DOOM: Hating on the poors since before hating on the poors was cool

DOOOOM

Step right up, my groovy friends, and take a gander at the show that never ends. We've got DOOM here in the big tent, and it's a standing-room-only crowd.

I find the calumny that Republicans don't care about the poor pernicious and unfair. When I make urchins dance for nickels, it's not (just) for my own amusement. Besides the generous emolument, it gives the urchins a nice cardio workout. You should see them run when I set my dogs on them!

I remain unconvinced that we are in a truly deflationary epoch, but there are some troubling signs that lack of demand and not overcapacity is causing the fall in prices. I'm not a Keynesian, so I don't live by AS/AD curves, but this news -- combined with the fact that the Baltic Dry Index just hit a 29 year low -- seems to indicate a definite softening in consumer demand. If consumers are indeed starting to retrench after a borrowing binge, it could put the brakes on this half-assed "recovery" we've got going.

Teh Krugman proclaims: nobody understands debt. Teh Krugman then goes on to demonstrate his own lamentable understanding of debt. I'm not sure if this column meets the dictionary definition of ironic, but it surely is mind-bogglingly silly. In Krugman's view, if I borrow ten grand from my neighbor who happens to be debt-free, then all is well because the net debt of my little corner of the neighborhood is zero, and remains so even if I fail to pay back my neighbor what I owe. His loss is my gain, it all nets out to zero, and that's just fine, right? My neighborhood owes the money to itself!

Yeah, that's stupid. Not only is it an unsound idea in terms of economics, it's morally reprehensible. But then, for Krugman as for so many of his ilk, economics boils down to I WANT and the only moral imperative is to keep the plates spinning no matter what.

The relation between creditor and debtor is necessarily an asymmetrical one. The creditor will always hold power over the debtor; it cannot be otherwise. That's the essential problem with too much debt -- grant too much control to your debtors, and you lose control of your own destiny. And this happens not because of the perfidy of the lender, but through the debtor's own inability or unwillingness to live within his means. This truth applies to nation-states as much as it does to individuals and corporations.

Speaking of debt and the asymmetrical grant of power it forces on debtors, consider the plight of Greece. Accepting money on loan from a lender means granting power to that lender. In the case of Greece, it means giving up a substantial part of their national sovereignty and control over their own economic future. Of course, Greece can choose to leave the Eurozone and go back to the drachma, but even the Greeks don't really want that; they know full well the disaster that would ensue. But they also don't want to do what's necessary to pay back the money they borrowed. This is the eternal dilemma of the debtor.

Creditors often face dilemmas as well. Germany is in the position of being the main creditor to Greece, and it remains to be seen if they'll demand fealty to the original terms of the Greek bailout or will again pay the "extend and pretend" game. It's pretty clear that Greece is never going to be able to pay back the money they owe, so Germany and the other northern Euro countries have to decide how much they can realistically squeeze out of Greece without driving the smaller country out of the Eurozone altogether.

Buy-and-hold investing is dead. Yield is getting harder and harder to find without taking on boatloads of risk, and this has implications if you're a pension-fund manager (or are trying to balance your 401(k) allocations).

One important thing to remember about fees and fines for petty crimes in cities: they act as a highly-regressive tax on poor people. Municipalities are well aware of this but keep doing it because it happens to be a major source of funding for many cities. A lot of this kind of "law enforcement" amounts to using the justice system as a stealth tax-collection agency.

Vladimir Putin gets pimp-slapped by the Invisible Hand. Putin is no dummy, but like most tyrants and dictators throughout history, he thinks he can force the economy to do his bidding and not have to pay the cost.

Still no love for us goldbugs out there in econo-land. That's okay. I've become comfortable with being the crazy uncle at the family gathering. As long as it keeps the price of the barbaric yellow metal down to affordable levels, I'll indulge the foolish love of my peers for their fiat paper. (Every time I buy something with cash, I feel an atavistic little thrill of passing off what amounts to Monopoly money for real stuff. I feel like I'm getting away with something. But then I remember that my daily wage is also being paid in those federal IOUs, and my thrill fades.)

cat-sleeping-in-flower-pot.jpg

Posted by: Monty at 08:45 AM




Comments

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1 Hello

Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at February 16, 2015 08:38 AM (V70Uh)

2 Early Doom, gotta love it.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at February 16, 2015 08:38 AM (l1zOH)

3 Early Doom, gotta love it.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at February 16, 2015 08:38 AM (l1zOH)

4 dam this browser

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at February 16, 2015 08:38 AM (l1zOH)

5 dam this browser

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at February 16, 2015 08:38 AM (l1zOH)

6

Okay, now parse this down to 20 simple words that a Dumb Voter can understand.

Posted by: Soothsayer And The Mysterious Zionist Plot at February 16, 2015 08:39 AM (AO6Ao)

7 Copying from previous thread, bc I don't want it to get lost.

I don't know if any of you 'rons or 'ettes are in the Point Pleasant, WV
area or have friends or family members in that area, but I wanted to
share this, and hopefully you could pass it on.

This family is
having a pretty rough go of it. Their baby came early over the Christmas
holiday, while they were visiting family (in Michigan from Florida).
Their baby didn't make it, and passed on on February 12th, less than a
week ago. On the long car trip home, they were in an accident, near
Point Pleasant, WV. Their dog became spooked and ran away from the
accident scene. They spent the last couple of days searching, but had to
return to Florida to get medical attention from the accident.

So, yeah....rough doesn't even begin to cover it.

If
you can share if you know anyone in the area and spare some prayers. I
know a lot of people say, "it's just a dog," but for this family, to
lose a human child and then lose one of your pieces of normalcy and
comfort too....man, it stinks.

http://tinyurl.com/muleg78

Posted by: TickledPink at February 16, 2015 08:41 AM (TMe1n)

8 A lot of this kind of "law enforcement" amounts to using the justice system as a stealth tax-collection agency.
--------
Re. regressive taxes on the poor:

Solution 1: Eliminate all enforcement and fines for petty crimes
Solution 2: Progressive fine structures !

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 08:42 AM (z27Ny)

9 Hey buddy, can you loan me $10,000?

Posted by: fairweatherbill bucking the wind at February 16, 2015 08:45 AM (eclBL)

10 "I remain unconvinced that we are in a truly deflationary epoch"

We are most likely in a deflationary epoch ... excessive debt inevitably leads to a deflationary period as it gets worked off. What's worrisome is the gyrations that we will go through to deal with that excess debt. If we decide to print our way out, then we will be faced with a subsequent inflationary period. Japan may end up in this camp.

If you are a saver, deflation is a good thing. I like lower prices. I like the drop in computer prices every year.

Deflation is good (deflation defined as either price drop or drop in money supply from retirement of excess debt extended through fractional lending) as a consumer and saver - bad if you are a Keynesian or politician hoping to pay impossible prices with inflation.

As for aggregate demand, that's a useless Keynesian notion. Who gives a hoot about that.

Posted by: PrincetonAl at February 16, 2015 08:46 AM (jw6w9)

11 I like the cat ivy.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 16, 2015 08:47 AM (La/Kz)

12 7-praying now. Mercy, they have been through it.

