Showing posts from September, 2011

Bank of America & Debit Card Fees!

Bank of America is going to be charging a monthly service fee of $5.00 for using their debit card. This is in addition to the fees they collect from merchants. This would have been harder for them to do if the industry was not controlled by a small handful of large banks.The other large banks such as Wells Fargo, US Bank, Chase and others are sure to follow. Our government is not doing its job of enforcing anti-trust laws and it is costing all of us.  Read More:

Stimulus: Labor Must Contribute!

Our infrastructure needs repair and we need to create jobs. The jobs that are created are by design short term. The purpose of a stimulus is to increase consumer demand for goods and services so that business will add long term jobs to meet the demand. The end result is our upgraded infrastructure allows us to better  compete economically against the rest of the world.and our econmy recovers faster. The tax payer alone should not be paying for the stimulus. Members of labor unions and companies who are awarded contracts should respectively lower their profit margins and wage rates to help spur the economy and thus jobs. The result would be that the stimulus dollars provided by the government would allow more infrastructure repaired and expanded, more jobs created and an economy that will get healthier faster. The question is whether these three special interest groups, government, labor and business, can work together to solve the problem. More:

Retribution From Mortgage Crisis

The mortgage crisis is not solved partly because it is difficult to assign blame. The first reaction is to blame banks and wall street. However, many borrowers knew they were lying on their mortgage application and went into the transaction highly leveraged and financially stretched. They were counting on housing price increases to cover their over exuberance. They lost the bet. However, there were other innocent borrowers who put significant equity into the transaction and kept their payment at reasonable levels. They were innocent victims of the housing bubble caused by sub prime lending, which brought about an over supply of housing and causing housing values to fall.. These are the homeowners who have the clearest case against the banks, wall street and mortgage and real estate brokers without scruples. These are the citizens most justified in demanding some kind of retribution from the culprits. Here is a reasonable solution.

Twisting The Money Away!

The banks are still in trouble because of the sub-prime fiasco from which they never recovered.  In 2008 the Federal Reserve injected liquidity to save the industry and economy; however, the core problem still lingers: underwater mortgages that have not been fully written down on the banks books. Until the mortgage crisis is resolved, the banking crisis will not be resolved. The Fed's "Operation Twist" is not going to help much because it will not increase consumer demand enough to encourage the private sector to increase jobs. The consumer is scared. When the consumer is scared he hoards cash. The same is true with business. When they are not sure about the future, they do not invest in new plant and equipment. They stay liquid until they are certain that any money invested will provide a reasonable return in the future. Otherwise, they hang on to cash waiting for a brighter day. It does not matter that interest rates and prices are low; there is fear that they may

The Fed's Operation Twist

Time To Be An American! Fix The Deficit!

This is not a time to be a Democrat or Republican. It is time to be an American. We are addressing our deficit problem in a piecemeal fashion, rather than addressing it in total and finding the best solution possible. The focus for the Democrats is to raise taxes on the wealthy. The Republicans seek to reduce entitlements and other expenditures that would hurt the less wealthy the most. When a family has a budget problem it takes a comprehensive look at its budget and prioritizes what needs to be done. It starts looking at spending and decides what are necessities, luxuries and what is waste. The first cuts is waste and then whether to pursue more income to keep some of the luxuries and all the necessities.. From the outside looking in, I don't see our government doing this. Until we do, we will not have the right plan and the argument will continue. There is a divide in America between those who want a smaller government and those who want a more active, and

Class Warfare

Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee  said o n Fox News Sunday  the President's proposal to cut the deficit would  add “further instability to our system, more uncertainty, and it punishes job creation.” “Class warfare,” he said, “may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.” Class Warfare started over 25 years ago by looking the other way and not enforcing anti-trust laws,; thus  allowing oligopolies to be created.  The war escalated as these oligopolies bribed our politicians with "contributions". Therefore, Paul Ryan must be in favor of busting up oligopolies and outlawing campaign contributions by unions and corporations. Mr. Ryan is part of the ruling class and likes it. Class warfare started 25-years ago when the government adopted a  Don't Ask! Don't Tell Economic Plan . (   Class warfare started when Wall Street, banks and other oligopolies used their concentrated powe

