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Some days nothing happens.  Many for that matter. Or it’s the drip drip drip of attrition of small events one tries to blow up as huge cataclysms… as in portraying it as the Earthquake of the year…

THEN, there are days everything changes.

Right now, we have the WEIC bills shuffled into a different committee in the Senate, creating speculation they may be shelved, never to see the light of day.  They passed the House. This is important for all of Wilmington.  I was telling some school kids what it was about, and their eyes got HUGE!  (They had no idea)…   But it is the first change in New Castle’s School Districts boundaries since the famous Court desegregation settlement.  It has great impact on property values in Christina District… Woo Hoo!  No more thugs! That becomes the place to raise your kids. Red Clay’s housing prices begin their grand longterm slide… Pike Creek is a great neighborhood, but we now got thugs from Wilmington in our schools.

Secondly, we have the Democratic sit-in for common sense gun legislation… Going on 24 hours, this is amazing stuff.  We’ve had sit ins before, and the same outrages being social media’d regarding Paul Ryan, also took place when it was Republicans protesting and Democrats controlled the House… The Democrats even turned off the lights; the Republicans have not gone so far yet…. But this is destroying the Republican Party… Seriously, it is a wonder if it will be around November 11th.  We have Democrats demanding a vote on gun laws that will save lives… They may not win the vote, (there are a lot of Republicans) but they are demanding a vote… Obviously the Republicans don’t want a vote which will cause them to get attacked by both sides… I mean,… who wants to be attacked by both sides?

But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pay attention to either of these… Today (yesterday) was the Brexit Vote.  Most of you don’t know what that is or what any implications of that might be…  Let us say:  global economic collapse.  Remember it was the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, one single firm, that triggered the Depression (falsely called a Recession) of 2008.

If that was a rogue wave, this is a tidal wave… While you slept, Britain lost 120 billion pounds sterling of net worth. most of it in a minute.  Their banks are down on the stock markets by 25%… You may wake up to the resignation of their Prime Minister.  Housing rentals stocks are now down 40%… Overall at this writing, the FTSE  is down 5%.. The German exchange is down 5%.. American futures are down 5%…

No one knows how it will end.  It could be the end and wipe out all wealth which means we are in for a long bitter and hopeless recovery.  Or we may, pull a save and people will relax. The answer depends on where the fear line lies, and that is something no one can know…. That is the line over which if collapse passes, emotions take over decision making and a free for all occurs…

So before you go in to work today, pour yourself a glass and raise it to “Yesterday”:  a normal day that may be the last normal day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Cheers. 🙂

 

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This link takes you to STARTCLASS’s rankings of Delaware’s Schools… it is the Harvard program designed to rank all schools in the country.

Those of us who know the school profiles inside and out, will see exactly what is being done.  A select list of criteria mostly in this case the former DCAS scores, is used solely.

And of course, based on it, charters are ranked at the top… There is no mention of  African heritage percentages or any other minorities for that matter. Low income is never glossed…

This is a preview of what the rating system will be about.

Image a parent stuck at what is a failing school (listed here) filled with great teachers, great staff, and is building students daily, who constantly tries to pull their kid out into an inferior school based on these ratings?…

This appears to be nothing but an advertisement for charter schools… And the data is not true… Imagine if you are an Afro American scientist moving into Delaware looking at these top schools thinking you’ll put your kids into them… and find,,, though you kids are smart at home… for some reason…. they can’t get accepted in these chalky white institutions…….

Most Republicans smoked dope in high school. Some libertarians did also.  Democrats, maybe, but not so much. Therefore in America at least 47% of the voting public in General Election years, and 51% of the voting public in off-years, is ignorant about American History… The important stuff.

America was founded on freedom, and whenever that fails to work well, our law making bodies add a regulation… Regulations like everything else can be bad or good, but for the most part, the regulations we do have all had to be voted into being by a widely diverse group of people, and therefore there is probably some good reason we have them.

With Dodd-Frank, the reason is obvious.  But Republicans seem to have forgotten both crash deregulation brought on, and their catastrophic loss of both chambers of Congress and the Presidency because of it.

Dodd-Frank simply puts a limit on gambling… No, you can’t bet your domicile at Delaware Park.  No, you can’t sell your car there and bet it on roulette.  No you can’t put your kids into prostitution to feed your gambling habit.

We have to regulate things like that. Otherwise if we don’t and someone does them, they can keep doing them without a law to stop them.

