Beyond the Cusp

March 16, 2016

Should the Haredi be an Israeli Priesthood?

 

There are a number of schools of thought on whether or not the Haredi should be permitted to study Torah and allow that to be their contribution generally to Israeli society. Some are demanding that the Haredi face mandatory enlistment into the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) exactly the same as the rest of Jewish youths. Some are in favor of just young men while permitting the women not need to be enlisted with some claiming they be encouraged or made to serve in alternate public service. Then there are those who desire to allow the entirety of Haredi population simply lead pious lives dedicated to learning Torah with the referencing the numerous Haredi who spend as much as twelve hours every day except Sabbath either in services or learning Torah. Some less observant Israelis have pointed out the appearance of Haredi young men apparently strolling parks or in other non-study activities as proof that such a deferment for Torah study has been abused by some Haredi with which they broad brush the entirety of Haredi. There are few who desire to force the true and studious Torah scholars to not be permitted their honest scholarly pursuits as thus too is an important service whether all understand or even believe such dedication actually serve the State. Any serious answer to this situation, this challenge to the leadership of both the State of Israel and the Haredi society must find a reasonable and sensible solution which also takes into account some obvious demographic realities of the situation.

 

The one problem is that the Haredi community is a growing sector which would eventually reach a critical percentage where they would exceed the ability of the nation to support their complete absence from the societal productive engines. Simply stated, at some point in the not far distant future the Haredi community will be required to become productive if only to offset any costs their entire segment of society places on the State. The claim that the Haredi cover their own costs may be accurate to a point but at some point just producing sufficient food and clothing would exceed the potential of the state to produce and/or import even if the Haredi pay for their consumption as should they become over half, if not merely a lesser percentage, the production of the remainder of the population could not produce sufficient without employing the entirety of the remainder at a pace to support twice their population. At some point the Haredi will be made to make a judgement of which of their population show a particular promise or special talent lending them capable of receiving support to dedicate themselves to Torah study and such deferment should also be provided for any Israeli judged and desiring such dedication. There should be similar requirements as exist for professors at universities and colleges or teaching at Yeshivas. Also the Yeshivas should also be teaching at the least a basic education in addition to Torah study and perhaps a Torah curriculum for the public schools could be taught by religious scholars not just at Yeshivas. Such dispensations could and should be pursued with a plan to utilize those best suited in Torah scholarship to pursue such ends while it will soon be imperative for parts of the Haredi community to join the workforce and also serve in the IDF in special units which would allow for their observant lifestyle and restrictions not be challenged either intentionally, as has been the appearance in some instances, or through misunderstanding. These units will also likely require that a percentage, if not majority, of the officers and command chain be Haredi such that the sensitivities of these units will be better accommodated and understood by their commanders. If Israel is going to be serious about incorporating the Haredi into the society as a whole and especially into the IDF then some accommodations will be required and some give and take will be necessary on both sides. This will even include some arrangements with employers which will benefit all religious Jews and give some additional freedom to secular Jews and Israelis who are not particularly or even slightly Jewish. These accommodations will necessarily include scheduling such that the Sabbath is a say free of work with the obvious exception should rotation require a Haredi combat or mission necessary unit be scheduled for a rotation which counters Sabbath as defense of the nation is an exception recognized under Torah and universally.

 

 

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time for Morning Prayers in the Field During Training

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time
for Morning Prayers in the
Field During Training

 

The accommodations in the workplace would be no different than the accommodations granted Islamic religious members of the workplace who require prayer five times each day with the times set fairly rigidly. There should also be a liberalized attire universally applied for any group which had certain requirements for their appearance and attire. As stated, such accommodations should be universal and inclusive such that every group is comfortable and not unnecessarily required to break with traditional attire whenever possible. Needless to point out, should the required attire of a workplace stand counter to one’s religious requirements they should not seek employ in such locations such as nightclubs, clothing stores with secular progressive clothing requirements, and any place equally obvious which would be stated up front such that those who objected to the requirements would know not to seek employment in such places. There has to be certain rights both respecting the employer as well as the employees. An upscale and modern liberal clothing store would not be a place where Haredi or Islamic attire would be an accepted uniform, of sorts, attire which would necessarily show off such attire as part of being a salesperson. Some things should be obvious even to the most casual of observers, and the law should recognize the right of an employer to have appropriate attire and acceptance of the cliental and activities. A disco might not be an acceptable place for a strictly religious person of many faiths to choose work and such a place could have expectations which would exclude such employees in the first place. Such things should be obvious, period.

