Your Questions About Is The Stock Market A Big Ponzi Scheme

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Richard asks…

Can any conservative differentiate for me “Privatization of gain” vs. “Socialization of loss?”

It seems to me that Capitalism only applies to situations where companies are prospering, and that Socialism is applied when American government gives tax dollars to Big Corporations when they fail.

Recently Americans have witnessed bush bailing out the predatory mortgage industry, and yesterday we witnessed bush bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

WHY do conservatives say CAPITALISM isthe American Way” as an excuse to screw the worker — yet use SOCIALISM to bail out those same companies when they fail?

>>>>Privatization of gain, but socialization of loss.<<<<
Which will always squeeze out the average taxpayer, and substantially increase the wealth gap.
Think about it.
“We have an opportunity at this moment to permanently fix the GSE threat to our financial system. Yet the proposal before Congress simply doubles down its bet on these risky institutions and puts taxpayers explicitly on the hook. The bill actually includes a new tax on GSE revenues as well as a reckless expansion of their conforming loan limits.
“We call on Secretary Paulson to rise up to this challenge and present a plan that truly restructures the GSEs instead of undermining them further and creating unlimited taxpayer liability.
“There is more than $5 trillion in outstanding GSE debt. Creating an explicit government guarantee for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could end up costing taxpayers $1 trillion, according to an analysis by Standard & Poor’s.
“Given the magnitude of these issues, why is Congress rushing to complete this legislation? …”
“Given the magnitude of these issues, why is Congress rushing to complete this legislation? There is time to fully examine this proposal and make certain that taxpayers’ exposure is limited and that the GSEs are put on a path to full privatization.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/no-blank-check-taxpayer-bailout/story.aspx?guid=%7BAAFA360D-3920-41DB-B863-C312B314CF0A%7D&dist=hppr
The point of my question is not whether or not the government SHOULD bail out these industries.

Personally, I do not think they should. A company that makes bad business decisions should fail.

But that’s not the point of the question.

The question is asking about socialism vs. capitalism, which I see some very skewed, ignorant rants on this site about.

There is no other word for the bailouts- it is socialism. When the government uses tax dollars to prevent a business from “failing” that is socialism.

You cannot possibly live in the real world and use the phrase “free market” and/or “capitalism” and apply it to American policy when we have these behaviors occurring.

And yes, capitalism is used to screw the workers. Please don’t waste my time and everyone else’s on the board with the lame-as$, “If you don’t like the wages you can get another job.”

Why don’t you pis$ on my other leg with “trickle-down economics” while you’re at it.
To flight – Thank you for posting… I was right there with you up until the words “…environmental protection….” and I did not bother to read one syllable beyond that.
So sorry, but some of you are going to have to find another way to view “environmental protection.”

Protecting the very air we breathe the water we drink.. WATER, mind you, without which there would not be LIFE… simply cannot be tossed in with “factors which cause businesses to fail.”

Here’s the plain unvarnished truth for you – if a business cannot remain viable without destroying the Life Support System of homo sapiens, THEN THEY CANNOT BE IN BUSINESS.

Justin answers:

No, they can’t. Conservatives value corporations over ordinary people. They’re corperatists and social Darwinists. They believe corporations are important so they should be bailed out whenever their existence is threatened where as ordinary and poor Americans are replaceable and not of vital importance to the economy so if they have bad luck they should clean up the mess themselves or simply suffer. To the “free” market fundamentalists either one is fine as long as they are not required to show any form of solidarity.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been at the center of the housing market speculation that generated billions for Wall Street investors and CEOs and has now come crashing down, precipitating the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s. The two companies are massively leveraged, holding a combined $81 billion in capital to back the mortgages they own or guarantee—a ratio of capital to debt of 1.6 percent.

