Obama’s War on Prosperity and His Major Constituencies

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by mocgator, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Yes, assigning ownership to Obama of a policy the GOP also agreed to to cut spending (their preferred outcome) is exactly what I'm talking about.
  2. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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    Probably all are actually right. If a football coach or CEO makes such a difference at a university, Pro team or Company, why would the POTUS not make a difference? I just don't get it when people say a Prez can only do so much. Look what Jimmy Carter did...his actions, policies, philosophies created a "National Malais". Look what Ronald Reagan did...he got Americans to believe in themselves, shake off Carter and create 1 M jobs in a fricking month.

    It is not one decision Obama has made or hasn't made. It's dozens. It's his philosophies. It is his attitude. It is his advisors. It is his obvious lack of leadership...on anything.

    Q1 Growth is now being revised down...again. And Q 2 growth will be weaker than Q1....again. And Obama is not responsible? WTF are we paying him to be? A professional traveler?
  3. MastaG8r
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    MastaG8r New Member

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    So, according to you the GOP is blaming weak economic growth on the sequester, and saying the sequester was 0bama's fault/policy?

    Disagree.
  4. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    a) absolutely b) I explained this in a few follow up posts.
  5. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Premium Member

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    I had a mentor in my 20s who was a very wise and wealthy man (in his 70s). He taught me 2 things about people that have stuck with me:

    1. People are like a stream of water...if given a chance they will always find the lowest path...they seek the course of least resistance.

    2. If you want someone to be successful more than they want to be successful, you will always be frustrated managing and motivating them.

    Translation...if you make "not working" more profitable, easier than working, people will be people.
  6. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    That's somewhat tangental to my point, which is:

    a) Spending cuts result in short term unemployment and slowed growth. Fact. Conservatives argue long term growth and employment will result though.

    b) The sequester cut spending, whether it was Obama's plan, the GOPs or both. It did (a). Obama wanted a "mixed" approach, the GOP wanted more cuts. Whatever the case of ownership the sequester was pure, across the board cuts.

    c) Unemployment and slow growth are not popular outcomes, so whenever a jobs report or GDP report comes out - some conservatives say "oh, this is terrible look at what Obama's policies are doing." This, despite the fact that their preffered policy outcome was enacted (spending cuts, rather than tax increases).

    I understand this is politics, and no partisans are immune from this behavior. But to the original point of the thread, it doesnt show a very sophisticated understanding of economics, or how the government functions. Basically, saying cut the budget and being pointing fingers over increased unemployment are more characteristic of political opportunism than a knowledge of economics.
  7. cjgator76
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    cjgator76 Well-Known Member

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    I understood the "we" in the OP column's "we have too much" statement to be the country or society as a whole. While conservatives may claim that "they" (recipients of government benefits) receive too much from government, from what I've seen the claim that "we" (all of us) have too much emanates from the left. That's why I questioned your earlier post.
  8. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Well, then I would dispute the OP on similar grounds then. Not many people in the left are arguing that society as a whole has "too much," just perhaps people on one particularly advantaged end of it, and this needs to be remedied via "redistribution" or similar policies.
  9. cjgator76
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    cjgator76 Well-Known Member

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    It's not universal but you see it from time to time. Usually in a context such as "the U.S. has X% of the world's population but X++% of the world's [wealth][energy usage] [whatever]."
  10. MastaG8r
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    MastaG8r New Member

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    Are you holding yourself out as someone educated in economics? And claiming that the sequester is to blame for the weak economic growth in the last quarter?
  11. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Ok. But I'm not sure that any ideology has a lockdown on thinking there is a certain level of material excess in our culture.
  12. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    I think I have some understanding of economics. But I'm a layperson who understands, as I said earlier, that economics is also almost impossibly complex, even arcane when it comes to things like monetary policy and banking.

    There's never one reason, but it seems like a wide range of economists agree that it has been a drag on growth.
  13. gatordowneast
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    Knee pad crowd for Obama in full denial re his idea of sequester and his terms for sequester. I guess the MSM will pick up on this and blame the Pubs for the slow economic growth. Wait, they already have.
  14. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    You are simply presupposing your conclusion. Look "what Carter did". My point is that Carter didn't do it. That's like arguing that my cat causes it rain because he is always there when it rains. Re-establishing a correlation does not determine causation.

