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Guest Post: What This Country Needs Now Is Hope

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Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

What This Country Needs Now Is Hope

Finch: Why are you doing this?
Evey Hammond: Because he was right.
Finch: About what?
Evey Hammond: That the world needs more than just a building right now. It needs hope.

  

The dialogue above occurred at the end of the dystopian movie V for Vendetta. It is a tale of revenge and restoring hope among citizens who had chosen safety and security over freedom and liberty. Even though this movie was fictional and adapted from a comic strip, its message and warnings should be heeded. Millions of middle class citizens in the U.S. sink deeper into despair every day. Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger. The list of impending catastrophic issues that will blow up the world for millions in the U.S. and across the globe is virtually endless:

U.S. Debt

  • The national debt is currently $14.6 trillion, up from $5.7 trillion in 2000. It took over 200 years to accumulate the first $5.7 trillion of debt and only 11 years to tack on another $8.9 trillion.
  • With the new $450 billion jobs package proposed by President Obama, the deficit in FY12 will likely exceed $1.8 trillion, or 12% of GDP. Greece’s 2010 deficit was 10.5% of GDP.
  • Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart in their book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, using data from 44 countries over 200 years, concluded that once a country’s national debt exceeds 90% of GDP, the economy stagnates and ultimately makes that country vulnerable to a debt crisis. The U.S. national debt as a percentage of GDP is currently 97% and will reach 107% in 2012. This does not count state and local debt, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt, and the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare. We are at the same place Greece was in 2007. But we’re no Greece, right? This time is different.

 

  • Total credit market debt of $52.5 trillion is 3.5 times GDP, versus a long-term leverage ratio of 1.6. This is called living well above your means on borrowed money. We have a long way down before we reach the bottom of this mountain of debt.

  • Despite the rhetoric out of Washington D.C. by the thieves and knaves about cutting deficits, the National Debt is on course to increase by $9 trillion in the next 10 years. It will reach $20 trillion by 2015.

 

Entitlements

  • The commitments made by politicians over decades in order to get elected have resulted in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare exceeding $100 trillion.

 

  • In 1980, just 11.7% of all personal income came from government transfer payments.  Today, 18.0% of all personal income comes from government transfer payments. Wages and salaries paid by private industries totals $5.5 trillion per year, while wages paid by government total $1.2 trillion and social welfare payments from the government total $2.3 trillion. Only ten years ago wages and salaries from private industries totaled $4.1 trillion, while government wages were only $800 billion and welfare payments totaled $1.1 trillion. In ten years the percentage increases paint the true picture: 
    • Private wages & salaries increased 34% 
    • Government wages & salaries increased 50% 
    • Government social welfare transfer payments increased 109% 
  • Despite the rhetoric from politicians, there is no lock box and there is no cash in the Social Security fund. John Mauldin summed it up nicely: “Social Security funds are an entry into a government accounting book that don’t really exist except as an IOU. Politicians of all stripes have used the Social Security money to pay for other government expenses. Those funds were even counted to offset the deficit, although now that Social Security is no longer in a surplus that has gone away.”
  • This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal Social Security Disability benefits. That’s 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago. Today, about 13.6 million people receive disability benefits through Social Security or Supplemental Security Income. Last year, Social Security detected $1.4 billion in overpayments to disability beneficiaries, mostly to people who got jobs and no longer qualified, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Employment

  • The official unemployment rate in the U.S. is 9.1% with 14 million people unemployed. The true unemployment rate, taking into account discouraged workers, part time workers who want a full time job, and people who have dropped out of the work force, is above 20%, or 31 million people.
  • It now takes the average unemployed worker in America about 40 weeks to find a new job.

  • Even after a supposed recovery, there are approximately 7 million less people employed today than there were in 2007.
  • The employment to population ratio of 58.2% is at the same level as 1969, before women entered the workforce in record numbers. As wages stagnated and inflation drove costs higher, families were forced to send two parents into the workforce, with predictable consequences to their latchkey children. The ratio peaked in 2001 at 64.4% and has declined precipitously since 2008.

civilian population ratio

Poverty

  • The number of people on food stamps has gone from 27 million people receiving $30 billion of aid in 2007 to 45 million people (14.5% of U.S. population) receiving $72 billion in aid today.

 food stamp participation

  • The number of uninsured Americans totals 49.9 million.
  • Those covered by employer-based insurance continued to decline in 2010, to about 55%, while those with government-provided coverage continued to increase, up slightly to 31%. Employer-based coverage was down from 65% in 2000.
  • One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
  • Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on it.
  • The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1%, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314)
  • Blacks experienced the highest poverty rate, at 27%, up from 25% in 2009, and Hispanics rose to 26% from 25%. For whites, 9.9% lived in poverty, up from 9.4% in 2009. Asians were unchanged at 12.1%.

Income

  • Median household income fell 2.3% to $49,445 last year and has dropped 7% from the peak of $53,252 reached in 1999.
  • Median household income for the bottom tenth of the income spectrum fell by 12% from a peak in 1999, while the top 90th percentile dropped by just 1.5%.
  • Between 1969 and 2009, the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27% after you account for inflation.
  • Median income fell across all working-age categories, but the sharpest drop was among young working Americans, ages 15 to 24, which experienced a decline of 9%.
  • When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

Wealth Inequality

  • The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now controls 43% of all the financial wealth in this country.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, the richest 1% of all Americans has a greater net worth than the bottom 90% combined.

 

  • The fact is that many people in the bottom half of the top 1% wealthiest Americans usually achieved their success after decades of education, hard work, saving and investing as a professional or small business person. A recent article by William Domhoff quotes an investment manager who works with very wealthy clients regarding the top 0.1%:

Unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, those in the top half and, particularly, top 0.1%, can often borrow for almost nothing, keep profits and production overseas, hold personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and influence legislation in the U.S. They have access to the very best in accounting firms, tax and other attorneys, numerous consultants, private wealth managers, a network of other wealthy and powerful friends, lucrative business opportunities, and many other benefits. Membership in this elite group is likely to come from being involved in some aspect of the financial services or banking industry, real estate development involved with those industries, or government contracting.

  • Until 1980, the U.S. economic system was reasonably balanced, with manufacturing still the driving force in creating wealth for the middle class. In the three decades since, our political, banking and corporate elite have gutted our industrial base, shipped millions of jobs overseas and have used financial schemes and scams to suck the vast majority of middle class wealth into their grubby little hands. Wall Street has slowly and methodically pillaged the nation’s wealth, hollowing out a once vibrant nation, and their insatiable greed driven appetite drives them to want more. 

 

Consumer Debt

  • Total consumer debt in the United States at $2.45 trillion is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago. The recent leveling off is completely due to hundreds of billions in write-offs by the Wall Street banks. The chart below is a Keynesian dream of government borrowing to create prosperity. The fallacy of Keynesianism is evident for all to see.

  • According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 household net worth in the United States fell by 25%, or $16.4 trillion.
  • The Federal Reserve says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.
  • Of U.S. households that have credit card debt, the average amount owed on credit cards is $15,800.
  • The top 10 credit card issuing banks control 80% of the credit card market, with Bank of America, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo accounting for almost 60% of the market.

 

  • The average APR on credit card with a balance on it is 13.1%. These same banks are borrowing at 0% from the Federal Reserve.
  • Penalty fees from credit cards added up to over $21 billion in 2010.
  • There are 610 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers, with 3.5 credit cards per cardholder.
  • Americans now owe more than $887 billion on student loans, which is even more than they owe on credit cards.

Real Estate

  • U.S. home values have fallen an astounding $6.6 trillion since the peak of the real estate market.
  • National home prices have fallen 31% from their peak in 2005.
  • Approximately 11 million households, or 23% of all households with a mortgage, are underwater on their mortgage.
  • Household percent of equity is at 38.6% today, down from 60% in 2006. There are 87 million households in the U.S. Approximately 25 million of these houses have no mortgage, so the 52 million have significantly less than 38.6% equity.

 

  • Americans were so sure their houses would appreciate to infinity during boom years of 2005 through 2008 they withdrew over $3 trillion of equity from their homes and spent it like drunken sailors. The hangover will last for decades.

