“It’s the economy, stupid!” Part I

If you truly want to confuse the Hell out of your friends and foes alike, start talking about the economy using actual “facts and figures.” Truthfully, most folks don’t understand economics very well at all, and a good portion have no understanding greater than the mantra of  “cut taxes, cut spending, yada, yada!”


I would venture to say that 9 out of 10 Americans would not know what that meant, even though we have basically employed a Keynesian economic model since 1932. In very raw, basic terms, Keynesian theory prescribes that in an economic downturn, the government needs to pump money into the economy to keep it from further contraction which would lead to recession or even depression.

Economics is not a subject near and dear to my black little heart, but in recent years, I have forced myself to learn more, in an effort to be able to debate the subject with some level of knowledge.

Although many on the Right would be loathed to admit it, without TARP and the Stimulus act, America could have fallen into a second Great Depression, dragging the rest of the world with us.

Much has been made of deficits and the National Debt, with many calling for balancing the Federal budget NOW!

Well, that sounds nice on paper, but this is what would happen if miraculously the Federal government balanced the budget today:

Instantly, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would contract by $1.4 trillion, putting thousands of Federal workers on the unemployment rolls and laying off thousands of others dependent on indirect government spending, and bring the economy to a screeching halt, possibly launching a Depression.

Simple rule – in times of recession, don’t cut spending.

GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports – imports) or………………..

“GDP = C + Inv + G + (eX – i)”

Eliminating the current Federal deficit right now would be a $1.4 trillion hit to a $14 trillion economy – a ten percent bang to the bottom line.

Simple? Well, not really, but for a thread column, that is about as simple as can be made of a complex issue.

Tomorrow: The economy isn’t as bad as you might think.

(Stay tuned!)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Economics

70 responses to ““It’s the economy, stupid!” Part I

  1. The other part (roughly again) of Lord Keynes’ prescription is that in times of growth, the government should have budget surpluses (read: increased revenues through higher taxes) to be able to deal with the recessions and necessary government spending.

    To make their little heads spin further (wish I still had the link) point out that this underlies the theory memorialized as the “Laffer curve”, credit being given by none other than Dr. Laffer himself (as well as pointing out the bases of the theory were first postulated by some Persian mathematicians in the 12th or 13th century). Dr. Laffer’s notorious curve (also in a very rough, simplified statement) describes the point where taxes will generate the optimal level of revenue. I leave it to the reader as to which way the point on the curve moves in “good” times as compared to “bad”.

    • WSClark

      Interesting point about the Laffer Curve – Republicans claim that revenues went up after the Bush tax cuts, when actually exactly the opposite happened.

      As measured as a percentage of GDP, only once during the Bush years did revenues reach the post-war AVERAGE of 18.2%, and even that was only by a fraction of a percent.

      Contrast that with the last of of the Clinton presidency, when revenue was at 20.6% of GDP, the second highest (1950) post-war.

      As with any economic measure, raw numbers need to be put in context with other measures, but the fact remains that revenue did not increase after the Bush tax cuts.

  2. indypendent

    I suspect the only reason Republicans are yelling about the deficit is because people are hurting right now, the unemployment rate is too high and many people have/or in fear of losing their jobs/homes.

    Because if Republicans were serious about reducing the deficit – they had total control from 2000 to 2006 and they spent like a drunken sailor on his first shoreleave.

    But I would like to ask Republicans one basic question.

    If they reduce the deficit, then how do they plan to pay for the two new wars with Iran and North Korea that Newt Gingrich has stated the US needs to do?

    Has everyone heard about Newt’s genius thinking? He feels we need to finish the job of destroying the axis of evil that George W. Bush started.

    I hope the Democrats use this against these Republicans in coming months. We’ve heard their banging the war drum previously – does anyone else remember McCain singing his bomb, bomb, bomb Iran song during the 2008 presidential campaign?

    I remember it and I suspect alot of other Americans remember it also. If Democrats tie the Republicans to wanting to start two new wars AND stay in the two current wars – I think Republicans would be laughed out of town.

