Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fannie and Freddie Scam

Fannie and Freddie were formed to assist in home ownership for citizens. Their mission was to increase homeownership through responsible lending. Note that I said responsible lending.

Since this mission was subverted, the mission of Fannie and Freddie became to create as many mortgage securities as possible and resell them rapidly. The mission of increasing homeownership became the excuse for the behavior that led to the subprime mortgage and bogus mortgage securities scheme.

It's like they said one thing to get approval, but the real motivation was different. Responsible homeownership includes making a payment if one exists. Getting people in homes for a few months or years and then foreclosure and then reselling the appreciated homes was the scheme, while the mortgage derivatives were worth more than the actual worth of the houses they were based on. Foreclosures only became a problem when houses stopped appreciating because the loan money dried up, because the problem with worthless mortgage derivatives had become apparent. It was quick money for a few, however.

It's interesting that anybody who did a short sale cannot get a loan for years, but the house they purchased after an appraisal was not worth what they paid, not then and not now. It was not like you could choose; all prices were sky high and if you wanted or needed to buy a house, you had to pay. The punishment of misled homebuyers is quite a phenomenon.

I would like to see a list of names and positions of those who originated the mortgage derivatives schemes and who are perpetuating them. Mr. Geithner, Mr. Paulson, Mr. Bernanke, and private sector people will probably be on the list. Is Federal Reserve money being used to purchase mortgage derivatives?

Since executives at Fannie and Freddie are rewarded with bonuses if they obtained a larger market share, that is apparently why the chief executives received some $12 million in bonuses, even though they are demanding billions in tax money to fund their deficit spending. I think Fannie and Freddie have 78% of the market share in housing loans now, which is a significant increase. What is wrong with this picture? This is deliberate direct competition with the private market in origination of more mortgage securities, which is the apparent prime goal of Fannie and Freddie. The people these government organizations are supposed to serve are forgotten or used as pawns in order to create more mortgage derivatives.

Obtaining a bigger market share? That was not the mission. Why are chief executives being rewarded for capturing a larger market share? How about paying the executives to do their job and no bonuses? Bonuses are being used by somebody making policy to direct the course of events, which has proven to be a bankrupt way to manage home loans. We need a comprehensive policy statement in Fannie and Freddie that states loans to institutions can be made if they loan it out to deserving homebuyers and that the mortgages originating from those loans will be serviced by those originating those loans. Responsible lending would immediately result, but of course the profits are modest.

I think mortgage derivatives should be relegated to casino bets and the institutions Fannie and Freddie and all their contacts should be disbanded. If a new government institution is created to 'help' homebuyers, no derivatives should be allowed.

It looks like foreclosures are up and I do appreciate the efforts of the law to recoup losses by forcing buybacks of delinquent mortgages packaged as wonderful investments by crooked rating agencies. The inflation in home prices was encouraged because the number of loans increased due to the dropping of lending standards. "If you could fog a mirror, you could get a mortgage", I was told. If they had stopped the scam with those who actually qualified for a mortgage, the foreclosures would have been within norms, but they had to have more mortgages to fuel their scam, so they just handed them out like popcorn to pigeons. Anything to keep the number of mortgages up so more mortgage derivatives could be sold. I knew people who would buy several houses at once and flip them 2-3 months later for tens of thousands more than they paid.

This inflation hit the consumer hard but the immediate effects were softened by various mortgage schemes that focused on the immediate payment the buyer would pay, rather than devious adjustable rate mortgages, interest only for a few years and other schemes designed to keep the payment low for a while, then escalating the payment to a level the buyer could not afford. Since by then there were no homes for sale the buyer could actually afford, these schemes became attractive since the buyers were assured their homes would continue to rise in value. Of course, that trajectory was unsustainable but what did the average schmo know?

It's amazing to me that the federal government is operating an agency that has as policy capturing a larger market share from the private enterprise market. The executives are awarded bonuses on the basis of market share statistics, rather than success in the mission to provide housing opportunities for the responsible buyer.

I suggest a review of the policies surrounding these 'bonuses', who wrote them and why and the consequences of encouraging particular courses of action without heed to future consequences.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Football Cult

This football scandal tops them all. Graphic details zoom around the world and it looks like the pagan worshipers of a sport have ignored feet of clay on their idol while the gold they worshipped filled their eager hands. The Golden Calf rules over the pagans who put more belief in their obsession than in moral certitude.

What disturbs about this scenario is the dubious value to the countless children who have been indoctrinated to believe that success at football is equitable with your value in the world. See a vision of a child's future that is defined by a sport that requires large size to succeed at the moneymaking trough narrows the field in that child's mind. What has happened to our moral fabric when a moneymaking game takes precedence over the students and the populace? They kept their insular trip going as long as they could.

The public schools and sports should be separated. Let the municipalities handle competitive sports while the schools teach academics and health for life. Profits from the competitive sports would help fund the schools and the municipalities. The competitive sports programs should be open to all on 8-12 grade level, with subsidized bus passes to the programs. Grade performance guidelines would apply to eligibility. Tutoring would be offered on site.

We are told that our local university funds other sports programs from football and basketball proceeds, yet contributions to the academic program lean towards getting instructors fired for giving bad grades to players or having special classes for the players, instead of them becoming a part of the university community and attending normal class. Our local athletic director has stated he will raise the graduation rate of the players, which has been abysmal under the recently retired long time coach. The hangers-on who suck a living out of the sports programs using the university name don't even bother to bolster up academics. It's all about money first and sports second .

Look at the Fiesta Bowl scandal. Free trips for state legislators, free tickets and free hotel rooms and meals, all to obtain influence and cooperation on key legislation that benefits their scheme. So the head of the Fiesta Bowl has access to all this money, which he spends on trips and freebies for himself, when the educational institutions represented get little cut out of all this lucrative action. I'm talking academics here: all that strange stuff like mathematics and the sciences and liberal arts, and the like. Most of that profit should be diverted into funding academics instead of puffing up the pay of the dealmakers and giving freebies to lawmakers .

The moral failure of the 'football leadership' did not live up to the hype fed children through the public schools and universities. Pressure applied by how many people resulted in a cover up that damages the students and the standing of the institution? Who participated in the cover-up? Who should go to jail for putting selfish interests ahead of right and wrong? Who would be better off today if they had stood fast and reported the truth until somebody actually heard it?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Debt as Tyranny

                                               The High-born Ladye

Debt as Tyranny

Thinking on the national debt and the local city debt is enough to create insomnia. City debt is more familiar to me and with that is a bit of contempt for the decision-making that mired the city in debt and more debt continues to be an attraction even though insolvency looms as borrowing has been the budget crutch in the city for the past few years. Why is borrowed money considered income in the accounting? Borrowed money is not income to be lumped in the general fund and spent on whatever. Borrowing money is a focused enterprise, hopefully with increased income or better conditions as a result of the cost of borrowing money. Around here, the real cost of borrowing money ranges about 30-50% of the principal, which is usurious but seems so desirable to the politicians who are courted by the lenders to borrow.

Politicians who borrow against revenue streams are indebting those streams for years after their term of office is over. They are often long gone and the taxpayers are still paying on those debts, ill conceived or not. The power these politicians have over our lives and environment is now reaching into the future lives of our descendents, as the politicians' insatiable urges to control cash seems to be more important than planning for the future.

Apparently in Greece, the deal seems to be that the Greeks are expected to borrow money at 85% interest and if the latest bailout plan works, the holders of the risky Greek debt will rake in the principal plus 85% interest, all paid for by whomever is paying for the bailout. Since our President did not agree to pay this bailout, then the taxpayers are off the hook to pay that usury and allow those investors to collect big. Nobody should pay that money. A cyberspace rumor is floating around that a banker is going to take over the reins of government in Greece. If the spring drifts north all bets are off so the foolishness of creating a climate perfect for new species will result in unwarranted competition, in ecological terms. Doesn't anybody remember the plight of the Germans after WWI when they were forced to pay war reparations to the point they had nothing left? That political economic mistake led to WWII.

I think the moneylenders need to take a haircut and either go broke or get on with it. They deserve that for all the easy credit they offered on all levels, without checking to determine if any of the borrowers could pay it back. Liberal tax codes allowed for massive tax deductions on defaults. Tax deductions for these losses should not be allowed, since the evidence shows a lack of responsibility on the part of the lender in vetting potential borrowers. So incompetence in the workplace is compensated for by the government in the form of tax breaks? Just think of all the money paid in commissions to lenders who set up these deals. "Fund managers" who invested pension funds and other critical money should be liable for these reckless losses and 'bailouts' should be aimed at the pension funds, not the clown who handled the crappy investments.

