Category Archives: Bureaucracy

Detroit and America Must Choose to Banish Catch 22

Catch-22-1961-by-Joseph-H
Catch 22 is a phrase in the book by the same name that has come to mean a problem that has no solution, for it contains a circular argument, like those that have plagued Detroit for the past 63 years. These problems have been blamed for the misery of millions. Are they truly Catch 22?

Problem #1

To bring more business and population to Detroit, crime must be reduced. But crime cannot be reduced unless there are jobs that pay living wages. And jobs will not be created unless there are incoming businesses, which will not come because there is too much crime.

……………………………………………Catch 22….

Problem #2

Crime will not be reduced unless would be criminals can find jobs to replace benefits of crime. To do so, those jobs must pay living wages. But a majority of the unemployed are illiterate and undereducated and do not qualify for jobs that pay living wages. Therefore, they cannot obtain jobs that will pay living wages. Without a living wage, crime will not be reduced.

……………………………………………Catch 22….

Problem #3

America’s unemployed need jobs. To employ Americans, a minimum legal wage must be paid. But the world competes to make and sell widgets, and world wages to make widgets are less than America’s minimum legal wage. Therefore widgets must be made overseas and sold to Americans. Making widgets overseas keeps Americans unemployed and without jobs.

……………………………………………Catch 22….

For the past 63 years, since the peak of employment and population, the leadership of Detroit, as well as most major cities in America, has accepted the Catch 22 paradigm that their economic problems are unsolvable and therefore, not really a burden that is theirs to carry. Accepting the Catch 22 paradigm means they condemn America to high unemployment and high crime in our inner cities. Accepting the Catch 22 paradigm means that millions of lives will go unfulfilled and wasted, that millions of children go unfed each night, and that our nation suffers as we commit the least of ours to an arduous lifelong pursuit of happiness.

Catch 22 paradigms are roadblocks that keep America’s political leadership from helping America to reach optimal output and productivity. Catch 22 paradigms are impediments that keep Americans from reaching their highest opportunity for all to pursue happiness.

Catch 22 paradigms, however, are merely paradigms that are placed in the collective consciousness of America by those that wish them to exist. America is conditioned to accept them yet they need not be accepted. Owners of capital benefit from them. Political leaders benefit from them. The rest of America does not benefit from them. If America accepts these paradigms, they continue. If America simply rejects these paradigms, they vanish.

Catch 22 paradigms support the efforts of owners of capital to create maximum wealth but cost trillions of dollars and millions of jobs in the American economy. America could force American capitalists to spend their dollars in America. But our history, principles, and laws support the freedom of owners of capital to spend their dollars in whatever part of the world provides the highest returns.

To force owners of capital to spend their dollars in America would require a change of laws that would turn on our principles of freedom for all Americans. We cannot turn our back on our heritage of freedom. Therefore, we accept that the economic engine of America, the capital of our wealthy elite will be spent in other parts of the world, costing trillions of dollars of loss and millions of jobs in our economy.

…………………………………………………Catch 22

Solutions do exist to Catch 22. American owners of capital can make profits in America to employ our workforce without forcing them to spend dollars here if political compromise is made to allow equivalent profit. Jobs can be created that include a living wage, if political compromise allows for living wages. Crime can then be reduced and the pursuit of happiness can be lifted to a higher plane. And believe it or not, all of this can be accomplished without spending more tax dollars, which is the ultimate cry of those shouting Catch 22.

These real and viable solutions, however, require political compromise. America’s economic problems have arisen from deep seated differences of vision that drive conservative and liberal parties alike to pursue their own visions without compromise, producing the political vacuum that must exist for Catch 22 paradigms to live.

In Detroit, one vision is for all that have made it through the gauntlet and that have risen at least to the middle class to escape to the suburbs, and to make Downtown a playground fortress against the poverty of the inner city, while giving up the rest of Detroit’s citizens to Catch 22. The other vision is to form a grass roots effort to fight the plight caused by Catch 22 to all of Detroit’s citizens, yet without attacking Catch 22 as a mere paradigm. They therefore accept its paradigm that economic suffering must continue. Detroit’s two opposing visions have fought compromise since the riots of 1967 brought their opposing views into the political light.

Problems that such a lack of compromise creates in Detroit then cause the city to fester without solution. Polarized city political leaderships acquiesce to the meager capital investments left for their cities as they pursue their opposing political visions. Polarized state political leadership compete with other states for limited capital investments by promising owners of capital that they will not have to share the tax burdens of the state. And polarized federal political leaders pass legislation to allow for owners of capital to make maximum profits overseas at the expense of jobs at home.

Political leaders become convinced that their political interests lie closer to the owners of capital than to those of the rest of their constituency. Without having to compromise across the aisle, they pass Catch 22 legislation that make it easier for owners of capital to invest dollars overseas while escaping the uncompromising political fighting that continues at home. Political leaders’ efforts on behalf of America’s elite become an easier route to remaining in political power than having to bend in political compromise on behalf of America.

Detroit’s solution rests in ending Catch 22. America’s solution rests in ending Catch 22. The solution to ending Catch 22 rests in political compromise that puts Detroit’s future, America’s future ahead of political expediency. Viable solutions exist. Jobs can be created. Owners of capital can be rewarded in America. Much suffering can be banished. The American economy can return to prosperity.

No Catch 22….

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Bureaucracy, Economic Crisis, Free Trade, Full Employment, Jobs, Multinational Corporations, social trajectory, U.S. Tax Policy

Detroit Must Now Roll Up Her Sleeves and Attack Her Root Problems

wayneCity lights continue to be an issue in Detroit. No matter how much effort is seemingly thrown at fixing them, half the city stays in darkness. Yet lighting is only a visible symptom of Detroit’s crumbling infrastructure. The same infrastructure problems that can be seen by Detroit’s citizens in broken lights exist below in the belly of the city’s networks.

Detroit is barely surviving on high cost, obsolete infrastructure that was constructed in its heyday to meet the needs of a million more people. Old infrastructure can be maintained and replaced but at increasing costs as time goes on (compare Detroit’s maintenance to maintaining an old car).

Detroit’s small population cannot continue to indefinitely maintain its large, failing infrastructure without increasing city taxes. Yet, Detroit taxes are already the fourth highest of any city in the nation, and 47% of the population is already not paying their property taxes. Many say they refuse to pay taxes because they are not getting the services that their infrastructure is supposed to support (a catch 22).

Without growing Detroit’s population, the city cannot repair its infrastructure, and infrastructure becomes another cause of spiraling city failure. A minimum population that is growing and paying taxes, therefore, is not only needed to manage growing city pension costs, but also to maintain the city’s infrastructure and to ultimately reduce infrastructure costs through reinvestment.

So, how does Detroit reverse the trend and grow its population? And since the city is already years into deficit spending, how does it accelerate growth to a minimum sustainable population? Millennials have been targeted as a group that will populate the downtown district. They have lost interest in owning homes and gentrification can create livability standards that will attract them. Yet, their increase will not be at a rate great enough to thwart the city’s deficits. Gentrification is not a solution to a citywide problem. Creating an attractive downtown might create a functioning commerce district but it does not impact choices to live in other parts of the city. Downtown reinvestment has been tried now for 40 years in Detroit without success.

Some Detroiters hope that that low cost citywide housing and a recovering America will combine to reverse the city’s exodus. Citywide, housing prices have precipitously dropped to the extent that they have slowed depopulation. Those wanting to leave Detroit cannot sell their houses for enough to leave, and low prices have brought some newcomers to Detroit.

Yet, crashing home prices are a horrible alternative for attracting population back into the city. Besides devastating Detroit’s citizens, falling housing prices devalue the city’s tax base that it needs to increase. While the fire sale of homes has brought balance to the population, the massive difference of home prices between Detroit and its suburbs is still not enough to bring people back.

If Detroit wants to save itself from fiscal suffocation, the city cannot hope that downtown reinvestment or housing price equilibrium will save it. Detroit must finally deal with the root causes that devastated the City’s population. For now that the city sits below a minimum population for recovery, only fixing its root causes of depopulation will help it to repopulate.

Certainly, loss of autos and ammo started the slide, and highways and FHA insurance provided the means of white flight. Detroit was dealt several suffocating blows that would cause its minimal sustainable population to drop from 1.8 million to perhaps 1.2 million from these two factors alone. But Detroit’s depopulation has been unlike any other city.

While Detroit’s suburbs were engaging in economic transformation along with the rest of the country, Detroit missed the opportunity in its midpoint of depopulation to bring in new innovators to change its business profile. Cities like Akron and Pittsburgh stopped their rustbelt bleeding through investment in new, job-based innovation and came back to life. Yet, key investors in the Detroit metro area instead sought reinvestment outside the city proper, choosing instead to invest in entertainment branding within the city. Sports and commerce brands are important to a City’s livability but these investments did not add enough to the city’s tax base to survive without adding businesses that could support a minimum population.

So, part of the city’s fall can be explained by a lack of restructuring the city to attract new business. Yet, other cities that failed in this mission simply stabilized at a smaller size without imploding as Detroit did. Detroit’s white flight, however, was greater than any other city. Detroit’s black population continued to grow from the 1970s until the 2000s, but the city’s white population dropped to 7.8%, leading the city’s drop in population from 1.8 million to 700,000.

Detroit has a unique history of racial prejudice due to its 20th century migration patterns and its development of institutional racism in response to its dramatic increase in Southern migration. Repeated efforts by many thoughtful civic leaders failed to turn the tide of how Detroit would repeatedly manage racial conflict. The result of years of missed opportunities to repair the city’s racial tensions resulted in a Detroit whose negatives now overwhelm its positives.

The average citizen that wants to raise their family in safety, to give their kids a decent education, to see their kids get a decent paying job, and to watch their children then settle down in town to raise their grandchildren, this average citizen simply could not see a way to continue his basic American dream in Detroit, and sought refuge outside the city.

Detroit became overwhelmed with crime. Violent crime expanded and now dots all parts of the city. Detroit’s schools have failed the city miserably. Half the city’s population is functionally illiterate and lacks the skills needed for the types of jobs that some see as the savior to city revitalization. Revitalization cannot ignore the base of Detroit’s citizenry or the root issues of education and crime will remain unresolved.

Jobs that could provide a living wage are not available to current residents. This broken pattern that causes city flight must now be reversed in a city that only graduates 22% of its kids and that has the highest crime in the country. Without vastly reducing crime and undertaking massive restructuring of the city’s schools to create successful outcomes, and without creating livable wages for the city’s high school graduates, no urban planning or investment will reverse the city’s loss of population.

Ok, so let’s get to work. Detroit can be the first city in the nation to reverse such a trend. Detroit MUST be the first city in the nation to reverse such a trend for its own survival. The institutional and structural impediments that have kept the City from struggling back must now be removed. Root causes of Detroit’s plight must now have bold solutions that attack root causes. A system-wide solution that supports all of Detroit’s citizenry must now be employed.

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How Small Can Detroit be and Still Survive?

detoit popIn Detroit’s emergency phase and subsequent turn around phase, Detroit must stabilize its population to minimum sustainable level. What is the Blue Sky Turn Around Survival Number To Stop Detroit’s Bleeding? Has anyone asked?

Current projections show Detroit’s population sliding a bit more. The white population has bottomed out. Blacks left during the housing boom but access to housing credit has dried up. Millennials are coming back to the city as are a small percentage of immigrants. Yet violent crime is increasing and is prevalent in all parts of the city, forcing residents to continue to look elsewhere to live.

The emergency manager must stabilize the city’s exposure to continued deficits. He must project a revenue trend in making his decisions regarding budget cuts. Given current population and city revenue projections, he is likely to make draconian cuts. What growth must Detroit realistically project for the next three years to satisfy the emergency manager that more draconian measures needn’t be taken for Detroit’s survival?

