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America’s Has-Been Economy

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Here is an article that I like:

March 15, 2005

America’s Has-Been Economy

By Paul Craig Roberts

A country cannot be a superpower without a high tech economy, and America’s high tech economy is eroding as I write.

The erosion began when US corporations outsourced manufacturing. Today many US companies are little more than a brand name selling goods made in Asia.

[ . . . ]

Complete article is at http://www.vdare.com/roberts/050315_economy.htm

Regards.
 

V.I. Lenin

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Shh! Outsourcing is GOOD...why? Uhm.....we save money! What are the other benefits?.........................did i already say we save money? Yes? Well.....................................uhm

:spin:
 

Repub05

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This has nothing to do with the topic (sorry Asian) but V.I. Lenin, what does the hammer mean? what party does that represent?
 

stsburns

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Sony, Honda, Toyota, Pansonic, etc...

The Author must be in his own world.

Besides we all like to pay cheap for the things we buy, like :2wave:.
 

RightinNYC

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Yea, this article is neither new, nor anything special.

Just a rehashing of the same alarmist "outsourcing" tripe.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Not much of a debate here. It started with a halfhearted "here's-a-link only" OP, and has been rebutted by mere hand waving.

I'd like to point out that despite the "alarmist tripe", those of us who in 2003 realized the USD was gonna drop have made quite the comfy return (for indexed funds anyway)- around 20%.

While there're many complex issues surrounding global finances, the affair is not entirely inscrutable.

The facts are that foreign countries are financing our spending. We find ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Central banks have begun to quietly and gradually diversify out of their USD holdings. The dollar ain't what it used to be largely because we've borrowed so heavily. There actually is a looming crisis. All it would take would be for certain variables to line up, then despite everyone's efforts there'd be a serious and sudden revaluation of the dollar. What keeps it afloat now is that no country will benefit from this. No one who is owed a debt valued in dollars wants the value of those dollars to drop. No one who is purchasing with dollars wants the value of their dollars to drop.

In bumper sticker parlance, Team Bush are borrow and spend liberals. Did i say liberals? I mean "big-government conservatives."
 

RightinNYC

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Simon W. Moon said:
Not much of a debate here. It started with a halfhearted "here's-a-link only" OP, and has been rebutted by mere hand waving.

I'd like to point out that despite the "alarmist tripe", those of us who in 2003 realized the USD was gonna drop have made quite the comfy return (for indexed funds anyway)- around 20%.

While there're many complex issues surrounding global finances, the affair is not entirely inscrutable.

The facts are that foreign countries are financing our spending. We find ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Central banks have begun to quietly and gradually diversify out of their USD holdings. The dollar ain't what it used to be largely because we've borrowed so heavily. There actually is a looming crisis. All it would take would be for certain variables to line up, then despite everyone's efforts there'd be a serious and sudden revaluation of the dollar. What keeps it afloat now is that no country will benefit from this. No one who is owed a debt valued in dollars wants the value of those dollars to drop. No one who is purchasing with dollars wants the value of their dollars to drop.

In bumper sticker parlance, Team Bush are borrow and spend liberals. Did i say liberals? I mean "big-government conservatives."
Again, nothing really new there. Shifts such as this one happen all the time. The majority of the decline of the dollar was a correction from when it was overvalued in the 90's. The US is still the worlds economic center, and the odds of those variables that you mentioned lining up are rather slim.
 

V.I. Lenin

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Repub05 said:
This has nothing to do with the topic (sorry Asian) but V.I. Lenin, what does the hammer mean? what party does that represent?
I'm not sure what you mean...the gavel? The golden gavel below my name? If so, that's for no party. This means I am not a member of the liberals, independants or the conservatives.
 

Simon W. Moon

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RightatNYU said:
The majority of the decline of the dollar was a correction from when it was overvalued in the 90's.
I'm not so sure that this is true. Certainly some couldbe attributed to this, however the unfavorable debt ratio has had a lot to do with the change.

RightatNYU said:
The US is still the worlds economic center..
It is, and will continue to be with appropriate stewardship.

RightatNYU said:
...the odds of those variables that you mentioned lining up are rather slim.
Maybe so. However a few years ago when I first began expressing the idea of diversifying out of holdings valued in USD I heard about how I was concerned for naught. Yet as it turns out I was concerned for a profit (of sorts).
These concerns have become more prevalent in the past few years. It has reached the point where Mr. Greenspan felt compelled to address the issue. While he also judged the odds were against such a string of variables coming to pass, he also said that actions must be taken to remove our vulnerability to such a possibility. If we remain vulnerable long enough chance will catch us.
As a nation, we need to get our fiscal issues under control before we face a "market corection."

In any case, I'm not willing to part with my international index funds just yet.
 

Simon W. Moon

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Anyway, like I was saying...

Here's a bellwether for anyone who has the willingness to see.
The question is will we be able to overcome the inertia that has lead us to this place before we endure "market corrections."
It's funny how important this issue is and yet how little impression it makes. Perhaps it's not 'sexy' enough to be newsworthy until the crisis is upon us.
"...Stuart Butler, head of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, and Isabel Sawhill, director of the left-leaning Brookings Institution's economic studies program, sat down with Comptroller General David M. Walker...
[Unanimously], they agreed that without some combination of big tax increases and major cuts ... the country will fall victim to the huge debt and soaring interest rates that collapsed Argentina's economy...
"The only thing the United States is able to do a little after 2040 is pay interest on massive and growing federal debt," Walker [Comptroller General] said. "The model blows up in the mid-2040s. What does that mean? Argentina."

"All true," Sawhill [Brookings], a budget official in the Clinton administration, concurred.

"To do nothing," Butler [Heritage] added, "would lead to deficits of the scale we've never seen in this country or any major in industrialized country. We've seen them in Argentina. That's a chilling thought, but it would mean that."

[Walker:] ...U.S. debt and obligations ... $45 trillion in current dollars -- almost ... the total net worth of all Americans ... $150,000 per person. Balancing the budget in 2040... could require cutting ... federal spending as much as 60 percent or raising taxes to 2 1/2 times today's levels.

... Heritage and Brookings ... don't agree on an exact solution ... but they seem to accept ... "you can't do it with either spending or taxes. ... going to need a mix of the two."

... both parties still deny the problem. "I don't think we're there yet," Walker said. "The American people have to understand where we are and where we're headed."

"No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years," Walker said. "Eventually, the crunch comes."
 
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RightinNYC

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Simon W. Moon said:
Anyway, like I was saying...

Here's a bellwether for anyone who has the willingness to see.
The question is will we be able to overcome the inertia that has lead us to this place before we endure "market corrections."
It's funny how important this issue is and yet how little impression it makes. Perhaps it's not 'sexy' enough to be newsworthy until the crisis is upon us.
"...Stuart Butler, head of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, and Isabel Sawhill, director of the left-leaning Brookings Institution's economic studies program, sat down with Comptroller General David M. Walker...
[Unanimously], they agreed that without some combination of big tax increases and major cuts ... the country will fall victim to the huge debt and soaring interest rates that collapsed Argentina's economy...
"The only thing the United States is able to do a little after 2040 is pay interest on massive and growing federal debt," Walker [Comptroller General] said. "The model blows up in the mid-2040s. What does that mean? Argentina."

"All true," Sawhill [Brookings], a budget official in the Clinton administration, concurred.

"To do nothing," Butler [Heritage] added, "would lead to deficits of the scale we've never seen in this country or any major in industrialized country. We've seen them in Argentina. That's a chilling thought, but it would mean that."

[Walker:] ...U.S. debt and obligations ... $45 trillion in current dollars -- almost ... the total net worth of all Americans ... $150,000 per person. Balancing the budget in 2040... could require cutting ... federal spending as much as 60 percent or raising taxes to 2 1/2 times today's levels.

... Heritage and Brookings ... don't agree on an exact solution ... but they seem to accept ... "you can't do it with either spending or taxes. ... going to need a mix of the two."

... both parties still deny the problem. "I don't think we're there yet," Walker said. "The American people have to understand where we are and where we're headed."

"No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years," Walker said. "Eventually, the crunch comes."
I read about this in the Times a few days ago, and felt it was laughable then. Whether or not our current system, if left completely unaltered, would result in something in 2040, that projection is useless. The world's economy is incredibly volatile, and there will be so many unexpected turns of events inbetween now and then so as to render that projection useless.

I agree it's a problem, but the Argentina analogy is a bit much.
 