Back to the politicians who recklessly borrow and spend, whatever happened to bond elections, where voters had to give permission for borrowing? Around here, the euphemism for borrowing is 'certificate of participation', which bring in millions in debt. The RTA is issuing bonds after receiving .5 cent sales tax to do a job. The borrowing adds more than 30% to the cost, but was it in the voter proposal as an expense? So we were told that it was always understood there would be borrowing. They're wasting over a third of the money they get on debt, but they get to dole out the millions. Refinancing existing debt by rolling over the old debt and starting over with the principal after fees are paid and a few bucks doled out keeps the taxpayers in hock for a longer time, but what the hell, let's spend that cash now and leave nothing but a hole in the ground for posterity. Your kids can pay for it too; it's worth it to somebody. Let's have some legislation that calls a debt a debt and demands voter approval for incurrence.

Debt is tyranny. A forced payment brought on by government borrowing. The spending of tax money on moneylenders is outrageous and should not be allowed above a certain point. It is called the debt limit, which is now an object of ridicule. How about establishing a realistic debt limit and limits on what borrowed money can be spent on? Prosecute officials who spend borrowed money on anything else or who build up costoverruns resulting in partial completion. Somebody has to take responsibility.

Fannie and Freddie, the Fed lending houses that eagerly buy mortgage securities, are a losing proposition, where mismanagement has resulted in a request for billions more tax money subsidy every year, owes the taxpayers $141billion and is now paying top executives $12million in bonuses this year. Who else gets a reward for running a heavy deficit when the Federal government is running a deficit and making it all worse by billions? Close them down. We don't need any more mortgage securities or derivatives and who likes them is totally irrelevant to what needs to be done. Make the lenders responsible for what they lend locally. The power of the mortgage brokers needs to be broken. Real estate prices might fall, which would identify more potential buyers.

One way to avoid more public debt, particularly that foisted off on the voters without permitting a vote, is to adjust the size of the contracts to be awarded. Smaller contracts would favor local workers, while the huge contractors want huge lump sums borrowed and given to them on a large scale. These smaller contracts would be contingent upon receipt of the tax support, which would have some consistency. Smaller, shorter term contracts based on actual revenue would favor local, small contractors. The money paid them would stay in town circulating instead of flying out of state or even out of the country. It is time to set up the local bidding process in such a way as to favor local small contractors who employ local workers without forced union representation. This is a right to work state. Costs need to be lowered on all fronts, which would create more jobs. Smaller contracts contingent on revenue would avoid debt and would allow for incremental building of projects using all of the assigned money with none going to the moneylenders.

Another problem is the 'underwater mortgage' problem. Remember the last real estate boom, the Subprime Boom? During the boom in Vegas, houses were actually selling for more than the asking price, the bidding was so fierce. Inflated housing prices were the norm. If you could fog a mirror, you could get credit. If you wanted to buy a home, you had to pay, like $275,000+ for a cheap 1200 sq. ft. cookie cutter. Around here that overbuilt item is selling for around $40-50,000 and falling. How far can the prices drop? Maybe until the average Joe can actually afford the loan payment.

The debt pervasiveness also keeps rents jacked up so the principal and interest on the debt can be paid, with a profit for the leinholder after that. Renters are expected to pay the subprime boom mortgage price for the lienholder plus more for maintenance costs and profit. The stagnation of the real estate and rental market is due to a heavy debt load that absorbs cash and does not produce jobs. Debt jacks up the price of everything.

The tyranny of debt has brought economic exploitation and now protesters to the streets. We need legislation to prevent politicians from borrowing anything over a reasonable debt limit and any borrowing has to have the consent of the voters. The voters need control because the voters pay for it. It's easy to blow money when somebody else pays for it. No more Certificates of Participation or any other disguised borrowing. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is claiming power to indebt based on the 1/2 cent sales tax they command and I question their legal right to indebt this fund without a vote of the people.

Our legislators can help the voters get control of public indebtedness and the time to act is nigh. No more moneylenders in the temple of government.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Legacy of 2012

The Legacy of 2012

The Mayan Calendar ends with the winter solstice of 2012, heralding a new calendar cycle and a new era in world history. The new beginning is not defined in the prophesy but can be likened to the invention of domestic corn and this latest migration to the Americas, which produced the world in which we now live.

Monumental change will be the result of choices made today. The issue of what choices to make is the most important of the day.

Possible choices divide into three categories: Inevitable and Preventable and Attainable


o Nuclear War

o Biological War

o Huge Income Disparities

o Population Growth

o Deforestation

o Pollution

o Growing Poverty

o Economic Collapse


 Petroleum Depletion

 Mineral hoarding as supplies decrease

 Higher prices for nonrenewable resources

 Climate change

 Competition for resources


 Curbs on population growth

 Due to finite nature of Earth's mineral resources, extraterrestrial resources must be exploited.

 Research into energy sources and energy savings, due to ongoing petroleum depletion

 Protection and regeneration of fisheries

 Development of new agricultural products

 Plan for global climate change to prevent catastrophic food production losses**

 Localize food production as much as possible

If population growth not curbed: constraints will appear in freedom, food, water, living space, recreational space, wealth, and goods. Those kinds of social conditions will result in higher prices, war and depopulation. In the animal world, overpopulation results in a die-off of that population back to a sustainable level. One would hope that civilized minds could avoid such an outcome in the new era.

Social engineering as an action plan might take a back seat to survival economics in a new era. The various social structures found around the world hark back to pure environmental survival, like what did help us survive was perpetuated like immunity in the DNA. The modern world is changing so fast, this kind of adaptability must be supercharged as compared to the past.

Consider myself: Born mid twentieth century, as a child, I have known people who lived in Civil War times long before the telegraph and the automobile. I did not live in those times, but I heard stories of how it was and what you had to do to survive out there on your own in the wild world or in the world of man. I heard it! And just me can remember before TV and when a typewriter was a prized possession. TV came into Tucson around 1950. Ray Bradbury and A.E. Van Vogt were my ticket off the planet. And now just look at us with computers and space stations and wireless and cell phones! As a teacher, I rode the wave of change so I could teach the students the newest and latest in technology. I am so thankful for that opportunity.

What could a new era bring, considering the changes in the last hundred years? Could anyone have imagined satellites and cell phones in 1900? Jules Verne and H.G. Wells were sensations.

What could we invent?

 A mining network including moon, asteroids and Mars.

 Payload delivery from Earth orbit to the surface

 Solar smelting in a vacuum

 Solar Sail technology

 Nuclear energy research

 Wireless research

 New uses for light

 Genetics research

 Magnetics research

 Endless possibilities..

 *Increased lifespan

*Medical research has led to an increased lifespan, which in a sustainable world would result in a slowdown of replacement population. Longer lifespan = lower birthrate. Medical ethics and the prolongment of life are all issues here but cannot be ignored. I think requiring the lawyers and medics to bankrupt the families must be curbed. Balancing the birthrate with the deathrate leading the way is the only way to morally approach the problem. Discouraging excessive population production should be part of public policy and expressed in the tax code.

Worldwide, the problem of immigration caused by overpopulation in Mexico and the availability of jobs in the USA was mimicked in Europe, where Africans immigrate to where the food supplies are, in biological terms. Population stability needs to be achieved without mass migrations. In plain language, most of Mexico has a religion that discourages birth control, so the excess population migrates north to fill up spaces in the USA. Is this fair or responsible? For the political boundaries to mean anything, this problem must be addressed by the Mexican government and their religious leaders. The USA is not a population outlet for nations with high reproductive rates.

The national jurisdictions should be required to publish a research report on population dynamics and an action plan to achieve population sustainability to the United Nations. A recognition of the connection between population densities and wars must be made and the subsequent importance of population growth cannot be underestimated. High unemployment leads to civil unrest.

Capitalism as an economic success is dependent on renewable resources, discovery of new resources and the opening of new markets. The growth mantra has been uttered so often nobody thinks of the philosophy of an ever expanding population within a finite space. Since new resources are now few and far between, any growth must be at the expense of other economic interests. This kind of cutthroat competition and subsequent monopoly causes unemployment. We are now a nation of buyers of goods, rather than a primary producer of goods. The relentless erosion of regional self-sufficiency leaves too many at the mercy of importation of necessities and also leaves many unemployed. Unfair trade policies are not capitalism, but are rather exploitation. The USA has been exploited and now is broke and unemployed and in debt. Foreign interests now exploit our mineral resources while politicians assist and applaud.

