28 February 2009

civil unions

I've read Larry Geller's treatment of the recall of the civil unions bill out of the JGO committee. Symbolically, it is very telling. There is something very telling when Christian conservatives that oppose House Bill No. 444, Relating to Civil Unions, have to use confusion about the power of the majority to make decisions in order to stop the bill. What happened to majority rule?

22 February 2009

Behold A Market Is Born: Do Not Fear, Rejoice?

It has been leaked that Obama will attempt to halve the U.S. federal deficit over the next four years. If we assume that total foreign investment will continue at its current levels, will this spur economic growth in the "private" sectors? According to economists, that's how it works. That capital has got to make money somewhere. This only works, however, if foreign investment remains constant. But will foreign investment remain constant?

The Chinese have a direct investment in this happening, but at some point, good money will not be thrown after bad money. On the other hand, Americans will have no choice but to cut the deficit. When direct foreign investment declines, business will have to contract but so will government spending. Perhaps the Obama plan is to minimize the impact of the decline in foreign investment by cutting government spending -- camouflaging it with a massive government spending bill first?

This reminds me of a recent comic where the artist found all of Obama's cabinet picks to ironic penance for previous positions -- Clinton unrepentant about voting for the Iraq War as Secretary of State, NY Federal reservist Geitner as Secretary of Treasury, pharmalobbyist Daschle as Secretary of Health.

15 February 2009

another word on debt & economic stimulus

After writing my last blog (to which no one seems to read or respond to), I thought more about my very brief idea of using the U.S. economic stimulus to relieve the US$51 trillion of external debt. I was thinking about the rational ignorance and avarice of the government bureaucrats and hedge fund managers that hold most of this debt of the Third World. Here's a compromise worth thinking about: first, recalculate the debt in terms of the currency in the country that received it and recalculate the payments against the debt in these terms -- and adjust for inflation, and if necessary, intentional revaluations of the currency. I have no idea what this would look like, but it seems to me that this kind of debt relief may allow a reasonable (and honest) return on investment for those investing while allowing debtor-nations to re-evaluate each national economy's relationship to external debt.

Of course, this idea looks as unlikely as my first idea. The elite, who live on the surplus value they extract by appearing as receiver of the monies from the outside world and the "giver" of the monies from the inside world, would not lose any surplus value in this re-equation since the original value of the loan does not change. In fact, spending less money of debt service without lowering government revenue would provide more opportunities for elite to line their pockets by skimming. Yet, the elite are not in favor of this, almost anywhere. Now, that's what I call real utang na loob for the wealthy countries.