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  • China Becoming a 'Middle-Class' Nation [View article]
    It's hard to know which among the reams of toiletpaper statistics to believe, but every criticism of China is increasingly, sadly true of the US except excessive debt.
    I grew up in a country where you expected better every year as a birthright. We have sold out to rent-seekers and have lost so much real productivity that it requires ludicrous assignments of economic value to digging holes and filling them up again. Only phony statistics ginned up by sold-out suits papers over our real decline. In China, you mostly have to measure the gains. Nice problem.
    Bottom line, as the article says, is that we "need to focus our attention on our own domestic economies."
    Sep 9, 2009. 10:19 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Judiciary Emerging as Investors' New Best Friend [View article]
    Rays of sunshine have been dashed before. Barney Frank seems to be waffling about supporting Ron Paul's effort to open Fed books. And, the New York Fed was recently granted a stay by a judge who had previously ordered some books opened. When you add the fate of Elliott Spitzer, going against Wall St. looks like a shaky, lonely, possibly hazardous road and few stay the course.
    Sep 9, 2009. 10:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Myth of a Jobless Recovery [View article]
    An alcoholic or junkie has one more binge left in them, until they don't. In this crisis, the elites are gaining more than they may have hoped. The maxed-out masses have handed $trillions in Treasuries to the elites to cover the losses starting to snowball due to leverage, as their ability to make payments began to falter.
    Now, with stock markets and megabanks primed with some of that lucre, commodities set to rise, the bubble economy patched enough not to immediately, completely implode, the dollar about to plunge, what savings are left must go towards risk. Covered by the last of our balance sheet, they are probably planning on one more debt-fueled binge without jobs, without sanity, because they don't have absolute control just yet.
    Sep 8, 2009. 10:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Economic Freedom" [View instapost]
    Don't forget skyrocketing interest rates when the dollar plunges.
    Sep 8, 2009. 09:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Unemployment and Government Jobs [View article]
    It is self-serving to government, of course, to have inadequate statistics of which BLS is a prime provider. But, as you point out, with bloated government employment rolls, phony imputed private-sector jobs can't hide the fact that taxes cost more than food and shelter now.
    And, the same fiat-issuing Fed that fueled our excess consumption fueled unaffordable government. That, or the last of our freedom, will have to go.
    Sep 8, 2009. 09:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America: A Bona Fide Plutonomy [View article]
    Great point, that this great financial crisis is being used as an OPPORTUNITY to concentrate wealth unlike the 30's.
    While I agree completely with the article and User353732 about the abuse of the middle class by elite manipulation, one difference this time is that the middle class is increasingly composed of government workers (how else to get a traditional secure middle-class job with benefits?). And, many believe government programs have helped them. The benefits are upfront, the costs are diffused and delayed, as we are learning to our regret. With the bad information from education produced at high cost by government and concentrated, elite-owned MSM, the middle class is so far rendered too divided and confused to act rationally.
    Sep 8, 2009. 09:02 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why U.S. Government Should Cut Federal Workers' Lavish Compensation [View article]
    If government workers were paid in straight salary with NO benefits, with present benefits factored into their paychecks, voters would immediately see the travesty their taxes are paying for. To allow 20-and-out careers with guaranteed-benefit pensions and lavish healthcare gives them an adjusted payscale that's off the charts.
    Since we all know social security and medicare are heading for a cliff, I can't see the average, increasingly strapped and impoverished American paying king's ransoms to employ mostly nonproducers who are such a burden to the producers.
    Sep 8, 2009. 08:35 AM | 28 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Long Will China Put Up with Our Money Printing? [View article]
    You raise the point of asset inflation which Greenspan ignored through incompetence and/or deceit. Which is the core of US government policy now to prevent the deflation (asset price collapse) which will bring down the ponzi schemes Washington and hyper-leveraged Wall St are now completely dependent on.
    So, it is policy to double down the bad bets our system now depends on, which the voters so far acquiesce in. To re-inflate the bubble at extraordinary, unpayable cost. The winners, the elites, political and financial, are raking it in for their failures and the voters have been willng to sell out for the crumbs they receive at the bottom of the food chain. Decent people have to say, enough!
    Sep 8, 2009. 08:19 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recipients of FHA Loans Starting to Default: Say Hello to the Next Crisis [View article]
    You are all too-aware that the inevitable FHA crisis will bring on the much-used "no one could have known" excuse by the elected failures and bailout candidates that has served them shamelessly throughout the crisis. Until their allowance is cut off, we can only complain as they wash/rinse/repeat the same behaviors over and over.
    Power is being centralized with all of this; that is perhaps the greatest danger. As too-big-to-fail joins with law-making political power in a continuation of inevitably failing policies, they form an unholy alliance that may not let go. Don't be surprised at canceled elections during "emergencies" if we refuse to wake up.
    Sep 8, 2009. 07:58 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On Unemployment and Government Jobs [View article]
    Birth/death model is highly erroneous given the hostile new-business environment as you point out. But, the rise of government is hostile to business also, other than bailout candidates and suppliers.
    Your point is too rarely made, that the excessive, unsupportable debt we've taken on has gone largely to excess government. Just as the record-breaking consumer portion must shrink, bloated government cannot go on.
    The flawed statistical model you point out and flawed bailout and "stimulus" decisions made by government seem to be an attempt to perpetuate the unsustainable for as long as possible. I only hope sanity returns.
    Sep 7, 2009. 03:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Viatical Life Insurance: Allowing Someone to Profit from Your Death [View article]
    There are plenty of reasons this is a questionable proposition. You, Tom Lindmark and commentators have come up with many. I guess we have to trust the regulators, the Wall St. securitizers, the insurance companies, the third parties and Washington, if we have one-payer medical coverage, to do the right thing. Since we keep throwing $trillions at these people for failure, they deserve a chance to show us what they've learned, right?
    Sep 7, 2009. 09:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Krugman's Magnum Opus on Macroeconomics [View article]
    John Lounsbury, thanks, I did read the Krugman piece.
    Sep 6, 2009. 05:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Krugman's Magnum Opus on Macroeconomics [View article]
    I think Bruce E.W. makes a great point. As Taleb says in "Black Swans," the sheer complexity of the interaction of economic-related variables makes their selection utterly inadequate from the start. The mathematical models are, as Skeptical Ben notes, lacking in real-world input.
    Just a few points; the lack of fiscal consideration on some of the monetarist's work, the lack of sufficient consideration by all of them of the 800-pound gorillas such as the nature of the Fed's miraculous disappearing fiat and the mostly wasteful, coercive government we suffer under.
    Thus, academic theorists are the blind feeling the shape of different parts of the elephant and are subservient to the established order in excessive government, financial sector and unconstitutional Fed. They seriously consider quackery such as, recessions are when people decide rationally not to work (you can't do that with the inordinate taxes we now have that exceed food and groceries). The effects of the Fed and the government cause two-earner couples to be mandatory, among many other now-extreme effects we are now stuck with.
    Choice of what to do with your time is being handed over to the overreaching state along with our grandkid's futures. Economists mostly seem to have a vested interest in the powers-that-be; their market needs their meal tickets to be soft-pedaled, I believe. Their pronouncements from on high are increasingly inadequate, if that's possible.
    Sep 6, 2009. 05:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Krugman's Magnum Opus on Macroeconomics [View article]
    Harry Tuttle: Sorry; I hit the thumbs down on your comment by accident, oops.
    Economic theories are rearranged like deck chairs on the Titanic after the fact.
    Sep 5, 2009. 11:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Krugman's Magnum Opus on Macroeconomics [View article]
    I confess I haven't read Krugman's paper, but I agree with Whidbey. The crash of our system necessitates that we don't leave it to the "experts." Our now-severely compromised grandkids require it.
    It's no great feat for Krugman to pontificate in a learned. even-handed sounding manner. Bottom line is, he is a socialist. The academics who are popular at any given time are usually the ones who lick their master's hand most skilfully.
    Sep 5, 2009. 08:35 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment