Dollar headed for big downturn?

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Dollar headed for big downturn?

From CNBC to blogs over the internet. The dollar is under attack, from China, the Fed, and other countries around the world. Sell the dollar and buying gold, silver. Here are a few links. Jon

http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-us-dollar-about-ready-to-take...

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2010/12/28_2...

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

I have been working in the FX biz for the last 12 years and I have no idea what is going to happen with the dollar.  Politicians control it.  And, I have no idea what they are going to do.  My best guess would be that the dollar is going to go up and down and up and down.  It is complicated.  So many different things are going on all around the world and they all influence the FX market.  For instance, the Europeans (and England) are having a difficult time.  Socialism has failed and now they are trying to deal with that failure.  It is the Iron Lady's famous saying - sooner of later you run out of other people's money.  In general, it looks like Europe is trying to address this situation.  America is not, or at least has not so far.  This would lead one to believe the dollar is going to do down.  But, America has woke up and this last election is an indication of the national view.  If you extrapolate that into the 2012 election then the democratic party will be removed from power and the republicans will rule.  Who knows what they will do.  If they really do start cutting spending like they say, and cut taxes and regulation, then America will become a more business friendly place and capital will flow here and business will do well - the dollar will go up.  Responsible behavior on the part of the government will drive the dollar up.  Of course, that will result in rioting and looting in cities across the nation so the dollar will go down...

I don't know what will happen.  Then there is the impossible debt that has built up.  Transferring that debt from the private to the public sector does not fix it so the dollar goes down.  But then maybe the EUR comes apart so the dollar goes up.  It all comes back to the politicians...

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?
dshields wrote:

I have been working in the FX biz for the last 12 years and I have no idea what is going to happen with the dollar.  Politicians control it.  And, I have no idea what they are going to do.  My best guess would be that the dollar is going to go up and down and up and down.  It is complicated.

I agree.

It is not in China's interest to debase the dollar, not while they hold so many. I believe their strategy is to slowly use their dollar holdings to buy assets worldwide.

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?
dshields wrote:

But, America has woke up and this last election is an indication of the national view.  If you extrapolate that into the 2012 election then the democratic party will be removed from power and the republicans will rule.  Who knows what they will do.  If they really do start cutting spending like they say, and cut taxes and regulation, then America will become a more business friendly place and capital will flow here and business will do well - the dollar will go up.  Responsible behavior on the part of the government will drive the dollar up.  Of course, that will result in rioting and looting in cities across the nation so the dollar will go down...

How can you seriously believe that the Republican party will bring a positive change?  This is the same party and corrupt leaders that were running the country just a few years ago.  How did that work out of us?  The few principled tea party types will quickly be corrupted or marginalized.

I wish that was not the case but it is.  Look at what Rothbard said about the last Republican revolution in 1994.  Sounds a lot like today.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard155.html

In a famous lyric of a generation ago, Bob Dylan twitted the then-dominant "bourgeois" culture, "it doesn't take a weatherman to know the way the wind blows." Indeed, and the significance of this phrase today has nothing to do with the group of crazed Stalinist youth who once called themselves "the Weathermen." The phrase, in fact, is all too relevant to the present day.

It means this: you don't have to have to be a certified media pundit to understand the meaning of the glorious election of November 1994. In fact, it almost seems a requirement for a clear understanding of this election not to be a certified pundit. It certainly helps not to be a member of Clinton's cadre of professional spinners and spinsters.

The election was not a repudiation of "incumbents." Not when not a single Republican incumbent lost in any Congressional, Senate, or gubernatorial seat. The election was manifestly not simply "anti-Congress," as George Stephanopoulos said. Many governorships and state legislatures experienced upheavals as well. The elections were not an expression of public anger that President Clinton's beloved goals were not being met fast enough by Congress, as Clinton himself claimed. All too many of his goals (in housing, labor, banking, and foreign policy, for example) were being realized through regulatory edict.

