The Fed and the Treasury Department had another busy weekend, this time propping up Citigroup,the largest bank in the world.
The way things have been lately it might make you think the U.S. is full of a bunch of losers who can't produce anything or invent anything or save anything or even buy or sell a mortgage without going into default.
Hold your horses, as they used to say in the Old West.
America has the largest GNP in the world, three times larger than its nearest competitor, which is Japan. And that's even though the United States is the third largest nation in population (after China and India, which are each four times larger than the U.S.).
The most number of hours worked per year? U.S. workers top that list too, with Japan coming in second. The Japanese don't have the Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons and Las Vegas so nobody there goes on vacation.
Want to make some comparisons? California has an economy as large as the nation of France (about sixth in the world). Texas has an economy as big as all of Canada. And New York State? It has an economy as large as the entire nation of Brazil, that big gun down there in Latin America.
In Detroit, where we're having a bit of a blip at present, workers on the assembly line make $75 dollars an hour. That's $150,000 a year. Might be time for folks there to take a few cuts. Yet even with some wage concessions, workers there could still most likely pay the rent. And all of them are certainly living a better life than are workers in China where the average wage is 57 cents an hour.
I hope Barak Obama, if he is truly putting together a "team of rivals" will reach really far across the aisle and bring in a few free market advocates to the Treasury Department and the Fed. They seem to have gone missing from the George W. Bush administration, but I hear they are still around, hiding out at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. They might tell the new president that it is our free market in America (the freedom to succeed, the freedom to fail and start again) that has made this country the dream of the world. And yes, we've learned it must be regulated to keep the corrupt and the greedy (whether capital or labor) from fouling the waters.
What has failed in recent days has not been our free market. It has been our government's oversight. And what with keeping all the nuts in the Middle East from blowing us up because they're jealous, and keeping all of Latin America from moving here illegally because they want a piece of the action, it is not exactly a surprise they dropped the ball.
In fact, while the government is distracted right now, maybe California ought to buy the state of Michigan. The Governator could really turn that place around, maybe with some help from Google. Come on, its better than sitting around a table and getting economic advice from France.