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Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice: for they shall be filled. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

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AGelbert

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Money
« on: April 05, 2022, 04:41:47 pm »
October 15, 2013

Speaking of the inability of our lawmakers to negotiate, and keep our country from becoming the largest default in history, taking that title from Nazi controlled Germany (another thing we resemble Nazi Germany in  :P) . Well, the Chinese are not sitting quietly by, watching all of this unfold.

The official state-run Chinese news agency, Xinhua, ran an editorial on Sunday titled: "A de-Americanized world". Here's a snippet, and the link to the whole story (in English). "As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world."  ;D

U.S. fiscal failure warrants a de-Americanized world

Xinhua writer Liu Chang

BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.

Emerging from the bloodshed of the Second World War as the world's most powerful nation, the United States has since then been trying to build a global empire by imposing a postwar world order, fueling recovery in Europe, and encouraging regime-change in nations that it deems hardly Washington-friendly.

With its seemingly unrivaled economic and military might, the United States has declared that it has vital national interests to protect in nearly every corner of the globe, and been habituated to meddling in the business of other countries and regions far away from its shores.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has gone to all lengths to appear before the world as the one that claims the moral high ground, yet covertly doing things that are as audacious as torturing prisoners of war, slaying civilians in drone attacks, and spying on world leaders.


Under what is known as the Pax-Americana, we fail to see a world where the United States is helping to defuse violence and conflicts, reduce poor and displaced population, and bring about real, lasting peace.

Moreover, instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies.

As a result, the world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites, while bombings and killings have become virtually daily routines in Iraq years after Washington claimed it has liberated its people from tyrannical rule.


Most recently, the cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising debt ceiling has again left many nations' tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized.

Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place, according to which all nations, big or small, poor or rich, can have their key interests respected and protected on an equal footing.

To that end, several corner stones should be laid to underpin a de-Americanized world.

For starters, all nations need to hew to the basic principles of the international law, including respect for sovereignty, and keeping hands off domestic affairs of others.

Furthermore, the authority of the United Nations in handling global hotspot issues has to be recognized. That means no one has the right to wage any form of military action against others without a UN mandate.

Apart from that, the world's financial system also has to embrace some substantial reforms.

The developing and emerging market economies need to have more say in major international financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, so that they could better reflect the transformations of the global economic and political landscape.

What may also be included as a key part of an effective reform is the introduction of a new international reserve currency that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, :o  so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States.

Of course, the purpose of promoting these changes is not to completely toss the United States aside,  ;D which is also impossible. ;D  Rather, it is to encourage Washington to play a much more constructive role in addressing global affairs.

And among all options, it is suggested that the beltway politicians first begin with ending the pernicious impasse.  ;)

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-10/13/c_132794246.htm

Oh, those oh so subtle Chinese.  ;D
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

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AGelbert

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So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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AGelbert's ⚡ Kilowatt Hour 💰 Monetary Standard? YES! 🌞
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2022, 04:53:36 pm »
Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 05:24:36 pm


Quote
Wampum, ke`kwuk, squau-tho-won; all are Algonquian words for shell beads or string of shell beads. Wampumpeage is a Narragansett word for "white beads strung". Throughout northeastern America, wampum was used for jewelry, gifts, communication, historical record of important events, religious ceremonies, and trade. It was the earliest form of currency known in North America. Its value was derived from the difficulty involved in producing the cylindrical bead from both Quahog and Whelk, and the scarcity of suitable shells. White beads were made from Whelk, purple-blackish from Quahog.

The beads were produced from the inner spiral of the shells. The spiral or column must be thick enough to withstand grinding, shaping and drilling. The shells were collected along the coastal shores during the summer, and worked in the winter months. The inner spirals were cut into cylinders measuring 1/4 inch long by 1/8 inch diameter. Each bead was then smoothed through grinding, polished, drilled, and finally strung on hemp fibers or sinew. It was difficult, tedious, and time consuming work. The proportionate scarcity of the Quahog dark beads doubled their value to that of white wampum.

http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo08017.html

She sells seashells by the seashore. If she sells seashells by the seashore, how many seashore shells does she sell? This old tongue twisting pronunciation trainer underscores step one in the manufacture of Wampum. You needed a supply of a certain, special and very attractive type of Calcium Carbonate, which was limited in quantities, to begin to do WORK=ENERGY INPUT plus some ARTISTIC CREATIVITY on the seashells in order to produce a CURRENCY that was BOTH a medium of exchange AND a store of value.   

Wampum

In a barter economy, the transfer of goods and services from one party to another is hindered by the lack of liquidity of say, an animal, a bear skin or whatever. The lack of a medium of exchange that can be subdivided into small enough units for both parties to make up perceived different values in a barter transaction is the need that fosters the creation of "money" in the first place.

Wampum was initially a form of artistic expression as well as a form of communication (it was a store of value as jewelry and venerable truth through news and agreements).

