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(Vanity) Whither the Economy?
grey_whiskers ^ | 02-08-2006 | grey_whiskers

Posted on 02/08/2006 10:53:43 PM PST by grey_whiskers

There has been a good deal of speculation about the state of the US economy lately. Which way are interest rates headed, now that Bernake has replaced Greenspan at the Fed? Will the housing bubble burst or just leak slowly? What will be the influence of the tensions in Iran? While all of these questions are challenging, and may present the opportunity for a quick strike, they are still among the easiest of all economic questions. Why? Because they are short term questions. If we just wait six months or a year, the answers will have already happened.

Instead of asking these conundrums du jour, I would like to focus everyone’s attention on a series of more important questions. These questions have to with long-term, or “secular” trends, the big picture. They can most easily be summarized as “Where in the world are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?”

The starting point for these questions deal with the United States and its place in the world. While the United States has long been accustomed to being the 800-pound economic gorilla, it seems that the times really are changing. From the burgeoning federal budget deficit, to the trade deficits with the Middle East and China; from the apparent hollowing out of our manufacturing capacity, to the problems of oursourcing; from the aging of the US workforce to the high US tax rate. All of these trends promise to exert powerful influences on the US, for good or for ill.

But at the same time, as hinted at above, the United States does not rise or fall by itself. More and more, the country is linked to the economic fortunes of other countries—by trade, by demographic trends, by laws, by transport of people. The fortunes of the United States are no longer solely a matter of our own say-so, but are also a reflection of how well we chart the course in an increasingly interconnected world.

Let us try to unravel some of these threads one at a time. First, let us take the Federal Budget deficit. Right now the United States Government is gushing red ink at the mind-boggling rate of $357 billion in fiscal 2007. (By contrast, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the ENTIRE BUDGET in 1981 was roughly $580 billion. Our deficit alone is roughly 2/3 of ALL U.S. government spending when the Reagan Revolution was beginning). That money has to be paid back, somehow.

The deficit is financed mainly by foreign purchases of treasury securities – and the foreign purchases are financed by the trade deficit. (China’s trade surplus relative to the United States was $200 billion). This is a double edged-sword. There is an old saying that “If you owe the bank $2,000, then the bank has you over a barrel; but if you owe the bank $20,000,000, you have the bank over a barrel.” China could in theory switch to another reserve currency—but then they would devalue their own dollar holdings.

Speaking of trade deficits, it appears that not only China, not only the “Asian tigers”, but – well, pretty much everybody is trying to make their money selling goods and services to the United States. From appliances and electronics in the Far East, to back-office offshoring in India, to migrant labor from Mexico, and (of course) the Middle East’s oil : everyone is selling to Uncle Sap Sam. And that’s us. Various prognosticators, including “Jeremy Siegel, PhD” on Yahoo.com, are confidently predicting that India and China, due to their growing economies, vibrant workforce, and demographics, are set to supplant the United States as the economic superpower of the world in 20 or 30 years. Even the oh-so-precious at Davos, Switzerland believe this. Business week quoted one unnamed lawyer from Davos as sniffing words to the effect that “No-one is discussing the United States anymore”. And the United States workforce is aging, with not enough money saved for their retirement. So we have demographics working “on both ends of the clock” against the United States.

But along with demographics come two other points, both from the root word demos, “people.” First is people: not only are they a source of willing workers, but work has to be found for them. President Bush was quoted the other day (I’m sorry, but I can’t find the source at the moment) as hand-wringing over China: “Do you realize they have to find 25 million new jobs a year just to keep up?” That’s right, and India has the same problem. So between the two of them, China and India could engulf the entire working population of the United States, and take all of our jobs, in less than 10 years. Except, of course, those lawn maintenance, agricultural, and custodial jobs which “Americans won’t do” and for which we need worker amnesty. And the other point coming from the overflow of people is resources: towns in India are already complaining that they are being drained of water by Coca-Cola which taps their aquifers for bottled water; China is rapidly surpassing the old Soviet block in pollution (recall their recent benzene spill in Harbin?).

So put all of these competing claims together. The United States is still currently the consumer of last resort for most of the world; many other economies are built around export to the US consumer. In their haste to sell to the United States, the robber barons around the world are behaving…like capitalists, denuding the natural resources that they need to survive. Remedial measures are apparently insufficient. But the US economy is being undercut by the loss of its manufacturing base, and the wholesale export of jobs overseas, and import of foreign labor here. And at the same time, much of the skilled US workforce is retiring, without having saved any money for their old age. And the US government, which has already racked up a huge debt (much of it financed overseas), cannot step in and increase US taxes, or go further into debt.

The question then becomes, what will happen when all of these competing claims hit the fan simultaneously? As the US workforce retires, without sufficient money, the spending of the US will slow down drastically. Typically, that means prices in the United States will drop, since you cannot charge people a lot of money when they don’t have it to begin with. But, counteracting this, the United States will at that time have a lot of bills (for today’s spending) coming due, and no way to pay. The classical expedient for that situation is to print paper money, and let inflation render the existing debt insignificant. But can the US government afford to do that, when so much of its debt is owned by other nations? And speaking of other nations, what will they do when the US consumer, the engine of their economic growth, starts to cough and sputter? In hopes of holding onto their share of a shrinking market, will the foreign companies have their own “race to the bottom” in the form of lower prices? If everyone is trying to sell to the same shrinking group of US consumers, it will be a classic case of “too many goods chasing too few dollars”. And that is Deflationary. And given the corruption endemic in many other countries, will those countries too face internal strife and unrest as their governments failed to plan and save for a rainy day?

