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Anonymous Poster

What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 11:29 AM

I don't know about you, but I'm sick to my stomach with all the economic failure crap. Maybe the reality is that people in general don't know any ways, methods, means, to handle politicians, top bankers, warlards, etc. I am sick sick sick of the lies. Surely there must be some ideas, reminiscent of the US founding fathers brilliance, that can put these bastards in their place for the next 250 years. I guess basically I am asking for ideas to fight the nwo. I'm tired of being taxed to death for no reason, and I don't want to leave such a mess for my future generations. We need most seriously, a political and economic antibiotic. Please contibute most thoughtfully.

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#1

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 11:58 AM

"Maybe the reality is that people in general don't know any ways, methods, means, to handle politicians, top bankers, warlards, etc."

Sure they do, like always with a buck.

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#2

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 1:49 PM

"...reminiscent of the US founding fathers brilliance..."

Try reading "The 5,000 Year Leap" by W. Cleon Skousen, then educating yourself about your representatives and candidates, and vote accordingly.

You can't throw yourself in front of a raging river and expect to divert the course of fate.

You need to start much further upstream, on a local level, and work to throw back the vail of ignorance.

We are only here because people fail to scratch deeper than the surface of an instant lottery ticket when they elect their representatives. You will find it a nearly impossible task to change the minds of people unless you ignite people's desire to be critical thinkers. Stop telling people what to think and educate them on how to think and everything will fall nicely into place.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 3:31 PM

And then there was "ATLAS SHRUGGED" (authored by Ayn Rand)

My copy 35th Anniversary Edition copy righted by Ayn Rand in 1957, my volume published 1992, I suggest everyone get a copy and read it.

AND; Whereas; we the people of the these United States of America wish to re-create a more Perfect Union intended for the benevelent future of our issue and theirs, and theirs and in Honor of all of our War dead and crippled from the many years of wars past and to wars yet to be forced upon us, and in Honor of our Founding Fathers & Mothers who suffered to provide us with all of the opportunities we now share,

" I respectfully suggest that We the People command that our Government Nationalize our Banking System, and our Energy Production Systems through out this entire nation."

Though I personally dislike providing our Govt. with too much authority, we are surrounded by powerful Governments and inveious peoples around the world who would be pleased to take from us all that we have achieved. I will spare you the description of those peoples, you know who you believe them to be.

We absolutely must enforce a policy of trade balance between imports and exports. Debt reduction can be achieved through minimal luxury taxation, and fair wages and salary controls so that the imbalance that exists across this nation today become a past memory. Put an End to State and Federal income taxes. create a fair minimum living standard for all with a provision that those who wish to elevate themselves above the minimum fair standard have the priviledge to do so with out being taxed for their time and effort to do so. No one should be restrained from getting more through their extrodinary but honorable efforts.

Never again should we be held hostage by industry and the investment interprizes.

AND; Now, what do we do with a State of California, that Calls themselves the State of the Golden Bear, long gone since around the year 1900 or so, a State where everything, even their debt is inflated. The first step is to restrict imported labor from the south, and employ and pay a fair wage to their own people who cannot even find work.

Anybody ever hear of the late Hughy Long, if not for the corruption he would have been a hellova man.

TMF

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 3:59 PM

Holy Kingfisher, 2much! I applaud half your post and shiver in my boots at the other half. But, I have a serious question about nationalizing energy production. Would you take over ownership of the mineral/oil rights as well, or just the actual production?

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 10:52 PM

Hello TP45, thanks for the response!

I am a die hard profiteer and I would never think of taking anything of value from any one with out fair compensation. That includes their coal, natural gas and crude oil. However if we continue down the path we now follow, no one but the very wealthy will be able to afford any of that stuff or pay for the pleasure of having it available. That will lead to another revolution, this time amongst ourselves, and I certainly don't wish to see that happen.

In 1776 we counted our population in the hundreds of thousands, including the Native Americans, today we count in the millions. We were justified in fearing a strong and powerful Government. However we have come a few miles to far to continue with an antiquated monetary system. For the benefit of this nation and the entire investing and laboring world we simply must take control of our finantial destiny away from a non profit corporation that really answers only to their management.

Regarding the energy crisis and the energy producers, they have demonstrated that only their personal welfare is important to them. We have already wittnessed power failures that are the result of individualism and piss pore management, and it is not going to get better. The grid should be managed by a single entity and that unfortunately is the Govt.

Which part did you applaud anyway?

TMF

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#23
In reply to #4

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:10 AM

ToomuchFun-

I am a bit confused by your post. Ayn Rand was adimantly opposed to government intervention in ANYTHING, and in Atlas Shrugged, the colapse of the society was the direct result of government intervention. How can you trust an organization that is $15 trillion in debt and goes further in debt to compensate, to manage anything?

In response to the original post, the only solution available to us, and one that each and every one of us can undertake, is to stop spending tomorrow's money. Getting the government to stop spending tomorrow's revenue will be a bit harder.

The income tax should be abolished. Why tax people for what they contribute? Replace the income tax with a consumption tax- tax people on what they take from society, rather than what they contribute. This would be much fairer all around. The poor, who consume less, pay less. The rich who want their Rolls Royces and latest Blackberries, pay accordingly. No one is denied anything, as long as the earn the money to pay for it first...

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#34
In reply to #23

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:14 PM

You are correct about Ayn's opinion regarding Govt. intervention, However society as we know and live today must have rules to survive by, and these rules must be made in our Democratic System accordingly. The basic needs of survival have changed as we have multiplied beyond reason. If we are to avoid a national revolution, certain things must happen. Among them is making "available to the masses" the basic needs to survive in this modern world. It includes the reduction in the cost to rent or borrow money by reducing the risk, and rewarding the risk taker with limitations of profit. Unlimited profiteering for the haves that deny those in need who could normally pay for these needs or desires, leads to confrontations through society as a whole. Further, other profiteers are effectively denied a reasonable opportunity to gain a fair share of the available profit. This also results in the rich getting even richer and the entire remaining element of society getting poorer. The masses must be allowed to exist and survive in reasonable comfort or the value of riches becomes irrelevant.

"Remember Always, The Rules, there Must be Rules to survive by, or survival becomes an impossibility"!

TMF

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#71
In reply to #34

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 2:49 PM

You must have read a different version of Atlas Shrugged than I and the rest of my family did (a well worn paper back if ever there was one).

Your interpretation and application of the ideas put forth in Atlas Shrugged are completely ass backward.

It includes the reduction in the cost to rent or borrow money by reducing the risk, and rewarding the risk taker with limitations of profit.

This sounds like a page out of some Banking Act that could be found in Atlas Shrugged (as an example of how bankrupt the government and most of the society was). "Reward the risk taker with LIMITATIONS of profit"? So, if I loan someone $100,000 I am to be "rewarded" by having my return "limited"?

A free market thinker you are not.

As far as nationalizing industry and resources goes - didn't you see what happened when in Atlas Shrugged when the steel industry was taken over by the government? Didn't you see what happened to the rail roads when the government took over?

In case you missed it, Hank and Dagney and the rest of the capitalist industrialists threw in the towel and left the world behind to start anew in Galt's Gulch (reported to be somewhere in Colorado).

Unfortunatly capitalism and industrialism in this country have been so maligned by our leftist leaders that now the once giant Big 3 (well, two of them at least, Ford is trying to do it alone) have their hands stuck out begging to be taken over by the government. Sadly the corporate heads, the union leadership and the government politicians will make fine bedfellows.

Yes, I think you completely missed the point of Atlas Shrugged. I would hazard to guess that you identified more with Jim Taggard than John Galt or Dagney Taggard.

I shutter to think what your take on The Fountainhead is.

Travis

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#82
In reply to #71

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 4:40 PM

Actually, I didn't miss the point at all, I did however prompt a response from you.

Unfortunately, you and many others fail to understand that if you have all of the gold and no one else has any, that your gold will have no value. I stated in a previous post that all of your gold will not buy you even one bite of my last stale sandwitch, as you will die from starvation admiring your gold and in the end I'll have anyway.

Frankly put, I am a diehard property rights advocate and that includes property of every venue and kind. I despise the thought that Big Government can have so much control of my life already, however I am not blinded by desire and greed. I see where the vast majority of the population is and has been squeezed almost to death by the controllers of a CENTRAL BANK that got it wrong and THE GREAT WALL STREET, and the Ignoramouses Heading up the Investment Banks.

