USA: The Most Competitive Nation (again)

I get to write this headline every year and every year the naysayers write the American obituary telling me that this year is okay, but wait until next. The U.S. is the the most competitive nation on earth again in 2008. Maybe we are just lucky, but when you are lucky for 230 years, maybe there is more than just luck at work.

This is a very interesting and persistent phenomenon. The experts counted Americans out even before there was a United States. Back in colonial times, a famous French naturalist, Georges-Louis Leclec - appropriately named Comte de Buffon, proved that everything in America was inferior. He developed an American degenerate theory. He even said that dogs could not bark in America and that people were smaller and weaker in the New World. The Count was a petite man and it must have been interesting when the 6’2’’ Ambassador Thomas Jefferson showed up for tea.

Intellectuals just couldn’t figure out how America could work. America’s chaotic politics and even more disorganized free market system violated all their orderly theories about how things should work, so they just attributed it to luck or said American success was just a temporary anomaly. Some famous people said some interesting things about us. Otto Von Bismarck said that there was a special providence that protected drunks, children and the United States of America. Clemenceau said that American had managed to go from barbarism to decadence w/o stopping at civilization. Hitler declared war on us after Pearl Harbor (saving us the trouble) reasoning that a mongrel nation like ours could not be much of a threat to the master race. Nikita Khrushchev was confident that the Soviet Union would bury us and our decadent free market ways.

Communists still really believed history was going their way in those days. It is hard to remember that now, but I remember in college about 30 years ago that the consensus of my professors was that our best days were over and that our consumer society would collapse sometimes around the middle of the 1980s. Jimmy Carter told us to get used to a steady decline and I cannot remember how many times we were about to run out of oil, metals, food etc. Loser.

Today the biggest “threat” to American dominance is that the rest of the world is becoming more like us. We are still very good, but the U.S. no longer tops the list of economic freedom. Others are catching up.

When our country was founded, no large scale Republic had ever survived long. When Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government the Constitution had produced, he replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Even a great man like Abraham Lincoln wondered if government of the people, by the people and for the people could long endure. Today most of the countries of the world, if not most of the world population, are democracies. The same goes for free markets. Even fifty years ago, most of the world was ruled by despots who thought they could and should plan even small details of their countries' economies.

In the past, socialism was a thing of the present and they thought the future. Today the market is dominant just about everywhere. Only a few terrible places, such as N. Korea, Zimbabwe, Belarus or Cuba have managed largely to resist the market’s embrace. Venezuela is actually going backward, which is why I suppose it is at the bottom of that competitive list. But most of the world is moving in the right direction.

So good news. Even those who hate Bush can take heart. The U.S. was the most competitive nation on earth the day he took office and it will still be the most competitive nation on earth the day he leaves. Maybe a Democrat will be in office next year, so please feel free to feel proud of your country. You don’t have to credit George Bush. It is America, not only its government, that makes us great. For other Americans, we can take satisfaction that once again we have confounded the critics.

The rest of the world is becomming more market friendly and others are catching up as I mentioned in an article below. This is a good thing. It is about time the rest of the world pulled its weight. Today, however, we are still on top. The paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of our death has been greatly exaggerated.

U-S-A number ONE again.

Posted by Jack at May 18, 2008 3:14 AM
Comments
Comment #253049

It would be nice if you linked to something that told us what this competitive rating was based upon. It would also be good if we established how those criteria necessitated the view that current economic activity is being conducted in a way that’s positive for the general public, and not just those who happen to be big investors or captains of industry.

It’s interesting that you immediately segue to communists. I hope you will consider that your audience for such discouragement is rather small, and, therefore, probably not worth your effort.

The policies of our government, as of late, have focused on benefits to the already wealthy. You guys claim that it’s for everybody’s good. When you deregulate (or more accurately, regulate differently in favor of business and investors) you claim you’re removing impediments to the economy. When you key tax cuts towards the rich, the investors (who are often the same people) and towards corporations, you claim that shifting the focus that way creates jobs.

Yet net job losses has been consistent during this very generous administration, and wealth has concentrated upwards into the hands of the wealthy, rather than being distributed more broadly. You might come up with the unfalsifiable (and therefore unprovable) theory that things would be worse without these elite-focused economic policies, but that’s your prerogative.

I think there are two things that have kept this economy afloat: the added efficiencies of internet age information processing, and the blunting of relatively lower buying power, unemployment and underemployment through the wider distribution and extention of credit and debt financing.

Our current economic pickle is a result of those things and more. An elite-focused, or rather elitist economic policy finds such problems mystifying. People should be happy, they’ve decided, that things are as good as they are. Since the rich rarely suffer much in the economy, due to the natural buffering effects of wealth and higher position within the corporations and other organizations, it’s always easy for them to dismiss economic troubles.

That is, until things get so bad that even they can’t fail to notice. However, by that time, the damage is done.

So, cheerlead the economy. Just keep in mind many of your measures are meant to measure things that are vastly beyond the scope and the relevance of the average person’s economic situation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2008 8:07 AM
Comment #253050

Really, Jack. A gravity challenged individual? What does that slight to many people have to do with your post? It’s one of the ways your posts turn people off, no matter the subject.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 18, 2008 8:52 AM
Comment #253051

Stephen

I am taking the historical view. Communist/fascists once contended with us. The triumph of market based systems is relatively recent and still not fully accepted.

Re the source, it is the annual IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. It comes out every year and I usually write about it.

You can argue whether or not the U.S. is a pleasant place. All indications I see are that it is, but I know many people who write in live in a different America. This just says how competitive the U.S. economy is compared with others.

BTW - you can hate Bush. He will soon be gone. I am starting to move away from defending him and may start making him the scapegoat, so I will be on your side. Always blame the guy who just left. Think of it like this. The U.S. is so robust that even the last 7 years couldn’t knock it down.

I am sure that the same statistics we have today will seem much better if Obama wins. A 5% unemployment rate will be okay with the Dems.

Womanmarine

I take the point. I will change it when I get home. The point I was making (with the bad humor) was that the Comte ignored evidence of his own eyes to maintain his silly theory.

My observation is that America does worse in theory than in reality and has for more than 200 years.

Posted by: Jack at May 18, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #253053


Jack: Thats a good one, denegrating an a member of the elitist, aristocratic power structure of those days to defend the economic prowess of the elitist, aristocratic power structure of today.

The aristocracy of that France thought they had an excellent economic system until they were riding in the back of a donkey cart headed for the public square.

Posted by: jlw at May 18, 2008 10:37 AM
Comment #253054
Even fifty years ago, most of the world was ruled by despots who thought they could and should plan even small details of their countries’ economies.

These despots would be proud of our progress. I read in our local paper that a “Pet Registration Fee” will be “strictly enforced” and feeding stray animals “implies” ownership.
I would ask what purpose a pet registration fee would serve but I’m afraid of a “Disorderly Conduct” charge.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 11:19 AM
Comment #253055

jlw

It is very clear that in our modern America a person can come from almost any background. For example, the son of a poor immigrant, brought up by a single mother can be the leading contender for president of the United States. I know some people who don’t read much history like to compare the U.S. to the ancien regime, but it doesn’t fit.

Besides, that revolution in France didn’t really work out so well, did it? They went from a king to an anarchy to an emperor to a king. Our revolution actually worked out.

Willie

Pet Fees are a local issue, although I do agree that feeding stray animals is a bad idea. They can get to be real pests and threaten local wildlife. You live in the country and own a rifle, right?

Posted by: Jack at May 18, 2008 11:42 AM
Comment #253056

I live in the city, own a pellet gun and a shovel, but that isn’t the point. What does a pet registration fee accomplish? If it’s revenue generation only, I call it extortion.
That’s not a good reflection on the “Most Competitive Nation”.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 12:21 PM
Comment #253059

Willie

I don’t suppose a local pet fee really makes much of a competitive difference. I can think of a lot more terrible things that government might do.

Posted by: Jack at May 18, 2008 12:49 PM
Comment #253060

You’re not considering the cumulative effect of these types of government intrusions.
I don’t see a legitimate answer to the question, What is gained by a pet registration fee? Except for revenue generation. And using force to generate that revenue… Well, you have to be a fan of Alexander Hamilton to agree with it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 12:56 PM
Comment #253062

My local government insists on a fee to be paid to the govenrment for the “official” signs used to advertize a yard/garage sale. Any other sign used to advertize yard/gargage sales is in violation of this ordinance, passed the same year Na-FREE TRADE AGREEMEMT was passed. Go figure.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 1:08 PM
Comment #253064

You probably look past these types of things the same way I look past the agreememt error I made.
At least I recognize the error and draw attention to it. I feel what most people feel when I look at the agreememt error, A total lack of procedure for corrective action. I could ask you to correct it for me, but you can’t. This post would have to be erased when the correction was made.

Quite a delema isn’t it. Much like the Supreme court. They have to conform to the past or render the past non-existant.
It’s not impossible, but it would take alot of balls to do it. Alot of erasing and alot of corrective action.

Better to just pay the fee, Yes?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #253068

Willie

Sounds to me like it is time to pack up and move to the country. Those folks in town are micromanaging the hell out of your life. Bummer!!

Posted by: RickIL at May 18, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #253070
Jack wrote: I can think of a lot more terrible things that government might do.
True … such as these 10+ abuses resulting in the deterioration of these 17+ economic conditions (many that have never been worse ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s).

The U.S.A. is still one of the top 26 nations (of hundreds) in which to live.

However, the U.S. now has many pressing problems, being ignored by an incumbent politicians in a severely bloated, irresponsible wasteful, do-nothing Congress.

But the other half of the problem is the voters. Too many voters repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 90%+ re-election rates.

Why?
The are several reasons, but they all add up to the same thing:

    high re-election rates.

Thus, the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY simply take turns getting rewarded with perpetual re-election by the very voters that repeatedly reward them for all of it. Cha-Ching!

Well, that can’t last forever, because pain and misery finally trump foolish voting … eventually, when not voting responsibly becomes too painful.

Fortunately, some voters are getting sick of it, as evidence by the droves of former Republican voters leaving the Republican party.

And who can blame them?

Is ANYTHING better now than 8 years ago?

And the Democrats aren’t much better (if any).

Perhaps enough voters will vote more responsibly when enough voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry? (conditions which are all increasing now).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 18, 2008 1:44 PM
Comment #253071

Rick from IL. You’re one to talk about my town. From what I get from your posts you’re ready and willing to micromanage everyone’s life.

I do believe truly that you should rethink your way of dealing with public problems. I don’t think they are as pressing as you make them out to be. Turn your lawn mower into a roto-tiller and plant some bell peppers.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 1:55 PM
Comment #253072

You can sell them at a yard sale for profit if the government wasn’t sticking their nose in it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 1:57 PM
Comment #253073

Do you know the government in my city will hire a lawn mowing service to mow my lawn if I let it grow over 12 inches high? It’s da’law!
85$ to mow my lawn, no questions asked. Fines not included.

How’s that for the “most competitive nation”?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #253076

Our city has enacted an “Exotic Animal Ordinance” because one person found a snake in her yard. The snake was found to be owned by a neighbor, so they say. (I believe this to be true, because the neighbor was raising mice to feed the snake(s) he owned).
The neighbor objected to her neighbor having snakes because “they could sneak up on her deaf child”.
Mayor Nancy Dembowski agreed with this neighbor.
Now our city is void of “giraffe”, “dolphin”, “bear” and other exotic animals including “snakes”.

The “Exotic Animal Ordinance” was more a lawyer employer than anything else.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #253077

When Nancy Dembowski was elected to the Indiana State Legislature she supported a bill to regulate “Mechanical Bull Riding”.

How’s that for the “Most Competitive Nation”!?

I’d like to know her reasoning in sponsoring a bill to lower the age of consent to 16 years of age!

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 2:58 PM
Comment #253079

Strike that!

I’d like to know why she supported a law to make the age of consent to be at 16 years.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 18, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #253088

I hate to sound like a broken record, but here’s what has changed, and what - if left uncorrected - will end our place atop your ‘competitive’ list.

When I was young back in the 60’s, I think it would be safe to say that America was in the top five on the list of countries with longest life expectancies. Now we’re 45th. EVERY country higher on the list than us has Universal Health Care, with the exceptions of Bosnia and Jordan (42nd and 40th, respectively).

What’s more, if the conservatives would do a little RESEARCH, they’d find that those countries with Universal Health Care actually spend a LOWER percentage of their GDP than does America. Japan, notorious for being hideously expensive, spends per capita approximately HALF of what America does on health care.

Yes, America DOES have the very best health care in the world - for those who can afford it. For those of us who cannot, there’s something called “medical tourism”. Google it and see what I mean.

What does this have to do with competitiveness? Easy. Generally speaking, those who live the longest and healthiest lives…wins.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 18, 2008 6:30 PM
Comment #253092

Jeeze Loueez,

Shall we define competition?

Two homeless veterans fighting over a slice of stale bread or the best sleeping spot under an overpass is competition!

Two (or more likely 20 or 200 or more) Americans fighting for their place in line at a free clinic or an ER is competition!

Please Jack define competition for me.

I totally regret intervening to stop that “wearing your ass for a hat” crap that was going on long, long ago.

Posted by: KansasDem at May 18, 2008 7:26 PM
Comment #253093

KansasDem,

Excellent points. Thank you.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 18, 2008 7:51 PM
Comment #253094

Jack-
Henry Ford, an industrialist, published “The International Jew”, an anti-semitic screed that helped inspire Nazism. IBM gave the Nazis the technology to efficiently eradicate folks in the concentration camp. Hitler, when talking about the strength of the people of Germany, referred to Krupp Steel to make his point. Market economies both helped and worked against the Nazis.

Meanwhile, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but communism can modify itself more than enough to accommodate a market-based system. Otherwise we wouldn’t have China as a major competitor and destination for America’s jobs.

I’m not enamored of markets as a free-floating system. Every time somebody gives them free rein, we get a bubble, and then the bubble bursts. Why? Because Markets depend on information, and information almost never travels smoothly through a system, especially when you do away with rules that demand disclosure and require people keep the books straight.

The real question is not whether Market based economies are better than the alternatives. In a complex world, such give and take on an individual level, such interaction is not always reducible, and therefore can’t always be substitude for by a law.

However, markets, like the weather, are not completely unpredictable. They have their prevailing winds, and people have their prevailing tendencies. Supply and Demand is an example. The laws don’t always work out, but things tend to work out that way. So, when somebody shuts down a refinery, that raises the price, because it lowers the throughput for fuel. You can figure it will likely happen. Same thing when somebody shuts down a generator on an energy market.

Meanwhile other causal relationships don’t depend on economics to function, and whether the market system is a nice system or not, we have to deal with those realities.

For some, lead was a necessary element (no pun intended) of their financial wellbeing. However, that lead, because of the laws of nature, poisoned people. Industry, by itself, might not have stepped in to change things. It might not have been in their interests to do so.

But it was in the American People’s interests. Maybe you sometimes have to allow certain devil’s bargains to be made, but should you make them as a matter of course? Because maybe if you make such bargains enough, the quality of life and the economic losses from somebody’s externalized costs cancel out your gains or worse.

For the sake of making a strawman, or arguing against a cariacture you actually think we are, you try and reduce our argument to some broad left-wing hatred of the market.

It’s really less overblown than that. Americans of all different kinds are finding that your party’s way of doing things, the things you allow to go on in our society in general, are not having a beneficial effect, and they’re not making things better. People have seen over their lifetimes, a greater and greater downward trend in the quality of their lives, the quality of the jobs they get, the stability and prosperity of their finances.

Bush was never a scapegoat. He was a leader who failed to lead. When sacrifice was needed, he took the nation on a spending spree to avoid the inevitable negative economic effects of war. When he had the chance to put his foot down when big corporations started screwing up, he took their side. People hate him because they wanted and needed a better man than him in charge. That’s how you lose safe districts. That’s how a president takes down a party. When Bush asked the Republicans to chose between serving the public and backing Bush’s play, they chose Bush.

This rage doesn’t end at the borders of my party. As Lieberman and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton can testify, people in my party are looking for folks to lead the party away from the Reagan legacy, the legacy that’s ultimately led to the Bush adminstration and the Republican Congress.

Fortunately for us, so do the majority of Americans.

As for 5% unemployment? try the jobless figures. If you include people who could be working, but aren’t, but have fallen off of unemployment, the number is more like 12%.

I think America is better than this and more capable about this- it isn’t America’s spirit or ability to blow past the dour, cynical pronouncements of its critics that I have a problem with. It couldn’t be, given who I support. I could not support my candidate if I didn’t think America was fully capable of electing a man with Hussein in his name and Muslim relations in his family, if I didn’t think America was ready for a Black president.

It’s that which I celebrate. But I don’t do so naively. I expect a struggle. But here’s something I can tell you: though I expect things to get worse in terms of the rhetoric, I do not believe the politics will sting as much as the primaries do. With Hillary Clinton, her rhetoric was not the worse we ever heard from a political opponent. The real trouble was, this rhetoric was coming out of a Democrat. There are words that you can blow off coming from a stranger that strike you to your core coming from somebody you believe is closer to you.

It will be far easier to slam the door on Republican rhetoric than it ever was to tolerate the rhetoric from the Clinton campaign. We don’t expect the Republicans to have high standards when it comes to their attacks. We expect them to get caustic. We’re ready for that fight. We were always ready.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2008 8:21 PM
Comment #253095

Willie

I do believe truly that you should rethink your way of dealing with public problems. I don’t think they are as pressing as you make them out to be. Turn your lawn mower into a roto-tiller and plant some bell peppers

Damn Willie, chill dude. I was only attempting a little levity. You are the one doing the bitching, not me. I was not serious when implying that you actually up and move. I guess maybe I need to figure out a better way to show expression in my writing.

I sure as hell do not want anyone micromanaging my or anyone else’s affairs. Seems you must be caught up in the conservative led notion that all liberals want government to run every aspect of our lives. All I want is a responsible, accountable functional government entity that does not pander to wealth at the expense of the rest of us. Remove corruption, apply accountability and we will have the beginnings of a government we can be proud of. Of course there are times when we need regulation and times when it creates more problems than it cures. We are all in this boat together. The only difference is in what order we list priorities. The cure will come when we can learn to find compromise and accept that no one person or group of persons is always right or can speak for all.

As for pressing problems, well I guess we all have our own opinions. You are entitled to think as you please. I will not begrudge you your thoughts or the right to express them. Some I agree with. Some I find just plain ridiculous.

As for the bell peppers, well you lost me. I guess that thought must be above my liberal ability to comprehend. ;-)

Posted by: RickIL at May 18, 2008 9:18 PM
Comment #253096

Jack,

“Even fifty years ago, most of the world was ruled by despots who thought they could and should plan even small details of their countries’ economies.”

Fifty years ago those “despots” were our theoretical friends in the fight against Communism. We helped put those despots into their positions of power,, and helped keep them in power when their countries revolted against them.

Competitive or not America is skating on thin ice.

Posted by: Rocky at May 18, 2008 9:19 PM
Comment #253097

KD dont take away this little pleasure we have of being number 1 for well any reason. I have been savoring this warm and fuzzy feeling that this business school has determined the US is number 1 for a lot of reasons that pertain to business only. Its just like a sports fan and the local sports team being #1 and you feeling good although all you did was nothing but cheer for the home team.

I have fooled myself into thinking it meant all Americans not just the corporations in this country. I have felt better all day , although I dont really know why, just because of Jacks article and then here you are actually questioning what it all means. Well fine. :)

The short answer is for the past 3 decades the corporations have been writing the laws in this country essentally booting out the labor and middle classes, ridding itself of liability and responsibility for their sake and suprise surprise business operates in this country at the expense of whatever else. To me the real news is the European countries that rank so high on the list without giving up labor, the middle class and the environment in the process.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 18, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #253102

j2t2,

I’ve noticed in the past that Jack loves to give us math lessons, like the lower 50% represent only half of the population ……. yada, yada!

But if Wikipedia is right then median income in the USA is less than $50,000.00! That means half of Americans are living day to day with todays energy prices!

Look, I’m doing OK! I get Social Security Disability, and I have investments (not much) that help out, although I’ve tapped some resources to care for my grandson while my daughter is preparing for a second tour of duty (hopefully not to Iraq), but there are a lot of folks that are just losing their shirts over the current energy prices!

And it’s bound to get worse! We can’t drill our way out of “GLOBAL DEMAND”! So, where are the lower speed limits that would reduce demand by at least 1%?

Both parties are scared to say, “we have to take some drastic steps to cut back”! But we must.

Posted by: KansasDem at May 18, 2008 10:23 PM
Comment #253105

“Both parties are scared to say, “we have to take some drastic steps to cut back”! But we must.”

KD I think thats because the AM talk radio guys have been told the party never ends. All we need to do is let the free market take care of us, we are #1 afterall. What we need to understand is the political parties only exist at this point to take the blame for the bad things. We suffer the illusion that we are living in a representative democracy but Jack has told us on several occaisions that we are in fact a free market democracy, which on the surface doesnt sound that bad right? Well until you understand Reaganspeak anyway.


Posted by: j2t2 at May 18, 2008 11:22 PM
Comment #253107

Stephen

I am a pragmatist about most things. I really don’t care what people call things. I judge by what they do. If a communist party embraces the market economy, it is no longer communist except in name. And the name doesn’t really matter.

With market economies, we should just look at relative freedom. The communist/fascism in their original versions closely controlled and regulated markets. As above, I am not much concerned with what they call it. There was no free market in any sense that we would understand it in Nazi Germany.

Re bubbles – they are unavoidable. The goal should be to make the system robust and adaptable enough to shrug them off. If you outlaw busts, you also outlaw booms. I am not sure I trust government bureaucrats to decide when a boom has gone “too far.”

Re the unemployment number – we need to use the numbers that are comparable. The number now is around 5%. That number contains lots of systematic errors, as it always has. We cannot now take the number differently than we used to. If 5% was good under Clinton and will be under Obama it is also good under Bush.

Rocky

Today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions. Whenever you analyze past decisions you find lots of mistakes. You also find things that are not optimal, but were better than the alternatives.

Kansas

I am not really big not definition, but I think we need to be careful about the use of some statistics. As I said to Stephen, we have a 5% unemployment rate. That may not be a perfect measure, but we need to compare it to other times and place using as close as possible the same measure. By those measures, we are doing well.

Similarly with median, the median income – adjusted for inflation - is near an all time high. We all wish it was higher. But when you compare it to other times and places, it is not that bad.

To make good decisions, we need to accurately assess our current situation. That means neither seeing it as too good or too bad. We have lots of challenges, but we are working from a strong base. To pretend that 5% unemployment is terrible (it doesn’t get much lower and it never goes to zero, BTW) that a near all time high median income is a scandal or even to change definitions so that we can call an economic downturn a recession does not help us understand.