  3. tosmarttobegop

    This would normally a favorite subject for me, but to be honest the brain is not quite working all that well trying to adapt to the add meds. But on the subject of Government spending in the absents of the private section not.

    The economy is like a flowing river, if the flow stops then a new source of flow has to be found.

    The Government even as bigh as the Cons claim it is, can not take the place of the private sector.

    But it is the only organization large enough to make any reason impact.

  4. Some GOP politician (can’t remember his name) said, a couple days ago, that he didn’t care WHAT some economist said, but he DID care what ‘the people’ were saying. And that’s what he based his votes/decisions on. How does that work?

    • itolduso

      That is always a good question. There is a tension between what the people want, and what they need. The problem is, you can find experts, and economists, on all sides of every issue. In fact, the politician does not represent the economists, he respresents the people.
      Which side would you want him to take? An expert’s side? or those he represents.

      Tough question, no easy answer

      • WSClark

        As I note in the column, sometimes it is necessary for a politician to do the right thing, even if it is political suicide.

        TARP and the Stimulus are prime examples – our prime economic model is Keynesian – has been for a long time, through ups and downs. That model dictated that we HAD to spend to prevent the economy from further contraction.

        Ugly, yes. Bitter medicine, yes.

        Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do.

      • tosmarttobegop

        Well since Mitch McConnell said he did not even know what a galleon of milk costs…. I would rather they ask someone that knows more about it.

        Not the CEO of AIG since his life and the average Americans life are not even from the same dimension or planet.

      • itolduso, when it comes to our complicated economy, I would prefer that government officials and elected representatives would inform themselves and base their decision on rational analysis. They might be wrong occasionally, but it’s better than listening to a general public that doesn’t know the difference between John Maynard Keynes and Thomas Friedman and, frankly, doesn’t care to know.

        I agree that it can be difficult to balance the will of the people that you are supposed to represent with the best interests of said people and the common good. It was a huge problem for the founding fathers when trying to set up our government. Balance can be difficult to achieve sometimes.

    • tosmarttobegop

      It was the tan boy? Oh shoot and a sad statement he is one of the more sounding sensible.

      Minority leader I think in Congress.
      OH John Banor! flashes of cognizance!

      LOL this could be a fun day as my body and mind are trying to get right.

      OK now just kidding…

  5. I haven’t heard any ideas from the GOP above tax cuts. Have there been some? What are their solutions to stimulate the economy and create jobs? Honestly, I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking — I am not trying to be critical, I am not trying to stir any pot. I just don’t know.

    • WSClark

      As 6176 pointed out, taxes are the flip of spending in the Keynesian model. There is an “ideal” rate of taxes that generates the greatest amount of revenue.

      If recent history is the guide, pre-Bush tax cut era would be that “ideal,” as I noted.

      Were it that simple, draw a line, stay behind the line.

      That was ten years ago – different economy, different conditions on the ground.

    • Todays Conservatives generally reject the Keynesian economic theories. Well, the ones that destroyed our economy do, anyway. That is where the whole trickle-down thing came in. And it’s been trickling down on all of us ever since.

      If trickle-down didn’t work and they reject Keynes, where are they supposed to get their ideas? There is a vacuum in that area right now, though some continue to insist that the trickle-down thing is still legitimate. I imagine it won’t take long for some Conservative economist in one of the well-funded think tanks to come up with something that sounds new and different.

      • WSClark


        The latest economic “fad” for Conservatives is “Austrian School” theory.

        Austrian theory is widely discredited by prominent economist and is largely well outside the mainstream of economic thought. Torn down to its essence, it is basically laissez-faire economics. It provides no mathematical modeling and primary relies on conjecture to arrive at it’s conclusions.

        “Laissez-faire, ” of course, if French for “keep your damned hands off.”

        Read more………………………………


      • FWIW, trickle-down economics seem to be a failure in practice, even if theoretically feasible. Trickle-up is what, IMHO, works, especially in light of our (U.S.) consumer driven economy. Without those “at the bottom” having the ability to create demand for widgets, those at the top cannot sell enough widgets to sustain demand needed to create, inter alia employment needed to make widgets.

        Thus, human nature intrudes upon perfectly good theory. Selfishness, greed, whatever one wishes to call it, will (almost) always cause those with more than enough to meet basic needs and wants to hold on to what they have, rather than relinquish control over any part of the excess which relinquishment would allow some “trickling down” so others could also be able to meet their wants and needs.

        I don’t live in a perfect society, and given the failure of all the models that have been tried over time to actually work as intended, don’t ever expect to so live. The best we as a society can expect is that the contributions of each individual to the economy be appropriately recognized through compensation; and that each individual make real contributions to the economy in return for the compensation received. I fully recognize that capital in the form of cash is more scarce than capital in the form of labor. I further realize and acknowledge that these forms of capital have a relationship with each other, perhaps symbiotic in a necessary way, perhaps the symbiosis is only helpful; but whatever it is, the relationship is out of balance imho.

        While it is often argued that the existence of labor is of no utility without the cash, I’m not sure this is an “absolute truth”. I am sure that the mere existence of cash without any labor to utilize it is currently of no meaning; this well may change in the future, given the proliferation of robotic machinery (the production and installation of which requires labor), but until then, it seems to me that capital in the form of cash depends upon the existence of labor to be efficiently utilized.

        My two cents.

      • WSClark

        Republicans like to claim that the Reagan tax cuts stimulated the economy and therefore ended the recession of the early Eighties. That sounds good, but in actuality, it was the Keynesian spending that kept the economy from further contraction and brought about the economic recovery.

      • 6176,
        You make such good sense. So many theories are great on paper, but terrible in practice. Such as communism (of which I am constantly accused of being a proponent)–human nature always intercedes where perfection would succeed.
        Balance is very important, I think. It’s like Ben Franklin said, “everything in moderation.” It’s when some people get greedy that things tend to go south.

  6. tosmarttobegop

    True Clark and something I point out about the Cons ideas of cut taxes and reduce regulations.

    Forty years ago that was sound thinking.

    (OMG I am reduced to repeating the same things I have said a dozen times!)

  7. WSClark

    This is a good graph that shows revenues as a percentage of GDP post-war.


    (It also corrects my previous misstatement – 2000 was the highest post-war – I shouldn’t trust my aging memory.)

  8. politicalpartypooper

    “The economy isn’t as bad as you might think.”

    The economy is worse than even the TV pundits dare talk about. What’s the plan for bringing unemployment back down to five or six percent? There isn’t one. In fact, the Obama administration is already telling us that we will have to live with high unemployment for quite a while.

    Since demand drives this economy, and 15-17% of people are unemployed, we aren’t going to see a recovery any time soon, and are actually balanced right now at the edge of a real depression. What’s next? Deflation, because without demand, prices go down. Unfortunately, in a depression, they usually go down way faster than any demand can stop.

    How did we get here? Free Trade. Until we end it, and bring back all of those jobs that Americans supposedly didn’t want, unemployment will remain high and may actually continue to grow.
    As for becoming the Green Manufacturer of the world, not likely. Any new invention or product that reaches the market is likely to be owned by one of the many, many, many American corps who manufacture everything overseas. This is why the Obama administration has suddenly shifted its position on how quickly jobs will return. They are touting a “recovery” without jobs.

    Talk to your elected officials; get them to understand that this economy can’t possibly come back until the jobs come back, and they’re all overseas right now. Tell them, before it’s too late.

    • WSClark

      “that this economy can’t possibly come back until the jobs come back”

      Job losses are almost always a leading indicator of a recession and always one of the last indicators of a recovery.

      A “jobless” recovery is not unique to a deep recession. The recession of the early Eighties was marked by even higher unemployment than what we are seeing now, and those jobs did not come back quickly, in fact, many never came back at all.

      This recession – the worst in 70 years – is not going to be easy to solve, and as Obama stated, there will stops and starts on the way.

      • indypendent

        And some of those high unemployment numbers were during Reagan’s years – but try getting them to admit to that.

