Daily Digest

Daily Digest - March 22

Monday, March 22, 2010, 10:50 AM
  • The Most Important Chart of this Century
  • Seven Stressors Sapping the Middle Class
  • Has Germany Just Killed The Dream Of A European Superstate?
  • German Central Bank Admits That Credit Is Created Out Of Thin Air
  • Budget 2010: Bankers React With Fury To 'Bonkers' Plan For Levy
  • Is China The Next Global Resource Glutton?
  • U.S. Congress Worries About Materials Shortages
  • Petrodollars Threatening Amazon
  • Energy Minister Will Hold Summit To Calm Rising Fears Over Peak Oil
  • Institutional Investors Start To Worry About Challenges Facing Oil Companies

Economy

The Most Important Chart of this Century (Hucklejohn, repost by request)

Last year we spent just under $400 billion on interest on our current debt, plus we spend another $1.5 Trillion buying down rates via Freddie, Fannie, and Quantitative Easing. That’s $1.9 Trillion spent on interest, most of which wound up in the hands of the central banks and their surrogates. Compared to our $2.2 Trillion in income, interest expense last year nearly took it all. That means that nearly all your productive effort used to pay Federal taxes last year were transferred to the central banks.

Seven Stressors Sapping the Middle Class (Latega P.)

Working harder for less is the new normal--for those lucky enough to have a job. Millions of families are giving up comforts they long took for granted, such as restaurant meals, new clothes, vacations, spacious cars, home improvements, and cable television. College funds and retirement savings have taken a hit, and some families have been forced to downsize their homes or, worse, submit to foreclosure. Little wonder that record numbers of Americans tell pollsters it's getting harder to get ahead and that they worry their kids' standard of living may fall rather than rise.

Has Germany Just Killed The Dream Of A European Superstate? (pinecarr)

So after weeks of Euro-bluff it looks ever more like an IMF rescue for Greece after all, and hence for any other eurozone nation driven to ruin by the wrong monetary policy.

German Central Bank Admits That Credit Is Created Out Of Thin Air (Christian W.)

In other words, money is created as book-entry by purchasing assets or entering credits on the left side of the balance-sheet and corresponding deposits on the right side. In other words, credit is created out of thin air.

Budget 2010: Bankers React With Fury To 'Bonkers' Plan For Levy (pinecarr)

Bankers vented their anger at proposals from Britain's two main political parties to impose an industry levy that could raise tens of billions of pounds.

Energy

Is China The Next Global Resource Glutton? (Christian W.)

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) recently reported that China’s electricity consumption in January 2010 grew 40.14 percent year-over-year to 353.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWhs). That’s the sound of a lot more factories running or residential air conditioners humming.

U.S. Congress Worries About Materials Shortages (Christian W.)

From wind turbines to cell phones, rare earth minerals play a big role in advanced technology, and they could be key for future clean energy. But congress is worried about the fact that almost all of these materials come from China, and could be subject to tight export controls by that country's government.

Petrodollars Threatening Amazon (Christian W.)

The dozens of hastily granted oil and gas concessions Peru´s government has given to countries from Vietnam to Brazil already cover 41 percent of the Amazon region, and exploration and drilling there threatens indigenous populations and local flora and fauna, according to a new study by the University of Barcelona.

The study, conducted by the Spanish university´s Environmental Science and Technology Institute with the US organization Save America´s Forests, found that many of the concessions — 52 that are active — coincide with protected areas and indigenous lands. The lots cover 70 percent of the region.

Energy Minister Will Hold Summit To Calm Rising Fears Over Peak Oil (Christian W.)

In a significant policy shift, the government has agreed to undertake more work on whether the UK needs to take action to avoid the massive dislocation that could be caused by the early onset of "peak oil" – the point that marks the start of terminal decline in global oil production.

Institutional Investors Start To Worry About Challenges Facing Oil Companies (Christian W.)

For the first time the investors are also seeking disclosure on the funding of climate lobby groups and research. This has been driven by European asset managers who feel aggrieved at attempts by the oil industry to undermine the political process of setting climate policies.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

26 Comments

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

 

Health-Care Overhaul Adds Millions of U.S. Customers

"March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Drugmakers and health insurers will gain millions of customers under legislation overhauling the U.S. medical system. The industry also will pay new fees to the government, and face stricter rules that may narrow profit margins and fuel mergers.

