Closing Thought–30Jun20

This pandemic has proved to be a bitch for us mere mortals……the loss of employment and such has done nothing to improve the inequalities of our system…..

The idea of a minimum income goes back as far as the 1500s…..

The idea of an unconditional basic income has three historical roots. The idea of a minimum income first appeared at the beginning of the 16th century. The idea of an unconditional one-off grant first appeared at the end of the 18th century. And the two were combined for the first time to form the idea of an unconditional basic income near the middle of the 19th century.

History of basic income

Even the US is thinking along the UBI line…..

Public support for a national universal basic income has grown significantly in the last decade, and recent studies indicate that Americans are now split with roughly equivalent support for and against UBI. Indeed, some scholars argue that the damage caused by COVID-19 has revealed a fragile and inequitable economy and that the recent one-time payment should become a regular feature to give everyone basic financial security going forward. 

Other scholars are less convinced, maintaining that partial or conditional UBI would not reduce poverty and inequality and that a system sufficiently generous to ensure a basic standard of living for all would be prohibitively expensive. These critics assert that it is more efficient for the government to invest in better quality public services and improve existing social welfare systems.  

Universal Basic Income After COVID-19

Now one country has grab the bull by the horns and worked for the people……Spain.

Spain has done something that goes a way to helping the mere mortals of the nation…….they have now a minimum income…..

Spain’s cabinet has approved the creation of a national minimum income, according to a government spokesperson.

Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told a news conference on Friday the creation of a minimum income worth €462 (£416.92) a month will target some 850,000 households or 2.5 million people.

The government would pay the monthly stipend and top up existing revenue for people earning less so that they receive at least that minimum amount every month, he said.

The minimum income would increase with the number of family members, up to a maximum of €1,015 (£916.30) each month. The programme would cost the government about €3 billion a year.

Mr Iglesias said: “Today is a historic day for our democracy. Today this government is showing that its political choice is social justice and that it takes the [Spanish] Constitution seriously.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/spain-national-minimum-income-universal-basic-coronavirus-ubi-economy-a9538606.html

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Taxpayer Bailout

This pandemic has seen the loss of revenue (profit) for many firms and the Congress has put together several stim plans to help business weather this viral storm……

The latest industry to get lots of taxpayer money is Military-Industrial Complex……

The Pentagon has begun to bail out U.S. companies that have seen large parts of their business dry up amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a bid to make sure they can still build weapons. 

On Wednesday, officials announced that five mid-tier defense companies had received a total of $135 million to “help sustain defense-critical workforce capabilities in body armor, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding,” according to a Defense Department statement.“These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in the statement

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-starts-bailing-out-companies-have-lost-business-due-coronavirus/166106/

How will this effect the industry and the DoD?

First of all we cannot afford the weapon systems that the DoD is drooling over…..will the Pentagon be capable of choosing what system to get over another?

The Pentagon cannot afford all of the new weapons it wants to buy and will be forced to choose winners and losers, absent an influx of cash, a new assessment from data and analytics firm Govini.

More cash is unlikely, experts say, regardless of whether President Trump wins a second term or is defeated by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Moreover, they predict the Pentagon will face increased competition for dollars as the United States tries to dig itself out of a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 30 million American without jobs.

“I don’t see a Biden administration making big, big cuts to defense,” said Robert Work, a deputy defense secretary during the Obama administration who is now chairman of Govini, an artificial intelligence-driven analysis firm. “But what I see a potential Biden administration doing is defining the priorities within defense in a different way.”

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-cant-afford-all-weapons-it-wants-new-report-says/166034/

I say if it does not protect the homeland from imminent attack then it should be scrapped until better days are here again.  After all that is what families have to do in these days of dwindling funds…if it is not essential then it can wait.

Image

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–08Jun20

This is my closing thought early for I must visit my doctor and this afternoon will be a bit busy…..so enjoy and be well and be safe…..

First…TS Cristobal dumped lots of rain and wind with a bit of flooding but damage was minimal in my area…..but the heat and humidity is stifling…..

Now the count for the Covid-19…..

Pandemic….Cases–2.0 million  Deaths–110,000+

Onward to the rest of the world…..

We hear all the time from some economic wannabes about the money we owe to China….well they are the same low IQ weasels that use to bitch about the same thing only it was Japan in the 1980s.

