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InvisibleKingOftheThing
the cool fool
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Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 27,389
Loc: USA
Admit We Have a Problem
    #2989619 - 08/11/04 04:34 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Admit We Have a Problem
By BOB HERBERT

Published: August 9, 2004

I suppose there are people who still believe that enormous tax cuts for the very wealthy will lead to the creation of millions of good jobs for working people. In the twilight of his first term, the president, stumping for votes in regions scarred by the demon of unemployment, continues to sing from the tattered pages of his economic hymnbook:

"The economy is strong,'' he says again and again and again, "and it's growing stronger."

At a riverfront rally under cloudy skies in Davenport, Iowa, last week, Mr. Bush told a crowd of 5,000, "We are turning the corner and we're not going back."

In another four years, he says, "The economy will be better."

His tax cuts, he insists, couldn't have been better timed.

The true believers were jolted Friday by the news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that employers added a meager 32,000 jobs in July. In an economy the size of America's, that's roughly equivalent to no jobs at all.

July's poor job-creation performance was widely described as unexpected. But it's important to keep in mind that it didn't occur in a vacuum and that there is no quick fix coming. American workers are hurting.

"The weak job market continues to put downward pressure on wage growth," said Jared Bernstein, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. He noted that nominal wage growth on a year-over-year basis has been decelerating even as inflation is increasing, which is bad news for an economy so dependent upon consumer spending.

In a report released by the institute on Friday, Mr. Bernstein wrote, "These job and wage dynamics erode workers' buying power, and this has negative implications for the strength of the recovery."

Retail sales in July were disappointing, hampered by high gasoline prices as well as anemic wage growth. And the stock market is in a prolonged swoon.

Despite the rosy rhetoric that comes nonstop from the administration, millions upon millions of American families, including many that consider themselves solidly in the middle class, are in deep economic trouble. Friday's Wall Street Journal featured a page-one article with the ominous headline: "New Group Swells Bankruptcy Court: The Middle-Aged."

Personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are at an all-time high. The Journal story focused on "an emerging class of middle-age, white-collar Americans who make the grim odyssey from comfortable circumstances to going broke." Among the villains of this disturbing piece are the unstable job market and staggering amounts of personal debt.

It's getting harder and harder to close our eyes to the growing economic devastation. Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and co-author of "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke," wrote in 2003:

"This year, more people will end up bankrupt than will suffer a heart attack. More adults will file for bankruptcy than will be diagnosed with cancer. More people will file for bankruptcy than will graduate from college. And, in an era when traditionalists decry the demise of the institution of marriage, Americans will file more petitions for bankruptcy than for divorce."

The Century Foundation, in a recent study, addressed the problem of outstanding debt. For many families borrowing has morphed from a tool that, used judiciously, can enhance their standard of living into a nightmare that threatens to destroy their economic viability.

"Debt burdens," the study said, "are at record levels because families have been stretched to the limit in recent years. With more income going to housing and other rising expenses related to medical care, education, vehicles, child care, and so forth, families are relying on credit as a way to meet everyday needs. Remarkably, a family with two earners today actually has less discretionary income, after fixed costs like medical insurance and mortgage payments are accounted for, than did a family with only one breadwinner in the 1970's."

There is no plan from the administration that I've heard of to brighten this bleak picture of the American economic landscape. John Kerry and John Edwards have an opportunity in the presidential campaign to offer their prescriptions. The first essential step for anyone serious about a search for solutions would be to recognize and acknowledge the sheer enormity of the problem
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/09/opinion/09herbert.html


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: KingOftheThing]
    #2992116 - 08/11/04 06:57 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)


I suppose there are people who still believe that enormous tax cuts
for the very wealthy will lead to the creation of millions of good
jobs for working people.

It can, but not always.  By the way, I don't think Bush should
have cut taxes for anybody given how deeply in debt America is.
However, when a tax cut does occur, I think the wealthy should get
the most back because they are the ones who pay in the most.


Despite the rosy rhetoric that comes nonstop from the
administration, millions upon millions of American families,
including many that consider themselves solidly in the middle class,
are in deep economic trouble.

Personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are at an all-time high.

Because American consumers are stupid.  They are no longer content
with one car and a modest house.  People live way beyond their means
nowadays.  That is the American consumer's fault...not the government's.


There is no plan from the administration that I've heard of to
brighten this bleak picture of the American economic landscape.

The government and the people need to stop spending so much money!
It's pretty simple.  :smile:


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OfflineBleaK
paradox
Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1,583
Last seen: 2 years, 11 months
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #2992132 - 08/11/04 07:04 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

the less money we spend the less the economy and industry will grow and the tougher it will be to compete in global markets.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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InvisibleMOTH
Wild Woman
 User Gallery

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 23,359
Loc: In the jungle
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #2992316 - 08/11/04 07:49 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:

Because American consumers are stupid. They are no longer content
with one car and a modest house. People live way beyond their means
nowadays. That is the American consumer's fault...not the government's.




I find this to be true. I only need to look to my parents, who claim to not be able to afford sending either myself or my brother to community college, yet they have to have that new house, that new car, all those vacations...


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OfflineSlackerKM
Unusual suspect

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 80
Last seen: 10 years, 5 months
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: BleaK]
    #2994108 - 08/12/04 02:16 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BleaK said:
the less money we spend the less the economy and industry will grow and the tougher it will be to compete in global markets.




Is that true? Because of our high wages, manufacturing and other skilled jobs are leaving the country. As our economy weakens and wages fall we'll be better able to compete.

It works like this - desperate, unemployed people are willing to work for less money. A company that pays it's employees less is not as likely to send jobs overseas, and will be able to sell it's product for less.


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

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


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OfflineBleaK
paradox
Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1,583
Last seen: 2 years, 11 months
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: SlackerKM]
    #2994262 - 08/12/04 02:59 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

interesting.
i would hope people wouldnt put up for this kind of shit.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
liberal pussy
Female User Gallery
Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: SlackerKM]
    #2999630 - 08/13/04 10:19 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

It works like this - desperate, unemployed people are willing to work for less money. A company that pays it's employees less is not as likely to send jobs overseas, and will be able to sell it's product for less.




do the math you moron...if prices go down 50% while wages go down 75%..then the half price effectively becomes double price...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 1 year, 10 months
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2999913 - 08/13/04 11:25 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

The rules haven't changed in your absence, Annapurna1. It would be a good idea to review them if you intend to stay awhile. Comments such as "do the math, you moron" are unacceptable here.

Thank you for your co-operation.

pinky


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


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OfflineEd1
member
Registered: 07/03/04
Posts: 150
Last seen: 12 years, 3 months
Re: Admit We Have a Problem [Re: KingOftheThing]
    #2999936 - 08/13/04 11:35 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Taxes were cut to stimulate the economy. The taxes of poor people were also cut, which leftists neglect to tell people when they tell their half truths and lies. Pay more attention to Alan Greenspan. If you really understood economics you'd realize why.


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