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 Post subject: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
With so many seemingly conflicting reports, is the economy making true headway? Are job propects improving? Is buyer sentiment reviving?


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:46 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:06 am
Posts: 98
Well, we're not Europe with a recession and high unemployment or China with its frantically-juggled balls of ethnic tensions, corruption issues, billions in hidden loan losses, potential ecological disasters along with a rapidly aging population and divisive class divisions....so yeah, I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now!

The US definitely has its issues, but we also have a lot of strengths other countries don't. Whether we can get our politicians to stop posturing and start working together to SOLVE our problems - that's another question altogether.

I do think that people who are the "haves" - I am not referring to the 1%, but to the middle-class people who still have jobs and have a stable lifestyle - are starting to spend money again. We dine out a lot (it's our hobby, we're foodies) and saw a huge decline in customers during 2009-2010. But in 2Q2011 people began trickling back into restaurants and bars and theatres. More bargain/discount/coupon-oriented, but the increase was gradual and noticeable.

For 2012 we have not seen full crowds yet except at peak times/days, but dining rooms are still getting fuller and tabs are going up (drinks and dessert with dinner, for example, instead of just a single glass of wine and coffee afterwards).

The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:29 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
jaiko wrote:
...The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.

Couldn't agree more.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1200
Ard wrote:
jaiko wrote:
...The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.

Couldn't agree more.

I concur also. Well said!


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5395
jaiko wrote:
Well, we're not Europe with a recession and high unemployment or China with its frantically-juggled balls of ethnic tensions, corruption issues, billions in hidden loan losses, potential ecological disasters along with a rapidly aging population and divisive class divisions....so yeah, I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now!

The US definitely has its issues, but we also have a lot of strengths other countries don't. Whether we can get our politicians to stop posturing and start working together to SOLVE our problems - that's another question altogether.

I do think that people who are the "haves" - I am not referring to the 1%, but to the middle-class people who still have jobs and have a stable lifestyle - are starting to spend money again. We dine out a lot (it's our hobby, we're foodies) and saw a huge decline in customers during 2009-2010. But in 2Q2011 people began trickling back into restaurants and bars and theatres. More bargain/discount/coupon-oriented, but the increase was gradual and noticeable.

For 2012 we have not seen full crowds yet except at peak times/days, but dining rooms are still getting fuller and tabs are going up (drinks and dessert with dinner, for example, instead of just a single glass of wine and coffee afterwards).

The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.


Agree with all of this!

And all the data seems to support a gradual improvement. One thing you almost never hear on the news is that academic and theoretical models have shown for a long time that recovery after a shock takes much longer than a normal business cycle recovery. So while the politicians and partisans argue about economics they are truly clueless about, what is happening now seems to be a relatively normal post-crash recovery. Just don't expect to get back to 2008 levels for many years.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:18 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:11 am
Posts: 192
jaiko wrote:
Well, we're not Europe with a recession and high unemployment or China with its frantically-juggled balls of ethnic tensions, corruption issues, billions in hidden loan losses, potential ecological disasters along with a rapidly aging population and divisive class divisions....so yeah, I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now!

You do realise that "Europe" is not as homogeneous as you make it sound? Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia is all part of Europe (some EU, some EMU - some neither). All of the above not only don´t have the problems of many other countrys in Europe - they even have a competitive economy, low governemnt debt, lower unemployment than the US and state finances in comparatively good order. The population in these countrys is some 110 million, about 2/5 of the US population.

On the other hand, if you exclude the worst off countrys like Greece, Portugal and Irland (about 26 million people), I would say a big portion of the rest live in economies with similar, or as comprehensive problems as the US is facing.

US (and multiple others) has spent a big portion of it´s future earnings during the last 20 years, and if inflating it away or incresing debt even more is not an option - the coming 20 years will be fastidious (but not an ever lasting depression).


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:16 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
The debt has gotten so serious. Along with borrowing from China. Is it really sustainable? What we are doing to the earth is another whole world of problems. Deforestation, overfishing the oceans, coming water shortages, etc etc etc. The population is much to high. We're going to run into major difficulties unless something is done in the broadest sense. These factors are all tied together with the economy.

We need new ideas to open new markets, to begin to grow in new directions.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:05 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
Ard wrote:
The debt has gotten so serious. Along with borrowing from China. Is it really sustainable? What we are doing to the earth is another whole world of problems. Deforestation, overfishing the oceans, coming water shortages, etc etc etc. The population is much to high. We're going to run into major difficulties unless something is done in the broadest sense. These factors are all tied together with the economy.

We need new ideas to open new markets, to begin to grow in new directions.


Great, what are your ideas? Or is that outside of your realm of expertise?

It's one thing to demand new ideas and "change", it's quite another to actually do it. I find most people are more bark and little bite.

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:46 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
Bichon Frise wrote:
Great, what are your ideas? Or is that outside of your realm of expertise?

It's one thing to demand new ideas and "change", it's quite another to actually do it. I find most people are more bark and little bite.
Who's demanding anything? Where did you get that from? Expertise? You lost me.

Look into my post and you might find more. We have inherent problems, not solvable by tracking each problem individually. The real problem is within human nature, the source of the problem, while new ideas per se will only carry us so far. Meaning that many things may be solved simultaneuously through interconnectedness with the right approach. It is in the thought process itself, not the outcome of thought. The base problem is centeredness on the self -> solution is selfless compassion toward all sentient things. Then it will be made right. This takes serious self examination, and similar to what you said, very few people are willing to do this/see themselves minus the needs of the ego.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:17 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
Ard wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
Great, what are your ideas? Or is that outside of your realm of expertise?

It's one thing to demand new ideas and "change", it's quite another to actually do it. I find most people are more bark and little bite.
Who's demanding anything? Where did you get that from? Expertise? You lost me.

