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Night Owls
At the Economic Populist, Robert Oak writes It's the Trade Deficit, Stupid! An excerpt:

Congress is focused on all the wrong things to get people back to work. We hear day after day the drone of budget deficits, yet not a word is mentioned on the trade deficit. This is the problem Congress should be obsessed with.   Our massive trade deficit is stunting economic growth and costing America millions of jobs.

EPI has a new study which shows once again, reducing the trade deficit will create American jobs. The number one cause of our massive trade deficit is currency manipulation. The figures are astounding. EPI estimates 20 countries, developed and underdeveloped, made off with $700 billion more in trade by manipulating their currency in 2011. This cost the United States $400 billion in additional trade deficit for the same year. That's a hefty amount of cash.

The U.S. could stop currency manipulation with a just say no program and this doesn't even require Congress. An executive order could declare currency manipulators can not buy U.S. assets, period. This would stop currency manipulation in it's tracks. Manipulators need to buy U.S. assets, in particular U.S. Treasury bonds, to keep their currencies undervalued. [...]

The statistics are bleak. Manufacturing has lost almost a third of her jobs since 1998.  From the same time period, the United States has lost one third of her global export market share. Germany has higher wages for workers than the United States, yet has maintained their global market export share and this is all due to their own domestic policies. China's global export market share has tripled, much of it on the back of the United States workers. Below is a graph of manufacturing employees in the United States since 1998. We might call it the great American job slide where manufacturing is relocated abroad.

According to EPI, if the U.S. stopped currency manipulation in 2011, nominal GDP would have increased whopping 1.4% to 3.1% in 2014. That's huge! Even better, America would have created between 2.2 million to 4.7 million new jobs by 2014. EPI estimates stopping currency manipulation in 2011 would have reduced the unemployment rate by 1.0% to 2.1%  and created between 620,000 to 1.3 million new manufacturing jobs in just three years. That is just stopping currency manipulation, all other policies remain the same. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007CSI: Federal Reserve:

Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated that the US would be better off not imposing trade barriers.  In other news: water still wet. But there was something of a dry spot in Bernanke's talk, a little cloud of unease scudding across the blue sky of the billions corporations are raking in.  

An economic mystery that worried the top money guy.

Income inequality has increased in the United States over the last three decades, Bernanke said. Income at the 90th percentile of wage earners ‚those close to the top—rose 34 percent between 1979 and 2006, while the wage at the 10th percentile rose a scant 4 percent in that period, he said.
The percentage of total income for the top 1% doubled over that period, going from 8% to 16%, and making it a larger portion of overall income than in any period this side of the Great Depression.  This inequity is becoming so severe, that the folks in charge of the economy are now worried that it's making our economy inflexible and leading to instability.

Tweet of the Day:

Please make sure you have enough condoms for tomorrow. NYC doesn't have enough kindergarten spots as it is without your blizzard babies.
@Jewyorican via Twitter for iPhone





On today's Kagro in the Morning show, new issues polling round-up from Greg Dworkin, including new data on gun policy, with some surprising breakdowns along age lines. Next, Steven Andrew, aka DarkSyde, with amazing science news, plus the fascinating tale of his own recent heart attack and recovery! Then, a few words about Republican drama queen Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his penchant for national security hyperbole. Finally, GideonAB, with a wide-ranging discussion of grassroots support for progressive leaders, campaign finance reform and more.


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Curiosity gets ready to ... (33+ / 0-)

    ...do its first sample-collection drilling.

    In an activity called the "mini drill test," NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its drill to generate this ring of powdered rock for inspection in advance of the rover's first full drilling.
    More here.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:06:43 PM PST

    •  looks like a sand castle (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Meteor Blades, Ender, navajo, OLinda

      I didn't know Martian rovers knew how to have fun like that!

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:11:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha! It's an optical illusion! It's really a hole. (6+ / 0-)

        It looked like a hump to me, also, but now my brain sees it as a hole.

        Another photo:

        If you save the photo, you can view it much larger.

      •  Where did they get the water to build that hump? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, OLinda, greenbird

        I was really scratching my head on that one.

        Ha! Fooled me good!

        •  I started thinking about the footprints from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ender, JeffW

          the old moon landings.  One of the things that the "we never went there" CT types site is those beautifully formed bootprints in the lunar regolith: 'Wait -- if there's no water on the moon, how come the bootprints are so perfectly formed, ridges and all'?

