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The National Hissie Fit

Posted Monday, November 12, 2012, at 7:18 PM

National Republicans are still trying to figure out how they could possibly have lost to President Obama. They believed the polling they followed was the correct polling (though two of them Rasmussen and Gallup were among the worst pollsters of this cycle), the fully believed what their talking heads on television and radio were telling them, that it would be a Romney romp.

The end result? They lost. Not only did they lose but they were embarrassed at the Presidential level, and they were completely unaware that it was going to happen. They were so unprepared for the possibility of a loss that when Obama won Ohio, Karl Rove had a meltdown on national television and they treated their audience to one of their co-anchors for the night walking the halls of Fox News to find out if their numbers crunchers stood behind their call in Ohio. They did.

So what has been their response to the resounding loss? For the most part they have hidden away in their alternate reality; a place where they have actually won the election and believe that even though Obama has won the election they are the ones that should dictate to Obama what he should do for the next four years (it mostly worked for the last four years so who can blame them for trying it again).

Then there is this little nugget of the ultimate hissie fit: A website that allows people to file petitions of grievances with the government has now seen twenty states file petitions of secession from the United States. At the surface it is silly as a person filing the petition does not even have to live in the state. New York had a petition filed by a man in North Dakota. Some other reasons not to take it so seriously include a state named S.C. filing for secession (yes I understand that S.C. stands for South Carolina, but S.C. is not the official name of the state and anyone that has ever tried to file petitions that any shortcut will see that petition thrown out), Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon, Florida have all filed for secession despite the fact that every one of these states voted for Obama in the election.

Granted this essentially happens every four years. People get a little annoyed that their candidate did not win election so they want to secede. I say go for it, if you are that sore of a loser that your candidate did not win the election that you want to quit the country (as it were) do it.

I only wish that Republicans could be as gracious in defeat as their candidate, but then again they live in an alternate reality where up is down, right is left, and Romney actually won the White House and Republicans control both houses of Congress.

Things to keep in mind. In 2004, Bush declared that he had won a mandate while on his way to winning 286 electoral votes, 62.04 million of the popular vote which was 50.7% of the votes cast. So far in this election (one in which several national Republicans are claiming that Obama has nowhere near the numbers needed to have a mandate) Obama has won 332 electoral votes, 62.2 million of the popular vote which is 50.7 of the votes cast. There are still hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted so those totals could change.

Real decisions have to be made about the future of our country yet we have a segment of our population that is throwing one of biggest fits in recent memory. It hasn't been this bad since the last election when dire predictions about the end of America, socialismcommunismnazismmarxismtotallitarianism and any other -ism they could think of. These same people have whined for four years about how terrible Obama is. They had their chance to put someone else in the White House but the majority of voters decided they like Obama just fine.

So they can either act like adults and go to work and help the country fully get back on the right track or they can continue acting like the spoiled infants they have shown us to be for the last four years. The decision is completely theirs.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitio...

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/seci...


Comments
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The racism of yesteryear has come full circle in our county. The entire world embraced our choice of a black President four years ago and most nations of the world still support him. The fringe elements of Republican sect have crept through into the mainstream once again with conservative mouthpieces planting the seeds of hate. The only doubt lies here at home rooting from bigotry. Watch the white hands paint Obama in Blackface at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/...

-- Posted by dregstudios on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 8:05 PM

Michael,

I have a serious question.

When did you get so full of hate for Republicans?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:30 PM

So where's the serious question SW?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 5:16 PM

Way too busy gloating Steffanie. Think about it, Obama should have easily lost this election going with the logic of you and your extreme right. He was destroying this country right in front of his eyes. You people were so confident that Romney was going to sweep Obama out of office you started calling any poll showing the opposite liberally skewed.

We get to election day and not only does Obama win but he wins huge, so no I am no where close to being done gloating.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 5:21 PM

50.7% of the vote is a "huge" win? I'd call that an alternative reality.

I said to friends in July that Obama would win. Why? Well, we had a 70% increase in people receiving food stamps since he was elected the first time. Those are his voters. Not hard to figure that he would win, portraying Romney as the guy who loved the rich and hated the poor.

Romney actually gives his money to the poor, in large amounts. Obama mostly gives YOUR money to the poor. Big difference.

I, for one, am delighted Obama won. No matter who won we are in for really tough economic times by 2016, and Obama will get the blame for it. Or will he still succeed in blaming George Bush?

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 9:34 PM

Actually John, if you lived in this reality you would know that Romney carried over 1 in 3 of the voters eligible for welfare. You would also know that the welfare voting bloc is relatively small because most folks on welfare do not vote. That is why your arguments about Dems wanting to keep people on welfare to gain votes are so ridiculously stupid.

All parties pander to their base, your argument would be stronger if you were suggesting the Dems pander to women, Latinos, and the young. These folks won Obama the election. They will elect another Dem in 2016 unless the Reps get on board with the demographic changes facing the nation.

It appears that for America anyway, the reign of the white Christian man is coming to an end.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:13 PM

The Republicans dug their own grave by siding with the loony right. They effectively disenfranchised the moderate portion of their party to cater to the 2% tin foil hat faction. Bad move on their part in my opinion. Jeebus only knows if they will wise up next election cycle.

A considerable amount of Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative (yes it's possible to be both). The Republican party has a chance to grab that bloc of voters but I think all they are capable of is creating a void big enough to introduce a third party. That of which will be a welcome change to folks like me.

-- Posted by CoolStoryBro on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:56 PM

"Always remember boys and girls, this is from the guy who thinks unemployment checks are good for the economy!"

Oh...you are referring to proven mathematical arguments. Never mind, Steffanie, you wouldn't understand something like facts. Proceed with your blathering, it is persuasive, I am sure.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:52 PM

Ben,

Who is Steffanie?

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:58 AM

"Way too busy gloating Steffanie."

Ask Michael, I assume he knows GMa.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 7:22 AM

GMa,

Keep in mind that being employed doesn't mean one cannot get welfare. In fact, in 2010 10.5 million (7.2% of the labor force) were classified as "working poor". Many families qualify for government assistance for child care, disability, college tuition, SNAP, etc. So even if we have 0% unemployment, welfare would still be necessary

And yes, these programs can often be very good for the economy, both locally and nationally. For example, in Lincoln, every dollar that goes into the WICS program saves three dollars in infant and child health care costs--costs that are transferred to the Lincoln taxpayer because health insurance is not affordable (until 2014 anyway). The reason we save so much is because single mothers who may be working, but cannot afford (or do not know how) to provide their children with healthy diets have under/malnourished children. Under/malnourished children have more health care issues than well-nourished children. It is cheaper (thus, economically advantageous) for the taxpayer to pay for food for these children, rather than health care.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 9:19 AM

Benevolus alias has been cracked.

I will pm real Benevolus to confirm.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 9:33 AM

Huh?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 9:42 AM

If 1 in 3 of the poor voted for Romney then 2 in 3 voted for Obama.

How is this not in Obama's favor? How does it lessen his election chances?

New math of the liberal media? Check out one of them protesting at a Romney rally in Cleveland.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play...

She reminds me of an alternative reality.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 4:45 PM

Benevolus, what is obvious is this: we have reached the tipping point in the United States where the people receiving benefits from the government outnumber those paying for the benefits.

These beneficiaries vote, and they have won the last 2 presidential elections with their votes.

They get food stamps, unemployment benefits, cash assistance, free housing, free school lunches, free medical care, free cell phones, free college grants, disability paymnents, etc. They aren't going to vote for ANYONE who wants to cut any of their bennies.

They may be poor but they aren't that stupid.

Having crested the top of the economic hill, we are now headed for third world status. It will take a while but we will get there.

Now there's an alternative reality you will not enjoy!

It's the natural course of all democracies. They all end up as dictatorships when the bills for socialist promises become unpayable, and their economies collapse under the weight of government expenditures.

Enjoy the bobsled ride. You're young enough to see it firsthand in your lifetime.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:04 PM

John,

Those making under $24,000 certainly tended to favor Obama this election, and I don't think I claimed that they lessened his chances. You claimed that welfare recipients are "[Obama's] voters". I suppose now you are accepting the more factual argument that only 58% of those making $24,000 or less supported Obama.

Here is some more reality, 4 of 10 households making $24-36,000 (i.e., still welfare eligible) supported Romney.

Also, consider places like Floyd county in Eastern Kentucky. Here you have 40% of the income in the ENTIRE COUNTY coming from State and Federal welfare. Nearly 20% of the residents in Floyd live below the poverty line, the median income is 39% lower in Floyd than it is in the rest of Kentucky, and yet the voters there favored Romney by 33.9 points. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

Many, many rural places get tons of government assistance (even ignoring farm subsidies this is true), and most people in these places take government money AND vote Republican.

Also John, there are plenty of videos out there of Republicans making complete fools of themselves, so your video fails to impress.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:34 PM

"They may be poor but they aren't that stupid."

You have no idea what you are talking about. The folks in places like Floyd County certainly vote Republican, and by your logic, would be "stupid" for doing so I suppose.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:36 PM

Oh cry me a damn river John. Your pessimism, and the pessimism of your entire party is one of the primary reasons Romney lost. Why would someone vote for someone who constantly talked trashed about half the population.

Since you brought up the silly little notion that the only people that voted for Obama were those on food stamps, let's take a look at the state that the majority of new Food Stamp recipients came from:

Alabama:

Governor, Republican

Lieutenant Governor, Republican

Attorney General, Republican

Secretary of State, Republican

Alabama House of Representatives,controlled overwhelmingly by Republicans

Alabama Senate, controlled again overwhelmingly by Republicans

Alabama Representation in US Senate, Both Republicans

Alabama Representation in US House or Representative, 6 Republicans out of seven seats

Alabama vote for President, Romney 61%, Obama 38%

Why do I point this out? It's simple the majority of people that are on food stamps in this country live in very conservative areas.

John it is you that lives in an alternate reality and frankly it is a scary one. You distrust anyone that is not exactly like you, you believe anything anyone tells you if it helps feed that distrust and you have continuous apocalyptic visions of the future unless everyone votes the way you want them to vote.

Here's what I know about you John. You don't know a single person on food stamps. You will, naturally, lie and claim that you do but from your simple yet completely misguided examples above you clearly do not know anyone that is on food stamps. You have been told what you believe about these people and you accept it as fact without even questioning it.

So why don't sit on the sidelines for the next four years and gripe about how things aren't going your way, you know the same way you did for the past four years. The adults in this reality have work to do.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:43 PM

majo is steffanie. I recognize his/her writing anywhere. It's nice to see that your newest incantation has managed to stay around as long this time.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 5:44 PM

"Too bad, I wish I had been around at that time to enjoy seeing the aberration you call "steffanie" get your goat!

My loss, I guess!"

You must have a pretty poor memory...this was posted by you...i turns out that you about the only person that would respond to steffanie...I think that says a lot about the kind of person you are.

Stefffanie;

Your link worked for me. The problem is, this story is related to data from 2009, before Obamunism added another paltry 3 trillion to our debt. No problem though, when we need more, we will just print it and forget it.

-- Posted by grandmajo on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:54 AM

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 9:01 AM

GMa,

"Bennie, your arrogance continues to reach new and higher levels!"

Your silliness continues to grow likewise. I never said you don't know anyone on welfare. I am overjoyed to see that we agree that the working poor may still need a bit of help.

I assume that we agree that those receiving assistance should be actively looking for work. Luckily, that is the major requirement of the TANF system signed into law by ole' Billy C.

People (or families with a person) who have legitimate disabilities rendering them incapable of work ought to have support from our government as well.

The good news is, they do.

More good news...the cases of welfare fraud are very few and far between...less than 3% by most estimates. If anything, it is banks (think: TARP), vendors (93% of them in some cases), doctors, dentists, pharmacies, nursing homes, and the like who are rampantly defrauding the public of their tax dollars.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 9:38 AM

Michael,

It must be really wonderful "KNOWING" what everyone else thinks or knows. Funny I'm pretty sure you've ranted about people who disagree with you "knowing" things but here you are proclaiming proudly all that you "KNOW" about what Republicans and others think.

Hyprocrisy bug bite you a little hard last week or what?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 12:13 PM

I never said ONLY food stamp recipients voted for Obama. I never said ALL of them voted for him.

I said above that 2 out of 3 did.

Is reading at an 8th grade level of comprehension beyond your skills?

And I am not pessimistic. I am realistic. Every democracy ends up in economic suicide. Name one that died another way, Michael, since thou art the self-proclaimed history expert.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 2:30 PM

John,

"I said above that 2 out of 3 did."

34% of those making under $24,000 voted Romney, 58% Obama. What is 2/3? Is 8th grade math beyond your comprehension skills?

More tough math problems for ya, John.

What is 5/10? Is it equal to 2/3? Because guess what, of those households making between $24,000 and $36,000, only 53% supported Obama. Does 53% equal 66%? (Hint: no).

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 2:50 PM

Ah, Benevolus, it was YOU who said more than 1 in 3 voted for Romney. I apparently made the mistake of accepting you at your word. You argue with yourself here.

I believe you are a liberal arts major. I had a lot more math in college than you ever did. I was merely using your own argument against what you later said.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:29 PM

I await your examples of democracies that did not end in the economic suicide of exceeding the natural limits on spending.

If you have some, I would be more hopeful.

http://therevolutionagain.blogspot.com/2...

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:34 PM

John,

You must have forgotten your basic math. Was college a long time ago? Here, try this...do a Google search for the Khan Academy, you can then do another search for division, fractions, and percentages for some free refresher courses.

Here is why you are bad at math (or at least logic): indeed, 34% of those folks making 24k or less voted for Romney, which is roughly 1 in 3. But you wrongly assume that this means that the remainder necessarily voted for Obama. There were other options John-boy, in particular, Gary Johnson. Many folks wrote-in their nominations.

The bottom line is 58% of those same voters supported Obama, and 1 in 3 supported Romney. I do like how you conveniently ignored the second part of the post regarding the 53% of welfare qualifiers who supported Obama, which is nowhere near 66%.

And FYI, at when I was a grad student at FSU's Center for Demography and Population Health, we did our fair share of number crunching. I am not sure how much Liberal Arts curriculum was involved, but it wasn't much as I recall.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:46 PM

"I await your examples of democracies that did not end in the economic suicide of exceeding the natural limits on spending."

John, your question doesn't make sense. What is a "natural spending limit"?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:53 PM

Michael, I sincerely hope you ever gain the knowledge you pretend to have, and that you achieve some joy in your life. Your candidate won. Take some satisfaction and joy from it.

I said I was not surprised at the outcome of the election. I am not dismayed by the outcome. I have only stated where I believe it will lead.

I do know some people on food stamps and have known them for decades. I have friends who are millionaires and friends I have helped who are lots less fortunate. I have helped a lot of people over the years in many ways.

I don't blame those who receive benefits from the government. It's offered, they qualify. They would be nuts in your view not to take it.

It's the offering of it that is wrong because it traps them into a lifetime on the dole. I know a social worker very well who told me that in 10+ years working at the welfare office she had only seen ONE person leave the welfare rolls. ONE out of many hundreds if not thousands.

I know we disagree about this. I have a real understanding of economics, rewards and motivation. If you give people stuff for doing nothing, they will never do anything. But that is so hard for you socialists to understand.

Something I think you will believe is this. I have never received any welfare in my life, even though I qualified for it for several years as part of the working poor.

If I had taken it, I would probably still be poor. Other people's money is addictive.

