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Member since: Thu Oct 5, 2006, 02:23 PM
Number of posts: 2,453

Journal Archives

Low interest rates will NOT stimulate the economy.

That is the same fraudulent claim that reducing taxes will stimulate the economy.

Both claims are based on trickle-down economics.

The economy will be stimulated only by increasing demand, that is, by increasing spending on goods and services.

The way to increase demand is to put money in the hands of those who will spend it.

This requires distributing spending so as to give income to the working and middle classes who will spend it, NOT the banks and NOT Wall Street, which suck the money out of the spending loop, and essentially are hoarders of money.

So, how should monetary assets be distributed to improve the economy?

Government should spend money on products and services that improve economic development such as infrastructure, education, health care, and research and development.

Another way to increase demand is to bring off-shored jobs back to the U.S. That means getting rid of one-sided, corporate-written trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, the IMF, and scuttle trade agreements such as the TPP.

Bringing outsourced jobs back to America will automatically increase wages as demand for workers increases.

However, to help the middle and working classes and increase demand in the near term, the minimum wage should be raised now to stimulate the economy.

The interest rates being kept low by the Fed are the interest rates on depositors' accounts, while the banks keep interest rates on credit card balances at 14 percent and higher.

This policy is the absolute reverse of what the banks should be doing to stimulate the economy. Middle class consumers are getting nothing for keeping money in a bank account, while the banks take a huge chunk out of middle class assets via high interest rates on loans (especially credit card balances) that the middle class could use to spend on goods and services.

The Fed is working for Wall Street, not main street. The Fed is not the solution. The Fed is part, a big part, of the problem.

Stockman's criticisms of the Fed are valid, but his assumptions and reasoning are flawed.

While Keynesian economics may be cited by the Federal Reserve as the rationale for its policy of easy credit, its activity is actually promoting "trickle down" economics for the benefit of the 1 percent.

As Stockman suggests in the article, easy credit is being used by those who already have some significant wealth as "free money" to "gamble" in the real estate and stock markets.

Keynes' postulated that governments should spend money on infrastructure to provide jobs and income for workers who would then be able to purchase goods and services (increase demand) and thereby grow the economy and create more jobs.

The Fed, by keeping interest rates artificially low, is actually damaging the economy, by cheating depositors out of a realistic return on their savings. Unemployed people cannot borrow and spend money when they have no income to repay the loans.

Moreover, bank depositors earn less on their savings than the current inflation rate so they lose principal.

Meanwhile, the wealthy get essentially "free" money to rig the stock market, buy out existing American companies and ship the jobs to China, and send the profits to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands.

Federal Reserve policy is NOT the solution to our economic problems. The Fed is a primary CAUSE of our current economic problems.

Capitalism is NOT an economic system. It is a religion.

The suckers (i.e., the non-1 percenters who "gamble" in the stock market) hold fast to the fiction that they can "beat" the system and come out the winner.

As in any gambling system, the house always comes out ahead by taking a cut of the gambled money. The 1 percent always comes out ahead. The money (the "capital gains") of the few winners among the 99 percent comes not from the 1 percent, but from the losses incurred by the losers among the other 99 percent.

The results are that some of the 99 percent make some "profit", a larger share of the 99 percent loses their "investment", and the billionaire players who rig the system take a big share of the losses of the 99 percent not won by the 99 percent that gained some "profit".

The 99 percent who refuse to see how the system is rigged are of the same mind-set as the climate change deniers. They refuse to understand the way the capitalist system actually works.

Their faith in the capitalist system is the same as the religious fundamentalists who believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and that Adam and Eve rode around on dynosaurs.

Interestingly, and unfortunately, the fiction of the mythology called Capitalism is more ingrained in the population, than the mythology of Creationism.

Wall Street and the banks work the stock market to run their Ponzi schemes.

The information at the link you provide helps explain how it works.

Reading the comments section at the link is also informative.

The stock market is NOT an indicator of the health of the REAL economy.

How quickly people forget Enron, as well as the boom-and-bust of the stock and real estate markets driven by "bad" mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

The "value" of the Stock Market is based on the supposed validity of "trickle down economics" and the existence of Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy.

In the current economic situation, the real winners in the stock market are the 1 percent who can manipulate stock prices by buying and selling large blocks of stock in a coordinated way.


Teaching To The Test empowers the Test Makers to Determine Content.

Students who spend time learning pap or rubbish to pass a test have no time to study any subject in depth.

Having no time to learn any subject in depth, means that students will leave school having memorized, and mostly forgotten, a smattering of disconnected "data" that may or may not actually be "factual".

In other words, they will not only have not learned anything useful, they won't have developed any learning skills.

No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top are not about assessing learning. They are about making certain that no real learning occurs.

From reading the posts in this thread and others, there seems to be a striking similarity between...

...the "rape culture" mentality and the "vulture capitalist" mentality.

In both cases, a perpetrator exploits a situation to take advantage of a victim with no regard for the damage they do to the victim.

The perpetrator then blames the victim for the attack in the sense that the victim was "asking to be victimized" or the attack wouldn't have been successful.

In the case of the skilled factory worker whose job is outsourced to China after his employer's factory is bought by a vulture capitalist and the factory closed, the factory worker is blamed for engaging in the "wrong" kind of work or not having the right kind of skills. To add insult to injury, the now unemployed worker is told to go back to school and learn a new skill to become "employable" in the "new" economy.

Another example is the banking industry that swindled customers out of their homes, and when the economy started to collapse, the government came in and bailed out the banks which committed the fraud, rather than help the home owners who were swindled.

Your post brought to mind a truth about our economic system that few consider these days.

The truth is that at some point of economic growth and interconnectedness, economies of scale become DIS-economies of scale.

That is, as organizations (businesses, companies, governments) grow, the efficiency of operation and cost to the user decreases, until a point is reached in which further growth and concentration of resources starts to decrease the efficiency and increase the costs.

Using the "power grid" as an example, to maintain a large interconnected group of power stations and users, necessitates operating huge generating systems running 24/7, plus a huge bureaucracy, and the transport of huge amounts of fuel from source to centralized generating systems, while at the same time leaving the entire system vulnerable to a widespread collapse of the entire system from a cause that would be a minor inconvenience to a small part of the system if the users were in smaller, separated networks.

If manufactured goods were produced locally in areas where they were to be sold rather than in giant sweatshops thousands of miles away and shipped at great cost to the purchasers and the environment, not only would this create more jobs locally, but the goods would be much less costly to purchase.

I read recently that a company that raises chickens in the U.S. plans to ship the chickens to China for processing and then ship them back to the U.S. for sale. That chicken grower must be owned by an oil company or a shipping company. While it may be good for corporate profits, how would it benefit the consumer who will have to pay for shipping costs both ways?

There is a growing middle class in China that will replace a dwindling US middle class.

The 1 percent has been working with the Chinese government for years to create an educated middle class in China of scientists, engineers, and business professionals.

The U.S. is being turned into a corporate colony to be a source of raw materials (oil, food stuffs, minerals) to supply the Chinese economy with the means of expanding and sustaining corporate domination of the planet.

The U.S., with its smaller population and its penchant for support of human rights and environmental issues, has become a hindrance to the 1 percent's goal of corporate (ie., fascist) domination of the planet.

The endgame of the 1 percent is not merely profit. It is total control of the planet.

The purpose of trade agreements such as NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF, and even more so, the proposed TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), is control of trade and thereby secure total control of all economic activity on the planet.

Whoever controls economic activity controls political activity.

Talk "meat and potatoes" economics that the average person can understand.

Discussing meaningless graphs and charts that few people can relate to turns people off.

Talking about economic trends in terms of how they affect the stock market is premised on supply side (trickle down) economics.

The real economy is driven by demand which depends on the number of jobs (a high employment rate), and the general level of wages.

Progressive unions that actually work to help their members are good for the economy. They keep wages high and protect the workers against unsafe working conditions and economic abuse.

Single payer health insurance reduces costs and allows people to have affordable health care independent of what kind of job they have, and independent of whom they work for.

Explain to people, in terms that they can understand, how health care costs are higher in the U.S. than in countries that have universal health care, and at the same time, even simple medical remedies are denied to millions of Americans because of excessive costs.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same action over and over again and expecting a different result. Democrats are guilty of this same mentality in their politicking just as is the electorate that votes against their own interest.

The psychology of misplaced blame and right wing propaganda.

A large number of Americans are unhappy with their lives.

They dislike their jobs (if they are fortunate to have a job), feel unappreciated, inadequately paid, worried about the future, and feel unable to do anything about it.

They grasp at any argument that tells them that it is not their fault, that they are victims, and that if life were only fair, they would be wealthy, healthy, and wise.

They don't dare criticize their employers, their bankers, or their health insurers, for fear of retaliation.

So they blame "government" for not making things "right". They are fed propaganda over and over again that government takes their money, in the form of taxes, and gives it to lazy people, illegal immigrants, and "moochers" who lead better lifestyles than they do.

They are told that the "private" sector is more "efficient" (another meaningless buzz word like "free trade") even though the "private", corporate sector extracts a greater financial burden on them in the form of high prices, huge profits, and low wages.

This corporate levied financial burden is equivalent to a high TAX, but in contrast to countries with high government taxes, which also provide low cost universal health care, low cost or free education, and are not taxing their people to support a huge military system, people in those other countries enjoy a widespread quality of lifestyle not attained by most Americans.

So, for what they pay overall, Americans are getting less for what they spend than in other "advanced" countries.

Politicians, corporate vultures, and religious zealots have supported right wing think tanks and right wing media to develop and spread concepts that play on people's fears and dissatisfaction. These concepts (or "memes") are repeated ad nauseam on talk radio, in newspapers and magazines, in political ads, on TV "news" shows, and by politicians.

These right wing concepts (such as government is "bad", corporations (i.e., the so-called, mislabelled "private sector") is "good") is repeated so often so many places that no amount of reality will cure these victims of their misconceptions. The right wing has effectively immunized a majority of their followers from the truth.

Those thoroughly infected with the right wing themes are at this stage of their infection most likely incurable.

However, there are a number of people who are agreeable to change their political positions once they are shown how the right wing menace threatens them in some way.

The secret of converting "moderates" away from right wing propaganda so as to embrace reality requires developing dialogue that relates the facts to moderates, but it has to be done in a non-threatening, and non-patronizing way.

Moderates should learn from the methodology of the right wing. Their "think tanks" are mislabelled. There is little "thought" or reasoning behind their propaganda. It is all about marketing techniques.

Liberal "think tanks" should spend less time debating policy, and spend more time evaluating the effectiveness of presentation using focus groups.

While "liberals" attempt to explain their side with incomprehensible, and often irrelevant, graphs, charts, and economic verbiage, the right wing sells their policies with snappy advertisements like those used to sell fast food, breakfast cereal, cell phones, or prescription medicine.

While liberals appeal to reason to change minds, the right wing uses techniques that motivate people to action for right wing causes even though the liberals then ask why these people vote against their own "best" interests. The right wing marketers have convinced such people that right wing policies are in their best interests.

Liberals have to realize that graphs, charts, statistics, and policy presentations aren't going to succeed with people who eschew wonkishness and rely on their gut feelings.

The real reason for the 2010 right wing wins was that they used tried and true marketing techniques to motivate voters to their cause and the Democrats...not so much.

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