The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 37   Go Down

Author Topic: Signs of the Greater Depression  (Read 103277 times)

Silver

  • thrivalist
  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3687
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2008, 06:06:50 am »

The odds of having a blackout due to the credit crunch are nil.  Zip.  Nada.  That article is agitprop, designed solely to stampede the herd.  Don't pay any attention to it.

What the article discussed is the plight of faux businesses created by "re-regulation" of Texas electricity markets.  The businesses they refer to are middlemen.  In general, they add very little value.  In general, they are undercapitalized.  In general, they go out of business.

The lights stay on.  Politicians took note when Gray Davis was recalled from office in California after rolling blackouts.  No pol will let that happen on his watch.  When the middlemen go out of business, nothing changes except bookeeping entries.  The generators still spin, the lines still link, the electrons get pumped.  It was set up this way, that your electricity stays on even if your faux "supplier" goes down, precisely because the pols know people will not stand for having their electricity cut.

Clarence points out a much more significant problem: aging infrastructure and maintenance.  FERC effectively nationalized transmission assets worth nearly a trillion dollars.  That has essentially eliminated all incentives for private investment in transmission systems.  The system will expand by only 1% on the next 10 years - and I can see that future because it takes a long time to permit and construct a transmission line.  The system will grow by 1%, but demand for electricity will grow 10-20%. 

"Re-regulation" also took most of the power out of seats on the public utility commissions.  In the bad old days, those commissions made decisions about where power plants and transmission lines got built.  They oversaw utility budgets for hundreds of millions of dollars.  If the utility needed to increase spending on upgrade or maintenance of local "stick and wire" equipment serving consumers, it was a small part of the total budget and invariably approved. 

Now, PUCs have very little power, and are staffed by know-nothing hacks.  The only thing they can do is get in the way of the stick and wire shells left of the unities.  Today PUCs routinely deny most or all requests for upgrades, and demand that maintenance budgets are cut year after year.  Then they crow about how they have saved ratepayers money.

Utility equipment is very expensive and lasts a long time, 40 years or more.  This is not a business built on credit, but on patient capital.  The capital has been withdrawn, except for generation, as a direct result of government intervention in the market.  It's possible to defer maintenance, but most distribution systems are nearing the end of their useful lives.  They will begin failing more frequently and take longer to fix.

We are in danger of more and prolonged blackouts, but not because of the credit crunch.  We are in danger because nationalizing the transmission system means shortages of transmission capacity and services.  There may be privately funded generators up and running 100 miles away, but your lights will go out because the central planners running the transmission system are just as incompetent and stupid and unable to manage any section of the economy as the commissars of the former USSR.   We are in danger because one-size-fits-all government regulation of electricity distribution denies those of us who believe in well-maintained, highly reliable electric service from being able to purchase those services in the free market.

Peace,

Silver
Logged

freewoman

  • Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1704
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2008, 06:46:33 am »

Amen, Silver!  My ex works in the nuclear power industry; he's become a safety expert (long story).  After 9 years with him, I've heard plenty of stories just like what you shared.  It just reinforces my desire to get off the grid and develop my own system, which I can hopefully keep maintained properly.
Logged

Silver

  • thrivalist
  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3687
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2008, 07:22:35 am »

Thank you for the kind words, freewoman.

Given your husbands expertise and your desire to get off the grid, perhaps you should investigate the Hyperion personal nuclear reactor

Actually, it's only personal if your home and occupation need 25 megawatts, but it's a very interesting play for a gulch of a few thousand people.

Peace,

Silver
Logged

freewoman

  • Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1704
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2008, 09:05:12 am »

I'll bookmark this under one of my folders; if I strike it rich, that would be a good item to purchase!  However, I'm no longer married to the guy--thank goodness; he's someone else's problem now!
Logged

dogsledder54

  • Guest
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2008, 11:22:45 am »


My ex works in the nuclear power industry; he's become a safety expert
Logged

ShortyDawkins

  • Liberty Vanguard 2011
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1684
  • Legends are made here.
    • Shorty Dawkins Freedom Outlaw
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2008, 05:42:20 pm »

Americans teetering on $14 trillion debt pile

By Emily Kaiser - Analysis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Free-spending U.S. consumers who bought everything from homes to groceries on borrowed money are running out of credit, and paying the bills will cost the world's biggest economy and its trading partners dearly.

