Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nejad, Obama and Cheney. Name the one in power.

Ahmadi-Nejad has won a landslide reelection in Iran. Before everybody goes off the deep end, you have to remember his position as President is largely without power. He presents Iran's face to the world much like the Queen of England. The Prime Minister runs things and policy is set by the Supreme Leader who heads the Religious Council. Despite cries of election fraud, his victory has such a large margin that you can assume it to be legitimate. Even the Supreme Leader was surprised by the vote calling the election a "a startling and unique event".

Why would the people of Iran elect a guy that they openly mock as a buffoon? The reason is simple: they are getting tired of the Western corporations screwing with their economy. Iran was using its oil money to become a major banking power in non-dollar transactions. Under the guise of fighting terrorism the Bush Crime Family had put major restrictions on Iran's ability to do business with US and European banks. This has also dragged down their industrial base which has led to shortages and unemployment. Did you know Iran builds one million cars a year?

If Obama wants to get along with Iran all he has to do is take off these illegal embargoes. Will the mega-corporations let him do that? Certainly not, but if Obama does it anyway, then you'll know he is really in charge and not Dick Cheney.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Deadbeats pay cash

Increasingly Chinese manufacturers are finding themselves holding the bag or rather stacks of shipping containers sitting on the dock in US ports. Big Box stores are often backing out on deals for goods already shipped and the Chinese aren’t happy. The American business model is starting to look far less attractive in China when you can be upwardly mobile one day and living under a bridge the next. Americans are no longer viewed as Masters of the Universe to model one's life after.

Chinese companies are starting to require bank letters of credit or even cash up front before they will start work on an order. And when they say cash, they mean real cash, not US Dollars.

And speaking of people with too many dollars: the Republicans are really working the street to gin up the fear of inflation. You would think that with the Government and the Federal Reserve printing all these trillions of dollars that inflation would be heating up. But consumer prices are sputtering along at about the same level despite a big spike in gas prices. The reality is declining wages, bankruptcies, a steady stream of layoffs and a lack of confidence among anybody who still has a dollar to spend. This makes the threat of deflation loom ever larger.

The general consensus among economic pundits is that Obama missed an opportunity by letting the large and completely insolvent banks return their TARP loans. It appears these banks have wiggled out from under Government control and Obama could have used the crisis to crack down on these pirates. The sliver lining to runaway deflation is that it would put an end to the insane credit economy the Republicans have built over the past 30 years.

But runaway deflation would make the banking upheaval last year seem like nothing worse than a shortage of free toasters at the teller window. Obama has probably decided not to waste his time trying to fix anything from this crisis and is planning for the next one. At least I hope he has a plan, canned goods only go so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sailing on the SS Latvia

Latvia is the next domino expected to fall in the global meltdown. Not a big deal compared to other world events but as our ship slides along the iceberg it is yet another rivet popping from the hull plating and there aren’t enough lifeboats. Oil prices are climbing as the Dollar sinks. US Consumer spending is up, but mostly on higher gas prices.

The number of jobs lost per month is down, but still at a high number. The number of continuing unemployment claims is down, but the number of people unemployed is up. This means people who were getting unemployment on the extension Bush signed last fall are running out of benefits. This will be another big drag on the economy and job losses will pick up speed again.

News reports are that the right-wing terrorist that attacked the Holocaust Museum was living hand-to-mouth. As more of the formerly middle-class realize that the American Dream is gone for good the messengers of hate from the right will find more and more willing listeners that will step over the line. Hitler recruited his Brown Shirt thugs from the soup kitchens.

Obama has to start talking about bringing back the middle class jobs and stop worrying about China’s desire to keep those jobs over there. Of course the real problem isn’t China but rather the Republicans who want to keep the middle-class jobs over there. China could cut us off any day, fear of panic at home is the only thing that stops them. If things start to get out of hand, branding us as the enemy might suit their needs better. Imagine the stores without out all the things that are made in China or dependent on parts from China. Latvia will probably be much better off.

Only the elite have the moral authority to rule. Just ask them.

Is it my imagination or is the frequency of Right-wing crazies lashing out increasing? Fox continues to pump its lies about the left or more accurately about mainstream America. None of the hate is new of course but hasn’t been in the corporate media since the fall of the Third Reich. It’s all word for word the nonsense that circulated in grainy photo copies during the Clinton and Carter Adm. I have dim memories of hearing the other little kids repeating the hate slogans about Kennedy that they learned from their parents. During the Clinton Adm. you needed a short-wave radio to hear this nonsense, now there are multiple radio stations in every market spewing the hate.

Do the Freepers really want another Civil War? The Billionaires who yank their chain want to create enough chaos so that they can consolidate power. The basic premise of Conservative philosophy is that the common man is evil and can’t trusted with democracy, only the elite should rule. And how do you know who God has chosen to be the elite? Money is the score card.

If they can stir up the 15% of Americans who don't have opposable thumbs to enough violence, this will prove their point. Republicans always run on law and order after they create the disorder.