Coming To A Desperate, Cash-Strapped Government Near You?

September 7, 2013

Let’s see that could be Spain, Portugal, Greece or India or Japan, actually any number of governments around the globe. Why it could even be the good ole USA. It could be any of many countries who have tried to spend their way out of this long, long depression but it was Poland –this time.

From Zero Hedge:  Poland Confiscates Half of Private Pension Funds to “Cut” Sovereign Debt Load.

US jobs numbers came out this yesterday and the unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent. Big whoop. Never mind the unemployment rate, the labor participation rate is at the lowest point in 35 years! As Rick Santelli says,

“these people are not buying cars, or houses they’re existing on entitlements or welfare, but you can’t hide them forever!”

Remember the promise of the stimulus package way back in Feb of 2009? Let us spend all this money ($787 Billion) and we’ll quickly jump-start the economy and save between 900,000 to 2.3 million jobs.

Between 2008-2010 there was Qualitative Easing (the Federal Reserve buying $800 billion in bank debt from its member banks)monopoly-money

and then QE2 (more of the same, which had the same effect as printing money; $600 billion this time)

and then Operation Twist in which the FED exchanged expiring short-term notes for long-term notes (kicking the can) and stepped up buying MBSs or mortgage-backed securities (more bad debt from banks)

and then QE3 in which the FED agreed to buy $40 billion in MBSs and $45 billion per month until either jobs improved substantially

and now QE4, just an extension of QW3 but only until unemployment dropped below 6.5% (todays number was 7.3%)

How far away is the United States from private pension confiscation? Why start a war? Because it’s a great distraction and it’s good for the economy.

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

Now This Is Poor!

March 2, 2012

Every morning you see people sweeping their storefronts or apartment entryways, at least sweeping the dirt, leaves or rubbish into the street, but it’s a huge, bustling city and sadly pretty dirty. Also we’ve noticed a lot of dogs but only once have I ever witnessed a pet owner clean up after the dog (see No Doubt About It, You’re Gonna Step in Dog Poop). I jokingly suggested to Mick we may need to visit Singapore next to experience the other side of this coin. Needless to say, we don’t wear our comfortable Hawaii slippahs when we venture out!

But we we’re both taken aback the other day when we witnessed a young boy and what looked like his grandparents heartily tearing into these curbside dumpsters.
Apparently the trash pickers (Las Cartoneras ) have always been there, a part of any big city in a less developed country. But as a result of the 2001 Argentine sovereign debt crises when the peso was devalued by 50% or more, millions of the middle class were instantly thrown into poverty (Greece today, America tomorrow?) leaving people suddenly unemployed, homeless, dirt poor and having to fend for themselves on the street.

The following short YouTube video gives you a window to their world. Please watch it.

Now the government, recognizing the vital function the Cartonaras perform has more or less legitimized them, promising them protection and sanctioning the vital recycling job they perform. Specialized trains (which accommodate their carts) are provided to transport the pickers into the city every day as most Cartoneras live on the fringes coming out in the wee hours of early morning or late at night when the traffic and activity has subsided and every street corner is heaped with the refuse of the day. Once the city-provided dumpsters are filled to capacity, people then just toss the garbage in the vicinity of the dumpsters which by days end are over-flowing onto the sidewalk and street.

The Cartoneras specialize. Some pick only cardboard or metal or plastic. They get paid by the kilo and sell to brokers who then resell to other recyclers, and sadly many live off the food and other waste they pick through.

These Cartoneras and their way of life provides one an opportunity for comparison when we in developed countries talk about the poor along with all the hand-wringing from our politicians who continually seek the disadvantaged or disenfranchized, to use a more current label, who can’t seem to survive without the growing government give-aways.

Aloha, Mikie . . . . . . turned travel blog direct from Buenos Aires through early March.

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