 

Military uniforms and other specific requirements for position are also understandable. An elite force which is designed to deploy places where the requirement might include wearing of a gas mask that people with full beards would have difficulties with such a mask and thus might not desire such an assignment or must be willing to remove their facial hair. As far as working in close proximity with women offending some stridently observant individuals, there should be accommodations and allowances whenever and wherever imaginable with a very liberal interpretation if such is possible. The scheduling women singing before a Haredi unit should never even cross the minds of commanders and if such were to be scheduled, then those wishing to excuse themselves should be granted alternate assignments and not just necessarily set free of any work related requirements. They might perhaps be assigned other duties such as cleaning communal areas or guard duty or other duty as seen fit in place of the setting they find objectionable. There is always something that requires doing in a military setting or they could be assigned policing the area of the performance after its completion. Such assignments would be at the discretion of the commanders of each unit.

 

The Haredi community should be granted generous liberties to define who amongst their community show and should be granted liberal special rights classifying them as a Torah sage or an astute and capable educator capable of inspiring students in the ways of Torah and the Written and Oral Laws. Whether or not a quota or percentile of the Haredi population will be permitted special observance privileges to spend their lives studying Torah or teaching Torah and the commandments and traditions in an inspiring fashion will largely depend on the responsible response and classification of their population between dedicated Torah scholars and teachers and those who will serve in the IDF or social services will, in the best possible of worlds, be left to the Haredi for as long as they perform these functions responsibly. Such a compromise needs to be reached such that both the Haredi and the general population are served through a mutual agreement and not through actual legislation, laws, court cases and general animosity. The reality is both the general Israeli public and especially the Haredi are majority Jewish populations and it would be nice to believe they could reach some accord which satisfies both communities. One can only hope that such an agreement is possible and can be attained with minimal if any acrimony as we are both majority Jewish, right?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 15, 2016

President Obama’s Last State of the Union Address Finally Done

Part 2

 

Here we go picking up where we left off picking on and picking faults, discrepancies and blatant lies all while trying to maintain our sanity by making light of what will result in the kick-off of President Obama’s long ago promised and much anticipated by extreme leftists and haters of all things America who agree with the President that the problem with the world has been and always was an America that was too powerful, too imperialist, too influential, too concerned and too interventionist even when America seldom kept the lands they liberated returning the greatest majority back to their former governance or to the people to choose their own future with any and all assistance they required in instigating a governance which was chosen and would continue to be chosen by the people in free, open, honest elections where the actual votes mattered and the government was answerable to the ballot box. This President decided that the United States remaining in Iraq and Afghanistan was detrimental to the free choices of the people and was there as a conqueror imposing America’s will onto the people so he removed the United States troops and the vast majority suffered not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but across the Middle East and North Africa as while President Obama had no trouble allowing governments to be overthrown, he saw no role for the United States in preserving the possibility for change if only there was some means of preventing the fracturing in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and starting now in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The sole saving grace in the MENA revolutions was Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power before they could cement their Islamist Sharia nightmare and cast Egypt into another Iran like power except this time Sunni and the Sinai Peninsula is still in open revolt and lawlessness threatening both Egypt and Israel and potentially Jordan and western Saudi Arabia while assisting Iran in arming Hamas even further. So, now let’s get back to the speech after this commercial interruption.

 

“Medical research is critical; we need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources. Look, if anybody wants to dispute the science around climate change, then have at it. You will be pretty lonely.” Then he listed a litany of organizations, branches of government, the military, and so on. Does anybody know what the unifying thing was about that list? Yes, you right here……. Yes, that’s it; they are all financed through the government or are completely beholden as a branch of government. This has been the ugly truth about the climate change debate. Firstly, nobody is claiming that climate does not change as that would be preposterous. What is debated is whether it is predominantly anthropomorphic or whether nature has the far greater effect. Guess which one received the mountain of funding from the United States, United Nations, European Union, and had entire companies whose existence and budget only comes from government and they still manage to go bankrupt, see yesterday’s just above the picture in the article, there is only one. We could argue that right here and never get through the speech so one argument and we’ll move on. Take all the pollution caused by humankind and add to that all the pollution caused by the herds of animals and pets of humankind and add all the pollution caused by factories and power plants, even the coal plant a week Chinese ones with no scrubbers or filters belching pollutants needlessly because they are immune to criticism or pollution control requirements and balance that against the 550 active volcanoes of which an average year has 60 eruptions of which 2/3 are active and constantly erupting such as Stromboli, Kilauea, or Sakurajima. Guess which side of the equation produces more greenhouse gasses and pollutants into the atmosphere, hint, mankind has only once in modern history beaten an erupting volcano on the fly using water pumps, granted, very large water pumps and every last one from Greenland to Britain and beyond was a harbor village in Iceland who slowed and then redirected the lava flow, tens of thousands of cubic yards of lava flow away from directly striking their town losing less than 10% of the buildings. And volcanoes are not the largest producers of greenhouse gasses for which we are very thankful. Anyone know the molecule which generates the greatest amount of greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, and would you like to ban it? We hope not as it is dihydrogen-oxide and the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of this chemical whose denotation is H2O, yep, water is the greatest producing molecule in the atmosphere that remains a secret because if people ever realized that the oceans beat volcanoes by a factor of hundreds or more and volcanoes beat humanity with all its effects by a factor of thousands then the whole climate change is America’s and the developed world’s fault would be forever buried, but they want to use climate change to change the way you live and then limit your travel demanding you get a license to travel after you pay for a thousand trees to be planted and other garbage coming in the future the way things are heading. So, onward and let’s see the next subject.

 

President made a statement that the United States has cut foreign imports of oil by 60% which he made to sound to be due to renewable energy production and ignored the influence that tripling oil production, largely due to fracking, and the Dakota’s oil boom. An intentional aside, he threw out “gas under two bucks (nice common language rather than the formal dollars) a gallon ain’t (see last comment) bad either” a great little tool politicians use to make a comment, usually to their favor, appear as they just thought of it and threw it out off the cuff, trust one who dabbled in politics, it was on the teleprompter including a signal word to denote its delivery. Enough trees great, cars bad. The “world we preserve,” oh gag me with a spoon.

 

We are now going on to discuss how to keep America safe without isolationism or triumphalism as we cannot be the world’s police. And I have to ask, why not, it had been working somewhat before you broke the entire machine because you were raised in a bubble. The United States spends more on their military than the next eight nations combined. Possibly valid but that is comparing apples to oranges. The United States also spends more on water pipes, telephone equipment, power lines, than those same eight nations, but so what. Let’s talk percentage of GDP to military spending and my bet is that then Israel spends more than the United States. As long as we are making comparisons, my bet is the United States, for the time being as China is about to get into these areas placing their own systems in orbit, but the United States spends more on weather satellites, GPS satellites, satellites to monitor weather on the sun, space telescopes, probes working on or around other planets, and way more on satellites still broadcasting data to Earth from beyond the heliosphere and currently traversing the heliosheath while approaching the so called the heliopause.

 

 

Voyagers 1 and 2 and the Areas in Space with Reference to the Heliosphere the Heliosheath and the Heliopause as well as the Shock Wall where the Cosmic Winds from the Milky Way and the Universal Winds and Energies Exceeds the Solar Effects

Voyagers 1 and 2 and the Areas in Space with Reference to
the Heliosphere the Heliosheath and the Heliopause as well as
the Shock Wall where the Cosmic Winds from the Milky Way
and the Universal Winds and Energies Exceeds the Solar Effects

 

 

He feels the need to remake NATO. First is protecting Americans, as it should be, because terrorist network, yes, he actually said terrorists, somebody probably told him the value of not hedging when talking about violent extremists, and he named al-Qaeda and ISL which is close to the point, because even a handful of terrorists who care little for human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage. No argument here except I would bet he will refer to the small number part in some future argument where he will claim that it is just a small, insignificant number of violent extremists. Well, well, so we sure do not need to push away vital allies in this fight, please tell me this is not where Turkey, or worse, Iran are coming into view, please. The coalition he formed is taking care of Syria which would work better if Congress would authorize use of force in Syria. Further, Iran has been prevented from gaining nuclear weapons and stamped out Ebola in Africa and established trade in Asia if only Congress would act. He claims that we can rid the world of Malaria which could have been accomplished with the judicial and targeted use of DDT back fifty years ago, but because of overuse of DDT by permitting wide swath spraying of even some urban areas to cut down on insects resulted in undernourished birds having overly thin shelled and thus unhealthy eggs. If we had limited the use to only areas where there were stagnant waters, then the judicial use instead of carpet bombing every suburb in America would not have so denuded the areas of insects that it so adversely affected the birds. I can remember the trucks coming every three weeks and spraying unbelievable amounts of what they referred to as bug spray, but our parents knew it was DDT, the chemical which allowed the building of the Panama Canal along with penicillin; but once we were done in the tropics, why continue to allow an inexpensive and easily produced pesticide to continue use worldwide just to rid the world of malaria. But now we must finish the job of eradicating malaria. Why did we refuse to finish the fight a half century ago and saved how many millions of lives? Lives matter even in the poorest of nations where malaria had been a scourge across Africa, South and Central America as well as Asia but not on temperate Europe and America, so ban DDT and watch these continents suffer needlessly. Can you tell this one has stuck in my craw for quite some time?

 

Our glorious future can only happen if we work together and have rational and constructive debates, fix our politics, and now, trust between the citizenry. I fear where he is about to tread. It doesn’t work if we think our opponents are motivated by malice, are unpatriotic, trying to weaken America. Democracy doesn’t work when we fail to compromise, when basic facts are contested, listen only to those who agree with us (then what am I doing here?), public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention, and breaks down when the average person doesn’t think their voice matters, that the system is rigged in favor of the rich, the powerful or some special interest. And we learn that President Obama has regrets and this is one of those few he has about his Presidency, wish I could say the same. He has noticed that the division and relations between the parties had gotten worse instead of better. Talking to the American people he instructs us that it is not enough to change a Congressman or a Senator or even a President to make politics better, we need to change the system. We need to stop drawing congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around, let a bipartisan committee (we think as it was applause overshadowed), reduce the influence of money in our politics so a handful of individuals or (unintelligible) our elections, stutter stutter stutter if campaign finance reform cannot pass muster in the courts, then we have to find another solution, (damn the Constitution and full steam ahead). He can’t do these things on his own, the last time he complained about that he did do it on his own. Look out America, Obama has seen your future and you are going to become a tribal society fighting and killing instead of voting because he has seen it. Um, ah, no, and here we go into the philosophical rhapsody in his view of what is right, imagine an America where there are no differences, no races, no ethnicity and no religion too. Imagined an America where rah rah rah and the son who comes out for who he is and the father who loves him, the woman who waits forever to vote, the new immigrant who votes for the first time and the State of our Union is strong, um, okie dokie.

 

