Friday, June 5, 2009

Mixed bag

Not a whole lot going on around casa Demeur right now. Planted my veggies the other day and the radishes are starting to come up and if all goes well the others should start peeking through the soil in the next few days. I'm going to bet that we'll have a cool summer as I love good tomatoes and they take hot sunny weather. Here's a little trick that I learned some years back on a first attempt. This is for all you northwest gardeners. Don't plant your seeds as deep as the package recommends. With our lack of sun they don't germinate as fast as other parts of the country.

Jobless rate skewed by temp work - Well Duh! Not only that but the bean counters don't count people who have run out of unemployment. What do the workers all of a sudden become non people? They (there's that word again) say the unemployment rate is at 9.7%. Got news for them it's more like 13% or better right now and we're still loosing over 1/2 million jobs each month. Just got an increase in my unemployment a whopping $25. Yea like I'm going right out and blow that at the nearest Wal Mart. Nope that will be tucked away in savings for when the unemployment runs out completly.
And temp work? There's not even day laborer work to be had. I hear Mexicans who used to hang out at Home Depot are going home. Didn't see any when I went for seeds and potting mix.

Education - We went from Head Start to No Child Left Behind. The problem as I see it is that the educational system is still based on an 18th century agricultural economy. With factory farms kids don't need to be wasting three months of the summer goofing off on the premise that they need to work on the farm to bring in the crops. It's become so mechanized that even in the last ten years it takes about 1/2 the people to do hand picking. And on the family farms that are left a columbine can do in a few hours what used to take days. There in lies a big problem. What to do with a population of skilled and semi skilled workers. We're becoming so efficient that fewer and fewer workers are needed to produce and service our needs. I remember in my own profession a big job would involve thirty or forty guys. Now that number is down to fifteen or twenty. So I'm thinking where will the jobs be now and in the near future? Many of the "green" jobs don't require a lot of workers. Solar panels do require a great deal of labor to build but I'm sure someone will automate the process cutting the number of workers needed.

David Carradine is dead - I liked the characters David played over the years. Most of them were calm calculated types. My first thought was that he had chosen his own demise in some type of ritualistic thought. I guess it could have been worse. He could have been found with an inflatable a jar of mayo and a sheep dog. But that would be going too far and disrespectful.

Health care - Our health care system is about to collapse. Yep you heard it here first. How so you ask? 600K people are out of work each month. That rate has been going on for some months now and is expected to continue. Assuming that 80% of those workers had some healthcare plan that's nearly 1/2 million people without health insurance which usually runs out 60 days after a layoff. In six months that would be 3 million people. That would be an addition to the already 50 million people without insurance right now. At some point the number without insurance comes close to over half of the working population of the U.S. With no alternative insurance companies will be forced to raise premiums causing employers to drop coverage or raise co-pays and premiums on workers. My guess is that they'll drop it all together both employers and workers. This will put a major strain on hospitals as the out of work seek emergency room medical.
I'd say that in six months or less we'll see a situation much like Wall Street and the banks experienced last October. Much like overleveraging sucked the life blood out of banks the lack of insurance money will suck the life out of our medical system. Remember you heard it here first.


BBC said...

I read recently on Tree Hugger that you want to check the temp of the soil to make sure it is over 50 degrees before putting in seeds.

55 degrees is even better for warm loving crops. I'm just dinking around some because my bills are so few that I have plenty of money for food but of the five cucumber starts I started inside and then put outside really took a hit, two are just hanging on.

Now I'm afraid to put out the tomato starts for concern that I will kill them also. Not that it matters, as I said, I'm just dinking around learning in case things gets worse and I have to start doing real gardening.

I've worked on farms but was more involved in fixing and building things and helping with the harvest.

Of course over here I could go live off the fat of the forest being as there is so much out there to eat that is free.

BBC said...

Actually, there is a lot of free food in a city if you learn what it is. Even in the winter, kale is good food and not just decoration like they use it for.

And there are always stray dogs, or stray monkeys. LOL.

But forget the seagulls and dog fish. Actually, you can eat dog fish if you prep them right, they piss though their skin so you have to prep them right to eat them.

S.W. anderson said...

You're right about the real level of unemployment being understated. It's been that way for years. The Labor Dept. ought to rethink and rework how they gather and handle jobless statistics.

Distributorcap said...

for not so busy at the casa - seems awfully busy

i tried planting basil in the window sill. the soot is a killer