So: This is Progress?

I happened to be listening to one of my all-time favorite econ books Sunday and I was reminded of something we try to forget on Mondays.

Namely that in hunter/gatherer societies, people only works (on a community average) about 1,000 hours per year.

Of course, it depends on what your definition of “work” is, too.

For example, to a freeway and desk-bound human with a phone and Facebook as their primary means of entertainment, going hunting and fishing all the time could hardly be considered “work” but there you have it.

Things were considerably worse in the early days of the industrial revolution – with annual hours worked up about 3,500. Today, the US average is supposedly 2,000 hours – which is the 40 hour week with a couple of weeks of vacation.

But it’s a fine point to remember: If this is “progress” – where is all of our time off?

Worst of all, the 2,000 hours doesn’t count the mandatory “other” time. Like commuting time and such.

It’s all so the G20 boyz can do what they do – which presently is something called global synchronized devaluations.

Markets Heading Lower

.Oh, sure. You did get the memo on this, right?

As explained in Peoplenomics this weekend…we are playing an exciting game of “synthetic growth” while at the same time (wink-wink) devaluing money – which is why gold and silver are drifting upward.

Don’t look at the “Big Reveal” from the Fed data on money sloshing about – it’s a heart stopper.


Basically, when you are making up money and there is no growth, things of high utility value, like real estate and precious metals, will zoom up because (unlike “money”) they can’t be watered down.

Granted, I have been telling you the markets would likely hit new all-time highs this year. But maybe I forgot to slip in a mention that it could be purely a dilution of money effect.

You see, the great majority of American’s don’t think if anything other than nominal (what’s before your face) terms when comes to matters economic. Otherwise, more people than just us would be outraged that the present dollar only buys about 4% of what it did when the Fed came along.

That’s OK, though, since the Fed is a coping mechanism that Congress allowed to be created. Takes the Constitutional requirement they manage the country’s finances off their back and provides for plausible deniability when the tab for 114 years of free lunches comes due next year. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Just because it’s Monday doesn’t mean individually we can do much of anything about it.

Later on — tomorrow, we will get auto sales figures, but the dominating data this week will be the employment reports. Three of ‘em. Challenger, ADP, and the federal numbers Friday.

As of pixel-time, the futures were hovering around flat.

Nuts of the Northwest

Well, here we go again:  Arrests in Seattle as May Day marchers take to streets.

What this begins to sound like is another “Battle for Seattle” kind of affair. And, oh yes, stupid.

You see, there is no way local uprisings like this ever have a happy ending. The cops always win because they have all the power. And behind them is the National Guard when needed, and behind that the Army, and if all else fails, there is carpet bombing on top of that.

People who turn out for such rowdyism may think it’s a show of something, but in my book, intelligence isn’t one of them.

You can hate anything you want (racism, globalism…any ‘ism you choose) but when comes down to it, asymmetric warfare only works when there is an unrecognized weapon in play. And when cell phones can be blocked, and so forth, there’s almost no chance of a (whatever uprising) to work out.

Sure, it’s one thing to bluster and organize, but unless a people’s revolution has some key assets to employ, the ending is always predictable. Oh, and people who get sucked in prove only that our education system has failed to educate.

Pounding on China

We can help but notice that Donald Trump is sounding pretty hawkish again: Trump: ‘We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.’

This will no doubt appeal to many, especially in states that have lost so many manufacturing jobs to outsourcing from other countries.

Full Employment for Lawyers Dept.

Lawsuit says Starbucks’ iced drinks have too much ice.

I can’t make this stuff up. I’m simply not that creative.

And there’s a fine ending point for this morning: Proof again that the whole world is crazy and has not recovered over the weekend. \\\

18 thoughts on “So: This is Progress?”

  1. “the Constitutional requirement they manage the country’s finances”

    Not to quibble, but nowhere in the Constitution does it mandate that the Congress run the U.S. economy – only that of the federal government.

    Glad to hear you’re doing better.


    • Quite right. Thanks for pointing this out.

      They’ve stretched the hell out of that interstate commerce clause – broken it outright by my reckoning

  2. You need to keep in mind that the government employees you name as powerful suppressors of the people all have wives and families too. Revolution starts when those protecting those in power simply turn around and join the protestors.

    These protests always end well, because it gives the cops et al the opportunity to go home and think about what they did. And it gives others the opportunity to see how the “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” uses force to maintain that illusion. Serve and protect what? You do realize all those folks are paid with tax dollars.

    When the cops move in and suppress free speech, it marginalizes people like you who say it isn’t so bad so I will not expatriate. Then those who foment change know exactly where you stand in the situation. Live free or die has been programmed out of the reality of most Americans.

    In the USA you are either a victim in multiple ways, or you become an advocate of freedom by vowing to be a consequence and then living that. There is no middle ground on this, only denial and cognitive dissonance. Life is not like a tv show.

  3. looks like keeping an eye or 2 on the USDx. is the bottom falling out?? me thinks….??? dollar index is going back to ’88’ omg!!

    • Just think of the positive. when I started to go blind.. I realized that I could honestly say.. I have my eye on you and mean it.. LOL…told the doctor that if they had to pluck it out because there was an infection or something that I wanted a fake eye with a larger than normal pupil that glowed red in the headlights.. then I could give someone the eye..

