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The “Money” Moves on North Carolina

When the big money pulls the plug on a state or country…You are well and truly screwed.

The “bathroom Bill” in North Carolina has already cost the state $400 million in revenue. The NCAA has pulled out, The NBA has pulled out. Even the flagship ACC Tournament has pulled out…Not to mention major companies like Paypal who have cut expansion plans and are looking for another place to locate.

When the big money moves …That means there isn’t going to be any shiny new Volkswagen or Toyota plant in your state. Your Bond rating takes a hit, and it becomes increasingly difficult to borrow money. It becomes increasingly difficult for the companies in your state to borrow money because of insurance bonds (meaning they leave…quickly). If you really piss these guys off, your state economy is F87545ed.

The problem in North Carolina has gone from a really stupid set of laws put in place by right wing Tea Party whack jobs – to the loss of confidence in the State legislators and Governor to manage the state’s affairs in the best interest in the state. So even if the Governor sees the light tomorrow, he has screwed his state out of at least $2 billion in business revenue, and he and the wing nuts have tarnished the state’s reputation long term.

The folks in the state who aren’t rock stupid right wingdizzies need to have one of those marches on the Capital with some tar, feathers, and a rail to save things at this point.

Gay people can get isht done in this country…Too bad so many bad black leaders don’t understand how.

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Investors Worth $2.1 Trillion Want NC To Flush ‘Bathroom Bill’

The group warns that the bill’s damages could soon be “irreversible.”

The fallout from North Carolina’s House Bill 2 continues six months after Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law.

In the latest blow to the controversial “bathroom bill,” 60 investment managers from across the country representing more than $2.1 trillion in managed assets have called for the state to repeal the law, which effectively bars transgender people from using the restroom that best corresponds with their gender identity.

The chief executive officer of Trillium Asset Management, which has an office in Durham, North Carolina, warned that the Tar Heel State could be headed for “a state-government-inflicted recession” because of the bill, which McCrory hasaggressively defended since signing March 23, the Associated Press reports.

Blasting North Carolina for having “written discrimination into state law,” Matt Patsky told The Charlotte Observer that the “unintended consequence has been a backlash that is having material, negative impact on the economy of the state. HB2 must be repealed immediately before this damage becomes irreversible.”

Patsky spoke at a Monday news conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he presented the initiative on behalf of Trillium along with other organizers, including Croatan Institute, an environmental research group, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Unfortunately, McCrory didn’t seem fazed by the latest opposition. Officials from the Republican governor’s re-election campaign released a statement from McCrory Monday that read, “For New York hedge fund billionaires to lecture North Carolina about how to conduct its affairs is the height of hypocrisy.” The statement, whichcan be read in full on local ABC affiliate WTVD’s site, also blasted Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for having raised “ungodly amounts of money” from Wall Street for her own campaign.

Still, McCrory’s statement overlooks the fact that his state has been experiencingnear-constant pushback from various industries over the controversial bill. Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Cirque du Soleil have all opted out of North Carolina performances in the wake of the legislation, and the law was also cited by Deutsche Bank and PayPal as incentive to scrap expansion plans in the state.

The governor’s decision to back the bill in spite of the backlash hasn’t gone over too well with residents, either. A Monmouth University poll published in August found that 55 percent of North Carolina voters opposed House Bill 2, while seven out of 10 voters believe it had hurt North Carolina’s national reputation.

 

 
 

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Cracks in the Wall – Louisiana Sheriff Schools Fellow Republicans…Bats**t Crazy!

This is the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana – a Republican. Ran across him post-Katrina when working on trying to get the systems back up, when he worked for Harry Lee, the former Sheriff. He is a bright guy, and at least to my limited impression of him – a straight shooter. He is well educated and intelligent.

What Sheriff Newell Normand represents is the growing faction of the Republican Party who is getting tired of the same old tired answers, and massive tax cuts leading to debt resulting in massive cutting of community services run up in just about every state where there is a Republican majority in the legislature…And hobbling his state, Louisiana after Bobby Jindal’s disastrous governorship. What Jindal and his fellow Republicans have done to the state following bankrupt Republican orthodoxy are in some ways worse than Katrina.

Yet another sign that the poisoned Kool-Aid isn’t going down anymore.

GOP sheriff unleashes a stunning take down of Republicans—a party of ‘cult leaders’ and ‘idiots’

Republican Sheriff Newell Normand might be a good ol’ boy from Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, but that didn’t stop him from lobbing a dose of reality at the Metropolitan Crime Commission’s annual awards luncheon on Tuesday. According to a video of the speech posted by WUVE, Normand bad-mouthed the GOP’s Beltway establishment and elected officials, notorious tax cutter Grover Norquist and called former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal an “idiot,” equating him to cult leader Jim Jones.

Normand fully admits that he endorsed and supported Jindal when he ran for governor, but that Jindal’s leadership destroyed the state that Normand holds dear. “What a mess. Bobby Jindal was a better cult leader than Jim Jones,” he said to laughter and applause from the audience. “We drank the elixir for eight years. We remained in a conscious state. We walked to the edge of the cliff and we jumped off and he watched us and guess what? Unlike Jim Jones he did not swallow the poison. What a shame.”

Normand accused Jindal of working after his reign to rewrite history when the rest of the state doesn’t “even know what history is.” Much like other states with Republican governors like Kansas and Oklahoma, Louisiana faces a substantial budget shortfall, to the tune of $2.5 billion. Jindal is telling the world that he did a phenomenal job as governor and Normand is furious about it.

“We have to just say no!” Normand said. “I’m a Republican but I’m not a hypocrite. We have to look at ourselves critically as a party and figure out where we are and what we’re going to be about.” He admitted to the audience that he was partly at fault because he “endorsed that idiot,” but said that it was time to move toward solutions. Due to the budget problems, Normand says that the state will be cutting funding to mental health which causes more problems for law enforcement officers. The state also plans to close five state prisons that houses 8,000 inmates.

He even denounced following the policy recommendations of Grover Norquist, who makes Republican candidates sign a pledge not to raise taxes. “We better get concerned. We better wake up. We better be honest,” Normand said. “We better talk about the issues because we are going to pay the price.” He continued saying that the state cannot cut its way to a balanced budget because doing so will cut the resources necessary for law enforcement officers like him to do their job safely and effectively. “We do not need to face the stupidity of our leadership as it relates to how we’re going to face balancing this budget and talking about these silly issues because we’re worried about what Grover Norquist thinks. To hell with Grover Norquist! I don’t care about Grover Norquist!” he said to audience applause. “We’re worried about the ATR report card,” he said, referencing Norquist’s group Americans for Tax Reform.

When it comes to the Republican party in Washington, D.C., Normand wants them to stop attacking. He cited Medicaid expansion which would cover the cost for things like drug addiction and mental health that officers often witness on the streets and in prisons. “And I have to listen to my Republican counterparts talk about gobbledigook. Blah, blah blah… And I’m so sick and tired of hearing: Obama, Obama, Obama. You know how much intellect it takes to blame something on somebody else? This much!” he said holding his hand up to indicate zero. “Propose a solution. Work together.” He closed by comparing politics to being married and asked how many people in the audience refuse to compromise in their marriages.

Lindsay Graham, the Republican Senator from South Carolina puts it more succinctly…

Lindsey Graham: GOP Is ‘Batsh*t Crazy’

 

As the five remaining Republican presidential contenders battled it out in the Houston debate Thursday night, former candidate Lindsey Graham entertained a crowd at the Washington Press Club’s annual congressional dinner with his true feelings on the 2016 race. “My party has gone batshit crazy,” Graham told the crowd. The South Carolina senator lashed out at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, adding that he thinks the billionaire will lose in the general election “because he’s just generally a loser as a person and a candidate,” he said. Making light of his own failed campaign and subsequent endorsement of Jeb Bush, who dropped out on Saturday, Graham called himself the Dr. Jack Kevorkian of the Republican primary—before putting on a Trump hat.

Read it at The Washington Post

 

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How Australia Kicks American Behind on Student Loans

Australia is a country with only about 22 million people, principally concentrated within 12 miles of the Ocean. Despite other issues with racism and the historical treatment of indigenous people – they get some other things right. Educating the populace being one. COnservatism in America has screwed up developing a real education system which benefits the masses…And the country. Much like they have screwed up Medical Care and everything else they have touched.

