Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SAR #11068

Life is cheap and getting cheaper.

Expect the Expectable: Banks want to keep pretending they are solvent and the lead state Attorney General negotiating with them for a one-size-fits-all settlement to their mortgage foreclosure irregularities, fraud and general bad behavior has aspirations that conflict with the best interests of the states and their citizens. So who will the winners be? Best two out of three?

Trinitarianism: The oil price shock, increasing food inflation, and enormous sovereign debts are coming together – soon – to form a three legged stool called social upheaval.

Road Sigh'n: No, the US fiscal downfall did not start with W, and Obama isn't solely responsible. We became deficit dummy's back in Ronnie's days, with the 'starve the beast' and 'taxes don't matter' mantras.

Capitalist Plot: Russia’s capitalist grain farmers, facing a continuing ban on exporting their grain to more profitable markets, are planting the smallest wheat crop in four years. Funny how that works.

Budget Balancing: “You should always remember that the GOP comes to bury Medicare, not to save it.”

Down & Under: House prices (measured by the RPX Composite) have fallen to their lowest levels in 8 years. - down, on average 34%. Case Shiller isn't there yet, but soon. The US housing market has become a "nameless, formless crisis". Over 11 million homeowners are now underwater – 23 % of all mortgaged houses. Another 2.4 million are at the break-even point, bringing the distress to over 25% of mortgaged houses.

About Unions: Production per worker per hour is up 5.2%. Wages, since the so-called recovery began, have climbed 0.3%. Too bad you don't have a union rep to discuss this with.

Live Long and Suffer: Researchers have confirmed that the overweight live longer than either the skinny, 'normal', or the obese. But now they find that the overweight folks suffer generally poorer health. Second prize is two weeks in Philadelphia.

Photos of the Future: What I did on my vacation. Are you sure having babies is a good idea?

Facts in a Certain Order: The US budget has a deficit. The US has an enormous public debt. Social Security cannot – by law – spend money it did not get via FICA taxes. Social Security has not caused even one penny of any year's deficit nor ever added one cent to the cumulative debt of the United States. People tell lies.

Progress: Drilling for natural gas in Wyoming has brought the western part of the state into competition with Los Angeles for the title “smoggiest”.

Porn O'Graph: Going up the mountain.


Anonymous said...

Hey CK. Love the blog, read it everyday (except Sundays of course - how dare you take a day off!!). Anyway, was wondering what your take is on having children and the future.Would you have children today knowing what you know now? Or would it not influence your decision at all. Thanks...darwin1858

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

How intrusively personal! Yes, knowing what I knew then (1970s), when my son was 5, I became aware of the problems and pressures our exploding population was and would cause. My wife and I decided that one child was all any couple should have. So I had a vasectomy. That was over 35 years ago, and I have not ever regretted the choice.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply CKM. Much appreciated...darwin1858

Demetrius said...

Good going. You may take note of the Kaupthing arrests in London and Iceland today. This has very big implications. Yet people seemed surprised. See my post of today 9th "Arresting News" for why I am not surprised! Best.

Anonymous said...

RE: Photos of the Future:

It's funny how pictures presented in Black and White make things seem grimier and more depressing. Kind of like Great Depression pictures. I've seen color pictures of the Great Depression and it didn't seem as "depressing.


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Wait a minute, do you mean that those men, women and children laboring in god-awful conditions would be less heartbreaking if they were in color? Music in the background?

Perhaps they remind you of depression era pictures not because they are black and white, but because of the subject matter.

My family lived through the Depression - in living color, and because it was Appalachia, I got to grow up through the same conditions - in living color. The color didn't make it better.


Anonymous said...

Hope you read this as it is a late post.

Truth be told, your brand of suffering ain't no better than mine. We can compare notes someday.

Glad we both got out of it!

My point was more of how pictures shot in BW make the situation, in my perception (as I now know), grimmer than those shot in color.

I'm always amazed when I see pictures of the depression (and earlier) in color. The people had clothes of many colors and types and expressed their individuality through those colors. The BW pictures make all the people seem the same and drab. It let's me know that even in desperate times, people are individuals.


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

RBM: Never to late. Actually, my childhood was in color and wasn't bad at all. It was only when I left home and the hills that I discovered I'd been, we'd been, poor all those years. I wouldn't now go back and trade it and back then I didn't know there was anything better to trade it for.

And I treasure the inheritance my father was proud to leave me: The ability, and the need, to work hard. It stood me in good stead; still does.

But I do agree with you - Paul Simon was right about Kodachrome.