What now, Tonto?

This is a follow up to Bob Shiffler and the Arcade, Ted Strickland and the State of the State and the whole frickin world economy.

It’s time for a reality check.

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, what have we learned from history if nothing else? Society only works when there is a perception of equality. When the gap gets too big between the haves and the have-nots, we end up with a period of lawless anarchy.

It’s happened over and over.

We’re seeing warning signs all over, yet we refuse to fundamentally look at the problem: you can’t keep borrowing on the future to live in the present, or pouring more into the past to prop it up for the present: we have to look at what is fundamentally realistic and required to keep a stasis that is acceptable to the masses.

In other words: we have to base our decisions on what is right for the greater good, or we won’t have any choices left.

So, we’re witnessing a meltdown in the financial sectors, which is quickly affecting everything else. Don’t believe it? The price of flour has tripled in the last 6 weeks. What are the minimum requirements for survival? Bread and water.

The idea that Bob Shiffler proposed about saving the arcade will take all of us is correct, however, it also requires a fundamental change in thinking: how do we get people to want to live and work downtown and within a walking community?

The only way you will reach critical mass is by offering some serious carrots to build downtown residents?

Need some suggestions:

  • Shared free electric cars for residents
  • Income and property tax breaks based on living without a car
  • Free tuition to Sinclair
  • Subsidized health insurance
  • Unlimited H1-b visas
  • Subsidized day care

All of a sudden, the idea of 10,000 residents downtown quickly sounds easy.

Governor Strickland needs to take a look at solutions at the State level too. We’re facing a shrinking population which will lose us congressional seats.  What to do?

  • Single payer health
  • State backed credit cards at lower interest rates
  • State backed mortgages at lower interest rates
  • Incentives for small business growth (since big business often asks for too much in return)
  • Begin high speed rail plans now, before gas is $8 a gallon.
  • Reward PhD students with tuition reimbursement through tax credits when staying in State effectively making higher education more affordable.
  • Pull the National Guard out of Iraq because of State budget emergency- bringing back workers to the State.
  • etc. etc. – big ideas, change not just the game, but the playing field.

When it comes to the global financial meltdown, please read the entire article from Business Week- and then read the comments:

The Fed’s Historic Innovation
The long-feared crisis is now upon us—and the Fed, led by Chairman Ben Bernanke, is responding with a wave of new policy instruments. First came the Term Auction Facility, introduced in December, which allowed the Fed to better pump out money to banks without cutting interest rates. That was good, but it wasn’t enough.

The Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF)—announced Mar. 11—is a more powerful and more precise tool for addressing the dislocations in the credit market. It is aimed at the heart of the current problems: mortgage-backed securities. The problem is that nobody knows what these complicated securities are really worth, so they are clogging up bank balance sheets and impeding the normal flow of credit. Without getting into technical details, the TSLF elegantly sidesteps the problem—the big banks can use these securities as collateral, and borrow Treasuries from the Fed.

The intended result: more lending and borrowing, as nature intended.

Note the first line in the article (go to the link) and realize that we’re trying to pretend that 2+2 doesn’t equal 4 anymore, and that we can solve the problems of bad economics by doing more bad economics. The reality is, the whole planet is living beyond it’s means by robbing the planet of it’s finite resources and not planting for the future.

Yes, it is about personal responsibility, but it’s also about figuring out ways to ensure everyone is doing it. Bill Gates had no problem pillaging until he realized there wasn’t much left to take. Then he started giving.

We need to stop. Step back, evaluate, plot a new course and think about a sustainable future. We’re all in this together and linked, we just have been denying it for too long.

Thoughts?

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34 Responses

  1. J.R. Locke March 15, 2008 / 12:32 pm
    Sustainable future? I don’t really think any of this matters to me or a lot of people across the U.S. The future will have to deal with the problems handed down to them the way they feel is best. History is ripe with this we need to change our path rhetoric but each successive generation follows the same patterns. The war to end all wars was fought almost a century ago….

    If America really wanted to cure a lot of its problems we would have a TRUE progressive tax system that lifted up those of the working class and strengthened the middle class. Income redistribution would create a more secure consumer base that could now save and invest without the pressures of living paycheck to paycheck.

