Posts Tagged ‘US’

Half-Hearted Irresponsibility

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Japan keeps sending mixed messages:

1) The Bank of Japan promises quantitative easing until the inflation rate hits 2%.

2) The government of Japan promises extensive fiscal stimulus in line with QE.

3) The government then announces a very large sales tax hike, threatening economic growth.

Japan’s at least trying, whereas Europe and the US seemed paralyzed.

Unemployment is a disaster in the US (at the current rate of “job creation” it will only take another 7 years! to get back to full employment), and the Fed’s pronouncements lack clarity (are you or are you not committed to higher inflation until unemployment falls sufficiently? Then please say so, particularly when you’re missing the inflation target badly on the wrong side!) and in Europe they continue to await the arrival of the confidence fairy.

Gorilla says: “We need more irresponsibility and we need it now!!!”

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A Rough Week For Democracy And Failed States

Monday, June 17th, 2013

In the US, where our government has been spying on us for a decade and nobody in power wants to hear, much less do anything about it…

In Turkey, where a phony democracy now plans to use the army, which actually still runs the country, on its own people…

In Iran, a non-democracy where for the umpteenth time in the last 35 years, a moderate has been chosen to keep people in line…

In Syria, a dictatorship that received a strong endorsement from KGBeast Vlad, apparently because Assad slaughters his people more humanely…

In Burma, an emerging non-democracy where people are killed because of their religious beliefs…

In the Congo, a cesspool of misery for 50 years, where people are killed by the millions and no American or European leaders care to intervene…

In Pakistan, where religious belief kills and enslaves women in their millions…

Gorilla says: “We could do more, or we could do less, but we need to think more about what we’re doing!”

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

We’re now nearly 5 weeks on from Gorilla’s prediction that the Obama Administration, outside of a miraculous retaking of the House and a few executive branch regulatory decisions, was more or less finished on April 10.

And we’ll be spending the summer talking about the Justice Department, Benghazi, the debt ceiling, Angelina Jolie’s breasts, and any other manufactured triviality, while nothing is done to address the scourge of unemployment that is destroying the lives of Americans by the millions.

Our country is polarized and only one political party is interested in governing.

So, it’s depressing to be right, as depressing as it is to watch the right ruin the country.

Gorilla says: “Being wrong means making progress, same as it ever was!”

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Higher Inflation Would Be Nice

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

In Euroland, where things are more or less falling apart, and in America, where the Fed continues to do nothing about unemployment…

So would the emergence of the ECB as an actual central bank, determined to be the lender of last resort and to pursue lower interest rates and higher inflation targets!

Gorilla says: “Even the idiots who rule us are beginning to see the light!”

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All About The 2%

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Income inequality is the main US economic development of the past 40 years. While the very rich 1% got very much richer, the other 99% either tread water or sank further into poverty.

Inequality remains well worth attacking, but in 2012, the main problem is with the 2%, that is the ridiculously low inflation target being defended on both sides of the Atlantic at the cost of millions being unemployed.

Euroland is heading for the abyss because the Germans can’t or won’t do anything to address the competitive imbalances between Club Nord and Club Med.

America is accepting, for no good reason, that unemployment must remain unacceptably high for a decade or more.

Nothing much will change until the US heads back into recession (still a possibility that may derail Obama’s reelection and guarantee 10 more lost years of Know Nothing stupidity) and/or the Spanish, Irish, et. al. decide that preserving their sovereignty and their countries is far more important than paying off French, German, and Dutch banks.

Gorilla says: “It’s the 2% skim that makes the outlook so grim!”

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When You’re Not Serious About Peace

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

And you know your chief ally will do absolutely nothing in retaliation,

You build more illegal settlements and say “fuck you!”

Gorilla says: “Calling a non-bluff is pretty easy!”

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Libya Is Bahrain: Both Are Only About Oil

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Why are Americans getting all heated up about Libya using brutal force to keep a dictator in power, while our ally Saudi Arabia has just invaded Bahrain to do exactly the same thing?

Let’s see: a foreign invasion by a neighboring country to prop up a repressive minority government, sound familiar?

It was called Yugoslavia, and for NATO it was bombs away. Have to stop the genocide, after all!!!

Nowadays, as then, we don’t do much to stop genocide when there’s oil at stake.

Gaddafi may be a lunatic, but invading Libya and the Japanese earthquake together might take the price of oil up to $300/barrel or more.

It’s just not something a US President wants to do in the year before his reelection campaign, particularly when he’s already losing two pointless wars.

Similarly, Bahrain’s a minor oil kingdom, but pissing off the Saudis is something we simply cannot afford to do.

So, our President is playing this right. He’s doing as little as he possibly can about Bahrain and Libya.

It’s not the moral high ground, but we no longer occupy that space, what with the torture, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the secret prisons, and the overseas detention camps.

And there’s no more appetite in DC for doing something about energy policy than there is for doing something about unemployment.

Gorilla says: “Staying safe and cozy in a parallel universe of denial is pretty much all America does these days!”

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Average Is As Average Does

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

How to explain the rise of the far right Know Nothings, the ones who are funded by America’s plutocrats?

Or the ongoing desire of our President to screw his own supporters with a deal that does nothing about unemployment and provides said plutocrats with even more lucre?

Look no further than the NY Times chart on international educational levels:

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2010/12/07/education/07education_graph.html?ref=education

As a nation, we are breathtakingly average when it comes to our attainments: lousy in math and science, can just about read and write!

Gorilla says: “Exceptionalism means never having to say you’re pig ignorant!”

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Flying To Another Failure

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The President has landed in Afghanistan, where he’ll decide:

1) The war continues to be a complete waste of time and treasure. We’ll start pulling out next year.

2) The war continues to be a cheap and cynical political trick for a politician who seems totally out of touch with reality. We’ll stay another 4 years, with an option for another 40.

3) The war continues to be the only serious US jobs program going. The jobs are all going to Afghans, presumably because of a shortage of corrupt, medieval warlords and/or drug mules.

4) The war continues to be an opportunity to discriminate against the LGBT community. John McCain never met an asshole he didn’t like and/or resemble.

5) The war continues to be the only fight left to lose for a rudderless, leaderless, contemptible American political class.

Gorilla says: “Ringing the changes on failure is a melancholy dirge indeed!”

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Pasta With Fools

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The news from Euroland keeps getting grimmer…

Today, it’s Italy and Spain, but the larger issue remains: extend and pretend isn’t working on either side of the Atlantic and the day of reckoning is fast approaching.

For Euroland, the problem is straightforward: the PIIGS are going to default, the only questions are how big the haircuts will be and whether the euro currency regime survives.

For the US, bank loan losses have still not been fully marked to market, and they are substantial: several trillion dollars.

There will be at least another 5-10 years of high unemployment and deflation until and unless politicians get serious about creating jobs (vastly more stimulus is needed, on the order of $2 trillion/year for the next 3-5 years) and enforcing moral hazard (politicians cannot continue being wholly owned subsidiaries of a bankrupt Wall Street, and house prices need to fall another 20-30%).

With the Know Nothings guaranteeing another 2 years of stagnation and gridlock in Washington, it’s difficult to be anything other than pessimistic about the rest of this decade.

Gorilla says: “When we have no leaders, we’re all bottom feeders!”

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