Excel goof officially a global menace



  • @Mike Konczal said:

    This error is needed to get the results they published, and it would go a long way to explaining why it has been impossible for others to replicate these results. If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made, well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel.

    [url]http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems[/url]



  • The more fascinating thing is that that article includes the same common fallacy that GDP is a measure of economic prosperity and not simply a function of debt and money supply.

    There's also the "high GDP is good" fallacy. GDP and public debt were both high during WWII (that they were linked is rather obvious since public debt was a major component of GDP at the time.) However, most of that productivity went into killing people and destroying property, which is arguably pretty awful.

    Of course, low GDP isn't necessarily good, either, it's just that what GDP measures is essentially nonsense. Like the first housing bubble or the currently reflated housing bubble--nominal GDP increases aside, these were obviously disastrous policies.

    Then add in the fact that currency devaluation has outpaced nominal GDP for some time, and one is left to wonder why people even bother with GDP, except for the fact that ignorant people think it's important, so it serves as a useful propaganda tool.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?

     

     

    The most honest response is "nobody have a fucking idea". It may not even have long-term consequence at all.

     The most likely scenario for a "bad" outcome is that US decide to default their debt. They will then have a lot of trouble to get a loan (sorry if it's the bad term for a state), and a lot of people would themselve suddenly become a lot poorer. Exact financial consequence of thos i not know above the "it can't be good" level.

     



  • @joe.edwards said:

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?


    All I know is that somehow we got China to buy some.

    Buy some debt.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?

    Owing a debt is only worrisome if the holder can actually collect on it. The people who hold US debt either don't want to collect (Federal Reserve) or can't make us (everyone else).

    As far as default, pfft. We've defaulted already. We first defaulted in 1971 when we unilaterally ended conversion of US debt into gold. The result was prolonged "stagflation" at home, but it eventually leveled out. Then we defaulted again a few years back when the Federal Reserve started monetizing the national debt (creating new USDs from thin air and using them to buy US debt.)

    What the debt actually signifies is an on-going tax on middle- and working-class Americans, coupled with an increase in government power and transfer payments to an ever-increasing portion of the population. Shit's expensive now because the dollar is worth less and less as the Federal Reserve and Government pursue a policy of increasing the money supply to pay off deficits. Those deficits are for such valuable things as: killing Arab children; paying crackheads to sit around and smoke crack; and continuing life support to insolvent banks run by incompetents who should be shot.

    End game? I have no idea. Some say hyperinflation, but I'm unsure. I think it's too easy for the government to clamp down on money supply and prevent hyperinflation. The welfare state will have to stop expanding at some point. We're already near the point where a majority of people are being supported by a shirking minority that actually work and contribute value to the world. Eventually those who do work are going to get sick of it, but I have a feeling that the increasingly-bought-off electorate is not going to let go of their free shit so easily. I suggest investing in ammunition.

    Meanwhile, the US standard of living continues into its fifth straight decade of decline. Isn't it unbelievable that people used to support families with only one parent working and without a massive debt load? Now you need both parents working at least 50 hours a week, plus an underwater mortgage, a few car loans and not to mention some credit card debt. But, hey, interest rates are low, so it doesn't really matter. And we have shiny garbage made by Chinese slave labor that lets us post a message telling our 900 "friends" about the 1500 calorie Chipotle burrito we just wolfed down, so suck on that post-War America.



  • @TheLazyHase said:

    The most likely scenario for a "bad" outcome is that US decide to default their debt.

    We've already defaulted. Twice. I doubt we're ever going to default in the sense you mean, as in not making payments. We'll just unilaterally decide you get paid in something worth even less than what we promised when we borrowed. "What's worth less than the USD?" you ask. I dunno, maybe crates of Rosie O'Donnell pornography.

    @TheLazyHase said:

    They will then have a lot of trouble to get a loan (sorry if it's the bad term for a state)...

    Nonsense. We're already at the point nobody sane wants to loan us money. So we just get the Federal Reserve to create new money and loan it. I would be shocked if the US ever finds it impossible to sell our debt to somebody. If the Fed refuses, we'll just nationalize them in some covert way and make them.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Nonsense. We're already at the point nobody sane wants to loan us money. So we just get the Federal Reserve to create new money and loan it. I would be shocked if the US ever finds it impossible to sell our debt to somebody. If the Fed refuses, we'll just nationalize them in some covert way and make them.
     

     

    That's a nonsense too, because they are people who are actually very interested in buying US debt, of two kind :

    * those who recall that the US is actually pretty good at paying interest compared to other loaner

    * those who have a strategic interest in having a lot of US debt. Namely, the chineses, and mainly because they ensure themselve to have people buying their wares.

     Also, you actually agree with me, since you have pointed out that country default is far from having devastating effect ; it certainly can (go ask the greek), but nobody is actually able to know what will be the outcome. US may have a very severe economic depression (like the 1929 one), or may very well have next to no consequences.



  • @TheLazyHase said:

    those who recall that the US is actually pretty good at paying interest compared to other loaner

    Yes, which are usually countries (or the banks they are keeping afloat) that are desperate to deflate their own currency. Look, the fact that every other patient in the ward is dying faster than the US doesn't mean the US is well.

    @TheLazyHase said:

    Namely, the chineses, and mainly because they ensure themselve to have people buying their wares.

    Oh, I get it now, you just awoke from spending 2 years in your Time Pod. See, the Chinese have been unloading US debt for awhile now. Even they aren't desperate enough to keep buying that shit.

    @TheLazyHase said:

    Also, you actually agree with me, since you have pointed out that country default is far from having devastating effect...

    I never said this. I would consider the continuing devaluation of currency and deterioration of the economy to be devastating, but it mostly falls on the shoulders of the working- and lower-middle- classes, so nobody gives a shit. Now, if Paris Hilton were suddenly unable to afford vajazzling for her dirty snatch, or if the Obamas suddenly found themselves unable to jet off to Hawaii on the taxpayer's dime, then you can be damn sure you'd hear about it. But when the factory worker looks at up from his mounting debt at his kid and it finally dawns on him that his kid isn't going to get to become a doctor like he wants.. well, that isn't fucking newsworthy.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?

    Owing a debt is only worrisome if the holder can actually collect on it. The people who hold US debt either don't want to collect (Federal Reserve) or can't make us (everyone else).

    As far as default, pfft. We've defaulted already. We first defaulted in 1971 when we unilaterally ended conversion of US debt into gold. The result was prolonged "stagflation" at home, but it eventually leveled out. Then we defaulted again a few years back when the Federal Reserve started monetizing the national debt (creating new USDs from thin air and using them to buy US debt.)

    What the debt actually signifies is an on-going tax on middle- and working-class Americans, coupled with an increase in government power and transfer payments to an ever-increasing portion of the population. Shit's expensive now because the dollar is worth less and less as the Federal Reserve and Government pursue a policy of increasing the money supply to pay off deficits. Those deficits are for such valuable things as: killing Arab children; paying crackheads to sit around and smoke crack; and continuing life support to insolvent banks run by incompetents who should be shot.

    End game? I have no idea. Some say hyperinflation, but I'm unsure. I think it's too easy for the government to clamp down on money supply and prevent hyperinflation. The welfare state will have to stop expanding at some point. We're already near the point where a majority of people are being supported by a shirking minority that actually work and contribute value to the world. Eventually those who do work are going to get sick of it, but I have a feeling that the increasingly-bought-off electorate is not going to let go of their free shit so easily. I suggest investing in ammunition.

    Meanwhile, the US standard of living continues into its fifth straight decade of decline. Isn't it unbelievable that people used to support families with only one parent working and without a massive debt load? Now you need both parents working at least 50 hours a week, plus an underwater mortgage, a few car loans and not to mention some credit card debt. But, hey, interest rates are low, so it doesn't really matter. And we have shiny garbage made by Chinese slave labor that lets us post a message telling our 900 "friends" about the 1500 calorie Chipotle burrito we just wolfed down, so suck on that post-War America.

    I'm not buying the inflation thing. US inflation is low... almost dangerously so. I think inflation fears are basically a ruse the old/rich perpetrate in order to strangle the money supply and maintain the status quo. You personally probably don't realize this. You're a dupe of the people who do.

    Look at it like this: suppose prices triple across the board. I wouldn't care. My wage is just one of those (tripled) prices. Who would care? Credit card companies and old grannies. That's whose side your taking with your folk economics.



  • @TheLazyHase said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    The level of debt of the US is beyond a scale at which I can comprehend, and that fills me with vague worry. What is the actual implication of all that debt, and what problems and risks does it carry with it?

     

     

    The most honest response is "nobody have a fucking idea". It may not even have long-term consequence at all.

     The most likely scenario for a "bad" outcome is that US decide to default their debt. They will then have a lot of trouble to get a loan (sorry if it's the bad term for a state), and a lot of people would themselve suddenly become a lot poorer. Exact financial consequence of thos i not know above the "it can't be good" level.

     

    Most US federal debt is owed to US citizens, either directly or by way of IOUs placed into the Social Security trust fund. It is money that Americans as a whole owe to hard-working, middle-aged people like me. You can see how I'm treated by fellow Americans by reading this board... they'll hem and haw about Ron Paul, shiny yellow rocks, etc., but the metaphorical dildo is aimed squarely at my own anus and it is I and my cohorts who will get screwed. It won't be perceived as a default because most of my cohorts will go along with the screwing quietly, in service of "capitalist" ideology. The "China" claim is a red herring.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I'm not buying the inflation thing. US inflation is low... almost dangerously so. I think inflation fears are basically a ruse the old/rich perpetrate in order to strangle the money supply and maintain the status quo. You personally probably don't realize this. You're a dupe of the people who do.

    Look at it like this: suppose prices triple across the board. I wouldn't care. My wage is just one of those (tripled) prices. Who would care? Credit card companies and old grannies. That's whose side your taking with your folk economics.

    So very, very wrong. Actual US inflation is bad. Then again, maybe you're referring to the government-produced numbers which exclude nearly every single thing that people actually need to buy.

    "Strangle the money supply"? Where the fuck have you been living? The money supply is growing at extraordinary rates. So extraordinary that the government stopped publishing numbers because they didn't want people to see how bad it had gotten. Meanwhile, almost nobody in a position of power has said anything negative about inflation. When politicians, government bureaucrats, government-subsidized banks and media talking heads all blather on about how inflation is low and how the expansion of the money supply is great, that's a pretty good sign you're getting fucked, nice and deep.

    Have your wages increased significantly since 2007 or so? And even if yours have, you do realize that most people's haven't, right? That most people have had wage reductions in that time, all while dealing with out-of-control inflation in costs of energy, food and housing?

