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It’s a pun off of the word stagflation which was short for stagnant inflation.  Stagpression is short for stagnant depression.  It is the most accurate indicator of our economic situation today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…

We seem to be in a Depression. but we aren’t.  The Housing market is recouping, jobs are consistently growing, energy costs have dropped,  corporate profits are now at record, higher than just before the 1929 crash, and an all time record high stock market..  We should be booming. But we aren’t.  We still have too high of an unemployment both on and off the books, we still have depressed low wages, we have lost massive wealth within the middle class over this century so far, we have record high student loan debt, we have low consumer confidence,  Hence, one class of America is booming.  The other class is still in Depression mode.  Hence we are in Stagpression….

It is easy to see why.

Here is a chart showing the free cash flow of businesses……

Free Cash Flow

Record highs. See?  Record highs.  We should be growing faster than China, we have so much investment money at our fingertips. But no.

Here is our investment track record…

Fixed Reinvestment

Ironically as we gave our businesses more and more money with lower taxes, less regulation, tax funded price supports, hand-tied their unions, and made free new technology at our taxpayers expense, despite all these perks and incentives, they invested less.  So what are they doing with their money?   Pick up any financial publication and read the headlines. They all will let you know.

Rather than invest in plants and equipment, businesses are primarily using their funds to repurchase their own stocks in order to boost management earnings and ward off hostile take-overs, pay dividends to stockholders, and accumulate large cash and bond holdings.

None of which help our economy. It is as if we work hard, buy their products, and they put that money into a mattress. Soon, we are going to run out of money. Fortunately the Fed has filled the gap by printing more and giving it to banks for free. It too, filters though the system, and when it gets to the top, it goes into the mattress.

Instead of recycling money, we are letting the tap flow from our printing presses to the top echelon of our society… Now do you get it?

What is missing is a system that recycles the materials back into our economy so we have less money we need to print. If we were talking about paper, we would be saying we need to recycle paper to keep from cutting down more and more trees simply to fill up our landfills….

We need a system to return that money to the bottom so it can rise again and again and again.

Here are the options that have been tried.

  • Price and pay freezes.
  • Government set and regulated prices.
  • Lower tax rates.
  • Cash incentives from taxpayers to reinvest.
  • Pleas and entreaties from the Oval Office.
  • Higher marginal tax rates.

Only one of these has worked.  Can you guess which one?    If you guessed higher tax rates spur reinvestment you are absolutely correct.

Notice the rates of reinvestment climbing in each of these presidencies:  Eisenhower, Kennedy-Johnson,  Carter,  Clinton each time  Congress legislated higher marginal tax rates.  Also notice the drops under Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush as Republicans cut the taxes…  The Bush Tax Cuts held through Obama’s first term, and account for today’s sluggish reinvestment. More precisely, the reinvestment turned upwards under Obama  until 2010 when Republicans took over Congress, and has fallen since. I can’t wait to see 2013’s numbers, for I expect to see real investment increase there as well. However those higher tax rates on the top half percent implemented at 2013’s beginning, sent financiers scurrying and bargain empty homes were bought up by investors with lots of cash which brought up the floor of the housing market (perhaps to our future peril).  It also accounts for stocks becoming an area of liquidity to hold cash,..explaining the record highs ….

So we have an opposite relationship:  cutting taxes increases corporate profits which go elsewhere other than reinvestment back into the ecnomy.

Increasing taxes, cuts into the Free Cash Flow, and funnels some of that flow over to reinvestment projects.

Ever wonder how Delaware’s 3 banks lasted for decades and then all disappeared very close to each other?  Bank of Delaware, Delaware Trust, and Wilmington Trust. are now owned  by other entities. (Wilmington Trust had some hand in cutting off its own foot).  Commerce Bank, which was New Jersey based had the same fate.

They lasted for years because big banks never had enough free money to buy them out.  Just think.  In Delaware there are now 3 less bank presidents.  18 less bank officers,  and who knows how many clerical workers are missing because the work goes to the owners headquarters, not located here…. One still wonders if our state could be better off, had MNBA not been bought up by an outside conglomerate.

