It’s the Known Unknowns That Worry Me

Lawrence Cunningham has a soothing historical perspective on the mass of law firm layoffs at Steel, Patience amid Adversity:

In September 2001, after terrorists attacked lower Manhattan, the stock market closed for several days. Corporate finance and deal activity contracted. Law firms lost work. Associates were let go and firms cut back hiring. Eventually, work resumed, with deal flow flourishing.

Then a professor, I went to the library to leaf through the law reviews published in the period just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. I also read books about law firms during that period.

Amid World War II, people were terrified, deal flow contracted, associates at large firms were let go and hiring contracted. Scholarship appeared to have been cut back, but in corporate and securities law, did not seem to abate or shift course due to the attacks or resulting war. Eventually, the war ended, markets resumed, expanded, deals flowed, associates were hired, paid, made partner, and prosperity resumed.

Ditto with the episodic booms, busts, scandals and havoc that have ensued—the 1960s electronics boom and bust; the 1970s foreign bribery scandals; the Vietnam conflict and related upheaval; the 1980s savings & laon crisis; the 1980s/90s junk bond boom and bust; the late 1990s / early 2000s telecom boom and bust; and the current crisis, and its coming resolution.

Patience is a virtue for all those affected by adversity, whether economic, military or otherwise.

There's more, but I want to focus the part I quoted. Yes, it's good to learn from history. And indeed, the business cycle tends to repeat. But there are two reasons why I can't quite feel soothed. First, there's the question of which is the right parallel. We're not in 1929 yet, and I still think the smart bet is that we won't get there, but until we see a floor, we can't be sure about that. Especially since just about the entire minority party in Congress, which includes a blocking minority in the Senate, has wedded itself to idiocies such as being for economic stimulus but against spending. Yes, I actually heard a senator say that on the radio last week. And there's lots of it around.

Second, as regards the legal profession we face structural changes not encountered in a while. And I don't mean the likely collapse of the inflated salary structure (and unhealthy billables/month) for the best-compensated associates (and, I'd argue, partners). That's minor compared to the competition from off-shoring legal suppliers in India and elsewhere, not to mention the looming, inevitable, introduction of computer-assisted legal drafting.

Is it time to start writing the contract-generating AI of the future?

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15 Responses to It’s the Known Unknowns That Worry Me

  1. uncle_milt says:

    “idiocies such as being for economic stimulus but against spending”

    Tax cuts are a form of economic stimulus. A reduction of corporate or personal taxes is the same as giving corporations or individuals money. It is not irrational to believe that private enterprise and private individuals will put money to use in ways much wiser than the government can. I don’t know how many $10,000 toilets the government has to buy before otherwise intelligent citizens understand that government is inherently wasteful and corrupt. Stamping things with a blue “O” will not change this.

    Government guarantees of bad loans is also economic stimulus. It is the same as giving the banks money.

    I find it idiocy that building roads and bridges will stimulate the economy to any significant degree. America’s transportation network is already developed, if anything urban sprawl presents an economic cost, not a benefit. That leaves repairing roads and bridges. Ever seen the impact that major road repairs have on the surrounding community? Stores go out of business and jobs are lost as customers cannot access them. Tremendous amounts of funding is wasted on corruption and inefficiency. Am I the only one aware of Boston’s Big Dig? That is not to say we should not repair bridges about to fail, but to believe that somehow the economy will be saved by doing so is idiocy.

    I will not say all government spending is idiocy, or that it isn’t possible to stimulate the economy via spending. However, to say there aren’t other credible ways is not consistent with economic theory or practice. Further, that the current mega-spending bill, replete with thousands of earmarks our president swore to oppose, simply will not achieve a substantial effect on the economy. The repair of the credit system will do that.

  2. michael says:

    Tax cuts can indeed be stimulative — if they go to people who will spend the money — which usually means if they are targeted to less wealthy people. Today’s GOP objects both to tax cuts that aren’t for rich folks, and (some of them) now claim to be born-again deficit hawks.

  3. uncle_milt says:

    “which usually means if they are targeted to less wealthy people”

    This is highly debatable. It presumes two things: 1) “less wealthy” (whoever they are) are more likely to dispose of income and 2) that is a good thing.

