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August 30, 2011

DOOM: Will the last one out please turn off the lights?


Pensions - a gradual catastrophe.

Drowning in the regulatory flood.

The US Postal Service: paying fewer workers to do nothing. I guess that's progress, in a way.

Recession: right here, right now. Tracking the beginning and ending of most recessions is generally difficult until after the fact, but given our anemic 1% GDP "growth" in the last quarter, and the lackluster performance in the current quarter, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that we're already in recession, and have been since the beginning of summer. (Or I guess we could use a more pleasant euphemism like "economic contraction".)

More “green” fail on the way. I always figured the "green mafia" would use the Administration's jobs rhetoric to advance their pet causes, and so it has proven. The inevitable result has been failure, waste, and a complete lack of accountability. We'd have done better to just burn the money up in a fire -- at least that way it would be generate some light and heat.

Give Marx a chance to save the world economy, you wingnuts! A lot of people who ought to know better are heralding the end of the capitalist system. My response is: capitalism is doing just fine, thank you; the problem is with cronyism, bloated government, and a citizenry who have become far too dependent on the welfare state.

Gretchen Morgenson: The rescue that missed Main Street.

Can we do “government stimulus” without adding debt? Money quote (literally):

In reality, stimulus can easily take a balanced budget form: The government can simply raise taxes and raise expenditures by the same amount.
TAX! TAX LIKE THE WIND, BABY! And the government has such a great record of limiting their spending to their income... Also:
Every dollar of increased taxes could go toward giving someone extra income. (Though it's true that the people who would see their taxes increased the most are not likely to be the same people who would see their income increased.)
This is what is known as a “transfer payment”, kids. Or as I call it, “welfare”.

From the WSJ, a primer on the national debt. (Yes, Virginia, interagency debt is still debt.)

Natural disasters and payday lending.

Remember when I said that Germany was likely to choose “sound money” over “fiscal union”? Yeah.

The housing market is still in the dumper. And it will stay there until everyone accepts the fact that the housing stock is going to have to find an accurate market value. The more we try to prop up prices or figure out wild-eyed ideas on how to bail out mortgagees, the longer it will take.

Irene storm-damage costs: $7B to $20B. So a probable cost is probably around $12B.

Kling: The era of expert failure. We have been spectacularly badly-served by the so-called "economic experts" in this country, going back for almost our entire history. The real mystery is why we keep listening to them.

The great political migration. Having made their own states into high-tax, sclerotic, deeply indebted hellholes, citizens are now fleeing to the red states. (As an aside, this is another way in which over-generous public-sector pensions burn taxpayers -- often, the pensioner doesn’t even live in the municipality or state whose taxpayers are funding his retirement, thus negating the “pensioners contribute to the economy too!” argument.)

Why Obama can’t support a real jobs program.

Nashville or Nuremberg? Hyperbolic, but as a guitar player, this whole thing just makes me sick. Michael Barone calls this sort of thing “gangster government” -- Holder seems to have learned his craft from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (If only they’d investigated “gunwalker” like this!)

Barone: The price of entitlements.

Have all the Keynesian Klowns used up their tricks? Is the audience getting restless? Let’s bring in another graduate of the Keynes Klown Kollege and see how he does!

Have no fear, San Franciscans: your city government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

A pension battle a-brewin’ in the Lone Star state. Where is Ranger Walker and his mighty roundhouse kick when you need him?

CalPERS: "Yeah, our rate-of-return calculations are pretty much total bullshit. Complete fantasy. An exercise in fever-dream imagination. So -- our bad. But we're stuck with it, so the taxpayers will just have to bend over and get ready for the hosing of a lifetime. Sorry about that." (Paraphrase)

UPDATE 1: Slublog sends this one -- "On Jobs, Time to Be Bold". If Obama keeps "pivoting to jobs" like this, we can just hook him up to a turbine and generate electricity that way. All that pivoting could light up the eastern seaboard for a month. Here's the winning message Robinson wishes Obama to send:

Obama can quite likely win by convincing voters that even if they're unhappy with his economic policies, the nation is better off sticking with him -- because any of the Republican candidates is likely to make things much worse.
So...it's basically, "Yeah, I suck, but they suck worse!"? Well...good luck with that.

UPDATE 2: The IBD isn't impressed with Obama's Krueger pick: "Krueger's Keynesian Leftovers". The ultimate failure is Obama's, of course; his only response to failure is to do even more of what has already failed. It's what happens when you let ideology trump reality.


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posted by Monty at 08:57 AM

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