currency debasement more than falling oil prices causes the purchasing power of your dollar to decline
I agree, but policies propping up the USD relative to other currencies have so far limited the effects of debasement by enabling Americans to live high off imported goods. When the US buys from China, the Chinese invest in US Treasuries to keep the USD high relative to the CNY; the UK has "Pound Stores," where people pay 50% more for the same Chinese products that Dollar Stores sell here. Ditto Japan and the JPY: they hold $1T of American treasuries. And when the rest of the world buys from Saudi Arabia, the Saudis prop up the USD by investing much of the profits in American assets (primarily stocks and real estate). Debtors outnumber creditors, and bankers (the merchants of debt) overpower everybody, and have paid both imperial patronage networks to convert America into an empire of debt: Democrats do it for the medical industrial complex, Republicans for the military industrial complex, but the bipartisan consensus is to borrow and spend more. That requires selling USD, either by printing bonds or currency, and who will buy those USD if they aren't needed for oil? When demand for petrodollars is reduced, what can possibly happen but debasement of the USD?
BTW, I don't like the situation at all, which is one reason why I use a Grumpy Cat avatar. I would prefer lower oil prices and a budget surplus, as America had around 2000, and a trade surplus as America had decades ago. I just don't see either major party offering that. Most Americans insist on their partisan/sectarian delusions, blaming "the other" side for everything while getting robbed by both sides.
And W's tax shift that gave unlimited deductions to 3-ton SUVs, and other measures that protected Saudi Arabia's market position by keeping competitors off the market.
In 1971, to finance the war in Viet Nam, Nixon took the USD off the gold standard, and put it on a Saudi oil standard instead: the Saudis can charge whatever the market will bear, provided they accept payment only in USD. Much of American policy since then, especially foreign policy, can be seen as protecting the position of Saudi Arabia and thus the petrodollar. That, in turn, has enabled unprecedented American borrowing and spending, including trade deficits continuously since the 1970s and budget deficits almost continuously since 1981. I suspect both of the imperial patronage networks have been in on the game at some level, even if most of their delusional bases don't realize it, because the game enables the real players to cash in. Even the environmentalists' refusal to drill cheap oil off America's coasts had the effect of propping up Saudi petrodollars, millions of which have gone to the Bush&Clinton family businesses.
The question now, @iwog and @Dan8267, is what will happen to the USD with falling oil prices and rising competition from Iran? Without the gold standard, and with petrodollar support falling, and with chronic structural deficits that neither imperial patronage network shows any sign of addressing, what happens to the USD relative to other currencies? Competitive devaluations? Global "stimulus" (mandatory borrowing&spending)? Will what started out as a devious and probably self-destructive system of imperial finance consume the USD, or the whole global economy?
I'm especially curious to know what @iwog thinks of this report. Should Bloomberg run, and what will most likely happen if Bloomberg runs? Nobody can predict perfectly, but iwog's predictions have proven more accurate than anyone else I know. In 2014, stocks corrected around 10%, then peaked in 2015 as he predicted, and have since fallen lower than they were when he said he was going to cash.
At 73, Bloomberg may be thinking it's "now or never," but no indepdendent candidate has prevailed in more than 100 years. In my opinion, unprecedented borrowing & spending have empowered the two imperial patronage networks to a degree that nobody can challenge successfully until after the current politico-economic system collapses, but that might conceivably happen between now and November. Too many people have grown accustomed to consuming more than they produce (or overpaying for what they consume and shifting the cost onto their neighbors, e.g. Medicare and Obamneycare). I suspect most voters won't listen to anyone who says they can't keep doing that forever, until it becomes obvious. Even then, they'll probably cling to their partisan and sectarian delusions: eternal life through god&guns, or Obamneycare ("no more lifetime caps!").
Well that didn't take long. I had wondered why militant closet case Forthood cared about whether landlords allow pets. He and his church twisted his pathetic brain so badly against itself that even a city council meeting about landlord/tenant issues and pets, with no mention of homosexuality whatsoever, reminds him of gay marriage. His own loveless marriage, retching in a cloud of flatulence, makes him so miserable that he can only dream of renting an apartment. Maybe the only thing holding him back is a loyal dog, who wouldn't be allowed in a rental. Those pesky liberals never stop trying to help him, but he's determined that they can't save him from himself.
That's AF/DBOAPD's restaurant. The dinner menu consists entirely of FACE! The leftover headscarves are inedible, so he uses them as tablecloths. Feel free to take one, he has plenty more where those came from.
I wonder how many people were killed by extremist Christians worldwide in the last week? Betcha nowhere near as many.
