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Economy headed for banner year!

Election 2004 Economy Bush

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#1 Drew

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 07:36 PM

Analysts see banner year ahead for economy

Quote

The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates.

In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

There were strong 4.5 percent growth rates in 1997 and 1999, when Bill Clinton was president and the country was in the midst of a record 10-year expansion.

But if this year's growth ends up a bit faster than that, it will be the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president -- Ronald Reagan -- was running for re-election.

"We are moving into a sweet spot for the economy with interest rates not too high, jobs coming back and business investment providing strength," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One in Chicago, who is predicting GDP growth of 4.8 percent this year.

There goes John Kerry's domestic platform.  :cool:
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#2 G1223

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 07:40 PM

But what about  Billions of american jobs that have been out soursed to Mars.  What about those where will we find a populus gullible to buy that there that many unemployed  or a canidate who's now running mate is more alive looking than him.
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#3 Robert Hewitt Wolfe

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 08:04 PM

Woohoo, recovery!  So my investments will yeild more?  Oh, no, they're all down pretty much.  Or even.  

Oh, I see, I will have more job opportunities?  Oh... crap... in my trade we're looking at a 10-15% job reduction, massive cuts in health benefits, and a smaller and smaller share of the pie, despite soaring corporate profits.

Hmmm, I guess by recovery they mean that fuel prices, which are the engine of the economy, are down?  No.  That's not it.

Well, at least the dollar will rise to reflect our smashing new economy and I can travel to Europe and Asia and Canada real cheap... errrr...  scratch that.

But on the bright side, Starbucks is hiring.

So where's the recovery for me and my buddies?

People keep saying we're in recovery, but all my friends are struggling a lot more now than they were in, say 1999-2000.  I haven't seen any upturn for anyone I know.  Now maybe this is just reflective of the specific problems of Los Angeles and my industry (where the number of good-paying jobs available is steadily shrinking due to outsourcing and corporate profiteering) or maybe not.  In addition to the usual media job types in LA, I've also got friends in the military (Here are your benefit reductions!  Oh, and off you go to war for 3x as long as we said), the police (Jobs cut!  Less opportunities for promotion!), in teaching (massive budget shortfalls), software programming (Excuse us while we outsource your job to India), and psych/medicine (profits down, patient loads down cause they can't afford to visit, practices cut.  But wow those HMO profits are up).

Bottom line, until I see my friends getting more money, not less, and having more spending power, not less, then I don't care how many times people tell me the economy is recovering.  

Part of the problem is that the kind of recoveries we experienced in the mid-80s and the 90s is NOT what's happening now, as far as I can tell.  In the good old days, recovery meant more middle and high paying jobs, an increase in the demand for skilled labor, and increased investment opportunities for the middle class.  Now, to me, it looks like this recovery means more profits for the large corporations, more wealth for the wealthy (and I'm talking the people above me in the wealthy scale, and yes, I do pretty well), and more low-paying, low-skill menial jobs in the service industry for everyone else.

Yippee!

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#4 Delvo

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 09:03 PM

That's mixing together two or more different issues. One is about the overall economy going up and down, and the other(s) is/are the relevance of standard economic measures to people's financial well-being.

Into the latter are intertwined some more separate issues that have a confluence under that categorical description, including job emigration, middle-class thinning, and cost of living relative to income (as most often and easily illustrated by the shift from one-income families to families with both parents working).

Because the former, the standard measures of economic activity, keep going up and down, that's what gets talked about in politics. The latter has been steadily but gradually getting worse for decades, but hasn't been talked about so much in politics because it's so slow and unidirectional.

But the fact that one thing continues to get worse as it always has since before I was born doesn't mean that the other isn't pretty good and still getting better right now, or that it doesn't matter.

#5 prolog

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 09:03 PM

^ This is the sort of bitterness I can only aspire to.

#6 Delvo

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 09:20 PM

You lost me. Where do you see bitterness?

EDIT: I asked before I realized you were probably talking to RHW, not me.

Edited by Delvo, 06 July 2004 - 09:22 PM.


