Friday, December 10, 2010

SAR #10345

Economics is about distributing limited resources among unlimited wants.

All the Marbles:   The struggle between the ECB/IMF and the financial crowd is about not just the future of the euro (if any), but the future of the EU and the ECM.  If Ireland, Greece, or Portugal defaults, where does the damage stop?  When do the riots end?  When do the wars commence?

Angel Tree:  Next time you pass the kettle, remember that Obama and the GOP are wrapping up bundles of $100 bills for the nation's billionaires while one in seven Americans is trying to stretch his food stamps to the end of the month.

In the Old Country:  Ireland is massively in debt to the IMF/EU because it (stupidly) bailed out its banks.  Now AIB, one of the bailed out banks, is paying the people who ruined both the bank and the country €40m in bonuses because – you've heard this before – if they don't the clever boys and girls who sank an entire country will go to work elsewhere. Where?

Coal in their Stockings:  Millions of private sector workers in the UK are losing up to 25% of their retirement income as part of the government's program to save the investors. They had been expecting a 4.5% hike in their pensions.

Split Second:  A 0.07-second power disruption at a Toshiba chipmaking factory forced some operations to halt, which may cut shipments to Apple and others by 20% over the next couple of months.  The factory's backup generators were not built to handle this particular problem.  What part of “backup” doesn’t translate?

A Christmas Story: Officially there are over 15 million people in the US and another 9 million are “part time for economic reasons”.  The real numbers are anyone's guess.  Over 6 million have not had a job in over 6 months.  Soon over 2 million will lose their unemployment benefits, having been idled for over 99 weeks.  Nearly all recent "job growth" has come from the part-time economy – jobs that average $20,000 a year.  For Christmas, and every month thereafter for the next six years the economy needs to create 235,120 new full-time jobs a month to get the unemployment rate down to pre-recession levels.

Questions:  Is economic growth economic?  Does incremental increase in GDP cost more than the increase gained?  Is the cost worth the benefit in human terms?  Does GDP growth measure anything worth measuring?  Are we facing a the dual collapse of petroleum based civilization and our growth based economy?  Answers?  Answers cost extra.

Insulation:  Ted Turner, having the luxury of not being elected to anything, is urging everyone, everywhere to have but one child.  At most.  The world population has passed 7 billion on its way to 10 billion by 2050, and Ted doesn't think this is a good idea.


tulsatime said...

Good old Ted 'captain outrageous' Turner, bringing up the elephant in the room. He will be demonized for it, you can be sure. You can't be for population control without being a baby eater or a granny killer.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Wikipedia asserts that Ted Turner has had five children.

CKMichaelson said...

Knows what he's talking about. And think of the 'footprint' 5 little Turners have made.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Ted Turner. Foul-mouthed owner of 15 different hobby ranches that he flies a private jet to.

Same guy who tells us "we" must learn to live more frugally with less oil.