Have you ever wanted to ask….just how much money is owed to China anyway?

China has been rapidly rolling out its Belt and Road Initiative to build new roads, ports and rail lines in mostly developing nations, extending the country’s reach across continents.

China says the infrastructure will benefit countries while critics say China is extending unfair influence over others.

Many nations have been rethinking their involvement amid accusations that China has overpriced projects.

Between 2000 and 2017, the world’s debt obligations to China rose from $500bn to a staggering $5 trillion – about six percent of the world’s economic output – according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Researchers also found that China and its subsidiaries have lent $1.5 trillion directly to 150 nations – making China the world’s biggest creditor, overtaking the IMF and World Bank. It has also made unreported loans worth $200bn.

We talk to Professor Christoph Trebesch from the Kiel Institute, who explains how China’s opaque lending practices make it difficult for investors and international lenders to make accurate investment decisions.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2020/05/money-world-owe-china-200530080200892.html

But I guess you might not know what the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is all about and why is it a big deal….

The BRI comprises a Silk Road Economic Belt – a trans-continental passage that links China with south east Asia, south Asia, Central Asia, Russia and Europe by land – and a 21st century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route connecting China’s coastal regions with south east and south Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Eastern Africa, all the way to Europe.

The initiative defines five major priorities:

  • policy coordination;
  • infrastructure connectivity;
  • unimpeded trade;
  • financial integration;
  • and connecting people.

The programme is expected to involve over US$1 trillion in investments, largely in infrastructure development for ports, roads, railways and airports, as well as power plants and telecommunications networks.

https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/belt-and-road/overview.html

Read that last paragraph closely……$1 trillion US….we had better get our heads out of the sand and soon.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego ergo scribo”

That Economy That We Were Promised

Trump has been promising that the US economy will make a comeback as soon as we remove ourselves from virus lockdown.

But let’s look at the economy…..(a subject that most Americans will glaze over at the mention of the issue)….

The unemployment continues…..42.6 million unemployed workers….

Continuing claims, which provide a clearer picture of how many Americans remain unemployed, totaled 21.5 million, a gain of 649,000 over the past week, also worse than Wall Street expected.

The insured unemployment rate, which is a simple measure of those collecting benefits compared with the total labor force, rose 0.5 percentage points to 14.8%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/04/weekly-jobless-claims.html

GDP is down……

Consumption is way down…..

Why has the media not reported this story….it is an important one…

A Bloomberg analysis released Tuesday estimates that nearly a third of the unemployment benefits owed to jobless Americans have not yet been paid out, a finding critics described as a “scandal” deserving of more media attention as millions of people struggle to afford basic expenses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Treasury disbursed $146 billion in unemployment benefits in the three months through May,” Bloomberg reported. “But even that historic figure falls short of a total bill that should have reached about $214 billion for the period, according to Bloomberg calculations based on weekly unemployment filings and the average size of those claims.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/03/should-be-bigger-news-analysis-finds-nearly-one-third-owed-unemployment-benefits

The media refuses to report anything that would turn the people from believing in the system we have….

The hunger will continue because of the unemployment status…..

A poll released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week revealed that at least nine million American households that include children are unsure whether they’ll be able to access enough food in the next four weeks and millions more are experiencing housing insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, taken between May 14 and 19, asked respondents about their loss of employment, food security, overall health, and other issues they are facing during the pandemic.

https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/over-9-million-us-families-fear-they-cant-afford-food-next-month-census-survey

There is so much fiction being passed as news these especially when it involves the economy…..some of the “news” is pure fiction and has been for many years….

One of the favorite myths they perpetrate is that ‘wages are sticky downwards’. That means that in conditions of recession or worse, because workers won’t accept lower wages the recession tends to continue. If only workers would allow wage reductions it would mean business would have more disposable income (from wage cost savings) on hand. Business would then reinvest the extra income. Investment would rise. Workers would be rehired. Wage income would then recover and the economy would grow from more investment and consumption

Two Fictions of Mainstream Economics

Sadly the ignorance around the economy for most Americans will keep the so-called “Dream” out of reach…..

Just one in five American voters want to expand government control over the economy after coronavirus, according to a new the Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

The results come as Congress and the White House negotiate over how to continue to respond to the economic crisis around the coronavirus, amid rising unemployment and shuttering businesses.

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/only-1-5-american-voters-want-expand-government-control-over-economy

Pure fantasy that the media and the government continue to push….and as usual YOU will be screwed by believing the LIES.

So when can we expect the recovery that Trump has said would be immediate once the country re-opened…..

……..how soon can we expect a recovery? There’s a range of predictions — from one year to 10 — but forecasters agree it will be slow going.

As promised!  Another lie to add to the expanding codex of lies.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Not Piss Away More Taxpayer Cash?

Closing Thought–26May20

Our form of government is masterful at wasting money….from useless wars to programs of stupidity to giving cash away for no other reason that “they can”…..

One such give-away is to the state of Israel during the pandemic…..the Senate Bill is…S3176……

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee quietly passed a bill yesterday to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion over the next ten years despite the ongoing devastation to the U.S. economy caused by the coronavirus.

The bill – S.3176 –  will now go before the full Senate. Since the legislation has already been passed by the House of Representatives, if the Senate passes the bill, it will then go to the president to be signed into law.

The bill was passed by the committee under two unusual circumstances and with almost no public awareness.

First, Senate Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) refused to allow a live stream of the meeting, despite the fact that the Senate Rules panel had recommended that extra efforts be taken to ensure public transparency while the Capitol is closed to the public and the presence of reporters is severely limited. The Senate’s Press Gallery Standing Committee of Correspondents had objected strongly to Risch’s decision.

Second, the bill was passed without being named, debated, or even discussed, even though it would set into law the largest such aid package in U.S. history. There has been no mention of the bill by most media in the United States.

US Senate Quietly Approves $38 Billion for Israel Amid Historic Economic Downturn

But please if you doubt my word read the bill for yourself (you can read right?)……

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3176/text

Let me see….the Senate is willing to let the unemployment guarantees expire to save cash but will mail a check to Israel for $38 billion….now you tell me who these spineless ass wipes work for.

Now you know Israel is more important that the American worker….my thought is……. F*ck Israel….Let Them Make It Own There On Or F*cking Die…….

Help get this BS out for the world to see what our government will do for our “friend”….the media will not release this report so it is up to us bloggers to make it an issue.

Vote the slugs out and try to find someone who will put the American people first….and let Israelis worry about Israel.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Gutting Of Social Security

This one government program is one that many Americans use along with Medicare…..and yet almost every Congress has a plan to reform the program and in the process gut what little benefits American retirees actually get.

The GOP NEVER stops trying to destroy the program and will go to extreme lengths to do so.

Has anyone ever noticed the GOP with its extreme spending always looks to social security in the fight for a balanced budget and the fight against the rising deficit?

And they are at it again because of Covid-19…..they want to gut the program just a little more…..

A proposal by Sen. Mitt Romney to establish congressional committees with the specific goal of crafting legislative “solutions” for America’s federal trust fund programs has reportedly resurfaced in GOP talks over the next Covid-19 stimulus package, sparking alarm among progressive advocates who warn the Utah Republican’s bill is nothing but a stealth attack on Social Security and Medicare.

Politico‘s Burgess Everett reported Wednesday that Romney’s TRUST Act, first introduced last October with the backing of a bipartisan group of senators, “is getting a positive reception from Senate Republicans” in coronavirus relief discussions, which are still in their early stages. The legislation, Everett noted, “could become part of the mix” for the next Covid-19 stimulus as Republicans once again claim to be concerned about the growing budget deficit.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/22/gop-plot-gut-social-security-behind-closed-doors-gains-steam-senate-covid-19-talks

It amazes me that the toothless old farts that depend on SS for their retirement would keep voting these slugs in the GOP into office….and almost every time they lose a little more out of the their retirement.

I have now decided that these fools deserve the f*ckings they get from the GOP…..because they are beyond ignorant that they will vote against their best interests.

So bend over seniors and drop those drawers and enjoy the ride.

Since you are too slow to learn stuff…..you deserve every f*cking you get from the GOP.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That “Free Market” Illusion

We hear a lot about “free markets” and “free trade” these days…well for many decades…..it has been the clarion call of conservs….

Let’s look at the term “free markets”…..

A free market economy is a type of economy that promotes the production and sale of goods and services, with little to no control or involvement from any central government agency. The economic system is primarily based on supply and demand. Order and power in a free market are decentralized, with individuals making all of their own voluntary economic choices.