That is why the idiocy of cutting regulations is just that idiocy.. Perhaps I can grant that with Google now, we can search and find perhaps one or two regulations that would benefit society if we removed them.  But they certainly would not be in Dodd Frank.

Those are there to prevent what happened in 2008 from happening again…  That’s impossible you say… It was 80 years between both Great Depressions… That is a lifetime… Nothing happened in between!

Exactly,! Because laws like Dodd-Frank were held in place which limited the amount of our money one could gamble. Two bills repealed that oversight and bam, in 2008 we were in crises.

And now, we want to return to the instability of those years prior to the Great Depression of 1932?

The Great Recession was solely the result of an economy built on overextended consumer credit and risky mortgages; the crisis began in March, 2008 as investment bank Bear Stearns became the first of dozens of major American institutions to fail or be bailed out by the Fed. Bear Stearns would soon be joined by AIG, Lehman Brothers, GM, and Countrywide, to name a few.

Some regulation are on the books for a reason… such as regulating derivatives.  While derivatives were regulated, gas stayed at 99 cents a gallon for 8 years… Remember that?  And just as soon as we deregulated Derivatives, it climbed all the way to $4.25 a gallon before the collapsing market dropped the price down to real market, which we shockingly discovered was just $1.70 a gallon.   The Dodd-Frank regulation on derivatives has returned us again to low prices (faster due to help from our Sultanic friends in the Gulf),

And as soon as it gets removed, the hedge funds buy it low…. wait and sell it high…

We played this game before:  the year 2000, the end of Clinton’s term. The spending bill passed in September were held up through December in conference committee by Sen. Phil Gramm.  The Omnibus funding bill that year, had a rider that deregulated all derivatives from government oversight.  Over those 4 months leading up to passage, parts of the government had been officially unfunded.  Government employees wondered if they could even spend for Christmas.  Finally on the very last day of that Congress. by a voice vote only seconds before adjournment, all conference committee (Phil Gramm) changes were approved and the bill got sent to Clinton.

Unfortunately he signed it… and we paid those hedge fund investors a lot more than we should have been paying for our gasoline. Up to $2.50 on every single gallon!  We also sold bad mortgages as derivatives, world-wide… and when those mortgages failed (as we knew they had to), the world economy collapsed.

We should not make the same mistake again. We really cannot afford that same mistake again.  With hindsight, a new democratic Congress would have been sworn, and could rectify that before Clinton left office… But tired and in the last waning days of his presidency, one cannot blame him for not doing so.  Who wants to end with a pie-fight?

And I’m sure it seemed like a good idea … up to 8 years later.  But is was wrong. It was dumb, and we paid dearly for it. How we paid dearly for it…

Veto the changes, and then see if they can find 70 Senators willing to go on public record while all America is watching and screw over the American people.

Removing good regulation will be our downfall.. Don’t let that happen.

Came across an amazing chart from the Paris School of Economic’s database.  It allows you to customize your search for any time or place over the world.

My area of expertise is within the US and here is what I wanted to see:  the percentage of national income earned by the top 0.01%…. not just the top 1%, but the top-tip 0.01%.

Tax rate impact firsttax rate impact secondtax rate impact thirdtax rate impact fourthtax rate impact fifth

This shows the past 100 years of national income percentage earned by the top 0.01%. There are some very striking facts noticed by those looking at this data for the first time.

1) The year 2012 was one of the record highest, beaten only by two years during WWI when the rest of the world was embroiled in war, and our top echelon were selling to both sides…. If one extracts that exception, then in 2012 we gave the top 0.01% (one hundredth of one percent) more of our national income than at any time previously recorded.

2) The Great Depression did little to affect the income percentages (1928-1932);  Roosevelt however (1933-onward), did a lot.

3) During America’s most prosperous times ever, after WWII made us the sole global economy, the incomes of the top 0.01% stayed under 1% of national income across the next 43 years. (1943-1986)

4) The Reagan Tax Cut of 1986 caused a doubling of the top 1%’s income in just 2 years. from 1% in 1986 to 1.99% in 1988.

5) The percentage again dropped under 2% after Clinton’s tax hike in 1992 causing a robust expansion, but passed that 2% mark in 1997 never to return.

