Economic news

A number of articles have highlighted aspects of the US political economy that are depressing, but essential reading if we’re to remain informed about what’s going on around us.

  • The Wall Street Journal writes about ‘How The Other California Lives‘:  “Some of the most productive farm land in the world is going fallow thanks to a man-made water shortage.”  Infuriating reading about how liberal/progressive/environmental politics are destroying an entire rural economy.

The intrinsic appeal of California never waned for these people — they still think it’s beautiful, temperate, and culturally dynamic. What it’s not, however, is livable. It’s hard to convince people to stay in a place where they can work to the limits of their abilities and endurance and still struggle to eke out a middle-class existence. Like many similarly-situated people still planted on California soil, the question in my mind is less if I will join the diaspora, but when.

  • We’ve already seen how the Christmas shopping season was at best disappointing for retailers.  More evidence of just how bad it was is emerging, particularly the news that Radio Shack is to close more than 20% of its retail stores and J. C. Penney’s stock is in trouble.  The article refers to these and other signs as ‘the death of retail‘, which is surely an exaggeration – but equally surely a harbinger of more hardship to come, particularly for those who depend on that sector for jobs and income.

  • In a 2012 interactive map titled ‘The Geography of Government Benefits‘, the New York Times illustrates graphically how ‘The share of Americans’ income that comes from government benefit programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, more than doubled over the last four decades, rising from 8 percent in 1969 to 18 percent in 2009’.  A related article goes into more detail about the implications.  Worthwhile reading, even if it is a couple of years old, as the map illustrates the growth of the problem that’s plaguing us more and more severely every day.

Finally, student loans come under the spotlight yet again.

All food for thought . . . albeit more than a little indigestible.



  1. I'm retiring in August, and my wife will retire in another three years.

    After that, it's BUH-BYE! to Kaliforniastan!

  2. My thoughts on bailing out "To Big To Fail" institutions is straightforward. If they are truly essential, and their collapse would be seriously detrimental to our economy, so damaging they can threaten the taxpayer with "bail us out or we are ALL sunk!" then they must be nationalized, ASAP, all pay and bonuses retroactively altered to mid-level government employee pay-grades and lower, management bonuses for the previous five years are to be clawed back, and the primary job of those remaining with the "corporation" is to liquidate the assets of the entity as soon as possible while minimizing immediate market damage, in a period of not less than 3 years and not more than seven, at which time all remaining employees must be laid off and be ineligible for government jobs forever. All previous management of the corporation are also disqualified from all gov-jobs.

  3. Sacramento and DC are quite willing to dehydrate and displace the central valley kulaks who mostly vote Republican.

  4. Using student loans for living expenses is tough, but often necessary. I couldn't survive on what I make working part-time while going to nursing school full-time. I'm on track to graduate this December with a 3.9 GPA, and I'm not exactly using the money on frivolous things, but I will of course have to pay the loans back after graduation. Luckily, I chose a field that pays more than, for example, English (not that there's anything wrong with getting a degree in English!)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *