Off Topic Rant on the Economy and Politics

Off Topic Rant on the Economy and Politics

This is a discussion on Off Topic Rant on the Economy and Politics within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I'm sorry, but I just need to vent. This is a chart of the last 5 trading sessions on the Dow Jones: We went from ...

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Thread: Off Topic Rant on the Economy and Politics

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Off Topic Rant on the Economy and Politics

    I'm sorry, but I just need to vent.

    This is a chart of the last 5 trading sessions on the Dow Jones:



    We went from 10,800 to 9,250 in five trading sessions, despite the pork-laced bailout bill that most of us thought was a good idea at the time . Carbon taxes and Golden Parachutes for CEO's included or not, the desired effect has not been achieved.
    Not to mention, the bailout bill doesn't really say what's going to prevent this situation from happening again.
    I think we need to change the way the lending industry works and create safeguards against a subprime-mortgage-fallout happening again, but no one seems to be talking about that on the network news channels.

    I watched the debate last night and I was not pleased with either candidate's descriptiveness on the economy issue.
    Both gave a general "feel" or "idea" of the direction they'd go, but neither gave specifics (just said that the other's policy couldn't possibly work). I have no faith in either of their plans as described.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be anti-McCain, but how can he have said, as recently as a few weeks ago, that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" ? We're going downhill fast and the brakes aren't working. And let's be honest, the Bush tax cuts did not have the trickle-down effect they were intended to have, and McCain's plan doesn't sound too different, besides perhaps on healthcare.

    Obama's "raise taxes, especially on the rich" plan doesn't make much sense either, and still doesn't explain where the money will come from to work all of the Miraculous Changes he's promised.

    In all honesty, I probably won't vote. I dislike both candidates. My state is going to go to Obama rather I like it or not - getting rid of the electoral college is another rant of its own.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear your opinions on the shape of our economy, the debates, and specifically, what you think about the candidate's "plans" (or lack thereof) to fix it. All in good, friendly, political-discussion fashion; no need for arguments here.
    Also, it's well established that McCain is less anti-gun than Obama is, I'm not trying to kick that debate up again.

    Hoping to get some contrasting, but friendly, opinions.
    Mods: If this thread turns into a flame-fest, please feel free to close it.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


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  2. #2
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    Listen, the only way economy will pick up anytime soon is to bring confidence in the market and a good way to do that would be to send some Company executives, speculators and congresspeople involved in this scheme to share a cell with Talibans in Guantanamo... But we know IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    Neither party has an answer. At this point, the economic decline is a self full-filling prophecy. Everybody is scared of a recession/depression, so nobody is spending, causing the economy to decline.

    My plan ;-):

    shore up social security and provide healthcare. This will take the stress level out of most people as they watch 401k savings decline, and maybe some people will actually start spending again. There is little the government can do about the stock market. The world wide money-machine is way too big. $700B are just a trickle compared to the amount of money invested into (and now removed from) the global money system.

    As for the laid off stock brokers: I hear the Army is hiring.

    I don't know who to vote for either. I am thinking about a third party candidate. In some ways, these are the only votes that count. If you vote for either of the big parties, you just re-enforce them in their ways. But significant (couple of percent) of votes going to third parties will scare them. My ballot in Florida has 13 candidates... still have to research what the other 11 are all about.

    oh... you remember all the hoopla a couple years ago about how great it would be to privatize social security into the stock market ;-)
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

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    Grab your ankles and hold on...it's going to be a tough ride...for the middle man!

    One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to read THESE tea leaves...everyone will be affected!

    Stay tuned...
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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    I think the entire 'crisis' is overblown. The stock market goes up, the stock maret goes down. No one seems to complain when their investments increase in bubble like fashion. But when they go down, wait for the blame game to begin. It won't take long.

    The fact is that people complain when gas prices go up but they are thrilled when their home prices go up. They are happy if food prices go down but whine when a risky stock goes down.

    Bottom line: If you own it you want the price to increase. If you want it you want the price to go down.
    This is simply the business cycle at work.

    I own very few stocks so I am excited that I have a good buying opportunity. Stocks have been overpriced for decades. If the market falls another 50% some stocks may actually be good buys. I no longer own a house so it is terrific that home prices are falling, too. Might be time to buy one of those foreclosed home at pennies on the dollar.

    I do own gold, and that price is going up. Life is good.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    The fact is that people complain when gas prices go up but they are thrilled when their home prices go up. They are happy if food prices go down but whine when a risky stock goes down.
    Bottom line: If you own it you want the price to increase. If you want it you want the price to go down.
    This is simply the business cycle at work.
    Yes, of course, that's the free market. But there are balances. Everything can't go one way at once; that's what we're seeing now, and it leads down a road that we call a Depression.

    For instance, when housing market prices are high, that works out OK if mortgage rates are reasonable and the job market is good, because people can afford it, and everyone wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I own very few stocks so I am excited that I have a good buying opportunity. Stocks have been overpriced for decades. If the market falls another 50% some stocks may actually be good buys. I no longer own a house so it is terrific that home prices are falling, too. Might be time to buy one of those foreclosed home at pennies on the dollar.
    I do own gold, and that price is going up. Life is good.
    You're right, it's a great opportunity for people in your position, but not all of us are in your position. A huge number of people have just watched their retirement go down the drain in the last few months.

    Having said that, you're also right that the recession/depression is a self-fulfilling prophesy; when people are afraid of one, they don't spend, and the economy slows down.
    If people could afford to buy the foreclosed homes and under-valued stocks, I think they would. I wish I could right now. I think that's proof that the recession/depression is very real, and not as over-hyped as some are saying.

    Maybe gold and ammo are going to be the best investments for the next few years...

    Opinion?

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
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    Pete wrote: "Maybe gold and ammo are going to be the best investments for the next few years..."

    Ammo maybe, though some manufacturer will surely hire a sharp materials scientist (or a few dozen materials scientists) and "invent" a better bullet that doesn't use copper or lead. (Maybe there will be a surplus of spent uranium for the civilian market when the wars wind down :--)

    Similarly, gold has very many uses, but sooner or later someone will invent a way to harvest vast quantities from ocean water, or discover a huge new source at the base of some volcano, and the price will drop. (One tiny part of the gold market has diminished--there are now some good dental caps that aren't gold.) And even in the jewelry market, all that glitters these days, clearly isn't gold or diamond.

    Missing from the discussion of all of this mess is the necessity to keep the value of a dollar constant, and prevent inflation.

    We have had 4 decades of unremitting inflation, and if you are "old" like me, you can well remember that there was a time not very many years ago when a 50K salary (even a 20 K salary) meant you were on easy street and not hanging on by your finger nails.

    Devaluation of the currency, or rather preventing devaluation, is a government function, at which there has been nothing but miserable failure.

    Inflation is a hidden pernicious government tax on savings and investment, and it is far more destructive than the income tax and the property tax combined.

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    ... the desired effect has not been achieved.
    How many days has it been, and what percentage of $700B has been placed where? Any plan, even a non-plan, needs some time to work its effects. Right now, the turmoil is running on adrenaline and fear, not very much of that $700B at all.

    News just reported a ~$38B loan to AIG (beyond the earlier ~$84B). Unknown how much else has been spread, and where. Key gov'ts around the world are pumping cash into the banking systems and dropping interest rates. People still don't appear amused. We'll find out in the next couple of months if things can stabilize.
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    The really smart people are buying right now. If Wally World had a sale and everything in the store was 33% off you all would be down there buying everything you could. This is the same thing! Stocks are at bargain basement prices right now. Think of it as buy stock at wholesale prices. Now, is the time to beg, borrow, or steal money to invest in the market. You very rarely get an opportunity like this. The last time was the Great Depression. NEVER, in history has the market ever gone down and stayed down, even during the Great Depression. The people that had the foresight to buy during the Great Depression made fortunes. The very dumbest thing you can do, right now, is get out of the market. Right now all you have is a paper loss, if you actually get out of the market you will have real monetary losses. If you are invested in the Market, just say in it and ride it out, it always goes back up, it just takes some time.
    The Stock Market rules are very simple: Buy low - Sell high. Now, the Market is low. BUY! BUY! BUY!

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    'Recession', 'depression', 'economic turndown'.......it isn't effecting me at all.

    I'm still working & getting paid..so I'm not going to participate in any economical heartburn.
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  11. #11
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    Yes, of course, that's the free market. But there are balances. Everything can't go one way at once; that's what we're seeing now, and it leads down a road that we call a Depression.
    But everything is not going down. Inflation and scarcity are causing many things to increase in price.

    For instance, when housing market prices are high, that works out OK if mortgage rates are reasonable and the job market is good, because people can afford it, and everyone wins.
    Borrowing money to buy anything is risky. People had become complacent. Houses always go up so it doesn't matter how much money you borrow or at what interest rate. Now that reality has set in people want bailouts. McCain suggested buying out bad mortgages so those poor dears won't lose their home, which they couldn't afford to begin with. It makes me sick. And the other guy is even worse!

    No, everyone does not win when houses are inflating and plentiful. I watched for the past few years as housing prices increased while responsible young people were unable to afford a house.The only people who benedited were those who already owned. If you own something you want it to go up in value.

    You're right, it's a great opportunity for people in your position, but not all of us are in your position. A huge number of people have just watched their retirement go down the drain in the last few months.
    Again, this is sheer negative hype. A well diversified mutual fund has lost maybe 20% this year. Hardly down the drain by any definition. Couple that with the huge increases in past years and most people shouldn't complain at all.

    Having said that, you're also right that the recession/depression is a self-fulfilling prophesy; when people are afraid of one, they don't spend, and the economy slows down.
    People make fun of Bush when he said to go out and shop. He was exactly correct. Yes, it can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately, people are . Or perhaps lemmings (what? no icon for lemmings.) All this is made worse because this is an election year. The fact we recovered so quickly after 9/11 is because the election was three years away.

    If people could afford to buy the foreclosed homes and under-valued stocks, I think they would. I wish I could right now. I think that's proof that the recession/depression is very real, and not as over-hyped as some are saying.
    I think most stocks are still overvalued.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Similarly, gold has very many uses, but sooner or later someone will invent a way to harvest vast quantities from ocean water, or discover a huge new source at the base of some volcano, and the price will drop. (One tiny part of the gold market has diminished--there are now some good dental caps that aren't gold.) And even in the jewelry market, all that glitters these days, clearly isn't gold or diamond.
    Gold is money. It has been for millenia. It was money and a store of value long before it had 'uses.' Gold is the standard against which all money is measured.

    Missing from the discussion of all of this mess is the necessity to keep the value of a dollar constant, and prevent inflation.
    When Nixon took us off the gold standard was the beginning of the end for our money. Paper money is unconstitutional. The Founders knew very well the dangers of fiat currency. That is why money is specifically addressed in the Constitution. It can be only gold or silver. Period. While so many here speak of the Second Amendment, the real violation to the Constitution iare the monetary clauses.

    We have had 4 decades of unremitting inflation, and if you are "old" like me, you can well remember that there was a time not very many years ago when a 50K salary (even a 20 K salary) meant you were on easy street and not hanging on by your finger nails.
    Four decades... Nixon taking us off the GOLD standard...inflation...sounds right to me.

  13. #13
    Member Array seedoubleyou's Avatar
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    I am still leaning towards McCain. He said he would freeze almost all spending. Sounds drastic for sure. But Obama wants the federal government to provide more for the people. To me that means tax increase. That would be a real economy killer..... Obama said he wants to cut my taxes. But guess what. I don't make that much money at all. I get money back from the feds every year. How can he cut my taxes?....... One final note and I'll stop ... Obama said one thing that reallly made me stop and think. He said health care was a right....... I don't agree with that at all. Freedom of speech is a right, freedom to own a gun is a right, freedom from illegal search is a right, etc.... I still have never seen anything in the constitution or any of the amendments saying health care is a right...

    At any rate, I'm still working and I paid my mortgage for this month. So I will keep doing what I do. We will come out of this. Just ain't going to be easy.

    I would still like to see some personal responsibility for the people/corporations that landed us in this mess. It sucks that we are paying for their greed and deception..... Although I read on MSN that the CEO for Lehman was working out in the company gym when one of the employees came over and knocked him out cold.

    OK I'm done now.

    CW

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    When Bush said go out and spend money that was the most stupid thing I have ever heard. When they passed and gave the rebate after 9/11 that was the second most stupid thing I ever heard.

    People spent money they didn't have after 9/11 they used credit cards or second mortgage money, and the rebate was borrowed money that will have to be repaid, same as the rebate people got this year, borrowed money, that will have to be paid back with interest. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

    Just because someone sends you a credit card ap in the mail for a preapproved limit does not mean that you just got a raise. It simply means in most peoples hands they will get themselves deeper in debt. Imagine that.

    I am kind of glad that gas prices went down below $3 per gallon here today. But I am not so glad about the borrowed money that the government is going to be using to get us deeper into debt. Anyone that thinks they or a government can borrow their way to prosperity is simply stupid. As for housing prices, I really don't care, mine is almost paid for and I don't plan on moving any time soon. If I do decide to move I will either make money on this house or turn it into a rental property depending on the market at the time.

    Most people need to get copies of the hearings congress has had in the past weeks and months with the lenders, the people in the adminstration that are going to be working this bailout and the people from AIG, and you will get the real picture or what caused all this and how no one has a clue where the bottom is or what is in store for our financial markets or economy.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    If you're looking to the stock market as a major indicator, I'd say you're depending on false hopes. The whole system is too fragile. It always has been. To those who made their fortunes, in their time......there is no more. Time has swallowed you up, and will reveal your weaknesses. Pray to God you save your soul.

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