2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Let’s dig through that old trunk in the attic and see what we can find…..

“the private sector is doing just fine”….naturally there was more than just an “hmmm” to that remark by BO.  Next thing you know he’ll have those bands start playing “Happy Days Are Here Again” rather than “Hail To The Chief” to set the right mood for his economic messaging.

How can academics by so smart and completely stupid at the same time?  We have an enormous debt and deficit problem.  Those that can do 4th grade math can see the problem there.  The liberal (European) solution is to print more money to cover the increased debt so that more debt solves the debt problem.   According to them we then re-distribute that money and use the “multiplier effect” whereby they assert that for every one dollar of money given by the Feds to anyone will produce a dollar and half of economic value.  Lord, why don’t that just give us all a lot of money and we’ll go spend and everyone will be rich.  Of course, I don’t know how you’ll get food, or gasoline or a car repaired or a haircut or anything else that you need.  After all who would need to work?  In the land of Oz anything is possible apparently.

You’ve heard of and maybe read “Two Years Before The Mast” by Dana.  It is the tale of the terrible conditions for sailors in the early 19th century.  There is some truth to that story.  But like so many headlines it is always good to look behind the curtain a bit and see the full show.  From the early 16th century traders from Europe and then the Americas were making sailing trips to the Far East and Mid East to barter and trade for spices and silks and other goods.  They took with them clothe and other manufactured goods to trade for those items.   Yes, it is true that the wages were generally very low but there was a common bonus feature that is too often overlooked.   A typical trading ship is say 1680 would allow the common crew members and set amount of storage on board.  Normally it would be measured by weight, pounds and/or square footage as another limit.  The sailor from the Netherlands or England could fill his portion of the ship with whatever he wanted to take East for trade.  Likewise on the return, he could fill his part of the hold with mace, ginger, cloves, pepper or other desired spices.  They would make a huge profit on their return home.  They wouldn’t become wealthy but quite comfortable for that age.  If they made several trips they could become quite well to do.   Of course that journey was dangerous and more than half did not survive the year plus round trip voyage, mostly due to disease, malaria, dengue fever and the like.  Point is though that they all weren’t dressed in rags upon their return to Bristol or Amsterdam.

Something is weird about the Commerce Secretary Bryson’s recent bizarre hit and run incident.  Maybe just a tragic story of a medical condition.  But I for one don’t believe the White House didn’t check into the details before the Press Secretary started his recent news conference.  In times past when an incident occurred with a member of an Administration that involved the police or a hint of scandal they would come to the defense quickly and forcefully of the team member, or fire them.  The no comment in effect that they gave makes one think there is something more than the announced alleged medical problem Bryson supposedly had.  If that were the whole story then the WH would jump to his defense; the hesitation is puzzling.  Stay tuned for the details that were surely emerged.

Defenders of the Administration have recently cited several times the Internet as an example of the Feds promoting innovation through research and development money put up by the Feds.  It is true that the US military did develop much of the basic structure for computers communicating with each other.  But that was strictly for military use in communications and control of satellites and other weapons systems.  Of course IBM and Cray were doing the heaving lifting in all those advances, not some Army sergeant and White Sands.   Furthermore that world-wide web was the brainchild of a Brit.  He is the one who realized all the computers everywhere could be joined and an information exchange.  Again, that had nothing  to do with the Feds or Federal advancement of private enterprise and innovation.  Just like it was not Al Gore it also was not the Feds that gave us the world-wide web that you type in on every web address.

As they say, let’s follow the money.  Someone or some entity in Europe (you’ll note that little detail is missing so far from all the news reports) is going to loan money directly to banks in Spain.  The lender(s) didn’t want to be seen supporting the sovereign debt of Spain because Spain has to clean up its act the European Union says.  But the interest rates for Spain have shot up dramatically.  Spain will still regulate its banks just like we do.  When the Spanish banks get that money for Germany and their entourage, and the Spanish regulators come along and “suggest” it would really be nice if they would use that money to buy Spanish government bonds do you think those banks will refuse?  So, the money will end up going to the Spanish government after making a short stop at the local banks.   But it is only 125 billion, pocket change apparently these days.   But the European will sure be showing those Spaniards who is boss by not giving the government there any money directly.

“Capitalists are no more capable  of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself by his own bootstraps”  Lenin.  Rebuttal evidence–The Greatest Generation.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com


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Filed under business, Culture, Economics, Foreign Affairs, history, Politics

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