Obama Potpourri

When is Obama going to give Hillary Clinton the acclaim she deserves? She has done a great job in the State Department. Acknowledge it. The Clinton's have been loyal and wonderful allies. Thank you Hillary. Obama is learning how to lead instead of follow. We paid dearly these past 30 months. The good news is he has learned on the job and now is not the time to toss it away to the Republican candidates who are seeking his job. There is only one candidate worth considering and it looks like Huntsman will not make the cut. The question is does Obama have the gonads to take on special interest or will he just talk the talk. Class warfare started over 25-years ago when government abdicated its responsibility and allowed large corporations to form oligopolies in our major industries.

Are Voters a Horses Ass?

The Republicans claim business is over regulated and over taxed. The fact is that small business is improperly regulated and improperly taxed. Fuhrer, no politician who wants to keep their job is going to say that prior and existing regulation of the banking  industry and wall street did/does a good job during the sub-prime fiasco. Republicans preach that small business is the creator of jobs and yet they do mothing to assure that anti-trust laws are enforced to protect small business from big business. The Democrats are guilty of the same thing,; however, this gives the Republicans no cover when looking out for the job creation machine. Yes, the tax code needs to be revised and yes some regulations need to be eliminated. Obama's stimulus is just that; an attempt to get the private sector going again by putting more money in the hands of the consumer by giving them jobs that will result in business gearing up to meet the demand for more consumer goods. The side b

Obama - Lead Don't Follow

“"If he believes in something, then he needs to stand for it,” said Dumas, the North Carolina independent who works in video production. “He needs to back it and not play both sides. It hasn’t really served him well.” Obama has pledged to stand firm on the jobs program. “This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. It’s about giving the American people a win,” he said at a jobs event in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday."" Bloomberg, September 14, 2011  Mr. President, your job is to lead and not follow the polls. Your jobs plan is the right one. Now your job is to convince the American public. Do not get caught holding your finger up to the wind. Instead, be relentless about your jobs package.  With or without a surge in jobs, we need to repair and build infrastructure for the future. It will simply makes us more competitive. Interest rates are low and we have an excess supply of labor. Improvement in employment numbers is an added bonus.  So keep

GO BIG: Do It Right So Do It Later.

The Super Committee is not super enough to "Go Big" now and as my Dad use to say "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all." There has been much skepticism whether the committee could find $1.5 trillion in cuts by their due date Why is everyone now pushing to have the Committee even go bigger? We need to reduce our debt substantially greater than $1.5 trillion; however, we need to do it with forethought. Our leaders need to show some leadership instead of getting up every morning and sticking their finger out the window to see what way the wind is blowing. The decisions that are made by the Super Committee will affect the country for decades to come. IT MUST BE DONE RIGHT! A few extra months to do it right makes sense..Here is an outline of what must be done:  

Stimulate & Plan Now

The Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas W, Elmendorf recently said, "There is no inherent contradiction between using fiscal policy to support the economy today and imposing fiscal restraint several years from now.” Per the New York Times "...However, Republicans were skeptical of that approach. Too often, they said, the additional spending, though labeled temporary, has become permanent, as with some provisions of the economic stimulus law adopted in 2009." New York Times, September12, 2011, by  ROBERT PEAR and JENNIFER STEINHAUER We the people are paying members of Congress to make the best decisions possible. If the right decision is to invest, stimulate, now and retract later then this is what they are obliged to do. Do your job! More:

Obama's Jobs To Do List

Stay on the road talking to the voters about the urgency of getting it done and implemented. Put Biden on the road and maybe Bill Clinton. Outwardly solicit ideas for prioritizing what jobs/projects to start working on. Get input from Congress, Industry, labor and economists. The decision should be based on the optimization of return on investment and the speed at which jobs can be created. Go down the list until the entire stimulus is used Consider having union members accept a temporary "below market" wage so more can be hired. Ubion members should be willing to help out other union members. Simultaneously, set up a structure to address the deficit problem. This is a good start. List to be expanded.   Please provide your ideas by sending in comments. Let's kick butt.

