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September 26, 2011

DOOM: I'm a crawlin' king snake, and I rules my den


The Fed is pushing on a string. Fiscal policy, not monetary policy, is the only avenue that will work -- and we’re not going to get any real fiscal policy out of the federal government until 2013 at the earliest.

Euro skeptics have been vindicated, but it’s a hollow victory. I take no pleasure in watching this disaster unfold despite having seen it coming from the very first. (This article also chronicles the demise of the Financial Times as a serious economics journal and its increasing leftward tilt.)


Another “lost generation”? This is very bad demographic news:

“Younger women across all race and ethnic groups had fewer children compared with 2008. Births declined 6 percent among 20-34 year-olds last year even though the number of women in this group increased by more than 1 million, according to an analysis of census data by Kenneth Johnson, sociology professor and senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire. Never before has such a drop in births occurred when the population of young adults increased in at least 15 years.”

In related demographics news: welcome to Geezer-Topia! Go long on Vicks Vapo-Rub and Preparation H.

The U.N. now projects that over the next 40 years, more than half (58 percent) of the world's population growth will come from increases in the number of people over 60, while only 6 percent will come from people under 30. Indeed, the U.N. projects that by 2025, the population of children under 5, already in steep decline in most developed countries, will be falling globally -- and that's even after assuming a substantial rebound in birth rates in the developing world. A gray tsunami will be sweeping the planet.

Global Recession, Part II: The Boning!

Living and working to 100. I'm just waiting for androids to get good enough -- then I'm going to upload my mind into one and scrap the crummy low-end OEM gear I'm currently using.

“Apocalyptic financial horror”. It says something about how bad things have become that those words are no longer dismissed as alarmist.

Saying that “it was a bad day in the markets” is kind of an understatement.

How do you know when government has gotten too big? Well, when your government runs up $14 trillion in debt, I'd say that it's a pretty good sign that it's too big.

The limits of means testing. Means-testing Social Security would require the Democrats to give up on the lie that the benefit is actually a savings plan or pension. That's never been the case, of course, but it's been part of the myth surrounding the welfare program right from the start. They'd have to accept that it would need to become a pure transfer-payment welfare program to even have a hope of staying solvent.

Mark Steyn: It’s the end of the world as we know it. And maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.

Well, when the democratic process doesn’t go the way you want it to and the cultural gestalt is against you, there’s always...MURDER! This is the *real* end-state of the Socialist experiment: lawlessness, murder, penury, and collapse.

Remember back when “trillion” was a mind-bogglingly huge number that few people ever used in day-to-day situations? Mish’s thoughts are the same as mine: more throwing of good money after bad.

Average European citizens are finally beginning to grapple with the potential consequences of a Euro breakdown.

Zero hour for the Euro is not weeks or months down the road; it is here right now.

I have never seen European policymakers as scared as I saw them in Washington last week.

What’s behind the big plunge in gold and silver? I’m actually kind of glad gold and silver have pulled back; that means I can buy some more without worrying that I’m buying at peak.

Is pointing out that FDR’s “New Deal” was a social and economic disaster really that controversial these days?

Comic book economics: villains earn their wealth; heroes inherit it. So when you imagine me in my Lair of Inchoate Evil, laying plans for world domination, remember: I had to work my ass off to build that lair. I didn’t inherit the cash from the ‘rents. Henchmen, lackeys, toadies, bootlicks, and minions don’t come cheap either, you know. And when Superdude comes jack-assing in and busts up the place, you know who has to pay to have it repaired? Me! That’s right! It ain't like I can go down to First Supervillain Savings and Loan for the money.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, health care is killing us.

The Greeks are re-discovering a universal truth: borrowed money must be paid back in one way or another. The Greeks thought they had discovered a magical fountain of “free” money when they entered the Eurozone, and spent money like water. But the old Greek habits (particularly tax-avoidance) meant that sooner or later the holiday from history was bound to end. It’s going to be a hell of a hangover in Greece. This story also shows that ultimately, the Greek people will force a solution on their government rather than the other way around.

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: the Greeks recorded the very first sovereign default in recorded history. In the 4th century BC. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

I’m hearing a lot more concern about China’s slowing economy lately. It makes sense: China’s economy is heavily export-driven, and both the US and Europe (their primary export markets) are in the middle of a prolonged downturn.

What if there had been no Euro? (And note to John Kornblum: Europe did turn to war. Remember that little fracas in the Balkans?)

Is it really news that our political class is screwing us in an epic fashion? It's a "dog bites man" story, and has been for...well, for most of human history, actually.

You are the weakest link! Goodbye! Don’t you love how I catch onto these cultural memes while they’re at the height of their popularity and weave them into my narratives? I'm groovy like that. That's what all the kids say now, right? Groovy?

Next up in the game of “bailout roulette”...the IMF! Who’s going to bail out the bailer-outers? At some point the sovereigns must either debase the currency by printing more, or simply default on their debts.

(Thanks to Jane D'Oh for the cat picture.)

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posted by Monty at 08:44 AM

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