Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Financial Industry Has Not Learned From 2008

I purchased my current home in 2008, several months prior to the housing bubble bursting.  At the time, I had steady employment, had no credit issues and had no expectation that I would run into any situation where I would have issues with my purchase.  However, I found it weird that throughout the purchase process I was never asked to provide any definitive proof of my income.  I was asked what my income was and I replied truthfully to the question.  But at no time was I asked to provide copies of my W-2, copies of my bank statements, pay stubs, etc.  In a previous home purchase in 1998 I was asked for all of those, so as I said I found it quite weird.  In any event, my closing came and went and I’ve been happily living in my home with my family ever since.

The house bubble burst in late 2008, in large part leading to a commanding win by Barrack Obama.  There was much demagoguing, grand standing, finger pointing, back peddling, evasion, and a host of regulations and laws to address the many issues that lead to it.  However, one thing does not seem to have changed.  Something that was key to the bubble in the first place.  I recently refinanced my home and I did so without having to provide proof of my income.  Again.

Yes, I have very good credit.  No, I’ve never missed a mortgage payment.  My home is not encumbered by liens or secondary mortgages.  I have a good income to debt ratio, and I’m steadily employed.  But despite all that I find it outrageous that banks – MAJOR BANKS – are still not requiring borrowers to prove their income through W-2’s, pay stubs, and bank statements.  I mentioned several times during the Refi process that I have proof of my income and was ready to submit it and was told it wasn’t necessary.

That is, in part, what lead to the bubble in the first place.  Borrowers borrowing for homes they couldn’t truly afford, using gimmicks and ARMs to do so and without having to actually prove they could afford their perspective home.  When push came to shove and interest rates began to increase those risky borrowers were very quickly pushed out of their homes when they couldn’t afford their adjustable mortgages.  And we, the responsible tax payers were left with the bill.

How long again will it be before we’re right back where we found ourselves four years ago in order to acquiesce to Democrat demands that everyone afford a home?

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All your moneyz are belong to us

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ll just leave this here.  Wouldn’t want anyone to mistake Obama’s true feelings on the subject going into this next election….

We are all slaves now

Today’s SCOTUS ruling upholding Obamacare’s Constitutionality is not only an affront to the very principles this nation was founded upon, but also the end of any illusion of freedom we had left.  As of today non individual in this country has any real control over the limit government now has on them.  As of today, we are a nation of slaves beholden to government.  As of today government is no longer “of the people, by the people, for the people”.  Today, government is master and can now legitimately rule our lives like it has never been able to do before.

I won’t bother commenting on the ruling itself, other than to say I am ashamed of Justices Kennedy and Roberts.  They swore to uphold the Constitution and did exactly the opposite today.  Our forefathers — Madison the least of which — which weap in shame at what was committed today.  What I did want to comment on, and particularly for the scurrilous Americans that voted for Obama, are the very likely unintended consequences of today’s ruling.  That slippery slope is a bitch, and I hope every single individual that voted for Obama tumbles right over it.

Today the Supreme Court ruled that Government can control what you eat, and can punish you if you do not adhere to the inevitable dietary regulations that are coming.  Don’t believe that’s possible?  Go talk to New York City and Boston.  Today the Supreme Court rules that government can control how much energy you consume, and can punish you if you you do not adhere to the inevitable restrictions that are coming.  Don’t believe that’s possible?  Go talk to the U.N., and the passel of lawmakers in states and the federal level that are working hand in hand to enact carbon taxes.  Today the Supreme Court ruled that Government has ultimate say in your healthcare and can punish you if you don’t adhere to the regulations.  Many of which are already in place.  Don’t believe that?  Go talk to the 43 Catholic Denominations that are currently suing the Government for trampling religious freedom.  Wait and see that its inevitable that rationing will occur.  As has been the case of every single nation that has implemented a national healthcare system.

Today the Supreme Court ruled that we are no longer a single people.  As of today we are “us” and “them”.  As of today we are a nation of mob rule; a nation in which those who pay no income taxes — some 50% of all working adults — make the rules under which the other 50% of adults who do pay income taxes have to live.  Its the ultimate socialist society in which the productive half of the country has to support themselves, along with those who are not productive.  And have zero say about it.

I see little reason why those individuals who do not believe in our founding principles should enjoy the very system those principles created.  Tell me why we Conservatives should not, from this moment forth, use the very tactics of the left to defeat them.  If we are not a nation of principles and laws, why should we not also actively attack Democrats?  Why should we not intrude upon the homes and work places of Democrats?  Why should we not destroy the property of Democrats?  Why should we not perpetrate voting fraud to ensure our candidates win?  Why should we not practice intimidation?

Oh you fools, you know not what you did today.

Government Managed Healthcare Tantamount to Murder?

The stories regarding horrendous conditions within the British managed healthcare system are legion, and now comes the claim that the system is actually a pathway to death for the elderly.  The issue of course, is that in a health system funded solely through taxation services always have to be rationed.  So don’t take the article to mean that the British healthcare system is intentionally murdering people.  yet at the end of the day thats precisely what its doing.  When scarce resources have to be allocated, they’re more likely to be allocated to the young and that simply isn’t something we should contenence here in the United States.

