18 numbers that do not bode well for the US economy.
As a major-league supporter of President Trump, I nonetheless bear in mind that the US is still in the economic depression that started in 2009. The structural problems that started the depression have not been fixed, the bad debts have not been allowed to clear, and the poor GDP numbers were papered over with one of the biggest money-printing operations ever undertaken. To make matters worse, the resulting inflation was swept under the rug and the employment figures doctored.
None of that has been addressed. None of it--and I still don't believe the government numbers, because as far as I know they're still being figured the way they were under Obama. We haven't cut government spending so the deficits are still huge, and the "G" component of the GDP equation is still supporting the GDP figure to an uncomfortable extent, one we can't afford.
And you're not going to see huge GDP growth in a depression, no matter how you fudge the numbers. You will see some growth--the numbers will not be universally negative--but not much.
Because of how we figure these things now, though--thanks to three decades of tinkering with the equations--we've arrived at a point where all the bad economic stuff has been eliminated, if only on paper. There's no inflation, the last recession only lasted a few quarters, and unemployment is low.
The problem is, in the real world, there is inflation--lots of it--and unemployment is not low, at least not as low as the numbers suggest.
The official inflation rate is managed simply by excluding things which have seen inflation, like food. The theory is that the price of food is "too volatile" to include in the index, but that volatility has been very strongly upward, since before the 2009 recession--ever since we decided to start burning food (making ethanol out of corn). In 2010 a pound of butter was about $2. Now it averages $5 or $6 depending on where you're shopping. Sugar used to come in 5-pound bags; now the bags are 4 pounds. The "king size" Hershey bar, once a quarter-pound of chocolate, is now 1/8th pound--the size that the regular Hershey bar once was--and the price remains the same.
Things are better under President Trump, because his policies are making it easier for businesses to make money, but they are not good. Electing him did not automatically fix everything.
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Vox Day wonders how the Navy can be wanting for personnel when they're allowed to recruit women and transgendered people and-and-and. Really, why is it a problem getting enough people to man-and-woman-and-uhhh... all the berths in their ships?
WTF why not just fire up the brand new all-genders-included draft?
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Now, this is what I call satire.
All the reasons women are supposed to be allowed to get abortions are checked: it's her body, her choice. The child has tested positive for a condition which will make him suffer a great deal in later life, and he lays out all the statistics why that would be so. After all, if the kid was autistic or disabled some other way, no one would bat an eye about their decision. Down's Syndrome, for example, or missing limbs, or any other kind of malformation or deficiency--or even if they didn't want a son, but a daughter!--and the abortion would go ahead without any protest. And in NYC or Virginia, it can be done any time, even after the child is born.
But the instant that decision is made because the child is gay....
This is one of those satirical pieces which is so true-to-life it's almost frightening.
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Venezuela is bad, but something similar happened in Puerto Rico after the hurricane.
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In the "I can't win" department, the medication I got yesterday makes me feel better, but unfortunately it also cranks up my susceptibility to anxiety. The steroids are making me flushed; they also make me feel a little weak, and increase my heart rate. So I simultaneously feel as if I'm having a panic attack and a bout of hypoglycemia. At the same time, my ribs haven't felt this good in over two weeks, so the "anti-inflammatory" part is working wonderfully.
It occurs to me that if the PA at the urgent care yesterday was really concerned that I had, was having, or was about to have, a heart attack, she could have run a cardiac enzyme panel to check. At least in two of those cases, anyway. I feel like she should have mentioned that. "I can't run a cardiac enzyme panel here, but I want to," would have been a good thing to say. Or, "The ECG doesn't indicate that running a cardiac enzyme panel is necessary, but...." would have been good.
Anyway, I suppose I could have a Xanax if I really need it. Right now I'm going with the "these are side effects from the drugs" and trying to see how that does me. And I also need to remind myself that "upper respiratory infection" means you're going to feel kind of woozy anyway. But since the whole anxiety issue was originally diagnosed because I was having panic attacks over cardiac-related things, that's kind of the big bugaboo here.
I hate having an anxiety disorder, I do, I do.
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On the plus side, today is Friday. That means that tomorrow I can do things to my own schedule and do not have to be at this desk all day. It further means that I should be able to sleep in--just lay in bed as long as I like, with my wife and the cats, snoozing. I'm looking forward to that.