Third Party & Independents Archives

'Say Bud, Can You Spare A Few Thou'

Today, the Fed reported that full blown QE will continue at least thru Q4. A somewhat unexpected position, resulting in a stock market boost across the board. The Fed has said that stimulation of the economy, currently by some $85B/monthly, will continue at some level until unemployment falls to 6.5% or inflation exceeds 2.5%.

The economy has been stalled for five years running with bleak forecast for the coming years. Gov't response has been to place some 45M folks on some form of gov't subsidy. Would it not be prudent to gin up a 'work force' program, something akin to the WPA or CCC programs that were implemented after WWII to help the country through the depression years?

If the correct answer is 'yes', then why hasn't something along those lines been done? I could imagine the US putting millions to work on projects repairing roads, bridges, and similar infrastructure. I've heard that we really need a new electrical grid before a giant 'sunspot' knocks the current system down. Must be a ton of environmental problems we could tackle. Is that not better than carrying some 20% of the work force who have little hope of finding a real job anytime soon?

Note too, that the EU is following suit, carrying the unemployed rather than implementing work programs that would provide a paycheck and dignity. I believe most people who can do work would rather be gainfully employed at something.

I believe the answer to all this can be found in 'globalisation' and the press for a 'new world order'. The theory being that with a globalised economy and a level playing field there will always be an excess of workers. This remains so, even as workers are/will be free to travel around the globe unimpeded to take on work where they can find it. Skilled and high tech workers will have the wherewithal to find jobs while upward mobility for the less educated/skilled will falter.

We are currently in a 'test mode' to determine if gov't can support large numbers of people indefinitely who, for whatever reason, cannot find work or have little incentive to work. For example, a number of workers who made a good living through forestry in Maine have seen their jobs 'disappear'. Many are on gov't support and few are likely to travel far in looking for new work, especially those beyond 50 years in age.

Will take some years to determine whether such a policy is sustainable. There are myriad problems to work through before the new world order is verifiable, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by Roy Ellis at September 21, 2013 2:56 PM
Comments
Comment #370917

What too many people do not realize is how so much creation of new money out of thin air is a result of too much government debt ($16.7 Trillion) and too much nation-wide debt (about $59.8 Trillion).

The big question is this:

    QUESTION: Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on all of the debt, much less the money to reduce the Principal debt, when that money does NOT yet exist, 95% of all money in existence is Principal debt, and nation-wide debt has grown steadily larger in size and as a percentage of GDP for 54+ consecutive years ? Especially when 80% of the U.S. population owns only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 22, 2013 10:50 AM
Comment #370919

Worth reading: http://grandfather-economic-report.com/debt_b.htm

The USDebtClock.org: http://usdebtclock.org/

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 22, 2013 10:56 AM
Comment #370920

Real inflation and unemployment is actually much worse than what is officially reported: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 22, 2013 11:01 AM
Comment #370921

You may notice that the only statistic they have a hard time lying about (though they try all the time) is the U.S. Dollar Index, because it is compared to the worth of other international currencies:

It can take a long, long time for a nation to crumble under the weight of the consequences of so much debt, greed, and lawlessness, and the U.S. is still in better shape than most countries, but for how much longer?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 22, 2013 11:07 AM
Comment #370922

Also, while the U.S. dollar is falling, and it may be like a hooker on crank cocaine, the other major world currencies are like a hooker with AIDS on crank cocaine.

Historical Chart: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/currency

Still, a falling U.S. Dollar means its value is eroding, and has been at historic lows since the 1960s, at the same time that federal debt and nation-wide debt has grown ever larger (signs of a nation in decline that will probably continue for decades).

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 22, 2013 11:21 AM
Comment #370934

Agree d.a.n that the stats have trended from bad to atrocious over the last few decades. In looking for a reason I can only come up with one, globalisation. Note the British spelling of the word as I believe the Brits, because of their island enclave, have always wanted to be players on the intl’ stage, did much to push the US to globalise.

