Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

Liberals On Bush

Martin Peretz discusses G.W. Bush's accomplishments and the reaction of liberals to them. He ends with:
It has been heartening, in recent months, to watch some Democratic senators searching for ways out of the politics of churlishness. Some liberals appear to have understood that history is moving swiftly and in a good direction, and that history has no time for their old and mistaken suspicion of American power in the service of American values. One does not have to admire a lot about George W. Bush to admire what he has so far wrought. One need only be a thoughtful American with an interest in proliferating liberalism around the world. And, if liberals are unwilling to proliferate liberalism, then conservatives will. Rarely has there been a sweeter irony.

Go read the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

Dont you think it is a little to soon to write history about Bush. Economics alone shold give you pause if you look at the trend and trade and budget defiecits.

Anonymous said...

RE Economics – Bush was handed a Dow Jones bubble at 11000, that sank to 7200 over the next 2 years, a massive 1/3 slice out of real and perceived wealth, not to mention the drop in capital gains tax collections that Clinton enjoyed. It’s amazing the world economy didn’t grind to a halt.

Unemployment is only 5.3% with record numbers of people employed. Their trade deficit means a lot less to them than our trade surplus means to us. We’d better hope they don’t decide to fix it.

The real deficit does matter. But, it’s partly because of needed tax cuts to get the US world scale engine going again. Unlike Canada where we glorify overtaxing to reach the presumed morally superior position of balanced budgets by confiscation of wages - the US feels it’s better for the taxpayers to keep more of their own money. Canada had better hope the US doesn’t increase taxes or our exports will dive.

Their productivity gains over the last few years are mind-boggling. Manufacturing levels are at record highs, although because of productivity gains the same can’t be said of the number employed in manufacturing. Inflation under control. US growth in GDP makes the French and Germans green.

But agree the deficit is a problem; it has to be constantly financed by Asia who will do so to keep their exports going. I do hope the US can deal with the deficit over the next few years. Ditto Social Security.

All in, a pretty good report card under the circumstances.


R. said...

You probably would not mind but I don't like being in debt to China. Which is buying our debt and will have power over us in the future simply by dumping the bills and bankrupt our country. China is a serious problem and will be the next super power. Why are we handing them the rope that will hang us.And medicare is a much bigger problem than S.S. Frankly the future does not look good but we can always hope. Then we spend for our security but we leave our borders open for cheap labor. Go figure.

Dana said...

I agree that the amount of US debt the Chinese hold is troubling but I often think the concern over China might be overdone in some ways.

In absolute terms China may at some point have a GDP larger than the US but the Chinese will never have a per-capita income anywhere's near that of the US or any developed country.

Now I'm not using any wild economics education to deduce that it is just that I can't imagine how an unfree country can compete without seriously evolving.

Based on that, I think China just has too many internal contradictions that will prevent it from overcoming the US. Since China can never achieve a per-capita income on par with the US (my opinion of course) this will lead much of the country to be left at a no better than peasant status as most of the country currently is. China will therefore always be burdened with between 500 to 800 million people wondering why Americans have it so much better or why only a portion of China benefits from it's economic growth. It will be interesting to see how China deals with this in the long term.

Now of course tyrannies, when in trouble as in a manner I just described, are often libel to lash out and blame others for their problems. This is where the problem is as far as I'm concerned.

Anyways, as to how much control China holds over the US because of it's debt holdings is debatable. As people have pointed out, China can't afford to have the US dollar crash. First off their debt holdings would then become worthless. As well, who would then buy all those cheap Chinese goods?

As well I wonder how much the federal debt really works itself into the picture. Isn't it safe to say that if the federal government didn't provide the debt that foreigners would just instead buy up private assets? Real-estate? Corporations? That kind of stuff.

I think the private asset versus debt angle hasn't been properly discussed anywhere. Maybe I'm missing something simple.

Anyways, I don't think there is much the US government can do to change to trade balance at the moment. As long as China pegs its currency to the US dollar at such a low value what really can the US government do? Can the US force China to revalue its currency? I don't see how.

Anonymous said...

“ I don’t like being in debt to China”.

I don’t like being in debt period! But Trudeaupia will ensure we are for decades to come. What I really don’t like is sending aid to China; I think Canada sends $200 million a year. Why do we send aid to commie thugs who covered up SARS that led to the closing of our hospitals to those needing care?

This leads to the point “I think the private asset versus debt angle hasn't been properly discussed anywhere.”

I don’t mind “normal” foreign investors buying our companies. I do have trouble with commie thugs owning Noranda. The same thugs that have pointed 800 missiles at Taiwan. Why don’t we cut off the $200 million and use it for BMD? But maybe I’m missing something too?


Dana said...

I agree totally with the aid angle. I have no problem providing aid to countries in dire need but it seems somewhat out of whack when we send aid to a country that spends more on it's military than we do on our hospitals.

Michael said...

Being in debt really isn't that bad! Visa and MBNA called me every morning at 8 am just to say hello. They care so much about me! They must think I'm an ATM machine because they are always in need of money! I tell them the same thing my dad and mom tells me, "son, we don't have any either." If that's not enough.... the debtors call me again and leave messages on my machine telling me how much they love me and want me to call them back.

R. said...

The U.S. is giving away the farm with china because we do not have EQUAL trade. We give them a better deal on imports why? And no china is not an immediate concern I am talking in the future say 10 to 30 years from now they will be a force to be recond with particularly if they keep buying our bills and position themselves so they are not so dependant on our trade.

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Sarah said...

I completely agree with dana!