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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Supremes Enter Healthcare Tug-Of-War

Originally Published March 22, 2012; Last Updated January 18, 2017; Last Republished January 18, 2017:

For reasons that are not immediately apparent our Supreme Court has elected to enter the politically charged healthcare tug-of-war—perhaps as referee for divergent lower court decisions?


It's difficult to imagine a more compelling federal purpose than Congress providing for the welfare of all our citizens by ensuring they are afforded systematic, effective, and competent healthcare.

Amazingly, providing healthcare for all our citizens has proved contentious—less than when Congress established our First Bank of the United States, which promptly assumed the Revolutionary War debts owed by the individual states1.

Res:

UPDATED 06/25/2015 SC King et al. v. Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. (pdf, slip opinion)
SC, Department of Health and Human Services, et al., Petitioners v. Florida, et al.

Web:

UPDATED 01/18/2017 WP, How the Republican Plans to Replace Obamacare Could Affect You
UPDATED 01/06/2017 Reuters, Pence says repealing Obamacare 'first order of business' and CNBC, Nancy Pelosi: We Had 3 Goals For Obamacare and CNN, Biden to GOP: Go ahead, repeal Obamacare and WH, President Barack Obama interview with Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff about Obamacare

Repealing healthcare for our citizenry is at cross-purpose with America's long-term economic growth expectations. These expectations are most easily understood with reference to economic productivity or real gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked. Absent automation and robots healthy citizens of all color and creed, including immigrants will generate that GDP—the healthier, happier, longer living and productive our citizenry the better!

It's likely that providing healthcare to all our citizenry will add more to our long-term real GDP growth than any other single public-private action and perhaps all public-private actions combined (a close second will likely be mitigating the many negative impacts of the unprecedented magnitudes of our inequality metric measures4)?

Pence would do well to adopt to the objectives of his running mate with respect to healthcare for all our citizenry, "...we're not going to have a two-day period...where there's nothing...it'll be great healthcare for much less money..." and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

 

 

President Obama, your being very generous with your "Republican-friends'" cruelly cynical repeal-delay-replace political tactical strategy. Your "Republican-friends" are likely intending to rerun their opposition to Obamacare, which has worked for them so well to date, during the 2018 congressional elections

One might think your cruelly cynical "Republican-friends" hope to keep the House and gain a filibuster-proof Senate in 2018 so they can simply repeal healthcare (i.e. ignore their delayed promise to replace), without political penalty.

Wonder why our citizenry hold our politicians in such low regard or complete disregard, disdain, and disgust? If our citizenry had to associate with your "Republican-friends" they'd embrace their enemies—oh!, wait they just embraced one...he's now their president-elect!

UPDATED 09/29/2016 HHS, Every Income Group Experienced Significant and Similar Drops in Uninsured Rates Under the Affordable Care Act and Urban, What if More States Expanded Medicaid in 2017? Changes in Eligibility, Enrollment, and the Uninsured (pdf)
UPDATED 09/15/2016 UCTV, Health and The Supreme Court: 2016 Year in Review


Mostly reviews the case(s) reversing the religious wackos from Texas attempts to impede a women's control of their own bodies and healthcare.

UPDATED 06/25/2015 Reuters, U.S. top court backs Obamacare, president says it's here to stay
UPDATED 07/22/2014 Reuters, U.S. court rulings create new uncertainty over Obamacare

Jacqueline Halbig, et al., V. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, In Her Official Capacity As U.S. Secretary Of Health And Human Services, et al., Decided July 22, 2014, No. 14-5018 is pedantry in pursuit of politics.

The opinion is likely to be read as contributing more to the categories of fear, uncertainty and distraction than common sense construction aimed at preserving the historic purpose of our Affordable Care Act (i.e. provide every American citizen with affordable and comprehensive healthcare).

UPDATED 07/04/2014 NYT, Birth Control Order Deepens Divide Among Justices

Wow, that didn't take long for our Supreme Court to generate more zaniness—not even a Court opinion.

Just a stay of a lower court decision while the Supremes figure out whether yet another religious organization person can assert that their God forbids them from submitting a government form stating that their God forbids them from providing female employees with reproductive healthcare!

Hey, on the positive side our religious organizations persons aren't dragging women to a public square for shamming, dunking, flogging or killing—how's that for speedily enlightened national progress?

Happy 238th birthday America!

UPDATED 07/01/2014 Burwell, Secretary Of Health and Human Services, Et al. V. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Et al.

More legal mischief created by the "corporation as person" fallacy3, which glides through the bizarre and sublime in to the zany.

It's unclear what impact the amazingly narrowly tailored opinion will have on providing equal healthcare to our women. Health and Human Services (HHS) and our President should accept the Court's invitation to use alternative methods to ensure all our women have unimpeded access to complete reproductive healthcare independent of any entities' public or private religious beliefs.

The Court's stated objective of judging a religious practitioner's sincerity independent of whether their religious beliefs are reasonable or mistaken will no doubt guarantee more zaniness in future court opinions.

UPDATED 06/28/2012 US Opinion, National Federation Of Independent Business et al. V. Sebelius, Secretary Of Health And Human Services, et al.

U.S. Supreme Court rightly stretches to save the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—its detractors discuss their next destructive move.

More after studying this historic, necessary and fascinating decision—its most significant implications and impacts may have nothing to to with healthcare!

UPDATED 04/06/2012 Thomson Reuters, Analysis: Justice Kagan--Giving liberals a rhetorical lift

UPDATED 03/29/2012 Thomson Reuters, Analysis-Chief Justice Roberts: Man in middle is man of the moment and NYT Op-Ed, Broccoli and Bad Faith


UPDATED 03/27/2012 ProPublica, What’s at Stake in the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decisions Provides a handy yes-no decision flowchart for the question presented.

Understandably, some of our "laissez faire" justices seemed to conflate market entry with market function and were puzzled that our government has the ability to compel entry into the healthcare market.

