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#1 Apr 19 2013 at 4:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Herndon pulled up an Excel spreadsheet containing Reinhart's data and quickly spotted something that looked odd.
"I clicked on cell L51, and saw that they had only averaged rows 30 through 44, instead of rows 30 through 49."
What Herndon had discovered was that by making a sloppy computing error, Reinhart and Rogoff had forgotten to include a critical piece of data about countries with high debt-to-GDP ratios that would have affected their overall calculations. They had also excluded data from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia — all countries that experienced solid growth during periods of high debt and would thus undercut their thesis that high debt forestalls growth.


Economic studies are beyond my realm of interest, but this seems like a fairly critical (and yet astonishingly simple) "error".
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#2 Apr 19 2013 at 7:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Economic studies are beyond my realm of interest, but this seems like a fairly critical (and yet astonishingly simple) "error"

Probably the least critical error in the paper, only a story for the human interest angle. The entire methodology was questioned basically immediately, no one could replicate, it was basically a joke in academic circles to such a degree that they felt threatened and agreed to release the actual dataset and this was noticed. It doesn't work if this error doesn't exist, either. Peer review: Still works, ********
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#3 Apr 19 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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It'd be nice if this turned out to be a big deal, unfortunately the people who are against debt spending are the same ones who were going to ignore the math anyway.
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#4 Apr 19 2013 at 8:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm kinda impressed they went through the excel spreadsheet one line at a time.
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#5 Apr 20 2013 at 10:26 AM Rating: Good
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Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer. And it has such a great track record, too!
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#6 Apr 20 2013 at 1:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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And it has such a great track record, too!

Agreed.
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#7 Apr 20 2013 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer. And it has such a great track record, too!


You did not seriously link to wikipedia as a source for your argument, did you? Was Rush Limbaugh's blog down?
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#8 Apr 20 2013 at 1:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think he intended anyone to read the text, it was just a pithy way of hiding his zinger.
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#9 Apr 20 2013 at 1:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I don't think he intended anyone to read the text, it was just a pithy way of hiding his zinger.


I just hovered over the link. So if that's the case, he was correct in his assumption.
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#10 Apr 20 2013 at 2:56 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer. And it has such a great track record, too!

Sure bigger is better, but that paltry stimulus more likely than not kept us out of a depression.

Edited, Apr 20th 2013 10:56pm by Elinda
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#11 Apr 20 2013 at 6:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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We got like $22,000 and a new water heater thingy for our building out of that, so I really can't complain too much. There was a big sign by the bathroom that said
"This project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" and some thing about upgrading something. It was a really big sign though, kinda spiffy thing to be next to a urinal.
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#12 Apr 20 2013 at 6:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer.

Nope, still just fucking MATH. Still based on math. Not even complex math, really. The link to causality in the argument that deficit spending is bad for economies is about as strong as "CPR Kills a lot of people. Look how many people who have CPR performed, die! Most of them!"
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#13 Apr 20 2013 at 6:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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They apparently don't have you do the breathing part anymore.
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#14 Apr 20 2013 at 7:02 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
They apparently don't have you do the breathing part anymore.


That's a lie. Just went through CPR training a couple months ago and the ladies said that it was based on a study that the media ran with.

Edited, Apr 20th 2013 9:05pm by TirithRR
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#15 Apr 20 2013 at 8:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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I know nothing beyond that it wasn't part of a refresher course I took a couple years back. Smiley: frown

Well okay, only that the guy told us that people tended to ***** it up, didn't want to touch lips with someone icky, and they had doubts if it was really that effective.

Edited, Apr 20th 2013 7:47pm by someproteinguy
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#16 Apr 21 2013 at 12:40 AM Rating: Good
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The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.

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#17 Apr 21 2013 at 7:31 AM Rating: Decent
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trickybeck wrote:

The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.


CPR training was part of our high school health class. They even brought in an EMT to teach us with a real dummy and everything. Who *hasn't* had some CPR training?
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#18 Apr 21 2013 at 7:33 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.


CPR training was part of our high school health class. They even brought in an EMT to teach us with a real dummy and everything. Who *hasn't* had some CPR training?
Wasn't part of school around here. We got CPR training in Boy Scouts, but if I hadn't been in Scouts, I probably wouldn't have any training.

