WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS NOW IS HOPE

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Posted on 4th October 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Finch: Why are you doing this?
Evey Hammond: Because he was right.
Finch: About what?
Evey Hammond: That the world needs more than just a building right now. It needs hope.

  

The dialogue above occurred at the end of the dystopian movie V for Vendetta. It is a tale of revenge and restoring hope among citizens who had chosen safety and security over freedom and liberty. Even though this movie was fictional and adapted from a comic strip, its message and warnings should be heeded. Millions of middle class citizens in the U.S. sink deeper into despair every day. Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger. The list of impending catastrophic issues that will blow up the world for millions in the U.S. and across the globe is virtually endless:

U.S. Debt

  • The national debt is currently $14.6 trillion, up from $5.7 trillion in 2000. It took over 200 years to accumulate the first $5.7 trillion of debt and only 11 years to tack on another $8.9 trillion.
  • With the new $450 billion jobs package proposed by President Obama, the deficit in FY12 will likely exceed $1.8 trillion, or 12% of GDP. Greece’s 2010 deficit was 10.5% of GDP.
  • Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart in their book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, using data from 44 countries over 200 years, concluded that once a country’s national debt exceeds 90% of GDP, the economy stagnates and ultimately makes that country vulnerable to a debt crisis. The U.S. national debt as a percentage of GDP is currently 97% and will reach 107% in 2012. This does not count state and local debt, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt, and the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare. We are at the same place Greece was in 2007. But we’re no Greece, right? This time is different.

 

  • Total credit market debt of $52.5 trillion is 3.5 times GDP, versus a long-term leverage ratio of 1.6. This is called living well above your means on borrowed money. We have a long way down before we reach the bottom of this mountain of debt.

  • Despite the rhetoric out of Washington D.C. by the thieves and knaves about cutting deficits, the National Debt is on course to increase by $9 trillion in the next 10 years. It will reach $20 trillion by 2015.

 

Entitlements

  • The commitments made by politicians over decades in order to get elected have resulted in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare exceeding $100 trillion.

 

  • In 1980, just 11.7% of all personal income came from government transfer payments.  Today, 18.0% of all personal income comes from government transfer payments. Wages and salaries paid by private industries totals $5.5 trillion per year, while wages paid by government total $1.2 trillion and social welfare payments from the government total $2.3 trillion. Only ten years ago wages and salaries from private industries totaled $4.1 trillion, while government wages were only $800 billion and welfare payments totaled $1.1 trillion. In ten years the percentage increases paint the true picture: 
    • Private wages & salaries increased 34% 
    • Government wages & salaries increased 50% 
    • Government social welfare transfer payments increased 109% 
  • Despite the rhetoric from politicians, there is no lock box and there is no cash in the Social Security fund. John Mauldin summed it up nicely: “Social Security funds are an entry into a government accounting book that don’t really exist except as an IOU. Politicians of all stripes have used the Social Security money to pay for other government expenses. Those funds were even counted to offset the deficit, although now that Social Security is no longer in a surplus that has gone away.”
  • This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal Social Security Disability benefits. That’s 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago. Today, about 13.6 million people receive disability benefits through Social Security or Supplemental Security Income. Last year, Social Security detected $1.4 billion in overpayments to disability beneficiaries, mostly to people who got jobs and no longer qualified, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Employment

  • The official unemployment rate in the U.S. is 9.1% with 14 million people unemployed. The true unemployment rate, taking into account discouraged workers, part time workers who want a full time job, and people who have dropped out of the work force, is above 20%, or 31 million people.
  • It now takes the average unemployed worker in America about 40 weeks to find a new job.

  • Even after a supposed recovery, there are approximately 7 million less people employed today than there were in 2007.
  • The employment to population ratio of 58.2% is at the same level as 1969, before women entered the workforce in record numbers. As wages stagnated and inflation drove costs higher, families were forced to send two parents into the workforce, with predictable consequences to their latchkey children. The ratio peaked in 2001 at 64.4% and has declined precipitously since 2008.

civilian population ratio

Poverty

  • The number of people on food stamps has gone from 27 million people receiving $30 billion of aid in 2007 to 45 million people (14.5% of U.S. population) receiving $72 billion in aid today.

 food stamp participation

  • The number of uninsured Americans totals 49.9 million.
  • Those covered by employer-based insurance continued to decline in 2010, to about 55%, while those with government-provided coverage continued to increase, up slightly to 31%. Employer-based coverage was down from 65% in 2000.
  • One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
  • Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on it.
  • The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1%, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314)
  • Blacks experienced the highest poverty rate, at 27%, up from 25% in 2009, and Hispanics rose to 26% from 25%. For whites, 9.9% lived in poverty, up from 9.4% in 2009. Asians were unchanged at 12.1%.

Income

  • Median household income fell 2.3% to $49,445 last year and has dropped 7% from the peak of $53,252 reached in 1999.
  • Median household income for the bottom tenth of the income spectrum fell by 12% from a peak in 1999, while the top 90th percentile dropped by just 1.5%.
  • Between 1969 and 2009, the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27% after you account for inflation.
  • Median income fell across all working-age categories, but the sharpest drop was among young working Americans, ages 15 to 24, which experienced a decline of 9%.
  • When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

Wealth Inequality

  • The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now controls 43% of all the financial wealth in this country.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, the richest 1% of all Americans has a greater net worth than the bottom 90% combined.

 

  • The fact is that many people in the bottom half of the top 1% wealthiest Americans usually achieved their success after decades of education, hard work, saving and investing as a professional or small business person. A recent article by William Domhoff quotes an investment manager who works with very wealthy clients regarding the top 0.1%:

Unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, those in the top half and, particularly, top 0.1%, can often borrow for almost nothing, keep profits and production overseas, hold personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and influence legislation in the U.S. They have access to the very best in accounting firms, tax and other attorneys, numerous consultants, private wealth managers, a network of other wealthy and powerful friends, lucrative business opportunities, and many other benefits. Membership in this elite group is likely to come from being involved in some aspect of the financial services or banking industry, real estate development involved with those industries, or government contracting.

  • Until 1980, the U.S. economic system was reasonably balanced, with manufacturing still the driving force in creating wealth for the middle class. In the three decades since, our political, banking and corporate elite have gutted our industrial base, shipped millions of jobs overseas and have used financial schemes and scams to suck the vast majority of middle class wealth into their grubby little hands. Wall Street has slowly and methodically pillaged the nation’s wealth, hollowing out a once vibrant nation, and their insatiable greed driven appetite drives them to want more. 

 

Consumer Debt

  • Total consumer debt in the United States at $2.45 trillion is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago. The recent leveling off is completely due to hundreds of billions in write-offs by the Wall Street banks. The chart below is a Keynesian dream of government borrowing to create prosperity. The fallacy of Keynesianism is evident for all to see.

  • According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 household net worth in the United States fell by 25%, or $16.4 trillion.
  • The Federal Reserve says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.
  • Of U.S. households that have credit card debt, the average amount owed on credit cards is $15,800.
  • The top 10 credit card issuing banks control 80% of the credit card market, with Bank of America, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo accounting for almost 60% of the market.

 

  • The average APR on credit card with a balance on it is 13.1%. These same banks are borrowing at 0% from the Federal Reserve.
  • Penalty fees from credit cards added up to over $21 billion in 2010.
  • There are 610 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers, with 3.5 credit cards per cardholder.
  • Americans now owe more than $887 billion on student loans, which is even more than they owe on credit cards.

Real Estate

  • U.S. home values have fallen an astounding $6.6 trillion since the peak of the real estate market.
  • National home prices have fallen 31% from their peak in 2005.
  • Approximately 11 million households, or 23% of all households with a mortgage, are underwater on their mortgage.
  • Household percent of equity is at 38.6% today, down from 60% in 2006. There are 87 million households in the U.S. Approximately 25 million of these houses have no mortgage, so the 52 million have significantly less than 38.6% equity.

 

  • Americans were so sure their houses would appreciate to infinity during boom years of 2005 through 2008 they withdrew over $3 trillion of equity from their homes and spent it like drunken sailors. The hangover will last for decades.

 

Savings & Retirement 

  • The S&P 500 Index reached 1,100 on March 24, 1998. The S&P 500 Index on October 4, 2011 is 1,100. Wall Street convinced millions of dupes that they needed to buy stocks for the long run. Thirteen years later, the average investor has nothing, while the shysters on Wall Street have reaped hundreds of billions in fees.
  • The stock market is priced to return 5% over the next decade, while bonds are priced to deliver no more than 2%.
  • 1 out of 3 Americans has no savings at all.
  • Workers estimate their retirement savings needs at $600,000 (median), but in comparison, less than one-third (30%) have currently saved more than $100,000 in all household retirement accounts.
  • The average 401k balance at the end of 2010 was $71,500. Aon Hewitt estimates that it will take retirement savings of 15 times your final salary to maintain your current lifestyle. Someone making $50,000 per year would need $750,000.
  • 50% of all the households in the U.S. (57 million households) have a total net worth less than $70,000. 
  • Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states.  What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds.
  • Every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.
  • Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans start claiming Social Security benefits the moment they are eligible at age 62.  Most are doing this out of necessity.
  • 35% of Americans already over the age of 65 rely almost entirely on Social Security payments alone.

Foreign Trade

  • The U.S. trade deficit is now running at approximately $600 billion per year. It is clear that with the shift from a manufacturing based saving society in the 1960s and 1970s to a Wall Street finance based, debt driven consumption society from 1980 onward has led to massive trade deficits.

 

  • The gutting of the American middle class can again be traced back to 1980 when manufacturing employment peaked at 19.5 million. Once corporate CEOs embraced “globalization” in the late 1990s and realized they could reap obscene profits and compensation packages by utilizing slave labor in China to do American manufacturing jobs at 10% of the cost, the jobs disappeared. There are less than 12 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. today, replaced by jobs at Wal-Mart and McDonalds.

 

  • The U.S. imports 9.5 million barrels per day of oil, more than 50% of our daily consumption. At an average price of $90 for 2011, we are sending $300 billion per year to countries that hate us and despise our way of life.

