Much Criticism… But Is There a Solution?

I was reading yet another article this evening on the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and his ranting about increasing regulations in order to limit the ability of speculators to create a bubble that can throw the economy into crisis. As many of you can guess, I am almost never in favor of increasing regulations on anything. I think the government uses the words regulation to mean control, and not in a good way. And hearing the FED Chairman talk about it, as if the FED had nothing to do with the housing troubles we saw, was nothing more than another level of the blame game in my opinion. As I have often stated here, I am a smart guy, but I am not an economist. I understand economics, and my common sense fills in for those big words. But there are those who understand it better than I do on this site, so I hope they will offer their thoughts as well. The big question that I have at this point is whether there is a good solution to the problems we see in the economy?

You see, here is the thing. I level a lot of criticism at President Obama, and the President before him, for the way that they handle the situations that come up in government. I am opinionated, of that there is no doubt. Often when I level my criticism, I can see the inherent flaws and know there is a better way forward. The economy is no different. I level plenty of criticism at both Obama and the Democrats in Congress. I think they are paving the road to ruin for the economy. But here is the dilemma: Do the Republicans have any plan that would do any better in terms of reviving the economy, or making things better in any way? Forget about the parties, does anyone have a better solution to the economic troubles of this country? What would Mises do? We talk about a free market a lot. We all know I am a fan of it. Can a truly free market even be created at this point? What are the answers?

To start the conversation, I figured that I would offer some rehashed thoughts on the solutions being sought and also offer some thoughts on the solutions being discussed on this board in the past.

Regulation. This one irks me the most. For a couple of reasons. As I alluded to above, regulation is a very misused word in the world of political discourse. Those on the left on this site, who are not politicians, use the word in the way that we all think of it. But those in the federal government use the word regulation in a completely different way. They don’t mean that they want to actually regulate anything in the way the average American believes. When a politician uses the word regulation, they mean leverage, they mean control, they mean government manipulation instead of private entity manipulation. Because let’s be clear, if the government was really interested in stopping the speculation processes as they say, they would outlaw them. Instead they simply want to control them, to harness them for the power of bigger government.

Take the article on Bernanke asking for more regulation on Fox News today. Bernanke discusses the speculators as if they single-handedly created and then popped the housing bubble. And because these speculators are so dangerous to the economy, the government must step in and regulate them. But who will regulate the government? No one. And let’s not forget that Barney Frank and his cronies pushed Fannie and Freddie to make bad loans, which contributed to the problem. Let’s not forget that the FED kept interest rates low, which contributed to the problem. Let’s not forget that the entire United States Congress is in bed with the mortgage companies, getting sweetheart deals and kickbacks, all at the expense of consumer protection and consumer rights.

The President and the left have made a big case to the American people using the “Main Street versus Wall Street” bulldookey. All the while, the President received more campaign contributions from Wall Street than any other Presidential candidate in history. And do you really think those were simply contributions with no strings attached? Of course not. Those were investments in future considerations when regulations are put in place. No matter the regulation, the proper campaign contribution or political support can get you exempted in a hurry. After all we stepped in with tons of regulations to cure the problem of banks being too big to fail. Yet those same banks have done nothing but get bigger since the regulations. Odd isn’t it?

So the bottom line is that regulation is not going to do a single thing to actually regulate big business in America. IT isn’t meant to. It is meant to offer some control to the government in order to have big business have to pay to play in the American market. You want big bucks AARP? You better support health care reform. Regulations on tort abuse? Not as long as the lawyers of America are paying top dollar to fund Congressional campaigns. And the American people will continue to go along with the idea of regulation being a good thing because the reality is that the American people are operating with a far different definition of the word than the federal government is operating with. Regulation is out. It will not help our economy. It will not solve any problems in the big business world the way that many think it will.

Tax Cuts versus Tax Increases. Another dangerous game being played by federal representation (and I use that word very, very loosely at this point, because they only represent themselves). The Republicans want to have tax cuts, but it seems that their version of tax cuts really are only for the big businesses out there. I understand the logic, as the idea is to get more revenue staying in the hands of the producers and employers, who in turn hire and make the economy run. In theory this is a FAR better plan than the Democrats tax the rich philosophy. However, in practice, this is nothing more than the use of the tax code to manipulate the producers to do whatever government feels is right at the moment (IE: give tax breaks to Fannie in return for doing government bidding and doing more high risk loans). Because of this flaw in practice, the Republican plan is impotent. While it seemed more successful over the last 30 years (Reaganomics actually appears to have worked better than Clinton’s plan, for example), the reality is that it is simply government manipulation from the opposite perspective that the left operates from.

The Democrats, on the other hand, believe that increasing all taxes on the rich will fund everything and get the economy moving. I cannot claim to understand the logic on this one. It seems if you take money out of the hands of the producers and employers, you decrease jobs and opportunities that the businesses would otherwise provide. Additionally, I still have yet to hear a coherent argument that overcomes the fact that no matter what you do to big businesses or the wealthy, they pass those costs on to the consumers. Either way, the wealthy don’t pay. Most Americans don’t seem to understand this flaw in the left’s plan. I really just want to hear one sane argument that refutes this. But the bottom line is that this is simply government manipulation of the people and the wealthy in order to further government control.

Bottom line, the tax increase for the wealthy versus tax decrease for the wealthy is nothing more than a shell game the politicians play in order to manipulate the will of the American people. Both sides pretend to have the people’s interests at heart while actually doing nothing but increase government control and scope. It does nothing to solve the problems we are seeing in our economy.

Free Market. Oh, how I love the concept of the free market. Ideally, this is how the world economy would run. In theory, there is nothing more pure, nothing more fair, and nothing more successful than the completely free market. Unfortunately, there is also nothing more fictional. A free market has not existed for a VERY long time (which makes the inane arguments that a free market got us into this trouble moot). And a free market is not going to exist, perhaps ever again. Because so long as government remains large and bloated, a free market cannot exist. As long as a large portion of the population can be convinced that big business will screw the world without government regulating them (while simultaneously having hidden from them the fact that big business wouldn’t have that ability without government intervention), a free market will never return.

I guess I question at this point, whether a free market, if it were to return, would actually have the effect that many of us who champion the idea want to believe. I think pricing mechanisms and opportunity would do what we expect, but what about everything else? At least in the short term, unemployment would skyrocket. I would imagine that 80% of government jobs would disappear in a truly free market. 90% of lobbyist jobs would disappear in a free market. Could a truly free market create enough opportunity to not only solve the unemployment problems that we see today, but also find employment for the tens of millions of government workers suddenly without a job? I certainly think we have to ask that question.

And what of big business. We certainly saw their abuses during the 19th century, which led to the great intervention from government in the first place. Would that return. If it did, would a highly communicative society likes today’s be enough of a solution or deterrent to stop them? Does bad press really doom a big, powerful company. Heck, we cannot even organize a boycott of an oil company owned by Chavez. How would we control a Microsoft? Sure a business that whips its employees or has a mandatory policy saying the boss gets to sleep with any employee’s spouse they like would be egregious enough to get people to act. But what about a company deciding that they want to move a facility into an area that would harm the neighboring properties? Would anyone hold that company accountable that wasn’t directly affected? I tend to think not.

So the free market is out. Unless we can define a market that actually CAN hold the giant companies accountable, the idea is a great theoretical plan that doesn’t work in practice. But more important, the free market idea is out because the switch to it can never happen in today’s political climate, and even if it could, the initial period after the switch would be too painful for the American people to tolerate. We are too lazy and taken care of to work that hard.

Conclusion. So I guess the point is that while I am not happy with the way that either the Democrats or the Republicans are attempting to “fix” the economy, I am not sure that I have a better answer. I will still oppose some things. I won’t support the plan from the left because it is much further out of line with my principles than the right’s plan. Plus, I cannot say yes to jumping off the cliff simply because I haven’t been offered a better solution yet. I still know the jump will kill me. I will search for a better way rather than accepting my answer from either side and leaping to my death. You don’t have to have a better plan to know that the plan in front of you is bad.

The one thing that I can see working would be a massive reduction in the role of the federal government. With that massive reduction would come a massive reduction in the federal and state income taxes that get collected. I read a report once that said that the major functions (police, fire, military, roads) could be accomplished on roughly 5% of the tax actually collected in the United States. I don’t know how accurate that figure is, but it sounds realistic to me. So how about a 5% income tax across the board? And with it, no social security, no welfare, no health care, no public education, no foreign aid (and no offensive military actions), no EPA, NSA, CIA, FBI, FED, DHS, no nothing. Federal government provides the four things above, and nothing else, and the tax is equivalent to paying for those four things, and cannot go above 5% for anyone. It seems simple. I know I have also read something like 13%, but I forget what that covered. Either way, a single, greatly reduced number.

I cannot claim my idea is without flaws, which I am sure you will all point out. But it certainly seems a hell of a lot better than the charade that the federal government has us living under right now. It is easy to be critical of everything the federal government does. We can see all the flaws, but what are OUR solutions?

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Comments

  1. Posting for comments, far too early to think, LOL.

    G!

    • USW: I like your ideas in your last paragraph. If we could limit government to defense only and nothing else, you really would not need a House or Senate. I don’t think a Supreme Court would be needed and the President’s only function would be Commander In Chief. No offensive wars means that we pull out of the middle east and probably should pull out of NATO and from most forward deployed bases around the world. Defense would mean protection of our 50 states plus territories. That would be VDLG.

      I’ll check back later and read some of the other posts. I’ve got a snow blower to repair.

  2. TexasChem says:

    Shamelessly stolen from Herman Cains’ website…

    Here are three suggestions that would get this country out of a recession in 12 months, not that the Democrats will listen or even consider any of these ideas. These are not original ideas. They are just great ideas from several sources that Congress and the president are ignoring because they would result in less government control.

    The reason that we would be out of the recession in 12 months is that businesses would get excited and start planning to grow their business instead of making plans to just survive. It’s just that simple. The prospect of bigger government and more taxes does not inspire businesses to grow.

    Here’s the solution.

    Suspend the payroll tax for one year. This gives an immediate 7.65 percent increase in take home pay to all workers. It also lowers the payroll costs for all employers by 7.65 percent for one year. A total of about $900 billion would be injected directly into the economy immediately, rather than through the inefficiency of the federal government.

    The big-government types will say that it will hurt the already revenue-strained Social Security and Medicare systems. They are right. But it just means that we will have to solve those oncoming financial train wrecks one year earlier than currently projected. Facing these challenges with a healthy economy makes a whole lot more sense than trying to do it in the middle of a recession.

    Suspend the federal tax on repatriated profits. Multi-national U.S. businesses are hungry for cash flow, which could come from cash they have sitting in foreign countries in order to avoid double taxation. The last time this was only partially done, in 2005 during the Bush administration, nearly $300 billion dollars came back to U.S. businesses from their overseas operations.

    Replace the tax code with a consumption tax, popularly known as the Fair Tax. This would produce a huge sucking sound of businesses from around the world wanting to establish businesses here in the U.S. It would super-charge our economy like never before. The problem that the Democrats have with this proposal (H.R. 25) is that it gives power back to the people. What a patriotic idea!

    Instead of secretly planning another economic stimulus flop, the Democrats could take these ideas and call them their ideas. Most of us do not care who gets the credit as long as this economy gets the results.

    The recession could be over if they would just listen.

    • Tex,

      A good find! Makes sense, so there is no chance our government (either party)would consider. Let me add to this, drill, baby drill. Include expansion of nuclear and other power plants. Cheap energy would drive a return of manufacturing and reduction of unemployment.

      • What an awesome idea!!! Not to mention the JOBS the nuke plants would create. Unfortunately we’re only interested in creating Gov’t jobs. I see a grossly expensive TSA run by the Gov’t with SEIU providing benefits. The current crisis calls for it.

        • Wow, someone finally liked one of my ideals! Thank you, very much. I keep remembering the industrial revolution,
          the economy of Germany and the US during WWII, and thinking we could regain that level of growth if we just made energy abundant, therefore cheap, prosperity would follow.

          Given, it would be short term if our government did not change course, it would still be a necessary part of any solution.

