Category Archives: Foreign Policy

US economy is as simple as US CH IOU.

Slide1Person U buys trinket H from Person C and gives a U IOU. Person C doesn’t want trinket S and instead saves U IOU from person U. With no demand for trinket S, person U is laid off. But he still wants another trinket H so he gives person C another U IOU, which Person C saves again.

After a few years, person C has more demand for trinket H and uses U IOUs to buy a factory from Person K, who then uses U IOUs that travel throughout the region but never go back to purchase trinket S from Person U. Meanwhile Person U continues to purchase more trinkets S with more IOUs.

U debt grows. U unemployment grows. U trade deficit grows. U economists suggest that to put person U back to work, government U will put other Persons U to work, pay them more IOUs that they can then give to Person U for trinket S and that then he can go back to work. So now to “fix” the problem, people are put to work in government instead of making trinket S, so that they can buy trinket S, yet the debt still grows.

Economist U says this is a perfect solution for Person U can now buy trinkets from Person C, Government person U can buy trinkets from Person U and the only thing that seems odd is that the U IOUs continue to grow. But IOUs represent work that must be done eventually to compensate those holding the IOUs. And if Person U holds more IOUs than he can possibly repay in his lifetime, person C eventually becomes concerned.

Eventually, Person C figures out that Person U can no longer repay the IOUs with the amount of labor available to Person U. Person C then decides that the IOUs circulating are not worth the amount of repayment labor originally intended. Person C then tells Person U in order to buy trinket H, Person U must give Person C two IOUs.

In this way, person C begins to make person U repay his debt. Person U must now labor twice as long to obtain trinket H. Person U becomes “poorer” due to now having to labor harder to repay decades of IOUs paid to Person C. This perfect solution touted by Economist U as a way to fix unemployment is not so perfect after all.

Person C has profited from not buying trinket S over the years. Person C has grown employment, bought factories, grown GDP, and increased real assets at home. Yet, Person C has paid a price in choosing eventually to not accept U IOUs at the same face value as before. For now, while choosing to make person U give two IOUs for trinket H, person C also accepts that all the IOUs he holds are only worth half of what they were a moment before.

Person C’s economy is now robust but his wealth is a little less now than before. Person U’s economy is now fragile and hollow. Person U must labor twice as hard now to buy trinket H. Even though his labor is worth less buying trinket H, he will still labor the same number of hours to repay his debt. Yet a pyrrhic victory is won for now other countries holding IOUs will buy his labor that is worth less.

In summary, for decades Person U bought trinket H thinking it was inexpensive but in reality it really bought him unemployment and borrowing to pay for trinket H. Then later, to repay his debt, Person U became poorer and sold trinket S cheaply into the market to repay Person C for the trinket H that he borrowed U IOUs to pay for earlier. Going forward, Person U has less GDP and less factories for decades as he attempts to catch up.

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Filed under American Governance, China, Economic Crisis, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Full Employment

Changing the Current Corporate Paradigm Will Help America Thrive


The corporation is an artificial construct originated centuries ago to give investors and workers legal protections that balanced risk taking with entrepreneurial rewards. This construct propelled national economies to new heights, which would not otherwise have been achieved. Corporations and derivatives such as LLCs to this day provide America with the best balance for entrepreneurial growth. Yet, with the creation of the corporation, a new life form began that has now evolved to test the very nations that gave it life. Like Frankenstein, the corporation has loosened its legal bindings at the economic frontier and now has the potential to become the corporate-state master of its nation-state creator.

This imposition by corporate-states upon nation-states is appalling. Our government institutions have been rotted from the inside to their skin and their innards have been replaced with government zombies that dutifully perform functions set upon them by their corporate masters. It is a ghastly phenomenon centuries in the making, visible to the naked eye for at least a hundred years, formed from the initial character of corporations. Yet, we humans are caught in our original paradigm of corporations as servants of the nation and are unable to see a new corporate threat evolving.

We call the newest corporate form transnational or multinational. Yet these terms merely define the world’s current paradigm of the frontier edge of corporatism. They name this static moment in the development of the corporation, and not what it is becoming. “Anational” refers to the transforming paradigm of the corporation that has loosened its host nation’s bindings and that is no longer attracted to any nation except in terms of what it might gain from that nation, similarly to how the term “asexual” refers to a human that is not attracted to any gender sexually except for how that contact might produce its offspring.

We mistakenly attempt to label anationals’ evolving perverse power as having a human form, AKA Citizens United. Yet the only way we can continue to call corporations people having citizen power is to also label their behavior humanly perverse, almost psychopathic. Our problem is that we attempt to give human characteristics to all life forms. We would rather call a great white shark a man-eating monster than to swim in its skin, defining its repeatable patterns meant to enhance its sustainability on this planet. If instead of calling corporations people, we could understand how corporate-states consistently act to sustain their lives, we would not have to denigrate corporate existence with human behavioral terms but rather celebrate corporate life form, as we should any other on this planet.

Celebrating a life form does not mean approaching it cavalierly. At their evolving frontier boundary, corporations are gaining enormous capacity to bend nations to their will, in ways that do not help our citizens. In an effort to stave off the inevitable, scholars like Michael Porter write of co-opting corporations toward patriotism, citizenship, or perhaps more precisely corporate responsibility to host nations, or at least including nation states in the list of corporate stakeholders. Yet these attempts to persuade corporations to take on human characteristics are only stop gaps to the evolving threat.

Just as the U.S. can coax China to participate as partners at this stage of our empire’s shifting power sharing, the U.S. can still coerce corporations to participate as national citizens to some extent, even those as powerful as corporate-states. Yet, just as the power struggle between China and the U.S. will ultimately intensify, our ability to co-opt the growing power of corporate states is also waning.

The time will come when corporate states gain a plurality of world power and work together for the betterment of the metropolis of corporate states. By then, nation states by necessity will also have evolved to retain our maximum power. We will then no longer see corporations as people with the rights of citizens. Instead they will finally be correctly defined from the nation-state perspective as a means to an end and will be measured and rewarded for what they can add to the nation-state.

The idea that corporations are people with citizens’ rights will be replaced by the idea that corporations are self-sustaining life forms that live amongst us just as bacteria and bears do. We will acknowledge that corporations perform vital functions in the advancement of humanity but that they can kill us if we do not respect their limitations. Nations will pursue the harnessing of anationals’ positive aspects and will intensify efforts to corral their negative ones. We will understand that corporations are not wild horses that can be contained in national regulatory pens and ridden rodeo style.