How Australia Gets Student Loans Right

And why it should make Americans very, very jealous.

Graduate from college this year? Congratulations! If you borrowed money, you likely need to pay back more than $35,000. Just how bad is that? Well, the average American with credit-card debt owes less than half that amount. Perhaps that’s why MyBankTracker recently discovered 30 percent of those they polled would agree to sell an organ in order to pay off their student loan bills.

Good luck getting started in the world with that amount of debt—one reason why many economists believe millennials aren’t buying homes or cars at the same age their parents did.

It doesn’t have to be this way—and it isn’t in many other places. Let’s visit Australia, where politicians congratulated themselves this week for closing down what they considered a major loophole in the nation’s student loan program: scofflaws moving abroad to escape the automatic salary deductions of the nation’s income-based student loan program. “You should have to repay that debt,” thundered Simon Birmingham, the nation’s education minister.

But that’s still not true for everyone. Earn less than $54,000 Australian dollars—that’s about $38,000 in the United States—and you have no worries, at least for now and maybe not forever.

Australia offers students an income-based student loan plan, and has since 1989, when the system was set up to compensate for the fact that universities were charging tuition at all. That was a change. Higher education had been free in the 1970s and 1980s.

Today, there are two ways Aussies can choose to finance their college educations. If they pay up front, they get a 10 percent discount. Most don’t do that, however. That’s where where Australia’s income-based repayment plan comes in.

Australians borrow money from the government through the Higher Education Loan Program (or HELP—get it?) and related offshoots. When it comes time to repay the bill, the monthly amount has nothing to do with the sum borrowed. Instead, debtors earning more than AU$54,000 ($38,000) pay between 4 and 8 percent of their income, depending on how much they take home annually. Unemployment or illness? Salary falls under the minimum earnings required for repayment? No worries. Payments temporarily cease, with no interest or penalties accruing to the borrower.

Moreover, unlike in the United States, where students need to make strategic decisions whether to consolidate their loans at a particular interest rate because they will not get a do-over, there’s no such issue in Australia. The interest rate is set by the consumer price Index—that is, the rate of inflation.

Finally, making payments is easy. It’s an automatic deduction, courtesy of theAustralian Taxation Office. (This is how the expat loophole developed.) And, yes, a borrower can repay the loan early, if he or she so desires.

Another great thing? Unlike certain American politicians (Hi Marco Rubio!), Australian pols don’t complain about the number of philosophy majors running up debt they can’t pay off. If a student attends a public university in Australia—something the vast majority do—tuition is set, in part, by the course of study. The greater the expected lifetime income return, the greater the cost. So a degree in the humanities costs less than a degree in education, which costs less than a medical education.

I don’t mean to make this sound like nirvana. Australians are increasingly worried about the amount of student-related debt, which is growing rapidly. (One estimate has it surging from AU$50.3 billion this year to AU$70.4 billion in 2018.) That means students will owe more money, likely paying it off over a longer period of time. There is also concern over what those down under like to call “doubtful” debt—estimates are that 20 percent of students will never be flush enough to repay their loans, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

There are other costs associated with the program as well. The government borrows money on the open market at a higher rate of interest than the inflation rate. As a result, there have been proposals to change the interest rate benchmark to Australia’s 10-year treasury note, but so far that hasn’t come to pass.

Australians also have the equivalent of our for-profit college problem. Like, say, the late Corinthian Colleges, a number of the private vocational programs in Australia aggressively recruit nontraditional students, offer them less-than-adequate educations, and then stick them with the bill. Earlier this year, the University of Sydney’s Honi Soit reported representatives for one such program were cold-calling potential recruits. “On the phone, the lady went on to devalue bachelor degrees and stated it was better to have lots of certificates and diplomas as it’s what employers look for,” one recipient recalled.

Nonetheless, income-based repayment plans remain popular, so much so that the opposition Labor Party recently announced that if it were elected to power, it would push a plan to offer students a new line of credit, one designed to encourage recent graduates to pursue entrepreneurial initiatives. The party calls it a “start-up year.”

