The United States in 2020

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Oct 12, 2010.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Like 2000-2006, when the Republicans did this, and produced massive deficits, with *no* such outrage. You're engaging in selective history, 44. The picture is more complex than that.

    I honestly have no idea what this means. What selective history are you referring to?

    The movement that should have protested GOP control of government would be an off shoot of the democratic party. Of course it was tried, such as the "I'm sorry" movement or the Sheehan/Code Pink groups, but I think you're pointing out the fact that there was no real opposition during this time, which isn't the fault of the dominate party.
  2. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I was simply noting that the timing of the "We're tired of institutionalized government" crowd was 2008/9, which is several years behind both ideological dominance of two branches of government and a massive increase in the deficit. The "selective history" suggestion is that it wasn't simply these ideological concerns that produced the movement, since these concerns preceded the movement in recent history, and it took the election of a party with which a majority of the movement disagreed to "spur them into action", which suggests that institutionalized government and massive deficits were fine with them, so long as it was the Republicans, which makes it more about ideology than the factors you cited.

    Could there have been an oppositional force from the Democrats? Maybe - we're notoriously difficult to organize (something that the Republicans are much better at doing, especially with the backing of FOX News). Combine a big tent and the difficulty of herding cats and you have a recipe for mediocrity and an incoherent message.

    And Jabba, I have to agree with KK and Smuggler that you're pushing the race element a lot more than I think is warranted.
  3. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    You forgot insanity. But if you are so willing to harshly judge the motives and intent of the Tea Party, then as someone who considers himself as part of that Tea Party, I think I have every right to harshly judge yours.

    Quite frankly, large portions of the social spending by the federal government, if not all of it, is illegitimate as it is not authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution or any of the amendments. So if you want to talk illegitimacy, I can go there. But you might not like where "there" leads...
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Ok. I'm sorry you feel caught in the crossfire, Jedismuggler. You sympathize with an organization that overtly or inadvertently promotes a return to a more racist America. The only people who pretend not to see it are the ones inside the movement or its sympathizers and hangers on, including of course the GOP as a whole since they are the direct beneficiaries.

    The downside for Republican candidates is that in order to fully capitalize on the VOTAWP movement, the GOP will have to internalize some or all of its racism.
    I very much wish you were right about that.
  5. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    I'm sorry you are so desperate and so bereft of arguments that you feel the need to turn one group of Americans against another on the basis of skin tone. I'm sorry you feel the need to resort to lies. I'm sorry you are so consumed with bitterness and anger towards those who disagree with you that you resort to such hateful, vile, and despicable posts that have brought the Senate Floor to a new low. And I am sorry that I ever gave you the benefit of the doubt as a person or a fellow poster here.
  6. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Bear in mind, Jabba, that I think the basic argument that the movement is serving as a public nucleus of that kind of thinking is right. I don't think that it is a majority opinion of the movement by any stretch, but it seems to me that people feel more comfortable publically saying things that are intentionally or unintentionally racist in Tea Party settings. I freely acknowledge that this is my impression, and that I could be wrong. Additionally, I don't ascribe racist beliefs to any Tea Party adherent in particular until such a person says or does something racist.

    I'm concerned more about the way in which you are arguing it - it seems intentionally oppositional, which has several impacts. One, it makes defenders of the Tea Party dig in deeper, and two, it makes it difficult to argue using less inflammatory language. I understand your argument, think there's an essentially true core, but that you're pushing the message to the point where the message is lost. The argument becomes about the immediate interpersonal conflict, rather than the larger sociological harm.
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    My initial point was that these trends toward a more racist, less equal society were well established before the Tea Party came about and have their roots in the Reagan Revolution, the early years of which saw the passing of the high water mark of improving opportunity and socioeconomic integration of African Americans.

    Even without the Tea Party, our trajectory for the next ten years does not look good in terms of socioeconomic equality for African Americans. The Tea Party is merely an accelerant thrown on the fire, an attempted further legitimization of a disturbing shift in our national culture. I hope I did not imply that they are the sole cause of all our race problems. It's at least as much a symptom as a cause.
  8. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I think you're all nuts.
  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Quix, I don't know how to remove the ideology. I don't know of any political system that isn't based on one ideology or another. I still think we're talking past each other, because I still don't know what you mean. The reaction against the Bush-dominated years was to see the swing in control of government in the last election. Unfortunately, it moved too much, and now we're seeing the reaction to that. The problem is with the amount of the "pendulum swing," because government tends to be self-correcting, not in the ideology itself.

    I'd agree with your organization-lack of organization assessment, but I don't know what the answer is. For example, I'd say the country would have been a lot better off if the democratic party raised concerns against something like the Iraq War at the beginning- if that's what the majority really wanted- instead of simply giving it a rubber stamp and then organizing against it after the fact. But that's the dirty side of political opportunism, which also factors into every political process. Moving forward, I think the answer is to have both parties look at the issues which matter to them, instead of simply being a rubber stamp to the larger parties themselves.
  10. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Tea party, tea party, tea party.