So giving more money to businesses and corporations in this case, cost us jobs… and destroyed 3 long termed Delawarean corporations…

That was one example.  Across this nation, in every city,  every county, every state are millions more….

Raising the tax rates drives re-investment.  It is the only thing we know of so far that consistently works to drive re-investment.   Everyone who insists on cuts and de-regulation, no matter how they spin it, is pursuing a policy that has been completely disproven by reality and fact and of course, recent history..

Are you better off than you were under Clinton?  Your income level will probably determine your answer…..  Because yes, some people are indeed, a lot better off.   John Carney.  Tom Carper.  Chris Coons,  Jack Markell, to name 4 off the top of my head….  Better off too, are those who these four represent… the 1%.  Much better off!

If you find someone willing to raise taxes, stick to them like glue. They are the ones who will lead us back to prosperity…..

Until then, economic stagpression will continue…. continuing through tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow….(at a) petty pace that creeps from day to day….

Round Up. that squirt-squirt chemical on TV that cleans up plants out of cracks in your sidewalk?

It was discovered to be a herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970.  Monsanto brought it to market in the 1970s under the trade name “Roundup”, and Monsanto’s last commercially relevant United States patent expired in 2000.

Generically it is called glyphosate.  Glyphosate was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops.  This was great for farmers.  You kill all plant-life, then plant your crops. No weeds, ever.

Industry regulators in Europe, removed from the political pressures of Monsanto,  have known for years that glyphosate causes birth defects in the embryos of laboratory animals….

As the problem became known, Republicans in Congress shut down the accumulation of all pesticide data as of 2008….

The last data shows that 185 million tons were commercially applied, plus 5 million tons residentially, plus 15 million tons by governmental agencies… American yearly total. 205 million tons.

Last data was 2007.  This is 2013.

  • 205 million tons 2007
  • 205 million tons 2008
  • 205 million tons 2009
  • 205 million tons 2010
  • 205 million tons 2011
  • 205 million tons 2012
  • 205 million tons 2013

1230 million tons gross since last tabulation…..

Two problems.  The corn or soy you eat, is loaded with glyphosate.  Republicans have halted on domestic tests on the effects of glyphosate on humans.

Secondly, it wipes out food sources for pollinators.

The numbers of wintering Mexican Monarch butterflies registered this year are under 2 million.  Last season they were 60 million. California’s count, which once boasted 120 thousand, are down to 2000….

Something is happening.

Some is due to habitat demise.   Over 2 million acres of habitat are commercialized each year.  But habitat demise has not grown 97% to account for this year’s drop in Monarchs.  Lack of Milkweed has.  Monarchs can only live on milkweed.  Milkweed only grows on the edge of farmers fields.  It does not grow well in the shade of wooded forests.

Round-Up kills all plants other than that GMO Round-Up resistant strain planted.  If there is no milkweed, there are no monarchs.  The caterpillars never grow, the pupa never forms, the monarch never emerges, the census data drops, never to return.

Monsanto denies it has anything to do with the demise of the Monarch butterfly as a result of use of its chemical.

What can be done?

  • Force milkweed planting.  Mandate every farm designate over 1% of their crop area to milkweed production in 2014…. As with a dying child, if medical attention is not applied immediately, the patient dies.
  • Government lands likewise should be sown with milkweed seed, and allowed to lie fallow.
  • Create National attention.  When every school child becomes aware of the monarch’s plight, so will their parents.
  • Limit the amounts of Round-Up sold and applied per acre.
  • Remove the ban on testing what effects might be caused by Round-Up on human beings from eating GMO crops.  It could be worse than DDT and we wouldn’t even know….

Today's Tea Party

Image Courtesy of HannaBarbara Productions.

Delaware Liberal has running commentary here…… 

The now famous high stepping Wal*Mart video  mentions that point….

Now, the meme of bashing Wal*mart  and fast foods has gotten a little blaze and to be honest, when I first saw the flash mob at Walmart on the national sites, as a person with little time, I passed.

But on Delaware Liberal, I opened it in another tab, and was listening to it as background and all of a sudden…..  it stopped for a half second and then…

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

The answer in my head was … “no, i didn’t…”

The second answer was… “of course I did.” which made me more intrigued by my original answer.  Why on earth did I think it was bad for these people to interrupt business as usual to demonstrate for something affecting I think, one person?

