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zertgold
12-02-2010, 10:03 PM
If you can look at this graph, and forget you are a republican or a democrat, and look at as an intelligent citizen; what does this graph mean to you?

http://www.sailchart.com/outb/graph.jpg

Shang
12-02-2010, 10:13 PM
Uhhh... let's see...
It indicates that someone is a right-wing troll?

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 10:13 PM
WOOO Pig Sooie!

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 10:14 PM
Uhhh... let's see...
It indicates that someone is a right-wing troll?

how so?

zertgold
12-02-2010, 10:17 PM
Wow, straight out of the gate with an ad hominem.

TerryLL
12-02-2010, 10:25 PM
It looks to me like a breast needing nipple augmentation.

brad9798
12-02-2010, 10:28 PM
Looks like the good ol' dems are in control!

:D ;)

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 10:30 PM
Looks like the good ol' dems are in control!

:D ;)

an old solution to an old problem...hire everyone so they must depend on you for life...then do what you want, you will continue to be re elected from then on

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 10:30 PM
1. That the Heritage Foundation carefully selected the cut-off date for propaganda purposes, just before all the temporary census workers were laid off.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/08/06/business/economy/economix-06government/economix-06government-custom1.jpg(source (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/jobs-report/))

2. That we'd be in much deeper sh*t without the demand generated by those folks spending government paychecks.

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 10:32 PM
so, which narrow slice of the graph do you want to talk about?

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 10:39 PM
which narrow slice of the graph do you want to talk about?I don't want to talk about any of it, but a reasonably unbiased analysis would start with, say, January 2007 and go through the present.

Shang
12-02-2010, 10:39 PM
so, which narrow slice of the graph do you want to talk about?

Well, there's that lower red line that illustrates that the "piddle-down" system of maintaining tax cuts for the super-wealthy does not create private sector jobs.

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 10:43 PM
I don't want to talk about any of it, but a reasonably unbiased analysis would start with, say, January 2007 and go through the present.

so, how about the hiring orgy that the government did to create the spike?

Ian McColgin
12-02-2010, 10:49 PM
Thank you Kieth. What the graph says to me is that the Heritage Foundation dupes people.

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 10:50 PM
so, how about the hiring orgy that the government did to create the spike?See point #2. "Orgy" implies something bad; it's nothing of the sort. Those folks are now spending money and buying stuff, instead of collecting unemployment. See John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, for an introduction.

zertgold
12-02-2010, 10:54 PM
Two things I don't understand:
1.) Why would democrats like big government? What if another bush type becomes president? or worse Sarah Palin. Wouldn't that turn the big beautiful government into something evil?
It would seem kind of short sighted to think that the bigger the government the better.

2.)State and Local governments decreased their sizes during this mess; they had less money. Federal seemed to do the opposite. If the economy was worse, would we want more Federal government? or do we want more regardless?

Taxes shouldn't be raised or lowered; they should stay about the same. If the government wants more money, they should make this economy better. That is how they should get paid, when we all get paid. Otherwise you go to work with a bagged lunch.

Shang
12-02-2010, 11:00 PM
so, how about the hiring orgy that the government did to create the spike?

Just what Keith has said, the government is trying to create jobs for people who will spend the money, thereby stimulating the economy.
Unlike giving money to the super-wealthy who simply hang onto it or invest it elsewhere to increase their wealth.

Ian McColgin
12-02-2010, 11:01 PM
Zertgold and others fell for the basic deception of the Heritage Foundation and missed the perport of Kieth's earlier post. The "spike", now pretty near gone, is the census workers. The census, timing constitutionally mandated, was planned and budgeted before the economic disaster and could not be stopped. And, no surprise, Heritage knew that, as did all the reading public, which is why they picked the end point for their publication and have steadfastly declined to show what's happened since.

The graph says one thing to me: Heritage Foundation is dedicated to deceiving the public for political purposes.

Edited to add:

Speaking of political purposes, Heritage and others of the right made a huge point of noting that those very workers were indeed temporary and should not be used by the government to say that job losses and unemployment were less than they were. They overlooked the DoL publications that always noted census workers and the employment spike they created.

And, temporary as those jobs were, they did put real money in the economy. Real money spent by real people has a multiplier effect in the economy and actually helps. Fake money, like tax breaks for the rich, simply removes capital from useful circulation.

zertgold
12-02-2010, 11:11 PM
I can agree a portion of the increase is made up of the census; the end of April through the end of June.
I will also agree that that does make this graph deceiving. This is an important point which was not obvious to me.
It is important for anyone viewing this graph to be aware of that fact because it looks like rapid expansion of the government during a recession.
Expansion of the government during a recession is not a good thing, right?

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 11:13 PM
I'm not in favor of "big government" per se. Almost no one is. Those on the right are often in favor of smaller government as a matter of principle, but the opposite is not generally true. I have certain things I want the government to do, but I want them done as efficiently as possible.

However, under certain limited conditions, including a severe recession driven by demand (not enough folks buying enough stuff), government hiring people, even with borrowed money, is a very good thing. Increasing the number of people working during a recession is exactly what's needed. The private sector won't hire until they have enough demand for their products. Those getting paychecks, wherever they come from, buy things, creating demand. Basic economics. This is particularly true when those hired do useful things, like building roads or bridges or other infrastructure, or maybe inspecting food processing plants for salmonella.

This is also the reason paying unemployment, even with borrowed money, is a good idea. This money is almost immediately spent on things the private sector supplies, keeping more people working.

Shang
12-02-2010, 11:18 PM
Two things I don't understand:
1.) Why would democrats like big government? What if another bush type becomes president? or worse Sarah Palin. Wouldn't that turn the big beautiful government into something evil?
It would seem kind of short sighted to think that the bigger the government the better.

2.)State and Local governments decreased their sizes during this mess; they had less money. Federal seemed to do the opposite. If the economy was worse, would we want more Federal government? or do we want more regardless?

Taxes shouldn't be raised or lowered; they should stay about the same. If the government wants more money, they should make this economy better. That is how they should get paid, when we all get paid. Otherwise you go to work with a bagged lunch.

Point 1:
Agreed, a government led by someone as ignorant as Silly Sarah would be a disaster, but we can't cripple and haul out the boat to protect against a possible future accident.
Point 2:
State and local governments aren't intentionally decreasing their sizes, they are going bankrupt and have to cut back. The Feds are our last hope for keeping on keel.

Taxes cannot remain the same, we're too far into the down slide already. "The Government" can't just wave a wand and "make the economy better," someone has to pay the bills. Ever since The Bush Tax Cuts the bills have been paid by you and I, the super-rich have been able to keep billions in tax breaks, which they have not invested in production or jobs.

Which way would you rather have it:
-- The rich get richer while you and I pay the bills, or...
-- The rich have had a long enough tax-vacation in the sun, it's time for them to fish, cut bait, or get ready to swim.

ljb5
12-02-2010, 11:19 PM
Taking the graph at face value, it says the private sector imploded long before Obama was elected.

It also says that the rate of government hiring did not change when Obama assumed office.

bobbys
12-02-2010, 11:23 PM
Clash of the charts.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2053/2508406154_524f8d34fb.jpg

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 11:26 PM
They're the same chart; mine just shows what happened next.

David G
12-02-2010, 11:39 PM
So...

What this graph means to me is that one should be Very Careful about taking at face value data presented by those who have an ideological axe to grind. This applies many-fold to those who have a track record of heavily slanted deceptive publications.

zertgold
12-02-2010, 11:42 PM
Without the census employees both graphs still do show the expansion of the federal government. I don't think this fact can be argued. (source (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/state-and-local-government-jobs-take-a-beating/#more-76829))
Does it help or hinder the recession: this point can be argued.

We are expanding our government to help the recession, is there any risk?
Every knows and says it will turn around, but when? How long can the Federal government subsidize its size with loans?

ljb5
12-02-2010, 11:51 PM
Without the census employees both graphs still do show the expansion of the federal government.

The graph shows that this was going on at least a year before Obama took office, perhaps longer.


Does it help or hinder the recession: this point can be argued.

It's tough to see how it's hurt anything. Taxes have not gone up. The Bush tax cuts are still in effect. Interest rates are remarkably low, inflation is tame bordering on non-existent.