        But I still have to shake my head and say WTF when I read where Moran and Tiarht spent $7 million through mid-July (that’s not counting the last few weeks) for a primary campaign.

        And that was just one race – count all the other races in this one state alone.

        something does not smell right when two men spend that much money to get a job that pays what $170,000/year (?) I don’t even know what a senator makes now. Does anyone know the actual pay?

    • Many, if not most, of the jobs aren’t coming back. The unemployment rate will not be 5% to 6% in the near future. That’s my opinion.

      Why this has occurred is in part due to “free trade”; no question. Another part of it is the continuation of jobs in an increasingly great number of industries that bluntly have not been necessary for decades, coupled with a great resistance to long term planning.

      The latter is understandable, I believe, based upon the proliferation of shareholder derivative actions based upon the failures of management to maximize the current value of the investment, which have been successful in a large degree. Long term planning almost always requires a short term reduction in dividends, as the corporation begins to shift capital to projects which may be successful in the future, but represent a current drain on earnings. What is remarkable about all this is that many of the plaintiffs in these actions don’t have any money directly invested in the corporation by a purchase of their shares directly from it, but have become holders of the shares by purchasing the same from others selling “in the market”.

      Until new industries are created domestically, with employment in jobs within these new industries, and the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code which give an incentive to outsource jobs are changed, I see no real hope for major improvement. Even then, there needs to be a reexamination of conducting foreign policy by use of economic policy, something I do not foresee occurring in my lifetime.

      • This is the idea I would like to see–

        I would like to see a program by which the currently unemployed are put back to work in factories where they can make necessities that are currently made mostly in China. I would like to see the program help those unemployed workers to join together (like a private equity fund) to own the factories that they are working in.

        The government gave GM a big loan so that it could capitalize, reform and get back in the black. Why couldn’t the government provide seed money and some oversight to help the currently unemployed start new small businesses that would increase manufacturing again?

    • itolduso

      Help out. If you shop at Wal-mart, quit. If you don;t look for the Made in USA labe, start. Buy local, buy American, be willing to dig a little deeper in the pocket, even if it means doing with a little less.

      In addition, tell your representatives that you want a tarrif on every item that comes into the Unites States. That tarriff being equal to all the amount it takes Domestic producers to comply with all the laws of manufacturing that product in the United States.

      Start there.

      • Given the status of various treaties that have been ratified by the Senate, imposition of tariffs may be next to impossible to do. As to “Made in the USA”; many things are assembled in the U.S. from foreign sourced components. I believe that these may be eligible for the “Made in the USA” tag. This is not limited to electronics, BTW, but automobiles (as memory serves, GM has production of components in Canada, e.g., which are then assembled in the U.S.) as well. Speaking of automobiles; what about certain Toyota models, again an example, which are (including engines and transmissions) made in the U.S. but by a foreign manufacturer; do these qualify?

  9. indypendent

    But even if the economy improves, if Republicans regain power in 2012 and then push to finish GWB’s demolition of the axis of evil (like Newt Gingrich has recently advocated) with their plans to attack Iran and North Korea – the economy will be the least of our worries – in my opinion.

    • itolduso

      For some reason, my comment is waiting moderation. THe only thing in it was the definition of made in USA.

      • WSClark

        Did you change your e-mail address, I Told You? After an initial post that is approved, all posts go through without censorship and can only be deleted by Fnord or me. Neither of us is likely to delete a post unless it is a direct violation of the rules, which none of your were.

        But, I do apologize for not catching the “pending file.” I can be amiss at checking.

        It also could be WordPress is acting up – four of my attempted posts ended up in the “Spam file.”

        My posts may not be all that hunky-dory, but Spam?

    • I don’t know why, but I just returned from having been gone a few hours and found two of your comments in the “Pending” file. I’ve approved both without pausing to look at what might have put them there.

  10. itolduso


    The Standard For Unqualified Made In USA Claims
    What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without qualification?
    For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. The term “United States,” as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

    What does “all or virtually all” mean?
    “All or virtually all” means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.


