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iliana
Member Patricius
since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


0 posted 07-12-2006 04:54 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana


Despite the President's speech I heard on the news on July 11, 2006, about the economy being better (and I was glad to hear that btw), I am confused.  I read this tonight:  http://stlouisfed.org/publications/re/2006/c/pages/digging.html

Someone please explain why there is this disparity.  Would cheap labor or outsourcing have anything to do with that?  Or is it that average Americans just overspend?  
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


1 posted 07-12-2006 09:14 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

You can't spend what you don't have...thus credit cards are being over used ( in my opinion)...and bankruptcy was the easy way out. And look at the car prices and 0% loan interests on them and 50 yr mortgages...etc etc...

Just look at the pumps and see people daily  charging the gas that they use to pay cash for or food that they use to pay by cash or check.
..which by the way is becoming harder and harder to pay with (cash that is..since that is how I have been paying for the last 5 years)They have to check every higher bill to make sure it isn't fake when you have just come from the bank...irritating to me. And those change machines at the food store charging you money to exchange the coins in the very store you are going to buy something..I just hand them all the coins and let them  re add...( a pet peeve)

Once you get out of that habit out of necessity, you begin to realize paying your way like our grandparents use to do, gives you more peace of mind..even if you have to wait to get something you want rather than meeting your needs. And the funny thing is I can actually see that I am saving more money.

* probably doesn't have anything to do with the articles but after reading them this is what came to mind. and   allows me to vent a bit...

M
Balladeer
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2 posted 07-12-2006 02:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A lot of "results" depend on how the figures are calculated and/or manipulated. It has come out in the past few days the strength of the economy. It has also come out that the Bush tax cuts have brought in MORE tax dollars and have helped the economy greatly, meaning that they were a very good thing, just as they were for JFK and Reagan. Do Democrats acknowledge this? Of course not since that would be political suicide for them. What do they do then? They bring up their own figures, based on a starting point of January, 2000 instead of the actual time that the Bush tax cuts went into effect. They included the abysmal state of the economy from the dot.com bust, along with the results of 9/11.  Needless to say, this gave results much more favorable to them.

That is one of the sad parts of politics and political duscussions, like ours. Everyone is more than eager to blast actions of a leader they don't like but will not give credit to anything said leader may have done right. Something is either right or it's not. To simply point out the bad and ignore the good is shallow. When Clinton was in office, supporters main war cry was "It's the economy, stupid", as if the economy was the only measuring stick that mattered. Now, with Bush in office and the economy being stronger that is has been in 2 1/2 decades with the strength of the economy growing at a rate of 4.5% per year, those same politicians refuse to even acknowledge the economic success. Personal income is up, unemployment is down, the tax revenues are better than ever and not one word from the other side of the aisle will even grudgingly admit that just maybe the tax breaks were a good thing - when any level-headed thinker would know that more money in the average person's pocket has to result in a stronger economy.

It's not unique to the economy. Look at the capture of the terrorist a few days ago who planned to blow up the Holland tunnel in New York. Look at all of the talk we have had here in the Alley about that damn sneaky Bush. Who knows what he's doing? Our rights and personal liberties are being destroyed! He's reading our mail! He's checking our bank accounts! Our individual freedoms are toast! Well, those individuals were caught after an eight month investigation (Bush didn't let us know!) and most of the information was gathered from monitoring a chat room the terrorists used (Bush is reading what we say in chat rooms! I don't want Bush knowing what I say in chat rooms!!!)

Yet I haven't seen anyone come on here and complaining about those people being caught or stating that our personal freedoms (like the sanctity of chat rooms)are much more important than whatever hundreds would have died should that attack have been carried out. Nor did I see anyone say "Well, good job, GW." No, it just gets ignored in much the same way the good news of the economy gets ignored.

I'm certainly no expert on the economy and can barely balance my checkbook but I know that, down here in Florida, many folks are in trouble because they either got greedy trying to take advantage of real estate inflation or else they took advantage of all of those "No money down - 1% financing" and many other "incredible" offers to get them to spend their money, not stopping tho think of the piper what would have to be paid if interest rates went up. Now the rates HAVE gone up and these people have seen their payments go up hundreds of dollars per month, which they can't afford. In Broward county alone (ft. Lauderdale) there are over 38,000 homes for sale,as compared to less than 5000 at this same time last year. Sadly, they have themselves to blame (helped along by unscrupulous offers of enticement).

Anyway, I'm rambling here....not sure I even touched on your question, Iliana   Hopefully, I did.
LeeJ
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since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


3 posted 07-14-2006 07:53 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hey Deer, Good morning...

there is something I don't understand...and I'm not being sarcastic...

Yes, I've heard the same thing, that the economy is great, but how can that be...

regarding unemployment...it's summer, meaning, that is construction's booming time...of course more people are back to work in the summer months.

I heard if we pull all our troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, we will have be 1/2 a trillion dollars in debt due to the war...

Everytime something happens, gas prices go up, and they use bogus excuses to make up for a loss they experienced this past winter due to a mild winter, lets face it, those corporate giants have to make their bonuses, yanno ...at everyone else's expense?  Right?

How can our economy be better when more and more American companies are not only outsourcing 30 - 50% of their work to other countries, but moving to other countries, as well?

How can our economy be better when 70% of Americans are anywhere from 30,000 - 70,0000 dollars in debt.

How can our economy be better when we hardly manufacture anything on our own here anymore?  What percent of manufactured goods does American make for itself today?  Does anyone know?