 

Savings & Retirement 

  • The S&P 500 Index reached 1,100 on March 24, 1998. The S&P 500 Index on October 4, 2011 is 1,100. Wall Street convinced millions of dupes that they needed to buy stocks for the long run. Thirteen years later, the average investor has nothing, while the shysters on Wall Street have reaped hundreds of billions in fees.
  • The stock market is priced to return 5% over the next decade, while bonds are priced to deliver no more than 2%.
  • 1 out of 3 Americans has no savings at all.
  • Workers estimate their retirement savings needs at $600,000 (median), but in comparison, less than one-third (30%) have currently saved more than $100,000 in all household retirement accounts.
  • The average 401k balance at the end of 2010 was $71,500. Aon Hewitt estimates that it will take retirement savings of 15 times your final salary to maintain your current lifestyle. Someone making $50,000 per year would need $750,000.
  • 50% of all the households in the U.S. (57 million households) have a total net worth less than $70,000. 
  • Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states.  What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds.
  • Every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.
  • Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans start claiming Social Security benefits the moment they are eligible at age 62.  Most are doing this out of necessity.
  • 35% of Americans already over the age of 65 rely almost entirely on Social Security payments alone.

Foreign Trade

  • The U.S. trade deficit is now running at approximately $600 billion per year. It is clear that with the shift from a manufacturing based saving society in the 1960s and 1970s to a Wall Street finance based, debt driven consumption society from 1980 onward has led to massive trade deficits.

 

  • The gutting of the American middle class can again be traced back to 1980 when manufacturing employment peaked at 19.5 million. Once corporate CEOs embraced “globalization” in the late 1990s and realized they could reap obscene profits and compensation packages by utilizing slave labor in China to do American manufacturing jobs at 10% of the cost, the jobs disappeared. There are less than 12 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. today, replaced by jobs at Wal-Mart and McDonalds.

 

  • The U.S. imports 9.5 million barrels per day of oil, more than 50% of our daily consumption. At an average price of $90 for 2011, we are sending $300 billion per year to countries that hate us and despise our way of life.

Energy

  • The U.S consumes 22% of the world’s oil output despite having only 4.5% of the world’s population.
  • The U.S. has less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.
  • The Department of Energy was created in 1977 with the mission to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The country has not built a new oil refinery or nuclear power plant since 1980.
  • In 1980 the U.S. imported 37% of our oil consumption. We now import 51% of our oil consumption.
  • In 1980 the price of a gallon was $0.58 per gallon ($1.90 adjusted for inflation). Today, the price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.40.
  • The DOE employs 16,000 workers & 100,000 contract workers, and operates on a mere $27 billion per year. Ironically, the DOE spends $300 million per year for energy in its 9,000 buildings around the country.
  • Despite being created to create a comprehensive energy policy, the DOE has no plan or strategy to address peak cheap oil. The impact on U.S. society from declining world oil supply will be devastating to the U.S. economy within the next five years.

Foreign Interventionism

  • America’s two wars of choice in the Middle East have cost $1.3 trillion in direct costs, thus far. The long-term costs will total over $3 trillion. 
  • The United States annual military spending is 8 times as large as China and Russia. We spend 73 times as much as the supposed dire threat of Iran. The U.S. accounts for over 44% of worldwide military spending.

 

  • In the year 2000, the U.S. spent $359 billion on Defense, including veterans and foreign aid ($17 billion). The 2011 expenditure is $965 billion, with $45 billion in foreign aid. Do the politicians in Washington D.C. recognize the irony of borrowing $45 billion from foreigners and then giving the $45 billion to other foreigners?
  • The U.S. operates 11 large carriers, all nuclear powered. In terms of size and striking power, no other country has even one comparable ship.  The displacement of the U.S. battle fleet – a proxy for overall fleet capabilities – exceeds, by one recent estimate, at least the next 13 navies combined, of which 11 are our allies or partners.
  • The U.S. military empire is vast. Officially, more than 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees are massed in approximately 900 military facilities in 46 countries and territories (the unofficial figure is far greater). The US military owns or rents 795,000 acres of land, with 26,000 buildings and structures, valued at $146 billion.
  • With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the military industrial complex needed to create a new enemy in order to keep the billions in profits flowing to the arms manufacturers. The War on Terror has been a windfall for the military industrial complex. The American people did not heed President Eisenhower’s warning.

Monetary Policy

  • The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 with the purpose of stabilizing the country’s financial system, eliminating financial panics, keeping prices steady, and insuring maximum employment. The result has been more instability, depressions, recessions, market crashes, unemployment as high as 25%, and inflation that has reduced the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar by 96% since 1913.

 

  • The Consumer Price Index was 10.0 in December 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created. Today, the index stands at 227. Prices have risen 2,270% in the almost 100 years since the Federal Reserve’s inception, or inversely the dollar can buy what it took $.04 to buy in 1913. Somehow, the banking syndicate that has “achieved” this result has convinced the public that inflation is good for them.
  • When Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, the last check and balance on politicians and bankers was scrapped. The result has been predictable. The National Debt swelled from $400 billion in 1971 to $14.6 trillion today, a 3,650% increase in 40 years. The GDP grew from $1.13 trillion to $15.0 trillion today, a 1,332% increase in 40 years. Politicians have bought the votes of their constituents by making promises and financial commitments that have made debt slaves out of future unborn generations. Without a restraint on money printing, politicians will always choose to not worry about tomorrow.
  • The Federal Reserve policies of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke were the single biggest cause of the 2008 financial catastrophe and their current policies have set the country up for the final cataclysmic disintegration of our economic system. By bailing out Wall Street every time they made a high risk bet and lost (1987 Crash, Latin America, S&L Crisis, Asian Crisis, LTCM, Dot Com, 9/11, Housing collapse, Lehman) the Federal Reserve has proven to be a tool for the super rich power elite. By keeping interest rates below where they would be in a free market, the Federal Reserve created the climate for gambling on Wall Street, the home price 3 standard deviation bubble, and the current screwing of senior citizens and savers to boost the profits of Wall Street bankers.
  • In August 2008 the Federal Reserve balance sheet consisted of $940 billion of mostly U.S. Treasury securities. Today, the Federal Reserve balance sheet totals $2.9 trillion and is filled with toxic mortgage debt shoveled from the insolvent Wall Street banks onto the plate of the American taxpayer. The Federal Reserve balance sheet is leveraged 55 to 1, meaning a 2% loss would wipe out their capital. Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were leveraged 30 to 1 when they went belly up.

 

  • During the recent financial crisis the Federal Reserve secretly loaned $16 trillion to the biggest banks in the world, including $4 trillion to foreign banks. This goes far beyond the mandate they were given by Congress in 1913. The Fed had no regulatory authority or ability to judge the credit worthiness of these foreign banks, but risked $4 trillion of U.S. taxpayer funds propping them up. With European banks on the verge of bankruptcy, the Federal Reserve risks losing even more money if they become the lender of last resort.

 

  • In the 3rd Quarter of 2008 American savers were able to generate $1.4 trillion of interest income on their savings. Much of this interest went to risk adverse senior citizens who depended on this income to make ends meet after two years of no increases in their Social Security payments. Three years later savers are only generating $1 trillion of interest income or 30% less, while their costs for food and energy have risen 5% to 10%. The Federal Reserve instituted a zero interest rate policy in order to enrich their Wall Street masters, while further impoverishing the middle class and senior citizen savers that are the true backbone of the nation. Ben Bernanke has purposely transferred $400 billion from the prudent to the profligate.

When I started to detail the issues facing our country today, I expected to come up with 10 to 20 bullet points of key concerns. As I methodically worked through the categories of challenges facing the American Empire, the total reached 76 bullet points. The facts as presented above paint a picture of impending doom for America. The slogans and vapid “solutions” proposed by political candidates and entrenched Washington politicians do not even scratch the surface of what would need to be done to save this country from economic collapse. Many of these problems took decades to create and are not solvable in a reasonable time frame. With the country still delusion, overleveraged, and underemployed, it seems like the existing economic and social structure will need to be blown up to restore hope in this country.

“A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, blowing up a building can change the world.” – V in V for Vendetta

Look In the Mirror

After accepting the fact that the economic situation as presented above is beyond repair, two questions come to mind:

  1. How did we get in this predicament?
  2. How do we get out of this predicament?

The difficulty with trying to explain how we got here is that people want simple answers and a bad guy to blame. People want to blame the rich or blame the poor or blame the phantom ruling elite or blame the other political party. They prefer to blame someone else, rather than looking in the mirror. It took a century of bad decisions, delusional thinking, unparalleled hubris, greed, sloth and willful ignorance to place the country on the precipice of ruin. The American people are responsible for the situation they find themselves in today. We elected the politicians that passed the laws, created the agencies, borrowed the money, and spent the country into oblivion. The truth is human beings are flawed creatures. We are prone to greed, laziness, seeking power, worrying about what others think about us, delusional thinking, herd mentality, shallowness, and cognitive dissonance. All of these human weaknesses have contributed to our current dilemma.

