Saturday, January 29, 2011

THE LAND OF THE PHARAOH IT IS A LAND OF MYSTERY! On the Arab Spring: Egypt is the poster child of Modern " Free market economy" failure

Egypt was always a mystery to Human Civilization...
Mathematicians and Scientist, Architects and Engineers even today stand affront of the great Pyramids of Giza and scratch the head puzzled  how that ancient civilization build those marvels of Human Imagination!

The fertile Nile valley was more then a cradle of Human civilization, it was also a food supplier for the known Ancient world, Failure of the Egyptian harvest meant a famine in Ancient Rome and the rest of the Mediterranean cities of the Ancient world...

Today Egypt is one of the major food importer in the world...

To understand this dramatic change in perspective is to solve the puzzle of the event that are taking place those days on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, to name just a few of the metropolitan area in this historical country...

If we can single out an event from our latest history, an resent event that send Egypt to the road of the current unrest what will that be?
When do the levee of National Prosperity shot the door to so many of the Egyptian people and left them behind with their broken dreams of world integrations...
Many will focus on the current President, many will point to the People that surround him, or support him, but on those pages we will not do that...

To understand the turmoil that Egypt is undergoing  is to understand the engine of the Middle East, what make them thick and boil those days...

I can tell You my Dear Readers right from the start that the Story of Egypt is nothing new, nor complicated, and certainly is far a way from the sphere of mysticism of the religious domain cause Egypt is nothing but a Poster Child of the modern "Free Market Economy" failure...

Yeah simple as that...

In defence of Mubarak who did not do anything more or less then following the grand plan of globalization, a road that is chosen those days carefully and deliberately from the  International Institution of Power that any country in the developing world is bound to follow...
It is a predicament of compliance, or the International Community will left any given country in the doorstep of the Civilized World...

       "During the 1990s, a series of International Monetary Fund  arrangements, coupled with massive external debt relief resulting from Egypt's participation in the Gulf War coalition, helped Egypt improve its macroeconomic performance. The pace of structural reforms, including fiscal, monetary policies, privatization and new business legislation, helped Egypt to move towards a more market oriented economy and, since the turn of the new millennium, prompted increased foreign investment., reduced subsidies, reduced inflation, cut taxes, and partially liberalized trade and investment. Manufacturing become less dominated by the public sector, especially in heavy industries. A process of public sector reform and privatization has begun to enhance opportunities for the private sector.
The reform program is still a work in progress and the government will need to continue its aggressive pursuit of reforms in order to sustain the spike in investment and growth and begin to improve economic conditions for the broader population. Egypt's export sectors—particularly gold and natural gas—have bright prospects...

source: Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia: Economy of Egypt

What Mubarak wanted  making the deal with the IMF was probably Egypt to be a part of the World, simple achievement of the ones glorious place in human least every projections of the foreign expert designing the loans prospect was telling him...or so the story goes...

The ink on the loans paper was not properly dry yet  when the great bankers ask him to give them the keys to the National Treasure: to all the resources of the fertile Nile Valley along the black gold hidden in the desert send and under the blue Mediterranean sea...

And so as promised came the foreign investments: new glamorous Resorts become the jewelry  under the Saharan sun offering ancient history, curtailed with the world famous fashionable restaurants and malls bringing the latest tech goodies and design clothing, never mind they were made someplace else...
During all those years Mubarak become aware that Egypt get short side of the deal, he most have realized that the never ending demand for subsidies, tax cuts, privatisations and the heavy burden of the Interest payments will catch up with the dissatisfaction of his people in the manners he was leading the country so just in case he was building the security, the military and the police forces around himself, cutting political deals and making friends and Allies against the will of his people...

Of course he knew all that, he just decide to ignore his own people plea for help...

Or maybe he was counting that when the unrest came he will not be around, or maybe he was hoping that people will forget the atrocity, especially if he and his closest official  make sure that enough of the people are well fed, well wormed, well housed in a better neighborhoods, and a way from stinking stench of Poverty that was in their doorstep for the most of their lives...
Yeah...Mubarak and the rest of the puppet Government in the middle East, they all new that, they just did not care!
Things were going good for Mubarak the last decade or so, it was the best of time for the ruling class of Egypt, never mind that more and more of the Egyptian populations was fighting with starvation, no things were going good for the Wealthy in Egypt...
The Free Market Economy in full bloom:

- Egypt open the door for liberalizations of the trade: the finest Egyptian fruits and veggies find the way to the natural markets of Europe and USA, the best seafood, shellfish and the best Egyptian spices enrich the table of the refined customers, while the population of the country get rationing food cards!

      Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza, in a speech before the Food Security Conference, said that Egypt imports 40 percent of its total foodstuffs and 60 percent of its wheat.
    "Yet the government is keen to offset rising global food costs by allocating billions of pounds for this purpose," he said.
In an effort to help low-income citizens, the minister explained that the government had recently increased the number of ration-card beneficiaries, added more strategic goods to them--such as sugar and rice--and reduced customs duties on food needed for domestic consumption.
source: Almasry Alyoum online English edition

All of  those "Market Oriented" Reforms become a field of unfulfilled dreams leaving the open questions:
- What good came out of them?
Or even better questions will be:
- What are the "benefits" that the Egyptian people stumble upon?

Surly they, the Egyptian people, can't expect the Global multinational corporations to open Factory in Egypt when they can produce in China and India for the fractions of the labor cost, right!

Surly the Government need to loosen the tax code,and give more incentives to the multinational corporations
in order to make investment opportunity favorable for the fragile middle eastern market, given the danger of the religious fanaticism and instability of the whole regions, right!

Surly the trend in the ever changing labor market demand more and more educated and skilled workers to follow the technological advantages and naturally leave so many people behind in the gusher of poverty and misery, but self reliance is the exit for the millions left behind...and taking responsibility for its own actions, right!

And if all of this sound familiar to the persons who read those pages, not to worry cause it is the familiar lines:
- It is the way of the Globalization and the "Free market Economy"
A familiar blend of policies designed to suit the business cause feeding the racing horse there  will always be left overs for the small sparrows...

So they say...

Those of us who are watching the news with a distant fear of rising fuel prices hitting our shore, especially if the tide of protest get wild and shot down the major Suez ports: the bloodstream of energy supply, we should not miss the big picture:
The story of Egypt is the story of Us:

The pressure to break the levees of our social safety net are stretch so tin, they can broke every day now...
It will take a few votes thru the Congress and a President willing to sign then into a Law...

Cause those wretched Social Program are the only thing that keep us roaming the streets in a need for food...forget about our fancy lifestyle of kitchen gadget and the newest Apple goodies...

Hungry people roam the street of Alexandria and Cairo...hungry, malnourished and forgotten from its own Government...

If our Corporate Media is afraid of the Domino Effect of the Egyptian Revolution I suggest they look at the following two maps:
- The first one show the in dept of the country in the world...the more dept the country faces the greater are the chances of social unrest!
- The second one show the GINI coefficient of the countries of the World...the greater the coefficient the greater are the chances of unrest!

- The third indicator of the future instability and unrest in the World is the flexibility of the different Political System mach up with the Social Safety Net, or shall we say the absent of them...less safety net feature, the greater the risk of unrest!

Combination of all tree of them is the Perfect Storm that is heading toward the shores of any given country, even the one that seams to be the least expected!


source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: External Dept
Map of countries by external debt based on 2005 CIA fact book figures

File:Gini Coefficient World CIA Report 2009.png

source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Gini coefficient
Gini-coefficient of national income distribution around the world

*The GINI coefficient is a measure of the inequality of a distribution, a value of 0 expressing total equality and a value of 1 maximal inequality. It has found application in the study of inequalities in disciplines as diverse as economics, health science,ecology, chemistry, and engineering!
It is commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth!

source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CORPORATE CRIME AND PUBLIC PUNISHMENT: Someone in China is laughing...

2011 is slowly taking ground, while America is in the midst of an ideological War that offer no solutions to any of the painful point of the troublesome Economy:

-The Taxes Debate that is reaping the Nation in and out:

The President cut a Deal with the GOP, extensions of the Bush tax cuts and more to it!
The bill went trough the Senate with the speed of light,  probably they all raise the Champagne glasses in their chambers to cheer the Presidential Stroke of Genius that took the huge burden out of their shoulders:
Their Campaign Donors will Love the Presents they Deliver for them for Christmas!
The House give a little better Resistance...fiery speeches and performances on both side...and it also pass!
Finally We sew some true bipartisanship!
- Bravo indeed!
Another bill that will make a Budget whole so huge that the Medicare Donut whole will look like a well fitted ring on a sunny day!

Now let drop the curtains on the stage, turn off the glorious beam and let see the daylight, let see the Real Reasons behind the Theater we just witnessed...

If anyone wonder why the Congress deliver a Christmas Tree to The Wealthy, don't!
There is not one reason alone, there are  two Trillions reasons Why!
We hear that Number so many time, but We never really bother to stop and think of the Straight it represent:

Two Trillions dollars is the Number of Cash Stash Corporate America has!

Fat that Corporate America has and We The People Don't!

Fat that Corporate America can survive on while  We The People can starve out looking for employment we don't have!

Fat that Corporate America has and it is bigger then the yearly deficit Our Federal Government have to run in order to cover Our Social Security checks and Unemployment checks, pay our Medicare dues or Pay Our Soldiers Salaries Oversea...