Posted by: Moki at February 16, 2015 08:47 AM (bAB8f)

13 Monty, I notice you linked to Hedgeye. Do you have a subscription there, and, if so, do you find it useful?

Posted by: Emmett Milbarge at February 16, 2015 08:47 AM (nFdGS)

14 Krugman sometimes struggles with basic concepts.

Ownership

Balance beam scale

Potty training.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 16, 2015 08:48 AM (e/FtQ)

15 "In Krugman's view, if I borrow ten grand from my neighbor who happens
to be debt-free, then all is well because the net debt of my little
corner of the neighborhood is zero, and remains so even if I fail to pay
back my neighbor what I owe"

Cool. Krugman rocks!

Posted by: Greece at February 16, 2015 08:48 AM (1BQGO)

16 Don't worry: Krugman will rediscover that debt is very, very, very bad as soon as there's a Republican in the Oval Office again.

Posted by: Masturbatin' Pete at February 16, 2015 08:48 AM (xN1DB)

17 test

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at February 16, 2015 08:48 AM (l1zOH)

18
Nice catctus

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at February 16, 2015 08:50 AM (OMTVG)

19 I find the calumny that Republicans don't care about the poor pernicious and unfair.

Yeah, my response in meatspace to such is FU you useless piece of rat shit.

It gets some raised eyebrows, it does.

Posted by: toby928(C) at February 16, 2015 08:51 AM (evdj2)

20 Krugman thinks his cat loves him. So. . .

Holy empty hulls Batman. That was an interesting addition to my data input. the BDI. Never heard of it before but seems it's a better indicator of the world wide economy than any piffling Dow Jones Average or NASDAQ. (how Americo centric!)

That does not bode well.

But then we've been bracing for a crash now for 3 years at least. I figured just about the time we thought we would skate by, the ol' debbil karma would strike.

These things always come in groups; war, unexpected attacks and the financial sector going in the crapper.

It's almost as if someone's manipulating the whole thing like a big chess game.

We're about to be checked.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at February 16, 2015 08:51 AM (RZzX3)

21 Regarding the poor, I have never been hired to do a job for a poor person.

Poverty is nothing to be proud of.

Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at February 16, 2015 08:51 AM (V70Uh)

22 Former Enron Financial Adviser Paul Krugman.

Posted by: AoSHQ Stylebook at February 16, 2015 08:52 AM (evdj2)

23 Speaking of hidden hands, can't wait until all those US oil and gas drillers start missing loan payments...

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 08:52 AM (z27Ny)

24 Just thought I'd let ya'll know my insurance premiums went up 2000% this year.

Partly my own choosing. I mean, I could have gotten something only 500% higher, but the deductible was out the wazoo. I could have gotten something 1400% higher, but there weren't a whole lot of in-network doctors. The hospital and doctor in my town was covered, but if I went anywhere outside my general area, it would be iffy that I could find someone in network.

So, I opted for the "cheapest" plan that I could find that had a decent network and not an insane deductible. So, there we are.

Posted by: TickledPink at February 16, 2015 08:55 AM (TMe1n)

25 then all is well because the net debt of my little
corner of the neighborhood is zero, and remains so even if I fail to pay
back my neighbor what I owe
-----
It's all roses unless the nayber is part of the mafia...

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 08:56 AM (z27Ny)

26 Dollar has been super strong lately. Which we apparently aren't supposed to like.

Economics is confusing.

Posted by: HoboJerk, The State Loves You at February 16, 2015 08:56 AM (FA3Z7)

27 "can't wait until all those US oil and gas drillers start missing loan payments..."


It's hitting them. Layoffs. Cancelled drills.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 16, 2015 08:56 AM (La/Kz)

28 Hah; war on poverty my ass. Like the stupid war on drugs we have been fighting it since 1965 and losing. Subsidizing the lame, lazy, and stupid just produces more of the same. And by tyong it to baby-maybes we have caused the illegitimacy rate to skyrocket.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 08:59 AM (wlDny)

29 "Just thought I'd let ya'll know my insurance premiums went up 2000% this year. "

Unpossible

King Barack the Benevolent assured us that we would all save on Healthcare, as he bends the cost curve downward.

You are clearly mis-stating the facts so as to reflect poorly on Ear leader, or you are doing something wrong.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 16, 2015 08:59 AM (e/FtQ)

30 And by the way, those governments that are taking money from the poor don't really depend on it so much as it's a troublesome free (until lately) source of income.

The poor can't squawk as much about these fees and such as a better off person can about their property and income taxes.
Not only that, but poor people are less mobile in terms of voting with their feet and leaving and when they do they don't take much with them.

It's a win win until recently when the bleeding hearts started moaning and groaning about how unfair it is.

Course the liberals won't mention that it's their programs and practices and overall stupid ideas that is mostly responsible for the rise in the cost of government.

And I mean liberals from both parties. Which seems to encompass most all of them.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at February 16, 2015 09:00 AM (RZzX3)

31 Posted by: TickledPink at February 16, 2015 08:55 AM (TMe1n)

Just sit back and think about all the years you got away without paying your "fair share" comrade.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at February 16, 2015 09:02 AM (RZzX3)

32 I remain unconvinced that we are in a truly deflationary epoch, but there are some troubling signs that lack of demand and not overcapacity is causing the fall in prices



What damned drop in prices? As I said earlier, went to the story and barely covered the bottom of the cart and was hit with $102 at checkout. The lack of inflation being posted by the corrupt Obamanites is damned lie. But that is the norm with this turd in the office.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:02 AM (wlDny)

33 I can never wrap my head around the idea that the debt doesn't matter
because we owe it to ourselves (or large parts of it, anyway). One of
many problem with that theory is that the IOU's we hold are listed as
assets. But they cannot be collected on and are not assets. To cash in the he IOU's in the SS Trust fund will (already is) require new borrowing. Or do we just stop paying SS and say "Well, it doesn't matter because we owe the money too ourselves and the nation as a whole will not see a change" Let's see how well that strategy works out for millions that were forced to pay their entire life but then get screwed in the end because, hey, the nations balance sheet as a whole remains the same.

This view of debt is convenient for the collectivists as it treats the nations wealtht as a whole, as if it were owned by the nation as a whole.(Thus the thinking a nation as rich as ours can afford health c are for everybody) It is utter BS and is jus a way of kicking the can down the road a little further and not making the cuts that must be made.

Posted by: George Orwell de Leon at February 16, 2015 09:02 AM (1BQGO)

34 combined with the fact that the Baltic Dry Index just hit a 29 year low

I swear, some day I will remember what that is called other than that Baltic thingy you know what I mean.

Yeah, I have more or less given up trying to figure out what the hell to do with allocations in my investments because, as I told my broker awhile back, what I want is a magic unicorn that is relatively low risk for relatively high yield, you know, like bonds used to be for certain values of high (over say 2%). There are no moderately safe havens for investment now, not if you want any return at all.

This is where I do the rant about how my parents did all the right things, every single thing you are supposed to do, and my father is now back to playing the market to get any type of return at all. They are in their late 70s. They should not have a far more aggressive investment strategy than I do. And yet here we are.

But, hey, Our Betters? They got this.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:02 AM (mf5HN)

35 It's all fun and games until you can't meet the vig.

Then the leg breaking begins.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at February 16, 2015 09:03 AM (RZzX3)

36 The Baltic Dry is at a thirty year low only because they can't look any further back. It was first traded in January of 1985.

We are in very bad territory. Doom territory.

Posted by: MTF at February 16, 2015 09:06 AM (FCsIb)

37 Some countries are clearly in deflationary times; how else to explain negative interest rates?

This reminds me inversely of 1980, when I was as happy as a clam to score a mortgage at the low low rate of 13.5%, which was as low as it got that year. woot!?! I saw a cartoon that year which has stuck in my mind.

