What Has This Nation Become?

It is NO secret that since the election of Trump as the leader of the Free World I feel that the US is going backward not forward…..as a Progressive (read Leftist not Democrat) I see trouble ahead economically….yeah I know things are just ducky right now but that is right now……what about the future…..remember that time when we say we are doing all this idiotic stuff for……

I have been writing about the disappearance of the Middle Class that NO one wants to admit……but now aMIT economist has also seen this slide and written about it (maybe the world will listen to him)……

America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned. 

Peter Temin says the world’s’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe. 

In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-developing-nation-regressing-economy-poverty-donald-trump-mit-economist-peter-temin-a7694726.html

I wish I could lay all the blame on Trump but that would be disingenuous….the truth is every president since Ronald Reagan has made the slide worse with policies that favor the uber-rich and ignored the plight of the working stiff.

The long the problem is ignored the more that our beloved nation looks more and more like some developing Third World nation……

Is that what you want?

Time to learn some basic economics before you vote…..

Modern Monetary Theory is having a moment.

The theory, in brief, argues that countries that issue their own currencies can never “run out of money” the way people or businesses can. But what was once an obscure “heterodox” branch of economics has now become a major topic of debate among Democrats and economists with astonishing speed.

For that, we can thank Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who told Business Insider in January that MMT “absolutely” needs to be “a larger part of our conversation.” That was the most vocal mainstream support MMT had gotten, which for years had been championed by economists like Stephanie Kelton (a former adviser to Bernie Sanders), L. Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell (who coined the name Modern Monetary Theory), and Warren Mosler — as well as a growing number of economists at Wall Street institutions

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/16/18251646/modern-monetary-theory-new-moment-explained

This will be for those too damn lazy to read……

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Yang2020?

WHO?

The Dem field is so large now, 17 waiting for 18 candidates (or is it 19), that it is damn near impossible for all of them to get the exposure they need to mount a successful campaign.

Look at Tulsi Gabbard….the MSM does not like her because she calls out the owners of the networks, the big M-IC corporations and she is antiwar so her coverage is lacking.

Another announced candidate is Andrew Yang……(pause here for head scratching and a quick search from the Google machine)…..let him speak for himself……

I’m Andrew Yang, and I’m running for President as a Democrat in 2020 because I fear for the future of our country. New technologies – robots, software, artificial intelligence – have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eliminate millions more. A third of all American workers are at risk of permanent unemployment. And this time, the jobs will not come back.

I’m not a career politician—I’m an entrepreneur who understands the economy. It’s clear to me, and to many of the nation’s best job creators, that we need to make an unprecedented change, and we need to make it now. But the establishment isn’t willing to take the necessary bold steps. As president, my first priority will be to implement Universal Basic Income for every American adult over the age of 18: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation. UBI is just the beginning. A crisis is underway—we have to work together to stop it, or risk losing the heart of our country. The stakes have never been higher.

His draw will be 3 fold…..universal basic income, Medicare For All and human centered capitalism…. (read his policies for yourself)

https://www.yang2020.com/policies/

So unique takes on the state of our society and the income inequality that is growing yearly.

I will agree that he does have an extensive policy board but he is silent on foreign policy and that is where I make my decision….so right now he is not one I could support……but I do like many of his economic policies….at least he has a complete set of policies….no need for him to waffle and duck questions.

Read about this candidate and if you like him then support his chance to build a better America than we have now.

Help spread the word if he is the candidate for you.

Modern Monetary Policy

Yep I am about to bore the crap out of my reader…..when it comes to economics the average person glazes over and goes to that “happy place” in the mind until the talk is finished.

But I feel I need to drop some info on my readers……there has been much in the MSM about the Green New Deal and the proposals by a couple of candidates about taxing the rich……

I want to give my reader a look into the policies and the economics of them…..

First the call to “Tax The Rich”……

I don’t consider myself an MMTer, but there is a basic Keynesian concept which has been associated with MMT, which is both true and important. For the federal government, taxes are not about raising revenue, taxes are about reducing consumption to prevent inflation.

The point is that the federal government does not need taxes for revenue, since it can just print money. It instead taxes to create the room in the economy for government spending. This view is sometimes wrongly taken as a “get of jail free” card, where the government can spend whatever it wants without worrying about raising revenue.