I see where my property, "real land" suffered inflated value, and taxes increased accordingly, and now the land gets devalued, with only a minimal tax reduction, and I did not support the runaway price increases that are the result of subprime issue. I was satisfied to see my land value increase under normal circumstances.

Essentially sir I got two basic over all points of view from the book and from my experience as the President of the Highlands County Property Rights Asso. and as an Interveaner in the creation of the Florida Ordered and Required Local Comprehensive Plan.

I despise local governments for their demonstrated stupidity, however I realize that some Governance is absolutely needed to level the playing field so that even the small players have at least a modicum of a chance to profit with out being unwillingly swallowed up by either the Govt. or big enterprise/banks.

We, just as the rest of the First World Nations, are obliged to live with a monetary system. And: we must have electricity, transportation and the other basics of modern live. Frankly sir, I am pissed off at the local power corporations and would be delighted to see Federal ownership of the national grid. Have you forgotten EMRON so quickly!

A Government OF, BY and FOR the PEOPLE. I don't see where that statement calls for control of the population by having a Private Non Profit Corporation control it's primary means of exchange.

TMF

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#52
In reply to #23

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 9:12 PM

cwarner: Oh -- you think a consumption tax is such a great idea?

Do you have any money in the bank or money market funds? Do you have any assets bought with money you have already paid tax on. Well, under a consumption tax guess what?

YOU GET TO PAY TAXES ON THAT MONEY A SECOND TIME. Still sound like a good idea? Sounds great if you've got nothing today and see only a future for yourself that will raise your net worth.

So you're retired and have a 401K or an regular IRA. That hasn't been taxed yet. You take money out and pay at a lower rate than the average working person. Likely in the 15% range. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams a consumption tax that completely replaces the income tax being only 15%. All the estimates I've heard put it in the 20-30% range.

IMHO a start of a consumption tax at 1% and a yearly increase of 1 or 2 % with comparable decreases in the income tax tables is probably the best answer. That would certainly motivate me to spend my previously taxed savings sooner than later. Might be a good tactic for doing a little part to influence people to start buying again.

Ed Weldon

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#83
In reply to #52

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 4:49 PM

First of all, a consumption tax is levied on items removed from the system. Investments are not consumption. Investments are a form of savings. You would be taxed on the profits you gained from your investments ONLY after you have removed they money from the account and purchased, say, a new car or a house or a Blackberry (or food, if we take this to the ultimate, but that is an even harder sell). By not taxing earnings, only consumption, one encourages savings, which increases the pool of capital available for development. While there would be some sort of "double taxation" if ever we were to pursue a consumption tax (i.e., for those who have already paid income tax on the money in their investment or savings accounts), this would be a short term effect. The issue with an income tax, especially the "progressive" system used in the US, is that it effectively puts a ceiling on how far the individual can go. It discourages productivity, because, after a certain level, additional effort on your part only goes to feed the government coffers, so why bother? When I left the States, my total tax bill was 57% (federal, state, local and social security). I was not a wealthy man, but it was pretty obvious, I was not going to get wealthy under that system...

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#88
In reply to #83

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 5:25 PM

You say: "While there would be some sort of 'double taxation"if ever we were to pursue a consumption tax (i.e., for those who have already paid income tax on the money in their investment or savings accounts), this would be a short term effect.

I don't care whether it's a short term or a long term effect!! It's another 25-30% cut out of every nickel, dime and dollar I already paid income taxes on and I saved from my paychecks over 45 years of working whether I invested it in my house, personal property, savings accounts or bought stock with it. When I or my heirs would turn that into cash in the wallet and use it to buy stuff we'd get it right where the sun don't shine.

So I saved and invested rather than consume every bit. It was bad enough to watch the government suck 25% in income taxes out of the 4-5% interest paid on savings accounts while they inflated the currency 5% every year. But I stuck with it. It was the right thing to do........ uhhh, wrong I should have spent it all on a great big party, spent myself right into debt?

Well I'm going to tell you there are millions of older Americans (who vote) that will learn about just how ugly a quick switch over from income taxes to your idealized consumption tax will be once some politician makes serious talk about it and thereby puts his career on a sacrificial altar. There are a few of us that were smart enough to keep at least some of our savings liquid enough that they weren't cut up by the financial collapse. A government grab at that resource will not go down quietly.

Ed Weldon

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#106
In reply to #4

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:46 AM

Though I personally dislike providing our Govt. with too much authority, we are surrounded by powerful Governments and inveious peoples around the world who would be pleased to take from us all that we have achieved. I will spare you the description of those peoples, you know who you believe them to be.

The above should read:

we are surrounded by powerful Governments and inveious peoples around the world who would be pleased to take from us all that we have borrowed.

The real problem IMO is what I call the Credit Culture. I challenge you to take a look at other societies that do not follow the North American attitude of buying what they can't afford on credit. How are thier economies bearing the current conditions?

With a government taking the lead and setting the example by running with a deficit in the trillions, it is no wonder the economy is in the condition it is in.

The right thing to do IMO is to let these comapnies, banks, businesses and individuals that spent themselves into trouble bear the burden of thier own debt. Bailing them out will teach them what? How will that improve anything? The basic operating with a debt philosophy is what has to change.

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#114
In reply to #106

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:07 PM

Take from us all that we have borrowed! I take a little bit of exception to that phrase. We didn't loan them the lives, arms legs, and eyesight of our many troops who fought to preserve their freedom to govern themselves in what ever manner they chose.

Expecting the world economies to bone up and take responsibility for the problems that we helped to cure by insuring their freedom doesn't seem like too much to expect to me.

Remember always that we began paying an income tax to pay off the 1 st world war debt. Who do you suppose has been baying for the other war debts. and the "EFFORT" TO PREVENT OTHER WARS? There is no free ride. If we get the costs to maintain a free world for these other bastards returned by skipping out on paying back the money we have now borrowed, that will be dambed alright with me.! I am still paying that tax!

TMF

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#3

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 2:07 PM

We're kind of like the drunken sailor who wakes up in the gutter with his pockets inside out and mutters, "That bartender musta took my change when I wasn't looking!" Wall Street may be full of crooks who deserve to go on the road gang, but they didn't hold a gun to my head and force me to run up my credit cards. President Bush might have said, "Go shopping", but he didn't drive me to the mall. We did it to ourselves and now we gotta buck up and pay off our debts.

I'm afraid the mess is made, we've been robbed in some cases, and it's gonna get worse. We vote for the folks who could be regulating Wall Street; let's drop some of this blue state/red state baloney and vote for honesty.

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#6

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 5:22 PM

In which part of the world do you live? Recommendation should be related to geographical position and political situation.

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#25
In reply to #6

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:16 AM

"Recommendation should be related to geographical position and political situation".

Defend that assertion please.

L.J.

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#7

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 6:16 PM

Dear guest:

I (we) home schooled our kids and there was no unsupervised television in our home until oldest was age ten.

We taught our kids to be critical thinkers, to view people as well meaning but generally not very thoughtful, and to understand that there were many right answers, though only one or two may be known or knowable at this point in our technological and intellectual development. And that two things can be mutually exclusive and contradictory and correct simultaneously. Once they learned that there were 256 shades of grey, they learned to recognize when less sophisticated people would characterize something as either black and white, and reject their oversimplification and their thinking.

Finally, we taught them that the only help that they could count on was at the end of their own arms, so plan accordingly.

Oldest has achieved her masters degree; middle daughter graduated from a service academy and is now in flight school, youngest has black belt and is starting college.

Our cash economies have taken a temporary setback on paper, but on what really matters we're flush and suggest that perhaps you are too.We're not economic faliures, and we will be OK every day that we get out of bed. our personal economies are strong as they are based on a solid foundation of rational and critical thought tempered with passion and working toward our vision.

Heres some advice that was given to me that we posted on our refrigerator.

It helps us hopefully it will help You:

Life is not fair.

Things do not have to make sense.

There is no perfect...

Life is a series of choices.

Attitude is everything.

Also, I doubt that anything new will trump founding father Jefferson's ten rules:

1. Never put off untill tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend money before you have earned it.
4. Never buy what you don't want because it is cheap.
5. Pride cost more than hunger, thirst and cold.
6. We seldom repent of having eaten to little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain the evils cost us that never happened.
9. Take things away by the smooth handle.
10. When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to a hundred.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

TMF, I deliberatley skipped over your post, I started reading Atlas Shrugged after the election and I'm not through with it yet. (I got a waiver from my father , a retired Union Democrat, who had made me promise not to read it when I was a lad. He said there would be no harm now that i'm older-according to him i was a bit of a pisser...)

From what I ve read so far, I have been doing this anyhow... we'll see.

milo

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 7:05 PM

Dear Milo,

Thank you for the wisdom. However,

I believe that economically we are waging a war... the fight of our lives, and only by working together with righteous people can we prevail. The foe is well organized. If you don't think so, you just haven't been keeping up. All the intelligence and university degrees in the world will not help reduce your taxes, unless you take action, and know what to do, and have the authority to do it. If congress votes hundreds of billions of dollars to 'fix the economy', but provides no oversight whatsoever, your great great grandchildren have just been put into debt, and you think that 'self-sufficient' thinking is going to help? In reality, the bailouts are the biggest tax there is, and we have NO control over it. How do you fix that? Don't preach, just tell me some answers.

OP.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 11:11 PM

There is a comfort in banding together.

A safety in a herd or flock. but that is not the only way.

Sometimes departing from the herd creates a sustainable way.

Condemning "self sufficient" is why the whiners are getting handouts.

Think about that.

I'm not preaching, I'm demonstrating a way.

What "caesar" does with what he takes from me is up to him. What I do with what i get to keep is up to me.

Our system is broken, there are no fiscal conservatives.

Deal with it.

milo

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#19
In reply to #11

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 8:16 AM

there are no fiscal conservatives.

They sure talk the talk though. Perhaps a short study of ethics in their formative years.........nah.......I'm off on my perfect world rant again......

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#22
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:05 AM

a short study of ethics???

milo

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#43
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 4:59 PM

Yes, ethics, if I got your meaning right. The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capital. It is done on the basis of trust.....as is most business. Debts are bought and sold and investments are allocated through those brokers who depend on the integrity of the system to make good...at least to the point where everybody will get a piece of the pie and or dividend (eg..Citi).

The warning signs were evident three years ago. Lehman Bros (and others) were still issuing the 'all clear' up until a week prior to the collapse. Henry Paulson had investments with Morgan Stanley and still issued 'all ok' statements through rose coloured glasses...........I could go on.

Now the banks have gone zombie. I doubt throwing money at them will fix anything. There is only one way to get rid of bad debt.....write it off or the infrastructure that supports development will collapse (my two bits worth).

My own example is that 30 years worth of business relationships has taken an 80% nosedive in recent months. There are those who depend on me to keep their instruments working but who no longer can afford the cost. I'll help them out as long as I can but not to the point where I go bust. Otherwise, it's plan B.

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#55
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 9:34 PM

Milo -- I'm optimistic. A new crew is taking over in Washington. They look like they will be more competent than their predecessors. I wish them well but time will tell.

They can not do it by themselves. They need the support of the majority of American people. That includes people that take positions like:

"None of this was my doing; let them all fend for themselves" or

"Was fun while it lasted; let's see how we can scam the new crowd so we can keep the party rolling" or

"I don't care about anyone whose name I don't know" or

"I worked hard for my present security; everyone else should follow my example (forget that I was fortunate enough to have good genes and/or a great family to raise me)" or

"My ideology is "NO NEW TAXES'. I'm ready to see the destruction of anything else, doesn't matter what, to sustain that position" or

"What recession?" or

"Keep the party going. Who cares about those that get to pay the bills. We don't even know their names. But that's later. Likely we'll all be dead. "..........................

Ed Weldon

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#84
In reply to #55

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 4:51 PM

New crew in Washington? Looks to me like a rerun of the Clinton years...

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#9

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 8:06 PM

You said:Maybe the reality is that people in general don't know any ways, methods, means, to handle politicians, how top bankers, warlards, etc.

1. Remove the nose rings, and ignore the political BS. I found it quite interesting last week when Congress was attempting to formulate a bailout plan for Detroit with the financial fate of the nation potentially hanging in the balance one congressman questioned Detroit executives extensively on the size of their carpool and who drove to Washington. Obviously political posturing to placate the masses, in my opinion this congressman was not doing his job, he was seeking to have soundbites for his next reelection bid.

It is quite appropriate that congressmen are not impeached they are recalled, like a defective Pinto, a recall or two might help Congress focus on the issues and not their next reelection campaign. It would also go a long way in illustrating that we are paying attention to what goes on in Congress.

Possibly we all need to accept collective responsibility for the subprime loan crash, and the consequences that followed. I don't have the figures in front of me but during the housing expansion something like 60% of the people that owned a house, had two or more houses, it didn't require an economics degree to realize there had to be an end to the pyramid scheme, however when people are making money they're happy, and certainly tend to develop myopia as to the potential long-term consequences.

There are 100 senators and about 435 representatives in Congress plus a lamebrain lame duck president and vice president for a grand total of 537 politicians I find it hard to believe that they're all brain-dead, it is almost certain that many foresaw the economic consequences of the subprime loan market.

It is easy to see that a politician shouting to the world that the loan standards need to be tightened up would not only been ignored, but probably would've failed to gain reelection as well. As long as the American public is happily putting money in their wallet they are only hearing what they want to hear, and they certainly didn't want to hear anything that would have led to a Economic slowdown, a slowdown three years ago would've certainly been better than the train wreck we have now.

So my solution hold our representatives immediately and directly responsible. The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street, also had many smaller special interest bills attached to it, again my point with the financial fate of a nation hanging in the balance, Indian bingo was hardly a priority, the fact is the only way the bill passed was a satisfied the special interest politicians.

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#12

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/13/2008 11:57 PM

Your post deserves a thorough and well thought out response. Unfortunately it would be essentially an attempt to offer an intellectual explanation of what happened. I won't spend much time on that for one reason: it won't change anything.

Understanding is often a booby prize. The most rational, accurate explanation won't alter the consequences and it won't be of much value when the vast majority of Americans demonstrated a lack of concern for the fundamentals that brought us here.

I am not an economist in spite of the fact that I was a big admirer of Alan Greenspan 40 years ago when he was known only to those on Wall Street as a partner in Townsend and Greenspan.

It's hard for me to deal with the evidence that a Laissez Fair Capitalist with such strong influence by Ayn Rand and Objectivist Philosophy should lay so much cheap money on the table and fuel the crises we are now in.

Granted, others deserve more of the blame than he. All he as guilty of was trying to prevent a recession under his watch at the Fed. What makes the pill, even harder to swallow is that it was he who first turned me on to the writing of Ludwig Von Mises. Greenspan knew better.

The current situation will get worse. Bet on it. And the logic does not need a PhD or a Nobel Prize winner to grasp.

This Country has been on a drunken binge ever since John Maynard Keynes whispered into FDR's ear "Spend your way to prosperity".

While there might have been some justification for such logic during the Great Depression, government never stopped spending, even when the economy was really cooking.

In the 50 years following World War Two we have gone from being the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor nation. America's wealth has been depleted rebuilding the world and when we didn't' do it with our wallets, we paid for it with the lives of Americans in uniform.

It would appear, given the evidence, that a lot of America's growth has been fueled by artificial stimulation. And, like any drug addict, our dependence on such stimuli has made us incapable of going "Cold Turkey". We have become so conditioned to government intervening, we can't get along without it. So much so that nationalization of the banks, the auto companies, insurance companies is under way right under our very noses. They are doing on an enormous scale, the very behavior that brought us to this brink. Socialism on a grand scale, has come to America.

As usual, this is being done with money we don't have. At some point the dollar must decline in value in the world at a rate even worse than heretofore. This lull in energy prices is just that: a lull. When the dollar becomes discredited because of these policies, history will repeat itself and the oil producing nations will want more of it compensate for the perceived loss in value.

Bush's war may have been ill advised, ineptly executed and a hundred other vile things but it had little effect on the cost of oil other than to spill red ink all over our International ledger.

It's all rather ironic. Amongst the principals that made this country great was that we gave people permission to fail! Not any more!

As for your question: I have several things to suggest.

First, do not allow yourself to become dependent on government for anything! The Spirit Of Walden Pond is what you want.

