Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
What's really wrong with America
#41
Quote:Do you think society will voluntarily make that significant change?

Hell, no. If you've been reading what I've posted on this site, you'd know that I expect the federal government to implode. At that point, it becomes a matter of fact, not a matter of "want to". What do the social security-ites do when there is no social security, because the federal government has imploded under the weight of it's own fiscal irresponsibility? Better hope they have family willing to help them, or they may starve. My parents will be fine, because I'll be in a position to help them. We're already supporting my MIL.
Reply
#42
My point here is that the private sector would have messed social security up in the same way, given the opportunity. If everyone withdraws money from the stock market at the same time - same as if everyone withdraws from the SS fund at the same time - then the value of the money they put in goes down. The only way to stop that from happening is to make investments that actually pay off over a 20-year time frame - like education, etc. Anything else is simply reshuffling chairs on the Titanic.
Reply
#43
The local school system spends huge amounts of money on the schools; more every year. I haven't seen any sign that it's making a difference. The problem isn't that there isn't enough money being spent on education. It's that the money being spent is increasingly being spent on administration of worthless programs mandated by various levels of government, including the feds. Once more, the deeper the federal government gets into schools, the worse they get.

The federal government is incompetent. I see nothing these days to prove me wrong.
Reply
#44
So let me get this straight... Infrastructure is in a sore condition, so government throwing money at it is a positive. The left uses a trickle-down approach to this, similar to the charge that unemployment payments is the greatest jobs innovator. The argument is that throwing money at anything will end up with it being spent by those it splashes against and we will all make out like bandits.

In reality, for government to throw money at anything, it must first drain it out of the economy. It is already being spent - and being spent on the basis of market forces rather than some political nimrod's shopping list.

The other side is that government cannot do as good a job of anything as the private sector can. The Apollo Program and such government sponsored projects always work best if Washington keeps iteslf at arm's length.
Reply
#45
Ding, ding, ding, ding!

We have a winner, folks!
Reply
#46
(08-12-2011, 08:21 PM)WmLambert Wrote: In reality, for government to throw money at anything, it must first drain it out of the economy. It is already being spent - and being spent on the basis of market forces rather than some political nimrod's shopping list.
The money we're talking about isn't already being spent. It's being saved. Hoarded. People have chosen to invest in the government (maybe not you, but the people that support social security.) Buying government bonds is the same as not spending the money - keeping it in cash.
Reply
#47
Actually, there are far too many people living paycheck to paycheck, and that means no savings and no hoarding. Less money in the bank means less money to be loaned out to jump start entrepreneurs. Yes, businesses don't use stock from the back rooms, and don't invest in capital, but that is because there is not enough money coming in to make payroll. Any money from corporations don't go into mattresses - but into the bank where the banks loan it out four-to-one or more.
Reply
#48
Quote:People have chosen to invest in the government (maybe not you, but the people that support social security.)

No one chose to invest in social security, not even the people who support it. That choice was made for you by the government. That is the problem with it. It is not a choice. It is a government-mandated collection of my money, which I could probably better invest myself, if I was given the choice.

Quote:The money we're talking about isn't already being spent. It's being saved. Hoarded.

Not that I agree that the money the government spends would not be spent elsewhere by the rightful owner, but SO WHAT! The money belongs to the people who are saving it. Not to the government. If they choose not to spend it, isn't that their right?

Quote:Buying government bonds is the same as not spending the money - keeping it in cash.

No, buying government bonds is, given the state of the federal economy, akin to throwing it in the toilet. Better hope you're first in line to cash out when the implosion happens, or you ain't getting jack back for all the money you gave the government.
Reply
#49
People choose to buy government bonds without government interference. If you refer back to the chart Fred posted on page 1, almost a trillion of treasury bonds are owned by pension funds. Another trillion is owned by various types of financial institutions, who probably ultimately serve people saving for retirement. And if you got rid of the 5 trillion of government-owned treasuries, then those numbers would probably double at least.

Treasuries are still considered basically equivalent to cash. If you want to go against the market - you can always short. But that's what the (supposedly efficient) market says.
Reply
#50
And if the incredibly in-debt government collapses, which looks more and more likely, those bonds are useful mostly as toilet paper. But, hey! It's your money. I wonder how many of those pensioners would choose to have their money in Government binds right now, if they had a choice?
Reply
#51
So you're saying the market's efficient, yet it's wrong about the most basic kind of investment, with trillions in market cap? I certainly wouldn't discount the possibility...but then, I wouldn't say the market was efficient either.
Reply
#52
No, I'm saying the federal government is the least efficient spender of money on earth, and giving them more money is an incredible retarded thing to do.
Reply
#53
(08-13-2011, 09:53 AM)Huh...What? Wrote: No, I'm saying the federal government is the least efficient spender of money on earth, and giving them more money is an incredible retarded thing to do.

Totally agree. Does anyone have the list of percentage of GNP spent by each country's government? I seem to recall the average is below 14% and we are far above that. Raising it to 23% just doesn't make sense.
Reply
#54
Here's something...it might be a little out of date, but I think somewhere around a year old (all the comments are from a year ago). It looks like the US is about average.

But government spending/GDP is really a minor measure of creditworthiness. Are you really more likely to lend Japan money, given that their government spending/GDP is significantly lower than ours? (Oh, and their deficit/GDP ratio is approaching 200%).
Reply
#55
(08-14-2011, 12:56 AM)b5d Wrote: Here's something...it might be a little out of date, but I think somewhere around a year old (all the comments are from a year ago). It looks like the US is about average.

But government spending/GDP is really a minor measure of creditworthiness. Are you really more likely to lend Japan money, given that their government spending/GDP is significantly lower than ours? (Oh, and their deficit/GDP ratio is approaching 200%).

Is that what you think we should be: just average? We are where we are because we have alway been way above average. How could a brand new country excel and become the leader of the world in less than two centuries by being just average? We did it with Free Enterprise, not a Welfare State.

Is that what you are willing to settle for David? I promise you this: if we keep trying to grow government and take away individual incentives, by curbing Liberties, that is what you will get: Average.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#56
Remember we're talking about sovereign bond markets here. Nobody invests in treasuries with the expectation that the US government is going to be the next Google. They just don't want it to be a ponzi scheme.
Reply
#57
(08-12-2011, 03:39 PM)b5d Wrote: My point here is that the private sector would have messed social security up in the same way, given the opportunity. If everyone withdraws money from the stock market at the same time - same as if everyone withdraws from the SS fund at the same time - then the value of the money they put in goes down. The only way to stop that from happening is to make investments that actually pay off over a 20-year time frame - like education, etc. Anything else is simply reshuffling chairs on the Titanic.
Private sector retirement would be 401k, 403b or Roth IRA type plans, self directed. Yes, some people are not savvy enough to ride out corrections in the market and sell stocks and buy bonds in their plan. But not everyone. I doubt that the amount of money in retirement plans would have a large effect on the market. Most of the money in the stock market today is in mutual funds, hedge funds or state retirement plans which are run by smart investors. If it were up to me, as a compromise, I would make a law saying 30-50% of retirement fund $ should be in index funds for the sp500 or nyse etc. But this is distasteful to me.

Peru and some cities in the US have had remarkable success with private retirement accounts. Those who choose them do substantially better than if they had stayed in the government system.

A recent poll of young people found that 79% or them did not think SS would exist for them when they retired. If you had your own account this could not happen.

Odd that you should mention education as an "investment". Quite clearly all the public money thrown an education in the last several decades has shown negative results. That is the opposite of "investment", it is throwing money down the rat hole.

Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Reply
#58
(08-14-2011, 06:26 PM)jt Wrote: I doubt that the amount of money in retirement plans would have a large effect on the market.
It would have the same effect on the markets as it does now on the government. It's the same money, just in a different place.

Quote:Odd that you should mention education as an "investment". Quite clearly all the public money thrown an education in the last several decades has shown negative results. That is the opposite of "investment", it is throwing money down the rat hole.
Education - which has never in history been financed by the free market, and certainly not below college level - should be an investment. If the educational system is dysfunctional, then I'm not saying we should necessarily throw more money at it. I'm saying that when the US becomes less relevant in the world, this (relatively mundane) mismanagement will be the reason.
Reply
#59
(08-12-2011, 08:21 PM)WmLambert Wrote: In reality, for government to throw money at anything, it must first drain it out of the economy. It is already being spent - and being spent on the basis of market forces rather than some political nimrod's shopping list.

you can also state that a private investor wanting to throw money at anything has to drain it out of the economy first, on the expense of projects which might be more useful. private investor has the goal to make max money with min manpower, while the government, for all intents and purposes should act the other way around, making the economy serve and occupy as many people as possible.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
Reply
#60
H...W Wrote:I'm saying the federal government is the least efficient spender of money on earth, and giving them more money is an incredible retarded thing to do.
Yes, but buying treasuries is not giving money to the governement (if it was we would not have debt problems).

The markets for US treasuries is so huge that T bonds are exchanged like currencies, that's why it's almost cash.

The most pathetic is that even with the S&P downgrade, they still don;t realize that behind treasuries, there are poeple who must manage the governement revenues to maintain the value of their investment, and that these poeple in the past 10 years have failed miserably.

The US debt is taking the shape of a pyramyd sheme: The last one who put the money pay for the others.

Buying T bonds is retarded, absolutely.

Note that giving money to gold is retarded too. Gold doesn't do anything, it just sit there in a vault.
And is extremely overvalued as we speak. Yet poeple keep buying it.

bd5 Wrote:Education - which has never in history been financed by the free market, and certainly not below college level - should be an investment.

Absolutely. A private education network is absurd. It's akin to invading Iraq only with Blackwater contractors.

There is just no commercial incentive to provide schooling at a price affordable to the mass. Absent of governement action, only the very rich ones could afford to learn, and in a very poorly manner since they don't give you a certificate because you succeed your exams, but because you pay. You can as well buy certificate from a Thailand based internet vendor.

You think Junior learned something at Harvard?
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)