Math had its chance.
Gift Horse: Here's the real clunker: The $4,500 wasn't really $4,500. The $4,500 is part of the car's price and you had to count it when you paid the sales tax. And the state views it as income, and will be collecting its cut next April.
Healthy Reform: Since 2002 our health insurance premiums have gone up 87%, while their profits increased 428%. Medical bills are the most common cause of personal bankruptcies – yet 70% of those forced into bankruptcy by medical bills have health insurance.
Quoted: “A singular absurdity of the 21st century is that the nation that spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined needs to hire mercenaries to fight wars against enemies who have no defense budget at all.”
Eratta: The CBO now projects that unemployment will be above 10% for most of 2010 and will not return to normal levels until 2013 or 2014.
Technical Terms: To “the economy is in a recession” and “a recovery is in process”, a new descriptor is needed to accurately describe the moment. Stagflation doesn't quite fit, and Krugman's “we're in purgatory” seems a tad too hopeful. For most who do not work on Wall Street a simple “we're screwed” might do the trick.
Medium Rare: China plans to reduce or end exports of several rare earth metals that are essential to the manufacture of to advanced technological devices found in everything from hybrid cars to supercomputers and precision-guided weapons.
In the Center Ring: The US Chamber of
Clowns Commerce – hoping to keep Congress from making their members pay to clean up the mess they make – wants the EPA to hold a 'Scopes'-like trial of the scientific evidence that climate change is man-made.
It's their money: US District Judge Preska has ruled that the money the Fed hands out is the citizens' money and they have a right to know what Ben's been doing with it.
Tunes: The Philadelphia Fed reports that the recession was still widespread in July. The Case-Shiller House Price Index reflected price increases in much of the nation's housing in June. The Baltic Dry Index reversed it's brief uptick and fell 45%in July.
Symptom: 34 % of workers have only one week – or less – of savings.
Smallest State Shrinks: Most of Rhode Island's state workers are getting an extra 12 vacation days. Without pay. 19 other states have similar plans as they try to bridge that gap between tax income and state expenditures. Pretty soon we'll see how we like that smaller government the GOP recommends.
Colonel Jessep. Tiny Tim says that telling the citizens what the Fed has been up to would be “problematic” and that it would be better if they didn't know. Better for whom?
The Play's the Thing: The first act of the great North American Oil Crisis is scheduled for late 2011, when Mexico runs out of oil to export. The second act opens with the US trying to replace its old reliable partner while Mexico tries to remain a country without having any income. The third act is a real mess.
One Step Forward: Many types of plastic break down faster in seawater than was previously suspected. But the byproducts of their decomposition are poisonous contaminants. One lump, or two?
Porn O'Graph: The Bell Jar – to zero by December 2010?