The housing bust has exposed just how much Americans were relying on rising home values to pad spending and replace traditional savings. During the five-year real estate boom that ended in late 2006, household wealth expanded, retail sales grew faster than income, and savings dwindled.

more at:
 http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSTRE4AD3A620081114?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

 Looks like the chickens are coming home to nest.

 Shorty Dawkins
Logged
Shorty Dawkins Freedom Outlaw
http://www.shortydawkins.weebly.com

byron mc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2924
Japan
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2008, 07:28:18 am »

Quote
Benjamin Pedley, managing direct at LGT Investment Management, said on CNBC Monday that he expects the contraction in the Japanese economy to last as long as four quarters.

Japan enters first recession since 2001
Nov. 17, 2008
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Japan-enters-first-recession-since/story.aspx?guid=%7BF3D8117D%2DD0DC%2D4AA9%2DA48E%2D934DEE794FFB%7D


Quote
Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, has officially slipped into recession,
Japan’s Economy, World’s Second Largest, Is in Recession
November 16, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/17/business/worldbusiness/17yen.html
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 07:37:48 am by byron m »
Logged
l

clarence

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1532
  • sui juris, in propia persona
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2008, 06:52:56 pm »

Quote
Looks like the chickens are coming home to nest.

 Shorty Dawkins

those ain't chickens, they're vultures.

clarence
Logged
je suis contre

tu ne cede malis

"Don't feel bad, most species of large mammal die off...it's just our turn." Herb Ruhs, MD

Lightning

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2416
  • Heheheh...
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2008, 09:37:08 am »

From the latest LEAP2020/GEAB report abstract at this link:

Quote
Sign of the times, the Financial Times has started to list the US federal state’s tangible assets: military bases, national parks, public buildings, museums, etc… everything has been evaluated for a total amount of approximately 1,500-billion USD, i.e. more or less the probable amount of the budget deficit in 2009 (see the detail of these assets in the chart below).

You can go to the link and scroll down to see that chart -- red pie chart titled "US Government Balance Sheet."  Or, let me sum up:

US Govt Assets as of September 2007 (in billions of US$)
Source: "US GOA" (Govt Accountability Office, presumably?) and Financial Times

Securities and Investments          100
Property, plant and equipment     691
Inventories                                277
Loans receivable                         232
Accounts and taxes receivable       88
Cash                                         128
Other                                         65

TOTAL                              $1,581 billion -- or $1.581 trillion

And these numbers were as of more than a year ago.  What's that "securities and investments" number looking like now?  And the "loans receivable" and "accounts and taxes receivable"?

Why do I get the feeling that this list is a financial statement for use in probate or (the mother of all) bankruptcies?...
Logged
I'm damn well free to dance through life even if 'they' expect me to cringe and crawl.

"Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it."  --Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Magorium, in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Kregener

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1204
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2008, 10:21:17 am »

Logged
"Come a day there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. This job goes south, there well may not be another. So here is us, on the raggedy edge.

Don't push me, and I won't push you."

byron mc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2924
The recession in your state
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2008, 11:50:08 am »

Quote
The fact that states can't declare bankruptcy also supports their relatively strong ratings. That's one key reason why states have a higher median rating than cities, which can file for bankruptcy protection (as Vallejo, Calif., voted to do in May). What's good for states when it comes to easing their financial woes can also end up meaning more hardship for their cities as states push expenditures down to the local level.


The recession in your state
As the outlook worsens for local economies, we check in on your home state.
November 19, 2008
http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/18/news/economy/states_recession.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008111904

Logged
l

NuclearDruid

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6100
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2008, 11:38:23 am »

Clothing repairs supplies up.

