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  #101  
Old 27.10.2016, 19:50
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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The question I'd like answered is why the educated people (University professors, economists, researchers, students, everyone with common sense, etc.) didn't speak up and protest LOUD AND CLEAR against the bailout, knowing full well that it was not OK to bail out thieves and thievery.
In the case of GM, the federal government essentially bought part of the company in return for stocks, offering it a line of credit. Obama basically said they paid back their loans in full, which is true in terms of stock. GM recovered. The government sold its stocks at the time of its choosing. The problem is that the government resold their stocks at a loss. It wasn't a free money giveaway. It did save hundreds of thousands in jobs.
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  #102  
Old 27.10.2016, 21:43
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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The question I'd like answered is why the educated people (University professors, economists, researchers, students, everyone with common sense, etc.) didn't speak up and protest LOUD AND CLEAR against the bailout, knowing full well that it was not OK to bail out thieves and thievery.
Many did but they were Republicans/libertarians. The ones who didn't are all about government intervention in the market (and our personal lives, for that matter).
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  #103  
Old 27.10.2016, 21:52
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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I have to give it to Omtatsat here who has provided a more sober explanation of the situation. We have industries and business whose existence is based on maximising their profits. You can't blame them, that is their stated purpose. The problem here is you have a government that have set up clandestine programs on how to game it for special interest purposes, and so they do. This is a failing of government, not some imagined "The Americans", or the rich guy, or the white guy. That is just inane nonsense that does nothing towards solving such problems. You'll find more pay for play programs like these under Clinton and the Democrats. Sure Republicans play it, but these are trademark Democrat games.

Phos your a joke ! Its trump which want's to get away with regulations
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  #104  
Old 27.10.2016, 21:56
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Phos your a joke ! Its trump which want's to get away with regulations
Both Trump and Clinton are big government types. Trump has already said he won't touch entitlements (which are bankrupting - math is a bastard that way). But Clinton would be worse because she has to deliver government expansion to her base.
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  #105  
Old 27.10.2016, 22:03
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

Trump made one of the best propositions I've heard in a campaign promise recently - before any new regulations can be added, two have to be taken off the books.
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  #106  
Old 27.10.2016, 22:12
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

Methinks the Chinese and especially the Russians are giggling with glee whilst sat comfy with a bucket of popcorn at this so-called "election" The way NATO and the Russkies are going loggerheads at the moment can only mean that things are worst than what the mainstream media can let on to and the respective administrations are trying to deflect from internal issues.
In this respect I would rather have Trump than Clinton, Trump is not interested in screwing with the rest of the world, unlike Clinton.
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  #107  
Old 28.10.2016, 01:22
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Phos your a joke !
That.
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  #108  
Old 28.10.2016, 10:02
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

Is it a third word country if the government can come in and take away your private property? There are a few other sites reporting on this, you can choose whichever slant of the story that aligns with your own preconceived ideas. But make sure the articles cover both sides of the story: US Army Corps of Engineers and the army/security firms/etc vs regular and not so regular citizens (the Sioux tribes).

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/...lishing_nodapl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHHBoVAyGsA (Fox reporting on it, too, for those not liking Democracy Now )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDcW7ieqHGY (for the younger crowd, The Young Turks)

Is it a 1st world or 3rd world when reporters/journalists and video makers are arrested for reporting on this? (It is a criminal offence to report on shoddy business practices, aka ag gag laws)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7kz_qCdUMA

Why didn't the government, or the "committed investors", who so eagerly want to exploit the oil, offer to pay for the properties the pipeline will go through? Why time and time again don't they care that the water will be polluted, so it will be the people living in those communities who will suffer the concequences? What about the risks of living in the proximity of a pipeline: leaks, fires? What about loss of cultural identity again?
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  #109  
Old 28.10.2016, 10:37
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Yes, and so the Obama administration decided to help by shutting down the coal mines and putting people out of work? Brillant! If we had more government solutions everything would be great.
Because we all know the Obama administration is deciding who stays in business and who doesn't. Oh wait, Obama didn't shut down coal mines at all, coal mining has been on the decline since a broad peak in 2006. But most important the US is a net exporter of coal, and the worldwide demand is declining due to slow economic growth. China is also closing down mines.
More importantly maybe, in the US the demand has seen a sharp decline because of very low natural gas prices that directly competes for cheap power generation. And those cheap prices were caused by the shale drilling boom, also responsible for a major increase in domestic oil production. All of this under Obama!

