One Step Forward, Two Back; As the baby boomers retire in their millions - without their millions - their spending will plummet. They are being replaced in their jobs by younger, less well paid [sic] workers who do not have the spending power of their seniors. Median household income dropped 8.3% from 2000 to 2012, and that's just the beginning. Tell me again how cutting social safety nets is going to make the economy grow.
Yawn: Another Taliban Chief - who was was widely reported to have been killed by a precision drone attack back in 2010 - has been killed, or rekilled, by a drone strike in Pakistan. "It's worth pointing out that in the past, initial reports of senior al-Qaida and Taliban leaders being killed in drone strikes have frequently proved wrong." The assassination came just a day after Pakistan and the Taliban had started peace talks that the US opposes.
Unexpected Consequences: On Nov 1, the 48 million Americans on food stamps will see their food budget drop 4.5% and – less noted – grocery stores will see a $300 million a month drop in their income - $16 billion over three years. And the Republicans want to increase that to $40 billion. How many missed meals will that be for American kids?
Up but not Upper: Ford reported a 13.9% rise in auto sales in October, Chrysler reported an 11% rise, Nissan sales climbed 14.2%. All of these strong sales were lower than analysts expected. Then there's GM, which claimed a 15.7% increase in sales, nearly double expectations. Of course they did that by stuffing their dealers with 728,000 vehicles – an 87 day supply. Go ahead, take the rest of the year off.
Scenes From A Desert Island: In a well-reasoned entry, Brad deLong concludes that the new normal for the US will be an economy with slack demand, high unemployment, high profit margins and low interest rates. With no chance of inflation, austerity to prevent it continues to be the winning political mantra. In other words, today will march into the future, rewarding the rich and ignoring the rest.
Asked and Answered: When will the Shale Bubble Burst? When they've fleeced the last sucker, and not a moment sooner.
For The Record: Mich McConnell should stop saying that the US has "the finest health care system in the world." The American health care system sucks. We actually spend more public money than most of our peer wealthy nations on health care. They get universal health care, we get health care for the elderly, the extreme poor, and some veterans. When will we get universal single-payer health care and start saving both lives and money?
For The Record: Bank of America looked at the market and concludes "It's getting frothy, man!" Michael Hartnett, one of the leading baristas of foamy investments, .... joins such other bubble-warners as JPM, Bill Gross, Larry Fink, and David Einhorn.
To Each His Own: A federal court has decided that Catholic business owners can impose their religious beliefs and practices on their employees. Fine, then can other business owners require their Catholic employees to pay for birth control coverage they don't want? And what about fish on Friday?
Quoted: The slowdown in American manufacturing during October "was not as bad as feared". Celebrate moderately.
Ah, There's The Problem: In defending economics 'as a science' even though 'forecasting isn't part of proper economics', The Guardian's Chris Dilow, blogging at Stumbling and Mumbling, claims that 'there is pretty much no reputable profession which rests its reputation upon forecasts.' Which lack of understanding of the scientific process should disqualify him from blogging about anything more technical than tiddlywinks. Any science that cannot make falsifiable predictions is not science, it is at best a religion – like much of economic twaddle. To quote Carl Sagan, "Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof, are worthless..."
Porn O'Graph: Bring to a boil...
The Parting Shot: