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Our economy is trashed because of corporate lobbying of elected officials. Candidates accepting large donations are obligated to these corporations to sway financial laws in their favor. As much as I liked what Bill Clinton did for this country, his NAFTA laws have decimated this economy by allowing corporations to outsource good paying work like tech support and union jobs to other countries leaving only healthcare, service industry and low paying retail jobs available here. NAFTA also removed a large part of the tariff on imported materials like steel from Canada which obliterated the steel industry in this country. Home Depot and Lowes have put hundreds if not thousands of local hardware stores and lumberyards out of business. Now that the competition is gone they have reduced their customer support staff from about a dozen to two in my area and they have replaced almost every cashier with self-checkout registers. That equates to fewer jobs and more profit for the corporation. Good for them, bad for the economy. Halliburton Corporation made more than a trillion tax-free dollars on the war in Iraq to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure and economy. After 9 years there are no completed projects. The war seems to have been a means to an end...making lots and lots of tax-free money at the expense of American soldiers' lives and the United States economy. All that money went to Halliburton: And guess who use to be CEO of Halliburton? D*ck Cheney. Another corporation that paid billions to have ex-employees embedded in U.S. Government agencies like the USDA is Monsanto Corporation. The truth is our government is overrun with Monsanto ex-employees. Google 'patent for a pig' and watch the 45 minute video to see just how interested Monsanto is in you and your health. Because of these financial contributions to political campaigns banks are allowed to overstate the market value of homes, sell interest only morgages, oversell the consumer and give mortgages to people who couldnt afford them. And why credit card companies can raise your interest rates on a whim. The point is our country isnt being run by concerned citizens anymore that care about our country or its people. A bunch of greedy, self-serving racketeers are running it, and we vote them in office. The U.S. Supreme Court just removed any limits on the amount of money a corporation can donate to political campaigns. Really, take 45 minutes of your time and watch 'patent for a pig' to see just how bad it is and how bad it is becoming very quickly.
War disseminates the Fed Reserve note abroad which acts to mitigate the effects of inflation. While there is no justification in trading lives for solvency... the only boon for the plebeians in these wars is that harsh reality. The negative impact these wars have on us trump the small benefit. The energy spent fighting an offensive war is all forfeit on the battlefield.
Our economy is in ruins because it was designed that way. This is the trademark of a debt based economy... endless receivership. Fiat currency... just like all of the speculative derivatives... is a house of cards buttressed by our willingness to believe in its propriety. We are always vulnerable to the machinations of those few people entrusted with the means to dictate its value. The purchasing power of a fiat dollar is at the discretion of those people who retain power by ensuring our indebtedness. Is it any wonder that a century into its lifespan the Federal Reserve has for all intents and purposes wiped out the middle class who... following the relatively halcyon minor panics of the 19th century... ushered it into existence?
What we are witnessing is the razing of the playing field. The Fed employs a cycle of reaping and sowing. They sow the field with easy money... low interest rates... people borrow and although inflation negates savings... the free flow of capital permits them the opportunity to accrue hard assets that have intrinsic values... values that cannot be manipulated by artificial means. The Fed gains as well because all money is still borrowed at interest. People leverage their hard assets in order to continue taking advantage of the favorable economic environment. Once the plebeians are leveraged to the hilt... the Fed then raises interest rates which stifles borrowing and creates a shortage of capital. The hard assets offered as collateral on money borrowed while the economy was inflating goes over to member banks and the cycle begins anew. On the surface it seems counterintuitive for the Federal Reserve to intentionally crunch the economy as it profits from the interest on all those dollars it has the unique privilege of creating. The idea behind the crunch is that it ensures the endless state of receivership. Perpetual subsistence under the yoke of the state and the central bank. It also works to nip competition in the bud... any financial advantage left to take seed is a threat to the hegemony of those in power.
The housing bubble caused a lot of it - which started when Clinton removed the taxes on sale of personal residence (as it made house hopping that much more profitable) then when interest rates were pushed down under Bernake / Bush, it helped fuel the bubble, as much as the law change that enabled key financial firms to borrow a far higher amount than they had previously (the leverage they had under the new rules was several multiples higher than previous).
When you add up those factors, and disregard the war, they were enough to tank the economy. Then when you add in the tbills we sold to China (around 2.5 trillion they own now) and that was the primary source of money for Halliburton and the related corrupt deals in Iraq / Afghanistan, they basically own the US economy now.
The housing bubble was in the works long before the war started...and the financial regulations changes may not have had anything to do with the wars, not sure.
Agreed all around. My only caveat would be on the China issue...yes, there is a gaping trade deficit and they do own a lot of t-bills, but China's economy is still heavily dependent on a) US investment, b) key high tech imports from the US, and c) the US consumer's desire to purchase Chinese goods, not to mention the buying power of the US dollar to that end. A change in any of this signals problems for China's economy, and while the US can survive a recession, a slowdown for China's economy means potentially disastrous social problems. China's economic growth has already slowed, the government raised interest rates, and prices in China have risen considerably.
I do think Americans have good reason to be concerned about China's ownership of the debt, and the country's rapid gains in the last couple decades. But China and America seem to have a very different relationship than the USSR, since the countries depend on each other so much. I don't think either one can do much about it right now.
Fair enough, I think you're probably more right than I am about China (I think that was a knee jerk thing I put in there, rather than working it out in my head first, then typing) :)
I believe so. That's the main reason I can think of.