6) During the “w” Bush years, the percentage continuously climbed peaking in 2007 and would have peaked higher in 2008 but the recession clipped the last two months off that year. Despite that, 2008 was the 2nd highest grossing percentage up to that time (discounting the WWI anomaly) across almost 100 years of data.

7) The Great Recession (2008-9)  as did the Great Depression (1929-32), had little effect on the top 0.01% percentage of national income. At no point did their yearly take dip below 3%, a mark first crossed in 2005 (if one continues disregarding the anomaly of the First World War).

8) The rebound ability of an economy at large is hampered when more money collects at the top and is not returned as investment to the bottom. Though small in percentage points, those difference of those 3 percentage points ( from under 1.0 to 4.0) translates to $500 billion that did not impact our economy because it went to less than 31,000 Americans.  Considering our TARP was passed only for $800 billion, we only saw $300 billion net running through our economy. because $500 billion of the $800 billion was handed over to less than 31,000 people then quickly whisked away to foreign bank accounts beyond the reach of the IRS.

9) Although difficult to state through all the multiple influences that impact economies daily, the extensive overview shown by this chart makes it clear that were we to have another great recession, we should first use the incomes of our top 0.01% to first rebuild our national economy as did Roosevelt, and not assume that those wealthy will do so voluntarily as did our creators and negotiators behind this current rebound.

10)  Data from 2013 will be most interesting.  The Bush Tax Cuts for the top 0.05% were rescinded that year, and at that point, our economy took off ( at least when Republicans weren’t threatening to shut it all down).  If it does indeed show a drop in the top 1%’s income, then we will know that in order to have robust recoveries, those at the top need to be taxed more, not less.

As for politics, this needs to be taken to heart.  Anyone who argues for less taxes on the top 1%, be they Democrat or Republican, needs to be shown the door…. We now have sufficient data to know with certainty, and from it, we can see all evidence points that higher marginal tax rates do benefit the middle class and subsequently the economy at large…..

This historical chart rings that out, clear as a bell at the end of a day’s trading…..

income_growth_and_inequality

You should be making $18,000 more a year right now.  And would, except for the inequality put in place  beginning with the trickle down policies of Ronald Reagan… now more appropriately called “tinkle” down economics… 

The bottom get pissed on.

The heavy line shows where you would be if the average rate of growth from across the years ’79 to ’10 were applied evenly.  The lighter line shows the reality….

99% of us are all earning an average of $18,000 less than we should be…  So how does this break down?

Average household incomes grew by 53.4 percent from 1979 to 2007. But that didn’t break down equally:

  • The bottom fifth of households saw their income go up by 29.2 percent, well below the 53.4 percent average.
  • Income for the middle fifth of households grew by a measly 19.7 percent.
  • But how did people a little higher up, but not at the very top, do? A little better, but still below average: households between the 81st and 90th percentiles—so in the bottom half of the top fifth of the income ladder—had just 39.1 percent income growth. Again, well below that average of 53.4.
  • So how far up do you have to go before you hit the average? The 91st to the 95th percentile almost got there, with 53 percent average growth. But they fell just short. Households between the 96th and 99th percentile seriously exceeded 53.4 percent, though. They had average income growth of 78.1 percent.
  • That’s nothing compared to the top 1 percent, though: Their income grew by 244.7 percent, close to five times the average.

It is clear that most of the overall income gains from 1979 to 2007 bypassed the vast majority of American households. As such, their living standards are lower than they would be had these gains been shared more broadly.

Ways To Share More Broadly.

A.  Raise the Minimum Wage:  $10.10 is a start.  

B.  Organize More (and throw out ineffective current bosses) Unions. Override All State Laws Outlawing Unions.

C.  Reduce Wage Theft:  charging workers for uniforms, drinks, food, supplies. Cheating on overtime.

D. Tax the top 1% appropriately…  Include Capital Gains as income. Tax Corporations at the same rate as individuals. Raise the top marginal percents to these levels…

  • Over $1 billion in income…  tax rate of 60%
  • $500 million to $1 billion in income  = 55%
  • $100 million to $500 million in income  = 50%
  • $50 million to $100 million in income =  45%
  • All the rest: no change….  

On top of this, allow all money put into capital improvements, to be deducted dollar for dollar. (Capital improvements require building things).  The rational is that if you put that money into capital improvements, you are improving this nation as much as if you were directly paying taxes to it.  Perhaps more so.

