Tuesday, June 10, 2008

 

Hooey of the Day: You don't have to read the financial section

You don't have to read the stock tickers or scan the headlines in the financial section to understand the seriousness of the situation we're in right now. —Barack Obama speaking Monday in North Carolina

Translation: Don't trouble your pretty little heads about Wall Street.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

A week from today, I'll be talking about this long-term agenda in more detail. It's an agenda that will require us first and foremost to train and educate our workforce with the skills necessary to compete in a knowledge-based economy.

A knowledge-based economy might get off to a good start by asking everyone to read the headlines in the financial section—and then offer a mandatory crash-course at every high school and college so they can understand them.

And here comes the part you've been waiting for—

... we know that we can't or shouldn't put up walls around our economy

The Chinese seem to have done precisely that with remarkable success.

... a long-term agenda will also find a way to make trade work for American workers. We do the cause of free-trade - a cause I believe in - no good when we pass trade agreements that hand out favors to special interests and do little to help workers who have to watch their factories close down. There is nothing protectionist about demanding that trade spreads the benefits of globalization as broadly as possible.

There is also nothing protectionist about refusing to buy from another country that for which you have nothing to trade except your assets.1

The Chinese, the Saudis and the Emirates will not continue to accept our brightly colored beads forever. Sooner rather than later they'll want to exchange them for something more valuable than a promise from the U.S. Treasury—something a little more real, a little more tangible.

Oh well. We have to get out of this mess somehow. Let's go ahead and sell Louisiana. Maybe the buyer will restore New Orleans. But we should at least try to hold on to Alaska.

Related post
Revolutionary Slogan of the Day (6/09/08)

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Footnote

1Am I the only one old enough to remember when "protecting your assets" wasn't considered risqué but prudent? [back]

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