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  • Interesting article on Economic Debt

    I thought this was interesting:

    3 Economic Misconceptions That Need to Die - DailyFinance

  • #2
    Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

    yes it is interesting,
    I do not think it is truly portraying the entire picture either tho,

    such as the only 2.7% goes to china, but how much is for foreign goods, (for example your mortgage pays for an American product, your house, but how much of it is imported product, (no maybe you did not buy it first, but your buying it from the Banker, a US product built with a percentage of imported products),


    I know that when a person pays a mortgage and a car payment and other payments, pay the electrical and the gas, and groceries, so on the percentage that is left over is small, for most, but I would may only ad up to a few percent for many but my guess is that is mostly spent in foreign goods,

    may be it ought to be how much is spent on foreign goods not just Chinese goods,

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    what I have found out in my personal life is if you have Debt, and can not pay it back does the amount really matter, if your broke your broke,

    (would social security be in trouble if it was not all loaned out and the fund is empty, because the government would have to borrow the money from china or else where, to pay the social security payments), when you have to borrow money to pay back your interest and principal you in a very dangerous place in your debt process,

    (part of the problems is so many of the internal funds they have borrowed from need to be replenished and there are not the moneys to refill or pay them back so those areas are being declared as insolvent, (and also being called entitlement programs, where they are not entitlement in that the persons have payed into them nearly 15% of there incomes over the years, with a promise of using them when they retire)
    so who suffer the retired, and those soon to retire),

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    we may only be getting 9 to 10% or so of middle east oil but with out that 10% the price will sky rocket, (it take very little surplus to keep prices down, but you take a little shortage and prices skyrocket,),
    so how much production would it take of our own to fill in that 10%? (I realize the way the world market works even if we got 0% if they gulf gets shut down, and price of world crude raises, it will raise prices in our country as well, regardless of where it is from,
    Last edited by BHD; 02-14-2012, 12:57 PM.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

      Lots of information and a good read. The first stat of the article is a little deceptive it is talking about the amount spent on personal consumption expenditures which are goods and services. That is a really broad spectrum which includes things like groceries, meals out, service providers, gasoline and so on. A little lower it talks about the other expenditures but for those just looking at bold print you would miss it. A more important figure might have been manufactured goods. As for owning our debt, I knew China has recently become the leader but I thought the UK was still second.

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

        I found the term "knick knacks" sort of dismissive because most of our consumer spending from my experience is on foreign goods. Electronics, appliances, tools, replacement parts, all foreign made. Clothing, foreign made. We get lamb from Australia, more and more jared and canned goods from china and quite a bit of produce from south america.

        The motely fool people love to put their slant on things, I've seen it with how they twist stock performance and futures. My bottom line is can our economy survive with the current outflow of consumer spending on foreign made goods? I believe the answer is no, so we had better figure out a way to change that. More and more of my consumer dollars are going to big oil so I can heat my home and drive my car. The shoes on my feet and the clothes on my back are made outside of our country. I'm sure if there was a way for china and the rest of the world to collect money for my housing, insurance and food costs, they would find it.

        Contrary to how that article was slanted, the majority of my consumer spending aside from housing and food, is on foreign goods and most of them are made in communist china. If so little of our spending is on chinese junk, and knick knacks, I challenge the motely fool morons to try and live without them! I think they would get a rude awakening. Frank

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

          Now how does it go you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time and some of the people now I`m getting fooled

          Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

            Good points.

            But still part of the problem (actually a lot of the problem) is that when people look at the figures, they don't believe them. While I think it's good that we question the article (heck, I question everything)... I find it often perplexing when given "numbers" many will just dismiss it altogether and prefer to stick to thier "idea" of things, irregardless!

            I learned at a very early age, that money is something of an "imaginary" thing... or at least the perception of it's value is. For example, you could take a 100 people at various levels of society and provide them a certain percentage of thier worth or monetary values and some will simply feel highly enriched and others will fall into the pits of despair because it isn't enough. The amounts of that money's value to an individual is pretty much a perception by that person.

            I've lived my life without the need to "borrow"... borrowing is expensive and in today's market it is like spending $10 to get $8 worth of value. Who among us can afford to simply blow 10 to 20 % of their hard-earned money? I can't and so I don't. Of course sometimes you have to, for things like your mortgage and I've done that twice... but in the process of getting that mortgage, we also got an Amortization Schedule and subsequently we paid both houses well in advance of their full term. Likewise, my first two cars were purchased through bank loans, but since then I prefer to pay cash. My last car was purchased by borrowing against my Savings (a loan secured by a savings account is considerably lower than a conventional car loan... but there again, I paid it off early.

            I do buy daily purchases with "plastic"... but as long as it gets paid in full every month, that doesn't cost me anything either. Bottom line is I really try my best NOT to pay somebody else in order to acquire food, clothing, and other stuff. Personally, I find most purchases far more enjoyable, because I treat them as "rewards" for my saving for them. It's a lot better mentally (at least for us), then knowing owe somebody for that thing I bought almost a year ago. (I have friends and family who are still paying for stuff that is now broken or worn out... now how enjoyable is that?... no thanks!)

            This whole economy thing is frightful for most all of us. It's hard for many of us to understand. Yet, there are some simplicities to it too. If you look at it today, it seems really scary; but if you look at our history, you'll find that there were far, far, more dangerous times and almost magically we pulled out of those.

            CWS

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

              I have not been able to live without racking up credit card debt. Having a wife who works helped, but raising daughters and affording them some of the things they wanted and we felt they should have was beyond our income. I have done without new cars, vacations and other things but stilll got into debt. The whole economy thing for me is depressing because I have not heard anyone intelligently explain how we are going to improve our situation. I don't believe magic will play any part in solving our problems. We spend too much, have too much debt and too little income as a country. Most of what we consume from my perspective is not made here anymore, that means our money leaves and does not return ( trade deficit).

              CWS, you write as a very learned man so please pull back the curtain on the wizard and tell me how this will play out in a positive way?
              Explain how we can change the trillions in national debt, millions of unemployed and all those other simplistic numbers that do seem scary.
              We continue to have legislators that do nothing to stop the debt from rising, the businesses and jobs from leaving, their own agendas from taking precedence over the good of the country. I know what I know, of that I'm sure. The consumer goods I mentioned, the outsourced jobs, the shift in consumer spending to satiate big oils growing hunger, what magic will change all that?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                Normally I don't pay attention to articles that come from AOL, because they bought the Huffington Post, which has ties to George Soros, because the Propaganda coming from them is overwhelming.

                However, that was actually an interesting read.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                  Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                  CWS, you write as a very learned man so please pull back the curtain on the wizard and tell me how this will play out in a positive way?
                  Explain how we can change the trillions in national debt, millions of unemployed and all those other simplistic numbers that do seem scary.
                  We continue to have legislators that do nothing to stop the debt from rising, the businesses and jobs from leaving, their own agendas from taking precedence over the good of the country. I know what I know, of that I'm sure. The consumer goods I mentioned, the outsourced jobs, the shift in consumer spending to satiate big oils growing hunger, what magic will change all that?
                  Franki, if only I knew!!!

                  I can tell you what I'd like to see happen, but certainly it's only my opinion. There's a saying, "What you are, depends on what you were, when!" I can only tell of what I have seen and the convictions that I have reached based on what I have read from many other sources.

                  But, I can tell you that some things just don't get done right. A case in point, being the story I saw tonight on CBS news about the poor state of our Solar Panel business and how terribly unfair it was that the Chinese are flooding the market with their grossly underpriced panels. One of the people interviewed was an "installer" who said that typically the price of a solar panel array installation would be about $3000 more expensive if they used U.S. made panels.

                  So, I'm thinking... how much does a typical solar array installation cost and really, would a $3000 difference make a big difference to the overall project, if in fact that the manufacturer origin was pointed out? Hey, for those who can afford to do such, I would think that $3K would be a drop in the bucket. (Hey, I'm very low middle-class... and though $3K is a lot of bucks, it isn't going to be a major crisis to me!)

                  The other part of the equation is the question: Isn't there a government incentive to putting in solar panels? If so, shouldn't any such incentive (or government entitlement, tax right off, subsidy or whatever label you put on it) stipulate that only U.S. made panels and parts be used? Seems to me that if the government (local, state, or Federal) was going to subsidize such installations or ANY work of any kind... it should damn well state the country of origin as being the U.S.A.

                  What I don't see, is that we should be hammering the Chinese government over such issues... but isn't it the right and the responsibility of any government to subsidize and support it's people and especially its manufacturing power? Something doesn't seem quite right, but perhaps I'm wrong in this.

