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xenon13
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17 Feb 2010, 7:57 pm

If Usama bin Laden were to arrange for a plane to crash through the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, would Americans not celebrate him as a hero?



Sand
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18 Feb 2010, 12:52 am

xenon13 wrote:
If Usama bin Laden were to arrange for a plane to crash through the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, would Americans not celebrate him as a hero?


Considering the screw-ups with terrorists these days they probably would hit Saks Fifth Avenue.



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18 Feb 2010, 6:40 am

Zeno wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201003/jobless-america-future

All that annoying upbeat positive thinking is finally giving way to some realism. Even so, the article does not quite dare to touch on how bad things really are. The reliance on summarizing expert opinion and citing research studies in an effort to be credible also makes the piece somewhat unreadable. But this article is something of a marker in the evolution of American public thought on the malaise afflicting America in that it dares to speak of the pain to come.

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We are in a very deep hole, and we’ve been in it for a relatively long time already. Concerns over deficits are understandable, but in these times, our bias should be toward doing too much rather than doing too little. That implies some small risk to the government’s ability to continue borrowing in the future; and it implies somewhat higher taxes in the future too. But that seems a trade worth making. We are living through a slow-motion social catastrophe, one that could stain our culture and weaken our nation for many, many years to come. We have a civic—and indeed a moral—responsibility to do everything in our power to stop it now, before it gets even worse.


Above is the final synthesis which the writer wants the reader to arrive at. Despite bravely going where others fear to tread, he still concludes without reason that things will eventually get better. Why else would more reckless spending be justified? If you have been following what I have been saying, you will know my view is that America’s line of credit will soon be cut by the Chinese. America is really just Greece but many times bigger and with public and private sector fraud that reaches even further. It is imperative to protect now whatever little faith the world still has in America’s promises. To borrow even more in a futile attempt to soften the blow of unemployment or underemployment puts at risk wider national interests. Unfortunately for Americans, they and their leaders do not understand that the pain is a necessary part of urgent adjustments which must be put in place if the supertanker is not to run ashore.

The debates continue while the riots fester.


The article deserves to be read so I am highlighting it again. Speaking of domestic terrorism against financial institutions, it is increasingly likely that we will see some sort of attack against the likes of Goldman and Morgan. Encouraged by the President, many people do believe that America’s problems were created by the banks. It would not take much for suicide minded armed assailants to take over and essentially decimate the New York offices of an investment bank. These places are actually less secure than the average retail bank branch and generally only have a few guards who are unarmed.



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20 Feb 2010, 8:15 pm

http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/19/news/ec ... 2010021918

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Justin Julian is one the 1 million people who are desperate for Congress to take action next week. If they don't, he and his wife won't have a place to live.

The Lewisville, Texas, resident lost his software position in August and will miss the deadline to apply for additional federal benefits by only a few days. He currently receives $1,600 a month in unemployment benefits, which he uses to cover rent, car payments and the electricity bill. He must borrow money from friends and family to pay for food.

"Without the unemployment insurance, we can't pay any of our bills," said Julian, 39, whose wife is disabled. "It's kind of doomsday for us. We'll wind up sleeping on friends' couches."


$1,600 a month is more than what most people fresh out of college in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan can expect to earn. It is actually more than what most workers in developing Asia will make after a year of back breaking toil. Yet poor Julian cannot pay his bills and he wants the U.S. government to keep supporting him by having them borrow from Asian governments who are now refusing to lend. I am sympathetic to the folks who feel that such giveaways to healthy adults who can put in a day's work are just downright wrong. There is work available but it does not pay enough or it hurts their pride to do it and so these people prefer to stay at home while the government lavishes pity on them. In the meantime, the country is being sold out to pay for these mindless extravagances.

If they had not kept extending unemployment benefits in the first place, the problem of having millions of families suddenly losing their sole source of income at the same time would not have happened. People would have been forced to accept whatever jobs that are available and thus securing for themselves some sort of income. Further extension of unemployment benefits is unlikely. The last extension was jammed down the throats of the Republicans but with Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, there is no way for the Democrats to overcome the filibusters.

No job, no money: what do you think people will do?



zer0netgain
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22 Feb 2010, 10:25 am

Zeno wrote:
$1,600 a month is more than what most people fresh out of college in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan can expect to earn. It is actually more than what most workers in developing Asia will make after a year of back breaking toil. Yet poor Julian cannot pay his bills and he wants the U.S. government to keep supporting him by having them borrow from Asian governments who are now refusing to lend.


To be fair, a lot depends on WHERE you live. The cost of living in New York City is very high and $1,600 doesn't go very far.



Khan_Sama
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22 Feb 2010, 11:13 am

Hong Kong & Singapore are bloody expensive places to live in. So are Seoul and Taipei.

I doubt Lewisville with a population of 77,000 is an expensive place. Regardless, his wife is disabled, and that must be taken into consideration.



