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July 27, 2011

DOOM to Nation: Drop Dead!

DOOOOM


If you haven't been following that cool new show called Debt Ceiling, let me catch you up:

  • Senator McConnell's plan didn't garner much support. People felt that it was a craven attempt to deflect blame (which is pretty much what it was).
  • The "Gang of Six" plan came next. The only problem: no one, GOP or Democrat, much liked it. It crept off quietly to die by the side of the road somewhere.
  • The GOP put on their big-boy pants and passed the "Cup, Cap, and Balance" bill in the House (with a few Democrat votes thrown in to make it bipartisan), but the evil Harry Reid wouldn't even let it come to a vote in the Senate.
  • House Speaker John Boehner has come up with "The Boehner Gambit" to get at least something of of this drawn-out debate, but the CBO shat all over it and now it must be redrafted to keep the GOP House from killing it with extreme prejudice.
  • The Dastardly Dingy Harry has a nefarious plan known as "The Harry Reid Imperative" in a secret vault, just waiting for his nemesis Cryin' John Boehner to fail.
  • The financial Apocalypse predicted by His Majesty the King keeps failing to materialize. (In fact His Majesty has been calling banks on the down-low to assure them that there will be no default. Which makes a cynic like me think that his public statements to the contrary just might have been alarmist bullshit.)
  • Marcia is celebrating the birth of her child when her husband Arturo comes out of his coma and announces that he cannot be the father of little Gertrude, because he had a vasectomy years ago. It turns out the real father is Arturo's heretofore-unknown twin brother, Osvaldo, who had been working as a Guatemalan mercenary for years before arriving in Elmdale to stand-in for his stricken brother. Marcia was so devastated that she passed out and hit her head, and now she's in a coma. Butch wants to tell Yelena that he has fallen in love with the cabana boy Richard, but fears Yelena's crazy business-magnate father Lowell will have him killed.
Back when they first announced this show, I was sure it was going to be a boring waste of time. Who knew it would have this much action and adventure? I wonder what's going to happen next!

Are we boned? Yes. But the thing is: everyone else is boned too. That doesn't really ease the burn, though.

When the word "malaise" once again enters the nation's argot, you know we're back in Carter Country.

Help us, Ben Bernanke! You're our only hope!

I've been saying it for a long time: Tax the poor! A lot of people are coming around to that view. Even people on the bottom end of the income ladder must have some skin in the government game. They have to know that government has a cost, and that if they want more government, the cost (to them!) is going to go up.

The WSJ has more to say about America's broken jobs engine. The problem is a complex one, and is not solely attributable to the current downturn. Our workforce's skills are badly-aligned with the needs of businesses (jobs are going begging during a period of 10% unemployment because there are no qualified applicants), technology and automation have removed many jobs entirely, and foreign competition is heating up, making our labor costs uncompetitive. This is a complicated problem that will take (probably) many years to solve, and will require a much more able political class than the one we have now. (That bit about the "just-in-time worker" from the article strikes me as very prescient about what your future jobs are going to look like.)

New orders for durable goods in June fell -- everybody together now! -- "unexpectedly"!

Via Insty: Is the Euro an idea whose time is gone? Actually, it was a shitty idea right from the get-go. It never really had a "time".

Hold on tight, now, my children: a 500-day retail recession is on the way. Instead of "Summer of Change" we can call it "Summer of Chump"?

California has found a new way to screw both itself and the citizens who live there by making it hard to build and buy single-family homes. I'm sure you'll be as shocked as I am to find that the geniuses behind this one are the global-warming alarmists and their fellow social-planners on the Left. My message to Californians: you're getting what you voted for. Good and hard.

UPDATE 1: Many casual observers wonder -- if American debt is so bad, why are investors still flocking to it? The reason is simple: there aren't many alternatives. But it's also vital to note that this may not always be the case; if investors ever find a viable altnernative to US Treasury debt before we get our fiscal house in order, we are well and truly boned beyond redemption. Our reprieve is due to luck, not skill.



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posted by Monty at 08:58 AM

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