An American Phoenix?

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Most of us are feeling the eternity of the pandemic. Wondering if the scars and damage will ever heal or if things will ever go back to some form of normal. A lot of people have either suffered harshly financially or have lived in constant stress and fear about their financial stability and survivability. In addition, many Americans are seeing the pandemic as shining the red-hot spotlight on American waning as the Economic Powerhouse of the World. And from watching the news and TV pundits and reading the business and economic articles all the experts agree with the common man.

But what if one ‘expert’, who makes his money from his own words, said The Rise Of America is something to come and not memories of the past…..

What if this ‘expert’ defies all the naysayers and points out what is really going on in the area of natural resources and exploitation of said resources…..

What if he explains the ins and outs of what is really going on with economies of the world, especially here in America….

Marin Katusa does exactly that in his work The Rise Of America Remaking The World Order. And it makes for a very interesting read. Most of us might think that economics and investing are truly beyond our understanding, as Katusa points out some of it is beyond the understanding of those in the middle of the wheeling and dealing as well. Thus, while you may not completely understand all the content of this work, you should understand enough to make you sit up and take notice of what you see and read in the news in a different light.

I have long held the belief that taking ANY currency off of the traditional gold-standard was a bad and destabilizing idea. I still hold that belief. But, unfortunately without a complete collapse of society on a global scale there is no hope of the gold-standard being returned and honestly, it would destroy economies to attempt to do so. My basis for supporting a gold-standard economy is the natural contraction that gold as a tangible and finite collateral placed on the economy. An economy could only grow to its limit of gold reserves, then it had to acquire more, plateau or rid itself of ‘dead weight’ and create new ideas, industries, and technology to fill those freed up areas, thus evolving and moving forward. Additionally, as a natural constrictor of the currency, gold-standard economies have a built in value feature that more modern economies lack. Those modern economic theories are the ones that Katusa focuses on in The Rise Of America and they are what we are stuck with for the foreseeable future, so we need to understand them and their impacts.

While America was the longest hold out of the major economies on the gold-standard; it was that coupled with their strong economic position after the war that made the dollar the economic franca lingua. This played into America’s ability to gain the dollar’s place as currency of trade for crude oil, even without a gold-standard. This is better explained in the pages of Katusa’s work. What we currently have is a fiscal-monetary coordination (FMC), which put too simply is the government agrees to provide certain “investments” whether they are tangible or not for the money supply that they are requesting. This is what I call a debt based system — all the currency is based on the future interest of current debt, or that a printed dollar today will be two dollars in 50 years; however, there is nothing backing today’s dollar other than the speculation of tomorrow’s profit and citizens’ ignorantly blind faith in it.

So what happens when this FMC theory becomes a near disaster? Well, that is when Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) can step in and be the (in my opinion) fake hero, saving the day. If it saves the day, how can it be a fake hero? In the same way that gloriously winning a losing battle does not win the war!

We have all used the phrase “money out of thin air,” which is at the very simplest level just what MMT is. The government or Wall Street needs money, just print it. The problem with that is two-fold; first, MMT is very dependent on the faith of the citizens of the currency, and second, there is no longer any real economic valuation for anything. Another words it really will not matter if a loaf of bread costs $1 or $100 cause the government will always have the ability to print the money that it needs for the loaf of bread. What will happen, more significantly than now, is how all this money, and make no mistake about it, there is way too much money in the system now, flows in the world of the economy.

All the economic theory aside, this book does focus on industrial needs and development and where and how America may or may not fair moving forward. And that should be of interest to all , American or not. Additionally, this book is a great companion read to Bright Green Lies, which covers some of the same topics as Rise Of America, from the opposite side of the debate.

*Copy Received For Review.

Another Warning, Serbia!

Pay Attention Serbia!

vucic-medvedev-2
(Alexander Astafyev, RIA-Novosti, Government Pool Photo via AP)

You have spent this century bending to the will of the EU in hopes of some delusional promise of a perfect Serbian Utopia……that you will be an equal at the EU lunch table…..but, you are letting the smoke of the EU illusion blind you to the reality of globalization.
You have ignored the plight of Hungary, Greece, Cyprus. You have gained nothing from the examples of Norway and Iceland.

