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Henry Blodgett: Here's what's wrong with the economy... (And How To Fix It)
businessinsider.com ^ | 10-1-2011 | Henry Blodgett

Posted on 10/01/2011 5:55:26 PM PDT by blam

HERE'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE ECONOMY... (And How To Fix It)

Henry Blodget
Oct. 1, 2011, 11:14 AM

The United States is in a very tough spot, economically and politically.

The 25-year debt-fueled boom of 1982-2007 has ended, and it has left the country with a stagnant economy, massive debts, high unemployment, huge wealth inequality, an enormous budget deficit, and a sense of entitlement engendered by a half-century of prosperity.

After decades of instant gratification, Americans have also come to believe that all problems can be solved instantly, if only the right leaders are put in charge and the right decisions are made. And so our government has devolved into a permanent election campaign, in which incumbents blame each other for the current mess, and challengers promise change.

The trouble is that our current problems cannot be solved with a simple fix. They also cannot be solved quickly. It took 25 years for us to get to this point, and it will likely take us at least a decade or two to work our way out of it, even if we make the right decisions.

So it is time that we began to face reality.

THE PROBLEM: TOO MUCH DEBT

The biggest debt binge in US history, by a mile. Four years ago, when the debt-fueled boom ended and the economy plunged into recession, most economists and politicians misdiagnosed the problem.

They thought we were having just another post-War recession—a serious recession, yes, but a cyclical one, a recession that easy money, government stimulus, and a return of "confidence" could fix.

A handful of economists, meanwhile, argued that the recession was actually fundamentally different—a "balance sheet" recession resulting from a quarter-century-long debt-binge, one that would take a decade or more to fix.

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: economy; employment; recession; recovery
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1 posted on 10/01/2011 5:55:29 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Bump


2 posted on 10/01/2011 5:56:44 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: blam

Just like FDR, Obama has turned a recession into a depression with his socialism.


3 posted on 10/01/2011 6:02:53 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: blam

Give me 6 months as supreme dictator and I’ll fix things.

You might want to hide in your basement for the duration but you can put SEAL team 6 on me to make sure I leave after 6 months.


4 posted on 10/01/2011 6:06:34 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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To: blam
The government should construct and pass a long-term budget plan that

Minimizes short-term pain, while
Getting the long-term deficit under control

Brilliant!!

5 posted on 10/01/2011 6:07:08 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: blam

Import tariffs.

Bring back American jobs and factories from communist China.


6 posted on 10/01/2011 6:08:02 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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Some Things In Life Are A Surprise


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FReeper upchuck is donating $10 each for the next 5 FReepers or Lurkers who sign up to be NEW MONTHLY DONORS!

7 posted on 10/01/2011 6:12:39 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Import tariffs are fine but you have to be careful.

Reagan used them in very specific cases and actually brought Japanese manufacturers to America while helping American companies to compete.


8 posted on 10/01/2011 6:16:14 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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To: cripplecreek

Ideally import tariffs will strike a balance between the current mess (which actively destroys US jobs and our economy), vs too many tariffs which simply encourage shoddy American workmanship because there is no competition.

This will give us the very best of both worlds: lowest sustainable prices, and America jobs.

However we do not have competition now. We have destruction.


9 posted on 10/01/2011 6:20:04 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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To: blam

What’s wrong with pressing for energy independence which seems providentially within our reach?

So far no one seems to have read to the bottom of the article where this guy comes out swinging for infrastructure expenditure, then states that much of Europe (and Asia) has vaulted past us in infrastructure. How’s that working out for Europe?


10 posted on 10/01/2011 6:20:04 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Reagan was truly brilliant.

Harley Davison was failing due to competition from Japan. What he did was imposed a tariff on Japanese bikes over 1100cc. Rather than pay the tariff Japan simply started building bikes here and it wasn’t long before they decided to build all of their made for America bikes here. Americans preferred the big Harleys which were now competitively priced so Japan concentrated on their smaller bikes.


11 posted on 10/01/2011 6:26:42 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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To: cripplecreek

Smoot-Hawley. Tariffs are stupid.


12 posted on 10/01/2011 6:28:17 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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To: Oceander

Smoot-Hawley was stupid when America was manufacturer to the world.

It’s now our best option.


13 posted on 10/01/2011 6:29:30 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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To: blam
immediately cut government spending from ~20%+ of GDP to the 15% of GDP the government collected in taxes last year and hope (pray) that the resulting dislocation doesn't further wallop GDP (which history suggests it almost certainly will).

Federal spending is more like 25% of GDP, and Blodgett's grasp on history is nearly as accurate.

