JOE SOLVES THE ECONOMIC CRISIS,PART I.
31 JANUARY 2009
Why the bleep not? No one else seems to know what to
do, so why shouldn’t I toss out a few ideas? It just astounds me how
much brain damage Washington can cause.
Crisis: How about a solution that pays off mortgages
and/or puts money in homeowner’s hands at almost zero cost to
taxpayers? Easy.Using a property’s assessed value
(property tax value) as a guide, make money available at 0%.
Here’s how it would work: Since a property’s
assessed value is almost always lower than what it might fetch on the
open market, it presents a safe, lowball value to work with. The
make up to 50% (for example) of the assessed value available at 0%. In
return, the government would receive a first lien for that value on the
property, collectable at sale, gifting, death of the property owner or
any other kind of transfer. The property owner could either pay it back
(at 0%) or not, but in any event, the taxpayers would be
reimbursed. This same idea could also be adapted to small
An example: say a home is assessed at $190,000. That
would mean that $85,000. would be available.
A few caveats:
1.No more than 50% (or what ever the final per cent was worked out to
be) could be leveraged in this manner.
2.If said property has a
mortgage, and that mortgage is less
loan percentage limit, that mortgage must be paid in full by the loan.
Only what is left over could be “discretionary”. In calculating pay out
values, strict regulations would be in place to make sure mortgage
companies deducted all extra fees
and penalties accrued during the life
of the mortgage. Mortgage company participation would be
mandatary, and strong penalties would be in place to make sure that all
amounts were accurately and fairly calculated.
if the above-mentioned home had a
mortgage principal of $40,000., $40,000. would pay off that mortgage,
leaving the homeowner with $45,000. to put towards approved uses.
Alternatively, the homeowner could just take $40,000. and pay off the
3.If said property has a
mortgage, and that mortgage is more
loan percentage limit, then the entire loan amount would be used to pay
off the principal, (calculated in the same manner, and by the same
rules, as above) The mortgage company would then be required to re-cast
the mortgage to the amount of remaining principal, at, say, 2.5%.
example: if the above mentioned home had a
mortgage principal of $100,000., the $85,000 would go to that
principal, and the homeowner would be left with a $15,000. mortgage at
4.If said property has no mortgage,
the homeowner would be allowed to
spend that money on any number of approved expenditures, such as: home
improvement or business investment,( but not for
example, gambling junkets to Las Vegas) with the stipulation that
products and services be provided by American companies or small
businesses, and that they use only American materials and products.
would this do? It would provide huge relief
to homeowners in, or approaching, foreclosure, get money flowing in
other situations, (such as stimulating jobs in the home improvement
industry) and help small business owners get started (or stay) in
business. The nice part of this is that the government (i.e. taxpayers)
would, over time, be fully reimbursed, so the net cost would be quite
Crisis, Part 1:
The “other side” of the jobs crisis is that folks
who are paid in full on their homes and business properties face
foreclosure due to non-income based taxes, such as property tax. This
should not be allowed. Except for sales taxes, all taxes and government
fees should be relative to income, the way the IRS does it. Hard luck,
poverty or job loss should not be punished by forced homelessness.
Folks should, to echo the words of the Constitution, be secure in their
homes; let’s quote the Constitution, Amendment IV: “The right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated....”
While we’re at it, here’s how the dictionary defines
the relative meanings of secure:
a. from the Latin securus, se, or free, and cura, care,
1.free from fear, care, doubt or anxiety; not worried, troubled,
2.free from danger; not exposed to damage, attack, etc.; safe.
5.sure, certain, to be relied upon.
To this end, federal legislation should be enacted
barring all such grossly unfair taxing schemes. Also, a person's primary
home and or business should be free from judgements of unsatisfied
debts. The benefit to society of having one pay one’s debts in such
cases is offset by destroying the debtor, not only do human statistics
living in the street cost society money, but the lost taxes on the
money they are no longer earning costs too.
Crisis, Part 2:
At a time when as many as 100,000 jobs are
disappearing per week, is there any sensible, moral or economic
justification to sending our jobs overseas? How can a country
that produces next to nothing expect to remain a real world power? Or,
worse yet, ever be able to produce enough to fight a real
WWII) with overseas supply lines cut? How can any government allow the
greed of the privileged few to place this country at such a risk?
It’s not too complex to fix. Outlaw the practice. We
need jobs here, not in India. The concept is so simple it’s almost
frightening. If you want to take money from Americans, (i.e. sell
products to them) then you give them jobs manufacturing those products.
