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not much difference between a communist economy, or a "CONSERVATIVE/NEO-LIBERAL" ECONOMY: Americans complain about flying the way people in communist countries used to complain about telephone service. Rarely do we reflect that the bad and limited,
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2013-11-04 04:40:04 UTC
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not much difference between a communist economy, or a "CONSERVATIVE/NEO-LIBERAL" ECONOMY: Americans complain about flying the way people in communist countries used to complain about telephone service. Rarely do we reflect that the bad and limited service we endure is a result of our unregulated market economy,


http://www.alternet.org/print/economy/airline-rip-offs

AlterNet [1] / By Lynn Stuart Parramore [2]

Skyway Robbery: 6 Ways the Out-of-Control Airline Industry Is Ripping Off America
November 1, 2013  |  
High-fives are happening on Wall Street. Airlines are making giant profits again, record-breaking [3] profits! The days of bankruptcies, which peaked between 2001 and 2008, may soon be a memory.
Have bold thinking, dramatic innovation and better service turned things around? Not exactly.
Sky-high profits are coming at the expense of the taxpayers, airline workers, and the traveling public, particularly in North America, where carriers like Spirit Airlines have been adding fees in a nickel-and-diming rampage. It’s ugly up there, and it’s likely to get uglier.
Let’s take a look at what is turning into a nightmare in the sky.
1. Serving Wall Street
The small Czech town where I taught school in 1994, just after the Velvet Revolution, had exactly two phones. Frequently neither of them worked. It was maddeningly inconvenient, but like the snowy winters, people just thought of it as a fact of life to be endured, rather than the outcome of a particular kind of social and economic system that prioritized social control and central authority over free two-way communication between citizens.
Americans complain about flying the way people in communist countries used to complain about telephone service. Rarely do we reflect that the bad and limited service we endure is a result of our unregulated market economy, where corporate profits and limited government are prioritized over citizens’ access to affordable and reliable air travel.
How did we get here?
Back in 1978, a group of policy-makers cooked up a plan they thought would drive down the cost of airline fares by encouraging competition among airlines. In practice, what it did was pretty much get rid of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), which had overseen the industry. Phillip Longman and Lina Khan, in their eye-opening report, “Terminal Sickness [4],” explained that the effect “was to shift control of the airline industry from experts answerable to the public to corporate boardrooms and Wall Street.”
For a long time, defenders of deregulation have claimed that it brought us lower prices for airline tickets (though nobody has argued that it brought better service). Turns out that recent research [5] delivers a serious blow to that claim. The reality may be that deregulation actually slowed a decline in ticket prices that was already underway.
Unfortunately, we have found that increased competition without adequate regulation is not much better than monopoly conditions.
John Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, has discussed how competitive markets often fail, especially when the state doesn’t intervene to make sure that things are fair (like enforcing contracts) and that businesses are properly run. All kinds of things can go wrong, like fraud, capture of the political system, and so on. Kay describes how an especially destructive form of competition can develop in which companies battle with each other through sneaky practices, like charging low prices, but then extracting money through invisible and unavoidable additional fees. What you end up with is a scam-alicious race to the bottom where customers get screwed, thuggish executives get rich and public trust in business dissolves. Sound familiar?
When an industry as essential to life as air travel is cut loose from any public responsibility, not only individuals, but whole cities can be left economically stranded. Cincinnati, for example, has lost key businesses (like Chiquita, which moved to Charlotte) because carriers decided to hike fares and abandon service. Before deregulation, regulators working in the public interest could assign routes and set fares. Afterward, airlines were free to do pretty much whatever would bring short term-profits, often at the expense of whole communities.
Recently, the industry has moved back to playing Monopoly. United Airlines merged with Continental. AirTran purchased Southwest. Delta and Northwest are one. In early 2013, US Airways and American Airlines announced plans to merge and create the largest airline in the world. The Justice Department, five states, and the District of Columbia tried to stop [6] the plan, warning that higher prices would hit consumers. But the airlines are looking to settle the lawsuit [7], and the merger appears to be moving forward (the Obama adminstration seems to be focusing on other things). Consolidation will create its own nasty profit dynamic, as every child who has played Monopoly is aware.
Whether there’s less competition or more, the absence of regulation just about guarantees that things will not work out well for anybody except executives and financiers.
