View Poll Results: What should be done about unemployment benefits?

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  • Extend them through deficit spending

    14 21.54%
  • Extend them, but pay for them with unpaid stimulus/tarp funds

    19 29.23%
  • Don't extend them, it is unregulated welfare

    22 33.85%
  • Other, Explain:

    8 12.31%
  • Don't you touch my unemployment benefits!!

    2 3.08%
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Thread: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

  1. #51
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Capital exists. You can't borrow against the future. You borrow now. You can't seriously say that my borrowing money now has no effect on someone else who is trying to borrow. I've necessarily dried up some capital.
    The government borrows money, then spits it back out into the economy in the form of spending.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez
    And demand is stronger? Do you think that there's been a significant change when unemployment is still so high?
    Many of those things on that chart are traded on a global market, so the US unemployment rate is barely relevant. And yes, a recovering economy tends to boost demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez
    But the benefit doesn't come from some mythical multiplier effect. If that were the case then spending money or cutting taxes would have the same effect. They don't. Government spending is far less efficient. People spend their own money better and use it to invest which would lead to more production.
    Far less efficient at what? Government spending is MORE efficient than tax cuts when it comes to stimulating the economy, because the money will be spent with 100% certainty whereas tax cuts may or may not be spent. And saying that "people spend their own money better" is both A) an article of faith, and B) subjective. The government is better at buying infrastructure than the private sector, but you're probably better at deciding what you want to buy for lunch than the government is.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-02-10 at 04:21 PM.
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  2. #52
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronpaulvoter View Post
    One choice should have been, "REPEAL THEM." Unemployment benefits are among the tons of things any government should never be doing.

    Charity is NOT a legitimate function of government. It should be done solely by charities, churches, and other private entities.
    This debate has been hashed out endlessly - If people are willing to let their tax-monies go to help others then why would they willingly donate (enough to support people who truly need it)

    Government and these other sources have always been depended on by people to support them - it's not some newfangled notion of hte modern era that a government is suppose to help it's citizens, not just tell them what/what not to do.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    OK, but what drives investment? Consumption.



    They do those things in order to sell more, ie more consumption.



    That IS consumption, it's just rich people doing it.



    The government isn't taking money away from investors, because it is borrowing money rather than raising taxes. The investors are able to invest AND the consumers are able to consume. Both will help the economy.



    It's true that the current level of deficit spending is unsustainable, but that's the point. It doesn't NEED to be sustained, it just needs to get us through a period of high unemployment. High deficit spending during bad economic times, and balancing the budget during good economic times will help smooth out the economic cycle.



    To my knowledge, no federal taxes have increased since the recession began.
    Khandahar, you are once again putting the cart before the horse. People don't base investments on current consumption, they base investments on the potential for future growth. If we based our investments on current consumption, we wouldn't hire new people or expand operations. Future growth is affected by future scheduled tax increases, like January 1 when taxes are going to go up for every American. And if capital gains rates don't get extended, expect the stock market to drop below 10,000 before the end of the year, maybe even lower.
    Get informed: UNICEF foreign adoption policy is killing orphans and the US gives $132 million to UNICEF every year. Stop the madness.
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  4. #54
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant Noodle View Post
    This video reminds me of you if ya ever had to deal with the things I do in my life......

