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The Greek “OXI” (NO) vote is all over the news. But, what’s next? by LaRouchePAC

Revive the Glass-Steagall Act — It’s time for our own United States to take the next historic steps to free the world of austerity.

If you don’t know what the Glass-Steagall act is, please take a moment and review the background of the law, and what it did.

Lyndon LaRouche’s call to action, below,  is our historic responsibility not only to other nations of the world, but to ourselves, so that we might give a future to the next generations.

LaRouche: To Save the Trans-Atlantic Region, Implement FDR’s Glass Steagall Act Now

July 6, (EIRNS) — Lyndon LaRouche today responded to Sunday’s landslide rejection by Greek voters of the Troika’s genocidal austerity program, by clearly spelling out how the United States can play a decisive role in solving the otherwise irreversible collapse of the entire British-run trans-Atlantic financial system. LaRouche called for the United States to immediately adopt a return to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original Glass Steagall policy.

The United States, LaRouche declared, should set the example for Europe, by immediately reinstating FDR’s Glass Steagall.

“The U.S. should solve the problem of the European mess, starting with the mess in Britain, by a Glass Steagall reorganization, clearing out the oversized and useless debt. Cancel all the debt with no intrinsic value, by going back to President Franklin Roosevelt’s successful model.  Only by such a debt cancellation can there be any prospect of a longterm recovery, in real physical economic terms.”

In his weekly live broadcast dialogue with LPAC’s Policy Committee, on July 6, LaRouche elaborated on his call for immediate Glass-Steagall:

“What has happened, as a result of the Greek operations during yesterday and today, has created a situation in which… Europe, most nations in Europe, and also the United States, are implicitly bankrupt. This is number one.

“Now what I mean on number one, on the bankruptcy, is that Wall Street in particular, and everything that coordinates with Wall Street, is now actually worthless.  That will be shown in due course, that we hope we can get this thing under control. What this means, we have to go to a Glass-Steagall action.  The only way we can do this, is a Glass-Steagall action.  That means, in the trans-Atlantic region, I’m talking about right now the trans-Atlantic region:  The situation is that the United States in particular is in a collapse.  That is, Wall Street and the things which are associated with Wall Street, are now actually worthless, which means a great amount of what is called money, among the business community, especially the financial business community, is worthless, and it is going to be very difficult for Wall Street and President Obama, both, to try to cover things over in this matter.

“Now the other side of this situation is, that it is perfectly possible for us in the United States itself, and with cooperation with certain circles in Europe and elsewhere, we’re quite capable of solving the problem.  And the solution is obviously, Glass-Steagall, Franklin Roosevelt’s own Glass-Steagall.  That is essentially the key thing.

“And the only way that the United States and the people of the United States could possibly escape from a general breakdown of the financial system of the United States, is to go back to Glass-Steagall.  That would mean we would simply cancel most of everything that’s called Wall Street, or anything like it; just cancel it.  It’s rubbish.  It has no intrinsic value.

“And therefore we have to go back to Franklin Roosevelt’s policies in order to save the United States economy.  Now, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe, because we have very poor skills available in the U.S. population.  The productive power of labor, in the United States’ population, has collapsed to a great degree…

“We see that, when people say, ‘well, some people are poor, they’re not worth keeping.’ Well, that’s not the problem, that’s not the truth of the matter. What they’re trying to do is kill off people, as in the case of California.  What’s happening in California, is actually an intentional determination, to kill off as many people in California and adjoining areas as possible. That’s what the policy is; that’s plain talk, no beating around the Bush.  And the Governor of California is one of the leaders, who is leading toward a campaign for mass-slaughter of people in California and adjoining areas.  That’s the reality!

“However, if we go to Glass-Steagall, Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall, with means which I’m fully aware of as feasible, we can prevent that.  But the key thing now that’s driving it, is the fact that the European economy is going into a spin, downward, and this includes the British system itself, and it means other areas.”

