DoomwatchTM vs. Timesizing®

Collapse trends - May, 2002
[Commentary] ©2002 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080


5/28/2002  headlines from hell -
  1. Where's the boom? - Beware the ideas of March, op ed by Paul Krugman, NYT, A23.
    [Krugman comments that it's not so much the presence of bad news, just the absence of good news, especially about signs of life in business investment. Maybe it's time businessmen looked back at neo-classical economics and the doctrine of the marginal efficiency of concentrated capital. When you concentrate that much spending power that tightly, sooner or later there's not enough circulation to sustain its value. How to centrifuge it most gradually and flexibly by market forces with only one planned adjustment? Reverse the surplus of labor and shortage of employment by flexible adjustment of the workweek.]

  2. Japan: Retail sales fall, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    [Oh no, not agaaain! Japan has a full-fledged deflationary depression under way and, until proud leaders admit it, there's no way they're going to implement the necessary structural reforms on the national level that they're now implementing only on the prefectural level in terms of work-sharing. But alas, reality often provides token "saves" that let the visionless continue business as usual. In this case, it's tomorrow's story about Japan's 5 largest automakers increasing production at their overseas plants last month to meet growing demand in US and Canada and elsewhere - "Japan: More autos built," by Ken Belson, 5/29/2002 NYT, W1.]

  3. Site rates charities on finances - Lets donors compare, evaluate stability -...But some question results, by Bruce Mohl, Boston Globe, C1.
    [Aside from the fact that some of these "non profit" CEOs are making $352K (Harvard U) and $475K (Dana Farber Cancer Institute) and the website doesn't seem to penalize them for that, there's the big background consideration that any economy that relies for vital functions on capricious charity is to that extent lethally flawed.]

  4. Employees at plant on Hudson [River] defend nuclear reactors' safety, by Winnie Hu, NYT, A19.
    [Well, as Grannie used to say, "We believe you but thousands wouldn't." Give it up, you morons. From insiders, we've heard about your drug usage, sexual escapades in the "hot" zone, and the architectural masterplan that led some of your pipes into one side of a wall never to appear on the other side. This technology suits the surface of a star like our Sun, not a planet like our Earth. By the way, who are you victimizing with your 30,000-year-radioactive refuse these days?]

  5. Number of foster parents drops, report finds - False charges of abuse are cited among the reasons for the decline, NYT, A17.
    [And in the background, the disgraceful fact that it's much easier for many Americans to adopt South American or Chinese unwanted babies than American unwanted babies.]

  6. Thieves steal homeowners' identities and their equity - Arranging fraudulent sales or loans and pocketing proceeds, by Adam Clymer, NYT, A12.
    [More on this scary battlefront while our law enforcement workforce wastes its time on victimless crimes like recreational drugs and the adult sex trade]
    ...The creativity of identity thieves is almost endless.... Identity theft carries only a three-year maximum sentence.

  7. [And last but not least -]
    Nearly 100 Kentucky men add to accusations against priests - 'Go home and pray and never speak of this again', by Francis Clines, NYT, A15.
    ...In tears, Mr. Pierce recounted being 12 when his father was dying and a priest who prayed at the hospital sickbed convinced his mother that he could comfort the boy. Two hours of sexual abuse followed at the priest's apartment, Mr. Pierce said, along with a warning that no one would believe him if he complained.
    "That priest is the one that gave my dad his last rites," Mr. Pierce said, describing the aspect that he said haunted him most and impelled him finally to disclose his past..\..
    "I should have done this 26 years ago," said James R. Pierce...a mechanic angry that he has been silent until now. "This is such a worthy cause. It's my time to speak out for that little boy within me that's been screaming and screaming, 'Defend me!'"...

