Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SAR #10034

“If you truly had a democracy and did what the people wanted, you'd go wrong every time.” Dean Acheson

Digest This:  While we get ready to spend over $700 billion on 'defense', an indefensible 1 in 8 Americans (and 1 and 5 children) will end up getting emergency food help from soup kitchens and food pantries.

Neo-imperialism:  India has joined the fray with China in a scramble to gather up Africa's energy resources.  Strange how wrong it seems when they do it.

Myth Takes:  Deficit hawks warn we cannot afford basic healthcare for all, but we must keep feeding the Defense/Intelligence/Homeland Security establishment – the one that hasn't been able to keep us safe and cannot win a war.  Which has harmed more US citizens:  health insurers, Saddam's WMD or the Taliban?

Putting A Fork In It:   Without an increase in consumer spending any hope for economic recovery is lost.  That's the reason there is no reality to the 'recovery' – no consumers. Great chart.

Merger & Acquisition News:  Even before the Supreme Corp freed corporations, trade associations and unions to participate fully in the electoral process, they were doing pretty good in the buy-a-politician department.  The US Chamber of Commerce, for example, has already surpassed the RNC and DNC, together, in spending on elections.

Not Necessarily the News:  It's now official, it will be 'all but impossible' to arrive at any agreement on addressing global warming this year.  Or next year.  Or any year with a politician in it.

Energy/Income:  The relationship between income and energy is obvious - the more energy per capita, the higher per capita income is.  But absent cheap and plentiful energy, the economy becomes a zero-sum game, with repression at home and aggression abroad as the norm.  Cutting back on cheap and abundant energy limits growth, and that will lead to a world where one group can gain only at the expense of others. It does not matter whether the cut-back is due to peak oil or to limiting CO2 emissions to avoid climate change, the result will be the same.

Choice of Words:  The developed world, particularly France and the US, should not be offering 'aid' to Haiti but making reparations for well over a century of depredations against the Haitian people.

...Not As I Do:  While working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, the US will spend $7 billion to maintain and improve its nuclear weapons.

Motivation:  Georgia - the nation, not the state - has volunteered to provide the US with a logistics hub and a conduit for military supplies headed for Afghanistan.  This would prove helpful if Pakistan were to fail as a supply route .  Or if Russia should get interested in Georgia again.  Whichever comes first.

Up Before Down:  Historically, large build-ups inventory are followed by a sudden slowing of production, as the inventories just sit there, waiting for customers.  Buckle up.

Fill In the Blanks:  When your ownership in a publicly listed company passes 5%, you must file a 13-G with the SEC.  Monday, Blackrock filed 1,800 such documents. (a) The only company in on the NYSE that Blackrock does not hold at least 5% of is ________ .  (b) The current value of 5% of the stock of 1,800 NYSE/NASDAQ companies is $_______ .  (Rounded to the nearest billion.)

Beats Bombing:  China, which already has two oil deals with Iraq, has forgiven 80% of Iraq's Saddam-era debts.  If it doesn't get the oil, the money won't matter anyway.

Wave Goodbye:  Nearly 10% of FHA borrowers are at least 3 payments behind – which is a prelude to eventual default and foreclosure.  Taxpayers will cover the losses.

Porn O'Graph;  Rooms to rent, fifty percents...


Anonymous said...

re: energy/income

I always thought someone should propose an 'excess consumption' tax on energy. Why should the owners of an 8,000 sq ft mcmansion pay the same kilowatt/hr rate as a much more reasonable 1800 sq ft homeowner?

Consumers should get a certain amount of energy use each month and then the tax would kick-in. It would be a good way sell the 'carbon tax' to the public.

Plus, it would do my heart good to know that those yacht owners who 'need' 2500 gallons of diesel every month would be forced to consider adjusting the thermostat in their state-rooms.

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Vitus Capital said...

"Which has harmed more US citizens: health insurers, Saddam's WMD or the Taliban?"

I -love- this!

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