Page 1 of 51

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:36 pm
by HarryGoldfarb
Greg wrote:This is deeply, deeply disturbing:

Elliott Abrams, prominent D.C. neocon, named special envoy for Venezuela

"Elliott Abrams, a controversial neoconservative figure who was entangled in the Iran-Contra affair, has been named as a Trump administration special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela, which has been rocked by a leadership crisis."

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/ ... la-1128562

The United States needs to stay the Hell out of Venezuela.


Greg, this is a complicated matter and a sensitive one... but Venezuelans have not been able by ourselves, despite many efforts in recent years, to generate a significant political change in our country (you can make your own judgment about us). And it is no secret to anyone that the current government of Nicolás Maduro has ended the quality of life in one of the countries with the greatest resources. It took the support of the US and its administration (which circumstantially is directed by Trump, this is already a matter of the American people) to be able to generate in recent weeks a turn of the wheel that allows us to see some hope. With the support not only of the US, but also of Canada, the European Union, most of the countries of South America, among others, the validated figure of an Interim President has been gestated thanks to a specific scenario based on a political and legal error on the part of Maduro. The Venezuelans (many, and without a doubt the majority now), alone, for years have faced the populist regime of Maduro (and before that of Chávez) but the regime has managed to confront and terminate every manifestation of the popular discontent. The country, as I said, rich in resources, is immersed in misery, hunger, mortality. There are no resources in hospitals to deal with diseases; there is no access to basic necessities, either because they are not in the supermarkets or because the money is not enough. People stopped eating 3 times a day (many just do not eat). Inflation is such that the minimum wage increases every 2 months, usually by multiplication factors of 2.5. With the most recent increase, the minimum wage went from $ 5.22 to $ 30; however, today it is again equivalent to 5 dollars. Inflation in Venezuela will reach 1,000,000% by the end of this year, as revealed by the latest projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published this Monday. And yes, you read that right: 1,000,000%. So serious is the situation of Venezuela that the IMF has compared it with what Germany experienced in 1923, during its period of hyperinflation after the First World War. Such is the despair that people leave the country walking to reach Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, even Chile and Argentina, in crossings of weeks, many finding death by the cold of the Andes. Nobody does that because they want but because they do not see a better option. My family is currently scattered around the world: Miami, Germany, Chile, Peru, Colombia are just some of our destinations... and this hurts, a lot. For all this (and many things more that are hard to express in a single post), leaving any trace of cheap nationalism aside, considering that this is about humanity, about not looking to the other side while a country's population is being decimated by hunger, considering that this is also not about right or left, and considering the prevailing despair In my country, I do not support you when you say that Trump must stay out of all this, away from this situation. Precisely, what most Venezuelans are asking for is support, we have been asking for everyone to help us overcome this after years of failed attempts on our own. The humanitarian aid that has just arrived through the efforts of this figure of the Acting President (after having formalized for many countries that Maduro is usurping the position of President) I assure you that will positively affect MANY lives. For that reason, not only I hope that the USA (and all possible countries) will pronounce and remain active in this issue, but also I, and many but many more Venezuelans, will thank you. We need it...

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:21 pm
by Big Magilla
She announced her exploratory campaign on Dec 30 or 31. She made the official announcement this morning.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:50 pm
by OscarGuy
She announced on Dec. 30 or Dec. 31.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:51 pm
by Greg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren Announces 2020 Bid For President | NBC News:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E-x0gt1p5A

In her announcement, she endorses a Green New Deal.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:41 pm
by Big Magilla
OK.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:11 pm
by Greg
Big Magilla wrote:We went off the gold standard in 1971. Since then, we do not have actual stockpiles of gold or anything else in the federal reserve to back our currency's worth. In simplistic terms, our paper money and coins are worth what is printed on them because the government says they are and we have faith in the government. For now, that works, but woe betide us if we lose faith in the government to the point where the U.S. dollar becomes as worthless as Monopoly money in paying for goods and services.


