Tuesday, December 22, 2015
We look at the finger, not the moon, read the recipe but never bake.
Emperors And Costumes: Janet Yellen and the Fed want the sheep (that's us) to believe that they know what's best for the economy (right now, not before, when it crashed, or the time before that when it crashed...). They also want us to ignore our kids, neighbors and friends - and our own experience - and believe that employment is robust and the economy healthy. They'd also like us to ignore all the negative stuff and pretend we believe these lies.
Landlorded: In the UK, the common man has been so beaten down by austerity measures that potential homebuyers now have to set aside 5% of their disposable income for 26 successive years in order to accumulate a down payment. If a young couple started today, they could look forward to house-shopping in 2035.
Dreaming Of A... : How much of the unusual December warmth over much of the US is attributable to global warming? Perhaps 75%. How much to El Niño? About 25%. And is the unusually strong El Niño the result of global warming? Everything is, but not a direct 1 to 1 sort of thing, more a strengthening of the strengthening.
Grinch, Inc: After right-wing Republicans wrested control of Kansas from the rational adults, they slashed taxes and budgets and promised nirvana in the form of a revitalized and booming economy. Didn't happen - but nobody except the crazies thought it would. Now, with two years of increased income tax cuts lined up and infrastructure falling apart, they have hidden a bit of magic in the highway bill that let the Department of Transportation issue $400 million in bonds. Which it did. Which the conservative Republicans immediately took from the highway fund and will use it to help pay for the tax cuts. That plus prior transfers during Gov. Brownback’s term brings their raids on highway funds to $1.6 billion. Watch 'em do it some more, then brag about low taxes.
The Empire Stikes Out: “Today the purpose of US foreign policy is to support the complex that we have created in the national security state that is fueled, funded, and powered by interminable war. ... It’s never been about altruism, it’s about sheer power.” Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, US Army Retired.
More Than Meets The Eye: Support for Donald Trump is probably six to ten points higher than the published polls claim, because a lot of well-educated middle class foks support him but are embarrassed to admit it to pollsters. They've already bought their "Don't Blame Me.... " bumper stickers.
Four Coins In A Fountain: A month ago the Italian government "rescued" four smallish banks with a €4bn rescue infusion conditioned on the bondholders and shareholders losing their investments. Exactly what should have been done in the US, but in the US the bondholders run the government's financial regulators, so that was never on the table. Italy claims they acted then rather than in January because then EU rules would forced the government to confiscate money from over a million savers before touching the bondholders, which tells you who runs Europe, too.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:59 AM