    What BS reality-bubble are you living in man? I hope God curses YOU with half the **** Ive had to deal with within the last 5 years just so your ideas and ideals grow up and you become a decent man.
    I spent the last 5 years in the Marines; 4 of them in the Infantry. so in the last 5 years i've gone long periods of time when instead of sleep i drove myself through hatred and rage. i've watched helplessly as some of my best friends bled out and left this world. i've been pushed to the brink of exaustion and expected to continue to perform until i collapsed. i have been left frozen in the rain literally for weeks, dehydrated to the point where i pissed the color of coffee (no creamer), gone days without sleep, and walked more miles than i ever want to think about (the worst, though, was the mosquitos. god i hate mosquitos). i have watched mistakes i made take the lives of better men than myself, and dealt with the intense shame and drive to commit suicide that that impresses upon a person. i have spent weeks drinking myself to destruction in order to block out the darkness, and then i've had to turn, deal, and face it down. in the meantime, i've had three of my fellow Marines not be able to make that turn; two shot themselves and a third drove his car head first into an 18 wheeler at about 85mph. still i don't think i have slept a straight night through in about 3 years. of my oldest sons' first two years of life, i was with him for about six to eight weeks; the rest was spent deployed either overseas or to one or another training op in the states. i missed the first steps the first teeth the first words the first birthday the first christmas... but i did get pictures in the mail, which i cherished in a manner i doubt those who haven't had to will never know. we rated food stamps, wic, a couple of other programs as i recall; we didn't take them because we made the decision to live beneath our means instead. sometimes at the end of the month that meant we ate potatos and drank tap water. so be it. through it all i donated 10% of my income (still do) to charity because that was the right thing to do. i did all the above because it allowed me to protect innocents because it was the right thing to do; it was, in fact, the thing i have done that i am most proud of in my life. i have even risked my life to save my enemys', knowing that if the situation was reversed he would have tortured me and sawed off my head on an internet video because, at the time, saving his life was the right thing to do.

    now, i'm not saying this to play the penis game. plenty of folks have had it tough, and many have had it tougher than me. but maybe you ought to check yourself before you go around slinging accusations about who is a grown up and a decent man simply because you've been (i suppose) living on unemployment.

    but i have noticed this; those who have been through real **** (and i know a few) don't tend to curse that on people. only sayin.
    Last edited by cpwill; 12-02-10 at 06:48 PM.

  5. #55
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The government borrows money, then spits it back out into the economy in the form of spending.
    But businesses don't expand on profits. They expand from investment. Spending doesn't make up what was just lost in investment.

    Many of those things on that chart are traded on a global market, so the US unemployment rate is barely relevant. And yes, a recovering economy tends to boost demand.
    But do we really have a boost in demand, or is it illusory based on monetary inflation?

    Far less efficient at what? Government spending is MORE efficient than tax cuts when it comes to stimulating the economy, because the money will be spent with 100% certainty whereas tax cuts may or may not be spent. And saying that "people spend their own money better" is both A) an article of faith, and B) subjective. The government is better at buying infrastructure than the private sector, but you're probably better at deciding what you want to buy for lunch than the government is.
    Money always serves a function. If it's not spent it still serves a function. And is the government better at buying infrastructure? Do you really believe that? No private company would have built an interstate? It's too expensive? I guess we should have the government build hotels and office buildings then because they're too expensive and no private company would invest in them.

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  6. #56
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    I think extending benefits is o.k. but we need to ensure that we get something productive out of those that are unemployed. Maybe 20 hours of surveys, community service, etc. each week because some people will abuse the system and not look for work until the last few weeks of unemployment etc.
    Caitlyn Strong...

  7. #57
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    Agreed, the money is much more well spent than funding two wars...
    hey, if you keynesians are right, then those two wars are the only things that have been propping us up for a decade. you'd better thank George Bush for his profligate ways

  8. #58
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant Noodle View Post

    What BS reality-bubble are you living in man? I hope God curses YOU with half the **** Ive had to deal with within the last 5 years just so your ideas and ideals grow up and you become a decent man.
    and you think people with his belief hasn't gone through hard times, hasn't been homeless, hasn't been hungry, hasn't been penniless, hasn't been unemployed? Maybe it is you that needs a reality check. It is not situation that drives this belief it is the relation of the world we live in, the human nature that drives us all, the dependence these kind of actions create, and the liberty and rights of all people.

