Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

How to End This Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 29, 2012

It’s been said that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

The distinguished Dr. Krugman – who accurately foretold in 2001 that the “Bush Tax Cuts” would create significant deficit (and they did) – understands the role of government in providing opportunity for entrepreneurs and private enterprise, and the equally important role that government has in responsibility to protect public health and safety.

The long and short of it is this: Government spending on economic infrastructure (including education) is a good investment because it yields significant immediate and long-term results.

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the aforementioned premise, and the numerous times about which I have written in detail about the same. This entry illustrates with three excellent examples of that principle.

Naysayers and critics miss one very important factor in their analogy, which is that the Federal government has the power and authority to print money. The way that factor relates to the issue at hand is this: While the government could – in theory, and in reality – print enough money to give $10,000 to every man, woman and child in this nation the net effect of so doing would be to devalue the money, which would be resulting from inflation.

How to correct, resolve or work within the guidelines of that factor is to understand that one very important role of government is to provide OPPORTUNITY for entrepreneurs and private enterprise. By providing opportunity, government is also encouraging private enterprise and entrepreneurship. And, for the strict Constitutionalists, courts have continued to uphold and acknowledge that such power is contained within the Preamble’s clause “to promote the general welfare.”

Further, for the “anti-Big Government” naysayers, it is preposterous (contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous) to imagine that, in this era, with every technological advance, invention and discovery which has been made since 1776, and with our population (now approaching 312,000,000), that we would have fewer laws, rules and regulations than when we first began.

And, for those who say we should balance our budget, I would agree. However, I hasten to point out, that the last time that was done was under Eisenhower and LBJ. That does not excuse us from an ongoing civil discussion and debate about how to effectively manage our nation’s budget. Perhaps a formula of some type which would take into account GDP, debt (outstanding Treasury notes), trade deficit, population growth, birth rate, and other factors – with an “escape” mechanism for times of civil emergency or war, of course.

For such, we need technocrats – experts in areas of operations – rather than bureaucrats. Perhaps in an advisory role. But then again, we have those.

So… why don’t we work together as we ought?

Politics.

It seems that “Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

The depression we’re in is essentially gratuitous: we don’t need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines—anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies.
Obama in Master Lock factory Milwaukee

President Obama on a tour of the Master Lockfactory in Milwaukee with the company’s senior vice-president, Bon Rice, February 2012; Susan Walsh/AP Images

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: Read the rest of this entry »

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More evidence that Government $pending boo$t$ economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recollect the brouhaha over Vice President Joe Biden‘s remark Thursday, July 16, 2009 in Alexandria, Virginia?

He was speaking at an AARP-sponsored town hall meeting also attended by AARP CEO A. Barry Rand, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

Vice President Biden said, “Now people, when I say that, look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ that’s what I’m telling you.”

{ref: http://cnsnews.com/node/51162}

“And folks look, AARP knows – and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know – that the status quo is simply not acceptable. Its totally unacceptable. And its completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially, Were going to go bankrupt as a nation. Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ I’m telling you.”

Of course, Vice President Biden was speaking in context of the Affordable Care Act – also commonly known as “ObamaCare” – which the Government Accountability Office has shown has already demonstrated significant cost savings and proven to be business-stimulating legislation, and that to eliminate it’s protections would cost the federal government even more in the long-term.

Analogously, it’d be like having a fuel inefficient automobile – one that only got about 5 miles/gallon, or less. If you were to purchase even a used vehicle with twice the fuel economy – 10mpg – you could realize significant overall long-term savings. Simply ceasing driving will not solve any problem, but would rather create more problems.

Similarly, could you imagine having an inefficient Heating/Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system? You gotta’ stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter – there’s no way around it. And to lower your average monthly utility bills by even 1/3 would be beneficial.

So, here’s a shocker for armchair philosophers, political pundits, amateur economists, Radical Republicans, TEA Party types and more: Government spending – in part – is a significant driver of our nation’s economy. And, spending on economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a most wise investment.

Why?

Because 1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the PRIVATE SECTOR, and; Read the rest of this entry »

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Is SNAP (formerly “Food Stamps”) an Economic Boost?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 19, 2012

You betcha’!