How can our economy be better when our social agencies & schools are breaking down due to more and more Federal funding cuts?  Our country's infostructure, such as bridges, roads, tunnels, etc.  are depleating due to lack of federal funding?
I mean, how long has it been since you've seen any contruction firm out here on the East Coast completely tear up a road and reconcrete it, instead of resurfacing with 1 inch of blacktop?

Due to all the building going on all over this country, we have more and more flooding b/c the water doesn't have a place to go...it's not b/c God is bringing his rath on us, rather, there is less and less land left to drink up all the rain into the ground...which takes it's toll on flood insurance...they want you to buy it, but don't want to anti up when your flooded...where did all the money go that you were paying all those years?

If our economy is better, how come New Orleans is still in turmoil?

How can our economy be better when there are so many corporate leaders making phenominal bonuses and salaries, yet, to sustain their constant raises they are not only letting go of their subbordinates, but also spending millions of dollars on consulting firms who tell them how to do their jobs?  Yes, the economy is better for them...and only them.

Deer, what I'm trying to say, is while some say the economy is better, why does the cost of drugs keep esculating making it really difficult for our senior citizens to obtain them.

I suppose what I don't understand and this is not a political question, democrates vs repulicans...but more so this...

"We have a more stable economy," but what does it mean to have a significantly stronger economy?

What is a strong economy fueled by, speculation of the real estate market?

Our country has moved from a technology exporter to a technology importer and mainly exports raw materials.

also adding...I think and the way it looks to me is The import-export imbalance isn't an immediate economic problem as much as it is an intellectual one...we, in my opinion, have dropped drastically from a very strong nation, to one which may very well be within the next 20 years, weak?

Why?  We are no longer self sufficient, outsourcing ...loosing the technological race....it seems to me, people have regressed intellectually, rather then progressed?  Simply take a look at today's programming on Television and ask yourself what we call entertaining today.  

Yanno, North Korea setting off their missils bought up another question...they interviewed someone on the news who claimed he didn't even know if we had a system that could search out and destroy any missles shot at us?  That was reassuring?

I remember a comment someone made in here which really made me stop and think about crime...she said, their police officers do not carry guns, and yet, there is so much less crime in her country...why is that?

Yet crime in our nation is climbing which to me suggests poverty and lack of education...not to mention disrespect for life, the lives of others and laws....everyone seems to feel that laws do not apply to them, even when driving?  Why is that, why do people push the limits?

All this, to me, Deer falls into place, making a nation strong economically and not because someone says it is.  

Immigration is costing the closures of so so many hospitals...those immigrants working here send an estimated 20 million dollars home to their countries...yet they pay no taxes here in this country...they receive free medical care...they're employers are paying them minimum wage or less, so it seems to me, they are the ones benefiting by a so called stronger economy?  Are they not?

Immigration is only satisfying the companies that are illegally hiring them.  They have been benefiting for years, by charging high prices for their services, yet, paying low salaries to their employees...not to mention, they don't have to pay social security for the illegals.  Who is selling their own country out?  Do you have any idea how much money we are putting out per year and loosing per year for each illegal that is here.  

Americans will eventually be loosing social security, and are already loosing pensions...yet, our economy is stronger?

They say illegal immigrants are hired b/c Americans don't want to do the work...thats wrong...Americans can't live on minumum wage or less...  

I would like to know how they came to that conclussion...

Honestly, to me it looks as if our country is broke? Can you give me examples to help me feel more comfortable about this?

and please Deer, let me assure you once again, I'm trying to learn as I hear so so many different political views on this subject...and it shouldn't be political, it should be, in fact, fact...and we as Americans, should want to know what is going on?  Not one party against another, but we as a team, getting together and discussing this issue, demanding the truth from our leaders...who is telling us the truth?

Stock market wants us to invest...yet, with the breaking news of the new violence in the middle east, everything went down yesterday, and take not, there is no oil what-so-ever involved in this disbute, and yet, oil prices went up again yesterday...why?  And what about my investments?  I lost a bunch yestderday and so did a lot of others...?

so maybe we should say, the rich are getting richer, does that merrit the economy's strength?  

Perhaps I'm the one misinformed?

I'm really torn on this issue...

Can you help me understand this? What constitutes a
strong economy, when Corporate American is rich...?  How many people make up Corporate America per say, middle and low class Americas....

Have I made any sense?

I'm totally lost?????

thank you Illana for this thread!


[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-14-2006 11:18 AM).]

Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


4 posted 07-14-2006 10:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Good grief!!! LOL! Well, LeeJ, I certainly admire your enthusiasm in questioning!

I'll get to work on a response and try to answer your questions, or at least my way of thinking.....may take a month since I have to work!

Seriously, thank you for your response and your questions...be back soon.
Balladeer
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5 posted 07-15-2006 08:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, LeeJ, I think a lot of your confusion comes from your reading materials and your decision to simply repeat them instead of investigating their validity. I agree that the authors and reporters should have their facts straight before putting things in print but personal biases also come into play.

Everytime something happens, gas prices go up

when we hardly manufacture anything on our own here anymore?

when our social agencies & schools are breaking down due to more and more Federal funding cuts

Our country's infostructure, such as bridges, roads, tunnels, etc.  are depleating due to lack of federal funding

when there are so many corporate leaders making phenominal bonuses and salaries

Our country has moved from a technology exporter to a technology importer and mainly exports raw materials.

We are no longer self sufficient, outsourcing ...loosing the technological race...

Immigration is costing the closures of so so many hospitals.


These are examples of that. I could write the same things just by  reading the editorial pages of newspapers. Have you checked any of those statements? Can you validate any of them? If you are stating them as fact, you should be able to.

regarding unemployment...it's summer, meaning, that is construction's booming time...of course more people are back to work in the summer months.