In a free-market economy, firms and households act in their own self-interest to determine how resources get allocated, what goods get produced, and who buys the goods. A free market economy functions in the opposite manner as a command economy works, where the central government gets to keep the profits and choose how to use them.

Read More….https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/free-market/

That is what a free market world would look like if it were truly a free system…..it is not.

Let’s be honest……A pure market economy has no barriers to economic exchange: you can sell anything to anyone else for any price. In reality, this form of economics is rare. Sales taxes, tariffs on imports and exports, and legal prohibitions—such as the age restriction on liquor consumption—are all impediments to a truly free market exchange.

So free market is total BS.

Now comes the term “free trade”…..Free trade is a largely theoretical policy under which governments impose absolutely no tariffs, taxes, or duties on imports, or quotas on exports. In this sense, free trade is the opposite of protectionism, a defensive trade policy intended to eliminate the possibility of foreign competition.  

Free Trade has an ugly side…..

  • It causes job loss through outsourcing: Tariffs tend to prevent job outsourcing by keeping product pricing at competitive levels. Free of tariffs, products imported from foreign countries with lower wages cost less. While this may be seemingly good for consumers, it makes it hard for local companies to compete, forcing them to reduce their workforce. Indeed, one of the main objections to NAFTA was that it outsourced American jobs to Mexico.
  • It encourages theft of intellectual property: Many foreign governments, especially those in developing countries, often fail to take intellectual property rights seriously. Without the protection of patent laws, companies often have their innovations and new technologies stolen, forcing them to compete with lower-priced domestically-made fake products.
  • It allows for poor working conditions: Similarly, governments in developing countries rarely have laws to regulate and ensure safe and fair working conditions. Because free trade is partially dependent on a lack of government restrictions, women and children are often forced to work in factories doing heavy labor under slave-like working conditions.
  • It can harm the environment: Emerging countries have few, if any environmental protection laws. Since many free trade opportunities involve the exporting of natural resources like lumber or iron ore, clear-cutting of forests and un-reclaimed strip mining often decimate local environments.
  • It reduces revenues: Due to the high level of competition spurred by unrestricted free trade, the businesses involved ultimately suffer reduced revenues. Smaller businesses in smaller countries are the most vulnerable to this effect.

(thoughtco.com)

There you have it “Free Markets” is an illusion….”Free Trade” is an illusion……all made up benefits to make it more appealing to the workers which are continuously scorched by the lies of the oligarchs.

We have come to a point in our nation’s public discourse where there is a widespread realization that many of the economic policies pursued and promoted by our political, business and media elites have failed us in multiple ways. We have heard our trade policies called “Free Trade” and “Free Market”, but those statements were often dishonest.

When crafting these agreements, our elites have been responding to incentives which are beneficial to their institutions but detrimental to the well-being of American citizens.

Traditional conservatives have been observing and asking about these policy failures for some time and have been met with name-calling and general denigration. During this current pandemic crisis, the magnitude of the failure of these misguided agreements and policies has become unavoidably obvious.

The Illusion of ‘Free Markets’ and ‘Free Trade’

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

And Join a Union and fight for your rights and your life….being a passive spectator will NEVER give you the end that you seek.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Spend China And Russian Into Submission

Since we have bowed out of every nuke deal ever made and China and Russia have stepped up to get in the nuke game….but not to worry the US is willing to spend whatever it takes to crush their rivals in the nuclear arms race….

US arms control negotiator Marshall Billingslea, far from focusing on avoiding an arms race, saying that the US “sure would like to avoid it” but is also willing to spend Russia and China “into oblivion” to win a nuclear arms race.

“The president has made clear that we have a tried and truce practice here. We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.” This was the go-to US strategy in the Cold War, where the US vastly outpsent the Soviet Union.

With the US scrapping the INF and Open Skies treaties, it seems unlikely to extend New START, making a costly arms race an increasing risk. Since the US vastly outspends everyone on the military, there seems to be an assumption they can win by just keeping up the spending.

Whether that is practical going forward, however, is another matter. With the US engaged in a costly battle with coronavirus, there was already talk the US would have to slash spending, particularly on arms, to deal with the deficit. A huge arms race is just not affordable.

(antiwar.com)

So the US cannot find the cash for a failing infrastructure or the fight against Covid-19….but they are willing to spend whatever it takes to embarrass their rivals….is that about it?

