The plot continues to thicken as we get closer to D-Day, when the euro moves on in a newly constructed union, with more fiscal rules and less sovereign authority. It seems pretty clear now there has to be €1.0 trillion attached to the final plan as that's the number that keeps popping up, and each time the street eats it up. I think Wall Street has that figure in mind (it might take €900.0 billion) and is poised to leap once it becomes official.
Today Merkel and Sarkozy meet with center-right leaders whose roles have increased dramatically with monumental victims through Europe.
Rich and Smart, You're Days are Numbered!
A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive. Pearl Bailey
I find it almost amusing to see this whole seismic shift toward center-right governments in order to rescue decades of fiscal mismanagement brought about in large part through welfare societies that sought to level playing fields. The reason it's not funny is that Europe is on the precipice of collapse, but we are going to hear for the next year how it's mean rich people that need a comeuppance in this nation. I've made good money in my lifetime and I've been poor in my lifetime, and I give thanks to God for both experiences. The notion that someone making one million dollars a year wakes up plotting how to hold others down is outright silly.
Sure, you have a better shot at getting better opportunities, going to better schools and moving up the ladder when you come from money. I have friends that think all white people in America have easier access to success than blacks because of the mental and financial legacy of slavery and racism. Racism, elitism, cronyism, nepotism exists, but the overwhelming the majority of people in America are facing similar hurdles, and clearing them begins with how fit they are to run the race of life. That fitness is mental and cerebral. The welfare solution snuffs out both like a gust of wind on a flickering candle.
I would be the first to admit how sad it is to walk into a great business like a trading room or a television station and not see any black people in positions of significance. I attended a big radio gathering last night and it was the same thing.
Obviously, there is an element of unfairness, made all the worse when one considers how many people fought and died in this nation to make things right. But taking from others that have earned their place in life doesn't even the score. This approach to division has been promoted non-stop for the past three years with the net of would-be victims widened exponentially.
The "us vs. them" war is sure to rip the nation apart. It will make upward mobility more difficult and punish achievers in business and also in the schools. Because running parallel to the war against successful people and businesses is the war on smart children. It has come to light the Obama administration is pushing hard to get around rules about racial preferences, even if it means students with subpar grades take spots from children with better grades. While it's obviously unfair it can be tempting for those that hear over and over how the deck is stacked against them.
That's why acts of discrimination resonate like atom bombs and feed the beast of anger and envy.
But taking from the rich doesn't help the poor, and circumventing school admissions to reward a student with lesser skills (which mostly happens from lesser effort) sets up that student for future failure, and the kid who got skipped maybe never fully develops gifts that could benefit mankind.
Department of Justice and Education Guidelines' goal have been to promote grade school and universities diversity and reduce racial isolation. Racial isolation isn't fun, but school promotion and reward that discounts merit is a recipe for disaster.
"Racial isolation remains far too common in America's classrooms today and it is increasing," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "This denies our children the experiences they need to succeed in a global economy, where employers, co-workers, and customers will be increasingly diverse. It also breeds educational inequity, which is inconsistent with America's core values.
Under the guidelines on admitting students to competitive schools or programs, the administration offers the following example: "A school district could identify race-neutral criteria for admission to a school (e.g., minimum academic qualifications and talent in art) and then conduct a lottery for all qualified applicants rather than selecting only those students with the highest scores under the admission criteria, if doing so would help to achieve racial diversity or avoid racial isolation."
We need to make schools better with harder curriculums and stop rewarding mediocrity and discouraging greatness. The nation has come a long way, so this effort to say this is all a mirage and all unfair and needs to be upended is more dangerous than our economic situation.
Give Until It Hurts- Your Choice
I think rich people must give back, but in America that's a decision people have to be allowed to make on their own. Government can't force people to be more charitable. Moreover, poor people have the same obligation to make the right decisions, too. Love those blessings and give if you want and if you don't then you're still an American and that's your right. Nobody should take way that right.
€1,000,000,000,000 or Bust
Let's face it, at this point it is a trillion euros or bust. The clock is ticking, and the crowd is nervous and giddy. It feels like the deal will get done. When it does, Americans can feel proud as we would have helped to bail out banks in Europe once again and would have bailed out nations that squandered glory in the name of flattening the wealth gap (still find it ironic nations that closed the so-called income inequality gap are the same ones that need bailouts by foreign nations; once we squeeze our rich and ruin our biggest corporations, we can only hope China, India, Brazil, and IMF will be there to drive our grand bargain). But I see the IMF with a greater role, and that means your tax dollars having a greater role.
I'm not sure if yesterday's rumors of doubling the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) were the notion of combining it with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM); the former has E400B while the latter will have E500B. Apparently the ESM is the permanent fund designed to smooth out bumps in the road after the EFSF has exhausted its funds. Germany is against combining the two, so how would the EFSF get to that magical €1.0 trillion number? I think it's going to need your money and maybe some cash from China, too. In the meantime that dollar swap program is going swell as 34 banks borrowed $52.3 billion versus two banks and $2.0 billion the week before.
I do think Republicans are going to have to make sure the payroll tax cut goes through. I'm a tax cut believer- it's our money not the governments. The alternative minimum tax has to be addressed as well, and Americans should understand this is an insidious tax crafted out of envy to bring 155 families to their knees, but it now threatens millions of Americans. I'm less enthusiastic about unlimited unemployment benefits and the doctor's fix, but compromise on some things have to happen for Americans to feel better about this system of government. Just fight tooth and nail to stop the other $200.0 billion in the jobs act that was rightly dead on arrival (both parties deserve credit).
The stock market will applaud a grand compromise in Europe then quickly shift its gaze to our own political ineptness. Right now Washington is like a multi-headed hydra, with the main head trying to eat out its own stomach and intestines while the other heads simply attack each other. That's next week's hurdle, for today all eyes are on Europe, so get set for a day of anxiety and probably more rumors.