Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Optimism Will Destroy America

So I read this rather depressing take on the state of the US. I'll admit a certain degree of shared pessimism here. There is a powerful drive to cling to hope and a belief that things are better than they are that prevents people from facing up to real challenges. This is not a left or right issue but a human one. People have faith in Obama, or in a well of eternal oil located somewhere on US land, or that science will save us from any problems, or that we will recover because we want to or that the earth is too strong to have problems and scientists are liars.

Climate and energy are MAJOR problems. Transportation is connected with both as is food production and distribution.

As a quick aside for one potential reader: there is a tendency among others, myself included, to fail to see positive potential in the face of problems that do not have solutions which can be discerned. I am very on the fence here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Enough Time For Meaningful Post

So apparently Americans see China as an economic threat. The past nearly 10 years has demonstrated rather effectively that Americans tend to be terrified of silly things while real scary shit has us mostly non-plussed (well, until it explodes a la housing bubble).

China is an economic threat like al qaeda is a legitimate military threat to us. China is insanely heavily dependent on us for their economic well being. We buy the crap they make. For China to become a real economic behemoth they would need to be buying our crap. Their growth is insane because they are so far beneath us in standard of living and they have a massive population. Slight improvements in their structure yield massive jumps in GDP.

For all the noise about how much of our debt they own, that is an investment. They buy our debt so we can subsidize our economy when it falters so we can buy their crap. If we end up in some form of contraction, China will be hit hard. Yes, they also trade with Europe, but the only market that could replace us is their own, but that would require more domestic disposable income, meaning higher prices to manufacture, which would mean higher prices and less exports internationally. If they ever stopped pegging their currency to ours that could happen and it would be good for them. It would also lead to (US) domestic goods being relatively more affordable to produce, so it would probably be good for us too.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Now That's an Idea

I don't read Digby as much as others (too often evokes sympathy anger), and I have a feeling that this suggestion is mostly posited as counter to the asinine abortion tagalong to the House's HCR (Health Care Reform) bill. Still, I completely agree with it.