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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's About Time

Someone made their last State Of The Union speech yesterday. Finally. After making 8 too many.

Now one may think that I will comment on said State Of The Union speech. But I am not. The photo to the left has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the speech. It is just a random picture which has nothing to do with anything. I do not even know why I put it up! Having nothing to do with any opinion I may have at the moment, it will just confuse readers. Because it is just a random picture. And stuff.

Of course, what did we expect? Nobody in their right mind will be too truthful in a State Of The Union speech unless things really are going great. But most of the time no matter how "great" things are there are ALWAYS issues that you have to gloss over.

I question how the stimulus package is supposed to "help" the economy. A one time pay out? That is going to save the world? Am I supposed to buy that? And the tax cuts need to be made permanent? Why, because they have been working so great so far? And of course, they have worked so great that we now need a stimulus package because the economy is getting ready to tank?

I think I am missing something here. I just can not figure out exactly what.

Of course, there is that trickle down theory! Lets investigate why that theory does not work! See it used to work. Back when America was the World's China and tons of stuff was made here. Back when the USA exported more than it imported. All money is either spent OR invested. So giving people at the top more meant that there was more investment. And where did that investment money go? Where it could make the most return of course! And where was that? AMERICA!! So the theory did actually work. The money stayed here.

But today where is investment money going? Well lets see here, where would I make more with my investment money? ASIA! Yes Asia. That is where the explosive growth is going down.

So with no guarantee that investment money will stay here (there is an excellent chance it will end up in foreign markets) the trickle down theory kind of fizzles. Think about it. WHEN did we start to export jobs and industry to China? Or at least ,when did we get serious about it? The 80s. And what economic policy was the rage then? So what did we get for all the happy horse shit sold to us? An outflow of jobs. Of course this would have happened anyway, labor in China is cheaper than labor in the USA.

Call me crazy, but maybe it is time for a trickle up policy. Give people in the lower and middle segments more money. Yes some will be invested - and those investments can be anywhere in the world. But more of it will be spent. Right here.

No mention of inflation. The Federal Reserve will not utter that word. So I will. The value of the US Dollar is at a low point. Not the all time low, but lower than it has been in a very long time.

Of course, some (mostly Republican) people will say "devalued currency is good because it makes exports cheaper". OK fine - Ill go along with that. Because it is true.

So what the hell does America export anymore? We used to export all sorts of consumer goods. So in days past when the US Dollar dropped in value then more of our consumer goods were sold overseas.

Pretty much the USA used to be the World's China. But now China is the World's China. We have transitioned from a major exporter to a major importer.

Now follow me here! Since we do not export anything of note (we DO export some things, but it is a well established fact we import FAR MORE than we export) - a drop in the value of our currency is BAD NEWS! It makes IMPORTS more expensive.

And it made oil more expensive. Europe is buying oil too - with Euros worth more than Dollars! So what does that mean? We need more Dollars to buy oil. Why sell the USA a barrel of oil for $60 when you can sell that same barrel for 60 Euros?

The oil exporting nations are not stupid. They understand the concept of value very well. They are not going to sell the USA something for a lower price than they can sell it to France for. Duh.

So what we are looking at IS inflation. And a $600 or $1200 check will not help that. Well it may help for one month. But what about the other 11 months of this year? Salaries are still NOT going up at the same rate as the cost of living! People are still working just as hard, or even harder, while watching the value of their earnings drop. But what would someone born rich know about such troubles? What would they know about having to live on a strict budget? What would they know about not being able to leave the County they live in for vacation? What would they know about not being able to take a vacation? What would they know about having to wonder what happens if they miss a paycheck or two?

Nothing. Not a damn thing. Just like I can not possibly know what it is like to be a starving person in Africa (or anywhere else in the World) because I have plenty of food, people born into vast wealth and power can not possibly know what is like to not have such things. Why, EVERYONE has a vacation home - right??

Yet millions of working people buy the bullshit year after year. Nothing changes. Case and point, the current guy in office ran in 2000 as an outsider. A regular guy. Just like everyone else! Just a regular average guy! A regular everyday ordinary average guy - whose very first job was CEO of an oil company.

What was your very first job? Chances are it was NOT CEO of anything.

The rainbow leading to the shitter photo has nothing at all to do with this post.

Whoever gets the job next has their work cut out for them. They will be walking into a disaster. Massive debt. A devalued dollar. The war and what to do about it. An unstable economy. And so on.

Not an impossible situation, but a far worse situation than someone walked into in 2000. But there is hope. Everything runs in cycles after all.

IF people feel better about the future after the November election then the economy could recover. How people feel and think is an economic indicator often overlooked. It really is the key to the whole thing.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

cripes....perhaps you should throw your hat in the ring, -you seem to have the answers to the whole sorry state of affairs.

seems to me that china is just one more victim of america's imperialism....just like we are.

america's exports are now less tangible than commodities, - they are things like brand names, ideals, fashions & trends, free markets, opportunity etc.

there's a melancholic reflection that should bear some consideration, it goes 'what have we done,-look what we created'.

Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

I skimmed, but only because I'm on a mission. I'll be back.

I'm making a Happy Birthday card on my blog. Come and leave a note.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love lamp

Blogger Fuzz said...

Fortunately, I'm only here temporarily.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Ponder - If I ever run my platform will be "I will vote no on everything. We have enough laws already". And I will vote no on everything. Except for a very few things I will vote yes on, which shall be:

1. YES on allowing Florida residents to mail order beer.

2. YES on beer containers of all sizes and shapes.

3. OH HELL YES on beer being able to be stronger than 5.5% and still be called beer.

4. YES on brew pubs being able to sell beer to go in mini kegs or "growlers" (1/2 gallon jugs).

5. YES on the legalization of weed (why not - making it illegal has worked so well there is no need to try something else)

6. YES on full fledged casinos for Florida.

NO on everything else.

Emma - I did. Sort of. In my usual half assed kind of way.

Doozie - I love lamp too. It lights up my life.

Fuzz - we are all here for a good time not a long time. I try to remember this every day.

Blogger Scarlet W. Blue said...

I like the trickle up idea.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

My very first job (other than babysitting) was as an assistant in a church nursery. My boss was a real evil bizznitch who never had anything good to say and criticized everything I did, telling me I was lucky she didn't fire me for incompetence. Interesting how many "good Christians" exhibit exactly the same kind of "good Christian" behavior.


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