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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Bwahaha -- The Three Card Monte System

I have already personally responded about the issues with the Republican Party and it has been all over the Hound over the last four years. Harry makes legitimate points about how the Republican Party has voluntarily cornered itself by having single themed simplistic messages that don't address the needs of most of the American public. The Republican Party has not had a coherent message of ways to move forward and back towards prosperity for the working class. And the Republican Party has not displayed leadership towards the future and has chosen to follow the path of the entrenchment of the career politician, which goes against the grain of Conservative Principles set forth in the "Contract with America" nearly twenty years ago.

A friend sent me a message the other day that is right on:

Let's look at what we have learned from this election:

Twenty-one of 22 incumbent senators were re-elected, and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House were re-elected.

The American people have re-elected 94 percent of the incumbents who were running for re-election to an institution that has an approval rating of about 9 percent.

This indicates, as an electorate, we are a nation of idiots.

Now I have friends from across the spectrum. I talk to everyone and try to understand people and get them to understand where I am coming from. I don't believe in Redneck World Wrestling Politics. I believe in studying issues and finding compromise where I can and moving forward in a constructive manner where I have disgreements with others. Rednecks don't do this. They draw corners and have a P***ing match and think they are accomplishing something by seeing who can P*** further. Nothing substantial ever happens. I am sick of that and those A-holes need to be drawn and quartered.

And like another friend articulates about the Democrats. The Democrats talk about the Republicans and Bush and we are like yeah uh-huh and besides the debt, deficit, impinging on our liberties, and getting us involved in two wars that there are apparently no ends to, they increased the ethanol subsidies to take care of their buddies in the Midwest and this caused corn prices to nearly quadruple in the last decade, they went along with the deregulation of Wall Street and its marriage to Washington, and they worked to offshore our working class jobs through NAFTA and GATT and a hundred other Free For All Trade Agreements.

Now let's talk about Obama, who said he was going to end the wars, instead we are looking to be headed into Syria soon and Iran right after that and more troops die in Afghanistan virtually every day.. ohh and Pakistan. We look at the issues with Wall Street, which is full scale corruption; and which seems to be getting worse, not better. Who have charges been brought against, but they'll fry some poor guy that can't afford their taxes. We look at problems with running up our debt, which I will go into further in a second.

They say No. No. No. Obama all good... Repubwicans all bad. I say B* S*.

And then there is the talk about the Fiscal Cliff.

Folks we have already gone over the Fiscal Cliff long ago. We could have dealt with this 4 1/2 years ago, but no one wanted to. We had time to reform, but no one could see, because they are Economic Idiots. It was going to be painful then, but it will be exponentially worse now. The National Debt has gone up from $10 trillion to $16.4 trillion in the last four years. That is a 64% increase in four years. In 2004 it was $7.4 trillion, which means that over the 4 year span (2004-2008) the deficit went up   35%, which still is horrible, but you can see the acceleration can't you?

So if the National Debt only went up 35% over the next four years, then it would be (16.4 x 1.35) = $22.1 trillion in 2016. If it increased at the current pace, then it would be (16.4 x 1.64) = $26.9 trillion in 4 years. If it increased at the accelerated pace (1.35 to 1.64) = ^1.99% pace, then it would be (16.4 x 1.99) = $32.6 trillion at the end of 2016. That means that we are going headlong towards oblivion.

There won't be some cataclysmic moment. It is going to be like a boiling frog. Slowly, but surely the costs of necessities are going to accelerate. I have shown it to you here on the Hound. Look at the prices in the grocery store. Maybe you are ignorant enough to not notice the way that they have repackaged the products. Nip an ounce here and add some filler there, yep that's the new American Economic system. The Ponzi economy leading to the Great American Ripoff.

I am tired of the Three Card Monte system. Everyone expects the world to shake when this all goes down. The dinosaur media at every level is in bed with the Government Incorporated. They get you all worked up about whatever the talking point of the day is, while the bureaucracy slides around to pick your pocket.

Everyone is worried about their taxes going up or their benefits getting cut, when they can't seem to grasp that the purchasing power of their money is worth less or worthless.  $100 of goods today cost $74.44 in 2000...  $17.51 in 1971, when we went off the Gold Standard... and $4.28 in 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created. And this is when looking at it through the Governments cooked book calculations, the Consumer Price Index produced for the Bureau of Labor. Other Calculators, such as Shadow Stats, show the 1971 number to be $4.98 and the 2000 number to be $33.88.

