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Old 09-07-2012, 02:53 PM   #2861
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That's what we're doing now--bickering about taxes. That will continue ad infinitum, but right now there's only a mythical cap on spending. Spending is the key.
Sure. My point was, if you change it to "raise taxes during economic expansions and cut taxes during economic downturns" I could get on board OR invert the relationship you outlined regarding spending.

That is, decrease government spending during economic expansions and increase during downturns. The way you have it written would be pro-cyclical. In other words, expanding spending during good times would cause a bigger boom and cutting spending during bad times would cause a bigger bust. You would be more likely to get bubbles and depressions versus expansions and corrections.

The option I outlined would slow booms and slow busts. I prefer using taxes vs spending as I believe taxes are a more efficient tool but they both have broadly similar effects (spending cut ≈ tax increase and vice versa) from a broad macroeconomic perspective.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #2862
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smartest thing democrats have done all week:

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Democrats bumped their gaffe-prone Vice President, Joe Biden, from primetime on Thursday night to ensure he does not say anything that bigfoots President Barack Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #2863
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So, I was trying to fact-check this graph someone sent me:



Their point was Obama oversaw a major reduction in the size of governmental employees during his tenure (other than the big spike in census workers which would happen regardless of who was president). As we here have discussed, there is a hitch in using that data as it takes all government employees and divides by the entire population of the USA. I would assert Obama did/does/can have influence over the number of local and state employees, but not nearly to the degree he can influence Federal workers.

So, I dug for some data and found this:



Pretty interesting (to me). [Edit: This graph is Federal government employees divided by the working age population. Unfortunately, that data only goes back to 1970.]
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #2864
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so in St Loius there are less 1000s of persons divided by 1000s of persons today than there was in 1970?

Sorry but I can't read the graph.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #2865
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Also, find me a chart that plots the amount of power the gov't has over me from 1970 to today.

then we can dicuss if the size of the federal government has reduced in Obama tenure.


c wut i did thar?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #2866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
[Edit: This graph is Federal government employees divided by the working age population. Unfortunately, that data only goes back to 1970.]
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
so in St Loius there are less 1000s of persons divided by 1000s of persons today than there was in 1970?

Sorry but I can't read the graph.
You probably replied before I added the above edit.

The first graph says, "of the entire population of the United States of America, approximately 7% are government employees and that number has come down in the past 4 years."

The second graph says, "of the working age population of the USA, approximately 1.2% are Federal government employees and that number is about the same as it was 4 years ago." It also says that percentage has been on a long-term downtrend since 1970 (most drastically reduced under Clinton?).
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #2867
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gotcha, thanks.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #2868
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
You probably replied before I added the above edit.

The first graph says, "of the entire population of the United States of America, approximately 7% are government employees and that number has come down in the past 4 years."

The second graph says, "of the working age population of the USA, approximately 1.2% are Federal government employees and that number is about the same as it was 4 years ago." It also says that percentage has been on a long-term downtrend since 1970 (most drastically reduced under Clinton?).
To most diehard Republicans facts are irrelevant. As they often conflict with Ideological beliefs. It sounds better to just lie about stuff.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #2869
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Size amount of employees

what's the saying? it's not the size, by how you use the motion of the ocean?
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:22 PM   #2870
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To most diehard Republicans facts are irrelevant. As they often conflict with Ideological beliefs. It sounds better to just lie about stuff.
This is apparently true of the diehard Democrats trying to say that Obama has overseen a reduction in the size of government or government employees. That's not really accurate either.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #2871
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or when you say unemployement dropped from 8.3 to 8.1, and then use your brain:

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Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force (meaning they had a job or were actively looking for one) who did not have a job.

this is why i dont like graphs and numbers.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #2872
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
or when you say unemployement dropped from 8.3 to 8.1, and then use your brain:




this is why i dont like graphs and numbers.
Don't lie, Braineack: you love graphs because graphs = pictures.


Your quote above is why I keep telling people to use the employment-population ratio.



The BLS graph I just posted shows the percentage of the population that is over age 16 and is employed. It is barely better than at the worst part since the recession (58.2% in 2009-12 vs 58.3% in 2012-08). It is the worst it has been since about 1984.

Some of that is going to be demographics (i.e. Baby Boomers leaving the workforce) but a lot of it is the mediocre economy.
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Last edited by Scrappy Jack; 09-07-2012 at 05:57 PM. Reason: 2012-12 = 2009-12
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #2873
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Sure. My point was, if you change it to "raise taxes during economic expansions and cut taxes during economic downturns" I could get on board OR invert the relationship you outlined regarding spending.

That is, decrease government spending during economic expansions and increase during downturns. The way you have it written would be pro-cyclical. In other words, expanding spending during good times would cause a bigger boom and cutting spending during bad times would cause a bigger bust. You would be more likely to get bubbles and depressions versus expansions and corrections.

