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Well, Elaine, it should come as no shock that military/media complex is not telling us about these realities. My grandmother always used to tell us that the great depression was never announced at all. Instead, She said that, in the very early thirties, the people simply started waking up to the reality that surrounded them. The radio and newspapers never mentioned that anything might be amiss; it just fed them the big puzzle one little piece at a time.

Interestingly, the essential production system remained, but with the workers simply locked out. It looked like the management had gone on a "reverse-strike." Now, I would guess that about 90% of the essential production system itself has been exported. I think cities and towns should be empowered to build, own, and run new production plants. Maybe we can build this from the ground up to be energy efficient and minimally polluting. And with minimal worker commuting! It sounds like communism, but I say, who gives a shit. At least it's a plan. At least a (democratically governed) city or town would find it hard to sell off its golden gooses to foreign usurpers, as out "capitalists" have. And essential products would get manufactured.


Wow, Blues, that is a really interesting story about your grandmother. I often wondered if the people living during that time knew what was going on because it was stretched out over 5-6 years. Now it seems they were just kept in the dark like we are.

I think the media understands that if they just feed us one little bit of bad news at a time, here and there, they will avoid a general panic or uprising against the system that is destroying us.

Later, they can then say they "told the truth", but that means nothing if it was scattered around amongst thousands of stories about movies, sports, politics, celebrities, and "feel good" news like a needle in haystack.

I am always amazed at all the devious contrivances the human mind is capable of as well as how much time is devoted to them.


Paul Krugman has an interesting link on his blog to a BusinessWeek article about the finance companies buying hospital debt and charging exorbitant fees and interest rates.

The article says that nonprofit tax exempt hospitals more often use this technique, replacing the historical practice of zero or low interest repayment plans.


Pretty soon I think the concept of a debtors prison, or just debtors execution will come back.

Sad state of affairs.


Complete Link:

Big Hearts Come Later

And now the entire U.S. economy is supposed to stay in a holding pattern until after Christmas. Why does the shopping season matter to US manufacturers ?

Ever tried to just buy US made products for gifts? -- Last year I tried, and failed. I was able to buy only 30% U.S. made products. The rest of my hard earned cash went to China, and to those business owners more loyal to foreign workers then they are to their U.S. brethren.

This year I will try harder - might have to resort to used gifts though.

Everyone is awaiting numbers on Monday for the Black Friday sales. Here's a preview:

"According to a national Maritz Poll of about 1,000 people, which predicts consumers will spend on average $637 this season, down 10 percent, those three retail chains will do the most business, with customers spending an average of $165 at Wal-Mart, $120 at Target and $139 at Best Buy."


The following scene was no doubt repeated 100s of times over yesterday. Fellow US citizens, with our defeated manufacturing base and economic ills, still are wild with hunger for foreign goods, with price points to match our deteriorating spending capacity:


90% of everything those people bought wasn't made here, and I'm probably being generous.

Blues: Thanks for the great insight into the last big depression. I spoke with my wife's grandfather, born in 1922, at length this weekend - he spent his youth growing up in the depression. I keep telling him that this time wasn't forgotten, and is a major topic among my friends and clued-in coworkers.

Happy going-into-hock season to all,

- Big hearts


Never forget. Never forgive.

I gotta tell ya, folks, I just gotta tell ya.

I was once called by the courts to be a juror. That is ordinarily a very good thing, but life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of such good things. So what did I tell the court?

Well you see, I had just been through a very hellacious experience with the "worker's comp" deal. Plus I had multiple side-issues, okay? The lawyers all told me to let go of the past, just move on.

So what did I tell the court? So fucking simple! I told them that (drum roll); if some crime has been committed, we should all just move on. Why bother to prosecute people and imprison them for things that, after all, have happened in the PAST?

Let me tell ya folks, the couple of lawyers present were not not at all ready for such a response. I really believed that frickin lawyers would be ready for just about anything. But they were just not prepared for that particular argument.

They just "dismissed" me without any further comment. How peculiar!

Elaine Supkis

As usual, Blues has very good comments. About the Great Depression: people INSIDE of it knew damn well about what was going on. My former father in law was part of the 'rescue team' set up by Roosevelt when he was governor of NY in 1930.

They were frantic to do something, anything. The best and brightest minds from the NY university system, most of them under 30 years old, bent their minds to figuring how to do something, anything.

Joe was a math genius and this is before computers so they all sat around a huge table with lots of papers and pencils and slide rules. 'We need more information!' was the battle cry. They had to expand data collection. Joe taught me that when NYC went nearly bankrupt and I had to deal with the mess.

So I learned how to do canvassing for information, how to collate streams of data and how to draw conclusions from this stuff.

Big Hearts Come Later

Your determination for writing about and digging for this information is a benefit to us all. Please keep it up.

Although I have little hope that our country's slow motion train wreck will end well, I'm thankful to those who at least have recognized it ahead of time, and have done whatever they could to educate and prevent it.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend - the turkey looked great!

- - -

PS: There was one thing your article (yesterday) about the Kitty Hawk / Hong Kong left out: http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=50485

China, a number of hours later, relented, and said they could dock at their port... The Kitty Hawk and their crew were already pretty far out to sea and in bad weather, and was on their way to Japan (seems like they had Thanksgiving on the ship instead of with their families... a very depressing letdown)

Someone else may have already commented on this.


Thanksgiving to Elaine for doing some fine journalistic work, for not giving up on america, for bringing a rich bouquet of relevant life experiences to bear in framing a fine perspective on a supposedly difficult field (macroeconomics and their geopolitical implications couched in the rich bed of history) and making it palatable for the "common" man. Thanksgiving we all still have a free venue for such endeavors (the relatively untainted web)... and hoping it will last a bit longer anyway.


the last major manufacturing done in the US was homes, even though the big developers tried to "insource" a lot of the work to unskilled and illegal aliens...the exact same thing as shipping jobs offshore, except for the added drag on social services...

but anyways, now those home "manufacturing" jobs will be gone as the market gluts with overproduced housing units. with those jobs go about a gazillion support jobs, everything from local lumberyards to the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot), to the interstate trucking of all the pieces and parts it takes to make a modern home...

so...all you CEO's with your inflated salaries and perks and benefits...that was one hell of a gamble you took with our money, and we were fools to let you. and now the game is over. who won?

all you home flippers, all you TV people who produced the shows about how easy it is to get rich quick by doing cosmetic makeovers, all you speculators who "bought" homes with imaginary money and drove the market ever higher, speculators speculating on speculation...what's the *real* cost of what you've been doing, hmmmm?

a rising tide lifts all boats, eh? well i got news for you: if you're at the end of the rope and you can't raise anchor, a rising tide will sink you.

guess what situation you've put your country in?

and you have the nerve, the gall, to question *our* patriotism??

well, to borrow a phrase..."Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

Elaine Supkis

I did mention the Chinese changed their minds. I didn't mention the ship being too far away. That must be from yet another, later story.

And we just ate the last of our turkey left overs. I happen to like Thanksgivin left overs. Now I have to work them all off again. Time to hike around!


Japan has got itself between a rock and a hard place. They import a lot of oil, and a weak yen is going to kill them. But a strong yen is going to kill them even quicker. I think Japan is toast.

We already know we're toast. And Britain is toast too. They may go down even faster than we do. This is going to be ugly.

the last major manufacturing done in the US was homes

We make bombs and other instruments of war. If I remember correctly, military spending accounts for around 1/4 of our GDP, with finance around another quarter. As the financial sectors collapse, I expect we'll try to expand military spending. We're going to be at war for a long time.


seems to me that i've read stories recently about a lot of munitions actually being made elsewhere and only assembled in the US...


Interesting point, notgonnatellya. I've heard the same thing. Seems to also be true of U.S. commercial aircraft "production":

Boeing looks to expand supplier contract linked to the 787 Dreamliner

Boeing is in talks with Toray Industries to expand a $6 billion contract to supply carbon-fiber sheets for the 787 Dreamliner, the U.S. planemaker's fastest-selling passenger jet.

Weaponry, commercial aircraft, and all of "our" movies now seem to be filmed in either Canada or New Zealand ... is there anything still manufactured in the United States?


Oops, I mucked up the link. Here it is:

Boeing looks to expand supplier contract linked to the 787 Dreamliner

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