Category Archives: Markets

Chaos: The Harbinger Of Order

WHEN THE BANKS STOP LENDING and the dollar drops dead, the leonine principles of chaos will pounce upon us, claws poised, teeth bared. But as horrible as that bit of declarative sounds to the victims of chaos, there may still be a ray of sunshine for America and in turn, hope for humanity, and that hope is presented here in an adaptation of a wonderful comment by a reader at American Thinker in response to an article on The Coming Chaos.

John Griffing has stated the obvious and drawn a single conclusion among many possibilities—avoid default of the American debt crisis at all costs. Financial chaos because it cuts to the root of our sense of well-being can be and in most situations is really frightening. People suffer and die when money values go hiking off in many different directions at the same time. But one of the most unnerving problems with modern America is that no one has suffered recently and we are not sure that we can tolerate feelings like hunger and uncontrolled weather in our living rooms. Whole families would have to take to the roads with backpacks as winter approached like migrating birds.

Yet, I am not pessimistic. While Mr. Griffing is correct about bad things happening to good people, I am just as certain that "this too will pass." Why?

spend, spend, spend

Chicago Tribune, 1934. Sound familiar? Took a war to change things, then, too.

Because economic equilibrium will reassert itself. Chaos is too chaotic to last. Organization is an occasional, but natural state of affairs. We know this from the movies of the end of the world. Each time the world reaches a precipice, it draws back in horror. These movies will be our models. We may have to mimic the Amish or become members of a kibbutz, but with great buffalo meat in our bellies and mighty thunder in our throats we will survive as a people. Extra-privileged classes will have to disperse or reorganize to use less energy—like universities and governments, Hollywood and the NFL.

But physicist Stephen Hawking from the strength of his wheelchair has assured us that knowledge is never destroyed, but merely displaced. In the end we will be fine and the world will be at peace again. Bingo! Now I can go back to sleep and have a sweet dream untainted by reality! Tomorrow I will plant my winter collards and broccoli. If global warming doesn't get me first.

Adapted from a comment by J Levy

On Being Prepared: Hunting, Gathering, Survival Food Sources

Watch This Video

Neil_Young
Neil Young
THE FOLLOWING SOURCES are all places where those who wish to prepare for any of a number of possible future calamities can purchase food for long-term storage, including freeze-dried meals, bulk grains, water filters, and other supplies to help my family survive a total economic collapse.

Nitro-Pak is one of the country's top freeze-dried food manufacturers, and it's where we bought our first package of entrees in #10 cans.

The Ready Store stocks a huge selection of foods and food prep items for the long-term food storage pantry. Sign up for their email list to receive emails about weekly sales and special deals.

PrepareCo specializes in water filtration and storage items in addition to grab & go food buckets and bulk grains, from wheat to beans and rice.

Amazon Bulk Foods is a surprisingly good source for packaged foods, from granola bars and cereal to canned goods, to include in your survival food cache.

Food Insurance is an excellent source for large multi-person food packages as well as two-week emergency preparedness kits that come in a convenient, sturdy backpack.

Fearing the worst, or at least, respecting the possibility of something harsh settling your way? What do you need to know? What do you need to do? Need a plan? Read precious and important information about these and other relevant concerns over at the SHTFplan.

Rock legend Neil Young is on record as saying:

‘No one song can change the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop singing. Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song. This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people’s fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am.’

Now, that's the spirit!

Forgive Us Our Debts

Ostrich
The Ostrich Revolution
FATHOM A FEW FACTS about our flipping national debt. LBJ's Great Society and a few other distractions—like the Vietnam war—stormed into 1969 and the Nixon era with buckets of deficit spending. Since then, the national debt has grown dramatically each decade, as shown below:

• In the 1970’s, the national debt more than doubled, from $366 billion to $829 billion.
• In the 1980’s, the national debt more than tripled, from $829 billion to $2.9 trillion.
• In the 1990’s, the national debt almost doubled again, from $2.9 trillion to $5.6 trillion.
• In the 2000’s, the national debt is projected to more than double again, from $5.6 trillion to $12.9 trillion (projected national debt at the end of fiscal year 2009).

Just for giggles and lollipops, let's analyze who was in charge of the Spending and Budget Authority—The House of Representatives:

In the 1970's the Democrats held the House all 10 years.
In the 1980's the Democrats held the House all 10 years.
In the 1990's the Democrats held the House for 4 and The Republicans for 6 years.
In the 2000's the Democrats held the House for 10 years.

The only time we ever balanced the budget was when the Republicans held the house in the 1990's during the Gingrich Revolution.

The anti-Constitutional Progressives give the credit to Bill Clinton—who was forced to accept the budgets from the Republican-dominated House. In addition—Clinton only got to a balanced budget by gutting the military and called it the "Peace Dividend" that rather quickly led to a tragic series of missteps that opened the door for 911.

Anyone who blames people who want to balance the budget and make excuses for fools who want to spend money we don't have and then raise taxes—is historically ILL-INFORMED and most often always DEMOCRAT to the core.

However, over time even the Republicans began to pitched gobs of cash wherever they could, just to make a good impression on the debtor nation the Democrats were grooming. Gotta keep them national defense and compassionate conservative votes coming, ya know.