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America, Our Debt-Ridden Nation

Let’s look at just some of the latest news about the U.S. economy:

  1. According to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services, the federal government paid $2,007,358,200,000—over $2 trillion—in benefits and entitlements in the 2013 fiscal year, October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. Most of the benefits, 69.7% came from non-means tested government programs that provide them to recipients who qualify regardless of income. That would include Medicare, Social Security, unemployment compensation, veteran’s compensation, and railroad retirement, to name a few.
  2. The total federal government spending in 2013 totaled $3,454,253,000,000—over $3.4 trillion—encompassing defense, highway and transportation costs, public education, immigration services, and government worker salaries, to name a few.
  3. An astonishing amount of that spending constitutes wasted taxpayer money. In July the Government Accountability Office (CAO) testified before Congress that federal agencies made more than $100 billion in improper payments in 2013. That is an amount comparable to the combined total budgets of the Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Border Patrol, Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Agency, et cetera. Improper payments result when people collect money from government programs for which they are ineligible.
  4. By August, the total U.S. federal debt had increased to more than $7 trillion during the five and a half years since Barack Obama has been President. That is more than the debt increased under all U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton—combined! More debt than was accumulated in the first 227 years from 1776 through 2003.
  5. During the time President Obama has been in office the number of unemployed reached 37.2%, a 36-year high for those 16 or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one. From December 2013 through May of this year, the labor participation rate had been at 62.8%. The last time the labor participation rate was that low was February 1978 when Jimmy Carter was President.
  6. As the nation sank deeper into debt by the end of 2012 there were 109,631,000 Americans living in households that were receiving one or more federally funded “means-tested programs”, more generally referred to as welfare. Combined with those receiving non-means-tested benefits and it added up to 49.5% of the population.

Money BombIt is always tempting to blame everything on the President and, despite the usual rebound from a recession that has occurred in the past, it has not occurred during his first term, nor into his second at this point. In fact, the latest data reveals that the U.S. economy shrank at a 2.9% annual rate during the first quarter of 2014. Its long-run average rate of growth has been 3.3%, but the highest since Obama took office was 2.8%.

According to the World Bank, in 2013 the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, the value of its goods and services, was $16,800,000,000,000. The federal, state and governments took their share via taxation on income and/or property. The rest was saved or spent by those either holding a job or receiving government benefits; very nearly half of the population old enough to be employed if there were jobs for them.

The problem that affects all of us is the imbalance of the U.S. budget where more money is going out than coming in. The difference is deemed the “deficit.” In order to pay bills, Congress has to agree to raise the limit on how much the nation can borrow.

Nick Dranias, the constitutional policy director for the Goldwater Institute, has come up with a proposal, “The Compact for a Balanced Budget”, and it was been published by The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, in July.

As Dranias points out, “The U.S. gross federal debt is approaching $18 trillion. That figure is more than twice what was owed ($8.6 trillion) in 2006, when Barack Obama was a junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and opposed lifting the federal debt limit.” It represents more than $150,000 per taxpayer.

“What if states could advance and ratify a powerful federal balanced budget amendment in only twelve months, asks Dranias. His proposal is “a new approach to state-originated amendments under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Two states, Georgia and Alaska, are expected to establish a Balanced Budget Commission, an interstate agency dedicated to organizing a convention—before 2014 ends—to propose an amendment to achieve a balanced budget. The amendment would put “an initially fixed limit on the amount of federal debt.” It would ensure Washington cannot spend more than tax revenue brought in at any point in time, with the sole exception of borrowing under the fixed debt limit. It would force Washington to reduce spending long before borrowing reaches its debt limit, preventing any default on obligations; something threatening many other nations as well.

Suffice to say, the proposed amendment involves some complex elements and, if the Compact does not receive sufficient support from many more states than just the two that have signed on, it won’t see the light of day.

What the rest of us understand, however, is that federal spending is out of control at the same time as the amount of money it takes in is more than what it “redistributes.” Add in a sluggish economy, not growing at its usual rate, and you have a recipe for a lot of trouble ahead.

Republicans are usually credited with being more financially prudent. If true, we need to elect a Congress controlled by the GOP in November and a Republican President in 2016. If we don’t, all bets are off.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

The Truth about Bitcoin and Alternative Currencies

Bitcoin has been making headlines for months. With the price fluctuating wildly, is it really a currency, or just a scam? To find out, we have to analyze its properties.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/AVdKgQ0jmH8[/youtube]

Steve Patterson writes:

Bitcoin has been making headlines for months now. Extreme price fluctuations have sparked a vigorous debate: Is it a currency or a scam? Is bitcoin viable in the long-term, or are we witnessing a bubble waiting to burst?

The answers to these questions are simple: Yes, bitcoin is a currency, but we cannot know if it will remain so in the future. It does, however, have many properties that might make it viable in the long run.

Read more.

You may read more about this subject in Patterson’s book Bitcoin Beginner. To learn more, visit: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail…, and to learn the basics of Bitcoin, visit:http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail…

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image courtesy of CASASCIUS. It is titled “Bitcoin banknote” and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.