Why the USA needs to fund NASA a lot more than we do.
Posted by Euroranger on September 9, 2009
So…as a caring, considerate, multiculturally sensitive, historically astute dweller of the American South that I am, I’m somewhat conflicted on how to react to this gem that recently appeared in that rag Bloomberg:
UN Says New Currency Is Needed to Fix Broken ‘Confidence Game’
Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) — The dollar’s role in international trade should be reduced by establishing a new currency to protect emerging markets from the “confidence game” of financial speculation, the United Nations said.
UN countries should agree on the creation of a global reserve bank to issue the currency and to monitor the national exchange rates of its members, the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development said today in a report.
China, India, Brazil and Russia this year called for a replacement to the dollar as the main reserve currency after the financial crisis sparked by the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market led to the worst global recession since World War II. China, the world’s largest holder of dollar reserves, said a supranational currency such as the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, may add stability.
“There’s a much better chance of achieving a stable pattern of exchange rates in a multilaterally-agreed framework for exchange-rate management,” Heiner Flassbeck, co-author of the report and a UNCTAD director, said in an interview from Geneva. “An initiative equivalent to Bretton Woods or the European Monetary System is needed.”
The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement created the modern global economic system and institutions including the IMF and World Bank.
While it would be desirable to strengthen SDRs, a unit of account based on a basket of currencies, it wouldn’t be enough to aid emerging markets most in need of liquidity, said Flassbeck, a former German deputy finance minister who worked in 1997-1998 with then U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to contain the Asian financial crisis.
Emerging-market countries are underrepresented at the IMF, hindering the effectiveness of enhanced SDR allocations, the UN said. An organization should be created to manage real exchange rates between countries measured by purchasing power and adjusted to inflation differentials and development levels, it said.
“The most important lesson of the global crisis is that financial markets don’t get prices right,” Flassbeck said. “Governments are being tempted by the resulting confidence game catering to financial-market participants who have shown they’re inept at assessing risk.”
The 45-year-old UN group, run by former World Trade Organization chief Supachai Panitchpakdi, “promotes integration of developing countries in the world economy,” according to its Web site. Emerging-market nations should consider restricting capital mobility until a new system is in place, the group said.
The world body began issuing warnings in 2006 about financial imbalances leading to a global recession.
Now, before you get all flustered that some dumbass (no, this is a different dumbass) who works for the United Nations (yes, I know what the word “redundant” means, thanks) thinks that the currency of the United States is simply too volatile to be used as the world standard just consider that just because he said it doesn’t mean he really doesn’t have a clue how the real world actually works.
Wait, no. Actually that’s exactly what it means…and now I’m all-of-a-sudden UNconflicted about this.
Fuck the UN
Whew! Glad I was able to resolve THAT crisis in reality in time. It was touch and go there for a moment. So, back to the actual meat of the subject: this idiot says the world needs to move away from the US dollar as the means for common transactions. Not only that but move TO a single international currency controlled by an organization to “manage real exchange rates between countries measured by purchasing power and adjusted to inflation differentials and development levels”. That was a whole lot of syllables there, huh? Let me help with the reading comprehension here.
Fuck the UN
Whoops! Hang on, already did that part. No, what I meant to say AFTER that was this model basically means the UN would issue currency as well as dictate the value of each country’s currency units in relation to this new international currency. Those exchange values would be based on “purchasing power” (what can you buy in Guinnea Bissau vs. Nebraska with this new UN dollar) and “adjusted to inflation differentials and development levels” (meaning the exchange rates will be adjusted to stay constant despite runaway inflation due to abysmal monetary policy in such nations as suffers through this). Not on anything as stupid as actual value, silly rabbit.
Basically, in a nutshell, Heiner Flassbeck could have stated his case much more squarely and directly with a lot less ink and a lot more folk understanding had he merely said: “fuck capitalism and free markets, let’s do socialism on a worldwide scale”. There. That’s a much more concise distillation of his proposition. Let’s let a world governmental body decide what everything is worth everywhere and ignore political and economic factors on the ground throughout the world. I can only conclude the presentation of this crescendo of economic genius was accompanied by all in attendance singing “kumbayah”.