This can be done, but it must be done with a Democratic Executive, and over 60 Democrats in the Senate (or change the filibuster rules), and a fully Democratic House.  That is what has to happen for any change.  If it doesn’t happen then Americans rightly get what they deserve for being stupid.  Because we all know that Republicans are quite happy with the very fact that you ARE making $18,000 less than you should and quite happy that they are the ones receiving it, not you……. 

It wasn’t supposed to go that way. And it shouldn’t go that way….. 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a Hard Rain That’s Gonna Fall.

Times now are very similar to the sentiments floating around in the early 60’s. There was great dissatisfaction with what the US had become (capitalism) and quite a few people, both American’s and otherwise, were seriously looking to other models to fall upon… 

What had happened was stagnation.  The old aristocracy was sitting on the top; and the new, was boiling underneath….

This hit home these past two weeks when we saw Michael Brown gunned down in Ferguson.  Those old enough to remember the South of the 60’s are scratching their heads… They seen it all before.  The shooting. The whitewash. The legal maneuvering. All of it blatant.  All of it obvious.  All of it for public consumption… 

It is saying… Blacks… You stay where you are….

We also saw it in the frenzy as self-formed militias stormed buses carrying children, (the wrong ones btw) to stop them from being assimilated into our country.  We see it in the completely illogical venomous anti-amnesty movement, when some type of amnesty is the only thing that makes logical excellent sense.

It is saying…. Immigrants… You can’t stay here… You go back now…

And we see it in the numbers of Americans, British, and Europeans flocking to ISIS to carry on the revolution.  One can not say it is all for religion.  it is because people have to survive, and cannot do it in their home lands. Out there, they can be gods. 

The signs are all there.  A hard rain is going to fall… Just as the signs were there in the 60’s when Dylan penned those now famous words.   He could see the signs…  We knowing almost all of Dylan’s lyrics by now, should be able to see the signs as well…..

It is about hope. There isn’t any.

The Republicans chide Obama as being the “hope” candidate who delivers everything else… They have a point. Just as Kennedy was elected with amazing expectations, and things still remained the same… under Obama, the amazing expectations by now are fizzled…

There were successes… but compared a majority of Americans making less now than before the crash,  those successes seem rather distant.  Of course we know that the Republican blockage in Congress is to blame, but that is way, way back in the background.  What we sense is that not even the greatest American president in our lifetimes can defeat the monetary powers controlling everything, so, it is indeed hopeless….

Of course, we know that it could all change for the better instantly, with the passage of higher marginal rates on the 1% and modifying that hike by giving them a tax break, dollar per dollar, for every amount put directly into American capital development (a long way of saying “building things”) each year.

But we know, that without a majority of Democrats in the House, and without 60 moderate or better Democrats in the Senate, that won’t happen… 

We also know that due to gerrymandering, many Republicans are returning with no real competition to throw them out. 

So those who feel under-represented in the world, and that includes in the United States, sees violence as their only option… The only way left to better themselves…. There comes a point, where those radicals with guns stop being the bad guys, and the system that created them, takes their place…. 

WE are very close to there.  

There’s a hard rain that’s gonna’ fall…. 

A quarter of U.S. families feel they are under economic stress due to the aftershock of the Great Recession and most do not expect their wages to increase in the next year….

Pie

42 percent of respondents said they had delayed major purchases due to the Republicans creating havoc.

Pie 2

18 percent saying they put off a major life decision, including buying a home or getting married, due to the crisis.

Pie 3.14

Thirty-six percent said they now planned to retire later

pie 4

Three-fourths of households said they expected their incomes to be the same or lower over the next year.

pie 5

A third said they were “somewhat worse off or much worse off financially than they had been five years ago.

pie 6

Graphs Home Made/ Figures from Reports on Economic Well Being of American Households as reported by Reuters.

This economic demise was all brought about by unregulated derivatives. a Republican creation which was purposefully excluded from any regulation whatsoever… It was caused by making government smaller, by cutting watchdog agencies, by passing laws excluding certain shady practices from being under the scope of the law, and of course, by giving the very wealthy huge tax cuts which were spent on everything other than creating jobs here in America.

You must vote this November. You must not vote for a Republican…. These dismal graphs would all be positive now, if the bipartisan bills passed by the Senate, had simply been allowed to come to a vote in the Tea Party House…. Draw your own conclusions, but the only one smart people can come up with, is that driving the car with the emergency brake always on full, gets America nowhere….

