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TOPIC: The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom....

The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 00:33 #1

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Truth Zone exclusive thread in the midst of all the economic doom and world debt threads that have plagued SZ.

In light of the pseudo intellectualism on Sanctum Zone i'm going to drop a Bomb that even Andy can Wake Up to.

Since i'm American i will only give the US perspective and let others speak on what is going on in their own country's.

Seventeen trillion dollars in debt is basically not even real. For instance who would allow a country to have a debt of 17 billion dollars nonetheless 17 trillion dollars. It's obviously never going to be paid back. It was just a way to build up American infrastructure and then a military to protect that infrastructure. It's never going to be paid back because it was never intended to be. 17 trillion dollars is just pure fiction because no one would ever let a nation get that far into debt in the first place. If the US GDP is #1 in the world at 15 trillion with a population of 300 million than how could China loan America money if their GDP is #2 in the world at 7 trillion with a population of 1.4 billion. That's just impossible because why would China loan money to America when they know the US spends that money on the military industrial complex. So if China was to ask for that money back the US would just say sorry we spent all that money on jets and missiles.

Another thing is welfare & food stamps. If America actually had a debt of 17 trillion dollars there wouldn't be any money for 900 military bases in 130 countries and nobody would be on welfare or food stamps. If the US was really broke there would be no money for war, no money to give to countries in the middle east, no money to give people health care. How can China loan the US money when the US gives money to Egypt, Israel, Pakistan ect. All this debt is just a bunch of thin air what's not to see about it.

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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 00:40 #2

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Personally I wonder how anybody would call in such a debt. I don't see America going under the way parts of Europe have. I don't think the U.K. will either. Economics is not my strong point but they are using that figure of debt to justify cuts which is wrong in every way especially as you point out they still have plenty for war.
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 01:11 #3

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i-baster wrote:
Economics is not my strong point but they are using that figure of debt to justify cuts

I agree.

It smells a bit problem-reaction-solutiony.
I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 01:13 #4

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Anyone watched this short film? Thoughts?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tGk5ioEXlIM
I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 01:22 #5

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That short film was on TV over here. I am not really informed enough on all sides of this issue. It is a rigged game but not sure exactly of details. Who was that smart guy who said I only know that I know nothing?
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 06 Jun 2013 09:04 #6

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i-baster wrote:
Who was that smart guy who said I only know that I know nothing?

Some greek dude i think, maybe it was Socrates.
I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 08 Jun 2013 20:34 #7

This is one of the most important threads on the internet imo...



The whole debate:


Ibaster is right, we are at the period of learning about this right now...a good source is Steve Keen and Minsky, his theories are actually influencing Labour policy in the UK:

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...jobs-guarantee
The noises Labour now makes are at odds with a promising proposal early this year to find work for the long-term unemployed

By Philip Pilkington

This week we have seen two interventions from Labour that mirror the current government's taste for austerity: Ed Miliband's commitment to copying the coalition's benefits cap; and shadow chancellor Ed Balls's call for "iron discipline" with regard to the fiscal deficit. This seems like a far cry from January, when Balls advocated a jobs guarantee programme to help the long-term unemployed get back to work. Yet with interest rates on government debt still at record lows, a jobs guarantee programme is exactly what Britain needs. And it's hardly an idea without foundation either.

The Levy Institute at Bard College recently published a volume of the economist Hyman Minsky's writings on the idea of a job guarantee. Minsky, who is famous for his prescient theories about financial market fragility in capitalist economies, recognised long ago that the welfare state that grew up in many western countries after the second world war was completely incapable of tackling the problems it was supposed to address. The hidden assumption lying behind the conception of the welfare state was that full employment was a given – everyone who wanted work could find it.

Sadly the reality is quite different. Minsky's theories of financial instability suggested that capitalist economies were prone to serious downturns in which huge amounts of the labour force would find themselves unemployed. What's more, this would lead to large shortfalls in demand for goods and services which would further exacerbate such downturns. The result was a vicious circle that would become worse and worse as the financial system evolved into an increasingly fragile entity and households and businesses became increasingly mired in debt.