As this “wow moment” started to dawn on me, I realized I’d been brainwashed’… Over time.  it had really happened.  My gut, had been  over-ruling my head….  it’s a business. They should call the police. They should fire everyone involved…   Demonstrations are really ineffective blowing off of steam…

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

How many others out there would say “no” … How many others out there really don’t know it is their right to form a union?  That anyone can form a union?  It is legally protected.

Oh, they can threaten to fire you if you join… And they can fire you….

But if they do… you can sue… and even better, under current law, you can sue them and win.  Win big!

You can make them pay you for all back wages you lost.  So finacially it is just like you were working but having the entire time off.

You can make them pay all your damages, including late fees on bills you couldn’t pay because the illegally fired you. You can make them pay interest on all loans you took out to live on, even if they came from family.  If you Dad gives you a loan at 1000% interest, they have to pay that… and to your Mom, your brothers, your sisters, your aunts, and uncles…  Your whole family and friends can get rich off them because they fired you for forming a union!

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

The business may respond to the legal judgment ,  “Screw you , we are closing”.  But if they close they will still have to pay you for all the damage they cause you because they fired you for forming a union… You still win! And win BIG!

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

How is it that our newspapers don’t remind us of this.  How is it that Unions are painted to be the bad guys, because they make a business lose money?  Why isn’t the business painted as the bad guy, for stealing potential earnings out of each and every employee working for them…

Some may think forcing a union on a business is unfair.  Racist states often use this argument.  Why should White owned businesses pay more for black people’s labor?   That is why ALEC (in Delaware associated with Patty Blevins) was invented:  to protect White Businesses’ interests.   And still unfortunately, in some states, there were enough white people still agreeing that black people as well as to  those whites who associate with them, should be paid inferior wages,so much so that with ALEC’s help, enough votes were mustered to pass state anti-union laws..

But historically there were laws that once said: slavery was legal. Despite bad law, morally it was still everyone’s right to be free….

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

It is your right to form a union.  Existing law is crystal clear.   Why was this decided?  What is the moral argument behind it?

Simple.  You have to eat.  Bottom line.  If someone says  I have to pay you $6.00 an hour because I’m not making enough money, and you can’t get money anywhere else, you work for $6.00 and hour.  If he counters that he can only pay $5.00 an hour, and you can’t make money anywhere else, you will  do his bidding for $5.00 an hour.  Why not $4 then?  Why not $3 then?  Why not $2 then?  Why not $1 then?  Why not .25 cents then?

You have to eat.

There is no bargaining chip in your favor…  Your employer if legally allowed, would pay the lowest rate possible to still have employees. When there are more employees than positions,  wages could drop very low…. because you have to eat.

America went through the Great Depression primarily because of this… Even business leaders realized from that experience that by making their employees so poor, no one was buying the products they were making…

And so they agreed: “If we make our employers have disposable income, they can buy our products and we can again make money”.  So the legal basis was almost unanimously approved  by both businesses and labor, to make the right to strike just that.  a basic human right protected by the full force of the law…   Simply because paying workers higher wages is good for increasing overall demand. and that is what drives economies forward.

“Hold It! Did You Know? It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

Basically, a union is the answer to this counter argument:   “why should you, the investors, get all the money off our labor, and we get none?” Admittedly both of us should get something decent from our arrangement….

And there you go.  America did do very well… that is, until our media became influenced by investors (who now own them btw) and started painting unions as a scourage…  Missing from all press coverage, was the simple fact that one has to act scouragingly when bargaining with fellow scourages…  Sort of like not realizing that your hero prize fighter has to hurt people.  It’s necessary to stay in the ring…

So I encourage all reading this to now begin talking up unions in your workplace… Because if you get fired for any reason afterwards, you can blame it on the legal right to form a union….  it is like a wonderful vacation in which you still will get paid, probably even more than if you’d put up with the bosses crap the whole damn time….!

Now… you know!   It Is Your Right To Form A Union!”

Yeah.

It really is your “right.” and it is protected by law.  Now, go get them tigers!

