Morris Day and the Time:
Archive | June, 2010
Not to be outdone by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Deficit, the Center for Economic Policy Research has a new budget calculator out that lets you put more liberal policies into play and see what happens to the debt level in 2020. I got us below 60 percent (the magic number, at least according to some budget hawks) by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a Medicare-like public option, adding a modest carbon tax, adding a financial transactions tax, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, increasing the cap on taxable earnings for Social Security, converting the mortgage-interest deduction to a 15 percent credit, and letting the estate tax return on schedule.
Oh, and I did all this while adding $2.1 trillion in infrastructure, R&D, and education spending, and increasing the generosity of Social Security benefits. I am a budget genius!
Gee. You’d almost think the deficit debate was a cover story for Republicans to slash social spending.
I was sitting in the Rocket Cat cafe with my friend Lynn after we’d spent the morning at two local thrift stores. She kept talking about a flyer on the wall for a cute lost kitty (she’s a cat lady) and somehow we got sidetracked into a conversation about unemployed cats.
“You know what these cats need? A taste of some Orrin Hatch! We need to be drug-testing those lazy ass kitties!” I said. For some reason, this struck us both as incredibly funny.
“Yeah, I should put those cans of wet cat food on the floor and tell mine, ‘Open it yourself. If you can’t figure it out, you don’t eat‘ ,” she said. “Oh well! You can’t get up off your ass and open a can, it’s not my problem.”
Karl Burkart, well-known writer who specializes in green technology, posts an anonymous email he got from someone who says he’s an industry insider. Go read the whole thing:
What is likely to happen now?
Well…none of what is likely to happen is good, in fact…it’s about as bad as it gets. I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together. This is evidenced by the tilt of the Blow Out Preventer and the erosion which has exposed the wellhead connection. What eventually will happen is that the Blow Out Preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it. I suspect they will run those supports as cables tied to anchors very soon, if they don’t, they are inviting disaster that much sooner.
Eventually even that will be futile as the well casings cannot support the weight of the massive system above with out the cement bond to the earth and that bond is being eroded away. When enough is eroded away the casings will buckle and the BOP will collapse the well. If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the BOP? or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly? …it won’t be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov’t must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.
All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit…after that, it goes into the realm of “the worst things you can think of.” The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out…as I said…all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn’t any “cap dome” or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the Gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.
It’s a race now…a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it’s last gasp in a horrific crescendo.
Fred Clark’s Slacktivist is one of my favorite blogs, maybe because we so rarely disagree:
Let’s be clear: this accusation comes from those trying to defend the claim that 9.7-percent unemployment is acceptable. Worse than that, it comes from those arguing that 9.7-percent unemployment may not be high enough.
Which is a difficult thing to argue while still being a decent person. To quote one of my favorite economists,Karol Jozef Wojtyla (emphasis original):
When we consider the rights of workers in relation to the “indirect employer,” that is to say, all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labor policy, we must first direct our attention to a fundamental issue: the question of finding work, or, in other words, the issue of suitable employment for all who are capable of it. The opposite of a just and right situation in this field is unemployment, that is to say the lack of work for those who are capable of it. It can be a question of general unemployment or of unemployment in certain sectors of work. The role of the agents included under the title of indirect employer is to act against unemployment, which in all cases is an evil, and which, when it reaches a certain level, can become a real social disaster.
So let me oversimplify things a bit more. Unemployment is, right now, as JP2 says, “the opposite of a just and right situation” and “an evil” and “a real social disaster.” DeLong and Krugman are arguing that something can and ought to be done or at least tried to reduce that evil. In response, their critics accuse them of oversimplifying.
“Macroeconomics is not, by any reasonable measure, simple,” Kartik Athreya counters, meaning that the reason “the opposite of a just and right situation” should be embraced is very, very complex and something that we laypeople couldn’t possibly be expected to understand.