Roll those Numbers until their sad reality sink into the conscience with their full painful Consequence:
- Cash Stash that Corporate America has it is Bigger then Our Budget Deficit For A Whole Year...
Or You can roll those Numbers this way:
- Corporate America has more Cash then the 2009 Stimulus package, and the newest Tax Cuts deal combined!
The Corporate Media did a good job indeed: no one report the obvious pathetic downside of the Capitol Hill!
The Irony gets worse:
-Corporate America while well awash in all that cash, still serve the ball to the Federal Government not just to borrow to keep in order the Need of the Society, but also pass the Long overdue Wage Increase: cause Payroll tax cuts for the People are nothing but the long overdue raise that Corporate America will not give to its employees!
-Middle Class is vanishing in the distance like a rainbow of unfulfilled expectations, while Corporate Media is filling the air with the notorious Lie:
- Unemployment is here to stay: Prepare Yourself for The New Normal!

It is very hard for me to say this but I will:
-What We Witnessing those days is a Capitulations of American Federal Government affront  of the Corporate America!
Pure and simple Capitulation!

To assume that the Corporate America have now incentive to invest their Corporate cash on American ground is well beyond a naivete:
- Beyond the Neighborhood Retail Plaza, Leisure Resort or Boutique Hotel to simply expect Corporate America To invest in any kind of Production or even Research and Development, while they can do that Oversea for a dime on a dollars is economical suicide and Corporate America is not a desperate fellow!

Simply said they will not, it is a pure, logical and economically justified fact!

Those of You who still believe that is not so, that some sort of Morality, Loyalty or Patriotism will bend them toward Us, cause they are after all Our Corporate...well, believe!

Meanwhile the World is standing still, every other Nations out there do nothing to get ahead of the curve of Progress...
Yeah, We Wish...
The New Congress will take over tomorrow and what is their number one Idea: Repeal of the Health Care bill!
If the notion is not so tragical it will be comedy worthy of a Shakespearean plot:
The fresh Idea that the Tea Party is bringing to Capitol Hill: lets go back to the free Market Economy that did not work in the 18 Century, but it will work in the 21 Century starting with the Health Care System left alone...
What a joke!
Our Congressional leaders are utterly stuck in Impotent Ideological Wars of equally Impotent Idea:
-Keynes economics can't deliver on his full employment Promises cause the Government is not the Investor, it is Distributor of the Resources and they are melting between the Local Officials and Local Entrepreneurs in the Power play of the Local Politics!
-Freedman economics can't deliver cause The America is not the Playing field of his Theories but The World: the wealth trickle down,  not in our backyard, but Oversea were the Productive Investments are happening, simple as that!

Instead Our Congressional leader should start looking for the alternative in Ideologies:

-"It does not matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches a mouse!"

If the Economy is in a crise let open our mind, shred our Ideological prejudice and spell the Truth:
- Our Stimulus did not work so well, the New Stimulus will not work so well, and here is Why:

Cause Taxes cuts & Taxes raise are happening in the domain of individual Income bracket, to say the best will stimulate the Consumptions, although for a very short time!

 That is so 20 Century Solutions of the Economic Maladies!

 21 Century Solutions Are:
-Where Do We Invest The Taxes Revenues?

In the Third  Millennium The World will be shape not by the Power of the Guns, Germs and Steel, but by Knowledge, Present and Future, and The Nations Who get to adjust to that simple Fact will rose to be The Leaders of the Future Wealth of the Nations!

Both America and China in 2009 put up forward a Stimulus package, but what a world of different they were:
- Our was hitting a resistance every step of the way and ended up being a goodies bag consistent on tax cuts, unemployment Benefits and States Financial Budget support, while this is how the Chinese Stimulus of 2009 look a like:

source: ECONOMIC OBSERVER English edition of the weekly Chinese newspaper 2009

Recently The Government in China bring forward a sweeping 1.5 trillion $ Stimulus bill also!
Yeah...they did, as so did we:  double on our stimulus, except what a World of difference the New Chinese bill stand For:
Instead of make up finesse on the previous bill, China turn the ship toward the real Solutions:

Productive Investment in those arias:
- Alternative energies
- Biotechnology
- New generation information technologies
- High end equipment manufacturing
- Advance materials
- Alternative fuel cars
- Green, environment friendly technologies

Government Investments: building Factories that will absorb the skilled labor that will productively supply employments for decade to come!
It is also a first step toward the shifts from intensive labor Manufacture Economy toward a high tech, high paid top skilled jobs of tomorrow...

All that will be accomplished in five years with is an average time span of an Architectural Project: simply said China is building China!

Wake up and smell the coffee, cause someone in China is laughing on our bickering, on our ignorance and our pathetic ideological blindness!

Now more then ever it is a time for action...
If the Knowledge is The Power To Be, in the era of Internet failure to communicate and spread the Knowledge is a simple crime of the mind: we are all Paul Revere, We Should all talk, and connect, and talk and connect, so we will see that we actually search for the same: a better life, time to spend with our families and Love ones without stress and worries, and if it is that simple then the Divisions on Progressive and Conservative and all the Colors in between are just artificial inventions of the Powers who are turning us into a modern slaves chained to a political affiliations that don't have our best interest in mind cause they are also slaves to a Few very Wealthy individuals...