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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 02:07:05 in Politics

“Your paranoia and arrogance is palpable. It is time to defang the neo cons and their life line the blood of surrogates and civilian foreign populations. The sooner people with your ideologically corrupted views are out of power the better.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 02:02:23 in Politics

“There certainly is war. Check out Syria, Iraq ,even unrest in Libya. What did we do in Iraq for a decade? Who is pushing for war against Iran? "Ba Ba Ba bomb bomb bomb Iran"- John McCain. He is just one of the dumbest proponents of war. But he has plenty of idiot allies. Who are you kidding? This is all about war. There was war. There is war. And irresponsible ideologues are pushing for wider war. Negotiated agreements are the alternative to war. ”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Privately Urging House Democrats To Oppose New Iran Sanctions

Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 01:52:32 in Politics

“Not be silent about what? What could you possibly be talking about? America has had enough neo-con perpetrated wars. It is the constant push for violent confrontation that breeds contempt. The foreign policy of this administration is not effective? Who are you comparing it to? GW Bush? Reagan? Nixon?  We need daylight to shine on the military complex, it's tremendous waste of material and lives. We need to shine a light on the right wing lobbyists who continuously push for confrontation and arrogant use of American power. The current iterations of violence in the Middle East were seeded by Bush and the neo-cons  invasion of Iraq. If Iran is a greater threat, it is due to our  long foolhardy attempts to impose our will on the Middle East. We found out the expensive way that this is not possible.  Ironically the constant drum beat that communicates our marshal intent has not cowed the opposition. Instead it has created a larger threat and moved us further from the rational goal of peace. Shine the light on those who undermine negotiated peace. Shine the disinfectant light upon yourself. Let's see who you really are. Let's see what it is you really want.”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 13:01:22 in Business

“Good luck out there. Thanks for the discussion.”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 11:50:39 in Business

“It seems that those who qualify under those rules are part of an effort to encourage education. There very well could be part of rule making that is driven by the for profit educational system. Private! As has been exposed these are parasitic  poorly regulated institutions deceiving students and feeding at the public coffers. The intention at some level may be good, but the execution becomes cobbled up by the influence of well funded business interests.  The AFCA is what we now have to improve a poorly functioning system. The structure of it will not make for a great system but likely it will make it measurably better. Until we have a some strong consensus about how to reach some useful goals the result will be piecemeal leaving intact or augmenting certain private profit centers. If we want to have a system that is a serious improvement, these profit centers must be barred from exercising undue influence. Ideally we would elect people who wanted to improve the health and welfare of all and would all but ignore these interests.But this has proven not to be the case.The average individual barely participates in our national debate while the private corporations, be they prisons, schools or oil companies are on the public dole and have a full time well trained highly paid lobbying team. It is like the Little League all stars against the American League all stars.The outcome is already known.  The ACA does some popular things.The ACA does some important things. But when the public option was defeated you could tell its reform was going to be seriously limited.The repairs and revisions will come over a period of years. The same thing happened in reform of the financial system.The shadow banking system continues unabated. Within the continuum of things that need to be done is coming to a new understanding of our system of financing government, creating money and creating wealth. We live with myths that constrain our abilities to effectively fund our government. This in turn depresses our economy and neglects infrastructure, unemployment and systemic reforms. Nevertheless we live in the real world and sometimes we must support incremental improvements in order to move along our degenerate stasis.”

Cliff Eserman on Jan 12, 2014 at 12:21:19

“I agree, and very well spoken. I wish I could write so well.

We (as a broker) have been demonized, but we are the representatives of the masses. People like the before mentioned in this column sees us as no value, though he has no experience of using us .. so his opinion is prejudicial at best. We as brokers have been left out, and much of the issues we see now on care could have been corrected.

Bottom line, everyone is fighting over not touching their lifestyle by lowering their profits and income, including we brokers. But of all the players, we as brokers are the least of the worries/”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 17:34:45 in Business

“I agree, room for much improvement. I hope the fear and resulting anger of the American people is increasingly directed at the usurpers of our power; the powerful private elite and their lapdog brigade of politicians. Good government in the end is our only possibility. It keeps us from the wretchedness of living tooth and claw.  As much as it seems that such a nihilistic scheme might be preferable; such thoughts are pure romance. The relative peace of ancient tribal ways are not sustainable in the nuclear and automated weapons age. The exponential growth of population, specialization of labor and technology  makes such devolved states impossible. We are deeply in need of institutions to insure the function of our infrastructure and the basic civility of our people.The principle that we must try to retrieve from the oppression of consolidated wealth is government that serves the people. We need to wrest power from the elite, so that our government's power can be more fully by the people and of the people. The promise of the Constitution, at the most fundamental level, is security, justice, increasing health and welfare, a more perfect Union and freedom for ourselves and our descendents. These are a propositions that still seem worthwhile. The simple Constitutionally outlined system, that was constructed for us to use in order to achieve these fundamental goals, could not anticipate the growth in powerful private cartels that would work so hard to subvert the Constitutional charge we inherited. The amendment mechanism is the tool we retain that can put Pandora back in the box.  Lets hope that this tool is recognized and picked up by the people. Lets hope the people can see that diffuse power exercised by the people and consolidated by the system of governemnt will bring us back to a more just society and sustainable culture.The tension between the private consolidated elite and the public power of the people is never going to end. But the people must be always be able to exercise enough power to stop the parasitic behavior of the elites when their threat becomes existential. There are many dedicated public servants in our governemnt.There just don't happen to be many in positions of leadership.”
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 20:17:08 in Business

So what is your “rules will be broken” philosophy?The thief will steal if you leave things out? Nah, he steals it anyway because the context is so much greater than “leaving things on your porch”. He breaks in and searches your house and takes the TV, the silver etc. So why have a rule if it doesn’t discourage stealing? And if it does discourage stealing, why didn’t it discourage alcohol use during prohibition? Are they different things? Yep. We legalized alcohol in order to undermine the crime of supplying black market liquor. And in order to allow popular cultural habits to do their thing. Can you really do that with fraud? With theft? I don’t think so. What about assault rape and murder? “Credit-based investment, growth and consumption may be slower... but so what?”--- See now you jump ship. You want credit to slow down 20% across the board but you aren’t so interested in making a case against rule making. How will you enforce your 20% drop in credit? “Is hitting 500 homers instead of 400 worth the risk of taking steroids?” --- Now this may be the weakest of your analogies. Fiat currency and unlimited reserves are not like steroids. The analogy is that you think that keeping food from players will stop the spike in home runs. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with fiat currency issue or reserves on demand for that matter. There is something wrong with cutting off the food energy supply of players in order to cut down on home runs. And in the process you think that there should be no rules in the game because honest people will play the game fairly and cheaters won’t. (I guess you never played pick-up games of baseball). Allow the players full access to their food. They won’t eat what they don’t need .And then subject them to the rules including steroid use because the drive to win (capitalism) is so great that they will break the rules with or without the rules. But the rules with proper sanctions will cut down on rule breaking and the rules will provide a structure and measure for behavior in the game. And unlike drug or alcohol use during prohibition- in most cases breaking the steroid use rule results in great damage and humiliation to a player. The corked bat, the sandpapered ball, the cleats in face slide, - these are community understood and supported as sanctioned acts. Take a look at the evolution of what is legal in football. It’s not pretty.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 20:16:28 in Business

Look the Fed- 1913- It did not feed the credit bubbles of the Jackson era or the credit bubbles of the Railroad era. Private capital is just as capable of creating booms and busts. And JP Morgan became the lender of last resort not the treasury. You want to exchange private power and wealth for public power go ahead. But I prefer the power to remain as much as possible in the hands of the people. I prefer the exercise of the Republican franchise to have meaning for regulation of private accrued power. I prefer a republic to the inevitable capital-fascism of private power. It is private power that has corrupted public power. Even in your analogy (of money on the porch) the private sector can’t stop itself when it has credit available. It inevitably catches massive fraud disease .It will steal if you let it. Oops I guess we need those pesky rules. If I told you that I had a pile of credit for you (I have lots of money at low interest to loan because my money is sitting there doing nothing) - what would be your response? Well, I have nowhere to put that credit to good use? And even though the interest is lower than the banks offer I don’t have a use for it. Or- I will create a scheme to put that money to use even though it will defraud people and damage the economy? If it is the second then apparently the access to money is neutral or you are an unusual actor. (And this is private money- but still easily available) By dismantling a regulatory regime you will not stop the accrual of private power and wealth to subvert the good of the people. The idea that you will is a fantasy grown in the sterile labs of neo-conservatism. It is not that your critique is without merit; it is that your solution is all over the map because you are trying to prop up the cul de sac of libertarianism. You say “look at the failure of prohibition” to understand regulatory capture by corporations. Well the opposite of prohibition is no prohibition. Apply that rationale to the use of capital that in turn unequally increases wealth, resulting in cartel building that the wealthy (aristocracy?) evolve, which results in consolidated private power. Whoops there is no comparison. People drink for themselves, it is physically and culturally satisfying. Outlawing booze was mostly the result of religious zealotry. It resulted in a spike in crime. Same as drugs. Try that same action on parasitic fraud- and you get a reduction in parasitic fraud? Really?
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 20:15:26 in Business

