What can we do to turn around an economic downturn?

Below, Clip from Bloomberg News (November, 2007): David Tice, Fund Manager for Prudent Bear Fund said stock market would decline 50-60%.

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Next Steps

Over here in Europe, economies seem to be responding positively to a flat income tax. That’s the official story. We are told that when corporate profits are unburdened by heavy taxes, the money goes into things like employment, consumption and investment in innovation. In other words, the money keeps moving.

Russia went to a 13 percent flat tax on personal income in 2001 and some economists claim this facilitated the recovery of Russia’s economy without the help of the oil boom. Slovakia was the first to adopt a 19 percent flat tax on corporate and personal income. Romania followed with a 16 percent flat tax on corporate profit and personal income.

In the United States, the Republican and Democrat parties have not made any serious commitment to the concept of flat taxes. Jerry Brown (D) and Steve Forbes (R) were among the only presidential candidates (1992 campaigns) to forcefully advocate such a sweeping tax policy change. Generally speaking, Democrats and Republican seem to be stuck in a way of federal spending that only allows them to think about slightly raising and slightly lowering taxes.

The problem remains, however. How do we support and encourage small and medium size business start ups and growth in order to get the money moving again in now-vulnerable middle class circles? Getting American money moving again in the right places is one factor among several that are needed to turn around a global economic downturn.

Below, background noise for reading: David Gahan (of Depeche Mode), Kingdom:

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Some blogs at Buzzfuse that I’ve visited today:

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Kimberly Sloane on House Shopping – um, this might not be a good time for house shopping

Shane Greer on Music for Wargames – That’s the spirit! How about something with a little oriental-persian sound?

Kjersti Wasiak on Faerie Bubbles and Neopet Browser Game Hi-Scores – no cheats?!

Janet Dufrene on Planning a Garden – Victory garden… the time to plan it is now!

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Super-size my lifestyle

If economists would come clean, they might tell a story of how Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are both to blame for the present problem. Bill started raising taxes in 1993 – although he was restrained by a Republican Congress in 1994. Bush, on the other hand, just didn’t do enough to slow down the “slowdown.” Perhaps, Steve Forbes is dead on when he criticizes Bush and the new world order elites, saying they were dead wrong to not speak out against the Federal Reserve’s re-application of the same old money-printing band-aid. The Federal Reserve just prints more money whenever there is a hiccup. There is nothing supporting that money but policy.

But, um, Steve, the Federal Reserve represents those new world order elites. But I guess you knew that, you sly dawg.

OK, war is one way to stimulate the economy- and grabbing up some of that Middle East oil doesn’t hurt either. However, prolonged peace-keeping or, rather, long-term oil pump-line security forces… somehow made the American population uneasy with a paradox that might disrupt their self-delusions as a good and ethical people.

To avoid true introspection about American lifestyle (the super-size me mindset), big city Americans projected their own denial about their self-delusional, life-style anxieties into politics and the economy. They began to ask insightful political questions that shook the confidence of the nation: media, voters, financial markets, and foreign trade partners are freaking each other out. But in 20 years, we will look back and know that we hated Bush most because he was uninspired and, more over, because he was uninspiring. These were his greatest sins.

Citified Americans will never admit that they silently demand cheap gas prices at the pump… at the cost of exerting our evil imperial will upon peoples in lands, far far away. In fact, Americans pay half for what Europeans pay and American drivers consume two to three times more gas in a month than European drivers. But still, when restless, citified Americans go on roadtrips, drive out to the mall or just do laps around the big city beltways listening to their new tunes and feeding their faces with drive-thru fast food. And they continue to buy gas-sucking SUVs- myself included.

Generally speaking, more Europeans walk to the local neighborhood convenience store and they pay twice as much for a loaf of bread or quart of milk to avoid spending gas money for the drive to the big supermarkets. On the weekends, they tend to sleep in until the mid-afternoon – instead of rushing to the mall or movies. And instead of road trips, they will bring the party to the train. And they have a lot better time to.

Been there. Done that. Lots of times.

Ronald Reagan and Easy Street

Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics actually makes sense – even if it doesn’t seem to provide the same opportunities to the lower class as some might imagine of Billary economics. In fact, the kind of lottery-winnings that are fantasized about by the lower class and lower middle class will never be possible. If you want to be a multi-millionaire, no government program will ever help you enough for you to help yourself and get there in five years or less.

From an institutional perspective, government programs can’t really help you get your game on… because. On day one, the organization gets more involved in their own continuance and empowerment than the grass-roots problem-solving they were created to perform. Not to mention that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If you got nothing, you have nothing to lose. Stick with armed robbery, blackmail, car-jacking, drug- trafficking, gun- running, intellectual property infringement, key-clubs, loan-sharking, mugging, prostitution, and tax-evading black markets and clubs, and – last but not least – underground betting and lotteries. Diversify when you have enough money to do a clean business. That’s how some very prominent Eastern European and Russian oligarchs came to afford Maybachs and their forgiving friends in the Justice departments.

If you don’t get caught and you can afford the same hotels and clubs where the celebrities go, shame on us who believe in hard work. You might even pick up a game of 5 second chess with electronica pop star, moby. He once admitted to having a preference for crack dealers as chess opponents.

If you get caught, shame on you. Nobody will talk to you- except the religious. They get 10 points for every time they talk to a convict. They get 500 points for every convert.

Try not to make a lot of enemies. And try (really hard) not to make your enemies so mad that they will never forget their hate for you. If you and your loved ones get popped ten years after going clean, we still won’t have much sympathy for you.

Actually, if anyone ever comes looking for you, your new suburb-based network of friends will tell them exactly where to find you. Your new friends might even print them up a Google route to your house. There is, in fact, little loyalty in the upper middle class and even less in the upper class. They don’t need those kind of things like regula folk do- most of the time. Unless, you got them on the take. Of course, you know that their kind of take… is a whole lotta cake.

Sorry, that’s the way people is.

Last Night

Last night, I heard more disturbing news on the European television networks:

NYSE continues to fall one percent or more, daily. Oil, gold and copper prices are about to move up, again. The Dollar is about to drop lower – again. Inflation is rising. And American banks are making it almost impossible for small and medium businesses to get started or stay in business. It’s getting hard on the American family too- and I’m not talking about the single-sex married couple with two masters degrees and two swishy paychecks either.

For a nation known for its rugged individualism, creative problem-solving skills, and spirit of invention and innovation, it seems like things are getting stupid, stupid in America- not stupid, cool.

What is more surprising to me is that Americans are NOT upset that neither Billary, Obama nor McCain have suggested anything resembling a hardcore vision about an economic path forward and how to strengthen the dollar. Even if it doesn’t look like the sky will fall, all three really do need to rethink their position on the economy. Campaign circus shows only serve to distract us from the bigger picture and the challenges we should be facing.

OK. I admit that I enjoyed the first act, but I want something totally different in the second act. It’s meat and potatoes time.

Perhaps, it would be wildly imaginative for our three presidential candidates to imagine that more confusion could serve the new world order elites (aka Central European bankers and colluding multinational partners). Therefore Billary, Obama and McClain may mistakenly believe that the “non-problem” is not a problem for them solve. Hopefully, Obama and McClain will re-assess soon.

And I wonder why Al Gore isn’t weighing in on the subject. Is his conscience merely ecologically-oriented? Does he only serve the best interests of the species- and no longer the American people? Like a woman scorned, he lets America fall down a little without carefully-considered warnings or intelligent, fact-based criticism. Yes, Gore will tow the Democratic Party line on the subject, but he doesn’t bring a well-informed, broader perspective to a subject that is a little more urgent than his hypothetical ice age.

Below, Al Gore’s acceptance speech for the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace.

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Two Cents

Myself, I want to hear less party politics and less politics of race. Let’s get delusional in a forward moving direction. We can pretend that the racial divide fell down a long time ago. Remember the dominoes, click-clacking, as they fell?

I want to hear more strategic think on how to prevent more down trends in the US and European economy. Don’t you?

Below, a little Goldfrapp to forget the more important things… Ohh la la

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Stan Faryna
March 18, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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