Will 50,000 net new jobs, 25,000 less people on public assistance, 35,000 more home property taxes, 3,000 new businesses and 50 new small factories and plants strategically dotting the Detroit landscape over three years be enough to reverse the city’s bleeding? What would be a satisfactory number without regard to whether it could realistically be achieved?

Whatever the number, shouldn’t Detroit be resetting its paradigm to achieve that goal and more? And if that flow of new business could be achieved, then the city must ask itself, “Are we prepared to do what must be done to support that level of new business?” Could the city’s land use and livability plans, city administrators and regulators, developers and contractors support the minimum growth that would satisfy the emergency manager, if that level of growth could be achieved over 3 years?

What would the turn around goal need to be to avoid a destructive sell-off of vital city resources that will occur to satisfy emergency restructuring, absent any growth to stabilize the city? Whatever that number is, set the target 25% higher. Now, how can it be achieved?

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Kevin Orr – Detroit’s Emergency Manager – Vulture or Savior?

orrKevin Orr has now been sent by the State of Michigan into the City of Detroit as an Emergency manager. He will most definitely slash costs and raise revenues by whatever measures necessary to solve Detroit’s budget crisis. Why is Mr. Orr what some may call a necessary evil? Why were the city’s elected officials unable to balance Detroit’s budget?

Detroit was established in 1701 and later incorporated in 1815. Through incorporation, the town established its own city government to provide the city with services. The city government became in essence a public business, funded by taxes to provide services to the residents and businesses located within the city’s limits.

As the number of residents and businesses grew, the size and complexity of the Detroit city government grew to support them. Detroit was densely populated with auto companies, companies that supplied them, and thousands of laborers who banded together in unions within this compact town.

In the boom years between WWI and the decade after WWII, Detroit grew rapidly, and workers enjoyed union wages that were 33% higher than most parts of the country. Workers claimed boom wages from growing business profits.

Intent on acquiring the financial gains that private union members enjoyed, public workers unionized within dozens of unions and their wages and benefits swelled as well. At the height of Detroit’s population in 1950, the City of Detroit employed 29,004. The ratio of citizen to city employee was 64 to 1.

Faced with boom wages and a highly organized union, the Big three began to move plants outside of Detroit over the next 15 years, and manufacturing jobs decreased by 138,000. As the city’s population shrunk, Feeling the pinch, Mayor Cavanaugh added the city’s first income tax to city funds in 1962.

Shortly after, Detroit’s public workforce began to shrink but the ratio of citizen to public worker continued to condense. By 1980, the ratio was 54 citizens per public worker, and this ratio was maintained until the 2005 crisis of government deficits. Why was this ratio maintained for forty years without causing a city finance deficit until 2005? The ratio actually was a problem well before 2005, but public unions were strong enough that politicians dare not dilute them further.

Detroit had excess public employees compared to other cities but Detroit’s population kept her police busy with the nation’s highest crime rate and her firemen busy with double the average fires due to blight arson. While Detroit had 54 citizens per public employee, the average of comparable sized industrial towns had twice that ratio.

But the excess number of employees wasn’t the only problem. Detroit was growing an excess number of retirees. Public sector employees could retire with significant health and retirement benefits after 25 years, police and fire after 20. By 2010, the city had 20,000 retirees compared to half that of active ones, severely crowding out funds for city services.

To cover increasing imbalances, Detroit added a utility use tax of 5% in 1965. The state began sharing its sales tax with Detroit in 1971. But with a local economy in free fall, the city needed more. By 1970, Detroit’s population had fallen 35%. As critically, Detroit’s housing stock that was its tax base followed the decline in population, dropping 100,000 units.

Detroit chased its falling population and housing stock with additional taxes but was consistently in arrears. Between 1973 and 2006, the city passed 46 obligation bonds to cover basic city services, increasing its outstanding debt load to over $12 billion dollars.

After considerable debate, the city allowed the opening of three casinos in the 2000s that added $180 million in tax revenues. Detroit also increased charges for services and pursued grants and private contributions. Yet, during the 2000s, the value of housing stock plummeted. By 2010, the average home sold for a mere $10,000. A third of housing had been torn down or burned by arsonists. The state reduced it revenue share to Detroit, and incomes of Detroit residents decreased, markedly reducing the city’s income tax collections. With 8 years of continued deficits, the city is now backed against a wall.