Second, learn to live on a minimalist budget, one that allows you to be self sufficient on lots less. The sooner you can adopt such a life style, the less the impact of what is coming. If you can save money, do so, as much as you can. Big deals are coming as assets are dumped out of desperation. Those with cash and a reasonably good credit will do well. Warren Buffet is a master at thing. "When others are crying. . . . I'm buying!"

Third, and most important IMO, is to learn to live in the present. Thinking about the past and projecting past negative scenarios onto your future will screw things up in the present.

Staying focused on the NOW and dealing dispassionately with what is in front of you will calm you more during adversity than worrying about tomorrow.

Lastly, don't allow your circumstances to affect your ability to be happy. I know, sometimes that can be easier said than done but the truth is, no matter how bad things may get, you still have the most vital gifts at your fingertips: the ability to choose.

Those who have attachments to physical things and depend on them for their sense of well being will suffer the most. Please . . . . Don't be one of them!

I suggest you listen to the counsel of Joseph Campbell who wrote: "Follow your bliss"

Do whatever productive activity turns you on. You may become financially prosperous or you may not. But you will be one turned on spirit and you'll turn on others too.

That will do more to turn around the current situation for yourself and others than any politician or bureaucrat!

"In times of great change, the individual's power is enormous. We can either become victims of the great changes coming or we can make them work for us to accomplish extraordinary things.
John Naisbitt"

Naisbett wrote that back in 1983!

It still works!

L.J.

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#57
In reply to #12

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 9:52 PM

L.J. -- You speak much wisdom here. It is a good answer. Dare I try to add to it........

No man is an island unto himself. We all depend on others and when they suffer we suffer a bit ourselves. We are to some extent the keepers of our brothers. When others make a mistake we shouldn't simply turn our backs on them because we had no part in the failure.

Perhaps our ability to help is justifiably limited. This is usually a reality. But it does no one credit to retreat behind a self imposed wall of ideology or pure self interest. Regardless of your position about religion it is worthy of note that most if not all of the world's great religions make the helping of those less fortunate a high order priority and a fundamental factor in human life.

Ed Weldon

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#13

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 1:35 AM

I would suggest first learning your rights and then learning how to effectively assert those rights.

In doing that you will find what is going on in detail. Along the way you will find others of the same mindset and ethics.

You will find more BS than at an over-unity convention. Things like Strawman corporations etc. Take nothing at face value and look for actual results.

One you become a Jurist in your rights and can protect your self and others, you can teach others to do the same creating circles of reform.

Here are a few links to get you started

http://rochesterlaw.org/

http://www.legalbears.com/

http://www.fija.org/

You can also join Tips and Tricks @ Yahoo.com a common mans legal forum. Legal Bear is the moderator and does a good job of keeping out the junk.

Remember good advice has not only the hows but the whys.

Brad

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#14

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 1:39 AM

I remember reading some where that a person should vote for the person that represents his needs, as voting for an ideal is not reality? So if you are short on material good, vote for some one that will take it off the greedy bastards, if you have all you need, vote for the person that will protect you from the envious. And reality is, the more you have, the more intelligent you are, so this might be a dumb answer?

Regards JD.

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#15

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 5:20 AM

Invest massively in renewable energy and atomic fusion - energy commodity depletion and the resulting runaway price rises of raw materials is the cause of the current 'credit crunch', when prices do fall, its generally as a result of demand failure, not increased production. Clv:)

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#16

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 6:53 AM

I am wondering if Democracy has failed?. Communism has already collapsed in Russia. Imperialism has become the part history. Such problems are not only faced in U.S but also in many countries across the world. People are at mercy of all these vultures who not only eat your flesh alive but also dig it out of your grave. I am sorry I can not suggest immediate solution but one day people will revolt against the system when it is unbearable for them.

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:10 AM

"I am wondering if Democracy has failed?"

One major reason for the failure of Communism is that their system redistributed wealth. It took it from those of ability and gave to others on the basis of their need.

It thus destroyed any incentive for creativity or productivity amongst those who worked hard. Those who creative were not rewarded and eventually gave up. It also created a proletariat class who reveled in their power and lived a life of extreme luxury.

There is a distinction between an economic system and a political system that you are not making.

The only economic system that has been shown to be appropriate to a Democracy is a free economy and Capitalism.

The problem is that it doesn't exist anywhere as a truly free economy but is constantly being messed with by arrogant politicians who forever are trying to do things for the "public good" whatever that means.

As an example of that please note the catalyst for the current "crises" was the members of the Congressional Banking Commission (Barney Frank, notably) who demanded that the banks stop "Red Lining" certain communities as being high risk mortgage areas. The Feds insisted that the banks grant mortgage money to people with little or no visible income, bad credit history and with no equity in the house they were buying. Too make matters worse, those people were sold balloon notes with low interest payments that suddenly skyrocketed.

This and what happened after that are the result of government intervention where it should not have and lack of oversight where it promised it would. In both instances the special interests were at play.

It was Ludwig Von Mises who did the first comparative study of political systems and economic systems and it's still worthwhile reading a hundred years or later.

L.J.

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#27
In reply to #24

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:30 AM

"The Feds insisted that the banks grant mortgage money to people with little or no visible income, bad credit history and with no equity in the house they were buying. Too make matters worse, those people were sold balloon notes with low interest payments that suddenly skyrocketed."

From the finance point of view, this scheme was rational and objective as follows:

(Not my words folks, but an expert from the fed explaining to my class how this imploded:)

1) we know that some of these people are able to make a rent payment and a single car payment;

2) we can test their ability to make payments by structuring the loan to be an interest only loan;

3) if they are able to make the payments, we can renegotiate the loan at the end of the 'test" term;

4) we need to put in prepayment penalty so that the payers that we identify are good stay with us and don't get poached by some other lender, since its our risk that has enabled them to prove their credit.

5) in order to minimize the risk, we will then package these loans as invest ment vehicles and then pay different interest rates for different slices (tranches) of risk. Thus the buyer can dial n his level of return based on the percieved risk of any particular tranche.

6) of course, this all falls apart when there is no cash for renewing balloons, risk is not diversified as it is perfectly correlated between all choices...

And the rest, as they say, is ...

milo

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:58 AM

Morning Milo,

"The Feds insisted that the banks grant mortgage money to people with little or no visible income, bad credit history and with no equity in the house they were buying. Too make matters worse, those people were sold balloon notes with low interest payments that suddenly skyrocketed."

Then the banks illegally took the questionable mortgages and bundled them into securities so they no longer own the note only the right to collect the payments. Now foreclosures become problematic. By the Uniform Commercial Codes one must own the note to repossess the real property.

It appearers that because the banks control our governments purse strings no Bankers will be held accountable and we shall foot the bill.

Brad

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#29
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 11:29 AM

The mortgages were securitized, that is fact.

You are saying that the right of repossession of ownership interest is lost upon securitization of the mortgage?

Not sure that the repossession falls under the uniform commercial code. Not sure that the mortgages were issued under authority/purview of UCC.

I'se not a lawyer.

Just trying to share what little insight we have.

Not sure the bankers were accountable, as was pointed out, our geniuses in congress turned mortgage lending into an executed social policy of the federal govt under the command of mssr, barney frank etal as pointed out inprevious post.

Bankers may still be complicit, but the Govt created the policy...

milo

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#31
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 11:48 AM

Hello Brad,

You have provided an excellent example as to why the Government, not private parties must be the single authority controling currency and it's distribution, but not where it interferes with ones right to invest and realize a profit from said investments. That would be going too far.

TMF

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#44
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 5:22 PM

And the rest, as they say, is ...A Depression of global proportions? The largest economic collapse since money was invented? A study of human nature?

shit, I just sold my sailboat, bought a horizontal grinder and some engine rebuilding machinery.

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#45
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 6:31 PM

shit, I just sold my sailboat, bought a horizontal grinder and some engine rebuilding machinery.

I'm sorry are you bragging or complaining? Scrap steel will soon be dirt cheap, as if 20ยข per pound is too much. I'm sure you can find something to do regardless of the economy.

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#47
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 8:34 PM

Not bragging or complaining......just letting the wind out've my sails to stay afloat............

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#49
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 8:44 PM

Touche

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#50
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 8:52 PM

Hope that holds true for everybody out there in these crazy times...........hang tough fellas!

