Where has all the income gone? Look up. (Top 400 wealthiest see incomes rise 476% in 15 years)

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    Mar 07, 2010 6:17 PM GMT
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the wealthiest Americans will have done even better throughout the great recession.

    Economic Policy InstituteThe 400 American households with the highest incomes also have enjoyed a much faster pace of income growth than the vast majority. And, because tax rates applied to their income have fallen by a third, their after-tax incomes grew substantially faster than their pre-tax incomes. The figure looks at inflation-adjusted pre-tax and after-tax income growth for the 400 top-income families between 1992 and 2007, based on new data recently released by the Internal Revenue Service. It shows that while pre-tax income grew by a staggering 409% over that 15-year period, after-tax income increased even more, by 476%.


    030310-snapshot1.jpg

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    Mar 07, 2010 9:19 PM GMT
    I can believe it. Some people just know how to cheat and game the system without really working at all. When you can afford to buy legislation, justice, etc .. what really can hold you back?

    When you have a system that is conducive to such great inequality, it eventually collapses in on itself and people lose their heads .. at least that is what happens in history.
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    Mar 07, 2010 9:34 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidI can believe it. Some people just know how to cheat and game the system without really working at all. When you can afford to buy legislation, justice, etc .. what really can hold you back?

    When you have a system that is conducive to such great inequality, it eventually collapses in on itself and people lose their heads .. at least that is what happens in history.


    Your second paragraph is what I am constantly stunned by. I don't think anyone on here - and I certainly don't - thinks that some degree of income or wealth inequality is necessarily bad. But history shows us that once a country reaches the state that the US is currently in, economic collapse isn't far behind.

    And my general impression is that perhaps tax cuts have been stimulative in the past, but that was when the rates for the very wealthy were much, much higher. Over the last 20 years the rates have fallen and fallen, but this has not led to more investment or job creation. The Bush tax cuts did nothing to create jobs or "trickle down" to the middle and working classes, let alone those living in poverty. I as listening to an economist this morning on the radio saying part of what has made this recession so bad is that very few jobs were created throughout the Bush regime. So, we started with a fairly bad employment situation that was made far worse by the economic crisis.
  • Sanantonio66

    Posts: 25

    Mar 07, 2010 10:23 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidDamn them all.... What we need in this country is a more even distribution of wealth so that all may share.

    I'm not saying that everyone should have the same amount of wealth, but just more of a reasonable distribution than what exists now.

    PRESIZED TEXT GOES HEREerhaps the Federal government could tackle this issue?
    COLORED TEXT GOES HERENO THANKS THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY SELF SERVING IDIOTS!

    The graph is showing old data and the original poster is going out on a long weak limb a lot has happened since 2007 Get real bud you know you are trying to push a socialist agenda and it just doesn't work!

    Plus note that you are talking probably talking about the people that gave us the internet and other huge things they certainly are going to generate a lot of wealth. I don't always feel that i make as much as i should either,but i certainly don't want a socialist, marxist,or communist system!

    Look,i run a small business and at every turn the idiots that make the rules the lawyers, the judges and the career politicians on both sides of the spectrum are using the government system as a tool for their self serving agendas. They use it to make money like a big lottery, control over who can do what, when and where! These are the people that are holding our salaries down! They just don't want you to be aware of it!

    Go try to start a new small business and find out how much extra crap is thrust upon you so that you can't do it without a huge debt, the founders of our country came here and formed this country to get away from huge controlling government bodies playing these games.

    Prosperity is only created by the people having free will to create new businesses that make the products and provide the services that we all depend on without major interference by government, unfortunately the government has encroached too far long ago and now we are feeling the effects of this.

    So next time you or anyone else thinks our Government (run mostly by self serving idiots),needs to have more control over our businesses or our personal lives you need to take a look at what our fore fathers fought and died for FREEDOM FROM DICTATORS!