Ultimately, what backs up the U.S. Dollar is the goods and services produced in the United States, so long as the Dollar is the means used to purchase those goods and services. What is the most effective way to ensure this? Require that the Dollar is the means. A direct way for this is with legal tender laws, where at least it would be possible to require stores, restaurants, etc., to accept Dollars for payment. An indirect way is with taxes. The U.S. Government will only accept U.S. Dollars as payment for taxes. This means that not only do people in general need to pay taxes, but, they specifically need U.S. Dollars to pay their taxes, which creates a demand for Dollars.

Also, an insistence to remain on the Gold Standard, as well as keep the deficit as small as possible and keep the Government out of the economy as much as possible, during the world-wide Great Depression, in Germany, had a lot to do with Hitler coming to power.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:49 pm
by Big Magilla
That's not what he is saying.

He is saying the U.S. will always pay its debts because the U.S. can print its own money unlike Greece which can't because its money is controlled by the E.U.

Paying one's debts does not mean a person or a country can't become insolvent which is the word we should be using instead of bankruptcy, which is a legal term for being resolved of debt.

We went off the gold standard in 1971. Since then, we do not have actual stockpiles of gold or anything else in the federal reserve to back our currency's worth. In simplistic terms, our paper money and coins are worth what is printed on them because the government says they are and we have faith in the government. For now, that works, but woe betide us if we lose faith in the government to the point where the U.S. dollar becomes as worthless as Monopoly money in paying for goods and services.

https://www.reference.com/business-fina ... ea677c41d5

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:57 pm
by Greg
Big Magilla wrote:I don't disagree with any of this information, but where does it say governments can't go bankrupt?


Here is Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, explaining why nations like the United States cannot be forced in bakruptcy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpW_KMHlAmo

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:00 am
by Big Magilla
I don't disagree with any of this information, but where does it say governments can't go bankrupt?

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:30 pm
by Greg
Okay, Magilla, I have now read all of both articles. The first article entirely sidesteps governments being able to run deficits without borrowing money; and, I believe all the examples given, except for Iceland, are of nations that do not have their own sovereign currency. They are all either members of the Euro Zone or tie their currencies to the currency of some other nation. Iceland, I believe, actually ended up doing substantially better than most of the rest of Europe after the crash.

There are two problems I have with the second article. First, it acts as if the economy is always at full capacity, and producers are not able to hire people who are unemployed and are unable to turn to automation. For example, the U.S. Census did a study a few years ago that found only a quarter of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates were employed in STEM-related areas, even though the Census expanded the definition of STEM to include things such as air-conditioning repair. This means there are a lot of STEM graduates working at places like McDonald's and Walmart. McDonald's could become giant vending machines. Walmart, which has some self-checkout lines, could move to all self-checkout lines. That would free up those workers to do actual STEM-related work, for example, on Green-New-Deal projects.

Secondly, increasing Federal Government deficits by printing money would not necessarily increase the money supply as money printing also comes from bank loans. Loans are essentially money printing while loan paybacks are essentially unprinting money. So, if as I believe, there needs to be a great increase in financial regulation, especially for business loans, the increased regulation would lead to fewer loans being issued while the existing loans are still being paid back. That is, unprinting of money from banks would exceed printing of money from banks and the money supply from banks would decrease, enabling an increase of the money supply from Federal Government deficit spending.

I think any bank chartered with the Federal Reserve should be prohibited from lending money to any hedge fund, private-equity firm, venture-capital firm, or company that buys its own stocks. That is because, these loans often just go to blow speculative bubbles, while real investment takes place with the Federal Government. For example, Pfizer, which is supposedly a pharmaceutical company, spends more money buying its own stocks than it does on drug research, while 3/4 of all revolutionary drugs are developed by the Federal Government. See these links.

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/pfizer-h ... n-cm893866

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... treatments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r1IPsldbBg

The last link is a YouTube video, where the most relevant information comes in at the 6:00 mark.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:06 pm
by Greg
Big Magilla wrote:
Greg wrote:It is impossible for the Federal Government to ever be forced into bankruptcy. This is one thing that Trump said that is actually correct, "The Government prints the money." This means that the Government does not need to borrow money to run deficits. It can simply print more money.

