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    • Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - 02:09am

      #2

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: Barack Obama’s Economic Dream Team

    [quote=GregSchleich]Where’s the change? I would look for these
    people to do everything in their power to maintain the status quo.
    That’s what they’re there for.[/quote]

    Yup. The Depublicrat party has ruled for 150 years. They have no
    intention of relinquishing power now, or changing the status quo.

    For instance, it’s well known that some serious crimes and treaty violations occured
    during the previous adminstration. President Bush publicly admitted to
    violating the FISA Act — a felony — in order to conduct wiretaps
    without court permission.

    This week, Senator Leahy proposed a
    ‘truth and reconciliation’ commission to delve into wiretaps, torture,
    renditions, misleading Iraq war intelligence, and so forth. The
    commission would have subpoena power, but no ability to prosecute
    violations of law which may be identified. Yet it’s doubtful that even
    Leahy’s modest proposal will be enacted. Why is it that the political
    elite can violate the law with impunity? Why has no grand jury been
    empanelled to look into these matters?

    One need look no further
    than the buddy-buddy relationship between George Bush Sr. and Bill
    Clinton. Clinton didn’t delve into the questionable events of the Bush
    I adminstration; Bush II didn’t probe the shenanigans of the Clintons;
    likewise, Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have no interest in
    excavating skeletons from Bush’s closet. The sad reality is that the
    Justice Department is totally politicized, answering to the whims of
    the president. When presidents collude in extending ‘professional
    courtesy’ to each other, the Attorney General keeps his lip buttoned,
    regardless of slam-dunk evidence which would support indictments.

    What
    the entrenched political class regards as ‘unproductive
    retribution’ is what many people would call ‘equal application of
    the law.’ The unapologetic two-tier justice system we have today
    — harsh laws for the little people, impunity for the powerful — is
    utterly corrosive to civil society. A country which winks at high-level corruption has a limited life expectancy.

    • Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - 10:29pm

      #3

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: Health care fascism up for Senate vote

    [quote=Denszcz]I recently had a test done … The computer
    interpreting the test misread it as abnormal even though it was normal
    and I have spent 3 years trying to get this corrected on my
    computerized medical record … now getting disability insurance is
    more complicated because of one little incorrect report that cannot be
    corrected on paper or by anyone other than a very busy and expensive
    subspecialist that I do not even know. The feds can also deny coverage
    based on the data and still stick the patient with the bill.[/quote]

    Thanks for your informative comments. This is a perfect example of a centralized database with no accountability. Your three years
    spent trying to correct a trivial error reminds me of two other
    databases. One is the TSA watch list, which is almost impossible to get
    out of, even if you were put into it by mistake. A second example would be the
    credit rating agencies, which give 100 percent credibility to creditor
    reports (even if they are wrong) and zero percent credibility to
    corrections submitted by consumers. So you can go round and round and
    round with them (as I have done), but no matter how many times you
    submit a correction, it never shows up.

    This unresponsive,
    unaccountable database is horrible, both from the standpoint of what it
    can do to your insurability, as well as its invasion of privacy.
    Certain meds I now order from overseas pharmacies, bypassing the
    medical gatekeeper to save money. But also, if the FBI or some snooping
    KongressKlown checks my NASPER prescription file … it’s blank. When
    I visit medical offices, I ‘mistakenly’ submit a transposed SSN in
    order to scramble their database. Under a fascist regime, throwing sand
    into the gears of the system isn’t just an option … it’s a DUTY.

    • Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - 12:56am

      #10

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Ray Dalio’s Missing Coda

    Ray Dalio is a great macro analyst. The examples he cites, such as
    the UK’s 1992 devaluation, are very pertinent. One can also examine the
    Argentine devaluation of 2001-2 and the Russian devaluation of 2008-9.
    After a sharp devaluation — say, by one-third or more — the devalued
    currency suddenly looks cheap, and so do asset prices … such as
    stocks and property. Stocks get a double-barrelled kick because the
    multinationals and exporters are suddenly earning much more than
    before, thanks to more favorable currency conversion on foreign
    incomes. Plus, their sales volumes go up.

