Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Unfettered socialism meets its maker @ 2:45 EST tommorow...

As Bayern Munich plays the second leg of the semifinals of Champions League tommorow (2:45 EST) at Barcelona, the match is much more than just two storied franchises battling it our for European supremacy, at least to me anyway. Because this game paints an ironic tale of two nations of complete opposite fates. So much so, that the only commonality is found on the pitch.

Europe, as a whole is much more socialist than we are here in the states, contrary to what the folks like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Ins'anity might suggest otherwise. With that being said, the degree of socialism in Europe is about as narrow as the O-Man’s 2,000 word healthcare bill that still to this remains unread. Germany and Spain mark the extremes of this as both are from opposite ends of the socialism spectrum.

Sure, Germany has its socialist state calling card with its "free" health care, its "free" schooling and higher taxes. There are the laws in place where boards of directors have to contain labor representation. There are also restrictions on what jobs can and can’t be outsourced. Nobody is going to confuse Germany with being Anarcho-Capitalists, that is for certain.

Interestingly enough however, Germany is more US than it is European in terms of production. According to the CIA World Factbook, Germany is the second highest exporter in the world behind only China. This includes world renowned brand names such as: BMW, Porsche, adidis, Volkswagen, Merck, Siemens, BASF, Allianz, Deutsche, Bayer, Daimler and SAP just to name a few.

Outside of banking, what does Spain actually build? Sure BBVA is a gigantic bank but if the world is being funded, floated and sunk in fiat currency its no surprise those nations that rely on bubbles will feel the pain. The nations that produce the most tangible goods are the least affected.

This week, Spain’s unemployment reached 27%. To say that is staggering would be an understatement. Germany meanwhile, has unemployment of around five percent. As far as Germany is concerned, there is no recovery. How can you recover from something if there is no illness? 

So when Bayern-Munich invades Barcelona tommorow afternoon, with its bigger/stronger/faster athletes, the tale of two socialism's will not be lost on me. The German team, actually named for a German company, is an emerging  super-power. This team represents a nation of innovation, fiscal restraint and a strong work ethic. The Spanish side is team that was the standard of futbol for years on the decline. It also represents a nation where people would rather sip cappuccinos in a cafĂ© or bistro than work. Much like the expected outcome today on the pitch, Germany and their form of socialism wins out. Hard work and innovation always do.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Liberal economic policy, the catalysis for our destruction

Back in February, NSA Director General Keith Alexander called cyber-espionagethe greatest transfer of wealth in history.” Symantec (SYMC), a Fortune-500 security software company has said the cost of intellectual property theft for U.S. economy is around $250 billion a year.

No question, that’s a chunk of change and maybe that’s why (sic) SOPA is so important?

Now, while I’m not in the NSA and I don’t have the stripes of a General, much less anyone in the intelligence community, I do however possess something that is awfully lacking in DC these days… common sense. This caught my eye last night. Its a post on the blog for Pew Research posted on 4-23:

A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93%

Common sense would tell you that the greatest transfer in wealth in our history doesn’t lie in some computer laden sweat shop in Nepal or China. And no, its doesn't lie in these last three years among the rich nor is this an attempt to wage "class warfare". No, the greatest transfer of wealth has been a slow drip in the form of decades. It also lies at the doorstep of every American. Because the greatest transfer of wealth has been the systematic liquidation of the middle class.  

If you read this blog on a somewhat regular basis you know this seems to be a repeated topic. Earlier this year, we had the laugher that was the "fiscal" "cliff". More recently, back on April 3rd, it was in large part centered on the influx of women working and the struggle even with two incomes to stay afloat in the middle class. As I pointed out then, as I do now, even with two incomes, the middle class has shrunk for four consecutive decades.

Today I want to center on a broader topic and that is the American public’s transition from a conservative saver- to a liberal spender. 

All across the US, the transition has taken place and its starts out with even the youngest of Americans. The piggy bank has been replaced by a cell phone and a data plan. The savings bond has now become an X-Box. College savings account has been earmarked as a vacation or a mortgage payment. Most people don’t want to live on top of each other so they move out to the suburbs to escape the crime and crumbling schools. Since both parents are working and commuting most need two cars. And the beat goes on.

I left off one segment of the population when it comes to consumption for a reason and that is the retired, older generation. Those that grew up in and around the time of the great depression have an appreciation for conservative economic principals if not on merit it was simply out of necessity. They fought in the wars and were the foundation for not only the middle class but were the trailblazers of the greatest economic expansion in world history. 

Why the disconnection between generations? Does the American public deserve the blame for this? How many times have you heard people use American’s obsession with consumption and “keeping up with the Joneses” as a defense for the economic plight of the country? I’m not going to write this in defense of American consumption. There is no question our habits are, in large part, a component of this destruction, but how much?  

How much weight in this destruction of the middle class needs to be laid at the feet of complicity and conditioning via the FED & its bankers, its congress, lobbyists and otherwise big business interests?

There have always been rich and poor. There have always been success and failure. This is the reality of what makes our system so successful. This is what has made as the beacon of light to the world. Hard work will always pay off. Save your money, be frugal and you too can walk the path that leads you to the American dream. Somewhere along the way this path was hijacked. 

The timing says it all. Ever since the early 70’s, America has changed. We know that is when women started entering the workforce in droves. This was also the same time of the “Nixon Shock” which ended Bretton Woods. This, severing the dollar from gold, as we entered the fiat currency phase full force. It was also the start of Americans shifting discretionary income from savings to consumption. All of this coincided with the beginning of the decline for the middle class.

What’s the common denominator in this decline and destruction?

Here’s an exchange back from 1941 that says its all. Marriner Eccles was the Governor of the Federal Reserve System. He was giving testimony before the House Committee on Banking and Currency, which was headed by Congressman Wright Patman. Mr Patman was asking how the FED got the money to buy bonds:

"Eccles: We created it.
Patman: Out of what?
Eccles: Out of the right to issue credit money.
Patman: And there is nothing behind it, is there, except our government's credit?
Eccles: That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money."

When someone or a government (under this system) goes into debt, three elements are automatically triggered. The principal you borrowed of course must be paid back. The interest rate you have to pay back for borrowing the money and the inflation that comes with the newly created money (that is debt) that eats away at the existing money supply.  

I have pointed out before what would happen if we ever returned to the interest rates of the early late 70’s to early 80’s. We would see our annual national debt interest payment be in the trillions. Now, that would be a real fiscal cliff. But that’s not going to happen, and because the interest rates stay low, the money supply (debt) will continue to pile up. And since we know the FED’s stance on inflation (helicopter and all) its only natural to assume inflation will always eat away at our wallets. As time goes on it nips at the heels, dragging those on the edge of the class into the class of the dreaded “working poor”. Thus the decline in wealth for almost everyone despite having two incomes is to be expected.

It doesn’t take an economist to figure this out.

Now this is the part where the writer gives his opinion of how to fix the problem he or she presents. That would be the perfect way to end an article where you point out problems to close it with a solution... except I don’t have a solution.

Yesterday, I went to bankrate.com to check out the current rates and here is what I found:

Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts rates are below one percent with most being under .70%. A six-month CD will fetch you anywhere from .50-.88%. These are less than one-percent. You can’t even get a five-year CD over 1.75% and that’s even including Jumbo CD’s (100k or more).

I said before the average American has to carry some blame but how much blame can you lay on someone that is conditioned to spend while being discouraged to save? How can the average American save for his children’s college when the price of tuition has increased over 500% since 1985? 

But buy a car? Zero percent interest. 
Need new furniture made of cardboard and plastic? Zero percent interest and no payments for four years. 
Buy a house? 3% interest and you only need 3% down. 

I wonder what the average person is going to do.

What is the alternative, save anyway, right? Buy gold & silver and I would agree (as I do the very same thing) but if everyone did this deflation would come calling. It doesn’t matter if you or I like it, the truth of the matter is - debt is money and money is debt, just like the FED chairman said. Remember, a deflationary death spiral is much swifter than an inflationary death spiral. That is not going to be allowed to happen. Gold suppression anyone? Hint: its happening right now.

As you can see and surly already know, it doesn’t pay to save conventional routes that don’t take a financial adviser like our grandparents did. This is why, people today will not live as well as their parents... its all catching up to us. 

The only alternative is to funnel your money into Wall Street and spend, spend and spend some more. Any instruments that can yield you a decent return in a savings or investment all lead to Wall Street. Where did those gains made over the last two years occur? This isn’t about class warfare or the 99% or in this case the ninety-three percent; this is about the choice to be frugal and fiscally conservative like those before us that built this country and how that choice simply doesn’t exist. That choice has been robbed by banksters and it would be hysterically ironic if it wasn't so sad. So spend and slave on, the world economy is counting on you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My 'Earth Day' message

I have four messages for Earth day. I would like to present them to you. First my message:

Everyone should demand clean air, soil and water. Do what you can do to make yours this way and respect your neighbors right to the very same. Businesses should also follow this simple premise. Taxing them into oblivion doesnt work because we know that taxes, in the end, just get passed down to the consumers in the form of higher costs. We need to start taking individual responsibility seriously. At every level. The environment would be clean as a whistle if this was the case. However, do what you can do first before you worry about someone else, our bees and trees depend on it. Let me borrow a quote from Ross Perot of all people.

