Economic Meltdown and Moral Constipation = POLITICS and MSM

I would give credit for the term “moral constipation” but I can’t remember where I heard it. I invite all who read this to give me the creator’s name so I can correct this blog and give him the attribution he deserves. 

It appears that we can all agree on one thing regardless of which candidate, party or ideology we subscribe to — The United States of America is on a path of moral bankruptcy, where ethical concerns and choices between right and wrong have been shoved off the table and instead convenience and self-aggrandizement is accepted by “we the people” with far more tolerance than is acceptable to me.

There is practically nothing so dear to me as my own opinion of my own intelligence. And yet I am dumfounded by the lack of outrage as corporate America and Government join hands in our pockets, in our lives, in our families, and in our minds. Protests erupt about the Olympic flame — but where is the outrage, the “I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore” about the following:

  1. Diesel fuel is $4 per gallon here but across the border in Mexico it is $2. Anyone care?
  2. Real inflation for the Average American is in excess of 15% and climbing. Anyone interested?
  3. Exxon made $11 billion last quarter. The rest of us made less at the end of the month because the money went to Exxon. Is there any connection between that fact and the Presence of an Oil man in the White House/ How about a vice President that headed up the very company that profited the most from the Iraq war? Is this so boring that MSM should be ignoring it just because nobody seems to want to anything about it?
  4. By 2009, 1 person in 10 will be on food stamps in the United States. Shouldn’t that be interesting to both sides of the “Aisle?”
  5. The average person in the United States is in debt on credit cards and other consumer and real estate loans in an amount that they can never repay, whereas no other modern country has that problem. Why?
  6. Interest on debt accounts for more expenditure by government and individuals than anything else in the United States. Trillions of dollars of transfered wealth from those who now can’t eat to those who don’t know what to do with the money. What is being done about interests rates that guarantee non-payment and assure financial enslavement? (By the way medical care is second is now touted to be the “employer of last resort”).
  7. Houses were appraised at $500,000 and within days were revealed to have values of less than 70% of that. People were prompted, tricked and coerced into signing mortgage documents they didn’t understand, in violation of law (not that anyone has been prosecuted), and now the borrowers are blamed for a scheme they still don’t understand. Now millions of American citizens are or will be broke, homeless and jobless. We know who did it and how it happened but MSM doesn’t care about that.
  8. All of MSM (Main Street Media) is now controlled by a handful of people who let us hear only the things they want us to hear and only in the ways they want us to hear it. If you want news, go to the Internet, if you want infotainment watch TV or listen to radio. 
  9. How many flag draped coffins can be hidden from view to keep the Iraq war “sanitary” and keep the public distanced from the gruesome reality of war, death, disfigurement, famine, disease and moral decrepitude? And why is MSM going along with  the ban on pictures of coffins? Isn’t the death of young loved members of families who made the ultimate sacrifice worth reporting?
  10. How many veterans need to be homeless and wandering through the streets with head injuries before we think to ourselves “you know, there is something not quite right about this.”
  11. We have outsourced the most sensitive manufacturing of top secret defense components to China which just happens to be the only real military threat to our national security. And we have financed their military expansion by encouraging their economic growth to the point where they now have a  stranglehold on our country — they own most of our debt, they manufacture most of our goods, they process most of our food, and they are the most prolific source of spying in the United States. Thus whatever they don’t get legally, they get illegally. 
  12. MSM (main Street Media) has virtually eliminated their staff of reporters, because they get everything off the newswires and they make up the rest. Most of the time spent on “news” channels consists of opinions about gossip. Interesting, perhaps, but useless for those of us who would like to evaluate our options on voting on issues and candidates.
  13. It is illegal to counterfeit money unless you are a foreign country (North Korea for example) or you are a Wall Street investment banking firm that creates money supply by calling them “derivatives, collateralized debt obligations” and such. Between North Korea’s supernote and and the $500 trillion (yes with a “T”) in derivatives, credit swaps etc. out there it can be no surprise that no government can control the effects on world monetary supply —- that has been outsourced to the private sector as well. 
  14. MSM (Main Street Media) now presents us with pretty faces, some nice looking legs, a tempting bust line, and a teleprompter written by people who have not researched the validity of the reports in 10 years.
  15. Prescription medications are “so dangerous” that you can’t get them without seeing a doctor, but they are advertised directly to consumers. Is this what we want our children to hear and see? You can get a Bud Lite or a Absolute martini without a doctor’s prescription and drink all you want. It’s only when you kill or main people with your driving or other physical abuse that you are held accountable. 
  16. MSM (Main Stream Media) provides us with pundits and moderators who are undereducated, and inculcated with the sole core value of saying something that will increase the ratings and thus revenues of the media in which their comments appear. 
  17. Prescription medications cost $20 per pill here and as little as $0.50 in other countries easily accessible from the U.S.
  18. The total expenditures for medical care, drugs, products and associated services is around 2-3 times the amount spent by any other country or group of countries. The average U.S. Citizen is in constant danger of dying for lack of medical care because he/she is probably not covered entirely for the medical event, because he/she was never given a preventative regimen that is regularly followed in other countries, or because they are simply barred from access to medical system. 
  19. Despite the amount we spend per person, we get less care, and suffer from shorter longevity, higher infant mortality, shorter height, than at least a dozen other countries and sometimes as high as 40 other countries depending upon which metric you are interested in. To say we lost our “lead” is not the point. 
  20. The average person educated in the U.S. has slipped from 1st in world ranking to around 20th. Does that bother anyone?
  21. Bullying has spread through every school, public and private and is spreading into the marketplace. Hello? Anyone there?
  22. We have lost our way. We worship money in all its forms more than we worship God. Every day we perform acts that involve our worship, use and belief in money. Most of us spend at best one day per week for a couple hours worshipping God.
  23. MSM (Main Street Media) thrives on conflict over minutia (bullets in Bosnia, a flag pin probably made with lead in China, and statements of “associates” that are made into controversial “positions”) rather than actual issues and characteristics about the candidates themselves. We allow this by talking about that the pundits tell us to talk about. And what we talk about causes us to vote against our own interests.  
  24. When we tried importing from China and India the prescription drugs at a fraction of the cost that the drug companies were charging us, the government stepped in and said it was unsafe and  could result in tainted drugs. Now the drug companies have eliminated American jobs and outsourced the manufacture of the drugs to where? — India and China — and we have what — tainted, deadly drugs of dubious value to begin with and with side effects that include anal leakage and death. 
  25. How many times do we need to hear that pharmaceutical companies spend $5,000 on every man or woman doctor in the U.S. to push their stuff before we make THAT an issue?
  26. The war on drugs is making a fortune for people on both sides of the law, including the privatization of prisons and huge profits from private ownership of prisons, 75% of the inmates of which are there because of minor drug charges. There is no war on drug use and there is no war on drug supply. That is why we have drugs in America.
  27. How many times do we need to be disappointed in a politician, whom we knew was taking money from the medical- pharma complex, insurance companies, oil companies and credit card companies? What makes us vote for these people?
  28. Where is MSM “keeping them honest” by reporting discrepancies between promises and action?
  29. How many dogs need to die before we accept that they are the canary in the mine shaft and that the rest of us are just as much at risk because the tainted, poisoned food is all coming from the same place now?

I could go on, but I invite you to add your own comments to the list. And while you are at it, why not answer this question: What specifically are you going to say to your friends and family about these issues and how will you vote?

Mortgage Meltdown: Free Market Theology and Politics

Mortgage Meltdown: Socialized Losses and Expenses

The root of any solution to the current credit crisis and meltdown is politics, which is simply a consensus of opinion. When people consent to an idea like “free market” it seems to work because we make it work. The fact is that we don’t have a free market, we never had a free market, and if we did, the mortgage crisis  would be even worse. When we give up our ideology in favor of thoughtful response to the facts “on the ground” we will have a solution. Failing that, the economy is headed for far worse than ever imagined by the doom  sayers.

There is not enough MONEY in the world to stop this crisis. Mortgage Meltdown/Credit Crisis/Monetary Crisis/Housing Crisis can ONLY be solved politically through a consensus of ALL parties involved. REAL incentives must be present for borrowers, homeowners, bankers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, lenders, underwriters, investment bankers, retail securities brokerage houses, traders, money managers, CFO’s of government and companies and individual investors. “Bailing out” some of the variables just tips the economy more toward ultimate disaster. 

While we have free market forces at work within our economy, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. That is why you need a referee (government regulation). Free market ideology is wrong in its premise — that given the chance, everyone will rise to their highest potential, at least in terms of wealth. That has never been true because people are all different, they have all different perspectives and values, and all different life challenges that come from factors outside the closed circle of economic theory. 

In a truly free market, tyranny is the inevitable result. Those with the ambition, leadership qualities and political skills end up with controlling positions in the marketplace and in government such that wealth is unevenly distributed to themselves. Innovations, education, and cultural advances that endanger the dominance of such persons or companies are squelched. It’s legal because we make it legal. For the past 10-12 years American society has been reaching for the “ideal” of non-regulation or “free economy.” Now even the most ardent free market proponents are conceding that it has brought us to the brink of disaster.

