Predictions on what 2008 will bring?
Here are my guesses...
- cascading counterparty defaults
- credit-deflation despite inflationary monetary policy
- recession is out in the open, MSM turns sour
- YOY drop in the fortress
There are also a few way-out-there possibilities that I would not be surprised by...
- banks forced to mark-to-market, some banks choke on being force-fed their own toxic waste
- BoJapan eases rates again in co-ordinated CB move, re-igniting carry trade
- HARM likes the Bay Area and decides to settle down here... :-)
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FollowBefriend287 comments GammaRaze's website
justme, I am confused about whether we disagree at all.
The current duopoly is sham. Agreed.
I guess the biggest difference seems to be that you still believe in the government as the agent of improvement while I (and some others) think individual liberty is the way to go.
Instead of focusing on trying to fix the fundamentally-flawed, ever-burgeoning democratic system, we suggest a minimal government approach that relies on voluntary co-operation between people as the means to solving problems.
England (and therefore, India and others) have a different kind of a political setup which sound similar to what you propose, but it has its own problem.
FollowBefriend4 threads1,477 comments Hampton, VA
No, actually, some of us think that the solution is to give more power to the people, not to the government, by tuning up the electoral system so that we can have more than two parties, true proportional representation, and an executive that is held in check by a diverse (that means >2 parties again) legislative body. Would that work for you, Headset?
The only way to give more "power to the people" is by putting checks on gov power and a strong belief in individual rights. As Richta says, the people already have the power, but will not use it. For example, the Constitution grants only Congress the power to declare war, since no single man should have that ability. But when war on Iraq came up, the Congress chose to to pass that call to the executive instead of having a debate and a vote count. That way they could claim credit if the war went well, and blame Bush if it did not. Why on earth would the American public re-elect any clown/coward who shirked thier duty that way? Why re-elect a man with $90,000 bribe money in his freezer?
Maybe the "people" are too lazy for a Constitutional Republic and use their votes in such a way that we have a DemoPublican party (not two parties as you say) composed of less than honorable men. But that sure beats the hell out of a system where gov power is used to force an outcome in the name of the "people."
But maybe we can hit some common ground. How about these rules on who can vote:
1. Be an net tax payer
2. Must pass a test proving you know your Representative, Senators, and their voting records.
3. In the Presidential Election, know why we have an Electoral College and know why your state has its number of electors.
4. A test showing you have a working knowlege of the US Constitution.
Such an informed voting public would be more inclined to note individual candidates stance on the issues, and put less regard to political party. Under the HeadSet system, the lazy puds can vote on Amercan Idol, while the responsible people can select a responsible government.
Would that work for you, justme?
FollowBefriend15 threads1,255 comments
Maybe a better plan would be to work for checks on gov power, and thus limit the ability for gov to abuse power.
We already have checks on government power via the Congress and the Media - the problem is that they all seem to have been co-opted by shortsighted corporate interest.
BTW, I completely agree that 'more government' is not the answer, nor do I believe in hoping that a powerful 'enlightened individual' will fix things.
@OO, thanks for the detailed reply.
That is my point. We need better checks
How can you say that government power is "checked" by Congress when Congress is the lion's share of government? Maybe you are refering to the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial system of checks and balances.
And the media, dispite there ego, is not a "check" on government. The media is just one tool toward an informed public, which is.
>We need better checks.
I agree. However, I go back to the analogy by P.J.O'Rourke - giving the government money and power is like giving a teenager whiskey and car keys.
We can talk endlessly about what kind of safety features cars need to have such that drunk teenagers don't crash them.
Or we could simply not give booze and the keys to the teenagers in the first place.
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By voting for Ron Paul!
FollowBefriend (4)117 threads17,655 comments Premium
The tiger escape might be a crime!
Yesterday, my initial reaction was that it could be domestic terrorism carried out by "animal rights" activists.
If it turned out to be a deliberate act, the perpetrator should be sent to Gitmo Bay!
Would imposing your rules actually yield a better electorate? The majority of citizens do not bother to vote, and I would guess that the citizens who actually do vote are already more likely to satisfy your rules than those who don't.
Voters vote for their Congressmen not because they are good for America. They vote for them because they are good for their district.
Would imposing your rules actually yield a better electorate?
No, probrably not. Only because I am not qualified to determine what a "better" electorate is. My rules would just create what "I" think would be better. Maybe the guy who doesn't know his basic Constitution but does know he does not want a "bailout" candidate is a quality vote.
My "rules" were just a counter to the idea that we need to monkey with the system because we have an outcome like the "dualopoly" that some do not like. I introduced the Headset Altruistic Citizens' Party platform voting rules to show that I care and know what is best. Trouble is, every else thinks they know what is best, so to accommadate all those ideas we get back to the system currently in place, warts and all.
How can you improve on the system of one person / one vote, a guarenteed set of individual rights, a twin legislative body (one representing people and the other representing states), with a legislative and executive check? Politicians by nature will game the system, but at least the people have the power (if not the brains or will) to vote them out.
FollowBefriend (2)33 threads3,456 comments
That's a pretty detailed proposal. I do see some problems with it, though. First of all, qualifying voting rights based on some more stringent criterion than being a citizen of voting age is a very dangerous system. Think back in history on all the shady methods that have been used to prevent people from casting their vote, and now imagine a law that will provide legitimacy to such a system. Who's going to decide who is a "competent" voter, and how? I think every person must have their vote, no matter how ignorant or stupid someone might think they are.
Now, back to how Bush scared the Democrats into giving him the war powers to attack Iraq (based on fraud, lies and deception, but that is a separate story). I don't think the real reason was that they wanted Bush to get the blame and then have an opportunity to get credit. It was because they lnew that there was a VERY high chance they would lose their seat in the 2006 election if they voted against, because the Republican spin-machine and the associated mass media would label them as "soft on terror".'
This can so easily happen in an election system where the "winner takes all", meaning that there is only one representative elected per district. Just sway the public opinion by 5% by labeling the opposition as "soft on terror", and every on of them will lose! It is absolutely frightening how badly this system works.
A good election system is one where it is possible to take a principled stand against wrongdoing, and maybe lose 5% of the votes and therefore 5% of the representative seats that your party holds. It is not a good system when losing 5% of the vote can cost you 100% of the seats. The latter is how the US election system works. Until this country gets an election system that essentially supports representation proportional to the votes received by each party, democracy is only one bad election from a single--party system.
Is that because someone may have let the cat out deliberately? Or is it because you police disposal of the shot beast as a horrible waste of good tiger steaks?
Some new posts arrived while I was typing.
The problem with Congress is niot that it has too much power. The problem is that when it is 50-49, and the president is on the 51% side, the executive branch has ALL the power. And i the balance is 49-51, he can still veto his way out of too much.
What we need is a *diverse* multi-party congress and *less* executive power. That will be a real democracy. I can't say it too often: It all hinges upon the election system.
Who’s going to decide who is a “competent” voter, and how? I think every person must have their vote, no matter how ignorant or stupid someone might think they are.
Looks like our posts crossed. My 5:03PM post shows that we agree here.
Now, back to how Bush scared the Democrats into giving him the war powers to attack Iraq....because they lnew that there was a VERY high chance they would lose their seat in the 2006 election if they voted against, because the Republican spin-machine and the associated mass media would label them as “soft on terror”.’
In 1776, the Continental Congress knew they would be facing the hangman if things do not turn out right. GWB will not be sending anyone to the gulag or firing squad. Anyone who voted against their principles because of fear of W is not worthy of office. Think, they put the power to send our youth to their deaths in the hands of one man because they were afraid of being called names? Is this the type of pussies you want representing us?
there is only one representative elected per district.
I don't follow. Is Virginia a "District?" If so, we have 11 distinct representatives with differing voting records. Add to that two Senators, one pro Bush and the other a definate Bush antagonist.
A "diverse" party system would be up to the voters. Americans are too homogenous to vote outside the DemoPublican party. Few Americans want Greens, Libertarian, Social1st, Conservative, Labor, Whig, Liberal, Facist, Baathists, or Free Love and Dope candidates. Although I know at least one Social1st and one Libertarian have been elected.
The problem with Congress is niot that it has too much power. The problem is that when it is 50-49, and the president is on the 51% side, the executive branch has ALL the power.
That would be true only if the President had the power to introduce legislation or had a line item veto.
Anyhow, I can see you favor "coalition" over "bipartisan"
you cannot be more wrong. You see, in any event, you don't really debate my points but rather attack my character which I expect you've heard is some sort of a fallacy, but I doubt you know of them "philosophical" bullshits.
