Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good morning to you all on this rainy Thursday morning. The thunderstorms moved in overnight with a major drop in temperature. The high for today arrived sometime very early this morning and the temp is supposed to settle around 60 for the day. I will enjoy the relief from the heat while I can. Given how wet it is I won't be doing anything in the gardens today. I was relieved to see that all of the plants on the fence are still on the fence. Considering how the wind howled last night I wasn't sure they would be. The only ones I really worried about were the roses. They are in small, lighter pots. I think I will put something else on the fence and keep the roses down where they will have more protection. After nursing two back to health and blooming I don't want to lose them to a wind driven topple out of the fence racks. Oh, I almost forgot--almost all of my tomatoes are blooming and one actually has a little tomato growing. I noticed that the acorn squash has gotten big enough that I need to put the low rungs of my trellis in so I can start training the plants to grow up the trellis. Also I have to trim a couple of low branches off the tomatoes. They resemble little trees now but trimming away the lower branches leaves some space and sun for lower growing plants.

I just had an interesting thought (to me anyway). I see a strong resemblance between some of the arguments on the economy and those on the issue of climate change. Consider this item from Huffington Post which quotes Austan Goolsbee saying that we have no economic crisis and one months' down data doesn't mean anything. Then think of the number of times climate change critics insist that the latest nasty weather event doesn't mean anything and there is no climate change (with which climate change proponents would agree). What is the parallel you ask? Well, each is rejecting the selected event (a monthly worsening in the labor statistics or a sudden severe weather incident) and then proceeding to use it to reject the broader trend. I could agree that each item by itself is no indicator of a trend. That would be like trying to describe a line by a single point--a meaningless exercise in futility. However, a large number of similar incidents (or points) starts to describe a meaningful trend (or line). I don't think there have been many years over the last twenty when I (and others) haven't commented on how very odd the weather was. Most of those twenty years recorded average temps among the highest in history as well as other weather anomalies. Twenty points are much better indicators of the direction of a line than one. The situation is a bit messier with the economy but there are interesting indicators. We have the second recession in a decade that has been described as 'jobless.' We have thirty years of statistics showing that wages have basically stagnated. We have thirty years of statistics showing the concentration of wealth in the top 10% and even more strikingly in the top 1%. The talking heads tell us that inflation is low or non-existent and we shake our heads and wonder who is doing their shopping. We have a bunch of Pollyannas telling us "don't worry and be happy" because this or that piddling little data point doesn't mean anything and that we don't have to do anything because there simply is no crisis out there. There is an old saying that describes a committee as the only living organism with six or more legs and no brain. That makes a society the largest committee around and ours is worst of all.

CNN just had a news flash that the Federal Government is going to withhold a subsidy from three banks, including Wells Fargo and JP Morgan, because of their poor performance in the mortgage modification program. That is nice--maybe even a good start. But the talking heads asked a question that I would like to know the answer to--how much of a hit is this really?

I think the kids had this one right and it is really too bad the parents had to get bent out of shape.

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

Looks like I'm back blogging :)
cleaned out my cookies and cache and that did the trick. Hubby had to help me of course, I'm not that computer minded :)

take care