I have not ranted and spewed venom, errr, I mean I have not crafted a thoughtful and restrained essay on economic and financial collapse in a few weeks now. I have not been moved to words by any recent non-events. All due respect to Casey Anthony and the federal budget farce coupled to the juvenile lie of 'pending default', the two leading non-events being tracked faithfully by the joke of our news media and the sugar high distraction of the cultural consciousness. I don't know which is more surprising: the number of friends and acquaintances who were outraged over some white lady's acquittal, which i would've expected them to be unaware of, much less so strongly opined about; or how many of the same folks believe that TBTB are in any danger of failing to make a $30 billion monthly interest payment, out of $300 billion monthly expenses, when monthly income is ~$175 billion.
The interest on the national debt will be paid before salaries of all those government employees who do not carry weapons, or the social security/medicare/food stamps payments to the hoi polloi (yes, that includes doctors, or 'health care providers', which I am told is the preferred term.
Every fucking news report has the word 'default' in the lead. And it is a big fat hanging lie.
See? I have nothing much new on my mind about real events in the world. Wars, rumours of war, unemployment, bank fraud, sovereign debt crises (at least that is heating up--finally). Just waiting for another big shoe to drop, in Damascus, Tripoli, Brussels or Wall Street.
In the meantime, two things I read that I really liked, and wanted to share.
First, from Jesse's Café Américain, one of my daily reads. A wonderful descriptive analysis (or maybe analytic description) of our horrible, hated president:
The other, from a source I do not regularly read, but via Yves at Naked Capitalism, her daily news and commentary links are a daily don't miss for me. A blog called Decline of the Empire, a clip from a post non-sarcastically (and non-ironically) called This Time Really Is Different:
- The United States has been hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs for 30 years.
- Almost all of the income gains made during that time went to the top 10% of wage-earners, with most of them going to the top 1%. Wealth inequality grew accordingly.
- Health care costs have been soaring all that time.
- College tuition costs skyrocketed at a pace far beyond the rate of inflation.
- Households took on more and more debt to replace lost income.
- We had not one, but two, substantial economic bubbles during the last 15 years. Without those bubbles, how much would the U.S. economy have grown?
- The private debt to GDP ratio grew and grew, clearly indicating that more and more debt was required to add an additional point of GDP.
- The Federal Government more and more became the tool of monied special interests.