However, as the quantity gradually increased and most natives agreed more or less on its value, wampum began providing the liquidity that a barter economy could not.

Consequently the Native Americans along the eastern area of North Amerca gradually adopted wampum as a currency in addition to valuing its beauty (jewelry = bling). The Natives that lived along the beach had an edge on those inland because of easy access to the raw materials.

Wampum beads  Photo: Stephen Lang (Source: AINS/NMAI)

Quote
With the influx of more Europeans in the 17th century, notably the Dutch and English, metal tools became widely available to Indians in the east.

Among these tools were slender metal drills which greatly facilitated the production of wampum. These new tools enabled the Indians to produce uniform beads more quickly and with greater ease.

Applying basic economic principles to wampum as a commodity/currency in the 17th century, it might be assumed that wampum decreased in value as its production was sped up.

On the contrary, its value remained stable.

Again applying the basic economic rule of supply and demand, though the Europeans brought tools that helped to increase wampum production, they also balanced their contribution with an increased demand for the shell beads.

http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo08017.html

Wampum is pretty and, until the Europeans showed up with metal hand tools, a good store of wealth because the amount of energy=work it took to make it as well as the amount of shells available  limited the amount of wampum in circulation.

But those metal thingamajigs the white devils brought made it EASY (LESS TIME & ENERGY=WORK) to make lots of pretty wampum (metal hand drills). This new wampum looked just as good or better than the older stuff made with less sophisticated (non-metal) tools.

At first everybody prospered. There was more wampum, and contrary to standard economic theory that when you increase the currency in circulation, you get inflation, this did not happen right away. Everybody, including the white devils  , were happy with the wampum economy.

But time passed and things changed.

Quote
As the New England colonists adopted wampum as their standard currency, incidents of fraud (wampum counterfeit) increased.

Both Indian and Englishman were known to pass off inferior or fraudulent wampum to unsuspecting colonials.


In time, regulation and a standardized measure of wampum strands was implemented. A fathom (6 feet) was the most usual measurement and instantly denoted a specific monetary value measured against English shillings, pence, pounds, and so forth.

The fact that legislation was introduced, regulations regarding wampum manufacture were set down, penalties for counterfeit or inferior quality wampum trading were harsh, and in some colonies the rejection of dark wampum for only white (though its value was greater, it was easier to counterfeit by way of dye), all illustrate how dependent the colonists and Indians were on these shell beads.

There was some fluctuation in wampum's value, as is always the case with currency, but by and large, it remained uniformly acceptable and desirable to nearly the end of the 17th century in the colonies and into the 18th century along the frontiers.

Its worth, however, was tenable. Wampum was only good as long as the Indians prized it. If or when that was no longer the case, an economic crash could occur throughout the English colonies that would have had serious consequences in New England, and subsequently, in the mother country as well.

It was this realization, along with the declining demand for fur, that moved the New Englanders to gradually phase out wampum as a currency standard. With silver from the West Indies beginning to circulate in North America, wampum was slowly being replaced by that universally valued commodity, metal coinage.

http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo08017.html

Two things happened:

1)
The colonists, who had hitherto absorbed the wampum glut by their demand for the beads, lost interest in wampum partly because they didn't require as many furs (wampum was the currency the colonists used to buy pelts). Wampum lost value as a medium of exchange as the increase in available currency took its toll.

Counterfeiting exacerbated the problem of undermining the medium of exchange value of the currency. A given piece of wampum lost purchasing power because of wampum glut AND a competing currency of coinage.

2)
The artistic value part of wampum as a store of wealth suffered as well. Any philatelist can tell you that old stamps get their "value", not from a pretty painting on the stamp, but MAINLY from their scarcity.

This was depressing. Imagine all those hours spent painstakingly making wampum and that neighboring squaw that is all thumbs can suddenly make several times as much as you can just because she has a white devil metal thingamajig to goose production! And now the white devils don't want them as much as they used to either.  :P  :(

But as you can see below, despite its disappearance as a currency, wampum survives to this day as a product of patient craftsmanship, artistry and historical communication.

Quote
It is interesting, if not ironic, to note that wampum remains valuable even today. A single wampum bead made from Quahog or Whelk, manufactured in New England coastal areas can cost up to $10! Overseas wampum is less expensive, but still demands a good price. Wampum, the first currency of the new world, has survived as a desired item long enough to be considered a classic.

But it would never regain its position as a medium of exchange/currency.

Two Row Wampum Treaty from Elder, Yvonne Thomas.pic.twitter.com/EtjkqHsG9o The patient artistry and symbolism crafted in this wampum is an example of how wampum is a store of value. 

Quote
Celebrating 400 Years of the Two Row Wampum

Vanessa Parker

May 25, 2013

In an effort to maintain a separate and peaceful coexistence, an agreement was made 400 years ago between a group of Haudenosaunee nations and the incoming European settlers who were rapidly arriving. That agreement remains valid today.