5/26-27/2002  headlines from hell -
  1. (5/27) Atlanta's growing thirst creates water war, by Douglas Jehl, NYT, front page.
    ...Atlanta and its swelling suburbs, still ballooning with [development], rely for nearly all their water on the Chattahoochee River, a relative trickle of a waterway that is the smallest to supply so large an American city. ...In the last 10 years, as greater Atlanta's population soared nearly 40%, the withdrawals from the Chattahoochee have kept pace, with more than 400m gallons now sucked from the river and a reservoir every day, helping to keep countless suburban lawns green. But for the first time, Atlanta is being forced to admit that the current pattern cannot be sustained.
    [There's that hallmark ecological concern again - sustainability.]
    That theme is at the heart of a dispute [between] Georgia, Alabama and Florida about dividing water rights for the next half-century, and it has left Atlanta to ponder what to do when its share of the Chattahoochee runs out..\..
    [So the Chesterton Flaw (assuming no one will take more than his share) appears in yet another guise.]
    It has all the elements of a classic regional water war, pitting developers against environmentalists and state against state. Yet this battle is gripping not the parched Southwest, but the normally verdant Southeast, in a sign of future clashes around the country over an increasingly limited supply of fresh water....
    [The much maligned prophecies of MIT's Limits to Growth team don't look so dumb....]

  2. (5/26) Losing to technology - We do what the technology lets us, and punt on the rest, by Mary Helen Gillespie, Boston Globe, G2.
    ...There's an urgent lesson to be learned from the latest corporate meltdowns: Adelphia Communications, Ernst & Young, and Metromedia Fiber Network.... These are not small entities that made widgets in a converted garage. These are, or at least were, industry leaders with global reach. Now they are battling huge disruptions ranging from bankruptcy to SEC violations. How does this happen, week after week...day after day?
    My theory: Because management lets it. It is the result of the 24-7 multitasking at which we have all become experts. Think of it as the Default Scool of Management. We all harbor unrealistic expectations that by deploying technology, managers are in fact executing strategy. But we're not hitting goals, just the "send" button on the top of the PC screen.
    We send e-mail to people who sit next to us during working hours rather than stand up and ask a question in person. Face it: we have become a natoin of techno-losers. The technology that makes it possible to work all the time from any place is corrupting the ability to lead....
    [Or at least prioritize, schedule and time things right, all key management skills.]
    Despite the buoyant insistence of software developers, this miasma of binary code and business rules \encased in\ customer relation mgmt software, knowledge mgmt S/W and Web-based marketing campaigns...is only a tool to enhance processes, not to replace them.
    [Compare the subatomic clocks that idiot savants claim defines time, not just refines a long-standing definition forged by the spinning Earth.]
    Network systems, and the data warehouse that supports them, have become the ruling entities over business processes. "Can't do X" because the system doesn't support it. So we do what the technology lets us, and punt on the rest....
    [Compare the happytalk overleaf -]
    Virtual rival for training by the book - More companies seeing benefits of e-learning, by Diane Lewis, BG, G1.
    [We still say you can't beat one-to-one human-to-human on-the-job training targeted by overtime. Would you turn over your child to be reared by computer? (&ifso, why'd you have him/her?)]

  3. (5/26) Job changers move along but not up, BG, G2.
    ...Nearly one in five Americans changed employment status during the first quarter of 2002 and most changed jobs because of necessity rather than choice, according to Lee Hecht Harrison, an international outplacement firm. The company, which surveyed 1,002 adults last month, said fewer workers actually advanced within their organization between the first and second quarter.
    "The bottom line is that there simply aren't as many opportunities for people to advance internally because of economic pressures," said Colin Moor, senior VP and general manager. "In boom times, people denied a promotion might leave in anger and frustration. Today most people are pleased to simply be in the same job."
    [Compare -]
    Career reboot - When the dot-com boom went bust, many workers lost their jobs but gained the opportunity to reassess work and life - ...Layoffs often lead to career changes, but this downturn seems to be producing even more soul-searching, by Marcella Bombardieri, BG, B1.
    ...In Massachusetts last month, 168,700 people were working in the non-manufacturing high-technology sector, 16,300 fewer than one year before, according to state figures. Where have those workers gone?..\.. [More jobs, less pay. Sounds like the "10,000 new jobs" that Clinton claimed to have created and one woman stood up and said, "Tell me about it, I've got three of them myself!" Re Karasic's job as a laundromat attendant -]
    "I'm not proud of it," Karasic...who lives in Quincy MA, said of her job there. She thinks of it this way: In three nights, at roughly $7 an hour, she makes half of her 15-year-old son's monthly tuition at BC High School. "I do it because it helps make ends meet. These are tough times."...

