Employment Disaster?

The very first thing to do this morning is go hit the Gallup Poll website here and look at what they are seeing in short-term employment trends:  In just the last month, their count of unemployed has risen from 7.9% to 8.9% and the number of people underemployed (which is your bus driver with a degree and such) has risen to Depression-era levels around 18%.  OK, 17.9% is close enough.  Worse, and this may be related to sequestration finally digging in a bit, the radio of payroll to population is down to only 43.7%.

There is a simple answer to the US budget mess that occurred to me this morning:  Why aren’t people who are making a living off the US paying some kind of US Income Tax which would only make sense?  How about it if foreign workers who were paid these ridiculous low wages had to have US income tax collected if the goods were to be sold in the USA.

Sure, sure, I know the free traders hate such thinking, but if they had their way Labor would be free and they’d be the only ones making money.  And I point – as proof’s in the pudding – to the Rust Belt that still hasn’t recovered in America’s heartland.

Protectionism isn’t what caused the Great Depression….that was technological change which caused displacement of horses and mules for internal combustion engines – and that caused farmers to overplant cash food crops which led to deflation and displacement.  But hey!  Don’t let the economic facts overshadow national hype.

Global trade is fueling a population bomb and no one seems to understand that while countries like Russia, the US, and Germany have falling birth rates, the nightmare places in the world are Yemen and such where people mostly live in poverty (like in rural Mexico, too, come to think of it) and yet while living in windowless block houses, they still must have a big screen TV, designer jeans and a cell phone.

To defend global trade on the basis of “helping” the third world is screwing over the planetary future and if you thought resource depletion and the Manufacturer’s Resources Wars have been fun so far, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

This morning’s “offishul” numbers look like this:

In the week ending August 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 336,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 323,000. The 4-week moving average was 330,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 332,750.

Yeah, sure, you betcha.  (Spoken with a good Ballard Scandahovian fisherman’s accent.)

The Bounce Back from Oblivion

The stock market didn’t have a happy Wednesday, closing down more than 100 points on the Dow and down nearly 10 on the S&P 500.  So this morning, it should come as no surprise that the market is set to rally a bit at the open, but there are still a few possible snags ahead come 10 AM when the Conference Board releases its Leading Economic Indicators.

Yet, it’s still too early for a total collapse of things especially when we look at how close we are to the high in the S&P which was posted on August 2 at 1,709.67. Since crashes usually happen in the 55-60 day range after an all-time high, we might work things backward from an ideal last week or October collapse (around October 29, say) and pencil 55-days earlier than that which means we could have one last smoking rally into September 4th.

None of which is investment advice because as anyone with a nickel’s worth of brains knows, the market is plumb loco and there’s no telling how screwed up things are by HF trading and all the other distortions, not to mention how the herd on the bond side will stampede when the Fed stops handing out free money.

Still, the overnight global numbers were mixed:  Japan down, Chia up, and in Europe this morning one percent gains seem the order of the day…so a 150-point reflex rally today wouldn’t be a surprise at all.  Oil firmed a bit overnight and gold and silver are taking a comp day.

So going into the open, think of this as the Bounce Back from Oblivion Day…and the only fear would be for an afternoon reversal back to the downside.

(Updated) Manning Womaning?

OK, Bradley Manning was just handed 35-years in the iron bar hotel for releasing classified documents.  And I understand that the prospect of that much time in prison could be a real drag, and all…but now Manning says he/she would like to live as a woman

Earlier I expressed concerns about taxpayers getting the tab for this, but I just had a call from a trusted source who tells me the Army has released a statement saying they do NOT pay for TG hormone therapy…

Speaking of Trials & Tribulations

Disgraced Chinese official Bo Xilai, which is pronounced suspiciously like Beaujolais (as in French wine) is standing trial today in China on corruption charges.  Near as I can figure it, he’s quoting another famous Chinese:  Who Mi?

A French Whine

Speaking of the French, I assume you’re aware the French are threatening military force in Syria over the purported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.  It all sounds a bit too conveniently orchestrated and what about the UN inspectors…what are they saying?  Seems to me if the charges were true, the “rebels” would be rolling out the red carpet for them…

More after this

Global Warming Sales

I knew the Global Warming debate would come to this sooner, or later, especially as we are in a period of solar cooling now.  But really, to have a former vice president use emotionally charged racial terms around global warming?  Tisk, .tisk…very poor form to play the the apartheid and gay rights card on climate.

Rather than let matters stand on the scientific facts, it’s unconscionable to link issues like these in with climate…how stupid are the American people?

Oh, oh…sorry….I forgot.  But hey!  What do we keep making more people, then, and in third world crapholes where they ignore environmental restraint?  Answer me this?

Meantime, the pause in global warming’s ramp is being blamed on volcanoes.

Big Brother

Even more disclosures come out about NSA surveillance.  Where is the liberal outrage at this?

Superficial Hollywood?

Melanie Griffith lashes out again the “machine”.  I think if actors have a sense about them, they’d model behaviors of greats like Denzel Washington…a little more picky on which scripts, yeah?

“Working Girl”  and  “Milk Money” versus “Training Day” and “Flight”…gets to what I’m saying…