Perhaps in the future, we'll have to pay the piper, but for now, it's very tough to point at any ill effect and say, "Government employment caused this hardship."

On the other hand, lots of people are receiving paychecks which they are using to pay their rent or mortgage, purchase groceries, buy gas and clothes, etc.

If you're a landlord or shopkeeper, it is very much in your best interest for the people in your neighborhood to have jobs.... and it really doesn't matter at all if they are government jobs or private sector.

Keith Wilson
12-02-2010, 11:52 PM
Sure there's risk. There's also risk in not doing it. And any point whatsoever can be argued.

No, it can't go on forever. What's good in the short term is often bad in the long term, and vice versa. In not that long we're going to have to reduce the federal deficit considerably. The major long-term problem is the increase in heath care costs. Recessions always end, but the question is how fast. We'd be in a lot better shape had the previous administration not run large deficits even in prosperous times, when the government should be breaking even or even running surpluses.

Certain kinds of government spending or tax cuts produce more of an increase in economic activity than others. Here's one fairly standard estimate of this multiplier effect.

http://i55.tinypic.com/suye1k.jpg

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 11:58 PM
So...

What this graph means to me is that one should be Very Careful about taking at face value data presented by those who have an ideological axe to grind. This applies many-fold to those who have a track record of heavily slanted deceptive publications.

anyone here fit into that defination of decdptive practice? Any got a political axe to grind?

zertgold
12-03-2010, 12:05 AM
It is nice for the goverment to send folks home with a pay check, and those folks are spending their money which is also good. But I am still worried. Increasing government jobs seems like spinning your wheels. Yes, someone is getting paid, but you aren't going anywhere; there is no increase in production. The government doesn't make or produce anything.

This graph concerns me:
http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=gdp

There is only one point on the graph which shows a decline.

David G
12-03-2010, 12:05 AM
Phillip,

Please... Think. Carefully. Phrase by phrase. Through what I said.

Phillip Allen
12-03-2010, 12:10 AM
Phillip,

Please... Think. Carefully. Phrase by phrase. Through what I said.

I re-read the quote...?

gonna try and get to sleep again...I'll check this tomorrow...If I can remember

Keith Wilson
12-03-2010, 12:16 AM
The government doesn't make or produce anything.Oh, please; that's just silly. Of course the government produces things. Not everything they do is equally valuable, and some of it's probably useless, but goods and services are goods and services whoever makes them. Research, infrastructure - how much is education worth? Police protection? Fire departments? Libraries? The patent office? National defense? Check out this graph (http://photos.webridestv.com/datastore/images/user/db191f25c36fd2dee1b6555a6e91cfe0/Death_and_Taxes_USA_Federal_Budget_64262_20080424. jpg) (it's too big to post) which shows exactly what the feds spent money on in 2008, The area of the circle is proportional to dollars. Note that some of it is just transfer payments, like Social Security, which takes in tax money from those who are working, and pays it put to those who are retired.

And my point is that those who get paid by the government spend their money on goods and services. Therefore, demand increases, therefore more folks in the private sector are working. This is very important right now, when so many people are out of work, don't have much money, buy less, thus reducing demand for the stuff everybody else makes.

Nobody would say these are good economic times, What that chart doesn't take into account is the rate of inflation, which is very very low or even negative right now . Here's GDP in constant dollars per capita. It's gone down many times over the past 60 years.

http://home.comcast.net/~andy_dunn/gdp_per_person_constant.png

David G
12-03-2010, 12:18 AM
zertgold,

First - you are correct to be worried. We've gotten ourselves into a fine pickle. We can talk about exactly how it occurred, and parse the various factors, and argue about whose 'fault' it is. But, at the end of the day, we're boxed in, and it's gonna take some careful tightrope walking, some adult leadership, and (hopefully) a dollop of good luck... for a good while... to see us out of this mess.

Second - again, your graph is not quite complete enough. The last time we were in a similar situation was the Great Depression, and your chart doesn't go back that far.

David G
12-03-2010, 12:19 AM
I re-read the quote...?

gonna try and get to sleep again...I'll check this tomorrow...If I can remember

Phillip,

If you re-read it carefully enough, you can answer for yourself the question you posed to me.

Shang
12-03-2010, 12:20 AM
anyone here fit into that defination of decdptive practice? Any got a political axe to grind?

