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  • No Time to Waste

    This is not a good time for the tradition of lame duck American government. Why isn't the government doing anything about it? This is a tremendous failure of leadership - again and again we keep saying this - to me it feels like about eight years. Paulson's efforts to stem the fall of the credit markets have failed. So what's next - nothing? And because it's American 'tradition' to take two months to transfer to a new presidency? That doesn't cut it right now for an excuse, let alone a reason. If confidence is at the heart of the matter, the government under the current leadership just keeps on crushing it.

    There should be no excuses for inaction on a problem this big - no tradition, no sour politics, no lameness, no hands tied. Why did the Senate's fiscal stimulus plan, which would have passed some major money to the states who desperately need it, fail? If no one can seem to shrug the reality of these failed mortgages, why not go beyond Freddie-Mac to renegotiate the terms, as FDIC chair Sheila Bair has suggested (and Paulson has rejected)? It seems to me that $25 billion would be far better spent there than on a bank. If Bush's team can't do anything, put Obama's team in play early - at least they seem to have some ideas. No time for recommendations here. Propping up Citibank, AIG and the Detroit three won't solve this. Paulson's infusion of credit has proven ineffective. What are the other ideas? Why are these elected and appointed officials being allowed to take a break? They shouldn't even be allowed to go to the bathroom.

    This time around we can't afford the American tradition of slow power transfer. Get on the bus.

  • #2
    Re: No Time to Waste

    Sounds just like the "emergency threat" that Iraq posed, circa 2003.

    We must act now!
    Last edited by Nikolas; 11-24-2008, 01:58 PM.
    A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

    "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: No Time to Waste

      It might sound like it, but it's much different. This is a time for the government to start acting like a government. I'm not holding my breath, but I am writing my reps (of which don't even fall into the 'final days' category).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: No Time to Waste

        Oh, this time it's different.
        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: No Time to Waste

          Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
          Sounds just like the "emergency threat" that Iraq posed, circa 2003.

          We must act now!
          If all they had where some grainy pictures of buildings labeled "almost bankrupt" and the word of one or two people say that no people can't find jobs I would agree.

          If Dick Cheney was strong arming people to dump stocks I would agree.

          The data backing up the Iraq threat was tightly controlled and manipulated until it fit the desired goals.

          Current data is available to many and those many are saying we have a problem.

          Plus back in 2003 the debate wasn't if Iraq was a problem because it was a problem. The debate was how big of a problem Iraq really was and if the problem could be solved by invading the country.

          Today it is obvious that there is a big problem. Only a fringe element says government should do nothing.
          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: No Time to Waste

            Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
            Today it is obvious that there is a big problem. Only a fringe element says government should do nothing.
            My, my, how quickly we forget.

            May, 2003: Gallup poll finds 79% of Americans believe the Iraq War justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons.

            Only a fringe disagreed back then and only a fringe disagrees now. The similarities are striking.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: No Time to Waste

              Whats striking to me is not that there are calls for action. Whats striking to me is that there are calls to suspend our constitution to allow that action. Times of crisis are exactly when we need our constitution the most, to prevent corrupt government officials from abusing the crisis to exploit the people.

              (Amendment XX
              Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: No Time to Waste

                Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                My, my, how quickly we forget.

                May, 2003: Gallup poll finds 79% of Americans believe the Iraq War justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons.

                Only a fringe disagreed back then and only a fringe disagrees now. The similarities are striking.
                You think the evidence that we, and the world, is in a financial crises is the same, both in quantity and quality as that presented for the justification for the invasion of Iraq?

                @Kero

                Somebody is suggesting that the President step down and allow Obama to take over?

                That is scary. Where did you see that?
                I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: No Time to Waste

                  I do wonder how much insider trading is going on with all the bailouts.
                  I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: No Time to Waste

                    I don't understand the comparisons of the Iraq war argument beyond that of hype and public belief in hype (and I, for the record, never bought the hype and never supported the war in Iraq). The comparison ends there, however - if anything the government isn't crying enough now.

                    The data here seems quite real to me, as does the data that the government (all branches) so far has done little to change things and actually help consumer and corporate confidence through shoring up banks in an effort to supposedly open the credit taps again. The more that credit remains locked up or at too high a price, the more the American economy is going to sink into the collective hole resulting in a recession of far greater magnitude. I think things are headed towards a broader stimulus, as Obama seemed to indicate recently, but if that stimulus won't occur for months the economy is going to slide further than it may need to, hence the phrase 'no time to waste.' Another phrase, 'time is money' is quite apt here.

                    Originally posted by Economist
                    Alan Greenspan, the former Fed Chairman, told The Economist this week that banks were satisfied with capital equal to 10% of their assets in the past. Now, to soothe depositors and investors, they will need a much higher ratio—perhaps around 15%. Until they get there, through a combination of raising new capital, reducing dividends and share buybacks, and shedding assets, lending will be constrained.

                    This makes a strong case for more government stimulus. Lawrence Summers, the former treasury secretary and a candidate for the same post under Barack Obama, said on November 17th that it should be “speedy, substantial and sustained over a several-year interval”. Fiscal stimulus at this stage would replace some of the demand which has been wiped out by the credit crunch. It won’t prevent a recession; but without it, the recession is guaranteed to be far worse.
                    http://www.economist.com/opinion/dis...ry_id=12637090

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: No Time to Waste

                      Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                      @Kero

                      Somebody is suggesting that the President step down and allow Obama to take over?