A Muslim would probably count the continuing casualties of W's "crusade" into Iraq at the behest of "a higher father." I count those as casualties of crony capitalism (hello, Halliburton) and the military industrial complex. America has unfortunately killed a lot of people, because patronage networks (including the Saudis) have repeatedly hijacked American power and used it for their own purposes. Nothing in the Constitution requires America to convert or kill the whole world, nor to punish people for criticizing America or renouncing citizenship. I can't deny America and Christianity have blood on their hands, but the difference is that in Islam, that's intrinsic to the doctrine. You can find isolated examples of lone Christian terrorists (e.g. Eric Rudolph), but they can't find enough of each other to form the sort of conspiracies that enable large scale attacks. There are no perfect religions, nor any perfect countries, but the difference is Islam says to kill you for pointing that out.
There was no immediate comment from al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist militant group that has waged an insurgency against the western-backed government.
Though al-Shabaab mostly withdrew from Mogadishu in 2011, the group still carries out attacks in the city and against African Union peacekeepers across the country.
Last month al-Shabaab attacked a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu and launched an assault on a base near the Kenyan border, where it claimed to have killed more than 100 Kenyan soldiers belonging to the AU’s Amisom force. Officials in Kenya have refused to give details of casualties."
The federal indictment also accuses Justin Nojan Sullivan of offering an undercover FBI employee money to kill his parents, who he believed would interfere with his plans for an attack.
Sullivan, who lived with his parents in Morganton, a foothills town of about 17,000, converted to Islam and was watching videos of Islamic State beheadings by the fall of 2014, the indictment said. Authorities said he pledged his allegiance to the terror group."
The Islamic strategy seems to be to cause chaos and anarchy, so that Islam can emerge as the most powerful force and take over. When that happens, the imposition of Sharia enforces Islam and bans all competitors by crimininalizing apostasy and blasphemy.
On Sunday evening, Merkel said she hadn't covered up anything about her past. "I can only rely on my memory," she said at a public screening of her favorite movie, a popular love film made in East Germany, on Sunday night. "If something turns out to be different, I can live with that.""
I had never known about that part of her biography, but it explains a lot. When the communists were in charge, she was a communist. Now, she's a Christian "democrat."
She was never a liberal though, and her claim that multiculturalism failed is an oversimplification; to a large extent, she is causing it to fail. You could have multiculturalism including Buddhists, Sikhs, really any number of people who can get along with each other, and it would work. The problem is Islamic doctrine rejects multiculturalism and democracy, using them merely as tools to enter a multicultural democracy and conquer it, like a virus infecting a cell and turning the cellular machinery against itself.
There are good ideas and bad ideas in the world. Good ideas include the Enlightenment, the scientific method, and the Internet, because they make people better off. Bad ideas include leaded gasoline and hydrogenated fats, because they make people worse off. Islam is a bad idea because it makes people worse off. In fact it subordinates people entirely to an imaginary deity: it doesn't matter that the jihadi reduces himself to piles of scattered guts on the street, and does the same to his fellow humans; all that matters is he did so in service to the big bad idea, Islam. Instead of analyzing ideas though, most people seem to run with slogans.
Over time, if allowed to compete, good ideas tend to displace bad ideas. Islam persists because it does not allow competition: once it takes over an area, apostasy and blasphemy become capital crimes. That makes it fundamentally incompatible with enlightenment democracies that allow different ideas to compete.
@drew_eckhardt, your math misleads you due to wrong assumptions. Garbage in, garbage out. If you did experience a true emergency requiring medical intervention, compare what it would have cost in a different country with a different system, e.g. Japan or Mexico, to calculate whether mandating Obamneycare coverage increased the cost or not. (Common emergencies cost less than $100 in either country, including stitches.) Also consider what benefit (if any) you actually got, because many American hospital emergency visits confer little if any benefit to the patient; hospitals are advertised relentlessly and promoted via the public relations industry, in order to create a cultural expectation and produce revenue opportunities via fraudulent admissions. American hospital bills are arbitrary, designed to mislead and enabled by the system that Obama had promised to reform instead of mandating. As for your gross profit percentages, they seem to reflect a misunderstanding of how these corporations operate: the MLR is a policy accounting tool, but not a measure of corporate gross profit. I've explained elsewhere how the game is played, based on real examples with names changed to protect the guilty. You seem to have wrong numbers about the MLR anyway, as the actual ratios are 80% and 85% for approved expenses including electronic billing systems and "education" (advertising). The whole Byzantine mess relies on elaborate obfuscations, so don't feel too badly: many people were paid a lot of money to prevent you from following the ball in the shell game, and they are extremely practiced at what they do.
BTW, Medicare and Medicaid have been quite thorougly exploited too. Supporters talk about lower administrative overhead as a % of total billing, but they don't mention massive billing fraud and injurious overutilization. There isn't a good model in America, except in the sense of revenue models, which the American political system excels at expanding. If you want to find a better system, you'd have to build one or look elsewhere.
