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Here is the present "Motor City" in pics!

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    Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/23/detroit-decline_n_813696.html#218521

Just watch!

Regards,
Ron

By the way, it is possible that you will not be bothered by any posts by me, over the next 7 or so days! I have to get my 34 year old "spinster" step daughter married! Please note that she is also a Librarian! Can you think of the famous movie where events leave an middle aged woman (who was also a Librarian) unmaried?

Please wish me luck?

Answer;

"It's a Wonderful Life!"

The only thing about her (she is beautiful and smart) is the fact that she is also a natural "empath!"

But, things could be worse!

Edited by opuslola - 24 Mar 2011 at 09:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:17
This is like a farcical 1950s slapstick comedy. Good luck trying to find a husband for your 34 year old stepdaughter in the next 7 days.

Incidentally, I thought the pictures were interesting.
http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 09:21
Thanks, her natural father is an old hippie, and rarely makes any money so guess who/whom is paying?

Thanks for your response, it is a refreshing change.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 16:13
Wow those pics are sobering to see; It is mind blowing to see how bad some of our cities have gotten. It's weird to witness America's industries the way they are today when you compare them to the glory days of the 40's and 50's. America has evolved maybe devolved from a Industrial/manufacturing based economy to a service economy. Now you see China becoming Industrialized. China reminds me of the U.S. in the roaring 20's as the British Empire was declining a new power was rising with major U.S. based manufacturing companies (Ford, General Electric, GM) booming. China like the U.S. is finally coming out of her shell of isolation similar to the U.S. and becoming a major world power, and soon if not now Super Power. As of now The U.S. is still the most powerful and wealthiest nation on earth, but how long it holds that status remains to be answered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 01:27
Unfortunately that is how some parts of a once great City looks these days. During the last decade over 200,000 people have left Detroit. Now what that means is vacant lots, loss of funding due to loss in tax base and, closure of schools, etc. Still business is thriving across the typical tourist haunts which mostly center around Casinos, Greek Town, Joe Louis Arena, Cobo Hall, and Comerica Park.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 02:11
Detriot has such a bad reputation though. I can't picture walking down any street without getting mugged. Consider that I am saying this 3,000 miles away who only knows Detroit through depressing internet postings like these. Its reputation is terrible.
http://xkcd.com/15/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 23:39
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Detriot has such a bad reputation though. I can't picture walking down any street without getting mugged. Consider that I am saying this 3,000 miles away who only knows Detroit through depressing internet postings like these. Its reputation is terrible.


Detroit has been basically a one industry town - autos and their servicing suppliers.  Other "rust belt" cities have done better, Pittsburgh for example. 

Pittsburgh has lost population and its steel business is not as extensive as before, but the survivors are doing well:

Pittsburgh is the head office city of Alcoa Aluminum, Gulf Oil, Westinghouse Electric, USX Corp. (US Steel), Allegheny International, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, US Airways, Glaxo-Smith Kline (pharmaceuticals), FedEx,  DelMonte Foods, H.J. Heinz Company, PPG Industries (glass and chemicals), Eaton Corp. (electrical/industrial hydraulics components) and all the big independent banks left in Pennsylvania, including Mellon, Dreyfus and PNC Corp.

Need a job?? Smile

(The Steelers are there too.)




Edited by pikeshot1600 - 26 Mar 2011 at 23:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 01:17

No city suffered in the US as St. Louis did. Once upon a time this was the 4 largest city with more millionaires than anywhere else in the world.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 02:45
Sic transit gloria mundi but honestly, the decay into urban blight is hardly a novelty. Might as well blame suburbia and "urban flight" as assign such to the notion of "company town". When a city commits "suicide" by disrupting its tax base little else other than blight is the result.
 
Contrast what "urban redevelopment" means in Pittsburgh with that in Detroit: the former is about people and community in economic terms, the latter is talking about buildings and their use!
 
 
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 27 Mar 2011 at 02:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 07:40
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

No city suffered in the US as St. Louis did. Once upon a time this was the 4 largest city with more millionaires than anywhere else in the world.

Al-Jassas


What time period was that?  I was not aware of that.

I would assume it had something to do with the movement westward.  Also St Louis is an important transit point on the Mississippi River - much produce and product moved through there on its way to somewhere else.

 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 27 Mar 2011 at 07:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 08:12
In 1900 (4 years before the Olympics were held there which is why I read about St. Louis in the first place). Back then as you said it was the main hub on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers (they merged just north of the city). The city itself had 600k while its greater area had an additional 100k. 
 
In fact all the region on either side of the Mississippi river and to a lesser extent the Illinois and Missouri rivers was probably the most prosperous in the entire world. Victorian mansions litter the countryside even in small villages like Cairo in Illinois:
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 27 Mar 2011 at 08:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 10:28
Al-Jassas,

Thanks for the information.  As you may know, the US Constitution prohibited tax on incomes before the 16th Amendment (1913).  Fortunes made previously were pretty much insulated from the ravages of the income tax because the tax on income was restricted to "interest" and not on principal.

