Merry What-mess? Durable Goods, new Jobless filing, and Personal Income Tales. All better than coal (and more “climate-friendly” for the wokees).
I know — how dare some old writer/columnist offer insights into the eggnog and fentanyl festivities. But yes, seems to be how things look over here on the long end of the timeline.
We live in a country – no longer America, but Nuevo Venezuela – which is passing a tipping point, hidden by Pandemic Hysteria and echoing Trump Hate. Taken as a whole, dollar purchasing power is collapsing and few are concerned.
Prices are NOT going up. The purchasing power of our debt-logged Dollar is swirling down the toilet now.
A little mood-setting to get us braced for the latest news and impacts.
Data Center: DG, UI, PI
Unemployment Claims -New Filers
Ticked up a bit but not too much:
Personal income increased $90.4 billion (0.4 percent) in November according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $70.4 billion (0.4 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $104.7 billion (0.6 percent).
Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in November and Real PCE increased less than 0.1 percent; spending on services increased 0.5 percent and spending on goods decreased 0.8 percent
You betcha! Uh-huh. No pee-testing week?
Dow Futures are +100-ish.
Psycho-Merica: Are We?
SingleCare.com reports that “About 66% of U.S. adults take prescription drugs (Health Policy Institute, 2021). About 46% of U.S. adults have taken a prescription drug in the past 30 days (CDC, 2019). The therapeutic areas with the highest spending in the U.S. are antidiabetics, oncologics, autoimmune, and respiratory diseases (Statista, 2021).”
These are not the issue. One in six Americans take psychoactive or psychiatric drugs.
Well, except for one thing: These are prescribed. Gallup figures 12% of American’s do weed.
Being Dopes also extends into finance: Back in 2017, CNN Money reported 6 in 10 American’s couldn’t afford an “emergency $500” spending hit.
And this year? Hidden for the holidays is the story “51% of Americans have less than 3 months worth of emergency savings (cnbc.com)” is the fact 25% of Americans have no savings at all.
Financially, we’re a pretty sorry lot.
Computers, Phones the Problem
Statistica just released a report last week showing almost half of your countrypersons (46%) spend 5-6-hours (or MORE) on the phone each day. A further 11% spend 7-hours or more.
In a different report, Statistica (one of our favorite reality-based websites) says “Estimates suggest that in 2021 U.S. adults will spend an average of three hours and 17 minutes watching TV each day.”
Simpleton that I am, I look at the numbers to get some sense of how badly people piss their lives away. The data suggests 8-hours a day of what we think of as “loser time.” Which, if you can land a Bidenesque $15-hour gig has a topline value of…um…$30,000 a year pretax.
The Corporate Con – and much of this is social media – is that if you video enough, hype enough, and shoot the right GoPro video, you’ll get a viral hit on social media and that will make you fabulously wealthy.
Our Reality-Based Christmas Present is that just as Lottery Tickets are a tax on people who can’t understand statistics, so too, Social Media is a tax on people who are weak-minded dreamers who aren’t willing to do actual work.
Just today, we noticed a Fact check: COVID-19, election misinformation dominated social media in 2021 (yahoo.com). Which didn’t surprise us, in the least.
The hell of it? The Founders had no idea how technology would arrive. Despite its obvious impacts, we haven’t even conducted a single large-scale longitudinal study on the psycho-social impacts of radio, let alone television, let alone social from a top-down management perspective.
This great mystery (which amounts to children playing with multi-megaton matches) is what keeps us getting out of bed early every day. It’s like staring at the accident you drive by on the freeway. Except it goes on during every waking hour.
Statistical Waste Dump
GDP came out this week: $23.2 trillion dollars.
Public debt to the penny as of Tuesday? $29.3 trillion says Debt to the Penny
The Happy-Talk artists spout we’re only 26.3% overspending. But that’s a statistical lie many people can’t understand. Allow us to help.
The idea of the National Debt (to the penny) is that Aliens could arrive as off-planet financiers and pay off America’s debts for this amount. However, there is NO ALIEN FINANCIAL PRESENCE. There are trillions more that will be owed over time. We still have future interest owed.
We like to think we can avoid a Greek-style financial crisis, but over time, compound interest breaks all notional/fiat currencies. We’re in the range where they usually break (3-5% residual purchasing power, the rest is debt).
The U.S. Dollar this Christmas has 3.64% purchasing power compared to 1913 when the Fed came along. What cost $100 then today costs $2,746.96. In other words, our “money” is 96.36% debt. Free lunches aren’t free, it turns out, after all.
Wars are Still On
Before my birthday in February, we continue to expect Eastern Europe to light up. Most recent indicator? Putin Loses His Cool When Confronted Over Ukraine, Claims It Belongs to Lenin Anyway.
In the very short-term, though, cooler heads have made a little progress as cited in Russia-Ukraine crisis: Kyiv hopes truce will ease military tensions. But keep your peacenik hopes parked for a while because Russia Circled by ‘Instability Ring,’ Diplomat Says As Moscow Ramps up War Talk.
Or whether it’s a chess move remains to be seen.
China keeps moving forward its “re-unification agenda” as China to hold Taiwan independence supporters criminally liable for life amidst growing tensions.
Weather outlooks -especially the long-range for Jan-March – for the Taiwan Strait likely matter more than anything right now.
For its part, China’s propaganda push now is focused on “wokee’s” is what we infer from their using the hot-button word “racism”. As in Deep-rooted racism in the US frames rigid, harmful China policy.
Odd this & that’s:
Historical Revisionism heads north: Top Canadian Museum To Be Imminently Gutted In The Name Of ‘decolonization’.
Put L.A. on your Avoid list: Super Bowl 2022 will take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
SantaBits: BTC Trying for $49,000 under the tree. Even as Paraguay takes another step towards digital currency regulation.
Australia’s Press is better than ours. At least in this analysis: ‘Sleepy Joe’ has been a ‘bumbling mess’ during first 11 months as president.
ATR: Grow Room Deluxe
The Christmas Room is appearing out of previously empty space. I mentioned one of my “ShopTalk Sunday” projects for this week (on top of everything else including a 40+ page Peoplenomics report) would be starting on the greenhouse off to the side of the recording studio here in the woods. Sure enough…
Coming along fine, but much fine-tuning to be done. And it may not complete until Sunday or Monday because of a glitch I ran into Wednesday. The problem is that coming out of the studio, the framing (which will be visible because this is all going to be covered with clear polycarbonate) will be too bright to be really nice and yuppie-like.
Adding a day to slap-dash a coat of Penofin which will turn the framing into something a little more pleasing. Further yammerings in the ShopTalk Sunday column. Though Pappy’s remarks that basic framing is the most rewarding part of construction is as true as always.
I’m thinking a huge overhaul of the shop for a New Year’s project, but we’ll see.
Christmas Eve Dinner tomorrow will be prime rib and yeah, maybe a glass of wine, or two. A replay with another prime rib is coming for New Years, though in honor of pending wars and such, we may go with turkey which seems a little more in keeping with our outlook.
Have a swell time getting the last-minute details all done. And we’ll have abbreviated content for the next couple of days. Want to catch up on my non-destructive pillow testing. then there’s a hot Skil saw and a paint brush to get after.
Write when you get rich,