Posts Tagged ‘wall street’

America! America! God mend thine every flaw

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

 

I am fearful that our beloved United States of America is going to follow a path (despite the rules laid down by our founders) that defies to protect us from the fate of Saudi Arabia, China and Russia.  All of those places have no tolerance for intellectual freedom much less freedom of religion or freedom to love. 

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I love America with all my heart…   her amber waves of grain are being destroyed by pipelinesHer purple mountain majesty is being blown to bits by coal magnates.

amber waves of grain

 

 

Her beautiful spacious skies will again be choked with soot and fear.  Her brotherhood of good From sea to shining sea will have to hide and whisper in corners and alleys.

texas

Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.  Self-control is likened to weakness and liberty to peril. 

I weep, and seek the comfort of the like minded.  I cling to to the lovers of clean food and thought, pristine water and mind, clear air and soul.  Greed is the enemy of all those things. 

America please see what is happening.  Please embrace what our founders saw and tried to keep for everyone after them.  O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years   I repeat –> O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years.  Take that in.

patriot dreams

 

that sees

 

waterfall

 

maine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Till selfish gain no longer stain, the banner of the free!

 

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Who gives a fig what S&P thinks?

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

 

Trickle down economics isn’t causing that drip you hear, its drool.  Who cares what S&P thinks?  Except, “after the Dow Jones Industrial Average,  the S&P 500 is the most widely followed index of large-cap American stocks.”

 

We should all be listening to Fred.  The news is full of Standard and Poor (S&P) credit downgrade of the US’s borrowing worth.  I say, OK, so lets not borrow from them.  Lets revoke their use of ratings as a political weapon. I’ve read and read and read and can’t really find an answer.  Numbers, economics, and resources all seem to play a part.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It may be disturbing to some to find out that not all good comes out of the wealthy corporate interests represented by the S&P’s 500.  Japan is pulling themselves out of their natural and man-made financial woes.  How?  Innovation.  It also helps that they don’t have a tea-party or christian fundamentalists standing on their drowning heads.  OK, with that sentence, I’m guessing I’ve lost about 25% of you.

Economics is nothing more than realizing that all the Earth’s resources are scarce and the study of Economics is how those resources get allocated amongst people.  A comparison of 1961 to today was made that sparked more research.  I asked my smart friend Fred  If our tax rate were the same as it was is 1961, would our deficit get payed off quicker?

and like a true economics guru he gave this reply…

Your question about the tax rate being what it was in 1961 would eliminate the deficit is a good one. The math is correct but ignores what has happened to the dollar since 1961. The top tax rate today is 35% on $357,500 of taxable income. In 1961 it was 34% on $8,000 and went as high as 91% on $200,000, $400,000 joint filers.  See http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/federalindividualratehistory-20080107.pdf for historical rates.

Back then a dollar was still worth 50 cents. Now it is worth something between a dime and a nickel. (this is the stuff, I just can’t seem to grasp.  How can a dollar only be worth a dime?  Compared to what? )In 1961 a large milk shake (real dairy) was  25 cents, gas was 25 cents a gallon, a new cadillac cost $2,999, and the minimum wage was 75 cents. A living wage was $5,000 and it took only one person working to support a family. Full time workers made much more than the minimum wage which applied mostly to part time and seasonal itinerant workers. If one made $20,000 a year they were rich.

Since then we have had greatly reduced tax rates but a very high tax in the way of inflation. Inflation went up most in the 1970’s until Reagan stopped it by raising interest rates in 1979. Since then inflation has been slower, but still running 4-6%. until 2008 when prices of some things went down, like housing making average inflation minor. Still we have food, medicine, fuel, education, all going up more than the Consumer Price Index. (The consumer price index takes a semester to understand. Why are we suffering if the price of things has gone down?  We’re not making it we’re just buying it, so we should be on top of this game.)