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – I think you’re pretty close to ‘on the money’ with respect to regulation. I will tend to favor more than most here, but I am also the ‘jaded regulator’. I’ve seen more than my share of supposed upstanding auditors ‘look the other way’ because they weigh the risk in their minds of reporting a material issue versus losing an annuity client that pays for their beach house or for the kids to each have their own Nanny until they’re 18. We have also seen gross incompetence on the part of regulators who fail to enforce ‘plain and simple’ laws right in front of them – it is those folks who make it real tough for me to sell others on the value of safeguards. As a technology guy I know there is a way to automate much of what I would see as regulation or safeguards – I also know there is little appetite to do so and there will always be someone who is “root”.

    Am interested in how the other contributors here:

    1. Define “Free Market”

    2. Has it ever really existed?

    3. How would it exist today (considering specifically globalism)?

    4. The big “IF” – if it were adopted – how do you adopt it? Slow roll or a slam dunk?

    Thanks and Happy New Year to all.

    ~Ray

    “The Kinder Gentler Statist” 🙂

    • Ray:

      Hope your holiday was great my dear “Kindler Gentler Statist”. You got me chuckling right out of the chute today my friend.

      1. Free Market: Trade between individuals made on their terms without coersion from anyone, especially govt. Very similar to the concept of Fair Market Value which depends on Free Markets.

      2. Yes it has existed. It usually appears during periods of major changes in political structures. Our history teachers tell us these were periods of chaos and anarchy but free markets developed quickly. As those who seek power regained their footing and established the next Statist mechanism, free markets would quickly disappear.

      It exists in the Black Markets around the world. It existed in N. America between all the natives.

      3. It could exist in the USA even if the world does not change. You and I would be free to trade with whom we please. If you trade with China and they decide to screw you on the deal that is your problem. Should have seen it going into the deal. No USA Govt intervention on your behalf to bale you out.

      4. A National Free Market requires a free people. There in lies the answer to your question. I prefer the fast roll. Say a conversion over 10 years. First comes Constitutional protections to assure the conversion. Next comes planned reductions in federal expenditures, like 5% per year. We can convert faster than most because there is some memory and structure for such a system. I don’t think we would slip into the criminal chaos of say, Russia.

      What is missing to make it possible is a serious plan to replace the true protections against coersion by immoral business people. Stuff like pollution and product safety. We need a privatized alternative that can be shown to work. I think the mechanisms to move to a free market are much easier than most think. The hard part is the change in psychology of the consumer. Taking the time to make sure you are buying from someone who is reputable as opposed to relying on someone you have never met to look out for your best interests. It is a paradigm shift.

      Hope this gets your thinking kicked up a notch. I am betting that you are correct in your assumption that technology could address much of the problems you have seen. But we need to figure out how to put that in private hands and not the govt. Wouldn’t investors want solid and honest information?

      By the way. We can’t ignore the connection between the federal tax burden and problems with a free market protection. If eveyone wasn’t so under the gun financially they might not be putting as much in the stock market. When you can’t just save for retirement you start to gamble.

      If there was less money being handed to unknown third parties perhaps there wouldn’t be as much lazy, sloppy, corrupt manipulations. Perhaps?

      Best to you this day.
      JAC

      • Hey JAC…happy new year to you, my friend. I want to KNOW where this global warming is….we are supposed to be near ZERO this Thursday….this is Texas for crying out loud.

        JAC says: We need a privatized alternative that can be shown to work.

        D13 responds: How do you make the privatized alternative fire proof against corruption and bribery? I like the idea but I wonder how to implement it without a guardian….which is a government or form of it. I like it…but how to do it.

        JAC says: The hard part is the change in psychology of the consumer. Taking the time to make sure you are buying from someone who is reputable as opposed to relying on someone you have never met to look out for your best interests. It is a paradigm shift.

        D13 confirms: I agree totally here. It takes the individual to change. I have my merchants that I buy from and those that I refuse…even if it is cheaper. It is not hard to find out who owns what. But, I think that most people will be lazy. We have created a populace of entitlement. How to change this?

        Hope things are going well for you. Have a great day….

        D13

        • D13,

          Kids got their Happy New Year with a snow day, nine degree’s tonight, more white stuff Thursday. I’ve been looking for that warming myself.

          (How do you make the privatized alternative fire proof against corruption and bribery?)

          You don’t, it will never happen with human beings running things.

          (I like the idea but I wonder how to implement it without a guardian….which is a government or form of it. I like it…but how to do it.)

          Agree, and have vague thoughts. First, the media is supposed to report, fourth estate, etc, and clearly have not and will not. Could the government roll be limited to investigating and reporting facts only? This would have to include them being open to investigation.

          Myself, I would favor a slow death of nearly all government agencies. Sell some to private business (post office). Others, reduce their funding and limit their authority to advisory services, such as FDA & EPA.

          I think a slow, systematic evolution (10-20 years)would educate people and allow/require them to become more self-sufficient.

        • D13

          Dear Colonel, it has been a balmy 40 something with rain showers here in western Montana. Even warmer in parts of Idaho.

          Global warming is you see, a matter of perspective.

          By the way, no organization can be created that is immune to graft or corruption. Unless of course you want to hand it all over to the machines. But then who gets to program the machines?

          So given that universal truth, who would you rather deal with? Govt with its monopoloy on the use of its power to destroy you, or the private company?

          Think I’ll go out and get a little sunburn while your thinking on that one.

          Just kidding. Its now cloudy and trying to decide whether to snow or rain some more.

          JAC

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            JAC,

            LOCAL warming is a matter of where the jet-stream is.

            When the “Siberian Express” hits the “Midwest” and the East Coast, generally the jet-stream swings WAY North over the western 20% of the US, which makes California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Western Montana, etc. all nice and warm (though ususally wet).

            Then, somewhere around mid-Montana, the jet-stream takes a HUGE swing due-South, allowing polar air to spill into the Eastern 80% of the US, and causing freezing temps down into Texas and even parts of Florida.

            Be happy that you are on the warm side of the Siberian Express route 🙂

            • Kristian Stout says:

              I’m in Florida and it’s supposed to be in the 20’s every morning this week, global warming my a$$;)

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          “D13 responds: How do you make the privatized alternative fire proof against corruption and bribery? I like the idea but I wonder how to implement it without a guardian….which is a government or form of it. I like it…but how to do it.”

          D13, I hate to burst your bubble, but…

          How do we currently make things fire proof against corruption and bribery? The answer is, we DON’T.

          No matter what system we choose to employ, bad people are ALWAYS going to do bad things. Sorry, that is life.

          In a free market, people very quickly find out who the bad people are, and learn to avoid them. In the current market, which is not free, many of the bad people have control over the market, and have things regulated in such a way that they have free license to screw people over, and we are supposed to like it.

          In a free market, you must do your homework and get a pretty strong feel for who you are dealing with. In cases involving outright theft, fraud, or malfeasance, you would still have legal recourse to obtain recompense for losses, and the system would be much more open than what we currently have.

          There isn’t ANY system that will prevent everyone from getting screwed. At least in a free market, people tend to find out very quickly who is dishonest, and people learn not to deal with people like that very fast.

          • No bubble burst here…that was my point..it cannot be done. However, doesn’t the assumption of legal recourse fly i the face of your VDLG? Would not the free market philosophy also follow that courts are also the form of gov’t that creates the abuse of power? Or am I getting that wrong?

            • Correct, D13.

              The Court – as we know them today – is the government’s monopoly on justice, and like all government monopolies, exists to extend the power of government and not just at all.

              One only needs to see how the courts hold up the goverment’s plea of “national security” to avoid just restitution to citizens.

              Justice, like all goods and services, is best served by a free market system.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Too add to what BF said here, a free society with a free market is not necessarily DEVOID of laws and justice.

              However, the laws have to come from Natural Law, and the justice has to be REAL justice, not the crap that we have now.

        • “D13 responds: How do you make the privatized alternative fire proof against corruption and bribery? I like the idea but I wonder how to implement it without a guardian….which is a government or form of it. I like it…but how to do it.”

          Competition is the fire proof. The only reason the government “gets away” with corruption and bribery is because it does not allow any other alternative. What free person would willingly choose an arbiter or court that was known to be corrupt or accept bribes when there were alternatives available?

      • Pretzel 73 says:

        Jac,

        You are correct. I have been working on the “black market” for almost three years. Wish I would have discovered sooner. My customers are happy and this is the best living I have ever made. It works if you can provide a service at far less than the so called market value. It is pretty easy to do with no govt. involved. Word of mouth by customers is a great tool.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks for the response JAC – as I have no grass to mow I had to go hit the gym and contemplate – get blood flowing that coffee could not. Am still and maybe always will struggle a bit to wrap my head around this – a/the fear is partially in how do we know what we don’t know? How does one know what the right questions are to ask to ensure you are not trading with someone with less than honorable intentions? Trial and error seems dangerously haphazard but perhaps that is best how one learns.

        • Ray:

          You will never know everything you need to. And sometimes you will fall victim to a crook. But here is the difference.

          With Govt, as we have, the crook gets away with it up to the point where the govt has defined “legal” behavior. If the crook crosses the line and gets caught then the govt gets paid in fines and jail time. You get nothing.

          Without govt, once the crook is exposed you can take him to court and get some form of restitution or repayment. You get everything, the govt gets nothing.

          Lets all keep in mind that the devil is in the details. And we have not begun to flesh out the details of the system we propose. I believe it is workable based on history and my own experiences. But the key question is the morality of man himself. If we are not capable then we are simply the outliers. The crazy live free folks that may comprise the seed stock for future generation but not those in control today.

          Off to gym myself.
          Back in 1 to 2 hrs.
          JAC

        • “How does one know what the right questions are to ask to ensure you are not trading with someone with less than honorable intentions? Trial and error seems dangerously haphazard but perhaps that is best how one learns.”

          I would look more to the seller rating system on Ebay for an example. In a free society one’s reputation is a valuable possession.

          I would imagine that other independent boards would spring up to offer “seller certifications” and the like, and then people would prefer to deal with those who have quality certifications. “Bad” behavior results in the organization revoking the certification/membership/what have you. Reduces the evaluation of millions of individuals to perhaps dozens of organizations, which makes the whole process manageable.

    • Pretzel 73 says:

      Ray,

      1. NO government involvement.

      2. not since 1850 or before

      3.Probably can’t, why would govt. give up their power? This model would work for all working people. The non-contibuters(ones living off of govt. entitlements) would have to change;earn an income.

      4.Instantly

    • Ray…I actually prefer the slam dunk way. Get it done, pick up the pieces and go forward.

  4. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The ONLY thing that actually works is a free market. Until people are willing to take the steps necessary to allow it to happen, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to “fix” the economy.

    You cannot fix a leaky pipe with a broken wrench.

    Would a transition to a free market involve lots of temporary upheaval and change? Certainly. One thing that USW misses is that the mega-corporations use government to obtain the regulations that they need in order to survive and stamp out smaller, more efficient competitors. The mega-corporations are going to fight tooth and nail against any effort to bring about a true free-market, because they know that for them it will likely mean extinction. In a free-market, the mega-corporations would be dinosaurs. Very large, very powerful, but very unable to adapt to changing conditions. They do not want to be extinct.

    There is far too much of the attitude of, “This is the way that things are and people are far to lazy to accept any sort of change if it involves effort on their part.” Now is the time to start making changes. I will not be an alarmist and say that if we do not start now it will be too late, for it is never really “too late” as long as people populate the planet. However, as bad as the economy is right now, and as many people are convinced that both “big business” and “big government” are bad things, I would say that the iron is pretty hot so striking before it cools down generally isn’t a bad idea.

    There is ABSOLUTELY no solution which will simply make things better. No matter WHAT happens, there will be some hardships to endure before things improve. With that in mind we might as well make sure we move to a system where things WILL ACTUALLY IMPROVE, since we are going to go through hardships regardless!

  5. Good Morning Everyone,

    The whole economic area is one of reading and learning for me, but I too cringed when I heard the Bernanke need more regulation hype. Bulldookey! (Don’t you miss Esom?)

