Forums - Politics Discussion - Europeon Debt Crisis: There isn't another option EXCEPT austerity.

Kasz216 said:
Mr Khan said:
sperrico87 said:
makingmusic476 said:
 

Because I believe there are long term economic benefits that can only be gained through government action.

Take for example high speed rail.  High speed rail has no short term financial gains and generally few if any long term financial gains for any private entities interested in taking on such a project, thus it never happens.  However, there ARE long term economic and social gains to be had for the population at large if a high speed rail system is implemented, and it has had considerable effects on economic activity in places like Japan.   In Japan and Europe, it was the local governments that were responsible for funding such projects, and the same is true here.

In the end, it's a difference of perspective.  You seem to have a more individualistic perspective of the world, in which everyone should focus primarily on accruing their own personal wealth.  I see society more as a collective, where often we must come together and make short term financial sacrifices (taxation) in order to enable long term economic gains that will increase society's overall productivity and well-being.  That includes things like funding for federal rail projects, other mass transit projects, the post office, ports, and a social safety net that catches people when they face unexpected hardships, allowing them to eventually get back to work and be productive members of society.

I'm also in favor of a job guarantee, to ensure that everyone who wants to work is given the opportunity to do so, thus no productivity is lost due to idle hands:

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/03/mmp-blog-42-introduction-the-the-job-guarantee-or-employer-of-last-resort.html

It's not that the general populace isn't able to take care of themselves or anything of the sort.  It's that certain ventures seem to only be possible through government action.

Also, you mention redistribution of wealth being morally abhorrent, but when it comes to certain individuals, I feel that wealth is being unfairly distributed in the first place, with capital owners using high unemployment and the accompanying decrease in laborers' collective bargaining ability to stall or decrease wages despite productivity going up.  From the Washington Post:

So, if not to workers, where’s the money going? Of the companies that comprise the Standard and Poor’s 500, net income (chiefly, their profits) has risen 23 percent since 2007, the last year of the bubble, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Their cash reserves have increased 49 percent during that time — in large part because they’re neither hiring in the United States nor boosting their workers’ incomes. Workers are producing more: “In 2007, the companies generated an average of $378,000 in revenue for every employee on their payrolls,” the Journal reported. “Last year, that figure rose to $420,000.” But workers are seeing none of that increase in their pay.

Meanwhile, CEOs are getting paid tens of millions.  This is unfair, and it's something progressive taxation can be used to counteract.


Europe and Japan are broke, so I don't see any reason to use their model for this high speed rail business.  Inventions and progress comes from inventors and the productive effort of the people, not bureaucrats and politicians.  I'm all for tax credits for inventing something the government sees as good or necessary, but I couldn't support wealth redistribution because someone in the government decides unilaterally that "this high speed rail is good.  We shall tax our citizens money to make it." 

And I think the idea of a job guarantee will have the opposite effect you're suggesting it will have.  If everyone is guaranteed work no matter what, then there is no incentive for anyone to improve or better themselves.  It would lead to people being forced into a professions they make not like, but because the government has them take a test, they are in that profession from 22-retirement.  I can see that going very badly, and it draws some pretty horrible parallels with Communism, among other things.  Next thing you know we'll all be wearing matching gray uniforms and sleeping in bunk houses.  I think it would literally destroy our society.  No joke.

Social safety nets create a moral hazard, and the ultimate impact they have is that certain people will purposefully underperform in order to qualify for benefits.  We already have a lot of that in our society.    It breeds crime, resentment, and poverty cycles itself from generation to generation, rather than only occuring once and being over and done with. 

I'm not against taxes or excises, per se.  I am opposed to an income tax, however.  Because the income tax implies that it is the government that earns our money, and they simply allow us to keep a certain percentage.  That to me is immoral.  We work for a living, it's our money.  I think taxes should be relegated to only products or services that we use, as we go, rather than scraping off the top everything society brings in.  Taxes for gas or tolls on roads is totally fine.  Because, if you use gas or drive on a road, you should pay for your use of it.  Same with the Post office.

That would only make sense as taxation to use things that the government has provided, gas not being one of them. The issue being that the government provides generally only public goods (aside from the little matter of the post office) that are more difficult to monetize. Sure roads have tolls, but how do you monetize, say, environmental cleanliness?