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#104
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:29 AM

UV -- I think you have the right idea, if I read you correctly. ("I just sold my sailboat, bought a horizontal grinder and some engine rebuilding machinery.")

It may not be the panacea but those of us talking here are mostly folks who can build stuff.

If this cycle plays the way I suspect it will we'll see a lot of really low prices (deflation). Eventually we will see heavy inflation from all the money the Fed has "printed" as it finds its way into circulation and chases the reduced supply of goods and services due to fewer people working to produce stuff.

The question then becomes "where to put the money you still have before its value disappears". My answer is to invest what I don't need to buy food in high quality tools I can use to create the things other people will need to live and maybe things that the remaining rich (there will always be a few of them) cannot buy anywhere and need to have made for them.

Does this make any sense? Or is this just a crackpot idea from a confessed tool junkie?

Ed Weldon

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#105
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:38 AM

If the inflation becomes real, then you will want to have assets.

If it is preceded by deflation, those assets will be a bargain.

The last thing that you want to do is buy assets at the peak of inflation. you want to already own assets then.

According to the Craftsman Corrolary of Roberts Rules of Order, "A motion to buy tools is always in order."

milo

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#107
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:49 AM

Milo -- Your affirmation of my madness is a welcome sign.

I was not aware of the Craftsman Corollary. I think I shall make a sign displaying that wisdom to hang in my shop.

Perhaps I'll make 100 of those signs and take them to the next big swap meet.

Ed Weldon

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#108
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:55 AM

I just made it up.

Have at it.

We'll prime this recovery at the shop level!

milo

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#118
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:32 PM

I'll second that motion and raise you a screwdriver!!!

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#134
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 6:50 PM

Hello Ed,

The second part is, if things get bad, to barter when you have removed the notes of Debt from your portfolio (currency is what ever it is currently worth). Do a little now and build as needed. Trade value for value not debt for value. Hard commodities like lumber, steel, firewood, food, a stock of lubricants, and a wide range of tools for repairing and building everything and barter. Information is another resource whether legal books or how to. Look for things that will be needed but not stocked, better is that they have multiple uses. Work on making a local networking system. Doers and those in the know.

Personally I have a wood shop, a metal shop (forge and welder) and a large assortment of tools. A flour mill, and some electronics repair supplies. Not because of the economics but I like to make and repair. Growing up in the 6th largest county of Oregon with less than 10,000 people in it by 1980, one becomes self sufficient.

Brad

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#81
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 4:37 PM

Duckinthepond-

YOU SOLD YOUR SAILBOAT???? I used mine to escape when Hilary's husband first got elected. Not a good idea, selling your escape route...

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#87
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 5:13 PM

I know I know.......snivel sniff choke

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#100
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 8:58 AM

I miss my sailboat. At 28 feet it was a rent/mortgage free home and a prime tool for food harvesting.

That is... if you didn't mind taking guff from the sailing elite for trolling off the transom while under way or bottom fishing at anchor.

Not that I ever gave a flying phreak what others thought of me.

Hooker

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#102
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12/16/2008 11:10 AM

21 foot Sirius with swing keel! Got me into shallow waters. Kids and I caught lotsa fish off the transom! Good fun boat and well built.

Had 32' Oyster but no fun for poking around Great Lakes. Seaworthy boat though. Never was interested in the sailing marina navigator elite. My club is the flat earth society.

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#113
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:05 PM

Mine was a 28' Columbia with a 6' fixed keel. Big enough to live on but small enough to handle by myself. I gunkholed around the Chesapeake Bay. Got stuck a few times but that was ok.

She was especially sweet on the occasional trip out the Capes to blue water.

I figure if the economy really goes down the tubes I'll head for the marinas around Norfolk, VA and commandeer an abandoned boat. There'll probably be hundreds, if not thousands, of them.Then go south. It's hard to starve to death down in the Caribbean.

And it doesn't hurt that I'm single.

Hooker

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#116
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:26 PM

I'm keeping my fingers crossed it won't come to that.........but y'never know. Good plan though.

Watch out for the damn pirates. Good technique to discourage them is to place tacks on the deck at night. Sweep 'em up with a magnetic strip in the morning.

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#120
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:41 PM

"place tacks on the deck at night"

Heh heh, I read Joshua Slocum's book, too.

Of course, he was more worried about cannibals, IIRC.

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#138
In reply to #120

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 7:57 PM

Joshua Slocum eh!.........now you're talkin'. That guy was a force of nature.

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#136
In reply to #116

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 7:30 PM

Pirates , Motion tracker aiming a red LED lasers to track center of body mass. Add a speaker with voice recordings asking for identification in local languages. If things get bad add an offensive element. We don't need no stinkin Pirates. no different than crooked politicians.

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#140
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 8:09 PM

Pirates, opportunists, thieves..........a sordid lot in my books but definately a threat out on the seas.

If the tacks don't work a sparking telescoping rod usually convinces them to bugger off although I would've loved a motion tracker coupled to a salt loaded shotgun....

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#142
In reply to #140

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 11:04 PM

Some 25 years ago I made the acquaintance of a fellow who had some unusual military experience during the Vietnam war, the kind of stuff he wouldn't talk about. He was also a blue water sailboat cruising type with some South Pacific experience. We were talking about the problems cruising yachtsmen in the waters around Southeast Asia were having with pirates at the time.

What he said stuck with me. His opinion was that if had to sail through that part of the world he would carry an M14 and a case of rifle grenades. He seemed like the type who would know how to use such stuff (and would have no trouble outfitting himself with it in preparation for such a trip)

Ed Weldon

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#143
In reply to #142

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/18/2008 6:58 AM

Shotgun and flares work well also especially with an extra scoop of powder in the case. One trick I learned was to score the brass casing close to the rim. When fired this causes the casing to separate from the rim and acts like a fire bomb upon impact. Trajectory is much improved as is the distance it travels.

There is another type of piracy. Certain ports ask for a cash bond upon landing...returnable upon leaving. Of course they don't tell you that upon leaving the bond is now worth 1/2 of what you paid for it.

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#144
In reply to #100

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/18/2008 8:46 AM

Mine was a 28 foot fixed keel sloop,US Yachts, which I single-handed down the west coast of the Americas from San Francisco for a number of years, until I found Panama. A sweet vessel, got me safely through a couple of rough spots. Trolling under way, or fishing for breakfast at an anchorage taught me the difference between fresh fish and what is normally touted as "fresh" in restaurants and supermarkets...Any sailor who does NOT troll under way is not all that serious about sailing...

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#30
In reply to #16

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 11:38 AM

Reply for Suresh, et.al.

No folks Democracy has not failed and is not at risk of failing. The American public is still the worlds largest free standing army, and scattered amongst us there remains leaders that are capable of, "through either a quiet adjustment in order to preserve all that many have been maimed or died for, or all out hostilities if that becomes necessary. We as a nation are not going to be caused to submit to the power mongers of the world.

However: In the past and it remains so today and will so remain in the for seeing future, we need the concept of being able to have today and pay in the future regarding such grand commodities as Bridges, Tunnels, Nuke. Power Plants, Etc.

BUTT: (w,i,mp.) We cannot continue to permit an unlimited lifes existance to the local monopolies. I am refering to the Rulers of local electrical power. Example as to why: A local power company wanted to increase it's rates unreasonably high. The Public U.Com. denied, so the Monopoly responded by cutting expenses and placing the users of their grid power at risk. First came a hiring freeze, and as some retired they were not replaced, resulting in a work force unable to handle the ultimate catastropic emergency that followed. Next they artificially extended the lifespan of their utility poles, thus causing scattered structualy weak areas in the system. New services were delayed as the smallish crew could no longer provide for the new building along with general maintenance requirements and new services. This crafty idea was to cause the general public to complain to the Commission that would in turn increase the rate so that more hiring might occur but the reality was that Managment could get bonuses and investors could get greater dividens while just a minimum of manpower increase could happen. AN THEN IT HAPPENED! In an area that had not suffered a hurricane issue in many years, suffered several within just a few months. The outlived weak utility poles failed in masses, and the effects trickled down through every aspect of social need and desire.

We have come to depend on an electrically supplied system for our very existence. Imagine the impact on the people if all of the pumps and controls that manage the massive sewage disposal system were to fail all at the same general time, in the Greater N.Y.C. and Northern N.J. area. We would have a difficult time combining that sort of system under one authority but likely one day it will have to be done.

