Excess Debt and Deflation = Depression

December 13, 2008

I’m trying my best to understand the current economic crisis. I thought the the following article was very illuminating.

Global Research, December 12, 2008

Irving Fisher (1867 – 1947) was perhaps the most noted economist of his day. The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics calls him “one of America’s greatest mathematical economists and one of” its clearest writers. He earned special acclaim for his work on monetary and statistical theory, policy, index numbers, econometrics, and the distinction between real and nominal interest rates.

He’s also remembered for having made one of the worst and most ill-timed ever stock market calls that cost him his reputation and millions in the subsequent crash – on October 17, 1929 (a week before Black Thursday) when he said “stock prices had reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” (more…)


December 12, 2008

Well,  CRAP! The decision by Senate Republicans to sink the proposed “bailout/loan” for Detroit automakers
is going to have a very direct impact on the Miami Valley. A BAD impact.

In a blatant right wing assault, Southern Senators, led by Sen Shelby of Alabama, have sought to blame the Auto workers union’s for the crisis. The reality is  that errors in decision making by the Big 3 MANAGEMENT brought this crisis on.

It is said that crap rolls downhill,  and surely this is one hell of a hill we are standing on. Will GM and Chrysler be able to continue making and selling cars [that no one is buying now]  while in bankruptcy proceedings? Obviously the answers will not come easily, nor painlessly. Buckle up, friends, ’cause the ride to the bottom of this hill is going to very rough.

This mornings NY Times had the following depressing story in it…

December 12, 2008

Senate Abandons Automaker Bailout Bid

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday night abandoned efforts to fashion a government rescue of the American automobile industry, as Senate Republicans refused to support a bill endorsed by the White House and Congressional Democrats.

The failure to reach agreement on Capitol Hill raised a specter of financial collapse for General Motors and Chrysler, which say they may not be able to survive through this month. (more…)


November 22, 2008
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Speculation and suspicion about what political position the “most liberal” Senator, now President Elect Barack Obama, will assume once he arrives in office abounds. I understand the need to “hit the ground running”, especially considering the dire circumstances of the economy. At the same time, from this distant post,it starting to look like  the new administration is going to epitomize the line out of the old Who song, Won’t Get Fooled Again…”meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”
Hillary at State, Gates still guarding the coop at Defense. OMG. Really?
One unrepentant hawk, Gates, and saber rattling Hillary.
k, maybe Obama can focus them on HIS vision. Maybe.
With those two  he risks alienating the left even more on policy toward Iraq & Afghanistan.
He wants to stay; she’s never regretted her vote [“thought the prez was going to use diplomacy….]

And for the  Treasury post  we have the president of the New York Fed, Timothy F Geithner, from the District Bank most linked to Wall Street. Partnered with Current Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernake, Geithner has been one of the architects of the current Bailout fiasco.
How well has THAT worked??? Trying to save the Monopoly Capitalist system before main street totally collapses has proven to be a task beyond the capabilities of our current technicians.

I don’t pretend to have answers but a couple of things seem clear. “saving” the big 3 looks to me like a better bet than giving Billions to banks so they can buy other banks, pay off dividends and golden parachutes and hold half million dollar weekend junkets.

Dayton’s economy is so far down the tank [the view from this post on Main Street] that another blow coming in the form of closing local GM facilities, may be one that it takes years [if ever] to recover from. With some three million direct &  related jobs on the line nationally,  the fallout in cities with GM plants and suppliers will absolutely be devastating.

And oh yes, the “big 3” did it to themselves, anyone with a brain can see that. There are cars in Japan that get 50 miles to the gallon of gas. Detroit, with the help of DEMOCRAT legislators like the recently deposed John Dingell, has resisted higher fuel & emission  standards, further digging itself in the hole as it produced various SUV behemoths that just increased USA dependence on foreign oil.

Maybe some form of nationalization is what we need.
Dump the guys who so very stupidly flew to Washington in separate corporate jets.
Implement a “Manhattan Project”  for cars?
Because giving the fox access to the chicken coop is NOT working

Some pertinent viewpoints:

Honeymoon: Left Cuts Obama Slack for Now

By: Ryan Grim and Glenn Thrush
November 21, 2008 02:41 PM EST

Dingell Loses to Waxman and Auto Stocks Dive
Call It What It Is: Corruption

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on November 21, 2008

Record Stores Fight to Be Long-Playing

April 18, 2008
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Published: April 18, 2008

NOW added to the endangered species list in New York City, along with independent booksellers and shoe repair: the neighborhood record store.

James Estrin/The New York Times

Jammyland in the East Village.


Going, Going ... But Not Yet Gone

James Estrin/The New York Times

The Downtown Music Gallery is looking for a home.

The hole-in-the-wall specialty shops that have long made Lower Manhattan a destination for a particular kind of shopper have never made a great deal of money. But in recent years they have been hit hard by the usual music-industry woes — piracy, downloading — as well as rising real estate prices, leading to the sad but familiar scene of the emptied store with a note taped to the door.

