Occam’s Spreadsheet

Two new charts arrive this morning (amidst a long-winded discussion on method and where we are in the rhyme financially) which may in coming days and weeks help jus to figure out when to get on either the “last train out” to the upside, or get out  of in front of the bus on the downside.

This being Consumer prices and retail, let’s do those first, shall we?

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Comments

Occam’s Spreadsheet — 18 Comments

  1. …Better a half-full feeling than a half-vast outlook. ;-)

    I can understand the Presidential ponder.

    I worked part-way through college behind the counters of several different establishments, the vast majority of whose clientele tended to be from the surrounding “economically disadvantaged” neighborhoods.

    Welfare and food stamp abuse were done by over 80% of recipients, by my actual observation. 40 years ago one had to break an actual food stamp coupon, by buying a 10¢ piece of candy (a legitimate purchase under the rules) to get enough Coin of the Realm in change, to turn around and buy a pack of cigs with their change. They could make two separate candy purchases and buy a quart, or three and buy a fifth of Mad Dog… and they did. When someone thought they needed to make a trip, I’d see them standing out on street corners with food stamp books, trying to exchange $50 books for $25 in FRNs.

    I can’t even imagine the abuse that goes on today with WIC and EBT. The fraud is easy: “I buy you stuff, you give me cash…” I’d suspect, since society has NOT gotten more virtuous over the last generation or two, and the EBT rules are no better than food stamp rules were, that fraud is perpetrated by closer to 98% of recipients, now.

    The problem is vast, and the “solutions” brought henceforth by government are half-vast. I believe Mr. Trump’s idea is meant, more to stimulate conversation than as an actual proposal, but it is not beyond the ability of a player like Amazon to execute such a proposal.

    • The issue is your belief that 98% of recipients commit fraud. No evidence anyone presents will change that “belief”. Yet your “belief” of 98% fraud is unbelievable on its face.

      It’s no different than folks “believing” that crime is getting worse.

      We’re in a place where facts don’t matter any longer. And folks disregard facts that challenge the preconceived opinions.

    • Statistically there’s so few that abuse the system it’s a non issue. It has to be difficult to be forced to decide skip a meal so I can get diapers or laundry soap or a simple roll of toilet paper.
      The same assumptions were made when everyone suspected that all welfare recipients were drug addicts. Only to discover it costs money to acquire them.
      Although I had heard that in some states you can walk into any bank on welfare without any collateral and they will just give you hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy just about anything.. oh I will toss the bull sh!t flag up on that one to..
      Not only do the social workers remind you that your despicable to seek out the assistance but the vast majority of the citizens. Even though almost halve of all working families with children depend on them for survival.

      • I believe we have a difference of opinion on the working definition.

        I’d guess you both define “welfare fraud” as limited to those (very) few who create multiple IDs and accounts, to double-dip or otherwise bilk the system. Those numbers are the only ones available from Government or law enforcement, and only then, when a “welfare cheat” is caught.

        What I refer to is “ground level” cheating — not using the funds for their intended purpose, and circumventing the rules to abuse the intent of the system.

        This is still fraud.

        Even when one skips a meal to buy toilet paper.

        Because the next person in the checkout is skipping a meal to buy a pack of cowboy killers.

        And Wave, it is not a belief, it is a measured calculation based on actual, long-term daily observation over a more-than four year period in three entirely separate low-rent neighborhoods.

  2. Kissinger quote – ” if you control the oil you control countries, if you control the food you control the people.”

    The Food safety modernization act requires registering your farm, accounting for all products produced, raw ingredients used and who they were sold, under the guise of needing to recall it. Personally it is so the feds can know and tax all you produce and essentially make it too hard for small guys to compete.

    • It is a guide in the development of theoretical models towards potential answers to the equation. Or…. best guess using criteria at hand considering their usual results..
      At least that is what I think

  3. Having government send food packs to a person or family, enormous costs,hiring lots of people ,riots due to late food deliverities. Spoiled food, corruption in food purchase, and all along that path. Government can do some things but usually just screws it up. BAD George.. socialist paradise stuff.

  4. What if the PTB are the power behind FB and GOOG? The change of welfare from debt cards to raw commodities would benefit those positioned to supply them. Instead of having to go to your local food bank or charity to get your government cheese, as in days before, it would be delivered to your door step. what would be better than if all deliveries were to public housing rather than single family homes? What is better than 10% guaranteed profit government contract?

    • Back during the Reagan recession the economy was stalled. To jumpstart the economy there was tax rebates.
      https://www.thebalance.com/stimulus-checks-3305750

      Cheese and milk products were purchased to bail out the dairy industry.

      The soup kitchen lines of the last depression are already here. If they do away with the food stamp program it won’t take long to see them reappear. Especially with almost half of the work force dependant on them.
      Unless of course the employers of our nation see the trend it will create and step up to the plate. Lower bonuses for management and executives cut profits and take a more modest approach to advancement.. Hey that sounds similar to how things were..

  5. Yesterday I read that the 1,000 year reign as described in Revelation has already occurred. It was the period from King David to the birth of Christ. Satan was restrained for a 1,000 years to allow Soloman (David’s son) to allow all nations to participate in the Davidic Kingdom. At the end of the 1,000 years (Christ’s birth), Satan was released until the Second Coming.

  6. Wow.. George you outdid yourself today. I found it totally thought provoking.
    Doing away with government assistance..and food stamps..
    what affect would that have on the economy.
    76 percent of all family filers receive the EIC tax credits.. my thought is you give a family five grand when they paid in five hundred because it’s obvious that they will be the biggest spenders in the economy. Rich will buy but overall you didn’t get wealthy by spending. Ask any person dependent on tips who the biggest tippers are. Who’s the most demanding..
    49 percent of the American work force are dependent on the benefits for survival.
    Of course you’ll hear the stories I heard a friend knew a friend that had a cousin that worked with someone that got all of this or that. In reality for American citizens receiving benefits there’s less than one percent bilking the system. The fifteen percent abusing the system from the other side is industry making fraudulent claims to get funds.
    Now.. a family of four that gets the eic tax credit will buy clothes fix cars buy hardline goods etc. with76 percent of all family shoppers not having those funds. Just what affect will that have? Personally if I don’t have it I can’t spend it.
    People that depend on food stamps to exist with one in two grocery shoppers using them how would that loss of sales affect the grocery store chains. They make very little per dollar now.

  7. Another interesting ETF in a recession is Powershares DB Agriculture Symbol DBA. Iy may be a little early for this ETF now, but it could have merits in the future. If food is scarce, AG prices would rise, or not. This is more or less of a guess on my part.

  8. I am glad you did an expanded left & right side 1929 chart. I was having trouble seeing any type of pattern on the right. I will look forward to the updated charts at the close.

    What I noticed was that the current market decline was much steeper than the 1929 chart decline on the right, but, looking at the left side of the 1929 chart, the current market decline was in line with the decline angle on the left side 1929 chart.

    In summary, the current market decline mirrored the left side 1929 chart decline. Based on this, it would seem we are in for a blow off top.

    What to invest in. If you believe we are in for a blow off top, new money may want to look at 3X Bull Leveraged ETF’S to get maximum bang for your bucks. If you are looking at a downturn, Short ETF’s may be the ticket. 3X Leveraged Short ETF’s present more risk than I want to assume, and making any money on the downside is icing on the cake. Shorting is not a long term way to successfully invest.