7/2/10

We have been floating in rough seas for a while, the ship is sinking and the band-aid so called stimulus has lost it's stickiness and it's coming off, I certainly will like to see some land and get to it before the ship sinks.

"Who is the captain of the ship"? I asked my boss yesterday puzzled to see the Dow dip almost 200 pts at 11 am, To which he replied "the man that never ran a business or had a real job his whole life my man".
This makes me come to one conclusion...
Our country is being run by an administration that probably couldn't run a lemonade stand!
Now im not the greatest writer but I can get my point across.
Edmundo posted a great series not too long ago called "Sell your options Dearly" which in turn it inspired me to write this 2 post series.

Our country is not leading by example anymore in this wonderful world. We have Asian and middle eastern countries holding our debt and yanking our chain like little puppy dogs in turn we don't have the balls to impose tougher trade rules (as in import and export to all you chimpos out there) we are getting cheap made shitty quality Chinese shit that costs almost as much as american stuff but the economy is so beat up that we wont spend the extra dollar to buy something made in the U.S.A, we have been buying oil from sheiks and princes that fund terrorism, American companies are subsidizing more and more work over seas and while that is great for tax porpuses and profit we are degrading and downgrading ourselves.

There was a time when great doctors from around the world dreamed of coming to America obviously thanks to universal healthcare that dream is no longer there we are approaching darker days in the economy and as much as I would love to be bullish on America unfortunately at this point in time I am bearish until this administration does some real good.
Let's get to the point.

America reminds me of the person that takes one credit card to pay off another one and keeps rolling over their debt until one day Visa doesn't show up to the party anymore. Can the idiots running this country wake up and stop spending money? Can we call the government and tell them to wake up?
I am deathly afraid of what will happen if China or Japan do not show up the day we have to roll over our short term debt. You see America is not seen as the Super Power it used to be seen as, yeah we pack some punch in military power but as far as trade we went down the drain. We all remember the roaring 20's, in the 30's we were the biggest exporters of oil (till we ran out), Hollywood in the 40's, the war in the 50's, heck we were the biggest exporter or electronics in the 70s and then WTF happened?

We strayed too far from the ideals that made this country great and we are starting to pay the price. We are failing our own country.
Independence day is around the corner and I am sure the founding fathers are turning in their grave as they see that their very creation is turning into what they despised the most.
Seriously with all due respect what would George Washington do if he saw what this president is doing to our country? im sure he would pimp smack him that said...
How do we fix it?

On that, yeah tommorrow...

Comments (33)

Best Response
7/3/10

Man - your rant was very passionate, but there are some fundamental economics and politics at work here:
1) As the economy of any country develops, it goes through an agricultural focus, followed by an industrial/manufacturing focus, followed by a services focus. The US went through each phase and now we're at a stage where our economy does not manufacture much any more and is focused on providing services to the rest of the world. We went through our cheap manufacturing days, everyone got richer, standards of life went up, and wages went higher. The capitalistic response is to shift production to where it is cheapest. If we had not moved all our manufacturing overseas, and shifted our economic focus to highly lucrative services, we would be much poorer today. If you're going to be capitalist, be a complete capitalist. Don't hide inconsistent theories behind propagandistic language. And don't get nationalistic. That reduces you to those monkeys yelling "Jihad! Death to America!" half a world away. Seriously. It's the equivalent.

2) Politically, we have never really "led by example". We started courting shady dictators and arming despots (the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Bao Dai, Qaddafi, Franco (who was fascist, btdubs) - the list goes on) way early in the 20th century and have seen those weapons used against us. Terrorist attacks globally after 9/11 have numbered more than the previous 20 years - this despite our hundreds of billions of TAXPAYER dollars funding our "war on terror". The reason we have "Asian and middle eastern countries holding our debt and yanking our chain like little puppy dogs" is because WE CHOSE TO COURT THEM POLITICALLY - because somewhere in our chequered political history, we decided that our national interests would be best served by arming and funding certain countries and regimes, and denouncing others. Read a newspaper. Or a history book, if you haven't been reading the news for a while.

