Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Should we be greatful to China for carrying us?

The Photos are three Gorges Dam, China.
I justified this rant by putting a little real history into it!
I was over at Eric’s blog recently. I know that the people that live over there are way smarter than me, so I like to go over there to see if I can learn anything. Sometimes I only get a little over my head, and sometimes, like now, I get way over my head, and I feel that the only people that might agree with me are ME. So, I came back to my own blog with my tail between my legs and decided that I wanted to say something about the way that I think, without taking up too much of Eric’s intellectually abundant space. That, and I can edit my mistakes on this Blog, like “a free take back, it never happened” thing. I don’t think that we are “intellectual” over here, but I think that we are pretty smart and wise.

Eric said, and he is probably right about what he said, but if people would have listened to me years ago, we wouldn’t have to be kissing China’s economic rear to survive.

Eric said:
“If any country has the right to complain along your lines it’s China, who may be saving the world from global depression by shouldering the burden for everyone, including us.”

It's important to remember that we are all friends here, and anything that we say has little import, nor will it change the world. So, if I point out where I think that America went wrong, I’m not doing it to disagree with anyone, or try to make them look foolish. I’m just putting my opinion out there for folks to ponder. So, why am I not grateful to China?

First ponderance; Back in the early days of the “silk Road” between China and the Roman empire there was a brisk trade between the two. The Roman women coveted the smooth luxurious filmy cloth. They liked every thing about it. It was sheer, and revealed their bodies without going naked. It felt good against their skin. And most of all, it gave them a strong feeling of self-worth. If they were wearing silk, it cost someone a fortune to buy it. Back in those day, fortunes were defined in gold.

Second ponderance: The Roman rulers figured out that if the Romans kept sending all of their durable gold to China in exchange for something highly expendable, they would soon be out of gold with nothing real to show for it.

Third ponderance: The roman rulers passed a law against buying Chinese silk, thus keeping the gold in Rome. Thereby keeping their economy strong.

Fourth ponderance: Recently America sent most of it’s gold to China. We bought their wonderful goods, and brought them to our shores. We provided well for our families, with the inexpensive Chinese ware, which were much more wonderful than we could afford to have made on our own shores.

Fifth ponderance; Wealthy business people saw the opportunity to bypass American worker unions that demanded fairness and equality for their workers. It occurred to them that the only thing that was stopping them from getting wealthy by sending American jobs offshore was the elected officials that demanded “balance of trade” between counties and imposed tariffs on goods from countries that were pulling ahead of America by exploiting child labor, and disregarding pollution, and the health of their people. So, the wealthy business people bought the media, and financed the political campaigns for politicians that would help them achieve their goals. If you don't like that, buy your own politician. What do you mean, you can't afford that without a job?

Sixth ponderance: Some counties (China in particular) have wiped out their rivers, some that no longer contain fish. They have flooded the antiquities that existed in the valleys by building enormous dams and using almost the entire world supply of steel rebar and ALL of the quality cement that can be manufactured. They have stripped their forests, and done things that NO American would allow to happen on our OWN shores. They have polluted their rivers, their oceans and their air. Their air is so dirty that the only time that they see blue sky is when the wind is strong enough to blow some of our fresh air into their countries.

Seventh ponderance: They say that “if you don’t learn from history you are condemned to repeat it”. One could only wish. The Roman Empire was wise enough to not spend all of it’s gold. It wasn’t out of hate for China, they were simply being prudent. As individuals, when we are out of money, we just simply don’t buy those things that we wish we had. We know that the retailers won’t hate us. They just know that we are out of money. That is… the prudent among us stop spending money when we are out. Others keep spending like drunken sailors, they keep borrowing to float their debt, and hope that tomorrow will be better, sometimes it is. We not only did not learn from history we bypassed it completely. The people in history were wise enough to stop their economic bleeding before they were dead.

Eighth ponderance: The next time you have someone look down their nose at you, and tell you that “We live in a world economy now”, and how they can’t help it that you don’t have a job, because our crooked business people sent all of our gold to China, because they got a cut out of it that made them very, very, wealthy. Would you tell them for me, bullcrap!

