The World Economics Thread

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The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Sat May 28, 2011 9:37 pm

Iv'e seen lack of a general economics thread in the Current Affairs section, and i also know we have a lot of good economic debaters in this forum(thats an invitation for opinions WeiWendi, Shik, Laojim, TMBJ etc). Seems like there could be some good discussions if the topic gets moving, so fire away people.
Here's something i think could get the thread moving:
The IMF scandal involving the head of the Organization.
republican economic theory vs Democratic economic theory.
why europe seems to be more economically resilient than the U.S, at least thats what most Americans tend to think.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun May 29, 2011 1:07 am

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:Iv'e seen lack of a general economics thread in the Current Affairs section, and i also know we have a lot of good economic debaters in this forum(thats an invitation for opinions WeiWendi, Shik, Laojim, TMBJ etc). Seems like there could be some good discussions if the topic gets moving, so fire away people.


Interesting - we do have several topics on specific economic issues (the New Deal, etc.), but this is the first time I've seen a general economics thread. Thanks, LYJH!

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:The IMF scandal involving the head of the Organization.


Given my various global-sceptic stances, I'm not a fan of the IMF in general, so to me, that Strauss-Kahn should be caught abusing power in his personal life comes as no great surprise. Likewise with the political squabbling that has already begun about who should succeed him in office, whether it should be a European or a Third Worlder, etc. This sums up many of my sentiments nicely, particularly 'economists are the rapey-est profession going... turns out, the invisible hand of the market, very f#@king touchy-feely'.

Also, Ben Stein is a jackass. But we already knew that.

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:republican economic theory vs Democratic economic theory.


Eh. Two sides of the same capitalist coin, I think, except that the Democrats tend to be a little more sensitive to working-class concerns and a little less economically suicidal when it comes to issues of regulation and financial stability. Both Republicans and Democrats tend to look out for the interests of corporations and special interests first, and ordinary people second; both Republicans and Democrats are heavily institutionalised, depoliticised parties which tend to privilege maintenance of their own authority over representation of a broad swathe of the public's views. I never thought I'd catch myself talking like a Nader apologist, but honestly I can't explain better the basic continuities I've noticed between the Bush 43 and Obama administrations.

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:why europe seems to be more economically resilient than the U.S, at least thats what most Americans tend to think.


Partially, I think, because 'socialism' isn't a dirty word over there - at least not so much as it is here. As a result, their economies tend to be more centrist in orientation; even though socialism is still marginalised, it has a definite presence such that centre parties are more keen to adopt Keynesian language and policies to appeal to working-class interests which would be otherwise dominated by socialism. So you have better-regulated banks, more stable safety nets, higher standards of living; however, this also means that global finance has higher degrees of institutional interdependence with governments, which means that the societies are every bit as vulnerable to global economic shocks as we are (as we saw with the housing bubble).
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Sun May 29, 2011 1:22 am

WeiWenDi wrote:Interesting - we do have several topics on specific economic issues (the New Deal, etc.), but this is the first time I've seen a general economics thread. Thanks, LYJH!
My memory tells me several months ago someone complained of a lack of one, and since the other topics seem to be dying down, i figured some good Econ talk would be nice.

WeiWenDi wrote:Given my various global-sceptic stances, I'm not a fan of the IMF in general, so to me, that Strauss-Kahn should be caught abusing power in his personal life comes as no great surprise. Likewise with the political squabbling that has already begun about who should succeed him in office, whether it should be a European or a Third Worlder, etc. This sums up many of my sentiments nicely, particularly 'economists are the rapey-est profession going... turns out, the invisible hand of the market, very f#@king touchy-feely'.
:lol: "rapey-est profession" ha, no lie there, technically its not funny given the amount of people that got screwed over in the financial Crisis back in "O8". IMF- should be titled- international free money organization, because nearly every country that gets something from it gets too little or someone in government stuffs their pocket with the money. Also due to i rarely hearing about countries putting anything into it, or if they do i rarely see it effecting them financially.
WeiWenDi wrote:Eh. Two sides of the same capitalist coin, I think, except that the Democrats tend to be a little more sensitive to working-class concerns and a little less economically suicidal when it comes to issues of regulation and financial stability. Both Republicans and Democrats tend to look out for the interests of corporations and special interests first, and ordinary people second; both Republicans and Democrats are heavily institutionalised, depoliticised parties which tend to privilege maintenance of their own authority over representation of a broad swathe of the public's views. I never thought I'd catch myself talking like a Nader apologist, but honestly I can't explain better the basic continuities I've noticed between the Bush 43 and Obama administrations.
COuldn't you compare them two to Coolidge and Hoover, one was a free spending idiot, the next tried to re-regulate evrything and failed heavily. Also i highly dislike the Obama-FDR comparison, because, where the hell are our fixed streets!! :x or new roads for that matter!!!
My euro econ question is answered thanks WWD, maybe i should calll this General economics ranting Thread. :lol:
Toss up- whose worse, Coolidge or Bush, oh and why did they blame Hoover for the Great Depression, even my textbooks say that??
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Sun May 29, 2011 7:21 am

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:The IMF scandal involving the head of the Organization.