Sweet jebus on a cracker! I’m not sure even where to begin. Okay, first, let’s examine the notion that the issuing body of this new currency has absolutely zip to back their new currency with. Every nation on THIS planet (not sure where ole “Heiner” hails from) backs their currency with something whether it’s gold, silver or the power of their economy (like the US does). What the hell does the UN have to back their currency? Proclamations, speeches and harsh language that everyone ignores? How about two words: “nuh” and “thing”. Not a damn thing. They’re going issue a currency that has absolutely zero intrinsic value whatsoever. Here’s an idea: why not ask one of those darling emerging, developing countries…like…oh…I don’t know…Zimbabwe for example…ask them how much they’re enjoying currency that has absolutely zero value backing it. Ever buy a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe for $200M? Ha! That’s a trick question as there IS no bread for sale in Zimbabwe. Know why? Think on it a moment…we’ll come back to this.
So, rather than have actual economic forces (you know, that silly system whereby MOST of us raised ourselves out of squalid subsistence existence around 50 centuries ago) determine the value of something, we’ll have a bean counter in the UN tower in New York City TELL us what something is worth. And they’ll do that by weighing “purchasing power adjusted to inflation differentials and development levels” which means if you have some fleabag country like…hell I forget what they call Burma these days…let’s pick another…say Uruguay…some fleabag country like Uruguay who doesn’t do a damned thing to promote development through better laws, stable government or responsible governmental spending policy (yes, I also know what “irony” means because I’m an American saying this) that we should cut all that shit a pass and boost the real value of their currency.
The single most odious thing about socialism is the notion of everyone getting equal rewards for unequal effort. It’s the thing I absolutely despise most about socialists and their ilk. They treat the condition of the world as though it’s static, one second snapshot is the way it has always been and will always be with no possibility for change good or bad.
The reason places like Uruguay, Burma and especially Zimbabwe have shitty economies is because their governments are unstable, irresponsible and they don’t provide for the safety and the basic civil and human rights of their citizenry. PERIOD. You cannot have a stable much less growing and vibrant economy if the workers in that economy cannot lay their heads down at night and know that the material goods they sweated to earn that day will be theirs tomorrow. They will not leave their homes to go to jobs or out in the fields or wherever they toil for their betterment if they cannot feel basically secure in doing so. Foreigners with capital to invest will not invest it in those countries if they’re not sure their investments won’t be seized during the next governmental coup (see: “Venezuela”).
“Emerging-market nations should consider restricting capital mobility”. Really? How so? Let’s say Nigeria discovers a vast new oil field tomorrow. Do they HAVE the capital to develop it? Nope. Do they even possess the educated citizenry to staff a domestic company to develop it even if this imaginary company had the imaginary capital that doesn’t actually exist but does for the sake of argument? Again, nope. So, they do what the rest of the world does: they solicit bids from foreign companies that DO have the capital and knowhow to develop the find. May be a surprise to many of you but this is what happens today. What happens next is the problem. Mobil wins the bid in Nigeria and the Nigerian government has driven a hard bargain with Mobil: Nigeria gets to keep 50% of the profits from the extracted oil. Guess what happens to the 50% that the government got though. Think it goes to better schools, better infrastructure, a better way of life for Nigerians? Oh hell no…most of it goes into the top Nigerian’s pocket while he uses the remainder to build and keep a military capable of suppressing his subjects while he lives the life of a billionaire. That is until the top military guy decides HE wants to live the life of a billionaire and tries to overthrow the current top Nigerian. Mobil sees all this unrest and they’re screwed because they’ve already invested a lot of their initial capital into this project…which isn’t productive due to civil unrest if not outright civil war. Exxon and BP see this and say to themselves “oh hell no, Nigeria is right off the list…unless we get a much better deal out of it”. Meanwhile the average Nigerian doesn’t get shit out of the deal except maybe robbed, forceably conscripted or simply shot dead. It’s not Mobil’s fault nor is it the fault of some bullshit “confidence game” of financial speculation. The “capital” that Mobil enjoyed earning from the project is now to be “restricted”? Really? What are you saying? That it’s on Mobil to re-invest in Nigeria? Really? What the fuck is the function of the fucking Nigerian government then aside, of course, from ordering gold toilets? What, if Nigeria gets 50% outright and forces Mobil to invest 48% of the 50% they get into Nigeria, do you think Mobil will even invest in the first place? Take a guess at the answer…and one of the options is “fuck no”. Actually, the only answer is “fuck no”. Even a dolt at the UN ought to be able to grasp that.
