The Most Important Chart in American Politics

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posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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Taxes aren't the issue here. Quality of life isn't determined by tax rates as we can see in many examples around the world. The issue also isn't government spending, if they spend less then they tax less, and everyone has more money resulting in prices going up. If they spend more, people have less money and prices go down (unless they print it, which makes prices go up). So that also isn't the cause either.

I believe I've figured out the real cause and it's something that's almost totally ignored in the political debate, it's the growth based economic model. A growth based economy is unsustainable, because it requires that people spend more and more money on goods every year above the rate of inflation. What happens however is people reach a saturation point on their goods, where they have everything they need and enough of what they want to be entertained. What happens at this point is goods stop selling. No one has a reason to buy a new hammer for example when their current one works just fine. Manufacturers have been aware of this for 70 years now and over decades have phased in the concept of planned obsolescence. Our goods are designed to break after a certain amount of time, that way we go and purchase more. This model is the basis of our entire economy at this point, the shirt you're wearing for example is designed to fall apart after x washings, your lightbulbs only last x hours, and so on. A little known fact is things weren't always this way, the lightbulbs from 1900 burned longer than the lightbulbs today, infact some brands have been burning for nearly 115 years straight without ever being replaced while costing a mere 50 cents in todays dollars (2 cents back in 1900). Think about that the next time you buy a lightbulb... even one of the so called $45 25 year green ones.

To get back on topic though, our goods are designed to fail earlier and earlier. We've even spun it as a good thing by outsourcing labor for cheap prices. Chinese goods fail earlier but are cheaper to produce, the end result is we have to purchase things more often. To use a personal anecdote I've gone through 4 Walmart brand quesidilla makers in the past 3 years, 2 of them have even started fires, and each one cost me about $30, so I've had to spend $40 a year on that appliance. A well built appliance would last 25 or 50 years and cost maybe $75 total. A significantly lower amount of revenue per year. Because our economy, especially our stock market is measured in growth however (amount of units sold) it's considered far better to make items that need to be replaced more often. We've even gotten to the point where items are so difficult to repair due to how they're built that it's more cost effective to throw something out and buy it new than the repair.

This system is behind stagnating wages because it drastically increases the cost of living. Since it costs more money to maintain the same lifestyle since you're continuously buying new things you have less to spend on luxuries, and fewer luxuries overall as they break sooner.

The politicans are aware of this model as well, remember when George W Bush said everyone needed to go out and buy things in the mall? If we don't have growth, our entire country falls apart, the reason for this is that we've exhausted all the money people have to spend, and goods are now purchased on credit. In order to have endless increases to the credit limit more and more growth (sales) must be maintained in order to show some ability to eventually repay that credit. That seeming joke of a comment by W was anything but, had people not gone out and spent money they didn't have to create growth our nation would have gone bankrupt at that point. Remember the housing collapse? The whole thing was sparked not by the market suddenly turning south, but by the rate of growth slowing down.

This is why people have less money. They have to repurchase an object more often at a total higher cost, even if each purchase is individually a little lower. People have to do this because manufacturing power has reached a point where everything can be produced for everyone and we would be left with tons of unemployed otherwise. So rather than change the model, we're stealing from people.

Sadly, I don't know the solution for this. If goods last longer mass unemployment will happen, probably on a scale larger than the great depression, if things continue as they are everyone will be bankrupt. Both sides lead to the same place unless there's a drastic change in how things are done.
edit on 7-2-2013 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


My standard responses tend to go ignored, but I'll repeat;

Austerity measure, NOW!

The American "concept" cannot maintain it's current level of spending if it wants to survive. Taxes are not the answer. Cut spending. Cut entitlements. Cut benefits.

People are going to have to fend for themselves and not rely on government to take care of them. If we don't do Sequestration now, if we don't make serious cuts now, then what we are seeing is the last decade of America.

In my humble opinion.


And how about instead of limiting what our citizens can do and the help they can receive from the government (that exists for the SOLE purpose of supporting and helping that populace), we limit the defense and military spending, wars and foreign aid to countries that don't care about us? How about we spend a portion of that money to investigate the bankers and the politicians that are behind all this and arrest and put them on trial?

Nah, that makes no sense right? We should first start taking the food away from the poor in our country because the situation and the economy is great here and they are all leeches? I mean people don't really want to work, right? Most just wanna lay around and do drugs while the great people like you support everyone and get to tell the rest how worthless they are?

Beez, you know I have issues with you by now, but YOUR own arrogance and sense of entitlement is sickening. There is a cross section of American population that thinks and acts like you, lacks empathy towards others, thinks that fighting for workers' rights is communism and in the end will be the failure of this society. Those people will teach their kids to look down upon the less privileged and not feel towards others in the same way, instead of teaching our kids that we are all equal and that the impoverished need help and not our disdain.

And I really don't mean to be mean towards you, especially when I say others are supposed to be kind to each other, but I really can't see your blinkered way of seeing things as anything other as destructive to our society.


Khar



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by Kharron


And how about instead of limiting what our citizens can do and the help they can receive from the government (that exists for the SOLE purpose of supporting and helping that populace), we limit the defense and military spending, wars and foreign aid to countries that don't care about us? How about we spend a portion of that money to investigate the bankers and the politicians that are behind all this and arrest and put them on trial?


You need to read my posts, I have no problem with defense cuts. Foreign aid cuts. Investigating "corporate entitlements".


Nah, that makes no sense right? We should first start taking the food away from the poor in our country because the situation and the economy is great here and they are all leeches? I mean people don't really want to work, right? Most just wanna lay around and do drugs while the great people like you support everyone and get to tell the rest how worthless they are?


We need to move away from an "entitlement mentality". Or is being reliant on government your idea of prosperity?


Beez, you know I have issues with you by now, but YOUR own arrogance and sense of entitlement is sickening. There is a cross section of American population that thinks and acts like you, lacks empathy towards others, thinks that fighting for workers' rights is communism and in the end will be the failure of this society. Those people will teach their kids to look down upon the less privileged and not feel towards others in the same way, instead of teaching our kids that we are all equal and that the impoverished need help and not our disdain.


I won't speak of anyone but myself, but I think we'd all be better off not being slaves to government dictates.
To each his own.


And I really don't mean to be mean towards you, especially when I say others are supposed to be kind to each other, but I really can't see your blinkered way of seeing things as anything other as destructive to our society.


Khar


Aww, you made my avatar cry.


S'okay. Free speech and all that.

Cheers.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 



Ok then, why don't you tell me what you think the purpose of the government is? What the purpose of "country" is?

The way I was brought up and taught... the country itself (any country), and its government exist for the reason of protecting and standardizing the care of its citizens. The government is established so all of its citizens have the same access to health care, food and basic life necessities.

The country does not exist to take taxes, or to start wars or anything else really -- its main and really ONLY purpose for existence is to TAKE CARE of its people.

And you're saying we don't need to take care of our people, we need to cut entitlements and benefits and let people fend for themselves? Whaaa? What's the purpose of this country then? Why even pay any taxes at all? Why even consider yourself an American if you want your country to have nothing to do with American people?

Take the blinkers off man, you're on the wrong side of this fight. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm talking to old money here.



Khar



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:32 PM
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I went to burger king today to get lunch as the 3 kids in my house have Influenza type B *ugh*
Any hoo Guess how mush a chicken sandwich combo is now?

$8.07 that's with a large iced tea and small fry nothing added no cheese etc. WTF right it is fast food not long ago it was like $4.99. Not to mention the tamiflu that was prescribed for 3 kids came to $560.00.

Now I was making $45,000.00 per year my husband $32,000.00 Then I lost my job.....and have yet to find another first time since I was 14 that I have not worked for more than 2 months. He was laid off but found another job for $13.55 an hour wow right. We are just squeaking by and I am seeing no end in sight we are not lazy, we are not dumb,we are simply screwed right now. This sucks for a lot of people.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by Kharron
reply to post by beezzer
 



Ok then, why don't you tell me what you think the purpose of the government is? What the purpose of "country" is?