Absolutely.
Every one of us.
It's not that any of us are expert at politics or economics
(well, perhaps a few are)
but we each have opinions.
As it happens we each possess only one vote, but beyond that each of us hopes to persuade someone (better the whole herd) of the other political leaning to join us on the Side Of The Angels, but it is improbable that this will happen.
So we take part in a forum in which we argue for the purpose of learning, venting and hopeful-thinking,

Good night friends.
Tomorrow we will again struggle with philosophical points beyond our control.

Bruce Hooke
12-03-2010, 12:23 AM
It is nice for the goverment to send folks home with a pay check, and those folks are spending their money which is also good. But I am still worried. Increasing government jobs seems like spinning your wheels. Yes, someone is getting paid, but you aren't going anywhere; there is no increase in production. The government doesn't make or produce anything.

As Shang said, the government cannot wave a wand and make the economy better. One of the things they can do to help though is prop up demand so that we do not have as big a hole to dig out of to get out of the recession. See the chart Keith posted on the multiplier effect of government spending. Note that the things many conservatives advocate to help businesses, such as cuts in corporate taxes and making the dividend and capitol gains tax permanent, have a negative return.

What, specifically, do you think the government should do to make the economy better and why?

bobbys
12-03-2010, 12:30 AM
Sure there's risk. There's also risk in not doing it. And any point whatsoever can be argued.

No, it can't go on forever. What's good in the short term is often bad in the long term, and vice versa. In not that long we're going to have to reduce the federal deficit considerably. The major long-term problem is the increase in heath care costs. Recessions always end, but the question is how fast. We'd be in a lot better shape had the previous administration not run large deficits even in prosperous times, when the government should be breaking even or even running surpluses.

Certain kinds of government spending or tax cuts produce more of an increase in economic activity than others. Here's one fairly standard estimate of this multiplier effect.

http://i55.tinypic.com/suye1k.jpg.

Keith comes out Graph swinging!!.

http://www.reelingreviews.com/rockybalboapic.jpg

katey
12-03-2010, 12:59 AM
Don't both bobbys's and Keith's first graph show the current number of federal employees up by about 10% since Dec 2007/Jan 2008?

mikefrommontana
12-03-2010, 01:28 AM
It would be interesting to see that chart (of government employment) go back further--say 20 years. One thing that makes the numbers wonky is that a lot of goverment jobs were privatized in the Bush administration. Seriously, do military contractors really count as private employees?, when by their nature they would not exist save for the largese (as it were) of the government. I was sort of looking for Federal employees per-capita (a more accurate measure methinks) but haven't found much. That chart would be far more telling.

PeterSibley
12-03-2010, 02:51 AM
It is nice for the goverment to send folks home with a pay check, and those folks are spending their money which is also good. But I am still worried. Increasing government jobs seems like spinning your wheels. Yes, someone is getting paid, but you aren't going anywhere; there is no increase in production. The government doesn't make or produce anything.

This graph concerns me:
http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=gdp

There is only one point on the graph which shows a decline.

The alternatives are worth considering too ,less demand ,less sales ,less employment .......so even less demand .

PeterSibley
12-03-2010, 02:53 AM
Sure there's risk. There's also risk in not doing it. And any point whatsoever can be argued.

No, it can't go on forever. What's good in the short term is often bad in the long term, and vice versa. In not that long we're going to have to reduce the federal deficit considerably. The major long-term problem is the increase in heath care costs. Recessions always end, but the question is how fast. We'd be in a lot better shape had the previous administration not run large deficits even in prosperous times, when the government should be breaking even or even running surpluses.

Certain kinds of government spending or tax cuts produce more of an increase in economic activity than others. Here's one fairly standard estimate of this multiplier effect.

http://i55.tinypic.com/suye1k.jpg

That is a very interesting graph ,the multipliers are a long way from equal !