  11. itolduso

    Made in USA and Assembled in USA are quite distinct. While Assembled in USA is better than Made in China, India, Mexico, etc., Made in USA is best looked for

    • indypendent

      And try finding everything we need to live being only Made in USA.

      It is difficult, to say the least.

      Until we stop making it more profitable for American companies by our government paying them subsidies and tax cuts to outsource American jobs – there is no incentive to set up manufacturing jobs here in the USA.

      And then we might want to start with these lobbyists for their foreign countries that benefit the most from those various treaties.

      Oh, oh….we might be stepping on some well-connected political former Congressional toes and we could NEVER do that.

      Could we?

      • indypendent

        One major factor – in my opinion – is to get our country off the dependence of foreign oil – and the sooner the better.

        But that has been promised for decades and neither party has come through on that.

        One president (Jimmy Carter) had the audacity to tell Americans to put on a sweater if they got cold and he got laughed out of office and then trickle-down-economics (voodoo economics) came sweeping in and the corporate oil masters once again took control.

        And we are still hearing the mantra of drill-baby-drill from those who were same people who saw no problem with selling out our manufacturing industries to the highest foreign bidder.

  12. itolduso

    Sure we could. And should. But, again, start yourself. Buy local. Buy American. American factories can continue if people purchase American made goods. If people choose the usually cheaper made in CHina brand, the companies will follow suit and get their products made cheaper….In China

    • indypendent

      And what factories do you think still operate?

      Have you looked around town?

      I bet that $7 million that Moran and Tiarht spent on their primary campaigns would have put alot of Americans back to work.

      But, alas, we had to endure months of hearing which was one was more conservative, more pro-gun, more pro-life and more Christian than the other one.

      I’m surprised one of them didn’t try to bring Jesus to the press conference and show off matching BFF tattoos.

      • That $7 million kept a bunch of folks employed, indy; those who made the ads, those who work for the media outlets where the ads ran, etc. Short term? To be sure; but $7 million would not have put that many folks “back to work” for very long (especially if there was no work to be done).

        Do I agree with the expenditures? No; but in this age, it is reality. It is my understanding the media look forward to elections, as that is when money is made.

      • itolduso

        “And what factories do you think still operate?”

        Oh, I don;t know. Shoes, shirts, pants, electronic goods, etc. Look for yourself. It;s a simple google search.

        “I bet that $7 million that Moran and Tiarht spent on their primary campaigns would have put alot of Americans back to work.”

        Do you think they just threw the money in the air? It paid for airtime, which enables companies to pay employees, it paid for consultants to write ads, paid for posters to be made, flyers, etc etc etc.

        How much do you think politicians will spend in the upcoming campaign

        “But, alas, we had to endure months of hearing which was one was more conservative, more pro-gun, more pro-life and more Christian than the other one.”

        Yeah, I got pretty sick of it myself.

  13. I posted a few days ago about a shortage of engineers — especially in the technology field. It seems our Engineering Schools aren’t graduating as many North Americans as they once did, and it also seems there is a reduction in North Americans willing to study mathematics to the degree it takes to complete an engineering degree. We continue to graduate foreign-student Engineers, and they go home after they receive the best education available from American schools.

    So today it’s not so much send those jobs to India so we can save money as it is where you can find the talent.

    • indypendent

      With the current shape alot of our public schools are in today – what effect has that had on graduating the necessary science, math, engineering students we need?

      It seems like every public school finds the money to have that fancy athletic department but they don’t seem to find enough money for the academic departments.

      Our focus is on the wrong things – in my opinion.

      Then we had the stupid No Child Left Behind crap.

      Alot of flowery words but no substance at all.

    • This will sound more negative than I want it to, but I can’t figure out a better, gentler, kinder way to say — we Americans are lazy and spoiled.

      • As many know, our two daughters attended Northeast Magnet High School here in Wichita. Both were in the “science magnet”, an academically rigorous (relatively) program that is an excellent college prep curriculum.

        The number of alumni who then proceed to pursue degrees in the sciences, engineering and the like is rather small. When I’ve asked both daughters about this, they both answered that “those fields are too hard, and they don’t want to work that hard”, which plays into what fnord posted.

