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posted 8/3/2013 3:10:18 AM |
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  J1958

It may not be our darkest hour, but that sorrowful time is fast approaching. And as the fire of a great empire dims, one more chance at salvation, perhaps our last, comes with the election of 2016.

Our great and noble hopes have been spilled on the rocks of regret again and again. We are nearly past the time when we can be resurrected to the glory we once knew.

Click on the link below, close your eyes and listen. Keep the force, the will and the power you hear rising from the music with you, and don’t lose hope. As the months and weeks between now and the 2016 election melt away, resolve that you will settle for nothing less this time.

American Anthem 2016

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   read more blogs!

Blogs by J1958:
DREAMS OF THE EVERY-DAY RETIREE
WASTED DAYS AND WASTED SITES
HELPING GEEZERS STAY HIP
literary --THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
AMERICAN ANTHEM 2 0 1 6
Essay – Does POT = PEACE?
Opinion – WHAT I LEARNED IN THE 5TH GRADE ABOUT PATRIOTISM
informational -- The New News
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR DISRESPECT?
more satire - WHAT? YOU WANT TO USE YOUR STRAP-ON?


Comments:

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Wordsofwit

Aug 3 @ 7:33AM  
Quite melodramatic, kind of akin the Jehovah's Witnesses messages but with a political twist.
TwistAndShout

Aug 3 @ 10:30AM  
Quite melodramatic, kind of akin the Jehovah's Witnesses messages but with a political twist.

And not just the blog, but the Bonnie Tyler link too. Her music was melodramatic to the point of nausea.
J1958

Aug 3 @ 11:27AM  
I’d like you two wrinkled hippies to consider where you’re going with that dramaless world you’re painting. Talk about nauseating. I am so sick of phrases like “Not into drama,” “No drama queens” and “soooo drama.”

What is life without drama? I’ll tell you what it looks like to me – a herding of zombies with no shred of emotion; a cold blood-sucking cadre of human bodies without human hearts too incapable of imagination to be wowed by anything more compelling than an arcade game.

Look at you, you sick twisted, dried-up swatches of dung. You neither add nor subtract anything above a stench from the compost heap your grandchildren are building.

Lol…just kidding. Ha ha…that’s comedy! Better?
Wordsofwit

Aug 3 @ 11:43AM  
You had me going,J

My point is that I have heard doom and gloom from the left and right most of my life, depending on what party was in power or held the presidency, and none of the projected disasters happened.

I think that people underestimate the resolve, meddle, determination, and resourcefulness of the American people to rise to challenges. It is indelible within me what my grandparents and their contemporaries accomplished against the backdrop of the Great Depression and what my parents' generation did during WW II and beyond. Many debate the nation's future but forget about how we Americans as an aggregate can shape it even in the most perilous of times, which these are not.
J1958

Aug 3 @ 12:06PM  
I think that people underestimate the resolve, meddle, determination, and resourcefulness of the American people to rise to challenges. It is indelible within me what my grandparents and their contemporaries accomplished against the backdrop of the Great Depression and what my parents' generation did during WW II and beyond. Many debate the nation's future but forget about how we Americans as an aggregate can shape it even in the most perilous of times
.

Very excellent opinion, Bruce. I’m there! Hooooweeever…I think we need one tiny caveat that might go something like this:

It’s not enough to examine the results of our ancestors’ efforts. It’s not enough to imagine our heirs will be magically possessed of the same iron. To make it so, we must consider the way in which the old folks produced what we inherited, and it was not by having faith in the “rewind” or the “fast forward.” It was in the gathering of materials and imagination around them and the application of those tools at hand to the specific challenges in the specific moment they were confronted by “doom and gloom.” It was the acknowledgment of harsh consequences and the refusal to let them pass or leave them for our children to brave on nothing but faith they would handle it with the same resolve our fathers did.

Nevermind what everybody else did or might do. You gotta wade into the seaweed and grab a damn fish, if you expect to eat tonight.
RJ53

Aug 3 @ 4:01PM  
All Empires fall sooner or later, The Greeks, the Romans, the British. The Soviets and so on and on, Nothing is forever except the world changing around us, One Empire falls and another one takes it place and are usually the cause of their own demise, That is not drama, it is just history, I find watching Empires crumbling very interesting, Perhaps if people had not been so greedy they would have lasted longer, I think the world is going through growing pains again, I just hope they decide to skip over repeating the dark ages,
J1958

Aug 3 @ 6:26PM  
All Empires fall sooner or later,

That’s a little scary. “Sooner or later” is a looooong time, RJ. The real truth is that all PAST empires fell. Would you mind much if those of us having a good time did what we could to prevent the collapse of this one as long as possible? Would it interfere with your amusement if we found a way out of this mess. It’s not that complicated.

The real danger is that our currency will cease to be the world standard, because we would not be able to print our own money and our debt would consume us, if that happened. Couldn’t we just get rid of the folks in the Beltway who insist upon driving us further into debt and put somebody in there hell-bent to get us out? Would that handicap your “crumbling empire” hobby too much?