    No hard feelings, but i love our country and our financial and business systems would and did work extremely well before it went of course smaller government is always better!
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    Mar 07, 2010 10:42 PM GMT
    Sanantonio66 saidNO THANKS THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY SELF SERVING IDIOTS!

    The graph is showing old data and the original poster is going out on a long weak limb a lot has happened since 2007 Get real bud you know you are trying to push a socialist agenda and it just doesn't work!

    Plus note that you are talking probably talking about the people that gave us the internet and other huge things they certainly are going to generate a lot of wealth. I don't always feel that i make as much as i should either,but i certainly don't want a socialist, marxist,or communist system!

    Prosperity is only created by the people having free will to create new businesses that make the products and provide the services that we all depend on without major interference by government, unfortunately the government has encroached too far long ago and now we are feeling the effects of this.

    So next time you or anyone else thinks our Government (run mostly by self serving idiots),needs to have more control over our businesses or our personal lives you need to take a look at what our fore fathers fought and died for FREEDOM FROM DICTATORS!

    No hard feelings, but i love our country and our financial and business systems would and did work extremely well before it went of course smaller government is always better!


    The graph doesn't show "old data." It shows an aggregate of data 15 years demonstrating that the top 400 wealthiest Americans saw their incomes rise by 476%. Given that Wall Street bonuses exploded in 2009, I'm actually fairly confident that once the numbers have been crunched for 2008 and 2009, you'll see an even bigger increase.

    The Internet was not created by an individual or business but by the government and universities. Certainly, technologies from Microsoft, Apple and others have made the Internet a much richer experience, but the basic technology was developed with tax dollars, not private money. In fact, many of the technologies, drugs, and other things that have made people incredibly rich were funded in part by the government. Pharmaceuticals are the most egregious example, where through grants for basic research and other investments, the government has played a significant role in drugs that have made a few people very, very rich.

    And please, everyone, stop with the socialism card. It's really sad that those of you who are first to claim I and others are red diaper wearing Marxists, don't seem to know the first thing about it.

    Is regulations making it harder to start a small business? Maybe. What I'm reading is that the biggest hurdle to start or expand a small business is the lack of available capital because the banks we bailed out are refusing to lend. In fact, the Bush administration went on a stunning spree of deregulation. Where did that get us? Are Americans better off? Are small businesses better off? I don't think so.

    All that said, I would agree with you that many politicians are, in fact, self-serving idiots.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 07, 2010 10:54 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidDamn them all.... What we need in this country is a more even distribution of wealth so that all may share.

    I'm not saying that everyone should have the same amount of wealth, but just more of a reasonable distribution than what exists now.

    Perhaps the Federal government could tackle this issue?



    Ummm .... that's the problem
    Through tax cuts for the rich
    Deregulation up the Wazzoo over decades of Reagan economics
    This is the world economy that has taken shape

    Congratulate yourself boys .... you sank the battleship
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    Mar 07, 2010 11:00 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    Congratulate yourself boys .... you sank the battleship


    LOL. icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 07, 2010 11:36 PM GMT
    Sigh. Here we go again. The tired, or as you put it, egregious example, of pharmaceutical companies shows where business adds value. You are correct that research institutions provide many of the fundamental insights required to create drugs. However those research projects typically do not identify exact candidates for trials, and they certainly do not fund thousands of risky molecules a year to go through multi-million dollar clinical safety and efficacy trials. Where 99% of those drugs fail to make it through the gauntlet. Nor do those trials disperse materials to and educate practicing doctors about the existence of the product, and what it can do to alleviate suffering. So pharmaceutical companies, for taking on that risk and spending the money necessary to jump through what are by all expert opinion excessive regulatory hurdles, deserve the return they get. It's a very risky business.

