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Old 02-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #3781
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I listened to a radio interview with Pete Peterson on my drive home from work today. I yelled at my radio. I thought of you.




Someone like Peterson... Make no mistake: he is not a stupid man. The only thing I can think is that (A) he is almost 90 and (B) like so many people, he has adopted a branch of economics as a religion.

You cannot rationally analyze a religion and accept that your prior beliefs were based on a flawed understanding and now, with new evidence and insight, adapt your positions. That's blasphemy and you will be cast out and shunned.

It's really too bad.


On the other hand, I sometimes think I do myself a disservice by trying to spread a better understanding of the current system, hoping to generate better discourse improve my own grasp. After all, in my business, asymmetrical information is a money maker.


Post Script: Google searching "political binary" turns up some REALLY poorly drawn cartoons.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:34 AM   #3782
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Default Was Hayek binary?

Is living through our government's binge period--and therefore pointing to the fact that our "government credit card" is still working--work? I'm going out on a limb here and say no.

Hey , Socialism works...badly. Keynesian theory works...badly. Hell, Machiavellian capitalism works...badly.

The issue is whether it's gotten past the point of where our system can be fixed, and we don't know if that's the case. Or are we going to have a dirty bomb + a California earthquake + a faltering Europe combine to put our economy in a tailspin? I'd surmise that it certainly would, and policies that starve our country of cheap energy are one of the ways this administration has taken us to the edge of disaster unnecessarily.

The government is playing a dangerous game of "chicken" with our future, and I think the narcissists in Washington simply aren't up to the job.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #3783
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Now I think you are just trolling me.

Do I think someone detonating a nuclear bomb on American soil at the same time a (presumably large) earthquake struck California, all in the midst of an ongoing European recession, would seriously hurt the American economy? Yes. I also think it would be bad if Chinese hackers killed the Texas electrical grid at the same time that a meteorite struck Manhattan all while a tsunami flooded most of the Port of Los Angeles.


Also, a coordinated alien attack on NYC, London and Hong Kong would be pretty terrible.

I don't know what your point is with that example.


Virtually everything else you wrote was:

* just a bunch of histrionic hyperbole
* factually, demonstrably incorrect
* unrelated to anything being discussed


I will again use the religion metaphor here. I'm trying to use facts and real world evidence and analysis to back my points about macroeconomic conditions. You are telling me that someday I am going to go Hell.


I cannot disprove that.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #3784
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:09 AM   #3785
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:15 AM   #3786
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That is a good sales tactic. What store was that at?
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:16 AM   #3787
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USPS Kiosk?
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #3788
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USPS kiosk...you can basically pay for money orders with a EBT card, and then spend it however you'd like.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #3789
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USPS kiosk...you can basically pay for money orders with a EBT card, and then spend it however you'd like.
Only in 'Murica. The restrictions on food stamps are so lax now it is just insane.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #3790
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:34 AM   #3791
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Now I think you are just trolling me.

Do I think someone detonating a nuclear bomb on American soil at the same time a (presumably large) earthquake struck California, all in the midst of an ongoing European recession, would seriously hurt the American economy? Yes. I also think it would be bad if Chinese hackers killed the Texas electrical grid at the same time that a meteorite struck Manhattan all while a tsunami flooded most of the Port of Los Angeles.


Also, a coordinated alien attack on NYC, London and Hong Kong would be pretty terrible.

I don't know what your point is with that example.


Virtually everything else you wrote was:

* just a bunch of histrionic hyperbole
* factually, demonstrably incorrect
* unrelated to anything being discussed


I will again use the religion metaphor here. I'm trying to use facts and real world evidence and analysis to back my points about macroeconomic conditions. You are telling me that someday I am going to go Hell.

I cannot disprove that.
It's really quite simple; you wouldn't understand.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:56 AM   #3792
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Only in 'Murica. The restrictions on food stamps are so lax now it is just insane.
Why does it matter?
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:04 PM   #3793
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Why does it matter?
Because it is a waste of money that could be spent elsewhere, OR perhaps it could just be cut because it is excessive. Just to clarify I am not saying the whole food stamp program needs to be cut. I am saying that it has grown to encompass a much larger portion of the population that it should and the funds can easily be used for many products that are not really in the spirit of the program.

I am all for helping those who really need assistance purchasing necessities like food. However, I think that if I am paying for it I should be able to limit the scope of their purchases within reason. I think WIC does a great job of this and is much harder to abuse.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #3794
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It doesn't techincally matter, but it's a priciniple of the thing matter.

else, the income is already being supplemented in some way.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #3795
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I am saying that it has grown to encompass a much larger portion of the population that it should
Agreed.

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and the funds can easily be used for many products that are not really in the spirit of the program.
Why does that matter, though? So you restrict the EBT card use to food items. If the recipient is getting $40 a week, that's just $40 saved on his food bill that is now free to be spent on whatever he wants. SNAP funds are fungible regardless of purchase restrictions.

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However, I think that if I am paying for it I should be able to limit the scope of their purchases within reason.
You can try. But what you can't do is limit the scope of the purchases they make with the money they saved by using SNAP funds.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #3796
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Wrong thread.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #3797
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:12 PM   #3798
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Why does that matter, though? So you restrict the EBT card use to food items. If the recipient is getting $40 a week, that's just $40 saved on his food bill that is now free to be spent on whatever he wants. SNAP funds are fungible regardless of purchase restrictions.

You can try. But what you can't do is limit the scope of the purchases they make with the money they saved by using SNAP funds.
I hear this argument all the time and it would be valid if that was the entire story but it is not. You are assuming that they are buying groceries with unrestricted funds and then using the EBT card work around to buy things they would have otherwise bought with the unrestricted cash. This often times is not what is happening.

The problem is these people are receiving so much assistance that they have excess EBT funds over what they actually need. They are then able to use work arounds to use the excess funds on items that they were not intended for instead of this money being recycled back into the system to help provide relief to others that actually need it or just save the government some money.

If you were to use more restrictions on the cash and format it more like WIC checks with a little more flexibility on what kinds of food products can be purchased I guarantee that you would see a reduction in abuse and an overall savings by the program as a whole.

This will never happen though because that would be "degrading" to those who need the assistance and no one should be "ashamed" to be on govt. assistance. Forget the fact that this gives people some sort of personal incentive to become independent.

EDIT: BTW this type of work around is considered money laundering and is a federal offense if it is commited by a non-profit or university to allow for the cash from a restricted grant to be spent on unintended projects. I fail to see how this is any different but if you would like to prove me wrong I welcome your arguments.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #3799
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it doesnt matter what it was intended for.

say you get $200 extra a month for food, that's $200 a month less you need to spend on food and $200 extra a month you have to spend on blow.

say you get $200 a month for food, but can spend it on anything you want, you speed $200 of your own money on food, and $200 free money on blow.

It's all the damn same. the income has been supplemented.



the solution should be to shame people out of assistance. We should make it as hard as possible to be poor and as easy as it can be to be successful.

with the talk of increasing minimum yet again (SOTU), the increase in welfare recipients, and all the other plush benefits, we are currently doing the exact opposite.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:20 PM   #3800
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WSJ coined the phrase "President Armageddon". We're going on five years of "crisis", and the people are only now showing signs of fatigue. The media? They're ratcheting up.
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