Their Ponzi scheme structures have been undermined by the collapse in home prices and the virulent spread of foreclosures. Over the past nine months they have lost a combined $11 billion and their stock has fallen by as much as 80 percent—a decline that turned into a rout last week as their stock values were cut nearly in half.
Their debacle is the latest and to date most spectacular expression of the decay of American capitalism. It is another refutation of the myths promoted by the US ruling elite about the miraculous workings of the capitalist market—supposedly the pinnacle of human achievement.
At the same time, it exposes the cynicism behind the official mantra of “free enterprise.” When it comes to big capital, losses are socialized. Only profits remain private.
Paulson’s plan to use taxpayer funds to rescue Wall Street were worked out over the weekend in feverish closed door consultations between the Bush administration, the Fed, the big banks and investment houses and congressional leaders. They were under enormous pressure to come up with a plan before the Asian markets opened Monday, and the crisis atmosphere was compounded by the fact that Freddie Mac was scheduled to market $3 billion in short-term debt. A catastrophe was looming if the banks and investment houses refused to buy the company’s bonds.
There can be no doubt that Wall Street exploited the situation to extract from the government the broadest possible guarantees and assurances for its interests. But the entire scheme had to be sanctioned by the Democratic Congress, since it required changes in the charters and legal regulations governing the two companies.
The immediate and vocal support announced by key Democratic legislators for this massive taxpayer-funded bailout demonstrates the most important fact of American political life: the utter subservience of both parties and all of the official institutions to the financial aristocracy.
Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, proclaimed his agreement and pledged to have emergency legislation ready for Bush’s signature by the beginning of next week at the latest.
Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, similarly signed off on the blank check for the mortgage giants. Senator Charles Schumer, a senior member of the Banking Committee, said, “The Treasury’s plan is surgical and carefully thought out and will maximize confidence in Fannie and Freddie while minimizing potential costs to US taxpayers.” He added that the plan would “be reassuring to investors, bondholders and mortgage-holders that the federal government will be behind these agencies should it be needed.”
The corporate-controlled media did its part to boost the scheme by portraying it for the most part as a boon to homeowners.
Suddenly, the much bemoaned “gridlock” in Congress vanishes. The Democrats, who have sought to explain away their repeated votes to fund the Iraq war by pointing to the supposedly insurmountable opposition of the Republicans to their “redeployment” plans, claiming “the votes aren’t there” for their partial withdrawal schemes, now march in lockstep with the minority party to rush through laws demanded by Wall Street. Other initiatives, such as those on immigration, have died as a result of unbridgeable differences between punitive and even more punitive bills. But on this issue, Congress moves with military dispatch.
There is nothing mysterious about the abject subordination of both Congress and the executive branch to Wall Street. Paulson, whose worth is estimated in the hundreds of millions, was chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs before taking over the post of treasury secretary.
The Center for Responsive Politics reported in 2006 that about half of the Senate’s 100 members were millionaires, with an average net worth of $8.9 million. In 2004, 123 members of the 435-member House of Representatives earned at least $1 million.
The buying of legislators and their votes by corporate interests is carried out openly and shamelessly. Members of Frank’s House Financial Services Committee received over $18 million from financial services, insurance and real estate firms this year. Frank himself raised over $1.2 million, almost half of which came from finance and related industries.
Senator Dodd’s top contributor in the 2003-2008 election cycle was Citigroup, followed by SAC Capital Partners. He raised $4.25 million from securities and investment firms.
Senator Schumer’s top contributor was likewise Citigroup. He raised $1.4 million from securities and investment firms, his most lucrative corporate sector.

The government-corporate nexus is awash in corruption and bribery. This has grown apace with the so-called “financialization” of the US economy over the past three decades. The ruling elite has systematically scrapped large sections of industry and increasingly amassed its wealth through forms of financial speculation divorced from and destructive of the productive forces. The result has been an immense growth of financial parasitism alongside a brutal assault on the social position and living standards of the working class.

Social inequality has grown to unprecedented levels, along with a new financial aristocracy that dominates all aspects of public life.