Energy

  • The U.S consumes 22% of the world’s oil output despite having only 4.5% of the world’s population.
  • The U.S. has less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.
  • The Department of Energy was created in 1977 with the mission to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The country has not built a new oil refinery or nuclear power plant since 1980.
  • In 1980 the U.S. imported 37% of our oil consumption. We now import 51% of our oil consumption.
  • In 1980 the price of a gallon was $0.58 per gallon ($1.90 adjusted for inflation). Today, the price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.40.
  • The DOE employs 16,000 workers & 100,000 contract workers, and operates on a mere $27 billion per year. Ironically, the DOE spends $300 million per year for energy in its 9,000 buildings around the country.
  • Despite being created to create a comprehensive energy policy, the DOE has no plan or strategy to address peak cheap oil. The impact on U.S. society from declining world oil supply will be devastating to the U.S. economy within the next five years.

Foreign Interventionism

  • America’s two wars of choice in the Middle East have cost $1.3 trillion in direct costs, thus far. The long-term costs will total over $3 trillion. 
  • The United States annual military spending is 8 times as large as China and Russia. We spend 73 times as much as the supposed dire threat of Iran. The U.S. accounts for over 44% of worldwide military spending.

 

  • In the year 2000, the U.S. spent $359 billion on Defense, including veterans and foreign aid ($17 billion). The 2011 expenditure is $965 billion, with $45 billion in foreign aid. Do the politicians in Washington D.C. recognize the irony of borrowing $45 billion from foreigners and then giving the $45 billion to other foreigners?
  • The U.S. operates 11 large carriers, all nuclear powered. In terms of size and striking power, no other country has even one comparable ship.  The displacement of the U.S. battle fleet – a proxy for overall fleet capabilities – exceeds, by one recent estimate, at least the next 13 navies combined, of which 11 are our allies or partners.
  • The U.S. military empire is vast. Officially, more than 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees are massed in approximately 900 military facilities in 46 countries and territories (the unofficial figure is far greater). The US military owns or rents 795,000 acres of land, with 26,000 buildings and structures, valued at $146 billion.
  • With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the military industrial complex needed to create a new enemy in order to keep the billions in profits flowing to the arms manufacturers. The War on Terror has been a windfall for the military industrial complex. The American people did not heed President Eisenhower’s warning.

Monetary Policy

  • The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 with the purpose of stabilizing the country’s financial system, eliminating financial panics, keeping prices steady, and insuring maximum employment. The result has been more instability, depressions, recessions, market crashes, unemployment as high as 25%, and inflation that has reduced the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar by 96% since 1913.

 

  • The Consumer Price Index was 10.0 in December 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created. Today, the index stands at 227. Prices have risen 2,270% in the almost 100 years since the Federal Reserve’s inception, or inversely the dollar can buy what it took $.04 to buy in 1913. Somehow, the banking syndicate that has “achieved” this result has convinced the public that inflation is good for them.
  • When Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, the last check and balance on politicians and bankers was scrapped. The result has been predictable. The National Debt swelled from $400 billion in 1971 to $14.6 trillion today, a 3,650% increase in 40 years. The GDP grew from $1.13 trillion to $15.0 trillion today, a 1,332% increase in 40 years. Politicians have bought the votes of their constituents by making promises and financial commitments that have made debt slaves out of future unborn generations. Without a restraint on money printing, politicians will always choose to not worry about tomorrow.
  • The Federal Reserve policies of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke were the single biggest cause of the 2008 financial catastrophe and their current policies have set the country up for the final cataclysmic disintegration of our economic system. By bailing out Wall Street every time they made a high risk bet and lost (1987 Crash, Latin America, S&L Crisis, Asian Crisis, LTCM, Dot Com, 9/11, Housing collapse, Lehman) the Federal Reserve has proven to be a tool for the super rich power elite. By keeping interest rates below where they would be in a free market, the Federal Reserve created the climate for gambling on Wall Street, the home price 3 standard deviation bubble, and the current screwing of senior citizens and savers to boost the profits of Wall Street bankers.
  • In August 2008 the Federal Reserve balance sheet consisted of $940 billion of mostly U.S. Treasury securities. Today, the Federal Reserve balance sheet totals $2.9 trillion and is filled with toxic mortgage debt shoveled from the insolvent Wall Street banks onto the plate of the American taxpayer. The Federal Reserve balance sheet is leveraged 55 to 1, meaning a 2% loss would wipe out their capital. Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were leveraged 30 to 1 when they went belly up.

 

  • During the recent financial crisis the Federal Reserve secretly loaned $16 trillion to the biggest banks in the world, including $4 trillion to foreign banks. This goes far beyond the mandate they were given by Congress in 1913. The Fed had no regulatory authority or ability to judge the credit worthiness of these foreign banks, but risked $4 trillion of U.S. taxpayer funds propping them up. With European banks on the verge of bankruptcy, the Federal Reserve risks losing even more money if they become the lender of last resort.

 

  • In the 3rd Quarter of 2008 American savers were able to generate $1.4 trillion of interest income on their savings. Much of this interest went to risk adverse senior citizens who depended on this income to make ends meet after two years of no increases in their Social Security payments. Three years later savers are only generating $1 trillion of interest income or 30% less, while their costs for food and energy have risen 5% to 10%. The Federal Reserve instituted a zero interest rate policy in order to enrich their Wall Street masters, while further impoverishing the middle class and senior citizen savers that are the true backbone of the nation. Ben Bernanke has purposely transferred $400 billion from the prudent to the profligate.

When I started to detail the issues facing our country today, I expected to come up with 10 to 20 bullet points of key concerns. As I methodically worked through the categories of challenges facing the American Empire, the total reached 76 bullet points. The facts as presented above paint a picture of impending doom for America. The slogans and vapid “solutions” proposed by political candidates and entrenched Washington politicians do not even scratch the surface of what would need to be done to save this country from economic collapse. Many of these problems took decades to create and are not solvable in a reasonable time frame. With the country still delusional, overleveraged, and underemployed, it seems like the existing economic and social structure will need to be blown up to restore hope in this country.

“A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, blowing up a building can change the world.” – V in V for Vendetta

Look In the Mirror

After accepting the fact that the economic situation as presented above is beyond repair, two questions come to mind:

  1. How did we get in this predicament?
  2. How do we get out of this predicament?

The difficulty with trying to explain how we got here is that people want simple answers and a bad guy to blame. People want to blame the rich or blame the poor or blame the phantom ruling elite or blame the other political party. They prefer to blame someone else, rather than looking in the mirror. It took a century of bad decisions, delusional thinking, unparalleled hubris, greed, sloth and willful ignorance to place the country on the precipice of ruin. The American people are responsible for the situation they find themselves in today. We elected the politicians that passed the laws, created the agencies, borrowed the money, and spent the country into oblivion. The truth is human beings are flawed creatures. We are prone to greed, laziness, seeking power, worrying about what others think about us, delusional thinking, herd mentality, shallowness, and cognitive dissonance. All of these human weaknesses have contributed to our current dilemma.

Until the twentieth century the United States generally kept their nose out of foreign conflicts, only getting involved in small regional conflicts. The country experienced tremendous growth during the 1800s and early 1900s with virtually no inflation and no central bank. The country experienced this remarkable expansion with no personal or corporate income tax. The nation also benefitted tremendously from the discovery of oil in Titusville, PA in 1859, as oil fueled the industrial revolution in the U.S. The election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 marked a dramatic turning point in U.S. history. Within one year the country had a personal income tax and a central bank. As with most things created by politicians, they seemed harmless at first. The tax rate for 99% of Americans was 1%. The central bank was given a limited mandate to keep our banking system stable. Within a century we have a 60,000 page Federal tax code and a myriad of taxes at the Federal, State and local level. The Federal Reserve has more power and control over our lives than any entity on earth.

Giving politicians the ability to tax its citizens and print money allowed them to do things and make commitments that would have been impossible prior to 1913. After being re-elected in 1916 on a platform of keeping the country out of World War I, Wilson committed the country to that war. By 1919 the tax rate was already at 4% for most Americans and the Federal Reserve was printing money to finance the war, generating inflation of 16% per year between 1917 and 1920. Thus began a century of foreign interventionism and debt financed social welfare programs. The Federal Reserve created the easy monetary conditions of the 1920s which brought about the boom and bust of the 1929 stock market collapse. This precipitated the Great Depression and the conditions that led to the rise of fascism and World War II. The tinkering by politicians with our monetary system created more problems, which politicians attempted to solve by passing new laws and creating new programs and agencies. Without an unlimited supply of taxes and money printed by the Federal Reserve, politicians would have been constrained.

The somewhat logical reaction to the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to create make work programs, housing agencies and social welfare programs to keep the citizens from revolting. He did this through the creation of debt, doubling the National Debt from $22 billion in 1932 to $44 billion by 1940. This is when the entitlement mindset took root. The creation of OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) in 1935 was not supposed to be a retirement plan. People didn’t retire in 1935. It was created to make sure widows and orphans did not starve to death during the Great Depression. Again, the rate was only 1% at the outset. The age at which you were eligible to receive assistance was 65, four years greater than the average life expectancy of 61 years old. It was created as an insurance program and has morphed into a glorified retirement plan that convinced millions of Americans they didn’t need to save for their own retirement. It is $17.5 trillion in the hole because life expectancy is now 79 years old, politicians expanded coverage and refused to level with the American public for fear of losing elections.

The psychology of entitlement has grown over the decades as politicians made promises with borrowed money. They created Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare to provide pension and healthcare to all senior citizens. They created Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Section 8 housing because everyone deserved to own a home. They created unemployment compensation, SNAP, and SSDI to sustain the disabled and down on their luck.  Veterans are entitled to benefits as a result of their military service. These entitlements have become ingrained in our society. Charles Hugh Smith captured the essence of our entitlement mindset in a recent article:

“The entitlement mindset is thus firmly established in the American psyche. If we experience bad luck and/or the negative consequences of poor choices, we have been trained to expect the government at some level to alleviate our suffering, cut us a check or otherwise address our difficulties. The poisonous problem with the entitlement mindset is intrinsic to human nature: once we “deserve” something, then our minds fill with resentment and greed, and we focus obsessively on creating multiple rationalizations for why we deserve our fair share.”

The ability to tax and print trillions of dollars has enabled politicians to convince Americans they don’t need to save for their own retirement, they don’t need to worry about the cost of their healthcare, they don’t need to educate themselves, and they don’t need to help their neighbors because the government will do it for them. Once the entitlement mindset became ingrained in our society, self reliance, the ability to adapt to adverse circumstances, charitable acts, and taking responsibility for your own health and welfare rapidly declined among the populace. Government programs have been sold to the American people as acts of compassion for the less fortunate. Instead they have become a bureaucratic nightmare, creating dependence and a permanent underclass with no incentive, ability or desire to raise themselves up.

