Author Topic: The $%*! frustration thread  (Read 467657 times)

placidchap

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1935 on: February 11, 2009, 01:01:22 pm »
It was officially announced by the NBER in Dec 2008, that the US economy has been in a recession since Dec 2007, (Sept-October 2008 was just the worst of it thus far).  They seem rather useless, other than for recording history.  
http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/01/news/economy/recession/index.htm?postversion=2008120112

I still disagree on that point, at least in respect to the way it affects the economy.  
Mental state does play a role in economic health, but not in the way you suggest.  A positive mental state does not lessen the physical degradation (poor regulation and business practice) of the economy.  If everyone thinks that the economy is not as bad as it seems, there will be less pressure to change what needs to be changed (if it ain't broke, don't fix it).  Everyone needs to see and feel the state of the economy as it is, not as it should be for any substantial change in business practice and government regulation.  If there is no pain, no one will give a hoot...once the pain starts to creep into their life, they will want to try and make changes so they can be comfortable again.  Hopefully these changes are well planned and reflective of the current state of affairs so it does not happen in the same form again.  These changes would not happen if people carried on as usual, trying to delude themselves into thinking the economy is a-ok.

Thought

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1936 on: February 11, 2009, 02:21:11 pm »
Thanks for the link, it was quite interesting.

Though there seems to be a problem in what you and I would define as a recession due to the  NBER having a broader definition of recession than is standard. They date a recession from the peak of the last boom. In other words, by their defintion, it would appear that any economic downturn is a recession and that the recession starts as soon as there is any decrease in the GNP. It seems to be a very binary apporach; either the economy is growing or we're in a recession. Looking into it, it seems like their approach is largely much better than the standard approach I learned about in school, but I would fault them for not allowing the possibilities that an economy might cool without going into a recession.

Using their defintion of a recession, then yes, I would agree that the recession started at least a year go.

Though once again:

...trying to delude themselves into thinking the economy is a-ok.

If people think the economy is a-ok, then the economy is a-ok (more or less). If consumer confidence remains unaffected, then physical degredation has almost no influence on the economy itself. It is only when consumers buy less that the economy takes a turn for the worst, and that only happens when consumers are uncertain about the economic future and hold off on purchases to save money to better weather that future. A physical degredation in once sector might influence individuals in that sector, causing a limited recession in that sector, until the fear of that recession leaks into the rest of the population, the rest of the population will be barely phased.

Certainly, physical degredation can trigger the mental changes that result in a recession, but the mental changes are what causes the recession; most physical degredation without it has only a minor effect.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, I am merely saying that is how economies work. And it might be better for the health of the economy in the long turn when there are those changes in mental states, but recessions are caused by what people think more than anything else.

chrono eric

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1937 on: February 12, 2009, 01:42:37 am »
That damn bird woke me up at 5 AM again this morning, singing directly outside my window, and I couldn't get back to sleep again after that. I nearly fell asleep standing today. So this time, diphenhydramine is on my side. I can already feel my eyelids drooping. I'd like to see you wake me up now. Victory is mine!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 02:08:44 am by chrono eric »

idioticidioms

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1938 on: February 12, 2009, 01:45:56 am »
shoot it with a BB gun.

chrono eric

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1939 on: February 12, 2009, 01:53:13 am »
As a future veterinarian, I try to inflict as little unnecessary pain on animals as I can. The bird is just minding his own business, trying to live his life, there is no need for me to harm him. But I'm generally a light sleeper, so I would rather just soundproof my window if the sleep-aid fails me. And besides, he's probably just trying to sing so he can get laid or keep other asshole birds out of his territory. I can relate.

Current score:

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Human - 0
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 01:56:46 am by chrono eric »

ZeaLitY

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1940 on: February 12, 2009, 12:09:03 pm »
Soundproofing windows seems to be a necessary thing in Denton. That stupid train comes through town at like 2 and 5 AM, and then on mornings, those dump trucks have the loudest reverse-gear beeper I've ever heard.

Shadow D. Darkman

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1941 on: February 12, 2009, 01:06:06 pm »
Soundproofing windows seems to be a necessary thing in Denton. That stupid train comes through town at like 2 and 5 AM, and then on mornings, those dump trucks have the loudest reverse-gear beeper I've ever heard.

I remember that in the movie My Cousin Vinny. It was funny as hell, though if it happened to me I wouldn't be laughing. I sympathize, ZeaLitY.

FouCapitan

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1942 on: February 12, 2009, 01:38:43 pm »
Birds, trains, and garbage trucks combined have nothing on a duplex neighbor's 8 year old girl throwing a screaming tantrum at 4 in the morning...

Just the shrill incoherant screeching.  Makes me wonder if muzzles for kids is legal?

chrono eric

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1943 on: February 12, 2009, 03:46:53 pm »
Soundproofing windows seems to be a necessary thing in Denton. That stupid train comes through town at like 2 and 5 AM, and then on mornings, those dump trucks have the loudest reverse-gear beeper I've ever heard.

Ah, that damn train. I used to live off of Bell St. near TWU in some apartments there. The train tracks are literally right next to that. For the longest time it would wake me up. I eventually grew accustomed to it though. I'm hoping the same thing will happen with the bird. I got a full 8 hrs of sleep last night, so:

Bird: 2
Human: 1

FaustWolf

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1944 on: February 12, 2009, 10:12:57 pm »
Awww, I missed an economic discussion. *whines*

Well, let's revive it. It's really interesting how economists in academia seem to be totally against the stimulus, and Keynesian economics in general these days. At least that's been my experience through undergrad and now grad school -- the Chicago School of Economics definitely seems to be winning out, so much so that I'm wondering where Obama's getting his economic advice. I should probably look those folks up, because they may represent a dying breed.

The basic argument against Obama's stimulus plan is that there's no surefire proof that government spending will end a recession; you know the old argument, "FDR didn't end the Great Depression. World War II did." Plus, the American economy's relative boom during the Clinton years happened to be coupled with a government budget surplus.

However, what was World War II other than a huge, huge, increase in the federal budget? While FDR's public works projects are typically viewed as an ineffective, short-run bandaid, I imagine some of the infrastructural projects helped increase economic efficiency in the long run, so I'm glad Obama's spending gobs and gobs on similar programs now.

On the other hand, and I think I'll make this my gripe, I agree with Peter Morici that the current structure of the US free trade system has made this recession, well, business as usual. In other words, we're not seeing so much a downturn in the US economy as a deflation to the level of production it can support in the long run. In economist lingo, the unemployment rate of 7.5%+ isn't cyclical, but structural. Permanent given the current structure of the US economy. There's no way our economy can hire more people if it doesn't need to produce stuff; China and other low-real-wage countries are producing much of what we need for us, and I sort of doubt that Chinese people go into a retail store in Shanghai and see "Made in the USA" everywhere. This isn't really "trade" -- our earnings are just leaking out of the country, and the same will happen to the stimulus with the exception of spending to develop new industries that can't immediately be outsourced.

Of course, the flipside to a trade imbalance is that our money flows back into US businesses and government coffers in the form of foreign loans to those entities. The longterm problem with this is that US businesses won't need loans because the businesses don't need to exist (no demand they can exploit), so according to economic principles it would flow mostly to the US government, which then disburses that money to jobless Americans (or so I would hope). In essence, the government may simply have to pick up the tab for our serious trade imbalance. I'm not sure I know any neoliberal economists who are okay with that arrangement, but hey, this is the free trade they wanted. No demand for US goods, no US jobs.

Of course, I'm probably simplifying things. But if the stimulus is going to be effective, the trade imbalance has got to go in my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:24:27 pm by FaustWolf »

ZeaLitY

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1945 on: February 12, 2009, 11:06:34 pm »
Agreed. My own two years of economics seemed to teach that a good model is "government should run a deficit during recessions, and run a surplus during booms," and that FDR's plans did get things moving.

Everyone loves to blow the free trade horns, because any kind of government planning is stigmatized as Communistic central market control stuff. And this is part of the reason why I'm a libertarian idealistically, but a liberal pragmatically -- because I think, given the current nature of human civilization, that government is necessary. This applies to economics as well. Without some kind of oversight, people like the thousands of people responsible for the current crisis will be left unchecked to do whatever they wish through wealth capture and other questionable schemes, like the creation of even more esoteric derivative instruments. Securitized mortgages might not even have gotten far enough to cause this much damage if the government weren't always playing catch-up with Wall Street's latest guile. My tax classes and other business classes regarding finance actually romanticize this as a way to make a bunch of money on new security types before the IRS "figures out how to tax them."

That's the wrong attitude. Government can be evil, but Christ, so can business! We need checks and balances. Theodore Roosevelt, of the greatest Presidents to ever live, was a Republican. And he was a trustbuster, because he identified (like Republicans should but usually do not) that huge business or banking organizations can wield the type of centralized, excessive power and social responsibility that they seek to limit in government.

Nothing makes me more distressed in school than being a business student and noticing through their behavior and actions that all of my peers are fundamentally "FUCK the government, they goin' steal my monies I make from screwin' people over, hayuck," intellectually incurious free trade shills. At least the males tend to be. A few last semester openly questioned me on how I could support Obama given that he'd "steal all the money I'd make from being a businessperson."

Yeah, because that's all that matters. My fucking piece of the pie. Idiots.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 11:11:50 pm by ZeaLitY »

KebreI

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1946 on: February 13, 2009, 02:37:51 pm »
I have a midterm today.

So I come home from work and proceed to tutor my aunt over the internet. That not the ideal way so that took good two hours, then I go online and see my school is closed tomorrow for snow, SWEET! midterm is pushed all the way to Monday then so I go out for a nice long walk and go see the friends. This morning I see that school is still closed, I use the free day to get some work done, do some laundry, clean up, and start working on my paper for class. I see an email, SCHOOL HAS OPENED. So that was 40 mins before my class in which I have a midterm that I didn't study for. WHAT THE HELL GOD?

Shadow D. Darkman

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1947 on: February 13, 2009, 04:43:32 pm »
Ouch.

I confess, I never study, but I've passed every test I've taken. Quizzes don't count, though, since tests are worth more. :oops:

My Physical Science Midterm was the best out of all the ones I took last semester. I mean, what kind of midterm is more convenient than one that is take-home, open-book, AND open-notes?

FouCapitan

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1948 on: February 13, 2009, 05:09:54 pm »
What moves slower than a bicyclist and takes up 5 times as much room?

GODDAMN GOLF CARTS ON THE ROAD!!!

Get the fuck out and stay on the golf courses!  Hell I can run faster than those bulky pieces of shit putt around on side streets.

Shadow D. Darkman

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Re: The $%*! frustration thread
« Reply #1949 on: February 13, 2009, 06:20:26 pm »
ROFLCOPTER

Oh my God, you just made me think of this old guy that lives in our neighborhood. He drives his own golf cart to the gas station (or the nearby Food Lion) for w/e, and even around his back yard, which is quite spacious.