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Paul Krugman Has Irrational Complacency on the Brain

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Economist Paul Krugman, in writing about the recent stock market dump, wrote, "What made the market so vulnerable to panic? … it was a matter of irrational complacency … investors began to act as if nothing bad would ever happen again. Sooner or later, however, reality was bound to intrude."

Irrational complacency is at the root of all the alleged job creation created under Bush policies. For every happy talk article like this, there is one based in reality like this. Nothing bad happening to the wealthy here! Move along.

Irrational complacency is at the root of all of the efforts to oppose the relief of the uncertainty of employees seeking redress for grievances. For every proposed remedy like this, there is the anguished outcry from the defenders of the wealthy like this.

The wealthy have no shortage of protectors, while those who need protection from the protected do without. Did the credit card industry really need Senator Mitch McConnell to protect them from overdrawn workers? Such a person who misrepresents himself as destitute is often convicted of fraud, and yet how often do we see or hear about the well-connected escaping justice? This case only got an the indictment because it was Uncle Sam who was the victim of the scam. And just what kind of pressure did Anheuser-Busch apply to get a Cal/OSHA safety violation report on their cash cow Sea World withdrawn?

Our nation has become corrupted to the point that only the wealthy – in the form of their property, the corporation – enjoy the protection of the law. How else can one describe a country which is willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of its citizens, and those of tens of thousands of foreigners, in order to protect the profit margins of a few well-connected energy firms?

Irrationally exuberant comes to mind. But sooner or later, reality is bound to intrude. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

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About pessimist

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Realist, it’s a pity that the version of ‘reality’ you choose to reference in your articles is a bizarre paranoid fantasy. You’re almost as out of touch with reality as that lunatic Krugman is.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Our nation has become corrupted to the point that only the wealthy – in the form of their property, the corporation – enjoy the protection of the law.

    Do you NOT UNDERSTAND that 65% of American workers own stock in corporations? And that number is growing every day. Corporations are not oppressing us, they ARE us.

    And as for your protecting the profit margins of oil firms, again you display nothing but massive ignorance – almost as huge as that of the idiotic article from HuffPo which you linked to. Oil compoany profits are absolutely in keeping with the same modest profit margins of most other industries.

    Come on, there’s something called a ‘fact’ – you might want to go meet one sometime.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Fool calls himself the “Realist” seemingly exactly because he’s not. Brother Nalle makes the obvious point about the basic complete lack of any actual real facts.

    In fact, he’s basically just routinely piping out mindless, factless leftwing boilerplate. That makes him truly the opposite of a realist. That’s not so much from being liberal per se, but simply from being any kind of rigidly ideological. Do you want to base your opinions entirely on pre-chewed IDEOLOGY, or do you want to base them on REALITY, ie consideration of actual FACTS on the ground?

    In the future, the “Realist” could save himself and BC readers a lot of wasted time by getting to the nub. On the Animal Farm, they cut to the chase by simply shouting “Two legs bad, four legs good.” Perhaps the “Realist” could write in whatever headline topic he’s nominally writing about, and then make the body of the articles something dumbed down enough to make the basic point.

    Thus, he could quickly whip up a story on, say, “Evil Republicans Propose Tax Cut.” He’s not going to do any kind of actual economic cost/benefit analysis, or crunch numbers anyway, so why bother with all the blather? Just get you a headline, and for the body of the article, he could write simply, “Poor folk GOOD, rich folk BAD!” Just use that as the body of every article.

    That’s basically all he’s got to say. I suppose that if he wanted some special intricate nuance, he could make it something like “Poor oppressed colored folk GOOD, rich white Republicans bad.” In his circles, this would likely be considered sophistication.

  • barbarabow

    Go ahead and crunch the cold hard numbers, they will provide you with more comfort than your lying eyes. Tell the troops at Walter Reed about the benefits of privitization. Our corporate profits at work. That which is unsustainable cannot be sustained. No amount of denial can forstall the inevitable forever. I hope your deck chairs are comfy. Don’t mind us while we head to the lifeboats.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Barbarabow, if you were here in front of me, I’d have to slap you, cause you’re hysterical. The country’s going under! Head for the lifeboats! No amount of denial…

    But you’ve got absolutely no basis for saying any of that, other than invoking some apparently bad conditions at a veteran’s hospital. I’m sure they were absolutely great when last we had Democrats in charge, before Bushhitler/Cheney/Halliburton came in and stole their money. Plus, I’m sure Cheney’s been kicking crippled veterans down flights of stairs for fun. So, granted, there seem to be some legitimate problems there.

    But seriously, do you really give that much of a rat’s ass about veterans, or is that just another excuse for lefty hysteria? Really, how do bad conditions at a veteran’s hospital = the country’s doomed – head for the lifeboats?

    Maybe you can row them lifeboats to the people’s paradise of Cuba, where I’m sure the health care is MUCH better.

  • Clavos

    Please, please, please people!!

    Let’s get the facts right; it’s VERY important to note that the Department of Veterans Affairs does NOT operate Walter Reed ARMY Hospital. Although Iraq veterans are being treated there, it’s not a veteran’s hospital, it’s part of the ARMY medical system, and its primary mission is to treat soldiers.

    This may appear to be a trivial point, but I make it because, as a Vietnam vet, I have been treated by the VA for years now, and I, and millions of others, have enormous admiration for the job that agency does in providing us with “The Best Care Anywhere.”

    I don’t want the very real problems at Reed to tarnish the VA’s admirable reputation.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    (side note to Al – if you really like, i’ll take a train out…you can try and “slap” me around, after you stop pissing yourself.)

    arguing and discussing something is an excellent way to spread understanding, and a way to try and form a concensus to solve problems

    some hurt their case irreperably by the tactics they chose to employ

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There’s a huge difference between REAL scandals like Walter Reed, where the administration is responding appropriately and trying to solve the problem, and the kinds of things which Realist mostly focuses on in this article, which are the same kind of bullshit sky-is-falling wishful partisan propagandizing that Paul Krugman routinely promotes.

    The only value to these omnibus articles of Realist’s is to follow the links to his even more insane sources of inspiration so you can guage just how crazy the most dangerous elements on the left are.

    And Jaz, Al was clearly talking about an intellectual ‘slapping around’, in which arena you two might be more evenly matched and Realist is clearly out of his league.

    Dave

  • BARBARABOW

    Dear Al,

    Rather than slap me, perhaps you should pinch yourself. My husband and I saw this coming and got out of the stock market months ago (that’s one of our lifeboats). As with the prior stock market bubble and the housing bubble there will be those who sell a rosy scenario to make sure the most deluded suckers are the last ones left holding the bag. It’s ironic that many of those who rationalize making a profit from human suffering will also be hurt by the corrupt system they defend. Some call it karma.

    I bring up the Walter Reed scandal because it points to the hazards of privitazation. As a matter of fact, FEMA, the VA and outpatient services at Walter Reed functioned much better when partisan hacks were not feeding government contracts to their buddies. This is a systemic problem. The safeguards put in place to protect our citizens and our veterans (such as the civil service system) have been decimated by the current administration with sad results that are now beginning to be revealed. It’s not necessarily partisan, other administrations have had their scandals, but we should restore the safeguards rather than fire a few scapegoats. The system should be designed so that care and service are the motivators, rather than profit.

    I can’t help but wonder why you became so hostile to me personally based on my comments. My main point is that we should all look clearly at what is happening. I think it is helpful to ask who benefits, or alternatively where appropriate: follow the money. If you respond to me in the future, please address my points, not your projections of what you think of me. I’m interested in why you feel you need to defend corporate interests.