Research performed by the United States Department of Agriculture at the request of then-President George W. Bush shows that for every $1.00 spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $1.84 is put into the economy. In fact the report says that, “every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity.”

You want jobs?

The research shows that the “jobs impact estimates from the FANIOM model range from 9,000 to 18,000 FTE-jobs plus self-employed per $1 billion of SNAP benefits.”

It should be borne in mind that the median household income in 2006 was slightly over $50,000/year.

Read on for more “shocking” economic good news!

The report in it’s entirety may be downloaded here.

The Economic Case for Food Stamps

By Michel Nischan

Jul 18 2012, 3:09 PM ET

Congress is planning to cut up to $16 billion from low-income food aid over the next five years. But research shows that every dollar spent on assistance pays for itself and grows the economy.

In its current form, the House Agriculture Committee‘s version of the farm bill proposes draconian cuts to food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The ill-thought-out proposal would deny food assistance to millions of people, many of them children. Speaking as a chef and CEO of a national nonprofit that supports small and mid-sized farmers who make fresh fruits and vegetables available to everyone regardless of income, I’m obviously alarmed.

FOOD-USA/FARMERSMARKET

Grace Blackburn, Susan Noyce and Mary Claire Geyer (L-R) set out fruit for sale at the Westmoreland Berry Farm stand at the Arlington Farmers’ Market in Arlington, Virginia in this picture taken June 28, 2008. While price hikes are rippling through farmers’ markets across the United States, they are doing little to deter shoppers looking for local produce. Cherries and berries for sale at the Westmoreland Berry Farm stand at the Arlington Farmers’ Market in Arlington, Virginia (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The Senate’s version of the farm bill would reduce overall funding by $23 billion, with a reduction in food stamps of $4.5 billion over five years. The House Agriculture Committee is proposing to cut funding by $35 billion — with nearly half the overall cut coming from reductions in food stamps by $16 billion over five years.

Those who believe in cutting SNAP funding as a cost-saving measure should know that food stamps boost the economy — not put a strain on it. Supporters of federal food benefits programs including President George W. Bush understood this, and proved the economic value of SNAP by sanctioning a USDA study that found that $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in gross domestic product (GDP). Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Economy.com, confirmed the economic boost in an independent study that found that every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.73 in real GDP increase. “Expanding food stamps,” the study read, “is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”

It is important to point out that SNAP benefits go to those who need them most. USDA’s Amber Waves recently wrote that Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s a bank where Mitt Romney has no money. Ironically, it’s American.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 16, 2012

Smack-dab in the heart of rural, working class, coal-mining America.

Oh… the irony!

Read the rest of this entry »

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American tax code promotes outsourcing. Mitt Romney’s jobs plan would exploit that weakness.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 16, 2012

The Center for American Progress is a public policy think-tank which was created by John Podesta in 2003 as an alternative to right-wing extremist think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

You can skip the article to the conclusion, but then, if you did, you’d miss out on the rationale… which is the significant point.

Yes, there are changes to American tax policy which need to be re-examined, particularly and especially those which do not offer competitive, fair or just incentives for a win-win-win for American enterprise, the American worker, and the American economy as a whole. However, the rules that have skewed the advantage to Big Business to the exclusion of the benefit of all of America and her citizens should be re-examined and modified or eliminated as necessary.

Time and time again, history has shown that when our nation has had high personal income tax rates, our nation has prospered significantly. That’s but one proof positive that should no longer be a “sacred cow” for any political party.

Further, the “starve the monster” philosophy which has, in large part, guided the modern Republican party, even spawning the modern radical TEA Party element, is a significant departure from reality. The reason why is simple: 100 years ago, we didn’t have space travel, the Internet, computers, cell phones, the Interstate highway system and so many, many, many more things that we have now. It’s ludicrous – bordering on the insane – to imagine that as these new inventions and innovations have proliferated (themselves signs of American ingenuity & enterprise), that there would be fewer rules and regulations associated with them. The concept is really quite simple. For example, when families have more children, there are more rules to govern their actions & behaviors. It’s analogous also to saying that, as an adult, one would wear smaller clothing as an adult, then as they did when in their infancy. It’s so preposterously ludicrous as to be insane – a genuine divorce from reality.

