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Posted: 12/23/2005 7:35:24 AM EDT
It struck me while reading through some of the articles on the Chinese purchase of the Varyag from the Ukraine / former USSR how many times one reads "after the collapse of the USSR" and doesn't think anything of it.

Yet 30 or 40 years ago, such a headline would have been thought impossible, but are there similarities?

The soviets spent themselves into oblivion (trying to keep up with the US) up through the 80's, and it eventually bankrupted them. Now we (the US) are spending ourselves into oblivion (on imported goods from every corner of the globe) and racking up unprecedented debts, far outstripping those which broke apart the USSR.

Could history repeat itself? And if the US did go bust, would it break apart and sell off its remaining hardware to settle debts?

Might seem impossible now, but how many more years of record trade deficits can an economy absorb? And will China kust keep extending credit until they feel they have a military which can match or surpass ours (and then dump their dollar holdings, which in a few years should exceed those of Japan - throwing us into the same financial straits as the Russkies a decade or so ago)
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:36:23 AM EDT
Shh............ nobody wants to face the music
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:36:46 AM EDT
Your tin foil is a we bit tight this morning.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:37:41 AM EDT
I imagine it will be like Wiemar Germany, with the goverment printing money to pay off all the Social Security and welfare programs, but Japan & Western Europe will be first.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:39:00 AM EDT
NO, USSR was a communist regime, BIG DIFFERENCE
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:39:00 AM EDT
No, it's a totally different situation. For one thing, even though the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia still exists. Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:41:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:44:30 AM EDT
That shows absolutely no understanding of why the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Soviet Union contrary to popular belief was not brought down because they “spent themselves into oblivion”. The Soviet Union was a oppressive Communist empire held together by force.

Key reason for why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Communism.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:48:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By P806:
Your tin foil is a we bit tight this morning.



Is it?

U.S. trade deficit hit a record in October
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:48:55 AM EDT
Regardless of why the Soviet union fell, I find it more interesting that everyone is fixating on that, rather than addressing the severe structural problems with the US government and economy.


Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:49:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By P806:
Your tin foil is a we bit tight this morning.



Is it?



Yes, it is.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:50:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Regardless of why the Soviet union fell, I find it more interesting that everyone is fixating on that, rather than addressing the severe structural problems with the US government and economy.



The US economy is very flexible. It can weather some pretty severe storms.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:51:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
No, it's a totally different situation. For one thing, even though the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia still exists. Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.



While I agree with the majority of your statment, the highlighted phrase would be like saying "Even though the US collapsed, Colorado still exists.
The Soviet Union was a combination of various countries, Russia being one of them.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:53:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 7:54:54 AM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By P806:
Your tin foil is a we bit tight this morning.



Is it?

U.S. trade deficit hit a record in October





Trade imbalances aren't going to deep-six the biggest economy, military, and global leader. Unless you can enlighten us on how it will
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:55:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ranger_SXT:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
No, it's a totally different situation. For one thing, even though the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia still exists. Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.



While I agree with the majority of your statment, the highlighted phrase would be like saying "Even though the US collapsed, Colorado still exists.
The Soviet Union was a combination of various countries, Russia being one of them.



Not quite. Russia was and is by far the largest of the countries and is the cultural and governmental heart of the old USSR. Colorado or any other single state doesn't compare to Russia.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:56:07 AM EDT
Nothing that 1,000% inflation won't fix.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:58:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.



And our economy isn't state run? LOL.

Granted, we're not to the point of the communists, but we're getting there. The federal government directly spends 26% of the national income, and directs the spending of 36% (regulations and the like). State and local governments control 21%. So the state in our "free country" controls 57% of the economy.

