Thoughts for Thursday, October 14, 2010:
* It is interesting to see how people try to figure out economics based on the stock market without understanding it. Since 2003, the market has been driven by dividends, which doesn't mean economic growth necessarily at all, and can be a negative sign of expansion.
And if you are heavily invested in the market, you may want to move your money before 2013. We may well be looking at a significant market crash/collapse around 2013. Why would it do that? Think about what happens when the largest generation and the first generation so broadly invested in the stock market starts to retire and pull their money out of their 401k to retire on, most of which is in the... wait for it... stock market. Put your 401k into another retirement fund that is not market reliant before then. The flip side: Great market pricing opportunities around 2015.
* One of the most embarrassing CSM pieces ever spouts that President Obama is an ideological copy of his father (by implication a communist, and many other things) meaning he is "anti-colonialist." It is poor argument because it creates a poor argument with weak internal linkages. Why do people write garbage like this? The answer is simple, some people aren't taught to critically evaluate it better than this.
Look at Obama's policy actions: Focus on privatizing local space, shift NASA's mi...ssion to Mars and planetary missions (which are expensive), which means spreading the costs among nations so the American taxpayer doesn't have to foot the bill for everything (fiscal responsibility), and use that opportunity to improve relations with Muslims for national security reasons... seems more pragmatic than anti-colonialist. There is still the colonizing of space through planets, and privatizing the colonization of local space and the moon. Hard to call that decolonizing.
Then again, some will believe anything the RW spouts without thought.
* Ron Paul and Democrats call for cutting Defense Spending to balance the budget. Defense spending is out of control, that is true. And to say cut defense to a reasonable number makes sense. But there are two problems with it:
In the generic sense to say cut something is one thing, but when you get down to the specific cuts, support shifts dramatically. That makes all cuts hard.
The black budget is so woven throughout the whole budget, not just the DoD budget, that defense spending cannot be reigned in honestly until we start to expose the black budget. Some estimates have the black budget ranging as high as almost $1 trillion in the budget. That is probably too high, but the hundreds of billions may well be true.
So what can you do? Take the anti-American hits for trying to balance the budget or fail to heed Eisenhower's warning and go broke?
* Karl Rove seem to have more power outside the White House than inside it with his raising of $56 million to spend on campaigns nationwide. Outside groups aren't a problem... ugh... dating back to the Swiftboat group in 2004 and before, outside group influence has shifted the balance of power from individuals to the corporate cash cows (Thanks SCOTUS with Citizen's United for a bad decision).
It wouldn't surprise me to start to see corporate wars fighting for government contracts in the future through the election of political parties, all done through fundraising by outside groups who can function largely outside the campaign finance rules that parties and candidates must endure, but are closely enough linked to almost seem in lock step.
Is it a better world? Imagine the founders and their reactions.
* Here are some interesting ideas emerging in money management and social networking. Take a look, and share your thoughts. I am still thinking threw some of the implications of them, but here is your chance... what do you think?