Good to hear from you PG. Even though Musk and I disagree somewhat on this topic, I do enjoy reading him.
I can understand how my views confuse people. On the one hand, I think the USD is way undervalued, and I defend the U.S. when it comes to its currency against those buying gold, oil, or other currencies.
OTOH, I am trashing the U.S. economy, and it's possible to do both. My model is Japan post 1990. Since the Nikkei hit 40,000 in 1989, the yen is at or near an all time high versus the dollar while the Japanese economy and stock market have been in a twenty year funk.
As for the U.S. versus Latin American, I again go to the Japan example and compare Japan to China. Japan is safer, wealthier, has a better rule of law and is not as oppressive as China is. OTOH, China is growing, dynamic, and much more alive than the aged Japan.
<I agree, the pendulum is swinging back from a period in which corporate interests and the ultra-wealthy got away with shifting a huge amount of wealth and power their way. All this while the rest of America was pre-occupied with getting rich by flipping stocks or houses or cards in online poker games.>
Just like Japan, right? Propped up by government debt, there are zombie banks and corporations that were shells of what they used to be which sounds quite familiar to what we have in the U.S. today. Per Bill Gross, the wealthiest Americans were not the most productive, intelligent, or hardest working, they were the ones best able to get money from banks.
< The country has basic strengths of infa-structure, education and rule of law that some other nations can only envy.>
And again just like Japan.
<Does this mean we'll dial back to the heady stupidity-is-rewarded days of early 2007? Doubtful. But I'll take my chances that this will remain a preferable place to live whatever happens.>
We'll see on that score, PG. I've been disappointed with what Obama. The Dems and Obama do seem to be willing to stick it to the big companies in health care. We'll see how that plays out once the final health care law gets signed into being.
However, Obama has done zip with regards to financial reform. And now we find out that the person who authorized that $13 billion to Goldman Sachs via the AIG bailout was (drum roll please) our beloved Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. See the link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aLllpEiqrgpQ#
So we now know that Goldman Sachs not only had the previous SOT Hank Paulson looking out for them, they have the current one as well.
Everybody who is so enamored with Obama has to answer the following question. When it comes to the stock market, commodities market, and the way the bailout has been handled to date, how has Obama differed in any way from Bush?
I especially like the comment related to "capture" of the regulatory bodies as it relates to the world of finance.
But I also wonder about regulatory capture in other areas. The FDA and the EPA specifically but there are no doubt others.
And somewhat related, what are your thoughts WRT the swine flu shot.
From a regulatory standpoint, are you satisfied that the testing of anything new these days is as thorough and unbiased as it should be?
I really get suspicious when I hear that the swine flu had been declared a pandemic over a month ago(based on the evidence as of that date) when there have been a large number of influenzas over the years that had proven to be much more serious in terms of morbidity than the swine flu has shown to be.
Exactly why the swine flu is declared a pandemic (according to a strict definition of the term) while so many other more widespread(and serious) influenzas weren't is especially troubling to me.
"There were indeed reports of GBS affecting about 500 people who had received swine flu immunizations in the 1976 U.S. outbreak of swine flu — 25 of which resulted in death from severe pulmonary complications, leading the government to end that immunization campaign."
There will probably be more deaths from the H1N1 virus itself than from GBS, but to be honest, that is more of an educated guess than anything else.
I was surprised to read that the multi-dose vial of H1N1 vaccine had Thimersol in it, a preservative with Mercury. So anyone getting a shot from that vial is getting some mercury. I don't like how the government/CDC is poo poohing that potentially harmful preservative. Once more, the Thimersol likely has less side effects than getting a contaminated dose.
Still though, anyone interested in getting the shot should get the inhaled version or the single dose vial IMO. Why take the risk if you don't have to?
The H1N1 has some similarities to the Influenza virus that killed so many people in 1918, so people freaked out about it. (I had a great grandmother die of this infection.)
It's looking more and more like H1N1 is more of a typical flu strain than the superbug that killed so many people. Still though, as has been reported many times, even seasonal flu can be deadly in some people.
Winny, you seem to not want to take the vaccine, and if you haven't in previous years, as far as I can tell there is no added reason to take one this year.
For the most part, the side effects of the vaccine have been overplayed, and most of the time time I have seen that people get their flu shots and have no problems.
However, there was one year that one of the three manufacturers producing a vaccine put too much of the viron into the vaccine and people who got the shot did in fact get sick.
Like everything else in medicine, there is benefit and risk. For most folks though, getting the vaccine has more benefit than risk, but there is still some risk.