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What has Trump done right so far?

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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Annachie   » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:04 am

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Part of the thing with infrastructure is it adds indirectly to large swathes of the economy.
Can be hard to quantify.

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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:21 am

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Annachie wrote:Part of the thing with infrastructure is it adds indirectly to large swathes of the economy.
Can be hard to quantify.

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Indeed, but because the impact is widespread, overall economic growth should be impacted visibly. If it isn't, the infrastructure investment did not spur increased activity. Like improving the power grid, that might not be the immediate goal. Even so, the overall impact can be measured.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by gcomeau   » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:13 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Public sector employment that inhibits private sector employment is pure waste....


Which once again is not what we are talking about during the Great Recession by any stretch of the imagination. Are you going to try to argue that while unemployment was just starting to crawl down from double digits and everyone was screaming about there being no jobs the government really needed to lay off workers so they could go work in the private sector?

Go work *where* in the private sector that all those people who had just lost their jobs in the private sector were somehow not already working?


The private sector DID NOT HAVE the jobs for the people who were already unemployed. The government needed to make up the difference not join in throwing MORE people on unemployment and making the entire situation worse.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:22 pm

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gcomeau wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Public sector employment that inhibits private sector employment is pure waste....


Which once again is not what we are talking about during the Great Recession by any stretch of the imagination. Are you going to try to argue that while unemployment was just starting to crawl down from double digits and everyone was screaming about there being no jobs the government really needed to lay off workers so they could go work in the private sector?

Go work *where* in the private sector that all those people who had just lost their jobs in the private sector were somehow not already working?


The private sector DID NOT HAVE the jobs for the people who were already unemployed. The government needed to make up the difference not join in throwing MORE people on unemployment and making the entire situation worse.


Did I not state that FDR did not waste his stimulus as Obama did? That his infrastructure investments actually were investments and not crony capitalism writ large?

What I am saying is that the public sector jobs eliminated now, might well actually spur private sector job creation. Many of the public sector jobs now actively inhibit private sector employment. The EPA is an excellent example. Their rules actively prohibit economic activity and so inhibit jobs in entire swaths of the economy.

While we can argue as to the value of those private sector jobs, we really can't argue that the EPA doesn't inhibit the creation of those jobs. The energy industry is the best example of this.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Fireflair   » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:24 am

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There are all sorts of costs – fixed costs, marginal costs, operating costs, external diseconomies [otherwise known as negative externalities], etc. The cost that matters most to a business is whatever costs the business is required to pay by both the demands of the marketplace (i.e., supply and demand) and the government. If a business has to pay taxes, that’s a cost imposed by government. So are wage, benefit, safety, and environmental standards.

So… by what right, in a supposedly free market economy, is government imposing those costs on business?

The reason for government action is because: (1) the marketplace doesn’t include all the costs of production and (2) a totally “free” marketplace creates wage levels and working conditions virtually all western governments have declared unacceptable, and, therefore, governments have set minimum standards for wages, safety, and worker health conditions.

In addition, some of those government taxes provide for the highways and airways on which business goods are transported, for the national defense which protects business and everyone else from enemies from coming in and seizing businesses and properties and which allows U.S. businesses to conduct operations elsewhere in the world, for regulation and continuance of a stable banking system, for public safety, and so forth, all of which make the operation of businesses possible.

The EPA example is covered quite handily. One of the reasons that, years ago, the Cuyahoga River next to the Republic steel mill in Cleveland caught fire was because the marketplace cost, and thus the price of a good, didn’t include costs passed on to others in society in the form of polluted air or water, and thus, any manufacturer who did restrict the emissions of pollutants incurred higher costs compared to producers who didn’t. Consequently, marketplace “discipline” effectively encouraged pollution, or at the very least, certainly didn’t discourage it. Costs inflicted on others are usually termed negative externalities [the older term is external diseconomies], but such terms tend to gloss over the fact that pollution and other degradation of the environment caused by manufacturing is not reflected in the cost of production unless government requires it.

So, when a manufacturer claims that environmental or worker safety regulations are stifling the economy, what that manufacturer really is saying is that he or she can’t compete with manufacturers in other countries that have fewer environmental regulations, and thus, often lower costs of production… and when that manufacturer demands less regulation, it is a demand to allow more pollution so that the manufacturer can make more money – or even stay in business.

Balancing economic output and worker and environmental health and safety is a trade-off. Although some regulations have been ill-thought-out, in general, stricter regulations result in a better environment for both workers and society, but if the rest of the world has lower levels, those U.S. industries competing in a global market will suffer higher costs, unless they have other cost advantages, such as better technology or far more productive workers. Because environmental control technology is expensive, most industries tend to oppose regulations requiring more technology.

In certain industries, workers, such as coal miners, often oppose environmental rules because those rules raise costs, and higher costs may result in the loss of their jobs. The question in such cases is whether continuing such jobs is worth the environmental and health damage, both to workers and to others.

Outside these regulation, many of the people crying about being unable to find work are only being partially truthful. They can't find work they're willing to do or want to do which will pay what they feel they need to make. Many people in the US are used to living beyond their means or at a high level of comfort than their skill set deserves. How do all those illegal immigrants Trump is screaming about manage to get along when working in the US and getting paid under the table? They pool their resources. They don't live four people in a 2000 square foot home. They don't have 3 cars.

