Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
2011 June 01 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

A Cascading Failure

So, the day after Boehner staged his thoroughly political vote on raising the debt limit with a clean bill, that was designed to fail, it was the Worst day of the year for Dow, S&P 500. Basically all of the Wall Street casinos were down more than 2%.

It wasn’t just the debt limit. People are beginning to realize that things are not getting better and the news is bad all around.

At this point I would like to address something that doesn’t seem to be mentioned much – what happens when the government checks don’t go out. While everyone is concentrating on the effect on US bonds, no one seems to realize what is going to happen in the wider economy.

A lot of people receive government checks: government employees including the military, retirees in several programs including Social Security, government contractors, etc. The individuals have been encouraged over the years to shift to direct deposits to their banks, which is cheaper for the government, and safer for the individual, but that leads to the assumption that the money will be there on time, because it always has been.

What happens if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit and the checks stop?

Anyone care to guess how many checks written because “the money is always deposited” are going to bounce? How many mortgages and loan payments are going to go unpaid. How many credit cards are going to get slapped with the 29.99% interest rate because of a missed payment? How many won’t have the money to buy their food or medication? How many businesses are going to fail because their customers can’t pay? How many government contractors won’t make their payroll?

Screw the bond market and Wall Street, Main Street is going suffer a huge blow, and a double dip recession is the best that can be hoped for. If the Republicans thought they took heat for the Ryan budget plan, they might want to avoid their constituents for an extended period if they cause the checks to individuals to stop.

On an individual note, there are several purchases I intend to make, but I’m not going to do it until this crisis is over, because I may need that cash to cover my normal bills. The uncertainty is reducing demand, and people are worried about their income.

June 1, 2011   Comments Off on A Cascading Failure

What A Great Day

The heat index today was 110°. The Gulf is already at 85°, which is not exactly “refreshing”, and the jellyfish [Portuguese Man-of-Wars] decided to back off for a bit.

My cell phone turned into a LEGO, a small plastic brick, insisting I could only call 911, and everyone who called me got directed to voice-mail [except that I hate voice-mail and don’t ever set it up, which better than my Mother, who has voice-mail set up, but never checks it].

This was supposed to be a good day, as I finally have health insurance again, after paying the premiums since 1965, but the Republicans want to steal the Social Security Trust Fund, and the Democrats have no spine, so I have no idea how long I will get to keep it.

My letter carrier deserves some sort of award for bringing the ton of junk mail that has shown up in the last month as a result of this birthday. There should be some way of composting all of this paper, but too much of it needs to be shredded because it contains information that would make identity theft easy. We need an official do-not-mail list. Be warned, that in addition to the health insurance vultures wanting to sell you “Medi-gap” insurance, others want to sell you a pre-paid funeral. The truly pathetic stuff is from the “financial advisors” who think that you need their “estate planning” services.

Given some of the stupid and mildly dangerous things I have done in my life, living this long is a major accomplishment. I realistically shouldn’t have made it to 30, so I shouldn’t really complain, but I will anyway. I’m an official “old guy” and complaining is a well established right of “old guys”.

June 1, 2011   8 Comments

June First

June 1st:

The official start of the hurricane season [Invest 93 off the coast of South Carolina].

1495 – Friar John Cor records the first known batch of scotch whisky.
1660 – Mary Dyer is hanged in Boston, Massachusetts, for defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is considered by some to be the last religious martyr in what would become the United States.
1890 – The United States Census Bureau begins using Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine to count census returns.
1967 – The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is released.
1980 – The Cable News Network (CNN) begins broadcasting.

1563 – Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, English statesman and spymaster (d. 1612)
1780 – Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general (d. 1831)
1804 – Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer (d. 1857)

For some reason I didn’t make the list.

June 1, 2011   9 Comments