Saturday, January 23, 2010

SAR #10023/Weekender

It used to be called fascism.

Solyent Green:   The Bush court has spoken.   Corporations are people and money is free speech, a goal corporations have sought since 1886.  They have achieved everything but the right to vote, but they do not need to vote if they get to choose who wins.  Many are claiming the dawn of a new America, where offices will be owned by corporations and filled by whomever they hire.  But if there is to be no distinction between natural and corporate persons, do criminal statues now apply to corporations?  It would seem so.  We must find appropriate punishments.

But corporate law imposes no citizenship, or even residence requirement on stockholders or company officers.  So what is to prevent a country– say China – from buying controlling interest in a company and using its free-speech millions to elect the senators from 10 or 12 small states, who would then control what laws were passed by the US Congress.  The strict constructionists have constructed a disaster.

One More Time:  With over 10 million unemployed and M3 plunging, there seems no wage/price spiral to spur inflation, nor excess money chasing goods to fuel inflation.

Off the High Board: In Japan, retail sales fell for the 13th consecutive year, reaching a 24-year low.  Department store sales fell 10% y/y, -  even supermarket sales fell 5% as the Japanese consumer cut back even more.   In Europe, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and the UK are about to plunge into sovereign default.  In case you hadn't noticed, the recession isn't quite over, but Citi is sure profit margins won't decline, even in the face of collapsing consumer demand, sovereign defaults, and an onrushing bear market.   Splash.   Or splat?

Renumeration:  While the US is ostensibly trying to protect the Afghans from the Taliban, surveys show the general public would far more appreciate being protected from the bribes required to do business with the American-installed government.

Baked In:  The administration has no plans to reduce mortgage loan balances in order to prevent foreclosures,  but it wants to “keep troubled borrowers in their homes”.   Kind of hard to see how these two are going to get along.   Housing starts are down again 6.9% m/m.  The FHA tightened up some odds and ends but will still allow down-payments of as little as 3.5 percent, because the political cost in votes is seen as higher than the dollar cost to taxpayers.  Failure?  It's in there!

Without Comment: Last year, 25% of US grain crops went into gas tanks.

Reminder:  The US has yet to rebuild and recover from Katrina.  Do not expect Haiti to be a 60-day wonder.  Haiti has no functioning government, no working legal system, and very little remaining infrastructure.  Easily a million people are sleeping in tents without access to water, food, sanitation.  $10 may make you feel good, but it won't go very far.  The US offer of $100 million won't last a week.  The effort in Haiti will take billions and years.  Rather like another war, but far more worthwhile.

On Message:  The people elected the Democrats because they thought they had the better ideas.  But the Democrats are so insecure that they've internalized what the GOP bullies have been yelling at them for over a decade and now seem to believe that they actually have weaker ideas than the GOP minority.

Cease and Desist:  Senator Murkowski, (R-Alaska) wants Congress to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment.

Balanced, On Balance:  Suicide bombers are generally not crazy, poorly educated religious zealots seeking martyrdom and a glorious afterlife.  Most are relatively well educated, stable individuals who believe that their acts will bring great benefits to their community and draw the world's attention to inequalities and insults.  They've done a profit/loss analysis and concluded that the greater good is worth their sacrifice.  Silly altruists.


Demetrius said...

Haiti - the US needs to get ready for the boat people about to start coming. I posted on this today, Saturday.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Demetrius: Good Morning (my time). Yes, as a foretaste of climate calamity driven migration and a continued attempt to escape from the hell the US and France turned Haiti into years ago, the Boat People will keep coming.

For those that don't recognize Demetrius, check out his blog "The Cynical Tendency" listed among my favorite blogs on the left of the front page.


Degringolade said...

You know, While I believe that the left has some ideas, it would appear that none of these ideas reside in the elected automatons that we call our representatives, senators, or presidents.

The real problem with the left is that they do not elect the people with the ideas, they elect handsome front men who read teleprompters well.

Not that the Right is above the same tactic (read here Palin). But the ideas appear to be closer to the elected than in the democratic party.

rjs said...

ckm: Oil in Haiti

Eric Hacker said...

There is very little evidence that there is oil in Haiti; about the same as that the US caused the earthquake with secret undetectable tectonic weaponry. Evidence for oil should originate from more than just one pair of scientists.

The US Haiti response has shock doctrine written all over it. These tactics will provide the evidence necessary for all sorts of conspiracies. The elite deploying shock doctrine tactics know it is to their advantage to have these rumors spread as it is a distraction to help them pull off their magic trick.

Anonymous said...

Soylent Green: ...

Any discussion of this subject must include the fact that the way the law now stands, a non-resident of TX, for example, may contribute to the campaign of a Congressperson for TX. This corrupts the representation for TX. Corporations, for example, based in Delaware may corrupt Congresspersons from other States. The Constitution intended that Congresspersons represent the interests of the State alone and of the Nation but not of other States. Thus, Congresspersons sell out the interests of their individual States.

It demonstrates the power of the Corrupters that the States never complain about this fact and it is never raised as a legal issue or challenge. Thus, the Lobbying at the State level is just as successful as at the DC level.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Glad you tipped me to the blog "The Cynical Tendancy" as his piece on Haiti was excellent and thought provoking.

You mentioned post-Katrina New Orleans was still recovering and indeed it has been a slow process. While small in the real worl scheme of things, the New Orleans Saints play in the NFL football conference championships this Sunday and the team is a beloved part of the city. I am a huge fan and wish them all the best.

Oil in Haiti? I hope that was a joke rjs.

rjs said...

getyourselfconnected, it was just a link to an article sent to me...did you read the article?

realworld said...

"do criminal statues now apply to corporations? It would seem so. We must find appropriate punishments."

Unlike a natural person, a corporation can simply disappear. If, say, a mining company has exhausted a mine, it can wind itself up. If, years later, it is found that the mine tailings are toxic and contaminating the environment, there is no way to recover the costs from the ex-shareholders of the ex-company because the liability of the shareholders was limited to the amount they paid for the shares.

EconomicDisconnect said...

yes I did and it was crap.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

rjs - I'm with getyouselfconnectred. It was pretty close to drivel. America has done a lot of bad things to Haiti, but planning on stealing ther (non-existent) oil isn't one of them.

I've found it best to read stuff before I use it in my blog. And if it seems a tad extreme, I sit on it for a couple of days to check things out.

Jut sayin'

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