Sunday, January 19, 2014

The nation's debt.

The output approach focuses on finding the total output of a nation by directly finding the total value of all goods and services a nation produces.

This graph is of the USA's national debt in relation to the USA GDP. 

I am not even going to discuss the National Budget Deficit, because, there was a time when we had surplus in the budget, but, it didn't last, did it? And the budget deficits since 2008 were 'the no choice' budgets. The money had to come from somewhere. In the last year or so, President Obama has been making progress in closing the budget deficit with increased taxes.

How is a nation funded? Taxes. All kinds of taxes. There has to be products produced by the USA in order to assign taxes to support the nation.

If one looks through the history of trade negotiations and whom had influence with them, it isn't the little people. Wall Street writes these trade deals for the governments. The trade deals of the USA are never put on any ballot. The idea that a country's government is well supported by the people loses a great deal of meaning for the USA. 

Wall Street is primarily interested in 'emerging markets.' They deliver high levels of profits because of the high level of growth. Emerging markets do basically nothing for the USA economy, except, take our jobs and outsource them.

The percent to GDP ratio to debt was lowest when Americans, the Middle Class, were paid well, had good benefits, participated in the economy through vacations, home purchase and cars. The ratio grew larger as unions were dissolved, pay rates fell, manufacturing waned. The USA was revived in the early 1990s through increasing the use of the internet and tourism. The USA has been primarily a service economy for about two decades now. Is there any reason to question why the debt to GDP ratio is always hideously high?

The output approach focuses on finding the total output of a nation by directly finding the total value of all goods and services a nation produces.

The Republican's answer to the debt to GDP ratio are measures of austerity. Budget cuts. This at a time when the nation has it's greatest percentage of poverty, hungry and homeless. How long do the Republicans think this can continue before the entire country gives out under austerity cuts, considering now there is still yet another draconian trade deal?

The Democratic answer to the debt to GDP ratio is to grow the economy, leave the budget alone, solve the problems of business and seek to support poor Americans until they are able to establish a decent paying job, included in that the Working Poor.

Which is the 'real' answer to the economic growth the USA needs? Which is the moral answer? Which one has the promise of the future for our children.

The output approach focuses on finding the total output of a nation by directly finding the total value of all goods and services a nation produces.

How is the USA going to satisfy it's own funding if the nation's output doesn't increase? How long is DC going to allow Wall Street priorities to deprive the USA's people of their economy? When are the people going to speak out to end the abuses of our political system that provides well for Wall Street, but, casts the people into Third World status? Doesn't everyone think it is about time?

The USA Trade Deficit, known by some as "Exorbitant Priviliedge."

...Look at the figure, (click here) showing America's net exports: measured net exports have been negative--often substantially negative--for nearly three decades. Some of these large trade deficits are the result of domestic economic mismanagement (the very large trade deficits of the mid to late 1980s were, in large part, consequences of the disastrously-botched fiscal policy that was the Reagan deficit). Some of these large trade deficits are the result of foreign economic mismanagement (the very, very large trade deficits of the late 1990s and early 2000s are in large part the result of insufficient demand and high unemployment in many of our major trading partners). Some of these large trade deficits are simply not there: the result of errors and omissions in the data that fail to capture a substantial amount of U.S. service and other exports (how much? Ah, now that is an interesting question)....

...and let's not forget about South Korea.

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Auto makers (click here) are waging a last-ditch fight to kill an “imminent” Canada-South Korea free trade deal, warning that it would damage the Canadian auto industry and the wider economy.
Dianne Craig, Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. president and chief executive, said Thursday that the 2007 Korea-United States trade agreement has been a “disaster” for auto makers and she urged the Conservative government not to make the same mistake....
Let's not forget the G8. It started out as the G7 and then Canada joined, hence, the G8.

G8 nations comprise 50.1% of 2012 global nominal GDP and 40.9% of global PPP.

It has a Presidency that rotates. The host meeting locations are shared between the member nations.

January 1, 2014, Moscow
Dear Friends,
Welcome to the official website of the Russian G8 Presidency.
This year, on June 4-5, 2014, Russia is hosting the 40th G8 Summit in Sochi. Russia plans to present our partners with an ample agenda for frank and substantive discussion so as to - most importantly — arrive at concrete decisions.
We see that the world has not become safer in recent years, but it has undoubtedly become more complicated. Threats to sustainable development are increasingly diverse. Focal points of violence and civil strife are multiplying, and the system of international law is losing ground. The planet is also shaken by volatile economic conditions, natural and environmental disasters. Due to close interdependence, the problems of a single country or region invariably reach global proportions. However, crisis response tools are not always effective....

G8 Information Center (click here)

G8  dementia summit: boost funding to fight illness says Jeremy Hunt (click here)

The G20, officially known as  Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors 

The Group of Twenty (G20) (click here) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union. G20 leaders meet annually, additionally during the year Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions, improve financial regulation, and discuss the key economic reforms that are needed in each of the member countries. Underpinning these meetings is a year-long program of meetings among senior officials and of working groups coordinating policy on specific issues....

I don't know about anyone else, but, I don't think I can stand anymore decision making about the economy, can you?

Then there is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, otherwise known as APEC. 

The Asia-Pacific (click here) is seeing a shift toward domestic demand-driven growth and services trade, APEC's Executive Director explained in a keynote speech in Hong Kong, China....

Below are the member nations of APEC. The member nations of the TPP are  AustraliaBruneiChileCanadaJapanMalaysiaMexicoNew ZealandPeruSingapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The TPP has thirteen member nations and APEC has the same thirteen members plus an additional eight. It would seem as though the thirteen TPP members are turning their noses up at the other eight and forming their own trade group. But, they aren't giving up APEC. Is this ridiculous or what?

International Milestones in Trade

1947 - GATT - 'General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade (click here)

...a multilateral agreement regulating trade among 153 countries. According to its preamble, the purpose of the GATT is the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis."...

Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (click here)

TODAY I am signing H.R. 11970, the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
This is the most important international piece of legislation, I think, affecting economics since the passage of the Marshall plan. It marks a decisive point for the future of our economy, for our relations with our friends and allies, and for the prospects of free institutions and free societies everywhere....

NAFTA came before the WTO. NAFTA pits the people against the corporations. Here are some of it's more important provisions:

Limits on the safety and inspection of meat sold in our grocery stores
new patent rules that raised medicine prices

Constraints on your local government’s ability to zone against sprawl or toxic industries

Elimination of preferences for spending your tax dollars on U.S.-made products or locally-grown food. 

In fact, calling NAFTA a “trade” agreement is misleading, (click here) NAFTA is really an investment agreement. Its core provisions grant foreign investors a remarkable set of new rights and privileges that promote relocation abroad of factories and jobs and the privatization and deregulation of essential services, such as water, energy and health care.

On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico (NAFTA) entered into force.
All remaining duties and quantitative restrictions were eliminated, as scheduled, on January 1, 2008.
NAFTA created the world's largest free trade area, which now links 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services.
Trade between the United States and its NAFTA partners has soared since the agreement entered into force.
U.S. goods and services trade with NAFTA totaled $1.6 trillion in 2009 (latest data available for goods and services trade combined).  Exports totaled $397 billion. Imports totaled $438 billion.  The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with NAFTA was $41 billion in 2009.

The World Trade Organization incorporated GATT into it's laws and established a World Trade Court (click here).

World Trade Organization (WTO), which came into being on January 1, 1995. The WTO implements the agreement, provides a forum for negotiating additional reductions of trade barriers and for settling policy disputes, and enforces trade rules....

And now there is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is mostly NAFTA with a large number of participants.

TPP Leaders (click here) at the APEC Summit in Japan, 2010, photo credit to Gobierno de Chile.

Just a brief pause to reflect on capitalism's history.

November 13, 2006
...A system in which corporations own workers is the only free-market solution to African poverty, Schmidt said. "Today, in African factories, the only concern a company has for the worker is for his or her productive hours, and within his or her productive years," he said. "As soon as AIDS or pregnancy hits—out the door. Get sick, get fired. If you extend the employer's obligation to a 24/7, lifelong concern, you have an entirely different situation: get sick, get care. With each life valuable from start to finish, the AIDS scourge will be quickly contained via accords with drug manufacturers as a profitable investment in human stewardees. And educating a child for later might make more sense than working it to the bone right now."

To prove that human stewardry can work, Schmidt cited a proposal by a free-market think tank to save whales by selling them. "Those who don't like whaling can purchase rights to specific whales or groups of whales in order to stop those particular whales from getting whaled as much," he explained. Similarly, the market in Third-World humans will "empower" caring First Worlders to help them, Schmidt said....
Same diagram with the same nations, except, China is replaced by Japan.

The colors assigned to the countries are different from the previous graph.