Now the government has used a new tack to fleece the citizen, it is called borrowing. We get tax cuts to make us feel like voting for the creeps, they take our social security money to fund wars, (is that why they want to tap into social security?  Are those 500 in the S&P wanting our pittances for wars?  Are those 500 in the S&P making money off of loaning to our pentagon for these wars? ) they give us cheap goods from China sending our jobs overseas so they can borrow from the wealthy and the Chinese, to finance more wars, that make some rich people richer so they can finance their reelections. “creeps” and other epithets are extremely appropriate in view of their game. These are smart people; they know what they are doing to us. (they don’t see us though, it’s like bomber pilots dropping bombs, all they see is a little poof)

Comparing the value of a dollar in 1961 ($.50) versus today ( 5 – 10 cents) we can compare the tax rates and equivalent dollars over the time from 1961 to now as follows; (50/10 + 50/5)/2 = 7.5 times. (I’m lost)

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Back to the main question, a tax of 34% on any family making more than $120,000, (16,000 X 7.5), and 91% on over $3,000,000, (400.000 X 7.5), would be equivalent to the tax rates we had in 1961. (91%?! Nobody wants that!  Wealthy folks should not pay more just because they are wealthy. , They should pay the same as we here in the trenches pay and take away their loopholes.  Perhaps those companies that profit from war should pay higher taxes.)These rates would go a long way to wiping out the deficit. I don’t have the figures, but it may even give us a surplus.

In fact, the tax rates in 1961 were too high because the rates still included the WW II repayments. (Our taxes included repaying the war debt? Now they want social security to pay the war debt?) When Kennedy reduced the rates it brought big expansion to the US economy, but it was accompanied by inflation which became intolerable by 1973 when Nixon brought out price controls, which did not work, by the way.

Reagan fixed inflation and brought us trickle down economics, which did not work, by the way. (It just brought a lot of drooling)

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Bush jr brought us cheap efficient wars, which do not end, by the way. (Cheap and efficient?  Fred, I believe your stabbing at humor here.)

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Reagan, Bush sr, Clinton. Bush jr, and Obama all brought us the global economy and cheap foreign goods at Wal Mart, Which do not last, by the way. (that is the plan?, buy crap that doesn’t last so you buy more crap.  This is not sustainable)

They also gave away our jobs, so we no longer work, by the way. (so we’ll be a bedroom society.  Let the rest of the world work while we figure out how to get disability.)

This is my final answer.  . . . I think.

We could fix the deficit if we balanced the long term budget by combining tax increases (much lower than 1961 rates), with reduced wasteful spending on senseless wars, control of medical costs and education costs, and getting organized money out of politics.

Fred
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(we need to put a cap on political donations.  $1000 per person and since corporations have been deemed “a person”  that’s all they can give too)

“Despair is the conclusion of fools” — Benjamin Disraeli
 

unions built America

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unions built America after their military service fighting to preserve it.

If they keep taking…

Monday, March 14th, 2011

If they keeping taking from the middle class the American dream will cease to exist.


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We’ll exile ourselves to places like  Costa Rica, Italy, Germany and Norway for the same reasons our forefathers came to America.  Us worker bees will leave the tyrannical hedge fund managers and their big oil buddies to play with their —  own 401k’s.

It might be a good thing — no one left to fight their wars.  Perhaps they’ll stop booting out the illegal aliens;  who may be needed to clean their mansions and perform CPR on their stressed out hearts?

I would gladly pay you Tuesday…

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

I asked many of my co-workers and friends what they know about the Federal Reserve. Some never heard of it and others just “stay out of politics”.  Congress either understands the Federal Reserve about as well as me and the people I work with or they understand it very well and use it for their own purposes.  My guess is there is a little of both.

Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law in 1913 with hopes of  keeping the American economy stable.  The great depression happened after the stock market crashed in 1929 so apparently it didn’t work.  Conspiracy theories portray that It worked out nicely for the guys funding the Federal Reserve.

By the way did you know Woodrow Wilson’s second wife Edith was a descendant of Pocahontas and he was instrumental in women gaining the right to vote as well as creating the IRS and involving us in WWI.

It seems that Wilson’s purpose, which was passed by congress, was to establish a system of banking that would remain independent but overseen by congress to protect the American economy.   My smart friend Fred says… ‘ There is evidence that no one in government or banking has been properly taught recently. At least they don’t seem to be interested in financial stability as much as in how to flip securities and create new “products” to flim-flam investors, other banks and foreign governments. ”

Oversight of the Federal Reserve is quite obviously an important issue that we need to understand and pay attention to.  As Fred stated “Money is a debt of the government with no interest rate. When you have a hundred dollar bill it means the government owes you a hundred dollars. You can take it to any bank and exchange it for another or a combination of smaller  currency or coin equal to $100.  You used to be able to get gold or silver but that was eliminated in 1933. Can you imagine trying to keep track of a $5 gold fleck?”

