# Consumer spending up, but recession still a threat

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer spending rose
at its fastest pace in five months in July, backing views the
economy was not falling back into recession, although pending
sales of previously owned homes fell.

The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer spending
increased 0.8 percent on strong demand for motor vehicles,
after slipping 0.1 percent in June.

70 percent of U.S. economic activity, to rise 0.5 percent.

When adjusted for inflation, spending rose 0.5 percent last
month, the largest gain in 1-1/2 years and the first increase
since April.

While that’s good news, a double-dip recession is still a very real danger. The sovereign-debt crisis in Europe continue to play out, and seems destined to result in at least one and possibly more defaults. The recent brinksmanship in Washington has raised doubts both here and abroad about the sophistication and sense of responsibility among much of our elected leadership. And while corporate profits and corporate cash holdings remain at record highs, that’s dead money taken out of circulation.

As a story in today’s Wall Street Journal puts it:

Economists at JPMorgan, in their weekly reprise of economic developments, blamed the recent global stock selloff on “a sense of policy paralysis in the U.S. and Europe, which has driven home the point that there is no cavalry to ride to the rescue.”

“Fiscal policy has turned restrictive and an additional sharp tightening lies just ahead in the U.S., while monetary authorities have exhausted much of their ammunition,” they said.

Officials on both sides of the Atlantic who orchestrated the response to the global financial crisis insist the world economy would have been worse had they not acted as they did. But it’s clear that the remedies didn’t deliver the recovery for which they hoped.

Some economists, among them Harvard UniversiItty’s Kenneth Rogoff, say today’s painfully slow economic growth is the inevitable result of the massive head winds that follow a recession caused by a banking and financial crisis. Government policies, given already heavy burdens of debt on governments in the U.S., Europe and Japan, can’t overcome the relentless efforts of households and banks to reduce their debt loads.”

It would be fascinating to read how future historians and economists analyze this era and the decisions made by government and business leaders.

– Jay Bookman

getalife

August 29th, 2011
4:32 pm

doom,

You are not a intellectual.

You are a human con talking point parrot. .

Invisible hand.

Yeah, that is bs.

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

JAA One – well done

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

“The invisible hand is what causes money spent by private individuals to be allocated and used more productively than money spent by the public sector.”

How? How does the hand do that?

md

August 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

“Wouldn’t it just be easier for you to explain how private spending is more efficient?”

In 2 words……it’s cheaper…….or…….less costs……….

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:34 pm

Bosch 4:32 – didn’t elect to read my 4:30 I see

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:34 pm

“How? How does the hand do that?”

You first. How does gravity do that?

Just Another Anonymous One

August 29th, 2011
4:35 pm

I’m all agog!

Doesn’t that hurt!

@@

August 29th, 2011
4:35 pm

Paul:

Just go to the link and click on “Listen.”

I did. Got thru McGovern saying “I wish we were on television so everyone could see how magnificant you look.”

[snip]

“You look ten years younger than the last time I saw you.”

Then?

Our overwhelming debt is due to the military.

Almost didn’t make it to his comment on the military. His male condescension made me wanna hurl.

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:35 pm

“you first” (since you’re the one questioning one of the basic tenets of economics)

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:36 pm

“it’s cheaper…….or…….less costs”

How?

Kamchak

August 29th, 2011
4:36 pm

The “Invisible Hand”

Isn’t that the name of a ninja clan?

md

August 29th, 2011
4:36 pm

“and that’s suggesting that the Scientific Method is somehow deficient and should somehow be bypassed, rejected or revised simply because it can’t prove or disprove these things.”

I wouldn’t use the term “deficient”…….I’d use “limited”…….it’s limited to the input that we think we know………

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:37 pm

““you first” (since you’re the one questioning one of the basic tenets of economics)”

Yes I am, and btw, I really don’t give a f&ck about gravity. But I am interested in how this private vs. public more efficient spending thing works.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:38 pm

“Doesn’t that hurt!”

No, JAAO, it’s like being all excited, but more tingly.

Just Another Anonymous One

August 29th, 2011
4:38 pm

md,

are you really here.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:39 pm

Kamchak,

I thought it was the Druids, but, as you say, “Oh well.”

getalife

August 29th, 2011
4:39 pm

In the real world, we have to recover 15 million jobs to get back to normal unemployment.

President Clinton added 23 million jobs so it is a achievable goal.

