Saturday, October 09, 2010

The economy

Well, you've probably already heard about the shitty jobs report for September. Mostly that was an indictment of the Obama Administration's lack of support for state and local governments who are hard hit by the deflationary spiral and laid off hundreds of thousands of workers, including tens of thousands of teachers and cops and firemen.

In short, the Obama Administration's lack of support for state and local governments has turned into an anti stimulus. Or, as Paul Krugman is fond of pointing out, the U.S.A. now has 50 little Herbert Hoovers slashing spending as the solution to the recession. Thing is, those 50 little Herbert Hoovers don't have much choice but to slash spending -- unlike the U.S. government, they don't own a printing press, so they can't simply print the money to pay those workers, at least not legally (heh!). But the Obama Administration does have such a printing press, used by selling Treasuries to the Federal Reserve for freshly-created money, and has chosen not to use it.

Everything says that Democrats are going to lose a number of seats in next month's elections. In a sense that's rewarding Republicans for bad behavior -- the Republicans as the "Party of No" have blocked most of the Democrats' attempts to fix the economy by filibustering more bills than in any other Congressional session in history. But the Democrats will share some of the blame here, because in many cases they haven't even tried -- they simply whine "Oh, the Republicans will just filibuster that bill so we might as well not even try bringing it to a vote" and punt the ball downfield. But punting the ball downfield is no way to win, whether you're talking about a football game or an election... the only way to win is to run smack dab up the center and flatten your opponents as you head for the goal. But crap, I don't think the Democrats even know which way their goal is, or even have a clue that they're supposed to be scoring as vs. standing around soiling their tighty whities...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. The Senate democrats say they can't make the republicans carry out every filibuster threat. It will shut down the Senate. Well, you know what? There are over FOUR HUNDRED bills that the House has passed that the Senate has yet to vote on.

    Looks like the Senate is already shut down. Way to go Dems, and you can't even put all the blame on the republicans.

  2. I maintain that the reason the Democrats don't do squat for the average people is because they're not "Democrats" as the party was conceived from Roosevelt through Carter. Now they're the opposite of the corporate party coin to the Repubelickers. How many Democratic Senators are millionaires? Aren't it all of them except for Feingold (and maybe Defazio)? I can't be bothered to Goggle for the facts, because I don't care that much. They're not going to do anything that opposes their upper-class interest, and the interests of the rich people who bribe them.

    Speaking of losing seats, I can attest to some of that dynamic. On my recent trip to the U.S. I went to visit my daughter, who's in her final year of university in Florida. She was politically enthusiastic in 2008, the first year she was eligible to vote, and went to see Obama speak twice in Tampa. Now she's "Meh" about this election, and didn't bother to change her registration details when she moved to a different house closer to school. She might go to the old precinct to vote, she might not. Ditto with her boyfriend, who's also pleasantly leftist, but just doesn't see much to get excited about this year. And compared to the tuned-out, apathetic friends of their that I met, lil Bukkospawn and BF are political firebrands.

    I'm the same. I didn't bother to re-up my overseas ballot info this year. I'll be in S.F. next week to see some music and I might drop by City Hall to see if they'll let me do an absentee right there. I can only vote for federal offices anyway. While it would be nice to vote against Fiorina (I like Boxer better than Feinstein, so it would actually be a vote FOR Barbara) I won't lose any sleep if it doesn't happen. Same for Mrs. Bukko.

    My belief is that the U.S. is going to collapse anyway, so let the damn fool Rethugs be at the wheel when it all hits the dirt. realPresident Cheney drove the car off the cliff, Hopey didn't do anything to change course except deploy a too-tiny parachute, so let the Repukes be in charge, hellering "We're about to land!" when their contractionary ideology is actually causing everything to plummet at full speed into the dirt.

    Maybe I'll see some of you as fellow citizens in the new nation of Cascadia after the dissolution of the U.S. and Canada. I hope it goes more Czechoslovakia than Yugoslavia.

  3. U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force = 17.1%!

    Ding ding ding ding ding! We've hit a new high! Now we just need Ed McMahon to preside over the festivities & Jerry Lewis to sing You'll Never Walk Alone...

    When you walk through the storm...

  4. Shit. Bukko goes Galt.

    All it takes for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing. Famous near-quote from somedamnbody.

    So - to you and your spawn: thanks for nothing.

    A big part of why


  5. I just want to say that randomly printing lots of money in a financial crisis is not really a good idea. That was what they did in Weimar Germany in 1923 and it created a state of hyperinflation. The Mark went from 4:1 to the US dollar to, at the peak of the crisis, 42,000,000:1 to the US dollar. People were carting around wheelbarrows of money for a loaf of bread. You could buy a prostitute in Berlin for less than $1 US. They could only fix up the problem by creating a new currency and changing to it. So, please don't get accuse the Obama administration of the mistake of printing more money. I don't know that much about economics and I don't know if anything else they have done has helped, but I do know that printing lots of new money would be a mistake.


  6. I didn't go Galt -- I went Roadrunner, five years ago. I did something, not nothing, before we split -- voted, demonstrated, gave money, tried to persuade people... Didn't do diddley to stop the steamroller driven by Bush E. Coyote. I had a chance to vroom-vroom-vroom, so I did, instead of letting the anvil drop on my head. He who snarks and runs away will live to snark another day.

    If I had a family crest, it would feature a roadrunner and the motto would be "Save qui peut." That's what the French yell when they're running away from another battle they lost -- "Save who can!" In other words, save yourself if you can. I could, and I did. Better to be a live (and prosperous, gainfully employed, mostly worry-free) coward than a dead (and financially ruined, oppressed by tyranny) hero.

  7. Harry, Germany's situation in 1924 was utterly different from America's situation right now. Germany was printing money in order to buy gold in order to pay war reparations. In case you haven't noticed, America isn't printing money to buy gold (a useless yellow metal which adds nothing to the economy especially when it is simply exported to France and Britain) but, rather, to employ teachers and policemen and firemen and such.

    In short, what we *NEED* is inflation -- inflation of salaries and wages especially at the bottom end, which have been slowly sliding for the past decade in real terms. Monetary inflation is the same thing as debt deflation and in case you haven't noticed, Americans were conned by the plundering class into taking out too much debt, especially for housing. But monetary inflation would also be bad for the plundering class, so can't be allowed to happen.

    - Badtux the Economics Penguin

  8. Okay, that makes sense. Sorry, I got all high and mighty. Thanks for answering me. It was really good to get shot down on that one ans told the reason.



Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.