Archive for December, 2008

From all of us to all of you, have a very Happy Holiday!

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In 1919, John Maynard Keynes hypothesized that the free-market economy was fundamentally unstable—that rises in unemployment and drops in aggregate demand would not tend to self correct, but rather to self-magnify.  In 1936, in The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, Mr. Keynes outlined how a government’s central bank could stabilize the economy, thereby avoiding the damaging boom-bust cycles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Sixty-six years later American economist and Nobel-laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, attacked then chief-economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kenneth Rogoff, for participating in the economics of President Hoover—insisting that developing countries maintain balanced budgets, and therefore high overnight interest rates, in the face of recession.  Mr. Rogoff argued that while lowering national interest rates in emerging economies during economic depressions would stimulate demand, it would also drive deficit spending, which could easily cause investors to lose confidence in the immature currencies leading to unabated inflation.  Mr. Stiglitz, like Mr. Keynes before him, maintained that counter-cyclical monetary policies—namely lowering interest rates during periods of recession and raising them during periods growth—were necessary to protect economies from the downward spiral of depression.

Click to continue reading “Mr. Keynes Finds a New Home: The exportation of American economic policy”

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Excuse me, please. I went to bed last night believing I lived in the United States of America. The last time I checked, in this country we elect those who represent us in office. Offices are not handed down from father to son or father to daughter as they are in countries ruled by monarchies. So why is our Senate being transformed into a monarchy in which seats in office are being distributed to family members or even the highest bidder?

Since Barack Obama’s election to the White House a number of Senate Seats have become open as Obama has chosen to fill cabinet positions from his former colleagues in the Senate, thus creating the vacancies. Fortunately, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution provides for the appointment of Senators to fill these vacancies until the senate seat comes up for election in its normal place in the six-year election cycle.

Click to continue reading “American Royalty: United States Senators”

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Last month, in Inside Government’s post Who Gets A Bailout we discussed the financial bailout of AIG and the like. It was reported then, and is still true today, that no congressional panel has been established to determine what criteria must be met for companies to qualify for bailout consideration.

It is very interesting, and somewhat distressing, to realize that Congress can interrogate and then deliberate about the pending future of the Big Three auto companies for over a week at an initial price tag of 15 billion dollars when it took no time at all (and very little discussion or deliberation) to shell out over 700 billion dollars for the survival of Wall Street companies that have made many tactical management mistakes and in that regard are no different than the Big 3 auto makers. 

Click to continue reading “Congress Must Create A Bail Out Process”

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Congressional Medal of Honor

Congressional Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The origin of the Medal of Honor dates back to December 9, 1861, when Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced S. Bill No. 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by authorizing the production and distribution of “medals of honor”. On December 21st the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced “which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).” President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born.

Click to continue reading “Congressional Medal of Honor: Michael Monsoor”

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