Third Party & Independents Archives

Welcome to 2009

What a wild 2008 we had! What will 2009 bring? More of the same? More stability? More chaos? Of course no one knows, so let me offer my prediction along with everyone else.

December 2009 will look vastly different than December 2008. There will be more certainty, better leadership, but the same problems. The difference will be the outlook for the future. We will have solid ideas and/or understanding of where we are going.

Politically, the mood will change in 2009. We are getting a president in Barack Obama who wants the entire nation to focus on a single, national task. Only a handful of presidents have ever tried, and most them did so during war where war was the focus of our attention. Mr. Obama has TWO wars AND an economic focus - talk about ambition!

Economically, there will be more of the same calamities we witnessed in 2008, probably through June - albeit of a smaller scale. Wall Street will continue to decline. Main Street will see a light at the end of the tunnel, but won't be in much better shape than Wall Street. All industries not already touched by the recession will feel the effects. GM and Chrysler will get more cash to stay afloat, regardless of what happens. Several brand new banks will open, each of them quickly gaining market share. The Dow will not recover this year.

Crises around the world will continue unabated. Darfur will get only lip service. Zimbabwe will continue its decline with only minimum action on the part world leaders. More civil unrest in the Congo, and possibly new unrest in Rwanda. Venezuela will capture the world's attention on some new matter of state. And of course the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will receive press coverage, opinions from world leaders, continued talks, but no action. Germany's fiscal policies in dealing with a worldwide recession will prove correct. China will continue its long, arduous, but controlled, steady conversion from Communism. Iraq will suffer serious setbacks among impressive gains. Pakistan will find itself tested, on the world stage, on several matters including the Mumbai attacks and allegedly allowing a safe haven for Islamic extremists in their country along the border with Afghanistan. Of course, there will be other surprises.

Will the US regain any of the trust lost during the past 8 years? Probably not this year, although we are on the right track. The incoming Obama administration will be much more cooperative than the Bush Administration, choosing restraint over unilateral action. That bodes well. A new US representative in the UN will help tremendously, as will a strong-willed and respected Secretary of State. And a vice-president who knows what a vice-president is supposed to do will also be a plus. Like Mr. Biden said, Barack Obama and his administration will be tested. He will be tested at least once in 2009 and will pass that test with flying colors.

Put on your seatbelt and crash helmet. This could be a very bumpy ride in 2009.

Posted by Christopher Tracy at January 1, 2009 10:00 AM
Comments
Comment #273018

Christopher:

Well, at a time like this it is also good to look at what was predicted and where we were off.

How about these?

1. The war in Iraq will end in defeat.

2. Oil will go to $200/barrell.

3. There is a consensus on global warming. (now falling apart) as temps drop worldwide. (I was just up on my roof shoveling snow for the first time in 20 years in my climate. We just set a new one month snowfall record in december of over 60 inches shattering the old one).

4. Obama will new leadership on the world stage. then keeps Gates, Clinton, Petreaus etc.
Obama so far is remarkable not in the changes he is bringing but how much he is keeping.

I do agree with you about 2009 being more stable. Stability brings instability and instability brings instablity in economics. The VIX index which measures instability in the market has fallen from a record of over 80 to about 40 now, and is about to fall into normal but high ranges.

I think you are crazy to predict further decline in the stock markets this year. You might be correct, but reversion to the mean is a huge force, and the market is way way way outside the mean.

What would be a safer bet would be a crash in US Treasuries. 2.6% return of 30 years is way way too low. Either that bubble pops or the dollar crashes or both.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 1, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #273021

C’mon Craig, don’t you know more snow is a symptom of global warming? (Though I believe we have an impact on global climate the very idea of “scientific consensus” is an oxymoron.)

Christopher,

How about some rationale on these predictions, or have you just been channelling Jeanne Dixon?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 1, 2009 1:51 PM
Comment #273024

Christopher,
Why I do not have a magic ball, I do believe that this year will be seen as the year that the Democratic and Republican Leaders of America comes of age. For why President Elect Obama is only limited by the Freewill of We the People and his Bold Vision I do believe the Pundits on the Left and Right are going to find it hard to tow the Good Old Party Line.

For why not everything can be solved by a stroke of a pen on an Ececutive Order, like the American Automotive Industry “We the Corporation” is going to have to come to terms with the fact that Government and Society in the 21st Century will have to go “Green” and become Self-Sufficient.

Yes, the World may buck; however, forced to come to terms with the fact that the Elders and Powers-that-Be of the 70’s were made to limit the Learned and Unlearned of Society to the Sky. I do see that My Peers and Their Children have no problem telling their Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders that they are being childish.

So looking forward into 2009 I see the Energy and Oil Comapanies losing their high and mighty status symbol as information spills out on the money that can be saved by the American Taxpayer, Small Business Owner, and Consumer plus the profits that can be made by the Market. Because let oil go to $200.00 a barrel and a loaf of bread go to $5.00 and lets see who cracks first. Since at those prices Labor and Management will find that their take home pay will not cover the basic bills.

For given the opportunity to grow the Market 10 fold by building a 21st Century Infrastructure with Taxpayers Investments or standing by and watching the Future for your Children being sold to the highest bidder I do believe that eveh the most hardcore SOB on the Left and Right will begin singing a different tune by the end of 2009. Considering that unless President Elect Obama and the 111th Congress does something to make America Energy Independent besides lip service, in My Opinion Americans will take it upon themselves to make We the Corporation pay for their Stupidity.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 1, 2009 3:04 PM
Comment #273025


I have heard predictions that the stock market could go below 5000, perhaps as low as 4500 by the third quarter.

My predictions are:

1) The economy will rebound and be well on its way to recovery by years end.

2) We will end 2009 a lot deeper in debt.

3) The Corpocratic statis quo will be maintained minus a few cosmetic regulations, primarilly in the realm of personal illegality rather than reregulation of business.

4) B. Clinton, G Bush, B Obama and a huge majority of Congress, past and present, will be indicted on a charge of violating their oaths of office and the Constitution in the matter of illegal immigration. Wishful thinking but, they are all guilty as hell and everybody knows it.

If the government violates the law, it is not illegal?

5) As of Dec.,21,2008, There are less than four years left until life as we know it ends.

Posted by: jlw at January 1, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #273029

PREDICTIONS for 2009: I hope I’m completely wrong about this, but here’s what I think is most likely:

  • (90%/10% probability): the $10.7 Trillion National Debt and $54-to-$67 Trillion debt-bubble is already near (if not already) untenable.

  • foreigners are holding $11+ Trillion U.S. dollars (not debt, U.S. dollars).

  • (70%/30% probability): the debt-bubble will create enormous pressure for the federal government and the Federal Reserve to create more new money from thin air, which will most likely trigger hyperinflation, and/or massive nation-wide foreclosures and bankruptcies. Especially after 52 consecutive years of excessive money-printing, deficit spending, and incessant inflation;

  • (90%/10% probability): the federal reserve and banks will continue their usurious and predatory practices (e.g. 35% interest rates, jacked-up Adjustable Mortgage Rates, predatory loan practices, etc.); reforms (if any) will come too late;

  • (95%/05% probability):the federal government won’t cut enough (if any) unnecessary bloat, waste, and spending needed to shift spending to create more productive jobs, benefits, and value;

  • (90%/10% probability):the do-nothing Congress will continue to reward itself with annual raises for their corruption, incompetence, and greed (as just happened again; 10 raises in the last 12 years);

  • (90%/10% probability):inflation will reduce foreigners appetite for investing in the U.S. debt;

  • (80%/20% probability):foreigners holding 11 Trillion U.S. dollars (falling in value for years) will try to unload them by spending them.

  • (80%/20% probability):foreigners will revesre the current trend, and stop sending us goods at cheap prices, and start buying our goods (what little we still manufacture here in the U.S.); all of these U.S. dollars will come flooding back to the U.S., increasing the Money Supply and inflation drastically;

  • (95%/05% probability):foreclosures and bankruptcies will continue …
    • Year 2008: 3.0+ million foreclosures (10,000 per say in Aug-2008)

    • Year 2007: 2.0 million foreclosures

    • Year 2006: 1.2 million foreclosures

    • Year 2005: 846,000 foreclosures ; 2 million bankruptcies

    • There will be 3+ Million bankruptcies in year 2009.

    • U.S. homes lost $2 Trillion in value in year 2008 and will lose another $2 Trillion in 2009.
  • (70%/30% probability):there is also a lot of cash on the sidelines due to stock-market volatility, which will also increase inflation as a portion of it is spent;

  • (90%/10% probability):as inflation increases, the Federal Reserve will try to reduce the Money Supply, but there is so much nation-wide debt already (i.e. 90%-to-95% of all U.S. money in existence is debt, since new money is created as debt at a steep 9-to-1 ratio of debt-to-reserves), and restricting the Money Supply would lead to more foreclosures, bankruptcies, unemployment, etc.;

  • (90%/10% probability): the Federal Reserve will be trapped between a recession and inflation, and it will be too late to stop either; still, the federal government and Federal Reserve will continue to do the only thing they have left to delay the inevitable, by creating more and more new money from thin air, which will create more inflation and possibly the total collapse of the U.S. currency; if hyperinflation results, a U.S. dollar could conceivably deteriorate by 25% per month; no nation already so deep in debt has ever succussfully borrowed, money-printed, increased debt, and spent its way to prosperity;

  • anyone holding U.S. dollars had better be thinking about what they want to spend their savings on (e.g. gold, other currencies, foreign assets, land, houses, seeds for crops, etc.) before they become worthless;
These predictions will not be popular.

