Friday, September 30, 2011
The problem with Christie's weight is the guy is going around yammering about self-restraint and America needing some form of austere discipline. But he can't even pull himself together. Because weight, by and large, is a choice and if one eats obscene amounts of food that's fine. But don't then portray yourself as a modern day Puritan coming to deliver us from our gluttony.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Without class resistance, there is no stationary point at which the socially necessary wage will be set. It can keep sinking lower, to whatever level private capital deems necessary to restore profitability on their terms.
1'Bully for the Baltics'- Krugman Blog
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Is a military coup likely in Greece? Maybe not. But it’s a possibility that can’t be discounted. And if that were to happen, how happy would the European Union be to have a military dictatorship as part of its club?
1'Greece: Don’t Discount the Role of the Military' - WSJ
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Long before this month's historic wildfires in Texas, the state's forest service came up with a $20.4 million plan to stop the flames from starting or tamp them out before small blazes grew deadly and destructive.
Three years later, the plan is still only half-funded — a result of the weak economy, a strained state budget and what one former lawmaker calls a "dereliction of duty" by legislators who almost always prefer to spend money only after a crisis has unfolded.
The sad thing, far too many people in Texas will not make this connection, but rely on some derivation of the headline.
1Wildfire protection plan half-funded in Texas - AP
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
More to the point, if Greece exits the Eurozone sphere it will certainly fall under the orbit of another power, perhaps Turkey or more likely, China. The latter already runs the Greek ports, and could utilize them in a monopolistic way to wipe out much of European manufacturing.
In short, the European leadership is being myopic if they think they can just let Greece go and all will be well. But one would expect no less. This is a continent where educated sophisticates can belittle Slavs as 'primitive' (compared to 'Czechs'), or a Southern Italian can be characterized as 'African' - all over Opera and fine Swiss chocolates - leaving an outsider nonplussed (personal experience). For myself, I prefer 'race mixing' and a lot of it.
Despite its goals for manufacturing, the administration lacks an explicit plan for achieving them. “The United States today is alone among industrial powers in not having a strategy or even a procedure for thinking through what must be done when it comes to manufacturing,” says Thomas A. Kochan, an industrial economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Manufacturing's muscle helped make the United States a world power, but its contribution to national income is dwindling.(1)
Manufacturing as a share of GDP is declining in all developed countries, just more quickly in the United States. Wearing the Marxist hat, this is because the capitalist mode of production in the developed world is no longer capable of contributing as much productive growth to the world economy. The key contributor to the flattening decline of manufacturing as a % of GDP globally has been the introduction of China into the global marketplace. It is no surprise that living standards are rising most quickly in this area of the world, for it is here where the bulk of productive growth is occurring. Manufacturing is not just about nostalgia, it is closely associated with the rise of the capitalist mode of production and with it a dramatic, if bifurcated, initial rise in living standards. Marx wasn't exactly against capitalism in the sense liberals might portray. It is another mode of production in humanity's progression and will reach a point where it is no longer capable of driving a productive economy because the profits in those sectors just won't be there. Domestic wages will be 'too high' and domestic markets too saturated. Hence we get 'Wall Street' and the Great Casino.
1'Is Manufacturing Falling Off the Radar?' - NYT
Friday, September 9, 2011
Some feel that the factors determining whether or the U.S. sells the F-16 fighters to Taiwan are mainly related to various domestic groups in the U.S., while China's attitude is just a reference. This kind of analysis is incorrect. As long as China's reaction is strong enough, it will make the Untied States suffer a loss that is more than the profit it will gain by selling the F-16 fighters to Taiwan...
According to the analysis, the greatest factor that might motivate the Obama Administration to approve the plan is the 80,000 new jobs opportunities created by the sale of the fighters. Then, what China should do in response is to let the United States lose 80,000 jobs opportunities or even triple the number of jobs. Beijing cannot prevent the U.S. congressmen from voting or stop the White House from signing the contract, but China has the power to make the United States lose 240,000 jobs.
Afterwards, the United States will take vengeance on China. But China could take vengeance on the Untied States once again. Such a nasty trade war has never happened between China and the United States. But it is worthy for China to do it for Taiwan. Whether it is worthy for the United States, they can think of it by themselves.
It appears some anti-big government Texas politicians are braying about the jobs the F-16 contract would create (mostly for Dallas).
In all these debates, its amazing how little the Western leadership and its associated meritocrats - boomers and older - understand how their power has eroded. Both on the right and what little remnants there remain of the left. Yet at this moment the IMF is running off to China, India and Brazil to beg more money to bail out Italy and Spain.
1'China firmly opposes US sales of F-16s to Taiwan' - People's Daily Online
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Recessions do end. The economy recovers. It always has. It always will.
We are ruled by not very insightful people who think they are muy clever.
1'Romney: GOP will navigate recovery in '12' - Politico
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Cutting the work force is more difficult. The agency’s labor contracts have long guaranteed no layoffs to the vast majority of its workers, and management agreed to a new no layoff-clause in a major union contract last May.
But now, faced with what postal officials call “the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” the agency is asking Congress to enact legislation that would overturn the job protections and let it lay off 120,000 workers in addition to trimming 100,000 jobs through attrition.
1'Postal Service Is Nearing Default as Losses Mount' - NYT
Saturday, September 3, 2011
The bankruptcies of three American solar power companies in the last month, including Solyndra of California on Wednesday, have left China’s industry with a dominant sales position — almost three-fifths of the world’s production capacity — and rapidly declining costs.
Some American, Japanese and European solar companies still have a technological edge over Chinese rivals, but seldom a cost advantage, according to industry analysts. (1)
And the riposte from Washington: the Chinese are cheating !
“There is no question that renewable energy companies in the United States feel pressure from China,” said David B. Sandalow, the assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the United States Energy Department. “Many of them say it is cheap capital, not cheap labor, that gives Chinese companies the main competitive advantage.”--
1'China Benefits as U.S. Solar Industry Withers' New York Times
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The rebels, who have been moving troops toward remaining Gadhafi bastions across Libya, had shifted the deadline for the town of Sirte in hopes of avoiding the bloodshed that met their attack on Tripoli.
"We want to save our fighters and not lose a single one in battles with Gadhafi's forces," said Mohammed al-Rajali, a spokesman for the rebel leadership in the eastern city of Benghazi. "In the end, we will get Sirte, even if we have to cut water and electricity" and let NATO pound it with airstrikes.
What a foul bunch of characters these are. They should go on trial with Gaddafi (and Bush, and every American president in recent history), but they won't.
The pathetic analysis and cheerleading of much of the Western Left in this whole affair - and its support for this rogues gallery - illustrates why it has been intellectually smashed by the Right.
1'Gadhafi, in hiding, vows no surrender in Libya' - AP