The way I was brought up and taught... the country itself (any country), and its government exist for the reason of protecting and standardizing the care of its citizens. The government is established so all of its citizens have the same access to health care, food and basic life necessities.


Standardizing the care of its citizens? Where? When? How? Who? The US government is supposed to provide equal oppourtunity. NOT equal outcome. Government delivers mail, fights wars, takes money, and annoys the hell out of the rest of us.


The country does not exist to take taxes, or to start wars or anything else really -- its main and really ONLY purpose for existence is to TAKE CARE of its people.


See above response. Personally, I don't want to be "taken care of". I find that concept rather insulting.


And you're saying we don't need to take care of our people, we need to cut entitlements and benefits and let people fend for themselves? Whaaa? What's the purpose of this country then? Why even pay any taxes at all? Why even consider yourself an American if you want your country to have nothing to do with American people?


WE need to take care of the people. NOT GOVERNMENT! WE do. People do. We need to take care of our neighbors. Our elderly. Our sick and infirmed! But since "government" stepped in, people have abdicated that responsibility to government.

And I find THAT sickening!


Take the blinkers off man, you're on the wrong side of this fight. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm talking to old money here.



Khar


If taking care of people personally and not slinking away from that responsibility is wrong, then I hope I'm never right.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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I never said the government was doing a good job of its job -- which is taking care of its people...

But at least I'm not saying it needs to stop doing its job completely like you are.

In a well functioning society every citizen who is lucky enough to be born in our country, or arrive here legally, should have free education and health care, food if you can't provide your own or get work. As a citizen of USA, I would be proud to have my taxes go to free health care and food to make sure that all my fellow citizens can live as well as I do, can eat the food I do and get the education I did. That is what my government should do and what I expect it to exist for.

I do not want it to spend my money on foreign interests and war for profit. As long as it does that, I will never support any cuts in what the government should be doing in the first place -- taking care of its people.


Khar



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by Kharron
I never said the government was doing a good job of its job -- which is taking care of its people...

But at least I'm not saying it needs to stop doing its job completely like you are.

In a well functioning society every citizen who is lucky enough to be born in our country, or arrive here legally, should have free education and health care, food if you can't provide your own or get work. As a citizen of USA, I would be proud to have my taxes go to free health care and food to make sure that all my fellow citizens can live as well as I do, can eat the food I do and get the education I did. That is what my government should do and what I expect it to exist for.

I do not want it to spend my money on foreign interests and war for profit. As long as it does that, I will never support any cuts in what the government should be doing in the first place -- taking care of its people.


Khar


You and I will never agree on government roles/responsibilities.

But I think we can agree on stopping funding wars, foreign aid, foreign interests.

Namaste



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer

Originally posted by Kharron
I never said the government was doing a good job of its job -- which is taking care of its people...

But at least I'm not saying it needs to stop doing its job completely like you are.

In a well functioning society every citizen who is lucky enough to be born in our country, or arrive here legally, should have free education and health care, food if you can't provide your own or get work. As a citizen of USA, I would be proud to have my taxes go to free health care and food to make sure that all my fellow citizens can live as well as I do, can eat the food I do and get the education I did. That is what my government should do and what I expect it to exist for.

I do not want it to spend my money on foreign interests and war for profit. As long as it does that, I will never support any cuts in what the government should be doing in the first place -- taking care of its people.


Khar


You and I will never agree on government roles/responsibilities.

But I think we can agree on stopping funding wars, foreign aid, foreign interests.

Namaste


I agree man, but I'm glad we could chat.

I'll throw in one more thing tho. You seem to have this separation in your head of us the people, and them the government -- and you're right, it has come to that point. You say WE should be taking care of our people, and not the government doing it for us, as if it were some foreign body that was intruding into our lives.

We ARE the Government, We the People created this government in order to help us take care of ourselves. We created a managing body comprised of us, to take care of us. That is where I derive my idea of what the government should be and do.

