The Path to Debt in America

by highhopes 60 replies
Baltimore, Maryland – We won’t belabor the point. Greece can’t solve a problem of too much debt by taking on even more. We will note, however, that by some measures, the United States is even more deeply in hock than Greece.

Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 143%. America’s is officially 97%. But the $14.3 trillion national debt, stacked up against a $14.7 trillion economy, doesn’t tell the whole story.

• $14.3 trillion: “Official” national debt
• $5 trillion: Amount Uncle Sam is on the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
• $62 trillion: Total liabilities and unfunded obligations for Social Security and Medicare

And that doesn’t count the black box of bailouts.

We know how much the Federal Reserve doled out in emergency loans: $16.1 trillion between Dec. 1, 2007, and July 21, 2010. We know that because yesterday the Government Accountability Office completed its first-ever audit of the Fed, made possible largely through the persistence of Rep. Ron Paul making that audit, however incomplete, the law.

What we don’t know is how much of that has been paid back. “We have literally injected about $5.3 trillion,” said Dr. Paul last week during his questioning of Fed chief Ben Bernanke, “and I don’t think we got very much for it. The national debt went up $5.1 trillion.”

Bernanke did not challenge those figures.

“To get our overall fiscal gap under control,” writes Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff in Bloomberg, “the U.S. must cut spending or raise tax revenue by $20 trillion over the next decade, far more than either the president wants or the House Republicans seek.”

Yep: The latest number we see bruited in Washington this morning is $3 trillion. Whatever the final number — and there will be a last-minute deal; there always is — it will be substantially less than $20 trillion over 10 years. The can will be kicked… as it keeps getting kicked in Greece.

We note here that the total of outstanding credit default swaps on U.S. Treasuries crested $4.8 billion this week. Uncle Sam has now surpassed Greece in this category.

Measured in year-over-year change, America’s No. 1: Net notional CDS outstanding grew 109%. That means there’s double the bets out there on a U.S. default compared with a year ago.

“You may not know this, but the U.S. has actually defaulted a number of times already,” writes Chris Mayer this morning. He cites five instances:

• 1779: The government was unable to redeem the continental currency issued during the Revolutionary War
• 1782: The Colonies defaulted on the debt they took out to pay for the war
• 1862: During the Civil War, the Union failed to redeem dollars for gold at terms stated by the debt contracts
• 1934: FDR defaults on the debt issued to finance World War I, refusing to redeem it in gold. The dollar is devalued 40% against gold
• 1979: A bureaucratic snafu results in interest going unpaid on some small bills.

“With the exception of 1979,” Chris says, “which was mostly due to administrative confusion — the U.S. simply ran out of money each time. The end result was the dollar had to be devalued. Meaning it lost significant purchasing power.

“My guess is that the U.S. will default again. It may not technically be called that, but the only way for the U.S. to meet its financial obligations is to print a lot of money.”

What does that mean in practical terms?

In Greece, professor Savas Robolis at Panteion University in Athens reckons that by 2015, the average Greek employee and pensioner’s standard of living will have fallen 40% compared with 2008.

Even now, Americans are turning to their credit cards to pay for groceries and gas. According to First Data Corp., the volume of gasoline purchases put on credit cards jumped 39% over the last 12 months.

You don’t want to be the average American in a default scenario, whenever it arrives. Ray Dalio, the head of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, puts that day in “late 2012 or early 2013.”



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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    The same economists that predicted the crash of 2008 are saying the fat lady is getting ready to sing and that we haven't heard a song so formidable yet in our history. Got popcorn?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Got popcorn?
      Big question may be "got cash"?
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Big question may be "got cash"?
        If what they said is right, Kay - cash won't do you much good -- but you can eat popcorn. So I think my question was the right one.:rolleyes:

        Oh -- you might need to know the person with the cow to churn the butter for it.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          It ain't pretty, and high time to get out of any US stocks and funds that depend on government debt such as contractors, defense, infrastructure, etc. Consider diversifying holdings into such opportunities as commodities, natural resources, alternative energy technologies, real estate, and overseas stocks for the new few years.
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  • Profile picture of the author om4457
    Debt, debt, debt... It's like an infrastructure now
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    get rid of economists and economics

    get rid of money worries
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    • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
      Nice article...but it indicates to me that the author really doesn't know whats going on or what really happened historically. Such is the case with society in general.

      Here are some questions for you...Who do we supposedly owe exactly? ...they never talk about that....China you say? ...are you sure?

      Why do we even need to borrow money? Really its totally absurd if you think about it. Are we not our own country with our own currency? ...we invented it...we print as much of it as we need.


      In fact in the federal reserves first ever in history audit, Ron Paul has discovered that they have created and loaned out an additional 16 trillion to outside countries, corporations, and individuals....all without the consent or knowledge of congress.

      Thats right...they just created it out of thin air...and now they get to collect interest on it...Ironically it was Congress who gave them this power in the first place.

      See...its not like when I loan you $100 out of my pocket...I earned that hundred by my labor or swapped it for something of value.

      ...what happens when you have the power to create an infinite amount of money over..say ...9 decades...the inevitable result is that you would eventually own everything there is to own.

      ...maybe we should take a look at the men who own and operate the federal reserve and central banks (IMF)

      and lastly, think about this...can you call up your credit card company and tell them ...."Ok I'm raising my debt limit up to $$15,000" NO!! You can't do that because it doesn't work that way!

      So why does Congress get to tell its "creditor" what the limit on the credit cards gonna be? Yeah...its completely nonsensical...and its an indication that things aren't working the way we think they are. Is there really a debt ceiling? ..is there really even a debt?

      Study the Federal Reserve act....look up what happened to the banking system in 1933 ( HJR 192 for starters)

      You might find it absurd that our leaders gave a private company the power to create money...then loan our own money to us....then collect a hefty interest on it....then hold us hostage if we don't pay back the principal or the interest.

      ....but that is exactly what happened.

      Doesn't this sound more like treason?

      The Fed is a completely pointless entity....get rid of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Doran - sure it is a complete comedy - but we, the slaves that resulted from the move aren't laughin'. Unfortunately - everyone who's tried to dismantle the FED was killed. Kennedy, Taft, to mention 2. About 30 years ago when I told people that the FED was wasn't part of Gov, it was World Bank, I was accused of having fashion taste for tinfoil.

    If you want to see some real scary stuff - go to the World Bank websites and see what that Corp is funding worldwide. It's absolutely frightening.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Here are some questions for you...Who do we supposedly owe exactly? ...they never talk about that....China you say? ...are you sure?
      That information is available. Much of the debt is held by US entities at the rate of 1-2% of the total debt. Social Security accounts for 19% of what is owed and the Fed Reserve owns 11.3% of the US debt.

      Foreign nations hold about 4.5 trillion of our debt. Japan (6.4%) and China (8%) hold the highest percentage.

      The simple truth is there is no excuse for borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. We haven't had that level of credit increase in the past and we should not have it now.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        If you look at the debt clock - it's interesting to see personal debt and mortgage debt have gone down in the past 3 years....foreclosures?
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        If anything the feds. have proved that Keynesian economics doesn't work.
        49 states have some sort of balanced budget amendment, time for the feds to follow suit.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          If anything the feds. have proved that Keynesian economics doesn't work.
          49 states have some sort of balanced budget amendment, time for the feds to follow suit.
          And Hoover proved austerity doesn't work.

          The reality is, we can't cut taxes and fight two major wars and we can't keep sending our money over-seas for oil.
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          • Profile picture of the author ThomM
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            And Hoover proved austerity doesn't work.

            The reality is, we can't cut taxes and fight two major wars and we can't keep sending our money over-seas for oil.
            True Kurt, but it's not about austerity.
            It's about responsible spending and not spending money you don't have.
            By the way we also have 4 minor wars we're in, they call them kinetic actions though:rolleyes:
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            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
              Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

              True Kurt, but it's not about austerity.
              It's about responsible spending and not spending money you don't have.
              By the way we also have 4 minor wars we're in, they call them kinetic actions though:rolleyes:
              Yep and the money we're spending we don't have is on Afghanistan and Iraq and a lack of tax revenue that created a surplus in 2000. And our trade imbalance is mostly due to oil and military aid. Both the math and history backs me up.

              And if we keep cutting things like eduction, how will we compete with China and India in 25 years when they are each producing something like 50,000 more engineers per year than we are?

              BTW our military has a presence in something like 662 bases in 38 countries. Why do we have to spend as much as the rest of the World COMBINED on military to be "safe"? Why are we building bridges in Afghanistan and Iraq and not in Ohio?

              Plus some of us feel the economy is a bigger problem at this point in time than debt. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
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              • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

                Yep and the money we're spending we don't have is on Afghanistan and Iraq and a lack of tax revenue that created a surplus in 2000. And our trade imbalance is mostly due to oil and military aid. Both the math and history backs me up.

                And if we keep cutting things like eduction, how will we compete with China and India in 25 years when they are each producing something like 50,000 more engineers per year than we are?

                BTW our military has a presence in something like 662 bases in 38 countries. Why do we have to spend as much as the rest of the World COMBINED on military to be "safe"? Why are we building bridges in Afghanistan and Iraq and not in Ohio?

