atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4696: Statistically zero growth.

GDP for first quarter grew 0.2%. That's after figuring in all the government spending and adjusterating and fiddleizing the numbers to give maximum benefit.

If McCain or Romney were President, the media would be screaming "RECESSION!"

Denninger says that but for inventory build the GDP would be negative, and theorizes that consumption might increase in the next few months to prevent a negative print.

I don't know. I don't trust inventory build as an indicator, because to these admittedly untrained frontal lobes it seems as if people still have to buy things in order for that inventory to make economic sense. Okay, if Big Retailer builds its inventory in March that helps Big Manufacturer, but if Consumer Horde doesn't come and buy stuff from Big Retailer in May, Big Retailer is in trouble.

The media has been attempting to pump consumer confidence since January 2009, to little effect, because the consumers stubbornly refuse to believe the media over their own lying eyes (and pocketbooks).

We're in a depression. We have been in a depression since 2008. GDP may go up and it may go down, but the depression is going to continue as long as our government keeps doing all the wrong things at the behest of the banksters.

It's time to end the pretense that we can build an economy on services alone, and bring back manufacturing. It's time to stop pretending we can offshore jobs without hurting ourselves. It's time to stop mollycoddling banks and investors, and it's most definitely long past time to end the socialization of banking failures. "Too big to fail" has been wonderful for Wall Street but a complete disaster for everyone else in the country, and it's got to stop.

This is, of course, politically impossible. The Democrats like how things are. The GOP likes how things are. The aristocracy loves how things are. None of this is going to change, and so the depression will continue.

Until it can't. That's going to hurt.

* * *

Give him a break, lads. He's a physicist, not an engineer.

The thesis--linked at the link--is that large trucks have an unsafely long stopping distance, and that they should be able to stop within a distance which is a small multiple of their lengths.
"It's only true because trucks are designed without adequate braking systems and computer-controlled jackknife preventers, solely for economic reasons. There's no engineering reason why a big truck could not stop as quickly as a car.
He then proceeds to concoct an example which proves his point, badly: five cars weighing four tons each, linked together, could stop as quickly as one car can. Why can't a semi with an equivalent number of wheels and mass not stop that quickly? Well, it must be because EVIL CORPORATIONS and PROFIT, that's why!

Where his example falls down: a typical semi tractor-trailer, empty, weighs about fifteen tons. Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for a fully laden semi is forty tons. Compare that to a a typical car's GVWR of around two tons (not four) and an unladen weight that's typically only a few hundred pounds less.

The payload carried by a car is typically people, who are strapped securely into their seats by a safety system (seat belts) which is designed to restrain their movement in the event of unscheduled decelerations. To do this, the belts are made with a tensile strength of 2.5 tons--meaning that the seat belt in your car could lift a sizable load without breaking.

Remember, the empty weight of the truck is barely 40% of its laden weight. With present design standards, truck drivers must be careful about braking lest their loads shift, and that's with using tie-downs and other methods of securing cargo.

What would you need to do to secure a load against the kind of braking advocated by this goober?

The fact is, large trucks have perfectly adequate braking systems. There is nothing inherently unsafe about them. A truck could be designed to stop as quickly as a car, but its payload would be severely reduced and a lot of other compromises would have to be made which are, frankly, utterly unnecessary.

* * *

Gorgeous spring day outside. I have things to do.

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