    This is the best paragraph in your entire post:

    “The one thing that I can see working would be a massive reduction in the role of the federal government. With that massive reduction would come a massive reduction in the federal and state income taxes that get collected. I read a report once that said that the major functions (police, fire, military, roads) could be accomplished on roughly 5% of the tax actually collected in the United States. I don’t know how accurate that figure is, but it sounds realistic to me. So how about a 5% income tax across the board? And with it, no social security, no welfare, no health care, no public education, no foreign aid (and no offensive military actions), no EPA, NSA, CIA, FBI, FED, DHS, no nothing. Federal government provides the four things above, and nothing else, and the tax is equivalent to paying for those four things, and cannot go above 5% for anyone. It seems simple. I know I have also read something like 13%, but I forget what that covered. Either way, a single, greatly reduced number.”

    Now, how to get there. It won’t be fast and it won’t be easy, but our first opportunity for change is THIS YEAR! There are several battlefronts that we can be working on: 1. seeking out candidates for November on the Federal level that understand this concept and are willing to go to Washingon with the purpose of working to put themselves out of a job (yeah, I know, a tough concept, but those that are not true politicians but rather concerned citizens willing to step up for a few years to do just this are a possibility) 2. Work to stop and minimize the crap that is coming down the pike, like healthcare, by getting individual states to step up and say “no thank you”. Thirteen AG’s are already on this. Also, watching Cap & Trade and Illegal Immigration. 3. Get involved where ever and whenever you can. It’s often been recommended that we start locally and this makes sense, but some of the state and federal issues cannot be ignored. If you’ve not yet attended a tea party, commit to doing so this year.

    We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, and no doubt some tough times for our country, but we can’t become complacent ever again.

    • v. Holland says:

      I am very happy about the AG’s getting involved-we are always so busy blaming the Federal government-I think we give our State government a pass-they have allowed the Federal gov. to get control over the years because they haven’t fought for State rights-I’m thinking our greatest power rest in controlling our State government and having them fight the federal government. Look at Texas, from what I’m been reading they are a good model,which would be a good start. Just think if every state had to have a balanced budget-they would fight really hard against all the give away policies of our federal government.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @ Kathy – what happened to Esom? I missed some weeks here and there so maybe I missed something?

  6. USW…..I see a huge problem here….there is a lot to be said about a free market and I tend to agree with Peter that it is the best way to go. I have found only one definition of a free market that I can get around: Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

    This is pretty text book and even reasonable. But, I fear, that the free market will NEVER be allowed to work. To have a truly free market means that the government will have to give up power and control. It is a great fantasy to dream about but unless you can get a majority of the world to adopt it…..it never will happen. A free market also rewards the productive….those who provide goods and services and does not reward the lazy and unproductive. Since the WORLD and the United States seems to thrive on entitlements, the free market will not be allowed to prosper. So, the question is, how do we get to a free market without armed insurrection ( which I will never support )civil disobedience ( which I will never support unless it is totally peaceable..ie. no burning buildings, cars, riots), or violation of law that will get you thrown in jail.

    I can see only one way. we have to change the makeup of our government. I only see one way to do that and that is through the ballot box and to even do that, there has to be candidates that support the theory of a free market system that can actually influence our governing procedures. I hate the idea of bigger government but given the circumstances of today…now….what is the alternative? Refuse to pay taxes? That is the best way…do not provide the government with revenue but we all know that cannot happen. I doubt that there is anyone on this blog that will refuse to pay taxes and go to jail….so what is left other than the ballot and new blood? People can yell all day that voting means nothing but there is no other way that I can see.

    Every one knows that to spur an economy it needs capital and money. But you cannot print the money with out creating inflation and a weakening of the dollar on the world market. We are a laughing stock now. Every socialist country out there is shaking their collective heads and wondering why we have strayed from what made us the greatest country in the world….they have all tried the government control and found that it does not work and here is the greatest country in the world doing what everyone else failed to do. Makes one want to bang his head into a brick wall.

    Lower the taxes and let the independent work. Do not allow bailouts as there is no one…REPEAT…no one that is too big to fail. Let them fail and let the dollar do what it needs to recover and it matters not that tens of thousands of people lose their pensions in the process…. like business, that was the gamble they took. There should be no aces, straights, and flushes in business. Quit funding unemployment and giveaway programs and let the dollar strengthen. Quit supporting regimes overseas with our dollars. Bring our troops home. No more trade imbalances….equal trade dollar for dollar.

    However, it is inevitable, because for countries to trade….there must be government. Hell, even business is governing. The military and the Department of Defense considers me to be a logistical expert of sorts and I cannot fathom the logistical nightmare there would be, given the circumstances of today….unless we went back to the dark ages. With a totally free enterprise system with NO regulation and no laws and no government….it would still create monopolies and power structures.

    So, I do not know the answer other than change the direction and thinking of our own government.

    • D13:

      My dear Colonel, your positions of the past few days remind me of when I place huckleberries, banannas, yogurt and vanilla ice cream in a container. Each by itself is delicious with a unique taste. But when I turn on the blender, which lies under the container, all I get is a purple mess that tastes the same no matter how I try to separate the flavors.

      You are I fear, in a very dangerous place regarding your philosophies. I urge you to slow down a bit with regard to reaching conclusions. Right now some are not matching up with the philosophies you claim to support, such as Liberty.

      Lets tackle one simple one. “We are a laughing stock now. Every socialist country out there is shaking their collective heads and wondering why we have strayed from what made us the greatest country in the world….they have all tried the government control and found that it does not work and here is the greatest country in the world doing what everyone else failed to do. Makes one want to bang his head into a brick wall.”

      First one must realize that we have had a “government controlled system” for over 100 years and that our supposed “great wealth” was created under such a system. But therein lies the rub, or the hidden question if you will. Now can you identify the real question?

      Second, we can not blame the current administration for any of the major ills we currently suffer. The majority of the money printed by them has not even hit the market place. It is in fact a ticking bomb but as yet is not exploded.

      Now lets address one key item: “However, it is inevitable, because for countries to trade….there must be government.” Sorry, but wrong on two fronts.

      First, governments are not needed for “individuals” to trade with each other. Regardless of where they are located.

      Second, and most importantly, countries can not trade with each other unless they have something to trade. Something the “country” owns. To apply such a term implies that government=country. Since govt can not produce property it can only trade that which it steals. Thus your acceptance of the hypothesis that govt is needed for individuals among countries to trade is an acceptance of government and all that comes with it.

      Now your turn. Please explain why govt is needed for me to trade with Igor in Moscow, Russia?

      One last thing: You said……”So, the question is, how do we get to a free market without armed insurrection ( which I will never support )civil disobedience ( which I will never support unless it is totally peaceable..ie. no burning buildings, cars, riots), or violation of law that will get you thrown in jail.”

      You have just admitted to the govt that you will never be a real threat to its existance. It has no reason to be concerned with you………REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT DECIDES TO DO TO YOU.

      Is that really true?

      • Ahhhh… A test….. I like tests.

        JAC says: First one must realize that we have had a “government controlled system” for over 100 years and that our supposed “great wealth” was created under such a system. But therein lies the rub, or the hidden question if you will. Now can you identify the real question?

        D13 says: My reference to the greatest country is relative, JAC. I cannot see where one Republic (Country) created the wealth that we did and the power we have in a short 250 years. THIS is all I am pertaining to but I do understand your point. I am afraid that I fall on the side of…to the victor the spoils…and I do not mean that militarily. Like mercantilism, I have no problem with going into one country for their resources and making their life better with schools, roads, etc. Is that not a form of trade? We give you this for that? Who determines what free trade is?

        JAC says: Second, we can not blame the current administration for any of the major ills we currently suffer. The majority of the money printed by them has not even hit the market place. It is in fact a ticking bomb but as yet is not exploded.

        D13 says: Quite the contrary. I can and do blame the current administration in this instance. They are continuing and not changing the current policy. They are doing nothing different. Establishing the framework and extending and increasing the budget and the deficit and the debt, even though the money has not hit, sends a signal out there. It is a smoking time bomb, as you say, but it will go off. Taking one bad policy and extending it under the disguise of “I have no choice” is incomprehensible.

        JAC says: First, governments are not needed for “individuals” to trade with each other. Regardless of where they are located.

        D13: My post, sir, was to the reality of the situation. IF the United States decided all of a sudden to just drop the current system and you and I decided to do free trade…today, with Tahiti for the new string bikinis……the reality is that we still have to deal with government…theirs, not ours. The reality of free trade is a pipe dream as far as the world is concerned….however….I will acquiesce to your theory and philosophy, that if all things are equal…then government would not be necessary. THAT I will agree with you on. But this is not possible….not in our life time or yours or my kids or grandkids.

        JAC says: Second, and most importantly, countries can not trade with each other unless they have something to trade. Something the “country” owns. To apply such a term implies that government=country. Since govt can not produce property it can only trade that which it steals. Thus your acceptance of the hypothesis that govt is needed for individuals among countries to trade is an acceptance of government and all that comes with it.

        D13 agrees: Again..I agree with you given all things equal. I understand completely where you are coming from and I can agree with it…PROVIDED..there is no government on either end. You are correct that the country owns the resources…BUT, if that country has a government, the reality is…the government may not own it but with the tariffs and taxes and control of territorial waters…they own it.

        JAC says: You have just admitted to the govt that you will never be a real threat to its existance. It has no reason to be concerned with you………REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT DECIDES TO DO TO YOU.

        D13 says: Yes sir, that is correct. I have told the government that I will not use armed insurrection to enforce free trade. I have also said that I will not burn buildings or riot or use destructive force for free trade. That is not enough to get me to load up and go. It is going to take more than that. I do have my breaking point but it is not free trade.

        I am somewhat confused…however. You and others claim that you will not use force to impose your will. So, if you perceive it to be ok for armed insurrection for free trade, do you not violate your own core beliefs? Or do you separate the individual from that of government. It is ok to do one and not the other. Have I missed something else here?

        JAC asks: Is that really true?

        D13 responds: It is really true as it pertains to free trade. However, I do have a breaking point. Just have not reached it yet. Besides, that is also a moot point. To overthrow a government, you will have to have the military. Citizen uprising is not going to happen with our entitlement and it is “somebody else” problem mentality.

        But…my powder is dry and weapons are ready. I think you know this already. The subject matter is free trade.

        Now, come after my Dr Pepper…you have a fight. 🙂

        • D13:

          Based on this answer “Like mercantilism, I have no problem with going into one country for their resources and making their life better with schools, roads, etc. Is that not a form of trade? We give you this for that? Who determines what free trade is?”, I would say you have still missed the hidden question. You have also compounded the problem. So lets deal with these two first.

          One, our “nations” great wealth is not real in the truest sense. It is not an unencumbered wealth as true wealth would be. It is a “perception” of wealth created by govt controls. Primarily contol of monetary policies which created false growth and thus “perceptions” of greatness with a big fat I.O.U. attached on the backside of the sales receipt. It is “inflation”.

          Our modern wealth is also undoubtedly the result of our virtual monopoly on industrial power after WW II. Now couple that with the expansionist monetary policy and hidden imperialistic/mercantilistic tendancies and you have supercharged I.O.U.’s.

          Two, mercantilism is the antithesis of Free Trade. Just as fascism and socialism. For your example, if I made a deal with some villagers to exchange school books and one year of teaching for 100 tons of coconut then that is a free market trade. Of course, you would be free to offer them the same service for 50 tons of coconuts and they would be free to trade with you instead of me. Under mercantilism I would use the power of govt to prevent you having access to the natives or would tax the hair right off your coconuts, making your trade unacceptable to you. And if you prevailed I would have the govt send the Navy to sink your damn coconut ships or give your coconuts to the govt in taxes. Which they in turn would give me back half for helping bring the whole thing to their attention.

          My points regarding this administration is that WE can not blame them entirely for the way the world is laughing or treating us right now. They may be contributing and YES they could have taken different action but it would have made little difference as of TODAY. Tommorrow is a different matter. And by that I mean the next few months.

