Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Monster's Name is Greed

-first stanza of poem "Greed" from the book Songs from the South-West Country, 1899, edited by Freeman Edwin Miller

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ode to Creativity

Monday, January 4, 2010

Trouble Collecting the Money You're Owed?

It could be worse. The Dominion Post (from Wellington, New Zealand) reports that the Wellington Library is owed more than $1 million in overdue fines.

My favorite tid-bits from this article:

It appears hip-hop CDs, science fiction and books on crime, Maori tattoos, alternative religions and Hitler are returned late most frequently. Ironically, given the 60 cents a day overdue fee, books on money-making and memory aids are also often tardy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Decade of the Broke

The Washington Post is reporting that the decade that we just completed was the first since the relevant data have been kept in which the economy did not grow and personal income and wealth did not rise.

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well....

And the net worth of American households -- the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts -- has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s...

But beyond these dramatic ups and downs lies an even more sobering reality: long-term economic stagnation. The trillions of dollars that poured into housing investment and consumer spending in the first part of the decade distorted economic activity.

Capital was funneled to build mini-mansions in Sun Belt suburbs, many of which now sit empty, rather than toward industrial machines or other business investment that might generate economic output and jobs for years to come.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010