Romney’s New Tax Incentive for Outsourcing U.S. Jobs

How Romney’s Plan Would Reward Foreign Outsourcing

Mitt Romney hanlon_outsourcing_onpage

Gov. Romney presents his plan for creating jobs and improving the economy during a speech Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, in Las Vegas. His argument that we must exempt the overseas profits of American companies from U.S. taxes to make them more competitive in a global economy doesn’t hold up. SOURCE: AP/ Julie Jacobson

By Seth Hanlon | July 16, 2012
Download this issue brief (pdf)

The Washington Post recently reported that some of the companies Mitt Romney’s firm Bain Capital invested in were “pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories.” Even more troubling than his business record is his platform as Republican presidential candidate, which includes a policy that would encourage and further accelerate the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries.

The former Massachusetts governor would make U.S. corporations’ overseas profits exempt from U.S. taxes. These profits are already treated favorably under the tax code compared to corporate profits that are earned and reported domestically, creating an inefficient bias toward investment offshore. The favorable treatment of profits that are reported offshore also creates rewards for corporations that shift profits (on paper) out of the United States to foreign countries, including tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Romney’s proposed exemption for foreign profits would exacerbate the worst features of our current tax system. It would: Read the rest of this entry »

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A Look Back: Wall Street Journal on Presidential Jobs Track Record, from ’39 – ’09

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 9, 2012

Just in the case we need reminding.

And often, we do.

As Samuel Johnson once wrote, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Johnson: Rambler #2 (March 24, 1750)

January 9, 2009, 12:04 PM ET

Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record

By WSJ Staff

President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.

His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton‘s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.

Here’s a look at job creation under each president since the Labor Department started keeping payroll records in 1939. The counts are based on Read the rest of this entry »

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Weather Extremes Not Just in United States

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2012

Here is Wisdom.

(Either that, or pragmatism.)

If there is nothing humans can to to lessen the severity or frequency of these, and other extreme weather events, then the very least that should be done is to significantly improve infrastructure to more effectively manage them, and to mitigate potential for damage.

And that is spelled I – N – F – R – A – S – T – R – U – C – T – U – R – E.

What’s “infrastructure”?

A definition of infrastructure from the New Oxford American Dictionary: “the basic physical and Read the rest of this entry »

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Is is true that “economics is a faith-based pursuit forever in search of a new deity”?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Do not put your faith in the false deities of economists

June 18, 2012 8:14 pm

By Philip Stephens

Economics is a faith-based pursuit forever in search of a new deity. Those who believe in a compassionate God struggle to explain how such a being can allow such terrible misery to be inflicted on life’s innocents. Belief in the canons of economics demands a comparable leap of imagination.

When I first started writing about the subject for the FT during the early 1980s, Margaret Thatcher worshipped at the altar of something called “monetary base.” The government, this creed promised, had only to regulate the quantity of notes and coins circulating in the economy and just about everything else would fall into perfect place.

Soon enough, monetarist fundamentalism proved a false prophet. The experience led to the annunciation of the heretical Goodhart’s Law. Bearing the name of one of the trade’s distinguished free thinkers, this says that as soon as Read the rest of this entry »

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Atlanta Federal Reserve: Southeast employment up in May

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Slowly, but surely, the signs that our nation’s economy is improving are emerging.

They’re not rapid, they’re not massive, but they’re there.

And like a trickle that becomes a raging river, it’s beginning to rain.

District employment increases modestly in May

06/18/2012
Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

The Sixth District as a whole added 9,000 jobs in May, following 9,600 new payrolls in April, and 18,900 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Alabama, Florida, and Georgia recorded payrolls increases while Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee reported payroll decreases. Georgia was primarily responsible for the net positive District increase.

Payroll employment 6th district states 1_11-5_11

Payroll employment 6th district states 1/11-5/11

The District unemployment rate was Read the rest of this entry »

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A: 1.4% Q: What is the annualized spending growth rate under Obama & lowest rate of any president since Reagan?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who’s the Biggest Spender? Obama or Bush?

By BRUCE BARTLETT, The Fiscal Times June 1, 2012

Lately, there has been some controversy about the growth of spending under Barack Obama. It began on May 22 with a column by Rex Nutting of MarketWatch, which concluded that the rate of growth of federal spending under Obama has actually been trivial compared to the last 4 presidents.

According to Nutting’s calculations, spending has grown only 1.4 percent per year under Obama – one-fifth the rate under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Following is a chart accompanying the article.

There has been a considerable amount of debate about Nutting’s calculations, which fly in the face of Republican dogma. Much involves technical accounting issues, such as how to allocate spending during fiscal year 2009. This is important because fiscal year 2009 began on September 1, 2008 during Bush’s administration, reflecting his priorities. By the time Obama took office on January 20, 2009 the fiscal year was almost half over; he didn’t submit his first budget until February 26, 2009 and the fiscal year 2010 budget is really the first one that reflected his priorities.

Nutting assigned the bulk of fiscal year 2009 spending to Bush, an assumption that other analysts have questioned. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post found that Nutting overstated his argument in various ways. But the PoliFact site of the Tampa Bay Times concluded that the Nutting column was essentially correct.

Aside from the political implications, the reason this debate is important is because there is a tendency for people to conflate spending, deficits and debt, as well as confusing rates of change with absolute levels.

The difference between Read the rest of this entry »

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A Not-so Surprising Prescription for Economic Recovery: Get Married, Stay Married

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 3, 2012

It’s difficult to argue with the facts.

But perhaps we should be asking ourselves this question: “Why are we doing this?”

Is this not a type of suicide?

Would it not be insane for us to NOT promote “best practice” activities?

Would it not be ludicrous for us to NOT tell someone that danger lies ahead if they embarked upon a particular path, course of action or behavior?

No one in their right mind would ever say that we loved or cared for that person precisely because we simply failed to warn them. For indeed, though we may say that we do love them, we do not behave as if we do, because love is not in words only.

In fact, love cannot exist in words only.

Love exists in evidence, and in abundance of action.

The single-mom catastrophe

The demise of two-parent families in the U.S. has been an economic catastrophe for society.

Op-Ed
By Kay S. Hymowitz
June 3, 2012

The single-mother revolution shouldn’t need much introduction. It started in the 1960s when the nation began to sever the historical connection between marriage and childbearing and to turn single motherhood and the fatherless family into a viable, even welcome, arrangement for children and for society. The reasons for the shift were many, including the sexual revolution, a powerful strain of Read the rest of this entry »

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Nursing Salary Survey reports Western Nurses earn more

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One category of expert nurses this survey omitted – perhaps purposely – was Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

As a group, they have consistently earned six-figure salaries, typically upwards of $125,000/year.

Among Advanced Practice Nurses, CRNAs have continually earned significantly more than the average APN.

In fact, according to a salary survey report performed in 2005 by LocumTenens.com, CRNA respondents reported income ranging from $90,000-$250,000, with 63% reported earning between $110,000-$170,000/year.

The average salaries reported were: 2008-$163,467 / 2009-$169,043 / 2010-$166,833.

And, in 2011, the average reported salary for CRNAs in that survey was $168,998.

Research published by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in AANA Journal, April 2008, indicated that the median range for CRNA faculty – academic and clinical – earned between $120,000 and $140,000.

So, as you read the following items, please bear that in mind.

In the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall average salary for Registered Nurses in 2010 was $64,690 per year, or $31.10 per hour. The job outlook (forecast) for 2010-2020 is that need is expected to grow 26% (Faster than average). According to the BLS, there were 2,737,400 Registered Nurses in 2010.

Among Nurses, NPs and Those in the West Earn the Most

Jennifer Garcia

Authors and Disclosures
Journalist
Jennifer Garcia
Jennifer Garcia is a freelance writer for Medscape.
Disclosure: Jennifer Garcia has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

May 11, 2012 — Nurse practitioners are the top earners among nurses, according to the Physicians Practice 2012 Staff Salary Survey . The survey reports salary averages from 1268 respondents, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and nurse managers. Salary information from other staff members such as physician assistants, medical records clerks, medical assistants, front desk staff, billing managers, and medical billers was also included in the survey.

