Monetary/Fiscal Policy Homework Essay Sample

Government monetary and fiscal policies change all the time. These policies areinstalled or fixed for the betterment of trade, inflation, unemployment, thebudget, or many other economic factors. In my opinion, it seems like two peoplehave the majority of the control when it comes to forming these policies. Thefirst person who influences these policies is President Bill Clinton whoproposes tax cuts, to balance the budget (Clinton’s budget proposal should begiven to congress soon), minimum wage increases, or other legislation to improvethe economy. The second person who influences policy is the Federal ReserveBoard Chairman Alan Greenspan who can truly destroy our economy by a slightmiscalculation. Greenspan is so influential that the mere speculation of hismaking a move can cause panic buying or selling in the open markets. AlanGreenspan has the power to increase or decrease the money supply by changingreserve requirements, by changing the discount rate, or by buying or selling U.S.

Securities over the open market.

The major governmental problem is trying to balance the budget. The UnitedStates government is currently in debt $5,262,697,717,000 as of February 7. Thisnumber grows about $10,000 per second(see charts 2,3,and 7). President Clinton,Chairman Greenspan, and Congress are all working towards a balanced budget bythe year 2002. As many economists explain , the need is for legislation to keepthe budget balanced for years to come and not look for a quick fix to balancethe budget for only a few months to quiet critics. The government takes stepsconstantly to balance the budget; economists say that the chances of inking adeal this year are better than ever.

President Clinton has currently proposed an offer of $100 billion in tax cutsthrough 2002. These cuts are aimed at giving relief to middle class citizens.

A few of his other proposals include: $500.00 child tax credit, tax deductionfor post high school education, increasing the limits of individual retirementaccounts, and elimination of the capital gains tax. Despite these cuts, hestill believes a balanced budget will be achieved by the year 2002.

Greenspan, in an effort to shave billions of dollars off the deficit, explainedto Congress that they are overpaying Social Security recipients. Greenspan’stestimony sets the stage to successfully balance the budget. His reasoningbehind these allegations is that the cost of living is overstated and he isurging Congress to correct the problem which would affect inflation, grossnational product, and the budget.

InflationThe fourth quarter results have been calculated and the economy is in greatshape. The Commerce Department released fourth quarter numbers which show a4.7% annual growth rate and a 1.8% rise in inflation.This 1.8% fourth quarterrate is lower than the 2.1% third quarter rate. The gain in the fourth quarteris due to higher exports and higher consumer spending. The fact of the matteris that 1996 ended with strong growth and no problem with inflation(see chart 6).

Many economists showed concern over steady inflation growth and are worriedabout 1997. They believe investors may be tricked because the economy is reallyhot and it is just a facade. Many are concerned that the impressive growth in1997 could start a dangerous domino effect that could push up inflation.

Demand and production are very strong which is always a good point for economicgrowth. Many retailers moaned about a slower Christmas buying season butconsumer spending showed a rise of 3.4%. Many analysts expected unfortunateproduct overloads. It does not look like businesses will be stuck trying toclear out their stock rooms. As for 1997, I get mixed reactions. Manyinvestors seem split about their predictions and are not too sure about thefuture.

Where does Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, stand on inflation?As indicated earlier in this report, a few weeks ago, he urged Congress torevamp the method by which the government measures inflation. He believes thatthe consumer price index overweighs inflation by approximately one percent peryear. He pointed out that the cost of living increases are overstated and urgedpoliticians to appoint a commission to correct the problem.

Gross National ProductThe gross national product is a measure of the market value of goods andservices produced during a specific time period. The GNP is the most widelyused factor of economic performance. GNP are estimates that are prepared aftereach quarter. The GNP estimate after the fourth quarter in 1996 was .GNP can be calculated by adding the total cost of supplying the goods andservices, including the income of the producer.

An average breakup of Real GNP can be divided as such: 64.5% from consumption ofgoods and services, 19.8% from government purchases, 16.6% from gross investment,and -0.9% from net exports. It is tough to keep up with technology and theproducts that consumers spend their money buying. It is tough to tell if theconsumer has the money to buy luxury items or necessities, but there are manygoods and services from here and abroad that are readily available and worthlooking into.

Domestic demand is rebounding and even foreign demand is picking up for ourproducts. Many manufacturers are feeling the pressure in their order books.

Unfilled orders and consumer demand are increasing and forcing producers tolengthen their workweeks; increase their payrolls, and speed up production.

