Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SAR #14057

Bubbles are Ponzi schemes without a Ponzi schemer. Paul Krugman

Compulsion: Not knowing what's going on doesn't prevent Senator McCain from meeting with Ukrainian neo-Nazis. After all, doesn't the US have the right to tell everyone how to live? He ought to be meeting with the neo-nazis in Phoenix. Russia, meanwhile, called the protesters “terrorists” and denounced the involvement of the West. 
Servicing The Customers: Banks are fighting US efforts to monitor the fees they charge for overdrafts. Wonder why?

Obviously: The headline - 'Inequality is about capital vs. labor.' - at first seems an unnecessary restatement of the obvious, but it is not. While the common folk - labor - have known this all along, our betters, who own the MSM and the government and economists, have tried to bury this simple truth in talk of structural problems, educational lapses, technological progress, competition from Chinese peasants, interest rates, confidence fairies, baby boomers and divine intervention. No, the problem is greed. The problem is that the rich have all the money. The problem is that we the people have been duped into letting them free of the restraints we imposed following the Great Depression. The problem is, as it has always been, the myth that money is worth more than people. It is us against them and they are still winning.

Working Definition: The Supremes have accepted a case that will allow them to decide if the Environmental Protection Agency is actually supposed to protect the environment from things like greenhouse gases. 
Prickling Thumb: China is stepping up war games in the East China Sea in preparation for war. That's the word from the US Pacific Fleet. On the up side, the Navy expects it to be a “short, sharp war” with Japan. Trouble is, Japan is an ally of ours, and if you attack them, we're supposed to come to their rescue. Nothing good will come of this.

Thirteen Years: When Obama called Karzai and told him he had to sign an agreement letting the US keep killing Afghans, Karzai said no. Obama then said that the US would pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, and Karzai said good. Over 2300 dead, over 18,000 wounded. tens of thousands of PTSD victims, broken marriages and children scarred for life. And that's just on the US side - its been much worse for the Afghans. Over $4 trillion down the drain. For what, George?

Aegean Stables: Countering climate change deniers like Senator Cruz (Dumbass, FL) is hopeless because they are committed to knowing as little as possible and pay no attention whatsoever to evidence. Ignorance might be bliss, but it’s nothing to aspire to.

There's US, And Then There's Them: We've all heard, over and over, that state employees' pensions are going to bankrupt the states, and how the workers will have to accept a lot lower standard of living because... well, they were overpaid drones all their lives anyway. What we don't hear is how much these problems were caused by politicians who deliberately underfunded the pension accounts. It's also instructive to note how much revenue the states are losing every year from the bribes paid corporations to come to their states. In the ten states with the most severe pension problems, the total annual cost of corporate subsidies, tax breaks and loopholes exceeds the total current annual pension costs for the main public pension plans administered by the states. 
Clause and Effect: JPMorgan, which has spent $30 billion since 2010 on legal fees, setlements and other costs related to its shady business practices, is laying off 17,000 from its mortgage banking operations because, y'know, the housing revival and all that. 
We're Here To Help: If you're one of those paranoid types who thinks government agents infiltrate websites to manipulate the public, ruin reputations, pervert democracy and promote faith healing, you're right. You're probably still paranoid, but in this case, you're right. Except about the faith healing. 
Porn O'Graph: Laissez les bons temps rouler.

The Parting Shot: 
 Blue Tang, Acanthurus coeruleus.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

0) the quotes at the top are particularly good today and yesterday - yesterday's - The human race really is just one big unhappy family. Brad DeLong - is particularly relevant to me because brad and i - who have never met - are distant cousins - we are both descended from john alden and priscilla mullins of the mayflower - through a quirk of history my mayflower line runs through canada, specifically nova scotia - and a cousin of mine was once looking up something geneological at the provincial archives and was told by a worker there - 'we are all related, even the chinese'

1)ukraine - reading recently about how the crimean peninsula was made a part of the ukraine after world war ii, and the naval base city sevastopol even more recently, makes me hope that a peaceful partition will take place, admittedly unlikely

2) capital vs. labor - amen - as an undergrad i heard that nixon's attorney general john mitchell - later sent to prison for conspiring to break the law - had made a million dollars in an hour - signing some papers having to do with a municipal bond issue [this was four decades ago, when a million dollars was real money] - at that point it was perfectly clear to me that the game is rigged, and all this b.s. about "skill sets" and "market value of labor" and so on and so forth is part of an elaborate shell game

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

As always, your comments are
0) Appreciated, and
1) Spot on.
Your proper enumeration is also noted (and smiled at).