« Let's Destroy The Village In Order To Save It | Main | Saturday Oil Report -- September 24, 2011 »

09/23/2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Brett

The Colbert Report was a giant face palm. My generation tends to pat itself on the back for it's hope and change bullshit, like wind and solar, and as soon as you scratch the surface and get serious, you are scorned and ignored.

Bill Hicks

A couple of years ago, Colbert had Jim Kunstler on his show and it was more or less the same smarmy tone, "oh, we're all gonna die...hahaha." This is why I stopped watching Stewart and Colbert after their stupid rally last year. You can't just laugh off EVRYTHING. At some point, reality is going to rise up and wipe that smirk right off your face.

sharonsj

Planet Stupid. Best laugh of the day. Thanks for some humor in the shadow of the apocalypse.

RobM

Can't decide if...

I should feel privileged for existing at peak everything on a rare planet as a member of a species with an improbably large number of neurons.

Or embarrassed for belonging to an intelligent species that mostly chooses to not think.

Kevin

Dave,

Here's something positive, at least you are writing this blog and giving me somewhere to go and read something other than total delusional bullshit.

Gems such as:

"Humans are not rational maximizers or whatever they're called. They are overreaching fuck-ups. They are chimpanzees crazy drunk on money & power. Unfettered greed blew up the financial system. Sociopaths running wild. Pride goeth before the fall. Give a Capitalist enough rope and he will hang himself with it. And so on."

really make my day.

cheers,
Kevin

CHilke

Okay, I’ll have a go. How about this: Cost of raising middle-income child in USA increases by 40% in ten years:

“According to the US Dept of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child in a middle-income family has increased by 40 percent over the past ten years. Every major category of child-rearing expense has seen steep increase: day-care, education, food, gas, medical insurance, and so on. At this rate, childrearing may become a luxury item for America's increasingly wealthy super-rich.”

http://boingboing.net/2011/09/22/cost-of-raising-middle-income-child-in-usa-increases-by-40-in-ten-years.html

I don’t know what they mean by “middle-income,” but the result is clear: there will be no more “middle income” children in America anymore. There will, however, be “upper-income” children:

“Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Interesting how everything is measured over the past 10 years. Incomes are back to 1996 levels. No new net jobs have been created for a decade. Yet it costs 40 percent more to raise a middle-income child, and health care costs have *doubled* over 10 years. Yes, doubled. And, as reported here last week, over the past 10 years the cost of private college has jumped more than 60%, nearly three times as much as incomes over the same period, and will now set you back $42,000 a year on average. As P&G noted, America’s wealth inequality is already equal to Mexico and the Philippines. Oh, and we have the most people in poverty since World War 2. How much longer can this go on?

I don’t think too many young people will be starting families anyway, as only 55 percent of young American have jobs, the lowest rate since the Second World War:

“Unemployment among young adults is at its highest point since World War II, new data show. And it's having a disconcerting impact on the trajectory of their careers and lives.”

“’We have a monster jobs problem, and young people are the biggest losers,’ Andrew Sum, an economist with the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University told the Associated Press.”

“Just 55.3 percent of people between 16 and 29 were employed in 2010 on average, the according to new figures released by the Census Bureau. That represents an enormous drop from 67.3 percent in 2000. Among teens the figure was less than 30 percent.”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/battered-downturn-young-americans-put-off-adulthood-160406776.html

“A monster jobs problem,” he says. How’s that class war workin’ out for ya? Meanwhile, what are the “issues” being “debated” on the permanent campaign trail? The best ways to eliminate Social Security and Medicare in the name of “austerity.” Who can cut taxes the most on the rich – er, sorry, the “job creators”. Because that worked so well over the past decade, right? Oh, and whether global warming is a massive socialist conspiracy. Oh, and I almost forget the important issue of whether a vaccine to prevent HPV causes mental retardation, an assertion backed by no scientific evidence. Watching these “debates” I can’t help but wonder at a country where main topic of debate for those who are vying to lead the government is how they are opposed to the very idea of government. As the candidates reap millions from the wealthy and corporations, Tea Party audiences cheer the candidates who say, basically, “you’re on your own, don’t expect government to help” with the most fervor. And this is less than three years after the government spent billions in taxpayer money bailing out the banks with no string attached. Here’s how your next president will *really* be decided: who can make the slickest Michael-Bay style video. The BBC doesn’t even bother to conceal their utter incredulity:

As the hero music blares in the background - the kind sounded when the astronauts in Bay's Armageddon destroy the asteroid - we hear applause lines from Mr Perry's campaign announcement in South Carolina last month.