Kevin Orr is now faced with “rightsizing” Detroit’s government at a time when murders are rampant, when Detroit fires burn at double the rate of other cities, when 25% of Detroit’s lights don’t work, when emergency services are dangerously slow to react, when the city is plagued with wild dogs and feral cats, and when Detroit’s neighborhoods are blighted.

He must face the city’s unions, not only to reduce their workforce, but also to reduce their pensions. Detroit will most likely suffer through the work disruptions and slow downs that result.

He will also most likely sell some Detroit assets and lease others, while cramming down some of its long-term debt on bondholders. In addition, some of the 47% of residents that currently are not paying their property taxes should expect to pay them or face foreclosure.

This is the ugly point from which Detroit will painfully start. The question is whether Detroit can fix its structural deficits to turn the corner on its way back to a prosperous city, or whether Detroit will further decay. If Detroit’s leaders, union leaders included, choose to take the important steps to restructure Detroit’s future, then Kevin can play a pivotal role in giving Detroit hope.

However, he must not gut the assets that Detroit can use to lever its future. If his true goal is to help the city and not to carve it up for asset vultures, then Detroit will be poised to create a livable city. The future for those that have been left behind is either of creating a violent island of economic oppression from which there is no recovery, or, with Kevin’s crucial choices and sacrifice by all, of setting the path toward a brighter future for all of Detroit’s citizens.

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Mayor Dennis Archer – Detroit Mayor 1994-2001, Democrat

archer
Dennis Archer, previously a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, was elected mayor for two terms from 1994 through 2001. He promised to “build coalitions of all races, creeds, and economic levels to produce real improvement in the troubled city” and blasted Coleman Young for having run a political machine that “defended Detroit against the hostile forces from the white suburbs.”

In his campaign, Mayor Archer stated, “I represent. I represent the people who can’t get their garbage picked up on time … their streetlights to stay on all night … their phone calls answered at city hall. I stand before you representing children who are more concerned about surviving the school day … the homeless, the disenfranchised and the working poor who want affordable housing, and a clean and decent place in which to live.” He was an honorable mayor with a good record.

Mayor Archer was credited for ratcheting down animosity between black political leaders and white business leaders during his term. His accomplishments included:

• 11 billion in projects
• $100 million for empowerment zone
• Facelift to the downtown Renaissance complex when GM purchased it and moved their headquarters there.
• New Tiger Stadium
• Three Downtown casinos

Downsides listed included:

• A cumbersome bureaucracy facing new businesses
• Running thin on city services including police

The three casinos employ 8,000 people and provide $150 million in taxes to Detroit.

The baseball stadium was financed partially by Detroit taxpayers who went in debt $115 million to fund the stadium. The stadium added about 1,000 jobs in and around the stadium and added about $5 million a year in city revenues.

During Mayor Archer’s term Unemployment dropped across the United States from 6.1 to 4.0 %. In Detroit, unemployment dropped from 15.8% to 7.3% as Detroit’s population dropped from 1,000,000 to 904,000. Murder rate dropped from 58 to 44 per 100,000.

The figures suggest that in 1994, 421,000 people were working in Detroit, and in 2000 417,000 people continued working. Now 270,000 are working in Detroit out of a population of 730,000. The combination of job growth in the United States and Mayor Archer’s implementation of Downtown growth staved off unemployment.

The type of jobs from the casinos and ballpark fit the demographics of Detroit’s unemployed population, low skilled workers, and provided recreation that add livability value. The empowerment zone jobs added similarly. The saving of the downslide of the Renaissance saved such jobs and added surrounding service jobs. Mayor Archer did well in slowing the decline of jobs.

Yet, the loss of population due to crime continued its rapid downward slide.

Detroit’s Budget deficits started in 2005 and have grown to $387 million this year of a $1 billion budget.

Takeaway from Mayor Archer’s term:

Decent paying jobs added that can be readily absorbed by available unemployed workforce, will be when offered

Crime rates went down as employment went up…..

