“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More free Stuff for Illegal Immigrants

I guess we have to go totally broke for this insanity to stop.

I found this video, done by a cute young woman, who may have had a drink or two too many but worthy of a watch to listen to her rant. She turned off the imbed. Understandable. She would be an excellent patron at the EB.

LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown is now considering whether to sign landmark legislation that would extend state financial aid to illegal immigrants who are college students. And that makes Lewis anxious.
Will the law pit illegal immigrants against U.S. citizens at a time of skyrocketing demand for student aid? Can the state afford the largesse in this bleak economy?
"The issue is not students who are undocumented through no fault of their own wanting an education," said Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans club. "The problem is that the public dollars are not there to meet the needs of even [legal] California residents."
Such questions have mounted, along with pressures on Brown from all sides, as he prepares to act on the bill. In July, Brown signed a companion measure giving undocumented students and others who qualify for reduced in-state tuition access to private scholarships. The package of legislation is known as the California Dream Act.
Despite the passions, many financial aid experts say they expect little displacement of legal students by illegal immigrants if Brown signs the bill. Many also argue that the costs will be relatively small, but the investment will reap substantial returns for state taxpayers — who already are legally required to pay for schooling through high school regardless of students' immigration status.
"These students have worked hard to get to college," Diana Fuentes Michel, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said of undocumented students. "By not furthering their education, we're preventing them from realizing their full potential, which will reduce state revenues in the future that supports all of our citizens."
She said the Dream Act would not affect U.S. citizens or legal residents receiving funds from the state's biggest pot of college financial aid, the $1.3-billion Cal-Grant entitlement program. Those grants are unlimited and given to everyone who meets the academic and low-income requirements, she said. Last year, the aid commission made available an average $4,500 grant to all 372,565 eligible applicants — an increase of more than 145,000 students in three years.
The $127-million fund for Cal-Grant competitive awards, which are limited, will almost certainly not be available to illegal immigrants. That's because the bill prohibits undocumented students from receiving those grants before eligible U.S. citizens and legal residents are served, and at present there are 10 applicants for every award, Michel said.
A Senate committee analysis estimated the annual added cost to the Cal-Grant program at $13 million. But it is not actually known how many undocumented students will be eligible for the grants. One hurdle is the financial aid application process, which involves a federal form used for both state and federal awards that requires a Social Security or taxpayer identification number. Another potential issue for illegal immigrants is the requirement to produce evidence of income, such as tax returns. Michel said the state would need to come up with a different process for them.


  1. Are Republican candidates so bad that they cannot get traction in California?

  2. The economic outlook for the United States and California is grim, according to the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University.

    The forecast released today says the U.S. economy is weaker than previously thought and that California is on a fast track to a "postindustrial hell."

    Indicating a stalled economy, the gross domestic product and productivity were much lower than had been expected, and job losses continue.

    "The jobs data and productivity data are really disturbing," said Bill Watkins, executive director of the center, in Thousand Oaks.

    "The August job growth was zero, but if it's revised downward as the previous two months were, then we're into a negative. The definition of recession is persistent decline in the number of jobs."

    The forecast predicts a possible increase in the unemployment rate in the next few months and for the California economy to be weaker than the nation's.

    Read more:

  3. Well, the Republican Candidate for Governor had an illegal immigrant running her household.

  4. The little slutty rantress at the link was, if sufficiently intoxicated, yourself, mildly hittable.

  5. Led and cheered on by Democrats, unprecedented regulatory mandates that are ridiculous, lawyers suing anyone for anything, illegal aliens siphoning what is left, California is on a suicide mission and most of the brain dead corrupt union thug loving Democrats and dysfunctional State legislators don't have a clue! Its going to get worse.

    Mexico's illegal colonization of the U.S is just adding to the economic burden and will continue to do so as more and more arrive

  6. Things are getting ready to get "interesting." It appears Congress is actually on the verge of passing a nasty tariff on China's ass.

    I'm not against it, but I hope they've "thought through" some of the consequences.

  7. Thought through? Congress? Did Nixon and Kissinger think it through when they started this thing with China?

  8. ...I'm not against it, but I hope they've "thought through" some of the consequences.


  9. It should bring a few jobs, but inflation is going to "Jump!" At first, anyway.

    The secondary effects will include a "stronger" dollar against "other" currencies which is disinflationary.

    Of course, that also depends on China's reaction. Unknowable.

    Like I said, "Interesting."

  10. China has actually turned into a large "export" market for us. They will, likely, retaliate, which will kill some jobs in the U.S.

    Anyone that tells you they know "ezzackly" what will happen is a crazed, and dangerous person. Your fav guru is just as likely to be wrong, as right.

  11. I don't mind helping out with bread, meat, milk, vegetables, fruit, etc., but I admit, I get a little grouchy when I see those carts overflowing with Coca Cola, Potato Chips, Pop Tarts, Sugary cereals, etc.

  12. Some interesting numbers coming out the next two days. G'nite.

  13. All "Real Conservatives" supports "States Rights".

    If the Federals let those foreign students reside in the several States and those the States want to subsidize those foreign students, well, what business is it of anyone residing in some other State?

  14. Can we catch a suspected terrorist who sneaks in from Mexico then let him go free on bail? YES WE F'N DID!

    The President's mascara is running:

    “President Obama finished the speech, walked off the stage, was escorted to the back corridor where he collapsed into a seat against the wall. Both hands went to each side of his head which was leaning down almost between his knees. You could see marks on the sides of his face where the stage makeup had been rubbed off by his hands. He wears that stuff everywhere these days. A staffer walked up and leaned over the president and told him it was time to go. The president looked up, gave a little smile, and got to his feet slowly. Very slowly. The only word he said was “Yeah.” There was no excitement. No energy from him. The people around the president seemed to ignore his condition. They looked right through him until he started walking down the hallway toward the outside. They followed alongside him and seemed to kind of push him out the door. The president looked incredibly tired. Used up.”

  15. If the Federals let those foreign students reside in the several States and those the States want to subsidize those foreign students, well, what business is it of anyone residing in some other State?

    Let me explain it to to you:

    Federal Immigration and Nationality Act
    Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)

    "Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

    Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):

    A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:

    * assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or

    * encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or

    * knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

    Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief.

  16. A "Real Conservative" believes in equal justice for all. I am sure you will agree.

  17. .

    If the Federals let those foreign students reside in the several States and those the States want to subsidize those foreign students, well, what business is it of anyone residing in some other State.

    In addition to being the land of the fruits and the nuts, CA is the land of the propositions and the ballot initiatives. So if the residents in CA don't like the legislation they can reverse it.

    However, regarding why should people in other states be concerned about CA policies?

    You will remember it wasn't that long ago that CA was asking for a bailout from OZ.

    Likewise, were CA to continue spending to the point of insolvency, does anyone here doubt that the US government would step in to prevent bankruptcy?


  18. The tide is turning, Deuce. A judge upheld Alabama's immigration law, despite a challenge from Obama's DOJ. Cops there can ask about immigration status when they pull someone over. Funny what people's politics look like after their 99 weeks of unemployment run out, but they see illegals working the few jobs there still are out there.

  19. Misprison of Felony, Deuce, is a Federal crime.

    Who has been indicted?

    Many know of felonies and fail to report them.

    That behavior is a crime, yet many defended the Bar patron that followed that course of action in his personal life.

    The Federals could, indict California, for Misprison of Felony, if there was a "real" issue.

    Any of the several States could go to the Supremes, in a case of original jurisdiction, against the Federals, based upon Misprison of Felony.

    None do.

  20. .

    Are Global Banking Rules 'Anti-American'?

    Jamie “The Dick” Dimon has been on the warpath this month against new international banking rules, saying their capital requirements are "anti-American."

    At a closed-door meeting of the Financial Stability Forum in Washington last week, he reportedly "launched a tirade" against the Basel III regulatory standards and against Mark Carney, the central banker of Canada who is seen as the successor to lead the forum.

    On Sunday, Mr. Carney said publicly: "If some institutions feel pressure today, it is because they have done too little for too long, rather than because they are being asked to do too much, too soon."



  21. Eve Arizona, which could have gone directly to the Supremes, in regard to its' own Immigration legislation.

    It chose not to.
    But to take the case through the Ninth Circuit Court, that has no Constitutional jurisdiction.

    Not in a case 'tween the Federals and a State.

    Yet that was the course charted, for local political reasons.

    In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

  22. "Even" Arizona, not "Eve", nice as she is.

  23. Non blond-haired, blue eyed man who isn't a Christian charged in terror plot

    Supreme Court asked to rule on constitutionality of health insurance mandate

    There are more than 2 trillion barrels of oil from unconventional sources in the United States, plus another 2.4 million in Canada and 2 trillion in South America, compared with the Middle Eastern and North African conventional oil reserves of 1.2 trillion, the article says.

    Thanks to new techniques for horizontal drilling for shale gas production in the United States, and other new technologies to extract oil from Canada’s oil sands, or from Brazil’s off-shore “pre-salt” deposits, these and other reserves in the Americas will soon become the center of gravity of the world’s oil supply, it says.

  24. The grand numbers of laws, Deuce, that are ignored by the law makers and the enforcers, well, does it not invalidate all laws?


    What it does do, it diminishes "The Law".

    Fast & Furious, another example of "The Law" being ignored, by the enforcers. None of the Federals who were guilty of law breaking, in the name of "The Law" have been indicted.

    When the enforcers pick and chose the Laws they enforce, well, we've become a nation of men, not law.

    Get used to it.
    Been that way for a long, long time.

  25. What is the state of society, when everyone is guilty of "something"?

  26. When the Secretary of the Treasury is a proven tax cheat, what does that tell you?

  27. When the Federal government funds the purchases of weapons, for the drug cartels in Mexico, what message does that send?

    Are you receiving or willfully ignoring the message the Federals are sending?

  28. .

    Class Warfare?

    Poll shows Americans probably don't buy the argument.

    Fewer than 1 in 3 say Obama favors the ‘have-nots,’ but many say GOP helps the ‘haves’

    Nearly half of all Americans say President Obama treats society’s “haves” and “have-nots” about equally, perhaps blunting Republican criticism that he is engaged in “class warfare.” Still, nearly three in 10 see the president as overly favoring the “have-nots,” according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. Half as many see the president as favoring the “haves.”

    Public opinion about Republicans is a bit harsher: almost half say Republicans in Congress are doing more to help the haves, with fewer -- under a third -- saying the GOP treats both sides of the divide about equally...

    Class Warfare?


  29. The Reformation of Islam is gaining steam, at least in Saudi Arabia.

    Globe and Mail - ‎

    King Abdullah's unexpectedly speedy reversal of a court's order that a woman be lashed for the crime of driving a car could indicate just how serious the Saudi ruler is about enhancing the civil rights of women in the Kingdom.

  30. As to the historic lessons ...

    The most productive segment of the US population, today, based upon college entrance exams, etc, are the descendents of Chinese immigrants.

    Immigrants that warrented their own, special, legislation.

    Chinese Exclusion Act
    May 6, 1882

    (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. XXII, p. 58 ff.)

  31. .

    A bogus chart on Obama and the debt gets a new lease on life

    Not only are the Dems guilty of 'lying with statistics', they are guilty of lying with bogus statistics.

    The Numbers Don't Lie. Right?


  32. If the US had encouraged immigration from China, in 1882, instead of attempting to stifle it, well, how much further ahead would we be today?

  33. The reason the GOP cannot gain traction, in California, they are far from the mainstream of public opinion, there.

    As to California being "bailed out" by the Federals ...

    California, New York and New Jersey are States that historically send more money to Washington than they get back.

    While States like Alaska, Idaho and Arizona receive much more money from Washington than they send.

    Are Alaska, Idaho and Arizona being "bailed out" on a continuing basis?

  34. It seems that in Saudi Arabia there is no acknowledgement of "Civil Rights", but there is an ongoing extension of "Civil Privilege" to ever more residents, there.

  35. Small steps towards enlightenment.

  36. Blogger Quirk said...


    The Treasury cannot print new notes without new Congressional authority. Which could never be obtained, in the current political environment.

    You miss the point.

    The platinum coins, a mere sop to the platinum industry, thrown into past legislation as a favor by some flunky in Congress and never intended to be minted as large denomination coins.

    The only reason more cash can't be printed is that some past Congress decided $300 billion or so was the most cash they wanted floating around at one time, in effect an arbitrary number. Congress can change that number anytime they want. The same political reality regarding the cash affects the coins. Obama has already stated he doesn't think he has the authority to do it (I would suggest that is a political rather than a legal decision on his part).

    As I said, either is equally doable or not doable from a political standpoint.

    There were two reasons suggested for issuing the coins; first, to get around the debt ceiling problem, and second, to pay off the debt. The only reason these are suggested as being needed is because of actions taken by Congress. The first is because Congress established the concept of a debt ceiling. That is easily changed by removing any legislated debt ceiling. In reality, the US has to pay its debts regardless. Why do we need a debt ceiling accept as another excuse for the boys in OZ to shirk their budgeting duties?

    The second reason is because Congress has mandated that bonds be issued in advance to pay for all the deficits they are running up. This requirement too can be reversed by Congress. But that brings us back to the economic and practical reasons for not doing either, minting coins or printing the paper.

    And that was the main point I was alluding to in my post.

    The benefits far outweigh both the obvious and unforeseen negative consequences that could arise with an injection of $3 trillion into circulation. Combined with removing the Treasury from the debt markets, we'd see an increase in economic activity.

    Perhaps in rat-world; however, I would suggest most economists, the Fed, and most of our creditors would disagree with you. In effect, you would be monetizing the debt, something that may happen over time anyway; however, you would do it overnight. I admire the nonchalance with which you assure us there would be no serious problems associated with these actions, but I would also suggest that much of the world, including the boys in OZ (on both sides of the aisle) would disagree with you.


    Wed Sep 28, 11:19:00 PM EDT

    Damn fine post!!

  37. .

    As to California being "bailed out" by the Federals ...

    California, New York and New Jersey are States that historically send more money to Washington than they get back.

    So what?

    The question was "Why should other states worry about California's spending problem?"

    Do you deny either that Arnold asked to be bailed out by the Feds a couple years ago or that if CA went bankrupt OZ would bail them out?

    And so there is no confusion, when I speak of the Feds I mean the government of all the United States.

    Is CA a donor state and if so why?

    Donor State Problems Not Easy To Solve



  38. The point, ash, is that the Congress has authorized the issuance of coin by the Treasury. It is "the law".

    The Treasury does not have legislative authority to print dollars.

    As you say.

    If there is a real need for monetary stimulus, and I believe there is, than the President could authorize the minting of 5 platinum coins, denominated at $1 trillion USD each.

    He has that authority, today.

    If he was motivated to be a real leader, he has the tools to move forward.

    In the image of Jefferson and Jackson.

  39. So what?

    That's easy, to define "bail out"

    Much like "Failed State".

    Words have meaning, just trying to discern the boundaries of vernacular.

  40. If the President were to really engaged in "Class Warfare", what better than the People v the Bankers?

    Jefferson, Jackson and Obama.

    Doubt it'll happen.
    Obama does not have the "Right Stuff", he is not poured from the same populist mold.

    He is a "Poser", in that regard.
    No "Class Warrior" he, not at all.

  41. No, the President is a servant of the monied elite. Always has been.

    A political proxy for Lester Crowne

  42. On a practical level how would those platinum coins be used in the economy, like practical I mean exactly how would their worth be realized? How would you distribute the coin to bond holders?

  43. Deposit them into the Government account at the Federal Reserve, ash.

    Then as the interest payments came due, pay them from that account.
    Instead of selling bonds and paying the interest with the proceeds of the sales.

    Then the market can decide where to best invest the money that had been finding "safe haven" in Treasuries.

    Fear of inflation could cause corporations to invest some of the trillions of dollars they are reported to be holding in cash.

    Part of the solution, not a be all, end all, but part of an economic revitalization program.

    One that really is "Shovel Ready".

  44. Then, as the economy revved up as the influx of "new" money entered the system, the Congress would be tasked with holding the line on baseline budget growth.

    Revenues and expenditures would be balanced, maintaining that balance becoming politically paramount.

  45. So, you are recommending that the interest is paid (the coupon) and, I presume, its face value when due. And no new issues.