My reality is "scary" to you because the truth frightens you. What will happen to all these people when the money runs out? Will they come live with you? Will they riot and steal your stuff? Will you be afraid after dark? Will you need a gun to defend yourself?

Check the rioting in Greece. We are the same as they are in ratio of debt to GDP, deficit spending %, and % of the population receiving benefits.

Please tell me how we are different, and how our outcome should be better. While you are at it, check out the economy and riots in Argentina, Egypt, Portugal, Spain, Iran, and Libya.

Economic decline never plays out in a pretty fashion. In every one of those countries the government spent more than they had in revenues.

If you spend more than you make, how long before your creditors refuse to lend to you? The US is there now. They are resorting to the printing press to pay for the deficits now. So it can't be long.

A trillion here and a trillion there; pretty soon you're talking real money!

I also have work to do so I cannot blog any more for a while.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:12 PM

John, your question doesn't make sense. What is a "natural spending limit"?

It's the amount of revenue you have. Exceed that and you are going broke. It happens to individuals, companies and nations. Every day, every month, every year. Without fail.

With natural consequences.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:18 PM

"I know a social worker very well who told me that in 10+ years working at the welfare office she had only seen ONE person leave the welfare rolls. ONE out of many hundreds if not thousands."

Your friend must work in La-La Land, John. There is a 60 month lifetime limit imposed by TANF. If recipients receive further assistance it must be made up from state budgets, not the feds.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:23 PM

"It happens to individuals, companies and nations."

First of all, there is nothing "natural" about revenue. It is arbitrary and dependent on public policy and is subject to political tampering. Second, the US, even in its glory days ran huge budget deficits, so your argument is pretty weak there. The Us stands as an example of a country that has more often than not run a deficit, and is still a strong and vibrant nation.

Also, how a country should run its budget is fundamentally different than how a company or individuals should. Again, this is a really weak argument. A company or individual cannot print money or control interest rates.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:29 PM

"Natural revenue" is your term not mine, and I have no idea what that term means. I was talking about natural limits to spending.

So a country should run its budget differently than a company or individuals? How is that working out aroung the world? You can see it playing out in the countries I mentioned. Yet, I am dubbed a "pessimist". I am just seeing real world economics at work. You are a victim of wishful thinking.

It always ends the same way. Study a little economic history. I give us about 4 more years before we are Greece.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/vid...

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/vid...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

I am not in La-La Land. This stuff is real.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 6:35 PM

John, you are not a pessimist, you just have no idea what you are talking about. You are right about one thing though, you were talking about "Natural limits on spending" which are of course completely arbitrary, based on policy, subject to political tampering, and not at all "natural".

John, let me ask you a question. If we are going to return to an era of fiscal responsibility, to what era would we return?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 6:57 PM

"John, let me ask you a question. If we are going to return to an era of fiscal responsibility, to what era would we return?"

There have been few such eras, and none in your lifetime. Going broke has been such a gradual process over a long period of time. The spending just keeps increasing with a corresponding increase in debt; until it can't.

There is no precise point that is reached. It's just a gradual decline in standard of living. Real wages in constant dollars have been declining in this country for several decades. People tried to maintain their standard of living by taking on debt. That's what happened with the recent era of the home equity loans. We had a bubble in housing due to crazy government push for everyone to own a home.

It's a debt crisis and it's happening all across Europe and all across the U.S.

Have you ever seen someone go broke without any debt? Doesn't happen does it?

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 9:27 PM

John,

Here is the reality, in 69 years the US has managed 12 budget surpluses, yet, in the last 69 years this country has also become the strongest nation on earth. So explain to me, if deficits are so bad, why it is that running deficits hasn't stopped our economy from becoming the envy of the world...perhaps Keynes was right?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 1:25 AM

Keynesian economic theories were accepted by the policitians of the this country only because they coincided so nicely with what they desired to do anyway--spend more than they had. You know, as in free lunch. Not because they had any merit.

Rome did this stuff and hung on for several hundred years. It takes a while. But we are so much better at it than the Romans were. We have debased our currency as much in one century as it took them 300 years to do.

Governments always like to spend newly created money. They get to spend it first while it's still worth something. By the time the devaluation works it way through the economy, they are ready to do it again.

On Ebay a circulated 1964 half dollar (with no collector value--just 90% silver content) sells for $13 now or 26 times its face value. That tells me our currency has lost 25/26 of its value in just under 50 years. Since you are good at math, you can compute the % decline.

That half dollar bought you a burger, fries and a shake at McDonalds back in 1964. You can still buy the same meal for $13 now in the paper money that has no silver or intrinsic value. Or you could use your old half dollar if you had one.

The deficits that created all the debt and inflation matter because the savers of the nation have been getting screwed by inflation. Without savers, there's no money for investment in the economy. The debtors make out ok, as long as what they buy increases in value enough to offset the currency loss.

That worked ok for homeowners for a while, before the bubble burst. People used their homes as piggy banks through home equity loans in order to sustain their lifestyles while their real wages went down.

The title of world economic leader changes but not more often than once in a century. China will be the next world economic power. Rome lost out to Venice which lost out to Amsterdan which then lost out to Great Britian which lost the title to us after World War One broke them. We will lose out to China soon.

I love economic history. It never repeats exacly, but it does rhyme.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 12:02 PM

John,

Keynes suggested a mixed economy, wherein the government should have a role in the market mostly during a recession. He argued that decisions made in the private sector (think: sub-prime mortgages) can lead to large-scale economic outcomes that can be potentially harmful to the free-market (it turns, out Keynes was right on this point). At these critical moments, active policy responses from the government are required to stabilize output over the business cycle (again, from 2008 we see Keynes was again correct). You talk about economic history, but clearly you know little about the topic. If you did, you would know that in principle we have seen Keynes's theories work time and again, in this country and many others.

Also, regarding your silver standard complaints, you seem to be desirous of a return to a bimetallic standard like we had with gold and silver. How very Austrian of you! But I must side with mainstream economists here: this is a monumentally bad idea. The only possible benefit to your antiquated idea is that long-term inflation is likely to remain relatively low. However, metallic standards leave a nation highly susceptible to economic instability. It puts crippling busts into play with a frequency never seen with fiat monetary systems. This is why the arch-Republican Nixon finally cut the tie between the dollar and gold during the oil crisis in the 70's. Gold is procyclical not countercyclical.

More importantly, we need to be able to counteract the volatile impacts of inflation and deflation that organically occur in the free-market. The gold standard give us no way to do this.

Finally, the US population has increased from 7.2 million in 1810 to 308.7 million in 2010. This is an increase of over 4000%. When metallic standards were stable the population was small and money with intrinsic value made sense. However, there simply aren't enough precious metals in reserve to offset the circulatory demands of hundreds of millions of people.

New flash: the population isn't getting any smaller.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 1:20 PM

???

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 1:59 PM

Benevolus, I guess doing the math was too much work. 25/26 = 96% of the value of our $US lost in the past 50 years. Since you weren't here most of that time, you didn't notice, but I have.

I do NOT advocate a return to a gold standard or a silver standard. My point was the loss in value of the dollar. It needs to be stable so people will hold it as a store of value, which they have not been able to do.

Keynes suggested government stimulus using deficit spending, but only during recessions. Evidently, we are in perpetual recession because we have $ trillion deficits every year. The part about having surpluses in the good times was completely ignored by everyone in government.

Politicians have no discipline. It's spend more, every year, always. Dems, Reps, it doesn't matter who's in office.

You must realize that the government has hit the "natural spending limit". They cannot borrow anymore, because hardly anyone will buy US Treasuries anymore. 70% were bought by the Federal Reserve last year, which is like the left hand loaning money to the right hand. It's just printing money, but it's worse than that--since the money is created and then loaned back the the Treasury, we have to pay interest on printed money!

You say I know little about economic history. Let's check my prediction of a debt/currency crisis here by 2016, in about 3 years. October, 2015.

That will be the test. I am not asking you to make predictions since you seem unable to even see the present clearly.

The things happening in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Argentina are headed this way. We are bigger and it will take a bit longer for us. Japan will be ahead of us. It's the debts and a sovereign debt crisis! It's ignored by the US press for the most part, and misreported when it's not ignored. Don't let the fools in Washington and in the MSM do your thinking for you. The few of them who understand it, will not tell you the truth because they need the game to go on until the next election, you know, "kick the can". They have a vested interest in the status quo.

The White House web site today launched a petition asking themselves to "nationalize" Twinkies to save the "soft, creamy center of the nation". Now you can say it's just hosted there, but the administration could take it down in a heartbeat, if they disagreed with it. but they need to save the jobs of their union buddies, just like they did with GM and Chrysler.

Sounds like an African banana republic to me.

Term for the day: Normalcy Bias.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 4:22 PM

John,

First of all, this statement shows your profound ignorance:

"The White House web site today launched a petition asking themselves to "nationalize" Twinkies to save the "soft, creamy center of the nation". Now you can say it's just hosted there, but the administration could take it down in a heartbeat, if they disagreed with it."

The White House website offers citizens a chance to post petitions. For example, I could start a petition to get you a free education so you knew what you were talking about. So yes, the petition you mention is "hosted" there. Among the Twinkie petition are petitions from 22 states to secede from the union. The White House doesn't take them down because they are not contrary to extremist views, anti-democratic.

Also,

"You say I know little about economic history. Let's check my prediction of a debt/currency crisis here by 2016, in about 3 years. October, 2015."

I am not sure that making predictions is the same thing as knowing economic history. The reality is that Obama has actually shrank the deficit since 2009. If I were to make a prediction it would be that barring a war with Iran, the deficit will continue to shrink.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Nov 17, 2012, at 12:17 PM

Please define shrank the deficit. The deficit used to refer to national debt. During the Clinton administration we supposedly ran surpluses yet the National debt grew every year. That was because the Clinton admin used a spending mechanism referred to off budget spending items.

Don't try and imply that we reduced spending. We haven't.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Nov 17, 2012, at 7:34 PM

"If I were to make a prediction it would be that barring a war with Iran, the deficit will continue to shrink."

Isn't that why we study history? In order to predict our future? Your study of economic history seems to have started at your birth.

Perhaps misreading the present is sufficient exercise. Predicting is probably a step too far.

I am well aware of the fact that our White House website is a cesspool of nutty ideas. Ecumenical idiocy prevails. I only wonder why.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 19, 2012, at 3:34 PM

This just in:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/treasury...

How can anyone doubt that Washington is going to run our economy over a debt/currency crisis cliff?

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 19, 2012, at 3:47 PM

John,

We don't study history to predict the future. That doesn't make any sense. The most reliable method we have for predicting the future are numbers, statistics, and science. We study history, so it is said, to avoid committing the same mistakes we made in the past.

I am not misreading anything. I am just not willing to make ridiculous claims about the end of America. People like you (speaking of history) have been saying the country is going to collapse for one reason or another lo' these last 236 years. Although, I suppose if enough "JohnGalts" continue to make wild and uneducated predictions, eventually one of them will be right. It's the whole, give enough monkeys a typewriter thing...

But here you go John, these folks doubt that Washington will "run us over that cliff". In fact, they seem confident that a deal will be reached regarding the crisis. Hmmm, who should I listen to I wonder...the folks in this link, or an Ayn Rand loving alarmist with an overly simple understanding of macroeconomics.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/11/19/i...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 19, 2012, at 4:39 PM

If we study history to avoid the same mistakes, then we are in the predicting business. And we are well along with committing the exact same mistakes as those who went before.

There is nothing new under the sun, when it comes to human falacy.

In Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, the government took over major industries and ran them into the ground. She wrote that book in the early 50s although she had the idea for the book as early as 1943. So she could see some of what would transpire 60 years before it did.

I would call that genius. You would probably say it's an accident. I respond with "What else did she predict that was wrong then?"

Numbers, statistics, and science will not help you predict anything. You need to study history, human motivation, group psychology and trends in those areas.

In the next 75 days we will see much drama over the debt ceiling, and lots of political wrangling as the so called "fiscal cliff" approaches. But in the end, the debt ceiling will be raised after a bunch of phony fixes are enacted that do nothing to reduce the deficits.

That is what I predict. You can see how right I am very soon.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 8:55 AM

"I would call that genius. You would probably say it's an accident. I respond with "What else did she predict that was wrong then?""

Accept the government didn't "take over" any industries, John, they own 26% of GM. One fourth ownership of one company is not tantamount to a government take-over of industry. That is why you sound so ridiculous. GM and Chrysler got a bailout from Bush, then from Obama, which is good because 10's of thousands of jobs were saved, another depression was avoided, the government was REPAID ahead of schedule, GM is making money again, and if they can get to trading around $54 per share the government can divest its shares at a profit (fyi: GM is up 26% since Jul).

http://bostonglobe.com/business/2012/11/...

"Numbers, statistics, and science will not help you predict anything."

Haha...this is the most clueless thing you have written so far, John. Except in one race, Nate Silver got every election, from the gubernatorial races, to the house races, to the senate races, to each state's electoral votes, exactly right. How did he do it? An algorithm. With algorithms we can predict just about anything.

Physics will allow us to predict all manner object-oriented movements. For example, physicists predict the orbits of meteors and asteroids in order to determine if one object will collide with another. Moore's law has accurately predicted the doubling of computer processing speed every two years.

With statistics there is a great deal of predictive power as well. One purpose of statistics is to describe how safely you can predict the value of independent variables based on the value of dependent variables. There are least squares linear regressions, which measure predictive power using a standard number (or coefficient of determination), referred to commonly as "R-squares". From business and marketing to social science, and from archeology and anthropology to astrophysics and chemistry, almost every field of inquiry on Earth at least understands the importance of multiple regressions and their predictive power.

"That is what I predict. You can see how right I am very soon."

So you are predicting that there will be contentious debate about the debt ceiling, and everyone will agree to raise it? Wow, Zoltan...what color will the sky be tomorrow?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 2:11 PM

Benevolus, are you counting the algorithms used to offset risk, ala the interest rate derivatives that brought the world's financial institutions to their knees in 2008?

Nice predictive math, guy.

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 3:55 PM

Nothing is 100%, John. But your claim: "Numbers, statistics, and science will not help you predict anything"...is quite possibly the most ignorant claim I have ever read.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 4:54 PM

"Numbers, statistics, and science will not help you predict anything. You need to study history, human motivation, group psychology and trends in those areas."

Since you like soft-science liberal arts-based predictions so much, John, here is a history-based prediction for you...

America will be just fine. In fact, it will remain one of the best places to live on Earth during and long after Obama's second term.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 8:48 PM

I guess you just like argument, Benevolus.

You agree with but ridicule my prediction that after much vitriol in Congress, they will just raise the debt ceiling while doing nothing about the deficit, other than smoke and mirrors.

We agree nothing will be done about the deficit spending and the national debt. Yet you contend everything will be fine.

Normalcy bias is the only explanation for your position.

You can see why Greece is in trouble. You can see why Spain is in trouble. You can see why Argentina is in trouble. You can see why Portugal is in trouble. All caused by too much public debt and overspending by their governments.

But you contend it cannot and will not occur here, even though "statistically" our nation is in the same position as those already in trouble, but with smaller economies.

It's a matter of scale. Our economy is much larger, and our troubles will affect far more people, when it's our turn.

Explain why we are immune, Benevolus. I would really like to know. It would be a great comfort to me.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 9:01 AM

Ben - I have forgotten. Once you finish your schooling what are your career choices? I remember you were doing something with Demographics.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 7:51 AM

John,

"You agree with but ridicule my prediction that after much vitriol in Congress..."

This prediction is about as impressive as predicting that gravity will still work the same tomorrow as it did today.

"We agree nothing will be done about the deficit spending and the national debt."

No, we don't agree. Either with or without the fiscal cliff, the deficit and debt will come down. That is the whole point of the cliff, John, and the current debates about how to raise revenue/cut spending. Why not try reading about what is at stake and informing yourself?

Here is a dose of reality for you John:

US Budget 2007 - 2012

Bush: FY2007 = $161 billion

Bush: FY2008 = $459 billion

Bush: FY2009 = $1.4 trillion

Net Increase = 777%

Obama FY2010 = $1.2 trillion

Obama FY2011 = $1.3 trillion

Obama FY2012 = $1.08 trillion

Obama FY2013 = $900 billion

Net Decrease from Bush's 2009 budget = 36%

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 1:01 PM

^ that should be 2007 - 2013

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 1:07 PM

Right you are Granny.

There IS a difference between a budget and a budget deficit!

5 straight years of $trillion plus deficits by 9-30-2012.

It's reminiscent of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. He led all the rats out of town, and then the people refused to pay what was agreed. So he led the children away.

Our children will pay for our refusal to pay our way.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 2:12 PM

Wow, GMa, I guess I can't count you to understand much of anything regarding budgets, huh? Those numbers above represent the federal budget deficits. That is, the money we spent/will spend that we didn't/don't have.

The numbers you reference are total expenditures before revenue, and thus, they are not all the meaningful until you subtract total revenue. The deficit is especially important because the argument from the right isn't that total expenditures are too high, it is that spending money we don't have is irresponsible. The budget deficit grew astronomically under Bush, and has come down 36% overall under Obama.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 3:17 PM

"5 straight years of $trillion plus deficits by 9-30-2012."

Wrong. 4 straight years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012...Obama is under a trillion for 2013, and barring war with Iran, the deficit is likely to continue to shrink.

And yes, the debt can and most likely will shrink, since everyone in Washington agrees it must (it's the how that is in dispute). John likes history, so let's review some facts: the debt shrank under Clinton, and before that we saw enormous debt shrinkage from Truman all the way up until Reagan's "voodoo economics" failed to produce anything other than huge debt increases. Clinton turned it around for awhile, and the debt shrank, but Bush's 2 wars and the recession have grown the debt again.

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 3:41 PM

Sorry for the typo, I meant 9-30-13; the five years I claim include the year underway. You claim next year's deficit will be under $1 Trillion. I think we both know that's untrue. Surely you are not so delusional as to believe it. In the first 7 weeks the deficit is already $220 Billion! If that continues we will be over $1.6 Trillion deficit for the coming year.

I have consistently written that both major political parties are responsible for the situation. You try to blame the Republicans. I blame them both, and I am right.

Your linked chart shows the national debt as a percentage of GDP. If you had shown the chart simply for the national debt, you would have seen the national debt has risen under all the presidents you mentioned, including Clinton.

http://cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/All_US_De...

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:09 PM

Granny, I meant no offense. I used "we" because we are all affected by the deficit and our children will be affected, as well.

Some of us pay more than a fair share, but "we" collectively need to pay 67% more than we do now or cut expenditures by 40%. Or a combination of both.

When 49% pay no federal income tax, that side of the equation is really uphill. Especially when 47% also receive food stamps, and create a double shot of deficit per capita.

I know the statists will attack those statistics as meaningless, even though they love their statistics. Even if the State is the cause of our economic problems, they, predictably, always call for more from the State as the cure.

So far Mr. Benevolus has made the prediction that next year's deficit will be less than a trillion. Check back in eight months or so and see who knows and who just thinks they know.

He also predicts great times on the way and a booming economy. LOL.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:20 PM

John,

National debt as percent of GDP is more meaningful than just total debt. It is the ratio of debt to production that is worrisome. We can carry increases in debt, so long as we have the production capacities to support the increases.

Also, I am not sure what you mean regarding the 2013 budget. If the country goes over the "fiscal cliff", we most certainly will have under a trillion dollars deficit--almost by half! If we don't go over, it is projected that $800-900 billion is the most likely range for 2013's deficit. This is not delusional, John, this is mathematical projection. It is far better than your gut, or your psychosocial-hisotrical soothsayings.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:27 PM

"He also predicts great times on the way and a booming economy. LOL"

John, I don't remember making such a prediction. Can you point out where I said such a thing? I do remember saying that the numbers don't add up to "economic collapse" and "dictatorship" like you gloomily predicted. Arguing that the economy is will be stable and that America is not likely to be turned into a dictatorship is much different than saying the economy will boom and great times are on the way.

You talk about delusional thinking John, but you don't see how well your ideas fit this description...I guess that's why you're delusional though, huh?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:38 PM

John,

Here is a prediction from someone who knows much more than you or I about economics...

"But the indicators are suggesting that by 2013 and 2014, the Obama record will begin to look a lot better, assuming, that is, that the two parties in Washington don't recklessly push the country off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year.

The nation's economy added 171,000 jobs in October 2012, for a total of almost 700,000 in the four months before Election Day. More than half the jobs lost in the crash of 2008-2009 have now been recovered, even as public-sector employment has shrunk by a net 500,000.

The economy is recovering because consumers are less burdened by debt. They are paying down their credit cards, building home equity and strengthening their personal balance sheets.

As household debt burdens become lighter, consumers express more confidence. They are allowing themselves to spend a little more. They are even buying new homes again. Housing starts in October 2012 rose to a level 41.9% over a year before.

Accelerating economic activity is rapidly reducing the budget deficit. The deficit has contracted since 2009 at the fastest rate since the end of World War II, faster even than during the late 1990s boom."

David Frum, Conservative Republican, economic speech-writer and assistant to George Bush from 2001-2002, and journalist for WSJ, Forbes, CNN, the Daily Beast and others...

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/26/opinion/fr...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:57 PM

Excuse me for saying so, but you cite all sorts of improvement in the economy, cherry-picking your data. You seem to love where we are headed, even though you do not claim to know where that might be.

That's the safe road. Make no predicitons. Ridicule those who do. Stay out of the arena.

Good dog. Stay down now. Sit boy. Roll over.

Real unemployment numbers the way the BLS used to calculate them: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_dat...

I agree housing starts are up--to their level in July, 2008. With Ben Bernanke's stated goals of 2% inflation and .25% interest rates, what would you expect? That gives us 3% home mortgage rates which they are using to try and stimulate home sales. It seems to be working alright. Another government-led housing bubble being created right before your eyes.

It also gives us a loss of nearly 2% (officially) in purchasing power every year--that's the goal! And that's mild. The true inflation rate is always higher than the official one, which is massaged into behaving by the BLS. http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_dat...

The Fed is creating money in monstrous amounts, loaning to people at ridiculously low rates, and more of them are buying homes with it. Nothing magic about that.

Those of us who paid for houses that had 8,10 and 12% rates will now help others buy at much lower rates through higher taxes and will suffer the inflation consequences, as well.

There ain't no free lunch. Never has been. Somebody pays. It could even be you. It most certainly will be me.

I have paid income tax and social security tax all but one year since 1965. The way it has been squandered makes me cranky about the past, and not so hopeful as you are about the future.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 9:03 PM

"Excuse me for saying so, but you cite all sorts of improvement in the economy, cherry-picking your data. You seem to love where we are headed, even though you do not claim to know where that might be."

What numbers have I provided that are incorrect? Which ones are "cherry-picked"?

Also, I never said I love where we're headed, just like I never said I don't know/can't predict where that might be.

I have made it clear to you several times, and to be clear again: the economy is stable now and it is, and has been, improving for 2.5 to 3 years. It is likely to continue to improve gradually so long as we don't go over the fiscal cliff. As the economy improves, the deficit and the debt will decrease (as it always does) during times of economic growth. This is not an opinion, John, it is simply what the numbers tell us.

In any case, GMA, is right, if you are expecting me to join you in your doomsday, end-of-America soothsaying, you may as well be barking at the moon. No rational and reasonable person can look at the data and arrive at the conclusion that America's economy will collapse and we will become a dictatorship. This is silliness on you part, John. Plain and simple.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 1:07 AM

Then we disagree.

Woof.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 10:22 AM

Steffanie's writing is being studied by mini. This is proof of his unhealthy obsession with Steffanie. She must feel like what an unattractive woman with kids goes through around mini. Gramma isn't Steffanie. Never was and never will be. You should spend more time studying the demise of socialistic states and less time studying "The Master". I knew Steffanie when she worked at Taco Bell and she still chortles about getting under the thin skin of mini. She will chortle more and wear a sardonic grin as this nation descends into the abyss of Spain and Greece and other socialistic states replete in history. Watch and learn young sucklings. Watch and learn.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 3:44 PM

What's really happening to our economy:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-28...

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 3:51 PM

Hilarious, John. Your (cherry-picked?) website looks at US GDP as percent of World GDP for a 10 year period, right? I wonder why it does that? Why not for example, zoom out and look at where that figure was 20 years ago? How about 40?

I will tell you why, John. Because if you zoom into a fluctuating figure like GDP, the variations year to year can be astonishing. But it is like a stock, John, look at many 5 day reports and the trend lines are all over the place, but zoom out and look at the 3-year trend lines and typically you get a much smother and more stable (and accurate) portrayal of the performance of that stock.

The same is true of US GDP as a percent of World GDP. The fact, John, is that United States' share of world GDP has been stable and fairly constant for the last 40 years. It was actually slightly higher in 2009 (26.7 percent) than it was in 1975 (26.3 percent), and (adjusted for inflation) it has averaged just over 25%.

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Ar...

Your website wants people to believe that the US GDP at 21% of world share is a sign of the end times. But, sorry, John, it simply isn't. Its only 4% lower than average.

Which is to be expected, John, because as China and India become better producers, their larger populations are going to naturally enable them to produce more than the US. Even you can grasp that 1 billion people can produce more than 150 million, right?

The real figure that matters here is GDP per capita, not the half-bright numbers that have you scared you-know-whatless, for no reason.

Your website uses World Bank numbers, so I will too. The US GDP per capita was $12,180 ($32,725 adjusted for inflation) in 1980, it was $46,349 in 2007 and in 2011 it was $48,442 that is a 32% increase over the last 20 years and a 4.5% increase since Obama has been in office.

Deal with reality John, the economy is stronger than many people want you to believe. It sells internet/newspaper ad space and keeps pundits employed to parrot to folks like you the 'doomsday narrative'. My understanding is that it is great for gun sales as well...if only t'were true.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.G...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 4:40 PM

Fun Facts: Total U.S. GDP growth in the 20th century was $9.93 Trillion, while the government accumulated $5.5 Trillion in debt.

In the 21st century, the US has borrowed $10.7T and has a grand total of $5.30T in GDP growth.

Hey, it was you who said we needed to focus on debt relative to GDP, not me.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 11:01 AM

Exactly John, finally we are getting somewhere. That is why I wrote above:

"It is the ratio of debt to production that is worrisome. We can carry increases in debt, so long as we have the production capacities to support the increases."

But the massive debt we face occurred for three primary reasons, two of which we can control, one of which we have to live with: 1) an under-regulated financial sector that ran amok and transferred billions of dollars of private debt to public debt via bailouts, 2) a lack of revenue increase during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made it necessary to borrow money to prosecute those wars, and 3) as the baby boomers retire the ranks of medicare and social security beneficiaries will rise disproportionately to the number of laborers who can support them. So, an aging population without a large enough labor force to support them may cause the US to borrow money to support our retirees, thus increasing the debt to GDP ratio.

The good news is that one war is over and the other will be over by 2014, market regulations are in place to prevent the public from carrying the burden of private sector irresponsibility, and the Bush/Obama bailouts seem to be at an end.

The bad news is US birth rates are at an all time low, in large part because white women, who are our largest baby-bearing demographic, are having babies at a rate that is much lower than the rate of replacement.

This means that immigrants, Latinos, and other minorities, who tend to have babies above the fertility replacement rate, will necessarily become the engine of our labor force in the decades to come. It also means that we must relax immigration laws, and induce folks from other countries to settle here and work.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 12:33 PM

Huh?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 4:30 PM

"Or, we can give them all an unemployment check which will boost the economy!"

You may cease with your purposeful ignorance now.

"It is also important that policymakers provide emergency benefits to those who will lose their jobs this year. No form of the fiscal stimulus has proved more effective during the past two years than emergency [Unemployment Insurance] benefits, providing a bang for the buck of 1.61--that is, for every $1 in UI benefits, GDP one year later is increased by an estimated $1.61."

http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/docume...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 4:59 PM

No names or insults here. We are all ignorant, it's just that some people realize this and try to find their way out of their ignorance by reading and learning. Others are too lazy or don't care, and others still prefer to stay ignorant on purpose. Not sure which you are (though I'd guess the latter); I am just trying to help you find a way out of your stunning lack of knowledge so you stop embarrassing yourself in public.

No spin either. For every dollar spent on UI, the GDP increases by $1.61. This makes UI good for economy. Pretty simple stuff.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 7:21 PM

Benevolus,

Why would we need to relax our immigration laws to induce people to settle here and work? I'm not sure how that follows from the other parts of you post, can you clarify it for me please?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 8:15 PM

If GDP is supposed to measure the production of an economy, why are government expenditures included in the total?

What does the federal government produce, other than dependent people and too much money and too much debt?

It merely takes funds from the producers and spends those funds on people and products that have been produced by others.

I know it's a long standing tradition, but then so was slavery. It didn't make any sense either.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:32 PM

SW,

Department of State data show that 3-4 million people on average are waiting in interminable queues to get visas to come here to work. Currently, the average wait time to get a work visa is 6 to 20 years. This is an unreasonable amount of time.

For workers with a visa, it often takes an average of 6 years to bring children or spouses to the US. This too is unreasonable, and often it causes these workers to bring their loved ones here with out documentation. This causes families to be made up of members with mixed statuses. There are estimated to be 14.5 million mixed status families in the US. So when places like Arizona, Alabama, and Fremont crack down on immigration, the result is often that legal workers leave with their families. If you don't think it's a problem, look at these:

http://blog.al.com/wire/2012/05/some_ala...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/h...

So to answer your question...it follows that if we cannot produce a viable workforce within our borders through child births (US rates are at an all time low), we will have to look outward for folks willing to settle here to work in order to bolster our ranks, so to speak.

Plenty of folks already want to come here, but they can't. Many more have left because of unreasonably harsh (arguably discriminatory) laws. I think that if we accept the reality that our workforce won't be able to support our greying populations, part of the response includes relaxing our laws so that when workers get here a) they can bring their families quickly, b) they have expedient pathways to citizenship, and c) they don't face draconian "crackdowns" targeted at their families, neighbors, and friends.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 12:06 AM

"Maybe for your economy, but not mine, college boy!"

Exactly!! Your uneducated economy of LaLa-Land where trickle down economics worked and unsubsidized tax cuts don't bankrupt the nation. In reality, though, UI helps the economy per simple mathematical calculations like, addition.

Learning trumps ignorance, GMA. Everytime.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 1:19 AM

Lets do some learning. The educational opportunities are actually current events if you are so stupid as not to read history. Greece, Spain, California, Illinois, the EU, Detroit, San Bernardino.............. All suffered from the addiction to taxing and spending way more than the taxing and it was all perpetrated by liberals, unions, and idiots. Unless this once great nation makes drastic cuts to the entitlement programs we are doomed to bankruptcy just like the examples above. Learning is as easy as watching todays news but our liberal politicians operate as though there is no history in the books nor current events to learn from.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 8:52 AM

"Unless this once great nation ..."