"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river."



Lyrics from TooL's first full length album 1993's:  Undertow - Disgustipated

And the angel of the lord came unto me, snatching me up from my place of slumber.
And took me on high, and higher still until we moved to the spaces betwixt the air itself.
And he brought me into a vast farmlands of our own midwest.
And as we descended, cries of impending doom rose from the soil.
One thousand, nay a million voices full of fear.
And terror possesed me then.
And I begged,
"Angel of the Lord, what are these tortured screams?"
And the angel said unto me,
"These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots!
You see, Reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust."
And I sprang from my slumber drenched in sweat like the tears of one million terrified brothers and roared,
"Hear me now, I have seen the light!
They have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul!
Damn you!
Let the rabbits wear glasses!
Save our brothers!"
Can I get an amen?
Can I get a hallelujah?
Thank you Jesus.
Life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on........

This is necessary
Life feeds on life.


Happy Earth day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Connecting the dots from Washington to Damascus takes a degree in circular logic.

With the cowardly bombing of the Boston Marathon still only being measured in hours removed from the attack, on Wednesday, April 17, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed Congress of a new deployment of US troops to Jordan. I don't know whats more curious, the timing of this new venture during a week where both the American press and public's attention was focused squarely in and around Boston or the official, on record justification for this move.

According to Jordan Information Minister Mohammad Momani:

"The deployment of the troops is part of US-Jordanian military cooperation to boost the Jordanian armed forces in light of the deteriorating situation in Syria,"

Mr Hagel on the other hand was a bit more in-depth with his comments to Congress on Wednesday in this report by ABC's Luis Martinez:

“We have an obligation and responsibility to think through the consequences of direct U.S. military action in Syria,” said Hagel.  He added that “military intervention at this point could hinder humanitarian relief operations.  It could embroil the United States in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment.”

More importantly he warned that it could have “the unintended  consequence of bringing the United States into a broader regional conflict or proxy war. ” He stressed that “the best outcome for Syria – and the region – is a negotiated, political transition to a post-Assad Syria.”

He later used blunter language in describing how all factors should be weighed in considering a U.S. military option in Syria. “You better be damn sure, as sure as you can be, before you get into something, because once you’re into it, there isn’t any backing out, whether it’s a no-fly zone, safe zone, protect these — whatever it is. Once you’re in, you can’t unwind it. You can’t just say, well, it’s not going as well as I thought it would go, so we’re going to get out."

Lets put Hagel's own words into action. Its obvious the Department of Defense is "damn sure" of what they are getting into or why go into details of it? Its also obvious the DOD is contemplating military intervention that will not only hinder humanitarian efforts but at the same time, could result in "significant, lengthy, and uncertain military commitment." The best alternative to negate this? A negotiated political transition with Syria? Does this photo-op on Syrians Independence day on April, 17th (how ironic) look like a regime that wants to hand over or "transition power"?

A picture released by SANA on April 17, 2013, shows members the Syrian Army parading on Syria's Independence Day (SANA/AFP)

So, when these boots hit the ground, what will be the mission? To hold the hand of Jordan to control humanitarian efforts? Isn't this a job that is earmarked for the international community as a whole? I would assume the UN or Red Cross would be more than capable of handling this. But alas, the US is taking this bull by the horns. 

Then there was this analysis by Washington think tank Foreign Policy in Focus's Conn Hallinan

 “since a major job for these troops will be logistical, it does appear as if they are preparing the groundwork like they did for the invasion of Iraq by going into Saudi Arabia and preparing there... It’s a serious escalation and a disturbing one."

We want the Syrian regime to concede control. If not we are setting the stages for some type of invasion. In the meantime we will continue to indirectly back the uprising which consists of a variety of players including militants from al Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, both of whom are on the US terror list. Does this sound familiar? Didn't Hollywood of all places, recently make a movie about this type of thing starring Tom Hanks called 'Charlie Wilson's War'?  

Apparently this irony has not gone unnoticed by Syrain President Bashar Assad:

 "The West paid heavily for funding al-Qaida in its early stages in Afghanistan. Today it is supporting it in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price later in the heart of Europe and the United States"

And to make matters worse, this is no longer just a mixed bag, a hodgepodge if you will, of revolutionaries. These rebels, according to Assad (in the very same article in the Jerusalem Post) these are: "mainly" "extremist forces".

Last week Nusra Front released this audio statement pledging allegiance to al Qaeda:

"The sons of Nusra Front renew their pledge (of allegiance) to the Sheikh of Jihad Ayman al-Zawahri and declare obedience,"  

Now, there seems to be a coalition forming of Islamic extremists in Syria, with many of these extremists part of the group that was driven out of Al Anbar Province in 2007 by US forces and local tribes because of their alleged "extreme interpretation of Islam". Anbar, located on the borders of both Syria and Jordan provide an eerie backdrop to this story, and by story, I mean another movie that comes to mind; 'Groundhogs day'.   

And whats even more eerie about this connection is we are just five days removed from the affects of terrorism playing out in our very own streets. Yet here we are, putting boots on the ground on the border of a civil war, where we are backing terrorist outfits. THE SAME terrorist outfits we have sworn to defeat in our never ending 'War on Terror'.

I understand the pecking order here. I understand Syria is an easy target, isolated in the middle east outside of Iran. I understand its easier to overthrow a rag tag group of terrorists than it is a nation with armies and chemical weapons (unless your Iraq and you have none of either despite the world saying otherwise). What I dont understand is two fold. 

First, I don't understand, how surprised we are here in the states when terrorists decide to strike here. I mean if you sleep with a porcupine, can you really be surprised about getting pricked? This 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' approach needs to be better to the general public. Because the consequences of this philosophy puts them in harms way.

Lastly, if the Nobel Peace Prize was a prize awarded to promoting peace, would it not be out of the question for the committee who awards said prize to demand its prize back for some type of breach? Or does this make the Nobel, nothing more than a participation award, like a 1980s/90's book it pin, which promoted kids reading. Or, is this just a natural development? Someone receives a peace prize who has never done anything to promote peace in the first place, then all of sudden becomes a war hawk is not that surprising.

Either way, Mr Obama, your legacy might be healthcare "reform" to many but others it will be simply contradiction. Whether i agree with what you ran on or not is not my point, my point is you haven't made good on many of the important issues you yourself highlighted in '08. You've been a whore for big business and you have failed miserably on bringing peace and instead have expanded the previous administrations warring. Back in a debate in 2008 you said: "one important thing is that we not get mission creep". 

Apparently, when you are not running for office, "important things" go out the window. And oh yea, Liberal-peace loving "democrats" (as if there is a difference between parties) you can take off that peace sign bumper sticker, along with your "coexist" magnet and shove 'em up your asses. Hopefully, that will lead to  your heads being forced to come crawling out of it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The attack in Boston happened because... of American complacency?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday spoke on the Senate floor regarding the terrorist attack on Patriot day in Boston and had this to say:

“With the passage of time, however, and the vigilant efforts of our military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals, I think it’s safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned”.

 (John Mottern / AFP / Getty Images / April 16, 2013)

This was the echo of many over the last 48 hours on TV, Twitter and from just people I know. Of course, its quite normal and healthy to do some soul searching after an event that takes innocent lives in a cowardly attack. In these cases, there comes a time where we always find that fine line when we ponder the delicate balance of freedom and security.

Unlike the past, where Americans would become emotionally persuaded for a quick action or reaction in vengeance; our battles with terrorism has taught us patience and that is where the resolve we trumpet comes from. With all due respect, Senator, this is in no way, by any stretch of the imagination “complacency”.

You see Mr McConnell, we have spent borrowed (then spent) billions, in fact, last year forty-six billion to be exact; to keep us safe. And its failed. Was it complacency on the part of a government boondoggle, that is the Department of Homeland Security? Or is this just a case of not being able to be everywhere – all the time?

I’ll side with the latter here. There is no such thing is total safety, at least not in an open society. Does this make me and you complacent? Wasn’t it eleven years ago that we were told to go out and “shop” to return to normal after the most costly terrorist attack on our soil in our nations history? After-all, we didn’t want to let “them” win. Was running a marathon not doing exactly this? Keeping up traditions, raking in millions for the city of Boston in the process? Of course it was.

So when you hear people like this Senator talk about us “having complacency return” or how we are going to just ‘have to live with terrorism’ or get ‘used to it’ or somehow use this as a reminder ‘to be vigilant’ I wonder and ask myself… really?

Have we NOT already been given a constant reminder of senseless innocent killings enough?
Where we complacent after the Binghamton shootings took place on Friday, April 3, 2009 or the Geneva County massacre on March 10, 2009 or more recently on July 20, 2012 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado?

Where we so complacent that it lead to the massacres in Fort Hood, Blacksburg, Oak Creek, or Newtown just a few months ago?

I know, this isn’t what most of us think of when it comes to terrorism but in reality, isn’t this EXACTLY what terrorism is? The killing of random innocent people to make a point? Whats that point?

