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Economic Armageddon Is Coming

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Stop being a compliant consumer. Face the ugly truth. Don’t get fooled by the stock market. Accept the need for the mistreated middle class to become the revolutionary class. The British military establishment’s most prestigious think tank sees what too few over-consuming Americans are willing to anticipate. Unjustified and mounting economic inequality is planting the seeds for global economic conflict.

Here is what the new report from the UK Defense Ministry’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre warned might happen by 2035. “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat…Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.”

Consider the wisdom of economist John Maynard Keynes: The rich are tolerable only so long as their gains appear to bear some relation to roughly what they have contributed to society. Think of it as proportional and justified economic success. This can be tolerated by poor and middle class people if they believe the economic system is fair and properly rewards those who work harder or have better capabilities. But truly obscene economic rewards angers people. When most prosperity and wealth is unfairly channeled to relatively few upper class people, it is only a matter of time until fuming, resentful people in the lower class decide enough is enough and revolt. Perhaps violently, if the political system remains controlled by the upper class.

A ton of data demonstrate how crazy our economic system has become where a relatively few receive astronomical gains that no rational person could see as justified. One study tracked down home ownership data for 488 CEOs in the S&P 500 Index set of companies. The typical home of the CEOs has 12 rooms, sits on 5.37 acres, and carries a $3.1 million price-tag. Companies big enough to rate S&P 500 status hiked their median CEO pay by 23.78 percent in 2006 to $14.8 million. In comparison, U.S. worker weekly wages rose just 3.5 percent in 2006.

Despite what you hear about the sagging housing market and the many people facing foreclosure, business at the top end of the U.S. housing market is booming. Sales of homes in the $5 million-and-up price range rose 11 percent last year, reports the Dallas-based Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Ten residential properties sold for over $28 million in 2006. The most expensive in New Jersey sold for $58 million; it went to Richard Kurtz, the CEO of Advanced Photonix, a telecom supplier. In the “ultra-luxury market” a set of suites in New York’s fabled Plaza Hotel was converted last year into one-bedroom condos that start at $6.9 million.

From another study we learn that pay for American college presidents over the past decade has jumped seven times faster than pay for college faculty. In 1996, only one college president took home over $500,000. In 2006, 112 college presidents hit that mark. Meanwhile, after inflation, compensation for college professors increased just 5 percent since 1996. And college students have faced rapidly mounting tuition far higher than inflation rates.

CEOs are getting away with economic murder. Bob Nardelli, the CEO who departed Home Depot early this year, had an exit package worth $210 million. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano took home $18.8 million in 2006 and will receive $34.9 million in deferred pay and $33.1 million in retirement benefits when he leaves IBM. Even more extreme is the case of Occidental Petroleum CEO Ray Irani. The interest income alone on the $124 million that ended the year in Irani’s deferred-pay account totaled $679,396. The Los Angeles Times estimated Irani’s total payoff for 2006 at $460 million. Leslie Blodgett, the top exec at cosmetics giant Bare Escentuals, collected $118.9 million in 2006, with most of that coming from the $117.7 million she cleared cashing out stock options. She received 4 million additional stock options before 2006 ended.

Economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics found that the richest 10 percent of the U.S. population received 44 percent of the pretax income in 2005. This was the highest since the 1920s and 1930s (average: 44 percent) and much higher than from 1945 to 1980 (average: 32 percent). With more than 140 million U.S. workers, that top 10 percent equals 14 million workers. The bottom half of that top 10 percent had incomes of about $110,000. That may not seem all that high, except that the overwhelming majority of Americans can never expect such income. And remember that many of these top 10 percent Americans are married to or living with equally highly paid people.

When it comes to obscene economic inequality, however, you must focus on the huge gains received by the richest 1 percent – some 1.4 million people. Their share of pretax income has gradually climbed from 8 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 2005. Their average income was $371,000. Who is in the top sliver of richness? Economists Steven Kaplan and Joshua Rauh of the University of Chicago estimate that there were about 18,000 lawyers, 15,000 corporate executives, 33,000 investment bankers (including hedge fund managers, venture capitalists and private-equity investors) and 2,000 athletes who made roughly $500,000 or more in 2004.

Do those at the top pay their fair share of taxes? Middle class Americans, after nearly 30 years of tax-cutting, are now paying about the same share of their incomes in federal taxes that they paid before Ronald Reagan entered politics. In contrast, America’s richest have seen the share of their incomes that goes to federal taxes cut by over half. That what happens in a failed democracy and the rich control the political system.

What the future holds for the victimized middle class will not only depend on the uncontrolled greed of the wealthy upper class and its control of the political system. It will also be linked to the coming tsunami of global warming impacts on climate, sea level, water supplies, crops and disease. There will be devastating impacts on hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of people worldwide. Lower class people will be sacrificed – left to suffer the consequences. The rich will retreat to their walled, protected and well stocked havens.

Add to this scenario the inevitable collapse of the entire economic system. At some point it will not be controllable as it is now by those in banking and finance, able to manipulate it to sustain economic injustice. Eventually the inherent fundamental absurdities of the global economic system will prove unsustainable. The wealthy upper class will have siphoned off most of the world’s wealth and hoarded resources to maintain a luxury lifestyle.

What the future holds: lower class economic slaves fighting to survive in a medieval, ugly and bleak world that so many science fiction stories have portrayed. In that hell their best option will be to rise up and revolt against the rich and powerful upper class. With such a prospect, global class war on a sick planet, prevention is a priority. For us, that requires paying much more attention now to economic inequality, economic injustice, economic apartheid and the many attacks on the middle class. If not, we get Economic Armageddon along with environmental disaster.

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About Joel S. Hirschhorn

Formerly full professor Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, and senior official Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and National Governors Association. Author of four nonfiction books and hundreds of articles.
  • Baronius

    “When it comes to obscene economic inequality, however, you must focus on the huge gains received by the richest 1 percent.”

    Must I? It seems like an unhealthy preoccupation. I personally don’t care what the wealthiest people earn. You failed to make the case that they are doing any economic damage, which is crucial to your predictions.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Truly amusing to see this article show up here after I already hammered it so completely last week. Check my article for the truth on this subject.

    How you can participate in this destructive and cynical campaign of disinformation and still look at yourself in the mirror is one of the great mysteries of human nature. IMO it’s criminally irresponsible to just flat out lie about the economy and to try to promote this kind of fictional reality for pure partisan purposes.

    I’m not going to go over every lie, but here’s one great example:

    The bottom half of that top 10 percent had incomes of about $110,000. That may not seem all that high, except that the overwhelming majority of Americans can never expect such income.

    In point of fact, 14% of those in the LOWEST income bracket today are likely to earn an income in the top 20% sometime in their life, and 82% of all people earning below that level will reach an income in the top 20% during their earning career. That’s not exactly $110,000, because exact cash values are transient, but it’s in that range. Right now the top quintile starts at just under $100,000.

    Dave

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Must I? It seems like an unhealthy preoccupation. I personally don’t care what the wealthiest people earn. You failed to make the case that they are doing any economic damage, which is crucial to your predictions.

    This is because the only basis on which his argument works is if you make a comparison between the tiny category of the ultra-rich whose income has nothing to do with salary or wages and compare them with the rest of the population. This tiny group of a few hundred billionaires has nothing to do with the rest of us. They are essentially removed from the economy. Their earnings cost the rest of us nothing and cannot be compared with our earnings if you want a meaningful result.

    His argument is like saying that a Porsche isn’t a fast car because it’s not as fast as a lear jet.

    Dave

  • STM

    All this proves to me is that the British are still class-obsessed.

    They even have separate classes within classes – lower middle-class, upper middle-class.