Human weakness and failings have also led to an over-class that have done far more damage to the country than those in society dependent on the state for their subsistence. The best description of this country at this point in history is a Warfare-Welfare-Corporatocracy. Since World War II the undue influence of the military industrial complex has led to almost constant conflict and foreign interventionism on a grand scale never matched in world history. President Eisenhower’s warning went unheeded:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The people of this country have traded liberty and freedom for the appearance of safety and security by allowing the corporate military establishment and their bought political cronies to use fear and phantom threats to convince the non-critical thinking masses to beg for protection. The Cold War was replaced by the War on Terror, while the truth is that we keep our troops in the Middle East to protect “our” oil under “their” sand. Attempting to maintain an empire through troops garrisoned in countries across the globe, patrolling the seas with our navies, buying the “friendship” of dictators, and saber rattling or invading countries we don’t like is a folly that has brought down many empires before ours.

The most decisive factor in the disastrous financial predicament we are experiencing today is the tsunami of Wall Street greed and avarice that was unleashed upon the nation starting in 1971 with Nixon closing the gold window and allowing the Federal Reserve to “manage” the currency with no hindrances like gold to keep them from going too far. Prior to the 1980’s Wall Street investment banks were partnerships. If a partner took an extreme risk he would endanger the personal assets of all the partners. This insured prudent lending practices. Once they became corporations the risk was passed to shareholders and as we’ve recently found out – taxpayers, while bank executives could reap obscene compensation by taking world shattering risks. The repeal of the Glass Steagall Act in 1999 and the obstruction in regulating the derivatives market by Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers created the playing field that allowed Wall Street go on a drunken rampage, pushing the worldwide financial system to the point of collapse in 2008.   

 What Happens Next?

 

“I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realized we’re all part of it, and all trapped by it. With so much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty.” Inspector Finch – V for Vendetta

Gains and Losses in 2007-2009, Average CEO Pay vs. Average Worker Pay

The chart above explains why anger and rage are beginning to bubble to the surface in cities across the country. It is clear there are no simple explanations or one answer to why the country is facing such calamitous circumstances. Essentially, human failings that have existed for all eternity have conspired to drain the vitality, risk taking, self reliance, personal responsibility and common sense from a once great nation. We know the uneducated, unmotivated lower classes, after decades of being kept down through our entitlement system, are unable and unwilling to do anything about their situation, as long as the entitlements keep flowing. It is the richest .01% that has accumulated the wealth, power and undue influence over the management of country. Either through inheritance, intelligence, connections, hard work, or luck, a few hundred thousand individuals out of 310 million people control the system. Immense wealth in the hands of the few has created a system where the few control the media, politicians, banking system, and mega-corporations that dominate our economy. Their human weaknesses include being egomaniacal power hungry materialistic greedy men who will stop at nothing to retain and increase their vast wealth. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in pillaging the wealth of the middle class. But, they’ve gone too far.

They’ve manipulated the tax code in their favor. They make up most of the Senate, House and Judiciary. They own the mainstream media outlets. They are the masters of the universe on Wall Street. They run the mega-corporations that have shipped American jobs overseas. They pay millions to have the laws and regulations written for their benefit. They created the social welfare system, the public education system, and the healthcare system that keeps a vast swath of the population impoverished, ignorant and dependent upon the mutant organism that enriches the few. They’ve convinced the bulk of non-critical thinking Americans that the government can create jobs and make their lives safe and secure. This is the point where critical thinking Americans need to honestly answer a few questions to decide what happens next.  

Did Social Security make our retirements more secure? Did the Department of Education make our children smarter? Did the Department of Energy reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Would there be more or less than 160,000 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. without the Department of Transportation? Does paying unemployment compensation for 99 weeks increase employment or create jobs? Did Medicare and Medicaid make people healthier and reduce healthcare costs? Has putting our faith in mega-corporations for health insurance, drugs and job creation benefitted middle class workers? Has the War on Terror made the average American safer? Did the War on Drugs reduce the usage and availability of illegal drugs? Did passing more laws lead to a more law abiding society? Does incarcerating more criminals in more prisons reduce crime? Does a 60,000 page IRS tax code result in more taxes being collected? Has issuing more debt to solve a debt induced crisis resulted in a stronger financial system? Does the Republican or Democratic parties have your best interests at heart? Does it matter who is elected President in 2012?

There are solutions to the issues facing our country but they all would result in painful choices, tremendous sacrifice, a willingness to rebalance our economy and lives, and the loss of vast stores of wealth by the top .01% richest Americans. The steps needed would be:

  • A nationalization of the Too Big To Fail banks with the required losses inflicted upon shareholders, bondholders and executives.
  • Re-institution of mark to market accounting rules requiring companies to truthfully report the losses on their loan portfolios.
  • The re-institution of Glass-Steagall to insure that no bank could become too big to fail.
  • Instituting a transparent regulated derivatives market that would insure that no single entity could threaten to crash the worldwide financial system.
  • Scrapping the existing individual personal income tax and replacing it with a flat, fair and/or consumption tax would take away the power of politicians.
  • The elimination of all corporate tax breaks so that multi-billion dollar conglomerates could not get away with paying no corporate taxes (GE).
  • The withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops from across the globe and a dramatic decrease in military spending would be a voluntary reduction in our empire.
  • A renegotiation of the social contract with changes in eligibility based on age and financial means is the only way to retain a semblance of a social net to protect those who are truly needy. Otherwise the social welfare system will crash.
  • The population would need to accept a dramatic decrease in their standard of living as interest rates would need to be raised and saving would need to replace borrowing as our economic mantra.
  • Acceptance of the impact from peak oil would require a complete restructuring of our suburban sprawl existence with communities forced to become more locally self sufficient.
  • The political system would need to be overhauled with term limits and the elimination of corporate and special interest control over the election process.
  • The Federal Reserve would need to be constrained through the re-introduction of gold and/or a basket of hard currencies as a check on their ability to print money.

Sadly, we all know that none of these solutions would ever be willingly implemented by the existing ruling class. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the system is crumbling. The .01% went too far and stole too much. An unsustainable system will not be sustained. The debt load is too burdensome. The peasants are growing restless. Young people have occupied Wall Street. They are beginning to occupy other cities. 700 were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge. Older people are joining the protests. There isn’t a cohesive message coming from the protestors other than the system is rigged in favor of the top .01%. Those who think they are in control are losing their grip. They see their power and wealth slipping away. They’ve had their way for decades and will not willingly submit to a change in the existing social order. Last night Jim Cramer voiced the concerns of the .01% by saying the Occupy Wall Street protests were worrisome. They are worrisome to the moneyed interests. They are a reason for hope to the 99.9%. We are approaching our moment of truth. There is something terribly wrong with this country. A new American Revolution has begun. It is time to stop being afraid and take this country back. What happens next? The choice is ours.

While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to….. – V’s speech to the British people in V for Vendetta

 

 

 

 

130 Comments
  1. Stan says:

    Barack Hussein Obama, umm, umm, umm!!!

    Adminstrator, this video is for you!!

    4th October 2011 at 2:28 pm

  2. Dave says:

    What we need is four more years of HOAX and CHAINS.

    4th October 2011 at 3:08 pm

  3. Stan says:

    “No, no no. Not God bless America, God DAMN America!! ”

    Barack Hussein Obama’s preacher, BEFORE he got elected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The very right REV. Jeremiah Wright!!!

    4th October 2011 at 3:09 pm

  4. DavosSherman says:

    Super read! Nice write!!

    4th October 2011 at 3:15 pm

  5. Steve Hogan says:

    A kick-butt column, Admin. Depressing, but kick-butt.

    Unfortunately, you’re preaching to the choir. I doubt one in a thousand that is marching on Wall Street right now could make it through your article, let alone understand it. Government schooling has done its job all too well.

    4th October 2011 at 3:34 pm

  6. wakeupamerica says:

    Jim,

    A true eye opener for the huddled masses…I hope a few more wake up.

    Mike

    4th October 2011 at 3:37 pm

  7. Muck About says:

    Really a nice piece.. so full of information and data one needs to print it out and save it for reference.

    Our Orlando Sentinel newspaper did not disappoint this morning. Not one word was published on the Occupy demonstrations. Not a picture, not a word. Our local little rag made it front page news..

    The Sentinel is owned by the Tribune Group and is managed accordingly, sifting news and printing pap for the sheeple.

    MA

    4th October 2011 at 3:42 pm

  8. brandnet says:

    Scary… But very nice work. Bravo.

    4th October 2011 at 3:48 pm

  9. Everett says:

    Tremendous article. Thank you so much for the time and research that went into, a remarkable contribution to the discussion about our economic situation. I’ve re-post to my site with top line credit and link to you and this site…ok?

    4th October 2011 at 3:48 pm

  10. Nonanonymous says:

    Ditto, thanks for laying out the steps needed to regain prosperity, one of only mandates for our federal government.

    Meanwhile, I’m not able to acces BOA’s website, where I’ve been banking since 1972, when it was NCNB and my grandfather was a city executive. I only pay my bills online from BOA, and have direct deposit elsewhere. When the money runs out, and BOA quits paying my mortgage, which was Countrywide, now BOA, I’m going to blame them. They’ve got a couple of weeks to get it straightened out. Wish I knew they were going down two weeks ago, could’ve saved a mortgage payment. With stocks, bonds, and gold going down, cash is king. God help us all.

    Thanks, again, Jim Q. It’s been a helluva ride!

    4th October 2011 at 3:49 pm

  11. KaD says:

    If you don’t feel like there is hope it is because the real hope doesn’t get reported in the MSM and because you are looking in the wrong place; at the infinite growth monetary paradigm (comprised of fractional reserve banking, fiat currency, and compound interest). There cannot be infinite growth in a finite system (planet); that is a mathematical fact. The infinite growth paradigm is collapsing; it will continue to do so until it no longer exists. Human industrial civilization will collapse with it. “When overly complex civilizations fail they fail spectacularly, collossally, and very quickly.” Humanity has converted almost every resource and all human labor into dollars, there are not enought resources, hence dollars left to pay off the debts. I guess that’s why I got SO frustrated with the last article. If you even THOUGHT that guy should pay you are still looking in the wrong direction. You don’t get it. The arguement is as useless as people arguing about whether to put a democrat or rebublican into office. Nobody is getting paid any of the debt anymore, not personal debt, government debt, bank debt, the game is over. The body has died; only life support is keeping it from rotting before your eyes. If you still have a 401K or even if you’re shorting the market you still have a vested interest in keeping alive the beast that is intent on killing ALL of us (including your own children) to keep itself alive, the infinite growth paradigm. The economy is NOT going to recover. Ever. The housing market is not going to recover. Ever. Things are not going to go back to the way they were. Ever. A new reality is coming to light; a new way of living. This nation cannot and will not hold together. (Notice how many states have succession language prepared.) Poeple CAN hold together, individually and collectively. This is where our hope is. People not allowing the propaganda to divide us, which is what TPTB want. Unless your are the top 1/10 of 1% you are on the same side as everyone else who is not; you have failed to realize it yet but you will. Did you know that in studies of primitive people they spend on the average only four hours of attending to the needs of life, growing gathering and hunting food, and repairing things? How many people would give their left nut to work only four hours a day to meet their needs? One of the most important things you can do for the sake of humanity is grow something. Start a garden, or even just one pot with a tomato in it. The SKILL is at least as important as the produce. Learn to be a lifeboat for other people.