The only way out of this was to build robust institutions that insulated working people from the excesses of the system. While progressive taxation and unemployment benefits went some way toward both protecting workers and propping up demand during downturns, it did not, according to Minsky and his followers, go nearly far enough. They believed that governments should offer a job to anyone willing and able to work and then pay for these jobs by engaging in increased deficit spending – as they currently do with unemployment benefits during downturns.

The programme Labour pushed back in January was not nearly as radical. It was not to be set up to manage the level of economic activity. Nor was it voluntary, as the Minsky/MMT programme would be. It was also only targeted at young people who had been out of the labour force for long periods. Nevertheless, it moved the debate in the right direction.

Recently though, feeling that it has to toughen up its rhetoric about battling the supposedly nefarious budget deficit, Labour has given up ground that might have allowed it to begin to put forward a new vision of economic management. Instead it has fallen back on all the old platitudes about the "evils" of government debt. Two steps forward, six steps back.

Today it is becoming increasingly clear that Minsky was right about the nature of capitalist economies. They are highly unstable systems that are seriously prone to debt-fuelled collapse. By recognising this we can begin to think of new and improved ways to manage these volatile systems but to do so we must begin to shed some of our most stubborn taboos. The first is the notion that government debt is somehow inherently "evil". If the Labour party wants to be the party to lead us into this brave new world it needs to drop this tired rhetoric immediately.
The anti-unemployment strategy preferred by Minsky focuses on public employment. Its central principle is that of the state as the “employer of last resort” (ELR). Under this approach, now advocated notably by the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) economists, the state – or local authorities – pledges to provide employment to all those who are prepared to work at the basic public sector wage rate (and possibly above that rate, depending on the qualifications required for the jobs offered).

This “takes the unemployed as they are and fits public jobs to their capabilities” but it is not workfare. Making jobs available does not imply an obligation to work; it does not replace, but rather supplements, the existing unemployment benefit and social assistance schemes. The jobs are in labour-intensive services which generate useful effects that are immediately apparent to the community in fields such as assistance to older people, children and the sick, urban improvements (green spaces, social mediation, restoration of buildings etc.), the environment, school activities, art initiatives and so on. A characteristic of all these activities is that they take place in sectors where the scope for productivity gains is weak or non-existent. As Minsky puts it, the aim is “better application of current capabilities” rather than increasing them.
column.global-labour-university.org/2013/04/the-state-as-employer-of-last-resort.html
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 08 Jun 2013 20:42 #8

column.global-labour-university.org/2013/04/the-state-as-employer-of-last-resort.html
Given the immense human and social waste represented by unemployment, what is stopping governments from adopting such a policy? The answer is that the “competitiveness” agenda is the one preferred by business. If focussed on costs, the “competitiveness” strategy aims, by lowering the wages or taxes paid by firms, to revive investment and employment through higher profitability and greater market share. If focussed on moving upmarket, it entails mobilising public expenditure to support innovation and training, as ways of improving productivity. In either case, the reasoning depends on the possibilities for capital appreciation in a highly competitive context – which implies that, to a great extent, the hoped-for benefits of these policies will be to the detriment of trading partners.

On the other hand, the ELR strategy points the available labour towards social needs. It aims to produce use value. Combined with other ambitious policies, such as a major investment programme for environmental conversion, it would enable the disbandment of the “reserve army” of unemployed people and the reduction of inequalities by shifting the income distribution more towards wages. It is thus clearly unfavourable towards the holders of capital, particularly the rentiers.

However, putting an ELR strategy into practice does mean changing the framework for integration in the world economy and, more immediately, for European integration. Defensively, there is a need to prevent the capital flight that would inevitably be triggered by a resolute tax policy (if necessary, by recourse to currency controls) and to stabilise imports, either through exchange rate depreciation policies or through quota measures.