Am I being mean?
Wordsofwit

Aug 3 @ 11:55PM  
I don't feel that you are being mean.

Part of being retired is realizing that to a large degree that your influence is greatly diminished. You largely only have whatever wisdom you have accrued to offer as a contributor. Much of this is accumulated by living through many decades and taking it all in.

I'm going to address two talking points conceptually: empires and the deficit:

My tenures as a research analyst whose practice involved the G2K and the global economies gave me a lot of insight. I spoke with C level executives of about a third of the G2K.

Despite the rise of China as an economic juggernaut, I look at what has transpired with Japan and India in this century for a glimpse into the future. Other nations including China, but notably South Korea cut deeply into the Japanese manufacturing market share. In the customer service niche, the Philippines and others have done likewise to India. I see this increasingly happening in the worldwide marketplace of the global economy.

Predicated upon the above I don't see any "empire" falling but rather receding. i do not foresee another "empire" rising. I think that was the idea and aim of the EEC but it hasn't come to be. Everybody is going to have a piece of the pie but no longer will one nation have most of it. Just as colonial empires came to pass so will economic empires in a national sense. If their is an economic empire it will dominated by the multi-national corporations of the G2K.

Part two:

Deficits were an increasing reality for America going back to the Second World War. The deficit continued nonstop culminating in the second Reagan term with its legacy written in red ink. Yet twelve years later the nation was debt free.

The eradicating of the national debt came at a time when much of country's manufacturing base had already moved overseas. Market share in many manufacturing verticals been overtaken, even literally decimated, by corporations overseas (electronics for example).

My point is that I am not ready to throw in the towel. Actually, I feel that we are better off now than we have been at any point in the last seven years or so. The economy is by no means booming but it is stable. I don't expect a return to good times for quite a while, but okay times are alright by me.
J1958

Aug 4 @ 3:29AM  
Actually, I feel that we are better off now than we have been at any point in the last seven years or so.

Relying on your expertise, will you please address these questions for me/us:

1 – How would we manage even the interest on our debt, if the dollar lost its position as world currency and we could no longer print our own money?

2 – Is it true that nations large and small are currently and actively searching for ways to replace the dollar as world currency?

3 – How about a thumbnail look at life in America when we cannot pay interest on the national debt and dollars must be traded for some other currency to be legal tender in the global market?

"Better off" only looks that way when we ignore the balance on the credit card bill.
Wordsofwit

Aug 4 @ 11:28AM  
I wasn't planning on writing term paper and will refrain from doing so. But I will touch a bit on them. My colleagues and I bandied this about quite a bit.

1 – How would we manage even the interest on our debt, if the dollar lost its position as world currency and we could no longer print our own money?

There are three elements to your question and your overall inference requires that scenarios line up in all three elements. Conceptually, we can look at what happened when the EEC adopted the Euro how they have handled EEC membership. There was a lot of consternation even panic with some when this began to happen. There was also considerable disagreement about who would be invited to the party. Inviting a nation like Turkey into their home was one thing but having sleep with their money was quite another [e53 ] The EEC chose to go slow and gradually phase in the Euro and widen its membership (we have to also note that the former Eastern Bloc was concurrently in a state of flux). That has appeared to have been a good strategy.

If the dollar did cease to be the world currency I feel that it would bruise our ego much more than our economy. The economy is very much influenced by the G2K and what happens with them in dire circumstances (i.e corporate bail outs) and these enterprises are multi-nationals. There is still International monetary exchanging taking place. So if there was a switch it would not really result in a fundamental weakening of the US economy.

Subsequently, there would be little impact on our ability, or lack there of if you choose, to pay down our interest beyond the strength of the dollar against whatever currency becomes the new standard. But even at that our loans owed to other nations or foreign financial entities are going to continue as per the contracts unless remediated. The real driver of this bus for our nation will remain the American GNP.

Lastly, and the easiest piece of your trifecta is simply that even under a worst case scenario there would be nothing that would stop the nation from printing its own currency. There was a major switch in the early thirties that alarmed many, going off of the gold standard. The fears would prove to be unfounded.

2 – Is it true that nations large and small are currently and actively searching for ways to replace the dollar as world currency?

When the economy began to unravel starting with the mortgages and banking there was a lot of talk by many about switching over to the Euro. But the deepening of the global downturn put that on the back burner. Later the Europeans would have their own brethren hat in hand even after the beginning of a tepid recovery. Spain, Italy, Ireland, and most notably Greece were teetering and still are to varying degrees. France and Germany had to jump in and bail them out. The French banks in particular had bankrolled a lot of large questionable loans funneled into Italy and Spain. If I am not mistaken, I believe that Iceland did, in fact, go bankrupt.

So, at the moment, there is a reluctance to not change horses in the middle of a stream as the global economy is slowly pulling up gradually. Actually, the GNP of South American nations as an aggregate has been moving along at a crisp CAGR for several years.