That could be true in a deep downturn. However, if the economy is near its full employment level of output, where additional demand will lead to rising inflation, we are pretty much back in the world where we need taxes to offset spending. Any major increase in government spending will lead to higher inflation, unless we have higher taxes or have some other mechanism to reduce demand in the economy.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/20/modern-monetary-theory-and-taxing-the-rich/

Next how about that Green New Deal that is getting the conservs lathered up to the point that they resurrect a fear from the 1950s……

Much of the Democratic Party, including almost the entire pack of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has embraced the concept of a Green New Deal (GND). This is an ambitious plan for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time creating good-paying jobs, improving education, and reducing inequality.

At this point, the specific policies entailed by these ambitious goals are largely up for grabs, as is the question of how to pay for this agenda. One way of paying for it, borrowing from the economic doctrine know as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), is that we don’t have to.

Modern Monetary Theory argues that a government that prints its own currency is not constrained in its spending by its tax revenue. Some on the left have argued that we can just print whatever money we need to finance a GND. This claim does not make sense.

 
All this is possible…it will NEVER fly with conservs who live and die on tax cuts……a real shame….for this countries needs big ideas once again…..the Repubs are NOT those people.

How Did The Rich Get Richer?

Closing Thought–20Mar19

If you are social media or watch any main stream media then you have heard all about how the rich got richer…..especially after Trump’s tax cuts…..

May I see a show of hands…..do you know just how did the rich get richer?

Okay would you like to know? Of course you would…it may be one of those issues that helps you who to vote for in 2020….

I could bore the crap out of you with all this monetary policy claptrap or I could turn you on to the cartoons below that make this all so much simpler…….

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

It’s grounded in 50 years of reality.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

Don’t just bitch about stuff……

Learn Stuff!

Another Tulip Craze

Tulip craze?

Bitcoin is going through the roof and there may be a historic event that it mirrors……

Tulip Mania, also called Tulip Craze, Dutch Tulpenwindhandel, a speculative frenzy in 17th-century Holland over the sale of tulip bulbs. Tulips were introduced into Europe from Turkey shortly after 1550, and the delicately formed, vividly coloured flowers became a popular if costly item. The demand for differently coloured varieties of tulips soon exceeded the supply, and prices for individual bulbs of rare types began to rise to unwarranted heights in northern Europe. By about 1610 a single bulb of a new variety was acceptable as dowry for a bride, and a flourishing brewery in France was exchanged for one bulb of the variety Tulipe Brasserie. The craze reached its height in Holland during 1633–37. Before 1633 Holland’s tulip trade had been restricted to professional growers and experts, but the steadily rising prices tempted many ordinary middle-class and poor families to speculate in the tulip market. Homes, estates, and industries were mortgaged so that bulbs could be bought for resale at higher prices. Sales and resales were made many times over without the bulbs ever leaving the ground, and rare varieties of bulbs sold for the equivalent of hundreds of dollars each. The crash came early in 1637, when doubts arose as to whether prices would continue to increase. Almost overnight the price structure for tulips collapsed, sweeping away fortunes and leaving behind financial ruin for many ordinary Dutch families.

(britannica.com)

Bitcoin started at a low price and just recently went over $1000…..is this possibly a Tulip Craze again?

Over the festive season, the conversation in my household inevitably turned to the phenomenal rise — and fall — in the US dollar price (exchange rate) for Bitcoin during December (Figure 1). The roller-coaster ride of the blockchain-based currency has been front-page news for the mainstream media, where it has been both likened to and disassociated from the boom-and-bust of the infamous 1637 Dutch tulip craze.

http://www.aei.org/publication/is-bitcoin-the-tulip-craze-of-the-21st-century-or-something-else/

Will history repeat itself?  Will this situation be a bubble that burst and sends the economy into a tail spin?

It seems the “Oracle of Omaha” (?)…..sees it as a bubble also…..

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Wednesday that he would never invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and predicted the wildly popular assets are in for a fall.

“I can say almost with certainty that cryptocurrencies will come to a bad end,” Buffett told CNBC in an interview.

