osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Sometimes it's frustrating that reporters don't get it

OK, a lot of times. But especially when I actually know better. Because bad/lazy reporting means decisions are not based on reality.

Two examples: one big, one (relatively) little.

President Obama did not get a trade agreement with South Korea. this is widely being portrayed in the media as a result of his being "Weakened" by the midterms.

The reality is, as I have observed a lot recently, that we are having lots of trouble negotiating trade agreements because we are just not as interesting/relevant as we used to be. This is especially true in Asia, where we are regarded as yesterday's news. The consequence of this misreporting is the belief that somehow we can magically go back to our old way of dictating what we want to the rest of the world. Our actual trade negotiation stance and the reality of what we can expect is growing increasingly divergent to the point of delusion.

We actually have plenty of leverage in the fear the rest of the world is rapidly acquiring of China. China got a lot of mileage out of being the counterbalance to the U.S. Now, other countries are seriously concerned about finding a counterbalance to China. Our natural allies are India, Brazil and Indonesia, all of whom suffer from China's currency manipulation. But we keep pissing them off by our insistence on trying to dictate terms and trying to tell them to run their economies in accordance with free market principles that we don't observe ourselves (ask about our agriculture subsidies!).

But no one in the U.S. is ever going to figure this out. They will keep thinking it's because Obama lost the midterms.

On the wonkier side, NTIA released its spectrum report. The punchline of this report is that there is no more easy spectrum to clear for auction. A lot of companies are quite disappointed by this. The headlines all read "U.S. to make more spectrum available." Sure, but not nearly in the way the wireless companies want. And there is a good reason for this. The wireless capacity they want is not there -- at least not in the way they want it.


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