    You're right that "old grannies" (e.g. those who actually save, which used to be considered a good thing and a cornerstone of the economy) don't like seeing their savings eroded by inflation. But banks don't care. Inflation comes from debt and more debt means more money they rake in. What they lose to monetary devaluation is a drop in the bucket compared to what they gain from credit expansion. Besides which, it's not even their money. They get million dollar bonuses no matter how badly they fuck up, so why would they care?



  • @bridget99 said:

    I'm not buying the inflation thing. US inflation is low... almost dangerously so. I think inflation fears are basically a ruse the old/rich perpetrate in order to strangle the money supply and maintain the status quo.

    Except that no one who isn't making shit up says that the money supply is being strangled. They don't call him Helicopter Ben for nothing.

    @bridget99 said:

    Look at it like this: suppose prices triple across the board. I wouldn't care. My wage is just one of those (tripled) prices. Who would care? Credit card companies and old grannies. That's whose side your taking with your folk economics.

    Yes, inflation hurts creditors and savers. Soon retirement will seem like a quaint concept. The problem is that inflation always hurts wealth creation, which is what's really important.

    The only thing keeping the USG afloat (as mentioned above) is that the rest of the world is in an even worse financial position. Thanks Europe! Of course, things are always fine up to the point when they aren't. And there usually aren't obvious warning signs that convince people to change their ways. Almost makes you want to become a Prepper.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @bridget99 said:
    I'm not buying the inflation thing. US inflation is low... almost dangerously so. I think inflation fears are basically a ruse the old/rich perpetrate in order to strangle the money supply and maintain the status quo.

    Except that no one who isn't making shit up says that the money supply is being strangled. They don't call him Helicopter Ben for nothing.

    @bridget99 said:

    Look at it like this: suppose prices triple across the board. I wouldn't care. My wage is just one of those (tripled) prices. Who would care? Credit card companies and old grannies. That's whose side your taking with your folk economics.

    Yes, inflation hurts creditors and savers. Soon retirement will seem like a quaint concept. The problem is that inflation always hurts wealth creation, which is what's really important.

    The only thing keeping the USG afloat (as mentioned above) is that the rest of the world is in an even worse financial position. Thanks Europe! Of course, things are always fine up to the point when they aren't. And there usually aren't obvious warning signs that convince people to change their ways. Almost makes you want to become a Prepper.

    So nobody agrees with me except for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? OK; I'll take that.


  • @bridget99 said:

    It is money that Americans as a whole owe to hard-working, middle-aged people like me.

    No, it isn't you jackass. Social Security has been insolvent since the 50s. It was raided to pay for shit and that money is long gone. Now, what you're proposing is that future generations have to pay even more to pay back the debt your generation accumulated. Fuck that. Nobody owes you a damn thing. Here's an analogy to prove how stupid you are:

    bridget goes to the bank and deposits $100. bridget then applies for a credit card and spends $200. bridget then goes back to the bank and demands his $100 back. "But wait, don't you owe us $200 on your credit card?" asks the teller. "Oh, no, I just signed that card over to my son. It's his debt now. Now please give me my $100 back," says bridget. "But weren't you the one who actually used it?" asks the teller. "Well, sure, but I see what you're doing you shifty Jew banker; you're trying to screw me out of my savings!" exclaims bridget.



  • @bridget99 said:

    So nobody agrees with me except for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? OK; I'll take that.

    I must say, I take extraordinary comfort in knowing that bridget is on the same side as Ben Bernanke. It's like a little bird landing on my shoulder and saying "See, Morbs? You're still sane!"



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    It is money that Americans as a whole owe to hard-working, middle-aged people like me.

    No, it isn't you jackass. Social Security has been insolvent since the 50s. It was raided to pay for shit and that money is long gone. Now, what you're proposing is that future generations have to pay even more to pay back the debt your generation accumulated. Fuck that. Nobody owes you a damn thing. Here's an analogy to prove how stupid you are:

    bridget goes to the bank and deposits $100. bridget then applies for a credit card and spends $200. bridget then goes back to the bank and demands his $100 back. "But wait, don't you owe us $200 on your credit card?" asks the teller. "Oh, no, I just signed that card over to my son. It's his debt now. Now please give me my $100 back," says bridget. "But weren't you the one who actually used it?" asks the teller. "Well, sure, but I see what you're doing you shifty Jew banker; you're trying to screw me out of my savings!" exclaims bridget.

    I've paid social security tax on about $1 million in lifetime earnings. The feds have spent this money and put IOUs in my retirement fund in exchange. And you're saying that I'm not owed anything. This is EXACTLY what I was talking about with my dildo metaphor. I see exactly what's coming. It's only palatable to you because it's sugar-coated in conservative politics. Look, dude, I'm a social conservative in many ways, but I can spot a dupe and people like you are being made dupes. Obama is actually the best friend you've got right now.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    So nobody agrees with me except for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? OK; I'll take that.

    I must say, I take extraordinary comfort in knowing that bridget is on the same side as Ben Bernanke. It's like a little bird landing on my shoulder and saying "See, Morbs? You're still sane!"

    It's not that we're on the same side. We both just know more about Economics than you do.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I've paid social security tax on about $1 million in lifetime earnings.

    So what? It's gone. It's not coming back. The only way to get it back is to pass the buck on to future generations. If you think it's unfair your money was taken and spent on stupid shit, at least you were around for it. You're asking people who never had a thing to do with it to pay you back for shit your generation bought? Fuck you and your sense of entitlement. We owe you nothing and you will get nothing. You can eat dog food for all we care. This is your fault, your mess, and you expect us to suffer to fix it for you? HA HA HA.