    However, classical
    macroeconomics also teaches that the benefits of devaluing are
    temporary. Import prices rise, plus the flood of incoming capital
    drives up asset prices. Later, wages and other domestic prices follow.
    After a few years of higher inflation, the post-devaluation price
    advantage versus the rest-of-world disappears, and the country is back
    where it started.

    Dalio’s description of incomes not being
    adequate to service debt is something that I’ve talked about for years,
    as has Dr. Martenson. Is the global surplus — that is, corporate
    profits plus individuals’ disposable income — sufficient to service
    the global debt total? Economists can’t tell us. They do know — as
    Dalio explicitly states — that devaluing the currency cuts the real
    debt burden, by expropriating purchasing power from creditors. Of
    course, creditors catch on soon enough, and begin to mark up their
    interest rates accordingly. An ugly aspect of high nominal interest
    rates, such as the double-digit rates of the late 1970s, is that they
    front-load the real interest payments of a loan. It becomes very
    difficult for borrowers and capital projects to qualify for loans, as
    their income is rarely sufficient to service the initial debt payments.

    As
    a professional macroeconomist, Dalio’s role is to discuss what is
    likely to be — not what should be. The scenario he describes is one of
    gross uncertainty. Few new, promising investments and technologies will
    be funded while a mass restructuring of earlier malinvestments is
    underway. And the uncertain macroeconomic environment means that many
    new investments will be off target as well. If you wanted to build a
    new manufacturing plant today, where would you put it? In China, whose
    export competitiveness is likely to decline? In the U.S., where the
    future value of the dollar and interest rates are a huge question mark?

    My
    coda to Dalio’s comments is this — fiat currencies are a human
    tragedy. They systematically depress investment and living standards;
    systematically blight childrens’ future. The need to restructure debt
    with a currency devaluation follows directly from the fact that fiat
    currency is created from excessive debt. A stiff ‘hair of the dog’ shot
    of debt is not going to cure our debt addiction. It’s only going to set
    off a new, more reckless and spectacular, binge of borrowing. BOTTOMS UP.

     

    • Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - 01:38pm

      #8

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: Where is the Pension Cap for Lawmakers?

    Bubble II was a cooperative effort of FIRE-sector speculators,
    incompetent regulators, and Congressional nonfeasance of its oversight
    duties. A logical counterpart to salary caps for banksters would be
    pension caps for lawmakers. The longest timeservers in the House and
    Senate can accumulate pension packages worth multi-millions — many, many
    times what middle class citizens can ever hope to attain.

    Here’s
    a modest proposal: limit Congressional pensions to no more than three
    times the average Social Security payout. For instance, if a typical
    SocSec payout is $1,500 a month, then retired politicians would get a
    maximum of $4,500 a month. To increase their pensions, they would have
    to improve the lot of ordinary folks on Social Security. It would be
    amazing how quickly they would extend ERISA requirements to Social
    Security, install competent third-party management with fiduciary
    responsibility to beneficiaries, and dump the entire portfolio of
    ‘non-marketable’ Treasurys — if necessary, suing Usgov in federal
    court to exchange them for marketable ones.

    To crack down on
    banksters for their screwups, while failed lawmakers continue to get a
    luxurious, inflation-indexed free ride, is hypocritical and
    unacceptable. Slash their pensions till the pips squeak!

    • Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - 01:50am

      #5

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: New Hampshire Legislature Takes On Federal Gov’t

    But the song which rings most clearly in mah head when I think of
    Uncle Sam is the Grateful Dead, singing ‘Me and My Uncle.’ It ends like
    this —

    I love those cowboys, I love their gold,
    I loved my uncle, God rest his soul,
    Taught me good, Lord, Taught me all I know
    Taught me so well, I grabbed that gold
    And I left his dead ass there by the side of the road.

    http://www.mp3lyrics.org/g/grateful-dead/me-and/

    • Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - 01:36am

      #4

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: New Hampshire Legislature Takes On Federal Gov’t

    New England was the original locus of secessionist sentiment in the
    U.S. The anti-Usgov chatter started in 1790, just three years after the
    constitution was ratified, and culminated in the Hartford convention of
    1814. Unlike Dixie in 1861, New England didn’t actually bid ‘sayonara’
    to the meddlers of Foggy Bottom, though it had good cause to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Convention

    With
    Usgov now $60 trillion ($200,000 per capita) in the hole, any state
    which can escape Uncle Sam’s sweaty clutches will immensely enrich
    itself and its lucky citizens.

    It’s a sad commentary when the
    reason for staying is not for any benefit, but simply because our
    master can’t afford to relinquish his absolute claim on our lifetime
    labor, and that of our children, grandchildren, and descendents to the
    hundredth generation. Much like the wealthy planters of Dixie, Massa
    Sam lives in mortal fear of a slave revolt. Me, I’m singin’ dem subversive blues …

    An oh the one thing that we did right, Oh yes oh yes,
    Was the day that we began to fight, Oh yes, oh yes, my Lord.
    And it’s no more auction block for me, No more, no more, no more,
    Auction block for me, Many many thousand gone.

    http://minnieapolis.newsvine.com/_news/2009/01/19/2331360-twelve-slave-songs-from-the-civil-war 

    • Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - 01:36am

      #3

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: New Hampshire Legislature Takes On Federal Gov’t

    New England was the original locus of secessionist sentiment in the
    U.S. The anti-Usgov chatter started in 1790, just three years after the
    constitution was ratified, and culminated in the Hartford convention of
    1814. Unlike Dixie in 1861, New England didn’t actually bid ‘sayonara’
    to the meddlers of Foggy Bottom, though it had good cause to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Convention

    With
    Usgov now $60 trillion ($200,000 per capita) in the hole, any state
    which can escape Uncle Sam’s sweaty clutches will immensely enrich
    itself and its lucky citizens.

    It’s a sad commentary when the
    reason for staying is not for any benefit, but simply because our
    master can’t afford to relinquish his absolute claim on our lifetime
    labor, and that of our children, grandchildren, and descendents to the
    hundredth generation. Much like the wealthy planters of Dixie, Massa
    Sam lives in mortal fear of a slave revolt. Me, I’m singin’ dem subversive blues …

    An oh the one thing that we did right, Oh yes oh yes,
    Was the day that we began to fight, Oh yes, oh yes, my Lord.
    And it’s no more auction block for me, No more, no more, no more,
    Auction block for me, Many many thousand gone.

    http://minnieapolis.newsvine.com/_news/2009/01/19/2331360-twelve-slave-songs-from-the-civil-war 

    • Tue, Feb 03, 2009 - 01:37am

      #58

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: Time to get this out of the way: What is Capitalism?

    ‘I believe the period of time between the end of the Civil War and the
    Beginning of Prohibition was the "golden era" of Capitalism.’ — Aaron Moyer

    It
    was literally the ‘golden age’ for the classical gold standard. Also, a
    period of relatively free trade, technological innovation, and …
    steady deflation. The gold-backed monetary base failed to keep pace
    with the rate of economic and population growth, resulting in a chronic
    deflation of about 1 percent annually. It doesn’t sound so terrible,
    but farmers with mortgages found themselves after 20 or 30 years with
    negative equity — basically a slow-motion version of our last three
    years, 2006-2008.

    This is not an argument against a gold
    standard, which is probably the best of several imperfect options. A
    slow-growing stock of monetary gold worked fine during most of human
    history, when population was relatively stable. But the late 19th
    century deflation (which, to be fair, was partly an artifact of severe inflation during the War Between the States) made gold highly unpopular except in western mining regions. Thus, William Jennings Bryan’s cri de couer that ‘mankind shall not be crucified on a cross of gold.’

