With nothing particular in the way of economic news for an eye-opener, we find the last-minute election antics to be gloriously amusing. Before we get into some reasonable thinking about the possible outcomes, let’s consider the hype because, honestly, there’s not much else going on today…
Let’s begin with this gem: “Georgia Looking Into Attempted Hacking of Voter Registration Information, By Democrats?” This is is being quickly echoed by (look surprised) conservative sites which are running stories like this one.
Hardly an isolated incident though, as a PJ Media story says, in part “Deliberate misinformation is being spread to cause Republican voters in several states to question the GOP candidates. The states include, so far, North Dakota, Oregon, Montana, and Ohio.” It’s a fair run-down on the “dirty tricks” in play.
No morning before elections would be complete without a glance at 2020 hopefuls. including Elizabeth Warren, so, it was entertaining to read Howie Carr: Lieawatha can’t seem to get facts straight.”
Despite the sloppy use of “facts” the American Left may still be able to pull off control of the U.S. House. Which is one reason we will be very brief in tomorrow’s column so we can get out early and vote.
Rasmussen, and other reasonable polling groups, concede (generally) that there is a chance – about 85 percent – that the democrats will seize the House.
Speaking of projected outcomes, one of our worst nightmares is that there could be multiple contested elections going to recount such that we don’t actually know the whole picture until early next week. That gets FivethirtyEight to wondering if – when recounts are demanded – whether they should be done by machine or humans?
Once upon a time, honest machines were possible, but with the huge codebases involve in error-handling and such, no telling how the algo’s would handle it. Our vote is for humans, but only those who are honest and I have no idea where to find those, anymore. Do we still make ’em?
Despite the happy-talk from the Trump administration on the campaign circuit, the economy is NOT doing quite so well as people would like to believe. Even if so touted by Hannity and Limbaugh.
True, there is a good bit of hiring going on in the SMB (small/medium business) sector, but even president Trump is worried about the economics behind it all: “Trump Admin: National Debt Is An ‘Economic Threat’ To The US.”
The problem is deeper. It’s a witches brew (leftovers?) of consumer super-saturation, a declining middle class, job exports, and social service expansions.
Underlying the economic outlook around here is something called the Velocity of Money at M2. Imagine that the USA has only so much money (in a sense, that’s true). And then imagine that our Quality of Life is defined by how often that “stock of money” changes hands each year.
Obviously, the more often the money “turns-over” the more robust the economy is – because there’s a ton more activity. The very real present-day problem is that we are still down around historical lows of this “money turnover rate” and the improvement since the Trump ascendancy has been limited:
See? Lifetime lows. This chart from the St. Louis Fed shows just how tenuous the uptick in large-scale money movement has been. Note, by the way, that the vertical bars are periods of recession and yes, we are nearly due for one – and some would argue were overdue…
Don’t be dazzled by the roaring stock market, either. While it’s true that it’s up a lot since Trump took office, it’s largely fueled by stock buyback provisions. The reason these are so popular is in a crappy economy where there’s very little growth, even a non-growing company can jack-up share prices through stock buy-backs.
To get a more honest accounting of the economy, there are some simple metrics that can be applied.
As an example, the Port of Los Angeles, when you scroll down here to the annual data, actually moved more cargo in 2016 than 2017. Sure, sure, we can argue about the Port-next-door – Long Beach – and compare their data, too. But, the point is, trade is steadily growing because the process of job-jacking and the export of manufacturing has barely slowed despite Trumpifications to the contrary.
Speaking of Long Beach port operations, September was down 2.5% on the inbound and down 3% on the outbound, which is why we occasionally aggregate West Coast ports data on our Peoplenomics.com (deeper thinking about economics and futuring) site: The politics and spin aside, you can BS twenty-foot-equivalent units coming in or going out… We sense slowing in 2019.
Another data point is railroad traffic and it’s useful to know before voting that despite the division and hype, the economic reality along the rail rights-of-way across America looks like this:
“For the first 43 weeks of 2018, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,316,291 carloads, up 1.9 percent from the same point last year; and 11,986,177 intermodal units, up 5.7 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 43 weeks of 2018 was 23,302,468 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending October 27, 2018, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 376,943 carloads, up 3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 389,322 intermodal units, up 5.4 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 766,265 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.2 percent. North American rail volume for the first 43 weeks of 2018 was 31,448,451 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.5 percent compared with 2017.”
