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03/08/2003 Archived Entry: "It's the Economy, Stupid!"
On the Political/Economic Front:
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting a 1.82 trillion dollar deficit for the US in the coming years. The practical impact of this reckless, insane government spending can be seen in unemployment figures -- 308,000 jobs lost in February. This is not a recession. It is becoming a depression, and it will be as miserable as anything our grandparents lived through in the '30s.
From Canada, Brad and I are seeing the Canadian dollar rise sharply against the US $ -- indeed, most currencies are rising in that relationship -- because of the cranked-up printing presses in the US Treasury which are devaluing every single unit of US money in circulation. Statistics Canada reported that 55,000 jobs were created here last month, about three times the number expected. For decades, it has been a truism: when the US sneezes, Canada gets the flu. Translation: when the US economyis in trouble, Canada's is in *big* trouble because of its economic dependency on the States. Why has this formula changed? There are a number of reasons but it is largely because Canada doesn't have a deficit. It isn't inflating the money supply...any more than usual. In fact, Canada may have to start inflating simply to keep the Canadian dollar more in line with the US one.
Where is the US's money going? As a partial answer...I found the satire item I was searching for yesterday. "In a stunning development, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein today offered to attack himself in exchange for $30 billion from the U.S. government. The surprising offer came in a day when President George W. Bush exhorted America’s allies to join what he called 'a coalition of the willing to be bought.' Speaking to a group called the Veterans of Foreign Investments, the President said, 'It is time for each of our allies to look deep within and ask this question: Who wants to be a billionaire?'"
The United States -- the greatest hope for freedom and justice the world has ever had -- is committing economic suicide. And for what? The unfunded mandates being handed to states and cities to "fight terrorism" are bankrupting America from coast-to-coast, which protects no one. The incredible and largely undisclosed/under-stated cost of war against Iraq is bankrupting America, and the "Let's Roll" at any price protects no one. I am not for war with North Korea but at least *that* nation is a plausible threat. Iraq had no ties to 9-11, less connection to Al Qaeda than the "ally" Saudi Arabia, and no ability to bomb the US.
The US is also committing moral suicide, as evidenced by the Patriot II Act. The LP offers a fair summary of Act II's proposals, which include stripping citizens of their citizenship for associating with a group designated by the attorney general as a "terrorist organization," even if the individual's conduct is legal.
On the Personal/Movement Front:
Our adventure into solar power has commenced with the purchase of a modest unit that is sufficient to power up one computer and one ham radio on a constant basis, and to handle the brief surges of our water pump. (In case of temporary emergencies, our back-up generator will have to handle the rest.) Delivery of the unit (actually delivery of the parts to be assembled by an able husband) will take a week or so. An interesting phenomenon. The alternate energy place where we shop is a small storefront run by one woman who has extremely abbreviated hours during winter, which is a "dead" season. She doesn't start keeping anything remotely like "regular" hours until mid-Spring. But Brad and I had to come back to the store because she was so busy with customers and, then, while she was waiting on us two more separate customers came in. The prospect of rolling black-outs, the high cost of energy, and a general sense of insecurity is going drive such businesses into high-gear in the coming months. People want to be self-sufficient ... or, as much so as is reasonably possible in this very inter-dependent world.
Stay safe, become self-sufficient,