The US has enough nukes to make humanity suffer a bunch…..so do we really need more?  According to Donald the Orange….we do.

How does the US get Russia and China to the negotiating table? Senior administration officials came up the idea of carrying out the first US nuclear test explosion since 1992, and this conversation is still ongoing.

Carrying out nuclear tests is a hugely provocative move on the global scale, and yet the Trtump Administration thought it could “prove useful” in trying to get Russia and China into trilateral nuclear talks.

This probably was also informing the administration in accusing, without evidence, both Russia and China of conducting nuclear tests in secret. Global monitoring makes secret tests all but impossible, but allegating them of having done so would be cover for the US to do it too.

Officials said the December discussion on the matter didn’t end with any agreement to conduct a test, but that it is an “ongoing conversation” that they keep going back to as a possible idea in response to threats from Russia and China.

(antiwar.com)

For those too damn young to remember all the PR about nukes and the results…..let me refresh some memories…..

A professor at Georgetown University, he’s taught an undergraduate course on nuclear weapons and world politics for the past decade. He always asks the same question on the last day: How many of his students think they’ll see nuclear weapons used in their lifetime?

For many years, no more than one student would raise their hand. That made sense, he told me, because in those days, “talking about nuclear war was like talking about dinosaurs — it’s just something from the past that won’t be something in our future.”

But the past couple of years have been different. When he asked that question again this spring, roughly 60 percent of his students raised their hands. What’s more, he agrees with them. “If I had to bet at least one nuclear weapon would be used in my lifetime,” says the 40-year-old Kroenig, “my bet would be yes.”

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/19/17873822/nuclear-war-weapons-bombs-how-kill

We need sanity in our approaches to the rest ofm them world…not knee jerk reactions and a dash to the TV for the delivery of lies and disinformation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Next Stim Package

It appears the economics will be the savior of the nation during this pandemic.

We have already had 4 or 5 stim packages to lift the morale and hopes of the American people while steadily increasing the profits of corporations.

And now I hear the Dems and others are talking about another round of stim to help cope with this virus….but what should be included in the final bill?

How about such deals as pay check guarantee or mortgage/rent assistance or maybe some economic stabilizers……

For the next stimulus package, some lawmakers want to go bigger. Much bigger.

While it could be weeks before members of Congress land on the next bipartisan bill to combat the economic fallout of the coronavirus, many have no shortage of ideas about what that could look like. House Democrats, after all, have already passed their $3 trillion opening bid, with a focus on getting more than $900 billion to states and cities.

Make no mistake, focusing on an influx of funding to local governments is hugely important and could do a lot to stave off the long-term economic effects of the crisis. But other ideas that have been proposed — like a federal paycheck guarantee or rent cancellation — would also be more ambitious ways to address the problem than what lawmakers have done so far.

A focus on implementing such expansive stimulus could well be warranted given the scale of the problem: Economists say that Congress’s economic support needs to match the devastating nature of the issue at hand. As of mid-May, the country’s unemployment rate is still growing, with more than 36 million people applying for unemployment insurance within the first eight weeks of the crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/18/21246421/congress-stimulus-ideas

But then I ask…who will these “guarantees” actually benefit…the average American or the people that control their lives?

Plus I do NOT see Trump approving of this stim package….this would not benefit many of his buddies….or enrich himself.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18May20

It is sad enough that 30 million people are unemployed and having to subsist on the unemployment benefits to make ends almost meet…….now there are those that are committing fraud over these benefits and NO it is not some persons in this country….Nigeria is the culprit.

If you thought the Nigerian prince scam was all there was….then think again……

The Secret Service has detected a large-scale foreign attack on the U.S. unemployment system that is processing record numbers of jobless claims amid the pandemic, according to The New York Times

In a Secret Service memo obtained by the Times, the agency described the attack as a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring that could lead to “potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“We are actively running down every lead we are getting,” Roy Dotson, a special agent who specializes in financial fraud at the Secret Service, said in an interview with investigators obtained by the Times. 

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/498160-secret-service-unearths-overseas-fraud-ring-stealing-millions-in-unemployment

It is sad that fraudsters use the pandemic to enrich themselves.

My opinion is these people are worse than lowly slugs and should be punished harshly.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”