Wanna See the Future we are Facing if We Don’t Get
the Federal Budget Under Control?
Venezuela is far away and has a history of social and governmental unrest but it serves as an example of what is in store for the U.S. economy if we don’t get some adults in charge up in Washington D.C..
The country is swimming in oil but the politicians have been using the oil revenues to subsidize oil exports to Cuba, China, and India along with spending billions on social programs designed to buy votes after chaos caused by currency controls implemented by Chavez in 2003 to prevent capital flight.
The result of those currency controls was to freeze the official exchange rate at an artificially high rate if you are buying dollars to pay for imported merchandise. The state will sell you dollars based on a three tier foreign exchange rate depending on the priority of the item you are importing. Venezuela is like the U.S. in that it is dependent on imported goods, some 70% of products sold in Venezuela are imported and must be paid for in foreign currency, usually U.S. dollars.
Food and medicine imports qualify for the best rate; 6.3 bolivars per U.S. dollar, but the other two rates for items of lesser priority are 11 and 50 bolivars per U.S. dollar. That is if the central bank has any dollars to sell you. The only other choice is to buy U.S. dollars on the black-market for up to 87 bolivars to the U.S. dollar.
Lately the Venezuelan government is floating an idea to set the official exchange rate at 25 to the dollar, four times less than the current official rate, exacerbating the notorious soaring inflation rate which reached 60% earlier this year. Experts claim that the market would have to be lowered to at least 80 bolivars per dollar if the black market trade is expected to be tamed.
The Venezuelan government is trying to rein in soaring prices and shortages of basic goods like food, medicine, raw materials, virtually everything that is imported is in short supply unless purchased on the black market where the prices are much higher. Businesses such as Ford, Fiat, G.M., and Toyota have slashed production rates due to the inability to obtain imported raw materials or sub assemblies. Thousands of workers are laid off and workers and small businesses are worried that the plants will shut down permanently if the exchange rate isn’t adjusted.
And it isn’t just car manufactures that are finding it impossible to purchase dollars to import materials, newspapers, bottlers, food processors; any company that is dependent on imports for materials or supplies is in danger of closing.
One of the facts of modern life is that few countries can make a pencil using local resources The rubber for the eraser usually has to be imported, or the wood, or the graphite, or the paint or the ink for printing the logo on the side. Usually the machinery and supplies needed for production or maintenance are imported and even a pencil factory will grind to a halt in a few days if imports are restricted or priced out of reach.
The Venezuelan government blames greedy businessmen of course, sidestepping the fact that it is politics that brought the economy to this state. Meanwhile politically connected businessmen drained the public coffers for imports that never arrived and billions were diverted into election spending while the average person can’t find toilet paper, cooking oil, or sugar unless they are willing to pay black market prices.
The bolivar’s value is plunging so fast as evidenced by the skyrocketing inflation that saving money in a bank or investing in the stock market would be insane so those with assets invest in things like cars or goods. One example was a taxi driver that bought a new 2008 Renault for $7,441 in 2008 and sold it for $30,000 in 2013. Imagine a world where an five year old car was “worth” four times what you paid for it when in a functioning society the car would have lost 80% of its value to depreciation.
But those cars need parts to keep them on the road and since auto part suppliers can’t get dollars to import parts a thriving black market in stolen parts has developed. And if you want to grab lunch at a local McDonalds it is going to cost you 73 bolivars which means you are spending either 84 cents if you are a tourist that brought dollars into the country or $11.59 if you are a local that is drawing a paycheck or subsisting on a pension.
The Venezuelan government is responding to the crisis by printing more bolivars, fueling even more inflation as people spend bricks of bolivars to buy necessities of life. Earlier this year the government added a third tier to the official exchange rate but the latest word is that it hasn’t made a dent in the lack of foreign currency available for imported items.
Meanwhile the country is grinding to a halt as jobs disappear and basic necessities soar in cost due to the lack of foreign currency and the accompanying inflation.
This could be the U.S. one day if we don’t stop the madness and get our finances under control. When the day comes when the oil producing countries or China decides that the U.S. dollar is only accepted at steep discounts for payment for exports we will find ourselves in the same boat as the Venezuelans. Business will grind to a halt as parts and raw materials either become too expensive to buy or impossible to procure, or inflation will mean that fewer and fewer people can afford what the businesses sell. The federal government will respond as it always does by printing more dollars or creating them out of thin air in a computer system and loaning the “money” out to other banks or businesses, fueling even more inflation.
And we are really already there after the massive currency expansions started in the Bush administration and continued under the Obama administration. The Federal Reserve has soaked up a lot of the excess currency by paying banks to park their money overnight or even flat out keeping the excess cash at the Fed, preferring to collect a paltry but safe amount of interest rather than risk loaning the money to a business or individual. Makes you wonder what the banks know that we don’t? Do they understand all too well that the house of cards is soon to fall?
The short version of what is occurring is that the dollar is being destroyed by our own government. A currency has only one purpose and reason for existing; to serve as a method of measurement. Like a yardstick or a ruler we use money to determine the value of different items. We might not know how many ears of corn would be needed to barter for a gallon of gas or for a roll of toilet paper but the free market determines the value of those ears of corn and the gasoline and the toilet paper in a functioning economy. But once the “value” of the dollar or the bolivar is in question chaos occurs and inflation roars.