Buffett’s comments were backed by Charlie Munger, his longtime partner at his investment company Berkshire Hathaway, who described the soaring values of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies as “bubbles”. Munger said investors “are excited because things are going up at the moment and it sounds vaguely modern. But I’m not excited.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/10/bitcoin-and-cryptocurrencies-will-come-to-a-bad-end-says-warren-buffett

If it does find the bottom and people will lose big…… I am sure that it will be Obama’s fault or maybe Clinton’s also….

How Long Will We Use Cash?

I recently wrote a post talking about our use of money….a sort of historic perspective…..

Source: Why Use Money? – In Saner Thought

Then I went on to talk about how it seems that there is a movement to replace cash with a plastic card of sorts…..the first I heard of it awhile back when Great Britain was replacing some of the their paper money…..

The prospect of living in a cashless society has grown steadily for decades but it might have now reached tipping point, after cards became Britain’s number one payment method for the first time.

According to data released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Wednesday (12 July), cards now account for over 50% of payments processed in the UK for the first time. The landmark achievement was largely driven by a boom in contactless payments, which now account for approximately a third of all payments, compared with 10% in October 2015.

The so-called “tap and go” cards were introduced a decade ago in the UK and after a somewhat unimpressive start they appear to have finally won over British shoppers. An increase in the number of stores accepting “tap and go” payments has also contributed to the sharp rise in popularity of contactless cards.

Source: Beginning of the end for cash? Cards now UK’s preferred payment method

When I first read about this I thought that it was an interesting experiment…but how far would it really go?

I had to ask, huh?

Looks like the IMF (I never thought the IMF was all that important) has a program in place……

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington has published a Working Paper on “de-cashing”. It gives advice to governments who want to abolish cash against the will of their citizenry. Move slowly, starting with seemingly harmless measures, is part of that advice.

In “The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing”, IMF-Analyst Alexei Kireyev recommends in his conclusions:

Source: IMF Tells Governments How to Subvert Public Resistance Against Elimination of Cash – Rigged Game

If this attempt is successful then you will be at the mercy of the government…..I do not like that feeling…..I like the feel of CASH!

Any thoughts?

Will That Be Cash Or Charge?

My regular readers know that I have a tendency to find stuff that just pisses me off….and to the point that I must rant…..and I found an absurd report…..

Until recently, I had always paid cash for just about everything I bought…you know computers, groceries, everything…..but all that changed after I was badly hurt after Hurricane Katrina….I was forced to retire with a disability and had to have my check direct deposited…..I have NEVER been one to use a lot of credit cards….I guess I am from the old school of economic thought…..if I wanted something I bought it when I had the money to cover the cost….I still pay cash but it is in the form of a debit card and not a pocket full of greenbacks…..

I had a rude awakening when I went for pain management…..they did not take cash!  I had to be insured or NO help……my leg had been crushed and I now have about 70% use of it….I was not insured because NO company will insure a broke person, both physically and monetarily, and I am not old enough for medicare….all of it has been resolved but a recent story I read made me think about the ordeal from the past….

I know we are told by the government that we should be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior….but really?

It seems that cash is still a dirty word and could make you a person of interest to the authorities if you pay in cash…..I know…what the Hell am I talking about?

the White House announced a community-based approachto combating terrorism in the United States, the FBI and other agencies are asking managers of surplus stores to spy on their customers, watching whether they pay in cash, make “extreme” religious statements or purchase products such as waterproof matches.And the request from the government also is going to gun shops, fertilizer suppliers, motels and hotels, authorities say.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced a new plan titled “Empowering local partners to prevent violent extremism in the United States.” In it, Obama wrote, “Communities – especially Muslim American communities whose children, families and neighbors are being targeted for recruitment by al-Qaida – are often best positioned to take the lead because they know their communities best.”

“The best defenses against violent extremist ideologies are well-informed and equipped families, local communities, and local institutions. Their awareness of the threat and willingness to work with one another and government is part of our long history of community-based initiatives and partnerships dealing with a range of public safety challenges,” the report says.

So once again….if you pay cash for stuff you could be deemed a “suspicious” person and subject to an FBI check and harassment…..
Why is cash a dirty word?  Could it be because few make any profit off the transaction?  There is NO service charge for using cash….at least for now!