Monday, April 30, 2012

SAR #12121

Economic theories are like zombies; they don't die easily.

It's The Demand, Stupid: Instead of recycling Clinton's "It's the economy, stupid", we would be better served if politicians on both sides focused more on the lack of aggregate demand. Companies do not hire workers or increase production just because taxes are low or lowered - they only make stuff when they can sell stuff and right now the American people haven't got jobs and thus haven't got the stuff it takes to buy stuff.

Slow Learners: Now that the general consensus is that austerity is self-defeating, how to explain the continuing drive by European leaders and American Republicans to keep pursuing draconian budgetary cuts?

One Dollar, One Vote: Rich old white men are buying this election. This can be considered news only because of the blatancy. They've always done so, and they'll do it again and again. The news is how few it now takes. It is quite possible that a small handful of preposterously rich, mildly paranoid old geezers will determine who gets to sit in the Oval Office and play with the controls.

If/Then: Bruce Judson, channeling Bill Black, concludes that for capitalism to survive, crime must not pay. Sorry, guys, that horse has left the barn.

Getting A Job: Over 2.3 million Americans are in prison - that's 25% of all the prisoners on earth. But rather than let these folks suffer in their cells, American corporations put about a million of them to work - paying between 93 cents and $4.73 per day for their use. It used to be called convict labor, now it's just called profit.

Size Matters: You know all that plastic crap that we throw away that ends up bobbling around in the oceans? Well there is 27 times more than you thought. Not 27% more, 2700% more. Recycling isn't working.

Enter Chorus: House prices have hit bottom for the fourth year in a row. House prices always turn up a smidgen in the spring, but that should not be confused with an actual bottoming of prices. Ah, spring and fancies...

Another Day At The Office: Secretary Clinton says the murder of Osama bin-Laden was not particularly remarkable, "we've probably done something similar to this - helicopter in, take the target, look for who you're after, and get out of there - we have probably done it now 1,000 times."

Kabuki Theater: Mr. Boehner and the GOP gang pushed the Cyber Intelligence Protection and Sharing Act (CISPA) through the House last week. The bill would let corporations legally share their customers' personal data and information with NSA. President Obama is expected to veto the bill, so the House action was all for show. What it showed was where the Republicans stand on the question of privacy.

No Need To Plan: One out of four middle-class Americans now plan to work for at least two years after they die - planning to retire at 80, while the average life expectancy is 78.

Upgrade: Ed Dirkson once said "...a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." These days it's trillions. According to the Bank for International Settlements, 90% of the market capitalization of European banks is... vapor, to the tune of several trillion euro.

Runs With Scisors: On ABC's This Week, Paul Krugman grew restive when fellow panelists discussing the economy went long opinion and short data. After former HP leader Carly Fiorina blathered on about high taxes killing US competitiveness, Krugman pointed out the "Nothing you just said about taxes is actually true. He then went to his blog and pointed out that all of his fellow panelists were "serious people" who are long on opinion and short on data.

Porn O'Graph: You don't get what you pay for...

1 comment:

Drewbert said...

As a rule in life, whatever Carly Fiorina says to do, I do the opposite. Taking management and financial advice from Ms. Fiorina is like getting navigation advice from the captain of the Costa Concordia.