    But you know it is alright to talk about being a patriotic American when it comes to war, immigration and christian pride but when it comes to helping our fellow citizens the flag waving stops.

  2. Greg Hunter March 15, 2008 / 3:58 pm
    David I agree with all of it; however, we as a country have pissed away our resources and for the last six years the credit extended by the Chinese to build useless suburbs and make New York money manipulators rich. Our credit is shot and our leaders are paralyzed with groupthink. The dependency on foreign energy to propel our car centric culture has been stupid and now we are paying the piper or as Rev. Wright says America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

    Every year that we as a region do not invest in a regionally sustainable economy is making the coming bill more expensive to pay. And when I mean more expensive I mean more drastic measures will have to be enacted. Now I will get out my Johnnie Cochran meme and link the stupidity back to Austin Road. This is an investment that should be abandoned (It probably will be anyway due to the doubling of construction costs) and that money should be invested in making a sustainable community.

    I went down to the Market today and purchased my chicken, pork and vegetables. We need to put our tax dollars and our weight behind these kinds of ventures so we as a community can make GOOD food affordable. Unfortunately, the money and credit that floated through the economy also floated up through the local politician’s coffers, so the elected officials will decide that the job stimulus will be building more infrastructure we do not need instead of investing in electrified rail, wind power and Community Supported Agriculture.

    Jared Diamond spoke about what was said when the Last Tree was cut on Easter Island. It is evident too me that we are close to cutting the last tree and when we do, we have decided to leave our children a bloodbath and uncivilized life. Nice work for the supposed Greatest Generation and their offspring the Greediest Generation.

    PS JR Great Last Line

  3. David Esrati March 15, 2008 / 4:25 pm

    That’s an amen to JR’s last line.
    He’s wise beyond his years.

  4. David E. Bowman March 15, 2008 / 9:31 pm
    Who is the most rampant group of consumers in the history of the world? The Baby Boomers. This group is entering the era of retirement. This should be a key focus of attracting people to downtown. They have no need for great schools, they have little need for large living spaces, they enjoy art and music, and they spend. Yes, this spending has created many of the problems listed above, but this group goes largely unnoticed. Take David’s idea for a sports complex, and tailor much of it to the boomers. These people believe they are “forever young” and would eat this up. Combine that with a large, community type area full of culture, close to multiple hopitals, and located near the Schuster, Stadium, and other downtown attractions, and you have something. This is the group that talks about “remember when downtown was…” Remember Elder-Beermans, Rikes, restaurants, shops, etc…” My generation knows nothing of this except for stories of the golden age. Done right, the nostalgia of the past could be combined with the ideas of the future – see David’s post above and 100 others like in on his site – to make a downtown that is truly remarkable.
    By the way, I loved your comments at the breakfast briefing – even if I was wearing a suit. I did have on a yellow shirt, so I did not feel too bad. Great stuff David. Keep it coming.
  5. Gene March 15, 2008 / 11:57 pm
    Democrats donate less than Republicans, that is money, time, and resources. FYI LIBBYS
  6. Juan March 17, 2008 / 11:00 am
    Well, Mr. Wise Beyond Your Years, what would a fair “progressive” tax system entail? I love hearing about your ideas for income redistribution since it appears that the only way that you’ll be able to acheive any standard of living is by having the government take from others and give it to you.

    How about a tax system where the evil bastards that are in the top 1% of the income earners pay about 35% of the entire individual income tax burden? Let’s expand that to where the top 5% of income earners pay about 55% of the total income tax burden! Yeah! And in the interest of helping the poor and middle class, let’s set up a system where the bottom 50% of income earners shouldn’t have to pay more than 5% of the total income tax burden. Does that sound fair enough to you?

  7. Juan March 17, 2008 / 6:32 pm
    I know. That was my point. And the bottom 50% only pay about 3.5%. But THANKS for the link and for making my point.

    So the question for JR is how much more should the top payers pay? They’re already shouldering most of the burden. But the rich are evil bastards anyway so let’s make them pay more.

