Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html en-gb 30 Thu 23 Oct 2014 08:14:27 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=98#comment76 chronophobe, (#76. At 4:53pm on 16 Nov 2010)“So are you maintaining that the US$ hasn't devalued since Bernanke began telegraphing his intentions for another round of quantitative easing? ...First, let me point out that I have not advanced that claim. You are the one who has suggested that “the reserve currency continues to be radically devalued” by "quantitative easing". (#62 and #76) As the article I to which I pointed you in my post #69 explains, the real yuan-dollar exchange rate has appreciated 50% since 2005. That yuan appreciation is dollar devaluation, and as that occurred while the yuan was “undervalued” and before “Bernanke began telegraphing his intentions for another round of quantitative easing” it is not immediately obvious how you will be able to point to a dollar devaluation as a result of QE2, as you contend. Remember, you made the claim, now it is time for you to back it up – if you can.”... Or that lower interest rates and currency value are not related? ...”They can be. You’re the one positing a cause and effect relationship.”... I'm not sure what you are getting at, here.“What I’m getting at is that you are failing to substantiate your proposal that “the reserve currency continues to be radically devalued” by QE2. (#62 and #76).Or will you admit that you cannot do so, just as Interestedforeigner has suddenly become silent about his foolish “The American economy has danced on the edge of deflation since the Summer of 2007” claim? Wed 17 Nov 2010 00:35:36 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=97#comment75 So are you maintaining that the US$ hasn't devalued since Bernanke began telegraphing his intentions for another round of quantitative easing? Or that lower interest rates and currency value are not related? I'm not sure what you are getting at, here. Tue 16 Nov 2010 16:53:00 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=96#comment74 chronophobe, (#72. At 04:20am on 16 Nov 2010)“... What I was reacting to was your and Andrea's rather puffed up notion that all one needs to understand the trade imbalance is a bit of Econ 101 or 241”Macro economics provides a theoretical framework within which many of the otherwise unintuitive behaviors of the international markets can be more easily understood. You wouldn’t dream of constructing a building without at least trying to understand engineering, would you? Then why not study the discipline that explains many of the mysterious workings of money?Sorry, I cannot agree with you on this point, although I never suggested (nor would I) that a couple of terms of Econ were all that were needed to understand international trade. Tue 16 Nov 2010 10:54:48 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=94#comment73 chronophobe, (#72. At 04:20am on 16 Nov 2010)“... Chuckle. How's 'bout you show me how it hasn't caused a devaluation in the US dollar? ...”You made the claim in post #62, and used your assumption as a speculative basis.”... What will be the effects in the global economy if the reserve currency continues to be radically devalued? Are currently soaring commodity prices related to this devaluation, for e.g.?”I have already shown that the rise in commodity prices is more plausibly explained as a result of the lowering of interest rates by QE2, and provided a reference.You made the claim that QE2 “continues to be radically devalued.”OK. Warrant your claim. Tue 16 Nov 2010 10:45:26 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=93#comment72 chronophobe, (#71. At 03:13am on 16 Nov 2010)"... Where, for crying out loud? ..."My apologies. You're quite correct, it is not above, it is below, at post #69. Post #65 was yanked because I failed to follow the BBC blog rules. I reformatted the same post to meet the requirements. Google "Nominally cheap or really dear", and the top of the list should be an article in re The yuan-dollar exchange rate (Nov 4, 2010) Tue 16 Nov 2010 10:36:01 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=92#comment71 Ok, I'll play. First things first, you have suggested that QE2 is a devaluation, but you have provided no evidence to substantiate your notion. Please do so. Chuckle. How's 'bout you show me how it hasn't caused a devaluation in the US dollar? Look, I really am not looking to get into a pi$$ing match with you. I freely admit that I am not an expert in economics. But I am not an ingenue either. So spare me the preachy stuff and the professorial condescension. It's late here, but I look forward to reading further into your link re: commodity prices.And to reciprocate your efforts and as a show of good will, here's a link for you:Last week I argued that Tim Geithner’s proposal on restricting current account imbalances directly, rather than targeting currencies, was a good idea. October’s trade surplus shows both why it is a good idea and why it will be hard to accept.Lots more good stuff from the Carnegie Institute here. Tue 16 Nov 2010 04:20:08 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=90#comment70 re: 66 Chryses As I have shown above, the portion of China’s trade advantage that can be honestly attributed to currency manipulation is much smaller than commonly thought, and is but a small fraction of that part which is attributed to cheap labour and production costs.Where, for crying out loud? Do you mean the quaint homily on comparative advantage from Wiki? All that 'shows' is how the concept functions in the abstract, as a concept. Which is fine. What you don't deal with, however, is the issue of exchange rates. Given that the 'lesser' economy develops over time, the nature of the comparative advantage changes, which should be reflected in the relative value of the currencies concerned.It's on this point that your old slow dumb/young quick smart metaphor breaks down. The productive capacities of China now are not the same as the China of even ten years ago. For example, cheap labour still matters, but increasingly, know how and technological innovations are increasing productivity (an annual rate at something like 17% since the mid nineties if I recall correctly) to levels beyond a market justification for the current value of the RMB. I would agree that fixating on the low value of the RMB is wrong. There are many other factors at play. What I was reacting to was your and Andrea's rather puffed up notion that all one needs to understand the trade imbalance is a bit of Econ 101 or 241. Tue 16 Nov 2010 03:13:38 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=89#comment69 chronophobe, (#62. At 2:46pm on 15 Nov 2010)"... Are currently soaring commodity prices related to this devaluation, for e.g.? "First things first, you have suggested that QE2 is a devaluation, but you have provided no evidence to substantiate your notion. Please do so.ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easingSecond, the reason that Bernanke's QE2 has caused commodity prices to rise is because a significant increase in M2 reduces the cost of borrowing money; it lowers the interest rates. Low real interest rates lower the cost of carrying physical inventories and increase the attractiveness of speculating in commodities relative to holding Treasury bills.ref: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/jfrankel/CP.htm Tue 16 Nov 2010 02:30:27 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=88#comment68 chronophobe, (#62. At 2:46pm on 15 Nov 2010)“... now you've dazzled us with your sophomore's understanding of comparative advantage, perhaps you'd care to move on to Econ 303 and address the issue of exchange rates ...”The only reason you were dazzled by Economics was because you had never before been exposed to it. Comparitive Advantage is well understood; it is usually attributed to David Ricardo who explained it in a 1817 book in an example involving trade between England and Portugal.I shall assume that your inquiry in re the “undervalued” Yuan is honest. My reply is that you will need to learn a good bit more Economics before working with the more advanced topics. You may be surprised to learn that the real, in contrast to the nominal exchange rate, has appreciated much more against the dollar than is commonly thought. However, as you want an answer to a specific complex question, I refer you to a publicly available article of two weeks ago by Googling “Nominally cheap or really dear” in which you will learn that the yuan is not nearly as undervalued as the scaremongers might have persuaded you to think.Once you take the time needed to read the piece, you should then understand that the issue of “the undervalued yuan” is not as simple as some misperceive. For a more comprehensive treatment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchange_rate Tue 16 Nov 2010 01:23:12 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=87#comment67 Interestedforeigner, (#63. At 5:32pm on 15 Nov 2010)“... You might also want to think about America's likely role and influence in world events when its economy really begins to implode ...”What evidence can you present to substantiate your