Showing posts from October, 2008

The “Turning Out” Of America

So when you go to buy a new car, what is the first thing the salesman asks you? It is not, “what price are you looking to buy at?” It is, “What do you want your monthly payment to be?” We will let you sign and drive today. It resembles a crack dealer giving away the first rocks. We have stopped structuring our finances around what we earn weekly, and instead started structuring it around what minimum payments we can make monthly. Making monthly payments on “happiness” is fine. That is as long as you have a job that will let you make them. The problem is what happens if you no longer have a job? I don’t care how you renegotiate that house loan. If you have no job, you aren’t going to be able to pay anything.

McCain: Those Jobs Aren’t Coming Back. “I’ve got to give you some straight
talk—I can’t turn that around,” McCain said. “I can’t look you in the eye and
tell you I believe those jobs are coming back.” (Grand Rapids Press, 4/23/08)

Well with that attitude we won’t. What he is essential…

The Economy Needs Cures And Not More Remedies

The current crisis will never be solved by anything more then remedies until somebody calls a duck a duck. Credit is unhealthy, even cancerous to a free market economy. In the US we have laws against making counterfeit money. Why? Because adding money without adding actual wealth to the system weakens the integrity, allows stagnation to occur, and causes inflation as “bidders” in the auction known as the “free markets” are able to bolster the price of goods and services using money they don’t securely have. If everybody had to pay cash at time of delivery for every house bought, the average price of a house would be about $20,000 in the current environment. In reality, the cost of living would be somewhere around 1950’s levels.

This self defeating activities are not limited to credit. We have immigration laws. Why? Because illegal immigrants do the same to our labor pool as counterfeit money and credit do to our wealth. Drugs are legal that are worse for our health then the ones that a…

A Spineless Traitor And His Endorsement

So Powell endorsed Obama with three weeks to go until the general election. Whooptee-doo. Mr. Powell. I know some in the media with short memories and in search of liberal based drama are happy to hear about the once respected Republican general who was George Bush’s main advisor in the lead up to the Iraq invasion. They are happy to hear him turn traitor to his own part. They easily forgive that he tuned his tricks on against the American people in 2002.

Colin Powell could very well have been the first African American president. He had the respect and ear of the full spectrum of the political arena. His silence and reluctance spoke volumes about what he believe during the run up to the war. He was the one person that could have swayed enough of the right people to change their minds about the necessity to go into Iraq. He was known for being cautious and reserved about using force. Many of the cheerleader around Bush were know as “War Hawks”. If Powell had spoken out o…

Housing And The Mutually Accepted Lie

Before I get into this post too far, I would like to apologize to all my friends that I convinced buying a house was a good idea. So here is goes. John, I am sorry. I am an idiot. There that feels better. At least I don’t have many friends and the few I do have are more sensible then to listen to me. Poor John. Wait till I tell him the truth about getting married. Then there is having a kid.

Now for the rest of you. If you have bought a house, then I am sorry I didn’t get to you sooner. If you have not, you can send me any portion of your windfall I have saved you that you want to help with my monthly sentence.

We have all heard the statement, “buying a home is an investment. It is investing in your future.” People are still saying it today even in the face of the current crisis. Do me a favor. The next time somebody says that in your presence, dope slap them and send them this post.

Here is a story that is actually a combination of stories that could easily been on…

Joe Plumber: What he Doesn’t Understand

Meet Joe. He is a plumber whose business is earning $250,000 “taxable income”. (remember that. We will come back to it.) Now without actually seeing the change to the code proposed it would be hard to tell how much that is going to affect “Joe”. But when Joes says, “Why aren’t people calling my plumbing service anymore?’ Because they are broke Joe. Their houses sit vacant, and they have plenty of time, since they are unemployed, to snake their own drain.

As I had mentioned in earlier post, no business considers tax cuts as reasoning to hire new employees. The Feds might give you a 2% cut, but the local and state government might raise it 3%. No Joe hires because he has so much work that he and his current employees can’t cover it with overtime. But is people don’t have jobs or money they can use to hire a plumber, all the tax cuts for big business in the world won’t help Joe.

Joe, Joe, now look at me Joe. Look me in the eyes. I don’t want you to miss this. You are a dammed liar. You cal…

Taxing Cuts For Jobs And Borrowing To Pay Salaries

I like to think I am a logical fellow. Here is something I am having a hard time rectifying. I hear conservatives, including the republican candidate John McCain say that, “cutting taxes will encourage business to hire more people.” However, in June of 2001 the biggest tax cut in 20 years was signed into law. The problem is every year since it was enacted we have seen a reduction in good paying jobs such as auto, steel, and tech industry. According to the Bureau of labor statistics linked here, in 2001 the unemployment rate skyrocketed until it finally peeked mid 2003. So exactly again what is supposed to happen once these tax cuts are made?

Oddly enough, that is about 24 months (about the length of unemployment compensation) after the trend began. These statistics only tell half of the truth. If you fall off the unemployment wagon, they assume that you must have found a job. The graph also can’t tell you how many people went from putting the tires on the new vans at the F…

Raising Taxes vs. Reducing Wealth

I have heard many times over by conservatives that, “Democrats just want to raise our taxes. Take ‘my money’ and give it to people who don’t work.” The last part of the statement I won’t really address in this post, but I felt it was needed as it always follows. The first part is what I would like to pick apart.
First a little Humor. A rather overweight chap walks into a pizza shop and says, “I would like to order a large pizza and a side of breadsticks.” The kid behind the counter squeaks “Would you like that cut into 12 or 16 slices.” The fat man says, “Make it 12, I am on a diet.”

This joke clearly demonstrates a person who doesn’t understand the concept of the laws of conservation. Basically they state that “the sum of the parts can never be more than the whole.” Or in this case, can be “no less”. If a pizza has 2000 calories, it don’t matter how many pieces you cut it into, when you eat it, you are eating the same amount of calories. The same is true about the collective whole of t…

Obama’s Experience and McCain’s Skill Set

Saying that a person is “experienced” is only part of the equation. Saying that alone leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I have a friend that has been a plumber for 25 years. Nobody can snake shit out of a backed up drain better then he can. To be honest he is not the deepest thinker. He is pretty up front and straight forward in his demeanor. While I am glad to know him, and we have a great time watching sports, downing beers, and he is very insightful and many issues. I am glad to know if I have a blockage at 10 pm or when I am our of town away from my wife, that I can have him fix the problem. However, if I was getting audited by the IRS, I wouldn’t call him. If I were wrongly accused of bank robbery, I wouldn’t call him. If my brain was hemorrhaging I would not call him to do the operation. This is in spite all of his years of “experience”. So it can’t be just about a politician’s experience that matters. Oh and by the way, before he was a plumber he was a soldier.…

Bailing Out Of A Boat That Still Has A Hole In It

A few months back I wrote a post titled “The New Poor” in which I warned and condemned the ills of the credit industry. Now, with the perspective of the credit institutions collapse and the pending bailout, I am going to revisit the issue.

Merriam- Webster defines “addiction” as “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal ; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.” I think “credit” fits that description to a tee. This country is fueled by a negative savings rate.

What that means is that shit creek is driving us towards the giant falls at a rate of 10 knots and we are paddling away from the fall at 9 knots. It is not a good equation for the American worker. Everything we do is on credit basis. That fact has driven up the cost of everything. How much do you think a car would cost if you had to go t…

Real Quick on the Palin Interview

In Case you had trouble following. Here is how Sarah's logic was planned

Well, crap. She didn't flop and make the whole thing a lot less stressful for the next to weeks as we meander towards the growing evidential end.

Palin was well instructed and applied a classic debate technique taught in high school and beauty pageants across the globe. Every politician uses the technique to answer questions outside their area of expertise’s. Palin used it to answer every question. That technique is to first repeat the question, and then craft the answer to talk about a topic you want to talk about. An example can be seen here.

Done right it can make you look insightful. The key word is "look". It worked last night, especially under reduced expectation. When done wrong it looks like the youtube video.

Her school girl "gotcha" tone that was intentionally trying to draw out the Joe bidden that puts his foot i…

The Bailout Blame Game

Well I hate to get into it, but it seems every conservative is trying to lay this somehow in the lap of either Bill Clinton or the democrats of the last two years. The reality is far different. But to understand that, we have to take a quick walk through history and couple it with understanding business practices.

It was 1994 or so and I was looking to buy a house because I was sick of looking for a place for my band to practice. So I stopped by a realtor and asked what I needed to have to buy a house. I was told I needed at least 10% down. I needed to be employed by the same employer for two years. Last I was told that I needed to have an excellent credit rating. I had $400 to my name, had different employers every other month, and hadn’t really built any credit. So I left dejected. I was going to have to become a rock star if I ever wanted my own house it would seem.

Time went on and eventually we elected this president named George W. Bush. In an effort to maintain the popularity to …