Down The Rabbit Hole

I recall the reports after the 2003 invasion and the occupation of Iraq that the US sent in palettes of cash to be used in the after war programs that the US was planning……and somewhere down the line palettes starting disappearing with millions of dollars and to this day few seem to know where this money went….probably into the bank accounts of the many private contractors that were crawling all over Iraq like maggots on a corpse…..

Source: Missing Iraq money may be as much as $18 billion

I bring all this up again because it appears that Iraq was not the only time that American cash has disappeared when “aiding” another country with its pro-American policies…..

Ukraine’s oligarch-owned propaganda TV channel Ukraine Today announced to the world a milestone in the fight against corruption. In response to the solicitation of two Verkhovna Rada parliamentarians (members of president Petro Poroshenko’s cabinet), the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) initiated an investigation of the missing two million dollars of U.S. and EU aid that was originally allotted to reform the country’s judiciary.

While two million dollars is chump change in comparison to size and history of Ukrainian corruption, such quick action by the (until now) very shy Ukrainian prosecutors has raised eyebrows in political circles around the world. This is in sharp contrast to 2014, when in one of the biggest heists of aid money anywhere—an estimated two billion dollars in IMF aid for Ukraine—speedily exited the country via PrivatBank, owned by the politically-connected oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Source: The U.S. Is ‘Missing’ Millions in Ukraine | Observer

Granted the cash missing in Ukraine is chump change as compared to the billions lost in Iraq……however the point is that taxpayer money is being thrown down an abyss when it could be made useful in this country.

How long will this type of crap continue?

The Donald Predicts

I see Trump has jumped on the Glen Beck bandwagon and is predicting doom and gloom for the economy…..the difference is that Beck wants you to buy gold from his sponsors and Trump wants you to vote for him.

Donald is saying that we will be sucking if we do not vote for him…..

In a wide-ranging interview this week, Donald Trump said the US economy is headed for disaster—unless, it seems, he takes the reins. He also compared himself to the Lone Ranger and predicted the American people will “be falling asleep” if he becomes president. Among the highlights of his Washington Post interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa:

  • The economy is going into a “very massive recession,” says Trump, despite popular economic forecasts to the contrary. “It’s a terrible time right now” to invest in stocks, he adds. Will his words hurt financial markets? “I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them. I don’t need them.”
  • “I’m pessimistic,” he says about the economy. “Unless changes are made. Changes could be made. I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly.”
  • Trump says he can wipe away $19 trillion in US debt without gouging the nation’s $4 trillion annual budget. “I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on,” he explains. (Barry Bennett, a senior Trump advisor, also says Trump could sell off $16 trillion in government assets—although NBC News notes that the US government values its own assets at just $3.2 trillion.)
  • “I bring rage out,” Trump says of his combative style. “And after it’s all over, [my opponents] end up being my friends. And I see that happening here.” But maybe not his GOP rivals: “I’m not sure they can ever go back to me. I was very rough on Jeb.” He used phrases like “Jeb: Low energy. Little Marco,” Trump recalls. “Names that were devastating.”
  • With his go-it-alone style, is he the Lone Ranger? “I am,” he says. “Because I understand life. And I understand how life works. I’m the Lone Ranger.”
  • “And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won’t even recognize me. You’ll be falling asleep, you’ll be so bored.”

I think he is right….the economy is headed to some treacherous waters but for me it is more the games being played by the financial institutions than who we vote for……

Are we headed for a problem?

What Middle Class? | The American Conservative

Since the end of world War 2 the industrial engine of the US has been on the backs of the middle class…..everyone. politicians that is, wants to embrace the middle class and speaks to them at every outing……but in the last couple of decades this system has been slowly strangling the middle class out of existence……

I am concerned that once the middle class is eliminated then the political elites will take complete control and we know where that will lead…..we are already flirting with a very ugly political ideology……and the path we are on today will lead to the extinction of the middle class once and for all…..

I read this article in the American Conservative and found it an interesting piece with some excellent insights…..check it out and then tell me what you think….

Everyone loves the middle class. Everyone claims to be middle-class—some to put a gloss on their sketchy escutcheons, others to dodge chastisement for their awkward riches.

Source: What Middle Class? | The American Conservative

Is the Middle Class doomed?  Is there hope it can be saved?  If so, then who will save it?

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?