    Guess what, nearly every person under the age of 40 I've talked to says the same thing: liberal or conservative does not matter, they have no intention of spending their lives paying you back the money you squandered. In a few years your cohort will have become small enough that you cannot vote yourself more largess from the treasury. That's when the long knives come out, friend. What are you going to do about it?



  • @bridget99 said:

    It's not that we're on the same side. We both just know more about Economics than you do.

    I don't doubt that Ben knows more about economics than most people, but the question is "What is he doing with that knowledge?"

    As for you: HA!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    I've paid social security tax on about $1 million in lifetime earnings.

    So what? It's gone. It's not coming back. The only way to get it back is to pass the buck on to future generations. If you think it's unfair your money was taken and spent on stupid shit, at least you were around for it. You're asking people who never had a thing to do with it to pay you back for shit your generation bought? Fuck you and your sense of entitlement. We owe you nothing and you will get nothing. You can eat dog food for all we care. This is your fault, your mess, and you expect us to suffer to fix it for you? HA HA HA.

    Guess what, nearly every person under the age of 40 I've talked to says the same thing: liberal or conservative does not matter, they have no intention of spending their lives paying you back the money you squandered. In a few years your cohort will have become small enough that you cannot vote yourself more largess from the treasury. That's when the long knives come out, friend. What are you going to do about it?

    How did I squander it? I'm not the one who started two goddamned wars at the same time, for zero real reasons. I haven't taken a dime in welfare, student aid, loans, government wages, or any other form of remuneration. Why should I not get back the money that I was told would fund my retirement? And if I don't, is that not an example of the American people defaulting on a debt to me? Those IOUs actually exist. Do you or do you not support the enforcement of debt obligations? And if you don't, doesn't that just make YOU the statist asshole here (not Mr.Obama)?



  • @bridget99 said:

    How did I squander it? I'm not the one who started two goddamned wars at the same time, for zero real reasons. I haven't taken a dime in welfare, student aid, loans, government wages, or any other form of remuneration. Why should I not get back the money that I was told would fund my retirement?

    Because it's gone. Look, I'm not disputing that it was squandered, I'm disputing that you deserve it back. Consider that you act so put-upon at the thought of having to pay for that stupid shit, right? I mean, ultimately, you don't think you should have to pay for all the stuff that was bought when you were a taxpayer. So who are you suggesting should pay for it? People that weren't even alive? Do you seriously think some kid being born right this second should have to pay for the welfare state that existed while you were a voter? As much as you whine about having to pay it yourself, do you think it's more fair to stick the bill with someone who literally had nothing to do with it?

    And even if you do think it's fair, it doesn't matter, it ain't gonna happen. My generation is ignorant, lazy, unscrupulous, always looking for the easy way out and always trying to find someone else to blame. Do you really think today's 20-somethings are going to say "Yeah, you know what I want to do? Work the rest of my life so some old dude can retire! I don't care if I never get to retire." HA. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. Here's what will happen: online nursing home fights. If you want your tin of dog food this week, you gotta fight another old dude to the death. And we'll broadcast it over the Internet to make money. (Think I'm kidding? Have you seen my generation?)

    @bridget99 said:

    And if I don't, is that not an example of the American people defaulting on a debt to me?

    As I've already pointed out, we default on debts all the time. What makes you think you're so special that anybody is going to pay you back? Besides, those were debts wrung up by your generation. Your time to do something about it was long ago.

    @bridget99 said:

    Do you or do you not support the enforcement of debt obligations?

    I don't support enforcing debt obligations against parties who never had any say in the debt (let alone, weren't even alive when it was created!) Do you think people should inherit their parents' credit cards and be forced to pay them off no matter what? Obviously that's insane and illegal.



  • @boomzilla said:

    The only thing keeping the USG afloat (as mentioned above) is that the rest of the world is in an even worse financial position. Thanks Europe!

    Which ironically all started with some slimy US bankers bundling up subprime mortgages, smothering them in several obfuscating layers of financial mathemagics and then selling it as neat investment packages to European banks, flat-out lying about the financial risk involved. The only reason the USA's economy didn't go down the crapper entirely when the housing bubble burst, is that this little stunt largely pulled Europe's banks down into the shit with it. You'd almost think they planned it that way...



  • @Ragnax said:

    Which ironically all started with some slimy US bankers and politicians bundling up subprime mortgages, smothering them in several obfuscating layers of financial mathemagics and then selling it as neat investment packages to European and American banks, flat-out lying about the financial risk involved. The Europeans then engaged in the same shit with each other and with the US, building truly epic layers of debt leveraging. If I'm not mistaken, for a brief while, the entire economy of France was powered by some dude in Ohio's MasterCard balance. The only reason the USA's economy didn't go down the crapper entirely when the housing bubble burst, is that this little stunt largely pulled Europe's banks down into the shit with it and then America jumped onto Europe's back and rode its corpse down the Death Spiral of Debt and Delusion, with Europe all the while screaming "Faster, daddy! Faster!!"

    FTFY.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I'm not the one who started two goddamned wars at the same time, for zero real reasons.

    This is sillier than your claim that the Fed is strangling the money supply.

    @bridget99 said:

    Those IOUs actually exist.

    Yes, but they're IOUs to the US Treasury, not to you.

    @bridget99 said:

    Why should I not get back the money that I was told would fund my retirement?

    Anyone who said the money you paid would fund your retirement was lying to you. That's never been how social security works and it never will be. Honestly, the idea of the government investing your money over time for your retirement is even scarier than the Ponzi scheme that we have.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Yes, but they're IOUs to the US Treasury, not to you.

