Friday, April 13, 2012

The Sarcasm Report v.156

April 12, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek: Why You Should Drink at Work

In other words, after a few beers you might not be able to solve a math problem, but you may be able to answer a riddle.

I recommend a stiff drink before attempting to solve the following riddle.

October 12, 2011
Job riddle stumps US policymakers

Even if more jobs could be created, they must be what the young Americans are willing to do. It is impossible for them to make clothes or shoes as their grandfathers did several decades ago. It is more impossible for them to stay by the assembly lines of cars, telephones or other electric goods for eight hours a day as migrant workers in developing countries do every day. The salaries of these jobs could not support their accustomed lifestyle today.


Troy said...

"Willing to do"??

$350/month is the going senior wage in China's factories now apparently.

That's a 13hr/week schedule at minimum wage here.

Maybe this whole globalization thing wasn't thought through all that well, though of course good ol' Perot certainly warned us back in '92.

Free trade is not the problem per se, it's the persistent trade deficit that is not allowed to be closed via currency readjustment.

I've posted this CNY-USD chart here before, but seeing this for the first time last year was a great a-ha! moment for me in explaining was has happened since ~1995.

Maybe someday we'll begin to figure out that our economic challenges are to a great extent stemming on The Rent we're all forced to part with in our lives, especially starting out as young adults.

It was seeing this EXACT same dynamic in operation in the bay area during the dotcom madness of 2000 that put the first inkling into me that something was foundationally wrong with our entire system.

Aside from the housing BS, we in the US are also getting hit by medical sector BS, our $8000 per-capita health costs, 2X to 3X the global average.

Then there's our $7000/worker DOD expenditure, money that is being lit afire for all the wealth-accretion it gets for us. Hell, lighting all that money afire instead of funding the DOD would probably save us money on the whole since the DOD is a primary consumer of oil.

And as a cherry on top of this is our 80 million boomer population steadily edging towards 62. Demographic peak was 1955, so 2017 is when the wave is going to peak for us. Each worker in 2030 will have to support 0.6 boomers, another $20,000/yr or so burden to add to the others.

Even if all our cars had a simple switch to push to change to natgas, our per-household gasoline expense is only $4000/yr (though we pay embedded fuel costs elsewhere of course), so even if the trend was for cheaper energy that's not going to save us.

Stagflationary Mark said...


So, other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

In all seriousness, we've got so many headwinds.