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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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There Are Alternatives to Free Market Capitalism [http://www.mkeever.com/taa.html]

Specific Country Economic Policy Analyses - More Than 50 Countries from Argentina to Yemen [http://www.mkeever.com]




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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crystal Balling 2012

Hey Barry:

It's a natural time to look ahead to see what's on the horizon for 2012.

EUROPE AND THE WORLD

First, there's a high probability of another recession in Europe.

The European debt situation seems to be beyond the capacity of the EU to solve without severe social consequences, regardless of statements to the contrary. Most European economists predict a deeper recession in 2012. Read it here: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2080188/Economists-estimate-30-40-chance-break-euro-2012.html

Additionally, a recession there has the potential to break up the Eurozone. Previous experience has demonstrated that such currency breakdowns have negative consequences. You can read Professor Jayanth R. Varma's comments on several histories here: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/~jrvarma/blog/index.cgi/Y2011/currency-breakups.html

In the European situation, standard Keynesian policy calls for national government macro intervention to prevent extreme social misery and unrest.

But, the Euro governments appear to be in thrall to bankers; they are installing austerity measures and raising taxes at a time of recession.

Such a course will probably lead to deepening social malaise; it also increases the likelihood of an Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street movement growing larger and perhaps becoming more violent. Consider the current situations in Syria and Yemen; this may emigrate to Greece.

A broader theme for 2012 is that our worldwide political system appears to be incapable of managing a strong economic crisis. This may be due to the influence of monied interests on the various legislatures.

Part of the cause of our current malaise has been that credit has been so readily available and so cheap that the market system has been distorted. Governments and consumers have come to rely on low interest and readily available capital. Now that GDP growth is slowing down, the accumulated debt is becoming onerous for governments and consumers.

Thus we have a worldwide imbalance where there is too little aggregate demand and too much aggregate supply. It is worthwhile to consider policies which will increase demand and reduce income and wealth disparities. Continuing our current policy of rigid adherence to today's political system in Europe and the USA will only serve to make our governments more vulnerable to an ultimate break up. A better strategy will be to install more flexible policies which address the imbalances we see today. I have proposed just such a policy constellation and it is available here: http://www.mkeever.com/owsplaneleven.doc

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A European recession carries the risk of a US recession. Current history shows that the developed countries are intertwined economically - what happens there comes here. This is despite the fact that United States fiscal and monetary policies appear to be ameliorating our recession.

Our FED has been contributing massively to this problem by continuing its quantitative easing and zero bound interest rate policies. At the same time, wages of working people are shrinking while capital formation is increasing.

An example of our inability to address the problem is the recent NDAA where Congress gave our military the right to detain United States citizens without our Constitutional protections. That was precisely the wrong thing to do. Another example is our government deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.

Concerning US elections, it is this observer's opinion that the US electorate is looking for some solutions to the problems outlined above. The Republicans have proven that they are incapable of understanding the situation, much less actually solving the problems. The electorate is looking for candidates who demonstrate they can lead us to a better future.

It is an opportunity for Democrats and for you, Barry Obama. But, at this time I believe the electorate has not seen an adequate response from either the Democratic Party or the President's campaign. The hope is that such a response will be forthcoming in the national campaigns.

Happy New Year!

Your pal,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Economic Policy Analyses Published Today

The Mckeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis [MIEPA] is pleased to announce the publication on its website [www.mkeever.com] of 22 separate economic analyses of ten individual countries.

Each economic policy analysis is conducted by a native of the country studied in order to ensure as much accuracy as possible. The studies are designed to illuminate those policies which affect economic growth and job creation. Both English language and native language sources are utilized. Each analysis is directly supervised by Mike P. McKeever who has supervised more than 200 previous analyses, although the conclusions and analyses are the work and responsibility of each individual author.

The countries analyzed are listed below in alphabetical order together with the name of each author and a link to the specific country study:

LIST OF ECONOMIC POLICY ANALYSES PUBLISHED DECEMBER 27, 2011 BY MIEPA [www.mkeever.com]:

CHINA, two separate studies by a student who is advised to remain anonymous and Tianyu Ma: http://www.mkeever.com/china.html

FRANCE, a study by Guillaume LaFarge: http://www.mkeever.com/france.html

HONG KONG, a study by Po Ting Wong: http://www.mkeever.com/hongkong.html

GEORGIA, a study by Ia Inadze: http://www.mkeever.com/georgia.html

NEPAL, a study by Manjil Shrestha: http://www.mkeever.com/nepal.html

PHILIPPINES, two separate studies by Sy Kimberly S. Lato and Elaine J. Linsangan: http://www.mkeever.com/philippines.html

RUSSIA, four separate studies by Irina Khakimova, Kristina Zeltser, Alex Shkurko and Zula Hadaeva: http://www.mkeever.com/russia.html

SWITZERLAND, a study by Sandra Joller: http://www.mkeever.com/switzerland.html

UKRAINE, a study by Margaryta Sysenko: http://www.mkeever.com/ukraine.html

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, eight separate studies by Ruth Torres, Flavia Lake, Nicole Bonifacio, Michael LaLonde, USMC, Ret., Jarrett Moore, Allison Craig, Erinne Grant and Sharon Taporco: http://www.mkeever.com/usa.html

Mike P. McKeever
Founder
McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis [MIEPA]
www.mkeever.com
mckeever.mp@gmail.com

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Barry:

This time of year brings out some melancholy for me along with some joy.

My very close relative is in her last days and it's hard to witness the decay and the pain.

I would hope that all my relatives would support each other, but self centerdness and attorneys rule the day.

The Caliifornia Community College System - the place where hundreds of thousands of people in every conceivable situation try to find a foothold on the American Dream - is rationing classes because the cash is just not there. No more welcome to the USA, now it's just get ready to get some money by transferring to university in two years flat or get out. Tough luck for vocational programs and immigrants. Read it here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/24/MN3U1MD0L6.DTL&tsp=1

Some 50 million Americans are mired in poverty and misery. Some 25 million are unemployed or underemployed.

Some of the rich among us actively work to increase that number while they grow obscenely richer. Our American experiment was founded in hope and respect. I think it was Ben Franklin who replied when asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had given the country, replied: "A republic, if you can keep it".

But, finally we all get it and we are walking the streets and we are really p..o..'d, but very polite. But Barry, we are not going away. We insist on transparent processes and we will not accept corruption and back room deals. The future looks like a better place because of that.

Middle East regimes are tottering because their subjects would rather die than take the conditions. Talk about Hope and Change, that's where it is, Barry.

UPDATE YEMEN 12.28.11

Yemeni crowds are showing us a method by surrounding an agency until the corrupt manager leaves.

Read here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/28/international/i034241S48.DTL

"There's somethin happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear" Barry. [Buffalo Springfield]

You are at the top of the system, but that system WILL change; it will change. I just hope that only a few more people die to make the change.

Keep your eyes and ears open; be prepared.

My parents grew up in the Great Depression. That's the time where many families were torn apart by poverty, violence and despair.

My parents would choose a time or event and decide to be happy, regardless of how they felt or what was happening. For that time and in that place, they enjoyed their life.

Take a moment and enjoy your life. Your kids will grow up and your situation will change. But, life is what happens while you're waiting for the next event.

Listen to Fats Domino sing Jingle Bells and have a glass of champagne with Michele. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKpihFvJpY8

Your pal,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UPDATE: NDAA Signing Statement

Hey Barry:

UPDATE 1.1.12

AP: Congress changes the law under White House pressure. Lawmakers eventually dropped the military custody requirement for U.S. citizens or lawful U.S. residents.

"My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama said in the signing statement. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/01/obama-signs-defense-bill-with-serious-reservations/1

Thanks Barry, it's something.

*******************************

Hanlon's Razor is an eponymous adage that reads: Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. [Wikipedia]

When considering the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 with its suspension of habeus corpus for American citizens, Hanlon's Razor is good to keep in mind.

Was that act written from malice or stupidity? Good question.

Let's start with the idea that it is unconsitutional since it violates the Fourth Amendment, as suggested by Jon Stewart on his Daily Show of December 7, 2011.

Here's the text of the Fourth Amendment: 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'

Well I'll grant you that quoting constitutional law from a TV talk show is kinda weird. But, where is the debate about this act by legal scholars?

Is anyone working on a suit to challenge this law?

What about reducing its impact on Americans?

Mark Udall says this: 'The [bill] .... would also expand the military’s role in domestic law enforcement operations by requiring that the Department of Defense assume responsibility for holding terrorism suspects, even if they are captured within the United States and held by the FBI, CIA or others.'

There is some further disagreement about this in the Senate. Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to 'To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and for other purposes.' Her bill is titled: 'Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011' and was introduced on December 15.

We can hope that something like the Feinstein bill becomes law. Or, we can hope that someone mounts a legal challenge to this bill very soon.

Here's a question: why does the NDAA specify that the military shall hold Americans?

Now I have never held a security clearance which is a great advantage since I have never agreed to refrain from disclosing secret information. It's also a disadvantge since I don't have any secret information.

All I can do is look at situations and hypothecate about possible facts.

And, in this case, that theorizing leads directly into conspiracy theories and paranoid fantasies.

Just because you're paranoid does not mean that nobody is out to get you.

The situation is this: the US military has supported a law which will give it powers to detain and hold United States' citizens whom it suspects of terrorism without any due process or constitutional rights.

