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Showing posts from December, 2008

Breaking News Is Broken

I think we reached some kind of new low for the 24hr news cycle today. As I got up at 8:30 am, every single channel was showing a flooded road in some city. There was somebody stuck in a car, and they all zoomed in to see the results of the rescue. CNN, MSNBC, CNN Headline News, and even stooped as low as FOX, but they all had this “nationally important story” breaking on the screen. Now call me cold if you want to, but there are 2 wars, millions loosing their jobs, an economic crash, millions without health care, the governor of a major city being brought down on corruption charges, billions in “bailout money” yet unaccounted for, a national debate over the merits of helping out the auto industry, a vocal VP admitting that he wanted to go to Iraq weather they were a national threat or not, and so on. These are things that they could report. But nooo, we are all forced to watch a car in the water. Like an hours later the water had died to a trickle and the lady who was stuck coul…

Why would somebody throw away perfectly good shoes?

There is so much on the economic front right now. Or at least there seems to be. In the end it is the same crap on a different flavor of toast. Nobody with any ability to change things seems to A) know what needs to be changed, and B) know how to use policy to influence that change. We have pressing issues that need addressed now, and a lame duck legislative process that seeks only to pass the responsibility buck to the incoming incompetents. If you want endless takes on why’s, who’s, and when’s this situation, turn into the 24 hour news cycle that seems to never stop having “breaking news”. For at least this post I am going to turn to something that was highly reported, but severely overlooked this week in the news media. The waste of good energy to throw good shoes in a country where that resource is scarce.

So George Bush attempts to take a victory lap around the Middle East. The problem is that is kind of like Abraham Lincoln taking a victory lap around the south. Hey, …

A Case For The Big 3 Producing Junk

While listening to a couple of colleagues that other day say that they didn't want to buy an American car, because they were unreliable. Like myself they scorn NAFTA and the WTO. But there is an inherent problem with the idea of not buying "American Junk". There are only so many drivers in the country. If the policies are going to allow people from outside the economy to flood the market with product, there is going to be a point when there are more cars then there are drivers.

I read that Toyota reached a 15% market share by selling 2.5 million cars in ’07. That means 16 million cars hit the road in the US in one year. I have had a hard time figuring out exactly how many drivers are on the road. By divers license is wrong headed. Since an ID is so important, lots of people who don’t have cars have drivers licenses. Lot of people who don’t have licenses drive cars. Anyway, let us apply a little logic.

There are 300 million people in the US . I would sa…

Economics from the CEO perspective

That bout with the foreign wage blog allowed me to create a couple of good analogies that are useful for explaining this current mess. The first one comes from courtesy of my buddy Pete who just returned to the sates from a little island in the South Pacific called Tonga.

Tonga, I am told, is an island of extremely content Polynesians. They have advanced medical facilities, some industry and a 99% literacy rate. Every Tongan male is guaranteed a plot of land. Most are self sufficient and self sustaining. It is the only South Pacific nation to never be conquered or colonized. It is ruled by a monarchy in which the king must approve every facet of the economy. Let us depart from what I am sure about to using “Tonga” to a more exemplary version. (Since it is a real place, I don’t want to hear from people saying things like, “I have been there, or I know people from there who say they don’t like it.” or what ever.) So our Tongans have existed for thousands of years on this islan…

Economics 3.141592…..Whose to blame for the Big Three Failure?

If you are wondering, the number is a reference to the illusive solution to mathematical Pi. Because our lives and times and thought streams are not infinite, we eventually have to stop. However the “butterfly effect” of any economic policy change does not stop just because we do. Ever heard two people in an economic debate who have two completely different beliefs but you find they are both making agreeable valid points? First, you need new friends and a better life if you are listening to an economic debate. Secondly the reason is that they might both be right depending on where along the chain of events you would like to stop the reasoning.


Let us look at a few examples. Many Americans from both sides of the isle hold disdain for welfare recipients. What if the government just ended it. Money is no longer flowing into the hands of people who patronize small liquor stores to Wal-Marts around the country. Farmers and textile producers will no longer be receiving the revenue genera…

Response to Foreign Wage Blog

My regular readers know that wages and the way we are compensated is a platform issue for me. The root of all that is evil and wicked. So when I cam across an article titled, “Why Are Wages Low in Developing Countries?” http://mises.org/story/3218 I couldn’t resist. I have never read more delusional, greedy driven ignorant dribble in my life. This was my response. I was trying to be brief. But that was impossible. It is this kind of backasswards thinking that put us in the sinking boat we are in now.

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Wow, I have no clue what you just said. I even read it 8 times. That is double of how many time I usually read things. I am slow reader with a high comprehension level. But I guess that is what you were talking about. My productivity level is low. If one wants to justify paying me a low wage, they can say, look how slow he is. That is until somebody points out that t…