Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mark Kirk tells China not to trust the US government. Seriously.

The Chinese government is largely financing most of our debt, and now that we're trying to spend our way out of a recession (the right economic policy, by the way), we really need to keep China on our side.

Well, Representative Mark Kirk made that a little more difficult. Here is Representative Mark Kirk in his own words on how he told the Chinese not to believe the United States government!

So, this elected official decided to tell the Chinese government -- our number one creditor and a crucial partner in ensuring that we climb out of this recession -- not to believe the US government. Instead they should believe him, I guess. And if he is successful in convincing the Chinese government not to believe the Obama Administration and the United States government, and they then logically decided not to finance the debt of a government that they didn't believe, then we would really be in a heap of trouble economically.

So thanks Representative Kirk! I hope you are unsuccessful in your efforts to scare the Chinese away from investing in the United States.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Europe votes this week. Imagine if we participated as well

People in 27 European nations are voting this week to elect the members of the European Parliament.

This is a triumph of democracy in the history of the world. Only elections in India involve more people.

The people of Europe speaking several different languages and with grandparents who fought and killed each other have found a way to embrace their common interests and form a European government with continental elections. The European Parliament has some information about elections in English worth a read.

Imagine if we could participate in those elections as well to help set a global climate change policy, or a global policy for trade and immigration, or a global policy towards eradicating money laundering and terrorism. We have shared interests with Europe. Climate change and global economic development are two of the biggest, and I would like a chance to vote for the people who will make these global policies.

Consider North America. While Europe is finding a way to knock down barriers to trade and commerce among their nations, we're putting them up with a new rule requiring passports between the US and Canada and Mexico going into effect this year. What a waste! Those long lines at the borders are the definition of economic waste. We should recognize our common interests with Mexico and Canada and figure out how to integrate our governments (like the postal service or immigration or trucking regulations or drug policy or energy development) where it makes sense to do so. Political integration generates economic benefits.

I find European elections inspiring and I hope to help build support for North American elections in the new few decades. We already have a free trade agreement (where disputes are adjudicated by secretive, appointed officials). We should have an elected body to help resolve disputes and develop North American institutions that make life better for everyone.