The bill that the House passed in a pair of votes yesterday expands coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, according to Congressional number crunchers. That means more sales for Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drugmaker; UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest health insurer; and a cluster of companies led by Amerigroup Corp. that specialize in managing services through Medicaid, a program that will grow in the remake."

 

"(Reuters) - Virginia's attorney general said he plans to sue the federal government over the healthcare reform legislation, saying Congress lacks authority to force people to buy health insurance."

"The legislation places a burden on already cash-strapped states to fund an expanded Medicaid program and build a new insurance exchange so that individuals can find affordable insurance, McCollum told a press conference today in Orlando, Florida. For Medicaid alone, it will cost the state of Florida $1.6 billion, he said.

Florida is being joined by Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North and South Dakota, Alabama, Nebraska, Utah and Washington in a lawsuit that McCollum said would be filed “as soon as the president signs the bill,” which is expected tomorrow."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The bond market is saying that it’s safer to lend to Warren Buffett than Barack Obama.

"Two-year notes sold by the billionaire’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in February yield 3.5 basis points less than Treasuries of similar maturity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson and Lowe’s Cos. debt also traded at lower yields in recent weeks, a situation former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. chief fixed-income strategist Jack Malvey calls an “exceedingly rare” event in the history of the bond market.

The $2.59 trillion of Treasury Department sales since the start of 2009 have created a glut as the budget deficit swelled to a post-World War II-record 10 percent of the economy and raised concerns whether the U.S. deserves its AAA credit rating. The increased borrowing may also undermine the first-quarter rally in Treasuries as the economy improves.

“It’s a slap upside the head of the government,” said Mitchell Stapley, the chief fixed-income officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at Fifth Third Asset Management, which oversees $22 billion. “It could be the moment where hopefully you realize that risk is beginning to creep into your credit profile and the costs associated with that can be pretty scary.”"

"The end of Saturday mail delivery gets closer to reality in the next 10 days, as Postmaster General John E. Potter plans to formally present his proposals to his board of directors and postal regulators.

Letter carriers would stop delivering mail to American homes and businesses and would not pick up mail from blue collection boxes on Saturdays, according to Potter. But post offices would stay open on Saturdays, and mail would be delivered to post office boxes. Express mail services also would continue seven days a week. The delivery cuts would save the Postal Service $3.1 billion in the first year and as much as $5.1 billion by 2020, postal officials said. "

"March 22 (Bloomberg) -- California, the lowest-rated state, will lead about $3.1 billion in taxable debt sales in potentially the biggest week for such issues since December as investors gain confidence in Build America Bonds."

"Pressure On Schools

Soon, school districts around the state will have to dramatically increase their pension contributions. For the Derry Township School District in Hershey, Pa., the bill will jump from about $600,000 this year to $3.7 million in 2013.

"It's very significant," says Superintendent Linda Brewer.

Brewer faces some stark choices: cut programs and increase class sizes, or raise property taxes.

"Our retired citizens are saying, 'Do not raise our taxes,' " Brewer says. "And our parents are saying, 'We don't want you to raise our taxes, but if that's what it takes to maintain these solid programs, that's what we want you to do.'"

There's another option: Gov. Ed Rendell and others want to soften the impact of the looming crisis with an accounting maneuver. They want to spread the pain of making the pension funds whole over a longer time frame. But critics say that will just kick the can down the road."

"A Kanawha County State Senator says the Legislature is at the "beginnings of a solution" when it comes to dealing with the projected $8 billion West Virginia owes for retiree costs."

"The measures were not taken up during the 60 day session, but Senator McCabe says he's hopeful lawmakers will look at ways to address the debt in a Special Session before the end of June. That may or may not happen in this Election Year.

Senator McCabe says there is no simple solution.

"At the end of the day, everybody is going to feel the pain.""

"Stacy McGowan’s eighth-grade daughter is worried she won’t be able to enroll in chorus and art classes — her favorites — when she starts her freshman year at Belvidere High School in the fall.

Her daughter’s elective classes may be in jeopardy because Illinois, in a crippling economic bind, owes its public school districts a budget-busting $871 million in delinquent aid as of Wednesday, including $2.8 million to Belvidere. The district has already sent pink slips to 57 nontenured teachers.

But Belvidere is not alone. Harlem, Rockton, Oregon and other Rock River Valley districts have approved or are considering drastic cuts to make up for an anticipated drop in tax revenue — and the state’s delay in paying its bills.

It all adds up to a “double whammy” of economic pain for Illinois’ public schools, state Rep. Ron Wait, R-Belvidere, said.

“Almost every school district in the state of Illinois is talking about layoffs,” Wait said.

Payment backlog

The Illinois comptroller’s office has a $4.3 billion backlog of bills that haven’t been paid, and some of those date back as far as Sept. 1, spokesman Alan Henry said."

"Fitch Ratings has warned that that Britain risks damaging investor confidence and the erosion of its AAA rating unless the Government brings in strong thrift measures in this week’s budget."

"Hundreds of U.S. municipalities are losing money on interest-rate bets they made during the bull market in hopes of protecting themselves from higher rates. The deals backfired when rates fell, shriveling the sums paid to municipalities. Now some are criticizing Wall Street and trying to exit the contracts."

"State lawmakers have proposed restrictions on municipalities' ability to use swaps. "It's gambling with the public's money," Mr. Wagner said. "Elected officials are simply no match for the investment banker that's selling the deal."

The Service Employees International Union said Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., Philadelphia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Oregon all are in the hole on swaps agreements they made with financial firms. The required payments range from a few million dollars to more than $100 million a year, the union said."

"NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The long-anticipated wave of mergers in the banking sector could soon be upon us. The buyers, however, may not be from the United States."

"A recent report from the Pew Center on the States put the tab for unfunded pension liabilities at $452 billion. But Rauh and others say pension funds are using unrealistic assumptions about investment returns, meaning the pension funding hole is likely much deeper.

"Our calculation is that it's more like $3 trillion underfunded," Rauh says.

And the kicker is that taxpayers are on the hook."

"He says the word "bankruptcy" is not in his vocabulary. Still, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is doing everything he can to avoid it. Host Guy Raz speaks to Villaraigosa about his city's struggle to bridge its budget deficit and fully fund its pension plan."

"WASHINGTON - Riding the coattails of a historic health care vote, the House Sunday also passed a broad reorganization of college aid that affects millions of students and moves President Barack Obama closer to winning yet another of his top domestic policies.

The bill rewrites a four-decades-old student loan program, eliminating its reliance on private lenders and uses the savings to direct $36 billion in new spending to Pell Grants for students in financial need.

In the biggest piece of education legislation since No Child Left Behind nine years ago, the bill would also provide more than $4 billion to historically black colleges and community colleges.

The bill was paired with the expedited health care bill, a marriage of convenience that helped the prospects of each measure. That combined measure passed 220-211."

.......................12A) Headline from December 9 of last year: Pell Grants Facing $18 Billion Shortfall - CBS News

"A financial storm is hitting Pennsylvania’s school districts because the pension system is severely underfunded.

“The current funding issue confronting PSERS (Public School Employees’ Retirement System) represents the greatest challenge the agency has faced in its history,” Jeffrey Clay, PSERS executive director, said in a written statement.

Jay Himes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, used similar language in an address to the state Senate Finance Committee.

“It has been described as a pension tsunami and a retirement disaster,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is not media headline hyperbole. We have a real school finance crisis looming.”"

"The share of home purchase transactions involving distressed properties surged to almost half in February, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions.

Last month distressed properties - those involving homes acquired as part of a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure sale - accounted for 48.1 percent of the home purchase transactions tracked in the closely-watched monthly survey. This was way up from the 37.3 percent level recorded as recently as November. It was also the highest distressed property market share seen since last July.

Stepped up government efforts, including temporary foreclosure moratoriums and a push to qualify more financially troubled homeowners for mortgage modifications, temporarily reduced the number of distressed properties coming on the housing market in the fall and much of this past winter. But now a growing number of distressed properties appear to be hitting the housing market."

Healthcare Bill Passes, Is This the Final Nail in the US Economy? (Video...InflationUS)

Junk Bonds Selling at Briskest Pace Since 2007: Credit Markets

$100 billion needed to keep power (Australia)

Shortfall plaguing pensions ("At some point, there is a day of reckoning" ..."pension obligations are debts")

employer healthcare costs up 7.3 percent in 2009

TOWN IN TROUBLE: Bridgewater's financial crisis has been years in the making

India's natural gas demand to double by 2015

300 take home $100K pensions (Writes about those making $100,000 on their pensions)

Spanish 'economic miracle' loses its splendour

 Underemployment At Record 20% According To Gallup (Zerohedge)

................Uncle Jay Laughing.

Blame Nathan's Economic Edge for posting that one. Click on the link, since you might be interested in some of his comments today.

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22 - Most Important Chart

 

That’s $1.9 Trillion spent on interest, most of which wound up in the hands of the central banks and their surrogates. Compared to our $2.2 Trillion in income, interest expense last year nearly took it all

 

It's hard to to get one's head around a $1T. But the quote above put  it in relative terms that is easy to understand.  Well put.... and scary.

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ZeroHedge piece on fictional reserve banking

An analysis/update on the story from last week re the Fed saying they might drop the reserve requirement:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/strikeoutfractionalstrikeout-fictional-...

Makes my already-spinning head take on an additional wobble.  Throw in some yaw and it's a-gonna come clean off!

Viva -- Sager

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What happened to "Monday"?

Chris/other technical chart watchers - Seems like for the longest time, Monday morning in Asia and then overnight Sunday here was always a "pump and up" day on the markets, something that has been referred to as just "Monday". I thought I saw a statistic that at one point, the market was up 23 of 25 Mondays. It's been a while since I can remember seeing a "Monday" morning move. Anyone else notice that? Is Goldman $achs saving energy on Sunday nights?

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22 - Most Important Chart

SteveS Wrote:

 

It's hard to to get one's head around a $1T. But the quote above put  it in relative terms that is easy to understand.  Well put.... and scary.

Hi Steve,

A trillion dollars isn't really hard to understand, Within the next 5 to 10 years, we'll all be walking around with trillions in our wallets. The future for the American people is nearly as bright as the super rich people living in Zimbabwe who all carry 100s of Trillions in their wallets.

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

The following is posted at Nathan's economic edge - first three videos complete describing the 'money' (debt) based system and how it operates:

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/

Quote:

Damon Vrabel – Renaissance 2.0

Damon is proving to be a dedicated warrior trumpeting the sovereign money song. His message is in tune and it is loud and clear. Damon is producing a series of videos explaining the money, power, and control structure of the United States. As new videos are added, I will post them here and at SwarmUSA.com under the Freedom’s Vision and Media Tabs, “Renaissance 2.0.”

I think you’ll find that Damon has a unique way of putting our world into perspective. You might even find it ‘mind-blowing,’ but you’ll have a hard time making a case against what he presents. That’s because it’s all true. No conspiracies needed, just facts about the way our money and markets really work.

What Damon is really describing is WHO controls the money power. This is the same exact thing that Bill Still is describing, just expressed in a much different way.

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Healthcare Bill

So, if this healthcare bill forces insurance companies to sell me insurance despite the fact that I have one or more chronic conditions and I pay for the coverage out of my own pocket how is that welfare? How is that socialized medicine? It's not.  It's justice.  The insurance companies withheld coverage from people who didn't have pristine health histories because they knew that population would be less profitable for them and nobody stopped them from this evil practice.  This bill will reduce insurance company profits.  Again, that's not welfare, that's justice! 

Let me tell you, it sucks to be denied access to healthcare insurance, especially when you see the lazy losers all around us who've been given totally free care for all or much of their lives.   You're always one calamity away from bankruptcy.  I have a hard time seeing why anybody other than insurance company executives or stockholders would be upset that 32,000,000 Americans will now be able to purchase coverage for themselves and their families.  Yes, the lower end of those 32 mil. will need assistance but many of us will not.  It's just basic fairness.  Get your head out of the sand!  Not a single Republican in Congress was able to see through the rhetoric and vote for the correction of this major injustice.  I hope this comes back to bite them FOREVER.  Up until now I have been a registered Republican.  That's so over...

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

A trillion dollars is a stack of $1,000 bills a little under 69 MILES high.

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

 

world's oil reserves have been exaggerated by up to a third, according to Sir David King, the Government's former chief scientist, who has warned of shortages and price spikes within years.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7500669/Oil-reserves-exaggerated-by-one-third.html

 

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

Are people so ignorant of what is happening, that they really believe this bill was about Health Care? I fear for our nation. If you work, you will pay more taxes, higher premiums and receive less for it. If you don't work, you will continue to get handouts from corrupt politicians that only wish to purchase your vote with your freedom.  This bill is nothing but a job killer, and a grab for control of our lives.  Too many are willing to trade their freedom for a handout, how sad this is what this generation has come to. 

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22
geoman076 wrote:

A trillion dollars is a stack of $1,000 bills a little under 69 MILES high.

You know the highest denomination is ols Ben's smiling face on $100 bill geoman - that makes the current book debt of the US over 8,000 mile high if your number is correct. How does that song go? .... 8,000 miles high, and if you look down.....

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

Maybe Warren Buffett is thinking long-term we'll be a nation of heavier drinkers?

Buffett's Berkshire buys beer, liquor distributor

Health Care Bill passed, ~20% under-employment, higher taxes..... hmm, he might be onto something there Cry

- Nickbert

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Re: Healthcare Bill
ditchner wrote:

So, if this healthcare bill forces insurance companies to sell me insurance despite the fact that I have one or more chronic conditions and I pay for the coverage out of my own pocket how is that welfare? How is that socialized medicine? It's not.  It's justice.

Sorry your life sucks, but I don't believe my life should have to suck because I have to pay for your issues.  Yes that is socialized medicine, when I'm forced to pay for you.  Yes, I will have to pay for you, because if insurance companies are forced to take on more risk, they will have to spread it out across all people.

It's just basic fairness.

Sorry life isn't fair.  However, I suspect you'll be changing your tune when you are forced to pay for healthcare but get none. Or how you will feel when you are bankrupt and with no healthcare when the dollar collapses because your being promised what can not be delivered.

I have a hard time seeing why anybody other than insurance company executives or stockholders would be upset that 32,000,000 Americans will now be able to purchase coverage for themselves and their families.

Hmm, let's see insurance companies only have a 3.3% profit margin, far lower than many other industries. So I have quite a problem with them being force to cover additional risk. Since the only way they can cover it is to raise the price for everyone or go under.  However, it is quite clear, that is the objective of this bill.  It's to drive insurance companies out of business so that only the government is left.  The government does such a wonderful job at everything else, I guess it's no wonder people want them to run healthcare!

 

 

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Re: Healthcare Bill
ditchner wrote:

So, if this healthcare bill forces insurance companies to sell me insurance despite the fact that I have one or more chronic conditions and I pay for the coverage out of my own pocket how is that welfare? How is that socialized medicine? It's not.  It's justice.  The insurance companies withheld coverage from people who didn't have pristine health histories because they knew that population would be less profitable for them and nobody stopped them from this evil practice.  This bill will reduce insurance company profits.  Again, that's not welfare, that's justice! 

Let me tell you, it sucks to be denied access to healthcare insurance, especially when you see the lazy losers all around us who've been given totally free care for all or much of their lives.   You're always one calamity away from bankruptcy.  I have a hard time seeing why anybody other than insurance company executives or stockholders would be upset that 32,000,000 Americans will now be able to purchase coverage for themselves and their families.  Yes, the lower end of those 32 mil. will need assistance but many of us will not.  It's just basic fairness.  Get your head out of the sand!  Not a single Republican in Congress was able to see through the rhetoric and vote for the correction of this major injustice.  I hope this comes back to bite them FOREVER.  Up until now I have been a registered Republican.  That's so over...

 

 

I don't like it because, for one reason, my premiums will increase substantially to cover your chronic needs.  Why is that my responsibility?  How is that "fair".  I have many other reasons.  However, that one will address your question of fairness.

The insurance companies will have a much more difficult time assigning risk and will, therefore, increase ALL premiums to insure that they will not be overwhelmed by the questionable risk.

Do I stand in defense of insurance companies?  Not necessarily.  However, I certainly can't defend your position.  If you are a high risk (chronically ill) person, you should be assigned a higher premium.  It is only "fair".

Coincidentally, I got my insurance bill today.  I am 52, top notch health.  I have NEVER in my adult life made a health insurance claim.  Coverage is for my wife and myself.  She has made minor preventive claims for some tests (mammograms and such) which we pay out of pocket due to our high deductible.

Our plan is $7500 deductible major medical, no rx, no dental, no eyeglass. 2 people.  New premium $950/month.  I fully expect my premiums to increase so that those without insurance will receive coverage.  Fair?

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

If what Denninger writes is accurate this has the potential to be a huge disater

First, if people are going to be paying 20k a year for a family and 15k a year for individual care it is going to price this thing out of reach for most. We are talking average mortgage bracket servicing $1,687 p month.

With a 22+% unemployment figure this is not a doable figure, and even during good times how many middle class families can take on a second mortgage?

I somehow doubt the price collected in fines will go to insurance pools to keep rates down, I suspect they will go to the deficit, which means we can expect massive rates.

