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Published: Friday, Aug. 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Scott is correct. He sees things as they really are. It's too bad that Congress has things backwards. It's too bad that Obama has things backward. Somehow, those in Washington think that they "own" the money and that "letting" us keep a little of our hard-earned wages is a "gift". They have the "backwards thinking" that Scott so cleverly pointed out.

When Obama and Congress realize that private sector jobs create the tax revenue that Washington needs, maybe then they'll defeat ObamaCare. Maybe then they'll cut taxes so that the private sector can create the jobs that will eliminate the yearly deficit. But, Congress and the President have been putting the cart before the horse for so long that they've forgotten the proper order of things.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

"...Silly me."

Silly letter.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Great satire Scott, even though it will be lost on liberals. Satire: "1.use of wit to criticize behavior: the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to describe hypocritical behavior." Satires are especially useful and appropriate in describing liberal politicians. In fact it is an art form!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Very funny.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Gravity causes falling. I do know that. Also that in demand-side recessions, stimulative spending reduces unemployment. Laws of physics are a little less mutable than laws of economics, but both are, you know, laws.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Even more boggling than tricky logic like, "you gotta pass the bill to find out what's in it" and floods causing rain (or visa versa) are things like... do recesions cause job losses, or do job losses cause recessions. And if you're in a recession with high unemployment... is the solution to enlarge government and put more restrictions on businesses and more taxes and then DEMAND that they hire more people? Or should you lessen restrictions and taxes so they will hire more people on their own, which will lead to more people having jobs and buying more stuff creating even MORE jobs and so on... It's a toughy. The solution probably is to tax and restrict businesses more and more so government can get bigger and bigger and once the government is big enough... they can force businesses to get us out of this recession!

These type of tricky situations seem so hard for politicians to figure out.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Not all flash floods make for record rainfall totals so its a valid thing to note.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Some other things that are cause and effect - low paying jobs cause hunger, lack of education causes crime, lack of compassion causes cynicism, and war causes death.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mountanman
"Satires are especially useful and appropriate in describing liberal politicians. In fact it is an art form!"

An amusing percentage of conservatives polled think Stephen Colbert is a conservative.

@Mike Richards
"Maybe then they'll cut taxes so that the private sector can create the jobs that will eliminate the yearly deficit."

Our taxes are already at Bush levels for everyone except those making 250k+ a year whose tax rates are between Bush and Clinton levels. Last I checked the 90s were prosperous and had practically balanced budgets. You're the ones who think the way to fiscal solvency for a household is to quit your second job.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Bush tax cuts led to higher deficits.

Trickle-down economics (aka deregulation and "free market") led to the destruction of the American economy.

Lying about WMDs led to the Iraqi War.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

"Cause-and-effect" is a tricky critter, and should be handled with care, because, as has been famously said, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" ("after this, therefore because of this") is a common logical fallacy in arguments. For example, the fact that roosters crow before sunrise doesn't mean that crowing roosters cause the sun to rise. In Mr. Soulier's example citing the poorly-written headline, he correctly implies that flash floods almost certainly DO NOT cause rain, but then he goes on to imply that rain DOES cause flash floods, which is technically not 100% true. Granted, rain is a contributing cause in the occurrence of flash floods, but so are the intensity of the rain and the geography and topography of the area.

Applying this to economic theory driving fiscal policy, does supply create its own demand (Say's Law; supply-side economics)? Sometimes, but not always. Well then, does demand create its own supply (Keynesian mantra; increased consumption leads to prosperity)? Again, sometimes, but not aways.

As I said, "cause-and-effect" is a tricky critter . . .

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

. . . And CHS 85 just illustrated my point! All of the things that CHS 85 cites are very highly correllated, but the causal link varies considerably with each of the examples, and none of them has an absolute "if A, then always B" link.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Yes, writer, you have been wrong all this time. Gov't spending has always been a formidable for stimulating a faltering economy, as Reagan demonstrated with a massive injection of defense spending in the early '80s that caused the economy to take off. As prosperity returned, Clinton intelligently backed off on the stimulus and reduced gov't outlay, which juiced up further prosperity. You have to know when to apply stimulus and when to back off. Right now the worst thing to do would be to make huge cuts to gov't spending and thus cripple the GDP, as even Romney admitted last year. System thinkers know these things.
(BTW, analogies are always false, so forget the flood metaphor.)

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

How about this one... "Letter about rain causes leftists to flip out".

