Comments on: Fading optimism in “new normal” America Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:18:20 +0000 hourly 1 By: Rocky Wanty Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:30:56 +0000 As well as in this little existing tablet, Brevicon 1/35 for more than each year. I started my best past frequent period at The spring of 4, 2010, in the future very early just as my best 21 years of age time lively medicine stop over the Wednesday and i also begun blood loss over the Wednesday. My very own period of time has been regular. Following Chintan Shivir, any Jaipur commitment of any bash said, “the Indian State Institutions the first will always put together the capability of girls Personal growth Communities (SHGs). Indira Gandhi possessed started NABARD 30 years ago to help you induce farming along with country improvement. “The Institutions the first thinks that the next step is to ascertain a fanatical State Bank or investment company for women to deliver economical products and services to help you most women generally and women SHGs for example.Ins PTI AMR RAI.

By: sixtiesactivist Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:30:33 +0000 Hello, All. I’ve had to dig deep lately, but I maintain that the Goodness in most human beings, will triumph. However, first and foremost, we must get real control of the Borders; eliminate illegal immigration (NO Amnesty of any kind), lower legal immigration levels(currently 5 times higher than traditional). Also, start training those already here for jobs Americans, are, supposedly, unqualified for since NO ONE NATION can be a LIFEBOAT for the entire planet. Prosperous countries should assist poor ones in developing their own economic & social resources. But, the US needs to provide for its own citizens first. Peace & Love, Bread & Justice.

By: hujintaosson Sat, 15 Jan 2011 02:28:48 +0000 Tat is 100 percent correct. Americans don’t want the government to do anything, but when they don’t do anything they complain. It is called getting off your butts and working no matter what taxes you have to pay, no matter what cheap imports there are, and no matter how expensive things are. That is what America did in the past and it got us through economic decline and depressions before. Now, Americans are soft and despite saying they don’t want the government to do anything, they actually want the government to do everything. Tax breaks are a government action after all. I only have a gloomy outlook for the US if people continue this crying and government dependency.

By: LEEDAP Wed, 29 Dec 2010 23:57:20 +0000 The future for most US residents is grim indeed and there has been a lot of commentary on it. Unfortunately there’s too much hyperbole and wishful thinking. So here is a short list of things to do to start making things better:

1. Stop shopping at Wal*Mart. Buy quality stuff, not crap that is so cheap you have to replace it in two months time.

2. Vote for politicians who will downsize the military. You are paying to police the world. Can you afford that?

3. Vote for politicians who will impose tariffs on goods from countries that don’t have our same environmental AND social constraints. Free trade is fine as long as it is fair trade. This will even the playing field and bring back good jobs that pay better than Wal*Mart.

4. Stop whining about taxes. The US pays the lowest taxes of the developed world. Where would we be without roads or schools? We’d be in the third world. Where do you think our prosperity comes from? It comes from our society and our society needs roads and schools. Taxes are necessary. Cheap stuff from China is not. And all the mean spirited talk doesn’t help either.

By: Tat Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:25:46 +0000 BHOlied I understand everything you said. I’m Australian, and offer the following for consideration. Is it possible because America has declined its people for the first time in over 100 years are beginning to feel insecure not having the financial strength America once had to protect them? If that is right then it does America no good for its people to walk around wringing their hands over a situation your governments created. I come from a generation of Australians that was told by my parents and grand parents to never forget America saved us in the battle of the Coral Sea during world war two. Americans saved us not the US, were have those Americans gone?

By: BHOlied Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:24:21 +0000 I won’t be commenting on the substance of the article but I certainly agree that the new Normal is depressing.

I see little hope for America and little hope for my future. I am employed, married, college educated with a masters degree. It has nothing to do with my status in life or my income.

I am concerned for my future because of the following:

– DC is filled with bickering self serving (and rich) career politicians. They ALL lie, all cheat and look after themselves. Their words and their actions most often do not agree.
– Our government is bloated and inefficient. We have a tax code that requires hundreds of thousands of CPAs and attorneys to interpret for us
– We have an enormously inefficient military that can’t even find bin laden
– We encourage children, in the name of progress, to find themselves and encourage and protect homosexuality as if its normal. How normal and prosperous would a society of gays be? Hint, there won’t be a second generation…you call that normal, call that progress?
– Our tax punishes those who work hard and rewards people for having children (even if they can’t afford them – refundable child care credits)
– Our politicans have us hating each other through class warfare and divisive speach
– Terrorists derived from one single religion are trying to kill those who disagree with them. They willingly murder civilians to prove their strentgh.
– We, the USA and nations of the world have chosen to ignore nations like N. Korea and Iran who repeatedly speak of hate and murder.
– We pretend that a world without nukes will ever exist. In what world will a nation not strive to better itself by picking up a stick when all others hold straw?
– We pretend that entire nations are not run by the mafia (Russia) and strike deals with them to limit our defenses against our own enemies
– We ignore the rule of law regarding immigration and allow criminals into our country via a blind eye. And we make those who enter legally to wait and wait and wait.
– We cry foul against latino nations who supply drugs to our country while doing nothing to limit the demand within our borders (harsher sentences for drug crimes of AMERICAN citizens)

and my favorite: We pretend that government was not the cause of the housing crisis. The CRA, passed by Carter, expanded and empowered under Clinton, cheered on by Bush, encouraged and required under penalties the lending of money to those who did not deserve homes sometimes establishing racial quotas (sound free market to you). We did this for decades and yet ‘banksters’ are to blame. Its the evil banks who wrote mortgages with little or no proof of income. Did those who agreed to mortgages not realize the debt they were taking on? Did the banks come knocking on their door? How does someone who falsified their income or assets suddenly become a victim? And Fannie and Freddie were guaranteing millions & billions of dollars worth of mortgage backed securities thus feeding the demand for banks all over the world. Housing became a right. Market forces did not create the housing bubble. The market tells you not to lend money to family with $30k in income. Government tells you to do it because he deserves a home and they will insure against default. Were banks to blame? Sure, partly. But the party started in DC. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Easy rates and piss poor regualtion were also contributors.

If you hope in your contry you hope in the wrong place.

By: zotdoc Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:55:18 +0000 I am one of those “rich” people who make just more than $200,000.00 per year. For the past 20 years I’ve invested as much of that money as I could. I live well, but I do not consider myself rich. I employ 15 to twenty people. Not only do I pay a high tax rate, but most of the tax deductions are phased out as income approaches 200,000, even the Roth Ira’s, school loans for my kids and others. I started working when I was 14 years old, have worked very hard all my life to get where I am today. I am grateful for the blessings that God has given me, and I’m gratefull to my country as well, but I realize that I will never be allowed to be truly rich – there is a point, and I am there, that you must pay so many penalties for being “rich” that you can’t advance to the next level of income. I am not whining, just giving my side of the story. When you consider that a ballplayer or talk show host can make millions of dollars a year – those are the really rich – and they have ways to get out of the taxes. I am for a flat or a sales tax!

By: Scapattack Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:47:38 +0000 Perception vs reality. The perception is that Obama and the Democrats want to steal from the rich and give to the poor. The administration has ties to wall street that influenced them to bail out the banks when they should have held them accountable. They want so socialize medicine and every other social need.

All these presumptions are true to an extent, but these generalizations are not sufficient. The reality is that we have enjoyed a tax cut for the past 11 years and they were just extended. Whether Obama wants to redistribute the wealth is another story, but so far he has not taken any action that would produce such results.

The potential collapse of major banks produced a ton of uncertainty surrounding the safety of our debt and even our deposits. All private entities should be held accountable for their actions, but the government buying equity in long standing corporations that have been around for over 50 years in order to preserve business as we know it might have been the best solution. Banks are now trying to meet new regulations and it is unlikely that the government would go through the same process next time around. Also we did recoup a large chunk of the bail out money through equity sales.

Finally, there is the perception that we live in a completely capitalistic society when we do not and never have. There is a need for federal and state governments to supply services such as education, military, social security….etc. I have heard people argue that even these departments should be privatized, but obviously not much thought was given to this. Any service that is a necessity and entry to competition is scarce needs to be regulated. Look at the shape of our health care system currently. We cannot stop the increasing costs that are imposed upon our care providers. The aging population and the need for medical supplies and services are creating high demand driving costs higher than inflation and wages to the point where insurance providers need to cut corners in coverage to provide coverage. Whether we need to move towards a more socialized approach in health care is for the experts decide, but we cannot sit here and claim that capitalistic behavior is always the best solution when in other industries we have defaulted to gov’t control. Successful capitalism relies on the assumption that individuals will act rationally and honestly, we have not proven we can do neither. When I was 13 I wanted more freedom and responsibility, but I was forced to earn it first. Until we “grow up” as a nation the government will continue to try to get involved. Can you really blame them?

By: bobbobwhite Tue, 28 Dec 2010 20:36:10 +0000 Average people have finally now learned for sure that rich people control America through and through, from business to gov’t, no difference. That is what scares them to death, as no one is guarding the hen house(taxpayer/retirement money) and it is wide open not only to foxes but also to uncontrolled, and much more ravenous, bears and lions.

When Main Street has to guard what little it has, compared to rich people, from rich people with no protection at all and indeed, similar predation from their own gov’t, what is there to be honestly optimistic about? Many smarter ones see today’s America as a winding down of this country and society, closer every day to foreclosure by the Chinese. Better start taking some Chinese lessons!

By: Transaction7 Tue, 28 Dec 2010 07:16:26 +0000 Excellent article. Now if somebody will just publish the solution to this problem and some existing or new political party and leadership implement it, the U. S. and west just might survive in some form that preserves what has been of value and is worth saving. I don’t see anyone offering a real solution. The author of this article, among others, practically says there is none and that “the good times [are] really over for good” for most Americans.
Both parties and their Presidential candidates and so-called “leadership,” including their allegedly brilliant and well-informed economic advisors, have been lying to us about their claimed love and concern for the “common man” and the middle class, and about what they know and don’t know about this, since at least 1974, when Chase [Bank] Econometrics produced, and the general media published a summary of, a report for their clients pointing out that, contrary to what we were being told publicly, “There actually [would] be a very small middle class in this [upcoming young] generation.” I know that the parties and several key politicians know about that because I sent them copies, pointed out the implications, and asked what they proposed to do about it, and the few who responded at all sent only the usual meaningless form letter.
You likewise didn’t need to read beyond the New York Times, Washington Post, or then conservative Dallas Morning News to realize that we could not possibly send the hundreds of billions of dollars more we were sending to the new OPEC at such sharply higher cartel prices, ultimately one of the greatest transfers of income and wealth in the history of the world, for oil which we burned, without ultimately experiencing a reduction in the American standard of living on a magnitude, which some sources suggested would have to be at least thirty percent (30%) that would throw our economy, including housing and home mortgages, into a drastic dive.
The unpleasant fact is that, just as Chase Econometrics predicted, instead of rising as the college recruiters told us and too many business plans assumed, the market value of labor, including highly intelligent, college-educated labor, even including many of those whose talents happened to lie in higher math and other supposedly high-demand fields, collapsed, with the result that the average nominal and real incomes of most college graduates, among others, either stagnated or fell between about 1970 or 1974 and now. While the starting salaries of the very, very top new graduates at elite law schools, paid by firms representing clients who could pay any price because they could pretty well set their own prices, skyrocketed to equal and surpass the salaries of federal judges, the average incomes of lawyers fell noticeably while average citizens and small businesses could no longer afford what we had to charge just to cover increased rents and other costs. A friend who was a senior name partner at a top law firm in Dallas told me that there is no market for the ability to do legal work well, only for clients. I know people with advanced degrees and most of their Ph.D. in math, physics, and counseling who have ended up teaching English in China, or working as roofers or truck drivers, because there is no market.
You cannot have an economy and society worth preserving, or which any power on earth could preserve, in which, as the song from the First Great Depression put it, “there’s nothing surer, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” much less in which much of the vital middle class gets liquidated, indefinitely, every bit as effectively, and more efficiently, though less bloodily, as in Soviet Russia, Mao’s China, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and, contrary to the pipe dreams of the Keynesians, Socialists, and Marxists on the left, or “trickle-down” theories on the right, you can’t solve our structural unemployment and under-employment problem, among others, by rearranging and reassigning deck chairs on the Titanic. The Keynsian changes in debt to income and debt to wealth ratios that were tried in the FDR Administration in the First Great Depression, and thereafter under both parties, simply are not sustainable, nor did Keynes and his brightest disciples ever say they would or might be sustainable, when starting from the place we did this time. I’ve actually read Keynes, and, unlike too many of his political camp followers, he was smart enough to know, and intellectually honest enough to say, that there were limits to his theory, and that pushing it far enough would have certain results that I would consider most undesirable. I’ve also read Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, etc., and, similarly, too many who cite them obviously haven’t. When I majored in economics, Samuelson’s leading textbook said not to worry about the national debt because “we owe it to ourselves.” I remember looking around the room and trying to guess who among my fellow students, owned much of it. Today, huge chunks of it are held not by “ourselves,” domestically, as then, but by the Chinese, the Arabs, and others who do not share our key values or wish us well except in that way that creditors hope their debtors continue to be able to pay. Samuelson’s leading economics textbook also pointed out that the increased incomes we had been told we could expect to enjoy by going to college, and into debt to do that, were actually unlikely in real terms for more than a few of us.
We were going through a notable recession, high unemployment, and other economic stresses then and, long before globalization, it was obvious that the real markets for labor, including college-educated folks, and for other things, did not behave anything like a true free market. There was also definite rationing and restrictions upon access into most of the better-paying jobs to preserve their high wages. The Steelworkers’ and other unions “won” long, bitter strikes, whereupon the prices of cars and other things were immediately raised more than the price, much less the increased price, of the steel in them, leaving everyone who didn’t have and exercise the monopoly power to set their own prices, and some who did, worse off. I went into law and our so-called ethical rules, including binding minimum-fee schedules, were so clearly designed, intended, and calculated to raise our incomes above what any true market rate would provide, and to favor those already established and keep the poor man poor and the rich man rich, that the Supreme Court eventually held that and other parts of the profession’s price-fixing schemes violated federal antitrust laws.
I’ve represented a lot of real estate and construction based small businesses over many years. That got me very deeply into bankruptcy law. I’ve done both consumer and business collections, and served briefly as general counsel, and reviewed the current and defaulted loan portfolio, of a downtown Dallas bank. I’ve watched several real estate and related bubbles that anyone with any brains, economic education, including economic history, and ability to observe knew were bubbles and had to end in crashes, as they did. Our credit system went crazy, violating every rule of sound banking, consumer credit, and mortgage lending, too. I’ve represented many people, from $20,000.00 a year blue collar workers and $9,000.00 a year retirees to $100,000.00 defense contractor executives, who had been allowed to get two and a half years’, instead of the generally accepted prudent limit of 20% of one year’s, income just in credit card debt on which they could never pay the 18-33% compound interest. When you start having mass layoffs of people making from $100,000.00 a year down to minimum wage, skilled and licensed airframe and power mechanics coming to work to learn that their pay has been cut from $23 per hour to minimum wage and their health and other benefits cancelled, they fall into dire poverty and desperation, and the economy goes into the toilet. There are huge amounts of non-dischargeable child support, set in dollar amounts, when these people were making good money, the defaulted amounts on which, that can never be discharged or adjusted, quickly mushroom to impossible amounts that make them look like scofflaws before they can afford to hire legal counsel to bring just their future payments into line with the statutory formula percentage of their real current disposable income. One court-appointed client of mine, who had lost a six-figure income due to congestive heart failure and was living in a $5,000.00 shack of which he only owned half, missed scheduled heart surgery and died in jail before I could get that straightened out because the federal law mandating state law on the subject makes no provision for real life. Another’s wife left him and he ended up living in a tent in someone else’s pasture, and there is no way to reactivate his driver’s or airframe and power mechanic’s licenses, both of which the law cancels if you fall behind on child support, student loan debt, etc. There is no way, in or out of bankruptcy court, to down-shift from a middle, upper or lower middle class standard of living, even lived prudently, to unemployment and poverty, much less disability and poverty, without losing everything and falling all the way to destitution. When you lose the car or house you had, getting another decent cheaper one at a fair price and interest rate is practically impossible, and, citing nothing in the Bankruptcy Code or other law, the Supreme Court has decided, at the behest of the powerful and unified creditors who overwhelm anyone speaking for debtors, that to keep such essential property, you must pay not just what the creditor could actually net by foreclosing but its value to you.
One of the effects of the shift between labor, including college-educated professional labor, and capital, that has resulted from the structural shifts in our economy, is that a large percentage of the population must now devote significantly larger parts of their incomes to housing, usually rent, and a notable percentage are now paying rents in excess not only of 40% but of 50% of their disposable incomes. Much of this is being paid on older rental housing stock that had been profitable when only a third of average income was devoted to rent. Many of such rents, like some other costs, can simply be raised at will because the owners of such properties stick together rather than actually competing on price, etc. . Then figure higher energy-based gas, electric, and other utilities, gasoline, grocery and other prices. The official cost of living figures simply omit such “volatile” necessities of life.
There is a huge amount of debt out there that the debtors can never pay, and the creditors and collectors can never collect, but which is carried on various original creditors and assignees’ balance sheets as though it represented real assets. There is also a lot of debt still on the books as assets which are owed only by individuals who died broke owning practically nothing, and by corporations and other entities which have gone under and have no real existence much less assets of any value. Some of it, including huge piles of unsecured credit card, medical, and other debt, on which the statute of limitations for suit has already run, and that gets bought and sold in bulk for pennies on the dollar. Some of the big banking and financial houses have billions of dollars loaned to or otherwise invested in such schemes, and in “payday” “car title,” and other predatory lending to the poor and unsophisticated at interest rates that can start at 492% and mushroom upward from there, that never should be collected even if some of it can be.
It is all very well for some of the supposedly learned to talk about the U. S. shifting from a natural resource and manufacturing base to a service-based IT economy, but that glosses over real problems. In the first place, way too many of the highly trained and skilled IT workers, like waves of aerospace workers before them, who fairly and rationally bought houses and otherwise created their economic worlds based upon those jobs and incomes, are out of high-value, high-paying jobs, many of which got shipped to India, etc., and many of which simply disappeared, and either working at far lower paying temporary jobs, often far away, or unemployed, with no real prospects of returning to the middle class or even steady, gainful employment. Whether unemployment compensation is extended a few months ultimately means little if you are fifty years old and, antidiscrimination laws or not, nobody will hire you.
As for half the adults in America reading well enough to know what Information Technology is, much less working in any of these high-tech jobs people keep saying will replace the old blue-collar jobs, notwithstanding that they don’t exist, never will exist, and most of the few that will never will pay a living wage or salary, anybody who believes this change is anything like earlier ones is kidding himself, willfully ignorant. Half the graduates of American public schools can’t alphabetize, balance a checkbook, or read well enough, and half are dropouts. We have wasted an awful lot of money, including much of what we run through the federal government, that is actually or allegedly and purportedly spent on education, while real English and math proficiency in American public schools has fallen below that of places where English is not the native or first language, including some where widespread literacy is new, and where they spend a lot less and get better results. Dallas hired a succession of high-dollar education people from, or recommended by, the U. S. Department of Education, most of whom turned out to be thieves, and lousy ones who got caught at that.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are already broke and drowning the economy, before the AACA, which requires both premium payments for people who can’t earn enough to cover them and eat, and health care workers who don’t exist, can’t be trained from the existing population, and who won’t get paid enough to make it worth getting up and going to work. Raising Social Security, Medicare, etc. taxes high enough to make these systems functional and solvent would add 25% more of the work force that actually has a job to the list of welfare recipients, and reduce the number of jobs created. At current reduced wage rates, the so-called inter-generational compact cannot be paid for even by including all wages, salaries, capital gains, and other taxable transactions to the base, which would depress the economy and reduce the number of people hired at any figures.
Too many of those who we have trusted to manage the American economy over the past generation have proven themselves either liars, fools, or both, while making themselves wealthy. They all say they didn’t see the current Great Recession coming. If they didn’t, they should have and got their jobs by fraudulent misrepresentation, because I, anyone close to the real estate or building business, etc., or any grocery checker, did. If they did, they were criminally negligent and complicit with the misconduct of the malefactors of great wealth without which this situation, with its “liar loans” and “synthetic collateralized debt obligations,” could never have arisen.
As for our two political parties and their respective nominees for President and other so-called “leadership” over the thirty years this has been building up, they are all either economic ignoramuses or, more probably, liars who have been lying to us all along. Name me one Presidential nominee since “9/11/[01],” if not the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, who didn’t prove himself an ignoramus, a fool, and a liar by telling us that he, and only he, could and would capture Osama Bin Laden. They all told us things and made promises in the 2008 election, among others, that have proven false, and that the evidence clearly proves they knew or should have known were false and said with utter recklessness of the truth or falsity thereof if not with the deliberate intent, as probable, to lie and deceive. Treasury Secretary Geithner started back-pedaling from Obama’s promises and projections on taxes and employment early on. Now, after their first gambit didn’t work, they’re talking about putting the country and its people billions and trillions deeper into debt to foreigners in the hope that this repetition of what didn’t work last time somehow stimulates job creation.
Flip side, who do the Republicans think they’re kidding telling us that people who make $200,000.00 up are going to invest whatever they save by extending tax cuts, which they didn’t invest in any such thing during the years these cuts have already been in effect, in small businesses? The very rich don’t invest in true small businesses, and somebody should figure out who does and help them do this, because that is where most of the new jobs are created.
I’ll let you in on one secret of advanced economics that works under Republican and Democratic Presidents and Congresses alike. It doesn’t take Benoit Mandelbrot to figure out the math: When the incomes of your clients or customers, in real, constant-dollar, much less absolute, terms, collapse, unless you are in the illegal addictive substance business, it plays hell with your ability to stay in business, add more employees, or raise the compensation of the ones you have, and avoid painful layoffs, even if you can still afford to keep open.