We Was Robbed: One of the biggest mistakes politicians make is thinking the government is like a household. Not so. When times are tough, households pinch pennies. But in hard times, governments expand their spending on things like unemploymet benefits and job creation. If the people and the government stop spending at the same time, there will be less demand, less production, less work, less wages, less taxes and round and down we go. We've mistakenly reduced the federal deficit by half in the last two years, which is the biggest reason the economy is slumbering and unemployment near record high levels. And we did it by cutting all the wrong things – social support, education, unemployment, scientific research and infrastructure. (Our infrastructure spending as a share of the nation's GDP is the lowest its been in 60 years.) The argument that the government must live within its means to protect our children’s future is backwards. Averting deficit spending now means starving our children’s present and their future. Austerity hasn't worked, doesn't work and those who say we can't, we can't, we can't should shut up and get out of the way.
Text For The Day: Rush Limbaugh is upset at the Pope's criticism of capitalisms failures, claiming “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.” Rush should read the Sermon on the Mount.
Bumpy Road Ahead: There will be no big budget deal for the next three years. Republicans absolutely can’t and won’t increase taxes until after the 2016 presidential election. The Democrats won't (cannot?) agree to the big changes in Social Security, Medicare and other safety net programs without increased taxes, or even with some. Nothing on the horizon suggests a sudden outbreak of sanity, much less bipartisanship. The drama will continue to lurch about the stage, aimlessly.
Leftovers: Plankton blooms in the ocean off New England are at record low levels, having declined 40% in the last 60 years as the sea surface temperatures rise. Plankton makes up about half of all the organic matter on Earth, produces half our oxygen and is the basic food source for the ocean's web of life. No plankton, no sea life, not much left over.
Evangelium ad Unum Per Centum: “While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation… reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion…. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."
Chose One: When you are filling out the paperwork required of potential jurors in DeKalb County, GA, you are required to indicate your employment, if if it's “slave”. Over 50% of DeKalb County's citizens are
The Morning After Bill: Michigan is expected to pass laws to prohibit health insurance sold in the state from covering any aspect of abortion. Women would have to buy a separate rider to their insurance to obtain such coverage.
Durable Excuse: Business investment as reflected in non-defense capital goods orders (excluding aircraft) fell in October by 1.2% and new aircraft orders fell 15.9% leading to an overall 2% durable goods index decline. The accepted excuse/explanation is "the government shutdown."
Dream On: Do we really need 'health exchanges'? Is ObamaCare "a teaching opportunity" designed (or defaulting) to lead the US to a single payer system? No and no.
Mea Culpa: The IMF has become convinced that they and the EU/ECB screwed up badly when they forced places like Greece, Ireland and Portugal to their knees with privatization and austerity programs in return for bailout funds - which were earmarked for delivery to Northern European and American banks. Now the IMF is advocating aggressive debt restructuring in lieu of, or at least in tandem with, rigorous Germanic austerity. The idea is not being warmly greeted by the powerful global banking lobby, European leaders and the US government - all of whom are deeply into the pockets of major investors and bankers who do not want to suffer any pain just because they have made stupid investments. They much prefer the plan where they make billions while the populace quietly suffers spending cuts and tax increases.
Steady As She Goes: There continue to be about 3 job-seekers for every job opening, even as the labor force participation percentage falls. This is not progress.
Porn O'Graph: Which side are you on?