Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Rise Of Informal Work

Blogroll Me!

This post by Charles Hugh Smith predicts an "underground" economy for 2009 and in the years to come.

Trends for 2009: The Rise of Informal Work

December 30, 2008

The crushing costs of formal business (State and local government taxes and junk fees rising to pay for unaffordable pensions, etc.) and the implosion of the debt-bubble economy will drive millions into the informal economy of barter, trade and "underground" (cash) work.

As small businesses close their doors and corporations lay off thousands, the unemployed will of necessity shift their focus from finding a new formal job (essentially impossible for most) to fashioning a livelihood in the informal economy.

One example of the informal economy is online businesses--people who make a living selling used items on eBay and other venues. Such businesses can be operated at home and do not require storefronts, rent to commercial landlords, employees, etc., and because they don't require a formal presence then they also fly beneath all the government junk fees imposed on formal businesses.

I have mentioned such informal businesses recently, and the easiest way to grasp the range of possibilities is this: whatever someone did formally, they can do informally.

Chef had a high fixed-cost restaurant which bankrupted him/her? Now he/she prepares meals at home and delivers them to neighbors/old customers for cash. No restaurant, no sky high rent, no employees, no payroll taxes, no business licenses, inspection fees, no sales tax, etc. Every dime beyond the cost of food and utilities to prepare the meals stays in Chef's pocket rather than going to the commercial landlords and local government via taxes and fees.

All the customers who couldn't afford $30 meals at the restaurant can afford $10. Everybody wins except commercial landlords (soon to be bankrupt) and local government (soon to be insolvent). How can you bankrupt all the businesses and not go bankrupt yourself?

As long as Chef reports net income on Schedule C, he/she is good to go with Federal and State tax authorities.

Now run the same scenario for mechanics, accountants, therapists, even auto sales--just rent a house with a big yard or an apartment with a big parking lot and away you go; the savvy entrepreneur who moves his/her inventory can stock a few vehicles at a time. No need for a huge lot, high overhead, employees or junk fees. It's cash and carry.

Lumber yard? Come to my backyard lot. Whatever I don't have I can order from a jobber and have delivered to your site.

This is the result of raising the fixed costs of starting and running a small business to such a backbreaking level that few formal businesses can survive.

One example of hundreds/thousands: 20 years ago I paid about $200 for a building permit for a $40,000 starter home. (Not in California, in Hawaii.) Locally in California you pay $350 just to have a staffer "review" your plans--even for a modest bathroom renovation. If they reject your plan for some reason, you still pay the fee. If they approve your project, the permit is much, much more. Oh, and they charge you for the electrical and plumbing permits, too.

Yes, I understand the movement to charge end users of government services; those who use the services should pay. Fair enough. But then what's happening to the 8.5% sales tax we pay, the $10,000 property taxes we pay, and the hundreds or thousands in other fees and income taxes we pay? Why don't those taxes go down if end users are picking up the tabs for "government services"?

Why have state and local government budgets all climbed by 30%-50% in a mere decade?

In a way, it doesn't matter; very few can operate a formal business profitably, and so they close their doors and scrape up a living in the informal cash economy. Local government will see its revenues wither and eventually insolvency will force a radical re-thinking of government revenues, expenses and services.

Until then, watch for the informal economy to grow and the formal economy to wither.

Click Here for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Made in USA, Assembled in China

Blogroll Me!
As our economy tanks, there will be all sorts of rip offs in the mail to get our money. Our household has stopped purchasing anything made in China. On an ad like this iHeater, it was like pulling teeth to get a strait answer as to where it was made. We had to call the telephone number on this ad to inquire as it is not apparent anywhere on the ad. The person on the other end of the phone seemed shocked at the question about the origins and it even seemed like he might be lying. This unit is actually "supposedly" made here in the US, but assembled in China. How much sense does that really make, and why should I believe a word of it? Maybe because I am blogging this, folks will make those phone calls to these representatives and perhaps the outsourcing jobs to China will come shining through as a no no from now on! We should know how cost ineffective it is to ship pieces of something across the world in order to be put together. Why...If we made the unit parts here can we not put the unit together here? I would not be surprised if this unit would be recalled soon. I have zero faith in this product and I resent the fact that it would even be legal in this country to sell it. Hopefully there won't be too many house fires and deaths as a result.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Color for Fiestaware

Blogroll Me!
We collect Fiesta dinnerware by Homer Laughlin, and I neglected to post the new color this year. The new color for 2008 is Chocolate.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Mural From The Museum Of Trash

Blogroll Me!
I am really into murals and public art. I truly feel there should be a museum of trash in every state. Check out Hartford Connecticut's Museum of Trash. I found this museum through this blog.

The mural is called
History of Trash Mural, by Ted Essestyn. Copy and Paste this address for a more detailed description of what all is in this mural. It takes you to a land management site where you can click on a link that will take you to an Adobe format description of this mural. It is worth the effort.

Friday, December 26, 2008

There is no such thing as clean coal!

Blogroll Me!
I mean really. How can you see something like this and still believe in "clean coal"?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Christmas Present Ever

Blogroll Me!
The Federal Lands that Bush was trying to sell to the big oil companies in the final days of his office have been saved just in time for Christmas. Thanks Tim Dechristopher!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Two Letters

Blogroll Me!

Two letters from Economicrot.

Dear Employee,

Next week, Congress and the current Administration will determine whether to provide immediate support to the domestic auto industry to help it through one of the most difficult economic times in our nation's history. Your elected officials must hear from all of us now on why this support is critical to our continuing the progress we began prior to the global financial crisis......................As an employee, you have a lot at stake and continue to be one of our most effective and passionate voices. I know GM can count on you to have your voice heard.
Thank you for your urgent action and ongoing support.

Troy Clarke
General Motors North America
From Gregory Knox,

In response to your request to call legislators and ask for a bailout for the United States automakers please consider the following, and please also pass this onto Troy Clark, the president of General Motors North America for me.

You are both infected with the same entitlement mentality that has bred like cancerous germs in UAW halls for the last countless decades, and whose plague is now sweeping the nation, awaiting our new "messiah" to wave his magical wand and make all our problems go away, while at the same time allowing our once great nation to keep "living the dream"... The dream is over!

The dream that we can ignore the consumer for years while management myopically focuses on its personal rewards packages at the same time that our factories have been filled with the worlds most overpaid, arrogant, ignorant and laziest entitlement minded "laborers" without paying the price for these atrocities...and that still the masses will line up to buy our products. Don't tell me I'm wrong. Don't accuse me of not knowing of what I speak. I have called on Ford, GM, Chrysler, TRW, Delphi, Kelsey Hayes, American Axle and countless other automotive OEM's and Tier ones for 3 decades now throughout the Midwest and what I've seen over the years in these union shops can only be described as disgusting.

Mr. Clark, the president of General Motors, states: "There is widespread sentiment in this country, our government and especially in the media that the current crisis is completely the result of bad management. It is not... "

You're right - it's not JUST about the electricians who walk around the plants like lords in feudal times, making people wait on them for countless hours while they drag they can come in on the weekend and make double and triple time...for a job they easily could have done within their normal 40 hour week. How about the line workers who threaten newbies with all kinds of scare tactics... for putting out too many parts on a shift...and for being too productive (mustn't expose the lazy bums who have been getting overpaid for decades for their horrific underproduction, must we?!?) Do you really not know about this stuff?!?

How about this great sentiment abridged from Mr. Clarke's sad plea: over the last few years ...we have closed the quality and efficiency gaps with our competitors. What the hell has Detroit been doing for the last 40 years?!? Did we really JUST wake up to the gaps in quality and efficiency between us and them? The K car vs. the Accord? The Pinto vs. the Civic?!? Do I need to go on?

We are living through the inevitable outcome of the actions of the United States auto industry for decades. Time to pay for your sins, Detroit.

I attended an economic summit last week where a brilliant economist, Alan Beaulieu surprised the crowd when he said he would not have given the banks a penny of "bailout money". Yes, he said, this would cause short term problems, but despite what people like George Bush and Troy Clark would have us believe, the sun would in fact rise the next day... and something else would happen...where there had been greedy and sloppy banks new efficient ones would pop up... that is how a free market system does work...if we would let it work... But for some reason we are now deciding that the rest of the world is right and that capitalism doesn't work - that we need the government to step in and "save us" us, hell - we're nationalizing...and unfortunately too many of this once fine nations citizens don't even have a clue that this is what's really happening...but they sure can tell you the stats on their favorite sports teams...yeah - THAT'S important... Does it occur to ANYONE that the "competition" has been producing vehicles, EXTREMELY PROFITABLY, for decades now in this country?... How can that be??? Let's see... Fuel efficient... Listening to customers... Investing in the proper tooling and automation for the long haul... Not being too complacent or arrogant to listen to Dr W Edwards Deming 4 decades ago. Ever increased productivity through quality, lean and six sigma plans... Treating vendors like strategic partners, rather than like "the enemy"... Efficient front and back offices... Non union environment...