If you are equally puzzled query whether our government has, can and would compel individuals to enter the healthcare system (market) if they were: radioactive; carrier of Ebola or other Class IV pathogen; or even a non Class IV pathogen like tuberculosis? (Justice Breyer pursued this line of questioning)

Now assume our explosive field of biochemistry serendipitously discovers that broccoli can treat any or all of the above illnesses. Then our government can and would compel individuals to enter the food market, too—even the most religious or broccoli phobic of our sitting Supreme Court justices!

Compelling second session question from Justice Kagan @ ~1:10:00 on hearing distinction between insurance and healthcare markets:
"...Doesen't that seem a little bit, Mr. Clement, cutting the baloney thin..."?
On market function it seems useful to note that it's very difficult or impossible for individual states to establish separate healthcare markets that operate efficiently—they would need to impermissibly restrict interstate travel or face market collapse as the uninsured seeking healthcare flowed into the state.

A "laissez faire" proponent will tend to slice the baloney nanoscale thin before acknowledging the obvious, that real world markets can and do regularly fail. Often citing prior market interventions as the reason for current market failure—you need look no further than the recent catastrophic collapse of the mortgage market—the failure was caused by to those seeking to provide affordable housing, according to our laissez faire proponents.

If our states cannot individually construct and operate efficient markets then you simultaneously implicate the commerce clause and delimit the "broccoli conjecture"2 articulated and repeated by some of the justices.

UPDATED 03/25/2012 Thomson Reuters,  The Supreme Court tackles health care reform: What's at stake for U.S. businesses Summary by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom


NYT,  Affordable Healthcare Act
Thomson Reuters, Factbox: Health benefits Americans may lose in court ruling


-----notes-----

1. Had Florida et al. been states in 1790-91 they no doubt would have filed a federal complaint arguing that our Constitution prohibited the nascent central bank from assuming any Revolutionary War debt!

2. The "broccoli conjecture" guesses that if our federal government requires Americans to form a single risk pool for the purpose of diversify healthcare risks then our Supreme Court is unable to delimit a federal government requirement that Americans purchase broccoli.

Unfortunately, we have learned to accept this type of conjecture from our Sunday school teachers—must we also learn to accept it from our Supreme Court justices?

UPDATED 06/14/2012 An interesting article tracing origins of the "broccoli conjecture"—no thinking necessary.

3. A corporate container is typically utilized to insulate its beneficiaries, apparently exempting a beneficiary's religious requirements or beliefs.

 The Court does not explain how a corporate container transmogrifies a beneficiary's religious beliefs—perhaps just another fiction fallacy more typically found in Bible stories than legal opinions?

4. An added benefit of providing healthcare to all our citizenry is a reduction of our unprecedented economic inequality.

Politicians Worldwide Pursue Censorship

Originally Published September 10, 2012; Last Updated January 18, 2017; Last Republished January 17, 2017:


Politicians worldwide must pursue transparent governance and continuous campaigns to reduce corruption instead of censorship—kudos to Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who must be immediately released from jail and permitted to non-violently express dissent as he sees fit.

India's strategy of arresting dissidents for sedition has a long history of failure—failing in our nation when dissidents were arrested, jailed and prosecuted under our Alien and Sedition Acts of 1789.
Cartoons Against Corruption

Web: 

UPDATED 01/18/2017 CJR, An Open Letter to Trump from the US Press Corps

It seems useful to remind the prospective president of the United States that he's a temporary guest in our White House. He would do well to respect our Constitution, customary practices, and the cherished status given our First Amendment.

Perhaps we can "relocate" move the prospective president of the United States to a tent on the White House lawn as a teachable moment of American constitutional priorities.

UPDATED 11/08/2016 WilsonCenter, Protecting Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law in the Age of Terrorism


The Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government has become an embarrassment for Turkey, European Union, and NATO.

UPDATED 10/17/2016 TED, We can fight terror without sacrificing our rights


No Nations' government, individually or jointly will defeat terrorism with censorship.

UPDATED 09/16/2016 SecrecyNews, FAS Website Blocked by US Cyber Command, Then Unblocked
UPDATED 05/20/2016 PCWorld, U.S. says proposed Chinese regulations may fragment the Internet and HarvardUniv, How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument

All politicians will forever try and fail to control "the message"—China and the 50¢ party (五毛党), Turkey, North Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, United States, Britain, Singapore [substitute your favorite repressive or not so repressive government] et al. will also fail.

UPDATED 02/22/2016 FP, China’s New Age of Fear
UPDATED 12/29/2015 CCTV,  President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at 2015 World Internet Conference and WP, China’s Xi tells grumbling party cadres: ‘Don’t talk back’


Our government has nothing on China when it comes to flowery speeches, which drastically deviate from behavior when it comes to establishing, maintaining, and governing an open uncensored Internet.

UPDATED 01/24/2014 ICIJ, Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite and China - China censors reports about elite's hidden funds and CDT, ICIJ Discloses 37,000+ Names of Offshore Clients

Suppose that stability (or harmony) requires governance by consensus, an informed citizenry and a transparent government.

Opaque governments implicitly suppose stability (or harmony) requires censorship and secrecy, often blaming transparency and others for any eventual instability that invariably ensues.

Government leaders (or surrogates) secretly and opaquely sending large sums of money out of their country seems like indicia of instability. Subsequent censorship of information disclosing such secret transfers coupled with military aggression, exaggerated nationalism and repression of dissidents seems like a baleful omen of an accelerating instability.

Ironically, increasing the instability, which censorship and secrecy seeks to avoid!

UPDATED 12/11/2013  BBC, Will China expel foreign journalists?

A global citizen's rights to open, transparent, and coercion-censorship-corruption-free government must be universally established, maintain and protected. These minimum universal rights must inalienably attach to each citizen of all nations and governments.

