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Author: Subject: Clinton: Iran is becoming a military dictatorship

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 12:53 PM
Clinton: Iran is becoming a military dictatorship

By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer Mon Feb 15, 9:20 am ET

DOHA, Qatar U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, a new U.S. accusation in the midst of rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions and crack down on anti-government protesters.

Speaking to Arab students at Carnegie Mellon's Doha campus, Clinton said Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps appears to have gained so much power that it effectively is supplanting the government.

"Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship," she said. "That is our view."

Last week the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it was freezing the assets in U.S. jurisdictions of a Revolutionary Guard general and four subsidiaries of a previously penalized construction company he runs because of their alleged involvement in producing and spreading weapons of mass destruction.

The Revolutionary Guard has long been a pillar of Iran's regime as a force separate from the ordinary armed forces. The Guard now has a hand in every critical area, including missile development, oil resources, dam building, road construction, telecommunications and nuclear technology.

It also has absorbed the paramilitary Basij as a full-fledged part of its command structure giving the militia greater funding and a stronger presence in Iran's internal politics.

Asked if the U.S. is planning a military attack on Iran, Clinton said "no."

The U.S. is focused on gaining international support for sanctions "that will be particularly aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, which we believe is in effect supplanting the government of Iran," she said.

Meanwhile, a semi-official news agency quoted the head of Iran's nuclear program as saying the country received a new proposal last week from the United States, Russia and France, three of the countries trying to rein in Tehran's uranium enrichment program.

Iran said that it was studying the joint proposal purportedly made after the country announced last week it had begun enriching uranium to a higher level than previously acknowledged. The ILNA news agency quoted Ali Akbar Salehi as saying various countries have also offered Iran proposals on a nuclear fuel swap, adding that Iran is reviewing all the proposals. He did not provide any more details.

The Obama administration is trying to "send a message to Iran a very clear message" that the U.S. is still open to engagement "but that we will not stand idly by while you pursue a nuclear program that can be used to threaten your neighbors and even beyond," Clinton said.

Later, as she boarded her plane for the next stop on her Middle East trip, Clinton said, "The civilian leadership is either preoccupied with its internal political situation or is ceding ground to the Revolutionary Guard."

She told reporters traveling with her that it appears the Revolutionary Guard is in charge of Iran's controversial nuclear program and the country changing course "depends on whether the clerical and political leadership begin to reassert themselves."

She added: "I'm not predicting what will happen but I think the trend with this greater and greater military lock on leadership decisions should be disturbing to Iranians as well as those of us on the outside."

Clinton said the Iran that could emerge is "a far cry from the Islamic Republic that had elections and different points of view within the leadership circle. That is part of the reason that we are so concerned with what we are seeing going on there."

In her Doha appearance, Clinton also said she foresees a possible breakthrough soon in stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I'm hopeful that this year will see the commencement of serious negotiations that will cover every issue that is outstanding," she said, adding that "everyone is anticipating" progress after more than a year of impasse between the negotiating parties.

The peace talks broke down in late 2008 with Israel's incursion into Gaza, which had launched rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

Clinton spoke in an interview with the Al-Jazeera TV network before a live audience of mostly Arab students at the Carnegie Mellon campus.

In remarks in the Qatari capital on Sunday, Clinton said she and the president are disappointed that the administration's efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks had failed thus far.

Reflecting the extent of concern in the Persian Gulf region about a U.S. confrontation with Iran, another member of the audience asked Clinton about the outlook for improving relations with Tehran. Clinton reiterated the Obama's administration view that Iran has violated its international obligation to use nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes. And she regretted that Iran has not accepted U.S. offers of nuclear negotiations.

Clinton makes a point of raising the topic of women and girls' rights whenever she travels abroad. In a speech Sunday to a forum on U.S.-Muslim relations, she stressed it in the context of U.S. support for nations seeking to build democratic institutions.

"As nations strive to build and strengthen governments that reflect the will of their people, grounded in their own traditions, they can count on the United States to be their partner," she said. "But the will of the people means the will of all the people, men and women. Women's rights are an issue of singular importance to me personally and as secretary of state."

She also cited the issue of violence against women, without mentioning any specific country.

"Even today, in 2010, women are still targets of violence," she said Sunday. "And all too often, religion might be used to justify it. But there is never a justification for violence against women. It is not cultural. It is criminal. And it is up to religious leaders to take a stand for women, to call for an end to honor killings, child marriages, domestic and gender-based violence."

Later Monday, Clinton flew to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a meeting with King Abdullah and a session with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Meanwhile, a semi-official news agency quoted the head of Iran's nuclear program as saying the country received a new proposal last week from the United States, Russia and France, three of the countries trying to rein in Tehran's uranium enrichment program.

Iran said that it was studying the joint proposal purportedly made after the country announced last week it had begun enriching uranium to a higher level than previously acknowledged. The ILNA news agency quoted Ali Akbar Salehi as saying various countries have also offered Iran proposals on a nuclear fuel swap, adding that Iran is reviewing all the proposals. He did not provide any more details.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 03:04 PM
This is an interesting article. Talk about American hypocrisy, it doesn't get any better than this. First of all, for America to accuse any country of being a military dictatorship when we are illegally occupying two different nations simultaneously is a laugh, but I assure you, nobody in the middle east is laughing.

America wants to keep up with this "super power" mentality, but we are weaker than ever before. We want to impose sanctions on Iran, but soon it will be sanctions imposed upon us. We have no power at all when we are forced to borrow money from China to the tune of hundreds of billions. Is it any wonder why Iran feels threatened enough to want to develop nuclear weapons? When we are clearly digging our heels into the sand in the middle east, who are we to point our finger at anyone for wanting to prepare for the war America is going to inflict upon any nation that isn't what we want them to be?

We want to dictate to other nations how they can arm, and defend themselves, then turn around and point our finger at them for being dictatorships. It just boggles the mind to consider how hypocritical that must seem to anyone who is from Iran, or any nation that isn't in our pocket from that region. Especially when we have sold "weapons of mass destruction" to everyone from Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, to Israel, which uses weapons against Palestinians in their effort to rid the region of them completely by murdering tens of thousands of innocent people, to the arms deal we just did with Taiwan, who wants to arm themselves to protect themselves from China, a nation we not only borrow money from, but also buy more goods from than any other nation on the planet.

When Clinton is asked if we're planning on attacking Iran, she replies, "no". Why would anyone think otherwise judging by our behavior over the past nine years in that region?

All I can say is that Iran will most definitely get themselves into the nuclear game, and take things to the level they need to be. If America wants to talk tough, let us put our money where our mouth is. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, what can we really do about it? Impose sanctions? Give me a break! We can't even balance our own budget, or provide decent health care for our own citizens, and we're going to try to interfere with Iranian politics by making demands, and threats? Notice how this article takes quotes from a "semi official" news agency which reports that America is "open to engagement, but won't stand idly by and allow them to threaten their neighbors", but we give billions to the Israeli's who threaten and kill their neighbors since 1948. Why don't we impose sanctions upon them? Instead, we fund them, which gives a clear mess to the Muslims on where we stand in regards to honoring the rights of Palestinians, and Muslims in the region.

She even goes on to speak about the treatment of women in the Muslim nations, which is something I personally don't support. I believe in women's rights, and respect.
However, we have absolutely no right to "dictate" to anyone in any nation about human rights when we are so supportive of China, a country with some of the worst human rights violations on the planet. This takes hypocrisy to a whole new level. This is why we will lose our respect, and our position in the world. We talk a good talk, but we walk a very crooked path of examples set by our own leadership. If you want to call it leadership.

If Hillary Clinton wants to talk about how women are disrespected, she should think about how she was so disrespected by her own husband by lying, cheating, and committing adulterous acts inside the oval office. By shoving a cigar up Monica Lewinski's vagina, then sucking on it like a popsicle. By cheating on his wife, and family for more than a decade, then outright lying to the American public about it. "I never had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski". Now the woman who was cheated on like that is going to talk about women's rights in foreign countries, when she couldn't take care of her own business right at home.

She says at one point that Iran has violated it's agreement to use nuclear technology in a peaceful way. Yet, they haven't developed any weapons yet. They aren't accusing Iran of having nuclear weapons, only of enriching uranium. I wonder why we had no problem with every other nation of the "nuclear community" proliferating weapons of "mass destruction". It seems like we only have a problem with certain countries that don't meet our criteria, like as if we are the ultimate authority on who can, and who can't arm themselves just as we, and other nations have.

Hillary Clinton was a person I used to respect. She has become just as bad as all the others that twist, and manipulate the law, and our government in an effort to control regions of the world where we have no justifiable right to control, or occupy.
This is aggressive imperialism reaching a new low, and I don't think the Iranians are going to play our game. I think we all need to brace ourselves for a very long and bloody conflict in the middle east that can easily spell the demise of this nation in the long run.

It's hard to keep fighting wars when you have no money to do it. We've gotten ourselves into a fight we can't win. We talk like we can, but we don't have the economic strength to back up our threats. Unless of course we continue to occupy Iraq, steal their oil, use it to pay for illegal wars to keep, and to gain more military dominance in the middle east..... sounds a little like "military dictatorship", doesn't it?



 

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 05:17 PM
I see that Hillary is laying the groundwork, apparently.

[Edited on 2/15/2010 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 06:39 PM
quote:
I see that Hillary is laying the groundwork, apparently.

[Edited on 2/15/2010 by DerekFromCincinnati]


You must be torn... go against Hillary or agree with her. I notice you do neither. Still fence sitting, waiting to pick the best argumentative position for future discussions.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 08:46 PM
Looks like Gina has a twin on the WP

 

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  posted on 2/15/2010 at 11:57 PM
quote:
This is an interesting article. Talk about American hypocrisy, it doesn't get any better than this. First of all, for America to accuse any country of being a military dictatorship when we are illegally occupying two different nations simultaneously is a laugh, but I assure you, nobody in the middle east is laughing.

America wants to keep up with this "super power" mentality, but we are weaker than ever before. We want to impose sanctions on Iran, but soon it will be sanctions imposed upon us. We have no power at all when we are forced to borrow money from China to the tune of hundreds of billions. Is it any wonder why Iran feels threatened enough to want to develop nuclear weapons? When we are clearly digging our heels into the sand in the middle east, who are we to point our finger at anyone for wanting to prepare for the war America is going to inflict upon any nation that isn't what we want them to be?

We want to dictate to other nations how they can arm, and defend themselves, then turn around and point our finger at them for being dictatorships. It just boggles the mind to consider how hypocritical that must seem to anyone who is from Iran, or any nation that isn't in our pocket from that region. Especially when we have sold "weapons of mass destruction" to everyone from Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein, to Israel, which uses weapons against Palestinians in their effort to rid the region of them completely by murdering tens of thousands of innocent people, to the arms deal we just did with Taiwan, who wants to arm themselves to protect themselves from China, a nation we not only borrow money from, but also buy more goods from than any other nation on the planet.

When Clinton is asked if we're planning on attacking Iran, she replies, "no". Why would anyone think otherwise judging by our behavior over the past nine years in that region?

All I can say is that Iran will most definitely get themselves into the nuclear game, and take things to the level they need to be. If America wants to talk tough, let us put our money where our mouth is. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, what can we really do about it? Impose sanctions? Give me a break! We can't even balance our own budget, or provide decent health care for our own citizens, and we're going to try to interfere with Iranian politics by making demands, and threats? Notice how this article takes quotes from a "semi official" news agency which reports that America is "open to engagement, but won't stand idly by and allow them to threaten their neighbors", but we give billions to the Israeli's who threaten and kill their neighbors since 1948. Why don't we impose sanctions upon them? Instead, we fund them, which gives a clear mess to the Muslims on where we stand in regards to honoring the rights of Palestinians, and Muslims in the region.

She even goes on to speak about the treatment of women in the Muslim nations, which is something I personally don't support. I believe in women's rights, and respect.
However, we have absolutely no right to "dictate" to anyone in any nation about human rights when we are so supportive of China, a country with some of the worst human rights violations on the planet. This takes hypocrisy to a whole new level. This is why we will lose our respect, and our position in the world. We talk a good talk, but we walk a very crooked path of examples set by our own leadership. If you want to call it leadership.

If Hillary Clinton wants to talk about how women are disrespected, she should think about how she was so disrespected by her own husband by lying, cheating, and committing adulterous acts inside the oval office. By shoving a cigar up Monica Lewinski's vagina, then sucking on it like a popsicle. By cheating on his wife, and family for more than a decade, then outright lying to the American public about it. "I never had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski". Now the woman who was cheated on like that is going to talk about women's rights in foreign countries, when she couldn't take care of her own business right at home.

She says at one point that Iran has violated it's agreement to use nuclear technology in a peaceful way. Yet, they haven't developed any weapons yet. They aren't accusing Iran of having nuclear weapons, only of enriching uranium. I wonder why we had no problem with every other nation of the "nuclear community" proliferating weapons of "mass destruction". It seems like we only have a problem with certain countries that don't meet our criteria, like as if we are the ultimate authority on who can, and who can't arm themselves just as we, and other nations have.

Hillary Clinton was a person I used to respect. She has become just as bad as all the others that twist, and manipulate the law, and our government in an effort to control regions of the world where we have no justifiable right to control, or occupy.
This is aggressive imperialism reaching a new low, and I don't think the Iranians are going to play our game. I think we all need to brace ourselves for a very long and bloody conflict in the middle east that can easily spell the demise of this nation in the long run.