    4th October 2011 at 3:51 pm

  12. farang says:

    Q: “Did Social Security make our retirements more secure?”
    A. It would have had it been administered properly, yes.

    Premise: “The difficulty with trying to explain how we got here is that people want simple answers and a bad guy to blame……They prefer to blame someone else, rather than looking in the mirror. It took a century of bad decisions, delusional thinking, unparalleled hubris, greed, sloth and willful ignorance to place the country on the precipice of ruin. ”

    Then classic example of “Projection: “The somewhat logical reaction to the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to create make work programs, housing agencies and social welfare programs to keep the citizens from revolting. He did this through the creation of debt, doubling the National Debt from $22 billion in 1932 to $44 billion by 1940. This is when the entitlement mindset took root.”

    Interesting……didn’t know most of the folks I grew up as a child in the 50’s, the autoworker, the plumber, the teacher, the baker, the postman, the guy shoveling snow for a few extra bucks, the lady taking in kids to watch after school until their parents finished working, the retiree doing odd jobs to afford something more than subsistence living were the ones feeling “entitled”..mmmm, guess you learn something new everyday….

    “The American people are responsible for the situation they find themselves in today. We elected the politicians that passed the laws, created the agencies, borrowed the money, and spent the country into oblivion. The truth is human beings are flawed creatures. We are prone to greed, laziness, seeking power, worrying about what others think about us, delusional thinking, herd mentality, shallowness, and cognitive dissonance. All of these human weaknesses have contributed to our current dilemma.”

    I didn’t “elect” anyone…the majority did..if the elections are untainted, which I am convinced they are not. I did vote for the guy in 1976 that went to the Oval Office…and your chart of the debt blasting off proved he was the correct choice…and the guy that followed, that quadrupled my FICA (after tripling my state taxes as my governor) while drastically increasing the benefits paid to those that had not paid in…goes unmentioned in your rambling rant. Interesting.

    Yes, we became “lazy”…..after watching my father work two fulltime jobs(daytime as glazier, nighttime as prop then jet mechanic in the 60’s while mom worked a fulltime job too…) I followed in his footsteps when deciding to raise a family: worked two fulltime jobs, then paid in-law to watch babies while wife went back to fulltime teqaching….damn we were “lazy”…thanks for pointin git out, blo9ggerboy “adiminstrator…and now guess what?

    We feel “entitled”. Gee. I wonder why….. maybe like a person that put money in the bank…then had a teller with the mindset of the author of this gibberish inform us “What? You want to withdraw your money? Why, you think you’re ENTITLED to it or something???” Or maybe the family that worked a co-op farm, raised the crops…then had the guy munching on their food crops tell them “What?, just because you hoed the field, planted the seeds, weeded the field, harvested the crop..now you think you are “ENTITLED” to any share?? That’s this author.

    YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR: I was too busy working, starting my own business, paying my FICA and that of 12 employees, happily, so they would have a LITTLE SOMETHING when they retired too.

    Sorry that I heard two candidates PROMISE in their “debates” in 2000 to place our FICA in a TRUST FUND…perhaps you should go collect it from the lying weasels that STOLE IT instead of blaming the VICTIMS that PAID IT IN.

    ENTITLE THAT, “administrator.” “Lazy”….”Ignorant”…someone is Projecting……

    4th October 2011 at 4:07 pm

  13. WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS NOW IS HOPE » MetalStack says:

    [...] Great write up by James Quinn at The Burning Platform… [...]

    4th October 2011 at 4:29 pm

  14. Baltimore_Buch says:

    I’ve been reading this page top to bottom for about a year now and this is my favorite thing I’ve read to date. Just a great summary that I can try and use to explain to the ignorant/unwilling to acknowledge masses.

    My one suggestion, and to follow the movie theme – Don’t underestimate the extent to which the top 1% will be willing to go to keep their fortune & power. It’s coming and it won’t be pretty.

    “What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television… I want “everyone” to *remember*, why they NEED us!”

    Sutler (as the tide begins to rise)

    4th October 2011 at 4:31 pm

  15. Administrator says:

    farang desperately trying to rationalize his entitlements. Sorry dude. FAIL.

    You are incapable of making a cogent argument because the facts do not support your gibberish.

    But that is expected. Liberals don’t care for facts or reality. They prefer debt financed spending to feed their social agendas.

    4th October 2011 at 4:39 pm

  16. Stucky says:

    Wow. A list of depressing shit ALL IN ONE PLACE!!

    If I start feeling upbeat about anything — anything at all — I’ll just reread this article.

    A beautifully written summary that I will email to my dickhead friends who still don’t get it. If this doesn’t wake them up, then I give up. Fuck them and their “this is just a bump in the road” mentality.

    4th October 2011 at 4:53 pm

  17. hattip says:

    ,The population would need to accept a dramatic decrease in their standard of living as interest rates would need to be raised and saving would need to replace borrowing as our economic mantra.

    Acceptance of the impact from peak oil would require a complete restructuring of our suburban sprawl existence with communities forced to become more locally self sufficient.

    The political system would need to be overhauled with term limits and the elimination of corporate and special interest control over the election process.

    Marxist hogwash. It is not uo to decide what other people’s standard of living should be. I will bet that you, Mr. Quinn, are not eve 40, that you do not have children have ever run a business. I bet those here who reflexivity cheer this notion are even younger. The Left HATE the idea of prosperity, HATE it. They hate it fr the hate free men living up to their potential. They hate those men because the Left are inferior to them. they want one thing: power over all
    .
    The day that this country stops working for prosperity ad decides to have a lower standard of living is the day it dies. The Left has been trying to push this since FDR. It must be rejected. Shame on you for wishing that you fellow Americans should accept a lower standard of living.

    And it is a false choice, Defund the Democrat Nomenklatura. reduce government by 80%. We the will prosper.

    This s just a fascist platform you offer, where A small group, a nomenklatura of Leftist will tell us all how to live. Yu can bet that they will not lower their standard of living.

    Oh, adn “peak Oil” is just a leftist fantasy. There is plenty of Oil. Recent discoveries in Latin America, and new technologies applied to fields North America clearly disprove this. This Peak il business the Left has been preaching since the 1960’s. It never comes to pass. The price of Oil is high because of Democrat policies. Peak Oil is a lie. Again, the Left cannot tolerate the prosperity of free men out of envy and a desire to control,

    Also, America does not have an “Empire”–that too is just more Leftist cant. When you dismantle the American armed forces the the real problems will start. You are so trapped in Marxist agi-prop that you cannot see this. You think that will bring “peace”. It will not, t will bring g W9rld War. They left has bee trying to reduce American power since the 1950’s. They do this because they hate America, not because they want “peace”. Anything but. They are fundamentally nihilists.
    ]
    (Not t mention that the Armed services are not even ta quarter of the federal budget.)

    What someone has done here is take some conservative ideas and wrapped the usual vile Marxst BS around tt. They hope thus t co-opt the unwitting. Do not be fooled. This ends i slavery.

    When you give the State the powers that you ask for it will destroy all liberty and prosperity.

    Nowhere in all these rigged statistics of yours, and they are rigged, do you hold into account the collectivist polices ad agendas of the Democrat Party these last 80 years. These are the problems, not “the Banks”, who where just their bagmen.

    You would still have these vipers power. Seems to me that you are nothing else but a propagandist fr the,

    4th October 2011 at 4:56 pm

  18. Stucky says:

    farang

    It is interesting that you claim Admin is guilty of “Projection”, and yet YOU are doing exactly the same thing!

    What I mean is … YOU are taking the article like a personal attack on YOU! Notice all the “I” examples you give.

    Hey, I think it’s great that your mom and dad worked their asses off (so did mine), and that you worked hard to own a business and 12 employees. That’s wonderful. But, again, the article isn’t about YOU specifically … it’s about the country in GENERAL.

    Take off your MYoptic glasses and try to see the big picture.

    4th October 2011 at 5:01 pm

  19. Administrator says:

    Wow. This article is bringing out all the angry nutjobs in denial. Hattip ain’t the brightest bulb. His assessment of my age and number of kids are as off as his warped thinking. I love when ideologues call my statistics rigged.

    This dude lives in some ideological fantasy world of neo-conservatism. He loves his war machine and his banks. We get examples of the extreme left and the extreme right in a matter of a few comments.

    I think it is very revealing that farang attacks the article from an ultra-liberal angle and hattip attacks it from a far right angle. You get to witness two boneheads at the oppositie extreme who both HATE facts.

    Facts ruin a good storyline and the fraudulent arguments of mindless ideologues.

    Welcome to the Marxist TBP. Simply hilarious.

    4th October 2011 at 5:06 pm

  20. Stucky says:

    “I will bet that you, Mr. Quinn, are not eve 40, that you do not have children have ever run a business.” — hattip

    Finally … someone with worse prognostications than our beloved friend, Smokey.

    Hey hattip.
    sit-in-the-corner-dumbass-ie.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 5:08 pm

  21. Smokey says:

    “The whole damned world is bankrupt.”

    K.B. isn’t.

    4th October 2011 at 5:10 pm

  22. Stucky says:

    Jim,

    I’d like to post a thread; “The REAL reason the U.S.of A. is Fucked”

    It’ll be a short post. Only two words;

    farang and hattip.

    The End.

    4th October 2011 at 5:14 pm

  23. Smokey says:

    hattip,

    You are a fucking embarrassment and disgrace to neocons everywhere.

    4th October 2011 at 5:15 pm

  24. TeresaE says:

    Well worth the wait Jim, thanks.

    Was just over at ZeroHedge enjoying the show in the comments.

