Skyfall. Last week’s vote by Britain to exit the European Zone provoked some of the most hysterical media coverage of an international news story I’ve seen in a long time. To begin with, there was little detailed coverage before the vote. Things we would need to know after the vote, like whether it was binding, how long it would take to negotiate an exit, what trade agreements might be effected, the defense agreements Britain has with other nations, the economic condition of the EU, Britain’s economic contribution to the EU in general, the percentage of the UK’s GDP accounted for in European Trade and so on. Then there is the issue of the world media being ‘on board’ with the remain vote, or at the very least reporting the story line that ‘leave’ would not pass. Consequently, no one was more surprised by a leave vote victory than the perfumed princes sitting in their air conditioned studios. If Skyfall was the fictional last resort of the embattled James Bond in the movie of the same name, watching anchors and pundits tear their hair out, one would think England is heading to Skyfall as we speak! Perhaps the EU’s unelected ‘leaders’ should be the ones heading to Skyfall. ‘Markets Crash’, the media moaned. From a distance, one might be forgiven for believing ‘The End Of The World’ is indeed near. Better head to Skyfall as a last resort! All is lost. The Leave Victory has jostled the carefully constructed ‘citizen of the world’ senses of a younger generation that apparently does not know the world existed before the EU. Well, the truth is the markets will regain their composure. In fact the British Pound recovered to pre-vote levels the Friday after the vote. It’s a tough thing to hear, but the EU has had problems for some time now, specifically the EURO, as southern Europe’s spendthrift policies have led them to demand relief from Northern Europe. Add to that trouble with the ECB, unpopular regulation and a failure to do anything about the Syrian refugee problem, and one wonders whether the EU hadn’t better clean up its act. Maybe Merry Old England delivered a slap in the face to the velvet suited technocrats, so they would go about getting their proverbial act together. Yes, there are real concerns going forward; What trade deals have to be renegotiated? While defense pacts like NATO really aren’t subject to EU control, there are concerns about defense issues and what about the idea of a strong European Community to foster cooperation and peace, to serve as a counterweight to an expansionist Russia, as well as China. There’s a lot to be worked out, but it isn’t the end of the world. The fact is, we are entering a new time, a new day, with new ideas and concerns. People may not have the language to describe their discontent and even disgust with over controlling governments, the edicts of unelected technocrats who spite ‘the great unwashed’, at their peril. When the winds of change blow, electorates have a funny habit of unpredictably lowering the boom on the haughty and confident. A new day indeed. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
No Growth Economy. New numbers say the US Economy grew by only .2 percent. Yet still, the Federal Reserve says the economy should grow now in the second quarter. Never mind all the ‘experts’ predicted 2015 would be a ‘blow out’ year, and that they have been revising their predictions down all through the quarter, they were still way above what the numbers actually show. Excuses? They have a few. The weather. The work slow down at the Port in Los Angeles. The weather. The strong dollar. Did I mention the dollar? The US has now had quarter after quarter of slow, no, or only anemic growth, and yet the Obama administration and its apologists, and the bone headed financial media call it a ‘boom’. Meanwhile small and medium sized businesses all over the country know it for what it is. A no growth economy. Why do business writers believe things will change if the policies don’t change? Does the consumer really account for 70 percent of the economy? What if we’re using the wrong tools to stimulate the wrong things? What’s that old saw about the definition of insanity? Banks aren’t lending because they can make more money borrowing at the discount window, reinvesting in the stock markets. Companies aren’t investing because they’re buying back their own stocks. The US corporate tax rate is the highest in the world (by far), and the tax code is so complex it costs us dearly in productivity lost (while we comply with the tax code) and literally billions of dollars spent complying with its byzantine rules. Regulations of all kinds make it almost impossible for small and medium sized businesses to grow. What are the policy ideas we need to hear from candidates (which we’re not hearing) to fix the economy. It’s not about inequality. It’s not about ‘reformicon’ tax policies (which are actually democrat tax policies warmed over), or making the government work more efficiently. In this podcast, some ideas you may agree or disagree with, but it will definitely start you thinking. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.
Podcast Consciousness. Live from the Kitchen! After a string of podcasts discussing intense topics, from economics through to participation in politics translating to political power, it’s time for a podcast consciousness podcast. How I do what I do, and how it drives me crazy sometimes. Well, maybe all the time. In searching for podcast topics, I spent some time tonight cleaning out my ‘stacks’ of news stories on foreign affairs, business, politics, local and all kinds of other topics, and found a lot of stories that never made it to ‘air’. Part of the reason for that is the effort to winnow all this day to day news writing down to some key points people can use to understand what I think is going on in the world, but the podcaster can miss the opportunity to just talk about stories that are interesting (to him). Maybe it’s winter. Maybe its cabin fever. Something’s going on below the surface though … perhaps a quest for adventure … maybe a road trip coming up … There is a restlessness rising up from the depths right now. Good time to talk about it. Plus the latest economic fairytales from the financial media, and what to look for down the road on that front. Sponsored by Baklund R &D.