          I do not care whether some other govt is involved in my trade with Igor. That is my decision to make as a free man. If I think the reward justifies the risk and hassle then I might make a go of it. However, it is unacceptable for MY govt to impose itself on me and my decisions regarding trade. That is an attack on my freedom and liberty. We do not need everyone to be free. While it would be nice, I am only concerned about my freedom. Which coincidentaly also means my efforts to secure my freedom also work to secure yours.

          I am sorry to see your comments regarding insurrection were limited to free trade. For you see, free trade requires a free man. It comes with Liberty as its siamese twin. If you will not fight for free trade then you are saying you will not fight for your own freedom.

          I recognize and agree that now is not the time for such action. I am only pointing out that you cannot separate the two concepts of true freedom and free trade.

          And if the time comes I promise I will NOT propose a battle cry of Give Me Free Trade or Give Me Death.

          Before I forget, a big shout out to Boise State.

          JAC

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      D13,

      The government may be changeable, but it certainly will not be amenable to change.

      The absolute best thing to do is to ignore the government and operate as if it did not exist whenever and wherever possible.

      You cannot avoid paying taxes entirely. However, there is a LOT that you can do that will minimize your requirement to pay them. For example, create your own free market. If a few of your friends know how to slap a new roof on a house, and one friend is good at fixing cars, and a couple of guys are good with computers, and a few guys hunt and fish a lot, and one guy has a few acres he isn’t doing much with and will let you all have some garden space, then you can get yourself fed, have a computer, have a working car, have a roof on your house, etc. all without government intervention.

      Form small groups where everyone has a basic skill-set that will contribute something, and you can get a TON of stuff done for the cost of materials and a few cases of beer (of Dr. Pepper or whatever :))

      Find a Doctor that will take cash for basic services and set aside money in a health savings account while you still can. Hopefully even if the “health reform” BS goes through, this Doc will still take cash for basic services (even though you may have to keep quiet about the arrangement). It will save you money, give you a better relationship with the doctor, and might even save your life!

      Make arrangements with all of the friends and acquaintances that you can to help provide them with things that they want and need in exchange for things that you want and need.

      Basically, START YOUR OWN FREE MARKET.

      It DOES NOT MATTER what the government is or is not. The biggest worry you will have is the government trying to find ways to stop you, and ultimately, it cannot!

      Government is not the solution. No matter how much you try to “change” government, it still isn’t going to be the solution.

      YOU are the solution!

      • All you say is true, Peter. The barter system is alive and well…..and can be… and I can and will use it. I do take advantage of all the tax laws that are available and have taken steps economically to make me a bullet proof as possible…..with in the law. All of that I am doing and you do not need a government or at least very little and “render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s”. That flies in my face, however. My beliefs and wants are not very far off from you or JAC or BF and others….it is the mechanism to get there where we differ. That is all.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “With a totally free enterprise system with NO regulation and no laws and no government….it would still create monopolies and power structures.”

      Power structures, yes, of course.

      Monopolies? No.

      Oh, and by the way, who said that no regluation and no government meant “no laws”??? You have something confused today I fear 🙂

      Anyway, as BF has shown quite a few times, a monopoly CANNOT SURVIVE in a free market. Monopolies REQUIRE REGULATION in order to prevent smaller, more agile competitiors from smashing the monopoly to bits.

      Would people TRY to form monopolies in a truly free market? Of COURSE they would! Fortunately for us, any attempt to create a monopoly would always be short-lived in a truly free market. A few people might be able to get away with it for a VERY short time from time to time, but Goldman Sachs COULD NOT EXIST in a free market. They would be destroyed by competition very quickly.

      • Monopolies=power
        power=monopolies

        I disagree that a monopoly cannot exist in a truly free market. Unless I am mistaken, you and JAC and BF have all said that any law that regulates anything in a free market system…is no longer a free market for laws create monopolies.

        Monopolies equal power..even in the Standard Oil days, they used to dynamite competitors. It took government to stop it. The people were unable to do so without losing lives. Standard Oil also pressured suppliers….well, I am sure you know the full story. The Sherman Act of 1890 was created by Congress to stop this with a side trip to the Clayton Act to stop predatory pricing. The people were powerless…so, I think it would still be possible to have monopolies.

        Do NOT misunderstand me.,, I am not an advocate of such laws and government intervention but without such, you would then invite people to VIOLENTLY take the issue to themselves…would you not?

        Just thinking here.

        Luv ya man.

        • D13

          I disagree that a monopoly cannot exist in a truly free market.

          It is impossible for a monopoly to exist in a free market.

          A free market monopoly requires the monopolist to be perfect – that is, have no deficiencies which competitors could exploit.

          One required ‘perfection’ is supply – that is, it gets its supplies and inventory perfectly.

          This requires the monopolist to have perfect suppliers – which would be, also, monopolies.

          But these suppliers, to be perfect, require perfect suppliers to them – more monopolies – and so on.

          Therefore, for a free market monopoly to exist, the entire economy would be all monopolies – a condition that is impossible.

          Unless I am mistaken, you and JAC and BF have all said that any law that regulates anything in a free market system…is no longer a free market for laws create monopolies.

          No.

          There is law – Natural law – which operates cooperatively in a free market – law that prohibits the initiation of violence.

          These laws do not contradict anything in a free market where voluntary action is the core.

          Thus law that protects voluntary action supports free market systems.

          Monopolies equal power..even in the Standard Oil days, they used to dynamite competitors.

          Prove please.

          Standard Oil was never a monopoly, and its growth and that of its competitors was based on innovation.

          The Sherman Act of 1890 was created by Congress to stop this with a side trip to the Clayton Act to stop predatory pricing.

          No such beast of “predatory pricing” can exist in a free market.

          Whatever story you believe you know of Standard Oil appears to be mired with a myth.

  7. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    The seeds of the current economic meltdown were there ten years ago for anyone to see. The problem is that no one wanted to see them. I think that we can safely say that this blow up occurred because of the real estate boom. There was this theory that somehow the market would just go up and up and would never correct. Just because I am in the business I cannot say that I was privy to any special knowledge or information that told me the fall was going to happen. Sure, I had seen it before but not as bad as this.

    Anyone, since let’s say 2000 who has been in the market for a home or an apartment should have seen it coming as they saw themselves being priced out unless they used come creative and sketchy financing. Bankers certainly must have all seen it coming and I don’t mean the CEO’s of Citibank or Chase. Every single assistant mortgage officer, appraiser, accountant saw it coming. Everyone I know in the industry who was not stoned on PCP saw it coming. There had never been a run up like it before. Sure the excesses of the late ’80’s paved the way, especially with Freddie and Fannie out there subsidizing bad loans but who would have thought that the entire banking industry would have followed their lead this time.

    I hate to get back to greed here but I really think that the whole thing was allowed to continue because of it. I think those in the know saw the crash coming but figured (correctly) that they would be out of the industry and retired at the time. You could make more money than God in real estate in five years if you don’t care about consequences and get in early. After the bubble burst, since you were not there at the collapse, you could come back as a “Savior” since no one remembered that your policies led to the collapse to begin with. You then get to pick up property at a dime on the dollar (if that much) and start it all over again. This is exactly what happened in the NY market starting in ’91 and ’92.

    Now that the dust has somewhat settled, we can look at the creative topsy turvy mortgages that were written. When before, in the history of mankind have interest only mortgages been offered? When were home equity loans pushed so hard based on the assumption that value could not decline? Didn’t anyone question the forty or fifty year loan? Every single one of these things (plus others) shot up huge red flares and they were ignored.

    Bernie Madoff gives us the answer. If you are greedy enough to ignore common sense and assume that you have the secret of a 10% plus annual return when the rest of the world is at 2% so long as you never ask how, then you deserve what you get. Unfortunately, along the way, you wipe out a lot of innocent bystanders who have extended you credit. By the way, I have met some who have serviced Madoff clients. Want to know the funny thing? Many of his clients knew something was fishy and more than a few thought he was laundering money but things were just so fine and dandy that they never wanted to upset the apple cart. Was it WC Fields who said “You can’t cheat an honest man?” Seem like increasingly good words to live by to me.

    Now, as my Dad would say, “and another thing”! For the past thirty years or so, we have been told that we have become a post industrial society. We are a service economy. Well, how do you all like the way that is turning out? Lawyers are becoming a dime a dozen after getting out of law school with $ 200,000 worth of student debt. Legal research and contracts are going offshore to India as are architectural drawings and drafting. All those folks in the hospitality business are on leave because the former bankers and wall streeters cannot afford vacations. This also holds true for caterers, restaurants and even the shoe shine guy. The guy at the news stand at the corner can only sell so much porn to keep afloat since newspapers and magazines seem to be going the way of the dodo.

    I love the free market but there has to be a balance. If the world worked the way it should, if man’s conscience was always turned to the “on” side of the switch then there would be no need of intervention of any type. I don’t see government as the solution, never have. They do what is good for them. Government and its employees have become so big that they are insulated from “we the people”. Like the Nazi and Communist apparatchiks, they don’t see the faces of those they grind into the mud. The answer is somehow “us”. We have to teach our children, learn to say no, offend the hell out of a lot of people and demand that the punishment fit the crime. Last night, on the news there was this story of this con man who took an older woman for her life savings. Cleaned her out of her $ 400,000. She had to sell her house and move into an apartment. What could have been a decent retirement was turned into a subsistence retirement with a seventy-five year old woman forced to take a job to survive. The bad guy got caught. He got three years with no restitution. Three freaking years for God’s sake. The bastard should have had his hands cut off or at the very least forced to work off his debt to her at some county work farm. Until we start taking this white collar stuff seriously and stop letting guys like Frank and Dodd get off the hook by misdirecting questions nothing will change, the country will continue its course downward and kids will see that being a wiseguy is what really pays off. If you have a Barney Frank or a Chris Dodd near you running for re- election, become part of the truth squad, follow them around and make them uncomfortable. Harder to do with Frank because he is very, very sharp and a member of a protected class but who knows, if enough people cared, wrote the letters to the editor, blogged with each other, talked their neighbors into voting, even he could go down to the defeat he deserves hopefully followed by an indictment.

    • SK:

      GREED was NOT the problem and will not be the problem in the future.

      We must really think hard about what that word truly means as opposed to what we have been led to think it means. Your definition, the one pushed by religion and socialists, assumes that seeking to maximize profit in itself is immoral. Yet it is the abscence of a moral base that is the real issue. That is what turnd profit seeking into something ugly. Besides, the real culprits were not really seeking maximization of profit or luxury. They were seeking power.

      Trust me. You should fear those who seek power far more than those who seek profit.

      Here is another way to think about it. What we call greed is really a symptom of a greater disease. So to condemn or attack just the symptom as the real problem does not cure the underlying disease.

      I submit to you that the only reason the Madoffs of the world succeed is because there are enough people seeking returns with no effort, not that they are seeking returns alone. It is the desire to shortcut REALITY that allows the scam artist to succeed. And remember. They are just another form of a liar and the first victim on the list was themselves. They must first convince themselves that reality can be fooled or tricked. Otherwise they would know they will eventually be caught.

      Glad to see you fired up after the holidays.
      Hope all is well.
      JAC

      • You think those who seek power do not seek profit? Or maybe the other way around. You think those who seek profit do not seek power?

        For the first one the answer would be: of course they do b/c by seeking power the most have some profit to feed off of.

        The second answer would be: most always for in order to seek profit you must acquire power.

        • David:

          I have sought profit my entire life but have yet to seek Power. I have in fact turned down many opportunities to secure the type of power we are talking about here.

          So, the seeking of profit is not the problem for a single proof against the hypothesis is all that is required.

          However, if one seeks power they are usually seeking profits to support their quest. It is the drive for power over others or over reality that is the driving force. Not the seeking of profit in and of itself.

          And of course, there are those who simply seek power without profit. Without government, however, most of these wouldn’t survive the tests of the real world.

          David, how would you describe Greed? Then how do you separate that from seeking to maximize one’s profits in order to maximize one’s happiness?

