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  • Ideas and Suggestions

    I have gotten a lot of feedback from folks on this Forum regarding politics, economy and matters of life in general. We banter over the economy and politics, and I wonder what are some of the things you think would help our economy and country during these trying times?

    I've given my thoughts on imports and how tarrifs, trade limits and possibly some sort of monetary incentive along with an easing of taxes and certain rules and regulations might help to bring some manufacturing back. There are other things I would like to see change that have more to do with personal responsibility. I know I won't get much support for this idea but here goes. think credit cards are abused and there are many tv programs that address folks who are in serious credit card debt. How about a national credit database that tracks everyone who has a credit history and prevents folks from accumulating more than a predetermined debt ceiling. Let's say $2000 or $5000 for argument sake, anything over that and credit is denied, no excuses. Food and medicine would be provided by some other mechanism, so folks would not starve or do without medication. We would put an end to people amassing tens of thousands of debt which benefits none of us. Yes, children and folks would have to learn to do without, or save for what they want. No more impulse buying if you don't have the cash. Sure would shake things up.

    So what things would like to see changed in our country ?

  • #2
    Re: Ideas and Suggestions

    Jesus Christ I sure don't think we need more government controls!!!


    Now back to our normal scheduled bout of daily depression..

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ideas and Suggestions

      I'll pray for your depression to heal. If we don't need more government controls who will pay for all the folks racking up big credit card debt they won't pay? Ideas and suggestions please, unless you have another agenda?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ideas and Suggestions

        sure don't think we need more government controls!!!
        I don't have the answers, but I fully agree that Federal regulations are way out of control and we certainly don't need any more.
        Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ideas and Suggestions

          Originally posted by speedbump View Post
          I don't have the answers, but I fully agree that Federal regulations are way out of control and we certainly don't need any more.
          Fair enough. I am not for more wasteful government spending, or regulations that prohibit businesses from having the USA as home. I do think regarding things like out of control credit card debt, we can't depend on the industry to set limits. They are happy to see college kids and everyone else incur debt they can't pay back because that debt will get paid one way or another by all of us. I just figured if limits were set and enforced, folks couldn't get in over their heads. Just an idea. I think most of us see government regulations for the harm they've caused instead of the possible good they could do. For example, if there were better government regulations in place regarding wall street and the swindles they pulled, a lot of folks would not have lost their life savings. That can't be a bad thing to regulate in my opinion.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ideas and Suggestions

            How about the suggestion to "Means Test" Social Security recipients?

            How many more bureaucrats will the Federal Government have to add for that to happen? How many court suits will it cause as people who have paid into the system disagree with the decisions.

            If they means test SSA recipients, shouldn't they also means test government (especially congressional) and union pensioners to be fair and unbiased and to spread the misery.

            Examine all regulations to ensure that they do not interfere with job creation.

            How many more bureaucrats will the Federal Government have to add for that to happen? What effect will suspending some regulations have on the environment or worker safety?

            Most of the people on this site are plumbers or electricians. These are both good safe jobs and you can do without health and safety regulations to protect you. The sewer cleaners should not have to pay to haul waste away. Shouldn't they be able to dispose of waste anywhere, as cheaply as possible for the company?

            These are some simple examples that I use as examples and most likely would not be approved as they are so very basic.

            However; all government proposals cause unintended consequences. All of the proposals that are made should be seriously looked at and studied and not be passed in the typical "knee jerk" (emphasis on jerk) reactions of congress


            This might be interesting to you

            Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:

            29 have been accused of spousal abuse
            7 have been arrested for fraud
            19 have been accused of writing bad checks
            117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
            3 have done time for assault
            71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
            14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
            8 have been arrested for shoplifting
            21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
            84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

            Can you guess which organization this is?






            It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.
            Last edited by billmoy; 01-24-2011, 01:49 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ideas and Suggestions

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              I'll pray for your depression to heal. If we don't need more government controls who will pay for all the folks racking up big credit card debt they won't pay? Ideas and suggestions please, unless you have another agenda?
              Why do you think anyone has to step in and pay for it?

              Credit is issued because the issuer accepts the risk in exchange for interest on the credit. If the risk is realized, and the debtor doesn't pay, that's just part of the deal. Next time the creditor will be smarter about who he lends money to and how much.

              No one has any role in this except the debtor (who risks his credit and the ability to borrow in the future) and the creditor (who risks his capital). No one else has any obligation in the matter. If someone else would step in and take the risk, then why would the creditors exercise any discretion at all in terms of who he would lend money to? He would issue credit like mad because there is no risk. Debtors that should not get credit would run up huge bills and default. The system would be broken.