Keith Wilson
12-03-2010, 08:18 AM
Here you go. I couldn't find one that showed the last year. It wouldn't go up much.

http://sites.google.com/site/jpetervanschaik/_/rsrc/1278735725043/home/Federal%20Employees%20Population.gif

You want a couple of really scary graphs showing an actual huge and dangerous federal budget problem?


http://assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/gdpspendinghealth.png

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/07/08/business/economy/08economix.chart.2.jpg

S.V. Airlie
12-03-2010, 08:29 AM
Well a few days ago I said that the gov were on the increase and was shot down for mot having proof I have no idea where Keith found this but I thank him.. I feel vindicated

ljb5
12-03-2010, 08:36 AM
Here you go. I couldn't find one that showed the last year. It wouldn't go up much.

http://sites.google.com/site/jpetervanschaik/_/rsrc/1278735725043/home/Federal%20Employees%20Population.gif

That looks like one of those poorly scaled graphs intended to portray CO2 as being an insignificant component of the atmosphere.

Look at that tiny little uptick way at the end! On that graph, it's barely more than a single pixel. It's clearly less than 1/10th of 1% of the population.

I'm curious to know who all these employees are - census workers, military, TSA employees, highway construction workers?

I've heard the FDIC is hiring because of all the bank failures.

Peerie Maa
12-03-2010, 09:25 AM
That looks like one of those poorly scaled graphs intended to portray CO2 as being an insignificant component of the atmosphere.

Look at that tiny little uptick way at the end! On that graph, it's barely more than a single pixel. It's clearly less than 1/10th of 1% of the population.
Seems to happen every ten or 11 years around about May. Census time in the US?

I'm curious to know who all these employees are - census workers, military, TSA employees, highway construction workers?

I've heard the FDIC is hiring because of all the bank failures.

zertgold
12-03-2010, 10:12 AM
I would say this graph unfairly favors the other side of the argument.
Everything is unnecessarily scaled down so changes are not easily perceived, and it conveniently leaves out data after the 2008 election.
http://sites.google.com/site/jpetervanschaik/_/rsrc/1278735725043/home/Federal%20Employees%20Population.gif

I would like to see a graph which shows the production levels per dollar spent for a government employee compared to production levels per dollar spent for a private sector employee.

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-03-2010, 10:59 AM
Zert, my dear departed mother had a better grip on how a mode4n economy works than you. Of course, she had the benefit of seeing a modern progressive president keep the bottom from falling out. What that president did was put money into the hand of those so bad off they were GUARANTEED to spend it. That's the key. Those who have problems keeping body and soul together are not going to go to bed hungry if they have a way to buy food. They won't sleep under a bridge if they can pay for a roof over their heads.
Another thing this very progressive president did was inaugurate Social Security. In that era being older and poorer was a ticket to meeting your maker sooner rather than later. The poor elderly who had no one to support them spent near to nothing. With the coming of SS they became spenders. They didn't spend much but there were sufficient numbers of them to creat a whole new economic block. A block that sweetened the entire economy.
What my mother knew was lack of purchasing power by the bulk of the population (she, of course, was part of that segment of the population) had ruined our economy and the remedy was just the opposite. Get money changing hands again. And it helps if what is spent changes hands a lot of times before it makes it into some rich guy's bank account.
Baloney like giving funds to those expected to create jobs when the market for goods is very meager won't make a nutritional sandwhich except for those deluded by their right-wing gut rumblings.
Be careful what you wish for.

ljb5
12-03-2010, 11:00 AM
I would like to see a graph which shows the production levels per dollar spent for a government employee compared to production levels per dollar spent for a private sector employee.

Are you trying to test the hypothesis that the Iraq war will pay for itself?

The thing about government activity is that often it doesn't pay for itself. Not because it is inefficient, but because it purposefully operates in a realm where no for-profit business would dare to tread.

The government ensures private investors' bank deposits, provides health care to the poor, services to the elderly, guarantees loans to students and maintains highways (mostly free of tolls). (And let's not even talk about the expense of the not-for-profit endeavor of spreading freedom and democracy around the world.)

The government doesn't do these things to turn a profit. It does this because it needs to be done and no one else would.

Trying to apply the concept of ROI to a government endeavor is like trying to compare sailboats by gas mileage.

Milo Christensen
12-03-2010, 11:01 AM
Krugman has an op-ed in (where else?) the NYT which speaks to government employees. According to him, cutting the Federal payroll in half would only reduce spending by 3%. Looking at Keith's graphs should show anyone that that reduction would get eaten up in a year or so by the runaway increases in Medicare and other Federal health care spending.

