Placebo economics

Placebos in medical uses depend on deception to convince the patient that their condition will improve. This is precisely the approach taken by the Obama administration. We are told that his efforts of stimulus spending combined with the monetary policy at the Fed will rescue the economy and create jobs. The jobs ‘saved or created’ claim is a perfect example. Simply create a number out of thin air and sell it to the public fully aware that it can’t be substantiated. Remember, we were told that the stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs. In fact, as of now we have lost 3.5 million jobs since the stimulus was passed. In effect, Obama was 7 million jobs short of his claim. Yet, lately he and his trusty sidekick Biden are crossing the country proclaiming it the ‘recovery summer’.

The evidence is overwhelming reflecting the failure of Obama’s policies. Yet, you must still read between the lines on what the media is feeding us. The basic premise of the recession is deceiving. Obama likes to blame Bush and the greedy Wall St. bankers for the recession and then take credit for rescuing the financial markets. Remember, the recession officially began in December of 2007. The recession was in effect for 10 months before the Wall St. meltdown of September 2008. The financial meltdown was a result of the recession, not the cause of it. Now, the technical aspects of the sub-prime mortgage derivatives markets are now well-known, but the recession is what triggered it when consumers stopped paying their mortgages.

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Vladimir Konstantinov-Awesome!

Here is a collection of  hits from one of the best defenseman to ever put on a uniform-# 15 for the Detroit Red Wings- Vladimir Konstantinov

Here is an update on Vladdy today

Remember the days with the Russian 5 where it looked like Detroit was constantly on the power play?

And a bonus for Wings fans

Here was round 2 of McCarty-Lemieux

And here is the cheap shot from Lemieux that started the whole Wings-Avs rivalry

Not my kind of party

The American political landscape can seem both familiar and yet distant at the same time. Debates rage from all angles. Some will question the validity of the two-party system. Some say we already have a one party system. Some ask if a third-party is the answer. When we can’t even agree on the question being asked, the chances of a resolution become abysmal.

Everyone seems determined to pigeon-hole people into a label. Even if you attempt to ride the fence and remain open-minded, you are labeled an independent. It seems to make it easier to digest when we can assign someones thoughts or actions into a category. If you don’t openly align yourself with a cause or ideology, you are considered wasted space serving no purpose.

Consider the dizzying array of political parties and ideologies both past and present. I won’t re-hash them all here as you can Google that laundry list. Yet, to avoid getting bogged down in the mud of subtle differences clouding the overt similarities, you need to always look at the bigger picture. Otherwise, you can’t tell the difference between the American Party, the America First Party, the American Patriot Party or America’s Independent Party. Members of these movements get particularly cranky when you lump them in under the label of  ‘all politicians are the same’. This is where a registered Republican will proclaim they are a true conservative and not just a run of the mill GOP’er. Yet they can’t separate themselves from the party or the label. You can’t win an election standing alone on principle, you must be in bed with one of the two major parties. Kinda hard to hold your nose and keep your dignity when you’re always apologizing for having an -R or a -D attached to you just to remain relevant.

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The Detroit Ilitch show

We’ve all heard the news by now about Mike Ilitch proposing to buy the Detroit Pistons. We all like the Ilitch’s. They’re good people and run top quality franchises in the Red Wings and Tigers. But make no mistake, he is a businessman first and foremost. That’s why he hasn’t already made the deal. The price was way too high. This deal is all about the Palace entertainment network. He wants the concert venues as that is where the money is. He only went public to garner public sentiment and pressure Mrs. Davidson to sell to him to ensure that the team would remain in Detroit.

The big three of DTE, Meadowbrook and the Palace are the whole deal. Even if he gets a new arena downtown for the Pistons to share with the Wings, he can still utilize the Palace for years as a viable entertainment venue. I would imagine he is looking for a price in the $200-$250 million range. Maybe the Pistons were once worth close to half a billion dollars, but those days are long gone due to the economy, the team not playing well and the labor situation upcoming with the NBA. Owning the Pistons today is a guaranteed loser for at least several years. However, the Palace entertainment network is an instant money-maker and Tom Wilson can step right back into his old job without missing a beat.

So the question is do we want three sports teams and the bulk of the concert venues run by one organization? Is it a good thing? Love the idea of the cross-promotions with packages mixed between all of the above. But for those that foresee cheaper seats because Ilitch would have better bargaining power with the acts playing his venues, don’t hold your breath. Remember, Ilitch is a businessman first and this entire deal would be about making money for him. All the nice warm fuzzy stuff about keeping the NBA team in the local area because he grew up with it is just talk. It sells good, but that’s it.

At the end of the day, we don’t know what alternative deals Mrs. Davidson has on the table to compare with. While the Ilitch deal may be the best of the bunch, don’t expect the Pistons to suddenly be resurrected. You don’t see the Tigers or Red Wings bringing home the hardware these days, do you? Likely, it’s still the best bet overall all things considered, but I would just keep my expectations quite low for changes benefitting the fans.