The economic situation in 1920 was grim. By that year unemployment had jumped from 4 percent to nearly 12 percent, and GNP declined 17 percent. No wonder, then, that Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover — falsely characterized as a supporter of laissez-faire economics — urged President Harding to consider an array of interventions to turn the economy around. Hoover was ignored.

Instead of "fiscal stimulus," Harding cut the government's budget nearly in half between 1920 and 1922. The rest of Harding's approach was equally laissez-faire. Tax rates were slashed for all income groups. The national debt was reduced by one-third.

The Federal Reserve's activity, moreover, was hardly noticeable. As one economic historian puts it, "Despite the severity of the contraction, the Fed did not move to use its powers to turn the money supply around and fight the contraction." By the late summer of 1921, signs of recovery were already visible. The following year, unemployment was back down to 6.7 percent and it was only 2.4 percent by 1923.

Harding slashed taxes for all, cut spending, and cut federal debt, and the economy rebounded very rapidly free of government direction. We desperately need another President Harding and 'return to normalcy'.

14 posted on 10/01/2011 6:30:00 PM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: blam

The problem with debt based wealth is that it isn’t real. It’s a fun game until reality sets in.

The cure for this mess is cheap energy, and lots of it. Of course, smaller government and lower taxes would go a long ways towards putting money back into the economy where it belongs.


15 posted on 10/01/2011 6:30:20 PM PDT by pallis
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To: Oceander

Yeah, Reagan was a moron. /s


16 posted on 10/01/2011 6:30:49 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: cripplecreek
Tariffs are stupid. Harley-Davidson wasn't faltering because the Japanese were "cheating," Harley-Davidson was faltering because it was poorly managed and built shoddy goods.

Putting in a tariff to "save" Harley-Davidson was about as stupid as Obama seizing GM and Chrysler to "save" them. Were you a fan of Obama's seizure of GM and Chrysler?

Sometimes Reagan was stupid; he was, after all, human, just like the rest of us (including, notwithstanding many protestations, Saint Sarah). In point of fact, he also went along with some expansions of the welfare entitlement programs now drowning us.
18 posted on 10/01/2011 6:43:26 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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To: cripplecreek

HD had a lot more problems than japanese competition. They were still building 40s tech bikes. They did come out with the vastly improved EVO design. But the japanese were actively dumping in the USA. Dumping was the justification for tariffs as I recall. No company can survive foreign companies dumping for long regardless of how competitive their products are.


19 posted on 10/01/2011 6:45:32 PM PDT by Seruzawa (Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for good a blaster kid.)
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To: cripplecreek

HD had a lot more problems than japanese competition. They were still building 40s tech bikes. They did come out with the vastly improved EVO design. But the japanese were actively dumping in the USA. Dumping was the justification for tariffs as I recall. No company can survive foreign companies dumping for long regardless of how competitive their products are.


20 posted on 10/01/2011 6:45:39 PM PDT by Seruzawa (Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for good a blaster kid.)
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To: Seruzawa
In any case, Reagan was right to impose very specifically targeted import tarrifs.
21 posted on 10/01/2011 6:47:09 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
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To: Oceander

Communist China has tariffs, and rafts of official and unofficial measures closing their own market to foreign competition.

Working pretty well for them...


22 posted on 10/01/2011 6:49:04 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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To: blam

I read the article. I need to read more articles like that. Articles that tell me exactly what I need to know. What do I need to know? How to fix the the economy. So I read the article and it told me how to fix the economy. The article said we need to build lots of bridges. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the articles in upcoming days.


23 posted on 10/01/2011 6:51:31 PM PDT by palmer (Before reading this post, please send me $2.50)
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To: blam

Uh....isn’t this the same Henry Blodgett who helped create the Internet bubble? It is. Now, he’s trying to do pennance, I guess.


24 posted on 10/01/2011 6:51:39 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: ClearCase_guy

We need a leader like Winston Churchill—someone who will tell it like it is—Blood sweat and tears! End entitlements! Cut back pensions to a survival rate (easy to do—inflate the money —we can all be millionaires). Full employment should be a goal. Kick out illegals by sealing the border with a “Berlin Wall” and a whole new military outfit—the Border Guard (Like the coast guard on land) Build a chain of forts of the border—NO ONE CROSSES save at a few stations where they can be monitored. Anyone hiring an illegal—10 years in prison ! Seize all foreign owned
companies operating in USA—No More BP—No more Hundai or Toyotas built in USA—Let Americans build them and make the profits. Don’t let ANY foreign cars come into the usa without a 100% tariff (like in Japan). Tariffs on everything that comes in to cut the profits from companies that take factories overseas. Bring back the draft—all 18 to 20 year olds must serve the state in some way—as park rangers, cops, CCC boys and Girls, or soldiers and sailors (BUT none would be asked to serve overseas unless there was a declared war). Prisoners must be put to work—chain gangs to rebuild the railroads—no more comfortable prisons just hard work. Break the backs of the Unions—check them out for corruption and harshly deal with it. Voter fraud should be life in prison or death. Terrorists need to be cracked down upon—No Moslems in the USA Army—can’t trust them. Should be sent to new settlements in Alaska—to work in gold mines. The nation must stop being easy on people. If we don’t fix things now—drastic plans like the one I have outlined will be forced by others upon us! A little pain now or a whole lot later.


