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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

The big news yesterday seems to be that the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all time high! Hooray!

Unemployment remains at 7.9% and half the damn country is crumbling under our feet, so what do you say we put the champagne away and do something about those things?

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Seriously. Just stop.

[Obama] is also open to a bill that would avert the sequester for as little as two months.

Just cancel the goddamn thing. Or just implement it. Or do anything other than this. Constant, monthly fiscal fights and unceasing budget uncertainty prevent anyone from doing anything.

Oh, that’s the point, isn’t it?

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You know what would be awesome? 

If we could borrow a lot of money for free, and then give it to people. I’m sure we could find some stuff for them to fix in exchange.

But we won’t do that, because austerity. 

No one was using those bridges anyway, except the 16,284 people who travel across them on an average week day. I’m sure we can fit thousands more cars on the highway during peak commute time, so it’ll be OK. 

Less sarcastically, King of Prussia is the biggest suburban employment center in the Philly metro area, and the only way to get there via train is the Norristown line, which will be the first to lose its bridge this summer. Traffic on the only major route into KoP from the city is notoriously bad, so the plan to bus passengers around the failed bridge will be subject to unpredictable delay. Unpredictability will effectively eliminate the rail line as an option for folks commuting to work, so this really is a big deal.

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Hard Times

In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal had an article about how the fiscal cliff would impact people. Accompanying it was a little graphic showing its impact on folks struggling to get by on only $180,000 – $650,000 per year, the poor dears.

I’ll outsource my smartass comments, adding that I knew the WSJ never quite gets it but this is downright delusional.

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Crisis averted for now! The House miraculously did something last night, and the cliff is over!

Until next month.

The deal did not reach a decision over the sequester cuts, just delayed them for two months, setting up yet another crisis deadline next month. It also did nothing about the debt ceiling. Crisis deadline number two. Finally, the continuing resolution for the federal budget expires at the end of March. Crisis deadline number three.

Now that the tax cuts part is dealt with and were on to spending, though, you can expect a return to full on freak out mode over spending and debt. We’ve spent two years hearing about how wonderful and virtuous and Serious austerity is, followed by two months of apocalyptic hysteria because austerity was about to happen, and now its all aboard the austerity train once again.

Because otherwise, there would be no reason to invite the smug assholes at FixTheDebt, and all their Very Serious enablers, onto Meet the Press. That, friends, would be the real crisis.

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Lots of good stuff floating around the tubes today and I’m lazy and have a bottle of wine to finish so I’ll let everyone else speak for themselves.

Yglesias kicks off with the myth of the bond vigilantes!

You can imagine a kind of cult in the ancient Middle East in which the villagers are expected to make regular sacrifices to the gods in order to stave off their wrath. Well one year the proper sacrifices aren’t made and yet no suffering seems to be imminent. The priestly caste now has a problem, since their livelihoods depend on the perpetuation of the cult. So they sneak out of the temple at night, burn a bunch of crops, and the next morning warn that even worse is to come if the sacrifices aren’t renewed. Not because the priests are bad people, mind you, they very sincerely believe that the gods are just lying in wait to destroy the village so they’re actually doing everyone a favor.

Next, Paul Campos exposes Antonin Scalia’s entirely unprincipled hackery. I love it.

Scalia’s theory of constitutional precedent could be summarized as, “Supreme Court decisions should be followed in future cases, except when they shouldn’t be.” Indeed in recent years Scalia’s opinions have come to reflect no discernible legal theory, unless “outcomes that Antonin Scalia likes” counts as a legal theory.

And finally, Atrios perfectly encapsulates the last two years of media narrative surrounding fiscal / budget issues.

After telling us for years that what we need is Austerity Now, austerity is somehow a bad thing, except it’s also good because unicorns.

What’d I miss?

 

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Streetonomics

Philadelphia, on an overcast, drizzly day. Rain appears likely. UMBRELLA GUY and PEDESTRIAN occupy the street corner.

[UMBRELLA GUY] Umbrellas for sale! $5 get em now. When it starts to rain the price goes up to $10!

[PEDESTRIAN] Hey! That’s not very nice.

[UMBRELLA GUY] It’s economics!

[PEDESTRIAN] It’s rude.

[UMBRELLA GUY] It’s supply and demand! Demand goes up when it rains, and so does supply, and that’s why its $10.

[PEDESTRIAN] I don’t think you have that quite right.

[UMBRELLA GUY] It’s street economics. Now are you gonna buy this damn umbrella or not?

[PEDESTRIAN] No.

PEDESTRIAN exits.

[UMBRELLA GUY] Nobody gets economics no more…

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