                Plus some of us feel the economy is a bigger problem at this point in time than debt. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
                You really think we're only spending money we don't have on those two wars? Sure they are a big part of the problem, but only a part.
                Responsible spending would go a lot farther in fixing the economy then just throwing more money we don't have at it. How do you fix an economy by throwing it further in debt?
                I'm not talking about slashing programs like education I'm talking about slashing programs like the military, the war on drugs, giving subsidies to the oil companies.
                That's the problem here. People and the govt. immediately start talking about cutting the good programs that work (if we even have any of those) to scare people from taking a logical and balanced approach to a balanced budget amendment.
                Our education system already sucks, it has nothing to do with cutting it's budget and throwing more money into that system is not going to fix it.
                It's not about it needing more money it's about spending that money in a smart way. Look at the 'no child left behind act' if a school district doesn't graduate every student, their funding is cut. So what happened? Now you have school districts like those in Atlanta where the teachers and principals are fudging the students scores to make it look like they are passing.
                A balanced budget amendment would pretty much force them to spend our money wisely.
                You say you have to spend money to make money I've made plenty of money by working hard and then spending that money I made wisely in building a business, in other words I didn't just print more money or borrow money to do it. I earned the money and reinvested it in my business. It's called responsible spending and I had to balance my budget to do it.
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                • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                  By the way Kurt, I know you talked about the German economy before and how it is improving.
                  Maybe you should read this article about it.
                  What Germany Has Learned About Debt - NYTimes.com
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                • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                  Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                  You really think we're only spending money we don't have on those two wars? Sure they are a big part of the problem, but only a part.
                  Responsible spending would go a lot farther in fixing the economy then just throwing more money we don't have at it. How do you fix an economy by throwing it further in debt?
                  I'm not talking about slashing programs like education I'm talking about slashing programs like the military, the war on drugs, giving subsidies to the oil companies.
                  That's the problem here. People and the govt. immediately start talking about cutting the good programs that work (if we even have any of those) to scare people from taking a logical and balanced approach to a balanced budget amendment.
                  Our education system already sucks, it has nothing to do with cutting it's budget and throwing more money into that system is not going to fix it.
                  It's not about it needing more money it's about spending that money in a smart way. Look at the 'no child left behind act' if a school district doesn't graduate every student, their funding is cut. So what happened? Now you have school districts like those in Atlanta where the teachers and principals are fudging the students scores to make it look like they are passing.
                  A balanced budget amendment would pretty much force them to spend our money wisely.
                  You say you have to spend money to make money I've made plenty of money by working hard and then spending that money I made wisely in building a business, in other words I didn't just print more money or borrow money to do it. I earned the money and reinvested it in my business. It's called responsible spending and I had to balance my budget to do it.
                  Yep, I do believe the vast majority of our debt is due to cutting taxes and spending on the military, combined with a trade imbalance that is mostly oil and military spending in the form of free miiltary aid to the rest of the World.

                  Like I've said before, actually do the math. Take the tax cuts, add them to the money we BORROWED to pay for Iraq and Afghanastan, then compare that total to our National Debt over the same time period...The numbers are virtually even.

                  Also consider that Regan increased military spending to unprecedented levels, at the same time our national debt started to greatly increase. This is OK, because we were fighting the Cold War and outspent the USSR to end it.

                  However, after USSR fell we kept spending on the military at the same rate. There's a direct correlation to our military spending to our national debt.

                  Funny thing about your comments about our education "sucking"...Who do you think is educating a lot of those 50,000 Chinese and Indian engineers? Our US colleges don't make enough from US students to support themselves, so they actively recruit non-Us students so they can charge higher tuitions, just to make ends meet.

                  Your claim about "working hard" to make money has nothing to do with a gov. trying to do the same and isnt' relevant to my point, which is getting the economy going, then use the increased revenues to help pay the debt. Fact is, if the private sector isn't spending and if the gov doesn't, we are in a recession. Cutting gov spending during a recession will never work. You cut spending during good times, not bad.

                  We do agree on where we need to start slashing spending. However, I believe we need to raise taxes and spending and spend that money on infrastructure, specifically the kind that makes money, like renewble energy. This not only creates jobs here that can't be outsources, it also reduces our largest cause of our trade imbalance, which is oil.

                  As far as a balanced budget ammendment...What happens if we have spent our budget, then we get a couple of Katrinas, and at the same time, something like a major flu epidemic?

                  A spending cut never put a kid through college, found a cure for polio or put a man on the moon. But I guess those times are over for the US.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                    Like I said Kurt, those wars are a big part of the problem, but they still aren't the whole problem.
                    Yes some of our colleges and universities are top notch, but those aren't what the dept. of education focuses on. It's the primary schools in this country that suck. I have one of the top engineering institutes in the world right down the road from me, R.P.I. People come from all over the world to study there. Yet the high schools around here have yet to graduate anyone that can balance their checkbook or even know how to write a check. The primary school system in this country is pitiful and much of it has to do with the lame policies the dept. of ed. comes up with.
                    As for a balanced budget, it could be fazed in like it is in Germany. Naturally they would have to cut spending in many department such as the military and have to end some of the money pit programs that aren't working like the war on drugs
                    It would in effect force the govt. to either be responsible or fail.
                    It would also force the states to take control over themselves and not rely on govt. hand outs, something NY is already working on.
                    But then it would also force the people to take a more active roll in their govt. instead of just bitchin about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay Zee
    Up until the dollar is the world's reserve currency, nowt is gonna happen to the big old USA
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    My grandfather was a self-made millionaire. His advice to me was to never own a credit card. His warning was that if everyone started getting credit cards our nation would fall. That was from the mouth of a man who flourished during the great depression.

    What pisses me off to the point I think congress needs to be bodily removed from their seats and many arrested is how they are using us like atm machines. They cut services we need so they have more to play with. Many of them would be jailed for the things they do if they weren't safe from prosecution. (Read: royalty class).

    Check out where all this money they NEED so badly while depriving citizens of any value is going:

    50 Ways the Federal Government Wastes Our Money - Seeking Alpha
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    • Profile picture of the author highhopes
      Very true indeed!


      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      My grandfather was a self-made millionaire. His advice to me was to never own a credit card. His warning was that if everyone started getting credit cards our nation would fall. That was from the mouth of a man who flourished during the great depression.

