Where we are now, relative to the limits of the earth's resources?
Consuming Passion: The experts™ were expecting consumer credit to increase about $10 billion, instead it unexpectedly™ rose twice that. Credit card balances jumped $5.1 billion (7.8%) to $804 billion, while installment debt grew $16.2 billion to $1.7 trillion. Did consumer income prospects increase correspondingly? What percent of all those auto loans were made (to less than credit-worthy buyers) by Ally Financial, which is 85% owned by the US taxpayer.
One Liner: Mitt "let Detroit go bankrupt" Romney says he would "take a lot of credit" for Detroit's recovery.
You, Who Are You? Nearly 30% of unemployed Americans have been out of work for over a year. That's nearly 4 million people – people of all levels, for long-term unemployment is an equal-opportunity risk regardless of education level. Let me clear my throat and repeat that: Long-term unemployment is an equal risk for all unemployed workers, regardless of education level. 95% of job losses during the recession have come in “middle-skill” occupations. Pew reports that 13.3 million Americans have been out of work a year or more.
Forecast: There is quite a bit of certainty about our future, mainly it's the certainty that things are not going to get better any time soon.
Getting There From Here: Sadly, Bernanke is telling the truth when he says he's doing the best he can – which reflects more on him than on the possibilities. The government's response to massive unemployment continues to be serious handwringing. Housing has been left to flounder. Congressional Democrats claim they are helpless and Congressional Republicans do not want to help. Without some major changes towards far more progressive policies, the limits of the possible have been reached. Sadly.
Hook, Line & Sinker: The government proudly announced that Fahd al-Quso, who escaped from prison while serving 10 years for his part in bombing the USS Cole, has been killed via drone. Punishment for escaping is a lot worse than that for trying to sink a Naval vessel.
Government Drones: Since January 2010, the government sector of the job market has lost over 500,000 jobs. Feel better yet?
Upside/Downside: ATT wants to monitor your home 24/7 for everything from a burst water heater to burglary, to make sure the iron and coffee pot are turned off, to note if you are home or away, and lower the ac while you are gone.
It would also report to the government if you were reading questionable things or talking subversively with co-conspirators.
For The Good Of The Team: Ken Rogoff says the only way out of the Second Great Contraction is a massive transfer of wealth from creditors to debtors via several years of 4-6% inflation through "direct money creation... [spent] on government programs. He acknowledges that this would be "arbitrary" and "unfair". It is also politically impossible.
Object Lesson: Scientists theorize that the giant dinosaurs were so flatulent that the greenhouse gasses they... emitted were sufficient to cause global warming. Elsewhere, scientists estimate that over 40% of Americans will be obese by 2030.
Limping Along: More Americans applied for disability (225,000) in April, than found newly created jobs (115,000). In the first 4 months of the year, 333,000 have gained disability status (covering well over a half-million family members). In the last three years more than 5 million have been added to the disabled rolls, where they draw benefits but are not considered to be unemployed.
Quoted Out Of Context: “The U.S. pays an 8% VAT tax to support a bloated, paperwork-pushing, inefficient and fraud-laced healthcare system that costs twice as much as a percentage of GDP as other advanced democracies.
Hide In Plain Sight: Karl Rove claims that funding ads attacking politicians he disagrees with are charitable acts that "promotes the social welfare," Thus he does not have to reveal contributors names and should be given 501(c)(4) group tax exempt status.
Porn O'Graph: Deeper, longer.