“the less incomes of the 1% outpace those of the 99%,”----- That is a huge assumption. One that assumes the only thing that causes disparities in wealth is access central fiat reserves to loan. And that the only way to curb those loans is to shut off access to fiat capital. That is historically not true. “and the lesser the collateral damage when credit DOES contract in the inevitable slump of the easy-money business cycle”.---- With your reductions in credit the danger is not the boom but permanent bust. There will be no business cycle. And the greater inequality of wealth. See 1880s during the free banking era.-------“Is productive investment really going to cease in the absence of a nearly unlimited ability to create new credit? Of course not.” Look the Fed- 1913- It did not feed the credit bubbles of the Jackson era or the credit bubbles of the Railroad era. Private capital is just as capable of creating booms and busts. And JP Morgan became the lender of last resort not the treasury. You want to exchange private power and wealth for public power go ahead. But I prefer the power to remain as much as possible in the hands of the people. I prefer the exercise of the Republican franchise to have meaning for regulation of private accrued power. I prefer a republic to the inevitable capital-fascism of private power. It is private power that has corrupted public power. Even in your analogy (of money on the porch) the private sector can’t stop itself when it has credit available. It inevitably catches massive fraud disease .It will steal if you let it. Oops I guess we need those pesky rules. If I told you that I had a pile of credit for you (I have lots of money at low interest to loan because my money is sitting there doing nothing) - what would be your response? Well, I have nowhere to put that credit to good use? And even though the interest is lower than the banks offer I don’t have a use for it.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 20:14:18 in Business

““Increasingly, but again, old news. Rules do not stop rulebreakers.”---- So why have rules? “For some reason, we seem to believe financial regulation will end the unvirtuous cycle, if we can just get it right. We never get them right.”---- That is the way that rules work. We adapt them. The rules work for a while and then they don’t. Evidently credit was no in the same excess for 80 years. That’s a life time. That will work about as well as Prohibition. Prohibition doesn’t resemble massive bank fraud.
“Just because stealing is against the law doesn't mean we leave valuables on our front porch. Oh some places we do. We lock them up inside, because while the law may discourage some, it will not discourage committed lawbreakers. Locking your thinks up will not discourage “committed law breakers”.
“And the honest don't need a law against stealing, because they have no intention of stealing even if it's risk free.” -----Most people will steal if it is abstract enough and seems to be sanctioned. Just look at the banking, underwriting, and mortgage ratings industry. I guess all who committed those frauds didn’t realize they were stealing and defrauding. I guess more deregulation will get them to wise up and not engage in predatory lending etc. Or maybe it was just the money reward that causes them to steal otherwise they are part of the group you fantasize that just doesn’t seal. So then I guess you admit money will make people steal. If we want you stop stealing then we should not have money or anything of value for that matter.
“Excessive credit creation is akin to leaving a pile of cash on the front porch.” How? “It is an invitation”. To what? Does leaving cash out "cause" it to be stolen? No. It enables easier stealing. “Enables” was my word- that you denigrated.
“The less credit available for parasitic speculative betting,”--- The less credit for development . “the less that can take place, the less debt can accumulate,”-----not really ,over time and with usurious fees, the middle and lower classes can accumulate a lot of debt-(see payday lenders). Unless there is NO debt in your scheme. How without rules do you intend to curb private debt? “the less that leveraged speculative rent-seeking can occur,”---How do propose to stop that? Credit use is a function of demand and supply. Capitalism increases disparities in wealth. The wealthy have the supply and the less wealthy have the demand. The wealthy charge for the use of their capital. At least that is how it went in the free banking era.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:08:38 in Business

“True price discovery is impossible”.-- What is true price discovery? The credit someone is willing to take in exchange for other kinds of credit or a tangible good. Or put another way- an agreed upon price in which credit is exchanged for other kinds of credit, service or tangible objects. That price point is the value. Values are not fixed through time.The value of the accounting unit cannot be fixed either.Time changes all accounting and money values relative to goods and services. Values never evolve equally. The absolute existence of evolving differential values mean that the money thing will never be worth the same through time and space. In order for recordings of credit (money) to be used to mediate a variety of credit arrangements and vast variety of goods it must change relative to goods and services in order to accomplish the mediation objective. Time and distance bring the change in the values (prices) of goods and services.”
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:08:25 in Business