"A great country requires a better direction," he says. "A renewed nation needs a new president... The United States of America really is the last great hope of mankind."

Mr Perry also unleashes what has become a standard conservative attack against Mr Obama: "We don't need a president who apologises for America."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15009916

The last great hope of mankind, eh, Rick? Boy, we *are* doomed. Since Slick Rick refuses to apologize for America, allow me the opportunity.

Dan

Colbert has made it clear that the only thing worse than taking Daniel Yergin seriously is to not take Daniel Yergin seriously. The world sucks, indeed.

Gail

Latest report from the trenches, should be good for the comedy?

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2011/09/snobby-illiterati-to-protest-wall-st.html

WK

I really can not and do not understand how so-called experts in our Society are still debating the name of the economic cycle we are in. For 2 years we have supposedly been in a technical recovery, while real estate continues to pluumet without an end in sight. There still has not been an acceptance by society as a whole that the status of unemployment is the way it is now, and those are delusional who think this country or western society is going back so some magical place of performance in the economy, with abundant enough number of jobs.

It may be a coincidence but I have maintained in other blogs and I will here as well. None of this with the global economy would have been possible without the advent of high-speed internet which we all take for granted. It allowed the concept of global resources and commodity employment to take root. Corporations have a major culpability as to what has happened, with their interest in profit maximization to the shareholders. No one said they had to layoff, or idle American workers to the degree they did, and I'm sorry it doesn't wash with me and never has that they needed to cut labor costs to this degree for company survival. When corporations broke this sacred trust with the American worker, that is when this down cycle started in earnest, when outsourcing became fashionable and commodity employment a reality.

The high speed internet was an enabler, circa 2003-05 or so, when weakness began to overtake the American economy prior to this depression. In my view, the depression started in late 2007, continues to this day, and will continue for at least the next 10-15 years until such time that meaningful jobs are returned to the United States in large numbers by the parties that caused the outflow, the global multinational corporations. General public seems to think to use the word depression means we should be seeing food lines, more massive unemployment, mor massive poverty and all the rest. No one says that it has to be as bad as the 1930s to be called a depression. I'm sure all of these debates going on today were held back then too. We think we're all so smart, we could learn a lot from history.

I saw one analyst correlate that 2007 in his view resembled 1873 in this country with repeated panics and crises over a 40 year period. With the nonsense forwarded by the Federal Reserve which did not exist then as well as fractured and dysfunctional Washington DC that now plays political games with unemployment and disaster aid, I am afraid this scenario is highly possible. Why should anyone feel hopeful about the future? Sure it can get worse, sadly it may well come to that with our empty leadership that we keep electing as a nation.

gg

They should have let it all fail the first time around. Now there is nothing to fall back on...all rainy day funds are now spent, every cushion has been depleted by most every state, county, city, family. Everyone I know is getting ready for the BIG FAIL, the Greater Depression. Grown kids and their families are moving back to be close to mom and dad, bartering is much more common now, everyone is stocking up on supplies, some are buying guns, and there's an edginess to the waiting as the inevitable is clearly unfolding each day. I feel so damn lucky to live on the Big Island, at least I'm not going to freeze to death, and we can grow food year round. I would hate to be stuck in a big city on the mainland. Seems like a death sentence.

rjs

re: privatizing FEMA; thats the plan:

Jeb Bush to lead for-profit disaster response company - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) managed several hurricanes and natural disasters during his two terms as the state's executive, but now he is preparing to respond to storms from the helm of a for-profit company instead of from within the governor's mansion. Bush's newly created firm, Old Rhodes Holding LLC, joined forces with O'Brien's Response Management to form a for-profit disaster response company, the Maritime Executive reported. O'Brien's is a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings. "Governor Bush has unparalleled experience in crisis management, as he helped guide Florida through some of the most significant natural disasters in its history," Fabrikant said. "He will be integral to our ongoing growth initiatives and we welcome him to the team."

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/16/jeb-bush-to-lead-for-profit-disaster-response-company/

Mr. Roboto

It occured to me this week that Democratic-Party Kool-Aid-drinkers hate it when you tell them the truth about how things really are because 1) if they have any capacity for independent thought whatsoever, they know in their hearts that you are right that society as currently constituted is indeed utterly, irretrievably fucked and 2) they equate kidding themselves with moral courage (so much for being reality-based, I guess).

The comments to this entry are closed.