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Reaganomics i.e conservative/libertarian economics succeeds at last.

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. glynch

    glynch Member

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    Laissez faire, economics for the wealthy, trickle down however you call it has finally suceeded in bringing us back to the maldistribution of wealth of the years of the Great Depression. Congrats conservatives!

    PS would those of you who are conservatives or libertarians and not in the top 1% please explain why you support such policies and outcomes?

    ************

    Exerpts from an interesting article by Robert Reich in the Nation. http://www.thenation.com/article/36893/unjust-spoils

    Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total.

    Each of America's two biggest economic crashes occurred in the year immediately following these twin peaks—in 1929 and 2008. This is no mere coincidence. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. America's median wage, adjusted for inflation, has barely budged for decades. Between 2000 and 2007 it actually dropped. Under these circumstances the only way the middle class can boost its purchasing power is to borrow, as it did with gusto. As housing prices rose, Americans turned their homes into ATMs. But such borrowing has its limits. When the debt bubble finally burst, vast numbers of people couldn't pay their bills, and banks couldn't collect.

    China, Germany and Japan have surely contributed to the problem by failing to buy as much from us as we buy from them. But to believe that our continuing economic crisis stems mainly from the trade imbalance—we buy too much and save too little, while they do the reverse—is to miss the biggest imbalance of all. The problem isn't that typical Americans have spent beyond their means. It's that their means haven't kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.

    A second parallel links 1929 with 2008: when earnings accumulate at the top, people at the top invest their wealth in whatever assets seem most likely to attract other big investors. This causes the prices of certain assets—commodities, stocks, dot-coms or real estate—to become wildly inflated. Such speculative bubbles eventually burst, leaving behind mountains of near-worthless collateral.
    ....
     
  2. parmesh

    parmesh Member

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    Though I respect opinions, I consider it offensive to associate todays Neo-Conservatives to Libertarians. Look at the facts, we oppose those guys most of the time. They believe in Keynesian economics and giving tax breaks to the wealthy people that support their Republican Party.
     
  3. tcadriel

    tcadriel Member

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    Not to change the discussion and all, but I was watching FOX news and they keep talking about Neo-conservative. Can anyone tell me what the definition is of a neo-conservative is? LIbertarians?
     
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  4. Commodore

    Commodore Member

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    We certainly don't have a laissez-faire economy, every aspect of it is regulated.

    Either way, the case for capitalism is a moral one :

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/v2Vp1moqTKs&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/v2Vp1moqTKs&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

     
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  5. rimrocker

    rimrocker Member

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    That is as much a fantasy as anything Marx ever wrote. There is nowhere on Earth... no market, no society, no business... that operates on that plane. The reality of Capitalism is that it is very much subject to human emotions, irrationality, failings, ignorance, greed, mercilessness, ego, and cruelty. There has to be a check on it and usually the only thing strong enough to counter it is government.

     
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  6. saitou

    saitou J Only Fan

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    ^agreed

     
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  7. glynch

    glynch Member

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    I did not equate neo-cons and libertarians. Neo-cons are conservatives or at times moderates who are essentially what the term "militarists" refers to.

    I am equating what mainstream conservatives and libertarians agree on wrt to economics as they are for practical purposes the same i.e in the real world lead to the same outcomes. I realize that in the abstract utopian way some libertarians theorize other outcomes
     
    #7 glynch, Jul 8, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  8. glynch

    glynch Member

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    coomodore

    I disagree. At least we have an argument as to why commodore would support the system when he is not in the top 1% and unlikely to be so.

    Just make it clear to the 99% that they will not be as well off, but urge them to accept your moral argument for capitalism.
     
  9. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    commodore, or anyone else,

    Does ANYONE think it's good for our society to have so much wealth accumulated in the upper 1% of citizens? Were the rich not okay in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, when prosperity was spread around more?
     
  10. Commodore

    Commodore Member

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    Like I said, the case for capitalism is a moral one. I'm not interested in what is good for society, this isn't an ant colony. Although in this instance, the outcomes for society are desirable as well.

    As long as everyone's wealth is higher, the relative distribution is irrelevant. A hundred bucks of wealth spread evenly is not better than a million bucks spread unevenly.

    Spreading wealth around (we used to call this theft) is a good way to get less of it. When you tax something, you always get less of it that if you didn't (the opposite is true of subsidies). Productivity is no different.

    As Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that at some point you run out of other people's money to transfer (steal). Greece/Spain are feeling this.
     
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  11. glynch

    glynch Member

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    There is no proof that the issue is a $100 bucks spread equally vs $1,000,000 spread unequally. This is a libertarian fantasy. Heavily regulated capitalism has outperformed or equalled Thatcher capitalism. For instance the Dutch stock market outperformed the US stock market in a recent thirty year span. How do you explain this?

    I would note that we have an example of a conservative in economics calling himself a "libertarian" trying to misuse Greece's problems to push an agenda.
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

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    That's not true. If you have 1000 people in society each with $1000, your society is healthier and more sustainable than if you have 2 people with $495,010 each and 998 people with $10. The latter will end in a collapse because a functional economy can't properly exist.
     
  13. glynch

    glynch Member

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    Rimrocker, just wanted to let you know how much I thank you for this quote. My son liked it so much he remembered to bring it up and thank me a month later for sharing it with him.
     
  14. Major

    Major Member

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    Or, to make it more similar, to your example:

    If you have 1000 people in society each with $400 ($400,000 total), your society is healthier and more sustainable than if you have 2 people with $495,010 each and 998 people with $10 ($1,000,000 total). The latter will end in a collapse because a functional economy can't properly exist.
     
  15. glynch

    glynch Member

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    OMG, I agree with Major again. Also of course you have a more functional poltical democracy, when you have a bigger middle class, which some of us like.
     
  16. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    Thanks for the reply. It's a little disturbing that you equate thinking what's good for a society with being an ant colony. That's too big a logical leap for me to make.

    Given your thoughts there, here is my next question: was the United States from 1945-1975 a socialist nation, when the top wealthiest 1% owned at or less than 10% of the total wealth? Was that socialism, or a healthy opportunity-rich economy, with a strong middle class? I vote for the 2nd option there. We were not a socialist country.
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    I think for the most part, you and I agree on things in terms of the end results of what's good/bad/etc. We just disagree on where the blame should go and how to fix things.
     
  18. weslinder

    weslinder Member

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    My company relocated its headquarters to the Netherlands because it has somewhat less regulation and significantly lower corporate taxes than the US.
     
  19. jo mama

    jo mama Member

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    the premise of your argument is flawed. libertarians are not conservatives/neo-cons/republicans. the policies that have gotten us to where we are have been brought to us by republicans and democrats - libertarian principles have nothing to do w/ this. there is nothing libertarian about out-of-control deficit spending or tax cuts for the wealthy or no-bid contracts or corporate welfare. libertarians would not agree w/ cheney when he said "deficits dont matter".

    true libertarians were very much against bush and his economic policies. infact, the tea party was actually started by ron paul supporters in opposition to bush and his liberal spending policies.
     
  20. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Member
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    Non-sense. Everyone's fault besides the Democrats!
     
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