suggestion that the American economy has any likelihood of imploding?Is this yet another pronouncement that you’ll fail to back up? Tue 16 Nov 2010 01:01:06 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=85#comment66 Interestedforeigner, (#63. At 5:32pm on 15 Nov 2010)“... The American economy has danced on the edge of deflation since the Summer of 2007 ...”Can you provide any evidence to support THIS claim? Or is it to forever remain baseless nonesense?Now remember, you must be able to show that for more than 3 years "the American economy has danced on the edge of deflation."It must have been very close to deflation all that time. Tue 16 Nov 2010 00:53:58 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=84#comment65 chronophobe, (#62. At 2:46pm on 15 Nov 2010)“... Are you suggesting that China's trade advantage has nothing to do with the cheap RMB?”Of course not. Nothing in what I have posted has given you any basis for advancing such an absurd claim. As I have shown above, the portion of China’s trade advantage that can be honestly attributed to currency manipulation is much smaller than commonly thought, and is but a small fraction of that part which is attributed to cheap labour and production costs.The GATT and its successor the WTO have also assisted by progressively lowering the barriers to trade.That some small fraction of a total may be attributable to a single variable in no way suborns the whole to the fractional. Where do you get such ideas? Tue 16 Nov 2010 00:45:59 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=83#comment64 This post has been Removed Tue 16 Nov 2010 00:29:15 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=81#comment63 If wrote: Either way, it looks like there is going to be the financial hangover of a lifetime, and America is going to have to come to terms with being a lot less rich and powerful than it was.------------------------------------------------------------------------Is this a blessing in disguise?The greed and wealth in America is quickly dissipating and in its place, an America who is the real America under the glamor all along...Before the recession hit, America was importing more cheap foreign goods than ever- now, there are less cheap foreign goods and more American/allies goods. Before the recession hit, America was employing more illegals than ever- now, there just aren't that many extra jobs, money, ect anymore.Before the recession hit, America was in the danger of becoming too full of self, now we are humbled.Will this recession make America a better America because we can now see that money can't buy us love?Because we can now see that what makes us Americans is not how much money we have, but who we are? Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:14:49 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=80#comment62 58. At 10:49am on 15 Nov 2010, AndreaNY wrote:"Forget an "invisible hand", we're dealing with an "invisible fence" mentality."__________What you're dealing with is, ultimately a national security problem.China's implicit answer to American complaints about manipulated exchange rates is for America to allow its own economy to deflate - namely large scale unemployment, large reductions in wages.The American economy has danced on the edge of deflation since the Summer of 2007. For you to consider that prospect with insouciance, as your posts do here, suggests either that you are rather well off and would benefit from deflation, or that either your family never lived through the Depression or you have forgotten what the Depression was about.You might also want to think about America's likely role and influence in world events when its economy really begins to implode. Right now, inflation is, by far, the lesser of two (and possibly more) evils.The only way left for America to get out of this problem is inflation. Everybody knows it. That's why gold has gone through the roof. Since the US $ is the dominant reserve currency, US creditors oppose inflation. Indeed, deflation would allow them to buy more US assets, relatively cheaper.So either China does the right thing (not going to happen, apparently), or America prints money like there's no tomorrow (the only choice left).Either way, it looks like there is going to be the financial hangover of a lifetime, and America is going to have to come to terms with being a lot less rich and powerful than it was. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:32:41 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=79#comment61 Chryses, Andrea -- so now you've dazzled us with your sophomore's understanding of comparative advantage, perhaps you'd care to move on to Econ 303 and address the issue of exchange rates. Specifically, how it relates to current US policy alternatives in relation to the trade deficit with China.Are you suggesting that China's trade advantage has nothing to do with the cheap RMB? If it does, what should the US be doing about it, and in what measure? What will be the effects in the global economy if the reserve currency continues to be radically devalued? Are currently soaring commodity prices related to this devaluation, for e.g.? Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:46:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=77#comment60 Interesting that some posters obsess about AIPAC whereas the current issue is APEC. (OVER A HALF OF THE WORLD' ECONOMIC OUTPUT AND TRADE ACTIVITY)And the most current event - APEC summit. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:40:44 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=76#comment59 59. Chryses:AndreaNY, (#58. At 10:49am on 15 Nov 2010)"Competition is not a simple subject. I understand that ..."If only some of the other posters to these threads did, there would be less foolishness on display when shopping. **************Somewhere I recall reading of a call for all American students to take an Economics class. I thought this was good idea. Might clear up a lot of confusion about how the economy works and move us further along the curve. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:41:43 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=75#comment58 AndreaNY, (#58. At 10:49am on 15 Nov 2010)"Competition is not a simple subject. I understand that ..."If only some of the other posters to these threads did, there would be less foolishness on display when shopping. Mon 15 Nov 2010 11:54:00 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=74#comment57 56. Chryses:Competition is not a simple subject. I understand that. Learning to compete (and we are re-learning) should start with the realization that we are, in fact, competing globally and that we cannot regulate that a company do what is not in its best interests. There's a big world out there that is shaking things up. We cannot resist it or fight about who is to blame domestically. Forget an "invisible hand", we're dealing with an "invisible fence" mentality.This is the "change" a truly intelligent and enlightened president should be talking about. Mon 15 Nov 2010 10:49:48 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=72#comment56 AndreaNY,My apologies, I must have formatted the Wikipedia link incorrectly; the url is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage Mon 15 Nov 2010 00:40:57 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=71#comment55 AndreaNY, (#53. At 7:27pm on 14 Nov 2010)“Economics 101. Maybe if Americans were as serious and relentless in their pursuit of producing products competitively as they are in trying to get others to stop doing so, we'd be further ahead in this race.”This is a common mistake due to ignorance of Comparative Advantage. I demonstrate:Example: Two women live alone on an isolated island. To survive they must undertake a few basic economic activities like water carrying, fishing, cooking and shelter construction and maintenance. The first woman is young, strong, and educated. She is also faster, better, and more productive at everything. She has an absolute advantage in all activities. The second woman is old, weak, and uneducated. She has an absolute disadvantage in all economic activities. In some activities the difference between the two is great; in others it is small.Despite the fact that the younger woman has absolute advantage in all activities, it is not in the interest of either of them to work in isolation since they both can benefit from specialization and exchange. If the two women divide the work according to comparative advantage, the young woman will specialize in tasks at which she is most productive, while the older woman will concentrate on tasks where her productivity is only a little less than that of the young woman. Such an arrangement will increase total production for a given amount of labor supplied by both women and it will benefit both of them.Let us now extrapolate from this example. Denote the cost of manufacturing N units (material costs + labour costs, + production costs) of a product in location A, added to the cost of transporting the product from location A to the points of sale as a delivery unit cost “X”. Next, denote the cost of manufacturing the same N units of the product in location B, added to the cost of transporting the product from location B to the points of sale as a delivery unit cost “Y”. If X is less than Y then it is advantageous to manufacture the product in location A. Not only is it advantageous for the company to manufacture the product in location A, but it is also advantageous for the buyers, in this instance as Interestedforeigner described in his post #50. With the difference of delivery costs Z = Y – X, the optimal return on investment by the company will be met at a price point lower than if the product was manufactured in location B.As Interestedforeigner inadvertently demonstrated in his post #50, he directly benefited by the fact that the comparative advantage of the lower manufacturing costs of China (location A) relative to those in the U.S. (location B). No doubt this bothers him no end, but such is the case.Moreover, you were close, I learned about Comparative Advantage in Econ 241: Macroeconomic Theory, in my sophomore year in college.Many thanks and apologies to Wikipedia for the example. Mon 15 Nov 2010 00:13:37 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=70#comment54 53. At 7:27pm on 14 Nov 2010, AndreaNY wrote:"Maybe if Americans were as serious and relentless in their pursuit of producing products competitively as they are in trying to get others to stop doing so, we'd be further ahead in this race."