The U.S. Department of Education does offer students income-based loan programs, for which borrowers need apply. And that’s proved a problem. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently found that the Department of Education has “not consistently notified borrowers who have entered repayment about the plans.” In addition, the interest rate the United States charges is higher. One thing we do here the Australians don’t: We forgive the debt if it’s not repaid after a period of time—most often 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan. But, then again, you’ll potentially pay taxes on the amount forgiven. Those working in public service can have their loan forgiven after 10 years, with no tax penalty.*…

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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Redlining Collection of Debt Through the Courts

One of the impacts in the differential in generational and saved wealth among black and white families is black families have fewer resources from which to draw in the event of unexpected bills or crisis. A corrupt legal system backs tis – a person who can’t pay a $300 utility bill certainly cannot afford $3000 or more for a Lawyer, so these almost always automatically go to judgement, whether the person actually owes the debt or no. Further, collections companies are allowed to tack on obscene fees and “interest” on the debt from 30%-100% further burying the victim. Welcome to the new American Slavery through the virtual debtor prison.

 

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

Our first-of-its-kind analysis shows that the suits are far more common in black communities than white ones.

ON A RECENT SATURDAY AFTERNOON, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city’s first black mayor.

On the screen was a list of every debt collection lawsuit against a resident of her city, at least 4,500 in just five years. Henderson asked to see her own street. On her block of 16 modest ranch-style homes, lawsuits had been filed against the occupants of eight. “That’s my neighbor across the street,” she said, pointing to one line on the screen.

And then she saw her own suit. Henderson, a single mother, fell behind on her sewer bill after losing her job a few years ago, and the utility successfully sued her. That judgment was listed, as well as how one day the company seized $382 from her credit union account — all she had, but not enough to pay off the debt.

As the lines of suits scrolled by on the screen, Henderson shook her head in disbelief, swinging her dangling, heart-shaped earrings.

“They’re just suing all of us,” she said.

That’s not only true in Jennings. The story is the same down the road in Normandy and in every other black community nearby. In fact, when ProPublica attempted to measure, for the first time, the prevalence of judgments stemming from these suits, a clear pattern emerged: they were massed in black neighborhoods.

The disparity was not merely because black families earn less than white families. Our analysis of five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — showed that even accounting for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones.

These findings could suggest racial bias by lenders or collectors. But we found that there is another explanation: That generations of discrimination have left black families with grossly fewer resources to draw on when they come under financial pressure.

Over the past year, ProPublica has investigated a little-known but pervasive shift in the way debt is collected in America: Companies now routinely use the courts to pursue millions of people over even small consumer debts. With the power granted by a court judgment, collectors can seize a chunk of a debtor’s pay. The highest rates of garnishment are among workers who earn between $25,000 and $40,000, but the numbers are nearly as high for those who earn even less.

Despite their prevalence, these suits remain remarkably hidden, even to people in the communities most burdened by them.

In the city of St. Louis and surrounding St. Louis County, where Jennings lies, only about a quarter of the population lives in neighborhoods where most residents are black. But over half of court judgments were concentrated in these neighborhoods.

Armed with these judgments, plaintiffs — typically debt buyers, banks, hospitals, utilities, and auto and high-cost lenders — have seized at least $34 million from residents of St. Louis’ mostly black neighborhoods through suits filed between 2008 and 2012, ProPublica’s analysis found.

April Kuehnhoff, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said that the analysis raised “crucial questions about how racial disparities are entering the debt collection system and what we can do to eliminate these disparities.” The findings, she said, should spur lawmakers to reform overly punitive federal and state collections laws.

Collection suits — typically over smaller amounts like credit card debt — fly across the desks of local judges, sometimes hundreds in a single day. Defendants usually don’t make it to court, and when they do, rarely have an attorney.

For those who do show up, the outcome isn’t all that different. In Missouri, most judgments resulted in the plaintiff attempting garnishment, whether the defendant appeared in court or not, according to ProPublica’s analysis.

In Jennings, which since the 1960s has shifted from almost entirely white to 90 percent black, the suits are unrelentingly common. Between 2008 and 2012, there was more than one lawsuit for every four residents. And yet, this fact astounded residents when they heard it, because it is a facet of life that most keep private. Parents hide it from their children, and neighbors never think to discuss it.

