T Nation

On Obamanomics

I wanted to share with other members something that I found to be spot on regarding one response to President Obama’s future plans for America:

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

^^ Apropos of nothing, I guess. Fair enough.

Meanwhile, real wages actually went down under the last 8 years of Republican control. Americans are making less money than they did during the 90s, when adjusted for inflation. The average household’s income has declined. Americans are working more and making less, than they did before. And with all the layoffs, employees are being asked to do more, with less staff. So we work harder and earn less money than before.

I remember when I was a kid, most households had one income. Dad worked, and Mom stayed at home and took care of the kids. That was real “family values”… which are at their core an economic phenomena, and not a cultural one. That’s not possible for most families now… Mom has to work, out of necessity. And so we see the decline in values in our youth. It’s not a coincidence IMO.

But we’ll put ZEB in the category of ‘don’t change a thing’ because apparently he’s doing fine, financially. Duly noted.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it
[/quote]

Good God. I shall make that into a bumper sticker, at once! Don’t steal my idea.

“The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples money.” Margret Thatcher

another one

â??We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handleâ??

Winston Churchill

The name of this thread made me laugh.

The point of this thread made me tired. I’ve just heard so much of this stuff lately.

Never, ever, believe a person who claims to love the liberty of the individual, when they work to undermine individual responsibility. You can’t divorce the two.
-Sloth, Sept. 29, 2009

I’m pretty sure Obama is a stinky socialist. He’s ruining our country.
-Gambit_lost, Sept. 29, 2009

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

You know zebbie, it’s been obvious for years now that you use your mick puppet account to reinforce your own posts. (but hey, you got us all fooled, dood.)

But I’m shocked that “zebbie the pinhead” didn’t work in some sort of homophobic gay marriage reference too.

Maybe Mick will figure out a way to blame taxes on homos.

[quote]K2000 wrote:
^^ Apropos of nothing, I guess. Fair enough.

Meanwhile, real wages actually went down under the last 8 years of Republican control. Americans are making less money than they did during the 90s, when adjusted for inflation. The average household’s income has declined. Americans are working more and making less, than they did before. And with all the layoffs, employees are being asked to do more, with less staff. So we work harder and earn less money than before.

I remember when I was a kid, most households had one income. Dad worked, and Mom stayed at home and took care of the kids. That was real “family values”… which are at their core an economic phenomena, and not a cultural one. That’s not possible for most families now… Mom has to work, out of necessity. And so we see the decline in values in our youth. It’s not a coincidence IMO.

But we’ll put ZEB in the category of ‘don’t change a thing’ because apparently he’s doing fine, financially. Duly noted.[/quote]

The labor market in America has changed drastically since those olden days. We also consider a lot mroe stuff “essential” compared to what people used to live on. And real estate prices have freakin skyrocketed thanks to free money from the fed.

So, basically, the time you’re describing? That super awesome time when one persons income was enough? It existed before big government.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
We also consider a lot mroe stuff “essential” compared to what people used to live on.
[/quote]

I think people often miss this point when they refer to the good ole days of one-income families. Just take a look at what many families have today that is considered normal. Two or more cars, several televisions with cable/satellite service, one or more computers, more than one phone line and/or cell phones, microwaves, extra fridges/freezers, power lawnmowers and yard tools, video games systems, air conditioning, etc, etc.

[quote]K2000 wrote:
^^ Apropos of nothing, I guess. Fair enough.

Meanwhile, real wages actually went down under the last 8 years of Republican control. Americans are making less money than they did during the 90s, when adjusted for inflation. The average household’s income has declined. Americans are working more and making less, than they did before. And with all the layoffs, employees are being asked to do more, with less staff. So we work harder and earn less money than before.

I remember when I was a kid, most households had one income. Dad worked, and Mom stayed at home and took care of the kids. That was real “family values”… which are at their core an economic phenomena, and not a cultural one. That’s not possible for most families now… Mom has to work, out of necessity. And so we see the decline in values in our youth. It’s not a coincidence IMO.

But we’ll put ZEB in the category of ‘don’t change a thing’ because apparently he’s doing fine, financially. Duly noted.[/quote]

You are aware that you compete with 2 billion Chinese and Indians now?

How is that anybody s fault and why do those who are still able to compete have to be burdened with ever more taxes to support those who cannot?

Yes, competing with those pesky indiands and chinese is the general argument why we’re getting poorer.

But I get an idea why most people think in their guts, that it’s a zero sum game!

I guess, we can only hope for threshold and developing countries to never get better. Because apparently, the result with our current economic model would be global pauperism (save for a few gillionaires).

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Yes, competing with those pesky indiands and chinese is the general argument why we’re getting poorer.

But I get an idea why most people think in their guts, that it’s a zero sum game!

I guess, we can only hope for threshold and developing countries to never get better. Because apparently, the result with our current economic model would be global pauperism (save for a few gillionaires).
[/quote]

How so?

