Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]
01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less Great Again]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]
01.18 Impeach Donald Trump
01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]
01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Bill Maher: If We Don’t Impeach President Donald Trump, Where Is The Bar? [9:49 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 With US 'Drilling Towards Disaster,' Report Warns Anything Less Than Urgent Green New Deal Will Be 'Too Little, Too Late' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Trump plans to relax Obama rules for oil companies put in place after BP disaster [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Trump's war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
01.16 Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on? [Whole country suffers from lack of effective federal policies... Seeing a pattern? P.S.: The answer is not a Wall!]
01.16 Why are more Americans than ever dying from drug overdoses? [graphs]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]
01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
Thinking About Keynes
Any way you view the 2008 indexes, benchmarks, and leading indicators; this nation is looking at a financial and economic Armageddon unseen since the years of the Great “D”. These problems have been building for a generation.I’ve been thinking about John Maynard Keynes. Actually I’ve been thinking about Obama’s Administration, the 2008 legacy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, and employment/unemployment. President elect Barack Obama has already been lobbying 24/7 for turning the US economy around. He is hoping to sign the largest, most comprehensive and costly economic stimulus bill in the history of this nation as soon as he is sworn in as the 44th President on January 20th. I wish him well, but I don’t see that happening – not by a long shot. Clearly time is of the essence as we face the most pervasive economic dislocation since the Great Depression of the 30s, but Congress has reservations.
You see any way you view the 2008 indexes, benchmarks, and leading indicators; this nation is looking at a financial and economic Armageddon unseen since the years of the Great “D”. These problems have been building for a generation. Neither solutions nor fixes will come overnight – certainly not in even the first few years of his administration. Housing alone is a HUGE albatross for him to deal with. Unsold properties are at a twenty year high. Prices have declined from 8% to almost 40% (depending on the community location) in 2008. Projections for 2009 suggest an additional 10% to 20% on top of that! Foreclosures and pre-foreclosures are at an all time record pace (since the Great Depression of the 1930s).
Personal bankruptcies approached a record in 2008. It is expected that 2009 will surpass last year’s highs for both personal and corporate restructurings/ liquidations! 2008 car sales declined for America’s BIG THREE to the match the sorry levels of the last major downturn of some 16 years ago. They will need far more than the presently sought $35 BILLION in emergency infusions to turn their segment of the economy around. Retail is only now coming to grips with the Christmas selling season of 2008 that wasn’t! While comparing gross dollar sales to prior years is depressing enough, these fail to give the true picture of “profits” that were not realized because of the 20% to 70% off sales’ prices. February and March will bring downsizings and bankruptcies for scores of retailers.
We have already seen that none of the traditional (albeit record in costs) fixes tried in 2008 have worked. The monetary policy (interest rate cuts and a surge in money supply) and fiscal policy (tax incentives and cash back to taxpayers) failed to neither stem nor turn the tsunami. Obama is upping the ante on these by adding TRILLIONS more of the same. He is also resurrecting the Keynesian underpinnings of FDR’s New Deal – when the public cannot be induced to spend, to construct, or to hire; the Federal Government must step up to the plate. Bill Clinton announced that “the era of BIG Government was over”: well under Obama...BIG Government is back – and this time with a vengeance!
2008 saw 2.4 MILLION jobs lost and the year ended with an “official” unemployment rate of 6.7%. When you consider those whose unemployment benefits have lapsed and add those who have given up their search, the percentage is probably double that. 2009 projections suggest another 3 MILLION American jobs will cease and desist. Candidate Obama talked of creating 1 MILLION then 2 MILLION jobs. President Elect Obama has already raised the number to 3 MILLION with rumblings of 4 MILLION coming shortly. 20% of these are envisioned for the government sector. 800,000 new government employees is not something that actively inspires me at this point. Add this to the already consummated (or pending) government buy-ins for the bailouts in retail banking, commercial banking, investment banking, insurance (AIG), and the BIG three automakers and these “fix it’s” are looking (and smelling) a lot like backdoor socialization/ nationalization to me.
Keynes revolutionized economics in his “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” (1936). His writings, lectures, and theories are postured to become THE cookbook for the coming Obama approach. In the 30’s the UK Pound was the world’s reserve currency, now it is the US dollar. But... will $11 TRILLION in National Debt plus TRILLION dollar deficits into the future cook the dollar’s goose?
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at email@example.com. –
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This story was published on january 5, 2009.