          The answer, of course, is that the moon has been bombarded over time, creating lots of dust as a by-product of  assorted meteoroids and space stuff slamming into its surface.
          In the absence of an atmosphere, the jagged little edges on the teensy little pieces never get weathered smooth.

          But Mars has an atmosphere and lots of wind and dust devils and maybe even heretofore undiscovered Martian mothers telling also heretofore undiscovered Martion juniors, "How many times to I have to tell you to wipe your feet before coming inside"?

          So, if that really were a bump instead of a hole, it really would be interesting, wouldn't it?

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:42:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Three months after (30+ / 0-)

    I went down to seaside Heights, NJ on the day that marked three months since Hurricane Sandy made landfall. There is so much bad news to be found about Hurricane Sandy and when you look at where the kiddy rides used to be on the Funtown Pier, with no rides and no pier it does seem depressing.

    Actually it was the Casino Pier to the north that took the real hit. The pier that was in the news because of the roller coaster that is still in the ocean is completely empty now and much of it has washed away.

    Here's a photo for scale on the width of boardwalk that is missing for the entire length of Seaside Heights. The Coca-cola sign was in the middle of the boardwalk.

    The boardwalk being entirely gone is not as depressing as it sounds and the not so miniature rooftop golfer who once guarded over the Casino Pier being cast off to an unused parking lot is not as bad as it seems.

    In the three months that have passed since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, all of the debris from that famous walk have been removed. These before and after view were shot from around Sampson Ave. on the north end of Seaside Heights.

    That was the narrower boardwalk section of Seaside and the “Jersey Shore” house is just past the pizzeria on the right. The top view was taken on an unseasonably warm October day five years before Sandy.

    The bottom photo was taken on Tuesday January 29, 2013 and while the roller coaster was still in the ocean, it is not a sign of inaction.

    In addition to the boardwalk debris being all removed and every local telling me that “the boardwalk will be replaced by May 15th,” all of the sand that we remember from news footage as being everywhere but the beach is back on the beach. Everywhere I looked the houses that survived are either being rebuilt or have already been prepared for the coming beach season. The town and the streets are clean with the people getting ready for the Summer of 2013.

    Even Lucky Leo's, while no longer on the boardwalk, is back on the regular winter schedule, opened on the weekends.

    And for you "Jersey Shore" fans, guess which house didn't get a scratch.

    The devastation is everywhere but the people in Seaside Heights, they got this. I laughed at how much everyone reminded me of the mayor of Amity in the movie "Jaws" but in the good way.

    Of course all of those cheerful faces getting ready to make summer dollars in a tourist attraction town isn't the situation in more residential towns. When I asked about Ortley just up the road the stories weren't so happy. But in that one town that I know so well they are gearing up for summer dollars and everyone thinks that the Summer of 2013 will be the best at Seaside Heights, NJ.

  •  Have a good blizzard, everyone. (19+ / 0-)

    Be careful out there! Then, post pictures. (Shall we have a liberal snow sculpture contest? Ideas?)

  •  Currency manipulation??? (7+ / 0-)

    Wasn't declaring China a currency manipulator one of Mitt Romney's more stupid ideas? The best way to end the trade deficit is to destroy the US economy so we don't buy things.

    •  Trump was bloviating about that too (8+ / 0-)

      And then Letterman pointed out to him that his entire clothing line is made in....China.

      "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:45:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Economic Policy Institute is not exactly... (12+ / 0-)

      ...in the right-wing camp:

      Global currency manipulation is one of the most important causes of growing U.S. trade deficits, and of unemployment and slow economic growth in the United States and Europe. Currency manipulation distorts international trade flows by artificially lowering the cost of U.S. imports and raising the cost of U.S. exports. This leads to goods trade deficits that displace U.S. jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The U.S. goods trade deficit could be reduced by between about $190 billion and $400 billion over the course of three years (modeled in this paper as having started in 2011) by eliminating global currency manipulation. Without any increase in federal spending or taxation, the United States would reap enormous benefits. As this paper explains, over three years a reduction in the U.S. goods trade deficit of this magnitude would:

      • Create between 2.2 million and 4.7 million U.S. jobs (equal to between 1.4 percent and 3.0 percent of total nonfarm employment)

      • Reduce the national unemployment rate by between 1.0 and 2.1 percentage points

      • Create about 620,000 to 1.3 million manufacturing jobs (27.5 percent of all jobs created by eliminating currency manipulation)

      • Increase U.S. GDP by between $225.0 billion and $473.7 billion (an increase of between 1.4 percent and 3.1 percent)

      • Shrink the federal budget deficit by between $78.8 billion and $165.8 billion (reductions that would continue as long as the trade balance remained stable), as growth in output expands tax receipts and reduces safety net payments

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with the article, though -- (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, JeffW

        and by that I mean the EPI article, is that it uses the phrase "currency manipulation" over and over without getting very specific -- and that's troubling.

