Sep 282011

What do demonstrators in the streets of American cities have in common with Molotov-cocktail-hurling anti-austerity demonstrators in the streets of Athens? They are both reflections of the fact that things have changed permanently since the rich-world financial melt-down that began in the spring of 2007 with the failure of two [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 202011
Suddenly muscular buck

Gas at $4.00 a gallon? Gold at nearly $1,800? One of the reasons is that the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by 38% in a decade, measured against the currencies of major trading partners. The collapse of the dollar to 97-lb. weakling status has been a drag if [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 112011
Ponzi scheme?

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme, as Texas Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry labeled it during the GOP candidates’ debate Sept. 7? The answer is “No.” Charles Ponzi gave money collected from early suckers attracted by phony promises of high returns to new suckers after taking a cut. [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 022011
Empty state offices -- really?

Today’s brutal report on the labor market from Uncle Sam reminded me that the Seattle Times (where I once worked) the other day conjured the image of vast expanses of state office space bereft of employees (here’s a link to the article). State government employment has declined two years in [continue reading . . . ]