Fire Sale Nation

The weak dollar has drawn hoards of bargain hunters to America, the Associated Press reports:

Many shoppers go to great lengths to find Black Friday bargains, and some are even crossing the ocean this year.

A weak dollar is bringing in overseas visitors looking to take advantage of holiday weekend sales.

The dollar hit a new low against the euro today, while the British pound is valued at more than two dollars.

The CEO of toy store FAO Schwarz estimates foreigners will make up about one-third of customers at its flagship New York location this holiday season.

One European says he may spend $2,000 dollars or more on an American shopping spree. Another Northern Ireland resident says the effect of the weak dollar is, as he puts it, that “everything is half price for us.”

Great. We’re the new Hong Kong.

See also Michael Hirsh, “In the Realm of the Dying Dollar“:

In a blistering essay in the current Vanity Fair, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank economist, notes that Bush took a nation with a budget surplus upon assuming office and turned it into a global debtor, and he has underinvested in education and alternative energy. “In breathtaking disregard for the most basic rules of fiscal propriety, the administration continued to cut taxes even as it undertook expensive new spending programs and embarked on a financially ruinous ‘war of choice’ in Iraq. A budget surplus of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which greeted Bush as he took office, turned into a deficit of 3.6 percent in the space of four years. The United States had not experienced a turnaround of this magnitude since the global crisis of World War II,” Stiglitz writes. “Up to now, the conventional wisdom has been that Herbert Hoover, whose policies aggravated the Great Depression, is the odds-on claimant for the mantle ‘worst president’ when it comes to stewardship of the American economy. The economic effects of Bush’s presidency are more insidious than those of Hoover, harder to reverse, and likely to be longer-lasting. There is no threat of America’s being displaced from its position as the world’s richest economy. But our grandchildren will still be living with, and struggling with, the economic consequences of Mr. Bush.”

7 thoughts on “Fire Sale Nation

  1. BushCo bet on cheap oil from Iraq, which would’ve papered over or postponed the problems mentioned by Stiglitz. The resulting boom would’ve cemented Republican rule for the next generation. Such is the state of moral decay in this country that it takes $3.50 gas to turn the public against these criminals; imagine where we’d be if gas had dropped to 90 cents per gallon.

    Everyone else thinks Bush rolled the dice and lost big, but money is patient and can afford to take the long view. So they didn’t quite achieve their aim in the Middle East during Bush’s tenure; perhaps this will happen during the next administration or the one after that. Bush (as well as the leading Democrats) envision a decades long presence in Iraq using South Korea as a model.

    As Stiglitz noted, the effects of Bush’s policies are deep rooted, and that’s by design. As the days wind down on this mal-administration, I’m certain they’re looking even harder at ways to make the stain of their rule ever more permanent and irreversible. And the public be damned, money will get its way, regardless of what party takes over. This is why the plutocrats, as well as Bush himself, think he’s an amazing success.

  2. Mr. Bush has the sadim touch.
    One univerasl truth is that you can’t make up truth.
    Truth just is.
    Bush’s legacy will be one of lies and “created” realities.
    John Howard was just voted out of The Australian Govt. today.
    I hope we can get rid of Bush and the balance of his family next year.

  3. Imagine what our economy will look like when the War on Terror winds down, if that ever happens, and spending on defense and Homeland Security dropped to pre-9/11 levels. Bush had the benefit of a phony war economy, low tax rates and low interest rates, and the best he could do was 2-3% GDP growth which was inflated by how we treat imports and productivity growth.

    In the meantime, the dollar has dropped almost 80% against the Euro under Bush and oil prices have increased over 200% while real wages for American workers have slightly declined and Health Care costs resumed their double digit increases.

    Oh, and they say inflation is under control, yet since the Clinton years the inflation figures have been fudged. Inflation using the pre-Clinton era methodology is close to 7%, double what we are told under it is with the new methodology. Money supply is increasing so fast the government stopped reporting the M3 figures last year as it approcaed 10% growth, estimates by some indicate it is now over 15% growth. Proof that inflation is here.

    The federal deficits is under control? Remember, it does not include the 225 billion take from the social security trust fund or the 200 billion in supplementals to fund the war. Under Bush, the federal debt will have gone from 5.7 trillion to almost 10 trillion dollars when he leaves office (today it is over 9 trillion). Every man women and child today owes 30,000 dollars on the debt (compare to the Chinese each having 1000 dollars per person in foreign exchange reserves).

    Unemployment rate? People do not know this is a rate based on a telephone survey. Would you tell a stranger over the phone you do not work if you were unemployed. What about those unemployed folks who only own a cell phone? Bogus numbers.
    And even if they are accurate, consider the jobs that are being created, most having serving fries and using bed pans in the job description. The capitalists are moving all the good jobs out of the country under the guise of free trade and globalization.

    Don’t blame it all on Bush, the Democrats seem happy to play along
    with this fiscal insanity since the MSM gives them all a free ride.

  4. I hope and pray that a Democratic nominee will go down the list specifically of the White House abuses of civilliberties and commit without reservation to repudiate those abuses and DARE the Republican nominee to answer line-by-line where he stands.

    I am a little nervous that Clinton won’t reverse all of them, if only so she can answer neo-con critics with a line she has wanted to delvier for 7 years. “Well, Bush did it.”

  5. “A weak dollar is bringing in overseas visitors…”

    Must be some hellacious “Blue-Light Specials” down at the K-Mart…If all them furriners is gonna save money shoppin’ here after paying for round-trip airfare from Lower Slobovia – or wherever…

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