Ninth Ponderance: I know this post won’t change anything, I hope that it doesn’t cost me any friends, because my political views are not nearly important as the friends that I have. So, please don’t take me personally. It’s just that I see so many things that I wish that I could change for us, but sadly, I feel that it is futile to try. We all lead lives of quiet desperation.
Tenth ponderance; Do you know that there is no such word as ponderance?


Unk John said...


If someone doesn't understand your position, then maybe it's better to reduce your interactions with them.

I for one, find myself in essentially complete agreement with you and I would even suggest stronger measures like import duties and incentives to our own companies to not out source jobs. If those incentives don't do enough, then make it ILLEGAL to do so. Protectionist? You bet your sweet ass.

Oh, I know, it sounds simplistic, but what we are allowing sounds a lot more than simply stupid. We are literally becoming a third world country. Much of it has to do with the Global Economy and the profit (at all costs) motive.

If somebody wants to argue about it, I've got nothing better to do.

Unk John said...

I thought I'd comment on the word "ponderance." As you say, there is apparently no such word, so maybe we can declare ourselves "The New Keepers of the English Language" and simply define it as: ponderance. n. "that which one ponders."

We could then make an addendum to the previously defined word, "preponderance" as follows: thoughts or impressions of an event or concept immediately before pondering said event or concept. An example of which may often be characterized by expressions such as, " What the hell...?"

Then we can further define another new word, "postponderance" as: The mental state following the pondering of an event or concept often characterized by expressions such as, "Oh, well, what the hell."

The sky's the limit.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well thanks Unk John. I keep trying to be benevolent toward those that continue to patiently explain to me that “We live In a world economy”, like I just don’t get it. When the whole time that It’s being explained to me that “we live in a world economy,” I keep thinking; “if we live in a world economy why don’t we all have to play by the same rules?” Where in America can we work children in twelve hour days? Where in America can we build a Three Gorges Dam? Where in America can we manufacture toilet paper like we would have made on the north coast, that is now made in China?

The Chinese workers don’t work under America’s safety standards. The Steel Mills and other manufacturing industries pollute the air to the point that it really can’t be safely breathed. Recently, China started initiating some health standards. Oddly, it wasn’t out of concern for their workers, but because too many workers were sick and dying, and couldn’t make it to work. What part of a “World economy” say’s that we should have to compete against China’s poor standards.

I really think that the phrase “We live in a world economy now” was developed by the multi-million dollar public relation industry that the crooks on Wall Street hire to make us swallow what they want us to hear. I really believe that there are honest business people out there, but they can no more compete against the corruption on Wall Street than this blog can. We are just wasting our time to whine that it is unfair. Bernie Madoff was exposed many times, why was nothing done about him? Do you think that it might have had something to do with the financial clout that he had?

They say that a person is not paranoid if the world is really out to get him. We need our politicians to protect us like they once did.

One other thing that really bothers me is that our politicians know what we want and need. During the campaigns they speak directly to that need. But, as soon as the rhetoric about “jobs, jobs, jobs” during the campaigns are over, they bail out the banks, the insurance companies, Wall Street and the other crooks that put us in this crisis. Then, charge it to the taxpayer. But, the crooks are the only people that can finance high powered elections. And, it seems to continue to pay well for them.

suzy blah blah said...

ponder it with rocknroll

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Suzy
It's not as we weren't aware of what was happening to us here in America, only a fool couldn't see jobs leaving the land of the free. The Bob Dylan song was a poignant jab in the ribs, but we rocked out to the music, ignored the message, and moved on. So, here we are and it is only going to get worse. The economic recovery blip that is showing now is just that, a blip.

The message in the song is clear, but I printed it below to make it easy to follow.