3 – How about a thumbnail look at life in America when we cannot pay interest on the national debt and dollars must be traded for some other currency to be legal tender in the global market?

I feel that my previous responses address this. Farmers will still plant, tend and harvest crops. Retailers will still open for business in the morning. In short, people will still go to work and ply their trade, the sun will rise and set on a daily basis.
J1958

Aug 4 @ 11:46AM  
Thanks for taking the time to deliver a great primer on the loss of the dollar’s position as global standard of exchange. You seem like a good "go-to" guy for this sort of stuff.

Of course there’s nothing to stop us from printing as much money as we like. And, of course, other nations can print their own money, too. But the more a country prints, the less its currency value against the dollar. True? Is this not the situation we’d find ourselves in, if the dollar lost its unique position? i.e. wouldn’t it be pointless to print more money. Isn’t the cogent issue the dollar’s value against the world currency?

Also, I’m wanting to know…what would happen if our debt was called due because of the dollar’s loss of standard value?

And what would happen to the world economy if the U.S. went technically bankrupt?

You mentioned the transition to the euro. Since none of the countries involved owned the world currency, it was a relatively simple matter of currency conversion for them. Don’t you think this example is less relevant to our situation than what happened in the UK when the pound lost its status as the world currency? Did the UK rock n roll right through that or was there some difficulty, and shouldn’t we expect at least as much here if the dollar goes down?

One more question…and thanks for considering this…in view of the difficulty ahead of us should the dollar go down because of our inability to pay the interest on our debt, however grave that difficulty may be, does it seem wiser to you that we continue to address our problems by borrowing more and more money or by a severe austerity program to reduce the debt and a program to prevent it from rising this high again? Also, Bruce, is there any multiple of trillions that you WOULD consider too dangerous for us and, if so, just how much would that be? Doesn’t it really come down to how much is too much, for surely…something tragic lies between here and 50-quadrillion dollars in debt.
Wordsofwit

Aug 4 @ 8:41PM  
Of course there’s nothing to stop us from printing as much money as we like.


Well, yeah J, but that would require a complete brain fart by the federal reserve (whose chairman has traditionally been a member of the president's opposing party). I don't see that happening, nor do I see how you would think it would. IMO, the chairman of federal reserve has always been a very shrewd, astute, bright economist going back to Volker, Greenspan, et al.

Now I am speaking off of the top of my head and won't look this up, but as I recall after the Mexican revolution around 1921, Pancho Villa decided to solve his country's financial abyss by printing up more currency. Needless to say, that went over like a fart in church

Don’t you think this example is less relevant to our situation than what happened in the UK when the pound lost its status as the world currency? Did the UK rock n roll right through that or was there some difficulty, and shouldn’t we expect at least as much here if the dollar goes down?

It is relevant but so is the UK currency situation as you point out, but what is the meaningful significance in reality beyond imagery? The EEC is far from homogenous across the board. France is not a member of NATO and the UK has not embraced the Euro.

You can look at a British company's annual report and the earnings are expressed in pounds, not Euros. But there is really no difference in that in the large picture. It is all ego on the part of the Brits harkening to bygone days and the currency is still exchanged at the going market rates. So it is all window dressing that is irrelevant in effect.

what would happen if our debt was called due because of the dollar’s loss of standard value?

Quite a hypothetical as the dollar has been gaining strength in the last two years. But why would a debtor nation (China) choose to do that when they are in bed together in a shared relatively new economic alliance? Where does China get their expertise? Where is their market to sell these products? Come on, J, do you really think the Chinese are stupid enough to kill the goose that lays their golden egg What happens if the sun burns out tomorrow

are there any multiple of trillions that you WOULD consider too dangerous for us and, if so, just how much would that be? Doesn’t it really come down to how much is too much, for surely…something tragic lies between here and 50-quadrillion dollars in debt.

Of course there is a fail safe. But I am certainly not economist so I can't say where that line is but there is one. Again it is not a black and white thing and is a form of legalized gambling.

It is my contention that, over time, you measure the accrued interest along with the principle (known) against the revenues generated by the GNP and its projected growth resulting in taxable income (speculative).

Now that is far as I comfortable in taking this as the second part of that equation has too many jokers in the deck, many of whom are elected to the senate and house when it comes to forging an effective policy. I do know that things came together during the Clinton years to accomplish a balanced budget and zero debt, so it can be done and has been accomplished in the relatively recent past
J1958

Aug 5 @ 5:00AM  
Well, yeah J, but that would require a complete brain fart by the federal reserve

Bruuuuuuuce….you say it would require a complete brain fart by the federal reserve to print as much money as we like. But how do you explain the fact that we are PRINTING AS MUCH MONEY AS WE LIKE? The chief irritant among conservatives only exists because we are PRINTING AS MUCH MONEY AS WE LIKE. And, Bruce…we are doing it despite the universal opinion that such activity would require a “complete brain fart by the federal reserve.”

Are we there yet?

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AMERICAN ANTHEM 2 0 1 6