Job creation should have a goal of perpetuating the system as well as employment of workers. Makework projects without a clear economic objective are too expensive for the economy to support, so job creation should occur in sustainable occupations like greenhouses, health care, energy production, research and development, where something of value is created ongoing. For example, instead of wasting money on a solar company proposing to use old technology to compete with the Chinese using their subsidized industry, why not consider a solar company that uses solar catchment units that have easily removable elements that can be retrofitted as the industry R&D continues? An adaptive solar unit! Or instead of building huge culverts where it rarely rains, build solar electricity producing units and export electricity, an ongoing profit making enterprise or provision of plenty electricity for that locale.

One example that comes to mind is the federal subsidy of the installation of a streetcar line made under the stimulus program that will leave the city of Tucson in deeper debt, has devastated the water company with borrowing, and has actually created very few temporary jobs in Tucson, but did export jobs to Oregon where seven streetcars are to be built with borrowed money, which raises the costs by at least one third. After the streetcar line is in operation, the maintenance costs will be paid by the city and are estimated to cost several million a year, all out of the general fund. The city of Tucson has borrowed money the last few years in order to avoid cutting programs and this streetcar will only add to the deficit, since no attempt will be made to make it into a paying operation. Thus, the stimulus just caused more debt, a few temporary jobs, and a lasting maintenance charge to add to the city deficit. Proponents of the scheme say that sales tax revenues along the route will be a money maker and more housing will be built, all this in an economy with a huge surplus of housing.

There are skeptics concerning the stimulus spending, long term debt obligations and the effect on jobs. More debt service = less money in circulation. How stimulated is Tucson right now? The streetcar operation and maintenance requires jobs, but these jobs must be subsidized by the city in a deficit situation. In tight economic times, this means cuts elsewhere in order to keep the streetcar running and the unions are demanding top money and benefits. Should the politicians borrow money to meet the added deficit? Already, the 'modern' streetcar has destroyed the efforts of a private outfit running an old streetcar here in town. So much for the stimulus, which also paid for 'Fast and Furious'.

Proposed spending for job creation must be analyzed carefully. Suppose a foreign mining company says they are creating jobs in Arizona by using local workers to extract copper using local water. This slurry will then be shipped overseas for refining and of course they will possess the metals, which raise in value every year. There's a big rush on this so they can quick get their hands on the new monetary standard, the metals. Why not build a state of the art smelter that can do slurry and recycle? There is plenty of room over in Mojave County along the railroad line: it is time for a smelter. Then the state metal resources will be exploited by local workers, the supply stays within the USA and more jobs are created here. And the huge wealth of the metals will remain here.

The old mining law dating from the nineteenth century must be revised. Perhaps the Feds should spend some time considering the critical long term resources of this country, get legislation passed that protects our national interest and revise that antiquated mining law. Jobs based on finite resources will be gone while somebody else makes off with the loot and leaves a big hole and poisonous waste in the groundwater. Being in a hurry to get jobs might hurt the economy in the long run, like selling Manhattan Island for a handful of bright beads didn't help the Indians long term. Selling all you have of valuables without economic replacement is not a way to get ahead.

The issue of excessive regulation must be addressed. The smallholders are tied up by local zoning laws that prohibit home based businesses, which is a violation of land rights. It appears that zoning laws have required someone to live in one place and have a business in another, which benefits those owning 'commercial' property. This expense defines what businesses can exist and the commercial land holders will charge as much as they can possibly get for any use of their properties, because of the liberal tax code that allows for heavy tax deductions for empty units, thus driving up the rents. Nobody cares if businesses cannot exist because of the high rents and the impossibility of using your own property to have a business, anything from a law office, hair salon, candy shop and so on. Of course, not allowing businesses in homes causes one to have to drive or ride the bus somewhere else to shop for everything every time. Excessive regulation and fees and licenses and super dooper inspections of larger businesses discourage investment, when the governments cuts itself in off the top even before any profits are made. Health and safety inspections are one thing that came out of excesses of the sweatshop age, but harassment and favoritism by petty local officials is expensive and nonproductive.

So the legacy of 2012 will be a new direction, either the choice of more and better technology and an outreach to the stars, or face the problems of population sustainability on Earth, with no more population outlets but death and takeover of resources. War and competition must give way to stability and regional sustainability.

Define sustainable regions, producer regions, needy regions.

Sustainable: self producing in energy, food and water @ 33.3% each for initial rating, then refine to exporters of energy, food, water and then consumers of energy, food, water.

For example, a predictable outcome would be heavily urbanized areas require energy and food to be brought in but are sometimes self-sufficient in water, depending on where they are located. Another predictable outcome would be that some cities in the southwest USA are self sufficient in nothing, due to the population buildup after World War II. Recent Central Arizona Project public policy changes undermine agriculture while increasing water allotments for more housing developments, which shows the foolishness of policymakers, who choose a quick buck over long term local benefit. Five days worth of food in the stores is not much of a cushion against a domestic emergency. Mexico is within these spheres of influence because of important food imports.

The old time methods of population control include mass executions, rolling heads down pyramid stairs, gas chambers and other cruelties all aimed at seizure of the properties, ethnic warfare and other extermination campaigns. The world cannot continue these methods in order to cope with overcrowding. In the absence of a migratory population outlet, populations within existing political or religious or ethnic jurisdictions must stabilize without encroaching. World population stability is a job to do and of course there are those who would try to obtain or maintain supremacy, but the vision of supremacy changes with time.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


The first item to be examined is the feasibility of creating any given job, the ramifications of continuing to create that kind of job and the resources needed to create that job.

Energy Independence:

Applying this concept would provide jobs across the country as the resources vary from district to district. Natural gas in several places around the country where jobs would be created exploiting it, solar in other appropriate places to create jobs, petroleum in others, wave action energy production on coasts and so on all creating jobs and a desirable outcome of energy independence. Energy independence would save a huge amount of money for this nation and we would not be paying enemies for energy. Maybe they would be too broke to attack us.

Sponsor a competition for entrepreneurs and students highlighting possible new energy sources or a new angle on an existing resource. Offer prizes, recognition and job offers from sponsors. Make these with a local angle, as in Tucson, Arizona working with solar would be local, or a wind solar combo or solar smelter. Florida might want wave action/solar/wind combo. Natural gas combined with wind generators or something brand new that nobody ever thought of before.

This competition would create jobs and stir up new ideas that we need. The institutions of learning could contribute free tuition and other perks to winners to bolster interest. Our students are so creative and so well educated they don't know the intellectual boundaries felt by others. This money infusion into the schools could be based on sheer size: X number of students=Y number of prizes.

Benefits: money and recognition would be infused into the creative world of entrepreneurs and students. competition for prizes would be stiff but the most feasible improvement leading to energy independence would be rewarded. A big prize for the best research lead should be included.

Recall the huge benefits of government support of Research and Development from back in the 1950s. Sputnik and the push in education for science? We walked on the moon! We can achieve energy independence and free ourselves from the expense of foreign oil. And when oil runs out, we will have developed alternative resources to sustain our civilization.


Construction jobs should be minimal because of surfeit of structures. Renovating and reenergizing existing structures is a possibility. Tax/fee/ licensing breaks for spending money that way for individuals and businesses benefits: homes and businesses are renovated and the community looks better and people are more comfortable. People are employed doing the renovations, which is a continuing profession if the field doesn't get too crowded. Unemployed construction workers can compete for these jobs and they already have the skills.

Space Program:

The space program is a logical extension of the R&D money invested during the 20th century that has changed our civilization with the new knowledge. Exploration of the moon could be accomplished through government R&D and through private investment. The mining companies could be given tax breaks for investing in moon exploration, which could yield plentiful titanium, other metals and minerals. Private enterprise is already funding ventures in space exploration.

Expanding the USA space presence could be funded through the military, NASA and Transportation and other nations. Dream up another academic contest aimed at delivering smelted titanium to Earth from the moon. .. Go for USA creativity because that is where excellence shines in our students. Jobs in R&D and fabrication of units and possibly a new space station terminus. Only fund studies of something new or a vast improvement on existing ideas, like floating a payload in like those satellites that 'fall' but then control the reentry.

Benefits: Immediate employment funding for students, researchers and fabrication and construction of associated units. Long term benefit could be the utilization of the minerals and metals found on the moon, which would enrich our civilization and provide long term jobs on the moon and Earth. Our military could develop defenses for our planet and nation and international cooperation could flourish.


