Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is the US a banana republic?

"Banana Republic." -- A banana republic is a commercial enterprise for profit by collusion between the State and favored monopolies. In a banana republic the government is unaccountable to its nation, the country's private sector–public sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.

Our country is a banana republic. When you have 400 people in this country with more wealth than half the population and the government giving handouts to the wealthiest members of our society in the form of unprecedented tax cuts while at the same time cutting services to the most needy, it is hard for me to come to any other conclusion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What have they done with President Obama?

Krugman correctly asks, "What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?"

I am very disappointed in Obama. He has failed to live up to the hope he offered up in his campaign. He has only delivered mediocrity and failed to stand up to reactionary extreamism. As Krugman said, "But if you ask me, I’d say that the nation wants — and more important, the nation needs — a president who believes in something, and is willing to take a stand. And that’s not what we’re seeing."

Friday, April 08, 2011

My opinion on the Federal Budget Mess of 2011

There is an old saying, if you tell a lie long enough some people will believe it. Apparently, that's what is going on in Washington. If you read Paul Krugman's post, "the G.O.P. plan turns out not to be serious at all. Instead, it’s simultaneously ridiculous and heartless." Krugman goes on to say:
Republicans have once again gone all in for voodoo economics — the claim, refuted by experience, that tax cuts pay for themselves.
What does voodoo economics mean? It's a term used by none other than George H. W. Bush in reference to President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, which came to be known as "Reaganomics". Karl Case & Ray Fair, Principles of Economics (2007), p. 695 pointed out:
The extreme promises of supply-side economics did not materialize. President Reagan argued that because of the effect depicted in the Laffer curve, the government could maintain expenditures, cut tax rates, and balance the budget. This was not the case. Government revenues fell sharply from levels that would have been realized without the tax cuts.
The basic issue in a recession, like we are seeing now, is a shortage of money. This leads to downward pressure on incomes and prices as money becomes more valuable. People (and corporations) who have money don't spend it, they hoard it, thus people (families) who need money to pay bills can't get it.
This continues the downward spiral. What does not go down, however, is debt.
Folks are worried about inflation, but the greater worry is deflation. According to Wikipedia, "In economics, deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services. Deflation occurs when the annual inflation rate falls below 0% (a negative inflation rate)." Wikipedia goes on to say, "From a monetarist perspective, deflation is caused primarily by a reduction in the velocity (spending) of money and/or the amount of money supply per person."
As people's income is reduced, a point comes when folks (families) just walk away from debt. People will feed their kids before they feed the banks. You can't get blood from a turnip.
If you think the mortgage crisis was bad, just wait until families start defaulting on massive amounts of consumer debt in great numbers.
When people (and corporations) with money won't spend out of fear; someone has to spend, that someone has to be the government. The government is the spender of last resort.
In my opinion, the risks of not spending are greater than the risks of spending. This is the worst time possible for massive reductions of government spending. We need to tax the people (and corporations) who have money and feed it into the economy in ways that helps the families that are at most risk of defaulting stay on their feet.
In a nutshell: The Republican plan will drag our nation into the gutter.