    Most people still don’t get it.

    Don’t understand FISCAL impossibility.

    Baltimore_Buch says: “…Don’t underestimate the extent to which the top 1% will be willing to go to keep their fortune & power. It’s coming and it won’t be pretty….” and I agree,

    Then farang comes along and proves we better not underestimate the 99% that want to believe in rainbows and unicorns. We have as much to fear from them, as the one percent.

    Because they are ALWAYS willing to hate someone, sacrifice someone or live in delusion in the hopes of keeping “their fair share.”

    What farang doesn’t yet get is that 100% of nothing, is nothing.

    4th October 2011 at 5:16 pm

  25. llpoh says:

    Hey hairlip – you are showing your ass. It isn’t pretty and folks round here are kicking shit out of it. Whhat a moron you are showing yourself to be.

    We love stupid newbies. It presents us with feeding frenzy opportunities we otherwise do not get. Welcomme.

    4th October 2011 at 5:19 pm

  26. doctrinity7 says:

    This is pure libertarian bunkum. What this country needs is a restoration of the rule of law and a jubiliee. The Fed has to be abolished. Gold and Silver only have the value that we decide, which means anything can be money–just as the tally sticks were in Britain. The crime thugs called bankers have to go to jail–starting with Volker and Greenspan and working down to Berneke, Geithner, Dimon, Blankfein–the list is long and they should be followed to jail by the neocons and any Israel firsters. The right to issue interest free money must be restored to the people and anyone who charges interest on a loan will be charged with a capital offence, given a trial by jury and summarily executed without appeal.

    Local banking, local farming, local schooling and local health care must be supported and the large conglomerates must be broken into pieces with no hope of reconstitution. The FDA and the Epdemic Intelligence Agency must die as must the CIA, NSA, Naval Intelligence, TSA and all of the other alphabet agencies that spend their time working for Wall Street and the big corporations at taxpayers expense.

    Once sound money is restored, the people don’t have to live with less–they can live with what they need at a cost that is not inflated.

    Anybody who recommends an increase in interest rates is calling for another hidden tax and is a mole for the bankers; and hidden taxes should also be punishable by death (after a trial of course.)

    4th October 2011 at 5:22 pm

  27. Dave Doe says:

    sentiment-wave.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 5:25 pm

  28. Stucky says:

    Marxist !!!!

    Neocon !!!

    Socialist !!!

    And now …… LIBERTARIAN BUNKUM!!! Fucken A!

    .
    What’s next? Can’t wait ……

    4th October 2011 at 5:30 pm

  29. Union Man says:

    What a bunch of bullshit. The reason this country is going downhill fast is becuz of all the union busting. Unions are what made this country great. Unions built the railroads and highways and skyscrappers and everything else. Unions are the reason we have a middle class in the first place. Now the republicans and tea partiers want to destroy it all. Bring back the unions and none of the shit above will matter. Whoever wrote this article is an antiunion fascist slug.

    4th October 2011 at 5:36 pm

  30. Everett says:

    What’s next? Unionism! Hilarious.

    4th October 2011 at 5:42 pm

  31. Smokey says:

    Union Man,

    Unions eat shit. They are worthless parasites.

    They are a fucking blight on humanity.

    Look at Detroit, you blind shit-eating maggot.

    4th October 2011 at 5:44 pm

  32. JesusIsLord says:

    What a sad article. It sounds like the author has no hope. But there is hope in the Lord Jesus. The Bible says God will heal our nation IF his people call upon Him. This is why we need folks like Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann in office. These are people who are not ashamed of calling upon the Lord. But where in this sad rant does the author call upon the Lord? Oh, my, the author does present solutions. But they are all for nought because unless the Lord is involved then it is doomed to fail. I have also read elsewhere here where the author uses the Lord’s name in vain. No surprise here as the author of this article is the Antichrist himself.

    4th October 2011 at 5:46 pm

  33. DavosSherman says:

    JesusIsLord:

    Nothing bothers me more than some asswipe, who doesn’t know the Bible, who takes some verse out of contex and twists it for his/her own political gain.

    Go fuck yourself moron!

    Admin knows the Bible better than he knows the economy.

    Take your fucking pathetic candidates and go packing you fucking piece of shit.

    4th October 2011 at 5:49 pm

  34. JesusIsLord says:

    DavosSherman

    I will turn the other cheek to your hate filled words. Why are you such an angry person? As a woman I know that most men who are this angry usually have problems maintaining an erection. Is that what’s going on here? Be honest and I will pray for your deformity.

    4th October 2011 at 5:58 pm

  35. card802 says:

    Great job admin. The effort you must have put into this piece….well done.

    I too love to read the comments of the fools that still don’t get it.
    There was a piece written here a while back about Darwin Awards, it’s apparent that when the can finally falls off the cliff, these idiots will die, thereby improving the gene pool and increasing chances of long-term survival for the rest of us. Natural selection, and all that.

    4th October 2011 at 5:59 pm

  36. TIm TIm says:

    Cocklips is even more of a twat than me

    4th October 2011 at 5:59 pm

  37. Dave Doe says:

    Admin to JesusIsLord

    jesus-christ-velvet-painting.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 6:00 pm

  38. Thinker says:

    With Stucky here… it’s hilarious to see how people are getting different things out of this. Now we have anti-Union and fascism, with a good dose of anti-Christianity to it. Are people really this delusional, or is it just one person posting as many, trying to be a troll?

    4th October 2011 at 6:00 pm

  39. DavosSherman says:

    Fuck you – you piece of shit moron.

    I doubt it is anger that brings you limp dicks JesusIsLord, no doubt it is your looks and personality and your twisting God’s word.

    You know, fuck you, get a normal screen name because it bothers even me to us profanity with His name – you fucking piece of shit.

    And my rage is driven by fucking morons like yourself. Admin is a realist, and you’re a delusionist who pretends to be an optimist. Grow the fuck up and realize we need real fixes not CNBS BS.

    4th October 2011 at 6:03 pm

  40. DavosSherman says:

    Here is a picture of JesusIsLord, anger isn’t bringing you limp dicks – you’re looks, stupidity and using God’s name for your own personal agenda are bringing you limp dicks. You fucking skank cunt moron.

    PS Are you my sister in law?

    W020080217359109414148.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 6:10 pm

  41. DavosSherman has a limp dick says:

    I changed my screen name just for you Davos. Do you like it?

    Look, the fact of the matter is that this is (was) a Christian nation. There is nothing wrong with believers asking for the Lord’s help. Cry as you might, there are more of us (believers) than there are of you (limp dicked atheists). Can’t we all just get along?

    4th October 2011 at 6:10 pm

  42. Stucky says:

    OK guys … all this bantering, funny as it may be, is distracting from Jim’s article.

    Please cease and desist.

    4th October 2011 at 6:13 pm

  43. Pirate Jo says:

    Great article, Admin!

    What we have seen is an attempt by people to make the world a little more fair – in this soon-to-fail experiment, the attempt involved central bankers and a bigger, more powerful government. Oops, guess that one didn’t work.

    If you want to make the world a little more fair, you have to get off your own ass, open your own checkbook, and do it yourself. Even then, you won’t be able to take care of all the unfairness in the world. But the world can be a better place when every single one of us does what we can.

    I see a bunch of lazy people who are furious at the system because it didn’t work. Well, it CAN’T work. Never could. The only thing that works starts with you. Government programs can’t put a chicken in every pot. If that’s what you want, you might need to get in touch with your neighbors, maintain strong ties with your family and friends, and lend a helping hand when it is needed.

    4th October 2011 at 6:17 pm

  44. card802 says:

    Jesusislord said: “As a woman I know that most men who are this angry usually have problems maintaining an erection.”

    As a man I know that most women who call themselves Jesusislord have a deformity of the sphincter from too many ass fuckings by angry men and assorted large farm animals.
    Be honest and no one here will pray for you.

    4th October 2011 at 6:18 pm

  45. AWD says:

    Great article, but the NEW iPhone 4S came out today. I’ve got my maxed out credit card out, and I’m driving my leased Lexus to the store to get one. I must keep up with “Jersey Shore” and “Dancing with the stars” and my fantasy NFL picks, and my NASCAR standings. And, I have to use my iPhone to update my facebook status every 5 minutes, and tweet every time I take a shit. And, I have to make reservations at the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My scooter is coming in a few days, and my penis pump, courtesy of Medicare, I need my new iPhone for my checking account where I get my direct deposit disability “pay”, and I just downloaded a new app for my iPhone, it’s called SNAP status, keeps me updated on my SNAP benefits. It’s damn great to be an American.

    4th October 2011 at 6:18 pm

  46. WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS NOW IS HOPE « InvestmentWatch – The best source of news, analysis, and intelligent discussion says:

    [...] Original source Have something to share? Submit it here| Advertising [...]

    4th October 2011 at 6:33 pm

  47. Harry Johnson says:

    There is plenty in this country for everyone to have a decent life. There will always be a few hogs who are so desparate to lord it over other people that they are never satisfied. Blaming the people who are starving and homeless while others eat $500 meals from solid gold plates is insane. Claiming that we just cannot afford health care for children while we just absolutely gotta spend millions bombing Libya or Afghanistan is insane. Building billion dollar embassies is insane, especially when we are told there is not money to maintain bridges properly. Leaving 20 percent of our people out of work while things like fixing roads or healing sick goes undone is insane. Pulling billions and trillions out of your butt to bailout multi billionaires who screwed up is insane, Even more so when we are told there is not money to feed the hungry. Whining that workers who join together to get a living wage are evil while CEOs making multi millions are not is insane. Spending all of your free time watching the idiocy on television is insane. We have been lead to an insane world. We are crazy to agree that any of it is valid. Marcus Aurelius said that the object of life is not to be in the ranks of the majority but to avoid joining the ranks of the insane. Stepping back and looking at the world so much of what we are told and what we do, so much of the commonly accepted wisdom is just insane.

    4th October 2011 at 6:36 pm

  48. Hope@ZeroKelvin says:

    Well, I was having a great day, listening to a divinely sung “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, when I read this column.

    76 bullet points of PURE DOOM – that won’t fit in a 30 sec sound bite so will be totally lost on the sheeple and their masters.

    However, the words of this immortal aria bear repeating here.

    The vengeance of Hell boils in my heart,
    Death and despair flame about me!
    If Sarastro does not through you feel
    The pain of death,
    Then you will be my daughter nevermore.
    Disowned may you be forever,
    Abandoned may you be forever,
    Destroyed be forever
    All the bonds of nature,
    If not through you
    Sarastro becomes pale! (as death)
    Hear, Gods of Revenge,
    Hear a mother’s oath!