The Two Row Wampum was made with strings of wampum, or crushed shells, which were made into purple and white beads threaded onto strings, forming a belt.

]The white beads, located outside of two large purple rows of beads, represent the truth.

The purple beads are separated into two rows, one representing the canoe of the Haudenosaunee, the other representing the sailboat of the incoming Europeans.

Each row represents the separate cultures, traditions, governments and religions.

In between the purple rows run three rows of white beads. These represent peace, friendship and maintaining a sense of equality forever.
full article here:

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/25/celebrating-400-years-two-row-wampum-149469

What lessons can we take from the above Native American experience?

1) Money is created in order to ease the transfer of goods and services. This medium of exchange normally has the following qualities:

A. Liquidity

B. Durability

C. Portability

D. Agreed upon value per unit


2) The ENERGY it takes to create said money is directly proportional to a unit of said money as a store of value.

The extreme situation, never reached by wampum because it always took SOME skill and energy to make, is FIAT currency where it has ZERO value as a store of wealth.

The case of the US dollar is BELOW ZERO as a store of wealth because, in addition to it being fiat, the supply is growing absent any energy input whatsoever. So the dollar loses value as it sits from Fed  inflation (counterfeiting). Legal Tender Laws force the citizenry to run around trying to preserve some value in a currency that shrinks in value year after year. Many of these value chasers go for PMs, paintings, land, antique cars, Early American antique furniture, etc. They are all looking for something that meets the criteria of liquidity, durability, portability and agreed upon value per unit to a greater or lesser degree.

3) Beyond the basic biochemical needs of proper nutrition, shelter and health, human culture places a great deal of value on tangibles and intangibles outside the default requirements of human life.

Humans will always value creativity and imaginative and useful innovations that bring beauty, comfort and utility to our lives as STORES OF VALUE.

What price can you place on a song? What value does a set of verses have that took a song writer 5 minutes to write after he had dreamed them versus a painstakingly written flute sonata?

Hard to say, right? One took a lot less ENERGY than the other, both in KWhs and artistic creativity, but may have sold for a lot more money.


What about greed and other economy influencing factors? ???

The issue of greed, hoarding, the amount of currency in circulation as a trigger for consumerism or the reverse are all PRODUCTS of distortions in an economy.

Most economists espouse the view  that currency does not simply encourage certain types of behavior deleterious to an economy, but DICTATES IT.

I don't feel that way because I view money as an EFFECT, not a CAUSE. I do agree that the money supply certainly must remain in a fairly constant proportion per capita to avoid distortions.

Food will never be currency simply because, even if you could freeze dry it with solar energy and store it also with solar energy for a hundred years or so to use it as you needed it, there is only so much food you or anybody else can eat.

People want furniture, tools, culture, beauty, some entertainment, etc. A prisoner in solitary confinement goes bonkers even though he has sufficient food, shelter and health care.

Life is MUCH more than food, shelter and health.

Those who disdain precious metals as a store of wealth feel that, since gold hoarders can't eat their gold, it therefore has no intrinsic value. However, as all gold bugs have noticed, gold has the following "money-like" attributes:

A. Liquidity
B. Durability
C. Portability
D. Agreed upon value per unit

Gold bugs observe, rightfully, that the US dollar retains the above attributes by the big gun the government has called Legal Tender Laws, not by reality. This amounts to a government distortion of the value of the currency to for the benefit of the owners of the Federal Reserve Banking Cartel and the detriment (i.e. impoverishment) of the average American citizen.  Consequently they take any excess dollars in their possession and quickly convert them something besides dollars because the value of said dollars, like wampum (eventually,) after the metal hand drills were introduced by the white devils, is going down.

Gold bugs watch the Fed money supply going exponential in direct proportion to the galloping inflation the government refuses to own up to. 

This is far worse than wampum inflation because this is raw counterfeiting of fiat! People aware of this start to buy this, that and the other with those magically shrinking dollars from collector's items like stamps to maybe antique furniture to paintings to rare coins to, you guessed it, gold!

Gold is hard to counterfeit. There is a way to use nuclear physics (this is not a joke, it's the real deal!) to transmute some cheap element to gold but the energy expenditure is greater than the energy needed to mine and produced finished gold from ore. However, when fusion becomes a reality, the equation for gold may change and, it too, will go the way of wampum. Don't worry gold bugs, it may be a while yet.*

The Federal Reserve Banking Cartel realizes there are a lot people out there on to their game so they start manipulating  the precious metals paper prices (tanking them) to drive the gold bugs back to the Fed fiat fantasy of a strong dollar. 

I observed this blatant and economically disastrous distotion of currency value and, after thinking about it a while, came to the conclusion that we need something like wampum but without those hand drills or the counterfeiting dye! My wonderful and innovative Kilowatt Hour Monetary Standard is, horror of horrors,  greeted with hardy harrs and guffaws from the gnomes of the Federal Reserve. 🎩🍌 Harrumph! 


ANY currency that is not BOTH a medium of exchange and a store of value will be corrupted, distorted, counterfeited and generally devalued, PERIOD.


The "tokens" or other symbols used for such currency obviously introduces DEBT because there might be a whole lot more symbols, tokens or pieces of paper with funny squiggles on them than the ACTUAL store of value represented. THAT'S JUST A DETAIL. If you can avoid corruption and insure transparency, that can be minimized.

The "fear" that hoarders are going to trash the economy by taking money out of circulation is unfounded. That's merely an EFFECT of capitalism. It has nothing to do with the concept of money per se.

This EFFECT is really quite easy to prevent. All you have to do is progressively tax wealth (NOT INCOME!) above X net worth to keep a lid on excess capital accumulation. Thomas Jefferson was in favor of that, as a matter of fact (google it!).

Once everyone is on board with a stable currency like Kilowatt Hour Equivalents, I would also eliminate the difference between earned and unearned income (capital gains) and progressively tax that too. That appropriate and fair tax structure would serve as an additional DETERRENT hoard and a guarantee that the velocity of money will remain fairly constant. 

Have a nice day.

*
Quote
Nuclear experiments have successfully transmuted lead into gold, but the expense far exceeds any gain.[7] It would be easier to convert gold into lead via neutron capture and beta decay by leaving gold in a nuclear reactor for a long period of time. :P


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_transmutation
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 05:02:00 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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97% 💰🎩 Owned: How is Money Created | Documentary Film
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2022, 05:14:06 pm »
November 05, 2014

97% 💰😈🎩 Owned: How is Money Created | Documentary Film


Independent POV 103K subscribers

When money drives almost all activity on the planet, it's essential that we understand it. Yet simple questions often get overlooked, questions like; where does money come from? Who creates it? Who decides how it gets used? And what does this mean for the millions of ordinary people who suffer when the monetary, and financial system, breaks down?

A film by Michael Oswald, Produced by Mike Horwath, featuring Ben Dyson of Positive Money, Josh Ryan-Collins of The New Economics Foundation, Ann Pettifor, the "HBOS Whistleblower" Paul Moore, Simon Dixon of Bank to the Future and Nick Dearden from the Jubliee Debt Campaign.

Government Control of Money = a SCHEME (i.e. a scam 😈) to make SOMETHING from NOTHING
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 05:19:35 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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January 28, 2015
For those who think Banks creating money out of nothing is a New trick

Quote
"The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing." -- William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694

After the revolution, the new United States adopted a radically different economic system in which the government issued its own value-based money, so that private banks like the Bank of England were not siphoning off the wealth of the people through interest-bearing bank notes.

"The refusal of King George 3rd to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution." -- Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

Following the revolution, the US Government actually took steps to keep the bankers out of the new government!


"Any person holding any office or any stock in any institution in the nature of a bank for issuing or discounting bills or notes payable to bearer or order, cannot be a member of the House whilst he holds such office or stock." -- Third Congress of the United States Senate, 23rd of December, 1793, signed by the President, George Washington

 
But bankers are nothing if not dedicated to their schemes to acquire your wealth, and know full well how easy it is to corrupt a nation's leaders.   

Just one year after Mayer Amschel Rothschild had uttered his infamous "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws", the bankers succeeded in setting up a new Private Central Bank called the First Bank of the United States, largely through the efforts of the Rothschild's chief US supporter, Alexander Hamilton.

Founded in 1791, by the end of its twenty year charter the First Bank of the United States had almost ruined the nation's economy, while enriching the bankers. Congress refused to renew the charter and signaled their intention to go back to a state issued value based currency on which the people paid no interest at all to any banker. This resulted in a threat from Nathan Mayer Rothschild against the US Government, "Either the application for renewal of the charter is granted, or the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war." Congress still refused to renew the charter for the First Bank of the United States, whereupon Nathan Mayer Rothschild railed, "Teach those impudent Americans a lesson! Bring them back to colonial status!" The British Prime Minister at the time, Spencer Perceval was adamantly opposed to war with the United States, primarily because the majority of England's military might was occupied with the ongoing Napoleonic wars. Spencer Perceval was concerned that Britain might not prevail in a new American war, a concern shared by many in the British government. Then, Spencer Perceval was assassinated (the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated in office) and replaced by Robert Banks Jenkinson, the 2nd Earl of Liverpool, who was fully supportive of a war to recapture the colonies.

ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 05:28:27 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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February 28, 2014

https://youtu.be/2K-8FJ114kU

The iron curtain of the Supreme Court was breached on Wednesday. Activists from the group 99Rise entered the Supreme Court chamber. After videoing the session where the justice can be clearly seen, one of the activists stood up. He said the following before he was accosted by the Supreme Court security detail.

“I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American
 people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap on McCutcheon. The people demand democracy.”
According to 99Rise9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2014

Washington, DC - Activists from the grassroots group 99Rise, entered the Supreme Court of the United States chambers today, disrupted the proceedings, and demanded the restoration of democracy in America.

"Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to win the right to vote and extend the promise of democracy in America,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder of 99 Rise and a participant in today's action, “It's time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to defend that right and end the corruption of big money in politics. If that means risking arrest in order to speak truth to power, so be it."

The participants were inspired to act in response to the recent decisions of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, which demolished the wall of separation between wealth and state, and the threat that the Supreme Court would make it even worse in McCutcheon v. FEC, which would remove the cap on aggregate candidate contributions.

"The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision was a betrayal of the American people and of our democracy. It took the systemic corruption of our government by big money interests to an obscene new level. If the Court eliminates the cap on aggregate donations by an individual in an election cycle - the question at hand in the McCutcheon case - it would put another round of shots into the dying body of our democracy." >:(

The group is calling for a restoration of free and fair elections in America, an end to the corruption in our politics, and the restoration of representative democracy in America. Using nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, such as was used in the Civil Rights Movement, they have been drawing attention to this issue with actions from coast to coast.

At today's action, Newkirk made this speech during the proceedings: “I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe money is not speech, corporations are not people, and government should not be for sale to the highest bidder. We demand that you overturn Citizens United, keep the cap inMcCutcheon, and an end to corruption. We demand free and fair elections and a real democracy now.”

99Rise.org is a grassroots organization fighting to end corruption and win real democracy through nonviolent resistance. For more information, including pictures of previous actions, please visit 99Rise.org.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/27/1281027/-Watch-heckler-inside-Supreme-Court-shout-money-is-not-speech
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 05:40:55 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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The Love of Money REALLY IS bad for you
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2022, 05:47:23 pm »
Does Being Rich Make You a 👹 Self-Centered Lawbreaker?

Posted on Mar 18, 2015

Work by social psychologist Paul Piff suggests that the more money people have, the more likely they are to cheat or put their needs before those of others.  :(
Quote

BBC News:

In the past, public perception has tended towards the notion that the very poor are more likely to break the rules because they are under financial pressure and face more difficult circumstances.

But Piff’s work suggests the opposite - that having more money makes you care about others less and feel entitled to put your own interests first…After nearly a decade researching this field, Piff has come to the controversial conclusion that being wealthy, rather than transforming you into a benevolent benefactor, can actually be rather bad for your moral fibre…“It isolates you in certain ways from other people psychologically and materially. You prioritise your own needs and your own goals and become less attuned to those around you.

When we feel wealthy, Piff concludes, we need other people less. In the real world, when people have less money, they rely more heavily on their social relationships to get by. Therefore interpersonal relations are prioritized. The rich, by contrast, can buy themselves peace, quiet and space - plus a solution to most problems. There’s nothing like a fat wallet to cheer you up in a crisis. But that tends to isolate them from others’ experiences.

Follow the link, if you dare  ;), for evidence proving that greed IS BAD for YOU, as well as everyone else in society:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/heres_how_we_know_being_rich_pretty_much_makes_law-breaking_jerk_20150318
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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SATURDAY, FEB 19, 2022 - 10:30 AM Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,


The Winter Of Our Discontent:   
 Hubris  Is Ascendent

We're constantly assured everything's on the mend but this trying-too-hard marketing has the opposite effect: it confirms everything's unraveling. We're told inflation is transitory (you mean like terminal cancer is "transitory"?), the economy is opening up and growing smartly.

None of this is remotely persuasive. OK, we get it: the pandemic shutdown crushed supply chains and demand, and then trillions of dollars, yen, yuan and euros of monetary and fiscal stimulus boosted pent-up demand which then snarled creaky supply chains. Inflation is transitory because the effects of this massive stimulus is temporary and the global supply snarls will all be unkinked shortly.

But this happy story only accounts for a thin wafer of global supply issues. Yes, a few items may be restored to low-cost production and shipping, but all this rah-rah ignores the primary dynamics: all the cheap, easy-to-get resources have been extracted and consumed, and labor costs, crushed for the past 45 years, have reversed: after being stripmined by capital for the past 45 years, labor is now demanding some modest restoration of decades of diminished purchasing power, not just in the U.S. but in China and other production nodes in global supply chains.

Capital's screams of agony are laughable, as the top tier of capital has added trillions in wealth at the expense of the bottom 99.5%. The wealth of the few has metastasized into hyper-wealth--$100 million yachts and villas barely scratch the surface of the billions gained by gaming financialization and the Federal Reserve's financial fentanyl.

Although nobody benefiting from the Fed's financial fentanyl seems to have noticed, hyper-wealth has extinguished democracy and destabilized the economy and society. With trillions gushing into the wealthiest families and corporate insiders, "democracy" has been reduced to an invitation-only auction of political favors.


If you didn't get your desired favors, then increase your bid. Big Pharma, the "defense" (heh) industry, Higher Education, Big Ag, Big Tech, et al. are all willing to pony up millions in bribes--oops, I mean "donations"-- to multi-millionaire politicos profiting from insider trading (cough, Pelosi, cough). Revolving doors ensure the right people get fat speaking fees, cushy do-nothing slots in philanthro-capitalist foundations, etc.

The decay caused by hyper-wealth is systemic: the moral decay of a thoroughly corrupted "leadership," a sham facade of "democracy" (vote for whomever you want, the ownership of power doesn't change), an economy dominated by profiteering cartels and quasi-monopolies, a class system in which privilege is hidden in plain sight, a society of haves who have broken the rungs of the social-mobility ladder, leaving the have-nots unaffordable housing, unaffordable higher education, unaffordable healthcare, unaffordable childcare, etc., all to be paid out of wages that have lost purchasing power for decades and continue to lose ground as "transitory" inflation is embedded in essentials and fripperies alike.

Meanwhile, back in the wintry real world, everyone facing a dime in higher costs is jacking up their price by a dollar. "Inflation" is a handy cover for jacking up prices just to see how much the panic-hoarding, desperate consumer will pay: hmm, a used truck costs more than a new truck cost two years ago? I'll take it! A mattress-in-a-box has doubled in price? I'll take it! A fast-food burger is now 50% more? Give me four, and charge it to my credit card.

Oh, but wait--everything is being fixed by speculative bubbles that enrich everyone who bought assets long ago. That's obviously a solution that benefits everyone, right? So the newly enriched can buy overvalued assets from other newly enriched, all funded by the Fed's financial fentanyl.

Yes, it's time to distribute victorious wreaths to the purveyors and profiteers of financial fentanyl. Hubris is ascendent just before the fall.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/winter-our-discontent-hubris-ascendent

💣
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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February 27, 2022

SNIPPET:

It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is heading for ordinary people trying to make ends meet.

Read more:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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FRIDAY, MAR 04, 2022 - 02:06 PM

Powell's Pivot To Nowhere

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com

SNIPPET:

Consumer prices were already at a 40 year high before this latest bout of war madness was triggered. Now, with oil and gas prices going through the roof, consumers will soon be tapped out.

Read more:
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/powells-pivot-nowhere

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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FEBRUARY 22, 2022 BY JASON MYLES AND PASCAL ROBERT

"WE ARE LIVING IN A POST-CAPITALIST, TECHNO-FEUDALIST DYSTOPIA" -- YANIS VAROUFAKIS


World-renowned Greek economist, author, and politician Yanis Varoufakis argues that global capitalism as we know it is dying—and something much worse is taking its place.

SNIPPET:

And then with the 1929 disaster, The Grapes of Wrath in the United States, in Europe and so on, capitalism had to be saved from itself by creating more demand for stuff. That’s the New Deal. And then the Bretton Woods system after the Great War. So, especially when there was a Soviet Union to antagonize capitalism, they started granting more and more rights, redistributing money, creating free education in some countries or cheaper education in the United States for the workers and so on, until 1991 when this competition from communism disappeared.

And then they said, okay. Now, we don’t need to give them anything. We’ll take everything back. Which is exactly what 🎩👿 they did, and you just described one way of doing it.

Read more or watch video:

https://therealnews.com/yanis-varoufakis-we-are-living-in-a-post-capitalist-techno-feudalist-dystopia
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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March 08, 2022




Crude Oil WTI Futures Go Bananas, Briefly Spike to $130: And this Is What’s Happening at my Gas Station

Speculators are reacting to other speculators who are reacting to whatever.

by Wolf Richter • Mar 6, 2022 • 247 Comments

SNIPPET:

The reason the price spiked isn’t because the US is suddenly running out of crude oil or anything, but because 🐍 traders and algos smelled an opportunity and jumped on it, and drove up the price of those futures, and it’s pure speculation, but that’s what futures trading always is.

The US doesn’t import much Russian crude and could do just fine without Russian crude – and that’s why the import ban is even proposed. And if some buyers in the US actually buy Russian crude, it’s simply another trade, like a gazillion others, but Russian crude is a big part of the gigantic complex global oil trade.



For example, California is cut off from other US producing regions because there’s no pipeline across the Rockies. It produces some of its own crude oil and imports some crude oil from Alaska, and imports crude from the rest of the world. The local refineries, such as those in the Bay Area, buy this imported crude and refine it and export large quantities of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to Latin America, which is a  huge profitable business.

Those exports of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel also go to Mexico, which in turn sells a large amount of crude oil to the US. This is all part of the vast and complex global oil trade. Everyone’s doing it, and it is now getting thrown into chaos.

So far, Russian crude oil exports have been very carefully exempted from the sanctions, but there is such chaos around blocked payment systems and shipping involving Russia that buyers are reluctant to buy physical Russian crude and ship owners are reluctant to transport it. And futures traders are jumping all over this.

