Sunday, April 23, 2017

Self-Correction

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

All democracies of the world are managing their budgets in the red (many public corporations are on this list except a very few exceptions) meaning that they are run on a fiscal deficit.  This happens every year (year after year) for the USA government.  The gap between revenues and outlays continues get big/ger (governments keep expanding the limits), the old debt and cost of servicing the debt gets larger, the combination of new debt and debt servicing increasing burdensome on the nation/s.

For those who really care about gap analysis, the rem is self-explanatory.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_analysis.  For some reason the democracies are not managed as we expect publicly traded companies, which should not only be socially responsible but also create profits for shareholder equity.  Typically, democracies are being run to cater to vote banks and political ideology of the parties.

The obvious and politically much advertised revenue and spending GAP is discussed as every political party’s nemesis.  Once the election is over, the national debt and deficits are constantly expanded and with political consent.  USA, being the world’s largest economy, world’s largest national budget also has world’s largest national debt and most times on an annual basis a budget deficit.  In 2016, the USA budget was $3.54 Trillion with a GDP of $16.5 Trillion, and the debt burden was $20.1 Trillion.  All are stunning and extraordinary numbers which keep growing, and the debt number is the one that is growing faster than any other positive indicator in the USA economy.

Outside of the national debt/deficit the state and local level budget deficits are also a common feature in the USA.  If a common man adds national, state, local and village level budget deficits, cost of debt handling and the continued expansion of the needs of the citizens, no one can go to sleep.  You will worry, and will not have an uncomplicated way to balance the budgets.  The deficits are mind boggling (and politicians have no problem raising the ceiling every time they want to) to imagine how much money all levels of governments owe, and how they have no issues in raising the debt ceiling and how little effort is made to become balanced budgets.

Our governments keep spending money we don’t have, and they keep expanding the debt.  Irrespective of how you manage money, there must be a way to balance the budgets.  The individual families and the corporations are all required to not only balance their budgets, but also have savings.  Only the government doesn’t have this initiative or intention.  The national interest to be self-funding and self-sufficient is enforced on people who are represented by the government, but don’t want the government to be held to the same standard.  President Trump pronounced that he can not only balance the budget, but also eliminate the entire national deficit in 10 years.  Trump has the experience of complex real estate enterprise and bankruptcies and reassignment of balance sheet.  People have voted him to power, and the wish list should include a balanced budget.  We shall know very quickly when we see his first budget.

The country must spend on military and we must service the debt.  Both line items are the largest contributors to the spending.  The debt servicing is also the largest line item in most of the state and local government balance sheets.  While recognizing that the USA has the largest managed national debt, the country is not alone in the world.  There are less than a handful of nations which have zero budget deficit and zero national debt.  All most all the large democracies continue to rake up the debt.

Politics and debt are like siblings.  They try to foster each other’s growth.  A resolution to force a balanced budget and political populism don’t really work well together.  For generations, political will has never been in place to put the country’s interest first, always all the time political survival is paramount.  Spending borrowed money (a lot of it misspent) has been a powerful political tool for survival.

At some point of time there will be a breaking point.  If unchecked the alternatives can only result in in a default or bankruptcy.  Both these scenarios have been real in the recent past.  We must recognize that a large city like Detroit declared bankruptcy.  It was the last resort to a worst-case scenario in the largest economy on earth, and a major city with the USA.  While declaring bankruptcy wipes out the debts, it creates a long term and negative impact on building a positive future.  No one will want to provide you a credit facility to conduct normal business.  The temporary impact of resetting the balance sheet adversely impacts the normal functioning of the enterprise.  The bankruptcy also creates a massive financial burden on everyone who is involved with the enterprise, individuals and companies will be wiped out because of their losses that stem from the bankruptcy.  Eventually the public and tax payer is the one who gets to take the hit on every decision that forces a bankruptcy. One reset doesn’t reset any positive renewal, rather it gets spread around to everyone, it is simply redirected to many from a few.  Anyone, any government at any level can default and declare bankruptcy, and pass on the poor management to the public.  The overall cost of mismanagement is simply redistributed, rather than managed for efficiencies.

There is no self-correction of misappropriation.  It should be rather well directed and well managed budget.  Trump can make decision that will force a balanced budget and deficit reduction.  It will never satisfy everyone in the nation to force balanced budgets, but once there is a zero-deficit nation the public will simply see their cost of living become the best in the world, and future safe and secure.  It just needs a bit of political will.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Anger of Convenience

vasureddy@aol.com
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Today, it is easy to find anyone on the phone or online.  Mobiles, telephones and Internet is just about everywhere, and people (most of them) want to be found.  Once you sign up to something, most people don’t know how to turn off notifications or status updates.  Many of us simply signup and don’t try to limit the access to our information, and many times we simply forget that we have signed-up to something, and we might never need or use.

