“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful.

I am thankful I have a job in a time of tremendous economic uncertainty.

I am thankful for my family, who are the only reason I put up with the b.s. I put up with (see above).

I am thankful there is cold food in my refrigerator, clean water flowing from the faucets and warm air blowing from the vents.

I am thankful McCain/Palin did not win last year (that goes twice for Miss Alaska).

I am thankful that America, despite it's many deep flaws, is still greatest country on earth.

I hope this day finds you with family and friends and reflections on the things in life that really matter.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors Economics Part: 3658

Average incomes have been declining for the last 30 years. Let me sum up the economic boolsheet we were fed that turned out to be smoke:

1. Rising tide lifts all boats
2. Decreasing taxes on the top 1% brings in more tax revenue
3. Trickle down?
4. Moral Hazard will keep CEO's and corporation in line, no need for regulatory enforcement.

Quick summation here:

pensions are a staple of retirement, health care inexpensive, and growing wages even in recession. Couples begin to realize in late 70's that two incomes are necessary.

Raygun elected, rethugs control senate.
Union busting and 'personal responsibility' for healthcare and retirement through 401k's and IRA's become mainstream.
Minimum wage stripped from inflation indexing.
Corps let go of pensions, and begin to underfund existing programs.
Bankruptcy or private equity takeover deals allows corps to steal your pension.
Massive healthcare corps go public and begin to merge.

90's: Wall Street gets lesser scrutiny, derivatives and other exotics become more available, hedge funds gain in popularity.
RIGHT TO WORK laws pass every state.
LTCM fails, and S&L's that fail give us a warning.
Massive inflows to Wall Street from people's IRA, etc.
Glass-Steagall repealed.
Healthcare costs and medicare fraud skyrockets.
Pension underfunding becomes pronounced.

Late 1990's-early 2000's: First "jobless" recovery after recession.
Commodities Futures Modernization Act passes
Faced with shrinking wages, higher costs of living, newer tech costs, and a housing bubble, people assume that real estate will continue up and tap their home/atm.
Wages are shrinking, more money is funneled to the top through default swaps which grow to $500 trillion in 2007.

The bottom falls out.

Just interesting to look back. . . .

-Prodigal Son