Two guys are in a jail cell, with one inmate asking the other what he is in for. He says "For lending money 10 years ago at today's prime rate."

Also worthy of note is to head to the WSJ and check out the interest rates on 10 year notes from various countries. The US rate is far in the lead, well above such fiscal stalwarts such as Italy, Spain and the UK. We're #1! We're #1! Or something.

Posted by: GnuBreed at February 16, 2015 09:06 AM (BFSWM)

38 I'd much rather owe money to foreigners that citizens. They are easier to stiff at need.

Posted by: toby928(C) says Rubber Dingy Rapids, Bro! at February 16, 2015 09:06 AM (evdj2)

39 Yield is getting harder and harder to find without taking on boatloads of risk, and this has implications if you're a pension-fund manager (or are trying to balance your 401(k) allocations).



I am doing just fine with utility stocks.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:06 AM (wlDny)

40 I just want you people to know..

THE GOVERNMENT IS SHUT DOWN TODAY. IT IS THE THIRD DAY IN A ROW WITHOUT THE GUIDING HAD OF BUREAUCRACY TO LEAD US THROUGH THIS TROUBLED WORLD WE LIVE IN!!!

That's the real DOOM.

Posted by: fairweatherbill bucking the wind at February 16, 2015 09:07 AM (eclBL)

41 Krugman, Enron adviser?



That Krugman? ha ha

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 16, 2015 09:08 AM (0FSuD)

42 One important thing to remember about fees and fines for petty crimes in cities: they act as a highly-regressive tax on poor people.


I disagree with that to some extent. I am a firm believer in "if you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime". If this is a tax, then it is a voluntary tax.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:08 AM (wlDny)

43 It appears that Krugtron's understanding of austerity is also highly suspect. Pain? What pain? Give me another $10K and let it ride.

Posted by: Fritz at February 16, 2015 09:09 AM (UzPAd)

44 Well, someone is exercising their thesaurus.

Posted by: Gordon Lucklaster at February 16, 2015 09:09 AM (xZ28E)

45 Did some LIV plant that kitteh in the flower pot to try and grow new kittehs?

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:09 AM (wlDny)

46 Whole chicken is almost the only meat I can afford. I buy a couple at a minimum of $1.09/lb. Roast two every Sunday. Can use that for meals all week and stock making the following weekend. Beef? What's that? Pork is our extravaganza.

But nope, nosiree, no inflation. What. So. Ever.

Posted by: Russkilitlover at February 16, 2015 09:13 AM (e+i3Q)

47 You had me at "emolument."

Posted by: filbert at February 16, 2015 09:14 AM (h6Mpm)

48 I like you Monty, aside from that gold bug stuff.

Interesting how the "we owe it to ourselves" ethic has contaminated government budget analysis too. Last year I was treated to a person (who is, actually, a financial analyst for a government agency...) who, with no trace of sarcasm or irony, say the Social Security cliff was no big deal because hey, that's money we'll essentially owe ourselves so it's largely a manufactured crisis from fat cats who hate poor people.

You can't even find an opening in that circular logic to get someone on the right path. And that's why we are boned.

Posted by: @JohnTant at February 16, 2015 09:15 AM (eytER)

49 Barack Obama is a SCOAMT.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:15 AM (kff5f)

50 I don't have risk aversion. I have debt aversion. Unfortunately they frequently go hand and hand.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:16 AM (iRZl4)

51 Too much reading. The links have links, and those links have links of their own. It's geometric, exponential, never ending to infinity and beyond.

Posted by: Gordon Lucklaster at February 16, 2015 09:16 AM (xZ28E)

52 In Krugman's view, if I borrow ten grand from my neighbor who happens to be debt-free, then all is well because the net debt of my little corner of the neighborhood is zero, and remains so even if I fail to pay back my neighbor what I owe. His loss is my gain, it all nets out to zero, and that's just fine, right? My neighborhood owes the money to itself!

AKA, the jwest & Moo Moo approach to debt management.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:16 AM (kff5f)

53 So what happens to blog posts that get withdrawn here? Do they ever come back? Or are they lost, like tears .. in .. rain?

Posted by: toby928(C) says Rubber Dingy Rapids, Bro! at February 16, 2015 09:17 AM (evdj2)

54 BTW, Duke energy stock return is at a 17% annual rate of return now.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:18 AM (wlDny)

55 Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:18 AM (wlDny)

Tells me they are charging their customers too much.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:19 AM (iRZl4)

56 "Or are they lost, like tears .. in .. rain?"


I think they get reduced and distilled down to a viscous liquid.

And then they get poured into the barrel for aging.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 16, 2015 09:19 AM (e/FtQ)

57 You can't even find an opening in that circular logic to get someone on the right path.

But it's tempting to open one with an axe.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:21 AM (kff5f)

58 55
Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:18 AM (wlDny)



Tells me they are charging their customers too much.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:19 AM (iRZl4)


Actually the electricity rates in the SE are among the lowest in the nation.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:21 AM (wlDny)

59 I tend to judge the economy by what my dollar used to buy vs what I can buy today. The forecast is an economic advisory for today, followed by increased damaging winds and a freeze, which will blanket my economic well being like an ice age.

Posted by: Russkilitlover at February 16, 2015 09:22 AM (iFPdv)

60 Soon Howard Dean in a glaze of Vaseline;
Will perform on guillotine, what a scene, what a scene!
Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand;
To President Hillary's Ragtime Band, Mike Haviland has a sad.

Posted by: Greg Pond at February 16, 2015 09:22 AM (eTY+n)

61 "THE GOVERNMENT IS SHUT DOWN TODAY. That's the real DOOM."

That's how you know McConnell and Boehner are about as concerned about debt as Krugman is. They spend their facetime pontificating on whose job it is to get this DHS spending bill passed instead of saying they hope the Democrats stop it, then Obama will actually have to do his job and start moving agencies around to other departments and using assests more efficiently.
But that won't happen in the end, congress will relinquish more of their powers and spend more at the same time.



Posted by: lowandslow at February 16, 2015 09:22 AM (+ebSh)

62 Come inside the shows about to start. Guaranteed to blow your head apart ..

Posted by: toby928(C) says Rubber Dingy Rapids, Bro! at February 16, 2015 09:23 AM (evdj2)

63 The thing that sucks when you stiff the neighbor. Is having to serpentine to the mailbox everyday.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (wrS2o)

64 BTW, Duke energy stock return is at a 17% annual rate of return now.
Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:18 AM (wlDny)


BTW, right now I want to slap the ever loving shit out of pretty much everyone who works for Duke Energy so I can assure you that some of that return has to be coming from the fact that Duke Energy sure as hell isn't dumping money into customer service.

I just had a ten minute long conversation in which I was told more or less exactly the opposite of what I was told on Friday afternoon. When I pointed this out, there was a long pause and then the person started back up as if I'd never spoken.

A tiny bit in Duke Energy's defense, we're caught in the middle of a pissing contest between the power company and a county agency but still. That's not rain that's falling on me.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (mf5HN)

65 From that bloomberg link on Putin, I see the store shelves are well stocked. Of course, it cooooould be a Potemkin grocery store but I think not. Contrast that to the store pics coming out of Venezuela; perhaps Russia has learned a thing or two about capitalism after all.

Posted by: GnuBreed at February 16, 2015 09:27 AM (BFSWM)

66 I tend to judge the economy by what my dollar used to buy vs what I can buy today.

To some degree this, and vic's statement above about grocery/staple prices increasing misses the point.

