Economic fantasies are bad for your health.
Teaching Point: Greece's and Spain's latest horrific numbers confirm that severe austerity measures (like the GOP wants the US to adopt) do not save the economy, it does not even help the government lower its deficit – which has risen to 10.5% of GDP - it makes the situation worse. Much worse. But let's not take the lesson yet; let's make the poor suffer, at least until we are “shocked” when the UK deficits come in much higher than promised. Funny how cutting government spending, cutting government social support, cutting government employment cuts into the economy just like old John Maynard said it would. In the end banks will be forced to mark-to-market, which will be a problem for German banks, and Greece will abandon the euro, Greek banks will fail, and the citizens will lose all their savings. But don't worry, the US isn't Greece. Not quite. Not yet.
By the Sea, By The Sea... Because nuclear fission continues inside Fukushima's reactors, just burying them in a concrete sarcophagus is not sufficient – they must also build an impervious wall underground -way, way, underground, so far underground that it meets bedrock – to keep it from contaminating groundwater. And the ocean.
Logical: Medical coverage for all, in four easy steps. Nah, if it was that easy we would'a done it already. Oh wait, we did.
Thinning the Herd: Freddie Mac cut the amount of mortgages it purchased for secuitization by 31% in March, purchases are now down 46% from December 2010.
This, Just In: Government security forces have arrested, beaten, and shot protesters – leaving hundreds of dead – following protests focused on ending official corruption and the chronic shortage of food, water, electricity and jobs. Libya? Yemen? Syria? No, in Iraq. In February. You didn't hear about it because the freedoms we've imposed on Iraq did not include freedom of the press.
Scarce, Defined: About 1 out of 4 renters are spending more than half their pre-tax income on rent and utilities. And this beats a mortgage you can't afford?
Let's Be Reasonable: Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you walk down the street? Can you reasonably expect privacy when you drive around town? Is it reasonable to expect that the cops have put a GPS tracking device on your car?
Banknote: About 20% of full-time American workers pulled money out of their retirement accounts in the past year. Emergencies seem to be multiplying. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 reached its highest level since 2008.
In Case: The Case-Shiller index shows another 3.3% annualized decrease in house prices across the country in February. Not a dramatic worsening from the January number, just new lows. The bright spot was Detroit, where prices edged up.
Bias Behinds: Fox News personality Sean Hannity says that the media claims the GOP is racist, evil and stupid. It was unclear if he was bragging or complaining.
Fine Print: The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the poorest 155 million – those 400 have more money than half the entire population of the country. We're not poor because we don't work – we're poor because we've been robbed. Repeatedly. Don't think so? How underwater is your mortgage?