The net result of Reaganomics

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by iceaura, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sure it does. I said the average return was 5.2%. If you very carefully choose a time period that ends in the middle of the Great Recession, you can quote numbers like 1.9%. But that's some extreme cherrypicking - like saying mass transit in New York City is a complete failure and waste of money by looking at its operation between October 28 and November 2, 2012.

    It is also worthwhile to note that in the absolute worst time period you could find - investors STILL made 1.9%.
    You say these things and I get the strong feeling you have never invested before. If you have, you are working very hard to sound ignorant.
    No, we're not. We are talking about investors, who are people who invest. Not people who can't invest.
    Seattle likes this.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I described a middle class individual who can reasonably invest at good odds - exactly what you claim to be talking about.
    They are - obviously - a minority of the middle class, and vanishingly rare in the lower classes.
    That was part of my point.
    1) It was nowhere near the worst. Why do you say such things? Five seconds thought would hand you worse intervals.
    2) Only with the wealthy averaged in, and the net after costs omitted. Clearly the nonwealthy were badly hurt. And the change in wealth distribution in the US that followed that crash tell us something of how badly.
    I quoted several different time periods, all of them post Reagan, all much longer than the short term stuff you tried to pretend I was talking about earlier. As I noted, the arithmetic says you can't get a good chance of a 5% net return for a small individual investor out of any of them.

    We spent a decade in partial recovery from the Crash of 2008 - it's almost impossible to avoid that decade, if you are trying to talk about long term investing after Reagan's restructuring of the US economy. If you try to avoid not only the Crash of '08 but the milder recession of the 1980s and the occasional (third year) additional downturn otherwise, you will find you have few long term intervals under Reaganomics to pick from. What are the odds a middle class small investor would choose one of them, and been lucky enough in life to be able to hold to their choice?

    The central fact is that the likely inability to ride out a long, deep crash is exactly what makes small investors more vulnerable to the downside of the post Reagan bubble and bust stock market. The wealthy (who often acquire surplus money when still young, with more time as well as more money to invest) can let their surplus money ride if times are bad, and control their entry and exit from the market for better odds of profit - the middle and lower classes can seldom control when they receive money, and are more often forced to cash out at a time beyond their control as well. That is one of the major factors - a couple of others listed above (fees, skills, tax policies, etc) - behind the circumstance that the middle and lower classes are playing against longer odds than the wealthy.
    That a poorly regulated, bubble and bust, highly variable, laissez faire stock market is much riskier for the less wealthy than for the more wealthy is not some flake's uninformed opinion. It is a truism - an expression of a basic foundational fact of the economic world with many illustrative expressions. If you don't know it, and can't see it immediately whenever you encounter it, you don't know much about economics at all.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If you just put money in an index fund you will likely average about 7% over time. About half of the population invest in stocks when you consider mutual funds, company 401k's etc.

    Other than real estate, there aren't many other good options.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    More likely if wealthy, less likely if not.
    Not half the population - half the households. (The wealthy tend to have smaller households). And the investment is often small.
    Just before the 08 crash that percentage had reached its all time high - around 60%. The lessons of that crash learned - a lot of nonwealthy people had to cash out in the ensuing nadir; having lost their jobs, houses, etc, they were forced to take the loss on the market as well - they haven't returned to the stock market. Once burned, twice shy.
    Just hold unto the cash, is often a better option for the middle and lower classes - odds are you will need it, and with little warning.

    Investing in higher quality, more durable clothing and household stuff is frequently a good option - considerable "return" (long term loss avoidance) is possible on well chosen boots, coats, and household gear. Even food.

    And by backstopping oneself for hard times by stocking up on durable goods and cash, one creates better odds of avoiding a variety of losses: paying for tax return preparation, paying for social denigration (not making bail on spurious charges, say), having to make emergency purchases quickly upon failure of low quality stuff (instead of selecting good deals at one's discretion), paying fees for being carried on credit, and so forth.

    Having cash ready to hand, even if largely unused, can easily match a ten or fifteen percent raise in wages - for the nonwealthy.
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It must be a bitch to be among the non-wealthy bandar-log. "Say fellow, can you spare a dollar?", "no but can I interest you in some more durable boots?".

    I guess the plan is to make sure that one has no savings but lots of peas, canned goods, sorghum, molasses and a couple of bolts of good, durable cloth. That's all anyone other than the wealthy can aspire to, in the post-Reagan years I mean.

    Why, a wealthy dude might get good returns from the stock market but not a poor dude. His truck full of chickens going to market is bound to turn over on the highways and byways of America and he is going to have to sell his stocks to replace those chickens.