Whether its a religious one, a racial one or a crazy one; the motive or point is of ill consequences. The results are what matters and they are always the same. Terror, injury and death to those innocent’s involved and those involved indirectly: family, friends, towns and the country as a whole.

Mission accomplished.

Do we need a beard, an Arab accent, a Qur’an and a brown face to make this pill easier to swallow? Or to blame a right-wing extremist as they are the new up and coming terrorist according to our best and brightest at West Point and on tax-day no less?

Will this justify a multi-billion dollar money pit that is nothing more than an ever expanding police state that’s true motive lies somewhere in protection and police state. Of course it does. Deflect blame putting it back on the American citizen for “loosing sight”. As if our super-spidey sense was not operating because we know that would have prevented this attack.

The reality is we are spending hundreds of billions each year to fight terrorism overseas vs an enemy that in 2010 was said to be 75-100 strong in Afghanistan and a whopping 300 strong in Pakistan. And domestically, a “terrorist” that has made no claimed attacks but just so happens to be against the role of our government in our lives (I guess they would have a vested interest in painting this picture).

Sorry, Senator its not anymore dangerous here today as it was in 2001. Departments will fail to protect everyone all the time but that doesnt make it the public’s fault due to our lack of awareness, with all due respect, Senator. No, it doesn’t make it a fault it makes us  free. I could see how you could have a problem with that.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Another one bites the Dust: Australia turns nose up at the dollar

It appears the jig is up America, your chickens are coming home to roost. Australia is the latest nation to opt out of the dollar in trade and now will conduct trade in the yuan. This is just another nail in the coffin for the dollar as we know it.

Brazil, South Africa, even Japan are getting out of trading exclusively in dollars. But what do we do about it? How do we keep these latest traitors, these damn barbequing Aussies from going through with this? Do we convince the American people kangaroos are secretly hiding dirty bombs in their pouches and are training to enter the US and set them off?

The problem is more and more nations are trading amongst themselves without the dollar. We can’t just attack the entire world. OR, maybe this (sic) IS THE PLAN? Why else are we spending the same amount in military expenditures as the rest of the world combined and refusing to make any cuts to it?  

And here all along you thought these wars over the last 30 years were for freedom, fighting terrorism, nukes and/or WMD’s. Wars are a win-win for America. It keeps the population always at war, thus easier to manipulate. It promotes growth for so many sectors in private enterprise (especially banking) and above all it protects American hegemony. From the end of the cold war to Kuwait to Iraq and soon to be Iran it’s all been single pieces in a larger puzzle – the petrodollar. From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

 The recycling of petrodollars into the U.S. financial markets has supported activity here by allowing for higher consumption and investment spending than otherwise would have occurred. The concomitant cost has been a further expansion of the U.S. economy’s already sizable net international liabilities.

As we enter the golden age of globalization, we must accept the old proverb to be true; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

American companies wanted to establish markets and dominate the globe with its dollar and to a large degree it has; OPEC still uses the dollar but the rest of the world isn’t down with it anymore. In doing so, American business and its government have built and educated the world in finance and trade. Now they are turning around to see who has been dangling the strings. And they don’t like it.

As we turn each page of history we see empires rising and falling. Nobody has stood the test of time. It’s been a good run America but the grip we’ve had on the world is loosening. When the dollar starts to tumble it will trigger a REAL economic catastrophe and the rest of the world knows it; 2008 wasn’t that long ago in the history books.

This will have a direct impact on our debt, trade deficit, standard of living… basically EVERYTHING and ANYTHING “uniquely American”.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My burning question(s) for "Gay America"

I don't use drugs. I have never used a prostitute. I do not drink raw milk. I don't have six wives. I would never (willingly) take part in an abortion. I could go on and on. There are many things I don't participate in and in some cases find myself diametrically opposed to; but that doesn't give me, or the state, the right to dictate conformity to our beliefs. That's an arrogant and elitist's modus operandi. 

Propostion-8 is no different. 

I have heard many opposing views and with them some very passionate and articulate points (regarding insurance reasons and what not) but at the end of the day it comes down to one simple philosophy; live and let live. 

I understand this doesn't work for many of us. I understand for many, it goes against their faith. I also understand the culture we are embracing as time goes on, is less and less like the culture that this country was founded upon and how change from that could be the very undoing of our republic. As so many have said, America will never fall from the outside, it will crumble, like all empires, from within. This from Abraham Lincoln:

 "All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
 At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

I get all that. 

But, our nation was founded on freedom and liberty for all men. The meaning is universal and authoritarian persecution is the archenemy to liberty. Denying another person their choice to do something because it doesn't fit into your view of how the country should live; is a contradiction to what being an American is. This is doing exactly what Lincoln warned us about because a freeman is free to live his life, with respect to others, as he sees fit. To be told that a man is lesser and cannot participate in his own free will because he chooses an alternative lifestyle is not free.