                  In any case, there's a lot to be said,

                  CWS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                    Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                    Franki, if only I knew!!!

                    I can tell you what I'd like to see happen, but certainly it's only my opinion. There's a saying, "What you are, depends on what you were, when!" I can only tell of what I have seen and the convictions that I have reached based on what I have read from many other sources.

                    But, I can tell you that some things just don't get done right. A case in point, being the story I saw tonight on CBS news about the poor state of our Solar Panel business and how terribly unfair it was that the Chinese are flooding the market with their grossly underpriced panels. One of the people interviewed was an "installer" who said that typically the price of a solar panel array installation would be about $3000 more expensive if they used U.S. made panels.

                    So, I'm thinking... how much does a typical solar array installation cost and really, would a $3000 difference make a big difference to the overall project, if in fact that the manufacturer origin was pointed out? Hey, for those who can afford to do such, I would think that $3K would be a drop in the bucket. (Hey, I'm very low middle-class... and though $3K is a lot of bucks, it isn't going to be a major crisis to me!)

                    The other part of the equation is the question: Isn't there a government incentive to putting in solar panels? If so, shouldn't any such incentive (or government entitlement, tax right off, subsidy or whatever label you put on it) stipulate that only U.S. made panels and parts be used? Seems to me that if the government (local, state, or Federal) was going to subsidize such installations or ANY work of any kind... it should damn well state the country of origin as being the U.S.A.

                    What I don't see, is that we should be hammering the Chinese government over such issues... but isn't it the right and the responsibility of any government to subsidize and support it's people and especially its manufacturing power? Something doesn't seem quite right, but perhaps I'm wrong in this.

                    In any case, there's a lot to be said,

                    CWS
                    "In any case, there's a lot to be said," I agree and want you to say it! Come on, I want your opinion on the things I mentioned, the big picture and how it will all play out given our current situations. I honestly can't see a good way out of all this mess, so I want to hear from other folks who know more, have a wider field of knowledge from which to draw their conclusions.

                    I think I have a pretty good idea of where we are regarding national debt, the economy including unemployment, complications involving trade, problems with our borders and most of the other serious issues facing America. I'd like you and anyone else who would care to extrapolate how these issues will play out in the next few years based on your understanding of "the facts".

                    I watch politicians from both sides of the aisle discuss all sorts of issues facing our country and people, but no one will really give details of how they think these problems will be solved. For example, tax breaks for the rich and businesses in my opinion will not result in the millions of jobs needed to fix unemployment, neither will the President's repeated call for higher education or green jobs. I find these catch phrases annoying and lacking substance and details. Certainly someone has more to say if they really think there's a way out of all this mess, or not?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                      Okay! But you realize that what you're asking for is a "book". It takes a heckuva lot longer to come up with the answers than it does the questions. More importantly, is the time it consumes to do the research and post the "facts" so that you might reach the same conclusions that I have. Moreover, what I may well take as "evidence", you may well (and I think have) ignore in your logic of things. As I said before, much of what we are and what we perceive is largely dependant on the events in our lives and the people that we currently listen too; and, I don't think that I am at all one of the people that you listen to!

                      But what the hey, let's give it a shot anyway. Just remember that I'm not making this personal and that my answers are pretty much what I have seen either first hand, or by News and historical readings. However, I don't see that this exercise should have to take the many hours that it would take me to look up the stats, take the pictures, and link all the articles necessary to convince you or anyone else of my opinions. Honestly I doubt that such investment of my time would turn anyone's opinion anyway.

                      So, do we do a separate topic heading or do we just add to this one?

                      I'll attempt a short answer to your question regarding your first example question: "tax breaks for the rich and businesses will not result in the millions of jobs needed to fix unemployment"

                      I think you are absolutely correct in that analysis. If you look at the Reagan years (check Wikipedia on the Reagan presidency), that is the first time in recent history that massive tax breaks were given to the rich. IIRC, they were also extended to business and business was given opportunities to basicall raid the $Billions that it had sat aside for "Pension Plans". They did this under a change that allowed them to rewrite pensions, start 401K's and thus use those historically accumulated "pension" funds to rebuild. That was the plan, but in many cases... that rebuild was more like restructuring and the "off-shoring" of our jobs was begun. Also note that it was the "Reagan" years, that took this nation into the status of "DEBT" for the first time.