  8. Greg Hunter March 17, 2008 / 8:24 pm
    The rich are the biggest crooks and therefore to “reduce their in grained moral hazard” they should bear the biggest tax bill. The Rich have been making such wonderful decisions about how we live and invest our tax money, I do not see how anyone can defend them. Look the wealthy or their sycophants are elected to most positions within United States. Turner 3rd District. Probably Blair in the 38th – Owned by Synder Brick and Block and Buckeye Pool. Lehner in the 37th is head of a vast Catholic Clan that has a stranglehold on Kettering Politics and is quite well off in her own right. These people are making decisions that benefit their class, not their constituents. It is America’s turn to trot around with the Red Queen, but I must say I enjoyed the ride while it lasted.
  9. Gene March 18, 2008 / 11:52 am
    Poor people commit more crimes than rich people, and therefore the poor are have more crooks than the rich. The rich pay plenty, and after HIL/OBM get elected they will pay more and you guys will get your way. The poor will still be poor though, bc Doritos and Forties and Smokes are all way more important than kids, education, hygiene, paying bills and helping their fellow neighbor, rather than killing them.

    People do makes decisions that benefit “their” class, but this includes the poor. The poor never want to help out the rich by doing the right thing, committing less crime, having less babies, securing current jobs, etc. But why would the poor help the rich, they don’t help themselves most of the time.

    I like helping the poor and paying taxes and donating money to get this done, but I rarely see results.

  10. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 12:46 pm
    bc Doritos and Forties and Smokes are all way more important than kids, education, hygiene,

    Preach on REV. Gene of the All White is All Right By Me Holy Worship of the Those That Got It Should Keep Down Those That Ain’t Church of Jesus Christ. Can We Get an Amen for this Check Cashing Usury Scum. :)

    /sarconol

  11. Shannon March 18, 2008 / 12:56 pm
    G.H.
    The rich product JOBS, I’ve never been contracted to work by the poor.
    I understand and agree we need to be represented by our peers, removing the money from politics is the answer, the solution. . ?

    Our locate churches (denomination of your choosing) need to be supported and in turn they can help support the poor. That’s the way God meant it to be. With the churches help, we can put an end to governmental controlled welfare & subsidizes.

    “Society only works when there is a perception of equality. When the gap gets too big between the haves and the have-nots, we end up with a period of lawless anarchy.”

    Perception of equality? I understand your history lesson, but I was taught that you can make your own history. Get up each morning and get to work. Put in a good days work, pay God first, honor thy mother and father, and love thy neighbor. J.R. this is what I mistakenly called “American fundamental beliefs” in the Human Rights post.

  12. David Esrati March 18, 2008 / 1:06 pm

    And when Bear Sterns bites it, and we all end up bailing them out…
    Remember, just three months ago they were handing out million dollar bonus checks to employees that never made anything except deals on financial paper.
    At some point, we need regulation of the banking industry- or they’ve proven they can’t manage themselves.
    As to the proportion of taxes “rich” people pay- and “rich” people make jobs- you tell me what jobs Bill Nuti created to be worth $322,000 per week.

  13. J.R. Locke March 18, 2008 / 1:09 pm
    Might want to read up on the government welfare system and who it actually benefits(a big subject in the 80’s), also might want to read up on wealth assets and how they generate income. In a book entitled Black Wealth/White Wealth http://www.amazon.com/Black-Wealth-White-Perspective-Inequality/dp/0415918472
    and a book called Black Politics in Conservative America (from 1990) you can read all about how even with the “progressive” tax system we have now, the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer, hence it not being truly progressive.

    Fellas I don’t care about fairness(because was it fair for slavery, Jim Crow, housing discrimination in the 40-80’s? is that why the average black family’s assets are less around $7,000 and white family’s $70,000?) If we want America to be great I think it involves taking care of everyone. In about every single school of thought socioeconomic status plays a big part in educational success, crime rates, longevity and a sense of security.

    If you feel you work so hard and it is your money, I can’t argue with that but the solutions to the problems are rather simple. And to me it is a patriotic thing to make the argument that promoting economic growth through conspicuous consumption and the untamed sprawl of our cities and communities is a bad thing that doesn’t make the country stronger but only makes richer a minority of asset holders (usually passed down from generations) who have the reigns of power.

    The rich are not necessarily evil, just neglectful and far more concerned with securing areas of trade across the world than taking care of the homeland. That is why we will end up spending a couple trillion on Iraq before it is done and the drums will beat of terrorism.

  14. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 1:10 pm
    Gene brings up a good question in his own bigoted sort of way. I mean to ask who is the perpetrator of the current financial meltdown on wall street? I mean is Gene correct? Did those sneaky cruddy poor people lie to the upstanding banker about their income and bring down all those rich people willing to lend their hard earned money so the poor could have a better life? Put those poor people in slave camps so they can earn their keep. Freedom is not for the poor.
  15. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 1:21 pm
    That’s the way God meant it to be

    Do you actually know “the way God meant it to be”? God/Jesus told you to abandon all your money. Did you? Look at your money Shannon? Whose picture is on it? Now read on.

    Scripture

    Mar 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see [it].
    Mar 12:16 And they brought [it]. And he saith unto them, Whose [is] this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
    Mar 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

  16. Gene March 18, 2008 / 2:08 pm
    Greg – I live in a place where the Doritos and Forties and Smokes describe white folk, but thanks again for reading into what I wrote. Maybe you are the bigot?

    Why do poor people in America eat fast food, have nicer TVs than I do, spend money on crap, but yet are still considered poor? Most are not that bad, they are just bad compared to the rich. The poor in our country generally have a place to stay, eat, drink, celebrate GIFTmas with gifts they purchased, many have cars, etc. Ask the poor in central America or Africa if this truly is poor. But keep on crying for them.

    Rich people would even give more to poor people if they just would stop having kids they can not afford and can not raise in a healthy environment. Why the fuck is this too much to ask GH, JR, DE? Why is it too hard for you libbys to understand if this problem was corrected we could solve 75% of our social problems? Is it bc people have the right to reproduce? Do they also have the right to neglect their children, teach them poor habits, and basically turn many into career criminals? If people have this GD right, then rich people have the GD right to keep THEIR cash, and never ever give any of it to you or the poor. How about a compromise – YOU guys get the poor to stop reproducing and start teaching people that it is bad to neglect their current crop of kids and then guys like me will start giving more money/willing to pay more taxes. YOU get what you want (MY MONEY) and I get what I want, an America with LESS CRIME, LESS DRUGS, LESS POVERTY, LESS HURT, BETTER EDUCATION, BETTER COMMUNITY, BETTER HEALTH, ETC.. I pledge my part, will you do your part? The answer of course is NO bc “the government should step in” bullshit and that is fine, same old argument. ——- BUT THEN YOU DONT GET MY MONEY. I think I am going to buy myself a huge steak tonight bc I am great. With a big ole baker too……… Life is great!

  17. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 2:26 pm
    Rich people would even give more to poor people if they just would stop having kids they can not afford and can not raise in a healthy environment. Why the fuck is this too much to ask GH, JR, DE? Why is it too hard for you libbys to understand if this problem was corrected we could solve 75% of our social problems?

    Damn Gene, there you got saying something enlightening. I wish JR, GH and DE could get some love from you, when they so obliviously provide you with the same gift! Of course the gratitude of the rich is sometimes wanting….

    To answer your question, the Libby libs wanted to tell children what science and health was all about, but a bunch of Rich White Folks and Pulpit Loving Black Folks got together and elected “stick your head in the sand” Rethuglicans.

    See – Michael Turner, George Bush, Peggy Lehner, Fundamentally (STupid) Preachers, John Husted, Richard Scaife Mellon Michael Dewine et al. The Rich people need a base of the pyramid to exploit, so they ensure the education for the poor lack these fundamental health and science tenants.

