Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't Be Surprised if you Wake Up Poor

Bridgethought of the Day: You can't solve problems by constantly improving your sales pitch. At some point, people are going to have to actually see, and use the product.

This logic seems to have escaped the Bush administration. If you think the Republicans are "fiscal conservatives", think again.

John F. Ince's article on the national debt shows dramatically how the U.S. has become a debtor nation.

With Bush and cronies having added over $3 trillion dollars to the national
debt, the country's credit card tab now stands at $8.8 trillion. This represents
an astounding increase of over 45 percent since Bush came into office in January
of 2001. And all this fiscal profligacy took place during the years when the CBO
originally forecasted record surpluses of approximately $2.5 trillion. And there
is no end in sight to the deficits.
More alarmingly we now rely on foreigners
to finance over 40 percent of this debt with the lion's share coming from the
Asian central banks. In FY 2006 the current account trade deficit is on track to
set yet another record, on the order of $700 billion. To put this in
perspective, billionaire investor Warren Buffet points out that, "15 years ago,
the U.S. had no trade deficit with China. Now, it's 200 billion dollars." He
says if the country does not change course, the rest of the world could end up
owning 15 trillion-dollars worth of the United States. That's equal to the value
of all American stock.

Note that as a "superpower", we are in debt to some of the world's poorest countries where people have a significantly lower standard of living. Note that at any moment some of these countries may be so turned off by our wild and profligate military adventurism that they actually decide to think twice about financing it. Oops! Now where are we going to get the money? From executives at Northrop? No! From John Q. Citizen, that's who! From people who don't control multinational corporations, who don't have influence in PACs, who are not part of the Good ol' Boy System. People who can't say "no" - or "yes", for that matter. People who can vote, but can't put their fingers on the strings that pull the economy together, or apart. People like ... "we the people" kind of people...

In other words, we're going to wake up poor one day. At least, some of us are. And God only knows who. Unless we can do something to convince the string-pullers to act responsibly. Stop spending on Armageddon projects and multi-billion-dollar wars that only further destabilize the world, and start spending more time teaching people the lost art of Diplomacy and communication. Think agriculture, not hunter-gatherer. Stop building bigger sticks, and start planting better crops. Start with a new crop of investment strategies for starters.

Picture a future with children, not corpses.

Graveyards don't make a living. If that's your Gross National Product, you're in trouble. Try investing at home, instead of in foreign wars. Make life more boring for Al-Qaeda - plant wheat.

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