I could lie and say I think everything will work itself out without too much pain and misery, but I’d be lying.
However, anyone who is not yet convinced that the U.S. economy is a huge house of cards, which can be brought crashing down with a light breeze, is not being realistic.
The U.S. economy may look OK to the casual observer, but the structural supports are rotting and deteriorating due to decades of numerous abuses that continue to this day.
The odds of the collapse of such a massive debt-bubble are high.
It is increasingly looking less like a matter of IF, and more like a matter of WHEN.

It wasn’t hard to see the 1999 stock-market bubble and its collapse.
And it wasn’t hard to see the 2008 real-estate bubble and its collapse.
So what’s changed?
It also isn’t hard now to see the current $10.7 Trillion National Debt and the $54-to-$67 Trillion nation-wide debt bubble, and it’s potential collapse, and how the inflationary pressures, and the Interest alone on so much debt is crushing us.
Especially now when we are hearing new plans that the most probable solution to our massive debt-bubble is more debt, borrowing, money-printing, and rampant spending (i.e. another $750+ Billion stimulus).
Deficit spending might have worked in the Great Depression and past recessions when there was a greater capacity for more debt, but it’s not likely to work this time, since the current debt is near (if not already) untenable, trillions of U.S. dollars are foreign owned, trillions of U.S. dollars are also owed to foreigners, and most Americans are already on the edge with more debt than they can handle (a problem that increases as unemployment increases to record levels).

Based on several amortization calculations at very low Interest rates (even as low as ZERO) and under the most optimistic conditions, it would take decades-to-centuries to reduce so much debt to any significant degree, and it would take enormous amounts of money to merely pay the Interest alone, much less stop the current Principal debt from growing ever larger.
Based on Congress’ track-record of the past 30 years, the re-election of 86.9% of Congress on 4-NOV-2008, 52 consecutive years of incessant inflation and deficit spending, and other fiscal irresponsibility, it’s difficult to believe that this Congress will have the extraordinary discipline required to deal with the massive debt-bubble, and the President can’t do it all by himself.

There are numerous abuses that landed us on this path, but one of the biggest abuses is our monetary system which leverages debt-to-reserves at a very steep ratio of 9-to-1 (i.e. new money is created as debt at a ratio of 9-to-1, in which banks are only required to have reserves of 10%). The federal government, Federal Reserve, and banks have obvious reasons for wanting to create new money from thin air:

  • (1) The Federal Reserve receives interest from money created from thin air;

  • (2) The federal government wants to spend money to buy votes;

  • (3) When a debtor defaults, the banks confiscate property, which essentially converts new money created from thin air into real assets and property;

  • (4) Those that get the new money first always reap the greatest benefit from it, because as the new money works through the system, it cheats everyone else;

  • (5) The incessant inflation encourages people to give their money to investors, and many Americans have lost Trillions in risky investments in bubble-after-bubble;

  • (6) The incessant inflation fuels the incessant playing with money to make money, and many Americans dream of retiring early and living off the money made from their money;

  • (7) Usury; some banks charge 35% (or more) on some credit cards, and have a myriad of techniques and schemes to take advantage of the poor, young, uneducated, and minorities; all of which amount to legal plunder;

  • (8) Inflation is economically destabilizing (by design) in a way that slowly but surely extracts wealth from people that work and produce (most Americans), and funnels it to the banks, politicians, and their wealthy constituents, as evidenced by 52 consecutive years of positive inflation, federal deficit spending, nation-wide debt-bubble that has quadrupled the size of GDP, and a growing weatlh disparity gap since year 1976;
Essentially, the banks and their owners now own almost everything, while everyone else is broke and/or deep in debt to the banks.

The most accurate analogy is like playing the game of Monopoly, in which one player (the banker) can print all the money they want.
Before long, the banker owns everything, and all other players are broke, and/or deep in debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry.

The question today is how much of this all hinges on is how much more (if any) debt can we carry, and how much more (if any) new money can we create without triggering hyperinflation:

  • QUESTION # 1: Can we continue more deficit spending, which will grow the current total federal debt larger (already with $10.7 Trillion National Debt with $430 Billion in Interest alone per year; $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security; and a portion of $3.2 Trillion already spent/lent from $8.5 Trillion (www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-113008-fi-pricetag-g,0,5292528.graphic) allocated for banks and bail-outs)?

  • QUESTION # 2: How much new money can we create out of thin air without triggering hyperinflation? The U.S. Dollar has already been falling for years: One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm

  • QUESTION # 3: Can the current nation-wide debt (of $54-to-$67 Trillion) can get much larger (with about $2.2 Trillion to $2.7 Trillion in Interest alone at only 4.0% Interest) ?

  • QUESTION # 4: Some news stations are reporting that Obama’s team is planning a $750 Billion economic stimulus package. Where will the money come from? If evenly divided among all 111 Million households, that would come to $6757 per household. If used for jobs, that would create about 10 Million $75K jobs for one year.
  • However, the federal government is already running a $1+ Trillion dollar annual deficit. It’s hard to see where so much borrowed and/or new money can’t create more inflation, which is risky with $11 Trillion of foreign owned U.S. Dollars.
OK … ya’ll can now all label me “Mr. Doom” , “Chicken Little” , “The Sky is Falling” , etc., etc., etc.

Obviously, I’m not doin’ myself any favors here.
However, none of the above is the least bit far-fetched, is it?
It does not even include other factors that could exacerbate the current situation, such as:

  • (01) expanded war in Afghanistan;

  • (02) another huge spike in energy and fuel prices;

  • (03) increased government corruption; that’s not far fetched with trillions of dollars being tossed all about with little (if any) oversight;

  • (04) a $55-to-$100+ Trillion Credit Default Swap market melt-down;

  • (05) all foreign creditors lose confidence and stop loaning the U.S. money;

  • (06) foreign banks holding trillions of U.S. Dollars panic and start selling those U.S. Dollars;

  • (07) China invades Taiwan;

  • (08) Israel bombs Iran;

  • (09) Iran attacks Israel;

  • (10) Russia invades Georgia (again);

  • (11) the federal government defaults on a portion of its current $10.7 Trillion national debt;

  • (12) shortfalls occur in the Social Security and Medicare systems;

  • (13) a massive category 5 hurricane hits Port Authur, Texas, disrupting oil supplies for several months;

  • (14) a massive 7.0 earthquake hits California;

  • (15) the federal government not only fails to fix the regressive tax system, but raises taxes on the middle-class too;

  • (16) conditions in Iraq deteriorate, devolving into civil war;

  • (17) the PGBC (Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation) becomes completely insovlent;

  • (18) unemployment reaches 25+%;

  • (19) long-term declines in quality of education continue declines in global competitiveness;

  • (20) one or more other massive Ponzi-schemes (similar to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi-scheme , in which he made-off with $50 Billion);

  • (21) continued skyrocketing healthcare costs bankrupt millions in the approaching 77 Million baby-boomer bubble;
The list of potential catalysts could continue to fill volumes, but the point is that when a bubble is SO BIG, there are many more things that can cause it to explode.

And when it rains, it often pours.
And the U.S. has been very irresponsible for a very long time.
We have failed to save for a rainy day (to say the least).
We are now on the edge, and only one or two events above may trigger the collapse.
And we were warned.
David Walker (former GAO Comptroller) and other economists have warned us for years, but their words fell on deaf ears.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at January 1, 2009 6:22 PM
Comment #273031

d.a.n.,
You are right about the economy. I will predict with virtual certainty that 2009 will be much, much worse than 2008, and it will be caused by the ongoing economic implosion.

Job creation no longer occurs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in the next few months, which will result in more foreclosures, which dooms the real estate markets to further declines.

This is asset deflation. The Japanese experienced something similar. If the US experience matches the Japanese experience since the 1990’s, it can be translated into a DJIA of 4259…

In the year 2026.

American investors and the rest of the world still view the US currency, in the form of Treasuries, as the safest of all investments. The bond markets are telling us there will not be inflation or hyperinflation. However, there will be no growth for a long, long time, and deflation will be the bigger threat.

It’s a disaster of epic proportions. The enormous debt can only be addressed by spending cuts and increased taxes.

This is the conservative dream come true. Three cheers for free trade. Deregulation? Boo! Hiss! Government sponsored job creation? Why, that’s socialism!

I predict virtually nothing will be done to address Global Warming.

2008 was the coolest year of the century (which goes back to 2000!). It looks like it will go into the books as the 10th warmest on record… The other years since 2000 beat it, along with 1998…

Craig,
Over one million Iraqis have died, over two million are internally displaced, and over two million are in exile abroad. The Iraqi economy is in shambles, (and so is the US economy, in part due to the debt ran up in Iraq), and now the Iraqis are kicking the US out. The new government’s parliament is hostile to the US, extremely hostile to Israel, and very friendly to Iran. If they ever hold elections the next government will be MORE hostile to the US. And that’s not a loss?

