Monday, November 16, 2009

Things Aren't Getting Any Better

Sorry that I have been absent for a while. Some medical problems got in my way but things are getting better now.

In the meantime, I have noticed that world affairs continue to deteriorate, and in the United States, issues such as unemployment, the Middle East wars, state and local financial troubles and such have reached disastrous proportions. In the link below, Bob Herbert, a NY Times columnist whom I admire greatly, explains rather pointedly how the unemployment situation has hit condition RED for those who are less than privileged, and especially those who aren't fortunate enough to work on (proverbial) Wall Street.

The financial community would have us believe that the salad days are here again, but who ever heard of the Dow topping 10,000 and gold besting $1,000 per ounce at the same time? Intuitively, that spells trouble to me. Meanwhile, the ill-conceived war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan now look like they will take decades to bear the fruit we are seeking, provided that we have the fortitude and resources (money and personnel too) to persist, and this seems highly unlikely.

Our politicians from Washington to Chicago are lost in rhetoric and in a non-winnable race to the bottom. Municipalities are looking to monetize their infrastructure by selling off things like parking rights, tax items and even bridges. I pity both the cities and the financial organization who are participating in this chicanery; the money the local establishments receive has already been spent and it is beyond me how anyone can achieve a long-term profit from 70-100 year leases on all this stuff.

Do I have any answers? Not really. That's why I use a hurricane as the graphic for this post; it is the most powerful force on earth and it is unstoppable. I am afraid that this is precisely what we are facing in a social context. Perhaps the United States can borrow from Germany's playbook, or even China's since in both countries, they have managed to resume (paltry) growth and preserve jobs, although they both have other problems (China=pollution, Germany=economic stagnation) with which to contend; but in the USA, we don't have the gumption to upset the political status quo. If what I am writing about here is even moderately correct, then next year's elections will devastate incumbents, and without a better Middle East war strategy (stop the fighting) and a concerted effort to resurrect jobs for the many disadvantaged, Obama and his entire Washington crew will end up confirming that they are the feckless ideologues that I believe they are. My biggest fear is that even with the best practices, wonderful innovation (currently stifled) and terrific luck, it will still take ten years or more to pull out of this mess.

Geez this really sucks?!

Here's the link to Bob Herbert's article:


  1. Once again, you've hit the nail on the head. Since the recession started and "ended" as the financial pundits say, we've gone significantly further into debt.

    I'm sure you remember the crisis of LTCM. The government shelled out $3.6B or so and everyone thought the world was ending. Now, we push out hundreds of billions and few seem to grasp what a dangerous precedent we've set.

  2. It's sure hard to read when you know it's true. Thanks for the post.