BUY USA clause in bailout package violates NAFTA

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On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 14:13:08 -0800 (PST), Charlie Self

I have a credit card (mastercard) that gives points useable for buying groceries (president's choice - lablaws) and I charge just about everything I buy, both personal and business on that card, and pay it off every month. Buys a fair bit of free groceries every year!!
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<SNIP>
<MORE SNIPPAGE>
About that 1350 max - I hear the feds are going to make us do a "Green" assessment before and after to ensure that the "upgrades" actually worked before the credit will be allowed at "TAX TIME" and further that the people who do the work cannot be family members.
If I do it for myself, I cannot reap the reward.
Some caveat.
P D Q
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How does that deal with manufacturers of products for foreign markets? Not everything the US makes is for domestic consumption. You have to keep selling cluster bombs to other 'friendly' countries, you know.
=======The trade imbalance is specifically the problem. I'm for sending those clusters bombs to friendlies, as well as free contributions to those hostile to US interests. There was a time when dropping a bomb, a US made bomb, eventually circulated the money back into our economy. Bush's $8B war was supposed to generate $8B of revenue for those concerns involved in replenishing the stockpile.

Oh, and that money that is supposed to go around and around in a closed loop system? After the money-lenders and robber barons and tax people and utility gougers skim off the bulk of it?
======Corrupt money lenders were and remain the bane of all civilizations. ;) It's odd to have this discussion in this NG, in the company of mostly decent folk, but I'll help fan the flames this once. Let's have us a bit of fun.

The money a working man spends to heat his home goes up the chimney, so to speak, never to return as anything worthwhile. How do you replenish it? Print some more?
========Domestic energy. Money doesn't disappear when it's spent. Instead, it circulates. We would like to have it circulate here for a change.

Many economic models work well as long as you exclude the predators.
======Greed has its good side as well. More specificially, profit -- i.e., personal gain -- is the entire basis of free enterprise. Let's face it. The US *was* a great nation, whether in spite of or even because of the robber barons. Without incentive, we look, act, and snuggle in our comforters like the rest of the socialist world. As a personal aside, it was largely or at least partly personal enrichment that made Gleevec possible. That's all I'm going to say on that.
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I guess I didn't make my point very clear. If the US won't buy stuff from other countries, what makes anybody think they will sell anything to other countries?
Back to woodworking.
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I guess I didn't make my point very clear. If the US won't buy stuff from other countries, what makes anybody think they will sell anything to other countries?
Back to woodworking. ====We were talking strictly of how economic stimulus money was to be spent. We can talk about burning Walmarts some other day.
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On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 19:15:48 -0600, "MikeWhy"

Oh, it returns all right, when Canadians buy US goods and services. Because we ARE a small economy we cannot afford to build EVERYTHING we need. Particularly when your (protectionist) industries pull their plants out of Canada . And they buy up our plants and then pull them out so if we want, say, a medium duty truck we need to buy AMERICAN International or Freightliner trucks because you have shut our plants down. Our steel industry is almost 100% American owned now that American Steel has bought out Stelco.
You get your money back from Canada. How'd you like if Canada decided to say "you won't buy our steel, see how you do without our natural gas too"? We wouldn't be STUPID enough to do that (I dont think even Harper would do that - Dion might have).
<The status quo is exactly why we have a

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*** Major snippage ***

Mike, I appreciate your thoughtful response. But to me it sounds like a high school civics lesson given by an economics teacher. You obviously have a much more idealistic belief in our system than I do.
To use your simple analogy, I think that money given by the government to US companies will indeed flow through our plumbing system and into the hands of the gutter rats.
You see everything working as it would in a textbook situation. Money flowing from the top down, everyone receiving benefits. A great plan if it would work.
But the USA isn't that way. Individuals now steal billions of dollars at a time. Billions. American businesses are so cavalier in their practices that they use "bailout money" slated to assist the public to pay themselves bonuses for jobs poorly done. With no oversight, they aren't even breaking a law, and they aren't asked to give the money back. After losing a few billion themselves, their was one banker that used 1.6 million just to remodel his office!
Out of the 50 billion dollars that are spent on the war each year, how have you benefited? Do you have better trade infrastructure in your community? Did General Dynamics open a plant in your community? Did Haliburton spread their new found wealth anywhere that you know of? Lockheed? Have any of these companies that continue to make billions from tax payer money helped you by sourcing the to your state? There are evidenced situations where American companies overcharged (Haliburton) overcharged the government by millions and millions... and nothing is done except to ask for part of the money back.
A simple law won't reform American business practices. Laws won't reform the criminal element of American business. Daily, we see more Americans that have happily screwed the eyeballs out of their fellow Americans so they can lead the good life. American business is broken. Ethically, American banking is in even worse shape. Corruption, cronyism, lack of ethics and lack of morals are what American big business is all about.
Think about that gawdawful first hearing with the auto makers where they all flew up in their private jets to talk to Congress.
And at this point with the last bailout, there is an estimated 380 billion spent, and as much as half of that is totally unaccounted for; the people that got the money (mostly banks at this point) refused to even tell Congress where it went.
If you think that telling these folks to buy American will fix the profound corporate greed and unethical behavior and make them models for a high school civic class, we are so far apart on this we are on different planets.
In a perfect world, the idea would work. But here and now, with our system as it is with the people we have in charge, not a chance.
Well... that's it for me. I am going to prep the pit and the meat for a nice brisket smoke for tomorrow. I hope to watch the game tomorrow and watch the Redbirds pull an upset for all of us gray haired guys.
Robert
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wrote:

*** Major snippage ***

Mike, I appreciate your thoughtful response. But to me it sounds like a high school civics lesson given by an economics teacher. You obviously have a much more idealistic belief in our system than I do.
To use your simple analogy, I think that money given by the government to US companies will indeed flow through our plumbing system and into the hands of the gutter rats.
You see everything working as it would in a textbook situation. Money flowing from the top down, everyone receiving benefits. A great plan if it would work.
But the USA isn't that way. Individuals now steal billions of dollars at a time. Billions. American businesses are so cavalier in their practices that they use "bailout money" slated to assist the public to pay themselves bonuses for jobs poorly done. With no oversight, they
==========If it's the bailout you object to, I don't have an opinion. You already have my thoughts on import versus domestic spending. It's the only part of it that makes any sense, and requires very little in the way of beliefs or idealism. If you want to rave on about crooks and thieves, greed, corruption and wholesale lack of ethics in public office, and a government grown too big ... what can I possibly say? Pour you another beer if you like and we can both cry into it. My suggestion is to just cook up another batch of popcorn, pull up a comfy chair, and kick back to watch the biggest circus sideshow to hit town in decades. There ain't jack else you or I can do about it. (FWIW, I've tried banning my wife from watching that kook case Lou Dobbs on CNN. She mistakes his gossip and ranting for hard news and facts. I'll settle for her not parroting his nonsense in my presence, but she still slips up now and then. One day, I really will climb the roof and clip that satellite cable.)
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Lou blathers on about whatever will sell him books. Just a windbag from the Limbaugh school. Lou figures if it works for Rush on the right, it ought to work for him on the so-called left. They're both talking heads with very little substance or soul.
Funny thing is, sometimes both of them slip up and say something true.
BTW, isn't there an amendment that deals with cable snipping somewhere? <G>
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Amen. Already in process. I am tired of feeling bad about the things I can't do anything about. We have suffered (as Americans) decades of bad leadership at a time, and yet we are all still here. I don't let this stuff get to me as much as it did years ago. I have too many other issues on my plate, so all things must be taken in perspective.
(FWIW, I've tried banning my wife from watching that kook case Lou Dobbs

With you there as well. My SO watches Fox and Friends. They can be entertaining, they can also be pretty truthful about things, but they also FOCUS on all things political. Mainly things that are wrong. When she starts to makes us both miserable because she is up in arms, I usually walk away.
I still get overwound about stoopid. But since my own personal theory is that all politicians are pretty much the same, I gave up on getting my blood pressure up over party lines, etc.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The government has no business giving taxpayer money to private businesses unless they are doing so in receipt of services. The current plan is having the government pick the winners and losers -- something the government has failed at every time.

In free enterprise that is how it does work, and, despite the appearances being given by the propagandists, is still working for the most part.

Each of those companies you mention pay salaries to their employees, those employees use that money to pay their mortgages (there's an interesting concept, eh?), buy groceries, dine out, and basically participate in the economy. The reports of Halliburton's overcharges were either grossly overly sensationalized (no, I don't work for Halliburton or any of its subsidiaries), the majority of the overcharges were due to differing interpretations of legally reimbursable expenses. The Defense industry is one of the most heavily regulated and audited industries in the country -- if someone were wanting to commit fraud or any other type of shenanigans, that is not the industry to try to do it. Imagine if you had to open your books to your customers, showing them your expenses, costs, with whom you were doing business, and then negotiate a "fair and reasonable" profit based upon your disclosed (and auditable) costs. That's the defense industry. The government has access to all cost records, costs, and fees. Each company negotiates the allowable profit on each contract, all costs and expenditures are fully auditable.

You also forgot the most corrupt element of all, the ones who brought us this lovely little housing bust -- the members of congress who, through various legal extortion forced banks to make loans to people who the banks knew would never be able to repay. Various pressures through the CRA (and for those apologists, no, this has not been widely debunked. More than bank mergers were threatened by CRA enforcement) conspired to keep lowering the housing loan bar to the point that even welfare payments could be considered as income in applying for home loans. It's not surprising that bank boards got together to determine how best to spread the risk from these toxic loans so that *their* bank didn't go under. After a time, I suspect a number of them "went native" and then things really began to go awry.

This was a bit disengenuous on the part of the congress critters (Does San Fran Nan really need the airplane *she* demanded when becoming Speaker of the House?). Private jets are actually a fairly cost-effective means of transportation for company executives when their time availability is measured in minutes and metered to ensure access for the highest priority concerns. Private jets eliminate delays and permit them to continue working while in transit by either holding meetings on the plane or by teleconference. It just doesn't make sense for them to be flying commercial, the company loses use of their time during delays.
What is more troubling is that they went to Washington at all to ask for taxpayer money to support their private firms. Even more troubling is that they expected to receive such money.

From my standpoint, some of this is delicious (but expensive) irony: the majority of those banks, bankers, and investment firms are run by staunch supporters of the Democrat party (you know, the party of the "little guy")

--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Protectionism seemed to work for Harley Davidson. And lack of protectionism of any sort has moved much of our manufacturing "overseas". In fact, our manufacturers have benefited from tax codes that paid the owners to move their factories out of the country. The grand irony is that without protecting our jobs and wages here, there has been zero effort to increase wages in the countries where our jobs have moved to. With the result that jobs keep going away, and we are faced with competition from illegal immigrants who are trying to flee the oppressive work environments in their countries. It's the grand race to the bottom, largely of our own making.
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