LeeJ,  the unemployment figures aren't down because of summer construction workers. Actually, if you had checked before making that conclusion, you would have found that the summer unemployment rates are HIGHER than the previous quarter.

****Productivity increased 3.9 percent in the business sector from the
fourth quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, as output increased 6.4
percent and hours worked by all persons grew 2.4 percent (seasonally adjusted
annual rates).......US Department of Labor http://www.bls.gov/news.release/prod2.nr0.htm

The number of unemployed persons (7.0 million) was essentially unchanged
in June, and the unemployment rate held at 4.6 percent.  The unemployment
rate for adult men declined to 4.0 percent, while the unemployment rate for
teenagers edged up to 15.4 percent.  Jobless rates for the other major worker
groups--adult women (4.1 percent), whites (4.1 percent), blacks (9.0 percent),
and Hispanics (5.3 percent)--showed little or no change over the month.  The
unemployment rate for Asians was 3.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted. ..http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm


The United States unemployment rate reached a post–World War II high of 9.7 percent in 1982. It remained high at 9.6 percent in 1983 as a result of the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The unemployment rate then dropped, approaching 5 percent in 1989, but again began increasing, reaching 7 percent in 1991 and rising almost to 8 percent in 1992. As the economy improved, the rate fell to 6.9 percent in 1993. By 1998 the U.S. unemployment rate had dropped to 4.5 percent and in 1999 reached a low of 4.2 percent. By April 2000 unemployment had declined to 3.9 percent, the lowest level in three decades.

With a creeping recession, unemployment once again began to rise in early 2001 and rose significantly following the terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. In June 2003, 9.4 million people were out of work, and the national unemployment rate reached a peak of 6.4 percent. As of February 2004 the national rate had gradually been reduced to 5.6 percent. (See Figure 3.1.) Not counted in the unemployment rate figures are some previously laid-off workers, especially those over 55 years old, who have stopped looking for work....http://www.bookrags.com/other/statistics/unemployment-ipf4-01.html ****************

If you are interested enough, check the unemployment figues of the other major countries for a comparison and see just how weak we are.

Everytime something happens, gas prices go up

If you mean that every time something happens in the Middle East, where oil comes from, prices go up, you are right. So what's new? Gas prices have ALWAYS gone up based on world events. I'm old enough to have stood for hours in gas lines in the early seventies. This has nothing to do with our economy being weak.

How can our economy be better when more and more American companies are not only outsourcing 30 - 50% of their work to other countries

I'd be interested in seeing some proof of that statement. Can you provide it, please?

How can our economy be better when 70% of Americans are anywhere from 30,000 - 70,0000 dollars in debt.

LeeJ, people have  ALWAYS been in debt. That's how they prefer to live. They want the new car, the nice house, the vacation, the toys and gadgets, the furniture,etc..etc..and why shouldn't they? They can buy on credit and still keep money on hand and stretch the payments out. You think that's something new? Something that just began with the current administration? $30,000.00?  That only respresent a one year salary for an average middle class worker. I don't see that as bad at all.  Do they HAVE to be in debt that much to survive? No, just to have the things they want....nothing wrong woth that. I t doesn't indicate a weak economy. If the people are spending that much to alarm you, that spending STRENGTHENS the economy instead of weakening it.

How can our economy be better when we hardly manufacture anything on our own here anymore?  What percent of manufactured goods does American make for itself today?  Does anyone know?

It's your statement, LeeJ. Do YOU know? I'd like to see a link to something that states we hardly manufacture anything. Please provide one. If that were true - and we are still having the greatest unemployment rate in 30 years, I would call that miraculous, wouldn't you?

How can our economy be better when our social agencies & schools are breaking down due to more and more Federal funding cuts?

Good question. When you say OUR social agencies and schools, how many are you talking about? I don't know of any schools in Florida breaking down. What percentage of the existing schoolsand agencies are you talking about?

Due to all the building going on all over this country, we have more and more flooding b/c the water doesn't have a place to go...it's not b/c God is bringing his rath on us, rather, there is less and less land left to drink up all the rain into the ground.

What in the world does that have to do with the economy?

If our economy is better, how come New Orleans is still in turmoil?

I repeat, what in the world does that have to do with the economy? Are you trying to say that, if we had a good economy, New Orleans would have been rebuilt by now and that fact that it's not is because the national economy is bad? I have no idea how you can make that stretch.  Goverenor Blanco doesn't think so either after receiving 4.2 billion from the federal government... Blanco said, "Never before in American history has any state been forced to rebuild so many homes so quickly. We are grateful to Secretary Jackson for allocating these funds to Louisiana. There is nothing more important to our recovery than returning families to their homes. This $4.2 billion means homeowners have real options - options to repair, rebuild or sell their homes. Rental housing is equally important. We will work to help restore affordable quality apartments and duplexes for our families to come home to."   

Or how about this article from the Boston Globe?

"NEW ORLEANS -- Angry homeowners screamed and City Council members seethed yesterday as this city's recovery commission recommended imposing a four-month building moratorium on most of New Orleans and creating a powerful new authority that could use eminent domain to seize homes in neighborhoods that will not be rebuilt.    The commission's recovery plan anticipates a city that will be only a fraction of its pre-Katrina size of nearly half a million residents. The city now has about 144,000 residents and is projected to grow to 181,000 by September and 247,000 by September 2008."

That has nothing to do with the economy. Neither did Nagin's decision not to accept the offer of an out of state company to pay for, and even haul away, all of the busses that were destroyed in the flood, prefering to pay private companies over 20 million dollars to get rid of them...which has been in the news recently. None of this has anything to do with the state of the economy, LeeJ.

when there are so many corporate leaders making phenominal bonuses and salaries,

Corporate leaders have always made huge bonuses. What does that have to do with the economy?

why does the cost of drugs keep esculating making it really difficult for our senior citizens to obtain them.

