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Our out-of-control spending has the Russians commenting on our descent into what they term "marxism" (I guess they should know) and Chinese students laughing at Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner when he told them their investments are safe.
Key Quote: ~ Once merely a worthy subject of concern, America’s fiscal outlook has rapidly become the object of widespread alarm. “Aside from weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, America’s fiscal situation is the most dangerous challenge facing the country,” says Mr Gregg. “Unchecked, it will reduce growth, weaken the dollar and ultimately undermine America’s global leadership role.” ~
The graphic that can be enlarged in the article looks ominous and nasty.
I'm gearing up for Carter-like inflation by paying off my mortgage early. At least I'm going to give it a Pierre Woods try at it.
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We are self destructing as many of our enemy's said we would, Islam, one of the largest religions in the world consider us "The Great Satan" the fanatics within their religion openly say it the others agree behind closed doors.
We have elected a president who is hell bent on turning America "Socialist Old Communist" his Fawners & Groupies laugh at that but they too will pay right along with the rest of us for their rush to "Change We Can Believe In" they have their Poster Boy, they have their "Crazy Congress" God Help Us.
The Obama Groupies on here will scoff at the source of this link as they usually do when anybody publicly disagree's with their "Beautiful Messiah"
This is not the first time a Communist (sic) has laughed at a Capitalist (sic) based on a self-perception of predetermined historical triumphalism. Kruschev proclaimed "We Will Bury YOu!" The obvious conclusion is that we are now lowering ourselves into the little hole, and these kids need not bang their shoes on a table to make the point.
We face, therefore, the questions of 1) how we got here and 2) what is to be done going forward.
As to (1), the standard answer from economists is that Obama may not have spent enough, in terms of getting the economy back on track, not that he spent too much. We're talking about an economy that spent the last three and a half months of 2008, with zero credit flowing, and very very little business being done -- this as a coda to an already in-progress recession that had been ongoing since 07.
But it was the collapse of September of 08 that put us in a position where arch-free-marketeers were screaming that government needed to intervene. It was left to Obama to do it, specifically so that guys like you could react to him, rather than guys like me reacting to Bush, when it had to be done.
As to (2), you have a somewhat debateable case, if you believe that Obama should only do the bare minimum to clean up the Bush mess, inflate the next bubble, then stand back.
That is indeed the way the economy has been handled since 1980, a series of recessions and bubbles -- not recoveries. A continued leaching away of our real economy, in favor of paper gains, that turn out to be not wealth creation but debt creation. A 3-decade shopping spree by an underemployed self-centered basket case.
Obama has opted to take on big challenges. Really big ones. National healthcare. Renewable energy. A reshaping of our image abroad. He's opted to try it all at one time, oh and by the way, fix the biggest economic mess in 70 years at the same time.
Now, the kids of the Commies whom our last few presidents like to think of as our landlords are laughing, when Geithner expresses a determination that the U.S. will be good for its debts.
Well in part they're laughing because they know and we know that inflation will monetize that debt to an extent, dire threats aside. Inflation's coming, and we're a country in debt. To the extent that reactions to inflation (i.e., who will buy our debt) are harmful, that's bad. To the extent that we're trying to pay down debt, that's good.
A student knows what a student's been taught, face it. Of course Commies (sic) are laughing at us. They've been taught for decades that we're undisciplined gluttons. So here's our glutton-in-chief, or his secretary of gluttony, coming to China and telling them how responsible we'll be.
So, there are Chinese students tickled by our predicament.
Perhaps they're not allowed to laugh at their own problem with plant closings, or their own half-trillion dollar stimulus package?
Make no mistake, they're still slated to grow robustly for years to come. For us, it's a matter of a society that already has a bunch of stuff, and only wants more if we can get it on the cheap. Oh and by the way, we'll only work for top dollar. So what we've needed, for years and years, is someone who will make cheap stuff we can consume. China did that. Then we needed money to buy the cheap stuff, so China lent it to us. Meanwhile we needed to claim to be good for that debt, so we created paper wealth. Then the house of cards came down.
How do you get out of that? You make real things, like solar towers, public transit infrastructure, wind turbines, big-ass lithium ion batteries, electric cars, charging stations, you get the idea. Or for that matter you could put people to work building amusement park rides, or invading countries that have no beef with us. But there's no point in doing that. We don't need either of those projects. A sustainable energy future, that we need.
And to get from point A to point B, we arrived last year at the point where government has to be involved in industry.
So yeah, that's a pretty scary time for us, and yeah, we're back in the same borrowing behavior we necessarily have to kick eventually.
I think it's pretty clear why some triumphalist kids in China find that amusing. Kruschev found us amusing too.
At one point I happened to be married to the chief gopher for someone in a think tank. Not a particularly exalted position, but it did get me a tag-along invite to an early address by the Librarian of Congress, James Billington, to a small gathering, perhaps 100 people. I found it hard not to snicker. It was 87 or 88, and he was brand new. Handling questions on the arms race, he unapologetically said that today's problems, the ones that seem to overshadow everything, have a surprising way of becoming solved by an event that generates tomorrow's problem, which far too often, therefore, comes as a surprise.
How could he not see that "today's problem" -- the US/Soviet arms race -- was THE problem? Maybe because he was old or something, right?
So here we are at a crossroads. Half those kids expect us to be called "The Former United States" in five years. On the right I hear plenty of voices clamoring to fulfill that prophecy.
But I don't think those voices, or the giggling Chinese kids, control the shape of the future. Does our current accumulation of debt? To an extent. Does that worry me? It worries the hell out of me.
Is the status quo acceptable, in terms of the problems that need solving (i.e., cleanup of the Bush mess, kicking the foreign oil habit, providing health care)? No.
Do we need to do all this at one time? I may agree with you there, that some of it should have waited. But I also understand that a big wheelbarrow of debt versus a steady drip-drip-drip might in fact be the more politically savvy way to present these objectives to the people.
So, it's not the first time the Commies laughed at us, and it won't be the last. It's a matter of what you do with that: do you identify with the guys you imagine to have power over you, a sort of political Stockholm Syndrome? Or do you root for the United States, have hope for the United States, and believe in the United States?
The future is unwritten. We have a part in writing it, not just giggling Chinese students.
That's easy. Gov't spending our money on dubious projects has always been facile and, ultimately, ineffective in increasing productivity.
Otherwise, countries who have been more active in trying it for longer would have a high labor productivity than we do, which is not the case. Japan, France, etc.
It's taking money from the private, productive sector and giving it to politicians who use the money to solidify their positions of "leadership." Obama's spending is colossally out of control. Most of the so-called stimulus he helped pass doesn't even go into effect this year.
Wow, we survived the last 8 years, but now were on the hot rails to hell.
We're practically a Marxist nation already.
Thanks for the laugh guys.
Let's hopr the current economic policies don't hurt us as badly as those wmd's.
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Hey Favre, YOU SUCK!!!
The Boston Herald - It ain't toilet paper, but it'll do the job.
You did notice the utter collapse of the free-markets-know-all mythology last September, right? How about Reason Mag, did they notice?
We have been assiduously marching in lockstep to this religion, unquestioningly, for decades now. For anybody to actually insinuate that nobody has sufficiently tried unregulated capitalism, at this point, is the purest chutzpah, for anybody but a cult-follower. It's been clearly demonstrated that government has a role in market capitalism, one that it has neglected for decades, to disasterous effect.
You may argue that any given market intervention is unpalatable or unwise. What you cannot do anymore is argue reflexively that government intervention or regulation is inherently evil (unless of course you phrase it as evil but not as evil as non-intervention or deregulation, in which case "good" and "bad" simply lose meaning entirely.)
As to the spending on the current agenda, and the borrowing and taxation that necessarily follow that spending, you have a bit of a problem. There's the clean-up spending, and there's the move-forward spending. And then of course there's the big problem, that you and your handful of teabaggers simply lost last November, because your clarion calls fall on deaf ears when your mythology is proven at the very least to be incomplete.
That said: As a nation, we seem to be giving Obama his chance. He won, he gets to lead. Naturally the discontents get to complain. That's to be expected.
It's a matter of whether he succeeds, and how quickly that success comes. Five months? Not sure we can judge yet. Four years? The reality may be that's too soon to judge for projects of this scale, and I'd probably go by that, being an Obama fan by comparison. But the political reality is that most people would look at a bad four-year record and vote him out.
This is what happens in a democracy: when something doesn't work, you vote the bums out. If you have a foreign bogeyman, like in the case of W, you might have to vote out his party, and not for eight years. I believe that with Obama, he's on the way to having an eight-year mandate, particularly if the incoherent rejection of a convincing election victory continues on the part of Republicans -- especially in the absence of alternatives coming from their corner.
But as they say, live and learn, die and forget it all. I've been wrong before, and I could well be wrong about the Republicans' prospects for '12.
Shoudl I be surprised that the same philosophy that led the United States to arm and train the Taliban is now embracing the viewpoints of communists? No. With the right these days, everything is about political expediency. The righties will gladly go to bed with our enemies as long as our enemies are against Obama.