During the last year or two, I have watched America’s “Corapacy” take out their losses out on the public rather than using tried and true methods that enhance profitability that have a propensity to stabilize the economy in general; Greed, a message that tells America that we “don’t count” is now the standard rather than an aberration. Even if the economy is on the uptake, which I doubt, the unintended consequences of this assault on our economy are far from over. If you believe the economy is recovering, think again – it’s only getting worse and the aftermath of this assault on America is another notch on the belt of America’s ongoing class war.
April was a surprise, and Foreclosures in April exceeded even March’s blistering pace with a record 342,000 homes receiving notices of default, auction notices or undergoing bank repossessions, according to a regular industry report. In another shock to those who believed the market was recovering, Total store sales register a surprise decline. Sales excluding auto purchases also fall. Thousands upon thousands of Americans are still losing their jobs, and as they do, the widening class gap in the United States grows every day.
The “unintended consequences” I’m speaking of is the credit ratings of people who have lost almost everything while they watched their lifetime jobs being sent off to China, India, and anywhere else that would add to the Corapacy’s bottom-line. The consumer only counts in commercials – and now millions of us that once had good credit couldn’t buy anything except through “special finance” programs where the lender charges exorbitant interest rates. Those of them that have maintained their good credit throughout their lives are now falling into the chasm of poverty – where payments are so high based on their credit rating they can only afford the purchase of sub-standard goods which often cost more to maintain than a new item. This is particularly dominant in the automobile business, a necessity to the bulk of people that work in today’s society. Pay as you go lots and Title Pawn Companies are flourishing, and in the process, are cutting deeply into the income of those who can least afford it.
Second-class America is growing at an alarming rate, and will continue to do so until Washington makes a cohesive decision to quit outsourcing valuable jobs in our own country and send Americans into poverty for the good of the Corapacy – not the people. As we watch the foreclosure cycle taking its toll, ask yourself who can qualify to buy a home that has one or two minimum wage jobs, and to make it worse, their credit rating is in tatters? Crawling out of the “bad credit hole” is lengthy and expensive, so even if the economy rebounds tomorrow, the Carpetbaggers will be out in full force, making absurd amounts of money from people that only two or three years ago had excellent credit scores. Many of the foreclosures were caused by people without the resources to purchase property whom were wooed by lower payments and inadequacies in federal safeguards – and whether these variable-rate mortgages were fully disclosed is a matter of speculation, although under the law, complete disclosure is mandated. Others who have had a lifetime history of working and good credit have watched their jobs disappear, through no fault of their own and now find themselves destitute – hoping they can at least keep their families fed and clothed.
As we and others predicted months ago, the second wave of losses is about to hit America’s banking and financial system. Credit Card defaults are at record highs:
Advanta says will stop lending, shares sink
Tue May 12, 2009 8:22pm BST
* Advanta will stop lending next month
* Company has lost access to main funding source
* Shares fall 27 percent in afternoon trading
NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters) – Advanta Corp, (ADVNB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) a company that issues credit cards to small businesses, is not making new loans after defaults surged and it lost access to its main source of funding, and its shares fell 27 percent.
The company said in a release late Monday that it will shut down about 1 million credit card accounts on June 10, when it expects to lose access to the securitization trust it uses to sell credit card loans to investors.
The suburban Philadelphia-based company will also use up to $1.4 billion to buy back debt issued by its main securitization trust, at 65 cents to 75 cents on the dollar.
Advanta will also make a cash offer for $100 million in trust preferred securities at 20 cents on the dollar.
U.S. credit card defaults rose in March to new record highs, as more Americans lost their jobs amid the worst recession since World War Two. (Emphasis added.) MORE
The real problem with Advanta canceling their lending is that they primarily loan to small businesses, many of who have found their credit sources disappearing as fast as their bottom-lines… Even though it was OUR money that supported “corporations that were too big to fail,” several of the recipients of TARP Funds are still refusing to fund America’s small businesses as they hoard their money to make new acquisitions. Advanta states they will be closing approximately “1 million credit card accounts on June 10.” In simple terms, a million small businesses will be scrambling to procure new sources of credit – and since they aren’t “too big to fall,” many of America’s small businesses are likely to be swept away – opening up our markets to even more goods that have been off-shored and further raising the nation’s unemployment figures. (It’s extremely important to note that many of these small businesses aren’t really that small; some employ hundreds, and in some cases, thousands. Strangling America’s small businesses is good news for the Corapacy and bad news for Americans.
If you read today’s news, the “Government says 637,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week. Continuing claims at all-time high for 15th week in a row.” Add that to the news that Chrysler plans to close 789 dealerships – with General Motors stating “it wants to cut 42% of its dealership base to 3,600 by next year. Fritz Henderson, the GM chief executive, said on Monday that it would soon start notifying dealers as soon as this week.”
As President Obama strives to develop a cohesive program of sustainable energy, the nation’s poor and disadvantaged are putting-off important matters such as regular maintenance on their cars, adding to the pollution we seek to curb – not to mention driving vehicles that also need brake and tire upgrades for the safety of the general public. The closing of so many GM and Chrysler Dealerships will have a devastating impact on the economy, and as the “trickle-down” effect takes place and their vendors and parts suppliers face a huge loss of their base – the true consequences of so many dealership closings will become apparent. To add insult to injury, General Motors is planning on building cars in China and selling them in the United States - waving the white flag of surrender as China gobbles-up most of our manufacturing capability. Rather than figuring out how to make quality, affordable products that generate American jobs in America, G.M. has all but admitted they cannot compete with the Chinese and our government is so indebted to China that we either dance to their music or face bankruptcy.
The nation’s banking and finance community, held together by taxpayer money, are raising rates on credit cards, increasing fees, and generally taking whatever profit they can – even from those who have managed to keep their credit good. Nobody, except the wealthy, are immune to the greed of America’s Bankers. The Bill which went before Congress to cap interest rates on credit cards was a sham of such proportions that all of us should remember who voted to protect the consumer and who voted for the Corapacy – which was the bulk of Congress! There are other measures Obama states Congress is going to enact to protect the American consumer – but even if all goes well, what about the destruction of so many millions of good credit ratings that came about through corporate greed – not the mismanagement of the individual?
Everyday there is another piece of bad news, and today CNN ran this article:
GM’s 1,100 ‘Dear John’ letters to dealers
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Automaker makes big cut as part of plan to drop 40% of dealer network. Many are expected to leave business this year.”
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — General Motors notified 1,100 of its 6,000 dealerships Friday that it is terminating their contracts with the struggling automaker, the first step in cutting up to 40% of its retail network.
GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos said that the dealers receiving notice Friday are being told that their contracts will not be renewed in October 2010. Many of them are expected to close shop this year.
The company has told the Obama administration that it plans to cut its network down to 3,600 dealers by next year, although Friday GM vice president Mark LaNeve said the final number would be in the range of 3,600 to 4,000. MUCH MORE
We face the power and strength of America’s corporations, bent on their bottom-line with no sympathy for the American consumer. We can compete with China, and we can make products that last – it just takes good old American ingenuity – something that has always been our saving grace. As we watch the GOP hammer President Obama for his “socialist” agenda, we as a people need to take a second glance at President Obama and understand what he is doing. Slowly but surely, the wheels of progress are being implemented; the Obama administration has reinvigorated our anti-trust laws, is working to replace Bush Appointees that have “dug in” as Attorney Generals and other high profile positions that shape our nation, and finally, that appears to be ending. LINK
My impression of the Obama administration is that he is making changes “under the radar” – and those changes have the potential to change the direction of the United States. In Obama’s defense, I wouldn’t release the photos that vividly demonstrate torture – because as the GOP has pointed out, and they are correct; releasing those photos are a guarantee of Al Quada and the Taliban posting them throughout their network of websites which will make recruitment much easier for those who seek to harm the United States. President’s often make unpopular decisions, however in this matter, the damage to our public image and the blow back we would encounter makes Obama’s decision one of attempting to save lives, not release unnecessary photos that are guaranteed to stir-up Radical Islam.
Many people seem to believe that President Obama is “Bush-lite;” I disagree. The Obama administration is carefully attempting to “make change we can believe in” – but to be successful, politics is a give and take endeavor, and from where I stand, the President is slipping in his agenda little by little, and so carefully that most people fail to realize that in the next two or three years, if Obama “stays the course,” the United Sates may reemerge as the premier Democracy in the world.
We do have one major hurdle to overcome, and that’s the destruction of millions of Americans that have lost their good credit ratings. It’s time for the government to step-in and offer loans to those that lost their credit ratings due to the greed and malfeasance of Wall Street – and until that discrepancy is fixed, the only winners we will see are the carpetbaggers that are descending on America’ most disadvantaged individuals.
It’s also important to note Obama’s likely pick for the Supreme Court. One “pick” that is on Obama’s short-list embodies what most Americans hold dear – adherence to precedent and the United States Constitution. Diane Wood has been serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Ms. Woods has been a champion of the constitution and precedent, IMO, much like Ron Paul, who has never voted against our constitution. Below are excerpts from an article describing her talents and strategy for making decisions – and it’s a formula we don’t see as often as we should:
Possible Court Pick Is Used to Dueling on Bench
Wood, a Contender to Replace Souter, Often Spars With Conservative Colleagues on the 7th Circuit
By Peter Slevin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Wood’s 14 years alongside Posner and Easterbrook, who often serve together as a panel of the circuit court, are being studied afresh as President Obama prepares to make his first nomination to the Supreme Court. Wood, described by associates as smart, progressive, steadfast and collegial, is a onetime colleague of Obama’s at the University of Chicago and is considered by many to be on the shortlist of potential replacements for retiring Justice David H. Souter.
Wood knows what it is like to duel two of the most formidable and prolific conservative jurists in the country, a key element of Obama’s search as he tries to shift the dynamic of a court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia.
“She’s as bright as Posner and Easterbrook and really holds her own, and I think she would hold her own with the great intellects on the high court as well,” said Chicago lawyer Fay Clayton, who has argued many 7th Circuit cases. “Everything she does is based on precedent and statutory construction and the facts.” (Emphasis added.) MUCH MORE
It’s easy to bash any sitting President, as decisions are often made based on classified information the general population is not privy to; while it appears that Obama is following in Bush’s footsteps on several fronts, the intense efforts to make other changes that will ultimately lead us back to what our Constitution and Bill of Rights embodies are being made – and to be successful while combating GOP obstructionism will either make or break the Obama administration, and so far, the GOP doesn’t seem to comprehend that Obama is looking forward on issues that have been rendered moot by the Bush administration. If we can get President Obama to offer some real help to those that need it most – and that doesn’t include banks, our prospects for a real financial recovery may be better than ever.
U.S. uptick doesn’t mean crisis is over, says top economist
By Agence France-Presse
Published: May 16, 2009, Updated 7 hours ago
FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil – A few recent glimmers of economic hope emerging in the United States do not mean the global crisis is over, a top economist who advises US President Barack Obama said Saturday.
The crisis “is certainly the worst that I have seen in my career,” Martin Feldstein, a 69-year-old Harvard economist and member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board told a world tourism conference in Brazil.
“The evidence simply doesn’t support” the conclusion that the United States is on its way to a sustained recovery, said the academic, who also served as an advisor under former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
He added that Europe’s economy is “equally bad if not worse than in the US,” and “Japan has been hit even harder.” MUCH MORE
Below is a comment I made which is too large for the commenting section:
For the past fifteen (15) years I have been living in “Red States”, Kansas, Florida, and Georgia – and during those years I have begun to form certain opinions. In Kansas, my live-in girlfriend was a devout Republican as was her entire family. She was brilliant, maintained a 3.87 GPA without breaking a sweat and was majoring in teaching at ESU in Emporia, Kansas – the 4th highest rated teachers college in the United States with an extremely demanding curriculum. I survived by not talking politics, and I listened and learned.
