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Fisker Karma
Fisker says his company is viable and self-funded

Fisker Automotive may have lost access to its U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan, but CEO Henrik Fisker insists that that hasn't put a nail in the company's coffin.

"We are a viable, self-funded company," said Fisker. "We can actually be self-sustainable on the Karma. But we have bigger aspirations."

In April 2010, California-based Fisker Automotive, which is known for its $102,000 Karma plug-in and Nina midsize sedan, received $529 million in loans from DOE. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where $ 169 million went toward Karma engineering and $359 million went toward Nina production. In addition, the loans were meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker auto production.

Fisker has been a bit behind schedule on selling its first auto in the U.S., and in May 2011, DOE blocked the loans previously provided to the automaker. According to DOE, the loans were blocked due to "unmet milestones."

However, Fisker isn't letting the lack of DOE funding bring the company down. He said it's likely that he may never have access to DOE money again, but is looking for alternatives without having to give up equity in the company.

"We are in discussions for alternative financing," said Fisker. "We don't want our future 100 percent reliant on DOE funding. It's been great to have. We just want to be sure we have capital without DOE.

"There are so many ways of getting financing without selling equity. Before we put in these hundreds of millions of dollars, we need to know which partner we need to go with. With a startup, you estimate your milestones, and you have to make fairly aggressive estimates because time is money.

"Many companies have put projects on idle because the plan is not working as expected, or marketing wants to change stuff. I've been involved with endless programs where it was frozen for six months. It just was not politicized or publicized."

Fisker Automotive has already drawn down $193 million from its DOE loans, and has raised over $860 million in private equity financing since 2007. The company is working to order tooling for its Nina at the Delaware factory for $336 million, where the midsize sedan has completed the development phase. There is even a running prototype. As far as the Karma goes, Fisker Automotive has received 2,500 orders.

The loss of the DOE loan didn't completely leave Fisker unaffected. Earlier this month, Fisker was forced to lay off 26 employees at the Delaware plant after the DOE loan was blocked. Before that, Fisker Automotive was slammed by U.S. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for receiving the millions of dollars from the government when other clean energy pursuits have recently failed. For example, solar panel company Solyndra went bankrupt in September 2011 after receiving $535 million in loans from DOE in 2009, and Beacon Power, which creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency, filed for bankruptcy in November 2011 after receiving $43 million from DOE in August 2010. Later, in January 2012, electric battery maker Ener1, whose EnerDel subsidiary won a $118.5 million grant in August 2009 from DOE, filed for bankruptcy.

Source: Automotive News



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Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/22/2012 12:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
Stop twisting his words. Everything in business has probabilities associated with it. Having more capital enhances your ability to withstand unexpected delays or one-time costs.

In an interview, Fisker talks about meeting with John DeLorean, who said that his biggest mistake was spending all his money on the factory. That's why the Fisker Karma production was being contracted to Valmet in Finland, and they probably would have continued doing so with their other models. Having your own factory will give value in the long run, but you don't want to run out of capital before you reap those benefits.

The gov't was looking for ways to boost the economy with money it borrows at obscenely low rates from the free market (which obviously can't figure out anything better to do with it). Fisker would like to build cars in the US, but it couldn't justify risking its capital.

That's the great irony of the criticism of Fisker outsourcing production "with American taxpayer money". The loan was there to move those jobs to the US for Fisker's next car, yet these dumbass critics were ignoring the Delaware factory and looking at Fisker's current production.

This is a solid company. The Karma won Automobile Magazine's Design of the Year award. They won Top Gear's Luxury Car of the Year award, and James May's overall COTY. The Karma is a $100k green car that competes with $100k+ traditional cars, so there's no 50% premium as with the Volt or Leaf.

People crap on the gov't subsidy for rich toys, but that's the only way to grow the economy with today's wealth gap, as the middle class is already tapped for cash and creating as much demand as they can. Going for a mass market car right away is a recipe for disaster. People crapped on the Karma's 52MPGe rating, but it's a substitute for 15MPG Maseratis and Aston Martins. A 99MPGe Leaf replaces a 40MPG econobox, so it's actually having less impact on fuel consumption than a Karma.


RE: Involvement
By bebimbap on 2/22/2012 1:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with a company first making LARGE reserves of cash, then expanding, why first go into a hole then dig yourself out?

and no amount of money is going to get a guy that drinks government subsidized beer on his government subsidized couch, watching his government subsidized TV with government subsidized cable all day and not use up all 99 weeks of unemployment and work unless it's ZERO dollars.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 6:14:42 AM , Rating: 1
That's the way the company was proceeding at first, but the US is desperate for jobs. It's always been like this in the auto industry - even conservative governments have always offered large low interest loans to the auto industry to build plants in their state instead of another. Competition isn't limited to the private sector.

FYI, the last car company started from scratch in the US without gov't help was Chrysler 88 years ago.


RE: Involvement
By theaerokid on 2/22/2012 1:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Everything in business has probabilities associated with it. Having more capital enhances your ability to withstand unexpected delays or one-time costs.


Fine. That's what venture capital is for; to take on a calculated risk hoping to receive a reward from it. If it fails, only a few rich people lose their money and they wake up the next morning and try again because that's what they do. When the gov't fails at playing venture capitalist, the entire 50% of the U.S. population who actually pay taxes lose, and nobody asked their permission because it didn't go to a vote.

And Solyndra is not the only example, just the most disgusting one considering that everyone from the DoE to the Solyndra employees knew they were not competitive with China, even before they finished the roughly $200M factory, and even with all the gov't funds to "help". To finish screwing the taxpayers, then they go and smash millions of dollars worth of glass tubes they intended to use even when people are begging to buy them at auction! Brilliant...

That boondoggle is one of the two losing sides of this administration's energy policy. The other is to wreck the economy by allowing gas prices to rise to make people beg for alternative energy. To quote the president on a radio show in 2007; "under my plan, energy prices must necessarily skyrocket." But who needs an economy? That thing only benefits rich people anyways! Brilliant. Uncle Karl would be proud...


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 6:53:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
When the gov't fails at playing venture capitalist, the entire 50% of the U.S. population who actually pay taxes lose, and nobody asked their permission because it didn't go to a vote.
It works both ways, though. In this climate of underemployment, everyone benefits from jobs created domestically. If the US gov't stayed away from bailing out anyone, there's a large likelihood that we'd lose a lot of business permanently. Banks going bankrupt would have frozen credit even more, people would stop buying cars even more, automakers would be sacrificing usually productive assets to save the rest, many in the supply chain would collapse, and in the end we'd see the foreign automakers pick up the slack.

Same thing with the alternative energy. Battery powered transportation has huge societal benefits. The US spends $400B+/yr on oil imports, which accounts for nearly all of the trade deficit. Urban air pollution is a big problem (forget AGW), with tens of thousands of deaths per year and hundreds of thousands impacted by asthma and other health issues.

Private investors, unfortunately, cannot reap any of these benefits. They will only invest when batteries and other parts of the electric drivetrain become cost competitive by themselves, which would take many more years. No company has the technology or resources to tackle that kind of endeavor entirely by themselves (from mining resources to building EVs), so the first company to make the investment will be indirectly subsidizing its competitors.

This kind of benefit across society is precisely where government involvement is supposed to happen for the benefit of society. FYI, the green economy was a big part of Obama's election campaign, so yes, it did go to a vote, at least insofar as anything does in the US political system.

As for Solyndra, I can't defend that. However, I'm not going to irrationally link the issues of solar and wind power to EV technology just because they all fall under the green umbrella.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 1:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
I take objection to the sentence,

"People crap on the gov't subsidy for rich toys, but that's the only way to grow the economy with today's wealth gap, as the middle class is already tapped for cash and creating as much demand as they can."

Do you really believe that the middle class has no desire to obtain more stuff? That they are limited in their ability to create demand? Are they handicap in some way I don't realize?

I'm a middle class engineer wondering why the hell I can't afford a house. Is it because I lose 30% of my paycheck to pay for a rich man's car? Let me know if you have the answers.


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 3:06:28 PM , Rating: 1
Just because a tiny, and I do mean tiny, part of your tax dollars goes to help the development of new technology, doesn't mean that 30% of your income pay for "a rich man's car". The vast majority of your tax dollars are going elsewhere. It is more likely that you can't afford a house because of tax subsidies to oil companies, or perhaps to fund a war in some other country, or to the development of new weapons for some future war in another country.

The problem that the middle class has now is that they largely have no more money to spend and they're already in debt. In an economy that is 2/3 driven by consumer spending, what do you think will happen when consumer no longer have any money? Are the people with all the money stepping up and filling the spending gap? Certainly doesn't seem like it.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 3:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
So you agree that my taxes aren't being used to provide me with more value to my life. Thank you.


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 3:21:29 PM , Rating: 1
In some cases, no, and in other cases, yes. The fact is no one will ever fully agree on everything. A waste to some is not to others. However, blowing a small thing out of proportion doesn't get anyone anywhere. If you want, you pick something you like, and imagine that all of your tax dollars are paying for it. That'll free up more of mine to pay for things that I like. Now everyone is a winner!


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 3:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Let people trade what they create without the government taking it from them and they'll be happier and more productive in making the world a better place to live. BTW I'm a government employee, and crazily underutilized.


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 3:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well that was certainly a big leap from what I said. I'm not sure how many of the public works that we all depend on today would have been created under your system. Not to mention many of the technologies that were developed using public funds, this mass communication system that we're using now for example.

If you're so underutilized, I hope you're looking for ways to change that, rather than just posting in message boards. I pay your salary after all, and I hate it when my tax dollars are wasted on things that I don't like. :)


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 6:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for taxes that are representative; meaning the people paying have something of value returned directly related to what they're paying taxes on. Fuel taxes pay for my job, not your income taxes.

Go look how people used to pay for sewer systems, water systems, parks, curb and gutter and you will see that a federal income tax is not necessary.

