Puerto Rico: Trouble In Paradise?

If you have never been to Puerto Rice then get off your ass and visit……it is the tropics, gorgeous beaches, friendly people and you do NOT need passport……..BTW it is a girl watchers paradise….just saying……

But what brought me out to post on Puerto Rico?  It seems they are having a bit of a monetary problem…..

There’s something about Puerto Rico that has caused many commentators to describe it as “America’s Greece,” and it definitely isn’t yogurt. Instead, it’s the terrible state of the US commonwealth’s economy, which has caused Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla to admit that its $72 billion debt is “not payable,” the New York Times reports. “This is not politics, this is math,” he says. The island’s rate of debt to GDP is higher than that of any US state, and its government could run out of cash as soon as July, triggering a government shutdown and other measures, reports the Wall Street Journal, which notes that Puerto Rico’s deep recession began after corporate tax breaks expired in 2006 and manufacturers started to leave the island.

The governor says Puerto Ricans are already struggling with issues such as government austerity, rising crime, and high unemployment and that it’s time for creditors to share the pain by deferring repayments. “If they don’t come to the table, it will be bad for them,” he tells the Times. “What will happen is that our economy will get into a worse situation and we’ll have less money to pay them. They will be shooting themselves in the foot.” Some 24% of Puerto Rico’s bonds are held by so-called “vulture funds” that specialize in high-risk efforts and have opposed efforts to restructure the debt, the Guardian reports. The Times notes, though, that many Americans may have Puerto Rican investments tied up in mutual funds and not be aware of it.

Wait a minute!  Is Puerto Rico a US “territory”?

This country can force feed our cash and stuff to Israel but it cannot find a way to help to help out in Puerto Rico?  Wassup with that?  We accepted this “territory” after the Spanish American War so we are responsible for its upkeep and security.

Time for this country to start acting like the country we were promised back in 1776 and stop helping only those countries that think killing is the only answer……or cut them loose and let them be their own nation.

Return Of The Middle Class?

With election coming there has been lots of talk and promises about the Middle Class……lots of promises on just how to fix the problem and renew the Middle Class…….

Each party has its plan……none of which will go very far to restoring the lots clout of the Middle Class…..

So the obvious question would be…….can the Middle Class ever return?

Some say NO…….and this article explains why such a statement is made……

 

The American middle class isn’t coming back — it’s going to die with the Baby Boomers – Salon.com.

Inequality isn’t inevitable, it’s engineered. That’s how the 1% have taken over | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian

The story is that the world’s people are suffering and will to continue to suffer from growing inequality……some say it is the price of capitalism……if so so…is inequality inevitable?

 

Inequality isn’t inevitable, it’s engineered. That’s how the 1% have taken over | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Will The Country Suffer Depression?

The markets go up…..the markets go down……a continuous yo-yo ride……

I know….very few Americans want to talk or learned about economics…..it is just all too hard.

We all have a fleeting knowledge of what happened in 1929, right?  But our minds are fresher in the events in 2008 when the markets dropped like a lead toilet in Lake Michigan.

But since that day the markets have steadily gone up and up and up……seemingly without any possibility of a return to the days of losing funds……but is there a possibility that we could see another loss of funds and value………..

A CIA analyst known for his dire economic predictions is speaking up again, warning that the next Great Depression may be right around the corner. Jim Rickards, a “financial threat and asymmetric warfare adviser” for the CIA, tells Money Morning that Americans should be preparing for a $100 trillion financial catastrophe. “Everybody knows we have a dangerous level of debt,” he says. “Everybody knows the Fed has recklessly printed trillions of dollars. … But all signs are now flashing bright red that our chickens are about to come home to roost.” Another reason for gloom: According to Rickards, the so-called Misery Index maintained by the Federal Reserve contains far worse data than most people believe.

The Misery Index adds the true unemployment rate with the true inflation rate, but Rickards contends that the Fed has altered the index’s calculations in order to hide the truth—that “the Misery Index has reached more dangerous levels than we saw prior to the Great Depression,” he says. “This is a signal of a complex system that’s about to collapse.” His prediction? A “70% stock market crash” followed by a 25-year depression, possibly sparked by a “major credit collapse” in China, he tells Reuters. His advice? Invest in “hard assets” like railroads, coal, wheat, or gold. Again, he’s not known for mild predictions:

Whatcha think?  Is this guy onto something or is he just giving Americans what they crave….a good dose of fear?

Fomenting a Revolution: Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People | Common Dreams

Economics could well be the ground on which a new American revolution will stand……..the gap widens every year between the “haves and the have nots”…..and that has been the battlefield for centuries…….could it be?

 

Fomenting a Revolution: Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People | Common Dreams.

They Nationalized The Banks!

File this under the heading……Can’t Fix Stupid!

This is the cry from the right wing…..I read a bunch of these pieces of crap on Twitter today…..all were railing that the new “Volcker Rule” will, in essence, nationalize the banks and in turn bring down the whole economic system in the US….

