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Simplnomics for beginners..

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Let us look at a simple equation to understand the current situation. . Let S = Shipped out of country wages, C = Cost of current wages, R = Retirement money in privatized saving accounts like 401ks

    E= Extra money lost from income taxes from lost jobs , W= Fees For hedge Fund Traders, D = Amount of money used for security for derivatives. Operating the equation you get S - C + R +E - W = D

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chet -- Before you came on to this website, we often discussed fiat money and Modern Monetary Theory. The concept is hard to grasp, but it sure explains why government austerity programs hurt the economy. Here's a primer that can change people's thinking. We should probably discuss as the raising of the debt limit is coming up again in a few weeks.

    Chris Mayer, Daily Reckoning, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): How Fiat Money Works

    I for one used to worry about the trillions in federal debt that we are "passing on to our children", but after spending quite a bit of time on the subject, I no longer give a damn about the current levels or trends of federal debt. It is what it is and won't hurt my children or your children or our grandchildren in any way. Many Republicans, particularly the Wall Street gurus fully understand that, but it makes for a wonderful fear mongering talking point to keep the masses in check. When Republicans are in power, they don't care one iota about the debt and are happy to run it up with little fanfare. When Democrats are in power the Republicans label the debt as one of the worst things in the world...next to ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Chet -- Before you came on to this website, we often discussed fiat money and Modern Monetary Theory. The concept is hard to grasp, but it sure explains why government austerity programs hurt the economy. Here's a primer that can change people's thinking. We should probably discuss as the raising of the debt limit is coming up again in a few weeks.

    Chris Mayer, Daily Reckoning, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): How Fiat Money Works

    I for one used to worry about the trillions in federal debt that we are "passing on to our children", but after spending quite a bit of time on the subject, I no longer give a damn about the current levels or trends of federal debt. It is what it is and won't hurt my children or your children or our grandchildren in any way. Many Republicans, particularly the Wall Street gurus fully understand that, but it makes for a wonderful fear mongering talking point to keep the masses in check. When Republicans are in power, they don't care one iota about the debt and are happy to run it up with little fanfare. When Democrats are in power the Republicans label the debt as one of the worst things in the world...next to ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood.

    Schmidt wrote:: "The concept is hard to grasp, but it sure explains why government austerity programs hurt the economy"

    Chet: Hard to grasp is an understatement. I have a semi pro camera and it analogizes comprehending the concept of money. . First I learned how to use it. Then after I don't use it for awhile I have to learn it again. Because of the complexity and features I can be absorbed by one feature and lose facility with the others. There is no one single purpose of the camera and it just depends on where your mind happens to be. It can answer all situations and depending on the mood your are in determines the explanation of how it works. I have tried to grasp the concept of money so that I have a working knowledge of it but it depends on the situation to determine the explanation. The trickiest part is to try and understand the rationale for why a Ponzi type concept is illegal in one situation but then is actually the operating system for all money. It is the banking system operating like a Ponzi that will never have the money to cover deposits while servicing obligations with new deposits.. What I have a grasp of is poor money and rich money. Poor money is real money trading for goods and services while rich money is really credit requiring only an interest payment. A dollar of poor money is worth a dollar of goods, A dollar of rich money is worth a fee. The velocity of money is the determining factor of an economy and a successful society. Hoarding of money is anti capitalistic but yet is defined as the ultimate capitalist. The USA is defined as a Capitalistic Economy but nothing is further from the truth. We are not capitalist and we don't have an economy. Capitalism is a description of a phase. Uncontrolled capitalism becomes plutocratic or oligarchical.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chet -- What you say is true. Poor money is almost always spent which helps the economy. That part of the rich money that finds its way all over the world but not circulating so much in the American economy, does little to help the economy. That's why the government paying such things as unemployment benefits or food stamps or health care for the poor has a positive stimulative effect on the economy.

    The reason I brought up debt (and deficit spending) is that it is used by Republicans to curtail efforts to help the poor. It's always, "we can't afford it." or "what are you going to cut to offset the expenditure." Yes we can afford it.

    Austerity programs don't work. Balanced budgets at the federal level are bad for the economy. A balanced budget amendment would be a disaster for America.

    We have a mixed economy...socialistic and capitalistic. Right now the pendulum has swung too far to the free market, capitalistic side at the expense of our social programs. It has created a large degree of inequality. The way you fix that is through the tax code and spending priorities.