---------Indeed so.This I had always thought of as the object lesson of the automotive industry. Toyota concentrated on building good reliable cars that delivered value to customers over the life of the product. GM concentrated on flashy advertising and fooling consumers into buying expensive options they didn't need.In the end, Toyota not only built better cars, but it could consistently charge a price premium for them.That is how competition is supposed to work.---------Currency markets are also supposed to adjust to this kind of change in reality.Over the time period in question - roughly 1975 - 1990, the Yen went from 360 per US $ to about $ 120Y=$1. It is now 82Y = US $1.This, too, is conventional, and is what you would expect in an economy running repeated and consistent trade surpluses.The same thing happened with the Swiss Franc.I can remember when CH F 1.0 = US $ 0.22.It is now, roughly, at parity.The same thing with the DM. I remember when it was 4:1 against the Dollar. If the DM were still in existence, and assuming it had tracked the same fluctuation against the dollar as the Euro, it would currently by roughly 4:3.The Chinese Yuan, by contrast? Sun 14 Nov 2010 23:22:15 GMT+1 Cherylynn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=68#comment53 It's good to see that the world is not still fooled by our president. Now if only his supporters here at home would open their eyes. I guarentee he would not be president now if so many hadn't been fooled by his dazzling smile and snazzy suits and his warm fuzzy words. Sun 14 Nov 2010 23:21:22 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=67#comment52 52. Chryses :"Doing so reduced the price you had to pay for your item."***********Economics 101. Maybe if Americans were as serious and relentless in their pursuit of producing products competitively as they are in trying to get others to stop doing so, we'd be further ahead in this race. Sun 14 Nov 2010 19:27:16 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=66#comment51 Interestedforeigner, (#50. At 3:16pm on 14 Nov 2010)Yes, the relatively low labour costs found in China make it an attractive location to manufacture products that are designed elsewhere.Doing so reduced the price you had to pay for your item.You have just made a good case for globalization. Sun 14 Nov 2010 15:39:34 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=64#comment50 30. At 04:30am on 13 Nov 2010, yoss wrote:... a posting that I think hit the nail on the head, mostly. Sun 14 Nov 2010 15:17:23 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=63#comment49 On the trade deficit issue - Yesterday I went to the store to buy an electric kitchen appliance.The old one, bought many (approx 30?) years ago and now irreparably damaged by impact-from-height-on-a-stone-surface, was a beautifully designed German product. A thing of elegance and simplicity, it had just the right smooth feel and balance, and weight in your hand. Even to my Scottish-heritage sensibilities, 30 years of good and faithful service from an electrical appliance suggests to me that it might almost have paid us back, and there was little value left to depreciate.So, I head off to the store.Well, the first lesson is that the German company that made the old one is no longer in that line of business.However, there is plenty of selection. There are five major brands on the shelf. All of the brands would be well known to any North American shopper.So I pick up the best, most expensive one, and start reading the outside of the box to see what features it has. This product is sold under the brand of a really well known American company. We have bought products from this company before. Their machines are reliable, high quality, well designed products. Ok. The price is acceptable, so I decide to buy it - and I'm glad to pay a little more knowing that it is a good American product, from a company that I like. I'm feeling pretty good about this.And then I decided to verify where it was made.... in China.Well, that was a bit of a surprise. I put the box down, and picked up the one beside it, for a different, really well known manufacturer:Made in China.So I picked up the next one: Made in China.And the next one: Made in China.And the next one: Made in China.-----------There was not one single unit of this kind of machine, on display, anywhere in that store, that was not made in China.Forget about made in Canada. Forget about made in the US.Not even "Assembled in Mexico".And as for the beautiful units from Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Italy?Nowhere to be seen. Long ago vanished. Sun 14 Nov 2010 15:16:01 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=62#comment48 Interestedforeigner, (#47. At 2:44pm on 14 Nov 2010)“... what proof you have that Keynes and Obama ‘are the ones who are right?’ ... because a fair chunk of America's stimulus money simply went into Chinese consumer goods imports.”How does that prove Keynes right? Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:52:51 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=61#comment47 33. At 09:16am on 13 Nov 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:"President Obama's dilemma is very much not his alone: it is America's, writ large. The reason it resembles that of his predecessor? Because the heart of the matter is now definitively revealed to be found not in the persona of the "leader" -- nor in the posture of his party -- but in the schizophrenic policymaking that has effectively torpedoed America's prospects to continue in the position it gained actually almost by default in the fallout of World War Two.When America still led the world, a series of disastrous choices were made that squandered its advantages. Most of the well-informed participants in this blog are very well aware of what those choices were, and at which specific points in the last 30 or so years folly & fluff & ill-tutored brashness prevailed over prudence, intelligence & foresight.Today, what we have in America is a set of highly intelligent & well-intentioned professional politicians (you can decide for yourself whether their number rightfully includes Mr Obama or not) who are drowning in a sea of troubles whilst the constituencies that elected them howl in disapproval at their every move."____________There's a lot of truth in this.At some point, we need to return to the theme of overhauling the institutions of American democracy. In the last 30 or 40 years those institutions have been under persistent attack, and America is now paying the price. Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:50:45 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=59#comment46 39. At 3:45pm on 13 Nov 2010, chronophobe wrote:"re: 35 TeaPartyBrit Perhaps vague you would oblige by telling us what proof you have that Keynes and Obama "are the ones who are right"?""Worked like a hot diggity for the Chinese.""Too bad the cupboard is bare in the US of A. And the UK." __________... because a fair chunk of America's stimulus money simply went into Chinese consumer goods imports. Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:44:48 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=58#comment45 32. At 07:25am on 13 Nov 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:""The president even had to answer a question about whether the elections at home had undermined his power abroad."""The answer to that question is no. As President and Commander in Chief, Obama decides America's foreign policy and his cabinet carries it out.For the moment the outcome of the recent Congressional elections only affects Obama's domestic authority and influence."