#7 prolog

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 10:56 PM

Yup.  Identical time stamps -- I guess we were both eager to post.   :D

#8 Robert Hewitt Wolfe

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 11:50 PM

prolog, on Jul 7 2004, 02:01 AM, said:

^ This is the sort of bitterness I can only aspire to.
Nah, I'm not bitter at all.  I've got a great job, a great family, a nice house, a trade-deficit-contributing fuel-inefficient car; my life is good.

What I am is concerned.  I was raised by my Republican, US Army Officer, Vietnam Veteran father to believe in noblese oblige, not driot de signoir.  That society works best when we consider issues greater than ourselves.  That we, as good citizens, are obliged to inform ourselves about the political process and the issues, have informed and respectful and polite discussions about the issues, carefully consider both side, then make consciencous decisions about our leadership, and vote appropriately.

One of the things, then, that most concerns me, is overly simplistic and often belligerent tone of most of today's politics.  Today's pundits, both left and right, have greatly reduced the intelligence level and increased the bile in what passes for political debate these days.  What got me started in the first place was this... (by Drew)

Quote

There goes John Kerry's domestic platform.

The idea that an increase in the GDP somehow invalidates Kerry's platform is overly simplistic.  While an increase in the GDP is nice for the incumbant, it's not what the average voter cares about.  What the average voter cares about is the age old question... "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"  The increase in the GDP doesn't change the answer to that question for a lot of Americans, and it saddens me that right now, for far too many, the answer is "no."

Delvo wrote:

Quote

That's mixing together two or more different issues. One is about the overall economy going up and down, and the other(s) is/are the relevance of standard economic measures to people's financial well-being.

And the latter is far more relevant to Kerry's platform and the election in general than the former, which is my point.

Quote

The latter has been steadily but gradually getting worse for decades, but hasn't been talked about so much in politics because it's so slow and unidirectional. But the fact that one thing continues to get worse as it always has since before I was born doesn't mean that the other isn't pretty good and still getting better right now, or that it doesn't matter.

I disagree with this.  In my lifetime, the American standard of living, at least in my perception, has fluctuated, going both up and down.  It went down badly in the 70s.  Climbed in the mid-80s, dropped again in the late 80s/early 90s and rose again in the 90s.  Now, at least from where I sit, it's falling again.  A lot of things contribute to this, some of which can be controlled, some of which can't.  But to me, this is the biggest domestic issue in any election.  Presidents who make people feel like their lives are getting better (Reagan, Clinton) get re-elected.  Presidents who don't (Ford, Carter, GHWB), don't.

Okay, I'm done.  I usually stay out of political discussions on this board because...

a)  I don't like the level of invective that typifies OT political talk, and...
b)  I'm in an usual situation here since this board grew out of my old website and I don't like taking an "editorial" position here.  

So I'll be moving along.




Editted plenty cause of reason...

c)  I can't spell and I'm a sloppy typist.

Edited by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, 06 July 2004 - 11:52 PM.

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#9 Delvo

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 06:12 AM

Robert Hewitt Wolfe, on Jul 6 2004, 10:48 PM, said:

What the average voter cares about is the age old question... "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"  The increase in the GDP doesn't change the answer to that question for a lot of Americans, and it saddens me that right now, for far too many, the answer is "no."
Actually, it's a strange mix on that. People understand that the world, or just the country, is bigger than themselves and other people's experiences can be different from their own. But they also sometimes end up measuring nationwide phenomena based on only their own experience or those of their acquaintances, as if that were the whole country, even if it means denying the statistics.

Consider two poll questions: "How are you doing?" and "How do you think others in the country are doing?". In a good economy, the answers to the first are positive; in a bad one, they're negative. But with the second one, people's answers will tell you if they THINK the economy's good or bad. What we have right now is a situation in which people are doing well  (as indicated not just by Gross National or Demostic Product but also by direct consumer-related measures) but have this concept that most others around them aren't, a Good-Bad combination for these questions. That's the mark of an economy which is actually, according to the direct experience of most people, doing quite well, but which they think must actually be bad for others out there somewhere. And they tend to vote based on not just their own financial condition but their impression of how it is for others.

