I’ll let the cute and fuzzy bears (are they bears? dogs? you got me) do the ‘plaining:
My favorite lines:
“So has the Fed ever been right about anything? Let me see if I can think of anything … Nope, nothing.”
“Although when you call the plumber to fix something that is broken, they usually fix it, not break it more.”
“You must be shitting me.”
“Of course not, they are the Goldman Sachs. They make their living ripping off the American people.”
1: “I want to bang my head against the wall.”
2: “You should not do that.”
1: “Why not?”
2: “Because the healthcare is too expensive.”
“I’m starting to wonder myself.” (Author: No shite, me too.)
I will forgo any explanation or elaboration for it speaks for itself. However I thought I would also share some links I’m currently reading. (hat tip to fatster and SoDragon: I learned it by watching you …)
1. Red Alert in the Great White North, Canada’s Housing Bubble Set to Burst. (thanks to wendydavis)
Canada’s housing bubble is about to burst, and when it does, hundreds of billions of dollars in equity will be wiped out, unemployment will spike, and the economy will sink into a protracted slump. We know this will happen, because the same scenario unfolded in the US, Japan, Ireland and Spain. Housing bubbles always end badly.
Harper and his bank buddies know exactly what’s going on. They’re leading the sheep to slaughter and don’t give a damn who gets hurt. And all the nonsense about “tougher mortgage rules” is pure bunkum.
Eventually Canada’s credit boom will end precipitating a severe dropoff in demand that will trigger an uptick in joblessness and a slowdown in economic activity. The deleveraging-cycle could persist for up to a decade while households cut back expenses to get their balance sheets together. In the meantime, government receipts will plunge which will increase the deficits. That will lead to a call for slashing government programs for the poor, the sick and the elderly. Everywhere housing has crashed, we’ve seen this same scenario play out.
Here’s more from an article in ETF Daily News:
“Harper’s Conservative government has totally unshackled Canada’s banks, and allowed them to run wild with reckless lending; exactly as occurred in the U.S…..Harper’s government has been rapidly building Canada’s own “Fannie Mae”: The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The CMHC has been buying-up mortgages so fast that the Harper government has had to raise its legal borrowing limit twice just since the Conservatives took power, and will soon raise it a third time as it nears its new limit of $600 billion. In proportionate terms, it is now larger than Fannie Mae (at its peak), and this occurs as a Euro Pacific Capital report reveals that, “once small, Canada’s sub-prime mortgage industry is now booming.” It goes on to report that there are now $500 billion in “high-risk mortgages” in Canada’s housing market — nearly half of the entire mortgage market.
Meanwhile, the obscene “home equity” loan market has also exploded in Canada. These “HELOC” loans (once known as “second mortgages”) have exploded by more than 170% in Canada over the past decade. This massive increase in needless debt inevitably and substantially increases the magnitude of any housing-sector implosion.” (“The Canadian Housing Bubble Nears Implosion”, ETF Daily News)
Isn’t that it? Isn’t that what Bubblenomics is really all about, creating a Capitalist Valhalla where pay-for schools and pay-for roads and pay-for health care are the norm, where the old and infirm must drain their bank accounts to buy their own medication and shelter, where the sick and unemployed are left to fend for themselves, and where all the working class gains of the last century are wiped out in one fell-swoop plunging the country into a Dickensian nightmare of 7-day-16 hour-workweeks with zilch benefits and zero pension?
Some 150 years after the first struggles for an eight-hour day, and a century after the introduction of the first five-day work week, the troika is demanding that workers in Greece work 6 or 7 days a week for subsistence wages, or less. To this end, the troika wants further cuts to Greece’s already miserly minimum wage (€586, or US$736, per month), plus new powers for employers to sack workers.
Just before the troika letter was published, Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, called for establishing special economic zones (SEZs) in Greece. Such zones, modeled on cheap labor facilities in poor Asian or African countries, would provide tax-free havens for companies to exploit workers to the bone. Schulz declared that such SEZs would be administered by a “European growth agency”—so that similar zones could be established across the continent after their implementation in Greece.
Just a few months later, these claims have been exposed as lies. In recent weeks, Hollande has closed ranks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to support drastic new austerity measures for Greece—knowing full well the markets expect him to advance the same agenda in France.
In the second decade of the 21st century, all the ills described by chroniclers of early capitalism are re-emerging in Europe. Earlier this year Le Monde reported on child labour in Italy, where tens of thousands of children now quit school to find work to support their parents. The paper quoted Naples’ deputy mayor: “Of course, we are the poorest region in Italy. But we haven’t seen a situation like this since the end of the Second World War… At age 10, these kids are already working 12 hours a day.”
In Germany, nearly one quarter of the workforce is employed in the cheap-labour sector, and millions must rely on social welfare payments. A recent report reveals that the number of Germans dependent on regular food handouts increased by 300,000 in 2011, to 1.5 million.
In one of Europe’s poorest cities, thousands of children are leaving school to help their families make ends meet. Part of a trend that has been accentuated by the crisis, they find work in the black economy or they are recruited for sinister purposes by the mafia.
[their bold-ing, snip]
No one is surprised to see him slaving away at such an early hour. In September 2011, Gennaro found work in a grocery shop. On the job six days a week and 10 hours a day, he stocks shelves, unloads orders and delivers shopping to customers in the neighbourhood.
Gennaro dreamed of becoming a computer programmer, now he is a shop assistant – the most common profession for Neopolitan child workers. He is paid in cash, earning less than a euro an hour. In a good week he can expect to take home 50 euros. Gennaro has just turned fourteen.
She is the one who wakes Gennaro at dawn every morning so that he will arrive on time at the grocery. His younger sister is only six, and difficult choices had to be made: “I don’t have the means to buy books for both of them. It was either one or the other.” On the kitchen table, there is an “8-day loaf”: 3 kilogrammes of bland long-lasting rye bread, a throwback to the post-WWII Italian famine, which costs only five euros.
In Naples, thousands of children like Gennaro have been forced to work. In 2011, a local government report sounded the alarm on the surrounding Campania region, where more than 54,000 children left the education system between 2005 and 2009 – 38% of them were less than 13 years old.
The Italian economic crisis has played a major role in all of this. Since 2008, a succession of financial reforms have introduced drastic cuts. In June 2010, the Campania region put an end to its minimum welfare scheme, plunging more than 130,000 families into poverty.
“A state that abandons its children”
In Naples, the vast majority of children from poor families are faced with a choice between struggling to stay in school or dropping out to work in the black economy. Then there is a third option, which is to join the ranks of the Camorra, the Neopolitan mafia.
So there it is. I thought they are worth reading and just wanted to share. Sorry for the length. (If the FDL editor wants me to break it up, please let me know).
The stuff just gets piled higher and deeper everyday. On the plus side the bears, or dogs, or whatever they are, are really cute.