Need any more proof of Americas economic funeral

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Brian Foley, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    When a seemingly innocuous remark from the central bank of South Korea makes the dollar tank, as happened here , all is not well with the United States' position in the world economy.
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  3. kmguru Staff Member

    Here is an excerpt from CNN Lou Dobbs program (02/25/2005)

    Well, let's turn to the so-called free trade agreements in this country. The controversial Central American Free Trade Agreement goes before Congress next month. The White House says the deal will open up new markets for U.S. made goods in 6 Central American countries. And critics compare the agreement to NAFTA, they say it will only cost more American jobs.

    My next guest has written a new book on CAFTA. It's called "CAFTA and Free Trade: What Every American Should Know." And Greg Spotts is also the director of a highly acclaimed documentary, "American Jobs," which we have featured on this broadcast previously.

    And thanks very much for being here, Greg.

    GREG SPOTTS, AUTHOR/FILMMAKER: Thank you for having me.

    PILGRIM: You went and sat in living rooms of America, not as an economist, not as a politician, as a filmmaker and now as an author, and heard the stories of people across this country whose jobs have been sent overseas. What do you take away from all of this anecdotal evidence? There is a conclusion, I'm sure.

    SPOTTS: Yeah. The scary thing is other countries are finding ways to target jobs up and down the value chain. And the experiences of textile workers who's work has gone to Mexico or China are very similar to the experiences of software programmers whose work has gone to India. And I think we're starting to risk hollowing out the middle class and hollowing out our own earnings power if we just keep driving forward in the same direction.
    PILGRIM: Your book is great. And I had a chance to look through it this afternoon. And you say the average American is more concerned about this than the experts are. How concerned are the average Americans? And why aren't the experts? The anecdotal evidence seems overwhelming.

    SPOTTS: There's evidence that's more than anecdotal. We know that NAFTA resulted in the destruction of about 2 million American jobs. It also created about 1 million, so that's a net loss of 1 million jobs. We know that some of those jobs that went to Mexico have already been moved on to China.

    There's a lot of hard, scientific, you know, numerical evidence to suggest that this corporate friendly style of free trade that we're pursuing is designed to open new labor markets, not to open new markets for our American-made goods.

    PILGRIM: Some economists argue for global trade, but not the kind of free trade that we're seeing now. Do you see that distinction?

    SPOTTS: Oh, definitely. A lot of people think that globalization is sort of an inevitable historical process, but the rules of the road are written by lawyers and politicians, and they've been written to benefit large multinational corporations. Imagine if we were really serious about, you know, developing Latin America. We could have an escalating minimum wage, the right to unionize, worker safety standards, environmental standards. We could invest in housing for the workers, and you know, social services, police protection, basic things that they need. And we may end up with relationship with a strengthening country instead of a very, very poor country that's forced to just work for us at the lowest possible rate.

    PILGRIM: Do you think it's sufficient to just enforce the trade agreements and the provisions therein that are out there now, such as WTO?

    SPOTTS: No, not at all, although I do think that we're the only naive honorable player in the whole system. I think because the U.S. designed the system, we think people should be sticking to it, but I don't think there's a developed or a developing country that's really adhering to the letter and the spirit of the trade laws, except for us.

    PILGRIM: Greg Spotts, always a pleasure to talk to you, thank you very much.

    SPOTTS: Thank you for having me.

    PILGRIM: Well, outsourcing is booming more than expected in India. A new report shows that one million people there now have jobs that were outsourced from other countries. A staggering number of those jobs these workers now hold were once American jobs. Software experts say India will make more than $17 billion this year from software outsourcing alone. The president of India's National Software Association says India did not expect to make that much money from outsourcing because of the backlash from the United States, but he says the outsourcing wave has decreased, if not gone away fully.