    Similarly, you claim the government developed the internet. In a crude form, yes they did. Sort of like Amazon invented one-click shopping. Was it an obvious idea? Yes. Was the original prototype not even a shadow of what currently exists through massive private investment in infrastructure? Also yes. Your outsized version of the internet solely existing due to government intervention is absurd - in fact the ideas were originated in the private sector at BBN, if we're really keeping track. But more importantly, the internet is useless without content and the 'richer experience' you describe. Uptake was pretty low when everyone had to pay a fortune and use an all-text Lynx browser. Private industry is what made the internet useful and affordable, and continues to do so. Not to say again that government research had no role, but its role really is vastly overplayed.

    As for the lack of lending capital, how do you feel about lending your money out in this economic environment, especially when the predominant attitude is one typified by people like you and the Greeks, who are 'outraged' that they are no longer being given free money by lenders, and clamor for lenders to be crammed down for their crimes? I wouldn't lend you money with that attitude period, let alone in the middle of a huge recession where interest rates could spike through the roof due to the government's profligacy. Then again I'm sure you have no concept of interest rate risk whatsoever, aside from whatever you're going to look up on Wikipedia to try to prove me wrong. This is the trouble of having a discussion on economics with someone who doesn't understand the basics of the topic.

    Christian73 said
    Sanantonio66 saidNO THANKS THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY SELF SERVING IDIOTS!

    The graph is showing old data and the original poster is going out on a long weak limb a lot has happened since 2007 Get real bud you know you are trying to push a socialist agenda and it just doesn't work!

    Plus note that you are talking probably talking about the people that gave us the internet and other huge things they certainly are going to generate a lot of wealth. I don't always feel that i make as much as i should either,but i certainly don't want a socialist, marxist,or communist system!

    Prosperity is only created by the people having free will to create new businesses that make the products and provide the services that we all depend on without major interference by government, unfortunately the government has encroached too far long ago and now we are feeling the effects of this.

    So next time you or anyone else thinks our Government (run mostly by self serving idiots),needs to have more control over our businesses or our personal lives you need to take a look at what our fore fathers fought and died for FREEDOM FROM DICTATORS!

    No hard feelings, but i love our country and our financial and business systems would and did work extremely well before it went of course smaller government is always better!


    The graph doesn't show "old data." It shows an aggregate of data 15 years demonstrating that the top 400 wealthiest Americans saw their incomes rise by 476%. Given that Wall Street bonuses exploded in 2009, I'm actually fairly confident that once the numbers have been crunched for 2008 and 2009, you'll see an even bigger increase.

    The Internet was not created by an individual or business but by the government and universities. Certainly, technologies from Microsoft, Apple and others have made the Internet a much richer experience, but the basic technology was developed with tax dollars, not private money. In fact, many of the technologies, drugs, and other things that have made people incredibly rich were funded in part by the government. Pharmaceuticals are the most egregious example, where through grants for basic research and other investments, the government has played a significant role in drugs that have made a few people very, very rich.

    And please, everyone, stop with the socialism card. It's really sad that those of you who are first to claim I and others are red diaper wearing Marxists, don't seem to know the first thing about it.

    Is regulations making it harder to start a small business? Maybe. What I'm reading is that the biggest hurdle to start or expand a small business is the lack of available capital because the banks we bailed out are refusing to lend. In fact, the Bush administration went on a stunning spree of deregulation. Where did that get us? Are Americans better off? Are small businesses better off? I don't think so.

    All that said, I would agree with you that many politicians are, in fact, self-serving idiots.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 07, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    But they Sure as Hell knew how to pad the pockets of the top 2%

    THAT they did REAL well icon_cool.gif
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    Mar 07, 2010 11:45 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    The graph doesn't show "old data." It shows an aggregate of data 15 years demonstrating that the top 400 wealthiest Americans saw their incomes rise by 476%. Given that Wall Street bonuses exploded in 2009, I'm actually fairly confident that once the numbers have been crunched for 2008 and 2009, you'll see an even bigger increase.


