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The Falcon’s Perspective

by TheFalcon

Sadly, from The Falcon’s perspective, we in the United States live in a social landscape where a vast gulf has developed between our perception of how the world works and how it actually does work.  We either don’t know, don’t care or a combination of the two.  The chasm between perception and reality is particularly evident in the public discourse (or lack thereof) with regard to public finance, economics, domestic politics, and foreign policy.  One consequence of this are events which both surprise and catch the general public flat footed.  Ever seen that deer in the headlights look?

If we don’t understand the basics then we are unable to reach common sense conclusions about the state of affairs in these areas, much less give careful thought to them and from there develop constructive ideas as to what course of action should be taken. Unfortunately, in my mind, the bad news doesn’t end with this. There also seems to be a general apathy towards any in depth consideration of such issues combined with a superficial treatment of them in the main stream media. Long gone are the days of in depth public discourse about issues that ultimately affect our standard of living, quality of life and prospects for the future.

There are many reasons that have led to this state of affairs. A few that come to mind and in no particular order are as follows:

  • Denial, Ignorance & Apathy – Among many, there seems to be a general state of mild to extreme denial, ignorance and apathy about how bad things are in the realm of public finance, economic health, and political leadership.
  • Deception – At best the main stream media and our political leadership demonstrate a superficial understanding of the important issues and an even worse understanding of what should or could be done. At worst, the same engage in deliberate cover-up so as to avoid taking responsibility for their part in the problem.
  • Abdication of Responsibility – At the heart of these issues is an abdication by the general public of its responsibility to play an active role, in terms of initiative, accountability and public discourse and thereby have a constructive influence on the community, state, and country in which we live.
  • Deteriorating Communication – No longer is there in depth and thoughtful exchange between groups that disagree. Instead our dialogue has degenerated into an uncivil back and forth of insults and ugliness driven by ignorance, paranoia and hatred in the extreme. This condition is aided by a superficial media that has a profit model based on generating controversy, conflict and polarization working against constructive engagement.

This list is by no means exhaustive and I invite readers to develop and/or expand on these themes.

The Falcon would like to see the return of an energetic, well read, worldly yet introspective, thoughtful, innovative, creative, common sense citizen to the forefront of public discourse. One can dream can’t they?  I suspect I’m not alone. We don’t have to agree but we owe it to ourselves to constructively and thoughtfully engage one another, with a modicum (I’ve always wanted to use that word) of civility, on the issues that matter to us, our families and neighbors. These discussions, confrontations, or arguments (whatever the case may be) can be spirited and passionate (indeed, they should be), but always with a tone of civility and respect. Am I naively hoping for too much? I don’t think so. I hope not.

Prove me right or wrong by responding to this post.

Why is this important? Our future likely depends on it. If the public does not insist upon the direction it wants its political leaders to take, then these same leaders will take a path of their own choosing and for their own personal benefit. Given that the majority has gone silent, the minority steps into the leadership vacuum. In this case, unholy alliances between large corporations, money center banks and brokerages (e.g. CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Meryll Lynch, UBS, Deutsche Bank, to name but a few), defense contractors and our political leadership.  Of course, the interests of these groups do not necessarily run parallel to those of you and me.

The world is a rapidly changing place.  The following brief list does not begin to do the topic justice.

  • The European Union continues to grow and consolidate; enjoying a trade surplus and net creditor status to the rest of the world which underpins the Euros recent strength and its challenge to the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  The strength of the Euro is also giving Europeans a significant discount on its purchases of natural resources.
  • China and India are experiencing unprecedented economic growth resulting in a greater demand of the world’s limited natural resources driving a dramatic reorganization of the world’s trade infrastructure and dynamics.  China in particular has large foreign exchange reserves, accumulated from its enormous trade surplus with the United States, allowing it to compete globally and aggressively for natural resources on a scale never seen before.  They are diverting these foreign exchange reserves out of US Dollars and Treasuries (resulting in downward pressure on the dollar and eventually upward pressure on interest rates) and into natural resources to support its massive economic expansion and internal development of infrastructure.
  • Russia is re-emerging as a regional power house as it begins to harness the wealth derived from its immense store of natural resources.  As a result it has once again begun to flex its geo-political and military muscle.
  • The Middle East is as unstable as it has ever been which does not bode well for oil prices.  The United States derives 60% of its oil from imports.
  • All of the above combine to result in the climbing price of natural resources currently being witnessed globally; from oil to rice to copper to silver and gold.
  • The Banking & Credit system mess.

Feel free to expand the list by commenting on this post.

The world goes through such dynamic and dramatic changes every few generations as the world’s demographics and dynamics change.  There is nothing unusual about this.  However, if a community, a city, state or country is to come through this change with its quality of life, standard of living and hope for the future intact then it requires wise, dynamic, and energetic leadership.  I would submit to you that ultimately this leadership does not come from the top down, but rather filters from the bottom up.  That is it comes from a thoughtful, knowledgeable and outspoken public.  A public that expresses itself intelligently, knowledgeably, strongly, resolutely, passionately and articulately while at the same time remaining civil and respectful of those who disagree.  Together we hold one another accountable for rational thought, common sense, pulling ones head out of the sand and taking responsibility for our future.  Such folk are not afraid of taking on tough issues and staring the truth squarely in the face.

Ok, I’ve begun the dialogue but I certainly don’t have the last word.  Leave a comment or send me an e-mail and let me know what you think.


The Falcon

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Scott Bundgaard August 29, 2009 at 4:36 am

The last paragraph of your commentary is insightful. The “dynamic and dramatic changes” that have captivated the attention of many in a way that many of us haven’t seen since the late 60s/early 70s has created opportunity. We can take every opportunity to unleash torrents of hate and vitriol directed at those with whom we may disagree. Or we can take the opportunity to tap into our ‘better angels’ and use our energies to encourage and promote a change of leadership and a change of direction. Where are those who still believe in the ‘shining city on a hill’? Where are those who believe in the values on which America was founded? Where are those who are willing to set politics aside and to work toward a framework that will increase the hope and quality of life for the next generation? As you wrote, to do that requires us to use our passion and rational thinking skills to redesign the direction this country is headed. This debate should be less about turning left or right. Let’s beat our challenges into opportunities that will move our focus onward and upward. Let’s work hard to make our country an even better place than those who worked so hard before us have left to us.


2 TheFalcon August 29, 2009 at 10:23 am

Thank you Scott or the thoughtful commentary. It embodies the spirit in which the blog site was created. It is encouraging to hear your words and I hope to hear from many more like you.


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