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#32880 - 12/13/09 09:01 PM What's Obama's Economic Policy
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Hi to all the members, particularly the American’s

Lately I have been thinking about the United States and its current economic condition.

Can anybody let me know what Obama is up to? What is his economic policy and will it produce the goods?

Where does he stand on healthcare reform, the welfare state and on the maintenance of the Military/Industrial Complex?

From what I understand the U.S federal debt is now running at about ten trillion, which I believe is about 60% of GDP?

Is the fiscal black hole still about 50 trillion (that is unfunded government outlays, particularly Medicare and Medicaid?)

I also believe that the trade deficit is growing as well and that China and Japan and the oil producing countries are gaining a larger and larger slice of the American pie?

No doubt you guys have some tough times ahead, but I believe that the American’s can come back and still kick some ass.

What’s that Obama up to? What’s the goss?

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#32881 - 12/13/09 10:39 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
stalker


Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
google?

cnn?

new york times online?

What country are you from Matthew?

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#32893 - 12/14/09 01:17 AM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: Morgan]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Hi Morgan,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes indeed it is quite true that I could research this topic through Google, through the online American media, and through other online resources.

There are two reasons why I am bringing this to the table in this lair:

• I am interested in gaining not only factual information, but also personal perspectives and opinions from members here in relation to these questions.

• I am hoping that member’s who have an interest in economics, and indirectly in politics, will find this post of interest and it will generate discussion among those interested members.

You may ask: well if you were after member’s personal perspectives and opinions than why didn’t you just say so?

And I would answer:

• Politics and economic well being tend to be emotive issues for many individuals, so the post itself tends to provoke personal perspectives and opinions as well as factual information.

I am an Australian.

You may ask: why would an Australian be interested in such questions?

There are four main reasons:

1. Because the United States and Australia share a perceived common bond, forged from the Second World War onwards.
2. Because the United States and Australia have entered into strategic alliances, such as ANZUS; and because the United States maintains vitally important military bases here.
3. Because America owns a fairly significant chunk of Australia.
4. Because there are Australians, such as myself, who are interested in what happens to the American people.

I hope this clarifies my initial post.

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#32904 - 12/14/09 02:53 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Obama's economic policy is rather typical of liberal (socialist) ideology. Quite a few of his advisers are socialists. Now that I sound like McCarthy here...

Basically, you can sum this administration's policy up to: tax the rich and spend more than you receive. Now, I'm not saying that all socialists would be this irresponsible, but that's pretty much how this administration seems to be working out.

Will it produce the goods? That depends on what you want. If you want economic redistribution, than yeah, this'll work fine for a while, even up to a global scale. If you're worried about failing banks or auto makers or whatever, again, this will work for a while.

He wants pretty much a government run health care plan, similar to Britain or Canada (I have no idea what Austrlia has). Not entirely sure what his stance on welfare is, unless you consider bailing out Wall Street to be welfare for the stupid rich...although at least that apparently comes with strings attached.

National debt is a tad over $12 Trillion right now. Unfunded is still $50 trillion-ish, I believe. Gold is at some $1100/oz. right now, if you follow that kind of thing

From what I can see, and I'm not pinning all of this on the Obama administration, things look pretty grim. The dollar is well on its way to tanking. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, so I wouldn't say he's doing it on purpose, but the long term effects this will have on the economy look pretty grim. If the public option gets approved (right now it's looking like a "no") and cap and trade gets approved (no clue where that stands), taxes will go up, income will go down, we'll have to print more money, which will devalue the dollar, requiring taxes to go up, income to go down, ad nauseam.

I'm quite a bit of a capitalist, so that probably jades me just a tad...anybody with opposing politico-economic views than mine care to chime in?
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#32907 - 12/14/09 03:34 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: CJB]
Damis Offline
pledge


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 60
Loc: England
 Originally Posted By: CJB
Basically, you can sum this administration's policy up to: tax the rich and spend more than you receive. Now, I'm not saying that all socialists would be this irresponsible, but that's pretty much how this administration seems to be working out.


That is more or less the exact course of action that the government here, (a Socialist one) has been taking for the last twelve or so years since they came into power. However one of their most irresponsible acts was during the initial beginnings of the economic crisis, they basically stuck their heads in the sand until action had to be taken and recession had to be called.