I really don’t know what is most likely to happen. Maybe we can piece together an answer working together. I invite your comments.


TOPICS: Agriculture; Business/Economy; Chit/Chat; Conspiracy; Food; Health/Medicine; History; Humor; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Society; Travel; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: babyboom; china; commodities; davos; demographics; economy; gold; greywhiskers; india; oil; outsourcing; prognostications; retirement; trends; vanity; whiskersvanity
Cheers!
1 posted on 02/08/2006 10:53:47 PM PST by grey_whiskers
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To: grey_whiskers

g_w, you write that and then say, "Cheers!"?! I'm looking for a razor blade and rolling up my sleeves even as I type this!


2 posted on 02/08/2006 11:14:37 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored
Don't Panic. Just dial 1-800-BUY-GOLD ;-)

Hey, you *told* me you were looking for investments !

Seriously, my point is, debt is inflationary; retirement without money is deflationary; the rest of the world all trying to sell to us at once is deflationary; and come to think of it, the rapid development of India and China is INflationary--but they will only expand rapidly as long as we keep sending them jobs and $$.

Which one will win?

3 posted on 02/08/2006 11:17:49 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
Gold is going to test support at $500 soon, maybe even $450. If you're in from the mid-$200's, hold on. If not, good luck!

I'm sitting in a debt-free telecom stock (yes, you heard that right) that has some potential.

As for your reading list, I'm impressed with it. My disorderly mind won't allow such things...

4 posted on 02/08/2006 11:24:29 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: grey_whiskers

"Business week quoted one unnamed lawyer from Davos as sniffing words to the effect that “No-one is discussing the United States anymore”"

Unfortunately, he's exactly right. No one - from the layman on the streets of a European city to the businessman in Asia - is talking about the United States. Everyone is doing business here, or doing business with someone who's doing business with yadda yadda to the degree that they are dependent on the American market, but as we have seen for so long the "soft power" of impressions sells. It generates business. It generates investment. It generates long-term plans.

And this is a power we have lost. Flat-out. It may be sniffed about in Davos and smuggly written about by gold peddlers on Yahoo, but it is accepted, absolute fact throughout Asia, and that certainty has already gained a foothold virtually everywhere else and is growing by the day. I have read interviews with businessmen who should know better but don't. The promise and promises of China (and, more and more, India) are shifting planning, not just for today but for the future. China is already an economic superpower in the minds of many today simply because they believe it will be in the future, and it is increasingly treated as though that future status already exists. This has been a relatively quick change. Things were rather different just four or so years ago.

This is one area the U.S. has not adapted, and the current administration has failed absolutely miserably.


5 posted on 02/09/2006 3:50:30 AM PST by Sandreckoner
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To: grey_whiskers
Thoughtful commentary, you've written. I'll bite.

One thing not factored into your equasion (among many) is that there exists no country in the US, like the US -- with its laws and flaws, it is still rooted in the finest example of what every country could become, but immediately will not and due to existing circumstances within their own countries.

Currently, Americans ARE waking up. More and more parents are demanding a better education for their children. More people are realizing that private savings is BETTER than "consuming". Although the Asian Tigers outrank the US in private savings -- those private savings are fueled, by government hand, into a centralized form of trade and commerce. We've already witnessed what happens (Russia). Dittos, India -- although India has more "leeway" in re private industry than does China.

These problems in those countries are not at all going to change overnight, or for a long time in the foreseeable future.

As crass and cold as it may appear, as more "seniors" begin hitting the wall, the "Soros-euthanazia" movement begins to grimly reap, IME. More people will choose a non-medicalized "life-sentence" to a life which involves living at the doctor's offices and being a human guinea pig.

In sum, there is an equilibrium point already built in between "left" and "right" in America, by my estimates.

As far as exports/imports -- China will take babysteps in opening their isolationist door to receiving imports from the US -- this will take time.

As the left continues to hammer, grovel, rhapsodize over "global warming" -- alongside many manufacturing plants being outsourced to countries with loose "environmental standards" -- more of the US workforce will be needed "abroad" to deal with many of the resulting effects of the leftist "agenda" built, erected, established, proselytized, activized in many other countries.

I watch the federal deficit; but not as a figure separate from all else going on. We are in a newer age. Given the cultural gaps which exist as a primary element in other countries, the US with its grace and support of "the invisible hand" will continue to lead.

I say, let the lefties continue to "bring it all down". In so doing, do they strengthen the economic US hand.

Yes, it's cold to say this.

However, for the millions of people in the US who do not comprehend "ECONOMICS" -- they will assuredly fall prey to a libbie huckster ranting about social justice, and therefore be as "useful idiots" and through THEIR own choice. Dittos, application to the civilians in other countries.

I am not as frightened nor as overly worried over the trade deficit, at moment, as some are. There are countries who really still do "owe" the US due "forgiven/blinked debt" -- are such debts ever really forgiven? No.

One problem I wonder about: Mid-east. Basically their only export IS oil. What happens when the cartel is no longer "ruling the roost"?

I believe we will see a fluorishing in the economies of most all countries. Countries which have only single or maybe even double-digit export items in trade will wish to do MORE trade with countries which have multiple exports.

Frankly, some countries will always be in deficit purely due resources, or lack thereof. I look at the countries, currently, to whom is being outsourced "technologic capital". In a sense, this is not a bad thing given that most of these countries do not have a solidified or able agricultural ability. There are days I look at Russia -- with large parts simply unhabitable by humans, and think what types of industry are best suited for those areas within that country as a trade item. Well... weapons, and weapons testing, for one, might be an answer. How about oil? And Oil drilling? The temps in those areas are fairly predictable.