Detroit’s black population during the term stopped growing for the first time in a century and white flight continued its steep rate of decline. The following decade, middle income blacks would leave the city as well. And with their flight, a dropping population would finally cross the threshold that would thrust Detroit into deficit spending.

Livability added by a sports stadium, 3 casinos and an upgrade to a downtown shopping complex were peripheral to the population’s livability perception of Detroit. Crime was the overriding factor. Even though the murder rate for instance dropped from 58 to 44 per 100,000, it was still 10 times that of the suburbs. A better economy made migration more possible, white flight continued and Black in migration stalled.

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Detroit Grew Despite Meeting Man’s Hierarchical Needs

detroit highway
Like any living being, cities have a hierarchy of needs that range from a base of survival needs to those that raise a city to meet man’s higher needs of fulfillment. At the base level, a community can survive but it’s citizens will drift to other population centers where higher hierarchy needs are met.

As a city evolves to meet higher hierarchical needs of its citizens, it will begin to attract immigrants and in migrants from other populations. In the case of Detroit, as the city introduced industry, jobs that paid more than wages from other parts of America or Europe enticed immigrants and Southern blacks, for jobs met base needs that were not satisfied elsewhere.

After Ford offered $5 a day, migration accelerated. Blacks, Poles and others flooded into Detroit’s slums to meet their needs of a new life. The city certainly had the base requirements met. Detroit was flush with water on a major waterway for transportation. Michigan had plenty of natural resources or could trade for them along the Great Lakes. And jobs were plentiful as the auto and armament industries concentrated in Detroit.

Housing was an issue but many of those that migrated to Detroit in the early days were just the breadwinners and they combined into the few houses that were available in the slums. However, as the population grew, housing was a major issue that was not being resolved by the city. In fact, prejudice exacerbated the problem, making meeting the base need for shelter five times more expensive through substandard housing in the black neighborhoods than it was in other parts of Detroit.

Nonetheless, during the first half of the century, poverty and oppression of the South was so great that Southern whites and blacks both poured into the densely populated neighborhoods of the city. Yet, many of the requirements of a sustainable city were not being met. For instance, while cities can be sustained even with severe personal prejudices existing amongst the population, in Detroit, these prejudices were prevalent within the institutions of government and business. Food and housing in black neighborhoods cost significantly more than in other neighborhoods. Segregated healthcare caused much higher mortality rates amongst the black population than amongst whites. Arrest and conviction rates for similar crimes were higher for blacks. Job hiring and promotion practices were rampantly and overtly bigoted. School systems were financed differentially and outcome differentials were materially different. And as highways replaced transit, transportation became an issue for those that could not afford it. Even today, 60 years later, 22% of Detroit’s citizens cannot afford personal transportation.

Yet migration continued. Detroit experienced reactionary riots and high crime. The city became landlocked for industry and its housing stock that had been built to support neighborhood factories now crammed in every space in town. Nonetheless, until factory jobs reached the zenith, Detroit did meet some sustainable city requirements. The cost of living was under union wages. City services were functional. The proximity of factories to houses made transportation adequate. Crime was still under a threshold of adequacy given the other benefits of the city. And driven by the auto and armament boom, a growing city government met its obligations through a balanced budget.

But Detroit’s growth was in spite of meeting man’s higher hierarchical needs not because of them. During the early part of the 20th century, most cities in America were dealing with similar problems, especially the big cities like Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, and Chicago. So despite Detroit’s lack of insight on the future its institutional racism would bring the city, Detroit thrived with little competition. Detroit was the center of the auto universe and the free world’s arsenal.

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Viva la Revolucion! (A Sarcastic Rant)

sequestration-aWith all the rhetoric running up to the Sequestraton, I am now 100% in favor of letting it hit. Bring it on. Let the revolution begin. Let the American people see how dysfunctional our government has become.

Let the agencies protect their own and cut their budgets in ways to forego their responsibilities. Would you cut 3% from your household budget this way? Hmm, gotta cut 3%, let’s let our children starve. We are witnessing the biggest scam played on the American people of my lifetime.

