Author Topic: The First 100 Days  (Read 23382 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2009, 10:50:49 PM »

Offline Sirharles

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2009, 10:38:36 AM »
Will someone please explain to me how any of those things will "stimulate" the economy?  Anybody?

Paul Krugman can. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/opinion/26krugman.html?_r=1&sq=krugman&st=cse&scp=3&pagewanted=print

See that doesn't explain how planting grass on the mall or revamping the Department of Agriculture building or buying hybrid cars will stimulate the economy. 

Okay maybe an argument can me made that these things create jobs....well I dare say that all the jobs that are created aren't going to make up for the hundreds of thousands of people out of work.  So again I ask how will this stimulate the economy?

Offline nacho

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2009, 10:52:23 AM »
Locally, it'll stimulate the economy by stopping the Maryland and Virginia governments declaring bankruptcy. 

Maryland's doing worse than DC these days!  Which is why we're all drinking poisonous water...though they won't release the water report, so we don't know how bad it is.  Though "clean water projects" tops the wishlist.

And clean water isn't Maryland's only concern.  It's the 5000 miles of aged pipeline that has a leak on EVERY SINGLE MILE.  Heh. WSSC says the big break on River Road is a sign of things to come.  We can expect more breaks more frequently unless they fix the entire length of the pipeline.

Virginia's stimulus comes in the form of their endless highway projects.  Get the construction workers moving again, really.  Very TVA thinking, which is how Virginia has been keeping afloat all these years.  We have always been building 95.  We have always been at war with concrete.

Personally, for you and I and all the other normal people, it means nothing.  It's a bailout plan on the state level that'll create more construction jobs for the lower classes, who then cash their checks at the counter and buy milk, beer, bread, and lottery tickets.  The government isn't interested in helping us out because we save our money and spend it wisely.  The only way for the economy to work is to get the money to the idiots who'll spend it immediately on baubles.


Offline Matt

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2009, 01:55:53 PM »
Krugman's column points out that tax breaks aren't the answer; government spending is. And if you look at historical precedent, that's what brought us out of the Great Depression (wartime spending on infrastructure is still direct government spending into the economy). Infrastructure improvements increase investment opportunities and decrease investment costs, as well as creating jobs for lower-skilled laborers, who are often hit the hardest when economic crises hit. Especially with this one, considering its impact on the housing market and how construction laborers are out of business. Therefore the important thing to do is get a steady source of income to them so they can start spending money again on things beyond the bare essentials or spending more on the bare essentials.

Mostly you're picking at strawmen in the details and holding them up, much as Krugman has criticized the Republicans for doing, as an example of why this plan won't work and you don't see why. Tax cuts can stimulate economic growth, but not as much as direct government spending on the economy.

Offline Matt

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2009, 02:36:49 PM »
Also, Obama's first TV interview was given to Al-Arabiya. This dude owns.

Offline Matt

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2009, 04:41:51 PM »
More Obama love: he apparently told Citigroup to fuck off when they wanted to buy a new $50 million jet.

Offline Cassander

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2009, 01:45:12 AM »
ok, so i see both sides to this issue.  of course, team obama was saddled with this huge thing that they didn't see coming a year ago, so i can understand their unwillingness to really dig deep and give us something smart and helpful.  but, nooooooo, help must, apparently, come immediately or else we all die.  so we get this bill filled with non-stimulating stimulants.  granted, i believe that this whole "infrastructure" thing could be beneficial in some cases, but back in the time of the WPA most guys knew how to wield a hammer or use a shovel.  you can't tell me that thousands of people are going to go, "well, i just got fired from a job where i had fifteen smoke breaks a day, all the free coffee i could drink, time to watch youtube videos all my college buddies were forwarding to me, and on fridays i could sneak out at 4:30 cause management didn't even come in.  now i guess i'll go work in the sun pouring concrete and really put myself into it because it's for AMERICA and a STEADY PAYCHECK!"  we could've gotten a lot of these projects done in the past twenty years if half of our "unemployed" population felt like switching job tracks for awhile or just putting down their 40 oz and "Homeless please help" sign for five minutes and actively searching for five minutes for a labor job.  as much as that sounds like right-wing talk-radio diatribe, it's the truth.  the reason all these systems are falling into disrepair is because the budget couldn't keep up with the demands of the laborers.  "you mean to tell me i've been spot-welding in a sewer for six months and you're not going to give me a raise? fuck you, i'll go work at TGI Fridays!"  the entitlement got way out of control, and now everything's rusted, rotted, and covered with a band-aid.  and we think pouring money into fixing it all is going to work at either end of the spectrum? granted, there will be some new jobs, but the quality of work ain't going to be like in the 30s, my friend. 

tax cuts, real true tax cuts, would really work in the short term, at least through this year.  think about it.  the government suddenly tells you that instead of filing for taxes this year, they're just going to keep 10% of what your income and give the rest back to you.  no stimulus check where you have to meet criteria or jump through hoops.  just simple arithmetic.  you don't think that would boost the economy?  last year people spent their stimulus checks on porn and electronics.  this year, it would all go to outstanding bills, getting the car fixed, new clothes for the kids, going out to eat, etc.  businesses stay open, people keep their jobs, money keeps flowing.  let the government borrow for programs it's already got running if it needs to.  there's no reason to run up more loans for new spending when we could just as easily let the nation keep some tax money and run up loans for current spending. 

in short, i'm still in favor of obama, but where's that promised scalpel? 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 01:47:10 AM by Cassander »
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Offline nacho

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2009, 06:06:10 AM »
Nice, Cass.  I'm with you there.  Both on the analysis and the cry for that surgery. 

We're in a "white-tight" economy, as the blacks used to say (which is why sirharles fails to see the "stimulus" -- it's not for us, man).  Except we have a very different social structure now than when that slang term originated.  The larger problem is certainly being exposed.  What have we become, eh?

Offline Matt

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2009, 09:26:55 AM »
Why is it "non-stimulating stimulants"? I mean, you guys are totally buying the bullshit line from the Republicans that we have to cut taxes. This stimulus is for "you guys" or "us"... it's just not as direct as before, and it's not being explicitly said to be targeted at the "white collar" (I'm guessing this is where you guys position yourself?) area, but white collar jobs totally benefit from the eventual development and improvement of the country. Tax cuts aren't the answer, especially because it would further income inequality. I totally disagree with over-entitlement of service programs; if anything we still take a shit on service people and especially unions.

Offline Matt

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2009, 09:43:26 AM »
Meanwhile...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/education/28educ.html

Obama's plan doubles DOE spending. This is great.

Offline nacho

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2009, 10:04:55 AM »
Why is it "non-stimulating stimulants"? I mean, you guys are totally buying the bullshit line from the Republicans that we have to cut taxes. This stimulus is for "you guys" or "us"... it's just not as direct as before, and it's not being explicitly said to be targeted at the "white collar" (I'm guessing this is where you guys position yourself?) area, but white collar jobs totally benefit from the eventual development and improvement of the country. Tax cuts aren't the answer, especially because it would further income inequality. I totally disagree with over-entitlement of service programs; if anything we still take a shit on service people and especially unions.

Just so we're straight on terminology, the "service industry" is what I'm in.  Phone and tech support, food service, retail, etc.  At least, that's how I define it.  Maybe I'm off...?

But I agree with Cass that the lower tier folks -- the welders and sewer cleaners, the skilled underclass -- has been crippled, partially by entitlement and partially by automation. 

Back to my local example -- the state of the Maryland water supply.  5000 miles of pipeline that has, simply, been left to rot.  And the WSSC is unable to fix it.  They lack the manpower (and the budget to hire people on).  We're seeing that throughout our infrastructure.  Construction jobs are down in the area, which is hitting the blue collar folks hard.  A lot of the Washington area foreclosures are thanks to the decline in construction. 

I wouldn't say "non-stimulating stimulants" because I believe this package (and you've said this, as well) is aimed at the underclass.  It always is.  And, yes, the benefits trickle down (or up) to all of us as the idiots start to spend their money again. 

Perhaps the issue (at least with me) is that I'm tired of the hype.  Call a spade a spade, if you will.  (Of course, they can't) It's not a stimulus.  It's a minority bailout because the rest of us are preying on their inability to live frugally and wisely.  That's how the wheel turns.  But it's called a "stimulus" to get the liberals all Action Squad, and I'm hating the single-minded, naive, illiterate, silver spoon, one track liberals that are now in power.  I hate them more than the conservatives.  It's kind of like trading out Hitler for Pol Pot.  The screaming firebrand lunatic American psyche has been replaced by fruitcake idealism.

Not condemning Obama...just his more ardent followers, and the now orphaned rage in them, and the language our idiotic government and media uses because we're all appalingly ignorant.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2009, 10:26:35 AM »
Meanwhile...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/education/28educ.html

Obama's plan doubles DOE spending. This is great.

Yes!  It's awesome!  If you want the federal government running schools in Bobsonville, Iowa.  Certainly some of the things mentioned in that article are decent programs, but this just seems like 10 more steps down the "Oh, no seatbelt law?  No money for roads for you, Wyoming!" path.


Offline nacho

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2009, 10:30:52 AM »
Yeah.  I'm all for renovating schools and creating a modern day GI Bill, but, beyond that, the Feds need to stay out of our schools.

The Feds sticking their fingers in our education seriously cuts into my abortion business (in Maryland schools) and my homeroom prayer services (in Virginia schools) and the running gun battles (in DC schools). 

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2009, 10:36:23 AM »
Infrastructure improvements increase investment opportunities and decrease investment costs, as well as creating jobs for lower-skilled laborers, who are often hit the hardest when economic crises hit. Especially with this one, considering its impact on the housing market and how construction laborers are out of business. Therefore the important thing to do is get a steady source of income to them so they can start spending money again on things beyond the bare essentials or spending more on the bare essentials.

In theory, this is all fine.  However, banks aren't lending and investors aren't investing because all the shitty home loans have everybody frozen up doing nothing lest they topple over if they try to move. All the financial institutions that have survived are "waiting it out."

I hope Obama's financial stimulus has an effect, but don't get your hopes up that it'll turn things around.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: The First 100 Days
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2009, 03:20:18 PM »
Here's my problem with tax cuts... they don't do shit for you if you're unemployed, which many of us are soon to be.  Beyond that, tax cuts do nothing to create employment opportunities.  Tax cuts are the penultimate band aid.

People can bitch about sodding the Mall all they want, but at the very least it's going to create $20 million worth of jobs to the people who sod it; people who, hopefully, will turn right around and spend that money because they're poor and sod things for a living.  I also believe that the Mall is a project which is technically "shovel ready"... if the plan passed today, you could see people out there working within a week.

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