You talk about this phenomenon of the US government "spending money" like it's a new thing. This is what has fueled our economy for the last century. We spend. Republican or Democrat, we spend. With cheap debt and a system promoted by the low-interest regime of Alan Greenspan, we borrowed more so we could spend more. THAT'S the error we made. Admit your parents' mistakes, and don't repeat them. Please don't pick a convenient scapegoat and say "it's the government!" or "it's Obama!". That's the defense of the weak-minded who can't bear the uncomfortable truth that it is their own consumption and voting patterns that led to this mess. Quit blaming everything on the government and learn to evolve with the times. A new government will not change things, but a new form of citizenship will.

The world we live in is changing. The concept of a "superpower" does not exist any more. People who cling to this idea are failing to embrace technology and advancement, and this will lead to our downfall. We're living on past glory and it is high time we moved forward. It's like hoping that putting ANOTHER man on the moon will bring back America's status as a global force to be reckoned with. Or like hoping that finding Osama Bin Laden will magically stop the Al-Qaeda. Guess what? The Al-Qaeda is no longer a group of people. It's an idea. And you can't kill ideas with weapons. Fanatical clinging to outdated views only helps exacerbate our declining standing on the world stage. It's about time we own up to our mistakes, quit the blame-game, embrace technological, political, and social advancement and set about finding America's new value proposition to the world.

We, as proud Americans, need to embrace the change in the world, and accept that we may not be the global power we used to be any more, but we can improve, adapt, and succeed. We still have one of the best (if not THE best) higher educational system in the world, and we still have the best possible environment for entrepreneurship. We have a country that is a strong meritocracy, and we have enough wealth to allow us to focus on building a sustainable economy, without having to worry about where our next meal is coming from. We need to start thinking of the rest of the world as business partners instead of savages who "aspire" to be like us. That's so 19th century.

IMHO, the only way to repair our country, make our economy sustainable, and restore (something like) our former glory is:
1) to educate ourselves; to understand that we have a larger, more responsible role to play in the world. The more you learn about other cultures, the more you learn about yourself, the more change you can catalyze. Do something bigger than counting the zeroes in your bank account.

2) to embrace technology, globalization, advanced perspectives, new ideas, and innovation. This implies shedding of old-world views and challenging yourself to go beyond what "Gran'paw told ya 'bout 'em Injuns" when you sat on his knee.

Ultimately, it's about winning people over with your culture by understanding theirs. This is the only consistently successful method for gaining political power and respect. i.e. Don't make other people hate you, make them like you! Duh! (It's like winning a "Cultural Victory", for all you Civ fans. Man, I loved doing that.)

Let's take our heads out of the sand and assess ourselves for what we really are. Maybe that will instill some humility and lead to a new world order...because God knows, the previous one didn't work out too well.

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7/2/10
barboon:

we don't have the balls to impose tougher trade rules (as in import and export to all you chimpos out there) we are getting cheap made shitty quality Chinese shit that costs almost as much as american stuff but the economy is so beat up that we wont spend the extra dollar to buy something made in the U.S.A... American companies are subsidizing more and more work over seas and while that is great for tax porpuses and profit we are degrading and downgrading ourselves.

Are you really attacking free-market capitalism on a finance forum?

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

7/2/10

Not an Obama fan, but all you wrote in your post is Obamas fault because...........

7/3/10

Obviously you kids don't get the big picture.

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

7/3/10

So enlighten us please chief. What would you have done if you were in the place of Obama? How would you solve the debt problem? How do you cure the China syndrome? What would you do to ensure that American industries thrive again and regain competitive footing from China?

7/3/10

relatively america is not doing too bad. europe is in shambles, china's economy is slowing down, and india has a long way to go. relax and go grab yourself a drink or something

7/3/10

Damn. That was long.