    They’re as mad as cut snakes and everything they say should be taken with a grain of salt :)

  • Nicholas Folkes

    I would like to reply to comments made by STM: it is not just the Brits who are class obsessed, look at India and check out their caste system. All societies have a pecking order. Look at America, you have an upper class, middle class and lower class. All nations are the same in this sense but the Brits are mature enough to talk about it and not feel ashamed. Anyway the middle class in the West is fast becoming the working poor due to globalisation. The collapse of America and the world is just around the corner and it has been totally orchestrated by the Federal Reserve, other banks and also Govts. around the world. There are imbalances everywhere and this can not continue becuase debt just can’t keep getting rolled over so more debt can be written and written so we can all have crappy Chinese products etc. In 30 years America has shifted 70% of its manufacturing offshore for a lower standard of living, how could the Govt. of the day do this to their own people? Bush, Cheney, Blair and Howard all want a new world order and they will do anything to quietly collapse their economies and bring misery upon their own people. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do esp. when the Bible predicts instability at the final stages of the economic order. Please read James 5:1-8 and accept that these things need to pass for a conclusion of this system of things. If we keep putting our trust in man we will be disappointed.

  • troll

    just some questions:

    is there really any such thing as an international middle class…and if so is it really on the verge of radical organization and action – ?

    and in any case why would a revolution of the world’s disenfranchised rely on that pinche group of wanna be owners – ?

    do the super rich really siphon off resources just in order to maintain a luxury life style – ?

    what becomes of the vast wealth beyond that which they can spend on their whims – ?

    is the centralization of the control of wealth simply the ‘absurd necessities’ of capitalism playing out – ?

    …if the world is on the verge of major technological development necessary to work around our environmental problems that will require investment beyond the ability of any government could this pooled wealth serve a necessary social function – ?

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    There are classes in North America but the difference is we can move in and around them. There is no such thing as a strict Indian caste or Royalty system here. And I include Canada despite our attachment to the Queen for “tradtional” reasons. Bunch of dysnfunctional hams. I digress.

    If there is armageddon we’d better be careful on what we wish for because if America goes down the shitter so does a good chunk of the world.

    I think the world was supposed to end four times since 1968. BUT THIS TIME they got Al Gore and David Suzuki THIS TIME the bears are RIGHT.

    If I’m wrong, I want to be Mad Max.

  • troll

    (this time ‘they’ have the Mayan and the Hopi calenders to base their fears on)

  • STM

    Nicholas Folkes wrote: “Bush, Cheney, Blair and Howard all want a new world order and they will do anything to quietly collapse their economies and bring misery upon their own people.”

    I have been warning people on this site for months that the New World Order is the Anglosphere, but no bastard believes me :)

    As for the Queen Alessandro, the only role she fulfils now is pretty much the same as that of the US President in the exceutive branch – but with less power – virtually none, in fact. That is the beauty of constitutional monarchy. She is really a figurehead, even in Britain.

    Which is not a bad thing. Although she takes her advice from the Prime Minister, she and her representives in places like Canada and Australia are also a good, last safeguard against governments gone really wrong.

    Although I would not regard myself as being on the Right of Aussie politics, I am not a Republican either and I also don’t want the Union Jack off our flag because tradition demands that we keep faith with our heritage.

  • STM

    And mate, I’m baggsing being Mad Max. If the world collapses, how are you going to get Down Under? By osmosis??

    I’ve got the drop on you on this one ….

  • troll

    and speaking of the new world order…check these guys out

    and don’t miss the movie

  • STM

    Well, thanks, Troll … I think. That was pretty weird … especially the ending. Ooh ah …

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    How long have people of one stripe or another been proclaiming that Armageddon is nigh?

    Hundreds Thousands of years? More?

    And its form?

    Plague? Nuclear war? Economic collapse? Global warming?

    Armageddon outta here…

    Stan, Whez me fucken ‘at?

  • troll

    the ‘Armageddon’ that the author predicts is a nasty class war…

    is that so unlikely as to be summarily dismissed – ?

  • STM

    “Stan, Whez me fucken ‘at?”

    Lol. You’ll need it too when the bloody sky starts falling. I’m sticking it in the post for you on Monday. If I use a combination of Australia Post and the USPS, you should get it sometime this decade.

  • STM

    Troll, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but the likelihood? Not high, I’d wager. I just hope the US moves down a track that is a tad kinder and gentler – to each other. Because without the US, the rest of us are truly stuffed.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    One possible cause is that increasing production efficiency and advanced automated manufacturing techniques we see coming through will generate ever-increasing amounts of wealth whilst simultaneously reducing the need for large scale employment.

    In the context of a still rapidly growing global population, this could potentially trigger some pretty ugly scenarios. Being an optimist, I hope we’ll find creative solutions to this challenge…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    is that so unlikely as to be summarily dismissed – ?

    People in the 50s and 60s said the same of the nuclear Armageddon, troll.

    IMO, a “nasty class war” (were it to happen), no matter how nasty, will fall far short of the fanciful Armageddon described by the author.

    He posits upper classes in such control of the economy as to precipitate this “Armageddon” in one breath, then alleges they’ll be unable to retain that control when Armageddon comes; doesn’t make sense.

    He also posits a middle and lower class so resentful of the wealthy that they are at the point of revolting. Puleeze. This weekend, go to the nearest mall, or sports stadium, or the beach or a park. Look around. See how unhappy they are.

    Think about it this way: Horses are no longer the vital necessity to society they once were as work animals; for the most part, they are now a luxury for fun. Yet, there are enough horse owners for you to be able to make a living keeping them shod.

    Pleasure boats are the most unnecessary thing in the world. Absolutely nobody NEEDS a boat, and nobody buys one until they have met the necessities and accumulated enough excess cash to at least make a down payment on one. Yet, there are MILLIONS of these unnecessary toys registered these days, and tens thousands of people like me who make a living selling them; tens of thousands more maintaining them.

    I don’t see sufficient discontent, troll.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    I just hope the US moves down a track that is a tad kinder and gentler – to each other. Because without the US, the rest of us are truly stuffed.

    Excellent point.

    In light of the USA’s track record, I think the likelihood of that is excellent.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Chris says:

    One possible cause is that increasing production efficiency and advanced automated manufacturing techniques we see coming through will generate ever-increasing amounts of wealth whilst simultaneously reducing the need for large scale employment.

    Food for thought, Chris.

    However, virtually ALL major advances in technology and automation, going back to England’s Luddites, have resulted in increases in employment opportunities.

  • troll

    so… humanity has figured out how to avoid nuclear Armageddon – ?

    cool – what’s the secret – ?

  • troll

    …and is the behavior of poor folk in the US representative of that of the world’s – ?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    so… humanity has figured out how to avoid nuclear Armageddon – ?

    So far.

    cool – what’s the secret – ?

    From what I hear, MAD.

  • troll

    mad – we can hope that it still applies in this age of asymmetrical warfare and defensive shields I guess

  • troll

    …and the argument that economic Armageddon has not happened is false btw –

    there have been repeated economic melt downs and revolutions around the world even just in the last century that cost countless lives

    your rose colored glasses seem to make blood invisible to you

    by seeking a ‘rational center’ you might miss what’s actually developing

    …and then again maybe not

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, if I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that what happened in the industrial revolution will keep happening, but my point is the opposite.

    It is becoming increasingly possible with modern technology, and the trend is accelerating, that increased production requires less human presence not more.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    I understood that your point is the opposite, Chris.

    My point was that the Luddites said the same thing in the 19th century, and it proved to be wrong.

    At the dawning of the computer age, it was said again, and also proved to be wrong.

    Jobs that had never existed before were created in both cases (and the same phenomenon has occurred again and again, historically).

    I see no reason to doubt that that trend will continue; as older jobs are made obsolete, new ones are created; it’s an ongoing cycle.

    Millions of people today work in jobs that weren’t even conceived of when they were born.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I look at the value of the dollar versus that of the shekel and see an economic meltdown coming for the States. The shekel is a joke of a currency, but the dollar is falling against it steadily, now down to NIS 4.016 to the dollar (as of 27 April). This is what it was in March, 2000. It is unprecedented in the history of the currencies used by the State of Israel that its currency should maintain its value against the dollar. Each version (the two versions of the pound, the original shekel and the new shekel) has taken a one-way trip – down – until now.

    In 2002, the shekel dropped to 4.99 (20 cents) against the dollar. It is now back up to 4.016 (25 cents). This is unprecedented and indicates to me that the dollar – and the economy that uses it – is in serious trouble. It doesn’t matter how many Prozacs Dave Nalle hands out. The numbers talk louder than the “English” Dave tries to spin on them.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Well, Clavos, I really do hope you’re right – and it’s nice to see you being optimistic for a change – but I suspect that a new post-mass-industrial age is starting to unfold.

    Of course, new types of work activity will develop but I still remain somewhat sceptical that full employment as we have known it can be sustained. Time will tell.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Ruvy, I didn’t even bring up the status of the dollar. It has both positives and negatives. The low dollar attracts foreign investment in the US which strengthens our economy. Up to a point that’s a good thing. I’m not at all sure we’ve passed that point yet, though we may be verging on it.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    The low dollar attracts foreign investment in the US which strengthens our economy.

    It also helps US exports, which in turn helps the balance of payments.

  • MBD

    Amid the rejoicing of the new high in the Dow Jones Industrial index, it should be noted that compared against the Euro, the US stock market looks pretty sad. On a Euro basis, the stock market reached its highest point in 2001 at 13,380, and the current DJA is now at 9,212—down 30% in six years.

    If the international commodity markets adopt the Euro as the currency of exchange, we will see the worst devaluation/inflation in US history.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Comparing straight up with the Euro may not be entirely fair, since the Euro may have gained value in its own right in addition to the dollar having lost some value over time.

    Adjusting for change in value of the dollar does make sense, though, so let’s convert 13,380 to 2001 dollars – and the result is 11,534 in 2001 dollars – so taking the drop in value of the dollar into account we’re still looking at a substantial increase in value from the pre-911 high in 2001 of 9605 – about 20% in 6 years, rather similar to the rate of GDP increase over that same period.

    Dave

  • MBD

    Dave, your math sucks, our economy sucks.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    MBD, your attitude sucks and you don’t know jack shit about math or our economy.

    Dave

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    MBD, what are you talking about your economy sucks. Seriously. I don’t usually engage in left versus right stuff but the left has consistently been wrong in their math and assessments about the economy for years. All I heard for 15 years in the financial world was how the bear market was coming and we were all going to be poor – blah,blah, blah. Say it enough times and you’re bound to be right. I’m not saying it will never happen but it seems all they sit around and do is pluck and try to find numbers in the economy that will fit their doomsday scenarios. They are clueless.

    STM, well at least Canada is one step further along. We have a….Maple Leaf. Here in Quebec the monarchy has zero relevance. They are simply not connected to the institution.

    What does “baggsing” mean?

    In any event, being Mad Max is all moot. There will be no armageddon and the U.S. economy will continue to perform moving forward. I’m like Chris on this one: optimistic. Humans are funny that way; we always find a way. I’ll have to keep those black boots Max wore in my closet.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Alessandro wrote:

    …the left has consistently been wrong in their math and assessments about the economy for years.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • MBD

    Dave, you’re the one who doesn’t know jack shit.

    I do know jack shit.

    And I’ll compete with you in math anytime. Can you use math to prove that 2 = 1?

    And as far as the economy is concerned, it obviously is turning to shit.

    Alessandro, I didn’t refer to left versus right. Both have their brains in the wrong place. They both have spent the country into the poorhouse while filling their own pockets.

    You say the U.S. economy will continue to perform moving forward and you are optimistic. Yet you have no idea of how that will happen,

    Keep in mind it’s very difficult to stop a speeding train or pick up a battleship and turn it around — unless you are Superman. We can’t find Clark Kent and we don’t even know where Lois Lane is.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Well, you don’t know how to properly post an HTML link, so that’s a bad start.

    You say the economy is ‘obviously turning to shit’, yet you provide no evidence. I’ve got an article on BC right now with huge amounts of economic evidence, backed by links to legitimate sources, which suggest otherwise.

    The economy is not governed by a SINGLE factor. And your Superman analogy actually works against you because the multiple positive signs in the economy are the battleship and your dreams of disaster are the lone person struggling to stop its movement forward.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    MBB writes Can you use math to prove that 2 = 1? Apparently MBB can prove that 13,380 DJIA = 9212. You might correct a bit for inflation per Nalle’s figuring, but you’re in a dystopian fantasy land if you think the stock market is worth less now than five or six years ago.