Your Standard of Living isn't being destroyed because it is being taxed away or Big Daddy Government isn't giving you enough. Your Standard of Living is being destroyed by the Federal Reserve, because the President and the Congress don't want to make the hard choices and they have their priorities out of whack. The President even seems to think it best to have no debt limit at all and he  has chosen to let the banks be in charge of our money and the bank managers have naturally chosen to look out for their own self interests. The Federal Reserve is putting $40 billion dollars into the system every month by purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds, which allows the Treasury to create money. This money is injected into the banks through nearly ZERO % loans. The banks, now being Financial institutions instead of holding corporations, are going out and purchasing commodities through hedging and derivatives processes. Too many dollars chasing too few goods leads to (Supply and Demand) prices going up.

Your average politician doesn't feel guilty, because they don't understand this. They don't understand MONEY. They really only understand the money in their own bank account and they haven't a clue about yours, nor do they care... Can you vote yourself a raise? Are most of your meals subsidized or paid for? Is your healthcare paid for? Is your retirement set?  

I do appreciate the President and his Economic team taking the ideas that have been discussed here on the Hound. 90% of the people in my community don't understand the significance of this News Source. At least the politicos pay it some attention. I see you ;)

I can't take the credit for "The Race to the Bottom" term that I talked about in April 2010,  I heard Catherine Austin Fitts talking about it about 3 years ago; but the Hound was the first to coin the term  "Middle-Out Economics," introduced here when the President only wanted to talk about the bottom up. I have discussed this since the inception of the Hound. I only wish that his regime would be interested in substantive processes to bring the economy back to equilibrium. Right now there is a war against the Middle Class. It is one thing to talk about jobs. What are you going to do to bring the jobs back to America? What are you going to do to level the Labor Price Parity Dynamic?

The problem is the Middle Class is asleep and frankly I am tired of going to them and trying to wake them up. It is a lot easier to sit back and wait for them to fall and then they wake up on their own and study what has been going on like I had to six years ago. Those who choose to find a way out will join us. Those looking to be bailed out will join the Empire of Rot.

Catherine Austin Fitts interview about Fiscal Cliff at Minute 39


Harry Hipps said...

I agree that public ignorance and apathy is a problem. And I hope I'm wrong but it may take a catastrophic collapse and widespread suffering before the population as a whole crawls out of their own little box and realize they are a part of the world too. But despite the rise of the internet and the ability of an individual to be heard (if you can cut through the massive chatter we have nowdays, it it incumbent on leaders to lead.
This is why I feel that someone, maybe the GOP, maybe not, has to find a new paradigm to replace New Deal structures, root out the corruption and malaise, and build a long term, stable, and broadly accepted framework to live in a free society with the modern complexities we have.

I believe Reagan had a large part of the vision and moved us in that direction. When he left the scene the GOP mostly pivoted back to where they were and we have just gotten more corrupt, indebted and our institutions, government, unions, churches, civil society are just drifting on inertia and not driving to a real, purposeful goal. The goal should be the most freedom, prosperity and improvement for every person that can achieve it and a safety for those who cannot.

As multinational relations mature and we have to have increasing global treaties and agreements we should push to extend liberty and freedom to all.

There has to be focal points and leadership to articulate this and rally effort towards it. That's not to say that a leader is all that it takes or that one or even several individuals can pull this off. But it has to have a platform and a focal point for people to build on and bounce off of. There is a tremendous opportunity for someone to push these aspirations forward. And despite some Republicans chirping up once in a while to give this some lip service we don't really have it as of yet. Hope springs eternal, but until we do some soul searching and rethink where we are and what we want to be all we will get is the corruption, self interest and small minded thinking we have now. God help us all.

James Thomas Shell said...

I agree with what you state, but look at what we have personally seen. We have tried to articulate and make changes here on the local level, but there is an entrenchment of these people with no vision who have posed a few problems-obstacles- impediments towards progress.

There is a selfishness of looking towards self interest and complete shunning of what is best for the Eco-System. With that we see a lack of vision and a worry about who will get credit for progress. Then there is complete and utter BS propoganda and if you don't drink the Kool-Aid, then you get ostracized from the decision making processes, which leads to group-think idiocy. Ohhhh and there is also the fact that they won't do something that their "opponents" support, just for the sake of trying to keep their opponents down, no matter how good the idea.

You see politics and governance have become about personalities, cults, and a mob rule mentality. Look at the Political Parties, Corporations, and Unions. If you don't agree with us, we are going to find some way to do you harm. In that kind of system how can you flesh out ideas and do what is best for the whole?

Anonymous said...