These statistics – from the Association of American Railroads – offer a much “cleaner” way to look at the economy instead of listening to politispeak.
In particular, we look at intermodal units because that’s their industry terminese for “containers” and to us, that shows where the goods movement is – and isn’t.
We should note in passing that there’s a mighty interesting global change afoot – and the Trump administration gets credit for this: “Xi Jinping pledges to cut Chinese import tariffs.” China is crash-vulnerable.
In other words, China is between something like a rock and a hard spot: They are trying to build an American-style large middle class – which is laughable given that we in America used to be the world leader in Middle Class and upward mobility. Thanks to our stupidly divisive national political spew, we’re quickly giving away that honor as the onslaught of the radicalized left has grown.
As we’ve warned previously, the Replay Socialists and their Antifa clowns are bent on repeating your choice of…
- The 1916 Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) except few of the modern rhymers are industrial to speak of….but they sure love violence.
- The 1930’s had both The Popular Front and the New Dealers. For this crowd, the unhinged Obama’s latest has to be disappointing. Or not.
- Perhaps, as Lew Rockwell offers, maybe it’s all just a bad Replay of 1968.
Our own thinking runs towards historical goulash: A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Mix in a heaping handful of partisan media.
At its core, there are several lessons from The Old Newsman’s History that you may consider:
First: Socialists are not particularly honest. The left-leaders (people like Michael Moore come to mind) run around touting things like Cuba’s success in healthcare. Yet, we don’t seem to hear much from them when counter-balancing stories like “Cuba lowers economic growth forecast as trade continues to drop” show up. Ah, the world through left-eyed glasses, eh?
(They also don’t seem to anxious to admit that another much-vaunted Kavanaugh accuser has admitted to fabricating rape allegations against the Justice. Especially before election day.)
Second: the Left also doesn’t know what’s “funny.” They spew radical sh*t and pretend – as part of their Big Lie that it’s funny. .Latest example in poor taste? “‘SNL’ Mocks ‘Gross’ GOP Candidate Who Lost His Eye to an IED Blast.” If you’re not deeply offended, you’re a stupid anti-American as we see it.. That’s not a conservative position – it’s an American Opinion.
Useful old firehouse terms handed down in the Ure family include “Dog-in-a-manger” and “Bites the hand that feeds ’em” are useful assessing such people. So is the term lying sonsabitches, were we not so measured in our thinking and writing.
That doesn’t slow the open-border idiots. We read this weekend that some 12,000 people are now in caravan toward our once-upon-a-time border. And some of them have now hit Mexico City.
With election day at hand, we wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to move to Canada. My older sister did this in the 1960’s and has had a very good life there. But to move now – as an act of escapism? May not be such a good idea – since they don’t have enough legal weed to go around.
Instead, we suggest that you suck-it-up and stay home and vote tomorrow. Our only offering is that a split decision in the House will not likely crash the markets. But we do have a serious decline in stocks in the wings with a split outlook for events around November 9th and then later in the month just after Turkey Weekend.
For now? Dow futures are close enough to flat to call ’em that. Later on, don’t be surprised at a running of the bulls as the bears give the present pullback one more swing.
We are perpetually disappointed in the American electoral process. Not that it isn’t brilliant – which no question it is. Rather, it’s how cross-state lines money is buying the outcomes and that’s totally contrary to the notion of local representative government.
We will vote for the “lesser of evils” – a choice we have made every two years with much regret.
Once upon a history, Americans could vote tor the best and most-qualified. Not the leading divider, the grandest orator, or more recently best fund-raiser.
I’m pretty sure that’s what the Framers had in mind: Excellence in governance and One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.
Not just those with bigger budgets, more lobbying horsepower and deeper pockets.
With that I have to ask: Are we the only one’s still running on daylight time as we seem to be posting an hour early today?
I should have set Alexa…
Moron the ‘morrow…