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Old 09-25-2012, 08:47 AM   #31
Jailblazers7
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

I've seen arguments that encouraging immigration (especially skilled workers) is possibly our only hope of paying off the debt. The labor force is likely going to decrease which will make it difficult to pay for things like SS and Medicare.

My list would prob go:
1. Healthcare

We are never going to get the budget under control if we don't get medical costs under control. I have no idea how we will do it but it needs to be done.

2. Education

Secondary schooling likely needs to be reformed to have a greater emphasis on science and math. Also, there are things that can be tweaked to student loans that could improve the situation.

3. Barriers to Entry in Vocations

More of a state law issue but there are too many silly regulation on vocation that would benefit everyone (except maybe the interest groups in those vocations) if they were gone. The popular example is the training and education needed to become a barber. All these laws do is protect licensed professionals from competition. I'm not the type willing to go to extreme about vocational licenses but a lot of them are harmful.

4. Pro-Globalization

We spend billions in foreign aid (that has been proven to be ineffective) but we demonize companies that "take away American jobs." Globalization is something we benefit from and attacking it because we are clinging to an image of what we are trying to force our economy to be is silly. AND Foreign companies have manufacturing plants and production in the US. I believe there is an equilibirum that would balance itself out with time but instead we want to tax outsourcers.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #32
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
So a balanced budget means there is no US federal debt, period? Or it means that for just that one year, the government didn't spend more than its total revenue? Or other. Still confused about this.

A balanced budget is just for that one year.
A budget deficit (negative) or surplus (positive) is for the single year. The national debt is the total of all money previously borrowed and not paid back plus interest.

This would need to happen for many years to have no debt whatsoever. That was the scenario folks were starting to think about before George W. Bush took office. He actually played on the confusion you have. Since we had a couple of years of surplus, the Bush Administration argued, we could afford massive tax cuts immediately. He acted like we didn't have to pay down the debt. This is one of the reasons, I find it funny when folks act like there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Gore wanted to use the surplus, to pay down the debt and sure up Social Security for the long haul. The left wing of the Democratic Party felt they could vote for Nader and it wouldn't make any difference. It ended up having enormous consequences.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #33
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
4. Pro-Globalization

We spend billions in foreign aid (that has been proven to be ineffective) but we demonize companies that "take away American jobs." Globalization is something we benefit from and attacking it because we are clinging to an image of what we are trying to force our economy to be is silly. AND Foreign companies have manufacturing plants and production in the US. I believe there is an equilibirum that would balance itself out with time but instead we want to tax outsourcers.

I heard these arguments before and I know the pros and cons, but I wonder when you are out in the workforce for a couple of decades if you will still believe this is true. I think the folks at the very top can benefit from this, but it's keeping wages in the middle depressed. I think it's one of the reasons we have high corporate profits for a few years without a corresponding rise in salaries. The benefits of higher individual productivity are not flowing to workers.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #34
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

For everyone saying "balance the budget"...

Please explain why you think running a deficit is bad, what exactly will happen if we continue to do so, and find some examples in the history of the US where we ran a surplus which resulted in economic growth.

Also read this article:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-b...economy-2012-9

It explains from a macroeconomic viewpoint why Clinton's surpluses planted the seeds for economic collapse.

People need to stop thinking of the government like they think of their own private bank account. Government debt and household debt is apples to oranges.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #35
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmulls
For everyone saying "balance the budget"...

Please explain why you think running a deficit is bad, what exactly will happen if we continue to do so, and find some examples in the history of the US where we ran a surplus which resulted in economic growth.

Also read this article:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-b...economy-2012-9

It explains from a macroeconomic viewpoint why Clinton's surpluses planted the seeds for economic collapse.

People need to stop thinking of the government like they think of their own private bank account. Government debt and household debt is apples to oranges.

I've seen the argument made that govt debt is a "better the devil you know type of scenario." Right now, US Debt is the safest investment in the world and if we were to actually balance the budget and pay off our debt then all that money would have to flow elsewhere. That would cause a ton of money to be invested in riskier assets which would result in more frequent investment bubbles.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #36
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmulls
For everyone saying "balance the budget"...

Please explain why you think running a deficit is bad, what exactly will happen if we continue to do so, and find some examples in the history of the US where we ran a surplus which resulted in economic growth.

Also read this article:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-b...economy-2012-9

It explains from a macroeconomic viewpoint why Clinton's surpluses planted the seeds for economic collapse.

People need to stop thinking of the government like they think of their own private bank account. Government debt and household debt is apples to oranges.


There is a lot of nonsense in that article, starting with the idea the housing bubble started under Clinton.

You can see here that mortgage denial rate goes up to the year 2000 and then for next three years it gets much easier to get a mortgage.