    Well, we can tell you right now we're not going to stop reporting on this issue on this broadcast anytime soon.
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  5. kmguru Staff Member

    A snapshot of American Problems:

    o “Employers slashed over one million jobs in 2004 for the fourth straight year,” Challenger, Gray and Christmas.2005

    o We have lost jobs for the first four-year period since the Great Depression

    o Our Budget deficit is $150 Billion and growing

    o Our Job Growth is a net shortage of 3 million jobs

    o Our Trade deficit in the last 10 months is $500 Billion and growing year after year

    o Our war on terrorism is at $200 Billion and climbing; In Iraq today, it costs $1 billion a week for two divisions conducting stability operations

    o Our exports are on a downward trend - just look at Ohio and Pennsylvania

    o Outsourcing of Jobs and Manufacturing is accelerating

    o The Textile industry is going to lose 600,000 jobs due to the world wide embargo lift on China, effective January 1st 2005

    o China produces 40% cheaper goods than we do

    o India provides 60% cheaper high paying Computer Services than we do

    o Soon, China will be exporting Steel, Automobiles, and Machineries, which was our strength, already 96% of apparel is imported to America

    o Our Manufacturing is going to China, Korea and Mexico

    o Our Services are going to India and Ireland

    o The US is the largest debtor nation in the world

    o The US is the largest per capita consumer of energy

    o The US currency is in decline, assuring a decline in our way of life and our world super power status

    o Canada is Ohio’s #1 export partner (60%), Ohio’s #2 export partner is Mexico (7%); China is aggressively dumping products to Canada. It could take 2 years but, what if our Ohio exports to Canada drops to 35%? The result will be major job losses!

    o Consumers owe a whopping $9.9 trillion dollars & growing. “One of the implications of huge debt loads is that millions of Americans literally can not afford to retire,” Harvard Law, Warren 2005

    o Analysts now recommend it is risky to keep your money in U.S. Companies and are urging to invest overseas

    o China has replaced the United States as Malaysia's largest trading partner. Megatrends Asia Malaysia is currently #31 on the ‘03 Ohio export list and the ’02 to ’03 percentage change was -20% Ohio Exports 2003
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  7. kmguru Staff Member

    0:07am 03/01/05
    U.S. Feb. ISM manufacturing index slips to 55.3% By Greg Robb

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Factory activity in the United States decelerated in February, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday. This is the lowest level of the index since Sept. 2003. The ISM index fell to 55.3 percent in February from 56.4 percent in January. The decline was unexpected. The consensus forecast of estimates collected by Marketwatch was for the index to rise to 56.7. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. New orders fell to 55.8 in February from 56.5 in January. The employment index fell to 57.4 from 58.1.
  8. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

  9. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Dear, dear me! The sky is falling.......again!!!!!

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    During WWII, my mother always told me to eat everything on my plate. "Just think," she would say, "Of those poor starving children in Europe!" Well now, how about those poor unemployed folks in Europe? And in Japan?

    Of course, anyone who thinks the United States is on the wrong track is free to join those in Europe's workers' paradise..........

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  10. Undecided Banned Banned

    The sky is indeed falling ask Greenspan...
  11. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Of course he is saying the sky is falling. People worrying about the economy is job security for him.
  12. Undecided Banned Banned

    He is retiring next he's being deadly serious ur economy if it continues on its current path is "el fuckedo".
  13. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    yeah its landed somewhere between your ears marv !
    Jesus , a nostalgia trip and now the world outside thinks of all those poor , homeless and hungry American children , my , my how the worm turns .
    Hey Marv you dont live on a survivalist commune by any chance ?
  14. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Being retired, Brian, I don't worry about "starving". My pension and Social Security feed me and my wife just fine, maintain two SUVs and a SW, and five pups (dogs are always pups to me). As to the rest of the population, jeeze, it was announced that the US unemployment rate has RISEN to 5.4%. OMG, I missed that in the double digit rates in Europe. Hell, Germany even barred unemployment benefits to women who refuse to work as prostitutes! My 2004 Federal Income Tax was $108US. Isn't it great what tax cuts can do for an economy?

