Facts About Why the Economy Sucks

17 Jun

In the late 18th century, we fought our bourgeois revolution against nobility and kingdom. I don’t know why we can’t reclaim that proud heritage, instead it’s like we’re going backwards.


22 Responses to “Facts About Why the Economy Sucks”

  1. Jesse June 17, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Typical statist “analysis” that completely ignores the spending side of the ledger.  Oh no!  The rich peeps ain’t bein’ taxed enough so that means big budget deficits!!

    That’s like saying my credit card bill is so huge this month because I didn’t make enough money to pay it off.

    That may be true but it’s ignoring the most important piece: How much did I spend?!

    And then suddenly let’s throw in a dot essentially whining about unions falling apart.

    The last dot is complaining that we consumers aren’t going into debt enough to buy enough to “get the economy going again”.  Which is ridiculous on the face of it.

    Sorry Reich, I don’t buy what you’re sellin’.

    • Alan Bedenko June 17, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      Translation: *sniff* what about Paris Hilton and the other Galts?! *sniff*

  2. Mike In WNY June 17, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Reich’s “big picture” is very limited in scope and completely ignores many factors which negatively affect the economy.

  3. Bbill June 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Paraphrasing Bill Maher: It’s understandable that one percent of the population would vote Republican or Teabag, as the GOP and teabag astroturfers represent the interests of the top one percent. But they can always count on 40 percent of the vote. That means that one out of three Americans consistently vote against their own interests.

    There’s a word for that.

  4. Ray Walter June 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    That was just silly. Yes federal tax receipts are at historic lows of about 14.8% of GDP but at the same exact rates in 2007 revenues were at about 18.5% of GDP. The 10 year impact of the “Bush tax cuts” pulls and estimated $700 Billion out of federal revenues to the top tax payers but the rest of the cuts, the ones to middle class taxpayers, pull out $3 Trillion. A much much larger proportion of federal reveunes are paid by the “wealthy” now than in 1980. The tax base was much broader in 1980 with many more people (as a percentage) were paying federal taxes. So Reich is really arguing that the political influence is going to the folks paying the bill. There needs to be a general overhaul of the tax code which hasn’t been reformed in 25 years, the longest period without reform in history. A simplified tax code that creates a sense of certainty for businesses and entrepreneurs, even if it means paying a little more, is the best thing we could do to get the economy moving again.

  5. Ray Walter June 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    And also major entitlement reform and reductions in defense spending, along with such tax reforms, to balance the budget which would also create a more stable and prosperous economy.

  6. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Trade policy. And industrial sector that builds stuff and pays taxes. Unionized workforce earning lots of money and being taxed.

    Here’s where I’d start to address it: buy only goods and sevices produced by American workers with dollars extorted from the American tax payer.

  7. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I found it particularly unhelpful for the guys that are in charge to talk about statistical trends when my neighbors are having to beg for handouts from the government when they’re just hoping to find gainful employment, right here, today, on a personal level. The issue is more pragmatic and individual than this video clip.

  8. Rob June 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    “A much much larger proportion of federal reveunes are paid by the “wealthy” now than in 1980.”

    Yes, because nearly 100% of the increases in real income since 1980 have gone to the wealthy (note lack of scare quotes). Middle and lower class real wages have barely increased at all. So there’s that.

  9. Rob June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    The poor overtaxed wealthy.

  10. Bbill June 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    In case you missed last Sunday’s Snooze, here’s a good analysis with some recommendations:


    …its value can also be gauged by the comments section: anyone who disagrees with the premise or suggestions merely squawks OMG socialism! or some such wisdom gleaned from Fox News, teabag propaganda, hate radio etc. but does not offer any solutions other than invective. Worth a read.

  11. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    @Bbill, just read this. It’s a smoke screen, a cover-up for the disasterous trade policies of Lyndon Johnson, who sold the industry that was the backbone of WNY and America’s industrial sector (steel) down the river by not penalizing trading partners that subsidized their local steel industries so heavily that they could dump steel on American markets at prices that were lower than their own cost of production.

    Again, it was trade policy that did the same thing to anything that was left of America’s industrial sector and midlle class when Bill Clinton decoupled human rights from China’s trading status BEFORE Chinese workers got the rights to unionize and use the strike as a bargaining tool.