Now the gop refuse to put country first and work with our President to achieve this easy goal.

So what should our President do to add 15 million jobs know it alls?

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:39 pm

Bosch 4:37 – dude, as Doom says, this is about opening our minds a bit. And if we can’t explore something as simple as gravity further, then we won’t make much headway on economics either.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:40 pm

jm,

Well hell, we can talk about gravity more if you want, but I’d rather focus on this whole notion that private spending is more efficient than public spending thing if you don’t mind. My mind is open, explain away.

md

August 29th, 2011
4:41 pm

“How?”

With gov’t, the private sector must first “pay” for the bureaucracy that will spend the money vs just spending the money……goes back to that $100 we discussed the other day. As an example, take that$100……..private sector generates it and spends it at face value…..to go through the gov’t, private sector generates the same $100, but also has to generate an additional$xxx to have it distributed……

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:41 pm

“So what should our President do to add 15 million jobs know it alls?”

Well, if he were dictator (which he isn’t), then repealing 1/2 the federal regulations register, revamping entitlements and the healthcare plan, and overhauling the tax code would work wonders

but that ain’t gonna happen. so probably better to move to Singapore. They have a labor shortage and pay a lot.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

getalife and Kamchak,

Apparently from Doom’s earlier essay, this “Magic Hand” oh, excuse me, it’s “Invisible” hand somehow creates order out of chaos. Isn’t that that the shyt? I just wish they could explain this whole private v. public spending is more efficient thing to me.

Brosephus

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

invisible hands and gravity???

Does the invisible hand pull you down out of the sky, therefore creating the illusion of gravity keeping a person grounded?

The things that are discussed at Bookman’s.

Dusty

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Would someone tell the gravity growlers that we have already cleared that one up?

The apple fell to the ground off the apple tree. Newton knew right away that it was gravity, not the usual squirrel biters.

I’m so glad for Sir Newton although they named those goodies “fig newtons” after him instead of “apple newtons”. There’s something unscientific about that.

Kamchak

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Bosch

Earlier, I tried to post a video of Drogba getting knocked out this weekend but I guess the FA is all “it’s our property so you can’t post it.”

Maybe this one

Thulsa Doom

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Bosch,

This is actually a pretty good example from wikipedia on the theory of rational choices made by the consumer. The bottom line as explained in that previous article is that individuals best left to their own devices with their own money make better decisions with that money than the govt can do for them. You musta missed that as well as the concept that when govt coercively takes money from a group of people it does not and cannot make the most rational decisions as to how best allocate resources as well as spending decisions. Also the marginal utitility derived from said decisions will vary among different groups. Govt cannot possibly spend other people’s money in the way each of those people want the money spent- its impossible. Its idea as to how a dollar is spent will differ from the rational decisions of how a consumer with his own dollar wants to most efficiently allocate that dollar or dollars. The concept carries over on a macro level and also in terms of business decisions regarding how best to allocate a dollar vs govt decisions regarding the same. This is all common sense and I’m just using some simple economics jargon but I dumbed it down enough for you to understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_choice_theory

jm

August 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Bosch 4:40 – fine, I guess I’ll hack away at this for both of us. Let me waste 3 minutes and I’ll be back

Fred

August 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

Dusty@ 3;04: WHo are you and what have you done with the Dusty WE know? That was an awesome post and gave me a much needed chuckle.

Try Sam’s. Even Clark Howard likes them. Or (I’m serious), look online for some tires. Sam’s will STILL put them on reasonably, (another trick I learned fron good ole Clarky). Good luck though. I get my tires from my mechanic, Randies in Tucker. After much effort searching around a few years ago, I found he gave me the best deal. In fact, he pretty much gives me the best deal on everything.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
4:44 pm