About 14 percent of respondents said they would definitely consider leaving federal service under President Trump, while an additional 11 percent said they might.
The whole survey is a clickbait headline anyway, because the responses mean nothing unless you ask the same question regarding the other candidates. You might also want a baseline comparing to both private and public sector employees: "During the next four years, assuming you remain able to work, might you consider leaving your current job?" I'm surprised only 11% said yes.
8 comments and nobody bothered to fact-check the headline against the actual article? Before engaging keyboard, make sure brain is in gear. The OP headline is either an error on the scale of tovbot, or an outright lie:
The prior "base amount of $6.8 billion" in 2009 would add up to $34 billion during the period from 2009 to 2014.
The additional $8.9 billion during the period equals 26%, NOT 89%.
The reasons for the addition are obvious:
1) like many politicians and corporations, Illinois promised expensive benefits based on the assumption of higher annual returns than seem realistic today;
2) retiree medical costs, which many pension plans include, have continued to increase, partly due to Obamneycare.
As pension managers adjust their projections, they need to increase funding to reduce the risk of unfunded liabilities causing collapse. By funding their previously underfunded liability, the state of Illinois increases its own financial security and everyone else's. Criticizing fiscal responsibility is neither conservative nor liberal, it's merely partisan and reactionary.
If you want to talk aboout government waste, look at the medical-industrial complex (especially the hospital corporations) and the military-industrial complex, and make sure to include the "war on drugs," which spans both.
It's an allegation of disinformation, which might be either itself disinformation or possibly accurate. If Baghdadi doesn't exist, then it leaves the question who originated the claim that he called the house of Saud “the serpent's head.” I don't see how the Saudis would benefit from even more Jihadis trying to kill them, unless they are all trying to achieve martyrdom in the name of their own brand of Islam.
BTW, I think a reason we never see nonviolent resistance like Gandhi or MLK in Muslim countries is because Islam seems to reward loyalty to Allah above all else; the only guaranteed path to paradise is martyrdom on behalf of Islam. So, the Shia or Sunni killed by the other side imagines that he is going to paradise. The killer imagines he is proving his loyalty by sending infidels to hell. It reminds me of Seneca: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." A campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience in a Muslim country would risk turning into mass suicide, because the believers on both sides would be highly motivated, and the rulers would find it useful to exterminate dissent.
Here is a PatNet foreign aid charitable suggestion.
One PatNet user had/has a business making custom T-shirts and similar products, e.g. maybe Che Guevara on a T-shirt
In nortthern Europe, huge numbers of Muslim immigrants need clothing and a way to show they can integrate into European culture. So, in the spirit of Christian charity, send shirts and similar merch featuring Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Personally, if I'd just escaped from ISIL/Daesh, I'd be wearing Charlie Hebdo shirts every day, and sleeping every night in Charlie Hebdo pajamas on Charlie Hebdo sheets.
Under U.S. foreign aid rules, the products have to be made here, which would be good for PatNet. Think big government contracts. Shirts and coats might even need Kevlar, to protect the wearers from getting killed by Muslims. Add body cams, so jihadi assailants can be promptly deported to Mecca and airdropped from a C5. Of course, the parachutes should also have Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Having the courage of your convictions means sticking your jump, with or without the chute.
Blasphemous cartoons could become a fashion statement, even more popular than Che.
Now you're talking, but drones tend to fly too high. At the risk of sounding old-school, I suggest leaflets. A few C5 transport planes could leaflet whole cities with great drifts of Charlie Hebdo cartoons captioned with obvious tautologies:
1) If all things are the will of Allah, then Allah wants these leaflets to go wherever they land. Disturbing them would be going against the will of Allah.
2) These leaflets are sacred because damaging or destroying them would desecrate Mohammed's likeness.
3) No omnipotent deity can ever need your help. If you do anything at all in the name of helping Allah, you are denying the omnipotence of Allah.
Billions of leaflets would allow room for thousands of new proverbs: encourage kids to collect them all.
In addition to the leaflets, I suggest adding back the long lost chapter of the Sira, describing Mohamed's absymal personal hygiene. He never brushed his teeth, and he loved to eat rotten clams, because the projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea drove his enemies to flee before him. His friends also preferred to keep upwind of him, as did any animals with olfactory organs of any kind. For the illiterate, include some full-color illustrations of the prophet with brown anal liquid drenching the hair of his long suffering camel.
Ditto the lost chapters of the Koran and Hadith. Although the Koran is usually published in order from the longest chapter to the shortest, its many contradictions are resolved in chronoligcal order, with later verses abrogating earlier ones. So, any more recently discovered chapters should abrograte the earlier ones. Repeal all the earlier crap and, for good measure, think of the moose.