  4. (5/27) Group says 27 million are enslaved, Reuters via BG, A9.
    LONDON - ...In a report released to coincide with the opening of a special UN session on slavery, Anti-Slavery International said slavery was fueled by "poverty, vulnerability, and lack of political will." The British-based group urged governments to stamp out the practice and highlighted in particular sexual exploitation of children, forced labor in Sudan, and trafficking of child camel jockeys to the United Arab Emirates.... Citing research by the ILO, the group estimated that...girls younger than 16...employed in domestic labor...probably "run into the millions worldwide."...
    [Compare -]
    (5/26) Child porn purveyors get younger - The new generation taps Internet's power, by Michael Rosenwald, BG, B1.
    ...Law enforcement officials, psychiatrists, and child abuse experts are increasingly finding teens and twenty-somethings implicated in child porn cases....
    [The desperation for income spreads and deepens and darkens. And all we need to do with all this wonderful technology is just spread the vanishing honest human employment around by cutting the workweek.]

5/23/2002  headlines from hell -
  1. Severe water and land loss predicted over a generation - Recent steps have helped, a study says, but won't be able to halt severe shortages, by Andrew Revkin, NYT, A6.
    Expansion of cities, destruction of forests, erosion of fields and rising demand for water are likely to threaten human and ecological health in many countries for at least a generation, according to a new UN report on environmental trends...which was released yesterday by the UN Environment Program. ...Most regions of the world will see their biological diversity and coastal ecosystems badly damaged by 2032....
    [This is the type of thing the NY Times should have on its front page, not the ongoing ephemera about Bush's mismanagenet and Arab-Israeli moronity. The Boston Globe version buries it further in on page A12 and focuses on the problems for other species besides us -]
    UN report sees extinction threat - Says humans are taking habitats, AP via BG, A12.
    [There's a mention of water shortage in halfway through paragraph one, but basically we have to dig down to the fourth paragraph to find a warning for us -]
    ...At a London news conference, UN Ennvironment Program exec. dir. Klaus Toepfer said [housing and industrial] development "across more and more areas of the planet is not sustainable...."
    [Which makes it all the more urgent to get a handle on human population. And as far as we know, the only complete economic core design currently available that integrates population variables into quality-of-life concerns is the Timesizing full-employment program, especially its Phase 5.]

  2. US pushes to keep its troops exempt from world court, by Elizabeth Neuffer, BG, front page.
    United Nations - The Bush administration, facing a July 1 deadline when war crimes could be prosecuted by a new world criminal court, is stepping up efforts to exempt American troops and other US officials from the tribunal's jurisdiction....
    [The usual "we're above the law" US BS that started when Democrat president Woodrow Wilson dreamed up the UN's predecessor (the League of Nations) and then got so perfectionistic, uncompromising and unsharing about it that he soured the Republicans and kept the US from joining. See Thomas Bailey's "Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal."]

  3. [and back to bashing the Republicans, justifiably -]
    The working mom con - GOP wants mothers to be at home - unless they're poor and single, by Ellen Goodman, BG, A19.
    [The headline and subhead speak for themselves.]

5/21/2002  headlines from hell - 5/18/2002  headlines from hell - 5/15/2002  headlines from hell - 5/09/2002  headlines from hell - 5/08/2002  headlines from hell -
  1. [what else can we do to slow down recovery? -]
    A tax on Internet products, Reuters via NYT, W1.
    The European Union [EU] approved rules that will require companies in the United States and elsewhere outside the 15-nation union to levy a value-added tax [VAT] on products like computer games and software sold over the Internet to consumers. The new rules take effect in July 2003.
    [Talk about exceeding your authority! Talk about unfunded (and unfundable) mandates! Talk about taxing what you want (sales) instead of what you don't want (spending power in unspendable concentrations)! And notice that these officious clowns aren't even mandating a global Internet sales tax, which would be simple compared to this. They're trying to mandate a tax on every stage in production and distribution of a Web-sold product where "value" gets "added." Where do they GET these genius notions?]

  2. Argentina shakes, Uruguay rattles, by Jennifer Rich, NYT, W1.
    Thousands protested against economic conditions in Montevideo, Uruguay, in April. The country, already mired in recession for several years, has been significantly hurt by Argentina's deep economic troubles. [caption of photo showing long street filled with people with umbrellas - mustabin pouring!]...