Physicians Practice collected data during the fourth quarter of 2011, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Where the Jobs Are: Is the Nursing Job Market a mixed bag?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eminent nursing researcher & scholar Dr. Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN has made a career studying Nurses, and suggests that the jobs picture for new nurse grads is good, and that they may be facing one of the best job markets in decades.

A 2009 study he conducted found that, “Registered nurse (RN) employment has increased during the current recession, and we may soon see an end to the decade-long nurse shortage. This would give hospitals welcome relief and an opportunity to strengthen the nurse workforce by addressing issues associated with an increasingly older and foreign-born workforce. The recent increase in employment is also improving projections of the future supply of RNs, yet large shortages are still expected in the next decade. Until nursing education capacity is increased, future imbalances in the nurse labor market will be unavoidable.

A 2004 study of his said that, “Wage increases, relatively high national unemployment, and widespread private-sector initiatives aimed at increasing the number of people who become nurses has resulted in a second straight year of strong employment growth among registered nurses (RNs). In 2003, older women and, to a lesser extent, foreign-born RNs accounted for a large share of employment growth. We also observe unusually large employment growth from two new demographic groups: younger people, particularly women in their early thirties, and men. Yet, despite the increase in employment of nearly 185,000 hospital RNs since 2001, the evidence suggests that the current nurse shortage has not been eliminated.

Most recently, research he worked upon which was published in the December 2011 issue of Health Affairs found that “because of this surge in the number of young people entering nursing during the past decade, the nurse workforce is projected to grow faster during the next two decades than previously anticipated.”

In essence, “...the nurse workforce is now expected to grow at roughly the same rate as the population through 2030.”

They also cautioned however, “that the dynamics of the nursing workforce are more complex than sheer numbers.

Lead researcher and RAND health economist David Auerbach said, “Instead of worrying about a decline, we are now growing the supply of nurses.

Here’s something very interesting, however.

In that same issue of Health Affairs, a survey conducted by Christine Kovner of New York University examined the low “mobility” of new RNs. The most striking finding was that Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressional Budget Office: Food Assistance Rate to Grow

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 19, 2012

While not totally bright, the CBO report is not totally grim, either.

Here’s why.

The method by which unemployment figures are calculated does NOT take into account people whom have STOPPED looking for work. Many – if not most – of those people would accept work, were suitable work offered to them. They have stopped looking for work for many reasons, not the least of which is that they have become despondent from their unfruitful job search.

Now, when the unemployment rate begins to rise again, we will actually see an INCREASE in the rate.

Why?

Because many of the people whom had previously stopped looking for work, will again resume their job search. Thus, they will be counted among the unemployed, whereas previously, they were not counted among the unemployed.

How does the methodology of counting the unemployed relate to this report about rising participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?

In many cases, the rates of unemployment, in conjunction with the expiration of unemployment compensation benefits, correlates strongly with want and poverty.

Thus, if the CBO says the rates will grow, we can make a reasonable estimate that the strength of economic recovery will have taken hold, and be in full swing.

As an observation aside, examine the larger infographic, and look at the states with the highest rates of SNAP utilization. Most of them are in the Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia. Those states were formerly Democratic strongholds, and have now swung strongly toward Republican politics. Three other states – Maine, Michigan, and Oregon – also have SNAP utilization rates above 18% of their population.

What would happen politically if Republicans were allowed to eliminate the SNAP program?

Food Stamp Rolls to Grow Through 2014, CBO Says

  • April 19, 2012, 1:58 PM ET

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It  said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014.

Click for larger CBO infographic.

SNAP infographic - Click for much LARGER image.

Spending for the program, not including administrative costs, rose to Read the rest of this entry »

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What does an unregulated, “free market economy” look like?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{Ed note: This post is dedicated to: governmental deregulators, those whom subscribe to the school of Austrian economics, and their defenders, the ivory-towered theorists of the Mises Institute, whose pie-in-the-sky ramblings are errant and theoretical only, having no real world solutions to real world problems – and whom, ironically enough, have never created anything of any value.}

Let’s travel to La Riconada, Peru – once an outpost for men in the Andes of South America, now an increasingly populous village/town/city, which at approximately 30,000 population, and 16,732 feet above sea level, is reputedly the highest elevated human habitation in the world.

