When bond yields rise it's a demonstration of a lack of confidence in the solvency of the country that issued them. Greece's bonds are trading at a yield of something like 200% of face value, and they're that high because no one expects them to be worth anything: you're essentially gambling on "double or nothing". Guess right and you've doubled your money; guess wrong and you get el zippo.
("El Zippo" because the paper is only usable as kindling.)
The markets think that France may be in trouble--however slight at the moment, especially compared with Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain--and so France's bonds rise. As Denninger points out, if France gets a downgrade, it's all over for the eurozone. France is one of the "first rank" economies in Europe, and if France takes a hit--well.
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Why Americans won't do dirty jobs. Here's why:
For years, Rhodes has had trouble finding Americans willing to grab a knife and stand 10 or more hours a day in a cold, wet room for minimum wage and skimpy benefits.What a fuckin' surprise that is.
Look: if your working conditions are like that, you need to pay more. Sure, you can get illegals to do the job for a pittance, because where they come from $7 an hour is an amazing amount of money. But for Americans, a job that has you standing for ten hours and freezing your ass off has to come with equivalent compensation.
Americans aren't afraid of hard work, and they're not afraid of difficult working conditions, but if the compensation is a pittance they'll walk away every time. Americans simply place a higher value on the price of their labor.
This is a picture-perfect example of how illegal immigrants keep wages artificially low. The fishmonger has built his business model around artificially cheap labor, and now that he can't get it any more he's got jobs going begging for workers.
Gee, I guess he's going to have either to figure out how to pay his people more, or else how to improve the working conditions. Or perhaps both.
I do sympathize with the owners of businesses to the extent that they have a hard row to hoe; it's not easy to make a payroll...but if you want a hard job done, you've got to be willing to pay people to do it. People who employ illegals merely shift their costs to the taxpaying public, and since illegals usually do not pay income tax they end up being net consumers of government programs no matter how hard they work or how much money they earn.
Absolutely nothing new in this article on NASA and crony capitalism. Only the names change; the rest has been exactly the same since the 1960s.
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I feel rotten. It's Tuesday; there's no Bible study tonight because the pastor's wife had a death in the family and they're out-of-state attending the funeral. I've got to go to the bank today.
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El-Hazard is finally all caught up with Vista updates (I think). I just need to migrate a shitton of torrents to it and we'll be at 100%.
Problem is, the hard drive is 90% full. *sigh* This means I've got to erase stuff--the stuff that was on the drive when I took it out of its box and installed it in the computer--and I really don't want to do that.
...so I'll be installing a DVD burning program on the thing and using it to copy data from the hard drive to DVD, and then deleting it. Well, DVD-Rs are cheap and it's not like I'm doing anything else constructive with my evenings.
Sure would be nice if I'd find a freakin' job....
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Besides the bank issue, though, my nephew has hit a seriously rough patch. He's in a psych ward now, being evaluated. *sigh*
It's really hard to fault the kid. Look: in the last three years he's lost his dad, his mom, his home, his friends, his pets; he's had to move a thousand miles and has been thrown into a family environment which is completely different from the laid-back one he was raised in. (Before, it must be said, his parents lost their shit and drank themselves to death.)
Apparently the emotional abuse he suffered was much worse than any of us knew about. But it's not just that; his father had bipolar disorder, his sister has bipolar disorder, and he's just about the right age for bipolar disorder to crop up. See what I'm getting at?
So he's where he needs to be right now, I think, and he's going to be there for a couple of weeks.
It still blows ass.
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I expect that part of my "feeling cruddy" today is due to learning about my nephew's situation, last night. I was out when my brother called, trying to get a bit of shopping taken care of and getting dinner; but my sister-in-law clued me in and we had a bit of a chat about this and that and the other thing.
I really ought to order that pie for next week....
Well, that's about all I've got time for. If I don't get over to at least one bank today I'm going to be in the soup tomorrow, and feel like a complete POS tonight. I'm outa here!