Define these terms

Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Define these terms

 Everyone tells me that the big problem is companies are not paying a "livable wage". The only definition I get from people is generalities about being enough for people to pay bills etc. That is a useless definition because everyone has different needs. For a single healthy 18 year old $10,000 per year may be sufficient to live on. For a 30 something single mother obviously $10,000 isn't going to cut it. Everyone assures me that most companies don't pay a livable wage.

 

What is a "livable wage", how would I go about calculating it? How do I determine whether I, as an employer, am paying a livable wage?

 

To take it one step further, suppose you were an employer- what methodology would you use to determine what to pay your employees? I am told I do it wrong, but no one has offered me any alternatives.

 

Another term that makes no rational sense but is thrown at me time and again is "fair share". What is a "fair share" of taxation? How do I determine whether or not I am paying my "fair share"? Suppose someone makes $1 billion, what should they pay in taxes? $1 million? $500k? $250k? $100k? $50k? $25k? $10k?

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


jcgadfly
Superfan
Posts: 6791
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
 Apolgoies for buggering

 Apolgoies for buggering quotes in above post\

 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:cj wrote:Ask the

EXC wrote:

cj wrote:

Ask the ex small business owners in Ephrata, WA how easy it was to compete when Walmart moved into to town.  The local hardware stores, gift shops, grocery stores (even the Safeway) and health clinics all closed soon after Wally opened its doors.  When they were all out, the prices at Walmart took a big jump.  Surprise, surprise.

Prices based on commodities are always going up because the Fed institutes an illegal tax by just 'printing money' and giving it away to banks, thereby creating inflation. Also because we have illegal immigration driving up prices and driving down wages. But the people of your political persuasion don't seem to do anything about these problems.

The Federal Reserve =has= to print money because otherwise we'd have deflation, which is death to an economy.

The present problem is that even with the Fed running the printing presses, so much wealth is being hoarded into so few hands that we have de facto deflation, along with all the problems that creates.

The middle and working classes have less and less money at their disposal, primarily because of predatory employment practices that we're locked in a vicious cycle where business continues the race to the bottom with manufacturing costs to maintain or stimulate demand (as well as extract massive profits, which are then hoarded as cash with companies like Apple), retailers race to the bottom with pricing, and workers -- middle and working class -- have less and less money.

The only silver lining in the otherwise stormy cloud of economic data is that consumer debt is declining at a very rapid clip.  This is bad news for businesses, since business owners rely on credit for expansion (the big money banks are trying to strangle the economy as a way to take some control back from the Federal government after their complete trashing of the economy in '07-08), but when the banks and the super-rich are finally forced, most likely through the ballot box in '12, to quit treating the economy like their own personal playground, consumers will be in a much better position.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Philosophicus
Philosophicus's picture
Posts: 362
Joined: 2009-12-16
User is offlineOffline
...

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Thanks Furry. That's what I was shooting for. Next time I'll think it and let you say it.

Not G-d, can't read your mind Eye-wink

But seriously -- they know =exactly= what they are doing and they know =exactly= why it's destructive to the economy.  These aren't stupid people -- they know that if they keep going in the direction they are going there will either be armed insurrection (very likely in the next 2 to 5 years) or the Sheeple will relent.

I'm putting my money on Civil War in a few years.  No society has =ever= survived this level of economic inequality without civil war of some sort breaking out, and the Monied Elite are so deluded as to believe the Sheeple can't shoot straight because they are a bunch of whiny Liberals.

I have clients who are End Of The Worlders and when I tell them they'd better own a rifle with a scope and be able to shoot people from 300+ yards, they look at me like I'm insane.  If I was a billionaire, I'd be working on my sniper skills because that's what they need to be working on, not their investment portfolio.

 

Furry, why don't the lower and middle class people decide to be rich?  You know, free will.

 

 


jcgadfly
Superfan
Posts: 6791
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Philosophicus

Philosophicus wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Thanks Furry. That's what I was shooting for. Next time I'll think it and let you say it.

Not G-d, can't read your mind Eye-wink

But seriously -- they know =exactly= what they are doing and they know =exactly= why it's destructive to the economy.  These aren't stupid people -- they know that if they keep going in the direction they are going there will either be armed insurrection (very likely in the next 2 to 5 years) or the Sheeple will relent.

I'm putting my money on Civil War in a few years.  No society has =ever= survived this level of economic inequality without civil war of some sort breaking out, and the Monied Elite are so deluded as to believe the Sheeple can't shoot straight because they are a bunch of whiny Liberals.

I have clients who are End Of The Worlders and when I tell them they'd better own a rifle with a scope and be able to shoot people from 300+ yards, they look at me like I'm insane.  If I was a billionaire, I'd be working on my sniper skills because that's what they need to be working on, not their investment portfolio.

 

Furry, why don't the lower and middle class people decide to be rich?  You know, free will.

 

 

Rigged system - just like the Garden of Eden.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Philosophicus
Philosophicus's picture
Posts: 362
Joined: 2009-12-16
User is offlineOffline
...

jcgadfly wrote:

Philosophicus wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Thanks Furry. That's what I was shooting for. Next time I'll think it and let you say it.

Not G-d, can't read your mind Eye-wink

But seriously -- they know =exactly= what they are doing and they know =exactly= why it's destructive to the economy.  These aren't stupid people -- they know that if they keep going in the direction they are going there will either be armed insurrection (very likely in the next 2 to 5 years) or the Sheeple will relent.

I'm putting my money on Civil War in a few years.  No society has =ever= survived this level of economic inequality without civil war of some sort breaking out, and the Monied Elite are so deluded as to believe the Sheeple can't shoot straight because they are a bunch of whiny Liberals.

I have clients who are End Of The Worlders and when I tell them they'd better own a rifle with a scope and be able to shoot people from 300+ yards, they look at me like I'm insane.  If I was a billionaire, I'd be working on my sniper skills because that's what they need to be working on, not their investment portfolio.

 

Furry, why don't the lower and middle class people decide to be rich?  You know, free will.

 

 

Rigged system - just like the Garden of Eden.

 

On the political threads she sounds like a liberal, but when we were talking about the Garden of Eden she sounded like a conservative.  

 

 

 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Philosophicus wrote:Furry,

Philosophicus wrote:

Furry, why don't the lower and middle class people decide to be rich?  You know, free will.

Why can't I fly when I face into the wind and flap my arms?

Does that mean I really am incapable of making any decisions on my own, like getting a private pilots license?

I CAN'T FLY WITHOUT A PLANE!  I'M COMPLETELY INCAPABLE OF MAKING ANY DECISIONS ON MY OWN!  I'M A ROBOT!

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Why

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Why can't I fly when I face into the wind and flap my arms?

Does that mean I really am incapable of making any decisions on my own, like getting a private pilots license?

I CAN'T FLY WITHOUT A PLANE!  I'M COMPLETELY INCAPABLE OF MAKING ANY DECISIONS ON MY OWN!  I'M A ROBOT!

Alright this comes off as saying you are locked into a job making a certain wage and nothing you can do whatsoever can ever change or improve it.

Is that what you mean?

Because that's what a lot of people are going to take that this is what you are saying.

This is patently untrue.

You can have a better standard of living.  You can make more money.  You can do this.

I'm not saying it's easy.  I'm not saying that 100% of all people can do it.

But it's ridiculous to say that the majority of the people can not improve their economic standing here in America.

I know too many examples over and over, throughout my entire life, where no one had anything handed to them, no rich parents, no trust fund, no nothing but themselves that have done it and continue to do it.

Everywhere here in America.

We're not slaves, we're not locked into a certain economic slot, we have options.

Walmart and these huge faceless evil corporations, yeah they mess a lot of stuff up.  Big banks are scum.  But Walmart and banks are not keeping me or you from not having a better standard of living.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Except me of

EXC wrote:
Except me of course.

No, you don't have a credible argument either.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:What is a

Brian37 wrote:

What is a healthy ratio? Not the one we have now. And I am quite sure you make far more than you need compared to your lowest paid worker, even if YOU personally pay better than most.

