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Re: [carfree_cities] mood of the US people

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  • Aaron Thomas
    Debt spending is a vitally important way out of major crises. Consider on a personal level, that one needs occasionally to take on debt to study, or make an
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 31, 2012
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      Debt spending is a vitally important way out of major crises. Consider on a
      personal level, that one needs occasionally to take on debt to study, or
      make an investment of other types. The national case is also clear.

      /Aaron

      On 31 January 2012 20:29, J.H. Crawford <mailbox@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      > This landed in my in-box just now. It's a pretty good
      > barometer of how Americans feel today. It's maybe not
      > such a bad idea, either.
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > J.
      >
      > ----------------------------------------------------------
      >
      >
      > Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best
      > quotes about the debt ceiling:
      >
      > "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law
      > that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all
      > sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th
      > amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months
      > & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in
      > 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to
      > the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the
      > land...all because of public pressure.
      >
      > Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum
      > of
      > twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do
      > likewise.
      >
      > In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
      > message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
      >
      > *Congressional Reform Act of 2011*
      >
      > 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office
      > and receives no pay when they are out of office.
      >
      > 2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All
      > funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
      > system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
      > and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
      > any other purpose.
      >
      > 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
      > do.
      >
      > 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
      > will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
      >
      > 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
      > same health care system as the American people.
      >
      > 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
      > people.
      >
      > 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
      > 1/1/12.
      >
      > The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.
      > Congressmen
      > made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor,
      > not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours
      > should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
      > three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it
      > is
      > time.
      >
      > THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.
      > If not, just delete. You are one of my 20. Please keep it going.
      >
      > ----- ### -----
      > J.H. Crawford
      > mailbox@...
      > http://www.carfree.com
      > Twitter: http://twitter.com/carfreecities
      > Video channels:
      > http://vimeo.com/jhcrawford/videos
      > http://www.youtube.com/user/CarfreeCities
      >
      >
      >


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    • J.H. Crawford
      ... Yes. The problem is, of course, that the other half of the Keynesian formula is never followed: in the fat years, you pay off the debt. I recently ran into
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 31, 2012
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        Aaron responded:

        >Debt spending is a vitally important way out of major crises. Consider on a
        >personal level, that one needs occasionally to take on debt to study, or
        >make an investment of other types. The national case is also clear.

        Yes. The problem is, of course, that the other half
        of the Keynesian formula is never followed: in the
        fat years, you pay off the debt.

        I recently ran into an analysis of US debt (IIRC it was
        in the print edition of the NY Times). The real issue
        is that the per-capita federal debt has rises from about
        half of average annual income to nearly twice average
        annual income. (I forget the time span; it's probably
        since about 1970.)

        At some point, debt becomes insupportable, a fact that
        several European countries are now rediscovering.

        As far as the screed that I re-posted, if you want the
        actual facts, see this:

        http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/congressional-reform-act/

        I think, basically, that this is one more symptom of
        the anger so many people feel against the 1% and their
        notions of their own exceptionalism.

        Best,

        J.




        ----- ### -----
        J.H. Crawford
        mailbox@...
        http://www.carfree.com
        Twitter: http://twitter.com/carfreecities
        Video channels:
        http://vimeo.com/jhcrawford/videos
        http://www.youtube.com/user/CarfreeCities
      • Richard Risemberg
        ... And of course try running an inventory-based business without debt! As Krugman and others have pointed out, national debt is money owed to ourselves. A
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 31, 2012
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          On Jan 31, 2012, at 11:45 AM, Aaron Thomas wrote:

          > Debt spending is a vitally important way out of major crises.
          > Consider on a
          > personal level, that one needs occasionally to take on debt to
          > study, or
          > make an investment of other types. The national case is also clear.


          And of course try running an inventory-based business without debt!

          As Krugman and others have pointed out, national debt is money owed
          to ourselves. A country shouldn't be required to turn a profit, or
          necessarily even be revenue-neutral.

          The problem we have is that people want infrastructure and services
          that are natural monopolies and thus appropriately provided through
          collective action, but don't want to fund them through taxes. They
          want them to be as free as they appear.

          You can't have a market in roads or water supply etc--I can't go out
          my door and choose from among five or six streets depending on which
          street purveyor has a sale on this morning! Likewise water, sewage,
          and fire & police protection, et al. Health care has also proven to
          be something that the market provides inefficiently and ineffectively
          (US vs. Europe & Japan).

          Back to inventory--cities (and nations) provide inventories of spaces
          and services--including squares, utilities, transport facilities, and
          often transportation modalities themselves (eg, rail services; in
          Japan private and government rail services coexist and cooperate);
          none of this can be done with]out debt even in a high-tax society.

          What we suffer from here is the perception prevalent among Americans
          that everything must be bought and sold and that life is better when
          you do so, and that taxation impedes the buying and selling of every
          physical and social aspect of the culture.

          Cars are so desperately defended by the neandercons because they are
          thought to be a way of privatizing naturally public spaces.

          Carfree cities, transit, national health insurance, and bicycling are
          seen as threats to the "market," event though the market has
          historically failed at providing transportation, water, and health
          care in an equitable and effective manner.

          Government debt, like business debt, simply provides a means to
          engage in long-term projects, and is paid back to the public with
          interest.

          Rick
          --
          Richard Risemberg
          http://www.bicyclefixation.com
          http://www.newcolonist.com
          http://www.rickrise.com







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