“is the history of currency global fiat currency”. Why would an elite private monopoly be any different? A nation is a large community with complex relationships between ad hoc forming associations and more permanent institutions. There are no natural markets. There are no organic commerce developments between isolated consenting adults. It is all interrelated. Humans are conscious beings with evolved motivations. Those motivations vary among individuals. The social structures that we see among men are evolved structures. The current inequities we see in wealth is the result of long ongoing class struggles endemic to the capitalist system. They are not some off track grotesque occurrence that can be abandoned by reducing regulations and having individuals just do their "natural" thing and maintain "natural" markets. Human structures for economic transactions and institutionalized power are evolutionary occurrences they are (by the way not at all inviolable) -and they are always made up of a great variety of people with consciousness and drive for achievement and some with a consequent willingness to disrupt any current system for their own benefit. Markets lead to inequalities. Capitalism, by some having ownership of the means of production, leads to increasing inequality. Increasing returns always flow more easily to those who have gained an advantage. Capitalism flourishes in the world of unequal advantage, among those who wish to profit at the expense of others. At the fantasized organic level a trade that involves a horse and a pig can result in an advantage for one of the traders. The horse is old and never performs well. The pig provides plenty of good meat. The unequal trade is a zero sum game. The passing of the bad horse leads to the increase of unequal trade. In turn leads to a class of successful traders. Each transaction is zero sum, there is a winner and a loser- a deficit and gain. Zero sum transactions get hidden in large pools of commerce. Equal gain is the aberration (Riccardo is usually wrong)“The relative value of everything (including currencies) is filtered, and distorted, through the lens of a single manipulated currency” (currency is always manipulated and monopolized -relative monopolies exist among those wealthy enough to extend credit for a fee). What is to stop natural people from forming a cartel and engaging in collusion among multiple cartels to form more a centralized private cartel? Not anything, as we have seen. And we have no franchise to exercise directly over the private cartel (see panic of 1907 and JP Morgan- free banking era; gold standard era) “is the history of currency global fiat currency”. Why would an elite private monopoly be any different? A nation is a large community with complex relationships between ad hoc forming associations and more permanent institutions.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:07:27 in Business

There are no natural markets. There are no organic commerce developments between isolated consenting adults. It is all interrelated. Humans are conscious beings with evolved motivations. Those motivations vary among individuals. The social structures that we see among men are evolved structures. The current inequities we see in wealth is the result of long ongoing class struggles endemic to the capitalist system. They are not some off track grotesque occurrence that can be abandoned by reducing regulations and having individuals just do their "natural" thing and maintain "natural" markets. Human structures for economic transactions and institutionalized power are evolutionary occurrences they are (by the way not at all inviolable) -and they are always made up of a great variety of people with consciousness and drive for achievement and some with a consequent willingness to disrupt any current system for their own benefit. Markets lead to inequalities. Capitalism, by some having ownership of the means of production, leads to increasing inequality. Increasing returns always flow more easily to those who have gained an advantage. Capitalism flourishes in the world of unequal advantage, among those who wish to profit at the expense of others. At the fantasized organic level a trade that involves a horse and a pig can result in an advantage for one of the traders. The horse is old and never performs well. The pig provides plenty of good meat. The unequal trade is a zero sum game. The passing of the bad horse leads to the increase of unequal trade. In turn leads to a class of successful traders. Each transaction is zero sum, there is a winner and a loser- a deficit and gain. Zero sum transactions get hidden in large pools of commerce. Equal gain is the aberration (Riccardo is usually wrong)“The relative value of everything (including currencies) is filtered, and distorted, through the lens of a single manipulated currency” (currency is always manipulated and monopolized -relative monopolies exist among those wealthy enough to extend credit for a fee). What is to stop natural people from forming a cartel and engaging in collusion among multiple cartels to form more a centralized private cartel? Not anything, as we have seen. And we have no franchise to exercise directly over the private cartel (see panic of 1907 and JP Morgan- free banking era; gold standard era)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:03:55 in Business

““Money's "migration from a thing with imbued accounting meaning to an electronic abstraction" let's us know that paper, and gold, are simply tangible representations of an entirely notional abstraction. Why have governments sought to monopolize, rather than simply regulate, these tangible representations of notional wealth that can develop organically between consenting adults?” The Constitution is the root.For our own good? Yes and no.“Or so the political/financial class can disproportionately benefit by dictating and altering the terms of the subjective determination of "value", and removing that determination from a natural market context?” There is no natural market context. Political states are not some aberration and controlling of finances is not some aberration of the current elite. There is zero reason to think that regulation of only consenting adults will lead to anything other than regulation between factions and elite factions. The idea that consenting adults will remain equal and willingly equal consenting adults is utopian and ignores political economy and evolutionary psychology. As well as almost any kind of development. We have never seen people develop this way. We didn’t adopt prohibitions about all kinds of factions, all kinds of group behavior in order to only regulate markets.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:03:38 in Business

““Exactly why it was well suited as a monetary commodity - stocks are not "used up"”. Not when they are in use as coins, hoarded and no new gold is found to meet the rise in commerce and population. If any coin would do, supply would not be an issue. Gold’s value today is pure speculation. There is real oil use.

