Friday, May 16, 2008

In the Land of Unintended Consequences

A Time magazine article April 4th pointed out that 1/5th of our corn crop was diverted (hijacked) to ethanol refineries. Corn prices have shot up and American farmers are planting less soy beans. Brazil in turn has increase soy bean production. Of course they are burning down a rain forest to do it. This ethanol lowers our dependence on foreign oil and at the same time increases the price of beef. We get to save a dime on gas and get to choke on the price of ground round.

20 years back in Africa, the UN showed starving people in one country how to plant crops and use fertilizer. The net result was increased food production and an increase in population. One thing little noticed was that families needed firewood to cook with. Once the country was denuded of trees, the farm land washed away with the rains. A great plan ran amok because of firewood. People died as a result.

The government and Congress are going to save Bear Stearns, Countrywide, give everyone who paid taxes $600 dollars and keep the economy out of a recession. You know they mean well, but maybe just doing nothing might be a better approach. My only question is this; whose money are they going to do it with? Don't they have to tax people to raise the cash? We are going to poorhouse in an air conditioned limo, forget the hand basket to hell, that’s step two (when YOUR healthcare runs out).

The voters seem to think the political party in power is responsible for our present situation. From a more realistic view, what we are experiencing today, is the result of plans put in motion 5 to 75 years ago. Clinton in 1999 signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (from the depression) which freed up the banking system (you can kind of see where that went). The final outcome could be the reverse of what was intended.

The real issue here is that the solution can result in a bigger problem. Note also, the people with all of the solutions, are usually part of the problem. Time is the only true test. The real estate market may seem to be just one issue, but it is intertwined with the banking system, the economy, Wall Street and government. Change one program and everything else moves in some unintended way. It's a little like taking Viagra, only to have your hemorrhoids swell up. You knew what you had in mind, and it certainly didn't involve a lot of pain! Our Government works almost in the same manner.


Anonymous said...

The truth:
The political party of today
The political party of the past
put us right here.

There is one big old heap of blame that is large enough for both the republicans and democrats.

You can try to point out Clinton's involvement all you want. You should, however, point out the idiot monkeys on the Hill that did NOTHING during 2005 (when there was still a chance to make things less worse). I remember watching CSPAN and hearing testimony warning of exactly what is happening today. Everyone was having a great time in 2005. No one wanted to hear anything negative about the american economy.

Republicans/Democrats are as much to blame as everyone else in this mess.

Like I wrote, go after Clinton all you want. But don't try to minimize what the current batch of crazed idiots have done.

The Republicans have had their chance at power and managed to increase the size of government, increase intitlements, and reduce personal freedom.

What happened to the Republican party? Who are these people?

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 12:24

I agree with you completely. Neither party can really solve the current mess.

I only mentioned Clinton by accident. He happened to be the guy that signed the bill repealing legislation passed in the 1930's. The bill didn't have enough votes to become law without the president's signature, so it was a group effort.

I really try hard to keep politics out of this blog. The two parties blame each other for the problems of the time. Figuring out who is to blame is a lost cause. This blog is more about how we fit into our present situation.

Anonymous said...

The blame game is a waste of time.

The American public has been sucked into a game where a politician does not have to convince the voting public as to why he is so great, but instead, just demonize the other party:
Hey I may suck, but the other guy is going to legalize infanticide.

We, the voting morons (or is it morans), let these guys get away with it.

We deserve what we get.

We need to stop letting these liars play games with our emotions. They need to be held accountable. This means that we need to take party loyalty and shove it out the window.

Whenever one of these jerks does the demonization game, we need to say WAIT! what makes you so great?
Why should I put my trust in you? What way do I have to verify that you are going to the right thing?

Earlier you wrote that independents were somehow making things worse. I disagree.

The only way that this country is going to get better is if there are more independents that say: What make you worth my vote and my trust.

There is entirely too much knee jerk reaction going on with respect to aproving of politicians with regards to party affilliation.

This must end.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 1:54

I could have written what you just said myself.

A lot of people vote with their emotions and beliefs. Very little thinking is involved.

I'm attempting to write an article on what we are discussing, but keeping politics out of it has been a road block.

My reference to independents messing things up was that the population is pretty well split up between Republicans and Democrats. It's the lunatic fringe elements that can decide the winner in an election. These are people that vote on one issue alone, like abortionists, pro lifers, environmentalists, anti war, pro war. There is many more, I can't list them all.

Some elections are won by 1/2 of a percent.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Independents and Libertarians vote Republican. Progressives and Greens vote Democratic. It's still a country basically split between democrats and republicans, imho.

I think we need to change the age of qualified voters to those between 18-55 (or maybe 65.) Because if you're not working full time and having your paycheck drained it's difficult to understand what all the fuss is about.

Same goes for politicians. The geezers in DC just are not hip to the world of pain they have created for their children and don't understand why they are struggling.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 12:58

I'm not sure, I've learned a lot in my 62 years that would have been of more use to me earlier in life. Experience is a good teacher.

A real balanced budget would solve the inflation problem for us and our kids.

With the economy tanking, I don't see either party suggesting that in the near future.

I'd like to see Congressmen only in office for say 4 years. It seems rather wasteful how expensive some of these re election campaigns are.

Thank you for your comments

Anonymous said...

Yeah, OK term limits would be good. Sorry I don't mean to sound like an ageist. My big problem with all the politicians in office today is as you say, none of them have a real plan, and they are all beholden to lobbyists and corporate interests. Also, I feel that when you are young it is easy to roll up your sleeves and make big changes because you are still flexible and open to change. Of course there are exceptions to the rule on both sides. Some youngsters are so wrapped in self applied labels that they cannot change or adapt easily. And some older folk are still nimble and open minded. Clearly you have the savvy to run this blog you are not stuck in your ways. I know you are right that economically this country and many others are headed for an economic cliff and an incredible speed. We need now to shed our labels, forget our teams and work together to solve this thing. I have no faith in the people who have represented us so far as they are largely responsible for letting things get to this point.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 8:23

I agree.

I think Winston Churchill said it best, "America can be depended on to do the right thing--after they have tried everything else."

Maybe some younger blood would help, they've got to learn to drive sometime.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 8:23
Hi Anon 9:28

I agree.

I think Winston Churchill said it best, "America can be depended on to do the right thing--after they have tried everything else."

Maybe some younger blood would help, they've got to learn to drive sometime.