    Bryan
    lost the election. But the anti-gold fiends triumphed 13 years later,
    with the Federal Reserve Act. If we can ever dump the Fed, with its
    inappropriate and counterproductive emphasis on central planning of
    interest rates, the issue will remain — how can a fixed gold standard
    be reconciled with the need to avoid unpopular, destabilizing
    deflation? If global population levels off, that problem may be solved
    for us.

    As to the topic title, pure capitalism — like pure
    communism — never existed. Humans are heirarchical mammals. An elite
    always co-opts any system of social organization. Nominal capitalism
    functioned better than nominal communism because it left a larger scope
    of economic freedom outside the controlled sectors. However, as
    governments take nearly full control of credit allocation, this
    distinction will erode in the future. As the soon-to-be-announced
    Geithner bank bailout plan will show, governments are all about
    protecting existing large, mature businesses at the expense of agile
    innovators. Future economic growth will slow drastically under the new
    regime of crony credit allocation. The U.S. resembles the Soviet Union
    more every day. And like the Soviets, we have ‘no inflation’ — LOL !!!

    Money mouth I, too, support the strong dollar Money mouth

    • Sun, Feb 01, 2009 - 02:09pm

      #3

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: Lawmaker says be a squatter

    Two other lawmakers, Tommy Daschle and Timmy Geithner, have
    demonstrated by their own actions that people should evade taxes if
    they can get away with it. Fortunately, this is no bar to government
    ‘service’!

    With no taxes and no house payments, folks will manage
    okay if they can scrounge for food. If caught stealing corn or
    watermelons, stand rigidly erect and pretend to be a scarecrow. You can
    even squawk back to the circling birds,

    Timmy! Tommy! CAW! CAW!

    • Sat, Jan 31, 2009 - 10:01pm

      #5

      machinehead

      Status Silver Member (Offline)

      Joined: Mar 18 2008

      Posts: 241

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      Re: US set for ‘big bang’ financial clean-up

    ‘Big Bang’ (LooterFest III, by my reckoning) substitutes
    government credit for busted private credit. It’s worth thinking about
    how and why this works.

    CDOs, as an important example of busted
    private credit, were collateralized by houses. Thanks to easy credit,
    house prices were driven to levels far beyond what incomes could
    support. When the price bubble crashed, CDOs defaulted.

    By
    contrast, government debt is effectively secured by a lien on the
    entire national income. This is a far broader and more stable asset
    than houses. Moreover government has the sovereign power, if it can’t
    raise the income to service the debt by taxation, to pay with IOUs —
    that is, currency created by monetizing new debt at the central bank.

    Can
    sovereign debt Bubbles develop? Why, sure. Look at all the previous
    sovereign defaults, mainly among emerging economies. When their
    external debt reached hundreds of percent of GDP, it was not plausible
    that it could be serviced. The lenders merely thought they could bail
    out before the music stopped.

    Similarly, with a negative net
    worth of some $60 trillion, it is not plausible that Usgov can meet its
    long-term obligations either. But it is very realistic to think that it
    can survive for the next couple of years. So there will be plenty of
    willing lenders. Government’s sovereign power to service debt with IOUs
    (printed money) at will encourages this sort of speculative thinking
    … because default is NEVER likely in the short term, even though
    long-term we’re surely doomed to either default or hyperinflation.

    Thus
    I assume that the U.S. is headed for a protacted borrowing spree, which
    will drive up both interest rates and inflation. However, once you’ve
    substituted excessive sovereign credit for excessive private credit,
    there is no remaining well to drain dry. Usgov is the largest financial
    entity on the planet, so there is no greater ‘lender of last resort’ to
    swoop
    in and save it. Nor are there any income earners that haven’t already
    been pledged and collateralized. As Neil Young used to sing …

    Tin soldiers and Geithner’s coming

    We’re finally on our own

    This winter I hear the drumming

    Four tril we must borrow … four tril we must borrow … four tril we must borrow …

     

     

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 67 total)