Guess who is going to need a bailout right after Spain? The Italian economy is the 8th largest economy on the entire planet and right now it is being absolutely overwhelmed by a tsunami of debt. In an attempt to address this problem, Italy is going down the exact same path that Greece, Portugal and Spain have gone. And so far, we are seeing the exact same results that we have seen in those other countries. Austerity causes economic growth to slow down, and that causes unemployment to soar. When unemployment rises, tax revenues go down and you end up missing your original deficit reduction targets so you have to implement even more austerity measures. It is a vicious cycle that we have seen play out again and again in Greece over the past five years. But unlike Greece, Italy is way too large to be completely bailed out. The truth is that there are only 7 economies on the entire globe that are larger than the Italian economy. Plus, keep in mind that the 12th largest economy in the world, Spain, is also on the verge of formally requesting a bailout. (Read More....)
One economic theory states that we can never have deflation in a long term economy. For prices to deflate would be contrary to the built-in safeguards put forth by the government agencies. The main cause of a deflation would have to be a massive withdrawal of money from the banking system. As long as the money is insured, that is unlikely to happen. I tend to agree with that theory. It is unlikely that prices will go down long term as long as people have confidence in having their money in the banks.
One of the safeguards put into effect in the 30s depended on the negotiation of wages. No one group of wages, but all American Manufacturing was based on Union wages. Inflation and wage increases went hand in hand all through the 50s and to some extent through the 60s. Nonunion people normally could do a “me too” on the backs of Union worker's negotiations. If a Union member negotiated a contract for $10 an hour plus benefits, companies tended to pay the nonunion worker just a little less. But to remain competitive in attracting people, they had to match the wages fairly close.
In that kind of atmosphere it was natural for more and more money to be printed as wages increased at a rate of at least 4.5 percent per year. You can go to almost any book on Finance and Appraisal in the Real Estate Industry for a practical guide (Read More....)
by Tucker Scofield
An acquaintance of mine had an opportunity this week to make as much as $25,000.00…she turned it down.
She is a property owner on the Gulf and she received a phone call from a friend regarding BP. They are settling damage claims with anyone who may have been affected by last summer’s oil spill and the caller, who knew others affected by the spill, was passing along the fact that the money was available and ripe for the picking.
There it was…free money. Was BP really going to audit every claim before paying it out of their $20 billion slush fund? Not in a million years. All she would’ve had to do was exaggerate the facts, maybe tell a little white lie or two and POOF, the Oil Fairy would grant a wish that could make the struggles of the past two years disappear. One small bit of paperwork and it would be dead presidents raining down from Heaven! Get that money, dollar-dollar bill, y’all! But she wouldn’t do it. For her, this was a matter of principle.
I asked why she turned it down. “It’s not right,” she said. She didn’t feel as though she’d been negatively affected by the spill at all, despite having received numerous phone calls from concerned renters regarding conditions on the beach. Her rental income was pretty much unchanged from the previous year and she felt as though filing a claim (Read More....)
How the US Government Manipulates Inflation Data
An eye-opening guest post by Phil of Phil's Stock World
The PCE bothered me yesterday.
The Government told us that the PCE core price index for December was 0% - no inflation at all. I found that to be incredible - as in not credible at all and then Tusked asked me how long the Bernank could keep justifying his rampant money printing with fake government data, to which I responded: "I had many derogatory things to say about that but I was literally so sickened by that BS that I couldn’t bring myself to comment on it so I just left it alone but it’s a very sad joke that our government can tell us that there was no inflation in December while the whole planet is falling apart, isn’t it?"
Fortunately, there was a helpful article in the WSJ by Brett Arends that pointed out that the way the government justifies their low inflation figures is through "substitution and harmonics," a topic expert (Read More....)
The following list was compiled by "Major Carpenter", a great friend of the site. I think that you will really enjoy what he has put together. The truth is that the United States is in a serious state of decline, and in a desperate attempt to keep things together, the United States is rapidly being transformed into a totalitarian Big Brother police state. I don't want to make this introduction too long, so without any further yapping by me, here is the article that Major Carpenter sent over to us the other day.....
I've compiled this list of horrors (in no particular order) from two prior lists, one done by U.S. author Naomi Wolf and another by UK writer Dr. Lawrence Britt, as published in the Guardian newspaper.
Sadly, I count all seventeen as aspects of the Untied Status of Amerika today. AKA the "BRA" (Banana Republik of Amerika).
Again, what do WE the PEOPLE do about it?
How many of these do you see as part of a once great country?
1. Powerful And Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain For The Recognition Of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist (Read More....)
If you want to get on an airplane in America today, you either have to allow TSA security officials to gawk at your exposed body using the new full body scanners that literally show "everything", or you must submit to the new "enhanced pat-downs". These pat-downs are so intrusive that many of those who have experienced them are using the term "sexual assault". The truth is that TSA officials have been instructed to start using the fronts of their hands to feel the outlines of male and female genitalia during these pat-downs. Not only that, but instead of going over the clothing, in many instances it is being reported that TSA officials are actually reaching down the pants and up the skirts of air travelers. Some TSA officials are doing this hundreds of times a day, and they do not put on clean gloves each time they perform an examination.
This is what America has sunk to. Today, in the "land of the free and the home of the brave", Americans are groped like farm animals by tyrannical thugs who get to do pretty much whatever they want with us. Things have gotten so bizarre that now even a columnist for Forbes magazine is calling for the TSA to be abolished.
The following are 7 TSA horror stories that are almost too shocking to believe. But all of them are actually (Read More....)
It turns out that a lot of pro-Obama organizations ended up receiving a lot of "economic stimulus" money. For example, it is being reported that the Obama administration gave General Electric $24.9 million in grants under the stimulus law. Keep in mind that General Electric was the corporate owner of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC during the 2008 election. These various news outlets were absolutely shameless when it came to promoting Barack Obama during the 2008 election. In fact, MSNBC was more radically pro-Obama than even CNN was (and that is saying a lot). Apparently Barack Obama was quite grateful for all the help. 25 million dollars is one heck of a tremendous thank you gift. General Electric was the primary recipient of 14 separate economic stimulus grants. In addition, the recipients of four other economic stimulus grants hired GE as a contractor. So is this the way that the game of politics is played in 2010? Sadly, the truth is that this is how the game of politics has been played for decades in this country.
It isn't as if GE isn't doing well. According to Standard & (Read More....)
Is Donald Trump going to run for president in 2012? Don't laugh. It just might happen. Up until now the truth is that very few people would have conceived that Donald Trump could possibly be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, but now Trump says that he is "absolutely thinking about it".
Yes, you read that correctly.
Regarding a potential run for president, on Tuesday Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the following....
"I can tell you this - for the first time in my life, I am absolutely thinking about it."
In other words, fire up the engines because Trump is ready to rumble.
Of course he is not fully committing himself yet, as he added the following caveat during the same interview....
"I don't know that I'll do it. It's probable that I won't do it. But I can tell you, I'm thinking about it."
Now Trump will probably run a bunch of polls in states with early primaries to see if his candidacy would be viable.
In fact, all of this recent speculation has been brought on by a New Hampshire poll in which voters were asked 30 questions regarding their thoughts on Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in 2012.
Trump (Read More....)