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Post 09 Feb 2018, 2:18 pm

freeman3
I don't even know why I needed to look that up: the growth in productivity among lawyers due to computers and the internet was stratospheric during the 90s (my early years as a lawyer). I still feel like getting access to the information you need is not where it should be. In other words, I think there is still room for improvement in productivity by workers getting instant access to information they need
.
Many people will see you use the term lawyers and productivity in the same sentence and wonder.....

I believe that the productivity increases under Clinton would primarily be to the increase in the power of computers, computer networking and the internet. Its something of a conundrum that this productivity was largely a leap forward and not a sustained pattern.
The next large productivity gain will probably be achieved with automated cars and trucks. Unfortunately it will also, short term, create a lot of unemployment among displaced and poorly qualified people who currently drive for a living.
So there will be winners and losers and churn. And there will be productivity gain but probably there won't be age gains ... if you average out wages to include the newly unemployed..

Another problem is that most notable growth in the world is in things like green energy. China seems to be leading the way on this ... and hopes to be the supplier of the largest share of the worlds solar panels and wind turbines... If that's the case, and the economies of scale that will increase productivity will be felt in countries outside the US who are committed to those growth industries...
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 4:10 am

Ray Jay wrote:Danivon
Hang on, aren't you the one saying that the wage increases have led to a fall in stock prices?


A 4% fall after a 25% increase?
It was a 4% fall in a single day, compared to 25% over a year. The global markets are still a bit jittery.

Danivon:
And overall, wages (especially when you look at median rather than mean averages) have not been rising as fast as GDP or productivity.


source for 2017?
By "overall" I meant looking back over several years, not just the latest one.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 7:17 am

danivon wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:Danivon
Hang on, aren't you the one saying that the wage increases have led to a fall in stock prices?


A 4% fall after a 25% increase?
It was a 4% fall in a single day, compared to 25% over a year. The global markets are still a bit jittery.

Danivon:
And overall, wages (especially when you look at median rather than mean averages) have not been rising as fast as GDP or productivity.


source for 2017?
By "overall" I meant looking back over several years, not just the latest one.


OK. The big issue is whether the Trump policies are better or worse than the Obama policies, broadly speaking, for working and middle class people. That's why the 2017 data is very important, as there have been many regulatory changes in this country with the new administration.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 7:22 am

BTW, more data is coming out on corporate tax rates as a result of the new law. Some companies have benefited substantially, such as retail, banks, and restaurants, who have US operations and not lots of special deductions. These companies have seen tax declines from 39% to about 26%, including state taxes.

On the other hand, there are some companies that have benefitted from various distortions in the law. They are actually seeing an increase in tax rates. For example, IBM's tax rate has gone from 14% to 18%; Eaton Corp has gone from 7.7% to 15%. This equalization is what we all want, right?
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 7:37 am

rayjay
This equalization is what we all want, right?


You mean equalization of corporate tax rates?

I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.
Whatever happened to the Tea Party?
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 9:57 am

rickyp wrote:rayjay
This equalization is what we all want, right?


You mean equalization of corporate tax rates?

I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.
Whatever happened to the Tea Party?


The Tea Party was never in charge. Look it up.

The Statists have been in the majority for decades.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 10:47 am

Ray Jay wrote:On the other hand, there are some companies that have benefited from various distortions in the law. They are actually seeing an increase in tax rates. For example, IBM's tax rate has gone from 14% to 18%; Eaton Corp has gone from 7.7% to 15%. This equalization is what we all want, right?


True dat!
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 10:48 am

rickyp wrote:I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.


That's true too. Running huge deficits in a times like today is completely irresponsible.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 10:54 am

geojanes wrote:
rickyp wrote:I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.


That's true too. Running huge deficits in a times like today is completely irresponsible.


Or ANY time.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 11:12 am

bbauska wrote:
geojanes wrote:
rickyp wrote:I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.


That's true too. Running huge deficits in a times like today is completely irresponsible.


Or ANY time.


What *should* happen:

1. How much money do we anticipate having?
2. What is prudent to spend?
3. What must we spend money on?
4. What would we like to spend money on?
5. What would we like to dream about spending money on?
6. Is there anything left?

Instead:

1. What are the mandatory spending increases?
2. What is the interest on the Debt?
3. What other mandatory spending is there?
4. What would we like to spend money on?
5. What would we really like to spend money on?
6. How much do we have to borrow to make that happen?
7. Who do we blame for spending so much?
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 12:38 pm

Maybe that's true (or at least partially true)--it's hard for me to know exactly how legislators think. My observations would be these:

(a) Democrats on the whole have an ideology at the national level that encourages spending on health care, education, infrastructure and the safety net;
(b) Republicans have an ideology that focuses on tax cuts and military spending ;
(c) Republicans are budget hawks when there is a Democratic president is in power but are more concerned about military spending and tax cuts when there is a Republican president; they are unwilling to take the political hit for safety nets cuts and also they have difficulty getting past Democratic opposition (particularly past the 60 vote filibuster). Budget reconciliation means they can get tax cuts if they control the House and Senate. To the extent they need Democratic support...if they sweeten things with spending on things that Democrats want...Democrats are more willing to go along.
(d) stringent Republican opposition means Democratic presidents have difficulty getting much new spending when there is a Democratic presidency. Obama ostensibly had the political power in 20009 for a large stimulus bill but it was limited because 6 Democratic moderates wouldn't go for it (and three Republican moderates)
(e) Congressman go to Congress...to do something. Particularly getting projects that are in their districts. So this tends to drive spending.