Edited, Apr 21st 2013 9:36am by Spoonless
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#19 Apr 21 2013 at 7:34 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.


CPR training was part of our high school health class. They even brought in an EMT to teach us with a real dummy and everything. Who *hasn't* had some CPR training?
I watched a video about cpr once in HS health class. That is the extent of my CPR training.
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#20 Apr 21 2013 at 9:26 AM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.


CPR training was part of our high school health class. They even brought in an EMT to teach us with a real dummy and everything. Who *hasn't* had some CPR training?

I think if the last time you were trained was 10+ years ago, it doesn't count anymore... I think official certification, for jobs that require it like lifeguard or youth coach, lasts about 2 years.
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#21 Apr 21 2013 at 9:40 AM Rating: Decent
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The only thing I remember about CPR training was how nasty the sanitizing wipe they cleaned the dummy's mouth off with was.
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#22 Apr 21 2013 at 10:29 AM Rating: Good
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Debalic wrote:
The only thing I remember about CPR training was how nasty the sanitizing wipe they cleaned the dummy's mouth off with was.


They give us plastic sheets with one way valves now. I carry a clean one in in a little red CPR bag in my wallet.
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#23 Apr 21 2013 at 2:59 PM Rating: Decent
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trickybeck wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

The Red Cross first aid app recommends chest compressions only if you're untrained. And rescue breathing only if you've had CPR training. /shrug.


CPR training was part of our high school health class. They even brought in an EMT to teach us with a real dummy and everything. Who *hasn't* had some CPR training?

I think if the last time you were trained was 10+ years ago, it doesn't count anymore... I think official certification, for jobs that require it like lifeguard or youth coach, lasts about 2 years.


Sounds like you're confusing training with certification.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#24 Apr 22 2013 at 7:50 AM Rating: Good
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I'm supposed to get recertified with combat life saver courses every twelve months ... but no, that isn't going to happen.
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#25 Apr 23 2013 at 12:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Demea wrote:
Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer. And it has such a great track record, too!


If you truly think the Recovery Act wasn't wildly successful at providing much needed jobs and sustaining important, middle-class jobs you're a ******* idiot. Yes, the tax cuts by-and-large were a waste of $$ (well, somewhat, at least tax cuts for anyone below upper-middle class often are spent, stimulating the economy), but the funding for clean energy, transportation, and state fiscal aid all created and saved millions of jobs that would have either A) not existed or B) been lost.
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#26 Apr 23 2013 at 12:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Meh.

Recovery.gov has $790.3B spent so far since 2009 (4 years-ish), in a $14trillion GDP economy. That's what, 1.4% or something over that timeframe? Seems like that's small enough not to be felt by everyone, but big enough to matter to those who directly benefited most. Fiddle with 1.4% of just about anything and you'll see a similar effect.

To put it in other terms: $2,500/person that's not equally distributed. For as big as that rock seemed, those ripples aren't going to be rocking boats everywhere in the pond.
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#27 Apr 26 2013 at 3:47 PM Rating: Default
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Grady wrote:
Demea wrote:
Based on the debunking of a single economic research paper, it's clear that deficit spending is the only viable answer. And it has such a great track record, too!


If you truly think the Recovery Act wasn't wildly successful at providing much needed jobs and sustaining important, middle-class jobs you're a @#%^ing idiot.


Not surprisingly, I see it exactly the other way around. It was a colossal waste of money and caused far more harm than good.

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Yes, the tax cuts by-and-large were a waste of $$ (well, somewhat, at least tax cuts for anyone below upper-middle class often are spent, stimulating the economy), but the funding for clean energy, transportation, and state fiscal aid all created and saved millions of jobs that would have either A) not existed or B) been lost.


No, they didn't. The problem isn't "math" as Smash likes to say, but "selective math". Let me give you an example:

A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends. He then proclaims that his actions were positive because 10 people got a free lunch. Ignoring an entire half of the equation (the effect of the money you took) when calculating the effect of your actions is a really stupid way of looking at something like this. Far more jobs were lost because of the recovery act than were "created or saved". It's complete voodoo math to claim otherwise.
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#28 Apr 26 2013 at 4:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends.

Smiley: laughSmiley: laughSmiley: laugh

Ah, you.
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#29 Apr 27 2013 at 10:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends. He then proclaims that his actions were positive because 10 people got a free lunch. Ignoring an entire half of the equation (the effect of the money you took) when calculating the effect of your actions is a really stupid way of looking at something like this. Far more jobs were lost because of the recovery act than were "created or saved"

There is enough lunch at a buffet for 100 people. 1 person takes all the food and insists that whatever he doesn't eat must be left to rot. One of the other 100 people takes some of his food by force and gives it to some of the other 99 hungry people.

How many people go hungry in each scenario? Stimulus works. Not debatable. Proven, repeatedly. Austerity slows growth. Not debatable proven, repeatedly. It's close to impossible to think of an economic issue that's more settled when reviewing evidence and data. The primary takeaway should really be that evidence and data have virtually nothing to do with policy decisions. If you're in favor of that, that's fine. Post things like "the evidence and actual data don't matter at all". Making imaginary cases (because obviously the real ones don't work) of mythical data and evidence to try to justify a position is moronic. "If we assume the Earth is flat, the flat Earth people are correct. Data!"
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#30 Apr 27 2013 at 10:58 AM Rating: Good
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It's too bad we don't have any current, relevant examples to cite in stimulus vs. austerity programs, like, say...Germany as opposed to Spain, or Greece...because obviously those economies must be extreme anomalies to the wild successes of austerity.

Edited, Apr 27th 2013 1:01pm by Debalic
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#31 Apr 29 2013 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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#32 Apr 29 2013 at 9:02 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Grady wrote:
Yes, the tax cuts by-and-large were a waste of $$ (well, somewhat, at least tax cuts for anyone below upper-middle class often are spent, stimulating the economy), but the funding for clean energy, transportation, and state fiscal aid all created and saved millions of jobs that would have either A) not existed or B) been lost.


No, they didn't. The problem isn't "math" as Smash likes to say, but "selective math". Let me give you an example:

A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends. He then proclaims that his actions were positive because 10 people got a free lunch. Ignoring an entire half of the equation (the effect of the money you took) when calculating the effect of your actions is a really stupid way of looking at something like this. Far more jobs were lost because of the recovery act than were "created or saved". It's complete voodoo math to claim otherwise.


This is simply not true. First of all, I love how you compare using tax dollars to stealing money. It's such typical libertarian nonsense. Taxes are the price we pay for a civil society. I'm willing to listen to arguments that some people are taxed too much, but to compare it to stealing is simply wrong.

Second, if not for the economic stimulus provided by the Recovery Act, we would have continued our recession, which would have caused millions more lost jobs, stifled economic activity (a killer for a consumption-based economy like ours) and made the first part of the recession look like a walk in the park. Nearly every economist (and everyone worth their salt whatsoever) would tell you the exact same thing.

Finally, the ancillary benefits of creating and saving those jobs were great. Roads, bridges, transit, energy efficiency, clean energy, and much more were boosted. While our infrastructure still needs plenty of work, the Recovery Act and the funding it brought will be an incredible boon for our economy (better roads, fewer bridges in danger of collapsing, etc.) for decades to come. The sad part is that we've followed that (admittedly too small) downpayment on bringing America's infrastructure into the 21st century with a sh*tty, watered-down transportation bill that doesn't address the growing funding gap of the gas tax as we move to more fuel-efficient cars.

But, yeah, other than those things it was terrible.

Also, one need only look at countries implementing austerity measures to see that "starving the beast" isn't working. Here in America, the only significant thing we've gotten from 6 years of President Bush and a Republican Congress and 6 years of a Republican Congress with Bill Clinton is record wealth disparity that benefits only billionaires, leaving the rest of us to fight over a small piece of moldy bread while those at the very top enjoy lobster, caviar, and $5,000 bottles of champagne.

The only good, long-term economic policy is one that takes the best of capitalism—mostly free market, competition-based system—and merges it with the best of socialism—public safety net, smart government intervention when needed (like stimulus or helping vital industries in need of restructuring get funding, like the auto industry), progressive tax system, etc.

Now, to me, we should lean more toward the socialism side as it will result in less wealth disparity and a stronger, more prosperous country for all of us. But, I can understand those that wish it to go more to the free market, while still maintaining some semblance of balance. I don't understand those on the extremes on either side, as both those economic systems have been proven time and time again to be failures in their purest forms. I especially don't understand how anyone with an IQ above 40 can buy into the Ayn Rand-bullsh*t being spewed by the Tea Party and other far-right Reactionaries.

In regards to the study, clearly the authors simply wanted to prove their hypothesis with zero interest in what the research actually showed. Now, we could debate their motives, but certainly you can't debate that far-right politicians utilized this research to bolster their (incorrect) argument.

Edited, Apr 29th 2013 11:09am by Grady
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#33 May 02 2013 at 4:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends. He then proclaims that his actions were positive because 10 people got a free lunch. Ignoring an entire half of the equation (the effect of the money you took) when calculating the effect of your actions is a really stupid way of looking at something like this. Far more jobs were lost because of the recovery act than were "created or saved"

There is enough lunch at a buffet for 100 people. 1 person takes all the food and insists that whatever he doesn't eat must be left to rot. One of the other 100 people takes some of his food by force and gives it to some of the other 99 hungry people.


Couple flaws:

1. While I know that the classical approach to resource allocation involves the whole "evil landowner allowing land to go idle while people starve" model, in the real world, there's no such thing as idle money. The food isn't being left to rot. It's being used productively.

2. The second flaw in your argument is the assumption that the food at the buffet magically appears absent effort and will continue to magically appear to be divided however you think is most fair. The reality is that the reason there's enough food at the table to feed 100 people is because someone spent the time and effort to put it there. Take away his incentive to do so, and the food will disappear and a lot more people will go hungry as a result.

Quote:
How many people go hungry in each scenario?


Far more people go hungry when you eliminate the incentive for those growing it to grow more than they need to feed themselves. The unfortunate fact for your ideology is that the prime incentive for anyone to produce more than they need themselves is profit. You're arguing based on what you think should happen, which itself is based on a flawed set of assumptions. You can even calculate the beneficial effects of your proposed actions and calculate numbers of jobs "created or saved" based on your own formulas. But in the real world, they just don't add up.

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Stimulus works. Not debatable.


I find it amusing how directly related the amount of actual debate and disagreement on a given subject is to how loudly people like yourself will insist that it's "not debatable". Um.... Yeah, it is.

Quote:
Proven, repeatedly. Austerity slows growth. Not debatable proven, repeatedly. It's close to impossible to think of an economic issue that's more settled when reviewing evidence and data.


Circular data though.

Quote:
The primary takeaway should really be that evidence and data have virtually nothing to do with policy decisions. If you're in favor of that, that's fine. Post things like "the evidence and actual data don't matter at all". Making imaginary cases (because obviously the real ones don't work) of mythical data and evidence to try to justify a position is moronic. "If we assume the Earth is flat, the flat Earth people are correct. Data!"


Which is funny because that's exactly how you're "proving" your position. You assume certain things and calculate based on those assumptions. Then assume those calculations must be true. Pot kettle.

Edited, May 2nd 2013 3:59pm by gbaji
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#34 May 02 2013 at 5:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Grady wrote:
gbaji wrote:
A bully steals the lunch money of 20 people, making them go hungry. But he uses that money to buy lunch for 10 friends. He then proclaims that his actions were positive because 10 people got a free lunch. Ignoring an entire half of the equation (the effect of the money you took) when calculating the effect of your actions is a really stupid way of looking at something like this. Far more jobs were lost because of the recovery act than were "created or saved". It's complete voodoo math to claim otherwise.


This is simply not true. First of all, I love how you compare using tax dollars to stealing money. It's such typical libertarian nonsense. Taxes are the price we pay for a civil society. I'm willing to listen to arguments that some people are taxed too much, but to compare it to stealing is simply wrong.


Stealing is taking something that isn't yours. You're correct that it's *technically* not because taxes are legally applied. But other than that distinction, the analogy is still valid IMO. I agree that taxes are the price we pay for a civil society, but that's not a reason to blindly agree to more taxes for anything someone wants to spend money on. Put another way, we should not assume that since taxes are the price we pay for a civil society that more taxes means a more civil society. The logic doesn't work in the other direction. Not all taxes do actually achieve positive civil outcomes, thus at some point, higher taxes should be viewed as theft. If not, then why don't we just raise taxes on everyone to 100%? Assuming you think there should be some limits on taxes, then we shouldn't just accept any tax as legitimate because it's a tax.

Quote:
Second, if not for the economic stimulus provided by the Recovery Act, we would have continued our recession, which would have caused millions more lost jobs, stifled economic activity (a killer for a consumption-based economy like ours) and made the first part of the recession look like a walk in the park.


I disagree. I believe that the recession part of the whole mess was more or less finished when the recovery act was passed. What the recovery act did was blunt the recovery which would have naturally occurred once the recession ran its course. It made it take longer for jobs to come back.

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Nearly every economist (and everyone worth their salt whatsoever) would tell you the exact same thing.


No, they wont. Repeating that claim over and over doesn't make it true. There are a **** of a lot of economists who believe that the stimulus was at best a waste of money, and at worse the cause of slower than expected economic recovery. We are still suffering from the effects of the the recovery act in the form of higher deficits and total debt than we'd have had otherwise. This creates a constant sluggish effect on the economy that we will likely be feeling for at least another decade.

Quote:
Finally, the ancillary benefits of creating and saving those jobs were great.


Except we didn't actually create or save those jobs. That's the problem. No one's doubting that *if* 4.2 million jobs (or whatever number they use) were actually "created or saved", that it would have a beneficial effect. The problem is that there's scant evidence that very many actual productive jobs were created, and those that did were temporary, cost far too much to create, and didn't have the economic effects that were predicted. You're arguing as though the base assumption about job creation is true. But the vote is very much out on that assumption.

Quote:
Roads, bridges, transit, energy efficiency, clean energy, and much more were boosted. While our infrastructure still needs plenty of work, the Recovery Act and the funding it brought will be an incredible boon for our economy (better roads, fewer bridges in danger of collapsing, etc.) for decades to come. The sad part is that we've followed that (admittedly too small) downpayment on bringing America's infrastructure into the 21st century with a sh*tty, watered-down transportation bill that doesn't address the growing funding gap of the gas tax as we move to more fuel-efficient cars.


There is nearly zero measurable delta between what would have happened in terms of infrastructure without the recovery act versus with it. What happened was that every public project got a "paid for with recovery act dollars" on it, even if they were planned long before the act was passed. This makes some people think that their money was doing something, but in actual fact the real effects from the Act were minimal at best.

Quote:
But, yeah, other than those things it was terrible.


When you realize that "those" didn't really have much to do with the recovery act itself, yeah. It was pretty terrible. A colossal waste of money.

Quote:
Also, one need only look at countries implementing austerity measures to see that "starving the beast" isn't working. Here in America, the only significant thing we've gotten from 6 years of President Bush and a Republican Congress and 6 years of a Republican Congress with Bill Clinton is record wealth disparity that benefits only billionaires, leaving the rest of us to fight over a small piece of moldy bread while those at the very top enjoy lobster, caviar, and $5,000 bottles of champagne.


That and significant upward mobility, increased job opportunities, better standard of living, massively increased availability of new tech-based products and services, etc, etc, etc, etc... That also has nothing to do with austerity measures, since we didn't need them back then. You're trying to apply a buzzword label to a situation where it doesn't really fit. If you practice sensible limited government along the way, you don't need to enact sudden and painful austerity measures. It's completely unfair to compare the former to the latter. It's like arguing that eating moderate portions and exercising regularly over the length of your lifetime is a bad idea because when a massively obese person suddenly cuts his food intake to a normal level and starts trying to exercise he has a heart attack and dies. Um... Yeah. The correct answer is to not become that obese in the first place. Austerity is not a normal practice, but an emergency measure taken when someone's failed to apply reasonable limits to government for so long that they have no choice but to "go turkey". And that's going to be painful.

