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Thoughts on the current Political Climate

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 07:36
scooter65 View Drop Down
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I'm going to throw some things out there that I have learned over the years from the business minds to be.  Now before I do and you'all start shooting back your responses.  Be aware that these comments do not reflect my views or opinions.  I'm just sharing what I have been told.  I'll keep my political and economic opinions to myself.
 
Over my career I have had the opportunity to work in many different sectors of industries, finance, govt, mfg... etc... blah blah blah.... The following views have been stated from business brains common to all of these in regards to moving the USA into a true global marketplace.  Note, these are not the views of newspaper articles etc.. they are straight from the people that make the business decisions and steer some pretty hefty companies directions.
 
These challenges (they say) kill us working in a global market. 
 
1) Cost of Healthcare 
 
2) Cost of MFG... in regards to polluting.  We have pretty strict laws regarding the EPA, clean air, clean water etc.... 
 
3) Cost of labor... not just wages but also workers comp, unemployement, litigation cost,  right to work, unions etc......
 
4) Playing fair....  many countries manipulate their currency value in order to devalue it for import/export gains, corporate financial reporting etc......
 
Now these are all very high level and have pages of detailed line items under each main topic.    But how do you price products or services in a global market where economic mgmt, social/corporate laws, social benefits, taxes, currency value and integrity do not line up? Complex to say the least.
 
These are the main challenges that face global corporations that I have heard consistently.
 
How do you apply import taxes on goods mfg outside the US in order to make them competitive with the same goods made here in the USA?  When you apply all of the factors above, it takes an accountant, lawyer, IRS, etc... to even come close and when in the end you have the wild card of Currency Manipulation... seems like you'd have a better chance of Michael Vick opening a dog shelter.
 
If those four major topics are not addressed and the political powers to be don't figure out how to simplify the alignment of these costing factors and rules in the global market, "which have an array of differences" ... I fear for our childrens future... because the most corrupt countries will be the economic powers of the future.
 
 
NOW..... 
 
I have always enjoyed reading the opinions of the OT gang and have been impressed with the level of knowledge and interests in the political landscape, social mgmt and economic status of our country.  I would love to hear the opinions from the gang out there from the stand point of Global Econmics and these four challenges.... I know there are the Obama haters and the social medicine haters etc..  But lets pretend you have the job of shaping our future and these four challenges are yours to address.  You cannot cheat and say 'the hell with global economy'.  I would really like to hear some earnest, thought provoking answers. 
 
Play fair, no name calling, biting, eye gouging  (ED)... Everybodies opinion matters.  This isn't meant to provoke arguments.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 08:25
lucytuma View Drop Down
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Simply eliminate as much Government involvement as possible. Government is not helping its holding us back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 08:49
Ick View Drop Down
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You need to read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand.  I purchased the UNABRIDGED audio book and it is HUGE, something like 50 CDs.... so I wouldn't reccomend that. Get the abridged version.
 
The book was written in 1952 or something like that.... but I am constantly shocked by the paralells to what is happening today.
 
It is about a government that regulates "for the good of the people" and how that is counter-intuitive to creative destruction of the free market and profit motive.  Things really get out of control due to miss-management and improper actions by the government.
 
The author saw firsthand what happened to the Soviet Union and emmigrated to the United States sometime in the 30s or something like that..... and she was a very loud voice about the "evils" of government.
 
Her... and her book.... are completely devoid of references to God.... so that is a bit disturbing... but otherwise a very interesting read.
 
More on your comments later if I get the chance.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 09:17
Ick View Drop Down
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Originally posted by scooter65 scooter65 wrote:

These challenges (they say) kill us working in a global market. 
 
1) Cost of Healthcare 
 
2) Cost of MFG... in regards to polluting.  We have pretty strict laws regarding the EPA, clean air, clean water etc.... 
 
3) Cost of labor... not just wages but also workers comp, unemployement, litigation cost,  right to work, unions etc......
 
4) Playing fair....  many countries manipulate their currency value in order to devalue it for import/export gains, corporate financial reporting etc......
 
 
1. One foundational premise before we begin......
I recall discussion in the 70s about how the population is growing, oil and recources are scarce, only so much food can be produced, pollution will kill our planet in a few years, etc.  (I never forgot all the misleading crap I was fed in elementary and high school mind you.)
 
Of particular note was the claim that there would be "food shortages from world population growth".
 
Now, certainly there are areas of the globe where food is a problem, but this premise proposed claimed that farmers can only produce so much and eventually demand vs. supply would be way out of whack HERE, in the USA.
 
What these alarmist whack-o's coudln't see coming was efficiencies in farming, increeased yield per acre, genetically engineered seed, etc.  The supply/demand problem was averted naturally by companies engaged in "creative desctruction" via PROFIT MOTIVE.  Heck, the small dairy farmer near me is almost GONE in favor of huge dairy producation in Wisconsin.  This is part of that economic process.
 
From that one broad-reaching claim that was averted "naturally" by the economic system I could see clearly that the future is really not simply the applicaiton of current numbers projected forward.  Heck, there were alll sorts of food problems during the little ice age that begat such social changes as the French Revolution.... and look how far farming and food production came in the years prior to.... vs. AFTER that period in history.  Major shifts in efficiency and techniques... that mostly came from farming ideas and techniques in the USA.
 
So I guess I am saying..... I don't believe much of what I hear in terms of projections of various assumptions.
 
