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View Diary: Why are Americans satisfied with economic mediocrity? (30 comments)

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  •  "we seem to revel in economic stagnation?" (1+ / 0-)
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    Gooserock

    Can someone point me to the reveling?

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:10:55 AM PDT

    •  Let me submit to you as an example of (1+ / 0-)
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      psyched

      reveling the entire GOP.  The GOP wants the Govt to extract more money out of the private sector through taxation than it provides through spending.  They seem to hate workers and don't care about the unemployment rate.

      "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

      by Auburn Parks on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:15:11 AM PDT

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      •  At the top of the diary you referenced "Americans" (0+ / 0-)

        and citing the GOP as an example doesn't work for me.  
        GOP ≠Americans.  A good day for America is a bad day for the GOP and a bad day for America is a good day for the GOP and that rule of thumb is all anyone needs to know about the reason for Republican reveling.

        I wouldn't correlate unemployment with increasing income inequality.  From 1967 to 2012, income inequality has slowly and steadily increased with the majority of it coming after the introduction of the economics known as Voodoo.  Factors like globalization and the devaluation of labor correlate with the problem of ever-increasing income inequality.  Full employment can't solve that problem with a minimum wage falling below the poverty line.  Voodoo has other elements too that tilt the system to the advantage of a privileged few.

        When you get to spending, the debt, and Social Security, I have to pause.  Social Security is funded from payroll taxes and even if spending exceeds revenue these days there's a trust fund holding $2.6 trillion is it in guaranteed government bonds to keep the program funded for a while.

        I don't believe MMT would ignore the revenue from payroll taxes or the trust fund balance but it's Sunday and I'd much rather go for a swim than write more about this.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:49:21 AM PDT

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        •  Upon re-reading I want to be clear that the (0+ / 0-)

          Social Security Trust Fund doesn't hold bonds because it was necessary for the government to borrow to pay benefits.  No, it holds bonds because revenue collected from payroll taxes exceeded benefits paid for many years and the surplus was borrowed by the General Fund to pay for other government needs.  This should go without saying but it's hard to say who knows what so I'd rather risk overexplaining.  Now for a swim.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:53:39 AM PDT

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        •  Mark, your claim needs to account for the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psyched

          very clear correlation between rising median income and increasing employment, and its opposite, the decreasing median income that accompanies high rates of unemployment.  Even if there were no taxes at all, the unemployed labor there is, the less you have to pay for it.  Supply and demand, just like every other market.  So while high tax rates on high incomes (not $250,000 a year like most dems want, since people making that much money have next to no say in corporate governance), over $5 million a year perhaps, would indeed help to circulate more of that money into the hands of the middle and working class, thats not the most important reason for stagnating wages.  If you want wages to go up consistently, we must maintain full employment.  There's no way around that foundational principle.

          Where you get it wrong is by stating that the Govt needs to borrow the surplus payroll tax money.  This is illogical, T-bonds are there for private sector savings, just like CD's and savings accounts are at your local bank.  If the Govt taxes $1 or $10 trillion, the ability of Congress to direct its bank (the Fed) to credit and debit accounts on its spreadsheet is completely unchanged.  You need to get passed the household budget analogy paradigm.  Its illogical to think the Govt must get its tokens from other people before it can create the tokens that only Congress has the Constitutional authority to make.

          MMT = Reality

          "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

          by Auburn Parks on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 12:17:38 PM PDT

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    •  We spin record-breaking income inequality... (4+ / 0-)
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      limpidglass, corvo, janemas, Oaktown Girl

      ...as a "RECOVERY." That is how DINOs--and so many others--revel in economic stagnation. This administration has openly/publicly proclaimed that it specifically supports moderate, Republican economic policy as it existed in the 1980's. That's a travesty unto itself. And, clearly, you think that's just peachy, right?

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:25:39 AM PDT

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      •  Obama, on the record, on Reaganomics Dec. 2012... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Oaktown Girl

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 11:30:24 AM PDT

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      •  I haven't seen the Robert Reich documentary but (0+ / 0-)

        I was on the conference call with him and Dean the other day.  I don't know who this "we" is that's doing the spinning of which you speak.  

        To me this is a matter of perception. With every economic report that comes out the GOP talks about how rotten it is and if the report isn't bad enough for their agenda we get to hear Jack Welch say "Dese numbiz don't smell right."
        At least we have an insight into why Republicans are such a failure with Arithmetic.  They think it's a discipline that involves the use of their noses.

        Everyone knows the recovery is dismal.  And everyone knows that each recovery since 1980 is weaker than the last.  And everyone knows that the weakness is due to the worsening income inequality.  Of course each recovery is weaker than the last.  The question is how to reverse this disastrous course.  I'm not interesting in bickering with my partners especially when they don't bring any constructive ideas.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 12:02:45 PM PDT

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        •  One more thing about Reich and Dean . . . (0+ / 0-)

          I don't agree with the optimism that they expressed but I understand they have to function as cheerleaders.  What else could they say?  Things are terrible.  There's no hope. Abandon ship.  

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 12:05:29 PM PDT

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        •  For you to submit that I didn't bring any (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psyched, bobswern

          constructive ideas to the debate is actually insulting given the time I spent preparing this post.  The only answer that most progressives have is to keep the deficit relatively stable but tax the rich more and then spend additional money on the middle and working class.  This has failed as a political message.  Its why Dems don't have overwhelming majorities around the country.  Americans, culturally speaking, don't want to pay higher taxes.  I don't blame them.  I don't want to give the Govt more money that it doesn't need and can't use.  If you think Americans are ever going to vote to have European levels of taxing and spending (30%-40%) then you are just flat out wrong.  Robert Reich thinks the Govt must get its own money before it can spend.  He is a classic neo-classical economist in that he views the Govt's budget in the same way as a household budget.  This is obviously false.  The Deficit is key to sustainable private sector economic growth.  

          30% spending and 25% taxing (as a % of GDP) is practically no different than 25% spending and 20% taxing or 20% and 15%.  In all 3 of these examples, the Govt is only adding 5% of GDP worth of new money to the economy.  That number needs to be bigger, there is no way around it.

          MMT = Reality

          "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

          by Auburn Parks on Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 12:27:21 PM PDT

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