It seems looney to me that a country would give thought to a balanced budget
during a time when it is fighting in 3 wars, struggling with economic depression and unusually high unemployment.
We need desperately to raise revenue. We should be selling bonds investing in projects that will pump money into the hands of those who will support local businesses. In turn those businesses will hire and the wages of employees will restore our economy.
Am I one of the only ones to see that a balanced budget is foolish at least and at most, harmful?
this is not just a recession, but just one phase of the final depression - meaning no more boom, just long descent to sustainable way of life.
Cutting jobs - especially jobs that are unnecessary and harmfull - is not suicidal. What is really suicidal is growth mania and dependency from growth that destroys the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.
12. You are assuming that we couldn't have jobs that would prepare us
for that future you are talking about. Yet they are cutting alternative energy programs, education, and other such forward facing programs. They are ignoring local problem in favor of big corporations. What the rethugs are trying to save are the oil and coal industry, fracking, the insurance companies, the globalization programs, banksters and credit card companies - the useless jobs that are destroying both our present and our future.
But let's get real - it's not just the evil rethugs, it's both wings of the corporate whore party of neoliberal ideology of money worship, militarism and eternal growth. Experience should teach that putting all hope in representative democracy and partisan politics will get us nowhere.
Gardening, community work, internet discussions for learning and sharing, lots of work to do - without pay and not expacting money reward (except organizing and participating in alternative local and internet money systems!)... you know.
16. ok but the bank isn't into CSA credits for my mortgage.
I agree in principal with what you are saying, and in particular that we actually can't simply grow our way out of the Great Recession as there are two major interrelated obstacles to a simple resumption of growth: the climate and energy. But where does that leave us other than homeless if we don't have the cash to pay the banks that still seem to think that my right to live in my house is dependent on a monthly cash transfer?
Literally. Join Anonymous or similar, bankrupt the banks and destroy all book-keeping about "ownership" and debt etc. Dunno, what will happen. Revolution will anyway, one way or another. In the words of Hopi Elders (reminded by this post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... ): "We are the ones we have been waiting for."
Look I and others here and elsewhere KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, many of us have known what the problem is most of our lives, and many of us are now pretty old. It is the solution to the problem that is lacking, and 'fuck the banks' or 'go join anonymous' is just silly talk.
17. I agree with your last paragraph but that does not replace needing
jobs to survive for most people. We have two people who are working full time in my family of 13 - 4 households. Not easy to survive without money. You are also probably right about the need to move away from capitalism but I do not see that happening any time soon - until then we need jobs.
And in fact as one who tried to go back to the earth in the 70s - money is needed for that also. Too many of us tried to do that on a shoestring and ended up in worse situations than we started in.
many youg people dumbster dive for food, supermarket back yards. It's allready a fashion of sorts and there is no more shame in it but even pride, from moral contempt against the mindless waste of the consumer society. In Brazil they got Landless Movement.
And also I have a feeling that things are happening faster and faster, eurozone as we know it is allready cracking deeply. Days? Weeks? Months? For Greece, not years. How and what will happen then, dunno, but no need to fear. Fear won't help. Love thy neighbour, treat others as you would like to be treated, that old basic stuff.
If you feel like doing something and need a suggestion, organize your neighbourhood. Go from door to door, speak from your heart and even more importantly, listen. Ask what people can do, what skills they have, what ideas and suggestions they have, what they can and want to contribute, what kind of help they need, make a list, call a meeting. Thats how revolutions start and build: neighbourhood meetings.
In the words of the Hopi Elders, "We are the ones we have been waiting for."
4. huh? we have public debt since we started and have run deficits
pretty much every year as well. Four times including now, annual deficits have exceeded 10% of GDP. This is not an historic crisis, a deficit of unsustainable proportions, and while we should of course undo the Bush-Obama Billionaire Subsidies, "imbalance" actually can and has gone on since the nation started. Balanced Budget Bullshit is just more rightwing crap.
5. I think we will always have an unbalanced budget.
There are always things that happen that will cause our budget to wane and wax. Wars and disaster/discoveries and entrepreneurship.We should be aware that either can happen and not worry about strict law to balance the books. If things go either way there should be a goal to live accordingly,but passing a national law against breathing too deeply or too shallow is silly and not worth the thought when the insanity of greed and power has trumped the reason of democratic and progressive rule.
The invention of any law keeps things in a talking mode, but installing a law that has no chance of working and really shouldn't be expected to is foolish.
Most of the people in this country are living far below the level their productivity would justify. If people are spending more than they are paid that is because they are not being fairly compensated for what they produce. That is the "imbalance" that cannot wait to be righted and that is unsustainable and cannot go on forever.
11. We can only talk about a balanced budget when we have gotten out
of those wars, raised taxes on the super-rich and ended our quest for empire. Then we can talk about paying off the deficits. By the way the trade deficit cannot be fixed with budgeting of any kind. That can only be fixed by bringing our manufacturing jobs home and by refusing to import things we can supply for ourselves. Things such as oil, foods, medicines, etc.
14. You do get that you are talking about a Sovereign nation, right?
I know Econ101 can be confusing, so let me try to make it simple.
States do not have the authority to coin/mint money. This is why they need to balance budgets.
Sovereign nations do have the authority to coin/mint money. When the value of money drops, exports increase and GDP increases. Therefore devaluing money is an imperative tool to be able to maintain a positive balance of trade.
In addition, Sovereign nations need to have the ability to ACT QUICKLY when bad shit happens. Think storms, earthquakes, terra attacks. If a Sovereign nation is handcuffed where it cannot act quickly in response to the aforementioned (including and especially being able to aid states) then the entire house of cards fall in.
Balanced budgets for non-Sovereign entities? You betcha. Balanced Budgets for Sovereign nations? Only a fool with no concept of economics would be in favor of this.
Here is a challenge - name for the class **ONE** credible economist (not politician) of ANY persuasion (Smith, Keynes, Friedman) that has advocated for a Sovereign Balanced budget - and the answer only counts if a successful example of a Sovereign balanced budget policy is provided as proof.
25. Actually, counter-intuitive though it may seem, a country does
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 01:09 AM by coalition_unwilling
not have to balance its books sooner or later. A country can always debase its currency, aka 'inflation,' and pay off its debts with money that is not worth what it was when the country borrowed it. Inflation is thus one of the risks that long-term bond investors in any country's debt must carefully consider, i.e., the risk that higher inflation will erode the value of the bond and its interest payments downstream.
Examples are as close as our next-door neighbor Mexico that successively devalued the peso over many years. I believe that it takes over 1,000 Mexican pesos today to purchase what just one Mexican peso purchased only 30 years ago. Obviously if you bought Mexican bonds 30 years ago, your principal has taken quite a hit. But Mexico has never to this day 'balanced its books.'
2. the loon half of the plutocracy is not only insane, but quite stupid too
however the BBA is a political foil - it is a useful tool for elections, not a serious proposal. However, did I mention that the loon half of the plutocracy is not only insane but quite stupid too? So there is always the possibility that these idiots manage to enact their idiocy.
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