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not_Scyess
not laughing with you

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quote:
quote:
(That is, not counting the long-term harm his tax-cuts + big-spending will do after he's long retired.)

Oh, not counting that. This is sort of like trying to describe Dolly Parton's appearance without reference to breasts or hair, but hey.


Well, that has an effect on the deficit, but it won't have any serious effects until long after the general public will hold him culpable. Economic effects, if any, will happen some time even after that.

Mutual funds are not "The economy." Although I see your point that war is one of the few things a president could do to actively affect the economy.

Well, you see, once the initial indignation against the US for the war subsides, people are going to realize that they just like the products sold by Coke and (yuck) Disney, and they're going to break down and buy them again. Simply BECAUSE 80% of leading global brands are owned by US corporations, and half the sales of these are overseas, the world is going to have to do a lot to make any boycott felt in the long term.

On a related note, a person I know who is pissed off at France decided not to drink French wine anymore. That is until the resteraunt served him a glass of red from France, and it was good. So he ordered another.

What people say they're going to do and what they actually do are two different things.

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peddling the funny around since 09/24/2002

3-31-03 10:03am (new)
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fishoutofbeer
Junior Comic Technician

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quote:

Well, (tax cut + big spending) has an effect on the deficit, but it won't have any serious effects until long after the general public will hold him culpable. Economic effects, if any, will happen some time even after that.

If only. The fact is, the prospect of growing deficits fucks up investor confidence now. That's one reason why cutting taxes on the theory that people will invest the money they save is a dumb idea. Another reason is that there's a deeper source of low investor confidence-- excess production capacity. Giving people more money to buy stocks doesn't make them buy stocks if they don't think the stocks are going to make money.

quote:

Mutual funds are not "The economy."

Of course mutual funds and the stock market are not "the economy." But fucking up the stock market hurts the economy. And you asked what Bush did to hurt the economy. So there's part of your answer.

Please realize that Americans have over $7 trillion in assets under management in mutual funds. That's a fifty-fold increase in just over 20 years, most of it accounted for not by the very wealthy but by ordinary workers saving for retirement. Traditional pensions have largely given way to 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and Social Security is a joke. So what do you suppose happens when millions and millions of Americans (myself included) see their future evaporate before their eyes? Doesn't make you want to run out and buy stock, or a new car, or anything else for that matter. I can tell you that. Nothing says "batten down the hatches" like losing half your life savings.

Just to connect the dots here: When production lines are overbuilt and people don't want to invest or spend-- and when people don't have money!-- the GDP goes down. "The economy" shrinks.

...other than monetary, tax, and spending policy.

quote:

Well, you see, once the initial indignation against the US for the war subsides, people are going to realize that they just like the products sold by Coke and (yuck) Disney, and they're going to break down and buy them again.

I'm glad you're so cheerful. You should scoop up a shitload of Disney stock, then. It's going for half what it was a few years back. Coke's a bargain too.

Hahaha, I kid. Seriously, I think you're laboring under the misconception, very widespread, that people buy products because they like the products, or even because they products are good. That may sometimes be a reason, but only one reason, and any first year marketing student can tell you it doesn't have a whole lot to do with brand success.

Let's be serious for a second. Do you think Coke is all that great? That without it, people would feel a yearning for top-quality sugar water, flavored "brown?" That the French or Germans don't have the beverage technology to concoct such weapons of mass deliciousness? I think Coke's success has something to do with America's image in the world and people wanting to be a part of that. (Just as when we snobs buy Perrier, we aren't necessarily expressing a taste preference for that particular fizzy crap.) It's "Brand America," and Bush is hosing Brand America big time.

If you think that's a joke, it isn't. The White House started a whole Brand America program. The State Dept hired a Madison Avenue guy named Jack Trout to run it. Sadly, they've found imperialism hard to sell no matter what label they stick on it. The result: growing contempt for things American. That is not trivial. It is a marketing catastrophe.

Sounds kind of like "they'll buy from us because they have little choice." I don't share that view. One, they don't need a lot of our crap like Disney and Coke. What they're buying is not mouse ears and brown sugar water, but America. And if America pisses them off, they'll spend their spare Euros on some other crap. This is just the kind of opening our competitors have been waiting for. Maybe it doesn't scare you, but it scares the living piss out of Wall Street.

The difference is, your friend (I'm assuming) has not taken to the streets with a million others protesting against France. What has France done that's so horrible anyway? Not bombed people? By equating your friend's grievances with those of Europeans, you could be underestimating the wave of anti-Americanism that's looming over us.

Or who knows? Maybe it really doesn't hurt the economy to piss the world off.

4-01-03 9:00am (new)
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boorite
crazy knife lady

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That post was me. Fisho and I are coworkers, and he was logged in.

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4-01-03 9:08am (new)
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boorite
crazy knife lady

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One more thing: I'll bet Coke spills more of its product than French wineries produce of theirs.

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4-01-03 9:41am (new)
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not_Scyess
not laughing with you

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quote:
quote:

Well, (tax cut + big spending) has an effect on the deficit, but it won't have any serious effects until long after the general public will hold him culpable. Economic effects, if any, will happen some time even after that.

If only. The fact is, the prospect of growing deficits fucks up investor confidence now. That's one reason why cutting taxes on the theory that people will invest the money they save is a dumb idea. Another reason is that there's a deeper source of low investor confidence-- excess production capacity.


Investor confidence is only one factor of the economy. No one really thinks that the US government is going to default on its loans. (Whether this is a justified perception or not I can't say.) The national debt is going to have to be pretty damned huge to make more than a superficial mark on the economy as a whole. Look at the time during Reagan's administration, when the government was spending bajillions on weapondry and the economy was chugging along just fine.

As for excess capacity -- that can be blamed on the tech bubble. People were producing fuckloads of everything with the assumption that hey, people were just going to keep buying it! As much as I'd love to blame that on Clinton, that was a totally non-presidential phenominon.

I know. I always thought that was kind of stupid. But giving people more money is probably not going to hurt you in the polls, so fuck logic, right?

quote:
quote:

Mutual funds are not "The economy."

Of course mutual funds and the stock market are not "the economy." But fucking up the stock market hurts the economy. And you asked what Bush did to hurt the economy. So there's part of your answer.


As I said before, I have to concede that this war is one of the few things that the President can do to affect the economy. But the tax cuts only had a superficial effect.

I'll tell you what happens -- everyone goes around looking for someone to blame. That's human nature. Whether or not there actually is anyone to blame, people will find someone. And who better to blame than the person with the most political power in the country?

Exactly. But that doesn't mean you can blame overbuilt production lines on the White House.

quote:
quote:

Well, you see, once the initial indignation against the US for the war subsides, people are going to realize that they just like the products sold by Coke and (yuck) Disney, and they're going to break down and buy them again.

I'm glad you're so cheerful. You should scoop up a shitload of Disney stock, then. It's going for half what it was a few years back. Coke's a bargain too.


True... but again... it's no one person's fault.

I'm not at all under that misconception. 8) But if anyone has more brand-name equity and marketing muscle than Disney, it's Coke.

People perceive a difference in American culture and American policy. American brands were huge hit in China, even though America was still the political equivalent of satan. This was all before 9/11/01.

You make it sound as if big companies haven't done anything to localize their products. Coke has a huge reach all over the world, often by buying local brands. People don't often know it's Coke products they're buying. Like any successful business, if one product line goes sour, they'll focus on the other one.

Time will tell. (Yes, I choose to ignore your sarcasm in this case.)

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peddling the funny around since 09/24/2002

4-01-03 12:09pm (new)
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boorite
crazy knife lady

Member Rated:

Yeah, like a bum heart or cancer is just one factor in health.

We were talking stocks. Bonds are fine right now (though oddly low-yield), but they don't even begin to address the stock market problem we have on our hands.

Confidence in bonds is justified, but in light of declining government revenues, one wonders how they're gonna pay.

How's $7 trillion by 2012 sound? That's twice what it is now. And again, investors see farther down the road than that and make their moves accordingly. It affects the economy now.

*boggle*

1987?

Reaganomics screwed investor confidence.

How so? Lots can be blamed on the tech bubble, but I'm not sure that's one of them. I thought it was mostly companies overinvesting in production capacity... a separate issue from overvalued startups. Maybe. I dunno.

Yep. The reasons for the tax cut aren't the real reasons. But I hope Americans are smart enough to look in their accounts and see donut digits and realize Bush is not making them rich. Not that Gore would've, either.