    No middle class person can both invest in the market and replace his chickens when his truck turns over. It just isn't fair. How is a fellow supposed to get ahead? Now if the rich were poor, then the poor fellows (and gals) of America would be able to get ahead. They would be able to get ahead and maybe even get a few heads of cattle, goats, chickens, sorghum and a few bolts of gingham but not in the post-Reagan years unfortunately. A poor fellow just can't catch a break, dang it.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's like setting a mousetrap - genius there even did the Peewee thing again.
    Here's what the guy read, immediately prior to posting that:
    Apparently, these guys can't tell cash savings from playing the stock market.
    Nor have they mastered the concept of "cost" or "cost avoidance".
    But they lecture me on economics.
    The core concepts are "cost" and "risk", which are used to calculate "expected value". One can read about them in an elementary textbook on economics.
    For this thread, all you need to remember is that
    1) most middle class and lower Americans have little or no money available for taking serious risks - Reaganomics has seen to that;
    and 2) The ones who do have the money require higher returns from the stock market than a rich investor requires, to justify the higher risks they would be taking.

    Takehome: the stock market is a poor indicator of economic health for the US. As proof, look at its growth in the 2000s.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, we were talking about investors, not people who can't afford to invest. You want to make this about the subjugated middle class. Perhaps start a new thread with your topic.
    By "only" making 1.9% during the Great Recession? Wow. Talk about first world problems.
    And an excellent two years to target if you want to cherrypick!

    Let me do the same. An investor who invested in 2008 would, after five years, have seen a 227% return. An investor who invested $1000 in Etrade mutual funds would have seen a 224% return (subtracting a typical $30 trading fee.)
    Since 1935, the ten year return for an S+P indexed investment has ALWAYS been positive. ALWAYS. So if the average investor picks a mutual fund and stays in it for ten years, his odds of making money are 100%, plus or minus almost nothing.
    I agree that the wealthy have an easier time making money in the market, since they effectively never have to sell. As shown above, that does not mean that the middle class cannot.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You mean "yes" - that is exactly what I described: a middle class person who can afford to invest in stocks.
    Please attempt to read the actual post, ok?
    To repeat for the distracted and careless: Four or five different intervals for illustration of post-Reagan long term stock market investment outcomes, one of which was the implications of average gross gain/loss over the interval from 1988 until 2008 - a twenty year interval that included less than two years of the Crash.
    The nonwealthy who had invested in the stock market obviously lost money in that twenty year period even in absolute (gross return) terms (net, not gross, is the more accurate number for comparing economic class outcomes) - if the concept of net is introduced, a lot of money.

    When even averaging in the gains of the wealthy and using gross rather than net hands you less than 2% over twenty years, the nonwealthy got hammered. The record of wealth transfer suggests to us how badly - it wasn't all real estate market collapse and loan defaults; a likely estimate might be about 3% absolute, 5-20% net, on the stock market.
    That is not true:
    Note that this comparison includes years before Reagan's deregulations and lax governance led to increased volatility.
    Not since Reagan, for "the average investor" - and small investors in the stock market face a somewhat different body of risks than "average" Most middle class and lower investors are small investors. I posted some of the relevant considerations above - perhaps you might address them?
    That's not what I did. Try reading the posts again, with more care and less idiotic presumption.
    Which is why nobody did that.
    All my illustrative examples were of long term "buy and hold" investments in the post Reagan stock market - very long term, not the 2-3 years often called "long term". And that is despite the obvious and very significant risk factors affecting mostly small investors - including that they are far more vulnerable to chance circumstances forcing ill-timed sale of stock, such as the Crash of '08.
    Nobody has ever claimed here that the middle class cannot make money on the stock market. The observation has been that they take on higher risk to do that, and are far more likely to make much less - even lose money - in consequence. Since Reagan, that risk has increased even more, and significantly.

    Since Reaganomics took over, the result of such attrition has been a large net transfer of wealth from the middle to the upper classes via a poorly governed financial system's operations - including, as no small factor, the stock market's increased volatility.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No. In your own words you were "imagining a lower or middle class person with a few thousand in ready cash socked away (to cover a car breakdown, emergency room visit, storm damage, etc) and then some more saved for investment."

    I am talking about an investor. Someone who HAS INVESTED. Not someone who might invest, or has some money saved for investing,

    Please attempt to read the actual post, ok?
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    See? That wasn't hard.
    Except you meant "yes", not "no" - a typo, maybe.
    Either you are including middle class investors in the stock market, or your replies to my posts have all been irrelevant to my posting.
    Nobody knows they will win in the long run. The skilled investor manages risk well, in part by recognizing they are playing a game of chance: that's the skill.
    - - - -
    That was among the most common motivations for what were - from a sound investment pov - desperation purchases of bubble priced residential housing in the years leading to the crash of '08. It is also among the common motivations for residential housing purchase now - one reason the bubble has never fully corrected.
    As the large and growing homeless population of the US can verify.
    But cornered people will do what they can - including pay 2/3 of their income for housing, take on adjustable rate mortgages, etc.

    The most worrisome bomb ticking now might be the prevalence of student loans backed by house equity that probably doesn't exist in the still-bubbled housing market.
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The time bomb that I'm worried about is all of the people who refinanced their houses, pulling out money to buy sturdy boots. When the real estate market crashes all of those sturdy boots will be repossessed.

    The glut of repossessed sturdy boots will depress the entire sturdy boot industry and I'm not sure it will be able to survive.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You risk a Poe's Law call.

    Meanwhile, yet another too late noticed, long lived, and expensively damaging effect of Reaganomics has emerged into visibility:
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Well, the good news is that everything that is wrong in the world is a result of Reaganomics. Tilting at windmills has its place apparently in today's world.

    It's a pretty simplistic calling but I suppose someone has to have that calling.

    I think most problems came about with the advent of the cell phone. If only we could rid ourselves of cell phones.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The world?
    A very small bubble of a world, that. My posts won't fit into it - not that anyone here has tried.

    One the other hand, many people have praised Reagan for the restructuring of the US economy that he enabled by acting the part of a competent, fatherly, responsible executive well enough to fool a Republican voter while the pros set to work on American representative government and functioning economy.

    Apparently the several wholesale revisions of the physical record necessary to support that favorable evaluation over the years do not disturb them - the underbelly reality of Hollywood movie fathers is something they long ago learned to overlook, maybe, or (more likely, imho, the suspension of disbelief required for enjoyment of such storytelling has become a settled and permanent feature of their mental interior - the "world" mentioned above.

    Which has an origin, a beginning, from before Reagan's election fixed it in the crazyglobe of one welcoming US Party:
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You are extremely literal aren't you? High functioning autism?

    You know that it's likely that some things that Reagan did have been good for the economy even if you disagree with much of it. Are you able to recognize any good that happened as a results of his policies? If not, that should be a sign that you are wearing blinders.

    There's not a lot of balance in your posts. Your response to that comment will probably be a "both sides" Republican talking points rant but it might do you some good to be less regimented in your thinking. Agree?
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The mice in my garage are harder to bait.
    I do have obvious flaws, including personal ones, and you clearly think they are overwhelmingly important whatever they are, but they are apparently invisible to you - your dozens of attempts to guess at them in support of irrelevant personal insult, post after post after post for months now, have established that beyond doubt. You should give up on that approach - if you can.
    For example - - - ?
    Point of fact: afaik every national economic indicator that changes acceleration during Reagan's tenure shows an inflection (second derivative alteration) toward the bad . Afaik no economic wellbeing statistic showed inflection for the better during Reagan's tenure as President. So that's the context of what you are looking for.
    The Iranians got some missile technology they badly needed to handle Israeli air power, which may have forestalled the threats becoming actual military assault. His policy of betraying his country for electoral advantage had that possibly good result, although in my opinion his betrayal by pandering to racial bigotry in his campaigns outweighed it.
    They are well balanced in their treatment of physical and historical reality - facts evenly and carefully weighed, no information arbitrarily discarded or ignored, ideas in conflict with evidence re-thought and changed asap, other people's posts carefully read, timelines kept straight, all that standard stuff. That's how I avoid posting simple falsehoods, propaganda claims, and the like - reality check everything, no posting in ignorance.

    And so - reality check at the ready - I'm done cutting slack for the authoritarian American right, pretending they are somehow basically ok behind some smoke of delusion and fantasy and moral degradation that doesn't really count. I quit that when they re-elected W in 2004, with the torture prison news and photos, the exposure of the lies behind the Iraq invasion, and the wildly flagrant corruption, right in front of their faces. They are completely full of shit, dishonorable and ignorant and irredeemably gullible, in thrall to the flattering scum of the earth at the cost of everything a decent person would care about. After forty years there's no excuse for them, and I'm done pretending there is.

