Thursday, 28 July 2011

08:40 – Heads-down work all day yesterday on the biology book. Or as heads-down as it gets with a 5-month-old puppy pestering me constantly.

The front matter and introductory chapters are complete, as are the Group I sessions on Mastering Microscope Skills. Group II, on The Chemistry of Life, is nearly complete. Over-complete, in fact. It currently runs about 55 manuscript pages, and will have to be trimmed back. Group III, on Life Processes, is well in progress, as is Group XIV on Ecology, and I have many other individual lab sessions also in progress that will be assigned to other groups. Things are starting to come together.


Congress and Obama continue the debt dance, with both sides pretending that there are actual budget cuts on the table, when in fact the argument is all about whether the budget and deficit will be increased by a huge amount or by an even huger amount. What they really need to be doing is zero-based budgeting, or at the very least budgeting based on a milestone year. I’d suggest 1990 or even 2000. Start with that and then discuss how much should be cut from the spending levels that year. Alternatively, they might consider setting a spending limit as a percentage of GDP. Currently, spending is about 25%, with revenues at only 15% of GDP. In the first year, they should cut taxes to put revenues at 10% of GDP, with spending at, say, 5% of GDP. In later years, they could reduce those numbers to more reasonable levels, until the federal debt is eliminated and federal revenues and spending are at, say, 0.5% of GDP. And even that would be much too much.

8 thoughts on “Thursday, 28 July 2011”

  1. Snopes has an interesting article on Obama’s past stance on debt ceilings:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/debtlimit.asp

    Towards the end, Obama explains that his view as a Senator is different from the script he was handed when he became POTUS. OK, he doesn’t actually say that, but I can read between the lines.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. And we all get fooled again.

  2. Let’s face it, given the dance by both parties in our government, there is only one thing keeping the world from switching the reserve currency from the dollar to the Euro. That being the well placed fear that the future of the Euro is even worse than the future of the dollar.

  3. If senators have a different vantage point than presidents then it follows that senators today, Democratic and Republican, should oppose raising the limit.

  4. We could switch to the Aussie Dollar as the reserve currency of the world. Unlike the Euro and the Greenback it’s sky-rocketing in value, just passed 110 US Cents. This is killing our non-mineral exports.

  5. The only problem with using the Australian Dollar as the world’s reserve currency is that the Australian economy is much too small for that.

  6. Canadian exporters used to complain about the “high” Canadian dollar, until they opened up China. Now we’re exporting as much to China as we used to sell to the US, and getting paid top dollar, as well. Any government critter that claims a low value currency is good for your country should be shot for treason.

  7. There really isn’t an alternative to the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, nor is one likely to develop in the foreseeable future. Like it or not, the US drives the world’s economy, and that’s not going to change. Even another 50 years of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi couldn’t change that.

  8. Yeah, I know we’re too small. And when China sneezes we get the flu for a year. We’d be buggered without them

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