Are Facts Obsolete?

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    Are Facts Obsolete?


    Are Facts Obsolete?
    Thomas Sowell
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the background than usual.

    As the hypnotic mantra of "change" is repeated endlessly, few people even raise the question of whether what few specifics we hear represent any real change, much less a change for the better.

    Raising taxes, increasing government spending and demonizing business? That is straight out of the New Deal of the 1930s.

    The New Deal was new then but it is not new now. Moreover, increasing numbers of economists and historians have concluded that New Deal policies are what prolonged the Great Depression.

    Putting new restrictions of international trade, in order to save American jobs? That was done by Herbert Hoover, when he signed the Hawley-Smoot tariff when the unemployment rate was 9 percent. The next year the unemployment rate was 16 percent and, before the Great Depression was over, unemployment hit 25 percent.

    One of the most naive notions is that politicians are trying to solve the country's problems, just because they say so-- or say so loudly or inspiringly.

    Politicians' top priority is to solve their own problem, which is how to get elected and then re-elected. Barack Obama is a politician through and through, even though pretending that he is not is his special strategy to get elected.

    Some of his more trusting followers are belatedly discovering that, as he "refines" his position on various issues, now that he has gotten their votes in the Democratic primaries and needs the votes of others in the coming general election.

    Perhaps a defining moment in showing Senator Obama's priorities was his declaring, in answer to a question from Charles Gibson, that he was for raising the capital gains tax rate. When Gibson reminded him of the well-documented fact that lower tax rates on capital gains had produced more actual revenue collected from that tax than the higher tax rates had, Obama was unmoved.

    The question of how to raise more revenue may be the economic issue but the political issue is whether socking it to "the rich" in the name of "fairness" gains more votes.

    Since about half the people in the United States own stocks-- either directly or because their pension funds buy stocks-- socking it to people who earn capital gains is by no means socking it just to "the rich." But, again, that is one of the many facts that don't matter politically.

    What matters politically is the image of coming out on the side of "the people" against "the privileged."

    If you are a nurse or mechanic who will be depending on your pension to take care of you when you retire-- as Social Security is unlikely to do-- you may not think of yourself as one of the privileged. But unless you connect the dots between capital gains tax rates and your retirement income, you may fall under the spell of the well-honed Obama rhetoric.

    Obama is for higher minimum wage rates. Does anyone care what actually happens in countries with higher minimum wage rates? Of course not.

    Economists may point to studies done in countries around the world, showing that higher minimum wage rates usually mean higher unemployment rates among lower skilled and less experienced workers.

    That's their problem. A politician's problem is how to look like he is for "the poor" and against those who are "exploiting" them. The facts are irrelevant to maintaining that political image.

    Nowhere do facts matter less than in foreign policy issues. Nothing is more popular than the notion that you can deal with dangers from other nations by talking with their leaders.

    British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain became enormously popular in the 1930s by sitting down and talking with Hitler, and announcing that their agreement had produced "peace in our time"-- just one year before the most catastrophic war in history began.

    Senator Obama may gain similar popularity by advocating similar policies today-- and his political popularity is what it's all about. The consequences for the country come later.
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    The New Deal policies are what were the first steps to getting us out of the depression. They made jobs, paided families, helped the poor, sick, old, built schools, dams, roads, buildings, got our economy roling against by giving people jobs and yes slowly, but surely giving them the ability to spend money. WWII did tear us out of it, but I want to see some links to the claims that it didn't help, it actually hurt us.

    It seems to me the US was far worse off before the New Deal than during it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the conservative government we strongly were before was one of the main causes of the Great Depression. The lack of regulation of loans and credit were among the most heavy reason the Great Depression happened. Our economy was slowing after WWI and people were for some reason, starting to buy things with money they did not have, and could not pay back because companies were not paying them well enough (another conservative trait of an economy, lack of regulation in pay wages and unions). Also farms were over ran with products that were not being consumed because they were still producing at war-time speeds and did not slow creating a surplus of product.
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    I do not believe a conservative Capitalism is a free Capitalism. In a conservative capitalism the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, there is the trickle down thoery that is far outdated in my oppinion. Perhaps the trick down theory worked in the days of manual labor and the need for many hands in a factory, but as technology advances fewer and fewer people are needed in the big companies that are suppose to be responsible for created jobs. The conservatives need to wake up and realize the world is not what it was in the late 1800's, early 1900's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermonta View Post
    I do not believe a conservative Capitalism is a free Capitalism. In a conservative capitalism the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, there is the trickle down thoery that is far outdated in my oppinion.
    The rich generally employ the poor. Ask the European workforce how they like 8% unemployment because of the high taxing of corporations.


    What is outdated is the continually failing socialistic, nanny state state financial policies of Europe that so many liberals tend to cite.


    Perhaps the trick down theory worked in the days of manual labor and the need for many hands in a factory, but as technology advances fewer and fewer people are needed in the big companies that are suppose to be responsible for created jobs.
    The days of manual labor? Where do you get this from?

    The reason corporations move jobs overseas is because we have the second highest tax rate IN THE WORLD. Its the reason McCain wants to lower that rate and guess what, Obama agreed (moving to the center).