Although travel has become more accessible and probably affordable, it is still an expensive proposition for most of the world, comparing to access via a phone, mobile or the internet.  Many times, a mobile allows for both voice and video chat (outside of the obnoxious texting).  Today just about anyone can look at the person on the other side, just about the thing that is missing is touch and feel.  It is quite reassuring that we can find anyone, with a few clicks and check-in on their well- being.  This certainly doesn’t disregard the business and professional aspects of communications and the fantastic bridge built by telephone, mobile, computers and the internet, and certainly the massive data sharing and storage available thru Google and Microsoft and many of the IT pioneers.  The idea to help people be in touch, and allow for inexpensive communications is real today, and we must be thankful to the continued innovation in the communications industry.  Outside of the trillions in benefit to the industry and commerce, the billions who are connected have more personal connect today than it was just 30 years ago.  Life today has been envisaged in science fiction, and the advances in telecommunications are limitless and will continue to be only limited by human kinds imagination.  It is fantastic to find anyone, anywhere and anytime.  A personal notation is that for someone who lives in many places and have loved ones in many places, the advanced communications are always a blessing to reach out and find someone from a life that was far from now.

The dream of finding and getting in touch with a loved member of the family, a friend, a colleague, a relative or anyone, that is to reach out to, is a google and click away.  My personal experience has been quite good, as searching and finding someone who you have always remembered buy lost touch is wonderful.  If you are successful in really finding and then reaching out to him/her and connecting and catching-up and remembering the time from the past, and sharing today and hopefully be available and be together from now into the future.  If you are successful with this, it will be simply like you have never been out of touch as in just a few minutes, you no longer are the long-lost souls, but you are just like you never lost touch.  It is a normal phenomenon that ones you love and like, no matter the time, they will remain as such.

Our distance becomes near, although there we can’t touch and feel.  Familiar voices become common and no longer in the past.  What will become a normal and familiar part of life, sometimes will become a matter of convenience, and sometimes a matter of anger management.  If you will agree that it is difficult to say no or disagree with someone you care about.  A normal reaction to any request (even the most mundane ones) is to say yes, or agree.  There is seldom any thought in agreeing on the phone or on the internet, as you want to please everyone on your list, and when in a distance, it is simple to say yes (agree).  But follow-up might be difficult to engage in completion of the commitments for reasons that could be perfectly acceptable.  But what transpires is the difficulty of the distance and relationship, and a perfectly acceptable reason for saying yes and not being able to follow-up, and in the frame of the relationship and time.   Although a life time of investment in a relationship can simply get into a turbulence on a simple matter of convenience (specially thousands of miles away), it does become easy to display anger (specially towards someone you care about) as the distance and medium allow it.  Often being ignored might be the anger of convenience.  We often spend a life time to find someone and the often allow the anger of convenience to ignore the same person.  Irony of the ability to find and communicate.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easier Tweet Than Done

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Seeing babies gassed to death is not for the faint hearted or hard hearted, it is heart wrenching to see them suffer.  Anyone who sees the little children being gassed should be offended and alarmed.  As always, the war claims the innocent as they are defenseless.  Human history is full of destruction of history and animosity to humanity.  The worst part of killing and destruction is always in the name of something, and that something is religion.  Religion although never preaches violence, the interpretation is always leading to human tragedy.

It is not just the last few years in Syria and Iraq, that had either displaced or killed millions, while erasing the human history and its past glory, but this genocide has been happening way too often.  Just that we have a better record of the atrocities today.  We are more and more behaving as if human life and our history has no value.  We are attack, gas, destroy, bomb, loot, cheat and whatever we should not be doing to each other, we are doing.  Most times we have no response to the atrocities, except sadness.

The USA and its 2016 elections irony is now the thing of the past.  We have a new president in power, along with his party’s congress and senate.  The bruhaha about what the last president did or did not is now history.  The comments and objections tweets by the current president about the last president is also in the archives.  Today and now, along with a new president are a matter of fact.  Syria’s Assad and Russia’s Putin are still doing what they do, and now it is Trump’s watch.  Obama and democrats are no longer in power, but there is no change in the battle field.  Now its Trump’s war and Trump’s Tweet.

The question often repeated throughout our history is “Why would anyone want to commit mass murder on their own people?”.  If we had rulers and subjects this has happened again and again.  In today’s world Syria and Iraq (several other nations) religious fundamentalism, foreign interference, dictatorship, cultural diversity, and constant internal conflict.  All of which adds to unstable societies and difficult common law.  The millions of innocents that have lost their life or being displaced are in the shooting ranges for murder, rape and atrocities in the name of war.  The killing fields are simply day to day activities, and there is no clear path to a stable nation, or there is any identifiable reason for mass murder.  In Syria’s case, it is for sure that Bashar would like to rule the nation the rest of his life (probably pass it on to his children), and the others would like their own Caliphate, with many factions their own independence.  So far all we are being left in Syria is dead people, displaced citizens and ruins of ghost towns.  Once can’t be sure what type of dead kingdom that someone really wants to rule, and what is all the killing going to achieve?

