Archive for June 2009
Oil price manipulation is responsible. With a large dose of government thrown in.
I try to explain to people that a 5 cent Hershey bar in 1970 has increased in price to $ 1 or so. Did our wages buying power go up?
$75 dollars a week in 1970 buys abject poverty today. People lived on it then.
But oil rules. we needed oil and the Arabs needed weapons. They sell oil, we sell weapons. Raise the price of weapons, raise the price of oil.
Everything revolves around the “black gold”.
For simplistic purposes (for which I deserved to be shot) assume that the cost of government has remained about the same (as has a pack of smokes)(try to keep a straight face). Back in 1964 a pack of cigarettes cost 25¢ and minimum wage was $2.00. If you do the math, one could buy 8 packs of cigarettes for one hours labor. Let’s progress forward to now. Cigarettes are $5.50 a pack. Extend out the 8 packs per hour and we arrive at $44 dollars for an inflation adjusted minimum wage. This calculated wage is more than most people today are making per hour, so it seems pretty absurd.
What we are looking at, is forced inflation by government legislation. Our wages are not increasing, and at the same time, more of what we ha
No one can take this power structure apart. It has to rot and fall under it’s own weight.
What’s interesting is that anyone really gives a shit. What with Jacko dying and all.
Of course he was important in the scheme of things.
Obama Sells Big Pharma-Corporate State Ripoff
Posted by Karen De Coster on June 23, 2009 07:52 AM | Post a civil, substantive, and intelligent comment
Is there something wrong with this headline on Bloomberg News today? “Obama Gets Drug-Industry Booster With Pledge That Keeps Elderly Medicated.” Here are a few snippets:
The pharmaceutical industry pledge includes $30 billion “that could be used” to provide discounts for medicines, said Reid H. Cherlin, a White House spokesman. That will help narrow a gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the doughnut hole. The allowances will encourage patients to remain on expensive brand- name medicines even when cheaper generic copies are available, Tim Anderson, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, said in a note to clients yesterday.
“Filling the doughnut hole should help seniors stay on their branded therapies and lessen the tendency for seniors to switch from brands to generics once they hit the donut hole,” Anderson said. “This is critical because once patients convert to generics, they seldom revert back to the brand and are essentially lost to cheaper generics forever.”
This entire deal is nothing more than corporate state-special interest politicking on the part of Big Pharma, Big Government, and enriched special interests, with all players openly admitting their very specific goals. As the article clearly states, Big Pharma is willing to cut slightly into its profit margins in exchange for turning people – especially the elderly – into lifetime customers. Perpetual drug zombies buying their patent-protected, overpriced drugs. Another part of the deal is that government has promised it will “inoculate” Big Pharma from proposed regulations that would cost it some more dough.
If the state can’t borrow, you have to balance your budget! Raising taxes on broke dicks doesn’t work.
Just get Oba mama to do it. We will pay. One way or the other!
Duh!!!! Heh heh.
California’s credit rating, already the lowest among the 50 states, may be hacked again, Standard & Poor’s warned today.
As the debate over budget cuts drags on in Sacramento, S&P put its “A” grade on the state’s $59 billion in general obligation bonds on “negative credit watch,” meaning the rating is at risk of a downgrade.
Using language that could further spook bond investors, S&P said, “Although we continue to believe the state retains a fundamental capacity to meet its debt service, insufficient or untimely adoption of budget reforms serve to increase the risk of missed payments in our view.”
The Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are facing a $24-billion budget shortfall, and Controller John Chiang has warned that the state could run short of cash beginning July 28, just one month into fiscal 2010.
Noting that time is running out, S&P warned:
Both the timing and magnitude of the state’s impending liquidity shortfall raise significant credit concerns, in our view, particularly if the state were to begin fiscal 2010 without having meaningful budget revisions in place. We believe that without budget revisions, the state may need to defer (or issue registered warrants in lieu of making) cash payments for certain lower-priority obligations (such as vendors, student aid, and tax refunds) in order to preserve cash for required payments for education and debt service.
Were the state to do this, or if it were to adopt a budget package that relied on assumptions that we regard as too optimistic or that relied on mechanisms for bridging the projected shortfall through at least fiscal 2010 that we regard as unreliable, we may consider lower ratings.
Any downgrade could spur investors to force the state to pay even higher interest rates when it borrows. Market yields on California’s general obligation bonds already have surged in recent weeks as the prices of the bonds have fallen, reflecting investor jitters.
Raise taxes or gas prices and they collapse like a house of cards. These are the people who stand in line to get their checks so they can buy milk.
Or beer. Think they’ll use government health care by the millions?
Spend and borrow, spend and borrow. Didn’t work for them, won’t work for Oba mama’s plans either.
1: Energy. While it is conventional wisdom that our economic woes stem from the bursting bubble in the housing market, few consider the needle that did the bursting.
When gas more than doubled in what was just a period of months, household budgets got devastated as trips to the grocery store and the pump took more and more of the limited dollars of the sub prime borrowers’ budgets. This led to the next domino:
2: Housing Crisis: People needed to eat and get to work more than they needed to pay a mortgage they had not invested a down payment in, so they quit paying those mortgages in huge numbers.
So the gas domino nudged the sub prime mortgage domino — which then toppled dominos in both the mortgage market in general and in housing prices. More and more mortgages were in trouble making more and more houses available making those houses worth less which in turn motivated more and more people to default on these mortgages.
It makes sense. If you have a 250 thousand dollar mortgage with no down payment, and that house is suddenly only worth 175 thousand dollars, why in the world would you worry about paying the mortgage since your gas and groceries are suddenly taking all your money to begin with? Well, many did not and still are not bothering to pay those mortgages. This led to another domino that very few saw coming:
Our prisons, “PUBLIC SCHOOLS.”
I just wanted to take a moment to praise your recent article, Pep Rallies and Public School. I am finishing up my 5th year of homeschooling my two children, and books like Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto’s searing commentary on being a teacher, were instrumental in our family’s decision to take our daughter out of school 6 years ago. My son has never had the humiliation of being locked up for even a day, a fact for which I am extremely grateful. My husband and I, unfortunately, received the “whole package,” that is, public education, and were sufficiently brainwashed to participate in such banal, nonsensical things as pep rallies, needing a note to pee, taking timed IQ tests, acting like caged animals on the last day of school, teasing our younger/or dumber classmates, etc. The list of degradations, ours and that of our peers, is a long one. Of course hindsight is 20-20, and it seems normal when you’re in it. Sad, no?
Anyway, kudos again for bringing up this taboo subject. The path to personal liberty is certainly a road less traveled, and I believe it will remain so unless compulsory public schooling is banished. However, the group-think, Prussian model is so entrenched in our culture, that merely mentioning the idea of dismantling public education will get you horrified looks of astonishment, if not ostracism from your social circle. Even in a community of faith this is true. When our family began this journey, we thought our church family would be some of our biggest supporters. What we found was, very few supported us. In fact, in our small town, a large portion of our church is employed by, or involved in some capacity, with the school. The grip on the community is almost total. No one could fathom the idea of their town without a school to “rally-round.”Add to that the fact of it being a fairly predictable “gravy-train,” and you have an institution that will be close to impossible to abolish. But a girl can dream, can’t she? Essays like yours will at least inspire some to think about the subject.
Sooner we raise taxes on them the sooner the Empire dies. That’s where the money comes from to run this mess.
That’s how we get rid of America. Run the guys out of business so we all work for the GOVERNMENT. Be in socialist paradise then.
Where else is wealth created? I guess we could steal it from small oil producing countries, right?
LOL comes across as almost hateful towards the rich, the vast majority of which worked their butts off and made great sacrifices to get where they are. I get the feeling that LOL thinks that most rich people woke up rich.
Personally, I think the middle class’ struggle has much more to do with their inability to prioritize. I would suggest that LOL read The Millionaire Next Door* by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. In that book he will find that most millionaires drive old cars. Take a look around at what most “middle class” people drive and you will probably see that they are driving cars and SUVs that they really can’t afford. Imagine how much money could be saved if we didn’t have to drive $50,000 SUVs.
For example, I was dropping my daughter off at daycare one day and this young woman pulled up in a BMW 740. For those of you not familiar with cars, the BMW 740 is around $80,000 brand new (I could have purchased THREE of my cars for the price of her BMW). No, I do not know this woman’s situation—she could be wealthy and can afford a BMW 740 without harming her finances. But, going on the averages, I would have to say that by driving that car she is forsaking some other important area of her finances.
I think the middle class suffers from the “I deserve it” syndrome.
Take a look at the houses being built these days. They are freaking huge (and freaking expensive)! I grew up in a 900 square foot house (plus a basement) and we were a family of five! We had one bathroom. Yes, times have changed but these bigger homes cost more money and they cost more to maintain. All of this means that they are requiring resources that could be allocated elsewhere (like savings, retirement planning, college funding,…).
Probably not. Pretty interesting that the nut jobs in government figure that unemployed broke dicks can make house payments. Or that people will make payments on houses that lose money in the process. All you have to do is buy a house across the street at much less than you owe.
If you have any sense you’ll simply quit making payments and move. After all these moratoriums on foreclosure, that is. Should be able to milk it for a year or so. Save the payments and buy a nice mobile for cash.
Just think, no house payment , little taxes, only a small lot rent, tax credit refund in California , of course.
Did I mention their getting more stupid in California?
On June 15th California implemented another foreclosure moratorium. The California Foreclosure Prevention Act (CFPA) was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger which adds another 90 days to the foreclosure process. If you recall, a similar law was put into place in 2008 and turned out to be an utter failure. So what do we do? We virtually create another replica plan for a second go around. The plan will fail on so many levels and we will discuss the reasons why in this article. California has taken a major beating since it was part of the housing bubble mania and is now at the forefront of the bubble bursting.
The problem with dealing with the current foreclosure issue in California is how the issue is being framed. Take this perspective for example:
“(SF Chronicle) The goal is to compel banks to do systematic loan modifications across California to reduce our foreclosure rate, which is the highest in the nation,” said Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who wrote the bill. “Until we slow that down, the California economy cannot recover.”