When I write these blog pieces, I’m sitting alone in my kitchen relating the best information I can on a topic. That doesn’t mean I cover any of them thoroughly. Your comments always raise new perspectives that sometimes flat-out school me – and either make my arguments stronger or tell me to drop them. I can’t thank you enough for this great experience in social media, where community works together to arrive at something like “truth”.
Lately there have been a number of loose ends that have come to my attention from other sources, however. Those, combined with an interest in longer replies say that it’s time to tie a few things back together. It’s all good!
Conspiracy Theories: This post was picked up by MinnPost for their excellent roundup of local blogs called “MN Blog Cabin”. On that site, a number of people called me out for ignoring the Iran-Contra affair, a conspiracy that has indeed been proven. For those of you who don’t remember, the Reagan administration was specifically forbidden to fund the rebels in Nicaragua, but found a back door way to do it anyway – probably with money they got from drug sales. I was humbled, to say the least. Iran-Contra is an excellent example of a conspiracy that did indeed take place, and I’m shocked that my old “Iran Contra Trading Cards” didn’t even come to my mind (are they worth anything now?). Boy, did I miss a big one here!
The Managed Depression: On the same day I published my own research, there was this excellent piece on John Mauldin’s blog featuring the work of Rob Arnott, an economist. Where I wanted to name the event, he is working to tame it (to borrow from a phrase given in my comments!). The piece is long and breathtaking, but it shows that there is a lot of reason to believe that the core problem is that we are faking ourselves out by looking at a very flawed measure – a Gross Domestic Product that includes government deficits. If you care about our nation’s economic health I cannot tell you how important it is to read this piece!
Churn & Burn: I’ve been watching the unemployment initial claims very closely, and I have to say that this week’s number only confirms that layoffs are continuing. Initial claims have dropped from last week, but not enough to stop the 4-week moving average from adjusting up to 437k per week. In the past we’ve seen this figure spike well ahead of the release of job growth numbers, often by 2-3 months. Things definitely do not look good!
Back to Reality: I was hopeful that the death of Osama bin Laden would force us to focus on issues that really matter – a sentiment that I found was remarkably universal. There was hope. The Fox Nooze spin machine has been trying to provide another diversion, this in the form of a rapper invited to the White House. But it’s not getting them anywhere, which is very encouraging. Check out how thoroughly their efforts have been trounced by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show if you haven’t seen it already. I think we may have entered a new era where this kind of diversionary nonsense is going to be put down fast and hard. Perhaps there is reason for hope!
Are there other loose ends out there which deserve special mention? I’m sure there are. I’d be forever grateful if any of you can point out places on the ‘net where my work has either been slammed or amplified. Both are good. Thank you again for being a reader and letting me know what you think!