Expansion of the roads has been heavily funded throughout manifest destiny, but now jobs and money should be focused on repair and maintenance and replacement of dangerous structures. Funding for more new roads is like the bridge to nowhere but the land of a land speculator who has contributed to politicos who respond to such stimuli. An elaborate storm drain structure at Quartzite is a good example of temporary jobs that produced no lasting economic stimulus and was basically unneeded because it only rains every few years in the Mojave Desert. Money needs to be invested in what will bring in a return, like solar generating stations at Quartzite would have generated a valuable commodity. The culverts look nice, however. This was transportation money. The transportation lobby needs to cut back and take a look at what will truly benefit the community instead of supporting jobs that drain the coffers without an adequate return in tax revenue that is needed to continue the system.

The key here is what will continue the system. What will continue the system?

• maintaining existing infrastructure

• cut back on debt and consider default on usury and ignore rating agencies

• maintain a strong national defense on Earth and in Space

• continue the innovation that our nation has fostered.

• fund research and development in higher learning institutions

• get insurance out of mandatory status and return to the free market

• free up businesses from mandatory insurance requirements except in hazardous situations

• penalize businesses and countries that abuse trade relations or tax codes

• give tax breaks to businesses established in the USA, the more jobs the higher the percent

• encourage national production of common items

• amend the tax code to prevent lienholders from getting a tax break in any form for foreclosures

• Keep our mineral resources here for job creation

• respect the need for unions with fiscally responsible leadership

• cooperation will continue the system, disunity will not.

At this point in time, analyze data on what professions are disproportionately represented in unemployment statistics. Cut back on training programs in those professions, while encouraging training in professions where job growth is forecast by investment. Teach the students these statistics so they can make their own choices.

In the schools, stress a liberal arts program, because we simply do not know where an increase in R&D investment is going to produce another Jobs/Gates breakthrough that changes our civilization. Stress education in the basic skills of reading, mathematics, and composition plus the use of computers in all areas of learning and researching. An educated individual with those skills will be quick to learn new applications and will be ready for whatever is coming. This is adaptability, a characteristic of our species. A technocrat speaks of the future with hope and faith in the creativity of our students and entrepreneurs.

Gaming the system to acquire wealth by manipulating instead of producing is counterproductive to the goal of continuing the system. At least Caesar had a good motive when he violated the Roman Constitution and created an emperor, thus bringing to an end the Roman Republic. The apparent motivation to control as much money as possible without regard to the social consequences can be discussed... The forethought that should go into the removal of legislation formed by the fine minds of the time in an earnest effort to prevent the economic devastation of another Great Depression apparently was incomplete. The economic gamesters even scooped into tax money to further their 'derivative' schemes and continue the gaming to this day. Hang around a casino for a while and see gaming. Gambling losses must be tax deductable for some, just not for the average Joe. And the games continue, tying up cash.

So now remember what happened to Caesar while there is in the here and how an organized movement protesting Wall Street greed and political corruption on all levels. They hit the streets a while ago in New York and now other cities around the world are hosting demonstrations. This is the direct aftermath of all the gaming and undermining and short term thinking. Sure, Z group won but what did the prize turn out to be?

A flat tax would prevent the use of the tax code to discourage destructive behaviors in the community. Right now the tax code is encouraging population growth. Perhaps deductions per child should be limited to one per adult. Any other children after that would be financed from the family income. Of course the rich will do whatever but common sense will dictate courses of action. The reason is that each child costs the government and disparate groups with high birthrates are increasing at the expense of other groups who have fewer children. Part of parenting is responsibility. An individual should have to pay for increasing the population by more than replacement value. Who should pay, but the person contributing to the public obligation? The same should apply to school vouchers, one adult = one voucher. If you have more children to send to school, then you pay. This political hot potato is never tossed around for comment. Possibly this flat tax would eliminate this deduction.

The issue of population growth must come up when it comes to jobs. High unemployment rates are associated with overpopulation. As cadres of workers come of age, the economy must produce jobs for them. Say X equals population growth, Y equals existing unemployment, then X+Y=unemployment rate. If the economy cannot produce enough jobs, the unemployment rate will grow. Something must happen to restore stability: new jobs, less population growth or a decrease in population to match resources, or the USA will have an ever increasing population with a new lower level of poverty every year. It is time to limit the child deduction to one per adult.

The problem of foreclosures and the state of the housing 'industry' leads to the conclusion that any tax breaks for lienholders for foreclosures should be denied. The foreclosures are a drain on public resources, can become a public hazard and devalue neighborhoods, all which harm the community and cost money. The lienholders should pay this cost because they own the property. Local governments should consider laying a fee on foreclosures. Discouraging foreclosures seems appropriate since a study in Phoenix showed that lienholders were less likely to foreclose on high end properties they held the paper on. So the smallholders are taking the brunt of the foreclosures because their mortgage was 'securitized'. Time to bust some bricks! It's time when a schmuck who took out a loan of $200,000 for a property is foreclosed on and kicked out so his home can be sold at auction to a buddy of the lienholder for $30,000, while the government pays the difference to the lienholder. Of course, the schmuck could have easily paid the payment on $30,000 but that was never an option for him. The more expensive the property, the more likely the lienholder would 'work' with the debtor. Pass moral judgment on that.

In conclusion, after cheap money and massive debt bankrupted so many, there are now fewer jobs and more imports. Unions sometimes demand exorbitant pay and benefits, which drives up the cost of local products, which encouraged investment in importing. The daisy chain goes on and on. Them that has, gets. An old adage come true once again. The problem is in the balance of wealth: "We are the 99%" on a sign at an Occupy Tucson rally, seen across the nation in other cities.

Local job possibilities: The Indians have land and water. What crop could generate local jobs? Cotton is in demand. Cotton spinning, cloth, clothes all made here. Pumpkins grow here. Dried pumpkin? Canning takes water, which is scarce here. Sales in other countries? How about greenhouses? Greenhouses in the winter are cost effective. Research on new plant use at the UA might uncover cash crops we never knew we had, like buffgrass flour maybe. Food crops grown here are to everyone's advantage and could provide jobs and lower everyone's food costs. I think Pima County is a natural for greenhouses, which conserve water. Hydroponics and tilapia farms are also a possibility. There is a successful experimental tilapia farm here, sponsored by the UofA.

Already, jobs are being created in the second hand industry, with thrift stores opening all over Tucson. Recessions generate interest in thrift shopping. This shift has closed some retail stores. Interesting, that the price of antiques appears to have peaked with the real estate boom, as a luxury item not so valued during recession. How about a huge thrift shop on the far east side of the UA like the White Elephant store in Green Valley? Employ students on a flex schedule. Remember, the old Value Village store was on 4th Avenue for years of success.

If the city contracted out the landscaping without demanding union membership, more jobs could be created on the private market. Other jobs could be contracted out also, which would lift the burden of high pay and benefits for city workers. No more can be afforded and more jobs would be created in the private sector.

People should contact their legislators concerning tort reform. The stranglehold the lawyers have on the economy is second only to that of the insurance companies. Study the Texas model. The insurance companies are holding cash for all of us but when a big payout is required, they have to be bailed out. Nice to know that AIG now has a new line of credit, is opening a life insurance program with 40 year payouts and is now hosting lavish meetings at a posh resort once again. This must be part of the jobless recovery. The people should be free of these taxes disguised as insurance and they should be free of the costs of Armageddon litigation.

Zoning is a barrier to home based businesses. Unreasonable parking space requirements, retrofitting and inspecting and rejecting all restrict the right of a person to their own property. The purpose of the city should go back to the original charter, which has been interpreted and ballooned into a puffer fish. More jobs would be created if people were 'allowed' to use their properties to make money, like a wood shop, a cooler repair shop, a sewing shop, a bakery, a consignment shop....

Of course, Tucson needs new businesses who do not use water. We have plenty buildings, cheap solar energy, workers, cheap housing, a major research university...what else do you need?


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Ideas for Tucson

The recent international baseball event at Kino stadium where about 12,000 people attended over three days was such a success to be repeated.

How about hosting international baseball here? League games could be played here while weather in the Southern Hemisphere is cold.

Why not build a soccer field out there on some of that land downtown? Let go of grandiose plans and go for bleachers and field and associated health needs and forget the 10 storey stadium idea. Bring in soccer teams from across the states in the winter for practice and games. Lure international soccer in and get things going again. Build fancier facilities incrementally and avoid debt. Get rid of the moneylenders and go for what we can do here and now. Partner with Rio Nuevo and get soccer facilities over there.


Everybody in this town is charging too much rent, probably because of the debt load. The reasoning goes like this: if we owe a payment of X then we have to charge X+1. So nobody rents it because nobody has enough money and it stands empty. Teams can't afford X+1 so they don't have anywhere to go. If the rent is lowered then the teams would rent the facility and something would be gained. It appears that these facilities are owned by the people but the controllers are charging so much to use it, the people's teams can't use it. Lower the rents for Kino and Corbett and see them fill up.

How about free admission for little league kids plus an exhibition game for them the next time the Mexican league is here? This would boost attendance and stir up interest. Lower the bleachers seats to $1 per person! Kids free! Give families a place to go!


Another problem are the prices the vendors charge for food and drink. Monopolies do not lower the prices and result in price gouging. It's like the TCC that charges exorbitant rates for vendors to set up during events, which in turn raises the prices for the average guy who stumbles in there and the four kids scream for a $5 hotdog after he already paid $8 to park and more money to get in. And they wonder why their events are not so successful or the TCC stands empty.

Get rid of the vendor monopolies and charge a minimal fee to set up. Provide jobs and opportunity for vendors, which is jobs for the community. Let them set up and compete and they make a living, and the people have more food choices and lower food prices. Everyone benefits.


Free parking or $1 for all events. Parkwise reports dollar in dollar out in the revenue/expenditure line, so maybe they are padding their bank accounts at the expense of everyone else.


Get rid of confrontational management. If the facility they are managing is not profitable, fire them. Get rid of management that does not want to work internationally to attract teams and conventions.


In summary:

• Lower rents for Corbett, Kino and TCC

• Lower admission charges

• Free parking

• lower vendor charges

• cancel vendor monopolies

• scale back Parkwise


The winter weather in Tucson is a huge advantage in attracting teams. There are many open rental units in town, which is an advantage unless the landlords demand exorbitant rent. Perhaps reduced rates for visiting teams in apartments, motels and condos could be arranged.

These are just a few ideas for improving the use of our public facilities that will increase revenue and give our families wholesome games and events to attend at a cost that all can afford.

Dorothy Prater Niemi October 2011

Available on Kindle Amazon

Friday, September 09, 2011

Political Issues As Related to Environmental Limitations

The issue of climate change may loom large to the nations of the world as sea levels slowly rise. The outcome of receding floods may be that the prior coastline is obliterated in low lying areas as sea levels have risen from the icemelt in the north and south lands. We're not inundated but the sea level rise continues. Study of the fossil record informs that lands now one way were not always that way. Like fossil seashells in the mountains of New Mexico. Dinosaur bones near Showlow among the pines. We are in a sea of change all the time and are just now beginning to understand the enormity of history and how limited our view has been.

Hurricanes might begin forming where the cold arctic water hits the warm equatorial waters flowing off Africa and now with more melt the water is flowing faster and makes a more energy filled turn when it hits the mass of warm water off North Africa. The wide whirlpool where one meets the other extends to the atmosphere. I wonder what the stats might say about the connection between more and warmer arctic water pouring south. Where is the Antarctic melt going? Does the melt travel towards the equator? The melt occurs in one place where sea levels rise, slowly pushing the excess to an average very gradually. Incremental melting. Storms redistribute the melt. New Orleans would be a good place to look for evidence of sea level rise that is obvious at the poles.  Or Bangladesh.

The implication of this for public policy is enormous. Politicians must be willing to address actual problems without worrying about donations to themselves. These problems are too important to allow them to be solved as a secondary issue to any other concern. Arguing about who or what causes warming trends is not my purpose here.

The predicted sea level rise and the predicted increase in precipitation in northeastern North America has so far proven true. What does this have to do with public policy? Here are a few public policy issues and ideas for long term planning concerning climate change.

• Evaluate floodplain data and possibly expand the floodplain designation in low lying areas along coasts and rivers.
• Deny Federal insurance to every property in these low lying areas and provide a relocation fund for needy families. Use cut rate excess housing for these people. If somebody wants to stay in the zone, private property rules but no federal insurance will be held on the property. Voluntary sale of properties in the zones would be the rule, not imminent domain but no federal insurance. Local governments should be held legally responsible if they issue occupational zoning for these flood zones.
• Sell or lease floodzones on the open market for use as pasture, farming and recreation. If local governments retain the land, private contractors could be hired to convert flood prone areas into parks, ball fields and green zones. This action could create jobs in the affected areas, create more recreational areas and enhance tourism. Perhaps some of the floodlands could be leased for temporary concessionaires, like taco and hotdog stands.

These solutions to problems created by sea level rise would take years to implement, which is a long term solution for a long term problem. It would also create jobs immediately and circulate money through the economy. The issue is where is the money for such projects without borrowing? Possibly some of the 'transportation' money could be funneled into reclamation of these lowland recreational areas. Since the infrastructure is in disrepair, attention should be paid to maintenance, rather than creating new roads. We need to utilize existing rather than spending money on new ones that give limited economic benefit to only a few. We need something new, but it isn't new roads. We need roads in excellent repair and that is where those jobs are.

I have drifted to the topic of the repercussions of these actions. Political opposition to rezoning/expanding floodzones due to the loss of value of the land to their constituents will occur but the economic advantages of such recreational areas over time and the savings from national flood insurance as these at risk properties could be partly remitted to the states for a more cooperative attitude. Since the national flood insurance program is billions in deficit, some action must be taken to discourage continued occupation of flood zones and the foolhardy insuring of structures in floodzones.

I do have a few observations about the stimulus. In Tucson, the TIGER Grant from the Feds caused more borrowing and commitment to a streetcar project that will leave the city with a $6 million a year maintenance cost, while the local bus system is already subsidized by $40 million. For the past two years the city has borrowed to pay costs, now has a debt of $1.2 billion, has cut police and fire and services to citizens, ad nauseum. So the TIGER grant put the city in more debt and added $6 million a year to the millions in deficit. Some stimulus.

Apparently, stimulus money was used by the ATF to fund 'Fast and Furious', the gunrunning scandal that is now reaching to the white house. All these people have been transferred, hopefully in a holding tank for interrogation. Do we really need to help depose the legitimate government of Mexico by providing firearms to what look to be revolutionaries funded by drug money? What were they thinking? Were local law enforcement like county sheriffs informed of this scheme? Were the city police chiefs told about this 'Fast and Furious'? This stupid scheme endangered every law enforcement officer in Arizona and they reportedly spent stimulus funds on this horseshit. Were the Border Patrol people informed???

Now the Democrats are screaming about a GOP gun raffle, while they remain conspicuously silent on the issue of the ATF scandal, no doubt because it was the brainchild of the Democratic administration, who apparently has a cavalier attitude about Arizona law enforcement . Those guns surfaced in 23 crime scenes in Phoenix, at the Agent Terry killing, and all over Mexico, including where two of our agents died on a mission close to Tampico. And this is economic help? More jobs for the undertakers and medics?

Tax code revision is coming. I hope they start from scratch, simplify the code and give a calculated group of tax breaks for businesses that locate in the United States and make physical objects to replace imports.

A rationale for this tax break: Fuel costs will increase, which will increase the cost of the overseas objects, particularly the heavy items. As an example, glass making used to be a huge industry but has now been hurt by cheap imports. A tariff on heavy items seems reasonable, as fuel becomes more scarce. Exporting our raw materials seems foolish with unemployment as high as it is here. Let's use the raw materials to create jobs here. We need to keep our precious metals, copper, wood, uranium and anything else of use. Don't export scrap metal, use it to make jobs here at smelters, steel plants and all the things that go into the industry. Think long term goals and jobs as a result of tax breaks, not largesse for political contributors. We really need to help the country.

No tax breaks for non productive investments like derivatives and mortgage securities and equities. If the scheme 'investment' does not create jobs then tax it at a higher rate to discourage the practice. Possibly this kind of 'insurance' should not be tax deductable. These 'derivatives' the originators were so smug about creating something that the peons could not understand just give me your money and I will take care of it for us. It was just another scam. Mr. Bernanke tell me it isn't true that QE2 went to purchase securities in an effort to keep the scheme going? The originator of the loan should be responsible for servicing it and if it goes belly up must pay whomever they sold it to for the full cost. Something has to stop the schemers and charlatans from running this country. Tax heavily those who make a living soliciting and setting up debt.

On from the tax ideas, another problem is the increasing cost and scarcity of fuel. On a positive note, the current administration has taken steps to raise mileage requirements and the carmakers have returned to solvency with new fuel efficient models. Natural gas data needs to be examined. We need a variety of fuel sources. The ethanol industry has begun and should be maintained, for the possible need of it. Federal funding of Research and Development brought us computer technology and there is more creativity where that came from. Fund universities and create student jobs in R&D, not more administration. The ideas are endless and the solutions to national problems are endless but we need to act before the situation reaches crisis stage.

Another problem is population growth. In these times, increasing population will increase joblessness because there are not enough jobs. Each cadre of workers now averages about 9% unemployment and job creation has just about kept pace with population growth. In revising the tax code, perhaps slowing population growth might be accomplished by allowing only one child deduction per person, with higher taxes to be paid for each additional child, in order to pay for the expensive accommodation of more population when unemployment is high. We cannot afford to increase the population at the expense of the rest of the population, who is supporting the surplus with unemployment benefits and welfare. We are no longer expanding into 'empty' territory: we cannot continue to increase in numbers since we are living in a finite space with finite resources. You cannot infinitely expand in a finite territory. One person has one child tax deduction and must pay higher taxes for more children. The encouragement of childbearing through the tax code should be discontinued as an anachronism. The welfare system also must address this problem, the sooner the better. A school tax for more than one child needs to be implemented, in order for the actual parents to contribute towards the education of more than one child. Who else should pay for it?

I don't like the idea of a flat tax. Taxes should be aimed at the phenomena that actually costs the system as solvency has become a problem. Tort reform comes to mind as well as the tax setup on repossessed properties. I heard that lienholders were not paying property taxes on the foreclosed properties and that the local governments need the cash. How about a huge penalty for these lienholders not paying local taxes? If they hold over a certain number of foreclosed properties, they must pay a tax for the police and fire protection fund? To discourage foreclosure, taxes on foreclosed properties must be paid before delinquency. Taxes can be used to form public policy as well as a source of revenue.

Taxes discourage business creation but the number of other ways to discourage business that exist in our society today are legion and the total adds up to stagnation. The price war conducted by foreign nations has replaced too many jobs and now the stuff they sell is rising in price and quality while our workers sit idle. I read of an instance up in the NE part of the country where an object was manufactured welcomed a foreign observer with samples and was later driven out of business by cheap foreign copies. They have tariffs on our goods but we have no tariffs. I know our consumer has enjoyed the low prices but now the unemployment is causing social unrest and welfare costs. We cannot afford to buy so much overseas and pay benefits and welfare to the unemployed. We need a tax on goods we can make ourselves coming into this country. Tax imports and investors will see an opportunity to create jobs here making something: Cotton/cloth/clothes/linens/canvas......See the job possibilities if the unions can restrain their wage demands. I am for open shop because I always disliked paying into a union that did not represent my political beliefs. It was a violation of my civil rights.

Taxing is a valuable tool if the ones wielding the tool are doing it for the public good and not as a personal favor to their contributors, who may or may not be contributing to the public good, but rather feeding from the tax trough. Maybe I'm talking about corruption here. Like you don't give tax breaks to your friends and lay tax on their enemies. We're not on the playground here. We are attempting to plan for the future and petty reasoning should not be heeded.

So back to doing business in my community, which is hampered by licensing, inspections, rejections, favoritism, zoning, neighborhood associations, cronyism and corruption. The desire of the populace to obey the laws allows the bureaucrats who work for the taxpayers to slow things down. The bigger the bribe the faster the service to allow for business activity? Do you realize what I just wrote? Should all these laws, licenses, inspections etc even exist? These laws must be simplified, because communities need some laws like public health laws but they don't need the level of control that is being exerted in an effort to extract money from businesspeople. First we need enabling legislation to Rezone, then throw out all existing zoning and begin again.

Since the local governments have increased spending by borrowing, which is a deep hole, this mania for getting money from people starting a business has catered to the wealthy chains who can afford all the fees and hoopla. During recessionary times, perhaps a different approach could be tried. The 'upscale' chains are going broke and scaling back because the high unemployment rate has less ready cash in the local system. Less cash out of a job doesn't go even midscale, gravitating toward discount and cheap fast food. Less spending means less tax collected by the city, who prefers raising taxes instead of laying off people, useful or not. Raising taxes means less money in the system because people have to now pay more tax instead of consumer spending generating more sales tax. Sometime, governments are going to have to cut spending. Is it beginning now? Devaluation would make each dollar buy more but there would be fewer dollars. Cash is king again and let the pawnbrokers rule. Americans have accumulated material possessions and perhaps can weather a devaluation and possible shortages of material goods and continued high unemployment.

This Rezoning idea of just starting over and changing all the zoning designations would allow for a fresh approach to economic problems. We need to help set up a way for people to actually open their own tiny businesses in their homes, as a mode of survival if nothing else. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. Forcing people to drive long distances to get groceries is going to be counterproductive as fuel supplies dwindle. If our neighborhoods are already set up with a secondary distribution system in the form of farmers' markets and local Abarrotes, it would be easier to cope with a fuel shortage. Trucking or railing in food is cheaper than every family driving in a car to a grocery store. We need more distribution centers in the neighborhoods. The zoning laws are preventing this survival mechanism and also the development of neighborhood small businesses. Zoning as we know it today should be revised

                                                            EL  TIRADITO

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Hate Speech and Death Threats in Tucson

Hate Speech or Freedom of Speech?

I am writing this to protest an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star that incites violence by name calling and making insinuations against a specific group. I think this comes under hate speech.

An inflammatory unsigned editorial veted by the Arizona Daily Star viciously connects two unrelated circumstances and then proceeds to flay the Pima County Republican Party for it. Such specious logic would be laughable if such journalistic bias had not resulted in a death threat against Republican candidates and members.

The Star used the following descriptors against the entire Republican Party of Pima County:

"Crass, insensitive, vulgar, displaying a lack of empathy or compassion, dumb-founding, offensive, callous, boorish, thoughtless-all words that would fit." or how about "But Shaw proves again that the county party isn't concerned with the people who lived through the Jan. 8 rampage, the families and friends of those who were killed or the community that has been dealing with the loss and grief."

I think that is an unfounded attack on all Republicans in Pima County and I think this fallacious connecting of our local Republican Party to the Loughner shootings is inciting violence, as evidenced by the recent death threat generated by all the publicity around this vicious linking to the Republican Party. The first paragraph of the editorial mentioned the GOP raffle and the next brought up the Loughner shootings, as if the two were related.

Civility? These individuals are using a tragedy perpetuated by a madman for their own political ends as a smokescreen to cover up all the criminal investigations concerning Rio Nuevo and the city. Whipping up raw emotion and using it to strip the skin from somebody who had nothing to do with it is contemptible. And, according to the Arizona Daily Star, we must have 'done' all this before because 'again' indicates a prior occurrence. I feel they are inciting violence against a particular group.

Such outrage over Glocks: The NRA raffled off Glocks right here in Tucson just last month, Police carry Glocks, Glocks are used in shooting competitions and Gabrielle Giffords owned a Glock. I wonder why the Democrats and the Star didn't take on the NRA about the Glock raffles right here in Tucson a few weeks ago? Was the Pima GOP a better target?

Jeff Rogers, head of Pima Democrats, has been hate mongering and he must think this latest emotional blast over the shootings during elections will get more votes for Democrats. At what cost? Will someone else be shot due to all this hate mongering and insinuations and death threats against Republican members and candidates? I think that Jeff Rogers and the Arizona Daily Star are indulging in hate politics and that the community is being hurt as a result.

It is probably too much to expect an apology or even a cease and desist order, so I find it necessary to call this situation to the attention of law enforcement, due to the death threats against Republicans and their candidates. 

Tucson AZ September 6, 2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Solving problems through use of modern technology

The people need more input into the government, which would be available through the internet on a timely basis. The people could ask questions and vote on proposals via the internet, while their chosen representatives implement policy. This idea would take power from the representatives and senators and give it back to the people.

The current indebtedness is the result of short term thinking, rather than attention to long term planning. The eagerness of the moneylenders to finance our wars and bailouts makes me wonder about what is actually going on. I would not want our military to become mercenary under such conditions. They will not be used to protect foreign mining and commercial interests at taxpayer expense on borrowed money from the one being protected. If such be needed, then they provide it for themselves at their own expense. Long term planning indicates the need for a strong military, perhaps with the prospects of peaceful commerce established rather than active hostilities. The people need to vote on the possibilities for peace.

The idea of voting via the internet on important issues like the debt ceiling hike would allow the people to participate actively. Our elected representatives possibly are thinking of campaign donations rather than what is good for the majority of their constituents. Perhaps if their constituents participated in internet voting on specific issues, the politicians might pay attention to the details.

I wonder if they thought about the COLA on Social Security as a curb on excessive inflation as a tool to reduce debt while printing more money. If they remove that curb, the power of the Federal Reserve will be used to increase inflation. You still get the dime, but its only worth a nickel.

