When in Doubt, Blame GDP or Anything Else…

Want to see something spinning faster than a gas turbine engine?  Try media coverage of GDP.

Not just here in ‘Merica, but overseas as well.

Take England where the GDP is written of this way: “Brexit latest: GDP growth slumps to 0.3% in first quarter of 2017.” Pretty ballsy conclusion, I’d have to say, since BREXIT hasn’t happened yet.  Seems more likely the PTB are using British GDP as a lever to whip the May government out of trying to leave the megalomaniac club (the EU).  (Today’s nominee for EU theme song here, although they are not really smooth operators.)

(More after the ad)

Similarly, we have other examples of how easily spun GDP is.

Take the Reuters story about how “Frugal U.S. consumers seen holding back first-quarter GDP.”

On the surface, most people would let it slide right on by.  But since I’m one of those dime-a-dozen MBA types, I have been trained to be a bit more clear-headed than allow such conclusions to pass as “reality” unchecked.

Are “Frugal U.S. consumers” to blame?

No, VICTIMIZED U.S. CONSUMERS is more like it.

Want to know why GDP slowed?  Higher taxes and the huge bite of OBAMACARE which screwed real disposable incomes.  When people have less money to spend that’s not the hashtag for #frugalNo sir, m’am, or none-of-the-above.

The meaning of frugal is a decision not to spend.  It might be argued that we made a de facto decision to be poor when we elected idiots to office, but that’s a stretch.  Slowing GDP is – in our view – a natural consequence of loading people down to work for the insurance companies who now have a government edict that everyone pay them.

They ain’t doing healthcare for charity.

Then, toss in the most recent Fed rate hike rolling into the economy and where the f*** does frugal figure in?  I’m amazed.

But clarity is not well-known in journalism these days.  A reporter might hear a term like “frugal consumers” from a source and assume the source has a clue.  I lost count, long ago, of the number of sources who knew more about their expertise than the reporter asking reasonable questions.

With my blood pressure resuming more normal readings now, let’s go into the mish-mash of GDP data and see what’s really going on…

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017
(table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the first-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data  that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 2). The “second” estimate for the first quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on May 26, 2017.

Or Lordy is this exciting, or what? Photo Op, anyone?

Of interest to your checkbook:

Current-dollar personal income increased $161.9 billion in the first quarter, compared with an increase
of $154.6 billion in the fourth. The acceleration in personal income primarily reflected an acceleration in
government social benefits to persons that was partly offset by a downturn in personal dividend income.

Disposable personal income increased $121.0 billion, or 3.4 percent, in the first quarter, compared with
an increase of $141.6 billion, or 4.1 percent, in the fourth. Real disposable personal income increased
1.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.0 percent.

Personal saving was $814.2 billion in the first quarter, compared with $778.9 billion in the fourth. The
personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 5.7 percent
in the first quarter, compared with 5.5 percent in the fourth.

File under “yeah, sure, you betcha…”

UN Korea Talks Coming

From this morning’s WaPo:UN Security Council to discuss North Korea nuclear program.” 

Remember, the Korean war as fought to a stand-still, not a durable peace.  Consider productive paranoia, now.

The Angle the NT Times Missed

On first reading, the NY Times piece about how president Trump’s talk today thanking the NRA for their support is the first such than-you since Ronald Reagan.

But they really missed the fun angle to the story.  And that is?

Bet me a six-pack that the Secret Service will put everyone entering the speech hall through metal detectors on the way in and they will enforce total no-carry in the vicinity.

So goes the reality of guns and the presidency.

Sanitizing the Facts Dept.

One woman shot and hospitalized and four arrested in an “active terrorism plot: that was disrupted in England overnight.  We note that the suspects are not identified by name or religion, but we’re suspicious that it will turn out to be Islamic extremists, yet again.  A neighbor at the arrest site was quoted as “...the family who lived at the house were from Somalia.”

To me, that’s a clue.

The Brits, overcome by political correctness disease, and led by people incapable of clear thought, seem unable to follow one of the great lessons of the civil rights movement in America from the 1960’s.

Does the phrase “tell it like it is” mean anything?  Well, maybe not in today’s world…but it’s where real change sprang from.

What’s “Wage Equality?”

A couple of data points from the Labor Department Employment Cost Index report out this morning:

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.4 percent for the 12-month period ending in  March 2017. In March 2016, compensation costs increased 1.9 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.5 percent for the current 12-month period and increased 2.0 percent for the 12-month
period ending in March 2016. Benefit costs increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017. In March 2016, the increase was 1.7 percent.

Now let’s compare that with…

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017. In March 2016, the increase was 2.4 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017, higher than the March 2016 increase of 1.8 percent. Benefit costs increased 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017. The prior year’s increase was 3.5 percent.

Which again proves, if you really want to get well paid, quit your silly-ass private sector gig and become a government worker as fast as possible.  The big money is for the ruling class, as always.

$400,000 Worth of Double Talk

There goes that civic-minded Obama fellow again – racking up another huge speaking fee.

Here’s what I don’t get:  Why would ANYONE pay to have a person who started several wars.  Even the L.A. Times recalls “He launched airstrikes or military raids in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.”  He has kept his Nobel Peace Prize, too.

So why would Cantor-Fitzgerald pay.  Why would A&E Networks?

Secretly, I’ve started keeping a list of companies that have so much money they can dish out almost half a million per speech.  I won’t do business with them,  I call it “voting with your wallet.”

If A&E has so much dough they can slosh it around on Obama, why would I toss even more money in that hopper by including them in by TV viewing habits?  I won’t.  Would I do business with Cantor Fitzgerald now?  (Go ahead, see if you can figure the answer without prompting from the assembled multitude…)

The most powerful vote we cast is not at the polls.  It’s the election every day where we cast ballots with dollar bills.

How are YOU going to vote today?

Dow futures are pointing to a 25 point jump at the open for God knows why.  Except maybe Barnum was right and there is one born every minute.

Well, except Barnum never said it:

Some sources claim the quote is most likely from famous con-man Joseph (“Paper Collar Joe”) Bessimer,[2] and other sources say it was actually uttered by David Hannum, spoken in reference to Barnum’s part in the Cardiff Giant hoax. Hannum, who was exhibiting the “original” giant and had unsuccessfully sued Barnum for exhibiting a copy and claiming it was the original, was referring to the crowds continuing to pay to see Barnum’s exhibit even after both it and the original had been proven to be fakes.

Gonna be that kind of day, eh?

Comments

When in Doubt, Blame GDP or Anything Else… — 22 Comments

  1. Ecuador Expat,
    I am curious at how you compare the two lives you have had here in America and now in Ecuador. Are you happier there? What makes it better or different? Why did you leave? I am genuinely interested, because Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uruguay and if I am really feeling I want to get away, Thailand are place I would like to retreat to. What is Ecuador and it’s media’s opinion of our new President? How is their government?

  2. When the news dept merged with the entertainment dept, and news all the sudden had to turn a profit,was about the same time we lost “tell it like it is”. Cronkite’s sign off was “and that’s the way it is”, which was mostly true except it didn’t apply to the news they didn’t cover.
    BTW the font size is MUCH better. Thanks from us squinters.

  3. I won’t do business with them, I call it “voting with your wallet.”

    That’s where people’s power is!!!!!!!!!!
    NOT in voting for promising politicians.
    However, folks don’t understand simple.

  4. Secretly, I’ve started keeping a list of companies that have so much money they can dish out almost half a million per speech. I won’t do business with them, I call it “voting with your wallet.” – Can you share your list here? I am starting to do the same thing and would love to see the companies you’ve noted. Basically I like to shop local and try to avoid purchases from large companies for this very fact. I like to go for the unfamiliar & unadvertised …seems there is more integrity if you do some investigation. Just my observation. Thanks again for all you do. Much appreciated.

    • under these trying times the thing to do is research okay I’ll say it again research one more time research don’t be shy research if you do research what will you find you will find things that swell up which means during that particular time things happened in a different way from what they were from the past boy that sounds almost like charts to me, okay that’s the past and it’s revealed through charts, but you want to know about the future that’s why you’re here to find out how to make more money than anybody else except for the people who make the system and make the money and then you are in line after they make it they say hey we’re making it here it is you going like a I want some and so you getting mind and you’re going to like yeah okay I made some, they don’t want you to know that I’m well maybe then do I mean do they want you to know to follow the leader but the leader is the ones who publish and make the money and make the laws and they make the regulations and they say this is what we’re putting out here on our advertising Network which is all the main media and now go ahead take a chance invest and what was saying it’s going to happen and sure enough they’ll pull the plug at one point after they’ve got enough investors to invest in what they want and then the rest of you well you done lost all your money is that how it works yes you have been played no let’s say that you’re able to do your own thinking about when things are going to go up then when they’re going to go down which is what George is done with his charts and he’s pretty good it’s not the best and he’s not the worst but he’s pretty good age making money me I’m sitting on my money I might even open or invest in Bitcoin what the hell little bit here little bit there spread it out that’s the financial way is to be spread out be Diversified that way if one thing doesn’t take off at least you’re not losing it all and I’ve done that I made that mistake I am vested in all twice and lost all twice she think I started learning how to invest like I said I’m 60% wrong and most things I do so listen to what I say

      • If I’m 60% wrong invests in the opposite of what I say that’s what I would do

      • Yes we’re talking about real estate that’s paid for cash save the money paid for bought it ain’t nobody taking it long as I keep paying the taxes even if no one rents my properties I can still make my payments for the taxes so number one as I told my daughter and she’s following my fingers hey save some money by the cheapest piece of property you can buy even if it’s rehab rehab it do it make it now you own it and then you have a place to live for the rest of your life but if you are ambitious which most of us are or at least a few of us anyway then you can get another one and do the same thing and you have so much that you can go anywhere you want and it works stock market it is probably work with the Stars there cuz I tried it didn’t work but real estate that works all I can invest in it rehab and make it into something that’s worth more than what you originally purchased it for that’s my secret I don’t know of any other George does he knows how to make money on the stock market I am a 60% Loser on this because I have lost everything on the stock market

      • Punctuation is your FREIND! A lack thereof only muddies your already complex thoughts…

  5. When there is positive news during Trump’s first 100 it is all Trump’s doing. Any negative news is all Obama’s doing. I’m definitely not the smartest guy in the room but I’m starting to understand.

  6. My husband’s company is down 30% from last year. It’s one of those online stores that sells everything’s you don’t need. And the owner went into debt again last year to expand the storage for the items that don’t sell…
    Now he wants to set up a sandwich bar for the warehouse employees. Priorities, right?
    Doing everything’s we can to survive the coming implosion.

    • The fact that you describe your husbands company that way is exactly why they are down 30% and are in debt. The implosion is caused buy the person with their hands on the detonator.

      Can’t blame that on government.

  7. Any input on refusing to pay penalty for no health insurance as protest 2016 taxes

      • and the Beast is hiding in the cave and when you step on the tail a few more legs come out but yet the Beast head still hiding and you step some more on the tail and a few more legs come out ,my this is a big beast I don’t think we’ll ever find the head of it, awake there is a head it’s starting to be exposed but there’s still more there’s more than one head in there how big is this Beast, so never step on the tail the Beast or you will become part of the Beast, you were a tasty nugget, the Beast has its head underground because that’s where it does all its Secret eatings at, are you missing a loved one ?

      • If you were to meet me and I enthusiastically expounded to you I was expatriating to a country that had all of the characteristics of the USA, you could not get out of my presence fast enough, not being sure if I was insane enough to be dangerous. You certainly would find me most distasteful.

        Remember in the old USSR where (the fear of hearing) “papers please” was our proof that those poor people were not living in a free country? Well, try to get a job or open a bank account, rent an apartment etc. without a VALID government ID. In the history of the USSR, every election was held right on schedule, with the opportunity to vote for communist A or communist B. Sound familiar?

        In new age thinking, you become what you resist. Well, America resisted the evil empire so strongly it has become that. Why you people think this is going to end well even three years from now really has no basis in logic, much less reality. Now you sit in fear that the elected government of the people, by the people, for the people (sarcasm) is going to bring nuclear war down on your asses.

        Even before the primaries were over, my take on the election was that Americans were about to get the government they really deserved. I still stand by that.

        Just because your master is not beating you does not mean that you are not a slave. When the USSR fell, six months later the majority of Russians wanted the old communist system back. I once saw a German shepherd that was raised in the confines of a small apartment patio. His owners gave him away to a farm. Once day he escaped from his kennel. That was the most afraid animal this farm boy had ever seen.

        If you have never visited one of the top ten expatriate locations for Americans, what you think about expatriation is what someone wants you to think, and I guarantee you that they do not have your best interests at heart. Pray that the wall never gets built, because it will be used to keep you in, not to keep others out.

        That’s how it looks from Ecuador.

      • Remember I lived in one those expat havens – the Cayman Islands for 2 years. No problem with coming back to ‘Mercia

      • I can understand the draw for expats to leave a country with so many serious problems but I wonder if Expat receives a S.S. check every month from said country?