National Debt Made Simple

Budget In Toilet
US Budget is in the Toilet...
THE US CONGRESS SETS a federal budget every year (Before Obama*) in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

* US income: $2,170,000,000,000
* Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to, so let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family:

* Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
* Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
* Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Amount cut from the budget: $385

So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending? It's a start, although hardly an easy solution.

Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt). One would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state. To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders.

It will be brutally hard, but not impossible, to reverse course and to insist the government stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now. In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country. The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab…

—Marco Nolo

* Neither Congress nor POTUS have offered up a budget these past two fiscal years, contrary to constitutional and traditional mores.

Turning Fishermen Into Garbagemen

fisherman
When the fish are all gone...

WITH FLOATING HEAPS OF PLASTIC CHOKING the world's oceans and fishermen chaffing at new regulations meant to protect dwindling European fish stocks, a top EU official has proposed a clever idea that may help address both problems: Pay fishermen to catch plastic trash, rather than fish. EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki has been under fire for the European Commission's plan to ban discards of edible fish. The practice is no small problem, The Guardian wrote this week:

Two-thirds of the fish caught in some areas is thrown back, usually dead, because fleets exceed their quota, unintentionally catch juveniles or species for which they lack a quota, or because they prioritize higher-value fish and throw away lesser species. About 1 million tons are thrown back each year in the North Sea alone.

Instead of caving in to the fishing-industry pressure on the issue, Damanaki has vowed to move forward with the discards ban—saying "time is running out" to make "radical reform"—while offering fishermen an alternative source of income. Under a trial project to start in the Mediterranean this month, fishermen will be equipped with special "nets to round up the plastic detritus that is threatening marine life, and send it for recycling," The Guardian wrote. The EU will initially subsidize the initiative, but the hope is that it could eventually become self-sustaining as fishermen make more money from the recycling itself.

Read it all.

It may be a step down in one's own personal psyche, to go from food supplier to garbage collector, but if it needs to be done, somebody's got to do it, and impoverished fisherman should step to the task, and get 'er done for decent wages, of course. Oops, that's government nee the people's money, but I've always said littering is one of the first signs of a dangerous personality though probably the most preventable of sins an individual can make.

Oi! Oi! Oi!

THERE IS A REASON we do not develop our own energy resources...they are being held as collateral for our massive debts held by foreign countries. When we default you will see Chinese oils workers, miners, and other energy related workers showing up in the USA. They will live in separate autonomous communities apart from us, just like they are doing in Africa.

We are destined to be a resource of the Chinese with our population being irrelevant. In order to create a new world order, the largest pool of free thinking people has to be destroyed.

If you think me insane, look to Iraq. The Chinese are drilling for oil there, the USA is not. We have given them the oil as long as they give us loans. The government, Republicans and Democrats alike, have sold us out. Look on line to find the transcript of the speech given by Chinese General Chi Haotian to see the future the Chinese envision for us.

sopwith

That's an interesting take on things. But man, does it make me say ouch! I wonder how a President Palin, or a President Trump, God help us, might supercede this arrangement.

Feingold Challenges Jeffrey Immelt On New Position

Immelt-Obama
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and President Barack Obama
We actually applaud this surprising move by former Wisconsin Democratic senator Russ Feingold (recall that Feingold was swept out of office last year in a tsunami of Tea Party expression). Just in case you're keeping score, here's the opening shot in the corporate corruption wing of the Obama School of Economic Whatevers:

Friend,

IT'S EVERYTHING THAT'S WRONG with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes—that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits—and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled—should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.

We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the president’s jobs panel—and if he won’t, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.

Help us build public pressure on GE’s Jeffrey Immelt to step down or President Obama to get his resignation from the jobs council: Sign our petition at www.ImmeltMustGo.com today!

Jeffrey Immelt is a crook and a thief. There are many like him, but for now, we are criticizing this one. He and the president seem to have a lot in common, and appear to be the best of buds.
How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

It’s time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn’t reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation’s economy.

Be a part of this meaningful fight. Help us tell President Obama that if GE isn’t paying taxes or treating workers well, Immelt Must Go!

President Obama has been talking about how we must “win the future,” and I agree with him in that goal. Jeffrey Immelt is not the person for that job.

Thanks for uniting as a progressive,

Russ Feingold
Founder
Progressives United

Feingold, despite his generally far leftist stance on most issues, this time is right on the mark. Serenedipity. Sort of like when far leftist Dennis Kucinich and libertarian Ron Paul find themselves arguing for the same crucial point in the House. As aggressive constitutionalists, we usually find Mr. Feingold's progressive recipe for success instinctively less than desirable, having no faith in Big Government to look after my own best interests, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, but when it comes to the wildly dishonest, greed-gorged antics of corporate raiders who loot the land and its people without conscience, I have no choice but to drop my shoulders just enough to service my own burden and to join the call for immediate corrective measures. We call for simple and plain considerations. This just looks bad.

Jeffrey Immelt is a crook and a thief. There are many like him, but for now, we are criticizing this one. He and the president seem to have a lot in common, and appear to be the best of buds.

This nation, however, struggling against a global economic bully called the deficit, might stand a fighting chance to recover from what ails us if both men retired to their next roles as men of leisure, formerly of a certain public prestige. But since it is easier to dismiss Mr. Immelt from his awkward position right now, dismissal is exactly what should be done.

Just look at the numbers.