Saturday, December 7, 2013

SAR #13341

There is treasure to be found between the truthful and the useful.

Up Is Down And Black, White: In a new assault on renewable energy, ALEC (or rather the corporations and their conservative shills who thus mask themselves) is now trying to brand homeowners who install solar panels as “free-riders” because they can sell their surplus energy to the grid but pay noting to build or maintain it. This is part of ALEC's new campaign to block clean energy programs that threaten the profits of the carbon spewing fossil fuel burners.

Addiction: In November, Americans' personal income fell 0.1% m/m, and their savings rate dropped to a six-month low, but their spending rose by 0.3%. Ain't this a great country? 
Proportion: The government reports that unemployment has fallen to 7.0% - although Gallup reports it to be 8.6%. The markets are enthused. But those who work are not so excited. Income equality in the US is now the greatest it has been since 1928. A few decades ago a minimum wage worker could “feed a family”. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.74, and maybe then not so many fast food and retail workers (and bank tellers) would have to rely on food stamps and Medicaid to get by. Maybe that's why 80% of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

Only The Shadow Knows: The Japanese Government has given itself very generous powers to declare things it doesn't want known to be state secrets. Just what will be secret is also secret. Dick Cheney is green with envy.

Wages of Sin: Under the weight of various austerity protocols, Europe is slipping into deflation. Eurozone Producer Price Index was a negative 1.4% in October. In the last year prices have fallen in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands and even, of late, Germany. Austerity programs are proving to be self-defeating; as is the deeply held belief that pain, especially that of others, is somehow cleansing. 
Self-Evident Truths: Given that unemployment remains above 7% and there are about 4 million long-term unemployed, major firms are spending billions buying back their own stock rather than investing in new business, GDP is barely growing, wages have flatlined, student debt has reached towering proportions, and over 47 million Amerians are on food stamps while stock market indexes are at record highs, is is fair to worry there may be a stock market bubble sitting there waiting to burst?

Porn O'Graph: Retail bargains.

The Parting Shot:
Largo das Portas do Sol, Alfama, Portugal

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