It's hard to keep fighting wars when you have no money to do it. We've gotten ourselves into a fight we can't win. We talk like we can, but we don't have the economic strength to back up our threats. Unless of course we continue to occupy Iraq, steal their oil, use it to pay for illegal wars to keep, and to gain more military dominance in the middle east..... sounds a little like "military dictatorship", doesn't it?






America should not tell other nations how to govern, whether their people are free or not, whether woman have the rights we want, whether certain religions are respected. Countries around the world need to determine their own course, we need to take care of our own matters. How much of that foreign aid money shouldn't be borrowed in the first place? We borrow money, pay interest on it just to give it to other nations. Having a surplus of money after we've taken care of our own bills and then being generous with aid is one thing. But we don't have it to give.

Problem is that the global economic system needs a police force. If Iraq and Iran go to war, Pakistan and India go to war the global economy is in the sh:tter and everything is so intertwined now that America is forced to support or deter so many sides with these potential conflicts. We fund Israel and have aided the Palestinian Government. Israel creates problems with the Palestinians, the Palestinians create problems for Israel and we're paying both the bills. Even if it is just humanitarian aid in the case of the Palestinians, shouldn't we take care of our own humanitarian aid issues first in our own country rather than buying friends and allys around the globe while at the same time creating enemies ? We're so far in bed with China we might as well be physically connected at the hip, yet we will support and defend Taiwan? I don't give a damn if Taiwan is independent or not. We're supposed to spend American blood and treasure for them, potentially invoking a war with China over Taiwan? Let North and South Korea fight for what is theirs if that is the course they want. We should stay the hell out of it. But we won't, we can't. This is where we're at.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 01:30 AM
Very true statements there Nebish. I applaud you for having the guts to speak your mind, and lay out the truth as it really is. These issues are tough meat.
I don't really care where people stand on the issues. I just want to hear peoples thoughts and opinions about what is happening to us as a nation.

Peace to you brother. Keep it real.




[Edited on 2/16/2010 by MyInnerEyeMike]

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 01:59 AM
This is kind of a drive by posting but short opinion on the subject.......we've got to figure out a way to stop losing jobs, to start manufacturing things again and get the heck out of Afghanistan and, of course, Iraq. I was for going into Afghanistan when we were supposed to be going after Bin Laden. Once the decision was made to put our resources in Iraq then I didn't see any reason our soldiers should stay to fight an unsupported war. As for Iran......now's not the time to be trying to jump in on this one. We need to get things secured over here first.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 02:56 AM
Good point Ann. We need to ask ourselves what America's exports are these days?
What does America make, and export that adds to the gross national product?
Does anyone buy our cars? Does anyone buy or clothing? Produce? How about electronics?
Textiles? Anything???? Can anyone name anything besides airplanes made by Boeing, and Lougheed which both have huge government contracts? The answer to this question is simple. We only have one major export that brings in billion every year... that one thing is weapons. Bombs, planes, tanks, guns, explosives, missiles, nukes, and the other tools of war to go along with them. We have taken a lesson from China. Not the China of today, which produces all kinds of products from electronics, to clothing, shoes, all kinds of stuff, but from the China of yesterday that put it's nation to work by building weapons to supply our enemies with the tools they needed to kill our soldiers in foreign wars.

We have become no better than a communist nation that to this day has the worst human rights violations the world has ever seen. Children working in machine shops, elderly people working like slaves. Dominance, greed, aggression..... those words describe both nations, don't they? Where have we gone as a nation? The only way we can make progress is to use war as the method. We've lost what once made this nation great.

We don't have the power we once did, and I can see a vision for America in the future. I can see us becoming so lost in our greed, that we have no choice but to sell ourselves out, and give ourselves over to another government because we no longer have what it takes to govern ourselves.

Look at what these politicians have done. We can't solve the problems that keep us as a nation from moving forward. After being at the head of the nations of the world, we will lose our power. Why? Because the root of America's suffering is a basic immorality, and vanity where greed, lust, and inordinate self interest has become the way of life.

People have taken their own personal desires and put them above the desire of family, community, and the desire of a nation. People have taken political parties, and put them above the best interest of a nation. The political gridlock will keep America from making progress now, and in the future. Our leaders n their struggle to achieve inordinate self interests enguage in hiding the truth from the American people.

Without truth, people are left paralyzed, and unable to constructively solve our problems. We're always talking about the wars, the budget, the health care, the debt, but we still have barges of garbage going from port to port because we don't even know what to do with our own garbage anymore. We want to solve the big problems, but we can't even solve the smaller problems. We have kids these days graduating from high school as functional illiterates. They can't read, or write, but what's worse is that they don't even have the desire to learn. Meanwhile we all sit back and laugh. We make jokes about it, and amuse ourselves like in that post yesterday in AG about making a contribution to our youth. "Some Words Of Wisdom From An Oldtimer". We're all LOLing, and ROTFLing, and LMFAOing, while this nation goes deeper into decline. The youth of today need the older generation to lend a hand, and take things more seriously. We are all responsible for the welfare of the nation. It's not the responsibility of the government alone.

I've been saying it here for weeks, and nobody will even respond to my questions or comments, yet they will go back and forth bickering about nonsense that is on a grammar school level. I've been saying it all along, there's a problem in the house. America is purportrating a fraud!! Not just on the global community, but on it's own people.

If I was a used car salesman, and you wanted to buy a car from me. I can show you a beautiful car in the lot. You can sit in it, you can turn the radio on, roll down the window, and feel ike you're going somewhere. I can even give you a key and tell you that you can drive it. But if the car doesn't have a motor in it, I'm purportrating a fraud. That is where we are at as a nation today.

Our government is telling us we can go to school, and to college, then get a great job, and live the American dream, but the reality of the situation is that many people today leave college with degrees that they can't even use. They become locked into a life of unhappiness. Addicted to drugs and alcohol. Lost in the immorality, and trappings of a society that is deaf, dumb, and blind and being lead by a corrupt government of criminals that operate a criminal enterprise. They're purportrating a fraud.

I think if we are honest, if we examine America's vital signs, we will come to agree that America is steadily on the decline. If something is not done soon, America will no longer be considered a super power, but rather, we'll be considered a super loser, as I've said before. So let's see our great politicians, our great leaders, our great teachers, great scientists, let's see them solve these problems before it becomes too late.



 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 09:26 AM
quote:
As for Iran......now's not the time to be trying to jump in on this one. We need to get things secured over here first.

What's second?

