Tag Archives: economy

The Wages Of War In A Recession

One of the unseen fall outs from the recession is its impact on serving in the armed forces. Since the stock market collapsed and the unemployment rate has risen, the United States military have witnessed a rather significant rise in re-enlistments as men and women flock to the military in the absence of job opportunities. Since the 2009 fiscal year, there have been 427 re-enlistments in the Washington National Guard, and many who are not re-enlisting, are planning to become a full fledged member of the regular army. Sergeant Jerry Frazier, who handles retention for a brigade, notes: “when we first deployed,(last fall) a lot of them didn’t want to re-enlist… but a few months later, a lot of those same guys came back up to me and said they were worried a bout the economy, about paying bills.” Soldiers are being paid extra money to supplement the GI Bill.

There is little question the surge in enlistments stems from the current economic situation in which jobs are being lost and young people are frightened about their futures. Some recruiters are encountering soldiers who want to be deployed to Iraq because it will bring extra money. Is there something wrong when we must entice young men and women to serve their country because it is the only hope for those who lack money or jobs? Is there something wrong with this picture?

Medvedev Blasts US As Economic Tyrant

The aggressive policy of President Bush towards Russia have achieved one result– opposing aggression from Russian leaders. President Medvedev told the International Economic Forum the United States played a leading role in the current world wide economic crisis. “An underestimation of risks by the largest financial companies together with the aggressive policy of the world’s largest economy led not only to corporate losses,” he claimed, but “the majority of people on the planet also become poorer.” Medvedev came out swinging at nations whose “national egoism affects the situation in the entire global economy” and everyone knew only America fit the description of being egotistical and protectionist.

Unfortunately, Medvedev completely ignored his own nation’s restrictive policies which increasingly make it difficult for foreign corporations to gain control of Russian companies. A particular concern by CEOs regarding Russia was its failure to respect property rights and the lack of effective law and order. Medvedev was warned his nation’s economy was overheating and might be headed for a fall.

An encouraging sign was Medvedev’s promise to reduce the number of Russian enterprises which can not have majority foreign control.

Go Home, Says Putin To Foreign Business Leaders

President Putin told the foreign business community of his nation’s desire to have them leave their positions in top executive positions within Russian companies. In a televised speech to the Russian public, their president said: “In our big, leading and already global companies, mostly in the raw materials sector, you know that the thin layer of top management is mostly made up of foreign specialists. Until we achieve ‘the replacement of imports’ …in administrative activity, we will be swept away by imports.” His comments came at a time when the Russian economy increasingly is coming under control of the Russian government.

Putin plays to jingoism and nationalistic feelings of the Russian people by portraying himself as a knight standing bravely holding off attacks by foreign elements. This rhetoric allows him to proceed with his real agenda which is to ensure the Russian economy is controlled– and frequently led — by the Russian government. In a sense, he is creating a unique private enterprise Soviet model economy in which the hand of the government is as important as that of individual business leaders. Putin can not shake off his Soviet training nor the experience of spending years in the KGB where control was always an important component of daily life, control over people and control to prevent anyone who threatened the power of government. His secret hero probably is Lenin, not Adam Smith.