SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS and CHINA
Yesterday, I wrote about the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Report and mentioned a couple of earlier posts about the interplay between the U.S. and China.
Then, I spent an hour on the phone with Bill, a gentlemen down South, who has been active in politics behind the scenes. As might be expected, the discussion wandered around considerably, but always came back to politics and the economy.
This was not one of those "It's the economy, stupid," discussions. Rather it was about economic direction and policy and whether there was anyone among the candidates who really had a grasp on the long-term implications facing the U.S.I'll spare you many of the side routes, although those were interesting, too. One of those revolved around the concept that the Secretary of the Treasury was responsible for the U.S. economy.
The Secretary of Commerce does have a say in things, too. Bill, wanted the candidates to be able to say who their choices for Secretary of the Treasury would be as a litmus test for their understanding of what should be done regarding our economic future.
The Secretary of the Treasury is the principal economic advisor to the President and plays a critical role in policy-making by bringing an economic and government financial policy perspective to issues facing the government. The Secretary is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt. The Secretary oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities; in serving as the financial agent for the United States Government; and in manufacturing coins and currency.
I believe that what should be done was what should have been done when W.J. Clinton was president, but got sidetrack with his propensity to cozy up to the Chinese in matters trade, technology, and his own political treasury. Bush apparently was too preoccupied with matters Middle East to recognize the economic 5th column by politicians who loved the copious campaign financing and U.S. businesses who believed that they had found a cheap way out of their need to be competitive.Well, the dollar is crashing and China is wreaking havoc with the resource markets and suddenly the Fed says we have to worry about inflation. The U.S. is discovering there is a bill for the "free lunch."
So they were all too happy to enjoy the "free lunch" that China was offering. And Libertarian economists were all too happy to say that China was "subsidizing" us and that we should be happy about it. [I've never bought into the concept that the Chinese were just being altruistic toward us.]
Back to selecting a president.... While all of the headlines are about terror and war, the real concern should be where the U.S. is headed over the next 20 years, economically. The Democrats talk jobs, but they really mean more government spending. The Republicans talk about containing terror, but they really mean more government spending.
But neither party really seems interested in examining the underlying economic dynamics affecting the U.S. There is a presumption that we can shift costs elsewhere and reap benefits here. But the world is beginning to say that maybe the dollar isn't a good bet for the international currency. Think not? Look at the dollar vs. the Euro and the cost of oil in U.S. dollars.Here's my take [it took me awhile]:
- Clinton - as low on the integrity scale as possible to get... but politically astute and ruthless. Would accomplish many things; question is whether much would be good for this country. Most feared by taxpayers and business; would exacerbate present financial strains on the U.S.
- Obama - simply not ready for prime time... his one unique qualification being his racial background.
- Edwards - the second coming of George McGovern; a lightweight in every sense.
- Guiliani - tough, but has a tendency to surround himself with those of questionable morals. Would accomplish many things; question is whether much would be good for this country. Most feared by al Qaeda, Iran, et al.
- McCain - tough, responsible, ethical, and honorable; but has his age and health are significant questions. Most likely to fight than negotiate with those in Washington, but would not be reckless in his approach with our adversaries... wouldn't be timid either.
- Thompson - who knows?
- Romney - smart, articulate, effective, but is Mormon... and the "Mormon issues" are already circulating. Would probably be most effective on economic issues, but is an unknown regarding terrorism and military issues.
The idea that we can simply produce ideas and fortunes will come our way is as fragile as the goodwill of countries like China to honor our intellectual property... not very likely.It is more likely that the U.S. will gradually lose influence in Europe and Asia and even Australia while China becomes the predominant power in that part of the world. What's 100 years to the Chinese? Meanwhile, we can barely see an horizon 100 months out... and we lose interest in 100 weeks.
So, is Romney the best choice to lead this nation? I'm not sure Moses could lead this nation where it should be going... even with direction from on high. I'm pretty damn sure Hillary can't and wouldn't... and shouldn't.Besides, carbon credits are the future... just like plastics used to be.