____________Now the bigger, and more important, example - America's big foreign policy challenges right now involve trade policy. Right now, the overwhelming imperative driving by America's trade policy is the current high unemployment.But the President's ability to deal with unemployment - the quintessential domestic policy issue if there ever was one - is completely at the mercy of Congress. Further, the reality of the situation is that protectionism is on the rise in America, fueled in no small measure by Chinese intransigence. That sentiment will be ever stronger in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. No American President can afford to ignore that. Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:41:09 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=57#comment44 32. At 07:25am on 13 Nov 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:"The president even had to answer a question about whether the elections at home had undermined his power abroad."The answer to that question is no. As President and Commander in Chief, Obama decides America's foreign policy and his cabinet carries it out.For the moment the outcome of the recent Congressional elections only affects Obama's domestic authority and influence.____________Agree with that in a formal sense, but not in an informal sense. Two examples. Start with the less important one -Here is an item from the news today:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11751713In essence, what the Obama administration is now reduced to doing is to beg the government of Israel, pretty please, not to do something that it shouldn't have been doing in the first place. And how is this to be done? By offering up sweets if Israel will behave for 90 days.It's like a parent who doesn't know how to deal with a spoiled child.What happens if you reward a child following bad behaviour?Well, as sure as anything, the next time the child wants something, you're going to get bad behaviour. And the next time, when you try to bribe them to behave, all you will be doing is reinforcing the lesson that bad behaviour brings rewards.What should the Obama administration be doing?Try this: (a) cutting off all American aid to Israel; and (b) making it clear that if the bad behaviour continues, America will institute trade sanctions.Why can't the Obama administration do this?Because AIPAC has more influence in Congress than President Obama.America has no genuine strategic interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This conflict has cost America and enormous amount of money over the last half century; it has cost America the lives of service personnel; it has made America hated in large portions of the world; it has hugely complicated America's relations with other nations - including some of America's closest allies; it has led America's congress to be subject to inordinate influence by the representatives of a foreign power - and for what?What does America get in return for this support?Nothing but trouble.-----------Americans (on this blog, no less) have ranted on about the need to avoid foreign entanglements. Over and over we hear this mantra. Is there any more fruitless foreign entanglement than the Arab-Israeli conflict? Do any of these people who are so concerned about "foreign entanglements" ever cast an objective, analytical eye on the relationship with Israel?Why isn't the Tea Party clamouring for an end to support for Israel?Americans want to cut foreign aid.Israel is the single largest recipient of American foreign aid.Americans want to cut wasteful spending.Over the last half century, America has spent more than $50,000 for every man, woman, and child in Israel subsidizing Israel.This is a relationship that is characterized by the voluntary suspension of disbelief on the part of Americans, and particularly on the part of America's congressional representatives.So much so, that AIPAC can play American congressmen off against their own President. There was a time when the rule used to be "politics stops at the water's edge". Not when it comes to Israel, though.American Congressional leaders don't seem to understand the danger of allowing a foreign power to play American politicians off against each other. When that happens, America always loses.And it doesn't affect merely foreign policy - because those who want to bring President Obama down don't limit their efforts to stonewalling him on foreign policy issues, they are determined to oppose anything that would make his presidency a success.AIPAC feels it won the mid-term elections.Those elections have hugely undermined the President's ability to conduct foreign policy - and the government of Israel has spent the last two weeks rubbing the President's nose in it.Anybody care to say different?----------The outcome of the Arab-Israeli conflict is utterly irrelevant to America's strategic interests in the world.America is Israel's overwhelming benefactor. Without American support, Israel could not continue.Why, then, should the American President ever, under any circumstances, be crawling and begging before the Israeli Prime minister?This entire relationship is upside down.America needs to get out of this abusive, dysfunctional relationship. Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:25:36 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=55#comment43 ghostofsichuan wrote:"Congress is a bought property, owned by banking lobbyist." Actually a better thing to say is America is run by the lawyers, as some 95% of our elected officials are lawyers, go figure! Who wrote the healthcare, and other bills that would take a lawyer to read? Perhaps a profitable lawyer in the private sector, the elected one sure didn't. By the way isn't Obama a lawyer? His wife a lawyer$ Well most of the Democrats like Barney Frank, just reelected is often courted by these bankers. Just goes to show, I think I realize what Shakespere mean't when he said "First we kill all the lawyers." Why is it judges on the Supreme court serve for life, good steady job there, what if the Justice sucks at what he does? Who then disappoints him? I mean what if precedence is set on its head in an Orwellian sense? Obama and the recent elections, is basically "Who is on first, no whats on second, I don't know is on third." "Thats what I want to find out?" "I am only asking you, who's the guy on first base?" "Thats right!" "Whats the guys name on first base?" "No what is on second."Costello: "I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?"Abbott:"Now that's the first thing you've said right."Costello: "Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!"Abbott: "What?"Costello: "I said I don't give a darn!"Abbott: "Oh, that's our shortstop." Thanks to Abbott & Costello! If the world can't understand the American sport of Baseball, good luck trying to figure out our politics you non-Americans. Some fans are loyal to the end, some won't support a losing team. Kiss that one goodbye. Sat 13 Nov 2010 23:23:04 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=54#comment42 Lucy , why do you even bother.For so many years and so many times clearly American inventions have been attributed to others. For different reasons.Some of those attempts were quite amusing.For example for quite a few years Great Soviet Encylopedia claimed that transistor have been invented by Russians. [sic] Sat 13 Nov 2010 20:58:36 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=53#comment41 Yes, everybody around the world has done a lot of inventions, especially Europeans. Although Europe is calling itself European Union right now, on wikipedia, the inventions are all split up by countries in Europe, rather than attributed to Europe as a whole. Rather than saying UK inventions, it says English inventions, Irish inventions, Scottish inventions, Welsh inventions, ect...With USA, we're a whole USA...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_inventions_and_discoveriesMy personal favorite English invention would be:Kinemacolor was the first successful colour motion picture process, used commercially from 1908 to 1914 - George Albert Smith cinematography - William Friese-GreeneMotion picture camera, the Kinetoscope - William Kennedy Laurie Dickson The first movie projector, the Zoopraxiscope - Eadweard Muybridge The first experimental film called "The Horse in Motion" in 1872 - Eadweard Muybridge Sat 13 Nov 2010 17:22:49 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=51#comment40 Wallonia wrote: They would have done it without Mr. Cooper's marketing and pretty pictures. His contribution was to the reduction of the phone,and a valuable one, but thats all.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, that's not really all.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Cooper_(inventor)Another exerpt:In the 1960s Cooper was instrumental in turning pagers from a technology used in single buildings to one that stretched across cities. Cooper helped fix a flaw in the quartz crystals Motorola made for its radios. This encouraged the company to mass-produce the first crystals for use in wrist watches. Cooper worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Wallonia wrote: To sum up ,the world can help America and America can help the world, as proven in the past, but as it goes right now, the major loser will be America itself, more and more isolated.