I tried very hard to get a non-government job. The irresponsibility of the federal reserve, the banks, the socialist government policies, AND the American borrower has created an economic attitude of turtling which has diminished the options available to me. The blame is on all sides; each government party is full of people who have no idea what they're doing.

Taxes without representation is what we died once to stop. Will we have to die again to get it to stop once again?


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 7:03:55 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
federal income tax is not necessary.
That's ridiculous.

How is the gov't supposed to pay for SS? Welfare? Unemployment? Medicare?

The free market has spoken: In a climate of the lowest tax burden in the developed world by a mile and people desperately looking for work (and therefore the lowest labor costs you'll ever see), it still cannot provide jobs for everyone. Remember that we have a massive deficit right now, so even if we sh!t on the poor by cutting all the services I mentioned in half and also fire half the gov't employees (especially underutilized ones like yourself), we still won't be able to cut taxes any more, yet all that slashing would create even more unemployment.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 8:49:10 AM , Rating: 2
You do not understand what you are saying. How are SS, Welfare, Unemployment, Medicare, etc. part of the free market? The money taken that pays for these things is done so through force of government, not freedom through charity. How can you say that the free market has spoken by giving reference to how it is not a free market? The lowest tax burden in the world has given this nation one of the highest standards of living. I 've been abroad for two years, the poor here are wealthy in comparison to the majority of the people alive in the world elsewhere.

Taxes should benefit those who pay them, otherwise it is theft. This is true regardless of the outcome of society you think everyone should have. You cannot do better with my dollar than I can for the benefit of me.

Welfare and Social Security are backwards. Once upon a time the elder people gave of their assets to the younger people with more energy. This investment allowed the younger people to produce things, such as food, houses, clothing, etc. that took the energy of youth that the elderly no longer possessed. The returns on the investment was split between those who earned it and those who provided the investment asset. Both the young and the old were taken care of this way through contract, whether written, spoken, or simply just understood.

Now we have a system where the assets are removed from those who have the energy of creation and production. Those assets are consumed by those who neither produced them, nor intelligently make use of them for more increase. This is not good for anyone when the entire society is weighed and measured; neither for the recipient nor for the provider of these assets.

These are the fundamentals of trade, production, etc. Government can't stop these things from working anymore than they can stop gravity. They might find a cool way of working around these issues, such as has been done with an airplane, but they can't make a plain fly at no energy cost.

Get rid of SS, Welfare, Unemployment, and Medicare. I already give a good chunk of my income to charity, what the hell are you doing besides demanding more of my money to pay for government idiocy?

Look at what happened at the end of WWII and see how government slashing killed the economy then.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 8:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
plane*


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 2:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do not understand what you are saying. How are SS, Welfare, Unemployment, Medicare, etc. part of the free market? The money taken that pays for these things is done so through force of government, not freedom through charity.
First of all, I never said they were part of the free market. More importantly, your whole post is invalidated by the assumptions you're making.

Currently money taken is NOT paying for these things. We have an absurdly low tax burden compared to every other developed country, and it doesn't come close to paying for these things. We are already living a world where the free market is paying for drastically reduced SS/welfare/Medicare. The deficit is paying for the rest.

Because nobody is paying enough taxes to be sustainable, the free market is currently benefiting from welfare, as all these people are buying their essentials with gov't money. You cut that out, and their consumption vanishes, companies lay off more workers from reduced demand, and the cycle continues in your welfare-free paradise. You are vouching for economic contraction (and eventually population contraction, as the poor will die, previously employed will become poor, etc).

The free market is failing to provide jobs for the unemployed. It can produce food for everyone with <2% of the workforce. Construct everything with <4%. Manufacture everything with 8% of GDP. Your "once upon a time" story has zero applicability to today's world. The free market was starting to fail in providing jobs well before this recession, but we didn't see it because we were artificially boosting demand with easy credit.

The only place your argument has left to run is to eliminate minimum wage, and this will place downward wage pressure on those with up to 2-3x min wage. You have to be a complete idiot to think such a move isn't going to tank standards of living.

Low tax burden hasn't given the US one of the highest standards of living (WTF were you smoking when you came up with that?), high spending has. It's been deficit fueled ever since Bush came into office. What developing countries are you cherry picking for comparison? Look to Somalia for what happens with no taxes and no welfare.

It's not 1950, genius. The private economy has way, way less dependence on general labor.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 2:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
Human production is possible with whatever assets are available to the individual. If I own a tractor and I make it productive for me in providing me something to trade to someone else, I might be able to gain more wealth than a person without a tractor, but I must produce something to trade if I want an increase in my wealth.

The deficit spending is just a hidden tax on the value of the dollar and future income of the people of the nation. It catches up to everyone sooner or later, but it definitely catches up.

The founding fathers envisioned a world where the needs of the individual were easily obtained, freeing people from spending their time worrying about food, clothing, and housing. With the free time people would create art, progress sciences, improve the details of things instead of trying to obtain the thing to begin with. They had it correct. You believe obtaining necessecities to be the only reason to have an economy, it is not.

Human labor can be for more things than simply taking care of the needs of humanity. This is progress of the standard of living. You sir, have convinced yourself somehow that black is white.

The true minimum wage is 0. You can't fight mathematics. 0 is the lowest amount of money possible for a person to earn.

The free market is the best market available, always has been, and always will be. It's too bad we have been moving away from the free market philosophy for 100+ years.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 5:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If conditions are placed on the markets that are not conductive to growth, jobs won't be created.
You don't have to place conditions for that to happen. The free market can reach that place by itself.
quote:
How does high spending in Washington allow me to buy a larger home, eat better, or drive a new car?
You think everything is about you? Standard of living has always been judged by that of the lower class. If you and I don't increase our purchase of goods/assets faster than productivity reduces the number of people needed to make them, then their standard of living goes down.
quote:
But I don't think any rational economist could look you straight in the eye and tell you these are sustainable without causing massive public debt.
Of course they're sustainable. Just tax the right amount. You think I would give up a $200k job to go on $5k welfare just because I'd pay 50% tax?
quote:
This is absolutely false in the long term.
100% agreed. That's why I want higher taxes, because we can't borrow forever. My point is that in the short term the economy is benefiting from greater consumption (you can't possibly deny this), and yet even with this unsustainable boon, we still can't create a job for everyone.

So what do you think will happen when we eliminate the consumption of tens of millions of people by stripping their income? Even if the budget was balanced, what do you think would happen to aggregate demand when you take away income from someone that spends 100% of it and use it to reduce taxes on someone that spends 10% of it, which is what flat taxes will achieve?


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2012 5:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
Do you want higher taxes or a flat tax? Because certainly you understand a flat tax would be a massive tax increase on the middle and lower class. Right now the top 10% earners in America pay something like 65% of all generated taxes. Go to a flat tax and what do you think would happen? You would either have to accept much lower tax revenues, which I would be fine with. Or you would have to accept MUCH higher overall taxes on the lower and middle classes to compensate for the lower tax rate among the rich.

quote:
You think I would give up a $200k job to go on $5k welfare just because I'd pay 50% tax?


That's your solution? A 50% Federal tax rate?

Okay apparently I'm talking to a crazy person. Thanks for your time. Have a nice day.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 6:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Where did I say that I want it? Oh that's right, presumption is your M.O.

I never said that I want it. I was giving you an extreme example to disprove your statement that it's impossible to sustain welfare/SS/Medicare. People won't stop working if taxes go up. Even with much higher tax, wages for the upper class will still be way higher in the US than elsewhere.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 8:48:50 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think you understand those numbers. We don't need $7.8T today, we need it over the next 75 years to pay for current and future retirees. Maybe we have to raise the rates slightly due to the demographics change, maybe not.

If other countries can provide for their entire nation's heath care with <10% of GDP, I don't see why the US can't provide for <1/6th of its population. It can choose not to, of course.

The rich brought this upon themselves. If they bought stuff for themselves (or others) with their money, the economy would be fine. Instead, they choose to accumulate wealth by saving and buying gov't bonds. I can't really blame them, as I'll do the same until it's time to go out with a philanthropic bang, but I understand that all the income I earn comes from consumption from those around me, that I got a great public education (not from here, FYI), and that taxes are needed to make the whole thing work. As long as everyone else in my income bracket is pulling the same weight, I'll be happy.

But if you really don't want to pay for these things, by all means let the US turn into a shithole. I actually want to see a Ron Paul type administration do just that to teach a lesson, because without that the Republican myths will never die.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: Involvement
By OneArmedScissorB on 2/23/2012 1:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How is the gov't supposed to pay for SS? Welfare? Unemployment? Medicare?

The free market has spoken...


***WARNING***

The preview function is apparently experiencing a catastrophic failure.

You will have to actually think twice before you post!


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 2:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
Are you that blind of a supply-sider that you think removing all purchasing power from the unemployed is going to create jobs?


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 2:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
Purchasing power is the power to trade what you have to trade. If you don't have anything to trade, you use your mind, body, and time to create something to trade for what you need. You can't give people purchasing power out of thin air, neither is it correct to take the tradable product of one person and give it to another. You don't understand basic economic principles. I would love to see you try to fly because you've decided gravity exists as you define it, and not as it really does. Production and trade create jobs, not taking from one person and giving to another.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 6:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
Production only creates jobs if there is something to produce. That's what you and many conservatives don't understand. You are not looking at a closed system, and that is why you think lower taxes are always good.

(Note: everything that I'm talking about in this post is only relevant when we have low enough demand or large enough workforce (due to insufficient dependency) to create less than full employment.)

Without redistribution, aggregate demand goes down, and the economy shrinks. If efficiency lets one worker produce all the goods for three consumers, and voluntary demand doesn't reduce that ratio, then a nation of 300M will only employ 100M. Say that each worker supports 1.7 non-workers, and you remove welfare. Then 30M people cease consumption (and eventually starve), and we now only need 90M workers to supply 270M people, so 10M eventually lose their jobs, stop consuming, etc. I suppose economies of scale in reverse will eventually decrease productivity, but you'll need a lot of death for that to happen.