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22 Feb 2010, 2:16 pm

Zeno wrote:
It is extremely naïve to believe that just because the Chinese hold so much American debt at present that they will do everything they can to protect American interests.


Straw man. What the debt and trade situation does mean is that for a while at least neither country can apply serious pressure on the other.


Zeno wrote:
http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/its-a-war

I have been following this series for some time and it is probably the best coverage on the topic. The reports just seem to get more violent and gruesome month by month. They used to just kill people. Then the ante was upped as bodies were dumped in public spaces. But in further one-upmanship the corpses were beheaded and the severed heads hung over bridges while the bodies were placed separately. Recently the cartels started to strip the faces off their victims and sew them onto footballs. Look back ten years and you will see just how far the Mexican cartels have come. In the year 2000, the word cartel was still associated with Columbia. Today, Mexico is the undisputed leader in drug distribution in the United States. We already have syndicates that have annual revenues in the billions of dollars and as the War on Drugs whittle down the competitors it will not be long before the largest cartels rival the world’s biggest corporations. They will have no problems capturing political power in dysfunctional/vulnerable states in America.


The situation is dire enough in Mexico, but is the country's long-term prognosis really worse than that of North Korea (which is a narco-state)? While both countries derive significant income from illegal trades, Mexico is far more prosperous.


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26 Feb 2010, 6:49 am

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33566.html

Senator Bunning deserves everyone’s respect for standing against further unfunded extensions of unemployment benefits. It will have to be paid for but his colleagues who are braying for the money have not quite figured that out yet. He appears to be acting alone but you can be certain that the Senator has the support of his hardworking countrymen. Folks who put their noses to the grindstone, ensured that their houses were in order and who have nonetheless been battered by the financial crisis but are otherwise chugging along. Why should honest, industrious and decent people pay for the sins of the profligate? Is everyone who loses a house or a job worthy of public sympathy? Is sympathy even the right way to fix a problem that arose because somewhere along the line the country got soft and decided that the most expedient and thus most palatable solution was to give everyone what they wanted even if it meant sacrificing the future?

Pain is a necessary part of change and America must adapt to new realities or else face the possibility of a bloody descent to an imploding extinction of the very life and values that it cherishes.



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26 Feb 2010, 10:31 am

Zeno wrote:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33566.html

Senator Bunning deserves everyone’s respect for standing against further unfunded extensions of unemployment benefits. It will have to be paid for but his colleagues who are braying for the money have not quite figured that out yet. He appears to be acting alone but you can be certain that the Senator has the support of his hardworking countrymen. Folks who put their noses to the grindstone, ensured that their houses were in order and who have nonetheless been battered by the financial crisis but are otherwise chugging along. Why should honest, industrious and decent people pay for the sins of the profligate? Is everyone who loses a house or a job worthy of public sympathy? Is sympathy even the right way to fix a problem that arose because somewhere along the line the country got soft and decided that the most expedient and thus most palatable solution was to give everyone what they wanted even if it meant sacrificing the future?

Pain is a necessary part of change and America must adapt to new realities or else face the possibility of a bloody descent to an imploding extinction of the very life and values that it cherishes.


Your values are totally screwy. There have been many skilled people looking for work that pays enough to sustain them for over a year and are unsuccessful. Your view that these people should starve or turn to crime or whatever they need to survive is neolithic. When people receive money, from whatever source, they spend it and that boosts the economy and creates jobs. Your idiotic concept that people who earnestly look for work and cannot fond it are somehow morally deficient is monstrous.



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26 Feb 2010, 11:51 am

Sand wrote:
Zeno wrote:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33566.html

Your values are totally screwy. There have been many skilled people looking for work that pays enough to sustain them for over a year and are unsuccessful. Your view that these people should starve or turn to crime or whatever they need to survive is neolithic. When people receive money, from whatever source, they spend it and that boosts the economy and creates jobs. Your idiotic concept that people who earnestly look for work and cannot fond it are somehow morally deficient is monstrous.


Are you implying that theft boosts the economy?

ruveyn



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26 Feb 2010, 12:12 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Sand wrote:
Zeno wrote:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33566.html

Your values are totally screwy. There have been many skilled people looking for work that pays enough to sustain them for over a year and are unsuccessful. Your view that these people should starve or turn to crime or whatever they need to survive is neolithic. When people receive money, from whatever source, they spend it and that boosts the economy and creates jobs. Your idiotic concept that people who earnestly look for work and cannot fond it are somehow morally deficient is monstrous.


Are you implying that theft boosts the economy?

ruveyn


That's merely current government policy. The banks were given permission to steal billions in the bailout. A few measly millions here or there to permit average guys to buy doughnuts and coffee to get through the day doesn't seem over generous by comparison. How much of a Scrooge can you be, ruveyn?



