Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why the new bailout for Greece will not work.

Just logged on to Wikipedia today to look at the news because they always cover the biggest news stories on the top of the page and found to my delight that Greece will get a second bailout. This could have been a wonderful thing for Europe and the United States, and will be different from the first, because several variables have changed.

1 History facts
First, the first bailout was in April 2010, during that time Papandreou was Prime Minister, which except for 5 years his party PASOK had been in power since 1993. He was a highly corrupt Prime Minister and ineffective at leading his country, leading them to financial ruin and taking in almost no money. If you want a balanced accurate look at the history of this mess I highly recommend NPR's Planet Money's 340th episode from January 24th 2012 which explained the issue perfectly. The biggest issue is people didn't pay their taxes, the same reason America has a large deficit with such low spending (relative to the countries of Canada and all nations of Northern Europe) That is pretty much all you need to know about the issue.

2 Current situation.
Papademos is the new Prime Minister of Greece. He has been the Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002, and Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010. This guy is an experienced economist. This is his first political office that has not had economics as his prime function. He is also has been a Columbia University faculty member, John F. Kennedy School of Government faculty member, and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens faculty member. This guy has experience with the subject! He is 64 years old and a member of the Trilateral Commission and Academy of Athens. His school of economic thought is pro-Europe (which is good). Unfortunately he is a supply-side economist, also known as trickle down, the policy of America's most failed President in the realm of economics, Herbert Hoover. Nothing else matters. (source:

Europe is now officially screwed. America should not bail them out, Papademos as a supply-side economist will abuse it, and Greece needs to kick him out as fast as they possibly can and replace him with a Stockholm school economist. According to history, this will happen. Papademos will not save Europe.

Europe needs to kick Greece out of the eurozone now. They need to figure out how to fix their own problems, because they will not learn if they are part of the Europe. There needs to be a new resolution so that a country can leave the Eurozone while staying in the Schengen Area (the only shred of hope for the Greek economy I can see now.) because they will not solve the problems. Supply-side economics is extremely traditional, and has never solved any economic downturn. With this fool in charge of Greece and the opposition of Merkel and Sarkozy to having countries leave the Euro I fear for the world.

Greece must stay in the schengen zone though, because if New Dawn came to power Greeks need to keep contact with the rest of Europe. If Greece left the free travel zone war becomes a possibility.

I wrote this in February 2012.
I hope I am wrong.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I support Occupy, here are the problems.

I was a regular attendee to my local Occupy protest for the first few weeks of the protest and went until we were evicted. I support the basic goal of Occupy to remove corruption from our government.

I just did an exercise to see the richest people in history, and made a spreadsheet with their wealth in a spreadsheet. The richest man in history was Mir Osman Ali Khan, the sultan of Hyderabad who when adjusted for inflation had a miraculous $790,341,000,000 in 1948 adjusted for inflation. This has not been surpassed. The second richest man in all of history was John D. Rockefeller at 663.4 billion dollars adjusted for inflation. You keep going down the list and you will not find anyone whose business deals with money for moneys sake until Warren Buffett, and there are no CEOs of major banks with billions of dollars (according to Forbes) who have not got their wealth through investments. However, look back at number 2, John D. Rockefeller, the man who was the CEO of Standard which had to be broken up by the Federal Government for their monopolistic practices. After then there were a handful of corporations that controlled the economy, moving the oil industry from a monopoly to an oligopoly.

Banks are different however. If I chose to, I could set up a bank of my own. It's a free market in the vast majority of the economy, as it should be! Credit unions are across the nation that give people better rates, better service, and better deals. People have the right to move their money from one to another, and people should to save their wealth. That is why I would have taken part in bank transfer day if I didn't already have all my money in credit unions.

The biggest problem is the system, this consensus model that was used failed. Things that should have been decided were not, and the anarchists had the ability to destroy Occupy. I wouldn't be surprised if people from the Tea Party had infiltrated camp and caused trouble, this caused no decisions to be made, which caused real problems really quickly and shut down the camps efficiently.

The Tea Party had one thing right. Their goals were unpatriotic and slightly treasonous, but they wanted to make real change to our system by electing people to Congress and Legislatures. They have now made real changes to our political landscape that has damaged our nation giving more power to the corporations they truly represent. See Citizens United. If Occupy had done the same thing we could have filled Congress with new representatives and senators who would have been able to make real positive changes to America's economy and make sure that the government listens to all the people, not just the rich. And by keeping our major check and balance for two years through organizing, setting up a real third party with real potential, and sending letters to them to keep them based in reality, we could make real change that is necessary to the survival of our nation. No nation can survive long with a large underclass and a small ruling class where the ruling class tramples the underclass, the Soviet Union proved that along with many other examples throughout modern history. This is the key to our ultimate success, or failure. It is up to us and no one else!

Also, when Occupy was evicted they didn't move out into the area around the cities which could have been a really powerful tool. We can still do this, and hopefully we will. I hope that we can end the corruption in our government and make our country a better place.

Things that "conservative, literal" Christians and Jews do and don't follow.

There is a lot of talk against gay rights in the United States (and other Christian-majority nations) where their only argument is "it's in the Bible, so it's wrong." I am going to make a list of all the prohibitions and laws in Leviticus that I have not seen done by any Christian or Jew who opposes Gay marriage (See Orthodox Jew).

  • Burnt offerings
  • Animal offerings
  • Offer an animal when you sin.
  • Offer grain.
  • The guilt offering
  • Do not eat blood (yes, rare meat is out of bounds.)
  • Do not eat fat
  • Do not eat pigs
  • Do not touch carcasses of unclean animals
  • Do not eat shellfish
  • Infectious skin disease rules.
  • Mildew regulations
  • Women's menstraul secretions make her unclean for 7 days.
  • No work on the tenth day of the seventh month.
  • Do not plant two different types of seeds in one field.
  • The fruit of a tree is out of bounds for the first three years of its life.
  • Do not mistreat aliens in your land.
  • Feast of Tabernacles on the 15th day of the 7th month.
  • Stone blasphemers.
  • People who kill others are to be killed.
There are all these rules that Christians are supposed to follow, and none of them do.  They do not follow all the rules. Yet they get upset at people who are gay. I see a double standard. If a Christian wants to follow every law in the Bible, than they should try it for a week and see if they make it. In today's world they probably won't.

Would you want all those laws above the law in the United States as many far-right people call for? I don't. That would be the death of our country. As the Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" which the ACLU defends daily from the onslaught of the far-right. It would be illegal and these so-styled "Constitutionalists" would do well to read the constitution and key judicial decisions on this subject. Also, read the whole text, not just the part that you find fits your current views, which often change without reason or notice.

Drill Baby Drill. Economical Analysis into the impact of the proposed American Oil drilling

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years over drilling for oil. Proponents claim that this will save the American economy, opponents claim that it will destroy the environment. On the saving the American economy with hundreds of thousands of jobs, the Cornell Global Labor Institute did research and found the total net gain to the Keystone Pipeline would be between 20-127 permanent jobs total. When we do the drilling in the Tundra and Taiga of North Alaska as has been proposed we will ravage hundreds of thousands of acres of land that are currently protected and have a gigantic amount of permafrost storing enough water to raise sea levels (scientific fact unopposed by any scientist). They also claim that this will bring down oil prices with the current economic system by increasing supply. Here is why that is practically impossible and wishful thinking.

There are 18 large oil companies in the United States, all private, an anomaly in the world, with Exxon Mobile dominating by a longshot. Unless we allowed foreign corporations to drill our oil (which would be basically outsourcing the profits to their headquarters) those 18 would be the only companies that would benefit from drilling oil. An oligopoly of less CEOs than a modern typical Kindergarten classroom by the way. What is to stop them from gathering in the Cayman Islands and discussing what their prices are going to be? The answer is absolutely nothing. In fact, only 5 of those companies make the list of the 187 largest corporations of the world, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Koch Industries, and Marathon Oil. It is safe to assume that the other 13 companies would get very small stakes and these five could outbid the others, increasing their profits and leaving the others to rot from the other companies' dominance.

Now, with five companies in control of North Alaska (which is safe to assume) what is to stop them from decreasing oil prices to give the illusion that this worked? Nothing at all. In fact, they could bring the prices so low that the other 13 companies would be drowned out of the market with their massive stocks. Seems like those stinking liberals were wrong again! Not quite. As I just said, 13 companies just went bankrupt and a majority of Americans are thinking that our oil concerns are over with prices at 80 cents per gallon, maybe lower. With only 5 companies now they can do pretty much whatever they want, they can raise prices and we will have nowhere else to turn, given that they control the vast majority (over 80%? likely) of America's oil. They then could raise prices as high as they want without increasing the pay of oil workers. That is a very scary scenario and very likely. We would have no other places to get our oil either, because of their corruption of our political system and probable sanctions on foreign oil in the name of "national security", and with the amount of money they have they will probably increase the amount they already donate to our political system (source: which will make politicians who oppose them be out-campaigned by the oil oligopoly's choice.

Did I forget to mention? Alaska is now completely covered with oil rigs in the north, destroying habitat beyond the travel region of most Americans (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil) which the mass media (which they already control, just watch some public or counter-media and you will be amazed) will fail to report yet again. This water has to go somewhere, matter cannot be destroyed, which means it will go to the oceans, and sea level will rise. The increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will poison our environment and make recovering from climate change (which is supported by every scientist in good standing with the scientific community) a lot further down the road than it is currently.

The prices have risen too, so a period of oh, let's say 50 years, which has already been proven to make most people forget what life was truly like and gives enough time for history to be rewritten (point in case: America's mass-transit system, look up "Great American Streetcar Scandal" on youtube, you will be amazed at the corruption) which will make recovery more difficult than it is now. Social revolution? Likely.

Let's not go down this path, it will bring nothing but pain to 99.9% of all people in the world. I hope I am not being too bleak and dreary, but this is truly what is going to happen if we drill in Alaska. Economists, whether they are socialist or capitalist do agree on one thing, private oligopolies are bad. Prices will not come down in the long-run, we will not be truly energy independent, we will just be getting ripped off by the oil companies who already have control of shipping. If you doubt my claim that controlling the means to shipping (fuel) can cause someone to control an economy, read "Dune" by Frank Herbert and watch out for the Guild which did exactly that.

Again, energy independence will not come from more oil drilling, it will come from renewable resources which are exactly that, renewable and cannot be monopolized or oligopolized. That is the only path to energy independence for the United States of America.