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Old 04-01-2009, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
8,528 posts, read 10,392,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMF View Post
Protectionism never helps an ailing economy. If we punish companies for seeking the most efficient operating methods possible by offshoring tasks that can be done far cheaper overseas, we diminish their ability to compete on the open market. We also punish ourselves by increasing costs we pay for everything, from goods to services.

Jobs do not create a healthy economy, they are an effect of a healthy economy.
And look where that's gotten us now...

We don't manufacture anything anymore....

How come Korea and other countries use protectionist measures against us and their doing fine, however we don't reciprocate? How again has that worked out for us???
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,042 posts, read 8,933,391 times
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Ani, you post a good case. And, I completely understand what you are saying. However, I am still not convinced. The Europeans that I know are all about tighter regulation (as I am) and getting through this together. Most do not understand why we have not simply taken over the banks ourselves and gone forward as most other countries have already done. (Yes, even in Australia and New Zealand). But, that would have created a revolt from our society that is so afraid of any form of government control.

Now, let's face it, neither of us has a crystal ball and, quite honestly, we both could be wrong!! I am not saying that I am infallible, nor is my intellect below comprehending what you are saying. I am simply looking at the situation from another angle. What was done in the past was not working. (at all) We were falling very quickly into a very deep hole that would have been difficult, if not impossible to climb out of. Now, things seem to be improving...or, at least stabilizing. Is it because of what has happened? Dunno. It would appear so, but, again, I am only a banker, not an economist. Does this mean that the proverbial hole is just delayed a bit? Quite possibly, but, then, maybe we have more time to prepare to get out of it...???

I also have more of the European mindset having been raised by Norwegians..yes, those evil socialist Scandinavians. so, perhaps that is where we differ. I also do not mind discussing the differences, however, I think that slams on one's intellect or other character traits are uncalled for. (not you, Ani). In fact, that seems to border on communism...either think MY way or you are a total idiot. I have other friends that are frantically preparing for what they consider to be the inevitable crisis; in that basic supplies will somehow disappear due to this situation. Although I think that they may have fallen a bit off the deep end, I don't slam them because, again, none of us have a crystal ball. We all could be right (in bits) and we all could be wrong. The ability to discuss these things IS what makes this country free.

One last point that I want to make on the subject. For those that are Christians and familiar with the Bible, this whole situation (including China's call for a one-world currency) is pretty much played out in Revelations. Now, I happen to believe the Bible implicitly and I also know the end of the story. My personal belief on the subject keeps me secure in the knowledge that I will not suffer through Armageddon. Now, I do not wish to make this a religious discussion, I am simply stating another fact that is behind what some may think is a rather cavalier attitude towards this entire situation. That is all.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,578 posts, read 43,814,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioaninsc View Post
And that is why unfettered capitalism is not the answer for our economy...there should be either A)Very strong regulation forbidding companies to cut jobs in this country and offshore that work to another country or B)Don't make it illegal but put a much higher tax on any company that ships jobs to another country. Make the tax so crippling, that they won't do it. This country needs to do everything possible to protect AMERICAN jobs....now, if any country, domestic or foreign, adds a huge number of jobs in this country, give them big tax breaks, so they are rewarded. This is why we need to reinstall proper protections to get people back to work...we cannot survive as a nation that doesn't produce anything...now, if foreign companies invest here, I'm all for that.
Good points. I agree with slamming corps that offshore outsourcing - not sure what the best method is. I have thought - put some sort of Levy or additional tax burden on them to discourage offshore outsourcing. I also agree about tax breaks for companies choosing to do business here, as long as they are creating jobs for Americans (Toyota, for ex).

I got interested in what was happening to manufacturing in this country when I saw the trends w/ furniture plant shut-downs here and then other furniture companies importing goods from Malaysia. It is a BIG business now. Well known labels just import stuff and slap their own recognized brand on furniture. Then I started looking into ship building b/c I heard Trent Lott state that we no longer had but a fraction of our capability of ship building in this country. After researching, I found that facilities were being shut down all over the USA. Then Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt and they had been one of the biggest shipbuilders in the whole world. Economists often cite the demise of Bethlehem Steel as the prime example of America's economy shift to moving manufacturing OUT of the USA due to cheap labor elsewhere around the globe.

What is troubling is that China is building a huge fleet. I don't understand why this is not concerning our leaders. Instead of this thrown-together mess of a stimulus package - why didn't the Prez choose to truly create long lasting jobs in the manufacturing sector - such as shipbuilding? This would put thousands of experienced workers back into PERMANENT jobs. Plus, it would have put the steel industry, in general, back to work. Think of all the jobs it would have opened - from welding to engineers. Plus, it would be a bolster to our national security. So I don't get it!!!!

We have China out there gaining superiority by air and sea - yet we are going to borrow more money from them - to build roads. States should figure out how to build roads and repair infrastructure within their own states. If a state cannot balance its own budget - then they need to cut out programs, plain and simple, and entice manufacturers and corps to relocate to increase revenue. Accepting federal dollars is not even a short term solution, b/c the federal budget is in the crapper!!!! We are all passing around IOUs!!!!

Until this country starts manufacturing our own goods and services - wh/ in turn creates jobs - our economy is screwed. And that has to start at the GRASSROOTS level - in communities. We, you and I, have to start those factories.

We need to get factories up and running HERE - in our region. Wages may have to be lower and the manufactured goods will cost more than imported goods would cost - but this is our only solution. We must re-adjust how we think about jobs and pay and also - purchasing power - and get factories running again right here at home.

Last edited by anifani821; 04-01-2009 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,578 posts, read 43,814,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
And look where that's gotten us now...

We don't manufacture anything anymore....

How come Korea and other countries use protectionist measures against us and their doing fine, however we don't reciprocate? How again has that worked out for us???
Actually, I heard something about protectionism the other nite. It was in regard to diplomacy and how the state department handles alliances w/ foreign countries. I do remember one statement being made about our Treasury being underwritten by China and therefore, China was ensuring that we had no choice but continue to allow an imbalance of trade w/ them (imports f/ China) b/c they held so much of our debt. So China had made it clear thru/ diplomatic contact that our hands were tied - we could not put tariffs on their exports to us. Sounds accurate to me.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
8,528 posts, read 10,392,610 times
Reputation: 3249
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Actually, I heard something about protectionism the other nite. It was in regard to diplomacy and how the state department handles alliances w/ foreign countries. I do remember one statement being made about our Treasury being underwritten by China and therefore, China was ensuring that we had no choice but continue to allow an imbalance of trade w/ them (imports f/ China) b/c they held so much of our debt. So China had made it clear thru/ diplomatic contact that our hands were tied - we could not put tariffs on their exports to us. Sounds accurate to me.
Its not only China....Korea also. They do the same thing.....Japan too.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Findlay, OH
634 posts, read 1,577,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinman View Post
Stock market (all three indexes) had their first monthly gains since August...up 7, 8 and 11%.

We've fallen a long way but maybe there are fewer valleys ahead and the ones we do have won't be as deep.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4 Revised Standard Version)

Paying attention to the stock market everyday is like checking my weight everyday. There are highs and lows, but if I am doing the right things, I know I am losing weight. We will still have lows, yes, however over time, the responsible (those who do live within their means, and spend wisely) will, once again, tow the line.

As much well-wishing the goverment possesses (or perhaps, desires rooted in self-interest), it has much less control over the economy as it believes. Those who take business risks, and work responsibly are those who build equity. The government cannot generate profit. The idea of revenue alone has connotations of adding value. After working in governmental accounting for a number of years, I can only conclude that the bulk of services rendered by the government should be classified as a reimbursement. This is why I wince, when I see "tax revenue." It really should be "tax receipts". There is a difference. Honestly, what value did the government add by collecting a sin tax, gasoline tax, payroll tax, personal property and real estate tax, or sales tax? The priviledge of doing business in America? That's the only thing I can think of, and that's rather weak. I digress.

I must also point out that the acquisition of a stake in corporations allows for an increased impairment of independence. Those who have dealt with external auditors know the importance of independence. Basically, it means that the assurance expressed on the score kept is not jaded by selfish motives. When the government is owner and watchman, who is to say that they are or are not lying about the health of their investments? I keep coming back to the question "Do you trust your government?" on this. When I see attempts like this, I start leaning towards "No."

The only way the government can ensure that it will increase its receipts through its endeavors is by denying the productive part of society a better opportunity elsewhere. At that point, the person is no longer a citizen, rather a hostage. I doubt the government would be foolish enough to try this, as that would greatly increase dissent and the possible dissolution of the union.

In summary, I would advise Congress and Mr. President to keep their money, and give the rest of us some breathing room. As for Charlotte, my advice is the quicker we learn from our mistakes, the quicker we can restore the financial health of our fair city.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,578 posts, read 43,814,468 times
Reputation: 20284
Awesome post, ART! Very impressed with your insight. I re-read it twice, as there are some real gems of wisdom in what you have written.

I especially like your distinction b/n Tax Revenue and Tax Receipts. I get the difference and I find that very enlightening. Government is by nature a bureaucracy and there is no value in what bureaucrats produce - they are simply cogs in the wheels of a much larger organization that exist only to take in money and disburse money.

I agree with you. We would all have been better off if Congress and Prez had "kept their money" (well, not really their money as that money represents indebtedness!!!) This makes my mind spin as to why anyone thinks this stimulus "program" makes sense when it is all based on debt. I mean - not like Uncle Sam was able to open the cookie jar and pull out "real" money to spread around.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Dublin, OH
1,707 posts, read 1,819,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
And look where that's gotten us now...

We don't manufacture anything anymore....

How come Korea and other countries use protectionist measures against us and their doing fine, however we don't reciprocate? How again has that worked out for us???
My sentiments exactly....jobs are always good for the economy...you can't have a good economy when people are out of work. NC is now up to 11.3% unemployment rate.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Findlay, OH
634 posts, read 1,577,241 times
Reputation: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Awesome post, ART! Very impressed with your insight. I re-read it twice, as there are some real gems of wisdom in what you have written.

I especially like your distinction b/n Tax Revenue and Tax Receipts. I get the difference and I find that very enlightening. Government is by nature a bureaucracy and there is no value in what bureaucrats produce - they are simply cogs in the wheels of a much larger organization that exist only to take in money and disburse money.

I agree with you. We would all have been better off if Congress and Prez had "kept their money" (well, not really their money as that money represents indebtedness!!!) This makes my mind spin as to why anyone thinks this stimulus "program" makes sense when it is all based on debt. I mean - not like Uncle Sam was able to open the cookie jar and pull out "real" money to spread around.
Thank you very much, Ani. I appreciate your insight, as well. I try to draw conclusions on my own. I would've followed a path in legislature, however quickly realized that my ideas would not be accepted very well "inside the beltway". Politics is a very dirty business, only second to the music industry.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,578 posts, read 43,814,468 times
Reputation: 20284
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioaninsc View Post
My sentiments exactly....jobs are always good for the economy...you can't have a good economy when people are out of work. NC is now up to 11.3% unemployment rate.
I keep trying to think it through, OHIO. How can we start businesses w/o money? I know that sounds stupid, but what I mean is . . . all our furniture factories and textile mills - they started out SMALL. Some started out in garages or basements or barns. We gotta get moving on a grassroots level and CREATE new jobs.

What if everyone w/ specific talents - who are out of work - found a way to connect? And each person contributed something to a new venture. A piece of equipment . . . a particular talent . . . I know it sounds nuts - but there is a way to do this. While people are on unemployment compensation - doesn't it make sense that while they still have a check coming in - but free time - that they should be starting new businesses - forming some sort of co-op? A work co-op?

Does this sound totally impossible?
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