Until the twentieth century the United States generally kept their nose out of foreign conflicts, only getting involved in small regional conflicts. The country experienced tremendous growth during the 1800s and early 1900s with virtually no inflation and no central bank. The country experienced this remarkable expansion with no personal or corporate income tax. The nation also benefitted tremendously from the discovery of oil in Titusville, PA in 1859, as oil fueled the industrial revolution in the U.S. The election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 marked a dramatic turning point in U.S. history. Within one year the country had a personal income tax and a central bank. As with most things created by politicians, they seemed harmless at first. The tax rate for 99% of Americans was 1%. The central bank was given a limited mandate to keep our banking system stable. Within a century we have a 60,000 page Federal tax code and a myriad of taxes at the Federal, State and local level. The Federal Reserve has more power and control over our lives than any entity on earth.

Giving politicians the ability to tax its citizens and print money allowed them to do things and make commitments that would have been impossible prior to 1913. After being re-elected in 1916 on a platform of keeping the country out of World War I, Wilson committed the country to that war. By 1919 the tax rate was already at 4% for most Americans and the Federal Reserve was printing money to finance the war, generating inflation of 16% per year between 1917 and 1920. Thus began a century of foreign interventionism and debt financed social welfare programs. The Federal Reserve created the easy monetary conditions of the 1920s which brought about the boom and bust of the 1929 stock market collapse. This precipitated the Great Depression and the conditions that led to the rise of fascism and World War II. The tinkering by politicians with our monetary system created more problems, which politicians attempted to solve by passing new laws and creating new programs and agencies. Without an unlimited supply of taxes and money printed by the Federal Reserve, politicians would have been constrained.

The somewhat logical reaction to the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to create make work programs, housing agencies and social welfare programs to keep the citizens from revolting. He did this through the creation of debt, doubling the National Debt from $22 billion in 1932 to $44 billion by 1940. This is when the entitlement mindset took root. The creation of OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) in 1935 was not supposed to be a retirement plan. People didn’t retire in 1935. It was created to make sure widows and orphans did not starve to death during the Great Depression. Again, the rate was only 1% at the outset. The age at which you were eligible to receive assistance was 65, four years greater than the average life expectancy of 61 years old. It was created as an insurance program and has morphed into a glorified retirement plan that convinced millions of Americans they didn’t need to save for their own retirement. It is $17.5 trillion in the hole because life expectancy is now 79 years old, politicians expanded coverage and refused to level with the American public for fear of losing elections.

The psychology of entitlement has grown over the decades as politicians made promises with borrowed money. They created Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare to provide pension and healthcare to all senior citizens. They created Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Section 8 housing because everyone deserved to own a home. They created unemployment compensation, SNAP, and SSDI to sustain the disabled and down on their luck.  Veterans are entitled to benefits as a result of their military service. These entitlements have become ingrained in our society. Charles Hugh Smith captured the essence of our entitlement mindset in a recent article:

“The entitlement mindset is thus firmly established in the American psyche. If we experience bad luck and/or the negative consequences of poor choices, we have been trained to expect the government at some level to alleviate our suffering, cut us a check or otherwise address our difficulties. The poisonous problem with the entitlement mindset is intrinsic to human nature: once we “deserve” something, then our minds fill with resentment and greed, and we focus obsessively on creating multiple rationalizations for why we deserve our fair share.”

The ability to tax and print trillions of dollars has enabled politicians to convince Americans they don’t need to save for their own retirement, they don’t need to worry about the cost of their healthcare, they don’t need to educate themselves, and they don’t need to help their neighbors because the government will do it for them. Once the entitlement mindset became ingrained in our society, self reliance, the ability to adapt to adverse circumstances, charitable acts, and taking responsibility for your own health and welfare rapidly declined among the populace. Government programs have been sold to the American people as acts of compassion for the less fortunate. Instead they have become a bureaucratic nightmare, creating dependence and a permanent underclass with no incentive, ability or desire to raise themselves up.

Human weakness and failings have also led to an over-class that have done far more damage to the country than those in society dependent on the state for their subsistence. The best description of this country at this point in history is a Warfare-Welfare-Corporatocracy. Since World War II the undue influence of the military industrial complex has led to almost constant conflict and foreign interventionism on a grand scale never matched in world history. President Eisenhower’s warning went unheeded:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The people of this country have traded liberty and freedom for the appearance of safety and security by allowing the corporate military establishment and their bought political cronies to use fear and phantom threats to convince the non-critical thinking masses to beg for protection. The Cold War was replaced by the War on Terror, while the truth is that we keep our troops in the Middle East to protect “our” oil under “their” sand. Attempting to maintain an empire through troops garrisoned in countries across the globe, patrolling the seas with our navies, buying the “friendship” of dictators, and saber rattling or invading countries we don’t like is a folly that has brought down many empires before ours.

The most decisive factor in the disastrous financial predicament we are experiencing today is the tsunami of Wall Street greed and avarice that was unleashed upon the nation starting in 1971 with Nixon closing the gold window and allowing the Federal Reserve to “manage” the currency with no hindrances like gold to keep them from going too far. Prior to the 1980’s Wall Street investment banks were partnerships. If a partner took an extreme risk he would endanger the personal assets of all the partners. This insured prudent lending practices. Once they became corporations the risk was passed to shareholders and as we’ve recently found out – taxpayers, while bank executives could reap obscene compensation by taking world shattering risks. The repeal of the Glass Steagall Act in 1999 and the obstruction in regulating the derivatives market by Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers created the playing field that allowed Wall Street go on a drunken rampage, pushing the worldwide financial system to the point of collapse in 2008.   

 What Happens Next?

 

“I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realized we’re all part of it, and all trapped by it. With so much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty.” Inspector Finch – V for Vendetta

Gains and Losses in 2007-2009, Average CEO Pay vs. Average Worker Pay

The chart above explains why anger and rage are beginning to bubble to the surface in cities across the country. It is clear there are no simple explanations or one answer to why the country is facing such calamitous circumstances. Essentially, human failings that have existed for all eternity have conspired to drain the vitality, risk taking, self reliance, personal responsibility and common sense from a once great nation. We know the uneducated, unmotivated lower classes, after decades of being kept down through our entitlement system, are unable and unwilling to do anything about their situation, as long as the entitlements keep flowing. It is the richest .01% that has accumulated the wealth, power and undue influence over the management of country. Either through inheritance, intelligence, connections, hard work, or luck, a few hundred thousand individuals out of 310 million people control the system. Immense wealth in the hands of the few has created a system where the few control the media, politicians, banking system, and mega-corporations that dominate our economy. Their human weaknesses include being egomaniacal power hungry materialistic greedy men who will stop at nothing to retain and increase their vast wealth. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in pillaging the wealth of the middle class. But, they’ve gone too far.

They’ve manipulated the tax code in their favor. They make up most of the Senate, House and Judiciary. They own the mainstream media outlets. They are the masters of the universe on Wall Street. They run the mega-corporations that have shipped American jobs overseas. They pay millions to have the laws and regulations written for their benefit. They created the social welfare system, the public education system, and the healthcare system that keeps a vast swath of the population impoverished, ignorant and dependent upon the mutant organism that enriches the few. They’ve convinced the bulk of non-critical thinking Americans that the government can create jobs and make their lives safe and secure. This is the point where critical thinking Americans need to honestly answer a few questions to decide what happens next.  

Did Social Security make our retirements more secure? Did the Department of Education make our children smarter? Did the Department of Energy reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Would there be more or less than 160,000 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. without the Department of Transportation? Does paying unemployment compensation for 99 weeks increase employment or create jobs? Did Medicare and Medicaid make people healthier and reduce healthcare costs? Has putting our faith in mega-corporations for health insurance, drugs and job creation benefitted middle class workers? Has the War on Terror made the average American safer? Did the War on Drugs reduce the usage and availability of illegal drugs? Did passing more laws lead to a more law abiding society? Does incarcerating more criminals in more prisons reduce crime? Does a 60,000 page IRS tax code result in more taxes being collected? Has issuing more debt to solve a debt induced crisis resulted in a stronger financial system? Does the Republican or Democratic parties have your best interests at heart? Does it matter who is elected President in 2012?

There are solutions to the issues facing our country but they all would result in painful choices, tremendous sacrifice, a willingness to rebalance our economy and lives, and the loss of vast stores of wealth by the top .01% richest Americans. The steps needed would be:

  • A nationalization of the Too Big To Fail banks with the required losses inflicted upon shareholders, bondholders and executives.
  • Re-institution of mark to market accounting rules requiring companies to truthfully report the losses on their loan portfolios.
  • The re-institution of Glass-Steagall to insure that no bank could become too big to fail.
  • Instituting a transparent regulated derivatives market that would insure that no single entity could threaten to crash the worldwide financial system.
  • Scrapping the existing individual personal income tax and replacing it with a flat, fair and/or consumption tax would take away the power of politicians.
  • The elimination of all corporate tax breaks so that multi-billion dollar conglomerates could not get away with paying no corporate taxes (GE).
  • The withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops from across the globe and a dramatic decrease in military spending would be a voluntary reduction in our empire.
  • A renegotiation of the social contract with changes in eligibility based on age and financial means is the only way to retain a semblance of a social net to protect those who are truly needy. Otherwise the social welfare system will crash.
  • The population would need to accept a dramatic decrease in their standard of living as interest rates would need to be raised and saving would need to replace borrowing as our economic mantra.
  • Acceptance of the impact from peak oil would require a complete restructuring of our suburban sprawl existence with communities forced to become more locally self sufficient.
  • The political system would need to be overhauled with term limits and the elimination of corporate and special interest control over the election process.
  • The Federal Reserve would need to be constrained through the re-introduction of gold and/or a basket of hard currencies as a check on their ability to print money.

Sadly, we all know that none of these solutions would ever be willingly implemented by the existing ruling class. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the system is crumbling. The .01% went too far and stole too much. An unsustainable system will not be sustained. The debt load is too burdensome. The peasants are growing restless. Young people have occupied Wall Street. They are beginning to occupy other cities. 700 were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge. Older people are joining the protests. There isn’t a cohesive message coming from the protestors other than the system is rigged in favor of the top .01%. Those who think they are in control are losing their grip. They see their power and wealth slipping away. They’ve had their way for decades and will not willingly submit to a change in the existing social order. Last night Jim Cramer voiced the concerns of the .01% by saying the Occupy Wall Street protests were worrisome. They are worrisome to the moneyed interests. They are a reason for hope to the 99.9%. We are approaching our moment of truth. There is something terribly wrong with this country. A new American Revolution has begun. It is time to stop being afraid and take this country back. What happens next? The choice is ours.

While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to….. – V’s speech to the British people in V for Vendetta

 

 

 

 

 


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Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:46 | Link to Comment Roy Bush
Roy Bush's picture

Hope dies last.  When hope dies, action begins.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:51 | Link to Comment quintago
quintago's picture

20 years ago we had Reagan, bob hope, and johnny cash. Now we got Obama, no hope, and no cash.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:52 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Nice!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:05 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

but we have the legs of 'Reaganomics'...Do you prefer the icon or the reality? John Wayne, made in Holywood or Joe Doe, made on Main Street? 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:10 | Link to Comment wanklord
wanklord's picture

 


What’s all the uproar?
It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all.

The blame must be placed specifically on the so-called Baby Boomers, a failed generation who really enjoyed the prosperity of the 50s and 60s; instead, they focused all of their deprived intellect in experimenting with all types of drugs and having very promiscuous sexual lives. These people have done nothing for this country and now they are so scared of potentially not being able to collect their government entitlements (paradoxically, they are the majority).

Therefore, America as a broken society is now paying the consequences of its own greed, lack of common sense and stupidity.

Someone said that Americans are just a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue. The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so the ignorant populace will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means – and stop blaming the government, since they don’t give a crap about people’s grievances.

Finally, educate yourselves about National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51, because Martial Law will be implemented in the United States due to the ongoing social unrest – and most Americans do not have a single clue of what this means.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:14 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

But what if we need a Martial Law when/if a bunch of Teabaggers or Libertarian-Anarchists begin to exercise "their view" of Constitution and Social Contract? I would rather have military respond and mop them up than having to rifle those idiots myself...

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:24 | Link to Comment Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Replace the H with a D and you get an idea where things are headed.

Yes, Ogolfer is about to legalize DOPE.  All those hippies will stop protesting and start cheering Odoper.

You wanted change? You got it!

 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:42 | Link to Comment IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

OT, any news why PM complex is dropping so sharply -- any increase in margins?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:55 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"What This Country Needs Now Is Hope"

Soon to be a major motion picture.  A cast of billions

How does it end? War.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:33 | Link to Comment toady
toady's picture

I don't get this 'hope' stuff. The only time I've heard it applied appropriately;

'Ye who enter here abandon all hope'

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 13:57 | Link to Comment mkkby
mkkby's picture

Much ado about nothing.  The last 30 years of "prosperity" were all bought on hock.  Now for the very natural and predictable unwind.  People who should have saved, prepared and educated themselves will suffer some -- as they should.  But they are lucky.  Nobody starves in USSA.

I see no reason to believe there will be mass unrest or violence.  There were only localized disturbances during the first depression and other social upheavals. 

Take normal, rational precautions and you will be fine.  Logic and healthy self reliance will continue to lead to success.  Panic and over reaction will continue to waste energy and time.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:44 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

Sad that ZH is getting Hopium OBots who keep s***ing on that Hope & Change penile as their Obi boy Buffett takes another bath. 

F - You leftists - billionaires on WS & CT hedgies, Soros and Buffet plus union goons are your people.  You little leftists shits voted fro this billionaire scum who f***ed your future.  You did this to yourself.

RINO Bush sucked and was elite's light but it was better than this nightmare.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:28 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture

What billionaire was voted for? Obama (definetly not a billionaire)? Soros (never in an election)? Buffet (never in an election)? Your anger is acting to blunt your intelligence. Calm down and think.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:37 | Link to Comment Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

What a stupid comment from another moron who has no idea what libertarianism really is.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:06 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

He with the biggest gun wins. I'd like it too if I were into very big guns and had sociophobic tendencies, but I don't.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:17 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Yet you are here talking about shooting us when we are openly asking for peaceful resolution. You are another self-indulgent moron. You don't even understand what you are up against yet you make open threats to the very same people you have been willingly sending overseas to fight for you.

 

How stupid can you be?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 06:01 | Link to Comment AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

This is why I think America won't change unless there is a bloody revolution.

 

"Leftists" 99% against 0.01% + tea party/liberitarian ilk.

 

The rich arabs, european royals, chinese indian slave masters are also against American middle class. They love this system and stupid idiots who want to continue the status quo.

 

Some people will need to die, and others need to be sacrificed. There are just too many idiots in USA who have been rewarded for generations for their stupidity.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 23:18 | Link to Comment JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

The Berlin Wall fell quickly and without violence after months of protests.  We're heading the same way.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:10 | Link to Comment Hot Apple Pie
Hot Apple Pie's picture

another moron who has no idea what libertarianism really is.

What, you mean like 99% of Libertarians? Most people in the US who consider themselves Libertarians are just Republicans without the courage to accept that the trickle down they feel is the santorum dripping out of their ass cracks when the Koch brothers finish using them for the millionth time. You'd have to be the most self-loathing delusional subhuman every birthed to turn and attack your neighbor who is also just scraping by, because some billionaire told you to.

Of course the other 1% of libertarians are actually libertarian, ie morons who are ignorant enough of reality to think that somehow 6 billion people can live on the same planet but not interact in any way that isn't completely voluntary. Most of them are, thankfully, 16 years old and ignorant for a reason, because they've never done anything in their life other than live under the protection of their parents. Far more pathetic is the adult libertarian, someone who has seen reality but chosen to ignore it because they are deluded enough to think that it is "society" keeping them down. if only the government was off their back and they could use their gold and guns to earn their own worth, they would be the one sitting on the top of the heap. Most of these people are poorly educated, fat, lazy, unskilled laborers who would quickly starve to death if left without social structures around them.

But it's OK, I'm sure you're the one brilliant, rugged individualist libertarian who would quickly stand out as a successful lone warrior should your fantasy ever come to pass. Your genius has only been unnoticed in your life so far due to the jealousy of others.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:54 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Yes, damn that free and voluntary association bullshit --- what we all REALLY need is widescale coercive control of society, of course by those who only have the collective interest of society as a whole at heart (despite the impossibility of determing just what the "collective interest of society" might actually be), and who are immune from any and all possible abuses of state power, and who would use their vast power over others only as angels sent directly from heaven.