    The conservatives need to wake up and realize the world is not what it was in the late 1800's, early 1900's.

    Yeah.....like when the government regulated business to death and created some of the worst financial situations this country has ever seen. Seriously, get off you liberal high horse because your model economic policies are generally failing in Europe. Its the reason most of their liberal leaders are getting booted out of office. The majority of our problems occurring today is not because of some conservative policy, its because of Democratic ideology getting in the way of the free market (our current housing crisis is a perfect example!!!!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermonta View Post
    The New Deal policies are what were the first steps to getting us out of the depression. They made jobs, paided families, helped the poor, sick, old, built schools, dams, roads, buildings, got our economy roling against by giving people jobs and yes slowly, but surely giving them the ability to spend money. WWII did tear us out of it, but I want to see some links to the claims that it didn't help, it actually hurt us.

    It seems to me the US was far worse off before the New Deal than during it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the conservative government we strongly were before was one of the main causes of the Great Depression. The lack of regulation of loans and credit were among the most heavy reason the Great Depression happened.
    The majority of the problems occurred when the regulations forbid the federal reserve to back most of the bank failure because it was limited by law that it could not lend beyond what could be backed by gold. Its the reason why monetarists such as Milton Friedman (classic liberal) blamed the Depressions on the Federal Reserve (and their tightening policy which caused the problems you state above). Its also the reason why our current fed chairman wants the federal reserve to intervene in the current banking crisis as he is a student, and wrote a book, on how the federal reserve failed to act when regional banks started to fail causing the majority of the panic.
    Instead of links, go read their books.

    The political policies had very little to do with it. Both parties, for the most part, didn't even conceive the federal reserve taking on the responsibilities it does now.

    "A 1995 survey of economic historians asked whether "Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." Of those in economics departments 27% agreed, 22% agreed 'with provisos' (what provisos the survey does not state) and 51% disagreed. Of those in history departments, only 27% agreed and 73% disagreed."

    EH.R: FORUM: The Great Depression

    Further reading:

    Allen, Frederick Lewis. Since Yesterday: The 1930s in America. 1939.

    Eichengreen, Barry. Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression. 1992.

    Friedman, Milton, and Anna Jacobson Schwartz. A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960. 1963.

    Kindleberger, Charles P. The World in Depression, 1929-1939. Revised and enlarged edition. 1986.

    Lewis, W. Arthur. Economic Survey, 1929-1939. 1949.

    Saint-Etienne, Christian. The Great Depression, 1929-1938, Lessons for the 1980s. 1984.

    Temin, Peter. Lessons from the Great Depression. 1989.

    Wigmore, Barrie A. The Crash and Its Aftermath, A History of Securities Markets in the United States, 1929-1933. 1985.


    Our economy was slowing after WWI and people were for some reason, starting to buy things with money they did not have, and could not pay back because companies were not paying them well enough (another conservative trait of an economy, lack of regulation in pay wages and unions). Also farms were over ran with products that were not being consumed because they were still producing at war-time speeds and did not slow creating a surplus of product.

    Lack of regulation? One of the biggest causes for worsening the depressions was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act which was more regulation on imports. That was enacted by Republicans.

    And the "reason" was the fed in thier tightening policies eliminated almost 1/3rd of the available currency in circulation.

    Seriously, trying to associate current economic policies of Republicans and Democrats to those of the 1920's is rather ridiculous. The parties and policies don't even remotely look the same.
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    Great Depression
    by Robert J. Samuelson

    The Great Depression of the thirties remains the most important economic event in American history. It caused enormous hardship for tens of millions of people and the failure of a large fraction of the nation's banks, businesses, and farms. It transformed national politics by vastly expanding government, which was increasingly expected to stabilize the economy and to prevent suffering. Democrats became the majority party. In 1929 the Republicans controlled the White House and Congress. By 1933, the Democrats had the presidency and, with huge margins, Congress (310-117 in the House, and 60-35 in the Senate). President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal gave birth to the American version of the welfare state. Social Security, unemployment insurance, and federal family assistance all began in the thirties.

    It is hard for those who did not live through it to grasp the full force of the worldwide depression. Between 1930 and 1939 U.S. unemployment averaged 18.2 percent. The economy's output of goods and services (gross national product) declined 30 percent between 1929 and 1933 and recovered to the 1929 level only in 1939. Prices of almost everything (farm products, raw materials, industrial goods, stocks) fell dramatically. Farm prices, for instance, dropped 51 percent from 1929 to 1933. World trade shriveled: between 1929 and 1933 it shrank 65 percent in dollar value and 25 percent in unit volume. Most nations suffered. In 1932 Britain's unemployment was 17.6 percent. Germany's depression hastened the rise of Hitler and, thereby, contributed to World War II.

    The depression is best understood as the final chapter of the breakdown of the worldwide economic order. The breakdown started with World War I and ended in the thirties with the collapse of the gold standard. As the depression deepened, governments tried to protect their reserves of gold by keeping interest rates high and credit tight for too long. This had a devastating impact on credit, spending, and prices, and an ordinary business slump became a calamity. What ultimately ended the depression was World War II. Military spending and mobilization reduced the U.S. unemployment rate to 1.9 percent by 1943.