We have already witnessed Power Grid Failures, and who could forget the EMRON Debacle. There was a time when we needed REA's to provide power to the remote areas of this nation, but they have out lived the need, as they are now just another strand in "Charlies' " web. Minor power failures can easily lead to desasturous events. A single power Authority is the best way to control the production of power and its distribution for the welfare of this Nation as a Whole.

AS; FOR THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY; price controls could have prevented the colapse at the pumps that was the result of "GREED". The impact of this runaway price increase along with the out of control easy money available to the housing industry has adversley impacted almost every facet of our society. Realize if you dare that we experienced a great population increase as the result of the baby boom. These folks needed jobs and millions of new companies were created to accomodate all that these folks required and desired. Easy money via excessive credit, poorly managed, has resulted in an ugly impact on the nations finances.

We will always need the petroleum industrial raw materials. Crude produces much more than asst. fuels. But we can and must move away from this form of energy as a primary source for providing power for transportation. Until this happens, we need some form of price control, and maybe even rationing. I am certain that by maintaining reasonable prices at the pump, Society as a whole might been able to bear many of these spin off burdens!

AND: Democracy will survive, and capitalism produces the better rewards for those living in a Democratic Society.

TMF

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#51
In reply to #30

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 8:57 PM

There is a third alternative for power. It only works well in small customer bases, but it does well there. That's coops, sort of the successor to REA. I had service from a coop for years. The rates were lower than the big multi-state utility charged and, during storms, you could usually tell where the coop lines were by following the string of lights. You could think of as a form of socialist capitalism, I suppose. Every customer was a stockholder, with a vote. The customers voted on capital improvements, rates, service levels, etc.

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#17

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 7:27 AM

Don't worry about the next 250 years, but ignore the pukes, and just set
out being the best that you can be for yourself. If your the best that you
can be for YOU, then you will be good for YOUR family, YOUR friends, and
YOUR close associates, and the rest of the world can learn to go take care
of them selves, or wither and die on their own vine.

There are many ideas out there, but there is one basic premise that most
have forgotten, Freedom to live and prosper is not free, this is NOT legislated,
This is not a right, but Freedom is a "PRIVILAGE" earned by those willing to
stand, fight, and possibly die, to live as free men. Freedom must be paid for
continuously, as you have mentioned , There are those world wide, who if
they think YOU will not stand and fight, and be willing to put your life on
the line for YOUR freedom, will immediately attempt to place you in bondage
and servitude to their ideology, be it a political or religious ideology.

There is no peaceful manor to achieve this privilege, as those who will place
you in bondage and servitude will use all powers of government, or physical
violence to achieve their enslavement of those who do not willingly subject
themselves to this bondage and servitude.
One man cannot do this alone, but look around you, open your eyes and ears,
and you shall soon find out that there are lots of us out here that are not
ready to roll over and play dead for anyone. everything has to start with
the numeral "ONE" and then there is two, and then twenty and so on.

Mans basic premise in life is to be free, to be reliant only on ones own ability
to survive, this is a dog eat dog world, so prepare your thinking for this task
ahead.

Have a great day.

Viking03A

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#32
In reply to #17

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:03 PM

Viking03A,

I'll not presume to tell you your business, but I need to object to your post. I am the descendant of men who were at Runnymede, who died at Plymouth Fort, who faced Tarleton's bayonets in the Revolution, and who walked steadily up Cemetery Ridge. For me (I speak for nobody else), freedom is not a privilege; it is my birthright, fully and forever paid.

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#123
In reply to #32

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 8:27 PM

Hello TP45 I was just rereading through the many posts and crossed yours again. I think that it was your birthright to be born in a nation where you, along with the rest of us, all have an opportunity to continue to live as a free society. However our ancestors, yours, mine and ours have not provided us with the eternal right of freedom, only opportunity to remain a free people. For that we must be willing to continue to defend with our smarts, money and our lives if necessary.

TMF

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#125
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 8:59 PM

quote Toomuchfun: ".....we must be willing to continue to defend with our smarts, money and our lives if necessary"

I agree with you. But let's be realistic here. We all have plenty of "smarts" We know this in our hearts even though our friends and families, who endure our rants, might not always agree.

Our lives? C'mon guys..... If we let it get to that unlikely point then we are truly "damn fools". No sane person I know is really ready to believe we may face that kind of an end even though we may fantasize whenever we're in a gun shop or read about some home invasion robbery.

No, the real issue is MONEY. And last time I looked most of us were very unwilling to contribute any of our money toward the common defense except under extreme duress. (we commonly refer to such contributions as "taxes")

Now, have I got everyone mad at me? Good!! This is a healthy sign.

Ed Weldon

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#127
In reply to #123

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 9:11 PM

No, 2much, I'm very adamant about that. I never speak for others, and they may treat life anyway their lights reveal. But, I am a free man. I don't look to the government for that, or a set of laws, or an army. You might be able to put me in prison or even kill me, but nothing ever changes the fact that I am a free man. Nobody gives me that and nobody can take it from me.

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#18

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 7:50 AM

After reading most of the foregoing, all I can think of is "We have met the enemy and it is us."

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#20

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 9:14 AM

Every election day I wear a black T-shirt that says,"Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups!" There are lots of stupid people running around whose vote counts as much as yours and mine, and often they outnumber us. If you think about it, half of the people are below average intelligence, and that average isn't very high to start with these days. They believe in the free lunch and vote accordingly. They spend today more than they make and can't see tomorrow 's bills coming due. They look to the govt to help them with other people's tax money (Applies to big business as well). Maybe I should wear my T-shirt to some stock holder meetings!

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#21

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 9:50 AM

It's reasonable to believe most systems can be flawed, and,
when this is compounded with human nature; terribly flawed.
Capitalism is the rule of the jungle, and pampers to greed etc.
Socialism is basically against human nature, and therefore fails.

To start again, first set the principles. To agree:
a) To work as a democracy; for the good of each, and all.
Therefore like minded groups need to be created, where it's
possible to work as a team, while respecting the individual.

b) Greed, with envy, needs to be circumvented by legislation.
Legal limits to be imposed on the amount of power and wealth
enjoyed by any one person or group. With totals cumulative.
e.g. those with governmental power, need to derive or have
little or no personal wealth, and vice versa. Excess is NOT good.

c) The minimum needed taxes to be based only on consumption.
As wealth is limited (b) so no taxes to be placed on income. Those
that "use" the most, contribute the most, indirectly to the tax purse.
This encourages success, the rich(er) having more, but not excess.

d) All life sustaining facilities to be "free," being supplied & paid
for by state taxes. Health care, medicines, water, pensions, etc.
This ensures life for the poor, elderly, needy, and infirm.

etc. etc. (add more as required.) That is:

We need to use the best of human nature to subjugate the worst.
To start again, with the education and agreement of the "cell"
(individuals) so as to form a humanitarian democracy of the people.
Not to pander to, or even condone, the natural human, but
destructive, sides found in ourselves. Greed, envy, power, etc.

Please do it soon!

jt.

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#37
In reply to #21

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:48 PM

I think this way too. I think powers have been robbed from the constitution, and given to the presidency. This needs correction. I think the constitution never anticipated the Fed, and its ability to create money from nothing, and not even be connected to the GNP. This needs correction. I think that ALL political action needs an ISO quality program, to ensure that all actions conform to a process, and will be flagged when they are outside that process.(including the actions of the president and administration) I think that ongoing mandatory political education of the masses needs to be implemented, so that the voters knowledge of political processes equals or exceeds that of the politicians. I think that politicians should be like eunuchs of old, and not be able to profit from their positions, nor to benefit from the conferring of favor. I think the Fed needs to be replaced by a better mechanism, that is controlled by the american people, not the foreign interests that now own it. I think that taxes should be either flat, or proportional to your annual income, and be that simple. I think that corporations should be required by law to share voting control with employees, and to maintain at least 60% of their manufacturing and retail operations in-country. "Real value products, made by us, for us, with our materials, our labour, and our capital" Mortgages should be required to be limited to simple interest only, and therefore a person can pay off a house in his/her own lifetime. This will ensure that the home will be the base of all his/her capital growth, and for their families in the future. This will re-focus the economy on the natural order of the nuclear family, and not on the corporate family. I think it should be ILLEGAL for the government to acquire debt, especially without a specific, planned repayment plan, that does not depend on the Fed, or increasing taxes, or whatever. The goverment can make money from operating its own services, including health care, but those services must compete in a free market. I think that the communist russia did not fail because it redistributed wealth to the people, (a very small portion), but because it purchased things which did not sustain it as an economy. (military hardware) and it spent even that foolishly (afghanistan) did not earn the support of the people. It did not invest in economically sensible things, nor creative enterprises. It invested in KGB, GRU, etc, and gave money, wealth, power, and influence to those who conformed, to its power ideals. This is not communism, and should never ever be construed as communism. Communism is a people power system of working together for the common good. Russia failed because their system failed to limit the power of its ruthless dictatorship that rose during wartime.. the same thing has happened here, including the capability for the American dictatorship the arbitrarily wage war to continue the game. This needs to stop... right effing now.