For too many years Blacks were slaves. Women weren't allowed to vote...These took changes as well. People will argue those are fundamental natural rights that had to be corrected. While this is true, it is also true that denying a persons right to live in peace, with the basic natural rights we heterosexuals enjoy, just because they are attracted to the same sex, is ridiculous.

I cannot speak for anyone else but as a man, no matter how many naked men you dangle in my face... there will be no temptation. I'm never going to want to "try it out". You can’t be infected gay by gay people. The media will never turn a straight person into a gay person. You can’t pray it away. There is no sinister plot to deride the species of fertility. Actually, I think it’s quite logical to liken being gay to Gatorade and its ad campaign: is it in YOU? For me it’s rather simple. Why no, no it is not. 

From a pure primal point of view, as a male, I never had any problems with homosexuals - especially gay men. And no, not because I had some closeted tendencies locked away either. It was because at an earlier age (in my teens) I began to understand a disproportionate amount of gay men were found to be attractive by women. In turn, it brought everyone up in the "pecking order". This is just simply the law of supply and demand. I guess I have always been a free market guy after-all?

So, "Gay America", as you can see, I respect your rights to your life, liberty and your pursuit of happiness to marry whomever you will. So you too can receive all the perks of being married: divorce, the decline in household income, a DVR full of Dancing with the Stars (pardon the semi-gay pun) etc, I do however have just a few questions for you and they all stem from this one:

Will you support MY rights that are already on the books, as in the Bill of Rights? The same rights that apply to all of us Americans; regardless of color, gender or sexual attraction.

Do I have faith you will be so vigilant against the PC Gestapo who wish to suppress the 1st Amendment? Protecting the freedom of speech with the same courage your small community displays standing up to those who seek to not allow your equal rights and marriages? To even stand up and protect the rights of those religious organizations that does not wish to marry you (homosexuals) in their churches?

Can I count on you to voice and stand against any encroachment on the 2nd amendment?

Will you stand with me against the tyranny of an executive office who's not only held in check the previous administrations assault on civil liberty's but has gone out of its way to expand this assault on freedom with their D.H.S bullet buying surge, their drone surveillance, National Defense Authorization Act etc? All measures that trample on my 4th, 5th and 14th amendments.

I ask these questions not because my support for your freedom to marry comes with a clause or a condition of support. No, my support is based on a simple premise... as long as anyone isn't harming or encroaching on another person’s property or life; I support you. Again, live and let live, a simple premise. A premise that seems to have been lost amongst all the noise that permeates through the united states of division. Are you for liberty for all or for freedom that only promotes your self interests? Where do you stand?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Circling The Drain. The death of the American family and its middle class; now two incomes be damned. (Part 2 of 2)


The second part of the blog entry entitled: How to fix the economy: throw your wife back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant is optional

This is the most complicated aspect of working mothers in the workforce and the part that would be considered third-rail politically; the economic impact. I feel to date, this might be the most important topic I have talked about on this blog because it affects all of us on so many levels. I would like to think after reading this you would agree.

The confusing aspect of this, as mentioned in Part 1, is not intertwined in the complexity of the argument. On the contrary, it lies in the simplicity of it; yet it’s not even in the discussion of what ails our economy?

When it comes to children being cared for outside of the home, its hard to find clear cut data that points out positively home is better, thus I’m sure someone could call it subjective. Now it's common sense having one parent home works better but I like to deal in absolutes rather than conjecture. What is totally objective is the impact of working parents (and to a degree women in general) on the economy. This all can be traced back to two words: supply and demand.

Obviously, with any prospering nation, the population has been on the incline since its inception. Thus, there have always been more than enough people looking to work. If we compare our population today (315 Million) to 1960 (180 Million) we can see a 75% increase in population in 53 years. In 1960, there were 69 Million Americans employed. Today, there are 155 million Americans employed. That’s a 125% increase in Americans working today from 1960. If we include real unemployment numbers in one of the worst economic recovery’s in history (said to be about 22 million more Americans) that 125% climbs over 150%.

Adjusted for population and time, we have seen the true workforce expand more than 25% in 53 years. Even with the staggering unemployment, we are seeing 49% of our population in the workforce compared to just 38% in 1960. As we know, women entering the workforce deserve the spotlight here, but with all these added workers, are we getting our money worth?

From almost every statistical standpoint the answer is simple. No. And it doesn’t end there. First, this is what the employment history looks like men versus women over the last 60 years.

