All posts by Dave Speck

There Ya Go, Always Lookin’ Back

There Ya Go, Always Lookin’ Back
by
Dave Speck

Update:
CommonDreams.org has a very good essay on the follies of the Fleece Market, or as it’s being sold, the Free Market.

Some would say that we need to quickly abandon the idea of looking back to figure out what we did wrong so we can fix it, but we must rather quickly fix it without worrying about the facts.

But, really, now, we all know that you can’t fix something when you don’t know what’s wrong. It’s like putting a band-aid over a bullet hole. If you don’t know what’s causing the bleeding, it doesn’t work to just fix it.

And, that’s where we are with America’s economy.  We can toss a $700 Billion band-aid at it, but without really facing up to what is causing it, the band-aid will never work. And, so, then what’s the cause of our current disaster?

Let’s look at exactly what the current disaster is. Our economy generally consists of circulation of money. Credit helps the money circulate but relying on credit to run an economy is guaranteed disaster. So, what causes money to circulate? People spending money circulates money. Adding money to an economy from outside, like selling goods overseas, speeds up the economy. Building more gadgets to sell in keeping up with an increased population also helps circulate money.

Stop selling things outside your economy and your money’s circulation slows down. Buying those things from another country bleeds money from our circulation.

We’re at the point where we can no longer rely on credit to keep our money circulating and we’re not making anything to sell to the Chinese,  so all we can do is continue to print more money to keep it circulating. This will cause a serious devaluation of the dollar, but what else can we do?

If you give a billionaire a hundred dollars he won’t put it back in the economy. In today’s age, he’ll probably invest the money over seas. What if you give a poor person $100? He’ll spend it as fast as he can. Which one of these helps our economy? Obviously paying the needy helps the economy. More poor people spending money causes more demand on small businesses and creates more jobs, thereby putting more money in circulation.

We Americans don’t have much credit left to use for buying and so much of our work force has been reduced to menial jobs and so much of our economy is going out of the country rather than into it, that we are plum out of tools to dig ourselves out of this hole. It will be a long and painful recovery.

So, by now you’ve probably guessed at the cause of our current disaster.

  1. There is not enough money in the hands of the middle class and the poor.  Too many tax increases on the poor and too many tax breaks for the rich. This is a direct result of Reagan economics that we have brought forward for the past 30 years.
  2. There’s not enough goods being exported, bringing money into our economy. Still more Reagan economics. However, we can thank Clinton for this one as well. Our trade policies are killing America. Re-institute the tariffs.
  3. There’s not enough oversight in our banking and credit and investment sectors. A handful of crooks have made billions of dollars while driving our financial companies into the ground. They’re not dummies. We are, for letting it happen. Again, this is more Reagan Conservative economics. Free (greed) Markets they say. Get the government off our backs, put industry crooks in the oversight positions intended to monitor and protect us from the crooks. That’s what we’ve been doing since Reagan convinced us that we (our government) is the problem, not the solution. We are the only solution, folks.

We must look back to see what we did wrong before we can fix it. Hold on to your shorts, it’s going to be a long bumpy ride!

DOW Down 700 Points

DOW Down 700 Points
by
Dave Speck

The DOW was down 700 points for much of today. When was it ever this bad, before?

Well, let’s see. I can remember the 25% crash back in the 80s. Before that, I don’t think it was ever this bad since the Great Depression.

What do these three disasters have in common? Any guesses?

I’ll tell you. But, if I just come out and say what it is, half of us will refuse to believe it because it might mean they’ve been betting on the wrong team for so long we don’t know how to be reasonable any longer. But, here goes…

Let’s look at the Great Depression of the 1930s.  We all know what got us out of it. There were endless bottom-up works programs to employee everyone. There was tax relief for the middle class (the lower class didn’t pay much in taxes). There was a minimum wage — a living minimum wage, which we haven’t had since the 80s.

Plus, some would argue that WWW II did a lot to bring us out of the dumps. However, this is quite questionable as it didn’t help other countries in the war, but we’ll leave that debate for another day.

And, one more avenue of change was in the arena of regulation. To get us out of the depression, our government finally realized they needed to implement considerably better regulation. And, that’s exactly what they did, and that’s exactly what helped bring the prosperity for the next 70 years.

For anyone interested in looking it up, there was also a free-market government in America at the runup to and during the first few years of the depression. These same people who had let business run amuck were falling all over themselves to give big incentives to big businesses to shore up the economy.

Just like today, the stimulus did nothing but deplete our government’s coffers when the money was sorely needed for other programs. This same foolish mistake did just as little good then as it’s going to do now. 700 points in the hole the day after the big-business government put together the fat-cat welfare program.

Fast forward to the crash of 1987.  Does anyone remember what caused it? It was the Savings and Loan collapse. You remember, the Keating 5? Who were they? They were the Free Market (ala used car) salesmen. They pushed for and got considerable freedoms from the required regulations monitoring their industry. With the market free, the crooks were free to pursue really stupid and greedy agendas.

So, America made the mistake of relaxing regulations (getting the government off their backs in their words) and the industry crashed and we, you and I, spent billions to clean up after them too.

