Hope and (spare) change

Mister Boo

Mister Boo feels the torpor of the unemployed.

As the coronation of King Socialist Muslim I proceeds in DeeCee, word on the streets in Bibleburg is that job growth locally is confined to pitching greaseballs at motorists through drive-up windows, answering phone calls from pissed-off Comcast customers and blowing shit up, in part because the locals are too fucking stupid to sell legal weed.

The good news is, gas is cheap for anyone who wants to leave town in search of greener pastures.

The local unemployment rate has been at or above 8.9 percent for three and a half years, and would be more like 12 percent had not some 4,000 Bibleburgers given up looking for work altogether, according to the Gazette.

Interestingly, local number-cruncher Tom Binnings of Summit Economics LLC estimates that 24 percent of Bibleburgers are self-employed, “making money where they can and finding a way to survive, but not much more.”

That number seemed steep at first, until I started thinking about most of the local folks I know. A couple are educators, one has a gummint job, and a few are private-sector employees, but a substantial percentage of the others is self-employed: artist, screen printer, construction contractor, bike-shop owner.

We’re not all struggling to survive, but I’m certain we’d all like to be doing better. Thing is, how do we get there? Ranching the view doesn’t put beans in your burrito, blowing shit up seems likely to go out of fashion if DeeCee ever gets serious about reining in spending, and cheap gas isn’t much of a solace if you have nowhere to go.

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27 Responses to “Hope and (spare) change”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    Speaking of blowing things up. Given that we in BombTown are all on the dole, I guess I can’t help you. Some of the folks down at the Rio Grande Foundation think the two national labs should be shut down so that all of us with our Ph.D.s can get real jobs helping a more sustainable, locally grown New Mexico economy. Not sure where all the investment capital would come from, since the Smoke and Miirrors Investment Portfolio, LLC, folks on Wall Street would rather squander it in Ponzi schemes or China.

    Perhaps divesting from Eisenhower’s Nightmare, though, is a better idea on the long term than any of the local pols around these parts would admit. There ain’t much of a demand these days for weapons of mass destruction, thankfully, and 160 million dollars apiece advanced fighter jets (the F-35, which my USM aviator, retired, friend from down the street thinks is a boondoggle). Kinda leaves me out of the loop, though. Who wants to hire a 59 year old geochemist, since as we know from those teeming masses in places like Bibleburg that science is a liberal hoax.

    Sigh. Well, if nothing else, I put up the Stars and Stripes this morning. So far no one has shot at the house.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s a bitch, for reals. Some towns, like ours, may have to learn how to do without a few of their feddle-gummint boondoggles. Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station and the Air Force Academy can only support so many tattoo parlors, payday-loan operations and pawnshops.

      It would be nifty if we learned how to make stuff again. But damn, if we’re too dumb to sell legal weed I have grave doubts about our ability to assemble widgets.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        If we’re too dumb to sell the stuff we already have and for which there is a booming market (weed), then there is indeed little hope.

      • James Says:

        I don’t know if it is “too dumb” or more a case of “not paying attention in business school.”

        Here in SacTown we have gone through the same conundrum; too many places selling the same stuff, not enough regulation, or too much regulation (thanks USDOJ!) and no understanding of capitalism.

        In other words, the more options you have then the more competition you will have. And as someone who worked retail for far too long can tell you, if you don’t deal on price than someone else will. And they will be making more dinero than you!

  2. bromasi Says:

    Humboldt County,Ca,enough said.

  3. Libby Says:

    5:23PM EST Bibleburg on Parade:
    Ballet Folklorico de la Raza
    Passing Presidential viewing stand

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Patrick, I wish you’d been a bit more specific in your “gummint spending” comment, otherwise you play right into the right-wing’s long term scheme to undo the New Deal. I’m firmly in the Krugman camp here. My own answer to “we can’t afford it” is a) pay for it out of the fu__ing Pentagon budget or b) raise taxes.
    On the “not paying attention in business school” idea…I’ve met my share of MBA’s and have not been very impressed unless you want to talk about making money from nothing..as in banking and finance scams. I pay extra for Made in USA stuff when I can find it, the same way we champion Made in Italy since we derive so much benefit from our time over here.
    We need to move away from the mantra “live better, buy cheap shit from China to put in your single-wide trailer so you can live it up on Sprawl-Mart wages” That extra dough helps your neighbor rather than line the pockets of scumbags who have their products produced under totalitarian regimes who exploit the hell out of their workers.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, I suppose I could’ve been more specific, though I thought I was speaking clearly when I wrote that “blowing shit up seems likely to go out of fashion if DeeCee ever gets serious about reining in spending.” That means that if cutting federal spending is the goal, the Pentagon budget has to take a big hit, which will hurt places like Bibleburg that have latched themselves so tightly to (and yet complain so vociferously about) the federal sugar tit.

      Clipping away at anything else is strictly for show, or to speed the flow of money uphill to the folks who already have too much of it. The real fat is in the military budget, and that’s where we have to start, not finish.

      Wait ’til you hear the squealing. “Keep your goldern feddle-gummint hands off our military installations!” We should make your wife secretary of defense. And while we’re at it, change the name of the agency to the Department of War, since that’s what it’s really all about.

