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.

Silly-tics

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.

Passings:

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?

Never.

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.

2DH: Environmental Aspects of the 2nd Depression
Orders: Not So Durable & Not So Good –2.8%