        BTW, one girl majored in math, concentration in Biochemistry; the other, American Studies, minor in Womens, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Neither are (at the moment) doing anything in the sciences (the elder has been teaching high school math, chemistry and biology, due to her research project for the doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering in which she was enrolled losing funding as the result of Federal budget reallocations), and I don’t see either pursuing the sciences further.

  14. itolduso


    I cannot speak to other industries, only to my own. While it is true that there are fewer and fewer US citizens enrolling, and finishing, engineering schools and degree programs, and we train more and more foreign students, the jobs are sent to India for one reason. Money savings.

  15. Isn’t that changing? I heard it from someone I both trust and I feel confident knows their industry very well. They find the talent they need in India, and not at great reduction like in the past. It seems they’ve learned more than just the engineering skills, and have actually realized they and their skills are in great demand.

    • This is a technology company that is changing quickly. About the time they come our with the finished latest and greatest, it isn’t any longer.

    • indypendent

      I read last month where even in China now, they are raising the pay of their workers due to numerous suicides within the working class.

      And to think even China raised the workers’ pay to keep their economy going, while here in the USA, we have one party of NO that wants to take us back to the goold ol’ days of slave labor.

  16. itolduso

    The pay differential is not as great as it once was. Because the demand for them is getting higher, and they realize that. However, it is still there.
    I am an engineer in the aircraft industry. My company has laid off engineers, and outsourcing some engineering to India. Just the facts.

    • indypendent

      Perhaps the profit is not for the workers pay but for the corporations doing the outsourcing?

      And that is where the US government giving those tax cuts and/or subsidies to American corporations come into play?

      I am old enough to remember when American corporations strived to be good American citizens.

      Now it is is just about the money – and they don’t care if they destroy their own country to get that extra dime in profit.

      • indypendent

        It is almost as if we have sold our birthright to the highest bidder and now we are at the mercy of everyone.

        That was NOT smart.

    • I wasn’t questioning you, and I’m sorry if it came off that way. I honestly need to wave my hands around and move my eyebrows this way and that to communicate!

      This came from a highly technical (more so even than aircraft) company.

      Well, anyway, before it gets worse, I propose we raise the cost of giving foreign students the best education available. Require they stay in the community and work for a local company, or something that gets that American schooled talent to remain here.

      Don’t we jerk their student visas and send em packing pretty quickly? Maybe we should give them a green card?

      • indypendent

        I remember in the mid-70’s, there was a shortage of registered nurses. The government had a program where tuition was waived if nurses would work for _____ amount of years at certain types of health care facilities.

        Alot of nurses got their education that way.

        I’ve heard that is being done for doctors – but I don’t know the details.

        But I remember a few years back when USD 259 was needing to hire special education teachers. They got a group from some foreign country and hired them and paid to have them trained to speak English.

        There were several certified Kansas teachers already here but were not given the opportunity to apply for those jobs. WHY?

        I know of nursing homes that bring in foreign health care workers (nurses aids) that don’t speak English because they are given tax breaks when they hire these people.

        Again, there are unemployed Americans – why not train them to be nurses aids and put them to work?

        There are alot of things that are just not right and yet somebody has to be getting paid to do these things – money always talks.

  17. I see what you’re saying Indy, and I do think corporations are less likely to value their employees today. Is it because the employees demand too much, or is because the company sets too high a value on profits, a combination?

    • indypendent

      In some industries, I think there is an attitude of everything is owed to them and they have always had a union to back them up regardless. So, in some instances, I see unions as a bad thing. But on the other hand, some unions are needed.

      There are employers like mine and my husband’s that are wonderful. My son’s employer works him from 6am to 8pm (sometimes 10pm) six days a week. And expect him to come in at 4am if they call him at the last minute.

      I think it is an attitude that comes down from the employer’s top level – if they want to treat people like dirt – then they will. If they value their employees – they will treat them with dignity.

      But at the bottom of most of this is one thing – money. Some employers are greedy and go through employees like used tissues and some are happy with the profit they make while having good employees stay with them.

      • indypendent

        One factor that I think is affecting some of these terrible employers is this:

        where will the complaining worker go if they speak up and don’t like what is happening to them?

        There are no jobs – so alot of people are trapped. And then we wonder why our society has other problems?

      • The problem particularly (but not always) arises from publicly held corporations, indy, in that in order to maximize shareholder value, profits must be maximized. To do otherwise is a breach of the fiduciary duty management owes the shareholders. It is much less costly to have current employees working overtime than employ a new person, as a general rule.

        Given the current economy, employers know that they can make demands upon their employees that some find outrageous; if the employee quits, s/he will likely have difficulty finding other employment. Meanwhile, should the employer choose to do so, the position can be filled at lower cost after the best candidate is selected from the pool of applicants which is likely to be in the two digits.

  18. “…money always talks…”


    Yes, and does it seem to talk louder with each passing year? Were we always so concerned with money, with things?

    I’m so old and so out of it.

    • indypendent

      I don’t know the answer to that one.

      I do think I was raised with the idea that Americans worked hard, followed the rules, paid their taxes and then were rewarded.

      Nowadays – we have Americans who do not know how to work, they don’t like rules, they never want to pay their taxes and then expects to be rewarded.

      I think our priorities have been changed.

  19. You all know that ‘human resources’ was where I worked. It was called Personnel when I started and I didn’t change responsibilities when the department name changed. I always disliked that Human Resources moniker, it didn’t sound dignified to have humans be resources. Anyway, I’m way off the subject I wanted to speak on…

    I remember well the day I realized I couldn’t be as effective as I wanted to be. Oh, I could still administer benefits, 401K plans, shop insurance, and such, but I wasn’t any longer as good a sounding board for those ‘human resources.’ A man was complaining and I wanted very badly to respond, “That’s why they it work!”

    The company hadn’t changed the way they treated employees and it was a company that treated them very well, actually operated on that old theory ‘take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.’ The employees did change. They were more spoiled, less willing to give an honest days work for an honest days wages.

    Someplace along the line I think we Americans lost some work ethics that were worth keeping. Maybe I’m being too critical, I hope so.

    • indypendent

      I work with mostly younger people. The majority of them will do only what is expected of them – nothing more, nothing less.

      And my company treats us very, very well.

      At the risk of being called names, I am just going to throw this out.

      Seems to me when these mega churches with their mega preachers all started to focus on money and grabbing political power, our society seemed to go downhill.

      How can we expect society to adhere to what is right when our churches have turned into businesses?

      • indypendent

        I am including those televangelists in this mega church group.

        These are especially the ones that have their focus on the money.

      • prairie pond

        And our businesses have turned into churches.

        We worship at the alter of Supply Side Jesus and Our Lady of the Perpetual Bailout. All in the name of the No Regulation, Free Market Religion.

        Thank you ronnie ray gun. The honored pope and saint of the church.

  20. Zippy

    We are becoming an investor-driven, worldwide slave economy, based upon moving money from one ledger to another (and, always, conveniently, from the less wealthy to the wealthier). Feudalism, really.

    Where do you want to eat tonight, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell?

  21. Zippy

    P.S. Yes, the economy is showing some weak signs of improvement, in the construction industry for one.

    But let’s get real: Pretending things are extremely scary right now or that the Democrats are repeatedly the same gutless bullshit of 1994 (with the same dismally predictable results) is to guarantee that this inexcusable pattern continues.

    It’s as breathtakingly irresponsible as anything the Tea Party clowns could do.

  22. GMC70

    Although many on the Right would be loathed to admit it, without TARP and the Stimulus act, America could have fallen into a second Great Depression, dragging the rest of the world with us.


    The economy is doing exactly what the CBO predicted, WHETHER OR NOT Tarp and the Great Money Pit were enacted.

    TARP and the “Stimulus” were about politicians needing to be seen doing something. Little more.

  23. WSClark


    Explain, then, what would have happened if we had employed “Austrian School” theory in September 2008.