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 10:43 AM
quote:
Good point Ann. We need to ask ourselves what America's exports are these days?
What does America make, and export that adds to the gross national product?
Does anyone buy our cars? Does anyone buy or clothing? Produce? How about electronics?
Textiles? Anything???? Can anyone name anything besides airplanes made by Boeing, and Lougheed which both have huge government contracts? The answer to this question is simple. We only have one major export that brings in billion every year... that one thing is weapons. Bombs, planes, tanks, guns, explosives, missiles, nukes, and the other tools of war to go along with them. We have taken a lesson from China. Not the China of today, which produces all kinds of products from electronics, to clothing, shoes, all kinds of stuff, but from the China of yesterday that put it's nation to work by building weapons to supply our enemies with the tools they needed to kill our soldiers in foreign wars.

We have become no better than a communist nation that to this day has the worst human rights violations the world has ever seen. Children working in machine shops, elderly people working like slaves. Dominance, greed, aggression..... those words describe both nations, don't they? Where have we gone as a nation? The only way we can make progress is to use war as the method. We've lost what once made this nation great.

We don't have the power we once did, and I can see a vision for America in the future. I can see us becoming so lost in our greed, that we have no choice but to sell ourselves out, and give ourselves over to another government because we no longer have what it takes to govern ourselves.

Look at what these politicians have done. We can't solve the problems that keep us as a nation from moving forward. After being at the head of the nations of the world, we will lose our power. Why? Because the root of America's suffering is a basic immorality, and vanity where greed, lust, and inordinate self interest has become the way of life.

People have taken their own personal desires and put them above the desire of family, community, and the desire of a nation. People have taken political parties, and put them above the best interest of a nation. The political gridlock will keep America from making progress now, and in the future. Our leaders n their struggle to achieve inordinate self interests enguage in hiding the truth from the American people.

Without truth, people are left paralyzed, and unable to constructively solve our problems. We're always talking about the wars, the budget, the health care, the debt, but we still have barges of garbage going from port to port because we don't even know what to do with our own garbage anymore. We want to solve the big problems, but we can't even solve the smaller problems. We have kids these days graduating from high school as functional illiterates. They can't read, or write, but what's worse is that they don't even have the desire to learn. Meanwhile we all sit back and laugh. We make jokes about it, and amuse ourselves like in that post yesterday in AG about making a contribution to our youth. "Some Words Of Wisdom From An Oldtimer". We're all LOLing, and ROTFLing, and LMFAOing, while this nation goes deeper into decline. The youth of today need the older generation to lend a hand, and take things more seriously. We are all responsible for the welfare of the nation. It's not the responsibility of the government alone.

I've been saying it here for weeks, and nobody will even respond to my questions or comments, yet they will go back and forth bickering about nonsense that is on a grammar school level. I've been saying it all along, there's a problem in the house. America is purportrating a fraud!! Not just on the global community, but on it's own people.

If I was a used car salesman, and you wanted to buy a car from me. I can show you a beautiful car in the lot. You can sit in it, you can turn the radio on, roll down the window, and feel ike you're going somewhere. I can even give you a key and tell you that you can drive it. But if the car doesn't have a motor in it, I'm purportrating a fraud. That is where we are at as a nation today.

Our government is telling us we can go to school, and to college, then get a great job, and live the American dream, but the reality of the situation is that many people today leave college with degrees that they can't even use. They become locked into a life of unhappiness. Addicted to drugs and alcohol. Lost in the immorality, and trappings of a society that is deaf, dumb, and blind and being lead by a corrupt government of criminals that operate a criminal enterprise. They're purportrating a fraud.

I think if we are honest, if we examine America's vital signs, we will come to agree that America is steadily on the decline. If something is not done soon, America will no longer be considered a super power, but rather, we'll be considered a super loser, as I've said before. So let's see our great politicians, our great leaders, our great teachers, great scientists, let's see them solve these problems before it becomes too late.






I liked your first post, although I wasn't in agreement with everything you stated. I'm sure many aren't in agreement with many things I stated. This next post of yours veers a bit further, for instance I don't think we are no better than a communist nation, but the frustration you speak with isn't lost on me.

Two quick things:

About government pushing kids to go to college, get a great job, American dream stuff...we have an over supply of many college educated people compared to the jobs that are available. College education does not solve everything when there are no jobs in the field you graduate in. It is common for people to find work not in field of their degree. The only hope for many people seems to be moving to the large growing cities in the country, which does nothing to help their home communities and states.

We do need the jobs back that are gone, in the manufacturing sector, in the service sector. We've given away our jobs to workers outside our boarders at the expense of our own people. The answer of pushing high school kids to get college educations hasn't solved our economic issues. In many cases it has created more people searching for jobs that aren't there and weighed down many people with student loan debt that they might not have had to take on had their been jobs available out of high school.

Jobs of the 21st century, we need a work force to meet these jobs we are told? Too many are still waiting. What is wrong with the jobs of the 20th century? Many are gone to other countries now, so we are stuck.


Now in fairness, to take exception with a point you made, the US does export alot. In 2008 it was 1.2 trillion worth of exports (although our imports were over 2.1 trillion). What is it you ask? The #1 category is industrial and power generating machinery (boilers, nuclear reactors, turbines, engines, motors, pumps, etc - category 84 items). This was $190b of the total exports. Then there are electrical machinery items including radar, electromagnets (category 85 items) which was $152b. Vehicles ranks as our 3rd export category with $111b, although it should be noted that many of the US branded vehicles sold in other countries are actually not built here, but in the market they are sold. Following this we have "Aircraft, Spacecraft and parts thereof" $84b, Minerals such as coal (we export alot of coal), products deriving from petrolium $76b, and after this we have categories including medical equipment, precious metals, stones $69b, plastic products $51b, chemicals, cereal, iron and steel, grains, seeds, etc.

So it must be acknowledged that the US does have a very large export base that does provide jobs for millions of American no doubt.

However, what I take exception with is our trade deficit and balance. The trade deficit has been over $800b for three straight years. In 1999 it was less than half that and in 1989 it was just a tad over $100b. There are 47 countries with which we had a $1b+ deficit with in 2008, 20 of those were $10b+, many above $25b+.

We have SIX trading partners with a positive trade balance above $10b. Once you get outside these 6 when you look at the other countries we have trade surpluses with (and there are very many) they are typically the poor developing countries of the world, the ones that aren't in much of a position to supply themselves with what they need. We don't enjoy positive trade balance with any developed country of the world, with the exception of Australia or UAE.

Sure exporting more would be a great idea for our economy. That is the goal of all the trade agreements, but it doesn't work out that way. There aren't enough willing or able customers in the countries we need more trade with to buy our products. Instead our market gets further opened, at the expense of our workers and domestic jobs. How can the American worker with American sourced components compete with the cheap labor and operating expenses around the globe? It is impossible.

I suggest we depend less on foreign nations for the goods and services we need here in America and start relying on ourselves for those items and the jobs that come with it. If we lose some export jobs through trade retaliation, then in all likelyhood those jobs can certainly be absorbed by the growing job base that is created to make what we currently import, but would now make here.