                      Since then, the "rich" have seen increasing breaks in taxes. As I referenced a few weeks ago, two-thirds of today's "corporations" do NOT pay any taxes at all and many of the "rich" like Mitt Romney are paying only about 10% in taxes. Given these very low tax revenues, and taking the Republican's idea that lower taxes will produce jobs... WHERE ARE THEY? It just defies the history of the past 30 years. If lower taxes on business and the rich is thought to produce jobs, then (as I stated a couple of weeks ago), be awash in employment openings. Sadly, this Republican ideology is totally without any merit whatsoever.

                      Now, let me take just a couple of examples from my own local experience: My ex-employer got not only tax breaks, but actually received $10 Million in NY taxpayer money in 2000 (for the purpose of expanding their business in NY State). On that very day, they laid off over 180 employees...most in violation of the Federal "Older Worker's Protection Act". Not one dime of it saved a job! In addition, within just two to three months, they moved two major product lines out of the state, to China and India. Within a few more months, they moved the Corporate offices to Texas and another product line to Texas. If lower taxes were to save jobs, where were they?

                      Corning, Inc suffered a major downfall during the Tech bust. In several communities, Corning had agreed to build new plants and had signed off on those. Those communities, went through a great amount of infrastructure change with land development, including sewers, streets, etc. to accomodate Corning's promise of new jobs for those areas. That whole motion was a major tax encentive by local communities and citizens shoulding new tax burdens based on the promise of JOBS from Corning. While Corning itself may not be blamed for the tech bust, certainly one might reach the conclusion that they honestly did'nt care either. Corning rebounded within just a few years and instead of going back to those communities that it left "holding the bag"... they instead invested several $Billion to transfer those jobs to China!!!! Certainly tax incentives, even at the local level did not create even one job!

                      Now, consider this... just from my little factory community with it's two powerful industries. The "rich" have gotten VERY rich and the working class have gotten VERY poor! In 1973, we had four major car dealerships, eight sizeable grocery chains, a viable shopping district, three major shopping chains, a half dozen barber shops, several gas stations, a couple of dozen independant Physicians, and a half dozen drug stores. That was the town that I moved to!

                      Today, that town has only one car dealorship, two grocery chains, half of the shopping district is owned by Corning Enterprises, there's only one barber shop, about a half dozen gas stations, all but about four physicians are part of Guthrie (Corning, Inc supported) and about a dozen or more drug stores. We've got lots of empty building though, and plenty of cleared land where factories once stood. The only business that has grown in our community has been the health business and office calls have grown from what used to be $8 for a visit (1973) to roughly about $175 a visit.

                      The poor get to shop at Walmart now. The "rich"... well, they don't drive Fords and Chevy's. You look at the executive parking lot and you'll see lot's of Audi's, BMW's, and other European makes. Vacations? Well, let me just say that other than weekends at the cottage on the Finger Lakes, the rich don't vacation here in the U.S.; the people that I talk to go to Europe and Asia. Even with normal shopping, you won't find a Corning executive-wife buying her dress or slacks or even her underwear in Walmart... she hops the Corning executive jet and buys her stuff in NY or Atlanta or even Europe.

                      The bottom line is that in my little "microcosm" of the world, the rich and the poor may as well be on separate planets.

                      My point here is that giving the rich tax advantages does NOT lead to more or better jobs for the working class poor. The latter doesn't make what the rich are interested in buying. They don't do it locally, and they don't do it nationally either. The top brands, the expensive brands that the Rich want to buy are not American brands and they haven't been for most of the last half-century!

                      So as far as I'm concerned, we need to return to the tax plans of the late 50's and early 60's (whatever that was). Hey, if you are fortunate enough to make a $Million, you needs aren't any more than the middle class... so fork over more of the dough that you've scavenged off the backs of your workers, your fans, or your investment contributors.

                      Now, does that anwer that particular question for you?

                      I've got some question you asked a few weeks ago, and I've got my opinion answers to most of those. Problem of course is that I thought they were too long and probably not worth your "read", so I didn't bother at the time. But, I can post if you would like.

                      More to come,

                      CWS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                        CWS, thanks for the response. I don't expect you to explain how you reach your opinions since I expect they are based on different media sources as well as your life's experience. One thought when you finish giving your thoughts on some of these different issues, can you reach any conclusion on what we are facing in the coming months and next year or so? I ask this because if we agree on some of these issues it might be safe to say how they will impact us down the road.

                        You did give a very thorough answer to my question regarding tax breaks, and if we are correct then the republicans don't have much in the way of a jobs plan! Unfortunately, neither do the democrats in my opinion. Can we say that there is no jobs plan from either party, or do you think the democrats will offer something not yet disclosed to employ the masses?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                          Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                          Okay! But you realize that what you're asking for is a "book". It takes a heckuva lot longer to come up with the answers than it does the questions. More importantly, is the time it consumes to do the research and post the "facts" so that you might reach the same conclusions that I have. Moreover, what I may well take as "evidence", you may well (and I think have) ignore in your logic of things. As I said before, much of what we are and what we perceive is largely dependant on the events in our lives and the people that we currently listen too; and, I don't think that I am at all one of the people that you listen to!

                          But what the hey, let's give it a shot anyway. Just remember that I'm not making this personal and that my answers are pretty much what I have seen either first hand, or by News and historical readings. However, I don't see that this exercise should have to take the many hours that it would take me to look up the stats, take the pictures, and link all the articles necessary to convince you or anyone else of my opinions. Honestly I doubt that such investment of my time would turn anyone's opinion anyway.

                          So, do we do a separate topic heading or do we just add to this one?

                          I'll attempt a short answer to your question regarding your first example question: "tax breaks for the rich and businesses will not result in the millions of jobs needed to fix unemployment"

                          I think you are absolutely correct in that analysis. If you look at the Reagan years (check Wikipedia on the Reagan presidency), that is the first time in recent history that massive tax breaks were given to the rich. IIRC, they were also extended to business and business was given opportunities to basicall raid the $Billions that it had sat aside for "Pension Plans". They did this under a change that allowed them to rewrite pensions, start 401K's and thus use those historically accumulated "pension" funds to rebuild. That was the plan, but in many cases... that rebuild was more like restructuring and the "off-shoring" of our jobs was begun. Also note that it was the "Reagan" years, that took this nation into the status of "DEBT" for the first time.

                          Since then, the "rich" have seen increasing breaks in taxes. As I referenced a few weeks ago, two-thirds of today's "corporations" do NOT pay any taxes at all and many of the "rich" like Mitt Romney are paying only about 10% in taxes. Given these very low tax revenues, and taking the Republican's idea that lower taxes will produce jobs... WHERE ARE THEY? It just defies the history of the past 30 years. If lower taxes on business and the rich is thought to produce jobs, then (as I stated a couple of weeks ago), be awash in employment openings. Sadly, this Republican ideology is totally without any merit whatsoever.

                          Now, let me take just a couple of examples from my own local experience: My ex-employer got not only tax breaks, but actually received $10 Million in NY taxpayer money in 2000 (for the purpose of expanding their business in NY State). On that very day, they laid off over 180 employees...most in violation of the Federal "Older Worker's Protection Act". Not one dime of it saved a job! In addition, within just two to three months, they moved two major product lines out of the state, to China and India. Within a few more months, they moved the Corporate offices to Texas and another product line to Texas. If lower taxes were to save jobs, where were they?

                          Corning, Inc suffered a major downfall during the Tech bust. In several communities, Corning had agreed to build new plants and had signed off on those. Those communities, went through a great amount of infrastructure change with land development, including sewers, streets, etc. to accomodate Corning's promise of new jobs for those areas. That whole motion was a major tax encentive by local communities and citizens shoulding new tax burdens based on the promise of JOBS from Corning. While Corning itself may not be blamed for the tech bust, certainly one might reach the conclusion that they honestly did'nt care either. Corning rebounded within just a few years and instead of going back to those communities that it left "holding the bag"... they instead invested several $Billion to transfer those jobs to China!!!! Certainly tax incentives, even at the local level did not create even one job!

                          Now, consider this... just from my little factory community with it's two powerful industries. The "rich" have gotten VERY rich and the working class have gotten VERY poor! In 1973, we had four major car dealerships, eight sizeable grocery chains, a viable shopping district, three major shopping chains, a half dozen barber shops, several gas stations, a couple of dozen independant Physicians, and a half dozen drug stores. That was the town that I moved to!

                          Today, that town has only one car dealorship, two grocery chains, half of the shopping district is owned by Corning Enterprises, there's only one barber shop, about a half dozen gas stations, all but about four physicians are part of Guthrie (Corning, Inc supported) and about a dozen or more drug stores. We've got lots of empty building though, and plenty of cleared land where factories once stood. The only business that has grown in our community has been the health business and office calls have grown from what used to be $8 for a visit (1973) to roughly about $175 a visit.

