Skip to main content

Econorama continued

Senators and Congressmen are falling all over each other to introduce legislation to do something to China for any of a variety of presumed sins.

Many of these are centered on the concept that the Chinese currency - generally called the renminbe- is artificially undervalued, and, if allowed to float on the open market, would zoom in price vs. the dollar, making U.S. exports etc. more competitive.

Let's examine this policy from the opposite perspective - e.g. - the dollar would sink in value versus the Chinese currency. While this might be of some short-term value to some exporters, it is something of a crash diet, resulting in quick, but short-lived, weight loss. Hasn't a bedrock of U.S. policy since Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury been a strong dollar? Do we think that a weak dollar is in the long-run best interest of America?

Hardly.

There are a number of constructive things Congress can do should it so chose. First, it could shave a couple of hundred billion from Federal Spending. In that case, the U.S. would begin to pay off debt - including the trillion or so owed the Chinese. Currency flows might just begin to reverse. Second, it could champion education in the U.S. Our deteriorating education standards will make it increasingly easy to export ever better jobs off shore to places like China, where not only will labor be cheaper, it will be better educated.

This does not mean spending more with the Federal Department of Education ( I defy any reader to name three beneficial things that department does without Googling the answer). In fact it might well mean dismantling that department and saving the money....

On every matter of economics, business, competition and international marketplaces I find the ignorance of our elected officials to be appalling.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

7 Ways to Fix Your Gut and Help Your Brain

Author Peter Andrey Smith titled his article on the relationship of the brain to the intestines, and, in particular, the tiny creatures that live in our intestine beautifully: “The tantalizing links between gut microbes and the brain”. If the human brain is the frontier of medical science, the microbiome, those tiny creatures that live in our intestinal tract, is Jupiter. The linkage between what goes on in the gut and the brain is indeed tantalizing, and the subject of research worldwide. There are over 1,000 different kinds of those things living inside us. There are hints that having the wrong mix of gut microbes, or the absence of any particular type, is linked to asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Further, antibiotics, illnesses and other factors can deplete the population. Here are seven things we can do to help keep our little creatures happy and healthy.
Eat the right stuff. There is evidence that the right diet helps keep …

Get REM Sleep; Manage Fear

A good night’s sleep may help you manage fear and risks better.

A study just posted in Journal of Neuroscience describes the importance of a good night’s sleep to controlling strong emotions, especially fear. Previous studies in this area attempted to discover what happens in the brain after a frightful experience.  These prior studies, for example, show how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects sleep. A team at the Rutgers University Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, led by Itamar Lerner, has taken a different approach. They wanted to see if there is a relationship between adequate sleep and prevention or management of the brain’s reaction to subsequent stressful events. Research Team Lerner is a Postdoctoral Fellow in sleep research. Along with fellow researchers Neha Sinha-also doing Postdoctoral research-in her case in brain imaging, Shira Lupkin and Alan Tsai, they used new technology that allows mobile tracking of sleep habits over a period of time, not j…