Union Sundown by Bob Dylan

Well, my shoes, they come from Singapore,
My flashlight's from Taiwan,
My tablecloth's from Malaysia,
My belt buckle's from the Amazon.
You know, this shirt I wear comes from the Philippines
And the car I drive is a Chevrolet,
It was put together down in Argentina
By a guy makin' thirty cents a day.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, this silk dress is from Hong Kong
And the pearls are from Japan.
Well, the dog collar's from India
And the flower pot's from Pakistan.
All the furniture, it says "Made in Brazil"
Where a woman, she slaved for sure
Bringin' home thirty cents a day to a family of twelve,
You know, that's a lot of money to her.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, you know, lots of people complainin' that there is no work.
I say, "Why you say that for
When nothin' you got is U.S.-made?"
They don't make nothin' here no more,
You know, capitalism is above the law.
It say, "It don't count 'less it sells."
When it costs too much to build it at home
You just build it cheaper someplace else.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, the job that you used to have,
They gave it to somebody down in El Salvador.
The unions are big business, friend,
And they're goin' out like a dinosaur.
They used to grow food in Kansas
Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw.
I can see the day coming when even your home garden
Is gonna be against the law.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Democracy don't rule the world,
You'd better get that in your head.
This world is ruled by violence
But I guess that's better left unsaid.
From Broadway to the Milky Way,
That's a lot of territory indeed
And a man's gonna do what he has to do
When he's got a hungry mouth to feed.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Copyright ©1983 Special Rider Music

Anonymous said...

Maybe Unk John would like to elaborate on the consequences of the trade war with China he desires with respect to our bond markets, the subsequent collapsing of our economy and the inherent possibility of military action.
And if Unk John "doesn't understand this position", we can be as arrogant as he is and "reduce our interactions with him".
Simple solutions for simple minds. Thank goodness he's not in a position of power.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Anon, I’ll try to say this nicely, though there is no nice way to say it.

Maybe if we had more people like Unc John in a position of power before the Sundown on American prosperity we wouldn't have sold our soul to China.

Your implied threat and pseudo-knowledgeable position on the bonds and “trade wars” rings a little hollow when you don’t justify what you say. If we already owe our soul to China, how will any thing be better five or ten years from now if we continue upon our current path of destruction? At some point the piper will have to be paid. Better to start now than later.

Dangerous disinformation like yours is what got us into, and keeps us in this mess.

Anon, I don’t blame you for not wanting to sign your name to that, but in the interest of continuity of thought, would you please call yourself “one” or “two” or some other Nom de scribe.

Unk John said...

Let me see if I can unwrap my little mind enough to crawl up to other peoples' level.

Apparently, the continual loss of jobs to other countries, along with the fact that we are sending our resources to those same places, where they use virtual slave labor (and yes, I know that some of those people are happy to do so) to produce goods and then send them back to us is not as important as our bond markets.

Bond markets, like any other aspect of the economy, are important. But I think the anonymous is looking at this from the standpoint of supply side economics alone. If you are truly worried about the collapsing of our economy, then I think we have far more to fear from the possibility of people in this country losing all hope because of the loss of jobs. It doesn't seem to be getting better, and the Supreme Court's decision to give corporations the rights of individuals is yet another blow.

I didn't mean to sound arrogant, I meant to express my fears for people I know and love. It seems to me that if we continue this trend, it will not be solved until long after people in this country are forced into working for less than poverty wages, and will allow the environmental rape that China and other countries do.

Talk about collapse.

suzy blah blah said...

sold our soul to China.

Exactly right, 'greed got in the way', is the message of the dylan song. Or that is to say, the loss of soul is the problem. Without being in touch with their soul people's lives are empty, so they become hungry for material wealth to fill the (w)hole, but one can't be fulfilled or satisfied in that way.

Suzy thinks that it is soooooo very unfortunate that the soul has been devalued. It is for the most part looked upon as next to nothing in our culture. That's the intellectual viewpoint, that's Eric's viewpoint, that's what is taught in the schools and universities. It's called 'logic'. So it's no big surprise that in some people's minds, in many people's minds, "if you can't hit it with a hammer it doesn't exist."

But the soul DOES exist although an argument could be made that it is atrophying ... so whadaya gonna do? And by that i don't mean, what's the logical thing to do.

If logic were everything, all men would ride sidesaddle…

Ernie Branscomb said...

This time we agree. In my world, character, integrity and soul are all tangibles. The true soul would ring like a bell when hit with my hammer.

Some people perceive that their soul would be of value, so they place a price on it to be sold to the highest bidder.

I don’t think that we can afford to keep selling out to China just to keep them happy. Appeasement never works. I don’t think that war between China and America is even on the table. Fair trade practices can be worked out. We have no choice.

suzy blah blah said...

to quote Martin King,
let freedom ring


simple simon said...

