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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Greek Election a Referendum on Obama’s Anti-Austerity Advice

From recent polling, Greece’s center-right “New Democracy” party has been gaining favor again in light of recent events where Germany and the International Monetary Fund have both recommended that the soon to be impoverished nation should start taking responsibility for their own actions.

The New Democracy and Socialist PASOK parties both favor the austerity plans that have been put forth by the European Union. Greece’s radical left party, Syriza, opposes these austerity measures but favors continued financial support from the EU which is akin to saying; "We'll take your money but promise you nothing.".
Greece is the bigger deal as a referendum on the present state of U.S. economic policy since France, having just ousted Nicolas Sarkozy, isn’t in nearly the trouble financially as Greece is right now.  These are desparate times in Greece and to see which way the people turn will determine if they will remain a debtor nation or regain a respected financial stature in the world.

President Obama just last week offered his sage advice on helping the Greek economy by advising the EU to back off their austerity plan for the country and instead provide more stimulus for the hapless Greeks.  After all, it’s worked so well here in the U.S., right? 
This message was also echoed by that great congressional financial mastermind, Barney Frank, who so successfully engineered the fall of the U.S. housing market by staunchly denying in front of an investigatory panel that there was nothing unsound about government mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which collapsed three years later taking the U.S. economy into recession. Sorta just fills you with optimism, don't it?
Germany and the IMF have since weighed in that floating bonds to bail out Greece or providing any additional funds, which would come from German taxpayers, would be like throwing money down a bottomless pit. Christine Lagarde of the IMF recommended Greek citizens start paying their own taxes.  The Greeks have expressed mock outrage and denials but I have a friend who has owned a house in Greece for the past 15 years and he’s yet to pay a dime in property tax so there just may be something to what Ms. Lagarde is saying.

So asking taxpayers in one part of the EU to bail out tax scofflaws in another probably doesn’t sit well with the vast majority of German taxpayers or it’s government. I’m guessing.
If the radical left should prevail in Greece’s elections, voting down the austerity approach to the Greek debt crisis, the people's voice will be clear. But if the New Democrats gain enough seats and build a majority with the Socialist party, the country just may accept the EU austerity measures and bring financial responsibility back to a country out of control when it comes to spending money they don’t make and can’t print.

This would be a rebuke of the Obama administration’s recommendations proving that despite the irresponsibility of a few countries, the EU isn’t so stupid as to accept financial advice from people who have never run a hot dog stand before.
Now if we can only bring some financial responsibility back to the U.S.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Won't Someplace Just Hurry-up and Collapse Already?

I’m just tired of waiting. All this putting off until tomorrow to do the right thing about the deficit and the national debt is making me wonder if anything can actually cause a financial collapse in this country anymore. The nation is supposedly $15 Trillion in the hole and states are running deficits all over but nothing seems to actually collapse. The payrolls are being met and the people on public assistance seem to be getting their public assistance.  We’re supposed to be teetering on the edge of a cliff.

So won’t someplace just hurry up and go over the edge financially so we can get this whole chain reaction fiscal cliff thing over with already?

Anybody, Greece, California, Spain, Rhode Island, Portugal, Missisippi… we can't go up until we hit bottom so we might as well get it over with. All we hear is that it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. So something happen already, Christ!

The stimulus bills, the government borrowing, the floating of bonds and the increases in taxation all are just going into holding up the government infrastructure of public unions and federal systems. There is no return on this money being spent because it’s being spent on government; it’s just providing a holding pattern. Without some sort of growth, this sorry excuse for financial policy will crumble. Eventually we'll have to pay all this borrowed money back, right?
The more people thrown out of work means there’s less tax money for the State. The more money the State tries to take at this point will throw more people out of work. The State has regulated and taxed us to the point where business cannot function and yet the regulations and increases keep coming.

Had this financial house of cards been allowed to go through it’s natural correction back in 2004 and had the banks not been "saved" we’d be coming out of it by now. The more it gets put off, the worse it ends up. This is not new, our ruling party has made the same mistake before.
But at this point there isn’t much do about it now but just let it collapse.

The government pension system, Social Security, Medicaid and public assistance programs will eventually not only not be able to meet their obligation to send out funds to recipients but won’t be able to meet their payrolls. Everything, government contracts, pension funds, sick day compensation, disability and so forth should be put back on the table and re-thought because right now, the costs of government has outstripped the taxpayer’s ability to pay. But that can't happen until the states file for bankrupsy.

So let it all collapse already. I’m waiting.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mexico Continues to Mishandle Drug War

Had enough of the “War on Drugs” yet El Presidente Calderon? How’s it going for you and your establishment? Good? No, not so good.

A year or two back the Mexican government almost had it. They were exploring the possibility of legalizing drugs in Mexico. But when the U.S got wind of Mexico making an executive decision, that idea got squashed pretty darn quick.  Just who do they think they are anyway, their own government?

When it comes to the U.S. calling the tune, Mr. Calderon will dance to “La Cucaracha” around a sombrero quicker than you can say “50,000 citizens killed in six years”.