Whether a good thing or something else, we won’t know until the rather large lady sings. Sounds fairly simple on its face; globalize the economies of the world by harmonizing laws/regulations among countries, entwine trade agreements among nations, allow workers unimpeded travel within trade zones and around the world to provide cheap labor while improving the lifestyle of millions. At some point we supposedly would reach a utopian. totally diverse and integrated world ruled and regulated primarily through international organizations.

Seems to me we have paid a dear price and haven’t come that far re ‘a new world order’. Taxpayers are used like so many ripe grapes for making wine. Consider the federal debt, stimulus’s, bailouts, funding the IMF in keeping nations afloat, etc. We absorbed some 3-4 million immigrants in 86 and now are being asked to take on 10-12M additional. Worker wages have gone down while income for the wealthy has increased exponentially. Congressional actions seem to be directed at confusing financial and economic issues to purposely prevent any action to growth/jobs.

As I can tell people are content to ride it out, zero interest in a 3rd party reform effort, and, as your ‘monologue’ states, we keep re-electing incumbents to the tune of 80%. This, as they legislate by scare tactics, ‘vote this or that or the gov’t will be shut down’, ‘fiscal cliffs’ every few months, ‘come Oct Obamacare will get you’, etc.

Meanwhile, the folks are in to ‘gays and lesbians’, ‘racism’, ‘gun laws’, and the usual social issues. I’ve no doubt the dem/reps would like to race forward to 2015 so they attack/defend Hillary over the Benghazi debacle.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 22, 2013 9:33 PM
Comment #370939

It was inevitable that humans could travel around the world in a short period of time.

Also, global communications makes some sorts of out-sourcing of jobs easier than before.

It is hard to believe (at least, anytime soon) that nations will be so approximately equal in wealth that cheap labor cannot be found somewhere.

Today, being or having become poor is not always a bad thing. International investors will find them and give them jobs (motivated by cheap labor).

So, globalism is not necessarily a bad thing (especially for poor countries and regions).

The real root of the problem is (almost always) the greed that leads to damages caused by some international companies who go where the laws are laxed, unenforced, and labor is cheap (e.g. pollution, poor or unsafe working conditions, etc.).

Also, the out-sourcing of jobs is painful for the wealthier nations. What jobs cannot be filled by imported labor (e.g. VISAs and Green Cards), the other jobs are out-sourced to other nations where the labor is cheaper.

Essentially, the wealthier nations are becoming less wealthy, while the nations with cheap labor (and especially cheap skilled labor) are becoming wealthier.

Eventually, when those less wealthy nations become wealthy enough, they will also see corporations leaving them behind too for cheaper labor elsewhere. Perhaps the corporations will return later when the labor is cheaper enough again. In this way, using this cycle, corporations can conceivably ensure that there is always some poor nation to return to later when the labor becomes cheap enough.

So, the real problem again is not necessarily globalism, but (as almost always) greed. The same thing described above is also practiced on a smaller scale within the borders of a nation. Some cities become more attractive to corporations, and some of those companies move their operations to other cities and other states. But this is only when local employees are needed, and difficult to replace with imported labor or out-sourced.

Anyway, globalism has presented pools of cheaper labor to international corporations (via imported labor and out-sourcing), but that has now been going on for many decades, and as long as there is cheaper labor somewhere, corporations will try to use it.

The United States and most other nations have growing problems that are exacerbated by a fast growing world population (which has about doubled in 60 years), that are really rooted in something more basic than globalism. The top 10 major abuses are more fundamental than globalism. It might seem that many things can be blamed on globalism, but when the problems are dissected and boiled down to the more fundamental parts, it is clear that the root problem is (as it almost always is) too much greed, laziness, and in general, too much selfishness.

If enough people understood what such behavior finally leads to, they might make better choices.
Unfortunately, most people are unable to do that, and as a result, most of our pain and misery is of our very own making.
And in a voting nation, it is hard to understand why Congress has 11% apprpoval ratings and 90% re-election rates, until you understand how lazy and dellusionally-partisan the majority of voters actually are.

For example:

  • most voters don’t even know who their state and federal senators and representatives are, much less their voting records.

  • 40% to 50% of voters don’t even bother to vote at all.

  • most voters pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight ticket); many not even knowing who they are voting for … just that they are in THEIR party (abdicating the responsibility to vote wisely to THEIR party).

  • most voters, 90% of the time, elect the candidate that spends the most money.

  • 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters donate $2 per person (on average) to a federal campaign, while a tiny 0.15% makes 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

  • most voters have no idea what Article V of the Constitution is, or that it is being violated, despite 400+ requests to make amendments by 49 states

  • 20% of students in American public schools can’t identify the United States on a world map.

  • most voters think the problem is the OTHER party.

  • most voters think THEIR politician is grand. Most voters believe MOST politicians are crooked, but they think that THEIR politician is great. Look at the voters that repeatedly re-elect politicians that have commited one or more crimes (and later convicted)

  • most voters bitch and complain and give Congress a low approval rating, but repeatedly re-elect and reward the same incumbents, giving them a cu$hy 90% to 95% re-election rate since 1996.

  • most voters are easily bribed with their own tax dollars; especially the older voters lobbying for entitlements. Too many voters have fallen for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.

  • most voters don’t know what the National Debt is, much less the total federal debt, Social Security debt, or the nationwide personal debt.

  • most voters fall for the partisan warfare, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party than work to solve prolbems; foolishly emphasizing minor differences rather than working on unity to solve the many things most of us all already agree upon (the problem and the solution).

  • most voters (if not all) can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, or 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable. But then, perhaps that’s because there aren’t any?

  • most voters blame Congress and the President, but fail to understand that the voters (the largest group of 200 million eligible voters) have the government that they repeatedly re-elect and reward. The voters are the one largest group responsible for their own problems. But, again, it’s easier to blame politicians, rather than take responsibility themselves.

  • too many voters are one-issue voters, making them easy to manipulate.

  • most voters think the nation is on the wrong track, but most voters reward incumbent politicians with re-election for keeping us on the wrong track.

  • most voters simply don’t care … at least, not until the consequences of that disinterest motivates them to become more interested. Voters will become much less complacent, apathetic, and lazy when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.

The solution is not simple, but it must start with Education.
And we will get our Education one way or another.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2013 9:58 PM
Comment #370983

d., an excellent post. I wholeheartedly agree that globalism is not THE problem. The problem is the way is which globalism is being driven, by Corpocracy. And, what is Corpocracy? Basically, it’s politicians and corporations teaming up in greed driven liaisons.

We understand that greed is inherent to mankind and must be managed if we are to have a civil society. But, when greedy corporate leaders and politicians put their heads together we get gov’t by Corpocracy.

I completely agree with what you post re lethargic voters and that education is key to an enlightened voting population. To join that club voters are also required to know candidates as to what they are for and against. That requires some real good communications and that is often where voters run head long into Corpocracy.

Let’s consider what’s going on in Virginia leading up to the elections.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/groups-flush-with-out-of-state-cash-flock-to-virginia-governors-race-as-testing-ground/2013/09/22/1209aeb8-2221-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html

As Va. Candidates are seen as ‘presidential’ down the road and, as the state is seen as a ‘microcosm’ of many other states, money from outside the state is running about 3x that donated/received from residents and in-state corporations. So, if you are a big coal man in China you may want to join up with a ‘superpac’ and ship some bucks to Va. and try to get a big coal man, who might someday be president, elected this November.

So, what does that do to the one person, one vote principle? Worse yet, the outcome has pretty much been cooked into the cake as those candidates able to get a toehold in the system to stand for election have already been vetted by the Corpocracy. Not likely I will find a viable candidate who has sworn off ‘pac’ money or has voiced some words that seem unfriendly to the Corpocracy and so on - - -

IMO, we are governed by Corpocracy and it is going to be tough sledding to ‘educate the voter’, or stand up ‘a new 3rd party with/a/dif/pol/att’, or somehow force elected officials to carry out their sworn oath of office and allow ‘article V convention’. As it is now, the foreign coal man may have more influence on elections in my area than the local voting population, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Comment #371194
Roy Ellis wrote:I wholeheartedly agree that globalism is not THE problem. The problem is the way is which globalism is being driven, by Corpocracy. And, what is Corpocracy? Basically, it’s politicians and corporations teaming up in greed driven liaisons.
Exactly!
Roy Ellis wrote:We understand that greed is inherent to mankind and must be managed if we are to have a civil society. But, when greedy corporate leaders and politicians put their heads together we get gov’t by Corpocracy.
Yes. And who (mostly) owns and runs those corporations?
Roy Ellis wrote:I completely agree with what you post re lethargic voters and that education is key to an enlightened voting population. To join that club voters are also required to know candidates as to what they are for and against. That requires some real good communications and that is often where voters run head long into Corpocracy.
Right. Government that is FOR-SALE is rotten to the core.
Roy Ellis wrote:Let’s consider what’s going on in Virginia leading up to the elections. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/groups-flush-with-out-of-state-cash-flock-to-virginia-governors-race-as-testing-ground/2013/09/22/1209aeb8-2221-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html
More evidence of government FOR-SALE. The citizens of Virginia should be upset, but the majority of voters probably don’t know about all the outside money helping to decide the election of their own governor.
Roy Ellis wrote:So, what does that do to the one person, one vote principle? Worse yet, the outcome has pretty much been cooked into the cake as those candidates able to get a toehold in the system to stand for election have already been vetted by the Corpocracy. Not likely I will find a viable candidate who has sworn off ‘pac’ money or has voiced some words that seem unfriendly to the Corpocracy and so on - - -
Until the election laws change (if ever), it ain’t likely to get better.

Government that is FOR-SALE means government will grow increasingly corrupt.

An Article V Convention is the constitutioinal method available to the states, but most of the incumbent policitions in the state governments are now also mostly FOR-SALE too, so it is hard to see those politicians demanding an Article V convention which might strip away some of their power and opportunities for exorbitant self-gain.

Roy Ellis wrote:IMO, we are governed by Corpocracy and it is going to be tough sledding to ‘educate the voter’, or stand up ‘a new 3rd party with/a/dif/pol/att’, or somehow force elected officials to carry out their sworn oath of office and allow ‘article V convention’. As it is now, the foreign coal man may have more influence on elections in my area than the local voting population, IMO.
True. The only thing left now may be the built-in self-correction mechanism. When does it end? Only when it finally becomes too painful.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 25, 2013 8:07 AM
Comment #371735

I’ve noted that over the last couple of years the SEC has been pursuing corporations for fraudulent/corrupt actions more aggressively than in the past. The SEC can only punish wrongdoing by levying fines and often rely on corporations to ‘self punish’ themselves. Any fines are always a fraction of the amount ripped off and the corporation doesn’t have to admit to being guilty.

Interesting that the heads of the worst corporate offenders are most always chosen to serve in high financial positions in gov’t. Hank Paulson of Goldman Sacs was Bush’s Treasury Secretary and Obama tried mightily to hire Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan as the new Secretary of the Treasury . Dimon came out of the Chicago/Daly mess when Obama was a Illinois Senator.
http://www.spingola.com/Paulson.html

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76304.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324619504579026860113942236.html

Hard to count the number of fines GS has paid over the last couple of decades. The SEC wants $11B out of JPMorgan to ‘right some wrongs’ re the mortgage crisis.

The SEC can only bring $civil $cases against corporations but the new SEC head, Mary Joe White is making waves that she might start looking at individuals first and look for corporations to admit guilt in the more egregious cases.

Not likely, as some corporations would demand their day in court and that would not be efficient, would be messy, make enemies among politicians and so on - - -

With globalism corporate malice has gone world wide. A consortium of Japanese firms are being fined $750M for some $5B of fraud involving auto-parts exported to US car mfctrs over the last decade. You tell me, are they crying or laffing all the way to the bank?

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 28, 2013 8:13 PM
Comment #371776

Al Gore and I agree on some points. Al says our ‘democracy is in crisis’, has been ‘hijacked’ and ‘hacked’ by the money influence.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 29, 2013 4:19 PM
Comment #371783

That is very true.

Our government, unfortunately, is more FOR-SALE than ever before.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 29, 2013 8:36 PM
Comment #371784

A very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest of 200 million eligible voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.

What does that tell us about our so-called Democracy?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

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