Posted by: phx8 at January 1, 2009 8:56 PM
Comment #273033

>The new government’s parliament is hostile to the US, extremely hostile to Israel, and very friendly to Iran. If they ever hold elections the next government will be MORE hostile to the US. And that’s not a loss?
Posted by: phx8 at January 1, 2009 08:56 PM

phx8,

Yeah, when was the last time the US set up a puppet government in the world that actually worked? Our track record in imperialism is horrriblllle! Hell, we even helped create Saddam…look where THAT got us…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 2, 2009 2:47 AM
Comment #273036

Marysdude
“Yeah, when was the last time the US set up a puppet government in the world that actually worked? “
1909 in the philippines. Still imperialist of course but the Philipinos went from fighting us to loving us in a few years and even helped us fight the Japanese dispite the Japanese propaganda “Asia for Asians”effort.

CT
The German’s response to the economic slowdown is exactly wrong and risk undermining the recovery of the entire EU. Your prediction that they will get it right might happen if they totally reverse course,and soon.

Posted by: bills at January 2, 2009 7:01 AM
Comment #273038

“(80%/20% probability):foreigners will revesre the current trend, and stop sending us goods at cheap prices, and start buying our goods (what little we still manufacture here in the U.S.); all of these U.S. dollars will come flooding back to the U.S., increasing the Money Supply and inflation drastically;”

d.a.n what exactly will we export in such a large amount,that we don’t now export, that would cause this to happen? Wouldn’t this put many Americans back to work helping to alleviate part of the problem? What am I missing? An 80% chance of this happening seems rather high to me in ‘09.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 2, 2009 9:50 AM
Comment #273039

bills,

Perhaps…but, one out of many, and it at the turn of the last century…not a good track record, especially considering the Colossal failures the rest of our history.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 2, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #273042

jlw said: “1) The economy will rebound and be well on its way to recovery by years end.”

Disagee. The Stock Market will begin recover the latter half of 2009, the economy will not improve noticeably (jobs), until 2010.

“2) We will end 2009 a lot deeper in debt.”

That’s a given. No crystal ball needed on that one.

“3) The Corpocratic statis quo will be maintained minus a few cosmetic regulations, primarilly in the realm of personal illegality rather than reregulation of business.”

Disagree. I think the U.S. is about to witness the greatest volume of regulation of the private sector markets and financial transactions in the history of our nation. Enforcement will follow, if Obama can manage to get reelected in 2012.

“4) B. Clinton, G Bush, B Obama and a huge majority of Congress, past and present, will be indicted on a charge of violating their oaths of office and the Constitution in the matter of illegal immigration. Wishful thinking but, they are all guilty as hell and everybody knows it.”

This is a democracy. The majority cannot be indicted and prosecuted in a democratically elected government. Neither the majority of the people nor the majority in Congress. You can wish, but, it ain’t gonna happen, nor should it. In a democratically elected government, when public policy conflicts with political agendas, as in the case of illegal immigration, political agendas will win out unless, and until, there is a groundswell of public opposition that represents or threatens to represent the majority of the people.

“If the government violates the law, it is not illegal?”

That’s a paraphrase of Richard Nixon’s words, and it wasn’t true when Nixon said it, (He was impeached), and it is not true now, if the people demand justice for the corruption of their government and use of their tax dollars in that corruption.

As d.a.n, says repeatedly, in our democratically elected government, “we get the government we deserve” by virtue of how we vote, if we vote.


5) As of Dec.,21,2008, There are less than four years left until life as we know it ends.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 2, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #273046
j2t2 wrote: d.a.n what exactly will we export in such a large amount,that we don’t now export, that would cause this to happen? Wouldn’t this put many Americans back to work helping to alleviate part of the problem? What am I missing? An 80% chance of this happening seems rather high to me in ‘09.
That’s a good question.

Here is why the inflow of $11 Trillion of foreign-owned U.S. dollars won’t create many (if any) jobs (at least, not fast enough):

  • Most Americans are already so deep in debt;

  • millions of Americans will be liquidating or filing for bankruptcy;

  • average savings have been negative for 3 years;

  • the ratio of nation-wide debt of $54-to-$67 Trillion -to- GDP has quadrupled since year 1956);

  • the federal government has already been deficit spending for 52 consecutive years;

  • the federal government and Federal Reserve have maintained positive inflation for 52 consecutive years;

  • Since we don’t manufacture as much as we did several decades ago, foreigners holding $11+ Trillion in U.S. Dollars will start buying anything we still manufacture, or own which can be liquidated, including (both new and used):
    • cars

    • trucks

    • dozers

    • cranes

    • ships

    • planes

    • farm equipment

    • land

    • farms

    • corporations

    • houses

    • auctioned foreclosures

    • buildings

    • troubled banks

    • jewelry

    • gold

    • silver

    • steel

    • furniture

    • food

    • art

    • wineries

    • restaraunts

    • high-tech electronics

    • weapons

    • tools

    • hospitals and healthcare services

    • technology (one of the worst things we’ve been doing for decades)

    • breweries (such as Anheuser-Busch that was bought by Belgian InBev)

    • oil and fossil fuel refineries

    • coal

    • shipping ports

    • Essentially, anything that has value and can be liquidated (fueled by massive nation-wide debt, and millions of foreclosures, unemployment, and bankruptcies per year).

  • This increased spending of U.S. Dollars will create inflation.
    Since the U.S. doesn’t have the manufacturing base it had several decades ago, the money will not be able to create enough new jobs quickly enough for the middle and lower income classes, and will instead result in liquidation of their assets, due to the pressures of so much current nation-wide debt.

  • The U.S. is a 70% consumer driven economy, and the wealthiest 20% of all Americans make up most of that spending.
    The wealthiest 1% of all Americans owns over 40% of all wealth in the U.S.
    80% of Americans now own only 17% (or less) of all wealth in the U.S.
    The wealthy in the U.S. and world-wide are also sitting on the sidelines with a lot of cash due to stock-market volatility, and as inflation increases (world-wide), people will try spend that cash on whatever they can, before the currency erodes more in value.
    The massive liquidation, fueled by inflation, will result in the wealthy buying up assets anywhere they can (see list above) at fire-sale prices, in order protect their wealth (i.e. dumping all currencies experiencing significant inflation, and replacing it with something that will still have some value).

  • Even if the Federal Reserve tries to restrict the rapid growth of the Money Supply (i.e. inflation), it won’t help because the Federal Reserve will be trying to battle BOTH inflation and a recession. The federal government and Federal Reserve can’t BOTH simultaneously create massive amounts of new money to fight a recession, and restrict Money Supply to limit inflation.

  • Globalism: when and where wages and taxes increase, transnational corporations move somewhere else;

  • Unlike the Great Depression, we are entering a recession with much larger debt and liabilities (both federal and non-federal); a deteriorated manufacturing base; more foreign owned money; more debt to foreign nations; a huge trade deficit; triple the population; a more urban population; huge entitlements liabilities with a 77 Million baby boomer bubble; and these 18+ economic conditions have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

The bottom line is that fiat funny-money currencies all over the world are in trouble due to decades of excessive inflation due to excessive creation of new money out of thin air.

Paper money can not substitute for productivity and real value.
As a result, many people holding many currencies will be trying to spend that money before it becomes totally worthless.
And since the wealthy have more money, and most Americans are deep in debt and force to liquidate, the wealthy will end up with most of the land, houses, farms, etc. (see list above).
It’s a huge debt-bubble, like a big balloon bouncing around in a field of thorny roses.
It’s only a matter of time before it lands on one of those thorns and bursts.

That is, unless several things are done exactly right and simultaneously.
And one of those this is NOT growing the debt-bubble any larger.
The federal government must stop deficit spending, and cut all unnecessary and wasteful spending (and there is a LOT of it), shift that spending to create jobs that produce real avings, benefits, and value.
The federal government must also stop these abuses, which have been hammering most Americans for many decades.
The U.S. has a presence in 134 of 192 nations around the world, and that costs a lot. Is all of that necessary?
Congress just gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years. Is that necessary?
Illegal immigration costs U.S. tax payers an estimated $70-to-$327 Billion annually in net losses (for votes and profits). Why is that allowed?
Banks are loan-sharking, with ridiculous 35% (or higher) interest rates, and other predetory lending practices.
Politicians are FOR-SALE, and they’ve sold-out most Americans, but the majority of voters continue to repeatedly reward the same incumbent politicians with 86.9% re-election rates.
Maybe, after we have almost completely sold ourselves out, when it finally becomes too painful, we will start to produce again, instead of mostly consuming only, and spending so much of our time and effort trying to make money by playing with money.

