Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

145 responses to “Global Economic September Thread”

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  1. pfft

    By HappyRenter @ 100:

    Gold and silver. It seems that the bubble has popped?

    2008 was a lot worse.

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  2. Scotsman

    Oh well, looks like Germany won’t be saving the euro after all- put on your shades- there’s going to be a big “boom”:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/09/germanys-top-judge-throws-major-monkey.html

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  3. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 101 – No one knows. Lots of foks making confident prognostications based upon a short term move. And define “bubble” while you are at it.

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  4. Blurtman

    RE: David Losh @ 99 – It’s time for the Rapture.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 2

    This guy has been beating this drum for a long while. Let’s just call the Euro over ambitious, and without value.

    It’s interesting that China keeps challenging the dollar and they are the ones who own the gold, or control the gold, or are actively mining gold. I keep hearing some noise about a return to the gold standard, but that would never make any sense again.

    In the world of Fiat Money Central Europe could never compete. My thoughts have always been that Germany, France, and Great Britian, as opposed to England, just wanted to expand the currency in a hope that they could play with the United States, China, and Russia.

    In my opinion the Euro can die an orderly death with debt forgiveness. My opinion is that we are going to need to see a lot of debt forgiveness, everywhere.

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  6. Kary L. Krismer

    On the topic of stagnant wages, they actually have been going up, but just not in a way that’s reported. Yesterday the news was that health care insurance costs have doubled in 10 years. That’s roughly an extra 7-8k of benefits for a family on average.

    I think if most people realized what being able to go to see the doctor for a $20 was really costing them, they’d chose something else, like more money.

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  7. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 106:

    On the topic of stagnant wages, they actually have been going up, but just not in a way that’s reported. Yesterday the news was that health care insurance costs have doubled in 10 years. That’s roughly an extra 7-8k of benefits for a family on average.

    I think if most people realized what being able to go to see the doctor for a $20 was really costing them, they’d chose something else, like more money.

    no.

    “Skin in the Game” Fails As a Health Care Cost Control Idea
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/09/27/skin-in-the-game-is-failure-as-a-health-care-cost-control-idea/

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  8. pfft

    it won’t pass. republicans don’t want a better economy because it helps obama’s already great chance to have a second term.

    Obama Plan Prevents 2012 Recession: Economists
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-28/obama-jobs-plan-prevents-2012-recession-in-survey-of-economists.html

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  9. David Losh

    RE: pfft @ 108

    I think the Jobs Bill was the most brilliant move this President could have made. Of course the Republicans won’t pass it. They are too busy trying to get a canidate together; hey how about Sarah Palin?

    The Jobs Bill comes with a tax increase for the wealthy which the Tea Party won’t allow. It puts pressure on the debt reduction commission to work in Obama’s favor. It gets political movement where none existed before. It launches his reelection campaign.

    I don’t see what Republicans can do at this point. The African American pizza guy just won the Florida staw poll. There has to be something wrong with that. He’s the one who wanted to put oil companies in charge of the EPA. Sheesh.

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  10. Daryl Kelb

    By pfft @ 11:

    the republican party is a sad joke. people like ron paul are just a big joke.

    Anyone who is educated about the economy realizes that Ron Paul has correctly predicted and offered educated solutions for the current crisis we are in. If you prefer to pump presidential candidates who are financially backed by corrupt central bankers, be my guest; however, not everyone blindly “trusts” the central banker controlled mainstream media or the various sock puppets employed across the Internet’s comment forums, using MetalGear software specifically developed to control several different realistic personas in an effort to sway mass public opinion with disinformation.

    Some of us are aware, friend. This makes sock puppetry a little more difficult than simply announcing that candidates working against central banker-supported communitarianism (ref: Niki Raapana and Joan Veon; Google them) are simply “a big joke.”

    Polls conducted for many years in the US clearly show that the vast majority of Americans are Libertarian in their beliefs (Ron Paul is Libertarian). Libertarians have been under attack by the central bankers, IMF, World Bank, and Bank of International Settlements for decades now, since the Libertarians are aware of the central banker con job that seeks to disinform the public and control governments through the lending of private banker money, at interest.

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  11. Daryl Kelb

    By David Losh @ 10:

    Does any one want to discuss the wall of white debate last night?

    What does color have to do with the presidential debate? Please explain.