However, somewhere along the road OUR government got hijacked from us, the People, and is no longer performing the function we created it for. And that's why I never said that the government was doing a splendid job, but at least it is my understanding that it should be. From you I was hearing that you don't want it to, and that confuses me -- why even have it exist at all then?

Anyways, take her easy Beez... til next time.



Khar



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by byGRACE
I went to burger king today to get lunch as the 3 kids in my house have Influenza type B *ugh*
Any hoo Guess how mush a chicken sandwich combo is now?

$8.07 that's with a large iced tea and small fry nothing added no cheese etc. WTF right it is fast food not long ago it was like $4.99. Not to mention the tamiflu that was prescribed for 3 kids came to $560.00.

Now I was making $45,000.00 per year my husband $32,000.00 Then I lost my job.....and have yet to find another first time since I was 14 that I have not worked for more than 2 months. He was laid off but found another job for $13.55 an hour wow right. We are just squeaking by and I am seeing no end in sight we are not lazy, we are not dumb,we are simply screwed right now. This sucks for a lot of people.


You're not alone. My heart goes out to your family. I'd say something pithy about better times are coming but I would be lying.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by wtbengineer
 



On the left of the chart, it states that 1992 = 100 (the starting point)

Assuming that the end of the chart is 2012 (we're barely into 2013, so this makes sense) the middle of the chart is 2002. This chart represents 2 decades.

I hope that helps.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:06 PM
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I agree with the notion of cutting entitlements. Where we classically disagree is upon whom. Those who are at the bottom don't really have options - so let's begin by gutting corporate welfare first. Then we can address the endless loopholes that keep the uber-wealthy protected...


Can't be done. The wealthy control the America system of government. Have you ever had a look at how many millionaires are in Congress? Almost all of them. These nice folks aren't about to increase taxes on themselves, so they pass it along to the rest of us.

There's no way out of this.
edit on 7-2-2013 by averageGuy505 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 
I feel we are past the point of no return. One must remember we still have to pay 16.5 trillion back. And we are still adding on to that. I remember one of the recent speeches by the Prez where he says we have to pay our bills, so lets not play around with the debt ceiling. How many of you out there pay your bills with debt? To me it is getting truly crazy. Maybe that is why there hasn't been a budget for the last three or 4 years,TPTB know we past the point of no return a while back.




posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Tarzan the apeman.
reply to post by beezzer
 
I feel we are past the point of no return. One must remember we still have to pay 16.5 trillion back. And we are still adding on to that. I remember one of the recent speeches by the Prez where he says we have to pay our bills, so lets not play around with the debt ceiling. How many of you out there pay your bills with debt? To me it is getting truly crazy. Maybe that is why there hasn't been a budget for the last three or 4 years,TPTB know we past the point of no return a while back.



I think we are as well. I don't see any solution coming from DC. And that is from both R's and D's.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


My standard responses tend to go ignored, but I'll repeat;

Austerity measure, NOW!

The American "concept" cannot maintain it's current level of spending if it wants to survive. Taxes are not the answer. Cut spending. Cut entitlements. Cut benefits.

People are going to have to fend for themselves and not rely on government to take care of them. If we don't do Sequestration now, if we don't make serious cuts now, then what we are seeing is the last decade of America.

And... the more people out of work (living wage type work - not minimum wage/slave type work), the more jobs overseas.. the less money coming into OUR government and further degrading OUR infrastructure.

In my humble opinion.


And just what do you, in your humble opinion, plan to do with the millions of homeless, starving, gun-toting, people runing in packs in our cities and towns? Talk about a Zombie Apocalypse.
edit on 7-2-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


The graph is skewed to make it look worse than it is. They should show the graph in its entirity and not chopped the bottom off.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by wtbengineer
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


It would be interesting to see some dates on that chart. I lived this decline first hand. Back in the mid '80s when I bought my first house, I was making 20 grand a year and raising 2, soon to be 3 kids. I somehow always had enough to get by. Now, after going back to college and getting an electrical engineering degree, I am making many times that, but seem to have less left after paying bills and buying all the necessities of life. Something doesn't add up.


what has changed is the devaluation of the dollar... that is actually the definition of inflation.

you're dollar buys less now, it used to be worth a full dollar, we still think a dollar is a dollar ect ect.

prices aren't going up... your dollar is worth less so it takes more of them to buy the same normal everyday things.