    As to the first assumption, supposedly the “less wealthy” are suffering under a mountain of debt. That means if they were rational, they would enjoy a tax cut by paying down some debt. That may or not free up other income for disposal on goods.

    Furthermore, given the debt burden, it would be irrational to give the money to people who planned to do anything other than take care of basic needs and then pay down debt. There is no doubt in my mind that “main street” is just as guilty for the current crisis as many “less wealthy” engaged in real estate speculation (a.k.a. “flipping”) and upgrading their homes with luxuries such as plasma televisions, granite counter tops, etc. The “less wealth” in this country have a very serious problem with materialism and consumption. Indulging this problem, as you implicitly propose, will not be helpful in the long run. Even a liberal must agree that at some point, people need to spend their money (and credit) wisely.

    On the other hand, tax cuts to corporations can accomplish one of two things. Either they will overcompensate already overcompensated executives, or create new jobs. The former, by your own logic, is not bad in a macro-economic sense if those overpaid executives spend the money. However, by and large, the latter is preferred. And for small business, the bulk of US employment, this is precisely what they would do if given tax cuts. As it stands, they are suffocating under taxes that force them to close their doors.

    Tax cuts to the wealthy, morality aside, ought to be macro-efficient as well. Either they will buy things (which you say is a good thing), or they will save and invest. More cash into the banking and finance systems is exactly what is needed now, indeed, exactly what the original bank bailout bill was supposed to do.

    Just admit you are an amateur moralist, and not a trained economist, and we need not debate the matter further. All I wished to point out is that government spending is not the only way to stimulate the economy, and it is far from idiocy to believe that recovery can be had by other, but no less aggressive, means. I believe your moral beliefs about the rich getting richer blinds you to the economic science. That does not mean your position is not the better one for society, only that economics does not serve as the basis to support it.

  4. michael says:

    I am both an amateur moralist and an amateur economist, at least in the sense that for neither am I a paid professional, and for neither do I have an advanced degree (I did major in Economics but that was a long time ago). But I am also of the view that as a (somewhat informed) citizen, I can have a view on this. And if I can explain it clearly, then perhaps I will either expose the error of my ways, or convince others.

    So. (1) Empirical question: who is more likely to use a stimulative tax cut of $N in a way that has stimulative effects — M poorer people given $N/M or one richer person given $N? Is there really any doubt that the velocity of the money will be greater in the hands of people having trouble finding money for food, or making the rent or the mortgage, than in the hands of people who are comfortable and who rationally will in many cases choose to park their funds in cash or near-cash?

    Even if the tax cut just helps keep the marginal person in a home, that stops some pressure on prices, which is in itself good for the market. Giving more money to “overcompensated executives” isn’t as good: adding savings to banks isn’t going to make them lend as much as reducing the toxicity of the mortgage-backed securities.

    I thought this was generally accepted stuff. But perhaps I’m mistaken: Do you know of any serious economics to the contrary?

    (2) Mixed historical and forecasting in the sense of “predicting the present”: Trickle-down economics has not proved itself well in the fire of reality this last decade. But even if it had, current conditions do not suggest to me that cutting corporate taxes is going to create jobs. The effective rate of corporate taxes was fairly low in the US already; our issue is a confidence crisis (and liquidity crisis) which is becoming a demand crisis.

    (3) Normative: But yes, ceteris paribus, end even some other times so long as the efficiency costs are still tolerable, I’m for progressive taxes and bottom-up tax cutting.

  5. Eric says:

    Just look at the experiences of the states, many of which have been on a supply-side tax-cutting binge. Last year was the sixth straight year that the states, in aggregate, cut taxes. Over the course of the 1990s, 26 governors approved cuts in state income tax rates and 14 more slashed corporate tax rates.

    The governors are proving that tax cuts can be a highly effective economic stimulant. Our research indicates that over the past decade, the 10 states that cut taxes the most created about twice as many new jobs and enjoyed about 27% more income growth than the 10 states that raised taxes the most. Does this mean more loss for us?

    Consider Michigan. When John Engler became governor in 1991, the state’s manufacturing economy was in the tank and the Michigan unemployment rate was the second highest in the nation. A few months ago Mr. Engler signed into law his 30th and 31st tax cuts, for a cumulative taxpayer savings of some $20 billion. The result: Michigan has had 10 years of unprecedented prosperity, even ranking third among the states in job growth. Florida is on the same path

  6. John Flood says:

    In addition to offshoring and CA drafting, you have the changes in law firm organization being driven by the UK government which will affect legal professions around the world eventually. The law firm as we know it will eventually drift into obscurity.

