Chatting with Obama by Bill O’Reilly
I really wish people understood capitalism. Capitalism requires regulation. It was known to all the economist in Adam Smith’s time that the government must regulate or powerful forces that would not allow the free market to function as it should – which destroys the potential of capitalism. This is not some minor point, it is absolutely essential to the theory of how capitalism provides value to society.
The ignorance that equates allowing manipulation of the market by powerful forces undermining capitalism (which is supported by those that claim to support capitalism – “regulation distorting free markets”) with disrupting the free market annoys me. I know I should accept that ignorance is just rampant but sometimes I can’t get over it. I truly support capitalism and seeing it abused by so many ignorant pundits and politicians is distressing.
And when those with influence constantly reinforce ideas based on ignorance then many, that can’t think for themselves, accept idiotic ideas like “free markets” should allow oligopolies to consolidate reducing the benefits of capitalism, that polluters should be allowed to push negative externalities onto the public, that allowing trust fund babies to receive massive inheritances is good (capitalism is meant to reward those that contribute, not reward those who were related to someone useful) and that the inheritance tax is bad (it is the BEST tax that exists, arguably along with taxes on negative externalities) and on and on.
The idiotic idea that government regulation of markets is interference is equivalent to saying police interfere with freedom by enforcing laws against violent crime. Yes the watchmen must be watched. You can have bad policing and bad regulation; but the idea that policing the free market, in itself is wrong, is so ignorant we have to stop accepting such claims as if they were anything but ravings of radicals or ignorant people (or people that are both).
By the way I am using ignorant with the sense of “lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified.” Sometimes the word is used to claim the other person’s opinion is wrong, which is not an accurate way to use the word. It is my opinion that those espousing crazy ideas like, free markets are those without regulation, don’t understand capitalism is based upon the idea of perfect competition. If they do, but have decided that fundamental aspect (along with negative externalities, rewards based on who your parents are instead of what you produce…) of capitalism is wrong, but they have a new theory that somehow updates capitalism I am waiting to hear about it. I am basing my guess of their ignorance on their statement seeming to be completely disconnected with capitalist theory.
The growth in the number of jobs in the USA continues to be bad. The growth in jobs has been very poor thus far this century. The good news has been unemployment has been fairly low, it now sits at a 4 year high of 5.7% (which is not great but not horrible by historic standards).
Update: today the labor department announced the unemployment rate increased to 6.1%.
This year the news has been worse, with actually declining numbers of jobs and some economics see No job turnaround on horizon:
“I’m not expecting increases in employment until next year because in the second half of this year we’ll see very lethargic economic growth,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers. The Conference Board has created a new reading called the Employment Trends Index, which combines a number of different economic readings to predict when employment will turn higher or lower. The index, which typically signals three to six months before job losses will turn to job gains, has yet to show signs of a recovery.
“We think the unemployment rate will keep growing, probably reach between 6 to 6.5% by mid 2009 and only start declining in the second half of next year,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board.
* Money – less money on replacements and monthly utilities.
* Time – less time at hardware stores and climbing ladders.
* Earth – less burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Very nice example. I do think including time in personal finance discussions makes sense. At times people seem to spend far too long on minimal savings (and/or buy things that break, don’t work well, require extra time to use…), in my opinion.
The results are laid out in a state-by-state breakdown.The District, the researchers found, would save $9.90 for every dollar invested, or $57 million over five years. Maryland would save $6 for every dollar, for $332 million over five years, and Virginia would save $385 million — $5.20 for every dollar spent.
The researchers arrived at their numbers by calculating potential decreases in several chronic diseases based on a $10 investment per person. They found that community health programs could reduce rates of diabetes and high blood pressure by 5 percent within two years and reduce the incidence of some forms of cancer and arthritis within 10 to 20 years.
The current health care system is not working. It is far too costly. It is not effective. It is a disease management system not a health care system. The damage to the economy of this broken health care system is huge.
Twenty-nine percent of people in their late 60s were working in 2006, up from 18 percent in 1985, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 6 million workers last year were 65 or over. Over the next decade, the number of 55-and-up workers is expected to rise at more than five times the rate of the overall work force, the BLS reported.
Working another three years — from 62 to 65, for example — and continuing to save 15 percent of salary could raise annual income from investments by 22 percent. Make it five years and boost savings contributions still higher — even better.
Putting off retirement also may enable people to delay when they start taking Social Security benefits, which can significantly increase payments.
“The longer the delay, the better” financially, said Fahlund. “To me the ideal would be 70, because you get the biggest Social Security benefit possible and all those additional years of employment. And it keeps you going mentally and physically too.”
The economic reality is retiring at 62 is not realistic for most people today. Retirement age has barely budged at life expectancy has increased by 20 years. I have long felt the best practice for the economy is to provide part time work to transition into retirement. This allows people to slow down their work lives, but not completely leave it behind. And the financial benefits are very helpful to all those that did not save enough early in their lives.
Related: Retirement Delayed, Working Longer – Our Only Hope: Retiring Later – Many Retirees Face Prospect of Outliving Savings – Retirement Savings Survey Results – Saving for Retirement – Spending Guidelines in Retirement – Tips To Allow Retiring Sooner