So, we can’t run around with little gold flecks in our pockets or chickens or buckets of oil or items of value so money is printed.  A loan from the government covered by the value of the US treasury which is manipulated by the individuals at the Federal Reserve.  We vote for congressmen to keep an eye on the Fed, AKA oversight.

In 1895, the Federal Treasury was nearly out of gold. President Grover Cleveland arranged for J.P. Morgan to create a private syndicate on Wall Street to supply the U.S. Treasury with $65 million in gold. JP Morgan pretty much owned the US treasury, as a consequence Cleveland, a democrat, angered his democratic constituents, and lost the presidency to Republican William McKinley.  Mckinley established gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money with the Gold Standard Act in 1900.  He was assassinated in 1901.

Another panic in 1907 was a financial crisis that almost crippled the American economy, yet again. Major New York banks were on the verge of bankruptcy and there was no mechanism to rescue them until Morgan stepped in, yet again and personally took charge, resolving the crisis.

Morgan organized a team of bank and trust executives which redirected money between banks.  A delicate political issue arose regarding the brokerage firm of Moore and Schley, which was deeply involved in a speculative pool in the stock of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. Moore and Schley had pledged over six million of the Tennessee Coal and Iron (TCI) stock for loans among the Wall Street banks. The banks had called the loans, and the firm could not pay.  If Moore and Schley should fail, a hundred more failures would follow and then all Wall Street might go to pieces.  Too big to fail was going on back in 1907. Morgan decided they had to save Moore and Schley.

Vowing to never let it happen again, and realizing that in a future crisis there was not likely to be another Morgan, banking and political leaders, led by Senator Nelson Aldrich devised a plan that became the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The crisis underscored the need for a powerful mechanism, and Morgan supported the move to create the Federal Reserve System.  Yay!! it’ll never happen again and we don’t have to pay attention.  Then you may ask “Why did the great depression happen if the Federal Reserve System was established to protect the American economy”?  Well, either something evil was going on or just plain stupidity (on our part) and greed.

President Lincoln didn’t like the idea of a Central Bank and stated…

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.”

Shortly after he said this, he was assassinated.

Banks store our money for us so we don’t have to walk around with our wad in our boots.  It isn’t sitting in a vault waiting for us to come and get it.  The bank has devised ways to turn our little wad into a bigger wad for themselves through speculation and manipulation of fractional reserves (watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYZM58dulPE to understand it better). They also extend credit to us based on our wad and make money off the interest.

We all need to treat our credit cards like a 30 day note, you borrow to get things you want in the immediate sense rather than having to wait for your next paycheck.  If you pay it back before the 30 days is up, you don’t have to pay interest, you just pay back what you borrowed. So we can live happily ever after surrounded by the ones we love.  Isn’t that the ultimate goal? for our money to buy our happiness? Like a patient said to me once “you never see a hearse pulling a U-haul”.

Wall Street Reform news

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Top 10 Things You May Not Know About the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Posted by Jen Psaki on July 21, 2010 at 06:00 AM EDT

Here are 10 aspects of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act you may not know about — the online attention-deficit version.

