atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4127: I forgot what I was going to write about

So instead you get observations from a day of errands.

*

Baker's chocolate now comes in 4 oz packages. It used to be 8 oz. I'm not sure what the price per box was when it was 8 oz of chocolate, but I am positive that the price per ounce has risen significantly. Say that eight ounces used to be about four bucks where four ounces now cost $2.80--see what I mean?

*

Ever notice how much the price of flowers rises when Valentine's Day is near? Why does no one ever go after florists for price gouging, the way they go after gas stations?

*

Jeep on concrete road posted with "rough road" sign: bmp tmp bmp bmp bmp bmp

Jeep on asphalt road with same speed limit but no signs: BAM BAM THUD THUMP WHAM BAM BANG

Difference: one is in an affluent area and the other is not. The people in the former area are oversensitive morons.

* * *

Today I encountered a stopped escalator.

The "down" side was working but the "up" was not, turning it into stairs. As I went to step onto it, though, I found myself trying to compensate for motion which was not present. Then as I climbed, the motion from the "down" side in my peripheral vision tried to convince me that I was being carried up, so my balance system tried to compensate for motion which was not occurring. I'm sure I must've looked like I was a bit drunk or stoned or something.

Habit is a powerful thing.

* * *

They say it'll be in the lower fifties a week from today. That's a firkin' heat wave!

* * *

The 14th Street yard on the Union Pacific line is totally empty.

...I cannot recall ever seeing that place devoid of railroad cars. I'm not sure what it means; they might simply have stopped using the place, or something; but if it's just because they don't have any cars to sort and trains to build, that's a whole 'nother ball of wax...and it's kind of a scary one.

Karl Denninger continues with his economic doomsaying. As far as it goes, he's not wrong, because the current system can't continue to go on like this forever. It's just a matter of time before something goes wrong; our government cannot continue to spend money it doesn't have, the same way the individual citizens cannot continue to spend money they don't have. The whole scheme is a tottering mess, and while the Fed's various QE programs have managed to stave off disaster, it cannot do so forever.

Retail is declining gradually. A -0.4% decrease year-on-year is not horrible--it's practically stagnant--but it certainly isn't very good. Growth is desirable because it's an indicator of a robust economy, and economically necessary labor creates wealth.

But of course when government is actively working to prevent investment and expansion (such as spending $1.25 for every dollar of tax revenue, and by mandating that people spend inordinate amounts of money on health insurance, ad by overregulation, and-and-and) this kind of result is to be expected.

The biggest lie we're telling ourselves right now is that the economy is expanding. It isn't; when we figure our economic output we include what our government spends, including what it puts on the old credit card--and coincidentally, with the end of the recession, government spending has been egregiously inflated. Most of the "expansion" in GDP has come from an increase in government spending, which itself is merely borrowing against future earnings.

This way lies ruin. Eventually, anyway.

* * *

Man, it's hard to believe that we're halfway through February already. The February Thaw is on its way! Hooray!
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