21 May 2008

The political world keeps on spinning.

I supported Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday, and when I went to my district convention. I still think that she's a wonderful person, a superb Senator and would make a great president. But an absolute inability to admit defeat, to the point of moving the goal posts is a little much.

Neither Senator Obama nor I have won the 2210 delegates required to secure the nomination. And because this race is so close, still separated by less than 200 delegates out of more than 4,400, neither Senator Obama nor I will have reached that magic number when the voting ends on June the 3rd. Source

The talkers on MSNBC last night were saying that this is positioning, that this is a way to make sure that, come the right moment, Clinton can get something in return for bowing out. My father was talking (over the TV talkers) about how Hillary would be good for the VP slot. I'm not 100% sold on that idea, but he was making good arguments.

We are anxious for November around here. We're crunching numbers, looking at maps and graphs, talking over the cable talkers, spinning our own yarns about where this is all going to go. I can barely wait.

11 May 2008

No Boomer, actually you don't know what its like out here.

Here's a pair of articles, neither about the US, but talking about the same trend and I'm willing to bet that the same is true here.

After the boomers, meet the children dubbed 'baby losers'

'Some talk of a war between the generations, but that's a little simplistic. It is more that the system means that the haves are keeping what they have and no one is helping the have-nots,' said Chauvel. 'The big determinant in France now of success is not your educational level but the wealth of your parents, if they can support you during your twenties as you fight your way into a closed employment market.'

Young people entering workforce still earning less than parents did

Across all age groups, median salaries for full-time workers have changed little in 25 years. Workers today make, on average, a mere $53 more than they did in 1980, when adjusted for inflation, according to the census.

One could argue that this is the US, not Europe or Canada, but I seriously doubt that the demographics there are really that much different than the demographics here.

But as the boomers retire, surely jobs will open up. Maybe.

The looming retirement of the baby boom generation and the labour shortage that's expected to ensue could, however, spell good news for young folks anxious to enter the labour market or earn more cash.

Still, Morissette cautions the jobs may not materialize.

"In the face of labour shortages, some firms will make use of foreign outsourcing of services and will use labour abroad to fill up their orders," he said.

"These labour shortages might not necessarily lead to wage increases for younger workers."

Lehmann added there's also a good chance young people struggling to find well paying work today may simply be too old to take advantage by the time the market opens up.


So the boomers retire, here in the US they get on to the already stressed Social Security roster, and the people that are supposed to be earning money to refill the coffers, can't earn enough to build the stability that the middle class needs.

I'm not expecting to live beyond my means. I don't want a big house, two big cars and a huge TV, but I want to be able to buy a house in the next five to seven years. I want to be able to afford a child. I want a job that puts food on the table. I know that my grandparents gave my parents the down payment on the house I grew up in, and I'm not too proud to accept that kind of help. But I want to make it on my own, and that looks harder and harder everyday.

By the way, congrats to all the new college grads. I've been out here in the real world for a year, and let me tell you, that shock you're feeling, your parents don't actually know what its like.

10 May 2008

The Age of Oil Must End.

Clearly I've been neglecting this. I've got a steady 9 to 5 at a law firm thats been a steady 8 to 6 as The Big Case got ready to go to trial. But the case is settled into its court room and my part is pretty much over until the case ends in a few weeks. So I'll be back up to posting three or four times a week. Hopefully. Anyway, since I haven't posted in weeks I don't feel bad about not being on my usual topic schedule.

Oil Costs To Offset Stimulus Package

Since Congress and Bush unveiled an economic stimulus package Jan. 24, the price of the OPEC basket of crude oil has jumped by $32.51 a barrel, raising the cost of U.S. oil imports enough to offset the entire stimulus package over the course of the year.

Does this really surprise anyone? The stimulus package was supposed to be a shot in the arm for an economy where most people's ARMs had already exploded. The price of oil will never go down, maybe it will go down a little bit, small daily or weekly fluctuations. But like global climate change, the small day to day changes can't mask the relentless march upward.

"We're engaged in a painful experiment in discovering how high the price [of oil] has to go before it really, really hurts, before it hurts enough to slow demand globally," said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist for Deutsche Bank.

He's dead on. Something has got to give because we can't go on like this. We've known for some time now that eventually the economics of limited resources would drive the price of oil beyond what is reasonable.

The price of oil will never come down.

No gas tax holiday, no ethanol blend, no hybrid technology, no fuel efficiency standard, no maximum purchase at the pump, no drilling offshore, in oil sands or national wildlife reserves can change that. Even if we could get the cash price down, the climate change cost is, its increasingly obvious, more than we can really afford. The heyday of petrochemicals must end. We have no choice in that. What we can choose is what kind of withdrawal from oil addiction we will have. Are we going to deny that this is killing us until we hit rock bottom, or are we going to come to terms with whats going on here and get help?