Challenge Match: Rockpuck vs. TruthWithin: Third World Currency?

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posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 11:11 AM
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Challenge Match: Rockpuck vs. TruthWithin: Third World Currency?

The topic for this debate is "The United States Will Experience It's Second 'Great Depression' Within The Next Twenty Years."

Rockpuck will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
TruthWithin will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.

This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose two ranking points.

[edit on 26-6-2008 by MemoryShock]




posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 09:18 PM
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First, thanks to Memory for setting this debate up, and of course to my opponent as well. I have great respect for your posting and I certainly believe we will be giving ATS a debate to remember!

Economic cycles are hard to predict, in fact, it is not even certain fact that they exist. But what we do know for a fact, is that economies never grow indefinitely without complication, with out minor set backs and eventually, not without economic depressions.

The United States defies the once traditional explanation of "what is an economic cycle", and this is important if trying to calculate when, why and how an economic collapse could and will happen. For the United states, at the time of the last depression, was only just emerging as a World Power. We where a young Nation, not having made our true impact on the World, and not yet a Super Power. Our economy was changing nearly as much as our politics, and this is perhaps why we had fallen to begin with. One thing is for certain, the United States prior to the collapse in 1929 had grown at an extraordinary rate, and fell quite suddenly just as quickly.

Since then the United States has come into it's own, dominating the World Scene. We have grown more, faster and developed more information, technology and militarily then any Human civilization in history combined. We hold more percentage of the World Economy then any empire ever has in World history. We hold more power as a Nation then any empire the World has yet seen, and we did all of this in a mere 80 years.

Hiccups on the way? Oh sure, small ones, some big ones, some may have felt bigger then they really where, and some where worse then ever truly explained.. all left their impacts, and they all carry on. The system has not changed, and the kinks in the economic track may have been temporarily resolved by government intervention, but have never been cured.

It is important to note that America is an experiment in Government and in economics. We cannot match our course to that of past peoples, because our situation being so unique can never be replicated in the history books.

But the first and foremost law of economics -- paramount growth = eventual paramount collapse.

1929 was bad, this is true, but it happened in an era where the majority of the population did not have public water and sewers, telephones and cars, did not depend on TV's and air conditioning, refrigerators and gas stoves. An economic collapse in 2008-2028 would lead to confusion, anger, desperation. In times of desperate measures Humans display the tendency to forsake rationality and adopt instinctual habits of violence, greed and characteristics of unbecoming beings..

But are we even due a massive economic collapse? Oh, I do believe we are. I believe we are going to face the worst the World has yet seen. And if we look closely, if we look threw the spoon fed garbage on TV and the nonsense the News throws at us.. if we honestly relate the World scene to that of the first major World Wars ..

You will see, dire times are ahead of us. We may of thought us witty and genius for avoiding large scale political and economical confrontation, but in fact they are tied together and in reality, we only put off the inevitable, building the pressure in the hope the constituents would be complacent, max out their credit cards, and generate enough wealth to keep us afloat if by an inch..

Through paramount debts, maxing the working American's budget paying off debts and interest, servitude of a modern era, we will detail how a society driven on consumerism is about to exhaust it's only method of continue and perpetual growth.

To banks that never had the money they loaned, who face the brunt of the battle against over extended credit to those whom never should have had extensive credit granted.

Our financial institutions unraveling at the core, the very foundation the economy of the World's last remaining Super Power is being tested by the pull of geopolitical influence battles, resource strains and internal financial bankruptcy.

To our own Government that we put so much trust into, which spends it's self into existence, which without the ability to allocate massive amounts of money to useless and baseless projects, would quite literally cease to exist.

To the principles of how our economy is run, why we are never educated as to why it's run this way, and quite simply how this system, ever expanding and consuming is about to meet it's final stretch of life.

This Grim discussion will not only shed light into how our economy works, but also disclose why this system must meet this inevitable, gruesome end. There will be no fear mongering here, only the presentation of factual financial information and the policies that we are bound by. In the end, I do believe the people will have a clear vision of what has been, and what is to become of our economy, our way of life, our freedoms and the very fabric of our existence.

So follow me, if you will, as I will take you into the depths of history, into the world of large numbers, CEO's and desperate government regulatory commission designed to duct tape a defunct experiment in it's final hours. Let us explore and contemplate the extraordinary times we have ahead and detail how, why, where and when we should expect what everyone before us put off in the hopes that someone else, some other generation would deal with these problems, and unfortunately that would be my generation here and now.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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Greetings all. First, a huge shout out to MemoryShock for setting this up. I am very eager to debate RockPuck, as I also have a great level of respect for his posting here on ATS.

Let's begin.

"The United States Will Experience It's Second 'Great Depression' Within The Next Twenty Years."

I am to argue that the US will NOT suffer another great depression within the next 20 years.

RockPuck has eloquently painted a fairly grim outlook for things to come for the US economy... and perhaps rightly so. As I write this opening statement, the DOW Jones Industrial Average has just dipped over 300 points, grocery prices are rising, consumer confidence just took a plunge, home sales are hurting and I don't even need to remind the readers how ridiculous gas prices are and how bad it is going to get.