C

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#40
In reply to #37

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 3:04 PM

Our Govt. must acquire debt. If this were not the case we would not have the interstate highway system that was constructed to provide for our defense needs and has improved and expanded to help create the mass movement of people and commerce that we enjoy today. However; And it has been paid for by everyone who has traveled it, paid for with their tax dollars, for everything that is taxed on or for vehicles of every kind. This is an example of good work by Govt.

The Federal Reserve System is holding this nation hostage. All paper money should belong to the government, therefore the misuse of it becomes a Federal Crime. Coinage however has real value and should remain the property of its owners.

The Govt. will permit the population to enjoy reasonable and liberal use of said paper, or it gets no taxes in return. Coins should be free from taxation. Of course we should not have to carry around all of these coins, they are too heavy, but they are accountable, and their ownership can be transferred just the way we do business today. If we need to borrow money, we could borrow the paper from the Govt. What a novel idea, don't you think!

TMF

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#26

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 10:20 AM

Read "The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy" by Marjorie Kelly

Lots of us are angry. I think credit card rates are outrageous!

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#33
In reply to #26

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:11 PM

You must be pretty young. It was the late 70s or 80s that home mortgages were up to 19%. Credit cards were higher yet. Compared to that, rates today are a give-away.

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#89
In reply to #33

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 5:33 PM

I remember that time. It made more sense for companies to lay everybody off and put their money into high interest savings. Many did.

One funny event took place when a geological exploration company over-extended itself by borrowing at the high rate and went bankrupt overnight. Nobody offered to mention the exploration crew that was left stranded on Prince William Island in the Canadian Arctic cos the company aeroplane was impounded. Things got a little touchy when the mosquitoe repellant ran out.

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#94
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 11:39 PM

Good Evening Anomous hero!

I finally calmed down the crowd, you know the mob of folks that don't see the value in having a central controling power like the Army Core of Engineers be made responsible for things that, if failed could result in a catastrophic loss of life. It is difficult to hold stock holders responsible for the failures that can be the result of piss pore managment by over paid executives whos primary motives include becoming even more over paid.

I moved out to the Greater Lake Tahoe Basin back in 1977, It was just a couple years after the trumpted up gasoline shortage had brought the entire State of Florida to stand still in gross production and construction. Florida was one of those states that were in a certified depression.

I lived in the Tahoe Basin for 10 years, made a fortune working and out foxing the tax collector, manuvering around the rules of the two regional planning agencies and the building depts. Had a lot of fun, spending all the money, chasing beautiful women and racing cars in the High Desert. The parties started when I arrived at the local Gin Mill on Friday afternoon and ended late Sunday evening for those who just could not go any longer. Sometimes the party would would last a week and two week ends.

You were very correct about the 19% interest rates for mortgages. No fewer than 6 different real estate properties were offered to me for no money down, just take over the payments on the mortgage, and by the way the balloon is due in just a couple of months. These homes were valued at that time a prices ranging from about $400,000 to $900,000 and were on canals with direct access to the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It was because of the runaway interest rates that housing values shot up so rapidly. Those with credit were looking to get their little piece of heaven while they could still afford it.

On the other side of the closing table, the seller was looking to capitalize on the exploding real estate market. The mortgage lenders had a clue! The sellers were willing to hold hundreds of thousands in 2nd mortgages. Unfortunately, when these over spending, questionably qualified buyers defaulted, the seller/2nd mortgage holder either had to assume the mortgage or lose their investment. Many lost it all. Reganomics turned things back around. Mortgages became more reasonable, and in the end, the threat of a star wars defense system that the Soviet Union who was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy conceded the cold war.

That was good work by Govt. they don't always get it wrong, Can you imagin us hiring the Hessians to fight our wars and defend our daily life.

TMF

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#99
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 8:07 AM

corps of engineers sure did a great job on those leveees in N'orlins.

milo

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#109
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 12:26 PM

Hi Milo,

We have come a long way since the Govt. of Rome provided "public baths, sewers, and water, and became the best city in the known world to live in as the result of the Govt. designed, constructed and maintained very public utilities. I am reasonably confident in being correct when I say that if they had electricity and it was as necessary for a comfortable life in that time period as it is today, that also would have been designed, constructed and maintained by the "Central Govt. of the time.

Your quite correct about the N.O incident, but place the responsibility where it belongs. The Legislature only allocated funds to protect against a class 3 hurricane, some areas were improved. However the design Engineers never expected Lake Ponchatrain to be coming through the back door via canals created long after the original dike was constructed. I doubt very seriously whether the State of "Lousiana" or the City of New Orleans contributed much to their own protection. Consider how old the primary pumps are. The tax payers through out the remainder of this nation are not responsible for wipeing their ass. The city has been a dangerous place to reside for many years, and was clearly over populated. It is not the responsibility of the Federal Govt. to reduce the exposure for harm that may happen to over populated gettos. It is the responsibility of the State and the City to limit this by passing ordinances to limit the number of residences per square "whatever". When fools remain in harms way, they will eventually be harmed, you can bank on that! It is not the fault of the Army Corps of Engineers that fools sat around stealing the public funds, promoting over population, and waited for the inevitable event to come calling.

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#110
In reply to #109

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 1:21 PM

There's plenty of responsibility to go around. But The Army Corps of engineers had design and maintenance responsibility for the levees specifically. The Levees failed.

THE FAILURE OF ENGINEERS TO ADEQUATELY PERFORM ENGINEERING IS A RESPOBNSIBILITY RELEVANT TO ALL OF US HERE ON CR$ AS PROFESSIONALS as well as germane to this thread.

"The Army Corps of Engineers, for adopting safety standards that were "too close to the margin" to protect human life. It also called for an urgent reexamination of the entire levee system, saying there are no assurances that the miles of concrete "I-walls" in New Orleans will hold up against even a moderate hurricane."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/24/AR2006032401819.html

They had the responsibility.

They failed.

Pretty flippin simple.

No need to bring ghettos, ordnances or ass wiping into it- just

" who was responsible?

Did it work?

If not why not.

And if not, why should we trust them with our utilities or anything else?

Its a poor model, tmf. A very poor model. When govt flunkies fail, nothing happens except people die.

Don't overcomplicate this engineering/business competence issue with social concerns.

its really pretty clear.

milo

PS: By the way even the drugged out members of Led Zepplin understood the importance of the levees:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-AanPHMbC4

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/led+zeppelin/when+the+levee+breaks_20082208.html

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#111
In reply to #110

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 1:46 PM

Again, the engineer's dilemma: With my limited resources do I provide the perfect solution to 80% of the problem or an imperfect solution to the entire problem?

To design something that costs more to build than anyone can pay is, in essence, to have designed nothing at all because that which was designed will have no substance.

Ed Weldon

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#115
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:19 PM

I read all of that and take a little exception when you state that the ACE must be expected perform with out funding to do so after all this was not war time, until the hurricanes came calling. Money that would have been better spent making the improvements went to paying unwed mothers to continue production, and so on. There are only so many tax dollars to go around, and then we print some to take care of those who will not or cannot live responsibly. Likely there was enough money spent on drugs and other contraband by the getto dwellers to have paid for their own protection. Simply put, if Congress does not fund it it dies on the vine.

TMF

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#117
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:28 PM

You make my point exactly. Govt is a poor provider of goods and services.

Markets are far more efficient.

res ipsa loquitor- The thing itself speaks.

Case closed.

milo

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#121
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:43 PM

Remember Rome, they spoke latin too, had water, sewer, public baths, entertainment etc. all provided by NERO the "Guvena". with the Taxes his henchmen collected.