And, we’ve been hearing the drumbeat of free-market, “get the government off our backs”  conservatives since Reagan and we’ve been gradually loosening regulation after regulation until 1999 when we dropped the last of the meaningful regulations. And, now, here we are again. Is it really any surprise?

What have all these had in common? Free markets and get the government off our backs. When will we finally learn, America? Free markets don’t work unless we are in there regulating them. Plain and simple.

Telecoms Own Your Government

by
Dave Speck

[Updated below]

With the latest pandering by the Democrats in Congress (yes Reid, I’m pointing at you), it is painfully obvious that the telecoms have infected the Democratic party. This is unacceptable, but painfully obvious.

Reid knows that it’s wrong to grant the telecoms blanket immunity for the crimes they’ve committed in spying on Americans. But, he’s trying to help his “base”, knowing it’s wrong and knowing that the vast majority of his party is flatly opposed to it.

Why are they voting against the good of their own party? Because someone else owns them, of course.

We have got to force our representatives to pass election reform that makes all Congressional and presidential election publicly funded. It sounds like it would be a great strain on our taxes, but it doesn’t have to be. We could easily pay for all the electioneering by fining the lobbyists 500% for every dollar they spend to bribe our government.

On that note, we should phase out lobbying from businesses. This is such an obvious crime, we need to get it stopped, now. There’s nothing wrong with individuals petitioning their representatives. That’s the American way. However, no paid lobbyists, and no gifts, period!

Without these two fixes, we will never be able to wrest control of our government from the crooked businesses.

[Update] Call Reid’s office at 202-224-3542 and let him know that the law isn’t just for some of us to follow.

Stop Apologizing!

by Dave Speck

My gosh! Stop apologizing, already. Finally, a Democratic politician shows a little ambition, a little passion, and so many of the rest of the Democratic Party runs and hides their faces and starts apologizing for the “over the top” comments.

That’s exactly why the Republicans call you spineless. Heck, even the Democrats call you spineless. If we all showed this much passion, we’d be out of this awful train-wreck of a presidency; we’d be out of this awful war, we’d have the Democratic voters showing a little ambition as well.

Hurray for Stark, and keep it up! America needs passionate leaders to show how awful this really is. With the wimpy, whiny, cry-babies apologizing, it’s really hard for the rest of us to get ambitious.

And, yes, we voters still need to show the ambition, if nothing more, then just to continue to show our leaders that we need more passion. A passionate leader can help energize this country. A spineless electorate will continue to put us to sleep. Grow a spine and show some passion!

America, the Country of Warmongers

by Dave Speck

Yes, you heard me, warmongers! Ouch, does that hurt?

No, I’m not talking about being so easily lied into a war of aggression. I’m not talking about the deaths of 3000+ Americans, and the countless hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. That’s bad, but that’s not the war I’m talking about…

America, you could apply your resources to solve the Iraqi problem, but, no, let’s wage a war.

Let’s wage a war on terror, too. Yes, that’s a good reason for a war. Let’s do that! Let’s wage war on global terror. No reason to fix it, just start a war and then wonder how it will ever end. You do want to “win” don’t you? You’re not thinking of “cutting and running”, now are you?

Yes, war’s the solution. No reason to put our resources into finding the cause of the problem and working to correct it. Let’s go to war!

I know, let’s have a war against the middle class. That’s a good cause. No point in solving the problem, let’s have ourselves a little war. When will it end? Who cares, we’re at war! How about a war on poverty? Oh, yes, let’s war.

Ya, those Democrats who are soft on crime — what we really need is a war on crime. Yes, let’s have another war! WAR!!! No point in finding the cause of the crime and a solution, let’s have a war and wait for it to magically solve something. Oh, yes, WAR!!

While we’re at it, America, let’s have a war on drugs. That’s a good one. The war will be over when we win. You want to win don’t you? Stay the course. No point in trying to solve anything, let’s have a war, oh yes, oh YES, a WAR!!

WARGASM.

America, is this really us? Are we really this wrapped up in endless wars? Are we really this stupid? We need to know when to say no to war. Any time we hear a politician selling war, be it a war on drugs or a war on the innocent children of a foreign country, we need to stop and say NO to war. By the way, it’s okay to impeach, too, if the mood strikes.

To be a Republican you need to believe

by Dave Speck

To be a Republican you need to believe:

1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton

2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s Daddy made war on him , a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Viet Nam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

5. A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational drug corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMO’s and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

10. Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

11. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

12. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet .

13. The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.

14. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

15. Supporting “Executive Privilege” for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)

16. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960’s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80’s is irrelevant.

17. Support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

If you don’t send this to at least 10 other people, we’re likely to be stuck with more Republicans ’08.

Friends don’t let friends vote Republican

White House Missing Emails

by Dave Speck

So — the deadline has come and gone for the White House’s missing emails. So what?

Will the Democratic congress do anything about it? What’s that you say? Another non-binding panty-waist threat. Will the Democrats get their crap together before they get voted out next November?

If you ask me, I’d say probably not. And, that’s exactly what the Republican machinery wants. Their hate and fear filled followers will come out in droves to vote where the real Americans will stay home in utter horror of what as come of their country.

If there was ever a time for the Democratically controlled congress to do something, it’s right now. Today! Do something!