Research Process

When performing observations, and evaluating outcomes of occurrences, be they related to things, ideas and concepts or actions of individuals or groups; observations frequently demonstrate interacting components forming a system.

That is to say, people interact with things and other people, and express ideas and concepts between them as a system.

Yes, even things in the form of technology provide feedback which affects the interaction of things, people, and groups as systems.

The question that must be asked "are ethics within systems normal, abnormal, or manipulated in some way?"

For the purpose of definition, change is always ongoing and the requirement is to perform and evaluate observations, make changes, and perform follow-up evaluations on the changes in an effective manner. This may be challenging.

The following list is intended to be a thumbnail sketch . . . not the most complete, or last word on the subject.

Can you handle the truth? That is a big question. How can we determine what the truth is? Observation is necessary to begin the process, and the following steps may be helpful in reaching the truth.

Step 1 Observe:

Determine . . . the who, what, where, and when of the activity observed. Avoid developing an opinion of the activity.

Step 2 Report:

Discuss and record your observations with other persons observing the same activity. Do all agree that the activity reported occurred? Do not form an opinion at this time.

Step 3 Evaluate:

Begin the process of defining what occurred and how it occurred. Can participants accurately agree to . . . the what and how of the activity observed.

Step 4 Explain:

Persons observing the activity develop an unbiased explanation of the cause of the what and how of the activity. Once again do not form an opinion of the activity observed.

Step 5 Opinion:

Compare the activity as explained to historical, cultural expectations and laws. At this point, an opinion may be developed regarding the activity observed.

The process of making changes and follow-on evaluation of changes to determine the effectiveness occurs at this point. This may become a fast or slow circulating process based on the normal cycle of the subject or system under consideration.

Rarely, except for emotionally charged issues, does the issue under observation progress to the next step without allowance for the normal process of observation, change, and evaluation to occur. It is essentially a runaway emotional issue that needs to cool down for normal processing to occur.

Step 6 Attitude:

Developing an outward verbal, physical or emotional expression regarding the activity observed.

1. Frequently individuals and groups fail to complete the process steps and go straight from observation to an inappropriate expression of attitude based on group influences.

2. In most cases involving courtroom testimony, a majority of witnesses fail to observe and record activities clearly and are easily manipulated as to how and when activities occurred.

Outcome Examples:

Example 1. Regarding the economy, unemployment, and international trade:

The residing president is frequently assigned responsibility for the issues of the day. Further analysis of the facts by following the above process will demonstrate that current economic conditions occur over decades and are addressed in the “New Rules ”category on The Future Guide.

Example 2. Regarding groups of individuals demonstrating on behalf of a political community or international issue:

When interviewed by the media many participants can’t identify or explain the issue for which they are providing support. Too frequently they are expressing an “attitude” without a rational opinion. The expression is more reflective of tyranny than democracy.

Example 3. Media influence becomes propaganda and shields the public from the truth:

Intentional or not, this frequently ensures failed public officials continue on and principled public officials are forced from office. Far too often public policy, legislation, and budgeting address the symptom of problems and not the cause. The result is problems continue on without resolution and serve as bargaining chips during the funding of political campaigns.

Research Considerations

Using statistical analysis to accomplish observation, change and evaluation are the traditional methods. After decades of using this approach, it is apparent that outcomes are becoming less reliable. True, they are important, however, users and applications have become so remote from the subject under observation that natural interpretations of the data and resultant analysis by users are producing misleading outcomes.

During the current recessionary period, eighty percent of business reported normal outcomes which are traditional. However, financial news agencies promoted a recession, depression . . . which followed with naming the follow-on period a bull market. In the final analysis, that would be considered a failure in a research candidates paper. What actually occurred was a failure of ethics . . . in the financial markets . . . which was underwritten by the government . . . which passed the gambling losses back to the public.

Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. (Wikipedia)

Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. In applying statistics to, e.g., a scientific, industrial, or societal problem, it is necessary to begin with a population; or process to be studied. (Wikipedia)

Forecasting is the process of making statements about events whose actual outcomes (typically) have not yet been observed. A commonplace example might be the estimation of some variable of interest at some specified future date. (Wikipedia)

Inaccuracies in forecasting outcomes frequently occur for various reasons:

1. The forecaster is using an inappropriate model for the issue under study.

2. Data applied to the model is not accurate, has not been verified and validated, or is from inconsistent populations.

3. Intentional manipulation of outcome analysis and published narratives to misdirect the user.

4. Researchers have personal interests in the outcome which sway the decision-making process to a specified objective.

5. Research is funded by a beneficiary of the research which may impact the design and outcome.

Social Change

Yes, ethics, laws, symptoms and causes are important. However, it is necessary to understand, to some degree, the culture, belief and value systems being observed.

Comparing national systems of a country, i.e. . . . a constitution within a country or in comparison to another country can produce differing results. Observations within and between professional fields and interest groups can also highlight the conflict between cultures and value systems.

The following presentation provides insight regarding social issues surrounding the "IT" as an important concept. The presentation is well worth watching in an attentive manner.

Readers with a background in business, industry, and academia will recognize the similarities of systems processes explained in a social context. Have some patience for the first few minutes of the introduction . . . then the major content will arrive.

Planning and Evaluating for Social Change by Michael Quinn Patton.

Dynamics and Momentum in Politics and War

Global Failure, Apprehension, Criticism, and Restraint published on August 8, 2014, outlines the situation.

Note: The Paris tragedy has initiated long-overdue cooperation between nations of Europe to "stand up" and take a responsible position. For too long, the United States has been the primary protector of freedom.

Yes, Europe has contributed to past efforts, however, needed to take a position of primary influence in international defense affairs. As a result of the U.S. delay and apprehension in taking action, Europe now senses the danger of not being ever-present.

The status of affairs within and between nations is dependent on the dynamics of personal interests of those controlling the assets. Significant among these assets are political, financial, trade, and military resources.

Momentum, the direction of a driving force, internal or external, represents the predictability of affairs between nations. Momentum must change before the direction of affairs will change.

For momentum to change, an external influence is necessary. There must be some real or perceived threat to the status of the political, financial, trade and military resources of those controlling the assets.

Acknowledgment of internal or external influences and threats can occur slowly over a protracted period of months or years. Acknowledgment can also occur in a matter of minutes or days given the enormity or severity of the action.

Current influences representing real or perceived threats are:

Domestic and international terrorism in the form of harm to citizens, governments and their assets.

Domestic and international funding and investment in activities, commercial or philanthropic, which limit societal integration and adherence to established national doctrine.

Legal decisions which undermine or supplant established national doctrine.

Restricting or removing the individual rights, liberties, and freedoms of citizens established by national doctrine.

Unauthorized acquisition of proprietary information, digital or written, of legal entities or citizens of the nation.

The list goes on:

Support for threats can be interpreted by failure to acknowledge or correct them, thereby allowing them.

Failure to take appropriate action may be interpreted as treachery, disloyalty, subversion, betrayal, and duplicity. Such failure may be for personal gain of a temporary nature.

-------------------------------

National Doctrine References:

Legal Doctrine

Constitutionalism

United States Constitution

United States Bill of Rights

-------------------------------

Contact your elected officials and send them a message.

New Rules: Balance of Trade vs. Balance of Payments and National Debt

For certain there is one professional field of study and practice that produces more statistics, charts and prophesies than all others combined . . . that field is economics.  To be clear, this short comment does not intend to address the multiple variations in opinions of economists.

Here is a to-the-point presentation of what economists are saying . . . and recognizes the outcomes. Read the articles and sources linked-to herein for additional information.

Comparing by using pictures:

U.S. Balance of Trade vs. China Balance of Trade

“Since 1995, China has been recording consistent trade surpluses which from 2004 to 2009 has increased 10 times.” In 2014, the biggest trade surpluses were recorded with Hong Kong, the United States, Netherlands, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

China recorded trade deficits with Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and Germany. China's trade surplus at new record high in February, while imports into China declined by 20.5 percent year-on-year In January 2015.

Balance of Trade

The difference between the value of exports and the value of imports.

When the value of exports exceeds that of imports, a country is said to have a trade surplus.

When the value of imports exceeds that of exports, a country is said to have a trade deficit.

Balance of Trade

There is disagreement on the impact of the balance of trade in an economy. Economists believe that some deficit is good, however too much for a lengthy period of time lowers the GDP of a country, and over time can lead to unemployment. Lengthy unemployment leads to loss of skills and the inability to produce products and services domestically.

Other economists believe that the balance of trade has little impact, because the more international trade occurs, the more likely it is that foreign countries will invest the surplus of funds earned in the deficit countries securities. . . creating a balance of payments.

Balance of Payments:

The record of money payments between one country and other countries. Balance of payments is more inclusive than balance of trade because balance of payments comprises foreign investment, loans, and other cash flows as well as payments for goods and services.

A country's balance of payments has a significant effect on its currency value in relation to other currencies. It is of particular interest to individuals who own foreign investments or who own domestic investments in companies dependent upon exports.

Balance of Payments

National Debt:

The total value of all outstanding Treasury bills, notes, and bonds that the federal government owes investors is referred to as the national debt.

The government holds some of this debt itself, in accounts such as the Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Highway, Airport and Airway Trust Funds. The rest is held by individual and institutional investors, both domestic and international, or by overseas governments.

There is a debt ceiling imposed by Congress, but it is typically raised when outstanding debt approaches that level.

Interest on the national debt is a major item in the federal budget, but the national debt is not the same as the federal budget deficit. The deficit is the amount by which federal spending exceeds federal income in a fiscal year.

National Debt

US Debt Clock:

Explore debt by state, world countries and the time machine. Issues to review are the total US National Debt vs. US Federal Tax Revenue.

Check the population data and compare, with special attention to:

US Work Force 2015 vs. 2000

Not in Labor Force 2015 vs. 2000

US Debt Clock

New Rules: U.S. Economy and International Trade:

The updated chart and posting summarize the long-term faced by the US Economy. Many mistakes have been made . . . can they be corrected?

US Economy and International Trade:

New Rules: Economics For Politicians:

How disintermediation of the supply chain and offshoring manufacturing has resulted in the loss of tax revenue and fees.

Economics for Politicians

Summary:

No matter how a loaf of bread is sliced, eventually the end of the loaf is reached. For the US economy, the end of the loaf appears to have been reached long ago.

Somehow, decisions by congress and the administration during the 1996-2000 period, set in place the status of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China. Congress believed it would benefit the US economy. However, the benefit is not in sight!

Increased purchase of imports may translate to other governments purchasing U.S. Securities and investments via loans and other debt instruments. In an unusual way, this provides funds for government to pay social transfer costs of unemployment caused by the imbalance of trade.

However, it has also lead to increased unemployment, food stamps, medical welfare, loss of personal pride, loss of the ability to learn skills, decreased home valuations, negative investment interest, increased immigration competing for fewer jobs, and increasing demonstrations in the streets.

Presently, those are the facts, not prophesies.

New Rules: Get Back to America First!

Future Forecast: 2015

Background: Key issues the country is debating are in relation to the charges of government: national security, economics, and welfare of citizens. The issues at hand are identified in Future Forecast for 2014 and have made little progress towards resolution over the past year.

At the center of the stalemate in resolving issues are arguments, yes arguments in the public theater of the press, and the halls of congress, wherever there is a camera or microphone. The rational debate appears insufficient on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The arguments are over which branch of government is or is not fulfilling the obligations of their respective offices.

Continuing Forecasts:

In the New Rules Category:  U.S. Economy and International Trade is the root cause of most minority unrest in the streets and will continue. It is a failure of ethics to the point of being an “unethical fantasy.” How the congress of 1996-2000 could convince itself that it was more important to place the welfare of Chinese workers ahead of U.S. citizens is totally baffling. Unless it was related to campaign financing. Commission on China 2014 Annual Report.

The last update of 2014 takes into consideration the continuing imbalance in international trade with China of around $30 billion a month. The administration may remark about the $2 trillion in annual exports but ignores the delta . . . the lost opportunity costs.

That is another $720 billion trade deficit since 2012. The result, given roll-over in the economy is over $2 trillion more in lost GDP and $1 trillion more in lost tax revenue and fees. Bringing the total lost GDP over the period to $22 trillion and $11 trillion in lost tax revenue and fees as a result of discontinued domestic production.