The typical household income in Jennings is about $28,000, an income level at which families spend, on average, all of their income on basic necessities, federal survey data shows. Each paycheck must be carefully apportioned with the most vital costs — mortgage or rent, food and utilities — prioritized.

A garnishment hits this kind of household budget like a bomb. Federal law and most state laws protect only the poorest of the poor from having their wages seized, otherwise allowing plaintiffs to seize up to a quarter of a worker’s after-tax pay. If that paycheck is deposited in a bank, that and other money in the account can be seized to pay down the debt. When garnishment protections do exist, the burden is usually on debtors to figure out if and how the laws protect their assets. …Much more on the story here

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Bashir Takes a Dump on the Sno’ Ho’

I mean…Tell us how you feel, Martin! The only issue I see here is his suggestion wouldn’t be any different than taking a dump in a Don’s John.,,

You are just adding to the pile.

Martin, you get an Honorary Giant Negro Award for that one!

MSNBC’s Bashir: Sarah Palin Should Be Defecated, Pissed On

MARTIN BASHIR: We end this week in the way it began — with America’s resident dunce, Sarah Palin, scraping the barrel of her long deceased mind, and using her all time favorite analogy in an attempt to sound intelligent about the national debt.

SARAH PALIN: Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children, and borrowing from China. When that note comes due and this isn’t racist, so try it. Try it anyway. This isn’t racist. But it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due.

BASHIR: It’ll be like slavery. Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history. So here’s an example: One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750 and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation.

What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime. In 1756, he records that a slave named Darby catched [sic] eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, S-H-I-T in his mouth. This became known as Darby’s dose, a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners savagery and inhumanity.

And he mentions a similar incident again in 1756, this time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. Flogged Punch well and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper. Made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth. I could go on, but you get the point.

When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks, The New Jim Crow

 

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Rising Like a Phoenix? US Economy…

World power swings back to AmericaThis may well just continue to work and turn the US economy around…

As long as conservatives don’t get elected to screw it up.

The fact is, it has now become cheaper to manufacture many products in the US than in China. Those companies who haven’t made plans to “inshore” yet may well be holding losing cards. This could have a net impact on the US economy of over 3 million new jobs in 3 years. Foreign based companies have figured it out, with both Asian and European companies flocking to build plants in America. You add that to the two major “bleeding edge” chip foundries being built right here in America – and there are some fundamental economic changes afoot.

No small contributor to this shift is that energy independence thing. The US isn’t very far from being able to be self-sufficient. There are humongous reserves of Natural Gas in the Midwest, and oil reserves beggaring those in the Middle East in the Gulf of Mexico. This should mean stabilized energy costs, no longer at the whim of some crackpot oil-can Dictator.

China’s counterfeiting and Intellectual theft issues are huge for tech industries, it is also impacting firm’s brand names. I for one, have never been convinced it was ultimately profitable to move any high tech or leading edge product production to China because of the theft issue. It really doesn’t matter if you can make a big screen TV 15 cents cheaper – if the manufacturer is making knockoffs, using your logo, and selling them $100.00 cheaper. I think it’s time to cut the George Bush (pick one) support system for China. They have a huge internal market, and there is no reason their economy should not be strong once the necessary changes are made in how their government works, and business is conducted are made.

World power swings back to America

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.

Assumptions that the Great Republic must inevitably spiral into economic and strategic decline – so like the chatter of the late 1980s, when Japan was in vogue – will seem wildly off the mark by then.

Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing – breaking rocks with jets of water – will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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US Debt Rating Downgraded… Thanks, Tea Baggers!

Well – the Tea Baggers were successful in screwing the country after all. Look for your interest rates to rise on everything from your mortgage to the cost of a new car.

Tea Baggers Succeed in Sinking the Country

S&P Downgrades U.S. Debt Rating — Press Release

Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. government’s “AAA” sovereign credit rating Friday in a move that could send shock waves through global. The following is a press release from Standard & Poor’s:

– We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.

– We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

– The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

– The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in News, Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks

 

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