Sewing machines fly off shelves as shoppers craft a make-do-and-mend Christmas

Quote
John Lewis, despite suffering from a sharp fall in overall sales, has sold 18 per cent more sewing machines and 40 per cent more buttons than a year ago. Dress pattern sales have shot up by 12 per cent.

Tesco has also reported a surge in the number of sewing machines and in shoe cleaning equipment as consumers look to cherish their clothes and shoes, rather than let them fall apart.

Julia Dudrenec, at the Welwyn Garden City outlet of John Lewis, said: "There are many first-timers coming into the haberdashery and dress fabrics departments asking for advice on how to create their own gifts.

ND
Logged
"GREAT COMEBACK FOR STOCK MARKET" - Front page, Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 22nd, 1929

"I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one man can make a difference..." -Adm. Hyman G. Rickover

byron mc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2924
Retailers revive layaway plans
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2008, 02:12:28 pm »

Quote
"As we moved toward a cashless society, layaway sort of moved into the shadows. But now it has come back as people are trying to avoid using their credit cards."

It is a sign of tightening credit and the struggling economy and is aimed at people with low to middle incomes who may have maxed-out their credit cards or face strict home budgets.
Quote
The concept of layaway originated in the Great Depression as a way for cash-poor customers to buy items. Nearly 80 years later, people in Ohio, Michigan, and elsewhere are struggling with their finances and layaway is providing a way to make purchases.
November 18, 2008
Retailers revive layaway plans in light of struggling economy
http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081118/BUSINESS10/811180321/0/BUSINESS03


Kmart, which never ended layaway but didn't promote it, has made layaway the focus of its seasonal ad campaign. Sears, which kept layaway for jewelry only but did away with the service years ago, announced last week it was bringing layaway back for most items in response to customer demand.

 
Quote
The concept of layaway originated in the Great Depression as a way for cash-poor customers to buy items. Nearly 80 years later, people across the country are struggling with their finances and layaway is providing a way to make purchases.

At the Burlington Coat Factory store in South Toledo, Ohio, clerks were putting more than 30 boxes of items a day into layaway last August, but that has risen to more than 170 boxes per day, said manager Kim Wischow.
Hard times bring back layaway: Kmart, Sears push old purchasing option in marketing campaign
07 December 2008
http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/291342/18/
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 08:42:59 pm by byron m »
Logged
l

Junker

  • Guest
Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2008, 10:32:55 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20081114/bs_nf/63026

    Sun Laying Off Up To 6,000 Workers in Restructuring

    Nov 14, 3:46 pm ET

    Sun Microsystems on Friday said it will lay off 15 to 18 percent of its workforce. The announcement comes as part of a series of changes the company is making as it continues an uphill struggle.

    Beyond laying off up to 6,000 employees, Sun will also break up its software into new business groups -- Application Platform Software, Systems Platforms, and Cloud Computing & Developer Platforms. Sun's intention is to boost its open-source momentum and attract new sectors of the market that view technology as a competitive weapon.

    Sun expects the changes to align its costs with the global economic climate and accelerate the introduction of compelling open-source innovations. But some analysts are skeptical that these changes will fix the internal problems.

    "Today, we have taken decisive actions to align Sun's business with global economic realities and accelerate our delivery of key open-source platform innovations, from MySQL to Sun's latest Open Storage offerings," Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said.
    . . .
    [/list]
    Logged

    NuclearDruid

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Offline Offline
    • Posts: 6100
    Re: Signs of the Greater Depression
    « Reply #44 on: November 26, 2008, 09:11:12 am »

    I thought about posting this in the Silly Stuff thread however it MUST be a sign of the Greater Depression when a job as the "School Cafeteria Lady" offers the most financial security! ^_^

    Former adult star working at local school

    Quote
    In a interview with a local newspaper, Tuck defended her ability to work around children despite her past career.

    But some are not convinced.

    The school superintendent says the district is investigating all of it's options to see what sort of recourse it has.

    ND
    Logged
    "GREAT COMEBACK FOR STOCK MARKET" - Front page, Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 22nd, 1929

    "I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one man can make a difference..." -Adm. Hyman G. Rickover
    Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 37   Go Up