That's not even counting the Federal Reserve (although technically, they are not part of the state). I always get a kick of watching the "free market" folks defend the centralized planning of the federal reserve.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:58:17 AM EDT

I don't think the world at large will care. We're a 200+ year old experiment in representative govt. Hopefully we'll survive a long time, but something will come along to replace us and leave us as just another paragraph in a history text.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:58:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
That shows absolutely no understanding of why the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Soviet Union contrary to popular belief was not brought down because they “spent themselves into oblivion”. The Soviet Union was a oppressive Communist empire held together by force.

Key reason for why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Communism.



Key reasons they collapsed: They couldn't afford to maintain their power (couldn't pay the troops, afford new equipment, the list goes on and on) and corruption was institutionalized.

We sit and watch as our inefficient industries are supplanted by imported goods or foreign owned corporations setting up shop in states with lower average wages (read: non-union), yet our government continues to spend and is held hostage by social programs which will not be discontinued until the .gov declares bankruptcy (or the creditor nations force an equivalent)

China, in case you hadn't noticed, is a Communist country, and their investment in PP&E is kicking ass. Their rate of growth must inevitably decline, as the rest of the world can only purchase so much, but as long as they pay their peasants, there are no signs of economic collapse on their horizon (although the US going bust would leave them holding the bag)



Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:58:36 AM EDT
Your economic-fu is weak.

Short answer: No

Long answer: No

Go check out a macro economics book at the library if you do not believe me.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:03:07 AM EDT



Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?



You bring up a good point. It's not sufficient to look only at the current financial situation (trade deficit and budget deficits, and so on). We must also look at the trends.

Is government growing or decreasing?

Are future liabilities increasing or decreasing?

Is consumer debt increasing or decreasing?

And so. It doesn't look very good.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:03:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
No, it's a totally different situation. For one thing, even though the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia still exists. Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.



Darn it, there you go again, dashing my hopes of being overlord of the Northern Empire.



I can see you and I are going to have a little problem.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:05:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:
Your economic-fu is weak.

Short answer: No

Long answer: No

Go check out a macro economics book at the library if you do not believe me.



Thank you for the detailed explanation. Care to elaborate?

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:05:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
That shows absolutely no understanding of why the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Soviet Union contrary to popular belief was not brought down because they “spent themselves into oblivion”. The Soviet Union was a oppressive Communist empire held together by force.

Key reason for why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Communism.



Key reasons they collapsed: They couldn't afford to maintain their power (couldn't pay the troops, afford new equipment, the list goes on and on) and corruption was institutionalized.





NO NO NO… BULLSHIT.

That was a symptom of COMMUNISM.

COMMUNISM… the reason the Soviet Unions economy could not keep up with needs.

COMMUNISM… that required oppressive tactics that could not be sustained to hold it together.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:06:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:08:16 AM EDT
Too continue down the economic and fiscal path we are on can hardly result in anything other than an economic collapse. It may be inevitable at this point. Even Greenspan says what we are doing is unsustainable and he is trying to be relatively low key about it as a representative of our gov't.

Entitlements are destrying this nation in many ways and will very adversely affect this nation's future.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:09:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:
Your economic-fu is weak.

Short answer: No

Long answer: No




+1

The USSR spent 30% of GDP on thier military, while living standards actually went down. They (and thier apoligists in the USA including our govt) used the 'value' of thier strategic bombers and nuclear subs to help figure thier living standards and quality of life.

Adjusted for inflation, the standard of living was better in 1916 than in 1989. Yet the whole time the Soviet govt maintained a facade of social justice, equality, high technology, 'enlightenment', happiness, high living standards, etc. They were so good at this, that they got our CIA to believe it. If you read the [conflicting] CIA reports from the number crunchers, the USSR collapsed because thier life was too good

Anyone could step off a plane in Moscow and realize it was total bunk after about 30 seconds though.

The same applies to China. The numbers say thier living standards and GDP are growing at 9, 10, 12, 20% per year. Pick your favorite number because they're probably all lies. At those rates your living standard would double every 5ish years. You should have twice as much stuff.

But if you go to China, hell some people there are living in caves with no running water or electricity.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:10:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SS109:
I imagine it will be like Wiemar Germany, with the goverment printing money to pay off all the Social Security and welfare programs, but Japan & Western Europe will be first.



Bingo. The public will not accept either spending cuts or tax increases, so the plan is to gradually inflate the currency to retire the debt. (Greenspan is on the record essential saying this).

Every time in history that moneytization has been attempted, it has failed, and the fiat currency has collapsed. The whiz kids running the show think they are smarter than all the previous central bankers and "things are different this time".

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:15:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
That shows absolutely no understanding of why the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Soviet Union contrary to popular belief was not brought down because they “spent themselves into oblivion”. The Soviet Union was a oppressive Communist empire held together by force.

Key reason for why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Communism.



Key reasons they collapsed: They couldn't afford to maintain their power (couldn't pay the troops, afford new equipment, the list goes on and on) and corruption was institutionalized.





NO NO NO… BULLSHIT.

That was a symptom of COMMUNISM.

COMMUNISM… the reason the Soviet Unions economy could not keep up with needs.

COMMUNISM… that required oppressive tactics that could not be sustained to hold it together.




We could argue that socialism is equally inefficient, nevertheless as long as an economy is producing more than it consumes (or at least somewhere in the same ballpark) it continues, when the balance start to tip (and the debts start to mount) the end is inevitable. Printing funny money to pay off debts serves only to devalue a currency (and pegging the Chinese currency to the dollar for years was a master stroke, our lust for cheap goods fueled their economy, now that the decoupling has begun, watch for the yuan to climb again and again, and the dollar continue to slide. Few people's raises will keep up with the decline (except .gov workers and those with COLA adjustments) and we may have all the goods in the world to purchase, but insufficient purchasing power to pay for them.

I'm not talking about imminent collapse, I am saying that what was once thought impossible for the USSR (note that I said 30 or 40 years ago) is equally thought impossible for the US today.

At the current mismatch of trade, how much of an economic superpower will the US be in 30 to 40 years (to say nothing of who will be paying for all us geezers on retirement?)

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:23:35 AM EDT
Chinese chicks are hot.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:28:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Merrell:

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
That shows absolutely no understanding of why the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Soviet Union contrary to popular belief was not brought down because they “spent themselves into oblivion”. The Soviet Union was a oppressive Communist empire held together by force.

Key reason for why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Communism.



Key reasons they collapsed: They couldn't afford to maintain their power (couldn't pay the troops, afford new equipment, the list goes on and on) and corruption was institutionalized.





NO NO NO… BULLSHIT.

That was a symptom of COMMUNISM.

COMMUNISM… the reason the Soviet Unions economy could not keep up with needs.

COMMUNISM… that required oppressive tactics that could not be sustained to hold it together.




And we are now becoming more and more a socialist nation. Wealth redistribution and a gov't seizing more and more control, more and more power. Not sure about the numbers on gov't absorption of GDP but I would bet it is close with regards to the federal gov't. State numbers seem a little high but when you figure, property taxes, gasoline excise taxes, state income tax and sales taxes, I am sure it adds up to a considerable amount.

In 2008 the first of the babyboomers will start to retire at age 62.
In 2011, the second wave at age 65.
In 2015 there will be 2 workers for every person on SSI and Medicare. And that is just the start.
As these people retire they will start pulling money out of their retirement accounts, negatively affecting the Stock Market.

By 2020-2030 it will really be going downhill.
And imagine if China, at that point, decides to cash in all of their bonds.
Sure we can print more money but what of the inflationary effect that will have on an already teetering economy?

Finally, there is no Social Security Trust Fund as the pols would have you believe. It has been written into the Nantional Debt since Georg Bush I. So if you want to figure that into it, add $2,000,000,000,000 onto that debt.
And the Medicare Prescription plan will cost over $1,000,000,000,000 over the next decade, possibly more.
And no one really even knows what to expect of healthcare costs when the boomers are all on Medicare. But it will crush the National Budget, guaranteed.