Why Super Committee Getting Super Duper

"Led by President Obama , pressure is building on the new Congressional committee on deficit reduction to “go big” — beyond its mandate to shave as much as $1.5 trillion from budget shortfalls over 10 years — even as doubts remain about the panel’s ability to find enough bipartisan agreement to meet even the original goal." New York Times, September 12, 2011 There is a push to have the Super Committee go for reducing the deficit from the original mandate of $1.5 trillion to $4 trillion. Sarcastically speaking, maybe the Super Committee should become a new branch of the federal government The committee exist because the House, Senate and President is not able to do their jobs. Our representatives know something "big", over the long run, must be done to overcome our budget problems; however, our current method of financing campaigns, by receiving "bribes" from large multinational companies, unions and oligopolies, prevents them from following through a

1,016 Days & Counting!

Originally Posted November 29, 2008 It is going to take at least 5-years to repair the damage done to the economy because of our excesses over the past 8-years. Too many homes were added to our housing supply because of easy credit granted to consumers who could not afford the home they were buying. Now because foreclosures resulting from poor credit decisions, we have an excess supply of homes on the market that has, and will continue to, put downward pressure on home prices. This trend will last for at least 5-years. Further, it will take sometime before homes will be viewed as a good investment. Houses will be purchased more for the shelter that they provide as opposed to a means of increasing wealth. To compound the problem, the demand for housing is not going to get much help from the demographic trends over the next 20-years.

Does A Stimulus Help?

Will investment in infrastructure result in the creation of new jobs and the reduction of unemployment? The answer is yes; however, will such investment result in long term jobs for the economy? The answer is maybe. Maybe is not a bad answer in this case. If you start with the premise that America has a future and the depression that we are in will end sometime, we will need to upgrade our roads and do other infrastructure work in order to compete in the future, it makes sense to do it now rather than later. Interest rates are low and  we have an excess supply of labor. We should take advantage of the movement. Further, the theory of a stimulus is that these new jobs, even if they are temporary, will increase the demand for goods and services throughout the economy. This in turn will result in other jobs, which will be more permanent. being created because of the need to add to staff to meet the new demand. If this happens the stimulus will have been successful.

Economic Hangovers Hurt

This was first published in  November 2008 We are at a watershed moment in our economic history. We are in a recession but the way we do business after the recovery will be different from the post-recoveries over the last 70-years. In the past, we worked our way out of a recession with the help of the federal government providing some kind of stimulus package. In one to three years, the economy was back on a growth track and there were no serious, long-term casualties. We continued to spend and consume as in the past. That was then and this is now. Our economy has too much debt. Our federal government is running record-breaking federal deficits and the American consumer is dangerously overextended with mortgage and consumer debt. This has happened at the same time as the value of his principal asset, his home, has fallen in value by 20 to 30 percent. Further, we have been transferring our wealth to oil producing countries at a rate of $700-billion per year and other nations are

Obama Job Plan | Beginning of Repair!

Action is now the key. In the next ten days Obama must take concrete, outward steps to begin doing what he said on September 8 to create jobs including investing in infrastructure, reducing needless regulation and creating a realistic long term plan to reduce the deficit. He then needs to communicate the progress, or set-backs, that occurred to implement the plan. The communication needs to be accurate and often. His biggest weapon against the opposition will be the citizens of this great nation. The public must hear and see signs that he is at work to accomplish what was laid out on September 8. Throw away campaign speeches. Instead talk about what is being done. This will bring about his reelection far quicker than any rhetoric that says why he should be reelected.

AT&T's Answer To Justice

The Justice Department decided against the merger of AT&T and T Mobile. AT&T is appealing the decision. "According to Senate records cited by Bloomberg news, AT&T spent nearly $12 million on lobbying efforts in the first half of this year, up 30 percent from a year earlier. The Center for Responsive Politics said that AT&T also gave more money to federal candidates this year than any other corporation." New York Times, September 2,2011