  3. The war on what? - Is democracy a wallflower?, op ed by Thomas Friedman, NYT, A31.
    [louzy title for op ed that hits a coupla homers -]
    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Spend a few days in Indonesia and you'll find people asking you a question you weren't prepared for: Is America's war on terrorism going to become a war against democracy?
    As Indonesians see it, for decades after World War II, America sided with dictators, like their own Pres. Suharto, because of its war on Communism. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, America began to press more vigorously for democracy and human rights in countries like Indonesia, as the U.S. shifted from containing Communism to enlarging the sphere of democratic states. Indonesians were listening, and in 1998 they toppled Mr. Suharto and erected their first electoral democracy.
    Today Indonesians are still listening, and they're worried they're hearing America shift again - from a war for democracy to a war on terrorism, in which the U.S. will judge which nations are with it or against it not by the integrity of their elections or the justice of their courts, but by the vigor with which their army and police combat Al Qaeda [and] for Indonesia, [that] is not good news.
    "Indonesian democrats have always depended on America as a point of reference that we could count on to support us," said the prominent Indonesian coommentator Wimar Witoelar. "If we see you waffling...it is like the sun disappearing from the sky and everything starts to freeze here again..\.. Whom do we turn to?"...
    [With leadership so limited and backward as the five contemptible Supreme Court judges and their creature, Bush, we suggest Indonesia turn to Europe - Britain, France, Germany and Japan. America is roadkill until Bush is just a bad memory. And next, the Bushybrain's latest step backward -]

  4. In shift, Justice Dept. tells court individuals have a right to guns - Briefs reflect new policy on second amendment, by Linda Greenhouse, NYT, front page.
    WASHINGTON...- Reversing decades of official government policy on the meaning of the Second Amendment, the Justice Dept. told the Supreme Court for the first time late Monday that the Constitution "broadly protects the rights of individuals" to own firearms.
    The position, expressed in a footnote in each of two briefs filed by Solicitor General Theodore Olson, incorporated the view that Attorney General John Ashcroft expressed a year ago in a letter to the National Rifle Assoc....
    [Guess no matter how many mass murders we have, nothing will happen until they directly affect the NRA and the Bush administration.]

5/07/2002  headlines from hell - 5/06/2002  headlines from hell - 5/04/2002  headlines from hell -
  1. U.S. jobless rate increases to 6%; Highest in 8 years - Skepticism on economy, by David Leonhardt, NYT, front page.
    ...a sign that many companies are too worried about the economy to begin hiring again.
    [Must be pretty bad if even our official rosy-as-we-can-get-it unemployment rate is that high!   6%, 8-yr hi - this is about as mnemonic as the 6 wives of Henry the 8th. Or that Vancouver is not the capital of BC or on Vancouver Is.]
    The Labor Dept.'s report [yesterday] raised the possibility that the current economic 'recovery' [our quotes - ed.] could resemble the so-called jobless recovery of the early 1990's, when unemployment continued to rise for many months after a recession had ended.
    [Real recoveries don't begin, or recessions end, while there is rising unemployment.]
    In April, companies added a total [gross or net?] of 41,000 jobs to their payrolls, but the hiring of temporary workers was responsible for the entire increase.
    With the help of technological advances, businesses have been able to increase their production in recent months without adding permanent employees.
    [Again we ask, where are those who would claim that "technology creates more jobs than it destroys" - in the non-timesizing 'dark ages' of economics and corporate strategy?]
    "We're wondering where the boom is," said Denise R. Sutton, president of A. J. O'Neal & Assocs., an employment firm in Tampa, Fla....

  2. [and your daily dash of environmental disaster -]
    Bush to allow mining industry to fill streams, NYT, A10.
    ...administration approved regulations late today that will allow coal companies to dump leftover dirt and rock from mountaintop mining into streams and valleys....
    [With "regulation" like this, who needs "deregulation"?]

  3. [and latest demonstration of Americans' love of freedom -]
    Hawaii: Defeat on assisted suicide, by Michele Kayal, NYT, A10.
    ...25-member state Senate voted 14 to 11 against the bill on Thursday..\..would have made the state the second in the nation after Oregon to legalize doctor-assisted suicide....

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