    With hindsight it seems amazing that governments did not act sooner and more forcefully to end the depression. The fact that they did not attests to how different people's expectations and world politics were in the thirties. The depression can be understood only in the context of the times. Consider four huge differences between then and now:

    1. The gold standard. Most money was paper, as it is now, but governments were obligated, if requested, to redeem that paper for gold. This "convertibility" put an upper limit on the amount of paper currency governments could print, and thus prevented inflation. There was no tradition (as there is today) of continuous, modest inflation. Most countries went off the gold standard during World War I, and restoring it was a major postwar aim. Britain, for instance, returned to gold in 1925. Other countries backed their paper money not with gold, but with other currencies—mainly U.S. dollars and British pounds—that were convertible into gold. As a result flexibility of governments was limited. A loss of gold (or convertible currencies) often forced governments to raise interest rates. The higher interest rates discouraged conversion of interest-bearing deposits into gold and bolstered confidence that inflation would not break the commitment to gold.

    2. Economic policy. Apart from the gold standard, economic policy barely existed. There was little belief that governments could, or should, prevent business slumps. These were seen as natural, therapeutic, and self-correcting. The lower wages and interest rates caused by slumps would spur recovery. The 1920-21 downturn (when industrial production fell 25 percent) had preceded the prosperous twenties. "People will work harder, live a more moral life," Andrew Mellon, Treasury secretary under President Herbert Hoover, said after the depression started. "Enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people," he claimed. One exception to the hands-off attitude was the Federal Reserve, created in 1913. It was charged with the responsibility for providing emergency funds to banks so that surprise withdrawals would not trigger bank runs and a financial panic.

    3. Production patterns. Farming and raw materials were much more important parts of the economy than they are today. This meant that lower commodity prices could cripple domestic prosperity and world trade, because price declines destroyed the purchasing power of farmers and other primary producers (including entire nations). In 1929 farming accounted for 23 percent of U.S. employment (versus 2.5 percent today). Two-fifths of world trade was in farm products, another fifth in other raw materials. Poor countries (including countries in Latin America, Asia, and Central Europe) exported food and raw materials and imported manufactured goods from industrial nations.

    4. The impact of World War I. Wartime inflation, when the gold standard had been suspended, raised prices and inspired fears that gold stocks were inadequate to provide backing for enlarged money supplies at the new, higher price level. This was one reason that convertible currencies, such as the dollar and pound, were used as gold substitutes. The war weakened Britain, left Germany with massive reparations payments, and split the Austro-Hungarian Empire into many countries. These countries, plus Germany, depended on foreign loans (in convertible currencies) to pay for their imports. The arrangement was unstable because any withdrawal of short-term loans would force the borrowing countries to retrench, which could cripple world trade.

    To view the Great Depression as the last gasp of the gold standard—as economic historians Barry Eichengreen and Peter Temin suggest—bridges the gap between two popular explanations. The best-known, advanced by economists Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz in A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, blames the Federal Reserve for permitting two-fifths of the nation's banks to fail between 1929 and 1933 (or 10,797 of the 25,568 banks in 1929). Since deposits were not insured then, the bank failures wiped out savings and shrank the money supply. From 1929 to 1933 the money supply dropped by one-third, choking off credit and making it impossible for many individuals and businesses to spend or invest. Friedman and Schwartz argue that it was this drop in the money supply that strangled the economy. They consider the depression mainly an American affair that spread abroad.

    In contrast, economist Charles Kindleberger, in The World in Depression, 1929-1939, sees the depression as a global event caused by a lack of world economic leadership. According to Kindleberger, Britain provided leadership before World War I. It fostered global trade by keeping its markets open, promoted expansion by making overseas investments, and prevented financial crises with emergency loans. After World War II the United States played this role. But between the wars no country did, and the depression fed on itself, Kindleberger argues. No country did enough to halt banking crises, and the entire industrial world adopted protectionist measures in attempts to curtail imports. In 1930, for example, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff, raising tariffs on dutiable items by 52 percent. The protectionism put an extra brake on world trade just when countries should have been promoting it.

    With the passage of time, both the Friedman-Schwartz and Kindleberger views seem correct. Inept monetary policy explains the depression's severity, as Friedman and Schwartz argue. But because the gold standard caused many governments to make similar errors, the effects were worldwide, as Kindleberger contends.

    The start of the depression is usually dated to the spectacular stock market crash of 1929. The Dow Jones industrial average hit its peak of 381 on September 3, up from 300 at the start of the year. After sporadic declines, the roof fell in on October 24 (Black Thursday). Stock prices dropped 15 to 20 percent before being supported by buying from a pool of bankers. Although the market closed with only a small loss (down 6 to 299), trading was nearly 12.9 million shares, about triple the normal volume. The selling panic resumed the next week. On Monday the Dow fell 38 points to 260, then the biggest one-day drop ever. The next day (Black Tuesday), it slid another 30 points. By November 13, the Dow was at 198.

    There had been warnings. Many commentators complained before the crash that the market was driven by speculation. A lot of stock was bought on credit. Between the end of 1927 and October 1929, loans to brokers rose 92 percent. At the start of October, loans equaled nearly a fifth of the value of all stocks. But by itself the stock market crash did not cause the depression. By year's end the Dow Jones industrial average had actually rebounded to 248 (down 17 percent from the beginning of 1929). It continued rising in early 1930.

    The depression is often blamed on the passivity of President Hoover and the Federal Reserve. This view is simplistic. True, Hoover's commitment to a balanced budget—the orthodoxy of the day—precluded big new spending programs. And his decision in 1932 to combat a budget deficit by raising taxes sharply is widely viewed as a major blunder. But it is not true that Hoover and the Federal Reserve stood idly by and did nothing as the depression worsened. After the crash Hoover instituted a tax cut equal to 4 percent of federal revenues. He urged state and local governments to raise their spending on public works projects. Hoover also created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which provided loans to shaky banks, utilities, and railroads. In 1931 he suspended collection of foreign-debt payments to the United States, which he thought were impeding recovery of the international economy.

    Nor was the Federal Reserve entirely passive. During the crash the Fed lent liberally to banks so they could sustain securities lending. Interest rates were allowed to drop rapidly. The discount rate (the rate at which the Federal Reserve lends to commercial banks) fell from 6 percent in October 1929 to 2.5 percent in June 1930. The money supply (cash in circulation plus checking and time deposits at banks) declined only slightly in the next year. Tighter Federal Reserve policy in 1928 and early 1929—intended to check stock market speculation—may have helped trigger the economic downturn. But the Federal Reserve was not stingy in early 1930 and was not driving the economy into depression at that time. It was not until 1931 and later that the Federal Reserve failed to act as the "lender of last resort" and allowed so many banks to fail.

    The truth is that, until the summer or early fall of 1930, almost everyone expected the economy to recover, just as it had in 1921. Unfortunately, almost everyone underestimated the forces pulling the economy down. One was the drop in trade that resulted from collapsing commodity prices. Kindleberger has argued that the price collapse was worsened by the stock market crash. The connection lay in a drying up of credit. Many loans used to buy stock had come from foreigners and big corporations, and they demanded repayment when stock prices plummeted. New York banks assumed some of the loans, but they cut loans to the importers of raw materials. Demand for these products (rubber, cocoa, coffee) dropped, and prices fell. Strapped for funds, countries that exported commodities reduced their imports of manufactured goods from industrial nations. The drop in trade was deepened by Smoot-Hawley, which provoked massive retaliation by other nations.

    What made matters worse was a big drop in U.S. consumer spending—far more than can be explained by the stock market crash. The drop may have been a backlash to the rise of installment lending (for cars, furniture, and appliances) in the twenties. The prevailing practice allowed lenders to repossess an item if the borrower missed just one payment. People may have stopped making new purchases to reduce the risk of losing things they already had bought on credit. Whatever happened, the slump soon fed on itself. Weak spending depressed prices, which meant that many farmers, businesses, and nations couldn't repay their debts. Rising bad debts prompted banks to restrict new loans and sell financial assets, usually bonds. Scarce credit led to less borrowing, less spending, lower prices, and more bankruptcies. Trade and investment spiraled downward. Confidence crumbled, and as it did, bank runs—people clamoring to convert deposits into cash—ensued.

    Why could no one stop this spiral? In the United States there were waves of bank failures in 1931 and 1932. Friedman and Schwartz maintain that the Federal Reserve could have prevented them by lending directly to weak banks and by aggressive "open market" operations (that is, by buying U.S. Treasury securities and thereby injecting new funds into banks and the economy). This action would have halted the depression, they argue. They blame the Federal Reserve's timidity on the 1928 death of Benjamin Strong, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Strong had dominated the Federal Reserve System, which consists of twelve regional banks and a board of governors in Washington. He firmly believed that the Federal Reserve had to prevent banking panics and sustain economic growth. When he died, power in the Federal Reserve passed to officials in Washington, whose ideas were murkier. Had Strong lived, Friedman and Schwartz contend, he would have averted the banking collapse.

    Maybe—and maybe not. In fact, the Federal Reserve faced conflicting demands to end the depression and to protect the gold standard. The first required easier credit, the second tighter credit. The gold standard handcuffed governments around the world. The mere hint that a country might abandon gold prompted speculators and international depositors to change local money into gold or a convertible currency. Deposit withdrawals spread panic and squeezed lending. It was a global process that ultimately forced all governments off gold. In May 1931 there was a run against Creditanstalt, a large Austrian bank. The panic then shifted to Germany and, in late summer, to Britain, which left gold in September.

    The United States was trapped by the same forces. After Britain went off gold, for instance, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates sharply to stem gold outflows. The discount rate went from 1.5 to 3.5 percent, which, considering the condition of the economy, was a huge increase. The best evidence that the gold standard fostered the depression is that once countries abandoned it, their economies usually began growing again. This happened in Germany, Britain, and, after Roosevelt left gold in March and April 1933, the United States.

