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Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
That's a poor dodge. The FRB may not have the statutory authority to make budgetary decisions, but they have (under the guise of "Quantitative Easing") levied the largest stealth tax on the population in history.

you mean via inflation?

inflation rate is hovering around 5% if i'm not mistaken. in all fairness, this isn't much compared to the inflataion of 11% from the mid seventies.

not that i'm defending them that all. just keeping it real.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:43 PM Redrum is offline  
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you mean via inflation?

inflation rate is hovering around 5% if i'm not mistaken. in all fairness, this isn't much compared to the inflataion of 11% from the mid seventies.

not that i'm defending them that all. just keeping it real.

Only if you believe the Fed's numbers. If you look anywhere else (CPI, PPI, for example), you'll see input and output costs rising well above 5%.

Don't even get started on "hedonistic" substitutions (where you can swap ground round for steak, if steak's too expensive), or unit cost (where they'll consider the carton of orange juice, but not adjust the index for the fact that it dropped from 64 to 59 oz).

Really, I'm referring to the financialization of things, which is how house prices rose from 2x to 10x (in some parts of the country) income levels, or how health insurance has gone from "pay as you go" to "if you go to the ER, you're going bankrupt" now, or how consistently the increase in cost of an education has outstripped increases in incomes for the better part of 30 years.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:48 PM Jehannum is offline  
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two party system is a farce

not even local politicians do anything to represent me

both wings of the american political paradigm use government to get rich and impose their morality on the rest of america

death to the two party system and all who defend it


If your politicians do not represent you then you are not working very hard to make your voice heard.
As a participant in democracy your duty is to resist against invalid leadership and rally population to your cause.

You find yourself at the difficult point of actually doing something about your democracy which most people simply aren't willing to do.

You are empowered to influence your peers and fellow citizens.
If they disagree then democracy works.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:52 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
If your politicians do not represent you then you are not working very hard to make your voice heard.
As a participant in democracy your duty is to resist against invalid leadership and rally population to your cause.

You find yourself at the difficult point of actually doing something about your democracy which most people simply aren't willing to do.

You are empowered to influence your peers and fellow citizens.
If they disagree then democracy works.

Hence, politicians are elected by ignorant idiots.

Everybody (except those that bother to do basic math) think there's some way out of where we are with no pain, and no sacrifice. Whether they're useful idiots like teabaggers, or unuseful idiots like occupy wall street protestors, the premise is the same: we can just make the pain go away if we follow this easy set of strictures (whether those are the same or not, is an exercise left to the reader).

The truth is that everybody gets hurt when we deflate the massive credit bubble we've generated over the last 50 years. Nobody gets what they thought their elected leaders promised them.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:56 PM Jehannum is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
That's a poor dodge. The FRB may not have the statutory authority to make budgetary decisions, but they have (under the guise of "Quantitative Easing") levied the largest stealth tax on the population in history.

The ability to inflate currency is an essential power for efficient markets.
I'm not going to bother debating with you the merit of *these particular rounds of QE* but the premise that the fed can do it really shouldn't be contentious. Again: it is far more desirable that FRB have this authority than POTUS or Congress.

Do not draw the red herring here.

If you have a problem with fiscal policy then you should take it up with congress.
If you have a problem with FRB then you can take it up with those who appoint them.
We are this country, whether we want to accept that responsibility or not....

We are all taking haircuts because of the long-running unsustainable policies we created by electing and supporting "leaders" who enacted and expanded them.
The power and authority of this government derives from you.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:57 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Only if you believe the Fed's numbers. If you look anywhere else (CPI, PPI, for example), you'll see input and output costs rising well above 5%.

Don't even get started on "hedonistic" substitutions (where you can swap ground round for steak, if steak's too expensive), or unit cost (where they'll consider the carton of orange juice, but not adjust the index for the fact that it dropped from 64 to 59 oz).

Really, I'm referring to the financialization of things, which is how house prices rose from 2x to 10x (in some parts of the country) income levels, or how health insurance has gone from "pay as you go" to "if you go to the ER, you're going bankrupt" now, or how consistently the increase in cost of an education has outstripped increases in incomes for the better part of 30 years.

not really sure if houses increased by 10x due to financialization, i think it's more because so many houses were bought for on the cheap during the mid 80s thanks to the bubble burst, were remodeled, and now all of the babby boomers now want to sell and make a HUGE return on their meager investment.

call me retarded but how did the financialization of it all contribute directly to an increase in prices of housing? it seems to more greed on behalf of the individual homeowners. if you have any literature to point me in the right direction i'll read it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:57 PM Redrum is offline  
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Hence, politicians are elected by ignorant idiots.

And we should.... blame banks and wealthy people?
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:57 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
If your politicians do not represent you then you are not working very hard to make your voice heard.
As a participant in democracy your duty is to resist against invalid leadership and rally population to your cause.

You find yourself at the difficult point of actually doing something about your democracy which most people simply aren't willing to do.

You are empowered to influence your peers and fellow citizens.
If they disagree then democracy works.

lol sorry there is no direct democracy in america in the fashion you describe, the two party system is corrupt to the core and needs to be dismantled for any kind of real representation on a federal level, there's nothing i can do to increase my representation besides moving to a real democracy like switzerland for example.

i can underline shit too
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:59 PM Redrum is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Really, I'm referring to the financialization of things, which is how house prices rose from 2x to 10x (in some parts of the country) income levels, or how health insurance has gone from "pay as you go" to "if you go to the ER, you're going bankrupt" now, or how consistently the increase in cost of an education has outstripped increases in incomes for the better part of 30 years.