That pretty much exempted fortunes made on coal, and steel, and railroads, and oil, and manufacturing, and shipping, and even certain agricultural interests (not as specialized as now).  Much of that wealth is still around, in trust; inaccessible, and the basis of political interests and power that people can hardly understand.  Most people don't even know it exists.

It is the kind of wealth, and its influence, that rents out Congressional seats and the White House.






Edited by pikeshot1600 - 27 Mar 2011 at 10:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 19:19
I don't understand why those buildings are just left in ruins.
Why doesn't the local government put the bulldozer through and turn it back into farmland? Scrap and melt down anything saleable.
 
No-one is going to use those buildings again, they are too far gone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 21:05
Still costs money to knock them down, and Michigan has a balanced budget law. It requires that the revenue from any project exceed the cost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 23:45
New Detroit: Shanhai





Impact of the "society of services" model impossed into the U.S. by the economical theorical "thinkers".






Edited by pinguin - 27 Mar 2011 at 23:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 01:47
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

I don't understand why those buildings are just left in ruins.
Why doesn't the local government put the bulldozer through and turn it back into farmland? Scrap and melt down anything saleable.
 
No-one is going to use those buildings again, they are too far gone.
 
This idea is still being considered and in fact some abandoned residential neighbourhoods have already been transformed into farmlands:
 
 
 
 
 
The problem is farming in the US is extremely unefficient and costly and you need huge tracts of lands in order to make a profit and this is after generous government subsidies and this is going to be quite hard in Detroit.
 
A better report about the fortunes of Detroit:
 
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:01
I think the farmland idea will be found to be impractical.  Urban farming is not only inefficient but the costs as Al-Jassas says will cripple it.  What produce of consequence could be farmed on such areas?

The reason the supermarkets are full is not because of small farms.  It is because of corporate agriculture.  The small farmer has become an anachronism.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:07
Legacy costs are not as much of a factor any more with GM, Chrysler and Ford. The corporations and the union accepted VEBA  (Voluntary Employee's Beneficiary Association) as a trust fund. The Union will pay for health care now (for retirees) and has been this past year. Plus, with bankruptcy for Chrysler and Gm other costs were taken on by us (the people/Government). Now that the slate is clean there should be nothing but profits, hence, the nice hefty profit sharing doled out to workers. Plus, it doesn't hurt that foreign markets are keeping sales alive. Problem is, American jobs haven't increased in comparison. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 02:16
Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.





Edited by pikeshot1600 - 28 Mar 2011 at 02:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:21
I really wonder why people are muttering about the decline of the domestic auto industry as the catalyst to the decay of Detroit! The Motor Moguls themselves began the exodus from the city in the 1930s, and unless one is blissfully ignorant of "outsourcing" as an internal process--as distinct from Henry Ford's locating the River Rouge Complex outside the city of Detroit itself (1917-1928)--between 1933-1960 the association of urban decay in Detroit with the automobile industry just does not work. If one understands that the Packard Motor Company was the sole manufacturing complex within Detroit itself by 1936 and that that company met its demise in the early 50s, one has to scratch one's head over those that associate the decay of Detroit with automobile industrial production! Besides central city redevelopment is hardly a novelty, the mausoleum known as the Renaissance Center (1977-1981) and its transformation from a Ford "white elephant" to that of GM in 1996 is telling.

Edited by drgonzaga - 28 Mar 2011 at 03:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:27
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.



 
Industry created wealth when the US was the only industrial power of any significance during the 50s and early 60s. This was also helped by massive government spending on defense and space technologies which eventually found their way to civilian use.
 
It was this dominance coupled with the end of the cold war and thus the government spending part that destroyed the corporate culture and made CEOs more interested getting bonuses rather than making profits. Back in the 60s a CEO would never have dreamt of getting a bonus if under his watch the company made a loss because of a recession he had no control over it and now CEOs destroy the company deliberately and still get billions in bonuses. Also corporations began to focus on the manegerial aspects of business like creative accounting (i.e. outright theft) or marketing instead of R&D.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 03:53
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

I really wonder why people are muttering about the decline of the domestic auto industry as the catalyst to the decay of Detroit! The Motor Moguls themselves began the exodus from the city in the 1930s, and unless one is blissfully ignorant of "outsourcing" as an internal process--as distinct from Henry Ford's locating the River Rouge Complex outside the city of Detroit itself (1917-1928)--between 1933-1960 the association of urban decay in Detroit with the automobile industry just does not work. If one understands that the Packard Motor Company was the sole manufacturing complex within Detroit itself by 1936 and that that company met its demise in the early 50s, one has to scratch one's head over those that associate the decay of Detroit with automobile industrial production! Besides central city redevelopment is hardly a novelty, the mausoleum known as the Renaissance Center (1977-1981) and its transformation from a Ford "white elephant" to that of GM in 1996 is telling.


