Monday, November 22, 2010

Income to rise 564%, predicts Int'l Economics Agency

* Commentary for Peak Oil Review (Does not necessarily reflect ASPO-USA's position.)

Nov. 15, 2010 - PARIS -- The International Economics Agency today released their World Income Outlook, which predicts an incredible 564 percent increase in the median world income over the next three months. IEA Chief Economics Officer Brandon Blighted reports, "Our meticulous research clearly shows that an overwhelming majority of people, especially the Chinese, want more money - a lot more, in fact. With demand for income rising, it appears that the economy has little choice but to produce more well-paying jobs and excessive bonuses. That's what we're assuming, anyway."

According to projections, and despite a combined under and un-employment rate of 17.6 percent in the U.S. in October, the yearly median world income will increase from 5,000 to 27,500 by the end of this year, with the median income for American households increasing from 30,500 to 167,000. When asked what currency the figures are in, IEA spokesperson Hope Hillston laughed. "Dollars, yuan, pesos, euros, what's the difference? It's all money."

IEA authors divided the skyrocketing income gains into several categories. The "Existing income from existing jobs" category has been steeply declining for the last several years, with average continuing declines projected at 8.3 percent. The largest category, "Projected income from currently non-existent jobs," steadily increases to compose an astronomical 90 percent of income by the yer 2020, when the average Chinese peasant will be making 95,000.

Some people reported confusion surrounding the charts. "I don't get it," engineering student Jon Sherwood said. "Are they saying that these cushy jobs will magically appear just because people want money? Did they take their methodology straight from The Secret, or has someone been dropping a few too many hits of acid before work?"

Economic experts were confident in the WIO. "Your average schmo on the street doesn't appreciate the intricacies of economic forecasting, especially the part where we examine bloody, eviscerated pig entrails," commented Economics Professor Phillipson Lumpy Jr., of Wharton University. "But as I always say, why look a gift horse in the mouth? I can have complete confidence in this fantastically optimistic report without any nitpicky factual discussions. Let's pop open the bubbly, shall we? Jeeves!"

Government officials were visibly relieved by the news, which seemed to temporarily alleviate mounting demands from constituents to "do something, as long as it doesn't involve austerity," about the failing economy. Most members of Congress were reluctant to discuss the details of the "Unconventional income" category, which is rumored to consist mostly of organ sales, gambling, and infant surrogacy. However, many Congresspersons appeared confident that the economy could indeed produce heretofore undiscovered, yet incredibly lucrative, careers from new and exciting technological advancements in the next three months.

Congresswoman Barbara Baker (D-CA) was especially exuberant. "Look at the possibilities for upper middle-class jobs... Moon Base construction engineers, hydrogen car marketing managers and Fountain of Youth development chemists. Just think what we can do with the payroll, state income and sales taxes from these new industries. I can't wait to build some much-needed highways. And a corn ethanol processing plant!"

Alternatively, analyst Stefan Stanislavsky at the Association for Economists Waking up and Smelling the Coffee (AEWUSTC) was openly skeptical. "In many ways, this report is an improvement over prior years: at least the IEA is not predicting a $5.5 million median income like they did in 2006. Unfortunately, we don't believe that a 1,347,000 percent increase in the number of hedge fund managers is a viable way to grow the economy. And frankly, the inclusion of $48,500 quarterly bonuses for Burger King cashiers in the income projections seems somewhat unrealistic. If that happens, I'll eat my hat."

Inside sources at the International Economics Agency expressed some reservations about the jubilation surrounding the Outlook. "I'm not sure the mainstream media understands the whole 'income has peaked and we're not sure what will fill the gap' thing. I'm a little disappointed, because I thought someone might have gotten the hint from the category we named "Income generated when monkeys fly out of my butt," but evidently not. Maybe they just haven't seen Wayne's World."

He confided, "When reading this report, you need to crank up your bulls*^t detector by about five notches. Then crank it up another ten. That's where it should be when you start interpreting projections that we created specifically to keep from getting lynched by a pitchfork-wielding, suit-wearing mob, while still trying to avoid frying in Hell for perpetuating the assumption that we can indefinitely expand the economy."

The IEA insider added, "It's a tough balancing act, kind of like mud-wrestling three rabid pitbulls while playing a Tchaikovsky violin concerto. Seriously, man -- I'm freaking exhausted."