No, the meaning of the truly revolutionary election of 1994 is clear to anyone who has eyes to see and is willing to use them: it was a massive and unprecedented public repudiation of President Clinton, his person, his personnel, his ideologies and programs, and all of his works; plus a repudiation of Clinton's Democrat Party; and, most fundamentally, a rejection of the designs, current and proposed, of the Leviathan he heads.

In effect, the uprising of anti-Democrat and anti-Washington, D.C., sentiment throughout the country during 1994 found its expression at the polls in November in the only way feasible in the social context of a mass democracy: by a sweeping and unprecedented electoral revolution repudiating Democrats and electing Republicans. It was an event at least as significant for our future as those of 1985–1988 in the former Soviet Union and its satellites, which in retrospect revealed the internal crumbling of an empire.

But if the popular revolution constitutes a repudiation of Clinton and Clintonism, what is the ideology being repudiated, and what principles are being affirmed?

Again, it should be clear that what is being rejected is big government in general (its taxing, mandating, regulating, gun grabbing, and even its spending) and, in particular, its arrogant ambition to control the entire society from the political center. Voters and taxpayers are no longer persuaded of a supposed rationale for American-style central planning.

On the positive side, the public is vigorously and fervently affirming its desire to re-limit and de-centralize government; to increase individual and community liberty; to reduce taxes, mandates, and government intrusion; to return to the cultural and social mores of pre-1960s America, and perhaps much earlier than that.

 

 What Are the Prospects?

Should we greet the November results with unalloyed joy? Partly, the answer is a matter of personal temperament, but there are guidelines that emerge from a realistic analysis of this new and exciting political development.

In the first place, conservatives and libertarians should be joyful at the intense and widespread revolutionary sentiment throughout the country, ranging from small but numerous grassroots outfits usually to moderate professionals and academics. The repudiation of the Democrats at the polls and the rapid translation of general popular sentiment into electoral action is indeed a cause for celebration.

But there are great problems and resistances ahead. It is vital that we prepare for them and be able to deal with them. Rolling back statism is not going to be easy. The Marxists used to point out, from long study of historical experience, that no ruling elite in history has ever voluntarily surrendered its power; or, more correctly, that a ruling elite has only been toppled when large sectors of that elite, for whatever reasons, have given up and decided that the system should be abandoned.

We need to study the lessons of the most recent collapse of a ruling elite and its monstrous statist system, the Soviet Union and its satellite Communist states. There is both good news and at least cautionary bad news in the history of this collapse and of its continuing aftermath. The overwhelmingly good news, of course, is the crumbling of the collectivist U.S.S.R., even though buttressed by systemic terror and mass murder.

Essentially, the Soviet Union imploded because it had lost the support, not only of the general public, but even of large sectors of the ruling elites themselves. The loss of support came, first, in the general loss of moral legitimacy, and of faith in Marxism, and then, out of recognition that the system wasn't working economically, even for much of the ruling Communist Party itself.

The bad news, while scarcely offsetting the good, came from the way in which the transition from Communism to freedom and free markets was bungled. Essentially there were two grave and interconnected errors. First, the reformers didn't move fast enough, worrying about social disruption, and not realizing that the faster the shift toward freedom and private ownership took place, the less would be the disturbances of the transition and the sooner economic and social recovery would take place.

Second, in attempting to be congenial statesmen, as opposed to counter-revolutionaries, the reformers not only failed to punish the Communist rulers with, at the least, the loss of their livelihoods, they left them in place, insuring that the ruling "ex"-Communist elite would be able to resist fundamental change.

In other words, except for the Czech Republic, where feisty free-market economist and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus was able to drive through rapid change to a genuine free market, and, to some extent, in the Baltic states, the reformers were too nice, too eager for "reconciliation," too slow and cautious. The result was quasi-disastrous: for everyone gave lip-service to the rhetoric of free markets and privatization, while in reality, as in Russia, prices were decontrolled while industry remained in monopoly government hands.

As former Soviet economist and Mises Institute senior fellow Yuri Maltsev first pointed out, it was as if the U.S. Post Office maintained its postal monopoly, while suddenly being allowed to charge $2 for a first-class stamp: the result would be impoverishment for the public, and more money into the coffers of the State. This is the reverse of a shift to free markets and private property.

