Showing posts from August, 2011

European Crisis. Who is on First?

Oligopolies: The Solution

I have been consistently complaining about the consolidation of industries in this country and the creation of oligopolies that are controlling more and more of our economy and thus destroying the free market system. Over the weekend I was asked what I recommend we do about it. Our government must carry out the laws of this land, including anti-trust laws that were created to prevent the destruction of free markets by private entities.For starters, the industries that need to be investigated include health insurance, banking, finance, mobile phone, Pharmaceutical and cable/communications. There will be more industries that will warrant investigation after further review. Campaign contributions by these oligopolies and large multinational companies are preventing congress and the president from investigating the destructiveness of these industries and companies. In our current political climate the only way to correct the problem is to amend the constitution to not allow contributi

Don't Ask! Don't Tell Economic Plan

America cannot have it both ways: expect consumer demand to pick up and have the wealth in this country concentrated in the top 10% of the population. What has gone wrong did not start in 2008. It started decades ago when the government instituted the first "don't ask, don't tell" policy; don't ask if free markets are being overtaken by oligopolies and don't tell that they are. Demand in the future cannot be fueled by debt. It needs to be fueled by a fairer distribution of income. Enforcing anti-tust laws against oligopolies will do this.

King's Economic Solution

"King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a re-evaluation of our values, a re-invigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens." Cornel West, a philosopher, is a professor at Princeton. New York Times, August 26, 2011 Agreed and here is a start.

Republican Making Some Sense

Here are some comments from Republican Senator Rubio, Florida, that finally makes some sense They are exerts from a speech he gave at the Reagan Library on August 24, 2011. It is refreshing "....The other thing is that we built a government and its programs without any account whatsoever for how we were going to pay for it...."  "....What we have now is not sustainable. The role of government and the role that government plays now in America cannot be sustained the way it is. Now some are worried about how it has to change, we have to change it. The good news is it is going to change. It has to change...."  "....And it is the proper role of government to invest in infrastructure. Yes, government should build roads and bridges, but it should do so as part of economic development as part of infrastructure. Not as a jobs program...."

Obama Falling In Polls | Why?

Obama promised change. Action speaks louder than words!. He promised health care reform and let Washington fight over the issue for a year before he got into the fray. He did nothing to reduce the control of the industry by the oligopoly that runs it and he did not sell it to the public. The result is a low approval rating and wide frustration over the plan. He rescued the banks and wall street, which he needed to do, but never aggressively prosecuted anyone at the major institutions causing the problems. He has allowed the banks to remain too big to fail and never enforced anti-trust laws against them. He gave the senior executives of wall street firms and mega-banks a tongue lashing; then attended a fund raising dinner for his reelection with the same executives putting up $40,000 each.

Politics | Pay To Play

“Texas politics does have this amazing pay-to-play culture,” said Harold Cook, a Democratic political consultant. New York Times, August 21, 2011  And you still believe there is no need for campaign reform in this country? Amend the Constitution.

Housing Crisis | Make The Culprits Pay

Updated August 23, 2011 "Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress." Bloomberg, August 22, 2011 Our civil legal system is set up so those who are harmed by someones actions can gain retribution from those who caused harm. Many homeowners have lost money and endured significant hardship as a result of the actions of wall street, Banks, regulators and rating agencies. Why are they not required to pay retribution to those who were injured? Why are

The Right Economic Plan


Repair Our General Welfare

The Preamble of the Constitution says: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." We need to address our general welfare including items that aide the country  in the pursuit of happiness by its' people. Historically, this meant the railroads, the interstate highway system, the flood control system along the Mississippi, the public education system, the Erie Canal, the Hoover Damn, our electrical grid, safe air transportation, our water and sewage systems, high speed internet, disaster relief and avoidance, the national weather service and free markets

Great Time For Public Investment

If we ignore the fact that we have high unemployment, we still need to repair our infrastructure, upgrade education, modernize airports, upgrade the internet, drill for oil, find alternative sources of energy.and more. We need to do these things for our "general welfare". We need to invest in the above for our future. The question is do we do it now or later. It seems to me we do it now. Interest rates are low and our workforce is underutilized. What are we waiting for?

Super Committee Contrived Deal?

Leave it to our politicians to work together to find a way for both sides to look good. Here is what they may have done. The Republicans will stick to their guns and not agree to any tax increase. This way the Tea Party remains happy. The Democrats moan but agree to a deal with no taxes and early next year Obama vetoes any attempt to extend the Bush tax cuts. If they only would spend as much time solving our problems.      