Lets take them one by one:
1. "Trickle-down economics (aka deregulation and "free market") led to the destruction of the American economy".
Has the American Economy really been destroyed? That's obviously false. We had a few bad years but it's far from destroyed, and how many years of prosperity did it bring to the US? It's almost back to where it was before, and we still have a free market. So how did the Free Market destroy the US Economy?
Corrections will happen in any free system. No economy can guarantee unlmited and uninterrupted prosperity.

2. Lying about WMDs led to the Iraqi War.
WMDs weren't the only reason for the Iraq war. And which administration said Hussain had chemical weapons? Wasn't that the Clinton Administration?

3. Bush tax cuts worked (at first). The economy improved. But they needed to be temporary. The stimulation a tax break gives to the enconmy doesn't neccessarily last forever. If you cut taxes long-term, you need to cut spending too. Bush did the opposite, and "Conservatives" criticized opposed him on that. But Bush was never a "Conservative".

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Freedomfighter41
Trickle-up poverty is working well – in bringing more and more of us down.

You condemn deregulation. There were NO major financial regulations repealed during the bush years, so you MUST be condemning slick willy for signing the repeal of Glass-Steagal and for refusing to regulate derivatives.

Who lied about WMD? Too much MSNBC for you! Hillary and plenty other dems looked at the same intelligence reports and concluded the same thing, so are you saying they are the ones who lied?

atl134
THANK YOU for recognizing the 1990s did not produce a surplus. Your comment about “nearly balanced budgets” is correct. Where you came up with “You're the ones who think the way to fiscal solvency for a household is to quit your second job” is beyond me, though. Actually, the way to fiscal solvency is to not spend more than you make. A janitor making $40k who only spend $39k is fiscally solvent, yet a MD making $400k and spending $450k is not.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@lost in DC
"Where you came up with “You're the ones who think the way to fiscal solvency for a household is to quit your second job” is beyond me, though. "

The idea that tax cuts (decreasing income) lead to increasing federal revenue and decreasing deficits as is frequently argued.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

@ 2 bits and Lost

Simple challenge. List 3 examples of when Supply-Side Economics has led to healthy long-term prosperity. I don't blame you for changing the subject or never responding to this challenge.

As someone who has studied economics for years and has read volumes from the greats, it never ceases to amaze me the "doubt" that has been spread over the past decade or so over Keynesian economics (often, he is demonized on AM Radio as some sort of Communist). While Supply-Side is somehow unquestionably the "savior" of capitalism and the only form that Adam Smith indicated 200+ years ago.

In reality, it's as simple as gravity or evolution (yikes, science! I know!). Keynesian economics works to build a healthy robust long-term economy and supply-side doesn't.

The Gilded Age, 1920s, and post 1980s has seen the effects of them. The thought process of "the rich will save us" is completely flawed. It makes it so very few win big and the rest lose.
Whereas, Keynesian gave us the American recovery in the 30s-40s and provided us with the best economy in the world. Up until the 1980s, when it all changed.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Great letter. Cleverly put.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Let see if I can explain trickle up for ya… (otherwise know as a healthy economy)

Ya see 100 million consumers (the poor and working poor) purchase more goods and variety than 1 millionaire buyings a luxury item. When more goods are purchased, more people are employed, more people employed have more money to spend, the economy improves. Henry Ford understood this.

or

Reaganomics (trickle down) consolidates money in a few hands who are not job creators as much as money changers & brokers, who stuff it away in the caymans not stimulating anything but their egos, and not buying what millions of consumers could, back when taxes helped persuade the precious wealthy and corporations to invest in their employees and businesses in America.

I believe the deregulation Freedom was speaking of was Reagan's doing.
Now we have over 30 years of evidence of the damage done by these careless
conservative economic schemes.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Continued...

Since the 1980s we have reverted back to the failed version of Capitalism, Supply-Side Economics. We saw the Internet bubble burst in the 90s followed by the real estate and banking industry failing in 2008. Throughout the 2000s we saw deregulated commodities, such as oil skyrocket. In fact, in 2007, did you know that gas prices should have decreased? Supply increased and demand actually decreased. Instead, the prices doubled. Consumers, were being gouged. Has anyone been held accountable for that?

Nope.

Because Supply-Side demands that the markets remain unregulated.

While a few made killings (and didn't create new jobs) the rest of us suffered.

Just as we saw in the Gilded Age.

The market blew up and collapsed in on itself in 2008. Just as we saw in the 20s.

How many more examples do we need until we (re)discover the lessons our great grandparents knew? Supply-Side doesn't work.

The truth that they learned (and we have forgotten) is that the real job creators aren't the folks on top but the folks in the trenches.

If we want to build a healthy long-term economy, we need to focus on rebuilding the middle-class.

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