People arguing health care stunk before - I so totally agree, but given these elected morons have for the past 3 decades run Social Security and Medicare into the ground what really makes you think they could fix a flat let alone something this complex and vexing?

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

If my body, this vehicle that carries my soul around, falls ill, it falls ill. I have no "right" to expect anybody to fix it. If I'm unable to foot the bill, I meet my maker. 

Footing the bill means either ponying up for insurance or paying the docs directly. If I can't do it, so be it. So sad for the folks I leave behind.

Stealing from you to make my family happy for a few years is immoral. Stealing from your grandchildren is unconscionable.

I'll never understand how robbing Peter to pay Paul fits into any society.

Now if Peter wants to pitch in for my bills, I'm all over it. I'm in no hurry to leave this place.

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22
Tycer wrote:

If my body, this vehicle that carries my soul around, falls ill, it falls ill. I have no "right" to expect anybody to fix it. If I'm unable to foot the bill, I meet my maker. 

Footing the bill means either ponying up for insurance or paying the docs directly. If I can't do it, so be it. So sad for the folks I leave behind.

Stealing from you to make my family happy for a few years is immoral. Stealing from your grandchildren is unconscionable.

I'll never understand how robbing Peter to pay Paul fits into any society.

Now if Peter wants to pitch in for my bills, I'm all over it. I'm in no hurry to leave this place.

Absolutely, Tycer.

Unfortunately, I feel that many government policies seem to drive wedges between people and make willfull benevolence less likely.

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Re: Healthcare Bill

I'm afraid I doubt you'll see the justice you hope for. Instead, you will find the insurance companies will have plenty of documentation for the rate hikes across the board they will institute. You will then see the government "forced" to make up the difference for everyone. This will greatly increase the cost of providing health care. The government will have to either raise taxes or borrow more money. My money's on the borrowing. That will be the final nail in the coffin of the dollar's worth (assuming we get that far before a collapse, since it will 2015 before we see this, I expect).

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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

While outlawed in name, "slavery" persists in our society.  Only now, all Americans are "slaves" to the master.  Greed.  Money.  Power.  Its all the same.

In the context of the government handout, those in receipt of the handouts are beholden to those creating the entitlement programs and for this reason must continue to vote for them.  The same can be said for members of labor unions.  They are all slaves who do not think for themselves or take responsibility for their own lives.  These people prefer something for nothing.  But, I need not go on this rant in this forum because you all have figured this out on your own, as did I.

I wanted to comment about a recent revelation that bears upon the worry parents have today that their children will not have a "better" life than their parents.  I have news for today's parents.  I'm 37.  I recently discovered Facebook.  I went on Facebook at the urging of my love in order to find my childhood best friend.  The good news is I found the friend.  I also found the rest of our elementary school class and then went on to rediscover the majority of my high school class.  Why am I sharing all this you ask?  I am sharing this in response to the worry parents have today that their children will not have "better" lives than them.  From what I can tell, it would appear to me that few, if any of my elementary and high school classmates have achieved a "better" life than their parents.  In fact, few (from what I can tell) have achieved more in life than their parents.  Yes, maybe they did graduate high school and go on to obtain a post high school degree and these achievements should not be dismissed, but they are not living what I'd deem a "better" life in terms of income and the usual measures of "better".  This includes couples where both work when in most cases our parents did not both work.  (Mine did, and as a consequence, in the '80's we were living what I'd deem a "better" life than most in our socioeconomic class at that time.)  These are 37 year olds who attended Catholic schools as opposed to public schools.  Kids who had no limits in terms of education and opportunity and now, we're no "better" off and in most cases less "better" off than our parents.  It was and by all appearances will continue to be a "myth" that American children will do "better" than their parents.  We are on a slow, but accelerating, decline in this country and with the floodgates of socialism opening wide, we will only lose any hope of a "better" life.

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CB
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Posts: 365
Re: Daily Digest - March 22
Quote:

It was and by all appearances will continue to be a "myth" that American children will do "better" than their parents.  We are on a slow, but accelerating, decline in this country and with the floodgates of socialism opening wide, we will only lose any hope of a "better" life.

While I agree that the children are less well off than the parents it is not "socialism" for the poor or labor unions but socialism for the rich and debt slavery to the banks that is the cause of the decline. Income disparity has increased over the past 30 years and now you see how wall street swindlers get bailouts and mega bonuses while the majority suffer in a recession bordering depression. Soon there will be efforts to sell off more public assets to be scooped up by those who profit at the expense of the rest and the populace is divided into repubs and dems who squabble over the crumbs and scraps and acuse each other of the vilest offences - while the bankers sit laughing at the beach or their Manhatten condo.

