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July 06, 2011

Shake, Rattle, and DOOM!

DOOOOM

America is not a young, quickly-growing nation any more. We're a rapidly-greying, heavily-indebted, postindustrial society. This has implications for job-growth, and those implications are not good. Our GDP has recovered and even grown a bit from the recessionary trough, but employment is still in the doldrums. Why? Because businesses had to slim down and become more efficient during the downturn, and they found that they could make the same profit with fewer workers. In short, we are looking at the dreaded specter of structural unemployment of the kind that has haunted Europe for decades. The only way out is to dramatically grow the size of the economy, but that's not going to happen until we get a handle on our debt -- both as a nation, and in household terms.

China's inflation is probably even worse than they're letting on, given the secretive and opaque nature of Chinese finance.

I get the feeling that the DFL house organ known as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune really wanted to title this story "Republicans trash closed state parks". You know, since it's the GOP's fault for not giving Governor Dayton all the tax hikes he wants. The Star-Trib has always been a flagrantly-partisan Democrat paper, of course, but the Minnesota governmental shutdown is really driving them to the mattresses.

The guys at Powerline snagged an interview with Minnesota State Senator Amy Koch, and Scott Johnson summarizes the conversation here. I know that this is inside-baseball stuff that's of interest mainly to Minnesotans, but I think our situation will closely model what's going to happen at the federal level regarding the budget negotiations.

Chris Christie is still making friends and influencing people in the senior LOTB member state of New Jersey. And as Insty might say: so much for the "new tone".

Oh, and LOTB founder California? Yeah, they're still boned. (And CalSTRS is getting a mite tetchy at people who are pointing out exactly how boned California is. Where's the love?)

See, kids, here is how a professional news organization spins horrible news into good news. Sky-high unemployment? People blaming your favorite God-King for the mess he made? No problem! Simply say that "the pace of layoffs is slowing" and you're golden! It sounds like good news, kind of, even if it means that unemployment is still increasing, and it helps your pal Barack in the court of public opinion.

The EC comes down on Moody's for telling nothing more than the plain truth about Portugal. Oh, no! A toothless, unelected, incompetent European bureaucracy is mad at us! Flee! Flee! Run for your lives! Mish Shedlock has something to say about this:

"There would never have been a sovereign default in history if "political will" was a guaranteed savior.
Amen, brother. Politicians, like King Canute, sometimes seem to think that they can wave their hand and make the tide recede.

UPDATE: This is certainly DOOM-related news: A Culture of Fear, Intimidation and Retaliation. It's about the Atlanta, GA school district's pervasive cheating and undermining of educational standards. I wish I could say I was surprised, but this is probably more common than anyone realizes. And so the kids are once again shafted by adults who will be living in comfortable retirement when their children are trying to scrape a living out of a world they were never trained to function in. Those bastards ought to be charged with child abuse, because that's all it is. (I bears repeating: our public school system is a jobs program for adults, not an educational system for children.)

UPDATE 2: Question - How much good did that release of oil from the SPR do, President Obama? Answer - Not much. There's everyday incompetence, and then there's Obama, who raises incompetence to a level previously attained only by Shaolin masters who studied for many decades in a secluded dojo.


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posted by Monty at 09:00 AM

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