ReutersIndia, Cartoonist arrest revives free-speech debate in India
LighthouseInsights, Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi Arrested: A Mockery Of Democracy

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

China-US Begin Delicate Dance

Originally Published January 24, 2009; Last Updated January 17, 2017; Last Republished  January 17, 2017:

China and United States begin the delicate domestic dance of figuring out how to synergistically propel each country''s economic growth without alienating one another.

On one level this is a "problem" all nations should have—mutual economic interdependence such that neither nation can effectively afford to alienate the other. Each must work with the other or both nations will suffer.

Economists for both China and the United States are excellent, but this is not fundamentally an economist''s problem nor can they do little more than crunch the data, develop and run the models, and provide economic forecasts.

This is about the kind of relationship China and the United States expect to develop and maintain over the next century. Get it right and each country will gloriously benefit—get it wrong and the result will be anything but harmonious.

It's not the time for trite and trivial accusations and counter-accusations about currency manipulation. It''s a time for candid, frank, transparent, honest, and broad ranging discussions about what each country requires from the other to ensure and assure our mutually beneficial friendship extends through the next half century and beyond.

Economists will play a role. Skilled leadership, politicians, and negotiators each capable of assuming nothing, exploring everything, and making tough transformational decisions will play an even greater role. Treat it as a short term rhetorical game for gain versus a long term candid, honest, frank, and transparent discussion between mutually respectful friends at your nation''s own risk!  

Res:

UPDATED 10/25/2016 Brookings, A Glass Half Full: The Rebalance, Reassurance, and Resolve in the U.S.-China Strategic Relationship

It's difficult to think of big power nations working hard together to complete a quality bilateral investment treaty as a relationship on a bad path. A multidimensional relationship that captivates, confounds, and challenges, sure4, but that's not bad!

UPDATED 06/18/2010 WH, Letter from the President to G-20 Leaders
"...I also want to underscore that market-determined exchange rates are essential to global economic vitality. The signals that flexible exchange rates send are necessary to support a strong and balanced global economy...."--President''s June 2010 G-20 Letter--
Blog:

UPDATED 02/26/2010 CFR, Reality Bites. A short light-hearted assessment of the current China-U.S. relationship that's maybe too close to the truth.

UPDATED 06/02/2009 WSJ, Full Text of Geithner's Speech at Peking University. Geithner''s former Mandarin teacher has a laugh at his expense. Presenting him with an earlier picture while hinting that more than learning Mandarin was afoot.

UPDATED 05/30/2009 ChinaDigitalTimes, All Eyes on U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner's First Trip to China. Our young (47) Secretary of Treasury, a Mandarin speaker, heads to China for economic talks—be bold—the prescient vision of our first Secretary of Treasury, 34 years-old New Yorker Alexander Hamilton still awes modern minds.

Web:


UPDATED 01/17/2017 WEF, Davos 2017 - Opening Plenary with Xi Jinping President of the Peoples Republic of China and FP, Xi Jinping, Head of World’s Largest Communist Party, Champions Global Trade


The President of the Peoples Republic of China and leader of the Communist Party of China defending the liberal world trade regimen against the astonishing illiberal assertions of the prospective president of the United States! (e.g. praising Britain's EU exit and its weakening currency; threatening punitive tariffs; threatening to scrap multilateral trade agreements etc.)  You cannot make this stuff up!!
"Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war." --President Peoples Republic of China, Xi, Jinping, Davos 2017--
UPDATED 01/14/2017 CGTV, Exclusive interview: US Ambassador to China Max Baucus on President Xi attending Davos


One suspects President Xi et al. will quickly learn how to correctly filter an increasingly noisy U.S.-China relationship, which will produce a surprisingly familiar signal.

UPDATED 12/06/2016 SCMP, China’s borrowing costs surge, sending economy into cycle of implicit monetary tightening and Moody's, Moody's & CCXI 2017 China Credit Outlook Conference assesses challenge of maintaining growth while implementing reform

 
 

It's difficult to delicately dance with a dance partner behaving like a bull[y] in a bullfighting arena charging at red capes! A skillful matador(s) will be required to [re]tire the bull[y] without getting gored or harming the bull[y].

UPDATED 11/21/2016 CCTV, Presidents Xi and Obama to meet in Peru and President Obama Holds a Bilateral Meeting with President Xi of China

 

Thank you President Obama for your global leadership during the past eight years. Watching your titular successor, to date, dance with one leg and arm is a tragicomedy, which trivialize confidence in nations' cooperative relationships.

UPDATED 11/10/2016 Reuters, Beijing says EU's proposed reforms against Chinese exports disappointing
UPDATED 11/08/2016 PaulsonInstitute, Jeff Bader & Dennis Wilder: “How Should the New President Deal With China?” and CAP, Recalibrating U.S.-China Relations in Southeast Asia (pdf)

 

Premier Li's recent westward journey points our "[not so] new" President towards many fruitful opportunities to advance our cooperative bilateral relationship with China.

UPDATED 11/03/2016 Reuters, Exchange Rate USCNY and ChinaDaily, Premier Li to start 8-day trip to Central Asia and East Europe
UPDATED 10/21/2016 Xinhua, Premier Li expects early conclusion of China-U.S. investment treaty negotiations 
UPDATED 10/01/2016 CCTV, Obama Stresses Need for Coordinated Action Following G20 and IMF, Lagarde Urges Action to Deliver on G20’s Hangzhou Commitments

 

"The G20 also welcomed the inclusion of the Renminbi into the SDR (Special Drawing Right) currency basket as of October 1st--an important milestone that will help strengthen the international monetary system as well as China's role in the global economy." --IMF, Managing Director Christine Lagarde--

 

Overcharged geopolitical environments are antithetical to global stability and predictability, regardless of what's in the IMF SDR currency basket.

