Do You Vote Hype or Data?

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 (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…

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…

33 thoughts on “Do You Vote Hype or Data?”

  1. The RED WAVE looks solid for tomorrow. As in 2016, deplorables know the importance of this election to allow PT to complete his promises, build a wall, & keep the economy going strong. People are more interested in their job than caravans bringing in people to take their jobs. Also, China knows PT’s tariffs are justifiable, & are putting up a front to save face, but will eventually cave in because they know PT is right. China respects a man with character & strength, & takes advantage of pushovers. Even Mexico is warming up to PT.

  2. “when recounts are demanded – whether they should be done by machine or humans?”

    Interesting, because comrade Stalin once remarked that it doesn’t matter where or what YOU vote. Who counts the vote is what matters ;-).

    Btw., as long as election campaigns need to be financed with MONEY, elections are really a ‘fools game’ that gives common people the illusion that they are being listened to. My family votes every time but only, because they can’t stomach some sleeze faces any longer. Happy voting!!

  3. SNL supports RED WAVE by driving republicans to the polls.

    “A former Navy SEAL who was mocked on “Saturday Night Live” for wearing an eyepatch said Monday he won’t demand the show apologize to him, and said an apology wouldn’t mean anything anyway.” He lost an eye in the war.

  4. If the economy tanks after the democrats regain the house, will that be a boon to the republicans? And we know how the democrats will handle border security. My advice, get lots of popcorn, and lots of ammo, we’re in for a wild ride, and it’s going to end badly for all of us. Degal report is looking more realistic with each passing day.

  5. Our electoral system sucks and always has, where the deep pockets put up the candidates and the losers get to vote for the lessor of the two evils,both of course controlled by the same group.What we need of course is term limits and campaigns financed by other means, a 5% tax on all financial transactions would be a very good place to start,but of course we will see no change as long as the losers are content to vote for the “lessor of the two evils”……

  6. This go around I’m voting mostly on candidate mannerisms.

    I’m not voting for the Republican as governor because he has beady eyes that stare off into space. He just doesn’t look “right” in my book.

    I’m voting for another based on the opponent stating the candidate “moved into her mom’s place to run for Congress.”

    I’ll vote Libertarian for the others.

    • Voted. Was the 100th person in the building.

      Voted for one Democrat so offset that by voting for one Republican – the rest was Libertarian.

  7. George,
    Mixed bag today…

    First, I want to start off today by saying that after this weekend, I hope Trump gets his butt kicked in this election. He said something so horrible…it made me ill. These were His words…not fake news…

    He said that the events in Pittsburgh and Florida killed the momentum of his rallies and the momentum he was trying to build this election. What? What a jerk. People get killed and he worries that it might hurt his TV ratings? This folks is why I had this guy. He has ruined the Republican Party. He needs to go.

    Back to your column…You said the Democrats are spreading misinformation, but Trump is master of misinformation. I don’t doubt that both sides are stretching the truth, but Trump just up and tells the biggest, baddest bold face lies and people cheer. You make a point about the economy not doing as great as we think it is…Trump must agree, because he is not making that a part of his rallies right now.

    All he wants to talk about are the lies that he and FOX news are fabricating. The caravan is not up to 12,000. It has shrunk, if anything. They aren’t going to crash our borders…they aren’t dangerous…unless women with strollers are dangerous. Are there opportunists that have leached their way into this caravan…Absolutely!!!! But, it’s because Trump has made this an issue. Many of these opportunists are joining this Caravan in spite of Trump. But…Most are just looking for jobs and many have found what they want in Mexico…no matter what the pay. Some pay is better than no pay.

    Here is what Trump does and does well unfortunately…He takes an issue…and he strategize how to not only turn it into a threat…but goes a step further and turns it into a Movie Plot Threat and deploys tax payer supported military by the thousands to give the impression that the threat is worse than expected. Of course there is no data to support that threat…but Trump is a showman…like a rock star smashing his guitar up to pieces to his fans delight…Trump knows how to whip up a crowd. Trump knows the biology of Fear!

    Fear raises our adrenaline, creating that primal, instinctual fight-or-flight response. This in turn releases epinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that produces, as many “adrenaline junkies” will attest, a deeply satisfying sensation.

    But let’s look at the crowds he pushed his fear agenda on. …he isn’t tub thumping in Any really big markets. In Georgia, he went to Macon, not Atlanta, he has been to Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia. In other words, he has been to areas where he has a better chance of less resistance…Not much going on in these parts…when the circus comes to town…people go…what is else is there?…besides, Trump goes to rural America so he can show how much he is loved…because…of course… it’s all about him. Just ask the victims families and congregation in Pittsburgh.

    Vote oppo so we can expunge this man out of office…we can make it up in 2020.

      • D,
        This isn’t a lesser of the two evils situation. Trump is pure evil. As evil as it gets. As dumb as it get’s Too. I would rather see George’s cats in office than this Man with no brain. And Pelosi, Schumer is a fear based talking point…if the America I live in had to live with the most evil man in the world for the past two years, we can live with the Chuck Schumer’s for two years.

        Hopefully In 2020, the GOP can come to it’s senses and get somebody with real character and a brain that can lead us on the right path.

    • The primary purpose of a military is to protect the borders! Any other purpose is ancillary. Without strong borders, we don’t have a country, simply an international zone.

      We have refused to get tough about border infiltrators, and we have been infiltrated terribly. Now several factions, from a few relatively innocent women and children to thousands of angry military type males with known criminals and foreign agents are skulking toward our borders with criminal intent. They are even parading with their native flags and burning ours! Crossing borders illegally is criminal and in most countries is a capital offense. Border infiltrators may be considered spies and shot, just as escaping inmates are shot. Check out North Korea or China if you wish. At least they have strong borders. Even Americans sneaking into Mexico will not be warmly welcomed, I can assure you, and will be jailed immediately, if not worse.

      The military is on the border to show the world that invading foreigners will not be tolerated. That is as it should be.

      • And both sides of the aisle believe that too! Trump is mischaracterizing the liberals point of view. They all want strong borders. Nobody is disputing that. In fact, the best answer from the fear mongering was from Beto O’Rourke in his debate with terrible Ted Cruz.

        “This is why people don’t like Washington, D.C. — you just said something that I did not say and attributed it to me,” O’Rourke told Cruz at one point. “This is your trick and the trade, to confuse and incite based on fear and not to speak the truth.”

        He went on to say…”While responding to a question about necessary border security, O’Rourke said he wants to invest in the ports of entry and in additional infrastructure to create safer cities on the U.S. side of the border.

        He also said Cruz has failed to support the immigrant community, pointing to his vote against considering legislation that would allow Congress to act on a permanent fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

        My only point here is that I don’t like the lies on either side. The same lies about the 2nd Amendment keep on cropping up too. There may be a handful of liberals that want to ban guns, but they are the extreme minority. Most embrace our second amendment…but they want the same laws for gun safety as we have for driver safety…That’s not asking too much…except that it may inhibit gun sales….and therein lies the problem with the GOP. The NRA is in charge and not common sense.

        Trump has thrown out common sense on immigration in favor of a fear mongering TV ratings boost. He is his own reality show. The irony of reality shows though, is that none of them are reality. They are mostly scripted with just enough ad lib to make them seem real. And this is the America we have become. If any of you are fans of the chicken or egg theory…Did the reality show come first…or did the idea to see how gullible people can be come first…and then the reality show was introduced as execution of that theory?

      • @ mark

        For the past 30 years..NO ONE DC has wanted strong borders…open as can be by BOTH parties and ALL presidents….except this last one…and he is being fought by BOTH parties to keep them open….so get past your hate for trump on at least THIS issue…or start to learn spanish as IT will be the primary language inside of 20 years , right here in the open borders usofa

  8. Wow….just got notice ..the health insurance just for the wife mind you is going up almost two hundred a month..utilities let us know their going up as well..water and sewer thirty percent..I’m afraid to see how much natural gas is increasing …
    Wow..that will put health insurance right at 18,000 a year with a 7500.00 top it off the company is trying to save labor costs so their cutting out a half hour a day..

      • I know..they all lied…the only good thing is we can get it..before we couldn’t buy insurance at all..
        You know what our budget is … This is devastating news..I was trying to cut fifteen grand.. Now with all the increases I have to figure out how to cut fifty percent of our yearly income. There won’t be any spending this year on anything..

      • That’s what you get when congress is absent from doing their jobs and letting someone else do it with a blank check..
        The really sad part was to fix it all they had to do is enforce the laws that were already on the books for discrimination and pass a measure outlawing price the borders..let the people shop around..
        Wow this is amazing..had to inform the wife that selling out is coming up..

    • lootb, I got the notice from Health Markets and it estimated my 2019 rate would nearly double, but I called my actual heathcare provider and their new rate is about 20% less than my 2018 rate.

      • Thanks Robert.. I will have to give them a call..doing the budget scaring the heck out of me.. it is simply amazing.. On thursday I find out if I will have to drink from the chalice anytime soon( I have chosen not to tell anyone close to me till it becomes obvious).. so I am trying to set up an alternate plan for the wife..( I am the budgeter) from my perspective there isn’t anyway for it to work out.. since the plan already will take up thirty percent more than her SS benefits and the base environmental costs have all jumped up and are above her present income level at best( she is a professional and makes a decent salary). what gets me is that is how they do it.. for years if you had a private policy and something happened and you had to make a claim or you had something in your past.. they would start raising rates.. or close down coverage for your zip code or local region.. forcing you to quit the policy. of course you still need the services you just aren’t covered.. when you go in the clinic won’t see you unless you come up with an estimated cost.. won’t treat you unless it is life threatening.. so you are forced to seek your aide from the ER turning the ER into a clinic.. the hospitals already know that one in three are not insured.. the base cost for an ER here is a grand then everything is extra.. ten dollar band aids the mucus retainer( a single kleenex) ten dollars etc.. these costs don’t just disappear they get passed down.. first to the doctors that rent office space.. then to the other customers that have insurance..
        the worst thing that was ever done was to deregulate the industry.. it gave insurance companies the option to make profits higher than ever and to eliminate coverage for anyone that may need it in the future.. sad but true..I cannot even tell you how many people I have seen sent home because they weren’t sick enough..watched one lady get an MRI.. it was obvious that she had a metastasized infection.. said to the friend doing the MRI.. he said nope it isn’t policy to pass that on only the report of what was ordered.. so that woman had to come back after it became life threatening to seek help.. happens all the time.. you hear the complaints that social medicine has long waiting periods.. excuse me but you have them here to unless you can support the fast tracked service..and we pay more.. I have digressed again.. it is just so frustrating to me to try to work out a budget when there is obviously no way a budget can be made. I know I am not the only one faced with this to.. making me all that more convinced that the big correction is just over the hill..