    And you'd be wrong - but I'd be willing to entertain a bet icon_wink.gif: "Income Gap Shrinks in Slump at the Expense of the Wealthy" (September 10, 2009): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125254156520197777.html. Relevant passage: "The top 1%'s share appears to be falling fast. Mr. Saez and other economists expect income going to the top 1% of taxpayers -- currently, those with about $400,000 a year -- will drop to somewhere between 15% and 19% of all income by 2010. That still would leave income distribution more top-heavy in the U.S. than in many other countries.

    One early indication: Median chief-executive pay at companies in the S&P 500 fell 15% in 2008 (to $7.3 million), according to University of Southern California pay expert Kevin Murphy.

    "Based on past experience, it looks like inequality will go down and change the long-term trend of America becoming a less egalitarian society," says Ariell Reshef, a University of Virginia economist and another student of the equality issue."

    Christian73 said
    The Internet was not created by an individual or business but by the government and universities. Certainly, technologies from Microsoft, Apple and others have made the Internet a much richer experience, but the basic technology was developed with tax dollars, not private money. In fact, many of the technologies, drugs, and other things that have made people incredibly rich were funded in part by the government. Pharmaceuticals are the most egregious example, where through grants for basic research and other investments, the government has played a significant role in drugs that have made a few people very, very rich.


    What Ablian0 said.

    Christian73 said
    Is regulations making it harder to start a small business? Maybe. What I'm reading is that the biggest hurdle to start or expand a small business is the lack of available capital because the banks we bailed out are refusing to lend. In fact, the Bush administration went on a stunning spree of deregulation. Where did that get us? Are Americans better off? Are small businesses better off? I don't think so.


    The data suggests that the issue as espoused by small businesses is the lack of aggregate demand - though regulation plays a role here too as well. As for the stunning spree of deregulation? Sorry, no dice there either - you can't tie rolling back Glass Steagall to this mess - but you could probably tie the Community Development Act regulation as spurring the securitization of sub prime.

    Also on the issue of lending (http://www.nfib.com/tabid/565/Default.aspx?cmsid=50806): "51 percent of respondents cited slow or declining sales as their principle problem. Only 8 percent cited access to credit. Although taxes and regulations weren’t choices, the second largest problem (21 percent) cited by respondents was “the unpredictability of business conditions [...] The second most cited immediate problem (21%) is the unpredictability of business conditions. Virtually the same level (23%) of concern with predictability was expressed one year ago. Data produced elsewhere suggest that the nature of unpredictability (certainty) may be shifting somewhat from economic to political concerns, such as new taxes. Regardless of its cause however, the risk to investment rises during periods of unpredictability, making investment less likely to occur at that time. Confidence matters. Small Business Economic Trends, for example, shows capital investment over the last several months bouncing around record low levels and staying there."

    Small businesses have slowing and falling sales (probably slower repayments) - but you can't blame that on regulation of banks. This is a legitimate risk. More importantly - it's the regulatory uncertainty and taxation that is forcing companies to defer decisions slowing the pace of business - at least according to small businesses themselves.

    Christian73 said
    All that said, I would agree with you that many politicians are, in fact, self-serving idiots.


    If that's the case, why would you entrust government - be they Democrats or Republicans to spend increasing amounts of money giving them increasing amounts of power to regulate?
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    Mar 07, 2010 11:55 PM GMT
    The other thing you're not keeping in mind is that the average American has seen flat wages for several years because of a mix of exchange rate policy and Fed rate policy that has forced asset bubbles to pop up and trade imbalances to continue. These are largely Federal policies (partially policy on the part of foreign governments) that the private sector does not control, merely responds to, and are a significant pinch on the working class.

    The Top 400 are able, by investing in overseas operations, to maintain higher income, and also were exposed much more significantly to asset bubbles. So actually I'll bet you 100:1 odds that the rich were more significantly impacted in this crisis than anyone. They earn largely through investment return and bonuses, which have been catastrophic in the past couple years, and especially when you have exposure to assets that have collapsed. Joe Sixpack doesn't invest in REITs. I find it convenient your data set ends in 2007, when the crisis really began midcycle that year.

