The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Posts tagged ‘Commerce’

Books Reviewed: Slave Empire: How Slavery Built Modern Britain (Seamlan) & Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Sanghera) (7 Apr. 2022)

Dear Editors:

These books have a tone that commerce improved for Britain, due to slavery. This might be true. However, is this the only consideration for the advancement of commerce in Britain?

It would be interesting to compare the profits made by slavery to the reparations paid to slave owners when slavery ended and no reparations to the descendants of those who were most hurt by slavery.

It would be interesting to consider the commerce, over time, which resulted from Britain accepting Jewish people into its nation, when other nations of Europe, such as Spain, were rejecting the Jews. In light of this, one has to wonder about the end of slavery in Mexico, after Britain ended the slave trade, which led Texas to seek independence from Mexico, started the Mexican-American War, and eventually joining with the USA, due to the continuing slavery in the Southern area of the USA. Perhaps loss of life due to war is of no importance to the authors of these books? Not only in the Mexican-American War, but also in the American Civil War, Jim Crow lynchings, and other acts to lose life.  Anti-abortionists like to put forth a TV commercial about the loss of life of those aborted from the womb, but what about the loss of good lives of people who could have helped with American commerce and ingenuity, due to these wars and racial bigotry which one would want to spit on.

It would be interesting to consider the commerce, over time, due to Britain, for accepting Huguenots and others who were terrorized in Europe by the Roman Catholic Church. 

It would be interesting to compare the use of indentured servants to expand commerce in the USA by way of infrastructure improvements.  This would include the immigrants given a free ride to New York and, as indentured servants, helped open waterways with the Erie Canal which resulted in one of the biggest commercial centers in the world:  New York City.  Or with Carnegie and the building of the rail system across this nation in which Chinese and other Asians were used to build the infrastructure for the rail system.  They were not black, so were given freedom after a length of time (typically seven years).  This is mentioned due to the fact that it was soon after the British colonists in America succeeded in throwing off the British.  Yet, in 1807, Britain ended the slave trade. 

It would be interesting to consider the cost of human injustice, due to the enslavement of a group of people.  Such injustice would rip away at the commerce Britain had in Barbados and other locations for which Britain had happiness of commerce, while people suffered. 

America and other Western nations have shed the ideas of the “norm” that money comes before human justice. In actuality, these “norms” are held in esteem and pushes Americans down from being able to challenge these “norms.” In the end, slavery and commerce by means of money coming before human beings is a form of corruption, but people are too afraid to put it this way, are they not?

Simply said, these books enlighten us on how much money was made, due to slavery.  The books ignore the fact that such actions are just as corrupt as allowing the war on drugs to continue unceasingly, in order to protect the wealthy corrupt bastards of the drug lords or drug “czars,” whether in the USA, Afghanistan, Russia, or elsewhere.  Americans are too accepting of the “norms” of corruption which I address. 

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is true whether it is white folks with power over Africans, in putting them on slave boats destined for other locations. It is communists in China and other ares of the world who forcefully re-locate citizens to other locations, for the sake of a love of money and commerce, over human beings and human justice.  It is the same thing as the genocide perpetrated by Hitler, Putin, Stalin, and others.  Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Destroy democracy and these folks achieve corrupt power absolutely. It needs to stop, ending this fascination of comparing commerce due to enslavement. 

Economy & Mortgage Interest Rates

Dear Editors:

Paul Krugman says the economy is doing well. There are many facts and figures which back up what he says.

Thinking about that idea that unemployment is down and the economy is doing good, I have to wonder who is fueling the fire behind the younger generations who are wet behind the ear and are complaining about a business cycle which those of us with wisdom of age have seen all the time and work to be prepared as best we can. Shit happens like inflation happens.  Period. It is a tough thing to prepare and yes, sometimes those of us in the older group find it difficult to be prepared. But we try.

Mortgage rates going up after a long hiatus of low mortgage interest rates is not a topic to be used to bemoan the economy, is it? For those of us in the older Baby Boom generation, we paid mortgage interest rates in the double digits, sometimes as high as 13%. Did anyone give one damn about that? Not on your life.

When Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet took measures to “reduce the mortgage rates,” his actions benefited the younger Baby Boomers born in the late 1950s. Why? Because Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet allowed the use of lower rates for first-time home buyers. By that time, most of us older Baby Boomers had already purchased a home so we were precluded. I tried to obtain a lower interest mortgage rate on a home in Florida in 1982 and was told no because I had already owned a home in upstate New York.  The house in Florida, at the base rate of homes in Florida, was about $20K more than the one we sold in upstate NY. People like us, purchasing a second home after leaving NY faced an increased housing value AND a very high interest rate. Was there anyone who gave one damn about this? And my salary was just about flat when compared t that I had in New York. Sure. It was my choice, right? Wrong. There was a freeze on hiring in SUNY and other education institutions.  Sure. Sure. Republicans came to power and attempted to destroy the work we were doing to improve software development productivity, reliability, and quality for the military. The terrible commander-in-chief was Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet.  What did we get instead? This fantasy of “star wars.”  Only a charismatic idiot who believed that the ripping down of the wall in Berlin and our troubles with the Soviet Union were over and behind us. Where was Putin at that time? A KGB agent? What are the left-wing people of East Germany and Hungary, and so forth, doing today? They are on common ground with one idea today: dictatorship, authoritarianism, autocracy. Nothing to do with ideology at all.

The Republican authorities monitored such events better between states than Republicans did to monitor whether Republicans from the north were voting twice in presidential races, once in the north and once in Florida. No wonder Florida became the one-party state, like a Putin state, as it is today.  Sorry. I diverge.

It is more than just mortgage rates. It is the huge increases in the cost of housing due to greedy and selfish ones with their house flipping. It is about corrupt developers and banks working together to price housing very high in many locations. Developers get their money and banks eventually get the homes which people cannot afford due to cost-gouging high prices.  Long-term investment on a slow pace, is gone, in favor of lovers of money and instant gratification.  During the years of high interest rates which hurt the older Baby Boomers and Neil Bush and others were subversively damaging the federal savings and loan programs created by their family’s enemy from the past, FDR. 

If someone is trying to muddy the waters of the younger ones today, by means of inconsistencies for which younger ones are not able to differentiate, then I, for one, ask that such muddying of waters stop. For those of us in the older Baby Boomers had to deal with very high interest rates after our parents had mortgage rates and lower housing prices after World War II.  It was tough on them, but imagine how much we had to withstand the financial difficulties. This added to an oil embargo which caused prices of gasoline to be at high levels, too. 

Paul Krugman is correct. The economy is doing well. It could do better with regard to mortgages and housing. But it needs more of an overhaul of the corrupt individuals involved in developing real estate and in the banking industry, overall. President Biden has already called for increased perspectives about regulating business, but he keeps getting slammed regarding any ideas he has. Or else the media never includes his ideas in discussions about elements of the economy.  This is areal problem for trying to fix the economy and all of us coming together to attempt to do it, even if we play only a small role. 

Three-penny Op-ed: Let’s Stop the Lack of Ability to Identify Business Opportunities for the Future by Means of Good Investments in Infrastructure

Once again, we are forced to listen to the news on a station like channel 12 as they bloviate the stupidity of Republicans who are not able to think about the future with an overall look at what it takes to improve the lives of ALL Americans in the future. They are stupid.

This is similar to not re-building a bridge to an area which is flatland and could help in the development of new housing and improve an economy, while the hilly side of a creek is not good for constructing houses on the hill because of the flooding which comes down the side of the hill. Progress does not happen because the development on the side of the hill is halted, due to the flooding, and no one can expand construction on the other side of a waterway, on flat land, because Republicans oppose building a bridge, saying, “there are not enough people on the other side of the waterway.” Stupidity with no concern for, it’s the future possibilities, stupid. Just as Clinton’s advisors, during the Bush-Clinton campaign of 1992, said, “it’s the economy, stupid.” And by the end of Clinton’s second term, working with the Republican side, gave enough money back to the Middle Class that the economy improved AND the Federal budget was balanced.

Today, we hear of the stupidity, once again, from Republicans about “spending too much for infrastructure.” Once again, we can say, “it’s the economy, stupid,” not the accountants shallowness with a ledger book. Accountants opposed to giving money to the Middle Class in the late 1990s were stupid, too, but it paid off, both economically and with the Federal budget.

Do these Americans who challenge President Biden have any brains about what it takes to make a good future for America? You spend the money in the economy and the money can head back into the government coffers and help balance that budget. What the hell is the problem, here?

Economist Paul Krugman says that, when President Obama first took office, he did not spend enough and the money was pitched at the big banks, not at the people who were having difficulty paying off mortgages or being foreclosed. These problems with mortgages were due to banks giving freely to developers who, along with the flipping of houses and extensive increases in prices at a much higher rate during the early Bush years (125% increase in prices over short term or just a few years, not a long-term investment as it always has been). Then, mortgages were given to so many people who really did not have enough income to pay for the mortgages, the consumer got hung, the developers walked away with their money, and the banks could then confiscate property in the same manner as Rubio’s enemy in Cuba (Castro) did to people there (including Rubio’s family). Paul Krugman’s comments in the early years of the Obama administration and the evidence that money was being given to big business, while there was proof that the SAME money could have been given to homeowners who were stuck in situations which I described when they were given mortgages they should NOT have received. Things worked out with the results of all that and the implementation of the HARP program, but could they not have been better had those large amounts been given to the consumers who were suffering with houses “under water” due to values going below the amount being mortgaged and, ultimately, foreclosures with a Castro-style confiscation of property? One could say these big bands were not communists, but were the centrally planned big fat cats no different than communists trying to form communes? I don’t think so.

Although I applaud President Biden for working to improve the infrastructure of this nation, the cost is rather high. But on the other hand, we should have been improving this infrastructure during the years Republicans were in charge and we did not. Working in the 1980s and 1990s for an electric utility, we knew at that time that there were infrastructure problems identified by the North American Electric Reliability Council in their Generating Availability Data System, we were heading for problems in the future. That infrastructure was not fixed and the results were disaster this past winter when snow and sleet hit Texas and other areas of this nation. I recall working, at the time, with friends of Laura Welch Bush at Texas Utilities in Dallas, TX, on gathering statistics and so forth in the industry.

R&D was murdered in the 1990s and after. Why? Because of the greed and selfishness of individualism, deregulation, and the formation of larger monopolistic business ventures which can be comparable to centrally planned economics of the Soviet Union. All of the important matters were passed over in favor of a few people gaining all kinds of wealth at the expense of employees and the small amounts of stock the employees owned. Today, CEO fat cats make an increase of 1000% or more compared to those of the 1970s, but the employees doing the work have come no where near that accumulation and hording of money by a few egotistical and lazy people in the boardrooms of America. Yet, number crunchers destroy ideas for making things better in America and apparently have so dang much power that we all suffer as a result. Many of us lost our jobs, due to the reduction of R&D. Yet, in capitalist Taiwan, we learn that they spent tons of money on R&D and have developed a corporation so good that Communist China plans to invade Taiwan to take control of it. Sort of like the South never being able to develop industry so it stole the established industry begun in the North of the USA. That is another whole story to tell.

Then, China is working to strategize for the future, while American Trumpicans complain about it and do nothing substantial to challenge it. According to a Sixty Minutes report many years ago, America was investing in the development of alternative energy sources with renewable energy. When America saw it was going to cost too much for long-term investment before there would be a payoff, American investors threw it all away, while the Chinese picked up the pieces by purchasing the businesses started up with initial “incubation” investments. Why did America want to begin developing alternative energy sources? Because we know that the oil and gas stuff from the ground will be depleted one day, so we work to prepare for the day when our next generations of people have to deal with the eventuality of the end of oil from the ground. Republicans get out their damn accounting ledger books and don’t even consider this. What happens? Such businesses came into the hands of the Chinese, in a free “global” economic system. And Trump thought tariffs would tell those Chinese off. Meanwhile, Taiwan is threatened by China which, like Dixie, wishes to steal the successful technology business developed by those on Taiwan. Dixie and others stole IBM from the North and the Binghamton area, too. The stupidity of Americans who follow the fat cats BLINDLY along, like lemmings being led off a cliff.

