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dionysian
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14 Jun 2011, 12:54 pm

Zeno wrote:
The video was kind of bad but it does put a coherent voice to mutterings that are becoming more widespread. Even members of the political establishment today are talking about possible social dislocation. Now that the Greeks have shown the world just how difficult it really is to restructure an economy based on long cherished entitlements, it is only natural to draw parallels with the United States where entitlement programs are also proving impossible to reform. The problem is that, like it is for the Greeks, America’s creditors are no longer willing to continue financing a trade and fiscal deficit that will never close. You cannot lend money to people who will not only never pay you back but also never stop asking for more.

Compared to the wealthy, the poor appears to be under consuming. But rich people form such a small proportion of any society that their direct activities like how much they consume have little bearing on aggregate. In every economic crisis, it has always been the consumption habits of the masses that pushed the system over the edge. It is what rich people do with their money that matters. To take Greece as an example, wealthy Greeks have shifted tens of billions of Euros out of Greece. Needless to say, the loss of all that money has made a desperate situation impossible.

There is too much nonsense in all your posts to go back and point it all out. But please, at least refrain from making directly contradictory statements within the same paragraph.


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sartresue
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14 Jun 2011, 1:28 pm

Zeno wrote:
Spend less.
Stop being so wasteful.
Live within your means.

This topic - which was actually started in mid-2009 but the original thread was deleted by the arrogant and ignorant administrators of the board - is not about doom and gloom but an attempt to discuss reality. Just the other day I was reading the Washington Post and there was an editorial about how positivism has contributed to the deep and serious mistakes that have been made in response to the American Financial Crisis. The banking crisis is really just a symptom of the underlying malaise – chronic overconsumption. By staying positive and stimulating the economy with unbelievable sums of money, the Obama administration actually set the stage for a massive meltdown. They were so blind sighted by their own positive thinking that they refused to acknowledge the structural shifts that had occurred in the economy. They tried to stimulate consumption when overconsumption is the problem.


Waste line topic

I think it was foolish. greedy, spendthrifty and wasteful for the US economy to intertwine with China's.

I am not sure how the US can extricate itself from this dumb mistake. :evil:


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Zeno
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14 Jun 2011, 6:33 pm

The trouble with preaching to pigs is that they will never get it. How much the rich in any society consume is never likely to be a major factor because there is only so much any one person can guzzle. Now by my definition, consumption is a direct activity whereas moving money around is not. Both require a subject or agent but consumption actually utilizes tangible resources whereas transferring money from one bank account to another is simply notional. I know, I know, it is a difficult concept to grasp because most people just do not understand what money really is.

People get angry when told that Western societies are over consuming because any adjustment will mean that some people are going to experience steep declines in their standard of living. America is today going through just such an adjustment and it is painful. There is a lot of citizen journalism chronicling the very apparent rise of homelessness and neighborhoods that have sunk into not so genteel poverty. It would not have been so bad if the American government had sought to manage the decline as opposed to pretending that if they held it together and stayed positive, everything will turn out okay. Well everything is not okay.



donnie_darko
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14 Jun 2011, 10:48 pm

maybe we need to cut our production. i mean we can't just create and consume until the whole planet is gone can we?



Zeno
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14 Jun 2011, 11:57 pm

There are a lot of poor people in the world who would like to consume more. Think basic healthcare, literacy and having enough to eat so that you do not fall asleep in the day from hunger. All these things are taken for granted in the rich world but are not always available in poorer countries. Consumption in itself will not drive our planet to extinction as there are rich deposits of basic materials and our biosphere is naturally self regenerating. It is when people consume too much and thus deprive others of needed goods and services that many problems arise. But people then ask: why should a poor Indian farmer get to own a cell phone when he does not produce enough to make the trade with phone manufacturers and service providers reasonable? Indeed this is the exact same question I ask myself when I look at how Americans gobble down with such gusto all the things they buy with borrowed money. Why should anyone send goods and provide services to America when all Americans do is give them increasingly worthless IOUs in exchange?



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15 Jun 2011, 6:55 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/wor ... e2056715/#

Honesty about the Greek debt crisis is harder to come by in America. The Canadians can be candid I suspect because they know that with abundant natural resources and strict rules on lending and borrowing, Canada is unlikely to ever be compared with Greece. Even American pundits cannot help but draw parallels between America and Greece these days.



