Friday, September 21, 2012

SAR #12264

Zero interest rates aren’t a substitute for cheap oil. Jeff Rubin

Credit Where Credit Is Overdue: Americans are paying off their credit card balances at an unprecedented rate and the total credit card debt in the US is not increasing. This is good for the individual, terrible for the economy. The US economy is based on ever expanding debt (or credit creation - the same thing essentially). If the debt does not increase the economy will stall into deflation. And without new debt, the money necessary to pay the interest on old debt will not be created. Deflation. So, good for you, bad for us.

True, Sort Of: The Mitten says his campaign "is about the 100% of America.” His America. That part we call the 1%.

What It Might Have Been About: There appear to have been two 'unmentionables' in the Teachers vs Chicago brouhaha: Mayor Rahm Emanual seems likely to continue closing schools and giving the money to private charter schools. Non-union private charter schools. Then there's the matter of teachers' pensions. Chicago teachers are not covered by Social Security and the city has not made its required contributions to the teachers' Pension Fund since 1995.

Today's Numbness: The DOL reported that unemployment initial claims are stuck in the 380,000 range.

Rugged Socialists: All those gun-tote'n, anti-socialist, government hating folks that prize their freedom and independence were delighted to hear that their cut of the state's income from oil and other natural resources will be $878 a head. In Alaska the people as a whole own the resources in common.

Dear Diary: Every time you remember an event from the past, your brain changes in ways that can alter the future memories of the event. The more you recall it, the less you actually recall it. Explains a lot.

Some Are More Equal: The SEC has fined the NYSE $5 million for giving private (read 'rich') customers access to stock market information before it was available to the general public in accordance with the Wall Street dictum: Never give a sucker an even break. Boyo, $5 million. There goes Friday's happy hour.

Data Point: There are more than 100,000 janitors in the US who have college degrees, but only 16,000 parking lot attendants with degrees. See, education pays.

Hark, Who Goes There? Shell is building the world's biggest ship - six times bigger than the biggest aircraft carrier - to liquefy natural gas. Not that there's any reason to do so, except to escape the costs and taxes and regulation that producing the explosive stuff on-shore would cost.

Don't Take It Personally: Wal-Mart is no longer going to sell Kindles. They've figured out that the Kindle Fire makes it irresistibly easy for folks to use their Kindle to buy all sorts of stuff from Amazon - not just e-books. You know, the sort of stuff Wal-Mart sells. Just business.

Daily Helping: On Fox News, Liz Cheney said the rioting in Muslim countries was the result of Obama's foreign policy. Especially supporting the freedom of expression that allows Americans to post stuff on You Tube. And then Fox and Drudge spent the day claiming that the President met with some yokel in a pirate outfit in lieu of meeting with Israeli war monger Prime Minister Netanyahu. Except the pirate picture was taken for the White House Correspondents dinner. In 2009.

Define 'Forcible': New Mexico's Republican governor will require women who are seeking childcare assistance for a child resulting from a rape to prove that it was "a forcible rape". If a mother needs help feeding her child, how mom got pregnant should not be a consideration in whether or not to feed the child.

Department of Duh: In case you hadn't noticed, this just in: Religious intolerance is on the rise worldwide. Along with poverty, ignorance and hunger.

Speak For Yourself: Rush Limbaugh is complaining that 'feminazis' have caused is penis to shrink by 10%. Or something like that. Probably penises have remained the same - it's just that these days women aren't falling for the self-reporting.

The Parting Shot:


Left behind...

1 comment:

OkieLawyer said...

Off Topic:

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

A quote:

Spears and other researchers argue that this sort of decision fatigue is a major — and hitherto ignored — factor in trapping people in poverty. Because their financial situation forces them to make so many trade-offs, they have less willpower to devote to school, work and other activities that might get them into the middle class. It’s hard to know exactly how important this factor is, but there’s no doubt that willpower is a special problem for poor people. Study after study has shown that low self-control correlates with low income as well as with a host of other problems, including poor achievement in school, divorce, crime, alcoholism and poor health. Lapses in self-control have led to the notion of the “undeserving poor” — epitomized by the image of the welfare mom using food stamps to buy junk food — but Spears urges sympathy for someone who makes decisions all day on a tight budget. In one study, he found that when the poor and the rich go shopping, the poor are much more likely to eat during the shopping trip. This might seem like confirmation of their weak character — after all, they could presumably save money and improve their nutrition by eating meals at home instead of buying ready-to-eat snacks like Cinnabons, which contribute to the higher rate of obesity among the poor. But if a trip to the supermarket induces more decision fatigue in the poor than in the rich — because each purchase requires more mental trade-offs — by the time they reach the cash register, they’ll have less willpower left to resist the Mars bars and Skittles. Not for nothing are these items called impulse purchases.

And this isn’t the only reason that sweet snacks are featured prominently at the cash register, just when shoppers are depleted after all their decisions in the aisles. With their willpower reduced, they’re more likely to yield to any kind of temptation, but they’re especially vulnerable to candy and soda and anything else offering a quick hit of sugar. While supermarkets figured this out a long time ago, only recently did researchers discover why.