Monday, May 2, 2011

SAR #11122

The greater your income, the better the economy seems.

The American Way: We've moved on from killing families in Iraq, children in Afghanistan and wedding parties in Pakistan, to pinpoint murder of grandchildren in Libya. And oil is still over $110 a barrel. [Note: I had wanted to send you here but First Reader insisted I “find a link that denounced more gently the slaughter of children.”]

Once Upon A Time In America: The American Dream, at base, is not that if you work hard you can improve your life, but rather that there is a good chance you will win the lottery and become one of that richest 1% of Americans who control a third of the country's wealth. And this will happen because you deserve it, and the other 99% of the populace are just a bunch of lazy bastards with their hands out.

What, Me Regulate? The Treasury has exempted the $30 trillion derivatives market from federal regulation and oversight. Understandable, for surely an unregulated $30 trillion gambling den couldn't cause the real economy any problem, could it?

Asked and Answered: Has the Fed Decided to Fight Inflation Instead of Unemployment? Yes.

Number One With Bullets: The US leads the developed world in a) the gap between worker and CEO pay. b) The percentage of total national income that goes to the richest one-tenth of one percent. c) The amount of money spent on war. d) The amount of money spent importing oil. e) The percent of citizens incarcerated. f) The murder rate. g) Health cost per-person. h) Infant mortality. i) Percentage of children living in poverty. And j) Percent of the population that is homeless. We are lowest in a) longevity and b) spending on social services.

Trick Question: “What will human life be like in a couple of thousand years?” Sorry, sir, the question assumes facts not in evidence.

Cui Bono? IRS data show that repeatedly over the last 10 years more than 10% of all the capital gains in American went to just 400 people. Not the top 1%, not the top 0.1%, just 400 people. No wonder we've had to keep lowering the tax on capital gains – these are the people George W. Bush called “my base” - about as base as possible.

Et tu? In Massachusetts, Democrats are now attacking public employee unions' right to collective bargaining. And they believe they can grant local governments the right to abrogate legally binding contracts. That should scare even the Republicans.

Do the Math: Reports claim that houses 90+ days delinquent and foreclosure inventory levels equal about 45 times the current monthly number of foreclosure sales.

Rear Window View Mirror:The age of cheap oil is officially over. The International Energy Agency has conceded that global crude oil production peaked in 2006 and that prices will continue to rise. “The existing [oil] fields are declining so sharply that in order to stay where we are in terms of production levels in the next 25 years, we have to find and develop four new Saudi Arabias.”

Child’s Play:  See “Gold surges to all-time record.”   and then saw:  “Dollar reaches three-year low.” 

Humanitarian War: French planes have started dropping bomb-shaped chunks of concrete instead of actual bombs on Gadaffi's tanks. A 600-pound concrete bomb, dropped from thousands of feet up, can crush a tank without creating a huge explosion that kills a lot of mostly innocent civilians.

Rules of the Game: TVA, yielding to both environmentalists' pressure and the inefficiency of the aging plant, has agreed to shut down its coal-burning power plant in Johnsonville, TN. The county already has an 11.6% unemployment rate and loss of the 270 jobs at the plant will easily add about 3% to that. Naturally Humphreys County would prefer to continue to poison neighboring counties rather than lose the jobs.

History's People: Between 2001 and 2008, about 40,000 US manufacturing plants closed. Six million factory jobs have disappeared over the past dozen years, representing one in three of America's manufacturing jobs .

Arbitron: This weekend we vicariously attended a wedding in England, a beatification in Rome, and the murder of innocents in Tripoli. Which got the highest rating at your house?

Porn O'Graph: Cue sky to fall.


Demetrius said...

The USA seems to be following the UK in its decline albeit 40-50 years later. Then the UK found oil which bought us three decades. These are now over. Are there oil reserves under Manhattan and the City of London or just printing machines?

kwark said...

Et tu? That's what 30 years of ever more Republican-lite will get you. One wonders just what the consequences will be for the state budget - probably more opportunities for special interest tax cuts and incentives!!