There are hundred of millions of Chinese and Indians now that have been freed from subsistence agriculture and the price some dozen of millions of Europeans and Americans paid were stagnating wages.

So all in all the poor have become richer.

The problem seems to be that the people financing that upswing are living in Europe and America too and do of course profit from these booming economies.

All of that does not mean that American rich steal from American poor people but that Indians get the jobs of Americans financed by American financial institutions.

That may be a little bit of a problem but Europeans and Americans “suffer” at a very high level compared to the rest of the world.

So no, the poor are not getting poorer because Chinese and Indians are human people too.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Yes, competing with those pesky indiands and chinese is the general argument why we’re getting poorer.

But I get an idea why most people think in their guts, that it’s a zero sum game!

I guess, we can only hope for threshold and developing countries to never get better. Because apparently, the result with our current economic model would be global pauperism (save for a few gillionaires).
[/quote]

BTW, this is the logic of the welfare state:

If money is transferred from rich Europeans and Americans to poor Indians and Chinese than maximum utility rises.

Rejoice!

Of course that is pure BS, but if you conceded that you would also have to concede that redistribution in the arbitrary area of a nation state is also BS, which is something you are not willing to do.

It’s not welfare logic, since no (welfare)money is spend according to a western plan.

And this is not about forced redistribution. (BTW, since it was communist redistibutors who did this wonderous “wirtschaftswunder”, I guess you have to cut them some slack)

Hundreds of millions of asians got richer. You don’t need a lot to advance from poverty to low middle class.
The chinese dream in the sixties/seventies was described as: a bicycle, a sewing machine, a wrist watch, a radio.
Nowadays, it’s a car, modest furniture, bigscreen TV, a karaoke machine etc.

The question is: will they get it? It’s one thing to outfit everyone with a fishing rod. It’s a wide stretch however, to imagine that a yacht will be the logical next step.

According to you, the first little step did cost the west’s middle class a lot (thourgh competition). What will the next step bring?
If the world’s other poor (billion) souls rise up to work hard, will “our” fortune plummet again (more competition)?
Will someday the word’s majority be lower middle class?

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
It’s not welfare logic, since no (welfare)money is spend according to a western plan.

And this is not about forced redistribution. (BTW, since it was communist redistibutors who did this wonderous “wirtschaftswunder”, I guess you have to cut them some slack)

Hundreds of millions of asians got richer. You don’t need a lot to advance from poverty to low middle class.
The chinese dream in the sixties/seventies was described as: a bicycle, a sewing machine, a wrist watch, a radio.
Nowadays, it’s a car, modest furniture, bigscreen TV, a karaoke machine etc.

The question is: will they get it? It’s one thing to outfit everyone with a fishing rod. It’s a wide stretch however, to imagine that a yacht will be the logical next step.

According to you, the first little step did cost the west’s middle class a lot (thourgh competition). What will the next step bring?
If the world’s other poor (billion) souls rise up to work hard, will “our” fortune plummet again (more competition)?
Will someday the word’s majority be lower middle class? [/quote]

Well first, where would that be billion be? There is only one billion left and they do not seem to able to get at least a stable dictatorship going. If they also rose to lower middle class level, more power to them. That would probably cost us another decade of stagnating wages but so what Africans are people too. Incidentally China already is starting to outsource.
Sooner or later it will stop though because we will run out of poor people and than wages will rise again world wide.

Then, so what if nobody made that happening vis a central plan. That just shows what libertarians have said all along namely that the free market takes care of poor people best. Surely achieving the goals without coercion is even better?

Is it not interesting that German unions demand “solidarity” from rich Germans yet go apeshit when their wealth is spread to even poorer Chinese people? Where is so inclined IO might feel tempted to point out that they are not about fairness, solidarity and equality but about securing the well being of their constituency.

Alan Greenspan: Buy Gold

"The gains are â??strictly a monetary phenomenon,â?? Greenspan said today at an investment conference in New York. Rising prices of precious metals and other commodities are â??an indication of a very early stage of an endeavor to move away from paper currencies,â?? he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601083&sid=acrGvxBXPDfk

The end of paper money is approaching.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
We also consider a lot mroe stuff “essential” compared to what people used to live on.

I think people often miss this point when they refer to the good ole days of one-income families. Just take a look at what many families have today that is considered normal. Two or more cars, several televisions with cable/satellite service, one or more computers, more than one phone line and/or cell phones, microwaves, extra fridges/freezers, power lawnmowers and yard tools, video games systems, air conditioning, etc, etc.[/quote]

This is actually a good point. Back when my grandpa work at “the mill,” he had seven kids and a wife to feed on that salary… And he/they did it. The question is, I suppose, could it be done today with the standards of living that existed back then. In other words: could I (his grandson) go to a similar mill (producing some product of today) and make a wage that would support my family up to the standards that my grandfather had? Honestly, I’m not sure, I haven’t looked at anything scientific that has done this, but I somehow still doubt it.

You make a damn good point though. I think a lot of families who “need” two-incomes could get by with one if they dropped their standard of living a bit.