2. Mind-blowing fees
To illustrate a bit more what John Kay meant when he talked about destructive competition, we have Spirit Airlines.
CEO Ben Baldanza is one of America’s most thuggish corporateers, a libertarian on steroids who runs the Florida-based discount airline. Under his guidance, Spirit has perfected the art of luring unsuspecting customers with come-on fares, and then whacking them upside the head with unanticipated fees.
How would you like to go to the airport and be held up by a criminal who demands $100 before you can board your flight? That’s what happens to customers every day when they unwittingly buy a Spirit airline ticket without having read the sneaky fine print about carry-on fees (on Travelocity you would have to click through several pages as you book your ticket to realize what fees were in store for you).
You might arrive at the airport happy that you had avoided checked baggage fees by stuffing your belongings into a small rollaway. But Spirit has other plans for you. Just before you board, you are stopped and given a choice: fork over a Benjamin on the spot or see if you have time to run back down to the check-in counter to pay a fee of $45. Want to complain? The company will actually charge you to call the “customer service” number.
Twitter is constantly abuzz with travelers gobsmacked by this airport mugging. A recent sampling:
"FSpiritAir1 [8]
Oct 31, 9:31pm via HootSuite [9]
@phillihpz #spiritairlines …makes your bag cost more than the ticket ow.ly/qnJRN [10] #rt #retweet"
"JMart0885 [11]
Oct 31, 7:33am via Twitter for Android [12]
Its not that I hate traveling, I hate the traveling process. Even more so when #spiritairlines has overcharge on carryon bags. #Worstairline"
"J_OtheILLEST [13]
Oct 29, 12:27pm via Twitter for Android [14]
You guys will go out of business #SpiritAirlines. With the schemes you guys pull? How can you possibly expect any customer loyalty. Fuck you"
With such constant fury directed toward the airline, you might think Spirit would indeed go out of business. In a normal, well-regulated business environment, it would. Instead, profits are soaring. Spirit does not care a fig if customers are pissed off, because it can jump around from city to city, luring in new victims with cheap tickets to tourist destinations like the Caribbean and Myrtle Beach. Some of the customers, particularly the poor ones, will learn how to navigate around the high fees. Maybe they’ll mail their clothes ahead to avoid the carry-on fee, chug water before boarding, and print out their ticket at home. Many simply won’t travel with Spirit again, but that’s okay, because there’s always another sucker.
These dirty practices have spawned multiple Spirit-hating Facebook pages, websites decrying the airline’s abuse, and even an Onion parody of an FAA report [15]:
"The FAA has come to the determination that Spirit Airlines treats its customers like pieces of shit and that everyone should boycott this airline," the report read in part, adding that there are so many hidden fucking fees that it makes customers want to blow their brains out. "The airline touts its low fares, but it costs $45 to check your bag at the airport, and if you don’t check the bag when you get your ticket, it costs a mandatory $100 at the gate. So the flight could end up costing over $300 anyway.
"You’ve got to be fucking kidding with this bullshit," the report added."
Spirit Airlines is not kidding. In fact, the company is now mulling a plan to jack up fees even higher [16] on peak travel days. Spirit now makes 41 percent of its revenues in fees [17]. Shares have doubled since Spirit went public two years ago and Wall Street is jumping for joy.
How can all this be legal? Congress has been asking the same thing. Senator Barbara Boxer has slammed the airline for hustling customers [18], and Senator Chuck Schumer has called their practices “skyway robbery.” [19] There have been harsh words and legislation proposed [20], but Spirit just continues to shove its middle finger in America’s face. Last year it added a $2 fee [21] in direct defiance of new Department of Transportation consumer regulations. Spirit has been hit with record fines, such as a $375,000 fine in 2009, for failing to comply with DOT regulations [22], and $100,000 for screwing disabled passengers [23], but what does that matter when you’re hauling in $61 million in profits in the last quarter [24] alone?
When Wall Street is winning, it matters little that the public is losing.
Spirit Airlines is the grand-champion of price-gouging (there are 70 different fees [25] so far), but it certainly isn’t alone. Other airlines, eyeing Spirit’s profits enviously, are stumbling over themselves to get in the game. Hawaiian Airlines will ream you for $200 if you dare to change your flight. Allegiant Travel demands up to $25 for a pillow and blanket [26]. Lufthansa will hit you with up to $800 in fees for an oversized bag [27]. Ireland-based Ryanair has even considered charging passengers to use the toilet!
Fines socked on helpless consumers make oodles of money for executives. Baggage fees alone now account for 25 percent of the ancillary revenue [3] generated by airlines, up 5 percent from last year.
3. Terrible service
With all that money you're forking over, you might expect decent service. Mwa-ha-ha! laughs the airline executive.