Summary:
It was shorter than his usual but could have been even shorter. I want a President who simply does what the constitution requires, send a report to Congress, written so that they can review where their President who they will need to work along-side and determine where the nation is going in his opinion and they should reply either directly or through whatever channels they need to abide and oblige. Then for the State of the Union Address, as the press will have already posted the report to Congress for any citizen to read, can simply give an emotional and concise speech delineating what he desires and addresses any urgent events or state of the world which he believes the people need to know the President’s views and where he can sway people. That way the report can be lengthy with figures and breakdowns of every little thing and be completely factual or his opinion and go into greater depth than the presentation. As it stands now, the President will actually make two, if he is wise, State of the Union reports, the copy of this speech and the actual SOTU report as a document of greater length and detail than he would ever wish to deliver to the nation. As this system is currently, that second report, if such does exist, will remain unseen by the people and even if the media were to get a copy, the odds are it would never see print or online unless bloggers or other new media types were to have access. The President will never be giving another SOTU address and for that both he and we are likely grateful.
What is actually far more interesting are the rumors floating around which inform us that President Obama will be touring far more than the fifty-seven states he once claimed were the United States, as now he is campaigning for an entirely new position which will present an interesting problem. He wants to be the next Secretary General of the United Nations. He really thinks he should run the world. This has been the funniest rumor I have run across in years and what makes it even better is it would be even funnier if it is for real. Honest, I think President Obama would make a much better Secretary General of the United Nations than he was President of the United States. If President Obama really thinks that Secretary General is a higher post than President of the United States, he will need to have a serious session with people who know better. The Secretary General of United Nations makes pointless speeches, usually unfortunately ever so much longer than necessary, that’s one qualification he has. He needs to enjoy being powerless, not an Obama strong suit. He would have no military and would need to rely completely on his speech delivery to make his point and win the day. They will make sure his translator to the hard of hearing is an actual translator and not some wanna-be comedian. He will get to visit one-hundred-ninety-three nations and the nonfunctional Palestinian Authority. He would still be dead within fifteen minutes of a Gaza visit. He would still be persona-non-grata in Egypt. Turkey’s Erdogan would remain his best friend. He would have the privilege of dealing with Prime Minister Netanyahu even more often and with less influence or power. He could spend great amounts of time in Europe where the politics are presumably more to his liking. He could have two five year terms which is greater job security than his last job where he will be summarily fired after eight too long years of pain and anguish because the Congress would not play fair and just do as they were told, well, except for parts of those first two dreamy years. As Secretary General nobody anywhere will do as they are told, oh the additional anguishes. As Secretary General may he will have miseries like that of a thousand nights shared in a Bedouin tent with a camel. As Secretary General he can make his best speeches even though no one will listen, not even the chair (thank you Neil Diamond).

 

That is a good one to leave in and go listen to Neil Diamond’s Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 10, 2015

Our Economic World is Shakier Than We’ve Been Told

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The mainstream media, especially the European Media, are all the news all the time covering the Greek economic meltdown. Some of the more honest media has also included the crises that could be soon to topple as if dominoes all in a row of which Greece is but the first domino to be tripped to fall and they have shown how Spain and Portugal would be precariously hanging and soon toppled partly as a result of Greece’s defaulting though it might be likely they would have fallen eventually all on their own. These would trigger a crisis in Ireland and Italy as to which would be the fourth victim and which would follow as the fifth victim signaling the end of the most endangered Eurozone nations too close to default to be comforting. The real horrific effect of these five weaker economies finally tripping the default cable and snagging the economic webbing, which has held the European Union and the Euro together since 1999, doing irreparable damage to the delicate webbing, more fragile than the most slightly laced spider’s web, tearing enormous holes in its intricate weaves slashing at the most vital threads and upsetting the ever so precarious balance that underlies its supporting structures threatening to unbalance and collapse even the previously though stable economies of France, Poland and many of the other east European economies possibly pushing them right to the cliff-face and potentially tipping them beyond the cusp and into default thus lacerating the last remnants of the Eurozone and possibly taking with them Germany and the ECB (European Central Bank) causing unimaginable damage to the financial structure of Europe and beyond, the ripple effect causing a second deep recession well more serious and taking longer to tank-out and hit bottom and then begin a long sluggish scent clawing for every single Red Cent and Dollar and Euro after having taken its toll on Asia and beyond. But the Euro, Greece, and the rest of the European Union and the Eurozone is but one whirlpool looking to sink every last economic boat.

