Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just to follow up on that last post...

The crisis explained in one chart

This chart compares total debt (or “credit”) in the U.S. to GDP (or Gross Domestic Product) on a percentage basis. Current total credit-market debt stands at more than 340 percent of total GDP.

So that big spike in the 1930's was during the Great Depression. But it wasn't a run-up in debt that caused that spike. It was the GDP contracting out from under the debt value. (Remember this graph is debt/GDP ratio, so if you shrink the bottom half of the fraction, the line goes up.)

In the current crisis, up until now at least, GDP has not been shrinking. At least not much. The spike is because our debt is increasing. The remedy, supposedly, is even more debt. The line goes up. And what if our economy shrinks and our GDP declines? (What if!) Yes, the line goes up. Put them together, and.... well, hang on, we're already off the freakin' charts here. We're gonna take that line in the red oval, and cause it to spike?


Our government is insolvent.

And I was really hoping for some nice tax rebates for solar panels and hybrid cars. And a functional health care system. And money for retirement. Oh well, maybe next time.

So start picking out names for the new country you and your neighbors will be forming.

A few thoughts when you're drafting up new laws: Don't give corporations the same legal status as individuals. Don't let bankers be in charge of banking regulations. Don't let chemical companies be in charge of agricultural policy. And don't have an electoral college.

Feel free to add your own suggestions.


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At 2/18/2009 3:56 PM, Blogger jewishfarmer said...

Hey, doesn't that mean that it is time for you all to come live in my new country, which will probably consist of upstate NY, Vermont and some bits of Canada? Do you really want to end up living in TexArkanOhio?

(Hey, it is no more unlikely than the Russian dude who says that South Carolina and Massachusetts will be part of the same country - I don't think they are even now!)


At 2/18/2009 8:55 PM, Blogger d.a. said...


I think Austin and the counties that surround it will become a landlocked "island nation" within Texas. I'd have no problem with that!

At 2/18/2009 10:30 PM, Blogger knutty knitter said...

I'll watch with some fascination :)

viv in nz

At 2/19/2009 9:36 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

Some guy here in Maine has already decided how it would work for those of us in New England. His plan is for the six states in the extreme northeastern US break off and form New England. He actually has some pretty good ideas :).

I would like to see the "party" system abolished. As far as I can tell, the two parties are private "clubs", and they have no business in the public sector trying to tell us how we should do things.

At 2/19/2009 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.

The bill is currently endorsed by 1,246 state legislators — 460 sponsors (in 48 states) and an additional 786 legislators who have cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

The National Popular Vote bill has been endorsed by the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Miami Herald, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sacramento Bee, The Tennessean, Fayetteville Observer, Anderson Herald Bulletin, Wichita Falls Times, The Columbian, and other newspapers. The bill has been endorsed by Common Cause, Fair Vote, and numerous other organizations.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in Arkansas (80%), California (70%), Colorado (68%), Connecticut (73%), Delaware (75%), Kentucky (80%), Maine (71%), Massachusetts (73%), Michigan (73%), Mississippi (77%), Missouri (70%), New Hampshire (69%), Nebraska (74%), Nevada (72%), New Mexico (76%), New York (79%), North Carolina (74%), Ohio (70%), Pennsylvania (78%), Rhode Island (74%), Vermont (75%), Virginia (74%), Washington (77%), and Wisconsin (71%).

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 22 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com


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