                          The poor get to shop at Walmart now. The "rich"... well, they don't drive Fords and Chevy's. You look at the executive parking lot and you'll see lot's of Audi's, BMW's, and other European makes. Vacations? Well, let me just say that other than weekends at the cottage on the Finger Lakes, the rich don't vacation here in the U.S.; the people that I talk to go to Europe and Asia. Even with normal shopping, you won't find a Corning executive-wife buying her dress or slacks or even her underwear in Walmart... she hops the Corning executive jet and buys her stuff in NY or Atlanta or even Europe.

                          The bottom line is that in my little "microcosm" of the world, the rich and the poor may as well be on separate planets.

                          My point here is that giving the rich tax advantages does NOT lead to more or better jobs for the working class poor. The latter doesn't make what the rich are interested in buying. They don't do it locally, and they don't do it nationally either. The top brands, the expensive brands that the Rich want to buy are not American brands and they haven't been for most of the last half-century!

                          So as far as I'm concerned, we need to return to the tax plans of the late 50's and early 60's (whatever that was). Hey, if you are fortunate enough to make a $Million, you needs aren't any more than the middle class... so fork over more of the dough that you've scavenged off the backs of your workers, your fans, or your investment contributors.

                          Now, does that anwer that particular question for you?

                          I've got some question you asked a few weeks ago, and I've got my opinion answers to most of those. Problem of course is that I thought they were too long and probably not worth your "read", so I didn't bother at the time. But, I can post if you would like.

                          More to come,

                          CWS
                          Vary informative reading and yes I would like read more of your views as the middle class is the glue that holds democracies together and when the all the people don`t feel equal it all falls apart not today or tomorrow but will creep up on all and then it will be to late

                          Tony

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Interesting article on Economic Debt

                            Motley Fool is, well, aptly named.

                            The comparison of Chinese imports to the GDP is silly. The GDP includes health care, insurance, utilities, US defense spending, food etc. The real question is "what percentage of consumer goods are produced in the USA v. China?". Walk around your own house; look in your closets and dresser drawers; look in your kids' toy box. How many Made in USA labels are you finding? All of those Made in [somewhere else] items are made in factories that aren't employing Americans. A large number of the replacement car parts you get at the local parts store - whether those parts are for imports or domestic cars - are of Chinese origin. Motley Fool references data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Like that's credible? The Federal Reserve is a privately held bank that is well-known for slanting numbers to justify their (mostly failed) policies. I am inclined to view ANYTHING from the Fed as wrong. They haven't been right about anything in 20 years, and bear significant responsibility for the dot com bubble, the housing bubble, the subsequent mortgage meltdown and the inflated prices we're starting to see.

                            The article references debt. It is true that China has been actually reducing the amount of US debt that they hold. This is because they don't think that US monetary policy is sound - in particular the forced low interest rates and massive expansion of the money supply by the Fed. It's also true that US debt has always been overwhelmingly held by the US. Before the Fed starting "expanding its balance sheet" (a Bernanke euphemism for creating money out of thin air to finance government debt rather than allowing free market interest rates to climb) most public debt was held by the US public in the form of treasuries and government bonds. Of the foreign debt, China is the largest holder, currently still at over 20% of the all foreign held debt. Again, it would be higher, except that China views US treasuries as a risky investment. The only reason it isn't lower is because a) the Chinese need somewhere to put their dollars gained through the massive trade imbalance, and b) they want to maintain political influence.

                            As for oil, the article cites he EIA as a source but unfortunately the report it links to doesn't back up the low percentage of US oil imports that the article attributes to the Middle East. it only addresses the top 15 exporting nations. Here's another link, also referencing the EIA, that concludes that US crude oil imports from the Middle East account for 25% of the total US oil consumption:

                            http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/02...l-think-again/

                            While their point is similar, namely that many think the US imports more oil than it does, the numbers are vastly different (and more consistent with what I've read elsewhere) than the MF article.

                            It is true that upon hearing the word "OPEC", many think of Arab nations... but in fact many other oil exporters are big players in that organization.

                            I don't really know what any of this has to do with anything, but it does go to show that you can't believe everything you read on the internet.
                            Last edited by Andy_M; 02-20-2012, 11:11 PM.

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