    Although self-defeating, the defense of gold was a product of law as well as custom. The Federal Reserve had to ensure that every dollar of paper money was backed by at least forty cents of gold. Once Congress ended the obligation to exchange gold for currency, the Fed was largely liberated from worrying about gold. This may have been the most important part of the New Deal's economic program. The economy did improve. Between 1933 and 1937, the unemployment rate dropped from 25 to 14 percent before a new recession pushed it back up to 19 percent in 1938. The 1937-38 recession is widely blamed on the Federal Reserve's mistaken decision to raise bank reserve requirements in August 1936 and early 1937. (Reserves are funds that banks keep as vault cash or as deposits at the Federal Reserve.)

    Many economists now believe that the New Deal, apart from its gold policy, probably had little impact on economic activity. At the heart of the early New Deal were the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA). Created in Roosevelt's first hundred days, they sought to promote recovery by propping up prices. The idea was to improve incomes and halt bankruptcies. The AAA tried to eliminate agricultural surpluses (pigs were slaughtered, crops destroyed) and paid farmers not to plant. The NRA allowed companies in the same industry to set wages, prices, and working hours in an effort to check "destructive competition." This approach rested on a remarkable contradiction: the way to get recovery, which requires more production, is to have less production. There never has been much evidence that it worked, and the Supreme Court found the NRA unconstitutional in 1935.

    The New Deal did relieve suffering. Perhaps 10 million to 12 million Americans worked at some time on public works or in relief jobs (through the Public Works Administration, the Works Project Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps). People had their bank deposits protected with the advent of deposit insurance. The Securities and Exchange Commission regulated the stock market. Roosevelt maintained faith in democracy.

    But there was a cost. The New Deal also caused suffering. Sharecroppers were often thrown out of work, for example, when the AAA paid landowners not to grow. The New Deal also fostered class consciousness. Roosevelt increasingly blamed the depression on the wealthy—"economic royalists," as he called them. The loss of business confidence in government policies may have deterred new investment, offsetting any economic stimulus of higher public spending. But by 1933 the economy had been so ravaged that only a partial recovery may have been possible until the huge wartime boom.

    The depression left an enormous legacy. The New Deal accustomed people to look to government, rather than to private charity, for help. After World War II, governments everywhere strove to prevent a repetition of the Great Depression. Economic policies became more active and, as a practical matter, more inflationary. With the gold standard gone, governments had more freedom to stimulate their economies with an expansion of money and credit. The political inclination was to act sooner, rather than later, to halt a slump. Likewise, the protectionism of the thirties prompted postwar efforts to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers. Finally, the wild swings of exchange rates that occurred after countries went off gold spurred the creation of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in 1944. This system (named after a resort in New Hampshire where the agreement was finalized) stipulated that currencies were to maintain fixed exchange rates with the dollar. The system broke down in the early seventies.

    It is commonly said that another depression will never occur. This is probably true, as long as "another depression" means a crude repetition of the thirties. However, crises can come in unfamiliar forms. The basic lesson from the Great Depression is that governments cannot permit massive collapses of banks or spending. The deeper lesson is that there are times when the world changes so much and events move so rapidly that even the well-informed do not know how to respond. This is the story of the depression. Now it seems preventable. Then, it was baffling. World War I made restoration of the prewar economic system difficult, maybe impossible. But that is what world leaders attempted because it was all they knew and it had worked. Only its collapse convinced them to try something different. Old ideas were overtaken and overwhelmed. It has happened before—and could again.

    About the Author
    Robert J. Samuelson is a journalist who writes a column on economic affairs for Newsweek, the Washington Post, and other newspapers.
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    In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the background than usual.
    How do people write pieces for anyone other than their already loyal base with beginning sentences like this? Seriously, that just tunes people out who may listen to what you have to say, if you didn't already show the huge slant in the opinion.

    Liberals/Conservatives seem like a bunch of children stomping their feet with their fingers in their ears yelling nanananana!

    The one's making the popular speeches/stories/etc, anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    How do people write pieces for anyone other than their already loyal base with beginning sentences like this?
    Yes but in general, its right. He packs the crowds but if you actually ask many of those people what his policies are, they have no idea.


    Its just a true as stating that wathcing McCain give a speech today is rather painful. I like the message but it gets lost in a speech style that just makes me want to cringe.
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    I agree but I think you can pull more people into your argument with facts that aren't obviously clouded by a bias. I think Obama is like a used-car salesman. Very skilled in saying a lot without saying anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    I agree but I think you can pull more people into your argument with facts that aren't obviously clouded by a bias. I think Obama is like a used-car salesman. Very skilled in saying a lot without saying anything.

    What facts are clouded by a bias?
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    When you through in an obvious bias, regardless of facts, it will turn potential readers away. That is why it clouds the facts. Using adjectives and passive aggressive speech to illustrate your point just brings those already on your side; closer. While pushing those who may be on the fence away.

    I'm very moderate and will shut down any further reading once I come across writing this this above. Regardless of who it's from. Give me facts and just facts when trying to compare political candidates and laws/regulations/gov't actions. Leave the little witty comments to the satire section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post

    I'm very moderate and will shut down any further reading once I come across writing this this above. Regardless of who it's from. Give me facts and just facts when trying to compare political candidates and laws/regulations/gov't actions. Leave the little witty comments to the satire section.
    If you dismiss possible facts because of someone's personal bias and/or writing style, then it will be a prime example why we will elect someone who can give you a great speech, inspire you, make you feel great....and say's very little.

