29 June 2011

Obambi Gets Shot

I've been too busy recently wrestling with Mr. Market to be able to put together long form pieces.  They would, in any case, be variations on a theme.  Today brings an analysis which comports with mine, and is a somewhat long winded exegesis, in line with what I wrote to the DNC when they "invited" me to apply for a Data Analyst position.  ONL allowed as how they wouldn't take kindly, and I allowed as that was OK, in that the issues would have arisen *after* I'd settled in to Capital Hill.  Better to avoid all the expense.  I've not been invited to audition.

The issues raised are serious, and were ignored in 2010, which is why we have so many more states being run by Right Wingnuts.  Obambi and his enablers ought to be ashamed, but they're not.  Even in today's encounter, more pablum about "coming together".  Damn it, it's a war.  Wise up.

21 June 2011

Jumping Off a Cliff

Another dump-in essay.  Over at Seeking Alpha (a site which, 99.44% of the time, only says Good Things about shares) is an article on Pharma's patent cliff.  Naturally, I was moved to comment, and it's somewhat longer than what I've been purposely writing these days, so here it is.

Well, if the science has been exhausted (in its current form), then the cost of health care (in its current state of life saving) should decline. Statins do work; although I recall reading recently that LDL/HDL levels may not be such a great marker for OS (that's from memory; I could have mis-read). If the for-profit model collapses, we could well see a return to a semblance of what we had decades ago: Federal funding of research and the release of compounds into the public domain.

If one looks at life expectancy for the US vs. any country that isn't third world, Big Pharma hasn't done such a bang up job. Further, all the bullshit from the Right Wingnuts that Social Security was set up to kick in at the age of life expectancy (not true, but I'll let that pass), and "we're living so much longer now, social security is doomed".

Big Pharma, with Federal complicity I'll admit, took advantage of the "War on Cancer", which was initiated to find a "cure". In fact, what we've gotten is a few extra months of life at end-of-life for staggering amounts of cash; most of which *does not* go to R&D, but rather to management and shareholders. All of these ad hoc potions haven't gotten us any closer to a "cure". Made a few folks nice and rich, but not so much for the rest of us.

The same could be said for diabetes; [Mannkind] is getting hammered, yet on the data has what could be viewed as a cure. One might wonder whose ox is being saved from a goring.

Well, demographers know better. The increase in life expectancy *at birth* rose about two decades over the 20th century. It rose by about *2 years* at age 65 over the same period. Read that again. What it means is that more folks were around to fund social security (designed from the start as a current account program), far in excess of their extra few months at the back end.

20 June 2011

A Smoking Gun

I'll start with the mantra of this endeavor:  you don't make an economy/society better by making the rich richer.  The Tea Baggers/supply siders/Hooverites/let them eat cakers continue to spew the "business and the rich shouldn't have to pay taxes and if they didn't Eden will spring up in every home and hamlet in the realm".  A number of organizations which track data have taken a look at what happened the last time Corporate America got another dollop of dessert

The studies are from National Bureau of Economic Research, National Tax Journal, and Allen Sinai (who authored a lobby group's study, but has since recanted).  Sinai, by the way, is a respected economist, not a corporate mouthpiece.

As usual, and as I have been saying in this endeavor, giving money to those who have more than they know what to do with doesn't lead to growth.  More to the point, Merck should have been driven to bankruptcy as the result of its management's stupidity and cupidity.  In fact, the American taxpayers made both management and shareholders far richer.  Is this anyway to run a country?

15 June 2011

Poverty Hill

There is an old comic, whose name I can't recall, who used the line:  "we grew up poor but unhappy".  What have I been telling you? 

Now, sort of mainstream press have figured it out.  The link credits a Right Wingnut with presenting the data.  I expect that academic economists have done so long ago.  I certainly did.

Read it and vote.  And follow the many links.

12 June 2011

You May Need Xanax

If it's Sunday this must be "Week in Review"; well, at least at the NY Times.  Whilst munching, I accomplished my weekly obligatory perusal, and found a Robert Shiller article, which discussed his Case/Shiller (why does he get all the media attention, when he was the junior partner?) index.  He's also written up for a speech he recently gave.  In the article, he's quoted:  "It's impossible for statisticians to forecast," he said. "I honestly don't know."

Coming from him, I am stunned.  The value of housing is historically tied to median income with a tether.  That is why, as I have said countless times here, that by 2003 I was saying (although long before I took a public forum) the US economy was headed into the muck.  Housing prices had already outstripped its historical relationship to median income.  Housing prices will continue to fall until we get *at least* to that level.

It's also worth remembering that median income is commonly reported at the household point, while what really matters is median individual income.  That number is somewhat harder to come by. 

In the event, I'm going to bite the bullet and create Young's Depression Indicator, which will be a leading indicator driven by median income data.  There may be a similar index/indicator out there.  Should I find such, I'll cede the YDI to the rubbish bin.  For now, expect it.

10 June 2011

Ten for the Landlord, One for Me

Every now and again I'll find a Famous Pundit making my argument on some topic of importance.  I've been writing rather a lot recently on the theme that the 1%-ers really do want a Depression.  My reasoning is simple:  Depression is deflation, and for those with hoards of cash (yes, GE, I'm talking about you), "return on capital" can happen either by actively investing or passively watching as global prices fall.  To the cash fat, it's all the same.

Well, today Krugman takes up the theme.  He goes on rather longer than I have, and adds some spice.  Give it a read, if you want to know where we're headed, and you didn't believe me long ago.

Note:  I've coined (so far as I know) the epithet, "Dictatorship of the CEO"; Krugman is a bit less biting.  He'll come around, eventually.

08 June 2011

Analyze This

I was quietly minding my own business on Monday, when what should pop into my inbox, but an invitation to apply for a position of Data Analyst with the DNC.  I sure did.  What was odd about the process, from both sides, was that one had to offer a 300 word "Motivation" statement.  Boy howdy.  Alas, I was so in thrall, I didn't copy it out for inclusion in one of these missives. 

Events change, however.  In a nutshell, I told the DNC that they were shamefully responsible for the 2010 debacle; the data needed to destroy the Right Wingnuts was low hanging fruit, which they ignored.  And that they needed me.  Kind of direct.  We'll see.

What motivated this missive, however, was the news today that "mainstream" Republicans are toying with letting the country default. 

It's high time Obambi used those balls he's used to produce kids for something more important.  The Right Wingnuts game plan all along was to institutionalize the wealth transfer that started with Reagan, by blaming the deficit on Obambi.  He, and the DNC, have been criminally silent through all of this.

FDR said, paraphrasing, that the banks hated him and he hated the banks; and he was down with that.  The banks caused the Great Depression/Recession, so taking back what they stole was just minimum punishment.  In fact, it isn't even punishment; it's called restitution.  The poor folks whom the Right Wingnuts wish to destroy, didn't cause either event.  Obambi, if he's worth a shit, has to take the fight to the bad guys.  This holding hands around the campfire is merely convincing the Rove's out there that he's easy pickings.  So far, he has been.  He compromises firsts, doesn't even bother to ask questions later.

The DNC needs me.  We'll see.  Would be nice to get back to Capitol Hill.  Look up an old girlfriend or two or three.