On the offensive side, a public debt financing system should be put in place backed by household savings in the countries that jointly agree to apply this policy, while requiring the central bank to guarantee the securities issued. There is also a need to lift the curbs that free trade places on the possibilities for orientating economic activity towards the production of use value and the preservation of the biosphere. This entails taking measures that promote the shortening of production circuits and negotiating agreements to stabilise prices in the medium term, particularly for raw materials and foodstuffs.

If such measures sound radical, they are nothing compared to the market fanaticism that has now taken hold of our political leaders. That fanaticism leads them to reject out of hand options that would enable unemployment and inequality to be vigorously tackled. Isn’t that the kind of daring that might be expected from a straightforwardly left-wing policy?
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 08 Jun 2013 20:46 #9

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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 08 Jun 2013 23:48 #10

i-baster wrote:
That short film was on TV over here. I am not really informed enough on all sides of this issue. It is a rigged game but not sure exactly of details. Who was that smart guy who said I only know that I know nothing?
His name was Mike, he said it on the SanctumZone ;)

sanctum.truth-zone.net/forum/General/92017-how-banks-can-legally-steal-your-cash.html

sanctum.truth-zone.net/forum/General/91475-promissory-notes.html?limitstart=0

sanctum.truth-zone.net/forum/General/92024-what-is-money.html#122421
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 08 Jun 2013 23:57 #11

www.economonitor.com/lrwray/2013/05/06/by-jove-hes-got-it-krugman-finally-adopts-mmt-and-so-does-summers/
By Jove, Krugman’s got it. Here’s what he wrote today:

Remember, Britain has its own currency, which means that it can’t run out of cash. Furthermore, the short-term interest rate is set by the Bank of England. And the long-term rate, to a first approximation, is a weighted average of expected future short-term rates. Unless markets believe that Britain is going to default — which it isn’t, and they won’t — this is more or less an arbitrage condition that ties down the long run rate no matter what happens to confidence. Or to be a bit more precise, it’s hard to see what would drive up long rates except a belief that the BoE will raise short rates; and why would it do that unless it sees economic recovery in prospect? krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/george-osbornes-fear-of-ghosts/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

All he has to do is to carry that analysis beyond the current downturn. This can go on forever, of course. Keep short term interest rates low, or keep Treasury out of long maturities.

This is quite a contrast to what Krugman argued two years ago, in a critique of MMT:

And now suppose that for whatever reason, we’re suddenly faced with a strike of bond buyers — nobody is willing to buy U.S. debt except at exorbitant rates…. So then what? The Fed could directly finance the government by buying debt, or it could launder the process by having banks buy debt and then sell that debt via open-market operations; either way, the government would in effect be financing itself through creation of base money. I could go on, but you get the point: once we’re no longer in a liquidity trap, running large deficits without access to bond markets is a recipe for very high inflation, perhaps even hyperinflation… And no amount of talk about actual financial flows, about who buys what from whom, can make that point disappear: if you’re going to finance deficits by creating monetary base, someone has to be persuaded to hold the additional base… But the idea that deficits can never matter, that our possession of an independent national currency makes the whole issue go away, is something I just don’t understand. (See here: krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/deficits-and-the-printing-press-somewhat-wonkish/; and here krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/a-further-note-on-deficits-and-the-printing-press/.)
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 09 Jun 2013 00:33 #12

Been toying with different ways of looking at this figure:

How do you look at it?
apparently it's nearly half a trillion dollars.

I've been thinking this figure as Public debt relates to services and commodities provided by states for consumption by people.

In this view the number signifies a starting point that every state which has imported goods and services contributes to, a trade deficit, how this number is sustained and continues to grow is the result of the economic activity of the private individuals who purchases these goods and services or are economically productive in other ways, taxes etc within these States. .

