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Daily Digest - Feb 1

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:28 PM
  • Roubini Sees Global Gloom After Davos Vindication
  • Obama pushes economic plan; cloud over health pick 
  • Violent clashes in Russia as angry protesters call for Putin to resign over economy
  • FSN
    News Hour Part II Warren Brussee, "The Great Depression of Debt,
    Survival Techniques for Every Investor"
  • Despite layoffs, federal work force is growing
  • Macy's (M) Workers May Face More Large Layoffs 
  • WSJ Video, GDP 3.8% Skewed by Inventory
  • General Mills says more people eating at home  

Economy 

Roubini Sees Global Gloom After Davos Vindication

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- At the World Economic Forum two years ago, Nouriel Roubini warned that record profits and bonuses were obscuring a "hard landing" to come. "I really disagree," countered Jacob Frenkel, the American International Group Inc. vice chairman and former Israeli central banker.

No more. "Roubini was intellectually courageous, and he called the shots correctly," says Frenkel, whose AIG survives only on the basis of more than $100 billion of government loans. "He gained credibility, and he deserves it."

Even as he wins plaudits for his prescience, Roubini, 50, says worse lies ahead. Banks face bigger credit losses than they realize, more financial companies will require state takeovers and the world economy will keep shrinking throughout 2009, he says.

"The consensus is catching up with me, but it's still behind," Roubini said in an interview in Davos. "I don't know what some people are smoking."

‘Catastrophic'

As long ago as February 2007, Roubini was writing on his blog that "the party will soon be over," and warning of "painful consequences for the U.S. and the global economy." By last February, his tone had become apocalyptic, raising the specter of a "catastrophic" meltdown that central banks would fail to prevent, triggering the bankruptcy of large banks with mortgage holdings and a "sharp drop" in equities.

The next month, Bear Stearns Cos. failed, to be taken over by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a government-backed deal. Then, in September, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bankrupt, prompting banks to hoard cash and depriving businesses and households of access to capital. The U.S. took over AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index suffered its worst year since 1937.

"I was intellectually vindicated," Roubini says. "But I was vindicated by having an economic disaster which has political and social consequences."

Predecessors

Roubini's predecessors in the role of economic nay-sayer include some well-known names: Joseph Granville, publisher of the Granville Market Letter, who forecast the stock-market declines of 1976 and 2000; Henry Kaufman, who as a managing director at Salomon Brothers projected rising interest rates that led to a U.S. recession in the early 1980s; Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, who predicted the 1987 stock crash; and Yale University's Robert Shiller, a former colleague of Roubini's, who forecast the end of the dot-com bubble in his 2000 book "Irrational Exuberance" and said in a second edition in 2005 that the U.S. housing market had undergone the biggest speculative boom in U.S. history.

Granville, 85, says the key to being an outlier is not to doubt your analysis.

"I don't have anything to do with emotion," says Granville, who's based in Kansas City. "Keep your head, follow the numbers and ignore the rest."

Roubini was born in Istanbul, the son of an importer- exporter of carpets, and spent his childhood in Israel, Iran and Italy. It was while living in Milan from 1962 to 1982, he says, that he became attracted to economics: "Economics had the tools to understand the world, and not just understand it but also change it for the better."

Roubini, who's now working on a book about the crisis, says he takes no particular pleasure in his role as Dr. Doom or the attention it brings him.

"I'm not a permanent bear," he says. "I'll be the first to call a recovery, but I just don't see it yet, and it's getting uglier." 

Obama pushes economic plan; cloud over health pick 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama sought to rally support for his emerging economic rescue package on Saturday, as he stood by his latest cabinet nominee to run into tax problems that could impede confirmation.
Obama, in his second weekly radio address since taking office, pledged to help lower Americans' mortgage costs under a new plan to be unveiled soon to help revive the financial system and "get credit flowing again."
But even as he moved to confront the economic crisis, Obama was facing a new political distraction -- the disclosure that Tom Daschle, picked to spearhead U.S. health care reform, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes.
It was the latest glitch in Obama's effort to complete his cabinet and focus on top priorities, including a mid-February target for Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill with more than $800 billion in tax cuts and spending.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's nomination was held up earlier by criticism over late payment of $34,000 in taxes.

Violent clashes in Russia as angry protesters call for Putin to resign over economy 

Russia was rocked today by some of its strongest protests yet as thousands rallied across the vast country to attack the Kremlin's response to the global economic crisis.

The marches, complete with Soviet-style red flags and banners, pose a challenge to a government which has faced little threat from the fragmented opposition and politically apathetic population during the boom years fueled by oil.

Pro-government thugs beat up some of the protesters.

FSN
News Hour Part II Warren Brussee, "The Great Depression of Debt,
Survival Techniques for Every Investor" Windows Media Player
 

FSN
News Hour Part II Warren Brussee, "The Great Depression of Debt,
Survival Techniques for Every Investor" Real Player

FSN
News Hour Part II Warren Brussee, "The Great Depression of Debt,
Survival Techniques for Every Investor" MP3

 

Despite layoffs, federal work force is growing 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Companies are cutting jobs by the tens of thousands. State and local governments are penny-pinching, too. So what about Uncle Sam? Tough times for him as well?

Not exactly.

In fact the number of federal workers is on the rise.

That might seem strange to the 11 million people in the U.S. who are out of work - and the millions more who fear they soon will be. Shouldn't Washington pare down too?

But it is unlikely that President Barack Obama will put any of the nearly 2 million federal civil servants out in the street in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. His proposed $800-plus billion economic aid plan, which includes heavy spending on public works, is expected to increase the ranks of federal workers, although mostly at the state and local level.

That measure is working its way through Congress just as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Pfizer, Caterpillar, Home Depot and scores of other companies are shedding workers, and governors are asking or ordering state workers to accept furloughs, salary reductions, truncated workweeks or reduced benefits.

"Federal belt-tightening would worsen the problem right now," said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "Most economists agree that the federal government is a built-in stabilizer," said Hassett, a former adviser to GOP presidential campaigns.

Simply letting federal workers go is "penny-wise and pound foolish," said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that works to revitalize the government and its work force. "We had a situation where we had a single person monitoring toys coming in from abroad. End result: You get lead-tainted toys coming in to the country," Stier said. "We need people looking out for the public good."

Paul Light, professor of public service at New York University, also thinks more, not fewer, federal workers on needed on the front lines. He said other steps could be taken to trim costs. The Obama administration has suggested reducing the number of managers at the middle levels, he said.

"That would be a good thing," Light said. "What he hasn't suggested is that we reduce political appointees at the senior level. I just think you could do some things to say to the public, 'Look, the federal government is going to make its share of sacrifice and it's more than just having energy-efficient buildings.'"

 

Macy's (M) Workers May Face More Large Layoffs 

Macy's (M) is up against the same hard rock as other large retailers who cater to the middle class, Sears (SHLD) and Nordstrom (JWN). Sales are being crippled by the recession and there are simply too many stores in too many malls and on too many street corners.

Macy's (M) may layoff as many as a thousand people next week.

According to The New York Post, "The giant department-store chain is expected to announce next week that it's consolidating its regional operating divisions, sources said, and could lay off hundreds, and possibly thousands, of workers."

Even that may not be enough. Macy's has 853 stores and 182,000 employees.The company's same-store sales were down 4% in December and revenue fell 4.7% from the same month a year ago, hitting $4.4 billion. In Macy's last reported quarter, it only made $68 million in operating income on $5.5 billion in revenue.

Cutting one or two thousand people will not solve the retailer's troubles in an environment which is this vicious.

WSJ Video, GDP 3.8% Skewed by Inventory 

General Mills says more people eating at home 

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - General Mills Inc and other food makers are benefiting from a sharp rise in home cooking in the United States and to a lesser extent in Western Europe, the head of the U.S. company said on Saturday.

"We are seeing some very interesting changes in consumer behavior as we plunge deeper into the recession," Chairman and Chief Executive Ken Powell told a panel at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Two or three years ago, around half of the $1 trillion spent by Americans each year on food went into the tills of restaurants and fast-food outlets.

But the fashion for eating away from home -- a strongly growing feature of the U.S. marketplace for the past 35 years -- has now been thrown into reverse.

"What we see now, over the last year and a half, is a very, very significant change in the direction of that trend," Powell said.

 

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30 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Geithner/Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Stranglove

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Hi Davos,

I couldn't resist :-

...I hope the financial reality isn't as cataclysmic...Surprised

Take Care,

Paul

gregroberts's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

"Federal belt-tightening would worsen the problem right now," said
Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American
Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "Most economists agree
that the federal government is a built-in stabilizer," said Hassett, a
former adviser to GOP presidential campaigns"

If that's true why don't we make all private sector jobs illegal and hire only govt workers?

Greg

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

I love it - "a built in stabilizer".  A built in parasite is more correct.  At some point, someone has to be engaged in productive labor for an economy to work.

Greg, don't give them any ideas.

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capesurvivor
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

SF is good way to consider possible futures, as you note( somewhat, with quote).

Lucifer's Hammer, Earth Abides, a bunch of others are must reading, IMHO.

 

SG

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1
gregroberts wrote:

"Federal belt-tightening would worsen the problem right now," said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "Most economists agree that the federal government is a built-in stabilizer," said Hassett, a former adviser to GOP presidential campaigns"

If that's true why don't we make all private sector jobs illegal and hire only govt workers?

Greg

 I'm not sure what the answer is, but I don't think the private sector is going to be doing much if any hiring in the next few years. This is not a matter of standing aside and letting the free market work its magic. We've had enough of that magic, thank you. For policy makers, the crucial question is whether the economy is so swamped in bad credit risks that the edifice itself is in danger of collapse. Long term, the overall debt issue is the dark specter.

 As it stands, the American economy, like ALL of the world's advanced economies is mixed. That is, private capital and government redistribution combine to keep the engine chugging along. That paradigm is failing, as most of us in this forum realize. There's no evident transition to an economy that's prudent and sustainable.

What we do in our individual lives is prepare for potential disaster. What we do in the public square is advocate for a world that accounts for future generations and the health of the planet itself. The treadmill we hoped would power global prosperity turned out to be the equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. While we're very close to the end of this paradigm, the ruling class still hopes the old economy can be reflated. What else can they do? There are six and a half billion people alive because of unsustainable energy inputs and massive debt. There probably can't be a peaceful transition giving the size of the problem and the physical constraints of reality itself. True, we would have been better off thinking like Ron Paul. But so far, the time machine returning us to the 19th century hasn't been invented.

 

gregroberts's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

"This is not a matter of standing aside and letting the free market work its magic. We've had enough of that magic, thank you."

This one comment alone is enough to discredit anything else you have to say. Read Patrick's description of capitalism and see if there is any resemblance to our present mess.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/time-get-out-way-what-capitalism/12461

Greg

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1
gregroberts wrote:

"This is not a matter of standing aside and letting the free market work its magic. We've had enough of that magic, thank you."

This one comment alone is enough to discredit anything else you have to say. Read Patrick's description of capitalism and see if there is any resemblance to our present mess.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/time-get-out-way-what-capitalism/12461

Greg

 I mentioned the other day on the Glenn Beck thread how I was worried that the CC might become an adjunct arm of wingnuttia. Your post serves to confirm that worry. I know how powerful group think is among True Believers. Right-wing talk radio is an example where millions get their liturgy in Who to Blame and Who to Hate. But the CC has at its core a complex and subtle argument. It's not about evil liberals and heroic rugged individualists. It's about us, and the belief-driven errors we manifest in crafting macroeconomic life. When I said that the Free Market cannot simply work its magic, I didn't disparage capitalism as a system, only as a method of salvation. By the same token, socialism would be a false theology. And if you cannot muster a little skepticism about Free Market millenialism after the subprime and housing bubble debacles, you're either comatose or obdurate. 

Go back and take the CC again. Note how Chris scrupulously avoids your errors in Us vs Them thinking. Notice how he weaves a tapestry of problems that include the physical world we inhabit. Notice how he doesn't dismiss these concerns like Patrick does. Notice how the entire political spectrum is implicated. And finally notice that the real blame accrues to all of us, not just people you might like to demonize.

It might be fun to take a poll to see where everyone stands here. Maybe I'm the outlier in that I think the CC is not about ideology or the culture war but something much deeper. If I am the outlier, I'll gladly leave this church to the True Believers. 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

I wonder what the imaginary object in Geithner's hand is supposed to be -- aside from our collective trachea.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Davos,

Listened to the Brussee interview last night when you linked to it on yesterday's digest. Quite good. I also like how at the end he talked a bit about peak oil and the energy part of the equation that is glaringly missing from most analysis.

I also liked how he expressed disbelief regarding those who rather reflexively call for some kind of "turnaround" in a couple of quarters. Seems to be baked into our cultural consciousness. Certainly using his data-based analysis the next few years are going to be even more grim as I believe another tidal wave of residential ARMs are going to reset in 2011-12.

The one point I disagree with is his take on unemployment that he thinks from my listening will plateau fairly soon and won't reach GD-1 levels. But, if as he predicts, the markets are going to loose another 50% in 2009, which will further the current deflationary spiral we're in I have a hard time not seeing unemployment ballooning.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

They tell me that "Super Sheeple Sunday" is a big shopping day for the gay's because all the straight people are home watching football.

I really can't say but in celebration to the big shopping day I bring you,

David Blaine, Street Magic.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

I can relate to this. General Mills says more people eating at home 

I have not been out to eat in years because it seems like a waste of money to buy something that I can make myself or, that the wife can make at home.

Food is food! Once you swallow it, it becomes, well you know.

Not worth the extra money to put it in a nice way.

Damnthematrix's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

"This one comment alone is enough to discredit anything else you have to
say. Read Patrick's description of capitalism and see if there is any
resemblance to our present mess."

Of course there's no resemblance....  there never was going to be any, that version of capitalism was not only Utopian, it was never going to happen because of GREED!

Mike 

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Panasonic faces $5b loss

Panasonic faces $5b loss

By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy

Posted 1 hour 7 minutes ago

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is expected to announce a $5 billion net loss.

It is the third Japanese electronics maker to post a massive loss in as many days.

The Kyodo News Agency says Panasonic is blaming restructuring costs
and a slump in global demand for electronics for the $5.2 billion net
loss, its first dip into the red in six years.

Last week Hitachi announced it was expecting a $12 billion loss,
while NEC said it was forecasting a $5 billion slide into the red.

NEC also announced it would also shed 20,000 workers worldwide, in a bid to weather the global financial crisis.

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Hello Paul:

Wow, been a while since I saw that flick!

Hello MaineCoonCat:


Davos,

"The one point I disagree with is his take on unemployment that he thinks from my listening will plateau fairly soon and won't reach GD-1 levels. But, if as he predicts, the markets are going to loose another 50% in 2009, which will further the current deflationary spiral we're in I have a hard time not seeing unemployment ballooning."

I agree with what you bring to light!

Take care 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Something positive? Cleaner nuclear power generation? Article on a new method that produces 90% less waste than traditional reactors. No new physics etc. 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Good post Azzenstudent...  i think you are spot on in that the CC didnt seek to blame and that ultimatley the blame sits on all our shoulders, however i believe that the blame is not equal.  Most on this forum would have some idea where the real responsibility rests, and will talk about it until their lungs are full of salt water... life boats, no one told me about life boats!

"Obama was facing a new political distraction -- the disclosure that Tom Daschle, picked to spearhead U.S. health care reform, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes"

Is America running out of financial virgins to take to the alter? 

Failure to pay taxes will be like ads for underware.  In the US you have to be a prude in public, but in private you can do what you want with your tootless siberian pleasure sheep.  Failing to pay taxes! What a hoot.

 

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Something that concerns me as much as the idiots steering this ship are how many stupid fat lazy entitlement minded passengers are on board. From my vantage point I do not see a quick turn around from a large part of the US population that have been groomed to be inefficient while they look for some govt handout or someone to blame. They are not the type to suck it up & become strong when things really hit the fan. Looks like decades of suffering for many. I always hope I am wrong.

 Dow 4500 in 2009-2010....depression Dow 1000 or less. Buckle up!

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

I know what you mean IDoctor. I know a whole lot of grown men who can't even read a tape measure, cut a board or change a freakin flat tire.

What will they do when they can't pay someone to do it for them? And, OMG! They may even have to learn how to cut their own grass !

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Trad how true & how sad that our society has raised such mindless souls that only know how to start their car with a key.....if it doesn't turn on they are SOL!

There are some other major underlying problems that will exacerbate the financial problems. It is with the younger generation & their METH usage. The Govt will be overwhelmed with this ugly reality soon it seems to me. You can't polish a turd but the govt doesn't mind perpetual polishing. They try to repair the unrepairable with millions of wasted dollars rather than spending it on good kids that have a chance to use their bright minds to create a sensible world.

Not only is there too small a young population to support the baby boomers at retirement but a great number of them can't even take care of themselves!! These issues are not factored in. I am happy I have planed all along to paddle my own canoe.

Go into any mall these days & you don't have to look far to fine those porkers on scooters in there insecure state on tons of meds from their self created disease states. These people come in & say they don't "feel right"...not happy about themselves etc. Hum wonder why LOL. They want "magic" feel good antidepressants so they can feel better about eating even more?? Where is Mr Woodcock when we need him LOL! I want to see who replaces their batteries & who will feed them when the going gets tough? 

People have become so weak & dependent on everything but themselves. They have lost their ability to cope with anything & want someone or something to do it for them.

We have patients that can't breath as they smell of chain smoking. They want to be fixed up on the Govt health-care $$$. So we give them an inhaler so now they can breath better only to find them buying a new carton of smokes at the store because now they feel like smoking again.

One foreign Dr told me as we laughed at the abuses going on here. He said this is such a sad management of great resources in a land of great resources. In my country we have so few resources but we really manage what we have very well.

Their is NO fix to a system that makes NO logical sense! This is why you have to hope for the best but prepare like Chris has just encase.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Below is a link to a Dick Morris article about where the Obama Presidency is going to take us.

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/the-obama-presidency--here-comes-socialism-2009-01-20.html

And a short quote from the middle:

But it is not his spending that will transform our political system, it is his (Obama's) tax and welfare policies. In the name of short-term stimulus, he will give every American family (who makes less than $200,000) a welfare check of $1,000 euphemistically called a refundable tax credit. And he will so sharply cut taxes on the middle class and the poor that the number of Americans who pay no federal income tax will rise from the current one-third of all households to more than half. In the process, he will create a permanent electoral majority that does not pay taxes, but counts on ever-expanding welfare checks from the government. The dependency on the dole, formerly limited in pre-Clinton days to 14 million women and children on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, will now grow to a clear majority of the American population.

It is this transformation of our society of a nation of mostly producers to a society of mostly moochers wanting handouts that worries me. The main flaw of our Republic (Its not a democracy) is the ability of the voting members of the society to vote themselves benefits from the treasury and to enforce those benefits by taxing the entities, businesses and individuals, that produce. It will surely destroy our society when the producers decide not to produce anymore.

A society with representative government must have a constitution that prohibits government welfare, that is, payments to any person or business with no benefit, labor or product, in return. This means welfare both to business and individuals. Bank bailouts should be illegal, welfare (money or products) given to persons without demanding anything in return should also be forbidden. A person at the public trough if not completely disabled should be required do to some kind of labor in exchange for what they receive. A bank that receives money from the government should be required to give something of equal value in exchange. Worthless mortgages, property of undetermined value, unsecured debt, all should be outlawed.

The difference between Capitalism and Collectivism is wrapped up in the belief that no one should be forced to give any part of the results of their labor to some other entity without receiving value in return. Ayn Rand was once asked, "If the government does not take care of those less fortunate, then who will?" Her response was, "You will not be prevented from helping them". The message is that if the less fortunate are to be helped, you cannot make someone else bear the burden if he does not wish to. In a Capitalistic society, organizations like the Salvation Army are supported by freely donated contributions, and the organizations take the responsibility of helping the poor and unfortunate. The same with Churches, Fraternal organizations and so on. If someone cannot claim the results of their labor, if the government is free to expropriate it for others, then it is not Capitalism. It is what Ayn Rand termed a 'mixed economy' part slave and part free; and sure in the long run to fail.

This society is failing.

pwoody

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

As we hear more and more about these tax scandals, I just wonder how much longer Gerald Celente's tax revolt is going to be held at bay. It's a little difficult to ideologically push laws that the lawmakers themselves fail to follow. Ron Paul has repeatedly said that people tend to imitate the actions of their government and if that is indeed the case, societal breakdown might not be so far off...The number of scandals - big and small - at this time is greater than I can possibly remember. It is indeed amazing how no one seems to notice the corruption in the boom phase, but once things start to go bust, it is as if the roaches have had the lights turned on them!

One bright spot that is still managing to hold out is that we are at least hearing about a lot of scandals and taking notice of them. That is, public indignation is rightly running a bit high right now (though I wish higher!). If and when people stop caring so much about scandals, then it is because the corruption is so commonplace that it is somewhat accepted as normal. At that point, the public will be just as corrupt as the elite.