However it appears that the next administration is going to do just the opposite with a $775 Billion -to- $1 Trillion stimulus spending package.
It appears there will be a river of new money coming out of the federal government and the Federal Reserve.
When we need smarter spending, it appears we’re going to get a LOT more wasteful spending.
With 52 consecutive years of foolish deficit spending, it seems unlikely that’s going to suddenly change now.
Especially when 86.9% of Congress was re-elected on 4-NOV-2008: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2011.htm

If any family in the U.S. was deep in debt, and on the edge of bankruptcy, they have the following options:

  • (1) cut all unnecessary spending and consuming; and start paying down debt to reduce the interest costs; and/or sell assets to pay down debts and pay for existing needs;

  • (2) or file bankruptcy;

However, the federal government and the Federal Reserve has one more option: It can create new money out of thin air.
However, that doesn’t work either.
New money can not substitute for real productivity, and can eventually render the money worthless.
Several nations have already tried it, and it resulted in hyperinflation (i.e. in the last 150 years):

  • Madagascar 2004 - 2005 (1/5th of starting value),

  • Zimbabwe 2003 - present (6 quadrillionth of the starting value and continuing to fall),

  • Romania 1998 - 2005 (1/50,000th of starting value),

  • Former Soviet Union 1993 – 2002 (1/14th of starting value),

  • Angola 1991 - 1995 (1 Billionth of starting value),

  • Belarus 1994 - 2002 (1/1,000 of starting value),

  • Georgia 1993 - 1994 (1 Millionth of starting value),

  • Ukraine 1993 - 1995 (1/100,000th of starting value),

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992 – 1993 (1/100,000th of starting value),

  • Krajina 1992 - 1993 (1 Millionth of starting value) reincorporated into Croatia in year 1998,

  • Republika Srpska - Bosnia 1992 - 1993 (1 Millionth of starting value),

  • Turkey 1991 - 1999 , double-digit inflation 2005 - 2007(1 Millionth of starting value),

  • Poland 1990 – 1994 (1/10,000th of starting value),

  • Yugoslavia 1989 - 1994 (1/1x10^27 of starting value),

  • Zaire 1989 - 1996 (1/30 Billionths of starting value),

  • Nicaragua 1987 - 1990 (1/5 Billionth of starting value),

  • Mexico 1987 to 1993 (about 1/3 of starting value),

  • Peru 1984 - 1990 (1 Billionth of starting value),

  • Bolivia 1984 - 1986 (1/1,000 of starting value);

  • Israel 1976 – 1986 (1/16th of starting value),

  • Argentina 1975 – 1983 (1/1,000th of starting value),

  • Chile 1971 - 1973 (1/12th of starting value),

  • Brazil 1960 – 1994 (1 trillionth of starting value), Chile 1971 – 1973 (1/3rd of starting value),

  • China 1947 – 1955 (1/10,000th of starting value),

  • Taiwan 1947 - 1949 (1/40,000th of starting value),

  • Greece 1943 – 1953 (1/50 trillionth of starting value),

  • Hungary 1945 – 1946 (100 quintillionth of the starting value),

  • Japan 1934 – 1951 (1/362nd of starting value),

  • Hungary 1922 – 1923 (1/4 of starting value),

  • Austria 1921 – 1923 (about 1/4 of starting value),

  • Free City of Danzig 1922 - 1923 (1/10 Millionth of starting value),

  • Weimar Republic of Germany 1920 – 1923 (1/466 billionth of starting value),

  • U.S.A. (Confederate States of America) 1861 – 1865 (1/90th of starting value, and then, by the end of the Civil War, the Confederate Dollar depreciated to zero).

  • It also happened in the ancient Roman Empire, when the silver and gold coinage of that day was progressively debased with base metals, in order to fund wars, giveaways to the Plebeians, and various other adventures.
Other nations have already tried to borrow and money-print their way to prosperity, and it not only failed miserably, but made things much worse.

However, for some reason, the U.S. seems to believe that it is immune to hyperinflation, and destined to re-learn that lesson the painful way.

phx8 wrote: d.a.n., You are right about the economy. I will predict with virtual certainty that 2009 will be much, much worse than 2008 …
Yes, As much as we’d all like to be wrong about that, it’s too hard to believe 2009 will be better. Progress is very slow (2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward), and only when sufficient pain and misery provides sufficient motivation. Also, there will most likely be missteps, more corruption, and more waste. Especially with trillions of bail-out money flying all about. Regardless, the banks and their wealthy owners always come out smelling like a rose.
phx8 wrote: It’s a disaster of epic proportions. The enormous debt can only be addressed by spending cuts and increased taxes.
  • Regarding spending: Yes, eliminate of all unnecessary spending, and there is a lot bloat and waste that can and should be eliminated.
  • Regarding taxes: Yes and No. The current regressive tax system should be greatly simplified and made neutral (i.e. in which all personal income of all types above the poverty level are taxed an equal percentage; therefore, some people will be taxed more and some will be taxed less): One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Taxes
  • David R. Remer wrote: The Stock Market will begin recover the latter half of 2009, the economy will not improve noticeably (jobs), until 2010.
    Yes. At best. It will take a long time for so much debt to unwind.
    David R. Remer wrote: I think the U.S. is about to witness the greatest volume of regulation of the private sector markets and financial transactions in the history of our nation. Enforcement will follow, if Obama can manage to get reelected in 2012.
    I hope so. However, with 86.9% of Congress just re-elected on 4-NOV-2008, it seems unlikely that Congress, which is still FOR-SALE mostly to their wealthy puppeteers, will suddenly turn over a new leaf. Especially when voters repeatedly reward incumbent politicians for all of it with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. Just based on track-record, it’s more likely that voters will have to feel more pain before they provide Congress with the much-needed motivation to make any real reforms. It doesn’t seem likely that Congress will become more responsible and accountable until enough voters do first. Also, there’s a very strong possibility that so many trillions of dollars of stimulus spending, borrowing, and money-printing will produce more corruption (not less). The president is only one person, and may be unable to reign in decades of fiscal irresponsibility and corruption. That is, Obama may have a genuine desire to fix many things, but it is sad that voters may have sabotaged their President with 86.9% of the same incumbents in the FOR-SALE, incompetent, wasteful, and corrupt Congress.
    jlw wrote: B. Clinton, G Bush, B Obama and a huge majority of Congress, past and present, will be indicted on a charge of violating their oaths of office and the Constitution in the matter of illegal immigration.
    They aren’t likely to be indicted, but I agree that all are guilty of violating the U.S. Constitution in several ways: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm And I personally think it is despicable that way the federal government pits Americans and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits disguised as compassion.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 2, 2009 12:45 PM
    Comment #273048

    CORRECTION:

  • Regarding taxes: Yes and No. The current regressive tax system should be greatly simplified and made neutral (i.e. in which all personal income of all types above the poverty level are taxed an equal percentage; therefore, some people will be taxed more and some will be taxed less [than they are currently taxed]):

  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 2, 2009 12:49 PM
    Comment #273050

    d.a.n said: “I hope so. However, with 86.9% of Congress just re-elected on 4-NOV-2008, it seems unlikely that Congress, which is still FOR-SALE mostly to their wealthy puppeteers, will suddenly turn over a new leaf.”

    Yep. That is why I have maintained for many months now, that Obama’s primary opponents will be Congresspersons, and as often as not, Democratic Congress persons. Obama will battle his own party to seek the agenda for all Americans he committed to, present and future.

    Some liberals object. Those same liberals will become Obama’s opponents or, concede that the Democratic Party’s elected Congress persons are not the repository of best governance where independent thinking, pragmatic approaches, and solid gains are the objectives.

    Obama ran under the Democratic label, but, his campaign rhetoric did not speak to a liberal democratic agenda. Whatever else Obama’s liberal opponents may claim, they cannot accurately claim that Obama did not give due notice on the campaign trail that he would not be a slave to Democratic dogma and Party principles, where pragmatic solutions to the nation’s challenges are held in the balance.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 2, 2009 1:06 PM
    Comment #273064

    On the original post, I don’t think that Pakistan has ever controlled their borders at all. Their armed forces are a joke, with nuclear weapons. They have one of the most civilized countries in the world on one side, and one of the most uncivilized on the other. They exist because they wanted a separate state for the adherents of the majority religion of their region. Massacres ensued because of it, and continue to this day in a somewhat abated form, but the cause is still the same. Religion.

    Posted by: ohrealy at January 2, 2009 6:28 PM
    Comment #273065

    I find it interesting that the democrats in congress want to raise federal taxes on gas and diesel a whooping 50%, and we will see if BHO is in favor of this tax hike. This is no more than punishing the American people for conserving fuel. They say they need the taxes for infrastructure repair and at the same time calling for a trillion dollar bailout and stimulation package to pay for infrastructure repairs. These taxes will affect the lower and middle-class families. Of course, this does not include the state tax hike on fuel that democratic politicians are also calling to increase.

    I am not near as smart as some of you guys, but I would like to make a few predictions:

    1. Muslims, with the support of Iran, will launch an all out attack upon Israel.

    2. The US will not come to their aid, but the Muslim nations will be destroyed and this will also destroy the oil fields and cause a shutdown of the flow of oil. I base this on the prophetic statements found in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel.

    3. The loss of oil will cause the worlds economy to collapse and will be the beginning of a period of time known as the “Tribulation” and the world will look for a global savior to solve the problems. I base this on prophecies found in Matthew chapter 24 and the Book of Revelation.

    4. God will judge the earth during the Tribulation and at least one half of the earth’s population will die as the result of war, famine, disease, and changes in the environment.

    5. The world will blame these disasters on global warming and will fail to understand it is God’s judgment for sin.

    Call me crazy, but this is what I believe and I would say my beliefs more believable than some of yours.

    Posted by: Oldguy at January 2, 2009 6:39 PM
    Comment #273067

    “Call me crazy, but this is what I believe and I would say my beliefs more believable than some of yours.”

    Believable to whom?

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 2, 2009 6:50 PM
    Comment #273068

    From dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief

    “Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof…

    The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another…

    Belief used to mean “trust in God,” while faith meant “loyalty to a person based on promise or duty” (a sense preserved in keep one’s faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of L. fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to “mental acceptance of something as true,” from the religious use in the sense of “things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine” (c.1225)…”

    Posted by: ohrealy at January 2, 2009 7:01 PM
    Comment #273075

    ohrealy,

    Does that mean believable to the faithful, or faithful to the believers?

    Posted by: Marysdude at January 3, 2009 12:40 AM
    Comment #273082

    oldguy,

    So can we assume that you keep all of the tenets of the Old Testament, or just those that fit your narrow interpretation?

    Can we assume that your crystal ball is more accurate than those that have predicted the same cataclysm dozens of times in the last 2 millenia?

    On which translation do you base your predictions?

    Is it possible that you have learned enough Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin or any other archaic language to make your own translation, and thus make your predictions even slightly more “believable”?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 3, 2009 11:27 AM
    Comment #273083

    You can hardly call it a prediction when you are staring the makings of a depression in the face. We have given up 8M manufacturing jobs in the last 8 years. Worst numbers for production since record keeping began – 1948. Steel production is at 49% capacity. 2M jobs shed this year alone. Not a single sector is surviving in this toxic globalized economy. When you stack it up; job loss, huge trade imbalance, huge national debt, manufacturing in the tank, 45M without medical insurance, 10-12% unemployment, taxpayer bailouts of taxpayers, I have to believe we are headed for the big one. I predict Obama’s so-called stimulus package will be used to buy widescreen TV’s w/HD produced in China and back to business as usual.
    There are those who will be forgiving of the corporations and government cronies who opted to put us in a near depression. Not in this corner. Without serious reform we can only expect continued or repeated failure of government. The duopoly cannot, will not reform itself. Control of government is in the hands of a very few government officials at the top level. Raise your voice a little to loud and you lose your support for re-election. The pecking order in the legislative bodies has been manipulated for a coupla hundred years to the point where a few (corporations) at the top call the shots.
    The only recourse is to establish one or more 3rd party’s that can act as a countervailing force against the klepto-plutocracy. Party’s whose members provide oversight for elected and appointed officials. Party’s that target real reform, can achieve reform and keep it that way.

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 3, 2009 12:17 PM
    Comment #273090

    RM

    Is your mind really inquiring, or are you just wasting oxygen?

    I have studied Greek and Hebrew, but I don’t believe it is necessary to get a grasp of Scripture, or for that matter, make any predictions I have any more believable.

    Keeping tenents of either Old or New Testament has no bearing on interpretation.

    My crystal ball is my interpretation and judging from what some wanna be economists on these pages, or real economists determine the future to be; I believe my percentage of accuracy to be just as good as others.

    Posted by: Oldguy at January 3, 2009 5:05 PM
    Comment #273094

    oldguy,

    “I have studied Greek and Hebrew, but I don’t believe it is necessary to get a grasp of Scripture, or for that matter, make any predictions I have any more believable.”

    You sir, are the person that brought scripture into the conversation.

    Rocky


    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 3, 2009 5:34 PM
    Comment #273097

    OldGuy said: “I find it interesting that the democrats in congress want to raise federal taxes on gas and diesel a whooping 50%, and we will see if BHO is in favor of this tax hike. This is no more than punishing the American people for conserving fuel.”

    Wrong. It is much more than that. By raising the price of gasoline, the relative price of renewable alternates is lowered, making them more competitive priced in the market place. Eventually, with economies of scale, the price of alternative and renewable fuels can drop below the natural supply/demand price of oil and gas, especially with the longer term upward trend of oil and gas prices if alternatives and renewables are not made competitive.

    This is the most effective and direct way to begin the end of America’s dependency on foreign oil, and goal, I am sure you would be for, OldGuy.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 3, 2009 6:02 PM
    Comment #273102

    DRR

    “Wrong. It is much more than that. By raising the price of gasoline, the relative price of renewable alternates is lowered, making them more competitive priced in the market place. Eventually, with economies of scale, the price of alternative and renewable fuels can drop below the natural supply/demand price of oil and gas, especially with the longer term upward trend of oil and gas prices if alternatives and renewables are not made competitive.”

    I might say “Wrong” to you. If the purpose of increased gas tax is to decrease our dependency on foreign oil and spur the development of alternative fuels, then why the proposal for a mileage tax.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,475507,00.html

    The purpose of an increased gas tax has nothing to do with alternative fuels. It is merely a way of punishing consumers for cutting back on gas usage. The stupid liberal politicians cut their own throats by the decrease of fuel, due to not allowing drilling in our own country, and lost revenue. Now, they have to find a way to up the revenue. The ultimate insult is to place a mileage tax on all vehicles, no mater what kind of fuel they use. Oregon is just one of several states planning a mileage tax. Don’t you or any other person on this site think this smells of deceit? Perhaps you are also in favor of a tax on Internet usage?

    Posted by: Oldguy at January 3, 2009 9:03 PM
    Comment #273104

    Oldguy,

    Deceit?
    According to Minnesota Public radio it is a means to make up for lost revenue for road repairs.
    Those states like Oregon are testing to replace the “gas tax” with a mileage tax to bridge the gap between gasoline which is taxed at a higher rate than the biodiesel people have been converting over to.
    It makes perfect economic sense for states to do this, and it puts the tax burden on those that actually use the roads the most.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 3, 2009 10:06 PM
    Comment #273112

    DR et al
    I will again throw the idea of a flexible tariff on imported oil out there. The most significant obsticle to alternate developement is not so much price competiveness, but lack of price stability. Price competiveness can be overcome if the competing product cannot be dumped on the market as is now happenning with oil. Its just not possible to adequatly capitalize an industry when the market value of that industrry’s final product cannot be predicted reasonably. The tariff would act to hold the price of oil at ,say,$75-100 bbl. If the price fell below the target price the tax would kick in. If the world price went above the target the tax would cease. This would also provide a drilling, exploration incentive to domestic producers and allow for the repeal of any tax incentives for same. NAFTA would prohibit this tariff with Mexico and Canada. That is not so bad as there is a benefit to having prosperious nieghbors and niether country is financeing terrorist, at least not at this point. Revenues from this tariff could be used to help states with road building etc. although it would not necessarily provide a steady stream.

    Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 6:10 AM
    Comment #273113

    Old Guy
    And what would this sin be that half the world is guilty of?

    Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 6:27 AM
    Comment #273117


    Oldguy, it is possible that a Armaggadon like senario could happen in the not to distant future. If it does, I would consider the cause as begining around 1776 when some guy started calling greed enlightened self interest. A good definition of liberal is enlightened lite.

    There are no guarantees that high taxes or high prices will encourage the use of any renewables except Vilsakohol in the short run. The higher prices will be very detrimental to the low income workers and vilsakohol will not relieve their economic stress.

    Roy, the funeral business is not in stress and is expecting much growth.

    David R., you keep claiming that some liberals object to Obama’s approach to governing but, I see no evidence of that at all. Why should liberals object to having a liberal president? Obama has repeatedly said that he would work with liberals, blue dogs and Republicans which is what has been going on for several decades now.

    You seem to be confused about the makeup of the Democratic party. It is not the liberals that are objecting to some of Obamas decisions such as his cabinet choices. It is the unwanted, except at election time, stepchildren of the party, the progressive wing of the party that is objecting.

    Example, some 55,000 progressives signed a online petition asking Obama to name a progressive to the Department of Agriculture that would start turning agricultural policy away from agribusiness and its unhealthy processed foods towards smallar farms and healthier food. Obama ignored them and named a bought and paid for agribusiness politician to the post.

    If Obama is going to have an ongoing clash with the liberals of his party, then we should be expecting him to veto many of their bills shouldn’t we?

    Your rationalization for support of an unconstitional government saddens me. The government can ignore the rule of law, especially a law that poses a potentially serious threat to the sovereignty of our country and it isn’t unconstitional, its as it should be?

    Majority rule within the framework of a seriously limited and controlled political system is a pathetically grotesque delusion of democracy. There is only one thing worse than two party government. And sometimes the worse thing isn’t actually worse.

    Posted by: jlw at January 4, 2009 11:57 AM
    Comment #273119

    jlw, while the funeral biz is surviving I suspect there are more pine boxes going in the ground then the gilded lily caskets. If not so, just wait another six months.
    Been really lame bloggin in this season between President’s. I hate to jump on Obama until he has had a chance to open his mouth. I do think Bill Richardson, D-N. Mex., is fair game. He has thrown in the towel as Commerce secretary. Whatever contagion Illinois has seems to be spreading We have reached a point that, if put under scrutiny, few politicians would pass citizen’s muster. With 35K lobbyist running around with fists full of money it’s understandable. Maybe a better way to look at it is that the not so smart one’s get caught and shouldn’t be serving in a high position anyway
    Oh well, I’m all angst waiting on the ides of January.

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve!

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 4, 2009 2:45 PM
    Comment #273122

    Rocky writes; “It makes perfect economic sense for states to do this, and it puts the tax burden on those that actually use the roads the most.”

    Let’s apply Rocky’s logic to health care and see if it holds up. Let’s suppose we have NHC. Would it be correct to ask those who use the most in medical services to pay more premium than those who don’t?

    How about our state and city parks, swimming pools and public lakes, biking trails and walking paths, publicly owned convention centers, museums, airports and public libraries? Using Rocky’s scheme, should “the tax burden on those” be levied upon those who use them the most? If not, why not?

    Posted by: Jim M at January 4, 2009 3:26 PM
    Comment #273127

    Mdude, that would be “believable to the faithful”, religions are not always “faithful to the believers”.

    Suetonius said:

    “Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit.”

