Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Sun rises in the East, the Sky is Blue and....

Congress is going to raise the statutory national debt limit by 1.8 Trillion dollars to a new limit of approx. 14 Trillion dollars...This is roughly the current National debt (red numbers below).  As I suggested in class, it will be embedded in a Pentagon funding bill that few will vote against.  Republicans will fuss about it and grandstand, but they know it will pass AND they will get their pet projects inserted in the latest spending bill which is the reson they need to raise the debt limit this much in the first place.  Disgusted with both parties...What is an American who wants responsible, limited government to do?

The national debt is divided into two major categories, Pubic Debt and Private Debt.  Public debt is the amout of debt the Federal Govt essentially owes to ITSELF, in the form of Bonds ("IOU's) that are in public various trusts fund, i.e. Social Security trust fund ($2.244 trillion), Federal Emplyees Trust Fund ($738 billion), Military Retirement Fund ($249 billion), etc.  Basically these are funds owed to government trust funds that have money in them because of taxes collected today from the future beneficiaries of these funds.  The total owed to these funds is approx.  $7.109 trillion.  The Private Debt is debt owed to individuals (domestic and foreign), private investments funds, and other governments.  Of the total amount of the debt owed to the pubic approx. 50% is held by foreigners (counties and individuals), which amounts to about $4.280 trillion. Of this amount China owns 25% and Japan 23%, so roughly half of debt owed to foreigners is owed to two countries (OPEC countries are not too far behind).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is a Painful Issue..

This week myself and 3 JWAC members (Alex Baker, Ben Martin, Haley Bupp) went to view a documentary called "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo".  I know, it sounds like a peculiar thing.  I had NO IDEA what a problem this was.  Rape is being used by the Congo military AND "rebels" from within the Congo and from surrounding countries (Rwanda, Uganda, etc).  The conflict is mainly in the Easterm part of the Congo where it is commodity rich---oil, gold, diamonds, and  mineral called Coltan (80% of the world's supply is in this area) which is used in the circuit board of the cell phone you are using.  The central government is weak and cannot stop the rebels, and even their OWN military, from raiding these areas to gain access to these commodities and sell them on the world market.  These groups terrorize the local villages to force them to leave.  When they enter a village they pillage and brutally rape and torture women and children in front of the husbands, then kill the husbands.  It is a horrendous situation.  Coincidently, there is an article in today's New York Times that reminds us that unspeakable violence is STILL taking place in our world today.  We made an excellent contact at the documentary viewing and JWAC will try to bring them to campus to further inform us on this human rights issue...PLEASE JOIN US!! Help create awareness of these types of issues!!

Forget 2012---THIS is the sign of the coming Apoclypse!!

China passes the US in the purchase of New Cars. This is actually a good sign for the US.  The Chinese have been notorious savers and there are signs that consumption spending is increasing as the emerging middle class flexes its economic muscle.  As incomes rise they will buy not only more Chinese goods and services but more imports (perhaps even from US businesses!).  In addition, with a depreciated dollar there is an incentive to buy US goods/services.  Gee, maybe even our cars! 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Helping the Developing World One Village at a Time...

Women taking control in an area that traditionally leaves them with out social/economic power to be independent.  This is one reason why we are in Afganistan (at least how I rationalize it in my mind) and why we need to "finish the job". If we don't then these women, will lose any hope of living a "free" life and to progress in society.  We all know the horror stories of the Taliban rule.  It seems safe to assume that life will return to the way it was for women in the area.  Why do "feminists" seem reluctant to speak out against this? I mean really speak out and take action.  We need to support efforts like this, not with mis-guided aid that benefits contractors and foriegn suppliers, to build a confident and self-sufficient Afganistan.  I know these micro-economic activities are taking root ALL over the world in developing countries.  Why dont we hear more about them? Numerous organizations, from CARE to non-profit entrepreneurs like are making life better one village at a time.  I actually hope governments DO NOT get involved in this. Best left to people who REALLY care about genuine development....

Walmart Practices blatant discrimination...

Example of 1st Degree Price Discrimination in Microeconomics...Walmart is trying to capture as much Consumer Surplus as possible!!

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