25 posted on 10/01/2011 6:53:34 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: cripplecreek

We are frighteningly timid and naive, about what is happening.

How did America ever become a superpower? Not this way, that’s for certain.

We don’t even look out for our own interests. It is mind-boggling how unwilling otherwise geo-strategically savvy conservatives are to simply open their eyes and see what is happening right in front of them. All around them.

Our nation is in free-fall, yet we parrot worn talking points from another age, and far difference circumstances.

If we had acted this way vs. the Soviet Union, we would have lost.


26 posted on 10/01/2011 6:57:54 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Nope, it isn’t. What China has is a large population that is lean and hungry and willing to work for a lot less than what American workers are willing to work for. Correlation does not equal causation.


27 posted on 10/01/2011 6:58:01 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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To: All
This came from a Senior's letter to the St. Pete Times(FL) newspaper...

The Fix!!!

There recently was an article in the St. Petersburg, FL. Times. The Business Section Asked readers for ideas on: "How Would You Fix the Economy?"

I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President, please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan:"

There are about 40 Million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece, severance for early retirement! With the following Stipulations:

1) They MUST Retire! Forty million job openings… Unemployment Fixed!

2) They Must buy a new American made Car. Forty million cars ordered… U.S. Auto Industry fixed!

3) They MUST either buy a house, or pay off their mortgage… Housing Crisis fixed!

It can't get any easier than that!!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their damn taxes!!

And while 'our' DC Reps and Senators are at it, change the law and make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed, pronto!

28 posted on 10/01/2011 6:59:42 PM PDT by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: blam

Too many people working for government making way too much money doing very little! Cut out obsolete or superfluous departments, like Herman Cain said, eliminate the EPA! Drill here drill now! I’m sick of career politicians, aren’t you? Let’s trim time Congress a max of three terms for the House, and two for the Senate! Ever wonder how they go in on a shoe string and come out with a pot of gold? They are supposed to be working for the country, not for themselves!
IT is time that the people wake up to the fact that green is Red! We are not mindless cattle to be herded this way and that! We are The PEOPLE! Our Almighty God inspired our sacred documents for a Godly people Must I say once again, “Without God there can be no America”!? And that is exactly why they are trying to get rid of Him!
We need an astute as well as a Godly man in the Oval Office!


29 posted on 10/01/2011 7:00:08 PM PDT by Paperdoll (I Like Herman Cain!)
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To: blam
The solution, as I've said for many months, is essentially the mantra of the Tea Party movement:

1. Government must be streamlined substantially. That means every Federal, state and local government agency must be aggressively audited for overlapping bureaucracy, agency bloat and obsolete/unneeded regulations and we must at minimum cut down the size of government 30% now, with a goal of 50% or more within circa four years.

2. Income taxation needs to drastically overhauled (and eventually phased out) to reduce yearly compliance costs and encourage more savings and investment in the USA overall. This means implementing the Steve Forbes no-loophole 17% flat-rate income tax starting the 2012 tax year, and start the conversion process for retailers so after the 2014 tax year, the income tax is phased out and we replace it with something like FairTax (H.R. 25/S. 13).

30 posted on 10/01/2011 7:00:18 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: harpu

That’d cost $40,000,000,000,000 - forty trillion dollars - I don’t think that’s gonna happen, period.


31 posted on 10/01/2011 7:03:46 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
Here's what's wrong with the economy...

ba_m_o3

Countdown until Zer0 and his administration leaves office: 476 days as of October 1, 2011.

33 posted on 10/01/2011 7:13:51 PM PDT by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
Want a new vibrant American economy?
  1. tariffs
  2. nuke the EPA
  3. get rid of many other oppressive job-killing Federal regulations
  4. fire 33% of the Federal workforce
  5. drill here and drill now ....produce a lot more of our oil and gas here and approve more coal fired electric plants
  6. build a fence on the Mexican border
  7. Tighten up on legal immigration and make it skills and education based
  8. use databases so that illegal immigrants cannot get jobs with phony SS numbers
  9. tighten up on welfare -- after your first two children you will get nothing for the ones you have afterwards
  10. get welfare people and the unemployed out picking crops and provide transportation (buses) for this
  11. bring back manufacturing to America and provide Federal tax incentives for this
  12.  