              This is exactly what happened (and is still happening) with the mortgage debacle and the bank crisis.This was all caused by government regulations. The government was behind the problem because they were pushing loans to a low income/poor risk demographic. Government regulations FORCED the banks to do this. The banks are crooks, but this problem was not due to the banks, it was due to the Gov't. On top of that, the Federal Reserve artificially held interest rates low, causing prices to rise and thus increasing the exposure for these toxic loans. To shield themselves from risk, the mortgage makers sold the loans by packaging them into bundles (mortgage backed securities or MBS) and sold them to other institutions. They also invented "Credit Default Swaps" to hedge against the risk. AIG went under, at your expense. The largest mortgage owners of these toxic assets in the country were Fannie and Freddie (essentially government mortgage institutions) so YOU got stuck with the bill. Again. And other banks around the world were hurt that got into this shell game were caught without a chair when the music stopped. So YOUR government decided that they would cough up (print) trillions of your dollars to make the banks well. They essentially caused you to take over the risk that the entire system created, and you had nothing to do with.

              None of this - NONE of it - would have happened if Government had simply kept out of the mortgage business. But no... some bleeding heart do-gooders decided that everyone should own a home.

              We need more of this? Like we need a hole in the head.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                Why do you think anyone has to step in and pay for it?

                Credit is issued because the issuer accepts the risk in exchange for interest on the credit. If the risk is realized, and the debtor doesn't pay, that's just part of the deal. Next time the creditor will be smarter about who he lends money to and how much.

                No one has any role in this except the debtor (who risks his credit and the ability to borrow in the future) and the creditor (who risks his capital). No one else has any obligation in the matter. If someone else would step in and take the risk, then why would the creditors exercise any discretion at all in terms of who he would lend money to? He would issue credit like mad because there is no risk. Debtors that should not get credit would run up huge bills and default. The system would be broken.

                This is exactly what happened (and is still happening) with the mortgage debacle and the bank crisis.This was all caused by government regulations. The government was behind the problem because they were pushing loans to a low income/poor risk demographic. Government regulations FORCED the banks to do this. The banks are crooks, but this problem was not due to the banks, it was due to the Gov't. On top of that, the Federal Reserve artificially held interest rates low, causing prices to rise and thus increasing the exposure for these toxic loans. To shield themselves from risk, the mortgage makers sold the loans by packaging them into bundles (mortgage backed securities or MBS) and sold them to other institutions. They also invented "Credit Default Swaps" to hedge against the risk. AIG went under, at your expense. The largest mortgage owners of these toxic assets in the country were Fannie and Freddie (essentially government mortgage institutions) so YOU got stuck with the bill. Again. And other banks around the world were hurt that got into this shell game were caught without a chair when the music stopped. So YOUR government decided that they would cough up (print) trillions of your dollars to make the banks well. They essentially caused you to take over the risk that the entire system created, and you had nothing to do with.

                None of this - NONE of it - would have happened if Government had simply kept out of the mortgage business. But no... some bleeding heart do-gooders decided that everyone should own a home.

                We need more of this? Like we need a hole in the head.
                Yes, Andy in my opinion we need much more of this but not in the way you suggest. Imagine if the government regulations regarding mortgage acquisitions could have prevented bad loans instead of encouraging them? You really think unsecured, unpaid credit card debt is absorbed by the lender?
                If that were only true, maybe in theory you are correct but in the real world rates go up. The lender never takes the hit. Who is paying for all those bad mortgages, the banks? I don't think so. The folks who should own a house are the folks who honestly qualify for a mortgage they can pay. The folks who should have use of a credit card are also the ones who can pay, and to limit our liability I think there should be a cap. Why should folks be allowed to run up more than two or three thousand dollars on a credit card and then not pay it off? I'm thinking of how we can encourage regular folks to be more responsible. It goes to say that our elected officials have some work to do on themselves.
                I agree that every action has a reaction and there has been too many poorly thought out rules and regulations. Why is there no room for "Good" rules and regulations? You folks really think it is impossible to improve things without screwing up more things? Hey, if going forward we have learned nothing then that's sad and tragic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                  Originally posted by billmoy View Post
                  Examine all regulations to ensure that they do not interfere with job creation.

                  How many more bureaucrats will the Federal Government have to add for that to happen? What effect will suspending some regulations have on the environment or worker safety?

                  Most of the people on this site are plumbers or electricians. These are both good safe jobs and you can do without health and safety regulations to protect you. The sewer cleaners should not have to pay to haul waste away. Shouldn't they be able to dispose of waste anywhere, as cheaply as possible for the company?

