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I was working out as a project engineer myself back in the ’80’s and attended our annual planning meetings for the company that I was employed with at the time. In my third year there, as the market for our systems was clearly trending downward, the plan for next year’s business was being worked towards increased sales and profits. I suggested that perhaps we should plan for decline in business rather than an increase and got the big raspberry from the management who insisted that growth must occur every year and cannot be projected as less for any reason.

When our sales took a dive over the course of the next few years (though the projects were always higher) most of the managers were canned, though it did not help sales, but someone must be punished, right? The endless growth model never works and those who do not plan for cyclical economics are always disappointed. When America was at its finest, corporation were run by engineers and salesmen and accountants rode in the back seat. Even the bankers used to be muzzled at least sometimes. Today with the engineers mostly on leashes the fools make the decisions and control the plans. The country is screwed.

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Check this out:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N

====

Trick question: From 1985 to 2015, what's a household?

In Hollywood, it's a single woman in Manhattan on her own.

In America - as always, it's several family members sharing.

Edited by August1991

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7 hours ago, August1991 said:

Check this out:

American stats.  I'd be interested to see a correlation between that graph and physical mobility.  Staying put after the good times are gone seem to be a recent phenomenon I have been thinking about lately.

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I agree that we are approaching a breaking point because the economy has been nearly fully exploited, on a large scale. There is a natural cycle of creation and destruction at play. Here's how I think it works-

Company gets created, workers employed, products sold. People make money. Billionaires make money.
Sales increase, billionaires make money.
Sales flatten out, company expands its product line, billionaires make money.
Sales drop, workers cut, salaries frozen. Billionaires make money.
Company fails, workers let go, downsizing, bankruptcy. Billionaires make money.
New company gets created... 

The problem however is that over a long period time, the workers or general public's wages have to be suppressed. Since profits MUST grow, when the tipping point is reached the company starts  to cut back as a means to increase profit, rather than through an increase in sales. The result is lower consumer spending that then affects the economy on a broad scale. Politicians can try to mediate this by forcing wage increases and handing out tax cuts, but this too has limits. Finally, personal and national debt rise as we have no other option but to ignore the problem, in order to maintain "civility". Again, billionaires make money. The debt rises to absurd levels that cannot be ignored. In "The End", it's nothing that a good war cannot solve...
(Billionaires, yep you guessed it)

 

 

Edited by OftenWrong
improved use of "whitespace"... oh my!

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 7:38 AM, OftenWrong said:

I agree that we are approaching a breaking point because the economy has been nearly fully exploited, on a large scale. There is a natural cycle of creation and destruction at play. Here's how I think it works-

Company gets created, workers employed, products sold. People make money. Billionaires make money.
Sales increase, billionaires make money.
Sales flatten out, company expands its product line, billionaires make money.
Sales drop, workers cut, salaries frozen. Billionaires make money.
Company fails, workers let go, downsizing, bankruptcy. Billionaires make money.
New company gets created... 

The problem however is that over a long period time, the workers or general public's wages have to be suppressed. Since profits MUST grow, when the tipping point is reached the company starts  to cut back as a means to increase profit, rather than through an increase in sales. The result is lower consumer spending that then affects the economy on a broad scale. Politicians can try to mediate this by forcing wage increases and handing out tax cuts, but this too has limits. Finally, personal and national debt rise as we have no other option but to ignore the problem, in order to maintain "civility". Again, billionaires make money. The debt rises to absurd levels that cannot be ignored. In "The End", it's nothing that a good war cannot solve...
(Billionaires, yep you guessed it)

 

 

I remember my brother saying one time, during a petrol shortage, that he’d been queuing to fill his tank and there were people there whose tanks were almost full already but they queued anyway because they wanted that last couple of litres rather than see someone else get it.

He specifically said ‘You wouldn’t want to be in a food queue with this lot’! HAHA

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On 2/8/2018 at 7:07 AM, Michael Hardner said:

Staying put after the good times are gone seem to be a recent phenomenon I have been thinking about lately.

Rural farming populations generally stayed put in bygone days, and they were the rule not the exception. Yes, when times were tough the young generation might move away but would often return home when times improved.

It was the industrial revolution, and the migration to urban settlements that created mobility. As the personal investment investment in home and community grew in urban areas that mobility starts to be restricted. We still have young generations moving away, the only difference today is they don't move back, although in the past decade that trend has also reversed.

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8 hours ago, ?Impact said:

Rural farming populations generally stayed put in bygone days, and they were the rule not the exception. Yes, when times were tough the young generation might move away but would often return home when times improved.

I did say "after the good times", which might be vague.  I wasn't referring to the natural cycle of boom and bust crops, I was talking about major human forces, specifically technical progress.  Global economic forces could probably be part of that then.

 

But now I'm wondering if that's true.  Farming in Britain in the 19th century or in China in the late 20th and early 21st centuries definitely declined and people migrated.   

8 hours ago, ?Impact said:

It was the industrial revolution, and the migration to urban settlements that created mobility. As the personal investment investment in home and community grew in urban areas that mobility starts to be restricted.  


Ok, well this all started because I wonder why the rust belt still exists. 

 

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