Again, I could go on and on, but I really wouldn't be telling anyone anything they really don't already know in their hearts I have six children, so I am not unfamiliar with the concept of wanting someone to bail you out of a mess that you have gotten yourself into - my children do this on a weekly, if not daily basis, as I did at their age. I do for them what my parents did for me (one of their greatest gifts, by the way) - I make them stand on their own two feet and accept the consequences of their actions and work them through. Radical concept, huh...

Am I there for them in the wings? Of course - but only until such time as they need to be fully on their own as adults I don't want to oversimplify a complex situation, but there certainly are unmistakable parallels here between the proper role of parenting and government.

Detroit and the United States need to pay for their sins. Bad news people - it's coming whether we like it or not the newly elected Messiah really doesn't have a magic wand big enough to "make it all go away" I laughed as I heard Obama "reeling it back in" almost immediately after the vote count was tallied..."we might not do it in a year... or in four..." where was that kind of talk when he was RUNNING for the office. Stop trying to put off the inevitable ...That house in Florida really isn't worth $750,000...People who jump across a border really don't deserve free health care benefits... That job driving that forklift for the big 3 really isn't worth $85,000 a year...

We really shouldn't allow Wal-Mart to stock their shelves with products acquired from a country that unfairly manipulates their currency and has the most atrocious human rights infractions on the face of the globe... That couple whose combined income is less than $50,000 really shouldn't be living in that $485,000 home...

Let the market correct itself people - it will. Yes it will be painful, but it's gonna be painful either way, and the bright side of my proposal is that on the other side of it is a nation that appreciates what it has...and doesn't live beyond its means...and gets back to basics...and redevelops the work ethic that made it the greatest nation in the history of the world...and probably turns back to God.

Sorry - don't cut my head off, I'm just the messenger sharing with you the "bad news"

Gregory J Knox
Knox Machinery, Inc.
Franklin, Ohio 45005

12/18/2008 2:07 PM

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lydia Brownfield at Thirsty Ear Tonight!

Come see Lydia tonight at The Thirsty Ear. Don't miss the show tonight! She won't be back playing in Ohio until mid-January! Come on out to the Ear tonight and get your face rocked off!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brothers Drake Fine Mead

Are you looking for something special to give for Christmas this year? Consider giving the gift of Mead. Brothers Drake Fine Mead is located at 206 Oak Street, Columbus Ohio. Tasting and sales are Tuesday-Saturday, and group events are by appointment. I know these guys, and their product is top shelf. Celebrate in good cheer with Eric, Woody, Ben and Betty.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush's Final F.U.

Blogroll Me!

It is hard to imagine that George W. Bush could do much damage in the time that he has left in office. But he is making the best of the time he has left. Click here for the latest scoop on his "midnight regulations".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Queen Najla tonight Healing Spirits Sacred Songs

Blogroll Me!
Come hear Queen Najla and The Columbus Women's Drum Chorus play tonight at The Christian Spiritualist Temple

Healing Spirits Sacred Songs

Join us as we celebrate the season with sacred rhythm and song
from around the world, including carols, poetry, chanting, and drumming
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
The Christian Spiritualist Temple

77 South Sixth Street (Corner of Sixth and State) Columbus 43015; parking west of the church
No admission charge/donations accepted
Featured artists include:
Vocalist James Brittan
Spoken-word Artist Rosemary Valentine
The Cosmic Soul Band
Wahru Cleveland and the Columbus Women's Drum Chorus
The Women's Sacred Song Circle
Flutist Christina Cappelletti

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kunstler Cast

Blogroll Me!
I have written about James Howard Kustler several times and shown you some of his paintings and his writings. Today though, after the auto industry's bailout was denied by the republican senate, I found myself wanting to hear my weekly Kunstler Cast. James has cryptically written that "most people have bought their last automobile and just don't know it yet"! The site is temporarily unavailable this morning, but I imagine James is busy writing something profound for us about the new developments. Check out the pod cast for his latest commentary.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Uncle Sam's

