Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Way We Live Now

I love this book.  It should be required reading.

Do you think federal jobs are a safe bet?  You might want to check with the 9,000 civilian employees the Air Force is showing the door.

Maybe high tech?  Guess again.  AMD, the second-largest microprocessor manufacturer, is shedding 1,400, 12% of its workforce, and its stock is still falling.

George Papandreou made a brilliant move at the G20, threatening to hold a referendum on the Greek bail-out, which would undoubtedly scuttle the proposal (Mish and I actually agree on this, so take special note.).  Papandreou is already back-stroking on this, but the opposition parties may hold him to it.

In spite of 30-year mortgages falling to 4.1%, housing prices continue to sag because no one is buying because no one can.  How can you buy if your job prospects consist of being a part-time greeter at Walmart?  Yet Bloomberg has the temerity to blame the malaise on new regulations.

But then what do you expect from Hizzoner Michael?  He just blamed the mortgage mess entirely on Congress.  Have to protect Wall Street at all costs, eh Mike?  Even Forbes called BS on this.

So what do people consider to be the big answer to this mess?  Gold.  Yes you read that right.  The big, yellow clunker.  I love Paul La Monica's comment about gold having "tangible value".  Really, Paul?  How many fillings and ear studs do you need?  Trust me, children, as I've commented before, if you wake up one day wondering where you're going and what you're doing in that handbasket, you won't need gold, you'll need dirt and lead, i.e. a place to grow your spuds and a loaded weapon to defend them.  Smokes and booze are far more useful for barter than gold can hope to be.

And on top of that, a growing bloc of idiots thinks returning to the gold standard is the way to go.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Everybody is in hock to his highest hair follicles, and the threat of severe deflation grows daily, and we're going to fix it all by hardening the currency.  Reality to geniuses: We tried exactly that in the 1870s and got a quarter-century of rolling recessions.  For most people it was a depression.  Except for the top 1%, who made out like bandits (Ever hear of The Gilded Age?).  Now stop and think about who is really pushing for a gold standard now.  Sheesh, I knew you people were born at night, but I didn't know it was last night.

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