    A little later, Flavius Josephus had this to say (later interpolations deleted):

    “Jesus, a man full of wisdom … the doer of incredible things, and the teacher of such as gladly received the truth … Pilate condemned Him to death … nevertheless those who had previously loved Him still remained faithful to Him … to the present day the race of those who call themselves Christians … has not ceased.”

    Posted by: ohrealy at January 4, 2009 4:50 PM
    Comment #273128

    Jim M,

    Get a grip.

    Roads are under constant wear and tear. Gasoline taxes are supposed to pay for the repair of these roads. Falling revenues need to be made up somewhere, and the “mileage tax” is a perfect way to do just that.
    Or do you prefer to drive on roads full of potholes, and drive on bridges like the one that fell in Minneapolis?
    Road repair is a safety issue.
    Or don’t you get that.
    User fees are already paying for much of what you mentioned in your tirade.

    I am beginning to wonder if all that flag waving “patriotic” bu*&^%#t is just that, and whether or not you guys on the right truly love America, or are you just here for that mythical free lunch.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2009 4:53 PM
    Comment #273131

    Taxes on gasoline ain’t gonna create alternative energy sources and more efficient transportation.
    Even when gasoline was over $4 per gallon, there was little research into alternative energy sources.
    Oil companies, electrical power generation companies, and do-Nothing Congress don’t want to change the status quo.
    The federal government, a long time ago, could and should have, but has failed and/or refused to research alternative energy sources and more efficient transportation.
    Instead, the federal government was giving subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies that suppressed any such research.
    Instead, the federal government was giving subsidies and tax breaks companies that moved jobs out of the U.S.
    Instead, the federal government and their corporate puppeteers were selling out most Americans on a daily basis in every way they could think of.
    Then Congress gives itself 10 raises in the past 12 years for all of it. Cha Ching?
    And then voters repeatedly reward that Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and then wonder what the hell happened.

    Jobs funded by the government to rebuild infrastructure is a good idea, but it probably won’t happen fast enough to help slow unemployment much.
    Also, it won’t employ the 13+ Million of unemployed (growing by 500,000 per month).
    The government can’t create all of the jobs on is current tax revenues ($2.5 Trillion for 2007).
    And more debt and deficit spending could be the last straw that triggers hyperinflation.
    We’ve heard plans to go through the federal budget line-by-line and cut of all unnecessary spending.
    That is what is needed, so that tax revenues can be spent to produce more productive jobs, technological advances (e.g. energy independence), and efficiency.

    However, it appears like the most likely course of action will be more massive borrowing, debt, money-printing and spending.
    That might have worked in the past, when the debt was not nearly (if not already) untenable.

    Roy Ellis wrote: You can hardly call it a prediction when you are staring the makings of a depression in the face.
    Roy, True. And there are so many catalysts that could push the economy over the edge.

    Whatever the catalysts are, there’s a higher than 50%/50% chance that it will occur in 2009, due to increased debt and inflation, because debt will create more pressure to borrow and/or create more new money to fund more rampant spending, the federal deficit grow by several trillions, and increased inflation will motivate the wealthy (and foreigners holding over $11 Trillion in U.S. assets including over $3.0 Trillion in U.S. Treasury Securities as of OCT-2008) to start spending U.S. dollars to limit their losses from inflation, which will allow Americans time to liquidate more assets, but will still result in hyperinflation, which will render all cash, savings, pensions, entitlements, and wages virtually worthless.

    And if we’re smart, we will stop several abuses and make several, badly-needed, common-sense reforms, one of which is the reform of one of the worst abuses, which is the dishonest, usurious, inflationary, predatory banking system, which is essentially a Ponzi-scheme in which new money is created out of thin air at a steep fractional leveraging ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves. Another despicable abuse is the selling out of Americans with unfair trade deals which have resulted in decades of deindustrialization and decades of huge trade deficits, and illegal immigration which despicably pits Americans and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes, disguised as compassion.

    That doesn’t mean a fiat money system can’t work.
    Perhaps it could.
    But not with 52 consecutive years of positive inflation and federal deficit spending.
    Not with only 10% in reserves which is obviously insufficient to weather bad times.
    And no amount of reserves can indefinitely survive incessant inflation and a debt-bubble that grows ever larger (i.e. from 100% of GDP in 1956 to 390%-to-483% of GDP in year 2008).

    Anyway, Americans will most likely see their cost of living increase and their standard of living decline sharply.
    Over 13 Million Americans are unemployed.
    The government might create 2 or 3 million jobs (from tax payers, more federal debt, and more money from thin air), but it won’t be enough to help the other 10-to-11+ Million unemployed.
    Especially if unfair-trade is allowed to continue the deindustrialization and trade imbalances.
    Especially if those cheap imports start rising in cost due to increases in the incessant inflation.
    Especially if so many abuses are allowed to continue.
    And with trillions of dollars flying all about with little (if any oversight), much of it is likely to be stolen and wasted, and massive unnecessary and wasteful spending will most likely continue.

    It’s quite a mess, and the more it is analyzed, the more rotten it appears.
    And if debt is already near (if not already) untenable, more massive debt, money-printing, rampant spending, and inflation is not the solution, and will most likely cause the debt-bubble to burst.

    Based on some macroeconomic models:

    • (01) Increasing Income increases Savings {both have been falling for most Americans for seveal years}

    • (02) Increasing Income increases Consumption {maybe; this ignores borrowing and debt to increase Consumption}

    • (03) Increasing Consumption increases Income {maybe; this also ignores borrowing and debt}

    • (04) Increasing Income increases Employment {usually}

    • (05) Decreasing Employment increases Unemployment {Duh!}

    • (06) Increasing Income increases Imports {maybe; but this still ignores borrowing and debt}

    • (07) Decreasing Imports increases Income {maybe, unless necessities are more expensive from local domestic producers}

    • (08) Increasing Income increases Real Interest Rates {maybe; it depends on the Federal Reserve and member banks too}

    • (09) Decreasing Real Interest Rates increases Investment {not always; not all investments are safe or wise; some are imbalances and bubbles}

    • (10) Increasing Public spending increases Income {maybe for some depending on how it is spent; but taxes, debt, and/or new money cost everyone eventually}

    • (11) Increasing Income increases Tax Revenues {usually, unless some bozo comes along and make the tax system regressive}

    • (12) Decreasing Unemployment Increases Wages {usually, provided taxes aren’t increasingly regressive}

    • (13) Increasing Wages Increases Prices {maybe, but that’s not only, nor root cause of inflation}

    • (14) Increasing Prices Increases Real Currency Exchange Rates {true; i.e. weaker dollar}

    • (15) Increasing Real Exchange Rates Increases Imports {usually; weaker dollar}

    • (16) Decreasing Real Exchange Rates Increases Exmports {usually; stronger dollar}

    • (17) Increasing Exports Increases Income {usually}

    • (18) Decreasing Price Increases Real Money Supply {usually; i.e. delfation}

    • (19) Decreasing Real Money Supply Increases Real Interest Rates {maybe; it depends on the Federal Reserve and member banks too}

    • (20) Increasing Nominal Money Supply Increases Real Money Supply {only if there is deflation; more dollars does not guarantee an increase in Real Money Supply}

    • (21) Increasing Real Interest Rates Increases Nominal Currency Exchange Rates {usually}

    • (22) Increasing Nominal Currency Exchange Rates Increases Real Currency Exchange Rates {usually; i.e. weaker dollar}

    • (23) Increasing Investment Increases Income {not always; it can also create imbalances and bubbles; especially if driven by excessive inflation}
    The problem with some macroeconomic models is that they seem to ignore the effects of DEBT and most definitely ignore CORRUPTION.

    Nation-wide Debt has increased from 100% of GDP in 1956 to 483% of GDP in 2008.

    • _______ Nation-Wide Debt ________

    • $67.5T |——————————————D (Debt=$67 T)

    • $65.0T |—————————————-D-

    • $62.5T |—————————————-D-

    • $60.0T |—————————————-D-

    • $57.5T |—————————————D—

    • $55.0T |—————————————D—

    • $52.5T |—————————————D—

    • $50.0T |—————————————D—

    • $47.5T |—————————————D—

    • $45.0T |————————————-D—-

    • $42.5T |————————————-D—-

    • $40.0T |————————————-D—-

    • $37.5T |————————————D——

    • $35.0T |———————————-D——-

    • $32.5T |———————————-D——-

    • $30.0T |———————————D———

    • $27.5T |——————————-D———-

    • $25.0T |——————————D————

    • $22.5T |—————————-D————-

    • $20.0T |—————————D—————

    • $17.5T |————————-D—————-

    • $15.0T |————————D—————G-

    • $12.5T |———————D—————G—G(GDP=$13.8 T)

    • $10.0T |—————-D—————G———

    • $07.5T |———-D————G——————

    • $05.0T |-D———G——————————

    • $02.5T |-G—————————————-

    • $00.0T +(1956)———-(1982)———-(2008)YEAR

    Perhaps macroeconomic models should highlight this other relationship:

    • (24) Increasing DEBT decreases Income, Employment, Exports, Tax Revenues, Investments, Consumption, and Wages, which can all result in wide-spread foreclosures, liquidation, bankruptcies, and pressure to create more new money, which can lead to hyperinflation. And all are amplified by CORRUPTION.

    The massive foreclosures (10,000 per month in AUG-2008), bankruptcies, and liquidation has already begun.
    Already, more and more of the U.S. is becoming foreign owned (i.e. over $20 Trillion as of year 2007).