It is true that the economy is suffering right now, as it has suffered in the past and as it will continue to do so in the future. This is a simple and plain reality of the economy of the Untied States. There will be good times, there will be bad times.

Right now as we speak, one could argue, is a "bad time".

But alas, ladies and gentlemen, we are not here to determine whether or not we are in a "bad time". We are here to determine if this "bad time" for the US economy will continue to worsen to the point where the state of the economy could be described as a "depression". And even IF there is a depression coming, will it be the likes of which the US economy suffered in the 1930's? Even further, is it even possible that this event could occur in the next 20 years?

I strongly believe that not only are all of the above criteria are unlikely, but I would go so far as to argue that the prospect of a "Great Depression" in the next 20 years is next to impossible.

First, I will define what a "Great Depression" actually is through the scope of what occurred in the late 1920's. Only through this visage can we truly understand the nature of a depression and learn how "bad" hings really were.

Throughout the course of this debate we will look at the US economy of the 1920's and the economy of today. Through contrast and comparison, you will see that the present economy is vastly different than what the US economy was 80 years ago and does not even come close to lending itself to the devastation witnessed in the 1930's. I believe you will see that the US's current economy was, in fact, built from the ground up based on the hard lessons learned from the great depression and the Fed has far more tools and weapons to fight off another depression of that caliber.

We will look at what caused the great depression in the first place to illustrate that the great depression was a result of a fledgling economy suffering a "perfect" economical storm of global proportions and that the depression was greatly compounded by a failing world economy.

Finally, we will examine the infrastructure in place today that ultimately makes the economy of the US "depression resistant" and how this infrastructure will continue to serve the US well beyond the next 20 years.

THE GREAT DEPRESSION



My opponent will, no doubt, throw some pretty grim numbers your way over the course of this debate - and there are plenty of them out there. It is, however, important to understand that, while my opponent may go a long way to show that the US is entering into a recession, the US is a very long ways off from even coming close to another great depression.

So what is a depression?



posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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Excellent and well put.

An economic depression is essentially a severe recession. When I say severe, I mean not in measurement but rather in length. A recession that last 3-5 years can be considered either a severe recession or a depression .. if it last over 5 years it is then a depression, and if it last 10 or more like it did in 1929, it is a Great Depression.

But we cannot take the past economic situation and compare it to today, as we are nearing the 100 year mark, it would be like saying let's compare our economy to the 1800's and see what’s coming our way.

However, we CAN look at the long lasting policies the Federal Government implemented to "control" the economy.

Unlike 1929, the current markets are so strictly regulated, manipulated, and controlled that it is a wonder we even see recessions any more. What with the Federal Government controlling all information on the economy, from unemployment, inflation and GDP growth, if they wanted the economy to collapse, they need only show the real numbers.

For instance: Unemployment. In 1929 unemployment was 25%. Wages fell in contrast with inflation by 42%.

2008: According to the same method of calculating unemployment and inflation the current state of the economy is in theory much worse then the regulated and obscene numbers the Fed puts out. Unemployment would be mounting, where the Fed says it is in slow decline, in fact according to the original way of calculating unemployment, it currently stands at approximately 10%. Surely everyone has always wondered why what the Fed says, never seems to be the case? In real life that is, main street USA, life is always apparently harder then the Fed says.. and surely everyone has wondered once or twice if the numbers being put out are even remotely correct?

In one month the Federal numbers re-calculate the unemployment rate and add .5% to the index, pretty big increase for one month. I believe they saw the situation as far worse, and people where beginning to notice, so they throw numbers out to secure your thoughts but at the same time making you feel safe. .5% aint that much anyways, is it?

But then they had the nerve to tell the people to expect a economic rebound later this year, in the same report telling people municipalities will cut jobs by a minimum of 1%. That’s several hundred thousand jobs being cut people..

And ever notice, it doesn’t matter how many people get laid off, how much inflation goes through the roof and we are all strained, consumer confidence at 20 year highs… the GDP never seems to fall below .3% growth? And did you know they entire energy sector is included in the GDP. However, anything energy or food related is in fact not included in Inflation measurements. Also, did you know, anyone under 25 is not included in Unemployment ratings? Not sure about you guys, but being under 25 and paying my fair share of taxes, I consider it insulting I am not counted in unemployment if
I where to become unemployed!

The entire point of this is to show that.. how do we tell, by numbers anyways, if we are in a recession or not.. if the Federal numbers are being tampered with? They don’t reflect reality, and you will be hard-pressed to find a Market guru who wouldn’t agree.

Typically, no one knows we where in a depression or recession until it has passed.. 2001-2003 was a recession, no one really called it that until after a few years, but we all know now, it was obviously a recession .. mostly because the Federal Reserve will do anything to make sure the economic news is cheery, regardless of how many lies it takes.

So here is my first question to you Truth:
Question 1. Do you stand by the official government reports?
Question 2. Do you believe that if the Federal numbers are tampered, that it excludes the ability to measure economic viability by the scholarly definition if the factual information is in fact fictional?