Wait, you mean North Korea is not in fact a paradise?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:55 | Link to Comment Hot Apple Pie
Hot Apple Pie's picture

Yes, those are your only two options! North Korean dictatorship, or libertarian utopia. No society on earth has ever existed between those extremes.

Can you explain to me how in this libertarian land you can live your life 100% voluntarily, never having your actions affect others, never having to interact involuntarily, never having the actions of others impact your life? If you have land that you are self-sufficiently farming for food, a well you built for water, that still doesn't prevent a fire from your neighbor's negligence wiping out your entire life's hard work in an afternoon. Maybe you could have asked him not to build a fireworks factory and flamethrower firing range in the middle of several acres of dry brush, but you don't have the right to infringe on his land use.

So your acres of forest and crops you spent a lifetime growing are on fire -- how can you avoid dying in the fire? All the land around yours is owned by other people. You could never quite reach an agreement on how to build a communal road since each individual landowner believed they shouldn't have to pay for it. You don't have the right to run from the flames by trespassing on someone else's land, so you stand there at the property line with a wall of flames to your back and neighbors holding shotguns to your front.

Your neighbors insist that in return for letting you step off your land to safety, you give them all of your property and become their slave. Do you sign yourself and your family into slavery? Do you let them shoot your family? Do you throw your children into the fire so they don't have to be shot? If you sign the contract into slavery, was that done "voluntarily"? Shouldn't the courts then enforce your neighbor's right to own you, since you signed it away willingly? Shouldn't you be considered a thief and a liar if you try to get out of your slavery?

I can't wait to live in this exciting fantasy land where contracts and delusions trump all of human history and the realities of finite resources!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:22 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Libertarianism is simply about minimizing the power and influence of government where possible...  Just like virtually every philosophy, there is a spectrum within the libertarian mindset...  obviously it does not mean a complete lack of government or else it would spill over into anarchy. 

But please keep mischaracterizing the ideal...  it definitely helps lead to fruitful discussion.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:36 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture

Those who govern through ideals become idealogues. Libertarianism shifts prevention (ie building codes, industrial regulations) to resolution (lawsuits). Under libertarianism if my neighbor's action fucks me over, my only resolution is to sue, for money, requiring a monetary value being placed on health and life. Of course if you also shut down the courts, what you get is Somalia.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 22:03 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

'if my neighbor's action fucks me over, my only resolution is to sue, for money, requiring a monetary value being placed on health and life' - how does this differ from the current situation? Nine times out of ten such fuckings-over are civil matters, meaning you have to take your neighbour to court. In most visions of a libertarian regime, criminal acts (violence, theft, murder, robbery) would still be criminal acts, and dealt with by the state. There are some that advocate abolishing the state altogether, but they're more properly called anarchists, not libertarians.

If your builder fails to follow building codes, and your house falls down, what recourse do you have now? Lawsuits... but under the current system, if the builder can prove he followed building codes, he's scot free.

Let me give you an example of how a government monopoly of 'preventative' regulation leads to worse outcomes. I have bought a number of electrical goods that were made in China. On several occasions, when I decided to customize them, I have opened them up and discovered they were dangerously designed, and needed extensive rewiring to make them safe. Yet all of these items had passed the required government regulations that said they were 'safe'. If someone been electrocuted, the importer would just point out that the items met regulatory standards, and he'd escape any penalty.

You assume, also, that without big government, industry will not evolve its own standards bodies. Why do you think the present regulatory monopolies are any better at meeting consumer needs than any other kind of monopoly? In a free-market system, different standards bodies would arise, competing for companies to sign up. As a consumer, you could choose which supplier adhered to the standards body you thought most met your needs. As it stands presently, you have to use a supplier that adheres to a set of rules written by a bunch of bureaucrats that have almost certainly undergone regulatory capture, without any market (ie, competitive) oversight, and without any choice.

BTW - In any system, libertarian or interventionist, if you have no courts, you wind up with Somalia. Though they actually do have courts in Somalia, so perhaps Somalia isn't the best example of whatever it is you believe would happen if there were no courts.

Those who govern through ideals become idealogues - what, you're saying your belief in the goodness of our overlords, in the efficiency of monopolies, in the wisdom of bureaucrats, isn't an ideology? LOL.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 19:06 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

Yawn. Libertarian does not = anarchist hermit.

Peddle your strawmen elsewhere, 'Less Critical Thinking'... or is it 'Mark McGoldprick'? You keep changing your name... anyone would think you were ashamed of all your previous posts.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:41 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Bravo!

Of course, a truly self-reliant libertarian raising crops on his own land would already have built his own fire-control system so there was no threat from the neighbors.

Ha.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:49 | Link to Comment Mudduckk
Mudduckk's picture

Is this what you call a strawman arguement?

Just wondering...

Pretty elaborate...

Really.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 21:07 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Not just a strawman --- his specious and intellectually insulting twaddle constituted a veritable ARMY of strawmen!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:35 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

Epic! LOL

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:48 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

LOL!  Here we go again with the Koch brothers.  You guys are idiots. You never have a problem with the endless Democrat billionaires like Soros or Buffett plus the hedge funds, Goldman bankers et al.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:25 | Link to Comment Hot Apple Pie
Hot Apple Pie's picture

I don't know who "you guys" are, but most "libertarians"/tea partiers don't hold up Soros or Buffet as icons. Neither Buffet nor Soros espouses trickle-down economics. If someone else wants to argue Soros' political activities will lead to an economic renaissance, feel free to disagree with them.

Billionaires buying policy on either side of the aisle is unhealthy. Crony capitalism doesn't serve the economy, capitalism, or democracy.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:19 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

This site is ran by a Libertarian.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 21:55 | Link to Comment saiybat
saiybat's picture

The government doesn't tolerate people creating libertarian, anarchist or collectivist communities. You try that'll send in the goons to kill everybody there and the children. As shit starts getting worse people are going to start breaking away from the state and forming their own communities. That can't be allowed and they'll crack down hard on it just like they did in Waco, Texas when they burned that entire complex down with 20 children in it and shot anyone that ran out.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:00 | Link to Comment HellFish
HellFish's picture

Hey it's not the conservative, small government Tea PARTY (you asshole) that has murdered 60 million people in the 20th century - look in the mirror.  It was the left.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:08 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

Look in a book and learn about danger of mobs with low intellect. Oh yeah, and by "book" I don't mean Bible or the Constitution.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:39 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture
  1. I'm sure the Bush's tipped the scales.
Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:21 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

It's amusing, because while you were reading your newspaper comfortably every day for the past 10 years, those Tea Partiers and Libertarians like myself were learning how to kill people with the same rifle you are claiming to try and shoot us with. You are outgunned and outmatched. Go ahead and try to get violent, we will openly defend ourselves at every piece of cover on your block and handle the business on our own.

 

Unlike you, we are not too cowardly to defend ourselves. We've been doing it Iraq and Afghanistan for you idiots for the past ten years.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:31 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Unlike you, we are not too cowardly to defend ourselves. We've been doing it Iraq and Afghanistan for you idiots for the past ten years.

If you were part of the cannon fodder and brainwashed mercenary horde sent to Afghanistan or Iraq to defend the American Empire and US corporate interests overseas at the point of a gun, and think that you were thereby somehow "defending" me or any other honest, peaceful and freedom-loving American, or defending our God-given (and ongoingly government-removed) freedoms, then please think again.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:27 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

It's the premise of it you moron.

 

That's what people like that have been saying for decades, that we were fighting to defend them.

 

As for you, I could care less if some poor sap hit you with his car. What makes you think I give two shits about you? Get over yourself princess.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:37 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

You make a clear implication if not an outright statement, then attack me for assuming that you meant it?

Forgive me for not having been able to read your mind in your original post.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:48 | Link to Comment kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

"Their view"  ha! like you have read it...  Read it, the ratification debates of 1787 and 1788, federlist papers, and anti-federlist papers and get back to us on what "view" we should have.
Oh, by the way.. what social contract?  Is there a web address with this social contract and who signed it?  Or did you and your libtard progressive ilk channel Alinskey and Marx in a drum beating pow wow while smoking herbacide to come up with some contract that the rest of us must now abide by?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:56 | Link to Comment kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

I also forgot to mention..  Ron Paul has recieved more campain money from military servicemen and women than all other canidates COMBINED.. So it really does look like you and all the anti gun liberals are going to have to "rifle" those idiots yourself.. I am going to enjoy watching all the "friendly fire".  Tip:  the end with the hole is where the bullet comes out of.  Good luck!