                  These are some simple examples that I use as examples and most likely would not be approved as they are so very basic.

                  However; all government proposals cause unintended consequences. All of the proposals that are made should be seriously looked at and studied and not be passed in the typical "knee jerk" (emphasis on jerk) reactions of congress
                  I fully agree with regulations that provide basic safeties such as proper waste disposal etc. These provide basic protections for the public and IMO are necessary, since economic forces will pressure individuals and companies to act in their financial interest and not in society's interest overall.

                  The problem is that Gov't has demonstrated without fail that they have no idea where to stop. Environment is a good case in point. They overreact and do crazy stuff like cap and trade, but all operating from no clear understanding of whether this will help or even if there is a problem in the first place.

                  Health care was another case in point. Few argue that the existing system didn't need some help. The Gov't, however, let the insurance companies write the legislation. It does address some problems... but opens up a can of worms much larger than the one it closes. And costs, despite the promises, are now recognized to be going up, both personally and in terms of Federal budget costs.

                  My point is that Gov't has proven that they absolutely have no idea whatsoever how to create jobs. So how can they possibly hope to review their regulations to ensure that they won't hurt? Nearly every bit of crazy special-interest legislation proposed is advertised to create jobs and help the economy. It does help someone's economy - just not yours or mine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                    Yes, Andy in my opinion we need much more of this but not in the way you suggest. Imagine if the government regulations regarding mortgage acquisitions could have prevented bad loans instead of encouraging them? You really think unsecured, unpaid credit card debt is absorbed by the lender?
                    If that were only true, maybe in theory you are correct but in the real world rates go up. The lender never takes the hit. Who is paying for all those bad mortgages, the banks? I don't think so. The folks who should own a house are the folks who honestly qualify for a mortgage they can pay. The folks who should have use of a credit card are also the ones who can pay, and to limit our liability I think there should be a cap. Why should folks be allowed to run up more than two or three thousand dollars on a credit card and then not pay it off? I'm thinking of how we can encourage regular folks to be more responsible. It goes to say that our elected officials have some work to do on themselves.
                    I agree that every action has a reaction and there has been too many poorly thought out rules and regulations. Why is there no room for "Good" rules and regulations? You folks really think it is impossible to improve things without screwing up more things? Hey, if going forward we have learned nothing then that's sad and tragic.
                    Frank, we don't need government meddling to avoid bad mortgage loans. For a very long time, the system worked perfectly fine, housing appreciated at a reasonable rate consistent with demand, and foreclosure rates were overall stable. Banks required 20% or sometimes 30% down payments (for some properties like commercial), good credit, evidence of stable job, and your total indebtedness after the mortgage needed to be 1/3 or less of your pre-tax income. This formula worked satisfactorrily... you never had nationwide foreclosure crisis or subprime mortgage meltdown. And it was becasue the mortgage maker was taking the risk. The Government, as I explained, thanks to HUD, Fannie and Freddie and the Federal Reserve took a system that was working just fine for lenders and borrowers, tried to "help" people and made it into a global financial crisis.


                    Of course credit card rates go up as a result of bad debt. That isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing. People overuse credit because it's cheap. That's a huge problem in the US today. If rates go up, people will borrow less, or at the very least move to a different card that charges less. If defaults increase, lenders will tighten credit. Maybe college kids and poor people won't get three credit card offers in the mail every week like they do today. What's wrong with that? In that scenario, credit card rates will achieve the value that they should. It's simple supply and demand.

                    Consumer debt is not good, and massive household credit card debt is a very bad thing. I don't care if credit cards go to 50%. Credit cards are great emergency tools, and in an emergency, 50% is worth it. But it is foolish to use them to finance daily life, and I don't see that the taxpayer or the government should lift a finger support those that don't get that and can't manage their personal finances.

                    But, let's look at what the new credit regulations have ACTUALLY done. All of the credit companies have raised FEES since they are restricted in other areas. Miss your due date by one day, take the new $35 late charge, and see if you still like the government regulations.

