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  • California - And by Extension the U.S. - Headed for Permanently Smaller Economy [View article]
    The "sunk cost effect" neatly summarizes the malodorous "choices" made so far to throw good money after bad. The upside is that we have reached such a point of corrupt decadant hubris that the needed changes can bring needed improvements in our society. At 50-cent gasoline, we would be expanding our present system of McMansion-building far from anywhere, adding lanes to highways and adding more wealth-sucking departments to government with no end in sight.
    Our opportunity lies in the information technology we have and a younger generation supposedly alienated from the mass interests which have become so blatantly parasitic (look at the debts!). Whether there remains enough work ethic and whether there is enough functional knowhow that can emerge from a dysfunctional system that, for example, spends the most on education with some of the poorest results, to change to a prosperous, sustainable future, is the question.
    Jul 7 07:39 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Securitization Schemes: Just When You Thought It Was Safe [View article]
    I see an unfortunate connection here: We (our descendants, really) bail out the wealthiest segment, Wall St., making sure to keep their payscales mostly intact so "talent" wouldn't leave and this is what we get. Who could be surprised?
    They are probably major movers of the "cap and trade" swindle also. While propping markets with bailout money so they can recapitalize.
    I guess the golden rule by those with the "gold" trumps "when first we practice to deceive" as ordinary people are getting the shaft every which way.
    Jul 6 11:46 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxpayers: Beware GM's Decision to Build Compact in Michigan [View article]
    slowdown: If we could all take back half our income taxes, last 30 years, or better yet, not pay for all that government waste in the first place, this country would still be #1. I believe primarily it's lawyers and government that have nearly destroyed this country more than anyone else. I think that getting government and lawyers out of the way would lower the stupid legal, tax and regulatory burdens to restore us to the great way of life we have largely lost in the last 40 years. When one earner could support a family better than two can now.
    If we created low-tax and regulatory enterprise zones in distressed areas like Flint and Detroit the example of prosperity created would disrobe the stupid pretensions of our overpaid leaders who would rather take over GM and make it part of their crony capitalism schemes.
    We need to wake up and vote out our failed incumbents over and over even if they seem to be giving some of us handouts so we can get back on our feet again.
    Jul 6 10:40 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Welcome to Act II of the Great Recession [View article]
    The empty suits have shot quite a few of their spin missiles at the problem. Unfortunately, their most solid accomplishment has been to put the dollar on deathwatch and our descendants on the hook to save Wall St. Even they may be out of ammunition since they have clearly demonstrated only an ability to worsen a crisis and lie smoothly.
    Jul 6 09:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxpayers: Beware GM's Decision to Build Compact in Michigan [View article]
    A quick word for User 158164: We are in an advanced state of dying by a thousand cuts. Take the Depts. of Energy and Education. After the "stimulous" bill is factored in, they total well north of $100 billion this year. They have accomplished nothing towards their stated goals and in fact hinder the progress that could be made if their wasted employees would get productive jobs and the money went towards real accomplishment and investment. Our system is choking on this stuff; these are only two examples.
    GM is now in the purview of the real impresarios of smoke and mirrors. These are suits who always have "plausible deniability" for their wealth-destroying, self-serving deeds. Rick Waggoner's last stupid act was not to proceed to bankruptcy. Now GM is a ward of government, I know, all decisions are "for the good of the country" or whatever the party line is. As they are increasingly perceived as Government Motors they will sell mostly to government and to government and union employees. But we will still pay. Yuck.
    Jul 6 09:21 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bankers Are the Wagging Tail of the Sick Dog [View article]
    All above is true. But, the ABA is unfortunately demonstrating typical behavior of all favored groups in America. There have been numerous comments by workers in firms such as AIG in SA complaining they had nothing to do with the problem sectors. Accountants applaud while the government, who increasingly determines winners and losers, makes more rules requiring their services and yet accountants in this country are silent about the disgraceful practices of, for example, the US government. There are many good teachers, but the NEA is a cancer on our country.
    Too many who know better and benefit are standing by content to be "good Germans" while our country declines alarmingly.
    Jul 6 09:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Official Unemployment Numbers Understate the Problem [View article]
    Statistics that are hard for government to fake look far worse. There is no "birth/death adjustment" equivalent that BLS fakes imputed new jobs in industries such as real estate(!), in income tax collections. California is down about 40% I believe. They haven't marked that to magic yet.
    Jul 5 04:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chart of the Day: This Time It's Different [View article]
    Without a doubt our descendants will notice the difference between this and all other, far less financially damaging debt binges in any other recession/depression.
