Category Archives: Economy

Orwellian Labor Day

Economy, Inflation, Labor

Even when America’s official cognoscenti—those who see to the dissemination of information—finally report reality as it is, they will typically obfuscate it by cleaving to the truth as they see it. What do I mean? The title of a PBS news story covered on Labor Day is “U.S. optimism lags behind economic gains, study finds.” The subterranean message PBS is transmitting with the title is that Americans have failed to notice the “steady economic recovery” afoot. Too dense, perhaps? In fact, the headline twists the researcher’s finding, as he states them, for he did not make any mention of these so-called “economic gains.”

Smart.

The fact “that more people feel there’s been permanent damage [to the economy] now …” tells me that the cohort questioned is cognizant that something in the (inflationary) policies pursued by DC, irrespective of who’s in power, is “damaging” their prospects for good, and that whatever the stock exchange is doing; this has no bearing on their financial well-being.

… 42 percent say they have less in savings and salary now than they did five years ago.

And they say that their current economic status for three out of five of them is either fair or poor. And so they have had some diminution of the quality of life. We asked two questions that allow us to try and frame this, whether they have had a major or minor change in the quality of their life and whether it’s been temporary or permanent.

And we have one-third in the country — so that’s 80 million people — who say there has been a permanent impact or their quality of life, either major or minor. So whatever has happened in the stock market and other indicators is not getting through to Main Street at all. People are struggling, and there’s been no letup really in the last five years. …

… We asked them how much confidence they had in Washington’s ability to solve problems. Just 2 percent said a lot. Another 20 percent said some.

If they had to choose between President Obama or the Republicans in Congress to handle the economy, they said neither of the above at 40 percent. And they don’t think unemployment is going to get better even if the Republicans take both houses of Congress in the fall.

MORE.


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Stock Exchange A Laughing Stock

Debt, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Inflation

“An increase in the price of an item is not the same as an appreciation in its value.” Consequently, it’s hard to understand the happy hyperventilating over the Dow having broken through 17,000 for the first time. Keeping the printing presses roaring, as the Federal Reserve has done, will result in a rise in prices, stocks included. Homes too.

A cleareyed look ahead to “a very serious bond-market crisis” is more appropriate.

Warns David Stockman, author The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America:

If you allow a $17 trillion debt to be financed at $250 billion a year when it really should be $700 billion or $800 billion under normal interest rates, then politicians are gonna take the easy way out. They’re not going to fall on the sword. They’re not going to lay out the real painful choices to the public. They’re not going to vote against the squeaky wheels and the powerful constituents when the Fed is printing the money and doing the job of financing the debt for them.
So I think that’s where the crisis comes. When the Fed finally reaches the point where the entire monetary system is threatened – and I think it would be if it had continued at $85 billion a month – we come to the juncture where the Fed can no longer keep its big fat thumb in the market buying up the monthly and weekly issue of Treasury debt. At that point, we are going to see the rubber meet the road, so to speak. We’re gonna have the day of reckoning, because there isn’t demand out in the real marketplace among real investors for massive amounts of additional Treasury debt at these sub-economic interest rates. And when interest rates normalize, Katy, bar the door, because the carry cost on the federal debt— which will by then be $20 trillion— will soar by half a trillion a year. The politicians will finally panic, but I’m afraid by then it might be too late—- that we’ll be in a very serious bond-market crisis.


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Brownian Motion At The Border

Economy, IMMIGRATION, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism

I suppose the Wall Street Journal and other “lite libertarian” sources will point to the Brownian Motion at the Mexican border to make the case that illegal immigration creates jobs. Have not sandwich makers, baby formula dispensers, gamers, recreation- and welfare providers, psychologists, lawyers, tattoo-removers, rubbish collectors, vaccinators—have they not all rushed to the border to cater to the invaders? Ergo, as Erik Rush would put it, quod erat demonstrandum; Q.E.D.; case proven.

Blessed are the cheese makers at the border too … Don’t want to forget them.

By the way, it is all a big parasitical, welfare expansion.

Via National Review:

… Border Patrol officials have taken responsibility for the well-being of the illegal immigrants, providing sandwiches and water three times a day. “You would not believe how many sandwiches I’ve made over the course of my career,” Cabrera says. In Nogales, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have brought in vendors to provide food, while FEMA has sought to provide counseling and recreational activities, according to FoxNews.com. Cueto says the children are being vaccinated before being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. ICE is then transporting them to military bases in California, Oklahoma, and San Antonio, Texas, according to CBS Houston.


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Statists Collude In Sundering Honourable Swiss Tradition

Business, Economy, English, EU, Europe, Law, Taxation, The State

If the law applied equally to the state and not only to its subjects, the colluding governments—a cartel, really—participating in the concerted action against Switzerland would be prosecuted under anti-trust laws, for the creation of a global tax monopoly.

In 2010, it was reported that the US was putting pressure on Switzerland to end that country’s venerated tradition of “helping private property owners shield their assets against legalized theft (taxation).” Uncle Sam was meddling in the financial sector of an ostensibly sovereign state, siccing its legal footsoldiers on UBS AG, a Zurich and Basel-based financial establishment (and its American clients), because of tax evasion.

When they are not bailing out failed financial institutions, our statists are bankrupting viable ones.

Fast forward to 2014, and it transpires that the statists have succeeded—and not only semantically: banking privacy is now referred to as “tax secrecy.”

No secrets should be kept from The State.

At a ministerial meeting in Paris on Tuesday, Switzerland agreed to sign up to a new global standard on automatic information exchange, representing a decisive break with its centuries-old commitment to protecting the privacy of banking clients.
The move is a big step forward for governments that have mounted a concerted attack on evasion in the wake of the global financial crisis and a series of tax scandals.
Swiss co-operation is pivotal to the struggle to prise open taxpayers’ hidden accounts because of its long tradition of bank secrecy and its dominant wealth management sector, which has $2.2tn of offshore assets.
The declaration, which was signed at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, requires countries to collect and exchange information on bank accounts and the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal structures such as trusts. …

“European governments expect billions of euros to be repatriated as a result of the evasion crackdown.” “Repatriate” is yet another bit of semantic casuistry intended to whitewash these governments’ global property grab.

MORE Via FT.

Back to the post’s opening salvo: Sadly, even if a fair adjudicator were able to prosecute the colluding cartel on the grounds stated—the taxpayers would end up paying for the crimes.


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A Professor Who Doesn’t Pander

Economy, Education, English, Internet, Journalism

Still a tad mild for my liking, but far better than any “critique” provided in mainstream media is Tyler Cowen’s assessment of Nate Silver’s “data-driven journalism.” In “Nate Silver’s 538 is up and running,” Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University, writes wryly:

… to me these are “tweener” pieces, too superficial for smart and informed readers, yet on topics which are too abstruse for the more casual readers. … Here is Silver’s introductory essay as to what they are about. It is too sprawling and evinces a greater affiliation to rigor with data analysis than to rigor with philosophy of science or for that matter rigor with rhetoric.

In Cowen we may have a rare professor who doesn’t pander to annoying Millennials.


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Homo Economicus Disagrees With White-House Looter

Barack Obama, Economy, Healthcare

It’s pretty straightforward to the generic Homo Economicus, but not to “The Ass With Ears And His Ali Baba Thieves.” On a day the latter put out their 16 sweet reasons to sign up for Obamacare, other more clear-thinking individuals came up with a much more intuitive list of 16 not-so-sweet reasons not to, among them:

Privacy concerns
Unwanted coverage
Can’t keep your doctor
The young do not need it
Glitches galore
Government overreach
Prohibitive costs
Employers cutting jobs

MORE:


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