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Author Topic: Ghost Towns  (Read 2805 times)

LJRead

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Ghost Towns
« on: September 08, 2009, 03:06:16 PM »
One major interest of mine at one time was to visit some of the many ghost towns scattered about the West.  These are the towns where the gold or silver simply ran out and, with nothing to support the towns in the way of production, people simply moved away.

Then there are now the ghost towns, or near ghost towns of the agricultural areas, where agribusiness took over, with the amalgamation of farm lands into larger entities and the small farmer no longer finding things viable, so they too simply move out and the towns they supported became ghost towns.

But now we have the economic ghost towns, like Flint Michigan and probably many others where the business went overseas to China or somewhere, (some moving to cheaper labor markets in the South) and now there are whole neighborhoods gutted by people simply moving out.

Then today I learned of another ghost town phenomena, the modern ghost town, some only years old, in which the only productivity was the retail trade, and when people no longer had the jobs, or felt like commuting the distance required to have jobs (high gasoline prices?), these consumer towns became ghost towns., or very close to it.  Remarkable.  Towns founded on consumerism?  Where is the sense of that?  Nonsense, I would say, and probably be right.  

So here we have these planned communities with consumer empires based on retail outlets, car dealers, furniture dealers, with square miles of new homes, a new type of ghost town, isn't it?

These new ghost towns are easy to get to with modern roads and highways taking you right to the door step.  Perhaps the farming ghost towns are the same way.  The real ghost towns, the centers of mining in the Old West sometimes require a Ural or Jeep to get to, and when you get there you find just the bare remnants left.  A foundation here, maybe a false front or chimney there, but with a sense of history emanating from the site.  Real people trying hard to make a go of it in a real industry such as the mining one.

What will the next America look like, a few established cities surrounded by ghosts?  Well, I suppose too that there are ghost nations scattered around the world, nations that just no longer were viable and the people simply moved out, died off, or the town sites became pasture lands.

I think the lesson should be that if a nation has no productive basis, whether it be farming or manufacture, it soon may become a ghost nation, just the same as a town which loses its productivity becomes a ghost town.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 03:09:46 PM by LJRead »
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 05:02:03 PM »
  The area in Wisconsin I live in is starting down that road unfortunately.  This used to be sort of a hub city for paper mills, All three within the local area (10 square mile radius) have seen mass workforce reductions.  One was even closed because the new corporation that bought it didn't need it for production purposes.  That one was bought along with it's sister plant for a very low cost, and so closure was eminent.

  Our mayor/city council are trying to tote the area as the newst resort/retirement area in the state.  From what I've seen before this means we can all expect things to really get bad.  The farming industry isn't dead but with modern mechanization few jobs are left in a former booming (lower paying) industry.  Will be interesting too see if this area doesn't go back to being a wagon stop like back in the 1880's.  Will.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 05:04:53 PM »
Yes LJ, I think your right. It is a shame that we no longer manufacture any substantive goods here. And as long as greed prevails there won't be any either.

I can't particularly blame the CEOs and their golden parachute contracts, they are doing what most normal people would do and do now, get as high a salary as possible.

When enough people wake up to and see the folly of  greed by sending our production overseas then maybe a change will start. But the only way a change as large as what would be required to insure this country's stability will have to come from the government, supported by the populace.

I can already hear the screams from the opponents.

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 07:10:31 PM »
Then again,  you have areas such as South Alabama, or LA (lower Alabama) that were pretty much decimated in the 30 and 40s due to the collapse then.    These days they are not the back waters they used to be,  mainly because they have been depressed so long people are happy to work hard, now that area has opened up at least 3 new manufacturing plants.   (some non union and foreign makes)    Funny , my wifes family moved down here to Fl to find work in the 30 and 40s but kept the homestead in the family,  now a few members of the family have gone back....
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scoTTy

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 09:52:18 PM »
hmmm.... not the ghost towns I was thinking of in my travels ..

« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 09:49:12 AM by Scotty_RE_DJ »

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 10:44:17 PM »
you've got a point LJR- this whole country was built on and thru  industrialization. Now with the signing of NAFTA and the export of so many manufacturing jobs;  we have become a service based economy...
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LJRead

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 12:27:48 AM »
Years ago I saw the prices of housing go way up and said to myself, "how can anyone afford to buy a house?".  Well, it turned out that the gov. was almost pushing people to buy through the banks., andnd it was also true that most of them couldn't afford what housing was priced at.  Then, even before that, I saw the productivity of countries like Korea, Taiwan, China, Latin America and India and said to myself, "how can the U.S. compete with all these over producers".  Well, the U.S. remained in the thick of things for a time because of the high productivity of its workers and their work ethic.  But finally a lot of the big companies moved overseas for the cheap labor and probably tax incentives, a process which is continuing.

But the idea of a bunch of developers getting together to build a mecca to consumerism boggles the mind.  What were they thinking of? 

Used to be the entire U.S. economy was dependent on production of the automobile.  After that it was the housing industry.  And now what - the health industry?  The tourist industry? 

There is room for the small farmer if he restricts himself to niche markets (organic foods, supplying households directly, that sort of thing).  Then, as Mike points out, there are all those service jobs, a lot of them provided by government at one or another level.

I think the question becomes one of keeping manufacturing at home.  The big boys say we need globalization and free markets.  For whom I would ask?  Maybe a little more self-sufficiency wouldn't be a bad thing.  We need to ask who is so gung ho about free markets?  And then there is favored nation status to consider.  In a word, seems to me that things need to 'get real'.  We don't need to have the entire world riding on our backs.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 05:40:54 AM »
  As a side note large conglomerate farms are starting to lose ground here also.  A guy I went to school with had two businesss partners and just recently has thrown in the towel.

  300 plus head dairy operation that wasn't financed through the banks gone.  He's just selling off what wasn't part of the original family 120 acre farm.  Same scenario as the mid 70's-80's, but this time played out on the macro farms.  I guess maybe the small farm doing one crop/animal rearing may again make it. 

  As a general rule around here there are only two stable industries, food production and medical.  Remains to be seen how long the food production industry goes before we see a major decline.  Will.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 08:08:19 AM »
Interesting points, and valid observations.

Even more interesting is that in the original Constitution, there were only 3 forms of taxation authorized, and they were "Imposts, Excises, and Tariffs".
No personal or individual taxes were allowed, and no "income tax".
This placed the taxation on trade goods and commerce, which was a sort of "protectionist" structure that helped build the nation.

Of course, our "more modern" plan is to seemingly eliminate all tariffs in our headlong plunge toward globalism, while taxing the crap out of individual incomes of the citizens.
This was not how it was originally intended, at all.
The gov't seems to be hell-bent to do everything that it wasn't supposed to do, and do nothing of what it was supposed to do.
This is where we are.

IF there were "equalizing tariffs" on imported goods, which didn't give them advantage over domestically produced goods, for reasons of different economic conditions of labor costs in other countries, there would be no incentive for corporations to move their production out of the country.
So, you could say that the gov't is directly responsible for this occurring.
Naturally, they were lobbied to do it by the big businesses, so they had a hand in it too.
But, it wouldn't have happened if the gov't provided the prescribed tariffs on imported goods that these big businesses produced overseas, only to import them back here.
What they did was "slant the playing field away from the US", so that it would be cheaper to access labor in foreign lands, and then bring the products back here.
While the businesses could lobby, it was the gov't that had to pass the laws to make it happen.

Why would they do it?
Well, alot of reasons.
One was that they knew that because of the fiat nature of the currency, the value of the dollar was weakening severely, and they didn't really want the people to know what they had done to cause that. So, they hatched this scheme with big business to move manufacturing off shore, and keep lower prices that way, so that folks wouldn't notice the buying power of their dollar declining so precipitously.
This worked well for big business and the gov't, and appeared to give some impression that everything was "still fine". For a while.
Another was that there is this push for "global interdependence" so that one country can't be so much stronger than the rest, so that the world gets "equalized out", sort of like "global affirmative-action", which weakened the US and strengthened other nations to help things along.

There's more too, but I think those things are the main ones, with some other more insidious reasons left unstated.


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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2009, 01:10:44 PM »
Very well and gently put!


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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2009, 01:18:54 PM »
I think we are further down the line in the UK.

Our politicians pulled out all the stops to bring about a self-referential, or even facile, service economy, arguing that it didn't matter how the money was made as long as it was made. That all seemed hip and ok in the 1990s but now I think that we are up the creek without a paddle.

We have little of what I would term fundamental economic activity - using skill to add value to raw materials in order to make products to sell around the world. Our leaders would still laugh in your face at such a notion, though they would talk a good talk about it at any press conference.

Unsurprisingly,  our currency lacks plausibility, and is losing value all the time, as we try to keep the wolf from the door by printing more money. We now require the mercy and indulgence of more powerful countries that have been prudent enough to earn their living over the last 15 years, and it may not be forthcoming.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2009, 02:47:39 PM »
A few years ago ,one of the economist stated the US now Exports technology and the locally we are a service based economy. When I here service base ,I think of people who own coffee shops,and window washers.You can't have a country of service only business, at some point you have to be able to produce and export.

If you go on "Made in China .Com" you will find every machine possible to maintain a small country. It looks like they are fine when it comes to technology.

Look what happened to the Spanish when they stopped exporting goods and imported most everything.That was 400 years ago ,they haven't  fully recovered yet.
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exiledcarper

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 02:36:09 PM »
To put it even more simply, we're screwed.

LJRead

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2009, 03:47:17 PM »
I'm not sure the U.S. needs to export goods, but rather, I think it could be self sustaining in just about everything.  During the Great Depression there was nervousness about the U.S. putting too many tariffs on imports, but the situation now is ridiculous, and some people, bankers and such, are no doubt filling their pockets over this globalization.   Ralph Nader once said something to the effect that if the U.S. can't compete in the world marketplace, then they deserve to fail and people should have access to cheap goods.  Not sure I agree with this or twenty or more years ago when he made the statement.  Cheap goods has meant lower inflation, maybe, but it also means that two people must win the bread instead of one, before, and even then they are going more into debt.

 The country I live in, Tonga, was told they would have to get their duty down to qualify for WBO loans and membership  and so they did reduce duty, but raised other things like a consumer tax and wharfage (pays for the unloading I guess) so we are paying just the same, only it is stricter now, so everyone is now not importing much.  The market downtown is almost empty on weekends because people aren't importing used clothing and such because of the high cost - gov. fees and shipping (plus a percentage of even the shipping going to gov.).  Ends up that we are in s state of 'suspended animation' not going much of anywhere, but since 95% of the people 'grow their own' it matters little to most of the people what the gov. does or doesn't do.

Now they are saying a couple more shoes have yet to fall, a new round of bnk foreclosures on loans that came with low initial interest (teaser loans) and commercial loans.  More ghost towns? 

Exciledcarper may have pinned it all down in two words. 



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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2009, 04:05:57 PM »
The fatal blow was dealt in 1913.
After that, it's just a matter of how long we take to fall over.
The only way out is to eliminate the Federal Reserve and restore sound money principles.
All the other stuff is merely a preparatory stage which they want to be in place when the fall occurs.
This has been an orchestrated event for over 100 years.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2009, 02:08:08 PM »
I'm not sure the U.S. needs to export goods, but rather, I think it could be self sustaining in just about everything.

The politicians are always queuing up to tell us just how terrible isolationist economics would be for us all. It is practically a mantra. But you start to wonder if it would actually make things any worse than they are now for ordinary folk. There might actually be some dignity to be had from making our own stuff.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2009, 03:57:35 PM »
The politicians are always queuing up to tell us just how terrible isolationist economics would be for us all. It is practically a mantra. But you start to wonder if it would actually make things any worse than they are now for ordinary folk. There might actually be some dignity to be had from making our own stuff.

I agree,  might be worth a try in the long run,,, would probably build foreign resentment but it would help here at home.
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LJRead

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2009, 04:19:39 PM »
Isolationism is a very difficult problem right now with the amount of debt held by foreign governments, especially China.  They can, apparently, export about anything they want to to the U.S., much of it produced by companies that could be considered U.S. based, at least at one time, and the U.S. is restricted on what it can send to China. If we resist, they can blackmail us by threatening to sell off the debt they hold..  But this mantra that Chasfield mentions, that isolationism is bad and we must go along with globalization, could be traced out by following the money.  Who stands to gain most by globalization?  It surely isn't the good people of America who are trying to make ends meet.  It probably has to do with certain very large corporations, obviously with most members of Congress in their back pockets, who stand to gain the most, along with the Congressional members themselves.

Every time a meeting is held by the leading economic entities regarding globalization there is huge public protest, yet nothing is done.  Frustrating!!!  A few very wealthy and very powerful people hold the world in their pocket and there seems little anyone rational can do about it.

