Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Simple Things

by Emily Halgrimson

There’s nothing like an ailing economy to force people to enjoy the simple things in life. While cutting back on satellite radio subscriptions, trimming cell phone bills and upping Netflix use, we can reassess needs versus wants, not a clear distinction for most Americans. We often leave reflective periods liberated and relieved; knowing things are more balanced than before. What’s going on in people’s lives is also in happening in the flailing economy. It’s a time to clean up. By trying to stop this down time are we losing a chance to regroup the country for the better?

Is it possible to have ups without downs, and expect the ups to continue?

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What if we just gave the bailout money to the people?

By Noah Graff

What if instead of giving all the bailout money to the reckless, untrustworthy banks and incompetent automakers our government just gave the money to the people? I’m not talking about 500 dollar “stimulus” checks. Say all of this aid money, maybe about $10,000,000,000 ($10 trillion!), was distributed to 100 million tax paying units in the U.S.? The people – our people, rich and poor, would get $100,000 each, and surly they would do some awesome things to stimulate the economy. Think about what people might use the money for – cars, houses, college educations, stocks, bonds, starting new businesses – not to mention depositing the money in the bank. So the banks would get their liquid too! What if people got half that amount, a quarter? What would you do with $25,000?

Personally, I’m very skeptical that the recipients of the current bailout plan are going to use the money wisely. Like so many people, I am scared that they will not learn from their mistakes. I fear we may be throwing our hard earned dollars into a black hole.

I say let the people fix the economy!

Question: Would giving $100,000 to every U.S. tax payer be a better way to save our economy?

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Will China keep investing here?

By September 2008, China had owned 585 billion U.S. dollars in U.S. government bonds, becoming the largest creditor of the world’s largest economy, according to the latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Finance. It bought new US national debts every month during 2008’s first three quarters. (

For years, China has had a surplus of money, which its national bank gleans from its high export to import trade imbalance. It takes the dollars it makes from U.S. consumers and then needs a reliable place to invest them, and it has historically invested heavily in U.S. treasuries along with private U.S. assets.

But now many of China’s investments in the U.S. have gone awry, as they were screwed by Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, and reckless derivative trading. Naturally, like most people in the world, they have lost some trust in the once supposedly rock solid U.S. economy.

I believe that Americans will keep buying Chinese goods for a long time – although maybe slightly less because people here are struggling. Nevertheless, at least 90 percent of the goods Americans take for granted in their daily lives are made in China. Read the book, A Year Without Made in China, (reviewed by Today’s Machining World) and this concept is clear.

China’s government should have plenty of money to invest overseas for years to come. The question is … has the U.S. economy gotten so bad that they will put a lot of it elsewhere. Personally I don’t think so.

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