“the private sector must first “pay” for the bureaucracy that will spend the money vs just spending the money……goes back to that $100 we discussed the other day” Yeah, I remember that, but one thing you didn’t account for is “private” bureaucracy. You were basing your opinion that it didn’t exist. There are a whole lotta layers between the farm and the mouth — same in private and public. Joe Mama August 29th, 2011 4:44 pm md — “I wouldn’t use the term “deficient”…….I’d use “limited”…….it’s limited to the input that we think we know………” I’m all ears regarding the mechanisms and structures that we might rely on to determine Truth. But I expect I’ll apply a healthy dose of skepticism to them as well. md August 29th, 2011 4:45 pm “md, are you really here.” No……shhhh……but don’t tell anybody………I only exist in the cyber world…….I live in your computer……. Dusty August 29th, 2011 4:45 pm Brosephus,] I’m kinda wishing the invisible hand would pull the plug on this one. The poor thing just will not die a natural death. Blogitis begorrah!! Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 4:46 pm md, Hell I didn’t even go into the fact that the govt acts as a middleman or bureaucracy in the allocation of resources, in this case dollars, decisions. I was just keeping it simple but that fact alone that a middleman is involved makes a dollar spent by the govt automatically less efficient. I was just looking at it from the aspect of rational decisions. Just Another Anonymous One August 29th, 2011 4:46 pm Joe works for the government and Jim works for Goldman. Joe spends ten dollars on a big lunch and then works it off by digging a trench to pour concrete in for a sidewalk while Jim spends one hundred dollars on lunch and then goes back to his office and finishes transactions where he buys and sells oil for a quick profit of one million dollars for the day. Joe leaves work and fills up his vehicle with$4/gallon gas while listening to Bachmann on the radio promising to put Jim out of work so Joe can have $2/gallon gas. Who got the most bang for their buck. Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:46 pm ” The bottom line as explained in that previous article is that individuals best left to their own devices with their own money make better decisions with that money than the govt can do for them.” But “the government” is a consumer just like an individual, and a pretty big one at that when you are talking about demand, so how is it that an individual who makes less purchases spends the same amount of money more efficiently than the government who makes many, many purchases and is the main catalyst for demand in our economy? Now, I’ll read the rest of your post. md August 29th, 2011 4:48 pm “Yeah, I remember that, but one thing you didn’t account for is “private” bureaucracy. You were basing your opinion that it didn’t exist. There are a whole lotta layers between the farm and the mouth — same in private and public.” Well Bosch……since the private sector has to generate all the funds, that private bureaucracy is a wash…..paid in both cases…………. Paul August 29th, 2011 4:49 pm @@ Condescension? He and Ms Rehm have been associated for years. She went thru some severe health problems. Was dicey for a while. While I’m not much for that kind of personal talk on an open forum, I can understand the sentiment on how well she looks now compared to a few years ago. Military spending? If you take the levels over 40 years, back out the unnecessary stuff he spoke of, it’s quite a chunk of change. You could always click on the progress meter and skip the first part. He has some interesting policy ideas. His view of the ‘enemies approach’ to politics is revealing, as is his view of Pres Nixon. Just Another Anonymous One August 29th, 2011 4:50 pm Would someone tell the gravity growlers that we have already cleared that one up? md swears up and down that one day the apple could fall up! Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:50 pm Doom, In regards to marginal utility, how can you say that the government spends it less efficiently in terms of demand? The government usually buys alot of one product or service, therefore making their dollar more efficient, when you buy in bulk, as the government does, marginal utility dictates that is more efficient. Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:51 pm md, Can I answer your 4:48 or am I just talking to my computer? Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 4:51 pm Yeah, I remember that, but one thing you didn’t account for is “private” bureaucracy- Bosch By this one can only surmise that the public bureaucracy advocated by the old Soviets or the North Koreans was or is as efficient as the private bureaucracy in a capitalistic state. Hmmm. Interesting concept. Public Bureaucracy in North korea is for example as efficient as the public bureaucracy in say South Korea. Only in the imaginary world is this true. In the real world its a whole different story. Just ask the 2 Koreas. Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 4:52 pm Public Bureaucracy in North korea is for example as efficient as the private bureaucracy in say South Korea. Should read this way. Dusty August 29th, 2011 4:52 pm Thanks, Fred. Sounds like good tire info. Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:54 pm Why would you surmise that Doom? There is no private bureaucracy in NK, at least not to the degree we have here. It’s comparing apples and oranges. jm August 29th, 2011 4:55 pm Bosch On the law of gravity. Gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between two objects and directly proportional to the product of the two masses times the gravitational constant. (good answer Bosch) So where does the gravitational constant come from and what constitutes mass in an object? Well the sort of easier one first, mass is the sum of the mass of electrons, protons, neutrons and any other quantum mechanical particles floating around. As far as the gravitational constant, why is it 6.67384(80) \times 10^{-11} \ \mbox{m}^3 \ \mbox{kg}^{-1} \ \mbox{s}^{-2} = 6.67384(80) \times 10^{-11} \ {\rm N}\, {\rm (m/kg)^2} . Well, we’re not exactly sure, and since we’re at the bottom of a gravity well, we even have a pretty hard time measuring it. Which is part of what Einstein’s theory of relativity helped address, but I digress. (good answer Bosch) Well, ok. Why do protons electrons neutrons and quantum particles have their masses? Well, now we’re down the rabbit hole. There are some answers to this, but frankly we don’t fully know. There are possibly alternate universes where the particles have different masses, gravity is different, or these particles don’t exist at all. We’re not even 100% sure what gravity is exactly, as much as we do understand it. It could be the byproduct of one of the other forces, or it could be something else we frankly just don’t completely understand. (wow, that was deep bosch) Ok, Bosch, I’ll get to econ shortly. Sorry that took more than a few minutes. md August 29th, 2011 4:55 pm “I’m all ears regarding the mechanisms and structures that we might rely on to determine Truth. But I expect I’ll apply a healthy dose of skepticism to them as well.” yeh, me too…..especially the skeptical part……….. Science is a tool used to seek the truth……..it is not necessarily truth……..it is an equation in which we plug in what we think are known variables……………..but more often than not, always solving for x. In the case of Big bang, evolution, etc, x can never be solved in an infinite universe………… Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:56 pm jm, I told you, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about gravity, and not sure why it you insist upon making it purview to our economics discussion, but hey, it’s your party…. jm August 29th, 2011 4:57 pm Bosch 4:46 – its not about consumption, its about investment jm August 29th, 2011 4:57 pm Bosch 4:56 – because the invisible hand and gravity, such as they’re understood, have more than a little in common Dusty August 29th, 2011 4:58 pm Just Another Anonymous One, So “md swears that one day the apple could fall up.” Do not worry, JAAO. md was standing on his head when he said that. Brosephus August 29th, 2011 4:58 pm Well Bosch……since the private sector has to generate all the funds, that private bureaucracy is a wash…..paid in both cases…………. In essence, whether it’s the public sector bureaucracy or the private sector, the taxpayer or citizen ends up being the one getting soaked… Bosch August 29th, 2011 4:59 pm jm, What do you mean by “it?” And of course consumption plays into the equation, because demand is the main variable (if that’s the right word) of our economy. Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 4:59 pm The government usually buys alot of one product or service, therefore making their dollar more efficient, when you buy in bulk, as the government does, marginal utility dictates that is more efficient.- Bosch Yes of course Bosch. Which is why when the govt pays in bulk for thousands of hammers in military procurement it pays$600 a hammer for example in several cost overruns that we’ve read about.