Blogroll Me!
Here in Columbus Ohio the best pawn shop is Uncle Sam's.
I feel a fondness for Uncle Sam's Pawn Shop and the employees there. I confess I have never felt that way in a bank. As the financial system is folding like a house of cards, pawn shops are thriving. Uncle Sam's has the best selection of musical instruments. If you buy one set of guitar strings you get another set for free. They have been in business since 1950. Not only do they make loans, but they also have layaway plans. The PayDay lenders have closed shop and the banksters are no longer loaning money to the "little guy". I am grateful to have the option of getting a small loan to get me through the tough times. 3 Cheers for Uncle Sam's Pawn Shop.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here is 21 Elmhurst Street Detroit Michigan in 1969 and the same spot in 2001. Once a thriving neighborhood and now a neighborhood in decline.

It is doubtful that a bailout for the big three will improve places like this.

Notice how in 69 the street is full of cars, and in modern times it has become a desolate place. Notice the lack of Elm Trees in 2001. What was once welcoming front yards are now behind chain link fences. This could very well be the future for any city in America. I snagged these two photos from a discussion thread on a site called Life After The Oil Crash. LATOC is A site totally dedicated to the ramifications of Peak Oil. Detroit is one of the cities that could very well thrive in the future as it is strategically located for trade. Unfortunately though, the age of the automobile is almost done. Perhaps some of the new greener technology can be produced there instead of over seas. Perhaps neighborhoods like Elmhurst Street will thrive again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Martin Janis Center due to close Dec. 31st

Blogroll Me!

The Martin Janis Center will close December 31st due to budget cuts. This unique center is housed on the border of the State Fairgrounds and it is a shame that it has to close. It is located on a main busline and is completely handycap accessable. The building itself is uniquely designed to resemble a pyramid. I have been attending a ceramics class there off and on for a year. The layout is great in that the lower level is jam packed with work spaces that house The Columbus Model Train Club (pictured here), a complete wood shop that is staffed by volunteers. It has the only Lapidary workshop that I know of in Columbus. I haven't explored the Stain Glass workshop, but I have worked in the Ceramic lab and there are several wheels and kilns to meet the needs of potters of all skill levels. On the ground floor there is a beautiful stage that seats over 400 people. Also a mirrored dance floor that is perfect for dances and enough room for a live band. The building is well maintained and staffed. I have not visited the library or the fitness room, but I plan on looking in on these spaces and taking some pictures to share on this blog. It is my understanding this 38,000 square foot space is staffed by 3 with 1 maintenance person. There is a kitchen with a nice cafeteria that serves $4 meals. This facility is leased for a $1 a year. All in all there are 36 different classes and programs. I will keep you posted as to what is happening with this loss. I am hoping that enough people will step up to the plate and try to work something out. It would seem to me that the Davis Center curriculum could easily be merged with the Janis Center rather than lose both these recreation centers. I for one will be writing letters to my legislators and city council members to try to get them to reconsider. In times like these we need to figure out how to utilize spaces such as The Janis Center rather than keep them closed. I think we could raise the prices for the classes and rent out the dance floor and auditorium. I can imagine keeping the Center open on weekends to expand its use rather than close the doors on the opportunity to make more money.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lydia Brownfield Rocked Norka Last Night!

Blogroll Me!
We had a blast at Norka Futon last night for the December Gallery Hop. I don't usually blog about an event after it has passed, but I was very impressed with the performer this time around. If you get a chance, you got to see Lydia Brownfield. I will be blogging about her next gig at The Thirsty Ear Thursday December 18th.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trader Joe's alternative grocery store

Blogroll Me!

Once a month we shop at Trader Joe's here in Columbus. There are two Trader Joe's in Columbus Ohio. The selection of food is top notch. Check out their website for the history and location nearest you. It is the best place to shop for party food as well as your regular grocery shopping. If you bring your own grocery bag, they give you a raffle ticket to fill out for a drawing of $25 value of Trader Joe's groceries. That is true incentive to do the right thing, and stop wasting plastic and paper each time you shop. Hope to see ya there.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Peter Schiff Gets Cut Off !