        Every nation does currency manipulation, including the United States.  Every time we expand or contract the money supply, whether printing more notes or selling more T-Bills, or set a new Federal Funds Rate, we manipulate the dollar.

        The danger is the same as the one that gets people asking, "Do you want a trade war?":

        We don't just import.  We export.

        I am not saying that China, for example, does not manipulate currency in a way that harms the US.  Hell, they've got a whole pile of policies that harm the US.  We've also got a pile of American money invested in Kriminy!! Chinese-American joint ventures because the Chinese Government insists that foreign investors enter joint ventures with Chinese partners.

        Come Tit for Tat time, we'd best be prepared to get ourselves slapped silly.

        Might be a good thing given the ginormous trade deficit we have with China, but balancing the scales will not be a painless proposition.

        Worse -- it's likely to increase pressure for ugly things like fracking because energy is something China needs desperately and fracking can create exportable energy and the negotiating power that comes with it.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:56:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  But with half our trade deficit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        due to energy imports, I'm not sure how currency manipulation has much of an impact on jobs.

        Sure, the dollar value of the deficit would be different if oil were $80/bbl instead of $120/bbl - but how would that have an effect on jobs?  (note that if it DOES, that would be a strong argument in favor of all the idiotic domestic fracking of both NG and oil . . . .).

        Besides, there has been more manufacturing jobs lost to automation than to outsourcing - again, how would currency manipulation alter this dynamic?

        The bottom line is that it is difficult to compete with 10x cheaper labor costs . . . . (note that Germany doesn't have much a textile industry, etc etc either these days).

    •  Paul Krugman agrees (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      Not sure what to think myself.

  •  You do NOT have attention disorder: (15+ / 0-)

    Your world IS distracting.

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:33:50 PM PST

  •  The Number 1 Reason for Our Trade Deficit, GIVEN (11+ / 0-)

    THAT WE CAN'T DISCUSS FREE TRADE, is currency manipulation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:34:51 PM PST

    •  And what accounts for the Cognitive Dissonance (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, Eric Nelson, NonnyO

      Syndrome generated by our political and economic elites?


      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:22:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their Need to Take Over. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P

        The minute civilization was invented, its leadership realized they could get all they wanted.

        One common thread among great religious and justice figures equates to: "go back to being hunter-gatherers" because that's where our common sense and values are adaptive.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:59:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's endemic, like autism or ADD. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, Jim P

        It's not recognized because their gift of gab provides a cover.

        People who parrot what they hear are perceived as agreeable by their associates. Their inability to perform as promised is often dismissed as mistakes. Generous people are tolerant of the error prone. We give much credit to good intentions.

        I also think that ostentation provides a cover. We expect crooks to be secretive, not blatant.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:57:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Currency manipulation is like self-abuse. (0+ / 0-)

      It feels good, but is non-productive. Money lust, it's a vicarious vice.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:49:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Canadian-born Teabagger, Ted Cruz, (12+ / 0-)

    is still pissing around with the Hagel nomination. This might be a good time to just blow up the filibuster.

    Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:35:57 PM PST

  •  Potential Energy Secretary favorite is pro-fracker (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, Jeff Y, Gooserock

    pro-nuclear MIT professor Nuclear Physicist Ernest Moniz, who gets MIT Energy Initiative funding from BP, Chevron, and Saudi Aramco for academic work on projects aimed at reducing climate-changing greenhouse gases.

    He believes natural gas is a "bridge" to a low carbon future, and would replace coal for the time being.  

    Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:39:17 PM PST

    •  There's a certain logic to that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, JeffW

      Much of our recent reduction in CO2 emissions comes from bring natural-gas fired power plants to replace older coal-fired plants.