    I am deeply saddened by how our democracy has been perverted for profit. I know decent, highly educated, honest hard-working people who are now struggling with job losses due to out sourcing, lack of health care, and diminished home values. They worry about what the future holds for their children. This is reality where I live. It’s not the vision of America I grew up with. Is it yours?

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    Point goes to BB.

  • Aku

    Points to BB?

    Perhaps BB, if he is so critical of outsourcing, would advocate the return of, say, Toyota factory jobs from the US to Japan.

    Oh yeh, and lets kick those Chinese and Indian white collar workers to the curb, you know the ones that get the outsourced jobs. They don’t deserve a chance at a better future for their kids. I know people in my school now who were the recipients of jobs like that. They used them to build their own futures, to accomplish their dreams.

    If two people want to work for me and one offers to do the same job for less money, why should I discriminate against him because of where he is from or where he lives?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Aku..you do know the difference between wanting to keep american jobs in America, and somehow denying work for people in other nations?

    Is it correct, to assume, based upon what you have just typed, that you are fine with India (for example) outsourcing their labor to countries with even lower wage standards?

    interesting when placed in context with, say Gandhi’s advocacy about where cloth worn by Indians should be made

    just curious

    but i wonder why some find it difficult to understand the desire to keep jobs and thus earning potential within their own countries for the betterment of their citizens

  • Aku

    Gandhi’s dream of economic nationalism died with the opening of India’s markets and the selling off of state owned industry that is still taking place. Look at India 15 years ago to see where that path leads, economic stagnation. That is where the kind of protectionism you are advocating leads to.

    Just Curious jazz, but would you advocate foreign companies that are outsourcing to the US, Toyota, Lenovo, etc., stop their outsourcing? What is fair is fair.

    And yes if India wants to outsource jobs to someplace else, let them (It is already happening btw, with Indian outsourcing outfits opening up offices in Vietnam and China), let them.

    Americans, workers and companies, need to step up to the challenges of globalization, instead of retreat behind barriers that will, in the end, ruin us. I just do not believe that American Labor and Management is that unskilled and that inept not to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. It will hurt, but Americans will come out on top.

  • Methuselah

    I’m just glad that Al, Nalle and clavos are around to make sure that this whole walter reed thing doesn’t make The President look bad, like Brit hume said on TV.

    They’re right, it’s all a leftwing plot to make the president look bad, just like brit hume said.

    Those traitorous reporters from the Washington post probably got instructions from their fiendish editor to go and try to get some vets to complain about bad dental care just so they could make the president look bad.

    They should all be lynched.

  • Clavos

    What horseshit, meth.

    My ONLY comments about Reed have been directed at not confusing it with the VA, which does a very good job; nothing more.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Meth, you clearly don’t read terribly well. I said that the Walter Reed scandal was a REAL scandal as opposed to the usual cobbled together fantasies.

    However, from what I’ve read, the administration has done everything you could ask of them in dealing with the problem after the fact. Maybe they should have had better oversight and been aware of the problem earlier, but once made aware of it heads HAVE rolled, and that’s a good thing.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh Barbarow, please with the itty bitty hurty feelings. Jebus Crikey. I’m not hostile, and you’re being silly. I just don’t intend on suffering fools gladly, and that’s what you sound like carrying on like Chicken Little – though you may be a very lovely person.
    But you’re reaching, reaching, reaching. It’s just all lefty boilerplate foolishness. I’m “defending corporate interests.” Oh, please. Just cause I ain’t going to “head for the lifeboats” and abandon ship over a stupid hospital scandal.

    I’m not particularly defending anyone, in that I don’t know much of the facts, and of all things in life frankly don’t care enough about it to do the research to state any big opinion. Still, I question how George Bush had anything do with this. Hasn’t he been too busy blowing up levees in New Orleans so he could kill black people to be involved in f’ng up a hospital?