In fact in the year 2000, there were just over 19 million mortgage loans. In 2003 there were almost 42 million. What happened? Well in 2001, the Fed cut their rate 11 times from 6.5% to 1.75%. It would go as low as 1% in 2003.

This is why 2001-2005 were considered the bubble years for the US.

The nonsense about the Community Reinvestment Act causing the bubble is pure bunk and the FCIC report shows this clearly, one crank issued a dissent saying the CRA caused it, but he couldn't even get the other Republican members to go along with him and for good reason. The CRA covers banks that have branch offices and take deposits. The vast majority of subprime loans were from non-banks that got their money from Wall Street and thus the CRA had absolutely no effect on them. Fannie and Freddie didn't cause the subprime meltdown either. They got into the market late trying to keep their market share that was being eaten away by these non-bank subprime lenders. Even then their mortgage requirements were stricter, so less of their loans defaulted. Their problems wasn't their loan standards, they weren't doing no-doc liar loans like the subprime guys. Their problem was they didn't keep enough cash on hand to cover the risk of a downturn.

I also don't see the case that the budget surplus had a negative effect...if you look at the charts the main culprit seems to be the trade deficit which is not affected by a budget surplus at, that I can see.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #37
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
Interesting. Any other non-Americans have an opinion?

oi! I'm non-American!

to me, a leftist is somebody who really believes in socialist ideals (and what is the stigma with the word socialist? For people harping on about family values and stuff, isn't a family the ultimate nucleus of a society?), whilst a Democrat is somebody who belongs to the Democratic Party.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #38
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcaliblunt
This

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O_W7VsoP81g

And that

http://tarpley.net/five-point-program.pdf

Please actually take the time to watch and read.

This should be everyone's most important issues, unless they are an oligarch. Love how no one comments on real stuff with substance.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:40 AM   #39
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmulls
For everyone saying "balance the budget"...

Please explain why you think running a deficit is bad, what exactly will happen if we continue to do so, and find some examples in the history of the US where we ran a surplus which resulted in economic growth.

Deficits now mean higher taxes or inflation in the future. That's the first thing that comes to mind.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:21 AM   #40
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

Not a registered Dem, but will list the most important issues I think America will have to tackle in the near future, regardless of which party wins the election.

1. Education

a. Rising cost of college tuition

The cost of going to college has sharply increased over the last few decades relative to CPI, and yet as a nation, we aren't producing real GDP with appropriate correlation to tuition hikes. We aren't "that much smarter" with respect to how much more we're paying for college.



b. Schooling reform

Foreign countries (esp Asia) are kicking our asses in educating their students. How are we supposed to compete with societies in which it's of the cultural norm to go home and study for an SAT-equivalent exam everyday right after they get out of school? Are we supposed to keep up by forcing our kids to study more at the family level? Is that truly the "American" way? Or do we sit back and watch as more and more graduate level / PhD spots are snatched up by international students looking to get some experience here before heading back home? Can reforming standards expected of grade school teachers help this cause?

2. Economy

a. Human Capital Shift

How do we deal with the globalization of the corporate workforce? If I remember correctly, an Apple Exec once said that Apple has no obligation to solve America's problems (regarding Foxconn's leverage of the cheap Chinese labor market). We're seeing various assembly line jobs from the tech industry to the auto industry disappearing. We see call centers being outsourced.

That means we'll have more people in the US looking for jobs in the service industry (HS degree), healthcare (Pharm D, MD, DO etc), and white-collar jobs (CPA, MBA etc..). Maybe some home grown talent in engineering and/or computer programming but I'm seeing a lot of foreigners in these fields.

That's a lot of middle class disappearance.


b. Economic Regulation

As simple as preventing another 2008 mortgage lending crisis. Is the next bubble within student loans? People get pissed when their retirement accounts get cut in half due to morons / financial gluttons.


3. Healthcare

Med mal reform is needed. Over 50% of all hospitals run on a deficit every year and that's a problem.

I'd prefer a shift to preventitive care and further education on what's unhealthy. But there's a lot of money to be made in making people unhealthy so that's also another concern.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:14 AM   #41
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Default Re: Question- What are the 3 most important issues for Democrats?

The question about leftist v. Democrat is truly an interesting one in politics in general.

There are only two real parties, all other parties get absorbed if they gain any popularity. The effect of this is two, actually pretty moderate parties, with some outlying groups within them. So a really left or right person is likely going to be ignored by the rest of the party. So there are such things as leftist democrats, and center left Democrats, etc. A distinction can be made. Even I think most Republicans look at the Tea Party and go: "Shit... what's their problem?"

I find this particularly interesting because what this means is that both parties, really, are so close to one another. In fact I had a professor one time that laughed about it because he's from a coalition government country with multiple parties, and he couldn't understand how both sides paint the other the way they do and can't come together.

Anyway to me the most important issues are the economy, education, and foreign policies.
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