The “ruling class” wants to destroy the middle
class. Why? because, as far as they’re concerned, middle class workers
should be payed no more than $5. for a 16/7 week. Anything beyond that
is regarded as a robbery of wealth that is rightfully theirs. Don’t
believe me? Read American history of the 1870 to 1940 period.
Specifically, read about sweatshops and the rise of labour unions and
the beginnings of the demonisation of the word “socialism”.
Starting in the 1940's, everyone thought we’d
won, for awhile, at least, as the trend towards fair and equitable
wages took hold. The middle class grew and prospered, and women started
getting equal pay for equal work. Then came Reaganomics, free-trade,
free-market, trickle-down global deregulated gobbledygook, crowned by
N.A.F.T.A., C.A.F.T.A. and SHAFTA.
Rush Limbaugh and his sycophantic crew of me-tooers
pounded the “value” of totally unregulated free marketeering and
globalism into the brains of those whose only “benefit” would be a pink
slip today and a foreclosure notice tomorrow. Somewhere along the line,
we all forgot to put a flower on Joe Hill’s grave.
So tell us once again, Rush.Tell us once again how
we all “benefit” from having our jobs sent to India. Tell us once again
how we’re all better off now that the power saw that cost $500. when it
was “made in U.S.A.” is now only $99.99 when it’s made in China, even
though we had the $500. back
then and don’t have the
$99.99 now. Tell
us again how there is nothing at all wrong with completely unregulated
laissez-faire capitalism, that it’s just the malfeasance of a greedy
few that caused this problem, how there’s nothing wrong with that good
Regan-Bush-Clinton-Bush religion and that we should maintain
undiminished faith in it. Tell us once again, please, that there are
people who don’t deserve a
home, that it’s all our
faults for applying
for sub-prime mortgages, not the fault of the rapacious, greedy brokers
who designed the entire system. Please don’t leave out the thrilling
part about how Bush’s bankruptcy reforms protected our valiant,
beleaguered credit-card industry. And just to make us all feel
extra good, finish off with the ultimate dénoument, la
pièce de résistance,: those record Exxon profits! Only
you know how much we should all take pride in that little triumph of
Crisis, Part 3.
We once had a railroad network that could take you
from virtually any place to any other place in the USA., and Canada,
too. Yet mostly at the behest of GM, who wanted rubber wheels on
concrete, we destroyed about 80% of it, including some of our greatest
architecture. Today, Amtrak, a mere ghost of railroading’s past glory,
manages to grow at an impressive rate, despite wholly inadequate
equipment inventories and skeleton routes. Yet Washington pours
buckets-o-bucks into the airline industry that is losing passengers
(and money), and highways. Rebuilding the railroad network could
provide large numbers of jobs: re-laying track, building cars and
locomotives, staffing and operating them, not to mention maintaining
them and all the other ancillary equipment. FDR put artists and craft
people to work back in the 1930's, we could create more jobs
doing a similar thing today, by restoring, rebuilding and
re-creating our lost (railroad) architecture.
We all know that gas will get overpriced again. It’s
creeping up already. As soon as the speculators feel secure in that
trend, they’ll be back to help us get to $5. gas and beyond. Yet all
the “environmental movement” can come up with is new, absurdly high
efficiency ratings for automobiles, making them more expensive to
produce and harder to afford. All this during a depression. Smart, eh?
Nobody seems to have caught on yet to the fact that
many folks drive their cars to work, (well, those that have jobs, anyway) and that if a long drive to work was replaced
with a short drive to the
train station, that car could see 75% less use, meaning, of course 75%
less gas consumption. Gee, a big drop in consumption and no wacky new
expensive technology. Trains can move a “ton” 423 miles on one
gallon of fuel (681 kilometers on 3.8 liters (179km/liter) for
the rest of the world). Try doing that in a Prius.
I suspect that more people would prefer
relaxing train rides as opposed to the jarring experience of driving or
flying if it were available.
I know I do. Amtrak’s rider ship gains suggest that I’m right.
Yet most don’t have the choice. The tracks have been ripped up and
converted into “rail trails”. Fill’er up!
Yes, our highway system needs repair, and this is
also a good source of jobs. However, rubber wheels on pavement will
never reduce our dependance on foreign oil anywhere near the way that
railroads can. Highways should be maintained, but not expanded. Except
for local delivery, trucking companies should, with government
assistance, be converted into railroad companies. This is the only real
way to reduce, and ultimately, end our dependance on
foreign oil, (and)
relatively quickly, too.