  18. Gene March 18, 2008 / 2:27 pm
    The mortgage crisis is not about poor people. Remember, according to you, poor people can not afford a house regardless of lending practices. I blame both parties. The teacher making $42k/year getting a $325k house is and was the problem, or any other situation like this, including the rich – you know, the people you keep railing on. The rich and middle class got screwed, the poor are too poor to be in this situation. So sorry G”L”eg, you are wrong, again. Poor people are free to get jobs, to read, to better themselves. You are free to bitch and moan and want the government to fix the problem. But you really don’t attack “the problem.” Do it my way for 15 years and you will see a huge change, but keep up the B&M. You need your daily bump now?
  19. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 2:39 pm
    The teacher making $42k/year

    CLAP, CLAP – Gene gets it – Raise teacher salaries and a better education is on the way. Whew it takes alot for you to get there, but you are fast learner when you concentrate.

  20. Gene March 18, 2008 / 2:58 pm
    OK – then we should just “raise” the salaries of all people making around $40K? why, most people who get paid that do very very little. Just paying more people does not make them a better worker. $42/year is enough for one person, what world are you living in? Yes, teachers should be paid more,but for other professions – NO.
    AND PAYING TEACHERS MORE WOULD NOT MAKE THEM BETTER TEACHERS, rather it would attract smarter people to the teaching profession. Get it right G”L”eg.

    Answer this – Why the hell did they get the $325K house then? WHY? Why can’t you get that? Why cant they live within their means like I do? WHY? You are the fuckers who bitch about bigger houses out in the suburbs but then support it with a pay raises to everyone to move to Centerville?

    Why do schools affiliated with GOD and home schooling do FAR BETTER than public schools? They get paid much much less than public school teachers but do a better job. Why? Huh? Do you know?

    Solve the problem with “THE KID ISSUE” but Greg must love to watch others fu*k up their life and harm innocent kids by surrounding them with drugs, alcohol, crime, violence, poverty, and a very unhealthy environment.

    Greg, if you are sooooooooo smart, why do I have more money than you? Why? bc I actually worked and stopped begging at age 3. I found out at age 4 there is nothing FREE in this world. At age 5 I came to the conclusion the Government is not here to support me, rather I am here to support myself? WHY am I more successful than you Greg? Or Am I? Are you one of those super duper rich kids who thinks it cool to act poor and be a libby to get chics? What are you Greg, you are so smart. I need to know. Pay me more money and maybe I will move to Oakwood, where you live that double political life.

  21. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 3:27 pm
    Greg, if you are sooooooooo smart, why do I have more money than you? Why?

    Because I am at the Bottom End of the Baby Boom and I will fleece it from your doddering, drooling ass like any good libby lib worth his salt.

  22. Gene March 18, 2008 / 3:29 pm
    Greg – why are republicans more generous than democrats? With time, money and resources? Why?
  23. Gene March 18, 2008 / 3:33 pm
    I am only 31 years young…….I seem to get by…….I pay my taxes……..Life is great………STB you Greg!
  24. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 3:42 pm
    Gene sorry for the ageism, I made a false assumption. I mistook racism for ignorance. No more time, I got to get a proposal done, so I can get spend your tax money Gene. Keep spinning Squirrel.
  25. J.R. Locke March 18, 2008 / 5:16 pm
    Gene it is in every family’s interest to have more children because then they can earn more money for the family. Remember the American dream?

    Also since you seem so concerned with the conservative and liberal rhetoric it is the conservative issue with God and religion that contributes to so many of these children running around. By your own account abstinence only is failing America, so why can’t we give them condoms, because God said so?

    Gene there are a whole lot of things free in this world….

  26. Gene March 18, 2008 / 5:39 pm
    No sex until one gets married…….. none of your folk can keep their peter in their pants long enough to get a job. And if they do get someone pregnant, they think it is a cool cultural thing. At least the folks I run with step up to the plate when they make mistakes. And when they have kids too early they make the best of it, like getting married and a job on the way. Life is tough, and requires tough decisions. But thanks again guys for never answering the question. Having babies is great, if you can afford them and you are emotionally ready. But you rather see people screw and have kids and then abuse them and not feed them and do drugs around them. Then they commit crime and go to jail, what a great solution to our nations problems. You guys need to go to the East and West sides of Dayton, and ask yourself if many of these 16-25 year old guys and gals would have been better off if they had waited until a more appropriate time in life to have a child. But again you want to ignore real issues and just tax me. Keep your daily bumps up and peace out – guys with no God love often to talk about God. Parenting, that is proper parenting, shall lead us all to a better life. Keep the handouts coming, I will capitalize on laziness and liberal genius while taking LONG LAVISH VAVACTIONS. You guys just make it easier for me – THANKS!