UPDATED 09/06/2016 RT, G20 in China: Performance and fireworks on 1st day of summit and CCTV, President Xi Jinping gives the opening speech of G20 Summit in Hangzhou and Wikipedia, 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit

 

Translation, Xi Jinping message G20 Summit 2016, China (pdf)

UPDATED 08/15/2016 US SEC investigates Alibaba over accounting

Finally, our global economic and financial regulators are beginning to view "exceptional" (some might say ridiculous or bu*&sh!t) reporting of corporate financial and economic activity as a reason for close and transparent investigation instead of awe or envy!


Delicate dancing requires partners to follow the same step, lest one or both get hurt.

UPDATED 06/27/2016 Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Tianjin, People's Republic of China


UPDATED 06/26/2016 YoutubeFT, The end of the Chinese miracle


UPDATED 06/20/2016 YouTubeCCTV, China, Poland to Lift Ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership


UPDATED 06/14/2016 Reuters, Chinese state-owned companies face greater scrutiny of EU deals after ruling
UPDATED 05/10/2016 WilsonCenter, Why does not China directly increase RMB usage in International Trade? (中文
UPDATED 04/29/2016 Time, The Dispute About the South China Sea Is Also a Dispute About History and America’s Role and Reuters, China denies request for Hong Kong visit by U.S. carrier group: Pentagon

Those crewing the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis must serve 18,600 meals per day—those crewing Beijing must serve 1.357 billion!

It's important to continue asking...

UPDATED 04/07/2016 NYT, Obama Faces a Tough Balancing Act Over South China Sea and WilsonCenter, The Month in U.S.-China Relations 中美关系一个月(March 2016)

China's tangential bullying in the South and East China Sea has been a self-defeating and self-extinguishing exercise, which should not distract or impede either nation from military and non-military cooperation.

UPDATED 03/05/2016 Reuters, China aims to maintain growth pace, fend off unemployment in five-year plan A reserve currency must repeatedly and transparently dance with all partners during global economic downturns. Private dances with yourself or limited partners is a comparatively simple, if incomparable dress rehearsal.

UPDATED 12/03/2015 CSIS, The RMB Joins the SDR: Historic Inch-stone in Global Financial System and Econ, Maiden voyage [can it float?]

UPDATED 06/02/2015 AFP, Bernanke blames Congress as China flexes economic muscles
UPDATED 01/24/2014 ICIJ, Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite and China - China censors reports about elite's hidden funds and CDT, ICIJ Discloses 37,000+ Names of Offshore Clients

Suppose that stability (or harmony) requires governance by consensus, an informed citizenry and a transparent government.

Opaque governments implicitly suppose stability (or harmony) requires censorship and secrecy, often blaming transparency and others for any eventual instability that invariably ensues.

Government leaders (or surrogates) secretly and opaquely sending large sums of money out of their country seems like indicia of instability (not unlike an insider trader). Subsequent censorship of information disclosing such secret transfers coupled with military aggression, exaggerated nationalism and repression of dissidents seems like a baleful omen of an accelerating instability.

Ironically, increasing the instability, which censorship and secrecy seeks to avoid!

UPDATED 06/02/2013 NYT, U.S. and China Agree to Hold Regular Talks on Hacking

Unsupported hyperbolic statements by well-meaning Chinese and American generals are distinctly unhelpful and unlikely to motivate an improved bilateral relationship.


UPDATED 12/27/2012 Reuters, China is the elephant in the situation room Includes a link to the Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report (pdf)

UPDATED 10/28/2012 NYT, The Wen Family Empire
UPDATED 10/11/2012 Reuters, IMF cuts China, India, Emerging Asia Growth Forecasts

Of more concern than a China that rises is a China that fails to rise—only slightly less concerning is that some seemly prefer confrontation over cooperation and coercion over competitive or comparative advantage.

UPDATED 08/11/2012 Reuters, China data signals economy may need urgent policy action
UPDATED 05/21/2012 Reuters, Exclusive U.S. lets China bypass Wall Street for Treasury Orders

UPDATED 05/09/2012 Reuters, Analysis: Turning point emerges for Chinese central bank's market operations

UPDATED 05/03/2012 ThomsonReuters, Auditor watchdog in China talks - spokeswoman

UPDATED 04/06/2012 Brookings, Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust

A paper aiming to reduce the probability that China and the United States jointly produce a tragi-comedy, which plays on our global stage to critical condemnation.

Both nations have a responsibility to jointly produce a modern opera, which plays on the global stage to critical acclaim (hint: it will likely have both Chinese and American characteristics).

UPDATED 04/04/2012 Reuters, RPT-UPDATE 1-China's Wen says bank monopoly must be broken up-state media

UPDATED 03/19/2012 CCTV, China Development Forum 2012 and IMF, China Development Forum 2012, Guest Speech by Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director

 
UPDATED 03/18/2012 Reuters, China to reform, grow economy, IMF eyes freer yuan
UPDATED 03/01/2012 NYT, A Call for Beijing to Loosen Its Grip on the Economic Reins and
WB, China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society

UPDATED 02/21/2012 USCC, Hearing on Chinese State-Owned and State-Controlled Enterprises

It's unclear whether the state owned-controlled-sponsored enterprise(s) can or will predominated global competition?

Most of the hearing witnesses seem to generally focus on a variant of the theme that China is coupling currency controls and state owned-controlled-sponsored enterprises to subsidize domestic and foreign markets.

But how is China's global subsidy of the consumer harmful? Perhaps this is what hearing witness Paul T. Saulski was getting at by stating:
"I will end by pointing out that, although these policies do benefit state-owned enterprises and industries vis-à-vis their foreign competitors, these policies do not come without significant cost to the Chinese economy."
Of course a nation's choice of models (economic, financial, legal and production)  is independent of the requirement that all these models and all actors must operate in a globally transparent and accountable environment.

Discovering your collateral debt obligation3 is worthless must not await a sovereign default; discovering medical grade silicon substitutes must not await implant rupture; discovering a metal was not heat treated must not await a crash; discovering an active ingredient substitution must not await the harm or death of a patient; etc.