So the plan remains to continue to throw bodies at the Cartels. But as soon as the army shoots a Cartel "Pistolero" down, another desperate man (or woman) jumps in to take their place to continue the fight for their drug trade and the huge money it generates.  The Cartels then target the police and the body count rises for them and the civilian population caught in the cross-fire, living in almost constant fear for their lives since everyone knows that the police are in on the deal with the drug suppliers as well.

How is Mexico to win?

The answer is: They can’t. They won’t , ever. It’s not possible. It was never possible.

Why?
Because what they and all governments are dealing with is a Market Force. It is the demand for these certain drugs and the money they generate that drives people to risk all to fulfill this demand. If there’s money to be made, people will bring you what you desire and are willing to pay for. Market forces are unstoppable. They answer to no person and to no government.

Making certain drugs illegal forces them underground. This means the manufacture and supply of these drugs also goes underground. Government will work to keep them out of the hands of society and shadowy cartels will work to bring them into society. Every other means will be shut out. The money this underground activity generates is impossible to track and will be used to corrupt influential people, buy arms and fund terror all over the world.
By making these drugs illegal, the government has literally created its own adversary by making sure only the Cartels, desperate people willing to kill to control their government-made business, get the money generated by their exclusive contract for the sale of them.

Legalizing drugs ends this exclusive contract by opening up the market and allowing competition. If any licensed facility can sell them, how can they be stopped? Why would a person go to a less than stellar neighborhood in the dead of night when they can go to a safe place in the daylight? And the money, licensing, taxes and business assessments go to the local governments, not the Cartels. This money can be tracked and taxed. Thus the Cartels will be destroyed and the money circulated worldwide to fund anti-government activities and terror will dry up.

No, it’s not a Utopian ideal, there will still be addicts but since drugs would be legal, the money once devoted to jails, guns, police and corrections can now fund public rehab facilities, councilors and anti-drug education programs so that if a person wants to get clean, they can. As it stands now, there are few publicly funded rehab facilities and there are massive waiting lists for every bed.

Right now people who want drugs have no trouble getting them regardless of their illegality, yes?  So to say drugs should not be made legal because of the dangers of addiction doesn't wash. It is an arguement for the status quo, saying let’s leave everything as it is. As it is, is not working.

The Drug Cartels cannot make more demands if drugs are legalized because they would no longer control the distribution of drugs any more than they can control the distribution of another formerly banned substance, beer.

There is no good argument against legalizing drugs right now except the "come clean" admission that by keeping drugs illegal, the government maintains control over a massive police and penal system which brings jobs to many. Who cares if innocent people are being mowed down in the streets!?

But the important thing would be to take the money out of the hands of the Cartels which legalization will do.

People aren't going to do more drugs because they are legal. Right now a person who wants to try them has NO TROUBLE getting their hands on them despite any perceived penalties.

Just because the big news is about Mexico that the U.S. is any safer then what’s going on south of the border. Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ combine for almost 800 murders each year. Many of them drug related. New York City annually has around 500 murders. Many also due to the sale, consumption and trafficking of drugs made illegal by the government. Now think about many of the other big cities in the U.S. like Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Just because it doesn't make the news doesn't mean it’s not happening.

Just to add some perspective, there is another class of drugs in the world, "legitimate" drugs made by licensed legitimate businesses, big multi-continental businesses as big as any cartel that we can walk into any Pharmacia and buy with a doctor's note. It's classified as MEDICINE! The competition over these drugs is also fierce. There is also great heaping wads of cash aimed to influence politicians, tax coffers, government agencies, advertisers and, most importantly, doctors. They also command armies, armies of lawyers to combat lawsuits stemming from all the side effects their products have on people.
More people take these drugs than all the illegal drugs COMBINED.
People become addicted to these drugs also, rob banks and gas stations to get the money for them and generally behave in the same fashion as the people who are hooked on illegal drugs. Their actions are illegal but the drugs are legal.
So what's the hell's the difference?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Doctors: Pushers in Lab Coats

This is the state of medicine in the United States today. I was at a pharmacy/mini mart last week and a kid jumped the counter, grabbed a bunch of prescriptions waiting to be picked up and attempted to escape on foot with them. He didn’t get out of the parking lot.

This poor sap was just doing what many of our fellow citizens are doing these days: Trying to get their fix. He must have run out of doctors to prescribe for him.
I changed doctors a few years back when my former GP offered me a certain male enhancement drug. I never expressed an interest in aquiring it nor did I ask. I was there for a checkup and we hadn’t even started yet. That was it for him.

I have always found it strange that people have so many prescription drugs lying around. There are a lot of drugs in cirulation these days and they're all prescription drugs.
I met a woman not too long ago who told me the story of how she came to be divorced. Her former husband had a thriving construction business. She told me that he injured his ankle on the job and the doctor prescribed Oxycondone for the pain. Doesn’t this man, a man with no history of addictive behavior, become hooked on this stuff? Doesn’t he lose the business, his marriage and ends up living on the street? Yep, scared the crap out of me to hear this. How can this be?

