Friday, April 15, 2011






WTI Crude Oil
$109.39 ▼0.27   0.25%
20:56 PM EDT - 2011.04.15
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Iowahawk: Sixteen Tons of Debt


Or watch below.
This guy makes an outstanding point. The numbers -- billions and trillions -- are so far beyond typical real-world comprehension (we have no sense of them) that this deficit and debt are incomprehensible and unreal as they stand.
To understand them, divide by one hundred million.
Let’s start with federal spending. The FY 2011 federal budget is approximately $3.82 trillion (3.82×10^12). Of that, approximately $2.17 trillion will be paid for by taxes collected and the remaining $1.65 trillion will be borrowed from our grandchildren. If we divide everything by 100 million, the numbers begin to make more sense. We have a family that is spending $38,200 per year. The family’s income is $21,700 per year. The family adds $16,500 in credit card debt every year in order to pay its bills. After a long and difficult debate among family members, keeping in mind that it was not going to be possible to borrow $16,500 every year forever, the parents and children agreed that a $380/year premium cable subscription could be terminated. So now the family will have to borrow only $16,120 per year.

Workforce Participation Lowest Since ’83

April 14th, 2011
From USA Today:

More Americans leaving workforce

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
April 14, 2011
The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000.
Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.
The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation’s social programs.
“What’s wrong with the economy may be speeding up trends that are already happening,” says Marc Goldwein, policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan group favoring smaller deficits.
For example, job troubles appear to have slowed a trend of people working later in life, putting more pressure on Social Security, he says.
Another change: the bulk of those not working has shifted from children to adults.
In 2000, the nation had roughly the same number of children and non-working adults. Since then, the population of non-working adults has grown 27 million while the nation added just 3 million children under 18
In other words, in the good old days it adults had jobs. Now we have more non-working adults as we have non-working children.
(We suspect both of the figures would be much higher in China.)
“No matter how wealthy you are, you have a problem if half the population is not working and depending on those who are,” says John Goodman, president of the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis. “Wherever you look, we’ve overpromised.”
And that, in a nutshell, is the biggest problem our country faces today.

(Thx to Slublog for the pic)

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