------------------------------------------------------------------------The world obviously has come up with many great inventions, from all over the globe. Yes, each individual is shaped by whatever events happened in their life and no two individuals are just alike. I have respect for the world. I want the world to have respect for us, too.Some people are getting negative toward my country and I am sticking up for her by showing how many wonderful contributions we have made to help shape the world how it is today. Some contributions are shared and some are ours.Timeline of USA inventions before 1890...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_inventions_(before_1890)One exerpt:Thus, the world's first true machine gun, the Maxim gun, was invented in 1884 by the American inventor Hiram Stevens Maxim, who devised a recoil power of the previously fired bullet to reload rather than the crude method of a manually operated, hand-cranked firearm. With the ability to fire 750 rounds per minute, Maxim's other great innovation was the use of water cooling to reduce overheating. Maxim's gun was widely adopted and derivative designs manufactured by Vickers were used on all sides during World War I.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Timeline of USA inventions 1890- 1991http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_inventions_(1890-1991)An exerpt: The Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, made the first powered and sustained airplane flights under control of the pilot in the Wright Flyer I on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In the two years afterward, they developed their flying machine into the world's first practical fixed-wing aircraft. By October 1905, the Wright Flyer III was capable and proven to circle in the air 30 times in 39 minutes for a total distance of 24.5 miles.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Timeline of USA inventions after 1991http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_inventions_(after_1991)An exerpt:A bionic contact lens is a digital contact lens worn directly on the human eye which in the future, scientists believe could one day serve as a useful virtual platform for activities such as surfing the World Wide Web, superimposing images on real-world objects, playing video games for entertainment, and for monitoring patients' medical conditions. The bionic contact lens is a form of nanotechnology and microfabrication constructed of light emitting diodes, an antenna, and electronic circuit wiring. The bionic contact lens is the 2008 creation of Iranian-American Babak Parviz, an electrical engineer at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.-----------------------------------------------------------------------And, yes, I see the creator of the last is Iranian-American. People can hyphenate all they want, but if you are an American, you are an American.Personally, I don't call myself an Irish-English-German-Scottish or European American. I just call myself an American. :) Sat 13 Nov 2010 16:51:44 GMT+1 Feng Shui http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=50#comment39 Truth is it's the American economy that's well weak not Prez Obama.The fundamental principle of living on maxed out credit loans which were easily approved as they were to be sold to debt buyers and bulked up in Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and asset-backed security (ABS) for commissions (no questions asked) caused the USA to Hemorrhage a massive percentage of it's wealth and money (like blood). Sat 13 Nov 2010 16:23:16 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=49#comment38 re: 35 TeaPartyBrit Perhaps vague you would oblige by telling us what proof you have that Keynes and Obama "are the ones who are right"?Worked like a hot diggity for the Chinese. Too bad the cupboard is bare in the US of A. And the UK. Sat 13 Nov 2010 15:45:17 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=48#comment37 TeaPartyBrit, (#37. At 1:47pm on 13 Nov 2010)"... It is far easier to make a dogmatic statement than defend it with a reasoned argument. It is undoubtedly true that if all statements from whichever side of a disputation were thought about and reasoned through, the world at all levels would be a better place."Two true. Sat 13 Nov 2010 14:00:36 GMT+1 TeaPartyBrit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=46#comment36 #36. Chryses. I suspect you may well be right. It is far easier to make a dogmatic statement than defend it with a reasoned argument. It is undoubtedly true that if all statements from whichever side of a disputation were thought about and reasoned through, the world at all levels would be a better place. Sat 13 Nov 2010 13:47:15 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=45#comment35 TeaPartyBrit, (#35. At 12:31pm on 13 Nov 2010)“... you would oblige by telling us what proof you have that Keynes and Obama "are the ones who are right"?A reasonable question. I suspect that your patience may be severely tested. Sat 13 Nov 2010 13:12:04 GMT+1 TeaPartyBrit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=44#comment34 #6.. Perhaps vague you would oblige by telling us what proof you have that Keynes and Obama "are the ones who are right"? Sat 13 Nov 2010 12:31:51 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=42#comment33 BienvenueEnLouisiana, (#32. At 07:25am on 13 Nov 2010)“... Obama decides America's foreign policy and his cabinet carries it out.For the moment the outcome of the recent Congressional elections only affects Obama's domestic authority and influence.”Spending bills originate from the House of Representatives. Sat 13 Nov 2010 11:42:15 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=41#comment32 President Obama's dilemma is very much not his alone: it is America's, writ large. The reason it resembles that of his predecessor? Because the heart of the matter is now definitively revealed to be found not in the persona of the "leader" -- nor in the posture of his party -- but in the schizophrenic policymaking that has effectively torpedoed America's prospects to continue in the position it gained actually almost by default in the fallout of World War Two. When America still led the world, a series of disastrous choices were made that squandered its advantages. Most of the well-informed participants in this blog are very well aware of what those choices were, and at which specific points in the last 30 or so years folly & fluff & ill-tutored brashness prevailed over prudence, intelligence & foresight.Today, what we have in America is a set of highly intelligent & well-intentioned professional politicians (you can decide for yourself whether their number rightfully includes Mr Obama or not) who are drowning in a sea of troubles whilst the constituencies that elected them howl in disapproval at their every move.Just about any course of action they recommend is taken apart on the spot by a much more numerous contingent of craven, unintelligent politicians who don't actually have a clue about what to do, and are busy looking out for their own selfish interests.Given the monumentality of the problems, the sheer size of the US population, the lack of experience most Americans today have managing through severe hardship, and the relatively small number of competent persons actually in a position to influence results, the picture does not seem likely to improve anytime soon.No wonder the other world powers, a number of them nursed into pre-eminence by American policy & investment, no longer feel any need to come to heel whenever the American President expresses a wish. Why should they? America has successfully promoted democratic values -- and in a democracy, each leader is accountable first and foremost to his (or her) own employers: the voters & taxpayers of his (or her) sovereign nation. Those are not likely to be overly concerned about the plight of 320 or so million inhabitants of the USA, who are very much the people who broke their own system and are now paying the price.Personally, I wouldn't waste too much time feeling sorry for President Obama. Like his predecessor, he has satisfied his personal ambitions, become a household name around the world, secured a place for himself in the history books, and made his family wealthier than it was when he began his quest to lead the USA. In the end, there will be enough blame to pass around that no one will be able to assign it all to him in any credible fashion. Sat 13 Nov 2010 09:16:06 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=40#comment31 "The president even had to answer a question about whether the elections at home had undermined his power abroad."The answer to that question is no. As President and Commander in Chief, Obama decides America's foreign policy and his cabinet carries it out.For the moment the outcome of the recent Congressional elections only affects Obama's domestic authority and influence. Sat 13 Nov 2010 07:25:41 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=38#comment30 30 yoss,"Don't you realise that after the last 50 years of the dollar as an international currency - NOBODY can afford to have the dollar fall and funniest of all if that were even a possibility the Chinese would have to hold their noses and defend the dollar. And the bigger the American debt, the more vulnerable become the creditor nations to US persuasion."Your post reminds of the old bank adage; “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” Sat 13 Nov 2010 05:14:40 GMT+1 yoss http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=37#comment29 ----------------------------------------------------Ref: ----> #7. Bluesberry wrote No country was consulted; the Americans just did what they pleased and expected the world to say "Thanks".A few months from now, I believe there will be a financial ruin in the United States that will be unequalled in history.