      It's deceptive, of course: widespread reductions look impressive, but don't form the same basis for improvement as smaller scale elimination of CO2.  Worse: every time you build a new gas-fired plant, you've created an investment to depreciate and another obstable to getting emissions where we need them to be instead of just better than before.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:02:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Checked the ex cop's manifesto... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, greenbird

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:40:39 PM PST

  •  "Currency manipulators" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, justiceputnam, GreyHawk, dinotrac

    For all people know, the yuan will fall instead of rise if the Chinese central bank stops controlling the price.

    Also, currency 'manipulation' cannot be maintained forever. Sooner or later the market always takes supremacy.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:43:37 PM PST

  •  Charles Krauthammer wins Academy Award (5+ / 0-)

    for best actor,  "Frankenstein" (2014).

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:47:22 PM PST

  •  Oh Noes! Mitt rMoney was 1/20th correct (4+ / 0-)
    The number one cause of our massive trade deficit is currency manipulation. The figures are astounding. EPI estimates 20 countries, developed and underdeveloped, made off with $700 billion more in trade by manipulating their currency in 2011. This cost the United States $400 billion in additional trade deficit for the same year. That's a hefty amount of cash.

    The U.S. could stop currency manipulation with a just say no program and this doesn't even require Congress. An executive order could declare currency manipulators can not buy U.S. assets, period. This would stop currency manipulation in it's tracks. Manipulators need to buy U.S. assets, in particular U.S. Treasury bonds, to keep their currencies undervalued. [...]

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:49:57 PM PST

  •  Bernie Sanders seeks to crackdown on corporate.. (16+ / 0-)

    ..tax havens

    Senator Sanders legislation: The Corporate Tax Fairness Act

    Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Thursday announced new legislation aimed at preventing corporations from using offshore havens to lower their taxes.
     
    “If we are going to be serious about deficit reduction, corporate America — which is now enjoying record breaking profits — is going to have to step up to the plate,” he said at a press conference. “We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick, or the poor.”

    The Corporate Tax Fairness Act would require corporations to pay U.S. taxes on their offshore profits as they are earned. Currently, corporations can defer U.S. income taxes on overseas profits as long as the money is held overseas. The bill would also limit foreign tax credits, and crack down on corporations that claim to be a foreign company by purchasing a post office box in another country.
    Rep. Jan Schakowsky will be introducing this legislation in the House.

    Good - keeping the republicans surrounded and off balance with no let up. :)
    Raw Story - By Eric W. Dolan
    Thursday, February 7, 2013 20:58 EST

    •  Unfortunately, the House Teabagger nutjobs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, JeffW

      are only concerned about the Mitt Romney's of the world.

      "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:01:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Offshore profits are the elephant in the room (6+ / 0-)

      Corporations have been hording huge piles of money overseas in order to avoid U.S. taxes. They want a tax holiday so that they can repatriate the funds and pay zero taxes on their decades of profit.

      This is a big motivator for funding the Republican party. Democrats need to pass a law requiring them to repatriate that money, now.

      •  Whether they stash it off-shore or at home (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, JeffW

        doesn't make much difference. The hoarding is a problem because, instead of just issuing more money, Congress wants an excuse to ration services.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:02:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No need for a law. (0+ / 0-)

        Apple is being pushed to pay a special dividend.

        Apple could distribute high-yielding, tax efficient preferred stock to existing shareholders at no cost. This new type of easily tradable preferred security would allow Apple to take advantage of the market’s appetite for yield while preserving future operating and strategic flexibility. Importantly, we believe this strategy would require no immediate use of cash other than the ongoing dividend, and would not pose any maturity, re-financing, balance sheet, or default risk.
        Any publicly traded company is a takeover target.  Resolutions which pass with a majority shareholder vote can be used to change corporate governance.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:39:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank heavens the Democratic Party (6+ / 0-)

      will stand solidly behind Sen. Sanders, the leader of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. (Well, okay, Socialist, not a Democrat, but you know what I mean.)

      I expect the Democratic Leadership to be furiously promoting this legislation. If not for a Law in this Congress, then for a Democratic majority to pass it in the next.

      OMG! Hearing the video now: 18,000 companies in a foreign 4-story building!!!

      How can such things be?


      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:28:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a sad state of affairs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, jhb90277, NonnyO

      that everybody refers to Bernie Sanders as an "Independent" when he's actually a socialist. The real kind, not the John Birch bogeyman kind.

      If you can't say anything nice about the GOP, please post here more often.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:47:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But, I thought Obama was taking care of that (0+ / 0-)

      No?  

