Bits & Pieces (Thursday Night Open Mic)

When the government grows, the private sector shrinks. Or maybe it’s that the private sector shrinks, thus obligating the government to grow.

The 6 Things Movies Love to Get Wrong About the Workplace.

HuffPo says Anti-Incumbent Fever Can Hurt Republicans. Implied, if not explicitly stated, is that it might also hurt the incumbents in the senate and the Whitehouse, as there are, in fact, a lot of incumbent Democrats, too.

Newt Gingrich says the Ryan-Wyden bill is awesome. Wonder who that will hurt more.

Do you like to clip coupons? I do. It’s like money you don’t pay taxes or withholding on. Good deal!

There’s a new Ghost Rider film on the way. I love it when underperforming films get a sequel. That shows moxie!

Climategate continues. Whistleblowers are criminals who must immediately be arrested, if their leaking the wrong kind of emails. Who thinks this is a good idea for dealing with climate skeptics? Whistleblowers were cool . . . back in the day.

Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform. I observed some of the same things over 20 years ago (without the iPhones). I agree in spirit, but it’s not going to happen. There will always be people, and lots of them, abusing the system and teaching that to the next generation. Those incentives will always be present in some form. The blogger is young. She talks like this might change, and it won’t, unless the entire country goes bankrupt. I’d prefer that not to happen, even if it means an ever-growing entitlement class.

Here’s another picture of a puppy:

lmsinca’s Christmas Cookies

I thought this one was pretty good…

Morning Report

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
SPH2 Comdty S&P Futures 1218.5 12.2 1.01%
SX5E Index Eurostoxx Index 2238.6 32.680 1.48%
CL1 Comdty Oil (WTI) 95.54 0.590 0.62%
DXY Index US Dollar Index (DXY) 80.183 -0.350 -0.43%
USGG10YR Index 10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.94% 0.03%

A slew of economic data was released this morning: PPI, Empire Manufacturing, Jobless claims, Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization. The PPI (Producer Price Index) shows that inflation is a non-issue. Empire Manufacturing showed manufacturing in NY State has rebounded from the summer lows. Industrial Production was surprisingly low, and capacity utilization was flat. Philly Fed indicated strength as well. The best news was in initial jobless claims, which dropped to 366k, a post-recession low. Initial jobless numbers can be fluky this time of year, and we had a headfake earlier this year, but that said, it is encouraging and confirms other numbers that show the labor market may be picking itself up off the mat.

The kabuki dance over the temporary payroll tax cut extension continues. There have been leaks that Democrats are planning to drop their insistence on a permanent surtax on millionaires to pay for the tax cut, which is a nonstarter for Republicans. I’m sure both parties will manage to scrounge up some fake spending cuts in the couch and pass something so they can go home for the holidays.

Perennial Krugman critic Amity Schlaes lays into Krugman for his latest column, which seems to imply that raising the retirement age in Greece means that Kristallnacht is just around the corner. Schlaes points out how austerity in the face of recessions worked well in the past, citing the early 20s recession and Australia. She should also mention the Asian Tigers which went along the austerity route and compare it to Japan, which followed the Krugman prescription to the letter.

Chart: Initial Jobless Claims:

Some of you said this was coming


I think that both JNCP and NoVAH have mentioned this was going to be offered.

Wyden-Bennett was the health care bill I favored and although I can mount a defense of ACA, it is huge, where Wyden-Bennett was relatively elegant, and it was partisan where W-B was not.

Paul Ryan thinks before he speaks, a trait he shares with Ron Wyden.  I have linked to Ezra’s take, but I really hope to get NoVAH’s.

Also, I want to know if this may become the law.

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