In a truly “free market,” the market is actually a closely held dominated society with despotic leadership. Government mirrors the society in which the predatory and monopolistic entities get to pay for legislation and enforcement (and non enforcement) they want. 

In a truly free market, a few people dominate government and the marketplace so that losses and expenses are transferred to the citizens while profits and gains are transferred to the leaders in the marketplace and in government. This is what Bill Maher called “socialized losses.” I would add “socialized expenses.” 

Thus a truly free market is actually a socialized marketplace for the benefit of those at the top. In other words, “free market” is a combination of words stating an idea that does not exist but which politically is accepted because politicians and business leaders refer to it so much it has gained sufficient acceptance by listeners to be considered true. 

Thus it is the opinion of most people that “free markets” exist even though all empirical evidence is to the contrary. 

However as a political tool, the bullet phrase “free market” is appealing and is used to socialize the marketplace for the benefit of a select few right under the noses of the people whose opinion was swayed by disinformation emanating from the top.

 

  • We already have socialism as the predominant policy in our politics. We just call it other things like “benefits,” “bailout.” loan, relief package, earmarks, etc. 
  • We have socialized medicine — it just works to provide profits to the Big Pharma and service providers instead of medical service to the patients. 
  • We have socialized schools — it just works to provide added money to government budgets instead of education to our children and college for aspirants. 
  • We have socialized police — it just works to put more people behind bars than any other country in the world in a highly secretive privatization of prisons, the owners of which need to know the prisons will always be full. 
  • We have socialized fire departments — but they are sacrificed in budget cuts as soon things get a little hairy. 
  • We have socialized defense — but it used offensively to promote oil and profits pursuant to policies that should have been abandoned decades ago, instead of providing for the defense and welfare of citizens beset by disasters (Katrina) or defending and securing our borders.
  • We even have socialized money — it just works such that non-regulated money floods the marketplace, leveraged off of a money supply that is supposed to be controlled by the Federal Reserve, creating hollow profits and rising stock prices, while the rest of the citizenry deals with prices so high for fuel, food and other essentials that they can’t make it on two incomes.
  • We are a socialized economic society NOT a free market society. It just works for the benefit of the people at the top instead of the usual way of  spreading the benefit throughout the country to all the citizens. 

In a truly free market, Bear Stearns would have gone out of business, the proper result of overreaching behavior that tipped the risk allocations without telling anyone. 

OR, in an environment where free market forces were the goal, the Fed would not only have opened up its window to private investment houses, but also to private individuals and small businesses that were equally in danger of being wiped out. Instead we have the Fed conspiring to bail out one of a dozen variables in the equation that would produce a solution and then, responding to political pressure (something that the Fed was designed NOT to do), it increased the bailout for Bear Stearns 500% so rich people and the people that worked for this firm would not get completely wiped out. 

Careful examination of the Fed bailout of Bear Stearns, however, reveals the perfect plan for bailing out all the players behind all the variables in the equation for solving our monetary crisis, credit crisis, housing crisis, confidence crisis, political and economic crisis: Leaving the opportunity for their fortunes to rise when the crisis is over allows maximum protection for the player to recover, establishes an equilibtrium or plateau that is fairly strong is withstanding further downward pressure, and restores CONFIDENCE in the U. S. financial markets around the world.

By starting out as $2 per share and then moving up to $10 per share, the Fed and JP Morgan established a new precedent that can be applied to borrowers, investment bankers, lenders, investors in CDOs, homeowners who are in foreclosure and homeowners who are at risk. 

If followed out to its maximum advantage, foreclosures could stop, evictions would cease, payments would resume, CDOS (CMOs) would recover their value on balance sheets, capital insolvency would recede, and the opportunity for every one to recover as much as possible would be restored. 

As we have repeatedly said, there is not enough MONEY in the world to stop this crisis. Mortgage Meltdown/Credit Crisis/Monetary Crisis/Housing Crisis can ONLY be solved politically through a consensus of all parties involved. REAL incentives must be present for borrowers, homeowners, bankers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, lenders, underwriters, investment bankers, retail securities brokerage houses, traders, money managers, CFO’s of government and companies and individual investors.

Central to the solution is a political feat of enormous proportions: accepting the fact that housing prices were artificially inflated in 2001-2007. A reduction of the mortgage balances, payments and interest rates combined with an incentive to all players to recover their losses downstream when the market recovers would stop the slide, eliminate the crisis and stimulate the recovery. 

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