Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Friday, October 7, 2011

Economic History Links

Instead of rambling more in this post, I will just add links.  MAN! The Links! (All may not agree with my conclusions, but data is data worth reading every analysis)

Here is a link : http://mercatus.org/publication/spending-under-president-george-w-bush
"In fact, President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ.  In his last term in office, President Bush increased discretionary outlays by an estimated 48.6 percent."
and another : http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/Data_on_Spending_by_President
"Fifty years ago, the Republicans were mildly interested in keeping government small and efficient. For example, Eisenhower and Nixon both reduced the size of the government slightly.   That all ended with Ford. Since Ford, it seems as if the two parties have traded places: the Republicans are enlarging the government rapidly, and the Democrats are trying to keep spending down."
and again : http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3036
"Some critics continue to assert that President George W. Bush’s policies bear little responsibility for the deficits the nation faces over the coming decade — that, instead, the new policies of President Barack Obama and the 111th Congress are to blame. Most recently, a Heritage Foundation paper downplayed the role of Bush-era policies. Nevertheless, the fact remains: Together with the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years."
and here : http://cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm
"For the mathematically inclined, if you take the first derivative of the data presented to find the slope of each President’s debt increase, you will find that the Republican slopes are consistently more positive than the Democratic slopes.  For everyone else, this just means that unbiased mathematical proof exists to support the claim that since 1945, Republican presidents have borrowed more than Democratic presidents regardless of the inflation rate"
"Since 1938 the Democrats have held the White house for 35 years, the Republicans for 36.  Over that time the national debt has increased at an average annual rate of 8.5%.  In years Democrats were in the White House there was an average increase of 8.3%.  In years the Republicans ran the White House the debt increased an average 9.2% per year.  Those averages aren't that far apart, but they do show a bias toward more borrowing by Republicans than Democrats even including World War II." 
and http://jimcgreevy.com/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html
"Compare these numbers with the HUGE, UNPRECEDENTED INCREASES in the National Debt that both George Bushes (and Ronald Reagan) have created! Since Ronald Reagan promised to reduce the National Debt (he must have had a lot of laughs over that joke), THE NATIONAL DEBT HAS INCREASED MORE THAN TEN TIMES OVER!!!"
and http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Debt-Taxes-and-Politics.php?federal-debt-to-gdp-politics-update
"As the chart clearly illustrates, the tax cuts in the early 1980s coincided with the beginning of an acceleration in real federal debt from a relatively consistent level over the previous three decades."
... wow... these are awesome!!!

and a final link - Read This.

My conclusion : By all that is Good, by all that is Right and Just, by all that is Rational and Reasonable, by all that is Economically Positive - Don't Vote Republican in 2012!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rambling on The Great Depression

Jan Raymond (NajD) wrote:
Chris Berg - I would be cautious about being proud of being an ideologue. Ideologues ignore facts over logic. Fact - In the last 100 years Republicans have always championed low taxes, less regulation and smaller government. Only twice have they managed to grab control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency and had the opportunity to act on their beliefs, from 1921 to 1932 and from 2000 to 2006. Both times during their period of control we blew up big investment bubbles that popped and by the time the Republicans were going out of power we were in the midst of, respectively, the great depression and the great recession.
Fact - On the budget deficit since WW II the budget deficit grew about 16% when Republicans were President and about 8% when a Democrat was President. The biggest jumps in the deficit were a direct cause of policies enacted during Ronald Reagan's Presidency and George W's Presidency.
A particular Ideology may be emotionally appealing, but if you want to produce good policies, facts matter."
Comment on "W.Va. Democrat Wins"

The commentor Chris Berg, to whom Jan was replying, requested numbers... so I got some.

The amount of the INCREASE in the National Debt during each presidential term.
  • Ronald Reagan’s First Term – $656 billion increase 
  • Ronald Reagan’s Second Term – $1.036 trillion increase 
  • George H.W. Bush’s Term – $1.587 trillion increase 
  • Bill Clinton’s First Term – $1.122 trillion increase 
  • Bill Clinton’s Second Term – $418 billion increase 
  • George W. Bush’s First Term – $1.885 trillion increase 
  • George W. Bush’s Second Term – $3.014 trillion increase 
  • Barack Obama’s First “Year" – $1.573 trillion increase
Percentage increase in debt to GDP :  
  • Ronald Reagan 1st term +11.3% 
  • George H. W. Bush 1st term +13.0% 
  • Bill Clinton 2nd term -9.0% 
  • George W. Bush 1st term +7.1% 
  • George W. Bush 2nd term +20.7% 
  • Barack Obama 1st year +9% (trying to fix the disaster of the past 8 years) 
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms)
 Lets look at a picture based on the data from bea.gov
(from http://www.visualeconomics.com/presidential-spending-expenditures-by-year/ )

The dark colors are the Gross Domestic Product of the United States, the lighter colors are the Expenditures (spending) of the government.  The Visual Economics site is an interesting place to spend lots of time looking at pictures.

I found this great write-up about what happened and what works with the Economy, Debt, Spending and Tax Cuts - What They Never Tell You.

I found a statement on the Great Depression that I feel has correlation to the ongoing Great Recession :
The  case that the New Deal exerted a damping effect on recovery through distorting prices and wages seems to be undermined significantly when we consider the international comparisons picture <snip> for no nation recovered significantly faster than the United States, regardless of whether they pursued New Deal like policies (as few did). If we take out the kink of the 1937-1938 recession on the grounds that one way or another it represented the results of a policy mistake not intrinsic to the New Deal per se then the United States becomes the indisputable champion of recovery. (see http://www.analysis.williamdoneil.com/Depression_Facts.pdf)
It is interesting to note that the 1937-38 recession was just after the 'deficit hawks' convinced Roosevelt to cut spending drastically.  The recession ended and recovery picked back up when Spending increased once again.

The Daily Markets website has an interesting article comparing The Great Recession to The Great Depression.  It is a chart they have on that article that I am interested in dissecting.

So, The Great Depression hit in 1929 and you can see the skyrocketing debt to GDP ratio as Roosevelt spent our way out of it - including the final push up and out of the Depression - World War II.  Then a sharp decline as we paid it off - and more - all the way back to around 1890's level by 1955 or so.  Our debt climbed slowly back until 1981 when it began to increase drastically.  So, what happened in 1981 - Reagan and his Supply-Side, Voodoo, Reaganomics : "Cut taxes, Deregulate and Deficits don't matter."

One major difference between The Great Depression and now is that we hit the levels of Depression Debt back in 2003 - 5 years before the Recession officially hit - thanks to Reagan and the Bushes.  Most of the current debt (42.7%) thanks to G.W. Bush.  Note that the above graph only goes to the end of the last Bush  budget year - the third quarter of 2009. ( Yes, up to Q3 of 2009 it was Bush's Budget - just like Bush presided over three quarters that were a Clinton Budget. Which is why a 'fiscal year' is different than a 'calendar year' )

History shows that we will have to greatly increase the spending and the debt to get out of this mess, but that the recovery will allow us to pay down most of it rather quickly after recovery.  I can only hope that we take our history lesson and move away from Voodoo Economics that the GOP drool over getting a chance to implement.

Also worth a read is Peak Debt, from a U.K. blogger about the U.S. Debt from back in 2006.

... okay, going to stop rambling now...  Republicans BAD! Reaganomics Very Bad! Democrats only less bad.... 

Monday, October 3, 2011

I just didn't care...

My girlfriend and I were discussing politics on our way home (her home in Canton, MS) from Columbus, MS.  I said something that floored me.
"For a long time, I just didn't care about politics.  They couldn't hurt me.  I didn't have anything to take away."
 It has only been since I've attained my employment goal - a good paying Job that I enjoy and I am good at - that I have become interested in politics.  Before then, I was too poor and struggling on a day-to-day basis to have the luxury of being concerned with politics.  I was more wrapped up in how to get money to pay the rent or fix the car or pay for gas.  Getting sick? Going to the Doctor? Forget about it - I couldn't afford it.

The reason it floored me is that I never even considered it.  Now, I am considering it.  There is an old phrase often heard around where I grew up,
"I'm so broke, I can't even pay attention."
 That is where I was politically - I "couldn't" pay attention because I was just struggling to survive.  Well, now that is just not acceptable!  I should have been paying attention to politics! The better the economy does, the better we all do - and there are vastly different opinions on how best it works.  I prefer the one based in reality.  I prefer the one who has a basis in history and a proven track record.  I prefer facts and figures and honest analysis.

So, if you are "too poor to pay attention," do it any way! You can't afford to not Pay Attention - you can not afford to not vote!  Do your research, figure out what would help you and the country - then get out and VOTE!