This Is The Same 2008 Crisis

Don't get confused. This is the sane crisis. Everyone is trying to figure out if this is a repeat of 2008. It is not; it is a continuation. Our government, including both the Bush and Obama administrations, did a spectacular job of reacting and pulling us quickly out of the grasp of a depression. The reaction was so quick we did not notice we were in a depression. This quick fix is now coming back to haunt us. Government is not focusing on a core issue needed to to solve the problem: job creation. It is like the world cannot handle two problems at once when in fact they are part of the same crisis. We need more jobs and we need to correct our over leveraged balance sheets. They are interdependent. One cannot be fixed without the other.

Cure For Bad Market | Rational Governance

For the market to stabilize the leaders of this country need to lead. They need to demonstarte they know what needs to be done and have a plan to do it. More

Boehner for Geithner

Boehner asks for Geithner's resignation. Let's make a trade, Boehner for Geithner. This is ridicules. The reason our debt rating has been downgraded is the republicans held the country hostage. This in turn caused S & P and the rest of the world to wonder about our leaders ability to lead. Perhaps Boehner should consider stepping down because he lost control of his party to a fringe element that were too ignorant to realize what they were doing. Boehner's statement is like the kettle calling the pot black. Both sides need to shut up and get the job done. Our leaders then set up the Super Committee that is destined to fail again. Quit looking for votes and bribes from "campaign contributors" and do your work. Read more Books on Topic     

Deficit Reduction Committee's Impossible Mission!

In a little over a 100 day time period the Deficit Reduction Committee must vote on a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. If we want this done in a rational manner , more time is needed.. August 16, 2011:   Deadline for Members of the Deficit Reduction Committee ( DRC ) to be appointed.  September 16, 2011 :  Date by which the DRC must hold its first meeting.  September 22, 2011 :  Deadline for Congress to consider a resolution of disapproval for first part of debt limit increase. October 14, 2011 :  Deadline for House and Senate committees to submit recommendations to the  DRC. November 23, 2011 :  Deadline for the DRC to vote on a plan with the goal of $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.  December 2, 2011 :  Deadline for the DRC to submit report and legislative language to the President and Congress.  December 23, 2011 :  Deadline for the House/Senate to vote on the DRC’s bill. 

Super Committee Membership Worth Super Bribes!

"Lobbyists scrambled Wednesday to figure out how to influence the new panel to protect the programs and tax breaks from which they benefit. Military contractors and health care lobbyists were particularly active, as they have the most to fear." New York Times, August 4, 2011 " In all, 619 different groups and corporations said they intend to lobby around the work of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known around Capitol Hill as the supercommittee. All of them mentioned the supercommittee or the legislation that created it in their mandatory third-quarter lobbying disclosure forms." NPR, October 2011.  ,   The goal of the new committee is to reduce  federal budget  deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The panel was given a deadline of Nov. 23, 2011. Any recommendations it must be voted on immediately by both chambers of Congress, with no filibusters or amendments allowed.

U.S. Debt: Are we maxed out?

The answer is no per Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman .  This is what the Democrats better be ready to talk about when they start asking for an increase in spending as part of a stimulus package. Click Image To Enlarge In 1933 the total debt-to-GDP ratio peaked at 300% and started to decline. In the 3rd quarter of 2009 the ratio was 370%. The question is can we raise it any higher without destroying the economy before the stimulus has a chance to stimulate. I don't have the answer; however, it would be interesting to hear from Paul Krugman and Robert Reich on the subject. (Please read Paul Krugman's response to worries about our debt.) This is what happened to the consumer before the housing bubble burst. He maxed out his borrowing power as his net worth decreased because of the drop in value of his home and then his income dropped. He had no place to turn. Is that where the country is today? Addendum August 6, 2011 Paul Krugman makes a good argument in the New

Investments In Our Future

Education | Infrastructure | Demolition of Abandoned & Dilapidated Buildings | High Speed Internet | Drill For Oil | Alternative Energy Sources | High Speed Rail Where Appropriate | Road Repair | Airport Upgrades | Add To The List

Protect Small Business From Big Business

‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices.’ (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776). "Small business creates most of the jobs." , Paul Ryan, Republican Congressman, Fox News Sunday, 8/7/11 Why is our government and conservatives not protecting small business from big business? Could it be that the large oligopolies are also large contributors to our politicians? What does the American auto industry, the health care industry, wall street firms and the banking industry all have in common; other than they were all on the brink of failure?

The Economy | Invest in Education!

When a financially struggling family has a child who is ready for college, they skimp elsewhere to make it happen. This makes sense for the future. The same is true of a nation. We need to invest in our future. Books on Topic