Housing was manipulated by the government at our direction and with our consent because we the people wanted easy money and lax lending.
We therfore extended moral hazard and directly resulted in an asset bubble in housing.

Tuition costs are a product of demand and availability of applicable income.
tuition is manipulated by the government at our direction and with our consent because we the people wanted easy money and availability of subsidized student loans for undemanded degree programs.
By creating a massive source of otherwise unavailable funding we have created a situation in which universities no longer compete on pricing (because nobody expect to actually *pay* it).

Medical expenses are a product of demand and availability of applicable income just the same
Healthcare is manipulated by the government at our direction and with our consent because we the people wanted to pretend that "insurance" and "free care" were synonyms; and we demanded availability of federal money for care which loosened financial constraints on the growth of market costs.
Because do not pay for their coverage, they are insensetive to fluctuations. We have severely impacted the elasticity of the demand for healthcare because we have blinded ourselves to the costs.
Now as we demand more care and more expensive procedures as a "normal" part of medical practices the cost of our care will rise. But somehow we don't want economics to work that way (and what's funnier is that we BELEIVE when our politicians tell us this).

Somehow we expect to *increase* demand, *increase* available income, *increase* the cost of training for medicine, but somehow decrease costs while leaving supply the same.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:06 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Originally Posted by Redrum View Post
lol sorry there is no direct democracy in america in the fashion you describe, the two party system is corrupt to the core and needs to be dismantled for any kind of real representation on a federal level, there's nothing i can do to increase my representation besides moving to a real democracy like switzerland for example.

i can underline shit too

I never said there was direct democracy; nor is that relevant in any way.
Votes have impact in our representative republic just as they would in a "direct democracy"

I said you are responsible for empowering leaders who you claim don't represent you.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:07 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:15 PM IcW@teR is offline  
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Originally Posted by Zangmonkey View Post
I never said there was direct democracy; nor is that relevant in any way.
Votes have impact in our representative republic just as they would in a "direct democracy"

I said you are responsible for empowering leaders who you claim don't represent you.
i'm not responsible for empowering any leaders at all, special interest groups (corporate, religious, and god knows what the fuck else) with more money to throw at politicians than i'll make in ten life times are responsible for empowering and supporting them....

all i have is one vote and the ability to write letters to my senator, both of which are useless, especially the first since i live in a state that's been blue for well over a century...
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:20 PM Redrum is offline  
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not really sure if houses increased by 10x due to financialization, i think it's more because so many houses were bought for on the cheap during the mid 80s thanks to the bubble burst, were remodeled, and now all of the babby boomers now want to sell and make a HUGE return on their meager investment.

call me retarded but how did the financialization of it all contribute directly to an increase in prices of housing? it seems to more greed on behalf of the individual homeowners. if you have any literature to point me in the right direction i'll read it.

It's actually pretty easy to see:
1) The banks make liar loans available (NINJA, Option ARM), knowing that there's no way to make the loans "money good", but counting on the "conventional wisdom" of the time that there's no way housing will ever go bust (therefore, it's always feasible for the homeowner in trouble to borrow himself a bigger mortgage).

2) This leads to a glut of people who, by their very ability to fog a mirror, are approved for home loans.

3) The glut of people and easy financing drives prices up (supply and demand).

The banks figured that, with Option ARM loans, they could just skim off a couple thousand each time Timmy J. Homeowner needed to refinance in perpetuity.

Once you bring securitization into the picture, it just becomes more fraud writ large - now the banks don't even care whether Timmy J. Homeowner is a good credit risk, because you can sell off the loans, and then buy a CDS against his (inevitable) default!

Except it all unraveled because house prices can't levitate beyond the reach of the common man forever, despite the availability of easy financing. And nobody can insure that, because nobody has the collateral to post against the CDS (look how well it worked with AIG), and there's no way to enforce the contract, since they're not traded on an open exchange that requires posting collateral.

As for reading, I like Karl Denninger from the Market-Ticker, and that's a particularly good one to start your reading with.
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1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:24 PM Jehannum is offline  
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Originally Posted by Redrum View Post
i'm not responsible for empowering any leaders at all, special interest groups (corporate, religious, and god knows what the fuck else) with more money to throw at politicians than i'll make in ten life times are responsible for empowering and supporting them....

all i have is one vote and the ability to write letters to my senator, both of which are useless, especially the first since i live in a state that's been blue for well over a century...

Why do you vote for people who accept corporate bribes?
Why don't you encourage others not to vote for people who accept corporate bribes?
Why do you let the "special interests" (who are vastly outnumbered by people just like you) control people elected to represent you?
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:25 PM Zangmonkey is offline  
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Why do you vote for people who accept corporate bribes?
Why don't you encourage others not to vote for people who accept corporate bribes?
Why do you let the "special interests" (who are vastly outnumbered by people just like you) control people elected to represent you?

i don't. unfortunately i'm in the habit of throwing away my vote on third party candidates.

i do my best to convince others to do the same but i have other, more pressing obligations to volunteer time for a campaign.

i don't "let" them win, i simply can't fight them. i don't have much money or any kind of political connections.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:29 PM Redrum is offline  
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