-Mike

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1133316/Having-children-irresponsible-warns-Government-advisor.html

Having more than two children is 'irresponsible' warns Government advisor

By Daniel Martin and Simon Caldwell
1 February 2009

The birth rate in Britain is now at its highest for 30 years

Couples who have more than two children are putting an 'irresponsible' burden on the environment, the Government's leading green advisor has warned.

Jonathon Porritt called on ministers to divert money away from
curing illnesses towards contraception and abortion services to limit
the country's population and help in the fight against global warming.

And he criticised fellow green campaigners for dodging the issue of
population growth and its effect on the environment because it is too
'controversial'.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Hi Mike,

I put this short film onto a couple of threads lately on the subject of population growth in the USA. It is to the point and quite disturbing :-

Paul

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Hi Davos,

you can watch the whole of Dr Strangelove on You Tube if you find any time away from your Daily Digest!! I know it so well now I can run it in the background while I'm working. It's as fresh and current today as it ever was...Cool

Take Care,

Paul

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

MIke P,  I remember living through the Nixon years and the huge reaction to his involvement in Watergate.  Now we have events that, in my mind, are much more heinous and they are merely blips on the radar screen.

Paul,  I appreciate the pictures your video links draw.  The red pill grows in my stomach.

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Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Mark,

thankyou for that.

Such a very important message...

My Very Best,

Paul

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

Davos,

These are two articles and a podcast, first on "Dystopians", then podcast by the "Dystopians" author on the effect on him of interviewing these folks, then article by pissed off woman at her sex's contributions having been omitted from "Dystopia" article. Interesting stuff.

SG

 

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/26/090126fa_fact_mcgrath

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/01/26/090126on_audio_mcgrath

http://www.vtcommons.org/blog/2009/01/25/trut

TheRemnant's picture
TheRemnant
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2009
Posts: 141
Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

With respect to this article: 

Despite layoffs, federal work force is growing

What we have here is the ’seen vs. unseen’ fallacy at work.

Government produces no wealth. They take wealth from others and
redistribute it to others under their monopoly of the monetary system
and violence. Let me illustrate with an example:

A and B (usually a government comittee, hence A and B) put their
heads together and decide what C shall be made to do for D. All eyes
are on how D benefits. Endless political commentary and punditry abound
around D. A and B is the State. C is the person who does productive
economic work and pays taxes extorted via A and B and D is the
recipient of the swindled money from C, less the cut that A and B
squander on themselves or their favoured insiders.

What is not seen is the economic benefits of what C might have done
if C was allowed to retain his money and spend it as they saw fit.
Existing businesses would not receive C’s money anymore or future
businesses may not come into existence. In otherwords, current and
future businesses effectively subsidize D, favoured by A and B.

A and B have another mechanism to swindle C; devalue the money s/he
has in their pockets by printing new currency into existence to finance
D. This new currency has an inflationary effect on C’s savings for
today, tomorrow, or passed onto C’s children. Government sponsored
inflationary attacks on C by the State/Banking cartel rob C in such a
manner that not one in a million C’s can diagnose. C pays for D via
inflation, not taxation.

The most skilled statistician cannot tell you what millions of C’s
would have done, today or tomorrow, had they been allowed to retain
their money (or the value of it) to spend into the economy.

C is the forgotten man.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 1024
Re: Daily Digest - Feb 1

"Of course there's no resemblance....  there never was going to be any, that version of capitalism was not only Utopian, it was never going to happen because of GREED!

Mike" 

Mike if you were to design a building or an automoble would you deliberately put flaws in it so as not to appear utopian? Probably not, same goes with designing an economic system, you would try to make it so that it conforms to human nature to the best of your ability. That version appeals to me because I'm not greedy, dishonest or overly ignorant, it would work if people were like me, and in this I agree with you, it never will happen because of the way most people are.

azzenstudent,

All I was trying to say was that you can't point to our Frankenstein form of capitalism and say that it won't work, like Patrick pointed out, fiat currency is anathema to proper capitalism and was probably the most significant error that caused it's demise.

BTW- I never listen to any talk radio but I do watch Glenn Beck on YouTube if he has either Ron Paul or Peter Schiff on.

Greg

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