If the situation were not so precarious, I would delight in the cuteness that is so reminiscent of the naivety of Slobodan, when he believed the West would keep its end of the Dayton Accords, even after he was set up to look defiant and disrespectful by being given bad times for media events. It is high time though that you grew up! It is time to make it ‘on your own’! For all your earnestness you do not need to be the lap dog for the EU or for Russia. History has taught us time and time again the importance of the Balkans, especially to outsiders, use that knowledge to be your own nation, your own people, your own destiny.

There is that little voice in the crowd that is telling you something different. It is in the form of Dveri and others that see a different future. It whispers from the outside, from your scattered children. It is suggested from those that want to see a better world. And even from those that would gain from your change of course.
If these voices are not enough to give you pause, then maybe the voices of  the delusion, itself can prove the point! Not only does pressure to conform and bend to the will of others come from the EU itself it is even applied to strong members of the EU. The US is being used to bully its strongest ally, the UK into staying in ‘the club’. The US is threatening that the UK will be ranked with China, or Brazil or India. The ally that solidly backed the US in its combat involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
Bottom line, if the UK whom has committed more than any other ally to the foreign policy of the US/NATO can be bullied into bending to the EU/US regime, what makes you think that you can ever make a decision for the good of Serbia when you are sitting at the EU lunch table?!?!

Kudos Greece!

Syriza party supporters celebrate in Athens

So Greece has gone the way of Hungary and Slovakia and bucked the EU oppression! Super for them, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel now. I can only hope that others such as Spain and Portugal and Ireland take note and that Serbia, Bosnia and even Ukraine rethink their current paths!
The EU is not the paradise they present themselves as and they are not the solution to the problems in your individual countries. Oh, certainly the EU has contributed and exacerbated issues that were in place in countries so as to put themselves in the position to conquer these countries in a manner that presented them as saviors. I have said before and I will say again..with VERY FEW exceptions…NO ONE outside your country will care more for you and your nation than you will! The struggle will be hard but it will be worth it as it will be YOUR success, YOUR goals, YOUR gains, YOUR home!

Let me ask you a simple question…..what are your priorities and how do they stack up? For most people it starts with home and family and works out from there….that is true pretty much everywhere and with everyone. So if that is the case, please tell me why you would EVER believe that some politician in Brussels would put your little country first????

Syriza made recent history with their almost majority win and is a very logical reaction to the over-bearing strong arm tactics of the EU and IMF in the attempt to destroy Greece to such a degree as for her to not be able to recover in the foreseeable future. And Syriza’s decision to try to work a coalition with just Independent Greeks, whom won 13 seats would make their ability to move forward possible.

The reaction from Brussels is typical and focuses on the money only; “Grexit is unthinkable,” said a second senior Brussels policymaker involved in the negotiations. “It would be extremely bad. Europe is about irreversibility. If you start doubting that, you start pricing in the risk of fragmentation and soon you have no monetary union.…” Think really hard about the part in bold….”Europe is about irreversibility” it sounds more like getting your beat down into a street gang….the only way out is by dying!!! And Brussels treatment of Greece, Cyprus, Spain, and others is very reminiscent of mafia intimidation.

There is hope that change is afoot…This is not a knee-jerk reaction, “It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.” The first 2 of these reasons are intrinsically entwined. It is the systemic corruption of the oligarchs and their misuse of the duties placed on them by the public that have created an unsolvable problem with them, but hope without them.

In that hope has sprung up Solidarity for All, a movement that encompasses many ways that average, everyday Greeks are doing their best to help their country, from free clinics to legal aid to kitchen distribution centers and they are making a difference that others should take notice of…“almost a different sense of what politics should be – a politics from the bottom up, that starts with real people’s needs.” The basis for what REAL politics should be, the taking care of the community as a whole; not the taking from the community what you can and claim you deserve!

There are no better closing words than those of  Theano Fotiou, “The only real way out of this crisis is people doing it for themselves,” she said. “If people don’t participate, we will be lost as a country.”

Listen to her, Serbia, Bosnia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal….

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“More Money Less Insurance”

Ah, if the ACA, better known as ObamaCare, hasn’t totally made you sick yet, give it another few weeks and it will. Looking at the promises made and repeated time and time again, and looking at the numbers, there was never any way that the Affordable Care Act could float as promised.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane;
Obama promised that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” The fact is that from the time that the ACA was signed into law and companies started seeing the requirements and the number crunchers started crunching the numbers: companies have been cutting full-time employees to part-time status; companies have been limiting the hours that part-time employees are working; companies have informed employees that insurance benefits will be limited or dropped. It is estimated that 2 million Americans have lost the health care that they had. And there are more to follow, not to mention that for those 2 million most are finding that their premiums will increase by up to 50% over their lost benefits and that might not even mean similar coverage.
Obama’s stance was that the ACA was a way for those that currently did not have or could not afford health care to be covered. It was to catch those that had fallen through the cracks of the old system. The problem is that a significant number of those millions of uninsured Americans will not only still fall through the cracks they will also be punished for it. And the insurance companies are still making billions in profits every year, as they are raking in on this force purchase of their products.If Obama wanted to really help out the poor and uninsured then he should have taken a very courageous approach to healthcare. He should have fought to make all hospitals and clinics and other health industries non-profits. He should have consolidated the health industry and imposed rules and regulations that insure that patients are put before profits. He should have developed a method by which medical students and others receiving a degree or certification in the health industry are required instead of paying back student loans, those individuals should commit to equal service to their length of education in the poorest and most in need areas of the country. There is even a bonus in this that maybe some of these persons that pursue a health care career for the primary purpose of monetary gain, might actually learn the real and true purpose of healing others. It is about giving and not receiving.Now there are those that say the naysayers are just trying to scare people for political motives. And the supporters of ObamaCare can show figures for how many people have been helped by the ACA. But here is the bottom line, big business has more pull in Washington than any individual group of private citizens; therefore, the insurance and healthcare industry would have never allowed any law to be passed that would in any way diminish their profit margin.
The real losers here are future American citizens. The way to have a healthier public is to limit the greed of, not only, big business, but also, of the falsely entitled self: to reteach people to be active; to use common sense; to practice moderation; to be responsible for their own choices; to think about the ramifications of ALL their actions.

Working Full Time … For What?

One of the most disturbing problems in the “richest” country in the world is the fact that working full time does not mean you make enough to live. And this statement is not having 1 full-time paycheck trying to support a whole family; it is speaking about supporting just the employee. The fact that someone working 40 hours per week cannot put a roof over their head or food on their table is a huge shame for this country. 
The current minimum wage for the U.S. is $7.25, there are 18 states and the District of Columbia that have minimum wages higher than the national minimum. This may sound like a good thing but the minimum wage does not equate to a living wage. “The idea of a living wage is that workers and their families should be able to afford a basic, but decent, life style that is considered acceptable by society at its current level of economic development,” This is a huge variable, however it is not an impossible accomplishment. In an MIT study it was determined that not a single state has a minimum wage that meets a living wage. There are 2 states that come close to providing a living wage, North and South Dakota, all other states are falling short.
Some may say that this issue is not major and shouldn’t take up time when there are so many other ‘more important’ issues that need our attention. Really? The other 2 issues that might be more important would actually benefit from all workers earning a living wage, those issues being our educational system and our justice/prison system.
Congress has argued that the minimum wage was never intended to support a family, the issue is that in most cases the minimum wage as shown in the afore links does not only not provide for a family, it doesn’t support an individual. This argument seems fraught with misconceptions and just something as simple as setting a minimum living wage would have ramifications that would benefit all aspects of society. Of course the effects of keeping a majority of people below a living wage benefits the leaders…..it is the same tactic used by war lords, dictators, and terror leaders and recruiters.
In 1968 the minimum wage was $1.60; however, that wage had the same buying power as earning $10.74 today. That might sound not that bad since some figures show that most American workers make that now or close. But the inflation numbers used are the government’s and therefore, play down the rate of inflation and decreased buying power of the American worker. “According to Social Security Administration about 40% of American workers make less than $20,000; that means that 40% of American workers earn less than they would have in 1968.”
Now there are arguments that increasing the minimum wage will not improve those living below the poverty level. Those against raising the minimum wage insist that only part time workers will benefit from a minimum wage increase, since they claim that most full-time workers make more than minimum wage. Their other argument is that less than 10% of those living at or below poverty are full-time minimum wage earners, that in fact almost 70% are not working at all. However, the point they miss is how broken our “welfare” system is that actually prevents people from moving from welfare effectively and efficiently to full-time work force participant. Again, this dependency on the government is of benefit to the government. It is never a good government that wants it people dependent.

The Government is ShutDown but Special Forces are Working Overtime

In the last couple days the headlines have been touting the successes of US Special Forces Operations in Africa. It is amazing that we have the money to fund more than the basic running of the military services while we are shut down. It is also amazing that there were Special Forces in Libya to take down a terror cell, which I hope was not in control in a government capacity else we have attacked the sovereignty of another country (oh wait we are the US we do not care about the independence of other nations if they are not following our demands): yet, we could not protect our own embassy staff while they were under attack for hours. Even under Clinton we showed more courage and selflessness.
But putting aside the distractions that the Administration is using to keep eyes off of Washington, Kerry’s comments are priceless….. Al Qaeda “can run but they can’t hide,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday; so does that mean that we will now support Syrian Government Forces and Al-Basad in their battle against terrorism and Al Qaeda? How is it that the US Government can condemn terrorists one day, wage war on the them next and supply them on the third day?? And lets not forget that in the beginning we trained them.
The US has lost all sense of honor and integrity. There is absolutely no moral basis left in Washington. It is all about money and power and politics. But the real tragedy isn’t what is going on in DC, that is purely business as usual; the true tragedy is the acceptance of the American public in the light of such apathetic and appalling behavior as comes out of our government branches. You hear many complain about the situation but few are willing to do anything about it. Even something as simple as writing a blog is too much effort for most. But you have a duty as citizens to participate in your own government. You have a responsibility to your children to participate in your own government. You should have enough self respect to participate in your own government.

Oh, It’s That Time Of Year Again

The government shut down scare is almost more regular than the arrival of Santa Claus. It is a sad state of affairs when society accepts as the status quo elected officials whom year after year fail to do their job, yet increase their own salaries and benefits. The 27th Amendment insures that even during a government shut down that will shut down absolutely vital areas of government, Congress will still receive their compensation. Should it be an accepted defense for criminals that it was the victims’ fault for having nicer things or more money or driving nice car or some other absurd rational for committing thief, larceny or robbery. Politicians use much more ridiculous excuses everyday for not doing their jobs and thus robbing the American public of their hard earned tax dollars. If politicians put half as much effort into doing their jobs as they do into spinning the excuses for failing at their jobs we would have the most prosperous country in the world, with the best education system and fastest growing economy ensuring the best quality of life for ALL members of society.
The politicians should change how they determine the value of the bills that they pass. They have incredible salary and benefits packages with high quality pension and healthcare. When Obamacare was first proposed in its mostly current form, to prove a point, a republican senator proposed a bill that would require ALL members of congress to use the Obamacare for their own healthcare. It was totally voted DOWN! But the American public is accepting Obamacare as a wonderful improvement even though those that wrote the provisions will not use them themselves. And the public accepts this as if it is worthy of the public.
This shows just how much respect and dignity has been lost in society as a whole in the last 50 or so years. We do not treat others with dignity or respect and we accept that others do not treat us with dignity or respect. We do not want to work honestly for anything, we believe that we are entitled to the best of material things and think that those material things make us better. We do not know the difference between character and reputation, nor between honor and rhetoric. We place more value in what is said than in what is done. We do not accept responsibilities for our actions and we do not place responsibility on the individual for their actions instead we blame “things” like the weapons they used or the movies they watched or the games they played, why not the news they watch???? At least in the video games if you screw up your virtual character dies. Oh sure you will respawn or can just restart your level, but you will have to play the map all over again or at least from your last check-point. And that much is more answering for actions than elected officials face in this country.

