by Fareed Zakaria
This is the wrong time to raise
taxes, say the politicians. The economy is fragile, say the economists.
The recovery is halting, say the pundits. In a few years, they all
affirm, we will need to get our fiscal
house in order. Of course, just a few years ago, the economy was doing
fine, and Washington decided
it wasn't the moment to worry about the deficit. Instead, over the past
decade, we cut taxes, added a
massive entitlement program (prescription drugs for the elderly) and
spent trillions on two wars.
Somehow, it's never time in
Washington to cut spending or raise taxes. Call it manana economics...
I understand the politics of compromise and the politics of reelection,
and this deal makes sense on
both grounds. It doesn't make much sense for the long-term growth of
the American economy.
What Washington is trying to do is reignite the consumption bubble -
hoping to get Americans to
spend money and take out loans. This plan, presidential adviser
Lawrence Summers tells us, will get
the economy to "escape velocity." It's an intriguing theory. If
Americans keep spending money, using
their credit cards, and buying houses, this will trigger the next
technological and economic revolution.
China has a different theory of how to get long-term, sustained growth.
The Chinese have doubled
their spending on education - with stunning results - and continue to
build the world's best infrastructure.
Reuters reports that Beijing is contemplating a plan to invest $1.5
trillion over the next five years in
seven crucial industries.
The targeted sectors are
alternative energy, biotechnology, new-generation information
high-end equipment manufacturing, advanced materials, alternative-fuel
cars, and energy-saving and
environmentally friendly technologies. Somehow, housing and retail
didn't make the list.
When a Rethug runs a big company, they understand the
value of research and developement.
But when that same Rethug gets into power, he sees no reason to keep
the infrastructure healthy.
Right now China is kicking our ass while loaning us money.
They have a new high-speed train that goes 300 MPH.
In America, high-speed trains are considered "for fags only," like
hybrids or electric cars.
I just saw some worldwide intelligence rating where China came in
first, second and fourth.
America, as always, was down around 17th or so.
They're also investing heavily in green technology which, again,
America says is
"for fags only."
Why is China kicking our ass?
Because China isn't following the instructions of some non-existent
There are no Sarah Palins in China, no Bush bastards, no Rick Santorums
and no Jim Inhofes.
China doesn't spend their days worrying about passing laws to prevent a
Sharia takeover of their courts.
They don't spend time and money trying to make Chinese their official
But America is mired in that shit and we're further hampered by a
I'm glad I don't have kids.
Think how fucked America will be in a few more years...
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