Monday, August 5, 2013

SAR #13217

The Earth is indifferent to human purposes.

On Being Very, Very Afraid: The US is extending its closing of embassies throughout the Middle East - which would seem to be a prime goal and victory for those who would want to... well, close US embassies throughout the Middle East. Scaring the bejesus out of Americans is a bonus. For both Al-Qaeda and the administration.

Kansas City: The BEA says their revision of GDP data was "about keeping GDP up to date and relevant." That it makes The Recovery TM look better and recessions less severe is an unexpected byproduct. They say. Yup, everything's up to date now. One of the best jokes is considering pension promises made by the employer, rather than the employer’s cash contributions to the pension fund. The new method better reflects the retirement benefits a worker earns, BEA said. Assuming they ever get them, right Detroit Firemen, Twinkies workers?

Glut & Gluttons: The major oil companies - Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP - all posted disappointing earnings last week. If they can't make money at today's oil prices, how much higher will the price have to rise ever higher to make going after oil in ever more remote locations and more tightly packed rock worth doing? What happened to the glut that this new bonanza was supposed to deliver?

Ay, caramba! The IMF sees five more years of unemployment above 25% in Spain. After five more years of unemployment about 25%, will there be a Spain? Especially if the government follows the IMF's suggestion that wages be reduced another 10%. Spain’s unemployment rate is 26.3% which the IMF is using as an excuse to “give more flexibility to employers”, i.e., “to weaken labor laws” in terms of “hiring and firing by reducing legal requirements for temporary and permanent workers.”

The Greater Good: Four Republicans, each a former director of the EPA, are calling for the US to take “substantive steps to curb climate change”. Too bad they appealing to the better nature and sense of a Republican Party that no longer exists. [And read their comments.]

Fine Print: The headline is joyful – unemployment down, more jobs created. But the reality is that unemployment is down because fewer people are in the job market and those that are lucky enough to find a job most probably found a part-time one. So far this year over 75% of new jobs created have been part-time positions. In June, there were 360,000 new part-time jobs and 240,000 fewer full time jobs – all of the job creation was in part-time work.

If Only: If you turn down the anti-Obamacare noise coming out of the House Republicans you might discover that expanding Medicare to cover everyone – Medicare for All – would save the US over a half-trillion dollars a year. Which explains why the Republicans will never let it happen. It's not about health care, it's about health care profits. Always has been.

Asked & Answered: Has there been an economic recovery? No. A recovery is where people go back to work, not home to live with Mom and Dad. 
Conditions: We – and here the important 'we' is the US, Europe and China – are simply not willing to reduce our energy consumption, so we will enjoy an increase in global temperatures ten times faster than the world has seen in 65 million years, as we race to a 9º to 11ºF temperature increase by 2100 – and higher and higher after that, for centuries. Oceans will become far more acidic, destroying food production as aquatic food chains disintegrate. Enjoy - you'll be dead by then.

Yes, But... BP, which was eager to PR its way out of the Deepwater Horizon mess now says that if the US appellate court doesn't excuse it from paying for the damage it did, it will back out of the settlement agreement it reached last year. Retroactive negotiations, sort of like back-dating a pre-nup.

Porn O Graph: The greatish recovery.

The Parting Shot:
Partridge Peas & Friend.

1 comment:

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Medicare for All:

Friedman said the savings would come from slashing the administrative waste associated with today’s private health insurance industry ($476 billion) and using the new, public system’s bargaining muscle to negotiate pharmaceutical drug prices down to European levels ($116 billion).

There you have it in one sentence - who'd benefit, and who would not, from the change.