Saturday, November 13, 2010

SAR #10317

Things can be replaced. People can't.

Love Hurts:   Stop what you’re doing right now and go watch this video over at creditwritedowns!

At Ease:  A Pentagon study shows that most US soldiers have no problem with having gays serve openly and would support the end of Don't Ask Don't tell.  Now if the homophobes in Congress would only get the message.

To See Ourselves:  “American society is breaking apart. Millions of people have lost their jobs and fallen into poverty.  Help is not in sight: their government and their society have abandoned them.  Wall Street is chasing new profits again, yet for large sections of the nation that old myth of working your way up, of bootstrap success and its ultimate prize, home ownership, has evaporated.  The middle class, the America's backbone, is crumbling. The American Dream has turned into a nightmare...  The number of long-term unemployed keeps rising.  Worst off are families with children.  Every fifth child in the US lives in poverty today... And nobody seems to care.  And that's the view from the capital - of Germany.

Oil Is So Yesterday:  The International Energy Agency's new report says that it is most probable that conventional crude oil production "never regains its all-time peak of 70 million barrels per day reached in 2006."

For, By and Of the People:  About 60% of the electorate want us to get out of both wars, so of course the Administration plans on hanging onto both for a few more years despite promises to withdraw.  And to pay for these, we'll have to cut Social Security, gut Medicare and downgrade veteran's benefits.  I'm not really sure who won the election but I'm pretty sure who lost.

What's the Problem?  Iceland has joined Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in investigating the extent to which the US is illegally spying on their citizens.  The US doesn't understand the fuss, says it has been doing so for a decade and intends to continue.

Be Careful What You Wish For:  If you are demanding austerity budgets and fiscal responsibility and no more deficit spending, you might want to check how many of your investments depend on government contracts – national, state and/or local.  Like Cisco. Wait till they cut the defense budget...

Numbers Crunching:  If the 'discouraged' workers get motivated to return to the workforce, it will take an additional 3.3 million new jobs just to keep unemployment under 10% - and that's without the 120,000 a month needed to accommodate population growth. At our current minimal rate of job growth, how many years will that take?

Left Hand, Right:  China's National Bureau of Statistics has been accused of understating inflation -- by another part of the Chinese government.  The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences says that Chinese inflation has been under-reported by over 7% over the last five years.  And you thought it was just the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Right is Right:  A Pew poll found that 66% of Republicans want their representatives to "stand up to Obama," and shut down the government early and often.  Just keep their Social Security checks coming, and don't mess with health care.

It's A Gas:  A subsidiary of Cheniere Energy wants to ship liquefied natural gas from Sabine Pass, Louisiana to China.  At least it's not tea.

Death Duties:  The main purpose behind estate taxes is to level the playing field somewhat and prevent the generational accumulation of ungodly wealth and the establishment of a royalty of wealth.  We wouldn't need estate taxes if we could find a way from keeping a tiny fraction of us from accumulating most of the nation's wealth.


Anonymous said...

RE: Numbers Crunching

As cruel as it sounds, once the extended UI ends for the majority of people and small business is not competing with the government in terms of wages, the employment situation will pick up.

In my business we are seeing people that are electing to stay on unemployment rather than take a job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, CK!


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Thanks yourself, Jack & spread the word!

Anony 8.51 may have a point - there are some who are not taking jobs because they pay less than unemployment does. But that only speaks to the fiscal sense of the unemployed - at a national average of $310 a week it makes no sense to take a job that pays less than $7.75.

So do we really want an economy in which people willingly grasp at minimum wage jobs? How much higher education beyond reform school should my kid aspire to?

(ps: the three of the four are PhDs and the other one is just an MD - and I'm proud of 'em)


OkieLawyer said...

Re: the Estate Tax

You can read more of the public policy behind the estate tax from my post in 2007 at:

Estate Tax Reasoning

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in the Pew poll did it mention shutting down the government. In fact, if you recall, when the Republicans shut down the government in the 90s, it backfired. I know how you hate Republicans and love Democrats, but now you're just making stuff up to further your hateful perspective.

And you call yourself a scientist.