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Bruce Enberg's Commentary

Democracy is falling off the Edge

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From the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, "... consumers, of course, have options, They can go to another broadband provider if they want to reach particular edge providers or if their connections to particular edge providers have been degraded.” Replace the term 'edge providers' with 'liberal media', and you get what this is all about. The three hard right corporate owners that control all the major markets can simply tell you what sort of material you can download from, or upload to internet. The phrase, "want to reach" means explicitly that they can block content at will.

 

The Court actually used the Libertarian rational that 'competition' will protect you. Good luck finding another broadband provider that won't also block the content that disagrees with their goals of a Neo-Feudalist America. Remember, they can block either end of the connection, if not outright, by pricing you out of business, and favoring those that they approve.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:43 Read more...

The Jade Rabbit says, "Nǐ hǎo" (hello)

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New unemployment claims fell sharply the week before Christmas despite widespread weather problems that were putting a drag on business activity. Early numbers suggest that retail sales were up for November and December, justifying the increase in business inventory during the third quarter. This would be in line with the declining layoffs, if inventory sold as predicted as more production will be required in January.

 

The Federal Reserve is cutting its $85b per month QE3 bond buying program by $10b in January and this is causing bond interest rates to climb. But so far this has had no negative effect on the stock market that continues to set records. At $75b we're still talking about the better part of a trillion dollars a year in stimulus. Of course this is 'soft stimulus' that mostly ends up as bank balance sheet entries.

 

If the government would spend $1t per year on infrastructure the US would be booming like China, instead of drifting toward becoming a third world colony of the People's Republic of China. Did I mention they have a rover named the Jade Rabbit on the moon? Twenty years ago there were almost no private cars in China, now the 'commies' are a bigger market for cars than the US. In five years their economy will be bigger than the US across the board.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 December 2013 22:21 Read more...

Punched or drilled? Use an inspection mirror & a spec sheet for comparison

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Numbers on 3rd quarter GDP growth are in, and we could be breaking into a chorus of    'Happy Days are Here Again.'  A quarterly growth of 4.1% in GDP is something that we have seen hardly at all since Ronald Reagan set about destroying the economy for the benefit of the 0.001% of Americans.

 

In the old days of New Deal Keynesian economics a 4% growth rate was the norm. Conservatives would like you to believe that such a number just isn't possible anymore unless you cut the tax rate on the rich to zero. Never mind that the Communist Chinese have been maintaining a pace of 2 to 3 times that for decades by pursuing FDR's or more accurately Alexander Hamilton's polices. You know, the guy on the ten dollar bill.

 

The Chinese are big fans of our Founding Fathers, and it's paid off for them big time. The US went from making wooden shovels to being the undisputed industrial power of the world by following Hamilton's policies enacted by Congress in 1792. China has gone from making nothing more advanced than a 1940 style steam locomotive to putting a rover on the moon in just 30 years. This will be China's century in ways that we can't even imagine.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 22:37 Read more...

Using Strategic air power to protect precious bodily fluids

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New unemployment claims dropped by another 10,000 last week to 316,000, approaching pre Bush Crash numbers. California accounted for almost half of the decline suggesting that Conservative claims that the 7th largest economy in the world is in rapid decline since the Democrats took complete control of the state's government might be 'overstated'.

 

Wall Street banks are throwing a fit because the Federal Reserve is considering the elimination of the 0.25% interest that they have been paying banks on cash reserves that banks keep on deposit with the Fed. It doesn't sound like much except that these reserves total $2.4t. They only started doing this as part of the bank bailout and Wall Street has become accustomed to this $60b subsidy, it's almost half of their annual bonus pay. Banks didn't used to keep much cash on deposit but were encouraged to start doing this in case of further losses from the Bush crash. The Fed thinks that with the economy actually working again that maybe banks should start making loans with this money instead.

 

The possibility of peace with Iran has been putting further downward pressure on oil prices despite the Obama Administration's assurances that Iran wouldn't be allowed to pump more oil and natural gas any time soon.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 21:52 Read more...

Fries with that? Or, do we hang together?

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There has long been a debate about how slaves were treated in colonial America.  Records kept by slave holders suggested that they were grossly underfed. Archaeological digs however suggest that the 'masters' provisions were only a supplement to what slaves could grow for themselves, or harvest from the wild. But those were different times, land was plentiful, extensive gardens presented no problem, game and wilderness plantlife were plentiful.

 

Today we live in a much more dystopian landscape. While today's slave might be called a 'sales associate' or 'your server', he or she must still try to find enough to eat. This sage advice comes from the McDonald's 'employee only access' website: "...to keep from feeling hungry, break up your available food into small portions and spread them out." Ronald McDonald doesn't even bother to have a canned food drive for his employees like the pne that  starving workers at Walmart get.

 

Mickey D's does have a number of tips for how its employees can get government assistance,with no mention of the fact that a business that profits billions should at least be able to feed its slaves. In fact, McDonald's could double its wages and only add 17 cents to a Dollar Menu item. At this pay scale McDonald's employees could afford to eat and have disposable income to stimulate the rest of the economy.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 21:12 Read more...

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