  9. Regarding campaign financing, I think one should only be allowed to donate to a campaign if you live in the district represented by the candidate. Might even cut down on all of the TV ads. Less money to spend.

    • Why not cut every TV ads? One full page ad in a paper stating the candidates position on issues that concern voters?

      Is that too simple? We’re supposed to habe brains and know how to read, or?

  10. When considering the national debt, it’s almost a certainty that an additional $21.5 Trillion cannot be accounted for by DOD and HUD. Therefore our national debt is twice the official number. Catherine Austin Fitts, former undersecretary of HUD first discovered this and it was confirmed by Dr. Mark Skidmore and his grad students at the U of Mich. Here’s a recent interview with him:

  11. “Hopefully In 2020, the GOP can come to it’s senses and get somebody with real character and a brain that can lead us on the right path.” (Quote from Mark)

    But all these “real characters” of yours run successful websites already. ;-) What would motivate them to join the political circus? Are YOU going to fund them?

  12. Today is Guy Fawkes Day – a day mostly remembered for the over-the-top idea that stuffing barrels of gunpowder under the residence of King James (of ‘King James version of the Bible’ fame) was a good plan to change the monarchy of Great Britain. Although security had gotten a bit lax from the time of Elizabeth I, the plot was discovered and foiled, and the conspirators dispatched, after a swift trial. (Fawkes himself mercifully died from a broken neck, falling off the gallows – though his body was spread around the land.)

    Being able to vote for our chosen leaders and not having a monarch (nor someone who believes himself ‘better than others’) is the American tradition – to be denied at peril.


  13. 1. Who is getting paid?
    2. Who is cutting checks?
    3. Who gets bombed around the world?

    The answer to those three questions never changes, no matter which fairy you believe in, the sparkly red or blue one. They sure do make you feel like “one of them” though, don’t they?

  14. Everything revolves around the economy.. what can people spend.. What I see is a system so corrupt.. taking money in by the billions.. and nothing getting done..
    with basic services and needs deregulated sets up industry for astronomical increases.. Adolphs book covers this and how to manipulate the population to gain control and imprison the wealthy shooting the ultra wealthy into the stratosphere.. take a department store.. a local department store complains that they are loosing customers to online sales that drop ship merchandise from the people that sell it.. the issue is they cannot compete.. they have building costs employee costs and it all depends on who is spending money.. dry that money up even from the online sales and you have a serious situation.. to stimulate that growth in the past was to start a war.. reduce population and increase demand. simple out of the box observations..the scary part is because of the deregulation and the outsourcing of labor and supplies(you do like cheaper products) a war will not stimulate the economy like it did in years past. the way I see it this time it will make a reverse spiral.. digging us deeper.. the other problem is how do you construct a police action now without having it hit home.. the puppeteers have never had it hit their neighborhood.. neither did the Jewish community in Germany during ww2.. WW3 will be quite a bit different. the weapons are scarier and more devastating..and lets face it if your the little guy facing the giant.. you have to aim that rock just perfect and fight dirty. Take China for instance..they have moved forward from the way they worked in years past. I personally think they would walk across america.. easily.. heck we see refugees going to walk right on in..and we have powerful people in govt. that is supporting that..I am thinking a war with the USA within its own borders would only take a few days at most especially since most of our military is spread out doing the puppeteers bidding..the citizens of the usa have not been instructed on what to do.. it would be a red dawn .. divide and conquer.. if our troops in other countries turned their backs you are surrounded.. can’t come back to fight for the homeland.. even now if the military is suppose to go to one area they send people in the guard from another area that doesn’t have ties.. story I like about my grandfather.. he was sent to Germany during WW1 ( I don’t have a clue if it is true or not just love this story) anyway they sent him to his great grandmas home town so during the signing of the armistice he was sitting at the kitchen table eating strudel and drinking a glass of other thing is our equipment is made someplace else.. the army that attacks the homeland doesn’t have to target manufacturers since the probability is that their country is making it.( I just bought some heavy duty work shirts that are made in Pakistan..)

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