Retail Sales Numbers

The reason we start off with the Retail Sales figures press release this morning is this old business school axiom that “Nothing happens until someone buys something…”  It’s also why you should strike to be in sales as a career, because this is where the money is, in almost any industry you care to name.

If you want to get rich, sales is, near, as I can figure, the shortest ladder to the top. 

We can talk more about this some other time, but with the sales figures this  morning, it seems on point.  Some of the highest returns in learning you can find are to be had from studying the fine art of selling.  And no, it’s not hard, but people, in general have a fear of rejection and there is a good bit of that in sales.  Once you get past the ego-slamming idea that not everyone is going to love you, what you find is the remaining few who do love you, can make you rich beyond dreams.

I guess that’s why there are so many “average” people in the work, right?

OK, so onto the press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal      variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $427.2 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the    
previous month, and 1.5 percent (±0.9%) above February 2013.  Total sales for the December 2013 through February 2014 period were up 2.3      percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago.  The December 2013 to January 2014 percent change was revised from -0.4 percent     (±0.5%)* to -0.6 percent (±0.2%).   

Yes, boys and girls, it’s the auto industry that is keeping America on life support.

Don’t look at retail sales in isolation, though.  The reason is that these figures are  counted on a dollar basis and not on a units sold basis.  The dollar figures are kicked all over hell’s half acre by a) the purchasing power of the dollar, b) inflation, c) taxes, d) supplier costs, and the list goes on from there. 

Still, any port in a storm and the trend is something you adjust the trim of your financial sales to:  When they start to fall, you look for safer harbor investments, and when in a rising trend, you can maybe think about growth stocks again.

The Markets

All of which gets us to how the world looks this morning, assuming your eyes are open enough to care.

Dow futures were up 30 – amazing what happen retail sales will do.

China and Japan were down again.  And China is under the key 22,000 level on the Hang Seng, so if the weakness persists into next week there, even though there may be some happy talk about things like Ukraine, it might be interesting to look at the rest of the world before working yourself into a bullish frenzy.

Looking at Europe in the early going today, the tea drinking kneelers were down a bit, and the huns and frogs were up a tad.  The inference is that no one in Europe has any clue what’s going on, but that should be evident from a quick glance at their shoddy system of government upon government…

I’m sorry, but when I look at the EU what I see is one of history’s cruelest jokes.  What Napoleon, the Kaiser, and Hitler could not hold together, is now being bubble gummed and babble-mouthed by latter day empire builders.  Only to have history make the point that 28 bankrupt countries are no better off than individual ones.

The whole point of the “trade deals” is that they provide the international bankster class with a kind of floating “check kiting” scheme which is fine, unless you live in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece,,,you keep a list, I hope? 

One could argue that it’s 27 and a half in the EU fold, since the Brits haven’t swallowed the whole bait, yet.  And it will soon be 28 and a half (or 29, depending on who’s scoring) when the mobgov of the Ukraine swallows the bait, which they will because they need loans and the old way to do that is to grovel to Brussels.

Which is why the power grab for Ukraine is so much like an addict’s “Just one more ounce/toke/drink” plea.  Like one more is going to fix anything.  It will seem to because here come the checks into the kiting pool, right?  Circular refinance, mark up, oh, it’s such a clever machine!

More important than anything else, Ukraine gives member states something to jointly worry about and since external enemies are how taxes for arms have been historically stolen from the workers (who just want to be left alone) the resurrected Evil Russian Empire is marketing, marketing, marketing.

And shortly it will be tax, spend, tax, spend, which is how people in power stay there.  Napoléon and the Kaiser should have been so clever. As history reveals the reality of varying regional interests, economics, and national agendas, the EU will ramp up their own security state and stomp on the realists who call out the check kiting deal…it’ll all be a latter day Stasi.

While the me-too school of economics is running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming about how “Dollar collapse is imminent!  Buy my latest book on the end of the world!” the more dispassionate thinker would look at the EU and wonder what analyst in their right mind would fade the Dollar before fading the Euro?