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:24:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Testing...(-ish) (5+ / 0-)

    Just testing to see if I loaded & linked this correctly... From Eagle to Dodo: The energy, environmental and sustainability devolution of the United States

    It's the banner I created for the series I'm writing called "From Eagle to Dodo" - about Climate Change, energy, sustainability, etc. It's being published on Red, Green and Blue.

    I need to find out about any cross-posting limitations so I can also pop it up here.

    The image links to the first installment over there, which has the effective working title of "A Giant Rock."

  •  Music time-out (5+ / 0-)

    "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:57:29 PM PST

    •  Someone is clueless... n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, Eric Nelson

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:03:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clueless indeed.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Odysseus

        From the church article:

        Andrew Cuomo has provided a clear example of wedding women’s equality primarily to one thing – abortion on demand — and in doing so diminishes the urgency and gravity of the other 9 issues listed.
        when somehow a womans reproductive rights aren't included in some folks idea of what a womans rights are

        So who is really holding a womans rights hostage here: Cuomo who wants full rights for women or the religious folk who are calling reproductive rights abortion on demand and don't recognize reproductive freedom as a right at all?

  •  If I wanted my kids to turn out... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Ender, Eric Nelson

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:09:58 PM PST

  •  Who in the US benefits from currency (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Eric Nelson, OLinda, lotlizard

    manipulation by other nations then? And then, which politicians do they help with money?


    Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

    by Jim P on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:11:43 PM PST

    •  If you're selling something to Zimbabwe, (0+ / 0-)

      you definitely want to be paid in U.S. dollars. The Zimbabwean dollar is only worth something on ebay as a collectible. Some people will collect anything.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:06:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have I missed the many stories (4+ / 0-)

    and diaries about the immanent loss of 25,000 jobs when Saturday delivery of the mail is stopped...and about the pre-funding mandate imposed on the UPS in a Lame Duck session in 2006... the second largest employer in the US about to be destroyed????  

    maybe mentioning that no one in Washington appears to be doing something about this ?

    http://www.savethepostoffice.com/...

  •  Y'know, we no longer talk about Big Oil (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, OLinda, NonnyO, lotlizard

    as one of the key factors in the decline of the US, economically, and politically. We've got more than just Banksters hurting us.

    Big Oil is major in and of itself, even if it wasn't the heart of global warming and climate change blindness.

    A nationalized Oil business, clearly a threat to our National Security in private hands, would go a long way toward ending deficits, reducing military adventurism, and polluting our politics.


    Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

    by Jim P on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:19:55 PM PST

  •  Had to read up to get a small understanding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda

    Currency intervention, also known as exchange rate intervention or foreign exchange market intervention, is the purchase or the sale of the currency on the exchange market by the fiscal authority or the monetary authority, in order to influence the value of the domestic currency.

    Chinese Yuan

    When a consumer in the U.S. buys a Chinese product, Chinese manufacturers are paid in US dollars. These U.S. dollars are then deposited in a U.S. bank account. At this point, the Chinese exporter needs to convert dollars into yuan. Through its commercial bank it sells the U.S. dollars to the Chinese central bank, the People's Bank of China. Since the trade between the United States and China does not balance, there is a shortage of yuan and a surplus of U.S. dollars in the Chinese central bank (therefore the Yuan must be 'created'). The usual remedy to this situation used in international trade would be for the Chinese central bank sell its dollars on international currency markets and buy yuan in exchange, resulting in a self-correcting system: the U.S. dollar weakens and the Chinese yuan strengthens, until equilibrium is restored and the trade gap closes.

    However, in order to avoid this situation (which would decrease Chinese exports), the Chinese central bank chooses a different solution: it slows the appreciation of the Yuan, or in some cases effectively pegs the CNY against the USD. The central bank net buys USD, then sterilizes the excess dollar flows by buying dollar-denominated assets, such as U.S. treasuries. This has the effect of keeping the excess dollars out of the currency exchange markets, where they would cause a correction in the exchange rates. Thus, the Chinese central bank manipulates the exchange rates by creating yuan and buying U.S. debt. This "printing" of Chinese Yuan by the central bank is not without consequence, however, since in excess (if yuan are created faster than domestic economic output) it would eventually lead to inflation, causing consumer prices to rise.[8][9] Economist Paul Krugman writes that by keeping its currency artificially weak China generates a dollar surplus; this means that the Chinese government has to buy up the excess dollars.[10]

    Small understanding,  but I'm learning bit by bit
  •  I used to suffer from... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Eric Nelson

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:34:22 PM PST

  •  Reading another dystopian futuristic sci-fi" novel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, NonnyO

    The Windup Girl for a couple of hours today, (and being completely blown away) - Not completely impressed with "globalism" and "free-trade" as panacea as much as Robert Oak seems to be.