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The government schools suck because they're run by the government, staffed largely with crap teachers who are unionized and hard to fire, and run by hacks who pass failing students up the line so as not to hurt their statistics. Add to that behavioral problems of a lot of the students because they come from broken homes and it doesn't add up to a great education.
So what's your solution there? Private schools with better teachers that are paid an attractive salary so that they care about their job? Doesn't come for free. And if schools are private and charge tuition you loose all credibility in claiming that the US is a land of opportunity if you can't even afford a good school if you're poor.
As far as I can tell all the "western" countries that do better than the US in education have free public schools, and education is usually one of the first responsibilities of a government right after defense. One can even argue that Cuba has a better educational system than the US!

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I didn't blame all that other crap on Obama. Nice strawman.

But now that you mention Flint, the Obama EPA knew about the Flint water poisoning for 6 months before letting the public know about it though. But the federal government is great! The best. Here to help.
I don't think anyone here is arguing that more government is always the answer. Better government, with proper accountability, would be a good start. Hence the discussion about the US being "third world country". But it's easy to criticize, less so to come up with proven alternative plans.
Last but not least, all the big democracies: Canada, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia... have "bigger" governments, and don't work so bad. Better on some levels, worse on others. Sure none of those have Palo Alto's millionaires neighborhoods, but then, if you are born poor in WV or MS, what are your chances of making it to the Silicon valley?
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  #110  
Old 28.10.2016, 11:00
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Why didn't the government, or the "committed investors", who so eagerly want to exploit the oil, offer to pay for the properties the pipeline will go through?
They did. From your democracynow link:
"The frontline camp sits directly in the proposed path of the Dakota Access pipeline on private property purchased recently by the Dakota Access pipeline company for $18 million."
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  #111  
Old 28.10.2016, 11:25
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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They did. From your democracynow link:
"The frontline camp sits directly in the proposed path of the Dakota Access pipeline on private property purchased recently by the Dakota Access pipeline company for $18 million."
A portion was indeed bought, but I bet there was more to the sales contract than an exchange of money (no comment from the company who bought it), like protecting the cultural sites, and not just plow through them; otherwise the protesters wouldn't have had a leg to stand on in court, don't you think?

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  #112  
Old 28.10.2016, 11:52
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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A portion was indeed bought, but I bet there was more to the sales contract than an exchange of money (no comment from the company who bought it), like protecting the cultural sites, and not just plow through them; otherwise the protestors wouldn't have had a leg to stand on in court, don't you think?
I have no opinion as it's new to me. But if they likely had a legal case they could have a judge issue an order to stop building until the case had been decided by a court. That the natives need to dig out a 150 year old document (which may or may not still be valid) has me tend to think that, as far as buyer and seller are concerned, their transaction probably looked legit to them in the sense that all necessary steps and procedures were performed.
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  #113  
Old 28.10.2016, 13:16
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Friedman economics are an oversimplification about what actually happens to the individuals in the workforce when changes happen. Why was it ok for the govt to bail out the banks, or GM? The banks particularly, as they were the ones advising the govt on what needed to be done.
Well, you ran away from my question.

First of all, you clearly don't know much about Friedman ideas. He would totally oppose any kind of bailout.

Second, even though I truly believe that it's a bad idea to use public money to save companies, in the specific case of GM, I have to admit, it was a success. The money that the government injected in GM was converted into equity. Jobs were preserved and when the company recovered, the US government sold its stake at a profit.
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  #114  
Old 28.10.2016, 13:18
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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In the case of GM, the federal government essentially bought part of the company in return for stocks, offering it a line of credit. Obama basically said they paid back their loans in full, which is true in terms of stock. GM recovered. The government sold its stocks at the time of its choosing. The problem is that the government resold their stocks at a loss. It wasn't a free money giveaway. It did save hundreds of thousands in jobs.
Sold at a loss? I don't think so...

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/1...spite-gm-loss/
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  #115  
Old 28.10.2016, 14:21
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Well, you ran away from my question.

First of all, you clearly don't know much about Friedman ideas. He would totally oppose any kind of bailout.

Second, even though I truly believe that it's a bad idea to use public money to save companies, in the specific case of GM, I have to admit, it was a success. The money that the government injected in GM was converted into equity. Jobs were preserved and when the company recovered, the US government sold its stake at a profit.
No, I haven't run away. My point is that his often glib responses to "What about those that get caught in the trap" questions are representative of a large part of what I think is going wrong in the US right now. (No, I don't say that the government should jump in and compensate, but perhaps a bit more regulation in the financial markets would not be amiss.)

The fact that the govt bailout does seem to have been the best course also seems to indicate that Friedman's "Let the (free and unfettered) market sort it out" is not the only viable approach when things go wrong.
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  #116  
Old 28.10.2016, 20:42
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Sold at a loss? I don't think so...

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/1...spite-gm-loss/
There are two entities to GM - General Motors and GMAC. GMAC was a profit for the government, while GM appears to be a loss due to the timing of the government's sale of the stock.

I think a difference here from Friedman's take is that the government invested in GM through the market, did not manipulate regulations, and didn't really sequester the company. Although I believe they exercised their voting rights. Nevertheless, it appears to be a diet version of government intervention Friedman warns about.

Now, there is a whole supply chain and eco-system around GM that would have driven the great lakes region into a economic depression. There are lots of third party companies that feed of the car industry, and it really would have impacted 10 of millions of people. The government played the market. Even Canada went in. Had they not, someone else might have profited, or that whole ecosystem would have crashed. I don't think the end result was bad.
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  #117  
Old 28.10.2016, 20:44
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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Because we all know the Obama administration is deciding who stays in business and who doesn't. Oh wait, Obama didn't shut down coal mines at all, coal mining has been on the decline since a broad peak in 2006. But most important the US is a net exporter of coal, and the worldwide demand is declining due to slow economic growth. China is also closing down mines.
More importantly maybe, in the US the demand has seen a sharp decline because of very low natural gas prices that directly competes for cheap power generation. And those cheap prices were caused by the shale drilling boom, also responsible for a major increase in domestic oil production. All of this under Obama!
I feel you on the shale oil angle and the overall economic downturn, but my point was about the Obama administration regulating the coal industry out of business. It's actually part of their plan to "fight climate change". Even the NYT covered this. Here's a non-paywall link from The Atlantic. Quote from the article: "It’s expected that the government will eventually make it much more expensive—and effectively unfeasible—for companies to mine that mineral [coal]."

But please tell me more about how the Dems are on the side of the working guy/gal.

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So what's your solution there? Private schools with better teachers that are paid an attractive salary so that they care about their job? Doesn't come for free. And if schools are private and charge tuition you loose all credibility in claiming that the US is a land of opportunity if you can't even afford a good school if you're poor.
As far as I can tell all the "western" countries that do better than the US in education have free public schools, and education is usually one of the first responsibilities of a government right after defense. One can even argue that Cuba has a better educational system than the US!
I was feeling your arguments until you mentioned Cuba. You went off the deep-end there. First thing to do about public education is de-unionize. Second, use a voucher system. Those two moves right there would go a long way to improving things.

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I don't think anyone here is arguing that more government is always the answer. Better government, with proper accountability, would be a good start. Hence the discussion about the US being "third world country". But it's easy to criticize, less so to come up with proven alternative plans.
Last but not least, all the big democracies: Canada, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia... have "bigger" governments, and don't work so bad. Better on some levels, worse on others. Sure none of those have Palo Alto's millionaires neighborhoods, but then, if you are born poor in WV or MS, what are your chances of making it to the Silicon valley?
Oh, lots of people are arguing for more government. That's Hillary's platform. As for EF, many on here are always banging on about how the US isn't just like them, so it must be bad. It needs to spend more on this, that and the other, and then things will improve. Well, it doesn't work that way. The US has spent trillions on social programs but it's never enough. Not to mention the US is bearing the burden of the West's defense expenditures, which allows those under its umbrella to spend more than they otherwise would be able to on social welfare (and for populations that are more homogeneous than the US's). That umbrella is creaking at the moment, but it's not the US that would suffer most. God bless the eastern Europeans and east Asians.

You do realize that this whole "more accountable government" is a pipe-dream? How is that going to happen? The bigger the federal government gets, the less accountable it becomes.
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  #118  
Old 28.10.2016, 21:01
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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...Not to mention the US is bearing the burden of the West's defense expenditures, which allows those under its umbrella to spend more than they otherwise would be able to on social welfare (and for populations that are more homogeneous than the US's). That umbrella is creaking at the moment, but it's not the US that would suffer most. God bless the eastern Europeans and east Asians.
Yeah, I'd like to see this happen. Countries considered "allies" have gone through decades without much defence build-up and military spending, because the US is there. And the peace afford to them seems to have developed a certain kind of moral superiority about how to deal with conflicts. Furthermore, its people have gotten soft and weird, with strange ideas and values. Except they've been exempted from conflict by the US.

I think it would be good for all such countries, especially countries like Germany, to truly fend for themselves and deal with the realities of the world. I think a lot of these nutty people would be more more sober than they are today. I think a war that threatens them while the US steps back would be a great reality check for its populations.
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  #119  
Old 28.10.2016, 22:04
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

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I think it would be good for all such countries, especially countries like Germany, to truly fend for themselves and deal with the realities of the world. I think a lot of these nutty people would be more more sober than they are today. I think a war that threatens them while the US steps back would be a great reality check for its populations.
I'm sorry, but that's just horrible

I disagree with you, and as an American I wouldn't wish anything like that to happen to anyone.
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  #120  
Old 28.10.2016, 22:29
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Re: The USA. Is it a third world county?

Documentary on ZDF about the USA right now (taking the pulse before the elections, I suppose).

Highlights so far

Baltimore - 20 murders/day
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