When we are less dependent on the world for our products we don't need to spend billions of dollars or lose the lives of American soldiers defending and invading other countries. A stable middle east doesn't matter so much when we utilize all our fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. A stable Asian peninsula doesn't matter so much when we are no longer dependent on their goods for our shelves.

So I wanted to expand on those points from your last post Mike.

More to the subject of this thread. I don't necessarily like that Iran is the country they are, or if they are have evolved into a military dictatorship (which shouldn't really surprise anyone). But at the same time, so long as we are secure from their threat and they know that any action taken against us will be met with the gravest response possible, I'm willing to let them determine their own destiny and their neighbors in the region are left to deal with the problem.

I certainly don't think military action against them would be wise for multiple reasons which are fairly obvious. I do support the efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also for obvious reasons I think. I will commend the President for his commitment to the fight against the people and region that gave was behind the 9/11 attacks. I'm sure I'm like everyone that would like to see it taken care of and wrapped up in the quickest possible timeframe, but it is a fight that needs to be fought. And for the record, while I supported the invasion of Iraq at the time, in hindsight there is little conclusion to take away from it other than it isn't a war that should have been waged.

All the trade data I sourced came from here:
http://tse.export.gov/

[Edited on 2/16/2010 by nebish]

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 11:02 AM
It was great watching information technology jobs flourish through out the 60's,70's,80's. Now it's sad for me to see lots of good paying computer programming type jobs being farmed out to companies that provide on-site contractors from India.
 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 01:30 PM
quote:
quote:
Good point Ann. We need to ask ourselves what America's exports are these days?
What does America make, and export that adds to the gross national product?
Does anyone buy our cars? Does anyone buy or clothing? Produce? How about electronics?
Textiles? Anything???? Can anyone name anything besides airplanes made by Boeing, and Lougheed which both have huge government contracts? The answer to this question is simple. We only have one major export that brings in billion every year... that one thing is weapons. Bombs, planes, tanks, guns, explosives, missiles, nukes, and the other tools of war to go along with them. We have taken a lesson from China. Not the China of today, which produces all kinds of products from electronics, to clothing, shoes, all kinds of stuff, but from the China of yesterday that put it's nation to work by building weapons to supply our enemies with the tools they needed to kill our soldiers in foreign wars.

We have become no better than a communist nation that to this day has the worst human rights violations the world has ever seen. Children working in machine shops, elderly people working like slaves. Dominance, greed, aggression..... those words describe both nations, don't they? Where have we gone as a nation? The only way we can make progress is to use war as the method. We've lost what once made this nation great.

We don't have the power we once did, and I can see a vision for America in the future. I can see us becoming so lost in our greed, that we have no choice but to sell ourselves out, and give ourselves over to another government because we no longer have what it takes to govern ourselves.

Look at what these politicians have done. We can't solve the problems that keep us as a nation from moving forward. After being at the head of the nations of the world, we will lose our power. Why? Because the root of America's suffering is a basic immorality, and vanity where greed, lust, and inordinate self interest has become the way of life.

People have taken their own personal desires and put them above the desire of family, community, and the desire of a nation. People have taken political parties, and put them above the best interest of a nation. The political gridlock will keep America from making progress now, and in the future. Our leaders n their struggle to achieve inordinate self interests enguage in hiding the truth from the American people.

Without truth, people are left paralyzed, and unable to constructively solve our problems. We're always talking about the wars, the budget, the health care, the debt, but we still have barges of garbage going from port to port because we don't even know what to do with our own garbage anymore. We want to solve the big problems, but we can't even solve the smaller problems. We have kids these days graduating from high school as functional illiterates. They can't read, or write, but what's worse is that they don't even have the desire to learn. Meanwhile we all sit back and laugh. We make jokes about it, and amuse ourselves like in that post yesterday in AG about making a contribution to our youth. "Some Words Of Wisdom From An Oldtimer". We're all LOLing, and ROTFLing, and LMFAOing, while this nation goes deeper into decline. The youth of today need the older generation to lend a hand, and take things more seriously. We are all responsible for the welfare of the nation. It's not the responsibility of the government alone.

I've been saying it here for weeks, and nobody will even respond to my questions or comments, yet they will go back and forth bickering about nonsense that is on a grammar school level. I've been saying it all along, there's a problem in the house. America is purportrating a fraud!! Not just on the global community, but on it's own people.

If I was a used car salesman, and you wanted to buy a car from me. I can show you a beautiful car in the lot. You can sit in it, you can turn the radio on, roll down the window, and feel ike you're going somewhere. I can even give you a key and tell you that you can drive it. But if the car doesn't have a motor in it, I'm purportrating a fraud. That is where we are at as a nation today.

Our government is telling us we can go to school, and to college, then get a great job, and live the American dream, but the reality of the situation is that many people today leave college with degrees that they can't even use. They become locked into a life of unhappiness. Addicted to drugs and alcohol. Lost in the immorality, and trappings of a society that is deaf, dumb, and blind and being lead by a corrupt government of criminals that operate a criminal enterprise. They're purportrating a fraud.

I think if we are honest, if we examine America's vital signs, we will come to agree that America is steadily on the decline. If something is not done soon, America will no longer be considered a super power, but rather, we'll be considered a super loser, as I've said before. So let's see our great politicians, our great leaders, our great teachers, great scientists, let's see them solve these problems before it becomes too late.






I liked your first post, although I wasn't in agreement with everything you stated. I'm sure many aren't in agreement with many things I stated. This next post of yours veers a bit further, for instance I don't think we are no better than a communist nation, but the frustration you speak with isn't lost on me.

Two quick things:

About government pushing kids to go to college, get a great job, American dream stuff...we have an over supply of many college educated people compared to the jobs that are available. College education does not solve everything when there are no jobs in the field you graduate in. It is common for people to find work not in field of their degree. The only hope for many people seems to be moving to the large growing cities in the country, which does nothing to help their home communities and states.

We do need the jobs back that are gone, in the manufacturing sector, in the service sector. We've given away our jobs to workers outside our boarders at the expense of our own people. The answer of pushing high school kids to get college educations hasn't solved our economic issues. In many cases it has created more people searching for jobs that aren't there and weighed down many people with student loan debt that they might not have had to take on had their been jobs available out of high school.

Jobs of the 21st century, we need a work force to meet these jobs we are told? Too many are still waiting. What is wrong with the jobs of the 20th century? Many are gone to other countries now, so we are stuck.


Now in fairness, to take exception with a point you made, the US does export alot. In 2008 it was 1.2 trillion worth of exports (although our imports were over 2.1 trillion). What is it you ask? The #1 category is industrial and power generating machinery (boilers, nuclear reactors, turbines, engines, motors, pumps, etc - category 84 items). This was $190b of the total exports. Then there are electrical machinery items including radar, electromagnets (category 85 items) which was $152b. Vehicles ranks as our 3rd export category with $111b, although it should be noted that many of the US branded vehicles sold in other countries are actually not built here, but in the market they are sold. Following this we have "Aircraft, Spacecraft and parts thereof" $84b, Minerals such as coal (we export alot of coal), products deriving from petrolium $76b, and after this we have categories including medical equipment, precious metals, stones $69b, plastic products $51b, chemicals, cereal, iron and steel, grains, seeds, etc.

