Category Archives: Globalization

We had an Election – What Happened?

The 2016 election in the United States is over. Perhaps what may be more important, are your local election results. If you don’t know what happened locally, I suggest you find out before you read this blog. Property and sales taxes, school and city leadership, judges & sheriffs may have changed. The local elections are going to affect you more than this national election.

OK, that’s not why you’re here. You’re probably finding this Presidential election a little hard to believe. Confused? Angry? Frustrated? Happy? Sad? Joyful? Well you’ve come to the right place. I summarize why this election ended up this way.

Who are the two major candidates?

donald_trump_head

Donald Trump

  • Chairman and president, The Trump Organization
  • Host, The Apprentice, The Celebrity Apprentice
  • Entrepreneur Initiative – University name dropped per New York Education Department demand
  • Owns hotels, casinos, entertainment resorts
  • Political experience – considered running for president in 1987, 2000, 2008, & 2012 (never ran or held public office)
  • Education: High school: New York Military Academy, class of 1964
  • Fordham University: 1964–1966 dropped out – resumed studies ~
  • University of Pennsylvania: The Wharton School 1968 graduate
hillary_clinton_head

Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary of state, 2009–13
  • Senator from New York 2001-2009
  • First lady of United States
  • Education: BA, Wellesley College, 1969
  • JD, Yale Law School, 1973. Postgraduate study at the Yale Child Study Center

 


Trump
290 Electoral Votes
61,201,031 – 47.0% of the total vote

Clinton
232 Electoral Votes
62,523,126 – 48.0% of the total vote

You’ve heard many explanations as to why Donald Trump won over Hillary Clinton. Most of them are people trying to find explanations for their predisposed choice. Online newspapers, various well known news organizations tried to avoid covering much of the negative publicity about Hillary Clinton.

She lost to Barrack Obama, but after he had his eight year tenure, many Democrats felt it was her time. They also wanted to set another precedent, getting the first female in the Whitehouse. I call it the beginning of the “selfie vote”.

The strategy by many in the media was to help Donald Trump become the winner of the Republican primary paired against Hillary Clinton. He wouldn’t be too harshly criticized or scrutinized unless and until he became the nominee. It was to be a slam dunk for her. In addition to the generally positive spin, the polls reinforced the idea of how far ahead she was of Trump, many of them decided to shame those in the electorate who might consider voting for him.

Here’s a summary of what the media and critics were saying about Trump

  • He’s a racist ~ There are not be enough white men in America to elect Trump.
  • Trump voters are uneducated ~ They aren’t college educated & they don’t believe government should try to control the climate
  • Ignorant Bible thumpers ~ They see him as someone chosen by God
  • He hates women ~ Anyone that votes for Trump is a misogynist
  • They don’t think they have a voice ~ Waging a war against outsiders

So what happened? Maybe, just maybe, the media and many Democrats got it wrong. The problem with the polls became obvious after he won. The overtly critical news media hurt their own cause. The weakness with Hillary Clinton as a candidate was superseded by the choice many wanted to claim was historical.

There have been far too many investigations into both her and her husband. The saying, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Well there’s so much smoke surrounding her, along with the most obvious public lies she’s made, that many voters believed there was a forest fire in her life.

Her candidacy, even though it would be a first for women, was a lot like business as usual. She had courted and was paid by many large corporations. This placed her in the common group of backroom wheeler dealers who have managed to help destroy the credibility of those in office. She already had credibility problems, this magnified it. Whenever under pressure, she would obfuscate or lie, only to be found out and have to backtrack.

Donald Trump had his own problems with his Trump University, his comments on women, and allusions to having a large male organ, in what has to be one of the most adolescent debate points in political theater. Nonetheless, he was seen as an outsider. Someone who would shake things up in Washington. The same tactic of Hope & Change by Barack Obama, once again reimagined by someone who knew how to sell himself to the public.

Trump supporters viewed their man as someone who gets things done, and willing to ‘break a few eggs to make an omelette’. They saw him as a person they could identify with, including personal faults, which many people recognized in themselves.

The Cult of Hillary Clinton, lead by a coalition of social justice activists, celebrities, and well monied financiers, was above criticism, more of an idea, which supports the notion, we must elect someone who mouths the words we want to hear, such as empowerment, fairness, equality, breaking glass ceilings.

I believe  Hillary Clinton fell to the damages of a thousand cuts. The artificial support by many in the media seemed to aide Donald Trump, more than harm him. His messages were always simple, to the point, and he didn’t dodge the criticism levied about his checkered past. She was defended and supported by people yelling, anyone supporting Trump was a racist and or a misogynist, ignoring the voter mix required for Barack Obama to have won in the past two elections

In the end, many voters thought he was less of a risk to the office, even with all of his baggage. Someone who voiced their concerns over jobs, spending, illegal immigration & potential increase of terrorism through the intake of middle east refugees. Clinton continued the idea of business as usual with expanded government programs & the associated spending, which has gotten us into unprecedented levels of national debt.

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

I read this article, first referenced by someone I connect with through Facebook. Admittedly, its a long article, and mine isn’t much shorter. Such is the challenge when you look at a major systemic problem. It can’t be answered through memes or twitter posts. I could go into a more in depth discussion on what this article attempts to explain, but I believe it would only be lost in the Ether. Current popular ideas circulated throughout many social media exchange points as well as mass media, run adverse to what I have to say in rebuttal to this article. I believe her article serves to promote a political ideology, which becomes more obvious as you get to the end, and realize it’s a promo to Bernie Sanders. I’m not interested in promotion of a candidate, a party or ideology. I prefer substance and facts. Obviously, even in the best of efforts, prevailing opinion and quotes from others, denote a view point.

I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump
by By Jonna Ivin – April 1, 2016

Her article makes references to things which are historical and tries to draw parallels between some historical facts, and the authors politics without any rational explanation as to why she thinks Republicans are nothing more than a bunch of greedy, up with the rich, down with the poor, racist political hacks. Her explanation of war profiteering is the age old method of blaming the wealthy for creating wars with the thinnest of explanation, other than noting that such a thing exists. All of us would do well with this simple foundation of logic, correlation doesn’t necessarily indicate causation. Again we see the narrative, the wealthy have done better while the poor have done worse because of the greedy, racist, Republicans.

Statistics are wonderful and they can be used to say a lot about whatever the individual displaying them wants to say. Permit me the opportunity to politely disagree with some of these assumptions. First, I’ve lived through many years and most especially the Reagan years, which many now wish to disparage. Second, if you want to believe that one party owns the responsibility of the pain and suffering, you’re being setup and are not being intellectually honest. Both political parties have controlled and promoted their own selfish interests. Don’t believe me, then let’s further examine some of these ideas.

Since 1945, the House and Senate have been controlled by different parties only five times (10 years). And there have been only two complete turn-overs of Congress since 1945: one in 1949 and the other in 2007. The years for Congress controlled by Democrats have been far in excess of the Republicans. The Presidency has been occupied slightly more years by Republicans than Democrats (up to and including George Bush), that changed with President Obama. Most of the time the Congress was controlled by the opposing party to the President.

The Republicans have been in control of either the Senate or the House only 22 of the past 64 years. For 10 years, they were only in control of either the House or the Senate, the other 12 years they controlled both.

From 1960 to 1968, the Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House by large majority. During those years, the Presidents were also Democrats. 80% of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for the Civil Rights Act – 1964. Less than 70% of Democrats did. Minority Leader Republican Everett Dirksen led the fight to end the filibuster. Meanwhile, Democrats such as Richard Russell of Georgia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina tried hard to sustain a filibuster. Geography was far more predictive of voting coalitions on the Civil Rights than party affiliation. In 1964, Barry Goldwater, was one of the few non-Confederate state senators to vote against the bill. He carried his home state of Arizona and swept the deep southern states. Strom Thurmond switched parties because he thought he would have a better chance of continuing segregation laws with Republicans because of Goldwater. He was wrong on both assumptions.

If history were to be used objectively, Republicans sponsored and passed the 13th Amendment banning slavery. They also wrote the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Republican support was nearly unanimous, while Democrats were unanimously opposed. Republicans James Mitchell Ashley & James F. Wilson were a pioneers in the advancement of federal protection for civil rights in the 1860’s. Democrats worked against it and helped to modify it’s implementation, especially in the south.