Depends on the year. 2010? Yep, made way more than anyone working for me. It was a record year for me for a variety of reasons. 2011? Nope. My income is going to suck this year. Until September I was running in the red. Such is the way of owning businesses, sometimes your rolling in the money and when things go wrong or business is slow who is going to reach into their pocket to make sure payroll is met? If an employee is willing to participate in the downswings with me and not get paid when things are slow, I would be willing to share more of the upswings. By reaching into their pocket and investing in the company they are part owner so they aren't really an employee anymore. I am always willing to consider selling part or even all of my interest in any company for the right price. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

I can only use where I work as an example because I know on average how much they make per week total. I could live quite comfortably off of one weekend's profits per month,  and I would stay in the house I am in. I would at worst fix it up. I might buy a second vehicle that is cheap to drive and fuel efficient. The money I saved by not having a fancy house or expensive car, I would put back into the workers in more hours(when slow, send them house to house with coupons) and I would invest in their health care.

 

So you would risk hundreds of thousands of dollars to live pretty much like you live now? The reality you have to face when you invest in a business is that you could lose everything. Why would you take an amount of money that could support you for many years and invest it to basically get little to no return? It would be much easier and more certain if you had that kind of cash on hand to buy the small upgrades in your lifestyle and simply give away the rest of the money while continuing to work your current job. If you don't have a good reason to invest and to take on the risks, obligations and legal liability that goes with it, you probably aren't going to. For most people, the prospect of turning a healthy profit is their motivation. It is unreasonable to expect even a small portion of people to risk large sums of money for little to no personal return.

 

As for paying workers more hours to pass out coupons and such. It may be a good business move. If it brings in enough customers to make up for the expense it is a good decision. If you're doing it simply for the sake of giving them money and it does not increase revenue, you might as well just give them a bonus and save them from the potential accidents that could happen while traveling. Those types of decisions are what owners of companies do. Those who routinely choose wisely make profits, those who make poor decisions end up going out of business. And profits are a businesses life, as long as a business is profitable it can continue indefinitely. When a business is not profitable it can continue existing only until the investor(s) get sick of throwing away money or simply run out. Every decision you make has to be made with that in mind. Depending on your profit margin, stability of business, revenue and operating costs how many profit reducing decisions you can get away with varies.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
B.S.,In many cases,

B.S.,

In many cases, businesses RIGHT NOW are simply refusing to hire workers that are needed to do the work because they know that workers are desperate enough for jobs that they aren't going to complain if they are working 50 or 60 hours a week.  I was at a business recently where a number of workers up and quit because their employer was working them too many hours in an effort to save money.

It isn't a question of paying people for make-work, it's a question of how businesses are exploiting the present situation.  In many instances, companies are acting in ways that =will= bite them in the ass when the economy does improve.  Employees who are sitting tight right now =will= jump to other employers as soon as the market permits them to do so.  Companies that have been abusing employees will then lose out as they have to train replacements for the employees who got fed up and left, as well as having to pay whatever the new prevailing wage happens to be -- which when labor becomes tight again =will= be higher.

I saw this back around '00 after the dotCom bubble burst.  We were all working like crazy, then the bust, and we all hunkered down.  As soon as things improved, everyone bolted and management started handing out raises to stem the losses.  A few years later, our expenses were out of line and layoffs were in vogue again.  Keep in mind -- there was NO reason for us to work like crazy, except that some executives decided that running around in circles was a good business decision.  It wasn't.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:B.S.,In

FurryCatHerder wrote:

B.S.,

In many cases, businesses RIGHT NOW are simply refusing to hire workers that are needed to do the work because they know that workers are desperate enough for jobs that they aren't going to complain if they are working 50 or 60 hours a week.  I was at a business recently where a number of workers up and quit because their employer was working them too many hours in an effort to save money.

So? It may or may not turn out to be a good decision for the employer. If your employees are quitting, that brings in extra expense in hiring/training. On the other hand, costs like medical benefits are per employee so I can see why someone might rather have one person working 60 hours instead of two people working 30-40 hours a piece. That is something that should be determined inside the specific situation and negotiated between the employer and employee. Some employees WANT to work more. I know at the Honda Plant here in Ohio people line up for the overtime and during the recent slowdown due to supply chain disruptions, many of them were extremely upset at not getting their 60 hours a week. Just recently, Brian was on here bitching about having his hours cut. While other employees prefer to work only 20 hours a week and don't care about whether or not they get health insurance. 

 

The needs and desires of both employers and employees vary based on the situation for each party. What is so terribly wrong with letting employees who are willing/want/need to work long weeks find employers who want/need employees willing to work 70 hours and employees who want/need only 20 hour work weeks find employers who want/need part time workers and employees who want to work 9-5 find 9-5 employers. 

 

FurryCatHerder wrote:

It isn't a question of paying people for make-work, it's a question of how businesses are exploiting the present situation.  In many instances, companies are acting in ways that =will= bite them in the ass when the economy does improve.  Employees who are sitting tight right now =will= jump to other employers as soon as the market permits them to do so.  Companies that have been abusing employees will then lose out as they have to train replacements for the employees who got fed up and left, as well as having to pay whatever the new prevailing wage happens to be -- which when labor becomes tight again =will= be higher.

I saw this back around '00 after the dotCom bubble burst.  We were all working like crazy, then the bust, and we all hunkered down.  As soon as things improved, everyone bolted and management started handing out raises to stem the losses.  A few years later, our expenses were out of line and layoffs were in vogue again.  Keep in mind -- there was NO reason for us to work like crazy, except that some executives decided that running around in circles was a good business decision.  It wasn't.

So what? Companies make bad decisions everyday. I think they should have the freedom to make bad decisions. If they end up losing money because of their bad decisions I fail to see the problem with it. Companies that make wise decisions will profit, companies that make poor decisions will lose money and ultimately go out of business if they don't change. That is how the free market is supposed to work. Good decisions are rewarded with profit, bad decisions that lead to inefficiency result in losses. Smart companies survive and become dominant in their field, short sighted companies fold up and the owners often go bankrupt. As long as some idiot in the government doesn't decide to use MY money to support the losers I don't care. Businesses come and go and in order to survive long term a business has to constantly adapt to changing market conditions both for their product and in terms of their workforce. Those that do so well make money, those that fail to adapt lose. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
Ok, psychology lesson

Ok, psychology lesson time!

In an earlier post I mentioned how I used to have a coworker who instead of getting more education or a better job simply sat around and griped about our current jobs and that there were no other jobs to be had.

While I went and got one. 

When people start blaming the rich and claim that they are all somehow blocked from being able to enjoy in any of that wealth, well that can be explained by modern psychology.

Some people in this thread seem to have what is called "Learned Helplessness".

Quote:

Learned Helplessness: The Secret to Being Poor

 

Many poor people — and by “poor” I mean financially but also living below your true potential — may have developed the belief that no matter how hard they work and how much education they get they will never get out of the financial and personal straight-jacket they are in. They may look at investing the other 8 hours and think it can work for others but that it will never work for them. It’s no wonder why poor people play lotteries in greater numbers than any other income class. The middle class surely wants and needs the money too. The difference is that some of the poor see the lottery as the only way they can get ahead. If you truly believe that regardless of what you do today, it won’t positively impact tomorrow, you’re not going to try.

Psychologists call this phenomenon “learned helplessness.” Dr. Martin Seligman coined this term and it comes down to one thing — control. The cause of learned helplessness is being repeatedly exposed to an uncontrollable event. After many repeated and failed attempts, your brain “learns” that success is beyond your control; that you cannot affect the outcome. Basically you get to the point of thinking, “Why bother?” Once “conditioned” in this belief, you give up hope and effort, even in situations where you actually do have control and the ability to change the outcome. In effect, you’ve learned to become helpless.

You don't need to tax the rich into stagnation or turn your country into a socialist utopia.

You just need therapy.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


jcgadfly
Superfan
Posts: 6791
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:Ok, psychology

Watcher wrote:

Ok, psychology lesson time!

In an earlier post I mentioned how I used to have a coworker who instead of getting more education or a better job simply sat around and griped about our current jobs and that there were no other jobs to be had.

While I went and got one. 

When people start blaming the rich and claim that they are all somehow blocked from being able to enjoy in any of that wealth, well that can be explained by modern psychology.

Some people in this thread seem to have what is called "Learned Helplessness".

Quote:

Learned Helplessness: The Secret to Being Poor

 

Many poor people — and by “poor” I mean financially but also living below your true potential — may have developed the belief that no matter how hard they work and how much education they get they will never get out of the financial and personal straight-jacket they are in. They may look at investing the other 8 hours and think it can work for others but that it will never work for them. It’s no wonder why poor people play lotteries in greater numbers than any other income class. The middle class surely wants and needs the money too. The difference is that some of the poor see the lottery as the only way they can get ahead. If you truly believe that regardless of what you do today, it won’t positively impact tomorrow, you’re not going to try.