And that's before getting into the issue that many things being called "austerity measures" really aren't about cutting government spending, but about raising taxes on the people to pay for that spending. Which, of course, is the exact opposite direction to go.

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The only good, long-term economic policy is one that takes the best of capitalism—mostly free market, competition-based system—and merges it with the best of socialism—public safety net, smart government intervention when needed (like stimulus or helping vital industries in need of restructuring get funding, like the auto industry), progressive tax system, etc.


I think that even attempting to codify it this way is a recipe for disaster. The government's role in the economy should not be trying to make it do something, but allowing it to do what it does best. We should not think in the terms you're using at all IMO.

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Now, to me, we should lean more toward the socialism side as it will result in less wealth disparity and a stronger, more prosperous country for all of us. But, I can understand those that wish it to go more to the free market, while still maintaining some semblance of balance. I don't understand those on the extremes on either side, as both those economic systems have been proven time and time again to be failures in their purest forms. I especially don't understand how anyone with an IQ above 40 can buy into the Ayn Rand-bullsh*t being spewed by the Tea Party and other far-right Reactionaries.


I think you're reacting to a straw man version of what conservatives are trying to argue for. Stop listening to liberal talking heads telling you what nonsense the right is trying to do, and maybe talk to some actual conservatives. You might discover it's not so crazy after all. It might even make a **** of a lot of sense.

Edited, May 2nd 2013 4:55pm by gbaji
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King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#35 May 02 2013 at 5:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji always refers to taxes as "stealing", "mugging" or some other theft. It's standard 101 GOP Group Think.

Of course, the guy requires the government to actively seize his bank accounts before he actually pays his taxes so maybe that has something to do with it.
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#36 May 02 2013 at 8:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Gbaji always refers to taxes as "stealing", "mugging" or some other theft. It's standard 101 GOP Group Think.


I refer to taxes being levied on people purely because they can afford it in order to pay for things which are not necessary as "theft", yes. What other term would you use? As I stated above, there must be a point at which the taxes you're raising cease to be a positive effect on society and begin to be negative. The only real disagreement (I assume?) is over where that point lies.

I think that when you argue for taxes on "the rich" (broadly) in order to pay for free money to political donors, you've got beyond civil benefit and well into the "theft" category. Wouldn't you agree? Certainly, when you foster the idea that some amount of money is "enough" and people who have more are greedy and it's right to take their money from them as a punishment for that greed, we've also drifted into the theft motivation as well. Just listen to the rhetoric Joph. ****, it's been repeated often enough on this forum that you could not have missed it. The concept of taxes as punishment, complete with demonizing the group(s) said taxes are targeted towards, is pretty strong. And regardless of where you stand on the politics of this, you ought to recognize that that's the absolute wrong motivation to use to do something like that. Even if you honestly think that taxes should be higher out of a belief that the money raised could be put to better civil uses than it would be otherwise, you should be incredibly concerned about the means by which public support for this idea is being pursued.


It's just a really really bad idea to turn the government into a tool used to punish groups the majority doesn't like (especially so blatantly).
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King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#37 May 02 2013 at 9:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I refer to taxes being levied on people purely because they can afford it in order to pay for things which are not necessary as "theft", yes.

No, you just refer to taxes as theft, without distinction. Although even your dressed up example is inaccurate. Like I said, it's just stock GOP Group Think: You, Varus, ThiefX, etc all recite from the same chapter and verse on it so there's no need to try and make it fancy now.
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#38 May 03 2013 at 7:07 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's just a really really bad idea to turn the government into a tool used to punish groups the majority doesn't like (especially so blatantly).
Like Iraq?
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#39 May 03 2013 at 8:30 AM Rating: Decent
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Couple flaws:

Yes, it's a terrible metaphor. Really fucking awful. Thanks for owning that, ace. You were the only one who didn't seem to realize it instantly.

I think that when you argue for taxes on "the rich" (broadly) in order to pay for free money to political donors, you've got beyond civil benefit and well into the "theft" category.

Yes, property is theft. You're coming around, comrade. Good work.

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