All four postal unions sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Harry Reid on Aug. 5 expressing “utter dismay” at the introduction of S. 1486, the postal bill co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The bill continues the disastrous policy of mandating massive pre-funding of retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it, the letter notes.

In case you haven’t followed, Congress requires the Post Office to make inordinately huge pension-plan payments, for reasons which nobody can really understand.   In the final analysis, USPS pensions are a government obligation, and it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference whether they come out of a) a well-funded pension plan, b) a badly-funded pension plan, or c) just out of US government revenues.

A 2006 Congressional mandate requires the agency to “pre-pay” into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. Under the mandate, the USPS is required to make an annual $5.5 billion payment each year for over ten years, through 2016. These “prepayments” are largely responsible for the USPS’s financial losses.

No other business prepays for all employee’s actual medical hospital bills 20 years from now when they retire… It’s crazy actually. Lets assume you will be in a nursing home at $120,000 a year and you will (let’s be nice), live 10 years… Therefore it will cost you $1.200,000. So, assuming you are currently 53, giving you 12 more years of work left, we would take $100,000 of your income every year for the next 12 years….

Think you’d go broke? Do you know any business that assesses themselves so harshly? Of course not. No one would assess themselves that harshly. But Congress did assess the postal service that harshly. Congress forced this huge payment, which takes money out of running the business to be sure, just like you losing $100,000 a year takes money out of you.

Obviously the unions are upset. For to be able to make the payments on these huge pre-payments, they are cutting people’s pensions and benefits to pay for it. Imagine working 40 years and retiring tomorrow with no pension, so those retiring in 20 years hence, will be fully funded? They ave a right to be mad.

Here is what Senator Tom Carper proposed.

  • Destroy 80,000 full- and part-time jobs after a one-year delay, by eliminating Saturday mail delivery and give the Postmaster General authority to eliminate additional delivery days in the future;
  • Slash tens of thousands of additional jobs after a two-year delay, by allowing USPS to reduce delivery standards and close hundreds of mail processing facilities and thousands of post offices;
  • Mandate the elimination of door-to-door delivery, threatening at least 16,500 additional jobs, and
  • Impose “cruel and discriminatory” changes to the Workers Compensation program that would leave injured federal workers vulnerable to impoverishment when they reach Social Security retirement age.

“This massive downsizing and the bill’s assault on postal employee benefits are not necessary,” the letter says. “They are being driven by the irrational retiree health financing policy that no other business or agency would adopt. The Postal Service has already pre-funded decades of retiree health premiums, more than any other enterprise in America. Indeed, USPS has already set aside an estimated $49 billion for such premiums, approximately 50 percent of total expected costs over the next 90+ years.”

Do you think they’re a little bit angry?  Do you think they’re a little bit justified?

“The 30 members of the Senate who have co-sponsored S. 316, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, have taken the right approach. That bill (Bernie Sanders )would strengthen the Postal Service, promote innovation and, most importantly, resolve the retiree health and pension policies that have crippled the Postal Service in recent years,” it says.

Bernie Saunders bill is aimed at promoting the prosperity of the Post Office, as well as those who work for it.  Tom Carper’s bill, which insists on imposing the $5.5 billion penalty, is aimed at promoting the prosperity of financiers and banks.  After all, who do you think, gets commissions investing off that $5.5 billion?

Banks = Delaware = Carper

That is why a Senator from little ole Delaware is in the heart of kicking  down the US Post Office.    Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

 

Economic theory, which is basically bullshit, is often coached in mathmatical terms to disguise the fact that it is pure bull.  However there are some very simple concepts which make very good common sense, and if one looks at that, instead of how to use current data to justify one’s action politically, one comes up with obvious surprising results.

Labor Demand < Labor Supply

That is why so many people are out of work.  Now here are the players.

  1. Workforce Market
  2. Corporations
  3. Commodity Market
  4. Foreign Investments
  5. Financial Markets
  6. Households
  7. Government

Government is our last option.

So our workforce if we compare the same counting today as was during the Great Depression, is running at 85% capacity.  Meaning 15% are unemployed.

Going down the list then,

Corporations are at their best ever. Corporate profit the highest percent of GDP ever.

Financial Markets also are at their best ever.  Dow Jones is at record highs.

Commodities are performing well, all indications are of a long term bull market.