In actuality, I do smoke weed here and occasionally there but this is about all you guessed. For you see some months I make me 10-15k after taxes with my work which actually is helping dummies from MySpace, Fandango, and a bunch of others. Currently, beside smooching the plastic out of the girl, and I recently dump her, I have been getting a pay check from WMC Mortgage which is GE mortgage arm. They laid off everyone but I am getting 4 months paid and I actually worked there for like 3 weeks.
With this I am going for 6 months in jail in the next few weeks so I won't be much of a bother anyway. Still be getting me a paycheck of the tune of 20k a month which is plenty many more than what I need.
All in all dude, try and read some more Sherlock Holmes before analyzing my situation from 2 sentences, I mean the guy was educated not a Hank Hill neighbor.
Such a stereotypical stereotype.
P.S. I've been working since I am 9...
Mrist says about Michael Holliday:
you don’t really debate my points but rather attack my character
Mrist, fom you posts I gleen:
You are a pothead
You use women and brag about it
You brag about big money (ala HaHa and the Fat Stacks)
You are headed toward jail
You don't have much character to attack...
Wow, essay thread.
FollowBefriend1 threads3,248 comments
While I am skeptic about the rise of China in the next 20 years, I am generally optimistic in the longer term, especially if they can straighten out their political system. The biggest hindrance to the development of China is its own government, corrupt, oppressive and selfish, which is typical of any government in the world if it can get away with it. So far, there is no proof that China has broken the historical pattern of any dynasty (we call the current admin the Red Dynasty). At the beginning of the dynasty, elites rule with ideals and common sense, as the government grows, more and more social resources are spent on feeding the swelling body of civil servants, and the government turned defensive and oppressive and corrupt, which led to a violent collapse. Until China figures out a way to break this historical pattern, the diligence and intelligence of its people will just end up in this infinite loop of stability and collapse.
The crash landing of China will impact the US in two ways. Currently China has mastered the art of low-cost production, not only due to labor cost, but also because of the clutter of support structure it has built over the years. India, Vietnam or Indonesia will be at least a decade behind in terms of that infrastructure. That means, many cheap products will see the current value chain disrupted, and that is no good news to the American poor. One cannot shift such production base within months. It takes a decade to build and it will take similar length of time to shift. Therefore, such disruption will have some undesirable ripple effect on the American consumers.
Another problem is a potential military conflict across the strait of Taiwan. As long as China is going fine, nobody in the right mind in the elite ruling class will invoke a military conflict over Taiwan. Taiwan is always used as a excuse for unifying the 1.x billion Chinese who nowadays believe in nothing except for money. A government needs a program to get its ducks in line, and that program for China is called "unification with Taiwan". However, if the incumbent communists encounters serious social instability induced by the coming recession, and risks losing its unopposed status, it may just start a war as an act of desperation. There is really nothing to lose. If they luck out at such a political gamble, we will lose our sphere of influence in the Pacific.
The latter is my biggest worry. I don't think America is ready for that kind of scenario especially under the current idiot administration.
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OO - and who does *not* want to see the nukes rain on china, and the whole area turned into green glass?
How can you say that government power is “checked” by Congress when Congress is the lion’s share of government?
Poorly worded on my part. I was referring to the Congress as shorthand for "elected representatives" who are (in theory) supposed to look out for the sheeple and provide some checks and balances against extremism in any particular direction.
Broadly speaking, Executive/Military, Parliament, Judiciary and the Media are generally the four power centers that are supposed to keep each other honest. Private Enterprise is excluded from this because they represent private interest rather than public. The problem seems to be the influence of private enterprise on the public policy stance of three of the four branches. That was my point, sort of...
It was because they lnew that there was a VERY high chance they would lose their seat in the 2006 election if they voted against, because the Republican spin-machine and the associated mass media would label them as “soft on terror”.’
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country." (Anyone want to guess who said this?)
Anyone want to start a new thread? Anything? Please??? :-)
Yes, our posts did cross and we did agree that everyone should have a vote.
Also, you are right that I think a coalition-based system of government is superior in function and results to one that is based on "bipartisanship".
On the the matter of districts: You have a near zero chance to get elected unless you are either the democratic or the republican candidate. This is an example of what is known Duverger's Law (excellent article at Wikepedia)
You say that "Few Americans want Greens, Libertarian, Social1st, Conservative, Labor, Whig, Liberal, Facist, Baathists, or Free Love and Dope candidates".