Most nations today are nowhere near large enough to contain anationals’ eventual strengths with only national regulatory and legal tools. Nations will by necessity have to cooperatively combine efforts. Unfortunately, the world will also destabilize as smaller nations attempt to consume one another to find scale large enough to survive the next millennium. The very existence of corporate-states will cause tribes to devalue regional differences that have defined current national boundaries formed to combat external threats. China is not a single tribe nor is India or the United States. Others will follow.

Some might label my corporate musings as conspiratorial paranoia. Yet conspiracy is simply another human trait that would attempt to contain the evolution of anationals within our human boundaries. Conspiracy by definition suggests that anationals are somehow more aware of the global shift taking place than nation-states and thus are light years ahead in their planning and efforts. Along the bell curve, some nations such as China are able by their historical circumstances to have a much longer planning horizon than others. Similarly, some anationals are much more aware of their future posterity than others and are acutely acting on their global economic advantages. As a whole however, nation-states and corporate-states are adrift in this sea of evolution, making short-term sustenance moves, as they are able.

Great white sharks instinctively know that they must sometimes migrate throughout the entirety of the ocean, but like humans they give their greatest weight of thought to their next meal rather than where they will be during mating season. Yet, somehow the world aligns to bring them home again, and it will also align to reposition the power of anationals higher in the hierarchy of states. Thought to how nation-states must react to this realignment is warranted.

What this realignment means for humanity is unclear. The role of the nation-state to serve its people, economically and otherwise, providing a balance along the life wheel of work and play, protection and freedom, stability and exploration, sustenance and opportunity is becoming increasingly threatened. People’s allegiances to corporate-states will strengthen as realignment intensifies, threatening national allegiances and humanity’s balance further unless we learn to coexist. Shifting our current paradigm of the corporation will serve us well in that effort.

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Filed under China, Foreign Policy, Multinational Corporations, social trajectory, World Sustainability

Are Corporate States Alien Life Forms Here to Destroy or to Help the Human Race

For forty years, lobbyists have multiplied, as has their power to write and financially support changing laws of our country for their benefit. Sensing lobbyists growing power, politicians have enacted laws to limit corporate impact, but at every turn, other laws are passed that pat corporations on their backs for their ardent support of political clients.

For forty years, corporations have been nurtured in the womb of America’s heartland as inhuman zygotes preparing for eventual world competition. Yet, even as these multinational corporations grew stronger suckling on our country’s teat, their MBA mantra of short-term gains began to separate these new life forms from their motherland.

Citizens United was a celebration of the birth of the anational corporate state, corporations large enough to exist on their own outside of the reach of any one nation. Yet having broken free of inconvenient national bindings, corporate states could not just remain stagnant babies in our world. They must now evolve and commune together for their species’ survival.

Just as mankind grew from hunters and gatherers to city-states and finally nation states; just as nation states developed from mercantilist competitors to a league of earth’s cohabitants; corporate states must also now evolve. It is natural for these corporate states to want their own legislative bodies to form compromises in the shaping of bills that minimize intercorporate conflicts and that allow each to flourish like weeds in the gardens of their host nation-states.

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is one such advance in their evolution. It continues their path of lobbyist democracy that has defined America for the past 40 years, yet it takes corporations to their next stage of evolution of feasting on nation state’s legislative bodies for corporate gains. Unless citizens of nation states learn that their conduit of representation has been usurped, and unless we finally agree to co-opt our corporate citizens into recognizing human citizens as stakeholders in corporate successes, America will ultimately become fodder in the new world order.

As a pragmatic nationalist, I favor learning to live amongst this new life form, the anational corporate state, and to harness it, even to domesticate it as we would a farm animal if possible for the betterment of mankind.

Humans evolved from living in caves to the nation states we see today. Along the way, we formed governments. Then these governments formed alliances and finally several world bodies. It was an evolution interspersed with several revolutions.

Corporations are another life form, incorrectly identified by our supreme court as people. That is why our supreme court is a legal entity, not one paid to do biological work. But as any life form, corporations too will evolve and, similarly to people, will most likely be involved in revolutions as well along the way.

They first appeared hundreds of years ago, well before the founding of America. At first, nation states thought they could be domesticated, even house broken, like little pot-bellied pigs. Over the years, America nurtured our cute little corporations and we wrote rules for their existence, which they seemed to follow for the most part. Sure, during the big wars, they exhibited wild like tendencies, often seeming to harm their nation state keepers in the process but we thought we had a handle on how to keep them tame.

But in reality, they were learning how to tame us. They were aliens, living in our world, like little terrorists cells do today, learning our ways. Somehow, they grew big enough to control the nerve centers of nation states, our political structures. They grew powerful enough to send nation states to wars on their behalf and to enforce and install puppet governments in other nation states. And when they became too large to exist within one nation state under its monopoly regulations, they finally learned how to split cells and to pass from one body to the next just as parasites leave their hosts.

As these new life forms continued to evolve, they mutated, each learning to live as one being with cells in multiple nation state bodies, hearts in one nation state, brains in another, still more organs and muscles in others. And they thrived and grew into corporate states, not tied to any nation, anational if you will. Yet at this stage, their existence was similar to the human stage of evolution perhaps in the feudal period.
It was merely another stage of their evolution however to want to commune together eventually. Certainly, corporate states have fought each other as well as worked together complementary. Yet they have had to find their ways individually and to seek each other out as they grew and developed needs. Communing together in associations helped to identify one to another more easily. And ALEC was a natural step in their evolution. With ALEC, they could form a modest “Governmental Function” of working together to identify how nation-state laws could best be constructed to mutually help this burgeoning society of corporate states.

Now if corporate states coexisted symbiotically with humans, say as trees providing us oxygen and wood without too much harm, they would be no cause for concern. But they do not. They have learned to mutate and grow within our systems and to cause harm. One needs to merely draw a timeline out into the future a few decades to understand that the trajectory does not bode well for nation states. Therefore, obviously something must be done for the human race to coexist harmoniously with the corporate state.

Anationals are amorphous beings and that even as laws are passed to contain them, they simply shapeshift to skirt the flimflam. Of course, I do not support the silliness of such flimsy cover for obvious lobbying that creates loopholes as large as trucks to drive home democracy splintering corporatism. This needs to be uncovered and bureaucratically defended even as they shapeshift to a new attack on our Republic.

Yet they are a life form that will not be snuffed out and they will grow as a cancer to consume the lifeblood of America unless we can co-opt them in some symbiotic fashion. So rather than beat my head against the wall that has been built between anational corporate states and our access to our own politicians, my intellectual effort will be to understand how we might harness their emerging strengths for the good of America.

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Filed under American Governance, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Multinational Corporations, National Security, social trajectory, World Sustainability

Float Reality for Just a Moment…… Could America be in an Extremist Bubble? (Revised)

Have you ever taken a jigsaw puzzle down from the closet on a rainy day and worked on its 1,000 pieces to completion? Ever stare at the puzzle that you have worked on for hours, only to find it is missing one important piece right in the middle of the puzzle? That missing puzzle piece might tempt you to insanity, first looking incessantly around the table, and then in the box, and in the closet where you kept the box, and in the garage where you originally stored the box before putting it the closet prior to bringing it out one rainy afternoon to spend hours working on the puzzle before realizing that one piece was missing!

To many, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are frustrating puzzles with missing pieces. Some aggravatingly wonder why the Tea Party holds to their pledge of less government spending and taxes and why they are so willing to let America lunge over the cliff like a herd of possessed swine as they hold fast to their quest. It leads many to believe that Tea Partiers are just right wing ideologues blindly doing the bidding of globalist capitalists. Others question why Occupy Wall Streeters kept fluttering their fingers in free form street democracy even after authorities shut down their camps. They sensed that Occupiers were whiny idealists disrupting Middle America, following like sheep the directives of international Anarchists and Marxists who intend to destroy the capitalist foundations of America.

Many in America view these movements as extremist. But letting reality drift for a moment, what we found that these movements were actually Centrists and that America was the extreme one? If America were extreme, then under this remote scenario at least one of these two groups could actually be Centrist. If that were so, and if America could be tolerant for a moment, we might find that these movements were not irritating puzzles with missing pieces after all. We might conclude that they were truly two of the missing puzzle pieces that we are seeking in the midst of crisis, and that they were actually patriots trying to cajole America back to Centrism.

But many Americans don’t trust at least one of these movements for good reason. Those aggravated by the Tea Party surmise that it has accepted, as part of its platform, a globalist agenda that obfuscates itself in a cloak of Patriotism. Globalists solder Constitutional words like freedom onto words like trade so that the resulting power of the phrase “free trade” confuses America from a more prosperous course. Those annoyed by the Occupiers surmise that the Occupiers are influenced by Marxists who blame capitalism for harming America instead of the abuse of capitalism that has actually done the damage. However, if America paused for a moment to see that both movements were growing beyond their Globalist and Marxist roots, could we not find that they both have salient messages that could help turn-around America’s drifting course?

For the moment, let’s assume that both Occupy Wall Streeters and the Tea Party are solidly Centrist. Each appears extreme to some in America, so that is a difficult assumption. But if we suppose that America has indeed veered into extreme territory then we could imagine that they appear extreme because of America’s drift. Suppose that the bell curve of Western culture has shifted so far from true Centrism that America now stands on shifting sands of extreme change. If this were true, then America could perceive these two movements that might be chanting their centrist warnings from the terra firma, as if they are extremists spouting extremities, when in actuality they are not. If this were true, then America’s perception of itself being Centrist could also be quite extreme.

The following example might shed light on the pretense that America could already be extreme. As housing prices skyrocketed during the first half of the decade, their relative prices compared similarly. As prices shot into the stratosphere like a runaway freight train, mid priced homes continued to price in the middle of the mayhem, perhaps Centrist if you will. We now know however that what appeared as moderately Centrist home prices were actually quite radically priced.

Yet, while many Americans entered the house flipping craze, a few held steady mortgages for years. They did not refinance to meet material wants and they lived within their long term means. Many at the time viewed their peculiar steadfastness as ultra conservative. Yet we now know that they were only conservative through the lens of America’s momentary lapse of judgment. They were in fact true Centrists by historical terra firma standards.

If one example of misinterpreted centrism exists, might there be others? When a tsunami slams the shore, it forever rips the landscape from its modest history into a extreme future. The two World Wars of the 20th century that swept 80 million people off the face of the earth was a social tsunami. In its deadly wake, America produced Boomer Babies that disrupted the balance of everything in their path. Some would say that this Baby Boom tsunami swept America’s culture to extremes in unobservable slow motion, except to those who deliberately paused to reflect how Boomers ripped the world from its foundation.

If the two Great War tsunamis that destroyed 80 million souls and the subsequent tidal wave of Baby Boomers did in fact violently sweep America off its centrist foundation, perhaps the view from our shifted reality is now not Centrist at all, but instead radical. We tend to think of progress as forward motion. Any reversion of progress to a former era is viewed as radical. However, if we are really already radical, then placing America’s path back on the centrist foundation it would have had been on if not for our Baby Boomer tsunami should not be labeled as a radical reversion but rather as a righting of our true Centrist progression.

History shows that America did not return to our stable, pre-WWII Centrist path after the war. In fact, an objective examination of history would show that our entire generation embarked on a path that could in objective hindsight only be labeled as extremist, whether observed through the prism of either the conservatives or the progressives. If we are to find a way back to a growing and secure future in America, it is now time to honestly reflect on our history. That reflection might conclude that America did get caught up in a tsunami of extremism.

Our first post-war extremist thrust by both conservatives and progressives was to barrel down the path of building a military greater than all other nations combined. After WWII, America determined that an overwhelming military, more powerful than had ever existed before, was the correct measured response to the 20th century’s industrial unleashing of mankind’s destructive nature that had twice swarmed its deadly will. Our obsession with military superiority imbedded itself into our culture of defense and created a partially planned economy in America centered on our military complex. In the process of creating this modern dynasty of protection, our collective extremism sacrificed our economy to stave off the inevitability of man’s destruction.

We then recklessly spent our children’s future hoping not only to prevent the war that might otherwise end humanity, but also hoping to end poverty and oppression. After decades of budget increases, we were able to provide our poor with material consumption that made them wealthier than 85 percent of the rest of the world, but at what cost? Our national debt is now over 100 percent of our GDP. A centrist review of America’s deficit spending would have to conclude that we have not been Centrist in our spending.

Our extremism was not confined to the military and the Great Society. Baby Boomers also naively lived in the moment without securing our retirement. We now have a crisis over the empty coffers of Social Security and Medicare but we knew for decades it would come because America’s Baby Boomer generation chose not to save even knowing doing so would end in crisis. Was it not extremist to plan to bankrupt our children, forcing them to enjoy only half of our materialism so that we could consume half of their future? This extremist denial of responsibility to pay for our own military and Great Society excesses glaringly contradicted our perception that we were centrist champions of social equity.

Our generation spent our children’s’ future to extend the great society, to stave off Armageddon, and to enjoy the fruits of our parent’s frugality. Having forsaken our foundation of Centrism by indenturing future generations to pay for our excesses, how could we judge others who found it acceptable to gut America of jobs and factories, or who built banking Ponzis that indebted Americans to feed our capital to China. Who were we to judge when the Federal Reserve shook down other nations to fund our excesses or when the two reigning parties of Congress sold their souls to secure continuing re-elections.

With such moral ambiguity, we became trapped in relativism. Our nation was then unchained from any semblance of fiscal restraint and was free to drift toward a new norm of extremism, one in which we could argue amongst each other the relative turpitude of our choices while at the same time viewing our own progressive or conservative ideas as Centrist. In this drift toward a conscious denial of extremism, there were too few of our generation that publicly warned America for having been as extreme as posterity will most undoubtedly judge us to have been.

Finally in desperation, Tea Partiers exclaimed that this nation had drifted so far from its original moorings that they had to stand up to America’s extremism. Aghast, America bemoaned this movement’s presumption of claiming they were the purveyors of True North. Yet, if America has drifted into extremism, then the Tea Partiers actually were most clearly viewing our danger, and should be regarded as heroes for having identified our nation’s drift before it destroyed us.

Some claim that the Tea Party’s adoption of Globalist ideas has kept it from winning over America to reverse our joblessness, a symptom of our excess. Even though their keen observation of our extremist drift did help to fight the expansion of our extreme Federal budget deficit, it did not give them the ability to see all excesses and to find a way to bring America back fully to Centrism. As such, the Wall Street Occupiers have emerged to help identify a possible course correction, and I suspect other movements will emerge as well.

America is annoyed by these two movements’ persistence, almost like an alcoholic would be annoyed by an intervention. Yet intolerantly scapegoating these movements will not change the fact that we are floating on debris of relative progress. However, if our entire Baby Boomer generation is “the bubble” and all of these economic bubbles that were and that are unfortunately imminently yet to come, are just exacerbations of our true bubble, then our Baby Boomer bubble must, as all bubbles do, return to its point of trend origin so that the world can begin again its balanced progression.
We can continue to argue in the extreme that housing prices should remain high but they will not. We can argue in the extreme that the stock market should stay inflated but it will return to its historical trend. We can argue that our national budget should continue artificially bloated to fund our Baby Boomer experiments of the war on poverty and a military to end all wars but it cannot. A few of our elite will continue to argue that unemployment will have to drift sideways for years to come, but it cannot. Instead America will drift back to what can be funded by the normal and Centrist progression of tomorrow’s workers and we will once again find our Centrist path.

We can continue our disdain for the “extremists” of our country, yet they are the Centrists of True North and we are unfortunately the extremists. To disdain ourselves would be unhealthy and thus we must return to a path of Centrism. Our nation was thrown excessively off course by world events and our Centrist Tea Party pointed out our excesses. Our Centrist Occupiers are searching for a way back to a Centrist capitalist democracy. Can we, having taken this journey of disorientation, now find our way back to true Centrism as well?

Inevitably, we will revert to the world’s centrist progression whether through the relative comfort of a blazoned and enlightened trail of American determination or through the precipitous fall of continued denial leading to economic implosion. However, the sooner we stop pointing fingers at our skewed perception of each other’s extremism and begin pulling our collective weight toward our historic and future Centrist progression, the sooner we will begin our nation’s reorientation to True North and the sooner we can begin our recovery.

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Filed under American Governance, Federal Budget, Federal Reservre, Foreign Policy, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, War, World Sustainability

A Titanic, Macabre Story of the West’s Final Money Flow to the East

Consider the world’s economy to be two ocean liners. The Western world inhabits one ship with various countries of Europe taking lower berths and the U.S. on the upper deck. The Eastern world contains the various countries of Asia throughout its floors with China inhabiting its upper deck. The wealth of each civilization is contained within each ship and relative wealth is measured by its height above the water line. The two ships are travelling through the arctic pass at night, let’s say in 1912, when the Western ship strikes an iceberg ripping a large gash in its side.

As the water begins to pour into the bowels of the Western ship, all is quiet except for the pure terror that has erupted in the ships bridge, for the captain and his mates know that grievous errors have been committed, perhaps even criminal acts, and as a result the Western ship will surely sink. Little by little the ship begins to creak and shift signaling to the passengers below sea level that something is amiss. Rumors begin to fly as some wealthy, first class passengers scurry to lifeboats ahead of the crowd knowing that not enough seats are available for all to survive a sinking. Others transfer their life savings and gold into the safe located at the very tip of the bow in the ship, hoping to somehow retrieve it when all danger has passed.

As the Western ship begins to list, panic sets in and passengers wildly run to what they think is the relative safety of the U.S. deck above. The crew that was hired to govern the ship on behalf of the people instead struggle to eke out their own survival, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

Knowing that the two ships have travelled in tandem down this commercial corridor, the Western ship’s captain now desperately signals May Day to the Eastern ship hoping that it will come to the rescue of all aboard. Taking on all the passengers of the fallen vessel might prove too much so the captain of the Eastern ship chooses cautiously to keep distance knowing that bringing on passengers from a sinking ship of the West would only cause his forward progress to stall.

From a far off distance, the Western ship seems to be travelling peacefully at full steam ahead. Yet a closer look reveals that the countries of Europe have scampered from the lower berths grasping their wealth to reach the upper deck of America to put as much separation as possible between Europe’s fate with the icy arctic waters and theirs. If one were to peer onto the open decks from above that night, they would not show much signs of the impending doom for the decks would be full of people clinging to the rails of the United States as berths below gasped their last breaths of air.

But the same fate of rushing waters that flooded Europe below now began to reach the upper berths. Many of the first class passengers had taken their personal belongings with them and were lowered in lifeboats to the relative safety of the quiet, dark, glassy northern seas in hopes of rescue. Yet behind them were heard the shrieks of those left behind as the ship’s stern creaked lower into the sea.

For the longest time, America’s deck was full for it seemed the safest haven relative to the sea but as the back of the ship plunged lower, the deck became a torrent of falling debris. Interestingly to voyeurs of the macabre, the gold that was stashed in the bow now began to rise quickly out to the sea, making it appear briefly as a harbor of value and the safest place on the ship. But alas, as the ship stood upright and drifted deep into the waters below, even the safe that had kept the precious metals secure in the bow now was consumed into the icy blackness.

Certainly, the Ship from the East with a change of heart now came for the few elites that had made their way with gold in hand to life rafts, skimming them into the relative comfort and safety of lower berths of the Eastern ship. For it was but a momentary delay in their dominance of the sea lanes to secure the added pittance of gold from Western elites that were lifted from what surely would have otherwise been their tragic meeting with the ocean floor.

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Filed under American Politics, China, Foreign Policy

It is Time for The U.S. Government to Grow Up

America faces a major dilemma. We support free enterprise principles that help America’s multinational corporations compete in the world’s rapidly transitioning competitive market. Yet when faced with the immense worldwide scale of free enterprise, we are adamant about protecting the American consumer and worker from the assault of big business.

During the baby boomer generation’s rise to positions of power in business and in government, the world transformed to a global stage. While the post-war generation struggled to an impasse regarding competition for taxes to fund both warfare and welfare, we hesitantly overlooked the world’s competition for the American consumer. The true definition of a trust supersized past its concept as captured in the Sherman Anti-trust Act, crossing international boundaries in the process.

To compete on a global scale, corporations necessarily have had to increase size and scope to capture world market share. As sizes of the world’s largest corporations increased exponentially, their scale efficiencies and cost shifting capabilities offered significant trust opportunities at home. As a result, in the U.S. domestic market, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 became increasingly challenged as an albatross of regulation from proponents of free enterprise and as a weak, antiquated tool of defense among those charged with protecting the rights of consumers and domestic small businesses in America.

So now we have competing interests. On the one hand, Americans want to support our industries as they compete with those from other countries to secure a growing world market share. On the other hand, the free enterprise principles required to compete globally create scale that flies in the face of the very laws and regulations deemed necessary to protect our domestic competitive market. The resulting tension of this dilemma is easily witnessed in protected markets such as U.S. drug companies that charge U.S. customers ten times what they charge international customers for the same product. It is less easily seen in growing oligarchies like airlines and banks but the effects on the American public are just as onerous.

Once again, we have another growing immaturity on the part of our Federal government as it stares into the abyss, unable to ferret out sustainable solutions in a rapidly transitioning world. Of course, American businesses must be allowed to grow to compete on the global stage. However, if the ultimate size of a corporation needed to compete globally requires that it surpass the size limits that fit America’s definition of a competitive domestic market, then this dilemma must be resolved by the application of sensible historical principles.

What may be necessary to allow businesses to grow beyond a healthy limit for our domestic competitive market is that we allow businesses to cross boundaries of competitive size, but in exchange, we compensate with more regulation in the home market. This principle is alive and well in America in such industries as power and gas.

In banking, however, we did just the opposite. We cut banking regulations at the very time that we allowed big banks to consolidate the U.S. market. The result of such government immaturity regarding our understanding of the nature of trusts was that the world financial market is now imploding. It is time for our government to grow up.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Multinational Corporations

Could America’s Extremism Be Stopping Our Recovery?

Have you ever taken a jigsaw puzzle down from the closet on a rainy day and worked on its 1,000 pieces to completion? Ever stare at the puzzle that you have worked on for hours, only to find it is missing one important piece right in the middle of the puzzle? That missing puzzle piece might tempt you to insanity, first looking incessantly around the table, and then in the box, and in the closet where you kept the box, and in the garage where you originally stored the box before putting it the closet prior to bringing it out one rainy afternoon to spend hours working on the puzzle before realizing that one piece was missing!

To many, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are frustrating puzzles with missing pieces. Some aggravatingly wonder why the Tea Party holds to their pledge of less government spending and taxes and why they are so willing to let America lunge over the cliff like a herd of possessed swine as they hold fast to their quest. It leads them to believe that Tea Partiers are just right wing ideologues blindly doing the bidding of globalist capitalists. Others question why Occupy Wall Streeters keep fluttering their fingers in free form street democracy even after authorities have shut down their camps. They sense that Occupiers are whiny idealists disrupting Middle America, following like sheep the directives of international Anarchists and Marxists who intend to destroy the capitalist foundations of America.

Many in America view these movements as extremist. But letting reality drift for a moment, what we found that these movements were actually Centrists and that America was the extreme one? If America were extreme, then under this remote scenario at least one of these two groups could actually be Centrist. If that were so and America could be tolerant for a moment, we might find that these movements were not irritating puzzles with missing pieces after all. We might conclude that they were truly two of the missing puzzle pieces that we are seeking in the midst of crisis, and that they were actually patriots trying to cajole America back to Centrism.

But many Americans don’t trust at least one of these movements for good reason. Those aggravated by the Tea Party surmise that it has accepted, as part of its platform, a globalist agenda that obfuscates itself in a cloak of Patriotism. Globalists solder Constitutional words like freedom onto words like trade so that the resulting power of the phrase “free trade” confuses America from a more prosperous course. Those annoyed by the Occupiers surmise that the Occupiers are influenced by Marxists who blame capitalism, when it is actually the abuse of capitalism and not capitalism itself that has harmed our country. However, if America paused for a moment to see that both movements were growing beyond their Globalist and Marxist roots, could we find that they both have salient messages that could help turn-around America’s drifting course?

For the moment, let’s assume that both Occupy Wall Streeters and the Tea Party are solidly Centrist. Each appears extreme to some in America, so that is a difficult assumption. But suppose they appear extreme because America has indeed veered into extreme territory itself. Suppose that the bell curve of Western culture has shifted so far from true Centrism that America now stands on shifting sands of extreme change. If this were true, then America could be perceiving these two movements that might be chanting their centrist warnings from the terra firma, as if they are extremists spouting extremities, when in actuality they are not. If this were true, then America’s perception of itself being Centrist could also be quite extreme.

The following example might shed a dim light on the perception that America could already be extreme. As housing prices skyrocketed during the first half of the decade, their relative prices compared similarly. As prices shot into the stratosphere like a runaway freight train, mid priced homes continued to price in the middle of the mayhem, perhaps Centrist if you will. We now know however that what appeared as moderately Centrist home prices were actually quite radically priced.

Yet, while many Americans entered the house flipping craze, a few held steady mortgages for years. They did not refinance to meet material wants and they lived within their long term means. Many at the time viewed their peculiar steadfastness as ultra conservative. Yet we now know that they were only conservative through the lens of America’s momentary lapse of judgment. They were in fact true Centrists by historical terra firma standards.

When a tsunami slams the shore, it forever rips the landscape to extremes from its modest beginnings. The two World Wars of the 20th century that swept 80 million people off the face of the earth was a social tsunami. In its deadly wake, America produced Boomer Babies that disrupted the balance of everything in their path. Some would say that this Baby Boom tsunami swept America’s culture to extremes in slow motion, even if unobservable to those who did not deliberately pause to reflect how Boomers ripped the world from its foundation.

If the two Great War tsunamis that destroyed 80 million souls and the subsequent tidal wave of Baby Boomers did in fact violently, even if in slow motion, sweep America off its centrist foundation, perhaps the view from our shifted reality is now not Centrist at all, but instead highly radical. We tend to think of progress as forward motion. Any reversion of progress to a former era is viewed as radically conservative. However, if we really are in a radicalized position, then placing America’s path back on the centrist foundation it would have had if not for our Baby Boomer tsunami should not be labeled as a radically conservative reversion but rather as a righting of our true Centrist progression.

History shows that America did not return to our stable, pre-WWII Centrist path after the war. In fact, an objective examination of history would show that our entire generation embarked on a path that could in objective hindsight only be labeled as extremist, whether observed through the prism of conservatives or of progressives. If we are to find a way back to a growing and secure future in America, it is now time to honestly reflect on our history. That reflection will conclude that America did get caught up in a tsunami of extremism.

Our first post-war extremist thrust by both conservatives and progressives was to barrel down the path of building a military greater than all other nations combined. After WWII, America determined that an overwhelming military, more powerful than had ever existed before, was the correct measured response to the 20th century’s industrial unleashing of mankind’s destructive nature that had twice swarmed its deadly will. Our obsession with military superiority imbedded itself into our culture of defense and created a partially planned economy in America centered on our military complex. In the process of creating this modern dynasty of protection, our collective extremism drained our economy of its life giving blood in sacrifice to the altar of war.

Many in America view these movements as extremist. But letting reality drift for a moment, what we found that these movements were actually Centrists and that America was the extreme one? If America were extreme, then under this remote scenario at least one of these two groups could actually be Centrist. If that were so and America could be tolerant for a moment, we might find that these movements were not irritating puzzles with missing pieces after all. We might conclude that they were truly two of the missing puzzle pieces that we are seeking in the midst of crisis, and that they were actually patriots trying to cajole America back to Centrism.

But many Americans don’t trust at least one of these movements for good reason. Those aggravated by the Tea Party surmise that it has accepted, as part of its platform, a globalist agenda that obfuscates itself in a cloak of Patriotism. Globalists solder Constitutional words like freedom onto words like trade so that the resulting power of the phrase “free trade” confuses America from a more prosperous course. Those annoyed by the Occupiers surmise that the Occupiers are influenced by Marxists who blame capitalism, when it is actually the abuse of capitalism and not capitalism itself that has harmed our country. However, if America paused for a moment to see that both movements were growing beyond their Globalist and Marxist roots, could we find that they both have salient messages that could help turn-around America’s drifting course?

For the moment, let’s assume that both Occupy Wall Streeters and the Tea Party are solidly Centrist. Each appears extreme to some in America, so that is a difficult assumption. But suppose they appear extreme because America has indeed veered into extreme territory itself. Suppose that the bell curve of Western culture has shifted so far from true Centrism that America now stands on shifting sands of extreme change. If this were true, then America could be perceiving these two movements that might be chanting their centrist warnings from the terra firma, as if they are extremists spouting extremities, when in actuality they are not. If this were true, then America’s perception of itself being Centrist could also be quite extreme.

We then recklessly spent our children’s future hoping not only to prevent the war that might otherwise end humanity, but also hoping in vain to end poverty and oppression. After decades of budget increases, we were able to provide our poor with material consumption that made them wealthier than 85 percent of the rest of the world, but at what cost? Our national debt is now over 100 percent of our GDP. A centrist perspective of America’s deficit spending habits would have to conclude that we have not been Centrist in our spending. Yet, our extremism was not confined to the military and the Great Society. For instance, Baby Boomers also naively lived in the moment without securing our retirement.

Our decry over the empty coffers of Social Security and Medicare comes after decades of known imbalances between future costs and dwindling payer ratios, and yet America’s Baby Boomer generation chose not to store nuts for the coming winter knowing our procrastination would end in crisis. Was our extremist plan really to bankrupt our children, forcing them to enjoy only half of our materialism so that we could consume half of their future? This denial of responsibility to pay for our own excesses glaringly contradicted our self perceived vision of being champions of social equity.

Our generation spent our children’s’ future to extend the great society, to stave off Armageddon, and to enjoy the fruits of our parent’s frugality. Having forsaken our foundation of Centrism by indenturing future generations to pay for our excesses, how could we judge others who found it acceptable to gut America of jobs and factories, or who built banking Ponzis that indebted Americans to feed our capital to China. Who were we to judge when the Federal Reserve shook down other nations to fund our excesses or when the two reigning parties of Congress sold their souls to secure continuing re-elections.

With such moral ambiguity, we became trapped in relativism. Our nation was then unchained from any semblance of moral restraint and was free to drift toward a new norm of extremism, one in which we could argue amongst each other the relative turpitude of our choices while at the same time viewing our own progressive or conservative ideas as Centrist. In this ambivalent drift toward a conscious denial of extremism, there were too few of our generation that publicly warned America for having been as extreme as posterity will most undoubtedly judge us to have been.

Finally in desperation, Tea Partiers exclaimed that this nation had drifted so far from its original moorings that they had to stand up to America’s extremism. Aghast, America bemoaned this movement’s presumption of claiming they were the purveyors of True North. Yet, if America has drifted into extremism, then the Tea Partiers actually were most clearly viewing our danger, and should be regarded as heroes for having identified our nation’s drift before it destroyed us.

The Tea Party’s adoption of Globalist ideas has kept it from winning over America to reverse our joblessness, a symptom of our excess. Their keen observation of our extremist drift did give the Tea Party the sole focus of braking the drift by fighting the Federal budget deficit, but it did not give them extraordinary powers to rudder our island back home to Centrism. As such, the Wall Street Occupiers have emerged to help identify a possible course correction, and I suspect other movements will emerge as well.

Annoyed by these two movements’ persistence, America is cackling at their disruption and blaming both movements for attempting to stop our extremism. Yet intolerantly scapegoating these movements will not change the fact that we are where we are. We are floating on debris of relative progress and wrongly judging any attempts to retrace as regressive. However, if our entire Baby Boomer generation is “the bubble” and all of these economic bubbles that were and that are unfortunately imminently yet to come, are just exacerbations of our true bubble, then our Baby Boomer bubble must, as all bubbles do, return to its point of trend origin so that the world can begin again its balanced progression.

We can continue to argue in the extreme that housing prices should remain high but they will not. We can argue in the extreme that the stock market should stay inflated but it will return to its historical trend. We can argue that our national budget should continue artificially bloated to fund our Baby Boomer experiments of the war on poverty and a military to end all wars but it cannot. A few of our elite will continue to argue that unemployment will have to drift sideways for years to come, but it cannot. Instead America will drift back to what can be funded by the normal and Centrist progression of tomorrow’s workers and we will once again find our Centrist path.

We can continue our disdain for the “extremists” of our country, yet they are the Centrists of True North and we are unfortunately the extremists. To disdain ourselves would be unhealthy and thus we must return to a path of Centrism. Our nation was thrown excessively off course by world events and our Centrist Tea Party pointed out our excesses. Our Centrist Occupiers are searching for a way back to a Centrist capitalist democracy. Can we, having taken this journey of disorientation, now find our way back to true Centristism as well?

Inevitably, we will revert to the world’s centrist progression whether through the relative comfort of a blazoned and enlightened trail of American determination or through the precipitous fall of continued denial leading to economic implosion. However, the sooner we stop pointing fingers at our skewed perception of each other’s extremism and begin pulling our collective weight toward our historic and future Centrist progression, the sooner we will begin our nation’s reorientation to True North and the sooner we can begin our recovery.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy

Are We to Rest by the Side of the Road as China Pedals Away on the Surrey Bike?

Imagine China right now is a surrey bike built for four people, with China as the driver and other Asian countries of the region filling the three remaining seats, all pedaling together to make the bike go. Imagine that at first the path forward is a bit steep and that the surrey bike needs some help pushing it up hill. So China bargains with Uncle Sam, “If you will push the surrey bike from behind, I will feed you corn for free as you push.” Uncle Sam thinks it a great deal and begins to thrust China and the other Asian countries forward as they pedal in front together on that surrey bike.

After a while, the bike begins to pick up speed and Uncle Sam has to push a little faster, almost jogging a bit to keep up with the surrey. Uncle Sam clamors for a bit more corn because the exercise of keeping up with the accelerating surrey is a chore. As China shoves more and more corn into his chubby little mouth, Uncle Sam begins to puff under the weight of his effort, and tire from the speed at which the surrey bike is now travelling. Finally, Uncle Sam gives out from the strain, having given all he had to helping that surrey bike begin its journey.

As China and the others speed away pedaling in unison down the path to the future in their region’s surrey bike, Uncle Sam falls over along the side of the road from exhaustion for he is no longer needed. He forlornly looks at the distant spoons that no longer will point his way but will only feed those that are on the bike together. On the back of the bike is a bag filled to overflowing with words stenciled on the back, “U.S. Seed Corn.”

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Filed under China, Economic Crisis, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, social trajectory

Yes, America’s Views of World Events are Tempered by Armageddon

In 1973, I attended a church tent revival. It was a bit over the top for my conservative United Methodist upbringing with all the bible thumping going on, yet it mesmerized me as something one might picture right out of a Hollywood movie. And under this big tent in the field, with cars parked out to the road, with hundreds of gathered faithful protected from the harsh rays of the sun flapping their paper fans in unison to cool the sweat of mid day, a Billy Graham like preacher began to reach over the lectern and shout out his prophecies toward the pews.

As a young boy, I thought his words heretical for he was prophesying the end of America’s reign. Of course, he spoke in terms of greed and sin and the like but his predictions of the world to come sounded impossible to me. He out and out said that America would fall from grace and would no longer be the world’s super power. I did not know how he could even say such a thing, yet it was only the beginning of his supposed blasphemy.

He said that the world would come to desperately need oil. Now at the time, the land was producing plentifully, off shore developments were promising, and predictions of greater untapped oil beds were optimistic. In 1973, America’s dominance of the Mid East’s oil supply was evident and the world’s consumption was only hampered by OPEC so once again, I didn’t understand how this could come to pass.

He stated that the Soviets and all of Europe would form an alliance of governments. This was most strange to me, because in 1973, everywhere I turned I heard the horrors of communism, including however quirkily it seems, the fact that most mothers in Russia did not stay home to raise their children. That to my nurtured mind was the essence of communism. How could this Powerhouse of the communist world ever ally with free Europe unless Europe was no longer free?

His prophesies crescendoed to what every great Biblical prophecy proclaims, the battle of Armageddon. Yet this man was peering into my eyes and telling me not only that a great battle would occur, but he detailed how this great battle would unfold. He proclaimed that the great nations of the world would move their armies overland to the Middle East for this climatic war or wars. He said that the Soviet Union, Europe, and America would battle the great army of China in the oil fields of Persia. Wow, to me as a 13 year old boy who had just lived through the nightly news horrors and social upheavals of Viet Nam, this caricature of a travelling preacher shouting out these things was just fantastical.

