Friday, October 29, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I spent the last three days visiting and inspecting a few of my "places" in Georgia. I flew and had to suffer Hartsfield International Airport, a sprawling monstrosity of endless walking and intra-terminal trains. The flight from Boston took about 2.5 hours, but it took me 45 minutes to get out of the airport. That's paramount structural inefficiency. Sandwich prices in the airport are stunning - I paid over $10 for a very sub-par sandwich and coke worth only $5. Security with their million dollar scanners still rely on hand pat-downs. One bright side - the people were quite efficient and friendly.

Driving around Atlanta brought to my mind one vision: America's structural dependence on the gasoline engine is stunning. Atlanta is quintessential urban sprawl. Nothing is designed for walking as a backup. Even when one drives to be close to one's destination, there is almost no way to safely walk to stores nearby. Why? The decline and disregard for simple practices of local connectivity that an old town center - aka Main Street - had. City rules require parking - yup, parking for every store. And stores jealously guard their parking, threatening towing if customers of other stores park on their lot.

Atlanta has some buses and some kind of local train (MARTA). But it's completely inadequate; it has to be - the structure of the urban layout does not work for alternative transportation.

Obviously the Ruling Classes fail here again. The US has no rational energy policy and no long term transportation policy.

Why does much of Europe do much better on these matters? Unemployment in Germany drops to a multiyear low this week. Germany is heavily unionized. Its workers - and people - have excellent benefits. Obviously we could learn something from the Germans.

One difference: pay at the top in Germany is held down by taxes and social pressure and pressure from true outside representation on their Supervisory Boards.

Germany doesn't seem to give financial Vikings a free rein to raid and loot companies, either.

The US Ruling Classes have the wrong culture and values to lead America to a new era of greatness. The professional and technocrat classes ruling from DC - aka hogs - simply want to get snouts in the trough while there is food remaining. Their attitude fits a memorable line from that great movie, "Hud", made by the lead character, Hud, a man with no principles: "Let's stick our biscuit in that gravy while it's still hot."

That's the motto of the DC Ruling Classes.

This coming Tuesday, the voters need to pull that gravy bowl away and send the Ruling Class - all of them - back to the countryside for some honest labor.

Word of the Day

"Rambunctious" - adjective [$10] N. American colloq., 19th century origin unknown.
Rambunctious means 1. uncontrollably exuberant; 2. unruly.
Sentence: My new puppy, Lucky Star, is rambunctious to the max!


Bunkerman said...

sheesh, these hedge fund managers make me sick. Just heard another one talking about asset bubbles -

the reason asset bubbles occur is because THERE IS TOO MUCH MONEY IN HEDGEF FUNDS.

They create the bubbles - all that money sloshing around, looking for an easy profit.

Bunkerman said...

sheesh ... Blabberg idiot talks about who brought down Merrill Lynch ... sheesh, Stan Neal brought down ML.

Bud said...

are you kidding me ???

the reason asset bubbles occur is because is QE2 !!!!!!

Bunkerman said...

uh ... what was the QE in 2000 tech bubble ?

this is so easy.

Bunkerman said...

unemployment is thru the roof, and Obama wants to give businesses a break to buy equipment ... to replace workers.

What a knave!

Bunkerman said...

and I guess the oil bubble of summer 2008 was caused by the Fed?

Hedge funds caused that one, too.

Bud said...

hedge fund managers create give them money...............and they give you back more than you put up

if's called capitalism.............plain and simple

Bud said...

Bman how come you ignored my posts from this week ?? why no Ipad on these stupid trips you take

Bunkerman said...

I took the iPad, but was a bit busy. My mind was not on the "big picture".

Bunkerman said...

hedge funds create no wealth on a composite basis.

How can trading create wealth except for the lucky winning fund managers?

mfl59 said...

isn't running a hedge fund similar to running a "gentleman's" club?

only a few lucky ones get rich...

massive skim taken off the top by the "manager"

customers getting fleeced left and right...

Bud said...

inflation check :

Athenas hummus........i pay 4bux at publix.............last year's just a bunch of chick-peas

i guess the common man won't be eating hummus anytime soon......let it fall my ass

Bunkerman said...

Yup re hedge funds. They are a gigantic scam the dumb rich fall for.

Bunkerman said...

One can get hummus cheap at Costco.

If you voluntarily overpay, don't call it inflation.

Bunkerman said...

I switched my main wine source to WSJ wines because they were better for less money.

Bunkerman said...

I save gas, too. Sun boy would approve.

Spin-em said...

looooool Bunk