Saturday, July 23, 2011

SAR #11204

Political deals at best only last until the next election.

Don't Want to Belong to a Club that Would Have Me as a Member: The only hope for Europe and the Euro is some form of political and fiscal union. Such a union has zero chance of passing a vote by the citizens of many European countries. But it would be economically ruinous to drop the euro and return to the nationalistic bickering and wars and persecutions of earlier years. In the end they will destroy the EU trying to save it.

Proportion: The attention of the US has been focused on the debt limit drama in Washington for weeks now, as the Republicans struggle to chop $3 billion out of entitlements and the Democrats want to get the debt limit up to $16 billion even if they have to starve granny and throw dad out of the nursing home. But back in 2007-8, the Fed handed out more than that – more than the entire federal debt – over $16 trillion in loans. Secretly.

Memory Lane: Housing isn't looking up, hasn't been and won't be for some time, because the real determinants in housing are the employment and wages of prospective house buyers. Etcetera.

Sound Familiar? Saudi Arabia's new 'counter-terrorism' law will give Homeland Security the Interior Ministry enormous powers to tap phones, search houses, arrest, interrogate, secretly try and indefinitely imprison any one criticizing the President king.

Bring Out Your Dead Pitchforks: The US has much greater inequality than Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Greece and Spain. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff says that “high unemployment rate and high levels of debt in the U.S. will sooner or later trigger serious “social unrest from the income disparities in the U.S.” Sooner or later being relative terms.

Wheeling & Dealing: US taxpayers lost $1.3 billion bailing out Chrysler. Better luck next time.

The Bell Jar: In the early 20th Century the nation's rich paid virtually nothing in taxes to the federal government and the government did virtually nothing to better the lives of average Americans. By the middle of the century the average American had forced the rich and their corporations to pay progressive taxes that went to better the lives of the many. By the end of the century the rich had taken back control of the government, had lowered their taxes to near invisibility and were intent on completely dismantling the social compact. Along the way there were unions, strikes, wars, market crashes, the rise and fall of the American empire, union busting, recessions, a great depression and the beginnings of a greater one. Now what?

A Piece of the Action: Ten million dollars a day gets smuggled out of Kabul every day. In suitcases. Sounds like a lot of theft and corruption until you remember that $18 billion in unmarked bills was sent to Baghdad, where it disappeared. Yawn.

Silver Horse: The question isn't why is there so much unrest in the Middle East nor why the citizens of Greece are rioting and those of Spain politely demonstrating. No, rather like the dog that didn't bark, the question is why Americans are so docile about being stripped of what little they have previously been allowed to keep.

One If By See: Massachusetts wants to equip cop cars (and intersections and so on) with scanners that would capture every license plate that passes by. And keep that information for years, in case they decide they need to know where you were, when. Key question: “What kind of a society are we creating here? There comes a point where the surveillance is so pervasive and total that it’s a misnomer to call a society free any longer.”

Porn O'Graph: In and Out the Briar Patch.

7 comments:

tulsatime said...

So it will be quite enlightening when the created crisis in budget turns into the real crisis in banking (again). And nice of Mr summers to have already prioritized recovery. No Bank Left Behind may not play so well in post entitlement amerika.

I'm still waiting for the magic coins to be unveiled, bet it will be next week to fix the debt limit. Don't you know that will make the rethug partiers see red white and blu. LOVE these interesting times !!

Anonymous said...

One if by See:

I used to think Alex Jones was crazy. Now I see his rants about what was going to happen were just a few years early.

RBM

OSR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OSR said...

1 If by See: Bad news, bro. Maryland has already done that very thing. Page 5 of http://www.maine.gov/sos/Maryland%20LPRPlan_8-2010.pdf ought details it. So far, we've seen marked police cars around Baltimore with the camera arrays. The idea is that warrants and stolen vehicles will be identified in real time. However, they won't be using them to figure out where you are--that's what your cell phone is for.

Anonymous said...

Pitchforks: Misleading Rubbish.

http://goo.gl/DTS5b


That misrepresentation has international implications. Rector and Sheffield explain that U.S. government poverty statistics portray a misleading negative image around the world. Al Jazeera, Iran’s Teheran Times, Chinese and Russian media have latched on to U.S. poverty statistics to depict the United States as a failed, nightmarish society. And nothing could be further from the truth.

President Obama plans to make this situation worse by creating a new “poverty” measure that deliberately severs all connection between “poverty” and actual deprivation. Rector and Sheffield say that the goal is to measure income “inequality,” not poverty—giving the President public relations ammunition for his “spread-the-wealth” agenda.

Bill

CKMichaelson said...

We're not talking levels of poverty, but the distance between the rich and the rest - the inequality within the society. US poverty statistics are irrelevant to this item - it deals with the huge gap in income between the top 1%, the top 10% and the rest of us.

As for the US being "a failed, nightmarish society." well, those are your words.

ckm

Anonymous said...

No, those are the words of Al Jazeera, Iran’s Teheran Times, and the Chinese and Russian media, based on the misleading U.S. poverty statistics.

Bill