    That would bring the issue of confidence in the US dollar to a head very quickly to the detriment of maintaining the US dollar as the prime exchange currency I would think.

  46. As Federal revenue increased, those monies could be dedicated to the interest paying account.

    Prepaying the interest, as it were.

    Within a decade, problem solved, if the political will to stay the course remained steady.

  47. Nice post ASH, one of your most cogent ever, : )
    There would be a danger in flooding the market with coin or cash. The obvious reason is the fear that it would get to be a habit and best or better to buy something with it, fast.

    There is a way however. If the government went to a capital budget and used tax receipts to cover expense items, it could finance capital expenditures by issuing special currency to pay suppliers of goods and services for the project. That would ensure that the currency would be tied to a genuine increase in economic activity.
    The progress of the project would determine when the cash was issued. There would be no speculative activity and it bypasses both Wall Street and the banks. There is no reason or benefit to US taxpayers for the government to borrow money abroad for capital projects.

  48. I think not, ash.

    The US would still represent 25% of global GDP.

    There is no other global option.

    Let the Chinese sell their bonds on the market, instead of being paid the interest due, in Federal Reserve Notes.

    Our exports would boom, if the whirled decided to devalue the dollar, because we increased the money supply by a few trillion USD.

    The problem is a lack of liquidity, not enough velocity, because there is not enough cash in the stream.

    The Bankers have botched their assignment. Little matter why.

  49. Why not discuss the topic? Statewide unemployme­nt is over 12% in California­, and over 17% in most of the cities in the Central Valley. Maybe someone should discuss that, and how Obama plans on getting re-elected with Blue California (the most populous state in the US) still on life support.

  50. True enough, Deuce, but that required legislation.

    Legislation which cannot be passed in today's political environment.

    We have to start with what is a "Shovel Ready" solution.

    The dollars that may flee Treasuries, they would have to "go somewhere". Market forces could make those funds "productive", rather than resting in a "safe haven".

    A boon for the economy, that movement.

  51. We are, asher.

    The President has few tools with which he can impact the economy.

    Fewer with an antagonistic Congress.

    One of the few tools he has, the legal ability to mint coins, in a quantity and of a denomination to be decided by the Treasury Secretary.

  52. He can do little else, not that would have real economic and political impact.

  53. I dunno confidence is a tricky thing (sorta like rufus's talk of sorta pregnant) and either you've got it or you don't. Currently the US dollar has been on a steady decline against a basket of currencies with an occasional uptick during times of crisis. There was a time when asset back securities were considered good as cash and that market sure seized up solid around the 08 financial crisis and even with the current trajectory of the US dollar/fed relationship I see the possibility of the money markets seizing up over the US dollar once the European crisis gets worked out. There are hell of a lot of US dollars out there and if folks start dumping them things could get ugggggly fast.

  54. .

    As I've pointed out, the coin idea is all moon beams and stardust, its the money tree. Need some cash? Go pluck a few coins. It's the Midas touch. Take an ounce of platinum with an intrinsic value of $1500 and state that it is worth $1 trillion. No different than printing trillions of additional dollars.

    The political constraints preventing it happening as strong as for any other 'solution' to the debt crisis. To deny that it is so is to deny reality and the words of our current president.

    The economic effects potentially huge except to those who pose assumptions as sanguine as would be put forward by Pollyanna.

    Then, as the economy revved up as the influx of "new" money entered the system, the Congress would be tasked with holding the line on baseline budget growth.


    Deuce has pointed out the moral hazard associated with devaluing the currency. If $5 trillion is good, wouldn't $30 trillion be even better? Why would anyone need to work anymore if all we have to do is print coins? Worried about illegals recieving benefits in CA? Why? Just print a coin.

    It is the Progressives wet dream.

    Open-ended money for open-ended projects.

    Life is sweet.


  55. No, Q, $30 trillion would not be better.

    The coinage program would require moderate management.
    The case being made, that the coinage will just be used to pay the interest, for two years.

    Then the next President gets to become the decision maker. With input from the Congress, of course.

    You are attempting to introduce a straw man. Looking to create fear, with a scare crow.