The backlash began in Emporia, where being a Republican was a matter of family pride – and speaking out against President Bush often carried instant repercussions. This was five or six years ago, and I began writing at the urging of my friend. She had wanted to be a teacher all of her life, loved children, and was by far one of the smartest women I have ever known. I became a regular on the campus of ESU and had the privilege of interviewing several of its Professors – who humbled me with their knowledge and education. They were also, almost to the very man (or woman) devout Republicans. Maybe I should say that they “were” devout Republicans; almost as a group, the staff at ESU believed that “No Child Left Behind” was an albatross and complained that educators, not politicians, should set the standards for our educational system. During one interview I brought up the fact that Laura Bush was an educator, and it almost ended the interview; the professor was shaking with anger wondering how in the hell a President who embarrassed the country almost every time he spoke and his “librarian” wife had the audacity to believe that they could somehow cure our ailing educational system. Now, five to six years later, our high school drop-out rate is soaring and students are now gloomy about their future. Sadly, my friend was one of those who changed her major.
The bulk of the American public fails to understand what a disaster “No Child Left Behind” is and was. The Professors at ESU were furious, and people that had dreamed of becoming teachers were changing their majors from teaching to business – and the dumbing-down of America began in full force. I learned that those who seek teacher degrees are hardly interested in the wages, as we don’t pay our teachers that well, but most majored in teaching because of their love for children and a belief that they could help to build a better America.
I wrote the above to make a point. The “electorate”, all of us who participate in political activities, including voting, are simply people with whom most of us interact on a daily basis. I have no hate or even a dislike for Republicans – however, I do despise their leadership – and I don’t care for the Democratic leadership either! Nancy Pelosi should be replaced and any Congressman, Democrat or Republican, who votes against our constitutional safeguards should immediately be impeached. Congressmen pledge to uphold the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the rule of law – as does our President.
The problem that we face as Democrats and Independents is one of information, and until we solve the endless propaganda and hate that Murdoch, Faux News, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter, just to name a few, spew to constantly enrage their base, there will be no real public participation in what Republicans perceive as an affront to their values.
What I learned is that if the average Republican is exposed to the facts from a source they trust, not the garbage and propaganda spewed by Fox News – they become as enraged, if not more so than the average Joe, for being duped into voting for Bush/Cheney. As we hemorrhage jobs, they aren’t just Democratic or Independent jobs, they are representative of the entire nation – and Republicans are on the losing end too. The propaganda arm of the GOP is attempting to lay this economy at the feet of President Obama, which took the Bush administration eight years to accomplish – yet almost instant results are being demanded of a President that has barely been in office 100 days.
And yes, I’m as critical of President Obama as I would a Republican President, however, I do believe that he is exercising an agenda that won’t fully revel itself for at least a full year. As I stated earlier, I am 100% against using taxpayer dollars to help banks and financial institutions that got in trouble through greed and some actions that were downright fraudulent.
Yes Harry Jones, we do need the “God of Profit” to survive, but outsourcing our manufacturing sector is a guarantee that we will never revitalize our economy, that wages will continue to drop, and worst of all, the United States will be in a position where it will be impossible to collect enough taxes to stay out of bankruptcy. Who is going to inhabit the homes of the recently decimated Middle-Class? What will happen to all of those homes? Is ANYONE asking those questions?
Anyone that has any concept of economics has to know that our current business model (That of the Corapacy.) is designed to enrich corporations while wrecking havoc upon our own economy. Refusing to fund our small businesses opens-up more segments in our markets for outsourced products, which equates to higher unemployment and more jobs being sent overseas. Americans, all of us, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans must demand that we reinvigorate our manufacturing sector, demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and understand that “Protectionism” may be necessary for our survival. Read: Free Trade Is A Misnomer; So-Called Protectionism Is A Matter of Self Survival
Unfortunately, as desperately as this message needs to get out to the general public, as long as Rupert Murdoch and Fox News survive – there is almost no chance that millions of Republicans who have been misinformed will wake-up and understand that the very essence of our nation is being transferred to China. We, as a people, have forgotten what made our nation a financial powerhouse; I watched and wrote with almost a macabre fascination as Wal-Mart led the charge to outsource American jobs, trained China’s businesses in “The Wal-Mart Way” and then the rest of corporate America followed, some of them so they could compete with Wal-Mart. I do know that when Republicans do find the truth, as I witnessed in Emporia – they are as angry as the rest of us, and as demonstrated by this recent election – they demanded change.