  7. michael says:

    Foreign readers who didn’t click his link may not detect the deep irony in Eric’s posting: the Governor of Michigan since 1993 has been a Democrat, Jennifer Granholm. The state’s prosperity currently consists of a 10.6% unemployment rate, the highest in the nation. Florida has only the ninth worst unemployment rate at 8.1%.

  8. LACJ says:

    uncle_milt, I am sorry but your arguments are directly contrary to accepted economic theory.

    Trickle-down or supply-side economics, call it what you will, has been totally refuted by empirical evidence over the past 8 years. Bush had his chance, he cut taxes drastically for the wealthy, and he did not see the type of economic growth that was expected. Indeed, the reason we are, economically, where we are now is in part due to these policies. Furthermore, the anemic economic growth we saw during his tenure would have been even worse had it not been for the real estate market posting unreal (that’s a funny) gains from say 2004-2007, and I would assume all these crazy bad loans and other worthless, toxic paper that was getting moved about also made the economy look better than it was.

    Let me quote Bruce Bartlett, economic advisor to Mitt Romney:

    Today, supply-side economics has become associated with an obsession for cutting taxes under any and all circumstances. No longer do its advocates in Congress and elsewhere confine themselves to cutting marginal tax rates — the tax on each additional dollar earned — as the original supply-siders did. Rather, they support even the most gimmicky, economically dubious tax cuts with the same intensity…[t]he original supply-siders suggested that some tax cuts, under very special circumstances, might actually raise federal revenues.

    Now, some notes:

    Fixing roads and bridges creates jobs, which lowers the unemployment rate and increases spending within the private sector. That is called economic stimulus, and considering that most workers on such projects are not rich, one can assume that most of the money (well, at least salaries) will go directly back into the economy. Arguing that “I find it idiocy that building roads and bridges will stimulate the economy to any significant degree” is not going to convince anyone that you understand basic economics. These types of projects will directly stimulate the economy, helping businesses that provide construction materials and create jobs. That is about as straightforward as it gets.

    Please note, moreover, that the stimulus is provided by virtue of the project itself, not the resulting better road which allows traffic to move more smoothly, which seems to be one of your arguments.

    Next, the phrase “which usually means if they are targeted to less wealthy people” is NOT highly debatable at all. Poorer people are much more likely to spend any additional money they earn or receive than are the wealthy, or at least can be trusted to spend a higher percentage of this money than the wealthy. This has long been the basic flaw in supply side economics, and Bush provided the opportunity for this flaw to be made obvious.

    This fact should have been obvious from the beginning, as it seems pretty clear to me that the man with 10 million in the bank is not waiting for the eleventh million to arrive before he opens up a new business. And if he is risking 10 million on a new venture it is because he has 30 million, and so feels comfortable risking a third of that. Hence the stimulus multiplier is low for wealthier people. Yes, cutting taxes on the wealthy (as if they haven’t had enough) is stimulative. But with a very low multiplier, and therefore relatively inefficient. But whether the argument ever made sense is not relevant here.

    To refute your counter-argument, the poorer person under a mountain of debt is not paying off some of that debt in an awful economic climate, but is instead ignoring that debt and going off the grid. You can just trust me on that one.

    In any case, you also argue that “Tax cuts to the wealthy, morality aside, ought to be macro-efficient as well. Either they will buy things (which you say is a good thing), or they will save and invest. More cash into the banking and finance systems is exactly what is needed now, indeed, exactly what the original bank bailout bill was supposed to do.”

    Therefore, you are very much in favor of the poorer person using the stimulus money to pay down their debt. That money is going directly to the banks, and helping them re-capitalize, which is precisely (sorry, originally) what the original bank bailout was supposed to do.

    Can you tell I am enjoying this? I am, very much, enjoying this. ;-)

    Finally, not having time to address all your points in detail, I would just add that if one is going to criticize another for their supposed implied preferences and assumptions, one should be careful to at least acknowledge one’s own preferences and assumptions.

