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  • On 18 Dec 2014 in Gasoline Expenditure Forecast at Lowest Levels in 11 Years, Bellingham Bill said:

    I pay cash for gas and it was fun getting $5 back from a $20 for my usual 6 gallon purchase today (I usually pay $20-30 to go from 1/4 to ~full)

    $2.50 is high compared to when the car was new (pre-Bush) but in real terms we're doing pretty good now -- $1.84 in 2000 money.

    just about where prices were back then

  • On 18 Dec 2014 in They want to evict 83 year old resident on section 8, Bellingham Bill said:

    ^ Poe's Law

  • On 18 Dec 2014 in No one can harm the Fed Res Notes when they are already worth nothing., Bellingham Bill said:

    "possibly involving Islamic militants"

    Man Haron Monis, an Iranian-born refugee who was granted political asylum in Australia in 2001, had "a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters.

    As for the dollar collapse scenario, I am no macroeconomist but there is more than one way to pump our money supply.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=UXF

    blue is MZM, red is total Fed money creation

    Hint as to what the other mechanism -- the "other shoe" as it were -- of money expansion is:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TDSP

  • On 18 Dec 2014 in Snowpack now at half of average, Bellingham Bill said:

    I was getting pretty worried about my town's trees here, that's the only thing we've got going for us, other than being 3-4 hours away from everything else in the state.

  • On 18 Dec 2014 in The Battle of The Bulge Began 70 Years Ago Today, Bellingham Bill said:

    While 80,000 casualties was a lot -- probably what the US Navy suffered in sea battles over 3+ years in the Pacific -- but in the context of the war in Europe it was a drop in the bucket.

    EVERY month from July 1941 through April '45 was a "battle of the bulge" for the Germans, if they were lucky.

    http://www.feldgrau.com/stats.html

    This is not to denigrate the sacrifices of the US Army in Europe -- it was a real meat grinder for a whole year, from Sicily to the Elbe, and those sacrifices meant that we had a free West Berlin, West Germany, and Austria in the postwar -- the history of the 20th century could have been a lot uglier if the Russians had been allowed to steamroller Germany completely. For the Germans, too, though arguably they deserved it, given the crap they collectively committed 1939-44 in the east.

  • On 16 Dec 2014 in California has $72 Billion unfunded retiree healthcare liability -- Controller, Bellingham Bill said:

    humanity says

    All these folks have been paying into medicare

    ah, didn't know that.

  • On 16 Dec 2014 in California has $72 Billion unfunded retiree healthcare liability -- Controller, Bellingham Bill said:

    ayup; this is the biggie. Baby boomers are age 50 - 68 now, they're just beginning to enter the system.

    A lot of nice promises were made, 1970-now, but the money was not set aside in savings to pay for it.

    But we've got a $2.2T/yr economy, so $24B isn't all that "stunning", just a 1% one-time tax hit to settle that.

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Islam, Bellingham Bill said:

    "Here are the key ancient civilizations ... Roman, Greek, Persian, and Indian "

    all crap, actually. None of these deeply flawed societies left a spittoon's worth of sociological wisdom for us today. Just studies of What Not To Do.

    Western Civilization as we know it got cooking with gas with the American Revolution, which was informed by The Enlightenment and the slow development of parliamentarianism of our mother country as it gradually evolved out of the Middle Age feudalism it fell into, especially the more recent gyrations the Home Isles went through with the Tudors, Stuarts, and resulting civil wars that prompted a lot of immigration to the colonies.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    ^ we're still trying to live up to those words. Even our colonist forefathers could be right intolerant shitheads -- with the Anglican establishment highly exclusionary towards Catholics and Dissenters (sects we know as Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians today).

    Basically the more religious a place is, the more fucked up overall it is. That's the muslim world's problem. Ours too, since religion is the preference of idiocies over thinking, and we've still got more than our share of religious fundamentalists here, ~25% of the electorate (ironically mostly Baptist or what I call Crypto-Baptist)

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Islam, Bellingham Bill said:

    sbh says

    You're not defending America. You're defending your feelings. You just don't know the difference.

    qft

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Islam, Bellingham Bill said:

    Patrick says

    but what if a religion consists largely of hate speech? what then?

    the only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance!

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in The horrible burden on Japanese children, Bellingham Bill said:

    Interest payments do not disappear into a furnace, they are transfer payments, from a current taxee to a past saver.

    It depends on who exactly the taxees are and who the savers are to analyze their effect on the economy.