So how DO we even measure we are in a depression, recession, or what have you? Typically we know we are doing good because we have money, we are happy, no complaining… but then, why is it that even in the economic stock boom of 2003-2007 did we STILL feel the pinch? In that era the US has never been richer.. more money was generated then any other era. Why then, is it, that we did not FEEL like we where rolling in the dough? Well, false sense of security, many of us did feel this way, but didn’t actually have the money to meet their expectations, charge, charge, charge. Now we sit on more debt then our entire history combined. Houses with 0% down, Credit cards with 20k limits and 23% interest rates.. America thought themselves wealthy because the government TOLD them they where.. mounting debt has exhausted the Middle Class. The rich got richer, the middle class was cut back, the lower class grew at an alarming rate, and we all contended with stagnant wages, job competition, inflation, high energy prices, and now deflating home values, wiping billions in equity with it.

But hey, the stock market was up…..

In reality the DOW does not represent society, it only represents the traders who gamble, they speculate now, they no longer trade on what a stock is worth .. creating this massive stock bubble that will surely be coming to a bust..

Inflation, a key mark of economic hard times, is a misconstrued calculation.. the Gov does not include gas prices in inflation, of which most people spend several hundred a month on gas.. they do not include food prices, of which many people spend hundred on every month .. They only include products like TV's, cars, boats, clothes .. imported garbage..

But if you add oil based products and food, inflation would probably be nearer to 12-13% imo. Ah, Housing market, not included in inflation numbers.

How bout that.. EVERYTHING the economy is having problems with is conveniently NOT included in Federal reports.

Question 3: Do you believe the Inflation Numbers Truth?

Another major problem down played by the Fed is the strength of the US dollar.. which has decreased 25-30% in the past 24 months.. quite astonishing.. But it is not as much as a problem for us as individuals.. although it increases the price of gas, food, and so on .. it's the fact that other countries see us desperately trying to hold on, and are moving into other currencies for reserves.. even to trade oil. This alone could be quite catastrophic..

Question 4: Truth, do you deny the dollar falling, and world governments moving away from the Dollar Peg?

Question 5: Will the US economy stand after major world exporters switch from Dollars to other currencies?



posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 10:29 PM
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So, what is a depression?



There is an old joke among economists that states:

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.

A depression is when you lose your job.

My opponent says this of a depression:



An economic depression is essentially a severe recession. When I say severe, I mean not in measurement but rather in length. A recession that last 3-5 years can be considered either a severe recession or a depression .. if it last over 5 years it is then a depression, and if it last 10 or more like it did in 1929, it is a Great Depression.


A long recession does not a depression make. The answer is much more complex and the hard numbers must be present as well.

So I ask again: So, what is a "depression"?

No one really has a solid definition, but the most consistent thing I could find was that a depression occurs when the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) falls over 10% over a given period of time paired with a recession lasting a long time. GDP gives us a viable reference.

When the ashes finally settled after the Great Depression, the nation's GDP had fallen nearly 33%! I repeat, 33%. So that means between 1929 and 1933, GDP fell that much, thus causing a depression. The closest thing we have had to that since was in 1938 when GDP fell 18% (although most will argue that it was a continuation of the Great Depression). The second world war came along and gave the world, particularly the US, the financial boost that it needed to get back into the game.

Since then, the US has experienced several recessions (about one every ten years or so), but nothing even close to the Great Depression.


The worst recession in the last 60 years was from November 1973 to March 1975, where real GDP fell by 4.9 percent.


Talk about tough times. In '74 there were food lines and lines to get gas. People were unemployed, the government had loaned out too much money and there was a housing crisis. Sound familiar?

Yet, the GDP only fell 4.9% in the worst memorable economic crisis since the great depression. That is 4.9% compared to the horrific 33% loss experienced during the great depression. That is a difference of nearly 28% and was a far cry from a depression, let alone something of the caliber of a "GREAT" depression.

Source

Socratic Question #1 - How can you explain the fact that the US has gone 70 years without suffering another "Great Depression"?

I will now answer my questions.



Question 1. Do you stand by the official government reports?


Not always, and while I agree the numbers are skewed to a degree, the real numbers cannot diverge so greatly from the fictional numbers to show that there is not a depression when there in fact is. Like I mentioned above, the current GDP growth is +.6%. While I agree it might be lower than that by a small margin, there is no way it could be close to the -10% loss in growth that would quantify a 'Depression', let alone a "GREAT Depression.



Question 2. Do you believe that if the Federal numbers are tampered, that it excludes the ability to measure economic viability by the scholarly definition if the factual information is in fact fictional?


No, it does not exclude the ability to measure economic viability, because again, there is simply no way the numbers can be skewed to a point where the reality is not seen on the ground.



Question 3: Do you believe the Inflation Numbers Truth?


Not always (See answer to question one).



Question 4: Truth, do you deny the dollar falling, and world governments moving away from the Dollar Peg?


Sure the dollar is falling, as it is proned to do from time to time. Does that make foreign investors squeamish? SURE!! But will it cause a depression in the next 20 years? No.



Question 5: Will the US economy stand after major world exporters switch from Dollars to other currencies?


