Monday, July 26, 2010

SAR #10207

Economics attempts to mathematically model desire.

Echo? What Echo?  Scientists and other investigators are beginning to question the evidence “proving” that North Korea was responsible for sinking the South Korean naval vessel.  Can you say 'Turner Joy'?  On the other hand, is it possible that one day North Korea will make the step from saying silly things to doing incredibly stupid things?

Extra Credit Question:  Who Ultimately Pays the Corporate Income Tax?  A: The same guy that ultimately pays all taxes, the consumer.

Jobs is Jobs:  An American Petroleum Institute report claims that producing natural gas from the Marcellus shale region could create as many as 280,000 jobs, many of them presumably involved in repairing the ecological damage done by the drilling, perhaps many others in related healthcare jobs.

Parse This:  Newt Gingrich explains that his calling Shirley Sherrod “viciously racist” “is one more example of the Obama administration's continuing incompetence.”

The Dead Budgie:  In failing to take meaningful action now to avert catastrophic climate change, our politicians doom us to a disaster of our own making.  It is not just a failure of the Democratic leadership, not simply another Presidential failure, it is a failure for each of us, for our children and our grandchildren.  It is a victory of today over all our tomorrows.

Fifty/Fifty:  The US government, facing a $1.47 trillion deficit, is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends. This does not end well.

Good Idea:  Economist Robert Solow, Professor Emeritus, MIT thinks the time has come for “Building a Science of Economics for the Real World”. Why didn't Krugman or one of those guys from Chicago think of that?

Economic Theroy:  Testing economists' belief that if you spend more money you can produce more resources, Mexico is urging foreign and private oil companies to spend money to find more oil as its production drops 2% in a month and cash-earning exports drop 4%.

Small Blue Planet Seeks Same:  A NASA space probe has found “at least” 140 planets similar to Earth.  Each was created in only seven days.

Puzzle:  Why do conservatives dismiss those, like Keynes, who have been right about the economy and insist we follow the sack-cloth and ashes philosophy of those, like those advising Hoover and Friedman’s Chicago School, who have been repeatedly wrong?

And Your Point Is?  “The public would happily accept higher levels of the neuro-poison for several more years in exchange for lower power bills next year.”

US and Them:  In contrast to our hand-wringing over BP's desecration in the Gulf of Mexico, the US pretty well ignored the Bhopal disaster and has remained resolutely ignorant of the 10 million barrels of oil splashed around the Nigerian delta in our names.  And we've offered neither cleanup nor compensation to the citizens who suffered for our sins.

Porn O'Graph:  Down so long, looks like up...


rjs said...

it's all even more unreal after you've been away from it for a while, isnt it?

CKMichaelson said...

rjs - Yes and no. The unreality comes mostly from so much of the "same old same old" - little changes were made in any of the big, big items. We have this amazing ability to focus on the recent, ignoring the larger and more important that are - relatively - just around the corner.

And looking at the results, 200 years on - of a failed empire (not to mention decades of dictatorship and centuries of the Church) doesn't put one in an overly optimistic frame of mind.

One observation on returning: In one turn around the local mall I saw (in no particular order)more children, more blacks, and far more obese people than I did in two full weeks in Portugal.

It was the absence of children that was the most remarkable.


Dink said...

"The US government, facing a $1.47 trillion deficit, is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends. This does not end well."

Ah crap...

Anonymous said...

RE: Fifty-Fifty & Puzzle:

Kind of a contradictory opinion there. It doesn't end well but spend more anyway.


Mətušélaḥ said...

RE: Extra Credit Question: Who Ultimately Pays the Corporate Income Tax? A: The same guy that ultimately pays all taxes, the consumer.

I have to disagree. If you make the Corporate Income Tax high enough, it will cut into profits. And if you make it higher still, it can mean survival of said entities. And then who pays for it? It is the banksters and the shadow elite that hold ownership and a controlling stake in the fascist/corporatist paradigm. Which is fine by me.

CKMichaelson said...

Mətušélaḥ - Any company that would choose to go out of business rather than the usual choice of passing on costs (and taxes are a cost) to the consumer, deserves to fail. But that would be, in recent experience, the rare entity.

The shadow elite that "hold ownership and a controlling stake" in the state did not get their riches by paying taxes, but by passing on all their costs (and the marginal return required on their investment) to the consumer.


OkieLawyer said...

OK, CKMichaelson, how would you rectify a corporate owner who uses the corporation to pay all of his or her living expenses (home, transportation, travel, food, etc.) in terms of collecting taxes assuming we eliminate corporate tax rates? (Leave aside the liability aspect of this arrangement.)

Mətušélaḥ said...


Yes, they will pass on the cost, but at a certain point that will simply kill off demand. What you seem to have forgotten is, corporations are really nothing more than an arrangement in structuring debt. When the corporation cannot service the debt and cannot pay back the shareholders and bondholders in a timely manner, their credit and lifeline is gone. And it doesn't take much to cause that to happen. :)

CKMichaelson said...

OkieLawyer - I didn't have the one-man corporation in mind - but that example is based on fraud...

Metuselah - My frame of reference was large corporations - most of whom don't really pay any corporate taxes anyhow. But at base, all businesses get their money from the customer. There is no other source. If the customer does not think their product - including all the costs necessary to produce it and keep on doing so - is not worth the cost, then (according to my conservative capitalist friends) they shouldn't be in business anyway.


Mətušélaḥ said...


All public corporations work on the principles I've outlined previously. That's why it's so important for them to develop their "brand". Their "brand" is really their credit rating. But when these corporations cannot pay their creditors (i.e., their owners), not even their "brand" will help them. I think that's something to consider, and something worth pursuing. Raise the taxes on the corporations, apply punitive fines on them for their poisoning of people and the environment, and watch them go extinct.

CKMichaelson said...

M - Sounds good to me.