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  • keoug2 12:30 pm on 2015-10-22 Permalink  

    I am glad there was some insight into the radical psychological changes that erupted in the 20’s and the wars between ideologies from the twenties until… well it is still going on. You can’t really talk about economics without looking at the psychological environment of the times. So much of the market depends on people’s habits, tendencies, and psychology; I would argue to say that group psychology is the only thing the economy depends on. The 20’s were a time of great optimism and radical change and to some people; wealth and consumerism. However, America is so quick to glamorize only one side of the story. Growing up, the typical hindsight of the twenties is the glamorized story of the gangsters, bootleggers, jazz musicians, and women showing their ankles. America is quick to forget the darker side of the times, like the growing income inequality, racial tension, prohibition, and the KKK. We have even turned a blind eye to the fact consumerism in the 20’s was largely financed by credit, putting most Americans in debt and we still practice this today. The fact remains that things were changing but at the same time the same issues were arising, or things were staying the same in a different context. It seems that the battle between left and right, black and white, consumer and creditor, crime and law, economy and employment, rich and poor, etc. remained and reverberated throughout the 20th century. Much like the ups and downs of the stock market, it continues without a clear resolution in sight.

     
  • keoug2 5:30 pm on 2015-10-21 Permalink  

    During both the World Wars America had a huge economic advantage. North America being it’s own continent and separated from the turmoil by the Atlantic and Pacific, played a huge role in the trajectory of American life in the 20th century. The United States was able to overcome recession and profit by providing for war torn European countries in both WWI and WWII. A simple geographical trait prevented the US from initial engagement in the war and allowed us to be the provider and profiteer of both world wars, more so WWI, but still a great advantage and a major contributing factor to America’s status.

     
  • keoug2 5:22 pm on 2015-10-21 Permalink  

    Reading about the Great Depression under Hoover and Roosevelt brought some perspective to economic crisis, but at the same it didn’t . There doesn’t seem to be a definite cause or solution to the Great Depression, however it happened and there were many possible contributing factors. Then it went away and there were many possible factors that may have helped resolve the crisis. It’s not a science. I couldn’t help but wonder how things would have turned out if Hoover’s laissez faire treatment of the crisis was maintained. Relative to the true nature of capitalism, “survival of the fittest,” maybe a stronger and more steady market would have erupted out of the ashes. Maybe a market that doesn’t rise and fall every decade would have come into existence. One can only speculate. Well, we know what happened and that went into the history books. Due to American’s lack of foresight and incredible lust for the quick solution, the fast turn around, and whatever is “NOW!”. We had a Roosevelt administration that tried putting a band aid on everything. Whether that worked is still speculative. I can tell you one thing, the stock market has been a mess ever since. We even made a game out of it or a pseudo-industry, where people gamble other people’s money and try to profit from other people’s losses. Really? Is that what we need?

     
  • keoug2 8:17 pm on 2015-09-29 Permalink  

    Working conditions in the 19th century were brutal, it hits home and shows me how minuscule my problems are. Too bad capitalist thought capital investments in manufacturing were risky, because the plants could have used some research and development. As we see with the use of the steam engine there were huge increases in productivity; science is a great thing.

     
  • keoug2 7:59 pm on 2015-09-29 Permalink  

    Hughes: “In matters of rights of property of all sorts … it would be difficult to imagine an entrepreneurial class more solicitously protected than that in the United States on the verge of the great nineteenth-century economic and geographic expansion.”

    This is a good quote, it really encompasses the American Spirit; entrepreneurship. Although the geographical expansion is irrelevant today, economic expansion or transformation is always occurring. It seems that in today’s market the only security left is entrepreneurial savvy.

     
  • keoug2 2:21 pm on 2015-09-28 Permalink  

    Reading through the history of American economics is leading me towards a conclusion, and it is not a conclusion that other economics courses will have you study. Other economics courses will have you study the “science” behind the market, the demand and supply, the real value vs. market value, inflation, banking, etc. When in fact purchasing habits of consumers have been proven to be impulsive and change according to sociological, psychological, and “economical” details. People that try to define these characteristics come up with theories that are largely subjective. To prove my point try to define what a dollar actually is, and try to accurately define how the value of a dollar is the value of the dollar. The grounds for both are always changing, meaning there is not a solid rudimentary standard (if you will). Some may say, the Treasury, foreign demand for U.S. currency, foreign exchange rates and the stability of the euro are all factors in the value of the U.S. dollar. So now I say go define those factors and you’ll find that all of these factors are derived from an idea that a person had. There is not a universal standard for economics. For example there is no Calorie or Joule for economics like there is for energy.

