Gary Goodman
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    • Gary Goodman

      IT’s not just what we all say about ‘caring’, Congress CAUSES joblessness on purpose and perhaps by accident too. Balanced budget is the recipe for recession and mass unemployment, except during a boom or bubble of growing credit and/or growth in exports. Net Growth in exports is impossible, that’s the POINT of globalization: cheap imports, higher profits, cheap labor. Which is OK if we had enough fiscal spending to create domestic-use jobs, which we need. We don’t necessarily need jobs in mfg-for-export. Corps like to buy cheap stuff abroad. Some is excellent: Androids and Ipods, tires, etc. Growth in household and business credit is impossible NOW. Now is still the collapse phase after the bank-run Bubble in housing and mortgage securities. Now homes are underwater, and so are home owners. Eventually house prices may rise and bank credit may flow again. So credit shrank post 2007, and is not expanding, or very little. The only other source of real domestic money (US-denominated financial assets) is Uncle Sam. China does not create a single US Dollar, nor does it “lend” dollars to the U.S.A. China parks it’s surplus dollar account credits here, which is NORMAL. What else would they do with surplus dollars except buy T-Bonds and T-Bills? Trade for foreign currency? Then foreigners would hold T-Bonds and T-Bills. China already bought up the global supply of copper, and they spent enough dollars to buy the energy they want. The “national debt” is the RESULT of wealthy people and foreign investors SAVINGS. The “national debt” is a bunch of bank deposit accounts —- Treasury Securities accounts —- held by Uncle Sam as spreadsheet entries on international financial computers, and guaranteed by Uncle Sam. We will not steal the savings of depositors: ergo, that’s the national “debt”, a promise to pay. That’s a benefit (to the rich, mostly) not a curse.

    • Gary Goodman

      We’ve known for at least 100 years, if the Govt does not engage in “spending stupidity”, capitalism FAILS. Big business lobbied at the end of the 19th century for federal intervention, federal controls, federal foreign lending, and direct federal subsidies to business. At first they said only railroad investors needed Govt Handouts. Then Morgan and friends said ALL BIG CAPITAL INVESTMENT needs Govt Handouts. “Triumph of Conservatism” by Kolko. Funny, they called that the “Progressive Era” and it was totally started by Republicans. Actual progressive economists wanted to tax UNEARNED INCOME of the rich. Conservatives borrowed the “progressive” label and sold a version of “trickle down economics” to the Govt, which was Welfare for the Rich. After all, they were Capitalist investors. They DESERVED handouts, because they were special. (They needed federal protection from new competitive innovations, new entrepreneurs, and all forms of competition, and from local and state govts which were sometimes more democratic.) But the Capitalists were RIGHT, in a sense. Capitalism cannot function without SOME “Communism”, if you wanna call it that. But who should get the handouts? Rich people do not boost consumer spending by $500 when they get $500 from the govt. Rich people, by definition, SAVE that $500, usually in the form of Govt Debt (T-Bonds), or they invest in foreign financial speculation. (The upper middle class might invest in something local and useful.) With all those Trillions of US Dollars “leaking” out to corporate imports, if the Govt does not add (Spend) that quantity of Dollars back in to the hands of American consumers, the private sector MUST decline, sales MUST decline, profits MUST decline, and wages must go down and jobs must decline too. You can’t force wages in a “mature” economy like the US down to wage levels in a “developing” economy that’s the equivalent of America 100 years ago. We’ve advanced for 100 years, but some want to push wages back 100 years, to 50¢ an hour, what Chinese workers get to make iPads and Laptops and such. If American workers made $25 or even $35 per week, not only would they have to live outside, not only would they starve to death (amidst a vast surplus of food production), but who could actually afford to BUY ANYTHING?
      When did capitalism stop being about production AND consumption?
      Around 1980.

