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Old 02-18-2013, 04:56 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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The problem with conservativism in 2013.

The key problem that I believe conservativism has to face in 2013 and the near future is that it doesn't have an answer to what has become the most critical problem for the 21st century economy: inequality.

There has been a historical tendency over the past 15 years and three Presidents to concentrate more and more wealth with the wealthy, and less and less wealth with everybody else. Inequality is at all time highs on that front, and it gives the middle and lower classes less spending money, slogs down the economy, and ultimately splits the economic pie even greater into the hands of the few.

Liberalism has a whole host of solutions, bordering from the more free market tendencies of the Democratic Party and the mainstream liberal movement, to the more socialist suggestions frequently made by the party's left wing. Some of them can be argued as legitimately good ideas (raising the minimum wage, capping the multi-billion dollar tax breaks for huge corporations, any number of investments in college education), some of them are obviously more on the fringe.

Conservativism's answer seems to be singular and ineffective: get "government out of the way," undo the massive structure of government regulation, and the economy will grow. And like a rising tide that lifts all boats (think "trickle down" economics), as the economy grows, so too will the fortunes of the lower and middle classes. Honestly, if conservativism has more of a message than this right now with regards to inequality, I've missed it.

The problem with this message, and conservativism in general right now, is that it seems outdated for 2013. As the economy has grown at times throughout the past fifteen years, the middle class and working poor have seen less and a less of a return on that progress, and the upper class has soared. In other words, the absolute core conservative response to the biggest issue affecting working Americans in 2013 is no longer applicable. It had some bearing, perhaps, in previous decades, but we now reside in an era where this dynamic no longer holds water.

Economists are reportedly attempting to figure out why that is the case. A decrease in education quality seems, to me, to be the most convincing cause, although obviously this is something that deserves a holistic analysis.

But either way, I don't really see convincing analysis that growth is enough anymore. It seems that a reduction in inequality seems now to be just as important.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...06b_print.html

Growth isn’t enough to help the middle class
By Jim Tankersley
Published: February 13

Two kinds of middle-class Americans are struggling today — people who can’t find any work or enough work, and full-timers who can’t seem to get ahead.

Democrats and Republicans prescribe economic growth to help both groups. There was a time that would have been enough. But not today.

In the past three recoveries from recession, U.S. growth has not produced anywhere close to the job and income gains that previous generations of workers enjoyed. The wealthy have continued to do well. But a percentage point of increased growth today simply delivers fewer jobs across the economy and less money in the pockets of middle-class families than an identical point of growth produced in the 40 years after World War II.

That has been painfully apparent in the current recovery. Even as the Obama administration touts the return of economic growth, millions of Americans are not seeing an accompanying revival of better, higher-paying jobs.

The consequences of this breakdown are only now dawning on many economists and have not gained widespread attention among policymakers in Washington. Many lawmakers have yet to even acknowledge the problem. But repairing this link is arguably the most critical policy challenge for anyone who wants to lift the middle class.

Economists are not clear how the economy got to the point where growth drives far less job creation and broadly shared prosperity than it used to. Some theorize that a major factor was globalization, which enabled companies to lay off highly paid workers in the United States during recessions and replace them with lower-paid ones overseas during recoveries.

There is even less agreement on policy prescriptions. Some liberal economists argue that the government should take more-aggressive steps to redistribute wealth. Many economists believe more education will improve the skills of American workers, helping them obtain higher-paying jobs. And still others say the government should seek to reduce the cost of businesses to create new jobs.

The problem is relatively new. From 1948 through 1982, recessions and recoveries followed a tight pattern. Growth plunged in the downturn, then spiked quickly, often thanks to aggressive interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. When growth returned, so did job creation, and workers generally shared in the spoils of new economic output.

You can see those patterns in comparisons of job creation and growth rates across post-World War II recoveries. Starting in 1949 and continuing for more than 30 years, once the economy started to grow after a recession, major job creation usually followed within about a year.

At the height of those recoveries, every percentage point of economic growth typically spurred about six-tenths of a percentage point of job growth, when compared with the start of the recovery. You could call that number the “job intensity” of growth.

The pattern began to break down in the 1992 recovery, which began under President George H.W. Bush. It took about three years — instead of one — for job creation to ramp up, even when the economy was growing. Even then, the “job intensity” of that recovery barely topped 0.4 percent, or about two-thirds the normal rate.

The next two recoveries were even worse. Three and a half years into the recovery that began in 2001 under President George W. Bush, job intensity was stuck at less than 0.2 percent. The recovery under President Obama is now up to an intensity of 0.3 percent, or about half the historical average.