Many of you are too young to remember that when Sam Walton established Wal-Mart, it was the death knell for many small businesses, but all in all, Wal-Mart helped our economy. One highly patriotic individual, Sam Walton, made his money through smart business tactics and pushing, at every store and every commercial to buy American! Sam Walton’s demand that his store carry American made goods was not government mandated, but the vision of a true patriot. Patriotism is in the heart of an individual(s), not a corporation. Americans should demand American made products and it needs to begin on a grass-roots level. If General Motors has taken federal bailout money, then they should figure out how to make quality cars in America, not enrich China with their greed – and “we the people” need to make our voices heard and demand that General Motors cannot spend one red nickel of that money in China.
If you don’t believe this is a class-war, then I suggest you find another source for your news. If you believe the United States can exist as a “service based economy” without our overall standard of living reaching Third World status, I suggest you walk into any college and consult an economics professor. Resources are finite, and as we embrace wind and solar power to quell our thirst for foreign oil, we also need to manufacture and grow our own crops. We’re losing our small businesses and farmers by the droves – and the farms are being bought-up by corporations as they take solid aim at controlling food prices, another disaster facing the American public.
We all stand at the crux of American influence and power, and while I don’t advocate war, there are others that do, and having “power” is what has protected our Democratic Republic all of these years. But, to hold true power, we must also be self-sufficient and care enough about our fellow citizen to urge Congress and the President to bring our manufacturing home, forget the disaster of using grains to manufacture bio-fuels, and above all, make it known that we’re tired of enriching China and that “we the people” prefer to buy American.
One thing is certain; the economy IS NOT getting better, and until Washington and the people wake-up and understand that corporations and their lobbyists have wrecked more havoc on the U.S. than the Taliban and Al Qaeda combined, our downward spiral will continue until all we have is massive debt to China – and they will eventually collect. Furthermore, picture our situation if we ever get into an international row with China; imagine all exports cut-off, no spare parts for vital infrastructure repairs and projects – and now that Wal-Mart and other greedy corporations purchase the bulk of their goods from China, how would they re-stock their stores?
When I wrote the original article that began the “Wal-Mart” series, I predicted that our economy would eventually fail and I also brought-up National Security as an issue; China has increased their military budget, they have intercontinental nuclear weapons, and now they are busy building a “Blue Water Fleet” to expand their influence on a global basis. Our military has suffered massive cyber-attacks that have been traced back to China (which they deny), and they refuse to exert their power and influence over North Korea – who only exist by and through the grace of the Chinese. Beijing has the ability to demand that North Korea quit their nuclear ambitions by simply stating they will no longer provide food and fuel – but they won’t, as a nuclear armed North Korea somehow fits in with their overall global strategy.
From an economic standpoint, China now holds most of the cards. We can allow corporate America to increase our dependence on China, or we can demand that Americans start buying American again – and I promise you, the road to recovery will be rough – but its ingrained within our hearts to embrace freedom – and our support of China will eventually work to undermine what’s left of our economy as well as our freedom. Every economist worth his or her salt agrees that we cannot exist as a service-based economy. That said, why hasn’t the Obama administration taken steps to reinvent our manufacturing sector? Granted, our old business model didn’t work, but enough years have passed that we now know why and how we failed – and with that knowledge comes the power to make changes that will guarantee that American businesses can survive and stay successful without outsourcing our future to other nations.
I’ll finish off this comment with a question; who is responsible for the sad state of our economy? Is it Bush and Cheney, Reagan, Clinton, or Obama? If you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer is “none of the above.” Bush and Cheney saddled us with two wars that desperately hurt our economy and refused to carry-out oversight of the financial community, but in the final analysis – it was Corporate America that stands responsible for the destruction of our economy, and in my opinion, they should be prosecuted and imprisoned for their actions rather than receiving taxpayer funds while we watch everything that we hold dear fade into obscurity and disarray – including our ability to adequately feed, clothe, and house our families.
