Left to its own devices, the consumer society will consume itself.
Stampede: Suddenly everyone knew all along that Keynes was right and austerity was wrong, not only for Europe but for the US, and that austerity has "brought nothing but misery" to Europe - witness the falling GDP numbers. And - the herd now claims to have known for some time - the US stimulus was way too small and if the tax increase scheduled for January 2013 isn't killed, the US economy will be. A look back to the previous cycle - the one that led to the Great Depression - suggests that if we keep marching down the austerity path we well may end up goose-stepping along.
Continued:The S&P/Case-Shiller Price Index is down again, 3.6% on an annual basis - a slightly less steep decline than the previous two months. The good news is that the bad news isn't as bad.
Two Questions: Is there a real difference between Sarkozy and Hollande and does it matter whether Romney or Obama is elected this fall? Yes, to the first. Hollande's election will bring about the death of the euro and the breakup of the EU more quickly than his opponent's re-election would. Same end, of course. No, to the second. They are both owned and operated by the 1%/0.1% and it will not make a bit of difference in the decline of the American Empire which of them is the figurehead, although under Obama the peasantry might fare a bit better.
What's Wrong With This Picture: Apple now has $110 billion in cash on hand.
Assigned Reading: "The policy engine of Manifest Destiny has stopped working. The USA is at the point when it cannot afford or maintain all that effort and soon the system will fall apart either quickly or slowly. … Some historians think it could be like the Byzantine Empire, others the Ottoman Empire. But what if it is like either the Soviet Empire, where corruption rules or the British Empire, where chaos and stupidity rules?”
Door Number Two: The current economic dilemma could be solved by increased economic growth, which is not possible, or by inflating away the debts, which is not acceptable. The only sure thing is that the future holds pain for most of the populace of Europe (and the US).
Be Prepared: "The most important take-away points from the 2012 Trustees Report will be that Social Security has a large and growing surplus; that without any Congressional action, Social Security will continue to pay benefits to America’s eligible working families for decades; and that with modest legislated increases in revenue, it will continue to pay those benefits for the next century and beyond."
Sunrise/Sunset: The Hollande 'victory' may signal the end to German imposed austerity throughout the Eurozone, but getting rid of a religion that failed the faithful is not the same as solving the problem. There is no possible going back to the pre-crisis conditions - that would be as useless as insisting on more austerity. It might be time to think of this as a tragedy, not a comedy, with Shakesperean ending full of corpses.
Fox News Ethics: Fox co-conspirator Steve Doocy explains that making up things and claiming Obama said them was not 'misquoting' the President, merely 'paraphrasing' to clarify what the President meant.
Focus! Budget deficits, tax rates, abortion and Social Security bankruptcy take up the noise out of Washington. But solving the unemployment problem – even if it is limited to just the 13 million the government acknowledges - should be number one. Why isn't it? 'Cause nobody's got the foggiest.
Odd Jobs: Now that America's Mexican workforce is declining - for the first time since the Depression - some pundits are worrying over immigration policis and the Latino vote. A lot of ordinary rich folks are more concerned with who is going to mow the lawn, polish the car and take care of the kid. Or shingle the roof.
Porn O'Graph: It's different this time.