Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ecological and Human Economics, 2008

Updated 12/07/2008: See below.

Construction at the intersection of T and 16th St., NW, 1:09AM, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008.



Nicht, nicht ... I know nothing and it's none of my bid'ness.

Updated 12/07/2008: It turns out OF COURSE this didn't happen. How could I even think for one atto-second that anything bad could EVER happen over in that corner of the Local Universe??


As it is, I think this is a good time to post a YouTube video version of Gayla Peevey's 1953 hit novelty song (sung when she was just 10 years old) I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas:


Turning to more weighty topics, I've been quite interested in the ongoing financial and economic crisis and wondering if this will be "our" historical epoch that will shape the rest of our lives in the way the Great Depression did that of our grandparents. Potentially we face just that: an economic downturn, while not like that of the 1930s, still severe enough to warrant the term "depression."

(This is a creative and funny image.)

Consider the economic and financial free fall and the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of good money after bad for all the Wall Street billionaire financier crooks who set up all the Phil Gramm-style corporate Ponzi schemes now collapsing all around us ...

... while our current malaprop White House occupant is there for ANOTHER 45 destructive days ...

... and the rump Congress over - populated with GOP politicians of the sort who, as others have speculated and I agree, are only too happy to have an economic collapse with liquidity trap conditions and destruction of the country's domestic manufacturing base (shipping the remainder of it overseas once and for all).

The GOAL is to hurt to ordinary workers.

It achieves their twin objectives of (1) "punishing" the working poor for being working poor and thus (in their perverted ethical view) being "lazy," "immoral" and otherwise lacking God's Favor; and (2) creating Great Depression like financial conditions that help the creditor class through price and wage deflation ...

It is the sort of reverse class warfare strategy that STILL works in much of the religio-crazed Deep South and big square empty interior states.

(As for the Mormon demi-theocracy of Utah, well, they just live in their own nutty alternate reality.)

These same shitty GOP reps prefer to deflect attention from the real corporate villains with opportunistic and hypocritical braying about "family values" and "stopping the threat from gay marriage" now that it's increasingly difficult to do demonize chimerical "welfare queens" with their old Nixonian race-baiting as the country becomes more multi-ethnic and now that we have a black president.

In any event, President Elect Obama really ought to start acting NOW as opposed to keeping the fiction that we actually have a President for the next 6 weeks who is trying to do ANYTHING positive to stop this worsening economic situation.

As Barney Frank said yesterday, assuming we only have "one president at a time" at the present time overestimates the number of presidents we actually have.

All Bush will do the next few weeks (he's got until Dec. 20) is make any Executive agency rule changes he can get away with to make things worse economically, socially, and ecologically. That's the sum total of who and what he is.

"You got that right. A hehehehe ..."


Foggy damp night, Sun., Nov. 30, 2008, as seen from Gary's car at the corner of Upshur St., and 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Anyway, tonight is the farewell get-together for Gloria planned for Larry's Lounge at 9PM. Gloria is leaving the U.S. to go to Lima for 18 months on a World Bank assignment.


There may be a bit of snow tonight -- in fact, it's flurrying here in D.C. right now. Then it is forecasted to be quite cold the next few days, highs in the 30s F, lows in the lower 20s F, before a bit of a warm up and a rainy midweek.


Tomorrow, I have to finish the second of two class final projects, this one for water resources management class. My topic is on my view of the feasibility of this project by the Army Corps of Engineers (NY District) in New Jersey concerning the Woodbridge River. In actuality, and somewhat unusually, the Corps decided to do nothing because the benefit-cost ratio was less than 1.

Here student volunteers clean up the Woodbridge River, Oct. 9, 2008; source here

I love the Jersey girl hair styles. This isn't far from Perth Amboy / South Amboy where my mother grew up and maternal grandmother lived. I grew up in Long Branch / Sea Bright along the shore about 25 miles from there. I lived there with my dad and paternal grandparents in the 1970s and 1980s.

Both my course projects involved my home state of New Jersey -- the other one was on balancing the State's budget. This second project is due Monday. I then have a final in that class the following Monday evening (Dec. 15), and that wraps up the semester.

That is just after day my office's scheduled holiday party, lunch at Maggiano's here in D.C. I don't want to show up for the final half hung over on too much red wine and bloated on pasta.

As for my job, I have a big report on nuclear power industry issues to conclude by Wed. I've been working on this project intermittently since July and I can finish it now thanks to the interviews I had with some senior Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) officials here in D.C. (which I was VERY lucky to get).

I'm planning on returning to four days a week hourly on or about Jan. 5th, 2009 at my job.

Now I realize in this time of possible economic depression with 1.9 million jobs lost this year alone, this is a strange and counter-intuitive thing to do. But I have one more semester of school before finishing my public policy masters degree (my 3rd masters...) and there is a scheduled student loan disbursement.

So far, I've spent almost none of the fall semester one. That was my goal all along.

Lastly, there is a Federal job at the agency where I interned in summer 2006 I need to apply for by Wed. night.

That's all for now. My next update may not be until midweek next week.



krzysztof said...

All these hippo pictures make me want to go to the ZOO.

In other news we (Gdansk) had a whole bunch of important people here last week including the Dalai Lama and Sarkozy. It was fun to watch

Regulus said...

They're not hippo pictures, metaphorically speaking that is. They embody the spirit of certain others.