One, people should be more aware of their means and try to live within them. If they cannot, than consider downsizing your life a bit. Don't have fast food or the top tier of internet speed. Trade your cell phone plan from the 120/month unlimited access to the 20/month pay as you go. Consider living in a different location. I recently did many of these things to improve my finances. By freeing up a little money here and there I was able to pay down existing bills to be better positioned.

Two, they shouldn't turn their noses up at work. Where I work we make pizzas. We are currently in need of over 40 line workers, who start at 12/hr. We can't find people to fill these unskilled job openings. We also need 10 maintenance personnel. 7 of which are mechanics who start at 16/hr for apprentices, and 18/hr for trained mechanics. Automation personnel start at 25/hr, and we have several openings there. We can't find qualified people willing to fill these skilled job openings. Near where I work is a busy commercial area that is hiring retail and customer service positions. Again, they can't find people willing to take the jobs. It's possible that the companies don't value their employees enough to provide commiserate pay and benefits, but that doesn't mean the jobs aren't there.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Daryl   » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:48 am

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Very interesting article Fireflair, well written and good conclusions. I must admit I was surprised at how low your wages are. For equivalent positions ours would be nearly twice those quoted.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Fireflair   » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:46 am

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I've always liked Australia. Really enjoyed Brisbane when I was there. Far more than Perth or Sydney. I was impressed with the cheap cost of a house that was practically beach front property over in Surfer's Paradise, but I'm not sure what the cost of living is comparative between Australia and the US. In the US it can vary wildly depending on location. New York City or San Francisco, for instance, are some of the most expensive general locals to live in the US, and the base rates for blue collar work are correspondingly higher.

Some of the most cost effective places to live in the US are in the Midwest and central US. If the median income in the area for an unskilled worker is 30k, and a single person can live comfortably within that income, than is the company really underpaying the unskilled laborer? Likewise if the skilled blue collar worker can make 50k, is the company underpaying or overpaying?

Median income in the US is ~52k, the median in Australia is around 80k. A quick comparison of the cost of living between Cincinnati OH and Brisbane shows me that 4900/mo or 59k/yr in Cincinnati is roughly the same as 6000/mo or 72k/yr in Brisbane. So while the pay may be more, I'm not sure the buying power is great enough in difference to make it significant.

I am, however, uncertain about tax rates and government services provided in Australia. A person in the US can expect to pay anywhere from a quarter to a third of their income in various taxes and government (state and federal) fees. This could quite possibly skew the buying power and quality of life in Brisbane heavily toward Brisbane. Of the taxes paid they'll probably see a portion of it back at the end of the year. In return the average worker doesn't see much come their way from the government in terms of material or visible support unless they qualify for one of the federal or state programs. This really only effects and helps those who are in lower brackets.

Side note, I shamelessly admit to robbing a recent L.E. Modesitt, Jr. blog post for some of the previous write up. Mostly because he succinctly stated what was there in a manner which most people don't consider when they think about regulations and taxes on businesses.

In a perfect world companies would be responsible for their entire footprint and not pass off any of the cost to others, then would charge a fair value for their goods. Unfortunately a company will pass off as much of the cost to others as it possible can and make the most money they can for the least value given in a capitalistic society. Given their druthers, most companies would dump everything they could into the environment, they'd pay their workers as little as they could get away with and still get enough workers to do the job and they'd charge everyone for the privilege of buying from them.

Trump's notion of deregulating so many different areas of business will result in an explosion of complications later. Environmental issues, worker health and safety and wages are just a few areas. The banking industry could easily see another collapse if the Wall Street types are given their head. What's worse is that the people who should pay for the damages which will be caused will get away scot free.

In the end it won't be the fat cats and wealthy who suffer, but the far greater number of 'little people' who have to bear added burdens to clean up the mess that is coming.
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Annachie   » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:52 am

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Taxation will run around 25%, maybe a touch more.
10% gst ( think sales tax)

Subsidised health care, though wait times can be a pain for non life threatening surgery.

Free education, that is not free of course. (But the money that comes in from fees runs around 10% of a schools budget at primary school from memory)
Subsidised child care, (income tested)
I suppose simply put, think of Bernie's campaign.


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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by Spacekiwi   » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:08 pm

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Lots of journos down my way say stuff like that in interviews to appear more sympathetic to the interviewees cause, and has sometimes brought out a bit more depth to some answers, which they then published because it gave them a leg up on the amount of info they could get over thsoe who interviewed a little bit more formally. Little things to humanise the interaction and encourage friendliness.



[quote="Michael Everett"]
One bit of proof happened during the last election where Labour lost (and the Tories gained enough seats to claim power). In an interview with a Labour MP, the reporter asked "So where did we go wrong?"
Quite a revealing slip of the tongue there.../quote]
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Re: What has Trump done right so far?
Post by CRC   » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:00 am

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[quote="gcomeau] One little detail you appear to be unaware of.

That "FY" up there? That means those are Fiscal "years".

The 2009 budget? That's for the fiscal year beginning in October 2008. And you see the way budgets work is, you write them before the spending they set the budget for happens.

So unless you want to claim Obama got sworn in in January 2009 then went back in time and created the giant deficit in the budget for the fiscal year that was already almost half over... yeah, pretty sure I'm blaming it on Bush.

[/quote]

Caught you again there didn't I? You are of course forgetting a couple of "little" things.

1 - On March 11, 2009 Obama signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 into law. Obama - not Bush.

2 - In June 2009, Obama signs the 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act into Law.

Now please let your next obvious excuse fall into my next trap just as readily...
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