    But how do you know this? What is your evidence that his "attitude" made some guy in Ohio decide not to invest in Google? And what is the exact sector or issue with the economy anyway? You might be surprised to know that the chief economist at Moody's analytics, who runs one of the most complex models of the economy in the world, can't even really figure out how to reduce unemployment. And he tried, debt reduction, bringing down gas prices, fixing the European economy, boosting home prices, and supercharging China and Africa. And what happens after all that? Still can't unemployment below to 5% by 2016. And yet you know that Obama can solve this whole thing by his attitude. I know that it is hard to accept, but some things are just more complex than you or I can understand. As much as I would love to find someone to blame, that person just might not exist.

    Estimates being revised now has something to do with the president? Why not take this up with the economists doing the estimating? Had they estimated too low, would you be praising Obama? And notice that they are almost always wrong, as estimating growth isn't exactly counting blocks.
  15. gatordowneast
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    So essentially in summing up your comments, you feel like whoever the president was or is, would not have made a difference? Or in football terms, the coach doesn't matter? Or for private companies, CEO doesn't make a difference?

    Jimmy Carter sure does feel better. As does Ron Zook. As does the ousted CEO of JC Penny.

    I do not really think you think this way. One leader can make a helluva difference, good or bad...especially in 5 years.
  16. Minister_of_Information
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    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    That's interesting. Who's been advancing that argument, exactly?
  17. Minister_of_Information
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    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    Yes, many serious economists really titter over their tea at the rubes who don't realize that 2+2=5, because the government says so.
  18. Minister_of_Information
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    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    Yes, according to hocus pocus baseline budgeting, there have been some budget cuts [to the rate of spending growth].
  19. cocodrilo
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    cocodrilo Well-Known Member

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    I'm posting here just so I can be the last one to post (it's 2:24 AM EST) in the top five threads.
  20. umcpgator
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    umcpgator Active Member

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    As continuing from another thread, while people would like to think that CEOs and Presidents matter a lot, that is not what the economic research has been finding:

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2010/11/04/freakonomics-radio-how-much-does-the-president-really-matter/

    "Although it doesn’t appear in the podcast, an interview with Caltech economist and political scientist Erik Snowberg yielded this insight:

    “It seems that the public thinks that the president matters a lot more than our academic research would suggest. There is, actually, some academic research that shows that in counties that are very heavily Democrat, if a Republican wins the presidential election, in the fourth quarter of that year, consumption declines quite a bit. It can decline somewhere between 4 to 8 percent. So that seems to indicate that people think that it matters quite a bit more than it does. The argument in the political-science literature is that it’s like rooting for a team: when your team does really badly, you get upset. People end up spending a lot less money and that doesn’t seem to be borne out by the effects we note in the broader economy.”

    Because the President’s job is so vast, and therefore hard to measure in terms of hard influence, we sought to measure the influence of some other types of top-of-the-pyramid leaders. Baseball managers, for one. We spoke to Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays – he was a great interview; smart, informative, upbeat – as well as “baseball economist” J.C. Bradbury. He argues that managers have little ultimate effect on a team’s performance. But, as with the Presidency, the role is still vital because “you need the final arbiter to say ‘This is the decision we've made and we're going with it.’” That said, Bradbury argues that there’s a significant gap between the public’s perception of the President’s influence and his actual influence:

    “I think people think that the President is a benevolent despot determining our fortunes when in reality I think the President is just sitting in the co-pilot seat of a plane that’s already on auto-pilot.”

    We also looked into the true influence of corporate CEO’s and, while this segment didn’t make it into the podcast, Harvard Business School professor Rakesh Khurana talked us through the parallels between a CEO and President:

    When we ask people, “What’s the most important things that affect firm performance?,” often the CEO is ranked, you know, 6 or 7 or 8 [on a scale of 10] … but if you go back to the research, it’s not that the CEO doesn’t matter, but that they matter in much more subtle and nuanced ways than we typically attribute. So my guess is that CEO’s matter closer to 2′s or 3′s rather than 7′s or 8′s.

    About 15 years ago, when people asked why the American economy was doing so well, the simple response was, “Alan Greenspan – the maestro,” as if you could reduce very complex causes to single individuals. I think that what we need to do, is really step back as a society and say, “What is it that we expect from our leaders? What is it that we expect from our institutions?” Because if we don’t do that, I think what we’re likely to do is to continue in this cycle of very high expectations followed by disappointments. Meanwhile what doesn't get done goes back to the structuring and the health of the institutions that create the conditions for good performance, either in a firm or in our society."

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