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26 Feb 2010, 7:23 pm

Sand wrote:
Your values are totally screwy. There have been many skilled people looking for work that pays enough to sustain them for over a year and are unsuccessful. Your view that these people should starve or turn to crime or whatever they need to survive is neolithic. When people receive money, from whatever source, they spend it and that boosts the economy and creates jobs. Your idiotic concept that people who earnestly look for work and cannot fond it are somehow morally deficient is monstrous.


How would ‘enough’ be defined? America’s idea of middle class would fit the definition of rarefied upper middle class in developed Asia. Elsewhere in developing Asia, an American middle class existence is the equivalent of unattainable wealth for most people.

Is it true that there are no jobs? There are employment opportunities available but it does not pay very well. When they work out the math, many unemployed people come to the conclusion that with their skills and educational credentials, they are better off holing up at home and collecting unemployment checks than busting their chops off for a job that only allows them to subsist. They believe that the American definition of a middle class existence is their right by birth. If people have been earnestly looking for a job but cannot find one, it is because they are unwilling to accept the conditions of the work that is available. Would their reliance on state for financial support then be praiseworthy?

Ultimately it comes down to the unrealistic expectations of the American worker and the completely dysfunctional wage setting mechanisms of the country. By definition, a trade deficit occurs when national income exceeds national output. To close the gap one of two things must be done: a) raise output; b) lower income. If I were America’s economic strategist, I would opt to do both. But the emphasis must be on lowering income because output can only increase if the needed investments in production are made and businesses, both domestic and foreign, will not invest unless wages in America are internationally competitive.

Wages in America will decline through a devaluation of the dollar. But as the Chinese are committed to ensuring that their disengagement from the dollar is orderly, the decline in the dollar will not be enough to restore America’s competitiveness. It is therefore necessary for American workers to accept a pay cut in dollar terms. However, as I have pointed out, no one wants to work for less because they deem the compensation offered to be insufficient. Should the country then be run aground just so that the pride of a few can be sustained?



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26 Feb 2010, 8:03 pm

Zeno wrote:
Sand wrote:
Your values are totally screwy. There have been many skilled people looking for work that pays enough to sustain them for over a year and are unsuccessful. Your view that these people should starve or turn to crime or whatever they need to survive is neolithic. When people receive money, from whatever source, they spend it and that boosts the economy and creates jobs. Your idiotic concept that people who earnestly look for work and cannot fond it are somehow morally deficient is monstrous.


How would ‘enough’ be defined? America’s idea of middle class would fit the definition of rarefied upper middle class in developed Asia. Elsewhere in developing Asia, an American middle class existence is the equivalent of unattainable wealth for most people.

Is it true that there are no jobs? There are employment opportunities available but it does not pay very well. When they work out the math, many unemployed people come to the conclusion that with their skills and educational credentials, they are better off holing up at home and collecting unemployment checks than busting their chops off for a job that only allows them to subsist. They believe that the American definition of a middle class existence is their right by birth. If people have been earnestly looking for a job but cannot find one, it is because they are unwilling to accept the conditions of the work that is available. Would their reliance on state for financial support then be praiseworthy?

Ultimately it comes down to the unrealistic expectations of the American worker and the completely dysfunctional wage setting mechanisms of the country. By definition, a trade deficit occurs when national income exceeds national output. To close the gap one of two things must be done: a) raise output; b) lower income. If I were America’s economic strategist, I would opt to do both. But the emphasis must be on lowering income because output can only increase if the needed investments in production are made and businesses, both domestic and foreign, will not invest unless wages in America are internationally competitive.

Wages in America will decline through a devaluation of the dollar. But as the Chinese are committed to ensuring that their disengagement from the dollar is orderly, the decline in the dollar will not be enough to restore America’s competitiveness. It is therefore necessary for American workers to accept a pay cut in dollar terms. However, as I have pointed out, no one wants to work for less because they deem the compensation offered to be insufficient. Should the country then be run aground just so that the pride of a few can be sustained?


You have a totally distorted concept of the current labor situation in the USA.



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02 Mar 2010, 6:44 am

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... ewsreel_us

Three cheers to Sentaor Bunning for having the courage to be the moral majority of one. I do not know how long he can hold out for, but the man has truly served his country. By daring to do the unpopular thing, Senator Bunning has lit a lamp of hope for the United State of America. If only there had been more such shows of steadfast bravery, America might not have become mired in the morass of unforgiving debt.



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02 Mar 2010, 6:49 am

Zeno wrote:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704358004575095970707513064.html?mod=WSJASIA_newsreel_us

Three cheers to Sentaor Bunning for having the courage to be the moral majority of one. I do not know how long he can hold out for, but the man has truly served his country. By daring to do the unpopular thing, Senator Bunning has lit a lamp of hope for the United State of America. If only there had been more such shows of steadfast bravery, America might not have become mired in the morass of unforgiving debt.


There will be retribution from the thousands of people suffering from his vicious ideological insanity.