#10 Nietrick

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 08:19 AM

The economy is a bad indicator of what the current president is doing unless they are in their second term.Our economy is a big machine and it takes time for eveything to filter down.For the bad or the good. Add to that the cyclical nature of the economy. It can't stay up or down forever.

People do care about the bottom line and how they and the people they know are doing. Human nature,but a false indicator of what's really going on. People criticize giving tax cuts to the wealthy,on paper it sounds awful. "They have millions! I have nothing! I need the break!"
But if you break it down it makes sense. The bigwig CEO pays a lower tax than last year,he has more money to invest in the company. The stocks go up,more money is made. Business is booming,more jobs are created. More jobs mean more money for the rest of us. We have more money,we spend more money....and thus..the economy recovers. But it takes time and we are just now starting to see the results. The numbers that seemingly have nothing to do with the common folks will be very important in a year or two when a new factory opens in your town,or laid off workers get called back.

You've got to have patience and look at the big picture.
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#11 gaius claudius

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 09:11 AM

Nietrick, on Jul 7 2004, 09:17 AM, said:

The economy is a bad indicator of what the current president is doing unless they are in their second term.Our economy is a big machine and it takes time for eveything to filter down.For the bad or the good. Add to that the cyclical nature of the economy. It can't stay up or down forever.

People do care about the bottom line and how they and the people they know are doing. Human nature,but a false indicator of what's really going on. People criticize giving tax cuts to the wealthy,on paper it sounds awful. "They have millions! I have nothing! I need the break!"
But if you break it down it makes sense. The bigwig CEO pays a lower tax than last year,he has more money to invest in the company. The stocks go up,more money is made. Business is booming,more jobs are created. More jobs mean more money for the rest of us. We have more money,we spend more money....and thus..the economy recovers. But it takes time and we are just now starting to see the results. The numbers that seemingly have nothing to do with the common folks will be very important in a year or two when a new factory opens in your town,or laid off workers get called back.

You've got to have patience and look at the big picture.
Its hard to have patience when your job hours ahave been cut back to just part time and your car's about to be repo'ed...
  Luckily I'm not in that situation yet..but its darn close...I work in a business where we collect deliquent car and mortage payments...and I can tell you the amt of defualts and bankruptcies that we deal with have gone up in the past years by over 100% with no indication of things getting better...even people who have been recenty hired are so far behind on their bills...thjat getting a new income almost doesn't help..

I'm not a doom and gloom guy, but i have to agree..until I see things start to get better for those around me (including me)...then tough cookies :devil:



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#12 Nietrick

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 11:56 PM

Fair enough,but not all of the repos and insanely high bills (and I know all about this,too,believe me) is caused by bad economy. This country is credit card crazy. Buy now pay later! Our debt load is huge and when you have 20% interest tacked onto what you already owe,no amount of economic upswing can magically fix things.

We should remember that the economic boom of the 90s is largely to blame for the shape we're in now. We had it and we spent it like drunken sailors....now it's catching up with us. My genration grew up with the boom of the 80s,a small recession,and then the next boom. We were ill prepared to face job loss and debt as adults.
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#13 Drew

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 12:02 AM

Well, my company--which is very sensitive to economic fluctuations--is having it's best year yet, and is currently on a hiring spree. We have about 20 employees, and will have added four more by the end of the summer. A 20% increase. Not bad, eh?  :cool:
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#14 Uncle Sid

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 12:26 AM

The credit load on Americans is a real problem, and a looming one.  In order to support the consumer economy we have built up, people need scads of credit, and at some point they will simply not be able to pay for it in their lifetimes, (like some 100-year mortgages in CA and other expensive places).  A credit failure would be be the only thing sort of a cataclysmic disaster that might be able to cause a second Great Depression in a very short span of time.
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#15 Godeskian

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 01:19 AM

I've run some numbers that suggests that the retirement of 75 million baby boomers in the US may well be able to achieve the same result.

These people will mostly be retiring on pension plans that are being held together by the mutual funds that pension fund managers have invested in.

I don't know what an average american spends a month, but based on an (according to various people iv'e spoken to this about) low monthly average of 1000 dollars, thats still 75,000,000,000 dollars per month that will be removed from the stock market.

