Home » Economy
You are browsing entries tagged with “Economy”
by Geoffery S. Shough
hat tip: GeofferyShough.wordpress.com
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” —Thoreau
For the past century, a general trend has taken shape in America where Americans are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. There was a time in this country when only one member of the average household needed to work in order to support a family, and now it is not uncommon to have both adults in the household working to support their families. To make matters worse, many of the products we buy are declining in quality, and in many cases these same products are becoming more expensive. America has gone from a nation of savers and producers to a nation of debtors and consumers.
There are many explanations behind why this trend is occurring in America, but the most cogent among them is that the Central Bank, called the Federal Reserve (Fed), through its ineptitude in managing monetary policy, produces a hidden tax and causes serious imbalances in the economy with long term and far reaching effects.
By paul craig roberts
There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.
Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.
Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded “anti-American,” “anti-semite” or “conspiracy theorist.”
Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.
Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.
Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.
Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. “Free market economists” are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by “the New Economy,” a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this “new economy” are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.
Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this myth of “the New Economy.”
by Robert P. Murphy
hat tip: Mises Daily
Monday, March 22, 2010
At his popular New York Times blog, Paul Krugman is at it again, offering a very misleading analysis of deficit spending. Without technically lying, Krugman perpetuates the myth that Herbert Hoover insisted on budget austerity in the midst of the Great Depression. Then Krugman interprets a chart with adjectives that show his eyes can only see what his Keynesian theory will allow.
Bad Hoover History
More than a year ago I coined a phrase that seems to have made its way into the econolexicon; writing about how cutbacks at the state and local level would tend to undermine fiscal stimulus at the federal level, I said that we had fifty Herbert Hoovers.
But I was wrong. Via Mark Thoma, we have at least fifty-one — because we have to add David Broder to the list.
Before I get there, let’s note that fears about fiscal drag at the state and local level have, in fact, proved justified. Aizenman and Pasricha have a fairly definitive analysis; you can get the quick and dirty version just by looking at government purchases of goods and services…
Krugman then produces a chart (which we’ll get to in a moment) showing that federal spending has risen while state and local government spending has fallen. He concludes,
And David Broder thinks this is a good thing, that Washington should be more like the states.
Ron Paul: Health Care Bill Could Kill The Dollar
“If you think health care is expensive now–just wait until it’s free.”
P. J. O’Rourke
Universal health care will not be free – it will devastate the economy, warns Ron Paul
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, November 9, 2009 (always ahead of his time)
If the Obama administration keeps its promise in guaranteeing not to raise taxes to pay for universal health care, the only way to cover the costs will be for the Federal Reserve to print even more money out of thin air, a process that will kill the dollar and lead to lower living standards for all Americans, warns Congressman Ron Paul.
In his weekly Texas Straight Talk telephone update, Dr. Paul said that
Saturday night’s passage of the health care bill in Congress will lead to a further devastation of the American economy and the greenback.
By Paul Craig Roberts
In the 20th century, Detroit, Michigan, symbolized American industrial might. Today it symbolizes the off-shored economy.
Detroit’s population has declined by half. A quarter of the city — 35 square miles — is desolate with only a few houses still standing on largely abandoned streets. If the local government can get the money from Washington, urban planners are going to shrink the city and establish rural areas or green zones where neighborhoods used to be.
President Obama and economists provide platitudes about recovery. But how does an economy recover when its economic leaders have spent more than a decade moving high productivity, high value-added middle class jobs offshore along with the Gross Domestic Product associated with them?
Some very discouraging reports have been issued this month from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There have been record declines in both jobs and hours worked. At the end of last year, the U.S. economy had fewer jobs than at the end of 1997, 12 years ago. Hours worked at the end of last year were less than at the end of 1995, 14 years ago.
by Ellen Brown
Hat tip: web of debt
March 18th, 2010
As the states’ credit crisis deepens, four states have initiated bills for state-owned banks, and candidates in seven states have now included that solution in their platforms.
“Hundreds of job-creating projects are still on hold because Michigan businesses and entrepreneurs cannot get bank financing. We can break the credit crunch and beat Wall Street at their own game by keeping our money right here in Michigan and investing it to retool our economy and create jobs.”
–Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the Detroit News, May 9, 2010
Struggling with 14% unemployment, Michigan has been particularly hard hit by the nation’s economic downturn. Virg Bernero, mayor of the state’s capitol and a leading Democratic candidate for governor, proposes that the state relieve its economic ills by opening a state-owned bank. He says the bank could protect consumers by making low-interest loans to those most in need, including students and small businesses; and could help community banks by buying mortgages off their books and working with them to fund development projects.