In fairness to the overall discussion, President Harry Truman (Democrat), attempted on more than one occasion to enact further civil rights legislation. His successor, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, gave his first State of the Union message in 1953, spoke out against specific acts of desegregation within the federal government and within the nation’s capital. In that year segregation ended in the District of Columbia’s hotels, restaurants, motion picture theaters, and Capital Housing Authority projects. Strom Thurmond (Democrat) of South Carolina made a one-man stand against 1957 Civil Rights Act, but it was passed in spite of him. Dwight Eisenhower was slow and reluctant to support civil rights but he publicly admitted the Brown v. Board of Education was the right decision, in spite of his dislike for Earl Warren, majority opinion, 1954.

Over fifty years ago, before a joint session of Congress, President Lyndon Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Today, many in black leadership are critical of how that war has been waged. They note the expansion of government and a strategy focused on handouts that discourage self-improvement caused more harm than help to the poor. Some of the black activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made a luxurious living off their grievance activities. “The disastrous effects of the government’s management of anti-poverty initiatives are recognizable across racial lines, but the destruction is particularly evident in the black community. It effectively subsidized the dissolution of the black family by rendering the black man’s role as a husband and a father irrelevant, invisible and — more specifically — disposable. The result has been several generations of blacks born into broken homes and broken communities experiencing social, moral and economic chaos. It fosters an inescapable dependency that primarily, and oftentimes solely, relies on government to sustain livelihoods.”

Lower and middle income have been severely set back due to several factors. The Democrats have much to share in the responsibility of the laws and direction set in this country, as they’ve been in control during most of the past 60+ years. The Republicans have also supported laws such as NAFTA, and deregulation of securities, finance, and investment. They (Republicans) made an attempt to reign in the careless mismanagement of Fannie MAE & Freddie MAC, but were torpedoed by several key finance committee Democrats.

Manufacturing employed many “non-professional” people prior to the 1980’s. We’ve seen a rapid decline in heavy industry such as automotive and steel as examples. It used to be said when Detroit sneezes, America catches a cold. The decline of the American automotive industry has been far reaching because of how it affects many other support industries. Detroit was run very badly under Coleman Young, who served as mayor of Detroit, Michigan from 1974 to 1994. He left the city a fiscal and social wreck, but part of that can certainly be blamed on the mismanagement of the big automakers and the quality control of the American auto-worker combined. People looked to overseas manufactures for car purchases. Even to this day, I’m inclined to buy Toyota or Honda automobiles, (although I drive a Buick).

This isn’t news to most people, but they overlook the huge impact of the decline of manufacturing and the exodus of companies as they sought manufacturing of their products in lower cost labor markets. Look at most appliances, TV’s, washers, dryers, refrigerators, small kitchen appliances, replacement auto parts, video game consoles and smart phones. That’s a lot of money and a lot of jobs which are going to other countries. Look at the trade deficit, year after year it’s not favorable to the U.S.

Meanwhile, we’ve heard about the economy is evolving to a service industry. Here’s the basic problem with that. These jobs are highly competitive, not just within the domestic market. Many services can be performed outside of the U.S. and those within have a very low entry requirement, education requirements are typically some high school or may require high school graduation. They are low skill and thus low paying jobs. People might complain about low skilled labor rates are below poverty, then again, people pay for commodities based on perceived value. That’s why people shop for low cost goods at Walmart or Target. The individual consumer isn’t willing to pay a greater cost for higher priced labor, so they shop at discount retailers or online, such as Amazon.

Here’s the problem in a nut shell which people need to learn before there’s nothing but table scraps to fight over. People’s lives are improved through expanding the pie, not figuring out the best way to divide a smaller pie. It’s growth of industry, imagining, creating, and risking time, labor and fortune, that builds a real economy. Education in the trades are needed as well. We can’t be just a nation of lawyers, doctors, programmers, investment bankers, stock brokers, entertainers, professional athletes, and politicans.

Our government has learned nothing from the failed economic policies which have diminished wages, property values and the middle class, which we see in many large cities as well as several states. Look at most of the north east, the middle part of the country such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The federal government has forestalled the massive poverty it’s pushing all of the middle and lower income class into through it’s debt expansion. The U.S. is addicted to credit and continues to spend as if there’s no end in sight. This can’t go on indefinitely, and while we blame Republicans or Democrats, we fail to examine their policies, history and understanding of what it takes to move an economy forward.

This is a complex topic, and I suspect those who are firmly entrenched into their past college studies, and divisive party politics won’t be able to see the forest for all the trees. Here are a few films which have attempted to address the cause or the indifference while “Rome Burns”.

  • Inside Job (2010) Everyone that’s interested in a portion of this topic, should see this film. Don’t be on your phone playing games or talking while this runs, because you will miss some key points.
  • I.O.U.S.A. (2008) America’s obsession with credit and it effects on it’s future. (No wonder it wasn’t a box office hit)
  • Up In the Air (2009) Although this film is more of a personal fictitious view, it’s a realistic human portrayal of the downsizing which myself and many others were affected by.
  • The Company Men (2011) Company Men focuses on both sides of the equation: the executives doing the firing, and the employees who are downsized and suffer through long periods of joblessness. It was a box office flop. It’s not your romance, Marvel or DC Entertainment fantasy. It’s an attempt at keeping it real through varied perspectives.
  • Frontline: The Warning (PBS Documentary, 2009) before the economic meltdown, one woman tried to warn about the threat to the financial system. She failed because greed and power / control won the day. Plenty of Democrats and Republicans to blame here.

Here’s a little more history on our financial meltdown.

Additional Links

Trivia note:
Future defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld at one time was the White House’s man in charge of anti-poverty programs such as the Peace Corps.

A brief history of money. Why this should matter to you.

If you care about and plan for your future rather than let serendipity take it’s course, then understanding the use, distribution, debt and exchange of currency should be important to you. It’s a complex topic. This single post barely scratches the surface. I think it does bring into focus some of the history and how decisions in the past carry consequences of serious nature.

coyote peltsWe’ve come a long way since the time when trading meant, bring some pelts, beads, corn or wheat with you to buy what you need. In short, beads won’t buy you a train ride to Manhattan.

The ideas behind the use of currency are simple, the value and trade of it are not. Furthermore, most educational structure, at least in the U.S. assumes somehow you’ll gain an understanding of economics through osmosis. That is unless you attend a post secondary school such as Harvard, Wharton, Yale, etc. Most often the prestigious schools mentioned are headed by former government / institutional policy wonks, which in the end do consume a lot of time to explain the fundamentals of how the system is supposed to work.

The basic idea behind the use of a substitute trading object rather than hard goods goes back to ancient Greek and Romans. They realized early on it was impractical to carry large quantities of items with you to buy everyday needs. Of course there weren’t any international trading agreements among neighboring nations and so trade still went on with goods trekked across vast distance. This went on for centuries even though individual countries created coinage and even currency for trade among themselves.

gold bullionInternational monetary standards didn’t come into effect until the late 19th century. At that time, just as in times past, it was based on a specific quantity of a precious metal. This usually meant either Gold, Silver or a bimetal, as the basis in which to set your accepted standard of exchange. Wars, national identities and isolated economic upheaval created a challenge in how these agreements between nations function. In addition to the order of exchange, commonly referred to as the “rules of the game”, mechanisms have been developed through treaties and agreements on coping with the dynamics of nation states. What I mean by that is, an individual nation goes through times of prosperity and economic hardship. Each of these nations float their own currency and wish to make adjustments to the amount in circulation and the rate of exchange for commodities within. This also affects the willingness of a country to purchase commodities at the previous agreed price. When nations used a common commodity, such as gold to set the standard, it tied individual nations to policies they felt were not in their best interest.

A period known as the “First age of Globalization” existed in the 1870s to the outbreak of World War I (1914). World exchange was conducted through an amalgamation of money unions between specific countries and of those who simply used the gold standard. This meant you could either accept a currency you had faith in or gain the equivalent in gold bullion when conducting international trade.

The years between the World Wars (1919–1939) brought forth increased autonomy and de-globalization. During World War I most countries abandoned the gold standard except the United States. A brief period came about for some nations which returned to this standard. By the early 1930’s trade order became a fragmented system of floating exchange rates. Politics within countries often were the determining factor as to what were the appropriate economic mechanisms. In Great Britain, economist Nicholas Davenport argued that the wish to return Britain to the gold standard, “sprang from a sadistic desire by the Bankers to inflict pain on the British working class.” Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Countries were being pushed from within to isolate themselves from other nations because of the World War. When hardships at home developed, international cooperation became a low priority. The Great Depression in the United States and the failure of many banks exacerbated the problem of war debt in Britain, France and Germany. These turbulent years gave opportunity for despots in Germany, Italy and Japan to capsize stability and increase national fervor to the point of starting another war.

Money - ResourcesAfter death and economic catastrophe of World War II, new international agreement became a necessity. The reality of World War II changed the entire dynamics of individual economies. For England and Germany, as well as other smaller economies, the war was a financial disaster. Up to that time, the British Pound Sterling was the international float currency of exchange. Now, the United States became a much stronger economy and a new world reality emerged. The dollar became part of an exchange agreement at Bretton Woods conference in 1944. The agreement defined both the Dollar and the Pound as reserve currencies. Each country, including Britain, defined the value of its currency in dollars, and the U.S. would tie the value of the dollar to gold. This was seen as the only practical solution since the U.S. could tie its monetary standard to the vast gold reserves it held in Fort Knox. No other country held such reserves and therefore international trade agreed this would be the basis going forward.

Why History is So Important to Learn

motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939

motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939

The primary policy makers of the post war international monetary system beginning in the early 1940s, were Great Britain and the United States. Each saw the role of a flexible international system allowing freedom for governments to pursue domestic policies aimed at promoting full employment and social wellness. The principal architects of the new system were John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White. They created a plan which was endorsed by all 42 countries attending the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. These nations agreed to a system of fixed but adjustable exchange rates where the currencies were pegged against the dollar, with the dollar itself convertible into gold. Two international institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were created. These replaced private finance. They were viewed as a more reliable source of lending for investment projects in developing states. Private institutions were the catalyst for lending policy and arbiters of successful wars; private institutions such as Rothschild.

This period (1945-1971) has been known as the Bretton Woods era. Schools in economics studied and patterned their curriculum on Keynes. The principle opposition to these ideas came forward from political idealism using socialistic models of equality in outcome and state managed industries. It wasn’t until the Chicago School of Economics, primarily under the leadership of Milton Friedman, that serious education in free market economics re-emerged.

Meanwhile fortunes continued to change among nations and most importantly, trusts and allies were altered. This is the key to understanding any principle in free market exchange, trust must prevail. As trust erodes in an instrument of exchange, so to does that instrument. During a period of almost 30 years, nations turned to the U.S. and the dollar for their consumer necessities. The U.S. post WWII, became a major manufacturing center of products in demand around the world. This further weakened the British economy, and by 1949 Pound Sterling as a reserve currency was severely diminished. When this currency lost its status as a primary currency of exchange, the immediate result was a devaluation of the pound by 30%. Imagine the effect that has when everything you purchase goes up by at least 30%! Almost over night, everything you own and want to purchase adjusts to this new reality.

The post Bretton Woods era began just after the peak build-up in the Viet Nam War. In 1971 President Nixon devalued the dollar, in response to damage done by the cost of the War. This opened a new era of floating exchange. The stability of the postwar settlement was over.

Wars in the Middle East, high oil prices and an international recession, combined with the UK’s slow economic decline further decimated the British economy. By 1975, with rising inflation after a further pound devaluation in 1967, and a large-scale coal miners’ strike, the UK had to apply for a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Loans notwithstanding, the economic pressure on the UK government caused further devaluations of the pound on the exchange. In 1976, the pound fell below the $2 point for the first time on the exchange. This is where the citizens of the United States should learn and understand what history demonstrates.

The U.K. after World War II had large debts, in addition to that they had a manufacturing economy focused on war production. Civilian commercial products lagged the demand and therefore they often had to buy at unfavorable market rates through international trade. Trade deficits rose, the pound was devalued, making the trade deficit worse and goods at home more expensive. When commercial manufacturing re-tooled the economy was frequently impaired through labor strikes, shoddy goods, and a demand on the government to provide more social programs including health care.