We can try to stop this by removing minimum wage, because that should both increase demand (lower prices of goods) and reduce productivity (discourage automation). However, this kills standard of living for the poor, and discouraging automation is an ass-backwards approach to societal progression. Moreover, you will see people who do not fetch enough wage during their productive years to take care of themselves for life (or fail to find someone to support them). Again, without SS/welfare, people die.

Minimum wage, welfare, SS, and Medicare create a standard of living floor. Reducing them lowers that floor, and eliminating them creates a barbaric society. You could well be a dickhead and support the latter, but I'll assume you aren't, so we MUST take the tradable goods of one and give to another. If employers are looking for workers and you think we're paying people too much to sit at home, sure, go ahead and reduce that floor. We're nowhere near that point now, though.

Now, why should we have a progressive tax system? Well, aside from fairness, the rich create far less primary demand per dollar of income than the poor. Therefore, to maximize employment (and thus minimize total tax burden of the unemployed) you take a greater percentage of income from the rich. Of course, there's a limit to how far you can take that philosophy, but given that overall taxes are pretty flat in the US aside from the poorest (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2011.pdf), we're nowhere near that point.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/24/2012 12:34:55 AM , Rating: 3
Don't associate me with conservatives. I believe everything is governed by laws and rules, even the economy. Conservative and liberal are derogatory terms applied from different reference frames. I will not be defined by you.

There is always something to improve and create. When all hammers look like they were made out of mithril by Middle Earth dwarves, I still won't believe there isn't an improvement to be made to them.

You have the mentality the French had when they closed their patent office in the late 19th century because they believed that everything that could be discovered already had been. You are more ignorant than you realize with all the advanced education I'm certain you have.

Lower taxes is a relative term. How much tax do we need to support what exactly? Taxes too low to support the government as it should exist aren't high enough. Taxes that are too high for the government that should exist are too high. The truth of the government is that it will find a way to use whatever funds it can find, whether borrowed or stolen. Governments rarely shring without bloody revolution.

Read up on Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. They knew each other fairly well and Hayek is certain that Keynes would have changed is view if he did not die so young.

You understand math, but do you really understand what numbers represent? Do you understand that a number not used as a standard unit is pointless? That unless you define what the unit is very well it is pointless? When you say 90M workers, are all those workers the exact same thing such that the math works out like you assume? The problem is that the standard unit of a person isn't a standard unit that math works well with. Math is a way of describing things to some degree of accuracy. When you talk about people and jobs, you are talking about things so undefinable that the math produces a limited model.

The dollar itself is the standard unit of trade. How is it defined? The meter is defined by the number of wavelengths of a certain band of radiation of a krypton isotope. It's very well defined. How is the dollar defined? It is meant to represent wealth. Does the dollar represent a table? Does it represent a book? Does it represent an hour of a doctor's time? How do I put something on a scale and the dollar on the other side to determine monetary value? You're obviously economically inclined. Everything that uses math as a descriptor must use a standard unit to be functional; what is the standard unit of a dollar?

And again, what is the standard unit of a person? What is the stnadard unit of a worker? What is the standard unit of a job? With your intelligence superior to mine as you claim, you should be able to provide me with these answers.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/24/2012 3:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
Great post, Coldfriction. Like you said, these are probably highly educated people you're debating with, but they have their education in different fields. Those educations probably even instilled the same principles as exists in economics, ie, data analysis, etc., but their political dogma doesn't allow them to think about economics, jobs, etc. in that way. They're repeating the worn out ideas of Marx and Malthus and don't even know it.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 5:50:38 AM , Rating: 2
Please don't engineer anything I touch if you think a $20B loan program from a gov't that spent over $10T since the recession (mostly on either the military or transfers to the poor) is responsible for you paying 30% tax.

(Moreover, if you really are paying that much to the fed, then it's highly unlikely that you are middle class or unable to afford a house.)

Of course the middle class has desire. However, they don't have the means right now. For over a decade, middle class spending has been largely fueled by easy credit, and that's now tapped dry. Outside of gov't spending, the only way to expand domestic demand today is to encourage the rich to spend more.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 10:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
You expect me to account for every cent the government takes of my money and how it is spent? When they take my money they spend it in so many ways that an individual could never account for all of it.

I pay a high tax rate because I have a high gross income. I also happen to have seven years worth of school loans to pay off as I was not a priveledged child. The state job which I have takes a lot of money for others things besides simply federal taxes in the state I live in. It will take me a couple more years to save up a down payment for any house larger than 1,000 sq ft where I live. You start with nothing, and it takes a while to get somewhere; I lived in a trailer until I was seven.

The problem with the middle class not having money is that someone, meaning a whole bunch of people, decided that money was an asset that could somehow create increasing standards of living. That is absurd; money is a lubricant for easy trading and nothing more. Assets are things traded, money is an abstract.

How did currently rich become rich except through taking the interest from the loans to the middle class? The general education in the United States is not that of fiscal responsibility. I recognized that the housing boom was a complete joke, but I didn't realize it would lead to this terrible mess as badly as it has.

Should the bad mortgage debt all have been liquidated, the economy would have recovered very quickly. But the fat cats with the powers that be convinced the government to turn a blind eye to the irresponsibility of the banks and bail them out. A bad bank should fail, the debt should be liquidated, and people in general can work on building something worthwhile instead of keeping the wealthy fed.

We are, unfortunately, too stupid as a nation. We aren't the great people with the great ideas that we used to be. We care about pornography, sports, drugs, pleasure, movies, television, videogames, and trolling the internet entirely too much. These things don't give us a better standard of living in general, although there are cases where they may specifically. The nation needs to get back to work helping the ENTIRE nation. That is the purpose of any social organization; to help the entire organization. Those who aren't help usually leave the organization for a better one if they are able to.

As far as my engineering skills are concerned, you have no basis for deciding their value or effectiveness with so few words.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2012 11:24:11 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but you have a fundamentally flawed view of this countries former greatness. This country was built on a strong rejection of collectivism and that position continued into the modern era. "Working to help the entire nation" was never part of what made America the world-leading success it was. Rugged individualism and the strive for PERSONAL success was. Because America was the land of opportunity, and when presented with the opportunity, most all people choose to increase their quality of life.

quote:
That is the purpose of any social organization; to help the entire organization.


That's what made America so different and successful, a rejection of this flawed socialist/collectivist viewpoint you claim is the "purpose" of society.

America is an experiment. Perhaps the greatest experiment in liberty and freedom the planet has ever seen. And for the most part it was a roaring achievement. You seem to be saying we should keep going backwards and do what the rest of the world has been doing in one form or another since society began. Look at history, those other societies built on "working for the entire nation" have all failed at one point or another. Rebuilt and tried it again, and failed again.

What we concluded in our great experiment was the proof of a hypothesis unheard of in society before. That the best result came with not everyone working for the whole, but in fact, everyone working for the betterment of themselves and their families. From this emerged a stronger societal net-result on the whole. Stronger economically, morally, and a more just and fair ruling system of government.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 12:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstand me. If there is absolutely no grouping of people into a nation, there is no nation. The nation has to have a reason to exist or it shouldn't exist. I believe just as you do that individualism is what made America great, but it did make America.

The nation is a nation of laws and rules. Governments must exist to remove bad actors from the social group. The laws determine how these bad actors are defined and corrected/punished/removed.

When I say "working to help the entire nation" I mean it is the sense that a healthy heart makes a strong body. A healthy brain makes a strong body. A healthy foot makes a strong body. If the heart can make itself better, it makes the body better. If the foot can make itself better, it makes the body better.

We are individuals meant to make ourselves better, and without further effort we make the whole of our nation better in the process. It's not you vs me, it's us progressing together individually. This does mean competition in trade, production, etc. I want the government out of my hair as much as much as possible just as you want it out of yours, if not moreso.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2012 12:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Also, the experiment to which you refer is that of an experiment on a society. The conductors of this experiment had in mind some form of collectivism in order to do what they did. They decided to be as anti-collectivism as possible, but they admitted the need for organization of government all the same.

I used to consider myself an anarchist until I woke up and realized the error in that philosophy. I recognized the error in a lot of philosophies because I was willing to toss my own perceptions aside. I reject socialism as defined as a welfare state entirely. I reject communism in it's entirety as refusing the individual the rights to product of their own labor. I reject many republican philosophies because republicans have fed crony capitalists by redistributing wealth the way they see fit. I reject many democratic philosophies because they do the same and reject the idea that wealth is created through the efforts of individuals and belongs to them.

I would traditionally call myself a republican, but the party is not incorrupt. The measure of corruption in almost all the larger political parties makes me not want to associate myself with them. I define corruption as being that attribute of a person or group that takes the efforts of another for their own personal use without exchange of something of equal value in return desired by the producer of the efforts.

In modern vernacular, the current government and parties are terribad. The founding fathers were philosophers and understood what they were doing well when they did it.


RE: Involvement
By OneArmedScissorB on 2/23/2012 1:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Moreover, if you really are paying that much to the fed, then it's highly unlikely that you are middle class or unable to afford a house.


Social security tax for employee: 6.2% (temporarily 4.2%)
Medicare income tax for employee: 1.5%
Social security tax for "employer": 6.2%
Medicare income tax for "employer": 1.5%

Total minimum tax: 15.3%

I'm not counting federal income tax yet. Do you need me to keep going?

Even though I have saved the majority of my money for several years straight, the exact reason I don't have enough for a down payment on a house, despite the low interest rates, is that I'm forced to spend thousands of dollars per year, mostly on MYSELF ...except not, since most of it is going into an imploding Ponzi scheme at this point.

Gee, I wonder why the housing market blows, despite all of the government's manipulation?

I wonder why the middle class and downward have been eroding for so long?

I wonder why the stimulus isn't helping money circulate?

Go freedom, or whatever it was that this country was supposed to be about...


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 2:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gee, I wonder why the housing market blows, despite all of the government's manipulation?


