No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Author Archive.

March 6, 2009

Phil Donahue Never had a Prayer

by @ 22:42. Filed under Miscellaneous.

In the past few weeks we’ve been led to believe that greed, and greed alone, was our undoing and thus placed us squarely in this economic morass.  And to some degree this account has merit, but as Mr. Friedman  points out in this dated, yet timeless explanation, what society doesn’t run on greed?  And to that end, the free enterprise system has no equal in the annals of history as an economic engine that powers prosperity for the people.

December 16, 2008

Five myths about U.S. deterioration

by @ 22:26. Filed under Miscellaneous.

This is a very good read concerning the good old USA and how we continue to lead the world in the evolution to a global communication, information and technology economy……

For months now, the nation’s economic obituary has been splashed across the front pages of nearly every newspaper in the country. Journalists and pundits alike have warned that America’s long-running global dominance has come to a screeching halt, eclipsed by growing markets in such places as China and India and frittered away by our own mismanagement, excesses and myopic approach to the future. We’re long past due for a reality check. The United States and the incoming Obama administration face formidable challenges, but the country is by no means on its last legs. Here are a few key myths that need to be dispelled.
1. The United States has lost its competitive edge.
Not by a long shot. By almost any measure, the United States continues to outperform other countries around the globe (including rising giants China and India) in such areas as innovation, technology, higher education, worker training, the ability of the labor force to move from job to job and more. Just this fall, the Swiss-based World Economic Forum released its latest global competitiveness report, and once again, the United States easily topped the list. The study noted that despite the current financial turmoil, the United States is blessed with strong productivity and can “ride out business-cycle shifts and economic shocks” better than other countries.

2. The United States long ago gave up its global lead in manufacturing.
Not yet. Yes, U.S. production plummeted this fall, and yes, the domestic auto industry — the poster child for America’s aging manufacturing infrastructure — will never return to the output it could manage a decade ago. But even with all this grim news, the United States has held onto its manufacturing lead — particularly in such key sectors as pharmaceuticals and aerospace, in which it produces almost 25 percent of the world’s output, according to the World Bank. China produces roughly two-thirds that amount, the bank notes, and the global downturn has badly hurt its manufacturing sector over the past several months. Sure, China and India have been closing the gap, but with a little bit of creativity, vision and determination on the part of U.S. industry, the Obama administration and Congress, we can hold our own.

3. The U.S. economy is about to be eclipsed by China’s.
Not for some time to come. The World Bank estimates that global GDP last year was more than $56 trillion. The United States contributed almost $14 trillion (or 25 percent) of that amount. China’s total economy amounted to a bit more than $3 trillion. Of course, China and other countries such as India and Brazil are growing far faster than the United States, but then again, we were wealthier to begin with. Let’s be realistic. The turmoil in the financial markets will reduce U.S. GDP in 2008 and 2009, but China’s economy will contract, too. No matter how you calculate growth projections, realistically, it will be decades before China is within striking distance of the United States. And as for those other budding economies now coming online, don’t expect them to outstrip us any time soon, either. Despite its strong growth rates, Brazil has an economy that’s approximately the size of Florida’s and Illinois’ combined. Russia, which spans 11 time zones and has vast natural resources, had an economy that was on a par with that of Texas last year. Even India, a bright spot on the global stage for almost a decade now, still has a GDP that’s less than half of California’s. These countries will be formidable indeed at some point, but they still have a long way to go.

4. The United States is no longer the economic engine of world trade.
Not true. For three decades now, we have amassed staggering trade deficits, amounting to several trillion dollars (and growing), but U.S. consumers have still helped add substantially to the growth of most countries around the world.
When it comes to imports, of course, the United States buys far more products from overseas than either China or Germany. But in terms of exports, all three countries are closely bunched together, at just over $1 trillion each. There is simply no country, now or in the immediate future, that can replace the United States’ sheer global buying power.

