March 25, 2012

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? “I was in Australia earlier this month and there, as elsewhere on my recent travels, the consensus among the politicians I met (at least in private) was that Washington lacked the will for meaningful course correction, and that, therefore, the trick was to ensure that, when the behemoth goes over the cliff, you’re not dragged down with it. It is faintly surreal to be sitting in paneled offices lined by formal portraits listening to eminent persons who assume the collapse of the dominant global power is a fait accompli. . . . Greece’s total debt is a few rinky-dink billions, a rounding error in the average Obama budget. Only America is spending trillions. The 2011 budget deficit, for example, is about the size of the entire Russian economy. By 2010, the Obama administration was issuing about a hundred billion dollars of treasury bonds every month — or, to put it another way, Washington is dependent on the bond markets being willing to absorb an increase of U.S. debt equivalent to the GDP of Canada or India — every year. And those numbers don’t take into account the huge levels of personal debt run up by Americans. College-debt alone is over a trillion dollars, or the equivalent of the entire South Korean economy — tied up just in one small boutique niche market of debt which barely exists in most other developed nations.”

No organization can survive corruption and ineptitude at the top forever. And we’ve had the worse political class in American history for a while now, though its rottenness has really accelerated lately.

UPDATE: A longtime reader emails:

I’m a Canadian, and you might be interested to know that the Harper government are working very hard (in the background) along the same lines as the Aussies. They are doing everything possible to diversify Canada’s export markets away from the US as fast as possible, for example the pipeline to move Alberta and Saskatchewan oil to world markets via the sea, not to the US. Ditto aeroplanes, rail cars, fibre-optic electronics, robotics, lumber, and a wide range of other products.

The quiet back-room planning is driven by the alarming extent to which the Obama administration has already deeply damaged the US economy (compared to Canada) with its policies, actions, and insane deficits. The Harper government are now moving to shut down US environmentalist activity in Canada — “We’re not going to be your National Park.” says the PM — and are already developping scenarios for maximum-possible disconnect from the States in the event Obama and his crew are returned to power in the coming elections. [no name please if published ... in spite of my present location I continue to follow Canadian politics very closely and have children living there. If it weren't for Canada's lack of truly free speech, draconian gun laws, and miserable health system, I'd be moving back.]

Ugh.