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MaggieD

Do our Congressmen really understand Economics?

Our congressmen are holding hearings on the most important legislation our country has seen in 50 years....all about the economy and why this bailout is soo necessary. Why are they qualified? Are you? Is Obama....because he's an attorney -- or McCain because he's been in the Senate over 20 years? ('course they aren't even there), but I think you understand what I mean. What makes our politicians qualified to tweak and tear apart this legislation? The answer is, they're not. If they don't trust the experts, get new experts, I say. What say you?
Nat*lee 24/7:

Well, although on the surface Blixa's comment to have economic "experts" tell congress what to do seems great, but it has a fault in it. I doubt you could FIND a single economic "expert" who is qualified to do that. If you put the 500 most intelligent College PhD "experts" who teach the topic I believe you might end up with 500 distinct opinions, no one with consensus, and maybe, just maybe, a general agreement that if we do nothing then everything will collapse.

Economist, Lawyers, and Accountants all have one thing in common.... they know how to yell that the "sky is falling" but none has a single clue among them what to do when an axe is stuck in the ceiling that the best thing to do is remove it before it falls out by gravity.

People love to mock McCain because of his honesty to admit he is not an "expert." But I'll wager he knows as much as the top 25 of all congress persons and Senators together! Senator Obama is no doubt a brilliant man. But as an economics expert he doesn't know more about economics than a cobbler running a shoe repair store. Still, he's brighter than a turnip!

What you are seeing now is panic that "the sky is falling." While this claim appears true, few can recognize the ground is rising instead.

As an American citizen just like you, we can only pray that the collective "wisdom" (I use that term with high reservations) will pick and peck a way through legislation which will help us out of the quagmire long enough for the mud to solidify and we'll be on better footing.

I also pray that the next president, Obama or McCain, will get sufficiently good advice to make improvement. Because neither of them, on their own, is able to raise hands and with his "will" alone instill the corrections needed.

MaggieD:

Brilliant answer.

Goodbye, Cruel World:

It appears from all the criticism that only the President does anything because he is to blame for everything. Because our congressmen take no blame, they obviously are unnecessary. Save the economy by eliminating Congress!

More seriously, they have very selfish understanding and motives. They will surely make a bigger mess out of it.

MaggieD:

I agree with you, Criado. On all counts!! (Not really, but surely we could do a clean sweep!!)

SovieTAviator:

Don't let those experts cram another thing down our throats like all the others without investigation !!

MaggieD:

Remember Nero? Fiddled while Rome burned?

Ginger:

MaggieD, I listened to a lot of the hearing. It seems that their main concern is protecting that $700 billion that Paulson wants handed over to him. They were also concerned about these golden parachutes that have been floating about. I am not an economist, but I did understand the questions and I understood the answers.

I listen to CNBC on an almost daily basis. I have heard both Franks(d) and Shelby(r) discuss issues several times. I don't always agree with them, but they do seem to be quite knowledgeable about their specialty. Before buying that package I certainly want both of them to take a close look at the invoice.

MaggieD:

Thanks, Ginger. This bill needs to pass (with changes if necessary) very quickly or we're looking at a meltdown. My thoughts are that this committee should write down their objections, ask Paulson to come back with suggested ways to address them, and get on with it. We reallllly can't afford Congress's usual "hearings process."

Ginger:

Just heard on CNBC (Bob Pisani). There will be a bill out of committee. It will be watered down and will contain punitive measures which will probably prevent some banks from participating.

On a different subject- reported by Kudlow - the democrats will let the off shore drilling ban expire.

MaggieD:

Well, that drilling ban thing is the best news I've heard in a LONG time. Thanks for that. I hope it does contain punitive measures. I'm glad of that. I'll bet it won't stop very many banks from participating. Hope it passes both houses. We need SOMETHIN'.

Ginger:

They would not dare not pass it. Political suicide.

Of course dropping that ban will cut into my oil royalties. Oh well, glad to make my contribution.

Nat*lee 24/7:

Yeah Ginger... I hope the ban expires too. this could be a beginning of simply letting fixes get started instead of the let's "stop-it" so the other party doesn''t get credit.

Ginger:

Let's hope. On the other hand, where are we going to get the rigs to do the drilling.

Muttin':

Ron Paul stands alone.

MaggieD:

I wonder where he stands on this bailout?

Ginger:

He sure does!!

Nat*lee 24/7:

Its a good thing he stands alone because he's about to crap his pants on this issue.

Heather:

They could be qualified...but i seriously doubt it ..because non of them have majored in Economics....most of them have majored in Political Science....or worked themselves up from organizations positions....although I'm preety sure they must of had taken a bussiness class but most of them are outdated already..

MaggieD:

Great answer. And honest. Thank you. I soooo agree.

Nat*lee 24/7:

I rarely agree but with this one you are right-on! None of those Poly-Sci majors took more than Econ 101-2. They are still at the "gun 'n butter" level of explaining supply and demand.

I don't want to bash one in particular but if you tax more, the economy slows down. Whomever says we should tax more must have failed his Econ 101-2 during the regular semesters at school and only passed it by taking a correspondence course to get the passing "D" needed for graduation.

Bewitched:

I say that the economists should all get together on this one and TELL, INSTRUCT Congress on what needs to be done. By the way, I've been looking into the teaching gig. Looks good for me! Will probably start the program in January.

MaggieD:

Wooooo Hoooooo!!!!!! You go, girl!!! And thanks for your answer. I agree.

Bewitched:

:)

DJ:

Very few of them do. Besides, Economist can make more money teaching and writing books with none of the shenanigans that comes from working in Congress.
None of the politicians understand the situation that is at hand. This is a unique and a "premiere" event in the history of the nation.

MaggieD:

I totally agree with you. I'm not even sure PAULSON understands it. But if Congress doesn't get off dead center, we'd better all be holdin' on for the ride. ;-)

DJ:

Ron Paul is right about economics, no nation will achieve economic sustainability by creating wealth through financial debt, which is the main tool used to create wealth in America.

Fra:

Economics is much more of a social science than it is a mathmatical one. On a large scale it tries to predict how people will react with their money to issues concerning money. And, quite frankly, predicting human behaivor is not an easy thing to do.
Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that economics is just about crunching numbers, it isn't. Its about applying numbers to the financial choices that peope have made, are making, and might make in the future.
There are many different levels and areas of expertise when it comes to economists. And many of them use their calculations and experience to predict very different outcomes from one another. How is anyone to know who is the economist who is the closest to the correct solutions or predictions?
On such a large scale, it is not easy to find solutions. Predicting the weather is far easier and more accurate than trying to predict and plan for the future behaivor of people, businesses, and finances.
How can a congressman understand the economy any better than the economists do? It is going to be more about them chosing who's advice to take, and who's advice not to take. Not an easy task.
So, no, our congressmen don't "really understand economics". They understand it no better than the economists do.
Do they understand it a little better than the average person? Yes.

MaggieD:

Hi, Prolix -- another GREAT answer. Thank you very much. And terrific point about it being a study in human nature...

Ed:

If they had a marketable skill, they would have a profession, instead of being politicians.

MaggieD:

Thanks, Ed. Cynicism just isn't too helpful....

Ed:

The constitution was written with the idea that regular people would be members of congress....farmers, bankers, doctors. They would have full time jobs to support themselves, and they would govern with little or no pay, because they wanted to do something noble. With few exceptions, we no longer have regular folk in congress. They are all professional politicians.

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