Overall orders so far as the fourth quarter can tell are well above their thirdquarter average. Orders for capital goods are high as well as durable goods,which include long-lasting items like air-conditioners, microwaves, stoves, andairplanes. This rebound is why the new year looks to be promising. Consumershave a to do with the manufacturing upbeat look.

Despite the majority of products being goods and services, Government spendingalso makes up a large part of our GNP. Military is a major spender and with thecompetition over B-2 bombers, money is being exchanged in large amounts.

President Clinton is also expected to propose a 20% increase in spending foreducation which would raise the total to some $51 billion. Other examples ofGovernment spending which will be addressed in Clinton’s Budget for 1997 will beInternational Affairs, Transportation, and Medicare(to name a few).

The prospect of stronger world growth clearly is a plus for exports, especiallycapital goods. Foreign sales of capital goods have risen 10.4% from a year ago.

Cheaper exports means cheaper imports will allow foreign goods producers toexpand their already record share of the U.S. market.

UnemploymentThe unemployment report is released periodically and it contained a big surprisefor many economists in 1996. Over the past months the reports showed the economydoing quite well. This economy has been doing so well that some economists wereworried about reaching full employment rather quickly. Although the joblesswould love that to happen, full employment would lead to high inflation anddestruction of the economy. The consensus on Wall Street was that the Fed wouldhave to raise rates until word got around about the report. By day’s end, themainstream were afraid of an economy that will grow so slowly that rates willhave to go lower.

The current unemployment rate is 5.3%. President Clinton is trying to create newjobs to get everyone earning real wages. People want to know that he is openingjob opportunities but he also does not want full employment. This is a primeexample of politics. Tell people what they want to hear but do not let theeconomy stagnate. I guess that is his hidden agenda. In effect, Clinton plansto strengthen employment and business investments in poverty stricken urbanareas. He plans to triple funds to lend to city banks in order to fostereconomic development in poor neighborhoods. He will also try to tripleemployment in public housing projects through a $10 million project involvingHUD, Rockefeller Foundation, and Chase Manhattan.

Many Southern states, seven to be exact, are about to cut their unemploymentinsurance taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars. The Southern economy hasseen tremendous growth and people are forgetting the bad economic times. Theregion has also been adding jobs at a constant pace. Unemployment has droppedto record lows in some of these states. This risky act may spell disaster.

New HappeningsPresident Clinton sent his opening proposal to congress in his attempt tobalance the budget by 2002. Economists say Clinton is right on track with hisproposals. Areas that are being hit hard are: Medicare, Defense, and Welfare(check chart one for breakdown). Also new, the unemployment breakdown came outand the economy has not lost a step. Despite the unemployment rate increasingfrom 5.2% to 5.3%, there is no fear of inflation. Payrolls also showed growthwhile the labor force expanded and the workers’ hours decreased. Category: Business

Health Maintenance Organizations

Wars were fought and people died to preserve these possessions. We are now in atime where we may see these ideals crumble like dust in the wind. HealthMaintenance Organizations, HMOs are currently depriving millions of peoplefrom quality health acre and freedom of choice. This is occurring because peoplewho are enrolled in HMOs are unable to choose the doctor that they want. Alsopatients lose the quality of care because HMOs interfere with the health careproviders decisions.

The Health Maintenance Organization has been proven tosometimes interfere with physicians exercise of sound medical judgementand avoid covering necessary medical care, causing members to either pay out oftheir own pockets or go without (Schlossman). This means that the insurancecompany does not really care about you. The insurance company only cares abouthow much money it has to spend on you as a person and if you need a type ofspecial care that cost money either you can pay for it your self or just gowithout the care that is needed. This interference often compromises thepatients ability to have freedom of choice in selecting a provider and to getthe best quality for their health care needs. This freedom of choice is theability to choice the doctor that you want as a doctor.

Yet instead HMOs pickthe doctor for you. All over the United States HMOs have denied patients themedical care which they need. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, a boynamed Ethan Bedrick was born with cerebral palsy. His doctors said that in orderfor him to be able to ever walk, he would need extensive therapy. Yet accordingto HMO policy, patients are only allowed a maximum of fifteen therapy sessionsper year; therefore, his health plan said NO. The HMO said no when alittle boy said please help. This proves why HMOs frequently deprive patientsof the optimum quality of life. This little boys future of being able to walkwas crushed by an insurance company that was so money grubbing greedy that itcould not stretch the rule for this case. Since the boys therapy is not beingpaid for the HMOs gets a bonus in their paycheck. They took the money that wassupposed to go to the therapy and put it into their pockets.

