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Old 11-24-2008, 09:50 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by phillyfan26 View Post
Alright, economy experts. Have at this one:

I have two schools. One is a better school overall and in a better location. It would cost me a modest $24,000 a year to go there with room and board costs factored in, and with inflation, I probably end up with $100,000 total to pay off.

The other school is good but not as good, and is in a violent section of a city. However, due to some scholarships, it would only cost me about $10,000 a year, with about $40,000 in total by the end to pay off.

Do I go for the better education offer or the cheaper education offer, based on the way the economy is going (i.e.: less and less reliable jobs)?
Does it matter to your prospective employers which school you went to? If it doesn't matter and you'll end up with the same salary I would be tempted to go to the cheaper school and move to a better neighborhood as soon as I had enough money to do so. But if it is "really" violent you would have to look at the risk. How violent is it? Are you afraid in a major way that you could get shot? The 100,000 debt is much better than being dead.

I think your expected salary will dictate what you should choose. If you are going to get 100,000/year then it would be fine to go to the better school. If you're only getting 50,000/year then 100,000 debt would take a very long time to pay off let alone a mortage. What are you planning on being?
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:46 PM   #62
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What was it they didn't like about her proposals?
She is, in their eyes, about to destroy society. By giving the woman the opportunity to go to work and have a career God's holy plan will be undermined. A place in a kindergarten or day care facility denigrates the woman per definitionem to a vessel and a birth machine (that's the term used by one of the bishops, and it's derived from a term used in connection with the Lebensborn women). He also said her policies remind him of the GDR ideology of raising the children outside the family.
He and other church officials are not a majority, and others are quite supportive of her policies. But the language that bishop used in particular, and his apparent belief he were in a position to dictate our government's policy, was very disgusting.

I've also found an article about the coming raise in child allowances. It's €10 per month. The same bishop who was most vocal about the other polices said this increase is "an offense and rough disregard of the service of families to our society". He would do himself a favor if he just shut up on issues he has not the slightest idea of, quite honestly.

I'm very happy that religious lunatics like him don't have any political power in Germany, and except for some headlines don't have much sway.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:03 PM   #63
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She is, in their eyes, about to destroy society. By giving the woman the opportunity to go to work and have a career God's holy plan will be undermined. A place in a kindergarten or day care facility denigrates the woman per definitionem to a vessel and a birth machine (that's the term used by one of the bishops, and it's derived from a term used in connection with the Lebensborn women).
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Originally Posted by phillyfan26 View Post
Alright, economy experts. Have at this one:

I have two schools. One is a better school overall and in a better location. It would cost me a modest $24,000 a year to go there with room and board costs factored in, and with inflation, I probably end up with $100,000 total to pay off.

The other school is good but not as good, and is in a violent section of a city. However, due to some scholarships, it would only cost me about $10,000 a year, with about $40,000 in total by the end to pay off.

Do I go for the better education offer or the cheaper education offer, based on the way the economy is going (i.e.: less and less reliable jobs)?
Really depends on what you want to o when you get out. If you want to be a teacher, for example, I'd go with the cheap school. If you want to be a lawyer or executive, you're probably better off in the gooder school.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:09 PM   #64
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Germany is among the most obviously prosperous of any country I've visited. I would seriously question their measurement criteria here.

Human Development Report 2007/2008 - Country Fact Sheets - Germany
Human Development Report 2007/2008 - Germany
We are apparently not doing well in life expectancy of women as compared to most other nations (rank 79). I don't know why, as women in Germany receive the same treatment, services etc. than men.
Another factor is their measure of enrolment into primary, secondary and tertiary education. That measure with regards to Germany is likely to be highly flawed as it doesn't take into account the way most professions are learnt in Germany. Most of it takes place in form of apprenticeships within countries, normally three years long, where the theoretical part is being learnt in schools. While many of these people will never see a university from the inside, except for being there as non-student, and hence will not be counted as people having received tertiary education, they still learnt a job.
Let's take car mechanics or nurses for example. In most countries, to learn that profession one goes to college. In Germany, a car mechanic learns his job in a garage, attending school twice a week.
The same criticism, that not enough Germans enroll in universities, had been part of the Pisa results. While that's not completely untrue, it's easy to misinterpret the enrollment figures.
And we are, unfortunately, still a too large emitter of CO2.
For the rest, well, it would take too long to find out where we stand on the individual indicators and what drags us down so much.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:35 AM   #65
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apparently due to the failing economy the US is going to breakup into several parts and collapse according to this guy:

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RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA
Tue Nov 25 2008 09:04:22 ET

A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."

The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.

When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."

When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.

He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.

Developing...
from drudgereport.com
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:09 PM   #66
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apparently due to the failing economy the US is going to breakup into several parts and collapse according to this guy:



from drudgereport.com
This says more about how Russians think than Americans.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:14 PM   #67
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Donald Lambro : Obama Can't Spend His Way to Prosperity - Townhall.com

Here's a conservative appraisal of spending in the economy to help move out of a recession:

Obama Can't Spend His Way to Prosperity
Donald Lambro
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Most of Barack Obama's economic-stimulus plan is beginning to look like the public-works jobs programs that Franklin D. Roosevelt tried 75 years ago in the Great Depression.

In fact, a number of economists are comparing Obama's job-creation plan to the spending spree FDR launched in 1933. What isn't mentioned, and doesn't get reported, is that those federal public-works jobs programs -- while providing some temporary jobs and income -- failed to effectively reduce unemployment in the private sector or to jump-start the economy for most of that decade.

Of course, raising taxes didn't help either, and Obama until now has been proposing to repeat FDR's mistake on that, too -- a course of action that economists have told him would be the worst thing he could do in a recession. But this week, he seemed to be shifting away from that idea -- abandoning another one of his major campaign pledges.

David Axelrod, Obama's political strategist, said on "This Week" Sunday that the president-elect was warming to the idea of letting the Bush tax cuts for the top two tax brackets expire in Dec. 31, 2010 -- nearly two years into his administration. Notably, he will retain all of the other Bush tax cuts.

Last month's jobless rate was 6.5 percent and will likely shoot up this month and next to nearly 7 percent or more. But a cursory examination of Obama's proposals to create government-financed jobs suggests that he isn't going to be any more successful than FDR was in his attempt to spend his way into prosperity.

Last weekend, Obama said he asked his economic advisers to come up with a plan to "create" 2.5 million jobs, which his advisers later said was really a plan to "create and preserve" 2.5 million jobs. That's more than a difference in semantics; it's a difference in expectations.

Democrats are now talking about $500 billion, or possibly $700 billion, in new spending to move a massive $14 trillion economy out of recession.

Obama's plan calls for giving the states hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges and run-down schools and other infrastructure projects. Some of the money would be poured into long-term environmental projects such as solar-power industries, wind farms and other biofuels technologies, plus funding to design more fuel-efficient cars.

But it will take many months, at best, before these public-works projects are up and running and in some cases years before the clean technology is economically viable to stand on its own and create many jobs. When the funds run out, what happens to those jobs? They stop.

Public-works projects are notoriously ineffective in boosting the private economy because of their long lead time. By the time they get under way, the recession has usually run its course and is about over. Jason Furman, Obama's economic adviser, said as much earlier this year.

The rest of Obama's plan is all about helping those hardest hit by the recession: extending unemployment benefits and increasing food-stamp and Medicare funding. All no doubt worthwhile to help our most vulnerable citizens through the economy's rough patch, but it wouldn't create a single job.

As for Obama's tax credits for low- to middle-income Americans, he plans to include some portion of them in his recovery package in January, but the question that his advisers are wrestling over is how to pay for it.

He will take office facing a $600 billion deficit in January that's expected to mushroom to nearly $1 trillion by year's end. And that's not counting his big spending proposals, which could push the total deficit to nearly $2 trillion (when falling tax revenues as a result of a deeper recession are factored in).

But it's an open question how much his refundable tax credits (which will be dispersed in Treasury checks to low- to middle-income people who owe no taxes) will help boost economic growth. We found out with the $168 billion stimulus tax-rebate package earlier this year that a lot of that money ended up being saved or spent to pay bills -- not for new spending.

What's missing from Obama's plan is a reduction in the federal personal and corporate income tax rates to encourage work, investment, savings and business expansion.

There are a lot of excellent ideas floating around. Economic strategist Cesar Conda, a highly regarded GOP adviser, proposes cutting middle-income tax rates from 25 percent to 15 percent, "which means most people would pay a flat 15 percent tax."

Economist J.D. Foster over at the Heritage Foundation proposes that we enact a zero capital-gains tax for investors in start-up companies that would accelerate new business formation and the hiring that follows.

Stimulus bills are based on the mistaken idea that Congress can pump new money into the economy and thus increase demand and eventually production. But "every dollar Congress 'injects' into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. No new spending power is created," says Heritage budget analyst Brian Riedl.

That's a lesson that the Obama Democrats are going to learn the hard way.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:58 PM   #68
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I know I understand what you're saying. I'm including more than one topic. One for the general population which Obama can't put a gun to the head to save and one of my last posts on what Obama can do to increase incentives:
You don't think the cost of labor here in the US compared to elsewhere is the real issue here?
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:56 PM   #69
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You don't think the cost of labor here in the US compared to elsewhere is the real issue here?
It is an issue but that's based on what people will pay for good quality products. China is cheaper but the quality stinks and can sometimes be dangerous. Americans have other specialties in technology and make better products on the whole than China. It does mean that the workforce will have to go more knowledge based jobs. Companies that want to make good quality products won't use cheap labour as much but can go to European countries that have special tax breaks. For example Sweden has a high personal tax rate but their corporate taxes are much smaller so investment doesn't disappear. Obama hasn't ruled out keeping Bushes tax cuts so there's still hope he won't raise them.

Another point is that the cost of living in poorer countries like China and India moves business there but they also experience inflation and a rising cost of living too so their products become less cheap over the years. It won't stay cheap forever. If Americans can't afford to buy much in a recession it also affects China so they are connected to U.S. for exports. When the U.S. goes down they can experience unemployment as well.

In the auto industry it's not just the unions but there are Japanese trade barriers to American cars. I think the U.S. should be knocking on their door and say "so when are you going to open those trade barriers?"

Another reason why I'm for the government cutting spending and finding as many earmarks as possible to eliminate is because foreign countries (China in particular) could try and sell their bonds and Americans don't have the cash to pay it quickly so they would be forced to raise taxes or print money to do that. 10 trillion is a lot to come up with. Printing 10 trillion would be inflationary to the economy and the taxes increasing would be confiscatory. Obama should cut spending ASAP and stop listening to Krugman economists. I don't think all 10 trillion would be called at once but even if a large portion is it doesn't help the recovery.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:56 PM   #70
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But the problem is that people don't care about small differences in quality (which is what that amounts to). People care about cost. And cost will always be cheaper in countries that don't defend the work force like the US. Even with inflation, they will still be able to make products much cheaper.

And doesn't it make sense for Japan to not use American cars? I mean, most Japanese cars are cheaper and not of poor quality.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:28 PM   #71
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But the problem is that people don't care about small differences in quality (which is what that amounts to). People care about cost. And cost will always be cheaper in countries that don't defend the work force like the US. Even with inflation, they will still be able to make products much cheaper.
If the cost is low and the quality is good then that's fine, but with lead toys and melanine in baby's milk it makes people want to avoid bad products from China. The west is getting more into service sectors and technology so it can offset what has been lost in manufacturing. The only feasible way to bring manufacturing here is to have tax incentives for companies to come to the U.S. or start in the U.S. in the first place. Higher paid workers are also higher paid because they are making better products or are working with better machinery. If we just tried to protect jobs by trade barriers it will trigger further retaliatory barriers against U.S. exports wiping out more jobs.

I try to avoid Chinese products as much as I can because they are so shoddy that it's not worth paying less to get it. Probably the best product I bought from them was some high quality tea. Their shoes are like special torture devices. Better made products last longer so they justify their cost so I don't have to constantly replace bad products. I end up saving money in the long run.