Exactly. Don't point it out to the big-government types, but our housing market is about the most manipulated by the government of any housing market on Earth, or possibly in history, short of outright collectivist/Marxist state-ownership of homes, since the vast majority of mortgages are still being back-stopped by the GSE's. Lots of hate directed at banks, but the GSE's had an equal role in our woes, and yet nary a voice on the left that wants to reform them. Sadly, not much talk on the right about it either though.

The housing market would've violently but briefly corrected to the downside, cleared excess inventory from people that had over-borrowed who'd sell to those who had kept their investment powder dry, and we'd be in recovery already. Manipulation just extends the pain, lets things fester.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 3:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Just like that we'd be in recovery, huh? If there was no bailout, all those banks would've collapsed. They were on the hook for all the losses incurred in the crash. The violent correction would've decimated the financial sector and rippled throughout the economy.

It would be nice if we could undo the bubble in some way, but the people who got most of the money that everyone else lost were the ones that sold the real estate before the crash. That isn't going to change, whether you resolved the balance sheets through liquidation of the mortgage-holders or a bailout. The question is how much additional destruction you want create.

Major banks royally screwed up by misjudging risk on their loans. However, it's not like the gov't is paying off the whole mistake. Banks have lost 90% of their market value, so there isn't any impetus for them to make the same mistake again. Outright liquidation would kill every other aspect of their business that they do properly and that capitalism has refined over many decades. On top of that, they are the backbone of every financial transaction we make, so your non-bailout solution would've hammered a fragile economy.

Only the most myopic views could think that the economy would be better off without a bailout.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 5:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't mean to say we'd be in recovery in a broad sense. I meant that, after a very short, very sharp downside correction, the inventory would've cleared at fire-sale prices, and we'd of started seeing a tick up in home prices more then we have by now. That's even disconnected from the banking bailout; I agree that that was probably a necessary evil, and have posted as such before. I'm aiming more at the government leaning, HARD, on the banks to move slowly on foreclosures. The national policy towards that has pretty much been akin to trying to put toothepaste back in to a tube.

Similarly, only one State Attorney General had the balls to point out the sham that last weeks agreement was between the states and the banks; nothing more than a shake-down that benefits primarily the irresponsible who stopped paying versus those that worked hard and have stayed current. Whole things a mess.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 7:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, that's different. I misunderstood you because I thought you were proposing a fire sale as opposed to the fed's purchase of MBSs. Yeah, I'm not convinced that this legislation is that great, though I'm not exactly feeling sorry for the banks after they greedily went after these risky loans.

I don't really agree with you that we'd see higher housing prices with that method, though. A fire sale would increase supply compared to a measured approach of trying to get back every dollar it can. Besides, I'm not sure why you'd want a more extreme dip in housing prices and subsequent recovery. That's just begging lenders to play games again: "Wow, look at that housing recovery!" "Hey, you that's about to get fired: We'll give you a subprime mortgage to buy this house with zero down, because it's guaranteed to go up!"

Oh, FYI, putting toothpaste back into a tube isn't that hard :)


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 2:14:49 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
In an interview, Fisker talks about meeting with John DeLorean, who said that his biggest mistake was spending all his money on the factory.


HUH!? His biggest mistake was trying to save DeLorean Motors by financing a $24 MILLION dollar cocaine deal in 1982 and getting arrested.

His second mistake was betting his entire future on a vehicle that was never going to be more than a weird niche product destined for obscurity in the general public. Sounds familiar Fisker/Tesla?

quote:
Going for a mass market car right away is a recipe for disaster.


Oh brilliant analysis, idiot. You hear that Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan etc etc? Your strategy all those decades ago was a recipe for DISASTER!!!


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 3:07:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Oh brilliant analysis, idiot. You hear that Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan etc etc? Your strategy all those decades ago was a recipe for DISASTER!!!


I suggest you read up on those companies then.

Hyundai Motors- Part of the Hyundai Conglomerate

Toyota Motors- Founded in 1936, did not enter American Market until 1957

Honda Motors- Grew out of a thriving Engine Motors and Motorbike business

Nissan - Produced niche cars and trucks until 1931. Spent years as a Heavy Industry company before moving back into the car business in 1950 after buying IP from a European Car marker.

Mazda - Produced a 4 wheel car in 1960. Almost 30 years after the company was founded.

In conclusion, existing establish companies with years of niche or part automotive experience sheltered by favorable government policies were able to deploy low-cost mass market cars to the United States as an entry point.

Not sure how they bare any connection to a start-up company...


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 3:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse people with the facts.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 3
I suggest you follow the context of the discussion. Nothing you've said has any bearing on it at all.

When those companies entered the U.S car market, the didn't do it with super expensive offerings. They did it with cars aimed at MASS CONSUMER APPEAL. And the roaring success they enjoyed with this approach, the one he said was wrong, is history. THAT was my point.

What are you even talking about?


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 3:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
I am confused.

The context here appears to be Fisker Automotive.

Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Hyundai are not a good comparison.

Their respective entries to the US market were done using long establish success in the car industry as a base and aided by their respective governments.

This is not a model Fisker can follow. Nor is it a model you personally would support. I am not sure what these (your examples) companies have to do with Fisker.

Maybe you can draw some kind of comparison between their situations and Fisker?

For instance, consider Toyota entry to the US market nearly 20 years after producing automobiles.

It's first entry into the US market from 1957-1960 completely flopped. The Crown sold less than 300! cars over that time. The Tiara did little better (selling just more than 300 from 1960-1964). And it's hard to argue that the Land Cruiser was anything but "niche".

Geesh!

I think that's the model Fisker should follow!


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 4:00:01 PM , Rating: 3
There's nothing to be confused about!

quote:
Going for a mass market car right away is a recipe for disaster.


This is what he said, okay? I countered that by pointing out that the most successful car companies today got that way by going with a mass appeal automobile.

Were the first Honda's and Hyundai's to hit the U.S garage queen super-cars that costs 5 times more than competing brands? Were they Keeir? No, they did NOT take the Fiskar approach. Not even close.

I'm confused as to why you're confused. This is crystal clear and you're, again, baiting me to muddy the issue.

quote:
It's first entry into the US market from 1957-1960 completely flopped. The Crown sold less than 300! cars over that time.


How does a mistake invalidate my point? The Crown was poorly aimed at U.S consumers, that's why it flopped. Since the car was designed for the muddy, slow, unpaved Japanese roads, it failed the mass urban landscape of the US because of its inability to keep up with traffic on the faster interstate highways.

Just because Toyota made some HUGE initial over-sites disproves my point that mass appeal was the key to Japanese automakers eventual success? On what planet does that make sense?


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 4:14:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm confused as to why you're confused. This is crystal clear and you're, again, baiting me to muddy the issue.


No. Your attempting to sell apples that smell like oranges.

Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and Hyundai are all drastically different companies in drastically different situations.

quote:
Just because Toyota made some HUGE initial over-sites disproves my point that mass appeal was the key to Japanese automakers eventual success? On what planet does that make sense?


The only reason Toyota survived is because it was an establish company with large international sales. Which Fisker is not. Fisker can not afford to have a 2-3 models mass market models flop. It costs more than 1 billion to launch a mass-market car (10,000+ a year) without an established factory.

Different situations = Different business stradegy.

Therefore, please show me how any of the companies you listed were in a similiar situation as Fisker, since your assertion is that Fisker should use the same business stradegy.

quote:
Were the first Honda's and Hyundai's to hit the U.S garage queen super-cars that costs 5 times more than competing brands


Pretty sure Fisker's "competing" brands are

Tesla - ~80,000 min price
BMW - ~40,000 min price, ~65,000 Hybrid
Porshe - ~60,000 min price, ~80,000 Hybrid
Maseratti- ~120,000 min price


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 4:58:01 PM , Rating: 3
Keeir that wasn't his argument! That's your argument, and I completely agree with you. But that's simply not the point he was trying to make. You're making YOUR own point, but this is what HE said

quote:
People crap on the gov't subsidy for rich toys, but that's the only way to grow the economy with today's wealth gap, as the middle class is already tapped for cash and creating as much demand as they can. Going for a mass market car right away is a recipe for disaster.


He said the ONLY way to grow economically was to target the rich. Those are HIS words.


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 5:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He said the ONLY way to grow economically was to target the rich. Those are HIS words.


Yes, your the one who took Mint's post, selected a few lines to reference out of context, and compared Apples to Oranges.

If you had said in response

"No targeting the wealth isn't the only way to grow the economy. Lots of companies have been succesful growing the US economy without targeting the wealthly. The US government should not be subsidizing or encouraging niche car makers."

Instead you attack the Fisker business model based on a poor comparison to companies who all got thier start by catering to the rich or the government!

It is entirely unclear to me from your post you were refering to the quoted section above rather than a general comment on economic stradegies.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 5:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Keeir do you have to be told that nobody's perfect? Why don't you cut me some goddamn slack once in a while and can the mind-reading act? We don't get paid to post here, we're just giving our opinions!

Sorry I didn't make my point as perfectly as humanly possible, master.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 8:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He said the ONLY way to grow economically was to target the rich. Those are HIS words.
I said TODAY that's the only way to grow domestic demand aside from gov't spending, and I stand by it. How else are you going to do it? The middle and lower classes have no more undiscovered savings or spending power to tap into. There's zero indication of income growth there for a decade. Virtually every new product targeted at the middle/lower classes is substitutive, and likely reduces net jobs (automation leads to fewer employees with better compensation from the same consumer spending).

If you want sustainable economic growth, and don't want gov't spending, there's only two ways to generate new demand. Either the rich have to buy stuff, or we have to tax the savers more and the spenders less (which will only go so far anyway).


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 2:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're forgetting that economics isn't a zero-sum game. The model you seem to be operating off of doesn't allow for growth at all if there is no rich to spur growth nor a government, since with no rich to tax the government has no money to redistribute.

It's all about the specialization of labor and ever-improving labor productivity that is derived therefrom. That automation boosts the income of the engineers that maintain them, and therefore those workers productivity, yes, and yes, frees up people to do other things. Those people could then be dependent and whine, or have some motivation and foresight and re-skill (or gain new skills in advance, since things are rarely a surprise) in order to move to new jobs. Saw research just last week that pointed to 7 to 9% income gains, from increased productivity, as people leave one firm to start at another.

