Would an Ass make a difference?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 12:32 AM GMT
    Pardon the title.

    Ok so one very common theme of many recent threads goes something like this:

    1) The economy is in the shitter.
    2) It's party the fault of people/business/ but mostly the fault of REPUBLICANS!!!
    3) If DEMOCRATS had been in power this would have never happened!

    While not everyone mentions the third part it seems to be an unspoken opinion in every thread.

    So here's the topic: What difference would a Democrat in the White house have made? Would the current economic troubles been avoided? Did Democrats ever make any attempts to regulate/restrict/warn?

    ** If your going to provide specifics please offer a link or some other evidence. Please refrain from just stating facts without backup**
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3462

    Sep 19, 2008 1:05 AM GMT
    Well, in general, Republican are all for Deregulation. Let corporations do what they do. If they do anything wrong, market forces will take care of it.

    Democrats, generally more sensitive to workers' rights, say Whoa there! Trust businesses to look out for workers' rights? Health? Environment? Etc? I don't THINK so! Protections need to be in place to make sure the public isn't hurt.

    Is that to say the Democrats could have stopped what happened this week, I don't know. But I believe in general that corporations would have been under tighter controls and that existing regulations would have been BETTER ENFORCED under a Democratic administration than that of a Republican one.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Sep 19, 2008 1:23 AM GMT
    EricLA saidWell, in general, Republican are all for Deregulation..

    At least until the banking industry throws them millions in campaign contributions.

    The loosening of restrictions in Phil Gramm's (the "mental recession" guy) bill in 1999 was relatively bipartisan. I'm not entirely sure, but there was a second wave of deregulation the Republicans pulled a few years later, and I'd bet the Democrats got their hands good and dirty that time too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 1:54 AM GMT
    Architect of the deregulation that has us in this trouble is none other than former Texas senator Phil Gramm, who is now McCain's chief economic advisor. You may remember this dollop of wisdom

  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Sep 19, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    I'm not convinced that any one party could have stopped the crumbling of our economic foundation...however...

    what's really scary is Jimmy Carter actually spoke about this in a televised addressed during the 70's oil shortage...and our dependence on foreign oil...this country had a "heads up" 30 years ago from a president whose administration was deemed a failure...why?...because President Carter told this country what we NEEDED to hear [that we were becoming too materialistic and consumption oriented as a society]...not what we WANTED to hear...

    President Reagan came in and basically said American's should be able to buy whatever they want...

    ...I really believe there needs to be a fundamental shift in our country's thinking...I travel around to major cities [Atlanta for example] who have no recycling program what so ever...really?...come on...

    We keep seeing these huge houses being built around the country...do we really need that much space? This country has done a fair job of pursuing liberty and equaliity [two of the three bases of the French Revolution]...but the thing we have missed the boat on...community...

    ...the really sad part...when our country goes through hard economic times...people in the world starve...

    - David

    [I'll try to look through Youtube to find Jimmy's speech...it really is an amazing forecast]
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Sep 19, 2008 2:24 AM GMT
    OK...here is some of what I am talking about:


    It is really scary...we've heard much of this in the last few years...

    think about it. then act.

    - David

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 2:30 AM GMT

    Part of the problem was that deregulation started back under Republican congress with a Democratic President ( Clinton). It created a boom.

    But then when it started to get too boomish - i.e. real estate appreciating at double digits - that invites investors. When investors by homes - you don't have the interest in the community and maintenance of the property that you get from home ownership. Also, selling and taking a loss on investment money is less painful than taking it on your primary residence - you need that cash to get the next house.

    So as investors jumped into the housing market creating a bubble - everyone trust Greenspan's judgement. However, he failed. He failed to keep jacking those rates up up up until investors got the hell out of the housing market and left it to home owners. He says in the article - there was nothing he could do. Yet he didn't raise the interest rates up to more than about 6% that I can remember. Volker did crank up the rates in the 80's to deal with going off the gold standard - he had some balls. Greenspan - not so much.

    So the bubble just grows and grows, putting average home owners more and more at risk. It also becomes more difficult to obtain a home - so zanny financing becomes necessary, e.g. interest only mortgages and ARM loans. This further endangers John Q Homeowner.

    That was the right hook. Then comes the left hook - republican congress and GWB approve sweeping changes to credit card company regulation. They approve a bill written by credit card companies for credit card companies. The consumer now has to face increased fees, interest rates jumping into the high 20's to 30% on cards if you make one late payment - or even if you don't - you just have to have too high a balance on an alternate card or be late on a utility payment.

    So, would having Dems in power have made a difference? I'm not sure they would have had the balls to pressure Greenspan and/or Bernanke to increase interest rates up enough to bust the bubble earlier. But I don't think consumers would have gotten the left hook from credit card companies. There would be far fewer foreclosures.

    Also, the Republican tax cuts for the rich - Dems would have repealed them. The extra dough in the treasury could have trickled down to consumers because its apparent that it wasn't trickling down the Reaganomics way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    Yes for a lot of gay men, an ass does make a difference.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Sep 19, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    I think it's safe to say that President Al Gore would have taken global warming a little more seriously and put America at the forefront of emerging energy efficient technologies.

    We would not have gone into Iraq. Yes, Saddam would still be in power (probably) but 1 million Iraqi civilians would still be alive too and 4 million more still in their homes. With the extra resources, I think Afganistan would now be in a HELL of a lot better shape...but that's just because, right now, it couldn't be worse -- the Taliban and Al Qaida resurging and the country essentially a narco-state funding terrorsts with bumper crops of opium poppy.

    America would NOT be torturing people, and the 4th ammendment of the constitution (searches and seizures) would still be viable.

    The Al Gore supreme court would have supported equal pay for women.

    Al Gore would NOT have more than doubled our national debt with a combination of tax cuts for the wealthy that nobody asked for while waging two wars.

    Gay, civil and human rights? I think all this is pretty obvious...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    Darn! And here I thought this would be thread relevant to my interests.Photobucket
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    Not sure either party would have made all that much difference to the current crises.

    I do think that the current presidents tax cuts, plus borrowing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan haven't helped the governments position for the current issues.

    And this is one of my problems with the Republicans and Democrats: we should put away, save, or put money towards the deficit in good times, NOT spend or give money back to the tax payers, but have it around for when the economy goes south. Nor should we borrow money for wars or foreign expeditions: we should pay for this things now, with increased burden on taxpayers -- they need to know now what and how much the cost is for such expenditures. It is easy to agree, or disagree in thoery to fight in Iraq when you don't have to feel the obligations to pay or not pay for the adventure, or just pass it on to your children for such excursions in foreign lands. At any rate the current situation questions what fiscal responsibilty means, or what it means to live within ones limits, something I believe neither pary is willing to confess to.

    Okay, I'm registered as an independant, but I believe we should pay now, and not borrow for our current expenditures --- whatever effect that may have on taxes in either raising or decreasing them. Yes, we are having a hard time, one in which the current government is comlicit -- then again anyone who has taken out loans they can't pay is also complicit. Adjustible loans were never a good idea, nor was it a good idea to take out loans that really overstreatched one's budget. The individual homeowner may have less overall risk, but they have taken substantial risk beyond their means noentheless. The generic taxpayer is not an innocent in the risks Wall Street or they themselves have taken, or someone that canl escape or has a right to escape the effects of the current economic downturn..