Blogroll Me!
I blogged about Peter Schiff a couple days ago. His Wall street predictions have been right on the money. I can't resist posting his most recent YouTube where he gets cut off.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adaptive Reuse Of Car Parts

Blogroll Me!
When the Auto Companies go out of business then we will need to try to salvage what we can. Here are a pair of sandals from the 1970's the soles made from tire tread. I had a pair of these in the 70's, and I remember that the rest of the sandal wore out but the tread was still in tact.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Peter Schiff Tells It Like It Is

Blogroll Me!
I admit that I am a skeptic as to the direction that Wall Street and the currant Government is choosing for us before Barack Obama can even take office.

Peter Schiff has correctly predicted the collapse of the housing market 2007 and was ridiculed every step of the way. He is now predicting the collapse of this economy and we had best listen to what he has to say. I would feel much more comfortable having Peter be a key player in the next administration as he knows that we can not print our way out of this mess. Check out the latest YouTube from a recent radio program.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two Trees

Blogroll Me!

There are two gorgeous trees (Redbud, and Yellow Ash) on my street that my girlfriend harvested seeds from this year for my seed exchange website Got Seeds? So far no one but Pamela from Peak Oil wants to trade.
This time of year seems so dreary here in Ohio. It fills my heart with gladness to imagine spreading the beauty of these trees and plants. Winter may not seem so long if I can keep planning for next years garden.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Strange Map Of Greendale

The town of Greendale exists only in fiction. Today Greendale is featured on the website Strange Maps.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Historic Photos of Columbus

Blogroll Me!
I have been enjoying my copy of Historic Photos of Columbus put together by Nick Taggart, and published by Turner Publishing Company. I am tempted to post some of the photos from this coffee table book but I am going to refrain to protect the integrity of the work.

This delightful book of black and white photographs of Columbus covers history from the late 1800's to the mid 1900s. Contained in this volume we get to see horse and buggy times through the transition to the automobile.

There are places that are still familiar, and places that have been long gone. I was particularly surprised and delighted to see photographs of the early arches that have long been removed but now are being rebuilt with a modern twist of two in what is now The Short North. I have shared this book with several of my friends and family and it is providing hours of entertainment.

Nick Taggart works in The Columbus Metropolitan Library in the Biography, History and Travel section. He has written the text for this work and compiled the various photos most of which have never been published. The only thing I was disappointed in was that the book ended in the 1960's. I felt like I wanted to see more of the changes up to the 1990's when I first moved to Columbus. If you are a Columbus Fan this book is for you. If you want to see pictures of the Horseshoe Stadium at OSU under construction and The Lavec Tower being erected this is the book for you. There are pictures of Lincoln's funeral train under guard by Union Army Troops, and his casket on display at our State Capital. These are just a few wonders captured on film and brought out of the archives for this generation to ponder. Who knows maybe Mr. Taggart will make us a sequel. I know I will be sharing this book with as many people I can before the holidays as I think it would make the perfect Christmas gift for Columbusites.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Zombie (Undead) Toxic Televisions

Blogroll Me!
What are we suppose to do with our old pre HD TV's on February 17 2009? Check out this website for the Zombie TV Video.

On February 17, 2009, television stations will throw the switch, and stop sending out analog TV signal in the United States. On that date, the millions of people who receive “over the air” TV signal (as opposed to cable or satellite subscribers) must have a TV capable of receiving digital signal, or their TVs will go dark. Consumers can purchase set-top boxes that convert digital signal into an analog signal (that they can view on their old televisions). But the set top box option isn’t being promoted strongly by an industry that wants consumers to simply discard their old televisions and replace them with new ones.

Consumers are trashing working televisions

The digital conversion is leading consumers to get rid of their old analog televisions, even though many still work. While the rule of thumb used to be that consumers would demote older televisions to some other room in the house, we are now seeing a change in consumer behavior. When they replace their big, old, clunky cathode ray tube TVs (and the big piece of furniture holding them up) with sleeker flat panel TVs, which they can hang on the wall, many are simply getting rid of the older TVs altogether. So while the set-top converter box is a viable option, for some consumers this digital signal conversion is the tipping point for replacing their older TVs. That’s why the FCC DTV rule is the largest government mandated obsolescence initiative in U.S. history. And this mandate is being implemented with very little attention to helping affected consumers avoid the expense and difficulty of coping with the transition.

