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  #1  
Old 05-21-2003, 09:44 AM
Neurotik Neurotik is offline
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America needs to regain "economic solvency" for a better world.

In this thread, [b]lander2k2 states:
Quote:
If America's economy regains solvency, US interests will no longer have to resort to exploitation to retain some semblance of economic functionality. If the exploitation is ended then the exploitees, so to speak, will lose their animosity - admittedly it may take some time for it to completely clear up, but it will in a generation or so. Then the terrorism that is a reaction to perceived oppressive measures will go away. Understand?
When I asked how this is to be done, lander invited me to open another thread so as not to hijack the other thread.

So here is the other thread. Please address the realistic steps necessary for the US to regain "economic solvency," lander2k2.
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2003, 07:22 PM
lander2k2 lander2k2 is offline
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I'm honored, Neurotik. Most threads begin with a news item to base an argument on. You've taken a statement of mine to base a thread upon. Does this give me some new status as a doper? Maybe the fact that no-one has so far found it interesting enough to reply to reduces the status somewhat, but it is a nice sentiment all the same.

There's one thing I need to clarify here. The title of the thread seems to revolve around the question of whether economic solvency in the US bears upon an improved global scene. Yet at the end of the OP you challenge me to address realistic steps necessary for the US economy to regain solvency.

Is this thread assuming that the US economy is insolvent, and is a debate about how to rectify the situation?

Or is the thread assuming that the US economy is insolvent, and is debating whether that bears upon terrorism and international peace?

Or is the debate about whether the US economy is solvent or not?

Or do you think that you are calling my bluff from the Mid East Imperialism thread and have no clue what you want to debate?

Clarify what you want to debate and we can get to it.
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2003, 07:37 PM
Neurotik Neurotik is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by lander2k2
I'm honored, Neurotik. Most threads begin with a news item to base an argument on. You've taken a statement of mine to base a thread upon. Does this give me some new status as a doper? Maybe the fact that no-one has so far found it interesting enough to reply to reduces the status somewhat, but it is a nice sentiment all the same.
Well, I'm glad you are enjoying it but don't read too much into it. Happens all the time when avoiding a hijack.
Quote:
Or do you think that you are calling my bluff from the Mid East Imperialism thread and have no clue what you want to debate?

Are you saying you were bluffing and you have no idea what you were talking about? Is this some sort of stalling tactic while you research?

What I would like to debate is in the OP. Please address the necessary, realistic steps for the US economy to regain "solvency." Oh yes, you should probably lay out exactly what you mean by "solvent" since there are different aspects of the economy (trade deficit, fiscal policy, reliance on foreign investment, stock bubbles, propping up value of dollar) that could be insolvent or solvent and the ways to fix them would be different.
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2003, 04:56 AM
Abe Abe is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neurotik
Are you saying you were bluffing and you have no idea what you were talking about? Is this some sort of stalling tactic while you research?
Well, I can see the debate is off to a great start!

I have nothing to contribute here (not yet anyway), but I wanted to point out two things based on my impressions.

1. I don't think lander was claiming to have the details of the "realistic steps necessary for the US to regain economic solvency" (he may, though)

2. Lander asked questions above that may be required to set the parameters for the discussion... though I am insufficiently learned in this field, it seemed that way to me.
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2003, 07:27 AM
Neurotik Neurotik is offline
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Yes, I'm sure that is what he was doing. However, I was annoyed by his insinuation that I opened this thread just as some sort of trick challenge and had no idea what I was talking about.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2003, 09:06 AM
lander2k2 lander2k2 is offline
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Neurotik:

You still seem to be trying to have three debates at once. The title addresses US economic insolvency in relation to a better world. You are then asking for realistic steps for the US to regain solvency. Yet you also seem to want to debate the idea that America's economy is insolvent in the first place since you keep putting quotation marks around "solvent."

I'm going to just take my pick and see where it leads us. I hope that is alright with you.

The first logical point to address is that America's economy is insolvent. It is not necessary to address the separate aspects of the economy that you mentioned. It is only necessary to recognize that the American economy consumes more than it produces. All of individual aspects manifest their own problems as a result.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2003, 09:45 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
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Quote:
lander2k2
It is only necessary to recognize that the American economy consumes more than it produces.
Whoopie-doo. So the US has a current account deficit. Under a floating exchange rate, this is necessarily equal to its capital account surplus (save for some measurement problems). The rest of the world is willing to buy US assets and Americans are willing to sell them. You can call it living beyond your means if you like, someone else might call it a sign of confidence in sustained US productivity. They're two sides of the same coin. Sure, the US has a substantial accumulated foreign debt and it's rising pretty fast, but insolvent? Unable to pay its debts? Piffle.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2003, 11:05 AM
lander2k2 lander2k2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hawthorne
Whoopie-doo. So the US has a current account deficit. Under a floating exchange rate, this is necessarily equal to its capital account surplus (save for some measurement problems). The rest of the world is willing to buy US assets and Americans are willing to sell them. You can call it living beyond your means if you like, someone else might call it a sign of confidence in sustained US productivity. They're two sides of the same coin. Sure, the US has a substantial accumulated foreign debt and it's rising pretty fast, but insolvent? Unable to pay its debts? Piffle.
Whoopie-doo? Alright, I understand that you may have been seeing these deficits for a while, and that you may have listened to economists giving all manner of learned-sounding explanations for how this is no problem at all, but to get my point, you need to look at the situation in terms of real economic terms, i.e. real usable goods and services. All manner of obfuscation and manipulation can be entered into the equation when financial markets are involved, what with currenciesí arbitrary value and all.

Letís make it a little easier. If Joe Average spends more money than he makes, heís going to come unstuck. He may have been wealthy at one point and earned an excellent credit rating and he may be able to live off credit and money made from the sale of his cars and furniture for a while, but sooner or later heís going to sink if he doesnít start making more money than heís spending. Getting back to the United States, it did build itself great wealth, but it is now living off stored fat, so to speak. But there isnít an infinite supply of fat.

You seem to suggest that as long as the rest of the world has confidence in the US economy, then it will be okay. Any economy that relies on confidence is on shaky ground at best. What if the investors stop buying the double-speak that comes out of the established economists and the Wall St suits. Are you conceding that if investors pull the plug the US economy goes down the drain?

And the floating exchange rate that you mentioned is also a handy mechanism that can be manipulated to create the image of affluence without any affluence actually existing.
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