Suddenly working again. Trains to catch. Cups to pee in. And a root canal, just in case one had any pretense of newly discovering the joys of “free time” as opposed to unemployment. Plus, I’ve got to say, paraphrasing the President, that everything that’s going to be said about the health care debate has been said. And politically, nothing else really matters until the final vote comes down on health care. Nothing more to say on the issue of the day. Sure, 11 Republicans voting for this week’s jobs bill is news, but it barely breaks through to a Congress and a nation obsessed with single-issue (if not single-payer).
Trusting that Glenn Beck and Rash Limbaugh will continue impugning 11-year-olds and equating “social justice” to Nazism, I’m sure I’ll have no shortage of rants and ruminations I’ll feel obligated to share.
In the meantime, there’s a great short essay on German capitalism, German democracy, and the vital role of its workers’ councils (put in place by Truman and Eisenhower), in the April issue of Harper’s, that should be required reading. (Unfortunately, available online only to subscribers.) For all its so-called socialism, Germany is a larger exporter than China, has a much higher standard of living than the United States, all while mandating that actual workers hold as many as 33% of the seats on the Board of Directors of all its major corporations. Something for all the Friedman acolytes to ponder, this dark night of the American economic soul.
More soon. Really. Soon.
Glad to hear the news.
Congrats on the job Alan and thanks for the info on Germany. I’ve always thought that the modern German government is the best in the world.
The churches that promote “social justice” whatever that is, tend to be liberal mainline Protestant Churches, and are lightly attended. Separation between church and state apparently only applies to conservative churches.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the City of New York has a variety of soup kitchens, dance companies, tightrope walkers, and art galleries in the basement, but cannot find the funding to continue building their great Cathedral. I don’t want to ridicule another church, but the permanent Plywood and scaffolding created a fire hazard, with predictable results.
Part II, The German economy is export focused, and their productivity is the highest in the country, see today’s WSJ. Unlike USA, Greece, and other counties, we have no export policy at a high level. Congress is clueless.
Neither Friedman nor Keynes would consider an export economy to be a bad thing, especially if the exports are hi-tech and labor intensive. Exporting raw materials or lightly manufactured products (raw corn, raw beef or chicken etc) does little to add to the economy. Farmers who grow organic apples for the Japanese market must use better trained growers and pickers who can ask for higher wages. The shippers and packers must take great care to deliver the produce undamaged.
Taking Coal, Steel, electronics, and locally made plastics to manufacture a Toyota, Chrysler, or Hyundai here for export is a very good thing.
Adam Smith’s treatise on the competitive advantage of nations is still a good read. We are not very competitive at this time, high taxes and the education level of our workers is not optimal.