So ironically...it's the party that opposes deficits is the one that drives them. Not to say the Democrats wouldn't do so if they could...but the way things are structured now doesn't allow it.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 1:27 pm

freeman3 wrote:Maybe that's true (or at least partially true)--it's hard for me to know exactly how legislators think. My observations would be these:

(a) Democrats on the whole have an ideology at the national level that encourages spending on health care, education, infrastructure and the safety net;
(b) Republicans have an ideology that focuses on tax cuts and military spending ;


Mostly.

Theoretically, Republicans are supposed to be about smaller government, but that has only manifested itself in reduction of regulations lately.

(c) Republicans are budget hawks when there is a Democratic president is in power but are more concerned about military spending and tax cuts when there is a Republican president; they are unwilling to take the political hit for safety nets cuts and also they have difficulty getting past Democratic opposition (particularly past the 60 vote filibuster). Budget reconciliation means they can get tax cuts if they control the House and Senate. To the extent they need Democratic support...if they sweeten things with spending on things that Democrats want...Democrats are more willing to go along.


A lot here. I don't think it's "safety net" cuts that scare Republicans so much as entitlement reform. As our population gets older, we need to do something. Both sides just ignore it because it's not popular.

We live in a nation of political cowards and greedy people. A mature person would look at how we "govern" ourselves and be appalled. We have a $20T Debt. Democrats only talk about it when a Republican is in the White House. Republicans only talk about it when a Democrat is in the White House. That is cowardice. We need leadership.

The best remedy to all of this garbage is to get rid of the filibuster. The party in control would get to do something. It would also be accountable to the electorate. The way it is now just encourages both parties to act irresponsibly and lie about there opponents.

(d) stringent Republican opposition means Democratic presidents have difficulty getting much new spending when there is a Democratic presidency. Obama ostensibly had the political power in 20009 for a large stimulus bill but it was limited because 6 Democratic moderates wouldn't go for it (and three Republican moderates)


Again, get rid of the filibuster. Democrats can spend like drunken Marines (who are far worse than drunken sailors), then answer for it. If the public wants massive welfare, they will be rewarded. If not, they won't.

(e) Congressman go to Congress...to do something. Particularly getting projects that are in their districts. So this tends to drive spending.


Thus proving our government is too big and taxes too much. Pet projects are the bane of our republic. If MA wants something, it should pay for it itself (See Big Dig, a colossal waste of Federal money).

So ironically...it's the party that opposes deficits is the one that drives them. Not to say the Democrats wouldn't do so if they could...but the way things are structured now doesn't allow it.


Well, Democrats are responsible for the increases in domestic spending in the new budget deal. Republicans were just dumb enough to compromise. They should have voted away the filibuster. Someone will eventually.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 3:22 pm

Not being able to get stuff passed is the frustrating part of the filibuster. If you get rid of it though the downside is the opposition coming in and reversing what you have done. There is stability assiciated with knowing it's difficult to reverse policies.

I refuse to get overly concerned about the mundane, what's going to happen in 2040 when our social security system is going to go bankrupt. My attitude is...we'll figure it out. I want someone who is going to have a vision of the future and how we're going to get there. There is not much difference in travel since I was a kid. I would like it so someone with a debit/credit card can step outside their door in LA and be in New York in a couple of hours (or anywhere in the country within several hours). Where is the vision for what we are going to do in space? To make live longer and healthier? To have access to massive amounts of (high-quality) information. To have cleaner air, purer water, more national parks. To have better access to all kinds of media. Which reminds me to pay my ridiculous cable bill but I digress...

Let's do something special rather than get overly worried about future problems. As long we are willing to work hard...I can't see any problems that can't be solved. Imagine the energies that were unleashed by WWII--that's what I want to see. That's doesn't happen from watching the stock market, but people going out and putting forth their max effort...because that was required. When JFK said we're going to get to the moon...we got to the moon. Enough of the petty squabbles over nothing important. Let's set impossible goals as a country...and then do them.
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Post 12 Feb 2018, 4:04 pm

freeman3 wrote:Not being able to get stuff passed is the frustrating part of the filibuster. If you get rid of it though the downside is the opposition coming in and reversing what you have done. There is stability assiciated with knowing it's difficult to reverse policies.

I refuse to get overly concerned about the mundane, what's going to happen in 2040 when our social security system is going to go bankrupt.

My attitude is...we'll figure it out.


The longer we wait, the worse it gets.

Let's do something special rather than get overly worried about future problems. As long we are willing to work hard...I can't see any problems that can't be solved.


Work hard? Stockton is trying a program to give money away. No requirements.

Raising the minimum wage to a living wage sends a message too: don't improve yourself. The government will provide!

Imagine the energies that were unleashed by WWII--that's what I want to see.


You're the first ever, in my memory, to wish for a world war.

Oh, that's not what you meant?

I think the next great leap forward (to steal some Maoist lingo) is energy, but not the ridiculous solar panels, etc. I mean real energy, free or nearly so, abundant, etc. Think "cold fusion."


That's doesn't happen from watching the stock market, but people going out and putting forth their max effort...because that was required. When JFK said we're going to get to the moon...we got to the moon. Enough of the petty squabbles over nothing important. Let's set impossible goals as a country...and then do them.


What? Instead of fighting over bathrooms? Come on!
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Post 13 Feb 2018, 8:00 am

bbauska wrote:
geojanes wrote:
rickyp wrote:I think some people want the budget to be balanced. In good times, that's usually the goal.


That's true too. Running huge deficits in a times like today is completely irresponsible.


Or ANY time.


OK Herbert Hoover.