It is highly likely that considering the cost of government-provided unemployment insurance, food stamps, and medical care alone when added to the cost of import goods, well exceed the cost of locally produced goods and services. Additional consideration should be given to the lost opportunities to learn and gain self-confidence.

Additional Forecast Items:

Given the serious nature of the trade issue, and the impact foreign goods and services have on national security, no other item will be addressed in this forecast.

The leadership of the nation has taken on a business graduate school mentality. That is, it has adopted the concept of disintermediation, a concept intended to reduce costs by eliminating steps in the process of manufacturing products and providing services.

However, rather than containing disintermediation within the sovereign territory of the U.S., it has been extended to foreign governments . . . placing the U.S. in a position of subordination to, and reliance on, the “ethics” of foreign powers.

In the case of China, it is responsible for the twenty-two trillion-dollar loss in potential GDP; eleven trillion-dollar loss in tax revenue and fees; and provided the funds to expand the Chinese military. That is to say, in an indirect way, the U.S. is threatening the security of the Pacific nations.

The U.S. has given up sovereignty of shipping and raw material markets to communist and socialist nations in the belief that somehow, this will benefit financially through reduced costs . . . which have increased costs via required government subsidies to an underemployed citizenry . . . and returned the U.S. to the definition of a colony . . . of China.

Check the labels on all merchandise in retail stores, supermarkets, and the origin of eighty percent of medicines. Not to mention the automotive and aircraft industries. Yes, some are good, however, becoming dependent on external sources is not.

NOTES:

1. Originally, disintermediation referred to banks giving up the concept of low-interest loans to customers . . . in favor of investing directly in the securities markets . . . for higher returns. Investing in securities is a speculative endeavor. The crash of 2008 consisted of “unethical transactions of a fantasy nature,” by using increasingly higher return rates on poor quality securities and off-the-books bets by market makers.

These bets were against the very securities they were underwriters on. This resulted in TARP and in the final analysis, the bad bets were passed to the citizens in the form of increased interest payments on the national debt.

2. Some will say addressing the trade issue will cause a trade war . . . currently, there is a trade war created by an inept U.S. congress of 1996-2000. And, it is destroying the nation.

For the benefit of citizens at large, a thumbnail description of “who is who” in the process of law-making and enforcement is listed below:

President of the United States of America (POTUS): The Executive Branch

The oath of office of the president of the United States. Before entering Office, the newly elected president will take the following Oath or Affirmation.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) Presidential Oath.  that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress.

United States Congress: The Legislative Branch

Congressional Oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me god.

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.

The United States Armed Forces: The Department of Defense:

Armed Forces Oath: I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department’s headquarters is at the Pentagon.

NOTE: In relation to the oaths listed above. There is

In relation to oaths listed above. There is a separation of church and state, however, the words “So help me God” in oaths is in relation to adherence to “ethical” behavior in the performance of charged duties, a quality that is expected without mentioning for a sitting president. Think of it as the ethics contained in the ten commandments . . . do unto others.

Ethics:

Normative ethics is distinct standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, how one ought to act, morally speaking.

(Unethical: lacking moral principles; unwilling to adhere to proper rules of conduct; not in accord with the standards of a profession.)

Fantasy

Something that is produced by the imagination; an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world.

Law:

A system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedent (normally in common law jurisdictions).

Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process.

The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

View Post

Global Failure: Apprehension, Criticism and Restraint

Without question, President Obama is faced with an international situation where the European Union has become lax in support of freedom and personal rights for their own citizens, in favor of interlopers.

Ever since WWI, Europe has relied on the United States stepping up as the guarantor of freedom by putting down tyrants. Every time this is necessary, the cost to the United States is in the form of blood and treasure.

There is no restitution of value for losses. This has become the BIG EXPECTATION of the United States. Restitution has become criticism from the nations protected, while they exercise restraint in taking action, even to protect their own interests, less they trample on the demands of interlopers.

Many have criticized President Obama for being indecisive and conservative to the point of appearing naive. The world is asking the question “When will the United States take action?” The question should be “Where the hell is everyone else?” Oh, yes, it’s the BIG EXPECTATION!

From the perspective of integrity and honor, most countries are failing internationally. At the same time, internally, the same countries are disintegrating morally, culturally and ethically.

The difference between China, North Korea, Germany, Russia, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon (as an example) in respect to moral, honorable and humane action, may not be so significant. Oh, there would be much noise about that statement, but little sustaining positive action.

President Obama should not just talk with foreign leaders, but demand they take an open position and support freedom and the rights of citizens outside their own borders.

Stop wimping and wining about it. Out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Not just words and sentiment, but action. There are no half measures, except in losing.

Future Forecast: 2014

Usually there are observable activities that can be used as a basis for future forecasts. At this time, both nationally and internationally, activities indicate a continued state of flux between decisions to take future activity, something positive, to a state of retrenching. Notice there is no comment that any decision would be perceived as positive or negative. Moving forward or retrenching on current issues could both be positive or negative. The comment “much to do about nothing” seems to be the motto of Capitol Hill.

Nationally, interpretation of opposing sides regarding the State of the Union Address indicates the same issues of the economy, social security, national security, employment, immigration, healthcare, NSA spying both nationally and internationally, IRS actions, illegal drug trade, legalization of drugs, global warming, and political corruption remain undeterred. There is a stalemate between all branches of government over solutions. Government seems to have reached a point at which it does not control or understand the legal environment it has created. And, activity at the Supreme Court may not be providing outcomes that are conducive to a stable society . . . is it law for the sake of the profession . . . without consideration of the majority? If so, what will occur . . . a state of the minority opinion . . . turning societal mores and beliefs upside down? In today’s terms, it appears to be a game of Survivor where the weak eliminate the strong.

Internationally, taking it as the world turns: Korea is still a major powder keg; China is increasingly challenging its Pacific neighbors over territorial rights; Philippines conflict with southern territories has temporarily subsided with acquiescence of economic control to the rebels; South-east Asia is in turmoil over immigration into Australia; the entire area from India thru Africa is in a state of clandestine or open warfare; Europe from Italy thru the United Kingdom is experiencing major internal strife resulting from immigration, dictatorial governments and political corruption; Scandinavia is beginning to reject support for immigration; South America is in flux over the drug trade and dictatorial regimes; Mexico is a failed state, period; the United States is anything but united for all the reasons in the preceding paragraph.

What are the main drivers in the current national and international situation? And, is there evidence of resolution?

Main Drivers: Economics . . . the control of land and resources; people with skills to build economies; pursuit of personal and political power. Although statements regarding rights and freedom for individuals may be presented, they are a means of control in pursuit of economic ends and power. The robber barons of the day are more likely to be cooperating and coordinating political entities, elected or not.

Evidence of Resolution: Destabilization . . . resolution of one area in conflict in Korea, Philippines, China, South-East Asia, India thru Africa, Europe, Netherlands, South America, Mexico and the United States requires the majority to relinquish to the minority opinion and interest (as in ownership). The more liberal (socialist) appear to be striving for conservatism . . . and the conservative appear to be striving for socialism. Maybe the Polar Regions will also shift . . . and indeed the world will be standing on its head!

It is clear that the United States alone cannot prevent the clashing of forces. The question is can the United States protect its own turf in the future without the use of massive destructive force? The Future Forecast of 2014 and forward may be cloudy with showers to follow.

One issue is clear, the current situation is not one based on religious beliefs. However, it is one wherein the current robber barons may exploit for control. Are the robber barons wearing the cloak of socialism and religion falsely?

Future Forecast: 2013

Final Update:

Are President Obama’s stated objectives in the State of the Union Address achievable? Yes, however, not by any means pursued by any administration since 1974.

The sequester is a subset of the fiscal cliff. As President Obama has stated, it’s a “complex” situation.

However, it may not be as complex as thought. It may be straight-forward and the complexity may be the mental manipulation attempted to ignore the obvious. Procrastinators and addicts are always looking for an alternative to get the next fix for whatever their habit may be.

Economist Richard Wolf appeared on the Bill Moyers Show and discussed capitalism hits the fan. Identified as central to the current economic situation are two camps of economists; those employed by essentially unproductive entities such as government, and those employed by businesses that must produce a profit. A similar association regarding economists was discussed on the Ken Prewitt show on 2/25/2013.

Essentially the discussion is this:

Economists employed by government entities have little commercial experience and rarely suffer consequences for incorrect projections. Economists employed by commercial businesses must produce fairly accurate projections as profitability in operations can only be achieved through a balance of market demand and supply produced by their businesses.

Economists in the government sector are frequently inaccurate, and the timing and direction of their projections can be wishful and years-off. Missing projections can have a significant impact on decisions made by business to invest or disinvest.

Economists in the commercial sector are usually more accurate out of a necessity for the business to survive and profit. Missing projections by a few pennies per share on a quarterly earnings report can move the value of the stock down markedly.

How do the two camps differ in interpreting data:

Government economists receive relatively historical (dated) information. Reports to the government are essentially from external entities, and may be on employment, sales and revenues based on daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Government generally fails to report accurately or timely on internal activities.

Commercial economists can receive real-time reports on their business activities and adjust as needed. They also use the same external reports government receives to assess the impact of government and competitors business, labor and other resource availability in making decisions.

Review of the current problem through definition and a graphical example:

1). The Federal Reserve has a normal function of controlling growth in the economy to between 3-4% annually. This range is expected to provide for limited inflation in the gross domestic product (GDP) while at the same time providing additional tax revenues to support government programs.

Maintaining a 3-4% growth rate in a normally balanced economy is achieved by varying the interest rates through the availability of money for lending in the banking system.

2). Unfortunately the economy can vary between expansion and contraction and tax revenues will also vary. However, government budgets are based on expansion at the tops in GDP growth. Declining tax revenues occur when the GDP contracts. This is a normal business cycle effect.

Contraction of revenues creates a shortfall in funds available to support previously passed legislation. The net effect is to cause government to borrow to close the gap. The result then becomes a compounded rate producing an ever growing deficit.

3). The abnormal and artificial growth rate in GDP achieved as a result of the Clinton administration’s actions of locking U.S. trade changes to the world trade organization (WTO) via the permanent normal trade relation (PNTR) with China, wildly inflated the rate of GDP growth.

This action significantly increased the sum of tax revenues available for long-term commitment to government programs. Since this growth rate was based on sub-prime borrowing, it could not continue indefinitely, and severe contraction in GDP and tax revenues followed.

The net effect was to significantly increase the compounded rate of government borrowing to cover previously passed legislation. The deficit had expanded beyond ability of GDP and tax revenues to overcome.

Graphic: CBO – Revenues and Outlays as a percent GDP

Comment on the chart. For the period of 1974 – projected 2021 average outlays exceed average revenues. The exception being the period of 1996 – 2004, during the period of boom and bust in the housing market (sub-prime lending), the failure of which caused the collapse of the economy.

Note 1: Locking the U.S. to the WTO prevented the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration from taking decisive action regarding trade inequities. The result is $20 Trillion lost in GDP and $10 Trillion lost in tax revenues.

Note 2: Over ten million jobs have been lost over this action. When the cost of unemployment insurance, food stamps and other assistance is added to the price of imported goods and services, the total cost of imports well exceeds the cost of domestically produced goods and services.

Some will say that total exports have increased significantly. Yes, this is true. However, the trade gap continues at nearly $500 Billion annually, which equates to a loss of $2 Trillion in domestic GDP and $1 Trillion in lost tax revenue.

In this respect, the Clinton economy was a myth.

Refer also to:

For a complete and confusing definition of the fiscal cliff

Howard K Smith, TV Newscaster: When the news was the news.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
History of a true reporter and editor:

Howard Kingsbury Smith: American journalist, radio reporter, television anchorman, political commentator, and film actor. He was one of the original Edward R. Murrow boys. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Analysis:

During his last broadcast, Smith stated “No one person can change the direction of a nation.” His comment was in relation to individuals and groups attempting to, through violence and intimidation, tear down the democracy and install a new form of governance. It could be said that not much has changed since the period of 1960 – 1970s.

At the time of Mr. Smith’s last broadcast the country was at the end of the Vietnam conflict. The political scene and public demonstrations had been quite destructive of the concept of objective government, responsibility and accountability. Demonstrations included burning of banks and police vehicles, shooting of judges in court and about anything imaginable.

The response from the public and government at large was to back-off from activists being held accountable for their destructive actions.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)