    • ____ Foreign Owned Assets in the U.S. ____

    • $24T |———————————————

    • $22T |——————————————-o

    • $20T |——————————————o-

    • $18T |—————————————-o—

    • $16T |—————————————o—-

    • $14T |————————————-o——

    • $12T |————————————o——-

    • $10T |———————————o———-

    • $08T |——————————o————-

    • $06T |————————o——————-

    • $04T |————-o——————————

    • $02T |o——————————————-

    • $00T |(1987)————(1997)————(2007) YEAR

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 4, 2009 8:50 PM
    Comment #273144

    Rocky advises me to “Get a grip.”

    Rocky, I have a good grip on my wallet…what are you holding on to?

    Since driving miles are down nationwide about 2 or 3 percent over last year the roads are being less used. If that’s true, they should require less repair.

    Your argument is the usual one trotted out by liberals…we need higher taxes. We encourage Americans to conserve and drive less and then punish the behavior we encourage by raising taxes.

    Your argument; “It makes perfect economic sense for states to do this, and it puts the tax burden on those that actually use the roads the most.” is just silly.

    Does the person who doesn’t drive on the roads require products that are delivered by trucks that do drive on the roads? Of course they do.

    Rocky would have us believe that by increasing the tax on trucks and others who use our roads for business would be the only ones paying the increase. Does Rocky believe that these added costs would not be passed along to everyone?

    I have a question for Rocky. If I don’t drive or purchase vehicles should I be required to participate in the auto bailout?

    Posted by: Jim M at January 5, 2009 1:25 PM
    Comment #273145

    Not often I get to compete with d.a.n‘s facts and figures. But, the Wash Post put out some numbers today that are worthwhile plagiarizing. Says a new CBO study indicates a 22% decline in manufacturing work since the 2001 recession. Textiles and apparels shed 60% of their positions between 2000 and 2006. Motor vehicles lost 32%. Exports rose 58% and imports rose by 78%. The CBO report argues that much of the decline in manufacturing was due to imports. But, according to the Post these numbers actually support free trade. The Post says foreign competition forced US manufacturers to become more efficient, and that overall, trade helped the country grow richer with gains to consumers in the form of lower prices and greater quality. The CBO report notes that the US has been gradually going out of the manufacturing business since soon after WWII as the rest of the world economies began to develop. The Post notes that millions of foreign workers have been lifted out of poverty and now the challenge for the US is to find new engines of growth, profits and jobs and, that no one can abolish economic realty and that it would be futile to try.

    Now for the rant. We sent our supposedly best and brightest to Washington to lead, to provide a vision for America. What have we got. Massive corruption, a dysfunctional government, indeed a klepto-plutocracy. Instead of trashing our economy with the implementation of a globalized economy our leaders should have taken a go-slow approach, negotiated fair and balanced trade agreements and provided a vision, if not a plan, to deal with the massive loss of jobs. Early on government was going to provide job training for the unemployed. Didn’t happen as they couldn’t figure out what new training was required. Still can’t. No plan, no vision, just dysfunction and corruption. Why would you bring 40M illegals into a crashing economy and espouse the joys and wonder of a diverse workforce? One reason. One and only one reason. To break the back of the middle class worker. To force middle class wages into line with the developing countries. We are at something like $22/hr and China/India are something like $2/hr. At some point, according to some NAU game plan we can’t know about, world wages will come together somewhere around $8/hr. What is going on with these 40M illegals during the recession? With 12% unemployment can’t many of them be working. HUD has said there are 30k illegals living in public housing in Calif. Researchers say illegals with children born here have a right to public housing. Never mind that by the end of March Calif. Will be in the red by $48B. The COC is suing the Fed over E-verify. About 100K firms now use E-verify and Fed contractors have been caught several times employing illegal workers.

    The klepto-plutocracy is as determined as ever to see globalization through to the end. In that sense, you can’t say our leaders are just plain stupid. I’m sure the people who bolted together the NAU and concocted the globalization plan are well educated and bright. Well, you could say the same thing about the senator’s who surrounded the Caesar’s during the Roman Empire.

    The solution is the same today as it was yesterday and the day before that. Government will not, cannot reform itself. A viable 3rd party with a different political attitude is needed that can provide a countervailing force against the klepto-plutocracy. A party where citizens provide oversight for elected and appointed government officials of the same party membership. A party with a real reform agenda, a party that can achieve reform and keep it that way.

    Otherwise we have the NAU/government we deserve.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 5, 2009 1:36 PM
    Comment #273149
    Roy Ellis wrote: HUD has said there are 30k illegals living in public housing in Calif. Researchers say illegals with children born here have a right to public housing.
    I heard that too in the NEWs a few days ago.

    An estimated 32% of illegal aliens also receive welfare.

    70% of women giving birth at Parkland Memorial hospital in Dallas,TX in only the first 3 months of year 2006 were illegal aliens: www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp

    Hospitals in border and southern states are being overrun. For example, consider this Florida hospital: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLJxmJZXgNI

    Annual net losses due to illegal immigration are estimated to be $70-to-$327 Billion per year: One-Simple-Idea.com/Costs1.htm
    … which does not even include the untold cost of crime: VOIAC.org

    Yet, most voters don’t seem to mind, so it’s likely to continue, despite millions of Americans who are now broke, deep in debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry (or the thousands that are victims of crime by illegal aliens) ?

    Maybe enough Americans will start questioning some of this when 20+ Million Americans are broke, deep in debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, while illegal aliens are receiving welfare, Medicaid, public housing, education, voting in our elections, etc.? But then, maybe not? After all, Americans apparently are very generous.

    For now, votes and profits are more important.

    And politicians are all too happy to comply by continuing to pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion.

    Exports rose a little due to a weak dollar, but the trade imbalance has been huge, and growing for decades.
    Also, some other nations have experienced recent huge jumps in inflation of their own (e.g. British Pound, Russian Rouble, Australian Dollar, and the Canadian Dollar.

    The U.S. has benefitted from cheap prices for products from other countries, but it resulted in the deindustrialization of the U.S. Today, there are more jobs in government than all manufacturing.

    The owners of global transnational corporations have the politicians in their pockets, who then sell out most Americans with subsidies and tax breaks for corporations that move jobs out of the U.S. The global transnational corporations simply go where the labor is cheapest. That sounds smart. However, when wages rise, the corporations leave, as they have in the U.S., and the population starts growing poorer. In time, when wages are low enough here, they may return. At any rate, this method insures that the transnational corporations always have a source of cheap labor somewhere. And in a global economy, over-taxing corporations is yet another motivation to move their entire operations out of the U.S., since there are many nations where corporate taxes are much lower. Also, high corporate taxes are largely passed along to consumers as hidden taxes similar to sales taxes, making regressive taxes in the U.S. more regressive.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 2:54 PM
    Comment #273152

    d.a.n.
    You seem to know your stuff. Under this doomsday economic future scenario will the rest of the world currencies hold up?

    Posted by: Schwamp at January 5, 2009 4:15 PM
    Comment #273154

    Schwamp, while Dan is busy massaging his database(s) I’ll slide in a quick response. Globalization = Production based on the world’s cheapest labor source. With labor being the lowest common denominator. Therefore, those countries who are just beginning to develop or moderately developed will fare better than a more developed country such as Japan or the US. Recall that for non-supervisory US middle class workers income rose a whole total of $1.60 between 2001 and 2006. So, we have been angling toward the lowest common denominator for about ten years. In 2007 GDP was less for the first time in something like 50 years. At the rate we are moving in response to globalization I would suggest we have another ten years to go to get a feel for what globalization really means for world economies.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 5, 2009 4:45 PM
    Comment #273158
    Schwamp wrote: Under this doomsday economic future scenario will the rest of the world currencies hold up?
    I’m not a currency guru, but I can tell you that the U.S. Dollar is not the best currency.

    The U.S. Dollar and many other currencies are going to do badly in the next few years.

    Based on historical records, several currencies have done better than the U.S. Dollar for over 40 years, such as:

    • (01) Swiss Franc (CHF):
      • __ Swiss Franc (CHF) vs U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate __

      • 4.9 |———————————————

      • 4.6 |o-o—————————————-

      • 4.3 |——o————————————-

      • 4.0 |———o———————————-

      • 3.7 |————o——————————-

      • 3.4 |—————o—————————-

      • 3.1 |——————o—-o——————-

      • 2.8 |———————o—-o—————-

      • 1.5 |——————————o————-

      • 1.2 |———————————o—-o—o

      • 0.9 |————————————o—-o-

      • 0.6 |———————————————

      • 0.3 |———————————————

      • 0.0 |(1968)———-(1988)————(2008) YEAR
      Even though Switzerland has a 40-to-1 fractional banking, they don’t create excessive amounts of new money.