In terms of raw purchasing power theoretically your point makes sense and in some cases I’m sure the govt does get a bulk rate on a particular item that I wouldn’t get if I were paying for the same item as Joe schmoe. But often in reality though it doesn’t quite work that way. And secondly while the govt would get a better deal buying thousands of something then I would as a joe blow those savings are quickly lost by the fact that I have to pay taxes for the bureaucracy that had to buy whatever widget you speak of.

md

August 29th, 2011
5:00 pm

“md swears up and down that one day the apple could fall up!”

I do? OK.

More like knowing the odds……….what are the odds that gravity will always make the apple fall down??

And 100% is not the answer……….which should give you some insight.

RGB

August 29th, 2011
5:01 pm

“Seattle Green Jobs Program Gets $20M, Creates 14 Jobs” Who said Obama didn’t know how to create jobs? Change you can believe in. Brosephus August 29th, 2011 5:01 pm Bosch 4:46 – its not about consumption, its about investment I’ve seen several different accounts that state consumption accounts for between 70% to 75% of our national GDP. Where does investment come in as a percentage of GDP? I’ve never seen anything that addresses that. I’m curious about that as we’re steadily headed towards being a financial based economy. Kamchak August 29th, 2011 5:01 pm its not about consumption, its about investment When an economist only has only a hammer as a tool, every problem looks like a nail. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:01 pm “But often in reality though it doesn’t quite work that way” And I would argue that we really don’t pay$600 for a hammer — or at least that is the exception and not the norm.

“I would as a joe blow those savings are quickly lost by the fact that I have to pay taxes for the bureaucracy that had to buy whatever widget you speak of”

You are talking now about paying, not spending. And again, you are discounting private bureaucracy as if it doesn’t exist.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
5:02 pm

Okay good Bro and Kamchak, that made absolutely no sense to me either.

