Normally, I wouldn’t begin with an “I told you so…” But this is a BIGGY. Because it’s a splendid example of how you can sit out in the backwoods of East Texas and figure out things long before the rest of the world.

In the beginning, there was Social Media. It sounded like fun, although to us it was very similar to a digital Hoola Hoop with a side order of Citizen’s Band Radio. Touch of slinky, too.

Then the Social Media outfits went public. Somewhere along in here, they seem to have discovered that shareholders don’t just want to be fractional owners of the biggest time-sink in this quadrant of the Universe…they actually want some money coming in.

So the Socialists (if I can call them that without confusing the Bernie Bunch) decided they would sell ads. And some, like Facebook, decided that they would charge to send your clever posts to your friends. Oh, sure, a few free, but for business users, who had shifted their customers off their own platforms, there was the ugly realization that they had just allowed their very own customers to be held hostage. Boost your post simply means you will have to pay to communicate your message. Social began a ransome game. Which we dutifully covered in detail on our subscriber side. (Subscribers, see Dec. 18, 2013 Issue 641-A)

The “Time Circular Business Model” involves giving away huge amounts of “product” free to get billions trained to use the product. Then, perhaps years later, up go the prices.

Eventually people figure it out (the “no free lunch part:) and the ugly truth of social as perhaps just a fad begins to leak out in the financial press.

Which brings us to this morning and CNBC:

People are spending much less time on social media apps: Report

OK, we were early and yes, we didn’t participate in the couple of good runs that Social media has had.

On the other hand, I am still looking askance at the whole “app” market. A short story to illustrate why.

Elaine and I went to lunch last week after our millionth eye doctor visit and we were gleefully prodded by our server to “Be sure and download our app!

As he went on to the next table, and more app-a-teasing, Elaine asked a very useful question: “It’s a restaurant, for God’s sake…why do I need an app to eat here?”

It is questioning the prevailing outbreak of social/mental illness like this that keeps us returning to the deep woods where such idiocy can’t sneak up on us — without us popping off a few rounds in its direction first.

For those who missed the first 10 years of UrbanSurvival, where we invented things like bug-out bags and such, the essence of Survival is not going with the herd…especially when they get stupid.

You have only two modes in life during your waking hours: You are making money or you are spending money.

I figure if you are spending money, you ought to get something you really love. The beautiful bride, the stately auto, the old airplanem the expansive grounds, and the treatment for such delusions.

Answer me this: Why does anyone buy a data plan so they can download an app that let’s me “reserve a table” in a restaurant that is half-empty? If it is full, I’m fine having a cold one in the bar…honest!

Do my Doctors need an app? No, they know how to use phones. My dentist’s front desk seems to actually like to banter a bit when they call. It’s fun. It’s human. Remember: Extra nitrous…

Recall the experience of my buddy Oilman2: 24 year old son’s friend with a thousand some Likes left social completely and not a single personal email. Yet he doesn’t go into Tractor Supply in Grapeland, Texas for 7 days and the checkout folks want to know if everything is OK. Did something happen?

Again: Social = Useless. Local Humans? Genuinely involved and concerned.

I will continue to hold this contrarian view of Social and “app building” because we don’t buy cell time to support Zuke Markerberg or whoever. Our readers can issue poison pen rejoinders here all day long…and if there’s monetizing to be done, it will pay for cat food for our editor Zeus the Cat.

Yes, we have an Android phone. But our data use on that? Only to check stocks and update the weather and TFR data.

Other than that, the smartest thing our phone does is call people when we feel like talking. Otherwise, it is blissfully non-invasive.

Smart Phones? Well, turns ouyt they are a bit smarter than many owner’s I’m afraid. And pay for a phone to run an app to do something that was already working fine and was free?

You taken a pee test lately, Bubba?

When Social Pays Me for all my clever posts (which they can sell ads for) then I will get interested. That’d be a fine and new level of Ponzi scheme.

For now, digital hoola hoops don’t work…and today, at long last, a batch of data seems to indicate not everyone in America is as stupid as promoters (and the presidential hopefuls) thought.

Go read: Why is Facebook trying to force you to use its Messenger app?

You know there is an ETF that plays in this field, right? Symbol is SOCL and the ETF chart is over here. What I want to find is a bear-side fund of Social. I think a name like Anti-Social would be cool although most of the abbreviations are already taken…

I’m going to take a handful of meds now and see if I can make it through the rest of the drivel before I explode.

Thank you.

Lets Talk Productivity and Costs, Then…

Cool…here’s a press release…

“Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.6-percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 0.9 percent and hours worked increased 1.5 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.)

From the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, productivity increased 0.7 percent. (See table A.)

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

Measures released today were based on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report.

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, reflecting a 3.9-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 0.6-percent decline in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 3.0 percent over the last four quarters.”

What does it mean? Well, the market was up 40-something earlier. I keep waiting for a pullback – but sure as I exit a short position, the bottom will fall out from under.

Still, as previously noted, the Fed has endorsed President Clinton II. Although not formally, you can see it in Easy Money Janet’s jawboning the markets higher. And you can see it in the Fed H.6 Money Stocks report where the printers are working extra shifts. At some point, all this easy money will slosh into the market, stock will rise, not so much because of traditional valuation rules, but because there’s nowhere else to shove it, except into mattresses.

Which Means Hil Will Beat Bernie

Oh, not that I would wish such a thing…Gushy Cali (Caligush) reports like Bill Clinton Block Party Overtook Telegraph This Morning seem to abound. Along with stories anointing Her. The Left has done all but administer the Oath of Office while blaming Trump for their $15/hour paid agitators found on CraigsList.

Meantime, while Trump is asking why it’s OK for the judge in the Trump University case to belong to La Raza (the race), the fact of Hil’s Bill being paid $16-million by a for-profit school group doesn’t seem to matter. An d sure, “Hillary Clinton Emails Reveal More Shameless Cronyism…”

But hey, this is Election Day in California, so let’s not confuse anyone with facts, shall we? That would set a dangerous precedent.

Besides, with Obama pardon’s Snowden which we’re predicting, it will swamp Hil’s emails…and she will be anointed on schedule.

You just missed the memo.

Winds of Change Change of Winds

Tropical Storm Colin bypasses SC, for now. gone.

And now for something completely different… I think I will go see an eye doctor…