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Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:

The truth is, I don't think politicians of either party are generally competent to really run the economy. My theory is that the economy boomed in the Clinton years largely because the Clinton administration was deadlocked with a Republican majority in Congress, preventing the politicians from doing too much damage to the economy.
Then again, despite the optimism of the 'bubble' years, I'm not so sure that particular boom was healthy for the economy.

'Deadlock' is too strong for me. The Clinton Administration certainly was challenged by Republican control of the houses, and that I think is a good thing. It required that most important issues invoked some amount of debate. If it must be adversarial on purely polemic grounds, then freaking whatever -- at least the discussions/brawls/pissing matches took place.
On the second point, I'd have to agree but for different reasons. The climate for the technology bubble founded some enormous appetites for money at any expense -- WorldCom, Enron, Tyco, etc., etc. -- when's the last time we saw so many pigs at the trough lying through their teeth to swindle shareholdersm the public, even employees, at any cost? Some of these people I think would have made Michael Millken blush. It was a pathetic frenzy that we'll all be paying for, directly or indirectly, for quite a while.
Then again, I haven't heard a smarmy "greed is good" from the hard-nosed conservatives around here for a while, so maybe they learned something from all that.
[ April 16, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Warren Dew
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
On the second point, I'd have to agree but for different reasons. The climate for the technology bubble founded some enormous appetites for money at any expense -- WorldCom, Enron, Tyco, etc., etc. -- when's the last time we saw so many pigs at the trough lying through their teeth to swindle shareholdersm the public, even employees, at any cost? Some of these people I think would have made Michael Millken blush.

I know a lot of people who lost a lot of money during the bubble, and none of them held WorldCom, Enron, or Tyco stock. (In fact if they had held Tyco stock, they would have made money - Tyco is still doing pretty well, and unlike WorldCom and Enron, where there was outright fraud, Tyco appears to have been mostly guilty of continuing to have been run in an informal small company fashion even after rapidly growing to huge size.)
The main problem with the bubble was not those companies, but that people were throwing money at high tech startups some of which were well intentioned, but most of which had foolish business plans. For example CMGI, a holding company for such startups, was guilty of far more abuse during the bubble than any of those three companies.
By the way, I made good money on Milken issues - junk bonds were in fact a good way of funding sound technology startups at the time, and most of those startups never missed an interest payment. If it weren't for Milken's junk bond issues that helped fund MCI originally, we'd all still be paying AT&T 50c/minute for domestic long distance.
Milken mostly ended up being a scapegoat because people couldn't figure out who to blame in the S&L crisis - which involved supposedly blue chip organizations going bankrupt because of stupidity, which is often far more dangerous than ill will.
 
HS Thomas
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On the other hand can most products really sell well if they do not have the backing of American consumers ?
movies, music, cars, double glazing , fashion
for eg Clever car
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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My theory is that the economy boomed in the Clinton years largely because the Clinton administration was deadlocked with a Republican majority in Congress, preventing the politicians from doing too much damage to the economy.

I think a part of it was he and Hillary put the fear of government in the health care industry. They decided they would rather police themselves than deal with g-men. Bush and the neocons have taken their hands off market approach. We're back to the health care costs escalation way over the the rest of the economy.
 
Don Stadler
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Then again, despite the optimism of the 'bubble' years, I'm not so sure that particular boom was healthy for the economy.

I worked in telecoms at the time and it definately wasn't healthy. Basically two years of demand packed into one year led to a wave of crazed hiring and growth. After the dot.bust most of that equipment went on auction which led to a year with almost no demand and ultimately waves of crazed layoffs. Damned hard to find a new job during that time.
No it wasn't healthy. Still isn't. With the low hiring levels we're driving people out of the industry and not hiring the kids. When demand picks back up we're going to have a dreadful shortage of qualified labor for a while.
 
Don Stadler
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

You need to do some research on how H-1B's are actually being used in the US. A company will advertise a job as requiring impossible skills at low money and then hire an H-1B to fill the slot when no one applies. Do you really think that there is a shortage of skilled Java programmers in the US?

I doubt there is any shortage but the problem can be keeping your hand in during extended unemployment. You get rusty and less skilled, and the preferred skillset moves on all the time.
Or living with a huge pay cut (which is what I'm trying to do now and almost making it).
 
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