Assorted links

1. A good point: "The central failure of these interviews, like so many, is that they operate from the proposition, "what would my readers find interesting?" instead of "what does my subject find interesting?"

2. Reason to worry about the second half of next year.

3. The Japanese sex-breakfast-mother-appreciation correlations.

4. How Victoria's Secret modifies a photo (excellent link, safe for work).

5. Photo sequences which are truly and deeply baffling to me.  And here is Tavi Gevinson, 13-year-old fashion maven.  

6. The evolution of empires; 1960 is the highlight.

7. Palindromic date puzzle.


2. Reason to worry

I believe the worst is yet to come, and we will see it in the next 18 to 36 months.

This small business owner is battening down the hatches: dramatically reducing debt, absolutely not hiring any new employees, trying new much lower-cost marketing initiatives, reducing costs wherever possible. It is a combination of the uncertainty created by Washington and our sense that the bad times they are a coming.

What we are certain of is that in the near term the federal government is going to increase our costs of doing business, not decrease or maintain the same level. And we will likely see that at the state level as well.

And the foreclosure problem is going to become worse in the next 12 to 18 months. See, as just one small example in real estate, "Another Shadow Story."

Also, we see only meager efforts to reduce spending at the state and local levels, and we see phenomenal growth of federal programs and employees, with the attendant generous salaries and benefits. And no reductions in the levels of compensation.

We see a very dangerous situation developing for businesses that do remain in business. Government regulation and taxes are going up, not down. That is not a recipe for growth in our opinion.

And the looming pension crisis in both public employee pensions and for bankrupt companies bodes nothing well for the future of the economy.

Many small business owners have a point at which they say, "Enough. I'm selling or closing my business, taking my ball, and going home." That point differs for all small business owners, but the fact of the matter is that, for most, increasing costs and regulatory strictures does not move that point further away.

5. Baffling Photo sequence
-Perhaps it is only baffling because we are not the target of the marketing industry that has made these women so concerned with altering their appearance?


Ramping down the stimulus money should only be a concern if you believe it is effective. We have no indication that it has been, but it does have the very beneficial side effect (in Krugman's world) of enlarging the federal government. Hate to ramp THAT down

Ok, I'm impressed. Watching more closely I see Cuba come off in 1868. Checking out Wikipedia on Cuban History I see a "Ten Year's War" which results in many nations(but not the US or Spain) recognizing Cuban indepenedence.

This is probably my favorite group of links so far.

If Krugman thinks the news is bad, then I rejoice, because that means that it's probably actually good news.

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