7/3/10

We need smarter kids

We need to be industry leaders in a new field ---->> Green technology

We need to grow a sack as a nation. PERIOD. If this nation with its current people were transported back to WW2 I would put all of my money on Germany because we have become a country of little girls.

This country needs some HGH and a double shot of testosterone. When we have the President of Mexico coming here and lecturing us about shit you know we have become bitches.

We need TIGHT fiscal control. I am talking about laying off loser govt employees, raising the SS retirement age, cutting a lot of spending, TOUGH measures. China can talk down to us because we NEED them. Lets get our house under control and then we will have power.

In reply to TNA
7/3/10
AnthonyD1982:

We need smarter kids

We need to be industry leaders in a new field ---->> Green technology

We need to grow a sack as a nation. PERIOD. If this nation with its current people were transported back to WW2 I would put all of my money on Germany because we have become a country of little girls.

This country needs some HGH and a double shot of testosterone. When we have the President of Mexico coming here and lecturing us about shit you know we have become bitches.

We need TIGHT fiscal control. I am talking about laying off loser govt employees, raising the SS retirement age, cutting a lot of spending, TOUGH measures. China can talk down to us because we NEED them. Lets get our house under control and then we will have power.

Damn straight. We need to quit bitching, man up, and provide some value to world again. Completely agree with your statement about being industry leaders in a new field. All these people who keep complaining about bringing manufacturing and IT service jobs back to the US get on my nerves so much. It's ridiculous! We sent those jobs elsewhere so we could focus on bigger ticket items like INNOVATION! We have moved up the worldwide "management" chain. It's time to stop complaining that we're no longer doing grunt work.

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7/3/10

One point I want to bring up is that America needs to revamp it's educational system if it wants to stay competitive. A strong math and science background can help drive research, development and tomorrow's products.

The level of mathematics and science literacy in this country pales in comparison to other developing nations such as India and China. I distinctly remember in graduate school taking an "Advanced Engineering Analysis" class--my professor from Turkey said point blank, "if you went to school in America, it's going to be very hard to get an A in this class". Not that he was discriminating against passports but the foreign graduate students had been drilled with math/science since day 1 and even the most complicated material came natural to them. What's worst is that the vast majority of graduate students in the US are foreign AND leave the country as soon as they graduate. It used to be that students would get an education and then try to make it in America; the IIT alums dot the likes of Sun Microsystems, McKinsey or invented LASIK.

I'm sure if all the Asian-American talent in the IT/Programming industries decided to get up and go, America would be desperately playing catch-up.

The brain drain during WW2 that helped America pull top talent to build the bomb. If you compare a Math textbook from the 50s or 60s to the crap they are printing out now, you'll see a stark difference. The old text books were thinner and got straight to the point--none of the fluff you might see in your children's text.

The point of this rant is that we need to fix our education system and get back to innovating.

7/3/10

BluesHill - silver banana to you, great post

7/3/10

We need Obama to concede.

--------------------------------------------------------
"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

7/3/10

@San Fran: You realize that Madison and Hamilton were both protectionists. As was Jefferson before he died. Adam Smith's book suggests that there are times when protectionism is necessary. Im not saying we should necessarily protect our industries, but people that believe all protection is bad are dumbasses.

What we really need is to grow our balls back and start educating ourselves. This pussy ass math that is learned these days is bull shit. U should have to take calculus to graduate college, and u should damn well have every other math done to graduate high school. Its not like it is that hard all you have to do is work and not be a pussy.

7/3/10
barboon:

we have been buying oil from sheiks and princes that fund terrorism

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_...

Sure we buy some oil from the Middle East (I think its outrageous to assume that the money goes into terrorist funds... its more realistically goes into sovereign wealth funds or to the governments of those country) but not nearly as much as we do from Canada, Mexico. Of the top 5, only Saudi Arabia is in the ME, and they are a US ally so I don't know what you are trying to claim here.

I do agree with your analysis though. America has strayed from its ideals. The free, independent spirit that we used to have is being replaced by collectivist thinking. Hopefully we can reverse this before it fucks us.

As for balls, check out the thread from like two days ago on Andrew Jackson. That motherfucker had balls.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
In reply to LIBOR
7/3/10

As for balls, check out the thread from like two days ago on Andrew Jackson. That motherfucker had balls.

Yes! Balls of lead inside his chest cavity that went CLANK CLANK when he walked around.

7/3/10

BluesHill, I left America when I was young and have been observing it's path as an outsider with growing disdain, but the content of your post is on point and the kind of thinking that makes me proud to be American.

Kudos.

7/3/10

Note - a lot of this reply is driven by a recent oped by Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, found here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-01/how-to-ma...

It's a very nice idea to say that America will be at the top of the managerial foodchain and that we don't need to make things anymore. I used to believe this at some point, except as we're seeing in the next potential frontier, cleantech, you need manufacturing to generate a more significant number of jobs. Further, what were once "commodity" industries, such as batteries, are being reinvigorated - for instance, the battery appears to be the limiting factor for all these new electric cars, in terms of both cost and capacity.

So yes, America should strive for innovation and to be at the high value-add part of the chain. However, you simply can't employ an entire nation in a service-based economy - manufacturing is essential as well.

In reply to DaCarez
7/4/10
DaCarez:

Note - a lot of this reply is driven by a recent oped by Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, found here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-01/how-to-ma...

.

Pretty much took all the words out of my mouth @ DAcarez thanks for the link, now I know im not going crazy.

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

7/4/10

IT IS ALL PART OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7/5/10

What does Obama have to do with the stock market. The president has no power to to write legislation. This obsession with Obama and the economy is asinine. What true power over economic issues does he hold. I would wager that the head of any fortune 500 company can affect the economy more than the president ever could.

In regards to him not having any executive experience. I believe our Bush had tons of experience. He was a business man turned governor and he will also go down as the worst post WW2 president.

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

7/5/10

It is doubtful Bush will be the worst. People hate Bush for moronic reasons just as people hate Obama for moronic reasons. The reason why Obama gets blamed is because he is captain of the ship. Do not doubt for a moment that if the market and economy was booming he would happily take credit. I personally feel that Congress is to blame or take credit for whatever happens.

You want to lead the free world then you take the good with the bad.

7/5/10

you remind me of this - "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

America may not have the balls it used to, but America still has the balls other countries don't have. btw, balance is beautiful. a balanced world is a beautiful world.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.----William Shakespeare

7/5/10

if balls means spending even more money you do not own from creditors that basically own half the country as collateral, yea-that's balls.

7/5/10

You understimated the elites in your country.

7/5/10

Some very good points from all angles, here.

I will try to stick to the OP's subject.

On the issue of "balls"...we have become (above ALL else) an entitled society of sniveling little girls.

It is not so much about party affiliation or worldview, but about the fact that America was built in the "bootstrap tradition" of making your own way in the world and EARNING what you took home.

We have created a society (this gets worse with each subsequent generation) where entitlement is rampant. We do lack courage, and there is an underlying IDEA of socialism that has become more and more prevalent in our day to day talking head (regardless of party affiliation) diatribes.

People are buying into the idea of the government leading the way, more and more each day. It is very easy to say we need balls, but what we simply need to do is BE MORE CONSERVATIVE.

Notice that I am not bashing Obama (which I admittedly enjoy) or praising the Republicans (who are quite liberal, quite often, especially with the checkbook), I am simply saying we need to get back to saving money and respecting our country and national identity.

America is a country built on hard work and sacrifice, cliche as it may sound...getting back to basics is the answer. Toning down the general anti-testosterone rhetoric wouldn't hurt either. As a country we need a good swift kick in the ass, followed by a long look in the mirror.

Minus the guy-liner.

7/5/10

Let me just add that the concept of being an American is slowly eroding. I am not an Italian-American, I am a fucking American. All this hyphenated bullshit makes me sick.

We as a nation can't protect our own borders. If you come from India, China, Russia, whatever I hope you enjoy taking years and years of jumping through hoops to study here and work here. If you are from Mexico just come on over, no one cares. Total bullshit.

Don't raise taxes, don't cut entitlements, increase spending, on and on. What happens when normal people lose their jobs? They reduce what they spend until they can get another job. What happens when all the various forms of government in this country get less revenue? They tax more and increase spending. Something seems pretty wrong here.

We have become a nation with zero backbone. Pretty sickening. Congress has an approval rating of around 30%, but people always think THEIR representative is doing just fine. How on earth can we be so fucking stupid.

This country elected a person with jack shit experience because he promised change. Don't take this as a bash against Obama because I personally think all politicians are garbage, but could we be any more childish. People got swept up in this whole change bullshit, it boggles my mind. Like it takes basic reasoning to calmly see that we don't need "change" we need a fundamental restructuring.

What kind of change do we have now? Gitmo is still running, we went from a war in a country that was once developed and could someday be a great nation to fighting a war on a rock. Obama ran on the anti-Bush card and you know what, he is expanding government, spending more, writing law as he sees fit and fighting 2 wars still. Frankly, other than having a HALF Black president I don't see much of a "change"

I am not all pessimistic. Savings rates have increased. People are paying down debt. I think the dream of a McMansion has given way to more realistic ideas. I am a strong believer in the Tea Party movement. Not the individuals per say, but I am empowered by the fact that a group that wants less taxes and a smaller government is finally gaining power.

I put this out there. How come we as a nation do not demand our elected officials take a pay cut. If you look at how much money is being spent on these cockroaches it makes you sick. Of the people, by the people. Well the people in the House and Senate are no longer "of the people" or working for us. And no, I do not want elected officials to be common folk. The majority of people in this country are fools. What I do want is our representatives to stop lining their pockets and start cutting the budget.

Lets raise taxes. Yes, you heard me. Lets raise taxes so EVERYONE pays. Not just the top half. I am sick and tired of the majority of people in this country not paying anything. You should have to pay at the very least a couple hundred bucks. If you are on welfare then we should take $20-30 bucks a month out of your check. Welcome to America, EVERYONE has to pay. Stop milking the rich and hard working. We work hard all our lives getting educated, working long and hard hours and jobs. The rich and middle class are not the enemy.

7/6/10

About the President..."What true power over economic issues does he hold."

Seriously?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

7/6/10

I said an almost identical discussion with some friends a year or two back. We finished watching Rome on HBO. US seems to be following in slothful/entitlement mentalities of Western Rome. When all the "citizens" or Rome were above the menial labors of the day. All the established men of wealth and stature aspired to be Senators and do jack shyt but debated grand ideas, or become an artist.

Hmmm, seems a paralleled is occurring today. I know some many wannabe lawyers and artist/hipsters that it's disgusting. It seems every other person I am introduced to by friends of friends are in law school or in art school. Nothing against lawyers, some very bright people are lawyers and it CAN be a great profession. But there's too many nowadays. Especially those that are perusing a private JD education outside of T14 or even T30 because they couldn't get in better schools. The amount they can make does not justify the loans. Outside of the select few that make it to BigLaw.

Don't get me started on Art School. Kids(parents) paying $30,000+ to send they kids to learn Art and Design?! Most of those school have like 70%+ acceptance rates. To earn potentially minimum wage jobs! The starving art clique is so tiresome when I know most of them are being partially subsidized by Mommy and Daddy at age 25+. Congrats.

