attempted to shape public views. At the same time the anti-Nazi/German views were controlled through the confiscation of editions of publications and court actions. Torgny Segerstedt the outspoken anti-Nazi editor of Goteborgs Handels-och Sjofartstidning believed neutrality was impossible in a war that pitted force against right. Several issues of the paper were confiscated under the security provisions of the 1812 Press Freedom Ordinance. Ture Nerman editor of the weekly Trota Allt! Spent months in prison for his criticisms of the Nazis and government policies. In March 1943 seventeen newspapers were subjected to confiscation in order to avoid irritating the Germans while papers expressing pro-German sentiments were untouched.

- Byron J. Nordstrom


Regarding their fondness for "bending" for whichever side was winning in WWII, Churchill had this to say about Sweden:

"That small, coward country." :mex:


Ummm they never left :oops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KQh87_V2Q

Good flick :thumbs:
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Hoss » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:32 pm

UWSaint wrote:their basic beliefs are not radical: government will not hold steady on spending if revenues increase (even where there is debt to be paid); soft capitalism USA style is better for the human condition than the soft socialism of Europe.


Which is to conveniently ignore the facts that the typical Tea Partier, while identifying with the patriots of the 1770's, lacks any respect for the separation of Church and State, and would be perfectly happy with the status quo re: the buying of elections and the fact that corporations run this country, in truth.

In my mind Tom and John had the biggest hands in shaping this country, and I really wonder what they'd have to say about the TP....
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Sick Bunny » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:14 am

UWSaint wrote:But, you know I'm not an idiot, Per. So what if I were a tea partier? Would you have to revisit the tired meme you parrot, or is your faith not subject to change based on new information?

Dunno about Per, but speaking for myself, it would be yet another affirmation of the scary drug-like power of ideology. :shock:
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Per » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:56 am

UWSaint wrote:
Per wrote:I've never really understood why some think external debt is more interesting than total public debt.
If I'm in debt I still owe the same amount of money whether I borrowed it from my Nephew or from the bank.


I read that wiki site, too. But I was telling a joke.

If you want to be serious, the if you are going to look at total debt as a percentage of GDP, why would you smudge it with total debt data. The CIA chart simply makes more sense ... as you seem to get when you notice when you say the US' debt situation is not uncontrollable.

As it is, the US was much closer to the 40% of GDP number until this past 6 years, where Bush never said no and Obama merely doubled down.

Yes, I agree that the CIA figures are the most relevant, which is why I pointed to them, but I also provided the analysis made by The Economist, and then qualified that by saying I think th eUS debt isn't out of hand, if congress would just get serious and stop trying to win cheap points with the voters.

And yes, during the Clinton years the economy flourished and he brought down debt to a decent level. Then it skyrocketed under Bush. There are basically five reasons the US public debt has risen the drastically since Clinton handed over a very balanced economy to his successor: the Bush tax cuts (1812 billion), the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war (total for both wars 1469 billion and ticking), the Bush stimulus package (773 billion) and the Obama stimulus package (711 billion).

There's not much to do about the wars. It's a sunk cost, so to say.* And the stimulus packages were necessary, and quite obviously supported by both parties. The remaining elephant in the room, that ought to be addressed, are the tax cuts for the wealthy.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... ng/242484/
UWSaint wrote:It isn't sustainable, and that's why the tea party exists. While you may belittle them, their basic beliefs are not radical: government will not hold steady on spending if revenues increase (even where there is debt to be paid); soft capitalism USA style is better for the human condition than the soft socialism of Europe. I agree with both of those sentiments.

But, you know I'm not an idiot, Per. So what if I were a tea partier? Would you have to revisit the tired meme you parrot, or is your faith not subject to change based on new information?
It's not sustainable long term at this level, but it is quite logical that the debt level should rise during an economic crisis. As Keynes has proven, It is essential that the government pushes money into the economy to help get the country out of a recession. The problem is that you need to be able to afford it, and that's why the squandering of money under Bush was so critically bad. He spent the pennies that were meant for the rainy days.
The stimulus packages were necessarey, even though they worsened the debt situation, but as soon as the wheels start turning, that money must be refunded, one way or another. And I firmly believe both spending cuts and raised taxes are necessary.

