Posts Tagged ‘Financial reform’

If you’re like most people in the United States, you’re working 60 or more hours a week and taking home less spending power.  In addition to the past decade of wage stagnation or reduction, prices of goods and services necessary to sustain life have continued rising.  Although the US inflation rate is under 2%, consumers’ ability to purchase has decreased over time specifically because of what is now called “quantative easing”.  That’s where the Federal Reserve prints money and lends it to banks for them to decide whether or not to lend it to business and individuals.  This injection of money into the system is intended to stimulate the economy to return to prosperity.  When the money is used for long term investment, reinvigorating enthusiasm and hope, this process can indeed be like a shot of adrenalin to a shock victim.

The reason we can print unlimited supply of dollars is because we no longer use gold or other uniform standard by which to establish value.  It’s like pledging a drawing of your home as collateral for the loan.  The drawing, while looking good on paper, is worth what the holder thinks its worth.  If you happen to be a famous artist, you can command big bucks for throwing paint on a canvass.  But if you are like most of us, no matter how talented you are, after two weeks on the fridge, the drawing of your house is fit for the recycle bin.  This is called the fiat money system.

I saw a music video that sums it up nicely on YouTube.

It’s time to rethink what kind of world we are creating.

There is a lot going wrong with the world today.  It is a make-or-break time in human history.  We can choose to keep believing in the American Dream with capitalism as its engine or we can look around and see it isn’t working because of one deadly sin:  Greed.  It is the responsibility of every corporation to increase shareholder wealth, at any cost.  Destroying the planet and human life is called collateral damage and tolerated as long as it costs fewer dollars.

Today’s pink slips are no longer due to insufficient volume requirements.  Employees are called upon to work longer hours, completing the work of those laid off.  Now companies terminate employees for short-term profit, making Wall Street smile.  Those left behind endure unreasonable expectations so they eliminate all “unessential” steps.  Unfortunately, the only “essential” step in business is one that immediately demonstrates revenue, regardless of quality or ethics.   When uncertainty and fear permeate the masses, decisions made by the people who comprise corporate America are directed toward self preservation, and hording becomes the norm.  Corporations reap huge profit and save, rather than invest at a time of market transformation; further eroding the foundation upon which our society is based.

Now that America, the poster child for capitalism has splatters of innocent citizen blood, the reputation celebrating democracy and capitalism is tainted.  After being exploited since the Industrial Revolution, those who developed technology, innovation and workmanship are more expensive than labor people in developing nations.  Outsourcing is the only rational decision any business executive can make because his job is to increase share holder wealth at any cost.  People’s lives are destroyed as their ability to food and shelter evaporates.  Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, cornerstones of the country, are guaranteed … according to your ability to pay.

This degree of corruption is unfathomable for a freely elected government.  Conventional wisdom suggests offenders would be exposed voted out of office.  But that isn’t the norm.  Instead, government officials that successfully keep constituents in enough fear to surrender liberties get polished by the political establishment and supported in an unimaginable web of deception.  Capitalism is supposed to reward the highest value to society but instead, bestows financial manna to whoever can market it best and make it cheapest.  In a demonic dance, corporate and government mingle until their minds are as one, focused on control of resources by the elite.  It is sad to add that the masses are considered elite resources to be controlled.

Centrally owned media fills the air waves with mentally addictive formats to establish various elite-sponsored perspectives, giving an illusion of creative thought and self-governance.  Corporations spend as much money as necessary to support specific political campaigns through elaborate marketing strategies designed to fool the public into believing government officials work for us.  Exercising voting rights is like being asked to choose which convicted sex offender to hire as your nanny.  It’s a very bad joke by the elite at the expense of the masses.

About 40 years ago, the United States Corporation abandoned the gold standard of money.  Like a credit card, fiat money can be used wisely in an investment for long-term productive reasons – as long as the balance can be paid off at a reasonable rate of interest.  Unfortunately, with the questionable practice of the Federal Reserve, a private/pseudo governmental agency, printing fiat dollars and lending them to banks, combined with fractional banking, lending many times more dollars than they have in deposits, there will never be enough money in circulation to pay off even the interest, much less the principle.  This is called a debt-based currency.

Our fiat system of money has been an open credit card for the wealthy and influential interests of the world.  They took us off the farms with self-sufficient life styles to make them richer, creating a dependent on corporate America to earn our daily bread.  As reward for our success, millions of once productive members of society fall toward poverty through unemployment while everyone else works at least full-time and a half, just to scrape by.

This is not an American problem alone.  The world money supply is based on the American dollar.  Unemployment, famine, disease and homelessness encroach upon an ever increasing mass of people all over the earth.  People are organizing against injustice, peacefully demonstrating in large numbers at government and businesses around the world.  The good news is that there are more of us than there are of them.  We still have a voice and we’re raising it in unity with diverse and distant people across the globe.  Our hope is in the numbers.

If you work harder and longer for less, look at the unemployed and see your future.  Will it be in 5 years, 5 months or 5 days?  I don’t know.  But if you think you’re immune, you’re probably not.  Skills, experience and education mean nothing when your industry gets flushed.  Or a computer program you designed to make yourself more productive is operated by a clerk you hired and then you get the axe.  After 6 months or a year of diligent job searching, your next best thing might be at 50% of your former wage.  Governments also reduce their workforce as more and more people require services.  But that’s okay because funding to feed the hungry, house the homeless and provide medical care for the unfortunate is vanishing anyway.  Just about no one is “safe” from the economic collapse.  Any perceived financial stability you have is a mirage.

If you work harder for less, look around and see how many other people are feeling the same way.  Then look at those people whose job you’re doing to make your company rich and realize the unemployed people are not to blame for your suffering.  They are early collateral damage in the middle class meltdown.  Fiat money is the vehicle used to transport your investment dollars and work hours into the pockets of very rich.

You can either read this and say “they can take care of themselves or die” because you’re already busting your tail just to lose ground or you can consider yourself fortunate, do your own research about demonstrations, petitions, legislation, wars, etc. and join with others taking action to make the world better for everyone.

I was happy to hear our government passed “Financial Reform” until I realized credit card companies are bound and determined to find new ways to circumvent the intention of new laws.  I’ve had a particular credit card for over 20 years through my credit union.  They have always treated me fairly.  I bought into the “member” status as an indication that they actually care about me.  Then I received notification of the effect of the Financial Reform law.  When I called to complain, they blamed the financial reform laws, intended to establish fair practices”, HR 627,  for the following changes to my Visa Gold:

1)     Replaced a fixed rate credit card with a Prime + 8% variable that

2)     Increased my rate

3)     Increased “penalty rates” to 25%, if applicable

4)     Changed enforcement policies to increase minimum payment obligations

I’ve been given the option to refuse this change by closing my account.   When I mentioned that was anti-predatory legislation, an employee explained the legislation backfired because it was past hastily with vague language allowing for these increases.

It is disappointing to realize that even a long-trusted credit union is contributing to the demise of the middle class by enacting policies in direct defiance of the intent of legislation.  It is even more disappointing to realize that after months of debate, Congress passed “consumer protection” legislation with loopholes the size of a truck that are being blamed for increased credit card rates and fees.

At a time when savings accounts earn a fraction of a percent interest, corporate profits increase when the middle class continues to dissolve, government bails out Banks as they evict more and more families, tens of thousands of people die from lack of health insurance and unemployment is expected to continue to rise for the next couple of years, the middle class can not afford legislators that pass “Consumer Protection” acts allowing for further abuses. Contact your “representative government” here.

Do you have an experience with the new legislation?  If so, I’d like to hear it.