That's a common thing to forget on the left though, Malthusian-based world-views are very zero-sum.

As for domestic demand, given the nature of the recession is a 'balance sheet' one, the above is one of few ways to grow. Peoples debt to income ratios need to fall, which means either years of extra savings or extra income. Or defaults, which is happening. Take your pick.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 4:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
All else being equal, sure, it won't be zero-sum, but it's not. Like I said, vaious changes in society have flatlined middle and lower class real income (and thus their purchasing power). It used to grow, albeit at a slower rate than for the upper class, but even that has been absent for a decade.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the rich getting richer and being a bigger part of consumption (and thus production being tailored for them). However, when they are stingy enough with their spending that it harms demand and people sit idle despite wanting to work, then we have a problem. We're never getting those idle hours back.
quote:
frees up people to do other things. Those people could then be dependent and whine, or have some motivation and foresight and re-skill
You're really oblivious to the market today, aren't you. Yes, it should free people up to do other things, but the private market isn't interested in hiring them to do anything. That's why I say that it failed.

You really think that unemployment is due to laziness and lack of skill? Seriously? You have that much disrespect for the American people? All of a sudden 5% of the workforce decided to go from being productive to wanting to lower their standard of living by not working?

Educate yourself:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/search?st=Civ...
(I use participation to show trends in employment demand because unemployment stats stops counting people for various reasons)

Even degree holders aren't getting as many jobs, and while they're better off than the rest, there's no indication that there is any shortage of skill or labor right now. Companies have unused capacity, so even if additional demand materializes, hiring will be minimal. Unemployment may be going down, but job growth is barely outpacing population growth, despite all this stimulus.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 5:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're really oblivious to the market today, aren't you. Yes, it should free people up to do other things, but the private market isn't interested in hiring them to do anything. That's why I say that it failed.


Apparently you are; thats how it's worked historically, and recent data shows that people are starting to voluntarily leave jobs for new ones at a higher rate. It's off the lowest levels of the recession, but not back to pre-recession levels, no. But the process has started refiring.

quote:
You really think that unemployment is due to laziness and lack of skill? Seriously? You have that much disrespect for the American people? All of a sudden 5% of the workforce decided to go from being productive to wanting to lower their standard of living by not working?


Actually, that's precisely what a lot of the current problem is, and I challenge you to find economists who disagree. It's structural. There's vast job openings in engineering, the energy sector, the medical field and all the industries that feed the medical field. Siemens has been saying for years now that it'd love to expand US production, but it can't find engineers fast enough. There's a huge mismatch between the skills people have and the skills a modern economy demands. That's not going to go away without effort. If you keep up with the field, that the above is true has been accepted as fact, the only debate has been how best to get American's to retrain. Even there, I think consensus has started to form around pushing 2-year programs and public-private programs where community colleges partner with big firms and pretty much create training programs for them.

That doesn't necessarily mean I'm insulting America at large. It's just that many people funneled themselves in to real estate and construction, two industries that in our lifetimes will likely NEVER return to bubble-levels of employment. Oh, and finance, that'll probably never come back 100% either. Therefore, skill mismatch. It's obvious.

In my little anecdotal part of the country, unemployment is at 9.9% and yet job signs (like one asking for Linux admin professionals off of a major highway) go up and almost never come down. Signs saying waiters and waitresses are needed, those come down quicker. New medical complexes being built on the south side of town; they're importing people from around the country, insufficient talent locally, despite several (big) universities.

Also, job growth isn't keeping up with population growth, that requires ~500k a month. What we're seeing is labor participation dropping fast enough to compensate.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 8:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
Engineering, sure. I've heard a fair amount about that problem, and I'm in a good place there as I'm finishing up my PhD (but I'll probably start my own company, if all goes well). Medicine is always in demand, but the training system has been capping the supply of professionals for years, not due to a lack of people willing to work in the field. This is not laziness, and it will be very difficult to solve with the free market. It'll take years and probably need public spending on education.

Still, this just speaks to what I was saying earlier about lower wage jobs being replaced by fewer higher wage ones. Also, you can't train someone that didn't get admission into college (let alone highschool dropouts) into an engineer or doctor. That's where the highest unemployment is by far.

US population growth is ~1%/yr, so you only need ~110k jobs/mo to match that, not 500k. 3.1M jobs in 2 years is a bit higher than that. You're right about labor participation hiding true unemployment, though.

quote:
Apparently you are; thats how it's worked historically, and recent data shows that people are starting to voluntarily leave jobs for new ones at a higher rate.
That's great, but it's a little early to declare that middle and lower class wages are no longer stagnant, as they have been in the past decade:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IncomeInequality...
The consumption of groups with stagnant wages don't grow an economy, unless they're tapping into capital (HELOCs during the housing bubble). That well is dry now. We are at the mercy of the upper class buying stuff or increasing wages to everyone else.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/24/2012 3:25:42 PM , Rating: 1
We can agree with most of that then, except I'd also point out 2 year programs and apprenticeships aren't that hard to get in to and Germany has shown is great. Not everyone is made for 4 year programs, due to temperament, other issues. I'm definitely distressed we subsidize mass numbers of liberal arts degrees, I somehow suspect the cost-benefit to society is pretty lousy there..

Also, you're right on the workforce number, I was thinking of an older number from when the workforce was growing at a quicker clip due to immigration. Guess I should update some of my numbers at least once a decade, haha. 100 to 200k a month should be consistent with mostly stable headline unemployment numbers.


RE: Involvement
By BZDTemp on 2/22/2012 4:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's nothing to be confused about!


That is right it is clear you're wrong and desperately in denial about it.

What part of the concept "right away" in the original quote do you not understand?

Here, let me write the whole for you again "Going for a mass market car right away is a recipe for disaster.". Now tell us how the Japanese companies you mention went for a mass market right away?

It seems you simply ignore the facts that those companies was well established in their home markets before they ventured into export markets. In other words those companies did not start with cars for a mass market from day one.

Also exactly how do you imagine any new car company should go about going for a mass market right away? Enlighten us.


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 3:37:48 PM , Rating: 1
Changing the rules to apply only to car companies after they've entered the American market may be fun for you, but it doesn't make what he said any less relevant. The point was that those companies didn't just up and decide to make a huge number of cars that may or may not appeal to everyone. They started out smaller and once they were established, THEN they went for mass market appeal. Why not start out doing that? I'm going to guess that the resources required to make that many cars is pretty large, so they've decided to start small and build. For a car company just starting out, that doesn't seem like such a bad idea.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 3:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
So when those companies first entered the market, their cars were 4 times more expensive than competing models? Is that what you're trying to say?


RE: Involvement
By mephit13 on 2/22/2012 4:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
You seem confused. Try re-reading what I wrote as that was nowhere near what I wrote.

Still no? Ok, I'll try to sum it up; those companies didn't start out selling a huge number of cars that appeal to everyone, largely because that's impossible for a company just starting out. They branched out to the greater car market from an established related industry/market. Fisker is taking a different approach as a start up with their goal of branching out to the greater car market after they have established themselves in a related market.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 8:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
How is Fisker charging 4x more than competing models? Do you know how much a Quattroporte, Rapide, Panamera hybrid, etc. cost?

Fisker is the only PHEV maker that is barely charging a premium over its competition, because it's attacking a market where it can do so.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 3:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
A start up company that creates a new market can do whatever it wants. The market of moving people around via a electric/mechanical box isn't a new market. Fischer is a startup that must enter the market that exists in a way that will fill a hole in the market, if there isn't a hole the company will fail; if the business model is simply to gain government subsidies and grants, it's not filling a hole either. Government doesn't create real demand for average consumers and never can.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 3:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
an*
Fisker*


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 8:03:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
His biggest mistake was trying to save DeLorean Motors by financing a $24 MILLION dollar cocaine deal
That's irrelevant. The company was going to run out of capital even if he didn't do that. For you to interchange cause and effect like that and get rated up for it is astounding.

quote:
His second mistake was betting his entire future on a vehicle that was never going to be more than a weird niche product destined for obscurity in the general public.
There's a plethora of niche products in the free market, and only a moron thinks otherwise. However, almost all of the ones that need expensive machinery to build have their production subcontracted. His biggest mistake was, as I stated, spending all his capital on the factory.

quote:
Oh brilliant analysis, idiot. You hear that Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan etc etc? Your strategy all those decades ago was a recipe for DISASTER!!!
Today's market bears little resemblance to the one from 60-90 years ago, dumbass.

Name one car company started from scratch that built a mass market car in the last 40 years. Every surviving car startup in last few decades has attacked niche markets. Ariel, McLaren, Pagani, etc.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 1:43:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Thats the crony-capitalist side. The populist pandering to the masses with unsustainable social welfare programs and policies end result is on display across the pond.

Germans disagree with you with their "unsustainable" welfare policies.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 2:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
Whether something is sustainable or not isn't what makes it good or bad. Taking money from the person who created the wealth that it was traded for is theft if they do not get something in return of equal value.


RE: Involvement
By theaerokid on 2/22/2012 2:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
British, Italians, Spanish, Greeks, etc. disagree with you and the Germans.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 2:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
So what? Germany shows that "socialism" can work. It will never fly here in the good old USA since we ALL think that we are just temporarily inconvenienced millionaires.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 2:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
We have more than our fair share of "socialism" here, and it's certainly not "working" in our favor.

I love how Liberals have revised their "socialism works in Europe" to now "socialism works in Germany" that most of Europe is now crumbling. I guess when Germany falls they'll just say "socialism works in -insert country that hasn't collapsed yet here-"

What's helping Germany and Norway are massive trade surpluses. They aren't into "free trade" like we are. They don't buy cheap goods from China. Hell Wal-Mart tried to open shop in Germany and it didn't work, the people wouldn't accept it. A whopping 37% of Germany's GDP is from trade exports! Ours is...LMAO!! Liberals have pretty much directly blocked us from exporting any natural resource worth selling, regardless of demand. And socialist policies have devastated our manufacturing ability.