NOTE: Another reason I related the story about ESU is because there is a distinct difference between Republicans and Neo-conservatives. It saddens me when comments are made that disparage the entire Republican Party when it is the Neo-cons who are setting their agenda – mostly behind the scenes. In all honesty, to take back America from our greedy corporations, we need the participation of everyone, and that includes Republicans. I have a great deal of faith in the American people, and while our opinions on abortion and other issues often set us apart – the issue of our economy and the need to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector is tantamount to saving our nation from financial destruction.
President Obama, as you ponder the “State of the Union” – please explain to us how we can survive as a service-based economy. You know the answer as well as I do, but unlike me, you’re in the position to influence the general population and bring about change. Be honest with the people and identify who is actually responsible for the state of our economy – and outline what needs to be done to rectify the situation. Corporations are not entities whom are able to make decisions without the support of their shareholders. Tell the people the truth, that Corporate America has shunned the people for profit and unless they change their ways, the United States is bound to fall into Third World status. If you tell us the truth, something that has been absent from the Presidency for far too long, it will not be necessary to legislate that American corporations bring back our manufacturing capability; that message will be delivered at shareholder meetings throughout the country – and when the average shareholder and citizen understands that corporate greed and malfeasance are the real culprits in our financial meltdown, “Change we can believe in” will happen.
President Obama, please take a stand for the American people. We know that you have received enormous campaign contributions from the banking and financial sectors who only ask that they “conduct business as usual” – which means raping the American people! You stated that we had to “make sacrifices” in order to get our economy back on its feet, which most of us are willing to do, but I’ll be damned if I will sacrifice one red nickel while Corporate America is allowed to rape and pillage the American people.
Mr. President, because of Fox News and monopolies such as Newscorp, the Republican sector of our population doesn’t have a clue as to “why” and “how” we reached this sad state of affairs. Yes, I’m speaking of Republicans, not Neo-conservatives who hope you fail regardless of the pain and suffering that are bound to follow. There has not been an orator in the White House since the days of J.F.K. that has the ability to make himself understood and whom the bulk of the population trusts, and with that ability comes a huge amount of responsibility. I’m calling on you to exercise that responsibility, to side with the American people rather than Corporate America and address the country and explain why it’s not only necessary, but also a matter of National Security for the United States to return to its roots where people could trust our employers to make the right decisions, not just for their bottom-line, but for the good of the nation as a whole.
If you side with the people and tell us the truth, the whole truth, there will be a groundswell of support and outrage at our modern “Carpetbaggers” – and they will be forced to change their ways or fade into bankruptcy and obscurity. If you fail us President Obama, we will know that your real loyalty lies with those who seek our destruction, not necessarily on purpose, but are blinded by greed in their everyday decision making. If our corporations are making these decisions knowing full well they are destroying our economy in the process, then I believe they are committing acts of financial treason that have damaged the United States far worse than the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Bush administration combined.
I’m 58 years old, and not since the days of JFK has the United States faced a situation where our security and ability to survive as a nation has been at such risk. We also know that the stimulus as it pertains to our infrastructure was necessary, however, those are only jobs that will last for a specific time period – and when the work is completed, their jobs will disappear far quicker than they appeared. We don’t need a short-term solution, but a solution that will allow Americans to rebuild their nation on a platform that will offer jobs a hundred years from now. And yes President Obama, I do understand the risk; the last President that attempted to stand-up for the American people was assassinated – which I fear may enter into your decision making as you ponder our situation and “how” to bring forth change that will benefit the entire country. There has also never been a time when so much counted on the ethics of one individual, or where the actions of a President can either drive us over the edge and end Democracy as we know it, or face the problem head-on and relate to the people what needs to be done to save our nation from what appears to be the inevitable financial destruction of our entire economy.
President Obama, I don’t envy you or your position; you are faced with the possibility of endangering your own life if you stand against the “Corapacy” and save the nation, or in the alternative, will go down in history known as the one man that could have saved America, but instead opted to protect his own interests and will forever be known as a President that didn’t have the courage to tell his constituents the truth – which would instantly cause the American people to demand the change that could and would make Corporate America act in a responsible manner – whether they like it or not!