GDP Still Weak (Why no Fed increase?)

imageJust Out:  GDP Data:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.0 percent.

With this third estimate for the fourth quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains largely the same; personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased more than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 2).

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, residential fixed investment, and federal government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, exports, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in state and local government spending, a deceleration in PCE, and a downturn in exports that were partly offset by a smaller decrease in private inventory investment, a downturn in imports, and an acceleration in federal government spending. 

Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $24.0 billion in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of $1.8 billion in the third. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $129.2 billion, compared with a decrease of $11.8 billion.

The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $6.5 billion, compared with a decrease of $23.1 billion. This measure is calculated as the difference between receipts from the rest of the world and payments to the rest of the world. In the fourth quarter, receipts decreased $22.4 billion, and payments decreased $16.0 billion.

Taxes on corporate income decreased $32.2 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with a decrease of $6.9 billion in the third. Profits after tax with IVA and CCAdj decreased $127.4 billion, compared with a decrease of $26.2 billion.

This means GDP is settling in around 17.947 trillion.  Public Debt from the Treasury continues to scream ahead:  $19.201 trillion.

So we owe today around 7%  (6.98742%) more than we make in a year.  Not Greek, but certainly off in that direction.

Bombing Follow-up

Europe is still nervous as 6 detained in raids connected to Brussels attacks as questions persist.


Speaker of the House and head of the Obama Wing of the GOP, the media are lining up to get him to run for president without going through the primary process, which is about as crooked as democracy can get.  As an example:  “Paul Ryan had a very civilized response to Donald Trump. He should have been uncivilized.

In any other election, if the National Enquirer had come out with a headline like “SHOCKING CLAIMS: Pervy Ted Cruz Caught Cheating — With 5 Secret Mistresses!” the candidate would have been cut loose.

But, since the former republican party has become the Corporate Party, no such thing will happen…This is desperation of a dying party at its finest.


NBC coverage of : Comedian Garry Shandling Dies at 66.

Coping:  Exploiting Our Great Divides

Sometimes, it’s the “little news” that gets our attention and tells us much about who we are as people – and how our differences are used by marketer to make money.

For example:

In North Carolina, Anti-discrimination law elicits rebukes from businesses..

If you take the time to read the story, you will find that corporations are “monitoring” now that the state has banned local government laws that extend, for example, the ability of transgender folks to use the restroom that fits closest to their “gender identity.”

North Carolina is the only place where people have to use those bathrooms that match their birth certificates.

OK, it’s the bible belt, and all that, but it catches our attention (under the “everything is a business model” standard), enough to look at the recent data on why corporations and sports bodies  are basically warning the state “they’re watching.”

The answer, I’m afraid, has more to do with marketing than gender equality.

First a little bit of reality from a statistical standpoint:  The Gallup polling organization finds the real LBGT population of the US is under 4%.

But that, they pointed out in a report last year, doesn’t keep the general public from wildly overestimating the size (and thus importance) of the LBGT demographic.  Some think a quarter of the population, or more, is LBGT.  Wrong.

As we have pointed out previously, genderism has become a huge growth industry.  With no cure for cancer, or aging, the medical community has taken to whacking male appendages and sewing up vaginas. Cities are now making the general public pay in some municipalities, too.   Not that there aren’t cases where conversion is justified, but this has become a marketing deal to a great extent.

So here’s something to think about:  If you, like me, find it a bit odd that there are so many LBGT ads on television, there is a reason.

On a numerical basis, there’s a bigger market (4.2% versus under 4% for LBGT) to be found in marketing to persons of Southeast Asian extraction.

But wait!  When was the last time that you saw a “mixer” on a cruise ship for people who happen to have roots in SE Asia?


And, when we break down the data further, if the under 4% data is right, (and this is a wild guess) the gay percent of population is around 2%, the lesbian data similar, and the bi who knows?  And the T part?  A fraction of one percent.

Yet the T part seems to grab all kinds of attention (I label this as spectacle marketing in a sense) and that seems to work.

So what is it that corporations are telling North Carolina?  Overtly, it’s what’s in the press releases.

But I expect since the legal fictions (that are corporations) are made up of people, the same misperception of reality exists there as Gallup found in the general population. Corporate boards are not made up of exclusively brilliant thinkers.

Let me know next time you see a TV series (on American television major network) about a Southeast Asian family.  Just another wild guess here, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Reality: “spectacle marketing” works well with Terminal Madness of End Times.  (See “bread and circuses” for more framing.)

This is not a rant about LBGT’s – believe it or not.  It’s about the general lack of ability of the general pop to comprehend the reality of the world around us.

And corporations are pouring umpteen millions into the LBGT space and since they have invested in it, anything that slows their ad plans for more and more divisive marketing…well that must be bad.  Clinically, it is fascinating from the economic perspective to see how big “the space” can be blown up.  At some point, consumer saturation goes to work on all segments.

The reality is Big Money is at work here.  Check out “Top 12 Corporations who Lured Us in with their LBGT Ads in 2015,”

LBGT has been around since time immemorial.  But previously, people had some cool and through about 1990, or so, things were moving along toward equality.  Now?  Corporations have usurped what used to be human-on-human relations for corporate gain.

And that, my friend, is worth paying attention to, since corporations in this timeframe also made it clear that in addition to divisive marketing at will, they have purchased U.S. government out from under us.  Which means social engineering has become more and more a game of exploitation.

Yeah…get back to me when the SE Asians get a prime time show and a similar sized ad budget at the corporate trough.

Because then and only then will we be making progress as humans toward unconditional equality, rather than lazy segmentation that exploits interpersonal differences for corporate profit.

Census data shows “Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S., Census Bureau Reports.”  I didn’t hear them mentioned on our last cruise.  I didn’t see a TV show listed for Peg-Leg, but I mighta missed it.

Care to guess which ad campaign you’re more likely to see on television or online?

Absent cool, new inventions in enough vertical markets, off we go down this road.  The difference is organic growth of vicious segmentation.

By-the-way: It’s not just the marketing overdose on LBGT:  Pets are doing down the same road.  I remember when it was cat and dog food, for example. 

Dialed in with segmentation gone crazy, I now have (and I can’t make this up) cat milk and cat jerky.  So yes, your kitty or bowser are being repackaged, too.  Another oddity worth watching in the Marketing Meltdown.  “Here, kity, kitty:  Buy some shit.  We’ve gone from a bag of sand for cat litter to a billion dollar industry.

I’d ask if the world is crazy, but it’s just too damn obvious.

As I’ve said before, the magic of the Everything is a Business Model approach is that everything can be turned into a marketing proposition.  A multi-billion dollar one, at that.

18 thoughts on “GDP Still Weak (Why no Fed increase?)”

  1. Before I (mostly) agree with you, I need to take you to task on the transgender issue . . . you seem to be awfully fixed on that and tend to ‘wander in the weeds’ when it comes to anything to do with how someone thinks of themselves in a gender sense.

    But the main point is that – Corporations believe everything is a business model – well, yes . . . I’m surprised that you think that they wouldn’t – since their reason for existing is to make money through transactions . . .

    (Transactions which have been going on since the first primate understood that someone else had something they wanted. People receive ‘goods and services’ through ‘criminal means’, ‘business’ or given to them as charity or in a familial arrangement.)

    This transaction does not necessarily remain in one type for ‘ever and ever’ – and a corporation can engage in multiple kinds of transactions at any time – but the main focus of a successful business is to make ‘Money’.

    (That’s why, when I was working for a major insurance company and they decided to put out a ‘Mission Statement’, I about laughed my head off until I realized that they were serious. Talking about company values is like ‘nailing jelly to a wall’ – unless you’ve captured a bit under the sharp end, it is all dependent on the immediate situation.)

    Expecting corporations (down to the smallest) to be ethical is beyond their capability and it is the responsibility of government and the legal system – and people in general to try to control (through the pocketbook) their excesses.

    As you say, while disabled people make up perhaps twenty percent of the population – they don’t have the financial wherewithal to interest many corporations . . .

    And that is why I don’t think Donald Trump would be a good president – he thinks like a businessman – and that is ‘very’ scary!

    • Ever hear of a Public Benefit Corporation?
      Times are changing – a wave of renewed consciousness – and conscientiousness is upon us. The old world is dying, and a new one is being born. Once we’re through the birth pangs, things will be better.. merely a question of how long.

      Don’t just sit on the sidelines, cowering in your prepped bunkers – use your power! Spread the truth, push for change – public pressure DOES work. See SOPA/PIPA’s defeat for a recent example.

  2. The LBGT ads could also be part of the depopulation agenda. The PTB could be trying to make those lifestyles look trendy to encourage “experimenters” to give them a try instead of breeding.

  3. National Enquirer the same magazine that has pictures of Aliens human babies. Any one who believe any think they print should be examined!