    A person that truly cares for people doesn't give them what they need to survive, they give them a chance to reach what need on their own. Giving people what they need makes people dependent on the giver, allowing the giver chance to decide on how much is given, on how it will be restricted and on how long it will be available. If the person does it on their own they are in charge of this and no person has control over what they gain.

    The worst part of it all is what comes when its taken away, the rage of what they believe they deserve, when the fact remains, they never actually showed any proof, nor did they put forth any effort to show us worth, nor will the giver care if they did. They have become the spoiled child that rages when daddy takes the tv away, that he gave to them because he felt like it, NOT because the child ever actually deserved it. However, now the child feels its not only their tv, but their right to watch that tv that was never theirs to begin with, but the childs fathers that decided to give them that tv. The child was given that tv at the will of another party, the father, that by giving that tv has decided to give a gift, but because he gave that gift still has complete control of it and can decide to take that gift back at any time and so he did. This is what entitlements are, a gift, given for nothing, for nothing, and the party that gives that gift has complete control of it, and can decide to do with whatever they wish. This is not true, however, if you either buy the tv yourself, or get whatever the entitlement is on your own. You decide which is better, a gift you have no control over but has control over you, or something you have earned and you have control of. Pick wisely.
    Last edited by Henrin; 12-03-10 at 01:55 AM.

  9. #59
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The government borrows money, then spits it back out into the economy in the form of spending.
    after running it through an expensive bureacracy.

    so, government takes money from investors (who, otherwise, would have been doing things like investing in businesses), runs it through the federal bureacracy (average drain per federal worker: around 70K a year), and then spends it on important things like the Congressman C. Smith Overpass.

    it's like if i were to take money from your savings account, remove 10%, put it into your checking, and claim i had made you wealthier.

    Far less efficient at what? Government spending is MORE efficient than tax cuts when it comes to stimulating the economy, because the money will be spent with 100% certainty whereas tax cuts may or may not be spent.
    wrong. 100% of those tax cuts will be spent. the question is will they be spent on things that government buys (such as studies on the effects of robot bees), or will it be spent on things that investors buy (such as equities in private companies who hire people and produce goods).

    in order for government spending to be more effecient than tax cuts when it comes to stimulating the economy; politicians would have to be A) honest B) incorruptible and C) better at allocating scarce resources than the market.

    for your theory to work, literally, communism would have to be a viable model; it is built upon the assumption of governments' ability to invest in the private market better than the private market.



    fortunately, however, we know that your theory is bunk:

    TAXING LESS OR SPENDING MORE?

    Addressing this question requires not only data about the past year or two, but also analysis of some key assumptions at the core of the administration's approach to fiscal policy. In particular, that approach seems to take for granted that the question in choosing between spending and tax cuts is which would have the greater multiplier effect, and that the answer to that question is spending rather than tax cuts.

    The first assumption overlooks an important difference between spending and tax cuts in the context of economic stimulus. When the government is seeking to revive its sick patient — the economy — time is of the essence. And time must be considered in any analysis of multipliers and other economic effects of stimulus policy. Chief among these considerations is whether government can spend money both quickly and wisely.

    Many of us can draw on our own experiences in addressing that question. Anyone familiar with government projects even at the municipal level knows that the process is usually prolonged and onerous. Even if the design phase is managed well, the project is built efficiently, and the end product proves to be of good use to the community — all big "ifs" — the time involved in debating project proposals, securing approval from citizens and local boards, planning the design, hiring contractors, and completing the construction often stretches to years. Cram the process into a dramatically shortened time frame, and the likelihood that the project will be an example of "wise" government spending diminishes significantly. Expand the scope of the government spending from town planning to national fiscal policy, and the likelihood shrinks even further.

    This is not just a matter of government waste, but also a question of whether money spent under such circumstances actually helps the economy grow in a way that best enhances citizens' well-being. Whenever public money is involved, it is important to ask whether the spending will produce something society needs, or wants, to improve the general economic climate. Money spent on a new road that allows farmers to get their products to market faster and in better condition, for instance, creates more value than money spent building a "bridge to nowhere," even if both projects create the same number of construction jobs.