Suzi, do bells ring, or flash?

suzy blah blah said...

they ring, duh! Freedom flashes --maybe one day she'll get right in bed with u, so keep ringing your bell LOL! And Bobby's voice rings too, and true also, i luv that thing he wears around his neck to hold the harmonica, that is sooooooo cute, I WANT ONE! I wonder wear it was made?

Unk John said...

Knowing much of Sweet Bobby's work, I think, Suzie, it is safe to say, "In a union shop, in a union shop."

Since we are talking Dylan, let's mention Sweet Marie and one of his greatest lines, "Ah, but to live outside the law you must be honest." Forgive me, Suzie, but if I may apply a rule of logic, we can say that if we believe that statement, then we also have to believe that if you are NOT honest, then you CANNOT live outside the law. That is exactly what is being practiced by these thieving bastards who run the corporations. They MAKE the rules. They do it by controlling the engines of the Global Economy, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and other entities.

They then follow the rules that they have made, and tell us down here waiting for the trickle down to feed us that they are doing nothing against the rules.

They buy votes for the minions who serve them in our government. They will now find it even easier to buy votes legally and also to blackmail candidates who espouse positions not in agreement with their agenda. How is even a good candidate, one with true social values going to survive if it is made clear that a corporation is willing to spend millions upon millions on the opponent who shares their position. That is nothing more than blackmail, but it will be effective, and it is now legal.

There you have it. These alleged humans are completely dishonest, but they live inside the law. The way to make them honest is to force them to live outside of it.

Anonymous said...

Times are getting harder, can't even sell one's soul on EBay these days. In 06 :"...there were 79 souls for sale on the site, one of which was asking $100 000 (R600 000). There was also a spell up for grabs, for anyone who had sold their soul and wanted to reclaim it. The asking price was $10 (R60)."
By 2008 Ebay banned some guy from auctioning his soul.

But then you can actually can buy a book on Ebay by a man who sold his soul on Ebay, wrote a book called I Sold my Soul on Ebay, and who is now selling the book...on Ebay.
Wiki tells all.

Selling your soul is bigbiz this selling soul to China and the first thing you find is Google is selling its soul to China.

Terpsichore said...

...."If logic were everything, all men would ride sidesaddle" that is one fine line...

Ben said...

Funnyn how it's a lot easier to talk about souls than it is economics.

Robin Shelley said...

All this talk about honesty & the law... I don't understand what one has to do with the other?

Anonymous said...

Ernie, let me quote you from your lead-in story:
”It's important to remember that we are all friends here, and anything that we say has little import, nor will it change the world. So, if I point out where I think that America went wrong, I’m not doing it to disagree with anyone, or try to make them look foolish.”
Later, you respond somewhat angrily to a post with wording such as “a pseudo-knowledgeable position” and “dangerous disinformation”.
That was my post and commentary at 11:31am to which you referred. Sorry if you felt you had to run to the defense of a family member or felt the need to shoot the messenger. Unk John’s subsequent messages today were well conceived and he elaborated on his beliefs quite effectively. He does not have a simplistic mind, so why he originally advised you to ignore others who disagree or misunderstand you is beyond me. That is not in the spirit of a healthy exchange of ideas on a message board.
Perhaps we could all educate ourselves in basic global economics, paying particular attention to the crucial need to foster and maintain a relationship with a country that holds a significant portion of our debt. Whatever combination of policies and events led us into our current situation with China is behind us. It cannot now dictate our options in a “payback“ mindset. (Instead, it has limited our options.)
I invite you to Google “trade wars lead to shooting wars”. Read and judge for yourself. This will justify my position in the hopes it will no longer “ring hollow” for you, Ernie. (I doubt you or your readers would want to see a 300-word essay copy/pasted onto this message board.) I do offer this quote, which you characterized earlier as “dangerous disinformation”. It’s from Dr. Henry Kissinger. (Heard of him?)
“U.S. policy on China will impact the outcome of China's policy debates with serious consequences. Hostility breeds counter-hostility, and protectionism breeds counter-protectionism. Isolation between hostile nations leads inevitably to war. A China forced defensively by hostile U.S. policy into isolationism, a recurring tendency throughout its long history, ironically would lead to regional decline and instability that would quickly turn global in this interconnected world.”

spyrock said...

...."If logic were everything, all men would ride sidesaddle" that is one fine line...

my muse, who taught me the secret of avatar. blue jacket, the white lad fond of indians, captured by the shawnee, who delivered america one of its greatest unknown defeats. over 900 dead, 3 times custer, only 30 shawnee. never heard of it, eh.
time for a new avatar.
i have a b. s. in busad. also, i'm a 40 year teamster member. i listened to eric hoffer tell me this stuff back in 1965. and i've been trying to tell y'all ever since. but ya don't listen.
you are too busy being played by these people. so what's up foo.
what's ya gonna do when blue jacket gets through with you.

Unk John said...

Anonymous 11:31, we are in agreement on a number of issues. You are without question correct on my initial behavior and advice to Ernie. It was sophomoric and I apologize. I could give you a thousand excuses for it, but none of them would be any good.

And I do agree that we have to maintain a relationship with China and, I think, India. India should be included because in my view both India and China are presently kicking our economic butts. It is troubling to me that they are each doing it in their own way.

Having said that, I would add that their individual methods do have certain things in common. The commonalities tend toward the very things I suggested earlier. In a nutshell, both countries do everything they can to keep the money in-country. Those are the rules they are playing by. We are not, and we are losing.

I am suggesting that we negotiate. I am also suggesting that we negotiate a stronger position. It should be pointed out that, in the case of China, we are their largest single market, and as you said, they hold a significant portion of our debt. That means that they are going to have to rely on us as well. That means there is leverage.

I would like to add that I don't look at this as payback. It is, in my view, the only realistic way to resolve our problem. I strongly believe we have to get the money into the hands of the American people, and I do not think we can do that if we maintain the same relationship that we presently have with both China and India.

Yes, by all means continue to negotiate. Negotiations do not have to be hostile, as I'm sure you are aware. Mr. Kissinger's assessments of relations with China are certainly noteworthy, given his experiences, but I would like to know more about the mechanism driving the actions he fears. What I mean to say is just how is it that we will push them into a corner simply by suggesting that we want to use the same tactics that they use?

Could this attitude lead to an armed confrontation? There are enough idiots on both sides that that possibility is always there. But there are all sorts of things that could cause such an inconceivable event. It could even be "caused" by enough civil unrest in this country.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The article and the expert that you refered to, “Trade Wars Can Lead to Shooting Wars” was written by Henry C.K. Liu,

Henry C K Liu was born in Hong Kong and educated at Harvard University, US,in architecture and urban design. His interest in economics and international relations started when he participated in interdisciplinary work on urban and regional development as a professor at the University of California Los Angeles, Harvard and Columbia. He is currently chairman of a New York-based private investment group.

The following is some of Liu's words:
”Chairman Mao Zedong, the greatest revolutionary in modern Chinese history, has been unfairly vilified by the neo-liberal West, but he set a decaying China on the path to renewed greatness and provided a vision for a new China that will survive for centuries to come.”

You are kidding me right? A man that thinks chairman Moa is any kind of a hero losses me well up front. Moa murdered millions of his own people. But, I guess that people are expendable in China. If they don't produce, they have to go. Hell, that's a great work incentive. Somehow I just don't think that we want to try to out-work the Chinese, they have serious commitment to their job.

From Wikipedia
"Mao's policies and political purges from 1949 to 1975 are widely believed to have caused the deaths of between 50 to 70 million people."

And Liu goes on to say:
”The fear of China by the US dates back to almost two centuries of racial prejudice, ever since Western imperialism invaded Asia beginning in early 19th century.  Notwithstanding that it is natural, ceteris paribus, that the country with the world’s largest population, an ancient culture and long history would again be a big player in the world economy as it modernizes, the fear that China might soon gain advantages of labor, capital and even technology that would allow it to dominate the world economy and gain the strategic advantages that go along with such domination, is enough to push the world’s only superpower to openly contemplate preemptive strikes against it. Furthermore, Chinese culture commands close affinity with the population in Asia, the main concentration of the world’s population and a revived focal point of global geopolitics. Suddenly, socio-economic Darwinism of survival of the fittest, celebrated in the US since its founding, is no longer welcome by US policymakers when the US is no longer the fittest and the survival of US hegemony is at stake.  To many in the US, particularly the militant neo-conservatives, international trends of socio-economic Darwinism now need to be stopped by war”.