As we can see, women have almost doubled their numbers, while men in the workforce have fallen about fifteen percent since 1960. With the influx of all these new workers over time, it’s only natural to expect that a “rising tide lifts all boats” scenario would exist but that just doesn’t seem to be the case. Despite the fact that the US has more billionaires than anywhere else on the globe, despite the fact that the average net worth of the newly elected 113th Congress is 966k; the average American family has been stuck in neutral for 40+ years.

Nothing paints this picture more vividly than what has happened and will continue to happen to the middle class. Like the time you left the bath running too long, low-interest rates/created new money has been filling up the economy. By the time you do notice and go to shut the faucet off, you find the handle is stripped (as there is no end in sight to new money with record low-interest rates). And no matter what you do, we cannot keep up with rising costs (inflation via new money).

You work and work and work some more. Your spouse goes to work; your youngest kids are off to daycare while your teenager competes with those without a high school diploma for jobs. Debt, credit, 2nd job... it doesn’t matter; whatever it takes, you will use any bucket you can find. You throw every bucket you can into that tub to keep it from spilling over, to keep from falling under that median. To keep that American dream still afloat. The fear of being poor is a great motivator. But to no avail.

As we can see below the median income has been relatively unchanged for Americans over the last 40+ years. In fact, today, real household income is LESS than it was in 2000, adjusted for that inflation. Meanwhile, the median income for males in this country is LESS today than it was in 1973. Does this sound like a 'dream' or progress? Women have gained roughly 80% in median income in this span but it's still substantially less than men (there goes that richer sex theory).

The destruction of the middle class is taking place before our very eyes. We have more people getting rich but substantially more getting poorer. I suppose this is “better for everyone” too? And this lunacy isn’t just limited to Time Magazine either. All media seems to be nothing but a mouthpiece for this propaganda. As I said yesterday, we know it’s not better for kids and more specifically the family and as we can clearly see here it’s been no blessing for the overwhelming majority of Americans economies either.

Let’s re-cap. We work long hours. We are flooding the job markets over the last 50 years with record number job seekers, turning upside down our outlook on work and family in our culture in the process. All of this just to keep a foot in the middle class or otherwise known as: ‘living the American dream’. But inflation (read theft) through loose (read suicidal) monetary policy and cost of living has not just made this 'dream' impossible but in turn nothing short of a nightmare.

If this sobering fact of our economy wasn’t enough, we also have the reality that nationally; this situation is even worse. In fact, this is how the banksters and those at the top of the pyramid power structure want it. After all, all this work and no gain by the masses have to go somewhere, right?

It wasn’t until 1982 that we as a nation reached a national debt over 1 Trillion (1,142,034,000,000.00). That took 191 years to reach that numerical milestone. Thirty years later, we have surpassed the 16 trillion dollar ceiling. As I have pointed out before, interest rates are at record lows to finance this gargantuan debt, thus we don’t necessarily have to feel the direct pain associated with such outlandish debt. But that doesn’t indicate there isn’t damage. The public debt side of the national debt has risen 140% since 2007, from 5.1 trillion to 11.9 trillion today. 140% in just six years.

And for all this debt, we know GDP has grown, but really has it?

As we can see, our growth,  like our economy, both micro and macro is nothing but an illusion. A dirty trick, made possible by the complacent yet complicit public. So eager, to be dictated by emotion, so much so that sound logic is actually discouraged and looked down upon. Have you seen the savings rates at your local bank? Check out a CD. You’d make a better investment buying scratch off lottery tickets than let your savings be ravaged by the fractional reserve banking system who rely on ‘kick the can down the road’ politicians who spend more time whoring for re-election than legislating. Or you know… what they were elected for in the first place.

You think it's bad, now? Wait until the FED start's raising rates again (if that's even possible).

This isn’t about women staying home and men working. The reality of men staying home while a woman works is not something that is concerning. What is concerning to me and should be to you is the reality of the American family. How one income is no longer able to support a family (regardless of the sex) and how we have been conditioned to accept this as the norm! As we can see, we are just barely staying afloat with two incomes, in the meantime causing major damage to the fabric of the family structure. What happens 30 years from now?

We are seeing our wealth being vaporized at the expense of our families and our way of life. This leads to only one thing. As “we” Americans continue to be duped, dumped-on and mislead, don’t expect things to change. We are paving our inevitable road that leads into a cul-de-sac of serfdom. I think George Carlin said it best in his last HBO stand-up before his death:

"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."

So, wake up America, the wolves are already at the door.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How to fix the economy: throw your wife back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant is optional (Part 1 of 2)

This is a two part blog entry regarding how to fix our rigged economy despite 200 or so detractors at every avenue of every corner at both the micro and macro economic chess game. Enjoy.

