Saturday, March 1, 2008

right-wing media bias: Obama/Farrakhan v McCain/Hagee

Greenwald has an article, exposing the right-wing media bias in condeming Obama, due to Farrakahn's support of Obama, while ignoring McCain's support from Hagee.

The ironic thing is that Obama "denounced & rejected" Farrakahn's support, while McCain campaigns/loves Hagee.

I guess it's also relevant that Farrakahn has made racist statements against Jews, where Hagee is a much more versatile racist, hating Blacks, Muslims, Catholics, & gays.

Unfortunately most of the MSM is right-wing biased, & live by the IOKIYAR rule.


I stumbled upon this economist Glen Whitman's blog Agoraphilia, in which economic analysis is used on everyday life topic, including "sexonomics". Whitman is Phonte-like in his ability to drop insightful logical commentary, while simultaneously being hilarious.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Warren Buffet's trade idea: Import Certificates

In reading Paul Craig Roberts' article Obama & Global Trade, I came across the best idea I ever heard in balancing the US Trade Deficit, from a Warren Buffet essay, which is based on Buffet's idea of Import Certificates.

The US has been in a trade deficit since 1971, with 100B+ annual deficits in most years since 1984. Not surprisingly, WOAT Bush has made the situation 2X worse, with the then record 2000 deficit of 379 B going to 700+ B in each of 2005-7.

Some smart dumb economists say a perpetual trade deficit is good. But I never got it, & some economists & non-economists with COMMON SENSE share my view. How can any economic entity be operating at a loss for 37 consecutive years?!

A family or individual cannot operate at a loss for more than a few years without wiping out their savings, going deep in debt, & having to declare bankruptcy

Even in the IT/dot-com boom circa 1999, startup companies could not operate at a loss for more than say 5 years without going bankrupt, or acquired by a competitor for a deep discount.

Fortune 500 companies can't lose money for more than a few quarters without massive layoffs & CEO/mgt team firings.

Other countries, like Argentina, are never allowed to do this. The US gets away with it, since the US Dollar is the global favorite reserve currency of our main exporters, such as China & the Arab Oil exporters like Saudi Arabia.

I would like the smart dumb economists to point out ANY example of ANY economic entity (person, company, or country) that operated at a loss for 37 consecutive years, in ALL OF WORLD HISTORY. I doubt it's ever happened!

I personally had thought that the US will eventually have to do 1 or more of the following problematic actions to balance the trade deficit:
1 use tariffs to make the US a primarily domestic economy.
Problem: the government has to pick & choose which products/industries to protect. The way the US political system in 2008 is dominated by special interests, there's a big chance this process will be corrupt, & far from optimal for the US economy.

2 pick a few high-tech industries, such as genomics, green energy equipment, nanotechnology, etc, that the US will try to be a global export leader in, & subsidize those heavily. These exports will balance out the imports.
Problem: It may be impossible to create enough exports from a few such industries, because the labor cost advantage of ChIndia, & ChIndia's increasing ability to innovate in high-tech itself.

3 Deflate the US Dollar to make US exports more competitive & US imports more costly
Problem: Obvious! This will cause serious inflation, & would be a hidden tax on most US Citizens, since most of us US citizens' assets are 100% in Dollar related assets such as a home, US stocks, & USDs themselves in CDs/money market accounts. Personally, I don't want my Dollars to be worth say 1/2 as much 5 years from now, they already have become significantly weaker during the WOAT Bush regime.

IMHO Buffet's idea of Import Certificates is superior to these & any other idea I've heard. The idea is
1 to import "stuff" (goods or services) in the US, you need to buy an Import Certificate
2 Import Certificates will be limited to the amount of exports, hence balancing the US trade deficit
3 US Exporters will be given Import Certificates equal to the amount of stuff they export, which they can sell in a liquid financial market like stocks

The effect will be that US Exporters will be encouraged, & US Importers will be discouraged.

Import Certificates will work like a tariff, however the "invisible hand of the free market" will decide which "stuff" gets tariffs.

Which jobs will come back the US? Clothing manufacturing or software engineering? The US Fed Gov will not decide it, the market will based on the marginal utility of having to pay X% of the cost of their stuff for Import Certificates.

I think 1 effect of this policy, would be to help the rural American economy. OK, you can't offshore the call center to India because you can't afford the Import Certificates. OTOH, you can't afford the labor cost of Atlanta or Dallas? Solution: put your call center in the economically devastated Flint, Michigan.

I really hope Obama gets elected, & brings in Buffet as Treasury secretary to implement the Import Certificate policy.

Pls give your take on Import Certificates, by hitting up the comments.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mike Bloomberg Not running for Pres

Mike Bloomberg declines to run from Pres, says he'll endorse the existing major party candidate "who acts independent".

What about Lou Dobbs?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Historical fact: Dems Pres > ReThug Pres on economy

Historically in the 20th Century, the Dem Presidents' record ethers that of the ReThugs on the economy.

That's FACT!

enterprise software/supply chain management blogs

These blogs have good articles on enterprise software & supply chain management.

It will be interesting to see if the trend of enterprise software bloggers, makes less relevant the "software industry analyst" industry of companies like AMR Research & Forrester.

Deal Architect/Vinnie Mirchandani
The Enterprise System Spectator/Frank Scavo

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dodd endorses Obama here

Sen Chris Dodd, the leader on the fight against telecom immunity with FISA, became the 1st ex-Dem Pres. candidate to endorse 1 of the remaining cats.

Dodd endorses Obama here.

BTW, as G Jr noticed, Dodd seems to end every sentence with "here". He's no different here, here!

DVD backup

FYI, a friend of mine demonstrated to me how to use the following Windows OS-compatible softwares to backup his DVD collection. I believe these softwares are temp freewares for a limited time (60 days?) for evaluation, which eventually require a purchase, but I'm not sure.

Legal disclaimer: The following should be used to backup your own legally purchased DVDs, as opposed to other possible uses.

1 AnyDVD, which strips out the copyright/DRM protections on the DVD.
2 CloneDVD, which
2a allows you to select the "chapters" you want to burn. For example, you can deselect the commercials that often accompany the beginning of DVD movies, or say the "bonus scenes"
2b if necessary, it allows you to compress the data to fit on a standard 4.7 GB DVD-R disc, since many store bought DVDs use the 8GB DVD+R DL format.

Supposedly there's a 100% freeware for the Windows OS, DVD Shrink, but I have not used it/tried it.

Let me know if this helps.