The counterpart of financialization is the criminalization of the American corporate-financial elite. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which have their roots in social reforms enacted during the New Deal—epitomize these twin processes. Virtually unregulated, they have engaged in massive speculation, bolstered by accounting fraud and bribery, to provide multi-million-dollar salaries for their top executives.
The former CEO of Freddie Mac, Leland C. Brendsel, paid $16.4 million in fines last year to settle charges of mismanagement at the mortgage company. The year before, the company paid a penalty of $3.8 million for illegal payments and perks to members of the House Financial Services Committee.
Fannie Mae, for its part, was fined $400 million for accounting manipulation from 1998 to 2004, during which time top executives reportedly received more than $90 million in bonuses.
Nor will the proposed bailout of these companies halt the deepening crisis of American and world capitalism. It will inevitably further undermine global confidence in the US financial system, intensify the crisis of the US dollar and stoke inflationary pressures. What is emerging is a crisis in which the solvency of the US government itself is called into question. As the Wall Street Journal put it on Monday, “But with financial woes mounting, some investors are betting they may profit from weighing an unthinkable question: Could the US government default?”
The bailout with public funds of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will set a precedent for a far broader use of taxpayer money to rescue major financial companies. Last week Paulson and Bernanke went before the House Financial Services Committee to demand legislation institutionalizing federal intervention to bail out failing Wall Street firms. The response of key Democrats such as Frank was to urge the regulators to call for such measures now, rather than after the new Congress takes office next year.
The cost of such bailouts will be borne by the working class, in the form of deeper cuts in social programs, education, housing and basic infrastructure, and new waves of corporate downsizing and wage-cutting.
The working class cannot defend its vital interests through pressure on the Democrats or any other institution of the American plutocracy. In the coming class battles, it must organize itself as an independent political force to fight for t
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jul2008/bail-j15.shtml

Paul asks…

Is it fair for government to bail out private corporation Fannie Mae by handing them 3.9 billion tax dollars??

Why don’t they give me that much money to pay off my debt and bail me out? Why do little guys have to struggle and a big corporation with shareholders in a capitalistic economy gets a huge giagantic handout from the government pretending it’s rescuing regular Joe’s who are having a hard time making their mortgage/apartment payments. This is so BS and nobody is speaking up?
they are not a bank! they are a private corp and the CEO and shareholders will benefit. If they don’t get the $ they lose their investment like the rest of Americans have in this economy. I guess y’all don’t know YOUR economics.
Their failure would benefit me by my tax dollars being spent to a worthy cause. Their success only ads to greed in this country, benefiting the CEO’s who make millions a year and have the biggest group of lobbyists for a corp in Washington. This is very unconstitutional.

Justin answers:

No, that’s not fair at all. Your congress is filled with billionaires who don’t care about you or other ordinary Americans as long as the corporate donations keep coming in. That’s true for Republicans AND Democrats.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been at the center of the housing market speculation that generated billions for Wall Street investors and CEOs and has now come crashing down, precipitating the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s. The two companies are massively leveraged, holding a combined $81 billion in capital to back the mortgages they own or guarantee—a ratio of capital to debt of 1.6 percent.

