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Can't? You should have stopped with "won't," Bill Mann



May 13, 2008 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: CDE , LMC.DL2

Okay, it is pretty audacious to chastise one of the greatest investors at the Fool (or in the world?), but Bill Mann said something ridiculous. After saying that an 11.5% economic growth rate is something that the U.S. will never see again (which is probably true), he immediately went on to say it can't. It can't?

I'm no blind jingo (or at least, I think I'm not), but this is ridiculous. Economic expansion leads to faster economic growth rates, not slower, until the government gets involved. Doing away with the welfare state (including corporate welfare), minimum wage laws, government licensing, government controls over what sort of toilets we have, and other Soviet-style assistance, would bring back economic growth rates in excess of 11.5%. Now, perhaps Mr. Mann sees central planning of an economy as being more "developed" than a free market, but it is by no means a given that we can't go back to a free market. It just seems likely, at this point, that we never will.

And that is why I am investing in silver, for instance CDE and LMC call options. 

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 13, 2008 at 9:22 AM, leohaas (30.12) wrote:

There is nothing "ridiculous" about Bill Mann's statements. I tend to link that word more with FleaBagger's rants. They are typically completely divorced from reality.

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#2) On May 13, 2008 at 11:20 AM, AnomaLee (29.04) wrote:

Because, someone might be using your life insurance policy  before that happens so I'm with Bill Mann. You would have to be a net exporter to achieve +10% GDP growth and solve the problem in the graph below, and we've had the biggest blow-ups in the two largest asset classes since the Great Depression in a span of just 6 years... 

Maybe can't or never is harsh... We could achieve +10% for maybe one quarter since we mask the real GDP numbers, inflation, etc... anyway, but we are victims of size being the largest economy in the world and it takes a lot of energy or a lot of time to change a behemoth.


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#3) On May 13, 2008 at 2:37 PM, FleaBagger (27.49) wrote:

This is fascinating, but neither of you addressed my point. And do you, Lee, have any evidence to back up your assertion that a country has to be a net exporter to have 10% GDP growth?

(By the way, I think it's interesting that, if your graph is accurate, the U.S. is a bigger exporter of goods than is China.)

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#4) On May 13, 2008 at 3:16 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

Fleabag- so is Germany. The graph is looking at $ not amount. I can export a million little plastic lead based paint dolls and make a decent amount of money, but if I make a couple thousand cars worth $30,000 then that kind of takes precedent over the little dolls. If they were looking at sheer numbers, no contest.  

I can see us getting back to the 11.5%, but not this year. The main argument on this blog is the use of the word "can't", well I can't see the point in arguing about what I can't show monumental proof of until it never happens, so I can't help you with it.


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#5) On May 13, 2008 at 11:26 PM, FleaBagger (27.49) wrote:

By the way, leo: you can't resist reading my blog, can you? I have you under my spell...

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