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September 01, 2011

DOOM: I don't live anywhere, the road is my home

DOOOOM

Michael Tanner at NRO: Social Security is actually worse than a Ponzi scheme.

Ah, Illinois, senior member of the LOTB. The main value of this state to the country these days is as a negative example. If you wish to succeed, don’t do what Illinois is doing.

$211 Trillion dollars, baby. Just for reference, that’s the total economic output of the planet for about ten years. (This is NPR, of course, so the comments section to the story is pure comedy gold as liberals rage, rage against the dying of the light.)

The newest financial weapons of mass destruction. The quants must die!

As the productive workforce shrinks, GDP growth is constrained. It’s not a complicated mathematical equation. Retirees don’t build equity; they conserve it (to the extent they can). They deleverage, downsize, and consume. Especially healthcare. This is the flip-side of the huge Boomer productivity wave between the early 1980’s and now. It was more like a sugar high than a sustainable boost of energy to the economy. Mainly because a lot of that "growth" was in the form of borrowed money that now has to be paid back.

More evidence that Teh Krugman is, for all intents and purposes, mentally retarded. From Kling, contra Krugman:

Even if we did start from an optimal state, microeconomics still wouldn't tell us to cut a little of everything. Why not? Fixed costs. Every proposed cut sparks a political battle. Each of these battles is costly. In order to cut a little from a million different programs, you'd have to fight a million costly battles.

Barone on SS and Medicare. Quote: “Often you can’t get a good thing without paying a bad price.”

Some good advice for “surviving spouses”. Don’t make any big decisions right away, and watch out for the cockroaches who scurry out to sell you annuities and insurance products.

Remember how the teachers’ union protested against WI governor Scott Walker's reforms because they were advocating “for the children” and that it wasn’t about the money? Well, it turns out that yeah, it really was pretty much just about the money.

Is there any one these days who isn't boned? Now Canada and Brazil are looking at a recession.

Speaking of being boned, PA's state capitol Harrisburg is about to start pining for the fjords.

There is certainly plenty to dislike in Mayor Linda Thompson’s plan. It is horrendously written with many grammatical errors. The mayor also added new initiatives that are not fully vetted or clearly funded, such as the blight program.
It turns out that when you elect incompetent ideologues to run things, they tend to screw it up. Who knew?

Globally, the love is gone. Now it's all just squabbling over money and who has to mow the lawn and take out the trash and why the husband is bald and why the wife has gained a few thousand pounds.

"Bread and circuses" is the term the writer of this piece is looking for. A comment usually attributed to Alexander Tytler goes like so:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

The NLRB has a present for you! What is it, you ask? Why, an unemployment check! Isn't that thoughtful of them?

I love the photo that goes with this story. It looks like someone just lofted a really nasty "cabbage and hard-boiled eggs" air-biscuit, but no one wants to own up.

UPDATE 1: From "Hussein the Plumber" in the comments -- another week of jobless claims above 400K.


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