    I note that Mr Hirschorn’s original column here is absolutely nothing but cheap Marxist class resentment – even if he has to make up the classes in an increasingly fluid world economy. There’s no idea or argument that poor people are suffering or getting poorer. In the real world, mostly the poor rising up would be where they’re suffering unbearable hardship and they lash out. But he’s not even beginning to argue anything like that.

    The argument is entirely that he sees rich people getting even richer, and he apparently just can’t STAND that. But in substantial part due to the efforts of rich people, generally EVERYBODY is getting slowly better off – though obviously there are those in the world whose boats are not being lifted. As Jesus said, the poor we will always have with us.

    But the author projects his own hatred and envy onto the rest of the world, fantasizing that middle class people who are by definition doing at least reasonably well are going to rise up to smash the economic system that is working decently for them just for the hatred of those who have even more than them. They’re supposedly going to righteously cut off their nose in order to spite their face.

    Not going to happen.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    generally EVERYBODY is getting slowly better off

    Al, as I point out in my article on the economy, the rate at which the lowest paid workers are gaining in salary is substantially higher than the rate at which the rich are gaining income.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Around comment #32 was the time for me to write about sitting with a cup of iced coffee on MY deck chair to watch the fur fly. But I was too busy standing at a trampiada watching people extending their fingers for rides and I seem to have missed all the fun.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    “Alessandro, I didn’t refer to left versus right. Both have their brains in the wrong place. They both have spent the country into the poorhouse while filling their own pockets.

    You say the U.S. economy will continue to perform moving forward and you are optimistic. Yet you have no idea of how that will happen…”

    MBD, I know – I referred to it. But whenever the two talk about it conservatives have the upper hand.

    On the second point, no arguement here. All I know is that I know nothing. However, based on experience and from what I’ve learned it’s not a stretch to think this. There are solid indicators and when treated properly they can lend some insights.

    Personally, I’m more of a Batman (and Mighty Mouse) kinda guy.

  • MBD

    Dave comments:

    “Well, you don’t know how to properly post an HTML link, so that’s a bad start.”

    In my business career I learned never to do something I could get someone else to do. That would have been a bad start.

    You want to see the link? Do the work.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    That’s the best you can do? Focus on the petty criticism and ignore any of the real poins made by various people on this thread?

    And BTW, in my business career I learned that if something is worth doing it’s worth doing right. It builds good will.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    You want to see the link? Do the work.

    You want people to believe you? Post the fucking link.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Boy, I pull up a chair to watch a shit-slinging fight, and lo and behold, what do I get? A shit-slinging fight! What a cooperative bunch!!

    Well kids, the currency markets open this morning and we have a major political crisis on our hands in Israel (one mere, to be added to the usual raft of disasters and crises) – something that usually gets people to sell shekels and buy dollars. The dollar should rise of the currency markets today.

    If the dollar does not go up, you folks have a problem on your hands – your dollar. See you later. I gotta go shopping…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Well, it looks like the dollar is going back up in value a bit on the release of the Winograd Report, which assesses blame for the disaster that was last year’s Lebanon War. On Friday afternoon it was NIS 4.016. Now,as of 11:39, N.Y. time, it is over NIS 4.03. That, considering everything, is a good sign for you folks…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’m not sure that how the dollar performs against the almighty shekel is necessarily our primary concern.

    Dave

  • Lumpy

    “I don’t see sufficient discontent, troll”

    that’s why articles like this one exist. They are part of a campaign to create that discontent because certain groups would benefit from it politically.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Lumpy wrote:

    They are part of a campaign to create that discontent because certain groups would benefit from it politically.

    I think you’re right, Lumpy.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’m not sure that how the dollar performs against the almighty shekel is necessarily our primary concern.

    Dave,

    Seeing that the shekel is a joke of a currency, as opposed to the Swiss franc, and seeing how the Swiss franc used to be worth 22½ cents forty years ago, and is now worth about 80 cents, and seeing that the dollar has dropped somewhat against this joke of a currency, I’d say it would pay to keep an eye on the shekel.

  • MCH

    “Can you use math to prove that 2 = 1?”

    Yes, two kinds of paranoia equals one fortified compound.

  • MBD

    Dave says”

    “That’s the best you can do? Focus on the petty criticism and ignore any of the real poins made by various people on this thread?”

