U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 10-05-2010, 03:43 AM
 
4,571 posts, read 3,224,588 times
Reputation: 2901

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
As for the comments on this thread, look, you will believe what you want to believe, even when the facts are presented right in front of your nose. Part of it is the perch you're sitting on, part of it is social and family conditioning, and part of it is personal preference.
Actually, my personal preference is to not settle on any conclusion in the absence of incontrovertible supporting facts and proof. There is simply not enough evidence or concensus to know whether things will get better, worse or skip along at current levels (unemployment, GDP, stock market, housing). I simply don't have the information to "believe" anything. Neither does anyone else. That has been my point all along. However, it is the OPs point that, according to his evidence and views, we have nowhere to go but down. That cannot be refuted, nor can it be proven. We simply do not have all the facts, or even know what the pertinent facts are yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
"The sky is falling" is not how you have to "label" the likelihood that this country as it exists now, integrated with the global economy, is in for some deeply troubling times. Things like the stock market and housing will fluctuate up and down, back and forth, all the while possibly spiraling down (as the price of gas does its little dance up and down by the actual season and by the political season but over the long haul only goes up), the GDP growing and hardly reflecting anymore the real state of the economy (how can it?).
Yes, we are in deeply troubling times now. Whether it will get worse is the issue here. Our best and brightest minds, who have the experience and training and access to vast amounts of information, cannot predict with any certainty where we are heading. Which means neither can I, the OP, or yourself. The GDP is only one measure of our overall economy. However, it is not a measure of unemployment. Nor is it an indicator of the health of the housing market. Personally, I do not expect unemployment or housing to improve substantially for a very long time. The stock market will continue to have it's ups and downs. The GDP may maintain a slow pace of growth. And the unemployed will continue to struggle. But the idea it will get much worse is no better supported than the idea it will get much better. Which is the crux of my argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The kind of downward spiral we see is not happening directly to those who are comfortably retired or employed. It is happening outside their sphere of experience, and it is slow and stubborn, fluctuating enough to give promise, but still heading southerly.
To be clear I am not saying things are rosy right now. I know plenty of folks who have been hit by unemployment. And everyone's housing equity has been pummeled. But, the facts as we know them can easily be cherry picked and misconstrued to develop any conclusion one wishes to draw. I simply choose to wait and watch, not promoting a positive or negative viewpoint.

What we do know: Unemployment peaked in Oct 2009 and has been fairly steady with a slight trend downward since then. GDP has been improving since Jan 2009 (-6.8) and has been positive throughout this year. The DJIA and other major indices have been moving in a positive direction since April 2009. These are some facts we know. None of them are moving in a "southerly" direction in any statistically significant fashion.

None of this fundamentally alters my plans, to be debt free (accomplished this in May 2009) and as financially self-sufficient as possible in order to weather downturns and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves. However, I do know people who took the most pessimistic view possible and missed out on the opportunity to recoup their losses or even make a profit over the last 18 months. They were not served well by taking the pessimists too seriously.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-05-2010, 03:45 AM
 
Location: new york
10 posts, read 22,540 times
Reputation: 18
Every individual should act responsibly with putting certain restrictions in their lifestyles if they cannot afford it now. Spending more even if you are not earning that much is foolishness.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-05-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,639,309 times
Reputation: 5180
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaker281 View Post
Actually, my personal preference is to not settle on any conclusion in the absence of incontrovertible supporting facts and proof. There is simply not enough evidence or concensus to know whether things will get better, worse or skip along at current levels (unemployment, GDP, stock market, housing). I simply don't have the information to "believe" anything. Neither does anyone else. That has been my point all along. However, it is the OPs point that, according to his evidence and views, we have nowhere to go but down. That cannot be refuted, nor can it be proven. We simply do not have all the facts, or even know what the pertinent facts are yet!
To say no one has the data because you do not hardly rings true, the fact is many people have the data. Of course you will refute it as being from obscure sources because it is not from the main stream media, and because it does not say what you would prefer it says.


Quote:
Yes, we are in deeply troubling times now. Whether it will get worse is the issue here. Our best and brightest minds, who have the experience and training and access to vast amounts of information, cannot predict with any certainty where we are heading. Which means neither can I, the OP, or yourself. The GDP is only one measure of our overall economy. However, it is not a measure of unemployment. Nor is it an indicator of the health of the housing market. Personally, I do not expect unemployment or housing to improve substantially for a very long time. The stock market will continue to have it's ups and downs. The GDP may maintain a slow pace of growth. And the unemployed will continue to struggle. But the idea it will get much worse is no better supported than the idea it will get much better. Which is the crux of my argument.
What we can predict is that for every action we take there will be a reaction. We have taken on massive amounts of debt in order to finance short term relief to the symptoms of the problems in lew of facing the problems themselves. Do you honestly believe there is no downside to massive debt? And just for curiosity, who are these best and brightest minds? And are they working for the American people, or are they working for corporate America? Do you believe the interests of the American people and corporate America are the same?



Quote:
To be clear I am not saying things are rosy right now. I know plenty of folks who have been hit by unemployment. And everyone's housing equity has been pummeled. But, the facts as we know them can easily be cherry picked and misconstrued to develop any conclusion one wishes to draw. I simply choose to wait and watch, not promoting a positive or negative viewpoint.

What we do know: Unemployment peaked in Oct 2009 and has been fairly steady with a slight trend downward since then. GDP has been improving since Jan 2009 (-6.8) and has been positive throughout this year. The DJIA and other major indices have been moving in a positive direction since April 2009. These are some facts we know. None of them are moving in a "southerly" direction in any statistically significant fashion.

None of this fundamentally alters my plans, to be debt free (accomplished this in May 2009) and as financially self-sufficient as possible in order to weather downturns and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves. However, I do know people who took the most pessimistic view possible and missed out on the opportunity to recoup their losses or even make a profit over the last 18 months. They were not served well by taking the pessimists too seriously.
You are right about statistics being able to be manipulated. What is easier to look at is cause and effect. You state that GDP, and DJIA, are moving in a positive direction, but you fail to address the cause of it. The government has injected several trillion dollars into the economy over the past few years, do you not expect to see a positive result from that? The question is has that stimulus solved the problem with the economy? Has it removed the trillions in bad debt from the balance sheets of the banks and Lending institutions? Has it rebuilt the jobs base that was destroyed from decades of off shoring American jobs? No it has not addressed either. All it has done is buy time. It has given people temporary employment, and allowed banks the breathing room to allow millions to stay in their homes without paying for them. In short, it has delayed the inevitable; it has kicked the can down the road and postponed much of the pain that would have otherwise been experienced.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-05-2010, 09:08 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,639,309 times
Reputation: 5180
INSIDE THE SEPTEMBER GDP REVISIONS | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

You may want to look at this chart and see if you can argue with what it is saying.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-05-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 20,075,230 times
Reputation: 15724
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaker281 View Post

What we do know: Unemployment peaked in Oct 2009 and has been fairly steady with a slight trend downward since then. GDP has been improving since Jan 2009 (-6.8) and has been positive throughout this year. The DJIA and other major indices have been moving in a positive direction since April 2009. These are some facts we know. None of them are moving in a "southerly" direction in any statistically significant fashion.

What we do not know: Unemployment figures do not reflect the huge number of people of all ages, but especially those over the age of 50, who have run out of their unemployment compensation (or never filed to begin with because they were just out of college and couldn't find a job) and then stopped looking. They are living with family, crashing in friends' pads, living on the street, or in prison. Or, living on savings until that runs out. Unemployment figures today don't really mean anything useful, as they did during the Great Depression before which it was easy to find work and nearly every adult was employed (it was the culture then to have a mainstream job and keep it all your life).

GDP is no longer an comprehensive indicator of the overall economy. It's an outdated measure that needs to be replaced by an indicator of everything in total, the center of which is jobs and housing. But profit is all that matters, and housing and jobs can go down the tubes but we're still a shining example of a wealthy country.

None of this fundamentally alters my plans, to be debt free (accomplished this in May 2009) and as financially self-sufficient as possible in order to weather downturns and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves. However, I do know people who took the most pessimistic view possible and missed out on the opportunity to recoup their losses or even make a profit over the last 18 months. They were not served well by taking the pessimists too seriously.

Yes, it's possible and perhaps probab;e that investors will make their own fabulous profits (as some did following previous bad times) while Americans throughout the country are suffering in larger numbers. This is a natural movement toward "rich" (I mean the upper end) and "poor" (that has absorbed much, or at least some, of the middle class). This two-class system will be good for the wealthier folks in some ways, and not so in other ways. Politics will be altered away from "democracy" as the middle class (many investors among them) contracts.
Debt-free is a good thing. Perhaps you could travel to the White House and give them a few pointers.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2010, 01:09 AM
 
4,571 posts, read 3,224,588 times
Reputation: 2901
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
To say no one has the data because you do not hardly rings true, the fact is many people have the data. Of course you will refute it as being from obscure sources because it is not from the main stream media, and because it does not say what you would prefer it says.
No, I am saying no one has the information and ability to forecast the future. Even the folks with the most access to the pertinent data are only forecasting (guessing) and there is no clear concensus.

I have not refuted any data from any sources. It is the conclusions/forecasts being drawn from that data I am weighing against other conclusions/forecasts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
What we can predict is that for every action we take there will be a reaction. We have taken on massive amounts of debt in order to finance short term relief to the symptoms of the problems in lew of facing the problems themselves. Do you honestly believe there is no downside to massive debt? And just for curiosity, who are these best and brightest minds? And are they working for the American people, or are they working for corporate America? Do you believe the interests of the American people and corporate America are the same?
Where did I say there is no downside to massive debt? I believe I expressed the exact opposite. You should refer to what I write and not make assumptions. Glad you asked so I could clarify though.

The best and brightest minds are those who have risen to the top in their respective fields after years of education and experience. Some work for private industry, some reside in government positions, some have held jobs in both the public and private sectors. Who do you consider the best and brightest minds? Yourself? Bloggers? People who second guess those making actual decisions and write about it?




Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
You are right about statistics being able to be manipulated. What is easier to look at is cause and effect. You state that GDP, and DJIA, are moving in a positive direction, but you fail to address the cause of it. The government has injected several trillion dollars into the economy over the past few years, do you not expect to see a positive result from that? The question is has that stimulus solved the problem with the economy? Has it removed the trillions in bad debt from the balance sheets of the banks and Lending institutions? Has it rebuilt the jobs base that was destroyed from decades of off shoring American jobs? No it has not addressed either. All it has done is buy time. It has given people temporary employment, and allowed banks the breathing room to allow millions to stay in their homes without paying for them. In short, it has delayed the inevitable; it has kicked the can down the road and postponed much of the pain that would have otherwise been experienced.
I definitely expect an effect from the various stimulus measures that have been taken. TARP, TALF, Bush tax cuts, fed fund rates. Has it solved all the problems? Nope. Has it helped us get through a critical period? I think so. Will we need to take additional steps after the worst is past? Yep. Should those measures include balancing the budget, reducing deficit spending and lowering the national debt. Yes.

I would liken it to a cancer patient who has to take chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The treatment is harmful, but the lesser of two evils. At least they will live to fight another day.

But you failed to ask the most important questions of all:

Is The United States doomed? Are we ready to lie down and give up? Will US ingenuity and efforts fail to win the day? Is there no hope at all?

I say no to all the above. Your posts imply you believe the opposite. Must suck to be you!
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2010, 03:49 AM
 
4,571 posts, read 3,224,588 times
Reputation: 2901
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Debt-free is a good thing. Perhaps you could travel to the White House and give them a few pointers.
If I had a time machine I would go back to Reagan's administration and help them avoid tripling our national debt, then Bush's administration and advise against multiplying our debt x2.5. But, they would not pay attention either, and their constituents would look the other way until the other party took power and then act all aghast.

To your other points, none of the indicators we have available to us are perfect or all inclusive. And economists have been arguing for decades over their validity and meaningfulness. But, they are what we have and must be taken with a grain of salt, to be certain. In any case, we cannot embrace them when they trend in one direction and ignore them when they do not support our beliefs.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2010, 04:57 AM
 
4,571 posts, read 3,224,588 times
Reputation: 2901
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
INSIDE THE SEPTEMBER GDP REVISIONS | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

You may want to look at this chart and see if you can argue with what it is saying.
Why would I need to (or want to) argue with a series of data points? I see it as simply more information to add to the pile. But, if you are suggesting that this chart can forecast the future, then only time will tell if the conclusion you are drawing has merit. Or if the information it portrays is the final assessment of all pertinent data.

I prefer to keep an open mind and wait and observe as situations unfold. That approach has served me well. The nice thing about threads such as these is they remain around for posterity, to be reviewed and assessed.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 20,075,230 times
Reputation: 15724
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
You state that GDP, and DJIA, are moving in a positive direction, but you fail to address the cause of it. The government has injected several trillion dollars into the economy over the past few years, do you not expect to see a positive result from that? The question is has that stimulus solved the problem with the economy? Has it removed the trillions in bad debt from the balance sheets of the banks and Lending institutions? Has it rebuilt the jobs base that was destroyed from decades of off shoring American jobs? No it has not addressed either. All it has done is buy time. It has given people temporary employment, and allowed banks the breathing room to allow millions to stay in their homes without paying for them. In short, it has delayed the inevitable; it has kicked the can down the road and postponed much of the pain that would have otherwise been experienced.
It's like giving prescription drugs to ease the symptoms of a patient with disease, instead of addressing the real underlying cause and trying to cure the disease systemically. You can make anything look alive, even a half-dead economy, with the right makeup.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 20,075,230 times
Reputation: 15724
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaker281 View Post
To your other points, none of the indicators we have available to us are perfect or all inclusive. And economists have been arguing for decades over their validity and meaningfulness. But, they are what we have and must be taken with a grain of salt, to be certain. In any case, we cannot embrace them when they trend in one direction and ignore them when they do not support our beliefs.
Any civilization that has the technology to send a man to the moon and invent computers and high-tech spy systems ought to be able to get its academic gurus together in one room and figure out a comprehensive system for measuring the country's real economic health...a system in which GDP but one item among others. But that would be taxing peoples' brains to the max, wouldn't it.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top