Psychologists call this phenomenon “learned helplessness.” Dr. Martin Seligman coined this term and it comes down to one thing — control. The cause of learned helplessness is being repeatedly exposed to an uncontrollable event. After many repeated and failed attempts, your brain “learns” that success is beyond your control; that you cannot affect the outcome. Basically you get to the point of thinking, “Why bother?” Once “conditioned” in this belief, you give up hope and effort, even in situations where you actually do have control and the ability to change the outcome. In effect, you’ve learned to become helpless.

You don't need to tax the rich into stagnation or turn your country into a socialist utopia.

You just need therapy.

I don't see raising the taxes by the pittance that would result from letting Bush's cuts go away as "taxing the rich into stagnation".

Indeed, since they're not creating jobs in the favorable environment they currently have - they are the source of the stagnation. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:I don't see

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't see raising the taxes by the pittance that would result from letting Bush's cuts go away as "taxing the rich into stagnation".

Indeed, since they're not creating jobs in the favorable environment they currently have - they are the source of the stagnation. 

So what you are saying is that it is beyond your control, right?  That no matter what you do the rich and the poor economy will prevent you from increasing your wealth?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


jcgadfly
Superfan
Posts: 6791
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:jcgadfly

Watcher wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I don't see raising the taxes by the pittance that would result from letting Bush's cuts go away as "taxing the rich into stagnation".

Indeed, since they're not creating jobs in the favorable environment they currently have - they are the source of the stagnation. 

So what you are saying is that it is beyond your control, right?  That no matter what you do the rich and the poor economy will prevent you from increasing your wealth?

What I said was what I said - I have no opinion about learned helplessness.

The current logic says "cut tax rates for the rich and they'll create jobs" - Reality has shown that logic to be incorrect as the rates are quite low and they haven't been creating jobs.

I'm asking the rich to take actions that are in their control - are they suffering from learned helplessness as well?

Going from 35% to 38% is not taxing the rich into stagnation - control your hyperbole.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:You don't need

Watcher wrote:

You don't need to tax the rich into stagnation or turn your country into a socialist utopia.

You just need therapy.

 

People who were born into poverty, lived in bad neighborhoods all their lives, went to schools in those poor neighborhoods, had friends who were in gangs/jail/shot - often have learned helplessness.  What success looks like to someone who is raised in that kind of neighborhood is different than what success looks like to someone who has lived elsewhere all their lives.  Like eating regularly or staying alive.

Those of us who used to be middle class and have only recently become poor haven't had time to learn to be helpless.  We are searching for jobs, going to school - the group with the most new student loan debt is the 30-40 age range, and we are attempting to get back on our feet.  Once you have been turned down for almost 400 jobs - any where from $100,000 a year to $10 an hour - it gets to be hard to keep your feet moving forward.

My feet are moving forward, thank you.  The new job is part time $12 an hour, but it is a start and maybe it can be more.  I am also continuing my education.  I am not in the throes of learned helplessness.  If I need to see a therapist, I'll make an appointment.  Thank you for your concern.

Taking the tax rate back up to what it was before the Bush tax cuts will not make the country socialist.  The correct definition of socialism is "the state owns the means of production."  See anything there about taxes?  Redistribution of wealth?  No?  Didn't think so.

I am NOT talking about redistributing wealth.  In the sense of tax them and send me checks.  (I get bored too easily to stay at home and not drive everyone around me insane.)  I am talking about hiring people to do the work society needs done - infrastructure, defense, and so on.  Build the useless fence along the border that won't prevent illegal immigration.  At least a lot of people will have work.  Hire people to patrol the fence - at least they will have work.  Replace the bridges that have structural problems.  It is a huge number across the country.  People will have work.  And so on.  When more people work, they buy more stuff, pay their bills on time.  And then people are hired to sell them that stuff.  More stuff has to be stocked, manufactured, shipped, tracked and paid for - all requiring people to work.  It is called the law of supply and demand - Econ 101.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
CJ,Equally "Econ 101" is

CJ,

Equally "Econ 101" is that the economy is just money running around in a circle.  We're in this situation because large numbers of companies have decided that socking cash away is a good idea, and this idea has been repeated by a number of individuals.  All of this "hoarded" or "accumulated" or "MINE!" wealth causes economic drag -- too little money to chase goods and services means that the number of goods and services to be offered =must= decline.  It's just supply and demand.

What's needed is for the cost of HOARDING wealth to be greater than the risk of losing wealth that is put to work.  Right now we don't have a "wealth tax".  I would suggest that we're due for one.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

CJ,

Equally "Econ 101" is that the economy is just money running around in a circle.  We're in this situation because large numbers of companies have decided that socking cash away is a good idea, and this idea has been repeated by a number of individuals.  All of this "hoarded" or "accumulated" or "MINE!" wealth causes economic drag -- too little money to chase goods and services means that the number of goods and services to be offered =must= decline.  It's just supply and demand.

What's needed is for the cost of HOARDING wealth to be greater than the risk of losing wealth that is put to work.  Right now we don't have a "wealth tax".  I would suggest that we're due for one.

 

Exactly.  Many large companies are currently sitting on funds that they are not investing in R&D or expansion and are not using to hire.  If the government starts hiring like mad - spending and spending - on salaries and health insurance and all that - people newly employed will want to buy.  And companies will respond by spending some of that money currently tied up in nonproductive ways in responding to that demand.  And the economy should gradually start back up.

It was never going to be an overnight job to get things going again.  And boom and bust cycles will repeat and repeat as long as we are stupidly trying to be a "free market" by insisting on capitalism for the individual and socialism for corporations.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
 The government can only

 The government can only spend money by first taking it away from someone else or borrowing it which means at some unknown point in the future they will take that money from someone else. Quite simply, the most rational course of action for businesses right now is to hoard cash. By far the larges contributor to this is Bamacare. A good portion of the law is "at the secretaries discretion" and we don't know exactly what all the rules will be yet. We know healthcare will get more expensive, we know there are going to be new requirements and costs placed on medium to large businesses. Businesses that are liquid (have high cash assets) will survive because they will be able to meet whatever new costs are required, businesses that don't have cash flow will have to raise serious money, fire people or go out of business.

 

Already health insurance costs have gone up an average of 30% it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize they will probably skyrocket in 2014 when insurance companies can no longer deny people who are sick. It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that insurance companies are going to pass those costs on to consumers (employers).

 

All these extensions of unemployment benefits, guess who pays for them? The costs of unemployment insurance has gone up in most states and it is the part tied to the general fund, not the employer specific fund. This makes it even more expensive to hire people. 

 

Add to that the fact that the federal reserve is literally paying banks NOT to lend which is a big part of why borrowing money is harder now.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2011/04/federal-reserve-paying-banks-interest.html

Why would a bank take a risk lending money when they can be guaranteed 0.25% from the federal reserve? Those of us running businesses realize we might not be able to get a loan to cover increases in payroll expenses when we need them. In the 90's it was pretty common practice for people to borrow money to start businesses and spread themselves thin with the confidence that if anything happened you could borrow whatever you needed to meet payroll. Funny thing about employees, if their paychecks bounce they tend to look for new jobs rather quickly, greedy bastards have no loyalty. Anyone trying to meet payroll that way today is downright stupid.

 

Add in the slough of regulations that have been passed that affect more specific businesses- all of which require businesses to adjust their business model and may cost additional cash to ensure they remain compliant. At the very least, you have to hire fucking lawyers to tell you what new regulations mean to your business. Then there is real concern that your industry might get hit by regulations in the future, especially if you're in an industry that might be affected by EPA regulations.

 

In addition to that rising commodity costs mean rising costs for businesses. Whatever industry you are in you are probably affected by rising costs in food, oil, energy or metals. Response varies by industry, some just eat the costs others attempt to pass the costs on to consumers which can have varying effects on demand. Anyone with any sense knows that inflation is probably going to continue for at least the near future and many of us believe that hyperinflation could hit at anytime due to the massive amount of money our government has printed and our government has shown no indication of even attempting to control spending.

 

It doesn't take an economics doctorate to realize that gas prices in particular are liable to go up dramatically between the political conflict in the middle east and our own governments refusal to put serious efforts into drilling more here or even setting up the keystone pipeline to Canada. Gas prices affect pretty much everything since gas is a large factor in shipping costs and everything has to be shipped.

 

So from the business owners point of view, if you know payroll costs are going up, have a real fear that getting a loan might be difficult, believe that the government might make demands (or has made) on your business that will cost you money to comply with, and recognize that inflation is happening both in your base operating costs and potentially the raw materials for whatever product you make/supply- what would you do? A smart business person would ensure they have enough cash to deal with any or all of these problems occurring at once and be cautious about investing in new companies or expanding.

 

So that is what us investors are doing, we are in cover your ass mode, hunker down and prepare for the hurricane. You might argue that the hurricane isn't coming or isn't going to be that bad, but the fact that most investors/business owners believe it is coming we are preparing for it. Of course, if you think it is all hysterical "right wing" hyperbolic rhetoric, you are more than welcome to invest your own money into whatever business you want.

 

We would love to invest in dozens of new businesses, building businesses is how you make money- storing it as cash makes substantially less money. But when starting/expanding a business you have to look long term because it does no good to stretch yourself if you are going to lose everything because expenses are higher than expected.

 

 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
B.S.,I'm sorry, but the

B.S.,

I'm sorry, but the Neo-Con analysis of the impacts of Universal Coverage are Beyond Stupid.

What harms insurance companies right now is that they get stuck in the "death spiral", where they raise rates because people who are "healthy" take the crap-shoot that they don't need insurance.  This makes it economically advantageous for more people to take the bet, so the temporarily-healthy opt-out, further raising rates and shifting more expense to public-sector health care.  Also known as the Emergency Room.

What "Obamacare" will do is force people who are gambling with public health dollars to pony up.  That's it.

The other thing "Obamacare" will do is force =companies= to provide health care, rather than making it advantageous to dump employee expenses back into the public sector, all the while not even beginning to pay a "living wage".

What Neo-Cons want to do is further engage in a "race to the bottom" in which the objective is not behaving like members of the society in which they live in, but as a new form of Aristocracy, with political influence far beyond their number.  Also known as "One Man, One Vote."

Companies that have had cash on hand to invest during economic hard times have historically done well.  What =should= be happening right now is companies should be acquiring assets, including human capital, while costs are low so that they have an economic advantage as the economy continues to expand.  What they are doing instead is hoarding cash and failing to make lower-cost investments in property, plant and machinery, as well as failing to snatch up lower-cost workers.  What =will= happen to the business owners that have been busily hoarding cash is that as costs rise, their "cash" will buy progressively less.  To put it in terms I'm sure you understand, they are trying to do the stock market equivalent of timing the market -- which you should very well know doesn't work.  The unemployment rate has come down 1.5%, from a high of 10.1% to the current seasonally adjusted reading of 8.6%.  That represents a significant decline in excess workers, which always indicates higher labor costs.  This is very basic Conservative economics.  Not Rush Limbaugh fan-boy Neo-Con economics, tried and true, very boring, very historically valid economic behavior.

Health care is unique in all of the forms of insurance.  It is the only form of insurance that a consumer can use to make a claim with no other reason than they feel like it.  You cannot make a car insurance claim because you want a new paint job, you cannot make a claim for fire damage to your house because you burned a pot roast, and you cannot make a claim for crop insurance losses because you planted barley and everyone wanted wheat.  You walk into the doctor's office, tell the doctor you "don't feel well" and put the insurance company on the hook for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in expenses.

Health care providers also engage in practices that are completely unrelated to delivering health care, such as defensive medicine.  Because the American Medical Association has a monopoly on who is, and who isn't, a "doctor" (Rush recently had yet another tirade about how evil "nurses" are because they want to get out from under the control of doctors ...), doctors can charge whatever the market will bear, not what the market would pay in a free market scenario.  Because health care is a matter of "life and death", there is inelastic demand for services.

Another major cause of high costs is cost-shifting, where the cost of providing services to one person is dumped on another, simply because they can.  In the case of Medicare, low Medicare reimbursements are made up by billing non-Medicare patients at a higher rate.  Some justify this by saying that the government can "negotiate" a lower rate because they buy so much service, but if that were the case, doctors would run screaming away from Medicare patients -- they'd be soaking them up from a "volume purchaser".  That's not at all the case.

Finally, "end of life" care is a major drain on Health Care expenses.  I'm not talking about killing grandma because she's 93 and needs oxygen to keep chasing great-grandchildren, I'm talking about family members making decisions about end-of-life care that are under their control.  Instead the control of family members who are engaged in futile efforts, which aren't based on sound medical science, and whose only long-term outcome is spending money and keeping someone who is already dead "breathing".  Despite numerous reassurances from my father's doctor that my father was, in fact, "dead" (undiscovered heart attack that resulted in clinical brain death ...), my two brothers engaged in the same sort of Terri Schiavo "oh, look -- he looked right at me!" wishful thinking.  The only result, in both the case of Terri Shiavo and my father, was to waste limited financial resources because people think that denial really is a river in Egypt.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 585
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
What "Obamacare" will do is

What "Obamacare" will do is try to convince people that the government's version of universal health care is needed when most of it isn't.  Americans need to change their diet and start looking out for themselves before going on these prescription meds, acting like they need a crutch and begin to start taking vitamins.  Countries that already have health care offer it for free because they know how to live in a healthier fashion to where hospitals only have to cater to serious injuries and ailments most of the time rather than shit that can be blamed on a poor diet and inactive lifestyle.

 

We only have ourselves to blame when it comes to the pharmaceutical companies anal raping us every single day and they have every right to.  Why?  If we took the proper measures to stay healthier, we wouldn't need them shoving ads for pills in our faces or try to convince us that what they're peddling is absolutely vital to our survival.  We give them money because it SEEMS easier, but it's not; it's expensive, it antagonizes our immune systems and compromises our futures.  What's cheaper, safer and needed for an extended life is to eat super foods, raw foods, drink LOTS of water and get active.  It doesn't seem simple because everyone is on the medication bandwagon and has become the norm.

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
There is something that has

There is something that has not been discussed in this thread.  We have inverted demographics.  To explain further, we have in the USA, an overall population of around 300 Million or so.  Of that 300 Million is a workforce of approx 153 Million.  Of that 153 Million, 92 million are babyboomers approaching or are at retirement age.  People who are approaching retirement do not spend like they did when they are younger and the kids lived at home.  Instead, they are feverishly paying off debt and saving for retirement.  They are no longer spending on things such as houses, cars, and kids education.  In fact, if you ever do a marketing study of demographics, you will find that people's spending tapers off drastically once the kids leave the nest. 

If you study the economy of the United States historically, there have been two huge babybooms in American history.  The first after the Civil War and that generation fueled a huge economic expansion in the westward expansion and brought forth the assembly line and invented electricity even early television as early as the 1890's but was never developed until the 1940's and 50's.  That generation that was born post war Civil War peaked out in the 1920's and slowed down in the 1930's and at that time you had demographically more older people than younger people.  That is not healthy for an economy. 

Our second babyboom and the biggest in recorded history (this was a world wide phenomenon) was the post WW2 babyboom.  Everything that generation would spend money on distorted the market.  Back when that generation started to school, the schools were bursting at the seems.  You also saw a huge youth culture.  Just go back and look at the popular movies and games of the time.  You saw companies we know in toys and games that are common place now burst on the scene.  By the time those kids went to college, besides contending with the Vietnam war, they had to contend with colleges that were bursting at the seems.  Once they started to work in the early to mid 1980's you began to bring the economy back in a big way.

This brings me to now.  We are very soon to have 1 person working for three retired. The generation that came after the babyboomers (born 1946 to 1964) you have Gen X (born between 1965 and 1976 or even as late as 1980 depending upon who you read) and those of us who are part of that generation were only around 30 Million. 

When you have 92 million babyboomers plus some even older and you have only 30 million Gen Xers plus a very few millenial age kids in the work force, there is going to be far fewer people paying in and a HUGE (to the breaking point) demand for services.  The system is going to implode.  If you are a babyboomer and think you are going to get social security, I have a piece of land in the Everglades I want to sell you.  The only way to have a stable or growing economy is to have more younger people than older.   Even if you tax EVERYBODY at 100%, there is simply not enough to keep the system as it is composed now going. 

This inverted demographic makeup will last for around 10 more years until the millennial generation (the kids of the babyboomers) is ready to enter the work force and make the money to drive the economy.  The result of this inverted demographics is that we will see actual deflation due to much less demand.  The governments of the world will be powerless to stop the falling prices.  There is not even a demand for any borrowing as you are seeing interest rates at near zero.  If there is no demand, there is no borrowing and productions stops or slows to a crawl...with a few exceptions.  The areas that will be in HUGE demand will be healthcare, and travel-entertainment sorts of things the babyboomers could not afford with the kids still at home.  In about 10 years, there will be a big demand in funeral plots, caskets, crematoriums, lawyers for estate planning and wills.  The things that are dead to any real degree manufacturing; cars, homes, business attire, etc. 

You are seeing now and it will really accelerate soon the deflation trend.  People are destroying personal debt, either by paying it off or bankrupting it.  You will even see commodities such as gold, silver, oil (yes not kidding) will fall.  The bubbles are in the process of bursting.  You should see the US dollar rise by at least 50% compared to the rest of the world currencies as in a depression CASH IS KING. 

The bad thing about deflation is that it kills banks.  The banks of the last 30 years or so were using the home values of the mortgages they held as collateral to make more loans.  With home prices falling it throws a serious monkey wrench into their balance sheet.  They fall below their legally required capital levels for loaning money.  If a bank is not loaning money and receiving payments, guess what, THEY GO BANKRUPT, thus we had TARP and the other bail outs which will ultimately fail.  I encourage people not to keep any large amounts of money in a bank, credit unions are better as they operate under a different set of rules and they are much more sound. 

The good thing about deflation is that it makes everything much more affordable.  The thing that made housing unaffordable in the 1990's and early 2000's is that the demand for the babyboomers buying their last homes, and most expensive, was that it was that older, more affluent age group, was the ones driving the demand.  You could not get as many people wanting starter homes.  In about 10 years, you will see the millenial wanting starter homes after 10 years of real estate deflation, they will get nice homes for a song.  There will be a rise in demand and prices. 

Anyway, that is some information you will not get on the lame stream media. 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
The missing piece of your

The missing piece of your puzzle is people who are working longer, in many cases because they "lost it all" in the present downturn.

If the boomers were all just going to sit on a rocking chair and do nothing, you'd be spot-on.  But "retirement" today is viewed by many as a many years long vacation, and that's a major difference from decades ago when "retirement" wasn't because people didn't lead healthy lives well into their 70's and 80's.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:The

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The missing piece of your puzzle is people who are working longer, in many cases because they "lost it all" in the present downturn.

If the boomers were all just going to sit on a rocking chair and do nothing, you'd be spot-on.  But "retirement" today is viewed by many as a many years long vacation, and that's a major difference from decades ago when "retirement" wasn't because people didn't lead healthy lives well into their 70's and 80's.

 

Yes...but they are not going into debt anymore.  That is the key.  They are just doing what they have to do to get by.  They are not earning the wages they did at age say....45, 50, 55.  The wages they make now are, in most places at best say....$10 to $13 per hour.  The key to real demand is how much debt people are willing to take on.  It is debt that has driven up prices.  Think about it, you buy a home, most likely you will use a mortgage and let's say you paid $150,000.  When you sell the place, you want to make more than you paid for it, thus an inflationary drive.  Most of the babyboomers are not buying homes or new cars.  That is the industries that drive the economy. 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Burnedout wrote:Yes...but

Burnedout wrote:
Yes...but they are not going into debt anymore.  That is the key.  They are just doing what they have to do to get by.  They are not earning the wages they did at age say....45, 50, 55.  The wages they make now are, in most places at best say....$10 to $13 per hour.  The key to real demand is how much debt people are willing to take on.  It is debt that has driven up prices.  Think about it, you buy a home, most likely you will use a mortgage and let's say you paid $150,000.  When you sell the place, you want to make more than you paid for it, thus an inflationary drive.  Most of the babyboomers are not buying homes or new cars.  That is the industries that drive the economy. 

I'm sorry but "debt" is not the only thing that drives our economy, and retirees aren't limited to $10 to $13 / hour jobs.  Given the coming =labor= shortages, there =will= be demand for older workers to stay in or re-enter the labor market.

What drives an economy is the change of money from one hand to the next.  That's it -- it's just that simple.  If I take money from my pension or retirement and I had it to the pool boy, "economic activity" has happened.  The pool boy then takes that money and gives it to the clerk at some store to buy the latest fad t-shirt.  The store owner takes that money and pays the clerk, their suppliers, utilities, property lease, etc.

That's it.  No great mystery, no debt required.

As for working, many elderly people are discovering that they did not plan to be 80 or 90 years old and are finding that the amount of money they at =planned= on needing simply isn't enough because they didn't plan to be alive after 75 -- which is when most of their parents kicked the bucket.  Aside from living my life at an extremely hectic pace, I have every expectation that I'll be alive and kicking into my 80's, if not well into my 90's.  The notion that I'd even =consider= "retirement" at 67 (my Social Security retirement age -- I'm a tail-end boomer) is dumb.  Assuming I make it to 90, which really is a very safe assumption at this point, it is irrational to expect that 43 years of "work" is going to provide 23 years of "vacation."  And if I plan for that 23 year long vacation, I've set myself up for a really rude awakening if 40 years from now (I turn 50 next year), whatever it was that was going to bump me off at 90 is no longer an issue and I need those 43 years of work to last me 33 years of vacation.

Another matter is that, no, people in retirement cannot reasonably expect to have few or no major expenses.  It's =unreasonable= to expect a car to last from age 67 to age 85, and the older people get, the higher their life expectancy.  Nor is it =reasonable= to expect that major home maintenance expenses will magically cease from age 67 to age 85.  The notion that major appliances will just last 18 years "because the owner is old" is unreasonable.  And it is these assumptions that are making many elderly have the rude awakening that they just plain didn't plan to not kick the bucket.

My "current" life expectancy is 84.  In the 34 years (life expectancy of 84 minus 50 years of age ...) that I have left, retrospectively my life expectancy will rise another five years.  However, if I were an 80 year old female RIGHT NOW, my life expectancy =would= be about 90.  This is the problem with viewing economics the way many people do -- if you don't plan to keep on living, you're going to get a nasty financial surprise when you =do= keep on living.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 585
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Given the coming

Quote:
Given the coming =labor= shortages, there =will= be demand for older workers to stay in or re-enter the labor market.

 

You do realize how absurd that sounds, right?  Technology is phasing out jobs and the last thing employers want are old people filling the slots that younger people can fill for LESS pay and LESS, maybe even no, coverage.  If you have an older person on the payroll, employers will opt to keep him/her around if they are in no position to put a significant wage dent in their budget plans or ask for more money any time soon.  There's a reason part-time is becoming more common place because it's like splitting the bill at a restaurant; the total amount paid is the same if you were to hire one full-timer or two part-timers.  It's sneaky and underhanded, but that's what it's come to.  Job growth is a myth in this country; they just slash hours and hire more people for less pay.

 

Quote:
What drives an economy is the change of money from one hand to the next.  That's it -- it's just that simple.

 

A MONETARY-economy, sure.  There are also a lot of other factors like supply and demand, which improperly defines a monetary system by the way, but that's more of a resource-based economy which should be the standard today.

 

Quote:
If I take money from my pension or retirement and I had it to the pool boy, "economic activity" has happened.  The pool boy then takes that money and gives it to the clerk at some store to buy the latest fad t-shirt.  The store owner takes that money and pays the clerk, their suppliers, utilities, property lease, etc.

That's it.  No great mystery, no debt required.

 

No debt required??  Are you shitting me??  Every dollar has a percentage of debt on it.  Every single fucking dollar.  Read the front of any paper currency in this country next time REALLY carefully when you get the chance.  The "great mystery" is that people don't seem to understand that our money system is based on a giant lie and our paper currency has no legitimate value, banks are scamming people for loans with money that they don't have and the Federal Reserve can print as much money as their are trees on this fucking planet.  The financial term "debt" was created when the Federal Reserve printed money to devalue the buying power of the dollar and it's been that way ever since it's been around.  It doesn't take a genius to see the shit storm that's coming as a result.  Hell, OWS and The Zeitgeist Movement are fully aware.