  56. Rat, one of the main purposes in creating independent central banks is to discourage the blatant use of the printing press for political purposes which is exactly what you are proposing. Heck you are suggesting the power be vested in a single man, the president. Laughable really.

  57. .

    You are attempting to introduce a straw man. Looking to create fear, with a scare crow.


    You and your rosy assumptions remind me of the economist and his friend who are walking along and suddenly get caught up in a sink hole. The friend is frightened and bemoans the fact that they have no way of getting out.

    The economist smiles and says don't worry we will just assume a ladder.

    You bring the same thinking to this situation. First, in ignoring the fact that there is no difference in printing a coin or printing more money. Second, you assume that because of this 'one-time' act of ledegermain Congress will suddenly change their spots. Third, you ignore the fact that our entire financial system, worldwide, is based on faith and credit between the parties involved.


  58. ash, the principle political dispute, for the first 150 years of the Republic, was the issue of a central bank.
    There is no reason it should be exempt from politics, now.

    Read Mr Jackson on the subject and you will discover political prophesy.

    The inordinate concentration of political power, foretold.

    The argument you make, another straw man, as the value of gold, today so aptly illustrates.

    From $32 per ounce to $1,650 since 1971.

    Not much stability, there.
    The Bankers have been using the printing presses, for their own purposes.

    As Mr Jackson foretold.

  59. There are hell of a lot of US dollars out there and if folks start dumping them things could get ugggggly fast.

    There is nowhere else to go. Recently the Chinese dumped a lot of dollars and thought it would be a great idea to load up on copper.

  60. No, Q, I am not ignoring the difference between coin and paper.

    The coin has been authorized, by Congress. It is settled legislation.

    It is not the same as paper, as that is governed by another piece of legislation.

    That the varied pieces of legislation may be working at cross purposes, just another feature of our Republic.

    The President has the authority to mint the coins. He does not have authority to print more Benjamins. In fact, I do believe he is prohibited from that.

    That's the Law ...
    ... of unintended consequence.

    It creates a leadership opportunity.

    A tool that a "Real" class warrior would wield.

  61. You make it sound, ash, as if the bankers were apolitical.

    When nothing could be further from the truth. The bankers represent a small constituency, but have been endowed with an inordinate amount of political power.

    There is no check, that balances their power. The Congress not even able to check their books, by means of an audit.

    It's unconscionable.

  62. .

    The President has the authority to mint the coins. He does not have authority to print more Benjamins. In fact, I do believe he is prohibited from that.

    You continue to ignore reality. You offer us a difference without a distinction.

    You say the president has the authoriity to print the coins. The president says he doesn't (at least in the manner and for the reasons you are suggesting). Further he states that he has no plans on printing coins.

    Now, you can argue that he is wrong and that he can do it legally. If you are correct, then he is faced with a political decision. The same political decision effecting printing money. If Congress wanted to print money, they would pass a bill and print money.

    Two different branches of government but the same political issue.


  63. rat wrote:

    "The argument you make, another straw man, as the value of gold, today so aptly illustrates.

    From $32 per ounce to $1,650 since 1971."

    How's that make my argument a straw one? Gold is just another commodity. For you who lust for the gold standard, why gold? Why not Silver? or Tulip Bulbs? In the past governments, on the Gold standard, still used the printing press liberally. History is replete with failed currencies and bonds.

    Deuce wrote:

    "There is nowhere else to go. Recently the Chinese dumped a lot of dollars and thought it would be a great idea to load up on copper."

    oy, the hubris of empire. I'm sure one could dig through history of the British Empire and find similar conceits vis avis the pound.

    There are plenty of other places to go. Yes, the Chinese have been buying resource companies (not simply a pile of copper) and there is definitely a problem of so much US paper that there is no easy dumping. But that is half the point - there is sooo much of it that a plunge in value could happen readily enough and with that plunge those holding a bunch of those 'buttons' will get burned - now they are slowly boiling.

    There is that old adage about owing the bank a million and it is your problem but if you owe them a billion it is theirs. Well, we are at the second part of that adage now with the US (and Europe I might add).

    ahhh the joys of a system predicated on growth.

  64. .

    You argue the president should have political courage yet ignore the fact that Congress also has an obligation to act responsibly.

