Friday, July 3, 2015

SAR #15184

US elections have become a form of performance art.

Hooray: According to the BLS, unemployment dropped to 5.3% after 230,000 new jobs were created and 640,000 more people dropped out of the workforce, leaving the labor force participation rate at 63.6%, the lowest it's been since 1977.

Easy One: The Justice Department doesn't understand why a 40% drop in jet fuel prices (the single largest airline expense) hasn't resulted in lower fares. They also don't understand why additional flights and routes haven't been added given the nearly full capacity of many flights these days. They even suspect collusion. 
Pocket Changed: The feds and the Gulf Coast states have accepted $18.7 billion from BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. This is the largest environmental damage settlement on record, and with luck, it is just the beginning of a long parade of private suits.

Bizarre: A Canadian citizen, who was a teenager of 15 at the time, has been ordered to pay $134 million in damages to two soldiers who were injured by a grenade the kid was tortured into confessing he threw. No one knows whether he did or not, of course. Can't wait for all the injured Iraqi women and children to single out US soldiers for damages...

Foggy War: The US is blocking attempts by its Arab allies to deliver weapons to the Kurds – you know, the only fighting force that is actually confronting and defeating ISIS. Gotta teach 'em their place in the greater scheme of things, which is nowhere. The Kurds, meanwhile, told Turkey that any military intervention could lead to problems in Eastern Turkery. Turkey responded by saying it wouldn't attack the Kurds if they were really careful about not threatening Turkish security or Erdogan's pride.

Explainer: “... credit rating agencies technically won't even count this[the Greek default] as a "default" since it's not on private investors. That, in turn, means the European Central Bank should still, if it wants, have the wiggle room to consider the Greek government solvent enough to keep guaranteeing the bonds its banks have. Why does that matter? Well, without that guarantee, the banks can't use those bonds as collateral for ECB-approved emergency loans, and without those emergency loans, they would collapse. So this default shouldn't make Greece's financial system disintegrate overnight, which is about all it can ask for at this point.”

Visionary Check: Most Amerians see the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride. Mostly the pride Southerners take in their history – the history of slavery, murder, intimidation and humiliation of blacks unfortunate enough to live there. They are also proud of their obesity, ignorance, poverty, poor health and anti-abortion policies. They fondly wave the battle flag to commemorate church burnings, hangings, and a long and desperate struggle to keep blacks and women in their place. Leave it to 'em. 
Just Wondering: Why is it legal for some ignoramus in East Tennessee to put up a “no gays” sign? Why should anyone who is open for business to the general public be allowed to discriminate on any basis whatsoever? You want to be in business, fine. Stock the shelves, open the door and serve those who walk in. If you don't want to be in business, fine. Go fishing. But if your religion includes making a profit, then you should not be allowed to discriminate.


Rick said...

I haven't updated my graphs in some years, since the recession has been over for years, right?

Just did the labor participation rate. I know the usual suspect is demographic changes, but the changes also track the rise of data processing and robotics.

kwark said...

RE "Hooray": It's just numbers. Last time I checked the BLS was still using the "Birth-Death Model" as a correction to arrive at the number of jobs created . . . so I'm presuming that the new job number is still mostly fictitious spin? ONLY 8.3 MILLION people unemployed! And that's a number they're willing to admit to after all the tweaks and filtering. Wow, three cheers for the booming economy!