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 Post subject: Free money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:06 pm 
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I really hope the stimulus plan works or we are in for even more rocky times ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:39 pm 
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The stimulus is just a large scale robbery of the people by the wealthy who want to maintain the status quo at all costs.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:41 pm 
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I just want to know why irresponsibility on the part of the banks, lenders, you-name-it, gets a warm hug and a "there, there" instead of the lesson of "you reap what you sew." :?

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:23 pm 
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EyesLifted wrote:
I just want to know why irresponsibility on the part of the banks, lenders, you-name-it, gets a warm hug and a "there, there" instead of the lesson of "you reap what you sew." :?



I guess it would be nice to stick it to the man but it will hurt many more ordinary people. If they let GM, the big banks and mortgage companies go bankrupt it would hurt a lot more regular folks than rich ones. Not only will many lose their employment but most of our pension plans probably have exposure to the stock market if these companies were let go how many millions of ordinary people would have their retirement wiped out? This whole bailout thing is the result of not having reasonable regulations to control the market so free enterprise lets greed set the standards of behavior.

Gerhard

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:24 am 
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EyesLifted wrote:
I just want to know why irresponsibility on the part of the banks, lenders, you-name-it, gets a warm hug and a "there, there" instead of the lesson of "you reap what you sew." :?


Because while the ultra rich may rail against social programs for the poor and yell about the importance of the free market, they're really just concerned with their own self interests and will happily accept billions of dollars worth of welfare when their blind greed causes them to completely fail at the game called Capitalism.

It's time for a *real* change.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:29 am 
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gerhard wrote:
I guess it would be nice to stick it to the man but it will hurt many more ordinary people. If they let GM, the big banks and mortgage companies go bankrupt it would hurt a lot more regular folks than rich ones. Not only will many lose their employment but most of our pension plans probably have exposure to the stock market if these companies were let go how many millions of ordinary people would have their retirement wiped out?


That's only a problem if we allow the rich bastards who caused the mess to waltz away with the money they all yanked out of the stock market. If we don't bail them out, and we *do* demand our fair share of the resources they've hogged for too long, we'll suffer a little short term pain but things will right themselves and we'll all be much better off... a bit less economic hegemony is good for everybody. New economic opportunities for a new generation of businessmen, and so on.

The economy just has to right itself; and removing the entrenched, super-elite wealthy class from the equation by seizing their assets is step #1 - *not* handing them more money in the vague hope they will fulfill their promises not to sink us further.

Well, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:04 am 
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Well Walter it is a Socialist pipe dream that people will all struggle for the benefit of society at large. Unfortunately in the real world it does not work as people always put their own interests first and if there is nothing in it for them why bother risking their resources to grow the economy. The 20th century is full of countries that tried to make government run enterprise work, from Russia to England it was a failure. I think the only way to have a fair workable system is to have free enterprise with strong regulation to protect the interests of the general public and a government that provides a social safety net. I think that somewhere between the Canadian system and the Scandinavian one would be ideal. You need enough return to satisfy a person's self interest with enough regulation and taxation to make it as equitable as possible. You always need to reward hard work and risk takers otherwise neither will exist.

Gerhard

P.S. Nobody yanked the money out of the system, the value was inflated and has now readjusted to point were it is lower than the underlying assets but a lack of confidence is preventing that value to be reflected in the stock market.

In the states they have this mortgage mess because they allowed people to borrow 100% of the purchase price, make payments on the mortgage that were lower than the interest charged in the belief that inflation of the housing market would make the purchaser equity grow despite this negative payment scheme. The reason that the housing market is relatively healthy in Canada is that to qualify for a mortgage you needed the income to make the payments (I think it can't exceed 30% of your income or something), the downturn in our housing market has more to do with declining employment than lending practices.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:36 am 
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EyesLifted wrote:
I just want to know why irresponsibility on the part of the banks, lenders, you-name-it, gets a warm hug and a "there, there" instead of the lesson of "you reap what you sew." :?

Because we let the banks grow so large that the cost to society of them failing is higher than the cost to society of resurrecting the dead.

In practice, the banks over here (I don't know the US situation so closely) have near enough been told they've reaped what they've sewn. Northern Rock are fully state owned, RBS over 70%, LloydsTSB/HBOS 43%. The owners have given away a _lot_ of their assets as well as seeing them devalue by over 90%, in exchange for not losing it all when it went bankrupt, taking half the economy with it. The fact that there's still a company with the same name doesn't mean that the people who caused the problems haven't suffered and lost huge sums too.