I don't think that is a paranoid fantasy - it is a law.

Is the law driven by stupidity or malice?

Both are possible.

Of whom are they afraid?

The persons or person whom they fear must be very powerful; after all, Al Queda and that ilk are already decimated and under constant watch by existing civil law enforcement here and military watch overseas.

So, what has changed that drives this new law?

The only answer is that the Occupy Wall Street folks are now exercising their rights to protest government policies which favor rich people over poor people.

That is the most likely answer - the military is afraid of Americans.

OK, Barry, that is positively depressing.

I would like to be a rabble rouser and rouse some rabble to affect United States policies.

But now, I must fear that the US military will take offense to some action or posting of mine. If they do, then I can be placed in military detention with no due process or notification of family.

And, I'll probably be water boarded.

Let me save you guys some time - I confess, it is all my fault. I did it all. You name it, I did it. Shoot me now.

I am a chicken - you can have anything you want. Except I don't do gay sex, period.

But I will say this: you folks who want this law are cowards and traitors.

You are cowards because you are afraid of Americans and you are traitors because you are destroying the foundations of the USA.

Prove me wrong, Barry, please prove me wrong.


Your pal,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hope, Change

Hey Barry:

Seems that the 60 Minute piece is sticking with me a little, even at 3.00 AM.

So, one of the things you said was that changing the economy will take a long time, maybe even through another President, after your second term.

Now Barry, we love you a lot, but that there thing about change taking a long time is just wrong.

Y'all gonna have to up your game a little bit. Cuz if'n you don't, we is truly cooked.

Here's the thing about changing the economy: it just takes a few well placed laws and policies to start the process.

When FDR finally got off his chair, he put into law a lot of the things we count on today: SEC, FDIC, Glass-Steagall, just to name a few.

It took no time at all to pass the laws, but changing the country's behavior took a long time.

Actually seeing the results is what takes the time Barry, but changing the laws and policies can be done quick. The change you're thinking of happens when folks' behavior is actually changed by enforcing the new laws. That's the thing that takes the time: changing behavior.

In fact, if the new laws are not passed quickly, they probably won't get passed at all. So, your strategy has to be to flood the floor of Congress with ALL your wishes as soon as you have the votes to pass them.

Now, I did actually write a list of the laws that should be adopted and y'all can read them here: http://www.mkeever.com/owsplaneleven.doc

To that list we should add: finish health care so it's completely nationalized with zero for-profit insurance and veto the plan to detain Americans without habeus corpus. Oh, one more thing: Congress has to kill the Citizen's United decision with a law.

As to why the new laws have a short fuse, it's because them greedy big money bastards will scream bloody murder if they think y'all gonna ask them for another cent.

Soon as they hear y'all even thinking about real change, they will call in all the markers they gave to their lap dogs and throw a gigantic hissy fit on the floor of Congress to shut the place down for awhile.

They are willing to kill the country to save their tax breaks.

It's just unspeakable, Barry.

But, it is what it is.

Now, you're gonna go all: 'But I need a Dem majority in both houses to do that and even then, there are some Dems who won't go along with all my laws. I sure as hell won't get any help from any Reps.'

OK, you got me there. You will need a majority in both houses. Yep.

Well, I have Ten Thousand Dollars in borowed cash from Mitt which says that you will have that majority, Barry.

And, here's the Hope and Change part. It'll be the last tango for the Good Ol U S of A.

If you, Barry Obama, don't get off your chair and pass all the laws you can when you have the chance, we are jes cooked.

We may be cooked already, Barry; I'm just hoping we are not finished yet.

Here's the good news in all this, Barry: all the voters in the country will love you to death if you succeed in passing these laws. We all know what the real story is, Barry. We get it. You will be a true hero if you act boldly.

It's up to you.

Merry Christmas.

Your pal,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jailing Big Money Bastards

Hey Barry:

I'm takin issue with a comment you made on 60 minutes the other day.

In response to a question about why the big money bastards who caused all this mess are not in jail, you replied [more or less, may not be an exact quote]: 'Well, it may be a surprise, but most of what they did was not against the law.'

So Barry, here's the deal: we both agree that they are scum and that they harmed the country in a big way.

It don't matter that their harmful actions were technically legal. They need to be watched and charged for anything illegal they do because once a thief, always a thief.

Y'all changin the laws to slow them down next time, and that's the first step.

For the next step, here's what y'all need to do: open an investigation file on each of 'em for everything they do. Don't care if it's a parking ticket. Follow 'em around and prosecute them for everything.

Course that's gonna mean y'all need to hire some more legals.

Go ahead. It will do the country good. We don't have enough legals now to keep track of all the mischief they causin. And, it's just a guess, but chances are you don't have to ask Congress for permission to hire more gumshoes or legals for Eric Holder.

Al Capone went to jail for income tax problems, not for the murders and extortions he did.

We need to make sure these crooks feel the heat.

If they up and leave the country, well, we'll be better off without them.

Time to get tough on the criminals, Barry, forget about splitting hairs on any individual crime.


Your pal,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Osawatomie - Line in the Sand

Hey Barry:

I aint gonna lie.

It was a great speech.

You laid down a line in the sand and dared the big money bastards to do right by the country.

Here's a link to the text:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/07/full-text-barack-obama-speech?intcmp=239

So Barry, now the rubber's got to meet the road.

My bet is that most voters will turn on the Reps and that you'll have a Dem majority in both houses in 2012.

That'll mean that it's just you and the lobbyists and a few crooked folks in Congress fighting over that line.

We need you to hold that line, Barry.

It's for your grandchildren.

Let me know how I can help.

Your pal,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cry For the Greeks, Italians, Spanish and Americans

Hey Barry:

Wanna see what happens when the bankers take over?

Just read below.

It's Greece today, Italy tomorrow and our turn is coming, Barry.

Our turn is coming.

Excerpts from "GREECE IN CHAOS" by, Noëlle Burgi, Le Monde diplomatique, December 2011
http://mondediplo.com/2011/12/03greece


'Salaries are falling (by 35-40% in some sectors) while new taxes are invented, some backdated to the beginning of the calendar year. Net incomes have fallen drastically, in many cases by 50% or more. Since the summer, a solidarity tax (1-2% of annual income) and an energy tax (calculated on the consumption of petrol and natural gas) have been levied. Further novelties include the lowering of the tax threshold from € 5,000 to € 2,000, and a property tax of € 0.5 to € 20 per square metre levied as part of electricity bills, payable in two or three instalments (failure to pay results in power cuts and penalties).

Since the start of November, pensioners and public and private employees cannot anticipate their monthly earnings. Many workers go without pay altogether. The state is reducing its workforce drastically as part of its restructuring programme. Between now and 2015, 120,000 public employees over the age of 53 have been earmarked for “semi-retirement”, the precursor to full mandatory retirement after 33 years of service, during which employees are obliged to stay at home, and only receive 60% of their basic salaries. Once fully retired, many public employees will be reduced to living on very little. A group of ex-railwaymen, aged 50 and above, said they used to earn between € 1,800 and € 2,000 a month, a relatively comfortable salary in Greece. They have now been posted to jobs as museum guards as part of a “voluntary transition” package (2) and their basic monthly income fluctuates between € 1,100 and € 1,300; semi-retirees are restricted to € 600. All are barred from taking on extra paid work to supplement their income — the penalty, immediate loss of revenue, is enforced.

The loss of income is tearing society apart. Bills are not paid, consumption is down, stores are closing and unemployment rising. In May the official unemployment rate was 16.6% (10 points higher than in 2008) and 40% among the young. The actual rate is likely to be much higher. The social, economic and political crisis has shaken the national health service. Hospital and public health care centre budgets have been cut by 40% on average. More patients are admitted to the emergency room, others go to Doctors of the World health centres, and many choose to do without medical care altogether. People report being denied access to crucial medicine. One journalist said her father suffers from Parkinson’s disease: “His medication costs € 500 a month. The pharmacy told us it will stop supplying him, because insurance payments have stopped.”

Physical ailments (notably heart conditions) and mental illnesses are increasing at a worrying rate. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that heightened stress, exacerbated by high debt and prolonged unemployment, is generating “major depressive disorders, disruptions and generalised anxiety” (3), which account for a dramatic rise in suicides. According to unofficial figures discussed in parliament, the suicide rate increased by 25% from 2009 to 2010, with a further rise of 40% in the first half of 2011, compared to last year, according to health ministry sources. Figures published in The Lancet (4) reveal an alarming increase in prostitution, as well as infection rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (5). There are unprecedented numbers of homeless people, and they are no longer limited to alcoholics, drug addicts or the mentally ill. A recent study demonstrates that the middle class, the young and the moderately poor are now more likely to end up on the street (6).'

So, Barry, we in the USA are seeing the beginnings of the Greek style breakdown already.

Run fast for your mothers, the horses are coming........

Your pal,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here Come the Clowns

Hey Barry:

One writer I read occasionally suggests that bloggers like me are performing in a theater.

In his analysis, we create a story arc over numerous postings that provides an online persona - which may or may not reflect our real selves.

Holy Cow! Ya think?

Jeezo peezo.

We are in the middle of an EFFIN TRAIN WRECK here in the good ol U S of A.

But, NOBODY NOTICES THE WRECK AROUND THEM.

I've been putting on a whole bunch of costumes and yelling about the wreck as loud as I can since 2007.

