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February 11, 2013

Hot DOOM and cold steel

DOOOOM

This falls into the "damn, I wish I'd written that" category: David Wong, humorist and editor at Cracked.com, wrote a really splendid essay about Effort. Here's a taste:

I really think Effort Shock has been one of the major drivers of world events. Think about the whole economic collapse and the bad credit bubble. You can imagine millions of working types saying, "All right, I have NO free time. I work every day, all day. I come home and take care of the kids. We live in a tiny house, with two shitty cars. And we are still deeper in debt every single month." So they borrow and buy on credit because they have this unspoken assumption that, dammit, the universe will surely right itself at some point and the amount of money we should have been making all along (according to our level of effort) will come raining down.

All of it comes back to having those massively skewed expectations of the world. Even the people you think of as pessimists, they got their pessimism by continually seeing the world fail to live up to their expectations, which only happened because their expectations were grossly inaccurate in the first place.



(VIDEO) Historian Ralph Raico on the Industrial Revolution. Long, but well worth your time. It's a powerful antidote to the liberal myth that it was government regulation and oversight that "tamed capitalism". (Don Boudreux's note is trenchant, too: "Note, by the way (from around the 30-minute mark), Ralph’s important emphasis on the fact that war is emphatically not an economic stimulant.")

A confused, obviously-insane bag-lady mumbles a lot of crazy nonsense. I'm not sure why the news media is bothering this poor woman. She really should be in a home where professionals can monitor her and give her the help she so desperately needs.

Mario Loyola writes a good, in-depth piece about the Federal-State crack-up. I have a feeling that many States will gain a new appreciation for federalism in coming years. The burdens of complying with federal mandates (ObamaCare not least among them, as well as Medicare and Medicaid) will hamstring states just as they need to find creative solutions to their own budgetary difficulties -- such as skyrocketing public-employee pension and healthcare costs.

Jim Rogers advises you to go short on US Bonds right now. I'm no fan of holding public debt of any kind right now -- nothing I've seen in the past four years gives me any hope at all that the industrialized nations of the world have any intention of reforming their out-of-control spending habits.

You know what sounds like a great idea? Taking out a second mortgage on the house so I can afford to put in that new home-theater I've been dreaming of! Yeah, I know that things didn't go so well on the home-equity front last time...but this time it'll be different! Right?

Just 6 in 10 Millennials have jobs, and half of those are part-time. I sometimes wonder if the younger generation's love-affair with Bammer is going to fade with time as they realize how ruinous his tenure has been to their lives, or if they will continue to think of him as the Depression-era citizens thought of FDR. FDR was the author of many of the woes that beset people during the Depression, and yet forever afterward many poor people revered him almost as a secular saint. (In fact, he is still a secular saint to Democrats.) Ultimately I think it's just human nature at work, our ability to see what we want to see. None of us wants to see flaws in our beloved.

Maybe it's just me, but when I hear the term "credit supernova", I get a little anxious. This is from PIMCO's Bill Gross, who thinks we've bitten off more inflation than we can swallow.

America's "new normal" (taking on massive amounts of new debt, and printing more worthless currency to back it up) is developing imitators abroad.

Defined-benefit pension funds are not magic -- when investment returns are low, as they are now, you have to contribute more of your own cash to keep them afloat. And when your return assumptions have been outlandish for years and years, the amount of money you have to put into them may cripple you. And this is true whether you are in the public sector or the private sector...except in the case of the private sector, you can't jawbone taxpayers into making your worthless promises good.

Over time, SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) has become the popular long-term unemployment option for more and more people. For many people, it's both easier and more lucrative to feign a crippling mental problem or phantom back-injury than it is to work. After all, there's an endless supply of suckers out there to fund this publicly-funded largesse, right?

Just another reminder, in case you forgot: China will not save us.

All the words are in English, but the way they're strung together makes no sense at all: Duncan "Atrios" Black dreams of a world where people can get lots of money in retirement without having had to go to the bother of earning it. Or something to that effect. Because apparently it's unfair to make people responsible for their own poor choices earlier in life.

Virginia advances bill to establish its own currency. It won't happen any time soon, of course, but if federalism gains strength as the US Dollar weakens, don't be surprised to see alternative currencies popping up. (In fact, there already are some in common use.)

Chicago cops want a 12 percent pay raise. From the article:

Police also want to pay less for their health insurance and get more money for their uniform allowance.
They also want the department to fund their blankies, juice, and graham crackers; and give them more recess time.

This is the healthcare system that Obama wants to bring to the United States.

cat drinking from toilet

digg this
posted by Monty at 08:15 AM

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