Thursday, June 30, 2011

SAR #11181

If you view this as a financial crisis, you are missing the point.

New & Unimproved: The Greek vote changes nothing. Greece simply cannot pay its debts and 155 politicians being coerced into voting 'Yea' will not change that. It owes 160% of the country's GDP (and that's before the depression that the austerity program will bring on). Even if the Greek economy were to rebound, paying the debt down (not counting the interest payments) would take 5% of GDP for 30 years – and even then, in 2040, they would still owe 60% of GDP. The bailout will cost the average Greek family about 8% of its current income -  and a lot of workers’ current income is about to plummet. This is not about saving Greece. It is about saving European banks. It is about transferring the taxes of French and German workers to French and German banks via Athens – where the unintended consequences are just getting under way.

If At First You Don't Succeed: The Egyptian military, confronted with 5,000 protesters who wanted democracy, not a different dictatorship, tried to clear Tahrir Square, leaving nearly 600 wounded. Various lessons could be drawn from this.

No Shirt, No Shoes... The doctors' lobby has stopped the government from finding out how the doctors were treating (or not) the patients whose care is paid for by the government.

Bad, Then Worse: First Obama morphed into George W. and adopted Afghanistan and Guantanamo as his own. Now he is becoming Dick Cheney, seeking to jail a reporter indefinitely to force him to identify his sources – as punishment for letting the people know what the government was doing in their name, which has become anathema to the Executive Branch no mater which party is in power.

Grist: The Ohio House of Representatives has passed a ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable – about the sixth or seventh week. Roe vs. Wade gave women the right to an abortion up to the point the fetus is viable outside the womb – about 22 weeks. This discrepancy will allow the Supreme Court to revisit, revise, or reverse Row vs. Wade. Or confirm it.

Not So Deep In The Heart Of Texas: A poll by the Democrat-affiliated Public Policy Polling gave Obama a 2 point lead over Gov. Rick Perry. In fact, 59% of Texas did not want Perry to run for President and 55% didn't think he'd done a very good job as governor. There's bound to be a Republican poll that shows just the opposite.

Negating Negotiations: It is not a negotiation when one side won't negotiate. Take it of leave it is not a negotiating strategy. The Democrats have agreed to large spending cuts, but want some tax loopholes closed and some gross discrepancies in taxation rectified. So the Republicans walked out. That's dictation, not negotiation. But neither side actually acknowledges – if they even know – what is really under discussion. What is really being talked about is the end of plenty and whose constituents are going to suffer and whose will prosper as economic growth ends. It is the opening chapter of the struggle to reform our economic and social fabric in an era of increasing scarcity.

Strategy: The release of light crude oil from strategic reserves is a puzzling event. Yes, economies are starting to stagnate and turn down, but the reason given was to make up for the loss of Libyan oil from the market. But that happened back in February. Did it take this long for them to notice? Was it to drive down the price of oil? Well, it didn't, and buying back the oil to refill the reserves will only add to the demand in an already tight market – driving up the price. Was it a political message sent to the Saudi Arabia to encourage them to increase production? What if they can't? Will there be more releases from the reserves? Why? Why not? Very strange.

Record Keeping: NOAA scientists reported, as “unmistakable” signs of global climate change, that Greenland's ice sheet melted more last year than in the previous 50 years, that Arctic sea ice shrank to its third smallest extent, that the world's alpine glaciers shrank for the 20th consecutive year, that 2010 was either tied for the hottest year on record or was the second hottest, that from “ the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the oceans” there were multiple unmistakable signs of global warming.


tulsatime said...

It seems really odd to have heard so little from the medical establishment about the demand destruction that would result from defunding all the great society programs. Same for the agri-bidness complex and the SNAP stamp program. Perhaps it is all just a distraction from the problems at the post office.

CKMichaelson said...

Hadn't thought of that aspect, TT. I had wondered if the GOP realized that killing Obamacare would deprive the insurance industry of 40 million (or more) new, government-subsidized, customers...