BUT NOBODY'S LISTENING.

Here's the train wreck in Greece, now!: http://mondediplo.com/2011/12/03greece

Crap, wish I was lucky enough to be in a theater with a few folks paying attention.

First costume, put on a political volunteer, Hillary surrogate costume and yell like crazy.

Nobody notices the train wreck.

Then, dress in O'Henry grunge clothes and use bad grammar - same message, same result.

Result: Zip. More wreckage.

Dress up like John Adams with breeches and leggings and pull out the patriotic music.

Result: Nada. More wreck.

Don professor's garb of tweeds and identify specific systemic problems and proffer specific solutions.

Result: Zilch. Bigger wreck.

Haul my cousin's Kingly crown and scepter out of the closet and demand that things change.

Result: Nothing. Continuing wreckage.

The only people paying attention to the wreck are the Occupy people.

But, the wreck is gonna get us all. Soon.

A whole lotta people know about all this wreck, but nobody with any power is changing a damn thing.

I'll keep on yelling, Barry.

Sure hope somebody's out there.

Your pal,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where are we going?

Hey Barry:

The OWS guys have shown us that we are at a tipping point, maybe we're even way beyond the point.

Unless we completely and dramatically overhaul our economic structure, we face a declining future.

And, you know what Barry, I don't think we have the balls to make those changes.

The big money bastards just have too much power and are just too greedy for any real changes to happen.

I'd like to be more optimistic Barry, I really would. But, I just don't see any good news out there.

The changes we need are so drastic, will damage the selfish interests of so many really rich people and our system is so corrupted by money that I'm afraid real changes are dead in the water.

Y'all can see the changes I am talking about here: http://www.mkeever.com/owsplaneleven.doc

So, if we can't make the changes, what's that future look like for the good ol U S of A?

And, yes I know that predicting the future is dicy at best. But, the military does it all the time as contingency plans. Bout time a civvy did it.

There are a few possibilities and Barry, none of them is any good.

Future Number 1: We continue on the present path with a declining middle class and an increasing lower class; that will include expanding the social misery that created the New Deal: homeless, no medical care, elderly begging and dying in the streets, rampant gangs, no safety found in public or private places, etc., etc.

The big money bastards build huge compounds with elaborate security because they are afraid of poor people.

In other words - we become the Third World.

Future Number 2: The OWS guys lose their patience, attract vast numbers of desperately poor people and increase violence. This prompts a militaristic reaction and we degenerate into a Syrian scenario with troops shooting and killing Americans in the streets. The only good news here is that such a reality will be a prelude to a real revolution.

Future Number 3: Superman swoops down and confiscates all the big fortunes and installs the sweeping structural changes we really need.

HAHAHAHAHAHA..............

Future Number 4: The US military loses patience with the social misery and lawlessness and installs a military dictatorship.

I don't think this is likely because our military are mostly professional people who do not also own monopolies in essential services that would be jeopardized by lawlessness. That is the situation in Egypt where the military does not want to lose control.

I'd really like to be more optimistic Barry.

Anyway, Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Your pal,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Banks Con Homeowners

Hey Barry:

Q: What do you call a con job when a banker does it?

A: Dual Tracking.

That's where a bank sends out a counselor to work with a homewoner on a loan modification while at the same time the foreclosure department is selling the house on the courthouse steps.

If you don't believe me, y'all can read about California Attorney General Kamela Harris here: http://www.sfgate.com/columns/bottomline/

My mind don't work that way and I could not dream that up in a million years.

It's just unspeakable.

Where's the pepper spray?

Your pal,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Now, It's Spain

Hey Barry:

This is not a good time.

International bankers depose elected governments in Italy and Greece to impose austerity, the US Super Committee appears unable to make a decision which may collapse US' ability to sell T-Bills and it seems that the European situation faces even another problem: Spain.

Spain may be too big to rescue - AND its government followed the rules.

But, Spaniards borrowed and built houses which drove up its wages. Now the construction boom has collapsed, unemployment has hit 21% and households cannot pay their bills.

It is looking like the only way out is to leave the Eurozone and let the Spanish Central bank bail out the economy. But, the ECB does not want that to happen because it would probably destroy the Eurozone.

read about it here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15734280

Holy cow, Barry, the hits just keep on coming.

Your pal,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Corporate Pledge of Allegiance

Hey Barry:

Robert Reich offers a voluntary corporate pledge of allegiance to the United States.

It's a great idea.

Maybe y'all can push it from your bully pulpit.

Here is the pledge:


The Corporate Pledge of Allegiance to the United States

The (fill in the blank) corporation pledges allegiance to the United States of America. To that end:

We pledge to create more jobs in the United States than we create outside the United States, either directly or in our foreign subsidiaries and subcontractors.

We further pledge that no more than 20 percent of our total labor costs will be outsourced abroad.

If we have to lay off American workers at a time when we're profitable, we will give those workers severance payments equal to their weekly wage times the number of months they've worked for us.

We pledge to keep a lid on executive pay so no executive is paid more than 50 times the median pay of American workers. We define "pay" to include salary, bonuses, health benefits, pension benefits, deferred salary, stock options and every other form of compensation.

We pledge to pay at least 30 percent of money earned in the United States in taxes to the United States. We won't shift our money to offshore tax havens and won't use accounting gimmicks to fake how much we earn.

We pledge not to use our money to influence elections.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/19/INJO1LVD3R.DTL#ixzz1eFqxwXBF

Your pal,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bankers Trump Democracy

Hey Barry:

It's looking like bankers really do run the world. They caused the mess we're in now and their solution is to appoint bankers, 'technocrats', to solve it.

Bankers appoint prime ministers in Italy and Greece because they bought Italian and Greek bonds and don't want to lose 'too' much.

Read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-coates/banker-power-trumping-dem_b_1101305.html

Here's a quote from the article by David Coates, Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies, Wake Forest University, Department of Politics:

'The problem of sovereign debt is currently being compounded by the terms which financial institutions inside and outside the Eurozone are now demanding as proof of the ultimate reliability of the loans they have made/are making. The terms are austerity terms - demands for huge and immediate cuts in public spending of the sort normally only inflicted on third world economies in receipt of an IMF bailout. The casualties of those requirements are not bankers. They are European workers and the European poor. By hitting both, so lowering consumer demand, the terms set as new loan guarantees will inevitably push economy after economy into stagnation/recession, lowering the level of GDP and perversely increasing the debt burden. As Martin Wolf put it, "the Eurozone has decided that the losses of private sector creditors should be socialized and the ultimate burden fall on the taxpayers of deficit countries. The latter will then suffer first a slump and then years of fiscal austerity." How then can we be surprised that Eurozone unemployment is now at record heights - some 15.7 million people were out of work across the zone as a whole in September - and that sane voices, in the European labor movement and beyond, are now arguing strongly for a jobs and growth strategy rather than an austerity one, begging European leaders not to compound a banking crisis with a self-inflicted recession. It is a call that major European political leaders - particularly those in Berlin and Frankfurt - are not yet heeding, to their immediate discredit and to our future discomfort. '

Holy cow, Barry, it's really scary.

Maybe we should burn a few bankers at the stake, just like Philip IV of France did to Jacques de Molay and the Knights Templar in 1314.

What goes around comes around.

Your pal,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

War With Iran Coming

Hey Barry:

One of the former CIA guys - Michael Scheuer - gives a realistic view of our policy in the Middle East.

See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLjZoA3GaVE&feature=player_embedded#!

Bottom line: we'll be there for a long time, but we should try to stop creating more enemies while we're there. Our idea of putting more troops on the Arabian peninsula, even after leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, gives the radicals ammunition to hate America.

That means we need to be more realistic about Israel and about democracy.

Democracy probably will not take over there, despite the Arab Spring. Their histories argue against it in Tunisia, Libya and other places.

And, there's a good chance we will be at war with Iran.

Here's something new about that: 'ISRAEL has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it would warn him of a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, raising fears that it may be planning an attack as early as the next northern summer.' [http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-refuses-to-alert-us-over-iran-attack-20111113-1ndq4.html]

Holy cow, Barry, I hope Scheuer is wrong. Right or wrong, it's a thought provoking discussion from a man who knows his way around.

Hillary has her work cut out.

Your pal,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UPDATE 12.7.11 CORZINE: Hold Bankers Financially Responsible

Hey Barry:

A NYT writer has called for an end to bonuses for bankers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/opinion/end-bonuses-for-bankers.html

It's a good idea but it does not go far enough.

Here's a better idea: Require that bank executives personally guarantee that their decisions won't harm any shareholders or depositers.

I know that we can pursue corporate officers after they are convicted of a crime, but with a direct indemnification, I am pretty sure we can recover money more quickly.

Of course the FDIC already protects depositors, but nobody protects the poor bank shareholders.

Sob.

Itsa little tongue-in-cheek idea, but it has a point.

Here's the point:

The current system gives bankers incentives to create great fortunes by stealing from their depositors and shareholders.

That's just not right.

UPDATE 12.7.11: Y'all can watch Jon Stewart eviscerate Jon Corzine and the whole 'gimme, gimme' culture that is our financial system:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/the-daily-show-addresses-the-walking-debt/?WT.mc_id=MO-PS-E-PS-TXT-DBOOK-ROS-1211-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

So, let's take away that incentive to steal by requiring bankers to pledge their personal assets as performance guarantees.