So it must be acknowledged that the US does have a very large export base that does provide jobs for millions of American no doubt.

However, what I take exception with is our trade deficit and balance. The trade deficit has been over $800b for three straight years. In 1999 it was less than half that and in 1989 it was just a tad over $100b. There are 47 countries with which we had a $1b+ deficit with in 2008, 20 of those were $10b+, many above $25b+.

We have SIX trading partners with a positive trade balance above $10b. Once you get outside these 6 when you look at the other countries we have trade surpluses with (and there are very many) they are typically the poor developing countries of the world, the ones that aren't in much of a position to supply themselves with what they need. We don't enjoy positive trade balance with any developed country of the world, with the exception of Australia or UAE.

Sure exporting more would be a great idea for our economy. That is the goal of all the trade agreements, but it doesn't work out that way. There aren't enough willing or able customers in the countries we need more trade with to buy our products. Instead our market gets further opened, at the expense of our workers and domestic jobs. How can the American worker with American sourced components compete with the cheap labor and operating expenses around the globe? It is impossible.

I suggest we depend less on foreign nations for the goods and services we need here in America and start relying on ourselves for those items and the jobs that come with it. If we lose some export jobs through trade retaliation, then in all likelyhood those jobs can certainly be absorbed by the growing job base that is created to make what we currently import, but would now make here.

When we are less dependent on the world for our products we don't need to spend billions of dollars or lose the lives of American soldiers defending and invading other countries. A stable middle east doesn't matter so much when we utilize all our fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. A stable Asian peninsula doesn't matter so much when we are no longer dependent on their goods for our shelves.

So I wanted to expand on those points from your last post Mike.

More to the subject of this thread. I don't necessarily like that Iran is the country they are, or if they are have evolved into a military dictatorship (which shouldn't really surprise anyone). But at the same time, so long as we are secure from their threat and they know that any action taken against us will be met with the gravest response possible, I'm willing to let them determine their own destiny and their neighbors in the region are left to deal with the problem.

I certainly don't think military action against them would be wise for multiple reasons which are fairly obvious. I do support the efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also for obvious reasons I think. I will commend the President for his commitment to the fight against the people and region that gave was behind the 9/11 attacks. I'm sure I'm like everyone that would like to see it taken care of and wrapped up in the quickest possible timeframe, but it is a fight that needs to be fought. And for the record, while I supported the invasion of Iraq at the time, in hindsight there is little conclusion to take away from it other than it isn't a war that should have been waged.

All the trade data I sourced came from here:
http://tse.export.gov/

[Edited on 2/16/2010 by nebish]


Thank you once again for responding in a serious way. I appreciate you taking the time to offer your opinions, and interesting statistics. It's going to be interesting to see how all this plays out in the near future.

I'm curious what you think we might be achieving in Afghanistan, and Pakistan?
Neither nation was involved in the 9-11 attacks, and nobody knows for sure where Bin Laden really is. Did you hear on the news yesterday that we killed a good number of innocent civilians in our air raids in Afghanistan? We all want to think what we're doing there is for the greater good, but how can we justify this kind of death and destruction when there is no progress made?

We've been in Afghanistan since 2001. Please tell me what progress has been made since then. What success have we had that justifies the president asking for another 33 billion for that war as he did recently? In almost ten years, we haven't done much more than chase ghosts, and show our might, but there hasn't really been any real success that makes any difference in the bigger picture of global terrorism.

The Taliban is still in Afghanistan, and they will always be in Afghanistan. For us to think otherwise is foolish, and arrogant. We can't just waltz into Afghanistan and kill every person who we think is Taliban. It's just not realistic, but they'll try to sell that to the American public. "We're going to wipe out the Taliban". Really? Well, they seem to be holding their own against us. How much longer will it take to wipe them all out?

The Taliban had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11, and our government never really said it did. We just don't want them controlling that nation for our own reasons, which are based on our culture. We as a nation don't have the right to go around killing everyone we don't like or agree with. If we felt so strong about the Taliban, we should have picked up where the Russians left off in the 80's, because that is when they took control. After we helped the Mujahadin fight the Russians. We're just never satisfied.

If it isn't one thing, it's another. it's always something, or someone who MUST be stopped. Yet, if we look back at history, we see we funded, and armed the people we're always complaining about. Look at Iraq. We sold arms to Saddam Hussein to fight the Iranians. Then we decide he's an evil dictator because he invaded Kuwait. What have we done?? Is it any better? We invaded two nations with the same purpose, which is to take control of the oil, and natural gas. If you think that doesn't have anything to do with why we're in Afghanistan, check out the info about the pipeline that goes from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, and out to the Caspian sea. This is why I say we're no better than the communists, or dictators we complain about, and go to war against. We basically do the same things. Our military is fighting both wars to keep control of energy sources, rather than investing in clean energy technology. Then, they'll try to give us a bunch of hogwash about clean air, and emissions. Yet, we're busy selling tons of coal as a major export as you stated. We're purportrating a fraud!!

This whole thing about terrorism, 9-11, dictators, Taliban, etc, etc, is all a big cover up for the petrochemical industry, and the military industrial complex who are profiting off of this. They are misusing our military, and our resources for the benefit of a small percentage of people who control a large part of the economy. It's a fraud.

You're probably not "fighting" age, and neither am I, but I'd like to know if you'd be willing to go and fight in Afghanistan if you were. Do you believe in the cause that much that you'd be willing to sacrifice your life for the cause? I wonder how many of our military people have their heart into it. If they really believe in what we're doing over there.

I'd love to see it put to an anonymous vote. That would be very interesting.



 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 01:34 PM
I suppose this is a very uninformed question so I plead ignorance up front but I was wondering.....there are so many unemployed people right now who are about to exhaust whatever benefits they might be drawing.......is there anyway possible to reverse inflation through employment? Is it too late to convince companies that a fair profit rather than an outrageous one is better for the company and that they could put people to work for a little more than they're paying people in other countries to do the same job? It seems the quest for the highest profit margin is driving work out of the United States and costing American jobs. Sam Walton built his empire by buying Amercian....after he passed it was outsourced to China and other countries. People shop there because they can get things cheaper since they don't have jobs and can't afford to go anywhere else.

I'm not making any sense even to me.......I guess that's the whole problem isn't it.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 02:01 PM
quote:
Thank you once again for responding in a serious way. I appreciate you taking the time to offer your opinions, and interesting statistics. It's going to be interesting to see how all this plays out in the near future.