“Exactly why paper is well suited as a means of exchange and accounting, but less so as a store of value. The "value" of a grain of sand or drop of water is entirely dependent on context and supply. Whether stranded on a body of fresh water or salt water, and for how long, makes a huge difference in the perceived value of a drop of fresh water”. Paper money is unit of accounting. As is electronic money. It records debts. All debts a must balance with credits. The less abstract the money thing is the less it can efficiently be used as a record of accounts. The value is not in the money but what the money can be used for. Selling and exchanging debt is the flow of wealth but only in the sense that it represents debt that is accepted by virtually all as a means of payment for real things as well. Money is just a way to track wealth and debt. The real things it can buy give it value, otherwise it is just a piece of paper.  Any money thing has the same character and purpose. Barter would give you the surest values. A hog for a hog demonstrates complete retention of value. But there is no intermediary money purpose and the inconvenience of accounting with hogs is cumbersome. There is no way to conveniently subvert time with stored wealth using hogs.  But gold for a hog, when gold is a money thing, can. In that case gold is an intermediary and can be used for accounting. Gold’s value will fluctuate between countries. Or between endogenous geographies of trade. But the fact that gold is a limited commodity and not be easily divisible and portable restrains commerce and growth.

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 13:25:09 in Business

“Simply this: growth of debt reflects growth of credit, and growth of credit far in excess of productive output means "bubbleness", which always disproportionately benefits the asset-rich 1%. Credit does not equal debt in all contexts. In the context of the credit offered by the Fed for several years- much of it went unused.There was low demand for credit. Of course you can't augment debt if you don't have credit. The role of the bank is to determine credit worthiness. Dropping this function allows credit to become debt that is speculative and highly leveraged. Regulation of underwriting standards slows down the flow of credit not in aggregate but for unproductive things. This cuts off the fuel for the dangerous bubbles. Of course in the case of the last bubble lowered underwriting standards was just a piece of the failure.Shadow banking was another big one. Simply this: growth of debt reflects growth of credit, and growth of credit far in excess of productive output means "bubbleness",  credit in excess of output can mean bubble-which always disproportionately benefits the asset-rich 1%.----can- not always. As it is, any movement of money benefits the financial class. Your claim is still one of causation. That access to credit is a necessary ingredient does not mean that all credit beyond production causes bubbles or that credit easily procured necessarily causes bubbles. Nor does the correlation between these two mean that easy credit will increase the bifurcation in wealth of our economy. The absoluteness of your statement seems to have a political agenda tied to it.That is what caused my rather gentle original reply. The political agenda you have is a partially baked critique and less baked libertarian solution. Criticism of the current system is easy. The current system has sewn into it the Randian influence and mantra of small governemnt. The results have been spectacularly catastrophic. I would assume we agree on that.The disagreement is about what is possible given our Republic and our corporate raider's success. I have no reason to believe that there is any possibility for minimal government to work in the dog eat dog world of capitalism.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 13:05:38 in Business



Can be. Will be? Rarely if ever, because it is politically disadvantageous in the short term. Our political system does not allow for such things -Agreed, at least now. It seeks the permanent "quasi-boom" that Keynes thought was possible. It seeks the steroid-induced tax revenue that flows in during booms. It seeks the votes that come with delivering the promise of keeping the boom times booming. How do you stop that? Markets cause that phenomenon one way or another. Novel products bring that. 19th century is replete with it. Railroads.
Capitalism quite frankly depends on people getting their potion of the bacon and hopefully more than their share so they can sell their excess share They now own free labor- excess value- leverageable.

On any scale, people will knowingly participate in systems that turn Ponzi-like if 1) everyone else is participating, and; 2) they think they can get out with gains before the "new normal" finds itself subject to the same reality of every new normal.-Whats new about that? Fiat money didn't invent Ponzi behavior. Herding and greed.

GDP is one of the most dangerous metrics ever devised, because it allows demand/spending on credit to be considered "growth" without any regard for the nature of the credit extended. It measures several activities and expresses them in aggregate.There are many other measures. Aggregate debt expression is a dangerous tool when removed from context. It is a tool.
Should the government borrow $1 trillion and pay for the digging and filling of holes, that digging and filling will be regarded as "productive output"--Who is doing that? when in fact it is Ponzi output. ---Ponzi output; Ponzi borrowing? Ponzi, Ponzi everywhere. Ponzi means, according to Minsky, borrowing that depends on growth in order to fulfill a banks next interest obligation- causing fragility in the system. How is giving an unemployed person a job, like Bank Ponzi behavior?  Let's just humor your fantasy. The ditch digger gets paid- and every day he goes to the 7-11 to buy a sandwich for lunch. The 7-11 therefore purchases more supply from the distributor in order to have enough for his lunch. The supplier in turn purchases more from the factory producing the food. The factory sells more of his production to the suppliers and in turn needs to purchase more from the production of the farmer.The farmer increasing his income from sale of his production is able to buy a new piece of equipment.The farmer goes to the dealership to acquire a new tractor.The dealer selling the tractor goes back to the manufacturer in order  to purchase one part of his production. In that way he replaces his decrease in tractor inventory. And the factory goes to the parts people and so on. At each part of the chain  production of real things or real services is increased.That is real production and real services.
Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Any Hope Of American Equality Died In The 1980s (And Here's Proof)

Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 11:56:34 in Business

“"Increasingly less so, because that "wealth" is increasingly comprised of new money/credit itself, rather than the production of good/services that back it." ---In this case wealth is wealth. The dollar is the LEAST likely to lose its value as a recognized and widely used medium of exchange.
"Increasingly more so... have "rogue" states and their leaders -- like Iran, Iraq and Libya -- been more of a threat to peace and democracy, or a threat to dollar hegemony?" The world is a dangerous and complex place.
"Of course, but how is a flawed external constraint decidedly worse than no external constraint?"---- Bank panics, bank runs, periodic economic turmoil, fraud, ect. "And that is not to say we could or should return to a fixed-exchange gold standard, but alk about "critiques of the imperfect""Tthe imperfect that is better; better serves our technologically fast growing economy. "If history shows anything, it show the political/financial class can NEVER be relied upon in the long run for needed constraint".---- Free markets don’t eliminate that. "That's not to say they don't ever provide it, only that it can not safely be relied upon, since "read my lips" promises and intentions are quickly trumped by political considerations". ----Political considerations? Political corruption in our present case.
"By whom?the people who within the power of the republic rests. The bankers who run the regulatory bodies during their sabbatical from banking? Regulatory capture occurs because as systems become more complex, the expertise lies with industry insiders, not with "public servants". As a rule, politicians haven't a clue as to the full ramifications of the legislation that is written by their lobbyist "aides"". That is how corruption works. And service in a complex society.  Do you know how your credit cards work (contracts)? Do you know how you plan a highway? Do you know how your house is built ? Do you know how the electrical is done? Do you know the law if you are accused of robbing a bank? Do you know how to assemble a jet engine? Do you know how to direct the daily air traffic? Do you know how to get Walmarts products to their store on time? Do you know how open heart surgery is done?And so on. In a highly technological complex society you relie on others. Experts.
Chris Christie Denies Knowledge Of Bridge Payback Scheme

Chris Christie Denies Knowledge Of Bridge Payback Scheme

Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 20:44:07 in Politics

“thanks Huddie”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:28:23 in Business

“Mass has excellent healthcare. It does not have a single payer system. People migrate to take advantage of Mass healthcare though. I live here. A perfunctory assessment of what Mass has tells you that it is not much different than the ACA. These were systems designed to purposely avoid any single payer state option. The entrenched pharmaceuticals, testing equipment suppliers, specialist fees, technological developers and fees for service are not changed by either the Mass system or the ACA. The competitive negotiation for pharmaceuticals, high tech equipment, and doctor’s salaries bring economies of scale to the nation’s that have single payer options. That helps to lower costs. The Geissinger Medical Center system that eliminates fee for service has been shown to bring nearly 7-9% savings to HC costs. There is no panacea. Each system brings some unwanted blow back. We do know that our system in its present form is unsustainable and the ACA is at the very least a difficult step toward improvement.
3. Those apprehensions are not without reason. Although we do a credible job running Medicare and Social Security. It is hard to run national systems with such divided government. Our laws are battered and crippled by the process by the time they are passed. It’s as if trying to build a skyscraper with half the workers attempting to sabotage the job; it is a miracle that it even stands. So the liabilities of government’s performance is not intrinsic to its nature. It is not that it is impossible to successfully run large important programs but rather it is a specific problem associated with the corruption of our present government by corporate and financial interests that inhibit government functions in order to further their narrow interests. Making our republic work is paramount to successful reforms of many systems; not just health care. The dystopia we now experience is the result of 30 years of Randian deregulation and propaganda about “big government”. A big and complex country will need a big government to regulate its systems. Only if the power to check the activities of government remain in the hands of the people can the prospect of successful and equitable regulation take place.
Thanks for the discussion and good luck out there..”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:27:09 in Business

“Mass has excellent healthcare. It does not have a single payer system. People migrate to take advantage of Mass healthcare though. I live here. A perfunctory assessment of what Mass has tells you that it is not much different than the ACA. These were systems designed to purposely avoid any single payer state option. The entrenched pharmaceuticals, testing equipment suppliers, specialist fees, technological developers and fees for service are not changed by either the Mass system or the ACA. The competitive negotiation for pharmaceuticals, high tech equipment, and doctor’s salaries bring economies of scale to the nation’s that have single payer options. That helps to lower costs. The Geissinger Medical Center system that eliminates fee for service has been shown to bring nearly 7-9% savings to HC costs. There is no panacea. Each system brings some unwanted blow back. We do know that our system in its present form is unsustainable and the ACA is at the very least a difficult step toward improvement.
3. Those apprehensions are not without reason. Although we do a credible job running Medicare and Social Security. It is hard to run national systems with such divided government. Our laws are battered and crippled by the process by the time they are passed. It’s as if trying to build a skyscraper with half the workers attempting to sabotage the job; it is a miracle that it even stands. So the liabilities of government’s performance is not intrinsic to its nature. It is not that it is impossible to successfully run large important programs but rather it is a specific problem associated with the corruption of our present government by corporate and financial interests that inhibit government functions in order to further their narrow interests. Making our republic work is paramount to successful reforms of many systems; not just health care. The dystopia we now experience is the result of 30 years of Randian deregulation and propaganda about “big government”. A big and complex country will need a big government to regulate its systems. Only if the power to check the activities of government remain in the hands of the people can the prospect of successful and equitable regulation take place.
Thanks for the discussion and good luck out there.”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:26:28 in Business

“1. Here is what reports from Aetna, United Health, Humana, and Well Point have to say- “The four largest U.S. for-profit health insurers on average denied policies to one out of every seven applicants based on their prior medical history, according to a congressional investigation released Tuesday.” –Kaiser Foundation One in seven- that is 1/7th of the total that applied were denied. That is believed to be an under count by the insurance companies. It does not account for the 1% that are dropped. It does not account for those who didn’t apply because their agent said that it was not possible that they would qualify to get insurance (believed to be another 20% of the 1/7th) it doesn’t count those who rightly believed that health care insurance was too expensive for them to purchase. That is easily 15% without adding the people who could afford it and opt out. The ACA also includes an expansion of Medicaid. That expansion requires the well to do young who in the past wanted to chance it -to buy insurance. As long as we do not deny care to those who choose to “risk it” -as a community we have to make them pay. Their irresponsibility costs everyone else resources. They are as Mitt Romney once said freeloaders. 2. Universal healthcare exists on a continuum of private and public pay. Most countries have a dominant public option as well as private insurance. They have services that are not paid for by the public option. Germany for example has a more mixed system and doesn’t have the same issues that Britain does with waiting times. There are entrenched interests that will not easily change for the better of the system. The US is full of them- but in Britain the doctors have resisted mandated changes meant to improve waiting periods. The point being that there exists for the most part not an “either or” but a continuum of private and single payer. The faults of the systems with a highly dominant single payer system have the potential to be improved. These are highly democratic countries and politics is as much an impediment to desirable change as anywhere. The one feature that almost all of these mixes have is mandatory insurance. And in spite of problems all of them pay significantly less in proportion to their GDP than the US. Since our trajectory is unsustainable it seems there is something for us to learn”

Cliff Eserman on Jan 12, 2014 at 09:57:59

“I would love to have a discussion on who are the people on Medicaid expansion. Most people have no idea who these people are ... some examples are:

1) A unmarried person living with a significant who might be making no income cause they are going to college, studying for licensing, etc etc .... perfectly able to work but is not as they are focused on advancing education, etc. Their significant makes 30 - 50000 .. that person cannot qualify for Medicaid nor qualify for a subsidy with the ACA .... an example

2) A 26 year old that has always been on mom and dad's plan, gets booted. Is not employed, does not live at home, still in college / studying, etc but not working cause on grants, etc .. an example

There needs to be more discussion.”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 21:20:56 in Business

“I understand what you believe about the private sector vs the public sector. But if you examine how much the elite of the private sector fraudulently accumulates and consolidates wealth without any significant return for the public you might reconsider. The public sector does in fact beat or come close to meeting private sector efficiency in many cases. For example Medicaid delivery . Even the much maligned Medicaid fraud is almost precisely the same as private insurance fraud- which all insured pay for. There are many myths about the private sector vs the public. The efficiency of the private sector is in making profits for shareholders and owners.  How often do you talk to someone on the other side of the world when trying to get answers from a corporation? How often  get lost in a circle of automated voice answering technology when contacting private corporations?Its one or the other most of the time.  The public sector also serves more people than the private sector. In other words it has a bigger job; a bigger challenge. We vote for our government. That is our ultimate check.We don't vote for corporate boards or CEOs.  That presently our government has reached an unacceptably high level of corruption and unaccountability has more to do with private sector elite monopoly power than it does with any ultimate failure of governemnt.”

