Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Convoluted Story

"In the long run, we are all dead." John Maynard Keynes

I have been out of commission for a while but certainly not out of contemplation.

A number of important issues have been raised in the following articles and something nags at me to pull it together.

Actuary Gail Tverberg had this to say at her excellent blog.
Physicist Stu Staniford had this to say at his excellent blog.


California provides this excellent data on gasoline consumption in a state with 1/8 of the U.S. population.
EIA data on total net electricity generation in the U.S. by year (2003 to 2012. I forgot to add year data on x axis. My bad.)
Here we have declining gasoline consumption and electricity generation in the U.S. the past 5 years but 2012 GDP has exceeded the previous high set in 2007? Yep. GDP measures transactions, and transactions are, like our money, abstractions.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one." - "When you call me you can call me Al"bert Einstein.

Given the plunge in Nat Gas and Coal prices, the electricity data surprised me a bit, especially given the reports on GDP. Perhaps it should not have, given that the U.S. labor participation rate is at its lowest point in 34 years.

Got that? Labor participation, electricity production, gasoline consumption are all down... yet GDP is up. Hey, whataya know?

There is a great deal going on here. But thinking that anybody at the policy level is giving this any more thought other than getting through the next election is faulty at best, which leads me back to my original thesis expressed early and often: There does not appear to be a macro solution to these issues - only micro (personal) solutions. The world isn't coming to an end, but expanding your family, preparing and providing for the future they will be dealing with will not be done using the model the Boomer's used.

- To Be Continued....





3 comments:

tweell said...

Possible reasons for the GDP increase:
1. We've become more efficient!
2. Inflation.
3. Statistic padding.

I personally believe it's a combination of 2 and 3.

tweell said...

Looking more like statistic padding, and they're doubling down:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/1368001-u-s-government-invents-new-way-of-calculating-gdp?source=google_news

Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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