 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:59 | Link to Comment kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

Progressive gun camp:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZO0ic23RmA

 

 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 19:10 | Link to Comment cgbspender
cgbspender's picture

Camp FEMA welcomes you.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:18 | Link to Comment Gadfly
Gadfly's picture

Yeah, let's blame the babyboomers.  That makes a lot of sense.  You obviously didn't read the article.  It's human nature pal, human greed and lazyness and stupidity, and you're part of it.  Take responsibility for your small contribution. 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Collective guilt = bullshit. 

Try again.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment mkkby
mkkby's picture

+1 Green. 

Only a tiny number of baby boomers were even involved.  The hippy culture was a small area of San Francisco and other areas of CA.  The excessive greed is 0.01% of the income bracket.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:30 | Link to Comment juangrande
juangrande's picture

I believe those that had the means (middle class) did the same thing in the roaring 20's. There were just more of us capable of doing it at the peak of our countries prosperity. The larger and more affluent the middle class, the more who partied. Humans are humans no matter the time frame. Please stop the " they are to blame" BS and wake up!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:45 | Link to Comment Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Baby Boomers stood up to the WWII vintage military industrial complex and stopped the Vietnam horror.  What did the following generations do to stop the criminal war in Iraq?  Go gettem, hero!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:23 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

That's odd, most of the actual movers of that movement were actually Veterans, and a few Communists that were trying to cause a revolution.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 21:40 | Link to Comment steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

You must have not been there.

The individuals who expressed public outrage and changed public opinion about the Vietnam war included almost all of the civil rights leadership, who had already earned a very large place in the public conversation. It shouldn't have been a surprise but the establishment felt betrayed when Dr Martin Luther King spoke out strongly against the Vietnam war.

The war was a pet of the US industrial establishment, US de-industrialization was a consequence of the war and its massive costs. The stupid US industrialists were virulently pro-war.

Other public figure were the Catholic priests the Berrigan brothers and Society of Friends (Quakers), a large number of prominent poets, writers and musicians (dirty hippies) and media personalities (Walter Cronkite, most Vietnam beat reporters) and politician Eugene McCarthy.

The abusive treatment of GIs both in and out of the service by the Pentagon during the war and afterward caused widespread discontent, to the degree that some (Schwarzkopf) suggested that Vietnam practically destroyed the US military.

A large number of citizens believe that those who disapproved of the war are seditious.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:44 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture

With due respect, Bastiat, preceding the Iraq invasion was the largest worldwide protest in history. But you can't stop a criminal with a protest.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:47 | Link to Comment RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

These people have done nothing for this country...

Oh, now, really.   So much for objectivity.   Absolutes will get ya every time.  

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:50 | Link to Comment Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

They are sooo scared of loosing even a small fraction of their 'entitlements' well they will suck the country dry and loose not only everything for themselves but also for their children, Evolution unfolding before your eyes

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:02 | Link to Comment wisefool
wisefool's picture

The problem is not entitlements. We are a wealth country. We should pay for medical services. We should provided a social safteynet. We should have corporations make bold moves that reaps them rewards.

The problem is the boomer generation conciously making a game (tax code) for them to get glorification for thier lifestyles, education and management philosophies. And now that the antiquated dinosour (bronchiosaurous) is fully dressed up with the nails painted, the hair did, and lots and lots of lipstick, so nobody realizes it is rotting from the inside. When they do, it will be too late and pestulence will over power even the most noble types. And the opportunists like solydra and G.E. are so filthy that crawing inside the tax beast is actually a cleaner environment than were they usually reside. Not to mention the class warfare meta violence.

Some US Politicians are waking up: 

GOP Rep. rips Norquist for ‘paralyzing’ Congress.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65104.html

Elect Ron Paul and/or Herman Cain and/or Huntsman n 2012.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:27 | Link to Comment zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

"It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all."

 

Most of the American trusted in the democracy.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:42 | Link to Comment Shvanztanz
Shvanztanz's picture

So, by your rationalization, if you have too much, it's because you were greedy, but if you didn't squirrel enough away, then you are stupid? I wish I had two decades of free sex to account for my stupidity and lack of wealth. 

I take offense at your presumption!

And what is this nonsense about NSPD1, it took them 10 years to find UBL and he wasn't even in a cave like we all believed. 

I can personally assure you, that not only does the "government" not have the physical ability to round up all the trouble makers, but they wouldn't know where to begin, even if they had a clue. I ASSURE YOU, that is the least of our concerns.

I too have dabbled in Narcissism and Paranoia, but then one day I woke up and realized that nothing I did made me (or you) enough of a threat to warrant a persistent fear of a V For Vendetta/1984 style internment.

Unless you are sitting on the missing billions from Saddam's bunkers or the secret king of Spain, your biggest fear is probably having to move back in with your mother, which in some ways could be considered worse than what that movie depicted, so, maybe you are right.

Where are my brown pants? 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:54 | Link to Comment Shvanztanz
Shvanztanz's picture

I either got dissed by someone who is someone's mother, or by someone who just can't accept the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. 

I mean, I re-read my entry, and I can't think of who I upset, other than someone who really thinks that being afraid of a mysterious "government" is an excuse to worship powers that don't exist.

I've seen the "powers" first hand. My friends, the Emperor has NO CLOTHES. 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 19:08 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Don't sweat it, Shvanztanz --- there is an apparently increasing number of anonymous junking-happy trolls here who are more and more trying to discredit those with the most pertinent and hard-hitting anti-Establishment posts.  One does not need much imagination to speculate on just why such actions are being taken, and by whom they are being coordinated and encouraged.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:38 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

Interestingly, it was the so-called 'greatest generation' - that fought Hitler - who were in charge during Viet Nam, the closing of the gold window, etc.

Blaming everyone within a certain age group for all the systemic troubles that are several decades in the making (The Fed? FDR, anyone?) is truly stupid.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:04 | Link to Comment steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

I have no idea why you would single out Boomers for your ridicule - and I'll be damned if I can find even a hint of a nexus between the sexual revolution and crony capitalism.  As for doing nothing for this country, may I humbly suggest that Mr. Bill Gates is a boomer, so is Steve Jobs.  Wanker, you are full of shit.

 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:47 | Link to Comment AllTheMarbles
AllTheMarbles's picture

Hey dickhead - go lay your sorry ass blame on someone else.  I'm sick and tired on dorks like you characterizing all Baby Boomers as the parasite generation.   It is dickhead assholes like you – eating up MSM propaganda and wanting to blame a entire generation for this economic mess.   I'm a Boomer born in 1954 - I have worked since I was 16 years old.  Boomers have know since our 20's that we would never collect Social Security.   I don’t know any Boomer who has planned on receiving Social Security or any other government entitlements.  Yes – Boomers are a majority, and becasue there are so many we’ve been told our entire lives there would be no Social Security when we retired. And there won't be.

My 40 plus years of SS payments were to support the Greatest Generation – not the Boomer generation.  The Greatest Generation was the first and will be the last generation to receive retirement and medical benefits.   Since you have your head up your ass or pressed against your Mom’s TV – your intellectual capabilities seem to be limited to regurgitating the MSM crap you’ve been fed.

I know a lot of Boomers – but their were very few Boomers who  "focused all of their deprived intellect in experimenting with all types of drugs and having very promiscuous sexual lives."  A very small minority of Boomers that lived this way (but it was a major focus of the MSM) - but those people have been dead for sometime.  The rest of us worked, went to church, and raised our families - I can proudly report that my three kids are now productive member of society.  Apparently dickheads like you believe the MSM Boomer propaganda that is now setting up my generation as the fall guy for the economic catastrophe about to hit this country. 

Since reading and critical thinking is probably beyond you capabilities here is a mini history lesson: 

The beginning of the end of the middle class family was set in motion in 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window.  I was only 17 years old and I'm positive most of the older Boomers were not in a position to influence national government policy at that time.  Since 1971 - the inflation in this country has lead the charge in destroying the USA and the middle class family.  In 1970 most families had a Dad that went to work and the Mom stayed home to raise the kids.  In 1970 my Dad made the highest salary of his life - a grand total of $12,000 a year.  That was also the year I received my drivers license and - gas was 25 cents a gallon.  As a family of four  with a total income of $12,000 a year we were considered a lower middle class - we lived within our means. My parents never purchased a new car, rarely ate at restaurants, etc.... but we always seems to have what we needed. 