The only negative consequence of the Government printing and spending too much money is high rates of inflation, but, this would only cause high rates of inflation if the demand generated from from the money printing exceeded the ability of the economy to produce goods and services. The United States is still at undercapacity, and, as it appears that we are heading for a downturn, there will probably be a need for significant money printing from the Federal Government.


If only, but this is just another Trump lie. It's almost as bad as his tweet that the freezing weather in the Midwest proves there is no global warming.

Why Countries can and do go bankrupt:

https://bizfluent.com/about-7512012-hap ... uptcy.html

Why we don't just print more money:

https://www.thoughtco.com/why-not-just- ... ey-1146304


So far, I have only had time to skim through the two links; but, I did notice the bottom of the first link referenced Niall Ferguson. Ferguson has been called out for using sham inflation numbers which apparently he has not admitted to:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbeh ... 6fbc616510

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:22 am
by Big Magilla
Greg wrote:It is impossible for the Federal Government to ever be forced into bankruptcy. This is one thing that Trump said that is actually correct, "The Government prints the money." This means that the Government does not need to borrow money to run deficits. It can simply print more money.

The only negative consequence of the Government printing and spending too much money is high rates of inflation, but, this would only cause high rates of inflation if the demand generated from from the money printing exceeded the ability of the economy to produce goods and services. The United States is still at undercapacity, and, as it appears that we are heading for a downturn, there will probably be a need for significant money printing from the Federal Government.


If only, but this is just another Trump lie. It's almost as bad as his tweet that the freezing weather in the Midwest proves there is no global warming.

Why Countries can and do go bankrupt:

https://bizfluent.com/about-7512012-hap ... uptcy.html

Why we don't just print more money:

https://www.thoughtco.com/why-not-just- ... ey-1146304

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:49 pm
by Greg
Sabin wrote:
Big Magilla wrote
Here, though, is the problem. Totally free healthcare right out the gate, especially if tuition free college and other giveaways are included in their plans would bankrupt the economy for sure. It can be done, but over time, not all at once.

That is my concern as well especially with the added Trump deficits.


It is impossible for the Federal Government to ever be forced into bankruptcy. This is one thing that Trump said that is actually correct, "The Government prints the money." This means that the Government does not need to borrow money to run deficits. It can simply print more money.

The only negative consequence of the Government printing and spending too much money is high rates of inflation, but, this would only cause high rates of inflation if the demand generated from from the money printing exceeded the ability of the economy to produce goods and services. The United States is still at undercapacity, and, as it appears that we are heading for a downturn, there will probably be a need for significant money printing from the Federal Government.

Also, bank loans are money printing with a commitment from borrowers to pay back the printed money; and, corporate debt in the United States, particularly by financial corporations, is much larger than the so-called "national debt." It is quite tragic that while it is very common to ask whether we can afford to allow the Federal Government to pay for various things, it is also extremely rare to ask whether we can afford to allow hedge funds to take out bank loans and enable hedge-fund managers to make a billion dollars a year blowing speculative bubbles.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:49 pm
by Big Magilla
Precious Doll wrote:Those plans for $5 a doctors visit sound great - would increase pressure on our own politicians to increase health funding if we are seen as falling behind the U.S.


LOL. Mine went up to $10 last year!

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:33 pm
by Precious Doll
Sabin wrote:
Big Magilla wrote
Here, though, is the problem. Totally free healthcare right out the gate, especially if tuition free college and other giveaways are included in their plans would bankrupt the economy for sure. It can be done, but over time, not all at once.

That is my concern as well especially with the added Trump deficits.


The other concern is future Governments trying to dismantle anything brought in. Our experiences in Australia show the extensive wanton damage by politicians of all persuasions to undermine our health system. And they generally do it bit by by so people don't notice it as much.