Things I've Tagged ‘Economy’

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#Economy, #General Feeling of Despair, #Politics

Could It Get Any Worse?

Despair, pessimism, and hopelessness. All classic signs of depression, though, I am not depressed; I am, however, looking at the conditions around me and without fail I feel some mix of these emotions. It’s tough to imagine something more than our current conditions allow–a failing of evolution, perhaps–but seeing our leaders fail to make the decisions that will create a more harmonious budget and debt burden, whether left or right, Democrat or Republican, is a little tough to handle.

Yes. It can get worse. The DJIA went from close to 13k to a little above 10k in a few short weeks.

Our economic outlook hasn’t been particularly positive for over three years. Our political system is failing to live up to its own lofty standards, and I’m getting tired of this sense of uselessness I feel. I have only so much control over my future, and the rest is at the feet of politicians pretending to know what is best for my life–how they think I should live, what they think my needs and desires should be.

Perhaps things will turn around and our futures will get brighter. But that can’t happen until our national, and personal, budgets are in order. The debate surrounding the national debt is likely to continue for some time–the debate concerning entitlements needs to happen soon and with earnest if the national debt is to ever be retired.

But we can’t do anything about it if citizens are unwilling to sacrifice in the form of increased taxes and heavily reduced benefits. And before that happens, politicians need to sacrifice their careers in order to nudge people in that direction. The more people receive, the harder it is to ween them from it, and the harder it is to get a politician to vote to reduce it.

#Economy, #Healthcare, #Politics

Unsustainable Healthcare Costs

At this point, it seems more plausible that the cost of health insurance will keep rising, just as the costs of health care services have continued to climb. The upshot is that the burdens of mandatory purchase, the subsidy costs and the associated implicit marginal tax rates will all increase, eventually to the point of unsustainability. — Tyler Cowen

We continue to debate healthcare proposals in this country, almost non-stop, while the economy burns and fails to recover in any meaningful fashion. On the minds of politicians is not the well-being of the citizenry, or it’s interests, but rather it is the progression of a certain agenda above all else, as the mechanisms are in place to do so; whether or not it can be accomplished within the ranks of the party is mildly debatable, at least.

What the government might consider, rather than this agenda that is, are ideas proven to generate a little momentum in the recovery process: tax breaks, tending to the fiscal health of the federal government, reducing regulatory control on private sector practices, etc. But, health care is just too important.

The quote below is a from Tyler Cowen, How an Insurance Mandate Could Leave Many Worse Off, discussing why the current proposals are eventually doomed to thrive in the pile of unsustainable government ideas.

A further problem is “mandate creep,” which we’ve seen at the state level, as groups lobby for various types of coverage — whether for acupuncture, alcoholism and fertility treatments, for example, or for chiropractor services or marriage counseling.

There are now about 1,500 insurance mandates among the various states, and hundreds of others are under consideration. The dynamic at work here is that the affected groups have a big incentive to push for mandates, while most other people are unaware of the specific issues and don’t become involved.

Because mandates don’t stay modest for long, health insurance would become all the more expensive. The Obama administration’s cost estimates haven’t considered these longer-run “political economy” issues.

Why politicians will not look to these sorts of predictions as an indicator of why their current plans are foolhardy and dangerous is nerve wracking. This is all via, Tyler Cowen. Be sure to read through the comments as it is usually an interesting discussion.

#Economy, #Employment, #Obama, #Stimulus, #Video

Anti-mis-untruths and the Stimulus

In spite of our machinations, we continue to lose money, jobs, and inflation is probably about to burst forth with a furry. We should not be shocked to learn then that we are bleeding jobs; we are shedding them in order to reach some new equilibrium while our economy attempts to recover. But, uh…the thing is, I thought the President, and Congress, had a plan for that? You know, the trillion dollar stimulus. Remember how that was supposed to save or create over 3 million jobs?

I’ll tell you, I’m still waiting. I feel as though the numbers used to sell this plan were fudged a bit. No, I don’t just feel it, I know it. Their plan was to print a bunch of money, create a ton of debt and feed it into the economy in order to give it a bit of a kick start, but their plan never really pumped money into anything. As passed, it was more of an entitlement package; and now, everything they do is an effort to get an agenda shoved through. Universal healthcare, take overs of industry and banking, etc. The left is pushing hard, and they claim that all of this is just about turning the economy around, not radically altering the face of our political system.

This video in particular is an apt criticism of the plan’s claims of employment figures if the stimulus passed versus not being passed.

The Obama Stimulus: Predictions vs. Reality

This, while perhaps not completely accurate with numbers, is a perfect example of why this administration cannot be trusted.

I can’t say that I’m surprised by the lies anymore; the one thing I see to be accurate and truthful is that this guy, this party, is a party of left-leaning radicals. Their agenda seems good-natured, in that it claims to be for the people’s own good, but it is not and cannot be good for the people; when a plan actively seeks to diminish negative liberty and grant powers to a government that has not been given them, by the constitution, and actively seeks to control its citizenry, then they are violating the precepts that this nation was founded upon.

I just want it to stop. Their plan is killing our economy more than anything else. Their plans to tax more are killing our economy. Their plans to run trillion dollar deficits are killing our ability to borrow money. 2010 and 2012 cannot come fast enough, and I have hope that this country can turn itself around; if we can find some truly fiscally conservative politicians who also believe in the principals of negative liberty, then that would be even better.

#Capitalism, #Economy, #Republicanism

Let it Die

I read a rather interesting piece this morning, LET IT DIE: Rushkoff on the economy, describing the nature of the makeup of our economy as “a system set in place for the benefit of 14th Century monarchs who have long since left this earth.”

And this makes sense to me. What Ruskoff proposes might even be more libertarian and laissez-faire than simply keeping government out of business.

It is a call to return to economic transactions that make sense on the local level. Exchanging real goods and services and creating real wealth in those exchanges. I’m blown away by this and wish that it could be, but know that it will not. Not until modern civilization collapses at least.

Rushkoff states:

As painful as it might be to watch, and as irritating as it might be to those with shrinking retirement savings, the collapse of the centralized corporate economy is ultimately a good thing. It makes room for a real economy to rise up in its place. And while it may be temporarily uncomfortable for the rich, and even temporarily devastating for the poor, it may be the fastest and least violent way to dismantle a system set in place for the benefit of 14th Century monarchs who have long since left this earth.

…The current financial crisis is the best opportunity we have had in a very long time for a bloodless revolution against the faceless fascism under which we have been living, unaware, for much too long. Let us seize the day.

Indeed. I start to think, after reading this piece, that perhaps early politicians were right to oppose a central bank; the articles of confederation might have had it right.