Thursday, September 9, 2010

SAR #10252

The problem is often the previous solution.

Consuming Credit:  The American debt-based consumer economy took another hit as credit card debt dropped $5 billion in July.  How you gonna get a job that way?

"We need a World War": The recession is not over, it may never be over.  “Most countries that face a recession dominated by a financial crisis have never recovered to pre-crisis levels, even decades later.”  Today millions can only find part-time or lower-paying jobs that don't pay enough for a decent living, much less make them part of the 'consumer' economy. Some economists are saying there has been a structural change in the job market, and that the going forward 'full employment' will leave 7.5% of the workforce unemployed.  This may finally prod Americans out of their political passivity – witness the anger already available to the tea party demagogs.

Carte Blanch:  The President has the right, the court says, to claim the divine right of kings “states secrets privilege” to hide anything it wants by simply saying “National Security” while turning around three times.  In this particular case it was to “hide” Obama's continuation of the Bush/Cheney torture flights.  File under “Emperor, clothes.”

Hoarding:  China's 64 million vacant houses and apartments are explained away by calling them investments.  Like US banks do. 

Cart/Horse:  The problem with today's economy is usually described as a combination of excess capacity, low demand and an under-utilized work force.  All of which is blamed on “insufficient aggregate demand.”  All of which assumes that more output forever and ever is (a) good, or (b) possible.  It also ignores the question of (c) how much is enough and (d) how do we share it equitably?  Ever hear of 'enough'?

Cleanup!  Meredith Whitney sees 80,000 Wall Street layoffs in the next 18 months.  It's a start.

Should we let housing prices fall?  The government is the only thing preventing (or more likely, delaying) a precipitous decline in house prices followed by a general collapse of the banking industry and the economy as a whole.   How long can the government continue borrowing from the future to prop up house prices today?   There seems to be no easy way out of this dilemma.

Keeping It Simple:   The Israeli Defense Force explained the execution death of human rights activists Rachel Corrie this way:  "During War there are no civilians.”   No, they were not quoting Rumsfeld.

The Big Object:  The classic way out from a deleveraging slump is exports.  But simply building up exports won't do, not if you keep importing more than you export.  Not if you import way over half the petroleum you need.  The benefits of alternative energy reach beyond cleaner air and less global warming.

You Are Overpaid:  The American Enterprise Institute says the whole problem with the economy is that wages are too high.  “Economics teaches that full employment would be reached if wages adjust downward, to a level that better reflects current circumstances. Labor markets generate persistent unemployment only if wages are sticky, failing to fall as demand declines.”  So there you have it.  If the American worker would accept the $2.37 a day for a 12 hour day like some of their Asian cousins, everything would be hunky dory.  Except there'd be no customers...

The New Excuse:  Research suggests that dieting can release pollutants (mostly industrial poisons the body picked up from food) from fat cells into the dieter's bloodstream, there to cause innumerable illnesses.  Better safe than sorry.

Porn O'Graph:  What goes up...

5 comments:

rjs said...

curious: the 64 million vacant houses in china is a suspiciously close ratio to their population as our 19 million vacant houses is to ours...

CKMichaelson said...

Wow. Nice catch rjs - now if someone could spin that into a story...

ckm

rjs said...

ill leave weaving something out of it to you, ckm...youre better at that than i am...

OkieLawyer said...

The benefits of alternative energy reach beyond cleaner air and less global warming

... is related to the Cart/Horse story. If we were to spend public dollars putting people to work CCC- and WPA-style, you would create the aggregate demand that Keynesianism entails. You don't have to spend it on war (as many people believe). You just have to spend it on something. There is enough idle capital that could be deployed to accomplish this feat, but that would require that you step on some powerful -campaign donors- special interests. (I can't figure out how to do the strikethrough text.)

Vitus Capital said...

"Except there'd be no customers.."
Excellent.

rjs: excellent