Caution: If you are an Obama supporter, you probably don't want to read his views on Obama's Federal employee pay freeze (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03krugman.html).

It's time to take off the rose tinted spectacles and realize that there's no way out of the spending debacle without very significant, across the board tax increases and draconian, career ending, life shortening, inhumane cuts in Medicare.

ljb5
12-03-2010, 11:42 AM
Caution: If you are an Obama supporter, you probably don't want to read his views on Obama's Federal employee pay freeze (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03krugman.html).

It's true. Obama should never, ever do anything suggested by or supported by Republicans.

Nor should the rest of us.

ccmanuals
12-03-2010, 01:06 PM
It is nice for the goverment to send folks home with a pay check, and those folks are spending their money which is also good. But I am still worried. Increasing government jobs seems like spinning your wheels. Yes, someone is getting paid, but you aren't going anywhere; there is no increase in production. The government doesn't make or produce anything.

This graph concerns me:
http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=gdp

There is only one point on the graph which shows a decline.

Where are these gov't jobs being created? The only expansion of gov't that I'm aware of was the creation of the Consumer Protection Bureau and this hasn't even been staffed yet! I work in gov't right now and have for the last 19 years and I'm not seeing any expansion. In fact anyone familier with the federal gov't knows it can take up to 2 years to get a position created. It takes almost a year to just fill an existing position! The wheels of OPM grind exceding slow. Let's remember that the largest expansion of gov't in our history was the creation of Homeland Security under you know who.

troutman
12-03-2010, 01:48 PM
Keith Wilson i love you. Heritage foundation counting census workers. Hey graph man, post the one on fed jobs under Clinton and under young bush. Don't you know anything from the heritage foundation is poop here?

leikec
12-03-2010, 02:03 PM
Krugman has an op-ed in (where else?) the NYT which speaks to government employees. According to him, cutting the Federal payroll in half would only reduce spending by 3%. Looking at Keith's graphs should show anyone that that reduction would get eaten up in a year or so by the runaway increases in Medicare and other Federal health care spending.

Caution: If you are an Obama supporter, you probably don't want to read his views on Obama's Federal employee pay freeze (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/opinion/03krugman.html).

It's time to take off the rose tinted spectacles and realize that there's no way out of the spending debacle without very significant, across the board tax increases and draconian, career ending, life shortening, inhumane cuts in Medicare.


It's very difficult to shed the rose tinted glasses on the supply side of the American politial process, and words like "inhuman" and "life shortening" are a non-starter--unless the object is to slam the other side.

Here's a question: why is health care expensive? At some point that question will have to be asked seriously--and steps will have to be taken to make it less expensive.

Jeff C

Canoeyawl
12-03-2010, 02:06 PM
Are Orgies bad?

zertgold
12-03-2010, 04:14 PM
Orgies, tee hee.

I think we can all agree that government has increased since January of 2008 by almost 10%.
But unemployment has gone up again in November so something isn't working.
Are we waiting for the rich do get taxed more? I don't think it will have a positive effect on the economy, but at least we will feel better. sneaky richers.

If the government expands now when "we need it", does that mean it will shrink when we don't need it to expand?

Milo Christensen
12-03-2010, 04:33 PM
It's very difficult to shed the rose tinted glasses on the supply side of the American politial process, and words like "inhuman" and "life shortening" are a non-starter--unless the object is to slam the other side.

Here's a question: why is health care expensive? At some point that question will have to be asked seriously--and steps will have to be taken to make it less expensive.

Jeff C

What other side would I be slamming, here? I don't hear anyone but me calling for massive, across the board tax increases to stem the flow of way-of-life threatening Federal spending - said spending having been a decade long bipartisan effort, with two different spending areas.

What steps can you take to make Medicare less expensive? I've already called for a complete nationalization of all health care professionals with pay cuts and spending freezes. Who else but a massive government effort can even begin to cut health care costs? And indeed, many of the cuts will be life threatening, in terms of not spending fortunes in a desperate, futile attempt to prolong the last three weeks of life and that, in the opinion of many, is inhumane but what else you gonna do? Shall we continue to let folks pay, on average, perhaps $50,000 into Medicare and get, on average, $150,000 out of Medicare? The only solution I can possibly see is an immediate doubling of Medicare payroll taxes and a phased-in reduction of 1/3 in Medicare services.

ljb5
12-03-2010, 04:39 PM
I think we can all agree that government has increased since January of 2008 by almost 10%.

