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Old 10-08-2002, 07:40 AM   #16
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Originally posted by martha

Why do you think this is happening? Remember the rules.
I think one of the main reasons apart from dotcoms etc. is the change of production methods. Production is generally not worth as much as it was twenty years ago. This happens because of the arrival of globalisation and all its bad effects (trade free zones etc., which mean capital moves out).

For example, in the music industry things changed when, as we say, "the suits moved in". Contracts were always bad, the people always like sharks etc., but it was a (very) little balanced out because people who worked in the industry actually cared about music. Nowadays it is not important. The figures, who merges with who, ups and downs on Wall Street are important. Then, a general carelessness slipped in as well. No one cares about quality anymore. Everyone tries to make big profit the quickest way possible, its important because things change so quickly and flexibility is increased.

Situation is that everyone tries to save his own ass. If you are a manager, you better have a fifteen percent profit rise in your dep. per year or you might as well get fired. So what will you do? You will cut expenses, sell off properties, increase unemployment, because those are ways how to press for some more profit when most other ways are already done (like huge tv spot budgets, attracting more customers with lower prices, or conciously less quality so customers have to buy new - f.e. handys, computers, clothes et al.)

The problem is that those neoliberal concepts are only "useful" for a certain period of time. Anyone who thinks this is not the case, wait some more years. Time will tell.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:26 PM   #17
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Our economy tanked, because it is no longer real. The prosperity of the 1990s was due solely to speculative venture capitalism on the stock market and periodic infusion of retirement funds. That's right...all of our big jumps in the stock market were generally when retirement funds were infused in, but it was natural that there would be a point when there would really be no more significant funds added to make an impact--which happened in 2000/2001--and we would have a fairly long period of stagnation, followed by a decline, because speculation is never happy with the status-quo. It always wants *more.*

And there belies the problem. When you have an economy based solely on constant *more*s, you will inevitably flounder. When one would joke of the disposability of the 1980s, it was perhaps most accurate. What would be the easiest way for our economy to collapse indefinitely? If consumers no longer bought anything; and, hence, that is why we've created a system that forces us to buy *constantly.* With automobiles, for instance, leasing is now a large fraction of the market, rather than outright buying, because it has now become cost-prohibitive to the general working class, which, on average, made only $35,000-40,000 a year. Cars, though, have continually spiked up over the last two decades; a $10,000 car is virtually unheard of now, but was a reality in 1990, if you bought a small car. Leasing, however, ensures a constant demand; after 2-4 years, depending on the lease, you surrender your car and get another one. In essence, we've created a subscription-based car service.

Feudalism's main vehicle for suppression was the guise of security, coupled with keeping serfs all in abject poverty / enslavement. Capitalism's main vehicle, in contrast, is credit, and what a system we have created! No incentive to save, a retirement system so bad that we're required to put it in the stock market to even be able to retire (government bonds and money market funds, as a good banker once told me, will barely outpace inflation in the long run), less benefits, and a whole bunch of debt. Serfs may have been tied to the land by force, but we're tied to the land by mortgage.

Marx, as I learned, believed that capitalism would fail in the long run on its own (the ideas of forcing the defeat of capitalism through revolutionary action is falsely attributed to Marx and should be attributed to Leninism more appropriately). Lately, I question as to whether he is correct, as the polarization of our economy has only gotten worse since the massive deregulation of the 1980s. The only hope for capitalism, perhaps, is regulation, which, though, goes contrary to our ideals of unimpeded greed.

And here lies the ultimate truth about economics: you can't have it all. Is it acceptable to limit capitalism, if it benefitted the whole of society? Or are our delusions of grandeur of someday being mega-wealthy that powerful? The other question, though, is why they have to be mutually exclusive; there were quite a few millionaires and billionaires even in progressively regulated capitalism...and then we go back to an issue of propaganda...

...and I've rambled enough.

Melon
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Our economy tanked, because it is no longer real.
indeed
ever since just about everybody started to talk about how the chance of recession has become nearly impossible in the "new economy" you could just wait for it to happen
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Old 10-08-2002, 01:31 PM   #19
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But GW is still sexier than Clinton

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Old 10-08-2002, 07:06 PM   #20
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I warned you.

Quote:
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The rest of you have done a bang-up job!
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Old 10-08-2002, 07:28 PM   #21
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Here's the thing. The United States government's only real responsibility to the nation's economy is that it pretty much stays stable. Recessions and periods of growth are natural and to be expected. All anyone can really pin on any governmental figure or agency is a bigass depression, like the Great Depression (which doesn't count, since it was the Great Depression that resulted in the government's having a say in the economy). This means a few things:

1. Don't panic. Every time there's a recession, people panic and blame it on whoever's in charge of the country (and that person really has very very little to do with it).

2. There's a natural order to things, including economics. The ecomomy goes up and down, and it generally corrects itself.

3. It's not tanking. It'll all be ok.
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Old 10-08-2002, 07:38 PM   #22
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Melon,

Thank you for taking the time to write an excellent post.

I am afraid you are probably right, and with the current SEC chair nothing will be done. The White House just appointed a communications director for the FEC. The FEC is supposed to be independent? This smells bad, and so it goes.
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:20 PM   #23
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Thanks to all. I really wanted some analysis, and that's what we've got here. Keep it coming.



deep, who the hell is that in your avatar?
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:53 PM   #24
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he was having a bad day

Quote:
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deep, who the hell is that in your avatar?
Francis Albert Sinatra in 1938
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:21 AM   #25
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Ok, I'm going to disagree with some of you. Yes, the economy is not well. Yes, the dot com bubble burst and the STOCK MARKET [please note] is now correcting itself after the huge tech inflation.

BUT economic data is starting to show a slow, steady increase in teh economy for the most part. The uneployment rate is starting to decline again, the gross domestic product rate is increasing again and retail sales have increased. And new and existing home sales continue to be level -- if not increasing.

Also, a large weight on the STOCK MARKET [please note again] are the number of corrupt corporate executives that have been found out. In recent weeks though, several executives have been arrested and charged with crimes including the former CEO of Tyco and the CFO of Enron. As this continues, the STOCK MARKET should start to come back.

But please don't confuse the economy with the stock market. The market is on the negative side but the economy has been in a recession since March 2001 and indications from the Federal Reserve and data from several government and private organizations show that it is beginning to recover.

Unforunately, the last things to recover in a recession are jobs and the stock market and since most Americans own stocks and have jobs but can't define "GDP", they don't understand.
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Old 10-10-2002, 10:57 AM   #26
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I think ppl are finnally realizing that you shoudl prolly make sure a company is making money before you buy stock in it.

the corporate scandals and 9/11 gave ppl a real reason to feel insecure about their money int eh markets. I think that it was a natural contraction combined with these unfortunate events that caused this. Also...I have a feeling that ppl do not have faith in the free leader of the world cuurently as they had in the previous free leader of the world ...leading to part of this problem. However...it is in no way the free leader of the world's fault as this is mainly a natural contraction.
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