Throughout history, yes, economic pinnacles of stress have occurred. I don't forget the great depression; my parents both grew up during the depression. And what they learned left its mark upon me.

I do not for one second believe that "money" will be minted -- in order to produce an "strong" inflation base.

As corruption and the axis of "evil" is weeded out of the "global" system, more *real* money is freed up, and therefore accountable, and therefore recognizable as an assessment tool; not just by companies but by countries.

My belief is -- the money IS real and existent already within the global market economy -- but hidden from view due too many year's corruption.

En sum, I am far more optimistic, possibly, than you. Is it a gamble? YES. I do most certainly concur with you.

What matters in the US, IMHO, is keeping the "adults" in charge. Democrats and liberals have clearly shown their inabilities or rather, disability, in behaving as adults.

The elections, here in the US, are what is critical. Whom we elect. And continue to elect. If the population elects liberal Democrats, then assuredly, the doomsday scenario will playout in the standard con-game name of "social justice".

However, leaders in business and in governments around the world KNOW their economies are tied to the US -- and should the US fall, they fall with her.

Although, yes, there is much which can be worried about, by my own eyes, do I see solid and decent adults rising to the potential crisis which can be on the "global scene" and making steps to remedy this runaway horse called "blather" (for lack of better coinage) being spouted by people and persons who aid and abet a world collapse.

6 posted on 02/09/2006 4:30:23 AM PST by Alia
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To: Alia
I agree with many of your points, but to have put them in would have interrupted the flow of the piece as written. You may have inspired a Part II. I'll reply in detail tonight.

Cheers!

7 posted on 02/09/2006 5:12:59 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Alia; All
Thoughtful commentary, you've written. I'll bite.

I'm grateful, but please note that it wasn't titled "Bite Me." :-)

One thing not factored into your equasion (among many) is that there exists no country in the US, like the US -- with its laws and flaws, it is still rooted in the finest example of what every country could become, but immediately will not and due to existing circumstances within their own countries.

There was a fascinating book which I was reading over someone else's shoulder :-) and whose title I cannot recall, which was a brilliant exposition of the central role that orderly devolution of property and uniform laws designed to enable business, have contributed primarily to the prosperity of the US.

In conjuction with our intellectual property and our inherited morality (no need to bribe govt. officials at every step for the *chance* to be left alone "just for awhile")--it makes it quite possible that China and India will never become the economic engines of the world supplanting the US, which so many "thoughtful" people seem to hope for.

Currently, Americans ARE waking up. More and more parents are demanding a better education for their children. More people are realizing that private savings is BETTER than "consuming". Although the Asian Tigers outrank the US in private savings -- those private savings are fueled, by government hand, into a centralized form of trade and commerce. We've already witnessed what happens (Russia). Dittos, India -- although India has more "leeway" in re private industry than does China.

The reason the US is not saving is the out-of-control emphasis on quarterly earnings EACH and EVERY quarter on Wall Street. This puts tremendous pressure on companies to "make the numbers" and lends itself to forced marketing. If people in the US put more of an emphasis on "thou shalt not covet" (and that commandment ALSO refers to your neighbor's Lexus, and his trophy wife's plastic surgery, even though they are not mentioned by name) we'd be in better shape.

Add to that the veritable explosion of credit (credit cards, personal loans, home equity lines of credit : all are out of control compared to when I was a kid. Not to mention the inflationary tendencies of the D.I.N.K's using credit to expand their effective purchasing power even more...).

But as you pointed out, there are pitfalls in the other direction as well.

These problems in those countries are not at all going to change overnight, or for a long time in the foreseeable future.

They might even get worse, as it appears both China and India are going through the "robber baron" phase of industrialization. It remains to be seen if the societal and governmental mechanisms for accountability are strong enough to effect enough social changes to satisfy the impoverished.

Which reminds me, all the people who are so in favor of making India and China rich because it will benefit the poor starving massses:

a) Isn't that the *EXACT OPPOSITE* of Marxism? Do you mean all the US lefties adopted Marxism merely cause it was so useful to screw the US, and they don't want it for everybody?

b) If they dodge that, then isn't what is being advocated for China and India dangerously close to Reagan's "trickle-down" economics which the left derided for so long?

As crass and cold as it may appear, as more "seniors" begin hitting the wall, the "Soros-euthanazia" movement begins to grimly reap, IME. More people will choose a non-medicalized "life-sentence" to a life which involves living at the doctor's offices and being a human guinea pig.

That is to be fervently hoped for. There was an Evangelical Christina, Francis Schaeffer, who not too long after Roe v. Wade wrote a book in which he predicted that the philosophical aftermath of abortion on demand would be euthanasia. It will be interesting to see whether the 60's generation who advocated abortion for their own convenience will be sacrificed in turn for others' convenience.

In sum, there is an equilibrium point already built in between "left" and "right" in America, by my estimates.

I'd call it a grey area, a "no-man's land". And that area itself can wobble from left to right over time.

As far as exports/imports -- China will take babysteps in opening their isolationist door to receiving imports from the US -- this will take time.

This is the fervent wish of the multinationals. It is not all about lack of environmental laws and wage arbitrage, but about creating new customers. See my vanity here.

As the left continues to hammer, grovel, rhapsodize over "global warming" -- alongside many manufacturing plants being outsourced to countries with loose "environmental standards" -- more of the US workforce will be needed "abroad" to deal with many of the resulting effects of the leftist "agenda" built, erected, established, proselytized, activized in many other countries.

I fervently hope so. But between the incompetence of the govt. TSA guards ("frisking Grandma") and the zealotry of Muslims to "kill American", not as many people will go overseas as might. I just hope some of the consulting jobs will get "offshored" from those countries BACK to the U.S. Now THAT'd be ironic!