    I, on the other hand, believe this is one of the few cases I can remember where both the Executive and Legislative branches are actually acting responsibly.


  65. I never said the Fed was apolitical but rather independent and the board of governors has a codified selection process and they are supposed to (required by law?) to follow their mandate.

    odd the Fed's books can't be audited but one should also note that there are more than one central bank in the world and independence from short term politics is generally the goal.

  66. The President will not take the opportunity that the law presents him. That certainly is true.

    That the law differentiates between coin and paper, true too.

    ... right here in 31 USC § 5112 “Denominations, specifications, and design of coins.” It’s super-prescriptive about all kinds of things until you get to section (k):

    (k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.

    Words have meaning.
    Now, Q, that reads quite clearly, as to the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury, who works at the pleasure of the President.

    That the President demurs from using the authority, proving he is not the same caliber of leader, as Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson.

    Mr Obama is no class warrior.

  67. Gold is just another indicator, ash, of inflation and a lack of stability.

    Should we reference oil, or perhaps a basket of commodities. In each case we'd find a defacto devaluation of the script, since 1971. That being the year the Federal Reserve Note became the sole paper currency of the United States.

  68. ash, the argument that the bank is independent is spurious. It may be independent of those who have the Constitutional responsibility to manage the money supply, but not from the bank's own constituencies.

    Mr Jackson spreads a lot of ink on the subject.

    The paper system being founded on public confidence and having of itself no intrinsic value, ...
    In times of prosperity, when confidence is high, they are tempted by the prospect of gain or by the influence of those who hope to profit by it to extend their issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the reasonable demands of business; and when these issues have been pushed on from day to day, until public confidence is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they immediately withdraw the credits they have given, suddenly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is felt by the whole community. The banks by this means save themselves, ...

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  70. We must, in this modern whirled, maintain a paper currency system, but the management of that system cannot be left in the hands of "independents", that is the antithesis of Section 8 of the Constitution:

    Section 8 - Powers of Congress
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof ...

  71. .

    Now, Q, that reads quite clearly, as to the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury, who works at the pleasure of the President

    Talk about straw men.

    Again, mere words written into law at a specific time and circumstance. Easily changed with a superceding swipe of the pen.


  72. .

    Coining trillion dollar coins.

    The progressive wet dream: a free lunch.


  73. I agree the value of the US dollar has declined but ironically you are arguing to devalue it further, faster through the minting of coin. Taking the power to mint from the Fed and placing it with the President or Congress will do nothing to stabilize its value it'll probably do the opposite as the politicians mint to get re-elected. In fact they knew this would be the case so they ceded the power to the Fed.

  74. A caveat to the above is that the Tea Partiers are looking to chase the dream of a 'solid' dollar, one worth its weight in gold. They want to run the government like a household account and limit current spending to current income. Ya wanna see a depression in your lifetime - go with their plan.

  75. The Federal Reserve tell US this, about themselves.

    These objectives include economic growth in line with the economy’s potential to expand; a high level of employment; stable prices (that is, stability in the purchasing power of the dollar); and moderate long-term interest rates.

    High levels of employment and stable prices, since 1971 when they gained sole control of the currency, not to be seen.

  76. your dollar in your pocket, if you happen to have, would be worth something but, the thing is, most wouldn't have any.

  77. yeppers, they've been tasked with contradictory goals.

  78. The Euro gets some life support but so much for democratic accountability. Who cares what the people think when the most precious political project of the generation is at stake?

    Germany's parliament has voted overwhelmingly to give more powers to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) so that yet more German taxpayers' money can be poured into the bottomless pit of Greek debt. In the face of huge public resentment.

    it shows that there politicians are no less disgusting than ours..

  79. It's a Keynesian program, ash, that uses existing law and practice.

    One that is "right" on many levels.

    The objective is to return the power to value US money to the Legislature and the Treasury Department.

    There are many functions that the Federal Reserve fills, quite well, and they would continue to serve US as a central bank, a clearing house.

    But their political power would be vastly deterred, especially when the Federals became independent of debt markets.

    Today the $1.2 trillion the Federals borrow, it is used to pay the interest on the current debt. Operationally, revenue and expenditures are roughly balanced.

    I've never advocated for a "Gold Standard", just better management, Constitutionally prescribed management of our monetary policy.

    If the Congress concentrated upon their enumerated powers, described in Section 8, while paying greater deference to the 10th Amendment, we'd all be better off.

  80. The law. Q, is not "Easily changed".

    No, the results of the debt ceiling debate show US how difficult passing new legislation is.

    Especially without the occupant of the White House on board, to sign the change into law.

    Watch the Super Committee not resolve the debt issue, and the wailing amongst the GOP caused by the across the boards cuts to the military appropriations

  81. .

    The law. Q, is not "Easily changed".

    No, the results of the debt ceiling debate show US how difficult passing new legislation is.

    True enough but clearly beside the point. I initially asked you what was the difference between issuing trillion dollar coins and printing the same amount of paper.

    You immediately shifted to conversation to the diffficulty of getting Congress to print the money. Clearly irrelevant to the question I asked you.

    Yet you accuse me of bringing in straw men.


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  85. .

    Watch the Super Committee not resolve the debt issue, and the wailing amongst the GOP caused by the across the boards cuts to the military appropriations

    As expected.

    Those expecting anything to be agreed to by the Supercommittee probably think there is a good chance the Israelis and the Palis can come to an agreement if only they get back to the negotiating table.



  86. Here is the scam:
    The Chinese government announced this week a donation of $4.6 million and 200 police vehicles to Costa Rica.

    On Monday, Costa Rican interim Foreign Minister Carlos Roverssi and China’s Vice-Minister of Trade, Fu Ziying, agreed upon the terms of the donation in a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in downtown San José. A press release from the foreign ministry said the $4.6 million will be used for “cooperation projects” between the two nations.

    Relations between Costa Rica and the world’s most populated country and second largest economy progressed quickly since bilateral relations began in 2007. In June 2007, former President Oscar Arias severed ties with Taiwan to welcome China. In the four and a half years since, Chinese influence has boomed in Costa Rica. The most visible example is the $100 million National Stadium in La Sabana Park, which was considered a “gift” by the Chinese government. China is currently constructing a police academy in the Caribbean slope town of Guápiles and plans to construct an oil refinery in the eastern Limón province.

    The foreign ministry said that President Laura Chinchilla’s anticipated visit to China during the next year will be “an important moment for bilateral relations.”

    For a pittance in "gifts", China will be bringing mostly finished goods to Costa Rica and then ship them 100% duty free to the US under The Caribbean Basin Initiative. We are so craven to put up with this. It makes me sick.


  87. I spent hours in hushed conversation with a young Israeli soldier who was horrified by what he said was the routinely rough and contemptuous treatment of Palestinian civilians at Israeli military checkpoints.

    That trip deepened my conviction that as an American Jew, I could no longer in good conscience offer Israel unquestioning support. I'm not alone. Polling of young American Jews shows that with the exception of the Orthodox, many of us feel less attached to Israel than do our baby boomer parents, who came of age during the era of the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel was less of an aggressor and more a victim. A 2007 poll by Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis found that although the majority of American Jews of all ages continue to identify as "pro-Israel," those under 35 are less likely to identify as "Zionist." Over 40% of American Jews under 35 believe that "Israel occupies land belonging to someone else," and over 30% report sometimes feeling "ashamed" of Israel's actions.

    Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents' View of Israel
    By Dana Goldstein


  88. Benjamin Resnick, 27, is one of the rabbinical students who took the survey.

    In July, he published an op-ed pointing out the ideological inconsistencies between Zionism, which upholds the principle of Israel as a Jewish state, and American liberal democracy, which emphasizes individual rights regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. "The tragedy," Resnick says, is that the two worldviews may be "irreconcilable."

    Read more:,8599,2095505,00.html#ixzz1ZO7c3IoH

  89. Nice Israel bash at the end of the thread on the Jewish High Holy day of Rosh Hashanah by the resident Jew hating, Israel hating, anti-zionist....

    As my Rabbi would say...

    The Rat is garbage and what do we do with garbage?

    We certainly dont respect it and consider it's opinion on anything, we recognize it as what it is...


    Happy New Year and it's a shame this blog tolerates the Rat as a "bartender"...