Let the revolution begin. The revolution will start with a flood of letters to Congress and marches in the streets. The revolution will display nightly news flashes of pain and suffering when agencies act out orders from above to hurt the most vulnerable with their budget cuts.

OR
The revolution will occur when no one sees any real problems if government bureaucrats do their jobs properly. Then the people will demand more cuts. One way or another, the revolution will begin.

We have now heard from Border Patrol who isn’t getting quite the raise they expected because of sequestration so they are going to let all the illegal aliens that have been detained because of criminal activities onto the streets. Hey you know what, we can save a bundle by letting out all the mass murderers too!!!

Yep, beginning March 1, if we don’t give the FAA what they want, they are going to shut down the largest airports. In fact, they are going to make your school children press license plates instead of learning algebra.
The FDA says if you cut our budget 2.4%, we are going to send out our inspectors and close the food plants. Your grocery stores are going to have their meat shelves emptied. Go, run, hoard the meat!!!!! This is the biggest farce of the 21st century.

Will the chaos of the sequestration cause a recession? It just might. Not because of the total net dollar amount of the cut but because of the way its being managed and the hype that will occur as a result. Who will be hit by this politically? Both parties of course…the mud will fly all around us…..

In 2014, when Obama’s second term legacy is taken from him by this fiasco, the question will still be who is going to finally focus on jobs. It is up for grabs but the Republicans are so disorganized and leaderless, they could suffer major losses if they don’t finally figure out the real issue for the past four years, jobs.

No more should Americans have to hear America is the land of opportunity where you go out and risk it all like we did as “we built it ourselves”. This slogan is one of hope in a growing economy but one of selfishness in a failing one.

Most Americans are employees. They choose to work for others because they are not risk takers. They will give you their all in return for an honest wage. What Americans want is a working economy. But more importantly, they want a job now. It isn’t hard to give it to them. It isn’t costly if done right.

I am dismayed by O’Reilly’s and Limbaugh’s complete misunderstanding of the world as the middle class knows it. They say that Americans are entitlement zombies and that Americans are now very selfish. Are they kidding?

Middle class Americans are the most generous people I know. Even jobless, they will share what they have with others. The Republican paradigm must shift to understand that selfishness is trickle out. Selfishness is letting the economy collapse and letting millions lose their jobs and homes because of credit acceleration and contraction.

So let Sequestration hit. Whether the sky falls or it doesn’t, this puny cut will spawn such a fierce debate, we may actually get politicians cornered. But Congress is juvenile. The sequestration is the Congressional smokescreen to let another year go by without having to fix the real economy. In the mean time, interest rates will go up and be blamed as the scapegoat on the sequestration. Inflation will rise significantly as well, helping to dig the banks finally out of their pits of debt.

By then, the budget deficits will be so large that we will look back on this battle as child’s play, unless real debate and solutions are attempted beforehand.

Viva la Revolucion!

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Business exists for the Sustenance of Mankind


For those that continue to harp that businesses do not exist for the purpose of creating jobs, let me set the record straight. Business has the responsibility of 100% effective and sustainable employment. In this “modern” era, mankind has fallen susceptible to the idea that business is an organism coexisting in time with men, finding arms lengths symbiosis whereby each feeds off the other but neither have a responsibility further than from what can be gained.

This odd paradigm that business does not have the purpose of creating jobs is an erroneous fiction of our time. While it may be quite true when viewed from the perspective of an individual business including the sole purpose of its owners and managers to make profit, the idea that the purpose of business does not include providing employment is one that has mutated in the evolution of the era of individualism.

Before our time, in the era of Kings, men held other misconceptions such as the purpose of land. It was widely held that land should not provide each serf his own castle but instead should connect all in servitude to the king (similarly to connecting all mankind as a series of batteries connected by wires to provide the electrical power for the nation of computers as seen in the movie “The Matrix”). Kings would grant temporary sharing of power to corporations to reward those who would risk life to advance the kingdom.

Yet in their quest for more, Kings allowed this power sharing to gain a foothold and their power spread too thin amongst the businesses. In this devolvement of power, the era of kings diminished and the era of fiat money derived from gold renting rose. With it, a new paradigm of business came to being. Businessmen gathered the trappings of power; money, ideas, inventions, innovations, labor, these were those that provided aggressive men the means to acquire kingdoms unto themselves. Yet in the beginning, these new mini-kingdoms existed within the realms of the nation-state, still subject to the whims of the king.

Ultimately, as businessmen acquired a majority of power, they demanded and received their due. A new paradigm arrived whereby these captains of industry exchanged seats with the rulers and the rulers bowed to them, becoming puppets to their whims instead. Now the new kings of business shared their power with the people to hold them in abeyance. But as the masses rose in opposition to workplace excesses, power once again shifted and all prospered in a moment of whimsical balance created only by the transfer of time and power toward its ultimate destiny.

We now have a period of imbalance that will only worsen over time. Businesses will continue to garner power from the transition toward the corporate state. And with the power shift, the middle class will suffer even more from this unnatural imbalance. Mankind is meant to be communal. Not that all should be equal or share equally but that all should contribute to the common good. Systems that provide that opportunity include businesses. Business owners are cogs in the wheel of life and have the responsibility to employ all in the community for the common good.

Yet individual businesses should not have to employ any more than that which is needed by increased innovation and productivity. Therefore, if excess unemployment exists, an artificial constraint, unnatural, ungodly, and unsustainable exists; one that is only imposed on man by those that would seek to enrich their own mini-kingdoms. And now that the era of kings is dead, those mini-kingdoms hide out in the marshes of government bureaucracy. Therefore, the bindings of government that have created it must be loosened, and a new paradigm of mutuality between government and business must be created with the outcome of full employment.

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Filed under American Innovation, Bureaucracy, Full Employment, Job Voucher Plan, Jobs, Multinational Corporations, social trajectory

The Thriving Path


America is crawling away from the fires of our crisis of 2008. Yet, even in what seems like a slow reversal, we are not assured of recovery or even survival. Our choices to revive our economy thus far have left millions suffering in their wake and millions more treading water. We must therefore commit to using this economic lull to assess our best path forward if we hope not merely to survive but to thrive, as we know America can, on the other side of the crisis.

The thriving path forward will require America’s factions to commit fairly soon to pull together as one nation to solve our serious problems. Yet, our government and businesses seem almost paralyzed to act, as if in fear of hastening doomsayers’ disastrous predictions, as if these doomsayers’ have overpowering incantations to hold us in stalemate. And for most Americans, our nation’s problems seem overwhelming in size and complexity. For every answer that seems right to us, we hear just as many adamant opposing views.

Can it truly be that the problems facing America are too great to correct, greater than all the incredible odds that we have overcome to date? As we hear the beat of the doomsayers’ drums proclaiming the fast approaching end of America, are we to fall prey in a frenzied fire dance of fear that their learned visions of our dire future are somehow more likely than the thriving path? If their learned visions were so clairvoyant, why did so few attempt to stop America from falling? If their proposed solutions are so right for America, then why are we so entangled by the snares of their proposed paths?

Let me be clear. We Americans know that most of the solutions touted by our leaders today serve only to fix one set of problems while exacerbating or creating others. Our nation’s problems are indeed severe and we are right to devote single-minded attention toward answers for America’s future. Yet the current batch of solutions seems weak because they are weak. The strong ones are waiting on the determination of the American people to draw them out of our government in compromise if we are to right America’s course.

I am here to shout that America’s problems are by no means unfixable. If we dissect this conglomeration of issues into defined, finite ones, examining causes as well as interconnections with other problems, the answers will become clear. But once optimal answers are understood, Americans must have the will to follow through.

The will to follow the thriving path necessarily means holding our leaders accountable to place America’s future before their own. If we can agree on just these few guiding principles moving forward, America will endure our current crisis and will continue forward on the thriving path toward our destiny as the shining city on a hill.

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Filed under American Governance, American Innovation, American Politics, Bureaucracy, Economic Crisis