    And no, I'm not a survivalist. Just a deer hunter. And I don't live in a welfare commune like you, or try to eradicate koala bears!
  15. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Hey you have done well Marv ! Hmmm... I should of completed that extra year of school ? Shame about the other 25 million of your fellow retired Americans mired in poverty I suppose they are just losers .
    Or maybe your goverment is fiddling the true numbers of the unemployed ?
    European goverments can no longer pull the wool over their citizens eyes something Americans are beginning to realise with their own system .
    No Marv the tax cuts from Bush to the rich are a looting of the people , these tax cuts for the wealthy always precede an expected collapse . This is evident with this phony war on terror its just a cover for an imperial clash between America and the newly resurgent EU . America is fighting for its economic survival and that means US control of distribution of mideast oil which generates $1 trillion for the US economy . Thats the gamble if it fails the rich have their looted nest egg from the people to cushion their fall .
    What the hell is wrong with free health care , free education why should some snot nose rich kid get access to first class educational institutions ? Whilst poorer ones get a hand out education ?
  16. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    For a school dropout, I guess so.
    The definition of "Alternative measures of labor underutilization?", or U-6, reads like it was written by the Queen of Hearts.
    1998, Income $17,374, Tax $604
    1999, Income $16,746, Tax $441 (first Republican tax cut)
    2000, Income $16,890, Tax $461
    2001, Income $17,562, Tax $197 (2 heart attacks, big medical deduction)
    2002, Income $18,042, Tax $328
    2003, Income $18,318, Tax $81 (Bush's tax cut)
    2004, Income $19,011, Tax $108​
    Now do the math. Bush's tax cuts didn't fully come in until the 2003 tax year. See how much more I have to spend on things. Doesn't seem like much on an individual basis, but multiply it by the millions of families. And most have bigger incomes (and tax cuts) than I do. Remember, I'm on a pension and SS.

    Don't you wish the Peoples Republic of Australia would do the same?
    Nothing - if you can get somebody to pay for it. What gave you the idea that life is a handout? You want something? Work for it! You'd be surprised how easy it is. Free stuff reduces incentive to work to the extent that somebody can get something for nothing.

    Less work = less tax revenue. Just ask the Euro-pee-ons about their unemployment rates and sky-high taxes. Oh, BTW, apply that funny U-6 formula to Europe....

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  17. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Your being hoodwinked Marv by your freemarket masters its time you did your maths real wages have not kept up with inflation
    These tax cuts you trumpet are nothing more than a cost of living allowance bump , and a meagre one at that .
  18. goofyfish Analog By Birth, Digital By Design Valued Senior Member

    Gross income, perhaps. Not taxable income, which would be around
    $10,800 based on the tax you claim to have paid. Not everyone can
    find deductions for half of their claimed income. (U.S. Tax Schedules)

    :m: Peace.
  19. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    The incomes I posted were my taxable incomes as calculated, not my gross. The real gross would have included both my SS and my wife's SS (which incidently is greater than mine). Our combined SS is not high enough to be taxable. Further, the gross calculated on my Feredal pension is scaled each year to consider the income taxes I paid while working and paying income tax on my original 7% contribution to CRS.

    For example, our combined real gross income for 2004 was $20,424 (my CRS pension), $5,580 and $6,084 (the SS's). My taxes on $32,098 real gross in 2004 amounted to $108. And since we don't have a house mortgage anymore because it's paid off, we take the standard deduction.

    And Brian, I'm not greedy. And inflation? Remember that Jimmy Carter isn't President anymore.

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    We budget, and live within that budget. That's why we put $150 each month into savings and still have some left over each month.

    BTW, I forgot to mention in my post that the jump in taxes paid from $81 to $108 between 2003 and 2004 was in part due to capital gains I paid taxes on when I cashed in some mutual funds to pay cash for my second SUV!