2. The fall of empires result from over-reach?  No.
If you look at the fall of Rome, the fall of Persia, the fall of the Mongolian empire, the fall of the colonial powers like France and Britain, possibly the fall of the USA..... one thing is for sure.  Whatever country is "on top" today will likely NOT be on top..... in a few hundred years.  Will that transfer happen in 50 years to the USA?  Will it happen in 10?  Will it take 200 more years?  I don't know, but what I see rising on the horizon doesn't look good.
 
So how can this be averted?  By NOT over-reaching like so many other empires have done?  Well no, I think that being the head guy makes you a target for others AND  this seems to be the natural course of things.  For example, should ROME have simply conquered the surrounding areas and STOPPED at some kind of "reasonable" expansion... and therefore we would still have the Rome of old in existence today?  Poppycock.  Things don't work like that.  Expansion of the Roman empire didn't result in a quicker decline, it is the natural course of things.  If some "anti-war" faction would have taken over power a few hundred years into Rome's exisence stopping its expansion in an attempt to conquer egypt and the near east.....it wouldn't have been as great as it was.... it would have simply fallen into atrophy from THAT point hundreds of years earlier..... instead of a few hundred years later.
 
Should France have said "Its 1800 and a new area.   We are tired of this world economy struggle with you Britain, lets all keep what we have today and stop the struggle".  Would that have worked?  No it wouldn't and you know it.
 
Keep in mind, I am no fan of war to advance a country... but in their day this was the projection of "power".  Today we do that through garnishing BILLIONS from the rest of the world to sell them Britany Spears, Coca-Cola, the next Star Wars Movie, etc. in exchange for Japanese cars, Chinese clothing on Wal-mart shelves, with a healthy swath of "Chinese bought debt" thrown in.
 
3. Projection of culture?.....
You don't have to travel much to realize just how pervasive our culture in the USA is.  If you look around the world the guy sitting in a car in Mexico is listening to AMERICAN rock music, most of the stations in Europe are playing songs in ENGLISH... the culture in the former Soviet Union is akin to wannabee westerners..... and all things AMERICAN.  Granted, that can change and will over time, but for now the monetary base is still pretty much based on OUR movements... although that is changing.... but from a culture standpoint the USA is clearly on top.
 
.....more later....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 09:48
Ick View Drop Down
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If you read Alan Greenspan's most recent book... as well as several others.... there are two huge items that give us an advantage.
 
1. The first is property rights and legal system.  There are NO countries with extensive intellectual property rights like here, and very FEW countries with our property system laws.  Heck, generally a FOREIGNER has MORE property rights for things he owns in the USA than he has for what he owns IN HIS OWN COUNTRY.  Think about that for a minute. I am not just talking third world countries in africa or south america either.
 
2. Thus far our country has been able to foster an entreprenurial spirit in a quasi free market system.  Since the rest of the world doesn't have their act together.... this has "allowed" us to make huge economic mistakes like running huge inefficiencies in the auto industry, adopting and paying for the Social Security Ponzi scheme to date, etc.
 
Now if you will notice... these very two things are currently under attack.
 
The first is under attack from such ideas as "you are paying your executives too much" and "We understand that legally the GM bondholder is first in line in bankrupcy.  Too bad, here is 20¢ on the dollar, tough sh*t."
 
The second item is under attack from tactics like "the union has negotiated GM to pay the factory worker on the GM floor 80% of his salary and 100% of his health care forever even though that is an insane demand" and government regulation that prevents the free market system from working in an industry like:
--Health Care (one of the most regulated in costs and LACK of insurance competition due to regulations)
--Banking (One of the most regulated industries, including political pressure to make loans any resonable lender would not make, and pressuring banking since what, 1995?)
 
So after all that I think I agree with lycytuma.  Less government involvement.  To some extent government tweaking is ESSENTIAL to keep the profit motive "honest"... but it is way out of control at this point.


Edited by Ick - August/20/2009 at 09:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 09:52
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Sorry for the textbook Ed.
 
Apparently I needed to vent.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/2009 at 13:01
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I think the country should be spending less on our penitentiary system. I read an article stating that for one prisoner the gov. spends $5000 to keep him in there. Not only that I also read that prisoners get lots of recreational time and hold jobs inside the prison to get things that they may want such as food, books, etc. How can this be? Here we are laying off teachers, doubling class sizes and closing summer schools for what, for a convicted felon could eat a little better, or have a better recreation area, bullsh*t
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 03:09
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All the Republicans could sell their houses and move East and all the Democrats could sell their houses and move West. That wouldn't take much, would it. As well as selling their homes, they could resign from their jobs and easily get a job on the other side. I mean jobs are so easy to find these days are they not.
They then could draw a line down the middle, and if one or the other crossed the line, another Civil War could be created.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2009 at 20:03
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Why don't we just keep Obama in office for about another three weeks and the country will be totally broke and we will all soon starve to death. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2009 at 14:31
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Can anyone imagine what Ed is going to look like during the last part of 2009 when Congress and Obama are really pushing things through?
 
 
Well ok, so that isn't ed.  Wouldn't you rather a photo of her than Ed?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2009 at 17:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 22:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 23:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2009 at 09:41
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Originally posted by 1984 1984 wrote:

 
That gif is GREAT, lol.  New favorite right there...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2009 at 10:14
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If we returned to the ideas and ideals of 1776 all would be fine; simple as that. 
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