    That's actually a good point. Legally, Social Security is nothing more than a tax. The courts have ruled time and again that the government has no obligation to pay you a dime. It's bridget's fault for failing to understand this, when the truth was there, waiting to be known the entire time.

    bridget: you took the word of politicians who promised you a retirement and now you're finding that they lied, spent the money buying hookers and naming bridges after themselves, and now they're dead. I'm sorry, it sucks, but that's the world you live in. If it makes you feel any better, we'll let you desecrate their graves..



  • @Ragnax said:

    Which ironically all started with some slimy US bankers bundling up subprime mortgages, smothering them in several obfuscating layers of financial mathemagics and then selling it as neat investment packages to European banks, flat-out lying about the financial risk involved. The only reason the USA's economy didn't go down the crapper entirely when the housing bubble burst, is that this little stunt largely pulled Europe's banks down into the shit with it. You'd almost think they planned it that way...

    There was a lot more to it than that. You didn't mention any of the ways that the USG distorted the market. You act like US banks didn't take a hit and shoved all the badness onto Europe. I almost think you haven't been paying attention.



  • @boomzilla said:

    You didn't mention any of the ways that the USG distorted the market. You act like US banks didn't take a hit...

    Sure, they took a brief hit, and were immediately subsidized and given official Immunity From Bad Decisions In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe. Most of the banks were in on this scam, too; they aren't innocents here.

    And Europe? Europe brought this shit on itself, son, with a wacky currency system that created a climate where everybody decided to loan poor countries money for no good reason. The collapse of the US housing bubble hastened the Euro's demise, but it did not cause it. Blame EU bureaucrats, German banks and spendthrift Greeks. Hell, you can blame the US, too, since we've helped prop up the joke that is Europe, thus prolonging the pain of the average citizen for the benefit of the politically-connected few.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    How did I squander it?

    Because it's gone... Look, I'm not disputing that it was squandered, I'm disputing that you deserve it back. Consider that you act so put-upon at the thought of having to pay for that stupid shit, right? I mean, ultimately, you don't think you should have to pay for all the stuff that was bought when you were a taxpayer.

    Good point... I, as a US taxpayer, basically am a part of the corporate body that wasted the money and incurred the IOUs. So I should have to participate in paying the IOUs back, as a taxpayer. But they should be paid back, and they should be used to fund Social Security payments. All of this is provided for by current law.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    So who are you suggesting should pay for it? People that weren't even alive?

    No, I'm suggesting that the US federal budget be adjusted. We need to spend less on the military. We need to stop creating new entitlements until we've agreed on a plan for the current ones. And I do think we should basically pay for some of it via inflation. Is that shoving things off on future generations? I don't think so. I don't really care that my grandparents were able to buy gas for a nickel per gallon. Ultimately numbers are just arbitrary. What I want is for my kids not to grow up in a third world country.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    And even if you do think it's fair, it doesn't matter, it ain't gonna happen. My generation is ignorant, lazy, unscrupulous, always looking for the easy way out and always trying to find someone else to blame. Do you really think today's 20-somethings are going to say "Yeah, you know what I want to do? Work the rest of my life so some old dude can retire! I don't care if I never get to retire." HA. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. Here's what will happen: online nursing home fights. If you want your tin of dog food this week, you gotta fight another old dude to the death. And we'll broadcast it over the Internet to make money. (Think I'm kidding? Have you seen my generation?)

    Anyone who works a real full-time job pays money into Social Security and gets statements of benefits from the Social Security Administration. We may reach the magical day when ruthless kids will just abscond with the Social Security trust fund once and for all, but I doubt it will happen while people are still paying into Social Security with every paycheck. And people actually do care if their parents are getting Social Security, too.



    Social Security is a big deal to a lot of people... it may very well end up being funded indefinitely in its current form by way of a more inflationary monetary policy. I think that probably would be good.



    And how old do you think I am? I think I'm younger than you think I am.
    @morbiuswilters said:

    As I've already pointed out, we default on debts all the time. What makes you think you're so special that anybody is going to pay you back? Besides, those were debts wrung up by your generation. Your time to do something about it was long ago.

    You quoted some argument about the gold standard. I don't think the gold standard ever quite had the force of law you imagine... the US government used to print gold certificates, until they discovered they could just print Magic Paper, and (surprise, surprise) they started printing more Magic Paper and fewer gold certificates. That's just an example of a bank behaving as a rational actor.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you think people should inherit their parents' credit cards and be forced to pay them off no matter what? Obviously that's insane and illegal.

    One person dying does not invalidate any debt owed by the USA or by any other corporation... that would be pretty silly.



    Legally, in your example, the inheritor and the entire USA are both persons. The USA is a corporate person, and an individual inheriting an estate is an individual person.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @bridget99 said:
    Those IOUs actually exist.

    Yes, but they're IOUs to the US Treasury, not to you.

    @bridget99 said:

    Why should I not get back the money that I was told would fund my retirement?

    Anyone who said the money you paid would fund your retirement was lying to you. That's never been how social security works and it never will be. Honestly, the idea of the government investing your money over time for your retirement is even scarier than the Ponzi scheme that we have.

    The IOUs were specifically placed into a Social Security trust fund.



    This is what I actually said: "Most US federal debt is owed to US citizens, either directly or by way of IOUs placed into the Social Security trust fund. It is money that Americans as a whole owe to hard-working, middle-aged people like me."