Of course it will. Don't forget that the US is one quarter of the entire global economy.

My opponent is cleverly trying to dismiss the fact that numbers speak louder that words in an economy. While the numbers may be skewed slightly from the mouth of the government, the fact remains that the numbers are nowhere close to suggesting a "Great Depression". This is a clever tactic on behalf of my opponent, because if he is able to plant the seed of the governments numbers being completely unreliable, then he could even go as far as to argue that we are in a depression now!

Numbers matter.

In my next post, I will discuss the cause of the Great Depression and the valuable lessons learned from it that will keep out current economy afloat from another depression for years to come.

I open the floor to my opponent.



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 11:30 PM
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My opponent has not posted within the 24 hour time limit, so I will proceed with my argument. I hope everything is alright!


The Perfect Economical Storm



What happened to cause the great depression?

There are tons of opinions as to what caused the Great Depression. The world was struggling, Russia's Economy was failing, Europe and parts of Eastern Asia were still trying to crawl out of the hole that WWI put them into in the first place and no one was strong enough to help anyone get back on their feet. If you take a look at this scenario as a background to what was occurring in the US, you have a a recipe for disaster, or a "perfect economical storm".

There are four major reasons why the economy suffered as it did in the late 1920's.

1. The Gold Standard - This effect probably had the greatest impact in leading the country into a sever depression, because, as we all know, most of the world's currency was backed in gold until, surprise surprise, World War 1 when countries were forced to dig deeper than the gold standard allowed in order to make it through the war. In order to account for all the money that was spent during the war and as countries like Britain and the US began reimplementing the gold standard, there was almost zero flexibility for countries to maneuver economically. As a result, because there was not enough gold to back up the circulation of currency, governments were forced forced governments to raise interest rates. The higher interest rates discouraged conversion of interest-bearing deposits into gold and bolstered confidence that inflation would not break the commitment to gold.

2. Economic Policy - The problem here as that there really wasn't an economic policy. The Fed up until this point assumed that the best thing to do with a nose diving market was to let it correct itself. Since the Fed's inception in 1913, that "policy", if you could even call it that, was to allow businesses and banks to sort things out on their own, and it worked fine until 1929 rolled around.

3. Production patterns - If you can believe it or not, farming used to represent 25% of the US's exports. The US literally lived and died with what the crops did that year. Today, while farming is still vital to the US, it's export only represents 2.5% of the total. Unfortunately for America, the crops during that period were heavily hit with drought. My grandparents actually grew up in the 'Dust Bowl" in Oklahoma during the Great Depression, and needless to say, things were NOT pretty.

4. The impact of World War I - Like I mentioned above, the global economic climate had severe consequences on the US.


[1] Wartime inflation, when the gold standard had been suspended, raised prices and inspired fears that gold stocks were inadequate to provide backing for enlarged money supplies at the new, higher price level. This was one reason that convertible currencies, such as the dollar and pound, were used as gold substitutes. The war weakened Britain, left Germany with massive reparations payments, and split the Austro-Hungarian Empire into many countries. These countries, plus Germany, depended on foreign loans (in convertible currencies) to pay for their imports. The arrangement was unstable because any withdrawal of short-term loans would force the borrowing countries to retrench, which could cripple world trade.


The Great Depression for all of its faults was one of the worst tragedies to ever strike the US. Millions were forced to the streets to live in shacks, or "Hoovervilles" and many starved. There was no work and no food. Times were horrible.

One thing that did emerge from the Great Depression was a far better understanding of how a major global economy should function and be maintained.

Certainly the economic boom seen during the second world war helped pull the US out of dire conditions, but it was also the visionary ideologies set forth under the Roosevelt Presidency that ensured stability. These "learned lessons" have kept the US depression free even today.

Do you notice there is no gold standard anymore? Have you seen the Fed's vested interest in keeping banks afloat during tough times? Ever heard or farm subsidies? Farm aid? Welfare? Food stamps? FDIC insurance?

All of the above programs came as a direct result from the depression. These programs provide a serious safety net to ensure that a "Great Depression" would never be seen again.

Then, look at the world economy. China is booming, and while you can argue the ethics of the Chinese economy, it is that very growth that helps keep the US economy buoyant. Add the blossoming economy of the EU and Russia and you have a solvent, viable economic safeguard to keep the US economy from slipping into the abyss. Whether you agree or disagree with foreign trade on any of the above mentioned levels is topic for another debate. One can, however, agree that these economies have a huge stake in a strong US economy. It is that stake that allows the US to forge ahead during recessions.

In my next post, we will examine current economical challenges facing the US and discuss whether or not they pose an economic threat.

I open the floor to my opponent.


SOURCE 1



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 11:35 PM
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No one really has a solid definition, but the most consistent thing I could find was that a depression occurs when the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) falls over 10% over a given period of time paired with a recession lasting a long time. GDP gives us a viable reference.


Not so. How can you say a Depression "typically" has anything, as the last time there was a depression it was in 1929 .. the modern American economy has only ever even seen one depression.
Websters says:

5: a period of low general economic activity marked especially by rising levels of unemployment


Which is essentially in line with what I say .. a long period of negative economic growth -- in other words a long recession.