    The result: the industries left America, leaving the previously profiting workforce seeking public assistance. The revenues from taxing both the industries and the workers are gone. The opportunity for the poor and under educated to get those unionized industrial jobs that would allow them to educate their children and lift their families out of poverty forever are gone. All that’s left is the spending habits of the government that depended heavily upon those revenues that were thrown in the trash by Democrat presidents, supported by both houses of congress in control of Democrats, put there by donations from the very unions that pounded the pavement to get out the vote, and then were stabbed in the back by those they supported at election time.

    This crisis isn’t a crisis. It’s a fundamental, permanent change put in place by people who should have known better. In the case of Clinton, by man who demonstrated his command of both economics and history to become a Rhodes scholar and was guided by Johnson’s example of cause and effect.

    Would there be any issue of public sector unions having collective bargaining power in Wisconsin if the revenues from a strong industrial sector was still there? Would California still be broke? Would New Jersey?

    Reich is doing the same thing as the Buffalo snooze… waving a flag of misdirection, because he wants to maintain control (if any observer can call it in control) of spending habits that are based on money that just isn’t there anymore.

  12. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    BTW, while I admire some of the TEA movements stuff, and I do watch Fox as often as CNN, I came to my concusions by watching this stuff happen to my own family and neighbors in front of my own eyes. I consider myself a liberal, betrayed and stabbed in the back at every turn by a culture of corruption that took decades to establish and institutionalized while one party controlled both congress for fifty consecutive years from 1944 to 1994. Guess which party, and guess again why I’ve vowed neveer, ever to vote for that party again.

  13. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    At the end of this article’s video, Reich quite accurately says that there is no economy without a strong middle class. I submit that the middle class is a transient class, the step between being impoverished and being wealthy, the stepping stone from poor to rich, the place where you work hard to transcend grubbing for food and shelter to ca place of comfort. Getting rid of the steel industry sure did make the air a lot more soot-free in Lackawanna, but my neighbors there can’t find a job and are stuck in poverty until they die, and have little or no hope that their children have any legal and moral path to success. Thanks!

  14. Leo Wilson June 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    And, I have already proposed one solution, or a step towards a solution: restrict the government to spending tax dollars on goods and services built by American workers. Here’s another: resitrict the government by imposing hard limits on how money is spent. Specifically, impose the same 80% medical loss mandate that the patient Protection and Affordable Care Act imposes on private insurers (who ARE meeting that mandate and still maintaining profitability) on the UMMC. As for the culture of corruption, here’s a proposed solution: Term EVERY contribution from an entity (ANY entity) that cannot vote to seat a representative in an election, be it a corporation, a union, or a rich individual, a conflict of interest and make that representative recuse himself from participating in votes when that conflict exists.

    So there ya have it… justification of opposition and considered methods for addressing the ongoing challenges. No mention of socialism at all. How’s that meet your criterion?

  15. Ray Walter June 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    @Rob I didn’t say anything about the wealthy being overtaxed I just stated a fact that they pay a larger proportion of federal revenues today than they did in 1980. While income for middle and lower class individuals has not changed over that period their standard of living, which is far more relevant than income, has increased considerably. This is due to massive gains in productivity. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/StandardsofLivingandModernEconomicGrowth.html

  16. Rob June 18, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    No Leo since we were discussing income taxes, what is most relevant is income. You don’t pay taxes with your standard of living. I simply pointed out that the obvious reason the rich pay a greater share of income taxes is because they’re earning all the money. And since they pay most of the taxes they control the government – another reason why extreme income inequality is bad.

  17. Mike Klein June 18, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Ray, you sound just like Jane.

  18. Rob June 18, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Sorry, I meant Ray not Leo.

  19. Brian Wood June 18, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Another slow revolution occurred 1890 through the 1930’s when workers realized that capitalism, particularly in the form of large corporations, is the enemy.

  20. Brian Wood June 18, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    The French Revolution killed about 1500 aristocrats and 38,000 others (probably asskissers to the aristocrats). A small price to pay for getting the middle class into the political process. Our population is much bigger, but I’ll bet 10,000 of our aristocrats–those with inherited wealth they didn’t earn, investment banking CEO’s, CEO’s of large corporations–rolling in tumbrels to the guillotine would make for wonderful reforms for the Mrkn worker.

  21. Jesse June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Good to see Brian Wood advocating for murder.

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