Their Ponzi scheme structures have been undermined by the collapse in home prices and the virulent spread of foreclosures. Over the past nine months they have lost a combined $11 billion and their stock has fallen by as much as 80 percent—a decline that turned into a rout last week as their stock values were cut nearly in half.
Their debacle is the latest and to date most spectacular expression of the decay of American capitalism. It is another refutation of the myths promoted by the US ruling elite about the miraculous workings of the capitalist market—supposedly the pinnacle of human achievement.
At the same time, it exposes the cynicism behind the official mantra of “free enterprise.” When it comes to big capital, losses are socialized. Only profits remain private.
Paulson’s plan to use taxpayer funds to rescue Wall Street were worked out over the weekend in feverish closed door consultations between the Bush administration, the Fed, the big banks and investment houses and congressional leaders. They were under enormous pressure to come up with a plan before the Asian markets opened Monday, and the crisis atmosphere was compounded by the fact that Freddie Mac was scheduled to market $3 billion in short-term debt. A catastrophe was looming if the banks and investment houses refused to buy the company’s bonds.
There can be no doubt that Wall Street exploited the situation to extract from the government the broadest possible guarantees and assurances for its interests. But the entire scheme had to be sanctioned by the Democratic Congress, since it required changes in the charters and legal regulations governing the two companies.
The immediate and vocal support announced by key Democratic legislators for this massive taxpayer-funded bailout demonstrates the most important fact of American political life: the utter subservience of both parties and all of the official institutions to the financial aristocracy.
Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, proclaimed his agreement and pledged to have emergency legislation ready for Bush’s signature by the beginning of next week at the latest.
Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, similarly signed off on the blank check for the mortgage giants. Senator Charles Schumer, a senior member of the Banking Committee, said, “The Treasury’s plan is surgical and carefully thought out and will maximize confidence in Fannie and Freddie while minimizing potential costs to US taxpayers.” He added that the plan would “be reassuring to investors, bondholders and mortgage-holders that the federal government will be behind these agencies should it be needed.”
The corporate-controlled media did its part to boost the scheme by portraying it for the most part as a boon to homeowners.
Suddenly, the much bemoaned “gridlock” in Congress vanishes. The Democrats, who have sought to explain away their repeated votes to fund the Iraq war by pointing to the supposedly insurmountable opposition of the Republicans to their “redeployment” plans, claiming “the votes aren’t there” for their partial withdrawal schemes, now march in lockstep with the minority party to rush through laws demanded by Wall Street. Other initiatives, such as those on immigration, have died as a result of unbridgeable differences between punitive and even more punitive bills. But on this issue, Congress moves with military dispatch.
There is nothing mysterious about the abject subordination of both Congress and the executive branch to Wall Street. Paulson, whose worth is estimated in the hundreds of millions, was chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs before taking over the post of treasury secretary.
The Center for Responsive Politics reported in 2006 that about half of the Senate’s 100 members were millionaires, with an average net worth of $8.9 million. In 2004, 123 members of the 435-member House of Representatives earned at least $1 million.
The buying of legislators and their votes by corporate interests is carried out openly and shamelessly. Members of Frank’s House Financial Services Committee received over $18 million from financial services, insurance and real estate firms this year. Frank himself raised over $1.2 million, almost half of which came from finance and related industries.
Senator Dodd’s top contributor in the 2003-2008 election cycle was Citigroup, followed by SAC Capital Partners. He raised $4.25 million from securities and investment firms.
Senator Schumer’s top contributor was likewise Citigroup. He raised $1.4 million from securities and investment firms, his most lucrative corporate sector.

The government-corporate nexus is awash in corruption and bribery. This has grown apace with the so-called “financialization” of the US economy over the past three decades. The ruling elite has systematically scrapped large sections of industry and increasingly amassed its wealth through forms of financial speculation divorced from and destructive of the productive forces. The result has been an immense growth of financial parasitism alongside a brutal assault on the social position and living standards of the working class.

Social inequality has grown to unprecedented levels, along with a new financial aristocracy that dominates all aspects of public life.

The counterpart of financialization is the criminalization of the American corporate-financial elite. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which have their roots in social reforms enacted during the New Deal—epitomize these twin processes. Virtually unregulated, they have engaged in massive speculation, bolstered by accounting fraud and bribery, to provide multi-million-dollar salaries for their top executives.
The former CEO of Freddie Mac, Leland C. Brendsel, paid $16.4 million in fines last year to settle charges of mismanagement at the mortgage company. The year before, the company paid a penalty of $3.8 million for illegal payments and perks to members of the House Financial Services Committee.
Fannie Mae, for its part, was fined $400 million for accounting manipulation from 1998 to 2004, during which time top executives reportedly received more than $90 million in bonuses.
Nor will the proposed bailout of these companies halt the deepening crisis of American and world capitalism. It will inevitably further undermine global confidence in the US financial system, intensify the crisis of the US dollar and stoke inflationary pressures. What is emerging is a crisis in which the solvency of the US government itself is called into question. As the Wall Street Journal put it on Monday, “But with financial woes mounting, some investors are betting they may profit from weighing an unthinkable question: Could the US government default?”
The bailout with public funds of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will set a precedent for a far broader use of taxpayer money to rescue major financial companies. Last week Paulson and Bernanke went before the House Financial Services Committee to demand legislation institutionalizing federal intervention to bail out failing Wall Street firms. The response of key Democrats such as Frank was to urge the regulators to call for such measures now, rather than after the new Congress takes office next year.
The cost of such bailouts will be borne by the working class, in the form of deeper cuts in social programs, education, housing and basic infrastructure, and new waves of corporate downsizing and wage-cutting.
The working class cannot defend its vital interests through pressure on the Democrats or any other institution of the American plutocracy. ”
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jul2008/bail-j15.shtml