Middle-class income growth looks even worse for those recoveries. From 1992 to 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004, real median household incomes fell — even though the economy grew more than 6 percent, after adjustments for inflation, in both cases. From 2009 to 2011 the economy grew more than 4 percent, but real median incomes grew by 0.5 percent.

In contrast, from 1982 to 1984, the economy grew by nearly 11 percent and real median incomes grew by 5 percent.

Today, nearly four years after the Great Recession, 12 million Americans are actively looking for work but can’t find a job; 11 million others are stuck working part time when they would like to be full time, or they would like to work but are too discouraged to job-hunt. Meanwhile, workers’ median wages were lower at the end of 2012, after adjustments for inflation, than they were at the end of 2003. Real household income was lower in 2011 than it was in 1989.

Obama alluded to the breakdown between growth and middle-class wages and jobs in his State of the Union address. “Every day,” he said, “we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

But outside of some targeted help for manufacturing jobs and some new investments in skills training, the proposals Obama offered focused comparatively little on repairing the relationship between growth and jobs, or growth and income. Obama’s boldest plans included increasing the minimum wage and guaranteeing every child a preschool education. Both aim largely at boosting poorer Americans and helping their children gain a better shot at landing the higher-paying jobs.

The Republican response to Obama’s speech did not appear to nod to the new reality at all. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) said that “economic growth is the best way to help the middle class” and offered few job-creation proposals that appeared materially different from what Republican politicians have pushed since the 1980s.

Economists are still trying to sort out what broke the historical links between growth and jobs/incomes.

Economists are still trying to sort out what broke the historical links between growth and jobs/incomes.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York economists Erica Groshen and Simon Potter concluded in a 2003 paper that the recoveries from the 1990 and 2001 recessions were largely “jobless” because employers had fundamentally changed how they responded to recessions. In the past, firms laid off workers during downturns but called them back when the economy picked up again. Now, they are using recessions as a trigger to lay off less-productive workers, never to hire them back.

Economists at the liberal Economic Policy Institute trace the problem to a series of policy choices that, they say, have eroded workers’ ability to secure rising incomes. Those choices include industry deregulation and the opening of global markets on unfavorable terms for U.S. workers.

In the latest edition of their book “The State of Working America,” EPI economists argue that an “increasingly well-paid financial sector and policies regarding executive compensation fueled wage growth at the top and the rise of the top 1 percent’s incomes” at the expense of average workers.

Robert Shapiro, an economist who advised Bill Clinton on the campaign trail and in the White House, traces the change to increased global competition.

“It makes it hard for firms to pass along their cost increases — for health care, energy and so on — in higher prices,” he said. “So instead they cut other costs, starting with jobs and wages.”

Shapiro said the best way to restart job creation is to help businesses cut the costs of hiring, including by reducing the employer side of the payroll tax and pushing more aggressive efforts to hold down health-care cost increases.

Obama seems to have embraced an approach pushed by Harvard University economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz: helping more Americans graduate from college and go on to high-skilled, higher-paying jobs. It’s a longer-term bet. But as senior administration officials like to say, the problem didn’t start overnight, and it’s not likely to be solved overnight, either.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
That's idiotic. Thanks for your effort. Come back when you have a better grip on the argument.
I know what your argument is. You are trying to say that Reagan lowering the top tax rate increased middle class wages, growth, and jobs. You ignore the fact the year after the U.S. had the worst recession since the great depression. Reagan also had to raise taxes on everyone else to balance the budget in order to give away that tax break. You ignore the fact that middle class wages have been flat, if not falling backwards since then. Again, you are trying to rewrite history.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #167
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You're a poster child for irony.
Cute, thanks for making a point there. Great debate skills.

/word meaning something other than it's literally meaning, now that is irony
/that's from Bender
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
I know what your argument is. You are trying to say that Reagan lowering the top tax rate increased middle class wages, growth, and jobs. You ignore the fact the year after the U.S. had the worst recession since the great depression. You ignore the fact that middle class wages have been flat, if not falling backwards since then. Again, you are trying to rewrite history.
No, I'm not ignoring any facts that I know of. You challenged me to show you "where... lowering the tax code of top earnings resulted in a trickle down effect in... a growth in the middle class" and I met your challenge by pointing to the reduction in top rates during the Reagan administration followed by a reduction in the poverty rate as shown in post 77.

That's not rewriting history, that using historical facts to meet your challenge. The person ignoring facts is you.

Then when you challenged me to name "one person in a third world country who has more wealth than any of the wealthy in a first world country" (for some inexplicable reason unrelated to any argument I've made) and I met that challenge.