Just because some abuse social safety nets does not mean that the system itself is inherently flawed. There will be people who abuse all things, and no mechanism is perfect for solving all ills, but such social safety nets mean that society will provide for its own, to make sure that they have the dignity that they are morally entitled to. The need for government employment is to correct against those who want to work but cannot, because most people want to work on the whole, and this underlies the need for government intervention. It's not about "unilateral decisionmaking" it's about accounting for things that the free market cannot grasp, public goods like the health and education of the people, the cleanliness of the environment, industries that need a push before they can become self-sufficiently competitive, or large-scale mass transit systems. The ideal balance of Social Democracy is for the free market to work where the free market works (which is still the vast majority of commerce), and for the government to pick up the slack everywhere else. Much like too much democracy is a bad thing, verifiably, so a too-liberated market is also verifiably bad.


Arguably?  By having people care about enviromental cleanliness and willing to pay a few cents more for ecologically responsible products.  Of course, that's probably overestimating the average consumer.

I would also add that one of the few roles the government actually has is to enforce contracts.  So, if someone or some company pollutes, then they will be taken to court and forced to pay damages and made to stop polluting.  It isn't as though, because there'd be no EPA, that pollution will occur unabated because there's no Government police force to stop pollution.  That isn't so at all. 

Also, while speaking of the EPA, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that it is an unconstitutional creation of the Executive branch, and many times they actually do more harm than good.  Just like with the FDA, an arm of government created by politicians, they create more problems than they solve, and they act as unnecessary policemen who use force and bully people, which is something that wouldn't occur in a free market.  If it did occur, other functions of the market would resolve it, as is always the case.



 

Around the Network
This is all the government should be responsible for (taken from the Libertarian Party of Canada website)

The only proper functions of government, whose powers must be constitutionally limited are as follows: settling, according to objective laws, disputes among individuals, where private, voluntary arbitration has failed; providing protection from criminals; providing protection from foreign invaders.

That's it. Every other social program needs to go, taxes need to be eliminated and private business needs to flourish.

Kasz216 said:

Lately there have been more and more articles in the US complaining about Europeon Austerity and how it will destroy the country.

It makes me wonder what other option there actually is.   The europeon Debt Crisis is happening because a number of countries didn't cut spending when they could and are rapidly approaching (or already reached) the point where they can't pay off their debts.

Some people are saying that instead they need to keep spending up, possibly even increase it and hope to outgrow the debt.

Which seems impossible just based on the fact that they weren't outgrowing their debt even when the economy was good.


The only real way to get out of it, is to try and spur growth while NOT increasing debt.  In otherwords, Austerity, and then a bit beyond normal austerity to provide pro-growth changes.


In otherwords cut more then you need to and put that extra money elsewhere.

You understand what the austerity in Europe is, right?  It is not your American version argued for, where it is an attempt to shrink the government into the size of a bathtub so you can drown it, by engaging in tax cuts and budget cuts.  In Europe, programs of austerity mean you not only get budget cuts, BUT you also get tax increases.

I have yet to see anyone in the American political realm, posting on forums like this, who would dare advocate that.  So, are you the first to go on record to say you support both tax increases and budget cuts as a solution an country's economic woes?



richardhutnik said:
Kasz216 said:

Lately there have been more and more articles in the US complaining about Europeon Austerity and how it will destroy the country.

It makes me wonder what other option there actually is.   The europeon Debt Crisis is happening because a number of countries didn't cut spending when they could and are rapidly approaching (or already reached) the point where they can't pay off their debts.

Some people are saying that instead they need to keep spending up, possibly even increase it and hope to outgrow the debt.

Which seems impossible just based on the fact that they weren't outgrowing their debt even when the economy was good.


The only real way to get out of it, is to try and spur growth while NOT increasing debt.  In otherwords, Austerity, and then a bit beyond normal austerity to provide pro-growth changes.


In otherwords cut more then you need to and put that extra money elsewhere.

You understand what the austerity in Europe is, right?  It is not your American version argued for, where it is an attempt to shrink the government into the size of a bathtub so you can drown it, by engaging in tax cuts and budget cuts.  In Europe, programs of austerity mean you not only get budget cuts, BUT you also get tax increases.

I have yet to see anyone in the American political realm, posting on forums like this, who would dare advocate that.  So, are you the first to go on record to say you support both tax increases and budget cuts as a solution an country's economic woes?

I've said that on these forums before.  Though the budget cuts need to be the bulk, and the tax increases should show shared sacrifice.  It's bad policy to raise or cut taxes for any indivdual group of people. 

The "broadening the base" that's often talked about but never proposed because it's political suicide.

Personally what i'd like to see is something like 5 to 3 to 2 cuts.

That is for every $5 of Republican picked cuts, there are $3 worth of Democratic cuts and $2 worth of tax increases.

That's really the annoying part of the whole debate.  Democrats have shit they want to cut, they just for whatever reason aren't saying "hey lets cut this stuff."  Likely due to purely political motivations.



Kasz216 said:

I've said that on these forums before.  Though the budget cuts need to be the bulk, and the tax increases should show shared sacrifice.  It's bad policy to raise or cut taxes for any indivdual group of people. 

The "broadening the base" that's often talked about but never proposed because it's political suicide.

Personally what i'd like to see is something like 5 to 3 to 2 cuts.

That is for every $5 of Republican picked cuts, there are $3 worth of Democratic cuts and $2 worth of tax increases.

That's really the annoying part of the whole debate.  Democrats have shit they want to cut, they just for whatever reason aren't saying "hey lets cut this stuff."  Likely due to purely political motivations.

There are 3 reasons for this:

1) Many Democrats, including the President, simply do not believe/understand the financial crisis. If you're a suscribed Keynesian, which most politicians (on both sides of the isle) are, then, really, there is no argument for cuts.

2) Democrats, like all politicians, have one priority: getting re-elected, this usurps all other responsibilities. While Republicans, for the most part, are elected by those who favour smaller Government (although Republicans don't deliever on this promise, most voters don't look past the rhetoric), Democrats are not. This means that some Republicans will vote for cuts that they do not believe in (as pointed out in number 1), and some Democrats will vote against cuts that they do believe it.

3) Democrats and Republicans need to keep up an image of being different parties. They're not - on 90% of the policies, including all the most important, they are fundamentally the same . So they need to blow up that remaining 10% of difference to almost cartoonish levels. This means that the Republicans are the party of "cuts" (reducing the level of increase in the future...), and the Democrats are the party of "tax" (and with every new dollar collected in tax, a new loophole or subsidy put in...) - and they absolutely, 100%, can not stray from those positions.

I'm aware that you're probably away of these points, this post is more of a PSA, than anything else.



Around the Network
SamuelRSmith said:
Kasz216 said:

I've said that on these forums before.  Though the budget cuts need to be the bulk, and the tax increases should show shared sacrifice.  It's bad policy to raise or cut taxes for any indivdual group of people. 

The "broadening the base" that's often talked about but never proposed because it's political suicide.

Personally what i'd like to see is something like 5 to 3 to 2 cuts.

That is for every $5 of Republican picked cuts, there are $3 worth of Democratic cuts and $2 worth of tax increases.

That's really the annoying part of the whole debate.  Democrats have shit they want to cut, they just for whatever reason aren't saying "hey lets cut this stuff."  Likely due to purely political motivations.

There are 3 reasons for this:

1) Many Democrats, including the President, simply do not believe/understand the financial crisis. If you're a suscribed Keynesian, which most politicians (on both sides of the isle) are, then, really, there is no argument for cuts.

2) Democrats, like all politicians, have one priority: getting re-elected, this usurps all other responsibilities. While Republicans, for the most part, are elected by those who favour smaller Government (although Republicans don't deliever on this promise, most voters don't look past the rhetoric), Democrats are not. This means that some Republicans will vote for cuts that they do not believe in (as pointed out in number 1), and some Democrats will vote against cuts that they do believe it.