Legendary musician and self-proclaimed child porn researcher, Pete Townsend of the British rock band,The Who, once said about his heroin addiction that he was “Addicted the very first time” he used the drug and “chased the feeling of that first high” for the rest of the time he was involved with it.
Much like the American weapons industry and our national addiction to war, we have a huge economic interest in the manufacture and distribution of pharmascutical drugs. It’s big business! But these drugs are so powerful, they can take over a person’s life and negatively affect the lives of all they are involved with, their colleagues and their families. But what can you do, a customer is a customer.

I'm not going out on a limb when I say that most of the murder and robbery going on in this country is drug related.  Nobody wants to rob a bank if they don’t have to. These are acts of desperate people but with the wasted efforts of our penal coloney state, there are no resources to help people get clean. A jail cell, yes, a drug facility, no.
Drug companies have a huge sales force with the power of the “junket” and “seminars” that they get doctors to "teach" and to promote their “product” for big rewards. Who cares if it’s killing people? Certainly not the drug industry.

It has been reported that more Americans are now hooked on manufactured drugs than on the old tired stuff like Marijuana, Hashish, Cocaine and Heroin COMBINED. All that is oh, so yesterday. Your parents did those drugs way back in the 70s and 80s for crying out loud, why horse around with that stuff when you can get the good, clean high of a high quality pharmaceutical?
And it’s all LEGAL! Well most of it anyway. The manufacture and distribution methods are all above board at any rate. These are the "legitimate" drugs, the drugs allowed by the State. Those others are illigitimate. There's a big difference, see?

All good for the economy.  People gotta have good jobs so they can have good homes and nice communities with good schools to raise their kids in.

But these very same communities are in jeopardy and although the damage in dollars and cents may be harder to track, the toll outweighs the gains. Nobody grows up wanting to be a drug addict but we have plenty of drug addicts. Some are born but most are MADE.

There are few professions where the practitioners take an oath. Some swear to uphold the law, another swears to uphold the Constitution but one in particular vows to “do no harm”. All these oaths have been violated and this will continue no doubt. While people don’t trust the police much and certainly don’t trust the President, many people trust their doctors and believe what their doctor tells them. These drugs are “medicine” and most believe that it wouldn’t be recommended if they didn’t need it.

Yes, doctors take an oath but they don’t take a vow of poverty and in our society, as in any society, money does most of the talking. People, and doctors are people first, like to have things and what’s the harm in prescribing this stuff?

By the looks of what’s going on in our nation, plenty of harm.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hiring Slows in the Summer

In case you didn’t already know it, companies don’t do much hiring in the Summer months. That means that we should be seeing a slowdown in hiring statistics through the next three months or so. Most people take off for the Summer. Human resource personal, hiring managers and organizational management all go on vacation at some point and are just not available for interviewing and decision making and so most companies will wait until they become available again before they even start a hiring process. Thats the way of business.   

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate opportunity to be looking for work during the Summer, you know it’s hard to get anywhere because the person you would be interviewing with is “away”. So is their boss.

So it will be interesting to see if the government’s job numbers will “improve” during a traditionally slow period. We know the Obama regime needs growth to appear to be actually doing something so will the liberal media attempt to further skew the numbers and spin them into the sun shining through the clouds? I’m curious to see.  

In the USA at least, the first quarter of every year is the best time to find a job. Many companies will know by this time what they will need for the coming year as far as resources are concerned and will do most of their hiring then. Hiring traditionally tapers off in the second quarter and then drops dead in July and August. Things then pick up a bit come September and into the Fall. Winters are also tough after the Christmas season in the Midwest and the formerly industrial North East.

So what we are looking at in the short term future SHOULD be a drop in job “creation” whatever that means in the age of Obama. I’m frankly surprised that anybody is hiring given the uncertainty in the marketplace due to looming national debt, mandated tax increases and the economy killing specter of ObamaCare.

But we just may see an “improvement” beyond the realm of human belief systems this Summer since we go to the polls this November. The news could very well be that things are getting better but only to the extent of what the nationally owned media will report.  

So as May turns into June most of us will once again be planning our “Stay-cations” since we still can’t afford to go to the places we couldn't afford to go last Summer and at any rate would most likely feel supremely guilty about it if we could given the situation of many people in this country right now.

But this should give us all time to ponder another four years of an Obama regime. Romney may not be the perfect candidate as far as the pure US conservatives go but at least he’s balanced a checkbook and has submitted a budget as a Massachusetts governor and has lived within it’s guidelines. That’s more than can be said of the present administration in which many members have never held a private sector job and who have yet to submit a budget to Congress for scrutiny and approval. This is in violation of the US Constitution I might add but what else is new?

With no budget coming from the president in 3 years, with no plan to stop spending and no idea how to combat the growing demand for power to run all those air conditioners from San Francisco to New York City this Summer season, this nation is fully ensconced in a grip of fear. Fear for the future for ourselves, our children and our nation.  

And all we've gotten from the present administration is threats. Obama theatens the Supreme court not to overturn his pie-in-the-sky healthcare mandate, threats to Congress that he will "go it alone" by using his Presidential edicts to circumvent their authority and threats against his opposition candidates. Yet he has no answers, no plans and no budget.

A future with Obama as President is no future at all.