The City has been the Headquarters of GM for decades. Now when you take into consideration all of Wayne County, with Detroit at the hub then the Big Three, as they were once called, have a home (manufacturing plants) or did have one in surrounding cities like - Hamtramck, Livonia, Dearborn (Ford Headquarters), Highland Park, River Rouge, Allen Park. Throw in Oakland County and you run into Chrysler Headquarters at Auburn Hills/Rochester.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 04:22
Detroit since the 1990s is not experiencing anything that old centers such as New Orleans did not undergo in the 1960s--suburban flight. Here is an example:
 
 
The largest reality of this phenomenon is the loss of the urban core's tax base, which in itself is the catalysts for further decay and multiplied decline. In certain areas a counterattack was undertaken--yuppification/gentrification--but that also created its own roil of resistance and protest. What I wish to underscore is that the actual problem is not as simple as just blaming the automobile industry...call it the direct product of poor urban planning and disastrous city politics.


Edited by drgonzaga - 29 Mar 2011 at 21:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 04:28
No objection here. Sure didn't help that Detroit had mayors like Coleman Young and Kwami Kilpatrick either. 
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Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Part of the systemic problem with industry - not just Detroit's - is that we are no longer creating sufficient wealth to tap for either current benefits or later transfer payments.

Industry had created the wealth that allowed its workers to spend on housing and goods and education.  The stagnation of incomes in the last several decades will probably (probably) be compounded by inevitable tax increases going forward.  At the very least, local and state taxes will increase dramatically in the coming years because those costs can't be ignored and glossed over like the Feds do it.  So, less money to spend on everything else.

Legacy costs have ruined more good companies than the Auto makers.  The legacy costs of government workers have hardly been recognized, but they will be.



 
Industry created wealth when the US was the only industrial power of any significance during the 50s and early 60s. This was also helped by massive government spending on defense and space technologies which eventually found their way to civilian use.
 
It was this dominance coupled with the end of the cold war and thus the government spending part that destroyed the corporate culture and made CEOs more interested getting bonuses rather than making profits. Back in the 60s a CEO would never have dreamt of getting a bonus if under his watch the company made a loss because of a recession he had no control over it and now CEOs destroy the company deliberately and still get billions in bonuses. Also corporations began to focus on the manegerial aspects of business like creative accounting (i.e. outright theft) or marketing instead of R&D.
 
Al-Jassas


No real argument with your points above.  In the last three decades, and perhaps mostly in the last two thereof, the Federal government has gone from stoking the US economy through spending to transferring many costs from the most wealthy to the not-so-wealthy.  Tax cuts and "trickle-down" has mostly "trickled on" the great majority of citizens. 

Most of the wealthiest people tend to be able to avoid much tax liability.  Rather than pumping wealth back into the economy, they just have another cocktail at the country club after spending the day looking at their financial statements.  They have mostly become hoarders as opposed to investors, and there is no way to make them spend their excess wealth that is less available to the economy.

Political leadership (if that is what it really is) does not want to recognize that Federal spending was responsible for a great deal of economic activity from about 1940 to well into the 1980s.  Now Federal spending is seen as inimical to the "market."  Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

Corporate robber barons have found it advisable to pad their personal economy by raping the company since the Federal spending engine is leaking oil.  It is easier to manipulate balance sheets and tax returns than it is to work hard at something.  (For that matter, committing rape is easier than making love - that is a lot of work.)  Decades of tax cuts and tax credits and tax avoidance - legal and otherwise - has shown them a new way forward to wealth without much work.

Oh, well, what has this to do with Detroit?  It is a poster boy.  Corporations diverting billions to bonuses and sitting on hundreds of billions in cash that they are not using is part (just a part, mind you) of the situation we now have where wealth is being hoarded rather than created.  That was what I wanted to say in the first post replied to above.

Labor unions became used to a bottomless pit (what they saw anyway).  Public employee unions have also become used to that.  Now, the lack of wealth creation in private business is reducing the resources that are available to finance those public entitlements through taxation.

*Sigh*  It makes my head hurt.  Thanks for paying some attention to my rant.  Smile




Edited by pikeshot1600 - 28 Mar 2011 at 05:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:30
A more interesting way than most of tracking the changes in Detroit over the last forty years is reading the novels of Elmore Leonard and watching the background change.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:38
I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:43
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Well, Graham, there is no Puritan work ethic in corporate board rooms.  Smile

Assembly line work, or toiling next to a blast furnace is not fun, but it provided decent employment for a lot of people who are now cutting grass for a living.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 05:58
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:



Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

 
This is one of the biggest lies in US political history. The US is not bankrupt nor its even close to being so. By one stroke of a pen it could easily solve both its spending problems (especially that on welfare) and its budget deficit. The problem is are the politicians ready for it?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 06:05
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:



Actually, the "race to not spend" is more due to the unspoken realization that the US is on the cusp of bankruptcy and has little further it can spend.  Pols like to make it look like something else.

 
This is one of the biggest lies in US political history. The US is not bankrupt nor its even close to being so. By one stroke of a pen it could easily solve both its spending problems (especially that on welfare) and its budget deficit. The problem is are the politicians ready for it?
 
Al-Jassas


At the risk of derailing the thread  Big smile  tell us how one stroke of a pen could solve the problems.


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