Foreign Investment is at an all time high.  Never have we had this much outside money.

Real Household Income is declining.  We are headed downwards and are currently tied with 1994 as it rose out of the 91 recession, and prior to that, tied with 1984 as we were coming out of the 1982 Recession.

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Bottom line with government out our equation, we have the investment side of our economy all doing spectacularly well, and the household side going down.

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Proof enough that the free market system, or capitalist system does little for the good of any nation, just as little good it did prior to the legislation that became law after the crash of 1929 when Democrats swept the Federal Government.

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Government is the great equalizer.  For a fix, government needs to step up and side with We the people (or households), and as a referee would in any sporting event, make the playing field fair.

It can to it in either of two ways. It can impose necessary restrictions upon businesses which increase their demand for labor at the expense of their corporate profits.  For example, pass legislation to imprison CEO’s for malfeasance. Only then in order to keep their heads out of hot water, they hire environmentalists, social engineers, accountants, and other highly trained personnel whose prime function is to make sure the company is not doing anything shady.

It can also split the corporations into multiple smaller ones, each now requiring a new president, several new vice presidents, new HR’s, new financial planners, etc and with one fell swoop, increase the demand for labor.  This too, comes at the expense of corporate profits, which are currently huge primarily due to economies of scale.

And it can indirectly create demand by raising taxes.  When taxes go up on profit- earned, less profit gets earned by design; less “reported” profit, less money handed over in taxes.. Meaning the bulk of that money is now spent being reinvested into the business just so it can’t be taxed.  Building projects, higher wages, more R&D gets spent into the economy,  This too, comes at the expense of corporate profits on the books.

But that is why higher tax rates are actually the best alternative.  Higher tax rates tend to create less taxes, so government still needs to stay small.  The revenue collected is lower for the simple reason that if there was absolutely no tax, all the money earned would belong to me.  But if more of what I earn goes to you, then I will figure out a legal way to keep more for myself, and report less.  So whereas as tax rates go up, total tax revenue comes down;  the net effect is that more money goes into our economy thereby creating more demand.

The demand for labor then gradually rises to equal the supply and if it continues on its upward path, yes, yes, so there are more jobs than workers, then competition begins pushing the individual wage rates higher.

Which adds to the increased demand.

Using tax rates works best for now instead of the government interfering with day to day operations of all businesses, it actually creates an environment where each business can operate independently to its own best interest, and as they do, the demand for labor rises even more…..

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Anyone who argues for less government input into the economy is in the wrong century and can’t read economic figures that are plain as day.  So how does one interpret the cries for less regulations that are hurting corporate profits?  Easily. One realizes that sooner or later corporate profits have no choice but to fall, so our household income can increase. Loss of corporate profits is a “good thing”.

One should mention in the same breath, that labor’s percent of wages is deteriorating all across the world.  It is a world wide phenomenon.  The answer is simply that deference of all governments over the past decade and a quarter, has been given to those in charge of investment.

Policies favoring Investment must now take a back seat to those which put people back to work, which if done, raise the incomes of all of us… Even those of  the 1% , though not as much as they have been lately been accustomed.  But everyone still benefits.

Raising taxes is where we need to go.

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Bruce Ennis put forth a bill (SR8) requesting Delaware go forward with formally supporting Glass Steagall re-implementation by the US Congress.

Bryan Townsend kind of came out against it. Here is Nancy’s copy of his emailed response to her.

One must understand all legislative members in Delaware are somewhat compromised. We are a banking state. In the words of Gov. Howard Dean, MD. himself… ” Any candidate who challenges Wall Street’s status quo is going to come under an avalanche of hateful attack ads this year –“

So there is considerable reason not to be an ardent Delaware fan of the return in 2013 of Glass Steagall….. One must give the courageous Bruce Ennis a plug for being one.

But it makes so much sense. There are times in our life when one can willingly chose a very risky path of action which will occupy 100% of ones attention, as in driving a mountain road along the cliffs in Montenegro at over 100 km/h. Or, we can choose to put ourselves into a safety bubble, such as cruise control on a major interstate highway, and relax and enjoy the other things in life, since all our effort is not involved on monitoring what otherwise could become a life or death scenario.