Bernero joins a growing list of candidates proposing this sensible solution to their states’ fiscal ills. Local economies have collapsed because of the Wall Street credit freeze. To reinvigorate local business, Main Street needs a heavy infusion of credit; and publicly-owned banks could fill that need.
by D.W. MacKenzie
Hat tip: Mises Daily
Friday, March 12, 2010
There have been many complaints recently about the way Washington works — or rather its recent failures to efficiently implement Obama’s policy priorities.
Paul Krugman compares the present state of American politics to the gridlock that afflicted 17th-century Poland. Use of the Liberum Veto froze the Polish parliament (the Sejm). Now senators are holding up new legislation in America. Many others have added complaints about special-interest groups and an alleged need for public financing of elections.
Evan Bayh cites partisanship and gridlock as reasons for his departure from the Senate. Bayh claims that it was easier to serve the public “in the old days.” Generally speaking, there is a feeling among many that the legislative process can and ought to work better, and that elected officials can and should do a better job of serving the public.
While critics of the status quo in Washington are no doubt sincere, there are good reasons to see their views as naïve. Ideology does influence the way many senators vote. According to one study, voter preferences are a minor influence on how senators vote, except for senators who face strong opponents in upcoming elections. In highly competitive politics, politicians must ignore more ideological and extreme viewpoints in favor of the centrist positions that Bayh favored. It is, however, quite normal to lack competition in a two-party system. There is a lack of competition in many areas of American politics, but this is normal.
by Staff (of Daily Bell) Report
hat tip: Daily Bell
Monday, March 15, 2010
China has succumbed to hubris. It has mistaken the soft diplomacy of Barack Obama for weakness, mistaken the US credit crisis for decline, and mistaken its own mercantilist bubble for ascendancy. There are echoes of Anglo-German spats before the First World War, when Wilhelmine Berlin so badly misjudged the strategic balance of power and over-played its hand. Within a month the US Treasury must rule whether China is a “currency manipulator”, triggering sanctions under US law. This has been finessed before, but we are in a new world now with America’s U6 unemployment at 16.8%. “It’s going to be really hard for them yet again to fudge on the obvious fact that China is manipulating. Without a credible threat, we’re not going to get anywhere,” said Paul Krugman (pictured left), this year’s Nobel economist. China’s premier Wen Jiabao is defiant. … “Some say China has got more arrogant and tough. Some put forward the theory of China’s so-called triumphalism’. My conscience is untainted despite slanders from outside,” he said. Days earlier the State Council accusing America of serial villainy. “In the US, civil and political rights of citizens are severely restricted and violated by the government. Workers’ rights are seriously violated,” it said. “The US with its strong military power has pursued hegemony in the world, trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and trespassing their human rights,” it said. “At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the U.S. subprime crisis-induced global financial crisis, the U.S. government revels in accusing other countries.” And so forth. Is the Politiburo smoking weed? – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: The Chinese are acting uppity. Too bad for them.
Free-Market Analysis: So China and the West are headed for a protectionist spat over an under-performing yuan? We have some difficulty believing this. China and America in particular have a 21st century symbiotic relationship, though the hostile posturing may be helpful to the political classes. In fact, the rhetoric has apparently been kicked up a notch, according to the Telegraph, as follows: “Beijing [has shown a] willingness to up the ante. It has vowed sanctions against any US firm that takes part in a $6.4bn weapons contract for Taiwan, a threat to ban Boeing from China and a new level of escalation in the Taiwan dispute.”
by Prof. James Petras
Hat tip: Global Research, March 8, 2010
The Obama Administration has heightened tensions with China through a series of measures which can only be characterized as major provocations designed to undermine relations between the two countries. These provocations include political support for separatist movements, such as the US-funded theocratic-monk led Tibetan secessionists and the Washington-based Uyghur secessionists, as well as through the $6.4 billion-dollar advanced arms sales to Taiwan, a virtual protectorate of the US Navy. President Obama has publicly met with and openly backed these separatist and secessionists groups, flaunting Washington’s refusal to recognize China’s existing borders. This is part of the US strategy of encouraging the physical break-up of independent nations, which are viewed as ‘obstacles’ to its program of global military empire building.
In addition to continuing and escalating the hostile policies of his predecessor, the Obama Administration has exploited several other issues in order to rally American public opinion and mobilize overseas allies behind its confrontational posture. First, the Obama Administration claims that China’s currency (the Renminbi) is artificially undervalued to give Chinese exports an unfair price advantage, thus undercutting US manufacturing exports and costing “millions of American jobs”. And secondly, the Administration claims that, after the US had opened its domestic manufacturing market to Chinese firms, the Chinese would not ‘reciprocate’ and open their financial sectors to Wall Street investment banks.
In retaliation for growing Chinese exports, Washington has raised protective tariffs on steel pipes and automobile tires, and issued Congressional threats of further protectionist measures.