    Sarastro in the modern parlance is, of course Bernanke/Wall Street/The entire political class.

    (Diana Damrau http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvuKxL4LOqc
    OR Maria Callas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KxgRb8P88I&feature=related

    Sing it if you dare.

    4th October 2011 at 6:39 pm

  49. Dave says:

    And from Paul McCully (sp) formerly of Pimco in commenting about the Tea Party and austerity…

    “Putting somebody who is suffering from anorexia on a diet doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

    No dipshit they want to put someone that is suffering from fucking GLUTONY on a diet!

    4th October 2011 at 6:41 pm

  50. flash says:

    @ JQ , LOL. hairlip done nailed your leftwing ass to the wall..ain’t never run no bizness and what’s more you ain’t even 40 yet.WTF?… every a body dun know’d ,ain’t no sense done come out nobody under 40.
    You’se just some Marxis all dressed up in another ideoligeez clothes. That’s what you is.

    And Lew Rockwell and my fellow libertarians think we’re winning.
    God , if only it were so.
    For every politically astute American, there are literally thousands that only want to hear the Elephant versus the Donkey fairytale , over and over again.

    I know I posted this before, but really, is there any hope left ina world full of hattps and farangs.

    4th October 2011 at 6:41 pm

  51. flash says:

    llpoh says:Hey hairlip ”

    mother fuck and I thought I had an original thought…..GGGOODDDAAAMMIITT!

    4th October 2011 at 6:45 pm

  52. flash says:

    JesusIsLord says: Be honest and I will pray for your deformity.

    Davos , you’ve been trolled …LMAO! I have a pretty good idea.

    4th October 2011 at 6:48 pm

  53. flash says:

    Chillen; the GOP has spoken.Meet your next POTUS .He’s fully qualified cuz he’s filpped a burger or twoin his life and most important of all, he ain’t never spit in no white peoples food.
    I really like a man who don’t spit in my food.He’s got my vote.

    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=97674

    4th October 2011 at 6:51 pm

  54. Steve Hogan says:

    Union Man has to be a troll. No human being could possibly be that stupid.

    4th October 2011 at 6:58 pm

  55. llpoh says:

    I thought I made myself clear I used no foul language nor did I willingly plant a thorn in ye bosom
    Llpoh speaks the truth and words of wisdom flow from me.
    We must not assume anything, facts speak for themselves. If you insist on believing
    The lie then you are beyond help

    4th October 2011 at 7:08 pm

  56. Dave says:

    “Wealth Inequality
    •The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now controls 43% of all the financial wealth in this country.
    •According to the Federal Reserve, the richest 1% of all Americans has a greater net worth than the bottom 90% combined.”

    I’m really curious as to what people think they should do with the money that they want to take away from that 1%?

    4th October 2011 at 7:22 pm

  57. llpoh says:

    Flash – hairlip just rolls off the tongue better than hattip. And suits him better. We can share credit.

    4th October 2011 at 7:22 pm

  58. Dave says:

    Hey…”Harry Johnson says”

    Are you related to Harry Peronockis?

    4th October 2011 at 7:25 pm

  59. illyia says:

    Thanks for doing such a fine job.

    4th October 2011 at 7:28 pm

  60. Colma Rising says:

    I missed all the fun reading the partisan hack, special-interest, psuedo-religious and just plain moronic responses to this well-rounded, hard hitting, fact-filled gem of an article.

    I am glad I got to watch an inspiring rant from a protester over coffee and read this during my short breaks today. I am glad there’s a spot for a good read all day long.

    There’s not much else to say. There it is… the facts and the ideologues having a hissy-fit. To the latter, and we all know who they are:

    Tough Shit, dickcheesers, your era is crumbling.

    4th October 2011 at 7:45 pm

  61. llpoh says:

    I do not know what to say re the wealth inequality. The reality as I see it is that in today’s world, the vast majority of people have little or no valuable skills to offer.

    To be successful in the modern world, you need smarts, a good education, and deep/broad experience. And you need ambition and a willingness to take risk.

    There isn’t one person out of ten thousand, perhaps a hundred thousand, that could take over from me and run my business as well as I am able. In effect, I am near-enough irreplaceable to be considered irreplaceable for this discussion. This will of course sound improbable to many folks, but it is what it is. I have a very broad and deep world-class education, including arts/sciences/finance/human resources/engineering/accounting etc. I have thirty years experience running manufacturing businesses, and have worked in all the major functions of both large and small businesses.

    So, what am I worth in the marketplace? How is it that I should not be in the top 1% financially? What are my workers worth in comparison for turning a bolt or applying paint, while assuming no risk whatsoever? Am I worth double their salaries? Ten times? A hundred times? A hundred thousand times?

    In addition to the skill I bring to my business, I have also accepted huge risk – I put everything I have on the line to buy into this business. I drove an old Escort until it was a bucket of rust. I lived in houses inferior to my employees for years. I had no meals out for years. I scrimped and saved to build this business. I could have worked for someone else and made very substantial salaries for those years, but I chose to abandon that path and take the risk, knowing that I had the potential to do extremely well with a bit of luck and hard work. And so I achieved something in the end.

    I believe that the wealth gap is more and more a function of the fact that there are fewer and fewer people with the skills and ability to value-add in an increasingly complex economic arena. And I think it will get worse and worse.

    The have-nots will of course think it is unfair. They can scream and uprise all they want – but in the end the answer will be the same – only a small percentage of people can be successful in the modern world, and these people will command enormous financial salaries and benefits, while those less skilled will be very poorly rewarded. If those with the skills and talents and willingness to assume risk are not heavily rewarded, then they will not make the effort. And then there will be huge problems.

    When people target the top 1% – or three million people – they target me and what I have done. I resent it, and I will indeed oppose anything that tries to strip off of me what I have earned honestly. Sure, there are some super-rich, and they deserve scrutiny. But to target the 3 million or so that are the engine room of the economy, and who pay the bulk of the taxes and who employ a huge percentage of the workers, is to risk disaster by totally removing incentive.

    4th October 2011 at 8:09 pm

  62. flash says:

    llpoh says:

    Flash – hairlip just rolls off the tongue better than hattip. And suits him better. We can share credit.

    I just wish more newbies would show their ignorance.I haven’t laughed this hard in awhile.

    4th October 2011 at 8:11 pm

  63. DavosSherman says:

    There was a good youtube on taking 100% of the rich’s money, it wouldn’t last us a year – then what?

    4th October 2011 at 8:12 pm

  64. Muck About says:

    Methinks we have a few doppelgängers lurking about.. Either that or some progressive web site picked it up to piss off their members..

    Either way, to attract that many rabble rousers for an article that so well written and documented is way, way out of the norm.. I smell potshot smoke here somewhere.

    It was such a good piece, I think I’ll read it again before bedtime to give me some sweet dreams to slumber by.. Thanks, Jim… Next time do this to us in the early morning..

    MA

    4th October 2011 at 8:16 pm

  65. Smokey says:

    Muck,

    “potshot smoke”

    Wasn’t me.

    4th October 2011 at 8:19 pm

  66. llpoh says:

    Admin – a really great piece. Truly.

    My only quibble is with this comment: “A renegotiation of the social contract with changes in eligibility based on age and financial means”.

    Fuck that. If they tax you/take money out of you for SS, then there is no way in hell that I think they then can come back and say to you that hey, you have been such a good, responsible citizen and have saved and accumulated for your retirement, so you get no SS.

    You put in, you did well, and then your reward is a screwing? Fuck that entirely. We cannot keep screwing the worthy.

    4th October 2011 at 8:28 pm

  67. JesusIsLord says:

    Well I can see that this is not my kind of place with all you foul-mouthed hooligans running around. This is my last post ever. ‘Tis a shame because I have so much Holy Spirit wisdom that I could share with you all to help make this a more God0centered place. But the word of God says we should not cast our pearls before swine. And swine you are, everyone of you. I will continue to pray for you however, especially that limpdick fellow, Davos.

    May the Lord’s peace be upon you.

    4th October 2011 at 8:32 pm

  68. Smokey says:

    I see where you’re coming from llpoh, but that money is ALREADY GONE. You’ll never see a fucking dime of it. It was spent on wars and entitlements.

    4th October 2011 at 8:33 pm

  69. Union Man says:

    I’m with JesusIsLord. Only I won’t be as gracious. Fuck all you cocksuckers. Bunch of pussies hiding behind a keyboard. I could beat the snot out of every one of you limpdicks with one hand tied behind my back.

    Union Man and damned proud of it so fuck you. I’m ouuta here forever.

    4th October 2011 at 8:37 pm

  70. llpoh says:

    Smokey – I am commenting on Admin’s solutions. I know the money is gone – it is what it is. But if it is gone, let it be gone from everyone, not just from those that have done the right thing.

    One the positve sid we have vanquished a Bible thumper and a piece of shit union thug. Hallelujah, comrades!

    4th October 2011 at 8:44 pm

  71. AWD says:

    Great writing causes great reactions in readers.

    Hence, this article has caused a wide variety of reactions, from Mozart to the psycho shit can. Good writing, ala Homer, Aristotle, Marx, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Balzac, Zola, Proust, Keats, Milton, Blake, Dostoyevsky, Hess, and others, can start a revolution. Mein Kampf resulted in the deaths of more than 20 million people. DO NOT underestimate the power of great writing.

    4th October 2011 at 8:47 pm

  72. AWD says:

    Union Man and Jesus are the same person, obviously.

    I’m guessing Rommel/CrazyIvan. RE isn’t that creative.

    4th October 2011 at 8:51 pm

  73. Colma Rising says:

    What a piece of work. A real tough guy

    Llpoh: It’s gone. Mine’s gone too. I’m not counting on a cent of entitlements, as nice as they would be, myself.

    Until the day when the truly needy chastise the truly vampiric, there will be no sustainable social net.

    All corruption… top and bottom must be routed out and made socially unacceptable.

    How? Beats the fuck outta me.

    4th October 2011 at 8:53 pm

  74. Hollow man says:

    I see the same division in our so called elected leaders. The storm of destruction approachs. Soon open acts of violence that will become more and more prevelent. The country is about to explode. Civil war approachs.

    4th October 2011 at 8:53 pm

  75. DavosSherman says:

    Jesus Is Lord, and JesusIsLord isn’t, JesusIsLord, go fuck yourself because you are such a fugly fat skank that no man will ever get a hard-on for you.

