"The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease. The moral decay of the people was not caused by the doles and the games. These merely provided a measure of their degradation." The moral degeneration of the American populace, like the Roman people before them, happened slowly over time as they sold their liberty, freedom, and self-respect for full bellies, an endless array of modern day distractions, and promises from their highly educated rulers they would be taken care of and protected from all threats to their well-being, whether foreign, domestic, physical, mental, or social.
The upper middle class in the US, defined as everyone in the top half below the richest 20 percent, owns 11.9% of the wealth. Indonesia at 10.5% and Russia at 7.5% are worse off, but in all other nations the corresponding upper middle classes own 12 to 27%of the wealth. America’s bottom half compares even less favorably to the world: dead last, with just 1.3% of national wealth.
Could we have imagined anything more far-fetched and unlikely as this practice by the SEC itself? We’ll answer this question. No.
- Fed set to end one crisis chapter even as global risks rise (Reuters)... you mean, for the third time?
- Insider-Trading Probe Focuses on Medicare Agency (WSJ)
- He's sorry: Rajoy Apologizes as New Wave of Graft Allegations Hits Spain (BBG)
- China could 'punish' Hong Kong over protests, says ex-HK central bank chief (Reuters)
- Dubai Insists the Boom is Not a Bubble This Time Around (BBG)
- Bank-Data Sharing Accord Expands Push to Find Tax Cheats (BBG)
- Deutsche Bank Sinks to Third-Quarter Loss on Legal Costs (BBG)
- Kim Jong Un Executes 10 Officials for Watching Soap Operas (BBG)
- French drugmaker Sanofi sacks CEO Viehbacher (Reuters)
Most defenders of the state assume that government services help the poor. And, sometimes, some poor people do benefit financially from government programs. But there’s a hidden cost: taxation and mandatory programs (Social Security, for instance) that hurt the needy by restricting their choices. Government taxes away income that low-income households could invest in improving their lives. At the same time, state-sponsored benefits create incentives that keep the poor trapped in poverty.
According to the official government data, the United States asserts its future obligations, as of Q2 2014, are $16.5 trillion. However, TrimTabs founder Charles Biderman says that is wrong, the actual figure of the country’s future obligations, which is $98 trillion. "This does not bode well for future generations," Biderman warns, adding "either Obama is ignorant of future US government obligations or he is hiding the truth."
The systemic risks underlying the Financial Crisis are in no way resolved.
The September jobs report was greeted by a flurry of robo-trader exuberance because another print well above 200k purportedly signals that growth is underway and profits will remain in high cotton as far as the eye can see. But how many years can this Charlie Brown and Lucy charade be taken seriously - even by the headline-stalking talking-heads who inhabit bubblevision? For the entirety of this century they have actually been gumming about little more than “born again” jobs, not real expansion of labor inputs to the faltering US economy.
One of the main causes of the hyperinflation was the decision of the Zimbabwean government to give army veterans of its recent wars a big bonus. The promise was too much for the Zimbabwean economy to manage, so the government printed money... and lots of it. Why is this relevant? Well, look at America. The chickens eventually will come home to roost for the US, just as they did for the poor Zimbabweans. The political pressure to print money is the same everywhere as are the laws of economic science.
"If you call a life of surveillance, anxiety and ceaseless toil in the service of a government you didn’t elect 'freedom', then you and I have a very different idea of what that word means." There are only two possible futures facing the United States, and neither one is pretty. Whether the collapse is gradual or gut-wrenchingly sudden, the results will be chaos, civil strife and fascism.
The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year... The only way that this game can continue is if the U.S. government can continue to borrow gigantic piles of money at ridiculously low interest rates. And our current standard of living greatly depends on the continuation of this game. If something comes along and rattles this Ponzi scheme, life in America could change radically almost overnight.
Look, it's really this simple: Anything that can't go on forever, won't.
If you want to pinpoint the one dynamic pushing the global economy into not just a prolonged recession but a parallel period of massive social instability, look no farther than the social and financial stagnation that results from optimizing the system to benefit the Elites and the entrenched incumbents who protect them from competition and the dispossessed debt-serf classes below. The incestuous embrace of privilege and power by entrenched, socially isolated Elites characterizes failed states and brittle, doomed regimes throughout history.
At the heart of the problem is the fact that the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of the money supply prevents interest rates from telling the truth: How much are people really choosing to save out of income, and therefore how much of the society’s resources — land, labor, capital — are really available to support sustainable investment activities in the longer run? What is the real cost of borrowing, independent of Fed distortions of interest rates, so businessmen could make realistic and fair estimates about which investment projects might be truly profitable, without the unnecessary risk of being drawn into unsustainable bubble ventures? All that government produces from its interventions, regulations, and manipulations is false signals and bad information.
What's the opposite of government efficiency? In a double-take-instigating headline, the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project. BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. However, that pales into insignificance when considering health reform has cost American taxpayers $73 billion in the last four years... and counting.