Random Thoughts

It's the Economy, Stupid!

The time has come to reiterate the words of Clinton, till they reverberate loud enough to pierce the deaf ears of the current administration, even though I fear the inability to hear and understand which afflicts the powers that be in Washington is due to congenital defects of central auditory imperception and defective brain development. I strongly recommend Paul Krugman's columns in the New York Times, Ariana Huffington's book 'Pigs At The Trough' and the definitive treatise 'Wealth and Democracy' by Kevin Phillips, for interested readers.

The United States is running half a trillion dollars each of trade, current account and budget deficits.  That makes one and a half trillion of deficits. It has lost half a million jobs net, in the last two months. Nearly seven trillion dollars have been lost by owners of stocks and millions of pensioners and corporate pension plans have suffered near fatal collateral damage by the precision guided weapons of the well healed and corrupt politicians, who float above the terra firma in their high altitude golden parachutes, while the common civilians are devastated beyond salvage. Medicare and social security are on a sliding funeral march to bankruptcy.

Japan is mired in recession for over a decade and its market indices are touching twenty year lows, while European bourses hit multi-year lows. Germany is in depression and Asia is in the throes of an epidemic destroying its tourist and manufacturing sectors. The Indian market has lost seven percent in two days and the Middle East is gripped by war, terrorism and low intensity conflicts. We are headed for worldwide stagnation and a possible repeat of the nineteen thirties, which gave birth to the two specters of fascism and communism.

The insurmountable military might of America and the desperate domestic economies of Japan and Europe preclude any immediate collapse of the dollar and compel them and greater China (Hong Kong, Taiwan) as well as India to hold dollars for buying superior technology and modernization. Russia is dependent on Europe and IMF handouts and Latin America is destitute and bankrupt. One of these days, the Ponzi scheme of the dollar being an international reserve currency will end and the revolutions in the Islamic OPEC countries will decide to price oil in Euros or Yen and then the chickens will come home to roost. The rise of gold prices like the Phoenix from the lifeless ashes of decades is the first harbinger of future plagues to come. The conquest of Iraq is a last ditch attempt to forestall anyone from abandoning the dollar and striking fear and instilling subservience in the oil producing Islamic countries. The other prong of this strategy is domination of the Central Asian energy producers via Afghanistan and to have a hold on the jugular of Europe, Japan, China and India.

The desperate gamble is understandable and strategically proper though immoral and illegal, but still iffy in its chances of success. The disenchanted domestic public is likely to foil the well laid plans of Rice and Chen(ey) and the Don will be dethroned and relegated to the dustbin of history. Junior will follow in the footsteps of his father and will ride into the sunset with his deserved appellation of 'A thousand pints of Lite'. Generations of decent, hardworking and honest Americans will be condemned to a constrained life of frustrated hopes and unfulfilled dreams and cynical pundits will pontificate that people get the government they deserve. The triumph of democracy will be hailed from rooftops and the genuflecting free press will bask in the glory of their conniving silence and subservient lack of questioning, which sold generations of Americans down the river of misery and the waters of time that flow within the banks of history.  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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