Weekly Letter to President Obama
Copyright © 2010
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
July 20, 2012
Mr. President: A majority of Americans want the Bush tax cuts extended for all,
announces a new poll. Of course, it does not help the budget deficit which at around
6% is high but certainly not the 30% post WWII. At the same time, the new French
Government's resolve to cut its deficit to 4.5% has the country being swamped with
capital inflow as a higher interest rate 'safe-haven' alternative to Germany.
The real issue with the budget deficit (and the horrendous current account deficit) is
what happens to confidence in the dollar as the reserve currency. We cannot afford
to allow further profligate consumption when we need critical spending on
infrastructure, investment in education, support for manufacturing, basic research,
essentially the tools to grow an economy. The country needs investment to seed the
economy, and the economy needs to grow to provide a stable reserve currency for an
expanding world economy.
If confidence in the dollar continues to decline, a premium is going to be charged for
dollar credits which will hamper world trade and could well worsen the recession into a
worldwide depression. It is the natural result of a breakdown in the established
monetary system, and it has happened before in the Great Depression. The situation
is worsened by the troubled Euro and a North-South fractured Europe, where the
consumption binge in the South promoted by the northern banks is having painful
Here on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, life is peaceful surrounded by lakes and the
natural beauty of prime forests. One can imagine a Thoreau-like existence in a
lake-side cabin living off abundant natural resources, causing the least environmental
stress. It would be akin to the light footprint of the Indians who inhabited these areas
a few centuries ago.
The scars on the landscape? They are there also -- the aftermath of the logging, the
mining, the crude functional building, the complete absence of aesthetics, the
desperate scramble for extraction, for wealth, above all for the quick buck. It is all
there in the story nature reveals.
A metaphor for our times? Perhaps. Also revealing that whosoever they were, and
whatever estates they left behind, they are all dead, and no one particularly or fondly
remembers their names.
About the same for most political leaders -- here and across the world.