    I again point to the rapidly expanding living standard internationally, and the stable living standard in the US as a sign of the progress capitalism provides.

    Have you even bothered to watch any of his presentations?

    Hans Rosling on TED

    Christian73 saidI'm going to go out on a limb and say that the wealthiest Americans will have done even better throughout the great recession.

    Economic Policy InstituteThe 400 American households with the highest incomes also have enjoyed a much faster pace of income growth than the vast majority. And, because tax rates applied to their income have fallen by a third, their after-tax incomes grew substantially faster than their pre-tax incomes. The figure looks at inflation-adjusted pre-tax and after-tax income growth for the 400 top-income families between 1992 and 2007, based on new data recently released by the Internal Revenue Service. It shows that while pre-tax income grew by a staggering 409% over that 15-year period, after-tax income increased even more, by 476%.


    030310-snapshot1.jpg

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    Mar 07, 2010 11:56 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Sanantonio66 saidNO THANKS THE GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY SELF SERVING IDIOTS!

    The graph is showing old data and the original poster is going out on a long weak limb a lot has happened since 2007 Get real bud you know you are trying to push a socialist agenda and it just doesn't work!

    Plus note that you are talking probably talking about the people that gave us the internet and other huge things they certainly are going to generate a lot of wealth. I don't always feel that i make as much as i should either,but i certainly don't want a socialist, marxist,or communist system!

    Look,i run a small business and at every turn the idiots that make the rules the lawyers, the judges and the career politicians on both sides of the spectrum are using the government system as a tool for their self serving agendas. They use it to make money like a big lottery, control over who can do what, when and where! These are the people that are holding our salaries down! They just don't want you to be aware of it!

    Go try to start a new small business and find out how much extra crap is thrust upon you so that you can't do it without a huge debt, the founders of our country came here and formed this country to get away from huge controlling government bodies playing these games.

    Prosperity is only created by the people having free will to create new businesses that make the products and provide the services that we all depend on without major interference by government, unfortunately the government has encroached too far long ago and now we are feeling the effects of this.

    So next time you or anyone else thinks our Government (run mostly by self serving idiots),needs to have more control over our businesses or our personal lives you need to take a look at what our fore fathers fought and died for FREEDOM FROM DICTATORS!

    No hard feelings, but i love our country and our financial and business systems would and did work extremely well before it went of course smaller government is always better!

    I see you are on just your eleventh post Sanantonio66. First, welcome... it's good to have someone else on here who isn't a socialist like 90% of the others on here.

    I was being sarcastic in my post about hoping the government would fix "the problem" cited in the OP. The government can't fix anything. :-)


    Yes, Sanantonio, you've stumbled across a gay, socialist haven. Any day now we're doing to seize the means of production from our oppressors and free our queer, capitalist indoctrinated brethren.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:00 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    The Internet was not created by an individual or business but by the government and universities.


    Actually, the internet was invented by an individual: Tim Berners-Lee, a british engineer and computer scientist working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He also stipulated upon it's creation that it would be free for all people to use. God knows if it had been invented by an American institution that NEVER would have happened.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:01 AM GMT
    Where has all the income gone?
    And where have all the jobs gone?
    After 8 years of Bush and Republican economic policies?

    http://blog.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/tab/article/

    (From the right wing leaning Wall Street Journal, owned by Fox "News" owner Rupert Murdoch)

    And, Abelian, another bone-headed falsehood in your post.
    We're not "in the middle of a huge recession", as you claim.
    The Bush recession ran from the end of 2007 until the end of 2009.
    The economy is now growing again, and most economics say that the recovery is "firmly on track".
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:01 AM GMT
    Where has all the income gone?
    And where have all the jobs gone?
    After 8 years of Bush and Republican economic policies?

    http://blog.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/tab/article/

    (From the right wing leaning Wall Street Journal, owned by Fox "News" owner Rupert Murdoch)

    And, Abelian, another bone-headed falsehood in your post.
    We're not "in the middle of a huge recession", as you claim.
    The Bush recession ran from the end of 2007 until the end of 2009.
    The economy is now growing again, and most economics say that the recovery is "firmly on track".