Not that they're not important, or that they're completely off the mark, but they're almost looking at certain things in a vacuum.

Yeah, my loaf of bread is more expensive (a loaf of bread costs me a whole $1.25 these days), but the luxuries I can afford are getting cheaper. So for the same balance of stuff, I spend the same or maybe less.

If the cost of flour goes up a few cents every month or two, but the cost of batteries is dropping by a few *more* cents of the same time period, we have a deflationary market. And the costs on the entire economy are the same if Duracell can't afford to sell batteries as it is if Gold can't afford to sell a bag of flour- the company is going to go out of business, and then there won't be that product available.

Ultimately, though, it's hard to know exactly what's going on because world governments have *so* distorted the market in all areas that it's hard to know how much of the current situation is natural market fluctuation, and how much is government intervention.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:27 AM (kff5f)

67 BTW, right now I want to slap the ever loving shit out of pretty much everyone who works for Duke Energy
Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (mf5HN)

-------
Don't blame the workers. Slap the shareholders!

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 09:28 AM (z27Ny)

68 64 Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (mf5HN)


What is the issue you are fighting over?

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:29 AM (wlDny)

69 AKA, the jwest & Moo Moo approach to debt management.


Speaking of whom, I don't believe I've ever noticed Moo Moo posting in the economics threads.

Posted by: @JohnTant at February 16, 2015 09:31 AM (eytER)

70 66 Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:27 AM (kff5f)


I think you are missing the point. We are talking about inflation in anything that is tied to commodities. True gas is cheaper but I view that as a temporary condition that will not last long.


What we have is accelerating inflation caused by Obama monetizing the debt he is incurring.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:31 AM (wlDny)

71 Speaking of whom, I don't believe I've ever noticed Moo Moo posting in the economics threads.

It would be kind of funny for him and Drew to get into it, don't you think?

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:32 AM (kff5f)

72 AllenG:

"Ultimately, though, it's hard to know exactly what's going on because world governments have *so* distorted the market in all areas that it's hard to know how much of the current situation is natural market fluctuation, and how much is government intervention."

This is the point I keep making about inflation vs deflation: we can't really know what "mode" we're in right now because the pricing mechanism has been so thoroughly undermined for most things (including commodities). No one really knows that the accurate (i.e., market-derived) price for anything is, so we can't know if the prices we're paying are deflationary or inflationary. (Beef, for example -- prices are way up, but is that an inflationary effect, or due to increased demand, or both? My guess is both, but...who knows?)

The most dangerous condition a market faces is not deflation or inflation; it's *uncertainty*. And unfortunately that's the condition this market is in right now, and is likely to be in for some time to come.

Posted by: Monty at February 16, 2015 09:32 AM (QPDxZ)

73

68 64 Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (mf5HN)


What is the issue you are fighting over?
Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:29 AM (wlDny)





480 3 phase install for electrified Raptor fences.

Either that or stepstool lighting.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at February 16, 2015 09:32 AM (OMTVG)

74 "10
"I remain unconvinced that we are in a truly deflationary epoch"



We are most likely in a deflationary epoch ... excessive debt
inevitably leads to a deflationary period as it gets worked off. What's
worrisome is the gyrations that we will go through to deal with that
excess debt. If we decide to print our way out, then we will be faced
with a subsequent inflationary period. Japan may end up in this camp.



If you are a saver, deflation is a good thing. I like lower prices. I like the drop in computer prices every year.



Deflation is good (deflation defined as either price drop or drop in
money supply from retirement of excess debt extended through fractional
lending) as a consumer and saver - bad if you are a Keynesian or
politician hoping to pay impossible prices with inflation.



As for aggregate demand, that's a useless Keynesian notion. Who gives a hoot about that.



Posted by: PrincetonAl at February 16, 2015 08:46 AM (jw6w9)"

I think inflation and deflation do not affect all parts of the economy the same way at the same time. I believe that we are nearing the end of a 30 to 40 year period of deflation in the price of manufactured goods that resulted from China joining the world economic system and using the same export dumping model that Japan, Taiwan and South Korea had used so successfully to develop their economies.


At the same time there has been inflation in the world markets for things that the Chinese consume as their population becomes more prosperous like food and petroleum.


In addition, for a number of reasons but mostly government regulations, investing in productive businesses or equipment in the United States is a lot less attractive than it has ever been so money that the Fed puts into the economy seems to flow into a series of boom and bust cycles for assets that can look like inflation and rapid deflation.

Posted by: Obnoxious A-Hole at February 16, 2015 09:34 AM (KDbAT)

75 'What is the issue you are fighting over? "

Extension cord of delight keeps picking up voltage surges.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 16, 2015 09:35 AM (e/FtQ)

76 AllenG....i agree that I am looking my own narrow prism; however, how often am I buying batteries or other luxuries if my food costs are through the roof? Yeah, luxuries may be "cheaper" but if I'm spending my disposal income on staples, then WTF do I care about falling prices for luxuries?

Again it's my own microcosm but still...

Posted by: Russkilitlover at February 16, 2015 09:35 AM (lqGn8)

77 73 480 3 phase install for electrified Raptor fences.



Either that or stepstool lighting.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at February 16, 2015 09:32 AM (OMTVG)

So are they doing the install or is the county blocking it? It would seem to me that they would like to do an install on a new load. We used to have a saying that went "a bulb in the socket is money in the pocket". I suspect local government is more to blame for this than Duke Energy.

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:35 AM (wlDny)

78 If aggregate worldwide demand is falling, we are in for a painful ride. People in the oil industry are frantically trying to figure out if the fall in prices is due to a short term supply/demand imbalance, or a long term fall which would essentially be defined as a global depression.

Posted by: Vashta Nerada at February 16, 2015 09:36 AM (aH5Wv)

79 Ammo is both deflating and inflating depending on caliber.

Posted by: toby928(C) says Rubber Dingy Rapids, Bro! at February 16, 2015 09:36 AM (evdj2)

80 Bo the dog HAS been found, hurray!

Posted by: TickledPink at February 16, 2015 09:36 AM (TMe1n)

81 "Bo the dog HAS been found, hurray!"


Hey....you gonna eat that?

Posted by: His lord Highness, Barack the Benevolent. Eater of Dog at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (e/FtQ)

82 The krugman is a joke right up to the point that most /many of the leftlibs think him the word . I think in his inner mind he knows he peddles garbage , but he also knows it pays vey very well . The elites come back at you with " Nobel , Nobel " to which I /one responds " I have a fine dermatologist , he did not do my hip replacement. " DOOM

Posted by: jaytrain at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (uvj0z)

83 I have a product I developed that I have a utility patent now , to decide whether I want to invest a significant five figure amount to manufacture and market. I hate debt.

I wish I could get on Shark Tank.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (iRZl4)

84 Another sign of Teh Doom (tm), and a Little Known True Fact:

The cereal box that Vernita Green (AKA Copperhead) reaches into for a pistol to try to kill [deleted] (AKA Black Mamba) in the first fight scene of Kill Bill, V. 1 is . . .

wait for it . . .

. . .

KABOOM.


Who knew Tarantino was a Moron?

Heh.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (rXB/r)

85 So the market can adequately price based on resource scarcity, changing consumer trends, natural disasters, etc. but not government regulation?