SharleneT said...

Well, you've been busy... Missed your posts... Have a Happy Thanksgiving and come visit when you can...

Brad K. said...

I have a problem with "austerity is the solution."

I have switched to rice for supper, maybe with beans and weiners, maybe a helping or two of vegetables on the side (actually, on top of the rice). I have a turkey bologna sandwich (on a 4" chunk of French bread), sometimes with a bit of cheese, sometimes with a few of the now-dwindling supply of late season sweet peppers slivered on it, with a couple dabs of mustard. Oatmeal with a tablespoon or so of raisins, served without milk or sugar. I drink tea, mostly herbal or decaff green tea, and a bunch of water.

My problem is - if 20 more people here in my town started eating the rice that I do, then the store I shop at wouldn't have enough on the shelves for me. I note that my choice to eat rice instead of hamburger helper or cardboard . . ahem, 'frozen', . . pizza - did not cause more rice to be grown. Nor vegetables packed last summer, or beans grown last year.

And by eating beans and rice and vegetables, I and those other 20 people in my town might have assured the employment of maybe 4 people - at the cost of 8 jobs of people making frozen pizza and hamburger helper. Plus, my grocer likely would lay off 2 people, as the markup on rice and beans and weiners (though the markup got stiffer on the b&w last year) doesn't come close to the highly-marketed products.

Austerity might work for me. It combines an interest in eating less, eating less crap, and doing without as much money. But if 20 more people in my town changed like this, my town - and state, and nation - noticeably begin to contract, to shed the appearance and presumption of affluence.

It is much easier to live an austere life, when those around are either directly sharing that austerity - or affluent. The transition to austerity for an individual or family can be conscious, and embraced. What happens to a community that isn't conscious and embraced - or for people, for that matter - isn't pretty.

BTW - I was surprised to find that my local Wal-Mart is hungry for employees. It seems that the work is tough enough - that motivating young people to actually work is a problem. To many people leave to find "easier" work. And too many of us old folks aren't as enduring and creak-free as we used to be. I am distinctly impressed, though at how completely gender, disability, and age indiscriminate the actual store operation has been, in my first three weeks of employment there. And cheerful. Strange, that.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

@Brad - Nowhere in my writing will you find a quote that says austerity is the solution. I do, however, think it is going to end up being a fact of life, as we have all waited far too long to craft an ideal solution for the multiplicity of problems and predicaments that we face.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT was funny. I would send it to my head in the sand relatives, but they would probably just believe it.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT was funny. I would send it to my head-in-the-sand relatives, but they would probably just believe it. Sigh.

Brad K. said...

@ Peak Oil HausFrau,

Sorry, my arrival at austerity - as affluence becomes unavailable to ever more people - was a second or third derivative of the entire peak oil dialogue.

Attempting to "keep up with the Joneses" (do kids still say that, today?) is the only way to keep bandaging our society and nation for another moment. Yet personal, family, and community survival demand planning alternatives that aren't based on cheap energy.

Sorry, I didn't mean read things that weren't there. And I think it was the line about jobs becoming available primarily because people wanted better wages that really struck the "this is what our President is doing", and "this would never make sense." And that got me to thinking of austerity - and how personal austerity is a direct and destructive threat to the economy Washington, D.C. believes they are playing with.

LarryL said...

Dear Hausfrau

You've got to be kidding.....The International Economics Agency....the IEA ?? That provides a "World Income Outlook"....and its Chief Economist is Brandon Blighted !!

Could you please post a link to their website or a link to the report or anything about this organisation. I can't seem to find any reference to the IEA beyond your post?

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

@LarryL - You are right, I am kidding. The hint is in the "humor" and "satire" tags at the bottom.

The real IEA is the International Energy Agency that publishes an annual World Energy Outlook - the 2010 version was published a few weeks ago.

@BradK - Gotcha, thanks.

If you would like an analysis of the real report, you can find many worthwhile articles at

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the end of your joke posts and the resumption of your real posts, which I enjoy reading.

tpals said...

I would also like to read more 'real' posts again please.

Anonymous said...

A housewife with all the answers to the world's problems. What a joke.

Marley Hill Cottage said...

When a situation is as dire as the one we face - humour is often the ONLY sane reaction!

Trouble is, those of us who are already busy looking to create a resilient future are probably the only ones who'll get the joke.

Have a great day!