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March 08, 2012


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Very educative post. Thanks for communicating it.

I am trying hard to stay positive but am so angry with our party. Currently,the US has Obama who represents the far left and now the Republicans are trying to put in the far right. Talk about polarization where only mischief can happen!

Here is my question to the right-wing conservatives? If you are looking for a change from Obama - someone who has your value - you have it in Santorum AND Romney. Romney certainly exemplifies the family values you all stress. AND he has leadership experience. In Santorum you get no leadership experience. My over-all take is that the conservative right-wing doesn't want a Mormon but won't say it straight out. I find that disgusting.

For people that are middle-right, Romney is the answer. He has strong moral values and he can lead. Yes, he is a Mormon and yes he, personally, is probably against abortion, etc. but it will not be the thing that will govern his leadership. Social values - be it right or left - should stay at home or in your faith (or non-faith) community. Run the government like a business - that is what it is.

'O' PLAN PART DEUX; Get that pesky newspaper PRAVDA to act more like the NY Times. Now they've picked up on the Arpaio investigation. They have accepted the investigation results and have begun to ask; HOW It HAPPENED in the US and why the US MEDIA won't talk ?
(PRAVDA's Article reported on local radio in S.C.)

Economy--a mixed bag. Only 12 million people work for manufacturing in the US. And, yet we are number one in the world. There are 9,000,000 small business owners who employ 75 million workers. The US GDP comes from the small businsses and service companies. Because small business doesn't have unions and doesn't make big campaign contributions they are ignored by our politicians. For the most part the politicians pander to the Fortune 1000 and union companies. They legislate in favor of these companies and the fallout hits the small businesses pretty hard. The banks do the same: steering clear of the mixed balance sheet world of small business. To make matters worse banks constantly change the terms of the company credit cards lowering credit limits and raising interest rates. Changing rules are the most troublesome aspect of forecasting business so small business is constantly cautious.
Until American leaders realize that the landscape has changed and begin to look for ways to reduce regulation on small business and to focus on trying to stabilize their credit requirements and access our economy will lag. Under this administration the small business community has been bombarded with uncertainty and strangled for credit. And, yet as my HBS professor once told us we have used our "rat like cunning" to adjust and despite politicians best efforts to give favor to the big and union companies small businesses are leading the way in job creation. Republicans would do well to embrace small business and promote a strategy to clear the way for their success.
The US recession of 2007-2009 is beginning to show up in the emerging world. China and Brazil are slowing. Oil demand is stagnant depsite speculators attempts to use Iran as a lever to keep oil high. Now, the emerging world will get hit with a very serious blow: the European recession. EU will cut their purchases dramatically as they try to get their financial house in order. And, just 9 months away the US will have to make some big fiscal decisions as well. While the election year will likely result in a "kick the can down the road" compromise between the US parties once the 2012 election is over there will begin a fiscal austerity program here of some kind. And, that too is likely to reduce our emerging market feeding frenzy. Eventually the Feds will slow the money printing and the dollar will strengthen reducing our current boom in manufacturing. So, long term the economy will likely struggle. And, as the economies of the US and EU go, so go the emerging markets eventually.
Finally the US housing market is still very stagnant. There were no jobs created in construction this month. Hose foreclosures are still record high. And, prices are declining. Never look at percentages--they mislead you greatly. Housing start increases of 20% is nothing. A 20% increase of 2% is 2.4%--smoke and mirrors. The US housing market has lead the US economy and provided our invested savings (equity) for the post WWII timeframe. Baby boomers retiring at 10,000 a day lost trillions of dillars in their homes. Our children are stuck in below water mortgages. When Congress took away the interest deduction many years ago the stimulated a move by home woners to refinance their CC debt into their houses and this helped create the huge run up in debt on houses along with loose credit policies. Ironically, if the housing market would come back then the flood of immigrants would return from the south and those jobs would once again flow to Mexicans and not Americans. Republicans are now courting the Mexican vote so they have dropped the ball on the border issue.
States except for California, Illinois and NY are doing an excellent job of balancing their budgets and perhaps they will be able to wean off the Feds as the Feds begin to address their deficit problems. Virginia is beginning to plan for a reduced Federal budget. Perhaps a Republican governor in the White House can change the Feds focus.

But, Bill B, Obama and a compliant press will not permit this election to be about dismal economics, which will still be blamed on Bush. The issues will be invented social issues: Republicans wanting to ban contraceptives, need to restore Democrat iron clad majorities in Congress so that Obama can overcome those blocking recovery and his environmental/social agenda etc.

As to the omnipotence of China, does anyone remember the central planning in Japan (MITI)a few decades ago? The conventional wisdom was that Japan would replace us as the #1 economic power. Japan's initial strategy was great, but they were writing on a clean slate. Government central planners were unable to adjust course in a changing world. Like the proverbial generals, they were constantly fighting the last war. All the risks to a government employee lie in making a change, thus assuming responsibility for the consequences. Safer to keep the course.

Bill M--thanks for the enlightening observation about the Greek people bearing the brunt of the loss. This fact may be burried on page 32 here, but is an "inconvenient truth" that advocates of big deficits will pretend never happened. We will be left believing that "oppressive big banking" took a well deserved hit.

SORRY---couldn't resist this one:

I posted this to CNBC this morning and it got 98% agreement.

Who got the shaft on the Greek Bonds? The People. Under Greek law all the people who worked for the government at one time-- somewhere around 50% of the population--were REQUIRED--to let the government invest their retirement funds in Greek bonds. So, the Greek people are ones who took the 50% haircut on their retirement. This is what happens when the government controls the lives of the people. Sounds just like Congress "borrowing" all the social security money doesn't it? And, that isn't even the money of government workers --its all of us.

ZAKHARIA, WHAT A STRETCH; just phenomenal that a person of some education and accomplishments can allow himself to reach these conclusions regards China. I doubt China dared reach those same conclusions. Seems this brand of politician wants the Power, Credit, and Money also I assume.

THE STATES,OUR UNSUNG ECONOMIC HEROES; Couldn't a case be made that were it not for the Conservative Fiscal Requirements of our States; there would be no Recovery (albeit modest) ? Washington can hardly take crdit for even the slightest of improvements. I'm surprised that Romney ,certainly one of the most conservative of governors, hasn't articulated these positive contributions,,i.e...S.Carolina establishing a 'business welcoming' environment.

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