Typically unemployment mounts during said depression more so then in a recession. Luckily for my argument job cuts are announced around every corner.. the latest coming from Bank of America, laying off another 7,000 once middle class Americans.

But the point of the argument is not so much defining what a depression is, though undoubtedly important (how do we know we cross the threshold into 'depression?) the point is .. is America going to be entering one in the near future -- 20 years from now?

I have to ask you this Truth (consider this Question 1) why is it so improbable that America will not face a depression in the next TWO decades?

Americans have this train of thought about them .. America is the best at everything.. if any one does anything an American can do it better. We are invincible, safe behind our guarded gated communities and driving our giant SUV's, just so we don't feel small even on the road.. American's believe their economy is sound, they believe .. Their way of life cannot be suddenly, and drastically challenged!

Why is it so impossible that we could be in a depression?

Let me lay this out quite clearly. In our current state of economy, we saw an economic boom, we saw the rise in technologies, in new businesses, we saw globalization truly take hold in the past 10 years. We have seen and done much.. prices have risen, wages remained stagnet, credit expanded at historical rates, trading became a speculators nightmare, a mania of guessing and betting..

But the trouble signs are quite obvious.

America's asset markets are collapsing, the typical American family places over 80% of their entire wealth in their homes. More American's have negative equity from falling house prices then any other time in history...

And the first time in late 2007 American's had a NEGATIVE savings to spending ratio, averaging negative dollars in savings.. first time since 1929's massive credit expansion.

We are seeing increasing bankruptcies of businesses, both small and major.. such as Bear Stearns, and of course, Northern Rock, be it English, this is a Global Economy people.. but even our own financial institutions are being rocked with massive losses.. Citi, Bank of America, Chase, some of the biggest insurance companies.. and did you know for every subprime mortgage that goes Red an insurance company must pay the bank the money? Subprime loan holders have loan insurance.. well those companies are tanking. So are the mutual funds and retirement accounts that tied their funds into speculating on those loans.. The subprime complex is just that, complex.. a tangle of investing, speculating, betting, imo, fraud. It's not just the banks getting the shaft here.. so I ask

HOW is the financial mayhem over the past 10 years any different then 1929?

If we take all that is above, of which, is true if you go back and look at the financial data for the past year.. I believe it is safe that we can discern that an Economic Depression is:

A period of economic distress in multiple sectors of the economy, effecting the financial institutions, industrial sectors, and service industries. Heightened by inflation, the restrictions or regulations on credit expansion, bankruptcy and financial insolvency within commerce and financial institutions, coupled with mounting unemployment.

Question 2: Does that sound like an economic depression?
Question 3: Does that sound like 1929?
Question 4: Does that sound like 2008?

Yes, I believe many will feel the same that I do. The mounting credit crisis in America, predatory lending, fraudulent Reserve policies have lead this country to literally spend it's self into oblivion!



How can you explain the fact that the US has gone 70 years without suffering another "Great Depression"?


Quite simple, the Cold War.

If we had something to spend money on, we where fine. Our currency unrivaled, our political opponents typically where reserved to the Western side of the world.. we just spent, spent and spent. The Military Industrial Complex is well ingrained into our society.. Clinton cut back spending and the Cold War had ended.. we had no enemy.

ALL WORLD SUPER POWERS NEED A BAD GUY!

So how does the Gov attempt to save us without having an enemy? .. We make one up. Scary Muslims and their suicide vest, hijacking planes and threatening "safety, security, and freedoms" .. so we will spend Trillions tracking down across the world these bogymen to lynch in the name of Lady Liberty.

But why really? A few SF and CIA teams could have done the trick with Alquida .. but we wouldn't have money to spend..

Our GDP is imaginary. Our Government is the top employer int he country.. Drive throughout he country side and god damnit all you will see is podunk town after town with a walmart, McDonald's, a used car lot and a seemingly perfect running economy.

BS. The ONLY reason we have not had a major world wide depression is quite literally the men who made the decisions had enough at their expense to PREVENT ONE. Now they cannot contain the massive beast of debt we have created, and eventually it was going to have to explode.. the world will sink and a new era begun.

Think it's impossible? Country after country is already slipping into severe economic recessions.. from Iceland, to Brazil and Vietnam .. the smaller service economics will go first. But the big bang, well that is reserved for dear old America.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 01:02 AM
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We have a situation where the 24 hour time limit has been breached. TruthWithin posted his second argument in course of the rules...



Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.


My Emphasis.

In light of the almost synchronized posting(five minutes), it is hereby ruled (in course of the established rules) that Rockpuck has forfeited his second argument.

As TruthWithin has posted his second argument, it is determined that Rockpuck's last post be counted as his third argument.

TruthWithin may now proceed with the posting of his third argument.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 09:40 AM
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I will open my 3rd Rebuttal by answering my opponent's questions because they will transition quite nicely into my argument.



Why is it so improbable that America will not face a depression in the next TWO decades?


I guess for the same reason that it is not improbable that the US WON'T suffer another great depression.