    Also, are you aware that for the last few presidential elections, private thinktanks such as the CFR have been financially supporting several hand-picked candidates on both the right and the left, in an effort to dominate US politics with central banker-friendly candidates?

    If you are truly concerned about color, then you will be more concerned about the private purchasing of the majority of presidential candidates we are asked to select from (this excludes Ron Paul, by the way, since he is not backed by central banker monies).

    Central banker monies have been funding the disinformation that Ron Paul is a racist. This makes it easy for people to turn off to the single candidate that is not backed by private banker money. How convenient.

    Please stop perpetuating the lies.

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 7:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 106:
    On the topic of stagnant wages, they actually have been going up, but just not in a way that’s reported. Yesterday the news was that health care insurance costs have doubled in 10 years. That’s roughly an extra 7-8k of benefits for a family on average.

    I think if most people realized what being able to go to see the doctor for a $20 was really costing them, they’d chose something else, like more money.

    no.

    �Skin in the Game� Fails As a Health Care Cost Control Idea
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/09/27/skin-in-the-game-is-failure-as-a-health-care-cost-control-idea/

    I don’t think that article is very complete. They look at one factor and track it against prices, and assume that one factor (number of people with higher deductibles) doesn’t affect prices.

    Health care costs are determined by many factors. If, for example, you had more people either insured or getting government benefits for treatment (total), you could tend to see higher prices even with a slight increase in the number of people with high deductibles. One thing would tend to increase prices, and one tend to decrease them.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 9:

    I think the Jobs Bill was the most brilliant move this President could have made.

    If you judge brilliance by being politically astute, I’d agree with you. If you view brilliance by actually proposing something that he thinks will work and has a snowball’s chance of passing, it would fail miserably.

    IMHO it’s just another example of how extreme partisan politics is keeping things from getting done in Washington DC (and there are other examples on the other side–it’s not just one side).

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  14. doug

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 111

    I think you’re half right here. Kary. It’s a political move, and probably an astute one, and it won’t pass.

    On the other hand, I DO think Obama would like nothing more than if the bill actually passed. This bill raises taxes slightly on the wealthy (who were essentially unhurt by the recession) to create middle-class blue-collar jobs that our country desperately needs, and rebuild infrastructure that’s going to need to be rebuilt very soon anyway.

    That that’s considered “extreme(ly) partisan” speaks more to the mindset of the current GOP than anything else.

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    By doug @ 112:

    That that’s considered “extreme(ly) partisan” speaks more to the mindset of the current GOP than anything else.

    I think both are extremely partisan because there is an obvious middle ground which neither side ever mentions. Tax those with higher income at a greater rate, unless that income is generated from a business activity where the business employs people. So for example, you have an individual or corporation that employees people, they would pay a lower rate on the portion of income generated from their business activity than they would from interest income.

    Although I still think a complete overhaul of the tax system would be best.

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  16. Kary L. Krismer

    BTW, I was watching Jon Stewart the other night, probably from a show a week ago last Monday, and he was mocking a Subway franchise owner who made the mistake of referring to needing $200,000 to “feed” his family. The guy’s numbers, as I recall them, were $6M in gross revenue and $800k in net income. Stewart made a comment that made him think that if they guy took $600k of that profit, and plugged it back into the business, that he wouldn’t be taxed on that income. That’s not the case since whatever the investment was would likely be some type of capital investment, which would need to be depreciated over time.

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  17. Sweet Pea

    I would think a wealth tax could be more effective than higher taxes on higher income tiers. As others have pointed out, some people with higher incomes are still on the upward trajectory of building businesses, making capital investments, etc.

    Smaller-time savers who are fiscally prudent and trying to preserve their nut sitting in cash are earning nothing. Yet, if they invested that it would have relatively little impact systemically, but a big impact on them individually if it disappeared.

    Tax the massive wealth that’s just sitting around in cash and bonds, not being deployed for hiring or purchasing or investing, particularly for individuals and corporations that have it in abundance. Tier it, so the more you have sitting, the more it hurts to let it sit. Currently, all savers of cash are being penalized, some are just more equal than others; encourage mom and pop and joe(sephine) schmoe to continue to try to save what they can, and stick it to the 8+-figure-multi-millionaire and billionaires whose futures wouldn’t be jeopardized by deploying relatively more savings.