The lack of Federal funding is eating the heart of America. We see it with the 495 bridge… No inspectors, no one just driving by and saying, “hey, why is there dirt piled there”; those people all missing due to budget cuts. Simple things that could save tons of money, not being done because there is no money to pay for them.

This should not be… Profits are a good thing, like a personal savings account is a good thing… But no one is foolish enough to put more money into his saving account by shorting his power company, his water company, his house payment, his insurance policies…

But the Tea Party and Republicans have done just that. They say we are spending too much, so cut, cut, cut,… As a result, we cut what we need to live on… There is a point where we have to stop.

We need to rebuild our infrastructure. We need to spend more on special education. We need to get jobs into our inner cities. We need to educate our children with an 11:1 student teacher ratios… We need more construction jobs.

Money is just sitting in the accounts of the top 1%… A good plan gone bad, has robbed our economy of necessary resources and put it into accounts, locked away from our use.

I used to think a 40% rate was acceptable. But we have 14 more years of neglect to redo. I now believe that level has shifted upward to a 50% top marginal rate. If half of every dollar earned by the top echelon was reinvested back into the economy, we would all again support the wealthy making themselves wealthier. The problem is not with the rich getting richer… That is to be admired. It is just when they get richer only at the expense of the poor, that doing so becomes morally bankrupt.

The longer we wait, the higher the rates may have to go in order to undo the damage growing every additional day….

We are sequestering too much money. And the Republicans want to sock away even more… They voted two weeks ago for a $270 billion tax cut just to the 1%… and raised the deficit. Fortunately Democrats in the Senate stopped it from going forward…

Our problem is in Washington, DC. It is financial. It is our Federal tax rates, which in fact are too low for the amount of wealth we lock away. It is all due to one party in control of one branch of government who won’t spend available money on necessities,

There is a bright future for America but only if we tax those who have benefited greatly these past 14 years, and use their resources to remake an America ready for the next Century; there is no future when pinching every penny we created over the last century, in order to put into a savings account no one is allowed to use…

We’ve lost the vision of how great America can be; that should never happen.

I’m sure most of you have played Monopoly. With several people playing it is fun for a while.. After a point it stops being fun, and you just hang in. After another point, those people who have left the game seem to be having more fun than you and your competitor. Finally one of you goes bankrupt….

The American economy is the same way. While people think they have an opportunity to get better, the playing is fun. As long as they believe everyone can win, the play by play is mesmerizing.

Hope is missing from today’s economy. Most Americans have been shut out of the game… They are on the sidelines binge watching Netflicks’ episodes… Fewer and fewer players are left making riskier and riskier moves.

What is needed is to get a majority of Americans back into the game. If we were discussing the Monopoly board, changing the reward for landing on “GO” from a palty $200 dollars to $200,000 would be a step in that direction. That way if you land on Park Place you can have a chance at starting over and continuing…

And that is what has to happen to America. We need a chance to make a change and get compensated well for doing so. It takes a catalyst. That catalyst would be to change the tax rates to where money now, not used, could then be returned to the economy for investment. Money now being arbitrarily thrown into additional hotels and houses, just on the hope someone may one day land there and be forced to pay, should instead be put back into players’ hands, who can also buy hotels and houses and get money back when the rich guy lands on their property…

There is only one winner in Monopoly. Monopoly is a game, played with no consequence in a shortened time span. It does not work in real life. Therefore, we need to change the player’s rules of our current system. We need a system with more than one winner. That can only happen when We, the People, elect representatives who stand up against ALL corporations, instead of kowtowing to their every wishes…

Basically, eliminate Republicans, and the game is fun, again.

More evidence for a national wage hike. Raising wage rates creates demand and demand creates more jobs. Although it is not possible to establish a direct correlation, it does show that the naysayers who predicted doom and financial collapse, were wrong. Again…

All this time we’ve been afraid of raising wages… Only thorough tireless efforts by our restaurant employees has this finally hit the front burner… Raising wages is good for demand and demand is good for business….

By the way. those business who had to raise their wages in those states, are posting higher profits, despite wage increases… Proving those who say the minimum wage hike cost jobs, were completely wrong…

We cannot be wrong in 2014…. Do what you can to make sure those who continue holding us back with Conservative policies and who, by refusing to put the key in the economy’s ignition despite every passenger’s entreaty, prevent that key from being turned..

Past time to switch drivers….