    The Modern Economic Theory provides a template for thinking in the way we can modify the tax code and spending to be more equitable to the majority of Americans. We need to erase the words "balanced budget" and "austerity" from our vocabulary as long as unemployment rates are high or people are underemployed.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Robert Reich had this conversation posted on his Facebook page:

    Living proof that Ben Carson, one of the leading Republican candidates for President, has no idea what the debt limit is -- from today's “Marketplace:”

    Kai Ryssdal: Dr. Carson, good to have you with us.

    Ben Carson: Good to be here…....

    Ryssdal: As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, "We're gonna run out of money, we're gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November." Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

    Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget.

    Ryssdal: To be clear, it's increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You'd let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

    Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, "Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we're not raising any spending limits, period."

    Ryssdal: I'm gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that's already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

    Carson: What I'm saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Astounding! Every time Ben Carson opens his mouth it reveals how utterly ignorant he is on so many matters. He is totally unqualified to be president.

  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I would suggest reading Robert Reich's latest article in the Rolling Stone.

    Robert Reich, Rolling Stone, October 7, 2015: Robert Reich on Why Capitalism Needs Saving

    An extract:

    "This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the global economy and also the American economy. Even democratic socialist countries like Denmark and Sweden are fundamentally capitalist in terms of how they're organized. Even communist China is moving toward capitalism. Capitalism is going to become the universal system of economic organization. The real issue isn't capitalism versus some other "ism." The real issue is whether capitalism is organized for the benefit of the society as a whole or for the benefit of a small group at the top. That's really what we ought to be debating."

    Read the whole article and we can discuss if you like...

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    I would suggest reading Robert Reich's latest article in the Rolling Stone.

    Robert Reich, Rolling Stone, October 7, 2015: Robert Reich on Why Capitalism Needs Saving

    An extract:

    "This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the global economy and also the American economy. Even democratic socialist countries like Denmark and Sweden are fundamentally capitalist in terms of how they're organized. Even communist China is moving toward capitalism. Capitalism is going to become the universal system of economic organization. The real issue isn't capitalism versus some other "ism." The real issue is whether capitalism is organized for the benefit of the society as a whole or for the benefit of a small group at the top. That's really what we ought to be debating."

    Read the whole article and we can discuss if you like...

    I haven't read the article but I will. In the meantime let me say this. I grew up in a family that understood an unregulated economy. From my earliest memories I understood that lacking benevolent regulation our economy extrapolated results in one winner. One tenth of one percent owning the majority of wealth is approaching one winner. My opinion of Robert Reich is that he fully understands the realism of our economy but is restrained by common sense from explaining the results of an unregulated self interested system. For my own satisfaction I have written Robert Reich a long time ago expressing my appreciation for his position. I suspect that there is a statement in him about the Clinton Administration. It may not be forth coming but his recent statements are more revealing of his understanding of our system.
  • Independent
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    Why capitalism can't be saved: infinite compound growth, among other things.

    "seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism" by David Harvey.

    the book is not a screed for communism but rather a very hard look at capitalism and the fact that a frank discussion on political economics has not and is not being had.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote:

    I would suggest reading Robert Reich's latest article in the Rolling Stone.

    Robert Reich, Rolling Stone, October 7, 2015: Robert Reich on Why Capitalism Needs Saving

    An extract:

    "This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the global economy and also the American economy. Even democratic socialist countries like Denmark and Sweden are fundamentally capitalist in terms of how they're organized. Even communist China is moving toward capitalism. Capitalism is going to become the universal system of economic organization. The real issue isn't capitalism versus some other "ism." The real issue is whether capitalism is organized for the benefit of the society as a whole or for the benefit of a small group at the top. That's really what we ought to be debating."

    Read the whole article and we can discuss if you like...

    I haven't read the article but I will. In the meantime let me say this. I grew up in a family that understood an unregulated economy. From my earliest memories I understood that lacking benevolent regulation our economy extrapolated results in one winner. One tenth of one percent owning the majority of wealth is approaching one winner. My opinion of Robert Reich is that he fully understands the realism of our economy but is restrained by common sense from explaining the results of an unregulated self interested system. For my own satisfaction I have written Robert Reich a long time ago expressing my appreciation for his position. I suspect that there is a statement in him about the Clinton Administration. It may not be forth coming but his recent statements are more revealing of his understanding of our system.
    I read the article and i will read it again to get a good perspective on it. He actually made the statement about the Clinton administration that I thought would be forthcoming. He appeared restrained in the article and that is why I will read it again. I just stopped to listen to Bernie on Morning Joe.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I like Robert Reich. I read his articles and have bought one of his books. I'll buy his new one, Saving Capitalism. However, one has to remember that he was one of the founding members of the Economic Policy Institute, which was funded 100 percent in its first eight years by a coalition of unions. I am a union man...my roots go deep...but sometimes I think that Reich in his loyalty to unions loses some objectivity. That's the one area where I am careful about falling in line with him. Otherwise I really appreciate what he has been doing in making the public aware of the inequality gap in America. He's been doing it much longer than Bernie Sanders, and he has a much better grasp of economics than Bernie Sanders, who is often appealing to populist emotions rather than political or economic reality.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    WSchmidt Wrote:

    I like Robert Reich. I read his articles and have bought one of his books. I'll buy his new one, Saving Capitalism. However, one has to remember that he was one of the founding members of the Economic Policy Institute, which was funded 100 percent in its first eight years by a coalition of unions. I am a union man...my roots go deep...but sometimes I think that Reich in his loyalty to unions loses some objectivity. That's the one area where I am careful about falling in line with him. Otherwise I really appreciate what he has been doing in making the public aware of the inequality gap in America. He's been doing it much longer than Bernie Sanders, and he has a much better grasp of economics than Bernie Sanders, who is often appealing to populist emotions rather than political or economic reality.

    Schmidt, I sent you a message a few days ago. About Unions. Like any other thing there is a time and place. I am from a longtime union family and all I wanted to do was work in a coal mine and be a union officer. I did and learned a lot. Without unions chances are that workers would be lower than imaginable. Unions aren't and can't be the solution to all worker problems. High unemployment is not conducive to union health and organization. Unions are a failure of government. The main thing in a successful country is human rights and the right of every person to a safe, healthy enjoyable life with a source of income that provides that. People must understand that each person is just as valuable as any person. The guy or girl that tries there best but can't make it through a shift without breaking or messing something up is just as valuable and deserving of respect as any Super Bowl star and has the same right to "Disney World". Our kids have to learn that and we have to teach that. We can start by eliminating special treatment for lucky people. Until all education is free scholarships should be means based and awarded through a lottery system,
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    As worked amongst unions my entire career in engineering, I have seen the worst of both sides pro & con of unions. Where Unions were strong and controlled a community, wages were often high, but so were costs of goods and services. There was less cases of poor services and unsafe working conditions, however, unemployment may be higher. For the consumer, having to hire non-union could mean some difficulty in getting the job accomplished on time, with quality, having proper licensing and compliance with existing laws. If you ever have had bidding done on a job and found that several companies would give high and low bids, you see that low bidding may leave out some very important things, especially in quality and how you desire the job to be completed. Non-Union workers will often be unskilled or poorly trained and have management intimidation treating their workers poorly.

    Some examples of non-union work I have witnessed is a young electrical worker attempting to "push" wire through a long conduit. When I questioned the worker had anybody taught him how to install wiring, he said "no". He was fodder for the electrical industry and just a body with the company thinking he'll learn somehow. Unions train their people with education and on-the-job training with a highly skilled union worker. Another incident occurred with backhoe operator working with broken-down equipment on an airport. Time is critical in airport operations and you have specific time periods where a job can be done, so management of construction is critical and must be accomplished within schedule. The backhoe broke and the operator was injured. The injured worker was fired and the consumer of the contract was without an ability to complete on time. The injured worker had no voice in his company, because there was no union for him. This Project was bid on lowest bid and no union involvement, which is why this construction failed on safety, completion time and impacted continued airport operations. Another issue is where management desired a project engineer to break public law on not removing toxic fluids. Management desired to cover up the toxic fluids and ignore public law. Here is where the project engineer consulted with his union, which persuaded management to back off from a threat to this engineers state license and his ethical approach to remove toxic material.

    There are many stories on failures by non-union work, but there are stories where Unions fail. Unions have a political drama issue and can get very nasty, especially when Union Leaders and Company/Government Officials negotiate leaving out the workers interest. There have been many criminal convictions on Union Leaders because of criminal acts against others. Union Leaders are often paid extremely well, so for that workers are concerned about where the union dues are going.