    And you’re again all hysterical about a big stock market crash that isn’t. We had a bad day and maybe a couple percent correction a few days after all-time record highs. The market’s been struggling to start inching that back up. It’s three steps forward and one step back, ie normal.

    All is well! If you don’t SEE the fnords, they can’t eat you. All hail Halliburton! All hail our Lord Darth Cheney!!! Bow minions!!!!!!!!!!

    Jaz, re: comment #7, I am impressed and frightened by your unexpected show of manly bravado. Obviously you are more manly, and no doubt have a much larger penis than me. Please don’t hurt me.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Aku sez – “Just Curious jazz, but would you advocate foreign companies that are outsourcing to the US, Toyota, Lenovo, etc., stop their outsourcing? What is fair is fair.”

    i think we have a bit of apples and oranges in this…the Toyota plants in the US sell their products in the US, different than making it outside their home country and importing into the home country, yes?

    don’t know enough about the Lenovo situation to comment, but the point is that what some object to about offshoring/outsourcing is the artificial attractiveness to doing so it prompted by successful lobbyist efforts to influence the tax codes to make it an attractive option

    the kind of globalization envisioned requires equal access across trading partners that flow in both directions…such is not currently the case

    oh yes, and for big Al…x0x0x0x0…you know you want me to visit, if just to subject you to real Music until you burn your Prince posters and spend 2 hours in a mosh pit

    :::hands him a magnifying glass, a rubber mallet, and a pair of tweezers::: as for “size”, use the glass to find it, the mallet to get some swelling going…and the tweezers…well, you’ll figure it out

    bad form to threaten slapping some fem, not gentlemanly at all

    luv ya, Al...

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jaz, re: threatening to slap a female, femaleness is insignificant in this merely digital context.

    1)For starters, I didn’t know nor even think to wonder about Barbarow’s gender. The personal plumbing was not germane to the argument.

    2) I wouldn’t assume that hysterical nonsense necessarily came from a female. Some of the very worst foolishness that way around the BC comes from men.

    3)Finally, it would be sexist and oppressive of me to differentiate my threats of physical abuse only to men. I’m an advocate of feminism, and so I’ll hand out a beatdown to a deserving woman just as quick as a man. Fair’s fair.

    But DUDE, you try and get between me and my Prince records, and we will have an issue. Prince Rogers Nelson will whoop the young asses of every punk in every mosh pit in the country simultaneously while playing perfectly the guitar solo from “Purple Rain.” He’s just that bad.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    oh Al, yer just so silly

    and Prince couldn’t whoop his way out of a grade schooler’s kickball game

    as fer yer threatening of physical abuse, yer call, of course…but there’s always somebody around that will stand up against you heathen, gopher worshipping, moonshining, no knowledge of music having, i-wanna-be-a-senator bully

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    “and Prince couldn’t whoop his way out of a grade schooler’s kickball game”

    I don’t know. I saw him play some mean basketball on Dave Chappelle

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    yeah…but those grade schoolers are mean.

  • BARBARABOW

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I’m glad my comments have generated some interest. For the record, I am a woman, wife and mother. Not that you should change your response to me based on any of the above, but I belive it gives context to comments.

    Al, my feelings aren’t hurt by what you said. It was just interesting to note that I obviously struck a nerve. Your offer to slap me out of my hysteria was simply funny and probably a warranted response given the flippant tone of my comments. What I objected to was your characterization of me based on a stereotype unrelated to what I had said. Later you addressed my objection and I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I am a very lovely person. (Thanks also to Jaz, I appreciate your efforts to bring us back to civilized discussion regardless).

