Friday, May 11, 2012

SAR #12132

People are corruptible, some more readily than others Jesse.

Fear Itself: The European Financial Stability Facility will give Greece enough euros to keep the country going for a few more weeks because they are afraid not to. Of course they're not really giving Greece the money, they are paying it to the ECB via Greece and charging it to Greece's account. The ECB is insisting on continued austerity: “Greece has to be aware that there is no alternative to the agreed consolidation program if it wants to remain a member of the euro zone.” Big if. Besides, Greece owes about 400 billion euros to private bondholders, public bodies such as the IMF and ECB. Just who is in the driver's seat is a good question.

I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday: The US trade deficit for April grew $6 billion to $51.8 billion as imports rose twice as much as exports.

Perspective: Obama doesn't get full credit, his waffle that same-sex marriage “should be a state issue” gets a big F. After all, before the Emancipation Act, slavery was a state issue. Before the Voting Rights Act, voting was a state level decision. Before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state-by-state issue, too. Oh, remember the Civil Rights Act?

Drop” defined: The headlines yell that initial claims for unemployment dropped this week. Yep, dropped 0.27%. Do the math: 367,000 this week, 368,000 last week. Actually, last week was 365,000 before 'revision' which means by the initial data, claims dropped upward.

Counting The Ways: America is, once again, becoming a bedroom community – the Republicans just can't get their minds out of other people's bedrooms. Romney's against same-sex marriage. Republicans in Minnesota want to join North Carolina's ban, while the GOP in Maryland and Washington State are trying to overturn state approval of same-sex marriage. Around the country there are over 400 bills pending aimed at women's reproductive rights – contraception and abortion. Unemployment? Nah, that's not a priority.

Yes, But... The US House of Representatives (a wholly owned subsidiary of GOP, Inc. David & Chrles Koch, prop.) on Wednesday night approved an amendment to prevent Obama from taking executive action against the Defense of Marriage Act or state constitutional amendments prohibiting same sex marriage.

Your Millage May Vary: Education pays! Just not as much as promised. Remember, the number of people holding advanced degrees who are on food stamps has tripled in the last 5 years.

Pig/Poke: The FDA, with a lot of help from the health insurance industry, wants to give you a lollipop, little girl make more currently prescriptive drugs available over-the-counter. Sounds like a good deal, right? No need pay for a doctor's visit just to renew the same-old same-old. But wait, if it is over-the-counter your health insurance is not going to pay for it, you are. That's a dog, not a pig, in that sack.

Twas Always So: The London Olympics look to be both a financial and organizational disaster. And by the way, we'd like to quarter some soldiers on your roof.

Selection Bias: Despite all the entrail reading going on, the elections in France and Germany won't change much other than the names in the headlines. After all, the voters were electing leaders – and after the financial markets replaced Berlesconi and Papandreou is there be anyone left who thinks voting matters? In Europe, or here.

The Last Word: What is “structural unemployment” and has it ever been sighted in the wild? Structural unemployment (SU) a polite term used by some economists (on the right) to say “technology and financial engineering has rendered most of the unemployed superfluous. We don't need them. The unemployed are not skilled enough to get a job and not smart enough to learn a new skill and thus the rich shouldn't have to pay taxes to support the lazy louts.”


Gegner said...

The Last Word: How much longer can a shrinking system continue to carry the bulk of the population?

We all know this isn't going to end well, just how, er, 'unwell' remains a mystery.

How much of the 'surplus population' will they succeed in killing off via simple contraction?

We probably don't need to wait too long for an answer.

CKMichaelson said...

I should have drawn a clearer line between "structural unemployment = technically incompetent, etc." and "structural unemployment = we don't need you anymore, period - all you do is add cost, not benefit to the system."

I think the former is untrue and the latter far too true. As for how long the system can carry the unneeded, I'd rather hope we stumble-bumble our way into an economic distributional system that doesn't encourage actively thinning the herd.


agricultural investments said...

Look to Europe, where the demographics are already terrible whilst unemployment has reached Depression era levels in many countries.