    Teaparty-pro-toto.

    ALL Western societies are becoming more xenophobic, as the struggle for survival becomes more fierce. Did anyone here get mad at Yeltsin when he invaded Chechnya? I'm afraid we're all Yeltsins, now.
  11. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    We could be talking past each other. My argument boils down to if the Tea Party were genuinely about those issues, then it would have arisen earlier (and there were a handful of isolated protests predating the 2008/9 crowd), but nothing really materialized until the Democrats came to power in the executive branch, at which point these issues "suddenly" became enough of a concern that people began to organize. The only difference was which ideology was in power, so basic reasoning suggests that the people who were apparently fine with ideological dominance and massive deficits under Republicans were not fine with it under Democrats, so the real issue isn't with governmental homogeneity or spending, but rather with the Democrats. This is why I bristle when people suggest that the Tea Party is about economic issues and/or non-ideological issues precisely because these same catalysts existed only a few years before without apparently being a blip on the radar (and the overall ideological homogeneity of its constituents, with *massive* overrepresentation of Republicans relative to Democrats). It strikes me as dishonest.
  12. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    Where do your numbers come from on China? If it comes from them, I'd be pretty wary of trusting them. I just got back from a talk by Deborah Brautigam, so that problem is at the forefront of my mind.

    Also, I want to say you're incorrect about monetary policy being out of ammunition. See: Sumner, Yglesias, Krugman, etc etc [Blithe linked to some papers and speeches by Bernanke from a decade ago where he laid all the tools a Central bank has even at 0% interest rates).


  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That's true of course. If I understand it correctly, NYJ, and feel free to disabuse if not, the newest round of "quantitative easing" is going to be basically the Treasury figuratively printing money, walking it over to the Federal Reserve, which then uses that money to buy Treasury bonds. Or, putting it as simply as possible, the government prints money to buy back its own debt.

    That's the kind of ammunition still in the arsenal. Rather than providing zero interest money to the banks who then [fail] to lend it out (but as you point it out also use it to buy treasuries therefore earning a guaranteed spread on free money) by buying Treasury bonds the Fed is injecting cash directly into the economy, or directly into the pockets of the holders of Treasuries, which I would assume is mostly institutional investors, who then do what with it? I'm not sure, but putting more money into circulation is intended to combat the potential deflationary effects of lingering high unemployment and sluggish growth.
  14. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    JS

    Defense spending and space exploration could also play a part - the technological advances for both have, in the past, ended up benefiting society as a whole.

    100% agree.

    Actually, if you were to make it much less painful with the tax system - a flat tax, not punishing job creators, and just getting out of people's way - it will increase. The 1920s was an impressive economic boon by slashing the top rate to 25%. So the tax code can be fixed.

    Rates were higher in the post-war era (50s to 70s), and there was large, broad growth. Similarly, there was the 90s, when tax rates were higher than the 2000s and growth/jobs were better.

    I would agree with the statement that tax rates should befit the times, and kept as low as possible, but there is not one definitive path to always take.


    Mr44

    The Tea Party is a result of the most recent election cycle, and is a reaction to the institutionalization of government. This is because a single party controls both the executive and the legislative. If Hillary Clinton and not Obama had won the last election, in conjunction with Congressional control going to the same party, you'd still see the same movement rise up.

    I agree regarding if it had been Hillary Clinton. QS covered my disagreements, making the rest of my response moot.

    I think the Iraq issue was so unique in political history because it came so close after 9/11. Democrats didn?t want to appear weak on defense, and received some serious backlash for it (hence the rise of Howard Dean).

    I think that's a universal constant, since everyone hates Ben Affleck

    I?m telling ya, see The Town, and you may change your mind just a little bit.

    If we can all agree on something, it?s that the True Grit remake looks awesome. As is Jewish tradition, on Christmas Day me and my family will be eating chinese food and going to the movies.

    Jabba

    Yes, my understanding too is that with interest rates kept so low for so long, then the other option is as you said, to print money to buy back debt.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, you can never go wrong with the tried and true rolling around in a vault full of coins and money bags like Scrooge McDuck...

    But that's probably a more short term solution.
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The question is whether adding to cash in circulation inevitably increases the demand for cash. Are the effects always going to be inflationary? What if consumers won't spend and businesses can't invest in expansion. One theory I've read recently is that the boomers have thrown in the towel on discretionary spending after the back to back internet and real estate bubble crashes. They made up for the first crash by taking on more consumer debt, and now with the value of their homes having plummeted, they have nothing left to give. Dropping bales of cash into the market isn't going to encourage them to open their wallets, so the theory goes. Any cash they can find is going into deleveraging and thrift. The money they put away isn't earning any money, so they put even more of it under the mattress to compensate for a perceived drop in future retirement income.
  17. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    In the 1950s, most of Europe and Japan's industrial base was bombed-out rubble. In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy was pushing for LOWERING tax rates to encourage more economic growth. But in the 1970s, things changed a bit.

