Ever notice the similarities between solvency and sovereignty?
Quote: “What’s happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what’s going on in the United States... What’s happening in Greece in the last week is exactly what’s happened in Minnesota with the close-down of government. And the demands of privatization–Greece to sell off its roads, its land, its port authority, its water and sewer–is just what Illinois’s been doing, what Chicago’s been doing, what Minnesota’s been told to do.”
Takes One To Know One: Homeland Security's DTS is going to spend over $300 million on radiation-detection equipment that has not been tested and may not work.
Map, Compass: If jobs are not coming back to America, and they are not, what happens to the former middle class? Is this a turning point not just for the economy, but for the society as a whole? What happens when the government can no longer borrow enough to keep the peace? The elite must find a way to keep the greatly silent majority silenced and docile or face the chaos that has lurked at the edges for nearly three years now.
If they cannot provide jobs, then they must provide the circus of entitlements and a face-saving form of welfare.
Meet The New Boss: Remember the stories your grandfather told about the grinding dullness of the exploited workers? The ones that made you think of those posters that said “Workers of the world, unite!” They were not just stories and those days are here again.
Tense, Very Tense: “Europe's austerity mantra could lead to disaster.” Could? And not just in Europe', either.
Perils of Pauline: Unemployment claims, at 405,000, make it 14 weeks in a row above the magic 400,000 level – although 399,999 would not sound good either. Last week's number was revised up to 427,000.
Perspective: The problem is not that we cannot afford our social programs, but that we can no longer tolerate our asocial ones. It is not our spending, but our taxing that needs reform, for any society is best judged on how it treats its weakest members. We should be judged by what we all have after taxes, not how much some have. Yes, we should cut down our war spending and eliminate all the programs that pay the rich for being rich and prop up the free market in politicians. But even more we should be expanding our transfer payments to the poor and the sick and those thrown into poverty by misguided economic policies that reward the few at the cost of the many.
Love & Marriage: If Italy is ready to embrace austerity, can privatization be far behind? How much do I hear for the Coliseum? For Venice, as is?
Better Question: Paul Kedrosky wants to know why tourist wear t-shirts from one tourist trap when visiting another tourist trap. I'd like to know why anyone would pay money to buy a shirt advertising Abercrombie, Fitch, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, The Gap, American Eagle and so on. They want to rent space on my shirt, I'm willing to negotiate, but not for free.
Connections: The availability of concentrate energy (fossil fuels) sets a limit to the amount of financial and “real” economic growth can occur. We are reaching that limit.
The Good and the Bad: The bad news is that the British austerity program has been a complete dud. The good news is it will go on for years, if not a decade or two, “to pay the price for an aging population”. Unless other solutions are found, stiff upper lip and all.
Asked and Answered: Is Facebook worth $100 billion? Depends on the supply of bigger fools.