Monday, December 8, 2008

KRudd, Christmas, and the global economy

'Tis the season to be ... shopping. Christmas shopping. And every man and his dog seems to out there doing it. I was shopping for DVDs and CDs, and you stood in a zigzag line to get to the checkout counter -- it was like checking in with baggage at the airport. The reason would have to be the monster sales that're going on right now. You can get 75% of just about anything, if you know where to look, which is great for Christmas shopping, but one can't help wondering what it's doing to the retailers themselves -- and the manufacturers. It's almost as if the holidays have offered a "stay of execution," and the retail industry will prop itself up for a couple more months before The Big Crunch comes.

Speaking of the impending Crunch ... Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was lampooned in the media (again) just last week. Apparently this country is still swearing up and down that we ain't, not no way, not no how, having any kind of a recession. Not even a marsupial one (which is the same as a regular recession, only it comes with a pouch). Australia is lingering in clinical denial at this point, and the farthest anyone will go is to predict that something like 80,000 jobs will vanish into the sweet by and by in the next 18 months --

Yeah, right. 550,000 American workers joined the unemployment line in the month of November alone, and Australia will get away with 80,000 retrenchments over a year and a half?!

At the precise same moment, Mister KRudd is reportedly toying with the idea [barfing sounds from every part of downunder, including some from new Zealand] of borrowing tens of billions of dollars overseas to pump into the local building industry --

Hooooold the phone. We only just got out from under our national debt. "Jackboot" John Howard put this country through the wringer for around a decade to get it paid off. By the time he left office, 12 months ago, Australia actually had a surplus of some billions of dollars. In a year, Kevin Rudd had spent the surplus and is looking seriously at getting us started on another national debt.

Hence the barfing sounds. The man needs to get a dictionary and look up the word "recession." It's something that happens, like flu. Since globalization happened, recession is a global problem. You can't fix it by borrowing megabucks from countries like China, to prop up industry...

Which is something the Bush administration never grasped either. In the end, they're borrowing from China et al to cover a massive budget deficit -- Chinese dollars are running essential services qt home in the States, while the country hoses money into Iraq at the rate of billions of dollars a week. Right. Makes sense.

A little while ago, I got to thinking: If the trillions of dollars are being pumped into the US, where are they? They don't just vanish. They go into the economy and should be circulating. So where the hell have 7.5 trillion dollars disappeared to?

Now, some would be sucked up by the mega-rich, who seem to be getting richer while the impoverished part of the community displays exponential growth patterns. But not all the money can be landing in the bank accounts of the rich -- they'd end up with more money than the national treasury! So, just where is the money?!

My guess would be ... right back in China. Think about this: money comes in; money lands in paypackets; money goes into circulation and eventually gets spent buying goods like toys, electronics, computer parts, DVD blanks, cars, textiles, which are made -- where? You guessed.

So, anyway, here we are Christmas shopping, and yep, a lot of the stuff we're buying is made in China, or India, Indonesia and ... so on and so forth. So you can see the same model in place as in the States ... you borrow a ton of money from overseas, and use it to buy imported goods. That's really intelligent.

In fact, it's about as intelligent as you'd expect from someone who is in the process of crippling the internet with filtering to protect children who, according to Save The Children, do need protecting, but not like this! This moron shall remain nameless, but his initials and K.R.

The Mel-o-Sphere is a complete vacuum at the moment. The proof of FORTUNES OF WAR just arrived from CreateSpace, so we were able to give the book a nudge in the direction of, but the process takes so long, you won't see it there before New Year. AQUAMARINE is in transit, with the proof halfway over the Pacific at this time (weeks late, due to the stuff-up at CreateSpace -- which has subsequently been fixed, I'm glad to report). THE LORDS OF HARBENDANE will be available as an eBook in a few days, but there have been too many hiccups in the system for us to be able to get the paperback out with any hope of a Christmas launch. So we're settling for January, with apologies to all concerned.

And if you'll excuse me now, I have to go giftwrap a lot of Christmas gifts. 'Tis the season, and all that.

Ciao for now,

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