Mark Terry

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ask Me Something

October 6, 2006
I'm drawing a blank today, so let's interact. Ask me something. Best topics are writing, publishing, agents, biotechnology, terrorism. If you really want to get me going, ask me about the Republicans and politics.

Best,
Mark

5 Comments:

Blogger Ron Estrada said...

Okay, Mark, I'll be your token conservative. I don't say Republican, because even they lean too close to center for me most of the time.

Many Dems favor a more protectionist import policy. ie. High tarrifs. A study of the Great Depression reveals that it was exactly such tactics that sent this country spiraling into said depression. Ironically, it was Republicans who pushed these policies (a co-sponsor from Michigan, in fact).

Protectionist policies are popular, especially with the union, because on the surface they look good, but in the long run they're very destructive.

In all fairness, a few Republicans are guilty of this as well. Few politicians from either side have the guts to completely open up to a true free market economy, which is what we should strive for.

Okay, I'm drifting. But that should be a good topic to kick off with.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Actually, I'm a free trade guy, knee jerk bleeding heart liberal, or not.

It's already a world economy, and a world economy is a way to even the playing field for everybody, not just Americans. We've been fighting wars over oil (and whatever the super commodity du jour might be) forever, but the fact is, we're not going to fight a war with Saudi Arabia unless they turn off the spigot. We'll protect them as long as they provide the black goo, and countries that we trade with at high levels aren't going to get into a pissing match with us.

For instance:

The U.S. only does about $150 million in trade with Iran. We're trying to get the rest of the world to help us lean on them. France recently back-peddled (they're good at that). Russia has been reluctant to, as has much of Europe. Why?

Well, France has several billion dollars worth of trade (and oil) from Iran. So does Russia. As does Europe. They may not like Iran's tactics these days, but they can't afford to threaten their own economies that way.

Is this your way of talking about outsourcing? Tough topic. I was in Washington DC for a business conference about the lab industry last week, and one of the subjects that came up was that X-rays, because they're becoming digitized now, are being outsourced to Asia and other countries. And pathology slides are also able to be digitized, and as they suggest, if U.S. pathologists or radiologists don't want to work evenings or midnights, then the overflow or late-in-the-day samples are going to be outsourced to a different time zone, so the results await the physicians when they come into the office the next day.

And the trick--and it is a trick--is to either put a face on your product or to perform value-added services. In other words, you've got to do it either better, faster, or cheaper than your competitors. And I don't think high tariffs or protectionist strategies help this at all.

6:30 AM  
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