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Forum--Economic and Political Issues

Moderator will post articles and comments on Political and Economic Issues. Comments and discussion is invited

Members: 15
Latest Activity: Feb 14, 2012

Dear Members:
I want to start this discussion by emphasizing a very important contributor to our current economic crisis, namely; the dramatic rise of debt. I am of the view that in societies with developed financial markets (ie non-indigenous based societies) patterns of human behavior tend to repeat themselves over time. This is why much can be learned from reading and understanding economic history in conjunction with the cycles of human interaction. I will discuss this more as the council develops, but I wanted to leave you with a chart to ponder. The chart is of debt in the US to GDP. We are at the end of a long cycle of increasing debt with much effort being made to maintain asset prices and stimulate even more debt. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where the existing debt cannot be serviced out of income much less repaid. We must either increase incomes substantially, default on the debt,, restructure the debt radically, or create enough inflation to diminish the value of this debt over time.
We are locked in a great battle between the forces of inflation and deflation. All great debt bubbles have ended in deflation. The US government and the Federal Reserve are determined to not permit deflation to occur. This will be the major economic issue we face over the next several decades and will result in the evolution of a new values regime and hopefully the start of a new golden age of human interaction. This could also end in tragedy. The choice is ours. I will write more about this later.
Sorry--but I couldn't figure out how to attach the chart. I have a lot to learn.
Sylvia.

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Greetings 1 Reply

At the suggestion of Phil Lane I am trying to add this council to an ongoing list serve that I maintain that covers a variety of topics but mainly focusing on Economic and Political Issues. I cover a…Continue

Started by Sylvia Demarest. Last reply by Carol Petersen Jan 14, 2010.

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Comment by Carol Petersen on September 11, 2011 at 12:53pm

 

Greetings Sylvia,

This article certainly sheds some light!

 

http://www.doeda.com/y911.html

Comment by Tim Collins on November 29, 2010 at 10:44pm
This may sound crazy, but what happens if our governments start going bankrupt? Here's another crazy one...what happens if we just got rid of money? We have reached a certain point of development. WHY do we need money? WHY can't we focus on developing in areas paralleling the medicine wheel and do away with money? I have A LOT more to say, but I want to listen too. Any takers? :)
Comment by Sylvia Demarest on November 29, 2010 at 1:56pm
Dear Friends:
I will take responsibility for the lack of posting in this forum. I felt as though I did not have the computer skills to post what I wanted to post. My skills have improved, but I have been negligent in not posting recently. I will correct this in the near future. I thank Brother Phil for his polite little push.
Comment by Phil Lane Jr. on November 25, 2010 at 8:44pm
(Entries are excerpts from website links. See links for full articles)