  4. Hunter/Gatherer were replaced by farming communities. So, we have examples in the USA with the Amish and Mennonites who run centuries-old farms. In many ways, I am very proud to live near these folks. I know they work hard, I know their children work hard and I know that when they get together in groups, they are happy. What’s wrong with that? I don’t find much more to a good life than what the Amish do. With our “English” who won’t take a job that is “beneath them”, we have an Amish woman who will clean her house daily, cook and can foods, help with the house-garden outside and raise kids.

    There are times when I feel that sitting at a computer every day (my job) is some sort of disease. Sometimes, we must slow down in order to “find life”. I think that the Amish are just chuckling at us “English” waiting for our economy to implode so they can get more farmland during our eventual forclosures. And they’ll have earned it.

    • I am with you on this one I love the colonies.. they are the best.. I buy stuff at their booths all the time.. almost as self sufficient as you are going to get.. great people simple ..

  5. If we get Trump. And if he fights to get Americans working again (ie. bring back factory jobs) will our people get off their couches, stop taking government checks and “get off disability” and back into a workplace again? Or will Trump need to keep the illegal aliens coming into the country so that they will do the factory jobs he is fighting for?

    Those who want jobs cannot find them – and yet when they find them they complain about the wages. And yet we have guys from SoT (South of Texas) who will do the job for half the going rate and be happy to do so.

    Wake up call? Meet young America.

    When I see people at Walmart pushing carts in from the cart corral rather than complaining that the employees didn’t round-up carts for them – I will be happy. I usually push 2-3 carts in from the lot every time I go to Walmart (or any store). Even if I am going in for something to put in my hand. I do it because I used to work at a grocery store when I was 16 and I would rather see *everyone* push in carts rather than require 2 guys to round them all up all day long for no-thanks.

    Shopping? Push in your own cart. And another one for good measure. If we all did it, we’d all be in the game.

    • John,

      You have hit my pet peev also. That is my social observation of character. If someone, who is capable, is so self absorbed as not to push his cart to a corral when done is…well…downright un-neighborly.

      As for the peaceful solution to the PTB. Easy, stay home for two weeks and don’t send anyone a check or bill payment for two months. Let’s see who comes begging first?

      • patrick, I was at Walmart yesterday when I typed that. I had pushed in my 2-carts and found that there were zero carts inside for people to pick-up. So anyone walking from car inside would find none or else go back and get one from the overflowing corrals. I normally get 2, sometimes 3, from random spots in the lot – just to be friendly. It’s funny that those who feel entitled the most possibly have the least wealth and those with wealth are doing the “little things” to enable their entitlement.

  6. Well now that would be a remarkable sight to see Trump go over there and bring all those corporations back over here wow now that would be a sight or rather a miracle

  7. ” Lawsuit says Starbucks’ iced drinks have too much ice. ”

    Oh MY God… first it is hot coffee it to hot. Lets sue for giving me a hot cup of coffee.. ( why not just ask for a little ice like I do). now cold coffee is to Icy.. give me a @#$%^&* break.. Leave my coffee alone.. maybe someone should sue the lawyers for making paperwork to complicated or the print is to darn small..

    • You might be interested to read the facts of that famous hot coffee case against McDonald’s. Poor old lady had some nasty burn in her lap (there are pictures). After the civil consequence was deatl out, McD’s adjusted the max temp on all of their machines worldwide.. probably stopped others from being injured as a result.

      Also, the iced coffee case is pointing out the displacement of liquid when large amounts of ice are added to it results in far less coffee for the same price. Not sure that’s “sue-worthy” but it’s an accurate understanding of physics, at least.

  8. Starbucks may have too much ice in their drinks, and for attorneys that’s fine to enter the legal areana … But attorneys don’t take cases where an employee is yelled at, insulted and harassed by the corporate accountant (CEO)because said employee used the word “ethical” … Go figure.

  9. 2000 hours/year? What a joke. I’m one of the evil government workers (firefighter) and I put in 2640 hours per year at that job and put in another 20-40 hours per week to make ends meet. I’m not convinced that anyone in America is really making it on 40 hours a week without government assistance.

  10. About the likes of “Seattle Revolution:” Let me say right off the bat here, all these protesters violently marching against a perceived “whatever” are a bunch of thugs and criminals in my mind. And, you are right, we will never win the fight with violence in today’s “jackboot” world.

    But in America, where more than men, the All Mighty Dollar rules; What we can do is go on strike. No more work, no more buying, no more paying the bills. Just have a big block party until our “Representatives” actually start representing us. Maybe it’s time we pulled out that feared “mob rule” we tried to protect ourselves from when we decided to be a republic instead of a true democracy.

  11. I work about 11 hour days; and I am happy to do it. I immigrated from a formal socialist country, and have no interest in turning the US into one.

    There are very few places in the world where a person can start with nothing, work hard, and making something of themselves. The US is one of those places. People who say it is not, have clearly not lived any other countries.

    I work hard, I make a decent living, I support my family, and I have enough free time.

    You know how we make “America great again”? We can start by not constantly complaining about how we have to work.

    Yes, this is progress. One of my grandfathers was a coal miner; the other was a farmer, struggling to keep his family from starving to death. My parents struggled their whole lives to make sure we have enough food to eat, literally, and a place to live. Now I own my own house, own my own car, and my biggest food related problem is which diet I should be on. Yes, this is progress.

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