When my first child was born my wife convinced me, grudgingly I might add, to attend a few parenting classes for first timers.
Since my child came with no instruction manual, I thought it might be a good idea. Beyond the basics of feeding, clothing, and overall maintenance, one comment that I heard during class stuck in my mind, and is securely lodged there even to this very day. The instructor said never tell the child “do as I say, not as I do.”
Regrettably, I must admit that on rare occasion I did break this rule.
After giving my daughter specific instruction never to do something, I then contradicted myself by acting in a hypocritical manner.
Conflicting signals sent to the child? You bet.
Speaking of conflicting signals, this past week I observed a televised meeting between President Barack Obama and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.
In his typical style, Obama lectured to Xi that China “must show increased responsibility.”
There were many things the President could have been referring to. However, what immediately comes to mind is the supposed artificial weakness of the yuan vs. the dollar. Weighing in this week on the very same subject was Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney who took up the similar chorus and even discussed the potential currency war with China.
I’m sure that somewhere New York Senator Chuck Schumer was displaying that Cheshire Cat grin.
After all, why should China be allowed to keep their currency closely aligned with ours? Don’t they understand that our Fed action of quantitative easing, twisting, and other strategies are designed to keep our currencies weak and make our corporate products cheaper in the world’s marketplace?
Who do the Chinese think they are? Don’t they realize that our whole economic foundation is predicated on devaluing (weakening) our currency?
Everybody else plays ball, why not the Chinese?
As I observed Xi listening to President Obama, I couldn’t help but to think of the time with my first born child on that fateful day when I first uttered those terrible words “Please, do as I say, not as I do.”
I remember my daughter, just 4-years-old at the time, responding the same way as Xi did to Obama, smiling and thinking…..RIGHT!