The economy of the U.K. was on the brink of collapse and books like Orwell’s 1984 seemed to predict the tension between society and government. The last grasp of trying to convert into a free market economy arose with the election of Margaret Thatcher to Prime Minister. During her brief tenure, she divested vast holdings of government-owned and mis-managed communications, energy, air commerce, housing and to some extent gave more free rein to private / commercial banking. The results of this change to “monetarism” brought great wealth into the U.K. but the rest of Europe, including Germany, were nowhere near the growth rate now seen in the U.K. This growth brought new problems, primarily social, into the mix. Vast segments of the population had become accustomed to the economic assistance seen as benevolence or necessity. The coal industry had largely been supported by artificial government stimulant and when that went away, so did much of the expensive British coal production. People living in public housing and some school program subsidies were reduced or eliminated. Just like what occurred with Churchill shortly after WWII, new elections ended the days of Margaret Thatcher. She was seen as a polarizing figure and the social engineers wanted her out.

What goes up must come down and it did so in splendid fashion by the 1990s. Europe regained economic improvement while the U.K. was sinking. The reaction even during Thatcher’s period was to tie the Pound to the Deutschmark in attempt to control inflation. Nigel Lawson was Mrs Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and he wanted to limit growth and control inflation.

The Exchange Rate Mechanism and Black Wednesday

John Major became Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher. He had to reduce UK interest rates to discourage inflation while maintaining the revival of the British economy. He decided to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

Interest rates in Europe were lower than in Britain. Sterling joined at £1 to 2.95 Deutschmarks, much the same rate as Lawson’s cap, but Major was hoping for the inflation which Lawson had not wanted. ERM rules dictated that the pound was to vary by no more than six per cent from its entry rate, three per cent either side. The idea was to reduce UK interest rates by linking them to Germany’s 8 per cent, rather than the UK’s 15 per cent. The rising value of the Deutschmark and the lower growth of the Pound caused an uneasy alliance between Germany and the U.K. even though at the time, the U.K. was acting President of the E.U. The Germans were unwilling to shift policy, despite the pleas of the U.K. because they were suffering the inflationary consequences of incorporating East Germany.

Along comes the European born, American financier, George Soros. He saw the international monetary markets for what they were. He was devoid of societal interests and nation-state politics. What he saw was an opportunity in the making. He thought the U.K. was over leveraged in its investments to control the value of the Pound. Seeing this opportunity, he bought large quantities of Deutschmarks, effectively betting against the Pound. His currency speculation strategy was to sell Sterling for Deutschmarks and British securities. His combined war chest with other speculators was just under $10 billion. This was slightly less than Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Lamont, had to throw into the currency, and the Bank of England was running out of reserves. On September 17th 1992, Mr Lamont announced that the Pound was to leave the ERM and devalue through exchange. The pound devalued and Mr Soros, was rumored to have made as much as $2 billion betting against the Sterling. He was christened “the man who broke the Bank of England” by the Daily Mail.

So what does all of this mean to you or me living in the U.S.?

national debt trend

National debt % GDP & actual number

To quote the Sage CQpress: “The shifts in the international political-economic system increase the likelihood of greater disparities between those who can play in the game of global finance and those who cannot. These changes also add to the uncertainty about how national political economies are connected. Both good and bad effects can be conveyed across linkages that are not completely understood and are consequently difficult to manage and mitigate, in the case of bad effects.

Well a few of those effects are relatively well understood. Exchange rates are set by complex formulas but they revolve around the relative stability of the nation-state. All are based on trust. Diversity of economic specifics may alter the trajectory of an economy but the specifics which adversely affect an economy largely depend on the willingness of the government to manage the affairs of the nation. Frequent and expensive wars throughout history have always created a debilitating drag by maiming or killing those coming of age as well as a resultant indebtedness.

A nation must have energy policies which sustain it to produce goods and improve services. Any nation which doesn’t produce will eventually fade away. This hasLabor statistics March 2013 nothing to do with free market economics, it’s just the result of any country or any person without artificial support. Thus trade unions, industries, or individuals which fail to produce will also lose support once national income is insufficient to support paying its debt.

There will always be opportunists and speculators like George Soros or T. Boone Pickens. They merely take advantage of down turns as well as up swings. The rest of us rely on the willingness of a nation to choose sound economic policy, free of long-term strangling debt and frequent war.

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