I know you are not an idiot, which is why I would have a hard time envisioning you in the tea party camp. You are well off, a white male and republican, so you probably like low taxes. But the tea party opposition to any taxes is extremist and almost taliban to its nature. Take a look at these OECD figures:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/13/38/46721091.xls

You will notice that not only is the USA the OECD country with the lowest tax pressure, measured as tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, but it is also the only OECD country to have lower taxes in 2009 than in 1965. In 1965 the US taxes were on par with the OECD average (96.(% of the average OECD figure) but in 2008 (the last year with a calculated average) American taxes were 25% lower than the average for th eOECD.

To look at that and than state that taxes are too heavy and that any raised taxes are a no-no.... I find it silly.

I can see that countries like Denmark and Sweden could need some lower taxes, albeit all economic indicators say the Scandinavian countries are doing extremely well, but in the US I think it'd only be sound politics to reverse the Bush tax cuts in order to address the debt problem.

And the large number of prominent tea party spokesmen that have been wearing tin foil hats in public and questioning whether th epresident's birth certificate is fake only helps reinforce the picture of this movement as a bunch of morons. Sorry. They just don't seem to deserve being taken seriously... :|

You may remember that I vehemently opposed the Iraq war, which was a bit like attacking Australia as a response to IRA blowing up the London underground. There was absolutely no logic to it. Sure, Hussein was a major a-hole, but that's seldom considered a legitimate reason to declare war. I think the US had fair cause to attack Afghanistan though, since that's where the Al Qaeda leadership was based and since they had at least tacit approval and protection from the Taliban that ruled Afghanistan at the time.
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby ODB » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:42 am

It's so simple eh? Clinton whipped out his ten inch which-a-ma-hoo, dropped a you know what on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress and the country was in surplus. Bush (who is clearly the devil) spent the country into the largest deficit in history!

Meanwhile the truth is, Clinton rode the internet/tech bubble straight to a balanced budget. That bubble would burst under Bush just like the housing bubble burst under Obama!

Good ol drop a load was not a savior people. He was simply in the right place at the right time!

Go internets go!?!?
BTW, NOT A FLAME ... JUST AN OBSERVATION ... :P
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Topper » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:30 am

ODB wrote:It's so simple eh? Clinton whipped out his ten inch which-a-ma-hoo, dropped a you know what on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress and the country was in surplus.

He goo gled her face book.
Over the Internet, you can pretend to be anyone or anything.

I'm amazed that so many people choose to be complete twats.
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Listercat » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:44 am

"Willy" Billy is also the one who created the Buy now , Pay never plan option for mortgage funding. Bush tried to have the loopholes closed in that legislation but the Dems would not allow it.

GW's biggest mistake was Iraq and the 2nd "war" has/is costing the USA tremendously. Saddam deserved the boot without doubt but the timing both politically and economically was bad for the Reps. What is happening in Syria at the moment is just as abominable as what happened in Iraq, but no one is capable of doing more than wagging a finger.

Obama a lame duck with grandiose ideas whose "platform" is decided by polls.
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Fred » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:41 am

What I find strange and a "only in America " problem is in 2008-09 Folks were horrified at the salaries and bonuses that were paid to executives who dam nearly set the world finances into a tail spin. The bankers and financiers of that brutal body blow to the country were castigated as greedy unethical dolts, a small but tight old boys club. Now when Obama suggests we tax these guys ( high income earners)at a higher rate, the politico's seem to have forgotten all about it and are voting to keep these same creeps at the low tax rates. :D How short are our memories, apparently very short.

History does tend to repeat it's self. Prior to the Vietnam war The Economist had an article which fundamentally said the US reserves were so large ( they owned more than 50% of the worlds gold) they could do basically what ever it wished. Well the problem was they went into the Vietnam war and financially suffered terribly ( and the V.W. was started by folk hero JFK and concluded by Nixon :D ) well they're at it again and some still believe they're in the same fundamental position that they were prior to the V.W.

US is a great country....as long as you have money ;)
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Per » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Just hear what Warren Buffett has to say:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opini ... -rich.html
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Arachnid » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:05 pm

Per wrote:Just hear what Warren Buffett has to say:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opini ... -rich.html


Socialist! :oops: ...errrr.... Elite Socialist!....ahhhhh..... old spoiled rich greedy bastard?! :scowl:
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Re: America Is Eff'd!

Postby Fred » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:44 pm

I have a lot of time for Warren Buffet. He strikes me as a man with a great grasp of common sense and fairness. Very succesful and humble with it. In credible when he pays only 17% taxes when his employees are paying 30%
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