The goal is no longer productivity, it’s employment.
The Objective: Obama wants to pay for his $467 billion jobs program by increasing taxes. Putting people back to work is an admirable goal, but this suggests his re-election campaign and not the American worker was the true focus of the effort. The first goal of players in the game of national politics is to stay in the game. Everything else is secondary.
Been There, Done That: The man who presided over post-default Argentina's finances advises Greece to “default, and default big... Rescue programs backed by the IMF and ECB are recession creating” and will pile even more debt on the country. He also thinks that if Europe (by which he means Germany and France) want to have the Euro, they will have to pay for it.
Imagine All The People... One out of seven Americans is living in poverty. That's 46 million of our friends and neighbors.
Travel Tips: Fighter jets escorted two flights — one to New York City, another to Detroit — after some passengers used the bathrooms too many times. Skip the hydration and take some Imodium or TSA will make you wear an adult diaper. Oh, and try not to look like one of them.
Summer's End: The Egyptian generals, as generals always do, have begun shutting down the press and curtailing the freedoms sought by those who made the revolution. They have issued a series of emergency laws to cover “threats to public order” (by which they mean gathering to protest), “attacks on the freedom to work” (by which they mean attempts to unionize workers), and “sowing discord” (by which they mean broadcasting news the generals do not care for).
Rights, Mine and Yours: You have the right to be as fat as you wish. You do not have the right to restaurant chairs that will fit your fat ass. (There's an airplane seating corollary to this rule.)
Reefer Madness: Before the end of this century, coral reefs will become the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by the Industrial Revolution – climate change and ocean acidification resulting from spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There are children alive today who will live to see a world without coral. And without the fish that use the reefs as nurseries.
Noted: The cure for 2008's 'too big to fail' banks has been to merge them into 'too bigger to fail' behemoths, with executive bonuses all around. The people who ran the circus then have not gone to jail and are still running it today.
Disaster Area: Senate Republicans say that FEMA cannot have any money to help the country recover from the massive flooding because helping the communities devastated by natural disasters isn't nearly as important as keeping taxes on the rich at all time lows.
Lessons Learned: The default rate on educational loans reached 8% last year, and 15% of students from for-profit
diploma mills schools who began repayment in 2008 were 9 months behind after just two years.
In Recovery: In 2Q2011, 10.9 million homeowners (22.5% of all houses with mortgages) are underwater. The worst states have a combined rate of 38% underwater – better than a year ago (41%) only because of foreclosures. The top five: NV 60%, AZ 48%, FL 45%, MI 35%, GA 30%, and CA 30%.
Texas Toast: Texas has the nation's second highest rate of "food insecurity," the highest percentage of people without health insurance, spends less per resident than any other and just passed a budget that will spend even less. And Perry. It has Rick Perry as governor – has had for a decade.
Solve for C: If A=US wages have not increased, and B=Americans are spending a lot more on gasoline this year, then C=. Hint: Read the last chapter on The Consumer Economy.
Pot/Kettle: China is “drunk with economic power.” Worse “it seeks to match US military might.” Thus, the US can't cut defense spending, according to House Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, who really, really “wants peace”. Peace in our time, peace on our terms.