    Michael’s supposed assumptions do not seem to be easy to identify from the brief statements he made in his post. Yours are easier to see, and they are:

    1. “There is no doubt in my mind that “main street” is just as guilty for the current crisis as many “less wealthy” engaged in real estate speculation (a.k.a. “flipping”)”

    - (i.e. everyone who is under water deserves their fate) – assumption without any empirical evidence.

    2. “On the other hand, tax cuts to corporations can accomplish one of two things. Either they will overcompensate already overcompensated executives, or create new jobs.”

    - So while acknowledging that cutting taxes on corporations may well just line the pockets of the top managers, you still have a preference to do that, despite the low stimulative multiplier effects.

    Finally, no, the problem for corporations is not that they are burdened by high taxes. The problem is no one is buying their goods, because no one has any freaking money, because the economy is losing tons of jobs per week. That is the essential problem.

  9. uncle_milt says:

    LACJ, your analysis is excellent if it were compared with a high school AP exam answer. If by “enjoying this”:

    “Can you tell I am enjoying this? I am, very much, enjoying this. ;-)”

    you mean to say you enjoy expressing superficial economic knowledge with no obvious expertise, then you should be ecstatic.

    “Trickle-down or supply-side economics, call it what you will, has been totally refuted by empirical evidence over the past 8 years.”

    That statement is beyond silly. It confuses the idea of coincidence and causation. In your simple mind, Bush=Supply Side=8 bad years=>Supply Side must be bad. Perhaps the problem is that we had a president whose last name started with “B”? Perhaps the key to economic success is a president whose last name starts with “O” or “C”? I suppose 9/11, $5/gallon gas and the whole mortgage “thing” are somehow tied to supply side economics in our mind? Is the idea of Islamic terrorism empirically false, as we have gone without an attack for 8 years? I’m sure none if this is getting through, but I try.

    “Please note, moreover, that the stimulus is provided by virtue of the project itself, not the resulting better road which allows traffic to move more smoothly, which seems to be one of your arguments.”

    We agree that unlike mass building projects of the past, this one will not make the economy more efficient. So it is your belief, like Norman Rockwell painting, a bunch of hard hat joe-six-packs and joe the plumbers will be out there working hard building a road. That they will get most of the money. None of it will be lost on waste, corruption, “evil” over-payed management, etc.. But assuming your fairy-tale world exists (again you’ve never heard of the Big Dig), what happens when the road is done? And, you choose to ignore the argument that business along the construction path suffer, but again I am sure I have lost you by now.

    “Poorer people are much more likely to spend any additional money they earn or receive than are the wealthy, or at least can be trusted to spend a higher percentage of this money than the wealthy.”

    I don’t disagree with that. So what. The question is how the money is being spent. You seem to feel its being spent on food, baby food, diapers, clothing, etc.. You don’t get out much. But probably you believe that US Constitution entitles each citizen to a plasma tv.

    “man with 10 million in the bank”

    Nobody leaves 10 million sitting in hard cash in a vault. What happens is that the bank turns around and invests or lends that money. The money never just sits. Where do you think the bank gets the cash to pay you interest? It makes no difference whether our 10 million dollar man starts his own business, or gives the money to someone who will, directly or indirectly. The only “problem” is if he stuffs the cash under his mattress. Again, maybe in your world this is the case. Not in mine.

    “To refute your counter-argument, the poorer person under a mountain of debt is not paying off some of that debt in an awful economic climate, but is instead ignoring that debt and going off the grid. You can just trust me on that one.”

    So why again do want to give more money to people who are not acting rationally, or in fact, irresponsibly?

    “Therefore, you are very much in favor of the poorer person using the stimulus money to pay down their debt.”

    Yes. Unless of course you convince me they have a constitutional right to own an Iphone.

    “That money is going directly to the banks, and helping them re-capitalize, which is precisely (sorry, originally) what the original bank bailout was supposed to do.”

    Your point? We are talking about the porkulous spending bill, not the original bank bailout bill. I am not opposed to some government efforts to directly stabilize the credit system.

    “- (i.e. everyone who is under water deserves their fate) – assumption without any empirical evidence.”

    Everyone who took on more debt than they could afford deserves their fate. It is not their neighbor’s problem. And if the neighbor is forced to help, then why is the neighbor not compensated. If indeed you argue that I must help my neighbor to preserve my own home value, how does this differ from a taking, in principle? I am not rich. I made wise choices. Now I am being made to suffer for the poor choices of others. Do I deserve my fate?

