Puzzled, Again

Can someone please explain something to me? Recently, I heard the president touting the growth in U. S. exports, saying exports were on track to double as he had promised. What in the world is he talking about?

If he’s talking about growth since the trough (which took place in 2009), it’s so modest a goal as hardly to be a goal at all. If he’s talking about growth relative to the peak (which took place in 2007), we’re not remotely close to doubling that.

If he’s talking about real growth in exports, that’s been flat for decades.

When he first mentioned this goal several years ago, I remarked on it. The U. S. exports an enormous amount already. Doubling that in real terms is a tall order. For that to occur other countries would need much higher incomes than, in fact, they have. Our balance of trade problems aren’t because we don’t export enough; they’re because we import too much.

72 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw

    Meanwhile, Caterpillar is re-instituting mandatory unpaid furloughs for its employees and idling plants, apparently to draw-down inventories in the face of a global slowdown — Europe is the primary culprit.

  • Perhaps Obama is hoping to do to Mexico what Germany did to Greece*?

    * With Greece’s tacit approval, till the bill arrived.

  • If he’s talking about growth since the trough (which took place in 2009), it’s so modest a goal as hardly to be a goal at all.

    Obviously this is the metric. Duh.

    If he’s talking about real growth in exports, that’s been flat for decades.

    You should always look at the real dollars vs. nominal unless you are talking about a ratio (exports/GDP). But once again, statistical chicanery is pretty much a requirement to be a politician.

    Our balance of trade problems aren’t because we don’t export enough; they’re because we import too much.

    And the wrong things. Importing for example, capital equipment–i.e. things that will help us be more productive in the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing even if there is a trade imbalance. However, we are importing more consumer goods than capital goods.

  • jan

    “Meanwhile, Caterpillar is re-instituting mandatory unpaid furloughs for its employees and idling plants, apparently to draw-down inventories in the face of a global slowdown “

    There goes what stock we have in Caterpillar….down, down….etc.

  • Obama is running on empty.

    He has terrible stress lines around his eyes. I watched portions of that debate, and it’s too hurtful.

    Send him home. He has a great wife and beautiful daughters. He needs relaxation and nurture.

  • I’m continuing his work here. It will spread.

  • I don’t care too much for money, money won’t won’t buy me love.

  • jan

    Janis

    Both men are strained. For instance, Romney’s aids have said that he was not feeling well before the debate, having stomach problems, perhaps the flu. His family even wanted him to postpone the debate. He didn’t, but during the debate people derided him, commenting that he was ‘sweating’ while obama remained cool. However, when one is weak, one tends to perspire…

  • From what I can tell, third generation wealth doesn’t know the time of day.

  • Drew

    Send him home.

    As I’ve noted before, I’ve seen guys in over their head before. All the signs are there.

    ” I don’t care too much for money……”

    The two are not mutually exclusive.

    As I have also noted before. I know someone inn the campaign. Flu.

  • From what I can tell, third generation wealth doesn’t know the time of day.

    Neither does third generation stupid.

  • Drew, I know the crack signs. It’s not doing drugs, it’s trying to do too much at one time.

    I did it, too. Daddy was dying, I had an unsatisfying love affair going, and I was expected to work 70 hours a week.

    I had some insurance and checked into a mental hospital. People fed me three meals a day, I didn’t have to do laundry, and I could do cute crafts. It was a vacation. I couldn’t afford it otherwise.

  • Here’s a quarter, Drew.

  • Drew

    “It’s not doing drugs, it’s trying to do too much at one time.”

    I have no clue where you are going with the drugs reference.

    Its not necessarily trying to do too much. Usually in an executive its an inability to prioritize and/or delegate and do anything effectively. Or simply realizing that the attendant pressures of the job are above their coping skills.

    Keep the quarter.

  • Here’s a clue , Indiana Man. Travis Tritt.

  • Janis, you’re going to run out of quarters and will have to sell the bell and the foot rest.

  • Drew

    By the way, I was listening to Ed Schultz today (not to speak of Chris Mathews) and I was wondering, do you have any spare psych unit insurance left?

    Those poor souls need medication, pronto. Lots of it.

  • Out of luck, chile,

  • I had something like a million and and a quarter through my husband.

    His wife and I are two executives putting our snotwad sons to work, and countless laborers.

    Where y’all come from, Mamou?

  • We can squeeze a nickel. We ‘re golden.

  • Who are you, Drew?

    I’m a magician.

  • It’s not that much money. It’s easy to spend it. Quickly. The snotwads will, without proper supervision.

  • I’m moving on. I’m not crazy about these children. They’ve kept me up at night. Their father loved them , though. And his parents.

  • Great. Not only does my husband’s son call me a bitch in my own kitchen, but Drew thinks I’m psycho, too. Snotwads.

  • Drew

    Janis

    Were you drunk?

    And the comment was directed at Chis Matthews and Ed Schultz, not you.

  • Were you drunk?

    Probably not, but y’all are having two separate conversations, mostly.

  • Drew, I wasn’t drunk, but you make me crazy.

    Sometimes I think if I thumped your head it would sound like a ripe watermelon.

  • Let’s lay it out for you, Drew.

    Your party wants to lower taxes on the wealthy, so these wealthy people can be job creators.