A period of economic distress in multiple sectors of the economy, effecting the financial institutions, industrial sectors, and service industries. Heightened by inflation, the restrictions or regulations on credit expansion, bankruptcy and financial insolvency within commerce and financial institutions, coupled with mounting unemployment.

Question 2: Does that sound like an economic depression?


Nope. Sounds like a recession and even if one could go to the extreme of calling it a depression, it most certainly would not be considered another "Great" depression. The US faced the same crisis in '73 with nearly the same problems. Remember the Savings and Loans scandals of the early '80's? Both of those events amounted to a recession.



Question 3: Does that sound like 1929?


No. Not at all. Why? Because there was no fiscal policy to deal with any of that. Now there is.



Question 4: Does that sound like 2008?


Sure. Just like it sounds like 1984, or 1991, or 1998, or 2001 or any number of other dates that DID NOT produce a Depression, let alone a "Great" depression.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my opponent up until this point has said a lot of very scary things about the US economy, and yet he has used no sources nor has he verified any of his information. Statements like:



Our GDP is imaginary. Our Government is the top employer int he country.. Drive throughout he country side and god damnit all you will see is podunk town after town with a walmart, McDonald's, a used car lot and a seemingly perfect running economy.


Imaginary GDP? Hardly. I have driven through America numerous times and I have seen a great deal more than just a string of podunk towns.

Or:



Inflation, a key mark of economic hard times, is a misconstrued calculation.. the Gov does not include gas prices in inflation, of which most people spend several hundred a month on gas.. they do not include food prices, of which many people spend hundred on every month .. They only include products like TV's, cars, boats, clothes .. imported garbage..


I don't think that it is accurate that those numbers are not included. Anything to back that up with?

I am not here to argue that the US economy is perfect or that it will never go through hard times, but just because there is a little turbulence right now there is no need to panic over a depression. The market corrects itself as it always has.

The current challenges that the US faces are difficult. However, as history shows, the US will pull through this.

I open the floor to my opponent.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 10:44 PM
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I guess for the same reason that it is not improbable that the US WON'T suffer another great depression.


I think you may have worded that wrong, because you only added a redundant sentence to what I said.. Maybe you mis-read what I typed..



Nope. Sounds like a recession and even if one could go to the extreme of calling it a depression, it most certainly would not be considered another "Great" depression. The US faced the same crisis in '73 with nearly the same problems. Remember the Savings and Loans scandals of the early '80's? Both of those events amounted to a recession.


You simply fail to understand that the only difference between a recession and a depression is merely severity of the situation. A steep recession with higher then normal (for a recession) unemployment and other catastrophes in the economy, simply equate to being a Depression.

Unless YOU can give me a better definition as to what a depression is, we will simply have to rely on the outcome I have deduced from the understanding of what a recession is.



No. Not at all. Why? Because there was no fiscal policy to deal with any of that. Now there is.


Actually there where policies in place before that, and in fact, every economy has always had their own set of rules and guideline that worked until that one fateful day when all the sticks come tumbling down. Had you told someone in July of 1929 that the economy would collapse.. you would have been laughed at.

After all, a man in 1929 would tell you the government keeps it to well regulated....



Sure. Just like it sounds like 1984, or 1991, or 1998, or 2001 or any number of other dates that DID NOT produce a Depression, let alone a "Great" depression.


Each one of course had it's own circumstances, which is why I said we should never try and equalize various economic situations through history and expect them to match up. The Depression of 1929 does have scary simularities between 2008 because of the nearly same exact credit and financial problems.

By the way, the 1980's where in fact, very nearly at the point one might call "depression". Official numbers are of course skewed, but it is fair to say unemployment had not been that high since 1929.



Ladies and Gentlemen, my opponent up until this point has said a lot of very scary things about the US economy, and yet he has used no sources nor has he verified any of his information. Statements like:


My deepest sympathy and apologies sir, I meant not to scare you, but to warn you. And I do apologize for not using sources, I do quite often memorize that which I read and have a tendency to forget you cannot read my mind.



Imaginary GDP? Hardly. I have driven through America numerous times and I have seen a great deal more than just a string of podunk towns.


I suppose that would be where you drive, your state, and your local economy. In Ohio, in the Mid West, this is the case. If anyone drives through the likes of Spring Field, Youngs town, James Town, once great industrial cities, you know what I mean.



I don't think that it is accurate that those numbers are not included. Anything to back that up with?


Ah well I will give you a source, only because it pains me that you doubt me. I would never post false information.

CPI is the main measure of Inflation, the numbers you hear when the Fed tells you it's only 3-4%.. It is the index that measures the price of goods purchased by households, excluding commodities like Oil, and Food. As they are considered to volatile to be added into inflation to give a .. ahem .. fair reading. CPI

If the CPI is the most watched Index of all inflation measurements..

Core Inflation is it's twin sister.. however.. Oil, and Food are not counted in Core inflation either.... Core Inflation Also, every country calculates it's inflation differently.. their is no international standard..
There are in fact measurements to gauge the rise in oil, foods and so forth, however no one ever looks at it, and it is never added into the mix because, as I said, it is to volatile.. HOWEVER. It is included into the GDP .. all those billions we spend on electricity, gas, food .. it keeps the GDP artificially high.