I don't see how anyone can think this is sustainable.
The politicians all know this but are doing nothing to even look for solutions.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:31:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 8:33:00 AM EDT by motown_steve]
After the collapse of the USA...


...Texas will become the dominant world power!



ETA -

No empire lasts forever, and the United States will not last forever either. Fact.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:38:30 AM EDT
Doom, Despair, and Agony on me...
Deep dark depression
Excessive misery...
If it weren't for bad luck,
I'd have no luck at all...
Doom, Despair, and Agony on me.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:38:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
After the collapse of the USA...


...Texas will become the dominant world power!



ETA -

No empire lasts forever, and the United States will not last forever either. Fact.



And some here are alluding to the balkanization of the United States, something I have real fear over but is a very real possibility if events continue on as is. If that occurs there will be plenty of fighting in the Americas for a long time to come. First amongst ourselves and then with foreign invasion when we are weakened. The oceans will not protect us forever.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:43:38 AM EDT
Foreign trade isn't the problem. The complete lack of fiscal restraint by the Government is.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:45:01 AM EDT
I am SO gonna laugh when it happens and some of you say "What happened?........Why didn't somebody tell us!"
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:53:58 AM EDT

The US economy is very flexible. It can weather some pretty severe storms.


Flexible, yes. Unbreakable, no.

If most people understood how fragile our economic system really is it would scare them. The monetary system is a joke and a total illusion. The paper we carry as currancy is totally worthless and only holds value because people "think" it is worth something.

Money is only a piece of paper that originally was backed by gold, If you had $100 there was $100 worth of gold to back it. It is ludicris to think there is enough gold to back the paper money anymore. When we need more money they just print more, without anything to back it.

What if:

the majority of people went to the banks one day and wanted to withdrawl all their money....

China dumped all their American dollars onto the market at once......

China or any other large country called in their debts on America one day.....

We had a pandemic arise and HUGE percentages of people couldnt / wouldnt work....

Other countries quit extending the USA credit......
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 8:54:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 8:56:21 AM EDT by motown_steve]

Originally Posted By drjarhead:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
After the collapse of the USA...


...Texas will become the dominant world power!



ETA -

No empire lasts forever, and the United States will not last forever either. Fact.



And some here are alluding to the balkanization of the United States, something I have real fear over but is a very real possibility if events continue on as is. If that occurs there will be plenty of fighting in the Americas for a long time to come. First amongst ourselves and then with foreign invasion when we are weakened. The oceans will not protect us forever.



Especailly true since our ICBM's are all in states with low populations and weak economies. Montana, Kansas, South Dakota, etc. are in no position to hold these weapons on their own, and they could never sustain independance. If our nation were to collapse, then states which could remain self sufficient (like Texas and California) would want these weapons.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:00:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:01:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Second, the USSR didn't collapse because of overspending but because their economy was state-run and incredibly inefficient.



And our economy isn't state run? LOL.



No, it's not. No laughing required.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:02:15 AM EDT
Although it sounds appetizing, I dont see it happening. It'll be a tough fight to push out the tough guys and reinstate our constitution to waht it once was, I hope the states have the strength to take back the power they should have today.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:02:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:



Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?



You bring up a good point.



No, actually he doesn't.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:03:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
After the collapse of the USA...


...Texas will become the dominant world power!



ETA -

No empire lasts forever, and the United States will not last forever either. Fact.



1) The US isn't an empire in any sense of the word.
2) Even if it were, some empires have lasted as long as 2,000 years. I can live with that.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:04:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:



Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?



You bring up a good point.



No, actually he doesn't.



Is there any precedent for a nation being able to handle this kind of debt well?
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:04:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:


I'm not talking about imminent collapse, I am saying that what was once thought impossible for the USSR (note that I said 30 or 40 years ago) is equally thought impossible for the US today.



