Saturday, May 17, 2014
Our policies assume that this road goes somewhere.
If... Then: If the drums are being beaten in favor of war, as in Ukraine for example, recent history suggests that the reflexive suspicion that we're being lied to again is well justified.
Remember When? First it is was 'coals to Newcastle' then it was the North Sea bonanza and now it seems likely that the UK's coal, oil and natural gas will essentially be all gone five years from now. But not to worry, they've got good suppliers they can lean on. The same ones the EU is leaning on. Hint, it begins with an R. Oh, and England used to be Number One in the empire business, too.
More Bad: Surveys indicate that 23% of US bee colonies died this winter. While considerably lower than the previous 8 year average of 30%, the continued use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides (which are thought to be greatly responsible for winter die-offs) will doom the honey business. And the pollination business, too.
Getting Away With It: Credit Suisse is going to happily give the US $2.5 billion and plead guilty to adding US citizens evade taxes, as long as no one goes to jail. And no one will.
Six of One... Sure the NSA spies on us, all the time, everything we do, everywhere we go, every call we make, every email we send, every dollar we spend. So does private industry. One does it for power, the other for profit. Which is more despicable?
Privatization 2.0: The Senate is considering legislation that would turn the collection of back taxes over to private debt collection agencies. Seems the IRS is too soft. Well check out what the private agencies do to collect over due student loan payments and then tell me how this is a good idea.
About Inflation: Labor isn't doing its part in getting the wage-price spiral going. It seems that the Fed's plan to get the economy churning by making billionaires even richer isn't working – real hourly wages are decreasing. Again.
Acorns/Tree: The fear that the US military participation in the search for the abducted Nigerian girls may lead to yet another extension of Imperial America is well founded. Asking the US for help is far easier than asking that help to go away.
Improvement? Portugal has exited from the international bailout program it has suffered under for several years, owing $214 billion euros (at interest rates double what France pays) which it will attempt to pay back over “two or three decades.” But its economy is 4% smaller than it was before the calvary arrived, social programs have been slashed, unemployment is above 15%, and it has already sold off parts of the postal service, its airports, the electrical and natural gas grids, raised taxes on everything from wages to cars and still the government must trim spending this year and next to meet deficit targets. “Everyone in Portugal understands how important
fiscal discipline is,” the
doctors, some cure.
Hammering Home The Point: Housing permits are back to a 1 million units a year rate, seen by many as proof that all is well. Except the increase is mostly due to a spike in 'multi-family dwellings' – apartments, in other words. Not homes. Not houses. Rental units to house those who can no longer afford a house. I'm excited.
Porn O'Graph: On balance...
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:13 AM