Because of an increase in the global price of gold, physicians & attorneys among others, have flocked to the area, seeking their fortunes, to work in a gold mine in the area.

Here are some interesting photos… and heart-wrenching descriptions of what it is like for people to live in an area that has no formal economy, no taxes and no government services.

Electricity and cell phone service are reliable but sewage and trash collection are non-existent. Even with the harsh conditions, the city’s population keeps growing. Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/ Los Angeles Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the idea of “SMALLER GOVERNMENT” is a myth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 2, 2012

I never cease to be amazed at the silliness, tomfoolery, and outright stupidity – that’s being kind to so describe such behavior – that some elected fools… er, officials assert.

The Seat of Government

The Seat of Government (Photo credit: Ewan-M. via Flickr)

For example, one of the most popular, well-known and oft-repeated mantras of the TEA Partiers and other radical Republicans make is one of “smaller government.”

Allow me to be uncompromisingly forthright – also known as wholly blunt: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tim Pawlenty uses economic gimmickry as GOP hopeful – UPDATED

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).

Tim Pawlenty (R), Governor of Minnesota, official portrait

Tim Pawlenty (R), former two-term Minnesota governor who balanced the state’s budget without raising taxes, and GOP presidential hopeful, is casting stones at the White House.

At the University of Chicago recently, he said, “President Obama is a champion practitioner of class warfare.” While he is the first to level such a charge against President Obama, several critics accused his predecessor – President George W. Bush – of the same thing. However, the one, and perhaps most important, person to validate that assertion against Bush II was none other than Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffett. In his 2003 report to share holders, Buffett wrote,

Corporate income taxes in fiscal 2003 accounted for 7.4% of all federal tax receipts, down from a post-war peak of 32% in 1952. With one exception (1983), last year’s percentage is the lowest recorded since data was first published in 1934. Even so, tax breaks for corporations (and their investors, particularly large ones) were a major part of the Administration’s 2002 and 2003 initiatives. If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning. (emphasis added) Today, many large corporations – run by CEOs whose fiddle-playing talents make your Chairman look like he is all thumbs – pay nothing close to the stated federal tax rate of 35%.

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students...

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffett speaking to students at Kansas University School of Business

While it seems Pawlenty is disgruntled with national economic performance, he interestingly suggests that Read the rest of this entry »

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Mississippi River Flooding, Diaster Response & Economic Theory

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 16, 2011

The opening lyric to Hank Williams, Jr.‘s – aka “Bocephus” – 1982 song “A County Boy Can Survive,” is “And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry.”

At this juncture, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case.

The Mississippi River has flooded to such an extent that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to open floodgates and allow excess water from the river to flow toward the Gulf of Mexico through alternate routes.

Weeks of heavy rains and runoff from the melting of an extremely snowy winter have raised Mississippi River levels to historic proportions. Over 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of farmland in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas along the river have been flooded, evoking memories of floods in 1927 & ’37.

On Saturday, the Corps opened two of 125 floodgates at the Morganza Spillway, and opened two more today (Sunday, 15 May 2011). The spillway is 45 miles northwest of Louisiana’s capitol, Baton Rouge. The Corps hopes that by opening them, it will Read the rest of this entry »

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Our National Economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is the second in a multi-part series about our national economy.

How we are affected by downturns, spikes and elevations in the economy individually/personally and as families/communities has great similarity across a wide spectrum. But perhaps most importantly, in this instance, once we know the problem, or the causes of the problems, we also know the solutions. That is the natural corollary to identifying those problems.

The CIA World Factbook – which is available online at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html – indicates that “Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

The next question that arises from that fact is this: Why?

The Central Intelligence Agency offers this explanation: Read the rest of this entry »

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Our National Economy -or- How We Got Into This Fine Mess

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 23, 2011

The state of our national economic affairs is, to be certain, a complex topic.

And, as complex topics go, there is no one “simple” solution to resolve the greater problem. The greater problem is, of course, the whole state of affairs – especially, and particularly as it relates to every family’s household income.

