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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    These are top economic indicators. How good is the economy for who???

    MORE RESULTS

    What are the top 5 economic indicators?

    If you do peruse these reports, remember that data can change rapidly, and that broad trends are not judged by one isolated economic data point.

    • Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
    • M2 (Money Supply)
    • Consumer Price Index (CPI)
    • Producer Price Index (PPI)
    • Consumer Confidence Survey.
    • Current Employment Statistics (CES)

    More items...

    google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&client=ms-an...

  • Brooks, AB
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    I think these statistics are becoming more irrelevant. For example, we can have a better GDP by having a gaggle of hurricanes come through SE USA to spur on the construction industry. Or maybe building new prison and filling them up helps the economy. And if we can get teachers to pack heat in all schools, that will be good for the firearms industry, which will then have some spinoff effects. And of course, there is a Wall, construction of which is likely to increase the GDP as well.

    It is time for a new set of metrics, like various happiness and health indices.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dave -- Yes, we seem to be obsessed with economic indicators, but how can you put measure happiness? I consider myself lucky to have had an immensely happy childhood up until the day I left home. We had little money as a family at the time but still managed to find happiness in ways that just cannot be measured. Likewise, in my travels around the world, I met many happy people who would economically be categorized as poor. I read an article in this month's Rolling Stone Magazine about a "lost tribe" in the Amazon jungles: The Hidden World of the Amazon

    Quoting the author: “Their way of life is the most pure you can imagine,” he says. “They are exactly like we were 2,000, 4,000 years ago. They live in perfect harmony with nature.”

    On the other hand, you can read the news about a lot of miserable rich people whose lives are consumed by divorces, cheating, drug abuse, lawsuits, and ultimately death by drug overdoses when they just cannot buy the happiness that they so want out of life.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dave -- Yes, we seem to be obsessed with economic indicators, but how can you put measure happiness? I consider myself lucky to have had an immensely happy childhood up until the day I left home. We had little money as a family at the time but still managed to find happiness in ways that just cannot be measured. Likewise, in my travels around the world, I met many happy people who would economically be categorized as poor. I read an article in this month's Rolling Stone Magazine about a "lost tribe" in the Amazon jungles: The Hidden World of the Amazon

    Quoting the author: “Their way of life is the most pure you can imagine,” he says. “They are exactly like we were 2,000, 4,000 years ago. They live in perfect harmony with nature.”

    On the other hand, you can read the news about a lot of miserable rich people whose lives are consumed by divorces, cheating, drug abuse, lawsuits, and ultimately death by drug overdoses when they just cannot buy the happiness that they so want out of life.

    Yes Schmidt, I wrote about that many times; "money" alone does not create happiness; but they have not found that out in this country. Instead the "greed" is getting worse; just look at the Manafort happening; he was not happy with anything not even an ostrich jacket! Capitalism is an curse!
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dave said

    "I think these statistics are becoming more irrelevant."

    The point of my post is that they are not only irrelevant they are misleading like the DOW. Reporting is the economy is good but my question is who is it good for.

  • Brooks, AB
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    Schmidt

    Sociologists have been trying to measure societal happiness. Here is one indicator:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/16/these-are-the-top-10-happiest-countries-in-the-world.html

    I think this index would be more useful than the DOW or GDP.

    Chet

    If economists are saying that the American economy has increased by 4% this year, I would have to ask: "For which Americans?"

    Dutch

    There have been sociological studies that state poverty does affect the state of internal well being-----but up to a point. It seems that once middle class is reached, extra money does not buy more happiness.

    I had a brief encounter with being poor. Poverty does affect your thinking patterns.

    It's great that some people can still be extremely happy in poverty. But statistically speaking, poverty robs the human spirit.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dave, that is the reason you need an sound socialistic system, like they do in Europe as well a bit in Canada. Especially "healthcare" and "food" on the table and a "roof" above your head and no debt, helps a lot. However in an "consumption" society (like the US) which is only driven by "money" then the "fake" happiness is created by wanting more "things" as pushed by add's, which items you "should" buy or have. I don't think "hoarders" are happy. Let alone billionaires who "hoard" money or castles, yachts, private planes etc. Being "happy" with your life always boils down to "averages"; not too poor but also not too rich. Making ends meet is more challenging then having an huge bank account. Therefore kids got to be taught on how to properly manage their life's economically and mentally. Everything in life or even politics works best if it is in balance.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dutch said. "However in an "consumption" society (like the US)"

    Dutch , Every society has to be a consumption society to exist. Consumption or capitalism are not evil in themselves. They are what makes a society function. The problem is when regulations are put up as the evil monster. That originates from managers that preach regulations lead to failure. They do this because without regulations they impose their own rules that allow them to direct profits to themselves away from taxes and workers pay. Life styles of the rich and famous makes greed as acceptable. The USA has an attitude of exceptualism that allows most Americans to feel like they are a part of the winning team. The right wing has successfully painted poor people as losers. FDR and unions have helped the lower classes. Right wing has continually attacked unions with legislation like Right to Work Laws. Laws to limit dynasty and perpetual trusts have given way to states competing for trust business. The worst affliction for any society is gambling yet gambling is promoted. On the Gulf Coast with legalised sports betting.

    Sun Herald: How these 9 Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos are prepping for sports ...

    The Advocate › news


    Jun 25, 2018 · With Mississippi the only state in the Southeast where sports betting is legal gives Coast casinos a real ...

    Mississippi Sports Betting - Legal Sports ...

    Legal Sports Report › mississippi


    The Gulf Coast eventually emer

  • Brooks, AB
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    Dutch

    I have been trying to position my political ideology in the traditional left/right paradigm, and it has been a struggle. Even "moderate" does not describe my perspective. So I have come to these three tenets:

    1) There are situations where individuals should make their own decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions.

    2) There are situations that require collective action to move society forward, focusing on giving a hand up.

    3) These situations and their solutions should be determined by due democratic process.

    In these days, I work as a math/science teacher for adults who missed their high school training. I have to admit that it is a rather expensive approach to education, most of it borne by my provincial government. About a third of my students take advantage of the opportunity: they get their high school credentials and become nurses or engineers or tradespeople. Another third put in a reasonable effort but for whatever reason, they do not take their training that far. They return to similar occupations as they had before, albeit with more literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills than they used to have. The last third fumble for a semester or two, then fail themselves out.

    Lots of freedom for individuals in such a social program. Lots of hands up for those willing to invest in themselves.

  • Brooks, AB
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    Chet

    We have been consumptive society since we quit the hunter/gatherer /lifestyle. But the question that should be asked is: what are we consuming? Or maybe, what should we be consuming?

    Despite our more socialistic tendencies, Canada is still close to the consumptive decision-making mindset as the USA. Give lower income people $100,000, and many of them will waste it---and be right back where they started six months later. Much of our happiness still centers around the things we can buy.

    I liked your comments on regulations. While there are more than a few foolish regulations out there, if we removed most of regulations, we would eventually poison ourselves with various food safety issues. We could go back to the days where we took care of our own food processing, but that would take away from other contributions to the economy. Food regulations are an important part of a modern economy----and in many ways, contribute to our happiness.

    It was interesting that you brought up gambling. I have used "gambling" as a metaphor for many social ills in my introduction to the TDG. One of the fictitious societies of this story, individuals have the freedom to gamble and gambling casinos have the freedom to ply their trade. But the government takes steps to move its citizens away from gambling----and on to more productive recreations.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dave Volek Wrote:

    Dutch

    I have been trying to position my political ideology in the traditional left/right paradigm, and it has been a struggle. Even "moderate" does not describe my perspective. So I have come to these three tenets:

    1) There are situations where individuals should make their own decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions.

    2) There are situations that require collective action to move society forward, focusing on giving a hand up.

    3) These situations and their solutions should be determined by due democratic process.

    In these days, I work as a math/science teacher for adults who missed their high school training. I have to admit that it is a rather expensive approach to education, most of it borne by my provincial government. About a third of my students take advantage of the opportunity: they get their high school credentials and become nurses or engineers or tradespeople. Another third put in a reasonable effort but for whatever reason, they do not take their training that far. They return to similar occupations as they had before, albeit with more literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills than they used to have. The last third fumble for a semester or two, then fail themselves out.

    Lots of freedom for individuals in such a social program. Lots of hands up for those willing to invest in themselves.

    Thanks Dave; if you look at history and even nature, then if things are in "balance" then it is clear as soon as you disturb this balance, things will happen which affects your life or nature. People are strange creatures; they don't like "balance" otherwise things get "boring". Looking at politics, they love it when it is imbalanced, especially with a two party system it is just about impossible to keep a balance. The same with food if you change the type of food your digestive system becomes imbalanced. If you get flooding or earthquakes you get an imbalance with its effects. Right now the whole "social" structure is in an imbalanced situation; so that affects "mental" health or stability in any society. Just measure the number of suicides or overdoses compared to "stable" years .
  • Brooks, AB
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Thanks Dave; if you look at history and even nature, then if things are in "balance" then it is clear as soon as you disturb this balance, things will happen which affects your life or nature. People are strange creatures; they don't like "balance" otherwise things get "boring". Looking at politics, they love it when it is imbalanced, especially with a two party system it is just about impossible to keep a balance. The same with food if you change the type of food your digestive system becomes imbalanced. If you get flooding or earthquakes you get an imbalance with its effects. Right now the whole "social" structure is in an imbalanced situation; so that affects "mental" health or stability in any society. Just measure the number of suicides or overdoses compared to "stable" years .

    Interesting take.

    I often wonder at why we tend to align with a particular capitalist/socialist ideology, yet western democracies (even the US) have a combination of both in their social structures. We really can't move to the extreme of one or the other.

    As for balance, I think we have become addicted to the drama of politics. We may believe we are being vigilant, but the truth is we like the soap opera. Mr. Trump has indeed enhanced the addiction--to the point that professional sport is suffering a little. Even Trump haters get a little buzz when they watch the news.

    As for balance, I think when we (especially Americans) are investing more of themselves into the soap opera, this contributes to mental illness. The change in the number of suicides or overdoses are a sign that things are getting better or worse--socially speaking.

    To my thinking, government should be in the background. And in fact, most of it already is for many decisions are being made with much input from the general citizenry. Only what seems to grab the media's attention puts government back in the foreground. What makes it to the foreground often creates a degree of societal angst, which then affects our mental illness.