Yeah, the socialists in this country were almost beside themselves when Reagan went after the Soviets. They truly didn't want to see the Soviet Union fail. What did that say for their entire failed agenda?

I remember having the conversations with them.
And them trying to use fear, saying that great empires went out with a roar and the Ruskies would nuke us before they went down.
I just laughed and told them they didn't know their history. All great empires went out with a whimper after crumbling from within before being invaded or completely collapsing. I pointed out the various histories. Should've seen the looks on their faces.
Of course when it went down like I said they all thought I was some kind of genius.




At the current mismatch of trade, how much of an economic superpower will the US be in 30 to 40 years (to say nothing of who will be paying for all us geezers on retirement?)




IMO we are still riding the wave of post WWII prosperity. So much wealth came into this country and it is still filtering through, being circulated. However, every year more an more of that wealth is being bled off as our trade deficit grows. It is not tough to figure the eventual result of all that.
Now I am no economist and some might disagree with my assessment but common sense needs to prevail from time to time and I would also point out that not even economists seem able to agree on a whole lot.

My advice to all of you is to pay off as much of your debt as you can and watch your investments as these events unfold.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:05:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:



Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?



You bring up a good point.



No, actually he doesn't.



Is there any precedent for a nation being able to handle this kind of debt well?



There is no precedent for the modern worldwide economy, PERIOD. It's never been done before on this scale and with this speed.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:07:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 9:08:37 AM EDT by motown_steve]

Originally Posted By shotar:
I hearby claim all lands between Ohio and Minnesota with the future name of Shotarland. All subjects of the Great Shotar Empire shall be productive in their lives and shall Keep themselves ready for military service to the Empire. All gun control laws shall be repealed for Landowners, their children and at their discretion may administer for the crown, those lands and enterprises under their control. Only land owners may vote and one land owner from each county as currently drawn may be elected to the Imperial advisory Senate.





Your empire will be short lived! I intend to proclaim myself Supreme Warlord of Flortexizonico. My first act will be to send my mighty war machine to conquer the northlands north and subjegate it's people. Serve us well and you will be treated well. Serve us poorly and you will die!


Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:07:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:



Do you realize we have a $61 TRILLION medicare liability alone?



You bring up a good point.



No, actually he doesn't.



Is there any precedent for a nation being able to handle this kind of debt well?



There is no precedent for the modern worldwide economy, PERIOD. It's never been done before on this scale and with this speed.



That's kind of what I was getting at. This is an unprecedented situation. Still, huge debt is not good and we have seen that lead to ruin before.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:08:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:
I am SO gonna laugh when it happens and some of you say "What happened?........Why didn't somebody tell us!"



The signs are there for all to see.

But the Sheeple are either ignorant, stupid, or in denial. For many it is all of the above.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:13:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By shotar:
I hearby claim all lands between Ohio and Minnesota with the future name of Shotarland. All subjects of the Great Shotar Empire shall be productive in their lives and shall Keep themselves ready for military service to the Empire. All gun control laws shall be repealed for Landowners, their children and at their discretion may administer for the crown, those lands and enterprises under their control. Only land owners may vote and one land owner from each county as currently drawn may be elected to the Imperial advisory Senate.





Your empire will be short lived! I intend to proclaim myself Supreme Warlord of Flortexizonico. My first act will be to send my mighty war machine to conquer the northlands north and subjegate it's people. Serve us well and you will be treated well. Serve us poorly and you will die!





I am so going to kick ass on both of you. I, drjarhead The Great, will control all of North America.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 9:13:18 AM EDT
There is some merrit to this thinking. Do a search of how much a TRILLION $ actually is!! It's amazing and with our unbalanced trade deficit along with gov't spending that isn't being balanced WE ARE in some serious trouble down the road. We will not be taken over by a military but simply bought.
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