An epidemic hasoccurred in most senior citizens lives. Since January 1, 1999 440,000 seniorcitizens have lost their HMO privileges. In essence, HMOs decided toarbitrarily eliminate the senior citizen plan. The sad reality is that manymembers who subscribed to these particular HMOs for its senior citizenspackage are out of luck and without medical coverage. For many people over theage of 65 who once had HMO benefits are now scrambling to find a new insurance.

There are people like Allen Martin from New York, who is over the age of 65. Dueto a severe disease his kidneys do not work. As a result he needs dialysis,(which is when the waste material is flushed out of the body) three times aweek. This process is extremely expensive costing hundreds of dollars each timeand what was once paid for by the HMO, but now he has to find some way to payfor it on his own. In many cases doctors are unable to tell a patient thelimitations of their particular HMO and how it interferes with the ability toprovide good medicine. This is called the gag rule. These gag rules do notallow the doctors to say anything bad or against HMOs. Also the rulesrestrain doctors from telling the patient certain things that HMOs do not payfor such as special procedures that might benefit the patients condition.

Doctors who work with HMOs have to sign a contract. This contract states thata doctor is unable to tell patients certain things. Yet in frequent casesdoctors have felt limited by their contract with HMOs. This is because theywant to tell patients important facts, but are unable to because of thecontract. If the doctors break this agreement, they stand to lose theircontract with the HMO. The Health Maintenance Organization created a situationwhere patients have lost the ability to select the doctor of their choice. Inaddition, many plans have something called a Gatekeeper. The gatekepper isa business man who probibly does not know anything abnout medicine or what to doin a critical medical situation and makes his descions soley on how much is itgoing to cost. The Gatekeeper tells you that you must see a Primary Physicianbefore you can see a Specialist. This is just one extra step that the patientmust take to get care. This process normally takes an extended amount of timeresulting in an interference in quality of care.

Freedom of choice is afundamental aspect of being an American. This is being eliminated by HMOswhose only concern is making money. These companies seem to have little interestin the quality of care and the health of the people of this country. Finally,the health care system in this country is being denied the opportunity toprovide treatment which is based on the decisions of trained professionals, butrather is being dictated by money managers who profit from preventing care frombeing given. The United States has been built upon the principles of choice andquality. We must not allow these basic concepts to disappear.

 

Magnificent Sites Of The World

The Great Wall of ChinaInitially, prehistoric graves were simple burials covered with a mound of sand or stones and wind blew the sand away, creating a need for a more secure burials (CD-ROM Egyptian Pyramids). Imagine the what ifs? What if there were no scavengers capable of digging through sand and stone? What if the people who buried their dead accepted the scavenging as a part of nature, a part of life? Would the great pyramids of Egypt be envisioned, much less built?

The pyramids amaze me. I know this sounds like Im sucking up to get a good grade, but just looking at the pyramids and spynhx, not to mention the fortresses and buildings gives me a funny feeling. Ive only seen pictures, but the ones that really take my breath away are the ones that show by comparison just how massive these structures are. I have a hard enough time building a sandcastle, and thats with modern technology.It is scary to think that a civilization c.2700B.C. could build such wonders without even electricity.

From the CD-ROMs, I also gathered that it is not sure whether they had the knowledge of ramps and levers either. So what I do is try to imagine what the ancient Egyptians could do now, if we could bring them to this century, to see what they could do with our technology. Would they continue to ensure their pharaohs after-life in the stars?

Or would they become like us, lazy because everything is too easy. Technology has made our lives much more comfortable, such as heating or cooling our houses, travelling, and entertainment. So, you would think that with our advances, we should have gone further than just making our computers faster and our compact discs clearer.We should look back at the men who by the thousands built the most amazing symbol of what man can do if what they are doing is important to them.That in its self is an achievement. Maybe they were right about the deceaseds soul rising to heaven through the pyramids, Id love to stand right smack in the middle of one, look up and imagine.

The pyramids are one of the places Id like to explore before its my time to join the stars. If my realtor told me that the house I was interested in was sinking at the rate of one inch every five years, the pilings holding up the hose were rotten and there was a dire threat of flooding due to the rising of the Adriatic sea, Id say no problem-o pal. We are after all talking about Venice!I can imagine my self sitting in my palazzo, waving at the passing gondolas while reflecting on the mirror image of my house on the water. No noisy cars with their horns blaring and brakes screeching. I cant see from movies, t.v and magazine layouts, how anybody could not love Venice?