Recently, I was at an ACL lab here in town waiting to have a routine blood panel. It’s been about four years since I have been to my family Doctor. I’ve been relatively healthy outside of a cold virus here and there so I have had no reason to go. This changed about two weeks ago when I got a letter from my doctor reflecting my noted absence.  Being a proactive individual (yet a habitual procrastinator) I figured it would be a good time to go and get a check-up.

So, a week later, there I am surrounded by CNN and an orgy of magazines. As I work my way through the titles I stumbled onto this Time Magazine cover-story, entitled:

The Richer $ex: Women are overtaking men as America’s breadwinners. Why that’s good for everyone.

This article was penned by Liza Mundy, whom also wrote the book: The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family.

Now, it wasn’t until the last page of this piece before I realized it was from March 26, 2012 (mornings after a 12-hour fast is cruel and unusual punishment to this 6-1 235lb frame). With that being said, the article brought up a great point: women are becoming more assertive in the work force and in board rooms all across the country. And me being of the freedom of choice mindset; god bless.

Although the article did a decent job of pointing out the gains of women and the subsequent natural losses of men; I felt a bit empty inside however after finishing it up. This could have been due partly to my empty/gurgling stomach but nonetheless, it made me think and ask myself; while this is obviously great for one sex, is this really great for America as a whole? Are we all really 'better' for it? The short answer, I would say is this: it’s complicated. The long answer... its even more complicated.

On the surface, superficially, it’s obviously great. Nobody should be not hired based on anything but the ability to live up to, if not exceed, expectations of said job. Now, from a true Libertarian mindset this could get complicated because business owners should be able to decide what’s best for their business regardless of what is considered 'fair' but that’s another topic for another day.

What you and I consider to be the ingredients for functional/prosperous economy is always going to be different. From my viewpoint it’s simple. Sound money, home ownership, strong middle class & strong families are a cornerstone to a strong, free economy for all. We can scratch sound money off the table (thank you Federal Reserve, complicit banksters, elected and unelected political whores). What about Home ownership? We have seen that to a mixed bag at best, especially of late.

How about strong families?

According to this article, in 1960, five-percent of children were born to unmarried mothers; in 2010 there was 41%. Now social factors have to be taken into account. For example; people do not always marry before or after having children today, when in 1960 it was culturally looked down upon to not be married before hand. With that being said, the numbers are staggering. In the black community alone those numbers of children born to unmarried mothers are almost in the seventy percentile (67%).

Once these baby’s are born, more times than not, they are sent off to some form of childcare and with more and more women having children unmarried; it’s often out of the home in the hands of strangers.
May Saubier who authored: ‘Doing Time: What It Really Means To Grow Up In Daycare’ says in her book:

“A baby who spends five years at one center will lose one-third to almost half of her caregivers every twelve months or so.”

Not only do you lose the one on one relationship that comes with one parent at home to classes with sometimes a 10-1 child to caregiver ratio you also have to factor in the fact that 40+ hours a week that baby is out of the home not bonding with loved ones. If it wasn’t for weekends, you would have strangers raising a child as much as the parent(s).

This is not to say having your child in childcare outside of the home makes you a bad parent. Without work and income there is no stability. However, to say its “good for everyone” as the author of this Time article suggests in the subtitle, is incredibly shortsighted.

There was also an English study, released in 2009, that centered around 12,000 British schoolchildren. The study determined: mothers who worked full-time had the unhealthiest followed by those who worked part-time. The study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health went on to state that:

“Currently, approximately 60% of women with a child aged five or younger in the UK or USA are employed. For many families the only parent or both parents are working.” 

Now you might look at this study and say what does 12k students in England have to do with the 315 million people here in the states. Statistically the sample size is small but I would also think, just based on common sense, that a parent in the home as opposed to a parent not in the home just works better. It would more often than not, lead to better choices all across the board.

There was also a revelation regarding Head Start, which is primarily a low income based program for pre-school aged children.  A Congressional mandated study of the Department of Health and Human Services (that fund Head Start) found that there was no benefit to the program for kids. In fact, in some cases it was actually a negative influence. But don’t allow those facts get in the way of this 8 Billion dollar job’s program. Don’t take my word for it either; this column by Mary Katharine Ham (Hotair.com) neuters this failure quite efficiently enough.

 Do we see a connection yet?

We have more and more mothers not marrying at alarming rates. However, we still have a healthy birth rate. We also have more women entering the workforce, more so than ever before and the kids home alone or in daycare are at a sided disadvantage versus kids with one parent who is always at home. Yet, it’s said to be “good for everyone”? I must confess, from the kid’s standpoint – I would emphatically disagree.

Part 2 tomorrow centering on the economic impact.