    “- So while acknowledging that cutting taxes on corporations may well just line the pockets of the top managers, you still have a preference to do that, despite the low stimulative multiplier effects.”

    The problem, which also explains many people’s poor understanding of economics, is innumeracy. There is no problem with “lining the pockets” of anyone, so long as, the cash does not literally line their pockets. I don’t care if it re-enters the system through a yacht purchase, auto purchase, or money market deposit. All of those things are good. But small business don’t work that way. Most are struggling under too high a tax burden, and would hire, hire, hire (or not layoff, layoff, layoff) if they could. The innumeracy comes in where you project a few isolated examples of corporate largess onto the entire business world, and then you start making irrational policy decisions based on a foolish assumption. Do you shop at small independent stores or restaurants? Are their owners overpaid capitalist pigs in your mind?

    “Finally, no, the problem for corporations is not that they are burdened by high taxes. The problem is no one is buying their goods, because no one has any freaking money, because the economy is losing tons of jobs per week. That is the essential problem.”

    And we go full circle. A tax cut is exactly the same as giving them money. Rather than start over from the beginning, we’ll just agree to disagree.

  10. uncle_milt says:

    LACJ, your analysis is excellent if it were compared with a high school AP exam answer. If by “enjoying this”:

    “Can you tell I am enjoying this? I am, very much, enjoying this. ;-)”

    you mean to say you enjoy expressing superficial economic knowledge with no obvious expertise, then you should be ecstatic.

    “Trickle-down or supply-side economics, call it what you will, has been totally refuted by empirical evidence over the past 8 years.”

    That statement is beyond silly. It confuses the idea of coincidence and causation. In your simple mind, Bush=Supply Side=8 bad years=>Supply Side must be bad. Perhaps the problem is that we had a president whose last name started with “B”? Perhaps the key to economic success is a president whose last name starts with “O” or “C”? I suppose 9/11, $5/gallon gas and the whole mortgage “thing” are somehow tied to supply side economics in our mind? Is the idea of Islamic terrorism empirically false, as we have gone without an attack for 8 years? I’m sure none if this is getting through, but I try.

    “Please note, moreover, that the stimulus is provided by virtue of the project itself, not the resulting better road which allows traffic to move more smoothly, which seems to be one of your arguments.”

    We agree that unlike mass building projects of the past, this one will not make the economy more efficient. So it is your belief, like Norman Rockwell painting, a bunch of hard hat joe-six-packs and joe the plumbers will be out there working hard building a road. That they will get most of the money. None of it will be lost on waste, corruption, “evil” over-payed management, etc.. But assuming your fairy-tale world exists (again you’ve never heard of the Big Dig), what happens when the road is done? And, you choose to ignore the argument that business along the construction path suffer, but again I am sure I have lost you by now.

    “Poorer people are much more likely to spend any additional money they earn or receive than are the wealthy, or at least can be trusted to spend a higher percentage of this money than the wealthy.”

    I don’t disagree with that. So what. The question is how the money is being spent. You seem to feel its being spent on food, baby food, diapers, clothing, etc.. You don’t get out much. But probably you believe that US Constitution entitles each citizen to a plasma tv.

    “man with 10 million in the bank”

    Nobody leaves 10 million sitting in hard cash in a vault. What happens is that the bank turns around and invests or lends that money. The money never just sits. Where do you think the bank gets the cash to pay you interest? It makes no difference whether our 10 million dollar man starts his own business, or gives the money to someone who will, directly or indirectly. The only “problem” is if he stuffs the cash under his mattress. Again, maybe in your world this is the case. Not in mine.

    “To refute your counter-argument, the poorer person under a mountain of debt is not paying off some of that debt in an awful economic climate, but is instead ignoring that debt and going off the grid. You can just trust me on that one.”

    So why again do want to give more money to people who are not acting rationally, or in fact, irresponsibly?

    “Therefore, you are very much in favor of the poorer person using the stimulus money to pay down their debt.”

    Yes. Unless of course you convince me they have a constitutional right to own an Iphone.

    “That money is going directly to the banks, and helping them re-capitalize, which is precisely (sorry, originally) what the original bank bailout was supposed to do.”

