Date: Nov 8, 2012 11:48 AM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Obama's win - good or bad for the US/the world?

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 11:43 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 2:01 AM, kirby urner <> wrote:
> ...

>> I hope his creditors apply some "tough love" and insist on rehab, the
>> sooner the better.
>> Lets get those manias under control shall we?

> Uncle Sam's creditors are simply the set of all entities in the world
> - - people, corporations, countries, whatever else - that owns US
> Treasury securities (Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds,
> and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities), and only that smallish
> subset of this set that are US citizens eligible to vote could really
> have any direct say on any of what you said.

I'm all for indirect versus direct.

The fact that Uncle Sam is already the world's largest single most
indebted institution in absolute dollar terms has already changed the
tune of eligible voters such as Mitt Romney, who now credits Big Bird
/ NPR to China et al.

Voters understand that creditors enable US discretionary spending (the
anemic IRS can't even cover mandatory spending per that chart).

Time was, USAers could snigger at China and Japan for low quality
knock-off products, but now organized labor has had to shift its
emphasis to:

(a) not knocking Japan much (that campaign came earlier, with sledge
hammers to Toyotas) and

(b) criticizing China for working conditions, tainted goods, and
prison labor (less so now for low quality goods -- we like iStuff --
though lead in the toys has been an issue)

But then the US has a lot of tainted goods (e.g. arsenic in the rice)
and prison labor. That's a two way street, a more even playing
field. Chinese-led consumer boycotts of US goods tainted by prison
labor are just around the corner I'm pretty sure.

Uncle Sam is seen as addicted to weaponry and the sales thereof, while
it raises its spoiled kids on violent TV shows and in crappy schools,
then dresses them up in stupid-looking camo (ala Blackwater), and
sends them around the world to strut-and-bully in prison guard

This is a big change in power and influence I'd say. The "superpower"
mystique is pretty much gone.

"Blundering idiot" is closer to the view today (that spectacle of Bush
making jokes about looking for WMDs and not finding them -- what a
complete debasement of the presidency compared to some earlier times).

> Therefore I'd say that it would better to try to appeal to potential
> voters rather than creditors. (Uncle Sam does not care who buys the
> securities in question, just as long as someone somewhere buys them at
> lower interest rates. And so there is no real potential leverage there
> from creditors who already bought the stuff.)

I think USAers traveling abroad get a pretty good sense of how they're
perceived. Big change since after WW2. A lot of them try to pretend
they're from Canada, to avoid the stigma.