National Savings: U.S. vs. Norway

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by chemgator, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's be honest: nobody in politics believes that the general public is prepared to do with less. Making overtures is political suicide, and maybe even physical symbolics, a la Mussolini.
  2. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    That's the saddest part of all this... There are too many freeloaders in our country to have a real reform conversation.
  3. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    That's because there is no good reason to ask them to do so.
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  4. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    17T in Federal debt isn't a good reason? Keep printing money and the bond agencies are going to change the nature of the game.
  5. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    There are several good reasons, just none that the freeloaders want to hear about.
  6. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    No, long term debt isnt a very persuasive reason to ask people to do with less.
  7. cjgator76
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    cjgator76 Well-Known Member

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    LOL @ "interested assisters." Nice!
  8. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    Even if the debt is doubling every few years and threatens to bankrupt the nation? Do you not believe that a serious economic collapse could occur as a result of taking on too much debt?
  9. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    The answer to this is to first find politicians that understand the necessity of cutting federal spending and get them elected. We should also throw out those politicians so stupid that they think that random federal spending stimulates the economy in any meaningful way.

    The second step is to look for opportunities to tie federal spending to taxation where possible. Road maintenance should be paid for primarily by gasoline taxes, for example (even if it costs an extra $0.20/gal). No freeloading.

    The third step is to identify options for balancing the budget on things like Social Security and other entitlements.

    The fourth step is to let the people vote on the various options via referendum. If you want to balance SS, you can increase taxes, reduce benefits, or delay benefits. Instead of taking the most popular option, take a percentage of each option according to the percentage of people voting for it. Stagger all the referendums so that only one or two are voted on every couple years, and they are repeated with enough frequency to keep the program cash-neutral.

    This way, the American people own responsibility for solving problems related to entitlements.
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  10. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    I don't see any evidence currently to think that there is eminent danger, so no. If anything, more short term debt might be benificial to continued recovery.
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  11. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Low information voters should now be able to have a direct democracy without deliberation, compromise, or study, which can determine vital government functions based solely upon populist notions? Got tyranny of the majority?

    Isn't that a contradiction of what you said earlier? (I should mention, I appreciate your putting some ideas out there, even if I disagree).
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  12. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    No country ever does see any evidence of imminent danger before the collapse. That's why it looks like they got caught with their pants down. Argentina did not see any imminent danger before its economy collapsed 100 years ago. I doubt the Roman Empire saw any imminent danger before it was overrun. The Soviet Union's collapse was also rather sudden. In our own recent history, the Wall Street managers thought they could manage risk effectively while investing in bundled mortgages (no imminent danger here!), up until it was painfully obvious they couldn't.

    What people fail to understand is that going too far out on a limb for too long is dangerous--if your weight doesn't collapse the branch, any number of other things might (wind, snow, termites, whatever).
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  13. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    The ignorant masses would be able to choose HOW the problems would be solved, with acceptable solutions chosen by their leaders. Notice that I did not put down the option of shooting the elderly to solve Social Security's problems. That option would be off the table. It is less important how the problem gets solved than it is to solve the problem. Our current leaders are incapable of solving the problem. By allowing a certain amount of power (and responsibility) to go to the voters, you will have more buy-in to the solution, both from the voters and Congress. I think the voters would do just fine.

    And who said anything about a surprise referendum (without deliberation or study)? Once people know it's coming, there will be plenty of debate and discussion. And the compromise comes by taking a percentage of the vote for each solution.
  14. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Some people have to fall off the cliff before they realize there was a cliff. And others are fully aware of the cliff but don't care about it because they think they're immune to it, or they think that it might somehow (crazy people) even be a good thing.
  15. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    Well said, except you are talking about the fiscal equivalent of a strategic energy policy. And you know where that lies.

    But there was a pundit on CNBC several years ago that claimed very forcefully and eloquently that we do indeed have an energy policy: it is called delivering gas to the masses at a cheap enough price...no matter what it costs. And he pretty much nailed it.

    We want the public to just stop on occasion and make one stinking discernible decision before we let them go wander off playing on their smartphones. Unfortunately I don't foresee that coming along until after the financial train wreck. JMHO
  16. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that is any better of a solution or gets you around having a bunch of people who may or may not have a clue about what needs to be done, especially with regard to policies with deep technical implications. Our system, for good or bad, was designed to have a certain about of gridlock, adding more folks to the actual process seems to be to only likely create more problems, not less. It's why we have a representative democratic republic, not a a direct democracy.
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  17. Wormwood56
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    Wormwood56 VIP Member

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    Three questions:

    1. Norway's tax rate

    2. Norway's population

    3. Norway's requirement that its citizens pay into the system as much as they receive.

    Therein lies the difference between a tiny, hetrogenous nation like Norway and a massive, multicultural nation like the United States.
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  18. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    And these are just the "PC" parts of the problem.
  19. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    Excuses. Either you have the national willpower to save (and or manage) money or you don't. Clearly, we don't. And clearly, Norway does.

    BTW, how are you going to pay your $1.1 million? :)
  20. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    add in all the state and local unfunded liabilities and the number is much higher than that. amazing how some fail to comprehend what happens when the IMF steps in

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