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September 22, 2011

DOOM: Lie to me


Another governmental shutdown looming? Republican Representatives rebelled against their leadership and killed a short-term spending measure.

The vote failed, 195-230, after Democrats pulled their support for the bill and Republican leaders were forced to scramble for enough votes entirely within their own ranks. Four dozen conservatives voted against the bill because it left spending levels for 2012 higher than the cap set in the House GOP budget.
It sounds to me like the Donks left the dinner party early and the GOP didn't have enough money left to cover the bill.

I don't think Teh Bernank's "Operation Twist" announcement had quite the short-term effect he was hoping for. FT's Alphaville weighs in with this judgement: "Equities investors do. Not. Like." What is there to like? Teh Bernank basically just told savers to go fornicate themselves for an undetermined (but lengthy) period of time.

Spain may be the biggest threat to the Eurozone, not Greece. Though any of the PIIGS could fill that role, really. If any piece of the rickety contraption fails, the whole thing collapses.

Is unemployment really so bad, compared to previous recessions? Probably not so much...if you accept the Labor Bureau's numbers. I don't. The "official" numbers put the unemployment rate at around 9.1%, but since this number excludes those "not looking for work" (left the workforce entirely) and those who are underemployed or can only find short-term work, the real rate is probably closer to 13%, maybe as high as 15%. Our recovery is also terribly slow, which may mean that we face a chronically high unemployment rate -- which is to say that the unemployment rate may no longer be tied to the business cycle, but may in fact be structural.

USPS: "Help us, Obi Wan Kenobi! You're our only hope!"

There is evidence of the hand of Sauron in the Lightsquared imbroglio.

Median household incomes: dismal. Or...maybe not so much.

The plutocracy story forces us to confront another fallacy that is absolutely sacred to journalists: That there is a fixed group of people called “the rich” who are taking advantage of the rest of us.

The composition of the rich keeps changing too. Anyone worried about the income disparities in America is worried about people like Michael Oher, the NFL player and star of the book “The Blind Side” who, five years ago, was a college student without much income and is today paid millions to block for the Baltimore Ravens. Should we be worried about the huge disparity in income that has cropped up in only five years between Michael Oher and himself?

Solyndra and the perils of industrial policy. When short term political gain and "optics" drive the policy (not to mention the quasi-religious cult of "green" that pervades this Administration), a lousy outcome is almost guaranteed. This is also what comes of letting academics and community organizers conduct the nation's business policy -- few of them have any actual experience running a private-sector business at a profit. They have no idea how the private-sector economy works. As Raymond Stanz so memorably said to Peter Venkman: "You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."

Weekly jobless claims fall...a bit. Cynic that I am, I simply await the inevitable revision upwards.

In case you forgot, Rhode Island (member in good standing of the LOTB) is still on a rocket-sled ride to insolvency due to public-sector pension and healthcare costs.

Public-employee unions are ripping off taxpayers in Illinois, but you already knew that. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

UPDATE 1: I'm a space geek, and I firmly believe that letting NASA continue to drive our nation's efforts in space is a guarantee of DOOM, so here's Rand Simberg's "The Fable of the Shoes".

Like people who can’t imagine life without a government post office, or air traffic control (it’s private in Switzerland), or other things with which they have no experience, they can’t conceive of space activities that don’t consist of a few government employees on top of a really big rocket, with lots more government employees at desks in control rooms directing the show.

UPDATE 2: From Ben in the sidebar: Elizabeth Warren wants you to know that no one ever got rich on their own. Her basic error, which all leftists share, is that the rich are somehow taking advantage of everyone else, rather than using the commons as is their right (being taxpayers). Warren sees the capitalist using the commons; she does not see the wages they pay their employees, the taxes they pay, or the quality of life they bring to the community. Warren's viewpoint is made explicit when she says that businesses can "keep a big chunk" of their earnings -- all money belongs to Leviathan, don't you know, and they will graciously allow the business to keep some of their own money.

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posted by Monty at 09:03 AM

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