The Lessons of Blowback, by Chalmers Johnson
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/21-3
November 21, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
Even carefully planned actions can have unintended consequences. Let's not do something that ultimately benefits terrorists.
From our archives... Common Dreams originally published this Chalmers Johnson article on September 30, 2001, just 3 weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
Chalmers died last night at age 79. His voice will be missed.
~~~~~~~~~
One of the objectives of terrorism is to provoke the ruling elites of a target regime into disastrous overreaction. When it works, as it has in Israel over the past year, the results can be devastating for all sides.
Who does this ultimately benefit? The terrorists.
Carlos Marighella, the Brazilian guerrilla leader whose writings influenced political terrorists in the 1960s and 1970s, explained why. If the government can be provoked into a military response to terrorism, he wrote, this will alienate the masses, causing them to "revolt against the army and the police and blame them for this state of things."


The Ultimate Roller Coaster Ride:
A Brief History of Fossil Fuels - Video
By Post Carbon Institute
http://www.countercurrents.org/pci221110.htm
Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. Now that we're reaching the end of cheap and abundant oil and coal supplies, we're in for an exciting ride. While there's a real risk that we'll fall off a cliff, there's still time to control our transition to a post-carbon future


Destructive Neoliberal Austerity
By Stephen Lendman 22 November, 2010
http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman221110A.htm
Instead of vitally needed stimulus, Washington and European governments dictate austerity. The pretext of deficit reduction is being used to transfer more wealth to those already with too much, plus the usual canard over the urgency to save national banking systems.
In other words, make ordinary people bear the burden of bailing out banking giants responsible for the severest economic crisis since the Great Depression. How? The usual IMF solution, involving preservation of capital at the expense of workers - a package including wage and benefit cuts, less social spending, privatization of state resources, mass layoffs, deregulation, lower "onerous" taxes, maintaining corporate debt service, and harsh crackdowns against resisters.
In the 1980s, it was called Reaganomics, trickle down, and Thatcherism.
Today it's destructive "shock therapy" called austerity, the same scheme pitting capital against people - disposable workers tossed out for big money's gain.
It's how predatory capitalism works, destructively for so many to enrich an elite few - snake oil peddled as an economic elixir, corrupted politicians and central bankers forcing harmful policies that, in fact, don't work.
Three years of failure showed imposed measures have hurt, not helped, and the longer they continue, the more sickness will spread and deepen, causing imposed poverty. It's why independent experts see long-term depression, rising unemployment, human deprivation, and bigger than ever bonuses for bankers until the inevitable house of cards collapses. Welcome to the new world order, phase two.
In America, the Fed furiously monitized debt. First QE I, now II, likely III and IV coming that could have worked the first time if constructively, not destructively used. An earlier article explained, accessed through the following link:
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/quantitative-easing-elixir-or...


In 2009, Rand Paul Casually Compared Obama To Hitler, Warned Health Reform Could Lead To ‘Martial Law’
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/22/rand-alex-jones/
This election season, the GOP witnessed an extreme makeover of their candidates with Tea Party upstarts like Sharron Angle (R-NV), Ken Buck (R-FL), and Christine O’Donnell (R-DE) burying any form of moderation with their radical views. While they were unsuccessful, others among the crew of candidates former Bush advisor Karl Rove’s deemed “insistent, loud, and relatively unsophisticated,” were able to tap dance around extreme and unpopular policy positions and statements in their past to secure electoral victory. No candidate provides better evidence of this strategy than Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY).
During his campaign, Paul swept much of his radical history under the rug to convince Kentucky that he was a palatable choice for the national stage. However, before the spit shine, Paul sat down with prominent 9/11 truther and “aggressive Constitutionalist” Alex Jones of InfoWars to articulate his views regarding “the war for your mind.” Released 14 months after the original taping in 2009, the interview entitled “Thought Crimes USA” sheds further light on Paul’s insights on the inevitable coming of the thought police, a new Hitler, and “martial law” before he was sanitized for national consumption:


Rep.-Elect Allen West: In D.C. ‘You Don’t See People Getting Laid Off’ And ‘You Don’t See Anyone Suffering’
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/22/west-dc-poverty/
Yesterday, Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL), who has risen to national prominence amid controversy over his disparaging views of Islam, progressives, and multiculturalism, appeared on Meet the Press. In the process of explaining why we should permanently extend the Bush tax breaks for millionaires – a move that would add $830 billion to the deficit over the next ten years alone – West made some curious comments about the economic situation in his new home of Washington, D.C. After noting that unemployment is as high as 13 percent in his Florida district and foreclosures are skyrocketing, West claimed that “you don’t see people getting laid off” and “you don’t see anyone suffering” in our nation’s capital:


Climate Zombie Caucus
November 22, 2010
http://pr.thinkprogress.org/
One year ago, the right-wing media machine smeared climate scientists with the "Climategate" conspiracy theory, even as the climate itself continued to get hotter and more destructive and other countries seized the clean-energy initiative. Although the National Academies of Science says "the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change,"
the Republican Party is now dominated by fossil-funded ideologues who repeat zombie myths about global warming. An exclusive survey by the Progress Report, with research support by Daily Kos blogger RL Miller, has identified the members of Congress from nearly every state in the union that are on record challenging the scientific consensus on climate change.
This denier bloc is fueled by remarkable amounts of spending from fossil fuel polluters. The greenhouse pollution industry spent $543 million in lobbying expenditures since 2009 to shape or kill climate legislation -- ExxonMobil alone spent more than the entire pro-environment lobby. Fossil interests spent more than $68.5 million this year on "misleading and fictitious televisions ads designed to shape midterm elections and advance their anti-clean energy reform agenda," and they have contributed over $48 million to candidates.
