• A reader writes:
“Subject: Re: Should You Sell Your Home?
“Obviously you have not checked out the San Diego, CA area where I moved from a few years ago. My daughter started out paying $750 a month rent, in a crummy area, about four years ago for a 650 sq ft apartment. It has just been raised to $1300! She has a good position, making in the mid $40,000 but CANNOT afford to move to a nicer area because rents are out of sight!!!!!
“And to buy, forget it, she could never qualify although she has good credit, for any type of house. San Diego, she says, is losing mid-income people. They are moving out in droves. These people are not aware that San Diego is one of the highest costs of living for the lowest wages in this country, if not #1. It is beautiful there and weather perfect (I lived there for 32 years) and they think oh, wow, lets move to San Diego, only to become very discouraged and finally moving back to where they came from where rents or homes are affordable. Check it out.”
• Another reader comment:
“The article, ‘Globalization and its Discontents‘ struck a particular note with me, as I have recently published a book, Globalization: Myth, Miracle, Mirage (University Press) that covers a lot of the same themes, but introduces a few novel ideas. First, I believe it is time to change the macro-economic accounting of nations from the traditional geographical point-of-view to national capital control over the output of GDP, foreign trade, employment, etc. regardless of political geography.
“This would show, for instance, that much of the American economy as defined now is actually in the hands of foreigners: 15% of the GDP, 20% of her exports, and 30% of her imports. As U.S. FDI has to be added in that was done also. But, if America wanted to use economic globalization as a key instrument in its drive for global hegemony, it was a dismal failure. Only 2.5—3.0 percent of the global output of GDP outside the United States itself is accounted for by its foreign subsidiaries. Therefore, the decisive switch of her foreign policy to the political/military means under Bush, also called the neo-con policy.
“I close the book with the parallel to King Croesus of Lydia who set out to conquer the world 2500 years ago by misreading the Oracle of Delphi. Bush’s fate will be the same. In only four short years he has alienated all former friends of America, launched a losing war in Iraq that will melt down the country’s strength and resources, and helped to form the largest coalition of economic and military power the world has seen, and it is solidly anti-America. His dreams of American superiority and world leadership are turning to dust in his own hands.”
• A German reader spots an error:
“Being occasionally interested in financial matters and therefore and because of other reasons being a regular (from Germany) of your thoughtful and interesting newsletter, I noticed a funny mistake, Mr. Bonner made.
“Herr Bonner wrote in an article called ‘A Thousand Clowns‘ about man’s tendency to believe in humbug, a topic with many good examples from history. In it, he recalled several famous quotations from different times; he e.g mentioned the slogan of the Nazis about Germanys need for ‘Lebensraum’ (Living space), a good example for a ridiculous thought, which nonetheless believed many people through propaganda.
“Only that he changed the word to “Liebensraum” (loving space), which gives the topic a new direction.
“I don’t know if Herr Bonner or a member of his family had the pleasure of joining young Germans on the love parade in Berlin and therefore found out, that Germans are not the sausage-eating, beer-drinking and swastika-wearing people they are still being thought of in the Anglo-Saxon world — however, it was a rather subtle and sensitive way of letting us Germans know, that 50 years of democracy have finally made us partners of the West.”
Editor’s comment: We make mistakes in all languages. Once, in an Italian restaurant, we ordered ‘spaghetti carabinieri’ instead of “spaghetti carbonara.” We had asked for spaghetti with policemen on it.
In England, we were once asked at a hotel by a pretty woman at the front desk: “Would you like to be knocked up in the morning?”
“Well,” we replied, “we don’t know if it will work, but we’d be happy to try.”
Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century.