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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to the Grindstone --and the Drawing Board

Well,  it's back to the grindstone again.
Having been away from everything including Incoming Bytes  for a few days right in the middle of one of  the biggest financial crises in North America's economic history  was actually helpful.  Let's call it a stress reducer,  fortuitous timing,  a blessing in disguise,  you name it.   Why?  The fact is , there is absolutely no logic in worrying about something one has no control over. 

Meantime, North American stock markets  took a terrible dive,  shiny gold climbed to over  $1700/ oz. for the first time in history,  and as usual, the overly-nervous  small investor panicked and sold off--giving the banks and the wealthy with  endless cash coffers yet another opportunity to use our own money to  engulf  stocks at bottom-feeder prices.  Go figure.  How lovely.  Is that  happenstance, devious manipulation,   just good economic choreography, or what?

So what is really happening? With the US credit rating dropped, the international community looking at the U.S with a wary eye, ordinary  investors are nervous--and rightfully so.  Unknown to most Americans, the Federal Reserve does not even  belong to the Federal Government, it belongs to foreign banks --who are tightening the purse strings willfully.  China "warns" the US  that the days of easy borrowing are over.  How cute.

With burgeoning personal debt, it is easy to understand the conundrum. Many North Americans, Canadians and American households  alike  are overspent, and their discretionary spending, the  amount of money they have left after huge interest payments are made--is  shrinking rapidly. Simple to understand, budgetary discretion also known as --choice-- is siphoned away by burgeoning  interest payments and bad fiscal management. 

The fault really is our own.  Governments R US......literally.   We actually vote for, and pay people to manage our financial affairs--and where does that get us? They make bad to worse decisions, spend our tax dollars foolishly,  advise us what "we" want,  and  then we all scratch our heads in  wonder, contemplating why national piggy-banks no longer rattle with gold.   Ya' gotta appreciate the no-win -no-win  mess we've put ourselves in.

Let's use the latest debt crisis in the US  as a result of bad  political management, bad partisan politics, and bad spending --as a typical  'model' of desperation --in reality,  a typical model of despair.  
To be realistic, perhaps we should not feel bad as individuals,  other countries, Greece,
Spain, Ireland, Portugal --are also in a mess,  and now the whole of the United States of America is in the same situation.  Why would that be?  Unbelievable?   

In the case of the USA, all you have to do is look at the chart to see why.  A full 58% of discretionary spending is spent on the military.

Let's all close our eyes and disregard reality.

"Let's worship political dogma,  practice party gamesmanship,  and  just raise the debt ceiling some more, so our great-great-great  grandchildren can pay it all off.  Let's stick to our guns, spending habits, and outrageous spending at all cost.   Right. Let's raise the debt ceiling and make it even worse next time. The Holy Dollar is all that counts  as long as we get to spend it. "
Frankly, at times it seems like two or three working, budget-minded  single moms and a handful of mediocre but  hard-working average Grade VI students might do a better job of managing the biggest economy in the world.

The way I see it,  priorities should be people instead of political dogma,  "power" and political gamesmanship.  

How is one to convince North America  that's what is needed?
 Think NEW priorities !   Imagine using logic instead of politics to run countries. 

Perhaps we should have stayed on vacation,   chilled out,  and hid our heads in the sand instead.  Would that help? No.  Would that fix problems at home?  No.

The fact IS, it really is time to go back to the grindstone, back to the drawing-board and redesign the economic model everyone  depends upon so heavily.   The North American economic model IS failing.                                            What are we going to do about it? 

I know... go on another vacation,  buy on credit some more,  borrow more money,  wear rose-coloured glasses, and blame everyone else.....

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


  1. If you were running for office in the U.S., I would vote for YOU! :-)

  2. I am so down with ENDING THESE WARS!!

  3. The truth of the matter is, if all of that energy, brain power, and those TRILLIONS of dollars were spent on infrastructure, people, energy research, education, health, food and civilization instead of warfare--the world would be a better place and the USA would not have come to this financial crisis. Although warfare is the ultimate admission of human failure to reason, it is sometimes necessary -- but lack of compromise and intelligent action, lack of politic will to do the right thing, lack of cooperation during times of crisis, and willful avoidance of logic in the face of economic disaster and adversity are totally inexcuseable.
    The extremism demonstrated in politics during this crisis suggests thatthe days of party politics are numbered. Being close to dysfunctional, it seems likely the existing political model cannot function as is for much longer --and the fiscal dead end for the economy has only been postponed, not fixed.