Two questions: When did America cease being great? What was the time period of America's greatness?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 12:55 PM

When our debt surpassed the politicians ability to deal with it objectively and when our takers outnumbered the payers in political power. It is hard to place an exact date on it but it was probably during the beginning of the second term of Bush. The answer to the second question is from 1776 to the obscure date referenced above. History will show me as spot on. History will show little Timmy Geithner and Krugman as true partisan hacks and just plain idiotic regarding their ideas on economics. Their "ideas" really are nothing more than partisan bile devoid of any proof in history or current events as also referenced above.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 1:20 PM

Ben Shalom Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve, agrees pretty much with what I have been trying to say.

He got drunk at a bar recently and did a "reveal" of how screwed we all are:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/drunken...

Now it's one thing when Benevolus says I know nothing, but what about the head guy? Is he delusional, too?

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 1:59 PM

If Benny was an alcoholic this would be an actual news story. Sadly, he is not and the lie is perpetuated.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 2:14 PM

"He stumbled up to the urinal and started mumbling on about the depressed housing sector or something," said Kampman, who claimed Bernanke had to use both hands on the wall to steady himself. "Then after a while he just sort of stopped and I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying."

"Then he puked all over the sink and the mirror," Kampman added."

John, FYI, the Onion is a spoof news website. So yes, you are still delusional. But that is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

Married...so you consider the last century to be a major part of America's history of greatness?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 2:15 PM

Yeah, it checked it out on Snopes later.

http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/berna...

But that song, Money for Nothing, is a good one.

Thanks for letting me know I'm delusional; I had failed to notice, since there's so much of it around.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 2:53 PM

The Onion sort of makes me think of Alt History Wiki. Equally valid resources.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 3:15 PM

Just so you know Benny the whole is the sum of its parts and now that you know that your question can be answered. Kids!!!

-- Posted by marriedugly on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 1:14 PM

So, married, if you could restore America to her "former greatness", which time period would you recommend as a model? After WWII? The 1980's and 90's? What do you think?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 2:18 PM

"Ben Shalom Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve, agrees pretty much with what I have been trying to say.

He got drunk at a bar recently and did a "reveal" of how screwed we all are:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/drunken...

Now it's one thing when Benevolus says I know nothing, but what about the head guy? Is he delusional, too?"

Now a Test:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/quiz-...

-- Posted by Wildhorse on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 3:54 PM

"Any time before "progressives" arrived on the scene and began to "fundamentally change the United States!"

Which was when, specifically?

Lincoln, and especially Thaddeus Stevens, and the Republicans of old more generally, were extremely progressive. So before Lincoln was president is when America was at her greatest?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 5:25 PM

GMA and/or Married,

Why is it so difficult to point to a specific time period when America was great?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 7:20 PM

Benevolus,

Maybe they just need you to prime the pump. What specific time period do you think America was/is greatest?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 9:47 PM

SW,

Maybe you will answer? Was America ever great, and if so when, precisely?

Is America no longer great? If so, when did she cease to be great?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 8:32 AM

Asked and answered Benny. Jeeeeesh.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 8:50 AM

Shucks, I guess I missed it...and then it somehow disappeared. Can you tell me again the specific years that America was great?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 9:22 AM

As clearly stated above "The answer to the second question is from 1776 to the obscure date referenced above." See my thumb????

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 9:26 AM

Benevolus,

It seems a bit fishy to me that you are asking questions that you won't answer. It seems like maybe you are hoping to get to shout "Gotcha" and take something out of context.

But I'm game: I think America has always been great in different ways, hopefully someday all of those ways can come together and we can achieve even greater things.

I think your rephrasing of the question is telling about your perceptions of America:

"Was America ever great, and if so when, precisely?" That you have to even ask the question this way suggests you think the answer is no.

At least the inane babbler phrased the sentence with an inherent assumption of greatness.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 9:39 AM

You don't make a ton of sense, married, but you sure seem loud, which is nice.

I guess that "obscure date" isn't really all that helpful.

But 1776 is at least a starting point. So, by what metric(s) was America great and then not great? How do we measure the "greatness" of the time periods before and after your "obscure date"?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 9:46 AM

SW,

Your answer was pretty weak (though I appreciate your playing along). Anything to offer other than vagaries?

Beat still your heart, SW, no gotcha is store. I am just wondering by what metric(s) we measure greatness, and how we know that one time period of American history was great, and how another was not.

It seems as though a claim about greatness vs. not-greatness should be more than just an immature feeling of rejection brought on by the loss of an election (which is what this recent rash of Republican America-hating is all about in my opinion).

"It seems a bit fishy to me that you are asking questions that you won't answer."

I am perfectly willing to answer. But I asked the question after several posters made claims that America is no longer a great nation, so I'd like clarification of their thoughts before I issue any rebuttal or response. I suspect that if anyone (including you) actually had something resembling a coherent response to my simple question, my thoughts on the issue would become clear in the ensuing conversation.

"That you have to even ask the question this way suggests you think the answer is no."

If anything is fishy its the nazicommiemarxists like JG and married who no longer believe M'urka is the greatest nation on earth :)...(there, now your faith in my undying patriotism can be restored).

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 10:04 AM

Hello. Two instances that have undermined the United States' greatness come to mind. One includes its involvement in the Dirty Wars in support of mass killings and torture in South America spanning the years from the mid-to-late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Another is its invasion of Iraq in 2003 without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and involving our nation and the nations of other people in almost a decade-long war and all of its social, cultural, and social costs.

Moments of greatness include every time the people vote, speak freely, think critically, and are civics-minded; every time young and old people alike have access to public education and can remain healthy because they also have access to medical and preventative care.

In my humble opinion, it takes a lot foresight and work to sustain greatness and very little work (and a myopic lens) undermine it and cause harm and destruction. Res Just

-- Posted by Resilient Justice on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 1:55 PM

Benevolus,

I would say America has always been great and still is, but it has declined in many ways.

The moral decline is obvious to any who study the matter. The political decline is, as well.

I would say the decline began with the income tax in 1913 and the creation of the Federal Reserve system in the same year. The FDR years were a vast expansion of federal power and programs, as were the "war on poverty" progams during the Johnson administration.

The major loss of freedoms and expansion of federal powers outside the Constitution, since 9-11-2001 has constituted a decline in liberty, and further intrusions of the government into our lives. The construction of the huge NSA complex in Utah to record all phone calls, texts and emails anywhere in the nation is not about freedom, either. The combination of Homeland Security, the TSA, the NSA, and the National Defense Authorization Act has led us down the path to 1984.

It's still a good country, but not the greatest on the planet anymore. There are other places that are better. JMHO.

Every expansion of government is a reduction of freedom, both economic and personal freedom. If you don't realize this, you are not trying to do much in America. The doers notice and hate it. The gimme folks notice and love it.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 4:31 PM

John,

"The moral decline is obvious to any who study the matter. The political decline is, as well."

By whose authority? I hope you understand the subjectiveness of these statements. These are not facts, not matter how much you wish to present them as such. You may, for example, be morally opposed to government protecting its poor citizens, and another person may find it morally obligatory for a government to protect its most vulnerable populations. If the government expands its help to those in need, you will see this as a decline in morality, and another will see an increase in morality.

Many state governments from our past (and present) have a long and troubling history of violating the Constitution, and reducing the freedom of our citizens. But you are wrong about every expansion of government reducing freedom. If the federal government says your state law is invalid, and you must no longer keep a slave, John, they have reduced your freedom, but they have given freedom to all would be slaves.

The fact is, a major part of the story of American greatness is an ever-increasing amount of morality in this country. One can examine court cases and legislation over the last 150+ years and see that in fact the federal government has extended a great deal of freedom to oppressed citizens including: women, blacks, Latinos, the disabled, and more recently homosexuals.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:34 PM

Benevolus,

Is your opinion based on what other people post then?

"I'd like clarification of their thoughts before I issue any rebuttal or response."

Why do you need someone else to say something before you have an opinion. I'm sorry but this isn't lending any credence to your claim of a lack of "Gotcha" tactics. I think it supports my feeling. After all why would you need to rebut anyone's opinion about whether America is great?

Then there is this classic: "I am perfectly willing to answer." So imagine my surprise when instead of answering the next sentence begins with "But". It is to laugh....ha.

I'm surprised you have time to post all of this though, I figured you'd be studying for finals or something.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:38 PM

"It's still a good country, but not the greatest on the planet anymore. There are other places that are better. JMHO."

One more question: excluding places like Somalia, where we see the Libertarian utopia fully operational in all its misguided and ridiculous splendor, what countries are better than the US?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:39 PM

Resilient Justice,

I'm curious what your feelings are when people vote for the wrong thing, is that still Greatness or something less?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:40 PM

JohnGalt1968,

Do you have any examples of Nations that you think are better than the US? I'm not trying to sound as too much of a Nativist or anything but even with the problems in the country, I can't think of anyplace I'd call better. I think everywhere has some warts.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:43 PM

SW,

"Then there is this classic: "I am perfectly willing to answer." So imagine my surprise when instead of answering the next sentence begins with "But". It is to laugh....ha."

Huh? (scratches head in wonder)

Anyway, aside from your silly speculation about my 'gotcha' intentions I see you have nothing of value to offer the discussion, as usual. I do, however, thank you for your worries about my education. But FYI (so you rest assured), I have completed my program of study and I am working on my dissertation proposal, so I don't have finals anymore.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:46 PM

SW,

"Is your opinion based on what other people post then?"

How do you arrive at that ridiculous conclusion? Asking for clarification is not the same thing as basing my opinion on what others post.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:51 PM

Benevolus,

And yet, you make rude remarks and don't answer the question you posed everyone, even though are are "perfectly willing to answer". Perhaps the problem isn't in the will but in the ability.

Why do you incorrectly identify Somalia as a Libertarian Utopia? Do you not understand the ideals behind Libertarianism or are you just trying to be a jerk or is there another reason I haven't thought of? Maybe you'll be "perfectly willing" and able to answer.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 7:53 PM

SW,

Why don't you offer any substantive answer to my question? I suspect it is because you are unable to provide an answer because you don't have a very keen sense of history. Also, why do insist on being a child and never contributing meaningfully to any discussions?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 12:49 AM

"Your answer was pretty weak. Your friend must work in La-La Land, John. I think that says a lot about the kind of person you are. You must have forgotten your basic math. Was college a long time ago?"

All of this venom from Benny followed by this "Also, why do insist on being a child and never contributing meaningfully to any discussions?" Is really too rich for words. Epic Hypocrisy!! Epic childishness!!And to think this childman is studying for his doctorate and will educate your kids. EPIC!!

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 9:06 AM

Benevolus,

You are a victim of our educational system which is a propoganda arm of our government.

Economic freedom comparison:

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

Health care, longevity, infant mortality:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...

GDP per capita comparison:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...

Per capita income comparison:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications...

Show me ONE area where the United States leads today, Benevolus. I can show you some, but they are in the BAD column.

You claim morality has increased in this nation. How do you explain the very high rate of high school dropouts, the very high number of children with no fathers in the home, the very high rates of abortion, and the huge number of people on food stamps?

Why are people doing so poorly? I love my country but I recognize its failings, too. Take off your blinders, guy.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:11 AM

Benevolus,

Unlike you, I do not shy away from questions, so here goes in reverse order,

I reject your contention that I never contribute meaningfully to discussion; however, I insist on being a child because I am young at heart.

I believe I offered as substantive an answer as your vague and "weak" question posed. If you want a specific answer ask better questions. I think, and you've done nothing to suggest I am incorrect, that you are still hoping someone will give an answer that by some other metric(s) you can "rebuttal". I don't think you are interested in any sort of debate or a willingness to listen to any other viewpoint. You have shown disinclination for debate recently by refusing to add an opinion or respond to questions. In fact you have only answered questions with weak deflections and more questions.

I asked a question, you have refused to address the question I think everyone is quite capable of drawing thier own conclusions from your response or lack thereof.

If I missed a question I apologize, please let me know and I'll try to address it.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:15 AM

Benevolus,

"I suspect it is because you are unable to provide an answer because you don't have a very keen sense of history."

My goodness, you've found me out, aww shucks. Maybe you can help educate me, what is that great historically accurate website you have cited?

Oh yes, I remember http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Pa...

ROFL

You really should do some reflection before you try to insult people, maybe you won't embarrass yourself so thoroughly.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:23 AM

Benevolus,

Finally, if you want a substantive answer to your childish and vapid question maybe you should tell me what metric(s) you would like to consider. For example: economic, diplomatic, military power globally? Domestic peace and tranquility? Domestic economic stability or growth? Domestic Beer consumption? Human rights? Rule of Law? Constitutional consistency? Warm Fuzzies? etc.

The problem with your question is it was overbroad so I gave an overbroad answer. In all of those areas, and probably any other someone could come up with, the US has done well and poorly in different areas at different times.

Maybe you can find a nice artcle on your Alternate Fan Fiction History page to show us all your keen sense of history.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:30 AM

SW,

I reject your rejection. Very rarely do you contribute meaningfully to these discussions. By your own admission, you (quite vainly I will add) view yourself as Micheal's personal insulter, and generally speaking, your posts address others personalities, not their ideas or arguments.

You are rarely on topic, and when you are you have admitted to all of us that your posts are poorly researched. You have time to be a jerk, but not to provide well-reasoned and researched arguments. And yet you have said that you wish to be taken seriously as some sort of inspirer of critical-thinking (now I am ROFL).

The reality is that if another person does not do what you demand (in this case, its giving you an immediate answer a question I asked) you become spiteful and insulting, you begin questioning their abilities and intelligence, and you behave much like a child. Young at heart is one thing, vainly throwing tantrums like a spoiled little boy (see above) is quite another.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:18 AM

Benevolus,

All of your personal attacks and deflections aside are you going to add anything meaningful to the conversation or just insult me?

I don't remember saying I "wish to be taken seriously as some sort of inspirer of critical-thinking" I do engage in critical thinking but I don't remember saying that. But I must have, I mean we all know YOU ARE NEVER WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING AND KNOW MORE THAN EVERYONE COMBINED.

I don't know about your protestations of improving morality, I just consider it polite to answer a question when asked, maybe that is too old-fashioned for liberal thinkers like yourself there. I find it poor form to ask and demand answers of poeple as you have done but never once answering in kind. Again is there a question you asked me I missed?

You can't seriously be complaining about your own action citing a fiction page as historical truth and me pointing it out as a tanrum are you?

Speaking of spiteful and insulting, have you looked at any of your posts on this thread? Seriously?

You got me on the not wanting to take the time to look things up to prove the truth to a person who cites fiction as fact. I figured, and apparently rightly so, that no amount of fact can convince a true believer in fallacy. After all, I was just relying on my education not Google, I may not remember every exact number but then again I don't demand "facts" from other poeple the way some people do. I'm more interested in playing along than in a urinating contest.

Anyway, do you want to talk about "greatnesss" and apply some sort of paramaters or are you just going to continue to refuse to answer a question and engage in insulting behavior? Will you answer any questions asked such as your snide comment about Somalia or continue to deflect? If I were a betting child, I know where my money would be.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:36 AM

This childman benny will not answer in any way that will denigrate the growth of government no matter how pathetic the results which John Galt has chronicled above. Liberalism breeds Detroits and one can't accept that if one is a liberal.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:44 AM

Benevolus,

This article explains our loss of freedom far better than I could ever do:

http://dailyreckoning.com/the-united-pol...

I know you think living in "One Nation Under Surveillance" is fine. You have nothing to fear because you always agree with your government. So did the Nazis.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:45 AM

This article sums up liberals and how they destroy nations and cities one at a time. It is amazing that this stupid liberal woman is so stupid she can't see that stupid Detroit spent way more money than they had and she is now asking a nation that spends way more money than it has to bail her out. Liberals at some point have to learn that the left hand can't bail the right hand out when both are broke. What a fantasy world they must live in. Krugman economics at work.

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/202647...

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 12:03 PM

John,

Let's take a look at some of your claims.

"You have nothing to fear because you always agree with your government."

This is patently incorrect. I disagree egregiously with many decisions made at all levels of government. You are simply wrong here.

"How do you explain the very high rate of high school dropouts"

The dropout rate in the US has been improving, John. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that in 1990 the rate was 12.1% and by 2010 the rate has decreased to 7.4%. Is there still work to be done? Of course, but flawed as it is, an education system payed for by taxation, free at the point of delivery, and compulsory to all, is one of the most compelling reasons that the 20th century is called "the America Century". We are getting better at educating students, not worse.

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp...

"The very high number of children with no fathers in the home"

I don't know that this true. Can you please send me a reliable source that demonstrates this point?

"The very high rates of abortion"

From 1990 to 2008 the number of women getting abortions has gone down precipitously. During this period, for women in their 20's, the abortion rate dropped 32%. So you are wrong about abortions. But for me an abortion is not a moral issue. The moral issue for me is that a group of old men are able to determine the freedom of women to make medical decisions.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/2...

"The huge number of people on food stamps?"

Economic downturn, John, caused in large part by a LACK of government control.

"Why are people doing so poorly? I love my country but I recognize its failings, too. Take off your blinders, guy."

"Economic freedom comparison:"

"Its score is 1.5 points lower than last year, reflecting deteriorating scores for government spending, freedom from corruption, and investment freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and its overall score remains well above the world and regional averages."

Did you even look at this site? John, the US is one of three nations in the top ten in which government spending is DECREASING! You are proving yourself wrong here. In fact, by every metric provided by this website, the US is "free" or "mostly free".

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/un...

"Health care, longevity, infant mortality:"

John, do you realize that this website is arguing for a national health care system? YOUR source is suggesting that strongly regulated health care by the government is the answer to the health care problems we face today.

"Reid reports next from Japan, which boasts the second largest economy and the best health statistics in the world. The Japanese go to the doctor three times as often as Americans, have more than twice as many MRI scans, use more drugs, and spend more days in the hospital. Yet Japan spends about half as much on health care per capita as the United States.

One secret to Japan's success? By law, everyone must buy health insurance -- either through an employer or a community plan -- and, unlike in the U.S., insurers cannot turn down a patient for a pre-existing illness, nor are they allowed to make a profit."

"GDP per capita comparison:"

The US is 11th in the world and GDP per capita has been constantly increasing over the last half century. Most of the nations ahead of the US are small countries, many are oil rich and have socialist-leaning governments, where income distributions vary far less than the US.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications...

I don't think you bothered to actually read or think about any of the information you presented, John. The picture painted above, BY YOU, is one of a free and prosperous nation.

That other nations are competitive with the US is not a bad thing. Competition is the engine of improvement. And you're right, our nation has many flaws, but I am right that the story line of the last century of world history has been dominated by the meteoric rise of the US as a great nation. In terms of culture, economics, education, human and civil rights, research and technology, energy production, and military and defense, the US is one of (if not THE) most relevant countries on Earth.

Nothing has changed. Other nations making gains, even outpacing the US, does not detract from the greatness of our nation. It simply means, in many cases, that the ideas and principles that worked to make this nation great are working in other places as well.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 2:50 PM

Like I said John. Living in fantasy land. A positive spin on increased food stamp numbers even. Inane.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 3:14 PM

SW,

"I don't think you are interested in any sort of debate or a willingness to listen to any other viewpoint."

Your hypothesis is not supported by facts. I have been willing and interested in listening with almost everyone's view points...

"SWNebr Transplant,

It's fine that you don't agree with me, I wouldn't want to represent my opinion as being the only explanation possible."

"Hi Boomer,

Nice post. I appreciate your thinking. I do have to challenge you on one thing you wrote..."

"Grandmojo,

Nice handle first of all. Second of all, I see your point about Michael stirring the pot and then expecting people to play nice. You are probably right, I'll take your word for it anyway."

"Wallis,

I agree with you. Although to be honest I would be intrigued by a Ron Paul nomination by the GOP. I suspect Romney has it nearly locked up at this point though, and I don't see a great deal of a difference between Romney and Obama in terms of policy."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 3:28 PM

Wow! At one time we led the world in ALL these statistics, Benevolus. Now we don't.

That is called a decline, maybe not overall, but comparatively. We already spend more than any nation on health care, but do not have the best health.

You think that's an argument for Obamacare, since you think we need more government involvement in health care. I believe most of the poor return on our health care dollar is due to Medicare and Medicare which were launched 50 years ago.

We are #1 in military spending, government spending, and percentage of our population in prison. And we weren't #1 in those when we were at our best.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 3:45 PM

John,

GDP per capita has not declined. It has gone up. So too has our freedom index risen. Just because it isn't number one, doesn't mean we are not as great a nation as we were. Do you really expect people to believe that Qatar, Luxemburg, and Bermuda are as relevant to the world in terms of economics, culture, diplomacy, etc., as the US? Get real, John.

Also, when we were first in all these categories we had very little competition as a result of WWII, we had strong safety nets in place for the poor, our tax rates on the wealthy were as high as 94%, and the market was highly-regulated.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 3:57 PM

http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-fede...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 3:59 PM

Benevolus,

Let me see if I can find some contrary "facts"

"The reality is that if another person does not do what you demand (in this case, its giving you an immediate answer a question I asked) you become spiteful and insulting, you begin questioning their abilities and intelligence, and you behave much like a child. Young at heart is one thing, vainly throwing tantrums like a spoiled little boy (see above) is quite another."

"You have time to be a jerk, but not to provide well-reasoned and researched arguments."

"Your answer was pretty weak. Your friend must work in La-La Land, John. I think that says a lot about the kind of person you are. You must have forgotten your basic math. Was college a long time ago?"

"I see you have nothing of value to offer the discussion"

"One more question: excluding places like Somalia, where we see the Libertarian utopia fully operational in all its misguided and ridiculous splendor"

"or an Ayn Rand loving alarmist with an overly simple understanding of macroeconomics. "

"It seems as though a claim about greatness vs. not-greatness should be more than just an immature feeling of rejection brought on by the loss of an election (which is what this recent rash of Republican America-hating is all about in my opinion)."

"Wow, GMa, I guess I can't count you to understand much of anything regarding budgets,"

"So yes, you are still delusional"

Wow I didn't even have to leave this blog to find lots of "facts" that show you being closed minded, rude, or dismissive. That sure shows a willingness and interest to listen to others.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 4:16 PM

Benevolus,

I sure am glad you don't get spiteful or insulting.

ROFL

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 4:30 PM

SW,

Your claim is proven false. "I don't think you are interested in any sort of debate or a willingness to listen to any other viewpoint"...

Clearly, I have been interested and willing to listen in the past, and that continues to be the case.

Also, I am no more insulting than you or any other poster. So it seems that your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

I been far more judicious and willing to listen and debate than many posters here, but this especially true compared to you.

You have no leg left to stand on. You are here to insult by your own admission, you are too lazy to formulate well-reasoned or researched posts by your own admission, and you are almost always off topic. ROFLMAO

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 5:07 PM

SW NebrTransplant,

You asked yesterday, "I'm curious what your feelings are when people vote for the wrong thing, is that still Greatness or something less?".

The point I was attempting to make is that every time we exercise our right to vote and give everybody the opportunity to vote -- that is a great thing. What people actually vote for is a different issue, and my hope is that voters become more and more well informed and can be critically aware of what they see and hear and make thoughtful judgments about casting their votes. If we vote for the wrong thing, I hope we can also use a democratic process and appropriate procedures and legislation to reform and improve what we don't do well. Res Just

-- Posted by Resilient Justice on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 10:18 PM

http://www.barchart.com/chart.php?sym=$S...

Important opportunity for those that invest. Is the market going up or down. Ben any opinions? We are at a point that occurs about every 5 years. Are we about to tank or surprise to the upside?

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 6:05 AM

The market is doomed Wallis. When it happens is anyone's guess but it will be sooner rather than later. This "leader" we have leading us wants higher taxes for all, higher energy costs (much higher), more entitlement programs, less debt pay down, more class warfare, debt limit to infinity...... and the list goes on. All of this action by liberals will with certainty lead to less discretionary spending in almost all facets of life by the doers of our society. The only stocks that will not tank are stocks dealing with the necessities of life.

Oh and Benny, checkmate.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 8:56 AM

Wallis,

In my inexpert opinion, right now is a time to be defensive but optimistic. Almost every important indicator shows a growing economy. Consumer debt is down drastically, the private sector is adding jobs, and the housing market is coming back with a bit of vigor. There is a tremendous amount of cash reserved in US companies waiting to be invested, and if congress and Obama can agree to reduce the deficit (i.e., barring the fiscal cliff scenario) I would expect that after the New Year we will see a reasonably robust recovery.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/01/pf/econo...

http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-06...

Married,

Do you really think anyone takes you seriously after this, your opening volley?

"She must feel like what an unattractive woman with kids goes through around mini. Gramma isn't Steffanie. Never was and never will be. You should spend more time studying the demise of socialistic states and less time studying "The Master"."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 1:17 PM

So Ben you are bullish and recommend getting long? That is what I interpret.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 4:31 PM

Wallis,

Not yet. If a deal is struck by the deadline, I anticipate 2013 and 2014 being decent recovery years (hence my "defensive optimism"), and by 2015 I expect that we will be completely out of the woods and going strong.

Also, I am nowhere near qualified enough to give stock recommendations. So I am by no means giving advice that I think anyone (who cares about their money) should follow.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 4:45 PM

So after I defeat you in debate I then am not worthy????? It is your liberal idealism that is not worthy. Trust me, mini has mental issues with me and his life without a shrink is not complete without me. I give his otherwise meaningless life meaning.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 8:28 AM

Deck the Halls with Macro Follies:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-07...

A surprisingly funny album, and yet, very instructive.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 1:46 PM

"Always remember boys and girls, this is from the guy who thinks unemployment checks are good for the economy!"

Oh...you are referring to proven mathematical arguments. Never mind, Steffanie, you wouldn't understand something like facts. Proceed with your blathering, it is persuasive, I am sure.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 11:52 PM

This is absurd, Benevolus!

First, you take the unemployment tax from employers (who pay 100% of it). Then you spend 50% of that money on administration of the employment security fund (the administrators spend their share), and give the other 50% to the unemployed--who supposedly spend it in the economy.

The employers have less to spend while the govt employees and the unemployed have more to spend. But nothing was created--NOTHING. No money was created. No products were produced. No jobs were created. NADA.

In actuality, it's much worse than that. The employer/producer cannot invest in producing more, better and new products. You would probably argue that he would not necessarily spend the money by investing in his business. But if he did not, then that money would be at the bank available to lend to other businesses, or he might spend it on consumables like the govt administrator and the unemployed beneficiary.

As for your facts, where did you get them? From your lying government? They only include the spending by the administrators and the unemployed as an economic benefit. They never count the cost of the program as a loss. It's all a big lie.

You seem relatively intelligent. How did you fall for something so obviously wrong? It's like you believe in perpetual motion machines or a flat earth.

Have you read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer? It has 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 2:06 PM

History proves that perpetual motion machines and a flat earth have a better chance of being true than successful socialism. You can't argue with idealists as they are blinded by their idealism. It is a mental illness really.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 2:23 PM

Great analogy to "mental illness", Married!

Here's a great article about the so-called "fiscal cliff".

http://dailyreckoning.com/the-fiscal-cli...

The proposals by the Democrats AND the Republicans are to cut the annual deficits by less than 20%. The cliff cuts the annual deficits by 50%.

But NONE of them would keep us from going another $600 Billion in debt every year for the next 10 years! $16 Trillion plus ($600 Billion x 10 years) = $22 Trillion debt by the year 2022 with the "cliff". Without it under the proposals, about $26 Trillion.

More smoke and mirrors for the crowd.

It's like your kid promising to make the minimum payments on your credit card in exchange for you raising the limit every year so they can borrow more.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 4:25 PM

John,

It's not absurd, it is mathematics. It is a fact. Obviously it is not a comfortable one for you.

Let's get a couple thing clear, John. Your claim that nothing is created by unemployment is ridiculously delusional. John, if a person gets an unemployment check and goes to the store to buy diapers, that diaper making company must then produce more diapers to replace the ones that were purchased. Let me help you with econ 101, John, multiply this over the millions spent on unemployment, and you see why it is fact that government money goes straight into the pockets of businesses, who produce more, thus driving up the GDP.

Don't take my word for it, John. Let's turn to the experts...

Mark Zandi, for example, is not a government agent. He is the Chief Economist for Moody Analytics, a private corporation which provides credit ratings, market research, analytical tools, and more. The company is worth $2.3 billion dollars and employs 6,700 people in 28 countries. In other words, the free market has spoken, Moody's is a legitimate and reliable source for economic data.

So here is an excerpt of Zandi's testimony to the Senate Financial Committee...

"No form of the fiscal stimulus has proved more effective during the past two years than emergency UI benefits, providing a bang for the buck of 1.61--that is, for every $1 in UI benefits, GDP one year later is increased by an estimated $1.61."

http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/docume...

I am sorry that the facts do not align with your worldview, John, but you are wrong. Chief Economist Mark Zandi is right. Read and educate yourself, and ignorance will dissipate. Plain and simple.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 5:03 PM

Maybe the point is clearer this way, John...

Competition is inherent to capitalism. Competition creates winners and losers. Thus, capitalism inherently creates winners and losers.

The problem is that people, your fellow Americans, are often harmed in the competition that is inherent to our system.

Take Blockbuster as a recent example. Blockbuster was a great company and it employed thousands of people. But Netflix, and Red Box, and movies on demand have developed a better business model. Blockbuster cannot compete and thus it has lost the share of the market it once enjoyed. Now it has to scale back and close stores and lay off employees.

Thousands of people lost their jobs not because they were lazy or incompetent, but because capitalism inheres winners and losers.

So the question becomes, what do we do with the people who lose their jobs when their employer loses in the market?

Morally, the choice is clear to me. Our government has the responsibility to take care of the people that get laid off. I would agree with the right that this assistance should be temporary and dependent on actively seeking employment. But the question is, is this pragmatic economically?

And of course, it is. Think, John...if your company makes baby formula (or mac and cheese, frozen pizzas, bath soaps, toilet paper, etc) and you pay a tax to the government, the government then decides what to spend your tax money on.

Maybe they build a fighter jet. Defense helps your company by ensuring America is a safe place to do business, but this benefit to your company is felt indirectly. Maybe the government spends it on Medicare. You don't mind this because maybe your parents are aging and have health problems and you'd pay for their health care out of pocket anyway, but you save money because all of our tax dollars are pooled to help out not just your parents, but all parents. Again, though, this is indirect.

Maybe the government spends your tax dollars on the unemployed. You, being a job creator, at first balk at the idea. But then, you realize that those who don't have jobs still have to feed their babies. So they go to the grocery store, buy your formula, and you have to make more formula. That tax money you initially paid the government ends up directly back in your pocket...in fact, you have made something like a $1.61 for every tax dollar the government took from you in the first place.

Now think of the thousands of products we all buy (including the unemployed) every day/week/month/year. Government spending its revenue ensuring the unemployed can continue to consume products IS HELPFUL TO THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE PRODUCTS.

Get it?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 6:17 PM

Ben - Please list the group of Marxist and Socialist countries that have been successful. Your points these days are ideal Socialism so enlighten us with a good outcome.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 7:41 AM

Wallis,

I do not support socialism. Capitalism, in my estimation, is clearly the superior economic arrangement. That does not mean it is flawless though. When America was arguably at it best (i.e., after WWII) we had a government that took 80%+ from the wealthy, and used it's revenue to build infrastructure, military, and to take care of its poor and vulnerable. I don't think that America has been or every will be socialist, but we do have a history of taking care of the unemployed. This is one reason I think America is a great nation.

But to answer your question, I am not sure there are any purely socialist states at all. According to the UK's Socialist Party, there are no countries that are genuinely socialist.

There are some nations, like Iceland, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, etc., that are very successful countries which seem to adhere to some tenants of socialism. But even these have strong private sectors, large corporations, private property protections, etc.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 11:48 AM

Of course their are no true socialistic states. The aspects of socialism within the capitalistic state destroy the state before it ever reaches the idealist state that can never exist. When you can't take 100% of the income from the "evil" 1% and put a dent in our debt or deficit the socialistic aspects of or government have become WAYYYYY to large and it is obvious to anyone but a liberal that the "poor and vulnerable" are not the only one's being taken care of anymore, to the detriment of our future.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 12:12 PM

I think married makes a good point. The most successful nations in history enable their citizens to engage in what the authors of Why Nations Fail call, "creative destruction". The Blockbuster example above demonstrates creative destruction in action. That is, new technologies are created to replace the old, and those companies who cannot adapt are destroyed.

There have been (and there still are) states in which a small ruling class strips its citizenry of the incentives to engage in creative destruction in order to maintain and isolate their power. Pure socialism probably does this as well as any other economic or political arrangement. The problem is that isolation of political and economic power is inherently destabilizing. Additionally, (and counter-intuitively) isolation of political and economic power make the forceful overthrow of the powerful a much easier prospect than when political and economic power is diffused among the masses.

So to married's point, nations that do not spread economic and political power to the people, those nations that strip citizens of their incentives to create new businesses, technologies, and products, are usually highly unstable.

Of course, the rest of married's post mostly loose jabbering. But kudos for the first two sentences.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 1:05 PM

Wonder if Bob Costas is going to give a speech about eliminating Alcohol and cars from people. If Josh Brown weren't drunk and driving a car Jerry Brown would be alive.

I am being serious following his speech last week.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 3:29 PM

I'm for Costas having an opinion on gun control, but that was an awfully strange way to share his thoughts.

An article in SI or on ESPN.com would probably have been more appropriate (though less controversial, which I think was the point).

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 3:44 PM

Benevolus,

Your quote, "No form of the fiscal stimulus has proved more effective during the past two years than emergency UI benefits, providing a bang for the buck of 1.61--that is, for every $1 in UI benefits, GDP one year later is increased by an estimated $1.61."

You take $1 from a productive company, or more likely these days, borrow the funds from future tax revenue and give $1 to the unemployed workers. They way GDP is computed, BOTH the $1 spent by the government and the $.61 subsequently spent by the unemployed are counted as addtional GDP.

BUT the big thing is they DO NOT subtract the $1 that would have been spent by the business they took the money from, nor do they subtract the borrowed funds (borrowed from future GDP) in their computation.

I don't doubt your quote. I am simply saying they are wrong, and they are twisting their statistics and their math to arrive at a predetermined outcome.

It's like saying you can take $1 and subtract $1 and still have $1. You my consider it a fact but it is a fact only if you have enough faith to love faulty methods.

Government expenditures have always been counted as part of GDP which is patently unreasonable. It's done to make things look rosier than they are, the same reason it's always been done that way.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Sun, Dec 9, 2012, at 2:25 PM

John,

I am sorry that the facts do not spell out doom and dictatorship. But it's time to face reality.

The word GROSS in GDP, as most readers might conclude, means the total. When you start subtracting things like borrowed money you are no longer talking about GROSS Domestic Product. You are referring to some other number. If you want to discuss this number, come up with a calculation and a name for it, then inform all of the economists out there as to why your number is a better measure of the size of the economy. Once the entire world replaces your more rational number for the GDP, we will take you seriously.

Until then, you are wrong, and the owner of the multi-billion dollar economic analytics company with thousands of employees in almost 30 nations is right.

The government expenditure component of GDP doesn't include transfer payments like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, welfare programs, and subsidies. These are not included in the GDP calculation as they are not direct government payments for goods or services. So you are only partly right about government expenditures being a part of GDP.

But this is not unreasonable. It is a perfectly rational way to measure the output of tax revenues collected and injected back into the economy. If the government builds a jet or invests in off-shore drilling, this is revenue spent directly in the economy.

It is true that because of taxes, your company keeps only a portion of the dollar it earned, the government takes that money and distributes it elsewhere, namely it makes transfer payments or it spends revenue on goods and services.

But, John, when we are talking about about government expenditure in the GDP calculation, we are talking about the money the government puts DIRECTLY back into the economy. Therefore, including this number is not only reasonable, it would not make sense to leave it out.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sun, Dec 9, 2012, at 4:03 PM

This is a really good thing because it actually creates revenue and reduces costs. Covering those with pre-existing conditions is necessary and should be required by law, but it is also going to be expensive.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 11, 2012, at 6:15 PM

Obamacare will go down in history as one of the final nails in the coffin on the march to insolvency. The doers in this nation can only take so much of the bankrupt programs like Amtrak, U.S. Post Office, Medicaid, Medicare, and coming soon Social Security. Spend money you don't have until the reckless behavior kills you. That is the inevitable course of socialism destroying great states. We know it from history and we see it today in Greece, Detroit, California, San Bernardino, Spain, and on and on and on and politicians from both parties act still act liberally. Criminal really.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 9:32 AM

Actually, the CBO predicts that Obamacare will reduce the deficit by about $143 billion over the next 10 years.

http://useconomy.about.com/od/candidates...

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43471

The fact is, Romneycare has been a major factor in Massachusetts reducing its budgetary shortfalls. For example, in 2010, the budget gap for Mass was $5.6 billion, and by 2012 the shortfall shrank to $1.8 billion. In other words, as a percent of the state's general fund, the budget shortfall shrank from 20.4% to 5.5% in 3 years.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711

Here is a reality update: the economy is gaining momentum, the federal deficit/debt will be reduced, one way or the other, after the New Year, Obamacare will be paid for, and America will be just fine.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 10:45 AM

That is exactly what all the aforementioned cities and nations thought. It is my hope that your positive outlook prevails. I wouldn't bet against history and current events though. And now your president wants to take 75% of a tax increase and increase government spending. That doesn't bode well for your rosy scenario. We will have blood on the streets as the Pelosi's, Reid's, and Hussein Obama's now have a voting majority for several elections. When the bankrupt nation can't sustain itself anymore the teetsuckers will riot just as they are in other nations.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 2:49 PM

Married,

I am happy to report that nothing you wrote above will come true. What history tells us is that folks have been forecasting doom and despair when elections don't go their way since time immemorial.

All the libs were telling us that Bush winning in '04 meant the end of America. Now it's time for the lunatics on the right to tell us how doomed we all are.

The idiocy really knows no bounds.

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." B. Franklin

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 3:04 PM

You simple twit. Elections have consequences and the results of decades of elections in Spain, Europe in General, Greece, Detroit, California etc. all have brought the governments to their knees. This is REALITY. You can hide in your closet trembling with your head between your legs and your eyes closed all you want. This nation we live in will be dealing with austerity or bankruptcy in my lifetime. Blood is going to be shed. Heck, some of your union buddies beat up a Fox reporter yesterday. Watch and learn young idealist hiding in the closet. Watch and learn.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 4:30 PM

You make me laugh. Seriously. Keep posting married. You are fun.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 8:09 PM

Yawn...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 1:48 AM

You forgot kwanzaa granny. That makes you a racist scum. Just ask benny if you don't believe me.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 9:30 AM

What about a Happy Hanukkah? Antisemites!

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 9:44 AM

EXACTLY!!!!

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 10:53 AM

About that faux reporter thingy..

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/...

-- Posted by Wildhorse on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 6:06 PM

Ransacked first, then a shove to protect one's ransacked property, then a punch by the ransacker. Come ransack certain property little pony and you will get way more than a shove. .40...9mm...223?????

-- Posted by marriedugly on Sat, Dec 15, 2012, at 1:31 AM

Those loudest in their threats are the weakest in their actions.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 15, 2012, at 3:31 AM

Sounds like Obama's foreign policy with North Korea and Iran. On the homefront there WILL BE NO weakness when the teetsuckers during the coming austerity try to take what does not belong to them. It will be even easier than killing zombies as one will not have to hit them in the brain. Soon Obama will try to prevent you from arming yourself and not long after that austerity will kick in leaving you defenseless in the face of the teetsuckers. Do yourself a favor and go out and purchase an ar-15, a Bushmaster, an SKS (i like my yugo model), or my all time favorite a .223 mini 14. Even the rapper Ice T gets it.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 9:16 AM

Yawn.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 10:25 AM

If not all in we just got the last confirmation to get all in.

2013 looks good for commodities.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 5:33 AM

Are there any commodity based mutual funds or other instruments that I could roll my stock based IRA's into without penalty? If so any recommendations?

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 11:20 AM

http://www.rogersrawmaterials.com/daily....

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 4:48 AM

Uh oh...Bloomberg reports that GDP rose 3.1% last quarter (that's damn good in case you are wondering), and projections look good for the future. I wonder what the GOP will whine and cry about when they can't point to the economy as Obama's biggest failing. It will be very interesting to see what the new narrative will be come spring.

Too bad the world ends tomorrow.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 10:04 AM

And home sales jump 5.9% as well.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 10:35 AM

I for one will continue to voice concern over government spending and government growth that is unsustainable. Austerity now before it is too late. I will also voice concern that liberals I believe really do believe that guns just get up and kill people without human intervention. Is it possible that there is a bigger moron in this world than Piers Morgan? I realize mini is obvious but I am talking about liberals who have an audience.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 10:41 AM

Finally, we can agree on something! The seemingly imminent assault weapons ban doesn't make much sense.

In 1964, Walter Seifert walked into a school with a homemade flamethrower and killed 11 children.

In Columbine, shotguns and a 9mm carbine and tech-9 were used.

In '66, Whitman used a Remington 700 high-powered bolt action hunting rifle and killed 15 UT students.

In '96 Thomas Hamilton killed 18 people, including 16 children in the UK. He was armed with 4 pistols.

5 years ago, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people with 2 pistols, marking the deadliest school shooting in US history.

The point is, people that want to commit mass murder seem to find a way with or without assault rifles. In this case, banning assault weapons does not adequately address the real problems that underlie these shootings: abuse, neglect, misdiagnosis/mistreatment/untreated instances of mental health disorders, unsecured weapons/irresponsible gun owners, etc.

And to answer your question, not only is it possible, but here is a list of folks we know are bigger morons: Glenn Beck, Sarah Plain, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachman, Rich Perry, Herman Cain, and Ann Coulter.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 1:48 PM

You left out DICK morris,KKKarl rove Michael Savage,Bill O'Reilly,Mike Huckabee,Lou Dobbs,Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt.

-- Posted by Wildhorse on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 3:57 PM

Is that real GDP growth or merely inflation disguised as economic growth?

Since the inflation figures are so badly manipulated, it's really hard to know.

A guy who has done real independent work on inflation and unemployment is at Shadow Stats. If you have 6% inflation and 3% GDP growth you're really falling behind without knowing it.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_dat...

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 4:13 PM

You were spot on benny until you had to go and insult 8 great Americans.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 4:32 PM

Link to an excellent article about the manipulation of the consumer price index, deliberate underreporting of inflation:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-20...

Regards,

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 5:22 PM

John,

I guess I don't have as much faith in government to pull off coordinated conspiracies as you. Seriously, man, governments are not very adept at keeping large conspiracies secret for very long. Deliberate underreporting of inflation for the last 100 years? Tens of thousands of people conspiring for decade after decade to deceive the citizenry? Nobody 'blows the whistle' or writes a book to capitalize on their inside info of wrong-doings? Doubtful, John.

Word of wisdom: it's not just BLS economists who understand what CPI measures, it all mainstream economists.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 7:02 PM

Benevolus, it's obvious you did not read the article I linked to. The manipulation of the CPI began in the 1980s and worsened in the 1990s. It hasn't been going on for 100 years! Just the last 25 years or so.

And people have been writing about it for years. but most economists work for the government. If they wish to remain employed, they don't say anything negative about the government, it's statistics, or it's methods.

When the CPI underreports inflation it is a plus for the government in several ways. The social security and other benefits are linked to it, so they don't have to pay out as much in benefits. Also, the tax brackets are linked to it and people pay more income tax when the inflation numbers are manipulated lower. Salaries stay lower at government offices, too.

It's a win-win for the government.

Sorry you didn't read the article. I hope you will. Otherwise, your mind is just simply closed to any information that contradicts your views.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 8:30 AM

As to governments not being very good at hiding conspiracies, you are far wrong there, Benevolus.

Remember the ship, Lusitania, which was allegedly a civilian ship carrying passenger when sunk by the German Uboats in 1915? In 2008 divers discovered an estimated 4 million rounds of .303 ammo for the British. This is what drew the United States into WWI! A blatant lie that went undiscovered for over 70 years.

Remember JFK's numerous adulterous affairs in the 1960s? That was covered up for about 30 years.

Remember the US syphilis experiments on blacks in Tuskegee, Alabama? http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtuskeg...

Those murderous experiments by our government went undetected for 40 years!

These are just the tip of the iceberg.

And you think nongovernment economists are going to blow the whistle on the CPI fraud?

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 1:12 PM

John,

You make me laugh. I like how after each example you prove my point for me with the line "was discovered". You see, CPI indexes go back at least to 1913, that is 100 years. All of the discovered conspiracies above fall well within that time frame.

Sorry, fella, but the sky is not falling, the country is not collapsing, and all will be well.

PS

I read your article. It was not persuasive....sorry but John Williams' work has been full of you-know-what for a long time...

http://blog.jparsons.net/2011/03/shadow-...

http://blog.jparsons.net/2011/06/shadow-...

http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008...

http://traderscrucible.com/2011/04/13/sh...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 1:40 PM

"Sorry, fella, but the sky is not falling, the country is not collapsing, and all will be well."

I was talking about the fraudulent CPI, not the sky, not the country collapsing, nor whether all will be well.

I gave the government lies as proof that they can cover up conspiracies--which you denied, not that the CPI has been fudged for 100 years. Those are separate conspiracies. Some were not discovered for 70 years, some for 30 years. Others not discussed will never be discovered. That was my point; that, contrary to your beliefs, the government is very adept at coverups.

I specifically stated that CPI manipulation has been happening for just the past 25 years. I know the index is 100 years old. That's a fact.

You keep using Benevolous logic, an oxymoron if ever there was.

"Mainstream economists" is a great phrase. Did you know that nearly all progress comes from outside the mainstream? Steve Jobs was not a mainstream computer engineer. Michael Dell left college to create his empire. Nearly every famous scientist was ridiculed early on.

Mainstream is synonymous with "lockstep conformity" and "defenders of the consensus" and "stalwarts of the status quo". At one time in Germany, the Nazis were mainstream.

I recommended before that you check out "True Believers" by Eric Hoffer. It's about mass movements and fanatical believers.

It's not my job to keep you on track. So I leave you to have the last word. I can't waste any more time on ya.

I will return in December, 2015 when we will take another look at my predictions regarding the economy.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 5:05 PM

Last words: Thank you for an engaging conversation. Happy holidays.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 8:27 PM

http://www.barchart.com/chart.php?sym=ZC...

Price of Corn

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 5:38 AM

http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/26/recor...

Coldest winter in Western Russia since 1938.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 6:31 AM

http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/R...

Note the 50 degree "warmup".

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 6:56 AM

Very interesting, especially considering that 2012 is going to be the warmest year on record in US history.

http://www.livescience.com/25780-2012-ex...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 11:30 AM

Any idea how many years ago "record" is?

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:39 AM

If from the beginning of time there were temperature recording devices one would find that the United States has had numerous times in it's history that the temps exceeded those in 2012. Al Gore and benny don't want to hear that but a bunch of dead dinosaurs and shifting seas could attest to it if of course they could attest to anything. And all of these eras where the temps exceeded todays were also of course before the dreaded "carbon pollution" that Al Gore and benny see in their sleep.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 8:35 AM

Wallis,

The National Weather Service began taking detailed and systematized records in 1870. Before that there was more of a patchwork of local records that were kept sometimes officially, sometimes in less official (but probably still highly accurate) places like a farmer's diary. We do know that accounts of weather patterns go back thousands of years and cross most civilizations.

Of course, fields like paleoclimatology have been able to piece together large-scale weather patterns for the entire span of the Earth's history, so as Married points out, we do have a sense of weather patterns before record keeping began.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 1:04 PM

Where were those locations for the National Weather service? Did Lincoln start taking systematized and detailed records in 1870? How about McCook?

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 3:17 PM

There were locations all over the interior of the nation as well as the coasts beginning in 1870. "Observing sergeants" in the Army were put in charge of collecting data in the beginning.

Regarding Lincoln and McCook, I do not know for sure when station went up there...bu certainly detailed records were kept near to those locations.

"On November 8, 1870, General Myer requested Professor Lapham to assume responsibility for the Great Lakes region (with a salary of $167 per month), and Lapham obliged by issuing the first storm warning the same day. The dispatch sent to observers on the Great Lakes, read:

"High wind all day yesterday at Cheyenne and Omaha; a very high wind this morning at Omaha; barometer falling with high winds at Chicago and Milwaukee today; barometer falling and thermometer rising at Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester; high winds probable along the Lakes."

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/pa/history/evolu...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 5:04 PM

Gma,

Thank you for regurgitating that blog post from over a year ago.

In case anyone wants to know where the bloggers Gma is stealing from got their idea:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-phase-o...

Not surprisingly, your stolen post is only half right. If we raise household income (revenue) AND reduce household expenditures (federal budget) then we can begin to run a responsible house like that commie Bill Clinton did.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 5:23 PM

You make me smile, Gma. Happy new year to you too.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:15 PM

For future reference though, GMa, since clearly you are about as educated as a malt-worm...

If you find a source and cite it, you are not plagiarizing.

If you find a source, change a few words, and try to pass it off like you thought of it, that is called stealing.

Your character is revealed by your actions above, but it's not like anybody thought highly of you anyway.

Cheers!

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:22 PM

My staff meteorologist informed me that the "Weather Bureau" as it was called back then tracked weather but temperatures were not really recorded and the "Weather Bureau" was a Military operation and therefore near strategic locations IE ports and rivers and forts.

He informed me that individual weather readings vary from City to City and State to State as far as individual readings go.

He also stated again that until Radar Hurricanes were only reported if they made land or ships encountered them and reported them. Therefore, modern Hurricane tracking began in earnest about 50 years ago. Not a lot of data 120 years or so considering the Great Pyramids were built over 4500 years ago.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:34 PM

Wallis, you may want to hire a new meteorologist...

"The Signal Service's field stations grew in number from 24 in 1870 to 284 in 1878. Three times a day (usually 7:35 a.m., 4:35 p.m., and 11:35 p.m.), each station telegraphed an observation to Washington, D.C. These observations consisted of:

Barometric pressure and its change since the last report.

Temperature and its 24-hour change.

Relative humidity.

Wind velocity.

Pressure of the wind in pounds per square foot.

Amount of clouds.

State of the weather."

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/pa/history/evolu...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 7:48 PM

College is cheap for old folks these days, Gma, you might think about trying to elevate yourself to the status of flour beetle...you are the best. ;)

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 11:54 PM

Yawn.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 12:26 PM

OK Ben give google a rest. I will ask you some questions and lets see how you answer them.

How are you on your differential equations?

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 2:41 PM

Meteorology isn't an easy degree pal.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 4:26 PM

Pretty vague question, Wallis. I have some experience with ordinary DE's, but mostly first-order stuff. Why?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 4:36 PM

From what I have heard about meteorology, it is a tough field.

By the way, I am surprised that you have a staff meteorologist, but still no GIS specialist. Get with the times man! Or send your meteorologist to get GIS certified.

http://www.exprodat.com/

(Check out the links under "Success Stories")

http://www.esri.com/Industries/petroleum...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 4:42 PM

You guys can drone about differential equations all you want. This is the weather the real people want. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfcvxTr29...

-- Posted by marriedugly on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 11:07 AM

That is hilarious, married.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 11:54 AM

There was actually a modicum of compromise and bipartisanship. I didn't think congress had it in them.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 6:57 AM

I disagree. Obama compromised on more than a few issues. One of the major compromises was the issue of tax increases on those making 250K+.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 1:15 PM

Chris Christi doesn't seem to share your perspective Gma:

"Last night, the House majority failed most basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state. ... It was disappointing and disgusting to watch."

He also unapologetically named names: "There's only one group to blame ... the House majority, and their Speaker, John Boehner." He added that the relief bill "just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority."

Toxic internal politics of the House majority. Zang!

Countdown to the predictable Christie is really a Democrat argument...3...2...1...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 6:48 PM

Don't be weak, Gma. Write what's in your heart and mind. It won't surprise anyone, given your low education.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 1:09 AM

Christie is all for one thing, Christie.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 9:16 AM

That's awfully funny coming from the king troll himself, Gma.

Married, it is pretty clear that Christie is all for the people in his state. He has little to gain personally in all this. It is uncomfortable for mainstream GOPers, I am sure. But in Christie you have a politician with Conservative values who is clearly unafraid to be frank and honest about the problems in the Grand Old Party.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 9:37 AM

He has re-election goals he is pandering for. The nation is broke and the bill was filled with expensive BS. He is frank and I like him a lot actually but he is still nothing more than a *&^%$# politician with his hand out. When we have a bunch of elected politicians with their hands out trying to take tax dollars back instead of doling them out we will be getting somewhere.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 10:00 AM

It really is amazing the anger that you exhibit. Did a politician pee in your Wheaties or something?

You cannot be serious about this being a reelection stunt, can you? He is a Republican governor of a blue state. Rest assured that he will need mainstream GOP support for any future campaigns, be they Gubernatorial, Senatorial or otherwise. It may turn out that he has to leave the party altogether for his laudatory comments of Obama before an election and his recent criticisms of the GOP.

Also, regarding hand outs, asking for relief money from a natural disaster is not exactly a bridge to nowhere. And as Christie pointed out, New Jersey folks (and Northeast states in general) send more to the federal government in taxes than they get back in federal aid. Unlike many of red states represented by conservatives in Congress which receive far more welfare than blue states.

The bottom line is that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Christie has been a strong advocate for his constituents. If anything were to earn him reelection it would be his ACTUAL leadership during this crisis. Were more politicians like him, regardless of party, maybe folks like yourself wouldn't spend so much of their time angry and hate-filled?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 10:50 AM

The relief money is fine. The bill was stuffed with other spending and needs to be pared. I agree we definitely need more politicians to lead while Obama fiddles. We are burning whether 51% of the public wants to believe it or not.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 11:29 AM

I am glad we agree about Christie, but "burning" is quite a bit on the extreme side. Car sales are the best they've been in 5 years, on the whole the economy is adding jobs at an increasing rate each month, US manufacturing is coming back, and housing is the strongest its been since the early 2000's.

There are major financial problems that we face, no question. But in the end, the country will be fine.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 1:18 PM

The PORK in this bill was ALL for the Red States of Alabama,Mississippi,Texas and Louisiana.Why??

Each is not only a red state, but each of these states are represented by two Republican senators--with the exception of Louisiana with its one GOP senator.

And what happens when you buy off seven Republican senators with a package of goodies under the guise of storm relief supposedly meant to benefit two blue states?

You get yourself a filibuster proof piece of legislation.

This is why they will keep losing elections until they're gone.They don't care who or what they ruin to keep power.Slimy Pigs.And anyone that tries to defend their part in this repulsive act is just as disgusting.

-- Posted by Wildhorse on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 10:22 PM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 8:20 PM

Wallis,

As a part of my graduate assistantship I have to teach two undergrad Geography courses. I can say that while your article may be true for many places in the US, at UNL I find most students to be well-mannered. hard-working, and down to earth.

Of course, you are citing British sources, so who knows if that is at all relevant to the US?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 1:15 AM

S&P 500 going to at least 1500. Will likely make a new high. Oil and Gold have made major bottoms.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 6:11 AM

T-bonds also finally look to be at a bottom. Not calling it yet but close. That should spell an end to these low interest rates.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 6:18 AM

Just finished a long calculation. Based on the amount of Fed stimulus over the last 3 years we should be at 4%-6% GDP growth just to account for all the "printed" money in the system. We are still at 2%. Therefore, there is a potential that the market could be up a lot this year as 2% growth is now considered good. If that isn't the case the question becomes "where is all that money going"?.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:10 AM

Oil - Gold and S&P 500 still moving along as forecast.\

Oil could be breaking out and a big move could be in front of us. Need to confirm this is not a false break. But have been long for a while now.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 6:19 AM

Who on this board goes to work 5 days a week or more?

Just curious.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 20, 2013, at 10:59 AM

S&P 500 reached 1500 yesterday reaching the projected objective. The trend is still up so I am tightening my stops to protect me if the market drops. Oil still looks like a strong uptrend small possibility that today could be a high but not very high. I think that the oil markets are actually very bullish.

An example of how I practice what I preach I am going to set a company record for drilling the first half of this year.

OK Ben - you argue with everyone and point out repeatable how you are the only person (besides) Mike that is ever correct on anything. I point blank asked you what the markets were going to do in October telling you that it was a time to make a big decision. You bear baited me and argued for the sake of arguing. The facts are behind and the markets have moved and some of us actually hit the buy button - risked money and made money. Now You and your buddies accuse me of being the Man and argue for me to pay my fair share (I guess over a 1/3 of the profits) aren't fair.

I suggested to Mike 3 years ago that he had what it took to trade the markets. It is a study of history to understand markets and history repeats itself. He never even replied to my comments.

The difference between guys like you and me is "if you guys are so smart why aren't you rich". If you guys are as smart as you think you are why aren't you smart enough to learn how to buy and sell stocks or commodities and make money doing it? Once you learn it really isn't that hard.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 6:11 AM

Looking at Apple for the first time in years. Bought Apple based on the "I saved Christmas" ad campaign in October 2002 in the low $20's. Proceeded to watch the stock drop to the mid teens in 2003. Held on and sold in Jan. 2008 at $188. Didn't buy at the time based on sound entry and that bear market lasted longed than I thought. My system has evolved since then.

Apple is at $450 from a high of $700. If the market is going to make new highs I would guess AAPL would have to participate. IBM is moving up again. AAPL is a falling knife so no buying until I get a confirmation of a bottom.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 7:03 AM

Hey, Wallis, have you considered starting a trading blog on here? I bet you'd have quite a few readers.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 10:45 AM

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100406134

The EPA is holding up injection permits. I have 6 injection permits that have been submitted over a year ago. The EPA has increased permit fees for everything related to the oil industry. Yet - the oil industry is providing the United States a competitive advantage.

The proposed tax increases on the Oil and Gas Industry will increase the price of oil and gas due to deceased drilling. Hope that doesn't change things.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:23 AM

Ben - I have one.

I have been providing the best trades on this blog for about 3 years. I came to the conclusion that most political bloggers don't really care about business or money making opportunities. They view politics as a spectator sport and not as a means to an end.

I think I have been proven correct. I have limited most of my posts over the years to either how to make money or how the Democrats have tried to interfere with business or how people can make themselves better.

Funny that I am attacked for that but true none the less.

I actually think that Mike has what it take to be a good trader. You need to study history and realize that history always repeats. The vast majority of people sell low and buy high. That is due to greed and fear. People also need to realize that all booms are followed by busts and all busts are followed by booms. Once a person figures that out they become in control not dependent on "help".

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:30 AM

www.extex.net

Check out the Question and Answer section.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:31 AM

I work more than 5 days a week so Jesse Jackson Jr. and his ilk don't have too.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 10:33 AM

That was quite a diatribe, Wallis. Pretty whiny stuff.

I actually enjoy reading your trade advice, and I pay attention enough to review how your advice plays out. I can't take anything away from Mike's trading ability, but I was doing pretty well before you, and I suspect that will be the case in future, whether you have a dedicated blog or not.

Oh by the way, here is some history for you, GDP and the markets always outperform when a Democrat is office. You can save your ignorant small business mumbo-jumbo for your like minded pals who wouldn't know what history is if it fell from the sky and married their daughter.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 1:01 PM

Ben - Please share your trading ideas.

Can't believe you are holding out on us.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 1:31 PM

Wallis, why did you ignore the history lesson? Truth a bit uncomfy? I even went out of my way to find a Fox Business report of the truth about Dem vs Reps vis-a-vis stocks and production. Oh well.

I've told you before. I am not comfortable giving trading advice in this forum because I am not even close to an expert. I defer to you in this arena.

But here is a recent success story:

Netflix was trading at 250+ and the bottom fell out in 2011 when they pivoted to streaming videos. They were trading at below 100 in fall of 2011 and by September of this year, they were down to 57/share.

That is when I decided to buy.

Since September they are up 198%, and they are still trading somewhat low at 170/share.

I am not suggesting a buy/sell strategy, just pointing out that my dabbling has tended to pay off.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 2:06 PM

Bought me some Apple today at $445.

Yum

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 9:29 PM

Mark Zandi demonstrates the point Gma, as do others. For every dollar spent on unemployment insurance, GDP the next year sees $1.61 in growth. I am sorry that numbers and facts contradict your world view.

Mark Zandi is a corporate executive, he is chief economist for one of the most well-respected analytic organizations in the world. His conclusion is the same as mine, unemployment insurance helps the economy. I would guess there is a point of diminishing returns, but we can't get you past the facts of the matter, so there is little point in discussing nuances.

At this point I am not sure what your counter-argument is, you seem content to insult and poke fun but you do not offer any substantial points of contention. Please enlighten me if you have facts to disprove one of the world's leading economists. Until then, forgive me if I am persuaded by math, economics, facts, and expertise.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 12:48 AM

What I found most interesting about your post Grams is that the word idiots and liberals are interchangeable. Every one of these observations in idiocy (or liberalism) is true and there are many more. Without a doubt liberals are destroying this nation bit by bit. And they wonder why we are arming ourselves against the future when all these idiots and their minions realize they have destroyed the host and set out to forage from what is left of the hosts. Watch and learn. Arm and prepare.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 8:44 AM

Thanks for thinking of me, Gma. Some of those are pretty funny. Ironic, but funny.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 9:44 AM

They are all true. Anything but funny.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 9:58 AM

They are funny because most of the list applies appropriately to "Conservative" politicians as well.

It's actually quite humorous.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 11:39 AM

NONE of them work when you place conservative in the place of idiot. NONE. They do all however work nicely with liberal or fool. Still anything but funny.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 11:44 AM

Since we are sharing funny things we find online:

Things Conservatives Believe

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

"Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all humankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

Group sex and gay sex are degenerate sins until you are caught for it, then a) everyone is delusional, b) it was because of the drug habit, or c) the Jews in the media are out to get you.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

HMO's and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science and global conspiracies, but creationism is valid should be taught in schools.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 5:21 PM

Benevolus,

How old is this list? Did you just find it online recently or do you keep it on file for just these types of occasions?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 8:41 PM

I just found it...some of it's a bit dated, it's true, but I thought it humorous enough to share.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 10:56 PM

Crude is 45 day low to low so this breakout is confirmed. $99-102 is a first range (been long for several weeks).

USD$ is about to make another move down. We will lose a currency war with Japan but should be constructive for the S&P 500 short term.

S&P 500 is meeting the expected resistance at 1507-1510 - 1523 looks pretty good - step 1 of a 3 step cycle for a crash cycle is setting up for the March time period. Still not a concern but step 1 is complete. The crash scenario is a rare occurrence but when is happens the setup is clear to us and the move is legend.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 5:30 AM

The week was another good one. Watching Crude closely.

The USD$ appears to be critical to further advances in commodities and equities. The USD$ should breakdown over the next week.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 6:04 AM

The Brent/WTI spread is growing again. LLS (Louisiana Light Sweet) and California crude is selling for over $110/bbl while WTI is selling in the mid $90's and West Texas Sour is in the $70's. Bottlenecks due to increased US production is the culprit. We have been focusing on our non-WTI indexed bbls.

Can Hedge LLS basis Argus at over $110 for the remainder of 2013 while WTI is $96.

On the long side yesterday was a successful test of the obvious support in WTI and have put in a stop at $95.25. Basis WTI is still in a strong uptrend with $101 the obvious target.

The $USD is not acting like it should. I believe based on comments out of Japan last night the currency war that has begun will begin to be discussed.

S&P is hovering around that 1507-1510 range. With the increased volatility that we are seeing now a top is on the radar. Still long but looking for signs to exit.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 6:17 AM

Mike seems to be AWOL. Nothing on Daily Kos either.

??????

-- Posted by boojum666 on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 9:53 PM

Mini has taken a new job and is attempting to start a new chapter in his life devoid of the crushing stress he's had to deal with regarding opposition to his positions. For a narcissist to deal with the affliction one must take themselves out of the situation where opposition to one's megalomania resides and that is what he is trying to do. It won't work as he is about as narcissistic as they get. He has overcome drug addiction and alcoholism and I can only pray he can defeat his own ego.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 1:43 PM

Even if you know Michael or his family personally, such that you know these accusations are true, why are you airing details of Michael's personal life?

Are you so weak a person that you have to find ways to publicly humiliate a person who isn't even here to defend himself?

Pathetic. Seriously.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 10:55 AM

When one's ego drives them to seek center stage in multiple venues the public and personal life become one. In this case he knows that his public life has crippled his personal life. There is no humiliation in being humbled nor seeking to reduce the stress in one's life. He can defend himself Benny but it would be like a heroin addict sticking the needle in his arm at the rehab clinic. Pray for him that he does not load the needle so to speak and start his inane liberal rantings again. He nor his new job can take it.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 1:42 PM

How much easier it is to criticize than to seek understanding, eh?

I guess the good news is that given the low source of these insults, I doubt anyone would be very "humbled" by them.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Feb 14, 2013, at 1:41 PM

The ultimate in humbling is silence and in this case it is deafening. His demons will rise again I am sure but right now they are humbled and mute.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Feb 14, 2013, at 5:02 PM

Benevolus,

"How much easier it is to criticize than to seek understanding, eh?"

"Are you so weak a person that you have to find ways to publicly humiliate a person who isn't even here to defend himself?

Pathetic. Seriously"

Are you blind to this stuff or do you justify it to yourself in some other way?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Feb 14, 2013, at 7:40 PM

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Feb 14, 2013, at 10:16 PM

Yes, married, I am sure that you prefer those who see the world differently than you do just keep their mouths shut.

Yours is a fairly un-American attitude, but it isn't surprising.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Feb 14, 2013, at 10:19 PM

A pretty non event week. S&P 500 has hit all targets. Still long but with tight stops. Nice 3 month run. Crude oil is poised to make another run at $110 basis WTI. That run may occur March - June time frame. Still long but also getting out if it breaks down. Apple trade looks like a decent one. Reports are a lot of big guys got in around time I did. Short Squeeze coming?

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 6:17 AM

Benevolus,

So does that make you king of the hypocrites?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:16 AM

grandmajo,

They are not the same person, although that isn't necessarily to say that Benevolus doesn't have alter egos.

Granted, there are marked similarities, the first two that come to mind are a desire to have the last word and an apparent phobia of ever admitting they are wrong even in the face of overwhemling evidence.

However, Benevolus doesn't misspell and misuse words the way Michael does, I don't think he'd be talented enough to correct that.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:19 AM

SW,

If I say yes, does that mean you must call me "your highness"?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:24 AM

Benevolus,

I thought according to marriedugly that Michael was "highness". Anyway, kings are properly addressed as Majesty, lower ranking nobles are varying degress of Highness. I would have thought with your vast knowledge of 15th Century history you would know that.

But if you'd like, I can call you that.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:38 AM

SW,

"a desire to have the last word..."

Rather than speculating I actually looked at the data. Here is what I found...

Not counting this blog (since the conversation is still active), or the video game blog (since that was kind of a non-topic), since 9/22/11, I have had the last post 30% of the time on Mike's blogs. Wallis has posted last 26% of the time, Mike 17%, and then "other" rounds out the remainder.

In conclusion, I don't think that posting last 3 out of 10 blogs makes me "desirous" of the last word. In fact, the vast majority of the time I don't have the last word. It may just mean that I am a more active poster than others. But I do have the highest "last post" figure, so you have a partial point. However, it does not seem that Michael particularly cares about having the last word. At least not recently. In any event, these data don't strongly support your argument.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 9:45 AM

Mini is so desirous of the last word that you can't count on 3 peoples hands the individuals he has had banned. Benny, I only prefer him to keep his mouth shut for his own good and the good of his family and job. If your life starts to suffer due to your inane liberal rantings and the need to spew liberal venom I would hope you would stifle your self also.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 1:40 PM

Benevolus,

You interpreted that a little more literally than I intended. I was talking about having the last word in a conversation between two people, not the mechanical final post of a post.

That said the fact that three posters, two of whom I mentioned, account for 73% of the literal last word is tends to support rather than refute my comment especially when I look at many of the times that Wallis is the last post, when he just randomly drops some stock advice.

But, I will concede that I was wrong about including Michael in that thought. I've given it some more thought since your post and I realize that Michael doesn't desire the last word in the sense I was meaning. Instead he lobs bombs then runs away and refuses to support them or respond to any opposing facts.

Good news, it supports my opinion that you and he are in fact two separate entities.

Telling that you have no argument for my second point, should I treat that as an admission?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 1:54 PM

SW,

"Telling that you have no argument for my second point, should I treat that as an admission?"

I don't see anybody admitting they are wrong much around here, so your argument is fairly generic. I think you and I may be just as culpable as anyone with regard to stubbornly sticking to a point. However, you may recall an earlier conversation in which I demonstrated that I have a history of conceding points (if not entire arguments) and using language such as "I can see where you are coming from"..."You make a strong case"...etc.

While not an admission of being wrong per se, these types of phrases do leave the door open for mutual understanding.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 7:08 PM

It makes me feel good that I have not posted a blog since around the last election and I am still under some people's skin so deep that they still bring me up in discussion.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 1:08 PM

Mini is so desirous of the last word that you can't count on 3 peoples hands the individuals he has had banned. Benny, I only prefer him to keep his mouth shut for his own good and the good of his family and job. If your life starts to suffer due to your inane liberal rantings and the need to spew liberal venom I would hope you would stifle your self also.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 1:40 PM

Translate -- Shut up if you know what's good for you. What a wonderful individual you are ugly. At least the name fits.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 1:10 PM

It makes me feel good to be quoted by someone whose skin I am under. New meds???

-- Posted by marriedugly on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 6:00 PM

Just so you know I am not shutting up anytime soon, so you might as well get used to it ugly.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 8:04 PM

Lithium I am guessing. Be careful with that stuff. I knew you would come back as you had no choice in your compulsive weakness. I welcome it mini. Welcome back.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 8:46 AM

Stopped out. Nice run while it lasted.

Looking for S&P 500 to go to 1480 oil should find support in the low 90's. Looking for a nice seasonal run in Crude from March to May.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 5:51 AM

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cbo-fede...

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Mar 4, 2013, at 6:06 AM

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/U...

Tax revenue at all time high and Rich paying up.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Mar 4, 2013, at 6:08 AM

And investors are enjoying all-time highs in the market...seems fair

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/05/investin...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Mar 5, 2013, at 6:05 PM

The taxes are real while the stock market is as fake as a bunch of printed money can be. Bad things on the horizon. This new high will plummet at some time and plummet right into the next great depression. When it happens is anyone's guess.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Wed, Mar 6, 2013, at 2:52 PM

Nonsense.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Mar 6, 2013, at 9:33 PM

I am predicting a free fall in the stock market depending upon the German elections this fall. The Euro and the European Union is a house of cards held up by massive amounts of debt owed to each other. When it falls is when our house of cards starts to fall. Bernanke can artificially prop us up only so long before reality sets in and our house of cards falls. We have over 200 Trillion dollars in debt and entitlement requirements due in the coming years. We simply can't handle it. Liberalism has put us in this position. Watch and learn.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 9:21 AM

The sky is falling...blah blah...liberals...blah blah...America is ruined...blah blah...

You've heard the term, "broken record" right?

Anyway, you got a time-frame for all this doom and gloom? Two years? Ten? Sometime in the not-so-distant future? How long we got, Nostradamus?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 11:05 AM

"When it happens is anyone's guess." I am not sure which word in the above quote you are having trouble with benny. If Bernanke can keep fooling everyone with his funny money it will be several years. If the Euro crumbles it will be shortly thereafter. History doesn't give examples of what is about to happen as our countries debt and entitlement obligations have no historic examples which is foreboding enough by its self. Oh, it is coming benny, sooner or later it is coming. Watch and learn.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 11:21 AM

I am not having any trouble, you just fall into a long line of people since the Roman empire and probably before that incessantly and irrationally offer their nonspecific doomsday hypothesis.

The typical prophecy: the actions of group/person 'x' will cause the end of our civilization. I have no idea when this will happen because I am completely full of it, but whenever it does happen, it will be sure to be the fault of group/person x.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 1:12 PM

My prediction is akin to Moses saying there is going to be a great flood after the 39th day of record rain. We ARE going to have a reckoning. I don't suppose you will get the analogy of course.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 2:18 PM

Ahh, yes, I get it indeed. You are saying your prediction is a fictional story. Gotcha.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 2:54 PM

While I agree the Moses story is fiction the analogy is not and the debt and obligations are certainly real. Watch and learn young suckling. Furthermore the world will not end and civilization will move on but not until we wallow through a depression much worse than the first one. This $%^& is real benny no matter how deep you put your head up there.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 3:23 PM

In the 1930's many people in world, especially in the USSR, believed that capitalism was a fatally flawed system, and the US economy was proof. There was, however, a Russian agricultural economist named Nikolia Kondratiev, who did not believe this. He examined the data and realized that capitalist systems tend to expand, stagnate, then recess about every 60 years. Based on this cyclical nature of capitalism, he predicted that the US would recover (as other capitalist nations had previously). He argued that economic turmoil that comes with stagnation then recession was an inevitability at end of a long-wave of expansion; he thought of this difficult time period (as a Russian might) the "winter" of capitalist expansion.

He was sent to the gulag and summarily executed for his arguments because Stalin wasn't interested in the truth. But Kondratiev was right.

Many academic economists have used Kondratiev waves to explain and predict the current global economic cycle. Their prediction (which relies not on zealotry and hate as yours does, but rather on data and history), is that the world economy will contract until 2017 or so, and then expand again as it did roughly 60 to 70 years ago.

Written in 2010 using K-wave theory...

"At some point during the next few years, at a time when things will seem to be bleakest, the next Kondratiev Spring will begin. Stocks and real estate will be the best asset classes to own. Until that time, gold, silver, and mining shares are what investors need to own."

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article199...

Now that, I believe.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 6:31 PM

Because of America's Natural Gas independence there is going to be next era of America being the World's economic power.

If only the Government would stop trying to kill this miracle the country will thrive. Cap and Trade and Frac hysteria and Solar and Batteries cannot compete with efficient forms of energy and oil and gas are the most efficient. The acceptance of this NG fact is almost here.

BTW Ben I have posted in the past that I think a another 12 year bull market is right around the corner starting about 2017.

BTW the USSR was was post WWII.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 7:24 PM

Wallis,

Thanks for the USSR correction. You are right.

Many predict roughly the same as you. It will be interesting to see what effect the sequestration has on the recent uptick in stocks. I'd guess the current trend holds, and the 2017 prediction came early (but I have no sense of these things).

To your other point, fracking is a highly relevant frontier, no argument there, but so are renewables. The fact is, the US (and Canada) is headed towards natty gas, but the world seems to be headed in the direction of renewables, and the US has the research and manufacturing infrastructure in place to corner world markets in both.

In my opinion, people who align against fracking are just as myopic as people who align against green energy. We can have our cake, and eat it too.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 2:10 AM

The people aligned against fracking are opposed to it in all forms. They want it stopped and they want it stopped now. The people aligned against green energy are NOT against green energy nor do they want it stopped now. What they are against is green energy being forced upon us through over regulation and under-exploration and the skyrocketing costs that come with this forced green energy. The tree huggers are dead set against oil and fracking while the rest of us are for an all of the above approach.

-- Posted by marriedugly on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 8:23 AM

Broken record

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 10:20 AM

More evidence of the upward trend...

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/08/news/eco...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 12:57 PM

Renewables cost more than the MMBTU's they produce. If you study Nazi Germany they produced gasoline from coal. The expense was great.

The difference between capitalism and other forms of economic systems is capitalism promotes competition which lowers prices as the low cost producer wins. Socialism and other similar economic systems discourage competition.

Renewables cannot compete with hydrocarbons. Just look at the Organic Chemistry.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 7:21 AM

Wallis,

It is clear that technological and economic barriers exist where alternative and renewable energies are concerned. No argument there. But if technological and economic barriers were reasonable and defensible justifications for NOT exploring and investing in alternative sources of energy, we would still be riding horses and using steam engines.

I am glad that we live in a science-based country with the space and infrastructure in place to support the worldwide movement away from fossil fuels. The US is a consumer nation now, and if we want to become relevant to production again, we need to be pioneers in emerging industries. The renewable market is an untapped resource in revitalizing our basic sector.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 2:56 PM

Market has reached my range of 1660-1665. We are in an exhaustive move up. Market could easily go higher with this style top but I am tightening my stops for now.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 6:07 AM


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