Kamchak

August 29th, 2011
5:03 pm

Oops. Too many onlys

Thulsa Doom

August 29th, 2011
5:03 pm

In essence, whether it’s the public sector bureaucracy or the private sector, the taxpayer or citizen ends up being the one getting soaked…

Not really. Adhering to the theory of rational decisions private people and businesses make their own decisions based on what is best for them. You spend your dollar in a rational basis of what you best want for that dollar. And odds are you are going to get much greater marginal utility for an item that you want with your own dollar than what the govt wants to spend your dollar on.

Just Another Anonymous One

August 29th, 2011
5:03 pm

what are the odds that gravity will always make the apple fall down??

When another planetary body passes close enough to earth to overcome the earth’s gravitational force on the apple and make it go up, I won’t really give a crap about the odds. How about you.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
5:05 pm

“And odds are you are going to get much greater marginal utility for an item that you want with your own dollar than what the govt wants to spend your dollar on”

But there is no way to measure that, therefore no way to show one is more efficient. “The government” as a consumer does the same thing, and if you factor in marginal utility, it actually gets the better deal.

Thulsa Doom

August 29th, 2011
5:06 pm

Bosch,

And you are discounting rational decision making in regards to spending. People can spend their money much more efficiently and get far more marginal utility for their dollar than the govt can. Do you honestly think the govt can spend your dollar more efficiently on the things you want than you can whether we’re looking at it from the point of you as an individual or a business person’s perspective?

Dusty

August 29th, 2011
5:07 pm

Kamchak,

I thought you said every problem looked like a groundhog. Now you say it is a nail??

jm

August 29th, 2011
5:08 pm

And on to Bosch’s favorite topic.

The world is composed of individuals (particles) that are on average seeking to better their lot in life. The profit motive (invisible hand, gravity, whatever) of these individuals leads them to make decisions to try to further their lot in life. In order to make a profit, they must provide something to someone at a price less than the value to the purchaser, and at a price higher than their cost to manufacture. So the benefits of trade are also an integral part to the invisible hand.

In order to provide these goods at a profit, the provider must build them, find them, dig them up, pump them up from the ground, invent them and engineer them, making investments in order to do so. Those investments are sometimes in labor (time, entrepreneurship, invention) and sometimes in capital (purchasing a machine, a plant, materials, etc). When the producer makes these investments, he is helping provide something that has value to the world and was previously scarce (when there’s no scarcity, there’s no profit).

In contrast, the government has no profit motive. The government serves a variety of purposes, but none of these are related to profit. Common defense, the cumulative aggregation of political will and decisions in a democracy, the maintenance of property rights. Government does these things, but not out of a purpose to make a profit.

Therefore, the public sector, government, does not, on balance, provide things as efficiently that are scarce, than the private sector. Furthermore, there is no feedback mechanism (price doesn’t matter to government) in the public sector, whereas price makes the private sector more efficient.

Now, this is not to say the private sector free market is perfect. It makes mistakes. The difference is the private sector, through the mechanism of price and allocation of resources, tied to price, corrects failings more swiftly and more efficiently than the public sector can.

(good answer jm) Ok, my manifesto and time wasting are done. I’m sure Bosch is already asleep.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 29th, 2011
5:08 pm

