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February 07, 2012

The Daily DOOM


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VDH: There are new monsters in America, and they are us.

But there are new monsters in America, and I am starting to wonder whether I am to be considered among them: those of the uninvolved and uninformed lives, the bar-raisers, the downright mean ones, the never deserving of respect ones, the Vegas junketeers, the Super Bowl jet setters, the tuition stealers, the faux-Christians who do not pay higher taxes, the too much income makers, the tormenters of autistic children, the polluters, the enemies deserving of punishment, the targets to bring a gun against, the faces to get in front of, the limb-loppers, the tonsil pullers, the fat cats, the corporate jet owners, the one-percenters, the stupidly acting, the not paying their fair sharers, the discriminators on the “way you look”, the alligator raisers and moat builders, the vote deniers, the clingers, the typical something persons, the hunters of kids at ice cream parlors, the stereotypers and profilers, the cowards, the lazy and soft, the non-spreaders of money, the not my people people, the Tea party racists, the not been perfect and mistake makers, the disengaged and the dictating, the not the time to profiteers, the ones who did not know when to quit making money, and on and on.

My God, man, how did Barack Obama & Co. conjure up so many demons?

This cool blog I read sometimes has a good piece about how the media is casting a smaller workforce as good news. More time with your family! More opportunities for leisure and education! It's all part of the "ALL IS WELL!" chorus, and it's not going to stop until the 2012 election is over.

California's pension bomb is in the midst of a slow-motion explosion. The Orange County Employee's Retirement system's return for last year? A whopping 0.75%. That's seventy five basis points, kids; not even a full percentage point. (And well below the 7% return the fund was projecting.)

Reassessing the recovery. Some ugly chart-fu in there.

The march of big municipalities with big pension problems continues: Houston, TX is now struggling with a huge pension shortfall and no easy way to make it up.

Greece's bloated public sector is due to shrink by at least 15,000 if the EU has its way. Which they probably won't -- the Greeks will riot before they'll give up their cushy public-sector jobs.

How big of a success story was that government bailout of Chrysler? Why, we got out of it with only a $1.2 billion dollar loss! That's like winning the lottery or something! (But hey! If Chrysler is good enough for Clint Eastwood, it's good enough for me.)

NYC Unions want to use city cash reserves for...pay raises for unionized public employees! Bloomberg tells them that he intends to use the money to pay the pensions of unionized employees instead. No matter what happens, the unions win and the taxpayers lose. As usual.

Freight rates go negative. Combined with the lousy Baltic Dry Index numbers from the last quarter, this is another sign that international trade is slowing down (though there are other factors at play).

The "New Keynesianism" is just the same old wine in a new bottle. Don't be fooled.

The Feds dual mandate has always been unrealistic, but this true now more than ever.

The horrors of getting a permit for an ice-cream shop in San Francisco. But hey, they're business-friendly! The mayor said so!

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posted by Monty at 08:51 AM

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