Why Use Money?

First let me say that this post is my friend gigoid….we have had a couple conversations about the use of money….

Have you noticed that use of money is on the outs?

People use credit cards, their tablet or their phone for their transactions……there was even a movement that would do away with cash altogether…..I think it originated in the UK (nor positive)…..

The subject got me to thinking about the use of money……why and when did we start this tradition of using money?

And you guys know me…..I feel that I have to give you a historic perspective to help clear it all up…..

Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of human beings using cash currency does go back a long time — 40,000 years.

Scientists have tracked exchange and trade through the archaeological record, starting in Upper Paleolithic when groups of hunters traded for the best flint weapons and other tools. First, people bartered, making direct deals between two parties of desirable objects.

Source: When — and why — did people first start using money? – Salon.com

So is cash a thing of the past?

Whatcha think?

The American Dual Economy

For decades there has been a growing inequality here in the US…..the old saying….”the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”…..is not just a cute slogan but a grown situation….

There has been some good research on this phenom…….

I describe the American economy in the twenty-first century as a dual economy in the spirit of W. Arthur Lewis. Similar to the subsistence and capitalist economies characterized by Lewis, I distinguish a low-wage sector and a FTE (Finance, Technology, and Electronics) sector. The transition from the low-wage to the FTE sector is through education, which is becoming increasingly difficult for members of the low-wage sector because the FTE sector has largely abandoned the American tradition of quality public schools and universities. Policy debates about public education and other policies that serve the low-wage sector often characterize members of the low-wage sector as black even though the low-wage sector is largely white. This model of a modern dual economy explains difficulties in many current policy debates, including education, healthcare, criminal justice, infrastructure and household debts.

If you would like to see where this research has gone then open the pdf and read the rest of the study…..

Source: Microsoft Word – Temin paper final.docx – delivery.php

More on the author of this paper……

In the America of haves and have-nots, fewer folks are “movin’ on up” like George Jefferson of the classic sitcom. In a new paper for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Peter Temin, MIT economist and economic historian, breaks down how it happened and where we’re headed with a powerful model first used by West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Dual economies are common in less developed countries, but Temin argues that America has now diverged into a top thirty percent, where children receive excellent educations and grow up to work in sectors like finance, technology and electronics industries (FTE)— and then there’s the rest, the low-wage folks who live paycheck to paycheck and whose kids have little hope of joining the lucky ones at the top. Temin explains what drives the dual economy, what race has to do with it, how children are hurt, and why our political system can’t seem to fix anything. *This post originally appeared on the blog for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Source: There are two Americas entirely: How the U.S. became a “dual economy” — and what can be done to reverse it – Salon.com

Read the research and then tell me what you think needs to be done to find an equilibrium…..

My thought is that the “People’s Budget” would be that equilibrium…..as long as we will have yet another budget debate then why not look for a better answer to the growing problems of this country?

Source: FINAL FY16 Peoples Budget.pdf

I am sure there will those that dismiss this out of hand simply because in comes from progressives….that is moronic…..if it helps the people of this country it is worth a look and a debate…..

 

It Is Financial Colonialism

The big deal for the last 25 years, probably longer, is that phenom called globalization.  Most think it is some sort of financial benefit for those with all the cash…..and there are those that think it is a bane on mankind.

But really….what is it?

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.

But policy and technological developments of the past few decades have spurred increases in cross-border trade, investment, and migration so large that many observers believe the world has entered a qualitatively new phase in its economic development. Since 1950, for example, the volume of world trade has increased by 20 times, and from just 1997 to 1999 flows of foreign investment nearly doubled, from $468 billion to $827 billion. Distinguishing this current wave of globalization from earlier ones, author Thomas Friedman has said that today globalization is “farther, faster, cheaper, and deeper.”

This current wave of globalization has been driven by policies that have opened economies domestically and internationally. In the years since the Second World War, and especially during the past two decades, many governments have adopted free-market economic systems, vastly increasing their own productive potential and creating myriad new opportunities for international trade and investment. Governments also have negotiated dramatic reductions in barriers to commerce and have established international agreements to promote trade in goods, services, and investment. Taking advantage of new opportunities in foreign markets, corporations have built foreign factories and established production and marketing arrangements with foreign partners. A defining feature of globalization, therefore, is an international industrial and financial business structure.

Okay that hurt!

All that definition is just so much BS……in reality it is a financial colonialism.

About here it is perfectly fine to scratch your head and utter a ….HUH?

This is an interview with the author of a new book…….

The “have” nations increase profits for their corporations at the expense of grievously underpaid workers in developed nations. The developed nations call this globalization, John Smith argues in his book Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis. In this interview with Truthout, Smith discusses his contention that globalization is just neocolonialism by another name.

Source: Globalization Is Just a Contemporary Word for Financial Colonialism

An interesting concept and makes sense if one takes the time to actually read the interview…

The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers

Every election has its diatribes about all those sneaky immigrants and as usual this one is no exception……..but this time the debate seems to be more “nasty” for lack of a better word.

The promise of one of our 2016 elections has promised to “rid” the country of all those “illegals” and the off-spring……a great applause line and possible vote generator….but is it realistic?

Is that a wise promise to try and keep?  Economically, that is?

The United States as a whole, as well as each state, stands to suffer widespread economic losses under a policy that removes unauthorized immigrants.

In every state and in every industry across the United States, immigrants—authorized and unauthorized—are contributing to the U.S. economy. Immigrant labor and entrepreneurship are believed to be powerful forces of economic revitalization for communities struggling with population decline. Estimates suggest that the total number of unauthorized immigrants currently residing in the United States is approximately 11.3 million, or about 3.5 percent of the total 2015 resident population of 324.4 million. Of those 11.3 million, we estimate that 7 million are workers. What is the economic contribution of these unauthorized workers? What would the nation stand to lose in terms of production and income if these workers were removed and returned to their home countries?

The main findings of this report are as follows:

Source: The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers | Center for American Progress

If this study is accurate……just how will this loss be offset?

Or is that a plan that is secret until after the election?

The Real American Addiction

To close out my posting day I would like to re-visit posts from the past…..

I have written about our addictions in the past….our addiction to drugs or the addiction to war…..but our real addiction is……. consumerism….

Whatchu talking about professor?

You Are An ADDICT!

Let me refresh your memory if I may…..these are from past posts here on IST….

For those who think this will be a diatribe on the value of Marx’s statement on religion….you would be mistaken.  While I appreciate a lot of the work of Karl Marx I will disagree with …

Source: The Real “Opiate Of The Masses” – In Saner Thought

Or a later post……

We all are addicted to something…..drugs, cigs, sex, whiskey and so on……but we Americans have an addiction to……consumerism.  A couple of years ago I wrote a piece enti…

Source: The Power Of Addiction – In Saner Thought

About here you are starting to wonder just why I bring this past posts up, right?

The iPhone7…..is the answer.

Apple has released the new version of its popular iPhone series…..

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus today. The new iPhone features a design that’s very similar to last year’s iPhone 6S (and the year prior’s iPhone 6), with a rounded aluminum body. But what’s entirely new is the phone’s water resistance, which means you can get the iPhone 7 or the larger iPhone 7 Plus wet without worry. Also new is the long-rumored dual camera system, stereo speakers, and a darker black color scheme. And, as expected, the iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, rendering countless 3.5mm headphones useless with the device (or requiring the use of an adapter).

The new phone may look very similar to last year’s models, but instead of the matte metal finish we’ve become used to, it has a glossy, mirrored design. The new color is called jet black and is much darker and richer than the space black of years past. Apple is also releasing a standard black model, along with gold, silver, and rose gold.

People will stand in line to acquire this new gizmo….even if there is NOTHING technologically new with it…..

It is a sickness…….And that my friends is an addiction!

Consumerism….the Real Opiate of The Masses!

Income Inequality Will Get Worse

The Dems and their candidates have all jumped on the income inequality thing….they have set about outlining so many different programs that will eliminate this growing problem if they are elected……to that I has Bullsh*t!

Why would I say that?

They are lying…..they are promising something they cannot deliver….all to get a vote and to go to the Big House of government…….

It will get worse before it gets better…if it ever does……

We’ve all heard about rising income inequality, and for good reason: It’s a huge problem. Just consider the fact that the wealthiest 1% of Americans accounted for roughly 21.2% of all earnings in 2012, compared to just 8.9% in 1973, according to UC Berkeley’s Center for Equitable Growth.

But far less obvious is the eventuality that things will get much worse before they get better. Don’t believe it? Here are a couple of specific reasons why we’re in for more darkness before dawn, plus some ideas on how we can fix the underlying problems.

Source: Why Income Inequality Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better | Alternet

Who Gives A Crap About “Brexit”?

Most Americans have NO idea what the term “Brexit” means….to most it is a reality show with some pasty face hillybilly with an eating disorder…..it is the movement for Britain to leave the EU…..simple huh?

In Britain these days, it’s all about “Leave” vs. “Remain.” Those are the two choices voters will have in a June 23 referendum on whether the UK should exit the European Union—or Brexit, as it’s known in shorthand. Some coverage:

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid just came out in favor of leaving the EU, and it urges readers to vote for Brexit here.

A political professor now puts the odds of leaving at 33%, up from 25% less than a month ago. Bloomberg assesses.

Along those lines, a major bookmaker predicts the Leave camp will become the majority by this weekend, per Business Insider.

Yes, the Leave camp has momentum, but the Financial Times explains why it’s not time for David Cameron and the rest of the Remain backers to panic.

The Telegraph looks at six factors, including the often-overlooked group of voters in Northern Ireland, most of whom seem to want to stay in the EU.

Still, US markets are starting to get worried about the ramifications of a Leave vote winning, reports CNNMoney. Global markets, too, notes the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times covers the broad strokes of the opposing sides’ views in a basic primer here.

Another Times story looks at the huge ramifications for foreign workers in Britain if Brexit prevails.

This movement could push other countries to beat feet from the EU…..

The U.K. may not be the only one mulling its future in the European Union (EU). In fact, the fierce debates and headline-grabbing warnings surrounding the Brexit vote in June have given hope to euroskeptics around Europe.

Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland could face their own referendums on EU membership if the U.K. votes to leave, experts believe.

“The main concern is that an unexpected exit of the U.K. from the EU could lead to similar initiatives in other member states, making Brexit the first step towards the disintegration of the union,” Antonio Barroso, senior vice-president of political risk consultancy, Teneo Intelligence, said in a report this week.

(CNBC)

If the EU starts breaking up it would effect everyone…thanx mainly to globalization….and that includes the US…..

The countries with the highest exposure to British capital will suffer most. These countries are the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece. France and Poland are also exposed to Brexit in specific areas. Germany will suffer too. Poland, in particular, is most exposed through migration and the EU budget.

Just to give some facts: Dutch firms have direct investments worth £180 billion in the UK, earning over £9billion in 2013, which is equivalent to 1.5% of Dutch GDP. Germany has a trade surplus with the UK of over £28 billion. German manufacturers alone export £50 billion to the UK, or 2.4% of GDP. Just imagine what is going to happen to German industry if a new Britain, outside the EU, pursues an import-substitution, protectionist policy. This means that all Japanese and German producers will have to abandon their British factories, with Britain re-building its own car industry and steadily adopting a new industrial policy, moving away from financialisation/globalisation.

A new industrial society will be created and services will cease to be the backbone of the economy.  There are almost 750,000 Poles living in the UK. This is the single biggest group of foreign nationals. Their remittances sent back to Poland amount to over £1.1 billion each year. This is a significant boost for the Polish economy.

So the question is….who will benefit from the exit from the EU?

Will “Brexit” become a rolling stone and take the whole of the EU with it on the way out of the door?