In the U.S., the Department of Transportation [28] is currently responsible for the airline industry and even has a specific division called the Aviation Consumer Protection Service [29] that deals airline complaints (hint: always register your complaint with the DOT — airlines at least have to respond, and it costs them time and money). The number of complaints consumers filed with the DOT overall skyrocketed [30] by one-fifth last year to 11,445 complaints, up from 9,414 in 2011.
It’s not hard to figure out why. There are the basic aggravations of higher ticket prices, stuffing more people into each flight and reducing service staff. Then there are the horror stories — almost everybody has one. Like United Airlines running out of toilet paper [31] on a long flight and making passengers use napkins. Or U.S. Airways forcing passengers to stand for hours [32] because their seats are unavailable. On it goes.
Perversely, Virgin America, the U.S. company that has the lowest number of customer service complaints according to an annual ranking [30] done by Wichita State University and Perdue, is having trouble turning a profit [33]. If anything illustrates the insanity of what unregulated capitalism has wrought, this would be it. In the airline industry, you can’t succeed by making customers happy.
4. Pushing credit cards
Another popular way for companies to bait the hook is to entice customers with credit cards. Passengers on Spirit Airlines are treated to flight attendants walking up and down the aisles barraging them with credit card pitches and distributing brochures. The airline knows that it can generate revenue when you use the card and that you’ll be more likely to get locked into the airline.
The game is to offer big sign-up rewards, then stick it to customers with credit cards that feature sky-high fees, overly complicated cash-back systems, and points that expire unknowingly. Kevin Hunt of the Hartford Courant reports [34] that “almost three-quarters of Americans who collect frequent-flyer miles or credit-card rewards points don’t know how many they have.” Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which conducted the study, also found that only 41 percent of Americans even understand how frequent-flyer programs work.
That's just fine with the airlines. What you don't know lines their pockets.
5. Screwing taxpayers
The airlines are subsidized by taxpayers nine ways to Sunday. The industry would not exist in the first place unless taxpayers, through the government, had not funded the massive research effort needed to produce the first passenger airlines, or forked over the money to build the country’s airports (New York’s La Guardia was a New Deal project).
As Stephanus Surjaputra of Consumer Traveler points out [35]:
“From the first days of flight up until the 1970s, taxpayers, through the federal government, provided more than $155 billion in direct support for the aviation industry. Even after deregulation, federal and local governments have continued to provide infrastructure support, tax exemptions and low-cost financing. For example, the government has provided $4.64 billion in taxpayer funds for cash grants and $1.65 billion in loan guarantees in case the airline loan defaults.
After September 11, the industry received approximately $8 billion in federal assistance that continued even after most airlines returned to profitability. Furthermore, the federal pension reform legislation that was passed in 2004 and 2006 provided relief to the airlines valued at more than $3 billion.”
What return are taxpayers getting on that gargantuan investment? An industry hellbent on destroying middle-class jobs, privatizing contracts and crushing unions. One that is rife with consumer abuse and poor safety standards. Companies that strip worker health benefits and retirement plans, throwing the burden back on society as impoverished employees and former workers are forced to rely on government assistance. And so on.
Here’s a radical idea: If you take money from the taxpayers, you should actually do something to benefit the public in return. Just sayin’!
6. Screwing workers
Airline workers have been hit with enormous wage and benefit reductions since 2001. As Carl Finamore has written [36]:
“In the last few years, bankruptcy courts ripped apart the wages and benefits of hundreds of thousands of employees. Based on long experience, veteran airline employees realize that good times returning to the carriers does not automatically mean good wages and benefits returning to them.”
Consolidation is not likely to improve things.
Take the American Airlines merger. American’s bankruptcy already triggered layoffs and pay cuts for flight attendants. Airport staff who do their jobs on the ground for things like wheelchair service are currently paid substandard wages (like $8 per hour). The proposed merger includes $86 million in executive compensation but no reforms to subcontracting practices related to ground staff.
In addition to reaming consumers and taxpayers, the airline industry is clearly bent on making profits by maintaining insecure, impoverished conditions for the people who do the work. It plans to send maintenance jobs overseas, ditch contracts, walk away from retirees and dump the costs on the rest of us.
How that for friendly skies? Like the old communist telephone service, it doesn’t have to be like this. But we have to decide once again that corporate America exists not just to make short-term profits that enrich executives, but for the benefit of the taxpayers, workers, and citizens that allow it to exist.

Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/economy/airline-rip-offs
Links:
[1] http://alternet.org
[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/lynn-stuart-parramore
[3] http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/how-airlines-are-nickel-diming-their-way-record-revenue-8C11488196
[4] http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/terminal_sickness035756.php?page=all
[5] http://journals.oregondigital.org/trforum/article/view/986
[6] http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f299900/299968.pdf
[7] http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory/american-us-airways-aim-settle-merger-lawsuit-20739311
[8] http://twitter.com/FSpiritAir1
[9] http://twitter.com/FSpiritAir1/status/396087062220517377
[10] http://t.co/4lIOcaYEYG
[11] http://twitter.com/JMart0885
[12] http://twitter.com/JMart0885/status/395876188742094849
[13] http://twitter.com/J_OtheILLEST
[14] http://twitter.com/J_OtheILLEST/status/395225474315870208
[15] http://www.theonion.com/articles/faa-report-spirit-airlines-is-the-fucking-worst,32371/
[16] http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Airline-News/Spirit-Airlines-mulls-tying-fees-to-flight-demand/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TravelWeeklysTopStories+%28Travel+Weekly%27s+Top+Stories%29
[17] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/business/spirit-airlines-banks-on-few-frills-and-more-fees.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
[18] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/boxer-slams-spirit-on-dot-regulations_n_1234204.html
[19] http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/19/business/la-fi-travelbriefcase19-2010apr19
[20] http://www.examiner.com/article/government-legislation-to-challenge-spirit-airlines-carry-on-baggage-fees
[21] http://avstop.com/news_february_2012/spirit_airlines_adds_2_fee_in_defiance_to_new_dot_consumer_regulations.htm
[22] http://elliott.org/blog/spirit-airlines-smacked-with-record-375000-fine-for-consumer-rules-violations/
[23] http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/27/business/la-fi-mo-spirit-airlines-fine-20120127
[24] http://atwonline.com/finance-amp-data/spirit-airlines-earns-61-million-3q-net-profit-33-revenue-rise
[25] http://www.spirit.com/OptionalServices
[26] http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/05/is-this-outlandish-airline-fee-a-game-changer.aspx
[27] http://www.gadling.com/2013/04/21/sneaky-and-insane-international-air-fees-to-avoid/
[28] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Transportation
[29] http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/
[30] http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/08/airline-passenger-complaints-rise-despite-improvements/
[31] http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/united-americas-worst-airline-no-toilet-paper/
[32] http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/11/23/worst-flight-ever-passenger-forced-to-stand-7-hours-due-to-400lb-seat-mate/
[33] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/business/at-virgin-america-a-fine-line-between-pizazz-and-profit.html
[34] http://skift.com/2013/06/02/best-and-worst-airlines-for-miles-points-and-redemption/
[35] http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/after-years-of-airline-subsidies-how-about-a-payback-for-taxpayers/#sthash.dH39exS7.dpuf
[36] http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/26/why-are-airline-profits-soaring
[37] http://www.alternet.org/tags/acquisition
[38] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airtrans
[39] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-0
[40] http://www.alternet.org/tags/allegiant-travel
[41] http://www.alternet.org/tags/america
[42] http://www.alternet.org/tags/american-airlines-0
[43] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ancillary-revenue
[44] http://www.alternet.org/tags/aviation-consumer-protection-service
[45] http://www.alternet.org/tags/aviation-0
[46] http://www.alternet.org/tags/barbara-boxer
[47] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ben-baldanza
[48] http://www.alternet.org/tags/business-0
[49] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ceo
[50] http://www.alternet.org/tags/caribbean-0
[51] http://www.alternet.org/tags/carl-finamore
[52] http://www.alternet.org/tags/charlotte
[53] http://www.alternet.org/tags/chuck-schumer-0
[54] http://www.alternet.org/tags/cincinnati
[55] http://www.alternet.org/tags/civil-aeronautics-board
[56] http://www.alternet.org/tags/civil-aviation
[57] http://www.alternet.org/tags/company-location
[58] http://www.alternet.org/tags/congress-0
[59] http://www.alternet.org/tags/continental
[60] http://www.alternet.org/tags/department-justice
[61] http://www.alternet.org/tags/department-transportation
[62] http://www.alternet.org/tags/district-columbia
[63] http://www.alternet.org/tags/facebook-0
[64] http://www.alternet.org/tags/federal-aviation-administration
[65] http://www.alternet.org/tags/florida-0
[66] http://www.alternet.org/tags/hartford-courant
[67] http://www.alternet.org/tags/hawaiian-airlines
[68] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ipo-0
[69] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ireland-0
[70] http://www.alternet.org/tags/john-kay
[71] http://www.alternet.org/tags/kevin-hunt
[72] http://www.alternet.org/tags/lina-khan
[73] http://www.alternet.org/tags/low-cost-airlines
[74] http://www.alternet.org/tags/low-cost-carrier
[75] http://www.alternet.org/tags/merger-0
[76] http://www.alternet.org/tags/myrtle-beach
[77] http://www.alternet.org/tags/new-york
[78] http://www.alternet.org/tags/north-america
[79] http://www.alternet.org/tags/northwest-0
[80] http://www.alternet.org/tags/open-travel-alliance
[81] http://www.alternet.org/tags/person-career
[82] http://www.alternet.org/tags/person-location
[83] http://www.alternet.org/tags/phillip-longman
[84] http://www.alternet.org/tags/quotation
[85] http://www.alternet.org/tags/ryanair
[86] http://www.alternet.org/tags/southwest-0
[87] http://www.alternet.org/tags/spirit-airlines
[88] http://www.alternet.org/tags/star-alliance
[89] http://www.alternet.org/tags/terminal-sickness
[90] http://www.alternet.org/tags/transport-0
[91] http://www.alternet.org/tags/twitter-0
[92] http://www.alternet.org/tags/us-airways
[93] http://www.alternet.org/tags/usd
[94] http://www.alternet.org/tags/united-airlines-0
[95] http://www.alternet.org/tags/united-kingdom
[96] http://www.alternet.org/tags/united-states
[97] http://www.alternet.org/tags/virgin-america
[98] http://www.alternet.org/tags/wichita-state-university
[99] http://www.alternet.org/tags/air-travel-0
[100] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-complaints
[101] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-fares
[102] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-industry
[103] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-loan
[104] http://www.alternet.org/tags/airline-ticket
[105] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B
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Adam Smith pointed out in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, the only way to create real wealth is to make things. Economies are built from the ground up and when an economy doesn't have a strong base of well-paying manufacturing jobs, it doesn't produce enough wealth to stay healthy