    Greg, good luck on your proposal – a big deal working the black t-shirt market in Dayton I am sure. Or is it underground bands that weed out too sweet music that will be the next big thing? ……..Or maybe a real job would help.

  27. J.R. Locke March 18, 2008 / 5:57 pm
    Gene you didn’t answer my question. There is a solution to these 16-25 year old kids not making babies the solution is providing condoms. Our current policy which is deeply entrenched in religion forbids teachers teaching this and our government handing out such cheap and effective methods. “Real issues”, well sex education sounds like one and like many of the issues it is blinded by religion and politics.

    I don’t believe in your god or your religion….nor do I really believe in the antiquated idea of marriage (divorce rates are nearly equal in Rep/Dem households), a majority of marriages fail.

    My Mom was 16 when she had me and more than emotionally ready enough.

    That high horse of yours….I guess you need to reaffirm all that stuff daily, give your life meaning? It would be kind of nice not to see all this profanity laced about. Christ it reminds me of all these dorito eating, cigarette smoking, 40 drinking folk outside my apartment here on third st.

  28. Greg Hunter March 18, 2008 / 9:39 pm
    Divide and conquer David. Those of us in Dayton, Ohio are bickering about unimportant issues in my opinion. We should be securing our Region through self reliance. Instead, those with common interests, the East and West Sides of Dayton, argue about whose at fault, when both are losing. The rich have taught them, through the media including the Church, to blame one another. We should stop and find people with common interests to invest in the future. 2nd Street Market is the place to begin.

    Much Love!

    PS Gene I do love the coarseness of the discourse, but we should agree to disagree, even though you are obviously wrong. ;)

  29. Gene March 19, 2008 / 10:22 am
    your mom was not ready at 16. But I guess I have no choice but to think you are an outstanding citizen. I will take your word on that.

    condoms are nice but none of the kids ever use them genius. kids have sex without condoms to prove manhood and make their partner prove their love. They are kids, they are dumb. Condoms have not worked in stopping teenage pregnancy. I don’t mind the handout of them, kids just rarely use them.

    My religion allows ME to handle MY kid and MY discussions about sex. I don’t need a school and I don’t need a religion to help me teach sex ed to my kid. It is called, drum roll please……………………………………………….
    PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Something my parents taught me. Something kids having babies were NOT taught. You and your handout world do.

    Keep on promoting sex to people who can not afford kids then once they have kids they abuse them, don’t feed them, do drugs around them, don’t teach them, and basically turn them into criminals. I thought you guys were the ones who cared about human rights, but I guess not if you are under 18 years old.

    So I answered you question, no mine:
    Why do you accept people having kids who are not emotionally and financially ready? And once they have these kids, why do you accept abuse and neglect of these same babies? YOU think they should have these kids, do you also think they should abuse and neglect these kids? Well, that is what they do often.

  30. J.R. Locke March 19, 2008 / 5:20 pm
    The average age of first time pregnancies is much older than it used to be. But teenage pregnancy is up for the first time since 1991. Again could it be the abstinence only programs at school?

    I first had sex when I was 15 educated me folks educated me because the school system could not. They said we know you are going to have sex, be careful use these….schools can’t say that because religious and moral absolutists don’t believe in using the most effective methods to lower teenage pregnancy.

    But Mr. Hunter I am actually quite happy with Dayton. I would be much less thrilled with my life if I lived out in the south suburbs and had to spend 30+ minutes to and fro work everyday in the daily commute! Dayton ain’t clean but at least its real.

  31. Gene March 20, 2008 / 9:23 am
    I answered your questions, you never will answer my questions.

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