America and debtors prison.
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27-07-2011, 07:32 PM
America and debtors prison.
So I'm not American, but I just heard about it's massive debt problem. I'm not sure what everyone here knows about it but here... info just for you...
This is some scary stuff. I've thought since well before I should have even had a concept of things outside of toys, that eventually a nations debt would far exceed it's ability to pay for it. Happens to people all the time (ME) and honestly with the national debt of the states (or my country Canada for that matter) being so ungodly high it really was just a matter of time before the interest would unbalance the payments.
Already in a recession of untold magnitudes the negative repercussions of America having to default could really bring production to a standstill. Would other countries even deal with them anymore knowing full well there would be no payment to follow?
I know everyone likes to think of this world of ours as just a bunch of friendly neighbors who get into the occasional argument over tree leaves in our yards, but the truth of the matter is that it is a delicate chess game played by lunatics with bombs. The pieces are made of gold.
I could see Japan letting some stuff slide, although maybe not these days with them having their own financial crisis due to some unfortunate natural disasters of late. But I just can't see China being cool with it. So what happens?
I'm mostly curious because I can only imagine Canada will be the next one to follow suit, so what happens to America will be the same sort of thing to happen here. There are few to no jobs here already, due to serious outsourcing and greedy (AmericanTongue) companies paying slave labor wages meanwhile short staffing everyone just to make the extra half cent they promised to unknown shareholders.
We have definitely dug ourselves into a pit, that can only be filled in by us collectively. Problem is we don't play well with others. We've spent so long selling ourselves we don't know how to save ourselves.
God knows I'm broke. Maybe it's time once more for the countries on the top of the pile to roll back to the bottom giving someone else time to shine?
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27-07-2011, 07:56 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2011 08:00 PM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: America and debtors prison.
The thing is though, this money crisis is global. About the only place not suffering is China (cause all the companies use their labor force). There are debts all around and many countries probably could cancel out some debts by looking at shared debts and dropping the equivalent. Borrowing money is a lot more popular than returning money it's not just in the America's. The thing is that we have a rich class which hoards all of the money collected from anything and from all over the world. This group makes it impossible for countries to truly increase their worth as they simply move wherever is the cheapest to live, and make money off of everyone. They keep a lot of this money because any money they spend goes right back into their pockets. It's not that surprising that individuals are nearing the net worth of countries.

The only way to save the capitalist system would be to dethrone the oligarchy, as long as big business has a part in the countries there is no way for a country to govern itself correctly. Big businesses do not have any interest in the countries they serve. To big business it's global and they can dip from anywhere around the globe.

I really think the US is making the wrong moves for the most part though, they have been giving up the technological fields that create new worthwhile inventions accepting that big businesses can do the job. The country needs patents on some neat stuff in order to keep it's funds slightly balanced.

Just remember that the US has been in a deficit since the time Jefferson overthrew the bank. It was in one before that too, but Jefferson slowed it for a little while. This is really nothing new, but the default would be a risky bet at best.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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27-07-2011, 10:36 PM
RE: America and debtors prison.
Lilith - that's not quite right. The debt was completely paid down by Andrew Jackson and he then eliminated the 2nd Bank of the US. We have not always run deficits, although we probably have run some amount of deficit since the Civil War. This is different, though. At our current rate, our debt will exceed our GDP by 2021 or thereabouts. For those not well versed in economics, allow me to translate the implications of that: we're fucked.

As for this current "crises", I don't think other countries are going to walk away from the US over this. I do think, however, we are going to royally screw ourselves. The entire situation is insane. No one is happy with our debt load and everyone is painfully aware of what is happening in southern Europe. However, the fact is that we cannot cut enough money out of the budget in the near term to do this on spending cuts alone. There will have to be some revenue increases and we have a handful of twits who refuse to even discuss closing loopholes. It's fucking insane. I saw some numbers today that said to get the kind of results the Republicans want we would either have to cut social security and medicare benefits across the board and going forward by 40% each, or we would have to cut everything else, including defense, by 60%. Ignoring the questions of whether or not we "should" do any of this, the simply fact is that the American public has made it very clear they are not going for anything like that, and there in lies the rub. We don't want to pay taxes and we don't want to accept cuts to our entitlements, so, again, we're fucked.