    4th October 2011 at 8:55 pm

  76. Union Man says:

    llpoh your factory is next. I have connections. I will not rest until your shop is UNIONIZED! count on it you corporate rat bastard.

    awd why don’t u start a revolution in your pants. try to get the missus excited for once in her life.

    i’m outta here.

    4th October 2011 at 8:55 pm

  77. AWD says:

    Union leaders will hang right next to the politicians and banksters.

    4th October 2011 at 8:57 pm

  78. llpoh says:

    Damn – the union thug is after me. I love a good union fight – bring it on! The last one was with an organizer called “Iron Bar”. What a pussy he turned out to be.

    4th October 2011 at 9:00 pm

  79. Smokey says:

    Union Man,

    And don’t come back lest we administer further savage thrashings to you.

    4th October 2011 at 9:00 pm

  80. llpoh says:

    Just another public sector union thug, I am sure:

    Union+Thugs.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 9:09 pm

  81. Administrator says:

    llpoh

    I made a particular effort to distinguish between the top .01% and the rest of the top 1%. Most of the top 1% earned their way to that point, like yourself.

    What I meant regarding Social Security was a gradual raising of the retirement age over time. To make the program viable would either require lifting the wage cap or means testing. The numbers don’t add up.

    4th October 2011 at 9:11 pm

  82. Administrator says:

    I think Union Man and JesusisLord are related.

    4th October 2011 at 9:12 pm

  83. DavosSherman says:

    “Administrator says:

    I think Union Man and JesusisLord are related.”

    You mean that JesusIsLord is a fucking union transvestite, a Cher kid sex change freak.

    4th October 2011 at 9:19 pm

  84. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    Thanks for not predicting a Phillies victory today. We vanquished the St. Louis Curdanels.

    4th October 2011 at 9:25 pm

  85. Smokey says:

    Administrator,

    Yes, I watched it. They sucked out a win.

    Also, I found out that Kyle Bass lives in 40,000 square foot house on a ranch of thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere in Texas. He keeps a large arsenal of guns and ammo.

    And the coup de grace is that he has a bumper sticker on his car:

    God Bless Our Troops, Especially Our Snipers

    4th October 2011 at 9:45 pm

  86. llpoh says:

    Admin – the rant re the income disparity was not pointed to you at all – but to many who crow on about the disparity – which surely exists – without understanding underlying causes and who simply seek to “blame the rich”. The small quibble re the SS was the means test version. I wholly agree with raising the age and with no wage cap – it is just the means test portion I have trouble with.

    Again – great article.

    4th October 2011 at 9:45 pm

  87. Administrator says:

    Kyle Bass = top .00001%

    He will need those guns when the 99.9999% come after him.

    4th October 2011 at 9:51 pm

  88. Steve Hogan says:

    The only thing that’s going to get us through the shit sandwich we’re being served is a good dose of hilarity. We need to laugh our way out of this depression, and who better to provide it than Union Man.

    Don’t go, Union Man! We need you.

    4th October 2011 at 10:10 pm

  89. Stucky says:

    I am glad you all liked my Doppleganger personalities …. Union Man and JesusIsLord.

    Damn THAT was fun!!

    4th October 2011 at 10:27 pm

  90. llpoh says:

    Stuck – you are really asking for it. Someone is gonna give it to you good very shortly:

    reagan-final-final.jpg

    4th October 2011 at 10:49 pm

  91. AKAnon says:

    Stuck-better hope Mrs. Freud doesn’t find out what you’ve been up to. You’ll hvae some ‘splainin’ to do!

    4th October 2011 at 11:21 pm

  92. ron says:

    I well admit im not as edjumacated as many but after Ross Perot talked about the sucking sound of jobs leaveing i met people for the next couple of years all over the country that would tell me about whole factorys packing up and going either to mexico or china.
    I kept thinking what are we going to replace all these jobs with?knothing.I dont see what free trade is doing for vast majority of people,people overseas cant afford our products.Were fucked.

    4th October 2011 at 11:39 pm

  93. Colma Rising says:

    “Lower Srandard Of Living”

    Was the standard all that bad to begin with? What exactly is the “Higher Standard?”

    Really, living in so-called squalor by modern standards isn’t all that bad…

    A great woman and not owing anybody jack-shit… quite relaxing really. Quite free-feeling.

    The worst part is the boot on the neck of dreamers, doers and givers. Knee-capping the vitality of those who dare to try.

    Equating generosity with stupidity, goodness with foolishness. It’s just a sad thing.

    5th October 2011 at 12:10 am

  94. Argh says:

    watch “Needful Things”

    multiply times the world.

    zionist satanist jews.

    5th October 2011 at 12:32 am

  95. SSS says:

    Stucky

    Your confession of doppelganging was totally unnecessary. I had it all figured out from the second comment in the thread by using the farang/hattip/docrinity7 avatar theorem and applying the Thinker hypothesis of “Something Smells in Stinkerville.” Here’s the chart I used to track all the data to you.

    combchart.gif

    5th October 2011 at 12:43 am

  96. therooster says:

    What’s all the hype about. ? The 21st century answers to our monetary (debt based) problem are on the basis of circulating gold and silver and/or fully backed derivatives such as ownership title (currency) that one uses in the process of making gold payments with digital payment processors such as goldmoney.com. The answer has to come from the marketplace, bottom-up, however, and that’s what people miss as they gaze up at the elite during the closing of this top-down paradigm. We the people can monetize and distribute our own gold, thank-you very much. That’s what will extinguish the world’s debt. You sure can’t expect to solve the debt problem with more debt, can you ? Now that gold trades in real-time, the rising value can cover debts going forward. Continue to support precious metals !

    5th October 2011 at 12:44 am

  97. Novista says:

    Magnum opus, Jim

    There’s nothing like great writing full of facts, metaphors AND a set of solutions, which will piss off the past whiners who’ve said, “You point out the problems but have no answers.”

    It sure brings out the trolls, pity they’re so weak. The Jesus freak enters swinging with an impotence reference and then says ‘can’t we all just get along?’ And the union thug proves himself by countering facts with ‘I can beat you up.’ And I’d take any odds he’d be wrong about that. One thing about trolls, they betray themselves by tarring everyone in the comment stream with the same brush.

    Just a thought — one other thing that happened on Wilson’s watch was the 17th amendment. In the name of democracy it certainly changed the balance between federal and state governments. I cannot help but think the three things were all part of one hidden agenda.

    Oh, and I wil make a minor quibble about the ~repeal~ of Glass-Steagall. Section 3.
    The devil’s in the details.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm%E2%80%93Leach%E2%80%93Bliley_Act

    5th October 2011 at 12:48 am

  98. Stan says:

    I read the article and it covered in detail many of the impossible problems of our unsustainable predicament. The key word here is unsustainable.

    But when I read the comments, I had to chuckle at the silliness of some of the trolls who responded. Amazing.

    But Great!

    btw, the reason I posted the “Lies of Obama” as the first comment was in response to the name of the article, ” Hope”
    We got hope in 2008. Hope ain’t worth a damn it seems.

    5th October 2011 at 5:54 am

  99. King-shat says:

    What this country needs is a kick ass attitude.

    5th October 2011 at 8:27 am

  100. Welshman says:

    My My,

    Some very interesting comments, JQ must have gotten posted on some nutcake termite mound.
    One can clearly see why this country is in such deep shit when reading some the comments.

    Admin.,

    Good rant, LOL, nice to see you are taking it easy and have turned on your cruise control.

    5th October 2011 at 9:22 am

  101. JesusIsLord says:

    Jeezus H Christ, people! You might want to read Stucky’s confession at 10:27.

    5th October 2011 at 10:11 am

  102. DavosSherman says:

    “Well I can see that this is not my kind of place with all you foul-mouthed hooligans running around. This is my last post ever. ”

    It’s back:

    JesusIsLord says:

    “Jeezus H Christ, people! You might want to read Stucky’s confession at 10:27.”

    What a lying POS Christian Hypocritical Transvestite Trolling mother fucker”

    “This is my last post ever” and then the fat transvestite piece of shit returns.

    5th October 2011 at 10:18 am

  103. JesusIsLord says:

    Davos
    I-think-youre-a-cunt-sm.jpg

    5th October 2011 at 10:21 am

  104. DavosSherman says:

    You’re a fucking sinning satan worshiper who uses religion to promote your neo-conservative religion, a fucking transvestite with a Michele Bachman fetish.

    5th October 2011 at 10:25 am

  105. Colma Rising says:

    Yeah, JIL is definitely a 6’8″, 310…. wait, 295lb trannie with a Magnum PI mustache.

    5th October 2011 at 10:33 am

  106. AWD says:

    Davos:

    It really pays to read the comments section.

    Nice going Stucky. I thought it was CrazyIvan/Rommel. Keep running Davos around the track, see how long it takes him to figure it out.

    5th October 2011 at 11:21 am

  107. Smokey says:

    LOL—– AWD,

    Davos was still circling the track AFTER the confession.

    5th October 2011 at 11:36 am

  108. JesusIsLord says:

    Davos

    I have used a nasty word in my last post to you. I can’t even say it again but it rhymes with hunt, bunt, and punt.

    I have prayed about this and the Lord told me that I need to first ask for your forgiveness. Only then will the Lord forgive me. So you see my soul is in your hands. Will you forgive me?

    The Lord also told me that I must make restitution in a way that pleases you. I have read your posts before and it seems you are infatuated with — well, I can’t say the word — but it rhymes with sock and rock.. So if you want me to suck your sock rock just let me know.

    5th October 2011 at 11:52 am

  109. Rommel says:

    AWD, I have poked fun at you guys with Ron Paul, Porter, The Letter E, Visualization, Awd, Lil Smokey and doppel gang banged ya with Colma Rising and Admin. I really am proud of you guys for now wanting to kick some ass. You only have about 5.9 billion idiots to slay, should be a piece of cake!

    5th October 2011 at 11:58 am

  110. Administrator says:

    Michael Lewis Slams Wall St., Leadership Deficit

    Michael Lewis’s “Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World” begins with Kyle Bass, a Texas hedge fund manager who’s buying guns and gold bricks.

    Bass is also betting against European governments.

    Following on last year’s “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” Lewis’s exploration of the subprime mortgage debacle, “Boomerang” is a collection of articles Lewis wrote about his adventures in Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Germany, with a bonus look at the parlous state of California.

