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February 2012

International involvement- Should we get our hands dirty?

So here is my take on our International involvement- it isn't pretty or perfect but it my take, for better or for worse, kind of like marriage.
We are involved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya in some varrying degree. We are in turmoil about what to do with Iran and Syria, which are both heating up. Egypt, a prior "friendly" nation, went through a political house-cleaning last year and is reeling from the affects still- with a huge uncertainty about where it lands and what it stands for.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve- SPR

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is just that- oil the United States purchase to offset some geo-political or economic event that disrupts the flow of oil, and through that destabilizing the United States economy and way of life.
Last year around July 1st, the President released, in coordination with other nations, millions of barrels of oil from our SPR. The rational was a disruption in the Libya supply of about 1.5 MM barrels daily, which in turn would impact prices and economies. The price of gas  was around $3.

3rd Party via Internet- Americans Elect

So I went to Americans Elect and look at their website, browsed candidates and even did the "Draft a Candidate" portion. It was very interesting and entertaining, also curious about the outcome. Maybe "effect" is a better word. Remember Nader? Perot? These are third party candidates that split the vote, and usually help the incumbent. that being said- IS that the best thing? Does a third party candidate have a true chance- now or ever OR is this a simple 2 party system- period, the end?

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

IF I hear of one more little lizard stopping an entire state from doing something, I think I will scream. Not very mature, I know- but seriously? I get the need to protect our Earth, after all it is the only one we will ever have. So there needs to be a focus on not destroying it- I grant that. My take is simple- do not tell me why I cannot do something without telling how I CAN do it. Be a part of the solution for a change. I recently listened to someone talk about the Keystone Pipeline from the environmental side.


Our military is one of the few things we all agree that the US Gov’t should be doing for us, although the size and mandate is up for discussion daily. The military personnel are one of the greatest assets (and most underutilized) in our country. The goal is to keep America safe, not to be the police for the world at our expense. IF we intervene for our national safety, that is on us. IF the world needs our help to “police” a situation (recently Libya as an example), why would ALL costs be paid by that country or the countries needing our help?

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)

One of the best adjustments during the recent economic collapse was the increase in Federal Deposit Insurance per account. The amount was raised from $100,000 to $250,000 per account. What does that do? It calms the big money accounts down and prevent the biggest run on banks, which in turn would destroy banks capitalization, which was one of the primary drivers of the collapse- the lack of proper loan-to-capital ratios.
Quick point- when banks make a loan it is an Asset, when they take a deposit it is a Liability.

Sallie Mae- Student Loan GSE

Riddle- How do you get more people into college when not all of them should be there? Unfortunately, that is the state of education in America. You need a degree to get a “real” job, which means that a lot of people who shouldn’t be in college actually end up there- and Sallie Mae (Student Loan GSE facility) is happy to loan them the money. After graduation, you get a job and can spend the next two decades paying it off. But wait a second- who says you get a job right away out of college (current dilemma)?

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae- Housing Mortgage GSEs

                        Be careful what you wish for- you just might get it. But I’ll get back to that…
The honest truth prior to the economic collapse is that everyone wanted everyone else to have a home, whether they could afford it or not. So most people got into situations they couldn’t handle if these went south (as they always do eventually). The main vehicles for mass destruction were Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
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