I actually read the Andy Grove article last week. Very interesting. I like the different POV he provides. Not sure weather I 100% agree with him. But very well written. As for Green Tech jobs. I wouldn't hold my breath. German, Japan, France, and China already slightly ahead of US in many parts of this section. Not sure if it's worthwhile for US to be getting into this sector fairly late in the game so to speak. We had an edge, but 5-8 years of not really investing or caring too much about it in the early 2000's saw most of edge dwindle away. We as a country are amazing at innovating and inventing things. Now we just need another "Internet" game changing invention to take the world by storm. Though ArpaNet was developed in 1960's, it took 30 years to really go mainstream. Hopefully something brand new and exclusive to US is in the works. Pretty sure it isn't going to be Green Tech, with cheaper the labor and higher investment dollars being dolled out by other countries.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hug It Out

In reply to DaCarez
7/6/10
DaCarez:

Note - a lot of this reply is driven by a recent oped by Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, found here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-01/how-to-ma...

It's a very nice idea to say that America will be at the top of the managerial foodchain and that we don't need to make things anymore. I used to believe this at some point, except as we're seeing in the next potential frontier, cleantech, you need manufacturing to generate a more significant number of jobs. Further, what were once "commodity" industries, such as batteries, are being reinvigorated - for instance, the battery appears to be the limiting factor for all these new electric cars, in terms of both cost and capacity.

So yes, America should strive for innovation and to be at the high value-add part of the chain. However, you simply can't employ an entire nation in a service-based economy - manufacturing is essential as well.

While I agree with the problems that Andy points out, I completely disagree with his solutions. The reason why jobs are leaving America is not because companies are myopic and only see short term profits and ignore the loss of long term industry leadership. Silicon Valley giants that have outsoruced are still the powers today as they were thirty years ago. The only difference is that lower level jobs have been sent to China and Inda, where the work can be done more cheaply.

If America wanted to increase domestic job creation, the solution is to get rid of more welfare and tarriffs. The problem is that blue collar workers feel entitled to too many things. Somehow it is implied that everyone should a house, two cars, and be able to afford college tuitions for two kids. That kind of living is a privilage, not a right. The news is always complaining about sweatshops in China with terrible work conditions and abuses of human rights. What doesn't get recognized is how this kind of dedication and determination is what gets them the jobs in the first place. Wages are low in China because workers there have no choice but to put those hours and barely get paid. Better than starving on the streets.The protectionist measures that Mr. Grove proposes will only perpetuate this sense of entitlement and lead us down the same path that 1930s protectionism had in lengthening the Great Depression. Until America is willing to get rid of all the safety nets, Americans will not feel the danger of failure and will have no motivation to work hard and find a job.

7/6/10

I am a huge supporter of Green tech jobs. We support normal fossil fuels in a myriad of ways that the average consumer does not realize or understand. The USA currently has amazing alternate fuel companies as well as on going research.

Here is my thinking.

We have out of work auto workers, machinists, semi skilled people, construction, etc. Take these people, retrain them and deploy them. Building wind turbines, solar arrays, geo thermal , tidal power, whatever all requires machines, engineers, workers, cement, on and on. You would spur the development of a growing and future field. We would make this country more and more energy independent. Out of work factory workers could be employed and trained in a new field all at the same time.

On top of this, the increased demand for alternate tech would spur even more development and advancement. I think it is a win win. The energy grid would have to be improved which would make America more competitive in the future, more efficient and would increase jobs also. With all this work and focus we would be able to eventually export this technology to places like China and Europe which are already major players.

Most importantly, we would set the standard for the world. The USA needs to raise the bar.

I love people who bicker about paying .05 cents more per watt or whatever. I really don't think the total cost of Exxon disaster as well as this BP disaster is factored into the price of energy. I am not saying that we should do away with fossil fuels, but people need to look at the total cost before the complain.

7/7/10

So much rhetoric but such a lack of fundamental economic, political, and historic knowledge than i can't believe anyone thinks like this.

7/7/10

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In reply to accountspayable
7/7/10

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