Touche!

TMF

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#122
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 5:48 PM

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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#124
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 8:43 PM

Ave, Anatis ex minor mare!

Anguis conscripti? Asino conscripti? Emptor conscripti?

Malum buculus non frangitur.

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent.

Alea iacta est.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

milo

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#126
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 9:10 PM

Milo -- Will you please provide an english translation for us dumb mechanical engineers who took Spanish in high school just so we could have 2 years of a language to get into engineering school. (Why I don't know; all the brainiacs took German or Latin. In 40 years of an engineering career I never once had to read anything technical written in German. But that was the 1950's when we were still greatly impressed with German scientific achievements). Although I must admit at this late stage in my life, when I'm beginning to recognize a runon sentence, a certain regret over my total illiteracy in Latin.

Ed Weldon

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#128
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 9:33 PM

Sure Ed.

The joy of Latin was we didn't have to speak it. I took German and I sound like a badger choking on a pretzel when i try to speak it. But given time I can puzzle through most technical stuff.

Duckinthe pond asked Who will guard the guardians? and showed us a dead bull (market).

My reply was

Ave, Anatis ex minor mare!

Greetings, duck of the minor sea.

Anguis conscripti? Asino conscripti? Emptor conscripti?

The snakes enrolled? The asses enrolled? The buyers enrolled? (actually that might be the buyer enrolled, now that I think of it.) In other words cheaters (snakes = vipers) and Stupid buyers (asses = buyers) enrolled was how I could say 'cheats and asses collectively.'

Malum buculus non frangitur.

A bad bull never breaks.

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent.

Other's things are more pleasing to us, and ours to others. (we're all greedy by our nature)

Alea iacta est.

The die is cast.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Let nothing but good be said of the dead.

Mrs Ponte would be so proud!

milo

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#129
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 11:21 PM

Ave, imperator ferrum magnus (greetings, great lord of steel)

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via (the trip from the earth to the stars is not an easy one)

Modus omnibus in rebus (???must be done in moderation)

Ipsa scientia potestas est (and only when knowledge itself is power)

Mrs Macchiavelli (had great big......old school)

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#131
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 8:01 AM

milo

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#132
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 8:24 AM

Latin is a language,
Dead as Dead Can Be,
First it Killed the Romans,
Now It's Killing Me.

All are dead who spoke it.
All are dead who wrote it.
All are dead who learned it,
Lucky dead, they've earned it.

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#119
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/16/2008 2:41 PM

"those who will not or cannot live responsibly"

There seem to be growing numbers of this type in our populations. There was a time in the history of Humankind when they were early victims of darwinian realities. They would typically be eaten by some wild animal before they reached reproductive age. Very effective in protecting the gene pool. Civilization has greatly reduced that particular weeding process.

One of the methods we have contrived to that end is the great economic concept of "buy now, pay later". Another is helmet laws.

Ed Weldon

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#135
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 7:16 PM

My question about New Orleans is once the pumped it dry why did they spend huge amounts of money wastefully to have the same problem. Just my 2 Cents but I would have cleaned up, Sank concrete pillars that can be lengthened, make concrete barges to float between them and float the city as a modern version of Venice. Build the levy into a break water and fill it up. Done right a money maker, Done by the Uncle Sam on a world bank leash, a fiasco.

Brad

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#137
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 7:54 PM

What you propose only makes sense in the real world....AND a similar idea was proposed by an Australian engineering company that builds ports...and promptly ignored for whatever reasons.

If hindsight is 20/20 what is foresight?...especially in the event of polar and Greenland ice cap meltoff.

Back in the early 70's I worked in the Arctic for a three year stretch. Cold, crisp, clear...a frozen world that thawed out by the end of July. I returned a couple of years ago...a three day stopover....hazy, fog, muddy, early June, swarms of mosquitoes. In my mind the impossible was happening. New Orleans came to mind.

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#139
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 8:04 PM

Sad but true, So we now have Global warming marketing social lies in the name of science. Follow the money because the data don't track.

I had the float the city idea when it sank from PPP. But I'm not in charge and they would not want me.

I know what to do with the melting Arctic but it would work and that would be an issue

Brad

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#141
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Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/17/2008 8:20 PM

Global warming marketing

Ya...that's another can of worms I intend to stay clear of. Especially the politicos who call themselves green....this, in answer to the fact that I pride myself on being a conservationist. The greens 'tip toe through the tulips' platform is a panacea for self serving imbeciles, fruitcakes pretend know it alls.

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#73
In reply to #26

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/15/2008 3:31 PM

Lots of us are angry. I think credit card rates are outrageous!

Who forced you to buy something you didn't have the cash in your pocket to pay for?

Travis

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#35

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:36 PM

First, recognise that many public company executives and financial 'experts' are ultra super greedy, and will always put their financial gain ahead of anything else. These are the people who caused communism to gain ground.

Second, realize that a share of stock is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

Third, really regulate public stock companies so that even the ultra super greedy CEOs have to work for the stock holders interest, not their own. One such regulation would require the highest paid person of a public company not be paid more than 40 times the salary of the lowest paid person in that company. Another regulation would be no public company employee would be paid more than six months salary severance pay. There should be lots of restrictions on Perks and bonuses for public company employees.

Very secure savings and investments are needed for those people who are willing to put away money for their retirement or future projects, for pension funds and endowment funds. The ultra super greedy can run private companies as they wish, but when they work for a public stock company, they must work for the interest of the stock holder.

No public company needs to own a private jet aircraft.

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#42
In reply to #35

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 4:27 PM

I find the omission of unionized UAW workers unable to make reasonable concessions in exchange for government bailout moneys an omission in your list of greedy people.

I have yet to meet a union official; that is willing to sacrifice a single dues paying member to save the entire company worth of jobs. Saw this in steel before UAW. How many union steel worker jobs were saved?

none.

milo

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#36

Re: What to do? but practical and not lethal ideas only please.

12/14/2008 12:45 PM

Looks like the "Guest" hit on a hotbed of dissidense and heated discussion.

If it makes me any more qualified I read Atlas Shrugged when it was on the best seller list and just before The Fountainhead was published.

#12 comments by Jaguar indicate the age old fact that knowing what happened doesn't change the consequences, to paraphrase someone; Not to learn from history will cause you to repeat it.

One of our problems is fighting unproductive wars, by unproductive I mean we don't gain any real estate. We waste the lives of our young people and our hard earned money trying to manage the other governments of the world. The last real knock down drag out fight we had to save our form of government was the second world war. We had the nutcase over in Germany that was bound and determined to have the world function as he saw fit and the Japs who had shown some desires to gain some property on their side of the world. Of course threatning to shut off the oil supply to the Japanese may have caused some consternation on their part and precipitated a little event known as Pearl Harbor.

At any rate, since that time some of the things that have traspired are;

The government developed a penchant for printing currency with the other world currencies frozen to a standard. I think 360 yen to the dollar was the number we were using at the time. The net effect of this was the rest of the world was paying our bills. That worked pretty good until someone wised up at which point the dollar began to float.

The arab world decided that nationalizing the oil industry might be a good thing. That seemed to work pretty well for them. The oil embargo probably wasn't the best idea they ever had because now they are a perceived threat to most of the advanced nations.

Japanese junk became the new world standard. The idea that they could copy anything but couldn't be innovative kind of slid by the wayside.

Corperate America found that hugh instant profits could be developed by hostile mergers. I seem to remember something about raping retirement funds and such was considered "good business".

With the advent of the computer Corperate America began idolizing folks like Jack Welch (Neutron Jack) who fostered the attitude there will be no loyaties, upward or downward, and we are going to make tons of money without making a product.

Recently oil was worth 147 dollars a barrel. Am I paranoid or do I really beleive that the market is being manipulated on a daily basis. We already know that programmed trading can totally upset the market. I don't imagine you would have to be too smart to figure out how to tumble the system.

Somehow we decided that it was okay to have some stumblebum fail as a CEO and still be rewarded with hugh salaries and golden parachutes. In fact we filled up board rooms with them and their flunkies. Of course when we think of the great unwashed, the union guys, we think of their taking a stand to hold onto what they fought to get not in line with our mentality when we think of the turkeys in the boardroom and no I am not union and haven't been since the early sixties.

So basically we are the enemy.

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