I'm curious what you think we might be achieving in Afghanistan, and Pakistan?
Neither nation was involved in the 9-11 attacks, and nobody knows for sure where Bin Laden really is. Did you hear on the news yesterday that we killed a good number of innocent civilians in our air raids in Afghanistan? We all want to think what we're doing there is for the greater good, but how can we justify this kind of death and destruction when there is no progress made?

We've been in Afghanistan since 2001. Please tell me what progress has been made since then. What success have we had that justifies the president asking for another 33 billion for that war as he did recently? In almost ten years, we haven't done much more than chase ghosts, and show our might, but there hasn't really been any real success that makes any difference in the bigger picture of global terrorism.

The Taliban is still in Afghanistan, and they will always be in Afghanistan. For us to think otherwise is foolish, and arrogant. We can't just waltz into Afghanistan and kill every person who we think is Taliban. It's just not realistic, but they'll try to sell that to the American public. "We're going to wipe out the Taliban". Really? Well, they seem to be holding their own against us. How much longer will it take to wipe them all out?

The Taliban had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11, and our government never really said it did. We just don't want them controlling that nation for our own reasons, which are based on our culture. We as a nation don't have the right to go around killing everyone we don't like or agree with. If we felt so strong about the Taliban, we should have picked up where the Russians left off in the 80's, because that is when they took control. After we helped the Mujahadin fight the Russians. We're just never satisfied.

If it isn't one thing, it's another. it's always something, or someone who MUST be stopped. Yet, if we look back at history, we see we funded, and armed the people we're always complaining about. Look at Iraq. We sold arms to Saddam Hussein to fight the Iranians. Then we decide he's an evil dictator because he invaded Kuwait. What have we done?? Is it any better? We invaded two nations with the same purpose, which is to take control of the oil, and natural gas. If you think that doesn't have anything to do with why we're in Afghanistan, check out the info about the pipeline that goes from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, and out to the Caspian sea. This is why I say we're no better than the communists, or dictators we complain about, and go to war against. We basically do the same things. Our military is fighting both wars to keep control of energy sources, rather than investing in clean energy technology. Then, they'll try to give us a bunch of hogwash about clean air, and emissions. Yet, we're busy selling tons of coal as a major export as you stated. We're purportrating a fraud!!

This whole thing about terrorism, 9-11, dictators, Taliban, etc, etc, is all a big cover up for the petrochemical industry, and the military industrial complex who are profiting off of this. They are misusing our military, and our resources for the benefit of a small percentage of people who control a large part of the economy. It's a fraud.

You're probably not "fighting" age, and neither am I, but I'd like to know if you'd be willing to go and fight in Afghanistan if you were. Do you believe in the cause that much that you'd be willing to sacrifice your life for the cause? I wonder how many of our military people have their heart into it. If they really believe in what we're doing over there.

I'd love to see it put to an anonymous vote. That would be very interesting.


I'll give your post more thought to comment when time allows.

But to answer your last question, I think alot of people in the military view it as a job really. This is the impression I have from my friend who did not reenlist after his 2 tours in Iraq and is now in the reserves. He tells me there is a sense of patriotism and that you are fighting to protect our country, but when they see how certain decisions get made or how they are conducting the operations, in order to function properly, follow orders and all that he had to just view it as a job.

For me, I've been questioned about why I don't enlist and fight for what I promote. It is a common question people face who are pro a military conflict from the safety of their home. Just because you don't serve doesn't mean you can't support the decision our leaders make.

Personally, it is a decision I gave serious thought to following 9/11 and the ramp up to Iraq in 03. A former Marine friend of mine did his best to talk any serious thoughts I might have had out of me. He said he thought I'd be crazy. Just following 9/11 his time in the reserves was expiring and there was pressure for him to reenlist, but he choose not to. I know his decision bothered him, but he was starting a family and career. Everyone must weigh the call to service vs their personal lives. Maybe it is selfish, hypicritical, or even cowardly, but ultimately the sacrifice necessary wasn't in me. It doesn't feel good to admit that, but I don't mind being honest about it either. When you seriously consider what it takes to enlist and fight for this country it really makes you respect and admire the ones that do that much more.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 02:16 PM
quote:
I suppose this is a very uninformed question so I plead ignorance up front but I was wondering.....there are so many unemployed people right now who are about to exhaust whatever benefits they might be drawing.......is there anyway possible to reverse inflation through employment? Is it too late to convince companies that a fair profit rather than an outrageous one is better for the company and that they could put people to work for a little more than they're paying people in other countries to do the same job? It seems the quest for the highest profit margin is driving work out of the United States and costing American jobs. Sam Walton built his empire by buying Amercian....after he passed it was outsourced to China and other countries. People shop there because they can get things cheaper since they don't have jobs and can't afford to go anywhere else.

I'm not making any sense even to me.......I guess that's the whole problem isn't it.



Again, you make a good point Ann. This is what I think is a big problem today, our values. People who want to bash the president are always asking where the "change" is. In fact, alot of the change has to come from within. It isn't just change that is controlled by government, or the change of government itself. It's a change in the mentality we've all come to embrace as Americans. A mentality of greed, and profit at any cost. Even if it means hurting our people, and our nation.

Take a look at that guy Bernie Madoff and his 50 billion dollar scam which lost so many people everything they had. That is a good example of American greed. Take a look at all the companies that have moved their operations to Mexico, or wherever else to make a bigger profit, and avoid the taxes and regulations they would be facing here in the states. In my opinion, that's just unAmerican.

What ever happened to American pride, decency, productivity? It all shifted.
Now, the Asians are showing us how it's really done, and we're just running up a bigger bill trying to keep ourselves from from drowning in a sea of debt. We can't tax the people enough to fix the problems. Our income tax isn't even enough to cover the interest on the debt we owe. We import far more than we export. So where are we heading as a nation? If we were looking at this from the perspective of it being our own checking account, what would we be facing in the future? We're writing checks our nation can't afford to pay. Where will all the billions come from to pay for these wars? That isn't a rhetorical question. I really want to know where all this money is coming from. How can the Federal Reserve print money the nation doesn't have? What is backing that money up?

It certainly isn't gold or silver, we know that. I think we all have to step back and take a serious look at what we've gotten ourselves into as a nation. We need to be humble, and admit we've gone wrong. Until we can do that, we're just going to keep making the same mistakes, and making no progress.


[Edited on 2/16/2010 by MyInnerEyeMike]

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 03:18 PM
quote:
Take a look at that guy Bernie Madoff and his 50 billion dollar scam which lost so many people everything they had. That is a good example of American greed.


It is. The greed of his clients - unwilling to accept a safe return and instead opted for chasing an unrealistic one - is what enabled Madoff.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 03:37 PM
quote:
quote:
Take a look at that guy Bernie Madoff and his 50 billion dollar scam which lost so many people everything they had. That is a good example of American greed.