Furthermore, when privatization finally did take place in Russia, too much of it was "privatization" into the hands of the old elites, which meant a system more like Communist rule flavored by "private" gangsterism, than any sort of free market. But, crucially, free markets and private enterprise took the blame among the bewildered Russian public.

 

 Betraying the Revolution

The imminent problem facing the new American Revolution is all too similar: that, while using the inspiring rhetoric of freedom, tax-cuts, decentralization, individualism, and a rollback to small government, the Republican Party elites will be performing deeds in precisely the opposite direction. In that way, the fair rhetoric of freedom and small government will be used, to powerful and potentially disastrous effect, as a cover for cementing big government in place, and even for advancing us in the direction of collectivism.

This systematic betrayal was the precise meaning and function of the Reagan administration. So effective was Ronald Reagan as a rhetorician, though not a practitioner, of freedom and small government, that, to this day, most conservatives have still not cottoned on to the scam of the Reagan administration.

For the "Reagan Revolution" was precisely a taking of the revolutionary, free-market, and small government spirit of the 1970s, and the other anti-government vote of 1980, and turning it into its opposite, without the public or even the activists of that revolution realizing what was going on.

It was only the advent of George Bush, who continued the trend toward collectivism while virtually abandoning the Reaganite rhetoric, that finally awakened the conservative public. (Whether Ronald Reagan himself was aware of his role, or went along with it, is a matter for future biographers, and is irrelevant to the objective reality of what actually happened.)

Are we merely being "cynical" (the latest self-serving Clintonian term), or only basing our cautionary warnings on one historical episode? No, we are simply looking at the activity and function of the Republican elites since World War II.

Since World War II, and especially since the 1950s, the function of the Republican Party has been to be the "loyal," "moderate," "bi-partisan," pseudo-opposition to the collectivist and leftist program of the Democratic Party. Unlike the more apocalyptic and impatient Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks (or social democrats, or corporate liberals, or "responsible" liberals, or "responsible" conservatives, or neo-conservatives – the labels change, but the reality remains the same) try to preserve an illusion of free choice for the American public, including a two-party system, and at least marginal freedom of speech and expression.

The goal of these "responsible" or "enlightened" moderates has been to participate in the march to statism, while replacing the older American ideals of free markets, private property, and limited government with cloudy and noisy rhetoric about the glories of "democracy," as opposed to the one-party dictatorship of the Soviet Union.

Indeed, "democracy" is so much the supposed overriding virtue that advancing "democracy" throughout the globe is now the sole justification for the "moderate," "bi-partisan," Republicrat policy of global intervention, foreign aid, and trade mercantilism. Indeed, now that the collapse of the Soviet Union has eliminated the specter of a Soviet threat, what other excuse for such a policy remains?

While everyone is familiar with the bi-partisan, monopoly-cartel foreign policy that has been dominant since World War II, again pursued under various excuses (the Soviet threat, reconstruction of Europe, "helping" the Third World, "free-trade," the global economy, "global democracy," and always an inchoate but pervasive fear of a "return to isolationism"), Americans are less familiar with the fact that the dominant Republican policy during this entire era has been bi-partisan in domestic affairs as well.

If we look at the actual record and not the rhetoric, we will find that the function of the Democrat administrations (especially Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson), has been to advance the march to collectivism by Great Leaps Forward, and in the name of "liberalism"; while the function of the Republicans has been, in the name of opposition or small government or "conservatism," to fail to roll back any of these "social gains," and indeed, to engage in more big-government collectivizing of their own (especially Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush). Indeed, it is arguable that Nixon did even more to advance big government than his earthy Texas predecessor.

 

The Illusion of Choice

Why bother with maintaining a farcical two-party system, and especially why bother with small-government rhetoric for the Republicans? In the first place, the maintenance of some democratic choice, however illusory, is vital for all varieties of social democrats. They have long realized that a one-party dictatorship can and probably will become cordially hated, for its real or perceived failures, and will eventually be overthrown, possibly along with its entire power structure.