    You have just described why Obama will get elected.
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    I believe it's the exact opposite. I don't fall for Obama type speeches because I recognize them as what they are and turn a deaf ear. I don't need a charismatic speaker to make me feel good. This is why Bush's wackiness and poor public speaking issues never made me not listen.
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    [QUOTE=Newman;1444943]The rich generally employ the poor. Ask the European workforce how they like 8% unemployment because of the high taxing of corporations.


    What is outdated is the continually failing socialistic, nanny state state financial policies of Europe that so many liberals tend to cite.




    The days of manual labor? Where do you get this from?

    The reason corporations move jobs overseas is because we have the second highest tax rate IN THE WORLD. Its the reason McCain wants to lower that rate and guess what, Obama agreed (moving to the center).
    QUOTE]
    Thanks for clearing up who employs who, for a second I thought the rich worked for the poor.

    So you're telling me computers and assembly lines have not taking many jobs that use to be performed by workers before and during our industrial boom, such as in the 1920. Yes the Assembly Line came into existance which increased production which was great for the owners of the business, but it lowered the skill required for factory jobs, thus lowering pay. One of the main problems with the theory that corporations create many, good, well paying jobs. Ask your nearest Wal-Mart worker what their wage is, I'm guessing they won't be buying a lake house anytime soon.

    Production over-seas does NOTHING for our working class. Unless they commute overseas everyday then other countries are getting the jobs that should be going to our nation. Oh now, the filthy rich might have to pay their workers LIVEABLE, not MINIMAL wage!! There is a shortage of jobs as it is, we do not need more companies moving factories and jobs overseas.

    The only way corporations will build factories here is if it is cheaper to do so than other places. In the sense of a business man this makes perfect sense to build where it is cheapest, but it is sad that they only will build factories here when it is in their best interest, not the nations.
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    Thanks for clearing up who employs who, for a second I thought the rich worked for the poor.

    You're welcome. Considering that you aren't technically in the workforce I thought it appropriate to point out who pays who.


    So you're telling me computers and assembly lines have not taking many jobs that use to be performed by workers before and during our industrial boom, such as in the 1920.
    No, what I am telling you is that for every job lost, there is another spot that opens up with expansion and new technology. If you're theory was correct, we would never have unemployment 4-5%...a statistically low number.

    Yes the Assembly Line came into existance which increased production which was great for the owners of the business, but it lowered the skill required for factory jobs, thus lowering pay.
    So what....business's are not formed to guarantee you higher pay.



    One of the main problems with the theory that corporations create many, good, well paying jobs. Ask your nearest Wal-Mart worker what their wage is, I'm guessing they won't be buying a lake house anytime soon.
    There are plenty of Walmart employees who own houses. Not everyone who works for Walmart though is guaranteed one nor do they deserve one just because they are willing to work. You want higher pay? Get a higher skilled job....




    Production over-seas does NOTHING for our working class.
    Yes, and its the reason why you don't tax your corporations to death as they are NOW.

    Unless they commute overseas everyday then other countries are getting the jobs that should be going to our nation.
    Once again we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. If the government wants to tax me more and I am a business owner that has the option of hiring cheaper labor and less taxes...the choice is obvious. What is good for the country doesnt pay my mortgage.


    Oh now, the filthy rich might have to pay their workers LIVEABLE, not MINIMAL wage!! There is a shortage of jobs as it is, we do not need more companies moving factories and jobs overseas.
    Unemployment is techinally at a low (4-5%.) Your socialist policies over in Europe have 7%+. Please get your facts straight.

    If you force companies to pay higher wages, they will layoff off more of the workforce. Its simple math.


    The only way corporations will build factories here is if it is cheaper to do so than other places. In the sense of a business man this makes perfect sense to build where it is cheapest, but it is sad that they only will build factories here when it is in their best interest, not the nations.

    Business's are formed to make money, not a political or patriotic statement. US companies are more happy to build them here and by having a lower corporate tax rate (something liberals are against if you didn't know....) then you would encourage more companies to build domestically. Until the tax happy liberals understand that, you will have more companies move overseas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    I believe it's the exact opposite.

    You believe its the exact opposite of what? Obama's appeal is that his speeches are non partisan and not left or right....so how is that the opposite? You have just described exactly why Obama will get elected. People don't want to listen to a biased right or left view and Obama gives you that in his speeches while the "facts" of his policies are extremely biased. That was the whole point of the article and you just proved it perfectly.
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    Obama's appeal is that his speeches are non partisan and not left or right....so how is that the opposite?
    I don't find his speeches non partisan. Not to mention the dirt that was tossed between him and Hillary, only to have them become buddies, makes me like him even less. His speeches are not filled with facts like I said I wanted. they are filled with general and meaningless gibberish with no meat to them.


    People don't want to listen to a biased right or left view and Obama gives you that in his speeches while the "facts" of his policies are extremely biased.
    When I say facts I mean full facts. His 'facts' are still full of bias but more subtle than that of others. It's still there.