    To look at it another way: If a person pays his neighbor $100 to dig a hole in his backyard and then fill it up again, and the neighbor hires him to do the same, government statisticians will report that the economy has created two jobs and that the gross domestic product has risen by $200. But it is unlikely that, having wasted all that time digging and filling, either person is better off — economically or otherwise. Each person's net financial gain is zero, and all anyone has to show for the effort is a patch of fresh dirt in the backyard, which is unlikely to improve anyone's standard of living.

    Private individuals don't usually spend their money on things they don't want or need. So when money is kept in the hands of citizens, and transactions take place in the private sector, there is less cause to worry about inefficient spending. The same cannot always be said of government. This means that government spending designed to stimulate the economy must first be subjected to serious cost-benefit analysis, which is hard to do in a big rush. Not all government spending is created equal — and rushed spending is, in many important ways, likely to be less efficient and less useful than spending that is carefully planned.

    The administration's second assumption, meanwhile, is a matter of academic theories about the sizes of the relevant economic multipliers. Textbook Keynesian economics tells us that government-purchases multipliers are larger than tax-cut multipliers. And, as we have seen, the Obama administration's economic team consulted these standard models in deciding that spending would be significantly more effective than tax cuts.

    But a great deal of recent economic evidence calls that conclusion into question. In an ironic twist, one key piece comes from Christina Romer, who is now chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. About six months before she took the job, Romer teamed up with her husband and fellow Berkeley economist David Romer to write a paper ("The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes") that sought to measure the influence of tax policy on GDP. Crucial to the Romers' method was their effort to identify changes in tax policy made during times of relative economic stability, and driven by a desire to influence economic behavior or activity (to encourage growth, say, or reduce a deficit), rather than those changes made in response to a recession or crisis. By studying such "exogenous" tax-policy changes, the Romers could be more confident that they were in fact measuring the effects of taxes and not those of extraneous conditions.

    The Romers' conclusion, which is at odds with most traditional Keynesian analysis, was that the tax multiplier was 3 — in other words, that every dollar spent on tax cuts would boost GDP by $3. This would mean that the tax multiplier is roughly three times larger than Obama's advisors assumed it was during their policy simulations.

    Of course, it could be that all multipliers are larger than previously assumed. Perhaps fiscal policy has such a great influence over our economy that, if the tax multiplier is 3, the government-spending multiplier is 4 or 5. We don't know from the Romers' study; they did not analyze government-spending multipliers, only tax multipliers. But several studies on government-spending multipliers have been conducted using techniques similar to those used by the Romers. And none has found government-spending multipliers to be so large as to justify assumptions about the inherent superiority of government spending over tax cuts.

    Some excellent work on this topic has come from Valerie Ramey of the University of California, San Diego. Ramey finds a government-spending multiplier of about 1.4 — a figure close to what the Obama administration assumed, but much smaller than the tax multiplier identified by the Romers. Similarly, in recent research, Andrew Mountford (of the University of London) and Harald Uhlig (of the University of Chicago) have used sophisticated statistical techniques that try to capture the complicated relationships among economic variables over time; they conclude that a "deficit-financed tax cut is the best fiscal policy to stimulate the economy." In particular, they report that tax cuts are about four times as potent as increases in government spending.

    Perhaps the most compelling research on this subject is a very recent study by my colleagues Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna at Harvard. They used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to identify every major fiscal stimulus adopted by the 30 OECD countries between 1970 and 2007. Alesina and Ardagna then separated those plans that were in fact followed by robust economic growth from those that were not, and compared their characteristics. They found that the stimulus packages that appeared to be successful had cut business and income taxes, while those that evidently did not succeed had increased government spending and transfer payments....

