Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The following comes from an article written by Scott Burns, a syndicated columnist and Chief Investment Strategist at AssetBuilder. (The entire article can be read by following this link, or you can peruse the main thrust of it here...)
George Friedman holds up a recent Fortune magazine, his face a portrait in incredulity. The cover declares that China is buying everything, much as the Japanese were doing nearly two decades ago. The inside story is titled “It’s China’s World. (We just live in it.)”
“If China is so healthy, why is everyone there not investing in China?” he asks.
“The obvious question is: Why are they doing this? Fortune doesn’t remember that we saw this before. It’s called capital flight.”
Mr. Friedman, the founder and prime mover at Stratfor, goes on to point out some basic facts about the size of the U.S. economy relative to China. While we bemoan the loss of industrial capacity in the United States, for instance, we still manufacture more than China and Japan combined. And the United States still produces 25 percent of the world’s output. And our output is larger than the combined gross domestic products of the next three largest economies, Japan, China and Germany.
We simply don’t know our own strength.
“If we grow at 2.5 percent a year, China would have to grow at 8.2 percent just to keep the absolute gap steady. It will take generations for the Chinese to catch up,” he says.
Nor do we understand the deep poverty of China. He points out that China has a population of 1.3 billion people. But of that number, 600 million have an income under $1,000 a year. Another 440 million have incomes of $1,000 to $2,000 a year. Only 60 million people have incomes of $20,000 a year or more.
“In the U.S. we have ignored the numbers. So we say all industry has left the United States. That’s rubbish,” he declares.
Monday, January 4, 2010
" RELIGIOUS TESTS: No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."
Tennessee's Bill of Rights: Article 9: Section 2.
" No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."
South Carolina's Constitution, Article 4 Section 2:
" Person denying existence of Supreme Being not to hold office. No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."
North Carolina's Constitution, Article 6 Sec. 8:
" Disqualifications of office. The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God...."
Maryland's Bill of Rights: Article 36:
" That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefore either in this world or in the world to come."
Article Six of the United States Constitution:
...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.