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Daily Digest - Dec 14

Sunday, December 14, 2008, 9:31 AM

Obama stimulus could reach $1 trillion, A long cold winter, AIG pays retention bonuses, driving decreases, aiming for full employment.

Economy

Obama stimulus could reach $1 trillion: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama's team is considering a plan to boost the recession-hit U.S. economy that could be far larger than previous estimates and might reach $1 trillion over two years, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Forecast: A Long, Cold Winter

Pomboy: It is certainly the toughest one any of us has lived through. My fear is that it's actually just in the early stages and that it is going to get substantially worse on the economic side,,,

AIG Said to Offer Retention Payment to Bigger Group of Workers

The "retention bonus" equals as much as a year's salary and recipients were ordered to keep the payment secret, said the person, who declined to be named because the plan was labeled confidential. Awards were offered to as much as 10 percent of staff at businesses that are for sale, including plane-leasing and insurance units in the U.S. and overseas, the person said.

Driving decreases in U.S. despite lower fuel prices 

Federal Highway Administration data released Friday show the number of miles driven dropped 3.5 percent in October compared with the same month a year ago. Between November 2007, when the driving decline began, and October, Americans drove 100 billion fewer miles. That's the largest continuous decline in driving the nation has experienced. 

To Build Confidence, Aim for Full Employment

The goal is to add 2.5 million jobs, he says, by hiring people to improve our highways, fix up our schools and do other infrastructure work around the country. All of that is fine, but it does not represent a commitment to full employment - providing a job for everyone who is willing to work. As a result, confidence remains abysmal.

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17 Comments

pwoody82's picture
pwoody82
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 51
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

Obamas going to create 2.5 million jobs? What about all the rest of the people out of work and working part time? This is not enough jobs to hold the line let alone reduce unemployment! Also, he's going to repair a street/highway infrastructure that is going to start seeing a lot less use in the near future when the fuel crunch hits. Not that a lot or repair is not needed, but how is this going to help the laid off accountants from the financial sector, or the salespeople laid off in retail, or the new college graduates with degrees in education, liberal arts and sandbox? Of course some of the illegals that know construction might be able to get jobs along with the construction people out of work because of the housing crash.

 

The really bad part of this plan is that he intends to tax business for the money to do these projects as well as print the money needed to pay the costs. So this will put the remaining businesses out there that are still making it into the crapper. Welcome to liberal economics. This is change we can believe in? I know, I am preaching to the choir.

 

pwoody

RSLCOUNSEL's picture
RSLCOUNSEL
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Posts: 41
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

IMHO- The stimulus needs to be about 10% to 15% of GDP.  Normally I would say that that is a lot of money to spend in just one year but after the experiences of 2008, the whole scale upon which I measure things like that is really changing.

 In terms of stimulus, I believe that there is a cue we can take from China who also put up about 14% of their GDP as a catalyst for stimulus.  Points I made on my post of 11/14/08.

http://tedbits.blogspot.com/2008/11/we-havent-even-started-any-stimulus-yet.html

 

PS:  I should be receiving my 50 Crash Course DVDs tomorrow and plan to distribute them to people that I really care about.  Thanks, Chris! 

 

emdiaz's picture
emdiaz
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Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

I do not understand why and accountant or a college graduate cannot work in building roads or something else. Yes, it is not the job that you ambition but at least is a job. The government is not going to support you and you have to do what you need to do o survive. An honest job is just that a job. It is funny to me that people think that illegal's will only do hard work. That is why we are in this predicament and they say that there are no jobs or they should say there are not jobs that people like for the pay that people think they deserve.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

The next 20 years will be nothing like the last 20.  Repeat three times....!

Until people realise we need to change how we do EVERYTHING...  they simply will not 'get it'. 

Davos's picture
Davos
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Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

Has anyone seen any analysis on infrastructure cost with respect to oil demand? Specifically how much will the stimulus drive up the demand for oil? In other words I know that a LOT of oil goes into building roads and fixing roads. Seems to me that this will only drive the price of oil up and once again we will be hitting 4 bucks for oil and everyone will be broke again.

Don't mean to sound like a pessimist but I really think Dr. Bartlett is right when he says our solutions are our problems. 

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
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Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

Until people realise we need to change how we do EVERYTHING...  they simply will not 'get it'. 