 

Quote:
My "current" life expectancy is 84.  In the 34 years (life expectancy of 84 minus 50 years of age ...) that I have left, retrospectively my life expectancy will rise another five years.  However, if I were an 80 year old female RIGHT NOW, my life expectancy =would= be about 90.  This is the problem with viewing economics the way many people do -- if you don't plan to keep on living, you're going to get a nasty financial surprise when you =do= keep on living.

 

Your current life expectancy is a statistic, not based on your sole lifestyle.  Do you eat right?  Do you work out?  Do you avoid fast food?  Eat raw foods?  Take vitamins every day?  Drink water all the time?  If not, you might as well cut down that 84 to about 60.  Of course, life is uncertain, but based on how well you treat your body, you can read all the lame ass studies you want because it doesn't pertain to YOU; it's just a statement of generalization.  Financially speaking, if the current trend keeps up, expect a lot more than "scraping to get by" and "trying to live" because the standard of living, unemployment and "job growth" will just keep getting smaller and smaller.  Educate yourself and stop buying into the news and media.

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I'm sorry but "debt"

double post...sorry


 


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I'm sorry but "debt"

 

Quote:
I'm sorry but "debt" is not the only thing that drives our economy, and retirees aren't limited to $10 to $13 / hour jobs.  Given the coming =labor= shortages, there =will= be demand for older workers to stay in or re-enter the labor market.

 

I am going by actuarial and birth rate charts along with historical data.  Plus it is worked out in a mathematical way.  Also, if you go by the marketing information, you can get the life cycle of customers and what they buy at each stage of their life.  Even though there are many retired people going back to work, it is not the majority of them by any means.  There may be about say.....20% who really have to go back to work full time.  As for debt...it is the thing people use to buy big ticket items, cars, homes and others.  Historically and the demographic charts bear this out, but the aggregate number of people who buy their last homes are at around age 43.  After that, the only major expense is getting the kids through college, after that  the big spending is over.  What else are they going to buy?  Think about it.  Look, I am not trying to badmouth babyboomers....not at all, I am just looking at it mathematically. 

 

Quote:
What drives an economy is the change of money from one hand to the next.  That's it -- it's just that simple.  If I take money from my pension or retirement and I had it to the pool boy, "economic activity" has happened.  The pool boy then takes that money and gives it to the clerk at some store to buy the latest fad t-shirt.  The store owner takes that money and pays the clerk, their suppliers, utilities, property lease, etc.

That's it.  No great mystery, no debt required.

 

Ask yourself...what causes the money to exchange hands?  It is people deciding to buy.  What causes people to buy...need or want of a certain product or products.  How is that need measured?  Demand.  When you have a very large group of people wanting, needing, desiring to buy a certain level of goods, it drives the price higher until the production rises to meet the demand.  When the price is higher than the money they have on hand, they will go into debt to buy it.  That is simply common sense.  When you have a very large number of people who's demand has been forcing prices up and using debt to finance it,  causes the prices to go up.  It is the demand.  Most people have to use debt and that debt forces prices higher because if they only sold for cash, there would be less production.  Think about how many people are involved in the production of home, cars and other manufactured goods, not JUST the people who assemble it, but go back to the miners who mine the metals or refiners who get the resin from oil that produces the plastics that goes into the parts that goes into the final goods of those items you buy at the store or car dealer or where ever it is purchased.  In order to produce 1 car, if memory serves me correctly, it takes about 10,000 people all along the way.  When you create currency by using debt, it allows people to purchase something that would not have otherwise been able to buy it.  If those people could not buy it, the prices would be lower due to less demand. 

 

Quote:
As for working, many elderly people are discovering that they did not plan to be 80 or 90 years old and are finding that the amount of money they at =planned= on needing simply isn't enough because they didn't plan to be alive after 75 -- which is when most of their parents kicked the bucket.  Aside from living my life at an extremely hectic pace, I have every expectation that I'll be alive and kicking into my 80's, if not well into my 90's.  The notion that I'd even =consider= "retirement" at 67 (my Social Security retirement age -- I'm a tail-end boomer) is dumb.  Assuming I make it to 90, which really is a very safe assumption at this point, it is irrational to expect that 43 years of "work" is going to provide 23 years of "vacation."  And if I plan for that 23 year long vacation, I've set myself up for a really rude awakening if 40 years from now (I turn 50 next year), whatever it was that was going to bump me off at 90 is no longer an issue and I need those 43 years of work to last me 33 years of vacation.

Those elderly people will be working but remember....MOST elderly don't have the health to work like they did in their 40's and 50's.  Plus social security limits how much they can work and still draw it.  They cannot make more than around $30,000 or they lose it for that year.  Plus, you have no choice, at least as it stands now, you HAVE to draw social security by your early 70's. 

Quote:
Another matter is that, no, people in retirement cannot reasonably expect to have few or no major expenses.  It's =unreasonable= to expect a car to last from age 67 to age 85, and the older people get, the higher their life expectancy.  Nor is it =reasonable= to expect that major home maintenance expenses will magically cease from age 67 to age 85.  The notion that major appliances will just last 18 years "because the owner is old" is unreasonable.  And it is these assumptions that are making many elderly have the rude awakening that they just plain didn't plan to not kick the bucket.

My "current" life expectancy is 84.  In the 34 years (life expectancy of 84 minus 50 years of age ...) that I have left, retrospectively my life expectancy will rise another five years.  However, if I were an 80 year old female RIGHT NOW, my life expectancy =would= be about 90.  This is the problem with viewing economics the way many people do -- if you don't plan to keep on living, you're going to get a nasty financial surprise when you =do= keep on living.

That is you personally, if you take the aggregate retirement and mortality age, it is, as of now age 78.  I know there are many people who will live longer but the aggregate has not budged.  As for that nasty financial surprise, there are MANY your age, and mine.  I am just a few years younger than you.  I am 46.  The money to retire may not be as large as the babyboomers but as demand falls, the prices fall.  We are seeing it now in home prices, hell, it my neighborhood, homes went from the mid 160's in 2006, now the average price asked for on homes for sale is around $60,000, NO KIDDING.  That is happening to one degree or another in MOST places in the USA.  We are seeing a corresponding drop in demand for cars, look at all the car companies who needed a bail out.  The greatest demand before things turned down was the big SUV's.  When the oldest boomers started to gear down for retirement, they switched to more efficient cars and travel less and in retirement, how many older people do you see putting the miles on their car they did when they were younger and working?    I understand there are individual cases where the numbers are different.  That is a fact, but the vast majority of them line up. 


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5448
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Companies that have had cash on hand to invest during economic hard times have historically done well.  What =should= be happening right now is companies should be acquiring assets, including human capital, while costs are low so that they have an economic advantage as the economy continues to expand.  What they are doing instead is hoarding cash and failing to make lower-cost investments in property, plant and machinery, as well as failing to snatch up lower-cost workers.  What =will= happen to the business owners that have been busily hoarding cash is that as costs rise, their "cash" will buy progressively less.  To put it in terms I'm sure you understand, they are trying to do the stock market equivalent of timing the market -- which you should very well know doesn't work.  The unemployment rate has come down 1.5%, from a high of 10.1% to the current seasonally adjusted reading of 8.6%.  That represents a significant decline in excess workers, which always indicates higher labor costs.  This is very basic Conservative economics.  Not Rush Limbaugh fan-boy Neo-Con economics, tried and true, very boring, very historically valid economic behavior.

I didn't intend to get in a debate over the virtues (or lack thereof) in Bamacare. Simply that it has direct costs on businesses and we don't know exactly what those costs will be yet. Bamacare puts the responsibility of paying for health insurance squarely on the shoulders of business. That is a reality that businesses have to deal with. Accumulating assets in a bad economy is all well and good, but does nothing for you if you go out of business. Obamacare adds new costs to businesses, so they have to prepare for it. Since many businesses had already accumulated large debts, it is prudent to reduce that debt and prepare for the new costs in advance. That's all I'm saying. 

 

And you should probably spend a little more time looking at the unemployment numbers. They haven't changed that dramatically in terms of the actual number of people who could work. 

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

13.3 million people are considered unemployed which was a 594,000 person drop. But that was because almost 300,000 are no longer counted as part of the workforce. An additional 2.6 million people are marginally attached which means they could/want to work but aren't looking for jobs because they gave up looking or are students in school etc. The number of long term unemployed remained virtually unchanged. 

 

And labor is hardly at a low cost right now. Sure, you might be able to get an experienced employee at a little lower salary or hourly rate, but when you factor in the increased costs of health insurance and increased costs of any consumables that person uses on the job it doesn't matter that much. I don't care if I am paying an employees health insurance, workers comp insurance, unemployment or wage- as far as I'm concerned they are all part of the overall costs of hiring an employee and will go into my decision of deciding whether or not to hire another one.

 

Since demand has been lethargic in most industries, it would be foolish to run around hiring employees you don't really need because your saving $1 an hour when you can reasonably expect the additional costs to rise. Of course, when the job market does improve there is no guarantee that the new employees you lowballed are going to stay with you. Chances are as the job market improves you will have to pay them higher wages to keep them or they go elsewhere.

 

When you hire an employee, you hire them because you need them right now. Employees aren't like toilet paper that you can buy on the 2 for 1 special and throw in the closet until you need it at some point in the future. If you don't need them or expect to need them in the near future hiring an employee simply because your getting a "good deal" is a waste of money. And when your going to be on the hook for paying unemployment for two years if you fire an employee, you better make damn sure that you will need that employee because 6 months down the road saying "you know what, I made a mistake I don't really need this labor" is costly.  

 

For some businesses it might make sense to expand, for others it does not. Sometimes it is most profitable to go against the trend, other times the trend is happening for a good reason and going against it will result in large losses. I leave it up to people to make those decisions themselves. Lou D'Ambrosio knows a lot more than I do about his business. He decided to close a bunch of stores. Maybe it will save Sears and make it profitable again, or maybe it is a last ditch gasp before the company folds up and is bought out by a competitor. I don't know. If you think you know, it would be a good idea to either buy stock or short sell it.

 

For me personally, I have decided not to make any significant investments in the near future. I lost a 6 figure contract earlier this year and I have decided the best option for me is to stabilize what I have and ensure that I can maintain my current businesses rather than start any new endeavors and risk losing what I have built up over the last several years. If you have a problem with me making that decision you can quite frankly fuck off. If you think it is a great time to expand and hire employees, use your own money. In some cases you might be right and make a lot, in others you will be wrong and lose it all. I know a guy who recently invested a good chunk of cash into opening a new fast food restaurant, he thought there was an opportunity and risked his own cash. I wish him the best. I haven't seen him at the card tables for several months, I don't know if he is just busy or if he is losing money. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Companies that have had cash on hand to invest during economic hard times have historically done well.  What =should= be happening right now is companies should be acquiring assets, including human capital, while costs are low so that they have an economic advantage as the economy continues to expand.  What they are doing instead is hoarding cash and failing to make lower-cost investments in property, plant and machinery, as well as failing to snatch up lower-cost workers.  What =will= happen to the business owners that have been busily hoarding cash is that as costs rise, their "cash" will buy progressively less.  To put it in terms I'm sure you understand, they are trying to do the stock market equivalent of timing the market -- which you should very well know doesn't work.  The unemployment rate has come down 1.5%, from a high of 10.1% to the current seasonally adjusted reading of 8.6%.  That represents a significant decline in excess workers, which always indicates higher labor costs.  This is very basic Conservative economics.  Not Rush Limbaugh fan-boy Neo-Con economics, tried and true, very boring, very historically valid economic behavior.

I didn't intend to get in a debate over the virtues (or lack thereof) in Bamacare. Simply that it has direct costs on businesses and we don't know exactly what those costs will be yet. Bamacare puts the responsibility of paying for health insurance squarely on the shoulders of business. That is a reality that businesses have to deal with. Accumulating assets in a bad economy is all well and good, but does nothing for you if you go out of business. Obamacare adds new costs to businesses, so they have to prepare for it. Since many businesses had already accumulated large debts, it is prudent to reduce that debt and prepare for the new costs in advance. That's all I'm saying. 

 

And you should probably spend a little more time looking at the unemployment numbers. They haven't changed that dramatically in terms of the actual number of people who could work. 

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

13.3 million people are considered unemployed which was a 594,000 person drop. But that was because almost 300,000 are no longer counted as part of the workforce. An additional 2.6 million people are marginally attached which means they could/want to work but aren't looking for jobs because they gave up looking or are students in school etc. The number of long term unemployed remained virtually unchanged. 

 

And labor is hardly at a low cost right now. Sure, you might be able to get an experienced employee at a little lower salary or hourly rate, but when you factor in the increased costs of health insurance and increased costs of any consumables that person uses on the job it doesn't matter that much. I don't care if I am paying an employees health insurance, workers comp insurance, unemployment or wage- as far as I'm concerned they are all part of the overall costs of hiring an employee and will go into my decision of deciding whether or not to hire another one.

 

Since demand has been lethargic in most industries, it would be foolish to run around hiring employees you don't really need because your saving $1 an hour when you can reasonably expect the additional costs to rise. Of course, when the job market does improve there is no guarantee that the new employees you lowballed are going to stay with you. Chances are as the job market improves you will have to pay them higher wages to keep them or they go elsewhere.

 

When you hire an employee, you hire them because you need them right now. Employees aren't like toilet paper that you can buy on the 2 for 1 special and throw in the closet until you need it at some point in the future. If you don't need them or expect to need them in the near future hiring an employee simply because your getting a "good deal" is a waste of money. And when your going to be on the hook for paying unemployment for two years if you fire an employee, you better make damn sure that you will need that employee because 6 months down the road saying "you know what, I made a mistake I don't really need this labor" is costly.  

 

For some businesses it might make sense to expand, for others it does not. Sometimes it is most profitable to go against the trend, other times the trend is happening for a good reason and going against it will result in large losses. I leave it up to people to make those decisions themselves. Lou D'Ambrosio knows a lot more than I do about his business. He decided to close a bunch of stores. Maybe it will save Sears and make it profitable again, or maybe it is a last ditch gasp before the company folds up and is bought out by a competitor. I don't know. If you think you know, it would be a good idea to either buy stock or short sell it.

 

For me personally, I have decided not to make any significant investments in the near future. I lost a 6 figure contract earlier this year and I have decided the best option for me is to stabilize what I have and ensure that I can maintain my current businesses rather than start any new endeavors and risk losing what I have built up over the last several years. If you have a problem with me making that decision you can quite frankly fuck off. If you think it is a great time to expand and hire employees, use your own money. In some cases you might be right and make a lot, in others you will be wrong and lose it all. I know a guy who recently invested a good chunk of cash into opening a new fast food restaurant, he thought there was an opportunity and risked his own cash. I wish him the best. I haven't seen him at the card tables for several months, I don't know if he is just busy or if he is losing money. 

 

There is a way to make money when everybody around you is losing.  You have to get people to bite though....for those who don't understand it is called 'Shorting'.  You make a bet that the market will be down.  There are people who will take your bet and bet long.  The problem is if you bet the end of the world, you win but lose because there is nobody to collect from.  The problem with shorting is that if it becomes too prevalent, the government steps in and stops it. 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Sage_Override

Sage_Override wrote:

Quote:
Given the coming =labor= shortages, there =will= be demand for older workers to stay in or re-enter the labor market.

You do realize how absurd that sounds, right?

It's not at all absurd and has been the topic of discussion for a number of years now.

The scenario is rather simple -- as Baby Boomers begin to exit the workforce in ever larger numbers, there will be a shortage of skilled replacements, due to the inverted demographics you've mentioned earlier.  I'd be more than happy to provide you with half a dozen links to news articles or studies which discuss the problem.  A quick google of "future labor shortage babyboomer" would have provided you with a number of references.  Actually engaging your brain would have helped as well.

I don't know why some people here think I'm stupid -- it really does get annoying.  Maybe it's proof that people who believe in G-d are smarter than people who don't Eye-wink

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Sage_Override wrote:

Quote:
Given the coming =labor= shortages, there =will= be demand for older workers to stay in or re-enter the labor market.

You do realize how absurd that sounds, right?

It's not at all absurd and has been the topic of discussion for a number of years now.

The scenario is rather simple -- as Baby Boomers begin to exit the workforce in ever larger numbers, there will be a shortage of skilled replacements, due to the inverted demographics you've mentioned earlier.  I'd be more than happy to provide you with half a dozen links to news articles or studies which discuss the problem.  A quick google of "future labor shortage babyboomer" would have provided you with a number of references.  Actually engaging your brain would have helped as well.

I don't know why some people here think I'm stupid -- it really does get annoying.  Maybe it's proof that people who believe in G-d are smarter than people who don't Eye-wink

There is also something that comes along with the inverted demographics.  That is less consumer demand.  Remember, once the kids leave the nest, the demand to spend on large ticket items drastically decreases and the demand to earn more decreases.  There are some areas of course that will have a greater demand but it is not the labor intensive areas, with one exception, healthcare and because income starts decreasing for those older folks, so does the ability to pay for it.   Thus, there will be some form of rationing either by the market, industry or government. 

Along with less demand for consumer goods, there is less of a need for borrowing money.  Banks make their money from interest on borrowed money.  When demand for goods goes down the prices drop and correspondingly a drop in demand for borrowing and the banks lower interest rates and actually end up lending less.  That starts a downward deflationary spiral.  That precipitates more problems.  Banks use the home values they hold mortgages to set interest rates and how they rate their solvency.  When the home values drop (again, due to lack of demand), that lowers the balance sheet of the banks and less solvent ones go bankrupt.  That started in 2008 and it continues today and not just at the private level but also at government levels. The reason the banks can loan less money is that the pool of people needing money and who can afford the debt is fewer.  Add to that the corporate numbers the banks has to meet to keep their stock price up by meeting their corporate projections, that forces them to do more drastic and stupid things like the sub-prime and alt-a mortgages.  The pool of babyboomers passed through and they don't need to borrow anymore and the Gen Xers, a group around 1/3 the babyboomer size simply doesn't have the volume to support an industry geared to support the babyboomers. 

Add to that less demand, you have the babyboomers who are starting to retire and become consumers of more services such as Social Security and Medicare.  Those systems are starting to implode.  Remember what I said earlier, there is about to be a ratio of 1 person working to three who are not.  Definitely not sustainable. 


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Burnedout,There is nothing

Burnedout,

There is nothing which says that the economy =must= have massive purchases of new durable goods in order to function.  Durable goods are only one aspect of an economy.

You are also ignoring the increase in disposable income which comes with having the kids out on their own.  It's not like people continue some depressed standard of living after the kids move out because they can't imagine ways to spend the money they used to be spending on their children.

Finally, the issue with banks makes no sense at all -- banks are a BUSINESS, not some mandatory component of an economy that has a direct bearing on the number of people who are still breathing.  If there is less demand for banking services, there will be competition for customers and some banks will make it and some won't.  Such is life.

When horses went buh-buy I'm sure there were some buggy whip makers who were upset.  I'm also sure that the entire new industry of car mechanics were very happy.  Changing demographics is just a fact of life -- banks will adjust, home builders will adjust, we'll all adjust.  The real issue, which you keep glossing, is that as more and more of those baby boomers leave the workplace, there will be a contraction in the number of workers without a contraction in population.  Something will have to give, and economists seem to think it means boomers will potentially keep working.  Which makes a lot of sense -- I'd go bat-shit crazy if I had a 30 year vacation ...

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Burnedout
Posts: 540
Joined: 2007-05-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Burnedout,There is

Quote:

Burnedout,

There is nothing which says that the economy =must= have massive purchases of new durable goods in order to function.  Durable goods are only one aspect of an economy.

But it is consumer spending on those durable goods that account for 70% of the economy. 

Quote:
You are also ignoring the increase in disposable income which comes with having the kids out on their own.  It's not like people continue some depressed standard of living after the kids move out because they can't imagine ways to spend the money they used to be spending on their children.

Again, it is those durable goods that drive the economy.  70% of the economy is made up of consumer spending.  That extra income they now have goes to retiring debt.  That is a demographic fact.  If this site would allow me to post links I would to show you.  Most empty nesters which make up that 50+ group go on a mad rush to save for retirement. 

Quote:
Finally, the issue with banks makes no sense at all -- banks are a BUSINESS, not some mandatory component of an economy that has a direct bearing on the number of people who are still breathing.  If there is less demand for banking services, there will be competition for customers and some banks will make it and some won't.  Such is life.

The banks are not a requirement for the number of people still breathing but it is essential for a functioning economy.  Next time you are in the bank go talk to the banker, not some clerk, but the bank president and ask him/her what would happen if suddenly people could only buy with cash on hand.  You would find the economy slow to a virtual stop.  How many people do you know who buy cars and homes for cash?  Less than 1% of the population.   Also, ask them how they use for collateral when they loan money.  You will find that the majority of it is real estate.  Now, there are some banks who will only have $1 collateral for $10 loaned out, technically called 'Fractional Reserve' and that is crazy because that is the situation that has blown up several banks not just in the USA but all over the world.  With the demand for homes due to fewer people wanting to buy them, has been, and is still in the process of cratering.  That does indeed lower the value of the collateral used by the banks.  It goes from a 1:7 fractional reserve ratio to 1: 15 or 20 or 30 and is then insolvent.  Most of those collateralized assets are insured for loss, but when the losses are so huge they totally swamp the insurance, you end up with something like AIG.  They were swimming naked when the tide went out. This whole system is a house of cards that has been collapsing and all the government bailouts simply forestalls the big collapse.  There is nothing that can stop them. 

Quote:
When horses went buh-buy I'm sure there were some buggy whip makers who were upset.  I'm also sure that the entire new industry of car mechanics were very happy.  Changing demographics is just a fact of life -- banks will adjust, home builders will adjust, we'll all adjust.  The real issue, which you keep glossing, is that as more and more of those baby boomers leave the workplace, there will be a contraction in the number of workers without a contraction in population.  Something will have to give, and economists seem to think it means boomers will potentially keep working.  Which makes a lot of sense -- I'd go bat-shit crazy if I had a 30 year vacation ...

 

yes...you are correct but there was about a 10 year displacement.  Also, those older buggy whip maker's skills did not fit with the new economy, they could not suddenly drop their tools they used for making horse buggies and buggy whips and then pick up wrench and know automatically about building or working on a car.  They were too old to retrain.  Plus, there was not quite the demand for the new until much later.  It was not until the kids of those older workers were out working and able to afford to buy those new cars. 


 


Sage_Override
atheistBlogger
Sage_Override's picture
Posts: 585
Joined: 2008-10-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:I don't know why some

Quote:
I don't know why some people here think I'm stupid -- it really does get annoying.  Maybe it's proof that people who believe in G-d are smarter than people who don't

 

There's a reason the term "holier than thou" exists; it applies to people like you.  You have out-dated notions, misinformation and a sense of denial that is stronger than any metal known to man.  You're not stupid, though; just really headstrong.

"When the majority believes in what is false, the truth becomes a quest." - Me


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3929
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Vastet wrote:EXC

Vastet wrote:
EXC wrote:
Except me of course.
No, you don't have a credible argument either.

Then why don't you explain to us ignoramuses why unconditional welfare payment don't create a massive moral hazard for the future? How does punishing sucess and rewarding failure not produce even more failure?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3929
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:I don't

FurryCatHerder wrote:

I don't know why some people here think I'm stupid -- it really does get annoying.  Maybe it's proof that people who believe in G-d are smarter than people who don't Eye-wink

I think what you fail to realize is that political propaganda pretty much works the same way a religious propaganda. Most people are either indoctrinated with the philosophy of the left or right. There are very few people that are independent thinkers or that want to apply scientific methods to solve conditions such as poverty, war and environmental destruction.

For instance, you but into this BS concept of 'rights' without explaining from where they come. Once you declare something to be a 'right', there is no arguing with you because it like they came from God or some mystical force. So you're the one arguing like a religious person.

I think it only proof that political indoctrination is just a poisonous as religious indoctrination. Why not just be in favor of applying science and reason to the questions that cause political conflict instead of being beheld to a certain political side?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3929
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:FurryCatHerder

EXC wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

I don't know why some people here think I'm stupid -- it really does get annoying.  Maybe it's proof that people who believe in G-d are smarter than people who don't Eye-wink

I think what you fail to realize is that political propaganda pretty much works the same way a religious propaganda. Most people are either indoctrinated with the philosophy of the left or right. There are very few people that are independent thinkers or that want to apply scientific methods to solve conditions such as poverty, war and environmental destruction.

For instance, you but into this BS concept of 'basic human rights' without explaining from where they come. Once you declare something to be a 'right', there is no arguing with you because it like they came from God or some mystical force. So you're the one arguing like a religious person.

I think it only proof that political indoctrination is just a poisonous as religious indoctrination. Why not just be in favor of applying science and reason to the questions that cause political conflict instead of being beheld to a certain political side?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen