Saturday, October 16, 2010

Money, money money


"The United States racked up a $1.29 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2010, the federal government said Friday.

While that is historically high, it's not as high as the $1.42 trillion registered for 2009, which was the largest on record as a percentage of the economy since 1945. In real dollar terms, the 2009 gap was the largest ever."---CNN Money.

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33 comments:

Bill said...

I long for those Clinton surplus years! It was good back then. Cigars, women. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks Bill. You know you'd rather cut taxes and start a war. THAT'S where the action is.

RJ

philbilly said...

What a waste of a good cigar. Bill Clinton. Fucking idiot.

When the history of military campaigns is updated, the absolute and total blunder of the Cheney-Rumsfeld presidency to not have any strategy in place after the 2003 invasion will be taught in military schools forever.

That's where the goddam fucking money went, you Obama hatin motherfuckers.

Had we held back and let the Kurds establish Muslim alliances...

But hindsight is 20/20, and the Kurds remember being utterly abandoned by Bush 41, then butchered by Saddam's helicopters.

Please make a donation today to WoundedWarriorProject.org.
We owe them.

philbilly said...

What this guy said:

LRon Hoover@9:34 am

I'm not sure that Republicans have ever been fiscal conservatives. GOP presidents like Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II have presided over enormous expansions of the national debt. It is true, for example, that George W. Bush added more to the national debt than all previous presidents combined, excluding his father. He added just under $5 trillion. A more meaningful way to compare would be to look at the debt as a percentage of GDP (a much more valid basis for comparison). Here's how a few past presidents have affected the national debt, using this measure:

Carter: -3.3% (decrease)
Reagan: 20.6% (increase)
Bush I: 15% (increase)
Clinton: -9.7% (decrease)
Bush II: 27.1% (increase)
Obama: 8.7% (increase) (as of Q2 2010)

Bill said...

LOL! You've done it again Erin! You didn't even have to express an opinion to get something going.

RJ: You're right. I do want taxes cut but I'm not sure why. I'm not making much money these days.

jonas said...

I was going to post on this earlier, but the numbers escaped me, and I think the internet is too big to find them. But, under the influence of shitty beer http://www.yumdiary.com/2008/10/busch-beer-cans-go-camo-down-south.html (I'm in the midst of one now...if I could only find it...), I thought I'd reiterate something I heard on the radio today. The Tea Party Folks are all riled up about federal spending on the Bailout whatnot, yeah? But the current war spending is like...50% of the discretionary budget? Seems like there's a fiscal elephant in the room. Of course, Philbilly is making the same point. I just really wanted everyone to "see" my new camo'd beer. Cuz you know, you can't really see it. Cuz its camo.

Bill said...

Or, maybe you'd like to see a scary unimployment graph:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/07/the-scariest-unemployment-graph-ive-seen-yet/60086/

Looks as though there'll be a lot of unemployed politicians, mostly Dems, in November, adding to the grim numbers.

Anonymous said...

I had recalled a quote about Reagan fiscal policy "...they strip mined the economy..." and was trying to find an attribution when I ran across this article.

We're fucked. I think I'll take some acid. The political system is fubar. A change of consciousness is the only thing that can help us now.


"In the same way that mining companies will descend on a region with heavy equipment and chemicals, brutalizing the land until nothing is left, corporations large and small are doing the same thing with the goal of extracting profits rather than minerals, to the long term cost of the U.S. economy itself.

“Corporate profits are back within a whisker of the all-time highs achieved before the downturn in late 2008″ The Economist writes. “American profits are already back to 11% of GDP. Corporate America is reaping the rewards from cutting costs, especially in capital investment and labour, through an unpleasant mix of redundancies, reduced hours and lower pay. The great squeeze cannot go on forever, of course, but it shows no sign of slackening.”

In the medium term, the “strip mining” model is a recipe for continued strength in equities. It is very hard to resist a combination of robust profits and cheaply available credit (for the right borrowers) in a zero interest rate environment.

In the longer term, though, this cycle is yet another example of glaring short-termism on Wall Street, of precisely the sort that portends ultimate disaster for the U.S. economy (and for slow-footed investors who fail to cash out before the guillotine drops).

The trouble with the whole strip mining model, after all, is that the practice is not sustainable. Once you have taken what can be taken, there is nothing to be done but abandon the area and leave the land for dead – perhaps to start up another mine elsewhere"

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/08/guest-post-strip-mining-the-u-s-economy.html

RJ

philbilly said...

A deer walks into a bar and orders a camouflaged Busch beer. The bartender eyes him warily, opens the can, and says as he slides it across the bar; "That'll be six bucks, pal. Say, we don't get many deer in here, ya know what'm sayin'?"

The deer puts the cash on the bar and replies "At these prices I'm not surprised."

It is the absurdity, Erin, that is at the root of this joke. Much like the absurdity of Americans believing that a nation of self-indulgent consumers buying goods and services on credit is an "economy".

Two great quotes from Bill's link, a commenter named "ricosuave"(heh):

"Few Republicans, or Americans generally, are sitting around twisting evil mustaches relishing a high unemployment. Sarah Palin may be twirling her pony tail but this is merely confusion and incompetence."

" An alternative is that the government could, and what I believe should do, is to invest in defining a 100 year energy policy for the nation. That includes expanding the EPA to protect the environment, expanding production in conventional fuels, while also heavily encouraging a rapid transition to renewable energy. Lowering our energy costs, stimulating R&D in renewable, and also creating EPA jobs such that our environment is better protected would create high paying jobs in Research, while lowering energy costs for Americans (in principle acting like a reduction in taxes on the aggregate economy.) This a feasible and positive fiscal solution to enduring unemployment."

Remeber the three stages of altenative energy as outlined by Pawlenty, who gets renewables:

1.) It will never work.
2.) It is too expensive.
3.) I thought it was a good idea all along.

Even that greasy little prick in Iran is bragging about energy independence brought on by sanctions.

I wish to join hands with the great nation of Persia, most of whom are under 27 years of age and vehemently opposed to Ahmanutjob, in ushering in a new era of clean renewable energy platforms creating domestic jobs and preserving ecosystems.

Mountaintop removal in W Va is going to be the trigger here, watch.

Erin O'Brien said...

The Goat explained the joke to me, Phil, but thanks anyway.

VideoDude said...

I wish one of the "righties" who frequent this board would exaplain how contiuing to give tax breaks to Corps for outsourcing jobs is going to bring jobs back to us. In fact, I would like anyone on the right explain any of their policies without calling us (The Left) names. Think it will happen? Neither do I!

VideoDude said...

When he was running against Ron Regan in the primary, George H. W. Bush refered to "Trickle Down" economics as "Voodoo Economics". Of course, he then drank the Kool-Aid and became Ronnie's VP.

Bill said...

videodude: Solar Panels! Silicon Valley is trying to be the leader in this "lucrative" market. Our government has given them billions. Problem: China is also subsidizing their solar panel industry. Headline today in San Jose Mercury News: "Solar Valley" Hopes dimming. There's no outsourcing in this case. These are the green jobs that the president promised.

Kirk Jusko said...

It all comes down to whether you believe governement should have some control over the economy or not. Do you believe the economy is some living organism that humans best not get too close for fear of scaring it off, or it a human construct that exists because government itself exists, and thus when it breaks down can be fixed by government?

I've read enough of philbilly's comments over the past two years to know he's not some wild-eyed lefty. Sometimes I wonder if he's even middle-of-the-road. But there's no way that private industry, on its' own accord, would ever do what philbilly suggests it do. No profits in the short term. It would take government prodding, and a lot of it. Also, the government would have to demand results, or else you'd have companies just living off some subsidy while accomplishing very little. But if government actually did those things, critics would start screaming "Socialism!" At some point, you're going to have to defend government intervention in the economy as a general principle. Is anybody willing to do that?

Kirk Jusko said...

philbilly did say the government should invest in energy. I didn't mean to misrepresent him. But those on the right would still label such investment "socialism" You have to be able prepare to defend yourself from such criticism.

Bill said...

videodude: Does the tax code actually give tax credits as an incentive for exporting jobs? Or are you saying that some companies who get tax credits, for other things, export some jobs?

jonas said...

An interesting read, if you don't already know it: "The Great Transformation" by Karl Polanyi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Transformation_(book)). A classic in the fields of political economy and sociology. Since, well...just about forever, the government has stepped in to "fiddle" with the economic sphere. The concept of a "free" market (that is, an autonomous, free market) has always been false, and dangerous. It's a good read. The intro by Fred Block is especially good. Given the current economic environment, its hard to miss its relevance...even if written in the 1940s...by a Hungarian.

Bill said...

was trying to find out how many foreign companies are employing U.S. citizens in the U.S. Here's one finding:

Carolina's Carolina Global Business Connections

Over 1,800 firms in the Carolinas employing approximately 350,000 people.


45 countries represented in the Carolinas.


Over $23 billion in exports.

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart, Subsidiary of Peoples Republic of China.

1.4 million employees in U.S.

258 billion in U.S. sales, 2009.

RJ

Bill said...

Is Wal-Mart good or bad for the USA?

VideoDude said...

Bill, The congress just tried to pass a Bill that would repeal tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas. All of the Repubs voted against it! It exists and has for years. Most of the jobs lost in Ohio, for instance, were elminated by corporations sending the jobs to other countries. I believe this tax credit started with Ronnie Regan!

Anonymous said...

Are Human Rights Good or Bad for the USA?

Deer walks into a bar...


RJ

Bill said...

RJ: Hire someone in another country and lose a tax break. It's not a tax break given to a company to encourage them to export a job.

Example, please, of Wal-Mart's adversity to human rights?

Dude$worthy said...

Numbers, numbers, numbers...

Scary, scary numbers...

Size of US National deficit: $1290000000000

Size of US Population: 307006550

US National Deficit per person: $4202

Total Number of US taxpayers: 138000000

US National Deficit per taxpayer: $9348

Number of weeks in five years: 5 x 52 = 260

US National Deficit per taxpayer in weekly installments until 2016: $36

Slandering your opponent as an economically inept commie.

Priceless.

Its a big deficit, but its not impossible to clear. The real problem, which I haven't factored into these rough calculations, is the interest on that debt. It doesn't have to be much to hurt a lot, and that's why the Fed has to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future.

philbilly said...

I got 36 bucks.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Bill,

I grow weary of your inanities.

But just for shits and giggles lets see if we can find a few human rights abuses in the Wal Mart/China pas de deux.

At the 2008 shareholders meeting Wal Mart Executives announced the creation of a Human Rights Committee. Now why on earth would they do that? And remember Wal Mart is the largest US importer of Chinese products.

http://walmartwatch.com/blog/archives/wal_marts_2008_shareholder_resolutions_human_rights

Wal-Mart’s Public Image Problem

Reports of human rights violations have dogged Wal-Mart for years - particularly in the company’s supplier factories, most of which are overseas. These violations have thoroughly damaged Wal-Mart’s reputation, with everyone from U.S Senators to Wal-Mart employees to factory workers themselves speaking out about the inhumane conditions in Wal-Mart’s supplier factories. Bama Athreya, director of the International Labor Rights Forum, testified before Congress on the issue of toy safety, explaining that “Wal-Mart bears a lion share of responsibility for pushing the toy industry to a place where worker health and safety are basically nonexistent.”

Wal-Mart also holds the ignominious title of being the only company investigated by Human Rights Watch for its domestic labor practices. The group’s 2007 report labeled Wal-Mart’s union-busting policies a violation of basic human rights, saying:


It pursues its anti-union agenda relentlessly, often from the day a new worker is hired, devoting considerable time and resources at all levels of the company to the anti-union drumbeat.

The constant stream of allegations have damaged Wal-Mart’s reputation and in turn, its profits. In 2007, a Bank of America analyst’ report found that Wal-Mart’s profits had suffered as a result of organized labor’s opposition to the company and its unethical labor practices. The report noted that the union’s campaign “has cost WMT [Wal-Mart] real estate sites in key locations, adversely impacted comp store sales to some degree, and has distracted m management from focusing on its retail strategy. Additionally, Lee Scott now spends a large amount of time improving WMT’s image domestically and abroad, and WMT has been forced to focus advertising dollars on defending their brand.”

