Is the US heading towards being a secular society?


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WinterKnight
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Message 1293741 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 8:01:47 UTC - in response to Message 1293723.

Capitalism relies on continuous growth.


BS.

http://www.preservenet.com/studies/FallacyCapitalismGrowth.pdf

That is a very strange article. They argue that capitalism has improved wages because of unions? Really? That is a supposed to be an argument for capitalism?

That's even ignoring the fact that the places in the world where the things are actually being made DO NOT have shorter hours and working weeks. America is no longer in a bubble and as so many of their industries have been "outsourced" you need to look at global data on wages to get a true idea of the cost of Capitalism. This brings us more in line with the ideas of Joseph Schumpeter who is proving to be more correct in his assessment of Capitalism and destructive growth.

Are you also aware that Keynes (who is cited in the article) is a believer of the government having a role in steadying the market? In fact it is his policies that Obama is following.

Keynes is aware that unemployment is a natural consequences of capitalism and that these people are not freeloaders.

I am not sure how your tea party reduction in government fits in with your Keynesian idea of economics. The two are mutually exclusive. Your views are very self conflicted.

I would have thought the teaparty views on economy would be more in line with Friedrich Hayek - wiki

or Friedrich Hayek - Stanford Papers

Who basically says remove ALL government controls on the economy. inculding shutting down the Fed etc.

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Message 1293827 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 15:55:04 UTC - in response to Message 1293741.


I would have thought the teaparty views on economy would be more in line with Friedrich Hayek - wiki

or Friedrich Hayek - Stanford Papers

Who basically says remove ALL government controls on the economy. inculding shutting down the Fed etc.

Yes, thanks for that, that makes more sense. The proof has been in the pudding and following these ideas has been now shown not to work.
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Message 1294485 - Posted: 12 Oct 2012, 23:58:08 UTC - in response to Message 1293605.

I suggest a distribution of wealth somewhere between the status quo, and the ideal Christian society, in which all excess (in fact, all privately held wealth of Christians, if you take Jesus at his word!) would be given to the poor.

When have I said zero out safety nets? How much is enough? Show me the math that is sustainable.


Let's begin with a ballpark estimate.

Economy - overview
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,100.


Notice, that's nearly $200,000 per family of four on average. Of course, most families have much less income than that (and fractionally more children), while a very few have astronomically more.

330,000,000 capita * $48,100/capita = $15,873,000,000,000 ($15.873 Trillion)

So, here is the "math that is sustainable" you requested, with a side ethics of ethics at no additional charge. Half the current United States GDP could be earmarked for safety net programs (Less would be needed for modest but sufficient food, housing, utilities, medical care, transportation and education, I'm sure, but I'm using hyperbole to emphasize that caring adequately for everybody in need is easily sustainable.) and nearly $8 Trillion would still be available for defense and to stimulate competition by rewarding whoever is more productive.

The defense budget is something like $2 Trillion, last I checked. It could be half that or twice that, and it wouldn't really matter. The point stands that the remaining several Trillion dollars are more than enough to motivate such competition as the capitalist model requires, and whoever cannot be motivated to put forth their best effort for their equitable share of that jackpot is too insane to make anything that anybody needs or wants.

Nobody must suffer deprivation in order for all of us to enjoy the benefits of civilized competition. The math is sustainable.
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Message 1294492 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 0:22:49 UTC - in response to Message 1294485.
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 16:06:09 UTC

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Message 1294503 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 1:07:48 UTC - in response to Message 1294492.

Well there ya go. A total government take over of all production in the US would solve all our social problems. Utopia for everyone! Never been thought of or tried before in history. It's got to work. You've proved it mathmatically. Plus, we have the support of Jesus.

bobby, you don't think it's a bit more complicated than that, do you?


As has been pointed out a number of times, US taxation as a proportion of US GDP is at a low compared to the last 50 or so years, thus it would appear taxation as a higher proportion of GDP than currently in place has been demonstrated to be sustainable.

Whether 100% is sustainable (a total government take over) would seem to be dependent on whether one believes those nations that have employed such rates (or close to them) in the past are useful as models for the US economy. If you have evidence that suggests you could include me in a group with such beliefs, please share. If not, then it may have been better if you'd ended your post with:

"As another poster's sig suggests, I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ..."
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Message 1294504 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 1:14:06 UTC - in response to Message 1294492.
Last modified: 13 Oct 2012, 1:42:48 UTC

As a matter of fact, what I suggest has not only been tried, but has worked and continues to work across western Europe, in spite of recent economic disruptions caused by unregulated and insufficiently regulated financial speculation.

Utopia for everyone! Never been thought of or tried before in history.


You conveniently ignored almost everything I actually said.

Well there ya go. A total government take over of all production in the US would solve all our social problems.


In fact I said "half" and then I said "less would be needed" but those facts don't seem to be compatible with some premises to which you're clinging.

