Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Show Me the Money

All of a sudden, everyone -- the president, congress, every major candidate -- is on board with the idea that we need an economic stimulus package. Hey, I'd love to get a check as much as the next guy. The last time Bush did this, I contributed all of it to NARAL and the ACLU.

Except, with all the talk about recession, neither the White House nor any key economic analyst is predicting negative growth -- much less two consecutive quarters of it, which defines a recession. Most predict in the range of 2-3% positive growth. See this chart.

Does that mean there aren't people who are hurting? Of course not, but that's the result of structural changes to our economy and tax policies engineered by the Republicans. Won't be undone with just one check.

All the attention to the housing crisis neglects the fact that housing and constructions represents just 5% of our total economy. Other segments of the economy are doing quite well.

You hear retail is in trouble? If so, it's not because people are spending less; it's because retailers have built stores at a higher rate than the increase in spending and so have too many dollars invested in real estate and inventory. of course, when they slow up building and move inventory rather than buying more it will increase unemployment, but unemployment has been at historically low levels for some years. Also, higher exports due to the weak dollar provide new markets for manufactured goods that will make up for some of that.

Everyone talks about consumer confidence. And it's true, if people are worried about the future they might tend to spend less, especially if they are having trouble getting ridiculously high credit limits on their MasterCards as they did in the past. But their confidence is based on what the news media and politicians tell them. If that doesn't mesh with reality we have a problem.

Wouldn't Bush just love to take credit for putting cash in the hands of the electorate this spring?

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008


DENVER, Jan. 2, 2008 - The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) announced today that Qwest has been named as the official telecommunications provider for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, to be held Aug. 25-28 in Denver. In that role, Qwest will provide the network and people to help link the Convention to a nationwide and worldwide audience.

"Qwest has been a longtime partner of the Denver business community - and today we are proud to call them our partner, too," said Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC. "Qwest's state-of-the-art network and skilled union labor force will play a significant role in helping us deliver a spectacular event to the American people and media outlets around the world."

She might have added that Qwest was the only telecom to value our freedoms and refuse to comply with illegal data requests from the government without a court order.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wouldn't it be loverly!

Yes, I was an early Richardson supporter. He's got a great resume, and he's a governor. American's seem to prefer governors. But let's face reality. If you're a Richardson supporter at the Iowa caucus you're going to have to make a second choice. That choice can be "uncommitted." But I would be going for Obama. As Bill Clinton says, it's rolling the dice. But what choice isn't?

I love Obama vs. Huckabee. They say with Obama you give up the South. That may be true, unless all the African-Americans come out on election day. But so give up the South. Huckabee won't cloak his true self the way Bush did. And he'll scare the bejesus out of a lot of people.

Here's also why I like Obama: It may be a Quixotic calling, but he is the one person who could change the tone of politics in this country. Also, he's best suited to change the world's view of the U.S. and begin to lessen the threat of terrorism by reducing the irritation that we are.

I hope he chooses Richardson as his running mate. Or if not, makes him Secretary of State.

Note: On the Democratic side, supporters of candidates who receive less than 15% in the first round at any caucus site have to make a second choice. According to the Register poll, that leaves 19% of the vote in flux and I don't believe any poll has asked for or figured in the second choice effect.Read more about the process here.

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