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View Diary: 94 percent of Americans don't know the budget deficit is getting smaller (126 comments)

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  •  And wouldn't it be great (3+ / 0-)
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    DSPS owl, PsychoSavannah, YucatanMan

    if we could get factually-based economics courses required in our high schools?

    Kids could easily learn the difference between debt and deficit by comparing it to family finances where people start putting less new debt on the credit card while they are paying off more than that amount each month.

    But everything is so politically charged now, even economics courses -- even personal finance management -- is so politically charged. You would be trying to teach  kids not to carry a lot of debt on a credit card while some of their parents are maxing out their cards for luxuries, and others are doing it to pay for food or rent.

    Financial life was simpler when I grew up in the 50's and 60's. While credit cards were becoming mainstream then, it seemed like it was more for marketing customer convenience than as an expressway to massive profits for banks and crushing debt for consumers.

    Once upon a time, banks were our partners in economic growth in America. Now we're just their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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

    by gfre on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:50:32 AM PST

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    •  Education, as in teaching? Not in Texas (1+ / 0-)
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      They made massive education budget cuts and then later discovered that due to accounting 'mistakes' they had a lot more money in the budget than they thought. The texas solution was cut taxes not give schools back the money. Teachers have to supply kids crayons I have heard in some schools. While to paraphrase gfre

       Once upon a time, State governments were our partners in economic growth in America and a good education was a given. Now we're just paying for the 1%'s 16th vacation condo in the Cayman Islands..

      Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

      by arealniceguy on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:40:55 PM PST

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      •  That's terrible, but I'm not surprised... (1+ / 0-)
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        It seems like the problem is a power differential, in both the corporate and public spheres.

        If you're in a position to take from someone else, you've got it made.

        If you don't have much money -- if you don't get to set your own pay, make your own rules, etc. -- then you're just someone to be taken advantage of. You're not worthy. If you WERE worthy, you'd have that money and power.

        I'm so tired of the crazy, the greed, the ignorance. The mountain just seems so damn high, and that rock is so hard to push.

        Oops. Excuse me while I go back to the bottom of the hill and get my rock going again.

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

        by gfre on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:38:22 PM PST

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    •  What's best for me is not so good for US. (0+ / 0-)

      By that I mean that, while the best individual strategy for each family is to spend as little as possible and save in the bank as much as possible, investing as much of that in long term securities as possible, when more people do that it hurts the economy, because:

      (1) the economy is driven by consumer spending (also by business spending, of course, but the purpose of business spending is ultimately to sell more to consumers), so too many workers stashing away their paychecks for a rainy day (loss of a job, for example) CAUSES paychecks to be lost;

      (2) the extremely wealthy get to save and invest ALMOST ALL of what they earn, because even THEIR inflated level of consumer spending (yachts, multiple homes, airplanes or first class airfare, jewelry, etc.) represents a tiny fraction of their income;

      (3) money in "savings" earns interest, but far less of it if there are more funds "waiting" for an investment in real physical business to use them than there are physical businesses demanding funds to invest -- because of (1) above;

      (4) when the poor and middle class have no more to spend, even though they TRY to save some, and the rich can only buy so many high priced luxury goods, so that money is taken out of circulation, only ONE entity in the economy has both the means to spend and a mission other than the hope of future profits to motivate its spending -- government.  And what government spends MUST either come from deficits or taxing the wealthy.

      Since the wealthy are technically supposed to pay lower rates than in the past, and often find loopholes to pay NOTHING, they are no longer even giving as much to charities as they used to, when tax breaks for giving were an additional incentive (when charity itself is not enough).  But they would not suffer if they paid more in taxes, and they would not be "punished."  They would only be helping to invest in those common resources which help EVERYONE, including helping THEM to become richer in productive ways.  In the 1950s the marginal tax rate for the highest bracket was 90 percent (that is, 90 percent of the amount ABOVE a very high threshold, added to the tax on that threshold itself).  The wealthy and corporations were doing good, almost all except the poorest of the poor (and minorities who were, in a practical sense, almost "forbidden" to get well paying jobs by prejudice) were doing well also, and we were paying off WW2 while building a huge interstate highway system -- promoted by that "socialist" Ike!  Now that the effective tax rate on extreme wealth is down to 15 percent of what the taxpayer CANNOT hide -- and they get to hide so much -- investments (or even maintenance) in public infrastructure are not being made, and the wealthy are STILL screaming that they are overtaxed.

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