Friday, April 13, 2012

SAR #12104

Most practicing environmentalists don't practice quite enough.

You Were Warned: Initial unemployment claims “surged” to 380,000 this week, after last week's mendacious 357,000. After revision this will end up near the magic 400,000 level.

They Say... According to the Bank of International Settlements, assuming banks make no changes, come June 30th, Eurozone banks will have a shortfall of €1.76 trillion in liquid assets and will need a €2.78 trillion injection of funds “to meet stable funding rules.” Where these trillions were coming from was not specified.

Optimists International: The average prediction by 24 economists polled by Reuters is that house prices will rise in 2013 for the first time in seven years. That is, if there is not a big wave of foreclosures (which is nearly guaranteed).

Counter-intuitively: A study by respected British conservationists concluded that windfarms do not cause long-term damage to bird populations, that they are not “bird blenders” as often claimed. The scientists did find that some species were harmed during the construction phase and recommended care be taken in site selection.

Experience Counts: Only one out four non-Prius hybrid vehicle owners buy a second hybrid. It's not clear if the problem is with the hybrids or with the owners.

Quoted: According to PIMCO's El-Erain, "In the last three plus years, central banks have had little choice but to do the unsustainable in order to sustain the unsustainable until others do the sustainable to restore sustainability." He went on to say that it was time for the central bankers to acknowledge they cannot keep this up. "It's about the growing risk of collateral damage and unintended circumstances."

Simple: Sex education works. States with 'abstinence-only' sex ed programs have the highest rates of teen pregnancies. Any questions?

Heresy: Taxes in the US are low, both in comparison with historic levels and with other developed nations. And in the US, despite propaganda to the contrary, people in the lower income levels pay far more in Federal taxes (other than income taxes) than the rich, especially the payroll taxes.

Wrong Question: Professor Lawrence went a bit far in claiming that even if every single thing we bought was “made in America” manufacturing would not cure our employment dilemma. And a dilemma it is. Yes, we spend two thirds of our income on services, but that discussion leads away from the real point that needs consideration, as does the ongoing hand-wringing over structural unemployment. We simply do not need all the people we have to either make things or write songs or empty bedpans. Our economy is too productive, we don't need everyone to be in the production or services business, but we need them as consumers. The task is to find an acceptable way to get the means of consumption into the hands of those who we truly need to be idle.

Impeach Earl Warren: The craziness on the Republican Right did not suddenly appear – they've been there for at least the last 60 years. But like a crazy aunt they were kept away from polite company. No longer. Now they've become the Republican mainstream and have the power to inflict themselves on the public and – to its detriment – the GOP.

Porn O'Graph: Been down so long we think it's up.


TulsaTime said...

Wrong Question- it seems obvious that we have become too efficient as a society! It must be time for a 3 day work week of 6 hours a day. It could be a workers paradise, a real utopian wonder of shared jobs and mutual empowerment. I bet it would put America back on the path again.

Drewbert said...

Experience counts: The reason is because, as a car, the Pruis is a terrible little critter to drive. No feel, terrible handling even in everyday circumstances, below class standard quality interior after the powertrain is factored out.

To put it more bluntly, you can get the same terrible handling, poor feel, and a mediocre interior in a Toyota Corolla for $10k less.

There are hybrids out there that look, drive, and feel like any other decent mid-size car, but they don't say Pruis on them, thus are not a Tree-Hugger status symbol. The Ford Fusion comes to mind as one of these because it really just feels like any other Fusion out there, but few are willing to pony up the extra cash for a hybrid that looks like any other car.

CKMichaelson said...

Drewbert - But the article clearly points out that the Prius owners are the most loyal of the bunch... which may or may not speak to the subjective experience.

All I know is that if you don't nerd to replace your car, replacing it to save on gas and replacing it to save the environment are both non-starters.

If it's time for a new vehicle, I'd look around at for a good used ICE from 10 or 15 years ago and compare that to a Prius/etc. Sure wouldn't wast the money on something as expensively hokey as a Smart Car.