    It seems to me that you can tag it with as much terminology and complex mathematical systems (that kind of work) as you want but the history says that “wealth” is obtained through the oppression and exploitation of a class of people. Furthermore, “wealth” is the exploitation of human labor and/or natural resources. We read about it in pre-revolutionary America with the indentured servitude in the colonies, enslaving Native Americans and we are reading about it post-revolution and pre-civil war with African Slavery. Southern America became a dominant power in the 19 th century through growth and processing of cotton. This was all possible because of slavery, slaves were worked for maximum output for room and board. Slaves were not paid so the plantation owner collected all of the profits from the cotton. No wonder the plantation owners were so wealthy.

    We see these trends throughout history in Egypt with the pyramids, Rome, Aztecs, Central American sugar cane, etc. These trends are still around today, iphone factories in China, clothing manufacturers in India, China, Mexico, etc. Do you ever wonder why America is doing so well? Its because we export our manufacturing, pay people of other countries an incredibly low wage and sell the goods on massive markup. do you ever wondering why you can buy a t-shirt for 5 bucks? That’s because in the countries where that t-shirt is made, that $5 is a months worth of wage. Even minimum wage in America is deplorable considering the cost of living these days. Maybe that is why the US dollar is so powerful because we pay little and sell big. The wealth gap is entrenched in our history and continues to thrive. We are still dealing with 19th and 20th century issues in the 21st century and it is my belief that “wealth” is the root of the issue.

     
  • keoug2 10:01 am on 2015-09-13 Permalink  

    The will that early Americans imposed on the Native Americans is quite brutal, and the early Americans called them savages? If the natives weren’t being hunted down or sold into slavery, they were victims of an aggressive culture shock. Having no premise of land ownership, legislation, or governance the natives were taken advantage of. Even when the Native Americans were well within their rights, they seemed to be on the losing end. The Choctaw reservation that was established in 1831-1833 was 6.8 MILLION acres. Over the course of time, lumber smugglers were claiming ownership of the Choctaw land. In 1969, 1.8 MILLION acres of this land was sold to the Weyerhaeuser Company. By 1981 the taxes on Choctaw land was disproportionately high compared to surrounding land, this led to Choctaw land grabs. By this time the Choctaw land shrank from 6.8 MILLION to 65,000 Acres. The treatment of Native Americans blows my mind, early Americans seemed to have no shame.

     
  • keoug2 11:42 am on 2015-09-10 Permalink  

    I am going to add to the comment about Colleges. I see some relation between mercantilism during colonization and the economics of Colleges. Since most colleges are non-profit the revenue generated by these institutions is for “the good of the institution”, much like the revenue generated from colonies was for “the good of the mother land”. The tuition rates of college have increased an absurd amount; in the ballpark of 400% the inflation rate. The increase in tuition rates can be related to the Navigation Acts that Britain imposed on the colonies. In a sense tuition rates are becoming unrealistic relative to the climate of the job market and economy, much like the Navigation Acts were unrealistic to the economics of the colonies. Combine the student debt, shortage in the job market, and over-flux of degrees in the workforce, it seems that the only beneficiaries are the institutions.

     
  • keoug2 3:01 pm on 2015-09-09 Permalink  

    Well, as an Engineering major and a skeptical man, I look for facts and so far this material has a wealth of factual knowledge; the information is great. However, I am finding it depressing. I am learning that the beautiful picture of Europeans oppressed by the tyrannical church and British government fled Europe to go to America to find a glimmer of hope, that was spoon fed to me through 18 YEARS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION is total CRAP! Yes, there were Pilgrims that escaped religious persecution and were granted land grants in America, but that is only a sliver of the story. In reality Corporations sent fleets of “Indentured Servants” to America so a wealthy man in Britain could reap the rewards. Well okay, there was a shortage in labor in America and the Mother land needed a boost in its mercantilism, and Indentured Servitude provided a labor market. That portion makes sense, but what is unsettling is the fact that the “wealth gap” that we are experiencing today is not something new, America was actually founded with a wealth gap and a gap so large that the majority were actually slaves. On the surface Indentured servitude doesn’t seem that bad; 2-7 years of work for room and board and “freedom dues”, where land ownership and a sum of money could be obtained. But lets not forget that the Native people did not take kindly to trespassers claiming ownership of their land. That would be like colonizing Iraq with no military force, just plane loads of farmers and unskilled workers being dropped into Baghdad and claiming they own it, how long would you last?

     
  • keoug2 10:52 am on 2015-08-28 Permalink  

    Are these computer generated responses? I guess I will never know. To be honest, I am disgusted with economics, especially American economics. America was founded by the oppressed in search for a life of freedom and to die with dignity. Somehow the very spoiled citizens of America have put a noose around its neck and are suffocating it for everything it has. I am hoping learning some history of American economics sheds some light on where things went wrong. I am also hoping that, as a middle class citizen, I can use some of this information to protect my ass. The 2016 election will be a huge factor in the future well fare of my professional career, in my opinion ECONOMICS is the ONLY issue ANYONE should be concerned with. Do you want to be a slave to an oligarchy or are you still concerned with abortion. Our generation needs to WAKE THE FUCK UP!

     
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