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Ford Motor Co. Message Board

  • clawestlake clawestlake Jun 29, 2010 11:42 AM Flag

    Myth 3: The U.S. is sliding into "socialism"

    "For a system allegedly being strangled in its bed, U.S. capitalism seems to be in astonishingly robust shape.

    Numbers published by the Federal Reserve a few weeks ago show that corporate profit margins have just hit record levels. Indeed. Andrew Smithers, the well-regarded financial consultant and author of "Wall Street Revalued," calculates from the Fed's latest Flow of Funds report that corporate profit margins rocketed to 36% in the first quarter. Since records began in 1947 they have never been this high. The highest they got under Ronald Reagan was 30%.

    The picture is also similar when you exclude financials.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI - News) is above 10,000. Small company stocks have rallied astonishingly since early last year: The Russell 2000 index is back to levels seen not long before Lehman imploded. Meanwhile Cap Gemini's latest Wealth Report notes that the North American rich saw an 18% jump in their wealth last year.

    Meanwhile, federal spending, about 25% of the economy this year, is expected to fall to about 23% by 2013. In 1983, under Ronald Reagan, it hit 23.5%. In the early 1990s it was around 22%. Some socialism.

    These days, three-fifths of the entire budget goes on just three things: Insurance for our old age (through Social Security and Medicare), defense, and debt interest.

    Conservatives don't want to cut the $700 billion-plus we spend on defense. We can't cut debt interest payments. And while Social Security and Medicare certainly need reform, the main "problems" are simply rising life expectancy and health care demands. If we didn't provide for the insurance through our taxes we'd have to do it individually.

    What about the rest of the budget? It's jumped from around 7% of GDP a few years ago to about 10% now. Out of control? It's been in the 6% to 9% range for decades. It's forecast to fall to about 8% again in a few years.

    So much for a revolution. But here comes the counter-revolution just the same."

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    • "At this point Republican politics consist mostly of Goebbels Big Lie technique applied like spraying sewage out of a hose."

      After reading the above from you I was completely turned off.

      The whole bunch, Republicans, Democrats, the czars, the president ... in fact EVERY one of them, even a few that have been listening to us should be turned out come November, and we then can start with a clean bill and maybe undo some of the things that have been happening that unless changed will help to destroy this great country. We can't keep spending money we don't have. We can't borrow money and then give it to a foreign country to do something like drilling for oil in deep waters and then letting that country sell the oil to the very country we borrowed from in the first place. Some things that have, in my mind, have happened on purpose and are fulfilling an agenda outlined by someone.

      This country should come FIRST, not a party, and any free thinking American sees it that way.

    • "At this point Republican politics consist mostly of Goebbels Big Lie technique applied like spraying sewage out of a hose."

      After reading the above from you I was completely turned off.

      The whole bunch, Republicans, Democrats, the czars, the president ... in fact EVERY one of them, even a few that have been listening to us should be turned out come November, and we then can start with a clean bill and maybe undo some of the things that have been happening that unless changed will help to destroy this great country. We can't keep spending money we don't have. We can't borrow money and then give it to a foreign country to do something like drilling for oil in deep waters and then letting that country sell the oil to the very country we borrowed from in the first place. Some things that have, in my mind, have happened on purpose and are fulfilling an agenda outlined by someone.

      This country should come FIRST, not a party, and any free thinking American sees it that way.

      • 1 Reply to cpo82002
      • I'm not unsympathetic to your view except that it would be futile without Constitutional reform of the Washington and state capitol Pay-To-Play system. It's democracy itself that's getting buried in Washington.

        The pay to play system has run things for decades and has steered where most of the money went. There was a British Parliamentary study a few years ago that showed that if you threw in foreign aid, military expenses, and so on, the US ended up subsidizing oil imports from the Middle East over $5 per barrel. The suburbs were subsidized, so were cars. We are spending half the whole world's military budget plus the wars.

        And now there's the problem that Americans have such a bad time admitting that the US lost the economic wars with China. The massive transfer of wealth and tech to China is indication enough of that. Bush must have thought Sun Tzu was a fancy dessert. China is also the US biggest creditor. Note how the US doesn't complain about the human rights record of China any more and that Taiwan is facing up to the fade out of its patron in negotiations with China. Obama and Clinton are a slicker team than Bush and Rice but they can only work with what they have. AFAIK, Obama on election thought he would have to pull back a bit and wind down the wars over time - basically lead the US into the real multipolar world. In reality he has to beat a retreat without seeming to because of US political opposition.

        Google [Starve The Beast Norquist] without the brackets. The Republican program going in in the last administration was to deliberately crush Washington under military expenses and debt. Indeed, that will be their legacy. Also Google [Karl Rove McKinley] to see why Karl Rove was the architect of the 2008 crash along with Sen Phil Gramm. Gramm wrote the derivatives enabling legislation and is now a VP of UBS Bank and a lobbyist in Washington. Not to paper over the sheer, utter inadequacy of the Democrats in those times.

    • At this point Republican politics consist mostly of Goebbels Big Lie technique applied like spraying sewage out of a hose.

      Actually it's just Confederate politics gone national. It worked in the southeastern states for generations to keep white and black workers apart in spite of common economic interests. Reconstruction was thwarted by corruption and violence.

      What Republicans need today is economic disaster - the question is why they think they can profit from it. Certainly another crash can't be bridged by borrowing past it since the national bar tab is getting tapped out. Even their hero, Reagan, borrowed his way out of recession with debt whatever the rhetoric. Do they really want some entrepreneurial paradise? Apparently not, most of their actions screw Main Street in favor of large banks and corporations, whatever the rhetoric.

      So listening to their rhetoric, where do they want to go? I listened to a diatribe by someone representative named Mark Levin (sp?) on the radio yesterday and asked myself where he wants to go with it. Only two answers emerge. First he hates Obama or wants his listeners to, misrepresents him, and uses him for a lightening rod. Second, he appears to want to gas most people in the US over perhaps 60 years old unless they are rich. I don't think I'm representing him unfairly or even ungenerously. There's no where else to go with his remarks.

      Today our politicians are all running scared stiff of money. All along we have had a loophole in our Constitution since there's no Jefferson's Wall between politicians and money. Not long ago the Republican faction on the Supreme Court made that loophole into law.

      In the last couple of years medical insurance and finance have dumped hundreds and hundreds of millions on Congress and can send us the bills for doing it. The reforms enacted have been better than nothing but only what The Best Congress That Money Can Buy would pass. It's hardly an accident that Medical care plus finance are eating an unsustainable 1/4 of US GDP. 1/4. Add the trade deficits from Bush's deficit economy - the import machine - and we are out nearly 30% US GDP which is a real drag on any potential recovery. Add the financial freeze imposed on Main Street and the USA is engaged in a serious exercise in head banging. The West in general will emerge from this seriously shriveled.

      Where we are now really going is to a government and large corporations so intertwined that they are dysfunctional - the path of Argentina, Indonesia, Russia, and so on - big Banana Republics. When they crashed, the IMF imposed external reforms and provided bridge loans. The IMF has been largely bankrolled by the US.

      The US is not too big to fail, but it is too big to bail out. IMHO, make sure your kids are fluent in Mandarin. 2000-2008 they won the economic wars.

      Be careful of what you wish for....

    • Tell all that BS to the 10% unemployed, or go to some states that are near or at 15% unemloyed.

      Obama yesterday refused to allow a near billion dollar contract to go through for equipment that works in open pit minning operations.

      The contracts were from Bycus corporation to the nation of India.
      So now he kills exports. and trade with India, as they cannot rely on our signed contracts.

      No estimate how many billions of dollars lost in trade, nor how many thousands the dumb idiot over time will cost that one company.

      And it was not going to be used for minning. in the USA. I wonder which nation will get all that business and the added jobs?

      jlre2

    • Ummm..the DOW is BELOW 10,000 dork...

    • And according to the article you copy and pasted from yahoo, UE is likely around 22%. No wonder their profits are so high, productivity is off the charts with a shrunken labor force!

    • And don't forget to cite your sources, like Huffington Post for instance.

    • Toward it, not into it.

      AIG, GM, Chrlysler, Several big banks, the healthcare system.

      And Ohdumboo is just getting warmed up.

      And corporate profits ARE A GOOD THING!!
      Who the hell do you think creates jobs in this country?? The government??

 
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