    That being said, my actions and opinions are based on the following facts: the housing market is depressed and as a result, the fuel of last resort for the engine of our consumer economy is running out of steam. Wages are flat, income disparity is widening, foreign ownership of US companies is increasing and profits are going overseas. Energy costs can only increase (although there will be some fluctuation)based on the fundamental principle of supply (decreasing) and demand (increasing, world-wide). I was a kid in the 70’s and I remember the energy crisis and stagflation. I get a sense that history is about to repeat itself. If you can dispute any of the factors listed above, please do. I would love to think that everything is going to be wonderful, but as Reagan stated, facts are stubborn things. To my mind the facts lead to a bumpy economic road ahead. As a matter of fact, I’m already seeing effects in my upper middle class suburban neighborhood. If it’s different where you live, give me some facts that bolster your wishful thinking. I’d like to join your dream, but I can’t go there without evidence.

    Time will tell whether the stock market will recover. I’m glad my family’s future is no longer tied to such a volitile investment. If we lose out on the gravy train,so be it. I’m not much of a gambler.

    In response to an earlier post, I willing pay more for a product that I know provides a living wage for its producers. As much as possible, I shop locally and keep my dollars where I can see the positive effects. I may pay more for things but gain overall by living in a vibrant more self-sustaining community. There was a self-interested reason why Henry Ford paid higher than the prevailing wage. He was insuring a market for his Model T by making sure his workers could buy one. Our current economy seems to be in the process of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. If we continue to race to the bottom, we’ll all end up there. That’s not the future I want for my children, or anyone’s children.

    The sad situation at Walter Reed is another matter altogether. I brought it up to show the duplicity of the current administration. It begs the question, if the “support the troops” crowd treats their favorite photo op props in such a shabby manner, how can we rely on them to do right by any of us (other than Bush’s self-described base, the haves and have mores)? And Dave, the administration has not done everything I would have asked of them. They continue to cut veterans’ benefits while needs increase. As I mentioned earlier, the structual problem (which is a part of a pattern, not an isolated incident), needs to be corrected. The out patient services at Walter Reed were privatized with contracts given to cronies!! This is shameful and a few rolling heads will not fix the systemic problem.

    I’m enjoying our discussions. Thanks for taking the time to tell me/us your thoughts. I’m glad to see that we all agree that our wounded veterans deserve better.

    Yours truly,

    Barbara

  • Clavos

    Barbarabow,

    You make a lot of interesting points, in particular about the economy and where it’s headed:

    Energy costs can only increase (although there will be some fluctuation)based on the fundamental principle of supply (decreasing) and demand (increasing, world-wide). I was a kid in the 70’s and I remember the energy crisis and stagflation.

    The energy supply (petroleum) is in fact increasing, not decreasing. Two examples right in our back yard which are thus far unexploited: Cuba has just discovered significant offshore deposits, and even larger fields were discovered recently in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Oil prices fluctuate because of manipulation of the rate of extraction by the producers (OPEC), not because we’re suddenly running out. This was true in the seventies as well. The “crisis” was caused by OPEC’s manipulation, not a real shortage.

    The stagflation was caused by Nixon’s price controls.

    All that said, there probably will be some increase in energy prices in the near future because of global warming. Measures likely to be taken to relieve that situation are highly likely to increase all energy prices. How much remains to be seen.

    Time will tell whether the stock market will recover

    Barring a huge world crisis, it will. It was overdue for a correction, which is now taking place.

    They continue to cut veterans’ benefits while needs increase.

    I’m a Vietnam vet who has been receiving medical care for my service-connected problems for years (long before the Bush administration). They have actually been increasing the VA budget significantly the entire time they have been in office, and the quality of care, always good, is better than ever now.

    Here’s a comment from Senator Larry Craig, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, that he made a year ago, in March 2006, during the approval process for this year’s budget:

    “President Bush has placed the veterans of America at the top of his priority list, and that is clear from the record budget increase he has put forward this year. With this budget we are going to continue to provide the best medical care for America’s heros,” said Chairman Larry Craig.

    If approved by Congress, the fiscal year 2007 budget for VA medical care will be 69 percent higher, and total appropriations for all VA efforts will be 64 percent more, than they were in 2001.

    “When I read press stories that somehow the Bush administration is going to cut spending on veterans, I have to shake my head in wonder. The budget has gone from less than $50 billion when President Bush took office in 2001, to almost $80 billion recommended for 2007. At present trends, we will be close to spending $100 billion a year on veterans by the time President Bush leaves office. That is breathtaking,” Craig said.

    It’s worth noting that every year, during the budget approval process, the press reports that cuts are being made to the VA budget, when in fact they are referring to cuts to the requested budget, not actual cuts to the money VA receives, which as noted above, has increased every year of the Bush administration.

    The situation at Walter Reed, which, as I’ve noted above, is an Army, not a VA facility, IS deplorable.

    It must be corrected immediately.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Miss Barbara, glad to see you’re enjoying the conversation. Sorry if I’ve been a little too rough on the playground.

    Still, it seems like you’re looking at the current economic situation and looking for every possible sign or way that you can interpret as showing that the sky is getting ready to fall. I doubt that.

    There are always worrying signs, things that aren’t going right or could take a downturn. Energy prices are definitely a continuing point of volatility and vulnerability, certainly in the short term. We could find ourselves in a shooting war with Iran, with a big immediate bump in oil prices that’d bear down on the economy.

    But a lot of that can be effectively counterbalanced. ANWR and other oil sources that we’ve been too prissy to use can be tapped when the pain overwhelms our liberal emotional self-indulgence. Sufficiently motivated, we could add some nuclear energy. Plus, there will be technical advances in different directions. The higher the prices of oil stay, the more natural market motivation there is to any of that.

    A lot of your other economic concerns though seem largely misplaced. What does “foreign ownership” even mean in a global economy, where Americans own stock in foreign-based corporations, and people in other companies own stock in American companies?

    And the stuff about growing “income disparity” is utterly meaningless, other than as a basis for free floating envy and resentment. Poor people in America do no seem to be getting poorer, but slowly getting richer. If the rich folks are doing even better, then bully for them.

    The stock market is NOT gambling, but investment. Any kind of place you invest bears risk, but the US stock market is one of the best ongoing risks overall in the world. The stock market goes up and up year after year, down some and then back up even higher. This is because we’re not just scrapping over how to divvy up a fixed set of stuff, but tapping into the creativity of the entire country in trying to “make money” ie actually generate new wealth.

    You obviously CAN lose money in the stock market, particularly by getting greedy looking for a big, quick haul. But investing your money in P&G or Pfizer is not much of a gamble. Anything short of nuclear war and the annihilation of civilization, and they’re going to keep making money and paying dividends.

    But if you get that kind of worst-case scenario, you’re screwed no matter what you’ve done. If you took all your money and put it in the mattress, it’d still be down the dumpers if the whole social fabric starts coming undone in a crisis.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jaz [comment 20]: Mock my politics and my moonshining ways as you will. But I suggest that you do not cross gopher god, or you will feel His wrath in vengeance. Gopher akbar!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    bah…Al , i fed yer gopher to JuJu, may his tusks glow with eternal Wisdom…

    he said he would drop by and Honor you with the Holy Flatulence

    stock up on peanuts, imo

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I don’t know, Gonzo D’oh Jaz. I remember my wife telling me about the gopher that her cat Rascal left half-eaten in her back yard decades ago when the Rascal was still hunting Midwestern rodents. She described an animal half eaten, with his head and paws remaining and huge rodent teeth keeping his mouth eternally open.

    So much for “gopher” gods. I suspect that Juju did not find the gopher snack you fed him much more than a quick snack. He’s liable to return and Honor you with his Holy Flatulence.

    If elephants are anything like cows, their farts are bad news. I suggest heading out to Indiana and hiding out in Al Barger’s still while you still can.

    I’d join you, but I haven’t offended any elephants lately, only skunks from the dumps of New Jersey.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    hey now, Ruvy

    there are some of us who came from Jersey…like me, who would remind you that all is not North Jersey, there’s a reason it’s the Garden State

    but here’s some Jersey boys talking about it all…

    the Tao of D’oh.

  • Barbarabow

    Hello again Al,

    You are so right, it is one of my acknowledged flaws (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) that I seek information that reinforces my previous conclusions. That’s why I’m so greatful that you’re willing to engage in this conversation. I can learn more from people with whom I disagree that from those who don’t have the knowledge or confidence to defend a different opinion. Based on your arguments, I will either open my mind to new ideas, or, in defending my case, become better able to make my points.

    With all due respect to you and Clavos I still believe that world energy supplies are reaching peak. Although we will have new discoveries here and there, it won’t address the fundemental problem that the era of cheap oil is coming to an end. I join those who hope there will be a miraculous cure to our ills in the form of technological breakthrough, but I don’t see it on the immediate horizon. Maybe it’s because I read James Kunstler’s blog.

    Here’s his analysis from today’s blog: “Evidence now conclusively shows that Saudi Arabia’s oil production was down 8 percent in 2006 over 2005, even while the number of oil rigs went up substantially — indicating that the Kingdom is drilling as fast as it can and still losing ground. (Production slipped from 9.9 million-barrels-a-day to about 8.4 mm/b/d.) Mexico’s Cantarell field is crashing (minimum 15 percent annual decline and possibly much steeper rate, meaning in a year or two the US will cease getting oil imports from its number two foreign supplier). The North Sea is crashing, too. Russia is about show steep decline. Iran is past peak. Iraq, as every six-year-old knows, is the world’s clusterfuck poster child. Indonesia (OPEC member) is now a net oil importer. Venezuela is past peak and full of loathing for the US. Nigeria is collapsing politically.” From James Kunstler.

    He is way cranky, but his facts usually seem solid. Increasing nucular power is someting I don’t favor based on the waste issue, but it may become a lesser evil.

    In terms of income disparity, it’s not the poor I’m worried about, it’s the middle class. Our democracy is built on a strong middle class, we destroy it at our peril. I don’t resent the rich as long as their prosperity is based on a level playing field. Corporate welfare, failed CEOs with golden parachutes and Crony Capitalism serve only the corrupt. I’m from the midwest, I believe in fair play.

    On a final note, thank-you Clavos for pointing out the distinctions between the VA and Walter Reed. It is my hope that everyone who suffers gets the care they need and deserve.

    Cheers, BB

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Joizey, Gonzo Tao Jaz?

    You mean the place where m&m’s is the cultural food, muzak is the state song and Tweety Boid the state bird? And then there is just one skunk (as opposed to all the others you can smell along the Joizey Toinpike) who stinks worse than Secaucus…

    But I digress.

    The Maine point is that you are not there now.

    PS. As a kid I got as far as Point Pleasant and Neptune (but I missed Pluto – a Saturnine thing to do).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Ruvy – best pizza in the world isthe state food

    Born to Run by Springsteen is the song…

    flies are the bird (on the Shore it’s seagulls)

    and i know every inch of the boardwalks from Keansburg to Seaside Heights…my arcade was in Manasquan, the building built by one of the inventors of Pinball, and the guy who built Point Pleasant from nothing…

    but we digress…

  • Clavos

    You do digress, gents…

    Barbarabow:

    From Wikipedia:

    Oil

    See also: Oil reserves and Peak oil

    It is estimated that there may be 57 ZJ of oil reserves on Earth (although estimates vary from low of 8 ZJ,[1] consisting of currently proven and recoverable reserves, to a maximum of 110 ZJ[15]) consisting of available, but not necessarily recoverable reserves, and including optimistic estimates for unconventional sources such as tar sands and oil shale. Both estimates provide oil for the foreseeable future at the current oil consumption rate of 0.18 ZJ per year.

    A minority supports the view that peak oil production may be reached in the near future, resulting in severe oil price increases. A 2005 French Economics, Industry and Finance Ministry report suggested a worst case scenario that could occur as early as 2013.[16]

    [edit] Sustainability

    There is a broad consensus among scientists that we are not close to running out of fossil fuels.[15][2][3] Despite this abundance, political considerations over the security of supplies, environmental concerns related to global warming and sustainability might move the world’s energy consumption away from fossil fuels. (emphasis mine)

    And, regarding Kunstler’s cred, also from Wikipedia:

    Some critics describe Kunstler as a fear-mongering worrywart intent on sowing panic in order to sell books. They point out that Kunstler, who majored in Theater at college and has no formal training in the fields in which he prognosticates, made similar predictions for Y2K as he makes for peak oil.[1][2] Kunstler responds by saying that a Y2K catastrophe was averted by the hundreds of billions of dollars that were spent fixing the problem, a lot of it “in secret,” he claims.[3]

    Other critics have faulted him for making inaccurate financial predictions. In June 2005 and again in early 2006, Kunstler predicted that the Dow would crash to 4,000 by the end of the year.[4] [5] The Dow in fact reached a new peak by 2007.

    In his predictions for 2007 however Kunstler admitted his mistake stating “Let’s get this out of the way up front: the worst call I made last year was for the Dow to crumble down to 4000 when, in fact, it melted up to a new all-time record high of about 12,500. The reason we saw this, in my opinion, was that inertia combined with sheer luck to keep the finance sector decoupled from reality…”. He also predicted however that in 2006 the United States housing bubble would start to deflate, which appears to be borne out by latest data. [6] However, unlike Kunstler’s Dow predictions, which were uniquely his, the bursting of the United States housing bubble was widely forecast before Kunstler began discussing it.

    Apparently, he’s not exactly an expert.

  • BARBARABOW

    Thanks for the tip. Now I can stop worrying and learn to love the bomb.

    Take care everyone, it’s been fun.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Ah, Miss Barbara – I’m glad that that you too love the bomb.

    Also, you’re right on about needing people with differing opinions and perspectives. I already know what I think. I don’t need to find people to keep repeating back my arguments to me. People find the echo chambers re-assuring, but no one learns anything that way.

    Still, it’s natural to gravitate to people who agree with you, and re-inforce what you’re already thinking. I do it sometimes. That’s mammalian biology at some point, and it takes an active effort to reach past that. This is a way that boredom can work for you as a motivating tool.
    ———–

    It’s certainly reasonable to be concerned about energy supplies – and greater demands from China and other developing countries coming online, but there’s more oil being discovered, and more energy besides oil. Plus, necessity is the mother of invention. Sudden disruptions could be really bad, but slowly sinking supplies and higher prices will spur conservation and creativity, ultimately.
    ——————
    Then there’s Jaz, and his Juju heresy. If Gopher God was swallowed by your elephant, he’d come out the other end like Lemiwinks – shredding elephant intestines from the inside as he exits.

    Do NOT trifle with Gopher God, capice? My God can beat up your God.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    heresy!

    heresy you say… philistine!

    you seriously are divinely ignorant when it comes to the sheer power inherent in the Holy Digestive Juices

    your pitiful Gopher is nothing but Potential fertilizer

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Lumpy

    people like krugman prey on the ignorance of the public. They think that being on the faculty of princeton and having a column is a license to redefine reality any way they want it to be so they lie and lie and lie and sheeplike fools take it as the word of god handed down from on high. Krugman is completely without shame or acruples.

  • JustOneMan

    Krugman is a hypicrit…in a recent oped piece he railed against republicans for taking speaking fees form organizatons – not calling to task the dumbocrats – while he takes speaking fees from left wing loon groups and doesnt see the conflict.

    If you read and research his Economic theories and ideas you will wonder how this guy is a tenured economics professor..he is truly a lightweight and a liar!

    JOM

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