'Put your money where your mouth is.'

Whattya say Barry, it makes sense don't it?

That way we can sue 'em when they screw up with our money.

Your pal,

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Real Problem With Banks

Hey Barry:

Since I'm always talking trash about bankers, I thought I should explain exactly what the problem is.

So, here's the deal. Way back in the middle ages, bankers set up a system where there are endless opportunities for crooked behavior - money is actually lying around for their taking - and yet we assume and expect them to act like saints and not take anything that is not theirs.

See, the world used to be a scary place back in the 1100's when bankers got started - you had a good chance of being robbed if you carried any cash at all. So, you did the sensible thing and put it in a bank.

And, as long as you were sure you could get it whenever you wanted, you just left it there. You used the banker's receipts for your cash instead of carrying around all the metal.

So there are the bankers with huge vaults filled with cash that is just lying there not doing anything. On top of that, the case can be made that the gold and stuff belongs to the bank anyway. Even further, it is their job to use some of that cash to help the bank make a profit. And on top of all that, they don't have to tell anyone about it except other bankers.

That is just too much for the average human. I don't care how good a person you are, when you find a $100 bill on the sidewalk where no one is watching, you are gonna pick it up and you are gonna keep it.

Nobody even notices that some money is missing until the bank is about to go under.

Y'all can read about Jon Corzine and MF Global here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/11/05/national/w063614D05.DTL

Holy cow! What do you expect?

Well, I expect that some of those bankers will succumb to temptation and TAKE THE MONEY.

It is not rocket science, after all.

If no one is watching and loose money is lying around - some of it is gonna go missing.

Now, I could 'splain the fractional reserve system and its interactions with both the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act and the continuing bank de-regulation philosophy in the good 'ol U S of A - and I could even throw in the FED and its commitment to bail out the banks which get into trouble from stealing too much money.

If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to do all that - just let me know.

Or, you could read Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_reserve_banking

But, the point is this: Bankers are human and some of them are crooks.

If we let them alone, they will steal.

They will steal your money and they will steal my money until our money is gone. Then they will ask the FED for more money.

We have seen it before and we will see it again.

It's just a stupid system.

So, we can't leave them alone. And we gotta change the system.

Duh.

Your pal,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fighting Banks for 700 Years

Hey Barry:

I know it seems like I rag on the banks a lot.

You know what, I do.

And, the thing is that they deserve it, big time.

But, turns out that I am genetically predisposed to criticize banks - if y'all believe that sort of thing.

My ancient ancestor was Philip IV of France. He was the King who took down the Knights Templar. The Knights were the original international bankers.

Y'all can read the basic history here:

http://www.history.com/news/2011/07/26/who-were-the-knights-templar/


And, y'all can read the Templar's point of view here - they really did not like Philip:

http://blog.templarhistory.com/2010/03/philip-iv-1268-1314/

So, Barry, the banks have been fighting governments and people for about 700 years.

Imagine that: This fight began in 1314 AD when Philip condemned Jacques de Molay and burned him at the stake.
And, the fight will be around for some time.

It's bankers against the rest of us. I know which side I'm on Barry. It's the same side as FDR was on - the Glass-Steagall side.

Which side are you on, Barry?

You gotta choose one.

No fence sittin on this fight.

Your pal,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who's Really in the Shadows on Halloween

Hey Barry:

Wanna be really scared?

Wanna have a sleepless night?

Read about the shadow reps plotting to sell out the rest of the country here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/us/politics/outside-groups-eclipsing-gop-as-hub-of-campaigns-next-year.html

Words fail.

Your pal,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Gift from Banks

Hey Barry:

To a large degree the overall wealth of the country is based on clear title to real property. Clear title means you can prove that you own your house.

But, if the legal basis for real estate ownership is unclear, it will be difficult to create ANY new wealth in the economy.

And, if there is no new wealth, then there will be no economic growth.

Further, without economic growth, we will continue the vicious cycle of unemployment and shrinking wealth we see today.

Just another gift from the criminal bankers.

Read it here: www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/10/mers-has-broken-or-diluted-chain-of-title/

So Barry, fix it first, then jail the SOB's.

Your pal,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Take Down the Banks - Pass Glass-Steagall

Hey Barry:

Turns out that banks really do run the world.

See the science here:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

We gotta take them down Barry.

Take them down.

It ain't right that a tiny group of greedy, crooked big money bastards can ruin our lives.

That's why we had that discussion in 1776.

Since then, the same group has moved over here.

Time to take em down, Barry. We don't need them.

Just pass Glass-Steagall, nothing to it.

Your pal,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Leaving Iraq at Last

Hey Barry:

Good news that we are leaving Iraq. We will pray that the Iraqi people can fnd some peace.

Meantime, our State Department will muddle through with billions of dollars of private security to protect our embassies and consulates.

Please ask Hilary to get a better handle on controlling those folks - we've had problems before.

Details here: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/obama-iraq-eternal/#more-60838

Your pal

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gadafi Dead - Now What?

Big congrats Barry

Y'all did it right and Libya's free.

The good ol U S of A is on the right side of history here.

Feels good.

But, we need to look ahead, Barry.

Here's what we gotta do next.

We gotta put on a dark cape of humility and offer the Transitional Council some help and some advice.

Why humility, Barry?

Simple - we caint do doodly at home, so we don't get to mouth off to the Libyans, or anybody else for that matter. We are corrupt, broken and humbled, so we need to speak softly.

We can offer the help they ask for - lock down all the guns, clean up the water, build some schools, rebuild the power, and so on.

As to advice, well, 'bout the only advice they gonna need is the advice I been tryin to give you and the OWS folks on how to restructure our economy.

Here it is: www.mkeever.com/owsplaneleven.doc

Please, please do NOT send in American corps, bankers and Ivy League Econs - they'll just screw it up. Like they did in Russia and Iraq.

Thanks, Barry.

Your pal,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

OWS - Plan Eleven

Hey Barry:

This is for the OWS folks, but y'all can read.

Although I cannot speak for or represent the protests in any capacity, I hereby offer a proposal to restructure our economic system to create more justice in the hope that it will be considered by OWS.

PLAN ELEVEN

There are eleven policies which will create a new and more just society if enacted in the United States.

Enacting any one or two particular policies will improve the situation, but the maximum justice will be achieved when all eleven are adopted.

SPECIFIC POLICIES TO ENACT PLAN ELEVEN

1. Enact laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers. Enacting this policy will require enacting number 5, Withdraw from Free Trade Agreements, at the same time to prevent job loss from companies unable to compete with cheap imports.

2. Hire more Justice Department regulators to prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

3. Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more. The Justice Department has formulas which define monopolies.

4. Make oil, gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone services into Public Utilities and regulate them with a Public Utility Commission.

5. Cancel all Free Trade agreements and replace them with tariffs that protect American jobs and companies.

6. Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want and protects them.

7. Tax away the great fortunes and incomes for they drain resources away from job creation.

8. Restore Glass-Steagall so that commercial, lending banks can NOT buy assets - fix the biggest mistake we have made since 1789.

9. Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible.

10. Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus. We can keep the average annual fiscal deficit around 3% of GDP over time with a little work, but with high unemployment, it is the time to stimulate, not contract.

11. Require that broadcasters provide free access to qualified political parties as a condition of their FCC license.

Respectfully submitted by your supporter. I am happy to expand on any or all of these at your convenience. Email is: mckeever.mp@gmail.com

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Volcker Rule Proposal - Impossible

Hey Barry:

I was looking for ways to improve the proposal to help our country. Given the political system realities we face today, it is my opinion that the Volcker proposal will fail to help the country.

A reasonably careful reading of the Draft proposal provides clear evidence of numerous exceptions, qualifiers, definitions and other obfuscatory statements which may well compromise the Rule's efficacy or, alternatively, provide ample work for litigation attorneys and financial industry lobbyists.

We do not need that.

We need financial industry stability.

The Glass-Steagall act provided that stability for fifty years.

The Volcker rule will not provide stability.

Drop the Volcker rule and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

Please.

Your pal,

Sensible Plan for Bank Failures

Hey Barry:

We know that we will see even more major bank failures very soon, probably as a result of the European situation as a proximate cause, but primarily due to underlying conditions of corruption and greed.

We need a plan of what to do when it happens.

Here is the plan:

1. Fire Timothy Geithner now. He will be unwilling or unable to implement any sensible solutions since his loyalties seem to lie elswehere than what is good for the country.

2. Upon a request for financial assistance from the Treasury or the FED beyond normal requests for short term loans by any bank of any size, or upon clear evidence of insolvency, immediately seize all the bank's assets and properties.

3. Close the bank for ten days.

4. Fire all managers.

5. During that time, liquidate all operations and assets involved in non-lending and non-depositor operations.

6. Ensure that the FDIC makes depositors whole.

7. Immediately begin a criminal investigation of bank management to locate which persons committed crimes or extra poor judgment.

8. Sue any bank manager found guilty of a crime to recover bank assets.

9. Re-open the bank under strict Glass-Steagall rules. Until Glass-Steagall is reimplemented by Congress and aggresively enforced by appropriate authorities, station a federal marshall in the bank to ensure that those rules are followed.

10. Under no circumstances allow the FED or the Treasury to rescue the bank without these changes.

These actions will ensure the stability of the country's money supply and prevent widespread catastrophes.