Anyway more importantly than economics, socialism is morally and ethically wrong. It destroys the individual for the supposed benefit of all. The end result of socialism is mediocrity and the destruction of private wealth. That is simply wrong, and not sustainable. If you think it's so great, fine, move to Germany or wherever.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 2:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
You make a good point that rarely gets made; Germany's success is partly a matter of luck that its as unbalanced as other countries, just in the export side versus the over-consuming Greeks. Germany fosters the imbalance by encouraging its own people to boost consumption, partly by having the same sort of rigid, closed-off services industries that Germany demands the Greeks and Italians deregulate!

Didn't also mention that Norway and Sweden are helped by having large landmasses, oil, and mostly culturally homogenous populations that aren't as fractious as most normal countries.

We've made these points before though. This guy cherry picks one country where "socialism" (which is rather limited compared to its peers -- the minimum wage is a recent and still controversial idea there) happens to be working today and ignores that economists of all stripes point out its own unsustainable deep flaws.

And with Germany's shrinking population, especially native Germans, they have the same massive problems looming over the next 10 or 20 years.

But this guy never likes to address those things. He'll start calling us ignorant sub-human bigots in a sec.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 3:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's helping Germany and Norway are massive trade surpluses. They aren't into "free trade" like we are.

Why should we be into free trade when China/Korea don't play fair by artificially depressing their currency?

quote:
And socialist policies have devastated our manufacturing ability.

Socialist policies are working just fine for Germany's manufacturing ability.

Germany works well because their government acted smart and properly regulated many things, like housing:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/business/economy...

quote:
Anyway more importantly than economics, socialism is morally and ethically wrong. It destroys the individual for the supposed benefit of all

You're welcome to live by yourself in the mountains and fend for your own food, health, etc. People work much better in social groups and this mindset of "me! me! me!" without caring for anyone else has to be balanced by the need for the benefit of all. Neither full on capitalism nor socialism is the right answer the extremes of both will end in disaster. One person can only consume so much wealth and the rest of it is better off given to those who need it.

The biggest problem is that US politics are awful and even the best candidate we have, Obama, isn't very good. I still can't get over the fact that lobbying is legal through a gross misuse of the first amendment. Free speech to endorse a political candidate only works when every one has the same amount of "speech".


RE: Involvement
By theaerokid on 2/22/2012 4:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One person can only consume so much wealth and the rest of it is better off given to those who need it.


Who decides what that limit is? When we give the "government" the power to decide we sacrifice freedom and hand over our treasure to a group of people who collectively prove to be poor stewards of it time and again.

Real freedom means that the person who has legally acquired such wealth should have the choice to dispose of it as their own morals see fit. It's only a moral virtue when you give it because you think it's the right thing to do; not when it's taken away from you forcibly. I voluntarily donate a significant portion of my income as I see fit, and I'm not a wealthy executive. I'm a code monkey who's about to get back to bit twiddling.

I would remind Michael Moore and his fellow hypocrite socialists that they are, in fact, free to write a big check to the government (if they're so worthy of having it) and I can handle the allocation of my paycheck just fine and still be good to others.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 4:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who decides what that limit is? When we give the "government" the power to decide we sacrifice freedom and hand over our treasure to a group of people who collectively prove to be poor stewards of it time and again.

That limit is already extremely generous, a few percent increase in capital gains taxes, or better, taxing it like regular income would go a long way of making it fair for everyone in this country. You should always err on the side of being generous to your citizens, of course. Taxes on corporations are also just taxes on regular people, which should also be abolished.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 9:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why should we be into free trade when China/Korea don't play fair by artificially depressing their currency?


First of all, economists debate if over the last year or so China's currency hasn't come in to striking range of where it might rationally be expected to float at.

Second of all, while casting a stone at China, ponder the connection between our "quantitative easing" policies and the value of a currency.

quote:
Socialist policies are working just fine for Germany's manufacturing ability.


Explain how socialism is a boon to the Mittelstand. Here I was thinking the hard process of holding wages down by telling unions to shut up in order to boost competitiveness and relative hands-off regulatory approach to certain industries was a large part of why Germany happens to be where it is now. But no, go explain the boon socialism plays in creating the Mittelstand machine.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 10:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here I was thinking the hard process of holding wages down by telling unions to shut up in order to boost competitiveness and relative hands-off regulatory approach to certain industries was a large part of why Germany happens to be where it is now.

Do you realize you just contradicted yourself in the same sentence? The wages would be impossible to hold down if they didn't have the safety net they had...


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
What is the connection between safety net and wages? Is this some new theory not in the books? The Cordurogyt Wage-Safety Theorem? Prove your thesis.

No, what happened was something like this, similar to frank discussions had between management and unions in the US. The government said to unions, if you want to keep your jobs we must be competitive on unit-labor costs, so your options are to forego 'real' wage increases for some time until we're highly competitive, or remain weakly competitive and suffer. The unions, being some of the smarter unions in the world, decided they'd take no/minimal wage increases and keep their jobs.

Safety net wasn't a factor, since layoffs weren't really part of the equation. Just less short-term in wages for ensuring much more income longer term.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/28/2012 1:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Safety net wasn't a factor, since layoffs weren't really part of the equation. Just less short-term in wages for ensuring much more income longer term

More fundie bs from you. They could afford to have low wages because they wouldn't have to worry about having money to fund a sudden need they might have, such as an expensive operation that a company here wouldn't cover, because it was covered quite well.

Germany shows how it is done, it's about time we looked at them and did the same.


RE: Involvement
By Kyuu on 2/22/2012 3:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, let's revise history and pretend that free-market capitalism worked/works perfectly and that all evils are the result of those damn hippies (socialists). Nothing ever went wrong before we let those damn socialists in the picture. We need to bring back the McCarthy-era and persecuate Commies and socialists!

Meanwhile, in reality, neither capitalism nor socialism work perfectly all the time, and socialism vs. capitalism certainly isn't a matter of morals or ethics. The ultimate result of "pure" capitalism is an elite upper-class that controls 99% of the weath while the rest of the population that is actually responsible for producing the goods and services that drive the economy fight for the left-overs while spending the majority of their lives working in whatever conditions the elite figure they will tolerate without dying/committing suicide en-mass/revolting. And yeah, my capitalism doomsday scenario has just as much merit and evidence as your socialism doomsday scenario of no private wealth and mediocrity. Because nothing exceptional has ever come from any non-fully-capitalist society and certainly there have never been wealthy individuals from non-fully-capitalist societies.

I certainly don't think it's moral to assign healthcare to private industry where profit margins and the whims of shareholders are more important than people's health.

But yeah, luckily the population in general is gradually overcoming the collective phobia over the word "socialism" that has been imprinted into Americans forever. And note, I'm not saying the U.S. should become a socialist country. That's not the point.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 9:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ah yes, let's revise history and pretend that free-market capitalism worked/works perfectly and that all evils are the result of those damn hippies (socialists).


Neither is perfect, but the historical record on which produces overall wealthier countries is clear.

quote:
The ultimate result of "pure" capitalism is an elite upper-class that controls 99% of the weath


Yes, because 1% of the population of Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, and various Eastern European countries in the post-Soviet era, that perfectly describes them. 1% riding around in lambo's, 99% cleaning their boots. Funny, thought Ireland has before and is perennially in the running as one of the best places on Earth to live. Must've been wrong, those low tax rates, I bet Dublin is one big slum!

quote:
But yeah, luckily the population in general is gradually overcoming the collective phobia over the word "socialism" that has been imprinted into Americans forever.


Imprinted in to the constitution, actually. Given its endured longer and better than any other in modern times and gave rise to a superpower I'd think people wouldn't be so quick to trash it, but there's no accounting for education.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 3:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Neither is perfect, but the historical record on which produces overall wealthier countries is clear.
The biggest problem with you hardcore capitalists is that you rely way too much on history and ignore changes in society.

I'm not going to deny that the route taken by the US was very good in the past. For most of the 20th century, capitalism was the way to go. We benefited from a nice coincidence in how natural demand wound up distributing wages and creating almost full employment despite a reasonable min wage that kept the masses happy. Unfortunately, the evolution of society has changed the equilibrium point now.

quote:
Funny, thought Ireland has before and is perennially in the running as one of the best places on Earth to live. Must've been wrong, those low tax rates, I bet Dublin is one big slum!
LOL, do you have any idea how screwed Ireland is now? 15% unemployment, record number of welfare claimants, virtually bankrupt gov't? They were dependent on their banking industry, which served the world economy. Looking at their glory years in isolation is like looking at New York in isolation. If NYC became its own country, it could also have rock bottom tax rate, but it gets all its financial business from the rest of the US/world. The reality is that it is a cherry-picked part of a bigger economy.

I actually wouldn't mind if 99% cleaned their boots, provided that boot cleaning was at minimum wage, but that's not where we're headed. They won't want 99 boot cleaners each; rather someone will hire a couple engineers to design one, produce it, and the 1% will buy that at a fraction of the cost. This is the end game that capitalism without any trace of socialism is unable to deal with.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 5:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The biggest problem with you hardcore capitalists is that you rely way too much on history


Hahaha, you're right, to hell with historical data, the warm fuzzy feelings of socialism are right by default. Thank you for reinforcing the stereotype that exists that the lefts thought processes aren't motivated by fact, reason and history but bleeding hearts.

quote:
They were dependent on their banking industry, which served the world economy.