Now, the “76” tourist-trap gas station here in my neighborhood in San Francisco – the brand “76” is owned by Phillips 66 – doesn’t sell crude oil, and it doesn’t sell futures either. It sells physical gasoline that has been in its tanks for some time. That gasoline came from the Phillips 66 refinery in the Bay Area, which took delivery of the crude oil well before then at prices that were set even before then – when prices were a lot lower.

Nevertheless, even as the cost of the gasoline in the tanks hasn’t changed, the price has been surging. And the difference is just extra profit.

Full article: 👀
https://wolfstreet.com/2022/03/06/crude-oil-wti-futures-go-bananas-briefly-hit-130-this-is-whats-happening-at-my-gas-station

🦖 jessy james Mar 7, 2022 at 11:35 pm
What most consumers of regular unleaded seem to be clueless about is those underground storage tanks at every tourist trap fill in station MUST be refilled, at minimum, every other day. Those tanks can hold at most 12,000 gallons. Do the math, if you doubt my statement.

Gelbert > 🦖 jessy james Mar 8, 2022 at 1:05 pm

The only math that is applicable here is, as Wolf said in so many words, price gouging.

The hydrocarbon industry has a pet “economics math” sounding phrase they are very fond of: “Fuel prices are INELASTIC when the price of oil goes down and ELASTIC when the oil prices go up.” (wink – nod). That fuel price setting modus operandi is a disingenuous excuse to price gouge on the way up and not lose a penny of profit on the way down.

Another part of math that Wolf has done, and the  petroleum industry doesn’t want you do do, is the oil futures price relation to physical supplies of crude oil and fuels at the pump. There is no excuse whatsoever for raising the price of fuels based on zooming up price futures contracts frenzy, yet they do that with glee.

Check out how much crude oil is stored at any refinery at any time. You will find that it is, at the very least, a month of pre-refined crude. Often it is much more than that because they have a large tank farm on the grounds.

You cannot take a load of crude off of a tanker and start refining it right away. This is because several steps (e.g. stripping the crude oil of excess oxygen), required to prepare the crude for refining, take a significant amount of time. The actual process of refining takes place in the cracking towers. The “crude” that goes into the cracking towers is quite a bit more pure than the crude that arrives at the refinery.

So, ANY actual increase in crude oil price should certainly not be reflected at any refinery for at least a month.

The new gasoline and diesel and heating oil coming out of the higher priced crude should not see a gas station tank or a heating oil truck tank for at least 6 weeks. Yet, they pull the old “ELASTIC” price (gouging) on the way up TRICK, with a straight face, every single time.

No wonder the oil majors are up around 5% today (i.e. March 8, 2022); they are in price gouging heaven and we-the-people are getting the “elastic” shaft.



Kresten Mar 7, 2022 at 6:09 pm
In Denmark, gas just passed $10/gallon. That’s something like +$20/100mi. Thank god for EVs: charge them at night for $0.20/Wh or ~$6/100mi.

Gelbert > Kresten Mar 8, 2022 at 12:20 pm
Well said. I hope this pushes more people towards ⚡ EVs🌞 and away from 🦖 gas guzzling ☠️ pollution mobiles.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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Incentives for housing in Vermont
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2022, 06:08:14 pm »
 

Mar 9 2022 By Fred Thys

Senate advances a bill providing Incentives for more housing

SNIPPET:
The bill also allows the housing agency to offer grants to middle-income home buyers who cannot afford to buy a home. Those buyers would have to pass along the grants when they sell the home. The agency also would be able to use some funds for grants to first-generation home buyers to cover down payments and closing costs.

If it passes, the bill would authorize $3 million to improve manufactured-home communities, $1 million to repair manufactured homes and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and another $1 million in grants to build foundations and install utility connections for manufactured homes, all for fiscal year 2023.

Mobile homes “are an inexpensive element of our housing stock that is suffering in many cases from lack of attention,” said Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden, chair of the committee. “And we don’t want to lose those homes.

While Sen. Michael Sirotkin said 7,000 people live in mobile homes in Vermont, that is actually the number of lots in mobile home parks. State figures show 44,000 Vermonters lived in mobile homes in 2017, about one-third of them in mobile home parks.

Full article:   
https://vtdigger.org/2022/03/09/senate-advances-a-bill-providing-incentives-for-more-housing/

 

« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 06:15:47 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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by Wolf Richter • Apr 3, 2022 • 321 Comments

My “Wealth Disparity Monitor” of the Fed’s Money-Printer Era: Holy Moly. April Update of the Greatest Economic Injustice in Recent History

The Fed’s wealth distribution data divides the US population into four groups by wealth: The “Top 1%,” the “Next 9%” (2% to 10%),” the “next 40%,” and the “bottom 50%.” My Wealth Effect Monitor divides this data by the number of households in each category, to obtain the average wealth per household in each category. Note the immense increase in the wealth for the 1% households after the Fed’s money-printing scheme and interest rate repression started in March 2020:



As you can see from the steep curve of the red line, the “Top 1%” households were the primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s policies since March 2020. These policies were designed to inflate asset prices, and only asset holders benefited from that. The more assets they held, the more they benefited.