I have read Mr. Townsend’s statement and it is accurate. However my criticism is that it deals with banks. His and our responsibility is to the people whose money is in those banks. And who are on the hook when those banks fail.

The FDIC insures deposits now up to $250,000. It should not be responsible for funds placed in hedge funds, As Elizabeth Warren accurately stated:

Banking should be boring. Savings accounts, checking accounts — the things that you and I rely on every day — should be safe from the sort of high-risk activities that broke our economy.

If we are going to insure the people’s money, it should be kept in safe investments. What point have we in insuring by default hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking services. When the same institutions that take huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.

The funds for checking and savings accounts of America’s families and businesses, should not be handed over to the London Whale. If a crash occurs, and the money is safe, then the losses are only on paper. But when yours and my monies are in Bangledesh, China, or Antarctica on some risky get-rich scheme, and fail… our tax money needs not be thrown away because our American Banks were involved.

Banks cried the economy was safe enough for the repeal of Glass Steagall.. History showed them wrong. Even the most vibrant time of economic growth ever seen in America (92-00), could not prevent the collapse 9 years later after 8 years of Republican control..

The only way to keep citizens money safe, is to insure it. We are lucky we have a rich nation which can do that. We barely survived the financial collapse of late 2008. Our employment numbers still show the cost.

Yes, one can take the bank’s side and say things were different in 1932 than they are in 2013. But doing so, puts one in contrast with what is best for We, the people. The simple solution is to make it clear to all, that the FDIC will only insure safe investments used for checking and savings accounts. For risky investments banks are on their own. For them a bank must use other funds it can easily afford to lose if it wants to play at the crap table… It should not be throwing our money away because it assumes the taxpayers will simply replace their losses for free.

We should not be in the business of arguing what or what not banks should or should not do. They can do that within whatever parameters we choose to give them. However our concern is simply over how much we should insure. The new Glass Steagall Act of 2013 will make that clear.

Diane picked up that the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting Wall Street investors are getting a little shaky with UNO, a quasi-government-private partnership that was supposed to rapidly expand charter schools in and around Chicago.

An expansion that was to be partially funded by $37.5 million of Wall Street’s money.

A crack has just opened in the impenetrable fortress wall. A pinpoint of light is shining through.

The easiest way to stop the charter school process may not be through legislation, but by an actions far simpler to achieve: Make charter schools unprofitable… A philanthropist will invest in a charter if it earns no money. But Wall Street investor certainly will not.

That is the problem they have with Chicago.. Chicago points the way on how to organize and hit Wall Street where it hurts…

A. Picket Charter Schools as unfair to Labor. Who wants to sign their children up in a school with picket signs outside protesting the destruction of the middle class by Wall Street? What kind of status symbol would that be, to have to tell your boss where your kids go to school? An embarrassment, that’s what.

B. Call state legislators to complain about anything negative you can find out about the “new” charter school. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Truly, you are doing that lawmaker a favor; you are saving his butt from being blindsided by parents back home. All he hears from lobbyists in his office, is how great charter schools theoretically are. Reality is far different…

C. Threat of unionizing all Charter School Teachers… And why not? Why not enlist Charter School teachers and help them get organized to demand higher wages or strike? Aren’t they people too? Why should they work for a lot less than public school teachers, when they could easily be making the same salaries if they would just organize into a union, as do public teachers? What Charter School teacher would say no to higher wages? What Charter School Teacher could say no to higher wages… It is time to aggressively recruit.

D. Investigate all transactions to insure no embezzlement. Check over state funding to Charters which is published and look aggressively for corruption, nepotism, and anything to taint the charter school in bad light, thereby jeopardizing state funding…

Arne Duncun said… we would learn a lot from Chicago… and he was right.

In short, UNO obtained $98 million from the state legislature to build new charters. It turns out that $8.5 million of that money went to companies owned by two brothers of UNO’s number 2 official, Miguel d’Escoto. When the scandal broke, he stepped down from his $200,000 job, resulting in then Governor Pat Quinn to halt payment on the balance still owed to UNO…. Investors got worried and question UNO in a conference call, over the scandal, over the unionization of Charter teachers taking place, over the halt of construction on one of the new schools for failure to pay the bills, The governor has suspended payments of the remainder of state money until satisfied that the Charter is performing as promised. And this just in, UNO spokesperson confessed to the Chicago Sun-Times that “future funding may be at stake..”