Mmm, kinda yes, kinda no. They had an outsized banking sector for the size of their economy, yes, and it was a huge mistake to try to bail it out. They'd of been better served with the free market approach -- but it was forced on them by the Germans, who feared the damage it'd do to their domestic banks. Ireland fell on their sword. They also had an overheated housing market, big time. The point is, Ireland's underlying economy has FAR more potential to outgrow its current woes, and I've seen no one suggesting otherwise. People talk about Italian and Greek default because no one can figure how the heck those rigid economies can grow out from under those debt mountains. So, you're mischaracterizing a lot of Ireland's situation, and ignoring that other freer-market places are more diversified then, say, New York.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 9:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for reinforcing the stereotype that conservatives like you ignore logic, rely on outdated data, and live in a fantasy world from 100 years ago.
quote:
So, you're mischaracterizing a lot of Ireland's situation, and ignoring that other freer-market places are more diversified then, say, New York.
How exactly is Ireland so much less socialist than the US? It has universal healthcare paid 80% by the public, third highest unemployment benefits in the OECD, generous old age pensions, etc. Its public expenditure is 52% of GNI :
http://www.ronanlyons.com/2010/11/02/where-should-...

You also missed the point: I'm not saying NY is freer than the rest of the US, I'm saying that IF it was allowed to secede and stop being a net contributor to federal and state gov'ts then it could drastically lower taxes while balancing the budget.


RE: Involvement
By theaerokid on 2/22/2012 3:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway more importantly than economics, socialism is morally and ethically wrong. It destroys the individual for the supposed benefit of all. The end result of socialism is mediocrity and the destruction of private wealth.


Exactly. Socialism tries to legitimize envy by institutionalizing theft and calling it a moral imperative. We're not buying it.

A few choice quotes:
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virture is the equal sharing of misery" - Winston Churchill

"They [socialists] always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them." - Margaret Thatcher, in a TV interview for Thames TV This Week on Feb. 5, 1976

Regarding the moral dimension, Marxism asserts that having something means you have misappropriated it from someone else and that private property "alienates" humans from their humanity, therefore it is inherently evil. It proposes that any work for a wage is demeaning because:
a) you're not working directly to satisfy your needs, (as if you could meet all your needs yourself and had no need for a market to exchange valuables and meet your needs) and

b) you're making someone else wealthy, conveniently excluding the possibility that you might be making yourself wealthy in the process as well.

This brilliant bit of "philosophy" coming from a guy who mooched off his wealthy friend Engels earlier in life, and later enjoyed his wife's multiple inheritances. Fast forward to today people are trying to turn The Land of the Free into The Land of the Freebie. Bravo...


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 3:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly. Socialism tries to legitimize envy by institutionalizing theft and calling it a moral imperative. We're not buying it.

Not caring about the society you live in but only about yourself is a mental disease and it's immoral and unethical as well.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 3:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it's a lot easier to support socialism if you believe it's all about "caring for society", and that the alternative is a bunch of selfish savages trying to get rich at all costs.

Man when put like that, I love socialism too!!!

But back to reality cord, it's nothing of the sort. In fact socialism breeds MORE apathy and less caring about your society. Because you're lulled into a mentality where YOU don't have to care, because the all-knowing all-powerful Government is doing the caring for you.

It's called responsibility. When you're responsible for something, you care about it more. When a ruling party or Government takes all responsibility for society, so you don't have to, that's not a positive in my book.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 3:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact socialism breeds MORE apathy and less caring about your society. Because you're lulled into a mentality where YOU don't have to care, because the all-knowing all-powerful Government is doing the caring for you.

Since government is made up of people, and it's supposed to be for people, that can be made to run better. If a guy on unemployment benefits is given a part time job in exchange for scrutinizing about how others' benefits are valid or not, he'll do that job diligently, as such an example.

Besides, you should NEVER have to care if you have the money to afford treatment in a developed country.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 4:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a guy on unemployment benefits is given a part time job in exchange for scrutinizing about how others' benefits are valid or not, he'll do that job diligently, as such an example.


What?

Do you even realize that, for decades now, most parts of Europe have 20%+ unemployment annually? And that's considered normal there. If what you're saying had any real basis in fact, why is that the case?

quote:
Besides, you should NEVER have to care if you have the money to afford treatment in a developed country.


That's an opinion. And whether you care or not, free healthcare isn't free. SOMEONE is paying for your healthcare.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

(Margaret Thatcher)


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 4:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you even realize that, for decades now, most parts of Europe have 20%+ unemployment annually? And that's considered normal there. If what you're saying had any real basis in fact, why is that the case?


Incorrect. Though the truth is bad enough

France ~10%
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z8o7pt...

Of the "major" European countries, only Spain really hits the 20% figue. But economic group wide, ~9-10% for the past 20 years would be fairly normal


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 4:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you even realize that, for decades now, most parts of Europe have 20%+ unemployment annually? And that's considered normal there. If what you're saying had any real basis in fact, why is that the case?

Germany doesn't have 20%+ unemployment

quote:
That's an opinion.

"Slavery is wrong" is also an opinion. Of course you'd have to be a hardcore misanthrope to not share either one with me.

quote:
And whether you care or not, free healthcare isn't free. SOMEONE is paying for your healthcare.

It's better to get hundreds of people free healthcare than let Romney (or anyone else really) keep a couple more million dollars in his investment accounts, or even better, he could just donate it for healthcare of the needy instead of the Mormon church. All the millions donated for useless institutions like churches so they can spread more intellectual darkness would be better spent on healthcare for our own citizens.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 4:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's better to get hundreds of people free healthcare than let Romney (or anyone else really) keep a couple more million dollars in his investment accounts


That's an interesting choice of words. "Let someone" keep money they earned and invest. Let. Let? Will you "let" me get rich Cord? Or if not, how much will you "let" me earn before you decide I've had enough? You ARE your brothers keeper I see.

I think this conversation has gone far enough. If you cannot see the inherent wrongness of the belief in a system of government or society where we actively seek to legislate the potential of the human spirit, I can't help you.

quote:
Germany doesn't have 20%+ unemployment


And as we've tried to tell you, Germany is FAR from being the poster child of classic socialism. Germany is the powerhouse it is today because of CAPITALISM, not socialism.


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 4:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All the millions donated for useless institutions like churches so they can spread more intellectual darkness would be better spent on healthcare for our own citizens.


While I don't think a religious institution is best suited to the task...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDS_Humanitarian_Serv...

Keep in mind a large portion of religious donations are in turn invested in humanitarian aid projects, both local and international.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 5:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
Helping people in exchange for invading and polluting their minds with fantastic dogma is not really helping them...Religion needs to be eradicated as much as poverty and hunger and disease need to be...


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 5:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Helping people in exchange for invading and polluting their minds with fantastic dogma is not really helping them...Religion needs to be eradicated as much as poverty and hunger and disease need to be...


Reading comprehension is required I think.

http://www.lds.org/library/page/display/0,7098,620...

I am unaware of the large Mormon populations in Somoa, Pakistan, or Indonesia.

It appears that Mormon humanitarian aid is often provided regardless of religion, and does not have a significant affect on conversion.

Now Mormon MISSIONARY work is quite the reverse.

quote:
Religion needs to be eradicated as much as poverty and hunger and disease need to be


No. A reliance on dogmatic and ideolical thought over facts and data needs to be eradicated. Some religions some of the time encourage this mind state. Other ideoligies do the same thing... as is evident from your posting.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 5:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
You just defined religion, which is dogmatic and ideological thoughts over facts. Encouraging this "some of the time" does not mean it's forcing dogma on you on other times and it should be destroyed. Therefore we're just saying the same thing.


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 7:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
No. You just defined religion as
quote:
dogmatic and ideological thoughts over facts.


quote:
Therefore we're just saying the same thing.


Not at all.

You (as I understand from the context of your post) do not like religions that encourage conversion.

I do not like any belief that prevents one from thinking rationally.

While these concepts have overlap, they also do not eclipse each other.

Some individuals who profess a belief in some religious systems are less handcappied than those that while completely secular adhere to certain other moral beliefs. For example, that Healthcare should be provided to all.

Personally, I find your misguided logic based on fictions which could be easily researched nearly as dogmatic and offensive as many religious people.

For example, "Religion" is a broad word, for which I doubt a decription of some Catholic, Christian, etc organizations should be used a fundamental description.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 7:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some individuals who profess a belief in some religious systems are less handcappied than those that while completely secular adhere to certain other moral beliefs. For example, that Healthcare should be provided to all.

The moral belief of universal healthcare is not based on superstition and faith like a religious belief. Not only it's obvious when using logic just like "slavery is bad, nazis are bad, war is bad", but it's been shown in studies that quality of life is higher in places with universal healthcare. So no, it's not baseless dogma like religion, it's based on studies, facts, and basic human reasoning and empathy.

Nice try though, by the way all religions are unequivocally bad, I don't differentiate between them.


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 8:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
Your entire post and position are completely opposite.

Nowhere do I see a facts and data approach to showing Unversial Healthcare is good. Or even something that is "traceable". I see repeated again and again the blind belief that Universal Healthcare is the "right" thing to do.

Facts and data would suggest that "Universal Healthcare" will work if
A. Is able to be implemented
B. People are willing to pay for it today
C. People are willing to pay for it tomorrow
D. People are willing to accept loss of freedom

In regards to the US nationwide, its hard to see how A, B, C, or D have been shown.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 10:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nowhere do I see a facts and data approach to showing Unversial Healthcare is good.


The US ranks pretty low in life expectancy and infant mortality rate, amongst other metrics behind those countries with universal health care, despite spending more than twice as much money per capita.

There is NO QUESTION that it's a better system, just like there is NO QUESTION that Nazis are bad guys. People are already paying more for healthcare today in this country due to many factors, and UHC would just mean paying the same or less, but getting better coverage.

Every legislation is a loss of freedom for some and a gain in freedom for others. You are no longer free to own slaves like you did 150 years ago in some evil states, but I'm sure the would-be slaves appreciate it today.


RE: Involvement
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 4:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
A bad liver doesn't help the body. It's important for the liver to be heathly before the body can be.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 9:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not caring about the society you live in but only about yourself is a mental disease and it's immoral and unethical as well.


Here is the root of where you are entirely and completely wrong. I know you don't like arguing established theory and facts and logic because the weight of economic thought and research runs opposite to your politics, but Adam Smith (and his influences, like Hume) came to the realization that the optimal way to achieve a prosperous society is for people to pursue their own interests, as those own interests often have positive outcomes for society.