doom cites a $600 hammer myth as “proof”?….. Swami Dave August 29th, 2011 5:09 pm getalife “So what should our President do to add 15 million jobs know-it-alls?” For starters, we should open tapping of our nations domestic energy reserves (Gulf Coast, Alaska, & Midwest for oil and oil shale as well as our large available pockets of natural gas). This would…. a) add additional revenues via the royalties b) create jobs in the oil exploration, drilling, refining, and transport industries providing opportunities for those without work or underemployed and thereby increasing the tax base c) have the added effect of putting a downward pressure on the worldwide price of oil & natural gas removing one of the major limiters of our current economy (the high prices of energy) d) either (1) make us less dependent upon foreign oil or (2) ease our current trade deficits if the energy resources are sold as exports So there, GAL, something that we should do right now that would be a POSITIVE impact on our economy and employment. Additional revenues, less unemployment, more taxpayers, better overall economic conditions…….so why won’t PrezBO work with Republicans to implement these proposals that have been recommended for the past couple of years which would actually DO something instead of continually trying to implement policies that are current and historic failures? Go ahead and write him that letter. -SD Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:09 pm “People can spend their money much more efficiently and get far more marginal utility for their dollar than the govt can.” But how do you measure that? How do you valiate that claim? What assessment tool do you use? It’s not proven until you do so, using your gut feeling as an assessment tool is not all that reliable (or valid). Dusty August 29th, 2011 5:09 pm Where is Marginal Utility? If it “gets the better deal”, I’m checking out the tires. Fred August 29th, 2011 5:09 pm “Now I’m not saying anything bad about you as a person. What I am saying is that there’s a lot less “I don’t know” than you are giving credit for. A LOT less. Oh the arrogance of youth. “Lot” is a subjective word. Yeah there is a lot more answered today than there was 40 years ago Adam, but your “lot” is of statistical insignificance to the “lots” we still DON’T know. Again I would suggest that you don’t know enough to ask the questions about WHAT you don’t know. You speak of “science” as if it WERE God. Do you forget that it wasn’t so very long ago that “scientists” thought the world was flat? Or that the sun revolved around the earth? These wweren’t stupid men. The were SCIENTISTS. They made the best hypothesis that they could given their limited knowledge of math and science. They “tested” and “supported” their theories. As science progressed, they were proven wrong, or right, depending upon the theory. Science is about QUESTIONING, not just accepting, yet you choose to “accept” something just because the popular “science’ of the day says it’s so. Your chosen method, in and of it’s self is in error. You deride those who DO question and who DO acknowledge how little we know. When I was a bright eyed freshman in College my eyes about science were opened by………… a scientist. A chemist. He taught……… you guessed it, Chemistry. He’d go over things like atomic numbers. And he’d say something like the atomic number for [blank] is [blank]. Why? Because we SAY so and it works most of the time. And it does. The “atomic numbers” are just an average though, that DOES work most of the time. One day we will understand better. One day we WILL nail down pi. One day we WILL find a way to travel faster than light. But that day isn’t today. And on that day when they DO answer all those question? There will STILL be questions that they say, “I dunno” to. What those questions are, we at this point can even begin to guess, because we DON’T KNOW enough to even guess what question will have arisen from the answer they get from today’s question. How can you not see this? It’s SO basic, SO simple. Is your mind just too closed or indoctrinated, is your imagination just too small, or perhaps your ego to big? In all your claims that science is the end answer to everything, you really show your ignorance OF science. In claiming the infallibility of “science”, you show ignorance of what science really is. Science is questioning EVERYTHING, especially “science,” and entertaining possibilities. It’s being open minded. You however speak in absolutes and keep digging at those of us who try to educate you on the fact there there ARE no absolutes. Bosch claimed death was an absolute earlier, but I won’t. They might learn how to cure death tomorrow, I dunno. When standing in front of a house and asked the color of the house, you Adam would say, “The house is white.” I would say, “It’s painted white on THIS side. I don’t know what color the other three sides are. Kamchak August 29th, 2011 5:10 pm I thought you said every problem looked like a groundhog. Perhaps you can go back and find where I said exactly that? Weren’t you just admonishing someone here for attributing things to you that you didn’t say? Glass house, meet stone. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:11 pm “Do you honestly think the govt can spend your dollar more efficiently on the things you want than you can whether we’re looking at it from the point of you as an individual or a business person’s perspective?” It doesn’t matter really what you or I think, until it can be measured and verified, we are still just speculating — therefore again, to my original point, that this whole concept is just your opinion. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:12 pm Actually jm, I’m not asleep, I’m just skipping your posts now because you make no sense. Doom actually makes sense, his posts are easier to ask questions about. Kthnx. Doggone/GA August 29th, 2011 5:12 pm “When another planetary body passes close enough to earth to overcome the earth’s gravitational force on the apple and make it go up” but it will only be going “up” from our point of view, from the point of view of the other planet it will still be going down jm August 29th, 2011 5:12 pm And Bosch – if you just want the gravitational equivalent to the falling apple for the invisible hand, then look no further than the no longer existing USSR, or the economic liberalization of China. Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 5:13 pm But “the government” is a consumer just like an individual, and a pretty big one at that when you are talking about demand- Bosch Bosch, Exactly. Govt is a consumer- of wealth in the form of taxation. Govt does not produce wealth Bosch. It exists solely because the private sector pays for it as a necessary evil that we must have for courts, police, military, fire protection. The reality is that govt is an overall drag on the private sector the bigger and bigger it is. Somehow no matter how much we try to explain this to you guys it escapes you. Anyway, I’m out. Handing the ball off to others. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:13 pm Actually Dusty, if you and Midori go in together, marginal utility dictates you might just get a better deal!!! Dusty August 29th, 2011 5:14 pm Kamchak, love, Have you forgotten your lament over the groundhogs in your garden? They are going to be hurt that you have forgotten them. Now go eat your veggies. They are good for perking up the memory. Fred August 29th, 2011 5:15 pm Dusty August 29th, 2011 4:52 pm Thanks, Fred. Sounds like good tire info. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ You could repay me by posting a good hot bacon salad dressing dip if you have one lol. I’m making spinach salad with avacados, mushrooms and tomatoes, and hot bacon salad dressing, along pan seared scallops for supper, but I don’t have a recipe for the dressing. It’s what I was SUPPOSED to be looking up on the computer, not blogging…….. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:15 pm No Doom, it doesn’t escape me, it’s just that I disagree. Government and Business are symbiotic, they can not exist without the other, and to think one is better than the other is a fool’s errand. Joe Mama August 29th, 2011 5:16 pm Doom — “Adhering to the theory of rational decisions private people and businesses make their own decisions based on what is best for them.” That’s strange. It sounds like it doesn’t apply very well to individuals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_choice_theory “Because rational choice theory lacks understanding of consumer motivation, some economists restrict its use to understanding business behavior where goals are usually very clear. As Armen Alchian points out, competition in the market encourages businesses to maximize profits (in order to survive). Because that goal is significantly less vacuous than “maximizing utility” and the like, rational choice theory is apt.” “Although models used in rational choice theory are diverse, all assume individuals choose the best action according to unchanging and stable preference functions and constraints facing them. Most models have additional assumptions. Those proponents of rational choice models associated with the Chicago school of economics do not claim that a model’s assumptions are a full description of reality, only that good models can aid reasoning and provide help in formulating falsifiable hypotheses, whether intuitive or not.[citation needed] In this view, the only way to judge the success of hypotheses is empirical tests.[4] To use an example from Milton Friedman, if a theory that says that the behavior of the leaves of a tree is explained by their rationality passes the empirical test, it is seen as successful.” “However, it may not be possible to empirically test or falsify the rationality assumption, so that the theory leans heavily toward being a tautology (true by definition) since there is no effort to explain individual goals.” jm August 29th, 2011 5:16 pm “you make no sense” Translation: I don’t understand. Thulsa Doom August 29th, 2011 5:17 pm Bosch, We’ll talk later but for now I have x amount of money and I’m going to make the rational decision of what suits me best which is to go out and have some nice dinner and see some hotties even if it is a Monday. I derive a great deal of marginal utility(satisfaction) from a good dinner and possibly seeing some nice tail. And if I’m lucky maybe I’ll get a lot of marginal utility this evening. Later guys. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:17 pm “Govt does not produce wealth Bosch. It exists solely because the private sector pays for it as a necessary evil that we must have for courts, police, military, fire protection. The reality is that govt is an overall drag on the private sector the bigger and bigger it is.” And one last thing Doom, I’m not arguing against that point. There are fine lines between government intervention — how much is needed, etc. I know that, I think that’s all great and all. But, it does not in any way shape or form validate your assumption that private spending is more efficient. And since I stopped paying attention to jm because he was insisting upon talking about gravity for some strange reason and I don’t really care about that, and his other posts made no sense, and because my daughter is waiting to be picked up…I big you all, adieu. Bosch August 29th, 2011 5:18 pm TMI Doom! TMI!! But good luck with that. Dusty August 29th, 2011 5:18 pm Bosch, I’d go for the deal but Midori would probably put nails in my tires and Obama stickers on my bumper. My equilibrium is not that utilitarian although I am close to being a vegetarian. Kamchak August 29th, 2011 5:19 pm Have you forgotten your lament over the groundhogs in your garden? No. How does that equate to,”every problem looked like a groundhog”? Again, you are attributing words to me that I did not type. Glass house, meet stone. Fred August 29th, 2011 5:20 pm Never mind Dusty. Alton Brown answered before you did lol. Although if you have another one you’ve used I would try it instead. I have a feeling you are a damn good cook. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/spinach-salad-with-warm-bacon-dressing-recipe/index.html Joe Mama August 29th, 2011 5:20 pm Doom — “go out and have some nice dinner and see some hotties even if it is a Monday. I derive a great deal of marginal utility(satisfaction) from a good dinner and possibly seeing some nice tail. And if I’m lucky maybe I’ll get a lot of marginal utility this evening.” I’m going to go with ‘broke up with the GF over the weekend for$500, Alex.