At some point a compromise will be reached and the children will come in from the play ground and get a deal done. It will happen. Whether or not it happens by next Tuesday is another matter, but I don't think that's going to have any long term impacts on the credit of the US. We are just too big and too many countries rely on us. What it will do, however, is completely upend any global commodities that are traded in dollars. I strongly suggest everyone fill their gas tanks on Monday because you may see some ugly prices at the pump on Tuesday if we don't get a deal done.

Btw, for those who are following this debacle, don't believe for one second this has anything to do with principle. I'm not a fan of Obama by any stretch but I think he's played this very well. He's offered a deal that is fairly consistent with what the Republicans had intimated they wanted some time ago. I think the primary reason they won't accept it is because if they do Obama increases his appeal to the middle and independents and they all but guarantee his reelection. They would rather have us all go over the falls in a barrel than do that. That's not to say there are not some true ideologues out there holding out due to some twisted belief of what the absolute "right" way to do things are, as if there is one right answer to any of these questions, but I don't think that is what is driving the Republicans in general.

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28-07-2011, 05:21 AM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2011 05:38 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: America and debtors prison.
Thanks for correcting me BNW, since working I feel like I have no time for anything (damn 6 hour commute). If Obama had kept to stating that we absolutely needed the version he suggested that cut the loopholes and slashed medicare, I actually would've been more appreciative of him. He had proposed a crazy option that could've really done something, and he should've kept on it because the other side played it stupid. Had he been truthful when he said he wants this fixed and he doesn't care what it does to his chances of reelection he may have really gained some appeal, but of course that was just talk. He wasted so much air time on politics, if he's going to talk to the public every week he should just explain it in detail.

Who cares if people don't like raised taxes? the US has one of the lowest tax rates among larger countries. I prefer raised taxes to inflation, which has been the constant choice of this country. If the people could actually pay the taxes we would've been a lot better off. I really can't believe they haven't passed the flat tax yet. It's an obvious answer to revenue. I know they like their loopholes, but everyone in upper middle class and on finds every way possible to cheat the country out of it's revenue.

I think at this point most everyone is on agreement that the two parties have fulfilled Washington's warning. If only the American public read it's history, almost everything that is happening currently was projected long ago. At least if they read the talks of the 70s and 80s where the government willingly accepted leaving the problem for the next generation.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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28-07-2011, 07:59 PM
RE: America and debtors prison.
Washington said the end of our nation would be political parties. I agree with you whole heartedly, Lilith. We NEED to raise taxes, our taxes are so low for a 1st world nation it's outrageous, and I can tell you why- it's so people can get re-elected. I promise you, any congressman/president who promises to raise taxes to SAVE our nation will be booted, maybe even impeached.

Even though I have a little 'stop hating America' thread, i need to say this.

Americans are some of the most entitled people I ever met. Maybe this is true for all first world nation people, but personally I think the USA is the worst. We want to have our cake on display, but we also want to stuff our faces too. I got back 2000 dollars on my tax return, I actually got all of the taxes I paid...and then some! It's un-fucking-believable.

Personally I could have lived and been fine without that 2000 dollars (I put half in savings and the other half I used to get something nice for myself)

Make a federal sales tax, close tax loopholes, stop waging costly wars, and fucking stop leaving our defense contracts with lockheed martin. I just solved the damn crisis.

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28-07-2011, 10:00 PM
RE: America and debtors prison.
Wouldn't it be nice if a politician could just lay it all out and say shit as it actually is? Taxes are a necessity period. I think most people get mad because of the way portions are taken. I hear a lot about big business getting tax exemptions, meanwhile old poor joe gets prodded anally by the tax man. I wouldn't know I've never been rich, but I can tell you I've never gotten my tax money back in full. I also think a lot of the anti tax sentiment has to do with the mis-spending that always occurs and is usually pretty flagrant.
But you guys are right I think to say that taxes should be higher all around, but I also think it has to be better regulated so that all the money goes to something useful. Why does my city always seem to repair the same barely trafficked street every god damn year. Why damnit.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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29-07-2011, 06:42 AM
RE: America and debtors prison.
In the US it's a big game, you can pay taxes or get a tax adviser. Tax advisers are private citizens who find all the loopholes to save you as much money as possible on taxes. Obviously people with money pay these people so they don't pay the government. When things like flat tax are discussed usually their excuse is that the tax advisory field would disappear and many jobs would be needed, but this job is seriously anti-government because it's goal is to keep money out of the hands of the government. The reason the US is so prone to charity is in part the loopholes. Offering money to charity gives you tax rebates, people who make enough every year can lower their taxes by being charitable. When private citizens in the us are charitable it is usually on the backs of their own country.