This last week American tax payers probably paid more than a billion dollars to send a few smart bombs, to cause some damage to an airport in Syria.  There was a global support for the Americans acting against atrocities.  The irony is spending a billion in a few hours did not achieve a whole lot of action against Bashar.  The airport runway is open already.

Syrians and their Russian partners deny the gas attack (they always do), while it is obvious to the world.  The incredible denials to obvious and well documents atrocities, and the Russian threats that followed are the SOP of these guys.  The difference between citizens and fundamentalists, has been long been forgotten by the Syrian regime and the Russians, they really don’t care who they kill and what they destroy.  The reality is that between themselves they have destroyed thousands of years of civilization, a full nations population, and no doubt created enough hatred around the world, engaging groups of people to attack their neighbors.

Trump just like his predecessors has inherited the hot seat.  He is the leader of the free world, and has the responsibility to the rule of law.  He can Tweet, but now he is the one who bears the headlines, Tweets.

No president before him, or will after him can just look at what the world is doing.  Yes, Trump’s America First is election worthy, but it is worthy of a nation to make sure that the World and America are tied together, and they will be one nation and one world, in peace and prosperity.  As with all Presidents before him in varying degrees of leading the free world, Trump will also raise to the occasion to the office, will promote democracy and a free world.  It comes with the office.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Russiagate

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Trump will continue to deny and tweet against anything that doesn’t suit him or unfavorable to him.  No one should be surprised as it the way he has been all his 70 years and being the US president should have no impact on his behavior.  We must remember that Trump has been what he is now, and there are no two faces to him.  He is now surrounded with people who are of similar disposition.  His spokesman makes it a daily habit of badgering anyone that has a question.  Trump and anyone remotely associated with him only will question anything that is factual and doesn’t suit them (Trump) and become offensive to anything that comes in their way.

Although Trump’s presidency is in its infancy, each day has been a revelation of something other than governing the nation.  Trump without hesitation carries a full family baggage, real estate baggage, personal baggage and twitter baggage; all of this or any of this would have sunk anyone running for president.  Trump constantly defied the conventional wisdom and is now our 45th President.

CNN and all 24 hour new channels were interesting when they started to cover the world.  The wars and politics happened 24 hours and the they were there covering and commenting.  Most times the commentary was dual sided.  Since and before the 2016 US elections, not just the cable news channels, but also the regular news networks have been having a difficult time explaining to the audience, what they refer to as conventional politics.  After the election, all the channels have been dumbfounded.  The white house and the press (media) are 100% at odds with each other, and coining of the Trump term “alternative facts” has become common.

The scandal of Watergate and the resignation of President Nixon can’t be quickly forgotten.  After more than 40 years after Watergate, the presidential scandal continues to be a classic example of justice catching up to anyone one in the USA, and the American democracy withstanding even the might of the American president.  The USA constantly finds a way to demonstrate the rule of law (sometimes takes time) for all its citizens, including the president, and equally.

At the time of Watergate, there was limited (in today’s terms) communications and information gathering and tracking.  Still the nation got to the bottom of the scandal and fished out the facts, and truth prevailed.  Today we should be sure that there is everything we do under surveillance and being scanned and tracked.  When you are a high-profile politician and/or his followers, and you are dealing with the Russians, you can be assured that every word of your every action will be monitored.

The aggressive posturing and responses by Trump and his associates doesn’t really hamper any investigations.  The agencies will obtain what they need to find (its somewhere in some archives, they just must dig into the information), as in this case we already know that the Russians were involved.  The extent is what will come out in the investigation/s.  It is not just about Trump’s often aggressive and demeaning tweets, but also his associates with alternative facts.

Since Trump’s inauguration on January 20th 2017, the continued acrimony between the press and white house is on full display, and daily continues to get more acrimonious.  Each passing day these actions; revelations and findings have continued to add to the Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Trump and his team bombarding everyone only adds to the intrigue and Trump team’s denial of the facts (mostly twisting words) continue to add to the political drama.

For the watching public, it is excruciating to watch the rudeness the rudeness that comes from the white house.  The blatant display of constant denials and inability to govern is obvious.  We so far don’t know all the facts of the coordination between Trumps and Russians.   One thing is for sure that we will know the facts, as they are out there.  It is for sure as history demonstrates, the facts might not be what we suspect, and lead the nation to something that is entirely unexpected.  It could be as we found in Watergate.  But the truth will come out, and the democracy will survive.  Once again.

Past Perfect

Vasu Reddy from Chicago vasureddy@aol.com It has already happened. Past is already on the books, recorded, and can’t be changed.   It ...