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 09:39 AM (z27Ny)

86 Monty should correct the reference to "29 year low" to "all time low". And since its a proxy for international trade, especially in raw materials, that tells you lower economic activity is coming everywhere. Normally that's a recession, but what can you call a recession in the middle of a depression?

We need more hard money in our economy, the kind that comes from mining and drilling. All those parent subsidized kids who belong to 350.org and protest on demand on behalf of the Saudis need to start starving their way to knowledge.

Posted by: MTF at February 16, 2015 09:39 AM (FCsIb)

87 We are talking about inflation in anything that is tied to commodities.

But commodities are not- and never will be- our sole expenses.

Now, let me caveat that by saying you're correct: commodities *are* becoming more expensive (my grocery bill proves the same) and that's not good for the economy.

However, I have the same absolute budget month-to-month. Let's pull a figure out and say my monthly "take home" pay is $5000.00. That number doesn't change over the course of a year. So in January, I have $5000.00 to pay my mortgage, put gas in my car, buy food, etc.

If the other things I buy are getting cheaper, then I have more money to put gas in my car and buy food.

And that is what I have been seeing. My food prices are going up, but other things are going down.

Now, for me, that's zero(ish) sum. I buy batteries and flour with about the same frequency, so if they both move at about the same rate, I notice no specific difference on the bottom of my receipt when I leave Walmart.

For the economy as a whole, that's anywhere from "meh" to "the sky is falling" (depending on a number of factors I can't even begin to name). And determining which of those it is has been made even more difficult with the various world governments trying to "fix" things.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:41 AM (kff5f)

88 Who knew Tarantino was a Moron?

When I first saw that I thought Tarantino just made up the brand as a joke. A friend told me it was real.

Then, of course, teh Ewok immortalized it.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 09:41 AM (1xUj/)

89 I wish I could get on Shark Tank.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (iRZl4)

Fuck Shark Tank, Bob. Hit me at rjp@t3ce.com, and I will connect you with my $$$$ finder. He's about to arrange funding of $150M for a couple cutting edge tech businesses I am affiliated with, and he may be able to help you.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 09:41 AM (rXB/r)

90 83 I have a product I developed that I have a utility patent now , to decide whether I want to invest a significant five figure amount to manufacture and market. I hate debt.

I wish I could get on Shark Tank.
Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:38 AM (iRZl4)

Have you tried?

Posted by: Insomniac at February 16, 2015 09:42 AM (2Ojst)

91 First you CHEW cross da border
Den CHEW get da disability
Den CHEW get the EBT
Den CHEW get da casa...

If CHEW have ant questions we help CHEW with dat form .101


Posted by: Fresh Hell Awaits at February 16, 2015 09:42 AM (/WmRg)

92 And the costs on the entire economy are the same if Duracell can't afford to sell batteries as it is if Gold can't afford to sell a bag of flour

I tried eating batteries cos I heard they're full of energy, but I got a tummy ache.

Posted by: Ralph Wiggums at February 16, 2015 09:42 AM (MbqmP)

93 "BTW, right now I want to slap the ever loving shit
out of pretty much everyone who works for Duke Energy so I can assure
you that some of that return has to be coming from the fact that Duke
Energy sure as hell isn't dumping money into customer service.



I just had a ten minute long conversation in which I was told more
or less exactly the opposite of what I was told on Friday afternoon.
When I pointed this out, there was a long pause and then the person
started back up as if I'd never spoken.



A tiny bit in Duke Energy's defense, we're caught in the middle of a
pissing contest between the power company and a county agency but
still. That's not rain that's falling on me.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:26 AM (mf5HN)"

Duke seems to have a talent for getting caught in the claws of some gummint agency that wants to make the world a better place.

It was the Griggs v.Duke Supreme Court decision that transformed a college degree into the only legally permitted proxy for an IQ test, making colleges effectively into gatekeepers for higher paying jobs and leading to the inflation in college tuition that we have seen since that decision.

Posted by: Obnoxious A-Hole at February 16, 2015 09:43 AM (KDbAT)

94 Posted by: Fresh Hell Awaits at February 16, 2015 09:42 AM (/WmRg)

No fresh hell here, but I've been stockpiling HREs.

Posted by: Insomniac at February 16, 2015 09:43 AM (2Ojst)

95 Then, of course, teh Ewok immortalized it.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 09:41 AM (1xUj/)


KB I II are my favorite movies ever, and the fact that Kaboom makes an early appearance just increases the Awesome Factor by about a billion percent.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 09:43 AM (rXB/r)

96 What is the issue you are fighting over?
Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2015 09:29 AM (wlDny)



Something for work in which both the county and Duke are attempting to pass the buck and we're stuck in the middle. I don't give a rat's ass who has to deal with it or who is primarily responsible for it, I just want someone, anyone, to tell me how to deal with it and have that answer remain in place more than 72 hours.

If you note that I am not being more specific than that it's because I cannot be more specific than that.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:44 AM (mf5HN)

97 Take it as a good sign that you can't get on Shark Tank. I think they generally want goofy ideas they can make fun of (and make the VCs look smart).

Posted by: @JohnTant at February 16, 2015 09:45 AM (eytER)

98 Imaginary conversation with a LIV regarding the SS trust fund.

"So, it's no big deal because we owe the money to ourselves, true?"
Yep.
"But, we had the money, and we spent it, no?"
Yep.
"And then we put IOU's in the spot where the money was?"
Yep.
Now, when your dad or mom need the money, where does it come from?
The trust fund.
So, how does the trust fund that has no money turn those IOU's into the check you folks depend on? Could it be that new debt from borrowing is created by cashing those "assets"?
Uhh.

Maybe a lightbulb turns on, maybe not.
They're not called LIV's for naught.

Posted by: OneEyedJack at February 16, 2015 09:46 AM (XmOA9)

99 Monty, there are not going to be utopian barter villages exchanging gold if the USD shits. If we go Zimbabwe, most of the world is going to pot.

If I want your gold, I'll shoot you in the face and take your gold.

But I'm not going to want your gold because it's heavy and has virtually no survival value. I'm not going to be fashioning gold-pointed spears, I don't need jewelry, and I'm guessing high end electronics will be at least a few decades out again.

That's the foolishness of gold. It has more intrinsic and stable value than paper money, yes, but society is so braced by paper money today that there is not going to be a symbolic economy governed by any currency form when the paper money dies. It will be useful goods for useful goods, or violence for useful goods.

I am with JohnTant/48 though, I do like you, and I do like your groovy content. And I really don't have any problem with people who do hoard gold, I just want them to understand where I see the whole concept failing. So I wouldn't shoot you in the face, even for your gold, unless you tried to shoot me in the face first.

Posted by: 0302 at February 16, 2015 09:46 AM (N6eLE)

100 97 Take it as a good sign that you can't get on Shark Tank. I think they generally want goofy ideas they can make fun of (and make the VCs look smart).
Posted by: @JohnTant at February 16, 2015 09:45 AM (eytER)

You may be on to something there. I've only watched it a few times, but it seemed like most of the ideas were pretty stupid, with only one or two that seemed remotely viable.

Posted by: Insomniac at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (2Ojst)

101 KB I II are my favorite movies ever

Yeah. When KBII came out I thought it was the best comic book movie ever. So I took No. 1 Son to it even though he was only 12.

The Godfather came out when I was 12 and no one took me to it. I wanted to change that dynamic.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (1xUj/)

102 So the market can adequately price based on resource scarcity, changing consumer trends, natural disasters, etc. but not government regulation?

There is a difference between "adequately" and "rationally" (or "correctly.")

