Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yelling at the TV

I know my girlfriend is tired of me yelling at the TV, so I'm writing. The idea of the U.S. becoming part owner of two auto companies is a brave new idea with which I am not comfortable. This comes in response to the news that is being fed to me. Not fed to me because of an agenda, but ignorance. Ignorance of specifics, history, logic? All three? I'm not sure.

Here is a quick example though. When the economy was "booming" and gas prices rose, it was viewed and reported as a detriment, a hindrance. Now that the economy has slowed, rising gas prices are reported as a sign of improvement (read: increasing demand). How could paying MORE for energy, at a time of historic unemployment, be a good thing?

We've also been told through the media that lending to GM and Chrysler is to help people keep jobs, save an industry, and more. Well, what if we invented a button tomorrow that could produce anything, just like a magic lamp? Would we then still save the auto companies to preserve jobs? Are we working to work, or working to improve our lives? If the government would have us simply work to work while they own auto companies, then I want no part of it.

In regards to GM, consider this, our country is investing $50B of our money into an auto company that can currently be BOUGHT for $800M. Now if you're bad with zeros, that's 6,250% more. Your share? Every man, woman and child? $164. How long will it take you to bring home $164?...and your children? Congratulations, you're an owner!

But, think about our magic lamp example. If there is a company in India who can build a car and sell it for $2K (the cost the added to U.S. cars by auto worker pensions), why would we make cars? Get it? We have magic lamps all around the world, why not use them? Their productivity can be our productivity. Especially if we are owners, if we invest in them, like China is doing with us and to us. If the Indians can build a decent car for $10K, what could we as a country do with the $20K we're no longer blowing on each car? Hmmmm.

The recent talk of economic improvements; "green shoots," "housing-bottoms," and so forth are also merely contrived foregone conclusions.
As I write this, I'm forwarded an email from by girlfriend from her employer's 401K manager..."Economy showing significant signs of Recovery" Shills. This one comes from Merrill Lynch. You remember Merrill, they went bankrupt in 2008 and were purchased by BoA for pennies on the dollar. You remember BoA, they were singled out last week by the fed for still needing $34B. Again, shills. Thankfully, we've been moving her money into foreign funds, and emerging markets.
On the other hand, talk of present day realities can lead to one being labeled as a doomsayer. Nevertheless. I believe our country's future obligations are bleak. Not our future, but our future obligations. Especially so, if we continue on this road of government spending and involvement.

We've borrowed from ourselves, we've borrowed internationally, and we've mortgaged a great deal of our assets and natural resources. Nearly every previous government forecast on social security, future spending, etc. took into account a growing economy. Unfortunately, now, it's not. Furthermore, it is very difficult to grow an economy at the same pace with which it shrinks. Especially with silly moves like GM, Chrysler, and Bear Stearns that preserve the broken status quo.

Hopefully the U.S. will inovate as we have in the past to right our current situation. Regardless, our country will need to find a way to continue servicing our debt, growing, and meeting her social entitlements. My guess is that we will print our way out. I believe the U.S. will print money like you've never imagined. In the future I hope to examine reasons to justify my case, arguments against it, updates in data, and possible ramifications of our policies.

In case you're wondering, the photo is one billion in hundreds. Imagine if they delivered 50 truckloads of hundreds to GM! I bet you'd be waiting at the gates too.