    • Gary Goodman

      yes, but it’s even more than that.  Anyone who knows the history of capitalism — and not make believe fairy tale capitalism — knows that Capitalists have ALWAYS relied on various Govt Handouts of money and services. Capitalism FAILS without “communism” for the Capitalists. That’s not just me saying that. Top Capitalists from the mid-late 1800s and early 1900s clamored for Govt Handouts.  Since “progressive economics” was a popular left wing grassroots interest at the time — the benefits of socialism but keeping private markets — the Big Capitalists called THEIR “reforms” — Federal Subsidies and Federal regulations of markets —- the “Progressive Era”. It was ALL Republican. Read “Triumph of Conservatism” by Kolko. The New Deal was an Add-on module. That entailed more govt-subsidized consumption, but Big Capitalists understood that while the “benefits” (surplus food) went to the poor, the PROFITS went to the rich. Who gets the MONEY on Food Stamp cards? Your favorite retailer, management, employees, shareholders. We can talk about the injustice of bailing out the Rich while they run around pretending they are “free market” purists.  But the bottom line seems to be the bottom line, that Capitalists COULDN’T maintain decent and steady profit margins EXCEPT with lots of Big Govt intervention, shaping, military protection, diplomatic agreements, “foreign” aid, and flat out direct Govt Handouts. Who thinks it’s a mistake that the Pentagon was buying toilet seats and hammers from $800 to $1200? That’s the PROFITS that helped business and finance survive. Also some would “trickle down” to ordinary people, via jobs. Now they STILL want to keep the New Deal, but only keep HALF of the New Deal —- their half!! Corp Subsidies. They want to destroy the OTHER half of the New Deal, consumer demand subsidies. Fortunately, a FEW Big Capitalist enterprises are slowly facing the fact that Govt Cutbacks mean THEY will lose a lot of money. Like the AMA is opposing Medicare and Medicaid cutbacks to “balance the budget” with Obamacare. They WANT the Obamacare handouts, but they need the other handouts too. CUTS in govt spending means CUTS in Health Care profits.  Also more layoffs of medical personnel at a time when medical needs of western societies are growing rapidly … that’s smart?? How much to laid off people contribute to Demand, Sales, Profits? NONE! Very little.

    • Gary Goodman

      Lynn Stout (below), BRILLIANT Corporate Law Attorney, Consultant, and Prof, is talking about how private commodity futures exchanges — which don’t manage actual commodities, as we know, just financial bets — in the past were set up as ‘private’ gambling houses which, for their own self-interests, imposed strict requirements on members. That is, that members had to be able to cover their own losses. No deadbeats allowed. Once these were opened up by Congress as “contract law” which made interest rate swaps (bets) and later ALL kinds of derivatives bets legally enforceable “business” contracts — contrary to 1000s of years of business history —- and a losing counter-party to a bet couldn’t just walk away flipping the bird —— the market for making non-productive parasitic bets was opened up to the whole world, so to speak, including commercial banks using FDIC-guaranteed consumer savings. That’s a GOVERNMENT HANDOUT. Anyone there ashamed? In a sense, a small obscure sidebar derivative gambling market became ‘normalized’ into the generic financial markets by Congress. Does that explanation make sense? This is unlike insurance. When you insure something, you OWN the item that is insured, and when you “win the bet” — your car is totaled or your house burns down — you lose the insured item. Arson and intentional fraud is prosecuted. Derivatives are betting on something you DON’T own, like a horse at the race track where you bet against other gamblers, or betting on a boxing match where you have no financial or managerial connection to the boxer. There are virtually no limits to making a bet with a bookie, other than the bookie’s own limits. (But the bookie also can’t take a customer to court.) As Lynn said, if murder-for-hire became a legalized business, anyone would expect that market to grow vastly. 19th Century judges had already figured out that having “gambling” as a widespread market phenomenon, where courts would SUBSIDIZE that business by providing FREE or CHEAP legal enforcement support (a government handout!!), one could only expect that business to grow rapidly to a large volume of activity. THAT HAPPENED, to the great benefit of winners. And the losers … well they were often losing OTHER people’s money. This also was KNOWN to amount to ADDING RISK to a stable system. This also means that with lax govt enforcement — deregulation — deadbeats WERE allowed to play. As a matter of fact, the top CEOs of major banks excelled at being deadbeats. Especially if it wasn’t THEIR money they were risking. But ordinary Americans are worried about someone getting Food Stamps, and why aren’t poor people ashamed to get Govt handouts instead of working hard and being productive? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFCexBdI47c
      (sound breaks up a bit, search YT for Lynn Stout Commission Critiques for more info)

