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September 30, 2013

All DOOM, all the time


The US House of Representatives votes to delay ObamaCare for a year as a precondition of a new budget; Senate Democrats vow to vote it down, and His Majesty the King promises a veto in the unlikely event the bill makes it past the Senate. We all know how this story ends, but it's been nice seeing the GOP show some spine for a change. It will be interesting to see if the public blames the GOP or the Democrats for the shutdown -- the GOP is notoriously bad at messaging, and it remains to be seen if they can lay the mantle of blame where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of His Majesty the King.

George Will: the Fed has become a creature of politics. George gets his tenses wrong: the Fed did not become anything. The Fed has always, from its inception, been a creature of politics.

In my ancestral lands, we had a saying for a situation like this: "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt?"

His Majesty will send $300 million to the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. His Majesty has many favors in his gift for those who remain loyal.

Welcome the city of Scranton, PA to the LOTB, folks! Let’s give them a laurel, and hearty handshake!

California sets controls on the price of labor, and will shortly discover the inevitable result of price controls: the good or service does not become more affordable, but simply disappears entirely because it is no longer cost-effective to produce. When applied to labor, it means the disappearance of low-end jobs (and a growth of the “gray” economy). This also speaks to a clumsy, backhanded effort to ameliorate the state’s spiraling cost of living.

Pension shenanigans cost Detroit billions. But then: what happened in Detroit was the result of behavior, over decades, not a brief down-cycle in the economy. I’ve often said that being poor is mostly a behavior and a state of mind, not a situation, and that’s true for cities as well as individuals.

Dodd-Frank strikes again.

I’ve heard this theory before -- that ObamaCare is actually a covert state/municipal OPEB bailout. I have no doubt that this is one of its intended functions, but I also think this is crediting Democrats with more Machiavellian cleverness than they really have.

Detroit: a postmortem. I disagree with their defense of Coleman Young’s tenure -- let us not forget that it was Young whose noxious racial politics drove many white citizens out of Detroit in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it was Young who spearheaded the expensive boondoggle known as the People Mover. But the article is spot-on in how it explains how unrealistically-high rate-of-return assumptions on pension funds can lead to disaster. Add to that already-thick broth the seasoning of union greed and bureaucratic corruption, and you have the noxious dish that is Detroit.

The invisible hand always wins...even in game economies.

The CBO describes the US budget course as “unsustainable”. Also describes water as “quite moist”.

Rent-seeking and crony capitalism in His Majesty’s peaceful kingdom. As for you...get back to the fields, serf.

Our colossal debt load as a nation impoverishes us in more ways than one.

cat slide

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posted by Monty at 08:30 AM

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