    That was the whole point of the article and you just proved it perfectly.
    I still disagree because I don't like Obama and do not care for his politics and lack of anything beyond 'change is good'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    I don't find his speeches non partisan. Not to mention the dirt that was tossed between him and Hillary, only to have them become buddies, makes me like him even less. His speeches are not filled with facts like I said I wanted. they are filled with general and meaningless gibberish with no meat to them.
    Well, that was the point of the article...."Are Facts Obsolete?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    You're welcome. Considering that you aren't technically in the workforce I thought it appropriate to point out who pays who.




    No, what I am telling you is that for every job lost, there is another spot that opens up with expansion and new technology. If you're theory was correct, we would never have unemployment 4-5%...a statistically low number.



    So what....business's are not formed to guarantee you higher pay.





    There are plenty of Walmart employees who own houses. Not everyone who works for Walmart though is guaranteed one nor do they deserve one just because they are willing to work. You want higher pay? Get a higher skilled job....






    Yes, and its the reason why you don't tax your corporations to death as they are NOW.


    Once again we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. If the government wants to tax me more and I am a business owner that has the option of hiring cheaper labor and less taxes...the choice is obvious. What is good for the country doesnt pay my mortgage.




    Unemployment is techinally at a low (4-5%.) Your socialist policies over in Europe have 7%+. Please get your facts straight.

    If you force companies to pay higher wages, they will layoff off more of the workforce. Its simple math.





    Business's are formed to make money, not a political or patriotic statement. US companies are more happy to build them here and by having a lower corporate tax rate (something liberals are against if you didn't know....) then you would encourage more companies to build domestically. Until the tax happy liberals understand that, you will have more companies move overseas.
    I do have a job so technically I am in the workforce.

    People who sit in cubicles all day working for big corporations work with technology. In the factory, where the issue was, there are FAR less people required now than in the past. Now it comes down to a few people hitting a few buttons. You cannot compare the number employed before and after the assembly line and technological advances.

    No but they are formed in the idea of the conservitive party to support our working class and are the backbone of the economy. Overseas they do neither.

    Hahaha, ya okay. Cause they are so poor as it is.



    Are you the head of some big corporation? I do not see why you are supporting their taking away jobs and money circulation in our economy.

    I said it was good business management. I am saying it is rediculous that conservatives keep wanting the rich to be taxed less, corporations get taxed less, and then build overseas when they themselves say it's THEIR JOB TO CREATE JOB AND MONEY CIRCULATION (trickle down theory). We should not have to bend to their wills anymore than we already do in politics to get them to do the jobs that they say is theirs, our leaders say is theirs, and the whole economic structure of the conservative party says it is.

    Unemployment does not mean people are getting the money they need. You can be homeless and employed, and many are. Despite what you might think there is a differance between a MINIMAL wage and a LIVEABLE one. Depending on where you live and how much money you need to support your family with the most basic essentials is how you figure out a liveable wage. For example, Vermont has one of the highest liveable wages in the country. It is very expensive to live in Vermont, but our minimal wage is among the highest in the country ($7.50), but still not near close to what our Minimal wage is which is projected at around $12.

    I wasn't aware all these businesses were on the brink of destruction and so fragil.

    Corporations build here. More jobs. More money in circulation. More consumers. Business growth. Increase in size of business and workforce.

    Of course businesses are formed to make money. My issue is when they do not do what they say they will do which is create jobs, stimulate the economy, and be the foundation of which America's economy is built on. How can we be so sure that they will create many, good paying jobs? I do not recall the last time a business like Nike did a good thing for its workers. I never said I would not like to see the tax's drop a bit, but I do not believe we should lower them so much as to bend over backwards for these massive corporations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermonta View Post
    I do have a job so technically I am in the workforce.

    Part time jobs at 16 years old doens't really qualify.



    People who sit in cubicles all day working for big corporations work with technology. In the factory, where the issue was, there are FAR less people required now than in the past.
    Umm, no... new technology requires people to construct it.


    Now it comes down to a few people hitting a few buttons. You cannot compare the number employed before and after the assembly line and technological advances.
    Yes I can because many of newer technolgoies incoproate an assembly line. We employ many more people now than we ever have. Its a FACT. You can state what you think is the situation but the employment numbers tell you otherwise.

    No but they are formed in the idea of the conservitive party to support our working class and are the backbone of the economy. Overseas they do neither.
    You don't have a clue what forms the conservative party. YOu haven't voted and you ceratinly have zero experience in anything that you are talking about.

    Hahaha, ya okay. Cause they are so poor as it is.

    You show your age.


    Are you the head of some big corporation? I do not see why you are supporting their taking away jobs and money circulation in our economy.
    What the hell are you talking about? I am small business owner. I own a business. What business do you own? What full time job have you ever had? What bills do you pay? How much in taxes have you paid?

    I know the facts coming from a small business owner. If you tax me more, the less I will have to hire employees. Its simple math that you shod have learned in your high school classes. When you actually get into the work force, support a family and actually have people that depend on you for their way of life, then come back and talk to me. Until then, you are nothing but an ideological 16 year old with zero experience in anything that you talk about.