James asks…

Why would Romney/Ryan choose more drastic cuts plan versus a more balanced approach to fixing Debt/Deficit.?

* All cuts in NON-Defense programs (Defense budget has doubled in past 10 years).
* Grow Defense budget another $200 Billion.
* No increase in Taxes.
* Tax Cuts/Tax reform that nets out big tax reductions for the rich, but Middle Class will pay approx. $2,000 more per year.
The Romney/Ryan budget proposes $5.3 trillion in NON-Defense budget cuts, and about $200 billion in DEFENSE INCREASES.

The $5.3 trillion in cuts includes $1.2 trillion in cuts to NON-defense discretionary programs; this $1.2 trillion in cuts is beyond the cuts needed to comply with the strict funding caps that the Budget Control Act established.

?$2.4 trillion in reductions from Medicaid and other health care for people with low or moderate incomes.

?$134 billion in cuts to SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

?At least $463 billion in cuts in mandatory programs serving low-income Americans other than Medicaid and SNAP. The Romney/Ryan budget documents indicate that he is proposing $1.2 trillion in cuts in mandatory programs other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs, but the documents do not specify how many specific programs would be cut with the exception of SNAP.

The documents also show $166 billion in mandatory cuts in the Education
righteousJ. You should take a Math class and actually research what NEW spending has been taking place over these past few years versus the increases mainly coming from Recession Loss of Revenue + Unfunded Wars now on the books + associated interest on that debt. If does take a big boy to understand these subtleties.

Justin answers:

Instead of the taxpayers paying a few billions to rescue our capitalist elite, we now have multi-trillions in bankster bailouts and that amount must be offset by austerity for the masses. This is what capitalist leaders are calling for in the U.S. As well as every nation in the world regardless of whether those leaders are conservative or liberal. In other words, the working class must pay for the richest capitalists being bailed out of a bankster Ponzi scheme they created which effectively bankrupted the leading capitalists and brought the entire global capitalist system to the brink of collapse. The money can come from no other source and all capitalist elites know it.

Raising taxes on the super-rich gangster-capitalists to pay for bailing out the super-rich gangster-capitalists is, quite obviously, counter-productive. That money must come from some other source. It must come from the working class. Initially, that means teachers, firefighters, park rangers and a host of other government workers must be fired and wages and benefits slashed. But that will never, ever produce sufficient funds to pay for the massive bailouts. The super-rich will eventually have to contribute. That will happen only after they have first accomplished a massive looting and raping of the American people combined with massive amounts of financial manipulation.

By keeping interest rates artificially low for corporations and banks (thereby effectively stealing from savers) money has been driven into the stock market. That has artificially driven up the value of the assets of the super-rich gangster-capitalists. At the same time, they have moved to slash workers’ wages and transfer health care costs from employers to employees. That attack on workers’ jobs, wages and benefits provides for increased profits and lays a necessary foundation for the value of their stock holdings which have been artificially inflated through the bailouts and the low interest rates. At the point that sufficient funds have been extracted from the working class, taxes will then be raised modestly on the super-rich.

In other words, the bailout funds can only come from the increased exploitation of the entire working class, public sector as well as private sector.

