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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 01:30 PM
Original message
'Numbers racket' exposes potential disaster for economy.
Found on Marketwatch.com...

<snip>

Be forewarned: No matter who's elected president, America will soon see a massive statistical curtain pulled back, exposing a con game of historic proportions. And when that happens, you and I will suffer another ear-splitting global meltdown, bigger than today's housing-credit crisis, dragging us deep into a recession and bear market for years.

Cast: New 'leading man' from old Nixon political machine
Yes, the lead character pulling back the curtain is none other than Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist for Nixon, and today America's leading political historian. Phillips just published "Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics & the Crisis of American Capitalism," everything you need to know about today's credit meltdown.
Scene 1: Numbers racket hiding behind Washington curtain
Opening shot: Phillips pulling back the curtain, exposing charlatan Wizards in a brilliant Harper's Magazine article: "Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know." Far worse. Buy it, read it -- this is essential reading if you really want to understand the depth of today's political as well as economic impending meltdown, and the harsh realities facing Washington, Wall Street, Corporate America, and Main Street in 2009 and beyond ... harsh because we cannot cover up the truth much longer.

Scene 2: Statistics, Washington's new WMDs, a time bomb
"If Washington's harping on weapons of mass destruction was essential to buoy public support for the invasion of Iraq, the use of deceptive statistics has played its own vital role in convincing many Americans that the U.S. economy is stronger, fairer, more productive, more dominant, and richer with opportunity than it really is. The corruption has tainted the very measures that most shape public perception of the economy," especially three key numbers, CPI, GDP and monthly unemployment statistics.

<snip>

Scene 5: Most economists hushed, work inside conspiracy
Compare that to the phony stats Washington feeds the press and public: Unemployment 5%, inflation 2% and long-term growth at 3%-4% (actually more like 1%). For example, just last week the L.A. Times reported that while "gasoline prices are up more than 20% from a year ago and food prices have risen 5%," Washington says "inflation was fairly mild last month." A Wells Fargo economist shook his head in disbelief: That report isn't "worth the paper it was printed on." Most economists are quiet, working for the conspiracy.

Scene 6: No integrity, they cannot be trusted to tell truth!
The same can be said of any government report, every speech made by today's leaders: All hype, lies and propaganda intended to deceive us. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's clearly playing the game: Remember what the former Goldman Sachs CEO told Fortune last July as our credit meltdown was metastasizing into a worldwide contagion: "This is far and away the strongest global economy I've seen in my business lifetime." He has no credibility. He knew the truth. He knew the government's "numbers racket;" after all, he helped create the problems years earlier at Goldman.

Megabubble waiting for new president in 2009
'Numbers racket' exposes potential disaster for economy, markets>

I haven't trusted the numbers for a long time, myself.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Don't expect the incoming government to tell the truth
at least not for a very long time. To tell the truth would be to invite panic as bad numbers suddenly become much worse overnight. You really would have investors cashing out and stashing the loot under the house.

Expect people to trust the official figures less and less as the gap between what they see and what they're told remains wide. This is probably OK in the short term but dangerous in the long term, as people perceive no difference between GOP liars and Democratic liars. Fantasy figures should start approaching the truth gradually over the next four years.

The country will need government intervention to rebuild a manufacturing base. There is no other alternative. The best bet would be to start brand new industries based on renewable energy as either power source or product and enact stiff protectionist legislation to keep it here long term. Research is starting to mature so all we're waiting for is seed money, something the rich are loath to part with while industries continue to be looted by foreign powers.

In the short term, WPA projects repairing the crumbling infrastructure would be a great idea, restart the consumer economy.

In order to do this, the war in Iraq has to be ended and the war in Afghanistan wound down and/or turned over to the UN. The Pentagon, long a welfare program for GOP arms contractors, needs to go on a strict diet and our military needs to be redefined as a defensive force instead of an imperial one.

This would be my course of action should the country be nuts enough to appoint me interim dictator.
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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm not nuts enough to appoint you dictator, Warpy
but I like the way you think! Unless that makes me nuts, of course.
Thanks for easing my sense of impending doom.

:toast:
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I could not agree more. The Pentagon and its various parasites are bleeding this country dry.
Edited on Wed May-21-08 10:09 PM by Raster
(1) The manufacturing base in this country needs to be regenerated with a decided trend toward renewable and sustainable and NON-MILITARY!

(2) Critical infrastructure must be reconditioned and restored.

(3) Critical resources, i.e., petroleum, should be nationalized and controlled for the good and use of all, not just a favored wealthy few.

(4) Reinstate a progressive income tax. Shift the tax burden to the rich.

(5) Immediately insitute universal, single-payer heath coverage.

(6) Begin the process to nationalize the insurance industry, bringing single-payer auto, home and life insurance.

Wake up America! :kick:

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Earth Bound Misfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
Made the Greatest Page.
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SlipperySlope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've been telling anyone who will listen...
Edited on Wed May-21-08 10:49 PM by SlipperySlope
The Federal Reserve does not want their mismanagement of the economy to become a campaign issue. The are working furiously to keep the wheels on this sucker until November. We have entered an economic crisis that is literally unprecedented in history.

Either late 2008 or early 2009 the duct tape is going to rip, the bailing wire is going to fall off, and the machine is going to come crashing down.

I hate to say it, but I think things might be so bad that the next president is destined to only serve one term. It will be more than any president can fix, and the public always can be led to blame the sitting president.
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