From Bloomberg Businessweek:
• THEM: Commodity prices are rising – “raw materials were up 9.6% in January” – while at the same time “wages remain under wraps, constrained by sky high unemployment.”
o ME: When exactly is this going to get better? It’s not. We are going to get poorer across the board.
• THEM: Janet Yellen – President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve – says it will take until at least 2013 for the economy to “recover.”
o ME: Can our cities and states take another three years of this? Taxes are going to have to go up, while at the same time services will have to come down. This at a time when more of our constrained income is going for commodities.
• THEM: College tuition has increased 92% in nine years. Twice as much as health care, three times more than food, and 100% more than the price of cars. At the same time, the income of college graduates has decreased 1% during those years! The only consolation is that college graduates have lower unemployment right now.
o ME: Is getting a traditional college degree worth it for most people? So much time and debt to gain what exactly? Certainly not the kinds of skills needed in a low energy, local world. And what about colleges? Lower enrollments will result from the growing awareness that it just isn’t worth it. THEN how much will tuition have to increase to keep the bloated colleges running? Either that, or there soon may be a whole lot of highly educated administrators and professors who will be out on the street. This can’t go on forever. The bubble is going to burst. Whoa be to cities that have put a lot of stock in being “recession proof” because of the presence of a college in their midst.
• THEM: “Business is powering the recovery” – Manufacturing added 21,000 new jobs in the last two months.
o ME: So this is the sign that a) the economy is picking right up, and b) it is businesses that will grow us out of the hole we are in, not consumer spending. There is so much wrong with this that I wont even try. Enough to say that the spinmeisters are just pulling stuff out of their asses in the hope to get confidence back into us.
From the Wall Street Journal:
• THEM: Front page March 12 – “Massive” Personal Bankruptcies will “Clear the Ground for Growth.”
o ME: I shit you not. This is how bad things really are: we are counting on people going bankrupt – stiffing their creditors – so that they will have more money to spend on consumer goods rather than paying back their debt. Who reads this shit and believes things are in anyway shape of form about to get better?
• THEM: Exxon’s existing oil fields are declining by a rate of 5% per year.
o ME: Exponentially, by the rule of 70, that means that within 14 years the company will be out of oil. But they are drilling like crazy to find new sources….but that is expected to only bring 1-2% per year on line. Now I’m not great at math, but it sure seems like they are not covering their depletion rates. So while they are adding, what they add will continue to get more and more expensive since it will become ever more valuable to them.
• THEM: “The economy is expected to grow steadily in 2010.”
o ME: Don’t you feel better?