It is. The greed of his clients - unwilling to accept a safe return and instead opted for chasing an unrealistic one - is what enabled Madoff.


I agree that many of the people who got burned were greedy. However, many of the people were just honest, everyday people who were investing their money with someone who they thought they could trust. I hope you're not justifying what Madoff did.
You don't really know anything about his clients, and what they were willing to accept.
If they thought they were investing with a legitimate broker, then they are within their rights to invest all they want. That doesn't give Madoff, or anyone else the right to deceive, and cheat their clients. Am I wrong about that??

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 04:23 PM
quote:
You don't really know anything about his clients, and what they were willing to accept.
If you weren't a client you really don't know anything about their mindset either (and if you were a client, well, all you can be sure of is what your motivation was when investing with him). I do think that a lot of people had forgotten that "if it seems too good to be true then it probably isn't" adage and that a lot of private citizens should be held accountable for what has happened economically here in the US ... not just the banks or the mortgage brokers or the credit companies or the politicians or the Wall Street suits or the Bernie Madoff's (who I happen to think is pretty much a scumbag). Ultimately nobody can force you to make a personal financial decision that has no relaton to your own financial reality and I think the mythical money tree got in the way of a lot of folks ability to make rational financial decisions.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 04:40 PM
quote:
I hope you're not justifying what Madoff did.


Of course not. But you see the same scenario play out time after time with these schemes, impatient investors captivated by returns out of line with reality. That seems to be a common denominator.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 04:48 PM
quote:
quote:
You don't really know anything about his clients, and what they were willing to accept.
If you weren't a client you really don't know anything about their mindset either (and if you were a client, well, all you can be sure of is what your motivation was when investing with him). I do think that a lot of people had forgotten that "if it seems too good to be true then it probably isn't" adage and that a lot of private citizens should be held accountable for what has happened economically here in the US ... not just the banks or the mortgage brokers or the credit companies or the politicians or the Wall Street suits or the Bernie Madoff's (who I happen to think is pretty much a scumbag). Ultimately nobody can force you to make a personal financial decision that has no relaton to your own financial reality and I think the mythical money tree got in the way of a lot of folks ability to make rational financial decisions.


That is very true, and a very good point to make. Greed is the bottom line there, and I'm not an investor, so I'm not looking at it from that point of view.
I just think there is an ethical, and moral obligation that comes into play there.
I think anyone who invests their money is looking to capitalize as much as possible, and looking to profit as much as they can. That's called "capitalism". Are we going to fault people for that? That's what a big part of our country, and our economic philosophy is based on. People taking financial risks in the marketplace. Is that not true? If we're against that now, then maybe we've changed our philosophy as a society in general.

BTW, thanks for the compliments on my photography. I'm happy you like it. I hope you post a few pics of your own too. It would be nice to see everyone contributing, and having fun with that thread.
Peace

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 04:51 PM
Unfortunately a number of people didn't really have a choice about investing with Madoff. Companies placed their plans with him and people gave the companies their money......they only expected the reasonable return. I know from talking with our daughter that she only has limited involvement with her retirement fund....the majority of decisions are made by someone else.

We lost a lot of direction when companies were purchased and dismantled. We lost interest in long term service with the company, the focus shifted from making product to making money for the corporate raiders and I honestly think the motto greed is good became a way of life.

If we don't have companies willing to hire our workers, pay them a fair wage and be willing to make a good profit from their labor rather than a mega profit for their executives, we're going to stay in this rut. Personally, I think once you empower the greedy there's no way to go back.

Now, we've all identified the problems, but other than my suggestion of new companies with new attitudes, what is the suggestion for fixing what's wrong? We all know what we should do....how do we make it happen?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 06:02 PM
Photo Ron,
Any thoughts?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2010 at 08:41 PM
quote:
I just think there is an ethical, and moral obligation that comes into play there.
Oh definitely! That's why I pretty much think Madoff is scum ... he doesn't appear to possess either ethics or morals and definitely didn't show any empathy towards the people whose lifes he ruined with his greed.
quote:
I think anyone who invests their money is looking to capitalize as much as possible, and looking to profit as much as they can. That's called "capitalism". Are we going to fault people for that?
No - I don't fault anybody for trying to make a buck. I'm an investor myself. I'm just saying that some of these investment opportunities - and it sounds like Madoff's plan may qualify here - were unrealistic in the earnings they promised and people should be realistic in their investing practices. Like I said - if something looks too good to be true it probably is. I am definitely not saying that anybody who invested with Madoff 'got what they deserved' - I think it's terrible what happened there.
quote:
Unfortunately a number of people didn't really have a choice about investing with Madoff. Companies placed their plans with him and people gave the companies their money......they only expected the reasonable return.
And this practice sucks. I'm lucky - the company I work for offers a participant directed 401K plan so I can make my own decisions about where I want my investments to go, how to allocate those $$$, and how much risk I'm willing to take at any point in life. I don't know that I would trust anything else ... especially given what's happened with some companies - like Enron - where the corporation had too much control over employee investments.

Something I think would be great would be to include practical stuff like money management, investment practices, etc in high school curiculum's because I don't think most people enter the outside world with much of a clue about these things and it's important ... it's a part of everybodies future ... how to survive and hopefully thrive. (disclaimer ... it's been a LONG time since I was in school so if this is something that is offered now ... well please be kind. )

[Edited on 2/17/2010 by lolasdeb]

 

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  posted on 2/17/2010 at 12:28 AM
quote:
Take a look at all the companies that have moved their operations to Mexico, or wherever else to make a bigger profit, and avoid the taxes and regulations they would be facing here in the states. In my opinion, that's just unAmerican.


Pause for just a minute. Yes companies do move operations outside of the US for cheaper labor, overhead and larger profits. But it isn't always greed. Very often competitive pressure from imports of foreign companies or imports from US companies force others to act in order to maintain market share and margins. It is this domino effect that imports often cause that forces even more production to be outsourced.

Do you think that GM makes the Aveo in Korea for sale here because they are a greedy company who doesn't care about workers, paying taxes and regulation? Or do you think it is so they can compete with imported cars from companies like Kia. I think it has much more to do with the latter.

People like to blame greedy corporations, but sometimes the decision is made out of necessity. And please do not forget it takes two to tango. Trade law out of Washington is what allows foreign product to flow into our market freely and is what allows US companies to outsource and then reimport. Both conditions must be factored to accurately spread blame around. For some it is a bit uncomfortable because it is much easier to blame greedy corporations rather than looking at who they may have voted for and how their vote might have actually contributed to the problem and here the knee jerk might be to blame Republicans, but to do so is extremely inaccurate. One party says they are going to do it and does it, the other often tells voters one thing and then does the opposite. Couple the real existence of corporate greed, competitive pressure from imports, along with Democrat and Republicans who both favor corporate interests and you get what we have today.

 
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