For those with addled brains let me help with the definition of the term…….nationalization……it means the transfer of private assets  into public ownership……see how simple that was and has NOTHING to do with the new “Volcker Rule”………

Let me say here and now…If you believe that this will nationalize the banks then you are sadly mistaken…it will try to prevent the gambling by banks that caused the collapse in 2008…..I am guessing here but NO one wants to revisit the crippling effect that the banksters caused back then…..but do not take my word for it……

(Newser) – The FDIC and Federal Reserve both unanimously approved the long-debated Volcker Rule today, and three other regulatory agencies plan to before the day is out, making it official. The rule, named for and originally proposed by Paul Volcker, aims to ban proprietary trading, “or in plain English,” as the Washington Post puts it, “it removes the parts of banks that gamble and act like hedge funds, because those parts can blow up.” Or at least, that’s what it was supposed to do.

But big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have been lobbying against the law for more than three years, Bloomberg points out, and their “lobbying efforts paid off” in easing some provisions. On the other hand, recent weeks have seen a charge from regulators favoring a tougher version, and they’ve scored points, too, the New York Times reports. Here’s what each side won:

The Tough Side:

  • When JPMorgan lost $6 billion on the London Whale trade, it said the position was a “hedge.” The rule still allows hedging, but banks will now have to name a specific, quantifiable risk that each such trade is hedging against.
  • Bonuses and compensation must be structured in a manner that doesn’t encourage “prohibited proprietary trading.”
  • Chief executives will have to personally “attest” every year that the bank has measures in place to comply with the rule.

The Not-So-Tough Side:

  • Banks have until July of 2015 to implement the rule, though they must make a “good faith effort” to do so before that.
  • Banks are still allowed to “make markets,” meaning to act as middle men for clients who want to buy and sell stock. Under this guise, banks could buy and hold a stock, arguing that a client might someday want to buy it. The rule mandates that banks buy only enough to meet the “reasonably expected near-term demands of clients,” but leaves it up to banks to decide what’s reasonable.
  • Banks can still make proprietary trades in bonds issued by governments.
  • Many banks tell the Wall Street Journal that they think they’re already in compliance with the law, while some business groups say they intend to challenge the rule in court. Reform advocates, meanwhile, are starting to call again for a return to Glass-Steagall.

There you have it….this is NO one’s idea of nationalization.  If possibly do then I suggest that you spend less time on World of Warcraft and more time educating yourself on the issues….

Personally, I do not think that this piece of legislation goes far enough to prevent banks from doing the gambling that they have come accustomed to in the past……they are still allowed to gamble and that will cause yet more economic problems in the future…..

Is There Compassionate Capitalism?

Okay sports fans, I have laid off the subject of economics for long enough……when someone mentions economics all eyes glaze over and the people get a far away look in their eye……here goes….

I have had many exchanges with people about capitalism…..I think it could be more compassionate toward the worker/consumer……I understand that profit is everything to these people….but there has to be a line that should NOT be crossed…kinda like the red line in the sand thingy…….

I can imagine that not many of my conserv friends will have anything good to say about labor……of course they would be talking about unions….while I would be talking about the work it takes to produce the service or item…..you may demonize labor all you want but without it there would have been NO middle class to destroy……..

We may argue that point later….today I want to ask if anyone see a problem with these couple of stories…..

(Newser) – An Ohio Walmart store wants to make sure its workers can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner—so it’s asking them to give each other enough food to do so. The Canton store has set up bins in an employee-only area under a sign that reads, “Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” One employee, apparently not appreciating this generous holiday effort, snapped a photo and sent it to the labor group OUR Walmart, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The photo has sparked outrage, but Walmart isn’t denying its legitimacy. A spokesman for the chain said it was a store-level program, but that the larger corporation applauded. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them,” a spokesman for the chain said. At least one worker at the Canton store agreed, saying the drive had helped her in the past. But the associate who shot the picture called it a “demoralizing” and “kind of depressing” admission that the company understands workers are struggling, but won’t expend its own resources to help.

Really?  A food drive for the people you employ?  And no one sees the problem here?

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Let’s move on to Macky D…….

Newser) – More handy financial advice from McDonald’s, which recently suggested its workers might want to get second jobs: The chain’s McResource tip website says readers can make money in a pinch by selling “unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist.” The advice comes in a section on “Digging Out From Holiday Debt,” ThinkProgress reports. A separate suggestion from the site on how to “avoid hunger & stretch food budget”: “Breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.” This comes shortly after it emerged that McDonald’s was advising workers to get on food stamps, the Wire notes.

CNNMoney, meanwhile, compares the budgets of real McDonald’s workers to the sample budget the company recently issued. The differences are drastic; for instance, food is reportedly the top monthly cost for most workers CNNMoney interviewed, and it doesn’t appear at all on the sample budget. (Meanwhile, Mickey Dee’s isn’t the only corporation getting kicked for hamfisted efforts at helping workers.)

I can only say one thing….Are You kidding me?

Sorry….I can understand why some think that capitalism cares about NOTHING but profit…..they feel they have NO responsibility to the society that made them money……IMO that is sadly ALL wrong!