Wrong. There are plenty of people who would vote Green, Libertarian, Labor and Conservative. The points is that none of these groups get ANY representation as long as the election system has single-winner districts. Do you really think that people who cannot muster 50% of the vote should not get any representation at all? I think that concept is profoundly undemocratic, and it also has the more serious side effect (as I pointed out earlier) that 51% of the vote can completely dominate and terrorize the losing 49% group. It is a very dangerous and unstable system, and especially so when the electorate is ill-informed or propaganda'ed to death.
Wouldn't it be great if Virginia elected 5 republicans, 4 democrats, 1 libertarian and 2 greens? I think it would be fantastic. And guess what, if the 4 democrats knew that by voting for war powers to the president, they might lose 1 seat, and not all 4, they might take a more principled stand. It is very important that taking a principled stand is rewarded, not punished, by the election system. I t is easy to make rhetoric about representatives needing to have courage, balls, conviction, etc. But if it is political suicide to vote ones conviction, and indeed the result may be an even-worse-than-war 1-party dictatorship, it is hard to see they had any real choice but to go along, especially given all the lies that were fed to them.
The point is that the election system must support parties that are permitted, and indeed required, to stand for their convictions in order to get elected.
Note also that if the democrats did not vote against war powers, they would face stiff competition from the greens for the anti-war vote, which would be another deterrent.
If you want to eliminate the detrimental effect of the 5% idiot-swing-voters that determine all the elections, do it the right way: Eliminate the 50-50 voting contest altogether, and let the ill-informed 5% vote whatever party strikes their fancy in any given election. It will only cause 5% damage, instead of 100%. Both democrats and republicans ought to be able to agree on that fact.
That was a quote from (dromroll)
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials.
Some things never change.
many great and radical people did go to jail/prison. I didn't steal or hurt anyone, or destroy property or get busted for drugs. I actually got stopped drunk, and after they took me to the jail I managed to escape. Just like in the movies. Well, this embarrassed a whole lot of people like the whole sheriff department, the DA and the judge.
The taxpayers are left with 30-40k bill for my great transgression on civilization. The good news is that with the whole budget shortfall Arnie wants to let 20 thousand prisoners out of CA jails to save 700 million a year, which is how I got the 30-40K/year number. 700 million / 20000 = 35,000$/year per prisoner and that excludes the court costs.
As for women, I don't use them nor brag about it. It is just that I hate going into details. I was trying to illustrate a point of how you get someone, like the citizens of this country, to invest in the current government and way of life so much that now when the government turns sour we are practically stuck with what we have. The only way is by forfeiting the products they give us like police, fire departments, education, colleges, universities, and infrastructure. And we, the citizens, are the ones paying for them in the first place. It is like the prostitute pays the client to have sex with her.
As for boasting about money, yea, he was boasting how I didn't have any and must be a dumb ass. So, logically if I have some then I am not :)
I am against drugs of all types and kinds so don't put me in the whole 'pothead' stereotype. And when I said I smoke weed here and there I meant a few times a year, not all the time. Besides I am in Cali, what do you expect? It's a way of life down here :)
P.S. I am actually going to get all high right now since you got me all worked up :)
I always say that our two parties are all cousins. The thing is that it will currently be very impractical without a great upheaval to change to another system. And come on, those other green/libertarians/etc/etc are just ideological entities that do not have support in societies that do have a multi-party system right now and they won't here even if it was multi-party. Besides the Republicans and Democrats alike have made their parties into de facto political monopolies, with Red Scares, Church Committees and the FBI hunting hippies and black panthers.
If we ever get more parties those should be split on geographical, racial, moral and economic lines like they are around the world.
Of course it is not all peachy even with coalitions as the government can effectively freeze if even one party brakes with the coalition. It is also hard to follow a particular national path to the future since everybody is pulling the rug in their direction and usually those coalitions need only a simple majority so even if 1-2% small party walks out the coalition is toast.
It is even easier for interests to control the legislative body since they only need to get 1-2% in their pocket to control the whole machine. This is why countries with such a system have rampart corruption and many times the majority is and can be held hostage by the minority.
Such a system will still not alleviate the corruption and management crisis going on in the executive branch nor the make up of the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future. And I think it is more their fault than congress for the current failures.
All in all, this is what it is, and unless a revolution comes around I doubt we can change much. I don't know of any society that just went one day and changed with a simple vote without any type of economic depression or some type of great struggle like war or famine driving this change. And I also know of no society where such a great divide in the populace is achieved by such a minor difference between the two ruling elites... well, maybe the Shia and the Shiite, and they are all cousins for real :)
Mhrist I salute your honesty and transparency.
