atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4343: The economy is still in the pot.

This article is chock full of chart-fu demonstrating how the depression has been hidden by quantitative easing (AKA "printing money at Warp Factor nine").

The penultimate paragraph of the article:
We had a choice. We could have bitten the bullet in 2008 and accepted the consequences of decades of decadence, frivolity, materialism, delusion and debt accumulation. A steep sharp depression which would have purged the system of debt and punishment of those who created the disaster would have ensued. The masses would have suffered, but the rich and powerful bankers would have suffered the most. Today, the economy would be revived, saving and investing would be generating needed capital for expansion, and banks would be doing what they are supposed to do – lending money to businesses and individuals. Instead, the Wall Street bankers won the battle and continue to pillage and loot the national wealth while impoverishing the masses.
Instead, the article contends we now have three bubbles--housing, bonds, and stocks are all overvalued--and any one of those three bubbles popping will be bad enough, but if all three pop at the same time, it's going to make 2007 look like a birthday party. A fun kid's birthday party, like the party Gru throws for Agnes at the opening of Despicable Me 2.

*

But there's no inflation! Wages have been stagnant since 2007. No one's getting any raises--that is to say, no one who isn't in the top 1% of income earners in the country.

The article expresses puzzlement over why this is so, but the fact is that it's very easy to understand if you accept that WE ARE NOT IN AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY BECAUSE GOVERNMENT IS MONKEYING WITH THE NUMBERS. We are in a continuing depression, complete with inflation, high unemployment, stagnant wage growth, poor consumer confidence, and lousy government.

*

Subprime automobile loans are doing what they usually do, which is to prompt reposessions from people who don't make their payments. The auto industry is selling cars, but they're selling cars to people who cannot afford to pay for them.

*

Mrs. Fungus and I went to the store last night. What kind of world is it where 80% lean ground beef costs more than a pork tenderloin? The ground beef was $3.49 a pound, the pork $2.99...and I saw ground beef there that was five dollars a pound.

But there's no inflation!

This past week I bought two pounds of butter, two for $6, and was (almost) glad to pay it. It was not so very long ago that butter was typically $2 a pound on sale, and a short time earlier it was less than that at regular price.

But there's no inflation!

The average price of bacon is now on par with premium cuts of beef.

But there's no inflation! The government says so!

The government is lying to us.

And when it's not actively lying to us, it's trying to make our lives more difficult and expensive by enacting regulations with no observable benefit other than increasing its own power and employing more bureaucrats. Here FDA is contemplating regulations on onion farmers which will have no safety benefits but will ensure that FDA must hire more inspectors and bureaucrats.

Why the hell do these asshats have the consent of the governed? Why do we not de-elect these shitheads and replace them? Why do we not keep doing this until we get people in office who won't do this kind of shit?

We need to vote all these assholes out, and keep voting them out until their replacements get the message hammered into their thick skulls that this shit is unacceptable.

* * *

From a book about political sketches on Saturday Night Live we have this endearing paragraph:
Paula Pell, writer: I planned that I was going to come up and talk to [[Sarah]Palin] and shake her hand and welcome her and say, "My wife and I are very good people, and we live a very socially conscious life, and we do a lot for our community, and I just want you to know the face of gay couples and gay people," and I had this whole speech planned. Then I just kind of came up to her in the chaos in the hallway and just nodded and said "hi" and walked off. I thought to myself, "I'm such a chickenshit." I was like, "Wow, she's pretty." I just got overwhelmed by the fact that this character who was everywhere on TV was in front of me, and she was real and just ridiculous. So I didn't get my big political moment.
...and this is why SNL is not funny: because the people writing it are more concerned with their politics and grievance-mongering than they are with writing a funny program.

This woman planned to walk up to Sarah Palin and shove her lesbianism into her face, as if Sarah Palin had never seen a lesbian before: "We're good people! We do a lot for our community! You might know that if you weren't such a bigoted hick!"

This demonstrates, I think, a complete lack of class, but moreso it's one that's emblematic of the progressive movement. I hear (and read) this kind of thing time and again, and always it's some prog idiot thinking he's scoring points: "Ha, ha! I really told that rethuglikkkan!"

But when you're meeting someone whose politics differ from yours, it's not polite to shove your politics in his face, no matter how you rationalize and justify it to yourself. This woman castigates herself for being a coward, but I think it's more like somewhere deep down she had a vestigal reflex that kicked in and told her, don't be an asshole.

Here's a hint about how this ditz's undelivered polemic would have been received: NO ONE CARES.

