Saturday, December 8, 2012

SAR #12342

We won’t have enough drones to kill all the enemies we make using drones.

Almost There: Despite Hurricane Sandy, they say, the US added 146,000 jobs in November, they say, dropping the unemployment rate to 7.7%, they say. They didn't say that the participation rate was only 58.7%, not the 63.3% it used to be, and that's 11 million missing jobs. Well, they did say, but not in the headlines.

Terminology: Turns out that the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt was not so much a 'fix' as a temporary patch. Real reform will require more violence, blood in the streets.

Eye of the Beholder: Asked if he would "let the free market dictate the response to Sandy", NJ governor Christie said, "That's a ridiculous question." Given all his rhetoric about the glories of the free market and the small role government should have, it seems like a perfectly logical question. Especially if you like the sound of silence.

To Almost Everything There Is Usually A Season: Droughts used to be a summer thing. Sometimes, in Texas and the Plains, a late spring thing. But it's December and 62% of the US is in moderate to exceptional drought, up from less than 30% a year ago. Except for California, which is overdoing the rain thing.

Magic Elixir: There is a simple solution to the problems in the PIIGS. Write off the bad loans as uncollectable and move on. Sure a lot of rich folks (and rich countries) will lose a bunch of money. So? They made really bad investments, didn't they?

How Long Can You Stand On Your Toes? NOAA says the seas could rise over six feet by the end of the century - and keep on climbing. So, Ollie, how much should we-the-taxpayer spend rebuilding stuff that's just going to get washed away again. And again and again and ...

Inquiring Minds: The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are the most secretive and least transparent trade negotiations in history. Why?

The Armey Marches On: Dick Armey is being paid $8 million to walk away from the Tea Party group FreedomWorks. Big bucks for a grassroots movement.

The Grand Tour: The crisis in the Eurozone has passed - according to European Commissioner Olli Rhen, crediting the austerity measures imposed on the peasantry. In Italy, Maroi Monti has lost his majority in the Senate and Berlusconi seems set to return. After giving €4.6 trillion ($6 trillion) to the bankers (and putting taxpayers in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain on the hook for it) officials now are lending Greece €20 billion to pass on to holders of €40 billion in Greek debt that was bought for 25 or 30% of face value. In London austerity is working so well they'll keep squeezing the workers for another five or six years and need another £100 billion to pay the deficit that austerity has caused so far. The bright spot, according to the Bank of Greece, is that after their GDP has fallen 24% under the current austerity regime, the country has "plausible expectations of a recovery."

Quod Erat Demonstrandum: All the sudden concern that raising taxes and cutting spending - lowering the deficit - will crash the economy would seem to be a recognition that government spending does have a role in keeping things going during periods of economic weakness. But don't quote me, quote John Maynard...

Disappearing Act: Men with just a high-school education, or less, have not been successful at 'up-skilling' - getting jobs that rely less on brawn and more on brains. Is the problem the lack of jobs, the lack of skills, the lack of motivation? Or is it simply that there are third-world people who will work for less? Or, more likely, robots and automation? If it is automation (and mostly it is) what are we going to do with all the unneeded people?

Now and Later: A deal has been struck so that Amber Energy can lay off a few more workers while increasing the profits made by shipping even more coal to China where it will be converted into plastic crap for Walmart and emissions to increase global warming.

Porn O'Graph: Segregation. Or illiteracy, it's the same map.

The Parting Shot:



HS said...

Disappearing Act- There is a dirty little secret in the automation industry: The more you automate, the less you run. Thyssen Krupp has a brand spanking new steel plant in AL that is on the cutting edge of industrial automation technology. It is also completely dysfunctional and comes nowhere near being able to break even. I know of several other factories that have similar problems.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Ah, like Windows... ckm

Anonymous said...

"how much should we-the-taxpayer spend rebuilding stuff that's just going to get washed away again"

Good question. Here's another one; how long should we -the taxpayer- spend bailing-out failed corrupt private corporations (Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, Bank of America, GM, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Chrysler, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, US Bancorp, Capital One, American Express, ...and 5000 others's the list: that are just going to need bailing-out again.

And again and again and...?

tulsatime said...

FISCAL CLIFF - Tax increases and spending cuts are bad and will crash the economy, so we need emergency action to fix it. We will cut spending and raise revenue (taxes) to fix this emergency.

is there an echo in here?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Ah, you understand Republican economics... where what you do depends on who you can blame it on and which road might lead to richer rich and killing public "entitlements".