Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rich man, Poor man

Greetings good citizen,

How’s that ‘economic recovery’ working out for you? What’s today’s latest lie…foreclosures are ‘slowing down’ (although the volume of homes in foreclosure increased, the number of people late on their payments dropped…

Which proves what? That more people tapped their 401k’s to get current rather than walked away? The principal ‘attraction’ to purchasing a home is, unlike rent, mortgage payments have the potential to be recaptured, rent checks are ‘gone for good’.

Which is to point out that a lot of people who should ‘walk away’ won’t…because renting is like taking a match to the money. That and (especially these days) ‘landlords’ have become mighty picky about who they will rent to and what they will permit under ‘their roof’.

Besides having to cough up first, last and security, you may be charged by the inch/pound in order to obtain house space for either fido or fluffy. If you smoke, some landlords have become so hardcore that they will not let you smoke in ‘their unit’. Others will let you indulge…if you’re willing to pay for the ‘privilege’. I have yet to hear of a test case but we can only imagine what would happen if a smoker decided they wanted to see how the law felt about ‘discrimination’.

Who do you think would win? If it’s ‘your’ house you can do as you please…if it isn’t ‘your house’…oh well.

Naturally, I digress… tonight’s offering has less to do with home ownership than it is about the prospects of owning your own home…ever again.

Which is pretty bizarre considering there is no shortage of $1 homes out there…they just happen to be situated in the middle of what we might call an ‘economic wasteland’. If you’re not one of those lucky people who can do what they do, wherever they like, you might find the eating thing more than a little challenging. Never mind the public safety, public services, public utilities and the whole ‘shopping’ thing.

Yeah, it is a bizarre juxtaposition between ‘affordable housing’ and a functioning community.

Left to your imagination is how long YOUR neighborhood will remain ‘economically viable’. It’s not the kind of thing people spend a lot of time thinking about…not until it’s too late to do anything about it.

Even worse, you don’t get a vote in the situation. A community’s largest employer isn’t required to put the decision of moving most of its operations off-shore on the ballot. Hell, they are only required to ‘notify’ the affected community some nebulous period before they act. (This is so ‘conditional’ that the only thing you can say for sure is they are prohibited [in most cases] from announcing today and moving tomorrow.)

What do you do when you learn that the lion’s share of the local tax-base in enroute to some god-forsaken Banana Republic? Stick a ‘for sale’ sign in your front yard? (And hope to hell you sell before the unwitting buyer learns they have bought a ‘White Elephant’.)

Like our friend Mr. Roberts point out, it is only a matter of time before the US military comprises the bulk of our economy.

What you have to wonder about is who would be stupid enough to supply a nation whose only ‘output’ is destruction?

Maybe the ‘real terrorists’ (a.k.a. capitalists?)

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about tonight’s piece is the swiftness at which the capitalists have abandoned us.

A Shift in the Export Powerhouses

Published: February 19, 2010

IN the first decade of the 21st century, world exports boomed and then fell sharply. And there was a restructuring of the major manufacturing nations of the world.

In 1999, the top five exporting countries were the traditional industrial powers — the United States, Germany, Japan, France and Britain. Combined, they accounted for 43 percent of the exports reported by 40 large countries.

As can be seen in the accompanying charts, a new order has emerged. China went from the ninth-largest exporter in 1999 to the largest in 2009. Germany, which passed the United States to become the largest exporter from 2003 to 2008, wound up in second place as the United States fell to third. Britain tumbled to No. 10, from No. 5. [Not shown here is the shift from finished goods to raw materials/food.]

All told, the share of exports of the Big Five of 1999 fell to 34 percent in 2009. That loss of nine percentage points was matched by a similar gain for China, India and South Korea, with most of the gain going to China.

Measured in dollars, Chinese exports rose at a compound annual rate of 20 percent through the decade. [US retailers made a killing while the manufacturing sector shrank dramatically.]

China even did better than most in 2009, when the combined exports of the 40 large countries fell by 21 percent. China’s dropped by 16 percent that year.

Among the top 12 shown in the graphic, the largest declines in 2009 — all of 25 percent or more — were recorded by Japan, Italy and Canada. The United States suffered an 18 percent drop. [Because we lost most of our manufacturing capacity in the previous decade…]

The 40 countries included in the tally are the largest ones for which figures are available through at least November. Among them, all but Belgium and Spain have reported December numbers. Their figures were estimated based on trends from September to November.

Countries that report figures either annually or quarterly were not included. The largest exporters thus left out are mostly oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia. The figures cover exports of goods, not services. [Which has been providing a false image of what the US exports…many US ‘intellectual properties’ are not developed in the US, only the capitalists who own the rights to those properties are situated here. Hell, even the money from the sale of these properties remains off-shore!]

During the decade, American exports rose at a compound rate of a little more than 4 percent. That was far behind China and other emerging Asian exporters like South Korea (10 percent) and India (16 percent). But it was faster than Britain, Canada or Japan. [Um, without being specific there is no way to verify these claims, worse, the lion’s share of these ‘export figures’ are actually the activity of US owned, foreign based operations with most of their sales being generated overseas…the money or the products NEVER see our shores. Which is to say you have a better chance of being killed by one of these companies products than you have of ever being employed by one of these ‘in name only’ US companies.]

Those figures are in nominal dollars, not adjusted for inflation. The gains would be different if measured in other currencies, like the euro or yen, but the order would be the same.

There are indications of strong rebounds in exports as the world economy begins to recover. In December, American exports were 21 percent above where they had been in the same month of 2008, compared with China’s 18 percent rise. China’s exports were still much larger than those of the United States. [As you can see, those two statements directly contradict each other…so we are obviously talking apples and oranges. How can either nation’s exports be surging when consumers in both nations are hurting? If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably a ‘lie’]

Only a few countries, mostly in Asia, have reported January figures, but some of them showed explosive gains from the depressed levels of early 2009. China’s exports rose 21 percent, but that paled in comparison to the 47 percent gain reported by South Korea and the 77 percent increase in shipments from Taiwan. [Again, without specifics, it’s impossible to tell what is responsible for the spike in activity…maybe all of these nations are stocking up on tear gas and riot batons…]

A significant part of those gains may reflect the need to fill depleted inventories, rather than a surge in consumer demand. It remains to be seen whether world trade can return to the sustained high levels shown from 2003 through 2008, when exports of the 40 countries rose by more than 10 percent every year.

Mother to Christ! Now we have proof that the MSM thinks YOU are STUPID! If the customer base doesn’t expand by 10 percent per year, how the hell do exports rise by that amount? The only thing that accounts for such, er, ‘growth’ is INFLATION, they aren’t talking an uptick in physical product, they must be talking about ‘growth’ in terms of dollar volume! Which tells you spit! Do you hate economists? You should!

Which points to another ‘trick’ commonly used to, er, ‘distract’ the rabble…keep switching units of measure without letting anyone know that you are comparing apples and oranges and people will be baffled…unless you are talking to someone like me, I’ll nail your nuts to a pole!

You’re either going to be saying ‘I don’t know’ a lot or you will be back-pedaling your ass off.

All that glitters is not gold and all that rises in not growth…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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