      What pisses me off to the point I think congress needs to be bodily removed from their seats and many arrested is how they are using us like atm machines. They cut services we need so they have more to play with. Many of them would be jailed for the things they do if they weren't safe from prosecution. (Read: royalty class).

      Check out where all this money they NEED so badly while depriving citizens of any value is going:

      50 Ways the Federal Government Wastes Our Money - Seeking Alpha
      In 1950, Diners Club and American Express launched their charge cards in the USA, the first "plastic money". In 1951, Diners Club issued the first credit card to 200 customers who could use it at 27 restaurants in New York. But it was only until the establishment of standards for the magnetic strip in 1970 that the credit card became part of the information age.

      This was the start of the good times! purchase on credit regardless of what the future brings. Albeit there was more caution back then with credit checks being more vigorous, however the rot set in and very soon countries were all of a sudden on credit cards as well as Mr & Mrs Jones.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      My grandfather was a self-made millionaire. His advice to me was to never own a credit card. His warning was that if everyone started getting credit cards our nation would fall. That was from the mouth of a man who flourished during the great depression.

      What pisses me off to the point I think congress needs to be bodily removed from their seats and many arrested is how they are using us like atm machines. They cut services we need so they have more to play with. Many of them would be jailed for the things they do if they weren't safe from prosecution. (Read: royalty class).

      Check out where all this money they NEED so badly while depriving citizens of any value is going:

      50 Ways the Federal Government Wastes Our Money - Seeking Alpha
      I agree. And your grandfather was a wise man.

      The career politicians seem to have forgotten the Constitution and that it was once an honor to serve your country for very little pay. Today we have career politicians who focus on not working for their constituents but rather their re-election campaigns. The passing of Citizens United will make the corruption of today dwarf what it will be in the future.

      Contributing to the debt in America is the lack of manufacturing, keeping jobs here. Not much is made here in the US. Look at the labels the next time you're in a store.

      The collapse of the housing market led to a drastic decline in economic conditions. Consumers are expected to balance their budget, but the government, well, it can spend, spend, spend.

      As a consumer advocate, helping people fight foreclosure for the past 2+ years, I have watched families deplete their retirement accounts, savings accounts, borrow to the max on their credit cards just to try and "save their homes". Most for naught. They ended up losing their homes, their savings, have huge credit card debt, and some face deficiency judgments.

      At a time where banksters are reporting higher than ever profits when unemployment is the highest since I can remember, is a reminder of the biggest gap between the classes in this country since the Great Depression.

      With another $150 billion in commercial mortgage back securities (CMBS) coming due next year, where will that lead? To another bailout? Add more debt?
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    This is something that i learned in a finance book.

    If you take a debt, and use it to build an asset, that's the path to freedom..
    but if you take a debt, and use it to create a liability, you are screwed..
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  • Profile picture of the author Sunfyre7896
    @sal - I personally like the 1/2 of credit card purchases of govt. employees is fraudulent and wrong, the Chinese prostitutes learning to drink responsibly made me laugh (because irresponsible Chinese prostitutes should be a top issue because drunk ones don't service consumers properly), and spending exorbitant amounts of money to move desks around.

    So much wasted money that the government either doesn't know about or just doesn't care/want to come out.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
      this is a huge problem but i think it could have been avoided if not for the huge expenses that went overboard quick.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    You can only prepare for famine when times are good, and when times were good, the US wasn't doing that. They were borrowing like times were bad.

    Not that most other countries are doing much better. It was nice to read about the German approach.

    I have an 80 second audio clip that I think is a chuckle. It an excerpt from one of Prem Rawat's talks. He rarely mentions anything political except to say that he isn't going to be going into politics himself. These comments were about what is happening to taxpayer money in the latest wars. They were made at least 2 years ago.

    Money.mp3 1 min 20 sec, 32 kbps, 315 KB

    But when he does comment, he nails it down well, doesn't he?
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Lloyd Buchinski View Post


      But when he does comment, he nails it down well, doesn't he?
      Yeah - the problem is that everyone is able to nail it down - but the cannibals that are on top now can't be touched regardless of what they are doing to us. Embezzlement should get you jail time - I don't care who you are. The fact that reps and corporate heads are not going to jail when they are KNOWN to be embezzlers says that we don't have reps - we have rulers.

      It's time for Americans to just refuse to give any more until they straighten out the crime in office. There is no legal way to make people fund criminals. It's actually called aiding and abetting and at this point of time if we give the gov one cent, we are guilty of crime ourselves - not to mention a vast amount of self-destructive stupidity.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        Yeah - the problem is that everyone is able to nail it down - but the cannibals that are on top now can't be touched regardless of what they are doing to us. Embezzlement should get you jail time - I don't care who you are. The fact that reps and corporate heads are not going to jail when they are KNOWN to be embezzlers says that we don't have reps - we have rulers.

        It's time for Americans to just refuse to give any more until they straighten out the crime in office. There is no legal way to make people fund criminals. It's actually called aiding and abetting and at this point of time if we give the gov one cent, we are guilty of crime ourselves - not to mention a vast amount of self-destructive stupidity.
        A friend of mine pointed me to some places that said that INSIDER TRADING is basically considered LEGAL for "law makers"!

        They discuss STUPID ideas sometimes, and some can and HAVE destroyed like whole INDUSTRIES. Like the one I mentioned earlier that means air conditioners may have to be replaced, etc... They have the ULTIMATE inside info. I swear, it is looking more and more like the securities market is just a GAMBLE. Eventually, people may go anywhere but.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author HeySal
          Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

          A friend of mine pointed me to some places that said that INSIDER TRADING is basically considered LEGAL for "law makers"!

          They discuss STUPID ideas sometimes, and some can and HAVE destroyed like whole INDUSTRIES. Like the one I mentioned earlier that means air conditioners may have to be replaced, etc... They have the ULTIMATE inside info. I swear, it is looking more and more like the securities market is just a GAMBLE. Eventually, people may go anywhere but.

          Steve
          Steve - it's not that they have the inside info that scares and enrages me. I would expect a good leader to have to know what's going down on the inside tracks.

          What I scares me is that they have built laws that allow them to do what is illegal for the rest of us - and that they are career politicians. Put the two of those together and we have rulers, not reps. These rulers have shredded the constitution, incorporated the US, and put us under Contract law instead of Constitutional law. And they have done so via non-disclosure about their actions.

          If someone is educated in law, economics, and political philosophy and history -- nobody has to draw parallels for them to "get" what has been done to us. It's the reason that corporations rule and we get f***ed. If you want to know about law in this country and you are studying your constitution - you are wasting time. Study contract law instead.
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

            Steve - it's not that they have the inside info that scares and enrages me. I would expect a good leader to have to know what's going down on the inside tracks.

            What I scares me is that they have built laws that allow them to do what is illegal for the rest of us - and that they are career politicians. Put the two of those together and we have rulers, not reps. These rulers have shredded the constitution, incorporated the US, and put us under Contract law instead of Constitutional law. And they have done so via non-disclosure about their actions.

            If someone is educated in law, economics, and political philosophy and history -- nobody has to draw parallels for them to "get" what has been done to us. It's the reason that corporations rule and we get f***ed. If you want to know about law in this country and you are studying your constitution - you are wasting time. Study contract law instead.
            By inside trading, I mean that they know what laws come up an how they were written. OK, THAT is understandable. Under FEDERAL LAW it is a FELONY to let it affect your trades! THAT was why MARTHA STUART was thrown in jail.

            Corporate law here is pretty simple. Those in the board are acting as basically the custodians of a "unnatural person". As such, they can dictate how it should spend its assets and are isolated from any problems as long as their assets are isolated. Stock holders are almost as advisors to the board, and pay for a portion of the vote. As such, they are ALSO isolated. Sure, they have different rates, etc... but in general those that run the corporation are supposed to have the same rights, etc as those below them outside the company.

            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

              By inside trading, I mean that they know what laws come up an how they were written. OK, THAT is understandable. Under FEDERAL LAW it is a FELONY to let it affect your trades! THAT was why MARTHA STUART was thrown in jail.

              Corporate law here is pretty simple. Those in the board are acting as basically the custodians of a "unnatural person". As such, they can dictate how it should spend its assets and are isolated from any problems as long as their assets are isolated. Stock holders are almost as advisors to the board, and pay for a portion of the vote. As such, they are ALSO isolated. Sure, they have different rates, etc... but in general those that run the corporation are supposed to have the same rights, etc as those below them outside the company.

              Steve
              Yeah but under corporate law - they can't use non-disclosure or force to dupe you into contract with them - and they have to have that contract to be able to take you to court, etc. That's why they force you to sign a W-4 before you can work for anyone. It's illegal coercion and non-disclosure methods to make you responsible for paying otherwise illegal taxes. That wouldn't be so bad if they'd kept their mits off of social security and run it like any other investment plan. But it's not okay to trick and force someone into an agreement that forces them to pay you then spend the money on things that are not relative to the program in the first place.

              They get away with it by teaming with corporations - who can claim that the agreement is mandatory for employment with that company. We have been soooo bought and sold. Time to study up on "claiming your strawman" which is how the rich legally avoid financial rape.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    This does not bode well for our kids and their kids whichever way you look at it
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Well, the "state citizen" culture says that the contracts start with things such as applying for a drivers license. They often end up being like many websites today where by entering into them, or somehow using them you are obligated to accept contracts which THEMSELVES obligate you to still OTHER things. Maybe THAT is why the amish use technology only up to the 18th or 19th century. It is the ONLY way to avoid all those contracts! Technically, you can't be obligated by anything done prior to 18yo.

    My father has told me of a woman that refuses to pay tax, since she didn't have to do it earlier. But YEAH, businesses rely on the government which has tenticles everywhere. And so they rely on the government to not fine them, throw them in jail, or whatever, so they have us fill out all these forms. And have you noticed how EVERYTHING is tied to one number that didn't even exist until 1935!? AMAZING, that it is such a recent thing. I mean HECK, ancestry.com can't even keep my father, grandfather, or greatgrandfather straight! They ALL have the same name! Look at george foreman and his five boys! They ALL have the same name! YEAH, I know, some will say "well THEY have a different suffix"! Two problems. 1. There is no standard notation for it. 2. Sometimes, like in my fathers case, they change suffix. OFFICIALLY, my father is Jr.(AKA 2), and socially NO suffix. Historically, he is III, just like Bill Gates! Some day William Gates III may drop HIS suffix! Heck, most people just call him Bill Gates! The SAME short name that his father and grandfather had! TODAY, the US government uses the SSN to keep such things straight. IMAGINE all the forms, even only IRS forms, without such a scheme!

    And what of the IRS ITSELF? WOW, this is interesting. I got this quote off of the IRS!!!!!!!

    The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but [b]the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.[b]
    For those that dare doubt:

    Brief History of IRS

    Keep in mind that the .gov TLD is maintained by the US GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!

    I know what I'll be doing tonight!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Nanaswhimsy
      It's interesting that no one brings up industry, in particular Manufacturing. Many foreign countries are happy to export their products to the US, but have limits on products the US can export to them. At the same time they offer discounts for US companies to move their manufacturing (JOBS) to their countries only to have the products imported back into the US. We have become a country of consumers. We don't put limits on imports, requiring the importing countries to match their exports to our country with imports to their countries. A quick fix could start right at home, if the companies in the USA who have moved their manufactering to other countries were required to export from the USA an equal dollar amount to other countries before they were allowed to bring back into our country what they manufactured elsewhere, I wonder how fast they would move (JOBS) back to the US? If foreign companies had limits on how much they could export to the US, matching dollar for dollar exports to imports, how quickly would they develop manufacturing plants (Jobs) in the US?
      Food for thought
      Suzanne
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Nanaswhimsy View Post

        It's interesting that no one brings up industry, in particular Manufacturing. Many foreign countries are happy to export their products to the US, but have limits on products the US can export to them. At the same time they offer discounts for US companies to move their manufacturing (JOBS) to their countries only to have the products imported back into the US. We have become a country of consumers. We don't put limits on imports, requiring the importing countries to match their exports to our country with imports to their countries. A quick fix could start right at home, if the companies in the USA who have moved their manufactering to other countries were required to export from the USA an equal dollar amount to other countries before they were allowed to bring back into our country what they manufactured elsewhere, I wonder how fast they would move (JOBS) back to the US? If foreign companies had limits on how much they could export to the US, matching dollar for dollar exports to imports, how quickly would they develop manufacturing plants (Jobs) in the US?
        Food for thought
        Suzanne
        Yeah, that was one reason for duties in the first place. With all those duties, we wouldn't need a normal tax. The US at least WAS ****THE**** worlds largest consumer. and EVEN if we were half the size of europe, you could BET a company would be happy to pay a premium to do business with the US. ONE normal language, ONE normal culture, ONE currency, generally ONE set of laws. In other words, MORE consumers with less effort! If that were done, you could BET every company would come back! As it stands, GE is moving to CHINA! About 20 years ago it would have been ILLEGAL for GE to move all its operations to china!

        BTW I heard a sad joke a few days ago! What company would you have to buy a car from to get an american made car?
















        HONDA! Apparently THEY make all the parts here, etc... Other companies by from who knows where. Many VWs are built in MEXICO!

        Sal, Yeah, you are right. I forgot that that WAS one thing that changed. Even a rumor about THAT could cause a run on the banks, etc.... That could be yet ANOTHER reason for confiscating the gold. IMAGINE that someone hears about the currency, and pulls their money to buy gold, etc... If enough people do it, or one is rich enough, the scenario I outlined WOULD occur. TODAY, the currency is worth less, there are more people, there are various laws about investing, the FDIC is there, etc... so it would be harder to have it happen now. NOT impossible, certainly, but harder.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author highhopes
          all the comments on here are valid, they deal with various flaws in the monetary system, many of them too complex for the brightest brains to resolve...this i think underlines the problem....far too complicated to stop the tidal wave of economic burn out.

          The U.S. debt situation is far worse than anyone in Washington is willing to admit. We keep hearing calls for more, not less debt creation. But if people would stop kidding themselves and tally up all the many demands the U.S. government has against it, the actual debt-to-GDP ratio rises to something on the order of 400% – and even that is likely understating things. The fundamental flaws in the U.S. monetary system – flaws that have given license to the bureaucrats to smash the limousine of state straight into a wall – have required a remaking every 20 to 30 years or so. The problem is that there is pretty much nothing else that can be done to save the status quo at this point, and so the monetary system is likely to collapse. That means big changes ahead, including – or perhaps starting with – a poisonous ratcheting up of interest rates
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          • Profile picture of the author highhopes
            On the news this morning UPDATE/....to add to the woes Europe`s debt crisis will worsen....the bail out for Greece has not, or is not working. i think Germany are fed up with writing checks to help weaker countries.
            Keep your eyes on Spain, Italy, Ireland Greece....throw them in to the USA dilemma.

            UK is not healthy, nor most of the other European states.....What next?
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by highhopes View Post

            all the comments on here are valid, they deal with various flaws in the monetary system, many of them too complex for the brightest brains to resolve...this i think underlines the problem....far too complicated to stop the tidal wave of economic burn out.
            The flaws are relatively minor, as long as you don't pry them apart with a pry bar, and blast them with an atomic bomb. Unfortunately, that is EXACTLY what they are doing. 8-(

            Originally Posted by highhopes View Post

            The U.S. debt situation is far worse than anyone in Washington is willing to admit. We keep hearing calls for more, not less debt creation. But if people would stop kidding themselves and tally up all the many demands the U.S. government has against it, the actual debt-to-GDP ratio rises to something on the order of 400% – and even that is likely understating things. The fundamental flaws in the U.S. monetary system – flaws that have given license to the bureaucrats to smash the limousine of state straight into a wall – have required a remaking every 20 to 30 years or so. The problem is that there is pretty much nothing else that can be done to save the status quo at this point, and so the monetary system is likely to collapse. That means big changes ahead, including – or perhaps starting with – a poisonous ratcheting up of interest rates
            Yeah, they KNOW where it is going. They feel they are isolated. They have a license to lie, LITERALLY, and are isolated from the economy as much as anyone in the system can be. And working a single year effectively makes them as safe as a millionaire. And if they and a millionaire each have a million dollars, and there is 100% inflation, the millionaire will have effectively $500K, but they will still have about a million! I BET that if they were told NO pension, SSI ONLY, NO bribes, and given a REASONABLE wage, we would have fewer career politicians, and they would be more careful.

            Oh well, I have had a question in my mind about this for YEARS. Who's Minding the Mint? (1967) - IMDb

            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author myob
              Money is being hoarded at record levels by consumers, corporations and investors. Apple for example is liquid for $75billion. Once the PTB get their heads out of their a$$es, this will be unleashed. Just as what happened in 2008, those who invested in the stock market for prime companies at pennies on the dollar made fortunes.
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              • Profile picture of the author highhopes
                Even now, Americans are turning to their credit cards to pay for groceries and gas. According to First Data Corp., the volume of gasoline purchases put on credit cards jumped 39% over the last 12 months.

                You don’t want to be the average American in a default scenario, whenever it arrives. Ray Dalio, the head of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, puts that day in “late 2012 or early 2013.”
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by myob View Post

                Money is being hoarded at record levels by consumers, corporations and investors. Apple for example is liquid for $75billion. Once the PTB get their heads out of their a$, this will be unleashed. Just as what happened in 2008, those who invested in the stock market for prime companies at pennies on the dollar made fortunes.
                Apple, like other people and companies, is waiting things out because they don't know what is going to happen. People here belittle the stock market. The fact is that the US dollar is just a stupid bond. It really HAS said so all the time! It may be no less volitile than the stock market. The dollar even says "This NOTE is legal tender for all debts public and private. It is like a promissory note or whatever. It is EVEN signed!

                SICK!

                Steve
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                • Profile picture of the author highhopes
                  remember this succsesful investment advisor....he has a bleak vision of the USA`s economy.....

                  Faber writes the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report which is subject to charge. He has also authored several books.


                  Faber has been long term bearish about the American economy for a number of years and continues to be so. He concluded his June 2008 newsletter with the following mock quote:

                  "The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I've been doing my part."
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Steve - there was a reason they wanted to do away with metal backed currency and put us on a debt system. You don't change the global money system just for a lark. They were fully aware, are still aware people were not aware though. At least now most people know that the FED is World Bank. The rest is leaking through slowly - one law, one foreclosure at a time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    For what it is worth, it isn't only the US government that is spending itself into oblivion, Australia is heading down the same road.

    @Kurt

    We live in an age of corporatism, where the big boys get all the benefits and favors at the expense of us small business owners. This is not capitalism.

    Sadly I think I can make a strong case that China is more Capitalistic than the United States.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      Sadly I think I can make a strong case that China is more Capitalistic than the United States.
      You got that exactly right. The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is perhaps now the largest investor in the entire world. They are buying up large enterprises, land, office buildings, etc. They even have a 10% stake in Morgan Stanley. As prices continue to drop, they will make more inroads into all facets of our economy. China itself has over $2 trillion in cash reserves, and their problem is trying to figure out where to best spend it all.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      For what it is worth, it isn't only the US government that is spending itself into oblivion, Australia is heading down the same road.

      @Kurt

      We live in an age of corporatism, where the big boys get all the benefits and favors at the expense of us small business owners. This is not capitalism.

      Sadly I think I can make a strong case that China is more Capitalistic than the United States.

      Chris
      Yeah, a chinese coworker of mine said much the same. SAD, isn't it!?

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      For what it is worth, it isn't only the US government that is spending itself into oblivion, Australia is heading down the same road.

      @Kurt

      We live in an age of corporatism, where the big boys get all the benefits and favors at the expense of us small business owners. This is not capitalism.

      Sadly I think I can make a strong case that China is more Capitalistic than the United States.