    The first thing I said was "directly." A lot of "hard-working, middle-aged people like me" own US government debt instruments and we are most definitely "owed" this money. I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.



    As for Social Security, they have not issued me a note, nor do they maintain an account in my name. But under current law, they will pay me a certain amount at a certain time, subject to circumstances. If I get to age 67 and retire, or if I am disabled, they will be required by law to pay me. We can argue about what "debt" is, but I think that what I'm describing meets the threshold for "indirectly owed."



    I never said anything about "investing money over time."



  • @bridget99 said:

    But they should be paid back, and they should be used to fund Social Security payments. All of this is provided for by current law.

    You can make a law against gravity, doesn't mean it won't be broken. Besides, as I've already, legally SS owes you nothing. This is well-established that SS is a tax and whatever the gov't decides to give back is at its discretion.

    @bridget99 said:

    We need to spend less on the military. We need to stop creating new entitlements until we've agreed on a plan for the current ones.

    Agreed on both, but it's irrelevant: SS is a massive unfunded liability, just like everything else. This isn't getting fixed by moving around a little cash. It's a structural problem. I don't know why you think that something that has been broken since its inception is suddenly going to get fixed. Besides, there are so many others champing at the government teat. Enjoy fighting off the military and the crackhead welfare recipients; I'm sure some old dudes are gonna win.

    @bridget99 said:

    What I want is for my kids not to grow up in a third world country.

    Too late. And you should care about inflation, since credit expansion is at the heart of most of the problems we face. You might as well say "I don't care about the rabid lions running all around, I just don't want to get bit!"

    @bridget99 said:

    Anyone who works a real full-time job pays money into Social Security and gets statements of benefits from the Social Security Administration.

    I love those things. It's like a burglar breaking into your house and leaving behind a carefully-itemized list of everything he's stolen.

    @bridget99 said:

    We may reach the magical day when ruthless kids will just abscond with the Social Security trust fund once and for all...

    You illiterate son-of-a-bitch, there is no trust fund. The trust fund is just filled with IOUs your generation wrote to itself on cocktail napkins. Stop with this delusion that there's anything there at all other than a big, fat scam. Seriously, you're like some babbling fool who's all "Yeah, well, when I get my money from the Prince of Nigeria, then shit's gonna change." WAKE THE FUCK UP: YOU GOT SCAMMED, SWEETHEART.

    @bridget99 said:

    Social Security is a big deal to a lot of people...

    So is Star Wars. This doesn't make either one real.

    @bridget99 said:

    ...it may very well end up being funded indefinitely in its current form by way of a more inflationary monetary policy.

    Bullshit. You can't indefinitely fund an ever-expanding $70 trillion liability with inflation. STOP FAILING TO UNDERSTAND BASIC MATH.

    @bridget99 said:

    And how old do you think I am? I think I'm younger than you think I am.

    I don't know and I don't care. Being younger just means there's even less chance you will get even a small fraction of your money back.

    @bridget99 said:

    You quoted some argument about the gold standard.

    WTF, how can you be so illiterate? The government defaulted on its debts. It said "Hey, know how we were going to pay you in something that has some value? Now we're paying you in something that has significantly less value!" That's a default. The result was the collapse of the international currency pegs and a decade of economic misery at home.

    @bridget99 said:

    I don't think the gold standard ever quite had the force of law you imagine...

    I never said anything about this, you delusional idiot. Stop imagining conversations. And the gold standard had some force of law, but the US was all "I have altered the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

    @bridget99 said:

    the US government used to print gold certificates, until they discovered they could just print Magic Paper, and (surprise, surprise) they started printing more Magic Paper and fewer gold certificates. That's just an example of a bank behaving as a rational actor.

    I'm not saying it didn't make sense for the government to completely seize control of the instrument of value, I just said it wasn't in your interests, or those of most of the citizens. It benefits an elite few, as was intended.

    @bridget99 said:

    One person dying does not invalidate any debt owed by the USA or by any other corporation... that would be pretty silly.

    Good God you are incapable of reading. I AM PUNCHING YOU WITH MY MIND OVER THE INTERNET. The point is that a person being forced to take on a debt they did not incur is immoral behavior, however much you whine. Government debt, by it's very nature, is immoral since it binds future generations into a slavery arranged by their forebears. The level of debt our government has now isn't just evil, it's simply impossible. It isn't going to be paid back.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    You can make a law against gravity

    LAW OF GRAVITY VETOED

    "IT'S JUST NOT PRACTICAL" SAYS PRESIDENT



  • Fine... you win. The question was, "who is the US debt owed to" and I think we've exhausted it. Now, I'm going to show you something amusing I found on the Web. Here's the URL:



    link


    The really funny part is at the top of the comments. It begins "Editor's Note: August 3rd, 2009: Several days ago, after watching a disturbing trend of angry comments start to bloom into outright advocacy of..."



  • @bridget99 said:



    • 								                <img src="/Themes/leanandgreen/images/user_IsOnline.gif" alt="" style="border-width:0px;">
      								                
      								            
      								        <a href="/members/bridget99.aspx">bridget99</a>
      								    </li>
      								    <li class="ForumPostUserAvatar"><img src="/utility/anonymous.gif" alt="" style="border-width:1px;border-style:solid;max-height:80px;max-width:80px;"></li>
      								    
      							                <li class="ForumPostUserIcons"><img title="Top 75 Contributor" alt="Top 75 Contributor" src="/Themes/leanandgreen/images/rankicons/rankTop75.gif"></li>
      							                <li class="ForumPostUserAttribute">Joined on 2009-2-1</li>
      							                
      							                <li class="ForumPostUserAttribute">Posts <a href="/search/SearchResults.aspx?u=14357&amp;o=DateDescending">667</a></li>
      							                
                                                  
                                                  
                                              
      							    </ul>
      							    </div></blockquote>
      

      WHY DID YOU HAVE TO POST

      WHYYYYYYYYYYYY



  • @bridget99 said:

    A lot of "hard-working, middle-aged people like me" own US government debt instruments and we are most definitely "owed" this money. I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.

