Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SAR #10069

Nature recycles everything.

Innovation:  Long-term unemployment is creating a class of permanently unemployed and unemployable citizens.  Extended and re-extended unemployment benefits are becoming another (stealth?) entitlement program – currently at $10 billion a month and growing.  Originally meant to tide the out-of-work over until jobs were found, it is fast becoming a fixture of our society. Is this a personal or a social problem?  Are you a Republican or a Democrat?

Dominoes:  There are horrific massacres going on in Nigeria.  If you are not concerned it's because you've forgotten that Nigeria is the #3 source of your gasoline.

Sprout:  US shippers are concerned the recent upturn in trade will run into a shortage of container ships – so many were mothballed in the last 18 months that a little up-tick in traffic could cause some capacity problems before owners are convinced it is time to put their fleets back on the high seas.

Reconditioned:  “There are lies, damned lies, and Chinese statistics.”

Spades: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says the health care bill is simply a giant gift for the health insurance industry and he will not vote to enrich them unless there is a robust and viable public option in the bill.  On the other hand, Limbaugh promises to leave the country if it's passed, so maybe Dennis should reconsider.

Makes Cents:  Scientists at McDonald's have discovered that humans possess a separate sense of taste for fat.

McCrystal Balls:  The Marines cleared a town of Afghans, posted soldiers shoulder to shoulder in full combat gear along a short lane and invited Secretary of Defense Gates to take part in a series of propaganda exercises to prove how safe the place was and how much good the last few billions of dollars has done.

Second Verse:   Relax, the commercial real estate market isn't going to collapse and cause a lot of damage, because it's not like the early 1990's. This time it's different – J.P. Morgan said so.

Here or There:  The price of gasoline is up about 30 cents a gallon in the last month – averaging about $2.76 nationwide now, the highest since October 2008.  At my house that's another $40 for gasoline this month, money that won't be spent at the mall.  Not a big deal yet – that's only half a house payment a year. So far.

One Per Customer:  In January the US shipped another $41 billion overseas – mostly for oil and stuff from Walmart China.  As oil prices rise, the trade deficit will increase. Money sent overseas cannot be used to buy American goods and services.  Either the consumer will go into debt to buy American-made stuff, or it will pile up unsold.  Then they'll lose their jobs and... we've been there before.  The cost of $147 a barrel oil was a lot more than $147, and will be again.

Definitions:  People say I'm not a 'positive' person.  Not so, I am.  I'm positive things are going to hell in a handbasket. None of this 'happiness mantra stuff' for me.

Quote:  “It’s not about whether there is some predefined sovereign debt level where things go kaboom.  It’s not about whether a sovereign issuing debt in its own currency can default.  It’s about whether the entire world can prop up malinvestments indefinitely without a collapse in the current financial system. ”

Porn O'Graph:   As easy as A B C...


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Re "positive thinking":

The optimist says:"This is the best of all possible worlds."

The pessimist says: "I'm afraid you're right."

Vitus Capital said...

re: Porn-O-Graph
Looks like it's best to have enough education to know where China is, but, better not to be able to offer informed opinions of your own.

CKMichaelson said...

Vitus - "If I want your opinion I'll tell you what it is. Or beat it out of you..."

And MC, I should have quoted Claire Booth Luce: "The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the pessimist is usually better informed."


TomOfTheNorth said...

Re:innovation, I'm not on the receiving end of any UI - apparently I've decided to leave the workforce...

Re:definitions, I too am positive, although I suspect my basket has a smaller surface area and significantly greater mass....