“Put to sea if you'd learn to pray.” Evan S. Connell, Jr.
Revised Standard Version: The BLS has rejiggered the way they fudge the employment numbers, resulting in this week's initial claims to be an unbelievable 391,000. The BLS acknowledged that “some of the improvement was due to technical factors...”
A More Perfect Union: A plethora of financial commentators are finally catching on to the fact that Europe's problem is not debt or fiscal irresponsibility, or even those lazy Greeks, Portuguese, Irish, Spanish, Italians... The problem is the trade balances, or rather the trade imbalances among the member nations. If a nation runs a negative trade balance (negative current account) it must borrow the difference in order to pay the bills. If the Eurozone was one big happy fiscal nation, like these United States, then the 'states' wouldn't have this problem. Sure, the US runs a deficit with the world at large, but nobody gets excited that Pennsylvania has an imbalance with Iowa. Either they gotta fuse, or dismember the euro.
Some Experience Required: The quickest way to change your mind about austerity programs is to suffer one.
Face It: Facebook has “inadvertently” been keeping track of every webpage you visit – even if you have logged out of Facebook itself. Imagine, tracking every webiste visited by its 750 million customers, every day. Imagine, if you possibly can, that it was done “inadvertently”.
Revenge of the Sith:Over 100,000 acres of Georgia farmland are infested with Roundup-Ready pigweed. Twenty-nine Georgia counties are now host to pigweed that is resistant to glyphosate (Montsano's Round-Up). Montsano advises customers to supplement Round-up with herbicides such as
Agent Orange 2,4-D.
Agreed: Krugman, on economics: “Something very bad has happened to this discipline.”
Who's That Masked Man? Ben Bernanke says that unemployment in the US is “a national crisis” and that someone should do something about it. He also says that monetary policy cannot do much to save the economy. He suggested Congress should take more responsibility. Ben might want to read the charter of the Federal Reserve System – of which he is the Chairman. Its mission is to control inflation and promote “full employment”.
Quoted: “The developed world is heading into recession and every major policy-making body is making the wrong moves.” - Citibank.
Women and Children First: The order in which your city is likely to cut things in order to balance the budget without any of those horrid increased taxes is: Fire/lay off the people who provide the services. Cancel infrastructure repairs and improvements. Close the parks, pools, libraries, animal shelters, rec centers. Collect the garbage less often. “Modify” the health care benefits of city employees. Reduce public safety spending, close fire stations, cut police patrols. “Modify” pension benefits. Cut public health services. Cut spending on schools.
Bullies: Texas oil refineries want Texas school districts to pay for the pollution-control equipment the refiners are required to install. They claim they cannot afford to stop polluting the environment unless they get huge tax refunds. Win or lose, little Johnny should get an education.
Annual Checkup: Health insurance went up 9% last year. A family of four now pays $15,073 a year for insurance that pays only some of the costs of being sick. Try that on
WalMart minimum wage. Explain to me again why we don't have, don't want, single payer national healthcare.
You We are here.