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April 15, 2013

DOOM: Unsafe At Any Speed


UPDATE: (via Instapundit) The terrifying reality of long-term unemployment. It won't be long before chronic joblessness is classified as a disability; then going on SSDI will be nothing more than a legal formality instead of fraud. I do disagree with this, however:

It's time for the government to start hiring the long-term unemployed. Or, at the least, start giving employers tax incentives to hire the long-term unemployed. The worst possible outcome for all of us is if the long-term unemployed become unemployable. That would permanently reduce our productive capacity.
The last thing we need is another harebrained government employment program...which we don't have the money for anyhow.

The one number you need to know in Obama's budget.

Under Obama’s budget, in 2020 interest payments alone would amount to more than national-defense spending in that year. By 2023, interest payments alone would amount to more than all nondefense discretionary spending in that year.

Retirement? Don't count on it. I don't -- I've known since my teen years that Social Security was a lie, and that if I wanted to retire, I'd have to do so on my own savings. And since I don't know how long I'll live or what my expenses will be when I'm old, I'll simply work as long as I'm able to.

The problem with Barack Obama isn't that he's an economic illiterate -- he's hardly unique among lawmakers in that respect. The real problem is that he thinks he understands just fine. Barack Obama is a vain man, and nowhere is his vanity stronger than in his own intellect. He really thinks he's the smartest guy in the room.

Margaret Thatcher predicted the failure of the Euro twenty years ago. She was a woman of protean gifts, a formidable clearsightedness primary among them.

The financial networks have an attention span like a toddler on a sugar-high, and like most others in the media they spin madly to advance the liberal narrative on the economy. The recent upswing in equities has them in a tizzy, but the fact is that the stock market is illustrating stagnation, not recovery.

It's become apparent that many workers, having exhausted their unemployment benefits, are simply transitioning to SSDI. And once in that program, they are for all intents and purposes divorced from the work force permanently -- not many in SSDI ever re-enter the workforce. Fraud in the program is rampant, aided by compliant doctors and lax regulators.

Yes, Virginia, America still makes stuff. Quite a lot of stuff, as a matter of fact. It's just that we no longer need as many people to make all this stuff as we used to.

The blue-on-blue civil war that Walter Russell Mead has been predicting is underway. Public-sector pensioners are going to start consuming an ever-larger part of municipal and state funds, and there's no way local governments can raise taxes enough to cover the shortfall. So other things will have to give, and those things are likely to be programs that liberals like: the bookmobile, meals on wheels, stuff like that. Eventually they'll have to start cutting into muscle: public safety, roads, and other services. In other words, cities (like Stockton, CA) will fail at their basic job of providing protection and public services to their citizens...all so they can keep sending money to people who no longer work for them.

If you come out of school owing $100,000 in student debt, that's pretty much the equivalent of owing a mortgage on a house. Except that you don't have a house; you have four years of an education that may nor may not be worth the debt you took on to get it. Buying a house means borrowing another couple of hundred grand (or so)...and you may find that banks are unwilling to extend that kind of credit to a twentysomething with high debt and uncertain job prospects.

Dear France: HA HA HA HA! Hope you're enjoying that socialist paradise you voted for. It sounds like the Frenchies need to re-read Orwell's Animal Farm.

The Eurozone crisis is back? I've got news for you: the Eurozone crisis never went away.

China's economy continuing to slow. And given how unreliable the economic numbers out of China are, I bet the news is a lot worse than they're letting on.

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posted by Monty at 08:15 AM

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