    Then again; I never was, anyway.

    We need a breakthrough on green energy storage. Maybe a combination sanity/sterility pharmaceutical too. Functional governments not driven by clerics.

    And spice. Gotta have the spice..

  •  Maybe this (9+ / 0-)

    is a dumb question.  But if all of this is true, and apparently kind of simple, why does this administration not address it instead of being so obsessed with debt, deficit and austerity?

    I thought we were getting some of the best and brightest when we elected this president and that he would surround himself with the same.

    What happened?

    Let me guess.  It's not in the best interest of the 1%?


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:42:47 PM PST

    •  It's either that or the ghost of Smoot–Hawley (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, Gooserock, Eric Nelson, OLinda

      The Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act is frequently cited as the trigger that began the great depression.

      Any time that a member of Congress tries to address the trade deficit, cries of "Smoot-Hawley!" begin.

    •  There are no dumb questions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon

      Only dumb answers.

      Occam's Razor comes to mind but I'm a 'bot.
      Or not. I thought.

      Was that a dumb enough answer?

      I thought it was kinda Dr. Seussish. (Seussy?)

    •  We Elected a Conservative Admin Twice (3+ / 0-)

      As was pointed out, by those who understood that all our options were conservatives.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:04:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't want to admit... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, JeffW

      ... that they f'd up by passing Gramm-Leach-Bliley which technically repealed Glass-Steagall.  Bill Clinton signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley in 1999, which effectively deregulated all the financial institutions when all the Glass-Steagall regulations were removed..., which resulted in these same institutions becoming "too big to fail" by 2008..., and makes the head honchos "too big to jail" now (apparently).

      We have some craven, cretinous Congress Critters who are benefiting from their money..., and so far none of the Glass-Steagall regulations have been put back into place to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.

      This could all happen again..., and where would they get the money to bail these greedy bastages out again...?

      Hmmmmm......?  Whose money do our irresponsible Congress Critters and president want to give to money managers and private investors to put in the failed stock market so they can collect fees they can put in off-shore accounts like the criminals at Enron did...???

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:10:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I rarely plug, but today I will (9+ / 0-)

    If you're up late and you missed it, pay some heed if you will.

    The state of Kansas has forwarded legislation that is almost assured of passage.

    It makes women financially liable for "psychological suffering" of baby daddies if uninformed of choice in abortion, requires long stays, their names must be documented for the state, etc. etc. and it gets worse from there.

    Take a second to give it a look, if you've got nothing better to do ;)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:46:10 PM PST

  •  internal economics key to dollar value (0+ / 0-)

    This is a 200 word letter I just had printed in the North County Times, Issa's local paper :

    TITLE : internal economics key to dollar value

    Economics is the management of relative values. Without a world-wide monetary standard, the US Dollar garners huge power. First and foremost, we must support its stability – stopping the foolish playing with the defaulting. Stability makes the Dollar strong, then comes value. Value is variable, and we run the benchmark. A high value dollar makes imports cheap but makes our products expensive. A low dollar stimulates our exports.

    Romney's alleged China reckoning would  raise China's currency, and the cost of their product to us, while lowering ours to them.

    Our economy generates the coveted Dollar, and the internal recycling is what makes our country work. That's clearly shown in BMW article (http://www.nctimes.com/...), where 7K jobs made another 14K jobs. Globalization is a dual threat; lowering labor/people value and a siphoning of dollars overseas.

    Our economy and Dollar will remain sound if we prove that our economy can run on its own. Every foreign-made car is nearly a job sent away. We can't make dollars here and ship them away without the recycling benefit – that jobs makes consumers who make jobs.

    Since we can't get "patriotic" Americans to use their economic "freedom" to benefit America, I want tariffs on non-North American made cars.