In 2011 to have the same spending power that my Dad's $12,000 provided in 1970 requires $212,000 in today dollars. (Ref FED Inflation calculator).  I'm confident during their working years most Boomers salaries didn't keep up with the incomes their Dad’s earned in 1970.    Even if a Boomer is making $100,000 a year that is only equivalent to $6,000 in 1970 dollars.  Given the effects of 40 years of government sponsored inflation it is easy to see why most Boomers haven’t been able to save for their retirements years.  

It is dickhead fascist trolls like you who watch too much TV, get your opinions, ideas, and marching orders from the MSM – then right on queue starting posting, pointing fingers, and identifying Boomers as the people to blame.   Next time you want to blame someone – look in the mirror, dickhead. 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:04 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

I just thank God the parasites have finally completely destroyed the host. Now the government and globalist parasites get no more money out of the people because they don't have any more money.

I just thank God every day for the complete and total economic collapse of the USA and the world.

It is the only way to stop the parasites from continuing their rape of the people and end government tyranny. 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:42 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Check out the graph here: http://freemansperspective.viscountmedia.com/2011/07/rulerships-last-sta...

Precisely what you're saying.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:39 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

They can't get much more money out of us, true. So now they'll start stripping us of our assets.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:49 | Link to Comment European American
European American's picture

Wishful thinking.

 

This is still in the early stages. There's way more $$$ out there to be milked from the masses. They know what they are doing, IT'S THEIR BUSINESS!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 23:23 | Link to Comment JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

No....not early. Late, very late. They are actually running out of resources to use "strip assets". 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:51 | Link to Comment donsluck
donsluck's picture

Who is God?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:49 | Link to Comment New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Nope, we just get rope-a-dope.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:31 | Link to Comment MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Better than that,....

"now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"

Burt had it right, from a time when hope was possible..

take a minute and imagine the possiblilities for your kids, real hope!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH9sBgekdZo&feature=related

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:34 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

The morons who voted for HOPE are largely to blame for this. Include Dems who voted MCcain in the primaries caused McCain is a Dem.  I knew things with Hussein would get a lot worse.   I loathe Wall Street and the banks but they are Obama leftist goons protesting for more wealth redistribution.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:53 | Link to Comment European American
European American's picture

All that voted for a 2008 Presidential candidate are morons.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 19:28 | Link to Comment cgbspender
cgbspender's picture

I wrote in Lex Luthor.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 00:31 | Link to Comment unerman
unerman's picture

Reagen was part of the problem, can you not see that?

Please read this article, in details. It nailed it.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 00:31 | Link to Comment unerman
unerman's picture

Reagen was part of the problem, can you not see that?

Please read this article, in details. It nailed it.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:52 | Link to Comment nope-1004
Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:05 | Link to Comment Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

Thanks for this.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:28 | Link to Comment Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

ROCK ON

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:25 | Link to Comment zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Real ZHer.

Was this kid released on Sunday morning or is still in?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 23:53 | Link to Comment PaperPauper
PaperPauper's picture

Wow, Tyler had time to go down to the protest and speak!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:17 | Link to Comment InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Bullshit.

When hope dies, the future dies. Why would you go on living without it? I mean, that would apply to a large majority of adult humans.

No hope? You're either taking action to kill yourself, or operating at the fringes of what it is to be a human being. Like a dog.

Wake up, lick your own balls and then look for something to eat then piss on a tree. 

sound about right hero?

 

 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:46 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Hope is a really difficult word. Some people mean expectation, many others use it as sucker bait. Personally, I avoid it for that reason.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Fuck hope and smoke dope. Fuck, grow dope, and tax the shit out of it. Many problems solved. Even the elites wanting docile subjects for further ass poundings.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:57 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

 

 

Hope dies last. When hope dies, action begins.

May I add one word to your statement?

False hope dies last. When false hope dies, action begins.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:06 | Link to Comment European American
European American's picture

False Pride dies last. When false pride dies, actions automatically and spontaneously support all life (imho).

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 14:23 | Link to Comment mkkby
mkkby's picture

"When hope dies, action begins."

That statement in itself is hopeful ;)

No, sorry.  When hope dies, depression is left... which means deeper apathy.  Action always comes from leaders -- in good times and bad.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 06:10 | Link to Comment I only kill chi...
I only kill chickens and wheat's picture

From the Financial Post, poor buggers can't even figure out it's a guest post from the burning platform?

http://business.financialpost.com/2011/10/04/why-so-serious/

  Oct 4, 2011 – 7:02 PM ET

It must be stick-your-head-in-the-oven time down at Zerohedge. The popular financial website, which has been known to take contrarian positions from time to time, featured a lengthy post on Tuesday essentially declaring that the world as we know it is about to fall off a cliff.

“Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger…”

Check this link to read the rest.

Posted in: FP Street  Tags: , ,

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:50 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

Just when I thought we overdosed on hope since the election of the latest sell-out bankster puppet-in-chief...

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:05 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

baby. you're a young person, right? Tell me, how does it make you feel when an adult US male is using extremely simplistic Hollywood nonsense as an analogy to our current(incredibly complex) situation for writing horribly prolix and chart-y articles?

Scary, isn't it...

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:17 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

If you are referring to Tyler's commentaries, no. The man has quite the gift with his choice of words along with an underlying dry sense of humor that brightens the shine of our incredibly gloomy economy. Yes, it is certainly a scary economic reality we face. Thankfully we have sites like ZH to keep us informed, entertained and enlightened about the unfolding Geo-political and economic events that plague our world.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:24 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

It's not Tyler my love, some sad sap named Jim Quinn, probably has a toy train collection.

Tyler would never write such extended nothingness. Nice comments I concur;)

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:48 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

And toy trains are bad because............ ?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:42 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

...GeneMarchBanks doesn't like them. Ergo, they are BAD.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:40 | Link to Comment knukles
knukles's picture

So now Utopia?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:56 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

So solutions to complex problems must be complex?  You've never had to pass a coding solution for a system in front of "directors" for a rubber-stamp approval, have you?  Read up on Mao... he got Results with some simple, local made copies of the M44 carbine and PPS-43 stutter gun.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:43 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

I'm not sure what Mao got can be accurately described as 'results'.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:55 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

What problem did Mao ever solve?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:27 | Link to Comment bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

It makes dried out turkey more palatable.  I think it's spelled with a 'y'.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:36 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Quite funny!

But I have to agree with him --- mayo never solved any (gastronomic) problem.  For me, it is a culinary abomination still in search of a justification for its pathetic, sour, whipped-grease existence.  I despise mayo.  But coincidentally, I also despise Mao.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 23:52 | Link to Comment bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

You are certainly within your rights to despise my sandwich spread. And the man who is most responsible for China's predominant role in the condition of the world's economy. If you knew me you'd know I am much more concerned with the former than with the latter.

I agree that mayo is an unnatural combining of unhealthy ingredients. Unfortunately that leaves us at "De gustibus non est disputandum."

To be continued. : o)

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 01:28 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I agree that mayo is an unnatural combining of unhealthy ingredients. Unfortunately that leaves us at "De gustibus non est disputandum."

To paraphrase another Latin maxim: Tu ne cede mayo.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:46 | Link to Comment Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

Are there cliffs notes for this article?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:51 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Green. Lordy, with all the charts and the hope, I almost didn't get through...

...Ahhh what am I saying, I didn't get through it. I'm posting just to be a dick.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:58 | Link to Comment kito
kito's picture

take what works for you, leave the rest. although ive seen many of these charts before, it is comforting to look at them again and know that im not insane for believing the greatest empire in the history of the world is slowly coming to an end...........

