Archive for March, 2009

Stimulus Galore

Stimulus Galore

London’s G-20 meeting in April, comes at a very pivotal period in the global economy. It is a make or break time. It can not be a meeting of business as usual. Photo ops. and long speeches void of action follow-ups, are not going to cut it. This unprecedented global economic chaos deserves new action oriented policies that would create balance, sanity and objectivity in the global economy.

Solution to this catastrophic problem is going to be only found in a coordinated and cooperative fashion. I hope the U.S. government under president Obama’s leadership, will play a constructive role in finding ways of strengthening global economic regulations. I also hope, that Obama’s government will seize this opportunity to empower developing countries, especially those in Africa, get a global forum to air their concerns.

After all, it is the Africans that are always more affected by the squeeze of the global economy. Africans for too long have paid a heavy price for the failures of global economic policies to which they were never privy to the game plan. The sad reality is, the economic virus is created within the leading economies of the world like the United States, where the political system has allowed ultra greedy, unregulated, anarcho-capitalism to flourish. Therefore, at the least, president Obama must recognize the leading role of the U.S. in creating the problem.

In spite of the Republican nay sayers and do nothing politicians opposition to president Obama’s economic policies, Obama has no choice but to revive the economic system which is on a life support. What Obama is trying to do is save the U.S. from an economic collapse. He has to exorcise the demons of the anarcho-capitalists who have run amok with little or no government oversight.

Is it not a truism, that the tax payers have always cleaned up the mess created by unregulated capitalism? So, what is new? Is it not only the gravity of the situation that has changed?

Granted, that the stimulus package is going to create huge debts and long term budget deficits, the president has no alternatives but to push his stimulus agenda. Doing nothing is not an option. Having said that, it should also be a firm policy of the president to focus on imposing a serious regulatory and oversight mechanism on all facets of the economy.

Finally, the G – 20 meeting in London shall be judged on how the developed economies plan to become true partners with the developing countries in saving the world from an economic disaster. Unless a quick and a balanced solution is found, the resultant social and political upheaval would not discriminate between the developed and developing countries.

Mekonen Haddis

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Professor Haddis at a seminar.

” To ask for Democracy without limits is a call for anarchy”.

Unrestrained and unregulated capitalism results in economic anarchy.


Breaking News

Former president George W. Bush –

” The Author”.

According to news reports from Calgary, former U.S. president Bush is planning to write a book. This by itself should be the number one astonishing news of the year. But Bush being Bush is quoted as saying ” so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened”.

Is this a Freudian slip or is English his second language?

I don’t front
what you see is what you get
and I don’t give a hoot
if you like it or not.
I cry a lot
not as an emotional outburst
but ’cause I have a human heart.
Killings, starvation
death everywhere
leading to total debilitation.
Unmet needs
unresolved differences
unending social conflicts
parade of tragedies.
Human relations
marred by disputes
armed insurgencies
based on mis-perceptions
and no solutions.
So! why shouldn’t I cry?
when the world is silly
the play is tragedy
no protection from tyranny
a total horror story.
by  Mekonen Haddis

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Dream or Nightmare

pray_yonasDream or Nightmare

Hoping for a melting pot

and yet, still separate

very distinct, different

many cultures, languages, religions

races, belief systems

all in their own corners

not knowing what to melt in to

the sum weaker than the part

they ask if it is in their interest

to loose their identities.

What is the American dream?

they ask

is it working hard

or selling junk bond?

live in the suburbs

or the inner-city ghettos?

work at three minimum wage jobs

or make millions of dollars

as heads of corporations?

They ask, if their vote counts

as good as the movers and shakers

some question the two political parties

different names, same objectives

may be it is time for other choices.

Is justice sold to the highest bidder

or are we governed by laws that are fair?

Is the American system working

does it need redesigning

may be the features and scopes of the dream

need adjusting?

Sounds like it is out of tune completely

the needs of the majority

welfare,  health care, not discussed seriously

options not studied carefully.

Thousands of layoffs

coupled with millions of more profits

for the head of industries

not healthy to citizens’

dreams and hopes

and the future dims.

The American dream might become a nightmare

and the system laid bare

unless it becomes more responsive, to the needs

wishes, and dreams of the have-nots.

Mekonen Haddis.

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africaleadersmeeting1British Prime Minister Gordon Brown invited leading African leaders to London for a consultative meeting to gauge the economic agenda of Africans before the G20 meeting in April, 2009. The Prime Minister should be commended for organizing a forum where these African leaders could share their concerns as the African Continent is always the hardest hit in any global economic downturn.

At this meeting in London, African leaders did not mince their words. They not only tried to impress the reality on the ground to the British Prime Minister, they also pin pointed the dire consequences of the global economic crisis.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who is the chairman of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and who will attend next month’s G20 summit , warned that ” some African countries could go under” unless the developed world consider supporting Africa in this unprecedented global economic meltdown. Zenawi also pointed out that ” it is in the interest of the developed world to do so”. His point of view was widely shared by other African leaders that attended the London meeting.

Gordon Brown told the African leaders that   ” we must move towards a fairer and more equal world”. For anyone that seriously has been contemplating  about the global economic disaster and its root causes, the Prime Minister’s statement should give one a pause. And this respite should be a time to think.

Their should not be too many arguments if one states that it is the economic collapse in the U.S. that is spreading its seeds of economic destruction to the rest of the world. The only argument would be in finding out how  the U.S. economy reached this disastrous position.


So, what is this Anarcho-Capitalism? Simply defined, Anarcho-Capitalism is an economic system that destroys government regulation of the economy, and creates anarchy within the global economic system. As the U.S. has  the largest economic power in the world, its continuous deregulation of the economy within the U.S. and the consequence of the actions has a hugely magnified damaging impact globally.

The U.S. has carried out the biggest transfer of wealth to its wealthiest citizens in the history of humankind. Something without a doubt is wrong in the picture of wealth distribution in the U.S. where the wealthiest one percent of the population own half of the nation’s wealth, while the rest ninety nine percent of the population fights for the remaining fifty percent. This truly is a “trickle down economy” the super majority fighting for the crumbs, the leftovers.

One day in the future, historians and economists will point to Reagan’s presidency as the start of the downfall of the U.S. economy. By the end of President Reagan’s term, the national debt had tripled. The  dream of the        ” market regulating itself ”  had started.   ” junk bond” was born, the slogan became that everything has to be “privatized”, and focus on manufacturing was marginalized. The Bush presidency’s role was  only to become the willing conduit for the spread of the virus that had started under Reagan. By raising the national debt to the tune of ten trillion dollars, and by totally being able to destroy the U.S. economy, it has successfully accomplished its mission as the flag bearer for the Anarcho-Capitalists.

History has laid its burden on President Obama to save the U.S. from economic disaster. Anyone and everyone that claims to love the united States of America should give him all the support he needs in this most difficult times.

If president Obama is to be successful, he needs to focus on strong government regulation of the economy. He must pay attention to equitable distribution of the wealth of the country, and serious focus must be given to the manufacturing sector of the economy as opposed to the financial sector which has gambled the country’s wealth away, on “derivatives” and  “leverages”. In other words, if the president is to solve America’s economic problems, the focus should be on structural changes. Anything less would  only be an exercise in futility.

Unless  April’s  G20 meeting comes up with wise decisions which includes proposals on how to “move towards a fairer and more equal world”, the social and political chaos Prime Minister Meles talked about is not going to be limited only to Africa.

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