Again, the complexity of the issue begs to be understood, because Read the rest of this entry »

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Feds OK Big Business Tax Exemptions; No Regulations Allowed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Note: In a later paragraph, the article’s author used the declarative and active voice, rather than the passive voice in reporting what the lobbyists claim. Thus, it made the clause seem as if the assertion WILL BE true, rather than reporting the concern as an opinion of those expressing the idea.

Companies using derivatives as hedge get exemption

By MARCY GORDON
The Associated Press, April 12, 2011, 4:00PM ET

WASHINGTON – Companies that trade derivatives solely to guard against volatile price swings won’t have to meet new federal collateral requirements.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission advanced the exemption Tuesday as part of new regulations for derivatives, investments whose value depends on the future price of some other investment.

The rules, which were included in last year’s financial regulatory law, require banks and businesses that trade derivatives to Read the rest of this entry »

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Unemployed? Mortgage Trouble? Facing Foreclosure? Live in Alabama?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Help is HERE!

If you are an unemployed Alabamian, down on your luck – and in this economy, who’s NOT?!? – and are facing the possible disaster of losing your family’s home… becoming homeless, THERE IS HELP AVAILABLE, right now!

Click on this link for additional details, and to apply for help: “Hardest Hit Alabama.”

FYI, that is a SECURE website. That is, the https protocol is used. (The reader should be aware that there are other links within this entry, most of which are informational. The “Hardest Hit Alabama” link, however, is directly to that site: https://www.hardesthitalabama.com/index-static.html.

Here’s a brief primer from the site on the foreclosure prevention program. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Impact of the Flat Tax Reform on Inequality

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some assert that everyone should pay the same rate of taxes, claiming that one “flat rate” would solve many problems.

I beg to differ.

The inequality of the so-called “flat tax” is quite simply, self-evident, because given that the cost of living is indexed similarly, the one whom has more income and wealth does not use as much to live, whereas the less fortunate and less wealthy use a greater percentage of their income to make ends meet.

Put another way, if it costs $500 annually to live, and you make $1000, that’s 50% of your income.

If it costs $500 annually to live and you make $10,000 that’s 5% of your income.

Who, then, does a flat tax benefit? Read the rest of this entry »

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Feel like an economic victim? Here’s how to TAKE CONTROL!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great Seal of The State of Alabama

Seal of the Great State of Alabama - Sweet Home Alabama

You’re laid off, the victim of downsizing, or your company went belly up… and you can’t find work.

What to do next? Read the rest of this entry »

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BMW Tapped $3.6 Billion in Federal Reserve Funds During Financial Crisis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 3, 2010

BMW Head Quarters in Munich Germany.

BMW Headquarters, Munich, Germany - Image via Wikipedia

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, secured funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve during the financial crisis to boost liquidity as other sources dried up.

BMW’s largest transaction under the Fed’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility was for $3.62 billion on Jan. 30, 2009, according to data released yesterday. BMW made “intermittent” use of the Fed program for refinancing at a time when other forms of credit were frozen, Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the Munich-based automaker, said today.

“We tapped into this program in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis …Continue…

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The economy is so bad that…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

African television stations are now showing ‘Sponsor an American Child’ commercials!

Wives are having sex with their husbands because Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Numbers – ONE BIG, one small

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 17, 2009

$9,100,000,000,000

Nine TRILLION, one hundred BILLION…

Remember another number.

Two.

During the reign of King George W. Bush, just TWO of his failed policies have cost Americans $9,100,000,000,000.

What two failed policies are those?

The Bu$h tax cuts, and the creation of a Rx (prescription drug “benefit” written wholly by Big Pharmaceutical industry cronies.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most current estimation of the population of the United States places 308,171,505 people in the United States as of December 17, 2009.

Put another way, that’s a cost of $29, 529 per person.

As a result of deregulation of the financial industries – banks, insurance and stock brokerages – thus creating one giant incestuous financial orgy, Americans have directly suffered under the thumbs of bankers and insurance companies, while their Wall Street cohorts, in conjunction with imaginative thieves, have twiddled and fiddled to create “investment derivatives” – essentially a Ponzi schemed fiscal fraud – out of thin air. That house of cards having collapsed, has revealed what was suspected all along. Outside the transparent dressing room of his glass house, the king had no clothes.

Driven by greed and an insatiable lust for more, …Continue…

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