Saturday, October 24, 2015

It is a Mad Mad World

The comments at the end of the MP Sanders article keep getting more and more strange.  Paul and Bill definitely have a different perception of reality than folks like myself do. (no surprise there)  By the way, you will need to continue to page 2 to see  all the comments.  I am getting ready to go to bed so I am happy that I don't see monsters all around me like some others...  Here was my last response in case it gets blocked.

And yes this is old stuff for us, so I will understand if you are just tired of this topic.
"I am happy this is America and we are all free to believe differently, because I can then disagree with the vast majority of what you wrote above.Your sources definitely have an agenda, and they want to create villains. Of course since I own a lot of financial stock right now (ie good buys in 2009), I disagree with Rolling Stones interpretation of reality. And since 72% of the company is owned by institutional investors, I am pretty sure that everyone who has a diversified pension, IRA, 401K, etc likely owns some of these villains and benefits when they earn a profit.
GS Ownership

Now I have no doubt that these institutions do strive to earn good returns within the bounds of the law. That is what we investors expect of them and pay them for. If they don't, we sell their stock and look for a better performer. So as we have discussed before I see the contributors to the Great Recession being irresponsible Mortagees (30%), inattentive regulators (15%), Mortgage companies (30%), Investing Entities (25%)
Crisis of Credit

Remember what WC Fields said "You can't cheat an honest man..." G2A
By the way, yes you can cheat an honest, humble, conservative person who does their due diligence... However it is pretty hard.  Most of us can tell when something seems too good to be true, when we are getting in over our head or when greed/hubris is controlling our actions.
 

6 comments:

Laurie said...

I think it is strange how blind you are to the problems of our current version of capitalism. You never did answer the question I asked on another post. So is capitalism working the way it should? What do you think of these results?

"The top one-tenth of 1 percent" of Americans "own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,"

.. 58 percent of all new income since the Wall Street crash has gone to the top 1 percent...

I think our economic system is need of some adjustments.

I have limited knowledge of what those adjustments should be (I am an expert on teaching kids to read so one day they can read good books and articles and be good citizens)

Anyhow, I came across this book and maybe when I skim read it on winter break I will share some of the policy ideas I learned.

The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive

"Most people define the central point of dispute between liberals and conservatives as being that liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair, while conservatives want to leave things to the market. This is not true. Conservatives actually rely on the government all the time, but most importantly in structuring the market in ways that ensure that income will flow upwards. The framing that "conservatives like the market while liberals like the government," puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers.

This "loser liberalism" is bad policy and horrible politics. The efforts of liberals would be much better spent on battles over the structure of markets so that they don't redistribute income upward. This book describes some of the key areas in which progressives can focus their efforts to restructure markets so that more income flows to the bulk of the working population rather than just a small elite."

If you haven't heard of Dean Baker he is a well known liberal economist.

John said...

Laurie,
Let's pick on your choice of cars again. You chose to buy a car with almost NO domestic content. Therefore almost NO American workers benefitted from your $23,000 expenditure. And since the employees and business were overseas, there was relatively little tax collected on your expenditure. (ie little income taxes)

Now since I likely own some shares of Toyota in one of my foreign focused mutual funds, I make money because you chose to support Toyota / Japan rather than GM / America / UAW.

Now you saved money and got the car you wanted. Excellent !!!
However the result of your choice is that middle class jobs are fewer, the UAW is weaker, and there are fewer tax revenues, and more poor people. And since there are ~100 million of you now, the impact is catastrophic.

And your proposed solution is that you want me to pay even more in taxes because I invested in the companies you chose to support? I will never understand Liberal logic.

Unknown said...

To answer your question. Is our Capitalistic mixed economy working well in my opinion?

I think my answer has to be yes. We live in one of the most free societies, we get to buy any product or service we choose, those who learn / work / save / invest are rewarded, our society let's in ~1,000,000,000 less fortunate people year and gives them a chance at a better life, citizens / immigrants who choose to not learn / work / save / invest need to struggle or improve their belief system, the tax system encourages the wealthy to give to charity and they often do, the US creates enough wealth each year that we can spend some of it being the "world police", etc.

You look at the inequality, I look at how great even the poorest American has it just because they live here and how we work to stop atrocities around the world.

Laurie said...

about my prius - I bought it because my number one issue is climate change. About liberal logic I defer to people much more knowledgeable than me so I googled Dean Baker and found this 100 page paper Getting Back to Full Employment
A Better Bargain for Working People
which I skimmed for a few minutes and found this:

"The large trade deficit that the United States has been running over the last 15 years has created a substantial gap in demand.In the late 1990s the gap was filled by demand generated by the stock bubble, and in the last decade the housing bubble stood in.But we should not look to asset bubbles to sustain high levels of unemployment.Instead, we should have a policy focused on getting the trade deficit closer to balance.

While there are many policies, such as improving education and infrastructure, that will increase the economy’s productivity, even in a bestcase scenario these strategies can have only a marginal impact on the trade balance in the near term. The trade deficit was relatively modest until the late 1990s, when the East Asian financial crisis led to a run-up in the value of the dollar. While the dollar has since reversed much of this gain, it needs to fall still further. Lowering the value of the dollar is not a difficult task economically; the problem is political. Powerful domestic interest groups benefit from an overvalued dollar, and getting it down to a level consistent with more balanced trade will mean overcoming the opposition of these special interests."

The trade deficit could also be addressed by your idea of buy American, but in the case of most consumer goods that is very hard to do. I think governmental policy/action such as lowering the value of the dollar is more realistic (as far as I understand it which is really not that much)

About is our capitalist mixed economy working well? I think a better question is could it work better and my answer is yes. Maybe when I find more policy ideas from people with economic expertise I will post them.

John said...

Laurie,
Consumers do things for many reasons, usually it has to do with maximizing the value to themselves. (ie less emissions, less cost, more performance, better quality, more trendy, etc)

There are apparently too few people like me who ask... Where is my money going? Who will benefit? Who will suffer? Please remember that my motorcycle is a Yamaha FJR 1300, so I have no problem buying foreign when no similar domestic product is available.

Now please remember if you lower the value of the dollar... All imported goods will seem more expensive to the citizens in the USA... And it will be more expensive to travel globally. So there are many constituencies who like a nice moderately valued dollar.

Strong or Weak Benefits / Costs

John said...

By the way, yes it is hard to buy some things local.
Next best thing is to buy from a Domestic Company. (ie Apple/Motorola vs Samsung/LG)

Major appliances seem to be slipping away now as people give up GE for their shiny Samsung...