We're afraid that if Iran gets the bomb, it will behave like we do.
Charades: EU leaders have signed the fiscal pact containing strict new rules on deficits and debts, which decrees that the European Court of Justice will fine those who break the rules 0.1% of their national GDP. Sounds impressive until you realize that these guys did not have the authority to sign away their nations' fiscal sovereignty and must go home and ask the taxpayers. If at least 12 countries do not surrender to Brussels, this is all for show. And if 12 sign, it will still be all for show.
Thirst: While US imports have declined, China and India togethr have increased their daily petroleum imports from 5.1 mbd in 2005 to 7.5 mbd in 2010. Put another way, they went from consuming 11% of the net available petroleum on the world export market, to 17.6%. How do you say “$4.00 a gallon” in Chinese?
Words, Meanings: Inflation either is or is not higher or lower than you think. Probably lower than you think, but higher than Uncle Ben would have you believe. You think it is higher because food costs more, gas costs more, everything you buy once a week, once a month costs more every week, every month. But it's actually less, because the way the government (and economists) count, the big things, things you buy only once a decade, are steady or declining (or their price has gone up, but they have more features...). Look at it this way, if you are a customer, inflation is much higher than the government says. If you are an economist, inflation is a technical term. But when the economist is at home, he thinks inflation is out of hand.
Today, Tomorrow and So On: There are 11 million mortgaged houses with negative equity - that's 22.8% of all houses with a mortgage. A homeowner with negative equity is a candidate to become a non-homeowner. His empty house will drive down prices in the neighborhood. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Here's The Question: Who is going to bail out the ECB? Austerity piled atop of austerity is not going to do anything for the PIIGS except make things worse. It certainly isn't going to make them able to pay back any of the bailouts. So when the adults (assuming there are some, somewhere) come to their senses, what's going to happen?
Daddy Knows Best: Here's another economist arguing that peak oil doesn't matter because higher energy prices will "allow markets to adjust to supply and demand changes in ways that facilitate adaptation" to having less oil. Which is another way of saying that walking will become popular again. And pushing wheelbarrows.
Republican Goal: Before you wax all patriotic over the GOP endorsement of the Keystone pipeline, think about the results when there's a crude-oil pipeline that will send tar-sands oil quickly from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries en route to the export market. It will create a small handful of permanent jobs while driving up the price Americans pay for gasoline. It will not increase US energy security. Even building the thing (with steel piping from India) would only temporarily reduce US unemployment by 0.01%. So which Republican donors will benefit?
Stirred, Not Shaken: The oldest and thickest multi-year Arctic ice is shrinking by 17.2% per decade. And the surface temperature in the Arctic continues to rise. Do the math.
Republican Creed: "I believe, despite the evidence, that the government cannot create jobs, that tax cuts reduce the deficit, that cutting government spending (especially on things like unemployment benefits and healthcare) will end the recession, that the poor have too much money, that universal health care is unhealthy, and that women should be made to suffer for being women, and most especially I believe that the rich are ordained by God."