Monday, September 27, 2010

SAR #10270

Collapse is a common failing of civilizations.

Deja vu All Over Again:   The FBI is out raiding the homes of anti-war activists, serving search warrants in hopes of finding enough evidence to arrest them as terrorists and to let the public know that dissent has consequences.

Facts Not In Evidence:   It's beginning to look like the GOP may need to restate their disdain for health care reform;  only 20% oppose it and 2 out of 3 think it should have done more, to include some form of single payer/universal coverage. Oops.  This may be one reason why polls show the Democrats are not at all out of the race.

Snapshot:  Over 52% of all houses sold in August went for under $200,000, while new house prices fell to their lowest level in 7 years.

Let's Make a Deal:  Rumor has it that California has arrived at a budget deal with the following reductions in state spending:  Cut Medicaid by $1.6 billion.  End the Healthy Families ($600 mil) program,  End the Cal Works employment program for the poor (nearly $2 bil).  End in-home social health services for the elderly ($1.5 bil)  Cut state payroll by 10% by reducing staff and paying them less ($1 bil).  Cut school funding by a billion. California is the nation's trend setter.

Y'think?  Various pundits are worried that high grain prices will ruin importer-nations budgets.  Not to mention their citizens' diets.

Cost/Benefit:  The trouble with the magic new world of genetically based 'tailored' therapies is that by the time a drug is designed for what ails you – your specific cancer, say – you will not be able to afford it.  It is an extension of the 'orphan drug' paradox,  where Big Pharma doesn't develop and market treatments for a disease unless the market will repay them handsomely.  In the long run, you are a unique individual.  Too bad.

Anti-Terrorist Textbooks:  Texas, fresh from having saved the schools from socialism and godless Democrats, is now going to root out the "pro-Islam/anti-Christian" bias in textbooks.  Next time they want to secede, let 'em.

Either / Or:  Our debts got us here and is going to keep us here until those debts are discharged.  There are four possibilities: 1) the banks could call a 'jubilee' and forgive all those nasty debts.  2) We could nibble away at them for years and years of enforced penury, not buy anything new until the debts are paid and the fat cats fatter.  3) We can let the damned things default and be written off, one by one for years.  Or 4) The Fed could inflate our way out of it by making money worth less so we could pay back the fat cats with worthless money.  Pick one – the one that hurts the most people the least for the shortest period of time.  Good luck.

Logically Illogical:   Defending their desire to secretly kill American citizens in order to protect American citizens, the administration explained that their reasons were a secret and they couldn't defend it in court without being embarrassed violating national security.  If they did that, they'd have to kill themselves, too.

Out of Gas:  Last year the government gave the ethanol producers $4.7 billion and erected a high tariff on imported (and cheaper) ethanol – yet at least a dozen producers have ended up in bankruptcy.  Without extending the federal aid and renewing the tariff -both of which expire at the end of the year – and increasing the mandated ethanol content of gasoline from 10% to 15% (and thus increasing the cost of the federal aid by 50%)  the industry may fade away,  just as biodeisel did when government support was withdrawn.  Has the time come to call the game over?

6 comments:

Maxine Udall (girl economist) said...

Re: Cost/Benefit, it may be worse than you think. If your physician is inconvenienced or use of the drug reduces his/her income, it's curtains for you. See here for example: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/7/498.full.pdf

Great blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

No SAR today? :(

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

I too regret the lack of an issue today.

I suggest reading

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/09/on-the-curious-timing-and-content-of-volckers-mislabeled-blistering-speech.html

brokeboater said...

'Tis a bummer when part of your morning routine is not there. Long live SAR.

CKMichaelson said...

Dear Readers - thanks for the concern. A word of explanation about the lateness of the print today: Kidney stones. Well, that's two words, but at 5 in the morning, who's counting. This too shall pass.

ckm

Anonymous said...

Best wishes, may those nasty stones be less sharp than your pen.