Why This is So Important: Old TVs Are Toxic E-Waste

TVs contain toxic materials, like lead, cadmium, and beryllium, that don’t belong in the landfill. The old CRT TVs contain an average of 4 to 8 pounds of lead. While it’s still legal to throw TVs in the trash in most states, it’s not an environmentally sound practice, because the toxic chemicals can leach into groundwater over time. Because only about 15% of e-waste gets recycled, that means most of these old TVs are going into our landfills and incinerators. Most e-waste that is collected for recycling in the U.S. is currently being exported to developing countries for primitive “recycling” where it is causing great damage. Electronic waste sent to China also appears to be a source of a lead used in the lead-tainted jewelry that is manufactured in China and exported to the US.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sugar Bear Ecology Club

Blogroll Me!
Back in the day when I was a youngster, I became a member of The Sugar Bear Ecology Club. I believe we had to send in a self addressed envelope to activate membership, receive our certificate and membership card. This was promoted on the back of a cereal box.

Everyone is acting as if global warming, population explosion, the extinction of species, and the ravaging of our planet are new phenomenon. But I remember sending in for my Ecology Club Kit in the early 70's. I was deeply concerned about our planet even then. It was a main topic in our science classes.

Some 40 years later I still hold my membership card. And even though the economy of growth has outweighed any concerns about our environment...some of us still uphold "the code". Perhaps when we run out of clean water we will understand that our earth is precious and finite. Membership dues are forthcoming!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Take BackThe Land

Blogroll Me

Apparently in Miami Florida they have a solution to the foreclosure problem. Read about Take Back The Land.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Cult of Planet Aid

Blogroll Me!

Have you seen these yellow boxes scattered throughout your town? Before you donate to this "charity", do you know what Planet Aid is, and where the money ends up?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The difference between the financial system and the economy

Blogroll Me!
This is a very painful video clip of Secretary Paulson as he conveys that he and his buddies have robbed the treasury. Did you know there is a difference between the financial system and the economy? There is. You and I are part of the economy. Mr. Paulson and his banker buddies are part of the financial system. They get the money and we get...what a Depression?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Governor Palin Pardons Turkey

Blogroll Me!
Is there no end to the Governors stupidity?

Top 25 News Stories That Have Been Censored

Blogroll Me!

I don't know how George W. Bush can get away with what he does. Are we really free if our news is censored? Click on the link below to see the news stories that have been censored.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buy Nothing Day

Blogroll Me!
Suddenly, we ran out of money and, to avoid collapse, we quickly pumped liquidity back into the system. But behind our financial crisis a much more ominous crisis looms: we are running out of nature… fish, forests, fresh water, minerals, soil. What are we going to do when supplies of these vital resources run low? There’s only one way to avoid the collapse of this human experiment of ours on Planet Earth: we have to consume less. It will take a massive mindshift. You can start the ball rolling by buying nothing on November 28th. Then celebrate Christmas differently this year, and make a New Year’s resolution to change your lifestyle in 2009. It’s now or never!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

California Burning

Blogroll Me!
We need to pray for California!

30 Reasons We May Be Heading For Great Depression #2

Blogroll Me!

Paul Farrel has written an article about the reasons we are surely heading towards the second Great Depression. For the total article copy and paste this address.{B28B49B5-EFD1-4941-B57E-A2BA1545BA09}&siteid=yahoomy