    And what we're saying is "No you don't, you moron." SS owes you nothing. Maybe you think they do, but they have no legal obligation to pay you a fucking thing. This was established in 1960. The US gov't can decide to pay whatever it wants, for almost any reason.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    A lot of "hard-working, middle-aged people like me" own US government debt instruments and we are most definitely "owed" this money. I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.

    And what we're saying is "No you don't, you moron." SS owes you nothing. Maybe you think they do, but they have no legal obligation to pay you a fucking thing. This was established in 1960. The US gov't can decide to pay whatever it wants, for almost any reason.

    That thing you quoted was actually about people who bought government bonds... you're tilting at the wrong windmill there, Señorito.



  • @bridget99 said:

    That thing you quoted was actually about people who bought government bonds... you're tilting at the wrong windmill there, Señorito.

    What quote? What are you talking about?

    Anyway, we've already established that bonds are pretty arbitrary, too. Ben Bernanke can wipe his ass on an index card and be like "Here, take it, it's legal tender" and there's nothing you can do about it.

    So, knowing that, keep in mind that a US Bond is even more legally secure than SS. Bondholders at least have to get something, even if it is a shit-stained index card. SS doesn't have to pay you squat.

    Here's the punchline: if SS does stay around, it's only because it was transformed into a means-tested welfare program. In other words, since you spent your life working hard and put money in, you're probably about the last person they want to give money to. There's a crackhead in New Jersey who worked a single weekend at a Jack in the Box back in 1993. Guess what: he's set for life and you get squat. And since your votes are equal*, there's nothing you can do about it.


    (*That's assuming your votes are still equal. I've heard lefties suggest that votes should be apportioned based on race, so that individuals of a minority race would have their votes count for more, thus "making things fair". Still, I think that's too loony for even most Democrats to buy into.)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    That thing you quoted was actually about people who bought government bonds... you're tilting at the wrong windmill there, Señorito.

    What quote? What are you talking about?

    Anyway, we've already established that bonds are pretty arbitrary, too. Ben Bernanke can wipe his ass on an index card and be like "Here, take it, it's legal tender" and there's nothing you can do about it.

    So, knowing that, keep in mind that a US Bond is even more legally secure than SS. Bondholders at least have to get something, even if it is a shit-stained index card. SS doesn't have to pay you squat.

    Here's the punchline: if SS does stay around, it's only because it was transformed into a means-tested welfare program. In other words, since you spent your life working hard and put money in, you're probably about the last person they want to give money to. There's a crackhead in New Jersey who worked a single weekend at a Jack in the Box back in 1993. Guess what: he's set for life and you get squat. And since your votes are equal*, there's nothing you can do about it.


    (*That's assuming your votes are still equal. I've heard lefties suggest that votes should be apportioned based on race, so that individuals of a minority race would have their votes count for more, thus "making things fair". Still, I think that's too loony for even most Democrats to buy into.)

    You quoted some seemingly irrelevant quote of mine that had nothing to do with Social Security. I don't care, though. I already talked about the exact nature of the debts/non-debts in another post.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.

    And what we're saying is "No you don't, you moron."

    Can you see how this looks a bit asinine, now that I've edited it down to its core?



  • @bridget99 said:

    The IOUs were specifically placed into a Social Security trust fund.

    Yes, I agree. And as the payroll taxes come up short (as they have started) the Social Security Administration will present some of them to the US Treasury, which will in turn sell some debt to the public (or monetize it by pretending the Fed lent the money). Like I said, they're IOUs from the US Treasury, not to you. You have no claim on them.

    @bridget99 said:

    As for Social Security, they have not issued me a note, nor do they maintain an account in my name. But under current law, they will pay me a certain amount at a certain time, subject to circumstances. If I get to age 67 and retire, or if I am disabled, they will be required by law to pay me. We can argue about what "debt" is, but I think that what I'm describing meets the threshold for "indirectly owed."

    If any of those things happen this year, then I'd basically agree with you. Your description of yourself as middle aged, however, says that it won't (well, you might become a disability scammer....I hear that's popular these days). But it's only because that's what current law says. SS is actually not a super huge problem. In budget terms, it's fairly easy to keep going. Medicare is where the problems are.

    @bridget99 said:

    I never said anything about "investing money over time."

    You talked about your payroll taxes financing the payments that you expect to receive, which implies some sort of investment. Or maybe you just meant they were just stuffing the bills under the Mall. Neither one is at all accurate. You didn't take your thought to its obvious conclusion. Do voters ever do this? Based on the current set of clowns in power, it's certain that not enough of them do.



  • Anyone else kinda feel sorry for
    notchulance's thread? I'm pretty certain this isn't the discussion he intended...



  • @Adanine said:

    Anyone else kinda feel sorry for
    notchulance's thread? I'm pretty certain this isn't the discussion he intended...

     

    He damn well knew where he was posting.

     



  • @bridget99 said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bridget99 said:
    I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.

    And what we're saying is "No you don't, you moron."