That may have taken 3 seconds.

I'm done.

RJ

Bill said...

anti union is not anti human rights in the minds of anyone except the far left. allegations are not facts. union opposition to wal-mart may be a terrible thing to you but is one reason I might actually shop there. which company, using chinese manufactures, hasn't been accused of humam rights violations? how many chinese workers have jobs because of wal-mart? of course they have to defend their brand. you grow weary of my inanities? thanks for coming down off your pedestal and making me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Is lead in toys a problem Einstein?

Is permanent nervous system damage a violation of human rights?

I'm not on a pedestal, you're in the gutter.

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and many other toy re-sellers, got burned by the lead paint. Don't try to change the subject. I asked for some specific examples of Wal-Mart human rights violations and you don't have any. Just because you say something doesn't mean it's true. Your credibility is questionable regardless of your elevation.

swine said...

When are all of us voters going to realize that both these fucking parties are more or less the same? We need to boycott the vote...or, rather, do as Saramago writes in his novel "Seeing": cast blank ballots, en masse. Of course, in the novel, all shit breaks loose, but maybe that's what we need now. Revolution calling, you fat fucks sitting in front of your flat screens and bitching. Get up!

Anonymous said...

"Scarred old slaver know he's doin alright.
Hear him whip the women just around midnight."

Jagger/Richards. "Brown Sugar"

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., an ongoing sexual discrimination lawsuit, is the largest civil rights class action suit in United States history. It charges Wal-Mart with discriminating against women in promotions, pay, and job assignments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964


On February 6, 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the June 2004 United States District Court decision certifying a class consisting of all women employed at Wal-Mart’s U.S. facilities any time since December 26, 1998 to the present.
The Ninth Circuit described the case as “the largest certified class in history.” In upholding the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Jenkins, the Ninth Circuit noted that plaintiffs “present significant proof of a corporate policy of discrimination and support Plaintiffs’ contention that female employees nationwide were subjected to a common pattern and practice of discrimination.”

Wal-Mart asked the US Supreme Court on Wednesday 8/25/10 to review the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history, involving more than a million female workers, current and former, at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.

Nine years after the suit was filed, the central issue before the Supreme Court will not be whether any discrimination occurred, but whether more than a million people can even make this joint claim through a class-action lawsuit, as opposed to filing claims individually or in smaller groups.

Even more disturbing than the human rights violations adults have been subject to, is the sickening way children have been treated in Wal-Mart factories for years. In Bangladesh, children between the ages of nine and twelve are paid five cents an hour and forced to work past midnight making Wal-Mart clothes. In Honduras, it was discovered that children ages thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen were working for thirteen hours a day, twenty-five cents an hour, sewing twenty-dollar jeans. These children had restricted bathroom breaks and were beaten for their mistakes.

Of the six thousand factories Wal-Mart has all over the world, eighty-percent are located in China alone. In fact, China sells so many products to Wal-Mart, that if the company were a country, it would be China's fifth-largest export market. Here Chinese workers make about a hundred twenty dollars a month, and need this job to feed their families. These poor people are very expendable, and they have neither rights nor very many options. And so they work grueling hours to satisfy Wal-Mart's demands. One Chinese labor official was quoted to have said, "Wal-Mart pressures the factory to cut its price, and the factory responds with longer hours or lower pay." Most of these factories violate Chinese labor laws, and Wal-Mart's supposed standards, in one way or another. Some suppliers have children under the age of sixteen, China's legal working age, employed inside their factories. Others force their employees to work as much as 130 hours per week and will cut their pay significantly, below China's minimum wage, without any notice or reason for doing so. Wal-Mart's global empire was undoubtedly built on the backs of these poor men and woman just trying to earn enough money to eat.

According to Business Week, H. Lee Scott Jr., former CEO of Wal-Mart and current Chairman of the Board, made over seventeen million dollars in 2004. This comes out to over eight thousand dollars an hour if Mr. Scott is working for forty hours a week. Yet, the overseas factory workers in China and Bangladesh, who are responsible for Wal-Mart's "everyday low prices" and basically the store's success, only receive seventeen cents an hour. So, Mr. Scott makes about fifty thousand times what one of these employees make. This kind of difference is truly remarkable.

RJ

Anonymous said...

"Scarred old slaver know he's doin alright.
Hear him whip the women just around midnight."

Jagger/Richards. "Brown Sugar"

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., an ongoing sexual discrimination lawsuit, is the largest civil rights class action suit in United States history. It charges Wal-Mart with discriminating against women in promotions, pay, and job assignments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964


On February 6, 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the June 2004 United States District Court decision certifying a class consisting of all women employed at Wal-Mart’s U.S. facilities any time since December 26, 1998 to the present.
The Ninth Circuit described the case as “the largest certified class in history.” In upholding the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Jenkins, the Ninth Circuit noted that plaintiffs “present significant proof of a corporate policy of discrimination and support Plaintiffs’ contention that female employees nationwide were subjected to a common pattern and practice of discrimination.”

Wal-Mart asked the US Supreme Court on Wednesday 8/25/10 to review the largest employment discrimination lawsuit in American history, involving more than a million female workers, current and former, at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.

Nine years after the suit was filed, the central issue before the Supreme Court will not be whether any discrimination occurred, but whether more than a million people can even make this joint claim through a class-action lawsuit, as opposed to filing claims individually or in smaller groups.

Even more disturbing than the human rights violations adults have been subject to, is the sickening way children have been treated in Wal-Mart factories for years. In Bangladesh, children between the ages of nine and twelve are paid five cents an hour and forced to work past midnight making Wal-Mart clothes. In Honduras, it was discovered that children ages thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen were working for thirteen hours a day, twenty-five cents an hour, sewing twenty-dollar jeans. These children had restricted bathroom breaks and were beaten for their mistakes.

Of the six thousand factories Wal-Mart has all over the world, eighty-percent are located in China alone. In fact, China sells so many products to Wal-Mart, that if the company were a country, it would be China's fifth-largest export market. Here Chinese workers make about a hundred twenty dollars a month, and need this job to feed their families. These poor people are very expendable, and they have neither rights nor very many options. And so they work grueling hours to satisfy Wal-Mart's demands. One Chinese labor official was quoted to have said, "Wal-Mart pressures the factory to cut its price, and the factory responds with longer hours or lower pay." Most of these factories violate Chinese labor laws, and Wal-Mart's supposed standards, in one way or another. Some suppliers have children under the age of sixteen, China's legal working age, employed inside their factories. Others force their employees to work as much as 130 hours per week and will cut their pay significantly, below China's minimum wage, without any notice or reason for doing so. Wal-Mart's global empire was undoubtedly built on the backs of these poor men and woman just trying to earn enough money to eat.

According to Business Week, H. Lee Scott Jr., former CEO of Wal-Mart and current Chairman of the Board, made over seventeen million dollars in 2004. This comes out to over eight thousand dollars an hour if Mr. Scott is working for forty hours a week. Yet, the overseas factory workers in China and Bangladesh, who are responsible for Wal-Mart's "everyday low prices" and basically the store's success, only receive seventeen cents an hour. So, Mr. Scott makes about fifty thousand times what one of these employees make. This kind of difference is truly remarkable.

RJ

Bill said...

Wal-Mart has deep pockets and will always be subject to bull shit law suits. They lost a suit a few years ago because the janitorial service they used had some illegals on their crews. They'll probably settle the current law suit and the filing law firm will make millions and each member of the class will get a few thousand dollars. The other accusations are just that. Accusations. I'm sure there are ass hole contractors in China and India and Honduras who take advantage of workers but using a quote from a Chinese labor official about how Wal-Mart pressures them is not exactly credible. To be sure, Wal-Mart is tough on their suppliers. I've done business with them in the past and I hated it because the margins sucked. I finally stopped bidding jobs there.