                    In response to your last question, I not only think, but am sure, that is impossible for the Government involvement to avoid screwing up more things. Why? History is the main reason. One would have to be delusional to expect that doing the same things that have only resulted in a mess would suddenly provide a different result. That's the thing we should have learned.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                      Andy, I would argue that irresponsible folks or criminals will get deep in credit card debt regardless of interest rates. Regardless of our difference of opinions on all these issues, if you are really so sure the government cannot do better going forward, I guess you think we are doomed? I am not a fan or rules, but when I think of all the folks who screw up their lives or get taken by white collar crooks, I think there must be room for improvement. It's always risky to get involved, make rules and enforce them, but considering the alternatives I think it needs to be done. I do this with my daughters and admit to them if I made mistakes at least I tried! Is our government supposed to standby and do nothing? I know they have screwed up plenty in the past but that does not or should not determine the future. I will say I don't have a heck of a lot of confidence, but without hope what's left?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                        Frank, the Gov't certainly can do better in the future. What they have to do is simple. The major things they need to do are: Repeal burdensome regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, revise the tax code to incentivize long-term investment in domestic production, and revise the banking scheme (yes I am talking about the Fed) that has systematically destroyed our economy.

                        Another very important thing that they need to do is become stable. What I mean by that is that business is very goosey about the US Gov't because they are forever coming up with crazy new schemes that severely impact business plans such as cap and trade, health care reform, and various subsidies and plans that help this or that special interest. Remember that for every special interest that gets "helped" by a government subsidy, tax credit or whatever, there is someone in a business that is getting screwed because when gov't helps someone, the guy that had a shot at getting some of those consumer dollars is hurt. Look at "cash for clunkers" as a great example. It was mentioned in the thread on "10 promises". Look at last year's $8k home buyer credit. It hurt the landlords. Gov't has no business getting into these things, they hurt at least as many people as they help.

                        Gov't is not at all the same as you, a loving parent to your daughters. You do not have to kiss butt to get re-elected as their dad, and you do not have special interests that are bribing you to go in this direction or that. Plus, you have a good solid understanding of right and wrong... something they don't have in DC.

                        Gov't needs to get out the way, get rid of all the bureacracy and let the United States get back to what made us a great economy in the first place.
                        Last edited by Andy_M; 01-25-2011, 12:09 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                          Great post Andy. I hope you forward your thoughts to the right folks, politicians need to hear what smart folks are thinking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                            Andy, I was not familiar with Sarbanes-Oxley, so I took a few minutes to learn what I could. Maybe I'm just tired after a long day but that sure seems like an awful lot of legislation to get folks to do the right thing! Obviously legislators are not aware of what Shakespere wrote way back when "Brevity is the soul of wit". Couldn't they have accomplished their goals any easier for both the public to understand and businesses to comply?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ideas and Suggestions

                              I mentioned Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) specifically because it's a great example of Government meddling and overreaction. This bill was introduced in the wake of the Enron and Worldcom scandals. We already had a regulatory structure in place, but it was obviously broken. That's because all Gov't regulatory agencies eventually become corrupt and ineffective. Regulators typically come from theindustries they're regulating, or go to the industries after the leave Gov't. It's a scheme that guarantees corruption. This is true in all areas, whether you're talking about the financial market regulator, the FAA, Housing and Urban Development... all of them.

                              Rather than discovering where the system broke down and fixing it, our beloved Congress introduced SOX on top of it. Just more regulations, more government oversight, and more burden to business. And of course, creation of new regulators.

                              It's like buying a new car because your old one needs a new tire...but still keeping the old one in the yard, paying the insurance and registration on both.

                              The Gov't, in its infinite wisdom, also failed to note that the vast, vast majority of corporations (SOX does not apply to privately-held companies) are relatively small. They are not Enron or Worldcom. But now these little guys have to bear the burden of this nonsense. The large guys have armies of accountants and lawyers, so compliance is relatively painless for them. It's also easier for them to exploit. The little guys don't have those armies of accountants and lawyers. So who do you suppose is hit hardest by this? The little guys aren't much of Enron-class threat... but they are stuck with the SOX burden anyway.

                              The problem is that, like all Gov't regulations, those that are being regulated are often much more clever than the Gov't. For example, I know that despite SOX, there are devious but legal ways that executives of big firms are still bilking investors out of billions. I can't afford to explain further, unfortunately. But I'm dead sure. I've seen it. So what has SOX really accomplished? It has created a false sense of transparency in securities markets, which sets people up for even greater screw jobs. We aren't putting the criminal-executives in jail, even today. Heck, we are even spending taxpayer money defending the execs at Fannie and Freddie that are being sued as fallout of the 2008 mortgage collapse.

                              As I said, this is really just an example of the way the Gov't does things... everything, really. That's the sort of thing that makes doing business in the US so unfavorable. Congress is really a power-drunk organization that thinks they actually can control things. They can't. They aren't smart enough. And they shouldn't, because their mandate, as set forth in the Constitution, doesn't grant them the authority. Yet every session, they pass thousands of laws.

                              I don't feel safer or wealthier today than I did in 1970, how about you?

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