34 posted on 10/01/2011 7:18:43 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: dennisw

2 out of 11 - pretty poor showing. Only 2 useful ideas out of 11, that is.


35 posted on 10/01/2011 7:21:25 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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To: dennisw

Add a flat income tax to the above. Maybe a flat national sales tax too but I am wary of this creating a larger off the books economy. But every American should end up paying at least some income taxes. Too many pay zero and get all kinds of Gov’t bennies. They have no skin in the game as our retard president would call it


36 posted on 10/01/2011 7:23:37 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: Oceander

Hey puke- Show us what you got.


37 posted on 10/01/2011 7:25:24 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: blam

Great, great post blam. Thank you so very much. The 11-2012 election is all about the financial death spiral that 80 years of creeping socialism has resulted in for America. That election will be the watershed election of my lifetime.

During the Reagan years, Art Lafer published an article about an economic/social curve that he invented, which came to be known as “The Lafer Curve.” If you come across it please include it in this thread so that we can more easily compare it to the curves printed in Henry Blodgett’s article above.

If you decide to make the Lafer Curve a separate thread, please be so kind as to ping me.


38 posted on 10/01/2011 7:25:37 PM PDT by Graewoulf ( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.)
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To: blam

“Four years ago, when the debt-fueled boom ended and the economy plunged into recession, most economists and politicians misdiagnosed the problem.

They thought we were having just another post-War recession—a serious recession, yes, but a cyclical one, a recession that easy money, government stimulus, and a return of “confidence” could fix.

A handful of economists, meanwhile, argued that the recession was actually fundamentally different—a “balance sheet” recession resulting from a quarter-century-long debt-binge, one that would take a decade or more to fix.”


39 posted on 10/01/2011 7:25:44 PM PDT by Pelham (The U.S.A., soon to be the next Latin American country.)
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To: dennisw

Good list, which would do a lot toward fixing what is wrong.

I’ll take numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 for 500 Alex.


40 posted on 10/01/2011 7:27:12 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("Cut the Crap and Balance!" -- Governor Sarah Palin , Friday August 12 2011, Iowa State Fair)
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To: Oceander

The Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 had even higher rates than much of Smoot Hawley. The Roaring 20s must be a great mystery to you.


41 posted on 10/01/2011 7:30:51 PM PDT by Pelham (The U.S.A., soon to be the next Latin American country.)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

To summarize -— Free trade is for losers and morons. The Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese don’t fall for such garbage


42 posted on 10/01/2011 8:12:01 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: Pelham

Not in the least. Correlation is not causation. Tariffs do not work.


43 posted on 10/01/2011 8:20:16 PM PDT by Oceander (Perry 4 Prez in 2012)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
Protectionist policies produce poverty.

China may be an exception — but, if you're going to launch a trade war, you have to be careful about collateral damage and blow-back.

44 posted on 10/01/2011 8:20:39 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: dennisw

Looks like a good list to me, although I’d have the welfare folks in the cities cleaning up the place, too. (maybe there wouldn’t be such a big mess made if someone there had to clean it up).


45 posted on 10/01/2011 8:23:06 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: blam

There will be no recovery with energy prices at this level among other things.


46 posted on 10/01/2011 8:26:41 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (Time to move forward not to the center.)
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To: headstamp 2

Natural gas prices are a third of what they were a few years ago


47 posted on 10/01/2011 8:35:57 PM PDT by woofie
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To: headstamp 2

Doubling energy cost in just two years was as sure a recipe for disaster as I have ever seen.

The one sure, quick fix is to open the North Slope and the gulf to drilling, then change EPA rules that make it Impossible to open refineries. Once we have the refineries we will be refining the worlds oil and producing all our own, think $1.50 gas. That would mean new spending without borrowing. Consumer borrowing had nothing to do with the current recession it was government spending 40% more than they took in and then trying to cover bad housing debt that they forced on banks.


48 posted on 10/01/2011 9:26:44 PM PDT by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: Oceander

“Not in the least. Correlation is not causation. Tariffs do not work.”

The second bill passed by the First Congress of the United States- Hamilton’s Tariff of 1789.

How’d the US fare after that was passed? Did the infant industries all fade away because “tariffs do not work”? Did the US economy fall behind the rest of the world? Or did America prosper?

And how did the US raise the revenue to operate before 1913? Was it tariffs? The kind that “do not work”?


49 posted on 10/01/2011 9:39:54 PM PDT by Pelham (The U.S.A., soon to be the next Latin American country.)
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To: cripplecreek

I’d suggest tariffs equal to the VAT the other country charges on American products sold there. Most countries rebate their own VATs to their producers when they export the product. That creates an slanted playing field for American products sold in their country and for their products sold in America.


50 posted on 10/01/2011 10:14:21 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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