The good news is that on this anniversary of the Nixon-Kissinger trip to China we're still discussing how best to further open our nations.

UPDATED 02/16/2012 NYT, Europe Steps Up Talks With China on Its Market Status

Today's open economics means your dance is significantly influenced, if not determined by the dance(s) of others—the chaos of stopping the music and then competing for chairs is no longer desirable, if it ever was.

Our future economic models must ensure the music does not stop or when it does that there is a seat for every ass.

UPDATED 02/14/2012 Reuters, Obama, China's Xi to tread cautiously in White House talks and Reuters, Obama friendly but firm with China heir apparent



UPDATED 10/02/2010 Reuters, Wen says some in Congress politicize trade gap. China''s Wen is correct on politicizing trade and that we are not going to restart production of the low-value added items imported from China:
"...Many of the Chinese exports to the United States are no longer produced in the U.S., and I don''t believe that the United States will restart the production of those products -- products which are at the low end of the value-added chain....."--Reuters quoting China Premier Wen Jiabao--
Our current leadership is now struggling to create the high-value-added replacement jobs—unfortunately the low-value-added jobs were lost faster than the high-value-added jobs were created. Blaming China will not create the replacement high-value-added jobs.

UPDATED 10/01/2010 Reuters, UPDATE 1-US, China not headed for currency war- Geithner and CFR, Confronting the China-U.S. Economic Imbalance .

Blaming China should not substitute for focusing on America, including support for our citizens and residents negatively impacted by our transition toward increased global cooperative competition. All nations must avoid the politically expedient tendency to characterized other peer nations as engaging in inimical behavior; instead they must cooperate to ensure stable competition in our increasingly global economic and financial systems.

UPDATED 09/24/2010 Reuters, Obama asks Wen for more action on yuan.
UPDATED 09/08/2010 Reuters, China-U.S. ties improving, Hu tells White House team. Encore! UPDATED 07/15/2010 AsiaTimes, All ''AmeriChina'' cards on table.
UPDATED 06/19/2010 Xinhua, China decides to further reform RMB exchange rate regime and Xinhua, Obama says China''s currency move "a constructive step" and NYT, China Signals a Gradual Rise in Value of Its Currency.
"...We welcome China''s decision to increase the flexibility of its exchange rate,...Vigorous implementation would make a positive contribution to strong and balanced global growth. We look forward to continuing our work with China in the G20 and bilaterally to strengthen the recovery,..."--Xinhua quoting U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner--.
UPDATED 04/04/2010 Reuters, China tries to cool yuan dispute with U.S..
UPDATED 03/18/2010 NYT, U.S. to Delay Chinese Currency Report.

China representatives are scheduled to discuss currency manipulation and balance of trade issues with senators ahead of a vote on whether the Yuan is being artificially undervalued against the dollar. Many think the current Yuan:Dollar ratio of 6.83:1 is 25-40 percent undervalued. It seems preferable for China to develop the non-authoritarian institutions required for a stable civil society as opposed to pursuing unsustainable growth policy that distort or destabilize the global economy in pursuit of the same.

UPDATED 03/15/2010 CFR, Confronting the China-U.S. Economic Imbalance.
UPDATED 03/09/2010 CFR, China''s Exchange Rate Policy: The Heat Is On.
UPDATED 02/05/2010 Economist, By fits and starts.

Mostly fits right now. Unfortunately China leaders like our leaders will tend toward stoking the nationalism rhetoric. The rhetoric can be dangerous because it substitutes emotional appeasement for doing the heavy lifting required for long-term sustainable solutions. Many times leaders of a nation cynically use nationalism believing they can control the passions. But such passions are difficult to control once stoked. Citizens in both China and America must condemn any effort by our leaders to substitute nationalism for the hard work of ensuring sustainable global growth. Protectionism or terminating dialogue or inflammatory rhetoric regardless of the differences or disagreements are nationalistic and impede sustainable global growth.

UPDATED 02/04/2010 BBC, China hits back at US over trade

More imbalances left behind by the previous administration. A policy of creating growth using the mantra "markets clear everything" has created titanic imbalances and disasters. Balanced growth is preferred growth because it''s sustainable growth.

 
Caution: How will our current administration determine and communicate that it is: ensuring a level playing field for fair trade; and not protecting inefficient domestic industries lacking innovation? Our president has signaled he will oppose protectionism while ensuring a level playing field for competition, but data and information must accompany the words. Understandably China is left to assert subjective statements like "At the moment...the level of the yuan [sic] is close to reasonable and balanced." The reply is simple and direct...well then let''s float your currency and more objectively test your statement. Many think the Yuan is still 30-40 percent undervalued making our goods relatively more expensive for the Chinese consumer, among other things.

UPDATED 01/15/2010 NYT, Murray: US Senators Urge China Action on Currency. A nation shifting from an export to import model must lawfully or unlawfully build its intellectual property assets—unfortunately most nations, and China is no exception, engage both lawful and unlawful channels (the recent Google-China incident is about this in spades) for increasing their intellectual property assets. Authoritarian regimes will tend toward unlawful channels simply because their governing model is in conflict with the freedoms necessary for lawful generation of cutting-edge intellectual property assets. However our leader are shortsighted not to recognize the untenability (from China''s perspective) of asserting that China floats its currency and abandon its efforts to lawfully increase its intellectual property assets. Our leaders are also shortsighted to place all their focus on the necessity of prying open China''s markets to the exclusion of developing, protecting, and securing our next generation intellectual property assets. We simply do not want to be in the position of competing with an authoritarian China using an export model to exploit an infinite supply of low-cost labor! Hopefully, our forthcoming Google incident demarche will implicitly (if not explicitly) make clear to China and other American companies we have no such intention of doing so.

UPDATED 07/26/2009
UPI, Chinese delegation in Washington for talks.