    There is a case to be made for a broad-based payroll-tax cut that might have this effect, but a narrower tax cut for new hires suffers from some major flaws. The basic problem is that we do not know how to properly define — or enforce a definition of — a "new hire." Presumably we do not want a business to hire Peter by firing Paul and to then call Peter a new hire; this would cause a great deal of inefficient churning in the labor force (not to mention a great deal of unpleasantness for all the Pauls).

    Usually when tax credits for new hires are proposed, the idea is to establish some baseline employment — based on a firm's labor force a year or two earlier — and give credit to businesses that meet or exceed their baselines. But relying on such baselines can be problematic. Consider an industry hit particularly hard by a recession — say, construction — in which employment is well below the baseline established for new-hire tax breaks. Because a few new hires would still not make these firms eligible for the tax credits, these firms would have no marginal incentive to hire additional workers. Conversely, industries that have been expanding would be rewarded for hires they might have made even without the tax incentives. This policy, then, would likely create tremendous disparities across industries that could be both inequitable and inefficient. It would also create perverse incentives in favor of new firms: By definition, all employees of a new firm are "new hires." This could even give existing firms an incentive to, say, lay off the janitorial staff and hire instead an independent janitorial contractor that just started up as a new firm, since the cost per worker to the old firm could well be lower.

    Attractive as such ideas may seem at first, targeted tax cuts and incentives are in fact very difficult to implement properly. If tax cuts indeed make for better fiscal stimulus than direct government spending, they should be broad-based cuts or incentives, rather than narrowly tailored interventions.

    Here again, the fiscal-policy decisions of the past year and a half have not been implausible or inexplicable — but they have also not been empirically shown to work. The data point to other approaches.

  10. #60
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    Re: Unemployment benefits: who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    and you think people with his belief hasn't gone through hard times, hasn't been homeless, hasn't been hungry, hasn't been penniless, hasn't been unemployed? Maybe it is you that needs a reality check. It is not situation that drives this belief it is the relation of the world we live in, the human nature that drives us all, the dependence these kind of actions create, and the liberty and rights of all people.
    exactly. plenty of conservative icons have been broke, unemployed, etc.

    A person that truly cares for people doesn't give them what they need to survive, they give them a chance to reach what need on their own. Giving people what they need makes people dependent on the giver, allowing the giver chance to decide on how much is given, on how it will be restricted and on how long it will be available. If the person does it on their own they are in charge of this and no person has control over what they gain.
    bingo. when i graduated and went out into the wide world, my parents could have helped me out. instead they gave me a book by Dave Ramsey; because they knew that to keep helping me at the point at which i was expected to be self-reliant was to cripple me. thanks to their wiser approach, i am now in a far-better financial situation than the vast majority of my peers, and able to serve as a semi-financial counselor to many of them.

    but my first piece of advice? "The first thing you have to accept is that your situation is your responsibility, and only you are going to get yourself out." Until they fundamentally realize that, they cannot be helped.

    The worst part of it all is what comes when its taken away, the rage of what they believe they deserve, when the fact remains, they never actually showed any proof, nor did they put forth any effort to show us worth, nor will the giver care if they did. They have become the spoiled child that rages when daddy takes the tv away, that he gave to them because he felt like it, NOT because the child ever actually deserved it. However, now the child feels its not only their tv, but their right to watch that tv that was never theirs to begin with, but the childs fathers that decided to give them that tv. The child was given that tv at the will of another party, the father, that by giving that tv has decided to give a gift, but because he gave that gift still has complete control of it and can decide to take that gift back at any time and so he did. This is what entitlements are, a gift, given for nothing, for nothing, and the party that gives that gift has complete control of it, and can decide to do with whatever they wish. This is not true, however, if you either buy the tv yourself, or get whatever the entitlement is on your own. You decide which is better, a gift you have no control over but has control over you, or something you have earned and you have control of. Pick wisely.
    and this is one of the several reasons that we chose (when we were poor) not to avail ourselves of the multiple "aid" programs we qualified for.

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