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RightatNYU said:
Whether or not our current system, if left completely unaltered, would result in something in 2040, that projection is useless. The world's economy is incredibly volatile, and there will be so many unexpected turns of events inbetween now and then so as to render that projection useless.
Have you started planning for your retirement yet? It's a long way off, yes? Possibly further than 35 years. Sure all sorts of unexpected things will occur between now and then, yet, prosperity doesn't happen by accident, nor does one arrive there by heading the wrong direction. For future prosperity, one must take steps today. Steps which do not endanger future prosperity.
The uncertainties of the future don't negate the need for prudent fiscal planning- they emphasize it. There needs to be plenty of room to wriggle when times call for it.
It's clear the course we're on is not a good one. The only room for debate is really how long it'll take before things get so bad that the political will for change becomes greater than the inertia. However, this debate assumes that we have the luxury of enough time to change things should we so choose; however, as you pointed out, there will be unexpected turns of events. These turns coud leave us w/o time enough to prevent an unfortunate series of events despite a sudden surge of political will.

RightatNYU said:
I agree it's a problem, but the Argentina analogy is a bit much.
Well, you know what a reputation for excitability those government comptrollers have.
 

RightinNYC

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Simon W. Moon said:
Have you started planning for your retirement yet? It's a long way off, yes? Possibly further than 35 years. Sure all sorts of unexpected things will occur between now and then, yet, prosperity doesn't happen by accident, nor does one arrive there by heading the wrong direction. For future prosperity, one must take steps today. Steps which do not endanger future prosperity.
The uncertainties of the future don't negate the need for prudent fiscal planning- they emphasize it. There needs to be plenty of room to wriggle when times call for it.
It's clear the course we're on is not a good one. The only room for debate is really how long it'll take before things get so bad that the political will for change becomes greater than the inertia. However, this debate assumes that we have the luxury of enough time to change things should we so choose; however, as you pointed out, there will be unexpected turns of events. These turns coud leave us w/o time enough to prevent an unfortunate series of events despite a sudden surge of political will.

Well, you know what a reputation for excitability those government comptrollers have.
Yes, it's important to think about it, but it's also foolish if I were to say that because the economy is going good now, I'll have a good retirement then. There's no way to know. Saying it's looking like the entire country will fail is a bit alarmist.
 

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RightatNYU said:
Yes, it's important to think about it, but it's also foolish if I were to say that because the economy is going good now, I'll have a good retirement then. There's no way to know. Saying it's looking like the entire country will fail is a bit alarmist.
Well, they didn't quite say that. They said we can't go on this way. They said we need to make some changes that involve spending cuts and tax increases or we're most likely headed for ruin.
The question is how long will it take before the political will can overcome the inertia of politics-as-usual. How bad will it have to get before the rest of us John Qs start saying some things about it? How bad will it have to get before the politician's realize that us regular Joes do give a ****?

Examining the latest numbers from Gallup regarding the economy there's a two to one margin of 'fair or worse' to 'good or better' and almost the same margin for dissatisfied vs satisfied as to the general state of the country.
 

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Simon W. Moon said:
Well, they didn't quite say that. They said we can't go on this way. They said we need to make some changes that involve spending cuts and tax increases or we're most likely headed for ruin.
The question is how long will it take before the political will can overcome the inertia of politics-as-usual. How bad will it have to get before the rest of us John Qs start saying some things about it? How bad will it have to get before the politician's realize that us regular Joes do give a ****?

Examining the latest numbers from Gallup regarding the economy there's a two to one margin of 'fair or worse' to 'good or better' and almost the same margin for dissatisfied vs satisfied as to the general state of the country.
I still feel that it will all work out in the end.

And the public, which is normally misinformed on most issues, is especially misinformed on economic issues. I don't place much stock in opinion polls about the state of the economy.
 

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RightatNYU said:
I still feel that it will all work out in the end.
It may well. the possibility certainly there. The question is though how bad does it have to get before its fixed. Ideally, there'd be a proactive approach. Yet, certain elements of our system for enacting change render this somewhat unlikely.
However, it may come to pass that one day I'll be wrong about something. There's a first time for everything.

I think that we'll survive; however, I think we could do so much better than survival. I think that we should be prosperously thriving.

RightatNYU said:
And the public, which is normally misinformed on most issues, is especially misinformed on economic issues. I don't place much stock in opinion polls about the state of the economy.
As you wish. However, the polls were mentioned to point out that in some ways, the experts and the "misinformed" are in agreement that things aren't as they should be. They were not offerred for the earthy wisdom of us common folk.
The experts think that things need some changing and even us average Joes know it. The question is, "What will it takes for the politicians to respond to these concerns?" How bad will it have to get?
 
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