Maintaining two parties means, on the other hand, that the public, growing weary of the evils of Democrat rule, can turn to out-of-power Republicans. And then, when they weary of the Republican alternative, they can turn once again to the eager Democrats waiting in the wings. And so, the ruling elites maintain a shell game, while the American public constitute the suckers, or the "marks" for the ruling con-artists.

The true nature of the Republican ruling elite was revealed when Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination for President in 1964. Goldwater, or the ideologues and rank-and-file of his conservative movement, were, or at least seemed to be, genuinely radical, small government, and anti-Establishment, at least on domestic policy. The Goldwater nomination scared the Republican elites to such an extent that, led by Nelson Rockefeller, they openly supported Johnson for president.

The shock to the elites came from the fact that the "moderates," using their domination of the media, finance, and big corporations, had been able to control the delegates at every Republican presidential convention since 1940, often in defiance of the manifest will of the rank-and-file (e.g., Willkie over Taft in 1940, Dewey over Taft in 1944, Dewey over Bricker in 1948, Eisenhower over Taft in 1952). Such was their power that they did not, as usually happens with open party traitors, lose all their influence in the Republican Party thereafter.

It was the specter of the stunning loss of Goldwater that probably accounts for the eagerness of Ronald Reagan or his conservative movement, upon securing the nomination in 1980, to agree to what looks very much like a rigged deal (or what John Randolph of Roanoke once famously called a "corrupt bargain").

The deal was this: the Republican elites would support their party's presidential choice, and guarantee the Reaganauts the trappings and perquisites of power, in return for Reaganaut agreement not to try seriously to roll back the Leviathan State against which they had so effectively campaigned. And after 12 years of enjoyment of power and its perquisites in the executive branch, the Official Conservative movement seemed to forget whatever principles it had.

 

The Parasitic Elite

So is our message unrelieved gloom? Is everything hopeless, are we all in the ineradicable grip of the ruling elite, and should we all just go home and forget the whole thing? Certainly not. Apart from the immorality of giving up, we have so far not mentioned the truly optimistic side of this equation. We can begin this way: even given the necessity of the elite maintaining two parties, why do they even have to indulge in radical rightist, small-government rhetoric?

After all, the disjunction between rhetoric and reality can become embarrassing, even aggravating, and can eventually lose the elites the support of the party rank-and-file, as well as the general public. So why indulge in the rhetoric at all? Goldwater supporter Phyllis Schlafly famously called for a "choice, not an echo"; but why does the Establishment allow radical choices, even in rhetoric?

The answer is that large sections of the public opposed the New Deal, as well as each of the advances to collectivism since then. The rhetoric is not empty for much of the public, and certainly not for most of the activists of the Republican Party. They seriously believe the anti–big-government ideology. Similarly, much of the rank-and-file, and certainly the activist Democrats, are more openly, more eagerly, collectivist than the Democrat elite, or the Demopublican elite, would desire.

Furthermore, since government interventionism doesn't work, since it is despotic, counter-productive, and destructive of the interests of the mass of the people, advancing collectivism will generate an increasingly hostile reaction among the public, what the media elites sneer at as a "backlash."

In particular, collectivist, social democratic rule destroys the prosperity, the freedom, and the cultural, social, and ethical principles and practices of the mass of the American people, working and middle classes alike. Rule by the statist elite is not benign or simply a matter of who happens to be in office: it is rule by a growing army of leeches and parasites battening off the income and wealth of hard-working Americans, destroying their property, corrupting their customs and institutions, sneering at their religion.

The ultimate result must be what happens whenever parasites multiply at the expense of a host: at first gradual descent into ruin, and then finally collapse. (And therefore, if anyone cares, destruction of the parasites themselves.)

Hence, the ruling elite lives chronically in what the Marxists would call an "inner contradiction": it thrives by imposing increasing misery and impoverishment upon the great majority of the American people.

The parasitic elite, even while ever increasing, has to comprise a minority of the population, otherwise the entire system would collapse very quickly. But the elite is ruling over, and demolishing, the very people, the very majority, who are supposed to keep these destructive elites perpetually in power by periodic exercise of their much-lauded "democratic" franchise. How do the elites get away with this, year after year, decade after decade, without suffering severe retribution at the polls?