The truth is that we are living in almost the best of POSSIBLE times in terms of opportunity and absolute buying power of the poor. What has happened that makes people mad is that the relative position of the lower income groups has changed. Everybody got richer, but the rich got richer faster. This was a worldwide phenomenon and it has been going on for around 40 years.

We can solve this problem with a government solution that makes everybody poorer, but more equal. That is probably a popular solution, although it will be couched in different terms. We probably are rich enough to afford that solution, if people want it. But we should recognize what we are getting.

Posted by: Jack at May 18, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #253110

Jack,

Consciously repeating the same mistakes expecting different results is insanity.

We still support some despots, but refuse to talk to some democratically elected governments that don’t see things our way. Those that want to talk are called appeasers.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Posted by: Rocky at May 19, 2008 5:10 AM
Comment #253114

If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton
If you haven’t done so yet, please write a message to each of your state’s superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It’s that easy…

Posted by: Kathy at May 19, 2008 6:50 AM
Comment #253120

Rocky

We talk with everybody. It just depends on the level of talks.

Posted by: Jack at May 19, 2008 11:17 AM
Comment #253146

“We talk with everybody. It just depends on the level of talks.”

Not according to the President’s recent speech in Israel.

Posted by: Rocky at May 19, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #253149

Everything is so rosy!

All whiners: stop whining!

You should be happy about these 10+ abuses!

Posted by: d.a.n at May 19, 2008 7:21 PM
Comment #253161

Rocky

We talk to everybody. The president does not. Some talks are not appropriate for him. The U.S. cannot help but talk to everybody. If nothing else, American officials like Nancy Pelosi or former ones like Jimmy Carter will go around and gather information.

What a rookie like Obama doesn’t understand is that negotiation does not alway mean that the big guys are sitting down together.

Posted by: Jack at May 19, 2008 11:17 PM
Comment #253189
Besides, that revolution in France didn’t really work out so well, did it? They went from a king to an anarchy to an emperor to a king.

And sadly we’re still locked there. The names had changed, but we’re still under the rule of heavily unbalanced monarchism-like government.

Anyway, I’m glad having the strongest economy than any other nation make you happy. I’ve lost any faith in the money/free-market-magic God long time ago, so excuse me if I don’t rejoice with you at the view of what money race is turning our ecosystem into…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 20, 2008 10:02 AM
Comment #253228

GM was advertising a 21 mpg hybrid Yukon yesterday, like that is a real solution to anything.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 2:45 PM
Comment #253278

Phillipe you are back. Welcome.

The money race can help the human race and the environment. If you vist poor countries, they are almost all sh*t holes because the poor are too worried about daily life to protect the environment. The U.S. is cleaner today than it was 20 or 40 years ago when it was a poorer country. The same is true of France. The big polluters are those coming up w/o a fully developed market, like China.

Posted by: Jack at May 21, 2008 3:03 AM
Comment #253453

Oh non. Pas vous. Bienvenue à nouveau.
Pas besoin de réponse. J’utilise un outil de parler français.

It’s hard to do!

Il est difficile à faire.

http://www.google.com/translate_t?sl=en&tl=fr

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 22, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #253541

Jack,

You said that the U.S. has been in the top spot for 230 years. Wrong. IMD, your source, that publishes the WCY, says that the U.S. has only had the top spot since 1994. FYI, Clinton, (a moderate Republican)was in office in 1994. According to IMD, (your source)the U.S. will lose the top spot next year. See: The past crisis in Japan bears some resemblance with the present turmoil in the US. It followed a period of economic boom, real estate price follies and exuberant assets expansion. In addition, the liberalization of financial instruments took place without the appropriate regulatory environment; corporate governance was inadequate with little accountability and transparency; and the government was quickly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis.Hmm, your source says that the Republican ideal of deregulation will be our downfall…

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 24, 2008 12:13 AM
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