Your “Expert” advocates the need for war against America???
Anon, I hold my position that something is just not right in the disinformation that you provide. Are you perhaps writing your comments to here from china? What Is your angle? You are not Liu are you?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I was not defending Unk John. He is quite capable of defending himself. Also, he is not my uncle. He is much more diplomatice than I am.
I still think that nothing that we say here will really change anything. China has had their fingers in American politics for quite some time. Clear back to when they openly tried to make campaign contributions to American politicians. Now they do it behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

Correction, Ernie: I did not quote Liu nor refer to him as an expert (although a Harvard grad usually merits that title in his specific field.) The references I made were to Dr. Kissinger's words, whom I hold in high regard as a foreign policy expert. So, would you care to share your thoughts on his standalone comments without your “guilt by association” tactic with regard to Henry Liu?
I am not an adherent to the economic policies of China. Nor am I an alarmist who believes we are at the mercy of China with no recourse. I am merely suggesting we’ve passed the tipping point in dealing with certain foreign partners and competitors on our own terms without the prospect of unfavorable long-term consequences. In other words, it’s too late to unscramble the egg with China.
I’ve heard the expression “trade wars can become shooting wars” since college a long time ago. It’s hardly a controversial concept, given history. The way you throw around the word “disinformation” suggests to me that stubbornness or denial has entered into the equation for you. (And your last accusation is downright irrational.)
So, if Dr. Kissinger is a bit too much for you to stomach, then consider a quote attributed to the French economist Frederic Bastiat, who grew up during the Napoleonic Wars. As a history buff, I‘m sure you‘ll appreciate his insight when he said, “ When Goods Don't Cross Borders, Armies Often Do.”
Or how about Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, who said: “A protectionism philosophy is a philosophy of war."
Am I boring you?
As for Unk John, it would be my pleasure to meet him someday. My regrets to him for making too much of a careless word or two.

Anonymous said...

I let the fire go out last night and had to pry my boots off the floor this morning.


Anonymous said...

The world is headed towards a two class society, the uber rich and the poor. Get used to it. The Republican administrations of the '80's and 2000-8 concentrated great amounts of wealth in the hands of the wealthiest. It amuses me to no end how the dumbest are manipulated to believe that the Republican party is a party of people's values...yeh right. Nothing could be further from the truth. Greed is so ingrained in the political life, we are going to go down as a planet because of it, and frankly, I look forward to the collapse of this ugly capitalist rape the earth for raw materials to make things we don't need but get stockholders wealthy.
Eat the rich.
PS. Note to Dumland Security...I am just a toothless old man so I can't do much chewing...

suzy blah blah said...

Funnyn how it's a lot easier to talk about souls than it is economics.

Hello? --we were talking about selling the soul.

Anonymous said...

What will happen to my soul Suzy for saying "kill it and Drill it."?

Anonymous said...

Next topic, PLEASE!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

First, I must apologize to you for seeming like a radical. I’m seriously not as radical as I sound. I have a tendency to be “Frank”. I do give your comments more thought than you might imagine. I do Look forward to the challenges you provide. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to being “Ernest” to see if I can make my point to you.

In the rather simple society that I was raised in, I was taught not to accept strangers, nor strange ideas at face value. Like Regan’s “trust but verify” philosophy, I have to know the person’s motives, and what they have to gain or loose, before I begin to trust anybody or anything. A lot of new ideas are strange to me. We all have our ideals. My ideal society would be based on simple productivity. The more that you produce the more that you have.

If a group of men and I were woodcutters, the hardest worker and the best producer would end up with the most wood. If my neighbors grew carrots, I might trade some of my wood for carrots. Another neighbor might make bricks that I could trade my wood for. Another neighbor raises chickens and we trade for eggs. But… you get the idea, If you don’t produce, you don’t have much. But, what you produce is yours. My neighbors and I are true producers, and we live comfortably.