    • Gary Goodman

      Capitalism CANNOT produce sufficient jobs for everyone, or even sufficient profits for business, not without a ton of Communism. Typically, it’s mostly been Corporate Communism? Do you ever read any MORAL complaints about that? That’s what “trickle down economics” is literally about. BIG HANDOUTS to RICH PEOPLE and the BIGGEST corporations, not to small biz competition, then some of that will “trickle down” to Detroit or Harlem. How? I dunno, magic. Triumph of Conservatism by Kolko has the actual letters and statements by Big Capitalists to their govt officials clamoring for more Govt Handouts, Subsidies, Support and more Big Govt Controls to protect their profits and protect their investments from RISK of any losses.

    • Gary Goodman

      What happened to the “sense of pride” that would prevent corporate Execs from hiring multi-million dollar Lobby firms on contracts to extract as MUCH MONEY from the Govt as they possibly can, to maximize their profits, please their shareholders, please Wall Street? What happened to the “sense of pride” that would prevent Banking Execs (and like, Enron) from literally laughing in emails about ripping off Old Ladies on housing, energy (remember that $700 per kWh in Cali), by instituting Mortgage and Securities Fraud as a sound business model? Where does “sense of pride” or “morals” go on the bottom line of the corporate spreadsheet? How about Lloyd Blankfein’s statement about how he was “doing God’s work” by selling securities to pension funds described as “dogsh_t” internally? There IS no “sense of pride” in modern neoliberal capitalism. You are living in some fantasy world of textbook civics.

    • Gary Goodman

      Did you ever think about how the vaporization of some 12-14 TRILLION DOLLARS from our economy since the crash in 2007 might impact the number of unfilled jobs available? When you have 1200 people showing up for 50 jobs? In the early 70s, the decline had already been engineered, but a person could quit their job and get hired by someone else in an hour. Business had to compete for workers. For 30+ years, the mantra has been this (and I’ve seen this in the business press): Fire people as fast as you can, and the CEO who doesn’t do that, HE should be fired. The person who wrote that was actually sympathetic to workers, but was explaining what the (allegedly) “free market” dynamics and politics were pushing business to do. ELIMINATE workers, fast.

    • Gary Goodman

      I agree with your concerns for the HEALTH of poor people. j/k It would be far better —- for (small) BUSINESS — if they gave your family and EVERYONE a Food Stamp Card. THINK: Is there a SHORTAGE of Porterhouse Steaks? Not that people on welfare are buying anything but veggies and 73% fat beef and maybe some microwave burritos, but there’s PLENTY of cows out there, and we can grow more of them (unless the enviro collapses). So there’s NO SHORTAGES of Food. Agri-Business grows SURPLUS food. Govt gives them SUBSIDIES to be profitable and grow SURPLUS food. Check out ADM subsidies. We have to THROW food away. Some of it, the Govt buys it from wholesale, then throws it away, or gives it away. There’s ZERO shortages of food. There’s really no shortages of housing, or capacity to create housing. We have no shortages of TANGIBLE wealth. We have TOO MUCH (and that’s been true for a century). All we have is a shortage of MONEY, which leads to a shortfall of SALES, a shortfall of PROFITS, a shortfall of JOBS, leading to a worse shortfall of consumer dollars, a shortfall of SALES, ad infinitum.  How far DOWN do we want to chase this shortfall cycle before we start adding a SUFFICIENT quantity of Dollars to the economy to support Aggregate Demand and (small) Business Profits?

    • Gary Goodman

      I’m outraged too, but forgive me for being naive on this question. Since it was already “OUT THERE” in graphic details, I can’t see how it would have hurt for parents, school, cops, and Rehtaeh to hold a mandatory meeting at school to boldly and forthrightly confront “rape culture” and confront the gossip that SHE is a “slut” for being kidnapped and abused by four strong young men.
      (which is what’s happening now, after her suicide, when it’s too late) In other words, remove the shame from her and place it squarely on the backs of the boys AND THE GIRLS who shamed her.
      Am I crazy? Maybe I don’t understand people. I see that confrontation as preferable to the loss of this young angel and what her family has to endure now and forever.