I agree with you there, LeeJ, in that that IS a huge problem. It's not a government-induced problem, though. Talk to the drug manufacturers.....they are the ones doing the raising.


Simply take a look at today's programming on Television and ask yourself what we call entertaining today.  

LOL! Well, I have no idea what that has to do with the economy. Why does what we call entertaining relate to the economy. You have completely lost me there. I, too, long for the days of Leave It to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet and Dobie Gillis

We don't know if we can shoot down a North Korea missile?  There are countries where policemen don't carry guns with lower crime rates?  These are presented to prove some point about our economy???????

Illegal immigration is a problem? Definitely....but it's not a new one. We have  always had it but at this particular point, based on newspapers seeing ways to sell more papers, it is more popular. In the early 50's President Eisenhower deported over three million Mexicans by rounding them up and driving them over 500 miles past the Mexican border. His actions were responsible for catching over 500,000 Mexicans per year for three years trying to sneak across the border. Many presidents have had these similar problems. If that translates to a weak economy for the country, then I suppose we have always had one.

Thw stock market responds to world news?  No kidding!!!!!!!  You are not the only one who lost and you won't be the only one to gain when they go back up. That's the nature of the market, as you should know.

LeeJ, your response in this thread is basically filled with political talking points but little of anything else. You resemble someone watching the weatherrman on tv talking about how bad the rain is coming down without going to the window to see if the sun is shining or not. If you are sincerely confused and want advice, do this. Go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, admire your lawn, get in the car and drive. Notice the nice buildings, the cars going by, the people sitting in the corner restaurant, the kids playing in the schoolyard, the relative cleanliness of the streets. Acknowledge the fact that you do have a job to go to (as 95% of Americans do), that there will be a paycheck coming in and that you won't starve anytime soon. That makes you luckier that a large percentage of the world's population. Then take those newspapers and line bird cages with them. When you're done, hum the old Louie Armstrong song and sing along when you get to the end.. ...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!"

I sincerely doubt that you would be so unhappy about the economy, the country, or life in general if you didn't have so many people telling you you should be. Believe your eyes and shut them out.

LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


6 posted 07-19-2006 08:34 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hi Deer

Thanks so much for taking the time to offer your thoughts...

Ok, here goes

Gas is presently up around here to $3.13 - 3.23.  The reason being was reported on Channel 6 Action News...even though there is no oil involved in the present disturbances between Israel and Hezbollah, their reason for the price hikes were due to concern over it.  How bogus is that?

Deer you stated this

These are examples of that. I could write the same things just by reading the editorial pages of newspapers. Have you checked any of those statements? Can you validate any of them? If you are stating them as fact, you should be able to.

In defense, let me just say, that my comments for the most part are due to people I've talked to...people in those fields, like teachers, principles, construction workers, including state inspectors, etc.  Woman I know, who work for public assistance, an 2 underground shelters for abused women, unemployment, and last but not least, the shoddy child care systems of our country.  Their funds are depleting horrendously...they cannot always be concerned with anything else but getting those kids a bed to sleep in for the night.  I know workers with those agencies, and I also took in a foster child.  If people only knew what really goes on.  (Shaking my head)

Concerning the hospitals which closed down in Calif.

I need not check into it or serve you with editorials and/or newspaper articles...I have family that live there, and my aunt died because 3 major hospitals in the area closed down, due to so many immigrants who could not pay their bills storming these hospitals with sick children vomiting & with loose bowls who should have gone to a regular doctor, but didn't...(there were 30 people in front of my aunt, this was some kind of emergency care unit that was set up for the people of that area due to the hospitals that were closed.)  The care was shoddy and they overlooked her problem, treated her for depression, and other half wit explanations they gave her without delving into tests, an MRI...3 weeks later she was gone.  Would it make a difference Mike, if I told you my aunt was an editor/writer/teacher/peace core nurse/jumped out of a plane sky diving, for her 80th birthday, and her son is a producer?  Both upstanding intelligent people.
I mean they are people involved with people, affected greatly by all of this.

What exactly do we manufacture on our own in this country, and if we do manufacture items here, where are the parts made?  Where are our cloths made?  Our parts for cars are made in other countries, shipped here and assembled on lines here...Where are most of our products manufactured Mike?

We are outsourcing most of our work in other countries Mike...computer help lines, for example.  I challenge you to check into this...major companies are either moving to other countries or outsourcing anywhere between 30 - 50 percent of their work.  Where are those employees who are loosing their jobs going?  Again, this is not all newspaper articles, or News shows, Mike these are facts that I'm involved in, friends, families, not only loosing their jobs but also their pensions, right around here.  Major companies are closing their doors and moving to other countries.  Where are their employee going?

Regarding our countries info structure, Mike, I worked construction both as a laborer and
Contruction Office Manager, in charge of all items for the job, and time keeping.    

Years ago, during the last gas crisis, when everyone was given odd and even numbers by the last several digits of their license plates, (remember?) which dictated what days they could fill up with gas...a surcharge was imposed in Pennsylvania on gas...which was supposed to be put aside for restructuring a lot of our roads and bridges...which were in bad shape then.  

The levees in New Orleans are not the only structures in this country that were in shoddy shape, believe me.  And Pennsylvania Roads are rated one of the worst in this country.  Not to mention bridge structures which should never wash away with the minor flooding we've had here, but they do.  It is the same in other states, again I say, when was the last time you saw anyone construct a road using 6 – 8 inches of concrete, which has a 12 to 15 year life expectancy, compared to overlaying blacktop which only lasts a year due to freezing weather and expansion of joints, material, etc.