Let's face it. You don't have a very good grip on your argument and you like to battle against arguments that I haven't made because you don't have an answer for the ones I actually make. You're a walking strawman factory.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:51 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
No, I'm not ignoring any facts that I know of. You challenged me to show you "where... lowering the tax code of top earnings resulted in a trickle down effect in... a growth in the middle class" and I met your challenge by pointing to the reduction in top rates during the Reagan administration followed by a reduction in the poverty rate as shown in post 77.

That's not rewriting history, that using historical facts to meet your challenge. The person ignoring facts is you.

Then when you challenged me to name "one person in a third world country who has more wealth than any of the wealthy in a first world country" (for some inexplicable reason unrelated to any argument I've made) and I met that challenge.

Let's face it. You don't have a very good grip on your argument and you like to battle against arguments that I haven't made because you don't have an answer for the ones I actually make. You're a walking strawman factory.
No, you are ignoring historical facts to cherry pick certain things you think helps your argument. You are wrong about Reagan's tax cut. It did not do any of those things. Are you denying we went into a recession in 1982? Are you denying that wages have remained flat? You have proven no link between cutting tax rates and poverty because one does not exist.

Other people have pointed out that Mexico is not a third world country. It has basic infrastructure. It has somewhat of a working government. You did not meet a challenge. I was talking about countries like Somalia. But if it is so easy, I'm sure you have others, right? Challenge not meet.

You continue to ignore that the U.S. is ranked around last among Developed Countries.

You keep using the term strawman, I am not sure you know what it means. Perhaps you should google it.

And you have ignored my first question, while you continue to change the subject. What good, what positive benefit does the american economy receive from wealth inequality.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:54 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
No, you are ignoring historical facts to cherry pick certain things you think helps your argument. You are wrong about Reagan's tax cut. It did not do any of those things. Are you denying we went into a recession in 1982? Are you denying that wages have remained flat? You have proven no link between cutting tax rates and poverty because one does not exist.

Other people have pointed out that Mexico is not a third world country. It has basic infrastructure. It has somewhat of a working government. You did not meet a challenge. I was talking about countries like Somalia. But if it is so easy, I'm sure you have others, right? Challenge not meet.

You continue to ignore that the U.S. is ranked around last among Developed Countries.

You keep using the term strawman, I am not sure you know what it means. Perhaps you should google it.

And you have ignored my first question, while you continue to change the subject. What good, what positive benefit does the american economy receive from wealth inequality.
I didn't say I proved a link. You can't prove a link for any of your prescriptions either.

And yes I know what strawman means. It's a strawman when you pretend that I made an argument that I didn't make and proceed to argue against that fictional position. Like when you say I rewrote history and tried to prove it by saying that Reagan raised taxes (not tax rates, which is what my argument was based on).
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
No, I'm not ignoring any facts that I know of. You challenged me to show you "where... lowering the tax code of top earnings resulted in a trickle down effect in... a growth in the middle class" and I met your challenge by pointing to the reduction in top rates during the Reagan administration followed by a reduction in the poverty rate as shown in post 77.

That's not rewriting history, that using historical facts to meet your challenge. The person ignoring facts is you.

Then when you challenged me to name "one person in a third world country who has more wealth than any of the wealthy in a first world country" (for some inexplicable reason unrelated to any argument I've made) and I met that challenge.

Let's face it. You don't have a very good grip on your argument and you like to battle against arguments that I haven't made because you don't have an answer for the ones I actually make. You're a walking strawman factory.

God you are so wrong its funny. Quick google search:

The New York Times:
"Economic Scene; Puzzling Poverty Of the 80's Boom"

"DESPITE what you may be hearing from some of the candidates in New Hampshire, the bad old 80's were actually a lot like the good old 60's. The expansion lasted for almost as long as the 60's boom, eight years. The economy grew by nearly as much. And unemployment fell by an even bigger increment.

But in at least one vital dimension, the 80's were totally unlike the 60's. The official poverty rate, which counts the number of people whose income falls short of some minimum level, did not come down as the economy rose. While poverty shrank by a quarter in those golden Kennedy-Johnson years, it was actually higher at the end of the Reagan boom than in 1979.

That is pretty surprising no matter what side of the political divide one is on. Every prior economic expansion since World War II has lifted all boats, even the recovery in the sickly 70's. In fact, the skiffs of the working poor have generally been lifted faster than other Americans during economic rebounds, while joblessness ebbs after hitting low-income workers hardest in recessions."
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #172
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I didn't say I proved a link. You can't prove a link for any of your prescriptions either.

