May 2009

Two interesting quotes from our dearest Gov. Arnold Schwarzanegger.

“I came in here to fix what is broken in California”

“Even though we fixed a lot of different things, one of the things we couldn’t fix is the broken budget system.”

I put this up on Facebook, but in case you haven’t seen it, here you go.

I’m not making fun of Arnold – OK, maybe I am – but we know California is in a pretty difficult situation, with a $15b deficit on hand and signs of further deterioration. The recent argument is rather ordinary. The government proposes a series of programs and position elimination, including $3 to $5b on education expenditure, $1b on medical care and cutting off at least 500 jobs. That’s why people say if this bill passes, Californian kids are going to be “dumb and sick,” as they will receive a worse education and less comprehensive medical attention. On the other hand, students in college are organizing rallies to Sacramento to fight the budget cut. A quick question to the student: while we fight for our benefits, should we also consider giving a constructive proposal for the government to raise their funds to cover its negative bottom line? If the state is seriously in red, it must seek ways to squeeze some dollars from all areas. I mean, all programs hate cuts, but some cuts are inevitable. Cuts in education definitely will make California lose its comparative advantage to other states, as it is famous for its mature education (UC/CSU) system. Both sides should try to enter the others’ shoes and develop from a common ground, rather than students shouting out of the government agency and the officials inside are doing all the same.

Here is a list of the Golden State proposal on the May 19 ballot.

1. Spending limit and tax hike

2. New education payment plan

3. Borrow from the state lottery (interesting…. maybe that would work)

4. Redirect children’s services funding

5. Redirect mental-health funding

6. Ban pay raises for state officials

Among the six, only item #6 is favored (48% support) by voters, according to a non-partisan survey – and we all know why.


India’s Sensex index surged 17% a couple days ago, to 14284, after the elections that signaled a brighter future for domestic and foreign investment in the country. The performance was also thought to be fueled by the recent interest rate reduction and signals of economy rebounding. India’s “go-slow” development has made it rather insulated  from the credit crisis, and is now seen as one of the possibilities to bring the world out of the economic downturn. With the good news, the Dow followed with a more-than-200-point increase.

It should be noted that the BRICs are doing really well when compared to other major economies. A year to date, India’s Sensex 30 index has gone up by 48.1%; China’s Shanghai composite is experiencing a 45.7% climb; and Brazil’s Boverpsa with a 37% increase. Japan is making a 2%, while France and Germany barely makes a 1%.

The next assignment for myself: research on BRIC’s economy and try to figure out the opportunities ahead.

I have been away for a couple of weeks now. After knowing where I’m going in the next two years, I couldn’t help but got pretty excited about arranging housing, looking for roommates and all sorts of other stuff. (In case you are not aware, I’m transferring from a community college this year!) Finally, I am going to get a taste of the aura in a more-than-100-year-old 4-year university. Every changes always comes with certain degree of anxiety and uncertainty. But I believe, people who manage to survive outside of the comfort zone should be able to be well under harsher circumstances as well.

Though I stopped writing in the last couple of weeks, I did keep up with my RSS reader and news subscription. As I read more, I start to realize how challenging it is for someone like me — at this age and with such little knowledge, experience or what-nots — to write something really worth others’ time reading it. I was too naive to think that I am ready to get started to develop “my theory and opinion” on current social and economic issues. In reality, what I can do know is no more than to summarize ideas from a variety of sources and make some rather undeveloped comments on them.

But I understand if I do not physically go through that difficult process, I will never be able to jump through the fire loop. What I am saying here is that, I should adjust the blog’s orientation and position. Rather than expecting to share something intelligent, I should see blogging as a constant practice for me to develop that intelligence. So for now, what matters is how we can improve our thinking and writing, rather than anticipating a great number of viewers visiting our site.