It is NOT throwing good money after bad.

Time for a change, Barry.

Your pal,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OWS - A New Way

Hey Barry:

Occupy Wall Street taps into all our frustrations about our country - the good ol U S of A.

We are broken.

The old ways don't work.

The new way has been developed by the Occupy Wall Street folks.

It is very different.

It has the potential to change the country.

I hope it does so, Lord knows we need changing.

Here's a report on how it looks from the inside:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_the_elites_are_in_trouble_20111009/

Pay attention to what they're saying Barry.

Your pal,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Volcker Rule Proposal: Problems 1, 2 & 3

Hey Barry:

I see some problems with the Volcker rule proposal.

PROBLEM ONE: CLARIFY STATUS OF 'NONBANK FINANCIAL COMPANIES'

While the proposal 'generally prohibits any banking entity from engaging in proprietary trading or from acquiring or retaining an ownership interest in, sponsoring, or having certain relationships with a hedge fund or private equity fund (“covered fund”), the language that may extend this coverage to 'nonbank financial companies' is unclear.

It should be made clear that all the provisions of the proposed rule apply to all nonbank financial companies as well as any banking entity.

It should also be made clear that any institution which accepts deposits from the public or other institutions and/or lends money to any person or entity is considered a 'banking entity' or 'nonbank financial company' and is subject to the rules.


PROBLEM TWO: Section 13 of the BHC Act.

While 'Section 13 of the BHC Act generally prohibits banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading or from acquiring or retaining any ownership interest in, or sponsoring, a covered fund,' the rule does not specify 'nonbank financial companies'.

This should be amended so that the rule applies to all 'banking entities' and 'nonbank financial companies'.

PROBLEM THREE: EXEMPTIONS

Section 13(d)(1) of the BHC Act includes exemptions from these prohibitions for certain permitted activities, including:

'Trading in certain government obligations;

Underwriting and market making-related activities;

Risk-mitigating hedging activity;

Trading on behalf of customers;

Investments in Small Business Investment Companies (“SBICs”) and public interest investments;

Trading for the general account of insurance companies;

Organizing and offering a covered fund (including limited investments in such funds);

Foreign trading by non-U.S. banking entities; and

Foreign covered fund activities by non-U.S. banking entities.'


All these exemptions should be removed so that the rules apply to all 'banking entities' and 'nonbank financial companies'.


Allowing these exemptions will allow some 'banking entities' and 'nonbank financial companies' to circumvent its provisions and render the rule impotent. Such rendering of the rule will place the entire financial system at risk.

These should be fixed, otherwise the rule will be useless.

Your pal,

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Speak Truth to a Bank

Hey Barry:

Well - we can make comments on the Volcker rule proposal.

My comment is this: It's too weak. Make it stronger.

It was passed as part of Dodd-Frank. I thought it was already adopted; but it seems that it is just now available for comment.

Please go to the site and tell them what you think - a chance to tell the bankers directly and exactly what you think.

Find the site here: http://cdn.americanbanker.com/media/pdfs/093011VolckerRulePreamble_FINAL_DRAFT.pdf

Then follow links to post your comment.

Go for it - don't be shy or pull punches.

The banks got us into this mess and a strong Volcker rule can help prevent another mess.

We can postpone some future crisis if we restore the Glass-Steagall law so that commercial banks can NOT buy assets. Killing this law was the single biggest mistake we have ever made as a country; now commercial banks can now speculate in the stock and commodity markets with free money from the FED. Not only does it create the mega-fortunes we see, but it also kills any effective monetary policy. Monetary policy cannot work when banks have no incentive to make low profit loans and every incentive to gamble. Further, the BMB's keep bribing Congress and regulators so the situation won't change.

The Volcker rule proposal is a weak attempt to address this. Banks will try to water it down.

Don't let them.

Your pal,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Revisiting Bank Regulation

Hey Barry:

One of the biggest problems we face today and one which contributes to unemployment, destroys jobs and generally is bad for the country is the current state of bank regulation.

Bankers caused this mess around the world. So far we have not developed a way to prevent further problems caused by banks. The Dodd-Frank bill is just a start toward effective regulation, but even it has been gutted to impotence by our corrupt legislature.

I will outline the McKeever Method of regulating banks below.

If put in place, our world would be better for all.

You can read a paper I wrote on bank regulation in 2009 here: www.mkeever.com/bank_regulation_usa.doc

Here's a simplistic view of how bank structure would work in a McKeever world:

COMMERCIAL BANKS

Commercial banks can lend money for businesses, houses, commercial property and cars. They may not be the beneficial owner of those assets, I think that is the correct term. They cannot sell stocks, insurance or any other products.

They may own real estate that they occupy only - no investment property.

Commercial banks can receive money from the public for demand deposits, CD's, time deposits and any other instrument backed by the FDIC. They may not receive money from the sale of any asset unless they sell it as result of foreclosure.

Commercial banks will be monitored closely by the FED for good financial structure, management, loan portfolio soundness, etc.

Failing commercial banks, since they possess part of the country's money supply, should be wound down slowly and absorbed where possible, after making depositors whole.

INVESTMENT BANKS

Investment banks can buy shares of stock in any company or any asset they choose. They may not borrow funds from the FED.

Any security or product sold by an investment bank must be approved by the SEC - there are NO black boxes. All is disclosed.

Investment banks can go bankrupt regardless of size.

Of course, making these changes is difficult and politically charged. And, even if all these were implemented tomorrow, they would not solve our current mess, but the changes would help prevent future problems, IMHO.

Your pal,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

99 to 1

Hey Barry:

Wow!

99 to 1.

We're winning!

USA!

USA!

USA Number One!

...............Wait a minute, I'm hearing something.....

Whattya mean the 99 is losing to the one?

That aint even possible.

How can 99 lose to just one?

Measly loner one?

They musta bribed the ref, fixed the rules, poisoned the opposition, changed the field.

They did all that, you say?

They had to.

No way does one beat 99 in any fair fight.

That fight caint be fair, its a dive, a fixed fight.

It aint right, that's all.

So Barry, whattya gonna do in a fixed fight?

Ya gonna fight fair or ya gonna fight dirty?

So, Barry, I guess it really is the one percent that's winning the fight and the rest of us 99ers is losing big time.

It's like Wilt Chamberlin is the one and the rest of us is just little pipsqueak, two pound chihuahuas barking at his heels.

We gotta take down Wilt.

No big thang. He's just a man.

But we gotta think real big.

Caint take down a giant with no piddly baby steps.

Wait a minute, you sayin that right now, today, there's a bunch of 99ers walking around and talking about how they been screwed outa their life by Big Wilt.

Well alrighty then.

Seems we gotta genuine movement here.

Ima thinkin what the 99ers want is a brand new system because the old one is just rotten.

Wow, a whole new system.

Where y'all gonna get that, Barry? Where's that gonna come from?

So, here's how to find that new system, Barry.

Ya gotta tie big Wilt's shoelaces together so he falls down and breaks his nose.

Then, ya gotta come up with a new system that makes the 99ers happy.

And, you know what?

That new system probably gonna look just like the one I already gave you.

You know, the 11 points I gave you last week, for free no less.

So far as of today, the 99ers are real peaceful and just finding their stride.

Now's the time to get big ideas out there, Barry.

Big ideas.

Because the first time some police shoots somebody, then we is in a whole new ballgame.

No rules then, Barry.

No rules.

So, Barry, get big for us.

Get Big.

We rootin for you.

Here's the 11 points Barry:

1. Laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers.

2. More Justice Department regulators to prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

3. Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more.

4. Make oil, gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone services into Public Utilities and regulate them with a Public Utility Commission.

5. Cancel all Free Trade agreements and replace them with tariffs that protect American jobs and companies.

6. Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want and protects them.

7. Tax away the great fortunes and incomes for they drain resources away from job creation.

8. Restore Glass-Stegall so that commercial, lending banks can NOT buy assets - fix the biggest mistake we have made since 1789.

9. Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible. You need a better examination of both programs and a sound proposal that focuses on how to keep each program viable. Simply demanding that the programs be reduced for deficit reduction purposes is unworthy of a leader.

10. Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus. We can keep the average annual fiscal deficit around 3% of GDP over time with a little work, but with high unemployment, it is the time to stimulate, not contract.

11. Require that broadcasters provide free access to qualified political parties as a condition of their FCC license.

Your pal,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Price of Existence: $74,000 Per Year

Hey Barry:

Talking about the middle class.

Now it costs $74,000 per year, or $6,170 per month for BASIC LIVING EXPENSES [Self-Sufficiency Standard], for a family of four in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

There are lots of poor people in the Bay Area, but I never thought of $74,000 per year as POOR.

No restaurant meals, no vacations, no joy - only existing instead of living.

It costs $74,000 per year just to exist.

This is NOT the American Dream - it is the American nightmare.

Read it here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/05/MNB11LD969.DTL

Your pal,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fear and Death in the Water

Hey Barry:

That's us. Dead. No jobs. Bleak future.

So far, it just keeps getting worse.

One of the reasons for the downward spiral is that corporations are sitting on piles of cash and not investing.

Now, the Reps say that business doesn't invest because of uncertainty.

That's just pure BS.

They don't invest because they think things are gonna get worse. They are not uncertain about it either.

It's common sense. When you fear the future, you save money.