  •  Why is it... ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, jan4insight

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:06:15 PM PST

  •  TITLE : Buy American, invest in America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    this one, again limited to 200 words, was printed in Issa's home rag :

    TITLE : Buy American, invest in America

    Solid Republican South Carolina invested (spent in Republican speak) $325M into subsidizing 2K jobs = $162.5K/job. (http://www.nctimes.com/...) Why government spending (stimulus in Democratic speak)? Because the factory, while growing to 7K jobs and lowering the per job investment, created another 14K ancillary jobs, making overall investment $15.5K per job. Republicans hate the $12B American investment in GM, an excellent yield of 1.5M jobs equaling $8K/job. (http://blogs.wsj.com/...)

    A continuing misunderstanding is that stimulus money is “lost” - gone. Stimulus money is budgeted, but curative. It creates jobs in the short-term, and hopefully creates lasting and widespread value. Jobs make spending, but during unemployment peaks, spending makes jobs. The Highway 76 improvements are a perfect example. Tax cuts are stimuli, but a costly and inefficient application, especially compared to food stamps, unemployment, infrastructure construction, or really, every other way.

    But spending needs to stay in America, making American jobs.

    The real lesson is that 7K employees made 25K vehicles; each vehicle over a quarter of a job, before the 2X job multiplier effect. So, actually,  25K cars made 21K jobs!  Look around at the cars not made here; every one is almost an American job shipped overseas. Tariffs are in order.

  •  If you have ever been convicted (0+ / 0-)

    ..of marijuana sales, possession, cultivation, or manicuring(!?) you are ineligible for "food-stamps" in this country in this economy.

    Whatever will people with "the munchies" ever do without Cheetos and you know - food?

    Maybe that's where the whole "zombie" movies and TeeVee are getting their resurgence and inspiration.

    I say they get to eat the banksters. And whatever idiot congressman who snuck this provision into law when he should have been focusing on saving foeti and blastocysts and rape-babies.

  •  Mainstream economists. (0+ / 0-)

    I think the #1 prerequisite for getting a gig as a mainstream economist is to graduate from one of those corporate-funded neoliberal clown-colleges of economics.
    Every time the subject of trade-deficits comes up, the well trained mainstream economist will be like “whaaaaaaaa currency manipulation!”
    What they fail to explain (or maybe don’t even understand) is, there is no better way to manipulate exchange-rates in our ’trading partner’s’ favor than to convert huge volumes of our currency into huge volumes of their currency, which is the effect produced by running trillions in trade deficits with our ’trading partners’ (i.e. buying trillions more from them than they buy from us) over the last 3+ decades. This alone greatly increases the volume of their currency more than any other possible factor, lowering the value of their currency on the international exchange, giving them an exchange-rate advantage, thus making their products cheaper in the global marketplace, at the same time, reducing the volume of our currency more than any other trade (exchange-rate-related) factor (i.e. converting huge volumes of our currency into huge volumes of their currency, which is the effect produced by running trillions in trade deficits with our ’trading partners’  (i.e. buying trillions more from them than they buy from us) over the last 3+ decades, making our currency (and thus our exports) more expensive in the global marketplace. Currency can’t be manipulated more effectively than what I’ve just described (i.e. massive currency exchange/transfers which naturally result from running massive trade-deficits, i.e. buying trillions more from them than they buy from us).
    So it’s not the currency manipulation causing the trade deficits, it’s the trade deficits (which convert huge volumes of our currency into huge volumes of their currency, i.e. buying trillions more from them than they buy from us) causing the devaluation of their currency (and the convenient excuse of ‘currency manipulation’).
    ‘Currency manipulation’ is just a way for the neoliberal economist to “blame the other guy”, instead of blaming US trade policy (which allows the US to run massive trade deficits (currency exchange/transfers), the real root cause (more than any other possible factor) of the ever devaluing currency of our ’trading partners’).

  •  Car bomb in my city (Occupy was targeted) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, JeffW

    I live in what was CA-46 (Rohrabacher was my rep), but I'm in the 33rd now due to redistricting and I have Waxman.

    It's a fairly red area, but we libbies seem to be able to sniff each other out. There's a small Occupy contingent that protests in front of Bank of America and they have a booth at the local farmer's market.

    The "leader" of Occupy PV is outspoken and had a number of LTEs in our local paper and in the LA Times. He has pushed for our city to move its accounts out of BoA and has apparently ruffled some right-wing feathers. There have been some exchanges in the local paper btwn him and those who oppose his views. Things took an ugly turn this past weekend.