Oh, and one of Clinton’s debate items that he was going to change was he was going to drastically correct and allocate money to better our even then shoddy info structure…and this is not a point to say, Clinton was good or bad, but simply to verify, to you, that our info structure is way overdue in repair or replacement.

I stated...when there are so many CEO’s and corporate leaders making phenomenal bonuses and salaries

That my friend is a fact....I'm also involved in this one to, so are a lot of other people I know....

Mike, I don't write from simply reading the newspaper, or listening to one radio station or one TV news reporter, but by asking questions of people who are involved in these situations…

Regarding unemployment, check the quarter again, after summer...Construction certainly does affect unemployment in the northern states, when everyone gets laid off.  There are many projects Mike that cannot be addressed due to freezing weather, rain, and state regulations regarding using these materials.  Again, summer unemployment creates many jobs, such as road construction, housing, Bridge repair, underground wire updates & installations, etc.  Maybe on this one I didn't make myself as clear as I should of.

Mike, I suppose what I'm saying is for every pro or con, regarding any subject, I can go into the net and grab something out of some newspaper article or TV station which is reporting someone else's opinion.  They do give great numbers depending on the pro or con of the reporter, and they certainly do not report what they are supposed to be reporting....

I will say this, Mike, there are some statements you've made that are absolutely right on target, and I thank you for taking the time to research and state all these facts for me...but, and I'm scratching my head here, how could these facts be true when so many major companies are moving, for instance out of the Lehigh Valley, in Allentown PA, Bethlehem PA, and Easton, PA, 3 very large manufacturing areas in PA….to other countries.  I know many people who have been affected by this.  I’ve seen with my own eyes, the depletion of these huge companies….know people who are jobless…

There are very few major manufacturing corporations left in our area, and we used to be one of the highest manufacturing areas on the East Coast, abundant with all kinds of American made products. Clothing, cars, computer technology, parts, steel, cans for storing all kinds of products...even...pharmaceutical companies.

You wrote,
It's your statement, LeeJ. Do YOU know? I'd like to see a link to something that states we hardly manufacture anything. Please provide one. If that were true - and we are still having the greatest unemployment rate in 30 years, I would call that miraculous, wouldn't you?

Mike, I would like you to link me with something that tells me different...show me our booming products that we are manufacturing right here in America, our booming car manufactures that have closed down giant plants 2 or 3 in Atlanta...check into where all the parts are made for our automobiles...not to mention, while your checking, what are the top selling cars in America, are they American made cars..which speaks volumns for our technology, wouldn’t it?

Mike, please take note, I am not attacking the current administration...or you...I mean isn't it common knowledge that we don't make many or most....of our own products here anymore?

Credit cards have been our demise, and are causing ruin in peoples lives.  We are bombarded with commercials saying constantly, you need to have this, you need to have that, and etc. and telling Americans it's ok to be in debt.  They cannot make payments, they are way in over their heads...and yes, spending does help economy, but what happens when bankruptcies and foreclosures are on an upswing?

Mike, talk to you principles and teachers in your schools, find out how much funding has been cut, forcing them to cut student programs….find out what they have been forced to cut back on in other areas...and some of their problems are because there are so many illegal immigrants that they must also provide for, which does effect our economy.

My statement about more and more flooding happening was to say this...
We are building more and more housing projects, condos, taking up more and more land, but, not providing the proper drain off for these areas, bridges, dams and levees are in dire need of repair, they break, and entire towns flood.   Allow me to also add, in this day and age, we should no longer have above ground electrical lines and cable lines…we should have been putting these wires under ground to protect them and us from storms…especially in storm ridden areas????  What does that say about our economy?

On the subject of New Orleans, I would rather believe people I know who live there, who have seen the real goings on, rather then a statement by Governor Blanco...and would most definitely like to see a written report, making Governor Blanco responsible & liable to account for all of the 4.2 billion dollars that he intends to rebuild New Orleans with...in other words, I believe it's more of who you know, rather then rebuilding all of new Orleans.  Just look at what those charge cards bought that were given out by FEMA?  Why are we having so much in-efficiency in our government agencies today?  Because people think more about what is owed to them, then a responsibility not only to their jobs, but to other people.   The spend money frivolously, pull a pay check and are not help accountable…that to me, it the reason so many companies hire consultants, so they don’t have to be held accountable.

Corporate bonuses certainly take its toll on the economy...in all the turmoil that companies are in, they do not even suggest the thought that they cut back on their bonuses and salaries to save employee jobs...or the company...and it becomes a trickle down effect on the economy.  When prices go up, for instance that CEO of the gas company whose bonus was millions, not his salary Mike, his bonus...and he is just one man...this past summer, up here we had a very mild winter, and I laughed so hard, b/c I thought Ha-Ha, these oil companies always raise their prices for fuel in the winter months, well this year, they didn't make any money on us, they lost, so now they are making it up by constantly raising prices on gas.  

Programming on Television dictates spending policies....take for instance HGTV...or home make over shows...you watch it, you want it...not to mention commercials...it conditions us to believe we cannot do without...it gets us all wrapped up in thinking and worrying about things, while other things we should be concerned about, is going on.

Mike, if we do not have the technology put in place to shoot down any missile that might be fired at us, what does that say?  Why do you think we don't have that technology...?

Illegal immigration IS a problem that has escalated above and beyond what we can afford.  It has been draining us for years, and it is to a major factor in the decline of our social services, our medical services, how long can we keep giving people free rides...it will and has effected our economy.

