Thursday, August 4, 2011

SAR #11216

There's no way up anymore. Ilargi

Reversion To The Mean: One of the goals of the grand Euro experiment was to erase the imbalances which had for centuries led to wars on the continent. But history is repeating itself as economic differences and difficulties give way to ethnic and national strife. As the fiscal and monetary pressures increase, expect the pressure to find release. The European project has failed. The question is how calamitous the dissolution will be.

Dumb Question: Will the defense cuts stick? No, between America's passion for purchased patriotism and politicians' survival instincts, there is no way any significant cuts in the pork Defense budget will actually occur.

Covert Operations: While the nation was distracted by the drama of the last minute debt ceiling negotiations, a small coterie in the House of Republicans (which is no longer Representative of much of anything) launched an all-out assault on the EPA and Interior Department aimed at preventing those agencies from enforcing existing statutes designed to protect America's air, water and wildlife.

Asked & Answered: Is the economy hitting stall speed? Yes, obviously.

If Government Was A Business: Any business that could borrow money at 2.75% for 10 years and invest in capital improvements now in anticipation of better times, would do so. Except the government-is-a-business politicians don't understand that in today's market government borrowing to build infrastructure is essentially free. That way the country would be poised to take advantage of opportunities when conditions improve. That is what successful companies have always done. Instead, our leaders, especially those on the right, have taken a defeatist attitude that says we cannot compete and must therefore surrender – have a going out of business sale. It is not permitted to point out that countries which tax to raise revenue and spend it to promote growth – China, India, Brazil, Canada, Germany – are doing quite nicely. The US seems intent on simply surviving, as a smaller, poorer, has-been of a nation.

Sub Rosa: The public face of the Patriot Act is homely enough, but the government's secret interpretation of the Act is so extreme they refuse to let even the Senate know what it entails.

Shape Shifters: Most of the big banks that have been playing repo-man plan on joining BoA in playing demo-man, demolishing houses rather than maintaining them until they can sell them. Some hope to foist these deteriorating domiciles off of unsuspecting local governments who would then bear the cost of fixing them up or tearing them down. All makes perfect sense in a capitalist society.

Power Up: China is expected to use 16% more natural gas this year than last – the sign of a growing economy.

Second Coming: To call the Current Difficulties the “Great Recession” is to suggest that it is following the well-trodden path of previous recessions. It is not. And the confusion in describing the problem has led to erroneous prescriptions for its cure which have made a relapse inevitable. The real problem is one of global excess leveraging, which can be resolved only through defaults – both corporate and sovereign – or inflation. “It is too late to undo the bad forecasts and mistaken policies that have marked the aftermath of the financial crisis, but it is not too late to do better.”

Cheeky:Recent research shows that atheists and Muslims are more likely to reject violence than are Christians. Why this should surprise anyone who has seen a church festooned with images of cruelty and suffering is a mystery.

Big Brother: The federal government told a judge to dismiss a NY effort to get the EPA to actually review how natural-gas extraction via fracking will impact the state's water supply. Not that there isn't grounds for concern, but you can't sue the king feds without their permission.

1 comment:

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

"There's no way up anymore." Why can't you look on the bright side? "This glass is three-sixteenths full."

But seriously, thanks for reading all these, so I don't have to.