Thursday, January 27, 2011

What do Davos and SOTU mean to us?

So, we have a President who gave us a vague and nearly meaningless outline for where the country is and how to make it do better in the future.  There were a couple of good ideas.  The one is especially liked was a reworking of the organization of the Federal Government.  The proposal is that a "committee" would essentially deconstruct our present bureaucracy, and reform it so that the responsibilities of each department would be more specifically and narrowly defined and not in conflict with another department or agency.  Wow, what a novel idea.  He gave the wonderful example of the regulation of salmon.  This was a nice simple example of the absurdity of the bureaucracy as it presently exists.  There are thousands of such examples.  He also suggested reform of the tax code.  This is a no brainer.  These are rational ideas, but, the real problem is, that when the rubber must hit the road, these wonderful ideas will get trampled under the boot of partisan politics.  Each of these reforms would have major impacts on vast areas which presently suffer from the vissitudes of many areas of the budget and governance which represent protected bailiwicks.  He also pointed to progess made by Secretary Gates on "cutting" the defense budget, that is by some $78 billion over three years.  That is completely absurd, but then even suggesting such a cut was considered bold and progressive.  Our present stated military budget is about half of all expeditures beyond servicing our debt.  That is, over $700 billion annually.  So, the cut represents about a 3.5% cut.  But, it's not even really a cut, since what they are actually talking about is reducing the already planned increases in military spending.  More smoke and mirrors that they know that no one will notice who doesn't already have a real focus on such matters.  I will write more about this in a later blog.

So, now to DAVOS, a meeting of the world's nations to discuss (coordination and cooperation on economic policies) how to proceed into the future.  This is not such a bad idea, if it weren't so influenced by a substantial cast of characters (large global corporations and banks) who are there to protect their present domination of the world's markets and finances.  Not only do these "globalists" have incredible clout with the leaders whose elections they have assured in their home countries (and even beyond borders in many cases, since many are directly linked to government contracts and financing), but also act to suppress the rational cooperation relating to the many small struggling economies of lesser countries.  Right now there is global peril all over the world.  The major players in Asia, most notably China and India, are having major success, partly because they've got economies that are becoming more self sustaining and now can not just sell to their own people, but still maintain positions as major outsourcing destinations.  The major western players are all going through what I would consider to be major economic reorganizations, trying to overcome the hangover from the catastrophe of two years ago which affected their economies (and still affect) so mightilly.  So, in the long run, with the amazing divergence of suitable action and interactions at issue in the conference, it will ultimately achieve very little, if anything at all.

What I would ask those who respond to this blog is to either detail something of interest relating to my views, but also to eliminate political rhetoric which could be viewed as liberal or conservative.  You see, I believe that these traditional viewpoints hinder progress toward rational solutions to existing problems.  Idealism is great to have, but flexibility based upon pure rationalism is more important.  I am not trying to tell you what to say, but ration suggesting that none of us waste time on partisanship.  I am interested in good speakers, but good listerners and good arguers too.