Look up Smith, that cornerstone of modern economic thought, and debunk it. If entirely successful, you could publish a paper, possibly get a Nobel prize in Economics for this year, because Marxists have been trying ever since.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 10:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Adam Smith (and his influences, like Hume) came to the realization that the optimal way to achieve a prosperous society is for people to pursue their own interests, as those own interests often have positive outcomes for society.

Because the mortgage lenders, banks, and even consumers who wanted bigger nicer homes pursued their own interests and they were permitted to do so thanks to deregulation, we had the giant economic crisis of 2008. There, now git...

Adam Smith's world had very few people compared to ours and his policies might work in a smaller scale. You definitely need regulation and intervention on a bigger scale.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 2:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
Smith acknowledged the need for minimal oversight. Further, the mortgage lenders and banks were running amok on mortgages backed but the implicit guarantee of the Treasury. It's not clear it'd of been half as nasty if real investors were having to put up their own money to buy mortgages. So, lets not pretend that the severity of the current crisis is due to the free market. Run of the mill recessions are good in that they weed out weak firms, and are normal, but this was different -- and also the first major disruption to the "rich" world in nearly a hundred years.

Also easy monetary policy likely had a hand in it. Again, free markets have nothing to do with manipulated fiat currencies.

You failed to make any logical argument as to how individuals acting of their own prerogative, generally speaking, and taking private risks that do some times fail, is an inferior way to generate wealth for an entire economy. Population size is irrelevant, since anyone thats taken two seconds of an econ class knows that theoretical models start with 1 individual, the 'David Caruso' models, then expand to 2, etc. Don't feel bad, your kind has been trying to dethrone him for over 200 years.

Btw, even European leaders know you're full of failed extremist Marx and Malthus-based ideologies. They've been saying in private for 10 or 15 years now that they knew they needed massive reform, simply didn't know how to get re-elected afterwords. They waited too late to cast off your ideologies (which, in the sweep of economic history, are actually extremely 'conservative').


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 3:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
Something that is a good point the others made, but bears repeating

Germany "socialism" works because other countries are not German socialist. Germany has managed through a combination of natural resources, human capital, and good luck to become the dominate European producer. This is the fundamental flaw in how the EU is currently set up. German views its successes as its "own" rather than as a function of it access to "foriegn" markets. Europeans want the rewards of integration, without the shared cost...or shared responsibility.


RE: Involvement
By corduroygt on 2/22/2012 3:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
So when the germans do it, it's luck? I'm also unaware of any natural resources in abundant amounts in Germany any more than what we have here in the US.

When the US was dominant in the 50's and 60's, what was the top tax rate?


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 3:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
You just refuse to understand.

When you draw a box, you draw it too small.

For instance, consider the state of the world in 1950. The European landmass and human capital was clearly devastated by WWII. Russia and China were disrated by ideologic questions. So that leaves South America and Africa.

The US was dominate in the 1950s and 60s because it was the only country in the position to exploit economically the peace following WWII. For all we know that top tax rate is one of the factors that ensured that instead of a 100+ years of US economic domination, the US only managed around 30.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualti...

US death rate 0.32%
France 1.35%
Germany 10%
USSR 13%

Today, German success or failure can not be viewed outside of the larger EU collective. Germany outcompetes its EU neighbors, allowing a socialist society. If the entire world was socialist though... there is no one left to outcompete.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 9:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the entire world was socialist though... there is no one left to outcompete.


That gets at a point I was making, too, that he didn't respond to since it caused him some cognitive dissonance, regarding Germany's inherent economic imbalances.

In this case, it's Germany's huge trade surplus and it's reliance thereupon. The entire world can't run a trade surplus; Earth may one day have trading partners, but for now, our current account books must balance. Export-lead growth is a model thats worked out well when not strangled by government for developing economies, but writ large it causes global problems.

quote:
The US was dominate in the 1950s and 60s because it was the only country in the position to exploit economically the peace following WWII.


Yep, another good point that you've made to him before that he doesn't reply to.


RE: Involvement
By BZDTemp on 2/22/2012 4:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
The money has not been sunk into anything. The money has been lend to a company that has a good chance of becoming a success which will mean the money comes back with interest.

Is there a risk, sure but that goes for every investment.

As for what goes on across the pond. Sure it's not as great as a couple of years ago and Greece in big trouble. But may I suggest you try and compare the debt Greece has with the debt the US is in. When you do you'll find the numbers per capita are very similar. And if you take a look at the EU as a whole you'll find the crisis is a lot better than you'd think. We don't have broke home owners resorted to living in tents or on the street to name just one thing. Taxes may be high in the EU but once you factor in that those taxes pays for health care, education and so on it's actually a pretty good deal. No one here with a sick family member needs to fear loosing their job means no health insurance.


RE: Involvement
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2012 4:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is there a risk, sure but that goes for every investment.


That "investment" was made with other people's money. Ours. Thus it's not an investment.

And since when was our Government supposed to be in the business of a venture capitalist even while we're ourselves virtually bankrupt?

But I see you're European so it's a waste of time even talking to you. Fisker has been a total flop IN Europe. How in the hell do they have a "good" chance of being a success here?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/10/22...

Making cars nobody wants isn't what I call the path to success.


RE: Involvement
By Mint on 2/23/2012 9:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
Where's your proof that "Fisker has been a total flop IN Europe"? You just get to state some BS and it passes for fact?

How are limited subsidies to green tech so different from government funded research? The majority of research doesn't wind up benefiting society in any useful way, but the big discoveries make a huge impact. VC is very similar.

Batteries won't go down in cost by themselves. There's little impetus from portable electronics to have 5000+ cycle lifetime. 1 kWh charge/discharge on the grid is probably worth $0.05, while in a car it's worth $0.50, so the former is not going to drive battery tech. Nobody is going to front the investment costs of research and production tech if everyone benefits (it'll be impossible to hide that kind of technology).

As for that Forbes link, since when do they value GHG reduction in coal powered states over everything else? They don't care about reducing oil imports and the trade deficit? They don't care about urban air pollution? They don't care about a silent ride in a luxury sports car?

When 3,000 people give a car startup a down payment before any public test drive, you're failing pretty hard in saying Fisker is "making cars nobody wants".


RE: Involvement
By Keeir on 2/22/2012 5:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Taxes may be high in the EU but once you factor in that those taxes pays for health care, education and so on it's actually a pretty good deal. No one here with a sick family member needs to fear loosing their job means no health insurance.


No offense, but your not thinking straight.

Lets compare France (Example EU country) and the US in a few ways.

US has consistently low unemployment than France.
US has more than 40% higher GDP per capita post PPP per IMF calculations. And a 10% higher nominal GDP per capita.
France's Government typically accounts for ~50% of its GDP or more.
US's Government typically accounts for ~35% of GDP (Local, State, and Federal)

This means that after tax drag, the Average US citizen should enjoy around a ~80% higher PPP leveled income and a ~40% higher nominal income. The average family of four in the US has around 35,000 after tax drag if you factor employee healthcare into the equation. Would around 15,000 a year pay for the private market solutions to the Socialized programs of France? That's the question.... but I think to support the concept that its a good deal to live in EU, one really needs to provide some data... not just warm fuzzies that a small subsection of the population is better off.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/22/2012 9:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
The way the thread worked out, I saw this post, the best rebuttal, last. He was too busy looks like making hot-air posts and unsupported accusations (has he ever cited stats like you did?) and asserting his theology (Marxism) is superior to everyone elses to get to that post.


RE: Involvement
By BZDTemp on 2/23/2012 3:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
You want data - how about this from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/world-happiest-co...

Now tell me again that the system here doesn't work. Look at the #1 spot on the list - that's also a country with a record big public sector and record high taxes.

GDP per capita is one way to measure it does not tell the whole story. Lets take the calculation you put up about an average family then you forgot to factor in the money set aside to put the kids through college. Also talking about an average family is all fine but how about the family where the parents lost their jobs - how are they doing for health insurance and money to fund the kids education. Seems to me in the US one loses all where as in the EU one loses a job.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 2:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, there's some country, Bhutan I think it is, whose king declares his country excels in Gross Domestic Happiness. Sounds awesome, nevermind its a very, very poor country.

Then there's another issue: Is happiness the prime direction of government? The constitution in the US states that the belief here, among the founders, was that the role of government was enable the pursuit thereof, not ensure its outcome. People were free to improve themselves or not.

And finally, slaves can likely be very content as well, as long as they're treated well. Does that make it right or better? If an autocrat comes along saying we'll all be happier if we only bow and kiss his boot, would you whip out that retarded chart, think about it, and then bend your knee? Given Europes history, probably would.

Final problem: I thought it was well known that interpersonal comparisons of utility were nearly impossible.. Rank-ordering, but not of that sort, which means that survey is cute but nothing can scientifically, with an honest face, be drawn from it.

Anyway, thanks for resorting to something nebulous like smiles and puppydog kisses as a way of admitting you have no real, solid data. My puppy gives better kisses then your puppy.


RE: Involvement
By Ringold on 2/23/2012 6:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
DT as a survey of the left-

One leftist comparing puppy kisses, one unable to strike at Smith or, really, make any factually supported point and thus falls back on anti-religious bigotry, and another giving up and saying the problem with capitalists is their dogged reliance on historical data. Economics can't be treated like any other science, apparently.

Do you guys know how intellectually bankrupt the lefts ideology looks when thats the best ya'll can do? Push comes to shove, and you guys fall back to warm feelings, ignoring history, and bigotry against those with different views.


They Just Need Some Catchy Ads...
By mmatis on 2/24/2012 7:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
like this one for the Chevy Volt:
http://www.wtam.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsar...

}:-]




Well at Least...
By mmatis on 2/24/2012 5:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
a Fisker isn't a Tesla:
http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/23/tesla-motors-sol...

Of course, with the battery totally discharged, I suppose it would not be as likely to explode as a Chevy Volt.




“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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