    I have real-time experience with third generation wealth, and these little bastards, or one of them really, can think of nothing but how to spend money.

    Never saved a nickel on his own, can’t balance a checkbook, or pay bills on time. Or even f*****g stay out of jail.

    I don’t like these people. I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to them. They’re self-involved and inept.

    I live on good terms with the people those people enslaved.

  • Calls his mama in to do his dirty work.

  • Furthermore, I’m a woman and I kick ass. Your party has done everything it can think of to keep me barefoot in the kitchen.

  • Damned reactionary Republicans.

  • Here’s a boot in the face for a brute like you.

  • Sylvia Plath.

  • Do you understand me, Drew?

  • “We flatly won’t work until you can guarantee us high-end stereo systems.”

    Snotwads.

  • Still working on Sunoco.

  • Exxon and Goldston are lined out.

  • What the f**k is wrong with these people?

  • My sweet boy at Goldston is helping me work on that.

  • What do you say, Drew?

  • One capital manager to another.

  • What the hell y’all doin’? Laying up with barroom queens?

  • Drew

    “Do you understand me, Drew?”

    Quite frankly, no.

    It appears you have become unhinged, engaged in a monologue with yourself and your personal deamons. In formal psychology, they would refer to your series of comments and observations as cognitive distortions.

    That said, I wish you the best.

  • Pretty cute.

  • TastyBits

    @Janis Gore

    Where y’all come from, Mamou?

    Grandmother – Soapstone
    Grandfather – Mittie
    Father-in-law – Arnaudville
    Mother-in-law – Plaucheville

  • It’s just a turn of phrase. They’re wonderful people. I hope to to get down to the Pigfest at Mamou sometime.

  • So, now. Who do I need to berate at Sunoco?

  • I”m perfectly capable of flying to Philadelphia.

  • Exxon calls me armed and dangerous.

  • Quite right.

  • Drew calls everyone that doesn’t agree with him a mental case. What kind of mental disorder is that?

  • We call them snotwads. I don’t refer to the directory.

  • Why are these people hanging back? I paid taxes shortly after my husband died. I have the Non-Suit in hand, which I had to kick mightily to obtain, mind you. It’s been out there three weeks now.

    What IS the fuck wrong with these people?

  • I’ve been calling people twice a day, every day, with appropriate details. Sunoco won’t call me back.

  • o_O

  • Janis, everything takes longer these days. When my sister FINALLY signed over her half of the house to me (for far more money than it was worth – and in a deal that was needlessly complicated because my sister wanted it structured in such a way as to imply I should divorce my wife, and don’t even ask….), it took their lawyer 43 fucking days to send the paperwork to the County Comptroller’s office – about two miles away from the attorney’s office. GRRR. Someone with no arms and legs could have bitten the paperwork and rolled it to the comptroller’s office faster. And that was with me starting to prod them after two and a half weeks with nothing happening. GRRR.

  • Janis, you’re missing that one final screw. I’m knitting with only one needle. And Drew? To be honest he hasn’t got a clue.

  • Someone with no arms and legs could have bitten the paperwork and rolled it to the comptroller’s office faster.

    And yes, that’s accounting for the marauding swans in downtown Orlando.

  • AND my idiot brother-in-law screwed up a simple piece of paperwork that has needlessly complicated by tax position with the Lewis Co. (WV) Sheriff. GRRR.

  • Bullshit, Ice.

    People are covering their butts because they can’t find the time to do the damn work. cf. Lineberger.

    This man at Goldston answered his phone the first time I called. I was harsh. I later apologized, knowing it was not at all his fault, and now we’re buddies. He’s 53. Has three teen boys. His wife is an insurance adjustor.

  • I _HATE_ freakin’ tax disputes, especially with law enforcement types.

    Snotwads seems as good a term as any..

  • Second period above bolded and italicized, for extra ‘UMPH’.

  • Oh, I did not at all mean to imply it wasn’t bullshit. It’s just that it’s piled so freakin’ high and deep these days that people just don’t understand direct action any better than they understand direct language. Weasel actions to be covered by weasel words.

  • There oughta be a PsfhD degree that one can get after a PhD.

  • Bunch of obfuscating son a bitches…

  • As for not doing the damned work, in the case of the deed to my house I KNOW everything was done, except for putting the paperwork in an envelope and mailing it, or giving it to the legless, armless courier previously mentioned. They even had the freakin’ stamp and envelope. It was either monumental incompetence or my sister and/or BiL instructing the lawyer to fuck with me some more. After my dealings with that attorney it’s impossible to know for certain, either explanation seems equally likely.

  • Oh, if anyone here ever has someone they don’t like that needs an attorney in Orlando, I can recommend a marvelously untalented & incompetent lawyer to you. I can be reached at stabmaster(dot)icepick(at)att(dot)net.

  • I bet Drew never liked the Hypermodern chess movement either.

  • I think I told Exxon that I’d lost the last thing on the planet that that I really cared for, and to never fuck with a woman who has nothing to lose. Or something like that.

  • While I like you, Ice, that’s not untrue. The big boys don’t like true.

  • Drew

    Everything all right in the critics section??

  • Drew, you have no sense of fun whatsoever. Not to mention bouts of complete brutishness.

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