Issues Big and Small

I’ve been preoccupied, today, with the sorts of thoughts that are hugely important to the individual, but quotidian details on a larger scale… and there’s been so much on that larger scale that might otherwise have merited consideration. The economy, obviously:

The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment. …
… the recovery has been losing power for two straight quarters. That raises concerns about whether it will fizzle out. Or worse, tip back into a “double-dip” recession. …
In the revisions issued Friday, the government estimated that the economy shrank 2.6 percent last year — the steepest drop since 1946. That’s worse than the 2.4 percent decline originally estimated. The economy’s plunge underscores why the unemployment rate surged to 10.1 percent in October, a 26-year high.

Businesses appear to have the resources to expand, but it’s all about the uncertainty, and uncertainty has been the theme of the current Congress and administration. Thousands of pages of invasive law creating new bureaucracies to impose unwritten regulations. Those with resources, in other words, have reason to hold their breath.
The Gulf spill is another big item, today:

The generally accepted view of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has focused on the blowout preventer and the non-standard procedures BP conducted just before the explosion and fire. However, most of the damage and the main source of the spill came from the collapse and sinking of the DH platform rather than the initial explosion. A new report by the Center for Public Integrity, based on testimony from people on scene and Coast Guard logs, contains evidence that the platform sunk because of a botched response from the Coast Guard, which failed to coordinate firefighting efforts and to get the proper resources to fight the fire.

And the controversy will continue. Of course, now that BP has promised its billions in aid and the investigations into the incident pick up steam, we hear this:

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region’s fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana’s disintegrating coastal marshes — a real slow-motion ecological calamity — but so far, assessment teams have found only about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to know what to believe, when the issue isn’t right there in front of you. Another argument, I’d suggest, for small, decentralized government.
Now back to my personal preoccupations…

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David P
David P
11 years ago

IIRC Prince William Sound recovered from the Exxon Valdez a lot quicker than most people predicted. Obama, Rush and Tony Heyward all ventured that the spill might not fulfill the most dire predictions and they were all roundly condemned for saying so. As Jonah Goldberg points out in his column today, the only difference was that Rush didn’t care.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

“Businesses appear to have the resources to expand, but it’s all about the uncertainty, and \uncertainty has been the theme of the current Congress and administration. Thousands of pages of invasive law creating new bureaucracies to impose unwritten regulations. Those with resources, in other words, have reason to hold their breath.”
You idiot wingers. Don’t you realize the great successes Socialism has accomplished on the globe?
Why there’s… then there’s….uh, well at least there’s…….
oh shut up-you’re all Ray-Zist scum.

Sammy
Sammy
11 years ago

The good folks on the Reight, are always calling for less government regulations. Tell that to the families of the dozens of coal miners, and oil-rig workers, killed in just the last six months.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“You idiot wingers. Don’t you realize the great successes Socialism has accomplished on the globe?
Why there’s… then there’s….uh, well at least there’s…….
oh shut up-you’re all Ray-Zist scum.”
lol

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

“Tell that to the families of the dozens of coal miners, and oil-rig workers, killed in just the last six months.”
I don’t think the average right-leaning person advocates getting rid of safety regulations in dangerous industries. Just enforcing the existing regulations would have prevented these accidents. The big failure is, of course, the companies’ responsibility, but some blame has to be meted-out to government regulators not doing their jobs.
It doesn’t matter how many regulations you have, or how many regulators, or how greedy the company is if there’s corruption or inaction in the chain of responsibility.

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