So how do we break this link?  Can it be broken?  Seems like it is pretty firmly held, and I have my doubts that we can get anywhere with the problem.  "we're screwed, blued and tattooed"  by the very people who supposedly are in  the public trust.

More ghost towns are a'comin'.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2009, 05:50:31 PM »
So how do we break this link?  Can it be broken?  Seems like it is pretty firmly held, and I have my doubts that we can get anywhere with the problem.  "we're screwed, blued and tattooed"  by the very people who supposedly are in  the public trust.

     Larry, try these links.
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battl_of_Athens_(1946)
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMinn_ County_War
 
     I'm not very good at this. Iif these don't work, google McMinn County War.
This is how things will eventually be handled.


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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2009, 05:52:41 PM »
     I knew I would screw it up. It's battle. I left out the e.

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2009, 07:53:08 PM »
So how do we break this link?  Can it be broken?  Seems like it is pretty firmly held, and I have my doubts that we can get anywhere with the problem.  "we're screwed, blued and tattooed"  by the very people who supposedly are in  the public trust.

     Larry, try these links.
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battl_of_Athens_(1946)
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMinn_ County_War
  
     I'm not very good at this. Iif these don't work, google McMinn County War.
This is how things will eventually be handled.



Yeah, I know alot about that one.
I live in McMinn County, just outside of Athens. Athens is a 3 minute ride from here, and that's where I go to town to do my shopping.
We're still pretty hard-headed around here, when it comes to getting pushed around.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2009, 10:33:30 PM »
I think it was nixon that opened up trade with china

wow.. neil young is here I forgOt>>>>>>

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2009, 08:40:02 AM »
......... especially China.   If we resist, they can blackmail us by threatening to sell off the debt they hold.. 
So how do we break this link?  Can it be broken? 

We might consider (quietly) telling China there has to be a change, and if they don't allow for a more equitable trade balance, acheived in an orderly progression, we will simply refuse their products without huge tariffs,  A N D  that if they try to sell off the debt, we will just refuse to honor any debt that they sell, and make that fact quietly known to the world economic community.

OK, all the economists can bust my chops now.  ;D
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2009, 11:38:09 AM »
Under the theory that even a broken clock is right twice a day...

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obama-slaps-tariff-on-chinese-tires-2009-09-11

Good job.....  


Man, thats hard to admit...
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2009, 01:55:42 PM »
The problem with the Athens, McMinn incident is that I don't quite see how it can be implemented on a grander scale.  It had to do with local corruption and was handled with a handful of rifles and a group of returned servicemen. 

What we are seeing is propaganda put out by big business, and catered to by Congress.  Ron Paul is a lone voice.  Propaganda is subtle, the spin makers can make anything seem like good news and sound, but underlying it all is the profit motive. 

Civil disobedience?  Boycotts of foreign goods?  I'm afraid it is going to take a lot more educating the masses for anything to be effective, but all this does seem to be a crucially important topic.  How do we prevent more lost jobs to places like China? How do we gain back lost ground?  Now there is going to be new industry concerned with the greening of America, and maybe that can give a boost.  Instead of paying higher taxes, how about paying higher costs for locally made, quality goods?  How about enough simplification of life-styles to get out of the consumer trap and into a new form of living where quality is king?  This would include, I think, changes in diet such that pharmaceuticals become less important and things like health care less needed and less costly. 

I started to modify my eating and health habits a little too late, but what I have done is bearing fruit.  I have lost a lot of weight and can now hoof it up and down the hill without feeling quite so winded.  Wish I had started years ago though.
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Re: Ghost Towns/Ships
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2009, 07:31:05 AM »
Gary
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2009, 12:50:17 PM »
Very interesting, Garbone, and directly related as well.  I am wondering about the mood of the country (U.S.) right now.  The outbursts at town meetings over the health reform issue, the outburst in Congress calling the President a liar, and then, last evening, I watched Charlie Sheen's message to the President regarding the need for more of an investigation into 9/11.  In that video, Sheen says, very frankly, that the people have a right to know the facts, and that is where the real problem lies, and part of the reason for the ghost towns, the facts just aren't out there and much manipulation is taking place, and people just aren't so stupid as to let it all slide, as they seem to have in the past, when things were going a little better for them economically.

Sheen sent a letter to the President as well as the video, so Obama has to have seen it, and now I'm wondering what his response will be, if any.  It seems to me not to be a time when people (citizens, taxpayers) can be ignored.  I would normally laugh off conspiracy theories, but seeing building seven simply drop of the skyline shortly after the World Trade center was hit, is just too much to ignore.  What has this to do with ghost towns?  I think it is all part of the same picture.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2009, 01:33:28 PM »
The mood you ask... Pretty pissed actually...  They had over 1million people march on DC last weekend to protest the direction things are going.. The media chose not to cover it or downplay the turnout..     The wheels are coming off the bus and the folks on the hill are not in touch,  they live in a bubble me thinks.    Funny thing is I think its the same movement that got Obama elected,  folks have realized he is the same old type with a leftward lean and is making  things worse.

They are bulldozing sub divisions in Michigan and  turning paved roads to gravel..  It's as if Atlas Shrugged is real and we are living it...

My opinion...
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2009, 02:10:46 PM »
It seems to me that a huge number of people walking on Washington years ago would have been a big event, now just getting filtered out.  I read in the economic news today that the tariff that Obama applied was as a result of an American company (Cooper) setting up a tire making company in China and exporting 100% of its product back to the U.S., none going for Chinese consumption.    And people are complaining about 'protectionism' and saying that this hurts everyone.  Seem like a logical step to me.

Then too is the question of why we have formed an economic union with China instead of with the EU or Japan which aren't totalitarian and have closer philosophical ties with America.  Goeff Baker raised this point some months ago and it is a valid one.

Thanks for your comment on the 'mood' of America.  I just get small glimpses into it, but there does seem to be a festering spirit there which almost anything could touch off. The crudity with which the bailouts etc. were handled, keeping the wealthy incompetents in control is enough to piss anyone off.  Will it all come to a head?  That is the question, isn't it?

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2009, 02:29:12 PM »
They had over 1million people march on DC last weekend to protest the direction things are going.. The media chose not to cover it or downplay the turnout..     

The Washington DC Fire Dept. estimated 60-75,000 protestors.  That's not a figure the media came up with, so don't blame them (there's plenty of other things to blame them for, but not that).  There were nearly 2 million people at Obama's inauguration, and that many people caused huge disruption of a type that was not witnessed on Saturday.  The organizers keep trying to claim 1-2 million people turned out (since that was what they predicted/hoped?), but there is no evidence of it.

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2009, 04:32:15 PM »
So the "mood of the country" can be firmly placed on a number of factors:

1)  Fear mongering by certain TV personalities who seemingly have little social responsibility .
2) Gross exaggerations by the media (eg., one million demonstrators vs. a more realistic 70 to 80K)
3) Gross exaggerations by bloggers on the internet including overemphasis of Obama's African parentage and his father's Muslim beliefs.
4) Intrinsic racism in America which causes a festering of dissatisfaction with a fine President whose skin happens to be dark.
5) Vast discontentment with the economy, including massive layoffs and losses in jobs, now being laid at the feet of present government desperately trying to turn things around.
6)  Increasing discontent with Afghan war and America's participation in it.
7)  Discontentment with movement of jobs and manufacturing overseas.

Pretty potent mix, isn't it?

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2009, 04:56:05 PM »
Your point on #1 is well put...  The funny part is I think that goes towards both sides of the spectrum.     

Point #2 your probably correct but it has no real relevance except to outline #1.. 

But then again...

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-september-15-2009/the-audacity-of-hos
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2009, 05:30:58 PM »
So the "mood of the country" can be firmly placed on a number of factors:

1)  Fear mongering by certain TV personalities who seemingly have little social responsibility .
2) Gross exaggerations by the media (eg., one million demonstrators vs. a more realistic 70 to 80K)
3) Gross exaggerations by bloggers on the internet including overemphasis of Obama's African parentage and his father's Muslim beliefs.
4) Intrinsic racism in America which causes a festering of dissatisfaction with a fine President whose skin happens to be dark.
5) Vast discontentment with the economy, including massive layoffs and losses in jobs, now being laid at the feet of present government desperately trying to turn things around.
6)  Increasing discontent with Afghan war and America's participation in it.
7)  Discontentment with movement of jobs and manufacturing overseas.

Pretty potent mix, isn't it?



Personally, I think points 1-4 have little to do with it.
There has always been partisan bickering.
People's political moods are always most influenced by their pocketbooks.
I think it's that we're in a deep recession, with the only option that is constantly pushed in our face by the "gov't" is more gov't.
It ain't working.
We've had 80 years of "more gov't" and that's what put us here.

Einstein quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result".

Throwing more money that we don't have at it isn't going to "fix the mess".
The "more gov't" policies need to stop, and repeal the ones we have.

A very good start is HR1207, which calls to audit the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve can't stand an audit. It's a fraudulent corrupt organization that enjoys a gov't-protected monopoly on money and monetary policy, without oversight.
Currently, HR1207 has co-sponsors which comprise more than 2/3 of all the Representatives in the House. That is a "veto proof" majority.
If we can get similar support in the Senate, then Obama can't stop it.
That's the first step to dissolving the Federal Reserve, and that's one thing that's drastically needed for fiscal sanity to prevail.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 05:40:12 PM by ace.cafe »
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2009, 06:06:39 PM »
Well Ace, one can talk about "mood" and "condition" - two different things which may be related, but aren't necessarily.  Frankly, I don't know enough about the Fed to dispute what you are saying.  We have a 'Reserve Bank" here, government run, and I suppose its function, as well as the one there is to try to even out money supply and control interest rates.  Whether this is a good thing or not I don't know, but I don't think you can put the cause of all the problems at the Fed's doorstep - many other factors must be involved.

The 'mood' is being stirred up and much of the stirring seems to be artificial in that some of it is an attempt to denigrate the Presidency.

What isn't in dispute is what we can see going on.  what is in dispute is the means of firming up and improving the economy.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2009, 03:29:28 PM »
Combining a few thoughts on this and other threads, along with a bit of history, the reason we see so much government involved is the need found early to balance out the boom and bust cycles of businesses by adding a more constant government aspect, (including government employment).  Thus, when some say that the government should stay completely out of things, they simply cannot know what effects this would have.  Would it be an even more radical feast of famine type of thing?  As businesses rose and failed, would there be even more ghost towns?

What it seems is that looking to move the economy completely away from any government type interventions into a pure laissez faire type of business environment would place our country on a very rocky road, such as existed early on.  Whether the Fed is doing its job properly is a question separate from whether the Fed should be doing a regulatory job that it was apparently originated to provide. 
There are two sides to the coin, one side business, one side government, and they should be balanced to provide a good result.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2009, 10:25:08 PM »
Well, let's see now.
Prior to the Federal Reserve System, we had sound money of gold and silver coin, and bills redeemable for same, at the same face value.
The money was worth the same in 1792 as it was in 1912. No inflation or loss of purchasing power of the money.

Since 1913 and the introduction of the Fed, the currency has lost approximately 95% of its purchasing power.
In other words, a dollar today has about the purchasing power of a nickel in 1913.
We've had our 2 worst depressions ever, and boom and bust cycles averaging about every 2-5 years. And many trillions of debt, and tens of trillions of debt in future mandated spending.

Which one is preferable?
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2009, 11:02:43 PM »
I can't quite put myself in the picture of before the turn of the 19th century.  I do know there was a severe recession in the 1890s lasting into the first decade of the 20th.  There was then a degree of self-reliance the like of which it is hard to imagine now, and there was severe advantage taken of labor.  The value of the dollar seems somewhat inconsequential if wages increase along with it.  At the turn of the century we were really just getting into industrialization so that the work place became far more important than the largely rural and agricultural system before that, so really I don't think it is quite fair to judge what might have been. 

But even with farming, there was the cyclical over production that cost such pain early in the 20th century. and on into the Great Depression.  Perhaps agribusiness was rearing its head.

As to the Great Depression and the recessions we are and have seen, the increase in business over the self reliant family farms previously, has meant larger boom or bust periods.  What these would have been like without gov. intervention is difficlut to judge, I should think.

So the two periods (before Fed and after Fed) aren't quite comparable,; the inferences you draw, Ace, may or may not be valid ones.  The movement from the farms into cities, the probable increase in consumerism, massive wars, industrialization etc. must be factored in.

Certainly, governments haven't done as good a job as they might have, based on hind-sight, but that doesn't mean that if they had performed up to snuff, things would have been as bad.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2009, 08:52:44 AM »
Well, I think it is instructive to first understand that the Federal Reserve is NOT a government organization.
It is often called a "quasi-gov't" organization, due to the fact that it has an appointed chief of its Board of Governors, and it  "reports" to the Congress once a year, and that is called "oversight".
The Federal Reserve has NEVER been audited to verify what it reports.

What the Federal Reserve actually is, amounts to a private cartel of bankers, who own privately-owned banks and have shareholders, They are a private business entity, which could fall under the rubric of "big business".
What they have is a gov't-granted monopoly on the money and monetary policy of the USA. This allows a private group of bankers to dictate exactly what the US money supply and policies will be.

To make matters worse, they have implemented a fiat-currency, and have left the realm of  sound money. And they have instituted a "fractional reserve" system,which allows them to lend 10x more money than they have, in order to make more interest profits. Since interest payments is their main profit, they are inclined to make as many loans as possible, and strive to loan out as much of that 10x more than they have, to maximize their profit potentials. And, since they are in direct control of every dollar that comes into the money supply, and make interest profit off of every dollar that comes into the money supply, they are in the position to make money from the entire US money supply, just by virtue of having that monopoly. Every single dollar that is printed or computer-generated in ledgers, every single dollar in this nation has an interest debt attached to it. It's called the "Fed Rate". You "buy" dollars from them with an interest payment automatically attached to it. There are NO dollars which aren't loaned into existence with debt attached. NONE.

So, we now see that this isn't a "gov't agency" at all.
We see that this is a private banking cartel that has been granted an exclusive monopoly on ALL money in the USA.
They might claim to have "gov't oversight", but no oversight actually occurs. No audits occur. They generate the inflation that we see every year, all by themselves, by increasing the money supply to further increase their profit taking by interest charges.
Except they loan money that they don't have, so they don't have to have the money to loan. They just create the  money out of thin air, and loan it out by their "fractional reserve" methods. This allows them to generate huge interest sums from money they don't even have.
And the money is "backed" by  the "full faith and credit of  the USA" , so that if they fail, they aren't on the hook for anything, but the people are.

The entire thing is a scam, and the original Federal Reserve was created and is still presently owned and operated by the very people that you seem to be concerned about. Rockefeller, Morgan, Schiff, Loeb, Lehman, etc.
ALL of these people were/are the "robber barons" that made up the late 19th century magnates that oppressed labor, as you like to point out.
So, I find it interesting that you might see virtue in these "robber barons" owning a private monopoly on the US monetary system.
A money system which was originally founded on sound money that can't be inflated, and wasn't generating interest profits to monopoly bankers, and the authority to "delegate" that monetary power to a group of private banking tycoons was NOT granted to Congress by the Constitution.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 09:02:18 AM by ace.cafe »
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2009, 11:28:50 AM »
And in the UK the whole of our dubious, over geared, financial apparatus looked like it was about to blow apart 18 months ago - which may have had a good side as well as a bad side. Then the Government stepped in and "rescued" the whole rotten mess. It has settled back to pretty much what it was before and the bad guys have mostly kept their comfy jobs - except loans are only available to ordinary people at rip-off interest rates, despite near zero base rates.

I am starting to think that it would have been better if the whole thing had collapsed. The alternative is like somebody avoiding being sick after they have eaten a bad meat pie. Getting it all up might have been better than that unending queasy feeling.

I am betting on a double dip recession.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2009, 11:39:37 AM »
And in the UK the whole of our dubious, over geared, financial apparatus looked like it was about to blow apart 18 months ago - which may have had a good side as well as a bad side. Then the Government stepped in and "rescued" the whole rotten mess. It has settled back to pretty much what it was before and the bad guys have mostly kept their comfy jobs - except loans are only available to ordinary people at rip-off interest rates, despite near zero base rates.

I am starting to think that it would have been better if the whole thing had collapsed. The alternative is like somebody avoiding being sick after they have eaten a bad meat pie. Getting it all up might have been better than that unending queasy feeling.

I am betting on a double dip recession.

Oh, I agree!

It would have been much better to let it collapse.
When the market needs to correct, it is going to correct.
Any attempt to manipulate it is going to result in a much more brutal correction later.
One that is so big that they will not have capacity to manipulate.
And then instead of a few years of depression that we would have had with the correction, and then a recovery, we will have a total economic collapse that will end the nation.
Perhaps that's what they are aiming to do.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2009, 12:00:38 PM »
If that is the case, that the Fed is quasi-government and making huge profits on their system, then obviously it needs to be examined, an audit, or audits done, and determination made as to how the who thing goes together. 