    The online edition of the PV News didn't carry the story (or I'd have linked to it), but the print edition did. Some time after he received an email telling him that his "radical agenda will/must be stopped," there was an explosion in his driveway. Someone set and detonated a device that blew out his windshield. The article does not say how extensive the damage was beyond the damage to the windshield, but Grellmann says that while he is not surprised by this, he is concerned and that his wife is terrified.

    In other news from nearby Torrance, police shot mistakenly shot three people who they thought might have been the cop-killer they're after. What was that about good guys with guns?

    sigh.

    "An injury to one is an injury to all"

    by jhb90277 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:44:22 PM PST

  •  New to me, and made me laugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, JeffW

    "If I wanted the government in my vagina I'd fuck a senator"

    Apparently there's a poll out there indicating that if the election were held today - women would be out in droves voting against Wayne LaPierre and his gun-fetishist nut-bombs.

    That didn't make me laugh. It sounded more like a plan.

  •  NASA guy says... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / Netroots Radio podcasts of The After Show with Wink & Justice can be found on Stitcher

    by justiceputnam on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:11:50 AM PST

  •  In case anyone missed it: (0+ / 0-)

    ... the first two segments of Wednesday night's Daily Show w/Jon Stewart is a "must watch."

    And re-watch it....

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:12:05 AM PST

  •  I have written extensively (0+ / 0-)

    On this topic (from weeks ago):

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I even outline a plan where the US can position itself for the inevitable fall in the dollar when competing powers get large enough.

    It really is at the center of all the economic imbalances causing problems socially in the US.

  •  This - It bugs me: (0+ / 0-)

    After being a kid in elementary-school and watching Walter Cronkite on CBS Yammering about Cuba and the "crisis."

    Iran supreme leader to US: Direct talks pointless
    The MSNBC Headlines - They make me feel like a child all over again. Where's freakin' Castro already?

    Read that out loud, with a Finn accent and call me. I'm making a movie. (My two tokes after the initial cough is now named "exterminator virus")

    About somebody who needs to blow the shit out of somebody else and they're not really "somebody's at all" but a few assholes at the top who didn't have any skills but for being assholes and elected and aristocrats massaging and fondling Godwin..?

    Drones.

    It's only dirty if you don't respect the dirt you're made of

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:44:20 AM PST

  •  Good Morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Love the Tweet of the Day !

    Happy Friday to all !

  •  Trade deficits sound great. (0+ / 0-)

    We're making and selling lots of stuff and making lots of money an have to be creating more jobs in the process.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:26:08 AM PST

  •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard
    The number one cause of our massive trade deficit is currency manipulation.
    Currency manipulation is no doubt an issue, but the reckless use of energy by the US is an even a bigger reason. For the last few years oil has made up about 1/2 of the trade deficit ... and it is something the US could easily do something about by raising gasoline prices through taxation to rates similar to other developed nations (heck, even Canada which exports oil to the US charges its citizens more for oil).

    On currency the US has taken a different path. It has decided to print and keep printing. This makes those that hold US FX less inclined to hold dollars (each is worth less and less). It will work ... but by causing inflation in countries like China it will eventually bring inflation back to the US in waves.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 05:19:26 AM PST

  •  Doesn't the U.S. derive a huge seigniorage benefit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, JeffW, deepbreath

    … from the dollar being the world's reserve currency?

    My understanding is that the U.S. has fought very hard to force world trade in oil to be denominated in dollars, regardless of which country is buying or selling.

    Couldn't that be considered the "original sin" in the world of currency manipulation?

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:08:15 AM PST

  •  "Beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluations" (0+ / 0-)

    Beggar-Thy-Neighbor Currency Devaluations Proved Ruinous For The Global Economy In The 1930s, But The World Is Setting Off Down The Same Slippery Slope Again
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/...

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:17:09 AM PST

  •  The problem with this: (0+ / 0-)
    An executive order could declare currency manipulators can not buy U.S. assets, period. This would stop currency manipulation in it's tracks. Manipulators need to buy U.S. assets, in particular U.S. Treasury bonds, to keep their currencies undervalued.
    is that we are running a multi-trillion dollar deficit and need someone to borrow from.  Imagine if China stopped buying U.S. Treasury bonds ...

    In all honesty, this is the only reason I can think of why we haven't already called the Chinese out (officially) on their obvious currency manipulation.  That, and the fact that a trade war with China would obviously result in an immediate recession here.

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