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Old 09-21-2015, 10:33 AM
 
5,050 posts, read 3,330,095 times
Reputation: 4865

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpm1 View Post
Any other country with similar population demographics and numbers have such a high per capita gdp?
Being ranked #10?

Numbers shouldn't matter when it is per capita.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
That reasoning sounded good until North Vietnam made short work of South Vietnam after our withdrawal. That example may be a bit dated so let's try a few others.
  1. North Korea keeps stirring the pot with South Korea;
  2. Iraq didn't play nicely with the U.N. weapons inspectors - what a surprise;
  3. Russia annexed Crimea in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
  4. Russia stirs pot in eastern Ukraine in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
  5. Russia conducts submarine and air "exercises" that threaten Sweden;
  6. Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania feel threatened by Russia; and
  7. ISIS forms and spreads like a cancer through Levant region
Do you really think the U.S.'s military can stand down?
You do know the US military and foreign policy created ISIS?

You do know North Korea would mess with [insert any country] below them for the simple reason they're run by a despot with a little wiener?

You do know Saddam was one of the forces holding that region in check and by doing what we did we caused the destabilization over there? You do know that Iraq had a growing middle class until Bush Senior in his high school drama garbage with Saddam decided to clamp down on the country and crash their economy? They had plenty of legitimate reasons to spit on the US.

Western Europe is plenty capable of defending itself. They have nukes too. They have a much stronger economy and population (than Russia). We conduct military exercises over by North Korea and China all the time.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,850 posts, read 765,823 times
Reputation: 5396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raysuxx View Post
Correct me with i'm wrong but the US is in a lot of debit, the most since WWII or something? Why then is it that they can't produce balanced or almost balanced budgets like other countries that have similar tax rates, far better and more extensive welfare systems, government funded health care, low unemployment and similar living standards? I thought military spending may have been a factor, but as % of GDP wise it isn't that significant I thought it's probably not...So what gives, surely with what I've outlined they would be running massive surpluses.
Here is very simple example as to why the USA cannot balance its books....

Say USA agrees to spends $100 on text books last year.
Next year they agree to spend $125 on text books.
They agreed that they spend too much, so they change it to be $115 for the books.
The USA spends that we have $10 spend less... but it's really $10 more...

They're spend more but explain less... and it keeps spending....
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: New York Area
13,402 posts, read 5,207,027 times
Reputation: 10756
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmybirdie View Post
[*]North Korea keeps stirring the pot with South Korea;
North Korea will not want a war with South Korea. It can't win.[*]Iraq didn't play nicely with the U.N. weapons inspectors - what a surprise;
We didn't have to invade them. [*]Russia annexed Crimea in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
So what? European countries need to spend more on defense.[*]Russia stirs pot in eastern Ukraine in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
So what? European countries need to spend more on defense.[*]Russia conducts submarine and air "exercises" that threaten Sweden;
So what? European countries need to spend more on defense.[*]Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania feel threatened by Russia; and
So what? European countries need to spend more on defense.[*]ISIS forms and spreads like a cancer through Levant region.
If we didn't invade and remove Saddam. There would be no ISIS. We created this problem.
Your logic would work great on the Tribal Love-Rock Musical called "Hair."
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:32 AM
 
3,454 posts, read 1,695,480 times
Reputation: 2201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raysuxx View Post
Correct me with i'm wrong but the US is in a lot of debit, the most since WWII or something? Why then is it that they can't produce balanced or almost balanced budgets like other countries that have similar tax rates, far better and more extensive welfare systems, government funded health care, low unemployment and similar living standards? I thought military spending may have been a factor, but as % of GDP wise it isn't that significant I thought it's probably not...So what gives, surely with what I've outlined they would be running massive surpluses.
Because the US does not need to balance its budget--it is probably counter-productive for the US to run either without deficit or with a surplus. Treasuries are selling at historic lows, meaning the cost of US borrowing is extremely low. If you could get a locked-in 2.2% interest rate on a no-money-down mortgage, I'm guessing you'd be pretty comfortable with that rate. It would be a sign that you are an extremely low-risk borrower. That's where the US is today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
Lack of political backbone and impulsive voting.
If a politician considers raising taxes, it is political suicide.
If a politician doesn't implement new programs, it is politically damaging.
If a politician wants to reform entitlements or raise retirement age, it gets a lot of backlash.
If a politician wants to shrink the defense budget, someone will cry "terrorist threat"
And don't forget that partisan gridlock has created a situation in which it is difficult to get anything done, never mind measures that many will perceive as hurting __________ . (fill in the blank - some suggestions will include veterans, children, seniors, homeowners, students, small business owners, single parents, minorities...)
and so on.
People complain a lot about what the government does, but they turn out to be pretty happy with our actual government programs. And the financial markets are happy to lend the US cheap money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
What do you mean balance it's books? Do you want to see no debt? No deficit? What's your end game?
These are the right questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
We don't defend them. We defend our interests.
Those countries don't need our defense. The era of world wars are over. The future holds small conflicts. The days of the massive standing army are ending. The interconnected world economy is seeing to that.
I do hope you are right that the era of world wars is over. The world economy was quite interconnected at the time of our last two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
The US doesn't rank number one on really anything positive. We're in the thirties for life expectancy, forties for infant mortality. Education... ugh...

Oh. We're #1 for defense spending or incarcerating citizens.
While it's true that the US ranks poorly in many broad-based quality of life measures, it does rank highly in many categories, like top research universities, number of patents, total ownership of wealth, total production, per capita production, number of global fortune 500 headquarters, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by el_marto View Post
Maybe because it's spending 0.7 trillion a year on a ridiculous military budget?
I would suggest that defense spending is considerably higher than that figure, which does not include the US nuclear weapons force (Department of Energy), the intelligence budgets in a world with blurring lines between military action and espionage (NSA, CIA, etc.), spending on foreign wars like Iraq and Afghanistan (separately categorized), and at least some of the "diplomacy budget" (State Department).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
That reasoning sounded good until North Vietnam made short work of South Vietnam after our withdrawal. That example may be a bit dated so let's try a few others.

Do you really think the U.S.'s military can stand down?
Considerably, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
North Korea keeps stirring the pot with South Korea;
North Korea is not capable of dominating South Korea, which has a stronger military and a much more robust economy and political system.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Iraq didn't play nicely with the U.N. weapons inspectors - what a surprise;
Was there some gamesmanship? Yes. But don't forget, in the run up to war, weapons inspectors were on the ground, making progress, and finding nothing. Why invading Iraq was a terrible mistake - CNN.com

"U.N. inspectors were asked to search for, report and destroy real weapons. As we found no weapons and no evidence supporting the suspicions, we reported this."

"We inspected many hundred of sites, including dozens that had been suggested to us by various governments' national intelligence organizations. In a few cases we found conventional weapons -- but no weapons of mass destruction."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Russia annexed Crimea in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
The credible western threat was more than 2 decades of eastward expansion of NATO and the EU. Crimea is a strategically important location for Russia, and annexing Crimea came at very substantial political and economic cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Russia stirs pot in eastern Ukraine in the absence of any credible U.S. threat;
See above. Ukraine is as far East as NATO/the EU can go without reaching Russia. The political and economic pain Russia is willing to endure in order to keep its hold there reflects its strategic importance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Russia conducts submarine and air "exercises" that threaten Sweden;
Sweden and Finland grow closer and closer to the west with the passage of time, and that threatens Russia's strategic interests. They are probably too far within the west's orbit for Russia to actually do anything about it anymore.

Finland and Sweden are famously neutral between the Soviet Union and NATO. But both are EU member stats and neighbor Norway is a longtime NATO member.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania feel threatened by Russia; and
Of course they do--all recently joined NATO after being parts of the Soviet Union. NATO has rapidly expanded east, and there remains a question about whether the commitment to collective self-defense is strong enough to hold if the periphery were threatened by a powerful country like Russia. Russia has an interest in current and potential members questioning that commitment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
ISIS forms and spreads like a cancer through Levant region.
Due to the aforementioned Iraq war. But it is being fought by Syria, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and the US, among others.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:47 AM
 
19,237 posts, read 11,137,433 times
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then there would be NO politics !!
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:11 PM
 
1,589 posts, read 879,903 times
Reputation: 1084
We of course did have budget surpluses between FY 1998 and FY 2001. Over those years, some $363 billion worth of debt held by the public was repurchased. CBO estimated the 10-year budget surplus at around $5.5 trillion. Then came George W Bush. He turned record surpluses into record deficits to fund his wars and tax cuts for the rich. We've been in a bad way fiscally ever since.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:48 PM
 
Location: NH/UT/WA
283 posts, read 169,742 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
Being ranked #10?

Numbers shouldn't matter when it is per capita.
The only countries really higher/equal than us are either:

1.Tiny countries with a huge banking/finance sector that act as money launderers for much larger economies (Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstien, Macau, etc)

or,

2.Tiny countries with a huge resource sector (Norway, Qatar, Brunei, UAE etc.)

Not really many balanced/diversified economies.... None of their economic models is replicable when you are ~25% of global GDP.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:04 PM
 
Location: NH/UT/WA
283 posts, read 169,742 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by vision33r View Post
The US has an empire in the financial markets. All countries must buy into the US markets by floating our currencies and pumping more foreign money into our economy. This enables us to keep printing money and borrow as long as foreign nations can keep picking up our debt. The end game is if one day another country overtakes us in the financial market and suddenly our economy is no longer the gold standard.

Which is why the government is waging a war against China in the media.. China is our frenemy because their economy is so strong that it's able to grow while absorbing our debts. The US is trying to hit China in various ways so they can't surpass us in economic power because we want them to keep paying for our meals. At some point China will surpass us and that has some serious ramifications.

Being the world's reserve currency is a net *negative*. Mathematically it forces you to run a persistent trade deficit in order to provide liquidity to global trade. It's made worse by countries hoarding dollars in order to boost there own weak economies. The US dollar is the World's reserve currency because The US is the only economy large enough/politically currently (though less so every day) willing to accept the costs.

Michael Pettis explains it best, as the "exorbitant burden", here:
Are we starting to see why its really the exorbitant “burden” | Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETSMichael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS


The biggest beneficiary to ending the US dollar as the reserve currency would be the US economy. The biggest losers would be the mercantilist exporter brigade (China/Japan/Germany/Taiwan/etc).
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:10 PM
 
5,050 posts, read 3,330,095 times
Reputation: 4865
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachF View Post
Being the world's reserve currency is a net *negative*. Mathematically it forces you to run a persistent trade deficit in order to provide liquidity to global trade. It's made worse by countries hoarding dollars in order to boost there own weak economies. The US dollar is the World's reserve currency because The US is the only economy large enough/politically currently (though less so every day) willing to accept the costs.

Michael Pettis explains it best, as the "exorbitant burden", here:
Are we starting to see why its really the exorbitant “burden” | Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETSMichael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS


The biggest beneficiary to ending the US dollar as the reserve currency would be the US economy. The biggest losers would be the mercantilist exporter brigade (China/Japan/Germany/Taiwan/etc).
It doesn't force you to run a persistent trade deficit. We have a choice whether we buy the cheap imports or not. I personally haven't stepped foot in Walmart in years, and this is a large reason why.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
381 posts, read 484,270 times
Reputation: 524
This issue used to concern me. But I could care less now. If the major economists aren't concerned, who cares?

It's not like it's going to change anytime soon.
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