For thousands of years societies based their currency on gold or silver because the value was consistent. For thousands of years governments have tinkered with fiat currencies in time of war when gold or silver was in short demand and for thousands of years we have endured the resulting inflation or deflation depending on which fiat currency was nose diving. Yet we the people still allow governments to monkey with the value of our currency in the name of safety or creating jobs. And the free market will correct all things, that is the one thing that we can be certain of. Eventually the day will come when it takes a backpack of U.S. dollars to purchase a bag of groceries or a box of spare parts to keep the old car running.
Is this inevitable? No, but it is profitable for big businesses and for the wealthy. Financial busts are how most of the rich families got rich. Reminds me of a customer of mine that has spent decades of his life producing oil field equipment, selling it when times are good and the oil field is booming, then buying the same equipment back for ten cents on the dollar when the price of oil collapse. The rich made fortunes in the Great Depression buying back property they had sold when prices were high and paying a pittance at auction or taking advantage of those that had to sell just to survive.
The solution is to return the U.S. dollar to the gold standard by re implementing the promise to exchange X amount of dollars for an ounce of gold. When that happens the government can no longer afford enormous social programs or fund unlimited wars across the world. The “poor” will have to work or starve and we will understand once again that we aren’t feeding, housing, and clothing “poor” people; we are enabling the lazy and destroying our country and our currency as a byproduct. Or it could be that this is all by design so that the wealthy can take advantage of another economic disaster. What Oklahoma can do is to explore legislation that would enable the state to set up a functioning currency when the day comes that the dollar finally crashes and revels what the free market thinks of our government.
A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
WITH TEA PARTY BELIEFS
Every once in a while we here about a Democratic Candidate for office that has all the qualities of a Tea Party Candidate. We believe we’ve found one running for the open seat on House District 89 by the name of Mary Sosa. We first heard about Mary here
. It seems the she is a retired employee of Oklahoma City and has lived in the district for the last thirty three (33) years. She’s also a volunteer for several different organizations.
She is also a minority candidate. This is a group that the TEA Party has been actively recruiting. Mary Sosa has done remarkably well in the primary as you can see here
. She’ll face Shane Stone in a run off on August 26th
of this year. Stone was endorsed by the State Chamber of Commerce.
The next article we found of interest was this
. This is her campaign web site. We took our time on the site just to see how much information we could find out about her. There is a ton of information available on this site. As a lifelong resident of South Oklahoma City, she knows the neighborhood well.
Now this article
puzzled us. By the articles own admission, they had no records on her. We searched all of our usual sites, and could find nothing. We even went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission
and could find nothing regarding campaign finances on a previous campaign. We could only come to the conclusion that this was someone trying to mess with the record of a Tea Party style candidate.
The next article of interest we found was this
. This article is interesting because it shows that she has every intent to work for Hispanic problems should she be elected. This article also indicates that she’s a workaholic. There’s nothing wrong with that. It goes on to claim that they are a poor community, but a proud, hardworking community. It’s strange how nothing was said about the gang problem they have in the district or plans to remediate that problem.
The next article really intrigued us because of its briefness. You can see the article here
. This publication is not known as a supporter of Tea Party style candidates. They will, as in this case, give them a brief mention and that’s about it. That tells us a lot about this candidate.
The next article of interest we found was this
. We did find it odd that they would raise the hopes of the Democratic Party on progressive and Hispanic votes, on someone that was so Conservative in nature. This will be a pick up for the Democratic party in the House of Representatives. There are no Republican challengers, so whoever wins the run off, wins the District 89 election. It would be nice to have a Tea Party type Democrat in the seat.
The next item that came to our attention was this
. Now this is an area that the Tea Party has shied away from. We should admire her for taking the steps it needs to win an election and include an entire community. Those are the values of the Tea Party.
The next article of interest we found was this
. This appears to be an organization that helps Mary Sosa and gives her the determination and assistance, when needed, to see projects through. You might say that Possibilities, Inc. has given her voice in the community.
Then there was this article
. Now this organization claims to fund women of both political parties. From the investigations we’ve done ourselves, that claim doesn’t hold water. We have yet to find a Republican Woman in Oklahoma that they have financially supported. We found that extremely deceitful.
We next went to www.votesmart.org
to see what information they might have on Mary Sosa. There is practically no information on her at all. The only place there was any detail at all was the Ratings and Endorsements page. The NRA gave her a 0% rating, but that is unreliable simply because there is nothing to base it on.
We next went to www.followthemoney.org
to see if they had any information on her campaign finances. They had nothing. By this time we were pretty sure that she had never been a candidate for an office before.
We next went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission
to see what they had on her campaign finances. We finally found some reports. It would appear that most of her donations are coming from individuals. That is what we like to see in a good Tea Party Candidate. Although she does have several out of state donations, when you’ve worked for a government as long as she has, you’ll make contacts like that out of state.
We also looked at her Corporate and Union donations. There was very little in corporate donations, but as she is a Democrat, the unions have invested in her campaign. This is not unusual for a Democratic Candidate.
All in all if you’re a Tea Party voter, this is the candidate you want to vote for. With no Republican contender in the District 89 race this year, this is who you want to vote for. She’s as close to a Tea Party Candidate as we can get.
By Ms PM
“So much of the history of the struggle between good and evil can be explained by Edmund Burke’s observation. Time and again those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right. There are numerous examples of this sad and awful scenario being played out over and over again.” This statement is taken from Padfield.com The Church of Christ.
There are some really stupid laws in Oklahoma. These are claimed to be true but no investigation has been done. The point is to bring attention to the time taken to pass these supposed laws while good laws are bypassed. We also understand that these laws will never be cleared off the books; our great leaders are simply too busy.
- You need a permit to feed swine. (Evidentially our legislatures don’t know about this one because taxpayers are constantly feeding the porkers.)
- It’s illegal to sell a stink bomb.
- It’s illegal to break into a prison.
- It’s against the law to trip a horse.
- It’s a crime to disturb a salamander in a cave.
- Using a yo-yo to fish is a crime. (This one needs to stay…our leaders are soooo stupid, they can’t bait the hook.)
takes us back to July, 2012 and states that “Oklahoma is known for having some of the worst puppy mills in the country.” The latest change in the law regarding the puppy mill problem has been handed off to the Department of Agriculture…with no funding. We wonder why our state government doesn’t want to address a serious problem. Most breeders aren’t on any record with the state. Do we have this correct? No money to do the job and no list of breeders? We guess fishing isn’t the only thing our law makers can’t do.
This next article
was written in November, 2013 when a citizen complained, and only after the complaint was there an investigation. The ever popular OKC Poms breeder, Linda Roach, had 124 dogs seized after deplorable conditions were found. She has been at it for over 30 years; yeah our law is working just fine. She was inspected but once that was done it was back to her “same old games of cruelty.” Would it be a good idea to do “random” inspections instead of “scheduled” inspections? Given the choice, which animal would chose to eat cockroach infested food, live in their feces and sleep in filthy cages? Even with the 124 dogs seized, 41 were allowed to stay, and that doesn’t say much for a law that is supposed to protect against animal cruelty. Even the USDA requirements are minimal as to care and comfort.
We have a case in May, 2013
when the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office dealt with another severe case of animal abuse. Southeast of El Reno, Marla Satterfield was arrested on 33 counts of cruelty to animals. She was running a puppy mill from her home. One of Satterfield’s dogs was dragging her 2 week old puppy around because the puppy was matted to her fur.
This next article
was written in April, 2013 when Seminole County Deputies called it the “worst case of animal abuse we’ve ever seen.” This time it was horses and “dozens” of carcasses had to be removed. The volunteers and deputies had the difficult task of saving 64 horses, 26 dogs and many other animals from the horrid conditions. This culprit, Nichole Vaughn, had previously run a puppy mill and was found guilty of cruelty to animals. Her punishment was a $2,500 fine and over $5,000 in court costs. Could it be that the punishments for these heinous acts need to be much tougher? And by tougher, it would be quite fitting to use the movie “Fargo” as a precursor to justice.
was back in November, 2012 and has nothing to do with cruelty to animals but it does have a connection to dogs. An 18 month old toddler was locked in a dog crate. Another of William Todd Lewallen’s children was running around naked in the back yard with temperatures in the 40’s. And Lewallen, well he was asleep after he took pain meds, a muscle relaxant and anti-seizure medication topped off with beer. The neighbors heard the screaming child in the crate from inside the house but “daddy” didn’t. The children were placed with DHS.
This next article
brings us to July 16, 2014 when two dogs were found in Midwest City. They were locked in a cage and starving inside a vacant apartment. How they survived the duration of what could have been more than a month is in fact a miracle. The owner left food and water but it was outside the cage and they couldn’t get to it. The younger dog could barely lift its head. This culprit, Corey Harrison denied the dogs were his. He was not arrested, the Midwest City police was “waiting on a warrant.”
dated July 21, 2014 is an update to the last one. The younger of the two dogs has died.
It seems the police were called to the apartment on July 11, 2014. The Midwest City Police Department is still “waiting on a warrant.” But…they do plan on charging Harrison with two counts of animal abuse.
This next information
is from 2011 and ranks each state for their laws on animal abuse. Not only is Oklahoma a very corrupt state it also ranks low on the rectum scale as far as making it a priority to STOP animal abuse. The best state for protecting animals is California. The worst is South Dakota. Good ole’ Oklahoma comes in at number 12 from the bottom.
The common denominator between animals, the elderly and children is that they cannot take care of themselves. It is left to the people who care for them. There is much to be said about a state that doesn’t put a priority on this issue. There is even more to be said about the citizens within that state that accept a cruel lifestyle placed upon those reliant on the care they receive. So…we ask that all citizens of Oklahoma step up and demand that those we elect place a high priority to care for those that are cared for. The penalties for these cruel acts MUST be stiff otherwise we will continue to breed these scumbags within our state. Please, stand up and DEMAND better laws!