The radical lesson is that we shouldn't let any institution (finance especially) grow so big that the cost to society of it failing is too great to let it go. If they threaten to, break them up. Can't see that happening though.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:17 pm 
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About 14 or 15 years ago I remember a law changing that allowed banks to transfer money between States before that each bank had to maintain a head quarters so to speak in each state they wanted to do business in. I worked for a small Idaho Bank we had to have a data center in each of the states we operated in so we had one in Idaho Utah and Oregon. Each part of company had to keep its own books and manage investments under the direction of the parent company, but money couldn't be moved from Oregon to Idaho the loans had to go to the local people. Once the law changed we saw banks consolidate their data centers Saving the banks significant back office money. But then it made it easier for a large national bank to buy up smaller state banks. We West One Bank bought several smaller banks in about two years growing our holdings in Utah Idaho Oregon and Washington. It wasn't long before US Bank of Oregon thought we looked good and bought us out. Two years later a large bank in Minnesota bought US Bank partly because we were profitable but in a large part for the name US Bank. Each time the Data centers were consolidated and close forcing tech people like me out to find work in other areas this in it self was not bad for me I am in a better situation where I am now, for now. However I can't help but think this consolidation of banks into bigger and bigger companies didn't contribute to our current situation. When we talk about our small community banks they are for the most part liquid and making money they didn't fall for the 125% loans on houses or make loans that the borrower couldn't afford to pay.

I think one big factor overlooked by the powers that be is the cost of fuel. When the price of fuel doubled last year that really put a dent in my discretionary spending. I know I am not the only, one I have cut out movies, and travel, buying toys, eating out, vacation travel. you name it, or at least cut way back. If I had to do that I know others did too. Milk coast twice what it did before the run up in fuel cost every bill I have for utilities has jumped by a significant percentage and even though I received a pay increase this year it was more than eaten by additional health care premiums taxes and fees. Think about what fuel cost did to the Auto industry companies that lived by the big car were hammered I think this is good the 70's made them build better small cars to compete we should make them compete now smaller fuel sipping cars should be the rule rather than the exception.

There is something to be said for responsible regulation we are paying the price now for much of our deregulation of the past 20 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:00 pm 
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gerhard wrote:
Well Walter it is a Socialist pipe dream that people will all struggle for the benefit of society at large. Unfortunately in the real world it does not work as people always put their own interests first and if there is nothing in it for them why bother risking their resources to grow the economy. The 20th century is full of countries that tried to make government run enterprise work, from Russia to England it was a failure. I think the only way to have a fair workable system is to have free enterprise with strong regulation to protect the interests of the general public and a government that provides a social safety net. I think that somewhere between the Canadian system and the Scandinavian one would be ideal. You need enough return to satisfy a person's self interest with enough regulation and taxation to make it as equitable as possible. You always need to reward hard work and risk takers otherwise neither will exist.


Everybody always accuses me of being a socialist. I'm *not* a damned socialist (with the exception of public infrastructure and medicine, where a socialist approach is pretty much proven to be more efficient and effective, when properly managed). I'm a capitalist, and I agree fully that hard workers and risk takers should reap their own rewards. Capitalism is a perfectly fine system - but only when it's not been corrupted by entrenched monopolies.

I think that as capitalists looking out for our own interests, we need to gang up on the elite powerfully entrenched *monopolists* who inhibit the proper function of the capitalist system. You cannot have a proper functioning free market in the presence of transnational monopolies. There has to be a limit to the amount of power a company (or aggregate of companies run by the same holding corporation) can accumulate, otherwise the free market that allowed that company to rise is under direct threat.

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In the states they have this mortgage mess because they allowed people to borrow 100% of the purchase price, make payments on the mortgage that were lower than the interest charged in the belief that inflation of the housing market would make the purchaser equity grow despite this negative payment scheme.


What you are describing is practically a pyramid scheme, and it comes from the monopolists realizing they could continue to inflate housing values (at least in the short term) by loaning larger and larger sums to new owners. The cost of a house will always mirror the amount of money the financial institutions are willing to loan. And while ultimately the system had to break down, none of the corporate heads are personally suffering; the top people who drove their financial institutions into the ground through blind greed and bad planning pretty much all received multi-million dollar bonuses this year. And of course they've made millions or billions over the past decade or so. While the scheme was obviously fated to collapse and wreak havoc on the economy, those who were involved in its perpetuation are enjoying immense wealth. It's well documented in the news. And frankly I think 3/4 of North America's population is about ready to send them to their treason trials.

It's time for a re-equitization and a redistribution of power. Let them fail; seize the assets they got through their accumulation of power and disruption of the world's economic structure. Return to a proper free market system.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:21 pm 
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walter23 wrote:

Everybody always accuses me of being a socialist. I'm *not* a damned socialist (with the exception of public infrastructure and medicine, where a socialist approach is pretty much proven to be more efficient and effective, when properly managed). I'm a capitalist, and I agree fully that hard workers and risk takers should reap their own rewards. Capitalism is a perfectly fine system - but only when it's not been corrupted by entrenched monopolies.


I don't think that calling somebody a socialist is derogatory, just a description of the values that person holds. To me socialism is much closer to Christianity put in practice than the free enterprise system is yet the religious right seems to feel socialism is evil.

Gerhard

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:50 pm 
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gerhard wrote:
walter23 wrote:

Everybody always accuses me of being a socialist. I'm *not* a damned socialist (with the exception of public infrastructure and medicine, where a socialist approach is pretty much proven to be more efficient and effective, when properly managed). I'm a capitalist, and I agree fully that hard workers and risk takers should reap their own rewards. Capitalism is a perfectly fine system - but only when it's not been corrupted by entrenched monopolies.


I don't think that calling somebody a socialist is derogatory, just a description of the values that person holds. To me socialism is much closer to Christianity put in practice than the free enterprise system is yet the religious right seems to feel socialism is evil.

Gerhard


Me neither, but it's not really an accurate description of my outlook / ideals. I mean, yeah, in theory a socialist system is probably a pretty good one (with different types of rewards for achievement; recognition, status, etc), but it requires either a) complete cooperation by (almost) everybody, or an overseeing body to enforce it. Difficult to do in practice; someone will always cheat or find a way to abuse power.

The same is true of capitalism and we're seeing the consequences of that right now.

I'm serious about needing to seize the assets of those responsible. Unfortunately they haven't really obviously broken any laws, just blatently screwed everybody within the framework of our existing laws. But that doesn't mean we can't come up with some sort of mutually agreeable solution. There are mumblings about it already, and in fact a small group of average homeowners kind of half-heartedly demonstrated at the gates of the mansion of some major lender's CEO's house in Connecticut a couple of weeks ago. They were sort of nervous about it and giggling, pretending it was kind of a joke... but I think it underpins a pretty strong sentiment among average people these days. The unfathomably wealthy bastards who made bank and are now hiding behind the shields of incorporation have to be held accountable somehow. Now obviously a mob carrying jerrry cans of gasoline isn't the optimal solution - violence like that is unjustified in almost all circumstances I can think of.

But finding a sane means to deal with the bastards is going to be very difficult; maybe it could be part of the terms of any industry bailouts - "you drove your company into the ground with your greed, and because your company is integral to the fuctioning of society we have to pour billions into it. Thus we will seize everything you own and leave you only with the assets of an average person. No more private jet to your Caribbean vacation island; here's the keys to your new Chevrolet automobile and your duplex in the suburbs. Oh, and we're taking your mansions. All of them. Cheers."

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Last edited by walter23 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:42 pm 
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walter23 wrote:
gerhard wrote:
walter23 wrote:

Everybody always accuses me of being a socialist. I'm *not* a damned socialist (with the exception of public infrastructure and medicine, where a socialist approach is pretty much proven to be more efficient and effective, when properly managed). I'm a capitalist, and I agree fully that hard workers and risk takers should reap their own rewards. Capitalism is a perfectly fine system - but only when it's not been corrupted by entrenched monopolies.


I don't think that calling somebody a socialist is derogatory, just a description of the values that person holds. To me socialism is much closer to Christianity put in practice than the free enterprise system is yet the religious right seems to feel socialism is evil.

Gerhard


Me neither, but it's not really an accurate description of my outlook / ideals. I mean, yeah, in theory a socialist system is probably a pretty good one (with different types of rewards for achievement; recognition, status, etc), but it requires either a) complete cooperation by (almost) everybody, or an overseeing body to enforce it. Difficult to do in practice; someone will always cheat or find a way to abuse power.

The same is true of capitalism and we're seeing the consequences of that right now.

I'm serious about needing to seize the assets of those responsible. Unfortunately they haven't really obviously broken any laws, just blatently screwed everybody within the framework of our existing laws. But that doesn't mean we can't come up with some sort of mutually agreeable solution. There are mumblings about it already, and in fact a small group of average homeowners kind of half-heartedly demonstrated at the gates of the mansion of some major lendor CEO's house in Connecticut a couple of weeks ago. They were sort of nervous about it and giggling, pretending it was kind of a joke... but I think it underpins a pretty strong sentiment among average people these days. The unfathomably wealthy bastards who made bank and are now hiding behind the shields of incorporation have to be held accountable somehow. Now obviously a mob carrying jerrry cans of gasoline isn't the optimal solution - violence like that is unjustified in almost all circumstances I can think of.

But finding a sane means to deal with the bastards is going to be very difficult; maybe it could be part of the terms of any industry bailouts - "you drove your company into the ground with your greed, and because your company is integral to the fuctioning of society we have to pour billions into it. Thus we will seize everything you own and leave you only with the assets of an average person. No more private jet to your Caribbean vacation island; here's the keys to your new Chevrolet automobile and your duplex in the suburbs. Oh, and we're taking your mansions. All of them. Cheers."


Sorry to say the the punishment rarely if ever fits the crime. I am all for the forfeiture of ill gotten gains.

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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:46 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Free money
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:07 am 
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The only historically proven way to get out of a depression is a war. A really big war. It generates lots of jobs. It consumes lots of manufacturing capacity.

So until a good, big war presents itself I think we should give the stimulus plan a try.

The problem with really big wars nowadays is that they are likely to include some nuclear devices (the last one did), so I'm thinking we should at least investigate other methods. (We can always declare war later if the plan does not work out well.)

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