neo-liberalism is the death of the american economy. obama became president for one reason only, to serve the wealthy.
if you elect a neo-liberal democrat, or a republican, the results always end up the same way.


http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/19713-america-was-once-a-superpower-now-its-not
America Was Once a Superpower - Now It's Not
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:34 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed

George Washington would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what President Obama was up to.
Right now, the president is preparing push through what has the potential to be the largest trade deal in human history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or as it's more commonly known as, the "TPP."
If approved, the TPP would create a whole new set of rules regulating the economies of twelve countries in four different continents bordering the Pacific Ocean. These rules cover everything from pharmaceuticals to digital copyright law and could permanently change the way every day Americans and people all over the world interact with the global economy.
So, you'd think Obama administration would want to keep the public as up-to-date as possible on such a big trade deal, right?
Wrong.
The United States has negotiated the TPP almost entirely in secret and most of what we know about it actually comes from leaked documents.
And those documents paint a pretty scary picture. According to Public Citizen's Trade Watch, TPP would allow private foreign corporations to sue countries that try to pass regulations they don't like, reward companies that send jobs overseas, and gut regulations that keep big banks in check.
That's why the TPP is way more dangerous than normal trade deals like NAFTA. As Dean Baker wrote in a recent piece for the Huffington Post, "[Free trade] is not what the TPP is about. The TPP is about crafting rules that will favor big business at the expense of the rest of the population in both the United States and in other countries."
So why is the TPP so friendly to big corporations?
Easy – they wrote it.
While the Bush and Obama administrations have kept the public in the dark about what's in the TPP, they have let big corporations to look at draft versions of the treaty and even let those corporations make changes to them.
It shouldn't be any surprise, then, that President Obama doesn't even want Congress to look at the TPP.
To push the U.S. the onto the proposed treaty as soon as possible, he's proposing a special legislative trick called "fast-tracking" that would prevent lawmakers from making any amendments to the TPP. Instead, the treaty would be sent right to the floor where it would only have to pass a simple majority vote.
Given what we know about the TPP and what we know about how the President wants to push it through Congress without debate or amendment, the stakes couldn't be higher.
For over 200 years, since the founding of the Republic, our economy was built on a system of tariffs, which are small taxes on importing goods. These tariffs made American goods cheaper in the United States, thus protecting American manufacturing, and made our country a global superpower.
American businesses and American workers didn't have to compete with cheap products or cheap labor from abroad, and so the economy flourished.
Everything worked fine until the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan abandoned the system of tariffs that had worked so well for centuries and ushered in the era of so-called "free-trade."
Every President since, including Democrats like Bill Clinton and Republicans like George W. Bush, has followed Reagan's lead, signing us on to free-trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA. These deals were supposed to grow the economy, but instead they decimated its industrial base, its most productive source of wealth.
As a result, the United States is now what Economy in Crisis has called a "service (or servant) economy." In most parts of the country factory jobs have been replaced by non-union service-sector jobs.
There's nothing wrong with working at some place like McDonald's or Walmart, but the fact of the matter is that Walmart jobs don't pay nearly as well as a good union factory job does. As Adam Smith pointed out in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, the only way to create real wealth is to make things. Economies are built from the ground up and when an economy doesn't have a strong base of well-paying manufacturing jobs, it doesn't produce enough wealth to stay healthy.
Thirty years of tariff-busting and so-called free-trade have already changed our country's economy for the worse. If President Obama gets his way and pushes the TPP through Congress, it could put the middle-class on death watch.
There's still a lot we don't know about the TPP, but what we do know– the giveaways to Big Pharma and the bankster class, the privileges for job-killing outsourcers, and the courts that let corporations fight regulations – would put the final nail in the coffin of the economic system our Founders created.
The TPP would complete the transformation of our economy from one that produces wealth to one that bleeds wealth. The only people who would benefit from it would be the same class of people who have benefited from every trade teal and anti-tariff bill since the Reagan administration: the banksters, corporate lawyers, and CEOs who have spent the past three decades fleecing the American people.
In a perfect world, President Obama would reject the TPP outright. But we're not in a perfect world, so at the very least he should let the American people – and our Congress – see what's in the treaty.
Werner
2013-11-04 05:16:50 UTC
Permalink
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated. Everything is regulated to benefit some and screw others in the process. That's politics as usual and distorts free markets to favor the politically favorite. If you want limited and mediocre, government efforts are poster children.
See
http://endit.info/Home.shtml
BeamMeUpScotty
2013-11-04 14:13:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
Bret Cahill
2013-11-04 15:46:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on the rich are the price of liberty.
BeamMeUpScotty
2013-11-04 16:21:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on the rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
Clave
2013-11-04 16:29:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on the
rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
And roads.

Jim
BeamMeUpScotty
2013-11-04 16:46:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on
the rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
And roads.
Jim
Roads have laws and more laws is more tyranny.


The government had to forcibly take the land for the roads and then they
force you to get insurance to drive on the roads....


More tax is tyranny.


A little government is a little tyranny and a lot of government is a lot
of tyranny.

A lot of tax creates a lot of government.
-



*Rumination*
#66 - To a hammer... everything looks like a nail. And to the
government, everything looks like a way to limit your freedoms.
Clave
2013-11-04 17:10:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on
the rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
And roads.
Jim
Roads have laws and more laws is more tyranny.
You don't even care how stupid you sound any more.
BeamMeUpScotty
2013-11-04 18:41:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on
the rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
And roads.
Jim
Roads have laws and more laws is more tyranny.
You don't even care how stupid you sound any more.
The important thing is that it's simple enough for even you to
understand it.

I have to speak in stupid, to be speaking in your native language.
Clave
2013-11-04 19:11:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Clave
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated.
Then there is no freedom and you have no rights.
There is no free lunch on liberty. Freedom ain't free. Tax hikes on
the rich are the price of liberty.
Tax hikes pay for Tyranny.
And roads.
Jim
Roads have laws and more laws is more tyranny.
You don't even care how stupid you sound any more.
The important thing is that it's simple enough for even you to
understand it...
And right there you are with the IKYABWAI -- it's the depth of your
shallowness that I find fascinating.

BTW, I don't speak stupid, much less the 19th-century dialect you appear to
have been raised in.

