A beautiful day today filled with hopes of later riding up SR9 into Sumas and possibly Canada. Last weekend I rode Route 9 down to Sedro Woolly and it was mostly very beautiful. The vistas where you look up into the foothills of the Cascades is breathtaking. But this morning I am working at a friend's place in Happy Valley listening to a 1977 show (I think I heard this one before) trying to funnel all the thoughts that have been flowing through my head in the past few days into a few paragraphs. Down time to leisurely peruse the Internet is rather limited in my life these days, mainly because I concentrate on working during the day and turn it off after seven in the evening. What doesn't get done that day can wait until tomorrow. And the Internet can suck time out of your life with surprising alacrity.
But an item that has been increasingly interesting is the notion of this Federal Reserve banking system that has gone out of control. Now I've only really scratched this surface on how the bank works and its control of the economy, and with increasingly tightened credit by the banks while the institutions to whom the Fed lends continue to shore up their balance sheets at additional debt authorized through the President and Congress. And speaking of balance sheets, The Fed used to only buy quality paper like treasuries and other government backed seucirites to the tune of a half a trillion a year. If my memory is correct, this has recently rocketed to over four trillion dollars, and most of the paper they are buying is crap, including toxic mortgages, and credit card debt
Now the government tries to reign in this orgy, and they are called socialists. But neoliberal economic policy has evolved into such an utter failure in the past thirty years that we need some form off control. Abolishing the Fed has been a notion for decades, and its policies of freeing or restricting money to manipulate the economy has probably done more harm than good.
From an older Ron Paul speech:
From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dot-com bubble last year, every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a mis-allocation of resources and an artificial "boom" followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts.
And oddly enough, I've never met anyone that has a thorough understanding of the Federal Reserve tell me that my views are crazy. This is stranger than fiction.
Not that I am a Ron Paul supporter; I lean more towards socialism. I still am confused why socialism is such a bad word in our country, as many other industrialised nations embrace it. But the basis of socialism and capitalism are much more closely related than the current crony-capitalist system presently in place. Lying in bed this morning I listened to Obama's weekly radio address followed by the Republican both spew the same shit in different flavors. People just do not understand that many of the jobs created in the last recession are not coming back. Period. Capital is virtually eliminated from the small business owner who has created most of the jobs compensating for the corporations continued belt tightening and continued downsizing.
And then you have the grim prospect that most of the jobs being created will be in the service industry requiring virtually no education (look a this interesting BLS table of projections through 2016), we can look forward to an economy based upon wages historically paying less than the trades, consequently deriving lower tax revenues across the board. I read somewhere that this too is the first time in history where actual wages are decreasing in this country, versus real wages, which have been lagging inflation for decades. But this is a textbook definition of what to expect in a globalised economy, as industry continues to shift offshore.
Oops. I really went off there in all sorts of directions. Caffeine does that.