“Many airlines introduced baggage fees in 2008 to cope with soaring fuel costs.
Despite historically low oil prices and record airline profits, the fees have not been revoked.”
Prevalent pricing policies bear no resemblance to market forces anymore. Prices go up simply because they can. In most cases where prices have not gone up, amounts in the package have been trimmed. We are feeling the effect of a significant change in Capitalism as we have known it. Scrap the terminology you learned in economics classes. The only surviving and meaningful word is exploitation.
Council could close half of Devon’s libraries
“We just need to evolve the way we support them and move forward.”
“The library service in Devon has to save another £1.5m due to spending cuts, the briefing paper says, in addition to a £3m cut over the last three years.”
What’s with these “moving forward” and “evolve” euphemisms? There is nothing forward moving or evolutionary about these cuts on top of previous cuts. This is blatantly penalising the poor for the excesses of the rich.
“Plans to award MPs an 11% pay rise have been criticised across Westminster, with one minister describing them as ‘utterly incomprehensible’”.
“All three party leaders disagreed with the move when it was first proposed earlier this year but the watchdog is expected to say it will press ahead with the rise – expected to cost the public purse £4.6m.”
“HSBC to unveil highest profits since start of crisis Thursday 03 April 2014” The banks are back in profit whilst social services are still being cut. Why is this?
“Why aren’t more people in jail? If you rob a bank, you go to jail. If a bank robs you, it gets a bailout.” Jamie Dimon
This is from a man who quit a BIG job and dropped out.
Will China and Japan soon own the US? This not impossible since they hold 48% of the country’s debt burden. I’ve always understood that when you own a company and others own over 1/2 of the debt, then you no longer own the company. Is that not right?
14 November 2012 Last updated at 00:09
US government deficit rises sharply in October
“The US deficit came to $1.1tn dollars in the year to September 2012, or about 7% of economic output
The US government’s budget deficit rose sharply in October, highlighting the financial challenge President Barack Obama faces following his re-election.
The deficit increased 22% from a year earlier to $120bn (£75bn) as government spending outpaced tax revenues.
The deficit is the amount by which government spending exceeds its tax revenues, with the government needing to borrow the difference.”
“Public debt increases or decreases as a result of the annual unified budget deficit or surplus. The federal government budget deficit or surplus is the difference between government receipts and spending, ignoring intra-governmental transfers. However, some spending that is excluded from the deficit (supplemental appropriations) also adds to the debt.”
“According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, if the White House and Congress can reach a budget deal that extends the tax cuts and avoids reductions in spending, the deficit will be about $1 trillion for this budget year.”
Sky: Here’s where I utterly fail to understand what’s going on. The Congressional Budget Office wants to  continue the taxcuts  refuse to cut spending, and this will result in a decreased deficit? They say it will be $1 trillion. But it was already $1.1 trillion in September, 2012 and rose 22% in October with no indication that it will decrease in the near future. Now as far as the trade deficit decreasing in September -*see below- that will cease as people start buying up Christmas presents from goods made overseas.
Also, looking at corporate tax and corporate tax incentives, it is doubtful if the increased tax revenues as a result of a better balance of trade will seriously decrease the budget deficit. Of course, when banks and other corporates pay obscene salaries and incentives, even when their companies are on their knees; this is an expense to the company and will decrease profits thus decrease taxable income.
“Federal debt held by the public will reach 73 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] by the end of this fiscal year—the highest level since 1950 and about twice the share that it measured at the end of 2007, before the financial crisis and recent recession.” http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43539
Sky: It is obvious to me that it is time to pay the piper. But the question is, who will pay? The political party that controls the House says the government cannot increase taxes for the 1% yet the 1% have increased their wealth by somewhere between double and triple since 2008. So who do you think is going to pay? Yep, those with the least political power. If you look at Greece for instance, the cuts mainly affected the lower income brackets. Sure, the wealthy invest in industry that creates jobs etc. But on the other hand, the increase in wealth and corporate pay has not been ignored by the have-nots and perhaps a little more should filter down to them. I don’t believe I am alone with my belief that whilst it was the well to do who broke the law and acted foolishly and greedily, the pay back is ending up on the shoulders of the poor. We need to bring back the credo of the radio program – The FBI in Peace and War – crime doesn’t pay!!
Well, I am nauseated by the whole financial picture and will end this rave.
U.S. debt from 1940 to 2011. Red lines indicate the debt held by the public (net public debt) and black lines indicate the total public debt outstanding (gross public debt), the difference being that the gross debt includes that held by the federal government itself. The second panel shows the two debt figures as a percentage of U.S. GDP (dollar value of U.S. economic production for that year). The top panel is deflated so every year is in 2010 dollars.
8 November 2012 Last updated at 14:50
US trade deficit falls to near two-year low
Exports and imports both rose during September
The US trade deficit has fallen to its lowest level in almost two years, as exports reached an all-time high, official figures have shown.
The deficit in goods and services narrowed to $41.5bn (£26bn) in September, raising hopes of increased strength in the US economy.
Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed: “Nationalism and rage have been on the rise as countries like Greece have been forced to accept humiliating economic deals in order to stay afloat, one of which is to make repaying bankers a higher national priority than serving its own citizens. That’s where austerity inevitably leads: the overruling of democratic process by financial elites. Americans have been remarkably tolerant of the economic hardship imposed on them so far.”
It would be a mistake to think the rage isn’t there. The evidence is there. I see it in the Yahoo pinochle and euchre games I play. Over the last two or three years the balking, delaying, cursing, claims of cheating, unpleasantness is the norm now rather than the exception. Fear of hard times and possible poverty blank out kindness and fair play. There are the abusive shouts and pressure placed on young boys in little league, for instance.
Cooperation is buried in efforts to get what you can while the getting is possible, not good, just possible. Of course it is almost impossible to measure suppressed rage, but look around, think about it when you are observing behaviour and I suspect you will find it lurking under the unkind and inconsiderate behaviour around you. I believe, even when there is compliance and the lack of criticism, that most people know when they are being marginalised and exploited by corporates; banks especially. They feel it in the belly and it gest stored up and often becomes suppressed rage that erupts in some future event. Perhaps it is healthier to bitch, protest peaceably and speak out against injustice.
Viewpoint by Dan Ariely
Professor of behavioural economics, Duke University, USA
“So, we took the American society and we asked people to imagine it divided into five buckets, the wealthiest 20%, the next 20%, the next, the next and the poorest 20%.
First of all, we asked people: how much wealth do you think is concentrated in each of those buckets?
It turns out people get it very wrong.
Even Americans understand that inequality is not a good idea and principle”
The reality is that the bottom two buckets together, the bottom 40% of Americans, own 0.3% of the wealth; 0.3%, almost nothing, whereas the top 20% own about 84% of the wealth.
And people don’t understand it. They don’t understand how much wealth the top have and in particular, they don’t understand how little the bottom has.
But then we described to people Rawls’ definition, the veil of ignorance, and the idea they could end up anywhere. And we said: What society would you like to create? How much wealth? How would you like to distribute the wealth?
And it turns out people created a society that is much more equal than any society on Earth. It was much more equal than Sweden.”
Is this a remnant of serfdom?
4 July 2012
Debt and defiance in
bankrupt Stockton, California
North American Editor
“She says the city will rise again, [Stockton,
CA] but Joanie Anderson is less sure.
Anderson is a former police
dispatcher, and her husband used to be a policeman. They are both retired, but
as they are well under 65, they rely on the city for their health insurance.
It is hugely important to them, but
now their programme has been cut from the city budget.
“Our 18-year-old daughter has
had four open heart surgeries since birth,” she said. “Her last one
was this February.”
“So she has on going health
needs that have to be put to the forefront in our family. If she has an
emergency that involves her heart, it costs tens of thousands of dollars in the
But it would cost them $34,000
(£22,000) to replace their healthcare, if indeed any insurance company would
take them on. They simply cannot afford it and have no idea what to do.”
Private health insurance may appear to be a good idea, especially from those who have secure jobs
and work for a corporation of government agency that honors their benefit promises.
How many American’s have health insurance
policies that will fail them when they either cannot afford the payments or
their employer welches on benefit agreements?
“LONG STORY: A
derivative is a legal bet (contract) that derives its value from another asset,
such as the future or current value of oil, government bonds or anything else.
Ex- A derivative buys you the option (but not obligation) to buy oil in 6
months for today’s price/any agreed price, hoping that oil will cost more in
future. (I’ll bet you it’ll cost more in 6 months). Derivative can also be used
as insurance, betting that a loan will or won’t default before a given date. So
its a big betting system, like a Casino, but instead of betting on cards and
roulette, you bet on future values and performance of practically anything that
holds value. The system is not regulated what-so-ever, and you can buy a
derivative on an existing derivative.
Most large banks try to prevent smaller investors from gaining access to the
derivative market on the basis of there being too much risk. Deriv. market has
blown a galactic bubble, just like the real estate bubble or stock market
bubble (that’s going on right now). Since there is literally no economist in
the world that knows exactly how the derivative money flows or how the system
works, while derivatives are traded in microseconds by computers, we really
don’t know what will trigger the crash, or when it will happen, but considering
the global financial crisis this system is in for tough times, that will be
catastrophic for the world financial system since the 9 largest banks shown below
hold a total of $228.72 trillion in Derivatives – Approximately 3 times the
entire world economy. No government in world has money for this bailout. Lets
take a look at what banks have the biggest Derivative Exposures and what
scandals they’ve been lately involved in. Derivative Data Source: ZeroHedge.”
These infographics are a MUST view. I’m ashamed that I have been sitting in front
of a computer for so many years and wasn’t aware of the scope of the
unprotected extent of these contracts.
The bank also
got a SECRET
$2.041 Trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve during the crisis, beyond
the tax payer bailout.
“ “ got a SECRET
$159 billion bailout from the Federal Reserve.
“ “ got a $814
billion SECRET bailout from the Federal Reserve during the 2008 crisis
“ “ received
$1.344 trillion dollar bailout from
the Federal Reserve.
“ “ received a SECRET
$2.513 trillion dollar bailout from the Federal Reserve.
“ “received a SECRET
$391 billion dollar bailout from the Federal Reserve.
secret bailout money: $5.221
Trillion. This is in addition to the Public Law 110 – 343 – Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act of 2008 money.
“In the current political environment the Fed is the only actor with a role. Even if there
wasn’t a presidential election looming, Congress would still be deadlocked and
neither Democratic nor Republican plans stand a chance of being turned into
reality. The Fed could print more money (or the modern equivalent) but that
would be hugely politically controversial. The bottom line is it’s not doing
much, but it’s the only one doing anything to prop up a faltering recovery.”
Analysis Mark Mardell North America editor, BBC News
It appears that the US Congress would rather fight each
other than look after the welfare of the people.