Those were the days...
"Those were the days..." Charles Mudede

What tune will we soon be singing to bad traffic? "Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back." According to MyNorthwest, WSDOT's COVID-19 Multimodal Transportation System Performance Dashboard shows "that traffic volumes around the state are only off 3% from this time last year." Also, major routes in the Puget Sound area are now between 90% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels. And what are we to make of this? That the lockdown did nothing to change our transportation habits. We still love our cars too much. Indeed, we may even love them more in the post-pandemic period than we did in the pre-pandemic one. You do not have to wear a mask in your car. You do have to wear one (even two) on a bus or train. You do not have to social distance. You can be all the things you are and want to be while sitting forever in traffic.

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The number of offers a house in Puyallup received? 45, according to Seattle Times business reporter Heidi Groover. The pandemic hardly caused a dent in Western Washington's housing market. Just think of it. Forty-five offers for a house near a volcano. And we still got lots of people not working. Businesses closing forever. And stimulus checks stuck in purgatory.

379K jobs were added to the economy during Biden's first full month in office, February. The experts did not expect that huge of a number at all. The February they saw in their crystal ball only added 175,000 jobs. Nevertheless, the job market still has a long way to go before recovering from Trump’s badly managed pandemic. Oddly enough, most of Feb's job growth was in the "leisure and hospitality... sector."

So, you worked at home during the pandemic. You and millions like you used your own internet for work. You also bought office equipment and supplies and things like that. But guess what? None of these work-related expenses that came right out of your own pocket can be deducted on your 2020 tax bill. How did this unfair situation come about? Of course, it was Donald Trump and the GOP.

Washington Post:

And the federal tax code for years used to help out this kind of [work from home] employee. They could reduce taxable income by deducting the cost of running home offices and for other unreimbursed employee expenses.

But those deductions were killed off by the 2017 tax overhaul passed under President Donald Trump, which slashed corporate tax rates while rejiggering individual rates — allowing for a higher standard deduction but fewer itemized deductions.


However, your company's empty, downtown office is eligible for a tax break.

Found at the heart of the 200,000 phantom cows saga in the Columbia Basin? Financial shenanigans. These ranchers might be in the sticks, be made of the sticks, even dream of nothing but sticks, but when it comes to the cattle futures market, they are shoulder to shoulder with Wall Street's speculators. OPB reports that a deposition filed by a Tyson financial officer claims Easterday, the Columbia Basin ranch that’s missing 200,000 of Tyson's cows, "lost about $202 million in commodities trading over the last decade."

And what did Eric Belasco, a professor and agricultural economist at Montana State University, have to say about this recent addition (phantom millions) to the phantom cows saga?

[That] farmers and ranchers [can] manage their risk by trading commodities, but warns: “The whole market is tricky. There’s a fine line between using the futures and options market to minimize risk, and then using it to speculate.”


That guy. The one who put his feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk like he was Mr. Big Stuff. It turns out he has ideas about what is and what is not fair in a world that clearly has him at its center.

It's the Birthday of My Favorite Economist Ever: Rosa Luxemberg. When one combines her masterful work on political economy with that of Michał Kalecki and Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky, they find that the riddle of capitalism is solved.


What does the Rosa Luxumberg/Michał Kalecki/Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky economic trinity tell us about the space hotel that's open in 2027? That if it fails to attract visitors, the investors/speculators will not abandon it as space junk, but, instead, build another one just like it. And if the next one also fails, then they will build yet another hotel. This is how capitalism works. People sleeping on the streets of Earth, no one sleeping in the growing number of hotel rooms in space.

CNN:

Voyager Station [the name of the space hotel] is... to be built by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a new construction company run by former pilot John Blincow, who also heads up the Gateway Foundation.

In a recent interview with CNN Travel, Blincow explained there had been some Covid-related delays, but construction on the space hotel is expected to begin in 2026, and a sojourn in space could be a reality by 2027.

"We're trying to make the public realize that this golden age of space travel is just around the corner. It's coming. It's coming fast," said Blincow.

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Something you can most definitely do tomorrow, March 6:

Speaking of Dogs:

An asteroid named Apophis (the Egyptian god of chaos) will pass our one and only Earth around 3 a.m. tonight. Apophis, which is "the size of three football fields" will miss us by 10 million miles.