Viewed in this way the figure presented above is the operating budget of the world global economy, that amount of trade occurs daily, various public institutions, ie States and governments run a trade deficit to facilitate this trade and the operations of a global economy, much of this Global Public Debt is held by other States and Governments, Britain might have some debts with Greece and Greece some with Britain all would contribute to the above figure, neither might want paying off and keep a trade deficit or surplus in balance with the other, ie Public Debt.

according to some estimates, anyone looking for all of the U.S. dollars in the world in July 2009 could expect to find around $8.3 trillion in existence, according to my view this figure and all the global currency on top of this, through exchange go some way to making government's running a trade deficit (like the graphic above) a profitable exercise.

Therefore Private debt would actually contribute in various ways to paying off public debt in the form of consumption, productivity, taxes on purchases, property etc, income taxes on bankers being pushed through by the EU, the functioning of an economy fulfils this debt as the trade deficit is one of it's fundamental basis'.

That's just a view I've been toying with, it requires elaboration and I'm not saying it's right, it would be nice to hear other opinions.
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Last Edit: 09 Jun 2013 00:44 by Ultimate Seeker ™.
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 09 Jun 2013 01:06 #13

Television producers do this do they not? Except at the BBC.
They will put money into a television production expecting it to gain lot's of viewers but the pay back is never immediate, one would assume the initial outlay equivalent to "Current Global Public Debt", the production costs and outgoings would at some stage, perhaps airing, perhaps afterwards in advertising revenue be recouped, otherwise one would question how new TV programmes are continually getting made and TV Stations not going out of business...

This is merely a tangent to show how operating a deficit can in some instances be profitable.

It can even be profitable to run a business at a loss, if you sell laxatives in one shop and chocolate at another you could afford to make a loss on one if the other makes a profit, an example of this might be nike employing westerners at all, and nike selling clothing manufactured in far east asia to westerners, they make a loss employing westerners at all, but recoup it by those westerners inevitable consumption.

Good weed tonight I expect I'll read this tomorrow and it will make no sense.
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 09 Jun 2013 01:11 #14

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:
Television producers do this do they not? Except at the BBC.
They will put money into a television production expecting it to gain lot's of viewers but the pay back is never immediate, one would assume the initial outlay equivalent to "Current Global Public Debt", the production costs and outgoings would at some stage, perhaps airing, perhaps afterwards in advertising revenue be recouped, otherwise one would question how new TV programmes are continually getting made and TV Stations not going out of business...

This is merely a tangent to show how operating a deficit can in some instances be profitable.

It can even be profitable to run a business at a loss, if you sell laxatives in one shop and chocolate at another you could afford to make a loss on one if the other makes a profit, an example of this might be nike employing westerners at all, and nike selling clothing manufactured in far east asia to westerners, they make a loss employing westerners at all, but recoup it by those westerners inevitable consumption.

Good weed tonight I expect I'll read this tomorrow and it will make no sense.

I was thinking along similar lines when i made the OP....
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 09 Jun 2013 01:14 #15

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:

Therefore Private debt would actually contribute in various ways to paying off public debt in the form of consumption, productivity, taxes on purchases, property etc, income taxes on bankers being pushed through by the EU, the functioning of an economy fulfils this debt as the trade deficit is one of it's fundamental basis'.

It would certainly seem there is truth to this when looking from the outside in...
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 09 Jun 2013 12:39 #16

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I was once reading the twitter of an economic advisor to the Gillard govt, who was spending a lot of his twitter time arguing that australia isnt in debt.

And a few people were arguing back, they had engaged him.

Anyway, i showed him aunty lynns debt clock pictured above (we all know who owns a good chunk of the economist, right? www.elrothschild.com/investments :chuckle: )

He didnt say much after that. A few weeks later, maybe longer, i looked again and he was arguing that debt is a good thing as money is being spent. :chuckle:

BTW i wonder what so-crates would say if i gave him a credit card? :think: :joint:
I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 11 Jun 2013 14:29 #17

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novum wrote:
BTW i wonder what so-crates would say if i gave him a credit card? :think: :joint:

Probably at the mall trying to pick up girls...