Consumers are feeling the same things - fear about the future. So, consumers stop buying and start saving. Good for us, bad for the economy; technical term is 'fallacy of composition.'

So Barry, where does that fear come from, anyway?

Itsa simple answer Barry. The fear comes from the Tea Party.

They have shut down the government and created fear about the future.

The entire system is gridlocked because of the Tea Party's shutdown of government in conjunction with our sellout to the oligarchs. We are an oligarchy now.

From now on, we ARE the third world where extreme disparities create misery and violence.

So, Barry, there aint no middle here.

There is either oligarchy or there is demonstration and revolution.

There aint no incremental solutions either. Any change has gotta be wholesale and dramatic and way more extreme than your jobs plan. Y'all can read my solutions in earlier posts below.

It may be too late already.

So, Barry, Where are you? Where are you?

Go down to Liberty Square in New York and show us where you are.

Itsa a double dog dare for you. Go down there and show us that you can lead.

It's our last hope.

Your pal,

Friday, September 30, 2011

Strike in New York

Hey Barry -

This is for the demonstrators in New York and elsewhere, but y'all can read it.

Hey Guys:

I totally love what you're doing. Keep it up.

Nothing else is working.

Here's an idea to get attention from the oligarchs who run our country now. Show them our power as citizens by closing one place each day.

Scout out a corporate business or government agency like a subway station or bank branch that allows easy access. Then send in way too many people so that the place is completely crowded. No one else can get in. Obey the fire marshalls if they ask for an emergency fire lane.

Tell all the employees and customers that you want the place to close for one hour in sympathy for Americans having a hard time. Ask for their cooperation.

Then leave after one hour. While you're there, act completely peacefully and lawfully. Don't take or leave anything - don't even use the bathroom.

You will get noticed.

Your supporter

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

USA Sold to Banks, Time to Cry

Hey Barry:

There's a book out there claiming that Geithner conned you into letting banks off the hook in 2009.

See the interview with Ron Suskind here: http://dailybail.com/home/dylan-ratigan-with-author-ron-suskind-tim-geithner-ran-the-w.html

The book is CONFIDENCE MEN by Ron Suskind.

What I get from the film clip is that you wanted to skin the banks and asked for a plan but that Geithner 'mugged' you and did not provide the plan you asked for.

So, Geithner's gotta go and some of the bankers gotta go to jail.

They sold out the country, Barry, the good ol USA was sold to the banks on your watch.

Makes me wanna cry, Barry.

Your pal,

UPDATE 10.16.11 - CHANGE NOW: Ross-Issa Postal Reform Act of 2011

Hey Barry:

UPDATE - I was conned or careless and I missed the fact that the proposed Ros-Issa law STILL sticks the USPS with accelerated pension and healthcare costs.

USPS needs to downsize some, but not to fund its future pension costs.

Amend the law to stop the prefunding or drop it altogether.

***********************
The US Postal Service was started by Ben Franklin. We have always had a good postal service.

But in 2006, the Reps passed a law requiring the USPO to fund future pensions. It applies only to the USPO because the Reps want to kill it.

We need to pass the Ross-Issa Postal Reform Act of 2011 so we can save some jobs and keep the Post Office.

If we don't pass the law, then the Reps may privatize the Post Office. That will mean less service, higher prices and the end of a pillar of the country.

Make the call Barry, encourage Congress to pass this law.

Your pal,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Republican Presidential Candidates: If You Can't Say Anything Nice.....

Hey Barry:

I began writing this blog during the 2007 primary campaign to replace George Bush. I attempted to examine each of the candidate's policy positions and determine which policies would likely have the best result for the United States.

For 2012, I do not believe this is necessary.

Each and every Republican Presidential candidate and unannounced, potential candidate has demonstrated by his or her policy pronouncements and pesonality that if one of them should be elected, the decline of the United states as a world power and as a good place to live would accelerate.

As my late Grandmother said: "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything.'

Run fast, Barry, we need you there.

Your pal,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grading Barry's Economic Plan

Hey Barry:

Thought I'd put on my professor hat for a bit and look at your economic plan as presented here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/jointcommitteereport.pdf

Now, I understand that this is not a real economic plan - it is just a political move to direct criticism to the Reps. And, if this plan is stalled or watered down by the Reps - which it probably will be - then we can hope that voters will react by electing more Dems. The y'all can get together a real economic plan.

Make no mistake Barry: we are in a real crisis here and we need some real and effective action to correct negative trends in the economy.

But, this plan does not provide those.

This plan is a band-aid - if passed into law, it would bring some small comfort to a few folks and would not really hurt anything. So, from the Hippocratic perspective, y'all do no harm.

However, from the perspective of really fixing our country's economic ills, the plan is way short.

It is too timid and does not address the big, real issues.

We need 25 million jobs, not the 1.9 million that this plan might provide.

At the risk of repetition, here are the items that would be in a sound economic plan which WILL create millions of jobs:

1. Laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers.

2. More Justice Department regulators to prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

3. Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more.

4. Make oil, gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone services into Public Utilities and regulate them with a Public Utility Commission.

5. Cancel all Free Trade agreements and replace them with tariffs that protect American jobs and companies.

6. Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want and protects them.

7. Tax away the great fortunes and incomes for they drain resources away from job creation.

8. Restore Glass-Stegall so that commercial, lending banks can NOT buy assets - fix the biggest mistake we have made since 1789.

9. Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible. You need a better examination of both programs and a sound proposal that focuses on how to keep each program viable. Simply demanding that the programs be reduced for deficit reduction purposes is unworthy of a leader.

10. Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus. We can keep the average annual fiscal deficit around 3% of GDP over time with a little work, but with high unemployment, it is the time to stimulate, not contract.

11. Require that broadcasters provide free access to qualified political parties as a condition of their FCC license.

OK Barry - if you want an 'A', that's what your plan should look like.

As it stands today, I will grade your paper with a 'C-'.

You show promise, but you need to read more about economic policy and job creation. Please revise your work and resubmit it for reconsideration.

Professor McKeever

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reasons for Pessimism

Hey Barry:

Since I have turned pessimistic about the future of the Grand Experiment that was the Good Ol' U S of A, maybe I can explain some of where that pessimism comes from by looking at the economic trends that will wreak havoc in the coming years.

Our documented political gridlock will prevent us from addressing our economic concerns and those issues will continue to worsen our economy. In my considered opinion, the big fortunes have turned totally selfish and are actively harming the security and future of the country for short-term financial gain. I do not see a way out of this.

There are some steps we can take to postpone a crisis, but I doubt we have the will or ability to do so.

Here are those steps:

1. We can postpone crisis if we pass laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers; this will increase overall demand by raising wages. But, Congress has shown that it is captured by the Big Money Bastards and it is unlikely any pro-union laws will be passed. This situation will mean a continuing downward pressure on wages, lower aggregate demand, increased unemployment, deflation in housing and other key sectors and basically a downward spiral of GDP, jobs and wages.

2. We can postpone crisis if we hire more Justice Department regulators so we can prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions. The BMB have co-opted the approval process of Congressional appointees and lowered the budget of regulatory agencies. This means companies will continue to be free from prosecution for any illegal union busting activities they may choose. Results summarized in #1 above.

3. We can postpone crisis if we enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more. Once again, Congress is in the pocket of big money corporations and I can see no likelihood of effective monopoly regulation. Since any monopoly creates economic inefficiencies from a lack of competition, it means that Americans will continue to pay too much for all the products and services they consume while the corporations enjoy monopoly profits which enable them to pay Congress for laws and regulations which protect their monopolies. Further, when monopolies control most major markets, their market power prevents any effective competition from arising, thus limiting job creation.

4. We can postpone crisis if we hire more regulators to enforce existing anti-monopoly laws........... I can only laugh - see #3 above.

5. We can postpone crisis if we make oil, gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone services into Public Utilities and regulate them with a Public Utility Commission. Any time a product or service is used by most people and also requires large capital investment to achieve scale economies, there is a potential for monopoly abuse. That's why we had State PUC's and Federal anti-monopoly laws. Now it is time to control the utilities so their monopoly power is limited to reasonable returns on investment instead of monopoly profits.

The Nuclear power industry deserves special mention. This industry has corrupted the NRC so that our population is in imminent danger of an American Chernobyl. What is the hubris that suggests we can control the atom when we cannot keep bridges from falling down? I am torn between drinking myself to stupor and pissing my pants.

Fukushima WILL happen here.

UPDATE 10.7.11: Shut 'em down - http://barnegat.patch.com/articles/petitioners-fight-for-suspension-of-fukushima-style-nuclear-plants

6. We can postpone crisis if we cancel all Free Trade agreements: they destroy American jobs. And, we should quit the WTO, NAFTA and other agreements. There is enough evidence that Free Trade is a job-killing disaster. It is time to recognize the truth and cancel these job-killing deals. They benefit no-one except the corporations that send our jobs overseas.

7. We can postpone crisis if we create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want in the future and then encourages those industries with tariffs, subsidies and government contracts. While this would be a sensible approach to our future and one which is actively practiced in more rational countries, the politics of it in Washington DC make it DOA. Too bad.

8. We can postpone crisis if we tax away the great fortunes. Behind every great fortune lies a great crime. We are creating great crimes and great fortunes every day. The effect of this is to steal the means of making a living from the middle class and doom the country to a two tier economy: super rich and desperately poor. Welcome to the Third World. These fortunes stifle innovation, competition and job creation. The result is a static society with no growth - which is what we have today.

9. We can postpone crisis if we tax away the great incomes. Great incomes produce great fortunes - they are bad for the country. See #8 above.

10. We can postpone crisis if we restore Glass-Stegall so that commercial banks can NOT buy assets. Killing this law was the single biggest mistake we have ever made as a country; now commercial banks can now speculate in the stock and commodity markets with free money from the FED. Not only does it create the mega-fortunes we see, but it also kills any effective monetary policy. Monetary policy cannot work when banks have no incentive to make low profit loans and every incentive to gamble. Further, the BMB's keep bribing Congress and regulators so the situation won't change.

11. We can postpone crisis if we keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible so that we do not reduce aggregate demand among the elderly and handicapped. Besides, it's the right thing to do. The shadow forces of big money want to take away any help for those who need help. Roughly 25% of the population receives checks from the federal government. Like it or not, we have a dependent population - it is unconscionable to walk away. But, that is exactly what the BMB will have us do.

12. We can postpone crisis if we manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus and pay down when we don't need it. If we manage our fiscal policy with the sense we have displayed before, we can do that. But, I do not think we can do so in the current political climate.

13. We can postpone crisis if we eliminate paid political ads - require that broadcasters provide free access to qualified political parties as a condition of their FCC license. Paid political ads create the need for money that corrupts the process. It is sensible to eliminate the need for paid ads by requiring the media to provide a reasonable amount of free ads as a condition of their license. But, of course, those media empires will simply bribe Congress and the regulators so that will not happen.

As I said earlier, it is time to fight and die for the flag and the future.

The battlegrounds are listed above.

I'd love to be wrong, Barry. But I am not betting on being wrong.

Your pal,

Friday, September 16, 2011

Time to Fight AND Die

Hey Barry:

Well I promised to take a look at the economics of the moment.

But, Barry, it aint about economics - it's about the survival of the country in any manner recognizable to any adult alive today.

So, the proper question is this: Will the USA implode and disappear?

If we take the USA to mean a country with a functioning democracy, a coherent social structure and a viable middle class, then the short answer is:

Yes it will.

The grand experiment that began in 1776 will disappear.

It is probably gone already.

Regarding the reasons for our country's disappearance, I refer you to Mike Lofgren's excellent piece here: http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779

The only question remaining is what kind of country we will have in 20 years. We can get some ideas by looking backward at European countries when royalties were in charge. Ugly.

Well, Barry, stopping the rot is probably a suicide mission, but I'm with you if you want to fight.

If you want to really fight, y'all gotta get down and dirty. I know you have the stomach for it because you can kill in the night.

It's our last hope - fight the Big Money Bastards any way we can.

It's very clear: it's time to fight and die.

It's not fight OR die.

It's fight AND die.

Your pal,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pride and Full Employment

Hey Barry:

Just got back from a trip to France to check in on some ancient family. You know what, they are different than us.

Big surprise, I know.

But, here's the thing: maybe we can learn something. My French language skills are horrible, but I did get some impressions.

Main thing, everybody is working and the trains are full at commuter time. Easy to find work there. We did not see a lot of bums and homeless.

In trying to figure out why, I had this idea: maybe it's because the French people are proud of their country and they are proud of what they do.

For example, when you ask a person on the street for directions to someplace, after you are sure that you have communicated exactly where you want to go, you will receive an absolute dissertation on how to get there - which streets to take, which not to take, which places are confusing and which are clear, and so on.

See, the French take pride in their everyday actions. And they expect respect for their efforts. And, last but not least, they take pride in their country. Such a simple idea.

Their solution for the folks who disrespected them was to cut off their heads. I saw a bust of Marie Antoinette, and you know what, I'd be happy to do the deed myself, if her attitude was anything like the statue.

But, I don't think we have a lot of pride in what we do everyday in the good ol' U S of A. We sure don't get any respect.

In fact, most jobs here seem to be structured to take pride out of the job. The implicit direction is this: Just do it quick and cheap, or we'll find someone who can do it quicker and cheaper.

Seems to me that if we can put a little room for pride into our jobs, then maybe we can put some respect into our country.

Most - not all - Americans who serve the public have that pride. Country and quality first, personal gain second.

Now, you Barry Obama cannot solve that question tomorrow, but maybe you can create a method to recognize the everyday folks who display that pride in work and service. Sure we do it for the military, but maybe we can do it for the rest of us.

If we can do that, then the question comes up: Should we recognize those who shame the country? I mean those folks who take advantage of the system and do not give anything back.

Personally, I'd rather see vigorous law enforcement directed at the cheats and crooks. Shame is not a bad thing, but jail may be more effective.

I'll be looking at the economics in a little bit.

Your pal,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Closed for Sabbatical

Hey Barry:

This forum is closed until September 14, 2011.

Your pal,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Monetary Policy is Dead

Hey Barry and Benny:

Times are tough out here in the real world - the world away from the DC Beltway.

Out here we understand a few things that don't seem to register on the Beltway brain.

Y'all talk some about jobs, but you don't do nothing.

The effin tea Party has shut down the country. They is just a bunch of spoiled kids with no sense of responsibility to the rest of us. But, that's where you folks seem to be these days: afraid to upset someone throwing a tantrum. It'd be a joke if it weren't bout ready to kill us all.

On top of that, the tools that y'all in DC expect to fix the economy and get us some jobs are jes plain broke - they is all kaput.

Y'all relyin on them tools to fix things. But, Barry, they cain't fix anything because they are broken.

Take the biggie: FED monetary policy. The way that it is supposed to work is that the FED creates some extra money in bank reserves and then the banks will lend out the extra reserves to businesses to make investments.

That don't work no more - plain and simple, it don't work now and it won't work tomorrow, period.

Listen up Benny, your QE has been a big problem, so stop already. You are just making things worse.

Here's why it don't work: Banks can buy stocks and speculate in oil futures with the free money that you give 'em.

That's a lot more fun and a lot more profitable than making loans, so why do you think they will make loans to businesses? They won't. Period.

Money is already cheaper than free. Keeping it free will NOT solve any problems.

The only way to fix it is to prohibit commercial banks from buying things and require that they make loans instead.

Now, we all know that - it ain't a mystery. So why don't we fix it?

We don't fix it and restore Glass-Stegall because the system is crooked. It is corrupt. Them big bankers jes buys off some politicians, and Presto! The law stays the same.

So, listen up Benny, you gotta get on some folks and get the law changed. I know that is outside your office, but it's what you gotta do. Quit your job and start a campaign. We're talking the future here and it's time to think outside the box.

Be a patriot - take one for the team.

It don't seem there's any other way.....

Your pal,


Monday, August 29, 2011

We Need Glass-Stegall

Hey Barry:

Here's another reminder that letting banks buy stocks was the dumbest thing we have ever done in the USA.

The FED bailed out big banks with trillions of dollars during the crisis. The losses were caused by their purchases of mortgage derivatives, not their loan portfolios.

Maybe I can become a bank like that Barry, then I can buy any old thing from Bernie Madoff and the FED will cover my losses and let me keep any profits.

It's a system designed to create crooks, and , guess what, it does a very good job.

Read it here: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/08/28-3

Positively depressin.

Your pal,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gadafi Gone

Hey Barry:

Gadafi is gone.

Hundreds of thousands of Libyans still alive.

USA on the right side of history.

Hope lives in the Mid-East.

No Americans killed, no American planes shot down.

NATO forces carry the load.

The world is a safer place today.

Terrorists have at least one less place to hide.

Y'all did good, Barry.

Y'all won't get any credit, not until the history is written.

So, enjoy the moment.

Your pal,


UPDATE TOKYO 10.21.11

To the NRC:

Here's latest from Tokyo: http://enenews.com/breaking-neutron-ray-measured-in-tokyo-uranium-235-found-in-chiba-cant-be-detected-by-most-geiger-counters-photo-video


How many Americans must die before you order sensible safety precautions?

The dead will be on you.

I do not want to be one of them.

Read the Ed Markey report: http://markey.house.gov/docs/05-12-11reportfinalsmall.pdf

UPDATE 9.2.11: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/09/01/national/w110341D19.DTL&type=politics

After the earthquake:

NRC is afraid to wake up Mother nature, and so tiptoes around nuclear facilities and declares them all 'safe'.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/08/24/national/a060421D78.DTL

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Money Bastards Kill Hope

Hey Barry;

Here's the thing. It's kinda personal and it won't make any waves because it's real small. Nobody will even notice.

But Barry, maybe it's an indicator.

Y'all know I am American and concerned about where our country is heading.

Real concerned.

OK, there's some hope out there. And, keeping that hope alive is pretty much up to you, Barry Obama.

Our situation that triggers our question is this: We are thinking about a small investment, very small.

Question is this: What country is a safe place to invest?

The good ol U S of A is not looking very good right now. It's hard to see a good bet on the future here.

See, the Big Money Bastards [BMB] have taken so much that the entire country is at risk of folding like a house of cards. Even the BMB are taking lots of cash out of the country.

That brings us back to you.

Y'all thinking about how to manage the economy. That's a good thing.

And, y'all planning to roll out some new ideas in September.

Well, Barry, we are gonna decide on which country to invest in after we read your plan.

For us, the bottom line is real simple: Either you take on the Big Money Bastards or you don't.

