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Top Headline Comments 1-28-13 | Main | Monday Morning Link Dump
January 28, 2013

DOOM: The New Normal


See, here's the problem: a spending limit isn't a limit unless it actually functions as a bar to further spending. As Abraham Lincoln himself once said about the proverbial five-legged dog: calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one. In short, reality will assert itself.

Yes, Mister President, we are a nation of takers. And the makers are getting pretty fed up.

Remember back when people were ashamed to be layabouts and leeches? My advice to the slackers: enjoy the easy life while you can, because the gravy train is just about to run out of track. And you may find life in the aftermath of the crash extremely unpleasant, because your fellow citizens are going to remember who was pulling the cart and who was just sitting on it.

Why 30-year-olds need to start saving now. Actually, if you're 30 or over, should have been saving for awhile already. That goes double if you're married. That goes triple if you have kids. Yes, it's difficult to save much when you're young because you don't make much, but every little bit helps, and even twenty or thirty bucks a month adds up after a while. In fact, the poorer you are, the more vital saving your own money becomes because you live on a much thinner cushion.

Scenes from the terminal phase of the welfare state. Somehow, when I hear welfare-state advocates talking about concepts like "dignity" and "self-respect", I don't think this is the kind of thing they're thinking about. Yet it is the inevitable outcome. First on the small scale, then on the large.

My government spent $180 Billion on this program and all I got was traumatic memories of some mean little girl named Kendra wiping a booger on my new corduroy pants. You ever try to get snot out of corduroy? You can't do it, man.

Some scary chart-fu from the fun-loving guys at ZeroHedge. Just remember that when politicians use the word "recovery", they're using it in a way that not many people in the real economy would recognize.

Obamacare: The gift that keeps on giving, even when you wish to God it would stop. Even the most ardent partisans of ObamaCare are beginning to feel the sting of regret.

Remember that wonderful boost in housing everybody was rhapsodizing about a week or two ago? Yeah, about that....

Unemployment -- in real terms -- at 14.4%, four years after Obama first took office. Forward!

Japanese Finance Ministar Taro Aso urges elderly people to show their patriotic spirit by dying more quickly. They're costing the government a fortune, apparently, and Minister Aso finds this the easiest and fairest solution.

Unions versus our kids. This whole "war of the old against the young" is going to get hotter as time goes by and public spending becomes ever more constrained.

"Staying the Course" from the inimitable Steyn. Our culture is incubating the virus that will end up killing us.

Japanese banks and the central government will start "coordinating policy". For all the vaunted benefits of an independent central bank, sovereign imperative will always trump economics. This is just another step in Japan's descent into fiscal chaos; it was as inevitable as the tides. The Japanese saw that Teh Bernank pulled off QE in the United States with no runaway inflation, but we have two advantages the Japanese don't: 1) We issue the world's reserve currency; and 2) we have a positive (if only slightly so) growth profile. But the Japanese will inflate, and reap the whirlwind. (On another note, I've never been sold on the so-called "independence" of central banks, mainly because these so-called "iindependent" banks have proven to be just as prone to political pressure as any other government entity.)

As it turns out, Minnesota is boned as well.

I've said it many times: the Federal fiscal cirsis is bad, but rather abstract. The real fiscal crisis -- the one you're going to feel, the one that will affect your daily life, the one that will probably preciptate the final reckoning, whatever that is -- is the one confronting cities and states. The major driver of that crisis -- as always -- is the skyrocketing costs of employee and retiree benefits: pensions and healthcare.

How do you measure economic growth in the modern economy?

Next on "Hedge Fund Gladiators", the in-your-face new reality series from CNBC: Carl "The Yankee Doodle Dandy" Icahn vs Bill "The Hit-man" Ackman! Two men enter, one man leaves!

We really didn't need more proof that the traditional defined-benefit pension plan is dying out, but here's more data from the BLS that underscores the point. In the private sector, defined-benefit pensions have been on the way out since the late 1980's, and the public sector is increasingly moving that way as pension benefits threaten to eat city and state governments alive.

The pension bomb already exploded. Once a bomb has exploded, all you can do is scramble for cover, try to contain the blast, and then clean up the mess as best you can when it's all over.

Taggart should tell the boys to work up a number six on them: California landowners won't sell the land for the new high-speed rail line, which by the way is supposed to start in July.

my cat is retarded

digg this
posted by Monty at 08:00 AM

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