When President Trump signed an executive order shortly after taking office designed to weaken the Affordable Care Act, some questioned whether the instructions to federal agencies to look for ways to ease the law’s burden on businesses and individuals would have any real bite.
But on Tuesday, there can be little doubt Trump is succeeding in hastening the demise of a program that currently insures more than 9 million Americans. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service responded by weakening the health care law’s requirement that individuals either acquire health insurance or pay the penalty. Continue reading
Dear Imperial America: the lifestyle you ordered is permanently out of stock.
Our extraordinary misallocation of national treasure and political power has set a banquet of consequences that few are willing to face, much less address head-on. If we had to sum up this vast misallocation, we might start by characterizing it as the result of a multitude of elites playing Empire with money borrowed from future generations.
We can start the list of extraordinary misallocations of national treasure with the Neocon’s endless wars of choice. Ten years ago, estimates of the total cost of the Iraq misadventure were $3 trillion: Cost of Iraq War: $3 Trillion; Cost of Solar Plants to Power all 105 million U.S Households: $500 Billion (April 10, 2008) Continue reading
It’s an unfortunate historical anomaly that people think about the paper in their wallets as money. The dollar is, technically, a currency. A currency is a government substitute for money. But gold is money.
Now, why do I say that?
Historically, many things have been used as money. Cattle have been used as money in many societies, including Roman society. That’s where we get the word “pecuniary” from: the Latin word for a single head of cattle is pecus. Salt has been used as money, also in ancient Rome, and that’s where the word “salary” comes from; the Latin for salt is sal (or salis). The North American Indians used seashells. So, money is simply a medium of exchange and a store of value. Continue reading
The only possible output of low social capital is rising inequality.
One of the themes I’ve been addressing since 2008 is the neocolonial-plantation structure of the U.S. economy. The old models of colonial exploitation that optimized plantations worked by cheap imported labor (or situated in peripheral nations with plenty of cheap labor) have, beneath the surface, been adapted to advanced capitalist democracies.
The adaptations have been so successful that not only do we not even recognize the Plantation structure–we love our servitude within it. Continue reading
Things Are Happening That Usually Never Happen Unless A New Recession Is Beginning
Is the U.S. economy about to get slammed by a major recession? According to Gallup, U.S. economic confidence has soared to the highest level ever recorded, but meanwhile, a whole host of key economic indicators are absolutely screaming that a new recession is beginning. And if the U.S. economy does officially enter recession territory in 2017, it certainly won’t be a shock, because the truth is that we are well overdue for one. Donald Trump has inherited quite an economic mess from Barack Obama, and it was probably inevitable that we were headed for a significant economic downturn no matter who won the election. Continue reading
Americans who unexpectedly find they can’t pay their bills are at a greater risk of dying, according to a new research report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The research also found that a significantly improved credit score can lead to an increase in life expectancy.
The report determined that people’s mortality rates rose by 5 percent when they suddenly fell behind on their debt payments due to a sudden macro event such as a recession. But the risk of death was reduced by more than 4 percent if an individual’s credit score increased by 100 points.
Delinquency had the biggest impact in the short term. Individuals were far more likely to die from an immediate debt shock than from lingering debt. Continue reading
“A private central bank issuing the public currency is a greater menace to the liberties of the people than a standing army. We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
A common sense approach to bankruptcy is the recognition that no matter how much money you will be able to acquire you cannot possibly ever pay it back to your creditors. This is not what is required for a government regulating agency to declare a banking facility bankrupt, but it is a valid depiction of the state of our national debt and our ability to reduce it to a manageable quantity. The level of taxation that would be required to eliminate our national debt, which is climbing by astronomical numbers, would put such a strain on the fiscal ability of most Americans to survive we would instantly revert to a third world status. This is the danger we are confronted with by a free spending government unwilling to restrain its reach. Continue reading
All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation. ~ John Adams
Aside from those who don’t have much of it, money is one of those things people take for granted. People open their wallets, or purses, and pull out a couple pieces of paper/clothe and expect that they will be able to exchange it for a certain amount of goods or services. But what is that stuff you carry around and use to make purchases? Money you say? I don’t think so.
The Sixth Edition of Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law defines money as: gold, silver, and some other less precious metals. What you hold in your wallets and purses is currency; and you should at least know a basic history of how it came to replace real money. Continue reading
Don’t you find it appalling that there are people who claim they are “serving the public” yet fleece the taxpayer every chance they get?
They say they can’t afford the cost of tax cuts as if the money they are talking about is theirs. They say they are against earmarks but they fight tooth and nail to obtain them with no shame of their hypocrisy. They can’t produce a balanced budget, they have run a debt that cannot be paid and they continue to expect respect for being the equivalent of a mobster. They talk of killing a PFC who obtained some information that showed what a posh ineffectual bunch we have in the Diplomatic corps and they learn nothing when their party gets a “shellacking”. If this sounds like a tirade against just Democrats this is not the case. The Republicans learned nothing from the shellacking they got in 2008. Iowa’s own Senator Grassley pushed for continuing the ethanol subsidy (pure pork barrel earmark) and Senator Harkin was siding with Bernie Sanders in avoiding a vote on stopping the tax increase. Continue reading
The United States Post Office and/or The US Postal Service has just had a “PRICE INCREASE THAT I DO NOT RECALL SEEING OR READING ABOUT ON NATIONAL NEWS OR MEDIA OUTLETS OR VIA THE “INTERNET”…….
On December 12, 2016 I sent a Priority Package from Morehead City, NC to Centennial, Colorado for $31.44 and was confirmed by my receipt.
On December 27, 2016 I sent another Priority Package from Morehead City, NC to Centennial, Colorado at a cost of $35.59……the same item was in both packages. Continue reading
Why is the Fed creating incentives for US corporations to destroy themselves? Why is the Fed pushing insurance companies and retirement funds into bankruptcy? Why is the Fed raising interest rates when inflation is still well below its 2 percent target?
Things are not always what they seem. In theory, the Fed’s low interest rates are supposed to have a positive impact on the economy by spurring a credit expansion. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Bank lending has remained stubbornly subdued throughout the post-crisis period. But what hasn’t remained subdued is corporate borrowing (via the bond market) which has exceeded all previous records increasing the probability of massive corporate defaults sometime in the next two years. Here’s a good summary of what’s going on from an article in Fortune titled “Corporate America is Drowning in Debt”: Continue reading
…and a word to the not-so wise!
Which category to post this in – The Mine or The Shaft? Either way – someone is going to pay…
Another Banking Criminal Let Off The Hook
It is a verdict which we see over and over when it comes to the crimes of the Big Banks, the central banks, and their minions. These felons are caught committing serious offenses, again and again, yet receive either no punishment, or at worst some token slap on the wrist.
The banking felon to escape punishment this time is IMF criminal, Christine LaGarde . LaGarde’s criminal conviction came while she was still France’s Finance Minister. It involved a $400 million government pay-out authorized by LaGarde, against the advice of several other Finance Ministry officials, to “French tycoon” Bernard Tapie. LaGarde announced she wouldn’t appeal being let off the hook for her crime. How magnanimous. Continue reading
While economists, the administration and the Fed all trumpet “near full employment,” a stark reality intrudes: Most of the jobs created in the last decade have been temp or gig jobs, not permanent full-time work. It’s a huge problem.
From 2005 to 2015, fully 94% of the 10 million net new jobs were either temporary or contract gigs, says a new study by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger at Princeton University. The share of Americans — mostly Millennials — now doing what the study’s authors call “alternative work” has risen from 10.7% to 15.8%.
That wouldn’t be so bad if it was what workers wanted. But that’s not the case. Continue reading