    Do you find that unbalanced? If so, how would one go about balancing it?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    We have now reached that point in the discussion where it has devolved to this:
    Me: You said X.
    You: I never said X.
    Me: Here's the quote: "X"
    You: Exactly.

    I'll let you play such games on your own.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    So, autism.

    No bait is required for me so feel free to flatter yourself but it's not really necessary.

    Air traffic control (who were illegally striking) were dealt with in an admirable fashion and there has been no negative repercussions despite threats to the contrary. Most Presidents would have caved eventually.

    Flying is much cheaper. Yes, flying is about as glamorous as taking a bus now but most people can afford to travel now. There is more competition in telecommunications now and more innovation.

    Bushes tax cuts were not needed or wanted as well as the Trump cuts. Reagan's were needed. Clinton came after him and we had a budget surplus for a period of time.

    Even though the Republican Party went downhill from Bush on, it's silly to link every bad outcome to that. Legal (and otherwise) corruption, allowed by the voters, is what is wrong with our system.

    Without the corporate money it wouldn't matter what the two parties are or what they are called. They would be focused on policies good for the voters rather than their corporate donors. Some years a party focused on benefits for the middle class would be in power and some years a party more focused on lower taxes would be in power.

    The dummy (and upset) voter is what allows this mess to continue. Only a dummy would have voted for Trump in the first place and only a dummy would keep supporting only those politicians who support Trump.

    Your ranting is only going to result in either nothing or a party that removes all initiative over the long-term and we end up as a Detroit America.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Americans pay more for telecommunications service than other First World citizens, and get worse service. Americans are forced to fly while other people enjoy rapid and efficient train and bus service.
    Servants are cheaper as well. The wealthy are catered to, under Reaganomics - the shortsighted ones, anyway.
    Meanwhile, the lower and middle class needs - public transportation, moving, education, tools for doing one's own work, medical care - became more expensive.
    Or Reagan. Or Bush. Or W.
    The word you are looking for is "Republican". There are more than 60 million of them, many very intelligent and keenly aware of their interests in these matters - sociopaths, of a kind.
    Most - the decent ones, in a sense - by now do not live in the real world. They have no reliable sources of factual information, and haven't had any for decades.
    They have been essentially hypnotized - they get the best medical care in world, benefit from cheap airplane travel, benefit the most from increased competition and innovation in telecommunications, need no organized fellow employees to strike bargains with organized capital, have fixated on all kinds of bizarrely unrealistic presumptions proven immune to experience or event.
    Only if one omits the repercussions from the consequent destruction of unions across the US.
    Having the President weigh in on the side of corporate interests instead of union interests in the first place was (and is) not regarded as "admirable" by reasonable people. Weighing in via 48 hour ultimatums and then wholesale firing alienated others. Neither was Reagan's betrayal of a union he had made promises to, a union that had supported him in his campaign, regarded as honorable or admirable by those with memories - liberals, that is (the amnesia inducing effects of the rapidly improving Republican propaganda behind Reagan's candidacy had taken hold by then).
    But it was regarded as serious. The example - threat - that provided was very effective - it led to the tactics employed in the State's dealings with the 1985 Hormel strikers in Austin, MN, for example. It led to the large scale illegal importation of labor from foreign countries by manufacturing and agribusiness concerns - yet another Reaganomic mess we will be dealing with for decades to come.
    It took Clinton and his supporters in Congress eight years to partially recover from the hole the disastrous Reagan tax cuts and financial deregulation had dug for the US economy - and even after all that retrenchment and erosion of quality of life, the rollback of the New Deal involved, the US did not have a budget surplus (it had phony accounting, much of it involving the Social Security transition fund that Reagan set up to betray, much of it involving the sale of public resources at swindle prices).
    The extraordinary growth in lobbying alone, formerly considered bribery and influence peddling and corruption, since confirmed as a breakdown of representative government, would be enough to assess Reagan's tenure a miserably failed administration. Throw in the tripling of the national debt, the recession, the deregulation-launched S&L collapse, the boom in whitecollar crime, the miserably botched handling of the Soviet Union's collapse, the horrorshow policies visited upon South and Central America as extensions of Reagan's pandering to corporate interests, etc etc etc - one does not even need to mention the panic Reagan's electoral victories created in the Democratic Party, which abruptly reversed its championing of New Deal domestic policies and lurched far to the right, where it remains: not only right of center, but far right of the majority of the American citizenry.
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Yet they pay less than before Reagan. America is a larger, less dense country than the others you speak of. Reagan didn't change that either.


    You are defending an illegal strike?

    If only what you write was true.

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