You're a lesbian, you have a "wife"--good for you, but shut up about it, because NO ONE CARES. Even if Sarah Palin had ascended to the Presidency (which she would not have, at least not yet, since John McCain is still alive) she would not have immediately enacted a ban on homogamy and forced homosexuals to wear pink triangles. Believe it or not there are a bunch of bigger issues in the world right now than a couple of ragged, humorless harridans shacking up in Manhattan.

Even if this idiot had delivered her polemic to Ms. Palin as planned, I can guarantee that if Ms. Palin remembered it at all she would first have to be reminded of the time and place, and at that her recollection would approximate, "Oh, yes, she was that woman that said something about the face of gay people. She was crazy, wasn't she?"

Because NO ONE CARES about your gayness or your "wife" or what you do in your bedroom after a hard day of writing COMPLETELY NON-FUNNY BULLSHIT.

* * *

So, Obama gave a listless statement about the ISIS murder of an American journalist, then headed off to the golf course.

At this point, our President seems to do little besides go golfing and go on vacation, where he goes golfing.

He's no good at foreign policy, that's for sure. After listing several foreign policy fiascos, the writer goes on to say:
None of these fiascos— for brevity’s sake, I’m deliberately setting to one side the illusory pivot to Asia, the misbegotten Russian Reset, the mishandled Palestinian–Israeli talks, the stillborn Geneva conferences on Syria, the catastrophic interim agreement with Iran, the de facto death of the U.S. free-trade agenda, the overhyped opening to Burma, the orphaned victory in Libya, the poisoned relationship with Egypt, and the disastrous cuts to the Defense budget—can be explained away as a matter of tough geopolitical luck. Where, then, does the source of failure lie?
Leftist politics, where else?

Obama doesn't care about any of this stuff. He got the office and the perks and discovered that being President is hard work, and he doesn't want to work; if he'd wanted to work for a living why would he become a politician?

The article patiently explains that it's not because Obama is lazy or stupid, but I think that's not correct. I think Obama is a very clever man, but I don't think he possesses the kind of raw intelligence that his supporters believe he has. School grades are a poor indicator of intellect but someone who can achieve at Obama's level (he did make it to the White House, after all) should have been able to produce a respectable GPA, yet the fact that his transcripts are sealed tells us that his grades were not exactly stellar. Having made GPA into a proxy for intelligence--"George Bush could only get Cs! That means he's stupid!"--leftists cannot now explain away a similar result from their guy, not without being obvious hypocrites. (They don't mind being hypocrites, mind you--they do it all the time--but they don't want it to be blatantly obvious as that would lead to people realizing how full of shit they truly are.)

But getting good grades is hard work regardless of how smart you are. (Sometimes, the smarter you are, the harder it is.) Obama is not fond of hard work; the one time he worked for a private firm he hated it and couldn't wait to get out of there. He's much happier in a place where he is not expected to produce anything to a schedule, but gets paid to sit around and talk to people either who agree with him, or who are forced to do as he says.

He's a perfect example of the Peter Principle in action. Obama is ill-suited to serve as an executive, and although his executive experience in 2008 consisted entirely of running his campaign, the media hastened to assure us that was sufficient experience. It is, however, not, and we're seeing the result.

* * *

Hot one today, just in time for the start of school. As always.

* * *

I went outside this morning and had a gander at the street, and decided that I was wrong about last night's estimate. In the past decade we've had three water main breaks in a space of about seventy or eighty feet, rather than fifty. Last night's break occurred within twenty feet of one of the prior breaks.

The water main under my street is not much older than about fifty or sixty years. I'm not exactly sure when this part of town began to be developed, but it was not earlier than the mid-1950s. This house started construction in 1965, and at that time the houses to the north and south of this one were already in place. The neighborhood I live in was farm fields before about 1960, and for the first ten years of my life there was empty field across the street from here, unusued land which was developed starting about 1977 or 1978.

At the absolute outside, figure that the water main is sixty-five years old. That would mean it was first installed in 1949, which is (I think) too early, but let's go with it. What is the MTBF for a cast iron water main pipe? Why has the Fungal Vale maintenance department had to come out here four times in ten years to fix this shit?

Anyway, the water was back on perhaps three hours after I discovered the break, which was some time after it had been discovered by others.

Turns out that if I want to boil some hot dogs, a 16 oz bottle of water is just enough to fill the pan I usually use for that task. I certainly couldn't use tap water, not with the faucets sucking air when I opened the valves.

What a pain.
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