 

The Euro is what we have been led to believe is the only threat. Where previously economic ships only had to worry about rising and falling tides, now they are adrift and facing not just one whirlpool representing the Euro dying, but now there is a second even more massive whirlpool coming from deep within Asia. China has hit the road’s end and is attempting to push its enormous mountain of debt using a garden trowel while piling on fresh debt using Caterpillar 990K series front end loader shoveling an additional $19.3 billion in an effort to end their three week slide totaling $3.2 trillion downturn in the past three weeks alone. These losses were the result of a Chinese Stock Market where as many as two-thirds of the stocks were frozen in a further attempt to stem the torrents of dollars flowing from their stock market and their economy like the icy waters which flooded the lower decks of the Titanic as she slowly but inexorably fell beneath the waves, something somewhat prophetic for the Chinese markets and economy. There is actually a comparison between the situation in Greece and the downturn in China as one must remember that Greece is as socialist as a nation can be without being either fascist or Communist and Greece has retained their spirit of a democratic Parliamentary system despite it all but China has taken socialism that one final step to communism, the addition of mostly state owned corporations and central planning of the economic engines and manufacturing. Chinese leaders had been attempting to liberalize their economic sectors, though not all of them, selling a number of previously State run businesses and even permitted competition between companies in the same market hoping this would charge their economy further and it had been working but even free-market economic liberalization was unable to stave off this meltdown. The problem obviously is what will this mean for the liberalization of the Chinese economy as the leadership are still Communists who serve the Party and depend on the Party, may decide that much of their financial woes are the result of these new policies and curtail or even reverse some or all of the liberalized companies, markets and take a giant leap backwards to increased government control over every iota of the economy and the manufacturing and sales etc.

 

United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew commented Wednesday on the current crisis in China stating at the Brookings Institution, that the economies of the United States and China are “still pretty much separated.” In further testimony Secretary Lew queried, “I think the concern … it is a real one … is what does it mean about long term growth in China?” Further in his speech he pointed to the main potential impacts which could emerge as a result to the Chinese Stock Market bleeding financially leaving the leadership seeing ‘Red’ in more ways than one. The leading question is to figure out as soon as possible what the reaction of the leaders of the Communist Party is and whether they may decide that the problem dictates such as appointing new leadership, freezing prices, injecting even more dollars into the markets through the banks and state owned businesses or closing the banks and Stock Market for a week or two cool down and reset to normalcy again; the choices and potential marrying of any two or three makes predictions near to impossible. The one thing which can be computed and predicted as long as the numbers being released and any steps taken are done so in plain view then the impact of the Stock Market freefall on the Chinese economy’s core condition and whether it appears that it will have much elasticity and dynamics when the end is finally reached and the rollercoaster slides on in to the station signaling the end of the ride, and what a ride it was with vigorous growth only to drop who knows how large a percentage of that growth in this correction, and what a correction. Secretary Lew’s closing thoughts are worthy of being repeated as he emphasized, “The question isn’t their commitment to the goal; the question is the pace at which they implemented it, and do they do it fast enough for it to be effective. I hope this is not something that slows down the pace of reform. If the reaction is to put the brakes on reforms, that will slow that process.”

 

With China making a long overdue correction which will be far more severe than it should or could have been if the leadership was not so intent on what numbers they released to the world and on making their predicted economic increase and meet all targets set within the government as to fail was unthinkable and would have been a terrible loss of face thus undermining faith in the economy. This has caused the Chinese to follow the example first used by President George W. Bush and turbocharged by President Barack Hussein Obama which was in the old school simply called a ‘stimulus package’ but is now known by a more enigmatic phrase of ‘Quantitative Easing,’ either of which hides the actual result and method being implemented as who would stand for the government announcing they were devaluing the money supply and taxing every single American by a minimum percentage directly proportional to the percentage increase the total added funding was doled out in stacks of hundred dollar bills, literally thousands of such stacks in the United States and unknown amounts though what is known is the Chinese leadership pumped close to twice the percentage of GDP as did the United States. Just as the United States took their hit starting back in late 2008 and continuing through 2011 and briefly relieved with another round of ‘Quantitative Easing,’ this was like the third pitcher of beer at a table trying to drink their way sober. The economic burst from that mid and late 2011 ‘Quantitative Easing’ gave the economy a burst of hope which appeared to continue due to lowered interest rates and the paring down and mostly neutering of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act gave the economy the needed push for President Obama’s reelection as he could run his campaign claiming to have turned the economy around and that great times lie ahead. Well, as far as that goes I’ll point to Greece and China and point out that the United States has followed similar patterns of fueling the economy and especially the Stock Market with borrowed monies and when loans were unavailable the Federal Reserve would electronically buy Treasury Bonds with funds they imagined into existence as a few strokes on a Federal Reserve keyboard and one produces and completed sale with funny money in that the receipt for the Treasury Bonds was used to balance the books as it represented the electronically derived cash used. This is a very convenient way to purchase items this way when you are the government or a very clever fraudster as just try using the sales slip from one register, say men’s clothing from a department store as cash at the Jewelry Counter and see how far that takes you. The catch, and there is always a catch, to ‘Quantitative Easing’ is that eventually you either have to pay back the money that was invented which can only be done some combination of these three methods, first is retire actual money from circulation which can also be done electronically by retiring any electronic payment made on credit cards, second is to remove the funds through higher taxes taking the money directly from the supply, and lastly one could raise the interest rates and siphon off a percentage of each loan to pay the Piper so to speak. The problem is that each of these methods actually hurt the consumer the most; it is the public that pays the price for the economic and financial misdeeds and ill-advised policies.

