To give us a break from the daily grind:
Email Bethany with your Lunch Break suggestions.
Nobody has a magic wand, unless we consider the short-term (and short-sighted) solution of the gov't simply paying a vastly increased number of people to do this or that.
It has been decades since there was any meaningful political will to take the economic pain necessary to "right" our economic system.
In that time I've seen countless examples and policies, as well as statements from gov't officials, indicating that rather than really facing the music, they will try to muddle through, over and over, even at the cost of destroying our currency's value (via a continual ratcheting upward of the debt, regardless of who is in power), and ensuring that in the end the markets will deal us a far more serious blow.
In the 1930's, wages fell to the point where it paid employers to put people back to work. FDR also had a good bit of leverage with big industry (he urged them to hire) as he was seen as holding the unions back.
Now (of course) most unions are entrenched and opposed to letting wages fall, and our economic times are very different for other reasons too - the finances of gov't entitlement programs being one good example.
What is it, really, that people think the government can "do," now? Debts the size of ours are never paid back. They are either defaulted upon or hyperinflated out of existence - and we're certainly on course for the latter.
There is a continual see-sawing back and forth; people voting out the party in power because of "bad times," yet the long-term trends are set, and don't vary much with political parties.Posted by: Doug at February 8, 2010 1:59 PM
A humorous, completely irelevant diversion from the 'thread'
This just in:
[U.S. Air flight attendant] "Lorin Gorman is a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
[Kinman Chan] A San Francisco man, accused of forcing a flight to divert because he was high on medical marijuana, picked the wrong flight attendant to freak out on.
...Gorman says. "He's banging around, screaming in the back bathroom, he's opened all the compartments," the attendant remembers.
According to a criminal complaint, Chan walked out of the bathroom with his pants down.
"I said, ‘You need to sit down now’,” Gorman said.
He did not.
"Well, what I did, I just put him in an arm lock. To get his other arm, I had to jump up on the seat … He was resisting.
He was stiff.
At that point, I just put him into a choke hold."
[I don't know if the reporters were just trying to be 'cute' or didn't think of about the 'words' they chose in context with the scene they were describing, but whatever the reason, the combination conjures up some interesting mental images.]
"After 911, I took special training with my grand master to learn how to deal with small spaces and also what to look for in passengers," Gorman said. "I'm glad I was there."
[It was not a 'happy ending' for Chan.]
Kinman Chan was charged with disrupting a flight attendant, which can carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine."
yor bro ken
Posted by: kbhvac
at February 8, 2010 3:48 PM
Posted by: Doug at February 8, 2010 1:59 PM
"What is it, really, that people think the government can "do," now?"
Less, NOT more.
The president, whomever she/he is, can do almost nothing by himself/herself to improve the economy, but her/his words and actions can do a lot to impact it negatively.
The president and the congress together can do some things to stimulate the economy that do not involve spending/borrowing/printing more money.
Tax cuts and accompanying government spending cuts free up money to be spent/invested and that strategy sure seems to be effective. We do have some relatively recent historical examples we can review to determine it's efficacy.
Just 'imagine' what would happen if the 'government' (federal, state, local) actually shrunk in size.
You will be forced to 'imagine' because I doubt it has ever actually happened.
yor bro ken
Ken, agreed, but "doing less" is not politically possible, same as it was with Bush Jr. If anything he was over-eager to fire up the first $700 billion bailout - but again, there was no real-world way he could be seen to not "do" something about the failing entities.
Neither Obama nor McCain could "fix" things, as I said before the election. The actions of the US gov't are still the biggest single influence on our finances, as a whole, but that does not mean it will work to the benefit of the populace as a whole.
On the "smaller government," during Reagan's first two years he really did try, and at least a slowing of governmental growth was achieved.
Then, his re-election bid came over the horizon and all heck broke loose as far as gov't spending, and we've hardly looked back since.
I forget where I read it, but I think it's now about 1 in 2 people (or it won't be long before this is the case) that get their support from the gov't - direct employees and military, plus those retired from those jobs, those on Social Security, and those on other forms of public support.
This is not a group that really wants smaller gov't and lesser spending, and it's a huge number of voters. In my opinion the gov't's true first priority is now to maintain its own status and power, rather than really "serve the people."Posted by: Doug at February 10, 2010 8:51 PM