And yes I know what strawman means. It's a strawman when you pretend that I made an argument that I didn't make and proceed to argue against that fictional position. Like when you say I rewrote history and tried to prove it by saying that Reagan raised taxes (not tax rates, which is what my argument was based on).
I didn't say that. Learn reading comprehension. I said Reagan had to raise taxes to make up a budget shortfall from slashing high earners tax rates (which affect the middle class more). You are rewriting history by saying Cutting those tax rates had a positive effect for the middle class.

Read slow and take the sentences one at a time, you'll figure it out.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:00 PM   #173
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Other people have pointed out that Mexico is not a third world country. It has basic infrastructure. It has somewhat of a working government. You did not meet a challenge. I was talking about countries like Somalia. But if it is so easy, I'm sure you have others, right? Challenge not meet.

You continue to ignore that the U.S. is ranked around last among Developed Countries.
Other people (i.e. reflexively defensive mexico apologist kcnative) are wrong. Mexico is third world according to the traditional definition.

If you didn't know the definition of third world, you shouldn't have used the term in your challenge.

I don't care where the US is ranked on whatever measures you're talking about. That might be important to you, but it's not important to me. Since you haven't bothered to demonstrate that it's even a fact or what kind of methodology led to that "fact", I'm not sure what you want me to do with it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:02 PM   #174
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I didn't say that. Learn reading comprehension. I said Reagan had to raise taxes to make up a budget shortfall from slashing high earners tax rates (which affect the middle class more). You are rewriting history by saying Cutting those tax rates had a positive effect for the middle class.

Read slow and take the sentences one at a time, you'll figure it out.
He cut top rates, poverty declined. It's really pretty simple. Now if you want to argue that despite this correlation, there was no causal relationship, go for it. You can't prove that any more than I can prove causation. Why did you even ask me to show you a case of trickle down if you aren't going to accept any kind of evidence I could possibly provide? There will always be an opportunity for you to deny causation.

You challenge, I meet your challenge, you say it doesn't matter. OK, fun game.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
He cut top rates, poverty declined. It's really pretty simple. Now if you want to argue that despite this correlation, there was no causal relationship, go for it. You can't prove that any more than I can prove causation. Why did you even ask me to show you a case of trickle down if you aren't going to accept any kind of evidence I could possibly provide? There will always be an opportunity for you to deny causation.

You challenge, I meet your challenge, you say it doesn't matter. OK, fun game.
Poverty did not decline. Your entire argument is based off a faslehood.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
God you are so wrong its funny. Quick google search:

The New York Times:
"Economic Scene; Puzzling Poverty Of the 80's Boom"

"DESPITE what you may be hearing from some of the candidates in New Hampshire, the bad old 80's were actually a lot like the good old 60's. The expansion lasted for almost as long as the 60's boom, eight years. The economy grew by nearly as much. And unemployment fell by an even bigger increment.

But in at least one vital dimension, the 80's were totally unlike the 60's. The official poverty rate, which counts the number of people whose income falls short of some minimum level, did not come down as the economy rose. While poverty shrank by a quarter in those golden Kennedy-Johnson years, it was actually higher at the end of the Reagan boom than in 1979.

That is pretty surprising no matter what side of the political divide one is on. Every prior economic expansion since World War II has lifted all boats, even the recovery in the sickly 70's. In fact, the skiffs of the working poor have generally been lifted faster than other Americans during economic rebounds, while joblessness ebbs after hitting low-income workers hardest in recessions."
Except that I'm not wrong. That information is all present in the chart in post 77. There was a big upsurge in poverty at the end of the Carter administration and the beginning of the Reagan administration. Then Reagan reduced top rates and poverty declined. Just like I said it did.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #177
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Poverty did not decline. Your entire argument is based off a faslehood.
Embarrassing. You should quit now.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
I take a road to work. I make twenty thousand year, that road helped me make twenty thousand. The owner, who needs that road to get to work, receive shipments, and bring in clients, makes over a hundred thousand. Who benefited more for the roads?
Who pays more for those roads; the guy registering his one vehicle, purchasing x gallons of gasoline and paying local taxes or the trucking company registering and licensing their fleet of commercial vehicles, paying x gallons of fuel per truck and property taxes that will be substantially higher than those on a single family dwelling?


Quote:
Who needs more police protection, me or the rich? Who needs the basic utilities more, my house? or a restaurant? Who needs superhighways more? The average person or a corporation who enjoys cheap transportation costs to ship around the country?
Look at how each is funded, then decide who is providing the funding and to what degree in each situation.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #179
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Embarrassing. You should quit now.
You aren't even going to try and disprove the article I supplied?
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:16 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
You aren't even going to try and disprove the article I supplied?
I told you, I'm in agreement with the article you provided. It doesn't mean what you apparently think it means though. Big surprise.
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