While there are a litany of issues — severe and other wise — with the patch work of healthcare and insurance systems here in the U.S., I don’t want to see us march down the road of Britain like a bunch of lemmings either.  We can do much better, and without consigning our elderly to the deathchamber of centrally managed healthcare.  Foremost is controlling skyrocketing healthcare costs, which Obamacare doesn’t even begin to provide.  The issue of ever increasing cost is a complex one with no single solution, yet the first step should be to enact Tort reform enabling Doctors and Hospitals to control their insurance costs.  Those costs are passed along to each of us in turn, and doctors are forced to defensively order batteries of needless medical tests for no other reason than as insulation from possible future legal proceedings.  The costs of which are also passed along to us all.

Secondly, Congress should enact cross state insurance pools, and allow insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines as well.  Larger pools mean lower premiums, and that is never a bad thing.  Third, the States and Congress should enforce existing laws, or enact them as needed to better regulate the industry and vet premium increases.  There should be clear, convincing documentary evidence required for premium increases.  And that simply isn’t my impression now.  In most cases I’m a proponent of less regulation, but I believe the record is clear that in the healthcare insurance industry, the industry has failed to regulate itself.  And that lack of self regulation has caused great harm.

Beyond controlling cost, the States and Congress also need to address egrgious industry practices that directly harm consumers.  States and consumers need real teeth to combat those practices that can, and have lead to death or debilitation through lack of medical treatment.  Examples of which are the well documented policies of insurance agencies to intentionally deny claims for non-medical reasons, and the intentional cancellation of consumer policies when healthcare claims are made.  My sister-in-law is an example of this second practice.  She lost her healthcare three years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness.  After nearly 20 years of maintaining healthcare insurance, and being in good health, the company refused to renew her insurance at the end of the term after submitting her claim.  She was unable to find comparable coverage afterward that would cover her (pre-existing condition), and couldn’t afford the one policy that would.  Practices such as these should come with very real consequences to the companies that practice them, and what’s more, can be done Constitutionally.

That Democrats have refused to discuss, let alone enact, many of the similar proposals Republicans have put forth over the last 20 years shows that the Obamacare is more about politics than it is about ensuring the health of American citizens.  Obamacare will eventually lead to single payer system, with its inevitible rationing and treadmill to the “death panels” which Britain itself is experiencing.

The things people say when they think no one is listening

Not that a Michael Bloomberg endorcement would be anything to desire as a Republican, but in a candid moment when Michael Bloomberg lets slip that Mitt Romney would be a better President than Barack Obama?  You know that must have had a few tongues wagging in the west wing!  Of course Bloomberg is only saying what a lot of Democrats of thinking, even if they can’t say it publicly.  So now can we Republicans start saying to Democrats that if they don’t vote for Mitt Romney that they are Religious Bigots?

The economy is fine?

Mr. President, let me be the latest to remind you of a few inconvenient truths.  The economy is not fine; not close to fine; and will never be fine as long as you remain in office because you lack the belief in capitalism and lack in the understanding of how capitalism works.  That economy that you claimed today was fine?  It’s limping along at less than 2% growth, in a recovery period that began in June 2009.  As average economic growth prior to 2008 was above 3%, that means we will never actually recover and gain back what we’ve lost these three years.  In the last 37 recoveries, after recessions, the average rate of economic growth has been greater than 4%, marking this recovery — officially — as the slowest recovery with the least economic activity out of the 37.  That isn’t fine Mr. President.

Growth won’t increase because the engine for growth starts and ends with jobs.  We are currently experiencing the lowest labor participation rate since 1982 — 30 years.  The fewest people in 30 years are actually working right now, today.  You might think otherwise because the unemployment rate had been declining in the last few months, but I assure you it is.  The official unemployment rate — the U-3 rate — doesn’t track those individuals who had previously been employed full time and now are not.  If those individuals are currently working part time, they’re still counted as employed.  Well, they are, fair enough.  But the official unemployment rate also doesn’t track those individuals who had been previously unemployed and who have given up entirely and are no longer working.  Those individuals are only tracked in another rate, called the U-6 rate, which the media never talks about.  That rate stands at 10.3% today, but I don’t need to actually tell you that.  If you’re looking for a job today my guess is you already know it innately.

If you’re looking for work today, you know the economy certainly is not fine.  President Obama?  He’s completely disconnected from reality.

Unemployment Rates and Correlations

I’ve been sifting through raw government data again this evening. I know, bad Torpeo!  I wanted to capture three facts that will not fit the Obama 2012 narrative very well.  The Average Unemployment Rate between 1970 and May 2012 has been 6.4%.  The average unemployment rate under the George W. Bush administration was 5.3%, and includes the Fall months in 2008 when the unemployment rate began to rise.  Incidentally the average unemployment rate in 2008 was 5.8.  The average unemployment rate under the Obama administration has been 9.2%.

2009 average: 9.3%
2010 average: 9.6%
2011 average: 9.0%
2012 average: 8.2%

All of the rates were calculated from the official U-3 figures, which are misleading as I recounted yesterday.  But that being said, they’re the official rates and so I’ve used them.  All of this is terribly bad news for President Obama.  I don’t recall President Reagan ever complaining how he inherited a bad economy from President Carter, but I do remember him taking us through a terrible recession that had an extended period of even higher unemployment than President Obama and the United States have experienced here.  Under President Reagan the country experienced 10 strait months of unemployment over 10%.  Even then he didn’t complain about President Carter, which points to two certain correlations.  First, President Obama is a whiner.  Second, President Obama is no President Reagan.

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