But that is only part of the system, the ultimate goal being to maintain prosperous business practices, regardless of who is making a profit.  If the Fed banks are making a profit, that seems fine as long as they are helping the system, if not, then obviously the whole thing needs either to go or to be modified.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2009, 02:59:15 PM »
I thought I would resuscitate this thread again so as to empty my head of gloomy thoughts regarding the economic situation.

In the UK the politicians are being pushed towards the edge of a cliff. Pretty soon the mega-money that was paid out in order to keep the greedy incompetents who wrecked the economy comfortable is going to have to be recovered from public expenditure budgets.

This situation is amazingly bad. In fact it is so bad that it transcends the traditional, low-tax-versus-high-tax squabble that goes on between left and right political parties. Neither side can claim superiority for their fiscal principles when the end game is that they have been complicit in swilling the tax take down the drain.

Whether it should be lean or lavish becomes something of a moot point.

In trying to preserve the pre-recession status quo they have unwittingly undermined the whole ethical justification for redistributive taxation. God help us if they really get busy.

I think they have basically smashed up the toy box; now nobody can play.

 :(




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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2009, 03:19:29 PM »
     Keep your powder dry!

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2009, 05:39:19 PM »
I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall.  This other shoe apparently isn't a nebulous thing in that banks have another series of loan problems coming due  the higher rates for teaser loans, different from sub-par, and still at teaser levels, but all due to rise in the coming three years, and then the commercial loans.

The government and Wall Street are acting optimistic, but are they putting their money where their mouths are?  The big guys will want to suck the small investors in for purely profit motives (commissions etc.) while they can get out quickly, leaving the small guy holding the bag.  But then that has become the pattern - small guy left holding!!!

If it is that bad in the UK, then it is bound to spill over in the U.S. or has it spilled the other way already?  Is that what we are seeing in the U.K.

Meanwhile the story of the gov. worker in Kentucky, hanged with 'Fed' scratched across his chest. An innocent, to be sure, but it does cause me to wonder.  What the hell is going on?  It is a little like Civil War times, maybe the South trying to rise again???
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2009, 06:27:08 PM »

In the UK the politicians are being pushed towards the edge of a cliff. Pretty soon the mega-money that was paid out in order to keep the greedy incompetents who wrecked the economy comfortable is going to have to be recovered from public expenditure budgets.


I think they have basically smashed up the toy box; now nobody can play.
Yep, sad state of affairs. Kinda reminds me of the plight of the Colonist.
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2009, 06:35:19 PM »
The AP had to redact a bit of that hangin' story.   Seems they guy might not have been hanging and might not have had "Fed" written on his chest....

Here is the original story..
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090923/NEWS01/909230426/1008/NEWS01/AP%2Bsource%2B%2BCensus%2Bworker%2Bhanged%2Bwith%2B%E2%80%98fed%2B%2Bon%2Bbody

I find it interesting they drudged up "Tea Parties" and the Oklahoma city bombing in the same article..  Makes you think they are trying to create some news here.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/uncategorized/suicide-not-ruled-out-for-dead-census-worker-he-was-in-contact-with-the-ground/


My guess is that he ran across a meth lab or grow house and that was the end of him... Very sad..
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2009, 10:04:11 PM »
"Keep your powder dry!"  Vince

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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2009, 11:14:26 PM »
Chasfield, I guess your double dip recession is the same as my other shoe falling, isn't it?  I wonder though about the 'recession part.  Is it to be more than that? 

I'm lining up my ducks to start investing when the shoe falls.  Maybe this is crazy, but I'm in the process of opening an account and delving into stocks that may make some sense.  I won't, however, go along with the trends, but maybe sort of against them.

A bit of fun and excitement maybe. :)
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Re: Ghost Towns
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2009, 11:02:22 AM »
I don't know about a second wave of trouble in the financial system but some kind of delayed fall out in public sector jobs seems more than likely and we already have huge unemployment.

The private sector took the first hit as the froth of weakly rooted businesses were blown away. Meanwhile the public sector and financial infrastructure companies have saved themselves with a sticking plaster of borrowing. But what next?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 11:05:36 AM by Chasfield »
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