Scan these 30 "leading indicators." Each problem has one or more possible solutions, but lacks unified political support. Time's running out. We're already at the edge. Add up the trillions in debt: Any collective solution will only compound our problems, because the cumulative debt will overwhelm us, make matters worse:
  1. America's credit rating may soon be downgraded below AAA
  2. Fed refusal to disclose $2 trillion loans, now the new "shadow banking system"
  3. Congress has no oversight of $700 billion, and Paulson's Wall Street Trojan Horse
  4. King Henry Paulson flip-flops on plan to buy toxic bank assets, confusing markets
  5. Goldman, Morgan lost tens of billions, but planning over $13 billion in bonuses this year
  6. AIG bails big banks out of $150 billion in credit swaps, protects shareholders before taxpayers
  7. American Express joins Goldman, Morgan as bank holding firms, looking for Fed money
  8. Treasury sneaks corporate tax credits into bailout giveaway, shifts costs to states
  9. State revenues down, taxes and debt up; hiring, spending, borrowing add even more debt
  10. State, municipal, corporate pensions lost hundreds of billions on derivative swaps
  11. Hedge funds: 610 in 1990, almost 10,000 now. Returns down 15%, liquidations up
  12. Consumer debt way up, now at $2.5 trillion; next area for credit meltdowns
  13. Fed also plans to provide billions to $3.6 trillion money-market fund industry
  14. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are bleeding cash, want to tap taxpayer dollars
  15. Washington manipulating data: War not $600 billion but estimates actually $3 trillion
  16. Hidden costs of $700 billion bailout are likely $5 trillion; plus $1 trillion Street write-offs
  17. Commodities down, resource exporters and currencies dropping, triggering a global meltdown
  18. Big three automakers near bankruptcy; unions, workers, retirees will suffer
  19. Corporate bond market, both junk and top-rated, slumps more than 25%
  20. Retailers bankrupt: Circuit City, Sharper Image, Mervyns; mall sales in free fall
  21. Unemployment heading toward 8% plus; more 1930's photos of soup lines
  22. Government policy is dictated by 42,000 myopic, highly paid, greedy lobbyists
  23. China's sees GDP growth drop, crates $586 billion stimulus; deflation is now global, hitting even Dubai
  24. Despite global recession, U.S. trade deficit continues, now at $650 billion
  25. The 800-pound gorillas: Social Security, Medicare with $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities
  26. Now 46 million uninsured as medical, drug costs explode
  27. New-New Deal: U.S. planning billions for infrastructure, adding to unsustainable debt
  28. Outgoing leaders handicapping new administration with huge liabilities
  29. The "antitaxes" message is a new bubble, a new version of the American
    dream offering a free lunch, no sacrifices, exposing us to more false promises
Will the next meltdown, the third of the 21st Century, trigger a second Great Depression? Or will the 2007-08 crisis simply morph into a painful extension of today's mess to 2011 and beyond, with no new bull market, no economic recovery as our new president hopes?
Perhaps some of the first 29 problems may be solved separately, but collectively, after building on a failed ideology, they spell disaster. So listen closely to "leading indicator" No. 30:
At a recent Reuters Global Finance Summit former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead was interviewed. He was also Ronald Reagan's Deputy Secretary of State and a former chairman of the N.Y. Fed. He says America's problems will take years and will burn trillions.
He sees "nothing but large increases in the deficit ... I think it would be worse than the depression. ... Before I go to sleep at night, I wonder if tomorrow is the day Moody's and S&P will announce a downgrade of U.S. government bonds." It'll get worse because "the public is not prepared to increase taxes. Both parties were for reducing taxes, reducing income to government, and both parties favored a number of new programs, all very costly and all done by the government."
Reuters concludes: "Whitehead said he is speaking out on this topic because he is concerned no lawmakers are against these new spending programs and none will stand up and call for higher taxes. 'I just want to get people thinking about this, and to realize this is a road to disaster,' said Whitehead. 'I've always been a positive person and optimistic, but I don't see a solution here.'"
We see the Great Depression 2. Why? Wall Street's self-interested greed. They are their own worst enemy ... and America's too. End of Story

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Queen Najla has a website!

Blogroll Me!
Recently I have been given the opportunity to create a website for Queen Najla who is a drummer, dancer, and storyteller. She is a member of The Columbus Womens Drum Chorus which I am also privileged to be a part. She is in the group Sistah Ngoma directed by Wahru.

I look forward to working with Queen Najla, and am asking anyone who might have a picture of her that could be website worthy, to please contact me. Queen works with children, and seniors here in the Columbus area. She will be leading a Childrens Drum Circle and Harvest Dance November 19th at 802 Lilly Ave. Keep checking her website for future performances.

Monday, November 17, 2008

When WAL-MART Comes To Town

Blogroll Me!
I know it will be tempting to shop WAL-MART this Christmas. But, please do not do it. Part of the reason our nation is hurting is because of big businesses that do not give a hoot about people or their communities. Hopefully this will be the last year for WAL-MART as importing cheap and poisonous things from China becomes less fashionable! This is the 1st part of 11 YouTube segments in the series "The High Cost Of Low Prices". After you watch the first part you will be given the option of the other 11 parts.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who is laughing now?

Blogroll Me!
Yesterday you got to watch this guy Arthur Laffer (pun intended) bet Peter Schiff that the economy was just fine. If you didn't see my blog yesterday then this one will not make any sense. "Hindsight is always 20/20"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Looking Back In Time...In Order To See The Future

Blogroll Me!
This clip shows how Peter Schiff stands up to ridicule from his peers, and the media. It is too bad there is not a YouTube of these people watching themselves in their denial a year later. Just ask yourself who you would listen to these days.