Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SAR #14315

Why doesn't the local hospital run specials, send out coupons?

Mid-Terms: Over 75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and over half cannot come up with $400 in an emergency. Perhaps this is because the inflation-adjusted net worth of a typical household has fallen 36% in the last ten years.

Asked And Obvious: Should our politicians listen to business leaders? Depends on where we are in the election cycle and if they intend to run again.

Fiscal Responsibility: Apple, sitting on over $150 billion in cash, is going to borrow $3.5 billion to pay shareholder dividends. Because most of their money is tied up in tax dodges and it is far cheaper to borrow money than to pay taxes on what they've already hidden. And the interest is tax deductible.

Flattened Horizons: The world is not flat, and isn't getting flatter. Globalization was a one trick pony, not a very good one at that, and it's pretty much over. Despite all the economic theories which try to explain the benefits of global trade, the real explanation is simply that containerization of freight made it possible to move manufacturing to the places that had the cheapest labor. End of story. Cutting costs raised profits. Moving factories decimated the middle class that was left behind and put 50 million Americans on food stamps, but who cares? The rich got richer, some third world peons got some crumbs, and I got this t-shirt, made in Bangladesh.

Waiting: According to Homeland Security, back in 2011 hackers (presumed to be Russians) began inserting malware into the control software running much of US critical infrastructure – stuff like power girds, oil and gas pipelines, water systems and even nuclear power pants. But so far the malware just sits there, waiting to be activated. Walk softly and whisper.

Finely Printed: The European Court of Justice has ruled that the freedom of EU citizens to cross borders at will in search of jobs does not give them the freedom to draw unemployment once they get there and can't find a job. Especially if 'there' is Germany.

Keeping Lions Away: At mayor Teddy Harris' urging, the town of Rossville, GA has banned all abortions, even in the case of rape or incest, in order to save the townfolk from “drama”. This was purely preventative in that there are no abortion clinics in the town. Not much drama, either.

Challenger: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that the violence that erupted during the protests in Ferguson “cannot be repeated” Wanna bet?

Roller Coaster: The ping-pong affections of the voting public – Republicans this time, Democrats before that, Republican again, then Dems, going back – may be explained by this: The median, inflation-adjusted income last year was $2,100 lower than when Obama took office in 2009, $3,600 lower than when Bush took office in 2001. The voters don't give a damn about “economic recovery”, they are are looking for salvation and neither side has been able to deliver it. And they do not want to hear the truth: The cure is generational, requiring better schools and better educations, better and improved infrastructure, less expensive and more effective health care, greater equality, equitable taxation, child care for working families and universal pre-school. And no one wants to wait. Sure, technically the economy is in recovery. And the tomato is a fruit.

Mixed Messages: In AL, AK, NB and SD the voters sent Republicans to the Senate while voting overwhelmingly to raise the state minimum wage.

Porn O'Graph: Equality isn't inevitable.


Thom Foolery said...

Charles, here's what I said about the Russian malware when I shared that story on Facebook:

"Now the talking heads advise you to be worried that alleged Russian malware may be "poised to cause an economic catastrophe." Pay no attention to the fact that our system of political economy causes catastrophes, economic and otherwise, on a regular basis.

I've been expecting another economic crash since 2008, when we bailed out the TBTF banks to the tune of 15 TRILLION without creating any kind of mechanism to ensure that Wall St. shenanigans wouldn't crash it again. So this story makes me suspect that crash is in the offing. Can't blame the cocksuckers (with apologies to cocksuckers) who actually cause it, though, so let's ensure that the crash leads to another Cold War, if not a World War. Brilliant!"

John Smith said...

Hi, CKM, JBS here.

Let's start calling the 'Greenhouse" Effect, the "Garage" Effect as in garage with car engine running, door closed and we all suffocate eventually. Greenhouse sounds so very nice.


John Barry Smith
541 Country Club Drive,
Carmel Valley, California 93924
831 659 3552
831 392 5707

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Thom - I'm pretty leery of the malware story- it seems terribly convenient to set out a stalking horse now, before (perhaps just before) one is needed. I've become so accustomed to Those Who Must Be Obeyed admitting to criminal behavior stretching back a decade or more and being told they won't get an extra piece of cake for desert much less do hard time that I'm inclined not to report on it anymore.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

John. Right you are. From now on I'll try to remember to call it The Garage Effect. Or perhaps The Hosepipe/Garage Effect.