Corporations not investing, hurting the economy
In macro-economics 101 we learned that the American economy had three main streams of income and expenditure; consumer, corporate and government.
Each stream is large, important and critical to the other and to the overall smooth functioning of the economy. If any stream is out of balance for long, the larger economy is headed for trouble.
By reducing federal expenditures by several trillions of dollars over the next 10 years, the laws of macro-economics kick in with a vengeance. This means that the governmental stream of expenditures is being dried up.
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Meanwhile, corporate America is sitting on $2 trillion of cash, unwilling to risk it in this uncertain economic environment. Consumers are also beginning to tighten their belts, delaying discretionary and major purchases in a wait-and-let's-see attitude. You can see where all this is going to take us; it's called a great depression.
We saw the cumulative effect of such a downward spiral in spending in the 1930s. Millions wandered across the land often looking in vain for a handout of food or an offer of a roof.
What the public discourse over the debt ceiling lacked was a clear vision of the whole. What we, the people, in this nation and this commonwealth have to ask ourselves is whether we want one nation, indivisible, generous, going forward confidently, or, a nation divided, selfish, going to the left or the right, uncertain of its future.
It is a question that will be answered in the months ahead.
Philip A. Leasure
Tired of the fighting
I missed the Fancy Farm picnic for the first time in many years. I could use as my excuse that my wonderful niece had her graduation party or that I was to have surgery, or that I am almost broke.
But the truth is I am just sick of hearing politicians attack each other like a bunch of spoiled brats fighting over who is riding the bike next.
The picnic is a fanily event at a Catholic Church. The greatest gift God has given us is love. I wish all political leaders would share it with each other. I wish all the candidates would just give each other hugs and say if you win I will offer to work for you to help our state and nation return to Godly principles.
With troubles throughout the world and deep economic problems in our own country we cannot afford the childish antics of personal attacks for political gain. The sucking sound you hear is the middle class heading toward poverty. It seems we have lost the meaning of the words leadership and statesmanship.
As for the reporters, I know you do not make the spitballs, but do you have to throw them? It's not news anymore; we have come to expect it at all gatherings of politics.
Do something new and ask them about the positive points of their opponents. That would be news.
No coal for China
U.S. Rep Rick Larson, a Democrat from the state of Washington, wants to send U.S. coal to China. He states "I'd rather be exporting American coal and grain than American jobs."
Where has Larson been? Good American jobs went to China and India 15 years ago. China is coming back for the coal as an encore. We the people need to stop this madness before it starts. Not one bucket.
Spending gone wild
In typical fashion, liberals look around for scapegoats to blame for our economic woes. It used to be George W. Bush, but now it's the Tea Party. Never a Democrat.
Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen indicates the Tea Party, by refusing to raise revenue, was more interested in plugging small pipe leaks when our economic house was burning down.
Let's look at our 2011 budget:
■ Total U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
■ Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
■ New added debt: $1,650,000,000,000
■ Our existing national debt: $l4,271,000,000,000
■ Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
For sake of simplicity, let's lop off eight zeros and make it my household budget. Now the numbers are:
■ Total income: $21,700
■ Amount of money spent: $38,000
■ Amount of new credit card debt: $16,800
■ Outstanding balance on credit card: $142,710
■ Amount we decided to cut: $385
Well, $385 won't scratch the surface of our debt. We need more revenue. It is estimated that the top 5 percent of wage earners represent 35 percent of our total income.
Let's say we tax them at 100 percent, generating revenue of $759.5 billion. Add that to the recent budget cut of $38.5 billion and we get $798 billion — still $852 billion short of the new added debt. And that amount gets added to the outstanding balance.
That's how ridiculous Eblen's approach is. It's not leaky pipes we need to plug. A flood of excess spending needs to be dammed.
J. L. Lombardo
I fear that God is annoyed with us. In the past few years he has given us hurricanes, floods, drought, tornados, extreme heat, fires, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Grover Norquist, state Sen. David Williams and the Tea Party.
In the future we can expect famine, locusts, plague, global warming and the dismantling of Social Security and all federal funded health care programs.
I find our current political situation to be a-Paul-ing and demented.
Who determines economic policy in the United States, the "elected" government or the wealthy?
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reported that from 1980 to 2005, 80 percent of all new income in the United States went to the top 1 percent. The super rich lobby for tax cuts and for service cuts for the remaining 99 percent of Americans.
This will become more commonplace as we see the impacts of the recent Supreme Court ruling unfold. Corporations will have unlimited monetary influence on elections, without disclosure.
Widespread availability of low-cost products is convenient, but let's not worship industrial globalization. U.S. production has been outsourced to magnify profit margins by capitalizing on cheap foreign labor and lax regulations. U.S. jobs have been exported and the economy crippled for the sake of profit.
Is the middle class being erased by the super rich?
What is the average lifespan of a graphite miner in South America? What are the wages for a field worker in Malaysia or a garment industry laborer in Sri Lanka? How do these workers support themselves or their families when they have been incapacitated by a job hazard? What does metal mining and alloy production do to the environment and water supply? What do the land, rivers and forests look like after these industries have played out?
When jobs are exported, worldwide wages and work conditions will reach the lowest common denominator. The ultimate evolution of unregulated capitalism is monopoly. Free market self-regulation?