The other end of the straw making that giant sucking sound…

I cannot commend you all enough to regularly read non-American sources for news and information. Our so-called free press feels the need to dumb down reality, and in lieu of actual reporting, just re-publishes press releases form the Administration without comment (even when same are on their face disingenuous, or on occasion, preposterous), and frankly, we are not being well served. One of my favorite sources is, along with Pravda, Beijing’s The People’s Daily, primarily because it amuses me that what were propaganda organs of their respective communist governments when I was growing up are now more accurate sources of news and information (not to mention, outfits that make better news selections), than, say, CNN or often The New York Times.
So, following up on my theme of [American] economic apocalypse (duly administered, btw, by both parties, though obviously the majority party gets more credit), we give you this report showing that in calendar 2005, once again, China expects to continue at an 8-9% economic growth rate. Of course, Beijing pegs the yuan artificially low against the dollar to favor Chinese exports, and we, of course, take the bait, because, hey, who could say no to an $8 television set, right?
Also, somebody has to buy the seemingly endless stream of T-bills we seem to be issuing to pay for our madness of refusing to tax our most affluent at anything approaching a rate that might sustain our economy. (BTW, I have heard Laura Bush quoted as saying that the President believed that a marginal tax rate over 33% was immoral). Notice that he didn’t say that interest rates on credit cards paid by (1) single mothers, (2) our reservists and active duty soldiers, (3) other poor and desperate people in our society that often exceed 33% are somehow wrong or immoral (Leviticus 25:1-27:34 and its prohibitions on usury be damned.)
Anyway, we are shifting to a service (read Walmart and McDonalds) economy; Congress has lowered the marginal tax rates of those earning in excess of $200,000 per year, lowered the marginal estate tax rate of heirs inheriting over $5,000,000, lowered tax rates on dividends which tend to be received in meaningful amounts only by our most affluent; Congress has refused to adjust our $5.15/hour minimum wage rate, which has not moved since 1994, just refused to cap credit card interest at thirty per cent, and is cutting a plethora of social programs (notably in the housing and Medicaid area, but there will be more).
In short, our ride to the bottom of the bowl will not be pretty, and lots of us will get their first. As a service to our readers, if anyone out there is giving free Mandarin lessons… let us know…