    Can Australia do better?
  20. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Actually reading about the Carter administration he was a socially responsible President . In the 1970s inflation was reported openly , today inflation like the unemployment figures is distorted and manipulated .
    Thats fine , you had the luxury of spending your working life during the 50's through to the 60's and 70's when America had a booming economy . This enabled you to save and prepare for your retirement . Unlike today unsuredness in the economy due to freemarket policies and employment due to the disappearance of unions 2 income familiers struggle to make way to pay a house off , or pay rent etc..... the symptoms of a freemarket financial parasite system .
    So you own 2 SUV's and your own home well done ! 2.5 million Americans are homeless and 25+ million live under the poverty lines ......catastrophe!
    No Australia has implemented the same parasitical freemarket policies America has since 1982 the year that was the start of this economic vandalism Reaganism .
  21. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Carter was the most naive President the US ever had. His "social responsibility", as you might say, drove interest rates and inflation both to double digits. You only read about Carter. I was here. Reagan fixed Carter's screw-ups.

    I enlisted in the USAF in 1958. After my discharge in '62, I worked 4 years in the insurance industry, 5 more for a defense contractor (where I got my start in computers), 4 more for the Federal Reserve Bank branch in Kansas City, and it was Federal government the rest of the way until '92 when I retired at 54.

    Luxury? No! I applied myself and worked hard for every promotion, even over older, degreed employees with longer tenure. I never did drugs or squander income on toys and always saved some part of my income. I drove used cars and from the first house I bought, I parlied the equity upward as job transfers required.

    I'm a school dropout as I've said. Everybody here has had the same chances that I have had. But not everybody has the same will to work hard and improve themselves.

    Oh. So Reagan is to blame for your financial woes? How about YOU? Hmmmmmmmmm? Just who should be responsible for clothing, feeding and housing you? If you don't have enough of whatever it is that you want, is it the "rich man's" fault, or maybe the "big corporations" that keep you down? You're 44 and drinking beer is your interest. Maybe that explains a lot about you. Too bad!
  22. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    How did Reagan fix anything ? The savings and loans racket ,
    Same as me , I dropped out of school , today I still drive a used car and I have a mortgage , but I save my money . I work hard as a foreman in a machine tool assembly plant , I have encvountered people who are lazy . I don’t go around patting myself on the back and tell myself anyone below my station is a loser or what . I have seen enough of this life to know that people like Aborigines who are born behind the 8 ball in life because of racism and indifference .
    To know that homelessness is not a lifestyle choice poverty is not self inflicted but aided and abetted by deliberate policies of greed .
    No I blame my leaders such as Bob Hawke or if I was English Thatcher , Reagan just lent his name to the whole escapade . In reality Reagan was an idiot who was a figurehead unto which launch these freemarket policies .
    I just want a society which is equal for all and that means free education based on merit not wealth , free health care for all , control of OUR
    Money not by private financiers . That means a socialist system of shared wealth .
    I got plenty , nothing keeps me down , I just think of those who are not as fortunate as me because I believe in a level playing feild . And as for the beer , hey Im a man , deal with it .
  23. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    Now I'm learning something about your frame of mind. You're a middle-class worker who believes that socialism will solve our problems.

    My friend, socialism is a promise without fulfillment. Look at Europe. High taxes paying for an exorbitant welfare system. A full month "holiday" as an entitlement. German women knocked off the welfare rolls because they refuse to work as prostitutes. Emigration from the Netherlands reaching record highs. Double digit unemployment. This is the product of socialism. It's a dream not come true.

    In a perfect world, I would agree that socialism would be the ideal. But we don't live in a perfect world, and never will, because the people who make up the world aren't perfect. People all over the world lie, cheat and steal; and not always because they are forced to because of exigency. Many simply choose to. From the common criminal to the offices of corporate CEO's, it's part of life and won't change. I'm not preaching politics, just simple reality.

    Capitalism, as an economic system, isn't perfect by any means. But it allows the individual the opportunity (not the promise) to advance as far as they are willing to go. That's a fundamental difference with socialism. Socialism attempts to promise while forgetting that politicians have to deliver or face defeat in their next election. Capitalism only provides opportunity.

    And level playing fields? There are none. We each have our own playing field defined at birth by class, wealth and genetics, all out of our control. We become what we choose to make of ourselves. In the end, socialism shares nothing.

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