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  •  Sorry to disagree ... (24+ / 0-)

    but it's easy to type "it's time for a change" without knowing what that change might be, or what it might mean for you and yours, not to mention us and ours.

    A single sentence, a single decision, could create fundamental change in the world, and not just in economics. IANAE (I Am Not An Economist), so I cannot predict what changes might be on the horizon -- but let's imagine one: the rest of the world demands that the US remove all tariffs, of any kind, or they will close their borders to us. Drastic? Sure. But guess what -- they might see enough advantage to their own economies to demand such a thing.

    I leave it to your own imagination to think through the consequences.

    There is palpable anger and political advantage afoot in the land, and we are the targets of both. We have drained our store of good will in the world, and can expect no mercy at this summit, I fear.

    I hope that the summit is a meeting of level-headed leaders focused on what is good for all. If it becomes, instead, an opportunity for the world to band together against us, the change we see may not be good.

    You can cause, and lose, many different types of wars. Not all of them use guns.

    Bruce in Louisville
    Visit me at brucemaples.com

    by bmaples on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 06:31:34 AM PDT

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    •  sure - go to the worst case scenario (5+ / 0-)

      That makes "change" sound scary every time. But the reality is the status quo is not working. Of course we need change beneficial to us. But change is needed, for sure.

      Lisa

      Avoid the drama, vote Obama.

      by Boston to Salem on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 06:44:06 AM PDT

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      •  Change is a neutral-value word (21+ / 0-)

        Getting a great new job is change, but so is getting run over by a truck.

        You are correct, we need change. Beyond that, change is coming anyway, whether we choose it or not. We do not have the option, so beloved by conservatives, of keeping things the way they are, or of returning them to some falsely-remembered earlier time when everything was better.

        The river flows on, as always. We happen to have just floated through a lengthy stretch that, for America as a whole, was pretty smooth and sweet. But that doesn't say much about what lies ahead, around the next bend.

        Since we know we need change, and that change will come regardless, it would behoove us to choose and shape the nature of that change to the best of our ability. That is really what this election is all about.

        •  "smooth and sweet" was a fiction, though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boilerman10, IreGyre

          That's what's brought on the spiraling financial crisis and the coming depression.

          Nemo iudex in sua causa. -5.88,-7.90

          by Jurassic Game Warden on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 12:01:57 PM PDT

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          •  Well (9+ / 0-)

            I'm certainly not saying that everything was sweet and smooth, but mid-20th century America was, objectively, a kind of Golden Age for many.

            Our current troubles-- the spiraling financial crisis and the coming depression-- are the result of trying to continue to live as though the strong economic, cultural, and geopolitical fundamentals of that era continued into this one, when in fact they have been eroding for the last 40 years.

          •  Squandered and artificially extended (3+ / 0-)

            There were positive directions and policy before Bush II that could have been maintained. As the self-serving changes and manipulations and evasions of The past almost 8 years took hold, the fiction of smooth and sweet became more and more of a stretch and required more willful ignorance, short term selfish rewards for insiders and outright lies to everyone even themselves in order to maintain it. As if ignoring and denying what their stubbornly destructive economic myths were doing to the fundamentals of the US economy while the few plundered and skimmed as much as they could manage.

            And as for worst case tariffs mentioned above... I think the rest of the G8 and other movers and shakers of the world will not take a self-destructive and vindictive direction. They will not choose to bite their own noses off for short term benefits and petty payback to the US. They know all nations are in this together and as long as the USA can go to the table with a bit more humility as an equal mature partner a more realistic sustainable balance can be agreed. Just being a bit more realistic equal partner with the rest of the world would be change enough to salvage things and help build a more sustainable world economy.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

            by IreGyre on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 01:50:54 AM PDT

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      •  You don't understand... (0+ / 0-)

         This really is a change that will not be good for us.

         If the rest of the world has had enough, the the re-writing of the rules will crush the United States.

         Think Argentina. Think Post-Colonial Britain. Hell, think Weimar Republic Germany.
         
         We are in an unbelievably bad position for negotiation here. Our credibility is gone on every front: Militarily, philosophically, economically, ecologically... We are about to plunge the rest of the world into economic chaos, and the rest of the world is pissed.

         The problem is that the comeuppance that Bush is rightfully due will affect your life, and the lives of your children, and their children, and so on for generations.
         I'm not saying that this is an unrelievedly bad thing... The world might eventually be a better place for the loss of American greed. But be clear what the consequences of this might be: This is not a small step. This -- for better or worse -- is the end of the American empire.  

    •  The rest of the world will not close their border (11+ / 0-)

      to us. And tariffs have fallen, lower and lower, over the past century and been proven to be ugly monsters for every nation.

      So yes, Change is coming, it always comes.  There is no stasis in the universe.  

      Obama will be at helm very shortly. He has good judgment. You know that. We all know that.

      Sarkozy, and the rest of the world, know that too.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 07:20:04 AM PDT

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      •  Why we need Obama (7+ / 0-)

        My sense is that America will be granted one more chance as a leader on the world stage. The legacies of the Founders, of Lincoln, and of Wilson and FDR are that powerful.

        Of course, the quality of that leadership, and of the "followership" of other nations, will be very different compared to 1944. But people need leaders, it is an evolved trait, and for all our flaws as a nation, America can still be that beacon of optimism and vigor, progress and humanity.

        Which is why we need Obama. The world is waiting for America to show that, as a nation, we have regained our senses, and are once again willing to provide, in a form appropriate to present circumastances, what they really want from us.

    •  Well the worst case (6+ / 0-)

      Would be economic sanctions - tariffs, boycotts, unfavorable currency exchange. And tit-for-tat removal of US military from Europe/NATO.

      And all of this devolving into a WWIII - which no one wins.

      It seems more likely that cooler heads will prevail. But we do have to recognize that Europe has the opportunity to get out from under the boot of the United States. An opportunity to cleaanly separate their foreign policies and objectives.

      I commented many moons ago (it seems) back in August that the United States was still conducting itself like it was 1948 and that the rest of the world has moved on while we haven't.

      One always has to remember that the leaders of those European nations have a duty to their own citizenry. It may be that in the interest to protect them that it will impact the United States.

      I won't get into anything really substantive on the subject lest I get branded a conspiracy theorist again. But I think that people can see from the protectionist actions undertaken, the rhetoric, and even what George Bush had to say that our nation is in for a change. A change the government won't like. A change the people will face the consequence for and take out on their government at the ballot boxes for the next election or three.

      Our long-term policies as a nation, which transcend presidencies are becoming unsettled. Some of our policies far removed from economics will also be affected. Right now, it will be critical that the Obama administration start reshaping those policies going forward. Those changes will be difficult to measure and difficult in some cases to even see as they are not often talked about, if at all.

      Don't get me wrong, the Europeans want to take advantage of the lame-duck Bush administration to better position themselves. But at the same time the Bush administration knows that in their last days they can polarize the American public unfavorably towards Europe if European actions can be blamed for further downturns (which would have occurred anyway) in the economy.

      There is much to be gained and lost by all of the interested parties. Some of whom are not even being invited to the big show. For this reason I think cooler heads will prevail. Perhaps with Europe absorbing some more shorter-term pain to help alleviate the pains of the American citizenry. At least until the new congress is seated and the Obama administration is sworn in.

      What's the difference between Sarah Palin and a Moose? One has a nice rack. The other is completely full of shit!

      by MindRayge on Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 05:41:04 PM PDT

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      •  Polyphemus (6+ / 0-)

        It's not just European governments which have a duty to their own citizens, it's the governments of the entire World who have those responsibilities.

        Compared to Europe, we here in Australia are just a blip on the radar as far as our economic impact on the American economy is concerned. We trade predominently with Asia these days, so the Chinese, Japanese, and South East Asian economies are far more important to us in that regard. However, having said that, there are also solid strategic regional security concerns which make it important for America to stay on good terms with it's traditional allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

        Unfortunately, many of us in this region do indeed get the impression that America is still behaving as if were 1948.

        It's DEFINITELY time for a change.
        Go America! Go Barack and 'Joe the Senator'!

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      "...let's imagine one: the rest of the world demands that the US remove all tariffs, of any kind, or they will close their borders to us. Drastic? Sure. But guess what -- they might see enough advantage to their own economies to demand such a thing."

      Do you think that they might consider starting WW III over this? I can easily see the US taking it that way - as an economic strike as the prelude to war. This is an especially dangerous possibility if McCain somehow wins the election.

      That scares the Hell out of me. Let's hope the level-headed on all sides prevail.

      "...Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." Richard Feynman

      by QuestionAuthority on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 09:29:20 AM PDT

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