There's hope for the good ol U S of A if you take on the BMB.

If you don't, then all our hope will just fade away.

And, we'll follow the BMB money out of the country.

Wish it were different, Barry, wish it were different.

Your pal,

PS 8.29.11: Here's the BMB list from Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/10/worlds-richest-people-slim-gates-buffett-billionaires-2010_land.html?partner=popstories

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paris Meet, September 8-13, 2011

Meet in Paris, September 8-13, 2011

Hey Barry:

My wife and I visited Paris between September 8 and 13, 2011 for some sightseeing and R & R.

Turns out that my family tree includes some members of the royal Capet and Plantagenet families who are interred in the Basilique Saint-Denis.

We'll make a trip there to see if we can find these:

Henry II (1519–1559)

Isabella Queen of France Princess of Aragon; Birth in Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, Death 28 JAN 1271 in Auvergne, France

Marriage to Philippe III or Philip III The Bold King of France de Valois Capet

Invitation still open to meet for informal economic policy talks. If any readers in Paris are interested in some friendly, informal economic policy discussion or debate over a glass of wine or cup of coffee, please send me an email to: mckeever.mp@gmail.com

Ciao

Your pal,

Dog Days

Hey Barry:

Dog days of summer are here, so relax and enjoy some time.

Listen to Florence here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWOyfLBYtuU


The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses
'Cause here they come

And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had
And what was left after that too. oh.

Your pal,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rick Perry State Socialist

Hey Barry:

Now that another Texas governor wants to be in charge, it's worth looking at his record in his home state.

Y'all know I'm not against socialism or government owned businesses on principle, but I am surprised that a Conservative Republican would be proud of a program that invests taxpayer money into business start-ups.

It's called the 'The Texas Certified Capital Company Program' and it acts as a VC firm, but is uses taxpayer money instead of private money.

Read it here: http://www.window.state.tx.us/capco/overview.html

Lord knows there is a LOT of private money around for good and not-so-good ideas these days; there is so much money around that no real good idea will lack for money. So, what's left over is crooks, dogs and Ponzi schemes - apologies to Ponzi.

History buffs will recall that Germany and Italy both had Fascist regimes in the 1930's and 1940's wherein the state funded private companies to work on government contracts. It did not work out so well for them.

The trouble I see as an economist is that such a scheme can become simply a 'crony capitalist' program where politician's friends get the contracts instead of letting contracts on a bidding process.

Lo and behold, it turns out that has already happened in good ol Texas.

Surprise, surprise.

Charles Dameron of the WSJ calls it out here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304760604576428262897285614.html

Nobody can make up this stuff.

Holy cow.

Your pal,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How To Really Create Jobs

Hey Barry:

There was a news article saying that you were taking a few days off to think about how to approach economic issues.

That's a good idea, but Barry, y'all gotta be real careful.

Here's why: conventional economic thinking is wrong. Flat wrong.

Worse, it actually harms American people - real Americans, the ones who pay taxes and vote.

See, I'm one of those guys, and you know what, we all get it.

We all get that DC Beltway economics just screws us. It's been bought and paid for by the Big Money Bastards.

And, we are not happy about it.

So, that means y'all gonna have to go outside the box and color outside the lines. That's IF you really want to help the good ol U S of A and also get re-elected.

Now, much as I hate to sound like a paranoid wing-nut, there are some real issues here.

The central issue in real simple: the shadow forces of Big Money will not allow Congress to pass ANY policy which will actually help us real folks make more money and get a job.

That's because the shadows make their money by taking it from us. That's why there are no jobs: we don't have any money to spend. And, since consumer spending is still 70% of the economy, no spending means no jobs. The Big Money Bastards who own Congress would rather send the country down the drain than give up any of their cash.

In order to save our sorry a-- and save the country, you, Barry Obama, are gonna have to figure out how to get us more money so we can buy stuff.

Plain and simple - that's it.

Now, you can scratch any economist, or Democratic Congressperson and get a list of job creating policies. And, none of those policy ideas are gonna hurt anything. And, it's downright sad, but you cannot get a policy list from any Rep.

But, none of their policies will actually solve the problem.

To really solve the problem, we have to do some big things. Things the Big Money won't like.

Here they are again, the list of things we gotta do:

1. Pass laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers, this will increase demand by raising wages.

2. Hire more Justice Department regulators so we can prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

3. Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more.

4. Hire more regulators to enforce existing anti-monopoly laws.

5. Make oil, gas, electricity, water, sewer and telephone services into Public Utilities and regulate them with a Public Utility Commission.

6. Cancel all Free Trade agreements: they destroy American jobs. And, leave the WTO, NAFTA and other agreements.

7. Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want in the future and then encourages those industries with tariffs, subsidies and government contracts.

8. Tax away the great fortunes.

9. Tax away the great incomes.

10. Restore Glass-Stegal so that commercial banks can NOT buy assets.

11. Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible so that we do not reduce demand among the elderly and handicapped. Besides, it's the right thing to do.

12. Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus and pay down when we don't need it.

13. Eliminate paid political ads - require that broadcasters provide free access to qualified political parties as a condition of their FCC license.

So there you are Barry. Those are the things we gotta do. Nothing wrong with the other things - WPA style work, more stimulus and so on - but those other things won't get the job done. Best we can hope for from those is a delay of more catastrophe.

To solve the real problem, we gotta get radical.

On August 28, Robert Reich called for some policies in his column titled President Obama needs a bold jobs plan. [http://www.sfgate.com/columns/reich/]

It's worth reading, but I don't think those ideas are bold enough. They won't hurt anything, but I don't think they'll get the job done.

We are hoping that you put us on the bold track, Barry.

If you give in to the Reps, we are goners.

Your pal,



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

RANT UPDATE 8/11/11: To the Mattresses

Hey Barry:

Hear the Rant by Dylan Ratigan - it's where we are now:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/dylan-ratigan-rant-debt-negotiations_n_922855.html

Holy Cow! You can't even get a good night's sleep after your birthday before another budget battle starts.

We all want, and the country really needs, big tax increases for the coming budget.

But, the Reps have just stacked the committee with tax-hardliners who will not raise revenues.

So, Barry, y'all gonna have to go to the mattresses because another war is coming.

And, this time, the Rep gang won't take any compromises because they want you - and the Country - dead.

So, Barry, you caint make a deal with them: y'all gonna have to 'kill' them in the political sense instead.

The deal is this: you kill them before they kill you and the Country - our Country, the good ol U S of A.

Is too bad, but that's the cards out there.

There is a real chance that the Country will go down for the count as collateral damage this time, Barry. Those guys don't care if the country dies, they jes wants what they wants. It's effin' absurd.

We are rootin' big time for you to get them before they get us because it's our future on the line.

Your pal,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Hey Barry:

It's late, but Happy Birthday. The 50th was a big one for me - it was the one where I realized that I was fully grown and was all I was going to be. So, you should be real proud at your 50th: you are on the brink of some very big things and millions of people love you.

It’s time for some more real talk about economic policy in this informal forum. Be happy to expand any or all of the themes at your request.

So, Barry, we gotta be real clear here: traditional economics will NOT help us. Even Goolsbee said in an interview that the profession has to undertake some serious examination of its theories and policies. We need to acknowledge that the problem is inadequate domestic demand. It's not taxes or monetary policy.

So, we have to follow policies which increase demand. The policies we have used for the last 100 years WILL NOT WORK.

Here are some things we can do which will create jobs by increasing domestic demand:

- Pass laws which make it easier for unions to organize workers, this will increase demand by raising wages.

- At the same time, we need to hire more Justice Department regulators so we can prosecute companies which break laws which encourage workers to form unions.

- Enforce all anti-monopoly laws and pass more. The goal is to break up big companies so that smaller companies can be formed and hire more people. Some economists will holler about losing 'efficiency' from some duplication, but the goal is more jobs and not cheaper stuff.

- Hire more regulators to enforce existing anti-monopoly laws.

- If there are some industries which are essential and which benefit from economies of scale and for which breaking up monopolies is too costly, then make those industries public utilities with a Public Utility Commission to oversee them. Industries like oil, electricity, natural gas, telephone companies and internet service providers will qualify. To those people who complain about socialism, this is not socialism since the businesses are owned by private capital; this model has worked well in our past and today as well.

- Free Trade agreements destroy American jobs; do not approve any more such agreements. And, leave the WTO, NAFTA and other agreements.

- Create a national industrial policy which identifies those industries we want in the future and then encourages those industries with tariffs, subsidies and government contracts.

- Tax away the great fortunes. Nobody needs more than $100 million and the great fortunes are bad for the country. Our system is based on the public deciding which priorities our wealth should pursue - not some billionaire pursuing a better name in the history books.

- Tax away the great incomes - we need the money for our citizens and those with huge incomes do not have any incentives to promote the common welfare.

- Restore Glass-Stegal so that commercial banks can NOT buy assets.

- Keep Social Security and Medicare as high as possible so that we do not reduce demand among the elderly and handicapped. Besides, it's the right thing to do.

- Manage our debt so that we borrow when we need stimulus and pay down when we don't need it. I am pretty sure this will require a serious political revolution, but the alternative is simply not acceptable.

Well, Barry, that's a start.

Now I know that all of these will be political dynamite.

But, ideas like these are our only alternative.

If we don't do all of these and more, the future is bleak.

Your pal,