Bosch

August 29th, 2011
5:20 pm

“Again, you are attributing words to me that I did not type.”

Kamchak,

I’m worried about Dusty, she was doing that to me last Friday. Dementia maybe?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 29th, 2011
5:20 pm

Dang that govt….dragging the private sector down by spending that resulted in things like the space program (no new technology there) and the internet.

josef

August 29th, 2011
5:20 pm

So, what’s the argument about today? Catch me up so’s I don’t have to go scrolling back…just had five little ones running about the house…ready now for act II of Short Attention Span Theatre…

Brosephus

August 29th, 2011
5:21 pm

And odds are you are going to get much greater marginal utility for an item that you want with your own dollar than what the govt wants to spend your dollar on.

What about when you have a fixed market, such as Microsoft in the PC environment… does that not negate much of those odds?

Joe the Plutocrat

August 29th, 2011
5:21 pm

you guys need to get back to the intelligent design vs. evolution thing. Thulsa, holster the “bureacracy” talk. have you ever looked up the word? the key words/concepts are “inflexible routine” and “rigid rules”. even the tax codes have loopholes. listen, you all can spout all the red state blue state, liberal vs. conservative stuff you want; but the United States of America is a plutocracy. the oligarchs represent private sector interests in banking, defense, insurance, healthcare, agriculture, technology, etc.; and the oligarchs control legislation (government) via campaign contributes, lobbyists, and many times, outright bribery. and on top of it, the final system is driven by a fiat currency, the value of which is determined by the Board of Governors of the a central bank, and not intrinsic value. in fact, I would argue, that based on the continued polarization of wealth and the pulverization of the middle class; the system is profoundly “efficient” in the redistribution of wealth.

Brosephus

August 29th, 2011
5:24 pm

Govt does not produce wealth Bosch

Lockheed Martin investors… Haliburton investors… XE investors….

Dusty

August 29th, 2011
5:25 pm

Fred, so sorry but

My recipes have not been approved by Cordon Bleu. Maybe it is because they all end with BURN BABY BURN…

But good luck. Your dinner sounds wonderful!!

Mary Elizabeth

August 29th, 2011
5:25 pm

(1) I have never known private business to have the “common good” of the people at the forefront of their pursuits. Profit is at the forefront of their pursuits, and that is as it should be in business.

However, this nation was founded for more than business pursuits. It was formed, in part, to serve the “common good,” hence, Thomas Jefferson’s strong emphasis that public education be provided for all of America’s young, paid for by the tax payer, as well as his emphasis upon freedom of religion and freedom from religion having tentacles into state affairs (as had been true when the Head of the Church of England and the Kings had a nice coalition of power between themselves). Jefferson was prouder of his having penned the “Bill (in Virginia) for Establishing Religious Freedom and severing the Church from the State,” than of any public office he had held, including the presidency, itself.

(2) Public, government programs do not have profit as a motive. That, in some instances, can save the tax payer money. When Unicoi State Park was run, a few years back by a private company, instead of by the state of Georgia, it lost money and the patrons who used the facility paid much more for time spent there. After a year or so, the state again became the overseer of Unicoi State Park and the Park started to pick up business again.

Business interests are needed in our nation, but these interests must be balanced with public interests that serve the common good of the people as a whole. Besides that, having public, government programs in some areas of our functioning as a nation helps citizens to realize that we are all interconnected and that America does not simply stand for self-interest alone. We need to realize that, once again, and work for the proper balance between the public/private sectors of our lives. It is not healthy to denigrate one or the other entirely.

(I have simply offered these thoughts as a balance to the discussion, as you continue discussing. I am gone for the remainder of the day.)

Kamchak

August 29th, 2011
5:25 pm

Bosch

Dementia?

Possibly.

Holier-than-thou-itis?

Most definitely.