    • (02) And the Singapore Dollar (SGD):
      • __ Singapore Dollar (SGD) vs U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate __

      • 3.7 |———————————————

      • 3.4 |o-o—————————————-

      • 3.1 |——o————————————-

      • 2.8 |———-o—-o—————————

      • 1.5 |———————-o—-o—-o——-o

      • 1.2 |—————————————o—-

      • 0.9 |———————————————

      • 0.6 |———————————————

      • 0.3 |———————————————

      • 0.0 |(1968)———-(1988)————(2008) YEAR

    • (03) And the Japanese Yen (JPY):
      • __ Japanese Yen (JPY) vs U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate __

      • 390 |———————————————

      • 360 |o-o-o————————————-

      • 330 |———-o———————————

      • 300 |———————————————

      • 270 |————-o——————————

      • 240 |—————-o—————————

      • 210 |——————-o————————

      • 180 |————————o——————-

      • 150 |——————————o————-

      • 130 |————————————o—o-o

      • 100 |(1968)———-(1988)————(2008) YEAR
      However, even though Japan has a lot of savings and assets, Japan has a LOT of national debt, and the YEN is a bit volatile.

    Many currencies have also done better than the U.S. Dollar for the past 8-to-10 years:

    • (01) Euro

    • (02) Chinese Yuan (CNY)

    • (03) Japanese Yen (JPY): One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm#USD-JPY

    • (04) Swiss Franc (CHF): One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm#USD-CHF

    • (05) Danish Krone (DKK): One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm#USD-DKK

    • (06) Singapore Dollar (SGD): One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm#USD-SGD

    Currencies are like stocks; you need to watch them closely, and watch out for steep currency exchange fees.

    Gold is a good currency too, if you can find any bars in denominations you can afford.
    Silver is good to have too, such as a $1000 bag of (by face value) silver coins (minted after 1965) that are 90% silver (costing a few percent less than silver bullion).
    When things get harder, you’ll see a lot of people selling gold and silver jewelry.

    But there are other ways to avoid the incessant inflation, such as land, and real-estate.
    As incessant inflation continues to erode the U.S. Dollar, expect the wealthy to buy up a lot of these assets, which is better than riding the U.S. Dollar or stocks to the bottom.
    Already, the wealthy are buying houses and land at fire-sale prices at auctions all over the country, but not at levels that will stop falling real-estate prices yet.
    Those things are a good way to avoid inflation, even though real-estate prices have not yet bottomed.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 6:26 PM
    Comment #273160

    CORRECTION: Technically, those three charts should be labeled with USD first, as follows (where the USD is falling against the other currencies):

  • __ U.S. Dollar vs Swiss Franc (CHF) Exchange Rate __

  • __ U.S. Dollar vs Singapore Dollar (SGD) Exchange Rate __

  • __ U.S. Dollar vs Japanese Yen (JPY) Exchange Rate __
  • At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 7:01 PM
    Comment #273167

    Jim M,

    “Your argument is the usual one trotted out by liberals…we need higher taxes.”

    And as expected you trot out the typical right wing response “over my dead tax preparer”. (Actually I was expecting the time worn tome about how the blessed 2% that pay the 75% of all taxes already, the story that chooses to ignore the fact that these put upon 2% also control 75% of the money, and that this same 2% could give away half of their money and they and their families could still live quite comfortably until the end of time.)

    But I digress.

    “Rocky would have us believe that by increasing the tax on trucks and others who use our roads for business would be the only ones paying the increase. Does Rocky believe that these added costs would not be passed along to everyone?”

    Gee Jim, ya think.

    “If I don’t drive or purchase vehicles should I be required to participate in the auto bailout?”

    Call me crazy Jim, but I have this weird belief that we all might be better off paying folks to be productive, and hoping for the best, than we might be paying them unemployment.

    Jim, I follow a centrist path.
    I believe that by all of us (right, center, and left) working together we can solve the problems confronting this country. I don’t know where you heard this fallacy that taxes are a “punishment”. I see them as a necessary means of running the country that is supposed to be the “greatest country on earth”.
    I like the fact that I can drive on roads that are relatively smooth, and relatively safe, and I am quite sure that those that make their living driving those same roads enjoy that fact as well.
    I like the fact that I can call 911 and that there will be a timely response.
    I like the fact that the cossacks aren’t beating down the gates of the country.
    I like the fact that when the forests are burning that there is a response that helps to ensure that homes and businesses have a chance to be saved.

    I can only assume that you also like these facts, but the money for them doesn’t appear out of thin air.

    I don’t have a problem paying for the services that are a part of living in the “greatest country on earth”.

    Apparently you do.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 5, 2009 9:05 PM
    Comment #273169

    CORRECTION: Silver is good to have too, such as a $1000 bag of (by face value) silver coins (minted after 1965 [BEFORE]) that are 90% silver (costing a few percent less than silver bullion).

    See Monex.com and GoldMoney.com for more info about buying silver or gold.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 9:24 PM
    Comment #273170

    OOPPpsss (again) … minted [BEFORE 1965]

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 9:26 PM
    Comment #273178
    jlw wrote: There are no guarantees that high taxes or high prices will encourage the use of any renewables except Vilsakohol in the short run.

    What is Vilsakohol ?

    jlw wrote: There are no guarantees that high taxes or high prices will encourage the use of any renewables …
    I agree. Higher fuel taxes won’t guarantee increased research into renewables, because Congress is FOR-SALE.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2009 10:39 PM
    Comment #273180

    Dobb’s made note tonight that Europe has been subject to high gas taxes for years and they are no further along with alternative fuels than we are.
    While I don’t believe the klepto-plutocracy planned for this recession to happen right here at the end of the Bush run, I do believe they have taken advantage of the recession to further weaken the middle class in getting them ready for globalization. Toward this goal they are absolutely whizzing away trillions of dollars. Economies recover on their own. History is pretty clear that Roosevelt prolonged the depression through intervention. Has anyone seen any recent improvement caused by the whizzing away of several trillion dollars? Lou Dobb’s reminded us, again, tonight that had the government stepped in in Sept/Oct and purchased all the toxic loans for less than $2B that would have prevented this worsening recession/depression. This giveaway is nothing more than the continuation of the NAU/globalization thing. Does someone want to predict their childs future in a country that has racked up something like $75T of debt? I suggest we start with third world and work our way down from there.

    Wheew! I’m glad I didn’t call it a conspiracy!

    Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 5, 2009 11:09 PM
    Comment #273202

    Roy, that’s right. High taxes on fuel don’t work, unless those taxes are funneled to research and develop energy independence (which they weren’t).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 6, 2009 1:42 PM
    Comment #273215

    Roy said: “Dobb’s made note tonight that Europe has been subject to high gas taxes for years and they are no further along with alternative fuels than we are.”

    In part this is an apples and oranges comparison. In Europe the average driver has vastly fewer miles to drive each year than an average American driver. Geography, investments in mass transit, and the urbanization designs of European population centers account for this dramatic difference in the average miles driven. Which means, for Europeans, higher fuel prices is not the threat to the average European worker and provider that they are to the average American worker/provider.

    Europeans are investing, per capita, far more in work at home technologies and development, as well, eliminating even more miles per driver from their future. Their long term approach is one where citizens will eventually not need private transportation in order to provide for what they need to work and live. Private transportation in the long range European planning model will become a luxury and discretionary spending item, unneeded for work, health care, shopping, or education. What a far cry from America, having no such long term planning even being considered yet.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2009 6:38 PM
    Comment #273216

    bills, your proposal for adjusting tariffs to create an oil price range incorporates the very worst of socialistic principles and simply would not work, creative humans being creative and adaptive as they are. One cannot abandon the free market and its inherent volatility adjustments without creating the very monster one proposes to subdue.

    The free markets are the heart of a global economy which is already upon us, and regulation enforecement against and oversight of greed and avarice which would game the free markets, are the lungs of a global economy. Remove either, and the global economy dies along with billions of human beings, their pets, and protected ecologies funded by the economy. There are too many people on this planet who would strip the world of its ecological right to survive should the global economy fail.

    You may want to rethink your proposition along these lines.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2009 6:47 PM
    Comment #273276

    David, you wrote: “There are too many people on this planet who would strip the world of its ecological right to survive should the global economy fail. “
    Also recall you stating that to survive the people and government must work together.

    I believe the majority of the people were against the bailouts. I think it is big corporations and government calling the shots. Doesn’t ring true with the people that corporations ever get too big to fail. Likewise, for the overpopulated world. The government has done everything within it’s power to encourage population growth. There is more immigrants being herded into this country every year than there are natural births. By 2030 the white population will become the minority population in a country that was once virtually white. That means that if there are 300M of us then 150M have been imported over time. In the middle of a recession, gates still open, keep em coming. Do you think we are too big to fail at this point or do we need a few millions more to qualify? Just the thoughts of a major, prolonged depression makes me want to scale back the population to a point where we could at least find enough grass to eat in such times.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 7, 2009 3:00 PM
    Comment #273280

    My anlogies probably leave a lot of readers puzzled. The point I want to make is that the ponzi scheme can’t continue if we fail to grow at less than 6-8% GDP each year. It appears that that level of growth is stalling, can’t be maintained. I’ll leaave it to the reader to work through the logical conclusion of that failure.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 7, 2009 3:22 PM
    Comment #368014

    You have some good tips on what t0 do when you want to Sell Gold. In my experience, APMEX is a great site for this. They have always been honest, as well as reliable, and they have easy to follow directions to help you turn your gold into cash. They were really helpful and I would definitely use them again.

    Posted by: Norma Fay at July 10, 2013 3:54 PM
    Comment #369947

    While values can fluctuate, I believe that Buying Gold is a wise investment. It’s worth grows over time and it is more stable thatn any currency in existence. I buy my gold from APMEX because they offer fair prices. They are a really trustworthy resource.

    Posted by: Norma Fay at August 27, 2013 10:55 PM
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