Matrix

I don't think people have to be convinced of anything. It will be forced on them as unemployment goes to heights above the Great Depression years.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
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Cold winter on a Warm Planet

Above is a forecast for a long, cold winter. How can that be when the Al Gore crowd say this planet is getting warmer? I've began to notice that I don't see the phrase "global warming" anymore. Now it's "climate change." Aaaaaah! The climate is changing! This has never happened before. 

Here's more bad news for the hotties:

UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History'   Link

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Posts: 456
Re: Cold winter on a Warm Planet

Might be for you lot up there but not for us down here. Spring is here and summer on its way.

A disagreement with regard to a part of one of the three E's seems a bit irrelevent when we all know but seldom achnowledge that P = E+E+E. Our only problem is population and its consequences. Whether (scuse v pun) global warming is agreed or not.

I do feel especially sad for those larger numbers of people in the Northern hemisphere who are facing a cold winter homeless and it is at least some comfort to those facing homelessness in the Southern that they are not now going into winter.

Don

Futuo's picture
Futuo
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Posts: 155
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

Great link, very interesting quotes and testimonials. Personally, i agree that climate change / global warming is a distraction. How selfish and naive of us to expect the planet's climate to become stagnant in the current condition which is so favorable and conducive to humanity? Climate change is a fact...we just have to accept that there are powers greater than us, whether natural or supernatural (to each his own), that not only don't we control, but we don't comprehend. To me, the whole global warming issue is just a repackaging of the age-old "maintain the status quo" mantra of those in power. In the end though, why does it matter? The fall of fossil fuels necessarily prompts the usage of "alternative" sources, which impact the environment much less. So really, whether or not man-made global warming is occuring, whether or not the climate is heating up or cooling down, we still can't afford to rely on fossil fuels, wasteful overconsumption, and environmentally-damaging technologies to move us forward. Global warming or not, being environmentally conscious and trying to minimize our damaging environmental impacts ought to be a priority.

-Christopher

deadman's picture
deadman
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Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

I hope we are able to call Barak Obama out on his dream of investing in infrastructure. As an anti-capitalist, I'm opposed to most giant infrastructure projects. I don't want the system to grow and expand because it enables the power-brokers to further exploit people and the planet. 

This system is dependant on growth. Even a trillion dollars of spending cannot replace the 'funny numbers' of perceived growth via leveraging. The system is calling for a doubling of global 'GDP' over the next 6-10 years. That's not going to happen through financial magic nor real spending on infrastructure expansion.  

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Re: Cold winter on a Warm Planet
Ray Hewitt wrote:

Above is a forecast for a long, cold winter. How can that be when the Al Gore crowd say this planet is getting warmer?

Adding energy to the atmosphere (HEAT) makes it more dynamic.  This dynamism makes the climate more vulnerable to extremes.  And make no mistake, the melting of the polar caps due to GLOBAL WARMING, could start a sudden ice age, as the melting changes the density of polar sea water the result of which could be the sudden disappearance of the Gulf Stream.

Muck about with Planet Earth at your own peril.. 

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
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Posts: 624
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14
Damnthematrix wrote:

The next 20 years will be nothing like the last 20.  Repeat three times....!

Until people realise we need to change how we do EVERYTHING...  they simply will not 'get it'. 

I agree...

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 624
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14
pwoody82 wrote:

Obamas going to create 2.5 million jobs? What about all the rest of the people out of work and working part time? This is not enough jobs to hold the line let alone reduce unemployment! Also, he's going to repair a street/highway infrastructure that is going to start seeing a lot less use in the near future when the fuel crunch hits. Not that a lot or repair is not needed, but how is this going to help the laid off accountants from the financial sector, or the salespeople laid off in retail, or the new college graduates with degrees in education, liberal arts and sandbox? Of course some of the illegals that know construction might be able to get jobs along with the construction people out of work because of the housing crash.

 

The really bad part of this plan is that he intends to tax business for the money to do these projects as well as print the money needed to pay the costs. So this will put the remaining businesses out there that are still making it into the crapper. Welcome to liberal economics. This is change we can believe in? I know, I am preaching to the choir.

