Saturday, June 30, 2012

Three Items

  • Corporate profits are at an all-time high, wages are at an all-time low and employment continues to be less than stellar.

    I say the problem is too much regulation and high taxes are adversely affecting confidence! (gads)

  • Chris Hayes' weekend gig is a revelation, coming out of nowhere to be the best political show on TV. It's not the usual back & forth prattle to fill up time between commercials, rather Hayes makes sure to keep the discourse elevated and interesting. Highly recommended.

  • Regarding Europe, billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio recently wrote, "[T]alk of a fiscal union to resolve these problems has to be looked at in light of the question of whether it is in the interest of fiscally strong contributors to have a fiscal union with fiscally weak recipients in which the majority rules how the money is divided."

    One can argue whether or not it's in the interest of the "fiscally strong contributors," but then one would also need to argue whether or not the system we have in place here in the U.S. is in the interest of those states that are fiscally stronger than weaker states.

    The fact remains the monetary system in Europe has been deeply flawed since its inception. Sovereign states or nations all using a common currency and yet lacking a central body of authority just doesn't work. Over time, some countries will inevitably fare better than others and since the lagging countries no longer have their own currencies to devalue, boosting their competitive advantage, they suffer with no recourse. If a central body existed with adequate power and jurisdiction, it could step in and help those countries by shifting aid from the strong to the weak.

    It's what we do in the U.S. We are a fiscal union sharing a common currency and yet we're comprised of 50 states. For every $1 in taxes California sends to Washington, it gets back just $0.78, meanwhile Mississippi receives over $2 for every $1 it pays in taxes. Is this fair to California? Perhaps not, but Mississippi does not have it's own currency to devalue in hopes of better competing with California. And for those states in need, we don't instead enforce harsh austerity measures at the federal level.

    Given we are a union, meaning separate states but one country using one currency, how else does this arrangement work without resulting in the current ongoing situation across the Atlantic?
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