I Was Not Happy to See This.

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President Obama announced his intention to complete negotiations with S. Korea begun by George W. Bush for another free trade agreement. His goal is to benefit American farmers and auto workers.

“It is the right thing to do for our country, it is the right thing to do for Korea,” Obama said. “It will strengthen our commercial ties and it will create enormous potential economic benefits to create jobs” in the U.S..
I can see the part about the farmers, but it would seem to put at risk the very auto-worker jobs that tax-payers spent so much to preserve last year. Does this make good sense?

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Art
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No, using taxes to preserve auto worker jobs does not make good sense.

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BcDct
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The policies that paid family sized farmers not to plant crops continues to be the problem. There was once farm cooperatives that aided famers to successfully grow crops, which were beneficial to the land, the famers, and to the nutritious organic foods, which independently sustained the American Diet. Now, we have combinations of 13 syllable chemicals sold as food. Don't get me started on the preservatives and negative food processing, which allows an alleged food's shelf life akin to nuclear waste. America only requires those food stuffs such as coffee, etc., to be imported for American consumption. Crap, they grow rice in Arkansas. American Consumers are at fault in not recognizing their own dietary self-destruction; and in not reading the country of origin and the Dietary Labels on the foods they seek to buy. Too many Americans prefer gluttony to only eating what is sufficient to appease hunger; and quality vs. quantity. Buying American can be a good thing, only when the American Companies put its consumers health, welfare, and safety-first. Anything not purchased is soon removed from sight.

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Good point, Mule. A friend of this Board sent me this link, which may be relevant to your point:

http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/movie-talk-harry-potter-fans-deemed-too-...

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BcDct
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It seems like a good deal for Korea. They can import what they can't produce for themselves...beef...cheaper. The U.S. has a production advantage.... lots of grazing lands. Of course, beef from Argentina probably costs even less.

There probably is a market for the more expensive U.S. cars in Korea. for ."top of the line" consumers....and they can continue dumping their cheaper models in the U.S.

Maybe we can begin exporting jobs to Korea as well as China...and re-import our own products duty-free from an additional source.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

From the point of view of Korea this is a great deal. They are taking advantage of the benefits of the division of labor. The US is an agricultural powerhouse, because we have massive amounts of arable land. Some countries produce food expensively...others don't. US is expensive, Argentina isn't.

Just like in the US, the Korean elite will be able to buy expensive cars outsourced from the USA, but we only buy their cheap exports.

Maybe this will be another opportunity for Corporate to outsource. First to China...them to Korea. Any option other than keeping the jobs here. Then we can have a trade imbalance with yet another country, while Corporate moves cheap goods duty-free into the US. And the unemployement lines here grow...and grow.

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Jacques Roux
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Jun. 20, 2010 3:33 pm

If there's one thing that is certain, it's that, despite this first being initiated by Bush, Obama will be mercilessly attacked by the right for this.

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No, using taxes to preserve auto worker jobs does not make good sense
Can't say I agree with you . . . not even slightly. Just as in post-WWII, American desparately needs jobs programs. The TARP program was a jobs program. In fact, every dollar that goes through the Government is a jobs dollar. That is because every dollar that goes through the Government is destined to become somebody's income. The Bush/Paulson bank bailout was a jobs program for bank executives. The Obama/Geithner loan to GM was a jobs program for middle-class working people. That made good sense to me. Now that GM has repaid that loan, they are planning to outsource lots of jobs. S. Korea will give GM another place to export them to.

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I think it's okay to disagree. On the whole I agree with your assertion that every dollar spent by the state is somebody's income. I was trained in Keynsian economics and understand the need for and application of counter-cyclical monetary and fiscal policies. There are two problems, however, with the federal government's recent stimulus programs.

First, I think it is a mistake to borrow money for current operating expenses. That is a recipe for disaster. Instead, borrowed money ought to be used for capital spending and/or direct payments to individuals. For example, FDR tried to offset the Great Depression through capital projects (roads, public buildings, land reclamation and rural electrification). These projects put people to work while creating long-term infrastructure that would create the wealth to pay off public debt. In addition, Social Security put money directly into the pockets of millions of people. Had the Obama administration follwed the lead of the New Deal and invested in America's collapsing infrastructure, I would have applauded the effort.

Second, I have no confidence in the state's ability to pick "winners and losers." By subsidizing particular industries or firms, government intervention props up activities that perhaps should be abandoned. If General Motors went bankrupt, investors would put their money someplace else, possibly into new industries and firms that would become the "General Motors" of the future. Alternative energy, environment-friendly firms, health care, or any number of new investments might have benefitted from the shift of capital away from "smoke-stack industries." The sorts of subsidies we saw for the automobile and finance industries more often reflect political interests instead of economic ones.

Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of "creative destruction." Old industries must give way to new ones. The transition is destructive, producing winners and losers. These transitions are necessary, however, for economic progress. The federal government is retarding this progress in my view by assisting the very industries that need to be swept away.

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So what happens when labor in the US becomes cheaper than in South Korea. That may not be that far off, perhaps Obama knows this.

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meljomur
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Quote meljomur:

So what happens when labor in the US becomes cheaper than in South Korea. That may not be that far off, perhaps Obama knows this.

In this case I suppose many Korean firms would locate production in the United States.

It may also depend upon the reason(s) for the relative decline in Americans wages. For example, currency devaluation would produce one set of responses while a devastating collapse of the Korean labor force might produce different responses.

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BcDct
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Quote BcDct:

I think it's okay to disagree. On the whole I agree with your assertion that every dollar spent by the state is somebody's income. I was trained in Keynsian economics and understand the need for and application of counter-cyclical monetary and fiscal policies. There are two problems, however, with the federal government's recent stimulus programs.

First, I think it is a mistake to borrow money for current operating expenses. That is a recipe for disaster. Instead, borrowed money ought to be used for capital spending and/or direct payments to individuals. For example, FDR tried to offset the Great Depression through capital projects (roads, public buildings, land reclamation and rural electrification). These projects put people to work while creating long-term infrastructure that would create the wealth to pay off public debt. In addition, Social Security put money directly into the pockets of millions of people. Had the Obama administration follwed the lead of the New Deal and invested in America's collapsing infrastructure, I would have applauded the effort.

Second, I have no confidence in the state's ability to pick "winners and losers." By subsidizing particular industries or firms, government intervention props up activities that perhaps should be abandoned. If General Motors went bankrupt, investors would put their money someplace else, possibly into new industries and firms that would become the "General Motors" of the future. Alternative energy, environment-friendly firms, health care, or any number of new investments might have benefitted from the shift of capital away from "smoke-stack industries." The sorts of subsidies we saw for the automobile and finance industries more often reflect political interests instead of economic ones.

Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of "creative destruction." Old industries must give way to new ones. The transition is destructive, producing winners and losers. These transitions are necessary, however, for economic progress. The federal government is retarding this progress in my view by assisting the very industries that need to be swept away.


I disagree to disagree on agreements under disagreement.
I suppose it is more fruitful to have an informed discussion with known neocons/neolibs than driven to drivel by utter simpletons.

There are no "business cycles" under pure socialism. Thus no reason to try to stabilize through Keynesian measures as that is just a way of propping up a corrupt system. Aside from that, there was a few faults with the stimulus.
1> Too little and not enough reach into the economy.
2> Did not take away ill-gotten gains from the corrupt people that caused the mess. Pitchforks and ropes could have solved some problems.
3> Should have followed up with some nationalization.

First, yes as long as all union jobs.
Second, only neolibs call it "picking winners and losers". It is more like "creating winners". The samples are abundant in the examples of the East Asian Tigers as they used the state to direct resources to create industries that could compete first domestically and then internationally. It was the strong leadership of the state directed through controlled enterprises called Chaebol and Zaibatsu. Nationalize the rest.

None of those destructive forces are unleashed on the workers under Socialism. No need for the worker class to be subject to the whims and animal spirits of neolibs that have no interest in their survival. The State can adjust painlessly to new economies or maintain status quo if that is so desired-the holy grail of zero growth.

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quaestorchickpea
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May. 12, 2010 7:02 pm
I think it's okay to disagree.
Well, I would hope so.

First, I think it is a mistake to borrow money for current operating expenses. That is a recipe for disaster. Instead, borrowed money ought to be used for capital spending and/or direct payments to individuals. For example, FDR tried to offset the Great Depression through capital projects (roads, public buildings, land reclamation and rural electrification). These projects put people to work while creating long-term infrastructure that would create the wealth to pay off public debt. In addition, Social Security put money directly into the pockets of millions of people. Had the Obama administration follwed the lead of the New Deal and invested in America's collapsing infrastructure, I would have applauded the effort.
I agree with every part of this, except that FDR's stimulus spending was also achieved through borrowing. The difference being that FDR borrowed from the American people, based on rising expectations, a strategy that panned out beautifully. Borrowing from China has been a disaster. My guess is that the current rationale is that, in this era of globalism, it doesn't matter who buys our T-bills. That's insane.
I have no confidence in the state's ability to pick "winners and losers." By subsidizing particular industries or firms, government intervention props up activities that perhaps should be abandoned. If General Motors went bankrupt, investors would put their money someplace else, possibly into new industries and firms that would become the "General Motors" of the future. Alternative energy, environment-friendly firms, health care, or any number of new investments might have benefitted from the shift of capital away from "smoke-stack industries." The sorts of subsidies we saw for the automobile and finance industries more often reflect political interests instead of economic ones.
the GM loan seemed like a sound idea to me. We need jobs now. It was not unlike FDR's financing of the American auto industry. Reading about GM's plans was like a slap in the face with a baseball bat for me. Tesla, or any of the American green companies are not ready for the kind of job creation that is needed.That being said, it's perfectly logical, given this era of globalism.

Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of "creative destruction." Old industries must give way to new ones. The transition is destructive, producing winners and losers. These transitions are necessary, however, for economic progress. The federal government is retarding this progress in my view by assisting the very industries that need to be swept away.
In the mid-range, I can't disagree. In a perfect world, GM would have been a useful agent for jobs preservation while emergent industries grew to the point where they could put the old-world car industry out of its misery. Perhaps this is the only way it can be. It's tragic to consider the pain that is to come.

I don't particularly care how productive jobs need to be at this particular time. I doubt that anybody hired to dig holes and fill them up are going to be saying, "I should have turned this job down. It isn't economically sustainable".

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I suspect that we agree more than we disagree.

Two points:

Borrowing from China has been a disaster. My guess is that the current rationale is that, in this era of globalism, it doesn't matter who buys our T-bills. That's insane.

What difference does it make whom we borrow from? As long as we get good interest rates and liquidity is there when when we need it, the lender seems pretty irrelevant.

If China wants to lend the U.S. government money, then I only have one word for the Chinese: Suckers!

Tesla, or any of the American green companies are not ready for the kind of job creation that is needed.That being said, it's perfectly logical, given this era of globalism.

American investors seem to be way ahead of you:

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/tesla-revs-up-expectations-...

Without propping up GM, maybe a lot more money would be available for Tesla's IPO.

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BcDct
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What difference does it make whom we borrow from? As long as we get good interest rates and liquidity is there when when we need it, the lender seems pretty irrelevant.
It seems to me that it would be better to have interest payments remaining in the american economy, rather than going to the Chinese.
Without propping up GM, maybe a lot more money would be available for Tesla's IPO.
Lack of availability of money is a bogus factor. About 5 years ago, I checked on America's total net worth. It was at $42.5 trillion. According to this source, it is now at $53 trillion. America has a lot of money available. Most of it is in the stock market, legally owned by the wealthiest Americans. I hope that Tesla will become a net asset to the American economy. I hope that an adequate portion of its added value will go to American workers.

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Art
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Quote Art:
What difference does it make whom we borrow from? As long as we get good interest rates and liquidity is there when when we need it, the lender seems pretty irrelevant.
It seems to me that it would be better to have interest payments remaining in the american economy, rather than going to the Chinese.

Why? First, there are no guarantees that interest paid to American investors will remain in the United States, nor are there are restictions that would prevent Chinese investors from reinvesting their interest payments in America.

Second, nationality seems pretty irrelevant to the strategies of investors. All investors, whether American, Chinese, European, or Canadian, will invest their money in order to acheived a balanced, risk-adjusted rate of return. As far as I know, investors place their savings in those investments that serve their personal interests, not the interests of any particular nation.

Without propping up GM, maybe a lot more money would be available for Tesla's IPO.
Lack of availability of money is a bogus factor. About 5 years ago, I checked on America's total net worth. It was at $42.5 trillion. According to this source, it is now at $53 trillion. America has a lot of money available. Most of it is in the stock market, legally owned by the wealthiest Americans. I hope that Tesla will become a net asset to the American economy. I hope that an adequate portion of its added value will go to American workers.

Your comment, "America has a lot of money available. Most of it is in the stock market, legally owned by the wealthiest Americans," is a non sequitur. "America" does not have a "lot of money;" wealthy Americans have a lot of money. Private wealth is not at the beck and call of "America." I understand that many people, probably an overwhelming majority on this Board, believe that private wealth ought to be put at the disposal of the state. I am not one of those people.

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BcDct
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As far as I know, investors place their savings in those investments that serve their personal interests, not the interests of any particular nation.
Well, that seems to be the basic premise underlying the movement toward total globalism and international free trade. National borders give way to corporate borders. The world's investor class calls the tune. America doesn't really exist any more. "Democracy" is but a quaint vestige of the past.
Your comment, "America has a lot of money available. Most of it is in the stock market, legally owned by the wealthiest Americans," is a non sequitur.
It is a non-sequitur if you consider the stock market something separate from the national economy. Wealth leaves the national economy for the stock market - it is no wonder that a country can no longer maintain a public infrastructure.
I understand that many people, probably an overwhelming majority on this Board, believe that private wealth ought to be put at the disposal of the state. I am not one of those people.
I am one of those people. It used to be that a country would tax its citizens to pay for its citizen's needs. You appear to consider private wealth invested in the stock market to be untouchable and inviolate. Do you feel the same about the private checking accounts and savings accounts of wage-earners? That would eliminate all taxes. That, I am afraid, encapsulates the neo-conservative Valhalla.

It is good to know where everybody stands.

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Art
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Quote Art:
As far as I know, investors place their savings in those investments that serve their personal interests, not the interests of any particular nation.
Well, that seems to be the basic premise underlying the movement toward total globalism and international free trade. National borders give way to corporate borders. The world's investor class calls the tune. America doesn't really exist any more. "Democracy" is but a quaint vestige of the past.

You may be underestimating the persistence of states, which still claim a monopoly on the legitiate use of force. "Globalism," free trade, and multinational corporations exist because governments permit it. All this could be swept away in the blink of an eye, e.g., August 1914.

What is "quaint," I believe, is the sentiment that we've ever actually enjoyed a "democracy" in the United States. I suppose that at the state and local levels there has been democracy, more or less, from time to time, usually resulting in the torment of minorities by majorities. I prefer a limited, constitutional government of checks and balances to a "democray" in any case.

Your comment about "borders" belays the true problem with "democracy" (or its evil twin, "nationalism"), which is to say a divisive attitude of "us" versus "them."

Your comment, "America has a lot of money available. Most of it is in the stock market, legally owned by the wealthiest Americans," is a non sequitur.
It is a non-sequitur if you consider the stock market something separate from the national economy. Wealth leaves the national economy for the stock market - it is no wonder that a country can no longer maintain a public infrastructure.

You statement was a non sequitur because it confounded "America's" wealth (whatever that is) to privately owned wealth. Most wealth in this country is privately held and is not jointly owned by "the people" or the state. The stock market is only part of privately owned wealth. I'm not sure what the stock market has to do with things anyway.

In any case, since much of my retirement is invested in various stock holdings, I wish nothing but the very best for the Dow Jones Average.

I understand that many people, probably an overwhelming majority on this Board, believe that private wealth ought to be put at the disposal of the state. I am not one of those people.
I am one of those people. It used to be that a country would tax its citizens to pay for its citizen's needs. You appear to consider private wealth invested in the stock market to be untouchable and inviolate. Do you feel the same about the private checking accounts and savings accounts of wage-earners? That would eliminate all taxes. That, I am afraid, encapsulates the neo-conservative Valhalla.

I am a bit confused here. I pay my taxes and resent those who do not. I do not always approve of how the governments spends all of my tax dollars (e.g., occupation of Iraq), but I suppose that is why I have a vote.

I also understand and support government regulation where necessary to correct market failures (negative externalities) and proper for achieving politically desired goals (non-discrimination laws, etc.).

I also understand that taxes and regulations come with a price and that when they become overly burdensome, property owners will take their money elsewhere.

It is good to know where everybody stands.

Well, yes, I suppose that is true. I'm not sure what you mean by it because it has the ring of presumption. If you presume me to be a "neo-con," I can assure you that such is not the case.

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BcDct
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On the one hand, you say

What is "quaint," I believe, is the sentiment that we've ever actually enjoyed a "democracy" in the United States.
On the other hand, you say
I do not always approve of how the governments spends all of my tax dollars (e.g., occupation of Iraq), but I suppose that is why I have a vote.
Your comment about "borders" belays the true problem with "democracy" (or its evil twin, "nationalism"), which is to say a divisive attitude of "us" versus "them."
The preferred alternative is . . . what?
You statement was a non sequitur because it confounded "America's" wealth (whatever that is) to privately owned wealth. Most wealth in this country is privately held and is not jointly owned by "the people" or the state. The stock market is only part of privately owned wealth. I'm not sure what the stock market has to do with things anyway.
I would have to say that America's "net worth" would have to = (assets held by Americans minus debt owed to foreign economies) and which is subject to jurisdiction (taxation) by the American Government.

What the stock market has to do with it is this. A look at a chart of the net worth of the S&P500 from, say, 1950 to the present mirrors what represents the transfer of wealth from the American non-investor class to the global investor class. Assets that once could be taxed at the ordinary income rate to assets whose earnings could be taxed, if at all, at a maximum 15% rate. You can see what happened beginning in 1980. A huge surge in wealth available to the investor class to create earnings which are less and less available for the benefit of a sovereign America.

You are correct to say that "Most wealth in this country is privately held and is not jointly owned by "the people" or the state". This was always the case. It was a National asset when its earnings could be taxed for the benefit of "the people".

BTW, your retirement savings, assuming that you are an American citizen, is still subject to American taxes.

As you say, " The stock market is only part of privately owned wealth". A major portion of that privately owned wealth resides in real estate and other income-producing assets whose earnings are available for taxation by "the people". Less so with the stock market.

Art's picture
Art
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Quote Art:

President Obama announced his intention to complete negotiations with S. Korea begun by George W. Bush for another free trade agreement. His goal is to benefit American farmers and auto workers.

“It is the right thing to do for our country, it is the right thing to do for Korea,” Obama said. “It will strengthen our commercial ties and it will create enormous potential economic benefits to create jobs” in the U.S..
I can see the part about the farmers, but it would seem to put at risk the very auto-worker jobs that tax-payers spent so much to preserve last year. Does this make good sense?

I can't for the life of me understand how a black man can be so frickin dense. Doesn't he know he can WIN VOTES EVEN on the right if he ENDED NAFTA? He can do it. Bush ended the anti nuke treaty, setting a precident for presidents cancelling treaties. So? What's the problem here?

Nafta is ruining our nation. And this Nafta extension? Oye Ve! The man has GOT to be nuts.

If he thinks pitting unemployed American workers against unemployed Korean workers is the way to end the CURRENT DEPRESSION? He is nuts. Completely nuts.

So much for electing a clown from the Chicago School of Economics. BIG MISTAKE.

Before I leave I would ask that people STICK TO THE SUBJECT. Who cares about fat kids and Harry Potter? Or discussing Frankenstein Food when the subject is KOREAN TRADE TREATIES. Please, if you want to talk about food, start your own thread.

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Yellowbird7
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Art:

On the one hand, you say

What is "quaint," I believe, is the sentiment that we've ever actually enjoyed a "democracy" in the United States.
On the other hand, you say
I do not always approve of how the governments spends all of my tax dollars (e.g., occupation of Iraq), but I suppose that is why I have a vote.
Your comment about "borders" belays the true problem with "democracy" (or its evil twin, "nationalism"), which is to say a divisive attitude of "us" versus "them."
The preferred alternative is . . . what?

There may be no alternative to world anarchy. Thomas Hobbes explained why. Anarchy, the resulting "security dilemma," and a practical condition of war are inescapable. Simply because I acknowledge the way things really are doen't mean I prefer them.

You statement was a non sequitur because it confounded "America's" wealth (whatever that is) to privately owned wealth. Most wealth in this country is privately held and is not jointly owned by "the people" or the state. The stock market is only part of privately owned wealth. I'm not sure what the stock market has to do with things anyway.
I would have to say that America's "net worth" would have to = (assets held by Americans minus debt owed to foreign economies) and which is subject to jurisdiction (taxation) by the American Government.

This begs the question, "What is an American?" Is Ford Motors an "American" company? Is "Honda" an American company? If I park my cash in the Cayman Islands, am I still an American? "Canadian" firms have huge investments in the United States. Are they Canadian or American? What about firms domiciled in one country but benefit from "double taxation treaties?" What is their nationality?

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/double-taxation-treaty.html

What the stock market has to do with it is this. A look at a chart of the net worth of the S&P500 from, say, 1950 to the present mirrors what represents the transfer of wealth from the American non-investor class to the global investor class. Assets that once could be taxed at the ordinary income rate to assets whose earnings could be taxed, if at all, at a maximum 15% rate. You can see what happened beginning in 1980. A huge surge in wealth available to the investor class to create earnings which are less and less available for the benefit of a sovereign America.

What is an "American non-investor" class? If you have a time deposit account with a Federal Reserve member bank, you are an "investor." If you have a 401k, you are an "investor." If you put your money in a tin can and bury it in the backyard, you are an "investor," albeit a stupid one.

What is a "sovereign America?" A imperial country with military bases around the world? An international scofflaw when it comes to world environmental and arms control agreements? A country that gutted the Non-proliferation Treaty by conniving with India, another international scofflaw? A country that pukes on the International Criminal Court? Or maybe it's a country that blows up the guilty and innocent alike with drone missiles in places like Pakistan? What is this "sovereign America" that you wish to assist?

You are correct to say that "Most wealth in this country is privately held and is not jointly owned by "the people" or the state". This was always the case. It was a National asset when its earnings could be taxed for the benefit of "the people".

"Coulda, woulda, shoulda." If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, oh, what a party we've have!

I'd like to know which "the people" are benefitting from these "national assets." Where I come from, agricultural subsidies benefit the large farm operators and international agricultural corporations.

BTW, your retirement savings, assuming that you are an American citizen, is still subject to American taxes.

As you say, " The stock market is only part of privately owned wealth". A major portion of that privately owned wealth resides in real estate and other income-producing assets whose earnings are available for taxation by "the people". Less so with the stock market.

I'm not against taxes. If China uses its dollars to purchase an asset in the United States, guess what? It has to pay taxes. I can assure you that the county assessor cares less about who owns real property than she is that the owner pays his taxes. What difference does it make?

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BcDct
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May. 28, 2010 3:27 pm

BcDct, the problem with being a critic of the empire is that you do not have any way to address the privately held wealth that has been extracted from the public and is now concentrated in totally unproductive and even perverse ways. These have been the ill-gotten gains of empire and the distortion of the economy away from any Middle Class pretensions into the subsidies required for the cost/ineffective enterprise of empire.

The military overhead is obvious, but then there is the distortion in infrastructure and institutions required to serve the empire. Industrial food production and manufacture of the junk war soon makes its equipment do not serve the domestic economy. Human services get cheaped out while the MIC thrives.

When we had wars and needed troops, we drafted them. Now we just make war the only economic opportunity for the masses. But the point is that "war" gets what it needs while needs get massacred. Why is it so outrageous to suggest that those who have all the money show that they are part of America by investing it back in America where we need it? What gives them the right to flip us off as if we did not belong to the same country and did not share a common story and fate?

If America needs the assets of the super wealthy to save the nation, let's draft them. Everybody else has to share the pain, why not those who caused it?

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, as you may have read elsewhere, I favor reinstatement of the draft, so I guess that is one way of addressing "the privately held wealth that has been extracted from the public and is now concentrated in totally unproductive and even perverse ways."

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BcDct
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There may be no alternative to world anarchy.
Has nothing to do with democracy or not democracy. Non sequitur.
This begs the question, "What is an American?" Is Ford Motors an "American" company? Is "Honda" an American company? If I park my cash in the Cayman Islands, am I still an American? "Canadian" firms have huge investments in the United States. Are they Canadian or American? What about firms domiciled in one country but benefit from "double taxation treaties?" What is their nationality?
Well now, that is an issue these days, isn't it? These are questions we didn't really have to ask prior to NAFTA.
What is an "American non-investor" class?
I was not able to find consensus as to the definition of this term. Many, like you, say it includes anybody who owns any stock at all (it was apparently an invention of conservative spokespeople). Others limit it to about 35% of the population. I've been using the term carelessly. My intent was to draw a line between those who rely on investment income for their living during their "productive years" as opposed to those who rely on wages or salaries for their income. It's a squishy concept.
What is a "sovereign America?
I believe that a "sovereign nation" is one that is independent from all others in how it chooses to handle its internal affairs. I think that you have gotten way off in the weeds on this issue.
"Coulda, woulda, shoulda." If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, oh, what a party we've have!
I don't see a "Coulda, woulda, shoulda." in my statement.
Where I come from, agricultural subsidies benefit the large farm operators and international agricultural corporations.
Yes, it's always a good idea for lawmakers to revisit antiquated policy that no longer makes sense. I'm afraid that is not often the case.
I'd like to know which "the people" are benefitting from these "national assets."
At one time, everybody who drove from one region to another, or shipped or received goods from other regions benefitted from a national interstate highway system, funded by taxes levied on the earnings of these "national assets". Now, we don't even seem to be able to collect enough taxes to keep our bridges in repair.
If China uses its dollars to purchase an asset in the United States, guess what? It has to pay taxes.
I guess you're saying that revenues collected by counties through property taxes should be sufficient to fund America's need. You don't ask for much, do you?

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I thought we were talking about a trade deal with South Korea, not democracy.

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BcDct
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May. 28, 2010 3:27 pm
I thought we were talking about a trade deal with South Korea, not democracy.
It is typical of these message board threads to evolve and chnage. In this case we went from the impending free trade with S. Korea to a more general discussion of how free trade agreements have impacted America's political reality.

I'll be happy to return to the more restricted discussion if that is what you prefer. Where were we?

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I do not wish my comments to be considered as an attempt to "derail" the thread.

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BcDct
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I do not wish my comments to be considered as an attempt to "derail" the thread.
If you worry about that, we won't be hearing much from you on this message board.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think that he "derailing" that people find offensive refers to diversions that mark a complete disruption of the discussion. For example, a poster often realizes that he has talked himself into a corner and switches to defensive attacks consisting completely of ad hominum arguments. That would be a derailment.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The issue of "free trade" and WTO agreements is clearly "in thread," so it is not just about the Korean deal. The problem of defensiveness and sparring has little to do with how broadly the thread is understood, and the desire to deflect or find a point of the other's post to attack is something we all know personally. Treating ideas and the people who hold them equally also gets us into squabbles that could be avoided were we willing to separate the person from a bad idea.

When bad ideas are connected to people in power we have cause to worry. When it is just another poster's opinions, they do little to harm me. Art has reason to be uneasy about more WTO crap, and we all have to do more to build a public movement against "these insane trade policies" to quote Thom.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

When we lived in the States, I decided that I would try to buy as much local and made in America products as I could (I had two sofas made in a warehouse in Seattle).

Perhaps we could start a thread, called Made in America, and share information regarding products which are made in the States. Everything from clothing, furniture, light bulbs (that was a tough one) to locally produced foods.

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meljomur
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Go for it, Mel.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

While it is a fine academic discussion the fact is that there is no such thing as "free markets". I'm not sure there is even a definition for the "free markets" hoax.

When GM was bailed out it was not for the sake of the "middle class" as much as a big business friend in need of dough. BTW, GM did not earn money to pay back the government. It simply took tarp money to pay it off, but it was a great smoke and mirrors charade for the public.

Anyway, the motive behind the economic nonsense we as a people suffer is the destruction of the middle class.

Capitalism is a failed economic paradigm and the discussion sort of proves that fact.

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Dusty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Art:
I do not wish my comments to be considered as an attempt to "derail" the thread.
If you worry about that, we won't be hearing much from you on this message board.

I suppose that would be best.

BcDct's picture
BcDct
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May. 28, 2010 3:27 pm
Quote Art:

Go for it, Mel.

Okay Art, I will start it. Any suggestions which category it should go under? I am afraid if I put it under open threads it won't get much traffic.

meljomur's picture
meljomur
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I know. There doesn't seem to be much difference between the Domestic Politics thread and the Thom's Syndicated Show thread. I think the latter seems to get a little more traffic. For myself, I never look at any of the other forums.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote BcDct:I suppose that would be best.
I hope that doesn't mean that you intend to make yourself scarce. I certainly haven't seen anything in your postings that could get you banned, and there will always be somebody to complain about what you write. It wouldn't be much of a message board if nobody ever got his feathers ruffled.

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

A good friend of mine used to argue that this "off shoring" "free market" business would end when wages became competitive with the US. To that end the central government has empowered domestic corporations in a manner similar to what Mussolini did in WW II Italy. Once the vast majority of American citizens are deeply and inextricably indebted corpoprations will return to their factories with cheap domestic labor and little or no social programs that could chip away at the bottom line. After all, most of those Chinese businesses used to be US businesses. It is the love for capitalism, by the oligrachs, that continues to drive the nation towards economic collapse.

Dusty's picture
Dusty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kim Sung Il's time is short and will be replaced soon. It is a smart move to at least attempt to show some good faith diplomacy.

Mr_Dean's picture
Mr_Dean
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Apr. 1, 2010 8:58 am

Heard this morning that my own Congressman, Peter DeFazio is introducing legislation to put off work on this trade agreement with South Korea. Bravo!

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"When we lived in the states"??!

If you no longer live here, what's the deal/

In any event, this is an idea which could work globally. I like the idea of the city-state, even a more microcosmic model. The Commune. Whatever.

Away from the "new world order."

Better hurry, though. They just asked for permission to fly unmanned 'drones" over civilian airspace to "fight terorism". (what else?)

Good idea, Mel!!

surfan's picture
surfan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

AMEN

surfan's picture
surfan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Wow. ART.

STAY DOWN, man!

Quit gettin up-- I hate to see you bloodied this way.

It's hurtin' me!!

Hey---you ain't Mensa, are ya?

surfan's picture
surfan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
STAY DOWN, man!

Quit gettin up-- I hate to see you bloodied this way.

It's hurtin' me!!

Hey---you ain't Mensa, are ya?

Huh? What the hell are you talking about?
"When we lived in the states"??!

If you no longer live here, what's the deal/

In any event, this is an idea which could work globally. I like the idea of the city-state, even a more microcosmic model. The Commune. Whatever.

Huh? What the hell are you talking about?
Away from the "new world order."

Better hurry, though. They just asked for permission to fly unmanned 'drones" over civilian airspace to "fight terorism". (what else?)

Huh? What the hell are you talking about?

Art's picture
Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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