Which begs the question, with a retreating industrial sector, and unemployment rising.. but oil and food doubling every other year.. if you take all expenses related to energy uses, and food .. why, I do believe we would have several straight quarters of negative GDP growth! Officially putting us smack int he middle of a recession. With the worst yet to come!

(PS the Consumer Price Index was implemented int he 1920's, and still used today)


But we must ask our selves, this great nation of ours.. why in the World do we lie to survive? Here is another fun fact for the night about the Consumer Price Index.. if calculated correctly would actually bankrupt the country within 12 months! .. The CPI measurement system is a method to Index the inflation to wages.. so if the CPI included the most expensive part of our lives (food, oil, energy and housing -- also not included) the benefits of government subsidized programs would have to adjust to meet the bare minimums of inflation .. that is to say if you receive 1,000 a month in Social Security, in this economy you are drowning in bills and expenses to survive.. we all know someone suffering like this. This is because the CPI does not actually correlate to the Real Inflation rate in America. If it did, the US Government would have to DOUBLE at LEAST Social Security, also the various Welfare Programs. Social Security alone, if leveled to Real Inflation, would bankrupt the country in 12 months or less. No if ands or buts about it folks.. this country will sacrifice the old and the infirm to live their golden years in a trailer eating bread and powdered eggs with barely enough to survive just so it doesn't have to face up to it's own inadequacies..

Personally, I find it disgusting.

Source

I know, it sounds like a sensationalist rantings on the outside.. but I challenge you Truth, and I challenge the readers of this debate.. to actually look at the policies that run this economy. You will soon find that, like most massive governments, corruption has taken it's toll. We have problems in this government, problems that have not been fixed or even questioned because the people quite simply don't understand how the system works. When we have an economic problem, the first solution I always hear is "why can't we just print more money?" .. If the people KNEW, if they truly and utterly knew and understood and COMPREHENDED the problems we face, the dynamics of the people who put these policies in force, by God we would have a revolution before the sun rose the next day! We can lie and manipulate the economy all we want, holding it up by invisible marionette strings, we do our dance and play our part charging our credit cards and indulging in our over enlarged portions of food.. living it up completely unaware just as they want you to be. Because a complacent and dumb population is far easier to roll over then an all knowing and vigilant population.

We are seeing the failures of an ingrained institution, or perhaps the manipulation of said institution for unknown and subversive means.

I do know one thing, and that's when in times like this the Federal Reserve fire sells a multi billion dollar financial institution wiping billions in low risk investments off the book all in the hopes to calm the storm.. we are witnessing the desperate actions of an ancient beast. Our situation is unique, I know not where we will end up .. but if I follow my instinct and research the fraudulent policies of the Federal Government, and if I read my histories.. I can safely say that we are in store for economic hardships not seen for decades, perhaps not since 1929. Remember American's, you are not invincible, God's hands do not shield you from the World.. this is a Globalist economy, one of which has never failed.. yet.. America has intertwined it's fate entirely with the outside World. All the signs point towards recession, and subtle signs within the signs point to complete and utter catastrophe.. I have shown you the numbers are wrong, they lie, the Federal Government works to deceit at the peril of it's own people..

"I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool's paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future." - E. H. H. Simmons, President, New York Stock Exchange, January 12, 1928

"For six years American business has been diverting a substantial part of its attention, its energies and its resources on the speculative game... Now that irrelevant, alien and hazardous adventure is over."
- Business Week, November 2, 1929

Welcome readers, to the beginning of the next era in Human history..



posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 10:04 AM
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TruthWithin's Closing Statement



Well, we have reached the end of another great debate. Thanks to MemoryShock for getting this set up and of course to all of the readers and judges for making this even possible. RockPuck, this has been a really great time and I thank you for debating with me!

There is a major flaw with the brunt of my opponent's argument that I feel necessary to bring up.



I would never post false information.

CPI is the main measure of Inflation, the numbers you hear when the Fed tells you it's only 3-4%.. It is the index that measures the price of goods purchased by households, excluding commodities like Oil, and Food.


Does it exclude those commodities? Evidently my opponent DID post false information.

This is from my opponent's own source.

The index is usually computed monthly, or quarterly in some countries, as a weighted average of sub-indices for different components of consumer expenditure, such as food, housing, clothing, each of which is in turn a weighted average of sub-sub-indices.


The source only says that the only things that are generally excluded are goods and services used by tourists, in rare cases the extremely rich and poor and money spent on illegal drugs and prostitution.

There is no mention about excluding food or energy, although I guess it would be helpful to my opponent's argument if it was, but since my opponent says this is the "most watched index", it must be kind of important, right?

But this is par for the course for my opponent's entire argument. By referencing his "memory", he has falsely stated that Food and Energy is not counted in the CPI, and yet it is. This is significant because the majority of RockPuck's argument states that we should not trust these numbers because they do not include food and energy. But when it is convenient to do so, my opponent bases his entire argument on them, and then falsely represents them.

