Poverty is globalization's poster child.
Entrails: The August Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell again this month, making it three months in a row of progressively greater declines. New orders, a preview of future business conditions, also fell for the third month of progressively steeper contractions. This suggests that a year or so from now when the NEB gets around to dating the start of the next recession, they'll pick June 2011 as the beginning.
No Harm No Foul: A Shell oil rig in the North Sea has leaked "several hundred tons" of crude oil into the ocean off the coast of Scotland. One ton = 7.4 barrels = 42 gallons. Multiply by "several hundred."
Subdued Enthusiasm: Detroit area house sales jumped nearly 10% in July y/y. Prices also increased nearly 9% y/y, with the average price soaring to $78,000.
Apples to Apples: The people who rant about 51% of Americans "paying no income taxes" (but who do pay payroll taxes) are strangely silent about the fact that more than two-thirds of corporations don't pay any—and they aren't subject to Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid taxes either.
Some Myths: Quantitative easing helped the economy. Republicans are fiscal conservatives. The US has the best healthcare. Tax cuts increase tax revenue. The US has the world's highest standard of living.
Stop and Think: The conventional wisdom is that it's a horrible idea to raise taxes during a recession. The economy is weak, so why take more money out of the economy? But we are constantly told that corporations are sitting on cash because they cannot see significant demand to justify building new or opening old factories, much less hiring anyone. Banks have literally hundreds of billions in excess reserves parked at the fed earning 0.5% because they can't find anyone to lend the money to. And best of all, what does Uncle Sam do with the tax money? He spends it. Get it? He spends it. Pays people. Buys stuff. Builds things.
Principals: Michelle Bachmann paid 6,000 people to vote for her, but only got 4,800 votes. At least 1,200 voters were smarter than she is.
Multiples of Choice: The stock market is driven by: a) Innovation, b) Computers, c) Greed and fear, d) Fear and greed, (e) Speculators, f) Financial engineering, g) Manipulation or h) The Plunge Protection Team. More than one answer may be correct.
Either/Or: On the day that Iraq’s Vice President said that removing US troops from Iraq will "improve security," the White House announced it would consider (hint, hint) any Iraqi request for US troops to remain in the country past December.
Know the Candidates! Which of the following are Rick Perry's positions on the issues? 1) Social Security is both evil and unconstitutional. 2) Regulating banks is unconstitutional. 3) Protecting consumers from fraud is unconstitutional. 4) Nearly everything the government does is unconstitutional: gun laws, civil rights laws, environmental protection laws, and the minimum wage, for example. 5) Global warming is both unconstitutional and a liberal ploy to conceal the fact the world is cooling.