Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SAR #9322

This circus is almost worth the price of admission.

Revisionism: Roubini now sees high US unemployment as permanent and unavoidable due to decades of outsourcing labor to the lowest bidder. This started long before the current recession and will continue long after. His solution requires shovels and “bold policy initiatives” to protect the country's remaining jobs.

Time-Share: Why don't California and New York simply require everyone to prepay the taxes they will owe over the next three years. This would help them through the current insolvency, just as it is solving the FDIC's funds shortage problem.

How Far is Down? The IEA World Energy Outlook says the world will produce 105 mbd in 20 years – 20 mbd more than now. But some IEA insiders think the figure is likely to be closer to 90 mbd. Scientists from Great Britain and Sweden claim the figure is likely to be 75 mbd. In that our civilization rests on cheap and plentiful petroleum, it'd be nice to know who's right.

Memory: I do not have much patience with those who claim “we should get out of the way and let the private sector do its thing.” As I recall, we did.

Political Process: In order to extend unemployment benefits another 20 weeks for hundreds of thousands of the jobless, the art of politics demanded that the banks get a little something (a renewal and extension of the buy-a-h0use bribery program) and big business gets a little something for ($33 billion in tax breaks). Which part of this is socialism, which part capitalism?

Oversupply and Demand: An ExxonMobil executive explains that the demand for oil is being paid for from a growing supply of dollars. The weakening US dollar has added at least $20 to the price of a barrel of oil. Shh. It's a weak dollar, it is not inflation.

Time Flies: In 1989 the UN unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention recognizes every child's right to develop physically, mentally and socially to his or her fullest potential, and to be protected from abuse, discrimination, exploitation and violence. Only Somalia, which has no effective government, and the United States, for much the same reason, have not ratified the treaty.

Terminology: Under the economic leadership of Turkey a reorganization of international relations involving Iran, Iraq and the rest of Southwest Asia is taking place. 'Rimland' seems to be the new name for what was once the Ottoman Empire.

Free Markets, Anyone? The latest allocation of blame for Wall Street's greed-based destruction of the economy is the claim that it was China's fault for"exporting overcapacity to the rest of us on a grand scale." And the Colombian and Mexican drug lords force US citizens to buy all those nasty drugs, too.

Yea or Nay? Does the American public have the right to see the evidence of crimes committed in their name?

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet: Fully 25% of all US jobs are out-sourceable, to be lost forever.

Hunters, Gatherers: The world's population has grown from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.8 billion today. The same 60 years have seen the discovery and consumption of fossil fuels on a unprecedented and unrepeatable scale. The problem is that the world’s 6.8 billion inhabitants cannot survive at our current level of comfort without enormous quantities of fossil energy, and those fuels – especially petroleum – are quickly going away.

Porn O'Graph: Peeking at peak oil.

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