I'm not your enemy, though I like an aggressive debate.
It just seems that the Boomer generation has a sort of...umm...shamelessness, nonchalance and insouciance when it comes to things like morality (i.e. using your girlfriend, smoking dope, being lazy, being fortunate enough to score a great pension by just showing up to work drunk or stoned only because they stumbled on the golden age of Silicon Valley corporate benefits).
It's my generation, and the one behind me that are getting bent over because of the greed and selfishness of the Boomers.
And many just don't care.
They whole attitude is, "I'm OK and your OK. Just don't judge me. Go smoke your pot, use your girlfriend, fudge on your mortgage ap," etc.
As long as it's a "victimless" crime, who cares, right?
There are so many moral imbecile Boomers, that you guys are almost endearing for your sheer dopiness and lack of ethics. If so many people weren't paying the price for the hippy-ass generation, I'd almost have a place in my heart for the Woodstock crowd.
Dude, you break my heart.
FollowBefriend1 threads533 comments
Mish has a great article in which he responds to Peter Schiff. Well worth the read.
2008 is hard to predict with some many potential black swans. The easy ones are:
1. Housing declines continue. My guestimate is that we will lose 8% next year. 2009 will be worse.
2. There will come a point at which the Fed will have to raise rates, but I am increasingly of the opinion that this will be delayed out beyond 2008.
3. Inflation, targeted to 3%, will be 5% sans energy. With food and energy we will get something like 7%.
4. The election will begin to focus more and more on Housing and Inflation. As people pointed out, we were talking about 3rd sex bathrooms until the budget dried up. Similarly, we will stop talking about Iraq with the 2008 recession.
5. The global economy will contract at the same rate as the us contraction. I would say world GDP shrinkage of 2% (seems small but this is a big deal).
6. The world will flood the US courts in an attempt to sue over lost billions in the MBS and CDO debacle. No rulings in 2008.
7. Municipalities WILL fail. No idea what we will do.
8. Califnornia will have its debt rating reduced. Somehow the Fed will agree to finance the state's debt.
9. Lay-offs will begin in earnest. Unemployment will be a topic on the news.
10. Crime will rise. It will be noted that the seriously eroded police to citizen ratio is not sufficient to bring crime under control. Debate will ensue.
11. A call for regulation will go out. The governemnt will do nothing bold until the next presidents is elected.
I can go on, but I really just see 2008 as a transition year. 2009 and beyond can get pretty dark if we don't address our domestic econoissues.
Are there any Ultra Short Retailer funds out there? It is too painful to go through every single retailer to determine the best target and then talk to the broker to borrow shares.
You won't get a 1-2% party holding the country hostage if there is a 5% cutoff limit. This is the
"5% clause" of the German constitution. It is there to prevent extremists (like the Nazis) to get disproportionate power. This is how that is taken care of. I don't mind that parties with
Let's vote Mhrist for Boomer Of The Year
Winner gets to have his ass whomped by Surfer-X
FollowBefriend1 threads6,749 comments Premium
"Many great and radical people did go to jail"
(So did a lot of unremarkable dirtbags) In fact, my guess is that there is nothing "great" in the future of about 99.9% of the prison population. (Unless of course you consider just managing to stay OUT of prison an accomplishment in and of it self?)
(continued) ... with less than 5% of the vote get no representation.
Sure, the green party might never get that big. Instead what will happen is that the existing parties will split into smaller parties with purer ideologies. For example, democrats will split into Labor + Progressive parties, and the republicans will split into TrueConservatives + CorporateFascists+ReligiousNuts. It would make for an interesting mix.
>> Lay-offs will begin in earnest. Unemployment will be a topic on the news.
Bring it on!
FollowBefriend (11)104 threads453 comments Premium
2008 will be historic.
Here in the US, there will be a cultural revolution, on par with the 60's in the terms of lasting imprint and historic magnitude. There will be a substantial shift in the American mentality, as the historically apathetic post-boomer Generation attempts to grab the reins and steer the country in a new direction.
That said, the Republican ticket (whomever it is) will win the election.
Globally, WWIII (which has been going on for some time now) will finally be recognized by the MSM.
Housing prices will decline less than expected, partially due to rising rents making housing look more attractive than it really is, prompting the NAR to say that "things are turning around".
"Russia’s 21st century prospects are looking pretty good."
Dude, Russia is in the same deep shite, if not deeper: http://exile.ru/print.php?ARTICLE_ID=8510&IBLOCK_ID=35
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