At 13, the world seemed intransigent. Almost 40 years later, it seems much more pliable, and this now long past preacher’s words seem much more plausible. Certainly to a nation formed of Protestants and dominated by leaders proclaiming their beliefs in the bible, this preacher’s prophesies and those similar to his may have even set America’s expectations of fatalistic world events beyond our control and could have shaped our obsessions to dominate the world with our military in efforts to avert our future.

While my hope is that if in fact the Bible infallibly predicted such occurrences, that they occur well after my life is a distant memory of anyone living. My deeper hope is that those interpreting the words of this book are much more wrong than right in their assessment, or that if their interpretations are correct, that the Bible’s revelations are not fatalistic but that they can change if mankind changes our path as well. Yet interestingly, world events seem to continually be aligning themselves with this preacher’s prophecies, eerily supporting the fatalistic Christian view of an apocalyptic future.

The world does seem to be sliding toward a demise of America’s dominance and Europe is beginning to sense an alliance of Russia and Germany in an axis of financial strength that may dominate the collapsing Euro zone. As America exerts its continuing over sea dominance in the Pacific during its waning days, the East may in fact develop over land routes that thwart the West’s attempt to block its access to oil, free of western influence. And environmentalists’ and geologists’ claims of peak oil plus China’s accelerating demand for oil as she rises to dominance may in fact be a motive for the world’s next great conflict.

If America’s military dominance was in part influenced by our obsessive attempt to resist the outcome of prophesy, perhaps other, more globally accepted means of avoiding our down fall could culminate in time to save America. Perhaps financial and business obsessions can be an alternative to our obsession with military solutions and can be influenced to seek powerful energy alternatives to the draw of Mid East oil.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, War, World Sustainability

European Bank Announcement is the Latest Step in Deleveraging the China Bubble from Debt to Equity

In 1979 when China opened its doors to prospectors, millions rushed in bug-eyed on the prize. They scurried for trillions of dollars of capital to plop down factories on their newly acquired claims. Those trillions first came from EurAmerica’s savings, that currency that had already been acquired through decades of previous achievements. When that was not enough to satisfy the frenzy, they buggered trillions more in future obligations of EurAmerica’s citizens on the promise that these glorious gold seams of the East would make EurAmerica rich beyond its wildest dreams.

And why not…EurAmerica had grown obese on other stakes plopped down around the world. We created equity from thin air to offset the obligations of third world and emerging countries and spent the arbitrage from our financial creations to feast in our homeland for decades. Yet none of these opportunities held a candle to China’s mother load. China would once again be the feast to engorge all our known senses with pleasure and reward. So EurAmerica indebted herself beyond all reasonable abilities to repay, knowing that this gold seam would pay off by its own merit.

But how could it pay off? Were not these same factories supplying EurAmerica with goods that their own citizens would have otherwise supplied? Were not these same factories paid for by the obligations of “EurAmerica’s citizens to work into the future to pay off the debts they had incurred in order to build these factories? And if these EurAmericans could not work to pay their debts to gain the riches they had hoped for from these factories, how could they buy the products that would eventually pay them the riches they had sought? It seems this time around, the door that was opened in China was the hinge of a Venus Fly Trap and EurAmerica was the fly.

Now that we have incurred this massive debt and our scheme for getting rich was found to be yet another Ponzi of get rich quick avarice to be piled on the heap of human foibles, it is now time to clean up the mess from the last three decades’ party. People will have to pay for this latest excess just as all in human history before us. Europe languished for 22 years after its 1871 financial extraction to fund America’s railroads. Some countries like Russia rose up from those excess in political system revolutionary defiance. Others chose military aggression while still others congregated in socialist shifts of wealth redistribution to deleverage the world from its dilemma.

We cannot yet predict the world shifting power struggle that will ultimately emerge from this great crisis. However, what started as Europe’s riots and later erupted into an Arab Spring in reaction to Wall Street’s grand foray was again played out in yesterday’s announcement by Europe’s leadership as another step in the unraveling puzzle. The information age has shifted the balance of power and bankers can easily see that 2011 will not be a repeat of 1871. Infighting will continue as EurAmerica sorts out who will pay the costs of financial obligations from this great extraction. But Europe’s announcement was a break through nonetheless.

European Banks will eat a distasteful sum. Their shareholders will pay the price as much as they can. Some banks will call upon the European Financial Stability Facility, which will in turn call upon governments, which will look for handouts and push for further austerity, which will in turn lower GDP growth, which will further exacerbate the debt crisis. In the end, a massive debt overhang will have to be managed by all of EurAmerica in a deleveraging and slower GDP growth, if not retracting, environment.

Banks only have so much in reserves and even those may be grossly overstated as a result of credit reserve requirement manipulations during the 1990s including bank reserve sweep accounts and parent/subsidiary loans that have as of now extended bank credits 1.1 trillion beyond bank deposits. EurAmerican governments could take all their reserves and destroy our international banking functions just as banks could take much of the housing stock, destroying millions of lives and our nation’s economic futures. Governments and central banks could print money throughout EurAmerica and destroy national economies for decades. And then what….

When a debt load becomes so excessive that it cannot be paid by the annual output of its guarantors, it becomes in essence equity. All of this past three decade Great EurAmerican Capital Extraction creditors, from our wealthy elite to retirees on fixed incomes, “own” pieces of the thousands of factories on the shores of the East. They may not have bargained for that outcome but that is what they got. Right now, rather than accept this eventuality, creditors are willing to shave their loan returns in order to keep their position of being first to be repaid rather than suffer what is amounting to an even greater uncertainty for equity shareholders. And thus we have the announcement from Europe’s banks.

In the end, accepting that their loan position is untenable and must be converted to equity will be the ultimate solution. That position is hard to swallow for many reasons just yet. European banks and governments had been playing a dangerous game of chicken, both refusing to budge on movement toward resolving this debt leverage. For now, the dangerous game of chicken stalemating any movement toward the final solution and putting the entire world in jeopardy has had a “great” move among many more to follow.

My solution for America’s turnaround: Convert debt overhang to equity. Clean up credit through credit amnesty. Put all unemployed people in domestic work opportunities through free market job voucher program. Turn on the switch and go.

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Filed under China, Economic Crisis, European Crisis, Federal Reservre, Foreign Policy, World Sustainability