    So much of Japan's national debt is just tax cuts being rolled into bond sales. This was a nice gift for the Japanese baby boomers (born ca 1948), in their peak-earning mid-40s 20 years ago when this new regime started.

    Only the high-tax nordic states have their act together it seems.

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Central Banks' 2% Plan to Impoverish You, Bellingham Bill said:

    Half the country rents -- guess which half -- so "2% inflation" is a knee to the nuts for them, over the decades.

    shows rising housing rents are damn sight higher than 2% pa -- that's just the floor!

    as for the article, it's pretty stupid since nobody* has any savings in this country and as long as wage increases match price increases, we're in a pretty static condition.

    * 3/4:
    http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Feels like the Time is coming to Unplug, Bellingham Bill said:

    Patrick says

    instead i poke around satellite views of the earth and look through wikipedia,

    I do this too, LOL. My favorite is exploring Germany's east front in Russia, and this past week I've been on a british history binge, from the post-Romans to the Plantagenets.

    Kingmaker the board game was patented in the 1970s which means its in the public domain now, LOL.

  • On 15 Dec 2014 in Feels like the Time is coming to Unplug, Bellingham Bill said:

    deepcgi says

    Not going off the grid. I'm a big fan of electricity and air conditioning and grocery stores

    The first 2 can still be enjoyed OTG.

    The latter is the tricky bit. I've been housesitting again in the Santa Cruz mountains this month and I gotta say this is a pretty good bug-out base.

    Capitola/Santa Cruz has a Costco, two Trader Joes, two Whole Foods. My friend is letting me use his EV again (he traded in the Leaf for a Rav4) so I can hit the stores and never have to worry about gas stations, too. Yesterday I drove over the hill to the Fry's in Campbell and still had 50 miles of range when I got back.

    One of the business ideas I have is a Trader Joes delivery service, just like this guy:

    http://priceonomics.com/the-man-who-smuggles-traders-joes-into-canada/

    to enable me to live anywhere I wanted (like Japan or Oregon) and still have the grocery angle covered.

    But I hear ya about news BS. I lived in Japan in the 1990s and the first 3 years were before the internet, I got Netscape the summer of 1995 so before that my exposure to US news was on the order of minutes per month, mainly through a Time magazine or an English-language newspaper.

    One thing I resolved a year or two ago was to stop arguing with idiots. That helps a lot.

  • On 14 Dec 2014 in The rest of Krugman's story, Bellingham Bill said:

    "The debt is $18 trillion and counting and will likely never be repaid"

    Good! It's just owed mostly to rich people anyway. Pay them their 2-3% pa and call it a day.

  • On 14 Dec 2014 in The rest of Krugman's story, Bellingham Bill said:

    "How's Gold looking?"

    ^ real gold price, 2009 dollars

    still in bubble range

  • On 14 Dec 2014 in I'm liquidating all my stocks and going to cash, Bellingham Bill said:

    gsr says

    the second part dominates and gold becomes important.

    gold is never "important", unless you've caught the bug.

  • On 14 Dec 2014 in I'm liquidating all my stocks and going to cash, Bellingham Bill said:

    gsr says

    The high interest rate of 20% in 1980 pretty much killed inflation

    History is not quite that simple . . .

    To understand what killed inflation it is necessary to understand what was driving it.

    I don't have the entire picture formed in my head yet (if I ever will) but it's a fact that WAGES were growing by 10-15% during the late 70s:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=UsW

    In a wage-price spiral wages and prices are going to rise until something somewhere else fails (since borrowers are rewarded by having their debt inflated away and savers are penalized the same, this creates impetus for spending and thus growth).

    The recessions of 1981-83 were no joke -- millions of people got wiped out until the growth process could resume in the mid-80s.

    Other factors pushing the economy into recession were the post-Vietnam DOD drawdown:

    (real per-capita defense expense)

    and the change to globalism (and the appearance of our persistent trade deficit)

    and the price shocks with oil thanks to Iran etc.

  • On 2 Dec 2014 in Huge Commodity Reversals; Is the Bottom In?, Bellingham Bill said:

  • On 2 Dec 2014 in WAPO economist didn't know Keynesians predicted weak recovery, Bellingham Bill said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    That's the thing with Keynesians: they don't know why the demand was weak to start with and needed to be boosted with large amounts of debts. And they don't care. As long as they can paper over it with debt.

    neo-Keynesians perhaps, who just want to keep the party going like anybody else.

    But there's nothing particularly "unsustainable" about the current debt.

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