Look into my post and you might find more. We have inherent problems, not solvable by tracking each problem individually. The real problem is within human nature, the source of the problem, while new ideas per se will only carry us so far. Meaning that many things may be solved simultaneuously through interconnectedness with the right approach. It is in the thought process itself, not the outcome of thought. The base problem is centeredness on the self -> solution is selfless compassion toward all sentient things. Then it will be made right. This takes serious self examination, and similar to what you said, very few people are willing to do this/see themselves minus the needs of the ego.


also like I said, more bark and very little bite. What the hell are you talking about?

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:29 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
It may take a couple reads, maybe not. But I really don't think it's mere idealism. And heopfully we're not just trying to counter one another here...

Would you agree that, if everyone took more responsibility in general, our current state would be different than what it is today? I'm talking about everyone taking responsiblity for who they are. I'm talking about the greed that has become so pervasive in society, I'm talking about runaway materialism for self gain, Im talking about spending money that we actually don't have and shunting it off on someone else (future generations) and I'm talking about the raping the earth and I'm talking along these lines and more. We must see the source of all this in a true light, if it is ever to be corrected.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:48 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
Posts: 201
Tightwad wrote:
Ard wrote:
jaiko wrote:
...The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.

Couldn't agree more.

I concur also. Well said!


Agree as well. I think this point gets lost anytime there is a conversation about taxes, redistribution of wealth, and safety net programs.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Posts: 5395
Let's take your issues one by one:
Ard wrote:
The debt has gotten so serious. Along with borrowing from China. Is it really sustainable?


Sure. Why wouldn't it be? The more we owe to China or anyone else the more vested they are in our success. As long as we maintain policies that allow us to be a vigorous participant in international trade, foreign debt is entirely sustainable.

Ard wrote:
What we are doing to the earth is another whole world of problems. Deforestation, overfishing the oceans, coming water shortages, etc etc etc.

Perhaps. But there is plenty of sustainable agriculture, forestry, fishing, and other use of resources in the world. Most of the richer, developed countries actually do a pretty good job of using resources sustainably. Not all resources of course, but the real problems with poor resource utilization are more prominent in very poor countries. The US is sucking down far more than its share of oil but in most of the other areas you named we are a model for the world. We may not be perfect but that is only because we hold ourselves to very high standards.

Ard wrote:
We're going to run into major difficulties unless something is done in the broadest sense. These factors are all tied together with the economy.


Sure, it all goes back to the economy. But what specifically do you blame the economy for?

Ard wrote:
The population is too high


Which population? In the US and much of Europe, one of the contributors to our problems is demographics. A growing population might be welcomed. Population growth in the third world, China and India, is where the problem lies.

Ard wrote:
We need new ideas to open new markets, to begin to grow in new directions.

Which new markets do you propose opening? Or perhaps it is better to ask, which markets do you believe are closed to us? I can think of only two: North Korea and Cuba. Something tells me that those markets will not be our salvation when they eventually open.

Ard wrote:
Look into my post and you might find more. We have inherent problems, not solvable by tracking each problem individually. The real problem is within human nature...The base problem is centeredness on the self-> solution is selfless compassion toward all sentient things. Then it will be made right.

Are you suggesting we develop a pill to "fix" human nature? We are predators. We are always going to do what we must to eat in a broad sense. I'd say the bigger problem is not accepting that simple fact. Greed is what has driven human innovation for millenia and will continue to do so. We developed tools, spears, food storage technology, banking, and atomic bombs because we are a species driven by greed. Compassion is fine and all that, but it does not lead to a solution to the problems you mentioned. Compassionate fishing leads to starvation. Sustainable fishing based on ensuring the resource is there for your son to eat and make a living off of is beneficial to everyone. You can extend that idea to most problems. It's not about emotion or compassion, it's about economics. When the economics are made right most problems fix themselves.

Ard wrote:
Would you agree that, if everyone took more responsibility in general, our current state would be different than what it is today? I'm talking about everyone taking responsiblity for who they are. I'm talking about the greed that has become so pervasive in society, I'm talking about runaway materialism for self gain, Im talking about spending money that we actually don't have and shunting it off on someone else (future generations) and I'm talking about the raping the earth and I'm talking along these lines and more. We must see the source of all this in a true light, if it is ever to be corrected.


Greed is good. I would agree that we have borrowed way too much from our future and that individuals who do so need to face up to their excesses and live well beneath their means, even if their means are slight. There are many of us who HAVE taken responsibility all of our lives. We've done just fine. Do we suddenly need to do more just because things have come to a crisis and others can no longer live off of the rest of us? I'm pretty sure that I have paid far more than my share of the government debt. Have you? Income tax revenues are about $1 trillion per year or about $3500 per person. My wife and I pay 5 times that much each. Social taxes are about $2600 per person while we pay about 3 times that, all so that we will get reduced social security at a later age when we are older because we have been responsible. Do you pay your fair share of taxes? And that's at the reduced rate for 2011!

If I take the full federal debt, about 16 trillion, divide by the population, about 300 million, I get about $50000 per person. While the numbers seem big, its not all that hard for people to pay off $50000 in debt over a few years, especially if we stop adding to it. Frankly, if everyone paid their fair share of taxes we'd have the debt paid off within a few years.

I really don't understand your point.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:08 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
DoingHomework wrote:

I really don't understand your point.


you just need to read it a couple of times. perhaps you can move to one of the states which "legalized" MJ and it may become a bit more clear to you.

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Bichon Frise wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:

I really don't understand your point.


you just need to read it a couple of times. perhaps you can move to one of the states which "legalized" MJ and it may become a bit more clear to you.


I was thinking that when I read the post! You must have been looking into my mind...


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