 

There are but a few redeeming features out of all of this and one serious and potentially unavoidable problem, and it is a big one. So, we will leave the bad news for last and the good news which will cause doom’s day to come and come quickly first. The best of news is that the meltdown in China is most likely to be relatively unfelt even amongst their Asian markets as China does not purchase many goods from outside and the few major needs she has will continue even if slightly abated, things essential like coal and petroleum. Further, the only nation carrying a trade deficit of any note is the United States and even should quotas be placed on any goods currently purchased from China will very likely have ten other sources with some popping up due to China cutting production. The European crisis is more likely to hit the United States harder than anything else on the economic horizon. Should the Eurozone break apart due to the collapse of several of their nations having financial difficulties and teetering at the edge of financial Armageddon plus one, Greece, which has in all honesty gone beyond the cusp and is currently running with his feet well away from solid ground just hanging there for that brief Wiley Coyote moment before collapsing into the darkness below only to make a small puff of dust rising depicting his hitting bottom. Even should the entire Eurozone collapse it may actually serve to keep a lid on inflation and allow for low interests rates, a necessity for the United States. That brings us back to the one thing that at first everyone would be glad to see, a real recovery with rising workforce participation which in the United States is down to approximately 63%, one of the lowest figures since the mid-1970s. This would also bring jobs, especially higher end job market opening up once again which would allow for a ripple effect. As the overqualified people working at menial or minimum wage jobs would leave those as jobs in their field became available and they gain employment thus making room for these other positions to employ more of the nations’ work force and soon inflation will return, something there has been no worry about as even the few months where such measurements showed a possibility for inflation to develop only for indicators to slide back the next couple of months with it often seeming like one big step forward and all promise breaking out only to be followed by three or four months of small to moderate steps backwards and everything gained to be lost and often more. When inflation does finally return for real then there will be a really bad situation. Once inflation starts to threaten then the interest rates will rise as a counter to inflation. Rising inflation takes a bigger bite out of people’s pockets all but actual theft. Inflation also helps with making the national debt somewhat more manageable by deflating the value of the currency taking the currency to new lows and the lessening to of the value of the debt and the purchasing power of that coinage. This was where Greece and the other nations in the Eurozone faced; they no longer had control over their coinage, their monetary worth so they were unable to simply lessen the value in order to get a handle on their debts and also make their nation more attractive to investors and new businesses. Perhaps leaving the Eurozone for a set period of possibly not less than two years and no longer than a decade or quarter century at which point they can reapply at the short end or must face a permanent decision at the longer end. Granted, this will possibly make some nations more reckless but the consequence is the only alternative to having the Eurozone nations turn their entire control of monetary and fiscal planning over to Brussels, they already control the monetary which is part of the problem, and most nations will refuse to be relieved of the power of the purse even if they are no longer able to control the coinage of said purse. Perhaps even a rotating schedule where every nation has to spend a decade using their own coinage would be another compromise. Until the Eurozone finds the answer they will be facing little impossible challenges as is Greece right now and others down the line. Let’s just hope their mistakes don’t become global economic-mines blowing the world markets haywire.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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