Monday, March 31, 2008
Of course the fact that a service economy is a natural by product of a manufacturing economy is lost on those whose education is now a deteriorating 3rd world joke with a 1st world price tag and who listen to the likes of the Communist News Network (CNN) or Faux News, both corporately owned by a small powerful and government aligned (both parties) oligarchs.
But all that aside, and back to the subject. The Chinese are about to raise prices on consumer goods as they have already raised prices on metal industrial inputs. There are three reasons for this. First is the falling dollar. Turns out, all those pseudo calls to release the Yuan did just that and the Yuan, while still ballasted down not to rise to quickly, has risen 6% against the dollar. So that's 6% so far. Then we have the 9% inflation rate of today's China, which equally raises the prices of inputs (raw materials), work (ok, the Chinese slave wage is a joke so 10% more on a 25 cent per hour pay is still a joke at 27.5 cents) and overhead (paper pushers, electricity, energy in general, rent, etc). Finally, in order to combat an overheated economy, which is obvious from the high inflation rate, China has moved to cut back subsidies to it's industry (that's right all you Free Trade zealot fools, you're the only idiots playing that game, everyone else plays mercantilism...defending their economy). Seems that many of those cuts are up to 20% in nature and the suppliers have tacked that 20% right on to their prices.
So all told, so far, that's about a 30-36% rise in price.
Have not felt that yet? Do not worry, they are working their way up the manufacturing chain, as usual starting with basic inputs and propagating upwards. You will feel it soon enough.
What will an economy, the world's biggest debtor, already under strains of a 7-10% actual inflation rate (vs the 3% marked down liar rate of the Fed) and where consumerism alone makes up 70% of the economy, do?
Well the usual Fed policy of making more money sure as hell won't help the situation.
Good luck, you'll need it.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I am presently in Russia and have watched the voting live in Ekiterinenburg and on TV throughout Russia. It is a moving view, especially when compared to how voting is viewed in the US.
In the weeks leading up, on all channels and on billboards were signs urging everyone to vote, to do their duty of citizenship. Even the Patriarch of the Holy Russian Orthodox Church came out on TV to tell believers they have a duty as citizens.
On all the channels were debates and policy statements by the main four candidates.
As voting started, Sunday is a holiday and is labelled as a holiday for voting. That's right, voting day isn't something you do or don't do but is treated as a holiday with concerts and balloons and merry making. Right now I'm watching on TV a huge concert on Red Square in Moscow in celebration of the voting day. Nationalistic and patriotic songs by the best artists of Russia, no globalist elitest crap here, none. A huge sign hangs over the stage: Rassia Vperod (Russia Forward). In tis whole crowd, during the concert, without body guards, Putin and Medvedov (winning with 66%) have just walked out inot the snow, amongst the gatherd crowds and the crowds are cheering. They look like two ordinary guys in leather jackets. They've come up on stage and to the cheering crowds. Again, no obvious body guards.
Medvedov just thanked all the people who voted for him and then thanked all the people who voted for his opponents as they have all done their duty. "Togather we will now go forward to victory for Russia." Putin has given a speech that the will of the people has been set and it is the duty of all the parties to work togather for what is best for the country. The crowds are chanting his name.
Polling stations were set up everywhere people go: in hotels, in shopping centers, schools, everywhere and people were not assigned one specific place, so they could attact people. For first time voters, gifts were given out. Drinks and food for people as they waited. Whole families coming out with children. Attendence is well over 60%.
Compare this to the US on next November.