Thursday, October 1, 2015
Income in the absence of production is the core problem of our time.
Jobs Is Jobs, Sort'a: ADP claims that the private sector added 200,000 jobs in the last month, with 12,000 added in goods-producing jobs while manufacturing lost 15,000. Then there were the 188,000 recent grads who took jobs as maids, barkeeps, waitresses and dog sitters in order to pay off their student loans.
States' Wrongs: A judge has ruled that Utah's governor does not have the authority to refuse to distribute federal funds to their intended recipient, even if it is Planned Parenthood. AL, AR and LA have also withheld federal funds from the women's health provider.
Echo: That Shell tossed $7 billion down a hole in the Arctic and walked away empty handed is interesting. Particularly since over the last 3 years it has only been able to replace 67% of its oil and gas production – and last year replaced just 26% of what it pumped from its reserves. A Shell geoscientist named M. King Hubbert discussed this situation some time ago.
Really Special: Over the summer Rahm Emanuel's Chicago cut 500 positions from the Chicago Public School system and then this week added even more cuts to special ed teachers, leaving 160 schools without special ed while another 184 lost their special ed aides.
Off-Label: Microsoft is now using Linux, not a Windows OS, to run some of its large on-line business services. For obvious reasons, they'd just as soon not brag about this. [Note: This blog is completely based on a Linux system (Mint) using a Firefox web browser, and LibreOffice software, supplemented occasionally with GIMP image manipulation software – all of which are both free and problem free.]
For Want Of A Nail: Medicare forks out 198% more for brand-name drugs than do the 31 other OECD countries, 73% more than Medicaid does and 80% more than does the VA. But congressional Republicans, at the behest of lobbyists for Big Pharma, prohibit Medicare from using its immense purchasing power to cut the drug companies huge profits.
Rights, What Rights? The cops in Charlotte, NC want to establish “public safety zones” where anyone who has ever been arrested may not enter. Not convicted, even, just “arrested.” St. Louis County wants the right to evict anyone with a misdemeanor conviction – sort of an additional punishment not covered by law. Public whipping might work, or pillories.
Remember: “The evil empire of Saudi Arabia is the West’s real enemy. Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain: planners to financiers, cadres to foot soldiers, ideologists to cheerleaders.” They also have lots of oil.
Data Point: In the last four months, global equity markets have lost 18% of their capital worth – over $13 trillion has evaporated. A Bloomberg index of commodity futures has fallen 50% in the last 4 years and 8 of the 10 worst performers in the S&P500 this year are commodities-related. Walk, don't run...
Uppers: While home prices have been rising 4.7%, wages have crawled up only 2.2%.
Sound & Fury: With as much posturing and hollow bravado as possible, House Republicans have passed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood. This will, of course, go nowhere and signifies nothing more than their desire to toss a few chunks of meat to the savages on the far, far right.
It's Not Your Life: A Nashville judge has ruled that your life belongs primarily to the government and secondarily to the medical industry and if they want you to suffer unimaginable pain, you will suffer unimaginable pain.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:37 AM