The Census Bureau defines a household by address. Each address is one household, whoever lives there, whether they’re a three-generation family, four roommates, a married couple, or a single person.

So here is the average wealth (= assets minus debts) per household, by category in Q4, 2021:

🐽 “Top “1%” household (red): $36.2 million.

🐷 The 2% to 10% household (yellow): $4.68 million.

🐖 The “next 40%” household (purple): $775,000.

🥺 The “bottom 50%” household (green): $59,000.


But wait… durable goods.

The Fed includes durable goods in this wealth. Durable goods are motor vehicles, boats, furniture, electronics, etc. They’re consumables – unless they’re art, antiques, or classics – and their value will ultimately go to zero. For the “bottom 50%,” their durable goods account for nearly 20% of their total assets and for nearly 50% for their total wealth (assets minus debts).

The 🐽 Billionaire Class got more billions.

The 💰😈🎩🍌Fed doesn’t provide separate data on the truly rich (the 0.01%) and the Billionaire Class, a distinct royalty-like class in American society whose names often have the royal title of “billionaire” in front. They’re the biggest beneficiaries of the Fed’s monetary policies.

The top 30 US billionaires have a total wealth of $2.12 trillion, sliced into 30 slices for a wealth of $70.8 billion per billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Compare that to the bottom half of the US population – the “bottom 50%” – who have a combined wealth of just $3.7 trillion, sliced into 165 million slices for each individual. For them, the inflated real estate prices just mean higher housing costs.

Reckless usage of percentages can kill someone.

If I give my favorite homeless guy $5, and he already has $5 in his pocket, I increased his wealth by 100%, which is a huge percentage jump in wealth. But he’s still homeless and still doesn’t have any wealth.

Percentage increases are regularly touted to show that the wealth at the bottom increased, when in fact, it increased by only minuscule amounts of dollars because the bottom 50% have so little that even a big percentage increase still amounts to nearly nothing in dollar terms, compared to the billionaire class.

When the wealth of the bottom 50% increases by 5%, they gain about $3,000. And when the average wealth of the top 30 billionaires increases by 5%, they on average gain $3,500,000,000. And the wealth disparity just blew out.  >:(

Greatest economic injustice committed in recent US history.

Since March 2020, the Fed printed $4.9 trillion and repressed short-term interest rates to near-zero in order to inflate asset prices so that the asset holders would get immensely more wealthy, in line with its doctrine of the Wealth Effect.

This act has produced the greatest economic injustice committed in recent US history.

My “Wealth Disparity Monitor” tracks that economic injustice on a quarterly basis by showing the difference in average wealth between the top 1% and the bottom 50%, per household, based on the Fed’s own data.

In 1990, the wealth disparity between the average “top 1%” household and the average “bottom 50%” household was $5 million. In Q4 2021, it ballooned by another $1.2 million from the prior quarter, and by $5.1 million year-over-year, to $36.2 million.

Since the Fed’s crazed money printing binge and interest rate repression started in March 2020, the wealth disparity between the average “top 1%” household and the average “bottom 50%” household has exploded by $11.2 million per household.

https://wolfstreet.com/2022/04/03/my-wealth-disparity-monitor-of-the-feds-money-printer-era-holy-moly-april-update-of-the-greatest-economic-injustice-in-recent-history/

« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 06:48:32 pm by AGelbert »
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

AGelbert

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FRIDAY, JAN 28, 2022 - 12:25 PM

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog

No Wonder The Market Is Skittish

The equity, real estate and bond markets all rode the coattails of the Fed's ZIRP and easy-money liqudiity tsunami for the past 13 years. As those subside, what's left to drive assets higher?

SNIPPET:


The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury have institutionalized moral hazard, the disconnect of risk and consequence, for America's financial elite: rather than force those who gambled and lost to absorb the losses in 2008-09, the Fed and Treasury bailed out the too big to fail, too big to jail financial elite, establishing an unspoken policy of encouraging the wealthiest individuals and enterprises to borrow and gamble freely, knowing they could keep any winnings  😈 (and pay low or no taxes on the gains) and transfer any losses to the Fed and/or taxpayers. 


7. This institutionalization of moral hazard combined with zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and an open spigot of liquidity has driven wealth and income inequality to extremes that are economically, politically and socially destabilizing. Insider trading in the Fed and Congress has finally leached out into the public sphere, and the cozy enrichment of the already super-wealthy has now reached 💣 extremes that invite destabilizing 💥 blowback.

Full article:
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/no-wonder-market-skittish

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12