          • You may have sought profit but not power all your life like you say. But I would venture to say you are an exception. Therefore as for saying the hypothesis is wrong is an error. We are speaking on human ethics which is as different as each individual is different. Hypothesis that can be proven wrong on one account are those of the scientific variety b/c they are absolutes. Human ethics and feelings or actions regarding profit and power are certainly not absolute. So anyways.

            I define greed as taking more than you need. I.E. having eight cars or five houses. Therefore greed is different for everyone. Some would argue they cannot be happy unless they have eight cars and five houses. Of course by all means maximize your profits, we are free people. Do what feels right for you. Maximize your profits, go for it! Maximize your happiness of course of course, be happy. Just don’t expect to be happy by maximizing material things. That is the real problem. Material things.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Material things are only a problem if you make them so.

              Like it or not, material things, and the acquisition of them while we are here on earth, is what motivates markets.

              Most of the people who make truly large sums of money do it by satisfying people’s WANTS. There is less money to be made in satisfying their needs.

              Of course it is true that you can’t take it with you, but nonetheless, the quest for material things is what drives the vast majority of people in this world while they are here.

              That is not a good thing or a bad thing in and of itself. It is made into a good or a bad thing by what people are willing to do in order to amass these things while they are here.

              If I am not harming anyone in any way, imposing upon anyone, or using force in any way, and yet I am able to amass a huge fortune while I am alive and on this earth, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

              If I lie, cheat, steal, use violence and coercion, etc. and make a huge fortune, then yes, that is wrong.

            • David:

              I am not the exception with regard to dislike for power. I would guess that most people are the same. Otherwise the list of those running for office would number in the millions each year.

              I agree that ethics are a human invention and thus subject to many variations. Unlike some, I think there are a set of ethics that acutually support our human existence while others do not. But perhaps that is another days argument.

              I assumed from your original statement that you were claiming an absolute conclusion. Whether science of philosophy the downfall of any absolute is a single exception.

              Your definition: “I define greed as taking more than you need.” This of course means that YOU get to decide what I need.

              So why do YOU get to decide? Perhaps I want Black Flag or Peter B. to decide. What if I WANT something? Will that be allowed as a NEED?

              You say we are a free people, but obviously we are not. If I pursue what feels right for me but it does not impose upon you then why is that of anyone’s concern? While you call it GREED I see no way that it could be the cause of anyone elses calamity.

              “Just don’t expect to be happy by maximizing material things. That is the real problem. Material things.”

              Material things are not the real problem and in fact are not any problem at all. They simply are what they are, material things. Why do you suppose that I or anyone else can not be happy with material things?

              Are not such things required to sustain my life and my desired lifestyle, which makes me happy? Is not money itself a material thing? I think perhaps you have fallen victim to modern cliches.

              As with greed, we make a serious mistake when we assign values to things that are not the true underlying problem.

              It is not what we seek but why and how we seek it that needs to be examined.

              • Yes greed is defined differently depending on who you ask.

                And to clarify, let me redefine greed. Excessive material things. To live you only need clean air, clean water, good food and a roof over your head.

                The only thing we should seek is the truth.

              • Dave
                that maybe the only things you need, but I need a whole lot more than that….

                …and that’s the point.

                Your needs are not necessarily mine and mine not necessarily yours.

                All we have is the right to explore those needs for ourselves without imposition from another man.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Do not misunderstand me JAC, I am all in favor of profit. Some of the best jobs I have ever had have been a result of working for people who made a profit. The big but with me is the profit motive without any thought as to the results of what you are doing. The best, most fun job I ever had was rehabbing vacant buildings in the Bronx where we would fix and rent the property, go in and take out a mortgage which made us a tidy but not greedy profit (the property could carry the loan even in a worst case scenario) and as part of that loan have enough to begin the next project. I submit to you that what we did was moral because it was deliberately based on not screwing anybody else. Our competitors were overmortgaging their properties, living like kings and walking away from the buildings if they couldn’t carry the mortgages. Ultimately, their greed brought us down because the pool of mortgage money for such projects dried up while we had three projects in construction. Had we merely walked we would have survived but because we stayed and tried to cover all our debts, we imploded. I would have to agree with you that the ones who made the most and bailed out early did in fact gain power and influence. In many cases they were asked back in to help “straighten out” the mess.

        The greed that I see is the something for nothing or something for very little. Into this you can add the something for selling you a lie or the something for you giving up some of your freedom.

        We are not that far apart. It is the lack of moral fiber in the society as a whole and the inability of the society to even condemn that because well, it might just be judgmental. As Andy Rooney might say, “didjaevernotice how people who walk all over you are annoyed when you point it out to them?”

        And, yes you are right, it all starts out with the Lie. Raising my four kids I tried to teach them that the lie was the one thing I would never tolerate. All that is bad starts with the first lie. By and large I was fairly successful although the jury is still out on one of them.

        • S.K.

          I don’t think I misunderstood your deeper values. But I believe your thinking has not reached absolute clarity yet on this issue. Here is an example of what I mean.

          You said: “go in and take out a mortgage which made us a tidy but not greedy profit”.

          I was with you on your story up until this point. It is the pursuit of profit without consideration of why, how or for what that is a true problem. But then you interject a value judgment that is different for each of us. For how can anyone decide what is “tidy but not greedy” for someone else?

          They can’t unless they have the “power” to impose upon others. And at that point you have lost what it is that you are fighting to protect……..liberty.

          The “It’s Greed” is a cliche’ that prevents us from seriously evaluating the true cause of our misfortunes. I think we must work hard to eliminate the straw man from the bag of tricks used by those who wish to undermine liberty. Once this card is played by us then it is used against us by them.

          Does that help clarify some?
          JAC

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Good day to you JAC! Hope you are doing well!

        Oh my golly, greed must be evil, because it is one of the seven deadly sins, right? Who taught us that? ORGANIZED RELIGION! So, it is FINE for GOVERNMENTS and COLLECTIVES to be as greedy as they want, but it is supposedly NOT FINE for the INDIVIDUAL to be greedy.

        Well, the main problem with that is, guess who creates wealth, for themselves AND FOR EVERYONE ELSE??? GREEDY INDIVIDUALS!!!

        Greed had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the housing bubble. Greed was merely an after-effect.

        After the dot.com bubble burst and then 9/11 happened, this was a HUGE double-whammy, and the FED had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how to keep the “economy” running. As a result, the government and the FED cooked up the idea of keeping both short and long-term interest rates near zero indefinitely, and loosening all standards for people and businesses trying to acquire credit.

        Once people realized that they could get other people’s money, basically for free, OF COURSE the housing market exploded! This was EXACTLY what the government and the FED WANTED TO HAPPEN. And of course people got carried away (how many “flip-this-house type shows were on cable from 2002-2005???” This greed was ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED AND SPONSORED BY the government! It was the only idea that the FED and the government had for “rescuing the economy”!

        Of course, when people started to come out of their “irrational exuberance” the whole thing collapsed and left us even worse off than we were at the end of 2001.

        However, GREED did not CAUSE the problem, it was simply a contributing factor after the fact.

        Used properly, GREED is a wonderful tool. It tends to make EVERYONE better off (at least in a free market).

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          We actually refer to that round here as “enlightened self-interest”. The key word however is “enlightened”. Without that you are ultimately in for a rude awakening.

          These issues are interesting to study. Maybe greed is like pornography, You know it when you see it. Having five houses if you are a billionaire might not be greed since you may in fact use each and every one of them. Paying a staff fairly to maintain them is not greed. Having eight cars may not be greedy. I have certain collectors items (not cars) that certainly exceed what I need but I wouldn’t say I am greedy since I paid fair value for them, expect them to appreciate and ultimately they will, with my death I guess, return to the market.

          I think good old fashioned greed involves either the theft of property and there are a variety of ways to do that or the unwillingness to put it back in circulation. If I bury my millions in the back yard instead of investing or spending, I preclude others from amassing wealth. Is it my responsibility to help them? No it is absolutely not but I might ask myself how I amassed my fortune and invariably it was with other peoples money that they were willing to put out. So, again, it comes down to enlightened self interest.

          • S.K.

            Come now SK Trynosky, I know that you know better than this.

            “I think good old fashioned greed involves either the theft of property and there are a variety of ways to do that or the unwillingness to put it back in circulation.”

            The first part is correct, but why not simply call it what it is. THEFT. It matters not how it is done but if it involves trying to lie about reality it is in essence theft.

            But alas, where did you get the second part of this? Since when is an “unwillingness to put it back into circulation” considered as greed. And if it were then I would like to point out one little flaw in your argument against it.

            You see, burying your billions in the back yard would reduce the money supply, thus driving up the purchasing power of the remaining money, thus increasing the actual wealth power of everyone else.

            And, you forget you would be providing future employment and enjoyment for those archeologists and treasure hunters in coming centuries.

            I think what you consider “enlightened” at this point still has too many balls and chains from quasi traditional propogandists attached.

            Leaving something on the table for the next deal, or using your wealth in ways that necessarily allow others to do the same should not be viewed as an obligation, or responsibility, in any way (see, you nailed that one). It is usually the outcome of one who acts in a rational fashion with respect to his own existance and pursuit of a flourishing life.

            Remember, that while your fortune is made with the use of other’s money, they did not just give it to you without condition. You either sold them something they valued and thus traded money of equal value, or they invested/loaned you the money. In the latter case you have to pay the money back in dividends, stock values, interest and principle payments. In short, the concept that we owe anyone for our good fortune because they worked for us, purchased from us, or invested in us is FALSE. These trades of money and/or services were made in isolation to your outcome. The players all recieved what they wanted at the time of the exchange. Nothing else is owed.

            However, if you wish to be charitable and give more than is required then that is YOUR FREE CHOICE.

            Please just don’t use the word enlightened as it denotes a value judgment on those who don’t give. They become “unenlightened” or just plain “heavy”.

            Yeah, I know. The philosophy bug is working overtime today. Promise I’ll take a break for some gym time soon. That will surely kill the zone for the remainder of the day.

            Best to You and Yours, S.K.
            JAC

            • SK Trynosky Sr says:

              You see, it’s that 16 years of Catholic education thing kicking in with the guilt.

              From a purely philosophic
              point of view, I agree with you. From my “we are all in this together” point of view I do not.

              At least once a month I have the misfortune to hear a sermon aimed at making me guilty because I have worked my ass off and have reaped the limited rewards I wanted to reap from the beginning. I tend to ignore them as does Mrs. T. We were both City kids who gave back to the system. We both saw what a con the whole poverty thing was and tend to reject anything which claims that “circumstances” cause crime, poverty, bad behavior or whatever. None the less, even though there is no real reason for it, there is still a wee sense of guilt that others, as good as us, do not have what we do. Add to that all those who have more and whose attitude is “Let them eat cake” and do not apparently believe that we are all in this together.

              But would burying those billions in the back yard be the best use of the money? There is even a New Testament parable on this one. Would it not benefit more to hire someone to do something or invest in building something, not for the feeling good factor but rather in expectation that I would increase my billions. That I would say is enlightened.

              Because of where I worked and what I did, I have long wondered what my response would have been if one of those mega Bronx Cocaine dealers came to me and offered me millions to invest in building low and moderate income housing. They desired nothing more than to protect the wealth they created and of course launder it. I desired to build more affordable housing. That my friend, would be the classic means to an end dilemma for me. Fortunately or unfortunately, I never had to make the call.

              We weathered the holidays well, managed to connect with all four offspring and the two new brides and are eagerly anticipating 2010. Hope all is well with you and yours.

              • SK:

                “You see, it’s that 16 years of Catholic education thing kicking in with the guilt.”

                You got me laughing for sure. Thought I recognized some of those ideas from my spousal unit leader’s family alright. LOL

                What you do with your billions should be based on what gives you the greatest return towards a flourishing life, as you have defined it to be. If that means burying it then dig away. If that means building low income housing then hammer all you want. Both are good exercise also. I will admire you for either, if they are your choice made without any of that guilt attached.

                My holiday was great with all kids at home once again. Not sure how many more years we can pull that off but it sure was nice.