 

pwoody

This is another crappy line he probably pulled out of the hat.  When someone says they are going to "create" 2.5 million jobs... then you'd better find out why and how--fast.  First of all we should NOT be creating jobs just for the sake of creating jobs!  Secondly why not build a thousand hospitals or something and subsidize them--- or build whatever.  My whole point is that WE (our Country) does NOT have the money to do this!  Even if we got a great "rate of return" in money or other form we still do not have it to lend, period.  This artificial free market crap has gone on long enough.  The more they meddle into aka "fixing" the economy the more it seems to get worse for the common citizen!  I'm not sure if this is a correlation worth considering but someone should find out.

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: Cold winter on a Warm Planet
Ray Hewitt wrote:

Above is a forecast for a long, cold winter. How can that be when the Al Gore crowd say this planet is getting warmer? I've began to notice that I don't see the phrase "global warming" anymore. Now it's "climate change." Aaaaaah! The climate is changing! This has never happened before. 

Here's more bad news for the hotties:

UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History'   Link

You certainly don't have to take my word for it.  I have not done the scientific research.... the scientists have.  There are many books that give great numbers and scientific data as to why we're going through global warming and how the data is collected.  Having the warmest winter in 2008/9 has almost no weight according to the data collected.  The changes in weather and/or erratic developments NOW is the result of the previous years' changes in CO2 emissions.  The information they derive about the past few years' development and its impact is the result of millions of years sediment collected within core samples.

The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery is a great book to read.  I'd recommend any book that recognizes global warming affects.  You don't need to memorize the fine details but you should understand how the scientists came to their conclusion.

 

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 14

In reference to the Bloomberg article on AIG retention packages, I have a short anecdote:

I have a friend who worked in the corporate offices of WaMu. Last month she got her "pink slip" from JPMorgan Chase. Here's what she got: an offer to stay on as a transition employee until April at double her salary (apparently an incentive to keep her there for the transition), then a six month severance at regular salary (btw, she was only employed by WaMu for two years). Good for her. And here's what she and her fellow highly paid departmental employees, who all got the same deal, are doing in "transition:" going to see movies in the middle of the day, catching up on their reading, talking to friends, surfing the Internet, etc etc. Everything but working because JPMorgan Chase has given them no transition work; so far they have nothing to do but collect double salary. ..... And how much TARP money did the taxpayers give JPMorgan?

(Oh, I have another friend who went upside down on his mortgage and bad on his loan...but no worries! Countrywide is lopping $200K off his principal and doing a rework on his loan so his payments are cut in half. When I asked him who is eating the $200 K - why the govt, of course.)

I am ready to RUN, there is something very fundamentally wrong and I don't want to stick around for the consequences.

stan.chucks's picture
stan.chucks
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Posts: 21
Re: Cold winter on a Warm Planet

Caroline,

Scientists by nature are reticent individuals. Let's concede that the majority are well meaning. The first ones to "go puplic" will be those with a political or economic motive (grants, book royalties etc). It is difficult to argue against the latter - everyone has a great incentive to feed and clothe the family and pay the mortgage. It is therefore not surprising that the early supporters of "Global Warming" would come from this group. The dissenting scientists are perhaps only now coming out in the public forum with their contradictory data because they see the huge mistake political man will inflict on the community by diverting resources into fighting something which is not scientifically proven.

Stan 

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: Cold winter on a Warm Planet
stan.chucks wrote:

Caroline,

Scientists by nature are reticent individuals. Let's concede that the majority are well meaning. The first ones to "go puplic" will be those with a political or economic motive (grants, book royalties etc). It is difficult to argue against the latter - everyone has a great incentive to feed and clothe the family and pay the mortgage. It is therefore not surprising that the early supporters of "Global Warming" would come from this group. The dissenting scientists are perhaps only now coming out in the public forum with their contradictory data because they see the huge mistake political man will inflict on the community by diverting resources into fighting something which is not scientifically proven.

Stan 

Everyone that does something, for a living, are of course bias to some extent; some more-so than others.  This should not automatically discount all or the majority who agree with the consenting data.  Jared Diamond has also written about the very issues advanced societies encounter when they face, or do not face until too late, the very species that will cause us to go extinct.  We may not have the "eye" to see the subtle changes in our environment but the few indigenous tribes still left can make these distinctions without any "scientific data".  What kind of information or tragedy do we need to face before we will make that connection?  Many of these writers are or were professors.  Most people understand that, when writing well, one must produce objections that they must overcome to argue their point effectively.  Unless they've completely left this out I can't imagine that their (scientists) arguments are not effectively persuasive, given that the books have been read.

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