    I said it was good business management. I am saying it is rediculous that conservatives keep wanting the rich to be taxed less, corporations get taxed less, and then build overseas when they themselves say it's THEIR JOB TO CREATE JOB AND MONEY CIRCULATION (trickle down theory).
    Once you again you are clueless. The rich will ALWAYS get taxed more than everyone else. Its the progressive tax code we have followed for centuries.


    Conservatives don't want corporations taxed heavily, like they do in Europe with their liberal tax code because time and time again it has shown to INCREASE unemployment and DECREASE domestic investment. The trickle down effect is not a theory, its a fact. The rich pay the poor...tax the rich more and they will pay less to the poor. That's life kid....welcome to the real world.

    We should not have to bend to their wills anymore than we already do in politics to get them to do the jobs that they say is theirs, our leaders say is theirs, and the whole economic structure of the conservative party says it is.
    You made no sense.


    Unemployment does not mean people are getting the money they need.
    Well gee, thanks Einstein.


    You can be homeless and employed, and many are. Despite what you might think there is a differance between a MINIMAL wage and a LIVEABLE one. Depending on where you live and how much money you need to support your family with the most basic essentials is how you figure out a liveable wage.
    Then invest in your own future, get an education, learn a skill and you won't have to earn minimum wage. Plenty of people do it every day.


    For example, Vermont has one of the highest liveable wages in the country. It is very expensive to live in Vermont, but our minimal wage is among the highest in the country ($7.50), but still not near close to what our Minimal wage is which is projected at around $12.
    Its very expenssive because you have a very liberal tax code with a very liberl state government. You want to make it cheaper? TAX LESS.

    I wasn't aware all these businesses were on the brink of destruction and so fragil.
    You aren't aware of a lot of things.



    Corporations build here. More jobs. More money in circulation. More consumers. Business growth. Increase in size of business and workforce.
    Thanks Einstein. And when you tax those same corporations more, they will take their factories and workforce to a place where its cheaper. Simple economics.

    Of course businesses are formed to make money. My issue is when they do not do what they say they will do which is create jobs, stimulate the economy, and be the foundation of which America's economy is built on.
    The economy the US was built on was not a global oriented economy we have today. Your view is so shallow minded and void of any business experience that you can't even grasp the concept that taxing corporations higher will push labor and productivity to foreign countries. Its their job to make money, not provide you or anyone else with a job. They CHOOSE to do that if you are valuable enough to them. Its not their job to stimulate the economy, its the governments enacting smart policies.

    How can we be so sure that they will create many, good paying jobs? I do not recall the last time a business like Nike did a good thing for its workers. I never said I would not like to see the tax's drop a bit, but I do not believe we should lower them so much as to bend over backwards for these massive corporations.

    Then don't expect them to bend over backwards for you....they are in the business of making money, not making you, Joe Blow Public, happy. That's your responsibility, not the nanny state government you want to have.....


    NOW after that, considering you called someone a ****ing moron, you can leave. Grow up kid.
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    Hard to find people to discuss politics without derrogatory comments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    Hard to find people to discuss politics without derrogatory comments.
    **** you commie pinko!


    :bruce3:


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    Here's my question....why do the democrats preach taxing the rich more....why the need to punish those who are succesful? The top 20% in wage earners pay 80% of the nation's taxes, and that's not enough?
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    Great thread. I am in the military - and for the first time, I work with alot of folks who are being buffaloed by Obama's empty speeches. The first question I ask them is "what are his policies on _________, and what is his roadmap to accomplish his goals there?"

    BLANK STARES........."well, he wants to change the way we've been doing it because we've been doing it wrong."

    Me: "OK - how is he going to change________?"

    BLANK STARE:..........followed by silence..........."I'm voting for him because I like what he stands for."

    Me: "OK - what does he stand for?"

    They pipe up happily - "Change!"

    Me: "How and what?"

    Look of discernment.........and they walk away.

    I have yet to encounter ONE person, Senior NCO, Officer, Airman, Soldier, Marine, Sailor that could accurately answer ANYTHING about Obama. Its all smoke and mirrors folks.

    Don't vote for Nicolae Carpathia I tell them. Then tell them to go figure out who that is. (Fictional character).

    I hope they are true to my prediction though - and too lazy to actually get out and vote when the time comes. This country does not need 13 million uneducated, unexperienced, ideological, utopian society seeking morons casting ballots for someone who is running on a platform of great speeches with no beef.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atjnutrition2 View Post
    Here's my question....why do the democrats preach taxing the rich more....why the need to punish those who are succesful? The top 20% in wage earners pay 80% of the nation's taxes, and that's not enough?

    Class warfare. There are MANY more lower income voters and the democrats prey on that bitterness by promising to take what they themselves have not earned, and redistribute it to the poorer..who also have not earned it.

    What they don't even mention, though, is that for every person/family that glares at someone with a nicer car than them (and supporting a policy that they think will give them a piece), there are 10 people/families glaring at HIM because he even HAS a car (and again, would not hesitate to drag everyone else down to lowest common denominator.)

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