518 Hold On, Gordie
Maybe the recession really IS over. Prime Minister Brown of the United Kingdom is here in the Colonies, urging Congress to "have faith" in the free market.
Kind of an odd sentiment, since (a) faith is confidence based on no evidence and (b) "faith in the free market" is what got us where we are today, and that's the financial version of the weather on Downing St. Or, to be a bit more British about it, the weather IN Downing St.
Why do we need translation when listening to someone whose native language is English? Rhetorical question. But if you read between the lines, what you see is a guy from "the" former world power telling us not to get too protectionist in our trade policies, lets Britain and the whole EU suffer from our economic prowess.
That we HAVE any economic prowess left is easier to see from the London Observatory than it is from the corner of Broad and Wall. But if Gordie thinks we do, maybe we actually do.
The Obama administration is trying to bring jobs back to America. And it's moving to stop rewarding American companies that ship jobs overseas. And if this has Prime Minister Brown in a twist, there must be something to it.
In his visit here, Brown is also playing to the crowd back home, where he's not exactly king of the popularity polls. He doesn't want his administration sunk in the mire that Tony Blair created when he put on that Chihuahua suit and jumped into George Bush's lap.
Brown is angling for more sensible and accessible banking rules world wide, and a world wide stimulus for economies large and small. Pretty good idea. But, to quote the long ago slogan of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, "America First" this time.
We need to tread a fine line. We can't fully alienate Europe. Or Asia, for that matter. But by the same token, how did we manage to make shipping jobs overseas a fringe benefit for American business. That's gotta stop.
You have heard or seen in this space many times a call for more smokestacks, farms and mines. That hasn't changed. If we're to meet our own minimum expectations, we have to resurrect ourselves as an industrial monolith. That's the only way it's going to happen. Sure, make the 'stacks green. Green sells. But make 'em.
Meantime, hold on, Gordie. We won't let you down. Just keep that free market bear crap to yourself.
--Who is running the Republican Party, the elected chairman or some radio talk show maniac? The answer: it doesn't matter. The party is DOA -- but expect a resurrection, eventually.
--Some Deep Thinker thinks he's come up with a brand new brand for the GOP. They're calling it "the party of 'no.'" Earth to Deep Thinker: It's always been the party of "no" and the party of punishment.
--J.P. Morgan Chase got a 25 billion dollar federal bailout. Here's how that's made them more efficient: for the month of March, the bank delayed distribution of AFTRA pension fund checks, for which it is being handsomely rewarded, and may get to keep part of the float.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®