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  18. Blurtman

    UBS rogue trader to hit City bank bonuses

    Bankers across the City of London are preparing to have their bonuses slashed in the wake of the rogue trader scandal at UBS.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8790552/UBS-rogue-trader-to-hit-City-bank-bonuses.html

    Here, a lone rogue trader causes losses at UBS so large that folks at UBS and other banks who had nothing to do with this are having their bonuses cut.

    On the other hand, we have Tim “Arsewipe” Geithner defending the need to pay bonuses to the AIG Financial Products Group employees who did cause the downfall of their company through their own actions.

    There must have been something very special about the AIG Financial Products Group people.

    Doh!

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  19. doug

    RE: Sweet Pea @ 117

    I don’t disagree. Nor, do I disagree with Kary’s proposal (though the big cut in payroll taxes was a stab at this, no?) I’d MUCH MUCh rather raise the capital gains tax than raise the highest tax rate. I think it would have beneficial effects above and beyond raising a little scratch, by reducing volatility in the markets, and speculative bubbles.

    However, that doesn’t mean Obama’s proposal to raise taxes to a level that’s still historically quite low is extremely partisan. Take the emotion out of it, it’s a smallish tax bump on a segment of the population that is doing extremely well (and is hoarding cash) in order to supplement programs that should have the net effect of stimulating demand, which our economy needs. What would be the end effect? The government would have a little extra money, the top incomes would probably be more inclined to invest their money rather than sit on it (a good thing!) and their standard of living would be completely unchanged.

    I’m willing to give a few percentage more for the financial health of the country. I’ll survive. Honestly, I’d probably just move my contributions out of a Roth and into a standard 401k, boo hoo. The top bracket will survive too. Count on it.

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  20. Scotsman

    How are we going to “grow” our way to higher home prices, etc. without increasing productivity? No productivity gains, no real wage gains. Without real growth the whole scheme falls apart:

    http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2011/09/the-productivity-slowdown-reaffirmed.html

    http://libertystreeteconomics.typepad.com/.a/6a01348793456c970c014e8be0c88a970d-450wi

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  21. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 18:

    UBS rogue trader to hit City bank bonuses

    I really don’t think those bonuses were probably very big, since City Bank went under on 4/16/10.

    Did you mean Citibank? ;-)

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  22. Kary L. Krismer

    By doug @ 19:

    I don’t disagree. Nor, do I disagree with Kary’s proposal (though the big cut in payroll taxes was a stab at this, no?) I’d MUCH MUCh rather raise the capital gains tax than raise the highest tax rate.

    Part of the reason for a lower cap gain rate was that in prior years the tax rate went up to 70%, and if you had a large capital gain that could really nail you due to grouping income all in one year. It’s not as necessary now, and is just a device to encourage capital investment.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to create a Jon Stewart rule (reference to my prior post) where an entire investment in certain active capital assets could be deducted entirely in the year incurred, and then taxed at normal rates when sold.

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  23. pfft

    By Daryl Kelb @ 110:

    By pfft @ 11:
    the republican party is a sad joke. people like ron paul are just a big joke.

    Anyone who is educated about the economy realizes that Ron Paul has correctly predicted and offered educated solutions for the current crisis we are in.

    ron paul doesn’t have a clue about the economy and politics. see his civil rights stance. his “solutions” would only make the economy worse not better.

    he thinks inflation is 10%. not a clue.

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  24. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 123

    OMG- you’re correct! It’s actually even higher- try 12%!

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

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  25. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 121 – No, City of London, i.e., City (of London) bank bonuses. Read the linked story.

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  26. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 124:

    RE: pfft @ 123

    OMG- you’re correct! It’s actually even higher- try 12%!

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

    shadow stats is bogus. even the owner of the site says so. he just adds a fixed number to whatever the inflation rate is. by his inflation rate the economy has contracted by nearly 10%! none of that shows up in any statistics like industrial production or unemployment. of course you’d believe him.

    MIT’s billion prices project has inflation at right about what the government numbers are.

    http://bpp.mit.edu/usa/

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  27. pfft

    btw the way scotsman, you should love obama’s buffet rule/budget as it will stabilize our debt to gdp ratio that you are supposedly so concerned about.

    President’s Budget Plan Would, Indeed, Stabilize the Debt
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/president’s-budget-plan-would-indeed-stabilize-the-debt/

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  28. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 126

    ” by his inflation rate the economy has contracted by nearly 10%!”

    Sounds about right. Something about trillions of dollars in lost equity comes to mind….. I guess you missed that- Krugman must not have mentioned it, since it didn’t fit his meme.

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  29. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 27

    Would that be like the budget from 2002 that had us running big surpluses by now?

    And what has Obama done to “stabilize” the debt? Oh, I forgot- he doesn’t even have a budget, hasn’t had one for over two years. I hope when he does come up with one it fares better than the claim that unemployment will be drop to less than 8% that accompanied the first stimulus request. That worked well, eh? Jokers.

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  30. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 129

    I thought Congress supplied the budget.

    Actually I was surprised that the stimulus worked as well as it did. There is no doubt now from any one that unemployment was stabilized by the governments, I mean globally, infusions.

    I think this is where a lot of people get confused. It’s not only, or solely the United States government that is incurring debt to boost the global economy. It’s China, Russia, and Europe. South America is where the next shoe will drop as the emerging markets are rapidly building consumer debt.

    This is a “Financial Crisis.” The financial markets, are debt markets. The global economy is trading debt, including government debt in the form of bonds.

    It’s all debt. The United States debt isn’t standing alone out there. We can’t just fix that. Well, we can, but it means we crash the global market place and millions, if not billions, of people will be in worse shape then they are today.

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  31. David Losh

    RE: Daryl Kelb @ 11

    I missed this, and it is one of my favorite topics. I have no idea who Ron Paul is. I had to check the spelling. If he is a Libertarian then he is main stream, ultra conservative. So what, no one cares.

    What I was referring to is that the point of the debate was that we have to get Obama out of office. The debate of the conservative crowd was that Obama may have an agenda so that would be a bad thing.

    I was especially impressed with how this group of white, ultra conservatives, put an African American pizza guy in the middle podium. He’s the one who wants to put the oil companies in charge of the EPA. It was both sad, but a little humorous. He, by the way won the straw poll of conservative canidates in Florida. What a hoot.

    Never mind that. I just find white people funny. No one in that debate, of white people, talking about white people issues, and concerns, addressed any positive steps to help America, or the global community. It was all negativity about what can we do to protect white interests around the world.

    It was just white people talking about petty little white people business about how much more they can get for white people.

    Is that a little more clear for you? or do you want to talk some more about white people business, like Central Banking.

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  32. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 130

    “Actually I was surprised that the stimulus worked as well as it did. There is no doubt now from any one that unemployment was stabilized by the governments, I mean globally, infusions.”

    Are we on the same planet? Third rock from the sun, right?

    David- try to get one thing through your head and focus on it: Nothing is stabilized. Today people are saying europe is “stabilized” because the Germans decided to play along with the newest-latest-greatest attempt to save the euro. You know, the one where they borrow their way out of debt by increasing the size of the new debt and spreading it around so it will infect even the last few healthy economies.

    That’s not stability- it’s just another nail in the coffin lid so the stink won’t leak out quite so soon. But don’t think the body isn’t still rotting away in there. They bought 6 months max.

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  33. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Yeah, congress supplies the budget- except that they haven’t gotten around to it for a couple of years. Who cares, it’s all make believe any way. Obama did submit a suggested budget- it was voted down almost unanimously. That was funny.

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  34. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 132

    This is real simple. Greece, Spain, Portugaul. and Italy will default out of the Euro. They had peferfectly fine currencies that could withstand all of the bogus accounting they wanted, or needed to do. It’s no big deal. England still has the Pound, no big deal.

    All of those are socialist countries.

    Russia is already making to move to re elect Putin and dominate the global economy. China is cooked. They made a lot of extended financial moves that will bury them. The investment they have in the United States is going to turn around to bite them.

    You’re really concerned about the United States debt. I can’t figure out why. We have the dominate currency, and a mechanism to deleverage our consumer debt through bankruptcy. Our economy can grow while sending the losses off shore. The financial markets are global. The debt will transfer to where ever it’s been sold.

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  35. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 128:

    RE: pfft @ 126

    ” by his inflation rate the economy has contracted by nearly 10%!”

    Sounds about right. Something about trillions of dollars in lost equity comes to mind….. I guess you missed that- Krugman must not have mentioned it, since it didn’t fit his meme.

    huh? what do you even mean? that’s a contraction of 10% THIS YEAR! the data simply does not support your false inflation figures.

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  36. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 29:

    RE: pfft @ 27

    Would that be like the budget from 2002 that had us running big surpluses by now?

    And what has Obama done to “stabilize” the debt? Oh, I forgot- he doesn’t even have a budget, hasn’t had one for over two years. I hope when he does come up with one it fares better than the claim that unemployment will be drop to less than 8% that accompanied the first stimulus request. That worked well, eh? Jokers.

    you made the same mistakes twice. in both cases we didn’t have all the data.

    1. we(they) didn’t know that bush would run up the deficit with 2 unfunded wars, 2 unfunded tax cuts for the rich and an unfunded medicare part D giveaway to the drug companies.

    2. Romer didn’t have enough real-time data to show that the recession was going to be so bad. the stimulus saved millions of jobs though.

    Obama’s Economic Stimulus Program Created Up to 3.3 Million Jobs, CBO Says
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-25/obama-s-economic-stimulus-program-created-up-to-3-3-million-jobs-cbo-says.html

    “he doesn’t even have a budget, hasn’t had one for over two years.”

    probably because the republicans are filibustering it.

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  37. pfft

    remember most of the national debt is from republican presidents and most of our future deficits are from bush’s policies.

    Whose Deficit Is It, Anyway?
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/whose-deficit-is-it-anyway/

    then there is this.

    71% of national debt happened during GOP presidencies; 28% under Dem presidents
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/07/71-of-national-debt-happened-during-gop.html

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  38. Sweet Pea

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 121

    “City” is a common term for London’s financial industry.

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  39. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 125:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 121 – No, City of London, i.e., City (of London) bank bonuses. Read the linked story.

    Actually, I only had to read the link you had.

    It was a joke, but thanks to Sweat Pea for the further explanation.

    I only brought it up because every time I think of the local City Bank I wonder WTF were they thinking with that name?

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  40. pfft

    possible recession coming.

    “It’s Going to Get a Lot Worse”: ECRI’s Achuthan Says New Recession Unavoidable
    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/going-lot-worse-ecri-achuthan-says-recession-unavoidable-141929160.html

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  41. Scotsman

    All of you who think government spending/stimulus is the way out should spend a few minutes pondering this:

    http://azizonomics.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/unemp-vs-spending1.jpeg

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  42. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 141:

    All of you who think government spending/stimulus is the way out should spend a few minutes pondering this:

    http://azizonomics.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/unemp-vs-spending1.jpeg

    you should probably read basic textbook economics. we know stimulus works. krugman said we could use a 1950s textbook to fight this slump.

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  43. whatsmyname

    By Scotsman @ 141:

    All of you who think government spending/stimulus is the way out should spend a few minutes pondering this:

    http://azizonomics.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/unemp-vs-spending1.jpeg

    Wow, Government spending is less volatile than the private sector, and therefore represents a growing percentage of a shrinking GDP when the private economy is falling into recession. Not only that, but unemployment goes up during recessions.

    This fellow has brilliantly conflated two pieces of common knowledge into a chart, and suggests on his site that it means something more. I think he knows better, but also knows that this will be spread far and wide by fools and shills.

    Did you not even notice that unemployment was the leading rather than following indicator on this chart?

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  44. pfft

    By whatsmyname @ 143:

    By Scotsman @ 141:
    All of you who think government spending/stimulus is the way out should spend a few minutes pondering this:

    http://azizonomics.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/unemp-vs-spending1.jpeg

    Wow, Government spending is less volatile than the private sector, and therefore represents a growing percentage of a shrinking GDP when the private economy is falling into recession. Not only that, but unemployment goes up during recessions.

    This fellow has brilliantly conflated two pieces of common knowledge into a chart, and suggests on his site that it means something more. I think he knows better, but also knows that this will be spread far and wide by fools and shills.

    Did you not even notice that unemployment was the leading rather than following indicator on this chart?

    good answer. scotsman doesn’t know that not only does gdp fall during recession but revenue falls because of unemployment while spending goes up because we’re spending more on unemployment, food stamps and etc.

    unbelievable. what do you expect from someone who gets his views from a fiction author while trashing a nobel winning econimist?

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  45. whatsmyname

    RE: pfft @ 144

    I am sure I don’t know who you mean, but here is a quote from Paul Krugman that contains more wit and wisdom than anything (and everything) ever written by Ayn Rand:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

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