Cogito Ergo Doleo
That Seth Price thing cheers me up so much I can hardly bring myself to care that Acorn is being exposed as a facilitator of under age prostitution, tax fraud, and human trafficking; or that Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You’re a liar,” (and I haven’t heard any persuasive arguments to the contrary); or that the Coat Tails in Chief continues to pretend to know what he’s doing by simultaneously proposing, “…a sweeping overhaul of the regulations on the world’s largest banks,” while initiating a trade war with China by approving a duty increase of 35% on their tire imports (bringing the total burden to 39%). Who’s crazy enough to buy a set of tires manufactured by the Hangzhou Zhonge Rubber Co. anyway? What, lead paint on the baby toys wasn’t a clue?
What last week was merely a hypothesis, has now become axiomatic…Given a choice between two actions, the Obama administration will adopt the wrong one as policy.
In laying the ground work for the failure of the International Banking System, the operative quote on Monday will be, “…there remains much to be done to ensure the problems of the last twelve months do not happen again.” (Telegraph.co.uk). I guess someone feels this is more effective than proposing what actually should be done, which would be to shut up and get out of the way. This, I admit, would be the less newsworthy, but also, the less harmful option. In any event, unless the international banking community fails to respond in their predictable fashion (by saying “yes” while doing “no”), you can expect accommodation of the usual proposals: Further restrictions on commercial activity, more encumbrances on rational business practices, and (my favorite) the certainty of unintended consequences. Have our history texts been mutilated to the extent that no one remembers what happened when Nixon imposed price restrictions on oil, or what happened when the USSR regulated cheese? Well gosh, the supply of both commodities evaporated. Granted, not being able to buy cheese in Russia wasn’t such a problem, since there wasn’t any bread anyway. But, the unintended consequence of not being able to buy gasoline at American service stations became a landmark issue of the 1970’s, to say the least. So…let’s connect the dots…money is a commodity…and what happens when the government regulates a commodity? Anyone….? Yes, thank you Margaret, you’re correct, it disappears. Who in class wants to go without their allowance for the next three years…can I see a show of hands? All this with a straight face and no appreciation for the irony of having floated enough debt in the last few months to displace the Mediterranean up to the southern Alpine foothills, who knows how far into the Levant, and deluging North Africa (look out Muammar and your Great Socialist People’s Libya Jamahiriya!).
Iraq is over, Afghanistan is a push on Bush, Iran is a push on Israel…come on guys, where’s the fresh focus? Um…I’ll take world banking regulation with a side of China for a hundred, Alex. It’s possible Barack thought the 39% was simply an executive order to reset the new low end tax bracket…but we know that his signature on the order for an immediate 35% duty increase on Chinese may-pops was a metaphorical swat team sent in response to the urgent cries for protection from a trade union stunned by a sudden and staggering loss of 7,000 jobs due, truth be told, to the congenital inability of our domestic industry to compete even against an inferior, substandard and dangerous product. It might have been smarter to pass some quick legislation requiring China’s tire manufacturers to conform with minimum domestic safety requirements (remember the hell Nader put Firestone through? Hey Ralph, slap some of that righteous indignation over on the fat cats at Hangzhou Zhonge, the Firestone of China). Helloooo…..aren’t we clever enough to operate proactively in the global market? (one wonders how a relatively minor union can receive hot Presidential attention while, only last Monday, 40 conservative legislators sitting 22 feet away, holding 2 page health insurance reform proposals, couldn’t get arrested). So, the Proto-Maos naturally respond, in their grand hyperbolic tradition, with accusations of, “rampant protectionism, etc., etc., etc.” In reality, they’re in a confused scramble, having found themselves suddenly out-Mao-ed by no less than the leader of the free world who may, as they will soon realize, be the only individual this side of the murdering El Jefe less inclined than they are to place his ideological faith in the superiority of the free market. Whew. At any rate, there’s no need for concern, unless the profitability of the company you own or work for depends on the exportation of either poultry or vehicle parts to China (what kind of Chevys are they making over there, by the way?). Beijing has thus far only threatened to retaliate against imports of our chicken meat and car parts. We’ve had a flap with the PRC over chicken since the Asian bird flu epidemic of 2004. They’re getting tired of buying our meat, which is actually inspected for health and safety in processing, while we continue to prohibit importation of their quasi-regulated, Upton Sinclair nightmare food which, thanks to robust domestic production, we really have no need for. None, that is, unless they make good on their threat of cashing, among other things, the $776.6 billion they hold in treasury securities (per statement of June, 2009).
Would someone please turn the lights back on in the White House so this administration can stop bumping into the walls and falling over the furniture?
Instead of conspiring with Georg Soros to exterminate the banking industry, and pulling a Nixon on Chinese radials, would it be possible to consider implementing policies based on confident trust in the proven superiority of free enterprise? When necessary, this consistent position could be leavened by a degree of measured cooperation with the global market for the sake of the long term benefit. Three alarm blazes are best fought by the combined efforts of multiple fire districts. Declaring a fire to be illegal won’t extinguish it.
P.S.: It’s a lead pipe cinch that more than a few of the hats willingly thrown or absorbed into the (three) ring (circus) of this administration are looking for quiet ways to get back out from under the tent, velociter quod iam. Keeping track as they depart almost merits the political equivalent of an advent calendar.