Category Archives: Financial

Taking on the overpopulation myth – Unlearning “facts” that everyone already knows

News media manipulation and lies

Population Control : REAL COSTS, ILLUSORY BENEFITS

By Steven W. Mosher

“‘Our health care sector is collapsed,’ Kenya obstetrician Stephen Karanja says simply, opening his hands in a gesture of hopelessness. ‘Thousands of Kenyan people will die of malaria, the treatment for which costs a few cents, in health facilities whose shelves are stocked to the ceiling with millions of dollars worth of [contraceptive] pills, IUDs, Norplant, Depo-Provera, and so on, most of which are supplied with American money.’”

This one quote from Steven W. Mosher’s “Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits,” from the former secretary of the Kenyan Medical Association, summarizes the state of Western-funded population control programs in the Third World. Just as Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger (who said she wanted “to create a race of thoroughbreds”), still has 70 percent of its clinics located in minority neighborhoods, foreign aid for health programs still target the black, brown, and yellow populations of the world for reduction. Now called reproductive health or maternal health programs, these efforts – which continue to receive billions of dollars a year from the United States and Europe even as birthrates decline to below replacement level in most regions of the world – began as population control and still have that effect.

Unlike almost all other American scholars of the subject, Steven Mosher, president of Population Research Institute and a China expert, does not consider population control to be a worthy goal. Nor does he think population control programs were a necessary expedient whose time has now passed, or believe the concept was fine in principle while deploring the forced sterilization and abortion campaigns conducted in the Third World as part of the postwar global population control effort. Using plenty of anecdotes from the lives of people in poor countries and a popular, nonacademic style, Mr. Mosher documents how population control has crowded out many of the resources needed for disease prevention and treatment and has often led to massive human rights abuses by governments eager to meet their population reduction goals. (Full disclosure: I used to work at PRI.)

In “Population Control,” Mr. Mosher incisively explores the history and effects of the population control movement from a pro-people perspective, based on the belief that because each person has unique value, more people means more for all of us — more economic production, more potential for artistic and scientific achievement, more innovation. Another recent book on population control, “Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population” by Matthew Connelly, a professor of history at Columbia University, criticizes the human rights abuses committed by population controllers but also criticizes efforts by the Catholic Church and others to increase fertility in a world threatened by anti-natal forces.

Not only have the facts proved Mr. Mosher’s Christian-derived beliefs true — the tremendous increase in global population since World War II has been accompanied by tremendous increases in prosperity and scientific achievement instead of the mass starvation and other disastrous consequences predicted by population controllers — but he sounds the alarm about the coming underpopulation crisis.Population control, including its First World variant of anti-family materialism, has become far too successful.

The world’s population growth rate maxed out in 1965 and has been in sharp decline.”The unprecedented fall in fertility rates that began in postwar Europe has, in the decades since, spread to every corner of the globe, affecting China, India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America,” says Mr. Mosher. “The latest forecasts by the United Nations show the number of people in the world shrinking by midcentury, that is, before today’s young adults reach retirement age.” The birthrate of Europe taken as a whole, from Ireland to Russia, is only 1.5 children per woman in her lifetime, far below the minimal replacement rate of 2.1. Latin America’s is down to 2.4 and dropping fast. China’s is 1.7. South Korea’s is a mere 1.1. The United States is the only developed country at or above replacement rate; we’re right at 2.1.

It used to be that folks relied on their children to help them on the farm or in their businesses, and especially in their old age. Economic incentives encouraged childbearing. But now socialism has taken over that role of families. “As [demographer] Phillip Longman has remarked, the modern nanny state has created a strange new world in which the most ‘successful’ individuals in material terms are the most ‘unfit’ in biological terms,” Mr. Mosher writes.”In all previous ages of human history wealth and children went hand-in-hand.”

This brave new world in which children are both culturally and economically undesired could lead to the dissolution of whole societies, particularly Western ones, as they age and their social security systems go bankrupt through a dearth of taxpaying young people, Mr. Mosher suggests. The abandonment of biblical values, led by the Church of England in 1930 when it became the first major Christian denomination to endorse contraception, is in this area, as in so many others, leading the world down a self-destructive path.

At least Western societies are rich. Other nations facing rapid population aging, from China to Mexico, are still poor on a per-capita basis. This population bomb could become the greatest cost of population control.

Mr. Mosher provides the material to counteract the overpopulation myth still dominant in the mainstream media, and peppers his straightforward text with illustrative stories from real people’s lives. Ever since he became the first Western social scientist to document the forced abortions going on as part of China’s Western-supported population control program 30 years ago, Mr. Mosher has been waging a campaign against the population controllers of the Earth.

Cracks in the facade of the overpopulation myth have been growing in the past few years as liberal experts and a few mainstream journalists have recognized the dangers of plunging birthrates and the harm done to millions of forcibly sterilized Third World women. Though these latecomers may never admit it, Mr. Mosher’s has been one of the voices crying against the anti-people movement for a long time, and his latest book should be read by all those who want to know why thriving human populations are reasons to rejoice rather than fear.

Joseph A. D’Agostino is a freelance journalist writing a book tentatively titled “Triumph of Patriarchy.” He is former vice president for communications at Population Research Institute and former associate editor of Human Events.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/27/taking-on-the-overpopulation-myth/#ixzz2Vsh7LBGA
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Obama Cut the Deficit in Half by Double | United States Deficit in Half by Spending More and Taxing WAY More

obama

Obama Claims He’s Cutting the Deficit, Hits New 4 Trillion Spending Record in One Year

April 11, 2013 By 

“This is big,” wrote White House director of new media Macon Phillips in a February 23, 2009 blog post, ”the President today promised that by the end of his first term, he will cut in half the massive federal deficit we’ve inherited. And we’ll do it in a new way: honestly and candidly.”

To everyone’s utter and total surprise every word in that sentence was a complete lie. Especially the honest and candid part.

But there was a miscommunication. Obama meant to say that he would double the national debt, instead of cutting it in half. And while he didn’t quite pull that off, he came close, adding 6 trillion to the national debt. And with a second term, he’s sure to double the debt.

In keeping with Obama’s candid and honest plan to lie to everyone all the time, he delivered a radio address a few days ago in which he once again announced that he’s cutting the deficit.

 

No seriously. Stop laughing.

“For years, an argument in Washington has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments we need to grow the economy.  My budget puts that argument to rest.  Because we don’t have to choose between these goals – we can do both.  After all, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing reduces deficits faster than a growing economy.”

Sally, come in here for a minute. This is fantastic. I just found out that we don’t have to choose between spending money and not spending money. We can do both. Because nothing reduces our spending faster than spending more money.

A crazy man on the radio told me so.

“Now, the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking.  That’s a fact.  I’ve already signed more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more, without harming the recovery.”

So how is Obama’s Magic Bus of Deficit Reduction doing?

Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal this morning, the White House Office of Management and Budget revealed that in fiscal 2016, under the president’s budget proposal, it expects Obama to become the first president in the nation’s history to preside over a federal government that spends more than $4 trillion in one year.

Isn’t this amazing.

Obama hits a new record of spending 4 trillion in one year while making 4.5 trillion in spending cuts. Math has finally been defeated. Numbers are all imaginary now. And money comes from a magic tree in the backyard that Obama bought when he traded the treasury for some magical social justice beans.

According to OMB’s tables, the federal government would spend$3.7778 trillion in fiscal 2014 under Obama’s budget proposal. It would then spend $3.9801 trillion in fiscal 2015; $4.0898 trillion in fiscal 2016; and $4.2474 trillion in fiscal 2017.

See. We don’t have to choose between reducing the deficit and spending more money. We can just spend more money and ban math.

But this didn’t begin under Obama. Bush was just as bad.

The federal budget deficit hit a new record in the just-completed 2008 budget year under the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

The record $438 billion shortfall for the budget year that ended last week is up from $162 billion posted last year. The previous record of $413 billion was posted in 2004.

We went from a whopping horrifying 438 billion dollar deficit in 2008  to…

…in fiscal 2013, OMB projects a $972.9 billion deficit

Obama has done it. He doubled the deficit.

 

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obama-claims-hes-cutting-the-deficit-hits-new-4-trillion-spending-record-in-one-year/

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Bank Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills | What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

House Committe Advances bill weakiening financial regulations written word for word by citgroup lobbyists

Citibank lobbyists write the rules for Citibank to follow. What could possibly go wrong in that scenario?

Do you think that maybe huge banks might have an incentive to write regulations that benefit the banks to the detriment of everyone else?

I dunno… let’s think back to 2008 for a second… to the economic collapse that was created by bad mortgages that were doomed to fail. This memory brought to you by the vultures at mega-banks who love legislation that allows them to write their own law.

Bank Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills

MAY 23, 2013, 9:44 PM

By ERIC LIPTON and BEN PROTESS

WASHINGTON — Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.

One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentiallyCitigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)

The lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most comprehensive overhaul of regulation since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a friendlier place.

The cordial relations now include a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, whose support the banks need if they want to roll back parts of the 2010 financial overhaul, known as Dodd-Frank.

This legislative push is a second front, with Wall Street’s other battle being waged against regulators who are drafting detailed rules allowing them to enforce the law.

And as its lobbying campaign steps up, the financial industry has doubled its already considerable giving to political causes. The lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them, according to an analysis of campaign finance records performed by MapLight, a nonprofit group.

In recent weeks, Wall Street groups also held fund-raisers for lawmakers who co-sponsored the bills. At one dinner Wednesday night, corporate executives and lobbyists paid up to $2,500 to dine in a private room of a Greek restaurant just blocks from the Capitol with Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, a co-sponsor of the bill championed by Citigroup.

Industry officials acknowledged that they played a role in drafting the legislation, but argued that the practice was common in Washington. Some of the changes, they say, have gained wide support, including from Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman. The changes, they added, were in an effort to reach a compromise over the bills, not to undermine Dodd-Frank.

“We will provide input if we see a bill and it is something we have interest in,” said Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., a former lawmaker turned Wall Street lobbyist, who now serves as president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma.

The close ties hardly surprise Wall Street critics, who have long warned that the banks — whose small armies of lobbyists include dozens of former Capitol Hill aides — possess outsize influence in Washington.

“The huge machinery of Wall Street information and analysis skews the thinking of Congress,” said Jeff Connaughton, who has been both a lobbyist and Congressional staff member.

Lawmakers who supported the industry-backed bills said they did so because the effort was in the public interest. Yet some agreed that the relationship with corporate groups was at times uncomfortable.

“I won’t dispute for one second the problems of a system that demands immense amount of fund-raisers by its legislators,” said Representative Jim Himes, a third-term Democrat of Connecticut, who supported the recent industry-backed bills and leads the party’s fund-raising effort in the House. A member of the Financial Services Committee and a former banker at Goldman Sachs, he is one of the top recipients of Wall Street donations. “It’s appalling, it’s disgusting, it’s wasteful and it opens the possibility of conflicts of interest and corruption. It’s unfortunately the world we live in.”

The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, which took aim at culprits of the financial crisis like lax mortgage lending and the $700 trillion derivatives market, ushered in a new phase of Wall Street lobbying. Over the last three years, bank lobbyists have blitzed the regulatory agencies writing rules under Dodd-Frank, chipping away at some regulations.

But the industry lobbyists also realized that Congress can play a critical role in the campaign to mute Dodd-Frank.

The House Financial Services Committee has been a natural target. Not only is it controlled by Republicans, who had opposed Dodd-Frank, but freshmen lawmakers are often appointed to the unusually large committee because it is seen as a helpful base from which they can raise campaign funds.

For Wall Street, the committee is a place to push back against Dodd-Frank. When banks and other corporations, for example, feared that regulators would demand new scrutiny of derivatives trades, they appealed to the committee. At the time, regulators were completing Dodd-Frank’s overhaul of derivatives, contracts that allow companies to either speculate in the markets or protect against risk. Derivatives had pushed the insurance giantAmerican International Group to the brink of collapse in 2008. The question was whether regulators would exempt certain in-house derivatives trades between affiliates of big banks.

House Committe Advances bill weakiening financial regulations written word for word by citgroup lobbyists

As the House committee was drafting a bill that would force regulators to exempt many such trades, corporate lawyers like Michael Bopp weighed in with their suggested changes, according to e-mails reviewed by The Times. At one point, when a House aide sent a potential compromise to Mr. Bopp, he replied with additional tweaks.

In an interview, Mr. Bopp explained that he drafted the proposal at the request of Congressional aides, who expressed broad support for the change. The proposal, he explained, was a “compromise” that was actually designed to “limit the scope” of the exemption.

“Everyone on the Hill wanted this bill, but they wanted to make sure it wasn’t subject to abuse,” said Mr. Bopp, a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn who was representing a coalition of nonfinancial corporations that use derivatives to hedge their risk.

Ultimately, the committee inserted every word of Mr. Bopp’s suggestion into a 2012 version of the bill that passed the House, save for a slight change in phrasing. A later iteration of the bill, passed by the House committee earlier this month, also included some of the same wording.

And when federal regulators in April released a rule governing such trades, it was significantly less demanding than the industry had feared, a decision that the industry partly attributed to pressure stemming from Capitol Hill.

Citigroup and other major banks used a similar approach on another derivatives bill. Under Dodd-Frank, banks must push some derivatives trading into separate units that are not backed by the government’s insurance fund. The goal was to isolate this risky trading.

The provision exempted many derivatives from the requirement, but some Republicans proposed striking the so-called push out provision altogether. After objections were raised about the Republican plan, Citigroup lobbyists sent around the bank’s own compromise proposal that simply exempted a wider array of derivatives. That recommendation, put forth in late 2011, was largely part of the bill approved by the House committee on May 7 and is now pending before both the Senate and the House.

Citigroup executives said the change they advocated was good for the financial system, not just the bank.

“This view is shared not just by the industry but from leaders such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke,” said Molly Millerwise Meiners, a Citigroup spokeswoman.

Industry executives said that the changes — which were drafted in consultation with other major industry banks — will make the financial system more secure, as the derivatives trading that takes place inside the bank is subject to much greater scrutiny.

Representative Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, was among the few Democrats opposing the change, echoing the concerns of consumer groups.

“The bill restores the public subsidy to exotic Wall Street activities,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a nonprofit group.

But most of the Democrats on the committee, along with 31 Republicans, came to the industry’s defense, including the seven freshmen Democrats — most of whom have started to receive donations this year from political action committees of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and other financial institutions, records show.

Six days after the vote, several freshmen Democrats were in New York to meet with bank executives, a tour organized by Representative Joe Crowley, who helps lead the House Democrats’ fund-raising committee. The trip was planned before the votes, and was not a fund-raiser, but it gave the lawmakers a chance to meet with Wall Street’s elite.

In addition to a tour of Goldman’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, and a meeting with Lloyd C. Blankfein, the bank’s chief executive, the lawmakers went to JPMorgan’s Park Avenue office. There, they chatted with Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief, about Dodd-Frank and immigration reform.

The bank chief also delivered something of a pep talk.

“America has the widest, deepest and most transparent capital markets in the world,” he said. “Washington has been dealt a good hand.”

Eric Lipton reported from Washington, and Ben Protess from New York.

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