From the CD-ROM, I gathered that some people had been disappointed after touring there.I dont care about all the minor things; its not the superficial things that I would fuss over. Even tough I am not of any religion, Id love to see the churches in Venice, but what I would really like to see is the Sistine chapel. I wouldnt go in looking for God, but viewing such beauty such as the stained glass that has so much history inside its self would leave its mark on my soul. Its not all that amazing that the Great Wall of China has withstood the tests of time, it all comes down to craftsmanship.

The work ethic back in ancient China was a lot different than now. Back then, if your work were deemed substandard, youd be put to death, and buried in the wall. All of this would be marked with a simple plaque bearing your name. Today, when we look at labels in our clothes and it says made in China, we laugh; its a joke. But I dont think the families of the workmen put to death were laughing. Building a wall today is hard enough. I remember when our house was being built.

The last thing to do was to put in the moss rock wall. It was maybe only four feet high in its highest spot and only went down the length of our house. It took 5 workmen 4 weeks to complete it. Thats with big trucks to deliver the stones and levelers to make sure it was straight and also tools to make sure there were no spaces between the rocks. Its weird when I read about the Great Wall, its main purpose was to keep marauders out, but I didnt realize that was the only reason the wall was constructed.

Transportation of supplies and an excellent vantagepoint are also valid points, but those are still connected to keeping the empire safe.We built our Great Wall to keep Musubi, my dog in the yard. So from the construction of a wall that some even speculated could be seen from the moon, to the small task of erecting our wall that can be seen from the street, I guess that all things are relative.

The Chinese didnt want Genghis Khan in their territory, and we didnt wasnt Musu out of ours.If Genghis Khan got in, thousands of people would have perished, but it would have had little or no effect on my life now in 1999. But if Musu had gotten out and got hit by a car and died, that would have been an event that would have an impact on not only me but also my whole family. A dogs life compared to thousands of human lives, I feel awful looking back at what I just wrote, it actually stopped me for a moment, but it was honest and I think that is what you wanted out of this assignment.

To make us think of ourselves not as ourselves, but as a part of history, and how we are all to responsibly play out our roles. Whether its Indiana Jones hacking through dense jungle foliage, or Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner seeking the Jewel of the Nile, movies have long romanticized treasure hunters. Im not sure where the settings of these movies actually took place, but the premise is the same. Rumors of temples that had walls covered in sheets of gold, idols 100 ft. in the air adorned with precious jewels. That alone is worth trekking through the hazardous jungle, although those things are long gone, theres still much more to marvel at the Inca ruins.

Those things are gone, but the most amazing things are still there. I found the fact that the Incas used not only one type of building material, but also three, interesting. Another thing that I marveled at was the way that they placed the stones so that mortar was not needed. Cutting a stone equally in half is almost impossible without breaking it on a fault, but how about cutting the stone with as many as 10 facets? Without mechanical saws and levelers, I cannot imagine cutting something as unpredictable as solid rock. Not too long ago, if you were to put up 2 pictures, first, a temple covered in gold and second, a building made out of intricately cut stones that were placed together with only the skill of the mason holding it together and asked me which was the greater achievement, Id probably say the temple.

Only because its gold, its precious and its beautiful. But, gold is worth a goats ass when an earthquake hits and shelter is whats important. I guess its like when I was younger, the only thing that mattered was me, so things like shelter were of no importance, my parents took care of that. They made sure that I neednt worry about things like that so I could go about being completely self-centered. I dont need to provide for myself, so foolish things like gold and silver amused me with their shine. But as I get older and started to think about starting my own family, things that shine arent so important. What will matter in the long run is that I make sure that my family is protected and can sleep soundly through the night. So my daughter can go off in search of her own shiny things, and it will start all over again.

I would like to find out more about the possible link between Chartres Cathedral, Solomans Temple and the Pyramids of Cheops. I dont know what these places are exactly, but thats the fun part. I like the way the setting of Chartres Cathedral is described as a small active place, which feels both industrious and yet serene. Modern life goes on in the shell of a much older past (CD-ROM Chartres Cathedral).

That reminds me of Lahaina, Maui. As I walk along Front Street, I look toward the ocean and think about the whalers coming to port, what are they bringing back, and what tales of the sea will they bring. My mom is originally from Lahaina, and she tells us that its changed a lot, but not really. She can still see some of the old buildings that were old when she was a youngster, and my grandmother who still lives in the house fills in the gaps where my mothers memories taper off.

My uncle who is an architect that had worked on some of the restoration of Front Street years ago told me that there were very strict guidelines that had to be kept. The architecture would not be new and shiny, but along the same lines as the older buildings. The ones with history attached to them. I know that I was reaching in that comparison, but I really did envision old Lahaina when I read those sentences.

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