The latest employment figures, just released, show a reduction of 11,000 government jobs.


But unemployment has gone up again in November so something isn't working.

Um, yes.... the thing that isn't working is private sector employment. That's where the job losses are.


Are we waiting for the rich do get taxed more? I don't think it will have a positive effect on the economy, but at least we will feel better. sneaky richers.

The rich have been enjoying their tax break, without interruption, for the last nine years. They will continue to enjoy their tax break (at least on the first $250k of income) for the foreseeable future. If it hasn't led us to prosperity yet, it probably isn't going to in the next month or two.

zertgold
12-03-2010, 04:50 PM
Um, yes.... the thing that isn't working is private sector employment. That's where the job losses are.


Private sector job loss is the problem which needs to be fixed, or are you saying that private sector jobs are the problem?

johnw
12-03-2010, 05:33 PM
It would seem kind of short sighted to think that the bigger the government the better.

I know of no one who actually believes that, and I'll bet you don't either. Democrats have ideas about what government should do, not any specific idea it should be bigger. Republicans think government should be smaller, regardless of what size it is or what they ask it to do. When it comes to actually cutting programs, they don't seem inclined to actually reduce the scope of government. They spend more on programs they like and less on programs they don't like. Based on the Republicans we've seen in action since 1980, I'd say they spend at least as much as Democrats and prefer to do it with borrowed money. The last president to actually shrink the government was Clinton.

leikec
12-03-2010, 07:13 PM
What other side would I be slamming, here? I don't hear anyone but me calling for massive, across the board tax increases to stem the flow of way-of-life threatening Federal spending - said spending having been a decade long bipartisan effort, with two different spending areas.

What steps can you take to make Medicare less expensive? I've already called for a complete nationalization of all health care professionals with pay cuts and spending freezes. Who else but a massive government effort can even begin to cut health care costs? And indeed, many of the cuts will be life threatening, in terms of not spending fortunes in a desperate, futile attempt to prolong the last three weeks of life and that, in the opinion of many, is inhumane but what else you gonna do? Shall we continue to let folks pay, on average, perhaps $50,000 into Medicare and get, on average, $150,000 out of Medicare? The only solution I can possibly see is an immediate doubling of Medicare payroll taxes and a phased-in reduction of 1/3 in Medicare services.


Forgive me, Milo.

I was speaking of the professional politician (the "supply side") when I used the word "slam"...I didn't mean to give the impression that I was accusing you.

I wish I knew the formula for holding down health care costs--and your ideas are as good as any for a basis of discussion. I wish more people in the industry would address the question as directly as you have here on the forum. There is a lot of finger pointing, but I don't see a lot of honest debate taking place.

Sorry to give you the wrong impression--I left my stick at home, so the pinata is safe from me today.

Jeff C

ljb5
12-03-2010, 07:56 PM
Private sector job loss is the problem which needs to be fixed, or are you saying that private sector jobs are the problem?

Oh, you're one of those are you?

If you've got something to say, let's have a discussion. If you just want to play word games and act immature, it belies a weakness.

Ten years ago, the Republicans told us to elect Bush because he would be our first MBA president and that would be good for the economy. And so we did (sorta).

And then they told us that the rich needed a tax break (or two or three) and that would be good for the economy. And so they got one.

And then they told us the banks needed a bailout. And so they got one.

And then the automakers wanted a bailout, and that would be good for the economy. And so they got one.

And here we are, ten years later, with the worst economy in three generations. And the Republicans say the rich need a tax break.

I'm not very good at rhymes, but if I were, there'd be a chorus right about here. Neck Deep in the Big Muddy and the Damn Fool said to Press On.

ljb5
12-03-2010, 09:23 PM
Actually EVERYONE got a tax break, not just the "rich".

Some got more than others.


And if Obama and the Democrats don't knock off their obstructionism, everyone's taxes are going right back up in a few weeks.

Oh, you've got to be kidding.