----------------------------------------------------It may be our currency but it is your problem! Not my words but John Connally's. And equally true today.As for financial ruin, I am doing ok in the stock market thank you very much as is everybody else.Dont all the people who are predicting the fall of the dollar see that the US OWNS the world and particularly China. Don't you realise that after the last 50 years of the dollar as an international currency - NOBODY can afford to have the dollar fall and funniest of all if that were even a possibility the Chinese would have to hold their noses and defend the dollar. And the bigger the American debt, the more vulnerable become the creditor nations to US persuasion. Bring on QE2, QE3 and QE4. Will it boost real estate prices here in the US? Probably. Will the stock market here and elsewhere do well? You betcha! Will there be even more money to be made elsewhere in the world in asset bubbles financed by cheap US cash? Duh!! Of course! We will successfully export our inflation, push down our imports and maybe even edge exports up a notch. And theres nothing that any country can really do about it.And before that nugget is rehashed and references made to Smoot Hawley and the Great Depression this is 2010 people and there are significant differences.1.The great depression was made far worse by 3 successive famines. And thats where many of the searing images of the depression come from. We are far more prepared to deal with famines today.2. America's manufacturing exports then were a far greater percentage of GDP then than they are today so protectionist moves elsewhere hurt the US. This time forget it, we are nowhere near as vulnerable as we were then.3. A fair percentage of America's exports today are agriculture. People eslewhere buy American food because they have to not because they want to. And in a trade war countries cant afford to let their people die so buy from the US they will have to.So to all the people so keen to write America off - not so fast. QE2 is NOT an indication of American weakness - quite the contrary. Finally the gloves are coming off from American foreign policy and thank God for that. Sat 13 Nov 2010 04:30:00 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=36#comment28 I'll take no treaty over a bad treaty anytime."Consumerism", beyond a short term fix, is not our nation's saviour. As we, and other nations, come to terms with this, it seems to create a distortion in the markets by causing mild panic, thus bolstering our reserve currency dollar beyond what our imbalance of trade would seem to merit. Whether the remedy may require something of a Bretton Woods Conference to address our changing reality and global players, I don't know, anymore than I know whether such a conference would succeed without a single credible nation to lead it. It's possible the quantitative easing 2 may be an attempt to wean our nation from excess consumerism in a measured manner allowing for a soft landing of sorts within the global economy. Sat 13 Nov 2010 03:20:23 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=35#comment27 JMM, (#16. At 8:35pm on 12 Nov 2010)“... You will notice I did not mention the Republican scams, because the Democrats do the same thing, cheating us is the only bi-partisan activity in DC these days. Do you agree that this should stop?”Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. Sat 13 Nov 2010 00:18:21 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=33#comment26 Yeah, imagine the horror of not speaking American..... Fri 12 Nov 2010 23:39:34 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=32#comment25 re.#19. At 9:03pm on 12 Nov 2010, diverticulosis wrote:17. At 8:37pm on 12 Nov 2010, LucyJ wrote:"Yes, and try living one week without the use of USA invented or worked with products."I don't understand your obsession with pegging a nationality to a product. What is a "USA" invented product?--------------I agree, we don't want to go there! Forcing Americans to give up their not invented here automobiles for a week could start a second revolution--although how it would be fought without firarms, also not invented here, would be anyone's guess. We wouldn't even be able to console ourselves with our favorite alcoholic beverage since beer, wine and liquor are all foreign inventions and pity the poor cigarette smokers forced to endure a week without the means of maintining their nicotine addiction.The horror...the horror! Fri 12 Nov 2010 23:19:43 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=31#comment24 @ Lucy JProved my point right again:The americans, or any other nationals, dont invent stuff all alone, they need cooperation, not isolationism. America needs to look to the future, and not distribute blaim or arrogance, otherwise it will end up like Mr. Obama on Seul, a Don Quixote...By the way, the scandinavians had a major role on the invention and, along with the japanese, were the first to introduce viable mobile phones, on actual telephone grids to millions of people, hence, CELLULAR phones, not only isolated mobile phones...They would have done it without Mr. Cooper's marketing and pretty pictures. His contribution was to the reduction of the phone,and a valuable one, but thats all.To sum up ,the world can help America and America can help the world, as proven in the past, but as it goes right now, the major loser will be America itself, more and more isolated. Fri 12 Nov 2010 23:02:59 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=29#comment23 re.#16. At 8:35pm on 12 Nov 2010, JMM wrote:9. At 7:47pm on 12 Nov 2010, Scott0962 {and conservative, libertarian and tea folks-as well as disgusted lefties like me}...You will notice I did not mention the Republican scams, because the Democrats do the same thing, cheating us is the only bi-partisan activity in DC these days. Do you agree that this should stop?--------------Absolutely. The problem though is that we tend to label programs that benefit is as necessary and those that don't benefit ourselves as scams, and vote accordingly. The politicians are the symptom, not the root cause, of the problem.As an American cartoonist once put it: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Fri 12 Nov 2010 22:52:05 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=28#comment22 ref #16 JMM wrote:9. At 7:47pm on 12 Nov 2010, Scott0962 {and conservative, libertarian and tea folks-as well as disgusted lefties like me}It sounds like you might agree with me that corporate welfare is as bad as welfare for the poor [in fact, I think it is much worse, as welfare for the wealthy is obscene].How about the welfare for the rich scams [committed by government for their big buck corporate contributers]:1. Agribusiness supports [marketed as help for family farms, $millions go to agri-factories, and precious little to real farmers]2. Green Energy from Ethanol [this subsidy for corn farmers increases the food prices of everyone, and is actually less green than petroleum because the energy taken to produce the ethanol is more than the savings, and corn ethanol is less efficient than that from cane].3. No bid government contracts [whatever the excuse, these contracts go to the companies of cronies and/or big campaign contributers.]4. Earmarked expenditures [used to get votes and campaign contributions, they often result in bridges to nowhere and otherwise useless but expensive nonsense.______________Since we live in Mass, would you agree to eliminate PLA agreements.That and the pettiness of Mayor Mumbles is why business hate working in Boston. Fri 12 Nov 2010 22:43:41 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=27#comment21 Wallonia wrote: You are forgetting European inventions tooQuick example: MP3 was invented by the Germans and the cellular phone by the Scandinavians, Jobs mixed the two and created the i-phone, which runs by infineon software and STM chips, both European companies.I am not telling I-phones age good ones. HTC's are faar better.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Yes, other countries have many awesome inventions, as well, and in many instances, we push each other further by being competitive with one another and learning from others...Just saying we have contributed a lot to the world...