    Jul 5 03:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • NYSE's Rule Change Is for Transparency, Not a Conspiracy [View article]
    As a very interested reader on SA, I am interested in parsing this site to make good decisions. I'm trying to help my 78-year-old mother at present handle her affairs and her well-spoken, experienced and sincere-sounding financial advisor is recommending dividend-paying stocks and well-chosen municipal bonds of which some in both categories are safe. And he predicts inflation within a few years and that we would supposedly exit the bonds before that.
    I favor commodities, water companies and agriculture.
    Even if the ETF and DPTR examples are innocent, is not there plenty of evidence of market manipulation such as David Fry describes? And common sense dictates in light of the meltdown and bailout trillions?
    Jul 3 10:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nothing Is Ever Truly 'Off the Books' in the Financial World [View article]
    For years I've assumed Wall St. knew their business even as I read about off-balance-sheet obligations and lots else they cook up. That's their business even though it sounded fishy to me. Now it's our business because these richest of the rich come to the pauperized former middle class for bailouts. We've paid for continued mega-pay employment on Wall St. so they can continue to create more "product" to hit the fan. They need a V-shaped recovery like our government for this stuff to actually work. Luckily for them it's always OPM.
    Jun 29 11:27 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Degree Holders Earn More? [View article]
    If your father had worked for government in CT, UConn education would have been free. End of discussion. Perhaps the discussion of opportunity cost handed to the taxpayers to fund heavy government pay and benefits would have been substituted. No, that discussion doesn't take place amongst most of the elites in the economic field awaiting their next government grant.
    It's dismaying but somehow not surprising to read that the literacy amongst college graduates has fallen sharply over the last few decades. Like most American leads, mostly past now, this one won't last the onslaught of NEA government-schooled students and the imminent bursting of a, yes, academic bubble to continue to attract foreign students.
    MBA degrees are showing their true colors. Graduates are supposed business experts wherever they land, caring not for that specific business. They are usually empty suits who leave everyone else with empty pockets when they manage OPM at corporations long enough.
    Our society wants quick credentials and simple categories for categorizing us so the suits running us can cover their a$$e$. We'll need ways to categorize alternate valuable skills and learning that can be expressed with crayon for them if 4-year degrees are to be supplanted.
    Jun 29 08:54 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • National Health Insurance, 'Cap and Trade': Two Steps in the Wrong Direction [View article]
    Even I haven't expected the extent and degree of insanity from our suits-in-charge in what they've thrown at us. They're out of the real world, sure, but it seems no one could be so stupid.
    Cap & trade to our economy now would be like putting environmental restrictions on the military after Pearl Harbor.
    The problem and solutions in health care described in the article are exactly correct. There are sane sensible responses to our problems. It seems political clout is the ONLY factor politicians care about any more.
    Jun 28 03:30 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Datapoint of the Day, Sheila Bair Edition [View article]
    Seems both curious cat and RatWatcher have points. She may now get higher offers and, maybe she could have cashed in like Obama did on his Chicago lot.
    The part that makes me ill is the number of government employees and the fact that they all receive good pay and far too many receive really high pay. I know they all complain that their public service causes them to sacrifice the gains they should be making but that's like believing in Santa Claus except when they sell their influence to the private sector.
    Can the sheeple ever wake up to the fact that, more programs, more laws added to the crushing present burden is insane?
    Jun 27 10:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are There Any Solutions for the Grim Budget Outlook? [View article]
    Ray Winter: Computers have been a boon to paperpushers everywhere. Pity us who have no front office to handle it. But, the increased employee count in government after the "need" has long past is standard procedure. British Navy had more office staff long after it ceased to be global than it did in WWII. Similar is the case with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I believe. Examples are endless. But, Obama's found a few hundred millions of waste out of trillions, all is well.
    Jun 26 10:43 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Healthcare Plan Costs Vary Widely [View article]
    Interesting. The public plan "will trigger a new competitive challenge to private insurers to innovate." Seems lucky for us we have Government Motors now, too.
    The insurance industry is comparable to Wall St. in ethics. Along with government they will game the system like the financial industry has so that, heads they win, tails we lose. This is because of their incestuous relationship with government.
    All government estimates for big programs like any health reform here have been a miniscule fraction of actual costs. Like, 5%. (Medicare). But they become a vested interest, another 800 pound gorilla that everyone must pretend is a given in future "realistic" reforms that will be necessary to fix the mess created here.
    Vested interests backed by and including government want no part of clarity and good incentives that work without slavemasters.
    Jun 26 09:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment