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December 06, 2011

DOOM: Road to nowhere


$250 million Medicare dollars squandered. The fiasco leaves some feeling pumped, while others just feel deflated because they have gotten the shaft. Government's response was limp.

The Supercommittee fails, and some kind of enforced spending cuts are supposed to come into play. Yet no one really expects significant defense cuts, nor any significant entitlement cuts. So the whole thing was basically a giant waste of time...time that we don't really have to waste. Fire them all. Out of a cannon. Into the sun.

The incredible shrinking work force. The problem with the thinking of too many people, especially Democrats, is that they don't understand that employment is a side-effect of a business concern, not the purpose of it. The purpose of a business is to provide a good or service at a profit. Until the government makes doing business easier in this country -- by cutting through the thicket of regulatory red tape, by instituting a non-punitive tax regime, and by making sure the workforce is educated in the skills businesses need -- the employment picture will not improve. The government cannot 'create' jobs; all they can do is prepare the ground on which commerce can flourish. And so far, they've been sowing salt in the earth so that nothing can grow there.

The problems with the Euro were entirely predictable, and many skeptics foresaw this kind of crisis before the Euro was even implemented. All you had to do was look at the economic, political, and structural realities of the European nations to know it would never work.

Europe, systemic risk, and the governing elite.

This shift from “one person, one vote,” to “one euro, one vote,” is dispelling the illusion that the welfare state can be the primary source of a country’s living standard, and a protector of the middle class. The governing elite were all to happy to provide generous transfer payments to those not working and to fund a bloated public sector with high wages and even more generous pensions.
To paraphrase Nat King Cole: never has any economy been more...unsustainable.

Europe may be looking at a decade-long recession. That may be one of the postiive scenarios, too; that may be the outcome if all goes according to plan. If not...DOOM.

Teh Krugman causes a spacetime rift when he accuses other people of being clueless. The incredible density of stupidity and smugness all compacted into such a small area caused a quantum singularity to form. If you can stand the dangerous radiation and gravitational fields, the piece is worth reading for the (purely unintentional) hilarity. It’s always fun to listen to far-left idiots lecture the GOP on how they should behave, what they should believe, and the proper conduct one should exhibit among the Great Unwashed.

Federal regulator approves ‘MF Global Rule’. This is known to such vulgar persons as myself as “closing the barn door after the horse has run out”.

S&P to all 17 Euro nations: BAM! (Well, not ‘BAM!’ quite yet. It’s a “downgrade wach” and not an actual downgrade.) The problem, as always, is dim prospects for future growth. Promises for reform are all well and good, and may actually even happen, but without growth there's not much point to the exercise. And in Europe, it's very difficult to see where the growth is going to come from, given the Europeans' low aggregate birthrate, stifling work and commerce rules, onerous tax regimes, and vast welfare state.

Public pensions: some numbers and reality. Pull quote: “The numbers you can believe all point to bankruptcy and here they are for the last ten years and a little beyond.”

Speaking the obvious: the US will follow the same fiscal-crisis path as the EU if we don’t put on the brakes soon.

“Fiscal union” in the EU means a substantial loss of sovereignty for smaller nations, and the citizens of those nations may choose independence over a common currency regardless of the cost. (I disagree with Pritchard-Evans’ disdain for austerity in the South, however; the 'surpluses' he extols in Spain and Italy were illusory at best, and more than offset by high unemployment and low productivity in both countries.)

Italy is broke, and breaking the news to the citizens isn’t easy for politicians and officials who have spent literally decades hiding the truth. And citizens who have been counting on cushy pensions and early retirements, or a comfortable life on the public dole, are in for a rude shock.

Why “too big to fail” means “wait for it”.

The rise and fall of Jon Corzine. This Democrat golden boy has fallen from a great height, but I'm sure his liberal chums will forgive him as long as he keeps mouthing good progressive platitudes. (Oh, and guess which one of our favorite ex-Presidents is mixed up with MF Global?)

Death to pennies!

Broke-as-a-joke Illinois "finds" money to keep the lights on.

Some of the money for the facilities is available because Quinn used his veto powers earlier this year to cut education spending, particularly $89 million that helped pay for school buses. Officials also found surplus money in a special fund that helps support government pension systems. The struggling pensions get the full amount they were promised, but the extra $95 million is going to other programs deemed more urgent.

"This economy is no place for young men."

UPDATE 1: If you're looking for a job, there's an opportunity down Florida way. Two words, kids: gator bounties.

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posted by Monty at 08:55 AM

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