5. The United States is no longer an attractive market for investment.
Hardly. Investments here are transparent, well-protected and have a long track record of healthy returns. So even with Wall Street reeling, the United States is a compelling place to invest. Of course, today’s liquidity crisis originated here, but the value of the U.S. dollar has risen dramatically over the past few weeks, and foreign investors have flocked to U.S. investments and financial instruments as a (relatively) safe haven amid global uncertainties. No wonder the United States attracted more than $2 trillion worth of foreign direct investment last year, according to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and France — the next three top finishers — each registered just over $1 trillion.)
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So where does that leave us? As Warren Buffett put it recently, the U.S. economy has gone from springing a few leaks to spewing one big gusher. But given our history and unique ability to adapt, we are anything but down and out. The world has changed, and the United States must respond more nimbly to the hard realities of global interdependence. But as “the sage of Omaha” reminded us, this is a fine time to buy into the long-term future of America — not out of blind patriotism but because it makes good, sound business sense.

James P. Moore Jr. is a professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and is the director of the school’s Global Leadership Initiative. He wrote this article for the Washington Post.

December 12, 2008

8 Maids a Milking

by @ 10:45. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Late last night the Senate defeated the Big 3 bailout on a procedural vote of 52-35.  In order to pass, the bill needed 8 more votes.  After the final tally, the Senators had an opportunity to voice their opinions in closing remarks.  As one would surmise, the Democrats took the partisan position and cast blame to the other side of the aisle for the defeat of the $14 billion bailout.  The exchange between Senator Durbin and Senator Specter below is enlightening, especially given the fact that Senator Specter supported the bailout.

Excerpt  from Senator Dick Durbin (IL-D) comments:

I don’t know if this rescue package would have worked. I am not sure. I don’t know if it would have been enough, or whether it would have failed, but I thought we owed our best efforts to try to save an industry that means so much to America in so many States, whether it is Michigan or Indiana or Ohio or Illinois, thousands of workers, in Missouri, 55,000 workers; so many workers depend on this industry. We had a chance to do something for them tonight and we failed. We failed because we couldn’t bring over enough votes from the other side of the aisle to come to the magic number of 60.

Excerpt from Senator Arlen Specter (PA-R) rebuttal:

Madam President, I have sought recognition to comment on the cloture vote and to give my reasons for voting in support of cloture. Before I do, however, I wish to comment about where the responsibility lies for failure to invoke cloture to move this bill forward, and my hope that we would avoid fingerpointing and trying to assess blame, each on the other side, as has become the pattern in this body during the course of the last 2 years of the 110th Congress and beyond.

The Senator from Illinois said there were not sufficient votes on the Republican side of the aisle. Well, there were sufficient votes on the Republican side of the aisle, had they been joined with sufficient votes on the Democratic side of the aisle. There were 10 Republican Senators who voted to invoke cloture: Senator Bond, Senator Brownback, Senator Collins, Senator Lugar, Senator Voinovich, Senator Warner, Senator Dole, Senator Domenici, Senator Snowe, and myself.

There are 51 Senators on the other side of the aisle. Had those 51 Senators–or 50 of them joined with the 10 Republican Senators, cloture would have been invoked. But it would be my hope that we would leave this evening without partisan blame and still seek some way to get the kind of economic assistance that would enable the Big Three to continue to operate.

Sad commentary on the Democrats inability to hold ranks and then have the audacity to point the finger at the Republicans for bringing this bill to its knees………..and a “partisan” in a pear tree!

December 1, 2008

We’re off to see the Wizard!

by @ 8:27. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Revision by Shoebox:   Please welcome a new guest blogger Big G.   G, as those close refer to him, is one of the wisest people I know.   Big G brings unique perspectives and solutions to many issues.   While we don’t agree on everything, I’m sure you’ll find as I do, that Big G will cause you to frequently step back and say “Hmmmmmm.”

Next week the Big 3 and UAW President, President Ron Gittelfinger will be back in front of Congress with their new strategy to bilk billions from the American people.  This group of four has been working feverishly to retool and fine tune their joint presentation.  Through an unnamed source, we were able to acquire this exclusive video of how they plan to travel to DC this time, in addition to a splendid tap dancing performance by Ron "Tin Man" Gittelfinger that we found particularly good.  When we questioned our unnamed source about this risky presentation strategy, they stated that Congress had requested they get more creative and demonstrate that they "get it".  What better way to demonstrate this then by utilizing a epic American film to tell their story.    [youtube][/youtube]

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