The reality is that RockPuck has done little to show that the US is even going to have a sustained recession, let alone a depression. Further, it was his task to show how "the US will experience another GREAT depression in the next 20 years". A task that I believe he has failed to accomplish.

My opponent says:



You simply fail to understand that the only difference between a recession and a depression is merely severity of the situation. A steep recession with higher then normal (for a recession) unemployment and other catastrophes in the economy, simply equate to being a Depression. Unless YOU can give me a better definition as to what a depression is, we will simply have to rely on the outcome I have deduced from the understanding of what a recession is.


I did give you a definition. It was a loss of 10% gdp = depression, loss of around 30% = GREAT depression, and my opponent has done nothing to show how even a "depression" is possible.



Which begs the question, with a retreating industrial sector, and unemployment rising.. but oil and food doubling every other year.. if you take all expenses related to energy uses, and food .. why, I do believe we would have several straight quarters of negative GDP growth! Officially putting us smack int he middle of a recession. With the worst yet to come!


Once again, you assume that things will continue to slide when my examples from 1973, 1980, 1984, 1991 and 2000 prove otherwise. These examples show that growth did not continue to slide, just as growth will not continue to slide now. In fact, most economists agree that we will begin to see significant growth in the middle of 2009, and this minor recession will be a thing of the past. It, however, certainly does not indicated that the US is headed towards a GREAT depression any time soon.

Further, my opponent has done nothing to show that this trend indicates that the US is heading for a reception. Zero references (except for the one that showed he misrepresented the facts), no solid data, pure speculation and the hope that we, the readers, will simply "take his word" that he is telling the truth.

The reality is that this country will always find points that it is lending too much, or one portion of the market bubbles and collapses, or banks get greedy, or corporations lie to make money. These are all symptoms of an economy of the likes of the US economy. The point is that while these things feel like they will break the economy every time they come along, they do not.

Do times get tough? Yes.

Will these tough times leave the US in a depression? Absolutely not.

And the US will certainly not face a GREAT depression any time soon.

Thanks again to one and all!







posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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Excellent job, Gentlemen.

We're off to the judges!!



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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The winner of this debate is TruthWithin by split decision.

Congratulations to both Fighters...


Here is what the judges had to say.



Rockpuck vs TruthWithin

This was a most interesting debate as it very clearly outlined two very distinct forms of debate. While Rockpuck posted almost completely without sources and relied on his own statements to stand as fact, TruthWithin relied on the more common method of reference and source.

Rockpuck had an uphill battle in trying to nail down a debate topic that refers to a particular time limit for proof; in this case 20 years. All TruthWithin had to do was show a depression was not going to happen in 20 years and he did a good job of that.

Rockoucks information would have carried far more weight if he had referenced it and had not actually asked the reader to look at policies for themselves instead of providing them and Rockpuck makes the statement that it “pains him” that his opponent does not believe him. That is the essence of the debate; to refute your opponent’s information. He was not very convincing in this area. Rockpuck posted some very interesting reading, yet expected the reader and his opponent to simply take all he said for fact. This is not a sound principle in a debate.

This combined with TruthWithin’s sourcing and referencing, complete picture of the world economy in regards to the United States and his understanding of economics as a whole; gives this debate handily to TruthWithin.

TruthWithin by a large margin





Rockpuck vs TruthWithin:

Both opening statements were stimulating, but the debate was more interesting;

Rockpuck regularly challenged TruthWithin, answering questions in much detail. Both used histroical details to back up their arguments but I feel TruthWithin let himself down by keeping saying "tell me what a depression is". This was a major failure I feel.

TruthWithin stuck to that one argument while Rockpuck intesified the debate by expanding and paying attention to the agrument. Although the rhetoric of TruthWithin was exceptional.

In the end, both were equal in sourcing data. But, I shall give an overal point score for both figthers out of 10.

TruthWithin 7
Rockpuck 8

Due to Rockpuck paying attention to the argument much more, I feel he just won it. It was a hard debate to call.




I have to say that TruthWithin kept me on my seat with the information presented. He could have lectured me on any topic and would have had my full attention.

His core strengths:

- Ability to keep me in tuned with his information
- Way with words
- Use of sources, data, and personal experince

I really liked when he stated this:



There is an old joke among economists that states:

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.

A depression is when you lose your job.


It kind of took my mind of statistics and gave me a sense of openness to the debater. Overall, he had me hooked to listen for more, he conveyed his message to me in a fashion in which I can relate to and not that of a boring professor.

_____________________________

Now for Rockpuck, he come off as a knowledgeable teacher, one that I know knew what he was talking about. This is the person I would want to listen to, to hear about a situation on a scholarly level.

His core strengths:

- Convey his message in a scholarly manner
- Use of statistics and data
- Not letting his personal views get in the way of his info

Overall, he debated well and this would be a good match for a college-level crowd.

________________________________

In conclusion: I choose TruthWithIn because I feel he can relay his message to all audiences and not just one core group.


[edit on 2-7-2008 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:28 AM
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Excellent job Truth, I think your last post is what nailed the lid on my debate coffin lol..

Thanks Memory for setting it up, and to the judges, readers and everyone else..

Me and Truth will have to decide a new topic for a colossal rematch!





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