Their action.. in essence to attempt to dig their way out of a hole. The economic impact in the UK was worse than many other countries in Europe because the economy was propped up on borrowing and credit, the government attempted to kickstart the economy by borrowing even more.. around £20bn to be exact, which roughly translaties into $32.5bn.

Pray that Obama's administration isn't as reckless as ours \:\)
_________________________
Leben ist krieg.

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#32914 - 12/14/09 06:39 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
Fist Moderator Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
Like Morgan said, you can google most of this to include political analysis about what most Americans think.

Never the less, I will take a stab at the specifics.

 Quote:

Lately I have been thinking about the United States and its current economic condition.


?

Is it somehow worse than the rest of the world?

 Quote:
Can anybody let me know what Obama is up to? What is his economic policy and will it produce the goods?


Obama is an International Socialist. If you don't know what that is then google it. History has shown that no good can come of this. Of course, he still needs the support of the Elites so he must pay some deference to Wall Street and his Master George Soros.

 Quote:
Where does he stand on healthcare reform, the welfare state and on the maintenance of the Military/Industrial Complex?


"Healthcare" and "Healthcare Reform" are meaningless buzzwords. They are the contrived memes of Neuro-Linguistic Programing and are designed to elicit a response in the Cognitive Triangle of the target. 'Healthcare' has nothing to do with health. Rather, it is about who pays for medical services and how much individual Liberty the individual must surrender to their masters in govt.

A lot of Americans instinctively know something is wrong with the legislation currently moving through Congress and there is a good chance that 'Healthcare Reform' will die in the Senate.

 Quote:
From what I understand the U.S federal debt is now running at about ten trillion, which I believe is about 60% of GDP?


The number is closer to $12,000,000,000,000 and these clowns now plan to raise the debt limit buy a couple of trillion more. In other words, 'they' are bankrupting their children and their children's children future. And just what are we getting for our $12 trillion?

 Quote:

Is the fiscal black hole still about 50 trillion (that is unfunded government outlays, particularly Medicare and Medicaid?)


Oh yes, it is that dire. Of course, the Social Welfare States of most of the Western world are in equally bad shape if not worse. Things should get right sporting ones all the Baby Boomers start to get really old.

 Quote:
I also believe that the trade deficit is growing as well and that China and Japan and the oil producing countries are gaining a larger and larger slice of the American pie?


Well, sort of. We developing a growing under class here in the US as we continually export our economic prosperity overseas. Of course, there will be (is?) a leveling point where our under class can no longer support the growing middle class of China and India.

Fortunately for the oil rich states, Obama is still in the back pocket of Saudia Arabia. Since Obama likes a weaker America, he has made no real move toward energy independence despite his rhetoric.

Japan is still in fairly rough economic shape as they are still recovering from a decade long recession where they too pumped a lot of stimulus money into the economy to little effect.

South Korea on the other hand is a sleeping giant and they are the ones to watch. The smart money is hedging on all things South Korean.

Oh, and did you ever wonder what China did with all of that money we send them? Well about 6% of it is going toward building their military.

Of course, in the end we may have snookered the Chinese after all. The USD continues to dive in value and they are truly worried that they may not get paid back on all of that money they have lent us.

 Quote:
No doubt you guys have some tough times ahead, but I believe that the American’s can come back and still kick some ass.


Obama has said more than a few times that he doesn't like the idea of a 'kick ass' America. As an International Socialist he wants America to be too weak to do anything without the consent of 'Global Community.'

 Quote:
What’s that Obama up to? What’s the goss?


The short answer? He is an empty suit - a product of good marketing. I believe they call it 'vaporwear' in some circles.
_________________________
I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil's work.

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#32918 - 12/14/09 07:29 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: CJB]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Australia has its own federal based and funded health scheme called Medicare and has had it (in its modern form) since the early 1970’s.

There has been a strong push from right wing Australian governments, particularly the recently deposed Howard government, towards a private health insurance industry.

Tax incentives were offered and many Australian’s took up private health insurance.

Australian’s tend to take up private health insurance because it covers gaps which exist in the Medicare system, and because the public hospital system is a bit of a mess with under funded public hospitals.

However, under the current Rudd Labor government there seems to be a swing back towards more government support of Medicare. I don’t know if other Australian member’s would agree with that.

I am not sure how Obama will proceed here in relation to American healthcare reform?

I am not sure how the American federal government can afford a comprehensive government based system with universal healthcare as its goal.

How effective is the private health care industry in America? I can understand that these businesses are profit making enterprises and as such they make more profit by reducing the cost of claims and the number of claims, but what other affordable alternative is there? How much government regulation is there of the private health industry and is there a federal/state watchdog?

One thing – when we are talking about American Medicare and Medicaid, what are we talking about?

It seems that the majority of the federal fiscal hole is Medicare and Medicaid?

Does the following seem reasonable? Costs have to come down if the debt is going to be paid.

I just don’t know how monetary policy or re – distributing wealth can help, if savings are going to remain low and fiscal ill - discipline will remain high.

How did Clinton balance the budget and start reducing federal debt?

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#32919 - 12/14/09 08:10 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Hahahaha! So you guys are looking at how terrible state-paid hospitals are and half of our government wants to go forwoard with it.
You know, I really wouldn't have a problem with someone, even if they have an opposite ideology to me, if they would see what didn't work and try something different.

The American Government can't afford to pay for public health care. Taxes go up, more money gets printed, dollar goes down, etc. etc. etc. I'm not entirely sure if America should go back to a gold standard (I recall someone telling me that we wouldn't have enough gold to pay all of our dollars right now, not sure if that's true or not but it wouldn't surprise me), but the way we're making paper money now has seriously got to go.

Private health care in America? From what I recall is pretty nice. I'm military, so I don't really have private healthcare. It's a tad on the expensive side, I would say, but that comes from how much it costs to be a doctor. I'd rather have a great expensive private doctor than a shite cheap public one.

American Medicare: After you turn 65, the government pays a portion (or all?) of your hospital bills. Apparently they underpay, but that's another story.

Medicaid: Health care for poor people! Don't really know too much about Medicaid, but that's the gist of it.

Redistribution of wealth could theoretically make money if you take from someone who doesn't use it well and give it to someone who will use it well. However, the juggling act that would have to be, I don't want to think about. Just randomly taking from the rich and giving to the poor will do nothing good on the long term.

How did Clinton get a budget surplus? Well, it was like that a bit before he got into office, but that's rather immaterial. He did raise taxes a bit, cut spending a bit, and he also happened to be president during the dot-com boom. Today, the government is far too addicted to rampant spending to have a hope of balancing the budget.

Maybe in the next Republican Revolution it'll get better? Depends on whether or not some actual economic conservatives get elected.
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#32921 - 12/14/09 08:42 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
Fist Moderator Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
When discussing the cost of anything, it is common to do what is called a 'fishbone.' You list the problem and then you draw 'bones' coming off it that contribute to the cost. This includes drawing smaller 'bones' off of the main spines.

The high cost of US medical care come from (among others) the following:

The high pay of medical professionals. Which, is linked to the high cost of medical training. If you go to Harvard Medical school you will find all sorts of people supporting 'free' medical care. But you wont find them supporting 'free' medical education. Med schools want to get paid!

US tort laws. We have the most litigious system in the world. I have yet to meet a European who was not horrified by our system of high paying frivolous law suits. The have an idiom in German which means "it's your own fault." We believe that culturally here but not in the courts. Doctors routinely practice 'defensive medicine' just to make sure they don't get sued for malpractice. On average, they provide way more treatment than is needed.

No competition between insurance companies. Competition in ANY market lowers costs. In the US the individual states regulate insurance. The states have a very controlled market (as opposed to a free market) that keeps costs high. It is a Constitutional power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Congress can fix this in one day!

Third party payments. The normal relationship between buyer and seller has been destroyed. People get all of the treatment they can and doctors are more than willing to provide this treatment because NOBODY has any idea what this all costs. It is paid by some nebulous insurance company. Contrast this to veterinary medicine where you buy your service a la carte'. Laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery also work this way and costs are kept down due to market competition.

The best thing we can do with our healthcare system is to treat it like auto insurance. Everyone should have catastrophic 'collision' insurance. But oil changes, tires and gas are on you. People do no preventative maintenance on their bodies for years and years and then they want a new car when the engine seizes.

 Quote:
I can understand that these businesses are profit making enterprises and as such they make more profit by reducing the cost of claims and the number of claims, but what other affordable alternative is there?


It is called 'rationing.' Every modern healthcare system rations care. You don't get everything you want. In the US we ration care based on how much money you have. In Europe they ration care by way of some bureaucrat telling you what the govt will and will not pay for.

We have the best care in the world. It is also the most expensive. Funny how that works.

 Quote:
How did Clinton balance the budget and start reducing federal debt?


Short answer? He didn't. Ever here of Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America? Clinton had to deal with a very hostile Republican Congress. They set the agenda. The economy was roaring, the Fed had a weak dollar policy and they were printing money as fast as people wanted to borrow it, unemployment was at historic lows, taxes were low and govt revenues were up. Bottom line, the govt was taking in more money than it needed to operate from year to year.

The problem was, the Fed was monetizing the debt at a hearty clip, and nobody cared about how much debt we were holding. The looming Social Security and Medicare problem seemed miles away.

In basic household economics speak, it looked like this -

We got a big raise. We were able to pay all of our bills, our car loan, our mortgage, and the monthly minimum on our 9 credit cards we were holding at 21% interest . So we thought we had all of this 'extra' money because we could pay our bills. So we continued to run up our credit cards and got a home equity loan! What we should have done with all of that 'extra' money is pay down our debts.

There never was any extra money. There never was a 'surplus.' We were like a college kid with their first credit card. We thought we had money because people kept giving us credit.
_________________________
I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil's work.

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#32922 - 12/14/09 09:05 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: Fist]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Thanks for the info Fist,

Good luck with it all.

I certainly would agree with you in relation to the claim that the U.S is a highly litigious country. I am aware of that as it relates to my work.

Hmmm the best health care in the world, but the most expensive.

I believe that greater competition would be useful given the way the system seems to be set up in the U.S.

For myself I'll stick with promoting and using Medicare and in later life will acquire a modest and affordable amount of private health insurance.

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#32924 - 12/14/09 09:12 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: Fist]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
Economic plan?

Well, here is what I have seen so far: Some railroad tracks in my town were pulled up and moved about 15 feet. I don't know what damn bit of good that does for the economy but they did it. There was even a sign next to it that said "Putting Oregon back to work". The funny thing is that at max there was 20 people working on it. And currently the unemployment rate in Oregon is 11% - not counting the people (myself included) who aren't looking to collect unemployment.

To be quite honest I haven't been following anything Obama has been saying for awhile. So I can't tell you what he says he is going to do. All I have to offer is what I see. It has been a year since he was elected and I haven't seen much of anything. Except for those railroad tracks being moved over about 15 feet.

I am going to have concur with something Fist said in another thread: "given the current state of affairs I'd say keep the change."
_________________________
No gods. No masters.

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#32925 - 12/14/09 11:31 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Heh, as 6 points out, a lot of the economic "work" being done is make-work programs. Pouring money into something that doesn't create wealth is a big problem. Too much like the broken window scenario (look up "broken window fallacy" if you care). When you put money into something that makes more money (anything from starting a logging company to building a Wal-Mart in an area that doesn't have one), then the communitee will prosper (which means each individual in that communitee will have the opportunity to prosper). However, if you're moving the railroad tracks fifteen feet, that provides no economic benefit and ends up wasting money that could otherwise be spent making money.
Breaking the window does get the money moving, but the overall wealth of the communitee is lower by the cost of one window. As far as I've been able to tell, the current policy is to break as many windows as possible and hope nobody notices how much poorer we are until after election day.
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#32926 - 12/15/09 01:11 AM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: CJB]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



I thought I might provide some information on Australia for those members who are interested and also, just to balance things, so America is discussed, but Australia is known as well.

There are some basic tendencies to Australian political thinking and policy making from Australian federation on, which are quite interesting I think.

I won’t pull any punches either

One the most basic characteristics of Australian political policy from January 1901 (Federation) until the mid 1960’s is racism.

There was a consensus on all sides of politics, at Australian Federation, that the country needed a ‘White Australia Policy,’ and this racist policy was to be enforced through three main vehicles:

• Through the legal fiction of ‘Terra Nullius,’ which was used - along with a sustained campaign of genocide - against the Australian indigenous people to guarantee white supremacy and “legal appropriation.”
• Through the Immigration Acts from 1901 onwards, which were used very effectively to exclude peaceful incoming foreigners.
• Through a rabid love for, belief in, and adherence to the British Empire. This was not only a cultural and historical identification for Australian’s, but tactical as well. It is under the protection of the Royal navy that we make our plans and keep out any violent incoming foreigners.

The second major characteristic of Australian political policy from Federation onwards is related to the question of government intervention in the economy and the question of class relations, and the view of the state from a Marxist perspective.

At settlement no one major political party could actually get enough parliamentary control to form a long standing and influential government on its own, so the first critical decade was characterised by coalition governments and shifting alliances.

Deakin, who was the greatest of the Australian prime ministers of the foundation era, made his most effective alliances with the Labor party.

It was under the influence of this relationship that Australia acquired its most lasting political guidelines. Those being:

• Government protectionism
• Federal and state arbitration systems
• A ‘Fair Go’ for all ethos
• Formidable union power

Of course these are general guidelines, so they don’t absolutely determine individuals and their particular lives and struggles, but they were certainly important on policy and policy makers.


Was Australia a socialist country – possibly?

In the late 1940’s the Labor government of Ben Chifley (Chif) attempted to nationalise all the trading banks of Australia!

Chif must have gone mad and his government was thrown out.

Keynesian thinking and the welfare state were implemented through Chif’s government and through ‘Nugget’ Coombs and his Department of the Post War Reconstruction in the late 1940’s and then handed over to prime minister R.G Menzies to perfect in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Anyway in the mid 1960’s Labor leader Whitlam got rid of the ‘White Australia Policy’ from the Labor platform and Menzies and his predecessors of the 1960’s did away with the ugly thing on the other side of politics.

Australia is very multi – cultural today and has great tolerance and a lot of affection for its diversity.

It still has not resolved its issues with its indigenous people.

In terms of the second characteristic mentioned above we had the Labor Hawke and Keating Government’s of the 1980’s and early 1990’s, and then the Howard government of the 1990’s and early 2000’s to thank for the changes here.

• Protection peeled away
• A weakened arbitration system
• The end of the ‘Fair Go’ point of view in many parts of the country
• Unions are broken and limping

Hawke, Keating and Howard just loved big business.

Anyway that might give you a better sense of what’s gone on over here.

Oh yes and I should mention the role of war as well. We basically fight other people’s wars in order to secure protection from great and powerful friends. Much Australian identity was built here, though it is an older one now.

Oh yes and one more thing - ‘Terra Nullius’ was destroyed by the High Court of Australia. The court handed down the Mabo Decision and pretty much wrecked that legal fiction.

P.S. remind me and I will tell you the story about the ‘Big Fella’ and his particular brand of madness. Great stuff!

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#32930 - 12/15/09 09:05 AM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
Fist Moderator Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 1453
Loc: B'mo Cautious MF
 Quote:

There was a consensus on all sides of politics, at Australian Federation, that the country needed a ‘White Australia Policy’


And? You say that as if something is wrong with that. What does Aboriginal culture bring to the table?

I remember reading that the Abos originally liked Western law because it was much less harsh than tribal law. New Agers have engaged in quite a bit revisionist history but Abo law had a lot of penalties that ended in death or ostracism that would ultimately lead to death in the harsh wilderness.

 Quote:

Australia is very multi – cultural today and has great tolerance and a lot of affection for its diversity.


Yeah, how's that working out for you? Look at your rates of rape, murder, robbery and theft. Any particular ethnic group(s) stand out? What value added are you getting out of 'diversity' for it's own sake?

 Quote:
Hawke, Keating and Howard just loved big business.


Right? And how many poor people have ever opened a business, hired employees, produced a useful product, or paid taxes?

 Quote:
• Unions are broken and limping


And? What happened to unions was a self inflicted gunshot wound. Union bosses got fat off of the union dues of the membership and gave little back in return. Unions continued to support the political Left - not their union membership! Unions allowed millions of jobs to leave for China all the while supporting candidates who supported 'Globalism.' Domestically, unions told business they must pay them more and more money for less and less work. No longer was Union Labor the best skilled labor at any price, rather it became the most expensive and least productive form of labor.
_________________________
I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil's work.

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#32952 - 12/15/09 08:09 PM Re: What's Obama's Economic Policy [Re: ]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2517
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Do some reading and listening here.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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