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/22/news/economy/nabe_economics_survey/index.htm
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
    The plain truth is we have the worst distribution of income since the Depression and it's due to government action. This is just the end result of the Bush years and tax policy that favored the wealthiest at the expense of the poor and the disappearing middle class.

    Something's gone way wrong with the system, when Romney and crew and leverage a buy-out of a healthy company, burden it with debt to pay for the buy-out, strangle the company through "austerity" cuts and then bankrupt it, sell off the remaining pieces and walk off with hundreds of millions in profits as thousands of jobs are lost.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:04 AM GMT
    abm1985 said
    Christian73 said
    The Internet was not created by an individual or business but by the government and universities.


    Actually, the internet was invented by an individual: Tim Berners-Lee, a british engineer and computer scientist working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He also stipulated upon it's creation that it would be free for all people to use. God knows if it had been invented by an American institution that NEVER would have happened.


    Yep - thank goodness DARPA had nothing to do with it.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:04 AM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    The economy is now growing again, and most economics say that the recovery is "firmly on track".


    Yeah I'm sorry but that's bullshit. Go talk to MeOhMy for a bit about it. He'll learn you right icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
    riddler78 said

    Yep - thank goodness DARPA had nothing to do with it.


    No fucking kidding... it would have been named a national security threat and the only people who'd ever see it's use would be invading or bombing some place.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    Sorry, abm1985, I'll listen to what the majority of economists have to say over what you or MeOHMy have to say.
    They know more about it than you guys, and are interested in facts - not in covering the Republican party's lame and incompetent ass.

    Click on the link in my comment and educate yourself, so you don't embarrass yourself anymore.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:14 AM GMT
    rickrick91 saidSorry, abm1985, I'll listen to what the majority of economists have to say over what you or MeOHMy have to say.
    They know more about it than you guys, and are interested in facts - not in covering the Republican party's lame and incompetent ass.

    Click on the link in my comment and educate yourself.


    Oh I have no desire to cover the Republican Party's ass... I'm Libertarian and MeOhMy is from Canada, so I imagine he doesn't care to protect them either. He was however just recently interviewed by the news as a global economic expert, so... he is someone you should listen to

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    Mar 08, 2010 12:18 AM GMT
    You are operating based on the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee definitions/declaration of 'recession', but they have some pretty skewed metrics. Every economic body has slightly different definitions because it is a generalized concept that adds up to "the economy sucks right now". As the saying goes, when your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression.

    rickrick91 saidSorry, abm1985, I'll listen to what the majority of economists have to say over what you or MeOHMy have to say.
    They know more about it than you guys, and are interested in facts - not in covering the Republican party's lame and incompetent ass.

    Click on the link in my comment and educate yourself, so you don't embarrass yourself anymore.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:24 AM GMT
    To be fair, that's Russian news. It doesn't count. icon_lol.gif

    abm1985 said
    rickrick91 saidSorry, abm1985, I'll listen to what the majority of economists have to say over what you or MeOHMy have to say.
    They know more about it than you guys, and are interested in facts - not in covering the Republican party's lame and incompetent ass.

    Click on the link in my comment and educate yourself.


    Oh I have no desire to cover the Republican Party's ass... I'm Libertarian and MeOhMy is from Canada, so I imagine he doesn't care to protect them either. He was however just recently interviewed by the news as a global economic expert, so... he is someone you should listen to

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    Mar 08, 2010 12:24 AM GMT
    Yeah, right Abelian, I'll just ignore what a majority of economists say, and listen to what you have to say.
    They couldn't possibly know as much about it as you do.
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    Mar 08, 2010 12:26 AM GMT

    Me, oh my, oh my. icon_rolleyes.gif