Friday, May 20, 2011

The unemployment rate is STILL fairly high

What did I tell you back in 2009? Didn't I say that we could expect a new normal of around 10%? This is because a large part of the economy was being supported by unsustainable levels of debt and now that the debt has dried, we're getting the economy that we so richly deserve.

Expect this to continue as the economy continues to go through a long process of finding equilibrium between wages and costs. Deflation must still occur because wages are not going up.

If you're going to replace a good deal of where you get manufactured goods with a country that has much lower wages, then your standard of living must follow downward towards that of the supplying country--in this case, China.

I may end up teaching English in China next year. I don't know. I'll have to see how things pan out for me here in Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chinese-American Currency?

I'm beginning to wonder if the best thing that could possibly happen at this point would be a single currency between China and the United States.

In today's world, it's not just your business versus my business. It's your supply chain versus my supply chain.

If it's more efficient to have a common currency with China, then the only question left is do we want to experience the pain over a long period of time or do we want to do it now and get it over with?

Ultimately, a currency is not just a stock of ownership in a particular economy. It is also a reflection of the quality of supply chain mechanisms associated with a particular economy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Keeping an Eye on Treasury Yields

Been a long time since I posted.

I'm glad it's still up.

That was too much work to put up and some of my best writing is in this blog.

But anyway, I've concluded that the only way things can get worse is for the treasury yields to rise.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stop Paying On Your Student Loans!!

It is time to make student loans dischargeable again.

There are several arguments that can be made for the ability to discharge student debt in a bankruptcy filing, but I believe that the strongest argument has to do with the economy in general. We are looking at an economy in which “full employment,” the rate of unemployment which most economists would consider to be normal, will go from four or five percent to around ten percent. We are looking at an economy in which credit is harder and harder to get. We are looking at minimum wage planet. How am I supposed to pay off $100,000 in student debt with a job that only pays $9 per hour?

The abundant availability of credit has kept this retail-based economy that we call “America” from feeling like a third-world economy has dried up. All that this huge expansion of credit has done is postpone the inevitable and the inevitable is occurring right before our very eyes. It has served as sort of a pillow between the harsh reality of globalization and what was the American Dream. Almost overnight, the purchasing power of the American consumer has been significantly limited and yet the banks continue to act as if we can easily pay on loans that were made before the collapse with the same inflation-adjusted stagnant wages that we’ve had since 1975.

It is time to stop the madness and live within our means. It is time for the former students who are currently paying on their loans to stop making payments. If I do it all by myself, I’ll continue to be in default, but if we all do it, then that’s a revolution.

Some may say, “Well, if you do that, then your credit will be damaged,” to which I say, “Who needs credit?”

Houses can be rented.

A huge investment in public transportation, including high-speed rail, and the designing of walkable communities can significantly reduce the need for the automobile.

All levels of education, from pre-K to PhD should be publicly-financed. And when the government begins to address Obama’s third policy initiative of education, we should all stand up and demand it.

With housing, transportation and education taken care of, what does the consumer need credit for? Do you REALLY need those shiny trinkets and fashionable clothes down at the mall? Then, do what others who are not able to get the credit you have do…save your money for it!

There is currently around $600 billion in outstanding student loans and right now, they have us enslaved by having us pay for something that should be considered a human right…the right to better oneself. But when we act together, that $600 billion becomes our weapon, not theirs.

Stop paying on your student loans until the government changes the bankruptcy laws…even if it means bringing the whole economy down with us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Reinforcement has arrived!!!


Thanks to this woman, for having the guts to get on YouTube and take the Bank of America on!

We don't have to take this. The banks make this money out of thin air. They don't have what they lend. It's time to get that changed. It's time to live within our means.

Friday, August 28, 2009

They're FINALLY getting it!!!

I think they're finally beginning to see the connection between the employee and the consumer....

WASHINGTON – Household income in the U.S. is essentially stagnant, raising doubts about whether consumers already hurt by job losses can sustain an economic recovery.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Poor Man's Debit Card

Recently, I purchased a debit card from Walgreen's with the hope of not having to open a bank account. I wanted something I could put my money on that would be universally-accepted as a means of exchange.

I was amazed at how much it cost to buy a piece of plastic with embossed numbers--about ten dollars. But then I thought, "Well they gotta pay their employees and carry out the system effectively." So I didn't think too much more of that.

Then they want to hit you with a monthy "maintenance" fee. I guess they figure they need to account for all the work that their computers do when they're flashing numbers between one another? But the most unforgiving of these fees is the fee I have to pay EACH AND EVERY TIME I put money on the card. There's no redeeming economic value that is captured with such a fee besides out and out greed.

What I propose is the creation of a "poor man's card." This card would be a store of value, universally-accepted and free of any unnecessary fees. It would be issued by a nonprofit organization that would work in conjunction with government and retail entities, ensuring compliance with all pertinent laws and contracting fee agreements with the major merchants. Smaller businesses would certainly be welcome to join, but in the initial implementation, a goal of securing such contracts with the major merchants would be advisable in terms of marketing the card and getting the consuming public familar with the card.

The banks would not like this because it would take a lot of their low-income customers away, but low-income people have only a need for a store of value and universality.