UPDATED 07/27/2009 Reuters, Obama calls for deeper U.S.-Chinese ties. Vice Premier Wang, Secretary of State Clinton, and Treasury Secretary Geithner at U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington July 27, 2009.
"...The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world,..."--President Obama--
UPDATED 07/21/2009 Time, China''s Plans for Replacing the Dollar.
UPDATED 06/02/2009 Xinhua, U.S. treasury chief embarks on China visit, shaping ties in Obama era
UPDATED 06/02/2009 NYT, In China, Geithner Backs Cooperation.
UPDATED 05/22/2009 UPI, China fails to win status from EU. China still striving for "market economy" status from EU

This is a huge issue and one not easily solved by China''s leaders. China''s leaders would like to achieve market status because it eliminates "price imputation" on a host of trade related issues. In a "planned economy" (as opposed to market economy) prices are not objectively and reliably determined (central planning sets prices)—so in some trade related circumstances market economies will calculate an approximate market price and impute it to China''s goods. ...Of course if you are trying to build confidence in your currency it is helpful to subject that currency to market forces ("float").

If over time the currency maintains its value investors gain confidence. If on the other hand you peg your currency at a predetermined value and intervene in the currency markets to maintain that value investors have no simple way of objectively determining if the currency value reflects its true value or a "manipulated value".

But if China "floats" its currency its true market value may cause unintended or undesirable (from the perspective of China''s leadership) consequences. For example it may cause an outflow of currency from China''s banks; it may cause export prices to rise making them less competitive internationally; it may increase the cost of vital infrastructure projects; etc.

It''s no easy task to float your currency while simultaneously avoiding all undesirable consequences—just ask our secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner! In case you think its simple or black-white consider whether it's better to have hedge fund managers and currency speculators manipulating your currency or your nation's central bankers?

UPDATED 05/22/2009 UPI, Pelosi, U.S. delegation to visit China [May 24-31, 2009]. Whether you agree or disagree with China''s leaders many most acknowledge and credit their Herculean efforts to transform China; reduce its crippling poverty; and place it on a path of global participation (sometimes it''s easy to forget China is a developing nation). Our leaders will do well to assume China''s leaders have objectively studied and thoroughly understand most of the critical problems confronting China—demonstrating that same understanding and communicating how America can play a constructive and accommodating role in solving those problems will be most welcomed. ...And who knows what together we can accomplish?

UPDATED 05/17/2009 NYT, The China Puzzle. It is not often we read an article, even in the NYT, that aims at educating the reader—David Leonhard has accomplished this in a infinitesimal incremental way—kudos! It''s not that our trade imbalance with China is per se the problem—it''s what our policymakers for the previous eight years did with China''s loaned foreign exchange surplus that is an enormous problem—they consumed it instead of investing and now have nothing to show for it, except rusting military hardware, scrap metal, and a cheap DVD player with a MTBF of 200 to 400 hours! Competing with China in the low to medium skilled labor market is not something America wants to accomplish—whether and why we need to are different and most unfortunate questions our policymakers are currently asking and debating among themselves and others? Ironically, China, a communist country with socialist and egalitarian aspirations currently has one of the world''s most unequal income distributions. China has annual average urban income of  ¥3,411 and rural income of  ¥1,2442 (note the imbalance between rural and urban).

UPDATED 04/25/2009 Reuters, Geithner urges global effort to tamp crisis
"We must set ourselves on a path so that one country, or group of countries, does not consume in excess while another set of countries produces in excess,"--Reuters, quoting Geithner--
UPDATED 04/18/2009 BBC, China looks to its own consumers and VOA, China Announces $10 Billion Asian Infrastructure Investment. Global demand is insufficient to support China''s export model forcing it to look to domestic demand. Switching from an export model, if that''s what China''s fourth and fifth generation leadership plan, will be as challenging as it is potentially beneficial.
"But Mr. Wen stressed the importance of confidence among world leaders, calling it "more valuable than gold" and said that hope was also important, like a "beacon.""--VOA quoting China''s Premier at Boao Forum--
Confidence in world leadership is even more important—leadership capable of credible, continuous interaction for shared sustainable global growth—not princes, oligarchs and cowboys who stand on the sidelines issuing threats, preconditions, and demands—substituting militarization, belligerence, and bullying for credible confident leadership. UPDATED 04/01/2009 Xinhua, China, U.S. to build positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in 21st century. UPDATED 03/13/2009 Reuters, China expresses worry over its U.S. assets.
"I would like, through you, to once again request America to maintain their creditworthiness, keep their promise and guarantee the safety of Chinese assets,"--China''s Premier Wen Jiabao--
We''re a little concerned too—but, our Secretary of State likely has it about right—thanks for your directness—if there''s anything Paul Volcker has demonstrated a dislike for it''s inflation.

UPDATED 03/05/2009 NYT, China Outlines Ambitious Plan for Stimulus The parallel economic efforts of both nations has been impressive—wonder what could be achieved with transparent cooperative and coordinated economic efforts? China starts parliament session amid global crisis, calls for confidence to combat downturn Reuters, China silent on extra stimulus, stands by growth aim

UPDATED 03/01/2009 Xinhuanet En, Premier: Regression in Sino-U.S. relations not in line with historical tide. China''s Premier Wen Jiabao conducts a two hour intra-China online chat.
"He [Wen] said it has been proved by 30 years of Sino-U.S. relations that both will benefit from cooperation and both will be hurt by bitter fights."--Xinhua, reporting chat--
Hopefully, soon both Chinese and American leaders will be conducting unrestricted, uncensored routine reciprocal cross-culture online chats with the netizens of the others nation.

UPDATED 01/30/2009 AP, Obama addresses global trade imbalances with Hu Xinhuanet En, China''s Hu holds phone talks with Obama over ties

UPDATED 01/28/2009 UK Guardian, China pins blame for financial crisis on America
[America enabled] "...an excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit, lack of self discipline among financial institutions and ratings agencies..."--China''s Politburo, Wen Jiabao--
Point taken—perhaps the illusion of profits is a better descriptor—the net profits and wealth remain to be studied and determined. Only the speculators (cowboys) benefit from engaging in the harmful practices aimed at creating and profiting from artificial differential swings in the market, most recently from 12,000 to 8,000. The rest of us benefit from sustainable stable linear growth, but then most of us aren''t walking the halls of Congress purchasing the enabling "cowboy policies" from members of Congress (it''s called corruption in China and everywhere else, we call it campaign contributions). In fact if or when we all begin acting like the "cowboys" our system will no longer function and will collapse—in just eight years the "cowboys" have produced a warning disaster! Hopefully, together we''ll study and learn from this warning and avoid triggering another.

UPDATED 01/24/2009 AP, Under Obama, US-China ties may face shaky start WP, Geithner Says China Manipulates Its Currency AP, China dismisses US remark on currency manipulation

-----notes-----

1. China''s Yuan is pegged against a weighted composite of international currencies, but China''s domestic currency is the Renminbi (see Wikipedia, Currency Signs for other country''s currency symbols).

2. Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, China''s Great Economic Transformation, 2008 page 729 et seq. (Dwayne Benjamin, Loren Brandt et al. Income Inequality during China''s Economic Transition)—published in Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, China''s Economic Transformation, 2008 Figures are for 2001 data. China''s 2008 HDI PPP GDP per capita based on 2006 U.S. dollars is $4,682.

3. UPDATED 03/17/2021 The SEC has recently release a report containing a series of notional histograms for the Security Based Swap known as a Credit Default Swap (CDS), which frequently insure a Collateral Debt Obligation (CDO).

There is an intense debate over what threshold should trigger swap dealer regulation—high threshold to exempt many dealers or a low threshold to exempt few dealers.

The egregious use of CDOs and CDS by our cannibal capitalists has been well described and documented (e.g. Reuters, Forget Greg Smith. For Goldman expose, read Hudson CDO ruling).

4. An exclusive emphasis on conflict and confrontation risks fully apperceiving a complex cultural dance between China's leadership and its mass of people. (CSIS, China Reality Check: Chinese Public Opinion and the Durability of Chinese Communist Party Rule and CSIS, Reconnecting Asia: Launch)


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Need-To-Know Is Antithetical And Harmful To The Scientific Process

Originally Published December 21, 2011; Last Updated January 14, 2017; Last Republished January 14, 2017:


United States, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has requested researchers and scientific journals to withhold fundamental data1 related to the laboratory gene manipulation and inter-species transmission of the influenza A-H5N1—effectively classifying the scientific data and imposing a government gated "need-to-know" requirement.

One need look no further than our current dysfunctional classification system2 to understand how harmful and antithetical a government gated "need-to-know" requirements will be to the scientific process.

Res:

UPDATED 07/29/2016 NAP, Soliciting Stakeholder Input for a Revision of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL): Proceedings of a Workshop (2016) Chapter: INTRODUCTION
UPDATED 07/15/2016 NAP, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Developing Standard Operating Procedures (2016) Chapter: Front Matter and NAS, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Prudent Chemical Management

UPDATED 11/11/2013 iGEM, Synthetic Biology A non-government-gated totally transparent participatory paradigm is a preferred model for all responsible biological research.

Web: 

UPDATED 01/14/2017 RoyalSociety, Transparency and openness in science
UPDATED 09/30/2016 Bioinformatics, Towards the knowledge-based design of universal influenza epitope ensemble vaccines
"...A ‘universal’ vaccine would ideally induce immunity against all or most influenza A subtypes. However, as influenza continually evolves, formulating a vaccine with such broad protection remains problematic. Current seasonal influenza vaccines lack the ability to induce cellular immunity and instead induce strain specific humoral immunity where novel or differing influenza strains can easily bypass immune recognition..."--Q.M.Sheikh et al.--
UPDATED 05/23/2016 Reuters, U.S. targets spying threat on campus with proposed research clampdown

The burdens of such a program are likely to far outweigh any benefits (mostly imagined). Universities must not be required to apply for a license from an anonymous military officer on the political desk (Bureau of Political-Military Affairs) of our State Department to teach students computational biology or any other subject or conduct laboratory experiments.

This is just another dangerous and mischievous form of watch-list metastasis more indicative of fascist and dictatorial forms of governments than an enlightened and modern democracy.

Hey, on the bright side our State Department, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs or clandestine services is not, yet declaring students and professors heretics, shooting them in the head on their way to school, or magnetically attaching shaped charge explosives to their vehicle as they commute to work!

UPDATED 12/07/2014 ReutersTrust, China reports new human case of H7N9 bird flu
UPDATED 11/17/2014 Reuters, Dutch authorities identify highly contagious bird flu strain (H5N8)
UPDATED 05/22/2014 Alantic, Scientists Are Creating New, Incurable Diseases in Labs
UPDATED 03/28/2014 NTI, Netherlands Overhauls Biosecurity Rules as Avian Flu Dispute Simmers

UPDATED 01/17/2014 ThomsonReutersTrust, Increasing H7N9 bird flu toll demands constant vigilance and China reports one more H7N9 bird flu death
UPDATED 01/09/2014 CBC, H5N1: Bird flu questions and answers  An isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza has been announced in Alberta.
UPDATED 11/25/2013 UPI, FDA approves avian flu vaccine
UPDATED 01/23/2013 Reuters, Bird flu studies, halted over terrorism fear, to resume and LAT, Controversial bird flu research to resume

Kudos to our scientific research community for transparently pursuing their research—rendering scientific research opaque based on a religious-zealotry-utility-harm-index is equal to or greater than the ignorance of a religious zealot (aka religious whack-job).