David asks…

Why isn’t Madoff along with his wife, and children being forced to sell all their assets to pay back victims?

The ultimate scum of the earth Madoff was allowed to settle civil fraud charges with the SEC Commission without having to admit any wrongdoing! WTF?! Even though $161 million has been approved for compensation payouts to 347 defrauded Bernard Madoff investors, we all know Madoff’s family (wife, children ALL have assets that they obtained from the blood monies taken by Madoff).

So the question is why is his immediate family being FORCED to SELL EVERYTHING like an estate sale to help pay back the investor losses? What the hell gives? We all know Madoff’s family positively benefited from the scheme and they are NOT suffering financially whatsoever, so what gives?

Justin answers:

Bernard Madoff is an American former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange who pled guilty to an 11-count criminal complaint, admitting to defrauding thousands of investors, and was convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme that has been called the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person. Federal prosecutors estimated client losses, which included fabricated gains, of almost $65 billion. At his June 29, 2009 sentencing, he faces a possible life sentence in prison, and up to $170 billion in restitution.

Madoff founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960, and was its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008. The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street, which bypassed “specialist” firms, by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.

He confessed to his sons first on December 10, 2008 that the asset management arm of his firm was a giant Ponzi scheme — as he put it, “one big lie.” They then passed this information to authorities. The following day, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. The SEC conducted several investigations into Madoff’s business practices since 1999, which critics contend were incompetently handled.

Madoff was a prominent philanthropist. He and his wife gave over $230,000 to political causes since 1991, with the bulk (88%) going to the Democratic Party, and 12% to the Republican Party.

Joseph asks…

What happens if social security & medicare run out?

I read an article that says $53 trillion is the amount we’re short.

I don’t know how credible the article is and don’t really care. I simply want to know what would happen if social security & medicare failed.

If I understand, social security is a government agency. Would the government then pay for it? Oh, and how did they manage to run up a debt of $53 trillion when the entire gdp is around $14 trillion? And please, no conjecturing about politics, I’ve heard enough smearing here as it is.
Randall: That was an incredible answer. I’m sorry to hear about your girlfriend, but am delighted the er visit was so affordable.

As for politicizing, you made no attempt to criticize any of the candidates (a refreshing break, I might add).

Justin answers:

What happened is that the Social Security System was set-up as a Ponzi scheme. Rather than having the system be self-sustaining, like your 401(k), IRA, or other accounts, the money collected was simply held in savings and then loaned to government units at very low interest rates. If you and I designed an investment scheme that mirrored the SS plan, we would be arrested and jailed for fraud!

Each month, the system collects money from those who are working, adds that to its reserves, and then pays out money to those who are not working. This was initially to be a retirement system, but has devolved into a welfare system, which is one of the primary reasons for its failure.

As more individuals cease working (think baby boomer retirees), less individuals are contributing to the system, while more individuals are draining the system’s resources. This is due in part to a decreasing population growth rate over time, as the average age of our population increases.

Since the system does not generate a return that even comes close to matching inflation, while deposits do not keep up with current outflows, the reserve is shrinking. Once this reserve reaches zero (around 2030 or so), the system will be bankrupt. At this point, the checks stop coming.

The debt quoted is the present value of all future payments, less the amount of money available to make those payments. It doesn’t matter how big this figure becomes, because once the system is insolvent, no more money can be paid out from it.

SS and MEDC were bad enough as unfunded liabilities ($20 trillion in reality), but the senior prescription drug bill added $70 trillion to the total. So much for fixing things!

The only ways to fix this include a combination of the following:

1) Decrease future payouts by placing new age and income restrictions
2) Increase FICA/MEDC withholding rates (not likely to happen)
3) Allow the money to be invested at market rates to curb the decline in reserves (This would really help the economy if invested in the stock market)

Another alternative would be to overhaul the current medical industry in the US, but that won’t happen.

