6-7-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chalk up Another One for Central Planning

I often wonder these days when I will cease being a member of the tiny minority that calls our current economic morass a depression. The following comes from a list of ten reasons why the job market is even worse than the last employment report indicates:

This is already the longest jobs recession since the Great Depression at 53 months. Payrolls aren't on track to reach the old highs until June 2015, assuming the sluggish economic expansion lasts that long.
Since earlier bullet items indicate that the government's metrics already make things look better than they are, this is really saying something.

Weekend Reading

"The need for money, and the potential for shortage, requires us all to be good thinkers. It's never too early to learn how to think - or how to spend." -- Michael Hurd, in "An Allowance Helps Prepare for Life" at DrHurd.com

"If the current negative environment for Europe repeats the massive turnaround of Latin America and other emerging markets a decade ago, any one of these admittedly troubled telecoms could pay off. " -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Dialing up Europe's Troubled Telecoms" at SmartMoney

"This sounds like the punch line to a bad joke, but this scenario is analogous to the largest theft racket in history - the U.S. entitlement programs - and what you have just read is in fact the precise reaction of its defenders." -- Wendy Milling, in "U.S. Entitlements: The Largest Theft Racket in History" at Forbes

From the Vault, My Two Cents

In his column, Michael Hurd mentions having run a paper route and, in the process reminds me of an experience with a deadbeat subscriber I brought up in a post a couple of years back.
My father, probably because I did not adequately convey how rude and abusive this person was (or because the customer successfully made me look like a jerk), told me that I had been rude and that adults deserved respect. That was the first time I ever found myself disagreeing with my father about a matter of opinion. I kept it to myself, though, because I knew my father to be someone who was conscientious about learning whet he needed to know and forming his opinions. I differed with him, but still respected him -- but I still felt no respect for the deadbeat subscriber. I decided then that respect, or at least my respect, was something that had to be earned. (To be fair, I also suspect my father would agree with such a sentiment.)
Hurd's piece focuses on money management, but first jobs teach so much more!

Oh, Boy!

This ZDNet column is close to my own reaction to the sweeping, ill-advised changes Microsoft will foist upon its user base with Windows 8:
An example I've used previously is that the Windows 8 user interface feels like something out of the mind of a child asked to draw a futuristic car. They'd give you the general car shape and then bolt on something like wings or rockets. Rather than ending up with something new and usable, you end up being presented with a Frankenstein's monster of cobbled together parts that are clumsy and impractical.
From Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, I recall Howard Roark's disdain for the unthinking use, on modern buildings, of traditional architectural elements that had been rendered obsolete by new materials. Slapping the user interface for a tablet onto a desktop OS strikes me as exectly the same kind of sin, albeit in a reverse time orientation.


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