As of 2011, Japan actually had lower tariffs on imports than the USA. It might be slightly more now because Japan's tariffs have been consistent for over a decade at 2.05 according to Mundi and the USA as of last year was below two percent at 1.2.
These are the tariff rates of most major countries. The United Kingdom, France and the European Union all share the same rate illustrated as the bottom line.

Simple mean (click here) applied tariff is the unweighted average of effectively applied rates for all products subject to tariffs calculated for all traded goods. Data are classified using the Harmonized System of trade at the six- or eight-digit level. Tariff line data were matched to Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) revision 3 codes to define commodity groups....

China still has the highest tariff rates for imports of any major nation. China has NO export tariff.

So, when a Chinese good leaves China for the USA there is no added expense except insurance and transportation. When that same good arrives to the USA, the 2013 tariff is 1.3 percent. When good from the USA are exported they don't receive any tariffs, but, when they get to China there is a tariff of 7.9 percent as of 2011. Big difference between the cost of goods the USA exports and the cost them import. American goods have a disadvantage.

The rights of the government to collect taxes

Article I of the US Constitution, Section 8, Clause 1:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census. This amendment exempted income taxes from the constitutional requirements regarding direct taxes, after income taxes on rents, dividends, and interest were ruled to be direct taxes in the court case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. (1895). The amendment was adopted on February 3, 1913.

And then in 1930 Congress passed the "Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act"

Every industry, especially agriculture, got on board and later decided it was protectionism.  A few years later Congress passed the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.

...The Smoot-Hawley (click here) tariff represents the high-water mark of U.S. protectionism in the 20th century. Thereafter, beginning with the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, American commercial policy generally emphasized trade liberalization over protectionism. The United States generally assumed the mantle of champion of freer international trade, as evidenced by its support for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)....

That rounds out the income to the federal government, except, for corporate tax and capital gains. That sort of thing. A Republican favorite, "The Death Tax."

There are the miscellaneous taxes citizens pay as well. Some local, some state.

Accounts Receivable Tax 
Building Permit Tax 
Capital Gains Tax 
CDL License Tax 
Cigarette Tax 
Corporate Income Tax 
Court Fines (indirect taxes) 
Dog License Tax 
Federal Income Tax 
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) 
Fishing License Tax 
Food License Tax 
Fuel Permit Tax 
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon) 
Hunting License Tax 
Inheritance Tax 
Interest Expense (tax on the money) 
Inventory Tax I 
RS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax) 
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) 
Liquor Tax 
Local Income Tax 
Luxury Taxes 
Marriage License Tax 
Medicare Tax 
Property Tax 
Real Estate Tax 
Recreational Vehicle Tax 
Road Toll Booth Taxes 
Road Usage Taxes (truckers) 
Sales Taxes 
School Tax 
Septic Permit Tax 
Service Charge Taxes 
Social Security Tax 
State Income Tax 
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) 
Telephone Federal Excise Tax 
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes 
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax 
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax 
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax 
Telephone State and Local Tax 
Telephone Usage Charge Tax 
Toll Bridge Taxes Toll 
Tunnel Taxes 
Trailer Registration 
Tax Utility Taxes 
Vehicle License Registration Tax 
Vehicle Sales Tax 
Watercraft Registration Tax 
Well Permit Tax 
Workers’ Compensation Tax
Excise taxes are taxes paid when purchases are made on a specific good. It is a domestic tax. It was called duty.

Samual Adams once stated, "A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid."

An excise tax is the way a society disincentives the use of some goods, such as alcohol or cigarettes. The excise tax usually goes to a specific expenditure of the government, such as educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving.

Nevada has an excise tax on prostitution, "An excise tax is hereby imposed on each patron who uses the prostitution services of a prostitute in the amount of $5 for each calendar day or portion thereof that the patron uses the prostitution services of that prostitute."

And then a tax can be placed on a tax. That is called a surcharge.

January 15, 2014
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Mayors across Hawaii (click here) say they'd like a way to be able to raise the general excise tax in their counties.
The Hawaii Council of Mayors is asking the Legislature to allow counties to add a surcharge of up to 1 percent to the state GET.
Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi said mayors want the flexibility to raise the tax with a surcharge instead of having to go through the Legislature every year for a greater share of the transient accommodations tax, West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday. "Nobody's proposing to raise the excise tax," he said....
Visitors pay about one-third of the general excise tax, Kenoi noted....
And then there is the income to states from federal spending, such as the military and infrastructure projects

Economics is the total of all incomes accruing over a specified period to residents of a country.

How is a country funded?

The output approach focuses on finding the total output of a nation by directly finding the total value of all goods and services a nation produces. It only includes the final market value. Not the values along the way, such as raw materials, then refined to production materials. This is JUST the market value of a final product.

Remember that one, the output approach, because I am going to come back to it.

Or, there is:

The income approach equates the total output of a nation to the total factor income received by residents or citizens of the nation. The main types of factor income are:

Employee compensation (cost of fringe benefits, including unemployment, health, and retirement benefits);

Interest received net of interest paid;

Rental income (mainly for the use of real estate) net of expenses of landlords

Royalties paid for the use of intellectual property and extractable natural resources.

Most people will recognize this as the Income Tax of one type or another.

Lecture Notes on Macroeconomics Principles (click here)
by Peter Ireland
Department of Economics 
Boston College

Microeconomics studies how households and firms make decisions and how 
they interact in markets.  

Macroeconomics studies the economy as whole.
It's Sunday Night

"Taxman" performed by George Harrison and Eric Clapton (click here)

George Harrison Official Site (click here)

Eric Clapton Official Site (click here)

When the Beetles recorded "Taxman" is was on the album "Revolver." (click here)

(This one's called: "Taxman")
(One, two, three, four, one two)

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah I'm the taxman

(If you drive a car), I'll tax the street,
(If you try to sit), I'll tax your seat.
(If you get too cold), I'll tax the heat,
(If you take a walk), I'll tax your feet.


'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah I'm the taxman

Don't ask me what I want it for (Taxman)
If you don't want to pay some more (Taxman)
'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah, I'm the taxman


If I reduce it again you'll see
(Ah, ah, Boris Yeltzin)
Get back more at the V.A.T.
(Ah, ah, Mr. Bush)
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

(If you get a head head), I'll tax your hat
(If you get a pet pet), I'll tax your cat
(If you wipe your feet feet), I'll tax your mat
(If you're overwieght weight), I'll tax your fat

Now my advise to those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

And you're working for no one, but me

Yes, I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

Mayor Dawn Zimmer hasn't wanted the project by this company for Hoboken since 2010.

January 19, 2014

...The Rockefeller Group (click here) owned about three blocks of a 19-block parcel, and hoped to launch its development independent of other local owners.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer first advised the company to slow down in 2010, when she refuted a company statement that they were negotiating with the city....

Hoboken needs to file suit against The Rockefeller Group. There has to be 
zoning and if the plans don't fit into the zoning then they need to file suit to 
obtain an injuction.

Hoboken can file against the company if they find the structures will somehow cause a burden to the city. There is a lot Hoboken can do to postpone and stop this project.

I guess the real question is; did Governor Christi throw monies to this company to circumvent the cities wishes? That should not stop the city from getting an injuction against the building.

If the Governor is carrying out cronyism, that may or may not be possible to litigate.

Was there damage done to this area of the city in Superstorm Sandy?

Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund (click here)

Evidently the people of Hoboken have their own ideas about their city. Governor Christie needs to have a meeting with the people. 

Have a Town Hall.

Before and After pictures (click here)

There is obvious recovery. There are no funds in this recovery from the Sandy Funding?

It seems to me the Hoboken Mayor is stating the relationship between the Rockefeller Group and Governor Christi is corrupt in regard to this project. I think it is unclear as to whether the city wants this project.

Exactly, what Sandy Funding is the Governor withholding?

If the city wants this project, then what is she complaining about? The
company owns the property.
So, basically, the Mayor is
saying this was corruption. I
guess the federal
government will look into it. She and her city council need to file a complaint regarding the activity of this group and why this would be corruption.
Domestic Extremists Eye the Winter Games

Operatives of Osama bin Laden (click here) conducted "meticulous" surveillance of Salt Lake City, the online magazine Salon recently reported. The revelation that Salt Lake City might be a target of bin Laden is cause for concern for those officials tasked with security for the 2002 Winter Olympics, whose opening ceremonies begin on February 8. The specter of Olympic terrorism has haunted planners of the games ever since 1972, when a group of Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and killed eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics....

...National Alliance: "Milking the Mainstream Press"
One of the first hate groups to consider targeting the Olympics was the National Alliance (NA), the largest and best-organized neo-Nazi group in the U.S. The NA is headed by William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, a novelized blueprint for an armed revolution that has inspired a number of terrorists, including Timothy McVeigh. In 1999, Pierce expressed boredom with the Olympics, telling his shortwave radio audience that he "found it difficult to become very excited about the Olympics…ever since basketball became one of the official Olympic sports." However, as the Salt Lake City games approached, some of his followers began to see opportunities to exploit the Olympics....

Miltary Cuts are hurting and the war mongers are attempting to 'wake citizens up to their REALITY."

Colonel Jack Jacobs states, "America is not good at diplomacy and spending monies to countries to move into democracy, but, the country is great at war." Common ATTITUDE of military either current or retired. 

THEN, the same Colonel turns around and makes a hypocritical statement. Americans are basically stupid, so he is sure they'll understand that Nation Building is the only answer to USA National Security. The statement was basically this, "Once we have a strategy and the military has obtained a foothold, THEN bring in the monies and diplomats."

Don't you love it. Kill the people to liberate them. Amazing.


The US military personnel doesn't understand not every nation in the world wants their people to die in order to be liberated.

HERE AND NOW. That is the only reality any US military personnel understand. THE QUICK FIX. Jacobs wants every nation to become Afghanistan.

Richard Holbrook, the dedicated diplomat was 'good enough' to work with while the military killed the people in Afghanistan. The man died of a heart attack and his final words were about Afghanistan.

No accountability by the US Military regarding the Iraq War, but, it would be great to go back there.

I don't want to kill anymore kids. If GIs want to kill kids, they need to examine their conscience. It's over for the USA in Iraq. The war was fought wrong, the soldiers became the private army of Maliki and the rest of the country be damned.

I remember complaints by the USA regarding how Hamas threw candy to children. Well, guess who adopted that model in Iraq?

Iraqi school girls (click here) sing a song in Arabic to thank the Iraqi and American forces for their graciously during a distribution drive at the Al Kays & Al Yasameen Elementary School, one of two schools to receive goods, Feb. 19 in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad. Lt. Col. Louis Zeisman, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division Baghdad, wanted to show the families back home at the unit's home station in Fort Bragg, N.C., that the gifts were appericated by the children. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Licea....

I don't think it was Halloween.

This was Baghdad. The Green Zone. The only place in Iraq where cement barrier after cement barrier after cement barrier after cement barrier actually achieved a place where GIs can put up candy displays to the kids.

Blast walls. (click here) This is an Iraqi citizen OUTSIDE of the blast walls protecting Baghdad and people like Maliki so the country could say they elected those folks.

The article before this picture is dated to 2007. In that article it is cited there deteriorating conditions in Basrah. 2007.  The USA entered Iraq in March 2003. A FOUR year occupation and there continued to be deterioration in the country.

What gives anyone the idea going back to Iraq is going solve their problems? It ain't going to happen. Iraq needs to solve it's own problems AND the USA doesn't have to supply Hellfire Missiles so a civil war turns into a massacre.

The Obama Administration worries about genocide. But, President Obama will sign a bill to supply Hellfire Missiles to Iraq. 

The political face of Washington, DC is completely faux. The USA needs to end it's sales of arms into these countries. 

Syria? The opposition party to Geneva doesn't exist. John McCain wanted to arm people that have no clue about anything except killing each other. I think it is France representing the opposition group at the Geneva talks. That is the USA. Oppose Russia on any grounds in any country on Earth even if it means killing people and destroying countries.

We don't belong in Iraq

We never did.

I am fairly sure Blackwater (Xe) is still hiring for Iraq. Any American will make more money that way. Watch out for the Hellfire Missiles, though.

Nov 17, 2013 2:40pm
By MaryAlice Parks, James Hill, and Ely Brown

The nation’s most infamous private security firm, (click here) Blackwater, Inc., has a new weapon these days: the written word. Three years after selling the controversial company, Blackwater founder Erik Prince is opening up in a new book, “Civilian Warriors.”
In an interview on “This Week,” Prince discussed the civilian armed forces company’s rapid rise and the controversial end to its operations in Iraq.
A former Navy SEAL, Prince is unabashedly unapologetic for Blackwater’s contentious record. He blames the company’s demise on “cold and timid souls” looking for scapegoats, specifically pointing to those already set against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The anti-war left went after the troops during an unpopular Vietnam War. This time they went after the contractors. Blackwater was a very easy whipping boy for them,” Prince told ABC’s Martha Raddatz....