Ultimately what trade does is it allows you to make good choices on quality and as you say the cost in particular. When you have more choices you can save more money. If there's more money left in my pocket then it's available for other goods and services that it otherwise wouldn't be if I was forced to only buy local products. That's why buying organic local food can cost so much and not yield any noticable nutritional value than normal food so your standard of living gets squeezed. More money in your pocket creates new jobs elsewhere. Whether you spend it or save it the economy just grew by your savings and efficient shopping.

Older economists like Bastiat used a story "The Broken Window Fallacy" to explain economics in laymen's terms:

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.


When you buy a cheaper product somewhere else you have extra money for other projects. Or if you buy something more expensive but it lasts longer you have extra money for other projects.

Unemployment is a shift of labor from one activity to another based on what consumers want. The time lag for people to find employment has to do with the time to setup new companies and get capital (money invested in banks lent to these new projects). If your extra money goes towards saving or spending you are creating new demand (spending) or new supply (invest your money) to help replace the old jobs lost. With lots of savings in the bank the banks can lower their rates they charge because they have so much more savings to lend. That's why when the government tries to bailout companies and lower interest rates (create new money) it doesn't have much effect because bankers still keep interest rates higher for lending because they are experiencing increases in defaults as it is. The banks don't always follow what the central bank wants.

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And doesn't it make sense for Japan to not use American cars? I mean, most Japanese cars are cheaper and not of poor quality.
This is correct but American companies are going to have to restructure and no matter how good the new cars are they won't be let into Japan because of trade barriers. Hopefully new trade deals can be made in the future. It's not a huge problem because American cars are mostly consumed in American markets but it's good to have more markets to sell your vehicles (when they're good enough for people to want them).
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:11 PM   #72
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This should be mandatory reading:

The End of Wall Street's Boom - National Business News - Portfolio.com
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:03 PM   #73
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Decent summary, though I would start with the Community Reinvestent Act. It also helps to improve accounting rules to prevent shit from being disguised as roses. No debts should be repackaged and sold. As long as shit remains shit the public won't invest in it. If Standard and Poors say it's AAA and get away with it then people will think it's safe to invest in. There are lots of companies trying to hide their bad assets off the balance sheet which makes the banks not trust each other.

It's also nice to see people talking about the how small the equity market is with the bond market. The average person should be in safe interest bearing investments. Most people can't afford the risk of equity markets. The average person needs to take care of their mortgage first since the interest on that wipes out what gains you can make on equity investments.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:10 PM   #74
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Decent summary, though I would start with the Community Reinvestent Act.
Do you honestly believe that most people are equipped with the tools to read and understand legislation? Very many lawyers don't properly understand it because of the drafting, and without some understanding of the principles of law (particularly things like statutory interpretation which I can't imagine is taught anywhere outside of law school), how much is your average person going to understand? Even with something like the Income Tax Act, most accountants have very little legal understanding of it, which I suppose is why they're accountants and not tax lawyers.

I can't imagine directing anybody to a statute and telling them to start getting informed by having a quick read.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:43 PM   #75
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Do you honestly believe that most people are equipped with the tools to read and understand legislation? Very many lawyers don't properly understand it because of the drafting, and without some understanding of the principles of law (particularly things like statutory interpretation which I can't imagine is taught anywhere outside of law school), how much is your average person going to understand? Even with something like the Income Tax Act, most accountants have very little legal understanding of it, which I suppose is why they're accountants and not tax lawyers.

I can't imagine directing anybody to a statute and telling them to start getting informed by having a quick read.
I'm talking about advisors. If advisors know it's shit then they don't have to invest in it. The accounting rules have to be updated. Most people put their money in a mutual fund and forget about it until something bad happens. When Standard and Poors says AAA then advisors believe it. That's why we have oversight and auditors. There needs to be updated regulations to deal with these packaged investments.

The average person could also get some basic knowledge and read personal finance books tailored for the average person. There's tons of information for people who can read. The math isn't even as hard as high school math. At least know the difference between stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Reading the business section of newspapers helps to see what's going on. In fact you will learn more on your own in economics than in school.

If people can read then they shouldn't put limits on themselves.

This is a good place to start:

Personal Finance For Dummies - Google Book Search
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