------------------------------------------------------------------------BTW, on the cell phone, from wikpediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_PhoneAn exerpt:The first mobile telephone call made from a car occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, USA on June 17, 1946, but the system was impractical from what is considered a portable handset today.In 1960, the world’s first partly automatic car phone system, Mobile System A (MTA), was launched in Sweden.Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive is considered to be the inventor of the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in a non-vehicle setting, after a long race against Bell Labs for the first portable mobile phone. Using a modern, if somewhat heavy portable handset, Cooper made the first call on a handheld mobile phone on April 3, 1973 to his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Martin Cooper is an American, so I would call the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in non-vehicle setting a USA invented or American invention...And coolest of all, what state was Martin born and raised and where did this take place?My homeland, Illinois!!!:)Cooper was born and raised in Chicago and Motorola headquarters is located in Schaumberg, Il.(In all honesty, I had no idea that first non-vehicle cell phone was invented in my state...that's extra groovy...always neat to learn new things;))http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Cooper_(inventor)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola Fri 12 Nov 2010 22:25:25 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=25#comment20 d wrote: What is a "USA" invented product?----------------------------------------------------------------------A product invented by an American...----------------------------------------------------------------------Yes, as Alexander Graham Bell was an American in USA when he invented it, I consider the telephone an American invented or USA invented product...the US patent for Bell's telephone was filed in 1876...Want more info?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_BellAn exerpt:Bell was a British subject throughout his early life in Scotland and later in Canada until 1882, when he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1915, he characterized his status as: "I am not one of those hyphenated Americans who claim allegiance to two countries." Despite this declaration, Bell has been proudly claimed as a "native son" by all four countries he resided in: the United States, Canada, Scotland and the United Kingdom.----------------------------------------------------------------------Yes, have heard of Shamwow. It seems to be quite popular... Fri 12 Nov 2010 22:07:37 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=24#comment19 You prove my point: USA and asian economies are complementary. There is no room for isolationism in the world economy.They need creativity and you need cheap labor, otherwise an I-phone would cost more than a Bulova.Without cheap labor iphones would be a thing for the elites in America and other countries.You are forgetting European inventions tooQuick example: MP3 was invented by the Germans and the cellular phone by the Scandinavians, Jobs mixed the two and created the i-phone, which runs by infineon software and STM chips, both European companies.I am not telling I-phones age good ones. HTC's are faar better. Fri 12 Nov 2010 21:07:28 GMT+1 diverticulosis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=23#comment18 17. At 8:37pm on 12 Nov 2010, LucyJ wrote:"Yes, and try living one week without the use of USA invented or worked with products."I don't understand your obsession with pegging a nationality to a product. What is a "USA" invented product?Is it the telephone?Mr. Bell is a Scottish National who immigrated to Canada thought up an idea to help deaf people and productized a telecommunications product in the US. However, Messrs. Gray and Marconi would dispute it.If you really need to peg a nationality of a product, I guess I'll give you the Shamwow.You know Vince Shlomi says it's made in Germany and Germans make good stuff.(For the UK viewers Vince Shlomi is a TV pitchman from Israel and the Shmawow is a artificial Chamois). Fri 12 Nov 2010 21:03:26 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=22#comment17 This post has been Removed Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:55:02 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=20#comment16 Wallonia wrote: Lets play a little game than LucyJ: Try living one week without the use of asian-made products.Lets stop the false moralism people.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Yes, and try living one week without the use of USA invented or worked with products.Lets stop the false generalizations, too. China is not Asia...Asia or Asians include China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, ect., ect. ect...Asians are not all the same and they don't all feel the same...BTW, if our ancestors lived making majority of their own products, why couldn't we, as well?Anyhew, we like some Asian products, we just don't want to be dependent on them or have giant debts to anyone, which is why we will slowly but surely pay everyone back, but you cannot expect it in one lump sum...like G n R sings,'All you need is a little patience...'Something to watch for is Japan's detailed robots, which are top class and eerily realistic in resembling humans...I know robots will be big in future probabaly doing chores or being butler/maid, but I'm a little scared of them... Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:37:27 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=19#comment15 9. At 7:47pm on 12 Nov 2010, Scott0962 {and conservative, libertarian and tea folks-as well as disgusted lefties like me}It sounds like you might agree with me that corporate welfare is as bad as welfare for the poor [in fact, I think it is much worse, as welfare for the wealthy is obscene].How about the welfare for the rich scams [committed by government for their big buck corporate contributers]:1. Agribusiness supports [marketed as help for family farms, $millions go to agri-factories, and precious little to real farmers]2. Green Energy from Ethanol [this subsidy for corn farmers increases the food prices of everyone, and is actually less green than petroleum because the energy taken to produce the ethanol is more than the savings, and corn ethanol is less efficient than that from cane].3. No bid government contracts [whatever the excuse, these contracts go to the companies of cronies and/or big campaign contributers.]4. Earmarked expenditures [used to get votes and campaign contributions, they often result in bridges to nowhere and otherwise useless but expensive nonsense.You will notice I did not mention the Republican scams, because the Democrats do the same thing, cheating us is the only bi-partisan activity in DC these days. Do you agree that this should stop? Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:35:22 GMT+1 DenverGuest http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=18#comment14 8. At 7:41pm on 12 Nov 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:Things will get worse before they get better and no amount of disinformation by the Republicans will be able to hide the truth. --------------------------Never underestimate an American's ability to blame him/herself for the fact that they are not rich like a Rockefeller. You see it time after time in posts on this board. It's roots go back hundreds of years. No matter that manufacturing jobs, which offered good wages, all went overseas. No matter that the richest few are getting richer compared to the rest of us. It apparently all boils down to the individual and the individual alone when one finds oneself out in the gutter. The Tea Party was about recreating a system that will allow the individual to be even more beset by 'gotchas' (like credit card companies that promise 0% rates and then jack it up to 30%, predatory mortgage lending, etc...) and to be able to fail more spectacularly. (Why should you get food stamps when it's YOUR FAULT, you lazy bum?)There will indeed be anger when things all go to he1l in a handbasket, but it will still be misdirected. It will still be directed at anybody who does not follow the mantra that it's all about the individual. Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:18:37 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=16#comment13 Blues wrote: A few months from now, I believe there will be a financial ruin in the United States that will be unequalled in history.-----------------------------------------------------------------------A few months?Yeah, right.The only ones who can shut down America's economy is Americans ourselves...If we did not trade with other countries for goods, we would learn to make our own again...the Great Depression was very hard on people, but if our ancestors can get through Great Depression, we can get through Great Recession...And if they try to attack or invade us because they suddenly want their "due", then they'll have to go through our military first...USA will absolutely pay back debts, but it is not going to be all at once- it will be some here, some there, ongoing, will take time and everyone, including China, knows that... Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:18:07 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=15#comment12 Lets play a little game than LucyJ: Try living one week without the use of asian-made products.Lets stop the false moralism people. Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:09:22 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=14#comment11 Bluesberry wrote: No country was consulted; the Americans just did what they pleased and expected the world to say "Thanks"-----------------------------------------------------------------------Umm...hello?Do you not understand anything about America?America does what America wants to, because that's called free will, baby... Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:05:58 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=12#comment10 Bluesberry wrote: The Asian world is far more interested in China; in fact India's trade policy far exceeds the meagre $11B that Obama squeezed out of India.------------------------------------------------------------------------India and China location wise are pretty close, not to mention, the two countries together make up almost half the world's population...Definitely a good idea to inspect all products for lead, especially children's toys and also test animal-dog/cat food, ect... Fri 12 Nov 2010 20:03:08 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=11#comment9 I do agree with MagicKiirinWhy throw away the last administration's work, its contraproductive.Other thing, America is obliged to QE2 because no one is interested in buying American bonds, and the Americans don’t have the sufficient savings to support the demand for bonds. The only thing QE is going to get is asset bubbles, worldwide inflation and a further distrust on the dollar. Sooner or later the dollar wont become an asset any more.I am from Brazil and we are already discussing with China the alternative of direct Real – Yuan trade, it would surely be more secure to our businesses. America only absorbs some 15% of our exports. A fraction of what it used to be decades ago.Europe has long ago stop investing on American bonds, and China is starting to do the same.You should thank the Japanese and the puppets, or Brits, for buying some of the newly emitted bonds.Final message to Americans: Stop spending what you don’t have, or else your children will become the NINJA generation. Stop watching adam sandler movies for a while and go see WS MN Sleeps Fri 12 Nov 2010 19:48:35 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=10#comment8 Obama's answer to every economic problem is to throw money at it and hope it goes away rather than address the root causes of the problem.Case in point: Brazil took the USA to the WTO over the issue of susidies to American cotton farmers. The WTO ruled in Brazil's favor and the U.S. ignored the ruling (as many countries do) until Brazil threatened to place many U.S. industries under sanctions whereupon American industry pressured the government to end the dispute. Did the government cut subsidies to American cotton growers? No, it created a fund to subsidize Brazilian cotton farmers too. It's absurd, but it's true! Not only does it not solve the root cause of the problem but by essentially "paying the Danegeld" he has created an inducement for other nations to take their trade disputes with the U.S. to the WTO rather than try to negotiate a settlement.Small wonder his policies fail to gather any more respect from the rest of the world than they do at home. Fri 12 Nov 2010 19:47:14 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=9#comment7 The Republicans, the party of banking and big business will allow and facilitate the continued extortion by the banks. Shamefull to watch countires being handmaidens to bankers. No one represents the people, they hardly represent their own countries. They will continue their greed until nations begin to collaspe and people are in the streets calling for their heads. It is just how bankers are. When those who elected the new Republican majority realize that they have just voted for their own demise, it will be too late. Things will get worse before they get better and no amount of disinformation by the Republicans will be able to hide the truth. Congress is a bought property, owned by banking lobbyist. Fri 12 Nov 2010 19:41:20 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=7#comment6 G20 - American President beleaguered & diminished. Mr Obama likely failed to get a much-prized free trade deal with South Korea because of the stupidity of the Q.E.2. Was South Korea consulted, or was it treated like dirt, as were all other countries were treated like dirt? Arrogance does not good trading partners make. The president: "I think what we've seen over the last several days as we've travelled through Asia is that people are eager to work with America, eager to engage with America on economic issues, on security issues, on a whole range of mutual interests."Really?I guess he didn't see the massive demonstrations in India and Indonesia. Maybe he thought they were cheering? This only goes to show how out of touch the President is in regards to Americans and the Asian world. The Asian world is far more interested in China; in fact India's trade policy far exceeds the meagre $11B that Obama squeezed out of India.Leaders of democracies can be quick to sympathise with each other about the awkward matter of a tricky electorate and the distractions of the home front. I no longer consider the United States of America a democracy; rather, it's a plutocracy, such a plutocracy that it no longer matters whether Republicans or Democrats are in the Whitehouse. The real power rests with Wall Street and what Wall-Street wants, Wall Street gets.Mr Obama's decrease in popularity at home is INDEED matched by a robust disgust with his economic policies on the world stage. A few months ago at the G20 in Toronto that Mr Obama's failure was his inability to persuade other countries to join him in a new stimulus package. Now, a few months later, no one is listening, such is the upset with Q.E.2.I wouldn't be complacent about cutting the deficit = solving financial problems. Have we not seen how quickly the United States can turn and release an economic dirty bomb upon the world. Is Q.E.2 arrogance or what? No country was consulted; the Americans just did what they pleased and expected the world to say "Thanks".A few months from now, I believe there will be a financial ruin in the United States that will be unequalled in history. Fri 12 Nov 2010 19:16:49 GMT+1 vagueofgodalming http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=6#comment5 What's particularly annoying - no, scrub that - what's particularly tragic for the world is that Keynes, and Obama, happen to be the ones who are right. Fri 12 Nov 2010 18:54:24 GMT+1 starFloridian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=5#comment4 Mark, world leaders were not the only ones who were star-struck after the election of Obama to the Presidency. Millions of Americans were so bedazzled by his oratory and campaign promises, ALL of which have come to nought, that they cast in their lot with him, and gave him a super majority in both houses. Now look what they have wrought! Fri 12 Nov 2010 18:49:01 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=3#comment3 China and the US aren't enemies, they're frenemies, with co-dependent economies!Happy Friday all. Fri 12 Nov 2010 18:43:22 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=2#comment2 Uk,Thanx for your kind words. :)After many years of USA being at the top, now the its the world's chance to...vent...I'm sure some of the other countries who don't like us or are jealous and even some countries who don't like Britain (just cause' you're our friend) are highly gloating. So it goes...reminds me of the new Adam Sandler movie I just saw, Grown-Ups, which was a great movie. In American movies, usually the good guys win at the end, not always, but sometimes you can win even when you lose. lol. ;pPresident Obama is getting the short end of the stick here. But somehow I just don't feel worried, as South Korea is our ally and eventually something will work out.Even though the world is interconnected through communications and trade, thank you, dear God that we do not all have to live on one big continent, cause' that would be not fun... Fri 12 Nov 2010 18:04:41 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=1#comment1 It sure is lonely at the top.Well you have that right,for all its problems that some relish in,the USAis still the no1 super power.Its gift to the world,by keeping communists off our backs, strong democratic Europe/Japan.To criticise a guy who`s job is a poison challis at best, reminds me of the old women knitting at the guillotine enjoying some ones pain.I just will the US to succeed to silencethese doom-sayers... Fri 12 Nov 2010 17:00:26 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/11/president_obamas_seoul_shellac.html?page=0#comment0 I mentioned this earlier, Obama could have used the deal Bush negoiated.But his ego would not let him.The world sees a weak leader that they can take advantage of. Fri 12 Nov 2010 16:34:37 GMT+1