John Tesh?

True. You can blame them, however, for responding to that situation in ways that screw us.

quote:

True... but again... (Disney and Coke's troubles are) no one person's fault.

Actually, to the extent this administration has damaged America's standing in the world, and to the extent that in turn affects Disney and Coke, this is one we can lay right at Bush's feet.

quote:

I'm not at all under that misconception. 8) But if anyone has more brand-name equity and marketing muscle than Disney, it's Coke.

Coke is it!

aaagh trained reflexes

Well the point is that Coke has spent over 100 years tying its brand to the flag, which used to be a good thing for it. Now there's not enough marketing muscle in the world to untie it.

quote:

People perceive a difference in American culture and American policy. American brands were huge hit in China, even though America was still the political equivalent of satan.

Officially. But the reason the Chinese people wanted Levis and Coke wasn't because they were more comfortable and tastier (respectively) than their state-issued garments and beverages (although maybe they were). It was because America stood for something they wanted to be part of. America is rapidly abandoning that stance in most people's view. Soon, Levis will be about as cool as Mercedes-Benz was during WWII. Well, maybe.

quote:

You make it sound as if big companies haven't done anything to localize their products. Coke has a huge reach all over the world, often by buying local brands. People don't often know it's Coke products they're buying. Like any successful business, if one product line goes sour, they'll focus on the other one.

Coca-Cola alone accounts for 30%+ of carbonated soft drink sales worldwide. If it tanks, that's not good for the company.

Oho, I'm SO IMPRESSED that you ignored my SARCASM. (rolls eyes)

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4-01-03 1:03pm (new)
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not_Scyess
not laughing with you

Member Rated:

This is way too long... I'm going to cut out a lot because I'm lazy.

We were talking stocks. Bonds are fine right now (though oddly low-yield), but they don't even begin to address the stock market problem we have on our hands.


Right, we were talking stocks. But what diffrence does a government debt make to a private stock? None -- unless you think the value of currency of the company's main business (US dollars) is going to tank. The only way debt would affect that is if the US is going to default on its debt -- or people think it's going to. As big as the US debt gets, it's going to have to be pretty fucking big before people think the US is going to default. The US still has its perception of economic strength.

How's $7 trillion by 2012 sound? That's twice what it is now. And again, investors see farther down the road than that and make their moves accordingly. It affects the economy now.


But again, ask yourself why investors would care about debt. And 2012 is a long way away -- anyone could (and should) curb the horrendous debt appreciation by then. (In my opinion, by cutting spending rather than by raising taxes, but that's me.)

Point. :)

Smoke and mirrors. :) Misplaced blame, and all that.

It wasn't just start-ups. Say, for example, X Co. wants to lay 40 trillion feet of fiber-optic cable because of a cross between a) that's what they're idiot finance department has lead them to think and b) that's what investors (public or private) want to hear. But it's not just X Co., because everyone wants to have more fiber-optic cable than Cher has fake body parts. So they all invest ump-teen billion dollars in it.

They're funded by investors or loans, which allow them to pay for the cable and also for the furniture, buildings, office supplies, etc. that the company needs.

Suddenly, (with a suddenness catalyzed by but in no way due to 9/11/01), everyone realizes, "Huh, these guys have spent more money than they can possibly earn back within the next century." So investors stop dumping money into hopeless schemes, and companies default on loans. Now everyone's out of luck, from the banks to the furniture suppliers to the construction companies.

Now, take this and multiply it by industries beyond just fiber-optic cable, and you'll see how the whole bubble bursting was a result of overspending, near-specutlation, and indeed some people's hopes to jump on the bandwagon and IPO in the frenzy before everyone realized their company could never ever make any money.

Where does the president, or indeed even fiscal policy, come into all this? Nowhere, that's where.

Maybe. I think Coke will pull through this just fine. I kind of hope Disney goes to hell, but that's just my personal taste.

No, it was because American stuff was the fad. Fads run crazy wild in eastern Asia. If the fad's over, maybe it's because of American policy -- but most likely it's just because fads end. We'll never know for sure.

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peddling the funny around since 09/24/2002

4-01-03 1:58pm (new)
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Devin
Comic Overlord

Member Rated:

Damn you geeky economists.

4-01-03 5:00pm (new)
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