Half ("half" < "total") the current United States GDP could be earmarked for safety net programs (Less would be needed for modest but sufficient food, housing, utilities, medical care, transportation and education, I'm sure, but I'm using hyperbole to emphasize that caring adequately for everybody in need is easily sustainable.) and nearly $8 Trillion would still be available for defense and to stimulate competition by rewarding whoever is more productive.


What I hope you will address is whether half of GDP would be sufficient to:

(1) meet the reasonable needs of every American
(2) leave enough to motivate competition for the surplus

Answer Key:
(1) ~ $96,000 per family of four is more than sufficient, obviously, as demonstrated by the millions of families of four and even more, doing quite well thank you with significantly less.
(2) This is the disputable part. Let's dispute it, not just exchange straw men, mmkay? I can do that, but I prefer not to lower myself.

My premise is simply that the necessity of competition in the capitalist model does not require anybody to suffer destitution nor the fear of it, and that competition for luxuries is enough to motivate all the competition that free market economic theory requires, in order that it operate as efficiently as we're accustomed.

You see, in fact I have already explicitly recognized the value and even the necessity of economic competition and budgeted for it. What I actually suggested is not even socialism, it's just a safety net wide enough and strong enough to guarantee the bare necessities and a reasonable opportunity at success for everybody, but the demonstrable fact just shown to you, that it would not bring competition to an end and that we can in fact have the best of both worlds, would require you to check your premises. Are you able to do that?
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Message 1294517 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 1:40:37 UTC - in response to Message 1294503.

As has been pointed out a number of times, US taxation as a proportion of US GDP is at a low compared to the last 50 or so years, thus it would appear taxation as a higher proportion of GDP than currently in place has been demonstrated to be sustainable.


And except for the 1988-1992 period, the top marginal rate is at an 80 year low. That does not mean, however, that I endorse a return to the high of the same 80 year period, which I feel I must say pre-emptively in order not to have words with which I disagree put in my mouth by Guy. In fact, I think John F. Kennedy was right to lower the top marginal rate, given what the top marginal rate was at the time.

I also think Paul Ryan should not have mentioned Kennedy, both because of the percentage from which Kennedy dropped the top marginal rate, and the percentage to which he dropped it. Neither figure is appealing to his base, and, coupled with the fact that it was in those years that the United States economy had its fastest rate of growth and most rapid growth of the middle class ever, both figures are absolutely incompatible with his and his running mate's assertions that sustainable economic growth requires an even lower rate than the current top marginal tax rate.

The simple and indisputable, quantified-and-lookupable fact is that our country's most prosperous period occurred while top marginal tax rates were significantly higher than they are now. While this does not prove that higher top marginal tax rates caused that era of prosperity and growth nor that current rates are retarding growth or slowing any economic recovery, it does prove that lower rates than we already have are not necessary for sustainable economic growth.
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Message 1294579 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 4:00:07 UTC - in response to Message 1294517.

+1
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Message 1294596 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 4:23:22 UTC

+2
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Message 1294645 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 7:31:34 UTC - in response to Message 1293741.

I also think capitalism relies on continuous growth.

I'm a discussant and it will take a lot more than a "BS" to show me where the error is in my thinking- Comprendee?

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Message 1294646 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 7:35:29 UTC - in response to Message 1294645.

Let us hope the US is becoming a secular society. Religion has absolutely no proof behind it and is simply feel good superstition.

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Message 1294695 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 10:33:12 UTC - in response to Message 1294646.
Last modified: 13 Oct 2012, 10:37:44 UTC

lower rates than we already have are not necessary for sustainable economic growth.

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You are forgetting that Energy was cheap (26cent/gallon gas), we made and invented most of our products. Health care was affordable. Now our Capital has gone to OPEC and the oil companies, the Chinese and the Healthcare gougers.

Times are different and old metrics may not apply.

Yikes ! I just realized that this was a secular society thread--sorry.

I hope to live long enough to see religion completely debunked and held to cult status for delusional kooks. I don't see much progress towards logical and critical thinking though !!


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Message 1294704 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 10:53:51 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 16:05:53 UTC

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Message 1294739 - Posted: 13 Oct 2012, 12:27:12 UTC - in response to Message 1294704.

Yes, so I've started a new thread for this off-topic tangent that I started.

Yes, this thread is not titled appropriately for talking about the math of how to fix our financial mess.

Reed, I've got to hand it to you for being the first to point out our GDP and our government spending needs and the big difference between them. Welcome to these forums. I can't argue with you on those numbers. However, to talk about it like that makes it sound really easy to do. Seems like we could fix our financial problems overnight. Seems like it's a no-brainer.

However, its practical implementation turns out to be quite different from the academic discussion.


Thanks for the welcome!

Now, I leave this thread to celebrating or lamenting, according to each person's inclination, the increasing proportion of not-religious citizens in this country that has been a secular nation as long as it has been a nation, since it was founded.
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