 

The Ruling Coalition

A crucial means of establishing and maintaining this domination is by co-opting, by bringing within the ruling elite, the opinion-moulding classes in society. These opinion-moulders are the professional shapers of opinion: theorists, academics, journalists and other media movers and shakers, script writers and directors, writers, pundits, think-tankers, consultants, agitators, and social therapists. There are two essential roles for these assorted and proliferating technocrats and intellectuals: to weave apologies for the statist regime, and to help staff the interventionist bureaucracy and to plan the system.

The keys to any social or political movement are money, numbers, and ideas. The opinion-moulding classes, the technocrats and intellectuals supply the ideas, the propaganda, and the personnel to staff the new statist dispensation. The critical funding is supplied by figures in the power elite: various members of the wealthy or big business (usually corporate) classes. The very name "Rockefeller Republican" reflects this basic reality.

While big-business leaders and firms can be highly productive servants of consumers in a free-market economy, they are also, all too often, seekers after subsidies, contracts, privileges, or cartels furnished by big government. Often, too, business lobbyists and leaders are the sparkplugs for the statist, interventionist system.

What big businessmen get out of this unholy coalition on behalf of the super-state are subsidies and privileges from big government. What do intellectuals and opinion-moulders get out of it? An increasing number of cushy jobs in the bureaucracy, or in the government-subsidized sector, staffing the welfare-regulatory state, and apologizing for its policies, as well as propagandizing for them among the public. To put it bluntly, intellectuals, theorists, pundits, media elites, etc. get to live a life which they could not attain on the free market, but which they can gain at taxpayer expense – along with the social prestige that goes with the munificent grants and salaries.

This is not to deny that the intellectuals, therapists, media folk, et al., may be "sincere" ideologues and believers in the glorious coming age of egalitarian collectivism. Many of them are driven by the ancient Christian heresy, updated to secularist and New Age versions, of themselves as a cadre of Saints imposing upon the country and the world a communistic Kingdom of God on Earth.

It is, in any event, difficult for an outsider to pronounce conclusively on anyone else's motivations. But it still cannot be a coincidence that the ideology of Left-liberal intellectuals coincides with their own vested economic interest in the money, jobs, and power that burgeoning collectivism brings them. In any case, any movement that so closely blends ideology and an economic interest in looting the public provides a powerful motivation indeed.

Thus, the pro-state coalition consists of those who receive, or expect to receive, government checks and privileges. So far, we have pinpointed big business, intellectuals, technocrats, and the bureaucracy. But numbers, voters, are needed as well, and in the burgeoning and expanding state of today, the above groups are supplemented by other more numerous favored recipients of government largess: welfare clients and, especially in the last several decades, members of various minority social groups who are defined by the elites as being among the "victims" and the "oppressed."

As more and more of the "oppressed" are discovered or invented by the Left, ever more of them receive subsidies, favorable regulations, and other badges of "victimhood" from the government. And as the "oppressed" expand in ever-widening circles, be they blacks, women, Hispanics, American Indians, the disabled, and on and on ad infinitum, the voting power of the Left is ever expanded, again at the expense of the American majority.

 

Conning the Majority

Still, despite the growing number of receivers of government largess, the opinion-moulding elites must continue to perform their essential task of convincing or soft-soaping the oppressed majority into not realizing what is going on. The majority must be kept contented, and quiescent. Through control of the media, especially the national, "respectable" and respected media, the rulers attempt to persuade the deluded majority that all is well, that any voice except the "moderate" and "respectable" wings of both parties are dangerous "extremists" and loonies who must be shunned at all costs.

The ruling elite and the media try their best to keep the country's tack on a "moderate . . . vital center" – the "center," of course, drifting neatly leftward decade after decade. "Extremes" of both Right and Left should be shunned, in the view of the Establishment. Its attitudes toward both extremes, however, are very different.