I am well aware of the fact that I am not be the only one who has lost money in the stock market...and yes, it will rise again, but does one ever regain the loss? And why did it go down to begin with?  Because of war, oil, fears, or is it simply a game that someone plays and wants to sell some stock and make some money...doesn't that effect our economy, our lives, in a trickle down effect.

There are some points that you've expressed well taken, and others I feel you are wrong about...but I've learned, some very important facts from you as well...

One thing I won't do to prove my points are to copy and paste someone else's opinion...
I don't believe I need to do that, my words should be sufficient...and if I'm wrong, then you've enlightened me...

what it comes down to is sharing ideas, thoughts, and venting if perhaps a little annoyed with the way things are going...doesn't really matter who is wrong and who is right, does it...time will tell..


And lastly you write...

LeeJ, your response in this thread is basically filled with political talking points but little of anything else. You resemble someone watching the weatherman on TV talking about how bad the rain is coming down without going to the window to see if the sun is shining or not. If you are sincerely confused and want advice, do this. Go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, admire your lawn, and get in the car and drive. Notice the nice buildings, the cars going by, the people sitting in the corner restaurant, the kids playing in the schoolyard, the relative cleanliness of the streets. Acknowledge the fact that you do have a job to go to (as 95% of Americans do), that there will be a paycheck coming in and that you won't starve anytime soon. That makes you luckier that a large percentage of the world's population. Then take those newspapers and line bird cages with them. When you're done, hum the old Louie Armstrong song and sing along when you get to the end.. ...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!"

Ouch, just ouch...Mike??????  Let me say this...I ask, that no matter what you may think of me mentality, my intellectual level, please allow me to express my opinion, without condescending me, without cruel words as such, or without talking to me like a child.  I don't deserve that last comment, Mike, regardless of your thoughts, it's my right to be who I am and believe and share those beliefs.  If you don't agree, so be it, I understand and allow you that right, but, please keep in mind, words can be very rude and nasty, and  I'm a human being with thoughts, beliefs, feelings, just as yourself.  Please keep that in mind, when we're discussing an issue or trying to win a discussion...that’s a foul ball Mike, yanno and is being right actually that important, to the extent of cruel condescension...or is it ok to speak out and vent...

I understand why so many women in PIP state, they stay out of these forums for this very reason...they don't participate...but they read?? That shouldn’t be...they should not fear getting shot down like this for their opinions...

I think we should try to be a little more tolerant & kind to people & their beliefs, maybe help them along the way in understanding, instead of attacking their character and/or telling them their opinions are not important by cruel and snippety remarks.

It’s ok not to agree, but it’s not ok to be mean, yanno.  I think everyone has a right and a significant importance to participate, no matter how trivial their comments might be to you, they may make a difference to someone, not to mention, help them to express, give them confidence, what's important is this, it IS important they contribute and not fear retaliation or being made a fool of because of their desire to participate in these forums...what’s important is they did so. Besides, is being right really that important, to the extent of hurting someone else's feelings or making them feel like they don't have a right to contribute?  

These forums have done a world of good for me...this entire site is a God sent....for me, but sometimes the men of this site, can be so insensitive to understanding that?  

Mike, I know I’m not 100% right all of the time, and I probably do not possess the education you have, but does it matter, really, in the end?  Nuff said...giving ya a big old hug...

Mike/Iliana
I believe our economy is in worse shape then the reports do state, the information you've brought to the table I thank you for and I hope IS valid more then the importance of me being right...I just shared some of my thoughts on topics that I felt were important, is all...and in the end, even if I did copy and paste newspaper reports and statistics on this subject, would you change your mind?  

Mike
I do very much believe this is the best country to live in, in the entire world, but also believe it could be better...we could be richer in spirit…Gosh, there “IS” more beauty here then I sometimes know what to do with...and there are certainly many reasons for me, to sing out and be thankful for what I have, and I believe I express that in my poetry…

Thanks so much Mike for listening and sharing, and helping me, as well...I hope I have not severed any respect or friendship and have helped you understand some things, as well.

Hope your weather down there is great, man oh man, did we ever have some storms here last night...365,000 people out of electric until maybe this weekend.  Sheesh, I've never seen trees bend like that before?

See ya


Lee J.

  





[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-19-2006 09:38 AM).]

iliana
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7 posted 07-19-2006 11:42 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

LeeJ -- I am right there with you and thank you for your comments.  You and I both live in the real world...lol.  

Mike, I'll give you this....you do cause people to do their homework.
Balladeer
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8 posted 07-19-2006 01:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, LeeJ, I have to say I am more than surprised at your ending and your interpretation of my last comment. It was not even primarily directed at you but moreso everyone who feels we are in such bad shape and doesn't really take the time to count the blessing we do have. Of course things can always be better - when in history could they not have? But my closing comment was constructed in more of a way of friendship, as two comrades sharing the same country. If you take it as condescending and cruel I'm afraid we don't really have the ability to communicate and i'm sorry for that. That's one cruel thing about the internet. One can see the words but not the smile and friendly look that stands behind them. I would have been happy to say those same words to my girl or best friend without a concern for them being taken the wrong way.

My apologies and I wish you well...
Mistletoe Angel
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9 posted 07-19-2006 03:07 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

There is without a doubt that the U.S economy remains the strongest in the world, one which is of envy to third world nations and something we should indeed take deep pride in, regardless of if we're currently heading in the right or wrong direction.

As every American wishes, I desire that our economy's momentum stays that way, as Lee earlier wished, and of course even the poorest citizens in this country will always move along better than the wealthiest in nations like Bangladesh or Cambodia.