Zeno
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15 Jun 2011, 9:00 am

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/ju ... nt-clashes

More violence in Greece.

Quote:
"What can we do? We have to fight, for our children and for us," said Dimitra Nteli, a nurse at a state hospital who was at the protest with her daughter. "After 25 years of work I earn €1,100 a month. Now that will drop to €900. How can we live on that?"

Her 26-year-old daughter, Christina, said the situation in Greece had led her to leave for the UK to study conflict resolution. "I have no job here. There are no prospects," she said.


She cannot live on €900 a month but her daughter can go to the UK to study, of all things, conflict resolution. Are people who study conflict resolution readily employable?



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16 Jun 2011, 8:45 am

You have to watch the AlJazeera piece where 3 Greeks tell the world that Greece is not to blame. How do you not get angry when people say that tax evasion is not a problem. :)



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16 Jun 2011, 11:07 am

donnie_darko wrote:
maybe we need to cut our production. i mean we can't just create and consume until the whole planet is gone can we?


Living is precisely production and consumption.

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16 Jun 2011, 1:48 pm

Apparently, what will start the riots is losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs...

As for resources, there are plenty of resources. The problem is, our "leaders" are too shortsighted, cowardly, or just plain stupid to get the frak off this planet and go after those resources on the Moon, in the asteroids, in the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, on Mars, being emitted daily from the Sun...


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16 Jun 2011, 1:54 pm

Zeno wrote:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/the-roots-of-the-greek-tragedy-bloated-bureaucracy-and-tax-evasion/article2056715/#

Honesty about the Greek debt crisis is harder to come by in America. The Canadians can be candid I suspect because they know that with abundant natural resources and strict rules on lending and borrowing, Canada is unlikely to ever be compared with Greece. Even American pundits cannot help but draw parallels between America and Greece these days.


And people here called me crazy or stupid for bringing up the fact Glenn Beck was predicting problems of a debt crisis and inflation.



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16 Jun 2011, 2:13 pm

Zeno wrote:
There are a lot of poor people in the world who would like to consume more. Think basic healthcare, literacy and having enough to eat so that you do not fall asleep in the day from hunger. All these things are taken for granted in the rich world but are not always available in poorer countries.


It's all just for show. Many Americans have it no better than those in poorer countries. Many Americans lack healthcare, literacy, food (actual food I mean, not Twinkies), and shelter. Sure we hand out diplomas, but that doesn't mean our kids can read. Sure we're fat, but many lack basic nutrition. And yes, 3,000+ sq. ft. homes are commonplace, but still millions of children sleep in cars and tents.

In many ways we are crumbling. It used to bother us to look at 3rd world countries and the suffering endured by others. Now much of it is here and we just drive right past it into our own gated communities. I'm not even that old (just a few grays :wink: ) and I've seen town after town just fall to sh*t. It's really quite depressing.



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16 Jun 2011, 5:53 pm

There are plenty of people in America who live a hand to mouth existence and often it is the economically disadvantaged who have had to make all the adjustments to help correct the national imbalances. A middle-class family that loses both incomes is an example of how America’s current account deficit is getting closed at the expense of personal dignity and well-being. It is precisely this unfair distribution of pain that has led to violent riots in Greece. Will we see the same horrifying out pour of rage in America? I suspect that we will except it will be far worse than anything the world has seen because unlike the Greeks or Egyptians, Americans have guns.



psychohist
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16 Jun 2011, 7:40 pm

DeaconBlues wrote:
Apparently, what will start the riots is losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs...


Indeed.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Riot+b ... story.html
http://www.google.com/search?q=canada+h ... ockey+riot

number5 wrote:
It's all just for show. Many Americans have it no better than those in poorer countries. Many Americans lack healthcare, literacy, food (actual food I mean, not Twinkies), and shelter. Sure we hand out diplomas, but that doesn't mean our kids can read. Sure we're fat, but many lack basic nutrition. And yes, 3,000+ sq. ft. homes are commonplace, but still millions of children sleep in cars and tents.

So true - Americans are not much better off than those in third world countries like Canada and Greece, where government policies on things like health care have forced the people to resort to physical violence.