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:14 | Link to Comment Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Freefalling ain't exactly what I'd call "slowly".  It can certainly be deceiving. It does feel like flying....until you hit the pavement.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:27 | Link to Comment gmj
gmj's picture

I don't know about greatest.  Alexander the Great did OK, but his empire unraveled when he died.  The Romans had probably the greatest empire.  When they became too weak to work or fight, and outsourced everything to the Goths, they were destroyed...by the Goths.  The US certainly has achieved the highest per capita consumption of any nation on Earth.  The price is incurable debt and a ruined planet.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:52 | Link to Comment RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You've just lost your right to refer to anyone else as "sheeple".    Sure, go ahead and stick your head in the sand because, "It's just too hard to read.... it's too long... it can't be tweeted."   Go back and sit on the couch and finish that beer and Cheetos.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:45 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

I'm going to go back and sit on the couch and finish that beer and Cheetos because I finished the article.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:47 | Link to Comment Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

The great collapse is unfolding.  Prepare - Survive - Prevail.  Remember Gerald Celente's 3G's = Gold + Guns + Getaway Plan

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:53 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

There's a Pee in there, Celente is a gobshite.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:59 | Link to Comment kito
kito's picture

better have lots of cash on hand when all of those digital bank balances disappear. your local shoprite wont be taking coins.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:12 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Actually, I'd venture to say that they will be taking any metal coinage over paper.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:00 | Link to Comment TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

You both assume the Shoprite will be open.

My guess is food lines, or black market.

Black market probably won't take good odds on fiat.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:48 | Link to Comment Belarus
Belarus's picture

Go long?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:01 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Yes!

Convince your mom to get a second mortgage and then margin it up on qqq's

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:49 | Link to Comment DutchR
DutchR's picture

Not a rsi friendly article ;)

California is full of Hopium, right?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:42 | Link to Comment knukles
knukles's picture

No.
California is the Winter Home of the Great Satan.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:49 | Link to Comment Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Well that was certainly a cheery read.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:51 | Link to Comment Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

If I was a pessimist I could be convinced that our President ran on a ticket of "hope and change" precisely to kill people's ability to hope for change. Almost like it was designed to increase despair, now and in the future.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:18 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

...and everyone saying "how's that hopey changey thingy working out for ya" are a bunch of sociopathic morons.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:27 | Link to Comment RSloane
RSloane's picture

Aww I'm sorry, did you buy into that bullshit? Want some tissue?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:35 | Link to Comment WallStreetClass...
WallStreetClassAction.com's picture

a tissue? I guess you have some you were using for all of that trickle down wiping? Lol...

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 17:47 | Link to Comment BigJim
BigJim's picture

Trickle down? Is that what we're calling Big government nowadays?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:20 | Link to Comment Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Hope is without action, and in fact debilitates action.  Hope is for suckers.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:54 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Do, or do not. There is no try.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:58 | Link to Comment s2man
s2man's picture

Hope has come to mean wishful thinking. It used to mean a confident expectation, which was an entirely different thing.

Stupid dynamic language.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:26 | Link to Comment RSloane
RSloane's picture

I think that is entirely possible.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 00:20 | Link to Comment chindit13
chindit13's picture

He ran, and won, on a slogan.  He won because David Axelrod knows which way the ill wind doth blow.  Axelrod knew he could get the Messiah elected if he could appeal to the post-peak hormone set, weaned on two second video clips from MTV, and where attention deficit disorder is endemic.

"Hope and Change".  That was all it took to build a voting block.  Three words.  Like "bread and circuses".  Like "vini, vidi, vici".

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:51 | Link to Comment bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Is that the same hope Dante told us to abandon after QE1?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:55 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Ah yes, because the last three years of hope has worked out so well.  Glad that I, and my like-minded neighbors have been following the plan cited by Comay above.  Hope is a great "feeling", but it is no plan, sort of like praying for rain during a drought, you will get rain eventually, whether or not you have already starved is another matter entirely.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:52 | Link to Comment JohnFrodo
JohnFrodo's picture

Canada so far has not really felt the "troubles" but that will change. If the US became Canada it would solve your problems and the worlds as well. 

No guns

Real Education

VAT

Single Payer Health

Military Spending 1.75% of GDP which still leaves tiny Canada as 11 biggest spender.

Reasonable gas tax (carbon tax)

And what we dont have is legal pot, but so far not war on drugs either.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 14:58 | Link to Comment ironymonger
ironymonger's picture

Missed one:

Borders a country which provided enough security and trade to make each and every one of those points possible.

It's ok, you're welcome.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:54 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

Very well played!

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:58 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly.  I already know many folks who have already disappeared into the wild parts of Canada.  When America goes, other continents may be fine, but to be Canadian and critizing the U.S. is like not worrying about a well armed neighbor with a well-established history of aggression showing signs of another imminent breakdown.  Moreover, didn't BOTH countries agree to help one another with riot control recently?  Remind me, what populace is unarmed again?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:11 | Link to Comment Yossarian
Yossarian's picture

Canada is a US colony without even knowing it.  They go around the world acting so self-righteous when, in reality, "they want us on that wall; they need us on that wall."  If there is anything we should emulate about them it is not their crappy healthcare system (although our is crappy- or inefficient- in different ways) but their controlled budget (after near default) and sensible immigration policy.  

By the way, is one of those charts off?  

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:59 | Link to Comment SamuelMaverick
SamuelMaverick's picture

Go to Plattsburgh NY, Albany NY or Buffalo NY hospitals and witness just how good Canadas' free health care is.  There is a steady stream of Canadian patients who want / need care and do not want to wiat six months for a 15 minute MRI or a basic surgical procedure.  What a joke.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:00 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

yeah, but who in the hell wants to listen to Gordon Lightfoot all the goddamn time?

The only reason you're not experiencing "troubles" is because we're holding the fucking umbrella over your sorry ass and have been for the past 60 odd years.

standby for a major sea change, you dipshit fucking hippy. 

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:06 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

With friends like you who needs enemies?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:10 | Link to Comment Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Which part of LFM's assessment do you disagree with?

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:14 | Link to Comment anony
anony's picture

Well, I disagree with him about Gordie,  What on earth is wrong with him?  Other than the fact that he should have retired at the height of his career and not done the tour after he was so sick.

I want to remember him in his glory days ( I'd say the same about all the 70s musicians).

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:57 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

LMAO.... too funny.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 06:42 | Link to Comment X Yooper
X Yooper's picture

Because Gordon Lightfoot was mentioned, I just had to post a message to show my avatar.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:09 | Link to Comment FubarNation
FubarNation's picture

Or Anne Murray I might add.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:57 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

But Rush is from Canada. How can you go wrong with Freewill?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnxkfLe4G74

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:44 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Oh my fucking God.  Rush!

Great lyrics, suicide-inducing music (and I use the word "music" very, very loosely).

If I had to choose between listening to an hour of Rush, or having Nancy Pelosi slap my balls with her own personal (and well-worn) copy of Das Kapital for the same length of time, gee, let's see .......

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 18:44 | Link to Comment Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Neil Young & Joni Mitchell are also from "that era/area" - if you want to just stick with the musician meme.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:06 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The usa cannot become like canada.

That would be like asking greeks to become like germans.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 15:11 | Link to Comment anony
anony's picture

You do realize that Canada has a TOTAL population of just under 33 Million, about the size of ONE of our states, Californica?

You do realize that, don't you? 

That no country on earth has 310,000,000 people under one insurance program.  It can be done for a single state, like California, but not for ten times that many people.  ]

You do realize that the United States is paying for your drugs, too, don't you?  We are paying what you won't pay in your negotiations with drug companies, who stick us with the bill.  Because we have ten X as many people to lay off the cost on.

Comparing two countries so vastly different in population is a purely an exercise in stupidity. And/or ignorance.

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 16:37 | Link to Comment Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

You are blaming Canada for us paying more for our drugs and their having health care that works?  You think it is Canada's fault our death industry buys every doctor, falsifies every study, bribes regulators, and writes the laws for the puppets to pass so that we pay more and get less coverage daily?  They can't do that in Canada and this is bad?  And please add;   that it is against the law for us to buy our meds from Canada because they are cheaper?  This is like the story about getting drugs in Mexico is bad because the aren't the same as what we get here narrative. That is correct, they are 20 times less money, that's the difference.

What are you arguing for exactly?   Do you want to be a debt slave and lose your home, job, family, and everything if you have a medical issue?  This is a fucking debtor's prison you live in.   There are plenty of large nations that have single payer health plans that work fine, cost everyone using the system a lot less, and don't allow crooks to run them to make a profit.  Is this bad because it is a reality?  You think it can't be done just because of the numbers?  We are already doing it now with Medicare and Medicaid that are run by people that want to destroy the programs because they are being bribed by insurance companies they have to deal with in their every day work. These countries don't have mindless jobs for toadies at insurance companies working for minimum wage to fuck you over that can't afford to get sick because they don't have health insurance and will lose their jobs.  I have not seen a pro slavery post on this site before.  Just shocked I guess.

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