A "pure" free market has to deal with nothing other than supply and demand. So to some degree any government intervention (regulation, taxation, etc) is a "distortion."

The problem we have is not that regulations exist, but that they're pretty well constantly (from a business perspective) changing. Go speak with a bank Compliance officer, and ask them what they think of Dodd-Frank. But stand well back, because you might get scorched.

As Drew said above, the problem isn't the regulation per se, it is the *uncertainty.*

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (kff5f)

103 Falling retail demand doesn't preclude inflation; i.e. retail price of hamburger or beef in general. Falling retail demand despite falling gasoline prices.

Reinforces my conclusion that Obama's health care chaos is causing people to lose employment. Rising numbers of people dropping out of the labor market, exhausting unemployment and going on welfare, and still there is retail price inflation for necessities that everyone has to have like food, energy, and health care. If you have a medical condition that requires treatment, you have to have the treatment no matter the cost. If some third party is paying the cost, you don't care what it costs.

If your food costs are paid by the government, you don't care what the price is, especially if you also engage in some black market, off the books, employment.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, politicians are telling poor people that it isn't their fault they are poor, that rich people are keeping poor people poor while middle class educators are demanding more government funds to keep academics luxuriating in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed as those same academics fan the fires of class envy.

This is not sustainable. Something is going to break.

Posted by: Gordon Lucklaster at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (xZ28E)

104 If one were to study the charts on commodity values (energy, foodstuffs, metals) an argument could be made that we are indeed in a period of deflation and have been for nearly a year.

Posted by: fairweatherbill bucking the wind at February 16, 2015 09:48 AM (eclBL)

105 As Drew said above, the problem isn't the regulation per se, it is the *uncertainty.*
Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (kff5f)
-------
But there is uncertainty in the seasonal climate (agriculture), monthly weather (resorts). Why is uncertainty with regard to government considered unique?

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 09:50 AM (z27Ny)

106 #46 "Whole chicken is almost the only meat I can afford. I buy a couple at a minimum of $1.09/lb. Roast two every Sunday. Can use that for meals all week and stock making the following weekend."

Wife boiled 2 large chicken breasts yesterday, added veggies & flavorings to make chicken soup then used the majority of the meat for a chicken/broccoli casserole. We will make 10 meals off that $20 in meat and veggies.

Posted by: just another bitter clinger at February 16, 2015 09:51 AM (+f598)

107 Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 09:41 AM (rXB/r)

Thanks Sharkman. I was somewhat kidding about SharkTank , at least regard to the money. I've got a couple of potential investors lined up. What I don't have is any experience in setting up manufacturing or possible subsequent licensing. I would like to have their expertise in that regard.

It's a very simple non technical product that would require overseas manufacturing to have any margin.


Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:51 AM (iRZl4)

108 But there is uncertainty in the seasonal climate (agriculture), monthly weather (resorts). Why is uncertainty with regard to government considered unique?

Because seasonal climate and monthly weather are subject to the Law of Averages. You can know on average what's going to happen in spring in Kansas. You can know on average what's going to happen in September in Cancun.

Government regulations change capriciously and without regard to any law of averages (or, indeed, supply and demand, or any other rational input).

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:54 AM (kff5f)

109 Government regulations change capriciously and without regard to any law of averages (or, indeed, supply and demand, or any other rational input).
Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:54 AM (kff5f)



*narrows eyes*

Why are you trying to make me ragestroke?

Also, the input on regulations is completely rational once you account for regulatory capture and protection of bureaucratic territory. In which case it is highly rational indeed.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 09:57 AM (mf5HN)

110 Love your vocabulary today, oh master of doom and words!! Calumny, Emolument and Atavistic...NICE!!

Posted by: DefendUSA at February 16, 2015 09:58 AM (mtuMz)

111 Why are you trying to make me ragestroke?

Because after the Federalism fight on Friday, I think it's someone else's turn.

Also, the input on regulations is completely rational once you account for regulatory capture and protection of bureaucratic territory. In which case it is highly rational indeed.

Okay... "rational *business* input." How about that? Or "input that is rational from a business/market perspective."

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:58 AM (kff5f)

112 Can I say that I detest Paul Krugman more than Fredo? Yeah, I know, tough call. But in my defense Fredo is a lame duck who will disappear in two years and Krugman will remain. Hopefully Sarah Palin will print some campaign brochures with a target on Krugman's office. It won't take long after that for some deranged son of a Democrat to go headhunting. Good Times.

Posted by: Super Creepy Rob Lowe at February 16, 2015 09:59 AM (oDCMR)

113 But there is uncertainty in the seasonal climate (agriculture), monthly weather (resorts). Why is uncertainty with regard to government considered unique?
Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 09:50 AM (z27Ny)


As a general rule, no matter how bad the weather gets it won't put you in jail for planting soybeans. Not so much government regulation.

Posted by: Ralph Wiggums at February 16, 2015 09:59 AM (MbqmP)

114 The Godfather came out when I was 12 and no one took me to it. I wanted to change that dynamic.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 09:47 AM (1xUj/)

Talk about a Cool Dad. Damn!Well done.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 10:00 AM (rXB/r)

115 It's a very simple non technical product that would require overseas manufacturing to have any margin.

Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:51 AM (iRZl4)


I've been using Chinese manufacturing for the past 15 years. What type of material is product made from?

Posted by: jwest at February 16, 2015 10:00 AM (9ZZd+)

116 Okay... "rational *business* input." How about that? Or "input that is rational from a business/market perspective."
Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:58 AM (kff5f)



How about rent seekers gonna rent seek?

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 10:01 AM (mf5HN)

117 My oldest son (when 20) wanted to know why he couldn't rack up debt on a credit card and then serially transfer debt to other cc, thus never having to pay interest or principal back. I could not explain why this wouldn't work, but told him it was a bad Idea, folks wat their money back. He tried it, got an epic fail. Sounds like Krugman.

Posted by: Edmund Burke's Shade at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (cmBvC)

118 It's a very simple non technical product that would require overseas manufacturing to have any margin.





Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 09:51 AM (iRZl4)

As luck would have it, one of the companies I'm working with already has a Chinese manufacturer lined up to produce the product. Hit me at that e-mail. You never know what might develop.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (rXB/r)

119 Stated without comment:

According to RealClearPolitics, House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties. It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.



Posted by: MTF at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (FCsIb)

120 I'm no domestic/international economical expert, but all I know is that at not me in History has any State Run centralized economy- read that as socialism- worked.

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (nzKvP)

121 Government regulations change capriciously and without regard to any law of averages (or, indeed, supply and demand, or any other rational input).

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 09:54 AM (kff5f)

I don't think those changes are that capricious.
Senators (who can't be charged with insider trading) routinely bring industry sector CEO's and other bigwigs to testify in front of congress as to the potential ramifications of regulatory changes.
Those folks know where the money will flow beforehand, and cast their nets downstream.

That's why those fuckers get rich in public service.

That's also why they get pissed when JEF just up and changes things without a heads-up to them.

It creates the uncertainty they work so hard to avoid.

Uh, I guess I just argued your point.
But, it's not uncertainty for everyone.

Posted by: OneEyedJack at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (XmOA9)

122 How about rent seekers gonna rent seek?

Why does it sound dirty when *you* say that?

Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (1xUj/)

123 According to RealClearPolitics, House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties. It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.



Posted by: MTF at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (FCsIb)


To fuckin bad. They wanted it, now choke on it

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 16, 2015 10:03 AM (nzKvP)

124 How about rent seekers gonna rent seek?

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 10:01 AM (mf5HN)


Well, yeah, that too. But we were talking in the context of market uncertainty, and why government regulation is a very different kind of "uncertainty" than weather patterns.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon at February 16, 2015 10:03 AM (kff5f)

125 Greece, all boils down to the decisions of one or two men. Alexis Tsipras decides to not pay back money owed, or only pay back some, or pay back slowly and late. Germany decides to not loan more money, or gives up and loans some but not enough. Or some other entity loans money to Greece who may or may not pay off some debt.

That's uncertainty.

And it is all the whim of a politician's decision.

Posted by: Gordon Lucklaster at February 16, 2015 10:03 AM (xZ28E)

126 Regarding the poor, I have never been hired to do a job for a poor person.

OTOH, a lot of people who are not us are getting wildly rich off government "programs" for "poor people." Poor choices on our part, I guess.

Posted by: HR. Sorry for boring you with my comments. at February 16, 2015 10:03 AM (/kI1Q)

127 Tickled Pink, don't know if you're still here? They found Bo about an hour ago and he's fine!

Happy endings (check your dirty minds horde) are rare these days, so wanted to share the news!

Posted by: RedDish at February 16, 2015 10:04 AM (5eXg1)

128 Why does it sound dirty when *you* say that?
Posted by: Bandersnatch at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (1xUj/)


I don't know, what with my being a delicate flower of innocent virtue and all.

Posted by: alexthechick - Ragebunny now with Extra Jazz Hands and MAGIC at February 16, 2015 10:05 AM (mf5HN)

129 Yep, saw that you knew already Tickled Pink. Everyone have a great day!

Posted by: RedDish at February 16, 2015 10:06 AM (5eXg1)

130 Every storyline but crimes and fees has a common theme that Monty touched on recently re: Plato's "Cave." Money is supposed to stand for goods and services - and most of those goods and services don't exist. I remain convinced that the world money supply overstates the amount of actual goods and services by at least 100%. Krugman and the other fiat swindlers are openly selling the idea that perception trumps reality - a giant con in which everyone tells themselves they're in on the swindle. No one takes into account the fact that those who're receiving an unjust and unreal return based on "perceived value" have to be getting over on someone else, by the nature of the con. "Something for nothing" always really means "something for me taken from someone else who's then left with nothing."

Posted by: SocietyIs2Blame at February 16, 2015 10:07 AM (QKIQb)

131 Greetings, gentlefappers.

There's nothing like a fresh hell of DOOM! first thing in the morning on a Monday.

Luv the kitteh, Montague.

#WASTF

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t at February 16, 2015 10:08 AM (0HooB)

132 House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties. It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.


Here, have a nice hot steaming bowl of fresh Suck It soup.

Posted by: HR. Sorry for boring you with my comments. at February 16, 2015 10:08 AM (/kI1Q)

133 My wife met Eric Dane & Adam Baldwin last night at a Navy sponsored party before the NBA All Star game. And they were very gracious and outgoing to all. So a big shout out them

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 16, 2015 10:09 AM (nzKvP)

134 House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties.

Nazi Pelousie did say we'd need to pass the bill to find out what's in it.

This would be the second part of that statement.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this sh1t at February 16, 2015 10:10 AM (0HooB)

135 According to RealClearPolitics, House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties. It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.
Posted by: MTF at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (FCsIb)

Reminds me of Reagan's liberal offspring Patti Davis bitching about her health insurance policy being canceled. Chuckled for a day or two over that one.

Posted by: fairweatherbill bucking the wind at February 16, 2015 10:11 AM (eclBL)

136 132 House Democrats are now bitching about ObamaCare penalties. It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.


Here, have a nice hot steaming bowl of fresh Suck It soup.
Posted by: HR. Sorry for boring you with my comments. at February 16, 2015 10:08 AM (/kI1Q)

Exactly. You voted for this shit sandwich, now you get to eat it.

Posted by: Insomniac at February 16, 2015 10:11 AM (2Ojst)

137 Nood artsy fartsy open thread.

Posted by: Insomniac at February 16, 2015 10:12 AM (2Ojst)

138 >>It seems that constituents didn't understand they are required by law to sign up for ZeroCare and now are going to be "unfairly" fined.


Um, what? I might accept citizens being unfamiliar with some detailed part of Obamacare since almost no one read it, it's filled with all kinds of references to HHS policy to be decided later, and Obama keeps (illegally) diddling with it as it it's weren't an actual law, but.....the mandate went to SCOTUS ans was a big deal.

It's a tax, no, it's a penalty, no it's a shared responsibility fee---wait, it's a tax!

Posted by: Lizzy at February 16, 2015 10:12 AM (WvpaS)

139 No one takes into account the fact that those who're receiving an unjust and unreal return based on "perceived value" have to be getting over on someone else, by the nature of the con.

Well said.

Posted by: toby928(C) says Rubber Dingy Rapids, Bro! at February 16, 2015 10:12 AM (evdj2)

140 "I remain unconvinced that we are in a truly deflationary epoch, but there are some troubling signs that lack of demand and not overcapacity is causing the fall..."

Under the old dynamic of macro industrial implementations that is probably true. But here is the real danger -- prices drop moderately while the world sits with a $150Tn derivatives overhang. Some say nano-tech will be able to produce goods at 50% or less of current pricing using older macro techniques. If that is the case what happens to the banksters and crony industrialists who are locked into the higher price levels at 10+yrs of financing?


Posted by: JohnMc at February 16, 2015 10:13 AM (kC+qp)

141 Pic post up. Compare and contrast.

Posted by: HH at February 16, 2015 10:13 AM (Ce4DF)

142 Or as one of you reprobates noted, a leftist will piss in your wine glass and then try to explain that they improved the piss rather than ruined the wine.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at February 16, 2015 10:14 AM (OMTVG)

143
I'm no domestic/international economical expert, but all I know is that at not me in History has any State Run centralized economy- read that as socialism- worked.

--

I have noted this before, but it bears repeating. Socalism/communism/welfare state models run by their very nature with a negative return. With limited or no profit motive, the society takes out more than it puts in. Stalin, Mao, et al used slave labor and concentration camp labor to reduce the cost of production, and all leftist societies were horrible stewards of natural resources in order to get their raw materials as cheaply as possible, yet they all inevitably fail due to running out of things to steal. In the slightly less socialized welfare states, the slightly lower negative return is overcome by borrowing. They will keep borrowing until they cannot get any more credit, and then they will fail. Note that in almost every 'austerity' program in the developed world, their definition of austerity includes more borrowing and more spending. It takes a real wordsmith/politician to call what is going on austerity.

Posted by: Vashta Nerada at February 16, 2015 10:15 AM (aH5Wv)

144 Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 10:02 AM (rXB/r)

You're good people. I have a meeting this week with a local manufacturer just to see. Thought I might learn something at the very least. Have been told that retaining an agent may be best way to go. Also looking at Alibaba as a start.

I appreciate the offer and I'll likely take you up on it in the near future.


Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 10:19 AM (iRZl4)

145 NOTE TO SELF:
Self, never, ever loan Krugman money.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 16, 2015 10:19 AM (08Znv)

146 I appreciate the offer and I'll likely take you up on it in the near future.



Posted by: Bob Belcher at February 16, 2015 10:19 AM (iRZl4)


Rock on, Brother. Good luck this week.

