There is no going back. Sorry, what was the question?
Un Trust Worthy: In August, the Social Security Trust Fund took in $5.8 billion less than it spent. This makes 7 out of the last 12 months with a negative cash flow. This is unacceptable. How can the Federal Budget operate if it can't quietly siphon off Social Security over-payments?
Nay Sayers: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says that the world's 2010's economic growth is “unlikely” to exceed 1.6%. They see a rebound, not a recovery, and deem increasing commodities prices as reflecting an increased appetite for risk that can reverse instantly. Diplomats don't say “gambling”, they say “financial speculation.” They also said that previous speculation and today's rising unemployment will continue to constrain consumption. Anybody need that translated?
Rainy Days: What's a girl to do – if you've got a gift card, you've got to go to the mall. China has bout $2 trillion in US Treasury gift cards and has been out buying nearly everything in sight, and lots of stuff that's still in the ground.
The Plan: Is the US really dumb when it comes to foreign adventures, or is it possible that keeping the Near East and Central Asia in disarray fits very nicely into its plans to stay on top of the heap? Countries and regions caught up in petty squabbles don't grow up to challenge the Boss. The point is not to win the various wars, but to keep them going, and going. and going.
How Bad? That Bad: Not only are banks holding foreclosed houses off the market, waiting for better prices, the are letting people who have stopped paying on their mortgage stay in their houses for two years or mor. Keep the lawn mowed.
Vocabulary: Today's word is 'Plutonomy' – which, according to Citi, is a politico-economic enterprise directed by and operatead for the benefit of the wealthy few. And according to Citi, it's here. That's why the bottom half of workers got to divvy up 12.8% of the goodies – while the top 1% got to enjoy 21.2% of all the treats. “Humanity's prosperous minority is increasingly looking to its own defense...”
Found Horizon: In an extinct volcano in Papua New Guinea, scientists have found about 40 new species – spiders, frogs, caterpillars, and some fish. Nice to know there are some places left that can surprise us.
Well-Traveled Stimulus: Yes, a lot of stimulus dollars are going to Europe and Japan – the places that build things. Complaints would be more realistic if America manufactured something besides airplanes and armaments=-.
Dumb and Dumber: The Supremes are trying to figure out just how pregnant Miss Corporate Campaign Contributions might be. After all, if a corporation is a person (which is assumed, but has actually never been ruled on by the court) then it should be allowed to bribe and corrupt politicians just like real people do. Or else it is not a person and should keep both its corporate mouth and its corporate pocketbook closed.
Are We There Yet? There is, undoubtedly, a point at which the US debt will become 'too much.' No one seems to know what the magic figure is, when it will get here, or if we've long since passed it. Place your bets...
Porn O'Graph: There seems to be a philosophical problem here.