If a stranger came to town with a bag of pretty marbles, I might want to trade some of my wood for some of his pretty marbles. The marbles have no real value, but they are pretty and I would want them. So, I do my trade, real wood for shiny marbles. Then if I showed them to my neighbor, and he liked them, I might trade him for some of my marbles for some of his carrots. Soon, even though, marbles have no real value, they are made out of a rare material that is hard to come by, and we can’t just make our own marbles. So, we trade our real stuff for marbles, and the marbles make a good way of storing value, because we can trade them for the things that we need later.
(Continued below)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Another day another stranger comes to town. This stranger has a bag of marbles. But, he says “If we pool our marbles, we will have better buying power, we can get more of what we want by pooling our recourses in the marble stocks. But… I will need to charge you a percentage of your marbles for my services.” We all agree that sounds like a great idea. It costs us a few marbles but we will have better buying power.

Soon a stranger from a foreign land comes to our community, and he say’s “Let’s play marbles, I’ll show you how it works. We will put all of our marbles in a large circle and we will take turns knocking them out of the ring until we miss. When we are all through we will go home and count our marbles”. The good players go home and discover that they have more marbles than they started playing with because they are more skillful at the game of marbles. The rest of us go home, find we have fewer marbles, so we chop more wood, so we can trade the wood for marbles. The people that keep winning all of the marbles just buy their wood. They don’t have to produce a thing.

Soon, we have lost all of our marbles and can’t afford to buy logs to chop our wood out of. Our logs used to be free, and all we had to do is cut them. The good marble players figured out that if they could control the log supply. They could sell the logs to the wood producers and make more marbles doing it. The good Marble player from a foreign land was doing very well with his large bag of marbles, but when he discovered that his players were running out of marbles. He had nothing left to win. So he made a deal to buy our little pieces of paper that said “I owe you lots of marbles”. Then we got a new bag of marbles to play with. The producers saw how well some people did playing the game of marbles that they decided to become full time marble players. Strangely the ex-producers were strangely out of marbles again. They decided to buy more marbles with their little pieces of paper promising their souls to the foreign marble player. Surly they would soon win the game all they had to do was be shrewder and playing marbles.

Sadly, nobody in America produces anything anymore, we are all playing marbles, and paying interest to the foreign marble players, and we can’t understand why we losing.

Anon, you made the comment that “you can’t unscramble and egg.” In my simple world, based on reality, unscrambling an egg is the simplest thing to do. You feed the egg to the chicken and it will make you a new one. What needs to happen in America is we need more producers, but they need jobs to do that. The producers are being regulated and priced out of business. And we cannot pull out of our debt with China without bringing some jobs home. We need to unscramble the egg by feeding the chicken. Right now the chicken is starving, and has little time to live. I think even China knows that, we need to negotiate our way out of this mess. I’m not sure how sympathetic China will be to us, but we have no choice.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Sorry for the typos and poor verbage, but i don't have time to change it,

Anonymous said...

In the game of marbles why do I always get the pee-wees?

ps. I really enjoy the word verification vocabulary lessons...I am learning lots of new words and will try and do a post using what I have learned from your word verifications.

Anonymous said...

All this smartifying and ad glibbing is making my head spin...if I can just get some more beer, I will be alright... really...I don't need any help.

suzy blah blah said...

What will happen to my soul Suzy for saying "kill it and Drill it."?

Your soul Suzy? Hmm, i think i'd better letcha work that one out 4 yrself, have fun ;)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Wow, since I did this post the stock market dropped 217 points. I didn't realize that knowing the truth would scare the "marble players" that bad. But, sombody had to tell them.

olmanriver highwaters said...

"If logic were everything, all men would ride sidesaddle"
This is a fine example of suzseiki, a real nugget.

Listen this sending our economy overseas started many decades ago. One suggestion I have is that the owners, stockholders, and upper management of industry must live in close proximity to their polluting industries, be that downwind or downstream. Really until those at the top suffer directly, there is little hope for serious pollution control.
Put them and their families in the direct harm they cause others and maybe they will start to care.

Another suggestion, never make another goddamn plastic toy. Make kids recycle old toys. No more oil for toys!