Posted by: Sharkman at February 16, 2015 10:21 AM (rXB/r)

147 The measure of aggregate inflation (whether CPI or PPI) masks the price changes in components. The reason aggregate inflation is low is because there has been absolute deflation in energy prices. Oil is down, natural gas is down, and petroleum products are down. Electricity is actually up, due to renewables mandates and the fact that of the delivered price of electricity, the majority of it is capital and labor -- the minority is the cost of fuel. All of us who shop know that food prices are up, housing costs are up (whether renter or owner), and medical costs are up. So what we're seeing is a transformation in the market basket away from energy and toward those other things.

Guess what, folks. The price of oil is not going to be down forever (although natural gas may be down for a long, long time). The "natural" price at which marginal producers break even economically is somewhere in the $80 range. It will gradually go back up to there, probably over the course of the year. Translated through the economy, with the other metrics unchanging, it is going to look like inflation is back.

Posted by: Caesar North of the Rubicon at February 16, 2015 10:22 AM (5f5bM)

148 The field of study is called political economy because...

Posted by: RioBravo at February 16, 2015 10:27 AM (z27Ny)

149 Am I the only one who wishes Krugman had socked his life's savings away with Bernard Madoff? I mean, no problem, right? Krugman's loss is Madoff's gain, so it all zeros out. Whee!

Posted by: Jay Guevara at February 16, 2015 10:46 AM (oKE6c)

150 I feel bad for older people like my parents who should have the "luxury" of being in things like bonds that made a safe, reasonable rate of return.

I don't believe we have had any sort of real recovery, there's just a new "normal" everyone is now used to where it's no longer considered weird a 28 year old with a college degree still lives with their parents. Something like 1 out of 2 Millenials still live with their parents.

It wouldn't surprise me though if it takes a decade for the reckoning to come, but it's going to be worse than the last financial crisis.

Posted by: McAdams at February 16, 2015 10:48 AM (TIWik)

151 This is the point I keep making about inflation vs deflation: we can't
really know what "mode" we're in right now because the pricing mechanism
has been so thoroughly


I'm just a Moron but I've haven't understood the point of economists measuring the effect inflation vs the cause (printing money) since Milton splained it to me.

Inflation = more money than stuff. Are we creating less money? No, then how can there be deflation?

Posted by: DaveA at February 16, 2015 10:53 AM (DL2i+)

152 Either that or stepstool lighting.

Sounds like a perfect use for those TV special stick on LEDs

Posted by: DaveA at February 16, 2015 10:55 AM (DL2i+)

153 Krugman may have been an economist at one time but he is nothing more than a political hack now.

Posted by: Titanium at February 16, 2015 11:46 AM (u9UgT)

154 I recently read "The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History" by David Hackett Fischer.

A history prof, and socialist through and through (endorses wage and price controls!) it remains a timely read for trying to intuit where we currently are on the great wave. We may yet die before deflation sets in. Teach your kids, though.

Interestingly, his thesis is that population growth and decline causes inflation and deflation (or equilibrium). Among other theories he discards are that harvests drove prices. But given that a better fed population is a more fertile population, his reasoning seems...circular, at best. Especially given how primitive methods of birth control were for most of the centuries he studies.

Posted by: Oschisms at February 16, 2015 11:51 AM (uqV2n)

155
Teh Krugman's column published in the Houston Chronicle this morning has this happy little gem:
"You see, in the conservative world-view, markets aren't just a useful way to organize the economy; they're a moral structure: People get paid what they deserve, and what goods cost is what they are truly worth to society. You could say that to the free-market true believer, to know the price of everything is also to know the value of everything."
Which, of course, is flat wrong. Everything has a different value to different persons. There is no such thing as an inherent value. That's what the market sorts out. Teh good Doctor Krugman is seemingly unaware of this.
Followed then by this gem:
"Modern money - consisting of pieces of paper or their digital equivalent that are issued by the Fed, not created by the heroic efforts of entrepreneurs - is an affront to that worldview."
Aside from the histrionic "heroic" we are faced here with a Nobel Laureate economist who does not believe in wealth creation; he only believes in money creation. That single phrase finally ripped the scales from my eyes and I now understand the platform from which he views the world. God help his students.

Posted by: Courageous fighter of blind kittens at February 16, 2015 12:23 PM (PEgKF)

156 It's pretty clear that Greece is never going to be able to pay back the money they owe,

You spelled 'United States' wrong.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at February 16, 2015 12:27 PM (ODxAs)

157 I'll indulge the foolish love of my peers for their fiat paper.

I always wonder hope some country will re-adopt the gold standard so we can all point and laugh at you, but apparently liquidity crises and depressions are still unpopular.

Posted by: TallDave at February 16, 2015 02:02 PM (/s1LA)

158 I won't care about gold if there is a major economic collapse.

You can't eat it, drink it or shoot it. Goldbugs will always stay in denial about deflation, even as it happens.

Inflation and deflation fight an eternal battle. Disinflation is where we've been and deflation is where we are headed.

Things will look a lot better by 2022-2025. It's a demographic thing. In the meantime remember that fortunes are seeded during depressions and lost during booms. Timing is everything in the building of wealth

Posted by: Meremortal at February 16, 2015 02:13 PM (1Y+hH)

159 Real inflation is money supply, which seems to be way inflated already. But slow economy means it doesn't show up in prices.

Cloward Piven may have already won, as we have $100T in unfunded obligations, not counting the millions of illegals being added on.

With QE, ZIRP, and leverage and derivatives, the stock and bond markets are probably 70% to 200% overpriced (random guess), but could stay there. QE4 will meet any market sell off, USD is tall man in room of dying fiat midgets, and people are crying "I got no where else to go" (cue Officer and Gentleman clip). Except gold or any real assets.

So all are invested in a Ponzi scheme market, but nobody is withdrawing. It is like a socialist bank, where everyone feels rich, but withdrawals are limited by default not force. But there are many distortions from government taking control of the economy, and even if we survive, we are worse off and less free. We became "communist" without knowing it ... most everything is regulated to death, here comes Queen Hillary to kick us when we're down.

Posted by: Illiniwek at February 16, 2015 02:15 PM (m2kvo)

160 "Inflation = more money than stuff. Are we creating less money? No, then how can there be deflation?"

Because there's more stuff.

Say somebody invents a new technology that makes an existing product/service cheaper, let's call it "fracking."

Now suppose that fracking is used to produce an extremely popular product that over 90% of people consume on a daily basis, and which is a significant input in the final price of lots of other goods, let's call that product "oil."

So when "fracking" starts to produce more "oil" prices fall.

Now obviously this is a made-up example with silly nonsense words, but this phenomenon is happening around us every day. It's the main reason why living standards are much higher today than in 1900, even though the real value of a dollar is much lower.

Posted by: TallDave at February 16, 2015 03:23 PM (/s1LA)

161 46 Whole chicken is almost the only meat I can afford. I buy a couple at a minimum of $1.09/lb. Roast two every Sunday. Can use that for meals all week and stock making the following weekend. Beef? What's that? Pork is our extravaganza.

--

Yep, me too. One tip: Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Turkeys and hams are offered at good prices. We clear out the freezer section of our 'fridge and lay in a couple.

We also watch the soon to expire meat section, and can find okay deals. Need to freeze if not going to cook soon.

Also, canned tuna can often be had at an okay price. Tuna salad or casserole isn't bad.

Posted by: jbarntt at February 17, 2015 01:15 AM (mjiRr)

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