We all remember what happens next, right?
After Action Report: Forget the money – emotion carried the day in Wisconsin's recall election. Right or wrong, those who refused to support or join unions over all those years became jealous and envious of unionized workers who had secured pensions “paid for by your tax dollars.” So they voted for the union busting Republicans, 'cause if I can't get ahead, you shouldn't either. Divide and conquer still works.
And Vice Versa: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the US is “losing patience with Pakistan.”
Claims Claim: Last week's 383,000 initial claims was raised to 389,000, as this weeks initial initial claims were reported at 377,000. During the week another 105,000 were dropped from the number receiving extended benefits.
Another Nail: The Chicago Fed looked at the evidence for widespread structural unemployment and didn't find much. There were a few narrow areas where a mismatch of skills and job openings could be found, but in most areas lack of demand explained the lack of jobs. One implication of the data is that 'structural unemployment' is merely a politically biased way of trying to put the responsibility for unemployment on the unemployed.
Working Title: It's not an invasion of privacy, it's pre-crime preventive surveillance. watching the development of the police state is so entertaining, something new every day.
Castor Oil: The pigheadedness of the EU/ECB/Eurozone leaders in adhering unswervingly to a demonstrably and historically wrong path can only be explained by a nearly religious belief that someone, somewhere must be punished; matched with a pathological fear of having to admit they were wrong. Vanity. Krugman nailed it: “These are times of madness, dressed in good suits.”
Health Costs! A big factor in America's obesity epidemic is money. It takes money to eat well. For $1 you can buy 1,200 calories of potato chips, but just 250 calories of fresh vegetables and only 170 calories of fresh fruit. This helps explain why the poorest states are the fattest.
The Good, The Bad & Taxation: Not only do a majority of Republicans categorically refuse to increase taxes on the rich, they argue that the poor should pay more. Told that the “47% who pay no taxes” are actually only 18% – and those mostly elderly scraping by on Social Security - the GOP decides that Social Security benefits should be taxed. Nearly all of the non-elderly households that pay no federal taxes make less than $20,000 a year. So instead of taxing the virtuous and deserving rich, we should, they claim, tax those poor unworthy leeches.
Theme Song: I’m a bankster. Catch me if you can.
It's A Miss: Consumer credit only grew $6.5 billion in April, half the expected $11 billion, and last month's $21.3 billion growth was revised down 42% to $12.3 billion. Non-revolving credit (cars & student loans) climbed by $6.1 billion, the most in 3 months. Revolving credit (credit cards) declined by $3.44 billion.
Mythbusters: An examination of the beliefs and leanings of professed 'independent voters' reveals that nearly everyone who is paying attention to the political process has already taken sides. So why are we wasting all the money to generate all the blather?
Job Creation: Hollande's government has cut the French retirement age to 60, which will free up more jobs for the nation's youth. Imagine the idea of social justice catching on and replacing work-to-the-grave austerity. Imagine figuring out how to pay for it.
The Parting Shot:
Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower, Bachelors button, Bluebottle, etc)