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October 19, 2011

DOOM: Now with electrolytes!

DOOOOM

PSA: This will be a shorter-than-usual DOOM today (which will probably cause rejoicing among those who grow weary of reading my lengthy rants). Time doth run fleetly away while other obligations press upon me.

Moody's to Spain: BAM!

Many people don't understand that often, a forest fire is beneficial: it removes all the dead wood and rotten underbrush, and clears the land for new growth to emerge. It's the same way with businesses oftentimes -- the fire is traumatic and sometimes deadly, but in the long run it's absolutely necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

About that big European summit coming up this weekend? Don't get your hopes up. I have every expectation that the Eurocrats will continue their fecklessness, even in the face of DOOM.

When you're middle-aged, you kind of make peace with your gut. You're not happy about the flab, but you're not unhappy enough about it to embark on an exercise regime, either. You understand (or should) that carrying too much weight means increased risk of heart-attack and stroke and adult-onset diabetes. But slimming down means giving up a lot of stuff that you like -- beer, candy, cake, red meat -- and finally using that stationary bike in the corner of the room instead of just looking at it guiltily before turning on the television in the evening. It all boils down to choices you make, and whether you can live with the consequences of those choices. It's not a bad metaphor for the economy right now.

Is the "income inequality" trope a myth? Reagan used to say that a rising tide lifts all boats -- the rich get richer, but the poor get richer too. When even stinky hippies with no jobs can afford iPhones and cutting-edge laptop computers, the gap between rich and poor doesn't seem to yawn all that wide.

Teh Krugman acknowledges that the internet has leveled the econ-commentary playing field. Krugman insists that he's just fine with this brave new world, but you can still hear the bitterness behind his words. I get the feeling that he's a lot less fond of dissent from the internet "nobodies" than he lets on.

I've been waiting for GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board) to finally force states and municipalities to make real and honest accounting of their debts and obligations, and Lo! that day might finally be near. CalSTRS: BONED!

You keep using the word "unthinkable". I do not think it means what you think it means.

What do Friendly's Ice Cream and Rhode Island have in common? A pension mess. But Friendly's can't force the taxpayer to pony up the money, can they? (Well, actually, they can, kind of: they can go bankrupt and hand off their pension debts to the taxpayer-funded PBGC. Which is itself nearly insolvent.)

This has been a problem with the GOP for decades: they claim to be in favor of a more federalist approach to government...but they don't really mean it.

This is something that has confused me for years too: why do people assume that a college degree guarantees them a job? More importantly, when did a college education turn into a jobs-training program rather than the traditional "higher education" program? (My guess? Immediately after World War II with the introduction of the G. I. Bill.)


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"What's the safe-word again? Palomino! Palomino!"


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