      • Larry T. Says:

        You are probably right though anything resembling the phrase “cutting federal spending” evokes images of nutbags like most of the right-wingers who rail about so-called “entitlements” as little more than handouts from their rich backers to the poor. Add in the insane ‘the deficit is killing us” rhetoric from the very same folks who so wholeheartedly supported Dick “deficits don’t matter” Cheney and that boob who was supposed to be his boss and I start to feel ill.
        My revenge today was to finally get out on the bike, even if it was just for one hour. Sunny skies and 60+ degrees were just the ticket to forget about this crazy s__t and think about warming up the other night’s pollo cacciatore for lunch along with a glass (or two) of a very decent Nero d’Avola I found at a local vino sfuso shop for the equivalent of the price of Two Buck Chuck! Take that Repuglicans!!!

      • khal spencer Says:

        True ’nuff. Bibleburg and BombTown will both look pretty grim if the Feds actually start paring down the Pentagon budget and its related war making activities in the Dept. of Energy.

        Actually, for most of our history, the so called DoD was called the War Department, i.e., from the founding of the Republic to 1949. That name changed to the Dept of Defense the same year Orwell published the seminal book of our times, 1984. Coincidence?

      • Steve O Says:

        DoW —> DoD

        I think it was Truman who created the DoD. Before that, the Dept of the Navy was separate from Dept of War. If I recall correctly, this also cleared up some of the state vs federal issues with the Guard. Well, cleared them up until Strom Thurmond and some other congresscritters with Guard ties (or states’ rights concerns) moved the combat forces into the Guard and the logistics services into the Reserves. Cuz it totally makes sense for a governor to fight a hurricane or flood with Blackhawks, Abrams tanks, and howitzers instead of, say, engineers, dump trucks, military police (for security and traffic control) or haul assets.

      • Steve O Says:

        Wait a second!?!? The Dept of War because Dept of Defense the same year as that Eurythmics song?!?!

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        And…The President of these United States is named “Schicklgruber”.

  5. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Wait until the oligarchy folds their hands, takes their winnings, and leaves the game. We already resemble Iran and Venezuela, our close buds, in our distribution of wealth. Well, there goes the weekend. I’m going riding on my middle class bike into the FS land. At least that is still free.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      That exodus won’t happen until they strip a little more meat off the corpse of Uncle Sam.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        Right Khal. But, as long as they can get the puppets in congress to borrow more, they will stay to collect and build more garage elevators. But, being a retired fed worker, I noticed that our retirement contract was off the sequestration table, but it did come up as a possible cut. If you are a CSRS person, you might want to think about getting retired before they change the rules, then starting something new, like wrenching at the LBS. Then you could wear a Walz cap everyday!

      • khal spencer Says:

        LANL is a government contractor, so we are not part of the government worker’s retirement system. What I have to do is parachute outa here before they change the retirement clause in the prime contract with DOE. But that is certainly no guarantee against pickpockets.

  6. Steve O Says:

    Anyone catch warren buffet on that CBS Sunday morning show? Interesting thoughts on debt.

  7. Steve O Says:

    Part of the problem:

    The party that has the good ideas is always piss poor at executing them.

    And the party with the truly fucked up, zany-ass, looney-tune ideas always executes like a champ.

  8. Steve O Says:

    Neither party is ready or willing to address the fact that in just about everything we (360 million of us) are competing with 2 billion Chinese and Indians. Status quo will not cut it.

    The Dems are focused on relief packages and some innovation, but not true innovation. Wind power, for instance, is cool and all, but it’s really only looking 5 years down the road, not 50. Green energy is a priority because there are green companies willing to step up. It’s better than nothing, for sure. But we need to look at market sectors that do not yet exist.

    Conventional wisdom says the GOP is the pro-business party. And they do a lot of stuff that will make it easier on existing companies over the very, very short term. But they suck the big one on thinking about the future. Put them in charge for 20 years, and India and china will be duking it out to see who gets to annex us first.

    • khal spencer Says:

      A good example of Steve’s discussion is the rare-earth element (REE) industry. Rare-earths are critical components of most high tech energy systems. Almost all of the rare earth mining and processing technology, as well as manufacturing, is done in China. It wasn’t always this way. The US used to mine and make most of its own REE stuff. Now its cheaper in China due to relaxed to nonexistent regulation on health, safety and the environment.

      China is doing everything it can to dominate and monopolize this strategic industry. No one in the U.S. except I suspect the CIA, perhaps the military, and some forward thinking folks worry about the future ramifications. For the fat cats, its all about the bottom line for the next quarterly statement.

  9. grumbly oldguy on a bike Says:

    Don’t forget, “…privatizing profits for the wealthy and socializing all the losses from their nefarious schemes for us poor to pay off over time…” was a favorite comment of my recently departed 100 year old mother. Her anger at the stupidity & incompetency of people in power at all levels is sorely missed.

  10. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Grumbly Old Guy, that is a great quote. Beautifully sums up what wallyworld, and other big boxes, do every day.

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