Some 3,100 record stores around the country have closed since 2003, according to the Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm. And that’s not just the big boxes like the 89 Tower Records outlets that closed at the end of 2006; nearly half were independent shops. In Manhattan and Brooklyn at least 80 stores have shut down in the last five years. (more…)

McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army/By Sara Robinson

April 17, 2008
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McCain Shows Us How to Kill an Army

By Sara Robinson, TomPaine.com
Posted on April 17, 2008, Printed on April 17, 2008

John McCain, who from the early 1980s worked hard to establish himself as one of the Senate’s shining champions of Vietnam veterans’ issues, completed his betrayal of the Iraq-era troops today. Brandon Friedman of vetvoice.com has the details:

Yesterday VoteVets.org delivered a petition with 30,000 signatures to the office of Sen. John McCain. Through that petition, we asked him to support Sen. Jim Webb’s new GI Bill. And less than 24 hours later, we have an answer:

“Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill …”

The reason for McCain’s refusal to support the bill is about the most disturbing rationale one could imagine. … Officials in charge of Pentagon personnel worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.

Friedman observes that McCain’s no-college-for-grunts position essentially says to the troops: “Thanks for your service and your three combat tours in five years. Now get back to work.” (more…)


March 15, 2008

This is a stunningly well researched and insightful look at the role of the Dayton Development Coalition {DDC} in  the proposed closing of Antioch College. The DDC appears to be acting as a “shadow” government, doing the bidding of the local ruling elites.Much credit goes to the authors of this remarkable document for exposing this dirty political laundry for all to see.

Visit theBlaze @Closing Antioch College: Cui Bono?

Closing Antioch College:Cui Bono?

How Antioch University is cozying-up with developers amidst regional military base realignment

By Laura Fathauer

While the country talks of recession, the Dayton region is preparing for a growth of high-paying, high-tech jobs. Along with this is a growth of construction and infrastructure development, some of which can already be seen around Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

Many of the jobs gained will need to be filled locally, and area organizations and educational institutions are already creating cooperative educational efforts to address these workforce needs. Almost all of this growth is related to the missions and contractors that will be moving on or near the base. It seems that nothing in the region is untouched by the results of the US Military’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.

Including, quite possibly, a small liberal arts institution in Yellow Springs Ohio, called Antioch College. (more…)

Ha-Joon Chang’s ‘Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism’

March 2, 2008
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Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism
by Ha-Joon Chang
Reviewed by Thom Hartmann

The fundamental myth of the Milton/Thomas Friedman neoliberal cons is that in a “flat world” everybody is not only able to compete with everybody else freely, but should be required to. It sounds nice. America trades with – and competes with trade with and for – the European Union. France against Germany. England against Australia.

But wait a minute. In such a “free” trade competition, who will win when the match-up is Canada versus the Solomon Islands? Germany versus Bulgaria? Zimbabwe versus Italy?

There are two glaringly obvious flaws in the so-called “free trade” theories expounded by neoliberal philosophers like Friedrich Von Hayek and Milton Friedman, and promoted relentlessly in the popular press by (very wealthy) hucksters like Thomas Friedman. (more…)

With Kucinich’s Exit, Democratic Discourse is Diminished

January 26, 2008
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John Nichols
Posted 01/24/2008 @ 10:46pm

The media managers of the 2008 presidential contest
worked for months to get Dennis Kucinich off the stage
and out of the running. And they have finally succeeded,
as the Ohio Congressman says he is now “transitioning
out of the presidential campaign” and into a tough
Democratic primary race for reelection to his Cleveland-
area U.S. House seat.

Kucinich’s decision to quit the Democratic presidential
race is an acknowledgement of reality. Never flush with
the funds needed to buy paid media, he has lately been
denied access to the free media that is the lifeblood of
insurgent candidacies. The congressman was excluded from
the last few debates by the television networks, and his
campaign events — even those that drew substantial
crowds in New Hampshire and Michigan – went largely
uncovered. (more…)

Miscellaneous Posts I found Interesting>>01/23/08

January 23, 2008
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Army Gets Fewer High School Grads in ’07

Deregulation and the Financial Crisis
by Robert Weissman

Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate as Global Markets Drop for Second Day

January 22, 2008
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By Howard Schneider, Neil Irwin and Ariana Eunjung Cha

Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, January 22, 2008; 10:33 AM

The Federal Reserve cut a key U.S. interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point this morning as a global stock sell-off continued on Wall Street today, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping more than 400 points in its opening minutes.

The surprise rate cut, made via an emergency videoconference last night, responds to a growing sense of crisis in world financial markets, which have been buffeted by problems that began in the U.S. mortgage markets but have now spread well beyond it.

It is the largest single rate cut since 1984, beyond even the initial half-point reduction that the Fed made following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The new federal funds rate of 3.5 percent will lead to lower rates for credit cards, auto loans and home equity lines of credit. That, in turn, can encourage economic growth by prompting consumers and businesses to spend more. (more…)

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