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January 19, 2012

The Daily DOOM


Do not question the motives or actions of His Majesty the King Barack Hussein Obama, you worthless peasants. He knows what is best for his people. It's not as if this action will harm the economy or lead to higher gas prices or anything. That's just anti-Royalist crazy talk right there.

The engine of creative destruction is always running. The real worry is not that it runs too fast; the real worry comes when it stops working.

The “Kansas City” school of economics. Uncle Sugar can just hire anyone who wants a job! Anybody! Jobs for everyone! Where does the money to pay them come from? Printing! Taxes! Who cares? It’s not like money means anything, right?

This notion that the Federal Government is somehow immune from the financial pressures that face any other entity is just pure, babbling madness.

A very strong antidote to the contention that government can handle “externalities” better than the free market can.

How good was Milton Friedman? Even his ideological enemies admired the hell out of him.

I link this story mainly for this bit:

The reason why you have to go to college to get most good jobs is because a supermajority of qualified applicants for good jobs go to college. In my dream world, the subsidies for college would dry up, most of the students would drop out, and employers would happily start "scrounging around in the outsider's bin."

This story is support for the big story I linked yesterday on the lower class abandonment of “the founding virtues”. Men in particular seem to have trouble adapting to a smothering welfare state: with no pressure to provide for a family or maintain a home, and no civilizing influence from a woman, men tend to fall into a state of ennui and drift. This is particularly true of men with lower intelligence and/or skill sets, because they have fewer mental resources to fall back upon. Modern society has progressively devalued the contributions of men, and in return many men are simply withdrawing from society.

The World Bank jumps aboard the DOOM train.

If pointing out that public-sector pensions have busted state budgets is anti-Union, then reality is anti-Union.

Katrina vanden Hooberdoober accidentally had a thought once, but it left her so shaken and scared that she swore off thinking forever thereafter.

Home for the holidays. Best line: “Paul Krugman is a pathetic old fool who does not know anything about macro economics. He is an embarassment to the profession and deserves to be drowned in a chemical toilet.”

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? The answer is: avoid making any big moves until you have a better understanding of the situation. Sometimes doing nothing is the best option.

Investors to the increasingly-desperate Greeks: No deal!

Many economists and pundits have weighed in on the basic unsustainability of our major entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) and the basic unjustness of transferring wealth from the relatively poor young to the relatively wealthy old. Veronique de Rugy adds her voice to the chorus.

In 1970, spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for seniors was one-fifth of the total annual federal budget (red, yellow, and green portion).

Spending for seniors has since grown to nearly 40 percent of the budget in 2010; this amounts to over twice the spending on defense or 8.9 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

I will make you this solemn promise, my friends: this situation cannot go on for much longer. It can not, simply as a matter of actuarial mathematics. But it is not simply affordability that concerns me; I’d hate and despise these programs even if we could afford to pay them for a million years. This kind of wealth-transfer is morally wrong -- it is a lie, and has always been so. It turns out that this lie is also driving us into the poorhouse.

De Rugy also explains why public-sector pensions only add to the conflagration. Federal pension and healthcare payouts are bad enough; but if you add in the colossal state and municipal liabilities...it’s a stormy ocean of red ink as far as the eye can see.

When I say Europe is “fractally boned”, this is what I mean. 2 million vacation days, dude. At one French hospital. That’s 5,475 years of vacation time. That means I could have gone on vacation around the time the Hebrews were leaving bondage in Egypt, and only face the prospect of coming back to work next month.

Crazy right-wing Mayor continues his jihad against the poor beleaguered public-sector workers.

Remember: the public-sector pension bomb is not a uniquely American problem. Nearly every industrialized country has the same basic problem.

Eastman Kodak makes it official and files for bankruptcy.

Do my eyes deceive me? I couldn't believe this peice was written by uber-lib Nicholas Kristof. Milquetoast and weak-kneed defenese of captialism that it is, it's remarkable coming from someone like Kristof. He even gives unions a kick in the nuts, albeit as an aside to giving Wall Street a kick in the nuts:

In the postwar years, labor unions became greedy and rewarded themselves with feather-bedding and rigid work rules — turning much of the public against them. Likewise, Wall Street feather-bedding is tarnishing the public image of banks and business and undermining confidence in capitalism itself.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I find nothing particularly objectionable in this piece. It's certainly not Thomas Sowell material, but in the pages of the NYT I'll take what I can get. (Kristof should have shared some of that wicked pro-capitalist ganja he was smoking with his erstwhile big-government-loving pal Fareed Zakaria.)

UPDATE 1: Italy and Spain are the lightning-shot thunderheads on the European horizon. Greece may just be a nasty squall-line, but it presages a major storm behind it.

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posted by Monty at 08:55 AM

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