People in the US have a horrible view of taxes as they constantly look to fight the system. Some politicians even go so far as to suggest our tax service (the IRS) is not really part of the government. There is nothing but loathing from the average citizen on the idea of not getting their own money. Yeah people everywhere complain about taxes, but most other places they still have adequate amounts of them. Generally the public likes ideas like raising the percent of taxes on people who make too much as it's not them, but raising the percent is not going to do anything because with the tax advisory board no matter what percent it moves closer to 0. We need to just accept that since we live in the country it's a good idea to give it money for all that gives us. This is a disgust I have of the public.

The reason I hate the US is primarily social though because they take this same idea socially. There may be moderate citizens (I've seen them) but the polarization continues. My area (St. Louis, MO) is one of the most segregated areas I know of. There's a large percent of a few races and everyone makes sure to avoid each other in most circumstances. I grew up in an area where people judged everything about you and constantly made strong opinions based on something arbitrary. I go somewhere else and they leave it aside. My main complaint with the country is the actual people as they're brought up to desire to cheat people and judge everyone on everything. It's getting better I suppose (though it used to be less of an issue) but it's really nowhere close to acceptable.The reasons I disliked the US as a child haven't changed so my stance has never changed.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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30-07-2011, 10:42 AM
RE: America and debtors prison.
Does anybody ask how the debt got to be so big?
How much was actually borrowed in the form or money? How much in manufactured goods? How much in trade? How much in resources? When? On what terms? What's the current $ value of the resources, goods and trade? Who decides the value of currency and goods?
Then how much is interest and interest on the interest? What percent of the debt is not money that was actually borrowed and used, but promises and expectations? I'd venture to guess, quite a lot of it isn't real, never was real, and nothing at all would be changed it wasn't repaid. Some very fat cats might be miffed.

Ah! There's the rub. Do not piss off the fat cats. Let pensioners starve and children go barefoot and accident victims die on the roadside before pissing off the same people who moved the factories out of their own country to pollute somebody else's.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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30-07-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: America and debtors prison.
(30-07-2011 10:42 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Does anybody ask how the debt got to be so big?
How much was actually borrowed in the form or money? How much in manufactured goods? How much in trade? How much in resources? When? On what terms? What's the current $ value of the resources, goods and trade? Who decides the value of currency and goods?
Then how much is interest and interest on the interest? What percent of the debt is not money that was actually borrowed and used, but promises and expectations? I'd venture to guess, quite a lot of it isn't real, never was real, and nothing at all would be changed it wasn't repaid. Some very fat cats might be miffed.

Ah! There's the rub. Do not piss off the fat cats. Let pensioners starve and children go barefoot and accident victims die on the roadside before pissing off the same people who moved the factories out of their own country to pollute somebody else's.

I think it's because:
-the U.S borrowed so much money from other countries such as China,Japan, Britain etc.
-Failing educational system, people without good education can't support a technology-based economy.
- The government spends WAY more money than it take in in taxes.

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30-07-2011, 03:24 PM
RE: America and debtors prison.
(30-07-2011 02:41 PM)tazmin98 Wrote:  I think it's because:
-the U.S borrowed so much money from other countries such as China,Japan, Britain etc.
-Failing educational system, people without good education can't support a technology-based economy.
- The government spends WAY more money than it take in in taxes.

From Britain, the country, or British banks? Because, if from Britain the country, to whom does Britain owe all its debts? To whom does Japan? All, all to China?
Well, it that were true, the solution is simple: let China repossess all American holdings on its territory, just like banks repossess homes (They're going to, anyway - you know this, right?) and call it even and start over with industry on US soil, employing US citizens, so they can earn some money and pay some taxes.

If to banks, on the other hand... I say, let 'em fall. Usurers will just build new banks, but it'd give you a breathing space.

Failing education system isn't going to be fixed any time soon by slashing its funding even more. I also don't foresee the tax base growing wider or healthier by chopping off the unions and firing all the people who earn a living wage.
I don't hear much about cutting intelligence, black ops, military or homeland security. I wonder why?

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