UPDATED 09/28/2012 PopSci, New Research Could Identify Nature’s Most Dangerous Viruses--If It’s Public

UPDATED 06/30/2012 Nature, Influenza: Five questions on H5N1 and Do not censor science in the name of biosecurity

UPDATED 05/02/2012 Nature, Mutant-flu paper published

UPDATED 03/31/2012 CBC News, Bird flu study publication cleared by U.S. biosecurity panel

UPDATED 02/18/2012 NYT, Despite Safety Worries, Work on Deadly Flu to Be Released

Fortunately, the scientific process has trumped the national security process whose metastasis threatens more than the information it purports to obscure or render incomprehensible.

UPDATED 02/15/2012 Reuters, Insight - Containing the world's deadliest microbes
UPDATED 01/02/2012 NYT,  How Hard Would It Be for Avian Flu to Spread?
UPDATED 12/22/2011 CTV, Journals asked to censor controversial bird flu studies
Section III-D-7. Experiments Involving Influenza Viruses (NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules May 2011)

..."Experiments with influenza viruses generated by recombinant methods (e.g., generation by reverse genetics of chimeric viruses with reassorted segments, introduction of specific mutations) shall be conducted at the biosafety level containment corresponding to the risk group of the virus that was the source of the majority of segments in the recombinant virus (e.g., experiments with viruses containing a majority of segments from a RG3 virus shall be conducted at BL3). Experiments with influenza viruses containing genes or segments from 1918-1919 H1N1 (1918 H1N1), human H2N2 (1957-1968) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strains within the Goose/Guangdong/96-like H5 lineage (HPAI H5N1) shall be conducted at BL3 enhanced containment (see Appendix G-II-C-5, Biosafety Level 3 Enhanced for Research Involving Risk Group 3 Influenza Viruses) unless indicated below."...
...Section III-D-7a-d
NYT, Seeing Terror Risk, U.S. Asks Journals to Cut Flu Study Facts


-----notes-----

1. There is of course a "night-day" difference between impeding the free flow of scientific data which is not in the public interest and impeding the free flow of a virus, which is in the public interest. Stated differently the unimpeded flow of scientific data (not just scientists or those deemed to have a need-to-know) is required to impede the free flow of viruses.

Although peer reviewed journals, research centers and universities are amazing channels of innovation it would be foolish to assume they are the only channels of innovation in our era of ubiquitous knowledge.

Additional information links:

Select Agents and Toxins List
IFBA
DTRA, Nunn-Lugar Biological Threat Reduction Program
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) 
UPDATED 12/10/2016 NSABB, BioSecurity and Oversight 

2. Those knowledgeable about our classification system know our government is capable of asserting an infinite number of reasons, real and imagined for imposing or perpetuating a "need-to-know" requirement for the purpose of ensuring data remains opaque.

Moreover, our classification system has proven impervious to reform, notwithstanding determined efforts by government transparency advocates and experts. So impervious is our classification system that even when data are known to the world our government pretends a "need-to-know" still applies!

Furthermore, when data are pried loose or leaked from our classification system, experts frequently have difficulty intuiting any reason for the data classification—there is no government accountability for any mysterious or incorrect data classification.

CCSF Accreditation In Jeopardy

Originally Published July 05, 2012; Last Updated January 14, 2017; Last Republished January 14, 2017:

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges has ordered CCSF to show cause why its accreditation should not be terminated and to submit its closure report by March 15, 2013.

CCSF's Interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher has posted an initial response to the ACCJC final evaluation report1.

Res: The Foundation of City College of San Francisco



Blog:

UPDATED 08/10/2012 FCJ, Occupy CCSF Protesters Decry Decimation of Public Education; Revenue Measures Essential for Survival


Web:

UPDATED 01/14/2017 HigherEd, BREAKING: CCSF's Accreditation Reaffirmed and SFEx, A timeline of CCSF’s accreditation battle  CCJC has reaffirmed CCSF's accreditation for seven years.
UPDATED 06/30/2016 SFExaminer, CCSF may return to being free after three decades

Our government should not be cannibalizing our nation's higher educational institutions in pursuit of a failed laissez-faire economic policy or extreme libertarian dogma (aka neo-anarchists).

UPDATED 01/07/2016 SFExaminer, CCSF’s accreditor found noncompliant with federal education standards

UPDATED 01/15/2015 SFExaminer,  Restoration status approved for CCSF in quest to remain accredited
UPDATED 06/21/2014 SFGate, CCSF deal gets Feds' Approval
UPDATED 12/27/2013 SFExaminer, CCSF Saga Shifts to Courtroom and SFGate, Lawyers for Faculty, Panel Argue Over CCSF's Accreditation

CCSF remains focused on responding to ACCJC's recommendations and is not taking part in the courtroom saga.

UPDATED 10/21/2013 SFExaminer, New CCSF Chancellor Vows to Help College Heal
UPDATED 07/04/2013 KQED, Commission Votes to Terminate CCSF Accreditation

CCSF has until July 31, 2013 to request that ACCJC reconsider their vote terminating its accreditation.

UPDATED 12/28/2012 SFGate, CCSF making big changes to stay afloat CCSF's accreditation preservation team moves with all diligent speed in responding to the Accrediting Commission's concerns!

UPDATED 10/04/2012 LAT, Fading Dreams: California Community Colleges

It's unclear why our community colleges are not structured to operate 24/7/365—providing a low or no cost pathway for all qualified residents and citizens to continuously improve their educational attainment over an entire lifetime?

UPDATED 09/19/2012 SFGate, CCSF risks bankruptcy, chancellor warns and SFGate, City College near bankruptcy, audit says
UPDATED 07/08/2012 InsideHigherEd, Something Has to Give
UPDATED 07/06/2012 NPR Forum, City College of San Francisco in Jeopardy?

A few primary CCSF stakeholders representatives discussing how the ACCJC's report can be used to improve an amazing Bay Area asset.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, City College of San Francisco Is Threatened With Loss of Accreditation

-----notes-----

1. CCSF must submit its plan to address ACCJC's final evaluation report recommendations by October 15, 2012.