I watch the federal deficit; but not as a figure separate from all else going on. We are in a newer age. Given the cultural gaps which exist as a primary element in other countries, the US with its grace and support of "the invisible hand" will continue to lead.

I agree, except for demographics. That might be why Bush wants to increase Mexican and H-1B immigration so much. We won't care about their minds (cultures), we just want their bodies :-)

I say, let the lefties continue to "bring it all down". In so doing, do they strengthen the economic US hand.

:-o oh my !

Yes, it's cold to say this.

The truth can hurt.

However, for the millions of people in the US who do not comprehend "ECONOMICS" -- they will assuredly fall prey to a libbie huckster ranting about social justice, and therefore be as "useful idiots" and through THEIR own choice. Dittos, application to the civilians in other countries.

In general I agree. Except for Freepers :-)

I am not as frightened nor as overly worried over the trade deficit, at moment, as some are. There are countries who really still do "owe" the US due "forgiven/blinked debt" -- are such debts ever really forgiven? No.

One problem I wonder about: Mid-east. Basically their only export IS oil. What happens when the cartel is no longer "ruling the roost"?

What did they do before anyone had any use for crude oil?

The Hatfields and the Abdullahs! (Unless they begin to invest their petrodollars in other industries NOW and live off the income of the other industries. Think of it as a "societal 401(k)".)

I believe we will see a fluorishing in the economies of most all countries. Countries which have only single or maybe even double-digit export items in trade will wish to do MORE trade with countries which have multiple exports.

A rising tide lifts all boats...and drowns the losers even deeper.

Frankly, some countries will always be in deficit purely due resources, or lack thereof. I look at the countries, currently, to whom is being outsourced "technologic capital". In a sense, this is not a bad thing given that most of these countries do not have a solidified or able agricultural ability. There are days I look at Russia -- with large parts simply unhabitable by humans, and think what types of industry are best suited for those areas within that country as a trade item. Well... weapons, and weapons testing, for one, might be an answer. How about oil? And Oil drilling? The temps in those areas are fairly predictable.

Howzabout Singapore and Hong Kong? They do it by sheer will power, without much of anything tangible to exchange.

Throughout history, yes, economic pinnacles of stress have occurred. I don't forget the great depression; my parents both grew up during the depression. And what they learned left its mark upon me.

Aye. I do not for one second believe that "money" will be minted -- in order to produce an "strong" inflation base.

I don't know either way, but the temptation is there to some.

As corruption and the axis of "evil" is weeded out of the "global" system, more *real* money is freed up, and therefore accountable, and therefore recognizable as an assessment tool; not just by companies but by countries.

Interesting take, can we affix transparency to Central America, Africa, and China? Imagine what Mexico could do with its natural resources with an honest government...

My belief is -- the money IS real and existent already within the global market economy -- but hidden from view due too many year's corruption.

Swiss bank accounts. Or Nigerian ones--I believe if you send your SS# and bank account information they can give you a cut of the frozen assets...

En sum, I am far more optimistic, possibly, than you. Is it a gamble? YES. I do most certainly concur with you.

I am sorry, I did not mean things to sound so pessimistic; in reading your comments and snarks_when_bored's (whose wisdom I greatly respect) I realize I came across as Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. All I had meant to do was to ask "will inflation or deflation win in the US given the opposing currents in each direction" ?

What matters in the US, IMHO, is keeping the "adults" in charge. Democrats and liberals have clearly shown their inabilities or rather, disability, in behaving as adults.

Cheney / Rumsfeld '08 and Coulter and Mark Levin to the Supreme Court !

The elections, here in the US, are what is critical. Whom we elect. And continue to elect. If the population elects liberal Democrats, then assuredly, the doomsday scenario will playout in the standard con-game name of "social justice".

Let all the Freepers say Amen! However, leaders in business and in governments around the world KNOW their economies are tied to the US -- and should the US fall, they fall with her.

And you KNOW what I'm talking about !

Although, yes, there is much which can be worried about, by my own eyes, do I see solid and decent adults rising to the potential crisis which can be on the "global scene" and making steps to remedy this runaway horse called "blather" (for lack of better coinage) being spouted by people and persons who aid and abet a world collapse.

Gramsci failed. He tried to seed the US with hidden communists who would overthrow the US from within. But the Christian faith and common horse-sense of the US citizenry, coupled with their addiction to Freedom and the 2nd amendment, meant we outlasted them. Now the 1st wave of Gramsci-inspired shock troops is dying of old age. And their successors are merely oversexed retards who do not have the fire of Marxist commitment, and will fold when challenged. To quote Tolkien, "Forth Eorlingas!" :-)

Cheers!

8 posted on 02/09/2006 8:04:59 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
While the United States has long been accustomed to being the 800-pound economic gorilla, it seems that the times really are changing. From the burgeoning federal budget deficit, to the trade deficits with the Middle East and China; from the apparent hollowing out of our manufacturing capacity, to the problems of oursourcing; from the aging of the US workforce to the high US tax rate. All of these trends promise to exert powerful influences on the US, for good or for ill.
The US remains the 800-lb gorilla -- not least because the metaphor hasn't changed to the metric system. :') Trade deficits with China and the Middle East? The entire non-petroleum exports of all the Middle East OPEC nations combined do not equal Finland's (per P.J. O'Rourke, writing a few years ago). The Chinese economy is dependent on petroleum imports, and expansion can't continue (nor can its labor cost advantage) without China's doing something about it. It even appears plausible that the common ground between China and the US will be a unified front against OPEC, a sort of cooperative foreign and economic policy toward that cartel, and also as if that had been the intention all along.

And if the Chinese act up, and try to make a military move the US doesn't like, the plug gets pulled, and suddenly the Dollar Tree doesn't have any inventory.
9 posted on 02/09/2006 10:38:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv ([singing] Kaboom, kaboom, ya da da da da da, ya da da da da da...)
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To: grey_whiskers
I did not find your commentary pessimistic. Some of the comments posted afterwards had colored my response, however. Your commentary was provocative. :)

it makes it quite possible that China and India will never become the economic engines of the world supplanting the US, which so many "thoughtful" people seem to hope for.

I concur with yours: I don't think it is likely, either.

The reason the US is not saving is the out-of-control emphasis on quarterly earnings EACH and EVERY quarter on Wall Street. This puts tremendous pressure on companies to "make the numbers" and lends itself to forced marketing.

lol. Everyone wanting to be a golden parachuted CEO, the first "woman" in field X, etc.... I believe THIS is what started the wave of encouraging business (MSM, politicians) to dictate, rather than the market which is where the power actually resides (and you know this!).

more of an emphasis on "thou shalt not covet" (and that commandment ALSO refers to your neighbor's Lexus, and his trophy wife's plastic surgery, even though they are not mentioned by name) we'd be in better shape.

In perfect accord, here.Add to that the veritable explosion of credit (credit cards, personal loans, home equity lines of credit : all are out of control compared to when I was a kid. Not to mention the inflationary tendencies of the D.I.N.K's using credit to expand their effective purchasing power even more...).

I do not purchase items from businesses which conduct (via marketing) "hyper-inflationary language choices". It took me some years to understand this psuedo-guilting by certain businesses and markets as a means to "increasing" dollar power.

Example. Mid-90s. Hearings in DC on Prop 209 (repealing quotas and preferential affirmative action policies). A woman, a multi-millionaire "minority" bawled her eyes out venting over the wanton discrimination she'd suffered in the business world. And after making millions and millions of dollars. Crocodile tears. I ensured I never purchased a single item from anything remotely connected with any of her industries. That such an owner should be given to such overblown hyperbole also told me whatever products she had would also be, in kind, over-blown: over expensive and low-yield. Dittos in re all my gourmet cooking: If "organic, range-grown chicken" was mandated as part of the recipe, I never used the recipe. Why? I prefer bull-markets. :)

They might even get worse, as it appears both China and India are going through the "robber baron" phase of industrialization. It remains to be seen if the societal and governmental mechanisms for accountability are strong enough to effect enough social changes to satisfy the impoverished.

Like you, I watch as closely as I can this very thing. What one enshrines as beliefs has so much to do with how a business or a company is structured. The religious beliefs predominant in say, China, still resemble.. a caste system (like India's). At any rate, it certainly influences the manner in which workers at every level will interpret "personal liberties" versus "good of the country".

Which reminds me, all the people who are so in favor of making India and China rich because it will benefit the poor starving massses:

There's that ole "karma" thing again. It is quite so different from Christianity which is very different in focus from "karma" and "dharma".

That is to be fervently hoped for. There was an Evangelical Christina, Francis Schaeffer, who not too long after Roe v. Wade wrote a book in which he predicted that the philosophical aftermath of abortion on demand would be euthanasia. It will be interesting to see whether the 60's generation who advocated abortion for their own convenience will be sacrificed in turn for others' convenience.

I was raised in an area of the country where every single "new-age" politicism and mantra was born and booned to the max. And I've seen the results. (It all goes back to that "what do you believe in" thing). If one believes in the "convenience" factor of abortion, then "euthanasia" is a natural outcropping. (alongside many other "convenience" types of industries".

I recall when "crystal energy" became a huge wave of smaller boutique industries.. and "psychic readers and mediums" (early 70s/80s). The joke, and reality, was that if one wished to become as "crystaline" and pure and clear, radiating effervescent waves, one usually did not recognize that one espousing this belief set also became perfectly crystal clear and obvious to all around himself -- meaning, an easy financial sucker. lol. In re "psy" -- if one could be that easily read by a "reader", one was generally as easily read by anyone and for any reason. In those parts of towns where these boutique industries grew, so did corruption and crime.

En sum, some things are best left to self-discovery at very private levels. lol.

Which reminds me, all the people who are so in favor of making India and China rich because it will benefit the poor starving massses:
a) Isn't that the *EXACT OPPOSITE* of Marxism? Do you mean all the US lefties adopted Marxism merely cause it was so useful to screw the US, and they don't want it for everybody?
b) If they dodge that, then isn't what is being advocated for China and India dangerously close to Reagan's "trickle-down" economics which the left derided for so long?

How dare you expose the chimera of the left! You and I are supposed to believe its all about "halting poverty". ;)

This is the fervent wish of the multinationals. It is not all about lack of environmental laws and wage arbitrage, but about creating new customers.

SHWANG! lol. And it also provides "employment" for multi-culti marketing and journalist types. It's a "shade grown" economy the left has been building all these years.

I agree, except for demographics. That might be why Bush wants to increase Mexican and H-1B immigration so much. We won't care about their minds (cultures), we just want their bodies :-)

Heck! No kidding. When my kids were young and science and math were being shunted in education in favor of "flavor of the month" type liberal "ideology", I witnessed the beginnings of the dirth in US-born abilities in science and math. And when the subject of those visas for strong internationals to work here in the US was a sore subject for some I trekked with, I was definitely on the outs, as I didn't pack along with their "anti-" positions. I was genuinely concerned for the US economy.

The Hatfields and the Abdullahs! (Unless they begin to invest their petrodollars in other industries NOW and live off the income of the other industries. Think of it as a "societal 401(k)".)

Boyo, was I thinking in a tunnel or what? You are very right. That's exactly what has happened.Howzabout Singapore and Hong Kong? They do it by sheer will power, without much of anything tangible to exchange

Do you think this "energy" has something to do with being free of China? It powers an energy? I do.

Imagine what Mexico could do with its natural resources with an honest government...

I do think about it. The Drug Cartels have been given carte blanche in the "shade grown" economy agenda for over 50 years. This has caused problems for Mexico's government, any government. Dittos South America.

Now the 1st wave of Gramsci-inspired shock troops is dying of old age. And their successors are merely oversexed retards who do not have the fire of Marxist commitment, and will fold when challenged.

The "sex" part is all they were left with, after all their other policies fueled crime, hate, oppression. They were left to screw themselves. (Going back to the nature of "beliefs", here, again.)

To quote Tolkien, "Forth Eorlingas!" :-)

The road goes ever on. :)

10 posted on 02/10/2006 5:02:53 AM PST by Alia
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To: grey_whiskers

bump for later reading--looks interesting


11 posted on 02/10/2006 10:06:44 AM PST by MRMEAN (Corruptisima republica plurimae leges. -- Tacitus)
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To: grey_whiskers
I think additional emphasis on our relative (comparative) industrial decline is an essential concern to be kept foremost in our concscience:

This is is a very useful site to that end: Manufacturing & Technology News

12 posted on 03/28/2007 6:48:00 AM PDT by Paul Ross (Ronald Reagan-1987:"We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies.")
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To: Alia
I was reading old posts and came across this.

Please re-read your post 6 and consider posting it in vanity form as proof of your Schiff-like prescience about Obama...!

Cheers!

13 posted on 01/26/2009 7:02:40 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
Thanks for the ping, I have to say I read half the thread before I looked at the dates and realized it wasn't recent. In fact I was shocked to see it started in 2006. On the topic of housing bubble burst or trickle I think we know the answer to this now. Still I don't recall seriously considering the down side of housing bubble in 2006 other than not taking the price the county told me my home was worth very seriously. On the topic of "Big Picture, down the road" only God knows. Having said that I see things in the short term that really have no option. Zero or McLame would have both had the same problems and with limited options chosen pretty much the same responses. The big thing in the short term is that while we at Free Republic are all aware that the ONLY thing that wil lift our country out of the coming derpession is to cut gummint regulation and cut taxes. This Keynsian excuse of a "stimulus" is nothing more than the libtards cynical way to finance every libtard wet dream for decades and has no prayer of actually helping and will in fact draw resources and people from projects that would actually be helpful. So why are the libtards pissing in the swimming pool in which they too have to swim? Because they can't survive the backlash from their base if they turn into Reaganites on a dime. So trillions of funny money will be injected into the economy for foolish projects that can't possibly gain any traction. The one thing they will accomplish is hyperinflation. The one poster above said that gold will test 500 dollars soon and that is the post that had me checking the dates because gold burst through that DMA long go. Curious that the heaviest of elements can "float" in the Tsunami of hyperinflation and ride above the storm. What will the world do to respond to these things that are inevitable? In the recent past the US economy has been 60-70% consumer driven. This week I suspect that is down quite a bit, perhaps to 10%. People, real people, are losing jobs, real jobs. 401 money evaporates and it is surreal because it wasn't "real" money anyway but when real people can't put a roof over their family's head or food in their belly problems aren't theoretical any longer. I read that people remained orderly during the "Great Depression" because we were (largely) a "Christian" nation and people blamed themselves for their misfortune. This is no longer true. Will there be riots when the welfare classes aren't provided for? Will there be riots when the taxpaying classes can no longer bear the burden? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself here but I skip to the parts that are most dangerous perhaps because in danger is opportunity. In the interval we have the Treasury bubble Schiff discusses. How do the nations and individuals that hold these Treasuries respond? What are their options? My inclination is that they should get out quick because only the first out will get out with their skin. The middle of the herd will get trampled and the last will get eaten. Are there other options? I suppose. Let us say (I heard Walter Williams talk about this once) that gummint doesn't have to "collect taxes" to raise resources. If each citizen agreed to destroy the same amount cummulatively that the gummint printed the effect on the economy would be neutral. Suppose that the amount of "value" vaporized in the 401k meltdown was equal to the money printed by the Fed. I suppose the impact might be stability rather than inflation. If so then the Keysians are right. If this were true then gummint could just print money in response to any social distress or injustice and everything would be rosy. We all know this can't be true so I suspect the effect will actually be quite inflationary. Will the current holders of US Treasuries continue to support the fiction of US stability indefinitely? Good question and even Schiff doesn't seem to know the answer. If they do they may see the value of these funds dwindle to nothing as our dollar slides into the abyss. Can they ride it down and then walk away? How far down? Who are these people? Well I suspect that the big players are China, Saudis, and the other gummints but I supect the 1.3 trillion non-gummint dollars invested last year in Treasuries were the fund managers who were desperate to maintain the value of their funds after the petroleum futures scam they were running on the rest of us collapsed. In other words the previously 401k now 201k investments of plain US citizens. So if the Fed quietly "makes whole" the foreign holders of US Treasuries and leaves the poor schmucks living here holding the bag it is gonna leave a mark. I suspect something like this is in fact what is quietly happening right now. So the short term sees foolish stimulus, wasted opportunity, hyperinflation, looting of the wealth of the US, depression, social upheaval as the welfare classes and the taxpayers revolt. The real question is how does Zero deal with this. Embedded in the DNA of liberals is gun grabbing. I am just not that smart and all the above is painfully obvious to folk like Rahm Emmanuel, et. al. I don't believe our military or police forces are going to be onboard for this painful task. It is pretty easy for Zero and Emmanuel to give those orders but much harder for the poor slobs who will have to attempt the feat. How does Zero responds when that happens? Again I get ahead of myself. I am sure you are asking why does this have to happen? Why can't we as a people just wake up and just vote the libtards out in 2 or 4 years? As I write Pelosi and Reid are trying to turn 20 million illegal alins into Dem voters and the entire point of the "stimulus" is to buy their votes. Also in the works is a bill to repeal the 22nd Amendment and give Zero the Presidency for life. Might as well start refering to him as "El Maximo Jefe". Even if the Repubs weren't so disoriented they can't find their ass with both hands there will be no beating ACORN funded with billions. So how does Zero respond on that day when he looks out the window and social order is descending rapidly into chaos? I have a feeling that as slow as the UN has been to respond to things like Ruwanda and Darfur they will be able to quickly mobilize millions of chinese soldiers willing to "endure the hardship of enforcing civil order in the (formerly) US territories". I could be wrong and there are several points here that I can see branch off into other options but the options are to me less likely. I suppose that many would read the above and be horrified. I am quite hopeful. I believe that this is the only option for us to regain our country. I believe that if we turn to The Lord and ask his help in returning our land to the values it was created for that he will aid us in the face of our enemies. It will be a hard road but we have brought it on ourselves. We have let idolators demand the public space in our land and He makes it clear that the price of doing so is severe. So I long for the day. Μολὼν λάβε
14 posted on 01/27/2009 6:42:33 AM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: wastoute

Sorry, I put paragraphs in, I don’t know why they didn’t come through. Maybe it is Vista in this laptop.


15 posted on 01/27/2009 6:43:29 AM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: grey_whiskers
Thanks for the ping, I have to say I read half the thread before I looked at the dates and realized it wasn't recent. In fact I was shocked to see it started in 2006. On the topic of housing bubble burst or trickle I think we know the answer to this now. Still I don't recall seriously considering the down side of housing bubble in 2006 other than not taking the price the county told me my home was worth very seriously.

On the topic of "Big Picture, down the road" only God knows. Having said that I see things in the short term that really have no option. Zero or McLame would have both had the same problems and with limited options chosen pretty much the same responses. The big thing in the short term is that while we at Free Republic are all aware that the ONLY thing that wil lift our country out of the coming derpession is to cut gummint regulation and cut taxes. This Keynsian excuse of a "stimulus" is nothing more than the libtards cynical way to finance every libtard wet dream for decades and has no prayer of actually helping and will in fact draw resources and people from projects that would actually be helpful. So why are the libtards pissing in the swimming pool in which they too have to swim? Because they can't survive the backlash from their base if they turn into Reaganites on a dime. So trillions of funny money will be injected into the economy for foolish projects that can't possibly gain any traction. The one thing they will accomplish is hyperinflation. The one poster above said that gold will test 500 dollars soon and that is the post that had me checking the dates because gold burst through that DMA long go. Curious that the heaviest of elements can "float" in the Tsunami of hyperinflation and ride above the storm.

What will the world do to respond to these things that are inevitable? In the recent past the US economy has been 60-70% consumer driven. This week I suspect that is down quite a bit, perhaps to 10%. People, real people, are losing jobs, real jobs. 401 money evaporates and it is surreal because it wasn't "real" money anyway but when real people can't put a roof over their family's head or food in their belly problems aren't theoretical any longer. I read that people remained orderly during the "Great Depression" because we were (largely) a "Christian" nation and people blamed themselves for their misfortune. This is no longer true. Will there be riots when the welfare classes aren't provided for? Will there be riots when the taxpaying classes can no longer bear the burden? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself here but I skip to the parts that are most dangerous perhaps because in danger is opportunity. In the interval we have the Treasury bubble Schiff discusses.

How do the nations and individuals that hold these Treasuries respond? What are their options? My inclination is that they should get out quick because only the first out will get out with their skin. The middle of the herd will get trampled and the last will get eaten. Are there other options? I suppose.

Let us say (I heard Walter Williams talk about this once) that gummint doesn't have to "collect taxes" to raise resources. If each citizen agreed to destroy the same amount cummulatively that the gummint printed the effect on the economy would be neutral. Suppose that the amount of "value" vaporized in the 401k meltdown was equal to the money printed by the Fed. I suppose the impact might be stability rather than inflation. If so then the Keysians are right. If this were true then gummint could just print money in response to any social distress or injustice and everything would be rosy. We all know this can't be true so I suspect the effect will actually be quite inflationary.

Will the current holders of US Treasuries continue to support the fiction of US stability indefinitely? Good question and even Schiff doesn't seem to know the answer. If they do they may see the value of these funds dwindle to nothing as our dollar slides into the abyss. Can they ride it down and then walk away? How far down? Who are these people? Well I suspect that the big players are China, Saudis, and the other gummints but I supect the 1.3 trillion non-gummint dollars invested last year in Treasuries were the fund managers who were desperate to maintain the value of their funds after the petroleum futures scam they were running on the rest of us collapsed. In other words the previously 401k now 201k investments of plain US citizens. So if the Fed quietly "makes whole" the foreign holders of US Treasuries and leaves the poor schmucks living here holding the bag it is gonna leave a mark. I suspect something like this is in fact what is quietly happening right now.

So the short term sees foolish stimulus, wasted opportunity, hyperinflation, looting of the wealth of the US, depression, social upheaval as the welfare classes and the taxpayers revolt. The real question is how does Zero deal with this. Embedded in the DNA of liberals is gun grabbing. I am just not that smart and all the above is painfully obvious to folk like Rahm Emmanuel, et. al. I don't believe our military or police forces are going to be onboard for this painful task. It is pretty easy for Zero and Emmanuel to give those orders but much harder for the poor slobs who will have to attempt the feat. How does Zero responds when that happens?

Again I get ahead of myself. I am sure you are asking why does this have to happen? Why can't we as a people just wake up and just vote the libtards out in 2 or 4 years? As I write Pelosi and Reid are trying to turn 20 million illegal alins into Dem voters and the entire point of the "stimulus" is to buy their votes. Also in the works is a bill to repeal the 22nd Amendment and give Zero the Presidency for life. Might as well start refering to him as "El Maximo Jefe". Even if the Repubs weren't so disoriented they can't find their ass with both hands there will be no beating ACORN funded with billions.

So how does Zero respond on that day when he looks out the window and social order is descending rapidly into chaos? I have a feeling that as slow as the UN has been to respond to things like Ruwanda and Darfur they will be able to quickly mobilize millions of chinese soldiers willing to "endure the hardship of enforcing civil order in the (formerly) US territories".

I could be wrong and there are several points here that I can see branch off into other options but the options are to me less likely. I suppose that many would read the above and be horrified. I am quite hopeful. I believe that this is the only option for us to regain our country. I believe that if we turn to The Lord and ask his help in returning our land to the values it was created for that he will aid us in the face of our enemies. It will be a hard road but we have brought it on ourselves. We have let idolators demand the public space in our land and He makes it clear that the price of doing so is severe. So I long for the day.

Μολὼν λάβε

16 posted on 01/27/2009 6:45:13 AM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: wastoute

There, fixed it.


17 posted on 01/27/2009 6:45:35 AM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: grey_whiskers

Amazing, grey_whiskers, this thread. You are wise beyond your pixels. I will think on this.


18 posted on 01/27/2009 5:41:39 PM PST by Alia
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To: wastoute
I am tempted to exclaim with the truck driver in a 1970's era Doonesbury strip, "Aw, hell, it ain't *that* bad."

The offshoring was an experiment which failed. And the other countries did not *really* build up a middle class, which is what was needed for decoupling.

Nonetheless, the structural economic weaknesses caused by the prior 10 years are likely to lead to a great change in our standard of living, *if* the government takes the wrong approach. (Handled correctly, this could just be a bad cold, as the economy corrects for the overcapacity which supplied the wants of the buying-power-artificially-expanded-by-credit.) I feel another vanity coming on...

Cheers!

19 posted on 01/27/2009 7:36:43 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

*


20 posted on 01/27/2009 7:51:17 PM PST by MARTIAL MONK
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To: Alia
(Blush). Thanks.

But I was serious about making a vanity post out of yours!

Cheers!

21 posted on 01/27/2009 8:09:18 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
Thank you so much for the compliment! :)

I think likeminded folks like yourself and me could discuss this as a vanity post; but I suspect more than likely it would engender a great deal more negativity, and thereby instead of being as a positive, it would be used as fodder food for the local Seymours to spew. I read this morning that some cynicism is quite healthy. :)

22 posted on 01/28/2009 3:19:28 AM PST by Alia
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To: grey_whiskers
Handled correctly is the key phrase. It isn't going to be handled correctly it is being handled by libtards who are going to exactly the wrong thing. They are going to put a big ladle in the public trough and swill it to their supporters which is going to make things worse, not better. There is nothing we can do to stop it, either. Μολὼν λάβε
23 posted on 01/28/2009 3:29:36 AM PST by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)")
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To: Alia
it would be used as fodder food for the local Seymours to spew.

Sorry, I don't know of any Seymours except Seymour Cray (RIP).

Can you tell me who you mean?

Cheers!

24 posted on 01/28/2009 7:58:44 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

lol! You are determined we have this discussion over that past subject in post, eh?


25 posted on 01/29/2009 3:15:07 AM PST by Alia
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To: wastoute
*PING* to an old thread I found while looking for something else: you *do* realize your were *spot on* about the big ladle and the public trough, don't you?

And if not for the 63-seat shellacking in Nov.2010, it would've continued, even accelerated.

Consider yourself highly commended.

Cheers!

26 posted on 12/26/2010 2:22:33 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

LOL Well, thank you. How long ago?

I remember reading Kurt Vonnegut over 20 years ago about the “money river” and how some folks teach their children and perhaps a few lucky others how to “dip into the money river” but one needs to “surp quietly” because if the peasants learn about it they will stampede and run it dry. Sometimes old Kurt could have great insight.


27 posted on 12/27/2010 10:33:21 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: grey_whiskers

I went back and read post 16 again today. I don’t see anything in the last year that has changed one iota. Do you?


28 posted on 12/27/2010 10:40:12 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: wastoute
The water has receded a little further before the tsunami, that's all.

I think we're going to have inflation in commodities (have-to-have) and deflation in luxuries (in an attempt to spur sales), followed by massive stagflation.

We've got the stag, just waiting for the flation.

Then Sarah Palin's Reaganesque landslide.

Pray that *this* time, she picks a conservative VP.

Cheers!

29 posted on 12/27/2010 10:44:37 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: snarks_when_bored
Gold is going to test support at $500 soon, maybe even $450. If you're in from the mid-$200's, hold on. If not, good luck!

There was lots of 'good luck' to go around on that one...

30 posted on 12/27/2010 10:47:25 AM PST by GOPJ
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