Euro Illusion

euros scattered
The EU is stating that Greece will need another bailout; this would be the third one for the country since its fall into the Euro Economic Chasm. If the amount of debt that Greece has occurred were limited to its current total of 350 Billion Euros it would take Greece about 175 years to climb out of debt. Of course, this would only be possible if not only does Greece not incur one more Euro of debt but also actually creates from today a sustainable national income that includes a surplus of an average of 3 Billion Euros per annum. These figures are simple and basic, they do not include interest or penalties or fees or other charges; but the simple numbers are enough to show the real horror that is the Euro Zone.
This is just another example of the EU not being the best thing in Europe. It is another argument against the Euro Zone and the EU in general. The EU was a very clever shift from military to political and economic dominance of smaller and weaker countries within the continent. This can be seen from Hungry to Cyprus, and Greece to Portugal. What the ‘big boys’ did not think about was how much it would cost them to have such dominance.
They are dragging their own economies down with them. Of course in reality most of the economies of the world are not real economies. These economies are illusions based on credit, which is based on debt. This means that all the “wealth” does not actually exist. The reserves are printing money that is backed by the debt of the public and the governments in banks that are listing profits that are based on the future payments of the same debts.
To put this in simple terms for the visualization of this set up look at the following example. In previous centuries, prior to the 20th, governments were expected to have gold bullion to back up their economies and banks were limited in the amount of their deposits that they could lend out. This restriction was to protect the customers, insuring that the banks would always have sufficient funds on hand to be able to meet the majority demands of the depositors. With the removal of the gold bullion backing of government, the money of almost all countries is literally not worth the cost and supplies of printing it, or simply put…not worth the paper it is printed on. As for the banks, they are now allowed to use a majority of their deposits for loans. In this set up if even a small percentage, as little as 10% in some cases, of depositors were to seek to remove their deposits it would destabilize the enterprise and have a ripple effect on the local economy, thus creating waves in the larger economy.
There are now calls for the removal of the Euro and for countries to go back to their original currencies. The reasoning for this is that there are not true standards that encompass all of the members of the Euro Zone, Cyprus isn’t as stable as France and Germany is more solvent than Spain and most of the little countries are drowning. The ironic thing is that little and not so little countries are still standing in line to jump off the cliff into EU purgatory.
Photo via: CNBC.com

Hungary Has Seen The Light!

So, over the weekend the news reported that Hungary, having repaid their debt, wants the IMF out of Budapest. There are also rumblings about the possibility that they will hold a referendum on whether to exit the EU. I cannot adequately express my admiration for the enlightenment of the government of Hungary with regard to the EU. It is totally and completely refreshing to see a country decide to take back their independence from the regional overlords, Germany and France. Once again, I state it is the best choice by far to exit the EU. One need only look at the current situations in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and others to see that the EU is not the best viable option for economic advancement of member nations.
We have created a House of Cards Economy and the cards are ready to fall. We no longer have bullion supported nations; instead we have debt based international conglomerates that are pushing humanity to the brink with their greed for money and power. The ironic thing is that both are illusions of their own creation. Shifting numbers from one column to another on a ledger sheet does not create wealth that wasn’t there to begin with. The Boards of these financial institutions have been their own tailors creating their own Emperor Clothes.
Where the well deserved irony will come into play will be when the house of cards actually falls. Those rich and powerful men in their designer suits and over-priced sports cars, with trophy wives and designer kids will have absolutely no ability to survive in the chaos that they will ignite. It will be the little man, whom was the stepping stones for the tyrants that will adapt and prosper. The little man whom knows hunger and the difference between want and need. The little man whom knows cold and the difference between a friend and someone to use. The little man whom knows hard labor and the difference between a done job and job done right. It will be in this new world order that humanity will have hope and expectation and dreams and desire. For it will be like the phoenix rising out of the ash that those whom suffered oppression for so long will see the sun shine on them without fear and know the glory of the night sky. Those whom were stifled that will inspire and ignite evollutions from revolution.
That will be a day worth rising for and a time worth remembering.