    As for the consumer, Unions are better than most alternatives. You can be assured you receive skilled workers, safety complaint work, scheduled completions and professional negotiations on completing a project. Yes, you will pay more for the job, but bottom-line...........if you want done correctly than don't consider non-union. Unions do protect their workers and assist management in success.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Schmidt, I sent you a message a few days ago. About Unions. Like any other thing there is a time and place. I am from a longtime union family and all I wanted to do was work in a coal mine and be a union officer. I did and learned a lot. Without unions chances are that workers would be lower than imaginable. Unions aren't and can't be the solution to all worker problems. High unemployment is not conducive to union health and organization. Unions are a failure of government. The main thing in a successful country is human rights and the right of every person to a safe, healthy enjoyable life with a source of income that provides that. People must understand that each person is just as valuable as any person. The guy or girl that tries there best but can't make it through a shift without breaking or messing something up is just as valuable and deserving of respect as any Super Bowl star and has the same right to "Disney World". Our kids have to learn that and we have to teach that. We can start by eliminating special treatment for lucky people. Until all education is free scholarships should be means based and awarded through a lottery system,

    Chet -- As the son of a copper miner in Butte Montana, I can emphasize with much of what you say. My Dad was a union activist, but not so much about wages (although that was important) but more so about safety and health conditions in the mines. Silicosis was a common lung disease amongst the miners, and he refused to go into certain areas that were not ventilated. Miners' safety was also a big issue, and I recall many stories of "close calls" that he shared. In one instance he and his fellow miners were drilling on a stope deep underground, when the conditions just didn't feel right for him. He stopped drilling and called for his fellow miners to step back from the area for a smoke break. No sooner had they removed themselves from the area when the whole ceiling came down.

    My Dad had a sort of sixth sense about danger in the mines, but he was also the only bread winner in the family and could not afford to be injured or be killed. My stay-at-home Mom and my four siblings depended on him every day....but so did his fellow miners for their own safety. He was well respected by his fellow miners.

    It is union activism that brought the mines from the unsafe conditions of the early 1900s to the modern day mining methods of today.

    Amazon: Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917

    Montana, Colorado and the western states have many cities and towns that have seen better days and declined after the ores ran out. The same could be said for oil patch towns. Some of the old mining towns have found other means to survive. Former mining towns like Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen and Telluride now thrive on the skiing industry in the winter and tourism in the summer. Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City have become gambling towns. Silverton thrives because of the Durango-Silverton railroad that carries tourists between the two towns.

    The point I am making is that unions that are involved in extraction industries cannot be closed minded about the reality that sooner or later their natural resources will run out. And when that happens what's next? They cannot take a short term view. In the Appalachia coal mining areas, much of the environment has been destroyed, and long after the mining companies leave, the people will be left to fare for themselves.

    Butte, Montana is a major superfund site as the government and ARCO (who bought out the Anaconda Company) are spending millions of dollars to restore the environment. The folks who live in the Appalachian coal mining areas are not so fortunate. So when you talk about each person is just as valuable as any other person, I agree...but that also means respecting the environment so that our children and grandchildren that follow us have not only a descent place to live but also can make a living. That last part is hard. Having a job, any job, means an awful lot to a miner raising a family. But his family absolutely depends on him to not get injured and killed.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    I watched the Clinton Administration and was particularly interested in Robert Reich because he was an economist. My opinion is that an economist has two jobs. One is to understand economics and the other is to keep an economy working. My college economics professor had a permanent mark on my mind because he closely sounded like my dad. He believed in an economy as an ongoing entity that benefitted everybody. My dad criticised the part of capitalism that everybody else applauded. "You can make it big." Both he and the professor believed that for some to prosper extraordinarily that some have to give up in the same proportion. Prospering through manipulation is unbalanced and causes hardship. Prospering through production relates to everybody involved. Relating this to Reich I was looking to see if he related to production as the key to a successful economy. He has been somewhat restrained but evolving. As I see him today he has a grasp of an economy as ongoing and beneficial to an entire group. His latest comment about the banks included a reinstatement of Glas/Steagall. That puts him squarely on the side of an economy serving the majority and being an ongoing entity. He has ostracized himself from the powers that be and I applaud and respect him. I have no idea of the pressures and criticism he will get and especially from Hillary et al. Once it is understood that the end result should benefit people then there will be benefits. The whole time I am writing this I have been thinking of what your dad had to go through in order to put the health and safety of people above the production goals of the company. If it weren't for people like that that show up sporadically it would be hard to consider how much more worse off workers would be.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    PS the demise of jobs on all levels points for the need of a social agenda. Like extraction jobs will disappear so will production jobs to the robots. The profits have to be taxed to have money to spend, money on parks and recreation just as much as roads and bridges. Money has to be spent.