CLIMATE ZOMBIE CAUCUS: In January 2011, the 112th Congress will open session, with a huge contingent of Republicans who have explicitly rejected the threat of manmade global warming pollution. These climate zombies express the classic variants of global warming denial: that the planet is not warming, that cold weather refutes concerns about global warming, that man's influence is unclear, that climate scientists are engaged in a hoax, scam, or corrupt conspiracy, and that limiting greenhouse pollution would have no impact on global temperatures. There are no freshmen Republicans, in the House or Senate, who publicly accept the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is an immediate threat -- but most of them signed onto the Koch Industries "No Climate Tax" pledge. Seventy-six percent of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate next year and 52 percent of Republicans in the House of Representatives publicly question the science of global warming. All four candidates set to take over the House Committee on Energy and Commerce -- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) -- have disparaged climate scientists and climate policy. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), who is taking over the House Committee on Science and Technology, believes that the "scientific data, from which global warming theories emerged, has been manipulated, enhanced or deleted" and that "reasonable people have serious questions about our knowledge of the state of the science."


Austerity's Failure: Ireland Finally Asks for Help By karoli November 22, 2010 02:00 PM http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/austeritys-failure-ireland-finally...

When Ireland made the decision to protect all of its banks from losses and cover those losses by imposing austerity measures in 2008, Paul Krugman made hash of the conservatives' argument for adopting that policy. As it turns out, he was right.
"Ireland relented on Sunday and formally applied for a rescue package worth tens of billions of dollars, after months of trying to survive its financial crisis with austerity measures and strict budgetary planning.
"European Union officials, who had been pushing Ireland to accept help, quickly agreed to the request, committing a staggering amount of funds to an ailing member for the second time in six months."
Ireland's fiscal crisis, like ours, has a mortgage meltdown as its root cause. However, the decision to impose severe austerity measures, including a big tax hike on Irish workers while insisting that the corporate tax rate remain one of the lowest in the world has not proven itself to be effective.
"An Irish bailout would mean humiliation for the government ahead of possible national elections early next year. Ireland would lose some control over its finances in return for loans, which could mean being forced to give up the country's rock-bottom corporate tax rate – a key attraction to businesses that annoys other EU countries that have much higher rates."
Because of the concern over panic and contagion, Ireland will request the bailout, and receive it. They should also raise those corporate tax rates sooner rather than later. Enough is enough. It's proven time and again that low corporate tax rates will not sustain economic growth.
Ireland's austerity failure stands as a solid argument against conservative austerity nonsense here, there, and elsewhere.
Comment by Tim Collins on November 25, 2010 at 7:40pm
Hi Everyone,
Kind of amazing how discussion about this topic dropped off, especially given how budget deficits continue to worsen although the powers-that-be insist we are out of the de...oops, recession, lol
Comment by Carol Petersen on February 6, 2010 at 9:43pm
Who governs the world? Just for starters
http://www.bechtel.com/about_bechtel.html
and subsidiaries:Shell
REFINERY PROJECTS
CANADA Bechtel’s Canadian affiliate Bantrel has completed a three-year contract to engineer and construct a diesel desulphurization facility at Petro-Canada’s Edmonton, Alberta, refinery. The firm has recently begun work to add an upgrader to convert the Edmonton Refinery to a bitumen-based feedstock from Petro-Canada’s oil sands extraction sites and from other producers in Northern Alberta. Completion is expected in mid-2008.

KENTUCKY POWER PLANT
USA Bechtel has been awarded a contract to construct a 750-megawatt super-critical pulverized coal-fired power plant in Trimble County, Kentucky, for E.ON U.S. subsidiaries, Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities Co.; Indiana Municipal Power Agency; and Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. The $1.1 billion facility will be the cleanest, most-efficient coal-fired unit in Kentucky, according to the customer. Bechtel received a notice to proceed in June and will begin construction later this year. Completion is scheduled for 2010. Clean Coal right? Mountain top removal right?

Retired board of director for Bechtel George P. Shultz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Shultz retired board of director for Bechtel

http://louisdreyfus.com/about/overview.html
Comment by Sylvia Demarest on January 28, 2010 at 9:21am
Dear Friends and Council Members. I am in the process of setting up some computer training so that I can do a better job of posting and managing this council. I appreciate all the thoughtful comments. Phil and me are thinking through the best way to facilitate our discussions. Thank you for your patience.
Sylvia
Comment by Russell F Cowgill on January 27, 2010 at 11:41am
I have heard the reports of the US military turning away aircraft from Port-au-Prince which is difficult to understand since the US is capable of coordinating massive airlifts in military exercises. I helped coordinate Joint Readiness Exercises in the 80's as an Operations NCO in NATO. So it completely baffles me that after two weeks the aid is still being turned away. I am sure the US has improved their operations and coordination capabilities over the last 20 some years. That the French government has asked the UN to intervene is enough to cause me to question. Thank you Carol for posting this.
Comment by Carol Petersen on January 26, 2010 at 11:57pm
Haiti's Oil, Gold & Iridium Resources Explains the Post Earthquake Occupation/Invasion

http://redicecreations.com/article.php?id=9620
Comment by Carol Petersen on January 25, 2010 at 10:52pm
Comment by Carol Petersen on January 20, 2010 at 6:33pm

Dear Relatives,
Anyone noticing the blue spiral and the red spiral? Is there a connection? Why do I feel the weather was manipulated? Can you feel the difference between a cloud seeded rain storm and a naturally occurring one?
http://rense.com/general89/hait.htm
 

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