President Biden has also identified the need for more funds at the local level and to get back (that sounds CONSERVATIVE to me, not liberal) to the days when there was more control over infrastructure at the local level. Today, big corporations have put in place these lousy computers the customer speaks with and no longer allow the consumer to speak with someone at a local level. Cable television was created in upstate New York, as a “better mousetrap” to deal with the hills of this area in attempting to bring television into the home. It was not regulated by the FCC as much as regulated by the local communities. It was once the same thing with telephone and telecommunications, too. With EMT and fire service, too. Even with the production of electricity, there was often local control. These methods are all superseded today by big corporate conglomerate and monopolies. The electric utility where I once worked with the engineers and many energy R&D efforts, is no longer located in a city in Florida. instead, the control now comes from a big corporate conglomerate based out of state. Same in this area of New York. Rather than control from a corporate headquarters in Binghamton, it is now controlled from out of state and one has difficulty speaking with someone local. I can go on and on, even into the “local” newspapers in Binghamton and Ithaca, which have pulled the plug on local offices and one can never get in touch with a local person. This centrally planned economy, run by big fat cats of industry is supposed to be better? Hell. The USA Today Network is comparable to Moscow Pravda. Why do we do this? Selfish individualistic egotism and love of materialism and love of money, that is why.

At one point in my life, I spoke with a young Cuban man who had come to America with his family in the 1980s. He spoke about he disliked both Castro and what was told about Battista. He said he missed the urbanized America where he could no longer go sit by a waterway, as he did in Cuba, and have no big developments around. He disliked the materialism which permeates America so strongly. However, he was grateful for being in this nation and feeling like he was more free to do things without a dictatorship always watching him.

I agree with this young man’s assessment. Materialism and ledger books, with no plans for the future are what too many Republicans wrap themselves in these days. A Republican objects to spending more money than what we spent in World War II. Stupid jerk. First of all, does he think what the cost of purchasing a car was in the 1940s, compared to today? Did he think what it cost to purchase a home in those days, compared to what it costs today? No. Did he compare the living wages of those days to what it cost to purchase many items, particularly food? No.

Take this stupid jerk a step further. How many Americans died in the 1940s, due to war? How many Americans have died in this war with a virus? What are the overall facts and statistics, rather than just blowing away with ledger line accounting only? It is disgusting to many of us who see a bright future for America, if we only have the investments needed to improve the infrastructure of this nation. We need to work together collectively, but Republicans, as they did with FDR who wanted to meet the problem of war head-on while Hitler was bombing Britain. The Republicans of that day BLOCKED FDR from spending the money so as to help Churchill and the Brits. Then the Republicans later make stupid claims that “it was not the New Deal, but war, which got us out of the Great Depression.” BS to that. There is evidence that the New Deal HELPED, but the war was made worse due to the negligence of the Republicans of that era. To make Republicans of those days look good, what is done? Now make the claim that it was war which got us through it financially. But wait a minute? The Republicans did not want us to spend money and gear up, as what Trump COULD have done by fighting a war on a virus by using the Defense Protection Act. According to an owner of a consumer products manufacturing company in the 1940s, such businesses were awaiting the chance to gear up to build munitions for the British and see the economy begin to boom again with such measures and perhaps win the war and put it behind us. The Republicans of that era blocked such efforts and we spent a longer period of time at war with the Nazis, fascists, and Tojo-loving people than what could have been avoided.

Thus, we can conclude that Republicans are pulling these stunts so as to support autocratic and dictatorial government on the level of a Hitler. It takes money to make money. That does not apply solely to the individualistic materialistic fat cats of America, but for the “wealth of a nation” overall and based on “moral sentiment” for humans, as well as justice for all humans in America. This is the land I love and have hopes for achieving such measures in the future. (See Adam Smith and his writing in The Wealth of Nations and Theories of Moral Sentiment; Smith is the brains behind the development of capitalism).

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