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The Fed printed money, gave it for free to rich people, who lent it to poor people at at nice profit instead of paying them wages

Regulatory tolerance of highly leveraged speculative activity by organizations and individuals is indeed a problem. However leverage is merely a description of income : debt levels.  Leverage is a substitute for income. Leverage is credit, a measure of debt capacity.

While leverage has enabled some firms to expand the market size and profitability of their operations, their wage and salaried employees have not captured a level of benefits commensurate with increasing productivity (profits). They have not captured profits because firm managers and investors prioritize distributions to themselves. Rather than even retire debts incurred by the firm, managers "roll over" principal by bond issue or worse pass through debt by M&A activity, so maintaining "interest only" fiduciary duties to employees and so-called equity holders.

The moral stands: no-low leverage is the result of no-low debt and retained earnings --which could fund CapEx and wage gains. Sadly, US don't do profit sharing with employees. US do 401(k), "defined contributions" to corporate debt.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 03:09:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
leverage is merely a description of income : debt levels

Leverage is a description of income : debt levels ... and that is the core problem, not the debt levels, but the debt/income ratio, since a political economy that rests on an increasing debt/income ratio is a financially unsustainable political economy.

And the ability to take on debt for the purpose of growing real income ... for instance, for the electrification of STRACNET and the reduction of the energy cost of long distance freight transport shifted onto electric rail by over 90% ... is undermined if we permit the deleveraging process to run as a ratchet that reduces the private debt/income ratio at the cost of increasing the income claims of those looking to convert fantasy wealth to real wealth.

However, the 60 vote hurdle in the US Senate has a big hole in it at the point where a budget bill get scored as not requiring a waiver of PAYGO requirements. That is when the US legislative process defaults to the Two Chamber Majority system of its original design.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 03:20:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However, the 60 vote hurdle in the US Senate has a big hole in it at the point where a budget bill get scored as not requiring a waiver of PAYGO requirements. That is when the US legislative process defaults to the Two Chamber Majority system of its original design.
This is perhaps the most felicitous unintended consequence in decades.  Hoist on their own petard, indeed!  But that requires that Democrats have the will to seize that opportunity.  I fear that they are so in campaign contribution servitude to wealthy donors that they will be afraid to take advantage of this opportunity.  Perhaps if there is no other way forward and they can disguise what they are doing it might come to pass.  Clinton did get taxes raised on the rich in a party line vote before the '94 mid-term elections.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 01:35:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... a result of some ambitious junior members looking to get publicity pushing it and lighting a wildfire ... the House leadership will never go for it unless they are facing a big public furor, of the kind that can get senior members of Congress primaried for being caught on the wrong side.

Maybe Kucinich could be one ... he's always looking to get his face in front of a camera.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:33:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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