3) Democrats and Republicans need to keep up an image of being different parties. They're not - on 90% of the policies, including all the most important, they are fundamentally the same . So they need to blow up that remaining 10% of difference to almost cartoonish levels. This means that the Republicans are the party of "cuts" (reducing the level of increase in the future...), and the Democrats are the party of "tax" (and with every new dollar collected in tax, a new loophole or subsidy put in...) - and they absolutely, 100%, can not stray from those positions.

I'm aware that you're probably away of these points, this post is more of a PSA, than anything else.

Yeah, most polticians are Keynsians because it's easier to lie and pretend what you did to the economy helped, then it is to explain why you did nothing while the economy slowly recovered on it's own.

Though, while Democrats are generally pro big government most Democrats would be jumping for joy at Defense Department cuts.



Euro-peon

I like it, intentional or not. Personally I call them euro-prawns after watching District 9.

Kasz, you clearly haven't heard of the printing press and it's modern, digital 'add a zero' equivalent. This allows us to fix every problem man has ever conceived.

How about you stop talking about the real world and me and you write a cheque to each other for $1,000,000,000 and become billionairres? $5 fee for the privililage.

The PIIGS should default and print their own money and the rest of the world should just accept that it's as good as gold. Then everything will work out just fine.


Man cannot live on Nintendo alone..............unless it's OLD Nintendo.

Tax evasion has plagued Europe and added to the debt problem. Corporation, individuals, Trusts have dodged paying their tax bills. Tax compliance is not enforced by the government on the wealthy. The bottom 90% of society must pay the bulk of the tax bill or incur pension cuts to make interest payments on the debt.



Oh boy... and now some Greeks have petitioned the Hague to try it's government for "Peacetime Genocide."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17811153

If it weren't for the fact tons more people would die, i'd like to see them get their wish and see what things are like without the "Genocide of only spending 120% or so of what you can pay for."

Around the Network
sperrico87 said:
Kasz216 said:
Mr Khan said:

That would only make sense as taxation to use things that the government has provided, gas not being one of them. The issue being that the government provides generally only public goods (aside from the little matter of the post office) that are more difficult to monetize. Sure roads have tolls, but how do you monetize, say, environmental cleanliness?

Just because some abuse social safety nets does not mean that the system itself is inherently flawed. There will be people who abuse all things, and no mechanism is perfect for solving all ills, but such social safety nets mean that society will provide for its own, to make sure that they have the dignity that they are morally entitled to. The need for government employment is to correct against those who want to work but cannot, because most people want to work on the whole, and this underlies the need for government intervention. It's not about "unilateral decisionmaking" it's about accounting for things that the free market cannot grasp, public goods like the health and education of the people, the cleanliness of the environment, industries that need a push before they can become self-sufficiently competitive, or large-scale mass transit systems. The ideal balance of Social Democracy is for the free market to work where the free market works (which is still the vast majority of commerce), and for the government to pick up the slack everywhere else. Much like too much democracy is a bad thing, verifiably, so a too-liberated market is also verifiably bad.


Arguably?  By having people care about enviromental cleanliness and willing to pay a few cents more for ecologically responsible products.  Of course, that's probably overestimating the average consumer.

I would also add that one of the few roles the government actually has is to enforce contracts.  So, if someone or some company pollutes, then they will be taken to court and forced to pay damages and made to stop polluting.  It isn't as though, because there'd be no EPA, that pollution will occur unabated because there's no Government police force to stop pollution.  That isn't so at all. 

Also, while speaking of the EPA, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that it is an unconstitutional creation of the Executive branch, and many times they actually do more harm than good.  Just like with the FDA, an arm of government created by politicians, they create more problems than they solve, and they act as unnecessary policemen who use force and bully people, which is something that wouldn't occur in a free market.  If it did occur, other functions of the market would resolve it, as is always the case.

The courts take much longer to decide things than the EPA does, and that would be often-irreversible environmental damage that occurred in the meantime, and the other question is: who sues, or for what? Some things are bad for the environment but not lawsuit worthy since they don't do a particular amount of harm to any one person, or the harm is so diluted amongst a group of people that they don't care enough to fix the problem themselves. The free market does not control for pollution, except where the finding of more effecient methods of production just so happens to curb pollution in the process, in which case government pushes forward help companies in the long run



Thanks for making voice acting an a-list pastime.

Back to school soon enough :/