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View Diary: Paul Ryan & The Big Lie That Is Killing The Middle Class (114 comments)

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  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

    I submit that the real economic impact was educating all those veterans, and without the 'education' aspect keeping term out of the labor market would have been worse than useless, in the medium to long term if not the short term.

    And the economic benefits of the Interstate Highway System are obvious, same as the GI Bill.

    Today, we aren't being hampered by the kinds of issues we were in the 1940s and in my view simply do not have the same growth potential. Do we need infrastructure? And if we have to repair stuff, now it's not new economic productivity, it's just a recurring cost and there's no net gain.

    If you want to hire the unemployed as charity, that might be discussed. But arguing that there is true benefit, I'd really have to be convinced.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:48:06 AM PST

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    •  I agree about your point on investment... (15+ / 0-)

      ...but I vigorously disagree with your view that we don't have similar issues as in the '30s and '40s. The difference is that we have a modest safety net now. But we definitely need to build/rebuild our industrial capacity in a green fashion, along new, resource-frugal lines.

      Investment and Keynesian pump-priming are not mutually exclusive. In fact, done right, the pump-priming and investment benefits are a package.

      My points: 1) we still have extremely low borrowing terms for federal dollars right now (no sign of harmful inflation); 2) we DO have great need for infrastructure innovations, upgrades and maintenance (wifi-ification, grid and off-grid electrical upgrades, public transit, schools); 3) we have sluggish growth in job creation (27 million unemployed or underemployed); 4) we need green energy both to keep up with the rest of the world and deal with climate change (solar and wind still only provide 1-2% of our total energy) unless you believe we can continue on the current path without devastating results.

      The right projects can work all these together into a beneficial arrangement for the environment and the economy (not that I think those are two separate entities). Not at minimal long-term cost to the taxpayers but rather, even better, a solid return on investment just like the GI Bill, Marshall Plan, interstate highways, and the space program (although that mostly barely concealed military).  

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:17:11 PM PST

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    •  I agree about this: (10+ / 0-)
      Do we need infrastructure? And if we have to repair stuff, now it's not new economic productivity, it's just a recurring cost and there's no net gain.
      but we DO have to upgrade all of our infrastructure whether there's a net gain or not, because the failure to do so will eventually cause a BIG net loss.

      Think about the human and economic chaos if the Northeast power grid goes out for a week or more.

      Think about the human and economic chaos if more bridges fail, more levees fail, dams fail, etc.

      Think about the human and economic chaos if the water supply is compromised in any large urban area due to postponed modernization.

      Sometimes you just have to make those investments because it's the right thing to do.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:41:04 PM PST

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      •  There's a semi-important regional highway (4+ / 0-)

        in northern Tennessee that is currently shut to truck traffic over 6 wheels because of a lack of bridge maintenance and a number of errors during construction of a replacement. (In addition, most people who have been following the story will not set foot nor wheel on that bridge.)

        Thanks to this, it's an hour trip out of the way west or east before the next crossing of the river that trucks can get over.

        There is no estimated time when the crossing will ever be open to trucks again.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:42:15 PM PST

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    •  Federal Spending is very different today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is dominated by transfer payments (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and other income assistance) this is also where the growth in government spending largely falls.  This spending does little to improve the economy for growth and higher productivity as college for veterans and highway construction did.

      Keynesian economists have not done a good job explaining how total government spending (Federal, State and Local) spending has grown from 32% of GDP in 2000 to over 38% today with little economic growth to show for it - GDP growth is only slightly higher than population growth.  Also keep in mind the over $1 T/yr in Federal deficit spending - that is also Keynesian stimulus.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:49:32 PM PST

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