Jim

nickname unavailable
2013-11-04 16:03:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated. Everything is regulated to benefit some and screw others in the process. That's politics as usual and distorts free markets to favor the politically favorite. If you want limited and mediocre, government efforts are poster children.
See
http://endit.info/Home.shtml
show me a criminal that is for regulation.


a must see video. please click on the link.



http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/'inside-job'-rampant-conflicts-of-interest-cronyism-led-to-2008-crisis-charles-ferguson-says-535519.html;_ylt=Ak2lwPZ0vKaFg9LsvBchuWK7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2NG9xajlwBHBvcwMxMgRzZWMDdG9wU3RvcmllcwRzbGsDaW5zaWRlam9icmFt?tickers=MET,AIG,XLF,FAZ,SNE,%5EDJI,%5EGSPC&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=


'Inside Job': Rampant Conflicts of Interest, Cronyism Led to 2008 Crisis, Charles Ferguson Says
Posted Oct 19, 2010 11:21am EDT by Stacy Curtin
The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sparked a global financial crisis that pushed the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Two years later, billions upon billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on government bailouts to save the banks that started the contagion, yet not one person has been held accountable or slapped with criminal contempt.
In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson spoke to some of the biggest names from Wall Street to Washington to academia to get a first hand account of what caused the 2008 financial meltdown and how the financial system reach its breaking point.
Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.
The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”
Example after example of this revolving door between Academia and Wall Street and academia and Washington are brought to light in Inside Job. Ferguson showcases this unspoken problem by actually interviewing a number of academics with ties to the government and/or financial sector. To wit:
Martin Feldstein is currently the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. While holding advisory positions in both the Reagan and GWB administration he also served on the board of both AIG and AIG Financial Products from 1988-2009.
Glenn Hubbard is currently the Dean of the Columbia Business School. Hubbard was Chief Economic Advisor during the Bush Administration, currently on the board of Met Life and previously on the board of Capmark.
Frederic Mishkin is currently a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School. From 2006-2008 he was a member of the Federal Reserve Board. Also in 2006, he was paid $124,000 by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce to write a report on Iceland’s financial sector.
Academics at 20 Paces
This last example is probably the most notable in Inside Job. Mishkin became combative and seemingly uncomfortable at some of Ferguson’s questions – especially regarding the report commissioned by Iceland’s Chamber of Commerce.
After the premiere of the film this month, Mishkin wrote a piece in the Financial Times accusing Ferguson of ambush journalism. “In July 2009, I agreed to be interviewed on camera for a film that was presented to me as a thoughtful examination of the factors leading up to the 2008 global economic collapse," Mishkin writes. "About five minutes after the microphone was clipped to my lapel, however, it became clear that my role in the film was predetermined - and I would not be wearing a white hat.”
Feguson tells Aaron there is little truth to what Mishkin contends. “I conducted an interview with professor Mishkin that lasted over an hour and touched on many subjects. I certainly did ask him his views on the crisis, but it did turn out that professor Mishkin did have a number of things to conceal and he became very uncomfortable during the interview.”
Since our interview, Ferguson wrote a response to Mishkin in the FT. “Professor Frederic Mishkin misrepresents both his own activities, including his interview for my film, and the widespread conflicts of interest which have distorted academic economics and its role in the financial crisis,” Ferguson writes. “The only reason we now know of Prof Mishkin’s payment for the Iceland report is that he was later forced to disclose it when he was appointed to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.”
Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”
It should be noted that Ferguson himself has ties to academia. He spent many years as a visiting scholar at M.I.T. and U.C. Berkley.
Inside Job is currently playing in theatres nationwide.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

a response from a viewer.

THE REPUBLICAN MONEY GRAB CONSPIRACY FOR THE RICH

TIMELINE - The ROOT of Your Anger! The Ultimate BREECH OF TRUST of the Citizens of the USA by Banks, Insurance Cos., Realtors, Builders, Rating Agencies, Lawyers, Wall Streeters, Appraisers, etc. and THE POWERS THAT BE!!! The POWERS THAT BE were Republicans and K Street Lobbyists!!!

Phil Gramm - Slipped the Financial Service Moderation Act of 1999 into the 1999 Budget.
.Repealed parts of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 and allowed shady Financial practices such as Dirivitives, ARMs & Interest only loans to go on Unregulated.

2002 - Bush deregulated Sub Prime and allowed all financial Institutions to participate.

@ The success of the Conspiracy depended on keeping Mortgage Rates Low so that people wouldn’t default on their Loans, giving time enough to collect as many fees as they could and getting the Loans packaged for sale on the markets with Dirivities to collect on, when the Meltdown happened!

Mortgage Rates are set by Inflation, going up and down accordingly.

2002 through Late 2005 - Mortgage Rates flatlined at or below 4%.

2002 through Late 2005 - Inflation rose from 1.6% in 2002 to over 3% in Late 2005.

Which means that someone Manipulated the Mortgage rates, keeping them low even though Inflation rose considerably. This allowed the crooks time to sell an enormous amounts of fraudulent Mortgages, Collect Billions in fees and then to package the Mortgages for sale on the markets and lining their own pockets through Dirivities when these packages failed.

Republicans had similar sights set on Social Security, Health accounts, Education Accounts and Medicare.
Luckily the only other thing they sucked all the money out of was 401Ks. Obama has since put into motion stops to Republican Crookery in these areas.

So far, the only Help from the Republicans, was JUST SAY NO, doing Nothing while the USA was slipping into the Abyss!!!
BeamMeUpScotty
2013-11-04 16:26:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by nickname unavailable
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated. Everything is regulated to benefit some and screw others in the process. That's politics as usual and distorts free markets to favor the politically favorite. If you want limited and mediocre, government efforts are poster children.
See
http://endit.info/Home.shtml
show me a criminal that is for regulation.

Bret Cahill
2013-11-04 16:36:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by nickname unavailable
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated. Everything is regulated to benefit some and screw others in the process. That's politics as usual and distorts free markets to favor the politically favorite. If you want limited and mediocre, government efforts are poster children.
See
http://endit.info/Home.shtml
show me a criminal that is for regulation.
Actually criminals are for regulation as long as their criminal paymaster in the private sector are doing the regulating.

What am I saying. Tn Texas they believe state power to execute individuals is infallible.
Post by nickname unavailable
a must see video. please click on the link.
http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/'inside-job'-rampant-conflicts-of-interest-cronyism-led-to-2008-crisis-charles-ferguson-says-535519.html;_ylt=Ak2lwPZ0vKaFg9LsvBchuWK7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2NG9xajlwBHBvcwMxMgRzZWMDdG9wU3RvcmllcwRzbGsDaW5zaWRlam9icmFt?tickers=MET,AIG,XLF,FAZ,SNE,%5EDJI,%5EGSPC&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=
'Inside Job': Rampant Conflicts of Interest, Cronyism Led to 2008 Crisis, Charles Ferguson Says
Posted Oct 19, 2010 11:21am EDT by Stacy Curtin
The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sparked a global financial crisis that pushed the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Two years later, billions upon billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on government bailouts to save the banks that started the contagion, yet not one person has been held accountable or slapped with criminal contempt.
In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson spoke to some of the biggest names from Wall Street to Washington to academia to get a first hand account of what caused the 2008 financial meltdown and how the financial system reach its breaking point.
Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.
The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”
Martin Feldstein is currently the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. While holding advisory positions in both the Reagan and GWB administration he also served on the board of both AIG and AIG Financial Products from 1988-2009.
Glenn Hubbard is currently the Dean of the Columbia Business School. Hubbard was Chief Economic Advisor during the Bush Administration, currently on the board of Met Life and previously on the board of Capmark.
Frederic Mishkin is currently a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School. From 2006-2008 he was a member of the Federal Reserve Board. Also in 2006, he was paid $124,000 by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce to write a report on Iceland’s financial sector.
Academics at 20 Paces
This last example is probably the most notable in Inside Job. Mishkin became combative and seemingly uncomfortable at some of Ferguson’s questions – especially regarding the report commissioned by Iceland’s Chamber of Commerce.
After the premiere of the film this month, Mishkin wrote a piece in the Financial Times accusing Ferguson of ambush journalism. “In July 2009, I agreed to be interviewed on camera for a film that was presented to me as a thoughtful examination of the factors leading up to the 2008 global economic collapse," Mishkin writes. "About five minutes after the microphone was clipped to my lapel, however, it became clear that my role in the film was predetermined - and I would not be wearing a white hat.”
Feguson tells Aaron there is little truth to what Mishkin contends. “I conducted an interview with professor Mishkin that lasted over an hour and touched on many subjects. I certainly did ask him his views on the crisis, but it did turn out that professor Mishkin did have a number of things to conceal and he became very uncomfortable during the interview.”
Since our interview, Ferguson wrote a response to Mishkin in the FT. “Professor Frederic Mishkin misrepresents both his own activities, including his interview for my film, and the widespread conflicts of interest which have distorted academic economics and its role in the financial crisis,” Ferguson writes. “The only reason we now know of Prof Mishkin’s payment for the Iceland report is that he was later forced to disclose it when he was appointed to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.”
Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”
It should be noted that Ferguson himself has ties to academia. He spent many years as a visiting scholar at M.I.T. and U.C. Berkley.
Inside Job is currently playing in theatres nationwide.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a response from a viewer.
THE REPUBLICAN MONEY GRAB CONSPIRACY FOR THE RICH
TIMELINE - The ROOT of Your Anger! The Ultimate BREECH OF TRUST of the Citizens of the USA by Banks, Insurance Cos., Realtors, Builders, Rating Agencies, Lawyers, Wall Streeters, Appraisers, etc. and THE POWERS THAT BE!!! The POWERS THAT BE were Republicans and K Street Lobbyists!!!
Phil Gramm - Slipped the Financial Service Moderation Act of 1999 into the 1999 Budget.
.Repealed parts of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 and allowed shady Financial practices such as Dirivitives, ARMs & Interest only loans to go on Unregulated.
2002 - Bush deregulated Sub Prime and allowed all financial Institutions to participate.
@ The success of the Conspiracy depended on keeping Mortgage Rates Low so that people wouldn’t default on their Loans, giving time enough to collect as many fees as they could and getting the Loans packaged for sale on the markets with Dirivities to collect on, when the Meltdown happened!
Mortgage Rates are set by Inflation, going up and down accordingly.
2002 through Late 2005 - Mortgage Rates flatlined at or below 4%.
2002 through Late 2005 - Inflation rose from 1.6% in 2002 to over 3% in Late 2005.
Which means that someone Manipulated the Mortgage rates, keeping them low even though Inflation rose considerably. This allowed the crooks time to sell an enormous amounts of fraudulent Mortgages, Collect Billions in fees and then to package the Mortgages for sale on the markets and lining their own pockets through Dirivities when these packages failed.
Republicans had similar sights set on Social Security, Health accounts, Education Accounts and Medicare.
Luckily the only other thing they sucked all the money out of was 401Ks. Obama has since put into motion stops to Republican Crookery in these areas.
So far, the only Help from the Republicans, was JUST SAY NO, doing Nothing while the USA was slipping into the Abyss!!!
nickname unavailable
2013-11-04 17:01:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by nickname unavailable
Post by Werner
Nothing is unregulated in this country. Everything is regulated. Everything is regulated to benefit some and screw others in the process. That's politics as usual and distorts free markets to favor the politically favorite. If you want limited and mediocre, government efforts are poster children.
See
http://endit.info/Home.shtml
show me a criminal that is for regulation.
Actually criminals are for regulation as long as their criminal paymaster in the private sector are doing the regulating.
What am I saying. Tn Texas they believe state power to execute individuals is infallible.
like the "CONSERVATIVE" debacle called medicare part d, where it was made against the law for government to negotiate for the price of drugs.
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by nickname unavailable
a must see video. please click on the link.
http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/'inside-job'-rampant-conflicts-of-interest-cronyism-led-to-2008-crisis-charles-ferguson-says-535519.html;_ylt=Ak2lwPZ0vKaFg9LsvBchuWK7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2NG9xajlwBHBvcwMxMgRzZWMDdG9wU3RvcmllcwRzbGsDaW5zaWRlam9icmFt?tickers=MET,AIG,XLF,FAZ,SNE,%5EDJI,%5EGSPC&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=
'Inside Job': Rampant Conflicts of Interest, Cronyism Led to 2008 Crisis, Charles Ferguson Says
Posted Oct 19, 2010 11:21am EDT by Stacy Curtin
The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sparked a global financial crisis that pushed the U.S. economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Two years later, billions upon billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on government bailouts to save the banks that started the contagion, yet not one person has been held accountable or slapped with criminal contempt.
In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson spoke to some of the biggest names from Wall Street to Washington to academia to get a first hand account of what caused the 2008 financial meltdown and how the financial system reach its breaking point.
Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.
The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”
Martin Feldstein is currently the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. While holding advisory positions in both the Reagan and GWB administration he also served on the board of both AIG and AIG Financial Products from 1988-2009.
Glenn Hubbard is currently the Dean of the Columbia Business School. Hubbard was Chief Economic Advisor during the Bush Administration, currently on the board of Met Life and previously on the board of Capmark.
Frederic Mishkin is currently a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School. From 2006-2008 he was a member of the Federal Reserve Board. Also in 2006, he was paid $124,000 by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce to write a report on Iceland’s financial sector.
Academics at 20 Paces
This last example is probably the most notable in Inside Job. Mishkin became combative and seemingly uncomfortable at some of Ferguson’s questions – especially regarding the report commissioned by Iceland’s Chamber of Commerce.
After the premiere of the film this month, Mishkin wrote a piece in the Financial Times accusing Ferguson of ambush journalism. “In July 2009, I agreed to be interviewed on camera for a film that was presented to me as a thoughtful examination of the factors leading up to the 2008 global economic collapse," Mishkin writes. "About five minutes after the microphone was clipped to my lapel, however, it became clear that my role in the film was predetermined - and I would not be wearing a white hat.”
Feguson tells Aaron there is little truth to what Mishkin contends. “I conducted an interview with professor Mishkin that lasted over an hour and touched on many subjects. I certainly did ask him his views on the crisis, but it did turn out that professor Mishkin did have a number of things to conceal and he became very uncomfortable during the interview.”
Since our interview, Ferguson wrote a response to Mishkin in the FT. “Professor Frederic Mishkin misrepresents both his own activities, including his interview for my film, and the widespread conflicts of interest which have distorted academic economics and its role in the financial crisis,” Ferguson writes. “The only reason we now know of Prof Mishkin’s payment for the Iceland report is that he was later forced to disclose it when he was appointed to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.”
Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”
It should be noted that Ferguson himself has ties to academia. He spent many years as a visiting scholar at M.I.T. and U.C. Berkley.
Inside Job is currently playing in theatres nationwide.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a response from a viewer.
THE REPUBLICAN MONEY GRAB CONSPIRACY FOR THE RICH
TIMELINE - The ROOT of Your Anger! The Ultimate BREECH OF TRUST of the Citizens of the USA by Banks, Insurance Cos., Realtors, Builders, Rating Agencies, Lawyers, Wall Streeters, Appraisers, etc. and THE POWERS THAT BE!!! The POWERS THAT BE were Republicans and K Street Lobbyists!!!
Phil Gramm - Slipped the Financial Service Moderation Act of 1999 into the 1999 Budget.
.Repealed parts of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 and allowed shady Financial practices such as Dirivitives, ARMs & Interest only loans to go on Unregulated.
2002 - Bush deregulated Sub Prime and allowed all financial Institutions to participate.
@ The success of the Conspiracy depended on keeping Mortgage Rates Low so that people wouldn’t default on their Loans, giving time enough to collect as many fees as they could and getting the Loans packaged for sale on the markets with Dirivities to collect on, when the Meltdown happened!
Mortgage Rates are set by Inflation, going up and down accordingly.
2002 through Late 2005 - Mortgage Rates flatlined at or below 4%.
2002 through Late 2005 - Inflation rose from 1.6% in 2002 to over 3% in Late 2005.
Which means that someone Manipulated the Mortgage rates, keeping them low even though Inflation rose considerably. This allowed the crooks time to sell an enormous amounts of fraudulent Mortgages, Collect Billions in fees and then to package the Mortgages for sale on the markets and lining their own pockets through Dirivities when these packages failed.
Republicans had similar sights set on Social Security, Health accounts, Education Accounts and Medicare.
Luckily the only other thing they sucked all the money out of was 401Ks. Obama has since put into motion stops to Republican Crookery in these areas.
So far, the only Help from the Republicans, was JUST SAY NO, doing Nothing while the USA was slipping into the Abyss!!!
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