A truly 'rich' country could afford to provide basic healthcare and education for its citizens as an investment in its future if for no other reason (and there are many). We are a feudal country, not a republic and the lords love it when the serfs fight amongst themselves - keeps them distracted from the reality of their position and its true cause. Keeps them from peeking behind that curtain to see just who it is pulling all those levers back there.

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rhare
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Posts: 1326
Re: Daily Digest - March 22
CB wrote:

A truly 'rich' country could afford to provide basic healthcare and education for its citizens as an investment in its future if for no other reason

Agreed.  However, that should be provided by the citizens and private companies.  All this mess has been caused because we have given up our property rights and allowed bueaurcrats and politicians control over private financial affairs.  All the talk about corruption and cronyism, but most people want to grant more power to a government via more regulation.  This is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Remove the money from the system and cronyism and corruption disappear, at least from government. and you then have a chance at an impartial judicial system that can enforce private property and fraud laws .

 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Daily Digest - March 22

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7500669/Oil-reserves-exaggerated-by-one-third.html

Oil reserves 'exaggerated by one third'

The world's oil reserves have been exaggerated by up to a third, according to Sir David King, the Government's former chief scientist, who has warned of shortages and price spikes within years.

By Rowena Mason, City Reporter (Energy)
Published: 9:51PM GMT 22 Mar 2010

Their new research argues that estimates of conventional reserves should be downgraded from 1,150bn to 1,350bn barrels to between 850bn and 900bn barrels and claims that demand may outstrip supply as early as 2014. The researchers claim it is an open secret that OPEC is likely to have inflated its reserves, but that the International Energy Agency (IEA), BP, the Energy Information Administration and World Oil do not take this into account in their statistics.

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Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - March 22

Ever get the end is REALLY nigh...?!!

 

Energy minister will hold summit to calm rising fears over peak oil

Lord Hunt, the energy minister, is to meet industrialists in London tomorrow in a bid to calm mounting fears about the disruption that could follow a sudden shortage of oil supplies.

In a significant policy shift, the government has agreed to undertake more work on whether the UK needs to take action to avoid the massive dislocation that could be caused by the early onset of "peak oil" – the point that marks the start of terminal decline in global oil production.

Jeremy Leggett, the executive chairman of the renewable power company Solar Century and a leading figure in the UK industry taskforce on peak oil and energy security, said the meeting, to be held at the Energy Institute, showed a welcome new sense of urgency.

"Government has gone from the BP position – '40 years of supply left, the price mechanism works, no need to worry' – to 'crikey'," he said. "BP and others are telling us that, but you lot, Virgin, Scottish and Southern, and others are telling us something completely different. We do not know who to believe. Let's do a proper risk assessment with industry," he said.

The meeting is expected to include executives from the taskforce members including Virgin, Arap, Stagecoach, Scottish and Southern Energy, and Solar Century as well as other industrialists.

The decision to hold the talks came after the UK industry taskforce on peak oil and energy security last month issued a provocative report, The Oil Crunch: a Wake-up Call for the UK Economy, in which it warned of the dangers of complacency.

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EndGamePlayer
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Posts: 546
Health Care - who needs it? Amish don't even get cancer

The Amish community doesn't get vaccines and they don't suffer from measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, flu, TB . . .tetanus and some say even cancer is non-existent. Their children aren't autistic, obese, diabetic or suffer from societal conditions.

So I could understand if a healthy life-style was voted for and passed - but forced medical is just another way to control money and people.

EndGamePlayer

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1326
Re: Health Care - who needs it? Amish don't even get cancer

The Amish community doesn't get vaccines and they don't suffer from measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, flu, TB . . .tetanus and some say even cancer is non-existent. Their children aren't autistic, obese, diabetic or suffer from societal conditions.

While they suffer less from cancer it is not non-existant.  I wouldn't use the Amish condition as a sign that vaccines are a cause of the conditions you listed.  The Amish lifestyle has many things that may impact diseases: helathier foods, more physical activity, limiited social contact (ie. less change to spread disease), less sexual promiscuity, underreported conditions, low smoking rates,  ... 

Anyway, causality is certainly not a given in this case.

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