  1. Stronger protections for consumers against unfair credit card practices like rate hikes for existing credit card balancesWhen my son had a traffic accident I didn’t work for a month to be at his bedside,  I had a credit card with a 9% rate that I never used, but kept for emergencies.  As soon as I used it the rate went to 18%.  When I called to complain, they dropped the rate to 16% and told me that was “standard practice“.   I told them this was “standard bullshit” paid it off and canceled the card forever.
  2. Mortgage brokers will be prohibited from making higher commissions by selling mortgages they know consumers can’t afford. But —  We love the stuff we can’t afford. We need to go back to –> we can only have what we can afford.  Then the cost of living will drop and the pay scales will rise and we’ll need less stuff.  Like “Happy Days”.
  3. Free annual credit scores so people can stay on top of their finances. [Clarification: free credit scores are available if you receive worse terms on a loan because of something on your credit report, or if you are rejected. You think this will make folks stay on top of their finances?
  4. No more taxpayer-funded bailouts. yay!! If a company can’t make it, it will have to liquidate.  If what they sell is junk, they need to go down. Like the company building junky jets for the air force — they went down.
  5. Greater input by company shareholders over how much a CEO gets paid.  Companies’ compensation boards are now required to be truly independent.  you mean they weren’t in charge of a CEO’s pay or compensation?
  6. Brokers who offer investment advice will have to act in the best interests of their customers, not their own financial interests.  Oh, yeah, like some federal law is gonna make that happen.
  7. Financial firms won’t be allowed to grow so large that if one fails, it will affect the entire financial system.   Isn’t that why we don’t allow monopolies? When did that change?
  8. There will be one agency whose sole job is to make sure that consumers get the protections they deserve and to set clear rules to hold banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, and credit card lenders accountable.  It will be interesting to see how this works out. I’m sure you anti-government types are focusing on this one.
  9. Businesses can’t be charged extra fees for debit card “swipe fees” that exceed the cost of processing transactions.
  10. You can learn plenty more here at WhiteHouse,gov or at financialstability.gov
  11. Updated: To tack on #11, here’s a new animated video we’ve released to further explain Wall Street Reform.

RE:  My son’s accident–> I didn’t borrow from mother, father, sister, brother or friend, I had money sitting around doing nothing waiting for the inevitable shit that happens in life.  Something governments, companies and individuals all need to do.

goldman sucks

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I was trying to understand why Goldman Sachs is in so much trouble with the government.  I found an article in the New York Times at…
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/business/25goldman.html?emc=na

Mr. Levin said, referring to testimony given by Mr. Blankfein in January. “They were self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that were a major part of the 2008 crisis. They bundled toxic and dubious mortgages into complex financial instruments, got the credit-rating agencies to label them as AAA safe securities, sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system, and all too often betting against the financial instruments that they sold, and profiting at the expense of their clients.” 

They bet against what they sold!?  That is legal?! Is this what we are trying to stop in this financial regulations bill?  If America is a giant casino and we are the players, does Goldman Sachs (et al) own the casino?  Are you investor types out there OK with that?

The more I read about this the more confused I get.  I think, well they must not have understood the huge impact this betting would cause us out here in the trenches.  Then I think, no, they are amazingly intelligent people, they knew, they just didn’t care; and they never will.  We can’t ever expect the casino to do what is right for us, they will always do what makes them money.   We can’t even shake our pointy fingers at them because we have admired them this whole time for their wealth and power while they plotted our demise. Half of us still admire them,  and those are the ones arranging a filibuster right now in the senate.

So we need to pay attention to what our senators are paying attention to.

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfmP


are we exaggerating global warming?

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Polar bears exaggerating claims of global warming

Ok, so are we exaggerating global warming?

No one would have followed Martin Luther King if he had said “I have a nightmare”, as mentioned by energy secretary Ed Miliband.

We need to unite in being good to this earth.  It has been so good to all of us.  I am  hopeful that the decision makers representing the world in Copenhagen are uniting in the dream — and not denying the nightmare.

We all know the nightmare –> So many pictures of people riding bikes in China through polluted air with face masks.  Stories of asthmatic children in the Bronx breathing diesel fumes.  Photos of decapitated mountains in West Virginia and the subsequent coal muck escaping in to small towns.  Growth was so big and so fast that sewage spilled in to drinking water in Florida.  Many fists pound many tables when you suggest that economic gains can be achieved through sustainable living that preserves this rare jewel we call Earth.

Polluters love muddling the facts, and making fun of the nightmarish scenarios.  Some scientists  actually feed the machine that is profiting currently.  The collaborative machine of industry, shipping, air flights, hospitals, manufacturers, and on and on are horrified by the idea of changing energy production and usage. We have evolved to need cheap stuff, more than we need liberty, freedom, water, food, shelter and coffee.

 

 

 

Copenhagen_rush_hour 

 

So lets describe the dream Andrew Gilligan wrote an article for the telegraph.co.uk… Copenhagen is a city filled entirely with bicycles, stuffed with retrofitted, energy-efficient old buildings, and seems to embody the civilized pleasures of low-carbon living without any of the puritanism”.

Costa Rica produces 99% of its energy from renewable sources, reversed deforestation and is aiming to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021 by combining its ministries of energy and environment, and abolishing its army. Abolishing armies will probably never happen world wide, there will always be bad guys to fight.  We can dream though.  Other small island nations such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are also fairing well in levels of health and a very low footprint.

A Gristy guide to the COP15 climate talks
We need to stop being so full of ourselves because we are hanging our clothes on the line and carrying our water in a glass jar.  We need to help young smart people get in to colleges that promote environmental engineering and require environmental awareness in their curriculum.  Industry and manufacturing can make products sustainably.  It can be done and is being done. Lets study how they’re doing it.  Lets study the countries that are successfully achieving sustainability.

There is a little island country — the Maldives?  They have successfully figured out how to keep their sea turtles and their tourists happy.
bora-bora-22bora-bora-21
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There are many nightmares to learn from.  Bhopal is a nightmare to remember.  Do you remember?  A cloud of poison gas leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in the middle of the night and drifted over the Bhopal slums killing thousands.

Union Carbide convinced India that the big new plant they were going to build in Bhopal was going to make their lives better, improve the economy and they’d be happier.  We need to be careful when companies and the politicians they pay for claim to care about our happiness and well being.

bhopal2.gif


My smart friend Fred

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

explain the economy
http://imgfave.com/view/80764

I never really understood economics and whenever I try to I go to my smart friend Fred.  He has a way of putting things in terms I understand.   So I was asking him about some claims on the internet.  They claim that if you really want to be wealthy you subscribe to their read and they will show you how President Obama and Washington are undermining our ability to have wealth.

http://www.moneynews.com/streettalk/laffer_depression/2009/09/24/264142.html?s=al&promo_code=8A63-1

I forwarded it to my smart friend Fred and this was his response.

Money has no intrinsic value. It is a medium of exchange and a temporary store of value. Emphasize “temporary”.
If you hold money you lose value as it inflates, which it almost always does because government can’t resist using inflation to pay for its excesses of spending over its ability to tax. Remember the Bush tax cuts when waging an expensive war.

Too bad the government ran a deficit when the economy was booming. Now we need a bigger deficit to stimulate a bad economy. This is inflationary and we will see our money buying less in the future.

Don’t hold money. Hold items with intrinsic value like real estate, stocks, and even gold, though this does not earn a return.

Don’t pay attention to this crap. It’s just scare tactics to get you to buy a useless book.

Fred

So the federal government does with our money like what we did with our equity of our homes?  Imaginary income that we used to buy new carpet, or a pool.  They use imaginary income, be it inflation or equity, and buy stuff — like wars or healthcare.

I suppose “imaginary income” is one way of putting it, and yes, there is a similarity.  However inflation is a little different than the bubble of inflating home prices.  With a bubble the price of one thing (a durable item) goes up faster than the price of everything else; usually because people believe it will keep going up.  Eventually the bubble bursts, the price falls, and the people holding the item lose wealth.

Inflation is where the money price of everything rises because money is worth less. People holding money lose, which is virtually all of us. It isn’t so bad unless inflation gets so high people run from money.  In some countries, Germany
in early 20th century,  people were paid wages twice a day and given time off in mid day so they could go spend it before it lost too much value. Are you kidding me?

I shouldn’t date myself this way, but when I was a kid the price for a loaf of bread, a pack of cigarettes and a gallon of gas were all 25 cents. A big wad of bubble gum was a penny.  Prices are now about ten times for these things except for cigarettes which the government has taxed much higher than the other items. The one-tenth value of the dollar has been so gradual that we didn’t notice it much, except in the late 60’s and 70’s when the government took steps to control inflation.

As a kid I recall people (my father often), saying ‘I remember when a dollar was worth a dollar.’ So now I say, I remember when a dollar was worth 50 cents.  Today that makes it worth about 5 cents.

I don’t mind if you use the exchange on your blog.  I’ll try to keep it clean.

Fred
happy Fred

So OK I understand that economics is about the value of money.  My GOP friends don’t want reforms from Washington because they are afraid it will tap in to their own personal wealth.   Personal wealth is the money you hold and the stuff (items with  intrinsic value) you own.  What should be done differently?  Maybe we need to change our value system.

Another explanation that I could understand regarding economics today in this country was from Bill Maher.
How about this for a New Rule:  Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures.

Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html

I also received a response from Stacey Derbinshire at

and am including her link as it was helpful to me

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