The Right are reviled as crazed or evil reactionaries who want to go beyond the acceptable task of merely slowing down collectivist change. Instead, they actually want to "turn back the clock of history" and repeal or abolish big government. The Left, on the other hand, are more gently criticized as impatient and too radical, and who therefore would go too far too fast and provoke a dangerous counter-reaction from the ever-dangerous Right. The Left, in other words, is in danger of giving the show away.

....

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

 

Goes211 wrote:

Maintaining two parties means, on the other hand, that the public, growing weary of the evils of Democrat rule, can turn to out-of-power Republicans. And then, when they weary of the Republican alternative, they can turn once again to the eager Democrats waiting in the wings. And so, the ruling elites maintain a shell game, while the American public constitute the suckers, or the "marks" for the ruling con-artists. 

Goes

Once again you have quoted a very sharp thinker who elucidates the human dilemma.  (And I mean the whole piece you copied.)  You have done some serious reading and thinking.  Thanks for sharing your efforts.

Travlin 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

goes211 may be right and if so we are doomed.  I am putting a lot of hope in the new tea party people.  They may not be able to do it.  The American people may get tired or distracted.  I really do not know.  It is the only hopeful thing I see in the political area.  If they hold strong and if America elects more tea party types then maybe reason will triumph.

 

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

New here, but I certainly agree with Goes. It's heart warming to see the clear insights on display here. No, I don't think we're lost but we are in a grave situation. We are in the knee of the curve.

I believe the Tea Party has been taken over by present day neocon republican interests. But I need to confirm that.

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

Goes,

 

Great read, thanks for posting that.

 

Ken

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?
goes211 wrote:

How can you seriously believe that the Republican party will bring a positive change?

Well I for one don't since I subscribe to the Carlin theory of the political economy.

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

Even though it almost killed me I read all of this.  It is easy to give up and just plan for impending disaster.  Sometimes I find myself doing that also.  I have been stockpiling food and certain supplies in my basement for a while.  However, politicians control the entire situation.  If they make bad decisions then we really are doomed.  The only hope I see out there is the tea party types.  I have never been to a tea party.  I probably will never go to one.  But I have read a lot about the tea party people and the ideals they are promoting and it looks to me like they are the only hope.  Got to have hope.  If you lose hope you lose everything.  I do not see how bigger more intrusive government combined with the higher taxes required to support that helps anything.  To me that leads to doom.  Cut the government, let people have more of the money they earn.  Let the people decide how to spend it.  A persons house will not be foreclosed if they have the money to pay the mortgage payments with.

I am not sure what is going to happen to USD.  Same with EUR.  For a while now it has been up down up down up down.  Every time USD starts to tank some craziness breaks out somewhere else (typically europe) and it goes up.  Then it goes down again.  Today was an up day due to the ADP report.

 

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?
dshields wrote:

Even though it almost killed me I read all of this.  It is easy to give up and just plan for impending disaster.  Sometimes I find myself doing that also.  I have been stockpiling food and certain supplies in my basement for a while.  However, politicians control the entire situation.  If they make bad decisions then we really are doomed.  The only hope I see out there is the tea party types.  I have never been to a tea party.  I probably will never go to one.  But I have read a lot about the tea party people and the ideals they are promoting and it looks to me like they are the only hope.  Got to have hope.  If you lose hope you lose everything.  I do not see how bigger more intrusive government combined with the higher taxes required to support that helps anything.  To me that leads to doom.  Cut the government, let people have more of the money they earn.  Let the people decide how to spend it.  A persons house will not be foreclosed if they have the money to pay the mortgage payments with.

I am not sure what is going to happen to USD.  Same with EUR.  For a while now it has been up down up down up down.  Every time USD starts to tank some craziness breaks out somewhere else (typically europe) and it goes up.  Then it goes down again.  Today was an up day due to the ADP report.

I highlighted the section of your post to illustrate a point.  The politicians don't control squat - we do.

There just aren't enough of us, pissed off enough to do anything about it. 

Yet.

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Re: Dollar headed for big downturn?

On that you and I completely agree.  But that only works if we assert our authority as voters.

 

 

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