Monthly Archives: August 2011

Another win for McGinn!

It looks like our bufoonish Mayor McGinn has yet another epic fail to pad his resume in anticipation of the voters tossing him out on his ass next election. Seems Seattle’s recently awarded 20 million dollar federal grant for green jobs isn’t working out quite as well as intended.

“Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare.

McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.

But more than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable. Organizers and policy experts blame the economy, bureaucracy and bad timing for the program’s mediocre results.”

To review: A new bureaucracy is created, timed to provide jobs in a down economy, and it fails due to bureaucracy, bad timing, and the economy. And how ’bout those “mediocre” results! Three homes insulated by fourteen employees over the course of a year. Yes, out of the multitude of available words to describe this fiasco, mediocre is the word we’re looking for here.

We’re in the best of hands.

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Bears vs Bulls

Normally, I don’t follow the stock markets too closely. I’ve got a 401K like a lot of people but I long ago transferred the majority of the balance into a money market account, soon to be followed by a coffee can buried in the back yard account if things continue as they are. Today however I found myself watching the final ten minutes of the days trading as I would my favorite football team defending against the winning touchdown in the final minutes. With two minutes left the score was hovering between -575 and -595 with the possibility of a late Bull rally to offset some of the days loses. With seconds left on the clock and the tension palpable, the Bears drove the length of the field and scored the winning goal. Final score? Dow Jones -634.

As I watch and listen to our ruling classes flounder rather than take action and double down on their Keynesian theories, the attempt to cast blame on those who disagree with their theories seems the only concrete action that they are capable of taking. And the clock winds down. Will Socratic ideals of reason and action make a last minute comeback, or will the Frankfurt School at long last run out the clock. It’s become fairly obvious that we’re going to find out in short order, and everything we have is riding on the outcome.