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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Misplaced enthusiasm for failure.

I was working security for a Drunken Barn Dance on Saturday, and an inebriated local businessman sidled up next to me.

"'D'd'ja hear wha' happened to our economy yesterday?" he asked me, with fumes of Bud Light stinging my eyes.

"You mean the downgrading of our loans by S&P from triple A to double A? Yep. Heard that," I said.

"Well, it means.... we're screwed," he wheezed. "'Cuz you know who owns us? You know what's gonna happen to us?!?"

"Are you implying that China, who owns a large portion* of our debt, is going to suddenly call in our markers, now that they see us at a moment of economic weakness?" I asked.

"Yeah! They got us by the short hairs! We're screwwwed!" he said, as he tipped back his coozy-covered can.

"Okay. Let me ask you: Who is China's biggest market?" I asked levelly.

"Huh?" he asked, with his beer still draining into his mouth.

"Think about it. Where is China's biggest market. Where do they sell most of their cheaply-made products?" I asked him, speaking slowly.

He looked at me searchingly with wet, rheumy eyes, before venturing, "The U.S.?"

"Right. Their best customer is the very country whose debt they hold. It is in their interest to see our economy do well, so that we can buy more of their crap, right?"

He slowly nodded, "Right. Right."

"And, honestly, when China does get paid back, they'd rather the dollar was a bit stronger than it is, so that those billions of US dollars would bring more value, right?" I don't think that he got this part, but the other part had hit home.

"Yeah. Yeah! Sir, I want to shake your hand. You're the smartest guy I know," he slurred.

I laughed out loud as I shook his hand. I didn't mean to insult the man. He had been worried, and now he felt a little better. "Not hardly, sir. Not by a long shot, I promise you." As he over-shook my hand, I began to worry about him having a sober ride home.

_____________________

A self-confessed north Texas liberal (they exist, but they're rare, and most of them, unlike Barry Green, are rabidly irritating) wrote today:
"I don't think I ever seen so many people (who happen to be President Obama haters) so giddy about unemployment and a stock market crash."

I have to admit that I agree. Hey, I don't want the guy as my President, either. But he's got the wheel of the ship that we're in, so why should we be gleeful about him putting us on the rocks?

I believe that I've spoken to this topic before.

____________________________
*Actually, only about 26% of our foreign-held public debt. Which is a lot, but it's not the Whole Enchilada, or anything.

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10 Comments:

At Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:41:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Lots of issues on this one... China IS currently in the driver's seat though- They ARE using the current weakness in the administration and the amount of $$ they hold to push us pretty hard in 'certain' areas...

 
At Tuesday, August 09, 2011 3:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't think I ever seen so many people (who happen to be President Obama haters) so giddy about unemployment and a stock market crash."


I have to admit that I agree. Hey, I don't want the guy as my President, either. But he's got the wheel of the ship that we're in, so why should we be gleeful about him putting us on the rocks?


Two things. Not only are many of the far right happy about unemployment and the whole debt thing because it makes the President look bad, but it looks to me that they are actively trying to make things worse. As one of the Republican leaders said, making sure Obama is a one term president is Job One.

Second, we were already headed onto the rocks when the President took the job. TARP did not happen under him. The 2008 meltdown did not happen under him. The two off the books wars did not happen under him.

What did happen under him is he did little or nothing to make things better. He kept right on going the way we were going. He even used the guys who got us here in the first place.

A pox on both their houses. But a slow painful lingering death to the Teabaggers.

BCFD36

 
At Tuesday, August 09, 2011 6:22:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Hey, Anonymous? Or is it BCFD36?

You're literate enough to write that rant. You think you can read enough to note that your Nobel Peace Prize winner has increased troop deployments to both theatres? And hasn't been pulling out, even after Bin Laden was killed? And has been the main force behind the multinational force in Libya?


Don't get me started on that guy, BCFD36. I just don't rejoice when he fails. Oh, I want his ass out of the Big Chair, and right quick. Don't take this as some sort of cheering section for that Constitution-flouting idjit.
---------

But, NFO, the "we're screwwwwwed" part of the equation isn't that S&P has down-graded our credit rating, but rather that we have so much foreign-held public debt, in the first place.

 
At Tuesday, August 09, 2011 7:15:00 PM, Blogger Suz said...

A pox on all 2 1/2 parties.

To be fair, the Repub's did make it clear that they'd do whatever it takes to make the Big O's presidency a failure, and that was even before he had a chance to screw up. They did and he did, while the Dem's whined and the Tea Party ranted.

I do not understand why anybody is not blaming EVERYBODY in Washington for this fiasco. They've been working on it TOGETHER for decades.

How much of the lousy financial policy was enacted while a single party held the House, the Senate and the White House? Not nearly enough to cause this. We need to be pointing our fingers at "our guy" right alongside "their guy," and vote them all out.

In the next few elections, I will be seriously looking at ANY candidate who is not supported by any of the major parties.

 
At Tuesday, August 09, 2011 10:06:00 PM, Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

Good of you to point out he is our President. My problem with him is he seems detached from us citizens; that he mouths the right words but isn't acting on what he says. Talks the talks and doesn't walk the walk.

 
At Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not heard/read much joy about the debt and unemployment/ credit downgrade/ et al among my crowd or on the sites I frequent, but I tend to run with the right-center part of the spectrum. There's some irritation that the President will not accept that while his predecessor (and the Democrat-majority congress) set up some of the problem, Obama is the POTUS now, has been since January 2009, and deserves a chunk of the blame and credit for events.

Mostly my friends and I are concerned about inflation, losing our jobs or finding new jobs, and trying to figure out how to save for retirement and medical care, since we assume there will be no Medicare or Social Security by the time we're ready to retire in 30 years or so.

LittleRed1

 
At Wednesday, August 10, 2011 2:37:00 PM, Anonymous Shrimp said...

From my seat, it looks like people aren't necessarily excited that he's failing as much as they are happy to be proven right about him. People like to be right about things, and the "far right" said he would make a mess of things. And he did. And now they're making political hay while the sun still shines.

Truly, it's not too much different than how the left viewed Bush and by extension, any Republican, in 2008. They seemed gleeful that our country was having problems, that Bush was an utter dolt, that our economy was hurting. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and they don't like it.

Obama was (and is) the least qualified person to have ever been placed in the oval office, and he was placed there by people taken in by his charm, his ability to read the TOTUS, and a slogan.

Now that he's run the ship (with help, admittedly) into the rocks, most who opposed him are all too happy to point it out, because it furthers their agenda--getting him out of the office before he f***s it up any further.

Am I glad the economy is being run into the ground? Hell no. Am I wishing that Obama and crew would do what is necessary to fix it? Hell yes. Do I adamantly disagree with Obama about what is necessary to fix it? Yes, I do. Am I happy to see his re-election prospects hovering between zero and not likely? You bet. Do I wish it had come about some other way than ruining our nation's credit? Hell yes.

The only solution our national borrowing and spending problem is to cut spending and stop borrowing. Obama's solution is raise taxes, spend more even faster and borrow like there is no tomorrow.

Seeing that kind of solution lead to a credit downgrade isn't surprising in the least. Only those who still have Obama stickers on their cars are surprised by this. And those who have been saying all along that this was going to happen are just happy to be proven right, I suspect. And they'll make political hay until they can't.

Yeah, he's my president--not that I wanted him. I'm not cheering him on, but I'm not cheering that he fails either. Unfortunately, with his hope and change gameplan, failure is the only likely option, so I'm cheering for him to not screw it up too much before he goes.

 
At Wednesday, August 10, 2011 2:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt G - why can't I be both?

You seem to have missed my point, or possibly I didn't make it well.
1. Much of the far right seems willing to hurt the country if it will hurt the President.
2. The President hasn't changed any of the policies that got us here in the first place and even put the guys who got us here (Goldman Sachs, and others) in charge of the countries finances.

Further, no one who got us here has gone to jail.

The only things I want to see is the economy turn around and the troops come home. If the President gets credit for both or either, who cares? Which is my point. The extreme right doesn't want him to get any credit so they seem to be trying to make sure nothing good happens that might give him credit.

Lastly you said something about my Nobel Peace Prize winner. Your meaning is not clear, but you seem to say that he is my President. Maybe not yours?

I didn't vote for him. I didn't want him. I slightly supported McCain for awhile until he hooked up with Idiot Palin. After that, there was no one to get behind.

Like I said, a pox on both their houses.

BCFD36

 
At Thursday, August 11, 2011 9:49:00 AM, Blogger Josh K. said...

BCFD36 -

Using derogatory names just makes me think your an idiot and doesn't make me inclined to lesson to you.

Josh

 
At Friday, August 12, 2011 6:51:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

BCFD36,

"But a slow painful lingering death to the Teabaggers."

Well, personally I hope you have a nice day.

-T.

 

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