I presently live in the Philippines, although I spent my first 40 years in the US. A few years ago (while still in the US), I had to be rushed to the hospital due to dizziness. I spent about six hours there. The ambulance ride cost about $500, and the medical care provided me cost about another $2,500. I did not have medical insurance at the time, so I paid all of this out of my pocket.

Last week, my girlfriend suddenly developed breathing problems in the middle of the night. She was hyperventilating, and could not stop. I had to rush out and find a motor trike to take her to the hospital (about 7 miles away). We rushed her there, she was immediately seen (not the 4-8 hour wait in the USA) and treated. We spent about two hours there. Since she was still weak, I had her brought home on another motor trike.

Here, the trike is much faster than an ambulance, as a method of reaching the hospital. My total expenses for her emergency care (in US $) are as follow:

High Speed Trike Ride – $ 2.50
Emergency Room Visit – $ 6.25
EKG Cost ——————- $ .25
Trike Ride Home ——— $ 2.50

Total cost of ER Visit —–$ 11.50

Now, before you say, “Well the Philippines doesn’t offer the same quality of care,” take a look at any hospital you visit in the USA. You will find that a large number of nurses working there are Filipino. They are trained here, and then travel overseas to work in hospitals around the world. I would argue that medical care in the Philippines, for the most part, is as good as anywhere else. Hospitals may not have the same overall standards for comfort as in the USA, but the quality of care is on par.

Comparing the cost of my ER visit to hers $3,000 vs. $11.50 gives you an example of part of the problem. Medical care costs in the USA have skyrocketed out of control. Much of this is due to the high cost of education, research costs, prescription drug costs, and litigation. Until we find a way to reduce these costs, fixing SS/MEDC will be a long, uphill battle.

Anyway, I hope that I was able to answer your question without smearing or politicyzing the issue. If SS/MEDC fail, retirees and welfare moms would see their checks stop. Perhaps, a second American Civil War would ensue, but I don’t know.

This problem can be fixed, but the longer we wait (we’ve known about this since the 1970s), the more it will cost, and the more recipients will suffer.

If you are reading this, start planning to fund your own retirement right now, because the government will not be there to help you. Good luck!

Thomas asks…

Is there really an economic crisis?

Or, is this just another fear tactic to fleece the sheep of all their wool?
What I see are the effects of corporate America owning our government.
Is anybody going to bail me out when I can’t pay my bills because I’ve gambled all my wealth away?
Many mention the fact that the banks won’t loan money, small businesses can’t hire people without the banks loaning money etc…….. My feeling is this, live within your means , don’t borrow money…. Small businesses that don’t have money to hire people apparently haven’t made enough money to do so…… Sure seems like a lot of people are buying into this scam….. What would be wrong with getting the criminals who made this mess (wall street) to pay for this mess?? Wait I remember we have to retain them people with large salaries and bonuses because without them, well things would just get worse…….. give me a break and wake up america……”YOU’VE BEEN PUNKED”.

Justin answers:

Your observaton holds alot of validity.

….considering that Banks simply said “we need money”…and never showed the books to prove it…and have refused requests to see the books

…then everyone followed with the same tactic.

No one has shown their books.

People are getting laid off…but that is a perfect way to get rid of high paid workers. You will eventually see those companies hire people back…but at a reduced salary.

Other than big corporations making claims, and government people echoing those claims…there is really an overwhelming lack of other telltale signs that the economy is in criis.

Food Prices are stable..shelves are stocked…gas is lower than its been in years

The stock market means nothing….common people don’t realize that the daily fluctuation of the stock market is largely a controlled movement. The big players can influence it generally to go up and down…and that is how they make money on a daily basis. Perception is the other influence….The stock market is not an indicator of economy…but those in authority will have you believe that it is because it serves their purpose.

Here is an interesting documentary that explains how banks work, and their relationship to each other and the Federal Reserve. It describes he process of fractional banking…the method of banks loaning money from each other. You’ll draw an interesting comparison to “ponzi” schemes as you watch it.

Http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279

Generally, the public has very little understanding of how things are working on the upper levels of society…and thats the way they want it.

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