The odds in favor of a massive crash, which will wipe out even more pensions and family safety nets are high and growing every day. With medicare and Social security being the next best thing to bankrupt, they aren't going to be a great help either.

Unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to the US. Much of Europe will suffer the same problem.

#16 MuseZack

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:52 AM

Have you seen my Bush boom?

http://www.nytimes.c...ion/06KRUG.html

Excerpt:

When March's numbers came in much better than expected, I cautioned readers not to make too much of one good month. Similarly, we shouldn't make too much of June's disappointment. The question is whether, taking a longer perspective, the economy is performing well. And the answer is no.

If you want a single number that tells the story, it's the percentage of adults who have jobs. When Mr. Bush took office, that number stood at 64.4. By last August it had fallen to 62.2 percent. In June, the number was 62.3. That is, during Mr. Bush's first 30 months, the job situation deteriorated drastically. Last summer it stabilized, and since then it may have improved slightly. But jobs are still very scarce, with little relief  in sight.

Bush campaign ads boast that 1.5 million jobs were added in the last 10 months, as if that were a remarkable achievement. It isn't. During the Clinton years, the economy added 236,000 jobs in an average month. Those 1.5 million jobs were barely enough to keep up with a growing working-age population.

In the spring, it seemed as if the pace of job growth was accelerating: in March and April, the economy added almost 700,000 jobs. But that now looks like a blip a one-time thing, not a break in the trend. May growth was slightly below the Clinton-era average, and June's numbers   only 112,000 new jobs, and a decline in working hours were  pretty poor.

What about overall growth? After two and a half years of slow growth, real G.D.P. surged in the third quarter of 2003, growing at an annual rate of more than 8 percent. But that surge appears to have been another blip. In the first quarter of 2004, growth was down to 3.9 percent, only slightly above the Clinton-era average. Scattered signs of weakness rising new claims for unemployment insurance, sales warnings at Target and Wal-Mart, falling numbers for new  durable goods orders have led many analysts to suspect that growth slowed further in the second quarter.

And economic growth is passing working Americans by. The average weekly earnings of nonsupervisory workers rose only 1.7 percent over the past year, lagging behind inflation.

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#17 Chipper

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 09:13 AM

^ I'm with RHW here, even though I'm too young to really have a job that shapes my entire lifestyle.  

It's not the national average that matters to people.  It's their average, what they have, what they need, etc.  Forgetting that this growth is basically just making up what was lost in the last four years (which isn't necessarily Bush's fault at all, but I would think his economic policies contributed to this), I think it will be important to watch what happens (if BUsh is reelected) when and if we reach the level of economic prosperity we had in the late nineties and see what happens then.

But right now?  My family struggles to get by, so do many others.  The eonomy for many people isn't what everyone makes, but hwat they make.  And that's the kicker, imo.
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#18 Ogami

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 09:45 AM

So Kerry can't run on the economy, he can't run on Saddam not being captured (remember that?), he can't run on America turned into a police state. What's left?

It's not too late to get Dean. His issues were honest, despite his excitement. Dump Kerry, who will say anything to anyone to get their vote, and pick Dean. The man may be nuts, but he's a genuine liberal with the courage of his convictions.

Save yourselves, Democrats!  :p~

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#19 MuseZack

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:28 AM

Ogami, on Jul 8 2004, 02:43 PM, said:

So Kerry can't run on the economy, he can't run on Saddam not being captured (remember that?), he can't run on America turned into a police state. What's left?

It's not too late to get Dean. His issues were honest, despite his excitement. Dump Kerry, who will say anything to anyone to get their vote, and pick Dean. The man may be nuts, but he's a genuine liberal with the courage of his convictions.

Save yourselves, Democrats!  :p~

-Ogami
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We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
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#20 Ogami

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 01:32 PM

Don't want to disagree with a Demigod, but Kerry does not have a chance of winning this election. Sorry, it's not even going to be close. Bank on this prediction come November.

Unless it's just my imagination that a lot of Democrats wish their ticket were swapped around to Edwards-Kerry right now. (chuckle)

-Ogami



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