Monday, 8 June 2009

Some quick questions

Having a look at events in the US over the last week or so I have some questions.

Why did President Obama give his speech to the 'Muslim world' in Egypt rather than in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation? Or India with the second largest Muslim population?

Why is it racist for the right to attack Sonia Sotomayor but not when the left attacks Alberto Gonzalez?

Why is it OK for the US government to steal General Motors from its shareholders?

The government claims that it is going to turn GM into an efficient, profitable organisation.

Why should anyone believe that when Amtrak and the US Postal Service are such inefficient, low quality, massively expensive organisations?

If the government does manage to turn GM into an efficient, profitable organisation then will it turn its attention to Amtrak and US Postal, as well?

Does anyone understand that socialised health care means East German Trabants for everyone and not Mercedes?

This is the fallacy of 'quality' health care. The reason that high quality health care exists is because there are people who are able to pay for it. Rich people. Over time, those health technologies become more efficient and cheaper to bring to market meaning that a larger cross-section of the population has access to it. A one size fits all health system creates the situation where not only do new, life saving health technologies do not come to market as quickly as they should, if ever, but also that care is rationed by faceless government bureaucrats to those that will achieve the best outcome. If you're an older person then you'll be given less priority than younger people, as it is in the UK and Canada.

The US is stuffed for a generation thanks to the intervention of government into markets. President Obama's trillion dollar deficits will only make things worse.

Economic recovery comes about through capital growth.

None of the policies implemented in the US or the UK or Australia will result in one dollar of capital growth.

Why would anyone expect the economy to recover any time soon?

(Nothing Follows)


Anonymous said...

All very good questions, Jack. It's so painful to powerlessly.

Our Dear Leader has a huge chip on his shoulder, no doubt inculcated in him by a lifetime of association with racial and class grievance vendors.

It's all very passive-aggressive as he tells everyone 'on the one hand and then the other' what they want to hear.

But in the clinches, he's busy redistributing assets and returning the nation's wealth to its rightful owners.

The Republicans have richly earned their trek in the political wilderness, but it couldn't have come at a worse time.


Myrddin Seren said...

Hi Jack,

Presumably triage for GM ( and maybe Ford and Chrysler ) involves emergency amputation of the enormous cash drain of health and pension benefits these organisations agreed to back in the 50s ?

( Side note - demography remains destiny. Back in the 50s all those autoworkers weren't supposed to enjoy ever growing longevity. The demographic chickens are coming home to roost )

Transferring the care and maintenance of all those retired auto workers and their families on to the the Federal balance sheet.

Now that must be comforting for them - their unfunded liabilities can sit with either a technically insolvent private enterprise or a near-technically insolvent sovereign entity. Either option seems to eventually lead to food parcels and basic sustenance.

As for actually turning around GM as a marketing/production entity ?
The corporate culture in Detroit is a bit of a worry.

Maybe they could make an emergency transfusion of design talent from GM branches in Australia, Europe and elsewhere where they can design cars people want to buy. But one fears bright minds would quickly be smothered in the head office fog.

They have some good assets and brands - but they need some genuine entrepreneurial leadership, not bureaucrats.

Ellen K said...

Typical of most university professors, Obama hasn't yet bridged the gap between theory and fact. He's put theoretical solutions to real problems and seems baffled that they haven't worked. He promised 600,000 new jobs. But now the unemployment rate is 9.4%. And yet the only solution that Congress and Team Obama seems willing to support are more economy draining programs. And to make it look good, they keep things like his trillion dollar healthcare rationing program off the books. It seems like every other programs from education to social security will have to toe the line, but not Obamacare.

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