Something that both of the (idiotic) political parties seem to be missing is the whole major problem summed up as “Where does growth come from?
Around here, though more on the Peoplenomics side of things, the answers are lined up and we go through them from time-to-time.
One way to jump-start an economy is to bring in more people. In the USA, democrats seem a bit wiser to this as they are in favor of open (to non-existent) borders, but the more radical amongst ’em also understand that recent imports (without b/ground study) are likely to be even more radical than, oh, Bernie for example.
Another growth avenue is that exemplified by the U.S. military (as choreographed by the neocons) as “Kill people and break things.” War is a fine “growth engine,” indeed.
Super consumer-saturation is (as we have argued) already here. So the economic impact of the end of free television and the arrival of UHD monitors hasn’t been much. Mostly, since conventional TV is in-process of biting the dust (streaming is better/faster etc.) and declining market consolidations are in play.
The “Hate Trump” industry has experienced a pretty good run, although with the “nothing burger” out from Mueller, hard to keep people whipped up about that.
Climate works, to some degree (poor pun, sorry) but the data doesn’t support the histrionics. Besides, when India-Pakistan light up this summer as part of the 72-year war cycle coming around, we will, as noted in a recent Peoplenomics report, the growing season shortened by a month (or longer) and global warming will be replaced by NukWinterLite for several decades. That will kill up to 2-billion people (famine) and make the survivors insane with hunger…But again, the upside is that tills the soil for future growth, even if you and I won’t be around to see it.
War, of all these choices, is the easiest to monetize. You can see it behind headlines like “Swedish Awacs in focus again after PAF used it against India.” All of which leads us back to the increasing odds of an Indo-Pak war this summer.
Weather will play a big role in this one. As the headlines about the first major heatwave of the year coming to Pakistan show up, we can’t help but think Pakistanis will be encouraged to vacation en masse this summer, in their mountain country. Tough to kill off major populations sequestered in mountains.
Not to be excessively glum about future prospects, but I’ve been spending a lot of time lately playing “Pin the Label on the Crash.”
That was easily done in 2008 – we all saw the real estate bubble. Same with the Internet bubble 9-years earlier. But what is the bubble we are in now? What is the name for a planet gone mad?
One of my picks is the “Social Media Bubble.” We have known since 2000 (see Young, O’Mara, and Buchanon) that the web makes people a bit daft. But, no one talks about it, because we’re all so anxious not to mention the “emperor’s new clothes.”
Still, we know that hacker teams of all political persuasions use social media as prime battlespace. We know cyber crime is almost doubling every year. And we know the European Union is trying to impose its views on Internet management worldwide.
By the way, did you notice where “Facebook extends ban on hate speech to ‘white nationalists’?” It will be amusing, indeed, to see if such digital self-righteousness is applied to black nationalist groups, as well. Equality, right?
(It won’t be, because there’s a long-term white-hating liberal agenda in play…guilt-peddling. America, 85% white when I was born is now down in the 63% range…and all without a vote. Amazing, is it not?)
Even the DailyBeast seems to be echoing some of our digitlution and Digital Mob Rule concerns (OK, digilantism too, if you insist) as they propose that the “U.S. Must Put a Ban on Google Helping China Develop a Global Digital Dictatorship...”
Thing is, all of these changes are due to a widely under-appreciated field of study called “Behavioral Economics.” People will go where there’s the least resistance. And they will spend (and act) in the ways that give them the highest Maslow payoffs.
One of the most useful of all idea in psychology that explains much about politics, economics, and human behavior in general, is his simple hierarchy of needs.
With a little reflection, you can see how it works in, oh, religion for example. Make people very afraid of dying and offer them a “comfort pill” and they will swallow and follow. Or, in politics, propose that an opponent will raise taxes (take your money) and they will vote for anything but that candidate.
It’s much more complicated, but not beyond modeling and once modeled, it’s easy to A.I. it. Just so long as you remember that the U.S.A. is a “global persona ” just as “China” and “Japan” are personas. Yes, that’s right, countries operate to the same hierarchy of needs… taxes, territories, and a power-elite. Trust you’re following the ramble here?
Stories like Smollett getting off sicken me…but in a more scientific view, it just confirms what we already knew. Some people are part of the power structure (Smollett) and others (you and me) aren’t. We don’t have access to the “Dial-a-Favor” line. It’s our experience that innocent people don’t forfeit $10-large and do community service days, but we’ve spent less than 2-hours in 70-years in Chicago and that was eating pizza at the airport.
Tough stuff to swallow in a “nominally equal country” that there are “connected” people and friends of a Ruling Class but the news leaks that its all quite undeniable. America isn’t even near being an equal (egalitarian) society. Woe to those who mention that fact, lest they be branded racists, homophobes, and whatever else the current slur du jour among the me-me’s happens to be on socialist media.
So deal with it.
Making Up Money Dept.
No, bitcoin is not money…at least to us. We stupidly hold that
“money” must persist when the lights go out. Notwithstanding, bitcoin is still around $4,000 proving P.T. Barnum’s “sucker born every minute” estimate was a low-end guess. (We acknowledge “Paper Collar Joe” Bessimer may have originated the quote…jeez don’t want the heirs getting after us…)
Speaking Making Up Money
We flipped over to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (which is more precise than our work here) to see how they have been jiggering things:
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 (table 1), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.4 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “initial” estimate issued last month. In the initial estimate, the increase in real GDP was 2.6 percent. With this estimate for the fourth quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; personal consumption expenditures (PCE), state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment were revised down; imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were also revised down”
Need to Knows
The FCC has fined robocallers $208 million. It’s collected $6,790. We say Jail ‘Em.
President Trump calls on Adam Schiff to resign, accuses him of ‘knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking’. He could have just call Schiff a democrat…
OK, moron the morrow..when we will see what else we can round up…Dow futures down 17 as we click…