New news today states that Standard and Poore's downgraded the USA to AA+, a result of the continuing spiral into debt. Are these the same people who rated the subprime derivatives as excellent investments worthy of pension funds? Yet I assume that certain standards are to be met concerning these ratings, and assuming they are now actually checking for these standards, then the USA can be rated 'dispassionately'. This hassle occurred on Treasury Secretary Geithner's watch and calls for his resignation are surfacing like sharks.

The Tea Party is right about debt and I applaud those leaders who helped bring this problem to national attention. Maybe the downgrade would have alerted the common person but now continued downgrades in the headwind of slowing economic activity could occur. It is obvious that the continued low interest rate touted by the Federal Reserve is having a negative effect on the economy.

This trend of more and more debt will continue until national bankruptcy unless action is taken to prevent further debt. Term limits in the House and Senate are needed, so those elected will be home to face their neighbors instead of appearing as an icon in Washington for us to admire from afar. Elected members should not have the power to borrow without curbs or without a popular vote. They cannot handle the responsibility. We need to change the law in order to save the government.

Perhaps the 1878 mining law needs revision so that some control over our metals assets is retained for the good of the local economies, putting our metals resources out of reach of foreign interests. Metals are the new currency and the USA needs to conserve and control these resources. It is a matter of national security that we preserve our metals supply, because our civilization depends upon them.

My parting cannon shot is over the bow of the warship Derivatives. Tax reform is coming and these 'investments' that do not create jobs but yet reap huge rewards for the lucky gambler should be taxed at a higher rate like 'unearned income' taxed interest payments. Establish lower taxes for interest payments that come from job creating business paybacks. Higher taxes for the parasites gambling among themselves with the money they absorbed during those heady subprime days. Let's get rid of this corruption by voting those responsible for enabling these schemes out of office.

We need a balanced budget amendment that does not allow borrowed money to be counted as income to use to balance the budget. No accounting tricks, just true income and outgo, no more no less. No more Certificates of Participation to avoid bond elections and no more of selling public buildings for ready cash. The public needs to put some controls on these people. They are squandering our future for ephemeral goals.

If the size of government spending has doubled in the last decade, then it is obvious that this increase is not sustainable at this level. Call it the 'Government Bubble'. The last bubble was the 'Housing Bubble' and now government workers are going to be laid off because there isn't enough tax money to keep them all on the payroll. Adding workers and paying them with borrowed money is a bit risky in the real world.

Now is the time to open up private property for small business use. If government has less money to pay inspectors, perhaps restrictions on the use of private property should be lifted in order to assist people in the need to make a living using the property where they live. Current policy requires people to rent storefronts, provide parking and travel distances to work, so encouraging home based businesses and neighborhood walking paths would benefit the development of small business. If your house is along a walking and bicycle path, then you could sell cold drinks and snacks or you could have a snow cone sale or t shirts and hats or carnitas. I think that a license to have a business catering to foot traffic should be nominal. How about a tiny panaderia just down the street? How convenient is that?

Our society is changing and we need to cease the non adaptive behavior of forcing Tucson residents to drive to get food. Locating food sources near the people would cut down on fuel use and would also create a sense of neighborhood and employ people without having to move them across town. Maybe people would walk more.

Our society can change for the better and there is now an opportunity to make some changes using this debt reduction commission to be quickly formed even though they left town. I want to know who is on the commission and I want to know a date for the first meeting. Deadlines need to be met, the USA is now 'downgraded' and the debt continues to rule.

They need to get back to Washington and get back to work.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hold the Debt Limit Line

The debt limit talks show people for what they are. Political gamesmanship amuses the watchers, I suppose. So whatever President Obama and his supporters choose to pay if there is a halt to the borrowing will reveal character and resolve. Insolvency will not be aided by further borrowing. If you have sold the future, what is there to do?

I think the point here is that the present should not have the power to indebt the future until choices narrow to subsistence and debt service. We are at the crossroads of history and rationality as the choice to default moneylenders or default to the people looms over Washington. So far TV business news has mentioned jitters in the Orient and in Abu Dhabi, presumably due to default worries as the USA legislators grind out a compromise guaranteed to please few.

One thing both sides agree on is the need for entitlement reform. You know, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The COLA (cost of living allowance) presently in place in Social Security which guarantees a Social Security raise if inflation appears is now to be cut out of Social Security. Since Ben Bernanke's stated policy and objective is to keep inflation at about 2% a year, all Social Security checks are automatically worth 2% less in spending power. In ten years, a Social Security check will decrease in value by 20%. What an easy way to pay off debt! Just make the legal tender of the debt worth less and print more money. Of course, this policy hurts the retired depending on Social Security, but so what? What are these people thinking?

The interest rates might rise if the debt limit is not reached! Smallholders all over the country would celebrate possibly getting something for their CD holdings. Of course inflation erodes further the buying power of the dollars held by the smallholders. The interest rate paid is far less than inflation, so the value of the holding decreases by 2% or more each year due to abysmal interest rates paid, courtesy of the Federal Reserve.

Talk of canceling mortgage interest deductions would forge towards the goal of cutting trillions in deficit spending, they say. So now people looking for a mortgage will have to be told they cannot deduct the cost of the mortgage from your income tax payment. Across the board aimed at homeowners, a handy way to raise cash. It also cuts consumer spending, like other schemes. Cutbacks in Federal spending might be the best way to raise cash you don't have.

I hope our people avoid all the crisis mongering and forge ahead to success in not raising the debt limit. So California has arranged for billions to borrow if the Fed doesn't keep paying them. Sounds like a good idea to me. Self funding for the states. Cutbacks in government jobs are inevitable. And statistics suggest that the trend for the last few years has been to forward the Bush tax cuts on that basis that higher taxes means fewer jobs. I don't think that the data demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts generated any jobs, and indeed presided over massive layoffs and a rise in unemployment and the bailout crisis.

Closing tax loopholes is an interesting option but whose loopholes will be closed? That's when it gets political and choices loop back to who doesn't know what's going on anyway and who does know what is happening and who might give a nice contribution after things are resolved favorably. Closing middle class loopholes won't help the economy. It would cut consumer spending.

Counter by cutting prices, thus more people could buy widgets if they wanted to and more could be sold. But the people making the widgets would get paid less per unit because you are selling them for less....The continuing devaluation of real estate is a true indicator of the economy. It occurred at about a 4% rate last year, close to inflation in fuels and commodities.

More debt will not cure insolvency and avoiding the cutbacks in government spending is futile as the ready cash remains tied in obscure investments that the Plebian could not begin to understand except that the securities markets do not create jobs on the ground making widgets. If you cannot make widgets, you cannot sell them, of course. And if the Chinese make widgets at a quarter the cost of making them here and can ship them for another quarter and still undercut 50% on the dollar, you are out of business because money is tight and people cannot afford to pay more.

Now if the shipping costs rise because fuel costs are gradually rising and the trend is to continue to do so, then shipping costs might outweigh the worth of the goods. Possibly it is not worth shipping some of the Oriental goods due to the cost and the importance of the goods. Do we need to import glass, which is heavy and costs more to ship, when we have glassworks in Ohio and Arkansas and a railroad network for transport? How about keeping our scrap iron here instead of shipping it to the Orient? Smelting it down, refining and making new things would create jobs here and cut down on shipping fuel use.

The more debt there is, the more payments to make and less ready cash after the borrowed lump sum is blown, thus our problem now. Wars already fought, securities already purchased and sold, real estate is deflating and the chickens come home to roost. Politicians indebted the future while some of the old decry the opinions of youth, who must live in the future as it is created now. We must listen to the youth in Congress and bypass name calling and deriding, and remember who voted for what all these years. Accountability is a heavy cloak to wear.

Power is not easily relinquished but age will require it.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


TUCSON CITY NEWS: Rio Nuevo Rundown

The Rio Nuevo Board takes action to uncover the daisy chain of events leading up to the evaporation of the Rio Nuevo dream. It appears that high rollers took most of the money and very little hit the ground for the little guy. Rio Nuevo is a tax rebate program created by the state aimed at encouraging development that would result in increased tax revenue. The construction was to create jobs and the result was to attract consumers.
Since a few well connected individuals made off with most of the money, there were very few jobs and now there are no consumers because the money was blown on multiple designs, trips to Italy for U of A faculty, a useless $700,000 video, and endless cost overruns that were always granted. The rich became richer and the poor had no jobs, yet our tax money paid for all of it.

The problem with Rio Nuevo is that the projections lacked practical vision, leaving the field wide open for charlatans, which I will label any designer who designs something that is so expensive, it can never be built by the employer. Yes, employer. Rio Nuevo hired these people to produce a workable design and they did not do that. Clawback time for sure. Oh, but somebody's feelings might be hurt if they had to refund money for a job not done well. How about limiting design costs for that actually constructed?

This Garfield Traub mess was to be predicted, since they have serial lawsuits recorded all over the country where they sued other cities. I don't know who brought these people in, but they should be thrown out. And as for Sundt not paying his contractors, I say that they be excluded from bidding on government work until they pay up.

So I heard on the John Justice program that this new forensic audit will not only look at the existing paper trail of who was paid what, it will also examine bank records and possible conspiracies centered around the disbursements. Let's remember that all of this took place with the Democrats firmly in control, their lawyer issuing opinions that allowed for payments over the amount of contract to flow unimpeded into the hands of the unscrupulous. The Democrats and their buddies milked Rio Nuevo dry. Just hours from the institution of a new Rio Nuevo Board, the old board borrowed $80,000,000 and disbursed most of it. This money trail has to be followed.

The upcoming city council elections are extremely important. We have a little Napoleon around here by the name of Jeff Rogers, head of the Pima County Democrats. Rogers runs the town and the politicians like a fiefdom, dictating positions and lack of compromise and apparently he supported the Rio Nuevo Ripoff. His people are still in office, still burdening the city with debt and still allowing rampant cost overruns on the streetcar and the bridge. The Democrats are running a lawyer for Mayor, who has deep financial ties to the current city council, which means more of the same for the taxpayers. The Democrats are supporting the unions yet allowing workers to be furloughed in order for workers on overtime to have the empty slots. Are the union honchos grabbing that work for themselves, while the rank and file take furloughs? The Democrats deserve to be voted out of office for corruption and waste.

The primary election for the Mayor and city council is coming up in August. Republicans have two candidates for city council, Jennifer Rawson in Ward 2 and Tyler Vogt in Ward 4. The Republican write in candidate for Mayor is Rick Grinnell. I hope you all write in Rick Grinnell on your mail in ballots for the primary. If enough people write him in, then Republicans will have a candidate on the ballot.

If you are wondering why we don't have a Republican on the ballot when you signed a petition for Shaun McClusky, I'll tell you now. Enough petitions were turned in, but some petitions were signed by two people, which is taboo, according to the elections people. The Democrats challenged Shaun's petitions and they were thrown out because two people signed a few of them. The signatures were valid, but the glitch allowed the Democrats to challenge successfully. It seems to me that the intent of the people who signed the petitions was to have Shaun on the ballot and that the government thwarted the will of the people. The people signed the petitions! I think that a huge write in campaign for Rick Grinnell would reward the Democrats for ignoring the will of the people.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Amendment to Pima County GOP Bylaws

Amendment to the Proposed Bylaw Change set forth by the Pima County Republican Central Committee

This is the original proposed bylaw change to add Section 5 to Article IV:

An elective officer of the county committee may be removed at any time by a vote to that effect of two-thirds of the precinct committeemen of the county committee elected per the provisions of A.R.S. ~ 16-821 A. and present in person or by proxy at a mandatory or special meeting of the county committee, but an elective officer may not be removed at a special meeting unless his/her proposed removal is set forth in the notice of the call of the meeting as one of the items of business of such meeting. Thirty percent of the precinct committeemen members of the county committee elected per the provisions of A.R.S. ~ 16-81 A. and present in person or by proxy at a mandatory or special meeting called for the purpose of removal of an elective officer shall constitute a quorum.

It is proposed that the following paragraph be inserted behind the above Amendment to the Bylaws:

An elective officer of a Legislative District may be removed at any time by a vote to that effect of two thirds of the precinct committeemen of the Legislative District elected per the provisions of A.R.S. ~ 16-823 C. and present in person or by proxy at a special meeting of the Legislative District precinct committeemen. An elective officer may not be removed at a special meeting unless his/her proposed removal is set forth in the notice of the call of the meeting as one of the items of business of such meeting. Thirty percent of the precinct committeemen of a legislative District elected as per the provisions of A.R.S. ~ 16-821 A. and present in person or by proxy at a special meeting called for the purpose of removal of an elective officer shall constitute a quorum.

(The rationale behind this amendment to the proposed Bylaw Amendment is that many of the Legislative Districts have no mechanism to remove officers, if that does become necessary. This is a situation similar to that of the county GOP, and needs to be rectified. Since the LD officers are elected differently even though they are on the county GOP committee, a different paragraph is needed to cover that eventuality. It also offers a failsafe for the LDs in case of lapses of judgment, infighting, cronyism, sectarianism and false accusations. If the central committee wants power to remove the chair, they should all be subject to the same removal procedure as the Chair.

I think that allowing non precinct committeemen to vote or hold proxies in this election is a violation of some kind that must be investigated. This election is for elected precinct committeemen who hold proxies of precinct committeemen from the same precinct only, not Tom, Dick and Harry. There needs to be some order maintained. If citizens want to vote as a precinct committeeman, then they should run for the office.)

Dorothy Prater Niemi 8 July 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tucson City News Let us eat Cake!

This Jeff Rogers who is chair of the Pima County Democrats is waging a campaign against the voters of this city. If he manages to disenfranchise all of the Republican voters, he may view that as a victory but it actually shows why lawyers should not be running this country. I always did think that the rules for getting signatures are too fluid. How about a standing number of 200? If 200 people want this person to be in the primary, then so be it. Cancel clean elections and let the primary sort it out. In the mean time, the Democrats seek to prevent legitimate candidates from even being on the ballot. The letter of the law but not the intent of the law.

The intent of the law was never to prevent all candidates but the Democrat candidate from being on the ballot. The intent of the law was to have an orderly election process that prevented unworthy candidates from running for office by requiring citizen signatures of support for the candidate. How about a little reform that would lower and standardize the number of signatures and let everybody pay for their own campaign? If Rothschild is the only candidate of the two major parties on the ballot, I will not vote for those tactics.

Democrat chair Jeff Rogers can be lumped with Clarence Dupnik in his rabid response to the January shootings, blaming his old political foes for that horrible tragedy. Too bad such shortsighted and narrow men remain in power among the Democrats. I sense a possibility of compromise and progress if these roadblocks to creativity are removed.

These Democrat politicians and Mayor Walkup have used and abused the city of Tucson, leaving the taxpayers with a heavy debt of more than $1,200,000,000,000 that these people expended. $1.2 billion in debt with more planned so they can spend and spend. Since Jeff Rogers is suspected to have threatened the Democrat city council members with dire noncooperation from the party if they don't follow his line, I can't help but wonder when his name was on the ballot. It is obvious that he likes shutting out a chosen candidate from the meetings simply because the Democrats have a majority. Our voters are being disenfranchised by the city council who refuses to hear anything from the voters who elected our guy.

I openly call this kind of political manipulation corruption. We don't need any little Kings in this town. Let us eat cake, will he?

I can't help but hope the current investigations bring some corruption to justice. The heat of the summer might bring out the tarantulas. Just shine a light down their holes.

In other news, the RTA is borrowing and must pay back about $150,000,000 plus about $50,000,000 in interest. I don't believe that $50,000,000 in interest was a professed ballot item even though projects that cost far less were on the list. Why has the right of voters to OK borrowing been destroyed? Mr. Hayes is playing fast and loose with tax money in an effort to meet some imaginary deadline, instead of using the ready cash to pay for projects. Mr. Hayes is in such a hurry to start projects, he is wasting fifty million dollars on interest. That's $50,000,000 less to spend on local hiring. I'm tired of these wasteful officials who are not even an elected having the power to indebt the taxpayers. So what will Mr. Hayes cut from the RTA budget when he has to pay back the money with interest? Valencia Road work? It's near the bottom of the list.

Maybe Mr. Hayes can hire more of his inlaws, like he did for the 'Value Engineering' reports for the Grant Road and Houghton Road RTA projects. I asked for these reports in a public information request that was finally answered after repeated e mails. I was told that the reports would not be available until July. That was a month away but Mr. Hayes had assured everyone that money was saved by hiring his inlaws for $89,000 without a bid. Maybe the next time Mr. Hayes has a no bid project, he should hire local. I can hardly wait to see these reports!

Support Republican candidates for Mayor and City Council plus Joe Flores in Ward 1 if you can vote in the Democrat primary. Jeff Rogers has blackballed Joe Flores even in the primary among the Democrats. I guess Joe is a little too independent for the likes of Rogers.

Vote Shaun McClusky, Jennifer Rawson, and Tyler Vogt! Clean up the corruption in city government!

Dorothy Prater Niemi

June 2011