There is an economic war that's been going on. China was accused by the Bush administration of artificially keeping their currency low on the world market. Our savior Obama won't go there, it's always war at home with the liberal democrats.

edit on 7-2-2013 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by FyreByrd


And just what do you, in your humble opinion, plan to do with the millions of homeless, starving, gun-toting, people runing in packs in our cities and towns? Talk about a Zombie Apocalypse.
edit on 7-2-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)


Good question. That scenario is going to happen regardless. I can only hope that people open their hearts and help each other.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by averageGuy505
 


This is the conundrum. There needs to be more wealth distribution, but those creating the legislation are either wealthy themselves, or working for the wealthy.

However, you say there is no way out and I disagree, although there is clearly no easy solution. And austerity isn't what I have in mind. I can't image how more suffering for people already suffering is doing anyone any good. I sure as hell don't wanna be living somewhere where people are even more desperate than they already are..

The only solution I can see, is to cut the corporations out of our lives, as much as possible. Reconnect to the physical resources that sustain us, and use our own labor to generate our own wealth by producing for ourselves. And organize with as many people as possible to make it happen. It has nothing to do with being a hippie, or living in the woods. It's about generating our own wealth independently and being free. That chart doesn't reflect people living the American Dream of "freedom."

And before anyone assumes that building and/or producing for yourself is crazy talk, think about this for a minute.

The majority of us spend one third or more of our net income on housing and energy. That's 13 hours per week. 22,280 hours over a 30 year mortgage. That to me is crazy.

Considering the state of technology, the sharing of designs and trade secrets online, and the fact that the resources needed for housing and energy are extremely abundant, it would seem to make much more sense and take much less time than 22,280 hours to produce for ourselves. Not ALL things, just some of the most important things like housing, energy or food.

And when you don't need a mortgage for survival, you don't have to submit to a corporation for employment that so many of us either aren't all that interested in or despise completely. Energy and transportation costs would be reduced because you aren't having to be part of the rat race every second of the day. And there could be more time to do more meaningful work.

I'm aware that not a lot of people are fond of this idea, but if there's a better solution, I'm all ears.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 02:41 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


My standard responses tend to go ignored, but I'll repeat;

Austerity measure, NOW!

The American "concept" cannot maintain it's current level of spending if it wants to survive. Taxes are not the answer. Cut spending. Cut entitlements. Cut benefits.

People are going to have to fend for themselves and not rely on government to take care of them. If we don't do Sequestration now, if we don't make serious cuts now, then what we are seeing is the last decade of America.

In my humble opinion.


Entitlements help, but they don't solve the problem. Its quite difficult to "rely" on them. For most of these benefits you have to be ridiculously poor to qualify to receive them. It's a life of squalor and no-one wants to be there. Take these away and people will be literally starving and maybe even homeless when they might not other wise be. Many of these benefits have time-limits too. You can't use them forever. Certainly not something you'll hear on Fox News.

If we could all find better high paying jobs we would, obviously. But those jobs just aren’t there for those who don't have degrees and even for those who don’t have high-demand degrees. Most companies these days prefer to keep people working 30 hours a week w/no benefits @ 10/hr while soaring profits are continually breaking records. Even my company is doing this very thing. More and more people being hired in as tempts working partime with no benefits. Even for the one who've been at my company for a long time, our pay/benefits have even been gradually declining over the years.

Personally, I receive some of these entitlements. Not much, but some. And I paid an enormous amount of taxes for 15 years before I started receiving benefits. My circumstances have changed and I needed help. The benefits help, but I still pay more in income taxes per month than I receive in these benefits. They help, but they are very far from anything you can "rely" on. Most of what you hear in the media about these social benefits and those who use them is very far from reality.
edit on 8-2-2013 by VonDinkinDunken because: (no reason given)





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