Cliff Eserman on Jan 10, 2014 at 21:15:11

“Not saying you are wrong, but not necessary absolutely correct. But there is great potential for improvement, but Americas are SO SCARED of its government.”
Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Obamacare Logistical Apocalypse Nowhere To Be Seen (Yet)

Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 13:40:46 in Business

“We already have that- and you will always have that. Americans have a highly bifurcated economy that has been shaped to benefit a wealthy elite. There is no reason to beleive that the HC system will be significantly different. In theory all HC could be delivered on the same platform and equally but the wealthy elite would just migrate to countries that grew seperate systems to cater to their desires for the buying the best. If we insist on having every technological advance available to all in unlimited quantities; we will never have an affordable system.Technological advance is the greatest driver of cost. Single payer's virtue is that it provides good care to all more cheaply and efficiently. The insurance companies who have been responsible for much of the recent confusion consumers have experienced (even to the point that they were sued successfully in Ky) would be generally out of the picture. Which would mean their reliance on complexity and obfuscation would go with them as well as their tradition of denying coverage in unpredictable ways. Perfection is not the goal of single payer- substantial improvement is.Until we accept and work for a more egalitarian wealth distribution system every HC system we devise will be bifuracted between the elite and the rest of the population. HCRA does not eliminate that reality. But it does break down the three tier system that we have lived with. A system that has 15% of the population virtually locked out and living with great anxiety, a large middle population living with insecurity about work changes or denial of care and an elite that never worries about access and payment for health care.  A single payer system would make the benifits of HCRA more universal and less costly for most people . Its distribution of burden would be more equitable in a way that the HCRA can not be.The profits of insurance companies would be eliminated and the ability to move the entire industry into a system less burdened by superfluous private for profit testing, fees for service bloating, and billing nightmares would be at least possible. Better health outcomes, greater coverage, elimination of the denial of coverage, lancing the parasitic tumors created by private profiteers , and an over all decline in the growth of HC cost seem like desirable and realistic goals. Not perfection mind you, but substantial improvement”

Cliff Eserman on Jan 6, 2014 at 19:23:09

“I never believe that the government is going to be more efficient or effective, but the private sector to assume they are going to advocate for the private sector (or anyone that is not in their stakeholder's best interest) is ludicrous.

Private will always be leaner, but I think if they would break up the companies, and change them from for profit to not for profit with no ability for carry over, much of the greed pricing would go away.”

nkdgolf on Jan 6, 2014 at 18:03:31

“I appreciate your reply. I love civil, intelligent discussion without all the insults and name calling so popular on this site.
I agree with a lot of what you say but after almost 25 years in healthcare let me give you some of my impressions:
1. I don't agree that 15% of Americans were locked out. Of the uninsured (pre ACA), almost 20 percent were eligible for Medicaid but did not sign up (too many speculative reasons to go into here). Another 12 million made more than $75K per year and made a conscious choice not to buy insurance. Even after full implementation, HHS estimates we will still have 30 million uninsured in 2020.
2. I have studied single payer in GB and Canada for years. Besides having fostered a two class medical system no one can deny both systems have serious downsides like extended waits for appointments and even longer waits for non-emergent tests and procedures. Even in Mass. besides the above problems there are economic issues affecting the state. Mass had the highest per capita health expenditures before single payer and they are still the highest in the country. The net effect on lowering health costs were virtually none.
3. I completely understand your strong feelings about insurance companies. Take them out of the equation and I have similar apprehensions about our government's ability to run a healthcare system for 310 million people.
Thanks for the discussion and have a great day.”
Peter King: Rand Paul 'Doesn't Deserve' His Spot In The Senate (VIDEO)

Peter King: Rand Paul 'Doesn't Deserve' His Spot In The Senate (VIDEO)

Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 12:29:49 in Politics

“Of course I didn't say anything about unchecked regulation and if you knew about Paul and his love of Murray Rothbard and right wing anarchy you would know that a criticism of Paul is not an argument for unchecked regulation.We do after all have a Republic. We do VOTE for our representatives in congress and the occupant of the White-house. We are the Constitutional CHECK on them. Just because the Paul's of the world pushed for deregulation that has enabled the corporations to exercise disenfranchising control over the governemnt does not mean that this anarchic outcome is predestined.You seemed to have missed the financial failure leading to the recession  resulting in pervasive joblessness- among other detrimental outcomes. You seemed to have missed the Commodities Futures Modernization act and the consequent rise in the shadow banking industry. You seemed to have missed that unregulated fraud on every level was at the center of the financial failure. But I see what you mean . We should eliminate regulations . We should have unsafe drinking water, unsafe food, unchecked corporations and financial wunderkind, unsafe buildings, no fire codes or drivers licenses or safer cars or laws against murder and mayhem.  I think the more complex the world gets the less government regulation there should be- because we know from the fouling of our earth and water by corporations in the 1950s and 1960s that corporations always do what is good for us.Oops- I meant rarely. Just because Randism led to our current dystopia doesn't mean that our Republic is not capable of good governance. If you spend decades undermining government functions and building failure into laws then it is no surprise that it fails. A building built with half of the crew undermining its structural integrity would fail no less. Unfortunately for Utopians ( libertarians)- the greater the population, the greater the growth in the number and complexities of technology (in essence the more people and moving parts) the larger and more complex the government must be. It is not a given that the people will lose control of our Republic but their cultivated ignorance seems to have baked this outcome into our recent history.”
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