The welfare state is destroying the West

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Grandluxe, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. From Andrew Stevens, CNN
    November 26, 2012 -- Updated 0722 GMT (1522 HKT)

    (CNN) -- The speed at which the global economy has pivoted from the West to emerging economies like China is astounding, says author Niall Ferguson.

    Ferguson sat down last week with CNN's Andrew Stevens in detailed talk on the global economy.

    <b>Why are Western economies performing so badly?</b>

    One way of thinking about this is to ask why so many economies, most of them Western are currently crushed by debt, which in some cases exceed 100% of GDP? And these debts are forecast to rise even further in the U.S. One way of thinking about this is to say that debt represents a tax on the future. And the big accumulation of debt that we've seen over the last 20 or 30 years in the Western world reflects a breach of contract between the current generation and the next generations. And these debts represent a big burden on the future. And that is one reason I think we've seen a slowdown in the Western world because these burdens of debt act as a major check on economic dynamism.

    <b>Why has this generation decided to ignore future generations? Why have we become so selfish?</b>

    At some level I think it's a cultural shift. We've moved a long way from our ideals of self-sacrifice for the future that characterized the West during its hay days of industrialization, overseas expansion -- not to mention large-scale warfare. So there's partly been a cultural shift towards the 'me generation' -- consume now, live in the present.
    I think what happened after World War II was that it was decided in most Western countries to create pretty generous welfare states that were going to exist to transfer resources from the rich to the poor. But over time the welfare state has become dysfunctional in a surprising way. But in a way it became a victim of its own success: It became so successful at prolonging life, that it becomes financially unsustainable, unless you make major changes to things like retirement ages. And everywhere you see the same basic story, whether you're looking at northern Europe, southern Europe, or north America -- welfare states become harder and harder to finance, and structural budget deficits emerge.

    Read More:

    Another damning indictment of the welfare system by Niall Ferguson
  2. Ricter


    Motor Vehicle Sales

    Results are still coming in but vehicle sales are very strong, up a monthly 5 percent in November for the North American-made annual rate to 11.7 million. Replacement demand tied to Hurricane Sandy boosted sales as did incentives during the month. Changes in unit sales don't always translate into the same changes for dollar sales, but these gains are so significant that they point squarely to a significant gain for the government's motor vehicle component especially given an easy comparison with a soft October."

    Car sales rise sharply in November
    Dec. 3, 2012, 4:18 p.m. EST

    " CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Car buyers shrugged off Hurricane Sandy and the looming fiscal cliff and went to the showrooms in earnest last month, pumping up sales of new vehicles for U.S. and foreign marques alike.

    The jumps coincide with some of the highest levels of consumer confidence in years. While Sandy shut down business at many dealerships on the Eastern Seaboard for weeks, and damaged thousands of cars at storage lots, the storm may have been a net positive as insurance companies began to cut checks later in the month, leading to nice bumps in business.

    “It was pretty decent across the board,” said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst at “Sales are coming in right around our expectations. Overall consumer demand is real and has been steadily increasing.”

    He noted that Sandy cut into the first few weeks, but

  3. Ricter


    Construction Spending

    Construction activity in October was healthy across the board. Other sectors within construction have been up and down but housing continues its sustained uptrend. Construction spending jumped 1.4 percent in October, following a gain of 0.5 percent the month before. The consensus called for a 0.4 percent gain.

    "The rise in October was led by private residential spending which advanced 3.0 percent after rising 1.1 percent the prior month. For the latest month, new 1-family outlays jumped 3.6 percent, new multi-family construction jumped 6.2 percent, and residential excluding new homes (largely improvements) gained 1.8 percent. Private nonresidential spending rose 0.3 percent after increasing 0.5 percent in September. Public outlays rebounded 0.8 percent, following a 0.1 percent dip the prior month.

    "On a year-ago basis, overall construction was up 9.6 percent in October, compared to 8.9 percent the prior month.

    "While manufacturing data this morning continued to indicate a soft manufacturing sector, construction-especially housing-is adding to the recovery's momentum."
  4. As far as new housing Imo, these are the only projects underwriters will approve because of uncertainty of housing appraisals. 5 - 10 year old houses are iffy regarding appraisal numbers.

    And besides, builders build, that's what they do.

    The banks only lend money on new stuff.

    I could dig out the recent numbers on the number of stalled (half built) projects in NYC. Unexplainable.

    Auto's pffttt.. this is another scam. what little consumer credit is available makes finanicing an auto cheaper than repairing an out of warranty auto. More trouble down the road.
  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Ricter, what exactly does construction spending and vehicle sales have to do with the OP?
  6. Mav88


    It has nothing to do with it, except that to note any positive GDP gains are now on the government credit card.

    Deficit ~ 6.3% GDP
    GDP growth ~ 2% GDP

    Ricter is excited about that
  7. Lucrum



    I think he's drunk again.

    1) going to FL without his wife
    2) increasingly belligerent recently, despite his messiah winning reelection
    3) frequently showing up here drunk off his ass

    Marriage problems?
  8. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    I noticed he excluded in his reports the ISM print today which showed manufacturing in contraction again. That was far more impactful and relevant than auto sales or construction spending...heh
  9. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Who knows. There's definitely been a cadence change, that's for sure.
  10. Ricter


    Perhaps I should start a boo-hoo coming to terms with my feelings thread.

    : )
    #10     Dec 3, 2012