I will say, however, that there are at least two sides to every story, and I do believe there is a good reason that a majority of Americans are consistently pessimistic in the polls about the state of our current economy; although we're all hearing about unemployment being down, consecutive quarters of strong growth in gross domestic product, and home-ownership higher than ever before.....it's also an economic picture you won't necessarily find nailed on the living room wall in a typical American household.

I've noticed how the corporate media often likes to blame the so-called "liberal media" for making Americans feel pessimistic. National Review author Victor Davis Hanson even scolded those who read the New York Times before for living "in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell.", adding in "the real adult world, the economy is red-hot, not mired in joblessness or relegating millions to poverty."

Actually, approximately 37 million Americans are living in poverty (approximately one in eight, with 13 million of them children under the age of 18, or 18% of American children), compared to 31.6 million in 2000, according to the most recent U.S Census Bureau statistics from August of last year. Since the end of our recession, poverty has risen every year, from a rate of 11.3% in 2000 (the lowest level since 1974) to 12.7 percent now.

Nearly 46 million people live without any health insurance, approximately 16 percent of the population, a number that has risen by 6 million since 2000, when 39.8 million Americans were living without it and was 14.2 percent of the population. More than one in 10 children are uninsured, and one-quarter of people with incomes below $25,000 also lack any health insurance.

Real wages are on the decline in America. For nine years the U.S minimum wage has been $5.15, compared to its real value in 1968, when it was equivalent to a wage of $7.54 an hour, and when adjusted to inflation would be worth $8.89 an hour today, and annual earnings averaged at $18,491. Our current minimum wage has not been adjusted for inflation, despite growing gasoline prices, energy prices and rising home costs, and in result, over the past eight years the purchasing power of the minimum wage has been on the decline by about 17 percent, and is valued at its second lowest level since 1955. Workers receiving the current minimum wage earn an average of $10,700 a year, which is about $6,000 below the poverty line for a family of three, and well below the basic needs budget of $35,000 for a U.S. family of four (two adults, two children), according to An Atlas of Poverty in America.

Despite the Senate rejecting eleven consecutive times over nine years not to increase the minimum wage, they and Congress have no problem at all giving themselves pay raises five years in a row.

Both health costs and college costs have been skyrocketing recently. According to the the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care costs have doubled between the years of 1993 and 2004, all this despite total health care spending amounting to $1.9 trillion in 2004, or 16 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product. And according to the College Board, we’ve seen a 40 percent inflation-adjusted jump in tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities over the past five years, while the typical American’s college loans have been affected as well. In addition, the costs for brand-name prescription drugs have also increased rapidly, almost twice as fast as the rate of inflation. According to the AARP, over the past six years, the average rise in the price of brand-name drugs is about 40 percent.

Even in statistics that appear very pleasing percentage-wise like our unemployment rate initially have some misleading thoughts to consider. For instance, the unemployment rate doesn’t calculate people who give up trying to find a job, as well as many people who are underemployed. Most of the new jobs being created are not quality jobs, they’re mostly government jobs, while in fact private sector jobs have increased by only about 1 percent since the beginning of the economic recovery, in contrast to average growth around 9 percent four years beyond previous recoveries. And finally, the tax cuts since 2001 have been helping high-income households much more than low-income households, where an October 17, 2005 report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says that households with incomes exceeding $1 million have received average tax cuts of $103,000 last year, while the bottom fifth of households “will receive an average combined tax cut of $18 from these bills, raising their after-tax income by 0.3 percent.”

*

Despite concerning indicators such as these, there's no doubt that we still get by incredibly better than anyone in developing nations would even begin to dream of. I want it to stay that way for my future family and my children's future families, and I have to say we're heading down the wrong path as of right now to maintain our economic physique.

I believe a strong majority of Americans are far more interested and concerned about their basic qualities of life being taken for granted than these wedge issues both our political parties continue to despicably play with, including a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by the Republicans last month. If we really want to resolve the issues of divorce in our society, we ought to seriously consider the financial hardships in families and the growing lack of miscommunication between husbands and wives when they work so hard and honorably by balancing multiple jobs just to provide for their children.

The bottom line is, I believe most Americans are right to feel something is wrong with the picture here; in fact, about eight in ten Americans on payrolls are uneasy about our current economy. Our media to me almost seems to be telling Americans that if you're one who's not getting by well under our current economy, then that person has no one but ones self to blame, or it's kind of like the Puritan ethic that it is only ones self, and not any other factor, that explains why anyone is being kept out of the Ownership Society.

No, all hard-working citizens of America like you and me deserve much more sympathy than that. The CEO of Wendy's can say all they want about 90 percent of their employees having positive balances in their savings accounts, and that's great. But we also must seriously consider that down in Arkansas, it's a whole different story, where 31.2 percent of citizens in that state are living in this most impoverished state in the nation, or that in Appalachia there's still at least 169,000 households without plumbing.....and they should ahve every right to question the strength of our economy.

*

Finally, Balladeer, I just want to say that despite our strong, wide ideological differences, that we just don't seem eye to eye on most things, I am blessed to know you and have you as a friend, and truly believe you are a warm-hearted, understanding and courageous person who I can indeed envision that friendly smile and bright cheeks in reading your delightful, playful rhymes, and I do wish ever so strongly that someday, perhaps at a future Passions Poet get-together, I will be blessed to see that face in person.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
LeeJ
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10 posted 07-19-2006 03:21 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hi Noah

way for my future family and my children's future families, and I have to say we're heading down the wrong path as of right now to maintain our economic physique.

OHHHH Boy, I can't agree with you more, and am fixated by your remarks, some very good points Noah, thank you

As I stated, I really hope I'm wrong...


