Another Anxious Year
Published on: January 9, 2011
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    If by the U.S. you mean the States other than New York, Illinois, California and New Jersey, then I agree because New York, Illinois, California and New Jersey need the rest of us as much or more than the rest of the third world.

  • Let’s designate it the Zero-Sum Recession.

  • Joseph Somsel

    We’ll know this week whether California’s new (or recycled) leadership wants to continue its suicide march or is willing to retrench and abandon its crazy global warming self-sacrifice and other liberal fantasies.

    The real point of inflection comes with the abandonment of unworkable mind schemes with something closer to reality. Not so sure California’s government is there yet.

    But thanks for sharing legitimate signs of optimism on the global scale.

    We needed that.

  • Andy Freeman

    > The major world economies from established long time powers like the EU and the US to emerging powerhouses like China, India and Brazil consistently put their own national interests before international cooperation when the chips are down.

    Other countries consistently put their own interests first because they know that everyone except the US will do the same and that there’s no penalty when they play the US for a sucker.

    US will occasionally put others’ interests first and is consistently surprised when they don’t return the favor. However, that surprise never leads to consequences.

  • John Barker

    “to transform (not tweak, transform) the way our governments, legal institutions, health care system, schools and universities work.”

    In the charter school on whose board I serve, 250 our of our 300 enrolled students are involved in some form of online education. All students are physically present on campus, but these young people are taking advantage by adding courses our small staff can’t accommodate or making up credit deficiencies or accelerating their progress through high school. This all happened in a couple of years and we had to add staff to meet the demand. We were taken aback by how quickly this student driven transformation has taken place and I don’t think we really understand how to optimize the characteristics of information technology in education. The course ware is good, but not what I hope it will be when in the future, content specialists, cognitive scientists, and IT people collaborate to produce killer apps for algebra and French and world history.


    “The smug pundits on the talk shows, the columnists in what’s left of the print media, even the know-it-all bloggers snarkily fisking their ideological rivals: none of them really knows what is going on, much less what the world needs to do.”

    With all due respect the smug bloggers and those outside the captive political and economic circles figured out the problem long before the first responders (legacy players) came to the “rescue.” The challenge is not diagnosing the problem for those with basic mathematical abilities, rather finding global accommodation under the stranglehold of legacy architectures.

    “There are some bright economic spots as well. There are signs of returning health in the world’s largest economies. As 2010 ended, the financial markets had largely recovered the losses they sustained in the gut wrenching months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”

    Exactly what are these bright economic spot? Consumers remain massively indebted by any measure. House prices are still overvalued. Wages have been stagnant and the no inflation meme only exacerbates the real wage pressures. The Fed has printed and guaranteed trillions of dollars to float up the equity market with an overt put while exporting massive bursts of inflation to the periphery. Oil is north of $90 and shadowing dollar printing. The composition of GDP remains problematic at best and the fiscal situation of the US is anything but a growth problem. Unemployment programs are bursting and food stamps are at records. As for trade, marginal deal with Columbia (substitute mercantilist state X here) don’t even make the afterthought cut.

    “The legal, health, educational and governmental organizations of the United States have been on unsustainable paths for some time; what is different now is that we are losing the ability to paper over the cracks in our social organization with borrowed money.”

    But you started the discussion lauding the rising stock market which is a function of the very printing you claim is unsustainable (already when you consider the Fed is in now openly monetizing debt in the hundreds of billions).

    This post is pregnant with platitudes and falls back on the all to familiar efficiencies and innovation arguments. I bet if you asked the most extreme “doomers” whether the sun would come up if the dollar imploded their response would be a collective yes. As hard as it is to see through the obfuscations, the debate is not about the self loathers and America haters much as it provides intellectual cover from discussing the real issues. The debate is about the power dynamics and division of spoils in the next iteration of equilibrium/empire whatever. The great irony about alluding to efficiency is the utter inefficiency of the US capital importation model. Moore’s law may indeed have applications in the sovereign realm.

  • Walter,

    Give us your thoughts as to what is going on in Egypt. It does not look good.


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