The reason the developing world isn’t developing (despite decades of handouts, economic assistance packages, foreign aid and the like) is because they aren’t governing themselves worth a shit. It’s not very politically correct to say but the number of formerly third world countries who have succeeded and managed their affairs well enough to develop out of the squalor they used to be in is a long way from the numbers who didn’t and probably never will…not on their own. It may be all PC and such to say that we’re all equal…but 50,000 years of human history and daily demonstrated reality says we’re not. You cannot successfully address a problem unless you honestly identify the causes of said problem. To point the finger at corrupt cultures isn’t very nice…but it IS honest. Take the example of Palestine. Yassar Arafat’s cabal gladly accepted donations, grants, funds and other moneys to help ease the plight of the Palestinian people…and that fucker died a virtual billionaire while average Joe Palestinian languished in refugee camps scattered through the Middle East. Is that right? Of course it isn’t but to hear everyone else tell it (especially Yassar Arafat) the sad state of the Palestinian people was 100% attributable to Israel. There is a lot of truth to that…but when you’re the leader of a people who are scratching out a basic existence miserable on any measurable level…and you die a billionaire…something ain’t quite right.
The irony of this UN proposal is that it will effectively kill any home grown efforts to improve impoverished countries’ governments and civil and human rights. A man who isn’t on the brink of starving and whose few farthings worth are artificially inflated will not be a force for change in his country by and large. Sad as it is to say, if average Joe can be contented at a minimal level, change will be slow if it comes at all and the corrupt abusive government above him will be equally as enriched artificially as average Joe is. Which means more guns, more tanks and more palatial mansions for the top dog…and subsistence day-to-day existence for average Joe. No real improvement and no hope for change.
And why must the USA fund NASA more than we do in response to this? Maybe, just maybe through the grace of God or through just sheer luck…we’ll find another intelligent, sentient species in the universe. And maybe they’ll be kind enough to give us a lift out of here so we can leave this shithole to the UN and their idiotic utopian bullcrap ideas.
Simply put, the world enjoys the relative prosperity it has today because of the United States, our stable form of government, our society respectful of the rule of law and our backing of Bretton Woods. That notion was born and carried out primarily because by the end of WW2 the United States was the biggest creditor in the world and decided that riding to the rescue of the world twice in 20 years was really a drag and a major inconvenience…and that the ultimate cause of the frictions was economic. The world now (notably represented by the UN) believes that they’ve learned their lesson after a mere 50 or so years and now we can all tell the United States to go fuck themselves. Forget that they’re saying such things in a language other than German or Russian…yeah, coincidence. Also forget that the United States, via the Marshall Plan, effectively rebuilt Europe and then forgave all the war debts. Yeah, fuck those ingrateful greedy American bastards.
Oh, there’s one other small tidbit that Heiny forgets to mention: yeah, that whole thing where foreign exchange reserves maintained by other nations in the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are held in the form of dollars, so no matter how much debt the US accumulates, its economy will not collapse…yeah, that has nothing to do with this I’m sure. You see, back in the 1950’s when the IMF was set up to fish the rest of the world out of the delightful cesspool it had dug for itself then dove into, the notion was that the USA was the most stable, powerful and least likely economy to topple due to external factors and was, therefore, the partner in which the entire fucking planet could place their trust and allow them to use IMF funds to develop themselves and lift themselves out of their self-imposed shit spas.
No, Heiner knows all about that of course and while he doesn’t mention it, I’m sure the whole world would be just fine with throwing the American economy into the shitter as we instantly devalue and replace the American dollar as the basis of the entire globe’s economy…all to benefit a bunch of third world assholes who could be prosperous if they weren’t so fucking corrupt. But yeah, it’s not THEIR fault. It’s the global economic setup…yeah, that’s it.
Sometimes, the best evidence that there is intelligent life in the universe is that they’ve avoided us like the fucking plague.
My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.