Mike, I'm very sorry and sad to hear that, and I hope with time you change your mind...
truly I do.  Hugs to you anyways

Lee J.
iliana
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11 posted 07-19-2006 04:40 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Noah, I hope you have plans to be a part of this Country's future (like holding office), as I believe your insight is very balanced.  Points made so very eloquently, thank you.   ....jo
Mistletoe Angel
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12 posted 07-19-2006 06:35 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Thanks for your comments, Jo and Lee, I do very much appreciate them.

I just want to make a point here right now as well that I don't consider myself any more right than Balladeer and those who believe the  questionings toward the current economy is just pessimism of sorts. I believe we are both right, where Balladeer makes very true points about how our economy is working, and I believe I make some true points over where our economy shows some signs of wear or need of improvement. I absolutely believe it is important to live with an optimistic forte, and I am most optimistic that in the long term things will improve for the better, and our children will inherit an equally or superior promising economy.

The point I was making was that though our economy is the indisputed envy of the world, I also feel it's not growing to its fullest potential, and we need to adjust our sights back to domestic issues and the hard-working American, who I certainly don't believe are intentionally being placed on the back-burner by either economists, our administration or anyone of sorts, but that issues regarding our basic qualities of life have been overshadowed or distracted recently by wedge issues and foreign policy in particular, and unfortunately, with many of us being distracted from the most important issues at stake domestically, the American dream is not living to its full promise for every citizen.

I, myself, enjoy a beautiful life here in America, in the Pacific Northwest, and I get along quite well personally. I live with a family who owns a great house, in a great city, with a beautiful garden in the front with Japanese rocks and a hummingbird fountain. But it doesn't change the reality that there are millions of Americans who are struggling much more than I am and we must understand that.

America, to me at least, is the best place in the world to live. Yet America can always also learn from other countries as well. For instance, recently the New Economics Foundation and Friends of the Earth released last week what is called the "Happy Planet Index", which basically argues in the report that it is not necessary to use up the Earth's resources to achieve long life and happiness, and studied every nation's life expectancy, human well-being and damage done by a country's "environmental footprint".

Through the findings, Vanuatu was ranked the "happiest place on Earth", largely because, despite only being a nation of around 200,000 people that's less-developed than the United States and other industralized communities, Vanuatu is a very community-oriented culture which gets by through family and goodwill rather than consumer-culture, and all you ever really fear there are earthquakes or huge tidal waves. (U.S came in at #150)

Though I would disagree that you just can't measure happiness on three factors alone, and I consider myself happy as an American and don't mind that we do dwell very much under consumerism, nevertheless the point in sharing this report is that we can seek inspiration and pride from other communities as well, and maybe part of the concern or skepticism at play here may be that we have become overly fixated on larger enterprises and such, while we don't look closely enough to the levels of community, and perhaps if we can reform our political system to where more independent voices that don't come from families of great wealth but communities are represented, finally we'll be immersed to many new ideas to make the American dream as real as possible which are lacking in both the hearts and minds of Democrats and Republicans.

*

Thanks too, Lee and Jo, for your comliments. But I have no desire currently to ever want to run for any office, as I feel there's just something about sitting behind four walls for a certain period of time that suddenly divorces individuals from what the citizens are really talking about and desire, at least until we do effectively introduce fusion balloting and other election reforms that allow additional voices to be incorporated into our national dialogue.

This election season there's only one candidate in any race I'm financially supporting, and that is Kinky Friedman, who is running for governor of Texas as an independent. I feel he is representative of that independent spirit, embodies common sense, who I feel really gets what Victoria Billings said when she explained, "There is no such thing as being too independent." I believe he gets what public education is really missing; that human side to it where teaching is regarded as a job and not a profession anymore, and believes by restoring the child-teacher relationship, filling the Board of Regents with bright young people who have degrees and a great love for education and such, we can again prove to our children that "JFK is not an airport, RFK's not a stadium, Martin Luther King ain't a street."

Things like that. I desire ever so strongly to see more voices like him find their way into our national social dialogue; voices that believe the proverb "Three humble shoesmen brainstorming would make a fine statesman" and give us a fresh breath of imagination aside from the likes of the elephants and the donkeys alone.

Me, I feel if I ever run for anything, it will be for a community office. All I really desire to do most though is just paint the town all sorts of different colors through the art and humanities.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Brad
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13 posted 07-19-2006 08:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
and of course even the poorest citizens in this country will always move along better than the wealthiest in nations like Bangladesh or Cambodia.


I don't understand this. I've met a prince of Cambodia and he was moving along just fine, traveling all over the place (I met him in Japan), went to school in the States, had an entourage and so forth.

The rich do just fine regardless of what country they're from.

Let's try Rawl's veil of ignorance, shall we?

There, I think you have a point.


Balladeer
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14 posted 07-19-2006 10:19 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Noah. I, too, would like to see that event happen. Hey, it's possible
LeeJ
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15 posted 07-20-2006 06:57 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Dear Noah
I unfortunately am not a writter, and as Mike wrote and is so true, you cannot see a person's face when communicating like this.

But, you, you possess an extremely uncanny writing skill that I wish I had 1/4 of that ability.  

As I read your last comment, tried to highlight but I would have had to highlight your entire comment.

It is so refreshing and relieving to see one such as you and so young, to have it so together...I cannot thank you enough for helping me along here in this thread to understand and learn more.  Thank you...wishing you the best in your current and future endeavors...I think Noah, your an asset to us all and many now and in the future, will benefit from your words.  

Jo, this was an extremely benifical thread, thank you for starting...and

Mike, thank you as well for your help
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