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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Positive Headlines

Because there's so much negative news out there which the media puts a happy spin on, it has made this blog site appear more on the pessimistic side when in actuality, the goal of 'Ants & Grasshoppers' is to be neither overly down nor upbeat-- simply to present things as they are.

So I decided today to scour the internet news for positive headlines- even though they amount to specks of sand in a vast beach.  Some may agree or disagree with some of my choices but isn't that what makes democracy so lovely?

Stocks lower for a third day on worries over Europe (AP)

~ Its not the European situation which make this headline 'good'..  its that stocks lower. The Dow went down 46 pts. Interestingly, no matter how down it goes, it never seems to finish the day below 11,000, and it magically springboards up when teetering on that confidence level.  Kinda sorta makes you think the markets are um... rigged?

As I've written often, for most of US history, the stock market was an accurate barometer of the overall state of the economy.  Think of it as lines on a chart going parallel.   Since Bush & Obama pumped trillions specifically into the markets, the lines are converse.  Markets go up- everyday economy gets worse..  a great disconnect.   

So to state as candidly as I can, when markets go down, that's a good headline

Eight million customers stop using credit cards (CNN/Money)-- "Credit card use is on the decline, as millions of Americans cut up their plastic or get cut off by their credit card companies. In the past year, more than eight million consumers have stopped using credit cards, according to TransUnion"

~ A very good headline.  The government has been pushing increased debt as the means to recovery.  Instead of improving conditions to make jobs more available or directly bailing out the bottom 98%, the government has exacted policies to lower interest rates to near zero, destroy the lives of millions of responsible savers thereby steering them into the volatile market, and enticing people to take on higher debt loads by expanding credit.

Think of it this way. Lets say last year 8 million people carried a revolving debt of a mere $500 for a full calendar year at a low 15% APR who no longer use credit cards today- that means in simple math, credit card companies are not getting the $75 in interest from each of those former credit card holders this year.

8 million people x $75 = $6 billion dollars less in credit card profit.  A wonderful headline indeed.

Obama and Republicans agree to negotiate on taxes (Reuters)-- "President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he still disagreed with Republicans on whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, but the two sides agreed to negotiate a deal in the coming days."

~  This headline is not good for the reasons one would think.  The nation can not afford to keep any of the Bush tax cuts- not on the wealthy, the semi-wealthy nor the middle class. It needs to fully expire.

What makes this headline good is it shows once again that all politicians are liars.  Obama originally said he'd let all tax cuts expire- now he's negotiating with the 'enemy'.  'Dubya' Bush said he was a hands-off capitalist, then he gave $700 billion in taxpayer money via TARP to the banks.  Before him, Clinton said "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky"-  complete Lie.   Before him Bush Sr. said in a 1988 campaign speech- "Read my lips- No New Taxes" then raised taxes and still had nerve to run for re-election.  Before him, Reagan denied he had any knowledge of Iran Contra- a big Lie.. On and On..

All politicians lie. All politicians go back on their word and support policies that are the opposite of what they campaigned. And all politicians are opportunists.   No slogan ever put food on the table or a roof over people's heads.

WikiLeaks next target- 'a big US bank' (CNN/Money)-- "Julian Assange, the founder of the site that has gained notoriety by publishing secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents, said in an interview this week that the next WikiLeaks target is a major bank..."It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume," he said."

~  In the rest of the article, there's quotes by Wall St. insiders that smuggly dismiss the concern.  Asshole uber-capitalist Barry Ritholtz, a Wall Street money manager even said dismissively, "What are we going to find in these leaks -- that free checking isn't really free?"

Most people do not have the slightest clue how the US economy operates.  They do not know who really is in  power of US finances.  They don't know what the Fed does or its role in affecting every aspect of an individual's life from how much milk and bread will cost, to whether a person will find employment.  People have no comprehension how banks operate and make the ungodly profits they make while engaging in excessive risk taking.  Anyone who can expose the rot, is to be commended and WikiLeaks has a good track record of success.

So you see..  there are positive headlines in the news.. you just have to work really super-duper hard to find them.

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