      Chris
      It's called Crony Capitalism. The elitist class is the only real beneficiary. If you want to know how crony capitalism works - go read up on the economics of Mussolini. That is the economics system his regime ran on. Don't cut me all up over Godwin principle on this - it's the only real example of the full run of a system from beginning to end of crony capitalism I'm familiar with.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        "The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I've been doing my part."
        A friend sent me that the other day and it is such a load of bullcrap.
        First true many products from wally world are made in China, but the employees collecting the paychecks are here in America.
        Second, we get a small portion of our oil from the Arabs, not all of it.
        Same with the fruits and veggies. A portion comes from south america, but there are plenty of farmers markets and whole food stores that have American grown fruits and veggies.
        Honda and Toyota have factories here in the US as do the US car companies. Again they are hiring US citizens as employees and it could be argued that Honda and Toyota are doing more to help our economy then Chrysler and GMC.
        The useless crap, is just that, useless and doesn't merit a comment.
        Even now one of the largest growth industries in the US are call centers. Companies are bring those jobs back here in record numbers from places like India.

        What we need to do in this country is make it easier on the small businesses and sole-proprietor businesses. The current regulations and taxes make starting a small business a nightmare, while the big corps get all the breaks.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          A friend sent me that the other day and it is such a load of bullcrap.
          First true many products from wally world are made in China, but the employees collecting the paychecks are here in America.
          TRUE, but more goes to china than the employees. There ARE generally US people in shipping, packaging, translating, contracts, and advertising, so who knows there.

          Second, we get a small portion of our oil from the Arabs, not all of it.
          about half goes to US taxes, then there are refining fees, etc... Probably less than 25% of the price is OIL.

          Same with the fruits and veggies. A portion comes from south america, but there are plenty of farmers markets and whole food stores that have American grown fruits and veggies.
          Some things seem to come almost TOTALLY from the east and middle east!

          Honda and Toyota have factories here in the US as do the US car companies. Again they are hiring US citizens as employees and it could be argued that Honda and Toyota are doing more to help our economy then Chrysler and GMC.
          The useless crap, is just that, useless and doesn't merit a comment.
          Very true, unfortunately

          Even now one of the largest growth industries in the US are call centers. Companies are bring those jobs back here in record numbers from places like India.
          Yeah, the US sent little low skilled cheap jobs over there, THEY then leveraged it to get skilled jobs at a HIGHER income from us. and now we are saying "We'll trade you these skilled jobs for those unskilled ones"! NOT an equitable trade! It is a net LOSS for US!

          What we need to do in this country is make it easier on the small businesses and sole-proprietor businesses. The current regulations and taxes make starting a small business a nightmare, while the big corps get all the breaks.
          YOU'VE SAID IT!

          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
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    Do not get between a wombat and a chocolate biscuit; you will regret it dearly!

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Regarding what Lori said, do you realize that the TV was INVENTED in america! Maybe it is different now because of LCD/LED, but I doubt it. Last I heard there were NO US manufacturers left. NONE! That is SAD! The US used to at least have a HAND in SO much! NOW even technologies DEVELOPED here are only made elsewhere. even a lot of things made/developed ELSEWHERE were based on US developments.

    And Thom is right. The NEA does NOTHING! I mean the states are NOT allowed to test teachers. SO MOST, perhaps all, decided to test the STUDENTS! TEACHERS are teaching the students how to CHEAT on the tests. Oh well, NO surprise! Many TEACHERS have been caught cheating and/or lying to get raises! And GUESS WHAT FOLKS! If teachers were better, and paid to TEACH, then US schools would be better k-12 associates bachelors, etc... They would be ore trusted! Costs would drop, benefits and productivity would go UP! EVEN private universities, like HARVARD, would have to LOWER their tuition to compete!

    Kurt would be the first to show something like:


    There are a few better examples I know of, but.... Oh well, ICSM!

    But the LAST to acknowledge why. and HEY, even if she were very eloquent, the question posed to her is ENOUGH!

    We DON'T need to fund an organization that now works AGAINST its goals.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    In a nutshell...

    What it comes down to is the people making the decisions have no clue what they're doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      In a nutshell...

      What it comes down to is the people making the decisions have no clue what they're doing.
      Yep that pretty much sums it all up nicely
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      In a nutshell...

      What it comes down to is the people making the decisions have no clue what they're doing.
      I don't think they are as stupid as they seem to be. I think they just don't give a rip as long as what they do puts ridiculous amounts of money in their own pockets.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    So...Why do we even need to borrow money? Someone run me through the process.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Steve - My sister is a teacher. The problem is that the gov is not ALLOWING them to teach to their full capacity. You'd be amazed at what is a fireable offense - including disciplining a student. Their hands are tied. The truth is not allowed. They are there to teach kids what TPTB want them to think instead of how to think.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Steve - My sister is a teacher. The problem is that the gov is not ALLOWING them to teach to their full capacity. You'd be amazed at what is a fireable offense - including disciplining a student. Their hands are tied. The truth is not allowed. They are there to teach kids what TPTB want them to think instead of how to think.
      Your sister might be one of the RARE breed but what I have seen, heard about, talked to teachers, parents, and students about, she would be RARE! And YEAH, I know about discipline problems. Most of the time they have NOT appeared to be a problem. AND YEAH, they ARE limited in what they can teach and how, but READING? Items covered on the tests? I have talked to 3rd grade teachers that do NOT want to try teaching 3rd graders to read, and just want to pass them!

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    3rd grade? Why are third grade teachers teaching kids to read? When I was in school we learned how to read in 1st grade. Kids should know how to read just fine by the time the 3rd grade teacher even sees them in a classroom.
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