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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 11 Jun 2013 14:59 #18

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:

Therefore Private debt would actually contribute in various ways to paying off public debt in the form of consumption, productivity, taxes on purchases, property etc, income taxes on bankers being pushed through by the EU, the functioning of an economy fulfils this debt as the trade deficit is one of it's fundamental basis'.

It would certainly seem there is truth to this when looking from the outside in...

From wiki on US National Debt
Except for about a year during 1835–1836, the United States has continuously held a public debt since the US Constitution legally went into effect on March 4, 1789.
A sharp increase in the debt occurred as a result of the Civil War. The debt was $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and reached $2.7 billion by the end of the war. During the following 47 years, there were 36 surpluses and 11 deficits. During this period 55% of the national debt was paid off. Debt increased again during World War I (1914–1918), reaching $25.5 billion at its conclusion. This was followed by 11 consecutive surpluses that saw the debt reduced by 36%.[10]
U.S. Public debt by party affiliation of the White House from 1950 to 2009. Upper graph shows public debt in trillions, lower graph shows public debt as a percentage of GDP.

The next period of major increase in the national debt took place between 1930 and 1945. In 1930, debt held by the public stood at $15.05 billion or 16.5% of GDP. Decreased tax revenues and social programs enacted during the Great Depression increased the debt, and by 1939, the debt held by the public had increased to $39.65 billion or 43% of GDP. The buildup and involvement in World War II during the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies caused an even larger increase; debt held by the public had reached $251.43 billion or 112% of GDP at its conclusion in 1945. Rapid economic growth after the war reduced debt as a percentage of GDP, and it reached a post-WWII low of 24.6% in 1974.[10][11]

Debt held by the public relative to GDP rose rapidly again in the 1980s. President Ronald Reagan's economic policies lowered tax rates and increased military spending, while congressional Democrats held fast against attempts to reverse spending on social programs.[12][13] As a result, debt as a share of GDP increased from 26.2% in 1980 to 40.9% in 1988, and continued to rise during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, reaching 48.3% of GDP in 1992.[10][14]

Debt held by the public reached 49.5% of GDP at the beginning of President Clinton's first term. However, it fell to 34.5% of GDP by the end of Clinton's presidency due in part to decreased military spending, increased taxes (in 1990, 1993 and 1997), and increased tax revenue resulting from the Dot-com bubble.[10][11][15][16][17] The budget controls instituted in the 1990s successfully restrained fiscal action by the Congress and the President and together with economic growth contributed to the budget surpluses at the end of the decade.[18]

In the early 21st century, debt relative to GDP rose again due in part to the Bush tax cuts and increased military spending caused by the wars in the Middle-East and a new entitlement Medicare D program. During the presidency of George W. Bush, debt held by the public increased from $3.339 trillion in September 2001 to $6.369 trillion by the end of 2008,[6][19] In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and related significant revenue declines and spending increases, the debt held by the public increased to $11 trillion by the end of July 2012 under the presidency of Barack Obama.

The next US government needs to Tax the corporates, will a candidate have the mettle to run on such a platform?
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 11 Jun 2013 17:07 #19

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.......... wrote:
novum wrote:
BTW i wonder what so-crates would say if i gave him a credit card? :think: :joint:

Probably at the mall trying to pick up girls...


I have the same thing going on in my head. Everytime I think of socrates i say it so-crates in my head and think of that film. :hahano: :facepalm:

I remember the good old days, when 90+ year olds in nursing homes lived forever. Darn this pesky virus.

1365 = 1

1.1365 = 1,283,305,580,313,352
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The Truth about Debt and Economic Doom.... 12 Jun 2013 18:47 #20

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^ Childhood classic movie...
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