[FoRK] From Meccania to Atlantis

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Dec 20 13:50:10 PST 2009

Michael Cummins wrote:
> Some fascinating reading here, to me at least.  As of today Takuan Seiyo is
> on part 13(2).  He touches on a wide range of topics.

Touches on, but doesn't definitively reference.  In these faux news 
days, that is highly suspect.
> >From Meccania to Atlantis: Part 13(2)
> http://www.brusselsjournal.com/blog/7745
> This is the piece that caught my eye (reading feeds over coffee this
> morning) though it is a very tiny part of the greater whole:
> >From Meccania to Atlantis: Part 13(1)
> http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4158
It is good to know what the Europeans (?) and the Chinese are thinking.  
That could come in handy.

This page relies on this site:
for the statement "But government spending in Obamerica is 45% of GDP, 
and its deficit stands at 43.3%."

I don't understand where those numbers come from.  Right on that page it 
2010 GDP 14240.2M, US Federal Budget Totals: 3.56T

> During FY 2008, the federal government collected approximately $2.52 
> trillion in tax revenue.
> Tax revenues have averaged approximately 18.3% of gross domestic 
> product (GDP) over the past 40 years, generally ranging plus or minus 
> 1% from that level.
> At 15% of GDP, the 2009 collections were the lowest level of the past 
> 50 years.
> During FY 2008, the federal government spent nearly $2.98 trillion on 
> a budget or cash basis.
> During FY 2008, the U.S. government spent nearly $800 billion on 
> defense and homeland security, approximately 32% of tax receipts of 
> $2.5 trillion.[22]
>     * Department of Defense: $741 billion
>     * Homeland Security: $52 billion
> The U.S. defense budget (excluding spending for the wars in Iraq and 
> Afghanistan, Homeland Security, and Veteran's Affairs) is around 4% of 
> GDP.[23] According to the CBO, defense spending grew 9% annually on 
> average from fiscal year 2000-2009.
> In fiscal 2007, U.S. public debt was approximately $5 trillion (36.8 
> percent of GDP) and total debt was $9 trillion (65.5 percent of GDP.)
Perhaps the numbers made a huge jump in the last year or two, perhaps 
not.  Too bad the articles don't have authoritative links, such as for this:
> In 2002, the U.S. national debt was close to $6 trillion. By November 
> 2009, it had doubled to nearly $12 trillion.

> -- begin quote --
> The strongest, most admired country in the world until just a few years ago
> is now a cautionary tale of the wages of sin and stupidity told to Chinese
> schoolchildren. 

Yadda yadda yadda.  Good luck with that.  Recent events are only about 
5% of what it would take to be a death blow, if that.
> A nation that works for a living can weather perhaps even such great storms.
> But the jobs of the American lower class have been outsourced to imported

Who are now American lower class...  And climbing fast.
> Mexicans. The jobs of the American middle class have been exported to China

The mindless ones that should be automated away any day now.
> and India. The jobs of the American upper-middle class have been taken from
> the white males who held them by merit, and given to resentful identity
> groups that hold them by the fiat of the government's preferred skin colors

Only goes so far until they have to perform, which they have been pretty 
> and favored genitalia. And the jobs of the American upper class have been
> reprogrammed from leadership and service, to ripping off the less clever via
> lawyering, banksterism, and padding one's golden CEO parachute, and then

That is becoming more difficult.  Sarbox et al.
> expiation via funding and leading socialist NGOs. 
> A freefalling dollar cannot help by increasing exports, when you have
> off-shored your manufacturing, and your main industries are predatory

There is still a lot of manufacturing going on.
> lawsuits, selling shoddy American housing to Salvadorians with faked
> mortgages, and marketing financial weapons of mass destruction worldwide.
> And a falling dollar is not a good inducement for the world to keep buying
> dollar-denominated U.S. debt. The cessation of that buying has such dire
> consequences to the United States that Chinese strategists have named them
> "the nuclear option." 

The Chinese will be in a more delicate overall position than the US for 
a very long time.
> The American people can't do anything about it either, except mailing tea
> bags to the crooks and loons who govern them. Their only electoral choice is
> between the party of demented progressives, and the party of progressive
> dementia.

Huh, really?
> -- end quote --
There is a whole lot in Chapter 2: Barko...  that sounds like fishy, 
shallow analysis.

> The only true choice left is to get up and walk out of the circus tent.
Does he know where Gult's Gulch is??
That's a cop out.  Smart people can ride most waves successfully.

Mistakes have been made constantly, especially for many years of the 
last decade.  Most recent monetary mistakes can be corrected or at least 
learned from.
One I just read about in the paper today is that the mortgage 
modification program is being gamed by lenders to get people to keep 
paying, then sell their house out from under them at the last moment 
with no notice.  Apparently, part of the fine print is that 
notifications were being waived as part of the deal.  If true, some 
banks should get slapped along with writers of the law.

As far as economics from a different perspective, the SJ Mercury News 
had this today in the Globalist Quiz:
Where "millionaire" is defined as: "an individual having investable 
assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residences and belongings".

Millionaires per country:
US: 2,460,000, 1 out of 125 people
Japan: 1,366,000, 1/90
Germany: 810,000
China: 364,000, 1/3700
France: 346,000
Switzerland, 8th: 185,000, 1/40
United Kingdom
Brazil, 10th: 131,000, 1/1500
Russia: 97,000
India: 84,000

The Chinese state may hold a lot of assets, but their people don't.


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