But that presupposes there exists an analyst in their right mind, which. now that I think about it, does answer the question, doesn’t it?

More after this…

Executive Arrogance

Somewhere along in the past 10 years, or so, it may have dawned on you that America has been taken over by money.

Maybe you got the idea when George Bush rode off into the sunset and nothing changed when the Change Meister dropped promises on things like Gitmo.

Or, maybe it happened when the long running Afghanistan (poppy & oil) war kept dragging out.

Or, maybe you figured it when you didn’t get to keep your own doctor, had your taxes go up, and the rich are still scamming a lower tax rate than you can ever dream of.

Along in here, the president has become more and more of a law breaker

And in this morning’s featured report, that reveals how “Obama threatens vetoes of bills requiring him to follow the law…”  we see that not only has the Obama administration made up rules at a whim on how to screw only certain people (us working folks, but not corporations) on healthcare, but now they are saying that they won’t follow the laws passed by congress requiring them to follow the law…

This is the kind of thing that in a past time would never have happened.  But now, with the national security state firmly in place, we know that it’s only a matter of time until a benevolent dictator reveals himself.

OK, we’ll skip the benevolent part.  Instead, let’s arm the shit out of local police and sheriffs in case people get any mobgov ideas…Maybe that’s why Myrtle Beach needs MRAPs, you think?  Humvees to put down those free-thinking voters in Tennessee?

Meantime, the Supreme Court, which doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend what “shall not be infringed” means is letting another anti-gun law take effect in California.

If this was an isolated oversight, no harm, no foul.  But it’s not.  The Rutherford Institute recently filed a brief in the case of a Texas man who was fighting a no-knock case which stemmed from the ownership of legal guns!

And now Illinois is pressing on another front, trying to push through a law to register all guns.

What the Obamanation doesn’t understand is that the whole country has lost faith in the honesty and integrity of the PROCESS of Governance in democratic republic.  And that’s why the popularity polls for Obama and for congress are in the crapper, pure and simple.  The Founders laid out the best set of ground rules EVER and they are being systematically trashed.

Restore America is really simple: Smaller government,  wage parity taxes on imported goods, no interstate buying of elections, no special interest groups, lobbying limited to information only, no trips, dinners, hookers……get back to the melting pot and relearn how to all play nicely together.  Sheesh!

But that takes work, sharing, caring, and a government that holds itself to a higher standard. All this doesn’t work because there’s no BIG PAYOFF for the bankster class that buys laws now.

So that restore America stuff we dream about? That ain’t hap’nin Jackson.  Not this way.

The good news?  You don’t need to be a revolutionary to bring massive change.  You just need to be patient enough to wait for compound interest to bring the collapse to you.

So Let’s Raise Taxes, Instead

So what happens next?  The government is pondering the question of whether to charge sales tax on internet sales.

Oh, they do already, in most states.  I pay Texas sales tax when someone in Texas subscribes to Peoplenomics, for example.

But should I (being a seller) in Texas, pay sales tax to Idaho when someone in Idaho subscribes?  I’m not in Idaho and the idea in congress is that Idaho should get a piece of the Idaho subscriber dough.

Once upon a time this would have been laughed out…but with government wanting what? (Hint: Mo Money!) this is now on the table as Uncle is, essentially, getting into the National Sales Tax game.

Maybe they’ll screw this up as much as they did healthcare, you think?

The Tax Foundation says there are now more than 10,000 sales tax jurisdictions nationwide.

And they all have their hands out.  Why?  Because some people are dumb enough that they believe MORE government is BETTER government.

Sadly Predictable

Well, here we are at another Fine Structure Constant expectation of violence, and along comes 2 dead, 23 injured as a car plows into a crowd at SXSW in Texas.

This is three days off the Fine Structure Constant harmonic off the Nevada School Shooting a while back. 

Like I said, sad, predictable.

Grady may have time to work up a special post on how the FSC works in language over at our site later today.

Must Read List

Five business lessons from American pimps.

I’ve got to hit the road and head back home, but drop by tomorrow…