  4. Saying that ‘corporations’ are the problem does not get to the root of it all — The problem is twofold –1. The idea of MONEY itself (of which you are as guilty as anyone!) and 2. TOO MANY PEOPLE on this planet of which you comment on and are correct about all the time. Sorry but no solution to either problem except watching the ‘lemmings’ go over the cliff. Sure sounds like fun don’t it?? LOL

  5. George-wake up! “cat jerky” is a treat made FOR cats, not WITH cats…ditto cat milk….Zeus is shaking his head in shame.HEllO-no repurposed felines yet!

  6. In the past, gay people were perceived to have more money to spend than straights. Now that they are having children, they are going to be as broke as the rest of us. I predict the ads will calm down once that happens.

  7. Re: “It’s about the general lack of ability of the general pop to comprehend the reality of the world around us.”

    For a lot of people, Reality isn’t a solid concept anymore – it is now on a spectrum or continuum from firm to virtual. “Smart”phones and other devices, used as intended INSTEAD of with good judgment, allow people wherever they are to step thru the ‘looking glass’ & be elsewhere – in a hypnotizing kind of way. So, lots of folks are choosing whenever possible the virtual where they can be with whoever & things are exactly as they like instead of the real of reality. It’s like anesthesia. And I think that is why the real world is functioning less & less well as more people spend more time away from it. Given the choice between a walk in the woods & some kind of online gaming experience, I choose woods. BTW, you can now buy shoes for dogs (which is not so bad if you live in a wintry city & there are power line shorts below the sidewalks) – BUT now you can also buy pajamas for dogs (a bridge too far?).

  8. “…get back to me when the SE Asians get a prime time show and a similar sized ad budget at the corporate trough.”

    ABC network’s “Fresh Off the Boat”

    Living in Hawaii, and having worked in television most of my life, I find that “local” advertising placements are heavily oriented to local people who are mostly a blend of Asian extraction. Mainland Ad agencies who do not understand local culture here do not do well.

    • Haven’t seen Fresh off the Boat – thought they would be from Syria, lol.
      As to the ad agencies – my point was they not only “do not understand the local culture” of the Big Island, Hank. They also don’t understand the local culture of CONUS especially anything outside of NYC and DC. Imagine thinking like the world of Boxer and Pelosi is “normal.”

  9. I have nothing bad to say about LGBT people I meet.
    I feel sorry for them. As I feel sorry for any person with impaired normal body or mental functions like diabetes or alzheimer disease.
    But I despise marketing and politics activities around any disabilities.

    LGBT is a brandname.
    You cannot fight a brandname by bashing it.
    The most effective countermeasure against a brand is called “brand blurring”.

    This can be achieved
    – by using similar acronyms with similar, but a bit different meanings (LGBTI(mpotent), LBGTZ(oophile), LGBTN(ecrophile));
    – by using original brand name in unusual way (Don’t LGBT me, bro. This nut was not lgbted properly.);

    So, you are LGBTI? I sincerely feel very sorry for you. I think we should have new legislation to add all LGBTI victims in the class protected by ADA act.

    • My point presactly: No problem with someone being LBGT – toss in Q and so on (not illegals, though).

      The whole point was about the corps coming in and “stealing the brand.” Those are people, dammit, not stick monkeys for a corporate promotion. I found it offense and was just outraged by it.
      Corporations would like drive by a house fire…and then turn it into either an fire insurance promotion or they would be selling home fire extinguishers out front. I got a $5 bill to bet that not all the people play-acting in the corporate ads are actually LBG or T. They are all ACTORS…we know that part. And they are paid. LBGT is just the latest in a long list of corporate abuses… It’s gone from being matters of heart to matters of balance sheet. And no one seems to be saying it.

  10. George, awhile back you were talking about selling the faithful beechcrate. i hope that was a small, transient insanity now passed. admittedly the heavy hand of the feds makes aircraft ownership tedious but keeping ownership and current flight status intact is important precisely because the fed would prefer no one be able to go anywhere without their permission. just imagine where general aviation would be today if those heavy-handed bastards had never gained control of such a vital technology. aircraft are much like guns in my estimation. slaves own neither. and, there may come a time when your faithful crate will be the difference between capture and one more chance. or, you might have to deliver something that makes a difference when there are no other options. w.

    • I have thought about that long and hard. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t put it on at a fire sale price. Just a fair price… There are always dirt bikes and wire cutters…

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