Anyone read about the huge oil deposits under Haiti, and Cuba? Whatcha wanta bet we help them develop their oil to "rebuild". Seems like I have heard that one before, nah...
Anyhoo, early internet claims are suggesting it is a larger deposit of oil than Venezuelas...whilst in the Rockies
river water is already getting locked upfor future shale oil projects. Together with the Dakota Bakken deposits and the Manitoba shale fields already in development we are seeing many hundreds of billions of gallons of oil being readied with 10-20 year plans. Add in the pipeline being built down from Alaska's oil and gas fields, the smallest tip of which has been developed.
I droned on and on just to emphasize that the local plans and developments to feed the Beast of a World Economy with all the hydrocarbons it needs are ongoing, and there is no way to develop those North American oil zones and respect the environment. We are going to "Chinatize" large portions of the Rocky Mountains.

Ah the resource war decades, profit uber citizens. Eric has a wonderful FDR quote on his blog showing how long the class warfare has been going on. The groundhog day of politics.

Rant over. I anagnate.

Unk John said...

As Ernie mentioned several posts above, I am not his uncle, at least not that I know of. My user name refers to the fact that I am the uncle of a somewhat controversial person in your neighborhood. Eric Kirk's mother was lucky enough to be born my sister, but she is older than I. She doesn't like it when I mention that.

I think Eric pointed out to Ernie that my wife and I did think seriously about moving to Garberville in the late 60's, but somehow or another ended up here in Washington state some 15 miles northwest of Bellingham.

All in all, I think that Anonymous is correct in that we do need to discuss these problems. The fact that I strongly agree with Ernie doesn't mean that we can't find common ground.

I suppose there are those who see this as futile in that nobody in office cares about what we say here. There may be truth in that, but I still think it has value. I am not a religious man and have been trained to think logically ( Again, sorry Suzie). The problem I have is that I have met many people whom I have learned to respect in terms of their thinking abilities, but damn it they sometimes don't agree with me. Who the hell do they think they are?

I was struck by a statement that Suzie made above in one of her posts in this thread. Something about if you can't hit it with a hammer, then it doesn't exist. This is a clever restatement of the basic principal in science that demands measurement before discussion. Even Suzie would have to admit that logic and science has been quite successful in what it does. Just as I have to admit that something in me WANTS to believe as she does.

I have no clue what made me ramble off topic like that. Sorry.

suzy blah blah said...

hey Unk, to clarify, the hammer comment was a reference to one of Ernie's favorite quips... but Suzy certainly doesn't subscribe to that kind of thinking!!.

Anonymous said...

I repeats myself...sign o' the times: S. selling sign coming to a market near you!

Ernie Branscomb said...

I'm not saying that It's Obama's fault, but since he took office we owe China 500 billion dollars MORE.
Now I hear corporations have the same status as other citizens. Are we making headway? In any direction???

Dave said...

We've been dancing with the Devil for too long now Ernie.

This "one world" economy stuff does not mean equality for humanity - as others on this thread have said.

We - the people - were sold out a long time ago. Back in the early fifties, as a matter of fact.

Have you ever heard of 'The Bildenberg Group?' Here's a link to something I wrote about them last year -

(Sorry - I still can't figure out how to make a proper link to anything but my blog!)

Dave said...

FYI - When I wrote the Bildenberg article I was a registered Libertarian.

I'm not with an political party now.

I've given up. Over the years, I've been a political whore, jumping from one party to the next and never getting satisfied!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Dave I made it into a link for you.
'Shadow Government of the West' aka the Bilderberg Group is The New World Order


Ernie Branscomb said...

Dave, I knew about the Bilderberg group, but I don't think that you and I will ever know what transpires behind those closed doors.

I gave your article a "thumbs up". Sadly, we know all about things. We just don't know things... If you can follow what I'm trying to say.

Joe Blow said...

Ernie says, "It’s just that I see so many things that I wish that I could change for us, but sadly, I feel that it is futile to try."

Since I never take anything personal, and I doubt you and I were ever "friends," you might take some encouragement from your own "futility" and start with SELF. Once you changed the way you think, or in your case believe, then maybe you could find the way to move to less important matters like -- say, China or the Federal deficit.