Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food for Thought!!

A few days ago, as I contemplated an article to resurrect my nearly dead and buried blog, I was almost sure that the post would steer clear of any political/social/religious or any other contentious issues. In other words the post would be very much like most of the posts on my blog are… a light and wholly inconsequential piece. But as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get my self to write one. The only issues I felt motivated to write about were topics that were sure to generate very polar and deeply divided views. Finally, today morning I thought to myself, “What the heck… let me post some that I feel strongly about and be done with the dilemma” So, here it is...


The news these days is all about soaring oil prices and global food inflation… and banks announcing write offs as if they were gifts Santa handed out at Christmas. But the latter is not really the subject of this post and will be dealt with at a later time. Recently, President Bush was at the centre of a controversy for suggesting that the rising standard of living in the developing world was a reason behind the current food crisis. While the statement is factually true, the lack of tact with which the statement was made elicited angry responses from much of the developing world, which interpreted the words as implying that only the west was entitled to the privileges of development.


The incident serves as a reminder of how tenuous the relations between the developing and developed worlds are on the issue, especially with US and the EU not fully acknowledging the role of the bio-fuels in the current crisis. Add to that the fact that after the housing and financial bubbles burst, speculators have rushed en-masse into the commodities markets pushing prices of pretty much all the commodities through the roof. The derivatives markets, which were initially conceived with the intention of allowing businesses to hedge their risks in currency, interest rates and other exposure, are now a speculator’s paradise, defeating the entire purpose of existence of derivative instruments. Warren Buffett was not wrong when he referred to derivatives as Weapons of Financial Mass Destruction. It is about time regulators the world over stepped in to clear the derivatives market of speculators…


Finally, there is the little question of the current US administration. Every time they take a step forward they seem to take ten steps back. The most recent instance was when, a few days back, President Bush acknowledged that there was a need to look at the role of speculators in pushing oil prices to the record levels they are currently at. The Republicans then promptly followed it by blocking the Democrat motion in the senate to tax Big Oil for the windfall profits they’ve been making as customers all over the world suffered at the pump. [Well, a little bit of suffering might actually be a good thing if it can change the habits of consumers] While levying a Windfall tax would not help reduce the price at the pumps, it would have helped support the tax breaks being given to Solar, Wind and other alternate producers of energy. By extending the tax breaks for Big Oil while refusing to extend the tax breaks for alternate energy, the Bush administration has shown in no uncertain terms where it stands on the Kyoto Protocol and global warming…


I’ve never been a big Bush fan, but each passing day a news article reminds me of just how desperately the world needs a change in the Oval Office. McCain makes plenty of effort to remind everyone of the fact that he is not Bush, and for sure he isn’t. But the truth is that Bush isn’t really the issue, Republican policies are. And there is no way McCain can undo the fact that he is a Republican. So, come November, you know who I’ll be cheering for… Until later... cheers… 8-)

5 Comments:

At 1:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dude !! loved ur blog .. I've been reading it from past 2 days.

I dono how i landed up to ur blog but certianly marvelous posts especialy ur expirences at home & office.

Keep writing...

Reader from UAE.

 
At 6:48 PM , Blogger Pushuka said...

Thanks, Reader from UAE. I'm happy you enjoyed the posts... cheers...

 
At 11:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pushkar,
Nice blog.
Keep blogging more often...
If ppl like you dont blog,how do idle s/w engineers like me kill time :)
--Dakshina

 
At 8:20 PM , Blogger Pushuka said...

Hey Dakshina. What a pleasant surprise to see you here. Good to see you still tune into this near-dead station.. :) cheers..

 
At 11:04 PM , Anonymous Poornima said...

as u said the attitude of the US of A is insufferable,but being the economic super power they get 2 dictate 2 other countries.........now we have 2 pay for their economic policy or lack of it........As for McCain the less is said of him it is better.......he si another politician whose use by date was long back......imagine a Vietnam war vet.!!!!!!!!!Bring in some fresh blood we say....

 

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