The Democrats in the house have already voted in the tax break.... a tax break that will apply to everyone. The Republicans are going to obstruct it because they want even more for the upper brackets.

brad9798
12-03-2010, 10:07 PM
Of course they will ... they are as blind in their rhetoric as you are in yours!

SAD ... all the way around ... :( FOR BOTH SIDES!

ccmanuals
12-04-2010, 10:03 AM
The latest phenomenon, "unemployed need not apply." This is really disturbing.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/16/news/economy/unemployed_need_not_apply/index.htm

Canoeyawl
12-04-2010, 10:35 AM
It is beyond my comprehension how the wealthy of the Republican party can co-opt all those poor uneducated idots.
(Perhaps it's that uneducated bit)

Milo Christensen
12-04-2010, 11:30 AM
The latest phenomenon, "unemployed need not apply." This is really disturbing. . . .

Watched a movie (Howard's End) of early 1900's England and a central theme was a young man who was advised to move to a different company while still employed, only to be let go from his new position and completely unable to find a new one as he was unemployed. It's nothing new. Try being 50+ and unemployed about 8 years ago like I was. I wasn't considered seriously for anything until, in desperation, I took a temp job handling hazardous chemicals. Once I could say I was working again, I was able to get a better temp job and then a much better permanent position.

Tom Hunter
12-04-2010, 11:49 AM
The graph does not say much. Here is a longer term perspective with some explaination of the growth:

Here is the number of federal employees by decade (in millions and excluding U.S. Postal workers), as listed by the Office of Personnel Management (http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/ExecutiveBranchSince1940.asp):
1940 0.70
1950 1.44
1960 1.81
1970 2.20
1980 2.16
1990 2.25
2000 1.78
2009 2.10
There were fewer federal workers in 2009 than in 1990, 1980 and 1970. Now take a closer look at the OPM table. Much of the growth, understandably, occurred in Homeland Security (http://topics.nextgov.com/Homeland+Security/) agencies, increasing from 70,000 to 180,000 - a jump of 110,000. Justice Department jobs went from 98,000 to 113,000 -- more than 15,000 new jobs added. (Again, crime and more Homeland Security related.) Jobs at the Veterans Department increased from 220,000 to 297,000 -- that's 77,000 more federal workers.

The article is titled "To Many Federal Workers" Employment stats going back to 1940 can be found here: http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/ExecutiveBranchSince1940.asp

The country faces a lot of problems, but out of control federal highering is not one of them. In 1970 there were 200 million Americans and 2.2 million Federal Employees. Now we have 2.1 million Federal Employees doing more or less the same job for 300 million people. That is a considerable increase in efficiency.

Our government is out of wack in some very important ways, but number of employees is a red herring.

Keith Wilson
12-04-2010, 02:55 PM
The country faces a lot of problems, but out of control federal hiring is not one of them.Exactly. Admirably clear post.

ljb5
12-04-2010, 05:59 PM
We should bear in mind, of course, that there are more than 130,000,000 employed people in the US, so government employment accounts for less than 2% of the total.

Therefore, a graph showing percent change in employment is a bit misleading, because 7% of 137,000,000 is quite a lot more than 10% of 2,100,000. To even plot them on the same Y-axis is deceptive, unless this scaling is clearly explained, which it was not.

ingo
12-05-2010, 06:00 PM
If you can look at this graph, and forget you are a republican or a democrat, and look at as an intelligent citizen; what does this graph mean to you?

http://www.sailchart.com/outb/graph.jpg

That is simple: With a constant rate of growht in federal employment you get an accelerated growth in the private sector. And after this acceleration resulted in an absolute growth, you were enable to reduce the federal employment. Just look at the first derivation...

purri
12-05-2010, 06:44 PM
Anyone factored in gaols and goalers into the figures?

Flying Orca
12-05-2010, 06:47 PM
No, no, they don't have to, because they contact penal services out to private corporations. That way they don't count as federal employees. ;)

johnw
12-06-2010, 06:43 PM
No, no, they don't have to, because they contact penal services out to private corporations. That way they don't count as federal employees. ;)
And a lot of them are at the state level. Their unions lobby for longer prison terms, more draconian laws, and generally things that will fill up the jails.