    North America needs to re-think it's methodology and priorities. Sadly, that is not likely to happen until the existing model is totally broken. Historically, great civilizations ultimately fail--and with good reason -human stupidity, arrogance and unwillingness to make blatantly LOGICAL and necessary change.

  4. Raymond - Sounds like your post is referencing the U.S. far right wing radical group known as the Tea Party...

    Yes... This is true... You cannot have a democracy when the parties are unwilling to participate in problem solving/preventative maintenance/taking necessary actions to move a country forward... and yes... democracy does become dysfunctional when individuals, who are supposed to look out for the interest of the citizens who elected them as well as the country as a whole, instead, sign special interest documentation vowing to never vote in favor of increasing revenues/taxes; which of course, became a major factor in the debt ceiling debate - a debate that NEVER should have been. The purpose of raising the debt ceiling was NOT to incur additional debt - it was to PAY debt already accrued.

    Interesting words - revenues and taxes... When spoken in ways to protect special interests, that, of course, consist of corporations and wealthy individuals who pay little if any taxes, the phrase "raising taxes" is used to scare the public that "they" will have to pay higher taxes. On the other hand, when spoken in ways that 'ask' wealthy individuals and large corporations to pay higher "tax rates", the public experiences not a sense of fear, but rather, relief that they will not be carrying the country's financial burdens alone.

    Indeed... Ending those good for nothing wars, that continue to kill innocent people, needlessly take military lives, and fund pockets of government contractors - who by the way live to overcharge their wages - would absolutely free up these funds to greatly improve the lives of American citizens... With that said, however, in case you haven't noticed, (although somehow I believe you have) in the future, American citizens may have to [first] 'become rich' if they expect help from the government. If the Tea Party has it their way, protections of their special interests will not include the middle class, so you know where that leaves the poor...

  5. R. Renee, that is a curious observation, <<<"citizens may have to [first] become rich' if they expect help from the government ">>>

    "Government for the rich, by the rich" comes to mind. Am I surprised? No. I think it's been that way for a long time already.

    Curiously, I actually see nothing wrong with corporations or individuals 'becoming rich' as such; work hard, get "rich" as a reward for your efforts. The problem I have with it is that it is often blatantly achieved on the backs of the hard-working taxpayer, with price gouging, sweet deals among officialdom and their friends, and the insatiable greed and self-entitlement that seems to go with power and excessive wealth as it all grows rapidly out of control.

    When special interest groups evolve to LIVE and breathe to sign and propagate protection for their "own elite " at the expense of the rest of society and even the whole country, it is equivalent to the obstruction of democracy. It also inevitably includes willful promotion of fear-mongering in the general populace about "raising taxes".
    Nobody in their right mind objects to paying a fair share, or biting the bullet when necessary, if the burden is equally shared.

    You are so right that the "terms" used in reference are critical to the perception of most people especially where "taxes" and "revenues" are involved.
    Thank you for your commentary!

  6. (this may sound off-topic but is not - please bear with it)

    I was researching a seemingly easy article today I have to do for a writing project that is about where to find food trucks. This innocent, and what should have been a quick, task turned out to be a much longer struggle because the town I am supposed to write about is not allowing them.

    I got somewhat caught up in the legal wrangling articles because I needed to know what info I could present so it would be correct. The local governments have dragged this on for months and months and have put off a decision.

    What has this to do with this post? Well, it is just an example how the small man, who is trying to live the American spirit and gainful employment is screwed. This is not the first time I have seen where local governments are so caught up in rules and regulations trying to discourage individual competition of the common man.

    Now, I never have spoken up before because whenever I have made tentative remarks I have been called a socialist. I suppose it is because of where I am from. I then stopped before labels like liberal, communist, etc could be thrown my way because I have observed others with my questions have had them thrown at them.

    However, I am not so dumb as to suggest rules of one country for another, nor was I a socialist when I did work for the local government. I was actually on the other end.

    I am nothing, I simply wonder about these freedoms the US prides itself on. Is that not why the military is in other countries, to protect freedoms?

    Yet, I have in all my years here observed many cases where the most idiotic laws and expenditures are restricting very simple things.

    Now, I suppose it depends who we are compared to. Yes, we have freedoms many other places do not and I love this country, but people need to take off their blinders to make it what they think it is.

  7. @ Alexandra --not off topic at all! "Rules and Regulations" and stifled freedom are what this topic is about! It is pathetic that "rules", "regulations" and "political dogma" get in the way of logic and progress.

    Bureaucracy and government have forgotten what the ONLY TRUE mandate of government IS--and that is ONLY to do collectively FOR the citizens of a country what citizens individually cannot do themselves.

    Government has absolutely NO mandate to sit around dreaming up plans of self-entitlement for themselves and their friends, repressive legislation, unnecessary stupid rules, regulations and limitations or using repressive military actions against the citizens they are supposed to be LEADING and HELPING. Governance has become corrupted with extremist political dogma--a key to failure.

    "Good governance" is what they are supposed to be doing, and as it has been said, "may they soon learn that governments should fear the wrath of their people rather than innocent citizens fearing their "government"."

    Toronto, Canada, at the last G20 summit looked more like a repressive Fascist police state than a democracy. --and the US seems to be evolving towards the same at times.
    There is a very serious and growing problem in North American "democracy" that needs to be re-thought and thoroughly addressed, no doubt about it.
    Thanks for your comments, Alexandra.

  8. "Repressive military action" vs "good governance"

    Earlier today, the local police chased down two kids who did not have the proper reflectors on their bicycles and arrested them.

    Then there was my daughter and her friend who were dancing in place at the mall a while back (their pursuit of happiness) and the cops told them to stop and questioned them - he thought they were on drugs. So, I guess if we show happiness we can only do so stoned in these times, eh?

    Where was that vigor when I had two cars stolen? In one instance, I found my own car. Like an idiot I called the police before touching anything, thinking they would investigate like take finger prints to run them through their computer, but they only looked at me like I was an idiot and told me to drive away in it.

  9. Alexandra, there may actually come a time when the "pursuit of happiness" is considered "anti-state" simply because no matter what the average person does, it will be interfered with or limited by regulation, inspection, and policing.

    Misplaced priorities and overbearing laws created, endorsed and allowed by bureacracy and leaders with a convoluted, distorted perception of what democracy really IS --are the root of the problem.
    Power invariably corrupts, suddenly "they" know what is "best" for everyone, including chasing down children to give them hell for the missing reflector, or expressing extreme paranoia in questioning two innocent girls happily dancing.

    The fact IS, the people in North America need to stand UP and be counted. Right is RIGHT, and overbearing, zealous government control of anything is NOT democracy, but MUCH closer to dictatorship and Fascism. This problem may become much worse before it gets better.

    Thank you for your comment!~

  10. "...stand UP and be counted." My sentiments exactly, Raymond, as I read Alexandra's post led into with the food truck issue. Stating your views may sometimes be difficult; however, not taking a stand could amount to going along with undermining positions by way of forfeiting your voice.

    During school integration, though still a child, I "volunteered" to attend a "white" school; and had to take a bus or walk a long distance to get there. Some students at this school were NOT, by any sense of the word, happy with the busing in situation. They were so against it that they created a slogan saying if another particular school in the city could be 99% Black why couldn't "their school" be 100% White!

    As is usually the case when wrong confronts right, all students, staff, and teachers did not possess this same biased outlook. Just the same, however, many of those who could "see" would not say anything when incidents, showing unfair types of treatment, evolved from the undercurrents of these biased attitudes. They kept silent because they were afraid of losing their jobs, or being ostracized by their peers.

    Meanwhile, other students, such as myself, who chose to bear the burden of change, had to watch and listen to wows of frustration emitting from those who thought, that, as taxpayers, or as children of taxpayers, they deserved/had the right to receive better educations than did the children of taxpayers from the other side of town!

    No matter what your views, everyone is not going to agree with you, at least, not on every issue. It is important, however, to at least educate yourself, so that you have some type of sense of life's realities, so that you are not just "going along with someone else's program" because you don't want to learn or think. What is most frustrating to me is talking to people, especially adults, who rattle off a bunch of "info" like rhetorical robots! These people go to the polls and vote against their own interests! This, of course, hurts EVERYONE!

    I have adopted a motto to ENLIGHTEN those who have, perhaps unknowingly, vowed to live in darkness. If they do not like what I have to say, I don't care... Providing the information and attempting to, at least, spur a moment of thought is all that matters... I believe it is the job of those with insight to stroke others into turning on their lights...

  11. <<<<< I believe it is the job of those with insight to stroke others into turning on their lights... >>>>

    VERY well said, R. Renee!


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