The lesson here, is that getting a legislator to part with his campaign money coming in, is a lot harder than making Wall Street’s return on investment extremely risky. When Wall Street starts consistently losing money each time it invests in education, it will move on to something more prosperous.

We see what we have to do,…. Now, lets make it happen…

Union leaders. Start pressing charter schools to join.

Bloggers. Start pouring over the balance sheets on line of your nearest Charter School.

Parents. Write you legislator on how much Charter Schools have destroyed the educational experience for you child…

Yes we can do this… We can learn a lot from Chicago.

Because Social Security is getting cut down, you choose to put your money in an IRA…  Since doing percents are easy with amounts starting with a one and ending in zeros, let us assume you choose to put $100,000 in an IRA for 20 years…. The Wall Street firm will charge you 2%. You think, $100,000?  2%, ok … $2,000 over 20 years that’s nothing.. I’ll still have 98% plus interest over 20 years…

You think?  This is Wall $treet we’re talking about……

So take this interest compounding calculator. … Seriously, you need to do this.  Right click it into a new tab  so your computer doesn’t have to download flipping back and forth….

Add $100,000 as principle.   No new additions on the first round.  Time Frame: 20 years. For the interest rate put in negative 2. Since you are going to be receiving only 98% of your earnings on a yearly basis, a negative 2 works better than having to do the extra step latter and subtracting two totals.

Hit total…  At 2% compounded off that $100,000 you originally placed,… after commissions all you will have left is $66,760… Wall $treet takes 1/3 of what you earn…..

Not convinced?  Let’s go a different way.  Let’s say you will average 7% increases with a 2% commission… We’ll do it in two steps.  We will use the calculator to figure out what we would have earned at 7%, and again, what we would have earned at 5%.  We will subtract the two to see how much Wall $treet is taking out from your future…

At 7% increases we would have earned $386,968 over 20 years with no additions after the initial deposit.  At 5% increases our total maxes out at $265,329.   That 2% costs us…..$121,639 dollars…. The same 1/3  as above….

The argument can be made that since we agreed to it in the beginning and never got it, the commissions really doesn’t cost us anything.  But if we change the wording so we say that it costs us $121,599 in “potential earnings” that clears that hurdle and if probably a more truthful line..  But there is no question …. these calculations show us how much Wall $treet intends to make when our retirements go their way instead of coming through Social Security….

We now remember why Franklin D. Roosevelt went with Social Security in the first place.  Those who saved across all their lives, can not afford to live after they stopped working.

Not like Sam Donaldson got belted… but the old fashioned way. The way Dad did when his little kids messed up big…

The nation was starving to hear about gun control. The President issues a brief statement then asked for questions.

The first question was NOT about gun control. It was about the fiscal cliff. Most people outside the beltway don’t care that much about the fiscal cliff. 26 people were not pushed off a cliff.

The second question was NOT about gun control. It was about the fiscal cliff. Again, can we please get back to gun control….

The third question was NOT about gun control. It was about the fiscal cliff… Excuse me MR. Reporter? Did you miss the story and impact of the shooting last Friday? Or you don’t even care?

Near the end, Jake Tapper, and ABC News reporter finally asked…. noting that the president hasn’t done much on guns in the last four years and asking, “Where have you been?”

Obama answered exactly correct… I pulled us out of the Great Depression faster than did President Roosevelt. I resurrected the American Automobile industry, which would have failed. I was fighting two wars, one I finished, and the other I will soon finish in this term. It has not been a vacation…….

He should have responded….. “The real question is where have YOU been? You are the press; you define the arguments to which I have to give answer. Right here. Right now. In a press conference to cover this tragic disaster of a mass shooting in Connecticut, one of children 6 years old… I have to first answer 3 questions about the fiscal cliff, because to you, that is more important… The real answer, is if I wasn’t having to fight so many firefights ignited by the press, usually over nothing, I could get some real work done….”

“Reality” could not have more clearly answered Jake Tapper’s question…..

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