    Can you see how this looks a bit asinine, now that I've edited it down to its core?

    Yes, Social Security is asinine. No, you don't own any part of SS or the debt it holds.



  • @boomzilla said:

    SS is actually not a super huge problem. In budget terms, it's fairly easy to keep going. Medicare is where the problems are.

    I disagree. They're both really big problems. SS has massive unfunded liabilities. What's more, there are an ever-increasing number of Americans who have nothing put away for retirement. All they have is SS. I have a feeling things are going to pretty ugly.



  • @Adanine said:

    Anyone else kinda feel sorry for
    notchulance's thread? I'm pretty certain this isn't the discussion he intended...

    Discussions here never follow a set course. What were we supposed to? "Oh, yeah, Excel formulas can be tricky. That is all I have to say. Good day, sir."

    He wants to post on GDP, he gets a discussion of GDP (well, an argument between a handsome forum member and a delusional guy who thinks he owns debt because he paid into Social Security.)



  • @Adanine said:

    Anyone else kinda feel sorry for
    notchulance's thread? I'm pretty certain this isn't the discussion he intended...

    What, did he really expect people would talk about an Excel WTF?

     

    Not that  it's not a very nice WTF, it is. I'm also not denying that Excel is a great WTF with enough material for several high quality threads... It's just that they are completely eclipsed by the WTF available at the context.

     

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bridget99 said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bridget99 said:
    I own US government debt, in the form of shares in a fund that invests in inflation-controlled bonds issued by the USA.

    And what we're saying is "No you don't, you moron."

    Can you see how this looks a bit asinine, now that I've edited it down to its core?

    Yes, Social Security is asinine. No, you don't own any part of SS or the debt it holds.

    Look at the part of my post you're quoting. It has nothing to do with Social Security. You need to learn to use the quote feature and/or read my actual post.



    Did anyone even look at the link I posted? The comments are the best part.



  • @bridget99 said:

    Look at the part of my post you're quoting. It has nothing to do with Social Security. You need to learn to use the quote feature and/or read my actual post.

    From the context, I assumed you were talking about that. Regardless, even if you own actual US bonds, who cares? I've already told you that they're worth whatever the hell the gov't decides they're worth. Sure, they have to pay you something. No, it doesn't have to be anything of value. They can pay you in Monopoly money, if they want. As I've said, they've already played the bait-and-switch before, don't think they'll hesitate to do it again.



  • As a social scientist I would disagree in some instances.

    There are strong correlations between GDP and the emergence of democracy and its stabillity.
    Since I am at work, I have no acess to my books and cannot show you the exact figures - but basically, it is useless to establish a democracy in very poor states, while somewhat richer countries are likely to shed of autocracy.
    But GDP is not everything - it is a composite and generalized measurement, so a lot of other factors have to be taken into account, like past experiences or the nature of the economy (resource based economies are basically bad).



  • @HerrDerSchatten said:

    As a social scientist I would disagree in some instances.

    There are strong correlations between GDP and the emergence of democracy and its stabillity.
    Since I am at work, I have no acess to my books and cannot show you the exact figures - but basically, it is useless to establish a democracy in very poor states, while somewhat richer countries are likely to shed of autocracy.
    But GDP is not everything - it is a composite and generalized measurement, so a lot of other factors have to be taken into account, like past experiences or the nature of the economy (resource based economies are basically bad).

    Correlation is not causation. It's true that countries that are economically productive find it easier to maintain the institutions of liberal democracy. And it's also true that authoritarian countries tend to crush economic activity. So it's a bit of "democracy makes prosperity" and a bit of "prosperity makes democracy".

    However, none of this has anything to do with what I said, which is that GDP is a nonsense metric of prosperity. For one, GDP is measured in nominal currency, which is not some absolute, but which can vary in value (and even stuff like PPP GDP doesn't do a very good job of compensating for this.)

    Then there's the fact that GDP doesn't measure wealth or well-being, but just the value of all things produced in a country for the year. But what gets counted (and oftentimes what it is valued at) is determined by bureaucrats and politicians who have their own agendas to promote. So you end up in a situation where banks rack up dollars towards GDP simply by engaging in complex back-and-forth transactions which do nothing to increase wealth. Saying "Hey, GDP went up 3% this year" (assuming 0% population change and 0% currency change) does not mean that people are 3% wealthier. It may not mean anything at all.

    In fact, some GDP increases can be bad. Look at the housing bubbles (the original one and the one we're reflating right now): lots and lots of GDP created, but that was obviously bad. Those properties were overvalued and did a lot of damage when the market started trying to correct the prices. In fact, a lot of useful capital was sunk into building McMansions which are already being torn down to build new McMansions. It generates lots of GDP, but what you're not seeing are all the valuable businesses that could have been started.

    Here's another: the Boston bombings could have contributed to GDP. (Okay, I know they didn't because Boston shut down for a day while they did the manhunt, but let's assume that didn't happen.) I mean, there was medical care to be given, things that needed to be replaced, etc.. But clearly that was not an economic good (obviously it wasn't good at all, but we're just talking economics here.) It's literally the broken window fallacy, that having to replace stuff is good for the economy, but that's simply not true. You hear the same stupid shit from dumbass news anchors anytime there's a hurricane or earthquake "Well, at least it will stimulate the local economy to rebuild after that disaster." No, you fuckface, it's a gaping wound to the local economy. Instead of using capital productively to build new things, they've got to replace old things. The measure of wealth and prosperity is not how many people you've got employed digging holes and then filling them back in.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.