                Best wishes
                JAC

  8. This statement will get me labeled nut of the week but the only real chance for change is to realize that the whole government driven economy is not sustainable and will implode. Prepare for it and those left after the fall will be able to create a free market society. If we continue on the course we are on there will be 2 classes of people. The royalty elite and the lower class serfs, the last time this happened it was in a period called the dark ages.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @ Bama – I don’t think you’re a nut. I think you hold a typical concern that where things ‘look and feel’ right now is not very comfortable. How many times do you give a teenager keys to the family car if they keep wrecking it? While we may differ on approach and philosophy – perhaps we agree somewhat that government involvement should not be of permanence but very measured and results-driven. Control and manipulation disguised as ‘regulation’ and ‘protecting the little guy’ is not something even I would stand behind.

    • I guess I’ll join you in your “Nut Club”, Bama Dad.

    • I’m with you as well.

      “Just because you are paranoid,
      does not mean someone is not out to get you.”

    • I’m sure I’ll fit in somewhere 🙂

      G!

  9. USwep and SUFA,

    Before one can analyze solutions, one better have a very good grasp on the problem.

    Reading USWep and the comments, I still see that most people do not understand the cause/effect that created the current economic consequence.

    Chairman of the Federal Reserve and his ranting about increasing regulations in order to limit the ability of speculators to create a bubble that can throw the economy into crisis

    Bernanke is playing his best 3-card Monte Card game.

    He wants everyone to believe it was “speculators” that caused the economic bubble/burst.

    However, let’s be clear.

    No speculator creates money out of thin air.
    No speculator sets the discount rate for lending for the banks.
    No speculator sets the reserve capital requirements for the banks.

    The FED does all of that.

    The FED, its fractional reserve system and its economic policies are the direct and only reason for the economic consequences the US and most of the world suffers today.

    Creating regulation on banks or speculators or the public, making tax breaks or increasing taxes, or anything else that fails to address the FED and its ability to manipulate the economy solves absolutely nothing.

    Nationalizing the FED would only make it worse.

    So, what is the solution?

    Hayek, back in 1975, went on “Meet the Press” to discuss the economic situation – that in that time – was the worse since the Great Depression – Stagflation.

    Nixon had just closed the gold window of the FED, and a global economic depression with rampant inflation exploded over the USA and the world.

    That, like now, was blamed on some other party – the speculators of that day was OPEC. OPEC, seeing the value of their product fall in real terms as the US$ went into high inflation – began raising their prices in terms of dollars (but not in terms of gold).

    Everyone blamed OPEC for the economic failure – and missed, again, the true villain – the FED.

    Here is the interview:
    [audio src="http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/interviews/Hayek_MeetThePress_06-22-1975.mp3" /]

    Hayek describes completely the only solution, and the huge consequences that would be suffered by the people.

    So the pundits hit Hayek for his supposed personal opinion that unemployment is better than inflation, as if the trade off is direct and easy to manipulate.

    He points out, with no uncertain terms, that if hyperinflation is to be avoided, hyper-unemployment will occur. And it may occur concurrently with high or hyper-inflation.

    The pundits try to suppress their laughter and challenge Hayek – what unemployment would be acceptable? 10% 15% 20%??

    Hayek simply says – whatever level is necessary for the economy to correct its mis-allocation of goods – including labor – as a result of artificial low cost of credit.

    The pundits incredulously respond, saying that such a level maybe higher than what the people are willing to suffer – if it is too high, it will be politically unsurvivable.

    Hayek respond saying that, yes, that maybe so – it maybe politically unsurvivable and this country may be destroyed by it. However, that is the only path.

    The longer the nation delays such reckoning, the higher the probability that the only solution – the economic correction and reckoning – will cause a level of suffering that the People cannot accept, ending in political collapse.

    The economic correction, no matter the politics, is unavoidable.

    It is this single realization that is so important.

    The economic reckoning is unavoidable

    So, I come back to my point.

    There is no solution to the economic crisis except suffering. The American people must suffer and will suffer. There is absolutely no way to avoid of this.

    However, any attempt to delay or mitigate this suffering will guarantee that the suffering will be longer and worse.

    We have to remember that Hayek issued his warning in 1975, looking at the depth of the economic problem back then – and he was already worried.

    35 years have passed since his dire warning.

    It will be much worse than his best hope – and approaching his worse nightmare.

    The only solution – which will never happen – is the ending of the FED, and the ending of the monopolization of money by government and its tool of central banking and the fractional reserve system.

    So, what is left?

    Nothing.

    Nothing but deep suffering.

    If this is the inevitable condition of our future, then we must face it, and most importantly, prepare for it

    We must realize that 98% of the rest of this nation firmly believes some magic or miracle will appear and this Great Reckoning will dissipate with little harm or fury. They are all living in a fantasy.

    When it hits, and believe me, its whole fury is still coming, it will wake up the mindless masses out of their dreamy sleep.

    You must be so far ahead of this wave, because you have no hope of competing with the hundreds of millions that will be desperate.

    The political turmoil, probably political collapse, and the economic suffering will be severe.

    It will represent for those who are prepared the truest representation of the two Chinese sinographs for “Crisis” – dangerous opportunity.

    Conclusion:
    There is no solution but deep suffering. This will be avoided to the bitter end by the elite and the People.

    Thus, the suffering will be unbearable.

    Therefore, do not waste intellectual or physical energy trying to discover ‘a solution’. Do not count yourself in any group that by any action, attempts to avoid or mitigate this inevitable disaster.

    Join a different group, the “Prepared”. It is your only hope.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Checklist 92% complete.

      E.T.D. point A – <or = 4 hrs.

      E.T.A. point X – < 96 hrs.

      Learning is fun.

      Teaching is a reward.

      Knowledge is power.

      Youth is king.

      Order out of chaos.

      Like I've said before…The solution is to teach the children how to rebuild.

      We're already dead.

    • BF says: Bernanke is playing his best 3-card Monte Card game.

      D13 agrees: AND, he is damned good at it. Got reconfirmed.

      BF says: If this is the inevitable condition of our future, then we must face it, and most importantly, prepare for it

      We must realize that 98% of the rest of this nation firmly believes some magic or miracle will appear and this Great Reckoning will dissipate with little harm or fury. They are all living in a fantasy.

      D13: Agrees 100%. Better be prepared. It is a freight train…I only hope we can slow it down to minimize the damage.

      • Ironically, is the attempt to slow the train down that actually causes the worsening damage.

        • Maybe that is part of trying to find solutions to all these problems we talk about, we’re working opposite of what we should, instead of slowing the train, maybe it’s time to help speed it up and get on with it.

          G!

    • Black Flag:

      I don’t think USW wants to turn SUFA into a survivalist site yet. I understand everything you said and I’ve spent a lot of time at the Ludwig von Mises site reading and watching videos. I’m not prepared yet but I have been storing food and water.

  10. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hello Everyone

    Just wanted to pop in and say hi. Reading along for now.

    Hope everybody is doing well today.

    Judy

  11. v. Holland says:

    I found this very interesting, it’s a history lesson on how we lost our State Rights which per this man is our only hedge against tyranny other than no government.-kinda long but if you have the time

    • V.H.

      I award you 5 gold stars and one massive hug for that link.

      I hope everyone here takes the time to listen to the entire piece.

      Best wishes.
      JAC

      • v. Holland says:

        Well goodness, I may have to post another one so I can get a kiss too 🙂

        This reinforces the conviction that I have that in order to do anything to change the path this country is on will take 1.stopping the craziness of our current administration by fighting them tooth and nail and by voting them out of control in 2010 and 2012 and 2.to do everything we can to reclaim our State Rights and use that power to let the people in each State decide how they want to live-if they decide to be like California-surely eventually they will realize their mistake. How do we reclaim our State Rights -good question-but the current demands of the Tea Parties and others seem to be having an effect on our government-the AG fighting against the health bill, as Kathy pointed out, is an example of one.

        • V.H.

          I am with you as long as by “current administration” you mean all existing elected Congressmen and women as well as the Executive branch.

          If we are to have anything that resembles govt and our personal liberty then POWER must be both decentralized and fragmented to the fullest extent. While States rights is the start we should be thinking city/town/community/county rights as well.

          Most States have also taken sovereign power from the people without them noticing. It is time to take it all back at every level and reconsider just what will give to whom.

          For example, if we accept the ideal that we all pay our own way then many of our current “public projects” will have to be funded by city/town or county entities. The power of the State to tax for local roads or education goes away. The State would only have to deal with State highways and their portions of interstate highways.

          I’m holding back big kiss for now. Wouldn’t want to look like I’m easy.
          JAC

          • Hi VH and JAC,

            As much as I’d like to believe this could work, unless the current political party structure continues to feed us the candidates, this is false hope waiting to happen.

            I just got back from the grocery store, it’s quite cold (teens), windy and snowing quite hard. That’s not anything new here, but I saw some people who I truly wonder how they continue to exist. It’s sad to see what our government has done to the once hard working Americans of this country. Seeing this leads me to jumping in the train and maxing the gas peddle, let’s just get it all overwith, so when I die at least I know my kids and grandkids will have an OK life, and have, hopefully, liberty and freedom.

            I can’t see fixing the system, ny using the system that got us here to begin with, that to me is a contradiction.

            Just my two crazy pennies (maybe I should make them dimes for now on) 🙂

            G!

            • v. Holland says:

              Hi G.
              I certainly understand how you feel and I freely admit that I don’t even know if it’s possible to fix our economy-I do know that I don’t want them doing things that are simply holding back the suffering but does nothing to bring us out of this hole-but I can’t even imagine the pain and death that would occur if our economy totally collapsed and I simply cannot say let it happen if there is anyway to stop it-I suspect BF is right and that the elites will do everything they can to stop a total collapse -so maybe if we can get the States to use the powers given to them by the Constitution-we can start to reverse the rape of our country that has been going on for years. The way I see it-State Rights and the vote combined with our voices are the strongest weapons we have. I will wait with hope to see the results of the AG’s fighting the health bill provisions. See if we can win that one battle, if we can, perhaps more will follow.

              • Hi VH!

                One of the most important lessons I learned as a young teenager, is that women think from the heart! I have found this to be true, regardless of how intelligent a women actually is. You are intelligent, and I will not try to change what you feel, that’s unfair.

                I read your post and only came up with one word to describe how you feel this mess will get fixed, that word is “HOPE”. I hope you are right, and would applaud your efforts in helping it become reality.

                G!

              • v. Holland says:

                Hope combined with effort could be the definition of the American dream-don’t underestimate it’s power.

          • v. Holland says:

            Less power they have at all levels the happier I will be-I want my children to live in a free Country. I also have no problem with the idea of cleaning house but I’m not sure going with the idea of just throwing them all out in 2010 is the best way to go-We must get control out of the democrat hands-I would rather have Congress more balanced-I was thinking a while back that maybe the republicans should get control again for a short period so that maybe they could overturn the health bill if it passes but from reading they already seem to be saying that is impossible even though they are gonna run on that platform-Just makes me crazy.

  12. Hi Ya’ll!

    Been reading, and wonder if anyone actually lived in a true free market system? I’ve been to many places, but the closest I’ve come to a true free market is in the least industrialized areas of the world. Bartering is common in the country where I go, but not the main system. With reading everyones ideas of what a free market system should be, and as much as I’d like to give it a go, can this country survive a change like that, knowing the innercities are wrought with crime and welfalre rats.

    G!

    • G-Man,

      You live in it everyday – where you exchange with other person voluntarily.

      Have you ever bought anything at a garage sale? Off Craigslist? Out of classified in a newspaper?

      Even at your grocery store – sure, behind the scenes there is massive mercantilism – but the purchase between you and your grocer – made voluntarily by you and provided voluntarily by him – is the free market system.

      The greatest strength of the free market system is its scalability. From individuals to large entities – it works.

      True, the inter-exchange between large entities is wholly perverted – but we can see the system operate in its wondrous glory between you and I, and other individuals.

      When there is no gun to your head – and you can say yes or no equally based on your own economic ability or situation – you are in a free market system.

  13. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121486763043717547.html

    For those who still claim that tax rates don’t matter to economic decisions or U.S. competitiveness, we present Exhibit A: the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act.

    This law gave American companies a one-year window in 2005 to repatriate earnings from foreign subsidiaries to the United States at a 5.25% tax rate. Normally companies must pay the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate, minus a credit for whatever foreign taxes they paid on those earnings.

    The IRS examined the results from this tax cutting experiment and found that the money came back in a flood. More than 800 U.S. corporations repatriated $362 billion from foreign operations. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation had predicted closer to $200 billion. These dollars are now being invested in the U.S., rather than remaining in Europe or China. This capital infusion may be one reason that U.S. business investment rose 9.6% in 2005 – the highest rate in more than a decade.

    Many Democrats, liberal groups and even some economists in the Bush Treasury opposed the measure four years ago, predicting it would lose revenue and merely be a tax holiday for profitable corporations. The Joint Tax Committee estimators also blundered again by predicting a mere $2.8 billion in revenue gains in the first year and then big losses after 2005. As always, they underestimated how tax reductions change behavior. The tax incentive raised $18 billion in 2005, and revenues have continued to exceed estimates. Instead of getting 35% of nothing, as U.S. companies kept their cash abroad, the Treasury took in 5.25% of the hundreds of billions the companies brought home.

    One lesson here is how hypersensitive the trillions of dollars of annual global capital flows are to tax rates. It also underscores how damaging the U.S. corporate income tax is to American firms. Over the past decade the U.S. has gone from a below-the-average corporate tax nation to the second highest rate in the industrial world.

  14. Legislatures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico met in 2009, leading to the enactment of 40,697 new laws, many of which take effect January 1.

    And remember that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  15. Conrad Black has heard USWep, and SUFA and gives his analysis:


    I predict that in a decent interval after his confirmation as Federal Reserve chairman next month or February, Ben Bernanke will announce that the central bank will no longer buy the treasury notes that finance this orgy.

    The United States cannot drink itself sober.

    China has now passed on the pleasure of continuing to buy low yield instruments of a country that is doing the necessary to convert its currency into wall paper, if not toilet paper.

    The Federal Reserve is buying the treasury issues that finance the federal government’s deficit-straight additions to the money supply — the most familiar form of currency debasement and rampaging inflation, from the times of Caligula to Juan Peron and Robert Mugabe.

    Obama and Geithner will scream like wounded banshees that Bernanke has betrayed them on how to deal with what they will portray as George W.’s messy leavings, while Bernanke devalues the dollar by about 15%, raises interest rates to about 6% and requires federal government spending cuts of about $500-billion annually, largely from a revisitation of entitlements and some sales and transaction taxes that the Congress will have to agree to in conference as an emergency compromise between the parties.

    The health care charade of buying individual senators with from $100-million (Christopher Dodd,), to $3-billion (Bill Nelson of Florida — not Ben Nelson of Nebraska who folded at $100 million) can’t slice this Gordian Knot.

    There will be fewer lawyers and investment bankers in the U.S., and more savers and investors, and if the politicians don’t ruin it again, market forces will shape up the U.S. to meet the Chinese challenge.

    But both job creation and economic growth will be slow in a transitional period.

    ——

    I think Black has been hit over the head while in prison.

    However, if he is right – the economy will collapse into a decade long recession (commonly known as a “Global Depression”).

    I actually hope he is right.

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hi All

    Let’s see, they’re going to put tax on the health care insurance, even though it affects the middle class. They’re going to force everybody to have it, whether you want it or need it or not, They’re poking their noses in people’s personal lives, saying how the economy will bounce back, they’re saying the job market is picking up, only if you’re in the construction business, they’re making it harder for small business’s, and because of idiots who want to blow up planes, they’re are now thinking of having X-Ray machines to check and see if you’re armed in any way. I’m sure I forgot several other things here.

    Yep, I’d say we’re going to hell in a hand basket. But, that’s just my little ol opinion.

  17. v. Holland says:

    If we’re gonna talk about greed and how big business hurts the little guy-lets look at the Unions and the damage they have done to the free markets and to the working man. Yes, I know it’s long but it is just filled with information. A couple things in here I question but overall it’s very informative.

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    If it wasn’t so true, a lot of these would be funny!

    The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

    It’s so bad, I ordered a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”

    The economy is so bad that CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

    The economy is so bad if the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

    The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

    The economy is so bad McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

    The economy is so bad parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

    The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

    The economy is so bad Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

    The economy is so bad Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.

    The economy is so bad the Mafia is laying off judges.

    The economy is so bad Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

    And finally…

    Congress says they are looking into this Bernie Madoff scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

    Fight organized crime: Re-elect no one!

    • Bottom Line says:

      Hello Judy,

      Hope today finds you well.

      Nice post.

      Very funny.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi BL

        A friend sent it to me, thought I’d put it up, but stop and think about it, and how true it is.

        Today finds me just fine, and I hope the same for you.

  19. Interesting conversations today . . . and, as I have mused often, I wonder if the true seriousness of our present national circumstance unavoidably moves many of the discussions, though rich with knowledge and insight, to the realm of moot points.

    I am not really a fan of Mr. Buchanan’s, but this is interesting reading . . . are we really at the point of no return? Regardless of our view of politics, of government, of violence, of free trade?

    I pray not, but it is difficult to not wonder about our future . . . or lack of it.

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35018

  20. Go to:

    http://www.google.com

    Their home page is telling 🙂

  21. Judy Sabatini says:

    Just to take a break from topic, enjoy a few laughs. Helped me feel better.

    I THINK I AM HALF WAY THERE…..OR AM I HALF WAY THERE?

    Too funny!

    Tell Me This Won’t Happen To Us !!!!

    An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report
    That her car has been broken into. She is hysterical as she
    Explains her situation to the dispatcher: ‘They’ve
    Stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and
    Even the accelerator!’ she cried. The dispatcher said,
    ‘Stay calm. An officer is on the way.’ A few minutes
    Later, the officer radios in ‘Disregard.’ He says.
    ‘She got in the back-seat by mistake.’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house
    Together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts
    Her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters,
    ‘Was I getting in or out of the bath?’ The
    94-year-old yells back, ‘I don’t know. I’ll come
    Up and see.’ She starts up the stairs and pauses
    ‘Was I going up the stairs or down? The 92-year-old is
    Sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her
    Sisters, she shakes her head and says, ‘I sure hope I
    Never get that forgetful, knock on wood.’ She then
    Yells, ‘I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as
    I see who’s at the door.’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!!!
    ________________________________________________________________________

    ‘I CAN HEAR JUST FINE!’

    Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf
    One fine March day. One remarked to the other, ‘Windy,
    Isn’t it?’ ‘No,’ the second man replied,
    ‘it’s Thursday.’ And the third man chimed in,
    ‘So am I. Let’s have a beer.’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!!!
    _______________________________________________________________________

    A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a
    Nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of
    Her nightgown and say ‘Supersex.’ She walked up to
    An elderly man in a wheelchair.. Flipping her gown at him,
    She said, ‘Supersex.’ He sat silently for a moment
    Or two and finally answered, ‘I’ll take the
    Soup.’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!!!
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Now this one is just too Precious…LOL!

    Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over
    The years, they had shared all kinds of activities and
    Adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to
    Meeting a few times a week to play cards.

    One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the
    Other and said, ‘Now don’t get mad at me … I know
    We’ve been friends for a long time, but I just can’t
    Think of your name! I’ve thought And thought, but I
    Can’t remember it. Please tell me what your name is..

    Her friend glared at her for at least three minutes she
    Just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, ‘How
    Soon do you need to know?’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!!!
    _______________________________________________________________________

    SENIOR DRIVING

    As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car
    Phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice
    Urgently warning him, ‘Herman, I just heard on the news
    That there’s a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77.
    Please be careful!’ ‘Heck,’ said Herman,
    ‘It’s not just one car. It’s hundreds of them!’

    TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN TO US !!!!
    _________________________________________________________________

    DRIVING

    Two elderly women were out driving in a large car – both
    Could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising
    Along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red,
    But they just went on through. The woman in the passenger
    Seat thought to herself ‘I must be losing it. I could
    Have sworn we just went Through a red light.’

    After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection
    And the light was red. Again, they went right through. The
    Woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light
    Had been red but was really concerned that she was losing
    It. She was getting nervous.

    At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red
    And they went on through. So, She turned to the other woman
    And said, ‘Mildred, did you know that we just ran
    Through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us
    Both!’

    Mildred turned to her and said, ‘Oh, crap, am I driving?’

  22. This is too classic to not share. The scams are alive and well, apparently our grand government isn’t doing much to protect the nieve. Read the following:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
    Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
    J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
    http://www.fbi.gov/libref/directors/directmain.htm

    Attn: Beneficiary,

    This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly Investigated with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you are having an illegal Transaction with Impostors claiming to be Prof. Charles C. Soludo of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, Mr Frank Nweke, Dr. Philip Mogan, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks, Barr. Derrick Smith, kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of FedEx, Ibrahim Sule,Larry Christopher, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen, Dr. Philip Mogan, Paul Adim, Puppy Scammers are impostors claiming to be the Federal Bureau Of Investigation. During our Investigation, we noticed that the reason why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment.

    Therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry Of Finance on your behalf and they have brought a solution to your problem by coordinating your payment in total USD$11,000.000.00 in an ATM CARD which you can use to withdraw money from any ATM MACHINE CENTER anywhere in the world with a maximum of $4000 to $5000 United States Dollars daily. You now have the lawful right to claim your fund in an ATM CARD.

    Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in this transaction, you have to be rest assured for this is 100% risk free it is our duty to protect the American Citizens. All I want you to do is to contact the ATM CARD CENTER via email for their requirements to proceed and procure your Approval Slip on your behalf which will cost you $110.00 only and note that your Approval Slip which contains details of the agent who will process your transaction.
    CONTACT INFORMATION
    NAME: Mr. Kelvin Williams
    EMAIL: kelvinwilliams75@gmail.com
    Telephone: +2348027485165

    Do contact Mr Mr. Kelvin Williams of the ATM PAYMENT CENTER with your details:

    FULL NAME:
    HOME ADDRESS:
    TELL:
    CELL:
    CURRENT OCCUPATION:
    BANK NAME:
    AGE:

    So your files would be updated after which he will send the payment information’s which you’ll use in making payment of $110.00 via Western Union Money Transfer or Money Gram Transfer for the procurement of your Approval Slip after which the delivery of your ATM CARD will be effected to your designated home address without any further delay.We order you get back to this office after you have contacted the ATM SWIFT CARD CENTER and we do await your response so we can move on with our Investigation and make sure your ATM SWIFT CARD gets to you.
    Thanks and hope to read from you soon.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER, III
    DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    What a scam!

    G!

    • To add:

      Spam Email Graveyard: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) / …
      Dec 10, 2009 … Telephone: +2348027485165. Do contact Mr Mr. Kelvin Williams of the ATM PAYMENT CENTER with your details: FULL NAME: HOME ADDRESS: …

      spamemailgraveyard.com/2009/12/federal-bureau-of-inve… – Similar

      G!

  23. Judy Sabatini says:

    You should read some of these quotes from Reagan, and how well they for today.

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/ronald_reagan_6.html

  24. A Texas cattle rancher walks in the local watering hole for a cold one. He looks around the room and nitices G. Bush and D. Cheney sitting in a booth talking.

    The rancher asks the bartender if thats Bush and Cheney, and the bartender says yes.

    Not being the shy type, the rancher walks over , introduces himself and says what an honor to have them in town. He procedes to ask “What brings you to this place?”

    Bush: We’re planning WW III.

    Rancher: Well whats going to happen?

    Cheney: We’re going to kill 140 million Muslims and one gorgeous blond with big tits.

    After pausing in astonishment, the rancher asks: “Well, why kill the gorgeous blond with big tits?”

    Bush looked at Cheney and says: “Told you noone cares about the 140 million Muslims.”

    I know, that’s sick, but we have to save the blondes with big tits.

    G! 🙂

    • Bottom Line says:

      Very funny G.

      You and Judy are on a roll tonight with the comedy.

      • Humor is great medicine. Considering everything, and it’s been snowing all fricking evening, I still enjoy a good laugh, and a cold beer, or ten. 😆

        G!

        • Bottom Line says:

          Laughter goes well with a beer or ten.

          • Some truth to laugh at 🙂

            Weather forcast: Light snow this evening will give way to snow showers late. Low near 20F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Snowfall around one inch.

            4 inches and counting, with radar showing more to come.

            Now, these jerks think they can predict the climate 100 years from now, but can’t get one weather report right 3 hours out!

            And one wonders why we partake in relaxing activities.

            CHEERS

            G!

        • v. Holland says:

          We are expecting snow here this week, which I am looking forward too, because we hardly ever get snow. Snow is like a present we only get about every 10 years or so. Which is wonderful as long as it melts and goes away in a couple days-people here just do not know how to drive on the stuff-makes leaving the house dangerous.

          • we have about 7 inches on the ground since Thursday. Not bad really, just a pain to shovel everyday. In 8 days last year beginning Jan 9th, we had 59 inches fall, that was a back breaker. This is fluffy stuff and not heavy. It’s pretty, wish I was hunting. Hope you get some, just not much!

            G!

            • v. Holland says:

              59″-if that happened here-we’d all be stranded just don’t have the machinery to handle it-the most snow I ever remember getting came up to my knees and I think I was around 11 years old-so it might have been 10, 11 inches. Put speaking of snow, we don’t have any yet but it is very cold-gonna get off here and go build a fire-catch you later.

            • G-Man:

              Last year we had around 280 inches of snow where I live. We had a record snow fall last year. I don’t know what we have this year so far but it’s not as bad as last year. Snow Mobiles are very popular and there are several trails. Hopefully, I’ll get my snow blower fixed today.

  25. Just a small thought that might be comical. I have two female dogs, Sadie (boxer) and Snickers (Jack Russell/Beagle mix), who like all dogs, do their business in the back yard. Well, there’s about to 8 inches of snow now, and I’ve noticed a change in them. They go out to do their business, squat, look right back at me and shake there head from side to side. So I wonder what they think, do they think that they squat into the smow and that it’s freakin cold, or are they just telling me to shovel the back yard so they can keep their everything out of the snow?

    And I worry about the economy!

    G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      Easy life.

      Primary concerns:

      Eat, sleep, pee, poop, sex.

      Real simple.

      0 stress.

      Must be nice.

      • Sounds like a winner!

        I just get bored too easy, far to hyper for my age, and my blood pressure is almost low, go figure. Wish they’d make that stuff legal!

        G!

        • Bottom Line says:

          Nah, It’s already everywhere, and reasonably priced (or free if you know how to work it).

          “legalized” = controlled + taxed.

          …Screws up the dynamics of supply/demand.

          Illegal is better.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey BL

        Too bad we can’t be more that way, huh.. But, you never know now do ya?

        • Bottom Line says:

          Ya never know is right.

          One thing life has taught me, is that life is fluid and transient.

          Ya never know what tommorrow will bring.

      • Eat, sleep, poop, pee, and sex; sounds like you’ve just described 98% of American voters…. 😉

        • Cyndi,
          Just thought it would be funny to let you know I’m stalking you. Can’t sleep so I’ve been re-reading things. Everywhere I go you’ve just been there. Funny

    • Our teddybear has shovelled paths in our backyard! I shovel paths to all his favorite leg lifting spots – two bushes, the basketball pole and the clothesline pole.

  26. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good night people see you tomorrow.

    Love ya

    Judy

  27. Executive Order 12425

    Anyone know anything about this?

    • Yes,

      Essentially it gives Diplomatic Immunity to operatives of INTERPOL.

      …enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act;

      They can act inside the USA with impunity, as there is no national government that actually stands above INTERPOL.

      Its better than 007 – they can kill you, guilty or innocent – and your survivors have zero recourse.

      007 always risked getting arrested and jailed by the local cops. INTERPOL is immune to this.

      …except.. of course….

      They have to pay taxes.

      …relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes,…

      You’d laugh – except, you’re too damn scared to laugh.

    • D13:

      Here is some stuff I quickly found regarding the EO 12425. Note NY Times and ABC explanations following the revised wording caused by the amendments.:

      Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983

      International Criminal Police Organizations

      By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669, 22 U.S.C. 288), it is hereby ordered that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), in which the United States participates pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 263a, is hereby designated as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act; except those provided by Section 2(c), the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act. This designation is not intended to abridge in any respect the privileges, exemptions or immunities which such organization may have acquired or may acquire by international agreement or by Congressional action.

      Ronald Reagan
      The White House,
      June 16, 1983.”

      Amendment to Executive Order 12425 by William Jefferson Clinton

      Executive Order 12971 of September 15, 1995

      Amendment to Executive Order No. 12425

      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities upon the International Criminal Police Organization (‘‘INTERPOL’’) it is hereby ordered that Executive Order No. 12425 be amended by deleting, in the first sentence, the words ‘‘the portions of Section 2(d) and’’ and the words ‘‘relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes’’.

      William J. Clinton
      The White House,
      September 15, 1995.

      Amendment to Executive Order 12425 by Barack Obama

      Executive Order 13524 of December 16, 2009

      Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a Public International Organization Entitled to Enjoy Certain Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities

      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words ‘‘except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act’’ and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.

      Barack Obama
      The White House,
      December 16, 2009.

      As amended, the Executive Order will now read:

      By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669, 22 U.S.C. 288), it is hereby ordered that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), in which the United States participates pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 263a, is hereby designated as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act. This designation is not intended to abridge in any respect the privileges, exemptions or immunities which such organization may have acquired or may acquire by international agreement or by Congressional action.”

      New York Times, December 30, 2009:

      Order on Interpol Work Inside U.S. Irks Conservatives

      -snip

      In the United States, a bureau at the Justice Department staffed by American officials transmits information between law enforcement agencies and Interpol. If a foreign country issues an arrest warrant for a person inside the United States, it is up to the United States government, based on its own laws, to decide whether to apprehend the suspect.

      “We don’t send officers into the field to arrest people; we don’t have agents that go investigate crimes,” said Rachel Billington, an Interpol spokeswoman. “This is always done by the national police in the member country under their national laws.”

      When public international organizations are operating on United States soil, a law allows the president to grant them certain rights and immunities, just as foreign embassies receive privileges. More than 70 organizations — including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Bank and the International Pacific Halibut Commission — receive those rights.

      In 1983, President Ronald Reagan extended some rights — including immunity from lawsuits or prosecution for official acts — to Interpol, which was holding its annual meeting in the United States. But Mr. Reagan’s order did not include other standard privileges — like immunity from certain tax requirements and from having its property or records subject to search and seizure — because at the time, Interpol had no permanent office or employees on United States soil.

      -snip

      “When the office opened in 2004, we said look, we’d like to have the Interpol staff working in the office in New York afforded the same immunities as other international organizations,” Ms. Billington said. “It’s only for the New York office.”

      The State Department recommended approving the request, but the Bush White House did not complete the matter before its term ended, and so it rolled over.

      Jake Tapper, ABC News, December 30, 2009:

      Just What Did President Obama’s Executive Order regarding INTERPOL Do?

      -snip

      “The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have closely coordinated with INTERPOL for many, many years,” a former counterterrorism official who served during the Bush administration says approvingly.

      -snip

      Reagan’s 1983 executive order, however, did not provide blanket exemptions for INTERPOL officials, who at the time did not have a permanent office in the US. The provisions of the International Organizations Immunities Act that INTERPOL officials were not exempt from included:

      • Section 2(c), which provided officials immunity from their property and assets being searched and confiscated; including their archives;
      • the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes;
      • Section 4, dealing with federal taxes;
      • Section 5, dealing with Social Security; and
      • Section 6, dealing with property taxes.

      -snip

      So what does the counterterrorism official from the Bush years think of this?

      He can’t believe it’s taken this long.

      “To the extent that granting these immunities to INTERPOL furthers the efficacy or ease of information-sharing or joint action on an expedited basis to act on warrants seems like a no brainer to me,” the official says.

      “Conservatives can’t have it both ways,” the official says. “You can’t be complaining about the hypothetical abdication of US jurisdiction at the same time you’re complaining the Obama administration is not being tough enough on national security.”

    • Ok – so I’m a bit dramatic.

      However, that is where it is leading.

      This order prevents any citizen from suing INTERPOL. You die by their hand – your survivors have no recourse. No suit, no legal action – zippo.

      If it a malicious killing, US murder law still holds. But when was the last time you heard a ‘LEO’ (Law Enforcement Officer) was jailed for killing innocent people while on duty?

    • Hmmm….thanks guys.

      • The reason I am asking is that I have denied two fellows with Interpol access to my records or to the border operations that we have established and I had that executive order number thrown at me. It does not change my mind any and I do not give a flip what the exec order says…they are still going to be prohibited from my records and border security plans and operations that I have worked on. We will see if anyone sticks a gun in my face or not or if I get a court order or something. I will know Wednesday.

        • That order has nothing to do with a power to demand documents or power to enforce an action on you.

          It saves them from you suing them, though.

          I think they are bluffing.

          • Yep…I think they are full of dookey and our attorney’s general told me to tell them to go to hell….which I will, of course. They came down here from Washington with a credentialed Justice Department official that did not scare me either….no one had a subpoena….Just 5 minutes ago, their position has changed to a sharing of information but we are not going to let them in no matter what. There is no need to know on their part.

        • D13:

          Colonel, I think Flag is correct. The original order and all amendments are about granting diplomatic immunity to interpol. Nothing to do with their authorities or powers. Except they could violate your right to privacy and perhaps get off the hook.

          I’m guessing that would be a fatal, or near fatal mistake on their part.

          I just gave you the current and amended verbage of the actual order. I suggest you copy it from here, paste to word and have enlarged to about 16 font. Then present them with it next time they try that trick.

          “Emmmmm, I’m sorry but I’m just a simple Texas country boy. Could ya’l show me exactly where in this har document whar it says I have to give ya anything?”

          • Agreed JAC…they will get nowhere….see above…they have changed their tune to sharing information and wanting to “accompany” as imbedded law enforcement some of our patrols. This will not happen either. We do not need amateurs in our way.

            Interpol has about as much respect from me as…hmmmm….what the bird left on the pump handle.

  28. To All You Texicans

    We spuds like our Texas steaks medium rare.

    Boise State 17………..TCU 10

    Broncos rock. And their coach just signed a sweet new 5 yr contract before the bowl game. And the team is very young.

    I still think both these teams would fare well in any conference. Not go undefeated but certainly do well.

  29. I’m late to this one so someone probably already handled it, but:

    Your free market example is flawed. A boycott of Citgo doesn’t work because the people don’t care about Chavez (at least, not enough to switch brands/drive to a farther station/pay more). A free market doesn’t “not work” just because you don’t happen to agree with its results in particular instances.

    Companies like Microsoft that attempt to abuse consumers would be vulnerable to attack by a new entrant to the market, who without regulations would be able to make use of its agility to capture market share. Companies which abuse its workers would have to compensate in other ways (pay, benefits, etc) or become un-competitive due to its skilled/experienced workers leaving for competitors (and even if they pay their employees more for the privilege of abusing them, other companies who can pay less by not abusing their employees will be more successful).

    As for giant companies that move into an area and begin directly harming their neighbors, typically via pollution, that would be considered an obvious (clear and present) initiation of violence and the affected neighbors would have right to demand restitution or otherwise defend themselves regardless of what the rest of society does about it.

  30. jjoshuajj21 says:

    For quite some time I knew the economy issues were created to weaken the United States so that the USA can be overtaken by the European Union, so that the Might and Power of the USA can be utilized to rule the world. The reason why we suffer from eternal debt, taxation, and economic woes, is that we are Sold-Out by the G.W. Bush Nazi Connection to the 3rd Reich Secret-Society that escaped and that still lives to scheme and plot. So, I abandon the disinformation that is coerced in society, today, and my different research findings reveal odds of a 1 chance in 627 Gazillion that it’s true >>>http://the2010campaignconspiracy.wordpress.com/ <<<<

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