What's the lag time between economic disaster and social backlash?
Welfare States: Washington, in spite of running a $1.6 trillion deficit this year, is concerned with “the devastating economic impact of budget cuts” by state and local governments that imperil the jobs of teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees who vote and is planning to spread $50 billion around to make everyone feel better.
Worser and Worser: The real doomsday scenario in the BP leak is that the sub-sea casing has been damaged and petroleum is leaking sideways out 1000 feet or more beneath the surface, for such a leak might make a relief well ineffective. But BP'd tell us, wouldn't they?
Ennui: Gallup reports that the entire up-tick in retail sales is due to the rich being bored silly – they've started shopping again to relieve “frugality fatigue.”
New (York) Math: If I owe Vinnie $6 and don't have it and suggest he lend me another $6 bucks to pay him back the $6 bucks I owe him, do you think Vinnie's going to be real happy? Only I'm the State of New York and Vinnie is the state's pension fund. And it's not $6 bucks, it $6 billion.
Tautology: General McCrystal has suddenly realized that the Afghans do not like being bombed and strafed, don't like to have soldiers breaking down doors at 3 AM, and in general haven't taken much of a liking to the invaders. Or as he put it, "When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them." Or?
Colder Water: US Foreclosures rose 44% in May, y/y.
Paradigm Shift? Will the BP Disaster change the way businesses, at least the extractive industries, do business? The term being bandied about is “Full Externalities.” The general idea is that companies should be responsible, fiscally and morally and legally and criminally, for their actions and for the effects of their actions on the environment, on others, and on the future. In other words, “You break it, you bought it.” Business, of course, says the idea of paying for the damage they do is “chilling”.
On the Never Never: About 40% of 'Generation Y' do not pay their bills on time.
The Future is Now: Henceforth and for as far as the eye can see, expect GDP, industrial output and unemployment to gyrate wildly, with an economic growth rate that is miniscule and unemployment rates that are high except for a small percentage at the top of the food chain. And Mr. Bernanke says that's as good as it's going to get if things go well. You don't want to know the downside.
Gift Horse/Mouth: Container traffic at the Port of LA is up, up, up. But they're full coming in and empty going out – so much for exporting our way out of this mess.
Money Talks: Stating the obvious, that the rich are our natural betters and should be our political masters, the activist Roberts Supreme Court has overturned an Arizona law that tried to level the political playing field by removing absurd funding imbalances and making candidates compete for votes based on ideas, not sound bites. Thankfully the right wing SC is going to protect the rights of corporations and the rich to use their money to buy public offices.
Turf War: In Colorado you are not allowed to rescue a person from raging river water unless you are authorized to do so by the County Sheriff. Not even if the person is a 13 year old girl who has been in the water for an hour.