    Films based on his books, like “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side,” have brought Lewis wider success. “Liar’s Poker,” about his short-lived Wall Street career, may finally start shooting. He has a couple of television series in the works and is a columnist for Bloomberg View.

    We spoke at Bloomberg’s world headquarters in New York.

    Lundborg: You’re writing the script for “Liar’s Poker.” Who should play you? John Gutfreund?

    Lewis: Jonah Hill, after he gains some weight. I’d like to see Jeff Bridges play John Gutfreund.

    Lundborg: You’re clearly on a roll, so what are you doing with all that money?

    Lewis: I’m always cautious, so I’m not a barometer of the times. I always have about 40-50 percent in the stock market, and it’s all in large-cap, high-dividend-paying battleship companies that can withstand recession.

    Dog Food
    Lundborg: So you aren’t buying guns and gold like Kyle Bass?

    Lewis: The difference between me and Kyle Bass is that I just assume if it gets to that point, I’m dog food. He thinks he can defend his gold.

    Lundborg: Where’s the smart money now?

    Lewis: It’s impossible to predict what the markets are going to do, but if you’re asking me what smart people are doing, they have been for some time in metals, very risk-averse, out of debt entirely.

    They make a persuasive case that we’re living in very perilous times.

    Lundborg: What do you think of the Occupy Wall Street protesters?

    Lewis: They’re right to be angry, but they have to figure out what they want if they’re going to have any effect. If there were specific demands, it would start to get very interesting.

    Lundborg: Has Wall Street changed since the meltdown?

    Big Is Bigger
    Lewis: The changes have been incremental. I would have radically restructured the financial industry, nationalized the banks. I just assume there were really good reasons I don’t understand that prevented the Obama administration from doing it.

    Lundborg: Like Summers and Geithner?

    Lewis: They had their reasons. But some of the changes have been disturbing. The big have gotten even bigger, so there’s even more of an advantage being Citigroup or Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley (MS), when it should be less of an advantage.

    Pay has changed — more pay is in the form of restricted stock. There is a real attempt to try to orient interests toward the longer term rather than the short term.

    Lundborg: What’s the worst thing you’ve been seeing?

    Lewis: The way the big firms meddled in the legislation to reform the financial industry after the crisis drives me batty.

    I don’t think they should have had any place at that table, and they manipulated the legislation in ways that are not good for the rest of us.

    There doesn’t seem to be any remoralization of the financial industry.

    Risk Taking
    Lundborg: Have the incentives changed?

    Lewis: They’re better in the pay area, but they’re worse in the sense that now their deposits are explicitly government- guaranteed and they can still engage in hedge-fund-like activities.

    There’s not enough of a market check on their risk-taking. It’s still unclear 3 years later if the Volcker rule will actually be implemented or gutted. It feels like it will be gutted.

    Lundborg: You point out the paradox that the Germans essentially run Europe now. And yet the worst toxic deals could be sold to the “stupid Germans in Dusseldorf.”

    How do you explain it?

    Lewis: The Germans have the advantage that their people, not their financiers, behaved very well in the face of temptation, and the people are outraged at what’s going on.

    Financial questions are now political questions. I know hedge fund managers who have pollsters running around Germany trying to figure out public opinion and how it’s going to change.

    Who’s in Charge?

    Lundborg: Figures like Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler and Stalin dominated history in the last century in a way that Obama and Merkel don’t, so are financiers now running the world?

    Lewis: Nobody’s running the world, that’s the scary thing. There’s been a massive decline in authority, and in moments of crisis it’s very unnerving to realize no one’s in charge.

    Lundborg: In the piece on California, you say they have a system that delivers “maximum contempt for elected officials.”

    Lewis: Here you have extreme democracy where the people vote by initiative on all important fiscal matters, and then they complain about what it generates.

    What they want is services without paying for them, so it’s a problem of public morals.

    Killing Parasites
    Lundborg: You say that when confronted with a dark room filled with money, Americans grabbed as much as we could.

    Lewis: The common theme between public employee unions, say, and Wall Street bankers is an excessive focus on the short term and a weird blindness about the long term.

    It’s unsustainable behavior, parasites everywhere killing their hosts.

    5th October 2011 at 3:13 pm

  111. OLDVET says:

    The title of this article should be “The Summing Up” because that’s exactly exactly what it does.
    Great job. Now I have a document I can point to when my family and friends doubt that we are screwed.
    Those who care to copy this article there are 21 pages not including comments.
    IMPROVISE-ADAPT-OVERCOME***SEMPER FI

    5th October 2011 at 3:30 pm

  112. Buckhed says:

    Watch this…..pretty good stuff !

    http://www.youtube.com/user/FmunkMOC#p/a/u/1/tRmZ9zH-mYM

    5th October 2011 at 9:30 pm

  113. AWD says:

    Buckhed:

    That was one funny video, and true. They need to get that guy down to the Wall Street protests. He’d stir up some shit.

    5th October 2011 at 10:05 pm

  114. platoplubius says:

    @ Admin,

    DAMN GOOD!

    V for Vendetta is near prophetic! Great stuff! I’ll be leaving this in the breakroom for my own personal amusement. Hopefully somebody picks it up and actually reads it through!

    “•During the recent financial crisis the Federal Reserve secretly loaned $16 trillion to the biggest banks in the world, including $4 trillion to foreign banks. ”

    If this fact doesn’t piss off every single American citizen…shoot and illegal citizen, I don’t know what will!?!? Maybe the only other thing might be finding out Obama is actually Osama?!
    At the very least red flags should be going up with everyone, but I guess it’s as they say, “apathy is a silent killer”

    6th October 2011 at 1:13 am

  115. BlackVoid says:

    No, you do not need hope.

    Hope is a dangerous thing. Jews in nazi Germany hoped, that things would get better, or at least not get worse.
    Hope will make people easy to control.

    What people now need is NO HOPE. That is the only thing that will bring about change.

    6th October 2011 at 1:43 am

  116. ecliptix543 says:

    plato: “At the very least red flags should be going up with everyone, but I guess it’s as they say, apathy is a silent killer.”

    So is a suppressed bolt action .308 at 800 yds… :)

    6th October 2011 at 1:51 am

  117. Dave says:

    Jim: Many of the charts above go back decades. I thought everything was Bushs’ fault?

    6th October 2011 at 12:24 pm

  118. Administrator says:

    I didn’t know an old fart like you even knew how to read a chart.

    6th October 2011 at 12:26 pm

  119. Dave says:

    “Administrator says:

    I didn’t know an old fart like you even knew how to read a chart.”

    Fuck. Is that why I wear glasses?

    6th October 2011 at 3:14 pm

  120. misvolleyball says:

    +1

    6th October 2011 at 10:26 pm

  121. PROTECTING YOUR WEALTH: OCTOBER 7, 2011 | The Federal Observer says:

    [...] to accumulate the first $5.7 trillion of debt and only 11 years to tack on another $8.9 trillion. (Read Full Story) Life, Liberty and All That [...]

    7th October 2011 at 8:40 am

  122. Colma Rising says:

    Admin:

    Would it be out of the question to print this post up and hand it to folks?

    The more I think about it, this article in particular has a particular quality and broad focus that many, of various facets of political and socio-economic thought, could find suprisingly focused.

    Just a thought.

    7th October 2011 at 11:10 am

  123. Administrator says:

    Colma

    I had the same thought. I wondered whether printing 100 copies and handing it out at the Occupy Philly protest would do any good.

    7th October 2011 at 11:15 am

  124. Colma Rising says:

    If you do, hand it to the left-leaning kids. I don’t think that’d be bad. If they have their own litterature, politely take it. Comment on how hot Natalie Portman is too. You can always throw it in the burn pile if it’s unoriginal or pre-packaged spiel later.

    Really, there’s a list of problems and rarely adressed solutions in this article.

    Should I or anyone else for that matter? Up to you…

    7th October 2011 at 2:16 pm

  125. Mike M says:

    This article really sums up what 100 years of Big Gov’t have done to our country. I think handing it out is good, but how about posting a link to it when you read other blog sites that allow comments. I’ve posted some on Yahoo message boards. I see people posting there about killing Zionist Jews and bankers, probably the same things seen in Germany in the early 30’s. Our country is changing and it’s up to us to make it a change for the good and we’re running out of time.

    7th October 2011 at 6:20 pm

  126. CraigO says:

    We need to produce our way out of this problem, not spend our way out.
    We went from greed to fear over night and now there is no end in site for the fear ending and greed is currently being held by the.0.1% God Bless#occupywallstreet
    Great article…. thank you for your contribution to society.
    I have passed it on @underspoken_

    10th October 2011 at 8:42 pm

  127. AWD says:

    Go gettum Craig.

    10th October 2011 at 9:02 pm

  128. Novista says:

    Cragi, if you’re still around …

    http://www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson/

    Downloadable pdf file … free, as in free is what data wants to be. :-)

    Seriously, best single book on real Econ 101.

    I’d also recommend finding Bastiat’s “The Law” which was written in 1850 but still valid.

    11th October 2011 at 1:01 am

  129. Thinker says:

    Bastiat – The Law [PDF]

    11th October 2011 at 10:59 am

  130. Saeed Haq says:

    Great job in analyzing the situation. Easy money from bankers and easy promises by political liars in combination with secular populace indulged people into their desires of entertainment, food, physical desires while the platform was being setup for burning by the ruling elite for even greater ransacking of the globe and defenseless people around the world, and now the people of the developed world are being setup for slaughter at the altar of Mammon.

    These ruling elite even engineered demonizing a people after the fall of communism so that their Military Industrial Complex (MIC) can continue producing mass killing machines. What happened to chivalrous wars? I guess America learned that lesson in Vietnam, and having to re-learn this again in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Ordinary people have to put aside the corporate-controlled media and start communicating at the level of ordinary people by setting aside their racial, religious and ethnic difference and solve their problems, and stop relying on their politicians and bankers to solve their problems.

    As Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute describes this as Workers of the World Unite 2.0 againt the ruling elite to restore some sense of justice for ordinary people. We do not have to be debt slaves, but rather if the elite have money we should share in the profit by having both capital and entrepreneurs taking a risk in a venture and then agree to a certain profit-sharing ratio upfront that is fair to both parties.

    This is the nature process of wealth distribution through entrepreneurship without letting the government or banks inserting their hands into the pot and taking a bigger chunk of the profit, and leaving the entrepreneur hold the empty bag at the end of the takings. That is the message on my website (monetaryfreedom.wordpress.com).

    11th October 2011 at 6:39 pm

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