    In the 1990s, it took a Republican Congress to force through lowering the capital gains tax rate and to add tax credits for children to families - and getting Clinton to sign them was quite a fight.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    And it's paid off with an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor and the death spiral of the American middle class.
  19. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    JS

    In the 1950s, most of Europe and Japan's industrial base was bombed-out rubble. In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy was pushing for LOWERING tax rates to encourage more economic growth. But in the 1970s, things changed a bit.

    Actually, worldwide growth was high during the post-war period.

    To be clear, it was LBJ who signed the tax rate reduction in 1964, towards the end of the post-war boom, but the top rate was still 70%. The 1970s did change, with the various oil crises and such.

    In the 1990s, it took a Republican Congress to force through lowering the capital gains tax rate and to add tax credits for children to families - and getting Clinton to sign them was quite a fight.

    If you are referring to the 1997 Taxpayer relief act, it wasn?t forced through. Here is the final vote:

    House
    Republicans 225 -1 Yes
    Democrats 164 -41 Yes

    Senate
    Republicans 55 - 0 Yes
    Democrats 37 -8 Yes

    And this ignores the tax rate changes in 1993. Growth was fairly strong from the early 90s on, so it?s hard to just credit the 1997 act.

    Remember, Reagan raised some taxes (I am fairly certain the 1986 act lowered individual rates, but raised capital gains rates), Obama lowered a bunch of taxes. During the 1920s, taxes were reduced so that only the richest 2% paid income taxes. I also read an interesting article, I?ll try and find it, written by a non-partisan economist making a good argument for reducing certain corporate tax rates. And I?m certainly not claiming that super high tax rates from 1940s thru 1960s, higher income tax rates during 1990s, therefore higher taxes = better economy.

    Point being that one can?t pick and choose, particularly specific tax rates throughout history, and make a definitive statement that lower/higher tax rates are automatically better for each and every situation without considering the context and history.

    Perhaps the one thing we would agree on is that I read that some of the credit for the economic/technological growth of the post-war period was due to an increase in military spending.
  20. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    [image=http://stargate-sg1-solutions.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/daniel-jackson-aot-2.jpg]
    Ummm...no...

    I was actually pointing out the irony of someone who tends to use a lot of rhetoric about retribution making a post decrying an increase in rhetoric about retribution. Man in the mirror, that sort of thing ;)
  21. New_York_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    That (monetizing the debt) is one option for monetary policy, but its not the only one. They could also buy more corporate/other debt. My preferred first step is eliminating interest on excess reserves. Banks are required to keep a certain percentage of liabilities in cash reserves; that is fine. However, cash reserves above required reserves kept at the bank don't need to have interest paid on them (especially when that interest rate is higher than the banks borrowing interest rate). More dramatically, the Fed could charge a negative interest rate on excess reserves- that is, they charge the banks money for keeping their excess reserves (currently around $1 Trillion) sidelined and out of the money supply. The fed could also announce an explicit inflation target, or (more hetero-orthodoxly) an explicit NGDP target. A key is inflation expectations management. If people think there will be higher inflation, that will drive down real rates in the short term. Paradoxically, we will know inflation is picking up to a more appropriate level when we see long term rates rise somewhat.
  22. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    You seem to think that I WANT a cycle of retribution. I don't.

    HOWEVER, the alternative in some cases, is arguably worse. With regards to gay marriage, backing down NOW would be throwing my faith and my best friend under the bus. Not calling Jabbadabbado out would be allowing the vile notion he has made on multiple occasions in this thread alone that I am a racist because I agree with the Tea Party to stand unchallenged.

    Would you throw your faith and best friend under the bus when they get attacked for just disagreeing with a court ruling and working within the system to overturn it, or would you stick by your friend and your faith? Would you allow a lie like the one Jabba is spreading about me to stand unchallenged, or would you get in his face?

    Yes, there is a rhetoric of retribution from me. But I consider the alternatives in both cases are worse. I hate it, but don't see a better option.
  23. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Form better opinions?

    Be less melodramatic about your current ones?
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    JS, calling out the Tea Party for institutionalizing racist ideology and creating an atmosphere of tolerance for policies that will create a more racist America is not, nor is it ever going to be the same thing as calling you a racist. The Tea Party is the ugliest, foulest, most overtly evil sociopolitical movement of any size I've seen in the United States in my lifetime, with the possible exception of the anti gay marriage movement and understanding of course that the two are intimately intertwined. That's my opinion. Again, try to distinguish fact from opinion. It's not a lie if it's my honest, good faith opinion, supported by objective evidence, which of course it unequivocally is.

    New_York_Jedi, what I haven't seen is any clear argument about how quantitative easing is going to help the unemployment rate. Monetizing the debt seems like another gift to financial markets, with nothing more than unwarranted speculation about how it might stimulate capital investment/business expansion.
  25. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    sorry, JS, I can't allow this. Let the record show though that you disagree with me.
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