    Your point? We are talking about the porkulous spending bill, not the original bank bailout bill. I am not opposed to some government efforts to directly stabilize the credit system.

    “- (i.e. everyone who is under water deserves their fate) – assumption without any empirical evidence.”

    Everyone who took on more debt than they could afford deserves their fate. It is not their neighbor’s problem. And if the neighbor is forced to help, then why is the neighbor not compensated. If indeed you argue that I must help my neighbor to preserve my own home value, how does this differ from a taking, in principle? I am not rich. I made wise choices. Now I am being made to suffer for the poor choices of others. Do I deserve my fate?

    “- So while acknowledging that cutting taxes on corporations may well just line the pockets of the top managers, you still have a preference to do that, despite the low stimulative multiplier effects.”

    The problem, which also explains many people’s poor understanding of economics, is innumeracy. There is no problem with “lining the pockets” of anyone, so long as, the cash does not literally line their pockets. I don’t care if it re-enters the system through a yacht purchase, auto purchase, or money market deposit. All of those things are good. But small business don’t work that way. Most are struggling under too high a tax burden, and would hire, hire, hire (or not layoff, layoff, layoff) if they could. The innumeracy comes in where you project a few isolated examples of corporate largess onto the entire business world, and then you start making irrational policy decisions based on a foolish assumption. Do you shop at small independent stores or restaurants? Are their owners overpaid capitalist pigs in your mind?

    “Finally, no, the problem for corporations is not that they are burdened by high taxes. The problem is no one is buying their goods, because no one has any freaking money, because the economy is losing tons of jobs per week. That is the essential problem.”

    And we go full circle. A tax cut is exactly the same as giving them money. Rather than start over from the beginning, we’ll just agree to disagree.

  11. LACJ says:

    Ooh, a rare triple post. Not bad, Uncle Milt.

    No one is using terms like capitalist pigs other than you! I disagree with you because your arguments are wrong, and not backed up by any substance. That makes me a socialist? Do you just like railing at people you prefer to believe are godless communist hippy freaks who get more sex than you do? If so, you have come to the right place!!

    There is little substance in your long post. I talked about the stimulus multiple, and how your contradicted yourself within your argument. You fail to address either issue.

    I talked about how households are cutting back because household incomes are shrinking, and expectations of future income are being revised. You failed to follow up.

    You argue that the rich should get tax cuts, then they will put the money in the bank, and that is good. Then, you argue that the little guy shouldn’t get anything, why he might be under a mountain of debt, and would just use the money to pay off some of it!

    Its the same thing!! Now you even keep going, with “I don’t care if it [the stimulus money] re-enters the system through a yacht purchase, auto purchase, or money market deposit.”

    And yet you just argued that the stimulus should not go to the poor or middle class because they would use it to pay down their debt!! Don’t deny it, its right there in your second comment!! I quote: “supposedly the “less wealthy” are suffering under a mountain of debt. That means if they were rational, they would enjoy a tax cut by paying down some debt. That may or not free up other income for disposal on goods.”

    In other words, that paying off of debt may well not help the system to become re-capitalized. Consistent inconsistency. Brilliant.

    You use any argument you can to assert that the non-rich should not be the focus on the stimulus. Look, you have decided that the poor are to blame for their crushing debt. That is your belief, and if you really cared, you could research whether that is true.

    But if you are a homeowner then you should worry, even if you are completely correct in your assumption. Your home’s value is a function of the number of empty houses near you. If there are lots of empty houses, you will have two problems. One, you will not see your home’s value increase so long as many empty homes still exist nearby. Secondly, you may have a problem when squatters or unsightly conditions in the empty houses near you lower your home’s value.

    A tax cut is irrelevant if you are not earning any income! Tax cuts will only benefit those who are still earning money. Small businesses are hurting because their customer base is hurting and not spending money. Those are people who are being laid off. It really is as simple as that.

    It is not a full circle the way you would have it. Tax cuts for the rich will not trickle down, will not spur growth, and will not help create jobs. The multiplier is too low. Research the multiplier for a day or two, then come back to class.

    Thanks for the compliment though! I am too old to have taken an AP exam, but I am sure I would have written a much better answer than my comment above, because that was before I took all the drugs!

  12. Go Democrats says:

    LACJ,

    Please stop posting, your obvious dependency on silly news channels for your source of information and support for your arguments are pathetic.