                      That is scary. Where did you see that?
                      This thread. First post.

                      Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                      This is not a good time for the tradition of lame duck American government. ... So what's next - nothing? And because it's American 'tradition' to take two months to transfer to a new presidency?
                      ...
                      If Bush's team can't do anything, put Obama's team in play early - at least they seem to have some ideas
                      ...
                      This time around we can't afford the American tradition of slow power transfer. Get on the bus.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: No Time to Waste

                        I wonder how many foreign policy experts, former military generals, military intelligence analysts, and so on were telling us that an invasion of Iraq would disarm a WMD possessing country with terrorist ties, free a nation long suffering under tyranny, and spread peace and democracy throughout the middle east?

                        Folks who had very high standing, who were well known and respected throughout their areas of expertise, were telling the American public that only swift action in specifically such-and-such steps would fix things.

                        Again, the similarities are striking.

                        Originally posted by Mosely
                        The more that credit remains locked up or at too high a price, the more the American economy is going to sink into the collective hole resulting in a recession of far greater magnitude. I think things are headed towards a broader stimulus, as Obama seemed to indicate recently, but if that stimulus won't occur for months the economy is going to slide further than it may need to, hence the phrase 'no time to waste.' Another phrase, 'time is money' is quite apt here.
                        Originally posted by The Economist
                        Alan Greenspan, the former Fed Chairman, told The Economist this week that banks were satisfied with capital equal to 10% of their assets in the past. Now, to soothe depositors and investors, they will need a much higher ratio—perhaps around 15%. Until they get there, through a combination of raising new capital, reducing dividends and share buybacks, and shedding assets, lending will be constrained.

                        This makes a strong case for more government stimulus. Lawrence Summers, the former treasury secretary and a candidate for the same post under Barack Obama, said on November 17th that it should be “speedy, substantial and sustained over a several-year interval”. Fiscal stimulus at this stage would replace some of the demand which has been wiped out by the credit crunch. It won’t prevent a recession; but without it, the recession is guaranteed to be far worse.
                        Note all the experts trotted out in front of the public. Paulson and Bernanke's testimonies to the effect that action is needed now, way back in October, or the world would end "within weeks" (it didn't). Now Greenspan and of course Summers piling on. Disagreement painted as irresponsible posturing - or worse, as literally willing our economy into collapse!

                        It's all quite reminiscent of 2002/2003.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: No Time to Waste

                          Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                          This thread. First post.

                          AMosley, you suggesting that Bush step down and Obama take the position of president?

                          If so I completely disagree.

                          Now if you are suggesting that the Bush administration bring in Obama as soon as possible and work closely with Obama to make sure the current administrations actions to not counter actions Obama plans to take in a couple of months I think I agree.

                          Let's say the current administration was Democratic one at the end of their second term. If a current Democratic President worked closely with an incoming Democratic president, maybe even implementing some of the incoming Presidents ideas that is not, in any way, violating the constitution.

                          If Bush was to do this I don't see any harm, except possible a political one to the Republicans. But it could easily be spun to make the outgoing president, and his party, look really good.
                          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: No Time to Waste

                            Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                            I wonder how many foreign policy experts, former military generals, military intelligence analysts, and so on were telling us that an invasion of Iraq would not only disarm a WMD possessing country with terrorist ties, free a nation long suffering under tyranny, and spread peace and democracy throughout the middle east?

                            Folks who had very high standing, who were well known and respected throughout their areas of expertise, were telling the American public that only swift action in specifically such-and-such steps would fix things.

                            Again, the similarities are striking.

                            Not all the experts trotted out in front of the public. Paulson and Bernanke's testimonies to the effect that action is needed now, way back in October, or the world would end "within weeks" (it didn't). Now Greenspan and of course Summers piling on.

                            It's all quite reminiscent of 2002/2003.
                            I disagree with your basic premise that the two situations are the same.

                            All those people during the lead up to the Iraq war where working off of, and trusted, the small amount data provided by the Bush administration and ignored data provided by others (like the weapons inspectors). I don't think any of them could make a good decisions based on the data available.

                            If you have any data that says the economic situation is a minor problem I would very much like to see it. Really, it would make me feel better.

                            I agree that some of the actions taken are similar. And I think that in any situation haste can lend to mistakes being made. But sometimes action, even mistaken action, is more important than doing the most effective thing.

                            But any similarities are surface ones.
                            I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: No Time to Waste

                              Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                              If you have any data that says the economic situation is a minor problem I would very much like to see it. Really, it would make me feel better.
                              It's not as much a question of whether there's a problem as it's a question of whether we must "Act now!" and have the government intervene even more than it already has. And the government has already intervened, by some estimates, to the tune of over $3T.

                              ----

                              Some data calling the credit crunch into question. I'm highly skeptical - I agree that there is a credit crunch. But you asked, so here ya go:

                              http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...is-the-cr.html

                              http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...oes-a-cre.html

                              http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...redit-cru.html

                              http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...re-a-cred.html

                              ----

                              Data calling into question whether fiscal stimulus/gov't action will help:

                              http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...a-massive.html

                              http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.co...age/#more-3329
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                              Comment

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