The option I outlined would slow booms and slow busts. I prefer using taxes vs spending as I believe taxes are a more efficient tool but they both have broadly similar effects (spending cut ≈ tax increase and vice versa) from a broad macroeconomic perspective.
Nope. Exactly opposite. Taxe rates (on average) do NOT change. If the GDP goes up, the government gets more money. If GDP goes down, the government "makes do" with whatever comes in. It's essentially what every family does with their budget...we don't price in a 24% salary increase without asking the boss (us), charge up the credit card and then tell our boss (us) that we need a bigger salary to pay for the credit card. Or the retirement fund we raided.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:42 PM   #2874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Also, find me a chart that plots the amount of power the gov't has over me from 1970 to today.

then we can dicuss if the size of the federal government has reduced in Obama tenure.


c wut i did thar?
Are public and private employees also "equal"? It seems like gov't employees now have higher pay, benefits, more vacation/sick/personal days, work fewer hours per week, retire earlier and with unused sick pay converted to their pension plan, yada, yada, yada.

Seems to me that a little public/private balance is a long time coming. And for that matter, the chuckle-heads in the triumvirate should be subject to the same EXACT programs we live by--SS, Medicare, etceteras.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:48 PM   #2875
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Originally Posted by cordycord View Post
Nope. Exactly opposite. Taxe rates (on average) do NOT change. If the GDP goes up, the government gets more money. If GDP goes down, the government "makes do" with whatever comes in. It's essentially what every family does with their budget...we don't price in a 24% salary increase without asking the boss (us), charge up the credit card and then tell our boss (us) that we need a bigger salary to pay for the credit card. Or the retirement fund we raided.
There is obviously a failure to communicate here, possibly me not understanding what you are saying.



Tax revenue falls and government spending automatically rises in an economic downturn, regardless of what happens with tax rates. People lose jobs so they pay less in all sorts of taxes. Property values go down, employers make less and have fewer workers so they pay less in taxes, etc. Meanwhile, those unemployed people collect temporary benefits like unemployment insurance so spending goes up.

If you cut spending because GDP is falling or is negative, that takes money out of the economy. The good news is, it offsets some of the automatic tax revenue loss. The bad news is, that's cutting your nose off to spite your face. ("The economy is getting worse, but at least we have a small deficit!") Alternatively, you enter a death spiral where in you cannot grow the economy by sucking money out of it.

Cutting taxes adds more money to the economy in a similar way that increasing spending does (but, I would argue the former is more efficient especially in a household led balance sheet recession). That's helpful in economic downturns. Raising taxes has the opposite effect - it slows economic growth by sucking money out of the economy in a similar way that cutting spending does.


Once again, trying to equate the US Federal government to a household/corporation/state is a completely flawed metaphor.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #2876
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Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force (meaning they had a job or were actively looking for one) who did not have a job.




How is this information gathered? How do we know when people leave the labor force? Do they call in to a central authority and say "Fuckit, I give up"?

Seems to me that this information could also be made up to affect the "unemployment rate"
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:53 PM   #2877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
There is obviously a failure to communicate here, possibly me not understanding what you are saying.



Tax revenue falls and government spending automatically rises in an economic downturn, regardless of what happens with tax rates. People lose jobs so they pay less in all sorts of taxes. Property values go down, employers make less and have fewer workers so they pay less in taxes, etc. Meanwhile, those unemployed people collect temporary benefits like unemployment insurance so spending goes up.

If you cut spending because GDP is falling or is negative, that takes money out of the economy. The good news is, it offsets some of the automatic tax revenue loss. The bad news is, that's cutting your nose off to spite your face. ("The economy is getting worse, but at least we have a small deficit!") Alternatively, you enter a death spiral where in you cannot grow the economy by sucking money out of it.

Cutting taxes adds more money to the economy in a similar way that increasing spending does (but, I would argue the former is more efficient especially in a household led balance sheet recession). That's helpful in economic downturns. Raising taxes has the opposite effect - it slows economic growth by sucking money out of the economy in a similar way that cutting spending does.


Once again, trying to equate the US Federal government to a household/corporation/state is a completely flawed metaphor.
What I'm saying is that in good times or bad, government always responds by getting bigger. The government should be able to manage a budget like a fam...okay, like some business entity or group that requires a budget that will grow AND shrink.

The economy will always ebb and flow, but with a smaller government performing at 18% of GDP (or less?!) the private sector--THE ENGINE OF GROWTH-- will be able to recover much more quickly.

Last edited by cordycord; 09-08-2012 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #2878
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderguy View Post
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Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force (meaning they had a job or were actively looking for one) who did not have a job.

How is this information gathered? How do we know when people leave the labor force? Do they call in to a central authority and say "Fuckit, I give up"?

Seems to me that this information could also be made up to affect the "unemployment rate"
It's a BLS con job. They decide the work force numbers, so Scrappy is right to look at other numbers. Or they could just not lie.

What we also don't hear are all the people claiming SS/disability. The numbers are astounding; almost that of unemployment.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #2879
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Default welfare con job

Speaking of con jobs, here's the latest from Obama.

How Obama has gutted welfare reform - The Washington Post
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:40 AM   #2880
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The funny thing is the people at the unemployment office are rather useless.
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