    Every time you speak, you empower the silly arguments of the Republicans and inadvertently cause people to believe heavily in positions taken by uncle milt.

    If you are a UM Law Student, or alumni…. your school and its administration should be ashamed of themselves.

    ALL OF THESE STIMULUS PACKAGES ARE COMPLETELY USELESS!!! Let us all just entertain my following comment: Perhaps capitalism as we know it does not work anymore. Capitalism flourished at a time when resources were (assumably) unlimited. When economies receded, all the country needed to do was produce more babies… the more babies that were born, the more oil that was bought, the more food that was consumed, the more police who needed to be protect the public, the more construction projects that needed to be built… etc etc. However, we live in a world now where overpopulation can destroy the world, resources are being consumed at an alarming rate, land and forests can no longer be relentlessly chopped down for construction projects, disease and famine are slowly increasing, and the food supply is slowly decreasing.

    I am not saying that we should mirror the Chinese however, whatever they are doing is working better than our system. Maybe we should study what the Chinese are doing in order to understand how they have had an unbelievable booming economy for the past 2 decades. After all, who on earth do you think is funding all of these silly stimulus bills and budget deficits?

  13. Go Democrats says:

    LACJ,

    Please stop posting, your obvious dependency on silly news channels for your source of information and support for your arguments are pathetic.

    Every time you speak, you empower the silly arguments of the Republicans and inadvertently cause people to believe heavily in positions taken by uncle milt.

    If you are a UM Law Student, or alumni…. your school and its administration should be ashamed of themselves.

    ALL OF THESE STIMULUS PACKAGES ARE COMPLETELY USELESS!!! Let us all just entertain my following comment: Perhaps capitalism as we know it does not work anymore. Capitalism flourished at a time when resources were (assumably) unlimited. When economies receded, all the country needed to do was produce more babies… the more babies that were born, the more oil that was bought, the more food that was consumed, the more police who needed to be protect the public, the more construction projects that needed to be built… etc etc. However, we live in a world now where overpopulation can destroy the world, resources are being consumed at an alarming rate, land and forests can no longer be relentlessly chopped down for construction projects, disease and famine are slowly increasing, and the food supply is slowly decreasing.

    I am not saying that we should mirror the Chinese however, whatever they are doing is working better than our system. Maybe we should study what the Chinese are doing in order to understand how they have had an unbelievable booming economy for the past 2 decades. After all, who on earth do you think is funding all of these silly stimulus bills and budget deficits?

  14. Go Democrats says:

    And I forgot to mention, the last economic boom we had lasted for 4 years under Bush. You know what the problem was? The entire economic boom was fake! The boom occurred under fake pretenses… a housing market that relied on faulty and high risk mortgages, investor Ponzi schemes like the infamous one created by Madoff (who by the way is not the only one doing this… millions more exist), corporations posting profits and raising stocks by outsourcing jobs overseas, and the sending of 250,000 US troops into Iraq (yes the first sign of the economic turnaround coincidentally occured immediately following the invasion of Iraq).

    Once again I repeat… capitalism as we know it does not work. If it continues as is, then the prophecies are correct… there is an asteroid, the size of the moon heading right for earth, and there is nothing we can do to stop it (metaphorically speaking of course).

  15. LACJ says:

    Hey, GD! Good to see you here, it has been awhile! How you doing these days? Still pretending to be some sort of ultra-lefty, huh? Good on ya! Weren’t you just calling for the death penalty for anyone deemed a sexual predator? That is going to get you kicked out of the International Socialists League, you know!

    No, I am not a UM alum or student, nor do I have any connection with UM whatsoever, outside of my participation here.

    Yes, I would agree with you that the so-called Bush boom, which wasn’t much of a boom at all, was largely ‘fake’. It was created by spurring some amount of buying by the rich as they found themselves getting richer, along with the whole mortgage mess, plus increased government spending on the war (which helps very few people but still shows up as economic growth), plus a few other things.

    Yes, I agree we should study how the Chinese are doing it, we could very well learn something.

    No, I don’t believe that capitalism doesn’t work, but there are many forms or versions of ‘capitalism’, and we may need to better define which conditions must be present for capitalism to work properly.

    Oh, and finally, no I do not watch tv at all, much less any of the types of programs you are referring to. Thanks for trying, though!

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