F--ker did it. But regardless of one's opinion of the IMF (I personally don't know enough to have an opinion) I fail to see why this is a huge deal. He's been replaced, right? Then let's move on.

republican economic theory vs Democratic economic theory.


I think Wei handled that, though I'm personally not quite as cynical about it. But-theoretically-the current party platform for the Republicans seem to be that the people should be allowed the maximum amount of personal control over their own finances so that they will be motivated to invest in and create revenue for the American economy. They espouse the theory that keeping government small is both more efficient and more effective, as private industry is more capable than public to achieve progress. This could be considered Classical Liberalism, or laissez-faire capitalism.

The Democrats' policy du jour is a belief that government can be used as a tool to improve the lives of its citizens by actively working to enable social progress. The Democrats opt to enact programs and policies that are meant to fix problems within society and fund people and projects that can improve and strengthen the nation. They believe that the people as a collective must give a larger portion of their earnings to make this happen, and that it's only fair for the upper classes to make the larger sacrifices, as they have benefited the most from this nation and that their fortunes will only improve with the country's.

The Republicans argue that increased socialism is coercive and deprives the people the liberty to do what they will with their finances. They believe that Democratic social programs are often expensive, inefficient and enables a culture of entitlement, while the higher taxes will result in the upper classes investing their money in more favorable markets. They also argue that over-regulation of business will cripple enterprise.

The Democrats argue that a loose grasp on the economy will lead to the rich exploiting the lower classes while doing little to improve the lives of anyone but themselves. They argue that without their sponsored social programs the ills they were designed to cure will only worsen, and that the people they helped will be left helpless. They also argue that private enterprise is not inherently stable and without controls will lead to chaos and recession.

Of course, this is what will be put in school textbooks, but not what it is in reality. That is far more convoluted.

why europe seems to be more economically resilient than the U.S, at least thats what most Americans tend to think.


I don't think most Americans would say that, and I wouldn't necessarily agree with it myself. I do agree with Wei that increased regulations have lessened the effects of the Great Recession, but it's not like the Europeans have their own problems. Greece is in deficit hell right now, and Italy and Belgium aren't far behind. Popped housing bubbles in Spain and Ireland have lead to massive unemployment (15-20%!), France and England have had to do some belt-tightening, as will Germany in the near future. And Eastern Europe, Christ, don't get me started.

However, Sweden, Luxembourg, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark have been doing kinda-sorta alright. Well, so's Germany, but they're not doing quite as well as the aforementioned nations.

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:Toss up- whose worse, Coolidge or Bush, oh and why did they blame Hoover for the Great Depression, even my textbooks say that??


Well, I want to say Coolidge 'cause his administration presided over the era where they banned teh booze, but Coolidge never started a war. Also, he spoke out for civil rights and paid off a good deal of the debt. And unlike the other man on your list, Coolidge had damn fine wit, and it's hard to hate a man like that.

Hoover got blamed for the Depression 'cause he was the guy who was sitting in the Oval Office. They would've blamed Jesus if he were President in '29. Hoover actually wanted to make a few regulations that might have lessened the effects of the Depression.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun May 29, 2011 7:27 am

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:Italy...aren't far behind.


I suppose the Vatican didn't get that news flash. If they did, maybe a nice sized donation could change that.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Sun May 29, 2011 7:32 am

The Vatican's in debt too. Besides, Berlusconi would probably spend it all on hookers 'n blow. You know, rich man's kryptonite.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun May 29, 2011 7:34 am

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:The Vatican's in debt too. Besides, Berlusconi would probably spend it all on hookers 'n blow. You know, rich man's kryptonite.


Wow. The last I heard, the Vatican was doing rather well. But then again, that was few years ago.

RE: Berlusconi - I can believe that. Guess I'm glad I'm not rich!
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun May 29, 2011 11:02 am

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:I think Wei handled that, though I'm personally not quite as cynical about it. But-theoretically-the current party platform for the Republicans seem to be that the people should be allowed the maximum amount of personal control over their own finances so that they will be motivated to invest in and create revenue for the American economy. They espouse the theory that keeping government small is both more efficient and more effective, as private industry is more capable than public to achieve progress. This could be considered Classical Liberalism, or laissez-faire capitalism.

The Democrats' policy du jour is a belief that government can be used as a tool to improve the lives of its citizens by actively working to enable social progress. The Democrats opt to enact programs and policies that are meant to fix problems within society and fund people and projects that can improve and strengthen the nation. They believe that the people as a collective must give a larger portion of their earnings to make this happen, and that it's only fair for the upper classes to make the larger sacrifices, as they have benefited the most from this nation and that their fortunes will only improve with the country's.

The Republicans argue that increased socialism is coercive and deprives the people the liberty to do what they will with their finances. They believe that Democratic social programs are often expensive, inefficient and enables a culture of entitlement, while the higher taxes will result in the upper classes investing their money in more favorable markets. They also argue that over-regulation of business will cripple enterprise.

The Democrats argue that a loose grasp on the economy will lead to the rich exploiting the lower classes while doing little to improve the lives of anyone but themselves. They argue that without their sponsored social programs the ills they were designed to cure will only worsen, and that the people they helped will be left helpless. They also argue that private enterprise is not inherently stable and without controls will lead to chaos and recession.

Of course, this is what will be put in school textbooks, but not what it is in reality. That is far more convoluted.


I quite agree with this. If I may expound a bit, though, we find in both parties that there is a growing tension between various segments, and the political lines are in the process of being redrawn. The Republicans have historically been the party of big business, but they went from a position of social progressivism to veiled white supremacy (the 'Southern strategy') after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; they went through a similar shift after the appearance on the American political scene of the Moral Majority. At present, there is a highly uneasy alliance between the social conservatives and the economic liberals in the party - this uneasiness has led to some interesting developments (like the rise of the neoconservatives by triangulation), but ultimately I don't think it can be sustained.

Likewise on the Democratic side, which has historically been the party of 'the little guy', more sympathetic to populist, pacifist and Keynesian economic ideologies, there is likewise a growing divide between those (like myself) who harbour a social conservative streak in sympathy with the crumbling social institutions which have historically kept poor people from falling through the cracks, and the liberals who insist on a social progressivism which allows them to sacrifice economic egalitarianism in the hope that formal legal egalitarianism will keep pace.

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:
Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:Toss up- whose worse, Coolidge or Bush, oh and why did they blame Hoover for the Great Depression, even my textbooks say that??


Well, I want to say Coolidge 'cause his administration presided over the era where they banned teh booze, but Coolidge never started a war. Also, he spoke out for civil rights and paid off a good deal of the debt. And unlike the other man on your list, Coolidge had damn fine wit, and it's hard to hate a man like that.

Hoover got blamed for the Depression 'cause he was the guy who was sitting in the Oval Office. They would've blamed Jesus if he were President in '29. Hoover actually wanted to make a few regulations that might have lessened the effects of the Depression.


Agreed. Yeah, Coolidge sucked (and Prohibition was truly one of the suckiest things he did), but a lot of Coolidge's suckage can actually be relegated backwards to Harding (for whom the Bush 43 comparisons I believe are more apt). Harding, in addition to being a deadly enemy of unions, really was an idiot, not to mention a corrupt bastard who screwed over the public sector in more ways than one - appointing incompetent people and leasing away publicly-owned property. The result was, of course, the infamous Teapot Dome.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun May 29, 2011 1:13 pm

The IMF scandal involving the head of the Organization.


To quote TMB But regardless of one's opinion of the IMF (I personally don't know enough to have an opinion) I fail to see why this is a huge deal. He's been replaced, right? Then let's move on. There are issues with the IMF and it's selection process though.

why europe seems to be more economically resilient than the U.S, at least thats what most Americans tend to think.


Whereas in England, while we acknowledge you have problems, we are very worried about ourselves and about Europe and consider America to be in a stronger position. Arguably TMB undersold Europe (and the Euro's) problems in the west at least, I know nothing about the eastern European economies troubles.
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Re: The World Economics Thread

Unread postby Ranbir » Sun May 29, 2011 1:49 pm

Europe's problems are more to do with the inflexibility of the Euro-zone market. One central bank setting rates which limits what each individual country can do within their own national economies. The single currency is -great- but it needs sovereignty and nationalism to be smashed with a hammer before it can be dynamically competitive as individual nation currencies.
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