It’s about power, gentlemen. We all know it at least you do if you have your eyes open. To negotiate, you have to be equal at the table, otherwise one party dictates terms and the other has no ability to make a counter offer in a true give and take exchange. That is not negotiation. One party holding a position of dominance over the other is the goal, the objective. To clarify, I’m using the word ‘party’ not in reference to political affiliations, but as a reference to participants to negotiations. Some points may be non-negotiable and others are and it is on those points that compromise can be made to reach agreement. But in the posturing parlance of being in complete control and dominance, there is no room for that mindset.

Now, to specifics. I keep hearing that we need to move away from the programs of The New Deal. I even hear some reasons why. But I haven’t heard, by clear and convincing evidence why the new programs are so much better than the current ones. If it simply shifts control from public to private hands, I’ll never be convinced. No one, with any conviction can say that the Stock Market is a better risk and manager of funds than the government. I have merely to gesture toward Bernie Madoff, the number of brokerage firms that have been investigated and paid millions to avoid prosecution, and our own J.V. Huffman are all shining examples of private management. Of course, Congress robbing those funds and writing IOU’s and tossing those back in the pot and then saying the funds are either going to run out of money or go broke… for the stated reason of too many people using them, not because of their ‘borrowing’ out of them.

I don’t believe Reagan is the iconic boon to free enterprise he is purported to be; sorry. A true reckoning of all the parameters of his policies will, I believe, bear that out. His vision, blurry as it was, didn’t travel much further than the end of the line comprised of those in his own economic strata.

And finally, as ad nauseam to what Harry was previously talking about what was wrong with the Republicans and the party, (and the notion of Conservatives being progressive, which, if I’m not mistaken, a contradiction in terminology itself) just yesterday I was listening to the news and made privy to the notion that Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits, not because there aren’t any jobs, as the current unemployment rate would tend to suggest. No, it seems that people are staying on unemployment because they don’t want to take a lower paying job than the one they had. So the 4.5 million jobs that we are told is still currently short from when the recession began is just a misnomer. People are just lounging around taking it easy on the government dime. All of those foreclosures on homes was just people not wanting to pay back the banks. In a broad overview, it was just lazy people that caused the recession and almost a depression, wanting instead to live on ‘handouts’ from entitlement programs. How dare they.

Harry Hipps said...

talferris, I'm a bit short on time but... on the issue of unemployment I would agree. I do think that SOME do procrastinate on finding a new job during normal times but these times are not normal and the job creation is not there yet, so I would not cut that now.
As to privatizing some things such as retirement accounts, the deal we have now stinks (even if there aren't drastic cut to Social Security). the return on that program is poor and the return to young folks is awful. They may not even get a return on principle. while mandatory ira accounts may vary on return I still think they would be a better deal, could be passed on to your estate when you die, and certain restrictions could be in place to reduce risk (such as no allowing derivatives, no margin trading, ample diversification, etc. It would be your money and not an entitlement.
A role for some government oversight and possibly administration would be ok. As far as crooks like Huffman are concerned this was a private investment advisor, not government, but we can't 100% prevent crime. What he did was awful and wrecked the lives of numerous people including some friends of mine. This isn't a perfect answer but all you can do is be as vigilant as possible to monitor who you are doing business with and jail the criminals when they are caught. If we had more prosecutions of high level crooks like the ones that helped cause some of our current situation it would at least be some deterrent.

No system of any sort will solve everyone's problems and protect us from the knocks that come with life. And I don't subscribe to the notion of let everyone fend for themselves. But I believe the balance has tilted too far toward the nanny state and we need active and engaged citizens soberly running own lives and helping our communities more and less dictated from DC.

Anonymous said...

Precisely!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. No system will solve everyone’s problems. And…if the proposed cure is really no better than the one being given, why change simply for the sake of? Yes, certainly there are potential benefits to an individualized privatized account. But with potential benefit comes greater risk. There is never any guarantee on any investment. But people have to understand the money markets to understand how to manage their investment portfolio. That knowledge took me a while to acquire and then put in to practice, prior to that I allowed the account manager to invest the funds in typical portfolio investments. The yield was something in the 3% annual range. And let’s face facts, you can teach a lot of things, but intellectual capacity isn’t one of them. Either you have it or you don’t. I’m certainly not an intellectual powerhouse, but I don’t sit around and drool on a regular basis nor do I drag my knuckles when I walk upright. What I mean by that is, not everyone has the ability or the capacity to manage investments as would be necessary should the system change. And that doesn’t even address healthcare.

For me, The major concern is not a return on the investment, because I don’t think system was designed nor intended to be a lucrative investment strategy. It was exactly as the title of the program is called; Social Security. To provide for people in a time of advanced age when they could no longer or were able to work. When that program started, there was no such thing really as ‘retirement’, not as we know it today. You worked, you aged, and then you died. Life is what happened in between.