31 December 2010

I Ain't Sayin Nuthin. Get Me My Mouthpiece

First, a bit of history.  I had a blast with high school chemistry, so decided that would be my life's work.  Then, I had (for non-academic reasons) to transfer to a small liberal arts college whose chem labs were outdated in the 1950's.  As a result, Pchem lab kicked the stuffing out of me.  Time to find a new major.  I think that went: english, philosophy, economics.  The last one is correct, because that's what the degree says.  Off to graduate school to do econometrics.  And thence, in the middle of a lousy recession, a job.  Not much of a job, as it turned out.

After a few years, it became clear to me, although I wasn't employed either as an academic economist or as a funded research version, that the field had devolved into a lawyer-like profession.  The client wants a defense of some action or proposed action or behaviour, and the "independent economist" gins up a study proving that what the client (almost always a Big Corporation, no one else has the money) wants is what's best for the USofA.  May be even the entire planet.  Mouthpiece for hire.  No accountability to facts or truth or anything.  Even in my backwater Federal agency, that's how I was expected to do.  Not what I set out to do.

So, I took a look around and decided that the profession was basically Evil, and took up databases and statistics. 

Today brings a bit of a revelation:  the American Economics Association is proposing a code of ethics.  Naturally, the Right Wingnuts oppose, basically because the Right Wing fringe of economics asserts that economics is devoid of value judgment or morals.  Yeah, you read that right.  I'm not even going to attempt to pull a few juicy quotes; there's nothing but such in the article.  You should read it, with care.  The Right Wingnut hypocrites don't get called out by the author, just be aware of that.  No, I haven't seen the movie, but will if it shows up here in Northern RedneckVille.

28 December 2010

Take Your Lies and Shove 'em

I get tired of redoing the litany of why we got where we are, so I've written up a few sentences that get to the kernel.  I hereby release all copyright to the public domain, and encourage all to use this words in email forums, mailing lists, or anywhere Right Wingnuts spout lies.  Peace.

It was the Right Wingnuts from Reagan to BushII that gave us a Great Recession.  And they ran at least 3/4 of the government for 22 of those 28 years.  The reason "gummint don't work" is that for those 22 years, the Right Wingnuts actively sabotaged Government.  It was they who repealed Glass-Steagall, and let the finance corporations rape the Middle Class.   Get your facts straight.  And they were the ones who made it easy to ship our jobs overseas.  Get that fact straight, too.  Have a nice day.

27 December 2010

Turning Japanese

There's that song from the 1980's, "Turning Japanese" (I recalled it as "Going", but Wikipedia saved me from embarrassment).  I, among many others, have been pointing to the "Japan Problem" since the beginning of The Great Recession as an object lesson in how not to handle the problem.  Japan has, basically, done nothing to restore equity in its median income, and so continues to slide.  Today brings another story, relating the history as well as the likely course of events in the near future. 

It is not a comforting story.  The pundits, as they have here for decades, recommend eliminating manufacturing.  What such dunderheads ignore is that consumers buy STUFF.  It's corporations that buy SERVICES; consumer service buying remains along the lines of shave and a haircut.  Put another way, who are the buyers of the services that MBA's are trained in?  Answer that question, and you'll see.

22 December 2010

Tiny Morsels [UPDATE]

A couple of morsels, neither long enough for a post.

The population shift from the census.

As I was considering the text for this section, this story popped up in Yahoo!.  If you look at the map, you'll see the issue:  the highest failure rates are in the Redneck States that are said to be "growing".  A nation of yahoos; just what we need to lead the Free World.  Of course, there's this:  "...about one-fourth are obese, making them medically ineligible.  In 1980, by comparison, just 5 percent of youth were obese."  The lemmings headed for the dry, unfertile South will lead to a water war before the next census.  It will likely mean that the Right Wingnuts will use the excuse of their Southern begetting as the justification for taking what ain't their's, and is reason enough not to live in deserts. 

The kerfuffle over net neutrality.

Last time I checked, the www depends on the Internet Backbone.  To the extent that commercial interests control it (they do), they control the www.  This regulation will only increase that level of control.  The bifurcated www is here.

To some extent, I'm OK with that; the NetFlixes of the world should be forced to pay the marginal cost of their services.  Riding for free on the www of web pages is perverse incentive. 

There are these two notions of net neutrality:  those that wish to ride for free (or at least substantially below their inherent marginal cost), and those that wish to avoid commercial control of the www.  The latter is a long lost cause.  The former should never have been allowed.  If you read the history, you'll see that the original net was co-opted by commercial interests, which were more than happy to ride for free.


Unemployment improves.

Well, sort of.  Today (23 Dec) was the weekly unemployment numbers, and continuing claims are down 103,000.  This is not good news, and it's not good news for the simple reason that the main phalanx of the Great Recession Unemployed began their ejection from the workforce two years ago.  What you're seeing now is these folks being ejected from the last bit of income they had.  I wouldn't be surprised to see this number reach into the 200,000 level over the next six months.  And with that, the Double Dip begins.  You read it here first.

For reference, the week of 26 December 2008 had 586,000 initial claims.  I found that from a contemporaneous blog posting.  Note the prediction/assertion that the unemployment rate would reach 8.3%.  I know nothing of this blog, it was just the first in the search that had the number.  The wildly Right Wingnut assertion about the ultimate unemployment rate is instructive.  (You can see the data here.)

Obama, who hasn't shown much interest, needs to pay attention.  He won't of course, and the Lefties will end up taking the heat for the mess, which will usher in President Palin, and then the slide dumps us over the cliff.  The Palinistas will, of course, blame all those greedy hungry poor people.

15 December 2010

Satin, Satan, What's the Difference?

Well, the PPI came out yesterday and the CPI today.  .3% and .1% respectively.  The PPI being not next to zero is due to lack of materiel, as it always is.  The CPI is next to zero, and below the predicted .2% (not so much different from zero).  And don't forget it's Christmas time (and Kwanza and Hanukkah/Chanukah) when money, to the extent there is any, floods the markets.

Happy Holidays, all you theists out there, I'm going to down a goblet of goat's blood.

03 December 2010

Balls Cried the Queen

If I'd two, I'd be King.

This past Tuesday, I'd had enough.  So I sent off the following to the White House, which has a web page where you can write to Obama, with a 2,500 word maximum.  Sure.  You have to pick a subject, of which "You're a Dumb Shit" isn't a choice, so I picked Economy.

Well, not just the economy.  Fact is, you're displaying a level of gutlessness not seen since Carter; more gutless as the days go by.

For you, compromise is you reneging on your pledge and on those who voted for you.

At this point, it would have been better to have voted for McCain. Yes, he would have screwed things up such that the country would be worse off now.  BUT, it would be impossible for even thick headed rednecks to ignore who's responsible.  2010 would have ushered in a fully Democratic Congress, and 2012 a Democratic President (Hillary ?).  Your gutlessness has enabled and encouraged the Right Wingnuts to lie, cheat, and steal from under your nose; foisting responsibility on you. 

What, exactly, do you think this posture accomplishes.

Robert Young

So, today being Friday, it's Krugman time, and he expounds along the same lines.  It's increasingly clear that Obama was a horrible mistake.  "If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one."  His avowed bi-partisanship depends on the Other Side being willing to compromise, if only a little.  How any sentient being could convince himself that the Right Wingnuts have anyone's interest at heart beyond the One Percenters is impossible to warrant.  He'll end up implementing the Right Wingnut agenda, making life worse for the Ninety Nine Percenters, and marking Democrats as the villains.

Such a fool.

And by the way, the jobs numbers:  Private payrolls went up by more that total payrolls, in other words, the Right Wingnuts will complain, but they're getting what they want, reduction in government employment.  Let's see if they admit that.