    You posted a petty criticism.

    I responded in kind.

    Why are you whining?

  • MBD

    Do you see a resemblance?

  • STM

    Alessandro, I wouldn’t be bragging about the maple leaf – although it is a good flag. But mate, what’s it mean??

    In the process, you’ve thrown away most of your heritage. All good flags should either be a Union Jack, have one in the corner, or have previously had one in the corner (the Stars and Stripes) – and look at the Hawaiian state flag, with it’s lovely Union Jack in the corner … the best-looking one in the US :)

    And in Canada, the Queen (or King) fulfils the same role she does in Australia, like that of the US President’s in the executive branch of government. She has no real power, though, and must defer to the Government. Answer to your question: Baggsing – I “bags” first go at that. Don’t tell me Canadian schoolkids don’t use that term? Good grief, you really have fallen by the wayside …

    And on a serious note, to all you doomsayers out there: there won’t be any economic Armageddon. It’s a nonsense.

    If there’s to be an Armageddon, it’ll be a bit more bloody serious than that.

  • STM

    “I’m not sure that how the dollar performs against the almighty shekel is necessarily our primary concern.”

    One of my main concerns in regard to the introduction of the euro is the demise of some very old currencies – most notably, the Drachma.

    In Oz, in certain circles, it used to be slang for a dollar (can you lend me 50 drachs?)

    Now this wonderfully named currency is gone, we will soon forget and will be left only with the Shekel – which also fulfilled the same purpose.

    Don’t let ’em let the shekel go down the same path, Ruve. Ps, did you get my email??

    Big news, mate. IT RAINED in Australia last week.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Stan, I did get your e-mail, and I’m glad it rained down there. Just don’t forget the drought in the draughts you draw to quench yourselves…

    As to the drachma, next to the shekel, it is one of the oldest used measures of weight (that is what a shekel really is) that had existed.

    If the idiots who run this place have their way, the shekel will be abandoned for the euro. I have the distinct feeling that those idiots will not be around long enough to accomplish such foolishness.

    Between the Winograd Report (see YNews or Arutz Sheva), the transfer of troops from Syria’s Iraqi border to its Israeli border (see Debkafiles), the preparations of HizbAllah for offensive war (ibid.) it should be a very interesting spring and summer… Remember those two fleets – the one off of Lebanon and the one in the Persian Gulf. They are only growing.

    If the folks holding the huge dollar debts start unloading them any faster than they are, America will face an economic meltdown. As for Armegeddon, do remember that har Megiddo is just a couple dozen miles north northwest from here, as the vulture – or “peres” – flies…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Big news, mate. IT RAINED in Australia last week.

    From what I hear, the latest statistics suggest that it’s raining bullets.

    Dave

  • STM

    Yes, I got the bullshit Ed Chenel email too. Only in Melbourne, where the mafia and the Painters and Dockers Union mob are knocking each other off at a rate of knots (mostly in the comfort of their own, or each other’s homes). That’s what’s driven up the crime statistics, as I keep pointing out.

    And a good thing too: nothing like a good, old-fashioned gangland war with proper criminals, not punks, to keep the headlines ticking over.

    I was in a gunshop this week, BTW. The place is still awash with legal guns Dave. You just have to have a licence now and a permit for each firearm.

  • STM

    Dave wrote: “And BTW, in my business career I learned that if something is worth doing it’s worth doing right.”

    I learned that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly – because if you keep doing it for long enough, you’ll get good at it :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Plus, if you do it too well, they’ll stick you with it forever.

    Was it a lot of rain? Any more in the forecast?

  • STM

    Yeah, a lot rain out in the bush. Kids out there were playing in the mud because they’d never seen rain. It’s been raining very heavily on and off in Sydney, too, which is usually a sign the weather pattern is changing, particularly after very long spells of no rain or light coastal drizzle. Problem is, in Sydney and south-east Queensland, it’s not falling on the catchment areas.

    A lot of people are investing in raintanks. Free water. It’s interesting that many Jews in Israel have recently begun praying for rain for us, and lo and behold, we got it.

    Hmmm. I can only conclude that Ruvy and his mates must a direct line to the big fella upstairs.